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Legal news from Tuesday, July 28, 2009
by Devin Montgomery

US detention centers for illegal immigrants have failed to meet basic standards for the treatment of those held at the facilities, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Immigration Law Center and two other groups. The groups said that immigrants being held in the US are often denied adequate visitation, telephone, …

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by Devin Montgomery

Amnesty International on Monday called on Nicaragua to end its total ban on abortions, saying that the lack of an exception for the mother's health has caused numerous deaths. AI also called for the country to eliminate severe criminal punishments for those who seek or perform abortions, saying that the penalties would often …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted 13-6 to recommend the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. All 12 Democrats on the committee and one Republican voted in favor of the recommendation. In a statement praising Sotomayor, committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) …

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by Christian Ehret

Several Hollywood production companies filed suit Monday in Sweden against the operators of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, seeking an injunction. The US companies, including Disney, Universal, and Columbia Pictures, filed a writ to sue in the Stockholm District Court, requesting that the court order the owners to cease and desist the operation of …

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by Devin Montgomery

Human rights group Reprieve announced Tuesday that it is suing the British government over the rendition of Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni from Indonesia to Egypt, where it says he was tortured. The group alleges that the UK allowed the US rendition flight of Madni to stop on the British island …

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by Christian Ehret

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for African, Asian and European countries to strengthen prevention and protection measures against the use of sexual violence in armed conflicts. Ban's position was outlined in a report released earlier this month, which stated that such violence has been systematically used in modern conflicts …

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by Devin Montgomery

An Iranian official announced Tuesday the release of approximately 140 people detained during violent protests following the controversial reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Human Rights Watch has reported that some arrested protesters were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with torture in an effort to force false confessions [report …

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by Devin Montgomery

Drug maker Pfizer finalized a settlement Monday with the Nigerian state of Kano in a lawsuit over allegedly illegal clinical trials the company conducted in Nigeria in 1996. The Kano government had filed a lawsuit against Pfizer in 2007, accusing the company of administering meningitis medication to 200 Nigerian children, including 100 with the then-experimental …

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by Jay Carmella

The US Senate Armed Services Committee announced Monday that it will hold hearings this fall to review the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy [10 USC § 654 text; HRC backgrounder]. Under the policy, openly gay servicemen and women are subject to discharge from the US military. Committee member Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) [official …

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by Jay Carmella

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Monday denied FedEx Corporation employees suing over compensation the ability to gain class classification. The court's decision affirmed a decision by the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida that the claims rested too heavily on factual information that …

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