Legal news from Tuesday, September 19, 2006
19:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] Chairman John Warner (R-VA) [official website] expressed cautious optimism in a possible legislative compromise Tuesday after the White House sent to Capitol Hill new language for a military commissions [JURIST news archive] bill, commenting that he thought an accord would be reached [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US District Court judge in Chicago has held that plaintiffs in a class action suit lack standing to challenge a new federal law requiring Medicaid recipients [legislation backgrounder] to present passports, birth certificates or other proof of citizenship at the risk of losing benefits. Plaintiffs have announced that [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Georgia judge held a new Georgia law requiring voters to show ID cards [GA Department of Driver Services information] unconstitutional in a ruling [PDF text] Tuesday. State Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. held that the controversial voter ID law [JURIST news archive] is not required under [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website] Tuesday urged global action to combat three challenges facing humanity - human rights and the rule of law, security, and development - as the UN General Assembly [official website] opened its 61st session [UN materials]. In his speech [PDF text; recorded video], Annan [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Secure Fence Act of 2006 [HR 6061 summary] providing for the construction of a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border is going up for a Senate floor vote as early as Wednesday after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] filed a cloture motion [Senate backgrounder] earlier [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) [official website] frequently makes arbitrary arrests, detains suspects without charges and abuses political dissidents, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said in a new report [text; press release] released Tuesday. The monitoring group found that detainees are arbitrarily arrested and held in GID's detention [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] told members of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Tuesday that Congress should mandate the preservation of customer records by Internet service providers in order to aid the prosecution of child pornography offenders. Testifying at a hearing [committee [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Royal Thai Army [official website] has revoked the 1991 Thai constitution [PDF text; EN backgrounder] and declared martial law in a coup ousting Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official website; BBC profile], who is in New York for the opening of the 61st session [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] has directed the FCC's inspector general [official website] to investigate the alleged concealment of a 2004 draft working paper [PDF text] on television ownership and a 2003 draft report on radio ownership. [PDF text]. FCC Chairman [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] The London Metropolitan Police [official website] pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act [text; backgrounder] for "failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare" of the public in causing the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, shot [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Judge Abdullah al-Amiri was removed from presiding over the second Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday, Al-Iraqiya state television reported. A replacement judge, who has not yet been named, has been requested by the Iraqi prime minister. A government spokesman told Reuters: "We have asked the [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Corporal David Payne, one of seven British soldiers facing court-martial [Reuters report; MOD press release] for charges relating to the abuse of Iraqi detainees, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of inhumane treatment, becoming the first British soldier to admit commission of a war crime in Iraq. Payne pleaded [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official website; BBC profile] declared a state of emergency in Bangkok Tuesday after army tanks assembled around government buildings in the city, blocking traffic. In the face of a rumored coup in Thailand [JURIST news archive], Thaksin, who is in New York for the [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The number of violent crimes increased in 2005 for the first time since 2001, according to the 2005 annual report on violent crime [text; press release] published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] Monday. The report details a 2.3 percent rise to 1.39 million cases of [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Reported incidents of anti-Muslim bias, harassment, discrimination and violence in the US increased by 29.6 percent in 2005, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [advocacy website], the largest US Muslim civil liberties group, announced Monday. A new CAIR report [text, PDF; executive summary] entitled "The Struggle for Equality," indicates [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Shaker Aamer [Reprieve profile; BBC report], a UK resident held by the US since 2002, filed a motion [PDF text] in federal district court Monday seeking Aamer's release from solitary confinement, arguing that Aamer's almost year-long isolation violates the Geneva Conventions [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq's National Assembly [official website] on Tuesday again postponed debate on a draft federalism bill [JURIST report] that would allow Iraq's 18 provinces to form strong governments with their own security forces. Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said Tuesday that the bill, supported by Kurdish and Shiite politicians and opposed [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of Simon Bikindi [ICTR case materials] began Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website; JURIST news archive] with prosecutors accusing the popular singer of "us[ing] his fame to incite hatred" during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [HRW backgrounder]. According to an ICTR press release [text]:In [read more]

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