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Legal news from Thursday, January 24, 2008
by Nick Fiske

The Bangladesh Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the extortion trial of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could continue, rejecting arguments by Hasina's lawyers that she could not be tried under the current state of emergency rules because the alleged crimes occurred before the national state of emergency was declared …

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by Benjamin Klein

Dutch parliamentarians called for changes to the country’s terrorism laws Thursday in response to a Wednesday appeals court decision overturning the convictions of seven men suspected of belonging to the Dutch Muslim Hofstad Network. The Hague Appeals Court dismissed charges that the men were part of a terrorist network that included Muslim extremist Mohammed Bouyeri …

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by Nick Fiske

US President George W. Bush will request an additional $200 million dollars in federal funding to help state and local authorities combat violent crime, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced Thursday in remarks to the US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC. The earmarked funds will be used to strengthen the Department of Justice's Violent …

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by Benjamin Klein

Turkey Thursday lifted a nationwide ban imposed last week on the popular video-sharing website YouTube. Last week, a Turkish court ordered Turk Telecom to block access to YouTube in reported response to video clips insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It was not immediately clear whether access …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Senate on Thursday voted 60-36 against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill which would have incorporated several changes to the legislation that were previously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is designed to revise and extend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not overturn its rejection of California's request for a waiver that would have allowed it to impose stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson testified Thursday in front of the US Senate Committee on Environment and …

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by Leslie Schulman

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party and the key opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) agreed Thursday to lift a ban on women wearing headscarves in universities and public offices. The agreement is in response to recent calls from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the government to lift the ban …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) on Thursday issued guidelines for police behavior during suspect interrogations. The Japanese police have frequently been accused of forcing confessions from suspects using questionable or overly aggressive tactics; in one case, police pressured an innocent man into admitting to committing a rape, a confession that ultimately earned …

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by Brett Murphy

The UN Human Rights Council Thursday adopted a resolution criticizing Israel for recent military attacks and a week-long blockade against the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip that the Council says amount to human rights violations. The resolution, passed by a 30-1 vote with 15 Western states abstaining, calls the military attacks on Palestinian areas …

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by Jeannie Shawl

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on Thursday unveiled the Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008 [draft text, PDF; bill materials; BBC Q&A], which among other proposals to strengthen the country's terrorism laws includes a provision increasing the number of days a terror suspect can be detained without charge to 42 days, up from the current limit of 28. The Home Office described …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US Marine 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson will face court-martial in May on charges of making false official statements and obstruction of justice in connection to the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha in November 2005. During Grayson's Wednesday arraignment at Camp Pendleton, a military judge set a trial date …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lead contractor Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff has agreed to a $458 million settlement to end an inquiry stemming from a July 10, 2006 ceiling panel collapse in Boston's $15 billion Big Dig tunnel project that killed one person, officials said Wednesday. In July 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the ceiling collapse was …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the state of Missouri cannot deny an anti-abortion group's application for a specialty license plate with an anti-abortion message, holding that the Missouri law that allowed the denial was unconstitutionally vague. Choose Life of Missouri had applied to get specialty license plates with the message "Choose …

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by Jaime Jansen

US President George W. Bush issued an executive order Wednesday "reforming how the United States reviews national security concerns that may arise from foreign investments." The executive order is designed to implement the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, which expands the investigative scope of the Treasury Department's Committee …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Canadian government ceased transferring Afghan detainees from Canadian to Afghan custody in November after Canadian monitors in Afghanistan discovered evidence of torture, according to a Canadian Justice Department letter sent this week to two advocacy groups suing the government to halt further transfers. In the letter, made public Wednesday, a Justice Department official …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on Wednesday called the European Union and United Nations' practice of blacklisting terror suspects from interstate travel "completely arbitrary" and urged member states of both organizations to amend their blacklisting practice to "preserve the credibility of the international fight against terrorism." Rapporteur Dick Marty reported that …

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