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The corruption trial involving the former president of track and field’s governing body was suspended Monday shortly after it began.

Lamine Diack, the former head of the IAAF, has been charged with far-reaching corruption and doping cover-ups.

At the opening of the hearing, the prosecution asked that the two-week trial be delayed to weigh new evidence received from Senegal, where Diack was born. His son, Papa Massata Diack, also charged in the case, lives in Senegal, shielded from an international arrest warrant issued by France.

The prosecution also asked for the delay to clear up a procedural technicality regarding one of the charges against Papa Massata Diack. There will next be a hearing in April to see whether a new trial date in June is feasible.

Addressing the court, the 86-year-old Diack asked that in the wake of the delay he be allowed to travel to Senegal to visit his elder brother, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Diack has not been allowed to leave France since his arrest in 2015. But he promised the court that he would come back to France if allowed to travel, saying he wants to clear his name.


New Orleans’ clerk of criminal district court announced  a furlough Friday that would’ve crippled the city’s criminal justice system, only to rescind the threat the next day.

The moves by Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal District Court Arthur Morrell are part of an ongoing budget dispute with the city, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. Morrell said he plans to to discuss the furlough and dispute with the chief judge of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court on Monday, the same day the furlough would’ve gone into effect.

Morrell said the city has failed to pay for his office’s full contingent of needed staffers. He requested about $4.6 million in funding for the 2020 budget and was granted about $4 million. Though the awarded funding was an increase from the previous year, Morrell said the difference left “no choice” but to close up shop.

As the clerk’s office is the only city agency legally authorized to perform some functions, the threatened furlough of about 80 workers would’ve made it so jailed inmates couldn’t post bail.

A longtime observer of the city’s criminal justice system said Morrell can “run that office for most of the year on what the city’s given him.”


Amid intense focus on impeachment and year-end deals on spending and trade, the Senate hurtled this week toward a less-heralded accomplishment: confirming another batch of conservative judges.

Senators confirmed 13 of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, bringing to 102 the number of federal judges approved this year — more than twice the annual average over the past three decades.

The steady transformation of the courts reflects the single-minded focus of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to “leave no vacancy behind” as he and Trump seek to tilt the judicial branch to the right.

The judicial confirmations include 20 additions to the U.S. Court of Appeals, bringing to 50 the number of federal appeals court judges confirmed in Trump’s first three years in office. The relentless pace means that more than a quarter of all federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

“While all eyes were understandably on impeachment, Mitch McConnell’s conveyor belt churned out a shocking number of judges this week in what remains the most underrated story of the Trump era,″ said Christopher Kang, chief counsel at Demand Justice, a liberal advocacy group.

“Trump’s hijacking of our judiciary will be his most enduring legacy, and it will continue to threaten everything progressives care about long after he leaves office,” Kang said.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, insists the stepped-up pace of confirmations is not a partisan achievement.

“It is not one party or the other that benefits when our federal courts consist of men and women who understand that a judge’s job is to follow the law, not to make the law,″ he said on the Senate floor last week.


The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions.

The justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law. Enforcement of the law had been on hold pending the legal challenge but will begin shortly, said Steve Pitt, general counsel to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The ACLU argued that “display and describe” ultrasound laws violate physicians’ speech rights under the First Amendment.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the Kentucky law, but its sister court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a similar measure in North Carolina.

The Supreme Court had previously upheld “informed consent” laws for women seeking abortions. The court will hear an abortion case in March, over Louisiana’s attempt to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Doctors’ speech also has been an issue in non-abortion cases. The federal appeals court in Atlanta struck down parts of a 2011 Florida law that sought to prohibit doctors from talking about gun safety with their patients. Under the law, doctors faced fines and the possible loss of their medical licenses for discussing guns with patients.

In Kentucky, doctors must describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. Women can avert their eyes and cover their ears to avoid hearing the description or the fetal heartbeat. Doctors failing to comply face fines and can be referred to the state’s medical licensing board.


Our mission is to serve our clients with unwavering integrity, expertise, and achieving the best possible outcome which underpin our method for providing high-quality and ethical legal services at reasonable rates.

Probate is the legal process that occurs after someone dies. During probate, it must be proven in court that the person’s Will is valid, their property must be inventoried and appraised, taxes and debts must be paid (as well as the lawyers and court fees), and then the remaining property is distributed among the heirs and beneficiaries. Probate becomes a matter of public record at the time of the individual’s death.

Living trust bypass probate, since technically assets you put in a trust are owned by the trustee, not you, so on your death the trustee can transfer your property and assets directly to your beneficiaries. Be aware that these assets are still taxable by federal estate tax purposes.



Former Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang faces the prospect of being extradited to the United States to face trial after a South African court on Friday ruled against him being sent to his home country.

Chang's fate is now with South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola after the court set aside his predecessor's decision to extradite him to Mozambique. Lamola has asserted that the southern African nation has not shown seriousness in prosecuting him.

Chang was arrested in South Africa last year on the request of the U.S. government in relation to the scandal involving $2 billion worth of secret loans guaranteed by Mozambique's government during his tenure from 2005 to 2015.

Companies set up by Mozambique's secret services and defense ministry borrowed the $2 billion in secret to set up maritime projects that never materialized but allegedly enriched a range of local and foreign players.


The European Union’s top court has ruled that website operators must secure internet users’ “active consent” to their storage of so-called cookies.

The European Court of Justice’s ruling Tuesday was prompted by a dispute between German firm Planet49 and a German consumer organization over the company’s use of a pre-ticked checkbox for participants in online promotional games to secure consent to cookie storage.

Judges found that EU law’s requirement for users to consent to storage of and access to cookies on their devices isn’t covered by a pre-checked box that the user “must deselect to refuse his or her consent.”

They said specific consent must be obtained. They also said the service provider must tell users how long the information about them will operate and whether third parties may access them.


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