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  • 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.

  • Facebook unfriends federal drug agency Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 4:59 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Facebook wants assurances from the Drug Enforcement Administration that it's not operating any more fake profile pages as part of ongoing investigations. Facebook's chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said in a letter Friday to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart that law enforcement agencies need to follow the same rules about being...

  • General Motors' legal chief to retire next year Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    DETROIT— General Motors' chief lawyer Michael Millikin, who withstood withering criticism from lawmakers for his department's handling of an ignition switch recall, is retiring early next year. During a July Senate hearing on the delayed recall of small cars with faulty switches, lawmakers demanded that Millikin be fired. CEO Mary Barra praised Millikin as a...

  • Right to jury trial at issue in pension lawsuit Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 12:18 PM ET

    NEWPORT, R.I.— Lawyers for the state asked a judge on Friday to let a jury decide the legal battle over the state's landmark 2011 pension overhaul. Public-sector unions and retirees sued over the law that was designed to save Rhode Island $4 billion over the next 20 years by reining in pension costs. The parties appeared Friday before Superior Court Judge Sarah...

  • FBI Director James Comey on Thursday made his strongest comments yet about encryption features built into new cell phones by Google Inc and Apple Inc, warning they could hurt law enforcement efforts to crack homicide and child exploitation cases. FBI agents are generally able to access information stored on cell phones with a court order related to a...

  • Delay in Illinois fracking permitting spurs suit Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 2:32 PM ET

    Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. It comes as the state faces a Nov. 15 deadline for sorting out the rules for how developers would deploy high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," under an Illinois law approved last year. Energy resources "just have been a godsend to that part of the state," Rod Taylor, a southern...

  • DETROIT, Oct 16- Detroit announced on Thursday a last-minute settlement with its final major holdout creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., as it edged closer to exiting the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy. Corinne Ball, an attorney at law firm Jones Day, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes that the settlement includes an option for FGIC to...

  • CHICAGO, Oct 16- The head of a U.S. Senate subcommittee raised concerns in a letter on Thursday to the U.S. Attorney General and head of the top U.S. rail regulator about a potential merger between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and CSX Corp, and called on them both to fully review the antitrust implications of any such deal. "Given recent concerns about shipping delays...

  • FBI Director James Comey on Thursday made his strongest comments yet about encryption features built into new cell phones by Google Inc and Apple Inc, warning they could hurt law enforcement efforts to crack homicide and child exploitation cases. FBI agents have in the past been able to access information stored on cell phones with a court order forcing the...

  • NY court rejects bid to revive fracking ban case Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 12:05 PM ET

    ALBANY, N.Y.— New York's highest court has rejected an attempt by the oil and gas industry to revive its fight against local fracking bans. On Thursday, the court denied a motion by the trustee for bankrupt Norse Energy to reargue its case against the town of Dryden. Norse Energy had argued that such local laws were pre-empted by a state law that delegates all...

  • DETROIT, Oct 16- A settlement between Detroit and its last major holdout creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co, resolves all issues involving the city's outstanding pension debt, an attorney for the city said on Thursday. Corinne Ball, an attorney at law firm Jones Day, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes that the settlement includes an option for...

  • NY AG: Most NYC Airbnb listings violate the law Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 9:49 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Nearly three-quarters of the New York City listings offered by the short-term rental service Airbnb violate city or state laws, New York state's attorney general charged Thursday. A report released Thursday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also charged that many of the listings are placed by commercial operators running illegal hotels, not...

  • India PM announces overhaul of archaic labor laws Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 7:26 AM ET

    NEW DELHI— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a series of labor reforms on Thursday aimed at transforming Asia's third-largest economy into an international manufacturing hub. India's labor laws, many written when India was a British colony, strictly regulate hiring and firing of employees and require large amounts of paperwork which often...

  • Texas abortion clinics reopen after court reprieve Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    AUSTIN, Texas— Texas abortion clinics that closed under tough new restrictions began reopening Wednesday after winning a reprieve at the U.S. Supreme Court, but the facilities were scheduling women with uncertainty and skeleton staffs. A five-sentence ruling late Tuesday blocked parts of a sweeping Texas abortion law that required clinics to meet...

  • Judge mulls whether to block Arizona ID theft laws Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 5:04 AM ET

    PHOENIX— Advocates for immigrants urged a judge Thursday to shelve two Arizona ID theft laws that are the legal foundation for business raids by metro Phoenix's sheriff, arguing the Legislature's intent in passing the statutes wasn't to confront identity theft but rather to combat illegal immigration. District Judge David Campbell that the argument about...

  • The herbicide is approved immediately for use in six states, and the EPA is evaluating expansion to additional states. "EPA has not followed the law," said Greg Loarie, an attorney with Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law organization that is evaluating legal action to try to stop the commercialization of Enlist Duo. Loarie said EPA also failed to fully...

  • DETROIT, Oct 15- Ordinary Detroit residents sounded off with passion and anger on Wednesday as they gave a federal judge their views on the city's plan to exit its historic municipal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes began a hearing on Sept. 2 to determine if Detroit's plan to restructure $18 billion in debt is fair and feasible. Some residents of...