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Legal news from Wednesday, September 11, 2013
by G. Redd

A judge for the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Tuesday that victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme can only recover the principal amount invested without accounting for inflation over the past five years. Under the Securities Investors Protection ACT (SIPA), defrauded investors are …

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by Samuel Franklin

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed criminal charges on Tuesday against XTO Energy, an Exxon Mobil subsidiary based in Fort Worth, Texas, related to a spill of more than 50,000 gallons of chemical-laced wastewater in 2010. Having already been fined $100,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Syrian government and opposition forces are responsible for mass killings of civilians and other war crimes in violation of international law, according to a Wednesday report by UN rights investigators. The 42-page report was based on 258 interviews with refugees, conducted via Skype between May 15 and July 15. The interviews were done remotely because …

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by Sung Un Kim

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Wednesday rejected a new request for the extradition of Haroon Aswat, a former aide to Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, from the UK to the US. The Grand Chamber of the ECHR reasoned that the extradition of the suspect, who has …

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by Matthew Pomy

Documents declassified on Tuesday reveal that, between 2006 and 2009, the National Security Agency (NSA) violated court rules with most of its queries of a phone database. These documents were declassified as a result of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). …

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by Max Slater

Venezuela's government officially withdrew from an international human rights court on Tuesday, fulfilling a plan by former president Hugo Chavez. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted that the country would withdraw from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) because the IACHR had allegedly become an instrument …

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by Max Slater

A member of Quebec's separatist Parti Quebecois (PQ) is proposing a bill that would ban government workers from wearing religious clothing on their heads, including turbans, hijabs and kippas. Bernard Drainville, the minister who proposed the bill, which is known as the values charter, said that the bill's purpose is to …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly filed an answer on Tuesday admitting that the New York Police Department (NYPD) spied in mosques and on a Muslim preacher but requesting that the court dismiss the complaint. The lawsuit was filed in June by plaintiffs represented by the …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Google of violating a federal wiretap law while collecting data for its Street View program. The case arose after Google acknowledged that its Street View vehicles had been collecting and storing data over unencrypted …

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