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Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange
Class Action News | 2016/05/26 06:10
A Swedish court on Wednesday rejected a request to overturn the arrest warrant of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange because there were no new circumstances to consider.

The Stockholm District Court said it made the decision because Assange is still wanted for questioning in a case of suspected rape and that "there is still a risk that he will depart or in some other way evade prosecution or penalty."

The court said it saw no reason to hold another detention hearing saying he would remain "detained in absentia."

Thomas Olsson, Assange's lawyer in Sweden, says he would appeal the decision because "the passivity of the prosecutor had delayed the investigation in an unacceptable" way.

"The prosecutor ought to have arranged for an interview with Mr. Assange at a far earlier stage and she hasn't presented any reasons for not arranging an interview," he told The Associated Press.

Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, is wanted for questioning by Swedish police over rape allegations stemming from his visit to the country in 2010. He denies all the accusations against him made by two women.

He has refused to go back to Sweden for fear of being extradited to the United States because of an investigation into WikiLeaks' dissemination of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents. Last year, a U.S. federal court confirmed there are "active and ongoing" attempts to prosecute him and WikiLeaks in an investigation involving espionage, conspiracy, and computer fraud.

Court: Slipknot bassist's child born after he died can sue
Class Action News | 2016/05/09 05:21
Idaho's state Supreme Court candidates went after each other's political independence Friday evening during their only scheduled major debate.

"When you stand on the courthouse steps with the Legislature, I'm not sure if you're sending the right messages to the people of Idaho that there's a clear division of judiciary and legislative branch," said candidate Robyn Brody, an attorney from Rupert.

Brody was calling out fellow candidates Clive Strong, a longtime deputy attorney general, and Curt McKenzie, a seven-term Republican state senator ? who have both held press conferences at courthouses announcing endorsements from partisan lawmakers.

Idaho Court of Appeals Judge Sergio Gutierrez also echoed Brody's concerns of seeking high-profile endorsements, adding that he's not running to be a politician but a justice.

However, Strong countered that his 33-year career inside the attorney general's office has often required him to stand up to the Idaho Legislature and McKenzie argued that he strayed from his fellow GOP members during the Legislature by voting no on the so-called ag-gag bill, which was later ruled illegal in federal court.

The first round of campaign contribution reports aren't due until May 10, making endorsements that much more open to scrutiny for signs of possible bias.

Furthermore, Supreme Court candidates are banned from talking about their past of current political party affiliations even though political party registrations are public records as well as giving their opinions on how they would vote on previous or pending state supreme court decisions.

Pound: Sharapova guilty of 'willful negligence' in drug test
Class Action News | 2016/03/15 05:14
Maria Sharapova was guilty of "willful negligence" for using meldonium, and international tennis officials were aware that many players were taking the drug before it was banned this year, former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound said Wednesday.

Pound told The Associated Press that Sharapova could face a ban of up to four years unless she can prove mitigating circumstances to explain her positive test for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

Meldonium, a Latvian-manufactured drug designed to treat heart conditions, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list on Jan. 1 after authorities noticed widespread use of the substance among athletes.

In announcing her positive test at a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Sharapova said she had been using the drug for 10 years for various medical issues. The five-time Grand Slam champion and world's highest-earning female athlete said she hadn't realized meldonium had been prohibited this year, taking full responsibility for her mistake.

"An athlete at that level has to know that there will be tests, has to know that whatever she or he is taking is not on the list, and it was willful negligence to miss that," Pound said. "She was warned in advance I gather. The WADA publication is out there. She didn't pay any attention to it. The tennis association issued several warnings, none of which she apparently read."

Texas court tosses criminal case against former Gov. Perry
Class Action News | 2016/02/25 22:51
The felony prosecution of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended Wednesday when the state's highest criminal court dismissed an abuse-of-power indictment that the Republican says hampered his short-lived 2016 presidential bid.

The 6-2 decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which is dominated by elected Republican judges, frees Perry from a long-running criminal case that blemished the exit of one of the most powerful Texas governors in history and hung over his second failed run for the White House.

A grand jury in liberal Austin had indicted Perry in 2014 for vetoing funding for a public corruption unit that Republicans have long accused of wielding a partisan ax. The unit worked under Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, an elected Democrat. Perry wanted her to resign after she was convicted of drunken driving.

Perry was accused of using his veto power to threaten a public official and overstepping his authority, but the judges ruled that courts can't undermine the veto power of a governor.

"Come at the king, you best not miss," Republican Judge David Newell wrote in his concurring opinion, quoting a popular line from the HBO series "The Wire."

Perry has been campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz since becoming the first major GOP candidate to drop out of the race last year. He conceded to reporters in Austin on Wednesday that the indictments hurt his candidacy but didn't dwell on the impact, and said he would veto the same funding again if given the chance.

"I've always known the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, they were right," said Perry, who spoke at the headquarters of an influential Texas conservative think tank, which has previously christened its balcony overlooking downtown as the "Gov. Rick Perry Liberty Balcony."

High court will hear Microsoft appeal over Xbox lawsuit
Class Action News | 2016/01/19 19:50
The Supreme Court will decide whether Microsoft Corp. must face a class action lawsuit by disgruntled owners of the Xbox 360 video-game system who say the console has a design defect that scratches game disks.
The justices agreed Friday to hear an appeal from Microsoft arguing that individual claims by the plaintiffs had previously been thrown out.

Microsoft has sold more than 80 million Xbox 360 consoles and says only 0.4 percent of owners report disk scratching. The company says any damage is the result of consumer misuse and not a product defect.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2012, ruling there were not enough complaints to justify a class action. But a federal appeals court reversed, saying it could go forward.

Judge approves tea party group's lawsuit against IRS
Class Action News | 2016/01/17 19:50
A federal judge in Ohio has approved class-action status for a tea party group's lawsuit stemming from IRS delays in approving nonprofit status for conservative groups seeking the tax-exemption classification.
The NorCal Tea Party Patriots sued the IRS, along with workers and officials in Cincinnati and Washington, after it was revealed in 2013 that the IRS delayed approving conservative groups for the nonprofit status. The FBI investigated, but no criminal charges were filed.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a U.S. District Court judge in Cincinnati granted class-action status Tuesday. That means other affected groups across the country can join the case unless they opt out.

The judge also sealed the case to protect taxpayer records that might be on file with the IRS and the tea party group.

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