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Legal news from Wednesday, September 4, 2013
by G. Redd

The Syrian government is currently using cluster munitions in its ongoing conflict, according to a report Wednesday by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Moniter (LCMM), an organization co-founded by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Cluster munitions are similar to landmines and have been voluntarily banned by the international community under two separate treaties, …

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by Samuel Franklin

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed suit on Tuesday against the New York City Council in an effort to overturn recently-enacted legislation relating to the New York Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk program. The legislation at issue, Local Law 71 of 2013, is a bill that expands the definition of …

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by Matthew Pomy

The UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent and the UN Special Rapporteur on racism on Tuesday called upon the US government to finalize its investigation into the case surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin. The controversial acquittal of George Zimmerman sparked the federal government investigation of the trial to evaluate the …

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by Samuel Franklin

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Tuesday issued an order allowing a Cincinnati man to be listed as "spouse" on the death certificate of his late husband. While the state constitution of Ohio prohibits same-sex marriage, state law does recognize marriages solemnized outside of the state. David Michener …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday questioned the legality of the US plan to strike Syria. Ban stated that the use of force is lawful only in two very limited circumstances: (1) when used in self-defense according to Article 51 of the UN charter or (2) when the UN Security Council (UNSC) …

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by Matthew Pomy

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Wednesday that Pakistan's anti-terrorism laws will be amended to more effectively combat the threat of terrorism. The statements come after increased violence in the city of Karachi. Sharif presided over security meetings discussing how to improve Pakistan's approach to terrorism. While he ruled out …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Mexican Senate on Tuesday approved an education reform bill that will require periodic evaluations for teachers. The law, approved by a margin of 102-22, aims to raise the quality of the nation's education. Under the new law, teachers are required to take an evaluation at least every four years. If …

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by Max Slater

Fiji's draft constitution does not adequately protect basic human rights, Amnesty International (AI) said Wednesday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) also released a statement on Wednesday calling on Fiji to revise its draft constitution to include protections for freedom of speech, assembly and association. AI Deputy Asia Pacific Director Isabelle Arradon stated …

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by Max Slater

Romanian prosecutors on Tuesday charged Communist-era prison commander Alexander Visinescu with genocide. Visinescu, the former chief of the Ramnicu Sarat prison under Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu faces genocide charges for beating and starving political prisoners between 1956 and 1963, the height of Communist repression against dissidents. Prosecutors said that Visinescu should be convicted of genocide …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of maintaining a monopoly over music files purchased through its iTunes stores. The plaintiff argued on behalf of a class that Apple thwarted competition by issuing software updates that prevent syncing functionality with …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia Shamsul Bari on Tuesday commended the adoption of a human rights roadmap by the Somali federal government. Formally endorsed by the Somali cabinet last week, the roadmap will institutionalize the protection and promotion of human rights through 2015. However, Bari urged the government to consult …

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