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Legal news from Sunday, December 10, 2006
by Joshua Pantesco

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has indicated that it will seek congressional approval for its planned $100 million Guantanamo Bay legal facility rather than expedite construction by declaring it an emergency expense. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, in a November letter to Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman John Warner, had proposed to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani slammed the Baker Iraq Study Group report during a Sunday news interview, says it contained "some very dangerous articles which undermine the sovereignty of Iraq and the constitution." Talabani objected to a proposal to place a US advisor in each unit of the Iraqi army, …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Wire services are reporting that former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet has died, according to an announcement from a military hospital in Santiago. Pinochet, 91, suffered a major heart attack last Sunday; he was stabilized after emergency surgery but later was moved back into intensive care. Reuters has more.In recent …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on the proposed $82.2 billion AT&T -BellSouth merger [AT&T materials] after FCC general counsel Samuel Feder authorized Commissioner Robert McDowell to vote on a merger despite a possible conflict of interest. In an 8-page memorandum issued late last week, Feder found it important that …

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by Lisl Brunner

Outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for greater efforts to protect human rights worldwide in a speech marking International Human Rights Day. Annan on Friday acknowledged that the UN has often failed to live up to its own responsibility in the area, and expressed disappointment that his hope of establishing human …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Russian State Duma has effectively extended a national moratorium on the death penalty until 2010 by postponing until then the establishment of jury trials in Chechnya, the only territory in Russia that still uses three-judge panels in criminal hearings. The Russian Constitutional Court ruled in 1999 that the …

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by Lisl Brunner

Legislation extending the mandate of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) passed both houses of the US Congress last week at the end of its current session, and the agency will continue to monitor US spending in Iraq until the fall of 2008 pending President Bush's signature. SIGIR was originally established to independently supervise and …

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