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Legal news from Thursday, March 4, 2010
by Sarah Miley

A German court in Dusseldorf on Thursday convicted four Islamists of conspiracy to murder and belonging to a foreign terrorist group for plotting to destroy US facilities within Germany. The four men, members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union, were apprehended in September 2007 while developing a plan to use three car bombs and 250kg …

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by Haley Wojdowski

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled Tuesday that a state law imposing broad restrictions on abortion violates the state constitution. The law required women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound within an hour of the procedure and contained sections on requirements for abortion clinic signs, the administration of an early-term abortion …

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by Daniel Makosky

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday criticized the state of human rights in Sri Lanka, Iran, and several other countries, while presenting her annual report to the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council. Pillay described mistreatment of the government's critics as a threat to peace …

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by Jonathan Cohen

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday proposed tighter restrictions on the use of politically motivated arrest warrants for foreign leaders accused of war crimes. Brown said that he would seek to make tougher "the evidential basis on which arrest warrants can be allowed" and to restrict the right to prosecute universal jurisdiction crimes to …

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by Andrea Bottorff

A bill was introduced Wednesday to the US Senate that would allow gay soldiers to serve openly in the US military. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010, which would repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy [10 USC § 654 text; JURIST news archive]. In a …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Canadian government of Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged Wednesday to strengthen copyright laws. Announcing government policy in the Speech from the Throne opening the third session of the Canada's fortieth Parliament, Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean said that tightening intellectual property regulations was necessary to move the Canadian economy forward:To fuel …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Guatemalan authorities have arrested two high-ranking police officials leading the country's war on drugs on charges of corruption and drug trafficking, Guatemalan Attorney General Amilcar Velasquez announced Tuesday. Police Chief Baltazar Gonzalez and anti-narcotics official Nelly Bonilla were arrested Tuesday in connection with a drug-related shoot-out last year between drug …

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by Matt Glenn

Women's rights and opportunities have increased in nearly all Middle Eastern and North African countries over the last five years, but women in those countries still face many obstacles in achieving equality, according to a Freedom House report released Wednesday. The report found that in general, women in those countries had more opportunities for employment, education, …

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by Matt Glenn

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced Wednesday that the dissolved Sri Lankan Parliament will reconvene to ratify a one-month extension to the current state of emergency. Rajapaksa dissolved parliament last month to prepare for April elections, but, under the Sri Lankan Constitution, the president's emergency powers can be extended for …

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