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Legal news from Wednesday, October 17, 2007
by Lisl Brunner

The Venezuelan National Assembly on Wednesday debated a set of proposed amendments to the constitution, including reforms that would eliminate presidential term limits and augment the president's emergency powers. In August, the proposed amendments passed a preliminary vote in the Assembly; after the current round of debates, the constitutional reforms will be subject to a …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon issued an order staying the execution of Virginia death row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett, who had been scheduled to be put to death at 9 PM ET. The Court stayed the execution "pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The High Administrative Court of Ukraine has delayed validating the results of the Sept. 30 parliamentary election pending the outcome of a legal challenge by the Communist Party of Ukraine, a court spokesperson said Wednesday. The Communist Party argues that the vote was invalid due to alleged violations surrounding voting abroad. The announcement came as …

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by Dennis Zawacki II

Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea on Wednesday asked the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) to release him on bail. Nuon Chea's family earlier this week expressed concern over his health and urged the tribunal to release him into their custody. He is currently being held at …

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by Caitlin Price

US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he opposes presidential authorization of torture, calling the controversial "Bybee Memo" "unnecessary" and "a mistake." The 2002 memo, in which the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel defined torture as physical pain …

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by Caitlin Price

A Philippines military tribunal Wednesday dismissed charges against four military officers connected with a failed mutiny in July 2003 in which 300 soldiers from elite special forces took over buildings in Manila in an effort to overthrow the government of President Gloria Arroyo. An army officer and a navy ensign were released …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Japan's cabinet Wednesday approved new anti-terror legislation which would grant a one-year extension to a Japanese refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The bill, which restricts its application to allied ships on anti-terrorism patrols, is a compromise between the leading Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) [official …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has increasingly turned its focus to terrorism and immigration offenses since 2000, according to a Washington Post report Wednesday. Statistics from the Executive Office for US Attorneys provided to the Post showed significant decreases in prosecution under the Bush administration of organized crime (down 38 percent), …

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by Deirdre Jurand

An Iranian court sentenced three university students to prison terms ranging from two to three years for insulting Islam and Islamic clerics, the students' lawyer said Tuesday. Officials arrested the students, Majid Tavakoli, Ahmed Ghassaban and Ehsan Mansouri, in May along with five other students on charges of endangering national security and insulting Islam. Lawyer Mohammad Ali …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The planned execution of Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known in Western media as "Chemical Ali," has been further delayed while Iraqi lawmakers debate the role of the country's Presidency Council and the scope of the authority of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a judicial source said Wednesday. Several members of …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Tuesday revised security procedures relating to headwear, merging procedures involving headwear with the broader category of bulky clothing. The move came less than a week after the TSA and the Sikh Coalition held a "community meeting" in Washington DC to discuss Sikh criticism …

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by Brett Murphy

The United States has gained ground as a country protecting press freedom, according to the sixth annual Worldwide Index of Freedom issued Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RWB). RWB listed Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan at the bottom of the survey, while Iceland and Norway tied for first. The US moved up the list to …

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by Brett Murphy

US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he will work to balance national security and civil liberties if confirmed as the next attorney general. During a hearing on his nomination, Mukasey said in his opening statement that he will hold Constitutional limits …

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by Brett Murphy

Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi said Tuesday that martial law may be declared in the country if the Supreme Court of Pakistan rules against President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election. Niazi said that his statement should not be regarded as a threat, but rather an indication that the possibility for martial law remains should …

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by Brett Murphy

Representatives in the US House have begun to pull back support for a resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers, with nearly a dozen members of Congress changing their position on the vote since Monday, the New York Times …

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by Brett Murphy

Officials in Myanmar have arrested close to 3,000 people for participating in recent peaceful protests, the junta said in a statement published Wednesday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar. The junta also said that the 500 people still in detention were those who organized or supported "unrest" and will remain there until interrogated. …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Corporate Officers & Directors Assurance Ltd. (CODA), a subsidiary of ACE Bermuda, has filed a petition in a New York trial court requesting an order compelling former Tyco International CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski to pay the insurer approximately $1.97 million. CODA provided directors and officers liability insurance to Kozlowski, and won an …

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