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Legal news from Monday, July 23, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

Avid anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan and 45 other protesters were arrested Monday at the US Capitol in Washington, DC after refusing to leave the office and hallway of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) while calling for the impeachment of both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. According to police, they will all be …

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by Leslie Schulman

European Union (EU) foreign ministers decided Monday during a meeting in Brussels to step up their involvement in the UN-supervised independence plan for Kosovo, which has been at an impasse after running into intense resistance from Russia. Previous UN proposals regarding the future of Kosovo have been rejected by Russia, including the most recent, …

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by Michael Sung

European diplomats working for the release of six foreign medics [BBC Q&A: JURIST news archive] sentenced by Libya to life in prison for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with the HIV virus said Monday that the Libyan government is seeking additional funds for the treatment of the survivors. The diplomats also said that the Libyan government wants …

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by Michael Sung

US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced Monday that the Committee will meet on Wednesday to vote on whether to proceed with contempt of Congress [backgrounder; 2 USC Sec. 192] citations against former White House counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for their refusal to comply with …

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by Michael Sung

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally requested Monday that the government of the Netherlands consider hosting the ad hoc tribunal that will investigate and try suspects involved in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. In a letter to the Dutch government, Ban stressed that The Hague has valuable experience …

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by Michael Sung

Washington state's domestic partnership law entered into effect Monday, allowing same-sex couples over the age of 18 residing together to register with the state's domestic partnership registry. Registered same-sex couples will be afforded hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, and the right to authorize medical decisions for one's partner. The registry will also allow heterosexual couples to register …

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by Michael Sung

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo Monday urged lawmakers from both houses of Congress to pass legislation to curb extrajudicial killings and disappearances, adding that the Philippines must also move forward with electoral reform, such as computerized ballot counting, and impose harsher penalties for election violence. Speaking before Congress during her annual "State of the Nation …

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by Michael Sung

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Monday that he will stay at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to improve its damaged image. In prepared testimony released Monday, Gonzales said that he feels "very strongly" that political considerations should not affect the hiring of US Attorneys and reiterated that the DOJ has …

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by Michael Sung

Foreign ministers of EU member states began formal negotiations on the proposed Reform Treaty Monday. Foreign ministers convened the 2007 Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels, circulating drafts of the proposed treaty so that the respective states' legal experts can meet Tuesday and Wednesday to begin preliminary negotiations to finalize the details of …

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by Michael Sung

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday reassured Venezuelans that any future socialist constitutional reforms will protect private property rights, dispelling what Chavez called "dogmatic" allegations by critics that the impending constitutional reforms will negate private property rights. Chavez, who is expected to submit his proposals in the upcoming weeks to the National Assembly [official …

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by Michael Sung

US Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) Sunday announced his intention to introduce two censure resolutions against President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and other administration officials, saying that the formal condemnation is necessary because of the administration's conduct "before and during the Iraq war, and for undermining the rule of law at home." One of …

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by Michael Sung

US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell insisted Sunday that the "United States does not engage in torture", but refused to elaborate on the specific methods used during enhanced interrogations of terror suspects. In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," McConnell said that revealing the specific measures would aid those who want to …

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by Michael Sung

Bangkok police spokesperson Supisarn Bhakdinaruenart said Monday that six anti-coup protesters involved in Sunday's clash with police have been charged with disturbing the peace, injuring police, and destroying government property. The clash erupted after approximately 5,000 protesters, consisting of supporters of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and anti-coup activists, were prevented from marching to …

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by Michael Sung

Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev on Monday criticized evidence provided by the United Kingdom to support the extradition of Andrei Lugovoy for the poisoning-murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, saying that the materials gave no evidence that the UK conducted an objective investigation of Litvinenko's death. Meanwhile, in an interview …

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