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Legal news from Wednesday, April 11, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

Amnesty International Wednesday criticized Egypt for systematic human rights abuses of detainees in its police stations, military camps, and centers run by State Security Investigations (SSI). In a new report the international human rights organization said:Around 18,000 administrative detainees – people held without charge or trial under orders issued by the Interior Ministry – are languishing …

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by Leslie Schulman

Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko announced Wednesday that he would freeze his controversial April 2 decree ordering the dissoluton of parliament and new elections on May 27 in an attempt to end a constitutional confrontation with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The freeze would allow parliament …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Senate Wednesday approved the Stem Cell Enhancement Act of 2007 [S.5 materials] by a margin of 63-34, despite a Tuesday warning from President Bush that he would veto the bill. The House of Representatives is expected to adopt the Senate bill, which would subsidize stem cell research, …

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by Jaime Jansen

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the long list of Palestinian prisoners that Palestinian militants have demanded be freed in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Olmert and senior officials met Tuesday to discuss the list, which purportedly …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Bangladesh authorities announced Wednesday that opposition leader and former prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has been charged with four counts of murder arising from the deaths of four protesters during political turmoil in October. In all, 46 people were charged following a murder investigation that was prompted by a complaint filed by the Jamaat …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora Wednesday sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking the UN to establish a tribunal to investigate the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The anti-Syrian majority in the Lebanon parliament sent the UN a similar petition last week over the objections …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A US military Special Operations Command company will be investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for using "excessive force" during a March 4 incident in Afghanistan, an anonymous defense official told AP Wednesday. A US military commander referred the case to the NCIS after his own investigation revealed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Cuban President Fidel Castro issued a statement Tuesday condemning a US district court ruling freeing an anti-Castro militant on bail prior to his May 11 trial on charges that he lied in his attempt to become a US citizen. Luis Posada Carriles is wanted in Cuba and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

John M. "Mike" McConnell, who succeeded John Negroponte as US Director of National Intelligence in February, is reportedly circulating proposed amendments to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to respond to FISA's perceived inflexibility and inability to respond to the threat of terrorism. The proposed amendments, released ahead of a Senate Intelligence Committee …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Six Egyptian human rights organizations issued a report Tuesday alleging that only five percent of Egyptian citizens participated in last month's constitutional referendum, far lower than the 27 percent voting rate announced by Egyptian Justice Minister Mamdouh Marei, and that the vote was marred by fraud. Seventy-six percent of those casting ballots voted in favor of 34 …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Claims of clergy sex abuse levied against the US Roman Catholic Church decreased for the second year in a row and recent cases involving claimants under age 18 have dropped significantly, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The survey, compiled by the …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Washington State House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a domestic partnership bill (SB 5336) by a vote of 63-35 that grants same-sex couples hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights when there is no will, and the power to authorize medical procedures, such as organ donation and autopsies. Although the legislation stops short of …

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by Brett Murphy

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed off on legislation Tuesday that will award Maryland's ten votes in the US Electoral College to the national popular vote winner in presidential elections, instead of the recipient of the most votes in Maryland. The legislation will only take effect, however, if a majority of the states representing the …

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