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Legal news from Tuesday, February 21, 2012
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases Tuesday. In Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc. the court heard arguments on whether Section 8(b) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits a real estate settlement services provider from only charging an unearned fee when the fee …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Tuesday in Kawashima v. Holder that, under the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 USC § 1101 et seq.], the making of false tax returns is a crime involving fraud or deceit, which can result in deportation, when the government suffers a loss of more than $10,000. …

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by Sung Un Kim

Pakistan authorities pledged Tuesday to arrest former president Pervez Musharraf for his alleged involvement in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the "government is moving for his red notice" which is an Interpol international …

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by Max Slater

A panel of experts representing the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday denounced the arrest of 16 people by Syrian forces last Thursday, calling for their release. On Thursday afternoon, Syrian forces raided the offices of a human rights organization in Syria, arrested 16 people there, …

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by Brandon Gatto

The Tribunale Ordinario di Roma on Monday ordered nine alleged Somali pirates to be tried in Italy's first international piracy trial on charges of attacking the Montecristo, an Italian cargo vessel, off the coast of Somalia last year. Currently being held in Italy, five of the suspected pirates will be judged in …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Tuesday in Howes v. Fields that a US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit categorical rule that all private questioning of prisoners about outside events is per se custodial, requiring Miranda warnings to be given, is not clearly established by Supreme Court precedent. The court also …

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by Max Slater

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Nebraska on Monday struck down a provision in Fremont, Nebraska law that denies housing permits to illegal immigrants, saying the ordinance violates federal law. In the ruling, Judge Laurie Smith Camp also upheld part of the Fremont law that requires employers to verify the …

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by Sung Un Kim

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday criticized Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (FTG) and African Union forces (AMISOM) for failing to stop the unlawful recruitment of children as soldiers, forced marriage and rape. HRW released a report, "No Place for Children: Child Recruitment, Forced Marriage, and Attacks on Schools in …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The chief prosecutor in the case against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in his closing remarks on Monday again asked the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat, to give the death penalty to Mubarak, former interior minister Habib El Adly and four of his aides accused of ordering the killing of anti-government protesters …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Tuesday in Fisher v. University of Texas [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine whether the court's decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, permit the University of Texas at Austin's (UT) use of race in …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The Syrian Arab News Agency on Monday published the country's new draft constitution, nearly one week before Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has scheduled a referendum on the constitution. The draft constitution omits a clause in the old document that upheld the Ba'ath Party as the ruling party in the country, an …

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by Julia Zebley

A court in Bahrain's capital, Manama, on Monday dropped the last charges against former member of parliament and Al-Wefaq leader Matar Matar. Two previous charges were dropped against Matar in August: "calling for regime change" and "spreading rumors linked to pro-democracy protests." The final charge, "undermining public security by assembling with a group …

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by Julia Zebley

The Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbios in Lago Agrio, Ecuador denied an arbitration decision by The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Friday, forwarding an appeal by Chevron to the Supreme Court of Ecuador. The decision intended to temporarily enjoin the recently upheld $18 billion fine …

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