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Legal news from Thursday, August 30, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior administration officials should be exempt from testifying about whether they shared classified national defense information with two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists, lawyers argued at a closed-door court session Thursday. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, indicted in 2005 under the …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A preliminary hearing began Thursday at Camp Pendleton, California, in proceedings against US Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, commander of the platoon implicated in the killing and suspected cover-up of the death of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha in November 2005. Wuterich faces several counts of unpremeditated murder, as well …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The United States should not deport foreign detainees back to their home countries if there is reason to believe they will face torture, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers argued Thursday. Appearing before the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, lawyers representing Sameh Khouzam, an Egyptian Christian who fled …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Department of Justice has begun an internal inquiry to determine whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have perjured himself in testimony before Congress, DOJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said Thursday. In a letter dated August 16, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked [JURIST …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

China's National People's Congress passed a new law Thursday to hold officials legally accountable for providing accurate and timely information on public emergencies. The law also allows the government to revoke the business licenses of media organizations that are found to hurt public safety by publishing false reports of emergencies. The …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A federal judge Wednesday rejected several claims in a legal challenge to Arizona's voter ID law filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), including a claim that the ID law amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that the fees associated with procuring the documents …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The High Court of Australia on Thursday struck down an amendment to Australia's Commonwealth Electoral Act passed in 2006 that took voting rights away from all prisoners regardless of the length of their sentence, finding that the amendments stripped prisoners of a constitutional right in an arbitrary manner. The court found that the 2006 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Chinese National People's Congress passed anti-monopoly legislation Thursday aimed at protecting China's economic security and easing the Chinese economy away from state-run monopolies. The new law establishes a series of national security checks for when a foreign company acquires or invests in a domestic company and the transaction involves a …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday blocked the Attorney General of Louisiana from filing suit on behalf of nearly 35,000 Hurricane Katrina victims against the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Federal Tort Claims Act. A district court judge had appointed Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti guardian ad …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Hezbollah recklessly and sometimes intentionally fired rockets at civilian targets during the summer 2006 Lebanon conflict, according to a 128-page report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Hezbollah was not legally justified in firing on civilians simply because Israel launched attacked Lebanese towns, HRW concluded, because the international rules of war prohibit …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Russian prosecutors have released two of the 10 suspects who were arrested Monday in connection with last October's killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and a third person is no longer under investigation. Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika announced that five of the suspects were police …

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