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Legal news from Friday, March 6, 2009
by Andrew Gilmore

Organic grocer Whole Foods Market agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday over its 2007 merger with rival grocer Wild Oats Market. If approved by the FTC Commissioners, the settlement will require Whole Foods to divest itself of approximately 32 store …

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by Adrienne Lester

A Turkish court ordered the arrest of Cumhuriyet journalist Mustafa Balbay Thursday for his alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Balbay was arrested along with internet publisher Neriman Aydin as part of the ongoing probe into secular group Ergenekon. The Ergenekon …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Supreme Court on Friday granted a motion by the US government to dismiss as moot an appeal challenging the indefinite detention of suspected al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. The Court had granted certiorari in December on al-Marri's appeal of a ruling …

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by Amelia Mathias

Defense lawyers for former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Friday sought to have new charges of embezzlement and money laundering against Khordorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev  dropped. The two men are accused of illegally taking approximately $20 billion from Russian energy firm OAO Yukos Oil Co., but challenged the allegations, …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

The European Union (EU) announced Friday that it has entered into an agreement with Kenya to transfer suspected pirates captured by EU counter-pirate operations into Kenyan custody for prosecution. The agreement contains provisions for the nine Somali pirates captured by German forces on Tuesday, and "defines modalities" for any …

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by Devin Montgomery

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston on Friday called for an independent investigation into the Thursday killings of Kenyan human rights activists Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu. The two men were officers for the Oscar Foundation, a group critical of the Kenyan government for its use …

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by Ingrid Burke

A panel of legal and medical experts headed by Spanish Minister of Equality Bibiano Aido on Wednesday proposed sweeping reforms to Spain's current abortion laws. The panel contends that women should have the right to choose to abort during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Where the fetus …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said Friday that his office may investigate whether Sudan's expulsion of foreign aid agencies is a possible breach of human rights law or war crime. Colville said that such an investigation had not yet begun, but strongly criticized  Sudan for ordering the groups to leave. Also …

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by Christian Ehret

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday held a hearing to reconsider California's request to regulate automobile greenhouse gases. Chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols was joined by environmental groups and other state officials at the hearing to encourage the EPA to reverse its prior decision …

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by Tere Miller-Sporrer

 The Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should agree on an evacuation plan for civilians caught in hostilities between the groups in the country's Vanni region, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday. HRW said that approximately 150,000 civilians are caught in the area, and …

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