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the usdepartment of justice (doj) [official website] joined [press release, pdf] a whistleblower lawsuit [complaint, pdf] on thursday against unitedhealth group [corporate website]. the suit claims that the country’s largest health insurer, and its affiliates, were overcharging the medicare program millions of dollars. the suit also alleges that unitedhealth group was defrauding medicare by claiming that their insurance members were treated for conditions they never were. defendants are accused of violating the false claims act [text] using these risk adjustment...

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the us court of appeals for the eleventh cistrict [official website] on thursday overturned [opinion, pdf] florida’s 2011 firearms owners’ privacy act (fopa) [text], also referred to as the “docs vs. glocks” law. the law prohibited doctors from entering information on gun ownership into a patient’s medical record if it is not relevant to medical care or safety, prohibited doctors from asking about gun ownership to the patient or families, prohibited doctors from harassing patients because of owning firearms, and...
an oklahoma county district judge on thursday ordered oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt [official website], the recently confirmed head of the environmental protection agency (epa) [official website], to release thousands of e-mails between his office [text order]* and fossil fuel companies by the close of business on february 21. the order by judge aletia haynes timmons is the latest development in a lawsuit filed against pruitt by the center for media and democracy (cmd) and the american civil liberties union...
us president donald trump signed legislation [hjr 38, pdf] on thursday, rolling back the stream protection rule [text, pdf], or spr, enacted during barack obama’s term in december. in a press release [text] from the office of the press secretary, the white house administration said the spr was an “overly burdensome regulation” that harmed “coal workers and the communities that depend on them.” the move is part of the administration’s promise to “end the war on coal,” according to the...
the three-member un commission on human rights in south sudan called friday for the establishment of an independent system [press release] to investigate violations in south sudan. the establishment of the system would help with the integration of the hybrid court, according to un commission, which was mandated by the peace agreement of 2015 [text, pdf]. according to chairperson of the commission yasmin sooka, the independent system should be set up immediately to collect evidence for violations before it is...

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the electric power supply association (epsa) [advocacy website] and several electricity generators filed [text, pdf] a lawsuit tuesday in the us district court for the northern district of illinois against the illinois power agency (ipa) [official websites] over the enactment of the future energy jobs act (feja) [text, pdf]. feja enacts zero emission credits (zecs) for two nuclear power plants in illinois to give the plants a credit for generating electricity without emissions of greenhouse gases. epsa states that this...
[jurist] the us house of representatives [official website] voted in favor of a bill [materials] that would overturn the obama administration’s rule prohibiting [text] states from denying federal funding to planned parenthood [advocacy website]. the bill passed in the house with a vote of 2300188. this legislation is viewed as the first step [wsj report] in the process of defunding planned parenthood. the bill will now travel to the republican-majority senate for a vote. there have been many attempts through...

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samsung’s [corporate website] would be head lee jae-yong (jay y lee) [forbes profile] was arrested in seoul [wp report] on friday on charges of bribery and undue influence in connection with a scandal involving south korea president park geun-hye. in approving the warrant for the arrest, the seoul central district court stated in a text message released to the press: “the rationale for and the necessity of his arrest is acknowledged considering the new charges and additional evidence collected.” lee...

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un secretary-general antónio guterres on thursday welcomed the gambia’s decision to remain in the international criminal court (icc) [official website]. according to a statement [text] guterres issued through a spokesperson, he “welcomes that the gambia will remain a state party to the international criminal court’s founding instrument.” the statement went on [un news centre report] to note that the gambia played a major role in the establishment of the rome statute [statute, pdf]—setting out the court’s jurisdiction over genocide, crimes...
the parliament of finland [official website] voted 120-48 [text] on friday to confirm a law allowing same-sex marriage [text, pdf, in finnish]. the law faced opposition from the genuine marriage initiative [advocacy website, in finnish], a conservative group that sought to keep the definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman” in finland, the last nordic country to adopt a same-sex marriage law. genuine marriage brought a petition [text, pdf] with more than 106,000 signatures in an attempt...
[jursit] the us court of appeals for the ninth circuit [official website] on thursday issued a stay [text, pdf] of proceedings concerning president donald trump’s executive order [text] restricting immigration from seven muslim-majority nations. representatives from the department of justice had asked the court to “‘hold its consideration of the case until the president issues the new order.’ the united states has further represented that it will inform the court of any new developments.” in a press conference at the...
[jurist] the florida supreme court [official website] on thursday blocked [opinion, pdf] enforcement of the mandatory delay law [text], which requires that a woman wait for 24 hours after receiving counseling from a physician before she can have an abortion. the law was deemed unconstitutional by the four-justice majority because it was found to violate a woman’s right to privacy. in the majority opinion, justice barbara pariente wrote, “today we make clear, in florida, any law that implicates the fundamental...
[jurist] the washington supreme court [official website] ruled [opinion, pdf] thursday that a florist that refused to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding violated the washington law against discrimination (wlad) [text]. the wlad bars “unfair practices of places of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, [and] amusement.” according to the opinion, the florist argued that the wlad did not apply to her conduct, and, that if it did, it violated her state and federal constitutional rights of free speech,...

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the netherlands has proposed new legislation that will empower its government to block or undo mergers [dutch news report] in the telecommunications sector. according to a statement [text, in dutch] from the netherlands ministry of economic affairs [official website, in dutch], the industries covered in this bill include what have been termed as “telephony and the internet,” internet hubs, data centers and hosting and certification services, as they all constitute important segments for the “continuity, reliability and safety of services...
a swedish court of appeals on wednesday upheld the life sentence [press release, in swedish] of a man convicted of genocide during the 1994 rwanda genocide [bbc profile]. the svea court of appeal [official website] in stockholm found that claver berinkindi was guilty of murder, attempted murder and the kidnapping of thousands of people. the court also found that berinkindi should pay damages to the victims of his crimes. berikindi was charged in sweden [country profile] in september 2015 and...
a judge for the us district court for the district of south carolina [official website] ruled [opinion, pdf] wednesday that the state must place the names of both same-sex parents on their children’s birth certificates. judge mary geiger lewis determined that the state’s act preventing the placement of both parents’ names went against the supreme court [official website] decision in obergefell v. hodges [jurist report]. the case centered around [washington blade report] a lesbian couple, casy and jacqueline carson, who...
[jurist] the supreme court of the philippines [official website] on thursday denied an attempt from the country’s vice president to halt a protest against her election. social activist leni robredo [official twitter] was elected vice president in may over the son of the late former dictator ferdinand marcos [jurist news archive], who is commonly known as bongbong marcos. marcos organized the protest and claims that he was the rightful winner of the vice presidential election. the court, sitting as the...

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two members of the montenegrin parliament were stripped of their immunity [press release] wednesday after facing accusations of involvement with an attempted coup. the lawmakers, andrija mandic and milan knezevic, are part of the democratic front (df), a pro-russian group that has firmly opposed the country’s plan to join nato. the decision faced public backlash and was subject to protests [rt report]. a press release for parliament stated that the session was “conducted in a lawful manner, in full compliance...
the stockholm district court on thursday sentenced [press release] a former syrian rebel fighter to life in prison for his participation in a mass execution of seven men in 2012. the defendant, who had permanent residence in sweden, argued that the executions were carried out in accordance with the court-ordered death sentences issued for the men. those executed were soldiers under the syrian regime. the swedish court struggled with the notion of legitimate, non-governmental courts being created under the conditions...
[jurist] a michigan county’s practice of offering christian-only prayers at public board meetings is unconstitutional [opinion, pdf], the us court of appeals for the sixth circuit [official website] ruled wednesday. peter bormuth filed suit after attending the county’s board of commissioners meeting. the appeals court ruled that the lower court was wrong in rejecting bormuth’s argument that the practice of the commissioners offering the prayer “coerced residents to support and practice in the exercise of religion.” in analyzing the actions...
the network of chinese human rights defenders (chrd) [advocacy website] released its annual report [text, pdf] on thursday, highlighting intensified crackdowns on human rights defenders in china. according to the chrd report, human rights activities are being criminalized as “‘political’ threats to ‘national security.’” [press release] the report further highlights a number of practices used by the government, such as enforced disappearances [un backgrounder], arbitrary detention, and acts of torture against human rights defenders, pointing particularly to those secretly detained...

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[jurist] un high commissioner for human rights zeid ra’ad al hussein [official profile] urged a greater commitment to human rights wednesday while announcing a $253 million funding appeal [press release]. the office of the high commissioner for human rights (ohchr) [official website] launched its largest appeal to date [text, pdf], with zeid urging member countries and private donors to help “bolster the office’s ability to work and stand up for human rights for all people, everywhere.” the funding would help...

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the president of the uk supreme court [official website] on thursday defended the court’s ruling [judgment, pdf] that only parliament can activate the article 50 mechanism to leave the eu. lord neuberger [official profile], when asked if he felt that politicians were needlessly interfering with a political decision that the nation had made, said:we were doing what our job requires us to do, which is taking a case ... and dealing with it according to the law, and answering the...
victims of sexual violence in ukraine are not being provided with adequate access to justice or services in the country, according to a un office of the high commissioner for human rights (ohchr) [official website] report [text, pdf] released thursday. the report noted in particular that there is a prevailing impunity for cases of sexual violence in the country. as of december, only three criminal cases alleging sexual violence had been undertaken. furthermore, the mission found that, “the established practice...
the us senate on wednesday voted to reverse a 2007 law [jurist report] an obama-era gun regulation that required mental health information to be shared with the national gun background check system. the bill [materials], which passed the republican controlled senate with a vote of 57-43, instructs the social security administration to cease implementation of a portion of the 2007 nics improvement act [text, pdf] that prohibited individuals from buying guns if they were unable to work due to mental...
us magistrate judge james donohue [official website] on friday ruled that daniel ramirez medina [ibt backgrounder], a mexican immigrant-detainee, must be granted a bail hearing during the pendency of his immigration case [jurist report]. ramirez medina was granted permission to stay and work in the u.s. by the obama administration’s deferred action for childhood arrivals (daca) program, but is now being detained by immigration and customs enforcement (ice). ice alleges that ramirez medina has gang ties and should therefore be...
the 6th circuit court of appeals [official website] on friday ruled against [opinion] ohio attorney general mike dewine [official website] in his state’s challenge to the certain tax aspects of the affordable care act (aca). the lawsuit, brought on behalf of several state subdivisions, alleged that the federal government tax on health insurance providers and certain self-insuring employers encroached on the states’ independence in violation of the 10th amendment. the parties included such state universities as youngstown state and akron...
following bosnia-herzegovina’s vow to appeal a 2007 international court of justice (icj) [official website] ruling clearing serbia of genocide during bosnia’s civil war, many fear political crisis [the guardian report] may be brewing in the balkans. serbia’s foreign minister, ivica dačić, said the move was “very dangerous” and could destabilize regional and bilateral ties between serbia and bosnia, two countries which are already ethnically divided. several bosnian serb officials have expressed their dissatisfaction with the potential appeal, calling upon citizens...

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according to texas election officials, hundreds of people were allowed to improperly cast ballots [usnews report] in the recent presidential election, evading the state’s stringent voter id law, by signing affidavits in lieu of showing their photo id. state election officers are now contemplating whether to ask local prosecutors to bring criminal charges for the violations of the election laws. the texas voter id law, which required voters to show one of seven forms of identification to cast a ballot,...

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the us department of justice (doj) [official website] joined [press release, pdf] a whistleblower lawsuit [complaint, pdf] on thursday against unitedhealth group [corporate website]. the suit claims that the country’s largest health insurer, and its affiliates, were overcharging the medicare program millions of dollars. the suit also alleges that unitedhealth group was defrauding medicare by claiming that their insurance members were treated for conditions they never were. defendants are accused of violating the false claims act [text] using these risk...

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[jurist] iraqi prime minister haider al-abadi announced on sunday that iraqi forces, backed by the us, have begun their offensive push into the western sector of the city of mosul, currently occupied by the islamic state (is). is forces have been confined [reuters report] to the region since last year’s offensive that forced the is to abandon the eastern sector. an estimated 650,000 civilians still reside in is-controlled mosul. the is reportedly had about 6,000 troops in mosul before the...
[jurist] human rights watch (hrw) [official website] on saturday issued a call to philippine authorities [hrw report] to drop political charges against senator leila de lima, who has spoken against president rodrigo duterte’s war on drugs. the charges brought against de lima, as well as her driver and several unnamed individuals, are for violation of section 5 of the dangerous drugs act, which prohibits the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs.” if de lima were...

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[jurist] us republican senators announced on sunday that they are planning to introduce a bill further sanctioning iran for testing ballistic missiles and attempting to “destabilize” the middle east. tehran recently increased international tensions after testing [reuters report] ballistic missiles with the inscription “death to israel”. senator lindsey graham (r-sc) [official profile] called iran “a bad actor in the greatest sense of the word” and called for direct action. iranian foreign minister mohammed javad zarif has stated, however,that iran does...
[jurist] john f. kelly [official profile], secretary for the department of homeland security (dhs) [official website], signed several memos [text, pdf] on friday detailing plans to facilitate the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants in the us. according to the guidelines, the dhs hopes [wp report] to further enforce immigration laws by increasing the number of immigrants targeted for primary removal and expediting removal hearings. the dhs may also hire more enforcement agents and work with local authorities to make...
[jurist] john kelly [official profile], secretary for the department of homeland security (dhs) [official website], signed several memos [text, pdf] on friday detailing plans to facilitate the detention and deportation of immigrants in the us illegally. according to the guidelines, dhs hopes [wp report] to further enforce immigration laws by increasing the number of immigrants targeted for primary removal and expediting removal hearings. dhs may also hire more enforcement agents and work with local authorities to make more arrest. the...
a swedish court of appeals on wednesday upheld the life sentence [judgment, pdf, in swedish; press release, in swedish] of a man convicted of genocide during the 1994 rwanda genocide [bbc profile]. the svea court of appeal [official website] in stockholm found that claver berinkindi was guilty of murder, attempted murder and the kidnapping of thousands of people. the court also found that berinkindi should pay damages to the victims of his crimes. berikindi was charged in sweden [country profile]...

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[jurist] a new law passed on monday by cambodia’s parliament gives the supreme court the power to dissolve any political parties it finds unconstitutional. this law is seen [afp report] as an attempt by cambodian premier hun sen [bbc profile] to crack down on rival political parties before the 2018 election. phil robertson [official bio], the deputy director of human rights watch [advocacy website] asia division said in a statement [text], “the passage of these amendments marks the final consolidation...
[jurist] a draft bill [text, pdf, in maltese] proposed by the maltese government [official website] that aims to regulate online news could inhibit freedom of speech, argued protesters sunday. at the protest, which was organized by the opposition party, opposition leader simon busuttil said [eu observer report] that the bill would be “the beginning of the end of freedom of expression on the internet.” the bill would update malta’s defamation and libel laws requiring citizens to provide their name, age,...
[jurist] egypt’s court of cassation [official website, in arabic], the nation’s highest court, on monday upheld the death penalty for 10 men involved in the port said stadium riot [nyt report] in which more than 70 individuals were killed after a soccer game in 2012. supporters of the winning team had stormed the field, stabbing fans of the rival team and causing many to be trampled as they tried to escape. the defendants were charged [reuters report] with murder and...
[jurist] human rights watch (hrw) [advocacy website] said [press release] monday that moroccan authorities have been on a two-year campaign to obstruct moroccan association for human rights (amdh) [advocacy website], the country’s largest independent human rights organization. according to hrw, the authorities have blocked a total of 125 amdh conferences, meetings and other public and private events since 2014 by either expressly prohibiting the events or pressuring the owners of the meeting spaces not to allow the events to go...

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amnesty international (ai) [advocacy website] on sundayurged [text, pdf] the israeli supreme court [website, in hebrew] to repeal a 2003 law that bans many palestinians from entering the country, including those who are seeking reunification with their families. the citizenship and entry into israel law [text] was originally enacted as a temporary one-year order but has been renewed annually. in addition to urging the supreme court to invalidate the law, the statement encourages israeli authorities to resume “family unification applications...
the trial of 47 suspects accused of attempting to assassinate turkish president recep tayyip erdoğan [official profile] on july 15 during a failed military coup began [reuters report] monday. the trial will be held in mugla, in the southwestern corner of turkey. before the coup attempt had been effectively quashed, erdoğan promised [tweet] that “the ring leader who plotted all of this will pay the price in front of the nation.” erdoğan has already taken steps to purge his government...
the newly-inaugurated president of the gambia promised [al jazeera report] saturday to end human rights violations in his country and ordered the release [tweet] of 171 inmates who had been detained without a trial. president adama barrow’s [bbc profile] inauguruation speech restated the emphasis he will place on human rights and the rule of law in the small west-african nation. barrow’s speech was well-received by the international community. uk foreign secretary boris johnson [official profile] called it [tweet] a “momentous...
[jurist] islamic state (is) [bbc backgrounder] fighters are arbitrarily detaining, ill-treating, torturing and forcibly marrying sunni arab women and girls in areas under their control in iraq, human rights watch (hrw) [advocacy website] reported [press release] on monday. although gender-based violence has been common under is rule, these are the first cases of such violence being perpetrated upon sunni arab women. hrw researchers interviewed six women who had escaped from is control and are now being treated for psychological trauma...
the un high commissioner for human rights [official website] issued a statement [text] monday calling for an “immediate halt” to “widespread human rights violations” allegedly committed by government officials in the democratic republic of the congo (drc) [official website]. zeid ra’ad al hussein [official profile], said the violence is part of a military effort to address the “root causes” of conflict between the government and local militias, but the result has been the unlawful targeting of civilians. in his statement,...
[jurist] the new zealand high court [official website] ruled [judgment] on monday that kim dotcom [website], the founder of content-sharing site megaupload.com, is eligible for extradition to the us on fraud offenses. dotcom and his alleged co-conspirators are facing numerous charges after us authorities seized megaupload.com in 2012 [usa today report], claiming that the site cost copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. the us has sought extradition [jurist report] for years, having to disclose an unprecedented amount...
the florida supreme court [official website] ruled [order, pdf; opinion, pdf] monday that prosecutors can seek the death penalty during an ongoing case despite constitutional concerns with florida’s death penalty law. last october the state’s supreme court ruled [jurist report] that the state’s new death penalty law was unconstitutional. the us supreme court had ruled in january of last year that the state’s death penalty sentencing gave too much power to judges and therefore was unconstitutional [jurist report]. monday’s ruling...

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an iowa union filed a lawsuit [materials] monday challenging a new iowa law [house file 291, pdf] that eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public workers. the american federation of state, county and municipal employees iowa council 61 [union website] argues that the law violates language in the iowa constitution ensuring equality to citizens and should be blocked. the union stated [ap report] that the lawsuit emphasizes parts of the law that exempt certain public safety employees from taking part...
[jurist] the people’s democratic party (hdp) [party website] of turkey filed an application [statement] monday asking the european court of human rights (echr) [official website] to address the continuous and allegedly unlawful imprisonment of the party’s co-chairs. thirteen hdp politicians have been arrested [al jazeera report] since november, and 10 of them still await trial. the hdp declared that these allegedly systematic arrests “constitute a violation of the right to freedom and security, freedom of speech and the right to...
[jurist] a portuguese court ordered the extradition of former us central intelligence agency (cia) [official website] operative sabrina de sousa to italy tuesday for a four-year prison sentence. de sousa had been convicted in absentia along with 26 other americans for the kidnapping of soama moustafa hassan nasr from milan in 2003. the abduction took place as part of the us rendition program implemented by the bush administration after the september 11, 2001 terror attacks. under this program, suspected terrorists...
[jurist] a tel aviv military court on tuesday issued an 18-month prison sentence to an israeli soldier who stirred middle eastern tensions after executing a palestinian last year. contrary to military guidelines, sgt. elor azaria, an army medic, shot [ap report] the unarmed and wounded palestinian after the man had stabbed a soldier in the city of hebron. in january a three-judge panel convicted [jurist report] azaria of manslaughter upon finding [verdict] that his intentions were not justifiable. while prosecutors...
[jurist] lawyers and legal experts expressed concern [letter] on sunday that the uk’s consideration of leaving the european convention on human rights (echr) [text, pdf] after the settlement of brexit could result in a deterioration of human rights. the letter was signed by more than 50 prominent members of the legal field. the criticism rested heavily on statements [speech] made about the echr by prime minister theresa may [official website], including that, “the [convention] can bind the hands of parliament,...
the 2014 trial of saif al-islam gaddafi failed to meet international fair trial standards, according to a un report [text, pdf] published tuesday. the un “closely monitored” [press release] the proceedings and conducted individual investigations with integral parties. the report recognized efforts made by the government to elevate standards, one being the decision to live broadcast the trial. however, the monitors identified several prominent violations of international law occurring throughout the trials of the former regime. such violations include the...
[jurist] the us supreme court [official website] granted certiorari [docket] on tuesday to determine whether a guilty plea waives a defendant’s right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute under which he was convicted. the case, class v. us [docket; cert. petition, pdf], concerns a guilty plea made by rodney class to possession of a firearmt. class lacked counsel at the time of his plea at his own request. the appeals court ruled [opinion, pdf] that because the defendant signed...
the court of appeal of england and wales on tuesday rejected [text, pdf] a heterosexual couple’s legal challenge to the civil partnership act 2004 [text], ruling 2-1 that only same-sex couples may enter into civil partnerships. the court’s decision gave the government more time to review the law, which currently prohibits opposite-sex couples from taking advantage of civil partnership arrangements. all three judges stated that the ban could not last indefinitely, giving the government time to review the law. the...
[jurist] human rights groups on tuesday urged the thai army to drop defamation charges against three activists, including the chair of amnesty international thailand, pornpen khongkachonkiet, and anchana heemmina, founder of duay jai group [advocacy website], and somchai homlaor, a human rights lawyer. the activists are being held and face up to seven years in jail for publishing a report which detailed the experiences of 54 former detainees on their treatment by soldiers and the torture they endured. officials have...
[jurist] the us supreme court [official website] on tuesday declined to review [docket, pdf] a lethal injection case from alabama, over the dissent of justices sonia sotomayor and stephen breyer. the appeal was filed by inmate tommy arthur, who was challenging the method of his execution [ap report], claiming that it was difficult for inmates to effectively challenge the method of execution as they were required to identify an alternative and state accepted method as well as a plan for...

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virginia governor terry mcauliffe [official website] vetoed legislation [press release] tuesday that would have defunded planned parenthood [advocacy website] and other women’s health providers. hb 2264 [official summary] sought to remove funding from any provider that performed any abortion or abortion related services from receiving any federal funding including medicare coverage. the governor vetoed the bill in hopes of stabilizing health care services.pursuant to article v, section 6, of the constitution of virginia, i veto house bill 2264, which would...

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the sri lankan police [official site] on monday arrested five military officials in connection with the 2009 death of journalist lasantha wickrematunge. the free media movement of sri lanka said [press release, in sinhala] that the those arrested for were responsible for wickrematunge’s death and the abduction of journalist keith noyahr. wickrematunge was known for critiquing the government as part of his duties and an editor for a local newspaper. he was murdered in 2009 during a crackdown on members...
[jurist] us department of homeland security (dhs) secretary john kelly [official websites] officially issued [press release] on monday two memoranda to the department directing its workforce to implement two executive orders on the enforcement of immigration laws. the first memorandum [text, pdf] implements president donald trump’s border security and immigration enforcement improvement policies [executive order]. kelly directed us customs and border protection [official website] to hire 5,000 additional border patrol agents. this memo orders the immediate identification and allocation of...
the us court of appeals for the fourth circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, pdf] tuesday that maryland’s assault weapons ban is constitutional. a lower court ruling last year found that maryland’s firearm safety act [text, pdf], violated the second amendment [text]. based on the us supreme court decision in district of columbia v. heller [opinion], the appeals court found that assault weapons are not protected by the second amendment. the court also stated that, “some of today’s weapons lack constitutional...

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a lawsuit [complaint, pdf] was filed against delaware governor john carney [official website] on tuesday arguing that a provision in the state’s constitution [text, pdf] requiring a political balance of judges in the state’s courts is unconstitutional. in the complaint, attorney james adams alleges that the provision, which mandates that nominations be evenly split between the two major parties, excludes minority parties and is therefore a violation of the freedom of political association guaranteed by the us constitution. adams claims...
south africa’s high court [official website] on wednesday blocked [judgment] the government’s attempt to withdraw from the international criminal court (icc) [official website]. high court judge phineas mojapelo found that the “decision by the national executive to deliver the notice of withdrawal of south africa from the rome statute of the icc without prior parliamentary approval is unconstitutional and invalid.” justice minister michael masutha said the denial was mostly procedural. masutha went on to say that this ruling merely amounted...

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the us supreme court [official website] heard oral arguments tuesday on the cross-border shooting of a mexican citizen by a us border patrol agent. in hernandez v. mesa [transcript, pdf], the court is considering the extraterritorial application of the fourth amendment [text]. the court is also considering the application of qualified immunity depending upon legal status and the application of bivens v. six unknown federal narcotics agents [opinion] in this case. petitioners argued that fourth amendment constraints should apply when...

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the lower house of the dutch parliament on tuesday voted [vote, in dutch] 77-72 to approve a bill [text, in dutch] that would tolerate the cultivation of cannabis. possessing and buying the drug at shops has been tolerated in the netherlands but the selling and growing of the drug and selling the plant to the shops has remained illegal. proponents of the bill have argued that it will allow for quality standards, free up police resources and allow tax revenue....
a judge for the us district court for the western district of texas [official website] issued a preliminary injunction [text, pdf] on tuesday to halt texas’ plan to cut medicaid [official website] funding for planned parenthood [advocacy website]. the injunction prevents the state from cutting funding until a trial is held. judge sam sparks based his decision heavily on the merits of the case and the evidence presented by the state, the majority of which came from an eight-hour video...
the us supreme court [official website] on wednesday remanded [opinion, pdf] a dispute over an elementary school student’s service dog to the lower court. in fry v. napoleon community schools [scotusblog materials], a child with cerebral palsy attempted to bring her trained service dog with her to kindergarten. the school stated that the school staff could perform all of the required services that the service dog would perform, thus meaning that the service dog was not required at the school....
a hong kong court [official website] on wednesday sentenced donald tsang, the former chief executive from 2005 to 2012, to 20 months in prison [state media report] for his failure to disclose personal conflicts of interest when his cabinet was considering a broadcasting license application by a chinese property developer. tsang faced up to a seven-year sentence and his conviction would have originally called for around 30 months imprisonment. judge andrew chan took tsang’s long public service and reputation into...
the uk supreme court [official website] on wednesday upheld [judgment, pdf] immigration rules that require british citizens have a certain level of income to bring their foreign spouses into britain. the minimum income requirement [text] rule mandates that a british citizen must have a minimum annual income of at least 18,600 euros in order for their foreign spouse to live with them in britain. the rules allow for a easy way for the government to assess that the couple can...
the supreme court of the russian federation [official website] annulled the 2.5 year prison sentence [rapsi report] of ildar dadin, who was the first person to be convicted under a relatively new anti-protest law. dadin was imprisoned in 2015 under a law that allows the russian government to press criminal charges against anyone who was caught taking part in a series of unsanctioned protests. according to case files, dadin was arrested five times during rallies held between august 2014 and...
the us supreme court [official website] ruled [opinion, pdf]wednesday buck v. davis [scotusblog materials] in favor of a death row inmate seeking a new sentencing hearing. the inmate, duane buck, claims that his own lawyers stated during trial that he was more likely to cause future harm due to the color of his skin. the court ruled that buck has proven both that he suffered from ineffective assistance of counsel and has shown an entitlement to relief in the form...
the us supreme court [official website] ruled [opinion, pdf] in life technologies corporation v. promega corporation [scotusblog materials] on wednesday that the supply of a single component in a multi-component patented invention for manufacture overseas does not violate section 271(f)(1) of the patent act [text, pdf]. section 271 [lii materials] prevents the supply from the us of “all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention” for manufacture abroad. under 271, the supply must actively induce [patentlyo...
the american civil liberties union (aclu) of wisconsin [advocacy website] filed suit [complaint, pdf] in the us district court for the eastern district of wisconsin wednesday alleging that the milwaukee police department [official website] discriminates against black and latino men in its stop-and-frisk program. the complaint states that the policies of the police department violate the fourth and fourteenth amendment rights of the individuals affected as well as title vi of the civil rights act of 1964. while the aclu...
the brazil federal senate [official website] on wednesday confirmed [press release, in portuguese] president michel temer’s [official profile] nominee for the vacant supreme court [official website] seat, alexandre de moraes. moraes, a 49-year-old lawyer, professor and current justice minister, was approved by a vote of 55-13 in the senate. the seat had been open since the january 20 death [jurist report] of former justice teori zavascki. zavascki was considered a reformer and had overseen anti-corruption measure operation carwash [jurist report]....

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[jurist] the german state of bavaria [official website] on tuesday approved a ban [video, in german] on full-face veils in certain public spaces, including universities, schools, government workplaces and while driving. asserting that facial expressions are important to communication, bavarian interior minister joachim herrmann stated in support of the bill that “[communication] forms the foundation of our interpersonal relationships and is the basis of our society and free and democratic order.” bavarian justice minister winfried bausback [official profiles, in german]...
[jurist] the us supreme court on wednesday heard arguments [transcript] in kindred nursing centers limited partnership v. clark [scotusblog backgrounder], wherein the court will once again be asked to decide whether binding arbitration agreements are permissible. the kentucky supreme court ruled [opinion] that arbitration agreements signed by legal representatives of nursing home residents were invalid, unless the ability to so sign is specified as a power of the representative, as being against the right to have a jury trial. this...

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amnesty international (ai) [advocacy website] on tuesday released its annual report 2016/17 [report], a summary of an international human rights survey that discusses the role “rhetoric of fear, blame and hate” have played in rolling back human rights around the world. ai analyzed major political leaders that identify as anti-establishment, such as us president donald trump [official profile] and turkish president tayyip erdoğan [cnn profile], arguing that their rhetoric has led to dangerous impacts on policy. ai’s conclusion is for...
the supreme court of thailand on thursday upheld the sentence of a former magazine editor who published stories criticizing the royal family. the court did curtail the sentence [ap report], so that somyot pruksakasemsuk would be released in 2018. the editor was convicted under thailand’s controversial lèse majesté [bbc report] legislation. the law makes it illegal to defame the royal family. somyot’s original sentence was handed down in 2011 and was intended to stand for 11 years. thailand’s policies on...
the trump administration on wednesday revoked [letter, pdf] the obama-era guidelines [press release] regarding transgender students. the previous guidelines were a joint effort by the us department of justice (doj) and department of education (doe) [official websites] that required federally funded schools to treat gender identity as a student’s sex for purposes of title ix [doe materials]. a federal district court had granted an injunction against the guidelines, and the doj had filed but later withdrew an appeal [jurist report]....
the turkish ministry of defense [official website, in turkish] announced wednesday that female soldiers will be allowed to wear headscarves along with their uniforms. the regulation, a break in the nation’s attempt to protect its secularism [nyt report], is the latest institutional policy allowing head coverings in government settings. coverings must be worn under a cap or beret and must coordinate with the official’s regular uniform. the regulation will go into effect once it is published [al jazeera report] in...
the french national assembly [official website] approved a law [text, in french] on tuesday that would make french parent corporations liable for human rights violations committed by their subsidiary companies located anywhere in the world. parent corporations subject to the law will be held to a higher standard of oversight for the actions taken by their subsidiaries. the law seeks to prevent violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, grave bodily or environmental harms, and sanitary risks. the law was...

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[jurist] un independent expert on the situation of human rights in the sudan aristide nononsi [official profile] on wednesday called for [press release] the sudanese government to protect civilian rights in darfur [osu backgrounder]. since 2003 the region has faced civil unrest from conflict between the government and rebel groups. thousands of people are currently in displacement camps as a result from the conflict. nononsi spoke after a 12-day mission as a follow-up [press release] on un recommendations to assess...
[jurist] the us court of appeals for fifth circuit [official website] on thursday ruled [order, pdf] that texas can enforce a 2015 state law that criminalizes the harboring of illegal immigrants. texas officials had claimed the law, known as house bill 11 [materials], was primarily aimed at human traffickers and smugglers, but its critics were concerned that it would also target legal aid organizations and homeless shelters that housed and helped undocumented immigrants. the us district court for the western...
the extraordinary chambers in the courts of cambodia (eccc) [official website] on wednesday dismissed [press release] charges against im chaem, a buddhist nun suspected of playing a role in the khmer rouge regime. the judges in the case said they lacked jurisdiction to decide im chaem’s case as she was “neither a senior leader nor ... one of the ... officials of the khmer rouge regime.” the full reasons for dismissal will be filed at a later date. im chaem...
[jurist] the arkansas supreme court on thursday ruled [opinion, pdf] that fayetteville city ordinance 5781 broadening nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation or gender identity is invalid under § 14-1-403 of the interstate commerce improvement act (act 137) [text, pdf]. this state statute prohibited cities from adopting or enforcing “an ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination” on a basis not contained in arkansas law. classes based on sexual orientation or gender identity are...

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a judge for the us district court for the northern district of california [official website] on wednesday granted [order, pdf] a preliminary injunction to imdb [entertainment site], a popular website that posts information about all things hollywood, blocking enforcement of law meant to combat age discrimination. the injunction temporarily prevents the enforcement of ab 1687 [text], a california law designed to prevent age discrimination by stopping sites like imdb from releasing the ages of actors. as the law “stops imdb...
[jurist] north carolina lawmakers filed a bipartisan bill [text, pdf] on wednesday aimed at breaking the impasse over the state’s so-called “bathroom bill” (hb2) [text, pdf] that requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate. the bill (hb186) would repeal hb2 while also permitting cities to pass nondiscrimination ordinances with 30 days notice to the legislature. hb186 also bans discrimination in housing. some lgbt advocates have criticized the measure as not...
a volkswagen (vw) [corporate website] executive pleaded not guilty in the wake of vw’s emissions scandal. oliver schmidt, the former general manager of vw’s environmental and engineering office, was arrested in miami last month and charged [jurist report] with conspiracy to defraud the us, alleged violations of the clean air act and wire fraud in the us district court for the eastern district of michigan [official website]. schmidt has been charged with 11 counts and could face a combined maximum...
[jurist] un human rights experts are called [press release] on global leaders friday to take urgent action on air pollution to ensure world citizens enjoy what the un calls “the human rights to life and health in environments free from contamination.” the experts stated that, according to the world health organization (who) [official website], approximately seven million deaths are linked to exposure to air pollution [who backgrounder] every year. according to unicef [official website], 300 million children, roughly one in...
the illinois state board of education [official website] voted on thursday to approve a settlement [text, pdf] of a lawsuit claiming discriminatory school funding. the vote resolved litigation over the chicago urban league’s (cul) [advocacy website] 2008 lawsuit claiming [daily herald report] that the state’s funding model had a “demonstrable, disparate and adverse impact” on minorities. the settlement provides that the board will cap per-pupil cuts or use other distribution methods if appropriations are deemed inadequate. this will replace the...
a slovenian law allowing same-sex marriage took effect friday, and the country’s first same-sex marriage will take place saturday, according to an administrator in maribor [official website, in slovenian], the city where the wedding will take place. ksenija klampfer said a lesbian couple will be the first to get married under a law passed by the slovenian government last year. the law was passed [radio-television slovenia report, in slovenian] in a 51-28 vote [jurist report] months after a referendum to...
the un security council [official website] on wednesday condemned [statement] the february 16 terrorist attack in baghdad that left at least 55 people dead. a terrorist group linked to the self-proclaimed islamic state (is) claimed responsibility for the attack, which was reportedly a car bomb [al jazeera report] on a busy street in the bayaa neighborhood. current council president volodymyr yelchenko [official profile] called the attacks “cowardly and heinous,” and reiterated the council’s position that “any acts of terrorism are...

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[jurist] us attorney general jeff sessions [official website] issued a memo [memo, pdf] made public thursday that rescinds an obama administration memo [text] calling for the phasing out of the department of justice (doj) [official website] use of private prisons. in the memo, sessions states that the obama-era memo “changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the bureau (of prisons’) ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.” currently, 13 of the 146 federal prisons [reuters report]...
[jurist] the un working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances [official website] urged [press release] bangladesh on friday to end enforced disappearances. the working group says that the number of enforced disappearances in bangladesh has risen from a few cases to around 40 in the past few years. many of the cases involve political opponents, including three men who disappeared last august. the working group said, “enforced disappearance is a heinous crime and an offence to human dignity and no...

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the un special rapporteur for north korean human rights, tomas ojea quintana [official website], is urging the un human rights council (unhrc) and the un member states to bring human rights violations committed by north korea before the international criminal court (icc) and address “the grave human rights situation” in the country. in a detailed report [text, doc] prepared with the help of legal experts sonja biserko of serbia and sara hossain of bangladesh, quintana made references to north korea’s...
prosecutors in north jutland, denmark [official website], pressed blasphemy charges [press release, in danish] against a man on wednesday for posting a video in which he burned a koran. on thursday the danish prosecution service issued a formal indictment [press release, in danish] against the man. the prosecutor noted that, “it is the prosecution’s view that the circumstances of the burning of holy books like the bible and the qur’an implies that in some cases it may be a violation...

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the government of bosnia and herzegovina (bih) formally asked the international court of justice [official website] thursday to review a 2007 ruling [text, pdf; jurist report] clearing serbia of genocide during their 1990 civil war. president izetbegovic of the president of the democratic party of action, engaged a lawyer to draft the request before the 10-year statute of limitations runs out on february 26. the request for review [rfe/fl report] has prompted anger from bosnian serbs and serbia; bosnian presidency’s...
[jurist] human rights watch (hrw) [advocacy website] said friday that the israeli government denied [press release] a work permit to researcher omar shakir, citing anti-israel bias from the organization. according to a translation of the letter sent from israel’s interior ministry, the letter said [hrw translation, pdf] “the opinion received from the ministry of foreign affairs noted that, for some time now, this organization’s public activities and reports have engaged in politics in the service of palestinian propaganda, while falsely...
human rights watch (hrw) [advocacy website] called [press release] on democratic republic of congo (drc) officials friday to investigate fully and impartially a video allegedly showing congolese soldiers shooting and killing 13 alleged militia members. the video, released on february 17, shows soldiers approaching a group of alleged members of the kamuina nsapu militia, many of whom were carrying sticks and slingshots. the soldiers then opened fire on the group, some of whom were women and children, and several of...
us president donald trump signed [press release] an executive order [text] friday that creates regulatory task forces in every federal agency to look through the regulations and determine which ones “are burdensome to the us economy” and can be removed or consolidated. the task forces should be established within 60 days, and the task forces have 90 days to report progress. the task forces are meant to “seek to repeal regulations that ‘inhibit job creation,’ are ‘ineffective,’ impose costs that...

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