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Legal news from Friday, January 6, 2012
by Michael Haggerson

Retired Turkish general Ilker Basbug, formerly the leader of all of Turkey's armed forces, was arrested on Friday for his alleged involvement with the Ergenekon network. The group allegedly planned to assassinate prominent members of Turkey's Christian and Jewish minority groups, blame Islamic terrorists for the deaths and use this to delegitimize the ruling …

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by Julia Zebley

The FBI (FBI) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an official update of the federal government's definition of rape to include the violation of "any person" rather than the previous definition that only covered women. The previous definition had been unchanged for 85 years. The new definition, "The penetration, no matter how slight, …

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by Julia Zebley

Internet restrictions [Law 317-3 text, in Russian] passed in February 2010 are set to go into effect in Belarus on Friday, amid international criticism. The law creates several tiers of limitations on the Internet. Anyone who owns a shared connection, or a CyberCafe, must monitor all users to insure that they do not visit a "blacklisted" site, or, in …

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by Michael Haggerson

The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act (JVCA) took effect Friday after being signed into law by US President Barack Obama last month. According to the House Judiciary Committee Report, the purpose of the law is to clarify federal jurisdiction statutes to avoid wasting judicial resources. The core of the JVCA's …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday filed a challenge to Michigan's new law prohibiting public employers from providing medical or other fringe benefits to their employees' domestic partners. Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation last month. The ACLU claims the law unlawfully discriminates …

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by Jennie Ryan

An Iowa District Court on Wednesday ordered that the Iowa Department of Public Health must include both names of married same-sex parents on children's birth certificates. Melissa and Heather Gartner sued the Iowa Department of Public Health after officials refused to include the name of their child's non-biological parent on the child's birth …

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by Jennie Ryan

A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former State Department employee demanding diplomatic immunity against charges she participated in the kidnapping and rendition of a terrorism suspect abroad. The former State Department employee, Sabrina De Sousa, brought the suit after …

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