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Legal news from Tuesday, November 6, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said Tuesday that a new bill to reform a controversial law that criminalizes insults to Turkish identity will go before the Turkish parliament soon. He did not say how exactly the bill would alter the law. Critics contend Turkey has used the law to silence government critics, a …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Uruguayan Senate passed a bill Tuesday that partially decriminalizes abortion, but the proposal may not have the support needed to override the veto promised by Uruguyan President Tabare Vazquez. According to the draft law, a mother may terminate her pregnancy during the first 12 weeks to prevent risks to her health, birth deformities, …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Tuesday issued a one-sentence ruling rejecting an appeal from Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr challenging a US Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) decision to send Khadr's case back to a military tribunal. In June, a military commission judge dropped war crimes charges against Khadr …

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by Lisl Brunner

Human rights groups, including the The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on Tuesday called for a government investigation into a fire that killed at least 32 prisoners in northern Argentina on Sunday following a riot at the facility. The government claims that the fire, which detainees at the Santiago del Estero facility started, …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, 06-1322, to determine whether an age discrimination lawsuit against FedEx was filed properly. FedEx seeks to overturn a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision holding …

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by Caitlin Price

The Labour Party government of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday unveiled its new legislative agenda for the 2007-2008 session of Parliament, pledging to "seek a consensus on changes to the law on terrorism ... to protect the public, whilst preserving essential rights and liberties." In the Queen's Speech, read by Queen …

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by Alexis Unkovic

EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini Tuesday introduced a new package of counter terrorism proposals on behalf of the European Commission. Key provisions of the new counter-terrorism package include a proposal to amend the Framework Decision on combating terrorism to criminalize recruitment and training for terrorism, …

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by James M Yoch Jr

James Edward Steph, a former oil executive of a subsidiary of Willbros Group Inc., pleaded guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy relating to a scheme to bribe Nigerian officials heading the country's state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Steph admitted to …

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by Lisl Brunner

Former Venezuelan Defense Minister Raul Baduel spoke out against the constitutional reforms pushed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday, claiming that the proposed reforms would deprive the Venezuelan people of their power over the government and result in a virtual coup by the president. The proposed reforms, which were overwhelmingly approved …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan Tuesday defended Yahoo's behavior in providing information to the Chinese government at a hearing before the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, saying that the company could not ask local employees in China to refuse to comply …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Pakistani police Tuesday arrested more lawyers involved in protesting President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday declaration of emergency, suspension of the constitution, and effective dismissal of Pakistan's Supreme Court. AFP reports that some 50 lawyers were arrested at the Lahore High Court a day after a larger protest there escalated into violence. Police took over the bar room of …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A federal jury sitting in San Diego Monday convicted former US defense contractor Brent Wilkes of 13 felonies, including money laundering, fraud and conspiracy, in connection with bribes he paid to disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Wilkes pleaded not guilty to all charges, but the jury found that he paid more than $600,000 in bribes, including …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The newly-reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan officially ruled Tuesday that the order against President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule issued Saturday by a seven-person Supreme Court bench led by now-dismissed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was "void, quroum non judice and passed without lawful authority," saying it "shall be deemed never to have been passed as …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Amy St. Eve of the Northern District of Illinois Monday rejected a motion for a new trial or an acquittal filed by Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black in August after his conviction on mail fraud and obstruction of justice charges …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Wire services are reporting that the US Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 Tuesday in favor of the nomination of former federal judge Michael Mukasey to serve as the next US attorney general. Mukasey's nomination now goes to the full US Senate for a final vote. Though most Democrats on the Senate Judiciary …

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by Michael Sung

A Chadian prosecutor Monday questioned Europeans detained for attempting to airlift 103 children from Chad, including three Spanish flight crew members and five workers from the French charity Zoe's Ark. Six French nationals have been charged with kidnapping, while the flight crew members have been charged with complicity …

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by Michael Sung

The Federal Court of Canada ruled Monday that Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association should be granted public interest standing to seek judicial review of the actions or potential actions of Canadian military personnel deployed in Afghanistan, rejecting the Canadian government's motion to strike the rights groups' application on the grounds that …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled Monday that the Zimbabwean government can legally expropriate the agricultural equipment of white farmers under the Acquisition of Farm Equipment Act, finding that the government expropriated the equipment with the public purpose of advancing the country's farm seizure program, which seeks to redistribute white-owned land. White farmers who challenged …

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by Jaime Jansen

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he views a decision by US lawmakers to postpone debate on a resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers with "cautious optimism." Erdogan commented Monday after talks with US President …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pakistan's Attorney General Malik Qayyum told Pakistan's News daily Monday night that the government has reduced the size of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to 12 and would elevate lower court judges to fill out the complement of the restructured court as most of its original justices have refused to take a new oath under the President …

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by Jaime Jansen

Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Tuesday urged lawyers in Pakistan to resist President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule and "stand up for the constitution." Speaking by telephone to a gathering of lawyers in the capital Islamabad, Chaudhry, currently under effective house arrest, said according to an AFP report, "I want lawyers to …

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