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Legal news from Friday, March 28, 2014
by Ann Schober

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday voted to launch an investigation into alleged human rights violations during Sri Lanka's civil war. In a vote of 23-12, with 12 member states abstaining, the council resolved to "establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations" that took place during a decades-long conflict [UN News …

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by Amy Mathieu

Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday approved nearly identical bills that would send a $1 billion aid package to Ukraine and place new sanctions on Russia. The bill passed by a vote of 98-2 in the Senate and 399-19 in the House. Despite the overwhelming support of the bill, …

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by Amy Mathieu

The California Attorney General's Office on Thursday appealed a federal judge's decision striking down two sentencing laws. Judge Lawrence Karlton held that the laws were unconstitutional because they affected the punishment for crimes committed before the laws were enacted. Marsy's Law, otherwise known as the "Victims' Bill of Rights," was passed in 2008, mandating …

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by Stephen Adelgren

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by eight New Yorkers claiming that Chinese search engineBaidu's algorithms illegally block political speech. The plaintiffs, writers and video producers, claimed that the search engine prevents users in the US from viewing …

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by Dominic Yobbi

A Pakistani judge on Thursday sentenced a Christian man to death for blasphemy. Sanitation worker Sawan Masih, whose argument with a friend set off a riot in which an angered Muslim crowd set fire to a Christian town last March, is to be hanged after being found guilty of insulting the prophet Mohammed. Pakistan has yet to …

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by Matthew Pomy

The UN General Assembly (GA) called upon nations to ensure military drones are used in accordance with international law in a resolution passed on Friday. The resolution was presented by Switzerland and Pakistan and expressed concern over global compliance with international law in the use of armed drone strikes and the increased rates of civilian …

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by William Helbling

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution on Thursday declaring the Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine invalid. The resolution calls upon all UN states, international organizations and specialty agencies not to recognize any change in status of the Crimean region despite the referendum. The UN gained broad support for the resolution as …

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by Matthew Pomy

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that the federal government will recognize the same-sex marriages of Michigan couples. The statement is in accordance with Holder's initial statement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be extending all federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married according to state law following the decision in United …

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by Stephen Adelgren

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday upheld Texas abortion restrictions requiring physicians performing "surgical abortions" to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and certain compliance protocols relating to the administration of drugs inducing "medication abortions." Planned Parenthood challenged the provisions on several grounds, primarily alleging that they …

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by Dominic Yobbi

The Chicago office for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Wednesday ruled that football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees, and therefore have the right to unionize. In its finding, the NLRB used the "right to control" test, which considers a variety of factors in determining the level of control an employer has …

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