Sharon's son ordered to hand over documents Ruling comes day after prosecutor recommends indictment
March 29, 2004
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The Israel Supreme Court ruled Monday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son must hand over documents related to an ongoing corruption investigation. More
French lawyer says he will defend Saddam
March 28, 2004
(CNN) -- A French attorney who has represented other notorious figures said Sunday that he will defend ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in any future trial.

Aide: Rumsfeld Urged Iraq Attack Sooner

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld almost immediately urged President Bush (news - web sites) to consider bombing Iraq after the Sept. 11, 2001. More

Judicial socializing stirs ethics questions
March 19, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he and his colleagues have every right to mingle with other Washington power-brokers and give speeches without having their integrity questioned. More
Mongolian Summer School
PROGRAM INFO.- Mongolian Summer School, Ulaanbaatar, July 1 - Aug. 1, 2004
The next Summer School for Young Mongolists will be held in Ulaanbaatar from
July 1 to August 1, 2004.
Wash., Pa. Men to Share Sniper Award Associated Press ROCKVILLE, Md. - Two men will share a $500,000 reward for providing information that led to the arrests of the Washington-area snipers nearly two years ago, officials said Saturday. More
WORLD: Poland 'Misled' on Iraq, President Says
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writer
WARSAW, Poland - Poland's president, a key Washington ally in Europe, said Thursday his country was "misled" about the threat of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s weapons of mass destruction. More
Utah eliminates firing squad executions
March 17, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- Gov. Olene Walker has done away with firing squads in Utah, leaving injection as the only method for executing condemned killers.The Utah Legislature passed the measure late last month, and Walker had said she intended to sign it. She did so Monday without comment.
WORLD: S. Korea votes to impeach Roh
March 12, 2004
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's National Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun by 193-2, amid dramatic scenes as rival politicians physically battled on the floor of parliament. More
California's top court blocks gay marriages
March 11, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The California Supreme Court on Thursday ordered an immediate halt to gay marriages in San Francisco, delivering a victory to conservatives who have fought for a month to block the ceremonies. More
High Court: Wife's statement against spouse can't be used
March 8, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Constitution guarantees a criminal defendant may confront his accusers, and that right means prosecutors can't use a wife's taped statement to police to try to undermine her husband at trial, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. More
Sniper Muhammad sentenced to death
Judge follows jury's recommendation

March 9, 2004
MANASSAS, Virginia (CNN) -- A Virginia judge Tuesday sentenced John Allen Muhammad to death for killing Dean Harold Meyers -- one of 10 people shot to death during the October 2002 sniper shootings.
WorldNews: Retrial ordered for 9/11 suspect
March 4, 2004 HAMBURG, Germany
-- A German appeals court has ordered a retrial of the only person convicted in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. More
Martha Stewart found guilty on all counts
Stewart, broker could face up to 20 years in prison
March 5, 2004
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A jury found Martha Stewart guilty on all four counts she faced in her obstruction of justice trial Friday. More
Judge resigns over online racial remarks
March 4, 2004
RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A Virginia judge has resigned after the disclosure of racially charged remarks he wrote in an Internet chat room, including statements suggesting that blacks have a biological tendency toward violence. More
New indictment follows millionaire's acquittal
By John Springer
Court TV February 18, 2004
(Court TV) -- Robert Durst, the multimillionaire Manhattanite acquitted of murdering an elderly Texas man, was house hunting last month in anticipation of his release from jail soon.
Supreme Court will hear death penalty case
March 1, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Monday that it will consider effectiveness standards for attorneys, focusing on a Florida death row case involving a defendant who questioned his lawyer's strategy of admitting his guilt. More
Peterson jury allowed to hear wiretaps
March 2, 2004
REDWOOD CITY, California (AP) -- Jurors in Scott Peterson's trial will hear evidence collected by investigators using wiretap listening devices, a judge ruled Tuesday. More
New York attorney general says state law forbids gay marriages
By Joe Manoney and David Saltonstall
New York Daily News
NEW YORK - (KRT) - Gay couples cannot be legally wed in New York - and mayors who ignore the law could face arrest, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer declared Wednesday.
MongoliaNews: Trilateral contract on Motherland-Democracy Coalition signed By E. Tor
On February 23 (a monkey day or 3rd day of the first month of spring of Wood Monkey Year), an official ceremony to sign on trilateral cooperation contract of the Motherland-Democracy Coalition was held at the Democratic Party headquarter building.
MongoliaNews: "The UB Post"
Livestock census result
The National Statistical Office and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture introduced results of 2003 livestock census at a regular cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.More
American University Washington College of Law
Human Rights Defenders Speaker Series SPECIAL EVENT!!!!
Join us on February 25th, when panelists Gaston Mwenelupembe (Malawi), Ahmad Warraich (Pakistan), and Gombosurengiin Ganzorig (Mongolia) will discuss their experiences advocating for human rights from within the government system. More

US Transfers Guantanamo Prisoner to Denmark
February 25, 2004 By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States turned over a Danish national who was imprisoned at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the government of Denmark, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, and the Danes planned to set him free. More
Judge Strikes Down Iowa Sex-Offender Law
Feb 13, 2004
DES MOINES, Iowa - A federal judge on Monday struck down an Iowa law
that prohibited convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and day-care centers. More
Dog Is Found Alive Month After Boat Sinks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A Labrador retriever has been found alive on an isolated cove of a Southeast Alaska island more than a month after its owner was given up for dead when his boat sank in rough seas.
Congress Not Rushing Gay Marriage Ban
Feb 25, By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) wants quick election-year enactment of a constitutional amendment prohibiting gays from marrying each other, but Republicans in Congress are not rushing to heed his call.
Bush to Back Gay Marriage Ban Amendment
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Jumping into a volatile election-year debate on same-sex weddings, President Bush (news - web sites) on Tuesday backed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage - a move he said was needed to stop judges from changing the definition of the "most enduring human institution."
Milosevic prosecution concludes next week
20 February, 2004
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Hague war crimes tribunal says the prosecution will sum up against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic on Tuesday and Wednesday. More
Supreme Court to Hear 'Dirty Bomber' Case
By Charles Lane Washington Post Staff Writer
February 20, 2004
The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will rule on a crucial -- and fiercely debated -- element of President Bush's legal strategy in the war against terrorism...More
Utah May Drop Execution by Firing Squad
February 20, By PAUL FOY, Associated Press Writer
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah lawmakers sent the governor a bill Friday to eliminate firing squad executions and deny killers the chance to "go out in a blaze of glory."
Bush pardons former mayor Served prison time for bank fraud
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush pardoned a former mayor of Plano, Texas, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 1996, the Justice Department announced Monday. More
Same-sex marriage decisions delayed
February 18, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Two judges have delayed decisions that could have stopped San Francisco's issuance of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, allowing the city to issue the licenses until at least Friday when the next hearing is scheduled. More
Courts consider Texas death row retardation claims
February 16, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- In the year and a half since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled mentally retarded inmates cannot be executed, more than 40 death row cases were delayed or sent back for review in Texas Texas -- leaving appellate courts in a quandary. More

Prosecutor in terror case controversy sues Ashcroft
USA Today Posted 2/17/2004 WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case...More

MongoliaNews: Swiss-Mongolian society setup 02.13.2004
Switzerland-Mongolia Friendship Society was established on February 6 in Geneva, Switzerland. At the opening ceremony, Mongolian Ambassador to Switzerland Kh. Bekhbat, a member of National Council of Swiss Confederation Mr. Andre Raymond, embassy staffs and Mongolian citizens working in international organization were attended the event. More
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia visited Texas Law School
G. Ganzorig, 02.10. 2004
At the beginning of February 2004 Hon Chief Justice Ganbat Chimedlham, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia visited the United States. More
Lift to right: Dean Fred Slabach, Chief Justice CH. Ganbat, Prof. Joe Spurlock
Judge overturns late-term abortion law
February 3, 2004 RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled Virginia's ban on a type of late-term abortion is unconstitutional, striking down a law that uses language mirroring the federal ban signed into law last year. More
MongoliaNews: Bridge to nowhere Jan 29th 2004
A bridge in the middle of nowhere has become a symbol of bad development
IT MAY lack the fame of Africa's Serengeti, but Mongolia's Eastern Steppe, the
size of Oregon or Britain, is the biggest intact grazing ecosystem left on earth...More
Passengers: Pilot uses flight as pulpit
American Airlines apologizes for comments on religion
February 9, 2004
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A pilot asked passengers on an American Airlines flight to raise their hands if they were Christians, telling them they were "crazy" if they weren't, some of the passengers said Monday.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act
Reuters By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal judge in Los Angeles has struck down as too vague part of the Patriot Act that bars providing "expert advice and assistance" to foreign terrorist groups -- marking the first time a court has declared part of the law unconstitutional. More
Panel decries wrongful convictions
By Jenna Russell, Globe Staff, 1/25/2004
Simple, inexpensive changes in law enforcement procedures could help prevent wrongful convictions like that of Stephan Cowans, according to judges, lawyers, and others who discussed the problem yesterday. More
Chief Justice Balks at Ethical Questions
Mon Jan 26, 6:08 PM ET
By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on Monday rebuffed two Democratic senators who questioned Justice Antonin Scalia (impartiality in an appeal involving Scalia's friend and hunting partner, Vice President Dick Cheney. More
FELLOWSHIP- Public Interest Law Initiative, Columbia Law School
The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) at Columbia Law School is now
accepting applications for its 2004-2006 Public Interest Law Fellowship Program
PILI has just opened its application process for its 2004-2006 Public
Interest Law Fellowship Program. More
CEU summer courses
Deadline has been extended until February 9, 2004. Fee-paying applications can be submitted continuously until May 17, 2004. Early application is encouraged as course places may fill up prior to that date. Announcement of the 2004 Summer University courses at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. More
Students' Perspective on Current Social and Economic Situation of

Student Panel Discussion
Objective: This student panel is designed to stimulate discussions on the current economic and social issues in Mongolia from Mongolian students'
Rehnquist questioned on Cheney-Scalia trip
January 22, 2004
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two leading Democratic senators asked Chief Justice William Rehnquist on Thursday about the propriety of a hunting trip Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took with Vice President Dick Cheney while Cheney has a case pending before the high court. More
Janklow sentenced to 100 days in jail
January 22, 2004
FLANDREAU, South Dakota (AP) -- Bill Janklow, who dominated South Dakota politics for three decades as governor and then congressman, was sentenced to 100 days in jail Thursday for a car crash that killed a motorcyclist and ended Janklow's career in disgrace. More

Bush Gives Recess Appointment to Pickering
BOXNEWS, 01.16.04
WASHINGTON - President Bush used his executive authority Friday to bypass Senate Democrats and install District Judge Charles Pickering (search) on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. More

Supreme Court agrees to consider immigrant detention case
January 16, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether authorities can imprison indefinitely hundreds of Cuban immigrant criminals and other illegal non-U.S. citizens with no country to accept them. More
Supreme Court expands review of U.S. war on terror
Case of U.S.-born man captured in Afghanistan increases scrutiny of Bush policies 01.09.04
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday expanded its review of the Bush administration's war on terror...More
Bush immigration plan could pass Congress
By Ted Barrett and Steve Turnham, 01.08.04 Posted: 2:06 AM EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) --Congressional leadership aides predicted that President Bush might be able to pass his immigration reform proposals this year if he pushes hard...More
MongoliaNews: Myers Thanks Mongolians for Iraqi Freedom Help
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, Jan. 13, 2004 - Mongolia is a small country with a powerful warrior tradition. But today, the country consciously is tying its reputation to peacekeeping, and Mongolia's latest area of operations is Iraq. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Mongolia today to speak with national and defense leaders.
NYC will pay $3 million to Diallo family
Parents of slaim immigrant had sought $81 million
From Phil Hirschkorn and Shannon Troetel CNN January 6, 2004
NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of Amadou Diallo, the unarmed West African immigrant shot to death by police nearly five years ago. More
Ex-detective wrongly convicted of murder owed job, back pay
January 8, 2004
(CNN) -- A former Rhode Island police detective who spent more than six years in prison for a murder he did not commit may return to his old job with back pay, a judge has ruled. More
George Harrison's estate sues doctor
Lawsuit claims doctor forced the rocker to sign an autograph
The Associated Press Jan. 06, 2004
NEW YORK - A doctor forced a weakened George Harrison to autograph a guitar for the physician's teenage son two weeks before the ex-Beatle died of cancer, a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges. More
WORLDNEWS: Aus entertainer under probe
03/01/2004 08:21 - (SA)
Brisbane, Australia - An investigation has been ordered after famous Australian crocodile hunter Steve Irwin fed a crocodile while holding his month-old baby, the Queensland state government said on Saturday. More
Rehnquist slams Congress over reducing sentencing discretion
From Bill Mears
CNN Washington Bureau
January 1, 2004
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The nation's chief justice has sharply criticized Congress over the issues of judicial salaries and laws tightening federal sentencing guidelines. More
Woman convicted in dog-mauling death is freed
January 2, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter along with her husband in the dog mauling death of a neighbor was released from prison after serving more than half of a four-year sentence. More
Battlefield Chicago? In the Padilla case, a federal court says no
By Joanne Mariner FindLaw Columnist Special to
(FindLaw) -- Sometimes a single word is remarkably telling. In the federal appeals court ruling that denied the Bush administration the power to unilaterally detain U.S. citizen Jose Padilla indefinitely as an enemy combatant, that word is "captured." More
Gary Condit sues tabloids for $209 million
By Harriet Ryan Court TV December 22, 2003
(Court TV) -- Former congressman Gary Condit hit three supermarket tabloids with a $209 million defamation suit Friday for printing articles suggesting he killed Washington intern Chandra Levy. More
Jury sharply split in sparing sniper Malvo
December 24, 2003
CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (CNN) -- The Virginia jury that spared the life of teen sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was apparently sharply split, with five jurors favoring a death sentence but others saying he was too young to be executed. More
Supreme Court to fine tune suspects' rights
December 9, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is taking another look at its 37-year-old mandate that police officers give suspects the familiar warning that begins "You have the right to remain silent ..." before starting interrogations. More
Retired judges named to hear appeal of Ten Commandments justice
December 16, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- In what was called an unprecedented event, seven retired judges were selected at random to hear Roy Moore's appeal of his ouster as chief justice for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments display. More
Russian legislation on mental health declared to be
in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights

Ms. Rakevich's case is the seventh case against Russia since the Russian
Federation ratified the European Convention.
Rakevich v. Russia
CONF./CFP- Heroic Apocrypha in the Chinggisid and Timurid Successor States
Heroic Apocrypha in the Chinggisid and Timurid Successor States: First
Participants are sought for a conference on "apocryphal" or "legendary"
sources on Chinggis Khan, Timur, Babur, Edigu, and other figures in the
history of the Mongol empire and its successor states. More
Call for panel participants
The Mongolia Society and the American Center for Mongolian Studies
(ACMS) are placing a call for panel participants for one or more Mongolian Studies panelsfor one or more Mongolian Studies panels to be held in conjunction with the 2004 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting, which will be held at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, CA from March 4-7, 2004. More
World News: Retrial sought for Mexicans on death row
December 16, 2003
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (Reuters) -- Mexico asked the World Court Monday to order the United States to retry 52 Mexicans on death row because it says they were not told of their right to consular help after being arrested.
Supporter of Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche refused to denounce him
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2003--A 66-year-old Tibetan man who refused to
denounce a condemned Tibetan monk was tortured by the Chinese
authorities to the point of mental and physical handicap before his release, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports. More
Supreme Court to hear church-state case
Taxpayer money for religious studies focus of case
November 28, 2003
OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) -- Joshua Davey's hard work and good grades won him a state scholarship, but his ambition to be a minister denied him the money. Now, his legal challenge has become another U.S. Supreme Court battle over the separation of church and state. More
Massachusetts high court rules gay marriage legal
BY JENNIFER PETER The Associated Press
BOSTON -- In the nation's most far-reaching decision of its kind, Massachusetts' highest court declared Tuesday that the state constitution guarantees gay couples the right to marry -- a ruling celebrated with a popping of champagne corks and the planning of spring weddings. More
N.Y. federal judge halts enforcement of late-term abortion ban
Court action follows similar ruling Wednesday in Nebraska
November 6, 2003
NEW YORK (CNN) -- In a ruling more far reaching than a similar one in Nebraska Wednesday, a federal judge in New York Thursday issued a temporary restraining order barring the U.S. government from enforcing a recently passed ban on certain late-term abortions. More
Ten Commandments Monument Trial Begins
Alabama Chief Justice Goes on Trial for Judicial Ethics Charge in Ten Commandments Case The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. Nov. 12 - Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had "every legal right" to ignore an order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state courthouse, Moore's attorneys said Wednesday at his judicial ethics trial. More
ULAANBAATAR: Main square opens to fanfare and fireworks
TheUBPost, 06 Nov 2003 ULAT, Comments: 1
Sukhbaatar Square reopened on November 3 after lengthy renovations. The 31,068-m˛ center of Ulaanbaatar was covered with granite tiles requiring Tg3.5 billion and 7,560 tons of granite. More
ULAANBAATAR: Detainee murdered in cell
TheUBPost, 06 Nov 2003 ULAT, Comments: 0
Last Saturday, a man was murdered at the Detention Center of the General Authority for Implementing Court Decisions, where he shared a cell with six other Mongolian men. More
ULAANBAATAR: MPRP elected to SocIntern
TheUBPost, 31 Oct 2003 ULAT
On October 29, the 22nd Congress of the Socialist International, being held in San Paulo, Brazil, announced the decision to include Mongolia's MPRP as a full member. More
Supreme Court rejects Ten Commandments monument appeal
Decision lets stand Alabama decision to remove statue
From Bill Mears CNN Washington Bureau, November 4, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected appeals to allow a granite monument of the Ten Commandments to be prominently displayed in an Alabama courthouse, a blow to the state's highest judge, who made the issue a personal crusade. More

Ten Commandments judge removed from office November 14, 2003 (CNN)
Alabama's judicial ethics panel removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office Thursday for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.The nine-member Court of the Judiciary issued its unanimous decision after a one-day trial Wednesday. The panel, which includes judges, lawyers and non-lawyers, could have reprimanded Moore, continued his suspension or cleared him. More

Judge orders freedom for man convicted of murder in 1989 11.06.2003
BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Fourteen years after he went to prison for the murder of a 12-year-old girl whose slaying became a symbol of random gang violence in Boston, Shawn Drumgold walked out of court a free man Thursday, his conviction overturned at prosecutors' request. More
Groups sue to block abortion procedure ban
November 1, 2003 WASHINGTON (CNN)
Two abortion rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed lawsuits to try to block the recently passed ban on a late-term abortion procedure from taking effect. The White House says President Bush intends to sign it on Wednesday. More
Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad: Contemporary Mongolia
June 5-July 3, 2004
A Workshop and Field Study for Post-Secondary Educators
The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and the University
Honors College are accepting applications for the Contemporary Mongolia
project. More
Judge OKs $1.4 Billion Wall St Settlement By Greg Cresci NEW YORK (Reuters)
A U.S. judge on Friday approved a $1.4 billion settlement between financial regulators and 10 Wall Street firms accused of misleading investors with biased stock research. More
World News: Orders Italy School to Remove Cross By TOM RACHMAN, Associated Press Writer
ROME - An Italian court has ordered a crucifix removed from a classroom - setting off a debate in a secular but culturally Catholic nation that is home to the Vatican (news - web sites) and where a law still requires public schools to display a cross. More

WorldNews: Genocide trial for 4 ex-ministers
November 2, 2003
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) -- Four former ministers go on trial on Monday charged with playing key roles in Rwanda's 1994 genocide. including handing out weapons, traveling abroad to buy guns and inciting the slaughter of 800,000 people. More

Janice Rogers Brown
During her time on the bench, California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown has taken positions hostile to reproductive rights, affirmative action, claims of discrimination based on race, age, gender, and disability, and worker and consumer protections. More
Scalia Ridicules Court's Gay Sex Ruling By ANNE GEARAN, AP Writer
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (news - web sites) ridiculed his court's recent ruling legalizing gay sex, telling an audience of conservative activists Thursday that the ruling ignores the Constitution in favor of a modern, liberal sensibility. More
Judge accuses Congress, Justice of pressure to avoid lenient sentences
Wednesday, 10.22. 2003
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AP) -- A federal judge has accused Congress and the Justice Department of bullying judges into thinking twice about handing down lenient sentences. More
Mongolian nomadism 'to die out' 24.10.2003
The Prime Minister of Mongolia has said that the nomadic lifestyle many of its people have followed for centuries will have all but disappeared in 10-15 years.
In an interview with the BBC, the prime minister, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, said the situation was inevitable and he blamed the change on a competitive and fast developing world. More
Prime Minister of Mongolia to be first International President of ARC
15 July 2003
ARC is delighted to announce that - alongside our Founder HRH the Prince Philip - we now have our first International President. In June 2003 the Prime Minister of Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar accepted an offer by ARC trustees to be International President for an initial three years. More
The American Center for Mongolian Studies Annual Meeting

The Mongolia Society and the American Center for Mongolian Studies
(ACMS) are placing a call for panel participants for one or more Mongolian Studies panels to be held in conjunction with the 2004 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting. More

MONGOLIA NEWS: In Mongolia, a Tilt Toward a Free Market
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - Mongolia, once a remote Soviet satellite, is rapidly becoming a country hailed by investors for its openness to foreign capital and ideas - not to mention its proximity to Asia's big play, China. More
Supreme Court accepts Pledge of Allegiance case
From Bill Mears, CNN, October 15, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a case involving whether schoolchildren can be allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance voluntarily, putting a family's custody dispute at the forefront of a constitutional legal battle. At issue is whether the Pledge of Allegiance should be banned from public schools for its use of the words "under God." More
Brain-damaged Florida woman receiving fluids
Gov. Bush orders effort to save her; judge declines injunction
October 22, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ordered a feeding tube reinserted into a brain-damaged woman Tuesday afternoon, less than two hours after the Legislature passed a bill allowing him to do so.
Supreme Court passes up chance to review presidential pardon power
October 21, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider whether a presidential pardon completely clears a person's past, restoring an individual's right to vote, have weapons or practice law. More
Justices ponder right to refuse to give police ID
October 20, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether people have a constitutional right to refuse to tell police their names.
Justices will review the prosecution of a man under a Nevada law that requires people suspected of wrongdoing to identify themselves to police, or face arrest. More
Message from Friends of Mongolia
Liliana Goldman participated
in SIT's Mongolia: Culture and Development
program in Fall 2001. For her ISP, she studied traditional Mongolian music, including the "long-song", with Dadsuren, who is widely believed to be the foremost long-song expert in Mongolia. More
Liberty Center
Date: September 16, 2003
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
MONGOLIA: A dispute arises over freedom of 26
North Korean refugees
"Mongolia should not push back those refugees who came for freedom from the hell of communism." told Mr.Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the President of the Liberty Center. More
Refugee Plan For Mongolia Adds to Dispute on North Korea By JAMES BROOKE Sept. 22 -Three hundred miles east of here, near a wall built by Genghis Khan, dust blows from the steppes through the empty barracks and apartments of an abandoned Soviet military base at Choybalsan. The local mayor, South Korean missionaries and American Congressional staff members share a common vision for the old border post. More
Bryant's lawyer lives up to reputation
Mackey known as zealous advocate of high-profile clients
October 12, 2003 EAGLE, Colorado (AP) -- As dozens of reporters scribbled furiously in the tense courtroom, the first details emerged about the rape allegations against Kobe Bryant-graphic details of a friendly encounter that quickly veered out of control.She referred to the alleged victim six times by name and dropped a bombshell that drew gasps...More
Ashcroft angers judges over sentencing
September 30, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A debate over appropriate punishments for federal crimes and how cases should be pursued by prosecutors has made unlikely foes of conservative judges and Attorney General John Ashcroft. More
Justice Calls Mandatory Sentences `Bad Policy' Sep 22, 2003 - Associated Press
Mandatory minimum sentences passed by Congress are "bad policy," Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said yesterday. More
MongoliaNews: Mongolia Is Having a Mine Rush
October 3, 2003
ORNUUR, Mongolia - A single-lane dirt road winds through rolling hills, past a herd of wild horses, past flocks of sheep, and past white felt gers, the traditional homes of nomads of the steppes. More
WorldNews: Inner Mongolian authorities carry out new policies: Land use first, formalities later on
Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center 24 June, 2003, New York
English Translation by H. Mergen
According to the official Inner Mongolia Daily reports, Inner Mongolian Department of Land Resource Management recently announced five new policies, to encourage ethnic Han Chinese population to enter the "autonomous region..." More
Supreme performance: Justices take stage at opera
From Yvonne S. Lee 09.07. 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy played a role in the opening night of the Washington Opera's 2003-2004 season Saturday night, at the DAR Constitution Hall. More
Court rules that recall can go ahead in October
September 23, 2003)
SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- California's recall vote will go ahead as scheduled on October 7, an 11-judge federal panel ruled Tuesday.
The American Civil Liberties Union had filed suit requesting that the ballot be delayed so that punch-card voting machines could be updated. More
Internews has launched a major information technology (IT) training
program for African and Asian women working in the media and other
communication sectors.
Public defender: 'Right to a jury trial is fundamental'
September 2, 2003 (CNN) -- The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California, overturned about 100 death sentences Tuesday that had been imposed by judges in Arizona, Idaho and Montana. The ruling cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that only juries -- not judges -- can impose the death penalty. More
Anti-Bush protesters sue Secret Service
September 23, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union asked the federal courts Tuesday to prevent the U.S. Secret Service from keeping anti-Bush protesters far away from presidential appearances while allowing supporters to display their messages up close. More
City agrees to pay $3 million in wrongful death claim
September 24, 2003
TACOMA, Washington (AP) -- The city has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of a woman who was shot to death by her police chief husband, and officials said the final package could total several million dollars more. More

Judge allows 9/11 airline lawsuits to proceed
September 9, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) -- Lawsuits blaming airlines, the Port Authority and the Boeing Co. for injuries and deaths in the September 11 terrorist attacks can proceed, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. More

Fulbright Teaching Awards for 2004-2005 academic year in Mongolia

The deadline for submitting applications for the Fulbright Teaching
Award for Mongolia for 2004-2005 has been extended. More

World News: Anger over adultery stoning case
September 19, 2003
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Pressure is mounting on the Nigerian government to spare the life of a Muslim woman condemned to death by stoning for adultery. More
US News: Judge: Evidence collected properly against lawyer
September 16, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) -- A judge has ruled that the government properly gathered evidence against a lawyer accused of conspiring to defraud the United States while she represented a blind Egyptian cleric convicted in a terrorism case. More
Man indicted for exposing lover to HIV
September 18, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A former city health commissioner who allegedly lied to an ex-boyfriend about his HIV status is the first person charged under a state law against intentionally exposing another person to the virus, prosecutors said. More
Mongolia News: New US Ambassador Arrives
By Ch. Sumyabazar TheUBPost, 05 Sep 2003
Newly-appointed US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Mongolia, Pamela J. Slutz, arrived in Ulaanbaatar on August 28, 2003, replacing former Ambassador John Dinger.My husband, Ronald Deutch, and I are very pleased to have this opportunity to live and work in Mongolia once again," she said in her arrival statement last week. More
IMF completes first and second reviews of Mongolia's PRGF Program and approves US$11 million disbursement
TheUBPost, 15 Sep 2003
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the first and second reviews of Mongolia's arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). More
General in prison, accused of revealing state secrets
By S. Gun-Uyanga TheUBPost, 11 Sep 2003
General Baatar, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, was arrested on the morning of September 5 at the abode of the family of the son-in-law of ex-president P. Ochirbat.
He was nabbed by the investigation department of the CIA, disclosed CIA spokesman Battogtokh.
Judicial nominee Estrada withdraws his name
September 4, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Miguel Estrada, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, withdrew his name from consideration Thursday after spending more than two years in limbo amid partisan wrangling over President Bush's nominations. More
Lawmakers include themselves in proposed raise
If approved, salaries to reach $158,000
September 4, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress, along with more than 1 million other civilian government workers, are in line for a 4.1 percent pay raise next year under legislation moving through the House Thursday.More
Judge allows 9/11 airline lawsuits to proceed
September 9, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) -- Lawsuits blaming airlines, the Port Authority and the Boeing Co. for injuries and deaths in the September 11 terrorist attacks can proceed, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. More
Michigan remakes admissions policy
University's new policy still considers race
August 28, 2003
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The University of Michigan unveiled a new undergraduate admissions policy Thursday that gives the highest priority to academic achievement, but also retains race as a factor, in an effort to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. More
Traficant associate sentenced for bribery
August 26, 2003
CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- A businessman convicted of doing free work for former Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. in exchange for political favors was sentenced Monday to two years in prison. More
Supreme Court urged to consider Gitmo case
September 2, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court was asked Tuesday to consider whether the Bush administration has violated the Constitution by holding 660 terrorist suspects in Cuba without charges or access to attorneys. More
Judge suspended over Ten Commandments
Ethics complaint: Chief justice failed to respect, obey law
August 23, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) -- Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended Friday pending the outcome of an ethics complaint for defying a federal court order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building. More
Final days for Commandments monument
August 27, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) -- The controversial Ten Commandments monument at the Alabama Judicial Building will be removed by the end of the week, the state's attorney general said Tuesday. More
FBI file reveals justice's clean past
August 28, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Over more than 30 years, the worst thing the FBI came up with about Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White was that he got a $10 speeding ticket the year before he joined the Kennedy administration, bureau documents. More
MongoliaNews: President N. Bagabandi meets Mr. Jackson Cox
August 15, 2003
President, N. Bagabandi has received Mr. Jackson Cox, Mongolian Program Director of the International Institute of the United States Republicans, in connection with the completion of Mr. Cox's term of office and his return to America. More
Not your typical, little business trip
Chicago Tribune August 17, 2003
CRYSTAL LAKE -- In parts of Mongolia, things haven't changed much since Genghis Khan was in charge.
But the country is taking a modern tack in promoting its age-old cashmere industry with help from the U.S. government and a Crystal Lake man as the prime U.S. marketing honcho. More
WorldNews: Coke and Pepsi met Indian standards
Bibhudatta Pradhan and Cherian Thomas Bloomberg News
August 21, 2003
NEW DELHI Health Minister Sushma Swaraj of India said Thursday that soft drinks
made by the local units of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo met the country's safety limit
prescribed for bottled drinking water.
Fox-Franken lawsuit arguments scheduled
Release date of book moved up
August 19, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) -- Oral arguments have been scheduled for Friday for the Fox News Channel's lawsuit against humorist Al Franken.U.S. District Judge Denny Chin set the date after a brief hearing Monday. More
Texas appeals court stops scheduled Wednesday execution
August 19, 2003
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A state appeals court on Tuesday halted the execution of a triple murderer after attorneys argued jurors should have been allowed to consider his troubled childhood during his sentencing. More
Justices order removal of Ten Commandments monument
August 21, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) -- Alabama's state Supreme Court justices overruled their chief justice on Thursday and ordered that a Ten Commandments monument be removed from its public site in the Alabama Judicial Building.
Judge ends 47-year-old desegregation case
August 16, 2003
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) -- The nation's longest-running school desegregation lawsuit was officially ended after 47 years when a federal judge signed a settlement agreement and dismissed the case. More
Crowd rallies to support chief justice's Ten Commandments monument
August 16, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told thousands of supporters Saturday that he would be guilty of treason if he didn't fight to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the state judicial building. More
Ten Commandments
August 15, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- The attorney general and Alabama Supreme Court associate justices are distancing themselves from the state's chief justice, who has pledged to defy a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's judicial building. More
MONGOLIA NEWS: ULAANBAATAR: Republican and Socialist parties want Justice Minister suspended TheUBPost, 07 Aug 2003 The Civil Will Republican Party (CWRC) demanded the suspension of Minister of Justice Ts. Nyamdorj from his position and a public examination of his income since 1990. More ULAANBAATAR: "Gundalai did not break the law" says attorney TheUBPost, 07 Aug 2003 By S. Gun-UyangaGundalai's attorney S. Narangerel said earlier this week in the Mongolian Medee that Gundalai's case had reached an interesting turn. More ULAANBAATAR: Gundalai proved wrong by law TheUBPost, 07 Aug 2003 By S. Gun-Uyanga
The group, lead by Head of Parliament Standing Committee for Justice Ts. Sharavdorj, was established by decree of Parliament Speaker S. Tomor-Ochir on July 25 to examine Gundalai's arrest...More
Virginia county says first sniper trial may cost $1.2 million August 5, 2003
MANASSAS, Virginia (AP) -- The county prosecuting the first of the Washington-area sniper suspects has estimated it will need $1.2 million for the capital murder trial.
The U.S. Justice Department has pledged $200,000 to help Prince William County...More
Florida cannot prosecute pilots for allegedly drinking before flight August 6, 2003
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Florida cannot prosecute two former America West pilots for operating an aircraft while allegedly intoxicated because federal law, not Florida law, applies in the case. More
Judge suspended over 'Tarzan' complaint
August 4, 2003
BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- Federal authorities said on Monday they had suspended a U.S. immigration judge after a newspaper reported he referred to himself as Tarzan during court proceedings for an African political asylum seeker named Jane. More
Florida cannot prosecute pilots for allegedly drinking before flight 08.06.03
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Florida cannot prosecute two former America West pilots for operating an aircraft while allegedly intoxicated because federal law, not Florida law, applies in the case. More
JOB- Chief of Party, Judicial Reform Project, Tashkent
Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies
Long Term (2-year) position of Chief of Party on a Central Asian Judicial
Reform Project starting in fall 2003. More
GRANTS- Kennan Institute Short-term Grants
Deadline September 1, 2003
The Kennan Institute offers Short-term Grants to scholars whose research in
the social sciences or humanities focuses on the former Soviet Union...More
JOB- Teachers needed: Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Deadline: ASAP
Santis Educational Services (SES) is an English Language Center
established in 1999, located in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Charges against Mississippi judges, attorney alleges loans, paybacks
Indictment come amid debate between state's business, trial lawyers

July 28, 2003
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- Less than a year after the state Legislature took action to rein in multimillion-dollar awards in Mississippi courts, an attorney is accused of paying off judges -- including a Supreme Court justice -- in exchange for favorable verdicts. More
Bush wants marriage reserved for heterosexuals
Urges America to remain a "welcoming country"
July 30, 2003
President Bush said Wednesday he has government lawyers working on a law that would define marriage as a union between a woman and a man, casting aside calls to legalize gay marriages. More
Peru asks for Fujimori's return
July 30, 2003

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Peru has asked Japan to extradite former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori so he can stand trial in Lima, according to Peru's embassy in Tokyo.
Fujimori left for Japan in November 2000 after a corruption scandal involving his former security chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, who is now in jail.
Judge warns media to follow his privacy directives on Bryant case
July 30, 2003
EAGLE, Colorado (CNN) -- The judge in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case has issued an order warning the media to honor his rules or face exclusion from court proceedings and other "legal sanctions." More
Missouri death row inmate released from prison
State's Supreme Court ruled lack of credible evidence
July 29, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (AP) -- A former death row inmate walked out of jail Monday after a prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to retry him in the stabbing death of a fellow inmate.
MONGOLIA NEWS: Released MP Gundalai says it was Nyamdorj's job
TheUBPost, 28 Jul 2003 After being released from the detention center Mr.Gundalai told journalists that he thought the arrest was Minister Nyamdorj's job. His statement was not just about Mr.Nyamdorj Ts., an MP and the Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs...More
Mongolia releases arrested opposition leader
By Irja Halasz
ULAN BATOR, 26 July (Reuters) - Mongolian opposition leader Gundalai has been released from police detention after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against his arrest, party officials and human rights activists said on Saturday.
Daily threat for Mongolia nomads
By the BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes
Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Published: 2003/07/27
Mongolia's changing climate is bearing down hard on the country's nomadic
population, who are being forced to reconsider a way of life that has been with
them for generations. More
MONGOLIA: M.P. Mr.Gundalai Arrested On His Way To Democracy Conference
By Oyungerel Ts, Liberty Center, NGO
Date: July 24, 2003 3.30p.m.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Today around 2p.m. at the Ulaanbaatar airport, a group of special force of 3 from Police has used force against Mr.Gundalai, 40, MP in order to prevent him to fly to Seoul. More

The new US Ambassador to Mongolia

The new US Ambassador to Mongolia was appointed. The Honorable Pamela Slutz will be sworn in on July 18, 2003, at the US State Department. She is expected to take up her duties in Ulaanbaatar in August, replacing Ambassador John Dinger. More

by Ben B. Boothe
The view of Ulaanbaatar from the Chingis Khan hotel is far different today than
that of 12 years ago. When I first came to Mongolia for the U.S. State
Department, in 1991, the economy here was a mess. More
Officials: Pope Trip to Mongolia Dropped
The Associated Press
July 4, 2003; 11:55 AM
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has dropped plans for Pope John Paul II to visit Mongolia next month, deciding a papal pilgrimage to the nascent Catholic community in the predominantly Buddhist country is premature, officials said. More
American Center for Mongolian Studies
At the Embassy of Mongolia to the United States on July 1, 2003 The Embassy of Mongolia and The North America-Mongolia Business Council hosted reception honoring The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS.

Mongolia News: President visits Lithuanian Parliament The President N.Bagabandi, who is currently in Lithuania on an official visit, visited the Parliament House of Lithuania on June 27 and was welcomed by the Lithuanian Parliament Speaker A. Pauluskas. More

President returns from Europa The President of Mongolia N. Bagabandi has arrived in Ulaanbaatar from the visit to Estonia, Lithua, Latvia and Austria.


Prime Minister in Russia We reported before that the Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar is paying an official visit to Russia at the invitation of the Russian Government Head M.M. Kasyanov and that the Prime Minister began his visit from Chita region. More
'Friendly fire' pilot will be tried for dereliction of duty
Manslaughter, assault charges set aside
Maj. Harry Schmidt-A fighter pilot who accidentally bombed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last year, killing four, will be tried for dereliction of duty after the Air Force set aside manslaughter and assault charges. More
MONGOLIA NEWS: US Military Attache Awarded friendship medal
Ulaanbaatar, June 25. /OANA-MONTSAME/. Under the Mongolian President's order, the Defense Attache at the US Embassy in Mongolia, Colonel Thomas Wilhelm has been awarded with the Friendship Medal of Mongolia. More

The Glob and Mail Associated Press
U.S. punishes foes in fight over world criminal court
...Mongolia, Senegal, Botswana and Nigeria received waivers even though the State Department had not identified them as signing exemption agreements. The State Department did not say why they were included...More
Hilary Clinton
"Living History"
(Book Excerpt) July 2, 2003
…Once it became clear I would make the controversial trip to China, the Administration requested that I stop for an overnight visit in Mongolia, a former Soviet satellite that in 1990 had chosen the path of democracy ...More


MONGOLIA NEWS: Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj
Possessing the strength to lift an entire nation
By Jim Frederick
From England's Beowulf to Japan's Momotaro, every culture on earth celebrates the hero who travels far, endures hardships, fights valiantly-and emerges victorious. No wonder, then, that one of the world's top sumo wrestlers, a 22-year-old Mongolian named Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, has achieved a status in his country to rival that of the great Khans. His life is a modern embodiment of the warrior's journey.Born to a storied wrestling family (his father and two of his brothers are high-ranking Mongolian wrestlers), Dagvadorj traveled to Japan at age 16 to chart his own course.

USA NEWS: Restaurant Ordered to Pay Couple $39M
June 27, 2003
MUNCIE, Ind. - Jurors ordered the corporate owner of an Outback Steakhouse to pay $39 million to a couple severely injured when they were hit by an allegedly drunken driver who had just left the restaurant.

WORLD NEWS: Argentina Supreme Court Justice Resigns
June 27, 2003
By BILL CORMIER, Associated Press Writer
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Argentina's top Supreme Court justice resigned Friday after weeks of political pressure by President Nestor Kirchner to overhaul the highly unpopular court, authorities said.
USA NEWS: Gay sex ban struck down
Joan Biskupic USA TODAY June 27, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court voted 6-3 on Thursday to strike down a Texas law that banned sex between homosexuals, a decision that was an unprecedented show of respect for gay men and lesbians. More
WORLD NEWS: New Zealand Legalizes Brothels
June 27, 2003
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Brothels will now be legal in New Zealand -- its parliament narrowly voted on Wednesday to overturn the country's 100-year-old sex laws which ban soliciting and living off the earnings of prostitution.
USA NEWS: Court Limits Race As Factor in Admissions
By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - In two split decisions, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that minority applicants may be given an edge when applying for admissions to universities, but limited how much a factor race can play in the selection of students. More
Homicide, assault charges dropped against 'friendly fire' pilots Dereliction charges remain in bombing that killed 4 CanadiansNEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) --The Air Force has dropped manslaughter and assault charges against two F-16 pilots who mistakenly bombed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last year, killing four. But while both pilots avoided court-martial and lengthy prison terms, one may not have been entirely cleared. More
Blair seeks U.S.-style Supreme Court Warren Hoge NYT Monday, June 16, 2003 LONDON In a move to free Britain's judicial system from political control, the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair is proposing the creation of an American-style Supreme Court and an independent commission to appoint judges. More Canada pushes gay marriage
The Canadian Government is to push for the legalisation of gay marriages following a series of critical court rulings on the subject. Prime Minister Jean Chretien said on Tuesday that the new legislation will not however force churches to recognise same-sex partnerships. More
Federal court declines to reopen Roe v. Wade DALLAS (AP) --A federal district court dismissed a request by the one-time plaintiff known as "Jane Roe" to reconsider the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 30 years ago.The court said late Thursday that Norma McCorvey's request wasn't made within a "reasonable time" after the 1973 judgment in Roe v. Wade. More
Court Backs Limits to Drugging Defendants
Jun 16, By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court said Monday the government can force medication on mentally ill criminal defendants only in the rarest of circumstances, ruling that prosecutors' simple desire to see a suspect face trial is not enough. The court split 6-3 in ruling that a mentally ill dentist - he once called police to report a leopard was boarding a bus outside his window - cannot be forced to take antipsychotic drugs that might make him sane enough for trial. The government must meet a series of conditions before it mandates treatment, the court majority said. More
MONGOLIA NEWS:Mongolian Christian TV Station Shuts Down
By MICHAEL KOHN The Associated Press
June 10, 2003
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - Tom Terry planned to give Mongolians another biblical summer - along with "The Flintstones" and NBA basketball. More
Man to Plead Guilty in Al-Jazeera Hacking
By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer
LOS ANGELES - A Web designer has agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of redirecting traffic from the Web site for the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera to a site showing an American flag and the words "Let Freedom Ring," prosecutors said Thursday. More
Michael Jackson settles court fight
Pop star Michael Jackson Wednesday settled a $12 million breach of contract lawsuit by his former top adviser, avoiding a trial that threatened to spill details of his financial empire and personal life into open court. More
WORLDNEWS: U.S. Gets War Crimes Tribunal Exemption
By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved another one-year exemption for American peacekeepers from prosecution by the new international war crimes tribunal, but it faced opposition from France, Germany and Syria. More
High Court Deadlocks on Agent Orange Case
By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court deadlocked Monday on whether it's too late for sick Vietnam veterans to sue chemical companies over Agent Orange exposure, but allowed vets to continue lawsuits claiming they were wrongly shut out of a decades-old national settlement. More
Guantanamo Eyes Possible Execution Chamber
By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Guantanamo officials are working on plans to provide a courtroom, a prison and an execution chamber if the order comes to try terror suspects at the base in Cuba, the mission commander said. More
ULAANBAATAR: Mongolian, Chinese Presidents hold talks

(TheUBPost, 05 Jun 2003 05:32 pm ULAT) ULAANBAATAR, June 4 (Xinhuanet) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Mongolian counterpart Natsagyn Bagabandi held talks here on Wednesday on ways to bring the Sino-Mongolian relationship to a new high. More
WORLDNEWS: Liberia's president indicted for war crimes
June 4, 2003
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) - A U.N.-sponsored war crimes court charged Liberian President Charles Taylor with crimes against humanity Wednesday for a 10-year terror campaign in which tens of thousands of people were killed, raped, kidnapped or maimed in neighboring Sierra Leone. More
MANILA: Strong Response to ADB Offer of Emergency Support to Fight SARS
(TheUBPost, 05 Jun 2003 07:43 pm ULATMANILA, PHILIPPINES (5 June 2003) - Within days of ADB's offer of emergency support to fight the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, it has received proposals from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
ADB approved a US$2 million regional technical assistance (RETA) grant in late May to provide regional support to prevent and contain SARS by financing the vital first steps in a medium- to long-term effort to boost health systems.More

Veil dispute begins in Florida courtroom

By Matt Bean Court TV(Court TV) --A Florida woman's fight to remain veiled in a driver's license photograph began Tuesday with testimony from her husband and a local expert on Islamic law."It's your opinion that if Sultaana?Freeman were required to remove her veil ... that would be a violation of her religious beliefs?"? asked ACLU-backed lawyer Howard Marks of the local scholar of Islam, Safil Islam Abdul Ahad."Yes," Ahad said. More

Arguelles, left, and Kell

Utah prepares for 2 firing-squad executions in June

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) --The only state that dispatches condemned inmates by firing squad is assembling gunmen for back-to-back executions next month.The nation's last execution by firing squad was in 1996.Exercising their right under Utah law, a serial killer, Roberto Arguelles, and Troy Michael Kell, a white supremacist who stabbed a fellow inmate to death, have chosen the firing squad over lethal injection and are set to die at 12:01 a.m. on June 27 and 28, respectively. More

Judge Orders Reforms on Mississippi's Death Row May 22, 2003 U.S. National - APBy MATT VOLZ, Associated Press Writer JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge ruled that life on Mississippi's death row is so harsh and filthy that inmates are being driven insane, and ordered reforms that advocates praised as a precedent-setting breakthrough in prisoners' rights. More Supreme Court upholds state employee right to family leaveWASHINGTON (AP) --The Supreme Court upheld the right of state workers to get time off to care for children or ailing relatives, rejecting an attempt to scale back a law guaranteeing 12 weeks of family leave.Tuesday's 6-3 ruling is a departure from the court's line of cases that expand state rights at the expense of federal power or laws passed by Congress. More
WORLDNEWS: WHO backs tobacco advert controls GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) --The World Health Organization has adopted an international treaty to clamp down on tobacco advertising and sponsorship -- despite opposition from the industry.The treaty was approved without a vote Wednesday by the WHO's policy-making assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, but needs to be ratified by the 192 member states. More Innocent plea entered for Nichols Defense asks for jury trial OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (AP) --The judge overseeing bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' state trial entered a not guilty plea on Nichols' behalf during arraignment Tuesday. The defense asked for a trial date more than 1 1/2 years away. More
Supreme Court Seat Shuffle?
Judges' retirements would spark first shift in decades
Washington - Well-informed court observers say that there could be two Supreme Court resignations next month, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, bringing the greatest upheaval on the court in 32 years. More
Judge Says Jurors Can't Retry Convicted Marijuana Grower

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 - A federal judge has denied a new trial for an advocate of medicinal marijuana, Ed Rosenthal. More

Busy Times for Utah's Firing Squad
Criminals chose to ridicule authorities and to make the execution as painful as possible
to all involved The men or women who make up the firing squad in the state of Utah can start polishing their guns. Two inmates have chosen to be executed by them, instead of a lethal injection.
Kopp gets 25 years to life
Tuesday, May 13, 2003

BUFFALO, New York (CNN) -- James Kopp received the maximum sentence of 25 years to life Friday for the sniper slaying of a Buffalo, New York-area physician in his suburban home nearly five years ago. More

Halliburton admits it paid Nigerian bribe

May 9, 2003 WASHINGTON (AFP) - Oil services giant Halliburton, already under fire over accusations that its White house ties helped win a major Iraqi oil contract, has admitted that a subsidiary paid a multi-million dollar bribe to a Nigerian tax official.

US NEWS: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Ten Commandments
April 28, 2003 By James Vicini
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) on Monday rejected an appeal by Kentucky of a ruling that barred the display of a large granite monument with the Ten Commandments on the state Capitol grounds in Frankfort. More
Judge: File-swapping tools are legal By John Borland, April 25, federal judge in Los Angeles has handed a stunning court victory to file-swapping services Streamcast Networks and Grokster, dismissing much of the record industry and movie studios' lawsuit against the two companies More
Supreme Court rejects appeal limits for federal inmates
April 23, 2003 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Wednesday to limit federal appeals involving claims of bad lawyering, an issue that has concerned some justices in death row cases.
The court said a convicted hit man could claim ineffective counsel in a second round of appeals, even though he did not initially contend that he was poorly represented at his trial. More
(NAMBC newsletter)
-- On April 11, the US Senate unanimously approved the nomination of Ms. Pamela J. Slutz, a career Foreign Service officer, as the next US Ambassador to Mongolia, to succeed Ambassador John R. Dinger, who has ably served in Ulaanbaatar since November 2000. More
USA NEWS: U.S. woman sentenced in international fraud case
April 25, 2003
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A 71-year-old woman who ran an international investment scheme that bilked people out of tens of millions of dollars was sentenced Friday to almost 20 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $23 million. More
'Dirty war' prosecutor picked for U.N. court
International Criminal Court judges elected earlier
April 22, 2003
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- An attorney who helped convict the military junta responsible for Argentina's "dirty war" was unanimously chosen Monday as the chief prosecutor of the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal. More
Chief Moose appeals ruling on sniper spree book
April 14, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose Monday appealed a county ethics commission ruling that bars him from profiting from his autobiography focused on last October's sniper spree. More
Mongolia News: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2002
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
March 31, 2003
Mongolia continued its transition from a highly centralized, Communist-led state to a full-fledged, multiparty, parliamentary democracy, although these gains have not yet been consolidated. The Prime Minister is nominated by the majority party and, with the agreement of the President, is approved by the State Great Hural (Parliament), the national legislature. To see full the Report visit:
U.S. prisons and jails now hold record 2 million inmatesWASHINGTON (AP) --With the federal government leading the way, the number of inmates in American prisons topped 2 million for the first time, the Justice Department reports.California, Texas, Florida and New York were the four biggest state prison systems, mirroring their status as the most populous states. More Mongolia News:
A claim for inmate death in prison dismissed
April 5, 2003G. Ganbat, 27 was convicted for theft of 26 cattle and sentenced to 6-years imprisonment. However, he died after 2 days. A cause of death was tubercles, which is a serious lung disease. Plaintiff, Ms. G. Ouynchimeg, who is the mother of G. Ganbat filed a lawsuit against the local police and prosecution departments, asking the court to rule on 30 949 mugrigs compensation and damage. More
Supreme Court upholds ban on cross burning Rejects free speech claimWASHINGTON (AP) --A divided Supreme Court upheld a state ban on cross burning, ruling Monday that the history of racial intimidation attached to this symbol outweighs the free speech protection of Ku Klux Klansmen or others who might it. More World News: S.Africa Plans Payment to Apartheid Victims
Apr 15, 2003 By Gershwin Wanneburg
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) - South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Tuesday his government would make a one-time payment of $3,890 each to more than 19,000 victims of apartheid identified by the country's truth commission. More
Judge dismisses suit, says parents not involved in JonBenet's murder
April 5, 2003
DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the parents of JonBenet Ramsey and criticized police and the FBI for what she said was a media campaign aimed at making the family look guilty. More
Utah court rules in favor of lesbian teacher April 5, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- The Utah Supreme Court on Friday left it up to education officials whether to fire a lesbian high school teacher.
The ruling was a victory for psychology teacher Wendy Weaver, who came under attack from parents and students at Spanish Fork High School in a heavily Mormon part of Utah.More

Recent Oregon ruling on secret warrants may set troublesome precedent
By Anita Ramasastry, FindLaw Columnist
Special to March 18, 2003
(FindLaw) -- Earlier in March, an Oregon federal court heard oral arguments on a motion in United States v. Battle, a case against five terrorism suspects. The defendants are accused of conspiring to assist al Qaeda forces in fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan. More

Ex-U.S. Hostage Gets $1.75M From Iraq
LAKE HAVASU, Ariz. - A former oil worker who went partially blind and suffered nerve damage while being held hostage in Iraq in 1990 has received $1.75 million in damages from Iraqi funds frozen by the U.S. government.
Jack Frazier, 65, was one of 178 former hostages who successfully sued the Republic of Iraq for illegally detaining them before the 1991 Gulf War. The former hostages were awarded a total of $93 million. More

In new book, Sandra Day O'Connor praises court diversity WASHINGTON (AP) -- Few institutions are as steeped in tradition and history as the Supreme Court, but Justice Sandra Day O'Connor still sees the body as dynamic and diverse. ..."Diversity is its strength, just as it is the strength of America itself," O'Connor writes in a forthcoming memoir. More

Man freed after 28 years in prison sues
March 29, 2003

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A man freed after serving 28 years in prison for allegedly killing a 13-year-old friend filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit Friday.
"Our contention is that Steven Crawford is innocent and the evidence used against him is false," said Johnnie Cochran Jr., who is part of the defense team. More

MONGOLIA NEWS: Counterterror Team's Turnover Continues

By Karen DeYoung and Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writers
...Mary A. Wright, the number two official at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, had spent 15 years in the foreign service and 26 years in the Army and Army Reserves.
"I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer," Wright said in a letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. More
Cases for and against war, By Kevin Drew, Law Editor
(CNN) --The legal arguments for and against military action against Iraq are clear and concise, sharpening the gulf between opponents, analysts say.
Opponents say no resolution has been passed by the U.N. Security Council explicitly authorizing military action. That rule of international law has been an unwritten one since the inception of the United Nations and has rarely been violated. More

Thank you, President Bush
By Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian writer.
…Thank you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their parliament are not for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars. Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. More

A Newsletter of Global Information for Leaders March 18, 2003 Issue
Published by: Ben Boothe and Associates, Inc. Consultants in 30+ nations
...Most of the people on earth oppose this war. Polls around the world show that THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION OF EVERY OTHER NATION ON EARTH IS AGAINST THE U.S. POLICY OF WAR ON IRAQ, except one…tiny Israel. More
WorldNews: Ocalan trial unfair, court says
March 12, 2003
STRASBOURG, France -- Europe's top human rights court has upheld a complaint by convicted Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan that his Turkish trial was unfair.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg said Wednesday the trial had not been "independent and impartial" and awarded Ocalan $110,000 in costs. More
World criminal court launched
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (Reuters) --The first global criminal court holds its inaugural session on Tuesday when judges are sworn in, but the United States will show its hostility to the tribunal by staying away. More
Senate Backs 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban
By Joanne Kenen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday easily approved a ban on a controversial abortion method, which President Bush (news - web sites) has said he is eager to sign into law.The vote was 65-32, with some lawmakers who usually vote in favor of abortion rights joining the majority in opposing this particular procedure, which critics call "partial birth abortion." More
Jackson loses $5.3 million lawsuit
March 13, 2003 SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) A jury Thursday awarded a concert promoter $5.3 million for two concerts canceled by Michael Jackson in 1999. More
Supreme Court issues stay
postponing Texas' 300th execution

March 13, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped Texas from executing its 300th inmate since capital punishment resumed in the United States in 1977, granting a dramatic last-minute stay to condemned killer Delma Banks. More
Judge allows lawyers to visit 'enemy combatant'
A setback for the Bush administration
From Phil Hirschkorn
March 11, 2003
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A federal judge Tuesday ordered the government to allow lawyers to meet with alleged "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla, an American citizen accused of being an al Qaeda operative who plotted to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" inside the United States. More
Lab: DNA retesting shows convicted man not involved in rape
March 11, 2003
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A man who has served four years of a rape sentence was wrongly convicted, an independent lab said Monday, concluding that DNA evidence was incorrectly processed by Houston police.
WorldNews: Iran Court Revokes Academic's Death Sentence
February 14, 2003
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Court has revoked the death sentence imposed on a dissident academic which sparked the country's largest pro-reform protests for over three years, the official news agency IRNA reported on Friday. University lecturer Hashem Aghajari was condemned to death last November by a hardline regional court for questioning clerical rule in a speech. More
English: President of Mongolia in America

February 12, 2003
By the initiative of our country, the UN General Assembly announced 2003-2012 as the UN Ten Years for Illiteracy eradication. On February 13 in New -York, inauguration ceremony for the UN Ten Years will take place in Public Library.

The President of our country is already in New-York to attend the ceremony at the invitation of UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura. The President Bagabandi will meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura and the chairman of the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly to discuss on Mongolia-UN cooperation.
The president will also visit the Asian Society of America, the United States National Committee Foreign Policy, where he is to make a speech on reforms in Mongolia and its foreign policy. In Washington, he is expected to meet with Ms.Condoliza Rise, Security Advisor to the US President, and Deputy State Secretary Mr. R. Armitage.
The President Bagabandi will be awarded with "Far--sighted State Head" by the International Council of Societies for Social Issues.
February 14, 2003

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan met the President of Mongolia
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has met with the President of Mongolia, N. Bagabandi, who is currently in the United States to attend an opening of UN Ten Years for Illiteracy Eradication.

At the meeting held in the UN Headqueter in New-York, the pair shared views on international and bilateral relations. In the course of the meeting, President Bagabandi said that Mongolia highly valued the result of a visit by UN Secreatry General Kofi Annan to Mongolia in October 2002. Mr. Bagabandi informed of the Mongolian side is giving more significance to the implementation of issues agreed during the visit by Mr. Kofi Annan.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that he is satisfied with the result of his visit to Mongolia last October. He expressed his gratitude for Mongolian side's effort to carrying out issues agreed at the visit. Mr. Kofi Annan emphasized that the UN Secretariat Office is paying more attention and actively participating in the preparation work for the 5th International Conference of New and Restored Democratic Countries, which will take place in Ulaanbaatar in June 2003.
Volume 56 Number 1, January/February 2003

Relicsof the Kamikaze
Excavations off Japan's coast are uncovering Kublai Khan's ill-fated invasion fleet.
Stepping off the dock into the warm, murky waters of Imari Bay, I swam to the bottom, then followed a line staked out down a steep slope.

The visibility was poor, particularly as excavations had stirred up soft mud, but suddenly I saw the wreck.

Unlike other sites I've dived on, the seabed here was not dominated by a large hull. Instead, clusters of timbers and artifacts suggested that a ship, or ships, had crashed into the shore and been ripped apart. More

Dolly, World's First Cloned Mammal, Dies
February 14, 2003
By Patricia Reaney LONDON (Reuters) - Dolly, the world's first cloned mammal, has died, her creators at Scotland's Roslin Institute said on Friday. The six-year-old world famous sheep was given a lethal injection after veterinarians discovered she was suffering from a progressive lung disease. She died at about 1500 GMT. "She had a lung infection and it was quite serious. It is something that happens in sheep," Professor Ian Wilmut, of the Roslin Institute, told Reuters.
"She had a detailed veterinary examination and they decided that because she wasn't going to recover. It was kinder to euthanase her," he added.
A post-mortem is being done and the institute said it would report any significant findings. More
World Court: U.S. must stay execution of 3 Mexicans on death row
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) --The United States must temporarily stay the execution of three Mexican citizens on U.S. death row, the World Court ruled Wednesday. More
U.S. Navy completes final settlement in Ehime Maru incident
YOKOSUKA, Japan (CNN) --Nearly two years after a U.S. nuclear attack submarine accidentally hit and sank the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru, killing nine people, including four high school students, the Navy reached its final settlement with survivors of the victims, the Navy announced Friday. More
February 3, 2003
John Dinger, the U.S. ambassador to Mongolia, says that that remote
nation, sandwiched between Russia and China, offers the tourist and
business visitor great opportunities and challenges. More

Mongolian Judiciary

The Asian Studies WWW Monitor rates

"" as "very useful"



The Asian Studies WWW Monitor which is one of the leading resources for Asian studies in its December 2002, Volume 9, No. 24 (184) rates our "" website as "very useful." Determining the scholarly usefulness of various web sites the journal rates them essential, very useful, useful, interesting and marginal. According to Dr. T. Matthew Ciolek, for the December Volume there were 18 entries 9 of them rejected, we were lacky to be among other 9-web site entries that accepted for publication. Electronic Index to the Early Shenbao (1872-1895) that presented by Sinologisches Seminar, Universitaet Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany and The American Anthropologist Summaries (1888-2000) that presented by Center for a Public Anthropology, Hawaii Pacific University, HI, USA were recognized as essential., Washington DC, USA was rated as "very useful" with four stars, leaving behind websites created by professionals from India, Germany, Nepal, Netherlands, and Singapore. Japan-Japan Cherokee Press, JPH, Inc., Alpharetta, GA, USA was rated "very useful" as well.
For the 2003 January Volume was accepted only one web site from 13 entries.

We are very proud of this announcement!

G. Ganzorig

"The Asian Studies WWW Monitor"
"The Asian Studies WWW Monitor" (ISSN 1329-9778) was established 21 April 1994, originally under a title "What's New in WWW Asian Studies". It forms a key element of the global, cooperative project Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library.
"The Asian Studies WWW Monitor" is published by the Internet Publications Bureau, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University (ANU). The Journal regularly monitors new developments in the Asian Studies' cyberspace and compiles timely, accurate, consistent and impartial summaries and evaluations of the latest web sites and other online information systems relevant to social sciences research of Asia and Pacific region.

"The Asian Studies WWW Monitor" acts as a current awareness bulletin for a broad range of readers: academics, students, librarians, journalists, business people, government administrators and the wider on- and off-line community.
All resources listed in the "Monitor" are inspected and rated in terms of the scholarly/factual quality and usefulness of their content to the Asian Studies' research. All ratings reflect the Editor's judgment without 'fear or favour', and are not negotiable.

For more infomation please visit:

Cruise wins porn actor case
January 16, 2003
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Tom Cruise won a $10 million defamation judgment against a porn actor who allegedly told the French magazine Actustar that he had a gay affair with the actor, Cruise's attorney said.
Chad Slater, whose stage name was Kyle Bradford, had said previously he never met Cruise and defaulted on the $100 million lawsuit in August 2001. "I hope by defaulting, Mr. Cruise will finally get what he is after and I can finally start to put my life back in order," Slater said in a statement at the time. The default motion did not indicate Slater admitted wrongdoing, but was an acknowledgment he did not have the money to fight the lawsuit and would not contest it.
Slater, who has made a series of porn films and gay-themed wrestling videos, could not be located for comment Wednesday.
The $10 million judgment was decided in late December, according to Cruise attorney Ricardo Cestero. "We don't have any idea whether he'll ever have means to pay, but we've obtained the judgment, which will hopefully make it clear that demeaning Mr. Cruise will not be a successful endeavor," Cestero said Wednesday. Cruise plans to donate to charity any money he receives from the judgment, Cestero added.
Former N.H. Supreme Court justice found dead
January 14, 2003

BEDFORD, New Hampshire (AP) -- Maurice Bois, a former state Supreme Court justice, was found dead Tuesday morning after he wandered away from his nursing home, police said.
Authorities and up to 100 volunteers had searched the frigid woods all night for Bois, 85, who was reported missing Monday evening from the Arbors of Bedford. His body was found about 10 a.m. His family said he suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Temperatures in the snow-covered woods around the home dipped into the single digits during the night, and Bois was not wearing a coat. More

1833 unmarried sex law overturned

January 14, 2003
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- The Georgia Supreme Court has struck down a 170-year-old law that made it a crime for unmarried people to have sex.
The ruling Monday came in the case of a 16-year-old boy discovered having sex with his girlfriend in the bedroom of her home. The young woman's mother made the discovery.
"Our opinion simply affirms that ... the government may not reach into the bedroom of a private residence and criminalize the private, noncommercial, consensual sexual acts of two persons legally capable of consenting to those acts," Chief Justice Norman Fletcher wrote.More

'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row
Incoming governor criticizes decision
From Jeff Flock
January 11, 2003
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Outgoing Illinois Gov. George Ryan announced Saturday that he had commuted the sentences of all of the state's death row inmates and said he would "sleep well knowing I made the right decision." More

Arrest warrant signed for cosmetics heir Andrew Luster
January 10, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) -- A federal judge signed an arrest warrant Thursday for Andrew Luster, the missing heir to the Max Factor fortune, the FBI said.

The issuing of the warrant came after investigators this week launched a worldwide search for Luster after he disappeared in the middle of his trial on date-rape charges. More

Justice Thomas signs bookdeal for $1 million
January 10, 2003

Supreme Court JusticeClarence Thomas will receive more than $1 million for his memoirs from publisher HarperCollins.More

Justice Thomas to deliver graduation speech at UGA
January 4, 2003
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
ATHENS, Georgia (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will deliver the graduation speech at the University of Georgia's law school in May -- a decision that has stirred debate among professors and students. more
Wrongly convicted Maryland man gets pardon
January 5, 2003
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) -- A man who was freed after serving 20 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit has been pardoned by Gov. Parris Glendening, the first step in the process of receiving financial compensation from the state. Bernard Webster, 40, of Baltimore was cleared of the crime by DNA evidence. more
Respected mayor faces corruption trial
January 5, 2003 BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (CNN) -- Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, who drew national praise for his efforts to revive Connecticut's largest city, will be fighting for his freedom in a corruption trial that begins this week. Ganim, a Democrat who had planned to run for governor, faces up to 176 years in prison if convicted of all 24 federal charges.

Court uphold's inmates' religious freedom

December 28, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- An appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling that a federal law protecting religious freedoms of inmates and others is constitutional. More

Bush urges Congress to raise judges' pay
Judicial pay raises caught up in budget impasse
January 1, 2003 CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the pay of the nation's federal judges.
Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist met with Bush at the White House recently to personally appeal for a boost in the pay of federal judges, but Bush said he has no authority to act on his own. More

Rehnquist calls for full funding of federal courts
Chief justice says federal judges overworked, underpaid
From Bill Mears
January 1, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Citing "rising caseloads, too many judicial vacancies, and too few authorized judgeships," Chief Justice William Rehnquist is calling on Congress and the White House to work together to fully fund the federal judiciary.

Supreme Court reaffirms right of group to put up Hanukkah display

Dec 16, 2002
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed a decision that allowed a Jewish organization to display a menorah in downtown Cincinnati earlier this month. More

Texas leads in executions

Dec 28, 2002
On May 28, Napoleon Beazley became the 14th person to be executed in Texas this year.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Texas executed 33 people this year, the most of any U.S. state and almost double the number put to death in Texas last year, a study showed. More

Co-founder of Muslim charity appeals deportation order

December 27, 2002

DETROIT, Michigan The detained co-founder of an Islamic charity has appealed an order sending him and his family back to Lebanon, postponing their deportation for at least a couple of months, his lawyer says. More

Rehnquist injury prompts renewed retirement speculation

December 26, 2002
Rehnquist has not publicly discussed his plans after the current Supreme Court session.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leg injury and a Republican majority in the Senate have combined to further speculation that this Supreme Court term will be the last for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. More

N.Y. cop starts Louima sex assault sentence

December 27, 2002 NEW YORK (AP) -- After spending Christmas at home with his family, former police officer Charles Schwarz was scheduled to begin serving a five-year sentence Friday for his role in the 1997 sexual assault on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
"I'm not happy about going, but at least it's one day closer to coming home," Schwarz told the Daily News. More

Missouri judge revokes student's probation in drunken driving case

December 27, 2002

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (AP) -- A Missouri judge revoked probation for a Southwest Baptist University student convicted of drunken driving in a wreck that killed three students, ordering him to serve six months in jail.

Actor Clint Eastwood sues biographer

December 25, 2002 California (AP) -- Actor Clint Eastwood filed a $10 million libel suit. more


Judge orders Microsoft to carry Sun's Java

By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - Sun Microsystems scored a major legal victory Monday when a federal judge ordered rival Microsoft to include Sun's Java programming language in its Windows operating system.
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz issued a preliminary injunction that will force Microsoft to distribute an up-to-date version of Java while Sun pursues its antitrust case against Microsoft. more

MongoliaNews: President meets the Chief Judge

December 27, 2002
The President Bagabandi has met the General Judge of the State Supreme Court Ch.Ganbat. At the meeting Mr. Ganbat introduced consultation preparation for legal organizations's leading workers to be organized on February 26, 2003. more


CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin
With a new year just a few days away, "American Morning" took a look at some of the most outrageous and memorable legal cases in 2002 -- including the Central Park jogger case. The 13-year-old case of a woman brutally attacked while jogging in Central Park was reopened after a prisoner behind bars claimed he committed the crime, rather than five men -- teenagers at the time of the crime -- who were convicted. DNA evidence proved the five men innocent and they were released from prison. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin commented, "This shows that we don't always know what we think we know -- that even confessions, even the legal system, even good journalism sometimes produce the wrong result."


Bush Grants First Pardons of Presidency

White House - AP
Dec 23, 2002
By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) has pardoned seven Americans for an array of mostly minor offenses, from a Mississippi man who tampered with a car odometer to a postal employee who stole $10.90 from the mail, the White House announced Monday.
The seven were the first pardons of his administration.
Bush also pardoned a Tennessee man sentenced in 1962 for making untaxed whiskey; an Oregon man convicted in 1966 in a grain-theft conspiracy; an Iowa man sentenced in 1989 for lying to the Social Security Administration (news - web sites); a Washington state man sentenced in 1972 for stealing $38,000 worth of copper wire; and a Wisconsin minister who refused to be inducted into the military, sentenced in 1957.
Bush granted the pardons on Friday, but the White House announced his pardons on Monday with little fanfare. Bush maintained a long-standing tradition by doing it near the holidays.
While he personally approved the pardons, the announcement was made by the Department of Justice (news - web sites), with the White House quietly signing off. Bush is spending part of the Christmas week at Camp David.
"What all these cases have in common is that each pardon recipient committed a relatively minor offense many years ago, completed his prison sentence or probation and paid any fine, and has gone on to live an exemplary life and to be a positive force in his community," said Ashley Snee, a White House spokeswoman.
Pardons have become a politically delicate presidential prerogative in recent years.
President Clinton (news - web sites) left office two years ago touched by scandal after a spree of controversial last-minute pardons, including one for fugitive financier Marc Rich (news - web sites), the ex-husband of Democratic financial contributor Denise Rich.
The first President Bush ignited a firestorm at the end of his presidency by pardoning former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.
The seven people Bush pardoned:
_Kenneth Franklin Copley of Lyles, Tenn. Sentenced to two years probation in 1962 for manufacturing untaxed whiskey.
_Harlan Paul Dobas of Portland, Ore. Sentenced to three months in jail in 1966 for conspiracy involving the sale of grain stolen from his employer.
_Stephen James Jackson of Picayune, Miss. Sentenced to three years probation and fined $500 in 1993 for altering an odometer.
_Douglas Harley Rogers of Brookfield, Wis. A Jehovah's Witnesses minister sentenced to two years in jail in 1957 for failing to report for military induction.
_Walter F. Schuerer of Amana, Iowa. Fined $15,000 in 1989 for making a false statement to the Social Security Administration regarding his employment.
_Paul Herman Wieser of Tacoma, Wash. Sentenced to 18 months probation in 1972 for stealing $38,000 worth of copper wire.
_Olgen Williams of Indianapolis. A postal worker sentenced to one year in jail in 1971 for stealing $10.90 from the mail.

WORLD NEWS: Death for Indian parliament raid plotters

December 18, 2002
Afzal (L), Geelani (C), and Hussain (R) arrive at court for their sentencing
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Three men convicted of aiding a deadly terrorist attack on Indian parliament last year which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war have been sentenced to death.
A special anti-terrorism court imposed the death penalty on the three after they were found guilty of "waging war" against India, which is a capital offense.
The men, all Indian nationals from Kashmir, did not take part in the December 13 suicide attack last year in which five suspected Muslim militants -- armed with AK-47s and explosives -- stormed the parliament complex in New Delhi, killing nine guards before they were gunned down by security forces.
The three men though were convicted under India's Prevention of Terrorism Act of plotting and providing logistical support for the raid.
Sentenced to death were Syed Geelani, an Arabic Studies professor in New Delhi , Mohammed Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru -- all Indian nationals from Kashmir.
A fourth suspect -- Guru's wife, Ehsaan Guru, aka Navjot Sandhu -- was convicted on the lesser charge of concealing the plan from authorities and was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment.
The suspects were the first found guilty under India's controversial new anti-terrorism laws.
Defense lawyers have promised to appeal, saying the death penalty is barbaric and irreversible. They have one month to file the appeal.
Afzal, is accused of being the pointman in New Delhi for Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group fighting for Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan. Police say Jaish-e-Mohammed and another group, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, carried out the strike.
The attack almost led to war with neighboring nuclear foe Pakistan. India blamed Pakistan's intelligence agency and Pakistani Islamic guerrillas of orchestrating the assault.

New Delhi sent hundreds of thousands of troops to its border with Pakistan in a standoff that lasted nearly 10 months. Islamabad has denied any involvement.
In handing down the verdict on Monday, Judge S.N. Dhingra said the three were part of a plan to assassinate Prime Minster Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister L. K. Advani, now deputy prime minister.
They also wanted to hold politicians hostage in the parliament building, the court found.
"I hold them guilty of waging war against the country," said Dhingra, convicting the men -- Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, Mohammed Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru.
"I give them death sentences for the attack resulting in the deaths of nine persons," the judge said.
The death penalty is rare in India and all death sentences must go to a higher court to be reviewed and confirmed.
-- CNN's Ram Ramgopal contributed to this report

US NEWS: High court takes up Virginia cross-burning case

CNN, By William Mears
December 11, 2002
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Supreme Court divided over whether a burning cross is a protected form of free speech spoke out Wednesday about the long history the object has as a symbol of racial hatred. Justices heard arguments in a case testing whether a Virginia statute banning cross burning "with the intent to intimidate" violates the First Amendment. The 50-year-old state law bans the ritual on private and public property.

The case involves two incidents of cross burning that occurred within months of each other in 1998.
The issue for the justices will be whether laws designed to prevent "broad intimidation"-- not limited to any "racial, religious, or other content-focused category" -- will stand up to First Amendment protections.
In unusually spirited arguments, Virginia Solicitor William Hurd called cross burning "especially virulent intimidation."
"The message of the Klan is, the law can't help you," Hurd said. "We are going to kill you. That's the message of the cross burning."
But several justices questioned whether the mere act of cross burning is in itself intimidating. "Suppose you had a cross burning in a play or a movie," asked Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. "Would that be intimidating?"
Justice Anthony Kennedy asked, "Any time you burn a cross in Virginia, it's a crime?"
Later, Justice Antonin Scalia jokingly commented, "Certainly one cannot ban cross burning in the sanctity of his bedroom."
Other justices pointed out the powerful symbolism cross burning have had on a nation over decades torn by racial turbulence.
"I fear that no other purpose exists to the burning of a cross but to cause fear, and to terrorize the population," said Justice Clarence Thomas, in a rare commentary from the bench.
The court's only African-American justice, Thomas grew up in segregated Georgia. Cross burning, he said, was part of "100 years of lynching in the South.
"This was a reign of terror, and the cross was a sign of that," Thomas continued. "It is unlike any symbol in our society."
'What's the tiebreaker?' Added Justice David Souter: "Cross burning has acquired a potency arguably that is at least equal to a gun. It is not merely a trademark."
But sensing the conflict between protecting free speech and preserving a ban on cross burning, Souter asked, "What's the tiebreaker?"
Rodney Smolla, the attorney representing the men convicted of cross burning and a University of Richmond law professor, said justices "should err on the side of the First Amendment."
"Our view is if you allow the government to [ban cross burning], there is no stopping it."
The justices historically have been protective of the free-speech rights of the most controversial of groups, including flag-burners, adult entertainers and people who display swastikas.
In the cross-burning case, they're debating now whether three white men were wrongly prosecuted, in separate cases, for lighting crosses during a Klan rally and in the yard of an African American family.
The Virginia Supreme Court overturned the convictions of the men, ruling the burnings were symbolic speech.
Minnesota statute struck down decade ago.
The state court relied on a high court decision a decade ago in another cross-burning case. The Supreme Court struck down a city hate crimes ordinance in St. Paul, Minnesota, that criminalized cross-burning aimed at frightening or angering others "on the basis of race, color, creed or gender." Virginia's law prohibits the activity when done to intimidate a person or group.
Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said Virginia's law is different from the Minnesota statute because it broadly covers all of society, with no regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics, and contains the requirement of intentional intimidation.
Since the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that threw out the convictions, the state consolidated the cases and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking clarification on how states can legally ban "intolerance-based speech and crimes." Virginia lawmakers also passed a new law, banning all "intimidating burning," not just limited to crosses. This new law is not being challenged in the courts.
Virginia passed its cross-burning statute in 1952, amid fears of resurgence by the Klan. It came at a time when segregation in schools and other public places was still legal.
About a dozen other states have similar laws. A decision on the case is expected sometime before June.
The case is Virginia v. Black, No. (01-1107).

Former 9/11 detainee files $20 million civil rights suit

CNN, From Phil Hirschkorn
December 17, 2002
NEW YORK (CNN) -- An Egyptian exchange student once accused of lying to federal investigators and held as a September 11 detainee has filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages.
The action by Abdallah Higazy, 31, comes less than three weeks after prosecutors completed a court-ordered investigation that exonerated FBI agents involved in his case.
Higazy is suing FBI agent Michael Templeton, who administered a disputed lie detector test that was central to the aborted prosecution.He is one of the five named defendants in Higazy's complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.
Templeton "extracted a false confession ... through coercion, threats, and intimidation," Higazy alleges.
The other defendants are Ronald Ferry, the former hotel security guard who framed Higazy by claiming to find a pilot's radio in the safe in his room; the Millennium hotel, across the street from the World Trade Center, where Higazy stayed on the 51st floor; the hotel's chief of security, Stuart Yule; and the Hilton Hotels Corporation, which manages the Millennium.
Higazy's problems started when Ferry, a former Newark, New Jersey police officer, told investigators he found the radio in Higazy's room. The hand-held radio, known as a transceiver, can be used by pilots for air-to-air or air-to-ground communication.
Higazy, who began a computer engineering graduate program at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn just one week before the September 11 hijackings, had been assigned by the school to live in the hotel until he found housing. He evacuated the hotel with other guests after the second hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center.
FBI agents detained Higazy as a material witness December 17, 2001, when he returned to the hotel to retrieve his personal belongings, including his passport and a Koran.
"I was taken arrested put in solitary, confinement ,shackled, strip searched," Higazy recalled Thursday.
During the lie detector test 10 days later, Higazy falsely admitted the radio was his, the basis of the prosecution.
Higazy claims Templeton threatened him during the course of their session, that he mentioned his brother, living in upstate New York, and said, "we'll make sure Egyptian security gives your family hell."
According to the government's report, Templeton interpreted Higazy's denials that he had participated in the September 11 attacks as lies.
Prosecutors charged Higazy with one count of lying to federal agents and kept him in custody for a month.
Three days after the charges against Higazy were made public, an American private pilot who was staying in a room one floor below Higazy's claimed the radio. Prosecutors dropped the charges two days later, and Higazy was released from custody in mid-January.
Higazy's suit accuses the Millennium Hilton of negligence in its hiring and training of Ferry and Yule, who passed Ferry's information to the FBI.
Ferry was convicted in March for lying to federal agents and sentenced to six months worth of weekends in prison.
Higazy is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.
"There's really no way to calculate the harm that's been done to Mr. Higazy's reputation internationally," said attorney Robert Dunn. "People still believe he has something to do with 9/11 and but for some technicality of some kind or another, he would be in jail. So his character has been besmirched internationally, his family and he have suffered extreme emotional distress, so there is really no way you can go to a calculator and punch up a number."
The attorney added that a Higazy suit against the government, including the FBI, is "under consideration." There is a two-year statute of limitations for him to file that.
Over the past year, Higazy has gotten married and resumed his studies at Brooklyn Polytechnic, commuting from southern New Jersey. But he said he would like to see a psychiatrist about the experience of being wrongly accused.
"I have had nightmares. A lot of time I wake up dreaming that the FBI wants to arrest me," Higazy said.

California to review whether judges can be Boy Scouts

December 21, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The California Supreme Court is considering prohibiting state judges from being members of the Boy Scouts because of its refusal to admit gays, the chief justice said.
The move, announced Thursday, comes months after San Francisco's judges and others cut ties with the organization for the same reason. The San Francisco Bar association and other groups recently asked the high court to revamp the rules.
California judicial canons, controlled by the Supreme Court, already demand that judges divest themselves from groups that discriminate against women and minorities.
Rules adopted seven years ago also forbid membership in organizations that discriminate against lesbians and gays but allow "nonprofit youth organizations," an exception for the Boy Scouts.
"The court had an extensive discussion about this matter and has decided to take up the matter at a future administrative conference after it undertakes a further study of the proposals," Chief Justice Ronald M. George said in a brief statement.
George did not indicate when the justices would reach a decision.
Boy Scouts spokesman Gregg Shields called the proposal "wrong, inappropriate and unconstitutional."
"The proposed policy would be just as inappropriate as a policy forbidding judges from being Roman Catholic or Baptist or Orthodox Jewish or any of numerous faiths which share the Boy Scouts' views," he told The New York Times.
Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts' policy against homosexuals. The scouts argued that their code, requiring members to be "morally straight" and "clean," excluded homosexuals. The court said the scouts were entitled to define their own principles.

U.S. court says no to Web libel suit

Dec.22, 2002
Ruling follows controversial move by Australian high court
By Declan McCullagh
THE FOURTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS said two Connecticut newspapers could not be sued for libel in a Virginia court based on allegedly defamatory articles posted on their Web sites.
In the decision, released last Friday, a three-judge panel unanimously tossed out a Virginia prison warden's lawsuit against the Hartford Courant and the New Haven Advocate.
That ruling breaks with last week's decision in Australia, which sent shock waves through the world of online publishing by saying that the U.S.-based Dow Jones news organization would have to defend a defamation lawsuit brought by a Melbourne, Australia, businessman in an Australian court. Barron's magazine, a Dow Jones publication, had published the allegedly libelous material on servers in New Jersey, on its subscribers-only Web site.
In the Fourth Circuit case, the court said the key question was whether the newspapers intended "to direct their Web site content, which included certain articles discussing conditions in a Virginia prison, to a Virginia audience," and concluded the answer was definitely no. Instead of targeting Virginians, the court ruled, the papers'
Web sites were designed to be useful to residents of Connecticut, with information about weather, state politics, and local classified ads.
"The facts in this case establish that the newspapers' Web sites, as well as the articles in question, were aimed at a Connecticut audience. The newspapers did not post materials on the Internet with the manifest intent of targeting Virginia readers," the court said.
The contrast demonstrates how unsettled some areas of technology law remain. The two courts appear to have reached different conclusions because the U.S. ruling focused on whether the pair of newspapers had a commercial presence in Virginia, while the Australian high court worried more about where the harm from allegedly libelous material would be felt.
The Connecticut papers published a series of articles and columns on the state's controversial practice of transferring inmates in overcrowded prisons to a "supermax" prison in Big Stone Gap, Va. Warden Stanley Young was not mentioned in any of the reports, but one column criticized his prison in no uncertain terms, and Young claimed the coverage was defamatory, suing the newspapers, their editors and the reporters in Virginia.
Last Friday's decision only addressed the issue of jurisdiction, not the merits of whether Young's claims of being defamed were valid or not.

California judge reduces record jury award to $28 million

Dec. 18, 2002
A California judge on Wednesday slashed a record $28 billion jury award against cigarette maker Philip Morris a comparatively paltry $28 million, calling the punitive damages "legally excessive."
PHILIP MORRIS, the No. 1 tobacco company, said it still planned to appeal the verdict and expects the process to take several years.
A jury ordered the company in October to pay $28 billion in punitive damages to 64-year-old Betty Bullock, a woman suffering from terminal lung cancer who blamed the company for failing to warn her of the risks of smoking.
In a written ruling, Judge Warren Ettinger, of California Superior Court for Los Angeles County, slashed the damages, but turned down the company's bid for a new trial. He said a new trial on punitive damages would be ordered if Bullock refuses the reduced judgment.
The jury had also awarded Bullock $750,000 for compensation of medical expenses and loss of earnings and $100,000 for pain and suffering - but the punitive damages were 33,000 times those amounts, a ratio deemed by Ettinger to be excessive.
In a statement, Philip Morris said the new ratio is nearly 33 to 1, well in excess of the four-to-one ratio the U.S. Supreme Court has suggested approaches the constitutional limit of such awards.
"A critical element was what the plaintiff knew about the health risks of smoking ... the evidence was clear that Mrs. Bullock was aware of the risks and never relied, to her detriment, on anything the company said or did," William Ohlemeyer, the company's associate general counsel, said in a statement.
The previous record for punitive damages had been $3 billion awarded by a Los Angeles jury last year to Richard Boeken, a smoker who later died. A judge eventually reduced that award to $100 million.
Under Wednesday's ruling, Bullock has until Dec. 27 to decide whether to accept the reduced award. Her attorney, Michael Piuze, could not be reached for comment.
During the trial, Bullock, who began smoking at 17, said Philip Morris hid evidence about the link between smoking and cancer. She said she believed the company when it said in the past there was no evidence that smoking caused cancer.
"Philip Morris U.S.A. understands that many people have strong feelings and opinions about tobacco. That emotion - and any desire for changing the rules governing the tobacco industry - should be directed to the legislative process, rather than the courts," Ohlemeyer said.

MONGOLIA NEWS: Ulaanbaatar Conference

MONTSAME December 16, 2002,
The Foreign Ministry L.Erdenechuluun gave an information on the preparation for upcoming 5th Conference of New and Restored Democracies to the representatives of foreign diplomatic offices in Mongolia.
He said, that this rare chance to host this gathering of a global character in Mongolia is the matter of great honor and has an essential political significance. As for today, invitations have been sent to more than 30 countries, 20 international organizations and 50 NGOs.
Recently the National Committee organizing the 5th Conference of New and Restored Democracies has met and adopted a draft plan of upcoming works. The UN General Assembly issued a resolution calling all UN system organizations and its member-states to participate actively in this conference, which will be titled "Democracy, Good Governance, Civil Society".

US NEWS: Death penalty opponents march to prison

December 16, 2002 ttp://
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Former death row prisoners took part Monday in a 37-mile relay walk from a state correctional center near Joliet to downtown Chicago, the latest in two days of activities designed to call attention to flaws in the state's capital punishment system.
About 30 former inmates, each marching a separate leg of the trip with sympathizers, carried a letter that was later delivered to Gov. George Ryan, who is considering clemency petitions of more than 140 death row inmates.
The letter urges Ryan to commute all death sentences to life in prison without parole.
"The key here is to recognize the human cost of the system that is broken," said Lawrence Marshall, a law professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions. "These are people who were all sentenced to die because the system was completely certain that they were guilty."
Marshall walked the first leg of the relay. Seven former death row inmates from Illinois also marched, as well as ex-prisoners from other states including Florida, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.

WORLD NEWS: Albright describes Bosnian horrors

December 17, 2002

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is appearing as a "common witness"

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has described the "unimaginable" horrors of the 1992-95 Bosnian war as reminiscent of World War II.
Albright was speaking on Tuesday in the case against former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic -- a key figure in Bosnian Serb ethnic cleansing plans who later adopted the Dayton peace deal as the way forward for her country.
Plavsic, once nicknamed the Iron Lady of the Balkans, has pleaded guilty to one charge of crimes against humanity.
Albright, speaking at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, described her horror when she heard of the killings, rapes, concentration camps and torture of non-Serbs during the Bosnian conflict.
"It was unimaginable that these kinds of things could be going on," Albright told the court.
"It seemed to be being done in a deliberate way, not some accident of a drunken soldier marauding, but part of some kind of plan to eradicate various groups of people."
She said photographs from war-torn Bosnia were "reminiscent of pictures that reminded one of World War II."
"I'm very familiar with the horrendous pictures that came out at the time (of World War II) and it seemed to me a repeat of seeing people herded into buses and trains...families separated and horrendous stories coming out in terms of the crimes that were taking place," she said.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour said: "(Albright) also said that Biljana Plavsic had had a change of heart because after 1995, after the Dayton peace process, she decided to co-operate with the international community.
"Mrs. Albright said, as Secretary of State, she had also had several conversations and some meetings with Mrs. Plavsic during the implementation of the Dayton peace process...that while always straight forward, some conversations were pleasant, some were not.
"But she said that, in the end, Mrs. Plavsic proved to be -- at least from her perspective -- a woman of her word."
Plavsic, once dubbed the "Iron Lady" of the Bosnian war, faces life in prison after pleading guilty to a count of crimes against humanity.
The charge relates to the persecution of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the 1992-95 conflict, which left 200,000 dead or missing.

Plavsic, 72, is the highest-ranking figure to admit atrocities at the U.N. tribunal and the only woman publicly indicted in its nine-year history. She pleaded guilty last October to the single charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping seven other war crimes charges, including two counts of genocide.

Albright, whose long-standing support for The Hague war crimes court has earned her the tag "mother of the tribunal," gave evidence on the second day of the hearing as a so-called "common witness."
She is the most senior U.S. official ever to testify at the tribunal.
Plavsic served as deputy to Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the tribunal's most wanted men, and later took over from him.
On Monday, prosecutors showed harrowing footage of emaciated Bosnian Muslim inmates at a Serb-run detention camp in 1992.
A document released to the court said Plavsic admitted to having "embraced and supported the objective of ethnic separation by force and contributed to achieving it."
In his opening statement, defence lawyer Eugene O'Sullivan urged the judges to consider Plavsic's voluntary surrender for trial, her guilty plea and her statement of remorse.
Also due to testify before the hearing closes, on Thursday, are former U.N. Balkans envoy Carl Bildt, ex-OSCE mission chief in Bosnia Robert Frowick and Alex Boraine, a former South African parliamentarian and leading light in his country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Cigarette brands such as Marlboro Lights and Mild Seven will be banned

By Tom Miles
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Cigarette brands such as Marlboro Lights and Mild Seven will be banned in the European Union (news - web sites) from October after the EU's top court on Tuesday threw out a bid by two tobacco firms to challenge a tough new law.
The European Court of Justice said a ban on descriptions such as "light" and "mild" on products marketed within the EU was appropriate to protect public health, although analysts said manufacturers would find other ways to differentiate cigarette strengths.
"The ban is not disproportionate," the court said in a statement. "It is not clear that merely regulating those descriptions would have been as effective in ensuring that consumers receive objective information."
The court rejected a claim that the law was invalid because the EU does not have the power to legislate on health policy, and upheld it as an attempt to harmonize standards in the bloc.
David Davies, senior vice president for corporate affairs at Philip Morris, said the law would not stop the company selling the brands that are available now.
"Marlboro Lights, the product as we know it today, will continue to be sold," he told Reuters. "The use of the word 'light' is by no means the only way to differentiate our products."
He declined to say what measures the firm would take to comply with the law.
One British-based consumer analyst said the firms were likely to introduce different color schemes such as "Marlboro Silver" and "Marlboro Blue" to indicate differing strengths.
The firm, which did not sponsor the court challenge but has about 36 percent of the EU market, currently uses red, gold and silver packaging on different strengths of Marlboro cigarettes.

The court ruling was the endgame in a two-year battle by cigarette firms to force the EU to water down the new tobacco law, which also puts limits on tar and nicotine and demands that cigarette packets carry big stark warnings about health risks.
The court backed the EU in almost every respect but agreed that manufacturers such as British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, who brought the legal action, could continue to make "mild" and "light" products for export.
"We are very disappointed that all other aspects of the directive remain valid," said Liz Buckingham, a spokeswoman for Imperial Tobacco. "We believe it imposes unreasonable measures with no supporting evidence that they will be effective."
BAT, which says 90 percent of its UK production is exported from the EU, welcomed the reprieve for exports but said the business community would view the ruling with concern.
"We seek to maintain the rights of our adult consumers to receive full information about our products without having to suffer fallout from the Commission's crusade against the tobacco industry," BAT's corporate affairs director said in a statement.
Japan Tobacco, which markets brands belonging to Camel producer R.J. Reynolds outside the United States, failed to overturn the law in a previous court challenge.
The firms have no right to appeal the decision.
"This has gone as far as it can go," Imperial's Buckingham told Reuters.
Christopher Wickham, consumer analyst at Lehman Brothers bank in London, said low-tar cigarette brands unaffected by the ban, such as BAT's Kent and Gallaher's Silk Cut, were the potential beneficiaries of the court's ruling.
However, firms would simply use different ways of creating and selling a brand's image, he said.
"I don't think (the court's ruling) is particularly damaging, and neither does the market," he said.
BAT shares ended up 3.2 percent and Gallaher closed nearly two percent higher. On Wall Street, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris gained more than one percent.
Another analyst said extra costs of repackaging and the ban on making high-tar tobacco within the EU could encourage firms to move production abroad.
Davies from Philip Morris said the firm would take the "substantial costs" of packaging redesign in its stride.
"I don't think this is going to impact our ability to continue to compete and continue to grow our business in the EU," he said.

The law also demands health warnings cover 30 percent of the front of cigarette packets and 40 percent of the back, which the court said were not excessive.
The European Commission (news - web sites) plans to demand black and white text warnings initially, but will step up the campaign by bringing in color photographs around two years later.
"Otherwise we don't get the attention we want to get," Commission spokesman Thorsten Muench said.
The Commission will first study what kind of pictures are most eye-catching and effective, he added.
Similar photographic warnings, such as blackened lungs and yellowed teeth, are used in Brazil and Canada.
The court's ruling follows a decision last week by health ministers to ban tobacco advertising on the radio, in newspapers and on the Internet.
It adds support to a campaign against smoking in the bloc, where more than half a million people die of tobacco-related diseases each year.
Jules Maaten, who sponsored the law being challenged through the European Parliament, said the court had struck a blow for public health.
"The industry took us to court as usual and yet again has had to bite the dust. From today onwards, Europe is more advanced than any other part of the world in combating tobacco addiction," he said in a statement.
New standards on the composition of cigarettes made within the EU for sale or export, including limits on their levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide, will also take effect from January 1, 2004 as part of the law.

Judge Says Cheney Needn't Give Data on Energy Policy to G.A.O.

Dec 10, 2002

By ADAM CLYMER The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) won a major victory today when a federal district judge here threw out a suit, brought by the head of the General Accounting Office (news - web sites), to require him to release records of the Bush administration's energy task force, which Mr. Cheney led.
Though the ruling made no fundamental pronouncement on the separation-of-powers issues that Mr. Cheney had insisted were at the heart of the case, it served as a judicial validation for an administration that has come under criticism as excessively secretive.
The judge, John D. Bates, observed that no court had ever ordered a president or a vice president to produce information for Congress, which the General Accounting Office serves as an investigative and auditing arm. But he avoided deciding between the "competing theories of the proper balance of power between the legislative and executive branches," ruling instead that the head of the accounting office, Comptroller General David M. Walker, lacked standing to sue.
Judge Bates, appointed to the bench a year ago by President Bush (news - web sites), said that Mr. Walker had suffered no "personal, concrete and particularized injury" and that the institutional claim he made on behalf of Congress was flawed because neither a house of Congress nor any Congressional committee had sought the records.
An appeal is almost certain, although Mr. Walker said he had not yet decided what to do. "We are very disappointed with the judge's decision," he said. "We are in the process of reviewing and analyzing the decision to fully understand the basis for it and its potential implications."
Mr. Cheney had no comment. But a White House spokeswoman, Claire Buchan, said: "We are pleased by the judge's decision today. We believe it is important for the president to receive unvarnished advice, and this decision supports that."
The fight began on May 7, 2001, when Representatives John D. Dingell of Michigan and Henry A. Waxman of California, the senior Democrats on two House committees, asked Mr. Walker to investigate the "conduct and composition of the task force," which they suggested had met with "political contributors to discuss specific policies, rules, regulations and legislation." The two congressmen went to the accounting office because they had no hope that a committee of the Republican-controlled House would demand the information.
That spring the task force publicly issued its policy recommendations, which were generally supported by the energy industry and emphasized an increase in oil and gas exploration on public land and the building of more power plants and transmission lines. The policy was submitted to Congress but stalled in the Senate.
Three months after Mr. Dingell and Mr. Waxman approached the accounting office, Mr. Cheney argued in a memorandum to Congress that the inquiry violated the separation of powers laid out in the Constitution. "A president and his senior advisers," the vice president said then, "must be able to work in an atmosphere that respects confidentiality of communications if the president is to get the good, candid advice and other information upon which wise decision-making depends."
In a series of television interviews, Mr. Cheney cast the inquiry as an infringement on the power of the executive branch of a sort he said had repeatedly weakened it over the last three decades.
At one point early this year, he told the Cable News Network that "there has been a constant, steady erosion of the prerogatives and the power of the Oval Office and a continual encroachment by Congress the War Powers Act, Anti-Impoundment and Budget Control Act, previous instances where presidents have given up, if you will, important principles."
"So the office is weaker than it was 30, 35 years ago," he said. "What we're committed to is to make sure we preserve the office, at least as strong as we found it, for our successors."
Despite that position, and the vice president's victory today notwithstanding, some information related to the task force's contacts has been released over the course of many months.
Last January, for instance, amid mounting political pressure over the collapse of the Enron Corporation, long a big campaign contributor to George W. Bush, Mr. Cheney himself listed half a dozen contacts that he or his aides had had about energy policy with Enron representatives, though details of those discussions were not disclosed.
Further, lawsuits brought by the Sierra Club (news - web sites) and the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch have forced a number of federal agencies to disclose a variety of information about the contacts they had with the energy industry as they assisted the task force.
As for the demand from Congressmen Dingell and Waxman, the accounting office initially asked Mr. Cheney for notes of what had been discussed at meetings of the task force. Before suing, though, the G.A.O. scaled back its request, asking only for the names of the staff members and of people present at the meetings, as well as the task force's costs.
In dismissing the suit today, Judge Bates wrote, "This case, in which neither a house of Congress nor any Congressional committee has issued a subpoena for the disputed information or authorized this suit, is not the setting for such unprecedented judicial action" as requiring the executive branch to turn over information to Congress.
He said that because the case raised "core separation-of-powers arguments at the heart of the relationship among the three branches of government," his examination of standing must be "especially rigorous." This follows, he said, from the duty of the courts to avoid constitutional issues when they can.
But while he said that in this case "any possible injury to Congress is too vague and amorphous to confer standing," he suggested that if the facts were different if Congress as a whole or a committee of Congress were seeking the information that entity might "have standing to sue to retrieve information to which it is entitled."
Judge Bates said he was not telling Congress how to exercise its investigative powers.
"Instead," he wrote, "the court only notes that the availability of an alternate remedy, together with the absence of voiced Congressional support for this particular lawsuit, counsels against a conclusion that the exercise of judicial power at this time is warranted."
Mr. Dingell, the senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that "it is regrettable, but not surprising, that a newly appointed federal judge chose to look the other way."
"Vice President Cheney's cover-up will apparently continue for the foreseeable future," Mr. Dingell added, "unless the Republican Congress demands appropriate disclosure. I'm not holding my breath."
Mr. Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee (news - web sites), said the ruling was "convoluted and bizarre."
"The only good news," he said, "is that this decision is not the final word. It is inconceivable that the appellate court will uphold the embarrassing reasoning used by the district judge."

US NEWS: Bush Takes Offense to Lott Remarks

White House - AP
By RON FOURNIER, AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush (news - web sites) said Sen. Trent Lott (news, bio, voting record)'s endorsement of half-century-old segregationist politics "is offensive and it is wrong," orchestrating a party-wide bid to defuse the controversy threatening Lott's leadership post and Bush's own political prospects.
"He has apologized, and rightly so," the president said Thursday, drawing a lengthy standing ovation from a multiracial crowd in Philadelphia. Lott's office, given advance notice of Bush's plans, quickly issued a statement embracing the rebuke. "Senator Lott agrees with President Bush that his words were wrong and he is sorry. He repudiates segregation because it is immoral," said Lott spokesman Ron Bonjean.
Bush's spokesman said Lott shouldn't resign as the Senate Republican leader, but the Mississippi lawmaker's fate remained uncertain.
Democrats said he should step down, and dug into Lott's past for more fodder. Even Republicans balanced their shows of public support with private words of anger and frustration.
Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), a Republican from Arizona, said Lott must do more to repent.
"I think he has to have a full-blown press conference with an opening description of his absolute outright hostility to discrimination in any form," McCain told CNN.
Lott's troubles began with remarks last week at an event marking Sen. Strom Thurmond (news, bio, voting record)'s 100th birthday. Lott said Mississippians were proud to have voted for Thurmond in 1948, when the South Carolina politician was running for president as a staunch segregationist.
"And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either," Lott said.
On Monday, he apologized in a short statement for his "poor choice of words."
When that didn't stem the growing consternation, he apologized again Wednesday, saying his words were "terrible" and "insensitive."
For days, Bush and his aides remained conspicuously silent on the matter, hoping it would fade without the president taking the politically risky step of getting involved.
But the president and his advisers, in meetings Wednesday night and Thursday morning, determined the flap threatened to undermine the White House's ability to increase the GOP's paltry support among black voters.
Bush himself received just 9 percent of the black vote in 2000. His advisers have concluded the president must increase that by several percentage points to be re-elected.
Unveiling a new policy to integrate religious charities into government programs, Bush told a crowd that included several black ministers that America must become "a single nation of justice and opportunity."
"Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong," he said. "Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country."
Pausing for applause after every sentence, Bush added, "Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American."
White House officials said the comments by Bush, Fleischer and Lott were orchestrated to distance Bush and his party from Lott's remarks while giving the Mississippi senator a chance to retain his leadership post.
It is up to Lott and his fellow senators to decide whether he should retain his position, but Bush decided to weigh in carefully on Lott's behalf, a senior White House official said.
If the president had wanted to nudge Lott from power, he could have sent a signal to GOP senators - many of whom credit Bush for their newly won majority - by letting his remarks stand alone, the official said.
Instead, after much internal debate, Bush opted to have Fleischer tell reporters: "The president does not think that Trent Lott should resign.'
The advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they tried to turn Lott's gaffe into a platform for Bush to soften the Republican's image. Democrats would have none of that.
"It shouldn't take a week and a pattern of examples for the president to express concern as the head of the nation and the Republican Party," Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe said in a written statement.
Democratic strategists privately said the White House succeeded in shielding Bush from the controversy, if not Lott, at least for now. Some expressed hopes that Lott will remain in power so his words can be used against the GOP in two years.
Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., who accompanied Bush on the brief trip to Pennsylvania, said there has been a lot of anger among Republicans over the remarks and the subsequent backlash.
"Many of us are passionate about the issue of equal opportunity and freedom. Anyone suggesting that Republicans don't feel that has brought out a lot of passion in a lot of people," Santorum said.
Still, he joined a number of GOP senators who voiced support for Lott.
"There's no defense for the statement, but I know the man," he said.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Sen. Thad Cochran (news, bio, voting record), R-Miss., expressed similar love-the-sinner, hate-the-sin sentiments.
Lott serves at the pleasure of fellow senators who elected him leader of the GOP-led Senate, a fraternity of politicians who don't necessarily follow Bush's lead. One advantage Lott has is the lack of an obvious successor.
And now Bush has used the presidential seal to give him cover.
"The president did Trent Lott a big favor today," Santorum said.
After the speech, Lott telephoned Bush at the White House and expressed his appreciation for the remarks.

Sub skipper on Japan apology trip

December 15, 2002
No teachers or students watched Waddle pay his respects, and the only witnesses were members of the media and a few neighbors of the school.
UWAJIMA, Japan (AP) -- In a highly emotional visit Sunday, the former captain of a U.S. nuclear submarine that collided with a Japanese fishing boat laid flowers at a memorial for nine victims to offer his personal apology.
Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Scott Waddle was at the helm of the USS Greeneville when it surfaced beneath the Ehime Maru on February 9, 2001, sinking the fisheries high school training boat off the coast of Hawaii, killing nine of the 35 people aboard.
Wearing a black suit and tie, Waddle bowed deeply as he entered the victims' school, before walking slowly toward the silver-colored monument erected in February in memory of the lost lives. He placed a wreath of white lilies before it. He then bowed again deeply and prayed.
"May your spirits rest in peace," Waddle said after reading aloud the names of all the victims, and placed a card containing a message of condolences with the wreath. He was accompanied by two American lawyers.
The vessel had been carrying students, teachers and crew from Uwajima Fisheries High School in this quiet fishing town in Ehime prefecture (state), about 680 kilometers (420 miles) southwest of Tokyo.
Many victims' families had said they did not want Waddle to visit. Deferring to their wishes, local officials did not arrange any official ceremony or meeting with him.
Waddle had vowed to visit the victims' families in their hometown before retiring last October, but postponed the trip after Navy officials said the timing wasn't right.

In a note sent to Japanese media Thursday, he apologized for the delay and said he hoped his visit might help "ease the pain of those who are suffering."
Tsuguhide Suzuki, a Japanese lawyer helping with the visit, said Waddle might privately meet several families and survivors in Uwajima later Sunday.
Only one family, who made a visit by Waddle to Japan a condition of reaching a compensation settlement with the U.S. Navy, publicly said they wanted to meet the former skipper. They were likely to meet him somewhere outside Uwajima, however.
Waddle was reprimanded by a U.S. military court of inquiry, which decided against a court-martial. He was allowed to retire at full rank and pension, raising criticism in Japan that he got off lightly.
Principal Kazumitsu Joko refused last month to let Waddle enter the school but later agreed to accept his visit.
Last month, the families of 33 people aboard the trawler agreed to a reported $13 million compensation package from the U.S. Navy. Negotiations between the Navy and two other families are continuing separately.
In April, the Ehime government agreed to $11.47 million in compensation from the U.S. Navy to cover the costs of the vessel, equipment, cargo, crew salaries, mental health care for the survivors and the costs for a memorial service.
Part of the payment went toward the 1.11 billion yen ($9.25 million) construction of a replacement vessel, which set sail Tuesday.

US NEWS: Court overturns ruling declaring death penalty unconstitutional

December 10, 2002
NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling that found the federal death penalty unconstitutional.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits it from upholding the ruling.
The lower court ruling was issued earlier this year by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in a case involving two men charged in a drug-murder conspiracy.
Rakoff said in July that the federal death penalty law as it was written "denies due process and, indeed, is tantamount to foreseeable, state-sponsored murder of innocent human beings."
Rakoff ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional because too many innocent people have been executed before they could be exonerated.
In a 35-page decision, the appeals court said the argument "that execution deprives individuals of the opportunity for exoneration is not new at all -- it repeatedly has been made to the Supreme Court and rejected by the Supreme Court."
"There is no fundamental right to a continued opportunity for exoneration throughout the course of one's natural life," the appeals panel in Manhattan said.
The appeals court noted that since 1878 the Supreme Court has upheld death penalty statutes based upon the Constitution's due process clause and the Eighth Amendment.
In 1972, it said, the Supreme Court first expressly acknowledged the argument that capital punishment might deprive innocent people of the ability to exonerate themselves.
In that case, "Furman vs. Georgia," all nine justices found that the use of a particular state death penalty statute was so arbitrary that it violated the Eighth Amendment, yet only two members of the court were willing to hold the death penalty unconstitutional, the appeals court said.
A telephone message left with a lawyer for defendants in the case in which Rakoff ruled was not returned.

WORLDNEWS: 'Honor killings' rise in Pakistan

December 12, 2002
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- 'Honor killings' have risen in Pakistan, with 461 women murdered by family members in 2002 for immoral behavior ranging from adultery, being raped or even cooking poorly, the country's main human rights body says.
The figure is up 25 percent on last year's reported total of 372, with at least as many raped as killed in the past twelve months, the private Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said.

Urging for greater protection of women, the commission called on the government to increase its commitment to fight the practice.
Most killings are carried out by men to protect their family's honor for so called immoral behavior such as sex outside marriage, talking to or dating men, being a victim of rape and even bad cooking skills, the commission said.
The honor crimes are committed under the belief their actions would defend a family's reputation.
Explaining the high figure, the rights commission's Kamla Hayat told The Associated Press news agency the number may have risen because of an increased willingness to report the crimes as opposition to the practice grows in some regions.
Gang rape
Relying mainly on data collected from two provinces, the rights commission said over 300 honor killings took place in Sindh.
In Punjab province, 161 women or girls were killed by relatives. Only 27 killers were arrested in that province.
Data on the rest of Pakistan, including the tribal rural areas, was not available, the commission said, as information is difficult to obtain from such regions.
In June this year, the tribal council-ordered gang rape of a woman in Punjab sparked national and international outrage.
The young woman, Mukhtiar Bibi, was raped as punishment for her brother having sex with a woman from another clan. Six men were convicted of attacking her and sentenced to death.
New laws
But in most honor killings, those guilty are not punished.
"Unfortunately, police in Pakistan either don't arrest such killers or they are not treated as murderers," Hayat told The Associated Press.
Pakistan authorities say they are taking steps to reduce crimes against women and act when they are reported.
"The government has recently made some changes in the laws to give more protection to the women, and it will be unfair to say that the government is quiet on the subject," AP quoted Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, Director General of Pakistan's Interior Ministry, as saying.
Among other findings from the commission:
o In Punjab, 67 of the slain women were killed by their brothers, 49 by their husbands and the rest executed by other family members, including seven cases where sons killed their mothers.
o In November in the southern city of Faisalabad, a woman was hacked to death with an ax by close relatives on suspicion she was having "immoral relations" with a man. The man was also killed.
o During the same month, a widow was killed by her brother on suspicion she was living with a man outside marriage.
In both cases, the perpetrators gave themselves up to police and are awaiting trial.

US NEWS: Judge rules against cameras in sniper suspect trial , December 12, 2002

John Allen Muhammad, right, talks to his court-appointed attorney Peter Greenspun during Thursday's hearing.

MANASSAS, Virginia (CNN) -- A Virginia judge on Thursday denied a request from broadcasters to televise the trial of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad, saying such coverage could compromise Muhammad's right to a fair trial.
Additionally, Prince William County Circuit Judge LeRoy Millette Jr. set an October 2003 date for the start of Muhammad's trial in the shooting death of a man at a Manassas gas station.
Media outlets, including CNN, had petitioned the judge to allow Muhammad's trial to be televised, but both defense and prosecuting attorneys opposed the move, fearing cameras would unnecessarily disrupt the trial.
Millette said the defendant's right to a fair trial is "paramount," and the presence of cameras could intimidate witnesses, affect the behavior of attorneys and possibly influence jurors.
Representatives of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which filed the initial petition to allow cameras, said outside the courtroom that they were disappointed, and that no case had ever been overturned because of the presence of cameras in 20 years of televised trial history.
They said an appeal is under consideration.
At two hearings earlier this year, the judge prohibited video cameras from the courtroom but allowed a still camera. Muhammad's attorney unsuccessfully objected to the presence of the camera, saying photographs of his client in prison garb could prejudice prospective jurors.
In setting the October 14 trial date, Millette set aside eight weeks for the trial itself, although attorneys said they expect the trial to last six weeks.
Muhammad spoke only to answer "yes, sir" to Millette's questions as to whether he was willingly waiving his right to a speedy trial in the slaying of Dean Harold Meyers.
Law enforcement officials have accused Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, in a series of sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C., metro area earlier this year, leaving 10 dead and three wounded. The pair have also been linked to slayings in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.
Malvo will first face trial in neighboring Fairfax County for the Oct. 14 murder of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot store.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft decided to send the pair, captured at a Maryland interstate rest area, to Virginia for prosecution.
In their court filing, Muhammad's attorneys said Ashcroft made his decision "not to address a fair trial process on all issues, but rather upon the assumption that Prince William County, Virginia, would provide the greatest assurance that Mr. Muhammad would receive the death penalty as easily and quickly as possible."
-- CNN Producer Mike Ahlers and Correspondent Jeanne Meserve contributed to this report.

US NEWS: Winona Ryder Gets Probation in Shoplifting Case

December 6, 2002
By ill Serjeant

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - Actress Winona Ryder was spared jail time on Friday for shoplifting thousands of dollars in designer goods, but was ordered by a Beverly Hills judge to serve three years probation and undergo counseling to come to grips with a guilt she refuses to admit.

Ryder was sentenced during a contentious hearing in which her attorney and a prosecutor traded bitter accusations, the judge upbraided her for refusing to accept responsibility and a lawyer for Saks Fifth Avenue branded her a "movie star thief."
The 31-year-old actress, dressed in black, made no statement to the court but wore a pained expression through most of the hearing and at one point leaped from her seat in shock, her mouth dropping open, when Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle accused the defense of "trotting out" the specter of a dead girl as a ploy to win the judge's sympathy.
Ryder was convicted on Nov. 6 of grand theft and felony vandalism for stealing more than $5,560 in goods and damaging a $795 Calvin Klein purse during a Dec. 12, 2001 shoplifting spree at the Saks Fifth Avenue branch in Beverly Hills.
Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, who could have sentenced Ryder to prison, instead imposed probation and 480 hours of community service. Fox also ordered the "Girl, Interrupted" star to pay more than $6,300 in restitution to the Beverly Hills store, plus $3,700 in fines to the court.
Rejecting suggestions by defense attorney Mark Geragos during trial that Ryder had been framed by the Saks security staff and made a scapegoat by prosecutors, Fox said he was in "full accord" with the jury's guilty verdicts.
Fox added that the actress had "disappointed many people" by the shoplifting and by her refusal to admit guilt.
"There's going to be a need on your part to confront certain issues that may be the root cause of what I deem to be aberrant behavior," the judge said. "What is a concern to me in this matter is the fact that you have been unable, or maybe more appropriately described, you have refused to accept personal responsibility for what happened on December 12."
Fox told Ryder, who was nominated for Oscars for her work in "Little Women" and "Age of Innocence," that she needed "to make necessary changes in your life" and warned her "if you steal again, you will go to jail."
"Do you understand that?" Fox asked her.
"Yes, your honor, I do," she responded.
During the hearing an attorney for Saks, Kenneth Metzner, delivered an impassioned "victim's impact" statement to the court, blasting Ryder for appearing on a magazine cover in a "Free Winona" T-shirt and on a TV program "making light of the criminal proceedings."
Metzner said members of a Saks security team were subjected to humiliating invasions of their private lives "because they had the misfortune of apprehending a movie star thief" and added that Saks lost $7 million to shoplifters last year.
But Metzner's remarks incensed Geragos, who called the store's contention that its reputation was damaged during the year-long case "the height of chutzpah" and said "they have done everything possible to try to destroy this woman."
Geragos claimed Saks turned a profit this year "for the first time in I don't know how long" as a result of the publicity from the notorious case, which dragged on for nearly a year under an intense glare of publicity.
The high-profile attorney also accused prosecutors of treating Ryder harshly because of her celebrity and said a lone act of shoplifting was outweighed by her life of good works, which included her efforts on behalf of a 12-year-old Petaluma, California girl who was abducted and murdered in 1993.
Ryder, who grew up in Petaluma, mounted a reward and publicity campaign for the safe return of Polly Klaas.
When Rundle angrily responded that she was offended to hear Geragos "trot out the body of a dead child" for his client's benefit, Ryder shot out of her seat, clearly shocked, and glared at the prosecutor. Geragos began to object before Fox cut off the discussion.
Ryder's spokeswoman, Mara Buxbaum, later issued a statement saying that the actress "accepts responsibility for what happened on Dec. 12, 2001" and "continuously" tried to resolve the matter without a trial.
"Winona is relieved to finally put this behind her and is hopeful that she will be able to restore some modicum of privacy," Buxbaum said. "She is grateful for the love she continues to receive from her family, friends and supporters."
According to court papers released after the hearing, police found eight prescription drugs in Ryder's possession when she detained at Saks. The papers said Ryder had used a half-dozen different names to get the drugs, which included sedatives like Valium and Diazepam and opiates such as Oxycodone.
Rundle disclosed that Ryder had been involved three times since May 2000 in suspected shoplifting incidents at other posh stores, but was never charged. The prosecutor said outside court that "the only issue remaining is whether Miss Ryder will stop pointing fingers at others and examine her own behavior."


Court Puts Exxon Valdez Damages at $4 Bln

Fri December 6, 2002
IRVING, Texas (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM.N , the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said on Friday a federal court in Alaska has decided it should pay $4 billion in punitive damages for the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Exxon Mobil, which argues that it should pay no more than $40 million for the 1989 tanker accident, said it planned to appeal the order.
The decision was handed down by the federal court in Anchorage and reduced to $4 billion from $5 billion the amount of punitive damages awarded last year in connection with the disaster.
The Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground on a charted reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. It was the worst spill from a tanker in U.S. waters and polluted more than 1,200 miles of shoreline.
The court ruling represents a substantial victory for the plaintiffs -- including thousands of fishermen, Alaska Natives, property owners, other individuals and municipalities -- who have pushed for a punitive verdict of at least $4 billion.
"This ruling flies in the face of the guidelines set by the appeals court ... It requires us once again to appeal... ", said ExxonMobil's general counsel, Charles Matthews, in a statement.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year declared the $5 billion punitive damages award "excessive" and sent the case back to the Anchorage District Court with orders to reduce the amount, Exxon Mobil noted.
Exxon Mobil has argued in court motions filed earlier this year the Valdez case lacks the "aggravating factors," such as malicious actions or violence, that would justify a large punitive award.
4 December 2002

The following statement was issued today by the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights:
Dato' Param Cumaraswamy, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Right on the independence of judges and lawyers, expresses grave concern over the deterioration of the rule of law in Swaziland in the wake of a press statement of November 28 2002, issued by the Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini, which resulted in the resignation of the entire bench of judges of the Court of Appeal, followed by a work stoppage by the judges of the High Court on December 2 as a mark of protest.
In his press statement, the Prime Minister expressed that his government "does not intend to recognize the two judgments of the Court of Appeal".
The Special Rapporteur has learnt that one of the two judgments is with regard to a ruling that King Mswati III had no constitutional mandate over Parliament for issuing decrees affecting the law. The particular impugned decree denied bail to rape suspects. The other ruling of the Court of Appeal was with regard to an order for committal of contempt of court against the Police Commissioner for disobeying a High Court order.
It is clear that failure on the part of the government to honour decisions of constitutionally constituted courts is, Dato' Param Cumaraswamy said, a blatant breach of what is implied in principle 4 of the United Nations Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary and article 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights:

Principle 4
There shall not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process, nor shall judicial decisions by the courts be subject to revision. This principle is without prejudice to judicial review or to mitigation or commutation by competent authorities of sentences imposed by the judiciary, in accordance with the law.

Article 26
States Parties to the present Charter shall have the duty to guarantee the independence of the Courts and shall allow the establishment and improvement of appropriate national institutions entrusted with the promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the present Charter.
Further, the action of the Prime Minister has pitted the executive government of Swaziland not against just the independent Court of Appeal, its judges and their decisions but against the majesty of the rule of law which is the very foundation of a democratic state, the Special Rapporteur added.
These developments must be viewed with grave concern for that region and could have serious implications for the New Economic Partnership and Development (NEPAD) initiative in Africa, Dato' Param Cumaraswamy said.
The Special Rapporteur urges Prime Minister Dlamini to revoke his press statement, respect the judgments of the Court of Appeal and restore the rule of law in Swaziland.

US NEWS: Confessed murderer executed in Texas

December 4, 2002 HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A man who confessed to the 1994 shooting deaths of his common-law wife and his brother, whom he suspected of having an affair, was executed Wednesday night. Leonard Rojas, 52, gave no final statement before he was injected with the lethal drugs.
Rojas said from Death Row last month that he had no regrets about shooting Jo Ann Reed, 34, between the eyes and then turning the gun on his brother David Rojas, 43.
The elder Rojas, who was sentenced to death in 1996, had claimed his wife and brother were lovers and were trying to drug him to death. Those claims never were proven, said Johnson County assistant district attorney David Vernon.
The slayings took place in the mobile home the trio shared in Alvarado, near Forth Worth, Texas.
Rojas was the 32nd person executed in Texas this year.

Supreme Court reviews punishment of anti-abortion protesters

December 4, 2002
Abortion rights supporters chant and carry signs outside the Supreme Court before Wednesday's argument.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Anti-abortion protests have become commonplace at clinics across the country. Now the Supreme Court is being asked to clarify how to punish those who cross the line into disruptive, even violent civil disobedience.
At issue is whether it is unfair to use federal laws against racketeering and extortion to go after anti-abortion groups who use, according to the official court filing, "sit-ins and demonstrations that obstruct public's access" to medical clinics.
Such anti-racketeering laws have normally been used by federal prosecutors to go after organized crime.
Supporters on both sides of the abortion issue protested peacefully on the steps of the Supreme Court building Wednesday.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) first filed a lawsuit on behalf of the clinics in 1986, and the Court eight years later ruled in its favor. Leaders of the anti-abortion movement, including Operation Rescue and the Pro-Life Action Network, filed a new legal claim the justices will now decide.
As far back as the mid 1980s, anti-abortion groups began offering "classes" on clinic protest strategies, ranging from picketing and handling out leaflets, to activists chaining themselves to clinic doors.
Some of the demonstrations turned into violent confrontations, including threats and attacks on patients and medical workers. In some cases, clinics were damaged.
While many of the protest tactics are protected free speech, NOW claimed the confrontations were planned and organized, and represented "a pattern of extortion." The group cited the Hobbs Act, a federal law that made it a crime to obstruct or affect interstate commerce "by robbery or extortion" when "induced by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence and fear."
Anti-abortion groups objected, arguing an economic motive must be present in racketeering cases. The groups claim they did not profit financially from their protests.
In court arguments, attorney Roy Englert, who represents anti-abortion rights groups, said applying anti-racketeering and anti-extortion laws to his clients is "an awfully broad use of the language."
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor challenged him, saying, "We're not talking about conduct that is lawful."
Countered Englert: "But we're not talking about extortion."
Said O'Connor: "To paint a picture where we're talking about pure speech is not entirely accurate."
NOW's attorney, Fay Clayton, got into a spirited debate with Justice Antonin Scalia and other justices over whether the actions of the anti-abortion groups amount to "obtaining of property," illegal under anti-extortion laws. Clayton said protests against clinics represent a loss of control over their business.
Scalia observed that under such reasoning, any kind of protest could be so interpreted, and "then everything becomes an obtaining of property."
The justices are now being asked to consider whether the Hobbs Act applies to political or ideological protests, and whether private groups like abortion clinics can sue under these anti-racketeering laws.
A decision is expected sometime next spring.
The cases are Scheidler v. NOW (No. 01-1118) and Operation Rescue v. NOW (No. 01-1119)
The cases are Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (No. 01-1118), and Operation Rescue v. National Organization for Women (No. 01-1119).

Court hears challenge to campaign law

December 4, 2002

Sen. Mitch McConnell, center, accompanied by attorneys Floyd Abrams, left, and Kenneth Starr, arrives at court Wednesday for a case about a new campaign finance law.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brandishing internal corporate memos linking big donations to government policy, supporters of the nation's campaign finance law told a federal court Wednesday the new limits on contributions were necessary to end the corrupting influence of big money on elections.
Donors "give the money because they feel it is a necessary calling card to get into the door in Congress," argued Richard Bader, a lawyer for the Federal Election Commission that is defending the new law against its first legal challenge.
"We think that's enough to uphold the contribution limits," Bader told a special three-judge panel hearing the case. He also harkened memories of the Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers and White House coffees for donors that occurred during the Clinton fund-raising scandal of the 1990s.
Republican opponents of the law countered that it illegally tramples on free speech and would force the Republican Party alone to lay off 40 percent of its staff to make up for the loss of big soft money donations.
Both sides aired their arguments over the law that makes the first major changes to political financing in a quarter century. The high-stakes case is expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court.
The FEC joined the authors of the law, including Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, in trying to convince the judges that the law was constitutional and should not be overturned.
Attorney Roger Whitten, representing the lawmakers who helped enact the legislation, cited several examples in which political fund-raising was linked to public policy, including one memo involving the senator who is suing to help overturn the law.
Whitten cited a 1999 internal document from PhRMA, a drug lobby, that was prepared before a meeting the group was having with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who was serving on the committee overseeing the federal agency that approves drugs and was the chief fund-raiser for Senate Republicans.
The memo suggested that the pharmaceutical lobby make two points to McConnell -- one involving pharmaceutical costs and the other noting the industry was a solid supporter of Republicans and recently gave $200,000 to GOP committees.
Attorney Kenneth Starr, who is representing McConnell and other opponents of the law, called the legislation a "dragnet of regulation" that violated free speech and association guarantees and wrongly infringed on the right of states to regulate their own elections.
Starr, who gained fame as the special prosecutor who investigated President Clinton, argued the law wrongly prohibits state and local parties from using non-federal money for a range of traditional get-out-the-vote and voter registration activities any time there was a federal candidate on the ballot -- even if the efforts didn't mention federal candidates.
"The only reasonable conclusion to be reached is that Congress does indeed in this law regulate state elections," Starr argued. "It intrudes into state and local parties' ability to be active."
Bobby Burchfield, a lawyer for the Republican National Committee which also opposes the law, told the court his party would have to lay off 40 percent of its staff by the end of the year because of the new restrictions.
And he said his party would no longer be able to coordinate election activities with state and local parties. "This is the core of American democracy," Burchfield said.
Burchfield told the judges the new law won't reduce special interest influence in elections as its supporters claim because interest groups will still be allowed to engage in the same election activities they always have -- such as ads and get-out-the-vote drives -- even if the political parties can't.
McConnell and dozens of groups including the RNC, California Democratic Party, AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Rifle Association contend the restrictions violate free-speech and other rights.
The law that took effect November 6 bans national party committees from raising so-called "soft money," unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and others that parties could spend on non-candidate-specific activities such as issue ads, get-out-the-vote drives and operating costs.
It also bars a range of interest groups from airing political ads mentioning federal candidates close to elections. The law's proponents contend groups have used phony issue ads to evade a prohibition on the use of union or corporate money to influence federal elections.
The federal court panel scheduled two days of arguments and is expected to make its ruling early next year. The ruling will set the stage for an immediate appeal by the losing side to the Supreme Court.
In a landmark 1976 ruling the Supreme Court upheld limits on campaign contributions but said that restricting political spending violated free-speech rights. Courts have cited that decision in numerous campaign finance cases.

Supreme Court refuses to consider juvenile death row case

December 2, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a Mississippi death row inmate who was 17 when he used his bike as a getaway vehicle in a fatal convenience store robbery.
Lawyers for Ronald Chris Foster wanted the court to use the case to decide if it is unconstitutional for states to execute juvenile defendants. Four justices said this fall that the court should ban the practice.
"Whether it is constitutional to execute a 17-year-old is not properly before the court in this case," justices were told in court papers by Marvin White, a Mississippi assistant attorney general.
Foster was convicted in the 1989 death of a convenience store clerk during a robbery.
One of Foster's attorneys, Silas McCharen, said that Foster had the mental maturity of a 13-year-old. Foster rode his bike to the store that day, he said. He had no weapon, but the clerk was shot with a gun that was kept at the store.
McCharen said the court should either bar executions of people under 18 or require lower courts to first consider defendants' maturity and culpability before allowing the death penalty.
States may impose the death penalty on killers who were 16 or 17 at the time of their crimes. Of the 38 states that allow the death penalty, 16 prohibit it for those under 18.
"Now is the time for this court to acknowledge that our national standards of decency no longer permit the execution of juvenile offenders anywhere in the United States," McCharen wrote in a court filing.
The case is Foster v. Johnson, 02-6655.

Right to hold Guantanamo detainees challenged in appeals court

From Rich Dubroff
December 2, 2002
Detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lawyers for 15 men accused of being Taliban or al Qaeda terrorists argued Monday before a U.S. Appeal Court that they should have the right to meet with their clients, who are being held on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Twelve Kuwaitis, two Britons and an Australian citizen who were arrested in Afghanistan and Pakistan and have been detained in Guantanamo for many months in what the attorneys argued is a violation of the Geneva Convention. "The government can not hold people entirely without their rights," said Joe Marguilies, who is representing British citizens Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal.
The lawyers, who were retained by the detainees' families, said the detainees are not being allowed to see either their families or their lawyers.
Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement said that because of last year's terrorist attacks, it is necessary to detain the men at Guantanamo "for their own protection and to prevent them from re-enlisting." It also facilitate intelligence gathering, he said.
Federal District judges A. Raymond Randolph, Stephen Williams and Merrick Garland questioned both Marguilies and Tom Wilner, who is representing the 12 Kuwaitis.
"The military made a judgment to detain them in Guantanamo. Why are they not enemies?," Randolph asked Marguilies.
Clement said that it is accepted practice for detainees to be held thousands of miles away from the battlefield in a time of war. "As an enemy combatant, the U.S. can detain you without the right to meet with family and without access to counsel."
Marguilies said that President Bush has not officially designated the 15 as members of al Qaeda or the Taliban. "These are citizens of a friendly nation. You can't presume enemy status," he said.
A decision is expected in several months.

Oregon governor apologizes for forced sterilizations

December 3, 2002

Oregon governor apologizes for forced sterilizations
Past eugenics law imposed on hundreds of women

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, right, speaks to a packed Capitol ceremonial office filled with some Oregonians that were victims of the past forced sterilization procedure.

SALEM, Oregon (AP) -- Gov. John Kitzhaber formally apologized Monday for Oregon's past eugenics law that led to the forced sterilization of hundreds of people.
Girls in reform school, people in mental institutions and poor women selected by welfare workers were among the more than 2,500 Oregonians subjected to sterilizations under a law that stood from 1917 to 1983.
"To those who suffered, I say the people of Oregon are sorry," Kitzhaber said during a ceremony in the governor's office. "Our hearts are heavy for the pain you endured."
He is the second governor to atone for state eugenics laws after Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who also erected a memorial in May to the first woman sterilized under the policy.
Among the dozens of people who crowded into Kitzhaber's office for Monday's ceremony was Velma Haynes, 68, who was sterilized at age 15 while living at the Fairview Training Center, a state-run institution for the mentally ill and retarded.
Haynes called the state's acknowledgment of wrongdoing "long overdue," but praised Kitzhaber's effort to make things right.
"I want to thank you for taking the time to apologize," Haynes told the governor. "Your apology is appreciated and accepted."
Not everyone was satisfied. Ken Newman, 61, who said he was given a vasectomy without his consent when he was a teen living at Fairview, said the governor's remarks don't erase what happened.
"I want more than an apology. I want to be compensated," Newman said. The law was based on the pseudoscientific movement that sought to prevent people considered "unfit" or "defective" from having children. After 1967, the Oregon law was chiefly used to sterilize those with mental illness or mental disability.

US NEWS: Affirmative action case awaits Supreme Court review

November 27, 2002
From William Mears
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what could be one of the most significant decisions on equal opportunity in education, the Supreme Court will decide Wednesday whether to review affirmative action programs in the nation's universities.
A ruling could change the way large, public universities attempt to recruit minority students.
At issue is whether race can be used as a factor in admissions to state-funded colleges, to increase diversity among the student body. Justices would be asked to decide whether a state has a "compelling interest" to promote a diverse student body, or whether the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment forbids giving one ethnic group or culture special advantages over another.
Justices will meet in a closed-door session to decide whether to accept the case for review. An announcement from the bench is expected Monday.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist will not attend the meeting, after undergoing knee surgery Tuesday. He could participate by phone, said spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.
The case involves Barbara Grutter's 1995 application to the University of Michigan law school. It was rejected, despite what she said was "very strong" expertise in a variety of fields.
"I have a lot of experience I could have brought to that class," she told CNN three years ago, when the case was being appealed.
Along with two other applicants, she sued, accusing the university of rejecting white applicants because of their race, and using unfair standards to admit lesser-qualified minorities. They want race taken out of the admission process.
The law school says it has the right to use race in recruiting students, and also the responsibility.
"We take race into account as a factor among many in order to pursue the educational benefit of diversity," university lawyer Liz Barry told CNN in 1998. A federal appeals court in May upheld the university's law school admissions process.
Second Michigan case may complicate ruling
Jennifer Gratz, left, and Barbara Grutter. If the Court were to strike down the Michigan law school's admissions policy, universities would be forced to change how they accept minorities. Affirmative action programs in general could also be radically affected. But it is unclear whether the justices will want to take on so contentious an issue. Several members on the nine-person court have publicly expressed strongly conflicting opinions on affirmative action, and some legal expert predict the justices will refuse to hear the case, fearing an uncertain outcome in a divided Court.
Another complication that could prevent justices from agreeing to accept the case this term: a companion case from the University of Michigan dealing with undergraduate admissions. A federal appeals court has yet to rule on the undergraduate dispute, and the Supreme Court rejected an appeal to have both Michigan cases heard together.
In that case, Jennifer Gratz was denied admission to the school in 1995. In her lawsuit against the school, she claims Michigan essentially runs two admissions systems to get a pre-determined racial mix of students.
A controversial part of Michigan's admission policy was a 150-point scale used to grade an applicant's record. African Americans, Latinos or Native Americans automatically received 20 points for their race, which could have raised their grade a full point on a 4.0 scale. The point scale is no longer used at the school.
Mixed rulings stir controversy
Affirmative action programs were originally created to correct racial and cultural discrimination, dating from the days of slavery and public segregation. But advocates on both sides of the issue agree the initiatives have proven controversial, and enforcement has been often been applied in a random and confusing way.
One reason: the Supreme Court's ambiguous ruling in 1978 Bakke case, the last time the Court addressed affirmative action in public universities. The Court ruled the University of California at Davis could not hold a quota of places for minorities. But writing in support of the decision, the late Justice Lewis Powell wrote, "The goal of achieving a diverse student body is sufficiently compelling to justify consideration of race... under some circumstances."
Since then, federal courts around the country have split on whether affirmative action in higher education is constitutional. In legal briefs filed with the Court, lawyers from both sides of the University of Michigan law school case argued now is the time for the justices to give a clear, definitive ruling on the issue.
If the Court agrees to hear the case, both sides could present arguments in late winter/early spring 2003. A ruling from the bench would likely come near the end of the term in June.
The case is Grutter v. Bollinger (No. 02-241).

US NEWS: Bush apologizes over schoolgirl deaths

November 27, 2002
South Korean protesters use blood from their fingers to write the slogans on the national flag during an anti-U.S. rally at Camp Casey in South Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- President Bush has apologized for the deaths of two South Korean girls struck by a U.S. military vehicle more than five months ago. The apology came several days after Sgt. Fernando Nino and Sgt. Mark Walker of the 2nd Infantry Division were acquitted by a U.S. military court of negligent homicide charges in the June 13 road deaths of Shim Mi-son and Shin Hyo-sun, both 13.

Earlier Wednesday, Nino and Walker also issued their first public apologies since the accident.
Their acquittals on separate days last week triggered an outcry among South Koreans who said the trial was a whitewash. Some small demonstrations have turned violent.
"Just this morning, the president sent me a message asking me to convey his apologies to the families of the girls, to the government of the Republic of Korea and to the people of Korea," U.S. Ambassador Thomas Hubbard said at a news conference.
Hubbard said Bush asked him to express "his sadness and regret over this tragic incident and to reiterate the United States' commitment to work closely with the Republic of Korea to help prevent such accidents from occurring in the future."
U.S. military officials in South Korea have repeatedly apologized for the incident, and Secretary of State Colin Powell has also expressed regret. It was unclear whether Bush's apology would help calm a growing sense of outrage in South Korea, which hosts 37,000 U.S. soldiers.
On Tuesday, dozens of activists broke into the U.S. military base Camp Red Cloud, north of Seoul, to protest the acquittals.
There were no clashes between the intruders and American soldiers, he said. The protesters were apprehended by South Korean police.
Deepest apology
In statements, the two soldiers offered condolences to the families of the girls.
"I realize nothing that I can do or say will bring your daughters back, but I hope that you will accept my deepest apology," said Nino, commander of the mine-clearing vehicle that hit the girls June 13 during a training mission near North Korea. His hometown was not released.
"Even though it was an accident, I feel great remorse over this tragedy," said Walker, the driver, who's from Acworth, Ga.
The soldiers' acquittals led to a renewal of calls by South Koreans for the revision of a U.S.-South Korean military accord so that South Korea has more jurisdiction in cases involving U.S. soldiers.
However, South Korean Justice Minister Shim Sang-myoung said there were no plans to change the accord, which has been revised twice since 1966.
Currently, the U.S. military has jurisdictional rights over American soldiers accused of crimes while on duty, though it can allow South Korea to try them on a case-by-case basis.
About 37,000 American soldiers are based in South Korea.

WORLD NEWS: Germany To Cooperate with U.S. on Moussaoui Trial,3367,1430_A_68803_1_A,00.html
November 28, 2002

Berlin will provide Washington with evidence for the trial of Moussaoui, the only person charged in the U.S. for a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. America has promised it will not use the material to support his execution.Germany will be handing over information and evidence to the United States on Zacarias Moussaoui, a French national of Moroccan descent who stands accused of conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers to commit terrorism in the U.S.

The decision is being hailed as a breakthrough in German-American cooperation in the war against terror. Negotiations between the two sides had been stalled since spring because Germany's constitution prohibits the death penalty and the submission of material that could lead to capital punishment.
"The United States of America has assured that the evidence and information submitted by Germany will not directly or indirectly be used against the defendant or against a third party towards the imposition of the death penalty," the German government said in a statement released by its embassy in Washington.
A further step in cooperation against terror

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries of the ruling Social Democratic Party has called the agreement "a further contribution in our joint fight against international terrorism."

She said countries participating in the anti-terror coalition should "support each other in the area of criminal proceedings as far as each of their national constitutions allow." A Justice Ministry spokeswoman in Berlin told Reuters the move did not indicate a change in Germany's position. "What has happened is that the United States has made it possible for Germany to assist with providing evidence."
France ready to help, too
Separately, France like Germany, which also bans the death penalty and has previously resisted U.S. requests, has also agreed to cooperate with the United States in furnishing information on Moussaoui.
"Consistent with its position during this whole affair, the French government has obtained guarantees from the United States that any information passed on will not be used... with the aim of pronouncing or executing the death penalty," French Justice Minister Dominique Perben said in a statement.
Moussaoui denies involvement in attacks
Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested in the U.S. state of Minnesota on immigration violations in August 2001, a month prior to the attacks on New York and Washington.
He faces six charges of conspiring to carry out the Sept. 11 aircraft attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which killed more than 3,000 people. Four of those charges carry the death penalty. Moussaoui has denied involvement in the attacks, but has admitted to being a member of al Qaeda, which the U.S. blames for the attacks.
Links to Atta?
German investigators are reported to have evidence linking Moussaoui to Mohammed Atta (photo), the leader of the Hamburg al Qaeda terror cell who is believed to be the man who piloted the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.
According to media reports, the U.S. is particularly interested in obtaining two money transfer slips from the basement of the Frankfurt-based Reisebank, which prosecutors believe will prove the French citizen had a direct link to Atta's Hamburg cell.
Only a fringe player?
The indictment against Moussaoui says that he made several telephone calls from Oklahoma to a number in Dusseldorf between July 29 and Aug. 4, 2001.
During his Aug. 16 arrest, police found a phone book in Moussaoui's possession listing the Dusseldorf number, a second number in Germany and the name "Ahad Sabet." Moussaoui's indictment said that "Sabet" was actually Binalshibh (photo), an al Qaeda operative now in U.S. custody, who had wired Moussaoui $14,000 from Dusseldorf and Hamburg between Aug. 1-3, 2001.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials said Ramzi Binalshibh told them Moussaoui was only a backup in the Sept. 11 attacks because he could not be trusted to keep a secret.
Experts say Binalshibh's statements could weaken the U.S. government's case for seeking the death penalty for Moussaoui, whose trial is now slated to begin in June 2003.
"Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan" opens July 3 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
Using the traditional home of Mongolian nomads as backdrop, the exhibition invites visitors to experience 20th-century Mongolian life and discover Genghis Khan's lasting legacy to his people. The exhibition is on view through Oct. 31 (It is still on view!).
Exhibition highlights:
--A life-size early 20th-century ger, a traditional dwelling for nomads and treasure of the Mongolian people, still home to almost half of today's Mongolians
--Two half-gers showing the changes in lifestyle experienced during the last century
--Hands-on area where visitors can try on an authentic Mongolian robe, touch a traditional Mongolian saddle, and tug on a real horsehair braided rope
--Film by exhibition curator Paula Sabloff, presenting the nature of politics and the cultural lifestyle in modern Mongolia.

WORLD NEWS: China Jails 30 People for Internet Use - Amnesty
November 26, 2002

BEIJING (Reuters) - Human rights group Amnesty International urged China on Wednesday to free at least 30 people jailed for using the Internet to share information or express their views.

China had detained or imprisoned at least 33 people for offences related to Internet use, but two adherents of the Falun Gong (news - web sites) spiritual movement, banned in 1999 and declared an "evil cult," had died in custody, the group said in a statement.
"Everyone detained purely for peacefully publishing their views or other information on the Internet or for accessing certain Web sites are prisoners of conscience," the London-based organization said.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said he had not seen the Amnesty report, but added: "The Amnesty International organization in the past has often issued statements with no basis whatsoever."
"China is country ruled by law," he said. "All people must abide by the laws and regulations."
Amnesty said among those held was former police officer Li Dawei, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for downloading articles from pro-democracy Web sites abroad, it said.
The government had gone so far as to filter foreign sites, create a special Internet police and even shut down Web pages posting politically incorrect fare, the rights group said.
In late August, China blocked access to Internet search engine Google (news - external web site) in a media clampdown ahead of the watershed 16th Party Congress earlier this month, when President Jiang Zemin (news - web sites) handed power to a new generation of leaders.
"Internet users are increasingly caught in a tight web of rules restricting their fundamental human rights," the group said.
"Anyone surfing the Internet could potentially be at risk of arbitrary detention and imprisonment."
China, the world's most populous nation, is second only to the United States in Web traffic.
It had 45.9 million Internet users at the end of October and is expected to become the largest Internet market in the world in four years.
(With reporting by Jonathan Ansfield)

US NEWS: Homeland security agency a reality

President Bush on Monday formalized the biggest government reorganization in more than 50 years, signing legislation creating a Department of Homeland Security. Bush, who promised the massive new agency will "focus the full resources of the American government on the safety of the American people," also nominated homeland security adviser Tom Ridge to be the department's first leader.

To see full Report visit:

WORLD NEWS: France's release of Maurice Papon: an incitement to political reaction

Marianne Arens and Francois Dubois

10 October 2002

Following a surprise decision by the French court of appeals, Maurice Papon, a former high-ranking official in the Nazi puppet regime of Marshal Petain and prefect of police under Charles de Gaulle, was released from a Paris prison on September 19.
As secretary general of the Gironde prefecture from 1942 to 1944, Papon organised the deportation of approximately 1,600 French Jews from the Bordeaux area to Auschwitz, where almost all were murdered in the Nazi gas chambers. As the Paris prefect of police under Charles de Gaulle during the Algerian war in the 1960s, he was responsible for an armed attack on a peaceful demonstration of 30,000 Algerians in Paris, the arrest of 12,000 of them and the brutal murder and dumping into the river Seine of hundreds more.
After a 16-year struggle by relatives of his Jewish victims to bring Papon to justice, he was finally sentenced in 1998 to 10 years imprisonment for "complicity in crimes against humanity". However, he was again set free when his lawyers appealed the verdict. Prior to these appeal proceedings, Papon had fled to Switzerland to avoid being taken into custody, but he was brought back to France and locked up in the Sante prison in the autumn of 1999.
Scarcely three years later, he is once again free, though he served less than a third of his sentence.
The official reason for Papon's release from custody was the 92-year-old man's alleged poor state of health. Papon's lawyers were able to base their case on what the press called the "Papon amendment", recommended by the Senate in July 2000 and ratified on March 4, 2002. According to this amendment, gravely ill people are to be released from custody on humanitarian grounds if two doctors confirm that further detention would constitute a serious risk of death. The French newspaper Le Monde reported that Papon is only the second known prisoner to take advantage of this law.
In reality, Papon's case has nothing to do with humanitarian concern for a dangerously ill prisoner. French prisons are full of people suffering from cancer, AIDS and other illnesses, who could have been released long ago. In contrast to these, Papon obviously enjoys astoundingly good health for a person of his age. He was seen leaving gaol erect and striding energetically.
A former fellow inmate gave the press a description of Papon's condition. Didier Schuller was the superintendent of a municipal housing unit before he was placed under arrest for corruption in February and occupied a cell near Papon's for a few days in the VIP quarter of the Sante prison. He told Le Parisien newspaper:
"Maurice Papon is completely obsessed with his court case and spent his whole time in gaol picking to pieces all the testimony presented against him.... He'll fight to his last breath to draw attention to his case. No way is he a feeble old man, he's completely determined.... I was astounded by his enormous willpower. He's self-controlled, clear-headed, has a grisly sense of humour and a fiery, razor-sharp type of anger. He's completely obsessed with revenge and securing his own rehabilitation."
Immediately after Papon's release, his lawyer, Jean-Marc Varaut, announced that this was only the first step towards Papon's complete rehabilitation, which he would now pursue with all his strength. Papon himself never tires of claiming that he is the victim of a "conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons".
In public, the government led by Jean-Pierre Raffarin has distanced itself from the court's decision to free Papon. It is obviously afraid that the decision could lead to public unrest or international protest. French President Jacques Chirac rejected Papon's pleas for clemency on two occasions in April and July, shortly before and after the presidential and parliamentary elections.
On the day of Papon's release, the ministerial conference at the Elysee discussed his case. Following the conference, Minister of Justice Dominique Perben told the press that the Department of Justice viewed the matter differently than the court of appeals: "We believe that his continued detention is warranted, considering the seriousness of the crimes attributed to him." He went on to say that "ways would be sought" to lodge a legal challenge to the appeals court decision to release Papon.
Several Jewish and civil rights organisations vehemently opposed Papon's release. Michel Slitinsky, president of the Association of Families of Deportation Victims, who has fought for decades to have Papon placed behind bars, bitterly protested the court's action: "The fact was not taken into account that Papon had dragged six old Jewish men suffering from heart conditions out of their beds in October 1942." Hundreds took to the streets to protest Papon's release and demonstrated in the area of Paris's Velodrome d'Hiver, where in July 1942 13,000 Jews, including 4,015 children, were herded together before being taken away to the concentration camps.
At the same time there has been tacit approval of Papon's release from the ranks of the political elite. It is obvious that Papon is not alone in seeking his rehabilitation. Rather, he is supported by a whole group that has been backing him for decades. Two former Gaullist prime ministers, Raymond Barre and Pierre Messmer, have sided with Papon in public.
Barre, prime minister during the presidency of Giscard d'Estaing in 1978, made Maurice Papon his minister of finance. At the time, the head of the cabinet in which Papon served was Jean-Louis Debre (Union for a Presidential Majority-UMP), today's president of the National Assembly. Debre laconically welcomed Papon's release as a "logical decision".
Pierre Messmer was a comrade-in-arms of Charles de Gaulle, his minister of war from 1960 to 1969 (including 1961, when Papon organised the massacre of the Algerians in Paris) and prime minister from 1972 to 1974. Today he is president of the Charles de Gaulle Foundation and a member of the French Academy. He has consistently defended Papon and testified on his behalf at the trial in Bordeaux four years ago.
Support for Papon is not limited to prominent Gaullists, however. In July, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg came to Papon's aid, reproaching France for an "unfair procedure" because Papon had been refused the right of appeal after his flight to Switzerland. The French state was ordered to reimburse the Nazi collaborator with court costs amounting to 30,000 euros.
A large number of prominent politicians have expressed understanding for the indignation of the surviving relatives of the concentration camp victims. They contend, however, that Papon's discharge was the correct decision from a humanitarian point of view.
Francois Hollande, the secretary of the Socialist Party, declared: "If his state of health corresponds to the conditions laid down for an obligatory release, then I have nothing more to say about the matter." Marylise Lebranchu, a former socialist justice minister, stressed that the decision of the Paris court of appeals was a matter of "sovereign jurisdiction". Even Michel Tubiana, the president of the League of Human Rights, expressed his sympathy for the release on humanitarian grounds.
One of the driving forces behind Papon's release is Robert Badinter (Socialist Party), today a senator and formerly a confidant of Francois Mitterrand. Over the last 12 months, he has been beating the drums for Papon's release and tirelessly preaching that "humanity should triumph over crime". Badinter was minister for justice under Mitterrand from 1981 to 1986 and was known as a liberal because he had abolished the death penalty on assuming office in 1981.
The stance taken by people formerly considered liberals, like Badinter, demonstrates that Papon's release is not simply a reaction on the part of a caste of incorrigible old reactionaries. In reality, Maurice Papon's release from custody constituted a political statement.
Four months ago, the streets of France were full of young people who marched en masse to condemn the electoral gains of Jean-Marie Le Pen. At the time, Chirac was portrayed by the whole political establishment as the French Republic's bulwark against fascism. Today the lawyer Veraut-who, according to press reports, grew up in an environment of extreme right-wing groups such as Action Francais and Opus Dei, with which he maintains contact to this day-ensures that Papon is freed from prison. His release is being actively supported or mutely accepted by numerous well-known politicians, from Gaullists to members of the Socialist Party.
Papon's release and the prospect of his potential rehabilitation amount to a political appeal to finally dispense with the so-called "Vichy syndrome". While for 60 years French society frowned upon Petain's dictatorship as being incompatible with parliamentary democracy, now it is regaining respectability. The working class should take this as a serious warning.


US NEWS: Texas judge OKs filming of jury deliberations

By Pam Easton

Nov. 25, 2002 | HOUSTON (AP) -- A Texas judge turned aside prosecution objections Monday and cleared the way for what legal experts say would be the nation's first TV documentary to film jury deliberations in a death penalty case.
District Judge Ted Poe said the film would be educational for the public and said there is no state law prohibiting it. He promised to revisit the issue as deliberations approach, if prosecutors object again.
The case involves 17-year-old Cedric Harrison, who is charged with fatally shooting a man during a carjacking last June. Jury selection has begun.
The judge has approved a request from "Frontline," an award-winning PBS program whose producers say they want their documentary to promote understanding of capital justice.
The plan calls for an unobtrusive ceiling camera and no full-time cameraman. Videotapes would be sealed and kept by the court until after the verdict.
PBS has the approval of Harrison and his attorneys.
"We're doing it because this is a 17-year-old man that the state of Texas is attempting to kill," defense attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said during Monday's hearing in which Poe declined to reconsider his Nov. 11 decision allowing the filming. "We're going to make sure everything is done correctly."
Prosecutor Warren Diepraam said filming deliberations would cause "great harm" and could endanger the panel later.
"The process is supposed to be secret," he said. "The defendant or his family could use the deliberation process (for retaliation) after it is published."
Prosecutors have asked the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest criminal court, to bar the filming or delay the trial until the issue can be resolved.
Henry Schleiff, chairman and chief executive officer of Court TV, which has broadcast about 800 trials in the last 11 years, said the network has never asked to film jury deliberations.
"It's something we have not tried to do and we are actually against," Schleiff said.
Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said it is the first time he has ever heard of a camera being allowed in a deliberation room during a capital case.
"The precedent is almost always jury deliberations are private," he said. "You put them in a private room and even the judge doesn't know what is going on unless they come out with questions. It doesn't sound like a good thing."
Poe, a former prosecutor who was appointed to the bench in 1981, is well known in Houston. He has forced convicts to carry signs outside the courthouse proclaiming their crime and earlier this year said a teacher convicted of having sex with a student was "a bigger threat to our culture and our students than Osama bin Laden and his cave dwellers."
In the Harrison case, the judge said only 14 of the 110 jurors who filled out jury questionnaires voiced a concern about the filming.
"If I thought (cameras in the courtroom) would affect anybody's decision, I wouldn't do it," Poe told the Houston Chronicle. "I would never do anything in a trial to jeopardize justice. I believe we have the best system there ever has been. We shouldn't be ashamed of how it works. Let's show it off."
University of Texas law professor George Dix said Poe's decision is contrary to the tradition of protecting deliberations.
"Juries need to be free to do what they see as best without fearing repercussions from the community and this seems to fly in the face of that," Dix said.
Still, if deliberations are filmed, Dix said: "I would like to get a copy for my class."

WORLD NEWS: Turkmen President Escapes Assassination Attempt

November 25, 2002
By Marat Gurt
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (Reuters) - Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov escaped an assassination attempt Monday when submachine gun fire raked a motorcade thought to be carrying him, but he said he already was at work and only found out later about the attack.

The attack occurred at around 7 a.m. in the center of Ashgabat, capital of the former Soviet republic ruled by Niyazov, who tolerates no opposition and has been named president for life by a compliant parliament that routinely rubber-stamps his proposals.
"I had not the slightest idea (of the attack) and was already at work when I was told a shootout was taking place," said Niyazov.
"All (involved in the attack) have been arrested and are now giving evidence," he said.
No further details of the arrests were immediately available.
Niyazov has ruled Turkmenistan as head of state since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has developed a huge personality cult in his country. One of his official titles is Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great. Turkmenbashi means Leader or Father of all the Turkmen.
Niyazov accused four former government ministers and officials of being behind the attack -- former Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov, former central banker Khudoiberdy Orazov, former Deputy Agriculture Minister Sapar Yklymov, and Nurmukhammed Khanamov, a former ambassador to Turkey.
The president appeared calm in state television news pictures of a government meeting, only mentioning the assassination attempt after discussing routine official business at length.
Shikhmuradov has long been a wanted man by Turkmenistan, a country rich in natural gas and bordered by Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Iran.
He was sent as ambassador to China after eight years as foreign minister, but in October 2001 was recalled to Ashgabat. He refused to return and instead moved to Moscow, where he became an outspoken critic of Niyazov.
Turkmenistan immediately launched a criminal case against him, charging him with stealing, among other things, five MiG fighter aircraft, over 11,000 Kalashnikov rifles, and millions of rounds of ammunition. It is still seeking his extradition.
Ashgabat was calm Monday evening. The atmosphere was little different from normal with the city tightly patrolled by police and soldiers, but with a slightly greater security presence outside the presidential palace.
Niyazov's lengthy rule started in 1985 when he became communist party boss of what was then the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic.
Ashgabat, which has been largely rebuilt on a grandiose scale over the last few years, is festooned with billboards and statues of him.
One gold statue on top of a huge tower vaguely reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower revolves once every 24 hours so the figure of Niyazov can gaze continuously over the whole city.
It was under the name Turkmenbashi that he wrote his most famous book, "Ruhnama," a spiritual guide for Turkmens that he says was inspired by God. It is now compulsory in school from the age of 8, and is on the syllabus right through university.
In August, Niyazov made headlines worldwide when he renamed the month of January, calling it Turkmenbashi. Another month is now named after his mother, and another is called Ruhnama.
Turkmenistan was one of the poorest republics in the Soviet Union but since independence has seen its economy grow on the back of the world's third-largest natural gas reserves and an important cotton industry.

US NEWS: Court overturns ruling on vets' free lifetime health care

November 19, 2002
From Terry Frieden

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday ruled that the U.S. government does not owe free lifetime medical care to World War II and Korean War veterans who agreed to serve 20 years in exchange, despite promises made to them when they were in the armed forces.
The ruling represents a victory for the federal government, which had argued the veterans were not entitled to the benefits. The ruling will potentially save the government billions of dollars in health care costs.
The 9-4 ruling by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., overturns a ruling by a three-judge appeals panel in February, 2001, which ruled that the veterans were entitled to the lifetime health care based on the military's promises.
In the opinion issued Tuesday the Court said that action taken this year allows for free care in the future, but that the government is not obligated to pick up the medical expenses incurred from 1995 to 2001.
"Because [the law] at most authorizes space available treatment and not free health insurance for life, we hold that the Air Force Secretary lacked the authority in the 1950s when plaintiffs joined to promise free and full medical care," the Court majority said.
The majority of judges, however, clearly seemed sympathetic to the veterans against whom they ruled.
"We ... can do no more than hope Congress will make good on the promises recruiters made in good faith to plaintiffs and others of the World War II and Korean War era from 1941 to 1956 when Congress enacted its first health care insurance act for military members, excluding older retirees," the court majority said.
In an emotional dissent four judges sided with the veterans.
"If Congress can appropriate billions for this aspect of national defense and not know how it is accounted for, then God save the Republic. Of course Congress knew; of course the service secretaries authorized promises in return for service; of course these military officers served until retirement in reliance, and of course there is a moral obligation to these men," read the dissent.

Mongolia: Projects in the Social Sector

JOBS- Consultants, Social Sector Projects, Mongolia

Expressions of interest are invited from qualified consultants for a
multilateral funded project in Mongolia in the social service /social
protection sector. These positions are of short term nature, ranging from 2
person months to 18 person months over a period of 3-5 years.


Social Welfare Service Specialist
Community Social Services Specialist
Social Welfare Management Specialist
Labour Market Policy Specialist
Skills Training Specialist
Entrepreneurship Specialist
Employment Services Specialist
Working Conditions Specialist
Unemployment Insurance Specialist
Social Insurance (self-employed sector) Specialist
Employment Injury & Occupational Diseases Insurance Specialist
Project Management Specialist

Expression of interest and CV should be sent to:

Dr Mak Khan
Regional Manager, MUP

Tel: 61-3-9810 3216
Fax: 61-3-9810 3100

US NEWS: Senate Democrats target judicial nominee
November 18, 2002

Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-South Carolina, is pushing for the confirmation of a judicial nominee who once served as his aide.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats plan to take one last shot at blocking one of President Bush's judicial nominees while they still control the Senate, hoping to defeat the promotion of a former aide to retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond.
The Senate set aside most of Monday to debate the appeals court nomination of U.S. District Judge Dennis Shedd. While under its current Democratic control, the chamber has only debated an appeals court nominations when party leaders wanted to kill it.
A final vote will be taken on Tuesday, senators announced.
Shedd is a former assistant to the 99-year-old Thurmond, who will retire in January. Thurmond, R-South Carolina, has asked for Shedd's promotion to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, before he ends his 48-year Senate career.
Democratic senators and liberal groups have criticized Shedd's ruling as a trial judge, saying he has been insensitive in civil rights and employment discrimination cases.
Republicans say Shedd has been a fine judge and lawyer, and should be confirmed as a retirement favor to Thurmond, the oldest and longest serving member of Congress.
None of Bush's judicial nominees has been voted down in the full Senate, although two were stopped in the Judiciary Committee.
The GOP takes control of the Senate when the 108th Congress convenes in January. Republican leaders say they will reconsider the two appeals court nominees that the committee voted down this year.
Liberal groups were incensed Thursday when the Judiciary Committee approved Shedd's nomination on a voice vote, the first time the panel has done that for a Bush appeals court nominee. Democrats control the committee 10-9, and could have killed the nomination for the year if all Democrats had officially voted against Shedd.
But outgoing committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, ruled that Shedd's proponents won the voice vote and didn't force a recorded vote.
The panel also approved Utah professor Michael McConnell for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver by voice vote, over objections by groups opposing his outspoken opposition to abortion. The full Senate completed his confirmation Friday night without debate or a roll call vote.
The actions upset liberal activist groups.
"We are very disappointed that senators who voted for Judge Shedd were unable to put the interests of the American people, whom they were elected to serve, over their personal affection for a retiring colleague," said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice.
Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said: "Senators who voted to confirm Dennis Shedd and Michael McConnell sent a clear signal to women, racial minorities, workers and consumers across America that their voices will not be heard."
The Senate has confirmed 99 of Bush's first 130 federal court nominations.

US NEWS: Alabama chief justice will appeal Ten Commandments ruling
November 19, 2002

Moore: "I have no plans to remove the monument."

Federal judge orders removal of monument from public building

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- Alabama's chief justice vowed Tuesday to appeal a federal judge's order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state's judicial building.
"I have no plans to remove the monument, and when I do I will let you know personally," Chief Justice Roy Moore told reporters.
Also Tuesday, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that granite monuments displaying the Ten Commandments must be removed from the grounds of four public high schools in southern Ohio. The appeals court panel ruled 2-1 to uphold a federal court's June decision.
Moore said he has received no order for the monument's removal, but if he does he will appeal to higher courts. Moore's attorney, Stephen Melchior, said earlier that Moore will ask the appellate courts to allow the 5,300-pound granite monument to stay in the judicial building until the appeals process is completed.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday that the monument installed by Moore goes too far in promoting religion and ordered it removed within 30 days.
Thompson said he does not believe all Ten Commandment displays in government buildings are illegal, but he said the monument Moore placed in the rotunda of the state building crosses the line "between the permissible and the impermissible."
"Its sloping top and the religious air of the tablets unequivocally call to mind an open Bible resting on a podium," Thompson said.
Thompson said if Moore fails to remove the monument at his own expense, the federal court will issue an injunction forcing him to remove it.

A U.S. district judge ruled that the monument at the Alabama state Supreme Court building goes too far in promoting religion.

Melchior said he didn't think Thompson understood Moore's testimony during the trial.
Thompson "uses the term 'religion' 97 times in the opinion and the term 'religious' 50 times, but goes on to talk about how it's dangerous to define the term 'religion.' This is very troublesome to me. I can't imagine the appellate court buying such interesting logic," Melchior said.
Moore testified during the trial that the commandments are the moral foundation of American law. He said he installed the monument partly because of his concern that the country has suffered a moral decline over the past 50 years as a result of federal court rulings, including those against prayer in public schools.
Opponents of the monument argued that it promoted the judge's conservative Christian faith in violation of the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.
"Justice Moore was trying to force his religious beliefs on the people of Alabama. He turned the hall of justice into a religious sanctuary where people drop to their knees and pray," said Morris Dees, lead counsel and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which joined in a lawsuit to remove the monument.
Moore became known as the "Ten Commandments Judge" when he fought to display a wooden plaque of the commandments on his courtroom wall in Etowah County. He easily won election as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000 and installed the monument the next year without telling any other justices.
The monument features the King James Bible version of the Ten Commandments sitting on top of a granite block. Around the monument are quotes from historical figures and documents, such as the Declaration of Independence.
In Ohio, the Adams County/Ohio Valley School Board had asked to be allowed to merely cover up the displays while it appealed a magistrate's ruling that the monument is unconstitutional.
The school board's lawyers said moving the 3-foot tablets, which weigh at least 800 pounds apiece, would be expensive and could damage the monuments.
Appeals Judges Damon Keith and Karen Moore said, however, that the expense or inconvenience wasn't enough to overcome the continuing constitutional violation of having the display on public grounds.

WORLD NEWS: Chile drops Pinochet trial
1 July, 2002

Mr Pinochet was accused of covering up murders
Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet has had all charges against him dropped.
The Supreme Court upheld a controversial verdict that found him mentally unfit to stand trial for human rights crimes during his 17-year rule.
The latest ruling is a defeat for rights lawyers who had exhausted the appeals process but resorted to a little-used tactic earlier this year to try to reopen the trial against the 86-year-old former ruler.
But the decision - by four judges to one - was widely expected.
The court ruled that General Pinochet's mental health was indeed fragile and that proceedings against him should be permanently suspended.
Mr Pinochet can enjoy the rest of his life free from prosecution

Case dismissed
The court's secretary, Carlos Meneses, said: "The Supreme Court... decided that the proceedings against General Pinochet should not continue and, consequently, dictates a dismissal in his favour."
In May, Chilean lawyers had asked the court to annul the June 2001 ruling that Mr Pinochet could not be tried under Chilean law because he suffered a mild form of dementia.
The former ruler was accused of covering up killings and abductions by a military death squad after seizing power in a bloody 1973 coup.
The suspension of the trial last year was widely seen as ending longstanding efforts at home and abroad to prosecute Mr Pinochet.
But the lawyers had alleged faulty medical exams and procedural flaws to try to overturn the verdict.
Opponents of Mr Pinochet emphasised that he had never been declared innocent.
Prosecuting lawyer Hugo Gutierrez said: "He remains indefinitely accused of being the author of the crime but is no longer part of the proceedings because of being insane or demented."
Chile's population is divided sharply between those who blame Mr Pinochet for widespread abuses and those who praise him for creating economic stability.
Some 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during his 1973-90 rule.

WORLD NEWS: Sick Milosevic causes new trial delay
12 November, 2002

Milosevic has complained about fatigue and exhaustion
The war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic has been adjourned for the fifth time because of the former Yugoslav president's continuing ill health.
"The report has come from the detention unit that the accused has said he is tired and his blood pressure is described as being too high," residing judge Richard May told the court.
Last week there were also no hearings in the case as Mr Milosevic, aged 61, complained of exhaustion and fatigue.
The latest adjournment comes after Mr Milosevic on Monday rejected prosecutors' demands for him to be obliged to take a defence lawyer, in order to speed up proceedings.
He accused the prosecution of trying to stop him speaking and vowed to continue with his own defence.
Milosevic pale
Last week Judge May asked for the parties involved in the trial to make suggestions that would help to ensure that the trial is completed in reasonable time.
Judges ordered a medical report that is to focus on "the current state of health of the accused, when he is likely to be able to resume the trial and the prognosis as to his future fitness".
After extensive health checks earlier this year, doctors found Mr Milosevic was facing "severe cardio-vascular risks" and recommended shorter trial days.
The new system, designed to ease the workload the former Yugoslav president, began with the second part of the case, focusing on Bosnia and Croatia, started on 25 September.
Correspondents say Mr Milosevic looked pale in court on Monday, after a 10-day break.
He called the suggestion to appoint defence counsel "illegal and absurd" and threatened to take his case to the European Court of Justice if he was no longer allowed to defend himself.
He asked the judges to grant him provisional release, to give him time to read 200,000 pages of documentary evidence and listen to thousands of the prosecution's cassette tapes.

MONGOLIA NEWS: Liberty Center Announcement

Dear Readers,
Liberty Center has recieved several letters from our subscribers that they did not recieve Liberty Center's second alert of November 13, 2002. For some unknown for us technical reason it seemed that our alerts issued by 1p.m. of November 13 did not reach many readers after they recieved the first one issued by 6a.m. of November 13, 2002.
Therefore, I would like to let you know that we issued the following alerts on the Farmer's demonstration case:

1. November 4, 2002- MONGOLIA: First Mass Demonstration For Private Land Is Going To Be Held Despite Numerous Obstacles
2. November 13, 2002. 6a.m. - MONGOLIA: Police Took Midnight Action Against Demonstrators - More than 50 Arrested , 45 Blocked in Different Buildings, and 30 tractors have been seized
3. November 13, 2002. 1p.m. - UPDATE: Police Took Midnight Action Against Demonstrators: Who Were Arrested?
4. Novermber 15, 2002 - UPDATE: Demand For National TV To Show The Truth On Mass Arrest Increases

In our alert of Novermber 13, 1p.m. we informed you that arrested people were released between 9.30- 11.30 a.m. of the same day in different places and journailsts played an active role in freeing politicians and activists. Also we gave more presice information on numbers of arrested people and even gave names and contact numbers of some people who were arrested.
As the alert did not reach some of you, you might have had doublt in reliability of our information for some time. This is to affirm you that Liberty Center tried its best to inform you with the most urgent and reliable information on human rights situation in Mongolia. We are apologizing once more that our website which is containing all our alerts still does not work for the third week out of technical problem occured at the Mongolian Foundation for Open Society- our donor and provider organization.

For more first-hand information please contact the following individuals who were arrested or who witnessed the police action of November 13 night.
1. Was under house arrest: Mr.Gonchigdorj - 976-99112703,
2. Was under detention center arrest and was denied to have medical assistant when ambulance came according to his call: Mr.Sukhbaatar - 976-99116532,
3. Was not able to enter to occupied Party buiilding and was an owner of another occupied building "Lucky Center"- Mr. Gundalai -976-99114140,
4. Was arrested while performing her journalistic duty- Ms.Uyanga - 976-99164566.

Yours sincerely,

Oyungerel Tsedevdamba
Executive Director
Liberty Center, NGO
Tel: 976-99175324, 976-11-320753

MONGOLIA NEWS: Demand For National TV To Show The Truth On Mass Arrest Increases

By Liberty Center, an NGO, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Date: November 15, 2002

UPDATE: Demand For National TV To Show The Truth On Mass Arrest Increases
Yesterday, Mr.Narantsatsralt, MP and the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party of Mongolia has protested at the Parliamentary Hearing and presented the Statement of the Democratic Party on recent mass arrest of Sukhbaatar square. The Democratic Party, as a victim of the midnight arrest and occupation protested that the national TV showed the incident in a false way. It was one of numerous protests occurred during last days against the violation of human rights by the Government. All Parliamentary parties except the ruling MPRP have issued their statements of protest and strongly criticized the Government for its using force against demonstrators. There were at least nine press conferences in two days organized by Human rights NGOs, arrested people, political parities as well as Police and tractor operators.

What did National TV show?
The November 13th evening news of the national TV - the only media aired all over the country informed about the Mass arrest mostly showing extensively and using quotations of the Police officials and the Vice Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs. There was only 1-2 seconds given to the press conference of arrested people. "According to the police officials there was no ground to information about so called mass arrest" informed the National TV. "And Mr.Munkh-Orgil, the vice Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs informed that there was no blocking of the Democratic Party headquarter"
These two statements were supported by the Police's and the Ministry's Press conference interviews as well as by some interviews taken from citizens "randomly". However the National TV did not have any interview from any tractor operators, demonstrators as well as those who were arrested at the Sukhbaatar square.
After watching the evening news, 21 tractor operators expressed their frustration when the Liberty Center's representative visited them to hand donation conveyed by Mr.Zolbayar, Ulaanbaatar resident. "When we were at home we felt and knew that the National TV shows somehow false or biased information. But we never imagined that they just lie completely. We are shocked with today's evening news and are eager to tell the truth to our people when we return home" farmers said.
The next morning, 60 tractor operators walked to the center of the city with their slogans and pictures of tractors in their hands and organized a press conference and expressed their thanks for all who supported them and criticized the National TV for its outrageous lie. Tractor operators also informed that they invited Members of Parliament, especially those who were elected from their home provinces to an open meeting and dispute on the Land Privatization law.
"It is a question of whether our future to be forever poor or not. The law on land privatization will allow to own all 800.000 hectars farm land for only around 300 individuals who run bigger farming business or who have enough money to buy those land on an auction. Because of this we wanted to convince our MPs that this law has become unfair and that they must to change this law. We tried to hand our letter via the Division of Parliamentary Public Relation but nobody received our letter. So we sent this letter via regular post just before this press conference" said a tractor operator.

"Democratic Party Will Officially Join the Demonstration Since Now"
It was a statement of the Democratic party after the headquarter of the Party had been occupied by police. Although Police denied the fact of their blocking and arresting democratic party leaders, some journalists revealed the fact with photos taken in the darkness. Some two video pictures on arresting were shown at two press conferences held at the Democratic Party headquarter with words "WE ARE UNDER ARREST" put during Wednesday night on its windows.
"Till now the demonstration for fair land privatization was a mass event of people assembled freely for their economic rights. But now we must fight for democracy, for our freedom again. There was no force used by communists during 1990 when hundreds of thousand Mongolians demonstrated each week for their rights and freedoms. That time communists were poor, money-less and had no properties themselves. Now new communists with lots of money and private property want to establish police dictatorship over our nation" said Mr.Gonchigdorj, former vice-President , after he released from occupation and after he participated in releasing 49 people from detention center #2 of Chingeltei district.
Beginning from today Democratic Party's announcement to hold a demonstration for democracy is being spread out by media. The demonstration will be held at 12 o'clock of Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at the Party building which was occupied last Wednesday.

When Did Mongolian Government Use Force Against the Demonstrators?
Till 3a.m. of November 13, 2002 the Mongolian Government never used force against the demonstrations. This fact was one of national pride of the country. Every citizen of democratic Mongolia could say proudly that his/her Government NEVER used force against their rights to speak and to demonstrate. Mongolia was a unique country where democracy came without any drop of blood or any piece of broken window even though mass demonstrations occurred almost every week in -20-30 degrees during December 1989- May 1990. Only those series of winter-spring mass demonstrations and hunger strikes brought democracy in 1990.
"This is something terrible and unbelievable. Mongolians never imagined that Government would use force against people. Even hardest communists of 1990 managed to deny from using police force against people" said Otgonbyar, Ulaanbaatar's resident.
Reactions against rulers' turning national pride into national shame are appearing in many interviews appeared last days. "We have a national tradition not to disturb even our herds during darkness" expresses Mr.Elbegdorj, the President of Liberty Center, in his interview to Udriin Sonin.

Sukhbaatar Square is Closed for Free Speech.
Liberty Center, along with CEDAW Watch Network Center and Center "Progress" organized a press conference concerning breaches of liberty and rights occurred at Sukhbaatar square. During the press conference the question raised about the Law on Demonstration amended in 1994. The Law on Demonstration prohibits people to demonstrate at the main square of the Capital city which, according to above mentioned NGOs, is the violation of our Constitution and rude restriction of basic liberties.
Liberty Center expresses its deep concern about the fact that the Sukhbaatar square is closed for demonstrations i.e. for free speech only. This square is open for any kind of other mass events except demonstration. New year celebrities, Ice city buildings, Holiday markets and shows, Naadam mass entertainments, Musical presentations, sports events, business exhibitions etc. are all allowed to be organized at the square freely. Accordingly all necessary vehicles, equipment and constructions (some are much heavier than wheel tractors) are allowed to be located at the square. Technically, Sukhbaatar square seem to be capable to carry heavy machines as tanks and other heavy military techniques used to participate in parades of communist celebrations for many years.
Liberty Center keeps watching the consequent event and media coverage every day and our next update on the case will be followed soon.

EVENT- Film Screening, "Join Me In Shambhala," a documentary about Buddhism in Buryatia

Washington DC, Visions Cinema, November 26, 2002.

"Join Me in Shambhala" (Buryatia, Russia, 2001, director: Anya Bernstein)

Synopsis: Once brutally persecuted under the Soviet regime, Buddhism is re-emerging in
Southern Siberia. But with a past where lamas were killed in prisons and temples burned to ashes, there are few masters left to pass on the tradition. Whether or not this faith survives depends on an incarnate Tibetan lama, scholar and meditational master who travels around remote villages to re-awaken Buddhism. The director, a visual anthropologist, who spent last fieldwork season in Buryatia will be present for question & answer session following the film.

Program runs approximately 2 hrs. The film will be screened with two short
films by local filmmakers.

Tickets ($6.50) can be purchased in advance in person at:
Visions Cinema
1927 Florida Ave. NW @ 20th St. (metro: Dupont)

For directions and ticket info:
Telephone: (202) 667-0090

US NEWS: House detention ends for former Sotheby's CEO November 9, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Former Sotheby's chief executive Diana "DeDe" Brooks completed her six-month term of home detention for her role in a price-fixing scheme with rival auction house Christie's.
Brooks, the first woman to head a major auction house and for years one of the most powerful figures in the art world, returned the electronic monitoring device she wore around her ankle to a federal court on Friday.
She had been sentenced in April to home detention and ordered to pay a $350,000 fine, serve three years probation and work 1,000 hours of community service.
Brooks pleaded guilty in October 2000 to conspiring to fix commission prices and fees with Christie's, then served as the government's star witness in the trial that led to the conviction of her boss, former Sotheby's Chairman A. Alfred Taubman.
Taubman was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $7.5 million for his part in the scam, which inflated the commissions that antique dealers and other sellers paid for nearly a decade. From 1993 until 2000, Sotheby's made more than $225 million from sellers' commissions, according to court documents.

Jason Bellini: Families split on Libya's offer

CCN.COM November 9, 2002

Jason Bellini

NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) -- Family members of the people killed when Pan AM Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 were meeting Saturday to discuss a settlement proposed by the Libyan government.
CNN's Jason Bellini was in New Jersey and reported on the complex proposal and the reaction of the families.
BELLINI: This is going to be the very first meeting of the families to discuss this proposal. These are the families of the 270 victims of Pan Am Flight 103 -- 189 of them were American, another 11 people died on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.
Not all of them are comfortable with this deal. There are controversial elements to it because Libya, the United States and the United Nations would be required to do certain things before the families receive their money, these $10 million for each family.
They get their money in several stages. First, Libya would admit to its responsibility for the bombing, something it has not yet done. Then, before they would get some of the money, the United Nations would have to lift sanctions against Libya. Then the United States would have to lift sanctions, then they would get more money.
They would get the rest after the United States took Libya off of its list of terrorist countries, something Libya desperately wants as [Libyans] want to regain credibility within the international community and be able to make better trade deals, especially deals relating to oil.
Other family members feel better about this deal, saying they think that Libya is now ready to put an end to this and reach this financial settlement. We spoke with Bert Ammerman, whose brother died on Pan Am Flight 103.

AMMERMAN: In my years of experience you never know what Libya is going to do. They get up to a point and then they pull out again, but what is interesting about this is that the family attorneys have negotiated a settlement with representatives from the Libyan Central Committee and I firmly believe both countries would like to have this eliminated as quickly as possible so they can start selling oil and they can start working with Libya again. So there is some seriousness to it, now the families have to make a decision.

BELLINI: U.S. State Department sources tell CNN that they are very skeptical that this deal is really going to happen. They do not think that Libya is going to admit to this bombing. Its something they have not done since 1988, and that would certainly have to happen for this deal to go forward.



By G. Ganzorig
November 6, 2002

At the end of October, 2002 an International Human Rights Law Group Board member Eric Koenig and I traveled to Mongolia. This was the second Law Group mission to travel to Mongolia.

Selenge Court Judges, Mongolia, 2002

Firstly we traveled by car to north Mongolia. We visited Selenge aimag, which is one of the remote provinces in the area. There we met Mr. L. Bayaraa, the chief judge and local judges and lawyers to discuss future projects designed to support rural justice system to protect human rights. There are three local courts. We visited two of them, which are in the same building. The courthouse was good, but it was not adequately heated (in Mongolia there is a winter; it was -10 Celsius). There were not many much high-tech facilities for proper court running. The courts have only two old computers, one printer and a broken copier. The judges explained that three old typewriters from the 1960s are the major instruments for preparing court opinions and all other court documents. There was no way to use the Internet. A Russian jeep was the only transportation that courts use for all their businesses. It was obviously not enough. All of these conditions could negatively effect normal court business and cause a problem for exercising constitutional rights of citizens to a fair trial and equal justice that could result in human rights violations. Despite that the people were very optimistic. We had open discussions and the judges we were very enthusiastic and suggested various helpful ideas to support the project. As we understood from this discussion, there were just a few training seminars and conferences for local legal professionals and judges and lawyers who are facing some difficulties in the application of new packets of legislation that the Parliament recently passed. The judges expressed their satisfaction that the Selenge Court was the first Mongolian court that would start an independent project sponsored by the Law Group.

Secondly, in Ulaanbaatar we interviewed nine Mongolian applicant-lawyers to identify the future coordinator for the Law Group project in Mongolia. The selected lawyer will complete an internship at the Law Group for 3-6 months in Washington DC and then will go to his home country to coordinate the projects in place. Also, we had interesting meetings with Mr. Ch. Ganbat, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. P. Jantsan, the President of the Constitutional Court, Mr. TS. Sharavdorj, the Chairman of the Legal Standing Committee, Dr. J. Amarsanaa, a member of the Constitutional Court and Head of the International Law Program at the Mongolian National Law School, Ms. N. Oyungerel, the Director of the Liberty Center and the country Director of the OSI.

Lastly, Eric and I made a small presentation about the Mongolian and US Supreme Court structures in light of the new Mongolian Law on the Courts. Also, I introduced our collaboration between the Mongolian National University Law School and the American University Washington College Law and distributed brochures of the International Legal Studies Program. Students and faculty were very interested and excited to know that after formal approval of the Agreement on the Exchange Student Program, Mongolian students could go to the United States and enroll in the International Legal Studies Program at American University Washington College.

Over all, I consider that this trip was a good one and we had an excellent chance to exchange ideas with local people, learn their needs and visit and observe courts in place. We received a lot of information that was essential for developing future justice projects in Mongolia.


US NEWS: Jail Time for Winona Ryder Unlikely{$site}&WEBSITE=CUSTOMWIRE
Nov 7, 2002

AP Special Correspondent

Actress Winona Ryder

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Winona Ryder has been convicted of felony theft charges for her now-famous shopping excursion at a Saks Fifth Avenue store, but that doesn't mean the actress will spend any time behind bars.
Prosecutor Ann Rundle said probation, community service and restitution are the probable penalties for Ryder after she was found guilty Wednesday of stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise at the Beverly Hills store last year."This case was never about jail time," Rundle said. "We wanted Ms. Ryder to take responsibility for her conduct."

The jury convicted her of grand theft and vandalism, the latter charge for cutting sensor tags off merchandise. The charges carried a maximum sentence of three years in prison, but Rundle pointed out it was Ryder's first offense and not a violent crime.
Ryder was a portrait of composure as the verdicts were read. She wore a muted deep purple coat dress and black hair band and showed no emotion. As she was waiting for an elevator in the Beverly Hills courthouse, she was asked how she felt about the verdict.
"Thanks for asking," she said. "I just can't talk right now."
Her attorney, Mark Geragos, said he would have no comment until after sentencing on Dec. 6. He intends to file a motion for a new trial before sentencing.
Ryder is a two-time Academy Award nominee whose credits include "Mr. Deeds," "Reality Bites" and "Girl, Interrupted." The trial made her the topic of tabloid headlines around the world and provided a glimpse into the life of a Hollywood celebrity.
There were slight gasps in the courtroom when the prosecutor unveiled an $80 pair of socks, a thermal shirt for $750, purses for over $500, a hair band for $140 and a Gucci dress for $1,595.
Jurors were hustled out of the courthouse after the verdicts were read, sending word they did not want to talk about the case. The group of six men and six women who deliberated less than six hours included many with ties to the entertainment industry.
Most notable among them was Peter Guber, former chief of Sony Entertainment Pictures and now head of Mandalay Entertainment. He was at Sony when Ryder made three hit films there but said he had no contact with her and could be fair and unbiased.
Rundle, who sometimes chatted with the defendant during the trial, said, "I found Ms. Ryder to be a very nice individual. This was never about her character, only her conduct."
Jurors acquitted Ryder on a burglary count that required intent to go into Saks to deprive the store of property. The fact that she paid for more than $3,000 worth of goods at the start of her shopping was key evidence on that count. Prosecution spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons also noted that jurors often believe burglary involves breaking and entering.
The jury was shown videotapes of Ryder wandering through the store's designer boutiques and taking a large number of items into dressing rooms
The tapes did not show Ryder cutting off sensor tags with scissors, but a security guard testified she looked through door slats and witnessed the vandalism.
Security staff testified that after Ryder was caught, she claimed a director had told her to shoplift to prepare for a movie role.
The defense said that after her first purchase, Ryder believed the store would keep her account "open" and charge her later. But there was no evidence of an account.
Ryder's arrest on Dec. 12, 2001, was international news and the level of media interest grew when she appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and on MTV joking about her case.
Efforts to settle the case before trial failed, but the district attorney's office did dismiss a drug charge against Ryder after a doctor said he had given her two pills found in her possession at the time she was arrested.
Ryder, who began her film career as a teenager in 1986, earned Academy Award nominations for "Little Women" and "The Age of Innocence."
She remains free on $20,000 bail.


The US Supreme Court: Ruling overturned in immigrant asylum case, November 4, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Monday that a lower court was wrong to allow an immigrant who feared mistreatment in his home country to stay in the United States.
Justices ruled against a young man from Guatemala who claims he fled to America after being threatened by guerrillas. His asylum request was denied by U.S. immigration officials, but an appeals court overturned that decision by the executive branch of government.
Without hearing arguments, the Supreme Court said the Bush administration -- not courts -- has the right to make those types of decisions.
The Bush administration, swamped with requests for asylum, had pressed the court to decide that the appeals court wrongly interfered in the business of the executive branch of government.
Asylum can be granted when someone has been persecuted or faces punishment in his or her home country -- for things like race, religion or political expression. The Justice Department received 11,000 asylum applications in the 1984 budget year. The number climbed to more than 60,000 in 2001.
Justices, in an unsigned opinion, said the case should have been sent back to immigration officials.
The appeals court "seriously disregarded the agency's legally-mandated role. Instead, it independently created potentially far-reaching legal precedent about the significance of political change in Guatemala, a highly complex and sensitive matter," justices wrote.
Immigration officials will now reconsider whether Fredy Orlando Ventura should be returned to Guatemala. He arrived in America in 1993 after guerrillas threatened to harm him and his family if he did not join their forces. He said relatives and friends had been killed by guerrillas and that an uncle was seriously injured in a machete attack.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Ventura should not be forced to leave because he has been persecuted for his political beliefs.
"The evidence compels the conclusion that it is more likely than not that his life or freedom would be threatened ... if he were to return to Guatemala," the court wrote.
That court is considered the most liberal among the nation's federal appellate courts. Frequently overturned by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit is portrayed in government paperwork as too sympathetic to refugees.
"Congress has charged the attorney general, not the courts, with administering the immigration laws," Solicitor General Theodore Olson, the Bush administration's Supreme Court lawyer, told justices in a filing.
Olson also said that the lower court frequently usurps immigration officials and its approach "compromises enforcement of the immigration laws." He said the case has implications for foreign affairs and national defense.
The administration has been criticized for not granting asylum more often. Last week more than 200 Haitian immigrants arrived in Florida on a crowded freighter. They have been detained while the government decides whether to grant them asylum, but immigrant groups believe most will be deported. A march was planned Monday to protest their situation.
The case is Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Ventura, 02-29.


US NEWS: Court Refuses Teen Execution Case

Supreme Court - Associated Press
Oct 21, 2002
By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A bitterly divided Supreme Court refused Monday to consider ending the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes. Four justices said the court should continue a reexamination of the death penalty begun in earnest last year. The court recently abolished executions for the mentally retarded. The court passed up a chance to reopen the question of whether executing very young killers violates the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment." Currently, states that allow the death penalty may impose it on killers who were 16 or 17 at the time of their crimes.
"The practice of executing such offenders is a relic of the past and is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency in a civilized society," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens (news - web sites), joined by Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (news - web sites) and Stephen Breyer (news - web sites). "We should put an end to this shameful practice."
Breyer also wrote separately to say the court should consider a second death penalty case that asks whether it was unconstitutional to leave inmates for decades on death row. He aid Florida inmate Charles Foster has spent more than 27 years in prison and "if executed, Foster, now 55, will have been punished both by death and also by more than a generation spent in death row's twilight. It is fairly asked whether such punishment is both unusual and cruel."
Justice Clarence Thomas (news - web sites) disagreed, writing his own opinion to say that Foster "could long ago have ended his anxieties and uncertainties by submitting to what the people of Florida have deemed him to deserve: execution."
Justices refused without comment to consider Foster's case, as well as the case of a Kentucky man sentenced to death for abducting, sodomizing and killing a gas station attendant when he was 17. The body of the 20-year-old victim was left sprawled over the rear seat of her mother's car, with her jeans and underwear pulled to her ankles. She had been shot in the face.
Prosecutors said Kevin Nigel Stanford bragged about what he and two other teenagers had done.
Stanford, now 39, has been on death row since 1982. In 1989, the high court used Stanford's case to uphold juvenile executions.
Only the United States and a handful of other countries allow execution of juvenile killers, and Stanford's lawyers argued that such executions violate not only the Constitution but an international treaty signed by the United States.
Neither this case nor last term's landmark ruling on the mentally retarded address the constitutionality or morality of the death penalty as a whole.
Like the retardation question, the issue of juvenile killers turns on the individuals' capacity to understand their situation, and their level of culpability. Also like the retardation question, this one questions whether the country has changed its mind about what kind of punishment is appropriate.
The court relied heavily on the actions of state legislatures in deciding to ban executions of the retarded. On that issue, the court said the large number of states that had acted on their own to ban such executions showed that the nation no longer supported the practice.
"In the last 13 years, a national consensus has developed that juvenile offenders should not be executed," Stevens wrote in the dissent.
The court's refusal to hear the case was expected. A delay seemed likely because it would give more state legislatures a chance to do their own reexamination of the practice, much as they did with the retardation issue.
Currently, 16 of the 38 states that allow the death penalty prohibit it for those under 18. The federal government also prohibits the practice for juveniles prosecuted in federal court. Two states, Montana and Indiana, have enacted their prohibition laws since the court last considered the Stanford case in 1989.
"The evolving norms of decency have come to the point where we as a country have decided its no longer appropriate to execute the mentally retarded. I think the time has also come to reassess whether it is no longer appropriate to execute our children," said Margaret O'Donnell, a lawyer for Stanford.
The case is Stanford v. Parker, 01-10009

Mongolia News: Controversial Release of Justices

G. Ganzorig

October 16, 2002

The Zuunii Medee newspaper ( announces that on October 15, 2002 the President N. Bagabandi ordered to terminate Presidential orders from 1993, 1994, 1999 and 2001 that appointed 5 justices to the bench. In his order the President referred to articles 59.3 and 15.2 of the Law on Courts that reduces the number of SC justices from 17 to 11. The Parliament adopted the new Law on the Courts in June 2002. Thus Justices B. Dangaasuren, D. Puntsag, P. Tsetsgee, and B. Tsognyam had to leave the Court without future employment. Since there was no reason to remove or release these justices, the President was not able to cite any legal grounds for their release. The President worded his order differently, trying to avoid using words about release. Even though he did not explicitly mention removal or release, the fact was that these justices were released from the bench. This could be considered a violation of Article 51.4 of the Constitution, which prohibits release or removal of judges without their consent or final court ruling. And the President might run into a problem if he violated the Constitution releasing sitting justices without any reason.

There is another problem. All seventeen former justices elected the current Chief Justice; now the sitting eleven justices had to decide whether to call for a new election for the Chief Justice. This is a critical issue for future appointments on the Supreme Court since the Chief Justice nominates senior justices of the civil and criminal divisions for these appointments. If the Court decides to elect the new Chief Justice, then the elected CJ has to make new nominations for senior justices. However, again there are no grounds for release or removal of sitting chief and senior justices and the new Law on the Courts is silent on this issue. Therefore, I expect that the President shall experience the same problem once more …

According to article 58.1.4 of the Law on the Courts Justice D. Danzandorj was released due to being of retirement age.

US NEW: Bush Signs Iraq War Resolution

Wed Oct 16, 1:02 PM ET
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Wednesday signed Congress' war-making resolution and told wary world leaders to "face up to our global responsibilities" to confront Saddam Hussein.
"Those who choose to live in denial may eventually be forced to live in fear," Bush said as the United Nations began a bitter debate over his plans to disarm and oust Saddam. "Every nation that shares in the benefits of peace also shares in the duty of defending the peace."
With dozens of lawmakers from both parties on hand for the East Room signing ceremony, Bush used his speech - and Friday's strong congressional vote - to press the U.N. to adopt a new resolution compelling Iraq to submit to unconditional weapons inspections.
"We will defend our nation and lead others in defending the peace," the president said.
Though he said military action would be his last resort, Bush left little room for Saddam to avoid confrontation. "Our goal is to fully and finally remove a real threat to world peace and to America," he said.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday started its first day of open debate on Iraq at the behest of the dozens of non-Security Council nations who oppose an attack on Baghdad. The debate is mostly designed to take the administration to task on its Iraq policies, and White House officials expected sharp criticism throughout the day.
Even as Bush spoke, Russia's deputy foreign minister said the United States' proposed resolution is unacceptable, while a two-step proposal from France is closer to the Kremlin's stance. Both nations hold veto power in Security Council.
"The American variant of the resolution on Iraq has not undergone changes. It is unacceptable and Russia cannot support it," Yuri Fedotov said, according to the news agency Interfax.
However, the French proposal contains "many positions that Russia shares," Fedotov was quoted as saying.
As if in reply, Bush said, "The time has arrived once again for the United Nations to live up to the purposes of its founding - to protect our common security. The time has arrived once again for free nations to face up to our global responsibilities and confront a gathering danger."
"They don't have forever and the president is mindful of that," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) said.
Bush, who received a standing ovation as he signed the resolution from the roughly 100 lawmakers in the audience, said: "This nation will not live at the mercy of any foreign power or plot."
Flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) and Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites), the president was joined on stage by 11 lawmakers, including Sens. Joe Lieberman (news - web sites), D-Conn., John McCain, R-Ariz., Joe Biden, D-Del., minority leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and John Warner, R-Va., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
Noticeably absent was Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., whose granddaughter was born early Wednesday and had a schedule was packed with legislative and political business.
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., who helped negotiate the resolution and provided Bush with welcome Democratic support at a White House appearance before the vote, also did not attend. Gephardt's travel schedule kept him away, a day after he ratcheted up his strong criticism of the Bush administration and Republicans on the economy.
Fleischer said both Democratic leaders had been invited, as had all lawmakers who supported the resolution.
In a major victory for the president, weeks of back-and-forth between Congress and the White House produced little significant change in Bush's initial draft of the resolution. The measure giving Bush the authority to use military force, if necessary, to rid Iraq of its biological and chemical weapons and disband its nuclear weapons program was approved Friday.
The resolution requires the president to notify Congress, before or within 48 hours after an attack, that further diplomatic approaches would not have protected U.S. security and to explain to Congress how the military action will not hurt the war on terror. But it allows Bush to take unilateral action regardless of U.N. activities.
Just seven Republican lawmakers - six in the House and one in the Senate - opposed the resolution, while nearly half the congressional Democrats were unwilling to give Bush such open-ended war-making authority and voted no.
The resolution passed the House by a 296-133 margin and by a 77-23 margin in the Senate. But passage came with entreaties by lawmakers from both parties for Bush to exhaust all diplomatic efforts before using military force.
The Bush administration had hoped the congressional action would fortify the U.S.- and British-backed effort at the United Nations. France, Russia and China, the Security Council's other veto-capable permanent members, remain opposed to a resolution authorizing military action if it refuses to cooperate with inspectors. France has preferred a separate resolution to be debated afterward.
In his speech, Bush spelled out several ways Saddam has avoided compliance with U.N. resolutions on weapons of mass destruction and made it clear his patience was running out.
"I have not ordered use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary. Yet, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is necessary by whatever means that requires," he said.

US NEWS: Democrats win Senate court battle
Monday, 7 October, 2002

Lautenberg: likely to boost the Democrats' hopes

The US Democratic Party have won a key court victory in their fight to retain their one-seat majority in the Senate.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Democrats can replace New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli as their candidate for the Senate, even though the deadline for making such a change had passed.

Torricelli: Apologised to voters but denied any wrongdoing

The court rejected a challenge by New Jersey Republicans to a state court ruling earlier this month.
Scandal-hit Senator Robert Torricelli abruptly pulled out of the 5 November election on 30 September.
The Democrats saw Mr Torricelli as a potential loser in the mid-term polls.
No intervention
In a unanimous decision earlier this month, the New Jersey Supreme Court had upheld the Democrats' right to replace Mr Torricelli by former Senator Frank Lautenberg.
But Republican Senate candidate Douglas Forrester asked the Supreme Court for an emergency stay blocking the New Jersey decision.

Republican Doug Forrester wanted to block the change

But in a one-line order the Court denied the emergency application for a stay in what Mr Forrester's lawyer described as a "disappointing" decision.
Mr Torricelli's re-election chances slumped after allegations from businessman David Chang who said he gave the senator gifts in return for his intervention in business deals in North and South Korea.
Mr Torricelli - who was elected in 1996 - has denied any illegality but was admonished over the summer by the Senate ethics committee.
Mr Lautenberg feuded openly with Mr Torricelli who was his Senate colleague until he retired at the elections two years ago.
The Republicans argued that it was too close to election day to replace Mr Torricelli and that Democrats should not be allowed to replace a candidate who is trailing in the polls.
The Democrats currently hold 50 Senate seats, with Republicans controlling 49 Senate seats and Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont, formerly a Republican, declared as an independent.

US COURT NEWS: Gov. Jeb Bush's Daughter Sentenced
October 17, 2002

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was led away in handcuffs Thursday after a judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail for violating the terms of her drug treatment program.

Noelle Bush, 25, kissed her aunt Dorothy Koch before a sheriff's deputy cuffed her hands behind her back. Her father, the governor, was not in the courtroom.
Before she was sentenced, Noelle Bush told Circuit Judge Reginald Whitehead: "I sincerely apologize for what happened and promise to do well at the Center for Drug-Free Living." Whitehead didn't specifically give a reason in court for jailing Noelle Bush but told her that he was aware of allegations that she was found with crack cocaine in her shoe while at the treatment center.
The judge said he was disappointed in her but was allowing her to stay in the program rather than returning her to the regular criminal justice system.
"I want you to have some time to think and reflect on this," he said. "You should be disappointed that you let yourself down."
The president's niece has been undergoing drug treatment in Orlando since February as an alternative to going through the traditional criminal justice system.
She was placed in the drug court system after she was accused of trying to use a forged prescription to buy the anti-anxiety drug Xanax at a pharmacy drive-through in January. In July, she was sent to jail for two days after rehabilitation center workers found her with prescription pills. Police were called to the center last month because of reports she had crack cocaine.
In a statement released Thursday, the governor said he realizes that his daughter must face the consequences of her actions.
"Every parent of a child with an addiction understands that the long road to recovery is never easy and that there are numerous challenges along the way," Bush said. "This is a very difficult time for all of us ... and I pray every day our beautiful daughter will once again know a life free from the horrors of substance abuse."
Orange County Jail spokesman Allen Moore said that for Noelle Bush's safety, she will be in protective custody away from other inmates and under 24-hour surveillance.
"Any high-profile person ... will normally be put in protective custody," Moore said. "In this case, you have the niece of the president and the daughter of the governor."
Noelle Bush was sentenced on the same day President Bush (news - web sites) was scheduled to visit Florida to discuss education at a New Smyrna Beach elementary school and hold a fund raiser for his brother's re-election campaign.

US NEWS: Illinois prepares clemency hearings for nearly all death row inmates

Monday, October 14, 2002

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- On Tuesday morning, members of Illinois' Prisoner Review Board will begin revisiting a quarter-century's worth of the state's most brutal crimes.
For nine days, they will call the names of almost every inmate on death row for clemency hearings ordered by Gov. George Ryan. They will listen as a parade of defense lawyers, prosecutors, expert witnesses and victims' relatives argue for or against execution.
In all, at least 140 of Illinois' 160 death row inmates will get a hearing, either in Chicago or in Springfield. It is the largest number the board has considered at one time, and probably the most sweeping review in U.S. history.
"This is remarkably historic and without precedent," said David Elliot of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. "All eyes in the death penalty movement are on Illinois."
The board will make confidential recommendations, but any decision to commute sentences will be up to Ryan, a Republican who has been at the center of the debate on capital punishment since he ordered a moratorium on executions in January 2000.
Since the state resumed capital punishment in 1977, 13 inmates have seen their death sentences overturned, including some found innocent; 12 inmates were executed during the same period.

Illinois Gov. George Ryan, left, meets freed death row inmate Anthony Porter last June. Porter was released from prison just two days before his scheduled execution for a murder confessed to by another man. Possibility of blanket clemency

There has been speculation that if the hearings turn up a hint of just one more innocent person, Ryan will grant clemency to all.
"He fears there is another Anthony Porter case or another Rolando Cruz case out there," Ryan spokesman Dennis Culloton said, referring to two death row inmates who were exonerated in new trials.
Some say the effects of a blanket clemency, which Ryan has hinted at in recent months, would ripple beyond Illinois.
"One thing it would definitely say to governors and legislatures around the country is if you don't address the flaws in the system, this is an option," said Peter Loge of The Justice Project in Washington, D.C.
The most recent blanket clemency came 16 years ago when New Mexico's governor commuted the death sentences of the state's five death row inmates. The gravity of Ryan's decision is much greater, with the fate of the nation's eighth-largest death row at stake.
The hearings are scheduled to last about an hour each.
Prosecutors demanded Monday that Ryan give each case individual consideration.
"Gov. Ryan owes no less to the victims and their families to give this case-by-case consideration," said Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine. "He owes no less to the citizens of this state. There should be no wholesale action taken by the governor."
Governor not bound by board recommendations
Defense attorneys are expected to attack the death penalty on two fronts: They will say Illinois' capital punishment system is so flawed it cannot be trusted, and they will try to poke holes in specific cases.
"A number of cases the board will hear rest upon unreliable evidence," said Thomas Geraghty, a law school professor at Northwestern University who is handling three cases.
Geraghty will claim, for example, that Ronald Kitchen confessed to the 1988 drug-related murders of five people only after he was beaten by detectives, whose tactics allegedly ranged from pummeling suspects to putting guns into their mouths and plastic bags over their heads.
There are still many questions about what will happen during and after the hearings. They are not mini-trials, where rules of evidence apply. Ryan can follow or ignore the board's recommendations, and make a decision based on one case or all.
In April, a panel commissioned by Ryan proposed dozens of reforms in the criminal justice system and said capital punishment should be abolished if reforms were not enacted. So far, the major ones have not.
Concerns about the death penalty have been an issue in the race for governor. Ryan, who has been plagued by scandal, is not seeking re-election.
Last month, Attorney General Jim Ryan, the Republican candidate for governor, sued the governor and the board, contending the hearings would be too short to be meaningful. The lawsuit was dismissed last week.

MONGOLIA NEWS: Supreme Court Nomination

October 12, 2002

According to latest announcement from the Supreme Court on October 10, 2002 the General Counsel for Courts held a session at which it decided to select 11 candidates for the Supreme Court vacancies. These were Ts.Amarsaihan, D.Batsaihan, Ch.Ganbat, M.Damiransuren, A.Dorjgotov, B.Dorjgotov, R.Jamyanchoijil, O.Zandraa, S.Nyamjav, N.Turbat and D.Tungalag. The nominees shall be introduced to the Parliament and submitted to the President for the appointment. Justice D.Danzandorj was released due to his retirement age. Five justices, namely, B.Dangaasuren, D.Munhtuul, D.Puntsag, B.Tsognyam and P.Tsetsgee were proposed to release. Particular reasons of this release were not announced.
The Supreme Court had 17 justices, however, according to the new Law on the Courts adopted in June 2002, it had to reduce number of justices to 11 by October 15, 2002.

US COURT NEWS: Justices open session by turning away over 1,000 would-be customers October 7, 2002

The Supreme Court Monday refused to hear an appeal from Richard Jewell, who claims he was defamed by a newspaper over the 1996 Olympics bombing.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- On the first day of the Supreme Court's new term, justices turned down appeal after appeal, disappointing more than a thousand people including Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and exonerated Olympic Park bombing suspect Richard Jewell.
The court also turned away assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who is serving a jail term for his role in helping a man die, and the son of singer Frank Sinatra, who wanted to stop his one-time kidnapper from profiting through a movie about the crime.
The nine justices did not comment in refusing to consider those appeals, nor most of the approximately 2,000 others rejected Monday.
Following tradition, the court reopened for business on the first Monday in October, following a three-month summer break.
In the term that will run through next June, the court will consider legal fights over cross burning, the rights of abortion protesters, repeat criminals and sex offenders, and even copyright protection for lingerie maker Victoria's Secret.
The court already has accepted 45 cases for the term, and will continue to add cases in the coming months. Overall, the court receives about 8,000 appeals annually and hears about 80.
Some of the biggest headlines could come from cases now waiting in the wings, among them tests of government power to combat terrorism, affirmative action in college admissions and the new law rewriting campaign funding.
Monday's appeal marked Terry Nichols' fifth failed attempt to win high court review of his five-year-old federal court conviction. Nichols is serving a life sentence for conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of eight federal agents.
The agents were among 168 people killed in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, which was the nation's worst case of domestic terrorism until the Sept. 11 attacks last year.
Nichols' lawyers were again arguing that his trial was tainted by the government's failure to turn over thousands of documents. They said the government should not be rewarded for misconduct. Nichols still faces state murder charges and could be sentenced to death if he is convicted.
Former security guard Richard Jewell argued that he was libeled by a newspaper that reported he was a suspect in the 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Georgia courts sided with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Jewell found the knapsack that held a bomb that exploded on July 27, 1996, killing one woman and injuring 111 people. He went from hero to suspect, but was later cleared by the Justice Department.
Kevorkian claimed his prosecution for the 1998 death of Thomas Youk was unconstitutional.
The doctor is serving a 10- to 25-year prison sentence for the injection death of Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. The death was videotaped and shown on national television. Kevorkian called it a "mercy killing," but a jury in Michigan convicted him of second-degree murder.
The Sinatra case involves profits from the story of the 1963 kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. He was snatched from a hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nev., and released unharmed after his family paid a $240,000 ransom. Three men were arrested and convicted.
One of the kidnappers could collect up to $1.5 million from an upcoming movie about the case.
The younger Sinatra wanted the high court to preserve a California law intended to prevent convicts from cashing in through media depictions of their crimes.
The California Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional, and the high court action means that decision stands. Some 40 states have similar laws requiring convicts to forfeit proceeds from books or other projects.
The cases are Jewell v. Cox Enterprises, 01-1627; Sinatra v. Keenan, 01-1730; and Kevorkian v. People of the state of Michigan, 02-48.

US COURT NEWS: Federal Death Penalty Shot Down Again

Vermont Judge Is Second to Declare Law Unconstitutional
Associated Press Writer

A federal judge in Vermont has declared the existing national capital punishment law unusable, a decision that could have implications for every defendant facing the federal death penalty. U.S. District Judge William Sessions ruled Tuesday that the 1994 law had been rendered useless by a series of recent federal cases, including a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that found juries and not judges must hand out death sentences. The government is appealing that ruling.
Sessions' decision comes two months after U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York became the first federal judge to declare the federal law unconstitutional. He cited evidence indicating that innocent people have been put to death. Unlike Rakoff, though, Sessions said capital punishment itself isn't necessarily unconstitutional. He said the sentence still might be carried out constitutionally if Congress fixed the law. Other federal judges, in Virginia and Pennsylvania, have upheld the Federal Death Penalty Act.
Sessions' ruling came in the case of Donald Fell, 22, who is charged with kidnapping and killing a woman in a November 2000 carjacking. Prosecutors said they would appeal.
Fell's lawyer, Alexander Bunin, called the ruling a landmark decision that could jeopardize cases against every defendant facing the death penalty, including that of Sept. 11 conspiracy suspect Zacarias Moussaoui.
"It's huge," Bunin says. "Every district judge who has a federal death penalty case is going to read this decision. ... This could affect every case that has been charged, at least until Congress fixes it." Federal prosecutors in Vermont and elsewhere have responded to the recent supreme court ruling by taking cases back to grand juries to consider whether the defendants should get the death penalty if convicted.
Sessions ruled that the death penalty law makes no provision for such action. He also found that giving grand juries a hand in death-penalty decisions is unconstitutional because such panels do not hold to the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, and because they do not offer defendants the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses.
"If the death penalty is to be part of our system of justice, due process of law and the fair trial guarantees of the Sixth Amendment require that standards and safeguards governing the kinds of evidence juries may consider must be rigorous, and constitutional rights and liberties scrupulously protected," Sessions says.
"To relax those standards invites abuse, and significantly undermines the reliability of decisions to impose the death penalty." The rulings by Rakoff and Sessions will not affect individual states' death penalty statutes. Thirty-eight states allow capital punishment, though some have not executed anyone for many years. The governors of Illinois and Maryland have placed moratoriums on executions in their states. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and drug killer Juan Garza have been executed under the federal death penalty law.
©2002 The Associated Press

MONGOLIA NEWS: An MP Fights For Minority Right To Speak
By Liberty Center, NGO
October 02, 2002, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Yesterday, the Opening ceremony of the Autumn Session of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia was interrupted unexpectedly out of Mr.Gundalia's protest for his right to speak. He is one of four non-MPRP members in the Parliament of 76 seats... According to Mr.Gundalai, he was rejected by the Speaker on September 30th when he appealed for permission to give speech at the Opening Session... Mr.Tumur-Ochir, the Speaker, explains his denial for Gundalai's speech in relation with an amendment to the Law on Procedures of the State Great Hural which states that no MP will be allowed to give speech at the Openning Session unless he or she is representing a Party Group in the Parliament...
During yesterday's Openning Session, Mr.Gundalai ...began showing his words written on the piece of A3-sized papers when Mr.Enhbayar, the Prime Minister of Mongolia and Chairman of the MPRP, started his speech for the Session.
The written "speech" begun with the words "I TELL YOU MY WORDS" ...He continued showing next words such as "Listen To The Minority", "Press Freedom!"... "Do Not Jail Journalists!", "Stop Your Steps Restricting Democracy!", "N.Enhbayar, Who Promised You 500 Millions?"..."Stop Land Swindling!" etc.
Then, Mr.Tumur-Ochir, the Speaker, broke Mr.Enhbayar's speech by telling to the audience that the Parliamentary Session hall was not a place for demonstarion and he also said that as there was no Minority member in the parliament he has to ask Mr.Gundalai not to show words "Listen To The Minority"... Then, following the Speaker's order , two officers and a leadership of the Secretariat of the State Great Hural came near Gundalai's table and began standing around him so that he could not show his words from his seat.
Soon, Mr. Byambadorj, the Vice Chairman of the State Great Hural, joined the crowd around Mr.Gundalai and took one page of his words by force. As Mr.Gundalai fought for his words taken by Mr.Byambadorj, the page with words "Where Is Tax Reduction For 30% ?" was torn and thrown away by Mr.Byambadorj. While Gundalai and Byambadorj were fighting for one page, someone from the Secretariat of the SGH stole other 15 pages which were on Gundalai's table... "Someone stole my words, I did prepare all these myself, where is my words, where is my property?!!!" Mr.Gundalai cried out loud... At the same time he was speaking up his written words orally which caused mess in the Session Hall...
Mr.Tumur-Ochir ...had to ask Mr.Enkhbayar to speak after a short break...
Opening Session continued in few minutes time and during all remaining time of the session Gundalai had been showing his words one by one as he planned initially.
After the Opening session ended, members of the minority, Ms.Oyun and Mr.Gundalai held a press conference criticisng undemocratic practices and laws of the current parliament...
Liberty Center is deeply concerned that Minority right to speak at the Parliament is restricted by law. During one party dominant majority it will mean as a critical restriction of political pluralism...
(To see the full text and pictures visit

US COURT NEWS: Business-AP: Former Smoker Wins $28 Billion

Fri Oct 4, 2:31 PM ET
By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A jury awarded a record-shattering $28 billion in punitive damages Friday to a former smoker who sued Philip Morris Inc. for fraud and negligence

Reuters Photo
The Superior Court jury awarded the amount to Betty Bullock, 64, who started smoking when she was 17 and was diagnosed last year with lung cancer that has since spread to her liver.
Last month, the jury ordered the tobacco company to pay Bullock $750,000 in economic damages and $100,000 for pain and suffering.
Before Friday's verdict, the biggest verdict won by an individual against a tobacco company was $3 billion, awarded in June 2001. Philip Morris was ordered to pay the amount to Richard Boeken, a former heroin addict with cancer who died in January. However, the verdict was later reduced by a judge to $100 million.
During Bullock's trial, Philip Morris did not try to defend its past. Instead, the company turned the spotlight on Bullock and her decision to smoke. The strategy was a major shift from previous defense efforts.
"If she had stopped smoking, even in the 1980s, she would not have lung cancer today," Peter Bleakley, an attorney representing Philip Morris, told the jury.
Bullock's lawyer, Michael Piuze, argued that Philip Morris concealed the dangers of cigarettes with a widespread disinformation campaign that began in the 1950s. He told jurors it was "the largest fraud scheme ever perpetrated by corporations anywhere."
Piuze used photographs of Bullock, cigarette ads from her teenage years and internal tobacco industry documents to lay out his contention that Philip Morris concealed the dangers of cigarettes.
The case has drawn added interest because it follows an Aug. 5 state Supreme Court ruling that grants cigarette makers a new window of immunity. The decision said most statements and acts by the tobacco companies between 1988 and 1998 cannot be used as evidence against them because of a law, now repealed, shielding them from liability.
Some analysts think the ruling will give cigarette makers ammunition to overturn three recent plaintiff awards in California - including the Boeken verdict, which was also won by Piuze.

Third-Year Training for Mongolians Judges in Texas

In July 2002 we hold annual training workshop for Mongolia judges in Fort Worth, Texas. This was the third-year training for our judges at the Asian Judicial Institute of School of Law Texas Wesleyan University. Dallas law firm Toback & Associated, Texas Wesleyan University Law School and the Government of Mongolia were so kind to co-sponsor this training workshop again for the third time.

The specific of this training workshop was that it was particularly designed to meet needs of judges and judicial reform in Mongolia. Firstly we had numbers of classroom, introductory lectures. Law School professor Joe Spurlock, Lynne Rambo, George Paul, adjunct professor Ed Kinkeade, G. Ganzorig lectured on Texas judicial structure, constitutional rights of citizen, judicial ethics, international business law and US federal judicial system and legal institutions.

Next, our judges visited Texas state trial, appeal and Supreme Courts in Dallas and Austin. They met justice Mike Keasler, Wallace B. Jefferson, Xavier Rodrigues and Barbara R. Hervey. Judges had a chance to watch the trails, observe courtrooms and court security system. Watching the family, criminal and civil trials in American courts were quit interesting for judges according to their statement. Meetings and discussions with judges immediately after the trials were the most effective learning experience. There were a lot of questions of plea-bargaining, public defender, exclusionary rule, adversarial principal and so on. Many of these new principles outlined in the Constitution and procedural laws in Mongolia however, implementation these new for Mongolian judges principles and ideas were always difficult. So judges were able to at least observe how their American colleagues rule on these issues. Judges visited and had a productive talk at the federal district court and federal prosecution office in Fort Worth.

Lastly, our judges met members of the Committee on Judicial Ethics. Keeping the right balance between the judicial independence and accountability were always challenging common problem for newly developing countries and these were not exception for Mongolia. And judges had an extensive and open discussion with members of the Committee about misconduct of judges, professional error and media coverage of court cases.

Besides trainings of course we had a lot of fun social events for our judges. Our judges visited the Texas State Capitol, famous Texas rodeo, Stock Yard in Dallas, local zoo, shopping malls and tested popular Texas barbecue, Mexican tortilla and enchiladas.

Eight judges from a trial, an appeal, and supreme courts attended 14-days workshop. Justices B. Dorjgotov and A. Zandraa were among them. Hon CH. Ganbat the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Mongolia attended the closing ceremony. In a fax that he sent afterward he said, "This year training workshop was a success! The judiciary of Mongolia appreciates very much and extends our great thanks to our sponsors: Government of Mongolia, Professor Joe Spurlock and Mr. Matthew Toback. Judges learned a lot and eager to share their US court experience with their colleagues in Mongolia; that is a good. We look forward continuing this cooperation for the next years!" And I have not a doubt that judges trained in America would make better job protecting human rights and social justice in Mongolia.

I have met Prof. Joe Spurlock II three years ago and at that time we had discussed of various ways of supporting judicial reform and democratic changes in Mongolia. We shared our ideas and came up with these training projects. For all these years Prof. Joe Spurlock and I have worked together making arrangements for logistics, local transportation, meetings and putting programs of training and social events. In these trainings participated judges, members of the Parliament and Constitutional Court. Joe Spurlock is a great professor, judge and good friend. He is the key person who helped to coordinate all these jobs. Without his tireless work and endless enthusiastic support this would not have been happen. And I would like to thank my friend, colleague judge Joe Spurlock II for all he has done for Mongolia!


International Human Rights Group Team visits Mongolia

IHLG Mission to Mongolia

In June 2002 International Human Rights Law Group sent its delegation to Mongolia. This was an exploratory mission it was intended to evaluate and assess the potential for future work in Mongolia by the Law Group. Jennifer Rasmussen, Southeast Asia Program Coordinator, Margaret V.W. Carpenter Board member, and Mr. G. Ganzorig were among the delegation. Mr. G. Ganzorig, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Mongolia was included in this team as an independent expert.

The Team had numbers of interesting meetings at the Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission, Union of Advocates and visited national Center Against Violence, Human Rights Center and Women's' Prison. Also the Group members were happy have a chance to meet Mr. N. Enkhbayar, the Primer Minister.

The IHLG team considers that the visit was very productive and is planning to start a project on human rights in cooperation with a NGO in Mongolia.


America University
Washington College of Law
The International Legal Studies Program

The International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) was established in 1980 in response to a growing demand for lawyers trained in international law. Since then, the importance of international law has continued to grow as people and nations around the world become increasingly interconnected. Now more than ever, skilled international lawyers are needed to successfully promote peace and sustainable development, conduct international business transactions, assure the protection of human rights, and facilitate cultural and scientific exchanges. To get more information click


Maryland Declares Death Penalty Moratorium May 9, 2002
By Bryan Sears

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Reuters) - Maryland on Thursday became the second U.S. state to declare a moratorium on executions, citing "reasonable questions" about the integrity of capital punishment within its own boundaries and across the nation. Gov. Parris Glendening announced he would stay all executions until the University of Maryland completes an intensive study of 6,000 homicide cases to determine whether the state system for imposing the death penalty is fraught with racial and geographic bias…

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