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Legal news from Wednesday, May 30, 2012
by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a summary judgment in favor of Philip Morris, Inc., finding that the plaintiffs were barred from recovery due to a settlement in a state lawsuit from 1998. The plaintiffs sued Philip Morris in 2001 for using false and misleading labeling on their Marlboro "light" cigarettes alleging …

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by Sung Un Kim

Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, expressed her concern Tuesday over the murder of Somali journalist Ahmed Addow Anshur, who was killed last week. Anshur was shot in Mogadishu, Somalia, but the perpetrator is still unidentified and at large. According to the National …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) on Wednesday filed a petition seeking to eliminate a proposed ballot initiative that would amend the Minnesota Constitution to require citizens to present photo identification in order to vote. If allowed to proceed, the initiative will appear on the ballot in the upcoming November election. …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A Pakistani doctor who helped the US government find Osama Bin Laden was convicted last week for his association to a militant group in Pakistan, not for his ties to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as was originally reported. A court document released to the press indicates that Dr. Shakeel Afridi …

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by Sung Un Kim

Twenty-five gay and lesbian couples filed two lawsuits on Wednesday against Illinois Governor Pat Quinn challenging the constitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage ban. The lawsuits are supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLUI) and gay rights group Lambda Legal. Currently, Illinois law only allows marriage between a …

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by Sung Un Kim

Iraq's human rights situation remains fragile, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) reported Wednesday. Iraq is currently transitioning from a decade-long dictatorship and its underlying armed conflict and violence to a peaceful democratic system. UNAMI recognized some improvements towards such a system, but it discovered that there are still areas which seriously …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for stricter regulations on abortions and Caesarean births in Turkey, a Turkish television network reported Tuesday. Among his desired reforms are restricting the reasons a woman may seek an abortion, limiting the time period in which a woman may obtain a "medically necessary" abortion, and …

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by Sung Un Kim

The UN Human Rights Council announced Wednesday that they will hold a special session this Friday to discuss the situation in Syria in light of last week's massacre in Houla. The announcement came after a written request for the session was submitted earlier in the day by ambassadors …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The two sons of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak are being charged with stock market fraud, the public prosecutor's office said Wednesday. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, are accused of using unfair trading practices and illegally manipulating the market. The two men, who were already incarcerated pending another …

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by Sung Un Kim

A Bangkok criminal court on Wednesday sentenced Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of independent Internet news site Prachatai, to an eight-month suspended sentence for failing to delete defamatory comments against Thailand's royal family. She was initially sentenced to one year in prison, but the court reduced and suspended the sentence. In addition to the sentence, she was required to …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday signed a bill authorizing the creation of an independent human rights commission in Pakistan. The new committee will be authorized to investigate human rights violations in the country and make recommendations to the government. The bill does not authorize the commission to investigate military or intelligence officials. Earlier …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Wednesday sentenced former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for war crimes committed during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. The sentence came after Trial Chamber II convicted Taylor of planning as …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday ruled that the pre-trial chamber did not err in ruling that there is not enough evidence to try Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana. Mbarushimana was allegedly tied to the murder, rape and torture of Congolese villagers by Hutu militia in …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday in RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank that debtors are not entitled to a "cramdown" plan including the sale of collateral that avoids a bank's lien. However, the court ruled that the bank is also not entitled to credit-bid at the sale. The former was …

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