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Legal news from Thursday, August 20, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

Ten European Union (EU) nations have agreed to accept Guantanamo Bay detainees, and five more are giving the matter serious consideration, according to a Thursday Washington Post report. While Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain have all either taken or publicly agreed to take detainees, administration officials said four other countries have …

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by Amelia Mathias

Tunisia continues to commit hundreds of human rights abuses despite previous vows to cease, according to a report published Thursday by Amnesty International (AI). The report details the arrest, torture, and detention of prisoners in the name of national security, and even the kidnapping and forced return of Tunisians living abroad. The report …

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by Amelia Mathias

Judge Reggie Walton of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling Wednesday that severely curtails the federal government's ability to use hearsay evidence in trials against Guantanamo Bay detainees. While in normal criminal and civil cases hearsay is not accepted as evidence unless it meets specific criteria, …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) does not support treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf, making the requisite consensus resolution extremely unlikely. Gilani told parliament that in order to try Musharraf under Article 6 of the Pakistani Constitution, there …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced Thursday that convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is being released from prison on compassionate grounds and transferred to his native Libya. Megrahi was recently diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, and his release comes days after the Scottish High Court …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Wednesday that several gay rights groups may not intervene in a lawsuit challenging California's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, on federal constitutional grounds. Judge Vaughn Walker denied requests to intervene filed by groups represented by the …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled late Tuesday that the federal government cannot freeze the assets of an organization suspected of terrorism ties without probable cause. Judge James Carr also ruled that the government must tell the organization the basis for the asset freeze and give the …

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by Devin Montgomery

Eight years after 9/11, counterterrorism efforts continue to dominate the operations and budget of the FBI, according to a Tuesday report by the New York Times. Since the attacks, the bureau has doubled the number of agents it assigns to counterterrorism efforts and has created specialized "threat squads" to investigate possible threats. Agents …

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by Brian Jackson

Five Facebook users have filed suit in the Superior Court of California for Orange County alleging that the social networking site violated their privacy. Among the claims put forth in the suit filed Monday are that Facebook disseminates users' private information and copyrighted photographs, and altered its Terms of Use without seeking approval …

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by Brian Jackson

The US government on Wednesday reached an agreement with Switzerland that would grant the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) access to information on thousands of Swiss bank accounts. As part of the agreement, the Swiss government will instruct banking giant UBS to begin to turn over information regarding certain anonymous bank …

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by Devin Montgomery

Oklahoma state court judge Vicki Robertson ruled Tuesday that a state law requiring women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound within an hour of the procedure violates the Oklahoma Constitution. Without reaching the validity the of the ultrasound requirement itself, the judge held that the law violated a constitutional requirement …

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