Legal news from Wednesday, January 26, 2005
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA; industry website] launched a second round of lawsuits on Wednesday against online movie downloaders. The latest lawsuits follow up a round of November actions and will target individuals as well as websites dedicated to movie swapping. As a result of the litigation, [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] In an effort to weed out insurgents and increase voter safety, Iraqi security officials have said they will use decoy polling stations during Sunday's national election. Iraqi Army Major Hamid Al Jubarah said, "We will have decoy voter centres, so those who want to bomb won’t know which ones [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Russian authorities said Wednesday that they will pursue a bribery case against Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website, Ukrainian Government profile], new Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko's pick for prime minister. Tymoshenko faces allegations that she tried to inflate the price of supply contracts with the Russian military when she headed Ukraine's [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] UN Children's Fund [official website] officials have confirmed 40 cases of children being abducted or recruited as soldiers [UNICEF fact sheet, PDF] by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebel group [factional website] since December's tsunami disaster [JURIST Hot Topic]. According to UNICEF spokesman Martin Dawes, "We have had 40 verified [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] BBC News is reporting that British police have released all four British detainees recently freed from Guantanamo Bay without charge. The four men were released from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] to British officials on Tuesday and London Metropolitan Police Commissioner said yesterday [JURIST report] that no prosecutions will proceed [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [Oyez project biography] has topped a roster of potential nominees to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist [Oyez biography] should he retire, according to the results of a Zogby poll released Wednesday. O'Connor garnered support from 18% of those polled, while more conservative Justices [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] US House Committee on the Judiciary [official website] chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. [official website] introduced legislation Wednesday that contains provisions restricting terrorist travel that were dropped from the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 [PDF text], which was enacted in December [JURIST report]. According to Sensenbrenner, the [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese Supreme Court [official website] ruled Wednesday that the government can block foreigners from being promoted in public service jobs without violating the country's constitution [text]. South Korean citizen Chong Hyang-gyun sued the Japanese government for the right to taken an exam for a promotion to a managerial [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Steven Hopper, lawyer for soon-to-be-released Australian Gitmo detainee Mamdouh Habib [background from Prisoners without Trials], has said that Habib has been subject to atrocities fit for a "vulgar concentration camp" while detained at Guantanamo Bay. Hopper said that interrogators told Habib they had killed his family and that prostitutes [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the agreement by Lenovo [corporate website], China's largest computer supplier, to takeover [Lenovo press release] IBM's [corporate website] PC division for $1.75 billion is in jeopardy of falling apart as congressional Republicans warned that the sale could threaten US security interests. Three [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli security officials said Wednesday that Israel would suspend its targeted killings [BBC News backgrounder] of Palestinian militants as part of its preparations for a cease-fire and a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Israel will not act on its current target list of militants, but security [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] British Foreign Minister Jack Straw [official profile] Wednesday unveiled the question voters will be asked in an upcoming referendum on the EU Constitution [official website]: Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union?" Presenting the referendum text to Parliament, Straw said: The choice [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit [official website] has reinstated part of an obesity lawsuit against McDonald's [corporate website], ruling that two New York children should be allowed to pursue their deceptive advertising claims. US District Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the class-action lawsuit in 2003 [opinion, [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lawsuits brought by three same-sex couples married in Massachusetts and Canada seeking to have their marriages recognized in Florida have been dropped because the plaintiffs do not want to risk having the US Supreme Court set precedent by rejecting their case. Two of the three suits, which challenge the [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the US Senate has confirmed Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State by a vote of 85-13. Rice will be sworn in at the White House Wednesday night with a more elaborate swearing-in ceremony by President Bush at the State Department to follow on Friday.3:03 PM [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Senate Judiciary Committee has just voted 10-8 to approve President Bush's nomination of Alberto Gonzales as US Attorney General. The nomination now goes to the full Senate. AP has a background story on this morning's committee meeting here. 11:25 AM ET - In a statement this morning, ranking [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner [official profile] told the European Parliament [official website] Tuesday that despite overtures from newly sworn-in Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, the European Union [official website] would not be granting an association accord to the Ukraine, a step that is seen as a pre-acceptance of [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Citing "constitutional errors", the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals [court website] Tuesday overturned the controversial conviction and death sentence of British national Kenny Richey [prisoner advocacy website] of Edinburgh. Richey will be released from death row in 90 days unless prosecutors decide to retry the case. Richey moved [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The president of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq said Wednesday that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had the right to vote in the upcoming national elections, but would not be able to do so due to logistical problems. Abdel Hussein al-Hindawi said that according to the rules governing [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's international brief, London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens [official profile] says that no prosecutions will proceed against the four Britons released from Guantanamo Bay [JURSIT HotTopic] based on material gathered by UK MI5 investigators who made trips to the detention facility. The four men were released [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Working conditions in the American meatpacking industry are so bad that they violate basic human and workers rights, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]. The report, Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers' Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants [text; HRW press release], concludes that [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] announced Wednesday that foreign terror suspects currently being detained in British prisons will be set free and will either be deported or will be subject to "control orders." At one end of the spectrum, the new control orders could require terror suspects [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] Chile's Supreme Court [official website] ruled Tuesday that judges investigating charges of murder, torture and kidnappings under former dictator Augusto Pinochet's rule should file charges within six months or close their investigations. 365 human rights cases stemming from Pinochet's regime have been working their way through Chile's court system [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Wednesday, Jan. 26.On Capitol Hill, the US Senate [official website] will open its daily session at 9:30 AM ET. The Senate is expected to confirm Condoleezza Rice [VOA News report] as secretary of state [read more]

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