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Legal news from Friday, September 23, 2011
by Michael Haggerson

US President Barack Obama announced changes to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on Friday, allowing states to opt-out of the program. The new program gives states flexibility in how they design their curriculum, provides schools relief from the "failing" designation and provides increased …

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by Sarah Posner

Amnesty International (AI) called on Haitian authorities Thursday to prosecute former president Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity that occurred under his leadership between 1971 and 1986. The pressure on Haiti comes after AI released a report detailing human rights abuses that occurred under Duvalier's government. When Duvalier returned to Haiti …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Court of Federal Claims on Thursday heard arguments regarding a class action lawsuit challenging a government policy that halves severance pay of service members who have been honorably discharged for being gay. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit in November 2010 on behalf of all …

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by Sarah Posner

The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday urged the Syrian government to end their violent crackdown on protesters and permit an independent investigation into the current situation in the country. Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the OHCHR, said "We are extremely alarmed by ongoing reports of the increasingly brutal crackdown …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Private Andrew Holmes, 21, pleaded guilty on Thursday to murdering a teenage Afghan civilian that he knew was unarmed. Holmes is the second soldier to plead guilty of five who have been charged with murder as part of a plot contrived with fellow soldiers to kill Afghan civilians which took place between January and May of last …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) approved a report on Thursday detailing concerns with the controversial Secure Communities Program, a federal enforcement program that partners local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities. A subcommittee of HSAC was formed in June by the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Uganda Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel Thomas Kwoyelo is entitled to amnesty under the country's Amnesty Act of 2000. Kwoyelo was charged in July by the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda on 53 counts of willful …

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by John Paul Putney

An EU judge on Thursday placed senior Kosovo politician and parliamentarian Fatmir Limaj under house arrest for one month while awaiting trial on charges of war crimes stemming from the 1998-99 Kosovo war with Serbia, acting on a request by prosecutors for the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). Limaj …

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by John Paul Putney

A French court in Meaux on Thursday fined two Muslim women for violating the controversial French law that bans wearing full-face veils in public, including the Islamic burqa and niqab. Although more than 90 women have been cited by police, the fines are the first time …

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