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Legal news from Thursday, June 14, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

Amnesty International accused the government of Canada of having "abandoned" its citizen in Guantanamo Bay in an open letter Thursday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The letter urged Harper to press the US for the repatriation of Omar Khadr, the sole Canadian in custody at the US military prison. Khadr …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday voted against allowing a statewide vote on a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. A total of 50 votes were needed to advance the amendment, but only 45 lawmakers supported the proposal, with 151 voting against. Unlike previous joint sessions on the issue, there was no …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil rights investigations in the Bush administration have focused on issues of religious freedom and discrimination at the expense of race, the New York Times reported Thursday. As an extreme instance, the Times pointed to DOJ intervention in a case helping a religious group secure the right to "distribute candy canes as …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

President George W. Bush told the Legislative Conference of the Associated Builders and Contractors Thursday that he supports an immigration bill amendment to provide $4.4 billion in immediate additional funding for border security, obtained through fines and penalties collected from illegal aliens. Bloomberg reports that several Senators reacted favorably to the proposed funding increase, hoping …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A US district judge Thursday rejected a request by former US vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby that his prison sentence for blocking the probe into the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity be delayed pending appeal. Libby's lawyers had argued that because his Justice Department superiors recused themselves …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday told the lower house of Germany's parliament that she hopes a road map to an eventual European constitution can be achieved at an EU summit in Brussels next week, but expressed doubts that any further progress would …

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by Michael Sung

The Zimbabwean House of Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, approved the controversial Interception of Communications Bill Wednesday, authorizing the the directors of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization, the military, taxation authority, and the Commissioner of Police to intercept communications across the telephone, the internet, and other electronic communication devices. The bill, which will also allow …

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by Michael Sung

Peruvian Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo said Wednesday that Peru will accept a ruling by the Chilean Supreme Court on whether Chile will extradite former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, emphasizing that Peru will not interfere with the judicial proceedings to avoid the appearance that it is politically persecuting Fujimori. Last Friday, Chilean …

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by Michael Sung

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a briefing paper for the European Union (EU) released Thursday that the United Nations had "tarnished its reputation and undermined its legitimacy" by failing to hold individuals in the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) accountable for human rights violations committed by their …

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by Michael Sung

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in three cases Thursday, including the consolidated cases of Davenport v. Washington Education Association and Washington v. Washington Education Association, where the Court held that states do not violate the First Amendment by barring a labor union from utilizing non-union worker's …

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by Michael Sung

An Indonesian police spokesman Wednesday confirmed the weekend arrest of leading terrorist suspect Abu Dujana Wednesday, saying that Dujana was arrested with seven other suspects in a raid that "finished" off the main body of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Dujana, who has successfully evaded Indonesian authorities since the 2002 Bali …

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by Michael Sung

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Wednesday published new draft guidelines concerning the use of national security letters (NSL) to correct privacy violations revealed in March by a Department of Justice review. The new guidelines, which enter into effect immediately, require FBI agents to identify the specific information being requested …

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by Michael Sung

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Wednesday filed a class action lawsuit against federal immigration officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the San Diego Correctional Facility (SDCF), and the Division of Immigration Health Services (DIHS), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of immigration detainees who allege that inadequate …

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by Michael Sung

The US State Department Tuesday cited the governments of 16 countries, including 11 predominantly Islamic states, for not making a "significant effort to combat human trafficking" in its annual report on modern-day slavery around the world Tuesday. Although Algeria, Bahrain, Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, …

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