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Legal news from Wednesday, June 13, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

The New Jersey Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that for the state to constitutionally take private property, it must show that the property is blighted. The high court's unanimous ruling eliminates the use of eminent domain to take property that is merely "not fully productive." In Gallenthin Realty Development, Inc. v. Borough of …

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by Leslie Schulman

A joint report delivered to President George W. Bush Wednesday by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Education, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on the ability of state and local officials to prevent community violence - including school shootings - has found that educational, health, and law …

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by Leslie Schulman

Congressional investigators Wednesday issued subpoenas for former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former White House Political Director Sara Taylor in their ongoing probe of the US Attorney firing scandal. US House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) issued the subpoena for Miers, while Senate …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Citigroup, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank were charged Wednesday in Milan in connection with the collapse of Italian dairy giant Parmalat SpA. Judge Cesare Tacconi issued the indictments accusing the banks of a form of criminal negligence for not revealing to the market that Parmalat was not financially healthy. Thirteen employees …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Prosecutors in Switzerland said Wednesday that they have decided to appeal last week's acquittal of all 19 executives and consultants charged in connection with the collapse of Swissair Group, the former Swiss national airline. Zurich prosecutors had been considering an appeal since the decision was handed …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US House of Representatives Wednesday passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which closes a loophole that allowed Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho to purchase firearms despite a court order mandating psychiatric treatment. The bill mandates improvements in state reporting to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System …

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by Michael Sung

The warden of a prison where Jonathan 'Jack' Idema, the last of three imprisoned US citizens convicted of illegal imprisonment and torture in Afghanistan in 2004, confirmed Idema's release Wednesday, saying that Idema left Afghanistan shortly after his release on June 2. Idema, a former member of the US Army Special Forces, was arrested by Afghan forces …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx expressed concern in letters sent Monday to the Portuguese ministers for justice and the interior that privacy and data protection are increasingly being sacrificed in the name of security and national defense. The letter was sent just weeks before Portugal takes over the European Union [official …

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by Michael Sung

A Filipino court acquitted Imelda Marcos of all five charges of tax evasion Wednesday, finding that the prosecution failed to demonstrate criminal intent in Marcos' failure to pay income and estate taxes between 1985 and 1989. Marcos, the widow of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, is accused along with her husband of having looted the …

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by Michael Sung

Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander of Joint Task Force - Guantanamo Bay, told AP Tuesday that there are two ongoing investigations into the apparent suicide death of a Saudi Arabian detainee, adding that the two separate investigations are focusing on how Abdul Rahman Ma'ath Thafir al-Amri committed suicide and why guards …

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by Michael Sung

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Tuesday that Poland would insist on new discussions on voting within the Council of the European Union before Poland will agree to any proposed EU constitutional "treaty". Kaczynski voiced his objection to the proposed "double majority" voting system, which requires at least 55 percent of the ministers to …

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by Michael Sung

Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said Wednesday that they have unanimously adopted internal rules for the ECCC following the conclusion of a two-week meeting that convened on May 31. The judges said the new rules would facilitate "fair, transparent trials before an independent and impartial court." …

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by Michael Sung

The judicial panel of the UK House of Lords ruled Wednesday that Human Rights Act of 1998 (HRA) applies to British soldiers overseas in the case of killed Iraqi detainee Baha Musa. The Law Lords upheld a lower court judgment and held that because Musa was killed while under British detention he …

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by Michael Sung

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected efforts by the city of St. Louis to recoup $15 million in lead paint removal costs from paint and pigment manufacturers. In its 4-3 opinion, the high court upheld a lower court's ruling, determining that the city's inability to connect any specific manufacturer to the paint at a particular cleanup site prohibited …

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by Michael Sung

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled a series of reforms Tuesday designed to address the backlog of claims by aboriginal tribes over land seized by the Canadian government, saying a system would be created to solve the disputes "once and for all by impartial judges on a new Specific Claims Tribunal." The proposal, titled the …

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