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Legal news from Friday, December 11, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Constitutional Court of Romania on Friday ordered a recount of void ballots from the country's disputed presidential election. After the first round of elections in November produced no clear winner, incumbent Traian Basescu and Social Democrat Mircea Geoana faced a runoff …

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by Megan McKee

Canada's federal opposition parties combined Thursday to pass an unusual measure seeking to compel the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to release confidential records concerning the treatment of detainees captured by Canadian troops in Afghanistan. In an effort to shed light on alleged prisoner abuse by Afghans after receiving prisoners handed over to them by Canadian forces, …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US House of Representatives voted 223-202 Friday to approve a bill that would create a consumer financial protection agency and strengthen oversight of the financial industry. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 would also create a $150 billion industry-backed fund for the dismantling of large …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that last week's nightclub fire in Perm exposed widespread corruption among bureaucrats. At a cabinet meeting, Putin said that documents were falsified and officials were bribed to look the other way on safety violations. Putin said, "his obviously reflects …

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by Matt Glenn

The US Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that would protect journalists' abilities to shield sources in federal court proceedings. Under the Free Flow of Information Act, which was approved 14-5, the federal government would not be able compel a journalist to produce protected documents or sources unless the government shows it has …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A California judge on Thursday tentatively ruled that a 2003 Colorado River water use agreement is invalid. The agreement settled a dispute over how to divide the Colorado River between California and six other states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Under the agreement, California would significantly reduce the amount of water diverted from farms …

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by Matt Glenn

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that a lawsuit seeking to declare parts of the Patriot Act unconstitutional must be dismissed for lack of standing. Brandon Mayfield, an attorney arrested in 2004 based on FBI error in connection with the 2004 Madrid …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Ugandan Parliament voted unanimously Thursday to outlaw female genital mutilation (FGM). Under the new legislation, anyone who conducts the procedure faces a 10-year prison sentence, and anyone convicted of aggravated FGM faces life imprisonment. Aggravated FGM would include situations where the woman dies, is disabled, or is infected with HIV/AIDS. …

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