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Legal news from Tuesday, February 12, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Tuesday defended the use of harsh physical interrogation techniques, saying in an interview with Law in Action on BBC Radio 4 that they may be justified to deter an immediate threat. Scalia argued that "so-called torture" may not necessarily be prohibited by the US constitution, as he …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US Senate Democrats announced their continued support Tuesday for a US Sentencing Commission decision to give retroactive effect to sentencing guidelines that would narrow the disparity between sentences for offenses involving powder and crack cocaine, rejecting Department of Justice arguments against the retroactivity because the courts could be overwhelmed with inmates appealing their sentences. The …

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by Devin Montgomery

Shi'ite and Sunni lawmakers walked out of Iraq's parliament Tuesday, prompting speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani to threaten to disband the legislature. The walkout was sparked by divisions between Kurdish and other lawmakers over what percentage of the national income should be reserved for the Kurdish semi-autonomous region. The walkout blocked a …

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by Deirdre Jurand

China, Russia and Canada are the main violators of US copyright law, according to report issued Monday by a US-based industry group. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a consortium of seven trade associations representing 1,900 US companies producing and distributing copyrighted materials, found that the number of violations had increased over the past year due to …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Senate voted 69-29 Tuesday in favor of a cloture motion limiting further debate on a bill which would provide immunity for telecommunications companies from lawsuits related to their participation in the NSA warrantless surveillance program. Congress has mulled the controversial issue of telecom immunity while …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Wayne County Employees' Retirement System (WCERS) on Monday filed a complaint in the Delaware Court of Chancery challenging the decision of the Yahoo! board of directors to repudiate an unsolicited takeover offer made February 1 by Microsoft for the Internet giant. Microsoft's takeover bid, which offers $31 per …

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by Caitlin Price

Rwandan defense investigator Leonidas Nshogoza pleaded not guilty Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to charges of contempt and attempted contempt of the ICTR. Nshogoza was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly bribing witnesses, fabricating evidence and "interfering in the administration of justice" during an appeal of the 2004 conviction [JURIST …

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by Leslie Schulman

South African Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula on Tuesday introduced in parliament a proposal to dissolve the Directorate of Special Investigations, also known as "The Scorpions," a special agency in South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that has been in charge of investigating organized crime and corruption since 1999. Opponents …

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by Leslie Schulman

The European Commission (EC) Tuesday carried out an unannounced inspection at the Munich office of semiconductor manufacturing giant Intel, as part of an investigation into Intel's possible anticompetitive practices directed at rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The European Union last year accused Intel of violating European antitrust law [JURIST …

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by Michael Sung

The widow and son of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic could be tried in absentia on charges that the two organized a cigarette smuggling ring in Serbia during the 1990s, Serbian organized crime prosecutor Miljko Radisavljevic said Tuesday. Mirjana Markovic and her son Marko Milosevic currently reside in Russia and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday submitted to the 2008 Conference on Disarmament (CD) a draft treaty, jointly proposed with China, that would regulate the use of weapons in space. According to a press release from the conference:Sergey Lavrov, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, today officially submitted a joint Russian-Chinese draft …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Danish police on Tuesday arrested several people suspected in a plot to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists who published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 that sparked widespread protests across the Islamic world. According to Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which first published the cartoons in September 2005, the Danish police …

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by Michael Sung

An Indonesian court ruled Tuesday that the children of former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto will have to defend Suharto's estate against a civil corruption case. A prosecutor said that all of Suharto's six children will be summoned to court next week, and one will be appointed to represent Suharto in further proceedings. Suharto, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge on Monday issued an order permitting the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to conduct "very limited" discovery in its case against the White House Office of Administration (OA), the government office that provides administrative services to the Executive Office of the President. CREW filed …

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