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Legal news from Thursday, January 14, 2010
by Sarah Miley

An Iraqi court on Thursday sentenced 11 men to death for the August 19 bombing of the foreign and finance ministries in Baghdad that left close to 100 dead. The 11 men were found guilty of financing, planning, and participating in the attacks. Wisam Ali Khazim Ibrahim, a member of Suddam Hussein's ousted Ba'ath party, …

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by Sarah Miley

The UK Parliament Justice Committee released a reinvestment report on Thursday urging the prison populations in England and Wales to be reduced by a third. The committee found that incarceration is a relatively ineffective way of reducing crime except for serious offenders, and the amount of repeat offenders could be more efficiently reduced through rehabilitation programs …

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by Zach Zagger

2009 marked the worst year for maritime piracy in six years, according to a report issued Thursday by the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The total reported incidents of piracy reached 406, surpassing 400 for the first time since 2003. It is the third consecutive year that reports have …

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by Jonathan Cohen

The legal advisers for the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, have advised him to delay an internal effort to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" [10 USC § 654 text; JURIST news archive] policy, according to a Thursday Associated Press report. Mullen has reportedly received mixed input on whether lifting …

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by Haley Wojdowski

A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered politician Geert Wilders to be tried for his video and printed statements against the Quran and Islam, dismissing a motion to drop or reduce the criminal charges. The trial court denied Wilder's counsel's argument that he could not be prosecuted according to a 2009 Supreme Court ruling, …

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by Daniel Makosky

Representatives of Canada's Inuit population on Wednesday announced a lawsuit against the European Union (EU) challenging its impending ban on the sale of seal products. The suit, filed in the General Court of the Court of Justice of the EU, seeks to overturn Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009, which is expected to …

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by Jonathan Cohen

Rwandan lawmakers may introduce a bill to criminalize denial of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, according to Thursday reports. A senior researcher at the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) said that they are preparing a bill for presentation to the Ministry of Culture. The proposed legislation …

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by Brian Jackson

The Chinese government reiterated its commitment to open Internet on Thursday, saying that international companies are welcome as long as they abide by Chinese law. Responding to a threat by Google that it may remove its Internet services from the country, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia announced Thursday that he would suspend the death penalty and commute the sentences of all prisoners currently on death row to 30 years in prison. In a lengthy speech to the Mongolian Parliament, Tsakhia called for a permanent ban on the death penalty, saying that many mistakes are …

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by Brian Jackson

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that New York City intentionally discriminated against minority fire department applicants by continuing to use an exam that it knew placed those applicants at a disadvantage. Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York called the practice a "stain" on the fire …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Spain's National Court on Wednesday convicted five people for their involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings on charges of supporting terrorist groups that planned attacks. The men were indicted in November, along with two other suspects, and were accused of providing money, housing, food, and forged documentation …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

A UN spokesperson acknowledged Wednesday that Haiti's main prison in the capital Port-au-Prince collapsed in Tuesday's earthquake, and many of the inmates have escaped. As US President Barack Obama sent thousands of troops to help with the rescue efforts, General Douglas Frazier, head of the US Southern Command which includes Haiti, indicated that …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Wednesday reinstated an antitrust lawsuit that accuses major record labels of price-fixing nearly 80 percent of US digital music sales. In overturning a lower court decision to dismiss the case, the appeals court found that the defendants, music industry giants including Sony, Time Warner, EMI, …

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by Matt Glenn

A judge for Nigeria's Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to assume executive powers due to the prolonged absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who has been in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for a heart condition since November. The court ruled that Nigeria's 1999 Constitution, which allows the president's executive …

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by Matt Glenn

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 5-4 that the trial on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban may not be broadcast because the court did not follow proper procedure when enacting a rule permitting the broadcast. Last week, Judge Vaughn Walker of …

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