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Legal news from Wednesday, November 7, 2007
by Jeannie Shawl

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 235-184 in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would extend protections against workplace discrimination to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. The bill covers hiring and firing practices, the setting of compensation levels, and promotion determinations, and makes it illegal for employers to consider an employee's …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The government of Nigeria filed a lawsuit in a Nigerian federal court Wednesday against local tobacco producer International Tobacco Company, Ltd. and international tobacco producers British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International. The lawsuit seeks upwards of $40 billion in damages for costs for the treatment of tobacco-related diseases in Nigeria …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Increasing institutionalization of racist political ideologies and violent expressions of racism seriously threaten democracy and human rights, a United Nations expert told the General Assembly Wednesday. In his report to the General Assembly's Third Committee, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance Doudou Diene wrote …

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by Dennis Zawacki II

The Florida Supreme Court issued a 5-2 order Wednesday denying a stay of execution for death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab. The court ruled last week that the state could proceed with Schwab's execution after finding that Florida's revised lethal injection protocol does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The …

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by Caitlin Price

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Wednesday ordered eight Croatian journalists to be questioned about possible contempt of court violations for revealing confidential information. Three national television journalists and five newspaper writers will be investigated for revealing confidential portions of indictments against former generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac [case …

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by Caitlin Price

The government of the Republic of Georgia has declared a state of emergency following days of protests in the capital city of Tbilisi, according to a televised speech Wednesday. Reading a prepared statement, Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli announced a presidential decree temporarily banning demonstrations and public calls for violence or government overthrow. Georgian President Mikheil …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, 06-989, where the Court considered whether parties can contractually agree to vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Hall Street Associates leased property to toy …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Former chairman and CEO of mortgage finance company Freddie Mac Leland Brendsel agreed to a consent decree Tuesday to settle administrative charges filed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which maintains government oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, in December 2003. Under the consent …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Bosnian police Wednesday arrested retired Serbian General Novack Djukic for alleged involvement in a 1995 war crime in which the Republika Srpska Army fired a single artillery shell into the central square of the town of Tuzla. Seventy-one people died as a result of the blast, most between the ages of 18 and …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Interpol General Assembly Wednesday voted to issue arrest notices for five Iranians and one Lebanese man wanted in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center. On Monday, Iran ended its formal attempts to prevent the issuance of the red notices, which included lobbying …

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by Brett Murphy

Four Chadian nationals face criminal charges over their alleged involvement in an attempt to airlift 103 children from Chad for the French charity Zoe's Ark. The four defendants - the mayor, secretary-general, deputy governor, and neighborhood chief of the Chadian border town of Tine - appeared in court Wednesday on …

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by Brett Murphy

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday declaration of emergency rule is likely to end in two to three weeks, ruling Pakistan Muslim League party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told Pakistan's English newspaper Dawn Tuesday. Hussain said that Musharraf understands the consequences of an extended declaration of emergency, and that it was enacted reluctantly from the start. Amid these …

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by Brett Murphy

UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari will meet with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday, Gambari told diplomats during a one-hour briefing Wednesday. Gambari had originally proposed a meeting with both Suu Kyi and a member of the military government, but said that the junta rejected the idea. Gambari has met …

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by Brett Murphy

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan headed to federal prison Wednesday morning to serve a 6 1/2-year sentence on corruption charges after the US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Ryan's request to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction, affirming the decision of the US Court of …

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by Brett Murphy

The trial of Serb nationalist leader and war crimes defendant Vojislav Seselj began Wednesday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The prosecution in its opening statement told the court that Seselj incited atrocities through hateful speeches he made during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Seselj is charged …

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by Brett Murphy

The Russian State Duma voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a measure that would suspend the nation's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. The Russian government first threatened to temporarily withdraw from the treaty in June, amid tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for an anti-missile defense shield in …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upheld language used in homeowner insurance policies by State Farm Fire and Casualty, overturning a district court ruling that the policy language was ambiguous and consequently unenforceable. The three-judge circuit panel held that the policy's anti-concurrent causation clauseclearly state that excluded losses – here, any loss …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The US Department of Justice filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Tuesday against the dismissal of immigration fraud charges against anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles. US District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled in May that the Carriles' indictment should be dismissed because the US …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The US District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against CACI International, an American military contractor being sued over its alleged involvement in the torture of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Judge James Robertson did however dismiss a similar lawsuit against …

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