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Legal news from Thursday, November 10, 2011
by Alexandra Malatesta

Former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader pleaded not guilty on Thursday to taking bribes worth €10 million from Hungarian energy group MOL in exchange for allowing MOL a dominant position in Croatia's oil and gas group INA. Hernadi and MOL have also denied the allegations that Sanader capitalized on the country's difficult …

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by Alexandra Malatesta

The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), marking the first time a Congressional group has voted to repeal the law banning same-sex marriage. The vote was split along party lines, with 10 Democrats voting in favor of the legislation and eight Republicans voting in opposition. …

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by Dan Taglioli

A Brazilian federal court ruled Wednesday that work on a dam being constructed on the Xingu River in the Amazon jungle may continue. The Federal Court of the First Region had ordered that dam construction cease until indigenous groups are consulted and given access to environmental impact reports, but the …

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by Katherine Getty

The Supreme Court of Israel on Thursday upheld the rape conviction of former Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The court rejected Katsav's appeal of his conviction for rape, sexual abuse and sexual harassment, finding that he misused his position as president, from which he was forced to resign after the allegations were …

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by Matthew Pomy

Mexican security forces have committed widespread rights abuses, such as torture and forced disappearances, in combating organized crime, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The report, "Neither Rights Nor Security," details HRW's investigation into the actions of the Mexican military and police forces in confronting drug cartels and …

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by Dan Taglioli

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Wednesday denied a petition for rehearing regarding its unanimous decision to vacate a district court ruling that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (DADT) [10 USC § 654; JURIST backgrounder] was a violation of service members' constitutional rights. The court had overturned the lower court's ruling …

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by Michael Haggerson

The Australian Senate on Thursday passed the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 which requires that cigarettes be sold in generic olive green packages, without brands or logos. The packages will also have warnings of the potential health risks of smoking. Australia is the first country in the world to pass a law …

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by Michael Haggerson

Alleged al Qaeda senior leader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri made his first court appearance Wednesday, his first public appearance since he was captured in Dubai in 2002. Nashiri is charged with war crimes under the Military Commission Act of 2009 relating to the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 …

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by John Paul Putney

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases on preemption. In National Meat Association v. Harris, the court considered where the federal regime of slaughterhouse regulation as established by the Federal Meat Inspection Act ("FMIA"), as amended by the Wholesome Meat Act of 1967 and the …

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by John Paul Putney

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Wednesday for universal accession to the Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices (Protocol II). The comments came as part of the secretary's message to the 13th Annual Conference on Protocol II. Congratulating the 97 States already party to Protocol …

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