April 20, 2011  nº 1.032 -  Vol. 9


"Twitter: A place where you discover that people you once respected can't even spell."

Steven Winterburn

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Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

EU to investigate net-neutrality concerns

The European Union is to investigate whether ISPs - internet service providers are providing fair access to online services. It may lead to new rules banning ISPs from restricting access to data-heavy services during peak periods. ISPs argue that traffic management is key to maintaining a quality service. However, the EU's announcement falls short of the demands of net-neutrality campaigners, who want all traffic to be treated equally. The investigation will cover both mobile and fixed providers and will be published by the end of the year. Announcing the action, the EU's commissioner for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, said: "I am absolutely determined that everyone in the EU should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of an open and lawful internet, without hidden restrictions or slower speeds than they have been promised. "The Commission has asked the Berec - Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications to undertake a rigorous fact-finding exercise on issues crucial to ensuring an open and neutral internet." She added that the investigation will also ask businesses and consumers to highlight shortcomings, and if the findings indicate "outstanding problems" they will assess further measures.

Hungary votes in new constitution

Hungary's parliament has voted in favor of a new constitution which ends the transition from a totalitarian to a democratic system. Two of the three opposition parties walked out of parliament before the vote. They accuse the governing Fidesz party of imposing divisive right-wing ideology on the country. The votes - 262 in favour to 44 against with one abstention - reflect the two-thirds majority enjoyed by Fidesz. A storm of applause erupted from the benches of the governing party, followed by the Hungarian national anthem, once the result was declared. The opposition far-right party Jobbik voted against the constitution. The Socialist and Green parties walked out of the chamber before voting began. The authors of the constitution call it a basic law for the 21st century. One article limiting the size of the national debt has won international praise. More controversial is the preamble, which stresses Hungary's Christian roots. Other criticisms include limits to the authority of the constitutional court and a reduction in the number of parliamentary ombudsmen. A paragraph on the protection of the unborn child has the potential to open the way to limits on abortion. The new constitution is the latest and most spectacular in a series of laws, which the government has rushed through since election a year ago. The government insists these strengthen Hungarian democracy. Opponents say democracy is being steadily undermined.

House files motion to defend federal marriage law

The Republican-led US House of Representatives filed a motion Monday with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act. This follows the Obama administration's February announcement that it would no longer defend the law's constitutionality. The motion, which purports to be unopposed by the plaintiffs and by the US DOJ - Department of Justice seeks to instate the House as a defendant for the limited purpose of defending DOMA's constitutionality. At issue is whether Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, violates the Fifth Amendment's due process and equal protection requirements. Former solicitor general Paul Clement filed the motion and is expected to lead the House's defense.

The role of the ECJ Case-Law

The Max-Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, the PwC Chair in Tax Law of the Catholic University of Louvain and the Tax Institute of the University of Liège are pleased to invite you to the Congress on European Tax Law : "Beyond Discrimination : The role of the ECJ Case-Law in the International Division of Taxing Powers in Direct Taxation" that will be held on 19-20 May 2011 in Brussels. For additional information and registration, please click here.

Visit our 'Magic Eye' page and boost your career

Migalhas International, with the support of executive search firms, brings the best career and professional development opportunities to its readers. We call this service the "Magic Eye". Click here to go to our special webpage and find your next lease on life.

  • Crumbs

1 - Apple sues Samsung, says stop copying us - click here.

2 - International judge rules against lawyers' wigs - click here.

3 - Justice, head of state Napolitano: "We are reaching a very dangerous limit" - click here.

4 - Top court hears Microsoft appeal on i4i patent - click here.

5 - Seeking execution drug, states cut legal corners - click here.

6 - Christian Louboutin strikes again - click here.

7 - Nicolas Cage arrested, then bailed out by Dog the Bounty Hunter - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China accelerates Yuan push

China is accelerating efforts to push its currency deeper into world markets, racing ahead with moves toward a new financial ecosystem with the yuan at its center.

Chinese human rights lawyer freed

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong is released and allowed to return home after two months in police custody.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Demanda

La petrolera canadiense Alange Energy Corp, reconocida en Colombia por tener 12 bloques de producción y exploración de hidrocarburos en 4 cuencas nacionales, fue demandada ante el Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Ontario, Canadá, por inflar sus cifras de producción.

Venta

La española Acciona vendió su participación de 50% en las chilenas Concesionaria Autopista Vespucio Sur, Sociedad Concesionaria Litoral Central y Operación y Logística de Infraestructura a su socia italiana Atlantia por US$ 655,8 mlls., incluyendo su deuda.

Inversiones

Duratex invertirá US$ 757,9 mlls., en los próximos 5 años para la construcción de dos nuevas plantas de MDF - Medium Density Fiberboard, en Brasil, con recursos propios y de terceros.

Panamá – EE.UU.

En el próximo 28 de abril el presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli, será recibido por su homólogo estadounidense Barack Obama. El tema principal del encuentro será el TLC - Tratado de Libre Comercio entre ambas naciones, que sería ratificado por el Congreso de Estados Unidos durante los próximos 90 días.

  • Brief News

Microsoft patent case may not compute with high court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday seemed reluctant to make it easier to challenge the validity of patents. At the same time, some justices raised concerns about too many "bad" patents in the marketplace and a federal patent office too overwhelmed "to separate the sheep from the goats," in the words of justice Stephen Breyer.

Technology — and action — emphasized as tools to improve legal education

Legal educators are not known for embracing innovation and new teaching techniques, but some law professors are pushing for change amid a tight law job market and pressure for schools to produce practice-ready young attorneys.

Italy court acquits 4 big banks in Parmalat collapse case

An Italian court in Milan on Monday acquitted four banks charged with failing to have adequate steps to prevent the 2003 Parmalat SpA dairy empire crash. Parmalat collapsed under 14bn euros in debt and is the largest corporate collapse in Europe. Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and BOA - Bank of America were all acquitted of an administrative charge for failing to have adequate procedures in place to prevent the fraud that led to the collapse. Last year, former executives were convicted on criminal fraud charges. The banks argued that they too were victims of Parmalat's fraud and committed no wrongdoing. The prosecutors had sought to confiscate 120m euro from the banks in damages and penalties.

'Wikileaks' soldier Bradley Manning moved to new prison

The US soldier accused of leaking a trove of secret government documents later published by the Wikileaks website is to be moved to a military prison in Kansas. Bradley Manning has been held pending court martial at a Marine Corps base in Virginia. His transfer comes amid international concern over his treatment. His supporters say he has been confined to a cell for 23 hours a day and forced regularly to undress. Last week, UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez said US officials had blocked his requests for unmonitored visits to Pte Manning, in part aimed at determining whether he had been mistreated.

Syria to lift state of emergency

Syria's government passes a law to lift the decades-old state of emergency - but the interior minister urges people to refrain from taking part in rallies.

Yemen: UN Security Council fails to reach agreement

UN Security Council members have called for restraint and dialogue between protesters and authorities in Yemen. But the Council's first talks on the crisis ended in New York without an agreed public statement, with diplomats saying Russia objected. The Yemeni leader, who has been in power for more than three decades, has said he is willing to hand over power, but only to "safe hands".

Chernobyl shield fund falls short

An international conference called to raise funds for new safety measures at the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster falls 25% short of its goal.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes 'birther' bill

The governor of Arizona has vetoed a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove US citizenship in order to get on the state's election ballot. Republican Jan Brewer said the bill would have allowed officials to judge who is eligible to run for office. A lingering "birther" conspiracy theory asserts Obama was not born in the US and is thus ineligible to hold the office. But the bill's Republican backers insisted it was not aimed at  Obama. The Arizona legislature was the first to pass such a law.

Former bank boss guilty of fraud in US

The former head of a company that was once one of the largest US mortgage lenders has been convicted of fraud. Lee Farkas, ex-chairman of Taylor, Bean and Whitaker, was found guilty on all 14 counts he faced. The company's 2009 collapse caused the loss of 2,000 jobs and the failure of Colonial Bank, the sixth-biggest bank failure in US history. Prosecutors said Colonial and two other banks were cheated out of $2.9bn. Farkas was convicted by a federal jury in Virginia of bank fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and other counts.

UN rights expert urges Algeria to guarantee freedom of expression

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression Frank LaRue on Tuesday called on Algeria to "guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression" including decriminalizing defamation. LaRue noted that, despite significant progress since the 1990s, which saw more than 100 journalists killed, a number of challenges remain. LaRue highlighted that the television and radio sectors remain under government control and do not provide unbiased coverage. He also cautioned that the restrictive legal framework continues to impair important rights including peaceful assembly.

Tunisia court drops charges in case that triggered protests across Middle East

A Tunisian court on Tuesday dropped charges against a police officer who incited protests in several Arab countries when she allegedly slapped a local fruit vendor. Police woman Fedia Hamdi was accused of slapping Mohamed Bouazizi in December in a dispute during which Bouazizi's cart was confiscated after he was allegedly found without a permit. As a result of the encounter, Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the governor's office on December 17 and died three weeks later. Pro-democracy protesters generally discontented with unemployment, corruption and repression staged several demonstrations following Bouazizi's death. The mother of the late vendor withdrew her complaint against Hamdi, and the Sidi Bouzid Court of First Instance subsequently dismissed the case.

Former Egypt officials charged with corruption

Egyptian prosecutors charged former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former finance minister Yousef Boutros and former interior minister Habib el Adly with corruption on Sunday. The charges stem from allegations that the three former officials, all of which served under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, granted a no-bid contract to a German businessman to sell license plates in Egypt. The deal is alleged to have wasted US$15m of public funds by paying more for the plates than market price. The businessman has also been charged. Nazif is already in prison, Adly is facing separate corruption charges and Boutros has left the country. The trial date has not been set. The charges come amid a wider effort by the ruling Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to dismantle the vestiges of Mubarak's government. The High Administrative Court on Saturday ordered the dissolution of Mubarak's former ruling party. The court also liquidated the party's assets.

Google faces new demands in Netherlands over Street View 

Google Inc. faces fines of as much as €1m ($1.4m) from Dutch authorities if it fails to comply with a new set of data-protection demands linked to Street View, the highest penalty so far in connection with the controversial service. The Dutch Data Protection Authority said that Google collected the Media Access Control address—a unique numerical code, known as MAC, assigned to each piece of hardware that connects to the Internet—of more than 3.6 million WiFi routers as the search giant photographed Dutch streets for its Street View application.

Supreme Court skeptical in climate change suit  

Both conservative and liberal justices gave a chilly reception to state governments that are suing electric utilities over emissions that contribute to global warming. The justices questioned whether a federal judge could deal with the complex issue.

Nice work if you can get it  

Irving Picard, the trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy case, asked a judge to pay him and his law firm $43.2m for four months of work, The trustee said he has recovered more than $7.6bn for investors in the Ponzi scheme against fees of $175.5m since Madoff's arrest.

Scope of diplomatic immunity challenged in lawsuit against Lebanese ambassador

The attorney for a former housekeeper to the Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. is challenging the scope of diplomatic immunity laws, arguing that domestic work is outside of commercial activities relating to diplomatic responsibilities that are protected against litigation.

Apple sues Samsung for patent infringement

Apple filed suit Friday claiming that the Samsung "Galaxy" line of products copies its iPhone and iPad technology. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, includes 10 patent infringement charges, two trademark violations, two trade dress violations and accusations of unjust enrichment and unfair business practices. The complaint describes various physical and software features that are trademarked to Apple and are copied by Samsung, including the slim profile of the phones and the application icons. Samsung representatives have vowed to defend against the suit and protect their intellectual property. Apple is seeking actual and punitive damages and an injunction to stop Samsung's alleged intellectual property violations.

Buffett and Sokol sued over trading in Lubrizol shares

The complaint asks the court to disgorge David Sokol's trading profits in Lubrizol and to award damages because of the damage done to Berkshire Hathaway's goodwill.

Heirloom litigation

In what attorneys have called the "World Cup" of probate litigation, Washington is the latest jurisdiction to be drawn into the 16-year fight over the multimillion-dollar estate of DHL Worldwide Express founder Larry Hillblom.

  • Daily Press Review

Islamists protest Coptic governor
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UN mulls over crackdown in Yemen
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Brother of Afghan CIA bomber arrested in Jordan
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

500 refugees fleeing Libya arrive in Italy
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Government fact-finding mission shows 846 killed in Egypt uprising
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

EGYPT: Silence shrouds new security agency
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Amnesty: Israeli held in Egypt for 12 years with no trial
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

New post-election riots kill 'many' in Nigeria
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Washington Post: US has been financing Syrian opposition for years
Sana, Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus, Syria

SPA - Saudi Press Agency starts transmission for Wednesday, Jumada Al-Awwal 16, 1432 H. / April 20, 2011
Saudi News Agency, Official news service, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Britain's Cameron scorns Brown for IMF chief
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Yemen protesters injure 14 soldiers
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Commission: Mubarak complicit in shootings
CNN International, London, England

Cover up with style, Nigella Lawson
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Parcel bomb sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two prominent fans
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Doctor Who star Elisabeth Sladen, 63, dies after cancer battle
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Yemeni protesters renew efforts to oust Saleh
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

SYRIA: Syria lifts emergency law, sets new curbs on protests
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

German photographer enters Istanbul's art sphere
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Greece made to pay for debt loan
Independent The, London, England

McCarthy report to be published
Irish Times The, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Court rules against Navalny over Rosneft minutes
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Migrants turn Moscow into Europe's biggest city
Moscow Times The, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Egypt report cites Mubarak culpability, excessive force against protesters
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

BP spill: Permanent damage fears a year on
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

36,000 face losing place at university because of GBP 9,000 tuition fees
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Some NY cab drivers to wear bulletproof vests
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Groups oppose public gathering bill
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Banks must urgently strengthen cyber security
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Former Telecom exec involved in breach of Commerce Act now heading MED telco unit
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Cameron steps up fight against electoral reform
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Plane carrying Michelle Obama aborts landing after mistake
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Bhushans get two prime plots from Mayawati govt for a song
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Five-year-old boy, Karnit Shah, kidnapped in Mumbai traced in UP
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Ex-NZer jailed for killing husband
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Foreign donors, Cambodian officials meet over development aid dialogue
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Australian teacher accused of tying up student
Sify News, Chennai, India

Chinese student's last moments witnessed on webcam
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Liberals could still govern if Harper wins minority: Ignatieff
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

US deports 1,066 Dominicans in the past six months
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

CUBA: Raúl Castro proposes change from within socialist system
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Partisan judges, how the Supreme Court runs our livesóand why it should be an election issue
Maclean's, Centrist newsmagazine, Toronto, Canada

'Maxi' drivers want more police patrols
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Charlie Sheen loses court battle for kids: Report
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

GNA workers asked to call off strike
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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