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Legal news from Friday, November 9, 2007
by Eric Firkel

Manfo Kwaku Asiedu pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of conspiracy to cause explosions over the failed bomb attacks on London's subway and bus systems on June 21, 2005. Six suspects - Asiedu, Hussein Osman, Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohamed, and Adel Yahya - went on trial in 2006. All …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lawyers for Canadian citizen Maher Arar argued before a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that Arar should be allowed to revive his lawsuit against senior officials in the US government. Arar was detained in the US in 2002 after flying to New York from Tunisia on his …

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by Eric Firkel

The Parliament of the Georgian Republic voted Friday to approve a 15-day state of emergency imposed by President Mikhail Saakashvili earlier this week. Opposition members boycotted the vote and the measure passed the 235-seat assembly 149-0. The vote follows Saakashvili's statements Thursday that the state of emergency would only last a few days …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Three Spanish air crew and a Belgian pilot held in Chad in connection with a French charity's attempt to airlift 103 children alleged to be Darfur orphans were released Friday. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos praised Chadian officials, including President Idriss Deby, for their smooth handling of the situation and …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey was sworn in Friday as the 81st attorney general of the United States after a confirmation process fraught with controversy. The US Senate voted 53-40 late Thursday evening to confirm Mukasey's nomination. The nomination was backed by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Friday accused his opposition of using "fascist violence" to oppose constitutional changes that would eliminate presidential term limits and augment the president's emergency powers. Earlier this month, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved a set of proposed amendments to the country's constitution by a 160-7 vote. The proposed amendments passed …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

United Nations General Secretary Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on nations, organizations and individuals to respect laws passed for the protection of children. Ban's comments come in the wake of an unsuccessful bid by a French charity to fly 103 children out of Chad late last month. Chadian authorities …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The government of Norway Friday proposed creating laws to allow for the prosecution of war crimes, genocide and terrorism. Current Norwegian law does not specifically include these offenses, and it is standard policy to turn over accused war criminals to international war crime tribunals in The Hague. Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget said that …

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by Patrick Porter

The man who shot and paralyzed former Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1972 was released from a Maryland prison Friday. Under the conditions set by the state for the release of Arthur Bremer, he must:Stay away from any local, state, federal, or foreign elected official or office holder as well as a …

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by Jaime Jansen

California filed a lawsuit Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to force the EPA to come to a decision on whether California can impose greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks. The EPA considered California's request …

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by Jaime Jansen

US District Judge Benjamin Settle issued a preliminary injunction Thursday against holding a second court-martial for Iraq war objector 1st Lt. Ehren Watada until he resolves whether a second court-martial constitutes double jeopardy. Settle had already stayed court-martial proceedings, scheduled to begin last month, and later extended the stay [JURIST …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal judge Thursday issued an injunction suspending a Washington state law that would require pharmacists to dispense Plan B emergency contraceptives, the so-called "morning-after pill." US District Judge Ronald Leighton's injunction effectively creates a "refuse and refer" system, allowing pharmacists to refuse to sell the pill if they refer the customer to another nearby …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. said Friday that it has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle all pending lawsuits regarding Merck's marketing and distribution of the painkiller Vioxx. The settlement requires 85 percent of the 47,000 plaintiffs in 27,000 pending lawsuits to approve the deal before it will bind …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment for former US Department of Homeland Security Secretary nominee Bernard Kerik, reportedly on corruption charges. Kerik's indictment will remain sealed until his arraignment Friday, but sources close to the investigation say the indictment includes mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, making false statements on a bank application, …

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by Jaime Jansen

US President George W. Bush has welcomed the Thursday Senate confirmation of former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey as the 81st attorney general of the United States. In a brief statement, issued by the White House Friday morning, Bush said:Judge Mukasey is a man of strong character and integrity, with exceptional …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest Friday as she prepared to attend a protest in Rawalpindi against President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule on Saturday. Police barricaded Bhutto's home to prevent Bhutto from leaving and supporters from reaching Bhutto in her home. While top Interior Ministry official Kamal Shah …

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