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Legal news from Tuesday, October 16, 2007
by Lauren Becker

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for an increased effort to uphold the "fundamental human right" to food for some 854 million around the world who suffer from chronic hunger. In a message marking World Food Day, Ban called for cooperation to uphold the right to food, saying that:Enshrined in the Universal Declaration …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House of representatives Tuesday voted 398-21 to pass a shield bill that would prevent courts from compelling reporters to disclose confidential sources. The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, sponsored by Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va), would generally allow reporters to refuse to testify as to their …

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by Leslie Schulman

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos Tuesday summoned Jerry Yang, chief executive of Yahoo! Inc., to testify before a hearing next month regarding allegations that the Internet giant gave false information to Congress about its role in human rights violations committed by the Chinese government. Yahoo! had testified in a hearing …

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by Devin Montgomery

New York City is willing to discuss settlement in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of over 9,000 firefighters and cleanup workers who may have inhaled toxic dust during the post-9/11 World Trade Center cleanup, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday:"Every time we are sued we will always take a look and see whether there is a way …

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by Deirdre Jurand

An Hispanic advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, claiming that a recently approved state law limiting government privileges allowed illegal immigrants is unfair to all immigrants. Lawyers for the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) announced the suit …

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by Lisl Brunner

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Monday that the country's newly elected Constituent Assembly will consider transforming the current Constitutional Tribunal into a Constitutional Court insulated from political pressure. While the new court would still determine the constitutionality of laws, its members would be selected on the basis of merit rather than …

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by Caitlin Price

The United Nations Legal Counsel said Monday that an international convention may be the solution to jurisdictional problems of criminal accountability of UN officials and experts on mission. Addressing the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, Under-Secretary-General Nicolas Michel said that offenders comprise a very small percentage of UN workers but remain …

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by Caitlin Price

The US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled Tuesday that three of the five counts of a suit filed by the father of a fallen Marine against the renegade Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; BBC report] may proceed to trial. Albert Snyder sued Westboro in …

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by Caitlin Price

The Nevada Supreme Court Monday issued a stay of all executions pending a US Supreme Court ruling in a case challenging lethal injection as unconstitutional [Baze v. Rees (07-5439) docket; certiorari petition, PDF] under the Eighth Amendment. The order issued after oral arguments arrived just hours before the scheduled execution of convicted murderer …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Tuesday after a meeting with Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey that the Senate will likely approve Mukasey without undue delay. Mukasey's confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee are scheduled to begin Wednesday. Mukasey is expected to face questions …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague Tuesday affirmed the November 2005 lower court acquittal of former Bosnian Army commander Sefer Halilovic on war crimes charges. In dismissing the prosecution's appeal, the five-judge panel held that prosecutors failed to demonstrate …

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by Michael Sung

Microsoft said Tuesday that it will withdraw its Seoul High Court appeal of a 2006 antitrust ruling by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). Last July, Microsoft said it would comply with sanctions imposed by the KFTC after the Seoul High Court rejected its request to stay the penalties pending an appeal [JURIST report; …

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by Michael Sung

The European Court of Justice upheld mandatory retirement ages in the European Union Tuesday, saying that mandatory retirement policies do not violate the prohibition against age discrimination if the policy is intended to further the legitimate public interest of increasing employment and the retirees are provided with full pensions. The European Union prohibits …

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by Jaime Jansen

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wants access to thousands of people that have been detained in Myanmar in an ongoing crackdown on opponents of the ruling military junta, ICRC Director of Operations Pierre Kraehenbuehl said Tuesday. Kraehenbuehl said the ICRC has not been able to communicate with the ruling junta, and is …

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by Jaime Jansen

Three telecommunications companies have declined to provide information to Congress about the role they played in the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, citing White House objections to their disclosures, national security and pending litigation. Responding by letter to a request made by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Alaska state Representative Tom Anderson was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for his conviction on seven counts of bribery and corruption by an Anchorage federal jury in July. Anderson, a Republican, was accused of accepting nearly $26,000 he believed to be from private correctional facilities firm Cornell Industries in exchange …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Mercury Interactive on Monday settled derivative lawsuits filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California regarding allegations of stock options backdating. The software company, acquired by Hewlett Packard (HP) in November 2006, will pay $117.5 million as part of the largest stock option backdating settlement, which resulted from mediation …

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