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Legal news from Thursday, December 8, 2011
by Michael Haggerson

The UK Home Office Government Equalities Office on Thursday announced the UK's first ever government action plan promoting transgender equality. The plan stated that there was a 14 percent rise in transgender-related hate crime between 2009 and 2010 and that only two EU member states explicitly address transgender hate crimes in their hate …

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by Michael Haggerson

Malawian Justice Minister Ephraim Chiume said Thursday that President Bingu wa Mutharika has ordered the Malawi Law Commission to review several controversial laws, including a law banning homosexual acts. Chiume stated that the review was in response to public criticism. Commentators suggest that the purpose of the review of the ban on homosexual acts …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases. In Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., the court heard arguments on the ability to patent under 35 USC § 101 the body's biological reaction to different dosages of a certain type of drug. Prometheus Labs [corporate …

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by Matthew Pomy

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) on Wednesday asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court to overturn a recent federal appeals court decision that upheld gene patents. The June decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit partially overturned a district …

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by Dan Taglioli

The representative to Colombia for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Thursday reiterated his call for a peaceful solution to the country's ongoing armed conflict. Christian Salazar made his remarks at a press conference following an announcement by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) stating plans to move forward …

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by Katherine Getty

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated a secret prison outside the capital of Romania, the Associated Press (AP) alleged on Thursday. A joint investigation between the AP and a German public television company, ARD Panorama, reportedly uncovered the black site, whose existence has been rumored but never confirmed. …

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by Dan Taglioli

Top officials of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) told the UN Security Council Wednesday that international cooperation in tracking and arresting fugitives is vital to completion of the tribunals' mandates. This year saw the arrests …

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by Alexandra Malatesta

Human Rights Watch called Thursday for the government of Yemen to increase the minimum age for girls to enter into marriage. In a 54-page report titled "How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?" HRW claims that the current laws effectively make Yemeni girls and women second class citizens, …

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by Alexandra Malatesta

Thai-born American citizen Joe Gordon (Thai name Lerpong Wichaikhammat) was sentenced Thursday to two-and-a-half years in a Thai prison after pleading guilty to violating Section 112 of the Thai Penal Code by defaming the royal family by translating excerpts of a locally banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and posting them online. Gordon was arrested …

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by John Paul Putney

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday that the US will use foreign assistance, international diplomacy and political asylum to promote gay rights. The secretary's remarks before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva were in tandem with an executive memo from US President Barack Obama directing federal agencies to …

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by Jerry Votava

Saadi Gaddafi, son of deceased former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was implicated Wednesday in a plot to flee to Mexico by the Secretary of the Interior. The announcement described the disruption by Mexican intelligence officials of an international criminal gang that had created false documents, purchased …

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