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

[JURIST] For the first time since 1954, the US Supreme Court [official website] will consider the issue of eminent domain when a group of New London, CT homeowners argue Tuesday against the city's attempt to take their property for private economic development. New London officials claim the takings would be [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading up to this week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website], President Bush Monday criticized the leader's continuing shift toward authoritarian rule and called for the Russian government to "renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law." In Bush's speech [White House text] delivered to [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) [official website] has approved the resumption of 26 of the 30 large construction projects that were halted last month for failing to complete environmental impact statements before beginning. The initial halting was seen as a show of power [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] European Union [official website] foreign ministers announced Monday that the EU will renew its sanctions against the Zimbabwean government [official website] for another year. However, the ministers indicated the sanctions could be reexamined after the March 31 parliamentary elections. The sanctions were put in place after President Robert Mugabe's [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Syrian officials have indicated that the country will soon begin to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in compliance with the Taif agreement [text], signed at the end of Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. Syria's move coincides with President Bush's speech [White House text] in Belgium today, which pressed for Syria [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Togo's parliament [official website in French] has re-amended the country's constitution so that presidential elections can be held within 60 days, overturning a change made to allow Faure Gnassingbe [BBC profile] to fulfill his father's term as president. However, Gnassingbe will remain in power until the vote is conducted [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The British government announced Monday that same-sex partners will be able to enter into civil unions starting in December. Under the Civil Partnerships Bill [text], passed last year by Parliament, same-sex couples will have the right to form legally binding partnerships and will be entitled to the same tax [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The World Council of Churches (WCC) [official website], a global organization for non-Catholic Christians, accused the United States on Monday of violating international law in its treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees. The detainees "are held without due process and in total violation of the norms and standards of international [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] has started an informal investigation into aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. [corporate website] over the classification of trade accounts payable transactions starting in 2003. Alcoa has said it will cooperate with the probe. The Pittsburgh Business Times has more.In [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] ChoicePoint [corporate website] announced Monday that residents in all 50 states and D.C. may have been affected by a security breach which resulted in criminals gaining access to its massive database of consumer information. California authorities say as many as 500,000 people may have been affected, but ChoicePoint believes [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Retired Bosnian Serb general Milan Gvero agreed on Monday to voluntarily surrender to the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague. The Serbian government said that Belgrade had received an indictment against the general from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website], although the charges against [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] In an unprecedented move, Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell has publicly claimed that three of the most prominent figures in the Sinn Fein [party website] political party, including party leader Gerry Adams [BBC profile], are members of the IRA Army Council, the internal group in charge of the terrorist [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] European Union officials are encouraged by Spain's overwhelming support in Sunday's referendum [JURIST report] for the body's proposed new Constitution [PDF], but remain guarded because there are still many challenges ahead in the numerous countries set to cast similar ballots over the next 18 months. According to the official [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Haitian police are still hunting several hundred prisoners who escaped when an armed commando attacked Haiti's national penitentiary in what sources close to Haiti's president are calling an attempt to free those "imprisoned for money crimes," an apparent reference to drug traffickers and kidnappers. In the melee following the [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A national conference on constitutional change meets Monday in Nigeria to review and propose amendments to the nation's 45-year-old constitution [official text]. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] has traditionally opposed a reform movement, but agreed to the constitutional conference last year in an attempt to find a solution [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Royal Navy [official website] has become the first branch of the British Armed Forces to actively promote the protection of the civil rights of its homosexual and bisexual members. Navy officials signed the Diversity Champions Programme [PDF text] from the alternative lifestyle equal rights group Stonewall [advocacy website] [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Israel released 500 prisoners Monday in a 'goodwill gesture' that was first proposed at the Sharm al-Sheikh summit held nearly two weeks ago and was approved by the Israeli parliament [JURIST report] last Sunday. The 500 prisoners are the first to be released under the new truce; 400 more [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. 21.The US Senate and US House [official websites] are in recess today for the President's Day holiday. Both will resume their sessions on Feb. 28.European Commission Vice President Margot Wallström will speak [read more]

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