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Legal news from Friday, October 3, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on Friday reopened its courthouse in Kosovo's northern city of Mitrovica. The courts were closed after being taken over by Serbian protesters in March as part of an ethnic conflict with Kosovar Albanians. The mission has said that only vital criminal court functions will …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Investigators from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office have completed their investigation into the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Russian news agencies reported Thursday. Three men, Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, all from Chechnya, were arrested last August in connection with the inquiry …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Thursday overturned the convictions of Yemeni cleric Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad and assistant, Mohammed Zayed, also from Yemen, because of evidentiary errors that were prejudicial to the extent that they deprived the defendants of a fair trial. Al-Moayad and Zayed had been convicted …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Iraqi Presidency Council on Friday signed a provincial elections bill allowing for voting in most of the country early next year. The final version did not include a controversial clause that Staffan de Mistura, the UN special representative to Iraq, had urged Iraqi lawmakers to reintroduce. …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a $700 billion financial rescue bill that President Bush quickly signed into law. The House approved the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 by a vote of 263-171 four days after it defeated an earlier version of the bill. …

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by Joe Shaulis

Nine US states and the Canadian province of Manitoba sued the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, alleging that an agency regulation allows the discharge of polluted water in violation of the Clean Water Act. In a complaint filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Sir Ian Blair resigned Thursday from his position as Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service ("Met"), effective December 1, 2008. Blair cited a strained relationship with the newly-elected mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the mayor's decision for new leadership at the Met as the leading factors in his decision to resign. In …

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by Eric Firkel

The newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Thursday urged the military-led government of Myanmar to release its remaining political prisoners as she called attention to "unjust or inappropriate" detentions worldwide. Navanethem (Navi) Pillay, who took office last month, said during a news conference that Myanmar continues to incarcerate …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Lawyers for private US military contractor CACI International filed a motion Thursday to dismiss a torture lawsuit against the company based on a claim of immunity. In July, four former detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison filed lawsuits against CACI and L-3 Communications, which performed interrogation and interpretation …

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by Eric Firkel

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to implement a new regulation that relaxes restrictions on issuing US visas to HIV-positive visitors. The regulation allows HIV-positive foreigners seeking to visit the US to receive temporary, non-immigrant visas without undergoing an individualized waiver process. In announcing the change, Homeland Security …

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by Devin Montgomery

Canadian government accountability group Democracy Watch brought a lawsuit on Thursday, seeking to postpone the country's parliamentary elections scheduled for October 14. The group argues that the elections, proposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, would violate a 2007 amendment [Bill C-16 materials] to the Canada Elections Act. Under the amendment, the …

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