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Legal news from Friday, July 25, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

Nepalese officials said Friday that they had arrested more than 100 Tibetans for allegedly trying to take over the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Chinese media said the protesters were trying to use Nepal's vulnerability as a newly-formed republic  in order to push their "separatist" agenda, but Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report [HRW materials; press …

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by Abigail Salisbury

The United Nations Security Council on Friday discussed a report outlining UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's plans to reconfigure the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) now that the state's new constitution has entered into effect. Lamberto Zannier, whom Ban recently appointed as head of UNMIK …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a lawsuit Thursday against international trading fund Optiver Holding BV and some of its subsidiaries and employees, alleging that the company manipulated the futures prices of oil and gasoline in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act [7 USC s. 1 text]. …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Three Department of Justice (DOJ) memos released Thursday indicate that certain enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, are lawful and that those who employ them in good faith lack the specific intent required to be charged with torture. Under US law [18 USC s. 2340 text], torture involves "an act committed by a person …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a 2005 state law aimed at prosecuting smugglers hired to ferry illegal immigrants across the border into the US can also be used to prosecute the illegal immigrants. The judge rejected arguments that the law infringed on the powers of the federal government to regulate immigration. The law …

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by Devin Montgomery

A judge for the London High Court on Thursday ordered a British man to pay approximately $44,000 in damages for creating a fake profile on social networking website Facebook and posting defaming information about an acquaintance, Mathew Firsht. The judge found that the postings were libelous regarding both Firsht and a business he operates, and …

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by Deirdre Jurand

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) said during a Committee hearing Friday that providing inducements to those who hold liens was the only practical legislative solution to the country's so-called "sub-prime mortgage collapse," and that House legislation passed Wednesday will effectively provide those inducements. The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 [HR 3221 materials; House …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Friday that the right of EU citizens to live in any EU member state also extends to non-citizen spouses and relatives. Four Irish couples brought the case, appealing deportation orders issued by the Irish Ministry of Justice, Equality and Law Reform because one …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Maryland judge Thursday rejected a challenge seeking to remove a referendum on a transgender anti-discrimination law [Bill 23-07 text] from the November ballot. Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Greenberg ruled that the Montgomery County Board of Elections had miscalculated the number of signatures that proponents needed to …

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by Devin Montgomery

An Argentine court sentenced former general Luciano Benjamin Menendez and four others to life in prison on Thursday for the 1977 kidnapping, torture, and killing of four political dissidents during the country's so-called "Dirty War". Three others have been sentenced to extended jail terms since the case went to trial in …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Lawyers and professors testified before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Thursday that the government process used to arrest and convict illegal immigrants in Iowa in May was illegal and violated the immigrants' due process rights. In May, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials raided an Agriprocessors Inc. …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on Thursday that a 2002 reapportionment of voting boundaries in the city of Aurora, Illinois did not violate the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The plaintiffs in Gonzalez v. City of Aurora unsuccessfully argued that having two Hispanic …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Ecuador's special assembly charged with rewriting the nation's constitution provisionally approved a new constitution on Thursday. The draft includes unprecedented measures giving the president the power to remove Congress in the first three years of a four-year term, to control monetary policy, and to seek re-election for an additional four year term. Ecuadorean President …

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