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Legal news from Monday, July 19, 2010
by Ann Riley

Syrian Minister of Education Ghiath Barakat issued a directive Sunday forbidding students and teachers at universities from wearing the niqab. The ban applies to both public and private universities, but only affects full-face veils and not hijab headscarves that are more commonly worn in the …

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by Dwyer Arce

The lack of a concrete legal mandate for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), constant infighting within the intelligence community and an unprecedented expansion of resources and intelligence-gathering capacities following the 9/11 attacks have created an unfocused and chaotic environment where intelligence efforts are duplicated and effectiveness is impossible to assess, according to a …

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by Hillary Stemple

The National Security Services in Sudan (NISS) are brutally suppressing internal dissent and targeting rights workers in the process, according to an Amnesty International (AI) report issued Monday. AI documented cases of arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances and death at the hands of the NISS. The suppression of dissent also includes heavy censorship …

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by Drew Singer

An Oklahoma district judge issued an injunction Monday morning extending a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of a new law that requires women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus. The Center for Reproductive Rights in New York sued to have the law …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court announced Monday that an agreement with the US, allowing Swiss bank UBS to disclose account information of clients suspected by the US government of tax evasion, is binding. The agreement, approved last month by the Swiss parliament, allows UBS …

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by Dwyer Arce

The former defense lawyer for Australian ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks said Sunday that his former client should be cleared of all links to terrorism because he never committed a crime. The lawyer, Steve Kenny, said he has been unable to find a law that Hicks had broken, either under Australian, Afghan or …

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by Drew Singer

Backlogs at US immigration courts are up by more than 30 percent in the past 18 months, according to a Syracuse University research center study. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse study found that the 4,145 cases referred to federal prosecutors in March and April were the most in any two-month period since the Immigration and Customs …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Russian Federation Council on Monday approved legislation that will allow the country's secret police, the Federal Security Service (FSB), to question citizens about their actions related to crimes that have not yet occurred. The KGB, predecessor to the FSB, had the authority to conduct similar preemptive questioning, which was often …

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by Dwyer Arce

The American Bar Association (ABA) has filed an amicus curiae brief urging the US District Court for the District of Arizona to block enforcement of the state's controversial new immigration law before it takes effect July 29. The brief, filed in support of the US government, follows …

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by Dwyer Arce

The Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday issued a 90-day injunction against the enforcement of a law preventing the prosecution of 400 protesters arrested during the 2005 Gaza disengagement. The law, passed in January, prevents the prosecution or suspends the sentences of those who were arrested for protesting Israel's 2005 withdrawal from …

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by Hillary Stemple

Former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz and 15 other high ranking former officials in the government of Saddam Hussein appeared in court over the weekend and were charged with crimes committed during Hussein's regime. According to his lawyer, Aziz will now stand trial on charges of squandering public funds [Al Jazeera …

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by Dwyer Arce

The government of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate announced Monday that the two Guantanamo Bay detainees accepted by Germany earlier this month would be confined for at least a year while undergoing psychological treatment and integration training. The German government agreed to take the detainees after negotiations with the Obama administration. Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced that insurance plans being offered as part of a new federally-funded program providing insurance to persons denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions will only cover abortions in cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the mother is in …

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