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Legal news from Tuesday, July 30, 2013
by Benjamin Minegar

Military Judge Denise Lind on Tuesday found Army Pfc. Bradley Manning guilty of violations of the Espionage Act [18 USC § 794 et seq., text] for his disclosure of classified information to anti-secrecy organization, Wikileaks. The judge, however, acquitted Manning of the more serious charge of "aiding the enemy." In 2010 Manning leaked …

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by Endia Vereen

Irish President Michael Higgins on Tuesday signed the country's first abortion bill into law, legalizing the practice in exceptional cases where doctors deem a woman's life at risk. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill allows women to pursue an abortion to alleviate life-threatening conditions, including a women's own threat to commit suicide if refused …

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by Theresa Donovan

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on Monday signed a restrictive abortion bill into law. The new law requires abortion clinics to meet requirements similar to those for outpatient surgical centers. It also requires doctors to be present during abortions, bans the procedure based on gender and bars coverage by government provided insurance plans. The North Carolina Senate …

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by Endia Vereen

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled Monday that the same-sex spouse—and not the parents—of a deceased city lawyer should receive the proceeds of her firm's profit-sharing plan. Sarah Ellyn Farley and Jennifer Tobits were married in 2006 and soon thereafter Farley was diagnosed with cancer. After her …

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by Theresa Donovan

A Saudi Arabia court on Tuesday sentenced the editor of a liberal website to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. Raif Badawi was found guilty by a Saudi court of "founding an Internet forum that violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought." Badawi was originally charged with insulting Islam for co-founding …

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by G. Redd

The Chair of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria addressed the General Assembly on Monday, imploring member states to bring about peace talks in the violence-plagued country. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro described "crimes that shock the conscience" as ongoing and pervasive, including "indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment; disappearances; torture; sexual violence; and …

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by G. Redd

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced Monday that it will hear a case against Poland for allegedly acquiescing to the torture of extradited prisoners by CIA agents. This case, brought by Abu Zubaydah, is the second case in which a detainee has brought charges against a third party country. The first was brought by Abd …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples James Anaya encouraged the Panamanian government on Monday to strengthen the rights of its indigenous people and ensure they are allowed to preserve their land and autonomy. Anaya's call comes in response to allegations by indigenous peoples regarding the …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

The National Assembly of Bahrain on Sunday approved laws increasing penalties for those who commit or incite terrorism. The new laws also ban any demonstrations in the nation's capital, Manama. The laws were passed ahead of massive protests planned by the anti-government opposition bloc next month. Bahrain's National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) [advocacy website, …

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