Legal news from Monday, February 14, 2005
21:02 EDT

[JURIST] As he promised in December [JURIST report], President Bush announced Monday that he has re-nominated for federal judgeships some 20 candidates [complete list] whose initial nominations failed, and who generally were derided by Democrats as too right-wing on a wide range of issues. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking Democrat [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] In the first trip by a Serbian leader through the province since the end of civil war in 1999, President Boris Tadic [official website in Serbian] has forcefully asserted his country's claim to Kosovo, which has been run by the UN [UNMIK website] for the past five years after [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Incoming US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] has added to his DOJ [official website] staff three of his former aides from the White House Counsel's office. When he took over earlier this month as Attorney General, Gonzales brought with him Theodore Ullyot, Raul Yanes, and Kyle Sampson, all [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, a US citizen has settled a claim against Australian home products manufacturer James Hardie Industries [corporate website] for asbestos-related injuries. The confidential settlement is believed to be the first payout from the Australia-founded company (now incorporated in the Netherlands) outside of Australia and New [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] UK High Court Justice Ronnie Weatherup has dismissed an application by Irish republican party Sinn Fein [official website] for a judicial review of the British government's decision to withdraw taxpayer funding of a development grant worth about £100,000 annually after a report released by the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish prosecutors are seeking 74,000-year prison terms for each of the three suspects accused of using Spain as a staging ground for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The prison terms correspond to all the charges, including 2,973 murders for those who died in the September [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Judge William D. Quarles Jr. has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Baltimore Sun challenging on First Amendment grounds an order from Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. [official website] which barred thousands of state employees from contact with two Sun journalists. Judge Quarles dismissed the [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The California Republican Party [official website] has changed a party rule which allows the party to endorse Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] 16 months before the 2006 gubernatorial primary. Schwarzenegger, who still has not decided whether he will seek re-election, can now have the party pay for early expenses [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Barbara Jones Monday suspended the fraud trial of former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers until Wednesday without explanation. The postponement comes just before the defense's cross-examination of the government's star witness, Scott Sullivan, the former finance chief at WorldCom. Sullivan implicated Ebbers [JURIST report] in the company's [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] DNA tests announced in a Sri Lanka court Monday confirmed that "Baby 81," [Wikipedia entry] a baby boy rescued from debris in the wake of the tsunami, does in fact belong to the couple who had launched a legal battle for his custody. The finding ended weeks of drama [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Eleven al Qaeda suspects began their trial in Yemen on Monday, charged with trying to support insurgents battling against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The defendants were also charged with planning attacks in Yemen. The defendants admitted to forging passports, but denied all other charges. If convicted, they [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Monday urged Congress to re-authorize the USA Patriot Act, the widely-criticized legislation passed in the wake of September 11. "We must not allow the passage of time or the illusion of safety to weaken our resolve in this new war," said Bush while attending the formal [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Apple Computer and Sony will appear in a French court over claims that their respective music download sites, iTunes and Connect, are deceptive and force customers to buy other products which are tied together. The French consumer group Union Federale des Consommateurs--Que Choisir [official site in French] has initiated [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra has told the Jerusalem Post that he is in favor of placing certain radicals opposed to Prime Minister Sharon's plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip in administrative detention, i.e hold them without trial [JP report]. Israel has so far only used [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm [official site] backed off her earlier support for displaying the Ten Commandments in the state Capitol, and said on Monday that she now believes such a display would be unconstitutional. On Friday, the governor had said she did not object to such a display. "I [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, insurance giant American International Group (AIG) [corporate website] announced it has received subpoenas from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [official website] and the SEC [official website] "relating to investigations of nontraditional insurance products and certain assumed reinsurance transactions and AIG's accounting [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International has issued a Valentine's Day warning [AI press release] that "conflict diamonds," gems whose sale finances war, terrorism, and human rights abuses, are still being imported into the US due to loopholes in Customs procedures. The 2003 Clean Diamond Trade Act [PDF] prohibits most imports that do [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Pentagon [official website] announced on Monday that it is investigating eight additional Air Force contracts to determine if they were a product of illegal influence or manipulation by Darleen Druyun. Druyun, a former Air Force official, was convicted last year of giving preferential treatment to Boeing [corporate website] [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] British legal experts on the BBC news program Panorama have warned that a civil marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles might not be allowed under existing legislation. The 1836 Marriage Act, which permitted marriages outside the church, contained an exemption for the royal family. Experts are divided [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Alleging negligence over their failure to provide warning of the impending disaster, Austrian and German victims of the December tsunami in Asia will file suit in the US against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) [official website] in Washington and the tsunami warning center in Hawaii, a lawyer [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website], the continent's top human rights watchdog, has rejected overtures by Moscow to stop monitoring Russian compliance with the Council's code of ethics, citing the nation's continued lack of respect for human rights. COE Secretary General Terry Davis, beginning a three-day visit to Russia [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Judges of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugolsavia [official website] told former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile] Monday to move more quickly in conducting his defense against charges of genocide and war crimes. Milosevic has asserted his right to represent himself, and thus conducts the [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A former weapons inspector and senior employee of Australia's Defense Intelligence Organisation [official factsheet] said Monday in a television interview [program website] that the Australian government has been covering up its involvement in the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rod Barton said that he had been personally involved in [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Moroccan officials announced Sunday that six Moroccan peacekeepers currently serving with the UN force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been arrested on charges of sex abuse. The chief of Moroccan peacekeepers in the DRC and his assistant were also relieved of command. The arrests mark the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A UN ad hoc committee on human cloning [official website] meets Monday to begin consideration of an alternative approach to regulation that would focus on national lawmaking rather than on an overarching international regulatory structure. Attempts to frame a comprehensive international treaty failed in November [JURIST report] after the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] has ruled out any possibility of his resignation over the Oil-for-Food scandal currently plaguing the UN. Annan made the statement in an interview on a BBC morning program during which he was questioned about concessions made to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in [read more]

00:02 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Monday, Feb. 14.Alberto Gonzales [official biography] will be sworn in [media advisory] as the nation's 80th Attorney General by President Bush today. C-SPAN has a live webcast of the ceremony beginning at 9:25 AM [read more]

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