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Israel's imprisoned former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faces an additional eight months behind bars after the country's Supreme Court rejected an appeal.

Olmert is already serving a 19-month sentence after being convicted of bribery and obstructing justice. The court this week unanimously rejected the appeal of a separate set of charges that included accepting cash-stuffed envelopes from a U.S. businessman.

He began his sentence in February. Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israel's hawkish right wing when he began taking a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians as deputy prime minister a decade ago.

He played a leading role in Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. He became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke.



The Supreme Court will hear a First Amendment challenge over the government's refusal to register offensive trademarks in a case that could affect the Washington Redskins.

The justices said Thursday they'll take up a dispute involving an Asian-American rock band called the Slants. But they didn't act on a separate request to hear the higher-profile Redskins case at the same time.

The Slants tried to trademark the name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that the name disparages Asians. A federal appeals court ruled that the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of the band could bolster the Redskins' legal fight. The government canceled the football team's trademarks after finding they disparage Native Americans.



The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the state's voucher-style Education Savings Accounts program — seen as the broadest school choice initiative in the country — has an unconstitutional funding mechanism that should remain blocked.

Justices issued a ruling on Thursday against the money source for the program — which has been on hold since the winter and never disbursed funds to families as it intended — but upholding some of the major tenets underlying the school voucher concept.

Parties on both sides of the hotly debated issue claimed victory, emphasizing different parts of the 35-page decision.

"The state was taken to its knees by a group of people that believe in public education," said Rory Reid, son of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and president of the Rogers Foundation, which supported legal challenges against the program. "This is a tremendous victory."

Proponents framed the ruling as a "landmark win" for themselves, saying it affirmed some of their most fundamental arguments and adding that the program's defects can be fixed by the Legislature.



An Iranian citizen extradited from Indonesia was charged in a Sydney court on Thursday with attempting to smuggle 73 asylum seekers by boat to Australia.
 
Mohammad Naghi Karimi Azar, 56, on Wednesday became the eighth suspected people smuggler to be extradited from Indonesia to Australia since 2008, a government statement said.

Azar was charged in Sydney Central Local Court with 43 counts of people smuggling, an offense that carries a minimum five-year sentence and a maximum of 20 years.

He appeared by video from a Sydney police station.

Court documents allege Azar facilitated the passage of 73 men, women and children between 2011 and 2013. His lawyer, Archie Hallas, told the court that Azar had spent the last two and a half years in an Indonesian jail.

Azar did not apply for bail. Hallas told the court his client needed time to read the 100-page prosecution case against him. Azar is to appear in court next on Oct. 5.

Outside the court, another lawyer for Azar, Sayar Dehsabzi, told reporters his client intended to plead not guilty.

Dehsabzi said Azar told him he was a refugee registered with the United Nations and had fled Iran in fear of persecution because he was a member of an ethnic minority.



Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday insisted to members of a judiciary commission that he never urged probate judges to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, defending himself from charges brought by a state ethics panel.

Testifying under oath, Moore called the accusations of him abusing his position "ridiculous."

The ethics case involves an administrative order Moore sent six months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gays can marry in every U.S. state. Moore said then that because the Alabama Supreme Court had not rescinded an order instructing judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples, the state's probate judges remained bound by it.


Supreme Court to hear 'swipe fees' case

  Business  -   POSTED: 2016/09/29 08:51

The Supreme Court will hear a dispute over state laws that prohibit merchants from imposing fees on customers who use credit cards. The justices said Thursday they will take up a case involving swipe fees that merchants must pay to the credit-card issuer each time a customer charges a purchase. The fees typically range from 2 percent to 3 percent.

Businesses in several states have challenged the laws as a violation of their free speech rights. The businesses say it's unfair that they can offer discounts to customers who pay cash, but they can't tell customers they're imposing a surcharge for using credit cards.

The federal appeals court in New York upheld the state's law. The Atlanta-based court of appeals struck down Florida's version of the same law.



India's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an Italian marine can stay in Italy while arbitration continues over the 2012 shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen in which he and another marine were implicated.

The court approved Massimiliano Latorre's request to stay in his homeland while an arbitration court in The Hague, Netherlands, decides which country has jurisdiction in the matter.

In Rome, the Italian foreign ministry expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court ruling.

India has accused Latorre and fellow marine Salvatore Girone of killing the two fishermen in Indian waters while they were assigned to anti-piracy duties aboard an Italian commercial ship. Italy says the marines thought the fishermen were pirates and that the shooting took place in international waters.

Latorre has been in Italy since 2014 for medical treatment after suffering a stroke in India. Girone was allowed to return to Italy in May.

The case against the two marines has strained relations between Rome and New Delhi, with both disagreeing on the facts of the case and on which country has jurisdiction. Italy has also complained that in four years India has never formally charged the two with a crime.


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