[JURIST] Kurdish officials discussed dropping their demand for a constitutional right to secede Saturday, as negotiations continued on the drafting of the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. Kurds have faced opposition to their demand for self-determination [JURIST report] from various Sunni groups associated with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Dawa Party [party website in Arabic] and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr [Wikipedia profile]. This opposition has been instrumental in the disagreements that forced the drafting committee to request a week-long extension [JURIST report] on August 15. The draft must now be completed by Monday, August 22. AP has more.
[JURIST] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [official website] officials announced [press release] Friday that the rule allowing truckers to stay behind the wheel for 11 hours straight will not be changed, despite a federal appeals court decision overturning the rule. Rather, the hours of service regulations [FMCSA backgrounder] now require truckers taking a break in a sleeper berth to spend at least 8 consecutive hours in it, rather than splitting the break time between sleep and time off. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the rule [PDF opinion; JURIST report] last year as arbitrary and capricious and safety groups and truckers have assailed the 11-hour requirement as unsafe. AP has more.
[JURIST] Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official website] has admitted that Nigerian police forces have engaged in killings of suspects and innocent civilians, as well as torture and other civil rights violations. Obasanjo's admission comes only weeks after Nigerian officials denied allegations of torture [JURIST report] made in a new report [text] by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]. Obasanjo pledged swift action against all offending police officers, including six who are on trial for killing civilians and then posthumously framed them for armed robbery. IRIN has more.
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