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Legal news from Friday, November 15, 2013
by Peter Snyder

A judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied two motions Friday seeking to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. The challenge was brought by the secretaries of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Revenue and the Bucks County register of wills. Judge …

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by Peter Snyder

The Communist Party of China (CPC) will loosen the nations one-child population control policy, according to documents released following the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in Beijing earlier this week. The policy will allow families where one parent is an only child to have two children. The one-child policy [TIME …

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by Stephen Adelgren

UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez on Thursday expressed concern over the conditions in Ghana prisons. After visiting several prisons around the country, reviewing studies, and speaking with prison employees and inmates, Mendez concluded that the state of prisons in the country amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The majority of the poor …

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by Taylor Gillan

A Hawaii Circuit Court judge on Thursday upheld the state's recently enacted same-sex marriage law despite a challenge from opponents who argue the state's Constitution prohibits it. The new law, which will take effect December 2 and make Hawaii the fifteenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage, was signed by Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie …

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by Kimberly Bennett

The Spanish National Court on Thursday ordered the release of 13 members of the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) in compliance with a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling made last month. In its ruling, the ECHR determined that Ines del …

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by Kimberly Bennett

A judge for the US District Court Eastern District of Virginia on Friday sentenced Somali pirates Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar to 21 life sentences for their role in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February 2011. Fourteen of the 19 people who participated in the …

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by Cynthia Miley

The Scottish Parliament unanimously approved a bill on Thursday to hold a Scottish independence referendum. The bill outlines the referendum rules. Both independence opponents and supporters in parliament supported the bill, which will permit a 16-week campaign period and impose financial limits on campaigners to create a level playing field. The vote will …

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by Cynthia Miley

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Thursday urged the government of Libya to address serious crimes committed in the country and encouraged the international community to end the impunity gap in Libya. Bensouda welcomed gains in Libya's legal system that would eliminate rape but voiced concern for detainees in …

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by Taylor Gillan

Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday urged the UN Security Council not to defer the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta despite mounting political pressure. A draft resolution seeking the deferral was circulated earlier this month by Rwanda, a Security Council member, and will be put to a vote on Friday. …

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