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Legal news from Friday, March 20, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Friday that Bernard Madoff must remain in jail as he awaits sentencing. The ruling affirms last week's ruling by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York denying Madoff bail. The appeals court found:our review of …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Chief of staff to former US secretary of state Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson criticized US terrorism detention practices Thursday, saying that authorities were holding innocent civilians as terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Wilkerson's comments echoed earlier statements he made on the blog Washington Notes, entitled "Some Truths About Guantanamo Bay" …

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by Amelia Mathias

The Brazilian Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed the rights of indigenous peoples to land on the Raposa Serra do Sol reservation and set out 19 rules to guide court in similar cases in the future. The 10 to 1 ruling will permit the …

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by Adrienne Lester

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction against a federal rule [50 CFR § 27.42 text] that permits the possession of "concealed, loaded and operable" hand guns in national parks and wildlife refuges in accordance with state laws. The rule was a enacted late …

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by Tere Miller-Sporrer

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday new guidelines for complying with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The new guidelines, designed to increase transparency in government, willrescind the Attorney General's FOIA Memorandum of October 12, 2001, which stated that the Department of Justice would defend decisions to withhold records "unless they …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US House of Representatives passed a bill [H.R. 1586 text, PDF] Thursday that would tax bonuses given to employees of companies that received money from government stimulus programs at 90 percent. The bill, which was passed by a vote of 328-93, was drafted and voted on in reaction to large bonus payments made …

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by Tere Miller-Sporrer

The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan as Solicitor General by a vote of 61-31. Kagan, the first woman to hold the office, faced opposition from Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last month for her role …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Thursday that it would conduct an internal investigation into reports that Israeli soldiers have committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians. The announcement follows soldiers' reports of civilian killings and vandalism under liberal rules of engagement during a recent operation in the Gaza Strip. It also came on the same …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

The Chinese government on Friday detained a former soldier who has called for an investigation into the 1989 killings of pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square. Chinese human rights organization Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW) said that Zhang Shijun, a former member of the Chinese army's 162nd motorized infantry division, has been detained …

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by Brian Jackson

Iranian blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi reportedly committed suicide Wednesday after serving one month of a 30-month prison sentence for insulting Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Both the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHR) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported that Mirsayafi had been suffering from depression, with ICHR reporting …

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by Christian Ehret

A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in an order made public Thursday that defense contractor CACI International is not immune from a lawsuit brought by Abu Ghraib torture victims, denying CACI's motion to dismiss. Judge Gerald Bruce Lee held that the four …

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