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Legal news from Wednesday, March 14, 2007
by Jaime Jansen

Hong Kong investigators on Wednesday dropped a case that alleged Yahoo!'s Hong Kong branch aided China in the prosecution and ten-year imprisonment of journalist Shi Tao for divulging state secrets abroad. The Hong Kong Office of Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data found insufficient evidence to prove that Yahoo! [corporate …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, long thought to be the strategist behind the Sept.11, 2001 attacks, confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attacks during a hearing Saturday at Guantanamo Bay, according to a transcript released by the US Defense Department Wednesday. Mohammed also claimed responsibility for 29 other planned terrorist attacks, …

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by Caitlin Price

Hazleton, Pennsylvania mayor Lou Barletta testified Wednesday in a Pennsylvania federal court on the constitutionality of two city laws that make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to live or work in the city. Testifying in Lozano v. City of Hazleton, Barletta said the local ordinances …

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by Jaime Jansen

President Bush on Wednesday said he was "troubled" by what he called a lack of straightforward communication between the US Justice Department and Congress regarding the firings last year of eight US Attorneys that may have been politically motivated. Speaking at a news conference in Mexico, Bush nonetheless said he continued to have confidence …

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by Caitlin Price

Thirty-one Egyptian women have been appointed as judges despite ongoing resistance from the nation's conservative Muslims, according to a decree published Wednesday by the head of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council. Council chief Mukbil Shakir selected the judges from a pool of state prosecutors who had passed a test for the positions, though it is unclear to which …

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by Jaime Jansen

Texas lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill to rescind a landmark executive order by Governor Rick Perry (R) requiring that school-age girls receive a vaccine against cervical cancer. The Texas House of Representatives approved the bill by a margin of 118-23, garnering enough votes to override a potential veto. The …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Jury selection began in Chicago Wednesday in the US federal trial of Canadian-born media mogul Conrad Black, the former chairman of media company Hollinger International - now Sun-Times Media Group Inc. - who faces 17 counts of fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering and tax evasion related to the $2.1 billion sale of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled against granting medical marijuana plaintiff Angel Raich injunctive relief preventing federal law enforcement officials from enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) against her. Raich suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumour, chronic nausea and other ailments that have not responded to conventional medical treatment. …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US President George W. Bush vowed Wednesday to increase efforts to reform US immigration laws and crack down on illegal drug trafficking during a press conference in Merida, Mexico, with new Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Bush pledged to work with lawmakers across party lines, but noted that immigration issues are sensitive …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A California state judge on Wednesday dropped the felony charges against four defendants in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) pretexting scandal after the defendants pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of fraudulent wire communications and agreed to complete 96 hours of community service and pay restitution by September. The four defendants, including former …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge on Wednesday held Sudan liable in the 2000 al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole, and moved the civil trial of a suit brought by families of seventeen US sailors killed in the bombing to the damages phase. AP quoted US District Judge Robert Doumar of the US …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Lawyers boycotted courts across Pakistan Wednesday for a third day in a continued effort to protest Friday's suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for unspecified misconduct. The nationwide strike by Pakistani lawyers was coupled with rallies held in Karachi and other urban centers. Pakistan Bar Council President Qazi Anwar told AFP that starting Thursday …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Zimbabwe prosecutors failed to appear in court on Wednesday to prosecute opposition presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai, arrested at a protest in Harare Sunday, leaving him free to return home. On Monday, Tsvangirai's lawyer and party officials said he was beaten while in police custody; he appeared in court Tuesday with …

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by Joshua Pantesco

China uses the same strict organ donation procedures when accepting organs from executed criminals as any other organ donations, an anonymous senior Chinese Supreme Court official told the state Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday. The court official said that China only harvests organs from executed criminals when either the criminal or their family consents, and the consent …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Several Native American groups are voicing opposition to a proposed Oklahoma law that would require all official state business be conducted in English on the grounds, arguing it would stifle efforts to revive tribal languages. As drafted, the Oklahoma English Language Act contains exceptions including "teaching or studying other languages," protecting the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Passage of a draft law aimed at dividing oil proceeds among various religious and ethnic groups in Iraq is critical to continued US support of the current Iraqi government, associates of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told AP Tuesday. The draft oil law approved by the Iraqi cabinet in late February is now before …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Several US soldiers testified against their former squad leader Tuesday in a case relating to the killing of several Iraqi detainees after a May 9, 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra in Iraq's Salahuddin province. Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard faces court-martial on charges of premeditated murder for his alleged involvement in the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

In celebration of JURIST's 10th anniversary, JURIST and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law are hosting a one-day conference in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 29. Law as a Seamless Web|site will feature four panels and 14 distinguished speakers exploring a range of issues at the intersections of law, war, rights, social justice, technology, legal …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Defense lawyers for former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan have filed an appeal with the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), asking the court to overturn Ramadan's death sentence. Ramadan was convicted by the IHT alongside Saddam Hussein in November and …

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by Brett Murphy

A Turkish prosecutor officially filed charges against political science professor Atilla Yayla Tuesday for "insulting the legacy" of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. The professor is being prosecuted for a November 18 speech, in which he stated that Ataturk's rule from 1925 to 1945 was not as progressive as some believe. Yayla faces …

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by Brett Murphy

The Tokyo High Court overturned a landmark decision on Tuesday that had held both the Japanese government and Rinko Corp. responsible for forcing Chinese citizens into slave labor during World War II. The 2004 lower court ruling mandated that Rinko Corp. and the government of Japan pay the Chinese plaintiffs …

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by Brett Murphy

The British government introduced a progressive new draft environmental bill on Tuesday that could control greenhouse gas emissions until as far as the year 2050. Outlined in the Queen's Speech [text; PM materials; BBC backgrounder, the bill will focus on four items: cutting CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2050, improving CO2 …

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by Brett Murphy

The Judicial Conference of the United States decided Tuesday that it will ask Congress for 67 new judge positions, including 15 new circuit court positions and 52 new district court judgeships, throughout the country in order to help ease the crowded court system. No new circuit court judges have been added to the …

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