Legal news from Wednesday, December 6, 2006
19:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Wednesday rejected by a vote of 250-162 [roll call] a controversial bill [summary] that would have mandated medical practitioners to inform women seeking an abortion after 20 weeks of the pain the procedure causes to an unborn fetus. The Unknown Child Awareness [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa [official profile] ordered the Zambian Police Service [official website] Wednesday to ban future rallies led by populist opposition politician Michael Sata [party profile], disregarding recommendations by national Solicitor-General Sunday Nkonde. Mwanawasa had ordered police to stop the rallies led by Sata's supporters, but Nkonde overruled [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Sri Lanka [government website] cabinet enacted strict new anti-terror laws Wednesday that ban individuals from aiding anyone "engaged in terrorism" and prohibit the wearing of uniforms "relating to terrorism." The new laws also give police and security forces additional broad powers to arrest and interrogate terror suspects. The [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., son of former Liberia [JURIST news archive] president Charles Taylor, was indicted [text, PDF; US DOJ press release] Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday mandated that Dutch officials force-feed Serb nationalist and war crimes defendant Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] in the event that the hunger strike [JURIST report] he has been engaged in since November 11 threatens [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Rwandan President Paul Kagame [official website; BBC profile] publicly alleged Wednesday that France supported the 1994 genocide [HRW backgrounder; BBC backgrounder] that wracked the African nation. Kagame previously accused the French government of providing training and weapons [JURIST report] to Hutu militias who perpetrated the 100-day massacre that left [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profile] refused to answer questions Wednesday during an FBI oversight hearing [meeting materials; Mueller statement] before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] about the administration's domestic spying program [JURIST news archive], saying the information is classified. Mueller, who acknowledged that information about the [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian Parliament [official website] Wednesday voted to lift restrictions on stem cell research and permit the therapeutic cloning of human embryos. Members of the House of Representatives voted 82-62 in favor of lifting the previous therapeutic cloning ban; the Senate approved the measure [JURIST report] last month. The [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Yemen on Wednesday found Mohammad al-Assadi guilty of denigrating Islam and fined him 500,000 rials ($2,541) for republishing offensive cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. Al-Assadi, editor of the Yemen Observer [media website], said the guilty verdict was "baseless" and that [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Cambodian government is interfering with the adoption of court rules [press release] to govern the upcoming Khmer Rouge genocide trials, advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday. Tribunal judges convened last month to establish court rules for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Fiji [JURIST news archive] military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama [BBC profile] declared a state of emergency Wednesday and appointed a new prime minister and head of police in the South Pacific island nation after overthrowing the government in a military coup [JURIST report] Tuesday. In a statement released over [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] appeared in court Wednesday, despite an earlier vow not to attend [JURIST report] future proceedings in his genocide trial, and looked on as presiding Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa called a final witness for the prosecution. The prosecution has presented more that 70 witnesses, including [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] said Tuesday that it will appeal a November ruling [PDF text; order, PDF; JURIST report] ordering the agency to reinstate certain housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] due to FEMA's failure to clearly explain to evacuees why [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] Australia's Federal Court [official website] has agreed to hold a hearing next week to consider a petition [docket materials] filed Wednesday by lawyers for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive]. Hicks' lawyers have asked the court to direct the federal government, including Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] A US District Court judge has refused to entertain a motion to stay the execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] that was filed by Italian advocate Giovanni di Stefano [law firm website; Wikipedia profile], an advisor to Hussein's defense team. US District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected the motion [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for several Chinese detainees still held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have filed a lawsuit in US federal court seeking their release due to the flawed process by which they were determined to be enemy combatants. The group of seven ethnic Uighurs were deemed enemy combatants by [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US military is close to charging at least five US Marines in connection with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [JURIST report] last November, a military spokesperson said late Tuesday. Though specific details have not yet been disclosed, some Marines may be charged with murder and [read more]

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