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Legal news from Wednesday, November 12, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

The government of Bangladesh on Wednesday reinstated a state of emergency banning political demonstrations in the country for two weeks. The ban had recently been lifted after being imposed in 2007, but was reissued in response to violent protests coordinated by the Jamaat-e-Islami party after party leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases. In Pleasant Grove City, UT v. Summum, the Court considered whether privately donated monuments displayed in public parks qualify as private speech under the First Amendment, requiring municipalities to display monuments from all other …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Former Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase said Wednesday that he will seek an appeal of an October decision by the Fijian High Court dismissing his challenge to the country's 2006 coup. In its decision, the High Court held that Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo had the authority to …

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by Eric Firkel

The Uruguayan Senate passed a bill Tuesday that partially decriminalizes abortion, but it is unlikely the bill has the support needed to override a veto promised by Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez. According to the draft law, a mother may terminate her pregnancy during the first 12 …

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by Andrew Morgan

The German ambassador to Rwanda was given 24 hours on Tuesday to leave the country in response to Sunday's arrest of a Rwandan presidential aide in Germany in connection with the 1994 assassination of then-president Juvenal Habyarima that touched off the infamous Rwanda genocide. Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Wednesday in Winter v. National Resources Defense Council that the US Navy may continue using sonar as part of military training exercises, despite environmentalists' concerns for the impact this has on whales and other marine life. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote …

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by Safiya Boucaud

Bolivian officials on Tuesday formally requested that the US issue extradition orders for former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to face genocide charges for his role in October 2003 riots over corporate exploitation of the country's natural gas resources that left at least 60 dead. The officials have also …

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by Caitlin Price

US Army Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. will face a court-martial for his alleged role in the killings of four Iraqis in April 2007, after waiving his right to an Article 32 hearing Wednesday. In September, Leahy, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo, and Sgt. John Hatley were charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to …

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by Leslie Schulman

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday urged Afghan President Hamad Karzai to put a stop to executions and join nations calling for a death penalty moratorium. The call came after five prisoners were executed over the last four days. Pillay conceded that the prisoners were convicted of …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Two former Bangladeshi cabinet members, including a former interior minister, were released on bail Tuesday, after being arrested in 2007 for alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. The two, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Altaf Hossain Choudhury, were released after the Bangladesh Supreme Court refused to overturn a High Court order granting them bail. Hossain and …

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by Caitlin Price

Russian State Duma officials said Wednesday they would expedite consideration of constitutional amendments submitted by President Dmitry Medvedev that would extend presidential and parliamentary terms. The Duma's constitutional committee has recommended that the three required readings of the proposed legislation be done at one time, which would enable …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The South Korean government Tuesday established a committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) to investigate alleged human rights abuses in North Korea. The formation of the new committee is expected to become a source of tension between the two countries. The human rights situation in North Korea has recently come under increased international …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) announced Tuesday that it has renewed claims and is seeking greater damages against 13 local cigarette importers in an effort to "curb the spreading of some serious health problems caused by cigarette smoking." The lawsuit, filed by MOH last year, seeks $34 billion in …

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