Legal news from Thursday, September 23, 2004
21:09 EDT

In Thursday's environmental law news, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation today creating the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. It is California's largest at 25 million acres, and runs from the Oregon border to Kern County. The press release is here. He also signed legislation prohibiting cruise ships from incinerating trash or [read more]

20:09 EDT

As expected after a favorable conference committee report noted previously in JURIST's Paper Chase, the US House of Representatives late Thursday passed the All-American Tax Relief of 2003 (HR 1308), a $145.9 million package that would extend three middle-class tax cuts. The roll call was 339-65 (official House results and [read more]

17:09 EDT

As anticipated earlier on JURIST's Paper Chase, a federal grand jury Thursday returned a 15-count indictment against Peter N. Ellef, co-chief of staff to former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland. The charges include conspiracy, extortion and money laundering, among others. Contractor William Tomasso and Ellef's son were also charged in [read more]

15:09 EDT

The Bangladesh government announced Thursday that it plans to reform its divorce laws to give women the right to start divorce proceedings. The reforms are seen as contrary to the law of Islam and are expected to find heavy opposition in parliament and from Islamic groups. Under current Islamic shariah [read more]

15:09 EDT

In Thursday's corporations and securities law news, General Electric has settled with the SEC over its failure to disclose former CEO Jack Welch's large retirement package. The SEC gave GE a cease-and-desist order but imposed no other sanctions. Read the SEC press release announcing the settlement here. Read the GE [read more]

14:09 EDT

The US House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday afternoon that would prevent the lower federal courts or even the Supreme Court from ruling on the thorny issue of whether the words "under God" should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge Protection Act (HR 2028) reads in part:No [read more]

13:09 EDT

A German man has been arrested for allegedly organizing the transfer of nuclear weapons-related supplies to another country, a German prosecutor said Thursday. The man, who was identified only as Helmut R., was arrested Tuesday in the southwest of the country and has since been released on bail. Authorities accused [read more]

13:09 EDT

In an address Thursday to a special joint session of Congress in Washington, Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said that Iraqis wanted to "enjoy the fruits of liberty", and that although he could not promise that planned January elections in his country would come off perfectly, he was confident [read more]

13:09 EDT

Sanjay Kumar, former Computer Associates International Inc. chief executive, pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice today. The charges stem from a two-year investigation into accounting fraud at the company. As reported yesterday on JURIST's Paper Chase, Kumar's indictment was unsealed on Wednesday after Computer [read more]

12:09 EDT

A grand jury investigating former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland's administration for the past two years was recalled Thursday, with prosecutors in the case saying a major announcement would be made later in the day. Prosecutors had already told former Rowland co-Chief of Staff Peter N. Ellef, Ellef's son, Peter [read more]

11:09 EDT

AP is reporting that the Florida Supreme Court has struck down a law that blocked Terri Schiavo's husband from removing her feeding tube, keeping the brain-damaged woman alive artificially. UPDATE: In striking down Terri's Law [PDF], the Florida Supreme Court wrote: This Court, after careful consideration of the arguments of [read more]

10:09 EDT

The brother of British hostage Kenneth Bigley has accused the US of sabotaging his brother's release by refusing to release a detained scientist as demanded by the Iraqi kidnappers. The Tawhid and Jihad Group (BBC profile) have threatened to kill Bigley unless the US and UK release all Muslim women [read more]

10:09 EDT

Burundi and Liberia have become the 95th and 96th countries to ratify the International Criminal Court treaty (the Rome Statute). The two countries deposited their ratifications during a week-long event focusing on UN treaties in New York. Burundi depositied its ratification on Tuesday and Liberia did the same yesterday. The [read more]

10:09 EDT

Salem Chalabi, former head of the Iraqi Special Tribunal set up to try Saddam Hussein, accused the Iraqi interim government Thursday of trying to manipulate the tribunal for political ends. Chalabi said that despite last week's announcement (reported on JURIST's Paper Chase) that Saddam's trial would begin in October, the [read more]

09:09 EDT

The US Senate has approved President Bush's nomination of Representative Porter Goss as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Senate confirmation, by a 77-17 vote, came after six hours of debate where Democrats questioned whether Goss would be politically objective in a job that requires independence. Goss is [read more]

09:09 EDT

A House-Senate conference committee has approved a $145 billion tax cut package, which includes a five-year extension of the $1,000 child tax credit, a four-year extension of tax breaks meant to reduce the marriage penalty on two-income families, and a six-year extension of a provision that allows more people to [read more]

08:09 EDT

The New York Times includes articles on the June Supreme Court decision that made possible the release of Yaser E. Hamdi, an American citizen captured in Afghanistan and held incommunicado for over two years as an enemy combatant, lawyers for tobacco companies beginning their defense against government racketeering charges, a [read more]

07:09 EDT

Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Thursday, September 23rd.The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at 9 AM ET on whether to keep a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage on November's general election ballot. The Arkansas News Bureau [read more]

05:09 EDT

In Thursday's US law and business press, the Washington Business Journal reports that mortgage lender Fannie Mae has named former Senator Warren Rudman independent counsel to the committee it has named to work with accounting method regulators.... Los Angeles Business reports that the Motion Picture Association of America has sued [read more]

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