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Legal news from Friday, June 24, 2011
by Julia Zebley

Media magnate Conrad Black was ordered to return to prison by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Friday, to serve 13 more months of his 42 month sentence. Judge Amy St. Eve, his original sentencing judge, said that although she was impressed by Black's rehabilitative …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The UN on Friday announced its approval of the arrest of a former top Guatemalan military figure accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, former chief of staff of Guatemalan armed forces from 1982-1983, is accused of directing military attacks against citizens, namely indigenous Mayans. Villages were destroyed and women …

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by Julia Zebley

Apple filed suit Friday in the Seoul Central District Court claiming that the Samsung "Galaxy" line of products copies its iPhone and iPad technology. This follows similar suits by Apple in the US and suits by Samsung filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany. It is rumored that these disputes will ultimately be settled through …

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by Zach Zagger

The US House of Representatives in two votes Friday sent contradictory messages over authorization of US military operations in Libya. First, the House overwhelmingly voted down 123-295 a resolution that would have authorized further operations in Libya. Then hours later, it voted down 180-238 a measure …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday announced that it plans to send a panel to investigate the human rights situation in Yemen. Three OHCHR experts will travel to Yemen next week for a 10-day stint to interview government officials, human rights defenders, victims of rights …

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by Julia Zebley

The US House of Representatives voted 304-117 Friday in favor of the America Invents Act, the largest potential reform to the US patent system since 1952. If the bill passes it would replace the current "first inventor to use" system with a "first inventor to file" system, making US patents more like the European …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Department of Defense (DOD) Thursday announced the appointment of Army Brig. General Mark Martins as the new chief war crimes prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay as head of the Office of Military Commissions. Martins, who is currently serving in Afghanistan as the commander of the Rule of …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday convicted and sentenced six individuals, including the first female to be charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, in relation to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The six were charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity …

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by Julia Zebley

Ukrainian opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko went on trial Friday in the Pechersky District Court on abuse of power charges. Thousands of protesters surrounded the building, supporting Tymoshenko and screaming that the judge was a "puppet." Tymoshenko criticized the judiciary herself several times: "This is a real …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday ruled against the release of a former high-ranking Taliban official at Guantanamo Bay despite a request from Afghanistan's Peace Council to release the prisoner. Judge Ricardo Urbina denied a petition for writ of habeas corpus initiated …

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by Julia Zebley

Two members of the US House of Representatives introduced a bill Thursday to legalize marijuana nationally and leave regulation to the states. Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) wrote the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 to amend the Controlled Substances Act, removing marijuana, hemp and cannabis …

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by Zach Zagger

A Maryland court ruled Thursday that the spousal privilege preventing spouses from being compelled to testify against one another applies to a lesbian couple married in Washington DC, recognizing the rights of same-sex married couples though Maryland does not allow the practice. Judge Donald Beachley of the Maryland Washington County Circuit Court ruled that …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday condemned a Bahraini court for sentencing 21 human rights advocates, political activists and opposition leaders to harsh punishments. The court sentenced the protestors to lengthy prison sentences, including life terms. Ban urged Bahraini authorities to comply with international human rights obligations such as ensuring the right to …

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