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Legal news from Wednesday, April 4, 2007
by Brett Murphy

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed suit against five Jackson Hewitt franchises, seeking an injunction to bar the companies from preparing tax returns and alleging that all five corporations were involved in fraudulent tax return preparation including the filing of exaggerated claims and the use …

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by Jaime Jansen

The government of Thailand Wednesday banned access to the popular video-sharing website YouTube and several other websites that contain material deemed offensive to the country's monarch. The YouTube ban resulted from a video depicting King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) has accused Australian mining company Emperor Gold of human rights violations at Fiji's Vatukoula gold mine. The FHRC claims that mine workers have been subjected to sub-standard housing, paid disproportionate wages, and exposed to hazardous gases. FHRC Commission Director Dr. Shaista Shameem said that an FHRC …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK hacker behind unprecedented cyberattacks on US military and NASA computer systems in late 2001 and early 2002 lost an appeal Tuesday in the UK High Court to avoid extradition to the US. Last May, a UK judge recommended extradition for Gary McKinnon to face criminal charges in a …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Iowa House Human Resources Committee on Tuesday approved SF427, a bill to extend the state's civil rights protections to gays and lesbians. The bill, which still awaits passage by the full Iowa House, was passed by the full Senate last week and would officially add gender identity and sexual orientation to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday urged all countries to sign and abide by international treaties banning landmines International Mine Awareness Day. Those treaties include the Ottawa Treaty, which bans all anti-personnel landmines, and the Protocol Five to the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention, scheduled to assemble in November to consider how to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The state of North Carolina is violating international freedom of association labor standards by prohibiting governmental entities from bargaining with unions, according to a decision released Tuesday by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the labor standards branch of the United Nations. North Carolina General Statute section 95-98 states:Any agreement, or contract, between the governing …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iraqi Shiite religious leader Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani said Tuesday he in fact did not oppose a proposed law which would return former Baath party members to their previously held government positions, as initially reported Sunday. A spokesperson for Sistani denied the reports without revealing the Grand Ayatollah's position …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A former Bosnian Serb soldier was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday on rape and torture charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Dragan Zelenovic was accused of raping eight Bosnian Muslim women under circumstances amounting to torture between July and October of 1992 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday at a news conference in Tehran that he had "pardoned" and was releasing 15 British military personnel detained by Iranian forces earlier this month, and would not bring them to trial. An Iranian ambassador had previously suggested the UK personnel could face charges …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has refused to rescind Monday's decree ordering parliament to dissolve and new elections to be held in May as the constitutional crisis in Ukraine continues. On Tuesday, Yushchenko met with his main political rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, in an attempt to persuade Yanukovych to withdraw an court …

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by Brett Murphy

Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks will not speak to the media in violation of a court order, Hicks' lawyer said Wednesday. Despite statements by Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock that Australia cannot enforce the gag order once Hicks returns to the country, Hicks' lawyer told Australia's ABC News that Hicks …

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by Brett Murphy

Human Rights groups REDRESS and the International Federation for Human Rights said Tuesday that the European Union should hold trials for the 37 Rwandan genocide suspects known to be living in European countries. The suspects have been living in Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway, and the rights groups condemned the countries for …

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by Brett Murphy

Monica M. Goodling, on leave from her post as special counsel to the US Attorney General, told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she will not speak to the committee about her role in last year's firing of eight US attorneys. Committee members said that a voluntary interview would forgo the need to …

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