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Legal news from Monday, May 23, 2011
by Zach Zagger

Violent crime is down 5.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to preliminary data released Monday but the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December 2010 also showed a decrease in murder by 4.4 percent and in rape by 4.2 percent. The highest drop was the decrease in robbery at …

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by Zach Zagger

Continued ethnic violence in Myanmar presents "serious limitations" to the government's transition to democracy, according to Tomas Ojea Quintana, a UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar. Quintana made a statement Monday in conclusion to his mission to Thailand to study the government of Myanmar, where he has not been allowed to …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya signed an agreement Sunday allowing his return to the country after nearly two years in exile. The agreement, brokered by the Venezuelan and Colombian governments, was signed in Cartagena, Colombia, by Zelaya and current President Porfirio Lobo. The move clears the way …

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by Zach Zagger

As many as 300 people died and 700 were injured during the month-long uprising in Tunisia earlier this year, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez said Saturday. The death toll is much higher than originally thought. Mendez is in Tunisia to assess the transition of the interim government and investigate the acts of violence. Some Tunisian …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in General Dynamics Corp v. United States that when the court dismisses a valid prima facie affirmative defense to the government's breach of contract claim under the state secrets privilege, the proper remedy is to leave the parties in the …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled in Brown v. Plata to uphold the order requiring California to release up to 46,000 prisoners to remedy the state's overcrowded prisons. In the 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court concluded that the extreme …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Monday in Kawashima v. Holder [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to clarify what counts as an aggravated felony for purposes of removing an immigrant from the country. Petitioners Akio and Fusako Kawashima are natives and citizens of Japan who were living in California as lawful permanent residents. Petitioners were …

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by Zach Zagger

An Amsterdam court on Monday rejected claims by Dutch politician Geert Wilders that the hate speech charges against him should be dropped over claims of bias. Wilder, a right-wing politician, is on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. The charges against Wilders were dismissed in 2008, but an appeals court reversed …

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by Zach Zagger

Four alleged Somali pirates captured from a hijacked ship are being put on trial in South Korea, but lawyers for the pirates argue the court does not have jurisdiction to try them. South Korean forces captured five alleged pirates in a raid on a hijacked South Korean chemical freighter, the Samho Jewelry, in January in the …

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