Legal news from Thursday, August 25, 2005
17:08 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law [Governor's press release] today a medical malpractice bill that he believes will lower medical malpractice insurance premiums. The bill [bill status] will cap non-economic damages at $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals, allow the state to [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge met with Justice Department lawyer Terry Henry Thursday to discuss why the US has not yet released two Chinese Uighur Muslims still held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp [JURIST news archive] after the government determined they posed no threat to the US as enemy combatants [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the speaker of the Iraqi parliament has announced a one-day extension for talks on the draft Iraqi constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive], originally scheduled to be voted on Thursday [JURIST report] after being postponed for three days on Monday following a seven-day extension on [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer [official website] said Thursday that the state is suing 39 pharmaceutical companies [press release] for concealing the actual costs of their drugs in an attempt to artificially inflate payments from California's Medicaid program. Lockyer said he added new drug companies [amended complaint] including GlaxoSmithKline [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] Iran said Thursday that it is working on a new proposal to negotiate with the West [JURIST report] regarding its nuclear program, expressing an interest in negotiating with countries other than Great Britain, France and Germany. The three core negotiating countries cancelled a meeting with Iran scheduled for August [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] The chief observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia 2005 (EU EOM) [official website] said Thursday that the country's May 15 parliamentary elections did not meet international voting standards. In the first EU report released since the vote, Ana Gomes said that intimidation tactics of witnesses [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Two media rights groups called for US Middle East military commander General John Abizaid [Defense Department profile] to release a Reuters journalist being held at the Abu Ghraib prison facility in Iraq unless the military can provide a valid explanation for his detention. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website] [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Prisons [official website] has denied the request of former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers' [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] request to serve his 25-year prison sentence in a low-security facility near his Mississippi home, placing him instead in a medium-security prison in Louisiana. Ebbers was convicted [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) [official website] ruled Thursday by a seven to one margin that Germany's early parliamentary election scheduled for next month can go ahead. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [official profile; BBC profile] purposefully lost a vote of confidence in the federal parliament in July, prompting the [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] Wednesday denounced a statement issued by the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] Manfred Nowak urging the UK to refrain from deporting Islamic radicals [JURIST report] for fear that they will face torture by their home countries. In an interview with [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US has proposed over 750 amendments to the United Nations draft agreement [text, PDF] that 175 countries are expected to sign during a UN General Assembly summit [meeting overview, PDF] on poverty and global security scheduled for next month. US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton [official [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [DOJ profile] Wednesday praised an extradition agreement between the US and Colombia which forces Colombian drug traffickers to face trials in the US. Gonzales spoke [text] at a press conference in Bogota with Mario Iguaran, Colombia's Prosecutor-General, calling the extradition program the "very best [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba said Thursday that a final version of the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive; translated draft, in English] has been completed and that the document will be approved later today. A National Assembly spokesman said earlier Thursday that the parliament had cancelled the scheduled vote [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Nine northeastern US states are working on a plan to cap and then reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from power facilities, an agreement which would see the states breaking with President Bush, who earlier this summer rejected [JURIST report] the Kyoto Protocol [text] on climate change. Each [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] said Wednesday that tobacco companies should be responsible for more than $140 million in US government costs associated with bringing a racketeering lawsuit against the industry for misleading the public about the health effects of smoking. In a filing in federal court [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens [Wikipedia profile] has continued to candidly voice his opinions by calling the outcomes of two prominent cases decided by the Supreme Court this term "unwise" while speaking at a bar association meeting in Las Vegas. Justice Stevens wrote the majority opinions in [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a parliamentary spokesman has said that the National Assembly will not meet as planned on Thursday to consider Iraq's draft constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive]. The spokesman also said that no date for a new session has been set. Earlier this week, in the [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Sunni Arabs are demanding that new elections be held to settle remaining disputes in the Iraqi draft constitution [English translation, JURIST news archive] as the document is anticipated to be approved by parliament Thursday. Hussein Al Falluji vowed that if the draft constitution is approved, Sunnis on the drafting [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington State Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday affirmed a judge's ruling that a recall petition against Spokane Mayor Jim West [official website] can proceed. Shannon Sullivan filed the petition in May, alleging that West used his elected office for personal gain by writing a letter of recommendation [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] US soldier Glendale Wells was sentenced Wednesday to two months in prison by a military court for his role in abusing an Afghan detainee known as Dilawar [Wikipedia profile], who died in December 2002 at Bagram Control Point [Global Security profile] near Kabul. Wells earlier pleaded guilty [JURIST report] [read more]

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