April 27, 2011  nº 1.033 -  Vol. 9


"The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action."

Herbert Spencer

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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

Supreme Court hears arguments on corporate freedom of speech

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Sorrell v. IMS Health to determine whether a state law prohibiting prescription drug manufacturers from using data collected from physicians is a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The law in question targets pharmaceutical companies and has the effect of limiting the scope of marketing prescription drugs within the state. Counsel for the petitioner, the state of Vermont, argued that the aim of the law was to protect physician privacy, and that pharmaceutical companies have no right to the data in question. The petitioner also argued that the law does not regulate the content of the advertising, but rather the access the companies have to specific data. Counsel for the respondents argued that the court should avoid an "absolute" rule regarding collection of data, but should rather allow states to address privacy issues through laws with a more narrow scope than the Vermont law. The US argued as amicus curiae on behalf of the petitioners in the case.

France and Italy push for reform of Schengen treaty

The leaders of France and Italy have said Europe's Schengen open-border treaty should be revised. The move by Sarkozy and Berlusconi comes after they met to discuss the recent rise in North African migration to Europe. Italy has angered France by granting visas to thousands of migrants, allowing them to travel across Europe's border-free Schengen zone. About 25,000 migrants have arrived in southern Italy so far during 2011. Many have fled unrest in North Africa, and among them are thousands of Tunisians hoping to join relatives in France. Both Berlusconi and Sarkozy are facing domestic pressure from right-wing parties to curb large-scale immigration. Neither country wants to accommodate the North Africa migrants and both want to ensure the situation is not repeated in the future, says our correspondent, so they are calling on Brussels to resolve the problem. But the treaty took years to negotiate so revising it will not be a simple process.

WikiLeaks releases classified Guantanamo documents

WikiLeaks on Sunday began publishing The Guantanamo Files, a collection of more than 700 classified documents relating to the evidence and treatment of almost all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2008. The documents—detailing things such as the circumstances of detention, the evidence justifying detention, detainee risk evaluations, and the decision process of which detainees to transfer, hold, or release of 758 of the 779 total detainees—were published in part on the WikiLeaks website and released to media outlets. According to the media outlets that have analyzed the documents, they reveal that 220 high value al Qaeda operatives had been held at Guantanamo, in addition to 150 who had been held for years without significant evidence against them. The documents also detailed the practice of US forces detaining people in Afghanistan based on their wearing a particular model of watch that is known to be used by al Qaeda leaders. Additionally, 20 juveniles were held at the detention facility, including Omar Khadr, who was classified as a high value detainee by the Obama administration and agreed to a plea agreement after eight years in detention. The ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union stated that the leaks emphasized the necessity of judicial review.

Hungary president signs new constitution into law amid rights concerns

Hungarian president Pal Schmitt signed into law a controversial new constitution on Monday, amid concern from civil society leaders and opposition politicians that the document contravenes European human rights principles. According to a statement released by HRW - Human Rights Watch, the new constitution "enshrines discrimination," and jeopardizes the rights of people with disabilities, women and LGBT people. The Council of Europe's Venice Commission also released an opinion criticizing the manner in which Hungary went about getting the constitution approved. Although the commission was asked to comment on the constitution prior to its approval, it was unable to do so because it did not get the document in time. The constitution introduces several changes, including a debt ceiling where the country's debt cannot exceed 50 percent of the country's GDP - gross domestic product; a reform of the Fiscal Council, giving the group the right to veto the budget and dissolve parliament for failure to pass an annual budget by the end of March; a definition of marriage as a union between man and woman; and a statement that the life of a fetus begins at and should be protected from conception. The constitution also includes a new preamble, that condemns the communist and socialist climate in Hungary that existed from 1944 to 1990 and solidifies democratization that began 20 years ago.

A Legal Guide to Doing Business in South America

As companies around the world move from the local to the global, lawyers and businesspeople face a myriad of new questions depending on different legal texts and, most importantly, the cultural and legal contexts they encounter. Amid the current financial and economic hardships around the world, South America has increasingly attracted the eyes of the world. While most nations faced recession, South America's estimated GDP growth has increased. This new book, A Legal Guide to Doing Business in South America, edited by Ricardo Barretto Ferreira Da Silva, Paulo Marcos Rodrigues Brancher, and Carla Amaral de Andrade Junqueira Canero,  Editors, discusses the legal environment of 10 major countries. It is published by ABA Book Pulishing. Click here to visit their website.

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 Lie`ge 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 - AGC invests 40 bn yen in production of construction and automotive glass in Brazil - click here.

2 - Mukhtar Mai, Pakistan gang rape victim, fearful after all but one suspect cleared - click here.

3 - Theodora Richards agrees to plea deal - click here.

4 - N.F.L. in limbo as owners try to preserve lockout - click here.

5 - Jimmy the chimpanzee: profile of the 'Cezanne of the Simians' - click here.

6 - An antitrust suit is filed against America's fertility clinics - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China: The 'fastest growing legal market in the world'

China was the second most-popular foreign location for large U.S.-law firms during 2010. According latest surveys by the National law Journal, 70 firms maintained offices in China and had posted 2,055 lawyers there.

China and US to hold rights talks

A delegation from the US is to hold talks in Beijing with Chinese representatives on human rights amid what activists say is an extensive crackdown.

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  • Historia Verdadera

México – Multa

Telcel, la firma de telefonía móvil propiedad de Carlos Slim, impugnará una multa que le fue impuesta por la CFC - Comisión Federal de Competencia que supera los US$ 1.000 mlls.

Minera

La peruana con sede en Londres Hochschild Mining informó que su mina San José, en Argentina, un joint venture entre la firma con el 51% y la canadiense Minera Andes con el 49% restante, paralizó su producción debido a una huelga iniciada por la Asociación Obrera Minera Argentina en reclamo de un incremento de salarios para trabajadores contratados.

Energía

La brasileña Ampla planea invertir US$ 65,4 mlls. adicionales al presupuesto previsto para mejorar la calidad del suministro de electricidad entre 2010 y 2014.

  • Brief News

Sudan to hold Darfur referendum in July

The Sudan NEC - National Elections Commission announced on Sunday that an administrative referendum is set for July 1 for residents to determine whether Darfur should continue to be separated into three states or return to one region. State media indicated that a Republican Decree ordered the NEC to schedule the referendum no later than the July 1 deadline. Sudanese rebel groups objected to scheduling the referendum prior to reaching an agreement in the peace talks in Qatar, which have been ongoing between rebel groups in the region since 2009. The peace talks have produced little progress, and rebels fear that the referendum would eliminate any possibility of reaching a deal. The government stated that it was committed to holding the referendum in July as a result of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Why the fuss over Bernanke's first news conference? 

Everything the head of the Federal Reserve says is a big deal. One off-hand comment can send global markets soaring or plunging. On Wednesday, he's set to hold the first press conference after central bank policy makers meet.

Japan's debt outlook downgraded

Standard & Poor's has cut Japan's sovereign rating outlook to negative saying high reconstruction costs will increase debt.

Groupe Lactalis launches takeover bid for Parmalat

French dairy firm Groupe Lactalis has launched a 3.4bn euro ($4.9bn; £3bn) takeover bid for Italian rival Parmalat. Lactalis says it plans to keep Parmalat, Italy's biggest listed food group, trading on the Milan stock exchange. The company says it will pay 2.6 euros per remaining Parmalat share. Lactalis already owns 29% of Parmalat. Trading in Parmalat shares was suspended ahead of the statement.

Rio anger over favela Google map

Google tells Brazilian media it will amend a map of Rio which city officials say gave too much prominence to shantytowns.

Supreme court rules tribe cannot bring same suit in 2 courts

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 7-1 in United States v. Tohono O'odham Indian Nation that the tribe cannot bring a suit based on the same facts in both federal district court and the CFC - Court of Federal Claims. 28 USC § 1500 provides that the CFC lacks jurisdiction over "any claim for or in respect to which the plaintiff has any suit or process against the US" or its agents "pending in any other court." The Tohono O'odham Nation filed a complaint against the US in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and, one day later, it filed a similar complaint against the US in the CFC. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the CFC's dismissal of the case, concluding "that the Nation's complaint in the Court of Federal Claims seeks relief that is different from the relief sought in its earlier-filed district court action."

UN report accuses Sri Lanka government of war crimes

A UN panel of experts said in a report released Monday that the Sri Lankan government and rebel forces may have committed war crimes during the final stages of the conflict with the LTTE - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed the three-person panel last year to investigate possible human rights violations during the war. Ban said that he decided to release the report to promote transparency and accountability while examining the allegations, despite warnings from the Sri Lankan government that publishing the report could lead to renewed violence in the country.

Court hears arguments on class certification

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Erica P John Fund v. Halliburton. The court will determine whether investor losses need to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence at the class certification stage prior to full discovery in order for the class action lawsuit to proceed. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that this was procedurally proper. The Fifth Circuit also determined that a plaintiff must establish loss causation to invoke the fraud-on-the-market presumption laid out in Basic v. Levinson. Counsel for the petitioner argued that when a court holds at the class certification stage that there is no efficient market, and the issue of efficient market goes to the presumption of reliance, the basis for assuming class-wide reliance is impacted. Further that the Basic reliance presumption can be rebutted at the certification stage. Counsel also explained that loss causation is tested at the pleadings, summary judgment, and trial stages—and "the question is whether a fourth test should be interposed at the class certification stage." Counsel argued that loss causation is a class-wide issue and an element of the merits case, and must be proven at all three stages, but "because it is something that is common for all of the class members, Rule 23 says that is something for trial, not for class certification."

Morocco protesters seek radical constitutional reform

Thousands of Moroccans engaged in peaceful demonstrations Sunday demanding greater reform in the new constitution expected to be unveiled in June by King Mohammed VI. The protesters, led by the Facebook youth movement Fevrier 20 rejected the king's draft of the new constitution because it was written by his own people. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Moroccan cities of Casablanca, Tangiers, Marrakesh and the capital of Rabat. Mohammed has made some concessions since the outbreak of protests last February including the release of political prisoners and the development of a new constitution with greater civil liberties and an independent judiciary. Still, the protesteors Sunday criticized the king's decision to appoint a council to write the new constitution. They also demanded an end to corruption, which they claim has deterred vital foreign investment in the country.

The Rise of the Legal iPad

Lawyers are not known for being early adopters of personal technology. Indeed, many are still clinging to — or weeping over — their WordPerfect software. But some are starting to change. This week, Proskauer Rose, one of the nation's largest law firms, began making iPad 2s available to all its lawyers. So far, 500 of the firm's 700 lawyers have requested an iPad and a desktop computer over a laptop. But Proskauer's initiative is broad — and unusual among large law firms. Many big law firms do not have a similar program, though some have expanded platforms beyond the BlackBerry, so that lawyers can access their e-mail on iPhones. Proskauer's move shows that the firm's partners see a real value in using the iPad. There is an application that allows him to log his "client time" — otherwise known as billable hours — and send it as an e-mail to your assistant, who can then add those hours to the firm's system. The iPad has its limits;  it is difficult to do long documents on it, but you can do editing of documents. Proskauer is equipping its iPads with apps like DocstoGo and Goodreader that allow its lawyers to read and edit PDFs on the road. The iPad, unlike a BlackBerry, gives the reader a full screen to work with, much like a laptop. Lawyers, it seems, are shedding their heavy trial bags in favor of something lighter and certainly hipper. More than 4,000 copies of the iPad app for The American Lawyer magazine have been downloaded to date. And Morrison & Foerster, which represents Apple in patent infringement litigation, began MoFo2Go, a free app for the iPhone and iPad, last March. Proskauer lawyers can also download a free app for the Charles Dickens classic "Bleak House" — which portrays litigation that drags on for years — but perhaps that is not what the partners at the firm had in mind. Going iPad is just the tip of the information and communications revolution soon to transform the legal system.

Gay judge challenged on California marriage ruling

Proponents of California's gay marriage ban on Monday said a judge who struck down the law was biased because he is in a same-sex relationship himself, and that his ruling should be thrown out.

Ex-Air France execs indicted in U.S. for price-fixing

Two former executives of Air France were indicted in Chicago on Tuesday for fixing the prices of air cargo, the U.S. Justice Department said. The indictments were the latest in a long-running price-fixing probe that has ensnared 21 airlines and 21 executives. Marc Boudier, former executive vice president of the cargo division of Air France, and Jean Charles Foucault, former vice president of the cargo division of sales and marketing of Air France, face charges of conspiring with other air cargo carriers and their executives to push up prices, the department said. The two men participated in the conspiracy from at least August 2004 to February 2006, the department said, citing the indictment.

  • Daily Press Review

Egypt gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan blown up by saboteurs
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Syrian troops flood Damascus suburb
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Egypt minister pleads not guilty over protester deaths
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Gaddafi forces dig in around Brega oil town - rebel
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Thousands of doctors descend on Jerusalem to protest public health salaries
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

OPEC supplies disputed
Iran Daily, English-language, reformist, Tehran, Iran

A bid to smuggle arms from Lebanon to Syria foiled
Sana, Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus, Syria

The task of military mission in Libya is not to assassinate Qaddafi, U.S. says
Saudi News Agency, Official news service, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

French hostages plead for freedom in Qaeda video
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

UN team to probe abuses in Libya
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Tibetan exiles elect PM to take over Dalai Lama's role
CNN International, London, England

TERRORISM: AQIM releases video of French hostages
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Insurers breached data rules
Irish Times The, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Putin demands action on fuel shortages - but edicts may mask the problem
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Russian police accused over dead lawyer
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Explosion hits Tripoli
WNC News, London, England

US supports Indonesia's role in trying to solve Thailand-Cambodia conflict
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Soldiers wounded in South bombing
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

More gunfire, arrests in Syria crackdown
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

N.Korea 'has far more prisons than previously believed'
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Nato bombs hit Qadhafi's office
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Magnitude 5.3 quake hits off Chile, no damage
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

CWG scam: OC vigilance officers computer tampered with, data erased
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Train overturns in Taiwan, at least five dead
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

3 ISAF soldiers killed in blasts
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

Egyptian PM vows backing for GCC countries
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Study: Some happy states have high suicide rates
Sify News, Chennai, India

Credit Suisse sees first quarter profit drop
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Submarine firm develops new glass design to help reach bottom of ocean
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

LG Electronics posts second straight quarterly loss
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Dominican lawmakers will again mull beach access law
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

BOLIVIA: The boomerang effect for Morales
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Tunisian women hold tight to rights after revolution
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Mel Gibson breaks silence on domestic violence scandal
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

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