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Legal news from Sunday, January 28, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

Ali Hassan al-Majid, the cousin of Saddam Hussein also known to the Western media as "Chemical Ali," unapologetically admitted in court Sunday that he gave orders for the destruction of dozens Kurdish villages and the relocation of thousands of Kurds in the 1980s. The prosecution in the ongoing genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC …

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by Caitlin Price

An Italian draft law published Friday proposing prison sentences for race-based hate crimes but not making Holocaust denial an explicit crime in itself may complicate a German-initiated move to criminalize such Holocaust denial throughout the European Union. The Italian law, written by Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, would punish inciting racial hatred …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Civil rights groups have been pushing Democratic lawmakers to reconsider a bill banning racial profiling by any government entity since an airline's decision to remove a group of imams from a flight in November. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), who first …

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by Caitlin Price

An Israeli parliamentary subcommittee approved day an amendment Saturday that would require Knesset members to cast open rather than secret ballots in presidential elections. The "Peres law," so called because it would greatly favor presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres' chances of winning, was passed by a 7-5 margin. It now must receive a …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The White House plans to tell Congress on Monday that Israel's use of US-made cluster munitions in southern Lebanon last year may have violated several decades-old agreements requiring that the weapons only be used against clearly defined military targets or the Arms Export Control Act, which authorizes use of the weapons …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The US Army confirmed Saturday to AP that it has up to 50 criminal investigations underway into alleged frauds involving private contractors running operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. The Pentagon currently outsources many military tasks from laundry to weapons system repair work, but the military's inability to monitor most contractors has cost the US government millions …

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by Natalie Hrubos

A federal judge held late last week that overcrowded Philadelphia jails violate inmates' constitutional rights and therefore require court monitoring. The ruling from US District Judge R. Barclay Surrick came in response to a lawsuit filed last year by University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky on behalf of 11 inmates. In his opinion, Judge Surrick wrote:The …

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