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Legal news from Friday, August 15, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of the Philippines on Friday heard arguments in a case challenging a proposed peace agreement between the country's government and rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The proposal would grant expanded boundaries to the country's southern Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), but opponents, including Mindanao Christians, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Six US sailors have been charged for allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees held at Camp Bucca, the US Naval Forces Central Command said Thursday. The six are said to have physically assaulted at least two detainees whom they were guarding, and locked eight others in a cell that had been covered with pepper spray. Seven other …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit ruled Thursday that anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles will stand trial in the US for alleged immigration violations, effectively blocking extradition efforts by Cuba and Venezuela. Both countries say that the US is bound by international treaties, including the International Convention for the Suppression …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A military judge on Thursday ordered that military commissions legal advisor Gen. Thomas Hartmann will not participate in the Guantanamo trial of Afghan detainee Mohammed Jawad. The judge, Army Col. Steve Henley, held that Hartmann had made public statements suggesting he was overly favorable to prosecutors despite …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The United Nations Committee on Human Rights has criticized British libel laws for stifling freedom of speech, according to Thursday media reports. In a report [text linked under "Concluding Observations"] issued after its 93rd session in Geneva, the Committee said restrictive laws may encourage media agencies and scholars to abandon reporting on serious public issues, especially in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by survivors of the 9/11 attacks against the nation of Saudi Arabia and four of its princes, ruling that the defendants were protected from prosecution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976. The plaintiffs accused …

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by Abigail Salisbury

Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced on Friday that its researchers have proof that Russian forces have dropped cluster bombs on Georgian civilians during the recent conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Cluster bombs release large numbers of smaller explosives which spread out before detonating upon impact, a design meant to maximize …

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by Abigail Salisbury

The Supreme Court of Thailand ruled on Friday that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra will be tried in absentia on corruption charges. The couple are in the UK, where last week they announced their refusal to return to Thailand due to alleged …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The AFL-CIO and three other labor groups filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday, alleging that Wal-mart Inc., the largest employer in the US, violated federal election laws by forcing employees to attend meetings where political and presidential campaign issues were discussed. According to …

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by Abigail Salisbury

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Thursday that Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury did not violate the constitutional rights of voters who signed a petition to hold a referendum on a state law establishing same-sex domestic partnerships. Bradbury struck over 200 signatures …

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by Abigail Salisbury

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to grant a writ of habeas corpus to convicted murder Khristian Oliver, who had argued that his Sixth and Eighth Amendment rights were violated when the jury took Bible passages into account when deliberating on his eventual death sentence. The US …

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