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  • Website asks high court to throw out lawsuit Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 | 2:14 AM ET

    SEATTLE— A lawyer told the Washington Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by three young girls who were sold as prostitutes on a website should be thrown out because the website didn't write the ads, so it's not liable. "No one has the right to sell a kid for sex," said Jo Lembo, with Shared Hope International. " A similar case was filed last week in federal court in...

  • TOKYO, Oct 22- Japanese prosecutors must decide this week whether to charge Tokyo Electric Power Co executives for their handling of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, in a process that could drag the operator of the stricken nuclear plant into criminal court. The judicial review is unlikely to see Tepco executives go to jail, legal experts say, but rehashing details...

  • Order to remove student newspaper copies reversed Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 6:02 PM ET

    FORT COLLINS, Colo.— A Colorado county clerk has reversed her order that a university remove copies of its student newspaper from boxes outside its student union Tuesday because the front page had coverage of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall's visit to campus. Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers, a Republican, said the front-page photo and story about Udall's Monday...

  • DETROIT, Oct 21- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill on Tuesday that will keep electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc from selling its cars directly to consumers in the state, home to the biggest U.S. automakers. Michigan becomes the fifth U.S. state to keep Tesla from easily selling cars directly to consumers, joining Texas, New Jersey, Arizona and Maryland,...

  • Sri Lanka enacts ban on foreigners buying land Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 2:39 PM ET

    *Sri Lanka proposed ban in budget presented in Nov 2012. COLOMBO, Oct 21- Sri Lanka passed legislation banning land purchases by foreigners, a move the government said would curb tax evasion but critics said could hinder its offshore investment ambitions. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also finance minister, had flagged the ban plan in his November 2012...

  • New efforts to ban tobacco farm child labor Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 12:45 PM ET

    "I think that many members of Congress have been shocked that children are suffering nicotine poisoning from working in U.S. tobacco fields," said Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch's children's rights advocacy director. Philip Morris International, which limits the type of work children can do on tobacco farms, says it would like to see stronger U.S. regulations in...

  • Coos Bay landslide cleanup deal reached Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 11:00 AM ET

    COOS BAY, Ore.— A legal path has been cleared for hundreds of tons of landslide debris to be removed from a waterway near Coos Bay that is home to federally protected coho salmon and green sturgeon. In April 2012, a massive slide caused by a home-improvement project sent mud, rock, tree limbs and other debris into Coalbank Slough, which feeds into Isthmus Slough, which...

  • Panama suspends Supreme Court judge for corruption Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 6:56 AM ET

    PANAMA CITY— A Supreme Court justice linked to former President Ricardo Martinelli was suspended on Monday over corruption charges in a landmark corruption case that has mesmerized much of Panama. Alejandro Moncada has for weeks been battling accusations he profited from his ties to the former conservative leader after documents emerged showing he paid...

  • Lawsuit claims website aids child sex trafficking Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 | 2:55 AM ET

    SEATTLE— The Washington Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case filed by three sex trafficking victims who say the website Backpage.com helps promote the exploitation of children. A federal case was filed in Boston last week. Backpage.com asked a Supreme Court judge to dismiss the case.

  • Since 1997, FDA has operated under a proposed rule that allows food manufacturers to get new food additives onto the market by notifying FDA that they are generally recognized as safe. In February, the non-profit Center for Food Safety sued FDA, alleging that the agency failed to follow legal rulemaking requirements. "For more than 17 years, FDA has imposed a lax...

  • District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York ordered Wyly and the estate of his late brother Charles to pay damages of $187.7 million plus interest to the SEC, after a jury found them liable for fraud in May. The SEC has since said the total, including interest, should be $299.4 million, which is one of the largest awards ever sought from individual defendants in a U.S....

  • Petition drive to limit hospital charges gets OK Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 4:01 PM ET

    LANSING, Mich.— Michigan's elections board gave the go-ahead Monday for a petition drives seeking to limit what hospitals can charge uninsured and underinsured patients and auto accident victims. He acknowledged that insurers are supportive of the effort, which was blasted by defenders of Michigan's auto insurance law as a "cynical ploy" by the insurance...

  • Judge to rule against Ameren in power line case Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 3:28 PM ET

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— A judge said Monday that he will rule against a subsidiary of Ameren Corp. in a legal fight over whether it needs state regulators' permission to build a high-voltage power line across northern Missouri. Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green said he's inclined to reject Ameren's request for a declaration that the Missouri Public Service...

  • Appeals court revives Syngenta, Bunge GMO lawsuit Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 3:07 PM ET

    DES MOINES, Iowa— A federal appeals court gave agricultural chemical-maker Syngenta Seeds hope Monday that it may be able to proceed with a lawsuit against grain storage and transportation company Bunge North America for refusing to accept one of Syngenta's genetically modified corn varieties. Syngenta sued Bunge in 2011, claiming it illegally refused to...

  • Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 2:46 PM ET

    Facebook Inc. and Zuckerberg filed a lawsuit Monday against DLA Piper and other law firms and lawyers, saying they conspired to file and prosecute a fraudulent lawsuit. DLA Piper is one of the world's largest business law firms. DLA Piper and the other named law firms knew the case was based on forged documents yet they pursued it anyway, and they should be held to...

  • GOP governors don't see 'Obamacare' going away Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 2:19 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— While Republicans in Congress shout, "Repeal Obamacare," GOP governors in many states have quietly accepted the law's major Medicaid expansion. John Kasich says he doesn't think there will be a repeal in Washington, even if Republicans win a Senate majority and consolidate their hold on the House in next month's election. Kasich called The...

  • Justices will decide privacy case on hotel records Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 9:36 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Supreme Court agreed Monday to referee a dispute over police access to hotels' guest information without first getting a search warrant. The justices said they will hear an appeal by the city of Los Angeles of a lower court ruling that struck down an ordinance that requires hotel operators to open their guest registries at the demand of police.

  • China's ruling party opens meeting on rule of law Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 12:21 AM ET

    BEIJING— The conundrum of bolstering rule of law in Communist Party- run China was on the agenda for the ruling party's top leaders Monday as they opened a four-day conclave to guide policy for the coming year. Rule of law is a tricky notion in China because the party operates above the law and has never shown eagerness to change that. Carl Minzner, a law professor and...

  • BEIJING, Oct 19- China is set to unveil key legal reforms this week that will try to limit the influence local officials have on court cases, a move being closely watched by company executives who hope it will make the legal system more impartial. The announcement is expected at the end of an Oct. 20-23 meeting of the ruling Communist Party elite, which has made the "...

  • Do cases FBI cites support encryption worries? Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 6:40 PM ET

    FBI Director James Comey says encrypting data stored on smartphones and computers could hurt criminal investigations, and evidence reviewed by The Associated Press shows that the child abuse case in Los Angeles from summer 2011 is a powerful, compelling argument. But at least three other examples the FBI director has cited are not so cut and dry.