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Jan 15, 2012

New U.S. sanctions hamper Iran bid to recover $1.75 bln

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iran’s effort to recover some $1.75 billion frozen in a U.S. bank faces a new obstacle due to a law President Barack Obama signed last month, potentially further squeezing Tehran’s economy and exacerbating tensions between the two countries.

When Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act on December 31, a provision required him to freeze any money held by or for Iranian financial institutions in the United States and to prohibit any future transactions.

Jan 15, 2012

Analysis: U.S. sanctions hamper Iran bid to recover $1.75 bln

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iran’s effort to recover some $1.75 billion frozen in a U.S. bank faces a new obstacle due to a law President Barack Obama signed last month, potentially further squeezing Tehran’s economy and exacerbating tensions between the two countries.

When Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act on December 31, a provision required him to freeze any money held by or for Iranian financial institutions in the United States and to prohibit any future transactions.

Jan 14, 2012

Attorney General to speak on voting rights in South Carolina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General Eric Holder plans to deliver a speech on voting rights on Monday at a Martin Luther King holiday rally in South Carolina, a state where just weeks ago his Justice Department blocked a new voter identification law.

Holder plans to attend a rally sponsored by the civil rights group National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the state capitol building in Columbia, S.C., according to a statement from the NAACP.

Jan 13, 2012

U.S. judge backs multiple rifle sales reporting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday refused to block new federal rules requiring gun dealers in four states bordering Mexico to report the sales of multiple semi-automatic rifles, a victory for the Obama administration.

The administration issued the reporting requirements last year despite opposition from the gun industry as part of a stepped-up effort to clamp down on the weapons flowing across the border to violent drug cartels in Mexico.

Jan 12, 2012

Justice Department backs legality of Obama appointments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama was within his constitutional authority when he made recess appointments to two agencies, even though the U.S. Senate was holding periodic pro forma sessions, the Justice Department said in a legal opinion released on Thursday.

The opinion follows furious complaints from Senate Republicans who said Obama sidestepped the Senate confirmation process to install a new chief at the recently established U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with three members of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

Jan 6, 2012

U.S. widens definition of rape crimes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials are expanding the definition of rape to include men as well as women and any victim who is unable to give consent or who is violated with an object, long-sought changes aimed at collecting more accurate data about the sex crime.

The first major revision of the term in more than 80 years comes in the wake of high-profile sexual assault cases and follows years of pressure from women’s rights and gay advocacy groups to broaden the definition. The Obama administration announced the revision on Friday.

Jan 6, 2012

White House mum over possible appointment legal advice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday refused to say whether lawyers at the U.S. Justice Department gave the green light to President Barack Obama’s controversial appointments to two agencies but experts said the department almost certainly did provide advice.

The department’s Office of Legal Counsel advises the president and government agencies. In the past, it has issued guidance about the constitutionality of so-called recess appointments that are done when the Senate is away.

Jan 4, 2012

Analysis: Obama consumer chief decision under a legal cloud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could become entangled in a legal battle over its legitimacy, though history and the Constitution appear to favor him, experts said.

The White House said on Wednesday Obama would use his constitutional authority to install Cordray while Congress was not in session, drawing anger and criticism from rival Republicans who insisted Congress was not in formal recess.

Dec 30, 2011

Virginia to print, mail ballots despite Perry suit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Virginia plans to print and mail absentee ballots for its upcoming Republican presidential primary with just two contenders listed, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, a state official said on Friday, despite a court challenge from Rick Perry.

Texas Governor Perry sued Virginia election officials after he did not get the required verified signatures from voters, arguing the state’s qualification process limits voters’ access to the candidates of their choosing.

Dec 28, 2011

Analysis: U.S. online poker ruling at risk in future

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While the Internet poker world salivates at the prospect of its business coming back to life thanks to an Obama administration ruling, a future president could reverse that decision and send the industry back to drawing board if it is not codified into law.

Late on Friday, the eve of Christmas weekend, the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion stating that the 1961 Wire Act prohibited online betting only for sporting events and contests, not Internet games such as poker or lotteries.

    • About Jeremy

      "Legal correspondent. Previously has covered the White House, U.S. political campaigns, Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. economy. Launched and directed the "Tales from the Trail: 2008" Reuters campaign blog, the predecessor to Reuters' "Front Row Washington" blog."
      Joined Reuters:
      1999
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