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Legal news from Wednesday, February 16, 2011
by Brian Jackson

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday sentenced Somali pirate Abduwali Muse to 34 years in prison for the 2009 hijacking of the vessel Maersk Alabama. Muse had originally pleaded guilty in May to hijacking, kidnapping and taking hostages in the matter. Muse …

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by Sarah Miley

The US Senate on Tuesday voted 86 to 12 to extend three surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act through May 27. The measures were set to expire on February 28. The provisions extended include roving wiretaps, "lone wolf" terrorism suspects and the government's ability to seize "any tangible items" …

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by Aman Kakar

District Judge John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to amend petitions for writs of habeas corpus on Tuesday for four detainees held at Bagram Air Force Base (Bagram). Bates' ruling granted the amended petition on the basis …

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by Daniel Makosky

The Constitutional Court of Ecuador on Wednesday certified a slate of constitutional reforms submitted by President Rafael Correa. The court amended without explanation two of the 10 referendum questions that Correa offered last month, but otherwise authorized the proposals to proceed …

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by Sarah Posner

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced Wednesday the need for Bahrain to respect the rights of demonstrators. The announcement came after a news release Tuesday by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reporting that two peaceful protesters were killed earlier this week in Bahrain. …

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by Hillary Stemple

The appeals chamber of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Wednesday issued a unanimous ruling on several procedural issues, including the definition of terrorism, in judicial proceedings relating to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. The STL began debate on the issue [JURIST …

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by Matt Glenn

Indiana's House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriages and civil unions and prohibit government recognition of those performed in other states. The proposed amendment, which passed by a margin of 70-26, reads: "Only a marriage between one …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday overturned a lower court's decision to grant habeas corpus to Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Saeed Hatim, blocking his release. In a per curiam opinion, the judges stated that the lower court's decision was inconsistent with current laws on detainees, …

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