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Legal news from Thursday, June 19, 2008
by Steve Czajkowski

A representative for the US nursing home industry urged members of Congress Wednesday not to pass legislation that would eliminate the arbitration clauses which are typically part of admission contracts to nursing homes. In a joint meeting between the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights and the Special Committee on Aging, Kelley Rice-Schild, …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Thursday announced that more than 400 people had been indicted in connection to what has been termed the US "sub-prime mortgage collapse." The vast majority of the indictments involved fraud related to individual mortgages, with the FBI focusing on lending fraud, foreclosure rescue scams and mortgage-related bankruptcy schemes, which …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Wednesday criticized the government of Myanmar [A/HRC/8/L.12 text, PDF] for its continued human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate with humanitarian groups. The resolution calls on the Myanmar government to free political prisoners, stop recruiting child soldiers and to implement earlier UNHRC resolutions [S-5/1 text, PDF] regarding the country's human rights …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A US military judge at Guantanamo Bay Thursday set October 8 as the date for the military commission trial of Canadian-born Omar Khadr. Khadr's military defense lawyer Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler said that judge Col. Patrick Parrish, who replaced Col. Peter Brownback as presiding judge last month, is pushing ahead …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Chief Justice Royce Lamberth of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held an off-the-record meeting Wednesday with defense lawyers for enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay to discuss court procedures in light of the US Supreme Court's recent opinion in Boumediene v. Bush. The group …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Serbian chief of state security Radomir Markovic was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday for his role in a 1999 assassination attempt on then-Yugoslav opposition leader Vuk Draskovic. The Supreme Court of Serbia also sentenced ten other individuals, including special police commander Milorad Ulemek, for orchestrating a highway crash intended to kill …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Italy's highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation, Thursday ruled that Italian courts lack jurisdiction to try a US soldier accused of shooting an intelligence agent in Iraq. Last year, Italian prosecutors filed an appeal of a Rome court's dismissal of the criminal case against US Army Spc. Mario Lozano …

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by Devin Montgomery

Malaysian rights group Suaram Thursday published its annual report on the state of human rights in the country, saying that conditions had significantly worsened over the past year. The group cited the country's judicial fixing scandal and lax prosecution of human rights offenders by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) began investigating the country's Supreme Court Monday for suspected embezzlement. The Court collects administrative fees from appellants but has so far not accounted for the money. Late last month officials from Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), an NGO that …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Vestre Landsret, one of the two second-highest appeals courts in Denmark, denied Wednesday an appeal of a 2006 lower court judgment dismissing a lawsuit concerning caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The defamation lawsuit was brought by seven Muslim groups against Jyllands-Posten, a Danish …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Thirty-nine accused Darfur rebels appeared before special courts in Sudan to be tried under a 2001 anti-terrorism law Wednesday. The accused allegedly belong to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which Sudanese officials accuse of terrorism, rebellion and conspiring against the constitution. Lawyers for the rebels have expressed skepticism that the special …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US congress voted late Wednesday to override President George W. Bush's veto of the new Farm Bill. The override passed easily in both chambers, with votes of 80-14 in the Senate and 317-109 in the House. Bush had vetoed the legislation earlier Wednesday, calling it fiscally irresponsible. The original version of …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages sent on work cell phones. The present case was bought by an Ontario police officer who alleged that his department violated his Fourth Amendment rights by reading his messages; the officer …

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by Deirdre Jurand

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Wednesday that the US Senate should quickly pass a proposed bill designed to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria because it would save lives and encourage other governments to increase their anti-AIDS efforts. The bill would directly support other countries' anti-AIDS efforts and is designed to: …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court handed down five decisions Thursday, including MetLife v. Glenn, in which the Court ruled 6-3 that an employee benefit plan administrator has an illegal conflict of interest under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act if he has both the authority to …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Mexico has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for assistance in stopping the Texas executions of five of its citizens, including Jose Ernesto Medellin, who is scheduled to be executed August 5. In hearings scheduled for Thursday, Mexico will ask the ICJ to rule on its request for provisional …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Swedish parliament Wednesday passed a controversial warrantless wiretapping law that gives the country's National Defence Radio Establishment broad authority to monitor international telephone and electronic communications passing through the country. The bill, which had been rejected Tuesday, passed by a narrow 143-138 margin after last-minute changes made by lawmakers. The …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The status of more than 1,000 protesters detained by Chinese authorities during March demonstrations in Tibet remains unknown, according to an Amnesty International report released Wednesday. About 370 of the protesters who surrendered to authorities and about 980 arrested in April after the protests have still not been released or charged [Amnesty press …

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by Nick Fiske

Canada classified the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as a terrorist organization Tuesday, according to comments by Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day. Day characterized the group as a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or "Tamil Tigers," stating that there was evidence linking …

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