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Legal news from Wednesday, August 22, 2012
by Dan Taglioli

German prosecutors announced Wednesday that they are contemplating charges against an 87-year-old man suspected of having been a Nazi prison guard. The German special prosecutors' office that pursues Nazi-era crimes is recommending that charges be filed against the man alleged to have served as an SS guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World …

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by Max Slater

An Iraqi man pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky Tuesday on charges of conspiring to aid terrorists. Mohaned Shareef Hammadi pleaded guilty to 10 charges including sending money, weapons and explosives to al Qaeda in Iraq. Hammadi also pleaded guilty to two counts of lying …

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by Dan Taglioli

The World Trade Organization (WTO) admitted the Russian Federation as its 156th member on Wednesday, bringing to a close accession negotiations that began in June 1993. The lower house of the Russian parliament ratified the WTO accession package protocol in July, clearing the way for Russia's membership in the global trading …

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by Max Slater

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona heard arguments on Tuesday concerning whether to enjoin a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples James Anaya on Wednesday called on US officials to consult with Native Americans in North Dakota about the scheduled sale of land in the Black Hills region of the state. Anaya noted that local Dakota, Lakota and Nakota peoples expressed concern about the sale …

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by Max Slater

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday upheld a set of regulations issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) that provide legal protection to oil companies if the companies incidentally harm small numbers of walruses or polar bears. The Ninth Circuit held that oil companies …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A Guatemalan court on Wednesday sentenced a former police chief to 70 years for the kidnapping of a college student during the country's 36-year Civil War. Pedro Garcia was convicted of carrying out the kidnapping of engineering student Edgar Saenz, who disappeared in 1981. Garcia will also face additional charges of murder associated with a …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Police in Bangladesh arrested a top member of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Wednesday after a war crimes court ordered his arrest hours earlier. The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) issued a warrant for the arrest of ATM Azharul Islam and ordered police to bring him before the court within 24 hours. Islam faces charges …

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by Max Slater

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday lifted an injunction that blocked a Texas law forbidding any clinic affiliated with abortion providers from receiving public funds. The state of Texas vowed to cut funding for Planned Parenthood after the Fifth Circuit reversed a temporary injunction that …

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by Dan Taglioli

The Court of Appeal of Singapore ruled Tuesday that a man charged with gross indecency under a provision of the penal code criminalizing sexual acts between men can proceed with a constitutional challenge against the law in court. Known as Section 377A, the law traces its origins to British colonial rule and carries …

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by Dan Taglioli

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled Tuesday that a poker game operator could not be tried under a federal gambling law essentially because poker is more a game of skill than a game of chance. Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in a 120-page judgment that the Illegal …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled Tuesday that crimes committed against Mexican civilians by members of the military should be tried in civilian courts rather than military tribunals. Military tribunals have been criticized in the past for failing to try and convict military personnel for alleged crimes and abuses. In its decision the Supreme Court …

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by Max Slater

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Tuesday that it will establish a civil rights unit in Alabama in the wake of the state's contentious immigration law raising concerns about compliance with federal law. In the speech, Assistant US Attorney General Thomas Perez argued that Alabama's immigration law threatened the …

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by Max Slater

The state of Alaska filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) unconstionally infringes on Alaska's state sovereignty. In the lawsuit, Alaska argued that Section 5 of the VRA, known as the preclearance requirement, is unconstitutional because …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Chinese psychiatric facilities are detaining hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens against their will each year, and many detainees face abuse and human rights violations in the facilities, a human rights group said in a report released on Wednesday. The report by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) alleges that Chinese psychiatric facilities …

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