South Korean executives jailed for humidifier cleaner deaths
Legal Topics | 2017/01/08 18:12
A South Korean court sentenced the former head of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser to seven years in prison Friday after the company's disinfectant for humidifiers killed scores of people and left hundreds with permanent lung damage.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Shin Hyun-woo, Oxy chief from 1991-2005, was guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising the deadly product as being safe even for children. Seven years is the maximum prison term the court could issue.

Choi Chang-young, chief judge of the case, said the disaster could have been prevented if Shin and others in the company, a subsidiary of British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, had tried to ensure the chemicals' safety.


Court: Star Chinese investor pleads guilty in stock case
Legal Topics | 2016/12/06 16:36
A Chinese court says a star securities trader who was arrested following last year's stock market collapse has pleaded guilty to insider trading and manipulating share prices.

The court in the eastern city of Qingdao said in a statement Tuesday that Xu Xiang and two co-defendants pleaded guilty at the start of a trial but no verdict had been issued.

Xu was arrested in November after a rapid rise in Chinese share prices collapsed. Top executives of China's biggest state-owned securities firm also were arrested in a separate case.

The court statement said Xu and his co-defendants were accused of conspiring with executives of 13 companies from 2010 to 2015 to inflate their share price and then sell.


Turkey: court asked to drop case against Israeli officials
Legal Topics | 2016/11/27 21:06
Turkey's state-run news agency says a prosecutor has asked that a case against Israeli military officials accused over the deaths of 10 Turkish activists be dropped, citing a reconciliation pact between Turkey and Israel.

Under a deal reached this year, Israel agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the victims of a 2010 Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to reach Gaza. In return, Israeli nationals would not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.

The Israeli military officials, including the former military chief, were on trial in absentia in Istanbul, held responsible for the deaths of nine activists. A tenth victim died in a hospital in 2014.

Anadolu Agency said the prosecutor requested during a hearing on Friday that the case be dropped.


Justice Thomas: Honor Scalia by reining in government
Legal Topics | 2016/11/20 20:56
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is calling fellow conservatives to continue the work of the late Justice Antonin Scalia to keep the power of the courts and other branches of government in check.

Thomas tells 1,700 people at a dinner in honor of Scalia that the Supreme Court has too often granted rights to people that are not found in the Constitution. He cited the decision in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal across the country.

Thomas said he and his longtime friend and colleague formed an "odd couple" of a white New Yorker and a black man from Georgia.

He paraphrased Lincoln's Gettysburg address to exhort the audience to "be dedicated to the unfinished business for which Justice Scalia gave his last full measure of devotion."



UK court brings Brexit plans screeching to halt
Legal Topics | 2016/11/04 21:48
Britain's High Court brought government plans for leaving the European Union screeching to a halt Thursday, ruling that the prime minister can't trigger the U.K.'s exit from the bloc without parliamentary approval.

The government said it would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling, which if upheld could prevent it starting exit talks by March 31 as planned.

The pound, which has lost about a fifth of its value since the June 23 decision to leave the EU, shot back up on the verdict, rising 1.1 percent to $1.2430.

Britons voted by a margin of 52 to 48 percent to exit the EU, a process known as "Brexit." Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, launching two years of exit negotiations, by the end of March.

Several claimants, including a hairdresser and a financial entrepreneur, challenged May's right to trigger Brexit, in a case with major constitutional implications that hinges on the balance of power between Parliament and the government. They argued that leaving the EU will remove rights, including free movement within the bloc, and that can't be done without Parliament's approval.

Three senior judges agreed, ruling that "the government does not have the power under the Crown's prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the U.K. to withdraw from the European Union."

The judges backed the claimants' argument that "the Crown could not change domestic law and nullify rights under the law unless Parliament had conferred upon the Crown authority to do so."

The British government immediately said it would appeal the judgment. It said in a statement that Britons voted to leave the bloc in a referendum approved by an Act of Parliament, "and the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum."

The Supreme Court has set aside time to hear the appeal before the end of the year. The case is considered the most important constitutional matter in a generation.


Kansas high court justices defend handling of capital cases
Legal Topics | 2016/11/01 21:49
Four Kansas Supreme Court justices facing a campaign to oust them in the Nov. 8 election say the court has decided capital murder cases on legal and constitutional issues while avoiding politics and emotion.

Past high court rulings overturning death sentences are at the center of the effort to remove Chief Justice Lawton Nuss and Justices Carol Beier, Dan Biles and Marla Luckert. They face statewide yes-or-no votes on whether they stay on the court for another six years.

The court's critics are particularly upset about July 2014 rulings overturning death sentences for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers had faced lethal injection for shooting four people in December 2000 after forcing them to perform sex acts and robbing them. Among other things, the court concluded that fairness required the brothers to be sentenced separately.



Court hearing on potential Ontario ban of Indians name, logo
Legal Topics | 2016/10/18 03:00
A Toronto court will hear arguments on an attempt to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and logo in Ontario.

The legal challenge by indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal comes on the same day the baseball team takes on the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Toronto.

Cardinal's lawyers will ask the court Monday to bar the usage of the name and logo by the team, Major League Baseball and Toronto team owner Rogers Communications, which is broadcasting the game in Canada.

The logo, called Chief Wahoo, is a cartoon man with red skin and a feather in his headband.

Cardinal says they shouldn't be allowed to wear their regular jerseys, the logo shouldn't be broadcast and the team should be referred to as "the Cleveland team."



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