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Legal news from Friday, June 12, 2015
by Devin Montgomery

Michigan governor Rick Snyder on Thursday signed into law a bill that allows private adoption agencies to deny placements they object to for religious reasons, including placements with same-sex couples. Snyder said the law reflects existing practices by the state and that his objective is to get as many children adopted as possible. Michigan Catholic …

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by Colleen Mallick

Humans Rights Watch (HRW), along with Amnesty International, Civil Society Organizations Reference Group and National Civil Society Congress called on authorities in Kenya on Thursday to stop the harassment and intimidation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the country's coastal region. The groups said in a statement (HRW report) that the harassment and intimidation of Haki Africa and …

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by Colleen Mallick

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and a spokesperson for the EU on Thursday demanded that the government of Pakistan reinstate its death penalty moratorium. The EU also called on the Pakistani government to uphold their obligations under international law, which condemns the use of torture and prohibits state executions of juveniles. Since …

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by Laura DeGeer

Assistant Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping operations Edmund Mulet said Tuesday that the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan is continuing to harm civilians. Presenting the Report of the Secretary-General on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur to the UN Security Council, Mulet said an increase in violent …

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by Sarah Boehme

The European Commission said Thursday that they have opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon's e-books business. The investigation will focus on particular clauses in Amazon's contracts requiring publishers to inform Amazon about more favorable or alternative terms offered to Amazon's competitors. Amazon has also added clauses to their contracts that require publishers to offer terms …

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by Laura DeGeer

China's ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang was found guilty Thursday of bribery, abuse of power and intentionally disclosing national secrets was sentenced to life imprisonment. He has also been deprived of his political rights for life and has had his personal assets confiscated. A year after Zhou's retirement in 2012, he was put under investigation as part of President Xi …

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by Dominic Yobbi

The Constitutional Court of Belgium on Thursday ruled that a law requiring Internet service providers and telecommunications operators to retain customer metadata for possible future police investigations violates fundamental privacy rights and is therefore unconstitutional. Specifically the law required these organizations to store customer metadata such as phone call logs and …

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by Dominic Yobbi

The North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday passed a law that would allow some court officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs, overriding a veto by Governor Pat McCroy. The law requires that officials who hold such religious beliefs must stop performing all marriages for …

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by Sarah Boehme

UN Special Rapporteur Miklós Haraszti on Thursday warned that Belarus continues to sentence and imprison political opponents of the government. Haraszti cited examples from April and May where existing prisoners we given extended sentences or placed under worse conditions and called for their releaseThis year, the authorities chose in several cases to extend prison sentences of …

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