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Legal news from Thursday, March 1, 2018
by Erin McCarthy Holliday

A UN expert on foreign debt, finance and rights warned the Human Rights Council Wednesday that various austerity measures can lead to serious human rights consequences and should no longer be ignored. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN Independent Expert, presented the first in a series of reports aimed at highlighting the known shortcomings of …

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by Ram Eachambadi

A group of rights experts from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Wednesday demanded that the US government release Guantánamo detainee Ammar al Baluchi, a 40-year-old Pakistan national, stating that his detention the center is "arbitrary and breaches international law." According to a written opinion from the group in January, al Baluchi was arrested …

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by Ram Eachambadi

The Iowa Senate on Wednesday voted 30-20 to approve a draft of an anti-abortion bill that would ban most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat. The bill now proceeds to the Iowa House of Representatives for consideration. Specifically, the bill requires that a physician who has tested a pregnant woman for fetal heartbeat inform the woman 1) …

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by Tate Brown

A UN rights expert told the Human Rights Council that states are obligated to protect human rights defenders who assist hundreds of thousands of people who are on the move each year. The term "people on the move" refers to refugees, displaced people and asylum-seekers, as well as other groups. The expert stated that defenders of these people …

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by David Zwier

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a revised, five-count indictment filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. At the hearing, Judge Amy Berman Jackson set the trial date for September 17, 2018. The judge also reprimanded Manafort …

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by Kylee Clark

The Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday approved three bills to tighten gun control. HB1467 would criminalize selling, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing or carrying a bump stock or trigger crank that would allow non-automatic rifles to be used as automatics once attached. HB 1468 would criminalize assault weapons and creates six different criteria to identify what is …

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by Lindsay Offutt

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito asked participants in the Pennsylvania gerrymandering case on Wednesday to respond to a request that the Supreme Court block Pennsylvania's new congressional map. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state's congressional map in January, finding it partisan in favor of Republicans. Since the decision, state legislators redrew the map, but …

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by Lindsay Offutt

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case challenging a Minnesota law that bans political apparel in polling places. The Minnesota law at issue states, "A political badge, political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at or about the polling place on primary or election day." Thus, the …

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