May 11, 2011  nº 1,039 -  Vol. 9


"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
"

Martha Graham

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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

Federal appeals court urged to block Oklahoma Islamic law ban

The ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union and the CAIR - Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday asked the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to uphold a lower court ruling that blocked an Oklahoma constitutional amendment banning courts from considering international or Islamic law. Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, State Question 755 (SQ 755), last November with 70% of the vote. The ACLU and CAIR filed suit on behalf of Oklahoma citizen Muneer Awad, who argued that the ban would invalidate part of his will, which is partially rooted in Islamic Sharia Law, and a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued a temporary injunction. The groups argued that the amendment should be permanently enjoined.

Appellate Court hears defense of health law

The Obama administration opened its appellate defense of the 2010 health care act on Tuesday before three randomly selected judges who each had been appointed by Democratic presidents, including two named by president Obama himself. The 14 members of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the first appellate court to review the law, are evenly divided as appointees of Democratic and Republican presidents. That puts the odds of drawing three Democratic appointees in the computerized lottery at roughly 10 to 1. Lawyers do not learn the makeup of the panel until the day of the hearing. The party of the appointing president is not necessarily predictive of a federal judge's leanings. But in five decisions in lower courts, three Democratic-appointed judges have upheld the Affordable Care Act while two Republican-appointed judges have ruled that its central provision — the requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance — is unconstitutional.

ACLU asks court to reconsider whistleblower secrecy ruling

Three advocacy groups challenging the secrecy provisions that often keep whistleblower suits confidential for years want a federal appeals court in Richmond to revisit its dismissal of a case that sought to open up False Claims Act litigation to greater scrutiny.

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 new ‘Magic Eye' page and boost your career

Migalhas International brings the best career and professional development opportunities to its readers. We call this service the "Magic Eye". Michael Page specializes in the placement of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim executive positions within client companies around the world, particularly in the legal area. Have a look at the new section of the Migalhas website and discover the professional development opportunities with large corporations, in legal and business fields, presented by Michael Page International. So, before you open the door to the boardroom, click here and peek through the keyhole!

  • Crumbs

1 - A worrying case of police excess - click here.

2 - Europe's highest courts can be annoying, but they do more good than harm - click here.

3 - Legal industry adds 1,500 jobs, demand for legal services increases - click here.

4 - Rolls-Royce must lower the $3.7bn in damages sought in a patent lawsuit - click here.

5 - Apple, HP, Aruba accused by Linex of infringing Wi-Fi patents - click here.

6 - 'Spy' novelist spared treatment - click here.

7 - The high price of internal inquiries - click here.

8 - Berlusconi slams judges at bribery trial - click here.

9 - Man remanded for stealing police teddy bear - click here.

10 - Canada new breeding ground for cyber crime - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Clinton condemns China on rights

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticised China's crackdown on dissent as "a fool's errand", saying Beijing is trying to halt history. She also called the nation's human rights record "deplorable". She defended US dealings with Beijing, saying: "We live in the real world."

Chinese babies 'confiscated for overseas adoption'

China is investigating reports that about 20 babies were seized under the country's one-child-per-family policy and put up for international adoption. Chinese media say family planning officials in Hunan province took the children from poor homes unable to pay fines for having more than one child. The children were allegedly listed as orphans and adopted by foreigners for fees of about $3,000 each. Xinhua news agency said some were now in the US, the Netherlands and Poland.

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  • Historia Verdadera

YPF

La petrolera YPF encontró crudo no convencional en Neuquén, Argentina. El hallazgo "significa casi un 35% de las reservas de YPF en petróleo", dijo su presidente Sebastián Eskenazi. YPF estima perforar 17 nuevos pozos y fracturar otros 14 en 2011, lo que supone una inversión de US$ 270 mlls.

Préstamo

La Agencia Francesa de Desarrollo concedió un préstamo de US$ 250 mlls., a Colombia para financiar un proyecto de tranvía en Medellín.

Trabas

Uruguay presentó a sus socios en el Mercosur un proyecto de decisión para que cada vez que un Estado parte tome o modifique medidas no arancelarias -como licencias o cuotas- deba avisar a los demás con 15 días de antelación. La medida fue asumida ante innumerables denuncias de los empresarios ante las medidas restrictivas de Argentina.

  • Brief News

Obama calls for immigration system reform

Obama has called for broad reform of the US immigration system, while highlighting steps he has taken to strengthen border security. He backed a path to legal status for illegal immigrants, as well as crackdowns on employers who hire illegal workers. He called on the fractured Congress to reject "the usual Washington games" and enact a comprehensive overhaul. An estimated 11m illegal immigrants, most of them Hispanic, live in the US.

Plans for LinkedIn's I.P.O. may make few friends

The social networking site is planning to use dual-class stock, which disenfranchises its future shareholders and could become a corporate governance nightmare. The most controversial part of LinkedIn's proposed governance is its use of dual-class stock. Shareholders who purchase stock in the LinkedIn initial public offering will receive Class A shares, which have only one vote apiece. LinkedIn's current shareholders, including LinkedIn's co-founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, will hold Class B shares, which entitles them to 10 votes apiece.

Microsoft dials up change

Microsoft racked up a whopping $8.5b phone bill to buy Skype even though there were no signs of other serious bidders, as the software giant moved aggressively to ramp up its growth. The price tag—three times what Skype fetched 18 months ago—is a sign of just how hungry Microsoft is for growth opportunities—especially in the mobile-phone and Internet markets. Those missed opportunities are increasingly worrisome to Microsoft investors as traditional profit engines, like its Windows software, are showing signs of slowing.

Conviction in foreign bribery case is first in U.S. trial

A jury convicted Lindsey Manufacturing Co., two of its executives and a Mexican sales agent in a bribery case on Tuesday in Los Angeles, marking the first time a company has been convicted at a U.S. trial in a foreign bribery case. Tuesday's conviction marks the first time a company has been convicted at trial for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans the bribery of foreign officials for business purposes. In the law's 34-year history, companies had always pleaded guilty or signed non- or deferred-prosecution agreements with the Justice Department.

SEC weighs in on private-stock law

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said her agency would seek to weigh any potential changes to U.S. stock-offering rules against the SEC's mission to protect investors. The SEC is conducting a broad review of the rules with an eye toward changes that could expand the booming market in private shares of technology firms such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. The agency is considering whether to ease a decades-old requirement that private companies with 500 or more shareholders make lengthy financial disclosures and a rule prohibiting closely held companies from advertising their shares, known as the "general solicitation" ban.

EU sanctions target Syria elite

The EU has imposed an arms embargo on Syria as well as an asset freeze and visa ban on 13 top Syrian officials. President Bashar al-Assad is not included. But the EU said he too could face sanctions if he failed to end the authorities' violent crackdown.

Medvedev backs 'chemical castration'

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev says voluntary "chemical castration" could be a possible punishment for child sex offenders.

Austria court rules Croatia ex-PM can be extradited

The Salzburg Provincial Court ruled on Monday that the extradition of former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader can proceed. Sanader was arrested by Austrian officials in December on charges of abuse of power, corruption and fraud for taking nearly €4m from public firms and state institutions. Counsel for Sanader announced that they would immediately appeal the ruling to the High Provincial Court in Linz and argued that it would be impossible for Sanader to receive a fair trial in Croatia. Croation president Ivo Josipovic said that Sanader would be entitled to a fair trial.

Brazil's Itau ordered to pay damages in Madoff case

Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco Holding SA was ordered by a Sao Paulo state court to pay R$167,700 (US$103,800) to an unidentified person who lost money in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. A representative of Itau's BankBoston unit advised the person to put money in the Fairfield Sentry Fund, which invested with Madoff. Itau declined to comment. 

Most Ponzi schemers run in same crowds as victims

Most Ponzi schemes aren't run by large institutions or big-wheel Wall Street investment advisers.Typically the fraudsters run in the same social circles as the victims, the Washington Post reports. "It is a friend or a fellow Rotarian, your accountant or even the local church deacon putting together that Ponzi scheme," the story says. "He's in your group. You have the same interests. It's almost unimaginable that he would rip you off. It's called ‘affinity fraud.' "

Bahrain king lifts state of emergency

Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa announced on Sunday that the three-month state of emergency put in place in mid-March in response to growing unrest, will be lifted two weeks early. The state of emergency was originally scheduled to expire on June 1. According to the BYSHR - Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, the trial for activists detained during the widespread unrest also started on Sunday. These people face a plethora of charges including terrorism, attempting to violently overthrow the government, insulting the military and participating in unsanctioned rallies. Fourteen of the defendants are in the custody of Bahrani law enforcement, while an additional six remain free. Some commentators allege the early lifting the state of emergency is intended to distract observers from the trial of the opposition activists.

BP gets green light to explore Brazil waters

BP has finally been given permission to start deepwater exploration off the coast of Brazil after having to wait more than a year for approval from the national regulator in the wake of the Macondo well tragedy. The Brazilian ANP - National Petroleum Agency said "BP has shown itself today to be one of the most prepared companies in terms of operational security in deep waters".

Brazil has 150,000 unsolved murders

A Brazilian government agency monitoring the work of prosecutors says more than 150,000 homicide cases remain unresolved in the country's judicial system. Lack of funding for police, an overburdened justice system and the absence of integrated systems of information for law enforcement officials all hinder investigations.

Goldman discloses more subpoenas

The firm said in a regulatory filing that it had received more subpoenas related to Abacus and other collateralized debt obligations that it made during the mortgage boom. Elsewhere, the U.S. regulator for commodities trading threatened Goldman Sachs Group with possible civil-fraud charges over the firm's role in clearing trades for a client.

European Court rejects bid to limit news on celebrities

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg struck down a legal bid to strengthen the privacy protections for public figures.

Siemens' suit against Enzo may proceed, even though patent has expired

A Massachusetts federal judge has denied biotechnology company Enzo Life Sciences Inc.'s motion to dismiss a case against it brought by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. even though Siemens' patent has expired. Siemens is challenging a patent office's appeals board ruling that Enzo invented a DNA-related patent first.

  • Daily Press Review

GCC urges Yemenis to sign pact, welcomes Jordan, Morocco requests to join bloc
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

'Kuwait to replace Syria' for UN body bid
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Give unity deal a chance, Palestinian PM urges
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Bin Laden raid aftermath: Eyewitness account
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

More than 80 killed in S. Sudan violence - army
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Supreme Court convenes to hear Katsav's rape trial appeal
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDDLE EAST: Egyptian activists gear up for third intifada
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

G5+1 talks resumption welcome
Iran Daily, English-language, reformist, Tehran, Iran

Shaath: New Palestinian gov't to be formed in 10 days
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

U.S. expects to interrogate Bin Laden women 'soon'
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Berri warns of consequences of plot against Syria
Sana, Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus, Syria

German power group EON posts weaker Q1 profit
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Japan nuclear crisis under review at 2-month mark
CNN International, London, England

Cheery service means businesses can charge more
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

SYRIA: Syria drops bid for seat on top UN human rights body
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Egypt ex-tourism minister gets 5 years for corruption
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Toyota profit down 52%
Irish Times The, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Tajik Islamic party activist sentenced over wedding video
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

The superinjunction only intensifies the gossip game
Spiked, (Alternative Internet Magazine), London, England

Levi Bellfield trial: a blink of the eye and Milly Dowler was gone
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Prince William and Kate Middleton do honeymoon on private island
WNC News, London, England

Egypt prosecutor extends Mubarak detention - source
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Former Democrat MP quits party
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

US, China spar on rights, take softer tone on economy
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Labour will vote against UFB Bill
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Nato denies leaving migrants to die
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

US hasn't requested access to Osama's family: Islamabad
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

SC stays Ayodhya verdict, calls order to split land 'strange'
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Obama approval hits new high
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Time for Africa to turn hope, optimism into real action
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

WikiLeaks' Assange awarded top Sydney peace prize
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

US: House panel begins work on $553bn defense budget
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Harper to visit Manitoba flood zone
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Cuba announces changes in property, travel rules
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

The U.S. hails the Dominican president's stance on corruption
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Commodities recovery boosts Asian markets
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Japan PM eyes June cabinet reshuffle - report
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Uganda opposition leader 'barred'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Soldiers of 'castle sex tape' found guilty
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

OPT: Aid work delayed by barriers
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

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