Legal news from Wednesday, May 18, 2005
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] minority report released Wednesday says that Bush administration UN ambassador nominee John Bolton planned to ask CIA Director George Tenet to help punish a government intelligence analyst who disagreed with him. The report by Democratic members of the committee claims that Bolton [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The long-awaited debate over the fate of the judicial filibuster [Senate backgrounder] began Wednesday in the US Senate. Republican majority leader Senator Bill Frist [official website] opened the floor debate [statement transcript] and accused the Democrats of using the obstructive tactic as an attempt to “kill, and defeat” President [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on a story previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, a jury in West Palm Beach Florida has ordered investment giant Morgan Stanley to pay $850 million in punitive damages to billionaire investor Ronald Perelman [Forbes profile]. On Monday, the jury ordered Morgan Stanley to pay Perelman $604 [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, Spain [government website in Spanish] officially ratified the EU Constitution [official website] today after the Spanish Senate [government website] voted 225 - 6 to approve the document. Spain held a non-binding referendum [JURIST report] in February that demostrated strong popular support for the proposed Europe-wide [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The main opposition parties in Ivory Coast signed a deal Wednesday in Paris ahead of the general elections to be held later this year. The prospective alliance would see a distribution of power between the opposition groups if current President Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile] is defeated. The alliance initially [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Kuwait will begin cracking down on illegal weapon possession after an amnesty period ends on Thursday. In February, Kuwait passed a law [Ain Al Yaqeen overview] giving police broad powers to search for unlicensed weapons. The law allows the police to more easily obtain search warrants to look for [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking publicly for the first time since her husband and mother were murdered [JURIST report], US District Judge Joan Lefkow [official profile] on Wednesday asked the Senate Judiciary Committee [transcript of testimony] to condemn public attacks against judges by some commentators and politicians, claiming it fostered disrespect for the [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] has obtained records [ACLU press release] from the US Army describing mock executions [Los Angeles Times report] being used against Iraqi detainees, which are forbidden. An army captain ordered a detainee to dig his own grave then ordered troops to pretend to [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Palestinian court has thrown out election result in parts of Rafah [map], a town in the Gaza Strip where Hamas [Wikipedia backgrounder] had made a strong showing. Supporters of the Fatah [Wikipedia backgrounder] movement, led by President Mahmoud Abbas [Wikipedia profile], praised the court's decision to cancel the [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodia's National Assembly [official website] came to an agreement with the US government Wednesday regarding the nonsurrender of current or former US government officials and employees to the International Criminal Court [official website]. The US Embassy in Phnom Penh [official website] praised the decision and reaffirmed its commitment to [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] unveiled a new plan Tuesday to introduce national ID cards [official background] for the first time since World War II. The proposed ID cards, which would carry biometric details such as fingerprints or iris scans, have come under criticism [press release] from [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy site] is joining four other groups to sue the FBI claiming the bureau ignored a Freedom of Information Act [text] request. The ACLU sought information [JURIST report] regarding the extent of anti-terrorism task force monitoring of animal rights, environmental, and anti-war groups. AP [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Seeking to curb piracy, China has announced new rules to take effect later this month that will make ISPs liable if they host content that violates copyright. ISPs that don't remove illegal content face fines [China Daily report] of up to $12,000. The rules come in response to a [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish judge indicted 13 suspected Islamic militants Wednesday on charges of forming terror cells in the al Qaeda network. The men, mostly Moroccan, were arrested in raids last October when Spanish police claim to have stopped the suspects from executing a suicide attack on the National Court [court [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] After almost a decade of delays, Russia and Estonia formally agreed [Estonian Foreign Ministry press release] upon a deal fixing borders between the two countries Wednesday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet signed two treaties, one for the land border and one for the [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] In the wake of conflicting reports, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website] on Wednesday urged an independant probe of reports of killings by Uzbekistan security forces. Witnesses say over 500 demonstrators were killed [JURIST report] Friday when government troops fired into crowds in the [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Senate Republicans picked Priscilla Owen [DOJ profile] and Janice Rogers Brown [court profile] in the battle with Democrats over nominations to the federal judiciary. Owen is set to be renominated [White House reaction to earlier blocked nomination] Wednesday with a test vote early next week. Aides to Senator Bill [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] With a close vote already expected in France [JURIST report], a UK group has released a poll showing more than half of British voters oppose the European Constitution [JURIST news archive]. Vote No [advocacy website] complains that the new constitution [backgrounder], written following the admittance of 10 new members [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] The days-long verdict reading [JURIST report] in the trial [defense website] of Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky [Wikipedia profile] will continue at least into Thursday and perhaps longer. The court adjourned Wednesday after four hours, prompting defense lawyers to accuse the government of stalling in order to try and [read more]

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