[JURIST] A federal judge, responding to a lawsuit from the nation's largest advocacy group for older Americans [AARP press release], has blocked the government from allowing companies to offer fewer health benefits to employees when they become eligible for Medicare. The court ruling issued Friday temporarily blocks the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [official website] from issuing a new rule that would allow companies to drop health insurance coverage when their retirees turn 65 and can receive Medicare benefits. Supporters of the rule change, including some unions, had argued that increasing costs faced by employers might stop some companies from offering retiree benefits altogether if they were forced to provide the same level of care for younger and older employees. Read an EEOC press release expressing disappointment at AARP's legal action. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] A nine-man military jury at Fort Hood, Texas, sentenced US Army Sergeant Javal Davis [Wikipedia profile] Friday to six months in military prison, reduction in rank to private and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with abuses of Irai detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST Hot Topic news archive]. The jury handed down their punishment after more than five hours of deliberation, taking into account Davis' admissions of stepping on handcuffed detainees and falling on them with his full weight. Davis also acknowledged failing to report prisoner abuse and sexual humiliation that he witnessed. The sentence is among the lightest for any soldier convicted in the Abu Ghraib scandal [CBS news backgrounder] and Davis' sentence could be reduced by another three weeks for good conduct in prison. From Texas, the Houston Chronicle has more.
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