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Legal news from Friday, April 3, 2015
by Ashley Hogan

A Malaysian cartoonist known for his political caricatures was charged Friday with nine counts of sedition over a series of tweets criticizing the country's judiciary. Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly referred to as Zunar, could be sentenced to up to 43 years in jail if found guilty on all nine charges. The tweets, which criticized the judiciary for …

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by Matt Belenky

The Delaware Senate voted 11-9 Thursday to repeal the death penalty. The legislation is being sponsored by Senator Karen Peterson and includes an exemption for the 15 inmates currently on Delaware's death row, who will face death by lethal injection. Delaware is one of 32 states that employ capital punishment. Supporters of …

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by Ashley Hogan

The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday indicted three people for war crimes committed against Serb victims. The indicted, Zdenko Andabak, Muamir Jasharevic and Sead Velagic, are accused of committing crimes against humanity against more than 300 Serb civilians between April 1992 and July 1993. The indictment charged the men with torturing and …

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by Emelina Perez

Fifteen states, led by Louisiana, urged the US Supreme Court on Thursday to uphold same-sex marriage bans. The brief asserts that voters should decide for themselves whether to allow same-sex marriages in their respective states. Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia joined the brief, even though courts have struck down …

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by Valerie Howell

UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, on Thursday praised Lebanon's tradition of religious tolerance in a region plagued by religious fanaticism as a "ray of hope." Bielefeldt attributes Lebanon's success in preserving peace to the learned practice of coexisting under precarious conditions, inter religious dialogues, cooperation and Lebanese citizenship. …

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by Colleen Mallick

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Thursday strongly condemned the continuous airstrikes on an airport in the western town of Zintan, claiming the attacks pose danger to civilians and are undermining efforts to find a solution to the Libyan crisis. Neither the rebels nor the Libyan government are claiming responsibility for the attacks. …

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by Colleen Mallick

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law on Thursday an amended version of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which critics argued gave business owners the legal right to deny service based on sexual orientation. The amended legislation states that the religious freedom law does not authorize any business to refuse to provide …

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by Emelina Perez

China's former national security chief Zhou Yongkang was charged with bribery, abuse of power and disclosing state secrets on Friday, making him the highest-ranked official to be charged with political corruption in decades. Zhou was the head of the Ministry of Public Security until his retirement in …

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by Valerie Howell

US District Judge Jon Tigar for the Northern District of California issued a decision on Thursday ordering the California Department of Corrections to grant a transgender inmate's sex reassignment surgery. Michelle-Lael Norsworthy began living as a woman in the 1990s while in state prison, where she was later diagnosed with severe gender dysphoria. Ms. Norsworthy …

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by Taylor Brailey

United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Valarie Amos issued a statement on Friday expressing the concern of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the safety of civilians in Yemen. Amos referred to humanitarian reports, which indicate that over the past two weeks 519 people have been killed and 1,700 others have been …

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by Steven Wildberger

A United Nations internal inquiry on Thursday concluded that members of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) used "unauthorized and excessive force" resulting in the deaths of three civilian protesters and the injuries of four other individuals in January. Launched in February, the inquiry also concluded that some protestors bore responsibility for the …

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by Taylor Brailey

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Friday charged Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, a US citizen, with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The court issued a complaint and arrest warrant, alleging that Farekh "conspired with others to provide material support to terrorists and specifically to provide personnel to …

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by Steven Wildberger

Iran on Thursday agreed in principle to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), creating significant restrictions on its nuclear program for at least a decade in return for a reduction of international economic sanctions. Just three days after the self-imposed deadline for a preliminary deal, Iran agreed to an outline deal between the US …

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