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Legal news from Wednesday, September 2, 2015
by Matt Belenky

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Wednesday published a ruling holding that a lesbian woman has no visitation or custody rights to a boy given birth by her partner before they were married. Writing for the court, Judge Robert A. Zarnoch said that Maryland law did not specifically address children born to unwed same-sex couples. …

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by Laura DeGeer

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry Williams on Wednesday rejected motions to drop charges against six police officers implicated in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in police custody and later died in April. The charges against the officers range from second-degree murder and manslaughter to second-degree assault and misconduct. The legal proceedings …

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by Laura DeGeer

The Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova on Tuesday condemned the destruction of the Temple of Bel by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, calling it an "intolerable crime against civilization." The temples of Palmyra are considered to be the most important first-century religious monuments in the Middle …

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by Emelina Perez

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye spoke out Tuesday against prison sentences handed down to three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt earlier this week. Mohamed Fahmy, Bahar Mohamed and Peter Greste received three-year prison sentences for their roles in releasing video footage that allegedly contained false news in support of …

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by Emelina Perez

Guatemala's congress on Monday stripped President Otto Pérez Molina of his immunity by a unanimous vote of the 132 members who were present. This vote allows prosecutors to go after the president for corruption allegations. Pérez Molina and about 30 other government officials are accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for keeping low import duties. …

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by Brittany Felder

California on Tuesday agreed to restrict its controversial practices of solitary confinement. The class action lawsuit was brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which alleged that approximately 3,000 prisoners were kept in isolated conditions in which they were alone for 22 hours a day, sometimes in windowless cells. In the settlement California agreed …

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by Brittany Felder

The trial of Bosco Ntaganda, a former Congolese military leader also known as "The Terminator," began at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday. The rebel leader has pleaded innocent to the 18 charges levied against him, including rape, murder, recruitment of child soldiers and sexual slavery of civilians. …

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by Matt Belenky

The transitional council in Central African Republic (CAR) announced on Monday that it has adopted a constitution that will help create a new government for the country to help combat many years of turbulence and social unrest. The constitution must now pass a referendum on October 5, which will be followed by legislative and presidential elections on October 18, …

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by Matt Belenky

Authorities in China have punished approximately 197 people, officials announced Monday, for spreading false rumors online about the fatal explosions in Tianjin and the recent stock market crash. Among those arrested include a journalist, who works for the controversial financial publication Caijing and several stock market personnel, including senior executives at China's market watchdog Citic Securities Co. …

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