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Legal news from Friday, May 25, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Delegates from 68 countries wrapped up a three-day meeting in Lima, Peru Friday intended as a follow-up to the February Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, where participants signed a declaration to ban cluster bombs by 2008. Organizers said the Lima meeting was a success, attracting 28 new …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled Friday that there exists no constitutional right to access legal services in Canada. The holding overturned two lower court decisions that had declared British Columbia's seven percent tax on legal fees unconstitutional because it made hiring a lawyer prohibitively expensive for low-income people. The case was originally brought against …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal prosecutor said Friday that former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby should receive 2 1/2 to 3 years in prison for blocking the investigation into the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. In papers filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia Friday, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wrote: Particularly …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Toronto Mayor David Miller Friday condemned a Wednesday shooting at a Toronto Ontario high school that left a 15-year-old student dead and called for a complete ban on handguns to prevent similar incidents in the future. Despite an increased police presence in the city to combat gang activity, Miller admitted the Canadian metropolis has so far been …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer Friday vetoed a constitutional amendment that would have changed the country's election procedures to allow the president to be elected by direct vote rather than selected by parliamentarians. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) pushed through the amendment after opposition lawmakers, fearing that sole presidential …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith Friday rejected a Russian offer to try the suspected murderer of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in its own courts, calling for Andrei Lugovoy's extradition to the United Kingdom. The Russian government has refused to turn Lugovoy over to the UK, saying that the Russian …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The military government of Myanmar Friday extended the house arrest of pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for another year, rejecting calls for her release by both national and international human rights activists. The move, which forces Suu Kyi to remain in her home for a …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The European Commission said Friday that an independent advisory panel will investigate Internet search engine giant Google to determine whether it complies with EU privacy rules. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which advises the commission on data protection and privacy, drafted a letter to Google …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko ordered Ukraine's interior ministry troops to come under his command Friday as a new crisis over Yushchenko's Thursday dismissal of the country's top prosecutor escalated, but Prime Minister Victor Yanukovych and Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko defied the move, calling it unconstitutional. Yushchenko said the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility has expanded its investigation into whether department aides illegally made hiring decisions based on consideration of applicants' political beliefs, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The move follows Wednesday's testimony to the House Judiciary Committee by former DOJ aide Monica Goodling, …

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by Michael Sung

Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison filed a lawsuit Thursday to test the constitutionality of a new Kansas law restricting protests at military funerals. The law, signed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius last month, will not take effect until it is upheld as constitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court or a federal court. Morrison's lawsuit, …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the fraud convictions of Adelphia Communications founder John J. Rigas and son Timothy J. Rigas on all but one count Thursday, reversing and acquitting the defendants on one lesser count of bank fraud. The defendants argued that the fraud convictions should be reversed because the …

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by Michael Sung

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), an independent government council tasked with investigating alleged abuses of human rights in Mexico, issued a report Thursday criticizing the Mexican federal government's response to a May 2006 teachers' strike that escalated into an uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, saying that the federal government's intervention was "unjustifiably …

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by Michael Sung

The US Senate has scheduled debate and a vote on a resolution expressing the Senate's lack of confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for mid-June. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday that 26 Democratic senators join him in co-sponsoring the no-confidence resolution. A decision whether to recruit Republican co-sponsors will be …

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by Michael Sung

The US Congress passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 Thursday, raising the federal minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade. The provision was introduced as an amendment to the Iraq War Supplemental Budget, and will raise the current minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour within 60 days …

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