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Legal news from Tuesday, July 26, 2011
by Chris Morris

The North Carolina House of Representatives voted Tuesday to override a veto by Governor Beverly Perdue on legislation that would require a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion. With a 72-47 vote [News-Record report], the measure, known as the "Women's Right to Know Act," will now go to the …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday announced his intentions to propose a constitutional amendment that would provide a single, extended tenure for the president of Nigeria and its 36 governors. The president and governors are currently limited to serving two four-year terms and are permitted to run for re-election between terms. Jonathan …

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by Zach Zagger

Two French rights groups have filed a complaint with the Prosecutors Office of Paris against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in order to determine whether he or members of his entourage have assets in France. Transparency International France and SHERPA said they filed the complaint in order to freeze all of …

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by Chris Morris

The UN Security Council's Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict expressed concern Monday about children's rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR). Citing abuses like rape and other sexual violence as well as recruitment in armed conflict, the council condemned armed rebel groups in the country: the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [Global Security profile; …

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by Zach Zagger

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Myanmar to release political prisoners in a meeting Monday with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a Myanmar government minister, according to a statement by Ban's spokesman. Ban was satisfied with positive developments made in the meeting with Suu Kyi and the Minister for Social Welfare U …

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by Chris Morris

American Atheists (AA), a group that supports the separation of church and state, filed a lawsuit Monday against the display of a cross at the World Trade Center (WTC) memorial. The cross, two intersecting beams found in the wreckage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was moved [9/11 Memorial report] to the 9/11 Memorial Museum [official …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Ethiopian government Monday to stop using a "restrictive and vague" counterterrorism law to repress free speech. The Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009 provides for penalties of 10 to 20 years in prison for publishing statements "likely to be understood as encouraging terrorist acts." In July, an …

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by Chris Morris

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [personal website; JURIST news archive, convicted last month of fraud, bribery, and extortion, filed a motion Monday for a retrial. Last month, Blagojevich was convicted by a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on 17 of counts including attempting to sell the Senate seat. …

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by Zach Zagger

Four former Guatemalan soldiers plead not guilty to war crimes charges Tuesday as the first war crimes trial over the 1982 Dos Erres massacre began. Carlos Antonio Carias, Manuel Pop, Reyes Collin and Daniel Martinez are accused of being members of a military force that allegedly killed more than 250 people in the town of Dos Erres …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Monday ruled 8-6 that law enforcement officers are permitted to obtain DNA samples from arrestees. Law enforcement officers sought a DNA sample from defendant Ruben Mitchell after he was indicted for attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine pursuant to 42 USC § 14135a(a)(1)(A), …

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by Zach Zagger

The Maltese parliament passed new legislation Monday legalizing divorce in a historic move for the predominantly Roman Catholic country. The Malta House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill with 52 votes in favor, 11 against with five abstentions, in a country where most laws are passed by one vote. The bill …

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