Legal news from Thursday, March 25, 2010
15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Quezon City Trial Court in Manila on Thursday issued arrest warrants for 189 suspects for their alleged role in the November 2009 massacre [CSM backgrounder] in semi-autonomous Maguindanao province that left 57 dead. Eight more individuals are also wanted in connection with the killings, but they are already [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday announced changes to the enforcement [press release] of the Don't Ask Don't, Tell [10 USC § 654 text; JURIST news archive] policy to make it more difficult to expel openly gay service members from the military. The changes, set to take effect [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US and Russia reached an agreement Wednesday to reduce nuclear arms, marking the first such agreement between the two nuclear powers in nearly two decades. According to an anonymous Kremlin spokesperson, the two countries have come to an agreement [WP report] that will be finalized at a meeting [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday denied [order, PDF] a Yemeni Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee's habeas corpus petition on its merits, allowing the US government to prolong the detention indefinitely. Detainee Makhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi [NYT [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] voted 56 to 43 [roll call] to pass a modified version of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 [HR 4872 materials] Thursday, after certain language in the original bill was altered to fix parliamentary problems highlighted by Republicans. The bill will [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday granted [order, PDF] a temporary stay of execution for convicted murderer Henry "Hank" Skinner [advocacy website] who requested DNA testing be conducted in his case to prove his innocence. The court granted the stay just one hour prior [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] on Thursday called for a renewed international commitment to eradicate all forms of slavery [statement text]. Ban's comments took place on the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade [press release], which is held annually pursuant to [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Wednesday passed three resolutions [press release] critical of Israeli practices towards Syrian and Palestinian territories. The resolutions were adopted [Haaretz report] during the 13th session of the UNHRC [materials] held in Geneva. One resolution titled "The grave human rights violations [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] on Wednesday lifted the stay [order, PDF] blocking the extradition of former Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to France, where he is wanted on money laundering charges. This latest [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] on Wednesday proposed reforms to simplify and clarify international divorce laws. Under the proposal, married couples from different European Union (EU) countries could choose the country of the divorce, and the various courts would use a common formula [press release] to decide which [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] French President Nicholas Sarkozy [official website, in French] said Wednesday that the government will introduce legislation to ban traditional Muslim face veils [transcript, in French; video, in French] in public places. Sarkozy's announcement comes weeks after a French parliamentary commission charged with investigating whether to enact laws banning the [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian State Duma [official website, in Russian] on Wednesday approved a bill [text, DOC, in Russian; bill history, in Russian] to ban pre-trial detention for suspects accused of economic crimes. The legislation would allow those charged with financial crimes to be bailed out of jail [RIA Novosti report] [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas [official website] issued a permanent injunction [opinion, PDF] Wednesday against a Texas city ordinance prohibiting illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive] from renting property in the city. Judge Jane Boyle ruled that the Dallas suburb of Farmers [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama signed an executive order [text] Wednesday continuing a prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortion [JURIST news archive] except in cases of rape or incest or where a woman's life would be endangered. Some anti-abortion congressional Democrats insisted on the order [AP report] [read more]

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