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Legal news from Friday, November 2, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

US senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Friday that they would support the nomination of Michael Mukasey as US attorney general, according to preliminary reports. Their endorsements in combination with those of GOP colleagues would likely give Mukasey the ten votes that he needs for his nomination to pass …

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by Eric Firkel

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior administration officials must testify about whether they shared classified national defense information with two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists, a federal judge ruled Friday. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, indicted in 2005 under the 1917 Espionage Act [18 …

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by Josh Camson

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Friday asked the US Supreme Court to review a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York vacating an FCC determination that Fox Television broadcasts violated the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions. The appeals court ruled that the FCC's "fleeting …

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by Eric Firkel

The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern Friday over continuing human rights violations in Algeria. In its 2007 report on the North African country, the Committee flagged massacres, torture, rape and disappearances, as well as religious and political oppression. It concluded that the violence was a product of both armed groups …

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by Josh Camson

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague announced Friday that hearings in a case involving France and Djibouti will begin January 21, 2008. The dispute between the two countries is over whether a French judge has the authority to summon high-level Djibouti witnesses to investigate the possible assassination of …

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by Patrick Porter

Amnesty International Friday urged governments worldwide not to transfer genocide suspects to Rwanda until fair trials there can be guaranteed. The human rights group is concerned about the Rwandan justice system's fairness and impartiality with respect to international standards of justice. The director of the group's Africa Programme, Erwin van der Borght, said:The various national governments where …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Supreme Court of Pakistan judge presiding over the case challenging the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid said Friday that the court will move ahead with hearings and will likely issue a verdict by November 6. Although Judge Javed Iqbal has previously said that hearings would be delayed until November 12, he said …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Friday that he will not support the nomination of Michael Mukasey as US attorney general, citing Mukasey's continuing reluctance to unequivocally denounce waterboarding as torture. Mukasey must receive ten votes from the Senate Judiciary Committee for his nomination …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Chad Supreme Court ruled Friday that a group of European citizens connected to the attempt by French charity Zoe's Arc to fly 103 children believed to be orphans from the embattled Darfur region of Sudan to France will be transferred to stand trial in the capital of …

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by Patrick Porter

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard arguments Thursday on whether a 2003 Virginia law banning so-called partial-birth abortions is constitutional. In a 2-1 split in 2005, a panel of judges on the same court ruled the law unconstitutional because it lacked an an exception to protect the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UN Human Rights Committee Friday called on Libya to end the use of torture and to investigate torture allegations by five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who had been detained in Libya for eight years on suspicions that they deliberately infected hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus. …

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by Jaime Jansen

Canada's ruling Conservative Party government said Thursday that it will not ask Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to commute the death sentence of a Canadian-born man on death row in Montana. The announcement marks a sharp departure in Canadian foreign policy; the Canadian government has traditionally tried to save Canadians from execution in foreign countries. Though …

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by Jaime Jansen

Two environmental advocacy groups Thursday filed an amended complaint challenging the constitutionality of the Real ID Act in response to actions taken by US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff last month. Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club argued that Chertoff violated the constitutional separation of powers by using his power under the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The government of Pakistan plans to amend the Pakistan Army Act to include a provision enabling the army to court-martial civilians for certain offenses, Pakistan Attorney General Malik Qayyum said Friday. The offenses that could subject civilians to court-martial trials include abduction, use of arms and terrorism, and will particularly apply to offenses committed by tribal …

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by Jaime Jansen

The military junta in Myanmar has released an additional 46 people detained during the recent government crackdown on opponents of the military junta, officials said Friday, after releasing 87 other demonstrators last week. Six other dissidents were released on Tuesday. Most of the demonstrators released are members of the National League for Democracy …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal has denied former Australian Guantanamo detainee Mamdouh Habib a request to regain his passport, Habib's lawyer said Friday, citing his likelihood "to engage in conduct that might prejudice the security of Australia or of a foreign country" if Habib were allowed to travel outside Australia. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer …

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