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Legal news from Wednesday, October 24, 2007
by Dennis Zawacki II

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in testimony on US Middle East policy Wednesday that House members should discontinue an effort to pass a resolution condemning the World War-I era mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The committee approved the resolution earlier …

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by Deirdre Jurand

US State Department security chief Richard Griffin submitted his resignation Wednesday under pressure following September's Blackwater USA shooting of 17 Iraqis, according to AP citing unnamed officials. Griffin is assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the branch that oversees private security firms; his resignation will be effective November 1. …

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by Caitlin Price

Argentinean federal judge Claudio Bonadio Tuesday charged former president Fernando de la Rua with five counts of manslaughter for failing to prevent the deaths of five demonstrators during 2001 confrontations with police in Buenos Aires. The deaths came during riots sparked by a national economic crisis that caused De la Rua to flee the presidential …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified Wednesday in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the rendition of Canadian citizen Maher Arar was not "handled as it should have been," but stopped short of apologizing to the 37 year-old Syrian-born engineer. Arar was detained in …

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by Caitlin Price

The US District Court for the District of Alaska Tuesday ordered ConocoPhillips subsidiary Polar Tankers, Inc. to pay $2.5 million in fines after it pleaded guilty to covering up a 2004 oil spill. In January 2004, crew members of the Polar Discovery failed to report that that tanker had leaked oil sludge into the ocean …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Senate Wednesday confirmed embattled Mississippi Court of Appeals Justice Leslie H. Southwick to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by a vote of 59-38, despite broad criticism of the nominee from Democrats and civil rights groups. Southwick, who was unanimously given the highest possible rating of "well qualified" …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Protesters in 12 cities around the world demonstrated against the Myanmar junta Wednesday to commemorate 12 years of detention for Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The protests coincided with an increase in international attention on Myanmar following the junta's violent September crackdown against anti-junta demonstrators, and came a day after …

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by Brett Murphy

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it has withdrawn its last two appeals of a European Union antitrust ruling requiring the software giant to share technical information with competitors. The software giant dropped an appeal of the €280.5 million fine imposed on it in July 2006 for antitrust violations and a …

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by Brett Murphy

The Canadian government introduced a bill [S-3 text] Tuesday that would revive two controversial anti-terrorism provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act that expired earlier this year. The bill, brought forward in the Senate, would force anyone with relevant information on terrorist actions to go before a judge and would allow police to detain any person thought to be planning …

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by Brett Murphy

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday slammed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for threatening and intimidating the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the days leading up to the court's decision on petitions challenging Musharraf's bid for re-election as improper due to his dual role as president and army chief. In a statement, HRW …

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by Brett Murphy

The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted Tuesday in favor of the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007, a bill aimed at preventing US Internet companies from turning over users' personal information to governments that would use the data to quash dissent. The bill would create a right for individuals to sue companies …

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by Brett Murphy

Spanish anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon issued indictments for 22 people on charges of participating in or collaborating with a terrorist organization that recruits fighters to aid al Qaeda in Iraq, the Spanish National Court said Tuesday. According to prosecutors, those recruited are sent to Egypt to learn Arabic and religion before being sent to …

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by Brett Murphy

The highest court in New York state Tuesday narrowly ruled against overturning state precedent holding the state's death penalty law unconstitutional. Urged to create an exception for a man who murdered five people at a Queens Wendy's in May 2000, the New York Court of Appeals upheld by 4-3 its 2004 decision in People v. LaValle [PDF …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Amnesty International released a 58-page report Wednesday criticizing the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, for political violence in the Gaza Strip and West Bank that has destroyed the lives of hundreds of civilians and led to human rights abuses, including illegal detention and torture. The report recognized …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The number of names on the US terror watch list has increased to over 755,000, according to a new report by the US Government Accountability Office slated to be the focus of a Wednesday hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The GAO report noted that "within …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The UN Security Council expressed deep concern Tuesday about violence against women which has "remained pervasive despite [the Security Council's] repeated condemnation of all acts of violence, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse in situations of armed conflict." During a day-long debate on women, peace, and security, the Council called for nations to …

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by Lisl Brunner

Thousands of Venezuelan students on Tuesday protested the proposed constitutional reforms advanced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez which are currently under consideration in the Venezuelan National Assembly. On Saturday, the National Assembly approved a proposal to eliminate presidential term limits, and a provision that …

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