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WI Dems have enough signatures to recall GOP state senator

Democrats in Wisconsin say they have collected enough signatures to file their petition to recall state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R). Pat Scheller, who is organizing the recall effort, told The Wisconsin State Journal that volunteers had gathered more than the necessary 15,588 signatures. “Not a single paid canvasser was needed…

German ‘incest trucker’ jailed

A German court on Tuesday jailed a former lorry driver for 14 and a half years for sexually abusing his daughter, stepson and stepdaughter, with whom he fathered eight children. Spies “was utterly selfish. He treated his family as his own personal property to do with as he wished,” presiding…

US judge rejects deal for Google digital book plan

NEW YORK (AFP) – A US judge dealt a major setback to Google’s plans for a vast digital library and online bookstore, rejecting a settlement hammered out by the Internet giant with authors and publishers. US District Court Judge Denny Chin on Tuesday said in a ruling 13 months after…

Judge orders Loughner mental evaluation in Missouri

PHOENIX (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday ordered Jared Lee Loughner, the college dropout charged in January’s Arizona shooting rampage, to undergo a mental evaluation in Missouri to see if he is competent to stand trial. Federal prosecutors earlier this month asked for Loughner to receive an evaluation. U.S.…

Judge temporarily blocks Wisconsin anti-union law

A Wisconsin judge on Friday issued a temporary order blocking the state’s highly controversial new law stripping the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Judge Maryann Sumi of Dane County issued the order in response to a request by District Attorney Ismael Ozanne (D). As The Associated Press summarized,…

British woman convicted of enslaving African worker

LONDON (AFP) – A former hospital director who forced an African woman to work 18 hours a day became the first person in Britain to be convicted of “modern-day slavery.” Saeeda Khan, 68, was forced to pay 49-year-old Mwanahamisi Mruke, who was trafficked from Tanzania in 2006, 25,000 pounds (40,000…

DeLay judge abruptly steps aside after suggesting plea bargains

A Texas judge who’s spent years overseeing the high-profile trial of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has recused himself from the trials of two DeLay co-defendants, abruptly stepping aside after he reportedly suggested plea bargains to attorneys for the defense. District Judge Pat Priest made the suggestion while…

Judge refuses to order additional Exxon Valdez payment

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A federal judge has refused to order Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay an additional $92 million sought by the U.S. government and state of Alaska to address lingering damage from the 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland, who for…

French ex-president to go on trial for corruption

PARIS (AFP) – The unprecedented corruption trial of France’s former president Jacques Chirac opens Monday, with lawyers seeking to postpone it on procedural grounds. Chirac, 78, is one of France’s most popular political figures despite becoming the first former president of the French Republic to go on trial, accused of…

Federal judge stays his ruling against health care law

A federal judge on Thursday issued a temporary hold on his recent ruling voiding the health care law, offering the Obama administration one week to appeal. US District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida ruled on January 31 that the individual mandate was unconstitutional — and, because the law lacked a…

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