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Legal news from Friday, December 21, 2007
by Steve Czajkowski

The Supreme Court of Nepal Friday ordered the Nepalese government to extend gay and transgendered people the same rights and privileges as other citizens. Gay and transgendered people face heavy discrimination in conservative Nepal, where so-called "unnatural sex" is illegal and is punishable by jail time. The ruling by Supreme Court judges Pawan Kumar …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Central Intelligence agency (CIA) has requested that the Department of Justice conduct an investigation into whether former CIA agent John Kiriakou illegally released classified information when he spoke to several news organizations last week about CIA interrogations, officials said Thursday. In the interviews, Kiriakou confirmed the use of waterboarding during …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Six French nationals connected with the abortive effort by French charity Zoe's Ark to airlift so-called "Darfur orphans" out of Chad to Europe went on trial in Chad Friday, accused of kidnapping, fraud, and forgery. Zoe's Ark founder Eric Breteau said in a written statement to the BBC that Zoe's …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo lauded the Philippine military for working to improve human rights during a speech Friday, but human rights activists say that the armed forces continue to engage in extrajudicial killings. Human rights advocates say almost 900 people have been killed since Arroyo assumed power in 2001, while more than 180 have disappeared …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

California will appeal the decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny its request for a waiver that would have allowed it and 16 other states following its lead to impose stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Thursday. Also Thursday, Congressional …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy on Friday considered the merits of opening a judicial inquiry into whether the CIA's destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects violated a 2005 court order. During a hearing to consider an emergency motion filed on behalf of several Guantanamo Bay detainees, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a mass release of more than 20,000 nonviolent prisoners in hopes of staving off a projected $10 billion to $14 billion budget deficit over the next two fiscal years, the Sacramento Bee reported Friday. Only prisoners with less than 20 months remaining in their sentence would be eligible for early release; …

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by Patrick Porter

Thailand's National Legislative Assembly passed a controversial security law Thursday, days before the country's general elections. The Internal Security Bill grants the head of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) power to bar public demonstrations, hold detainees without charge, and declare indefinite states of emergency. The original proposal was to appoint the army chief as head of …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US House Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday issued a subpoena for Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's clandestine branch who ordered the destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects. The committee has also begun reviewing CIA records in its investigation into "the processes surrounding the tapes and …

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by Patrick Porter

Military prosecutors at Guantanamo Bay filed charges Thursday against Saudi detainee Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was for his alleged role in a plan to bomb a ship off the coast of Yemen or in the Strait of Hormuz. Al Darbi is charged with with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism under Sections 950v(b)(28) and …

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by Jeannie Shawl

An Australian judge issued an interim control order Friday, placing restrictions on former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks when he is released from an Australian prison on December 29. Under the terms of the control order, Hicks will not be allowed to leave the country, must report to police three times per week, and will be …

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