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Legal news from Friday, February 5, 2016
by Alonso Diaz

The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would end a Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative aimed at removing certain industries from the banking system. The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015 would end the DOJ's initiative called "Operation Choke Point" [Washington Post op-ed]. The bill aims to bar federal banking …

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by Alonso Diaz

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday found that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) violated federal law through its handling of multi-year lease costs for its offices. CFTC was authorized by Congress to enter into multi-year leases, but it was obligated to record an obligation equal to the government's total liability. The …

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by Alexis Wheeler

The Constitutional Court of Tajikistan has affirmed the legality of a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Tajikistan that would allow the possibility of current President Emomali Rahmon remaining president for life. The amendments were affirmed in late January and have a special provision naming Rahmon "Founder of peace and national unity - Leader of …

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by Alexis Wheeler

Judge Vernon Broderick for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on Thursday that suspended Deputy UN Ambassador Francis Lorenzo cannot claim diplomatic immunity on bribery charges. Lorenzo, representing the Dominican Republic, has been facing criminal allegations involving bribery since early October. The judge held that because Lorenzo is a naturalized …

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by Ram Eachambadi

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement released on Friday urged all concerned countries to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a “violent practice" scarring girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential. Ban stated, "Never before …

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by Matthew Santiago

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday vacated a district court ruling that had upheld a Maryland law banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles. The lower court had granted summary judgment in favor of Maryland on the plaintiffs' Second Amendment claims attacking the law's constitutionality after applying the intermediate scrutiny standard. The Fourth Circuit …

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by Ram Eachambadi

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Friday urged nations affected by the Zika virus to review their laws and allow women access to contraceptive devices and abortion. The commissioner reported that the mosquito-borne Zika virus is linked to a condition involving abnormally small heads among newborns and that the number of …

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by Matthew Santiago

Polish President Andrzej Duda approved a new law on Thursday that grants the government greater access to digital data and broader use of surveillance for law enforcement. The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), which won a parliamentary majority last October and supported passage of the law, justified the …

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