May 18, 2011  nº 1,042 -  Vol. 9

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

Bertrand Russell


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  • Top News

Pressure mounts on Strauss-Kahn to resign

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is "not in a position to run" the International Monetary Fund after his arrest over an alleged sexual assault, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said. The International Monetary Fund should appoint an interim leader, he says. Since Strauss-Kahn's arrest last Saturday, his deputy John Lipsky has been serving as acting managing director of the global lending agency. Washington has a major say in determining who runs the IMF, because it has the largest number of votes in the organization. Emerging economies are expected to battle hard for the top job at the IMF. That could pit the fast-growing markets of Asia and Latin America against Europe. Developing countries are seeking more influence on the world stage as their economic clout increases. China is the biggest new IMF bondholder. Its huge financial contribution in 2008 effectively tripled the size of the IMF's lending power during the financial crisis.

ACLJ appeals dismissal of health care reform lawsuit

The ACLJ - American Center for Law and Justice Tuesday is seeking reinstatement of its dismissed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law. The ACLJ filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the court to reverse a lower court decision to dismiss the lawsuit last February, and enjoin the enforcement of the the part of the health reform law known as the PPACA - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The brief argues PPACA's mandate that individual citizens purchase and maintain health insurance is unconstitutional because it is beyond Congress' power under the Commerce Clause.

Prosecutors urge transfer of international criminals to tribunals

Prosecutors from six world criminal courts released a joint statement Sunday urging the continued support and cooperation of the international community in aiding special tribunals in the prosecution of international criminals. The Sixth Colloquium of International Prosecutors took place over two days in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and included international prosecutors from the ICC - International Criminal Court, the ICTY - International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the SCSL - Special Court for Sierra Leone, the ICTR - International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the ECCC - Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the STL - Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Prosecutors addressed the need for cooperation from states in transferring fugitives to the international courts and tribunals before they close and thus lose the ability to prosecute suspects.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Apple, Facebook, Google to face up over privacy - click here.

2 - Ex-Pr. George's executive Jack Johnson scheduled for plea deal hearing - click here.

3 - High Court rebuffs alleged torture victims in secrecy case - click here.

4 - Kerry Campbell, mom who injected 8-year-old daughter with Botox, loses custody of child - click here.

5 - Sienna Miller decides her privacy is worth $162,000 - click here.

6 - N.Y. judge remands IMF chief in custody - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China set to face energy crunch

China starts rationing electricity to try and stave off an energy shortage that government officials say could be the worst since 2004.


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  • Historia Verdadera

Panamá - TLC

El Ministro de Comercio e Industrias, Roberto Henríquez, informó que el viceministro de Negociaciones Comerciales Internacionales, Francisco Álvarez De Soto, completó el lunes una misión oficial a Suiza para iniciar negociaciones comerciales con los países miembros de la EFTA - Asociación Europea de Libre Comercio y suscribir un tratado de libre comercio.


El presidente de Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, firmó un memorando de entendimiento con el consorcio inglés K Group Inc. para hacer los estudios de factibilidad de un proyecto de ferrocarril interoceánico en el país.


Petrobras suscribió un contrato con la firma de telecomunicaciones del gobierno Telebrás para el alquiler de 2.000 kilómetros de fibras ópticas, que se extienden entre Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro y Belo Horizonte y pueden interconectar 700 ciudades. El acuerdo se estima sea por un valor de mensual de US$ 57,9373.

  • Brief News

Copyright law digital makeover

A review of the UK's copyright laws offers reforms but not the radical overhaul demanded by some. It was requested by the prime minister following concerns that they were outdated for the internet age. The review recommends legalizing the practice of copying music and films. It also seeks to relax the rules around so-called transformative works - parodies or other re-workings of existing content. And it calls for the setting up of a new agency to mediate between those wanting to license music, film and other digital content and rights owners. Prof Hargreaves, of Cardiff University, said: "My recommendations set out how the intellectual property framework can promote innovation and economic growth in the UK economy.

Schwarzenegger had secret child

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledges he fathered a child with a member of his household staff more than 10 years ago. Even away from the spotlight, lots of married men stray. But people in public life have a combination of opportunity and sense of self-worth that may make them especially likely to dally.

France's 'macho' culture

France also grappled Tuesday with the longtime public attitude of tolerance and sexual secrecy for French politicians, something dubbed in France the "sexual exception." In France, it's long been accepted that the media do not intrude into the private lives of public figures. French privacy laws are among the strictest in the world, and the French have long prided themselves on not prying into what politicians get up to in the bedroom - unlike the British and the Americans. Until now, most French people would have found it distasteful for journalists to report on politicians' extra-marital affairs. French rulers' sexual indulgences go back centuries. The French president's current residence in Paris, the Élysée Palace, was bought by Louis XV to house his mistress the Marquise de Pompadour. The republics of the 20th century codified the separation between church and state, leading to a broader distinction between private and public life. Though postwar presidents such as Charles de Gaulle are thought to have been restrained in their private lives, in the 1970s French politicians enthusiastically embraced the sexual revolution—while exercising their right to privacy. Former President François Mitterrand had a child out of wedlock, which the press kept quiet about until after his death. His successor Jacques Chirac was widely known for his fondness for women. When asked about his love life during a recent documentary Chirac paused for several seconds before describing it as "reasonable." Sarkozy's presidency also has signaled a more open style. When his second wife left him shortly after he was elected in 2007, he took Carla Bruni, now his third wife, on dates to Disneyland, surrounded by media cameras. He discussed these dates at news conferences and released photos of her diamond engagement ring. "It's clear that the barriers between private and public life are falling." But an article in Liberation says France is now experiencing its first "Anglo-Saxon" sex scandal, and has brutally entered a zone of public debate which until now - because of cultural exception, "Latin" identity or democratic weakness - was "confined to rumours and gossip among a select circle of insiders".

Fees to clean up Madoff fraud top $318m

The court-appointed trustee and others seeking money for Bernard Madoff's customers were paid $318.4m through the end of March -- more than the sum available to be paid out to the victims. Trustee Irving Picard said he has reached agreements to recover more than $7.6bn, but lawsuits have tied up all but $272m. Of the $318.4m in fees and expenses, nearly half, $148.9m, has gone to the law firm Baker & Hostetler, where Picard works as a partner. Another $152.5m has been used to pay consultants. Picard's own fees and expenses total $3.59m. Other fees, expenses and taxes comprised the rest. The trustee also said in the filing that he has evaluated all but five of the 16,518 claims filed by former customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. He said he approved roughly 15% of these claims, totaling $6.9bn.

Buying start-ups to hire the staff

Some tech companies want talent so desperately, they are taking over start-ups for their founders and engineers, and shutting down whatever it was they made.

German boardrooms lack women. Can quotas help? 

Not one of Germany's top 100 companies has a female CEO, and women make up only 2.2% of their executive boards. Some businesswomen and legislators have proposed a quota system to remedy the imbalance, but some feel Germany's corporate culture isn't ready to join countries like France in embracing quotas.

US pilots avoid jail in fatal Brazil air collision case

A Brazilian judge has sentenced two US pilots in absentia to four years and four months for their role in a fatal air crash over the Amazon in 2006. Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino had not checked that equipment transmitting their position and altitude was working, Judge Murilo Mendes said. But he commuted their sentences to community service in the US.

Airbus has 'no concerns' over Air France crash

Airbus has reportedly reassured airlines over the safety of its A330 jet after an early reading of data from an Air France jet that crashed in 2009. The plane manufacturer told them it had no new safety recommendations after seeing flight recorder data, sources close to the inquiry said. But French accident investigators have cautioned against blaming pilot error.

Mexico: 500 migrants found in trucks

More than 500 illegal migrants have been discovered crammed into the trailers of two trucks heading from Mexico towards the US. The 513 migrants, from Latin America and Asia, were were found travelling in "inhumane" conditions, police said. The discovery, made in Mexico's southern Chiapas state, is one of the biggest cases of suspected human trafficking.   

Russian prosecutors demand action over ambulance abuses

Paramedics working in league with undertakers are among abuses reported by Russian prosecutors in a report on emergency healthcare violations. The chief prosecutor's office said abuses of the free ambulance service existed across the country and it called for tighter monitoring. People in some areas needed permission to summon assistance, it found. In one city, undertakers turned up instead of an ambulance at the home of a seriously ill patient.

Latest Facebook case rejected

The latest attempt by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to re-open their case against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been rejected. They had asked the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to reconsider its April ruling upholding the $65m settlement from 2008. The twins say that Facebook concealed information and they should have received more Facebook shares.

Toyota to face claims from owners after US court ruling

Toyota car owners in the US can pursue claims that the carmaker caused the value of their vehicle to fall, a federal judge has ruled. The owners argue they have suffered economic losses because Toyota did not disclose or fix defects that made their cars accelerate suddenly. Toyota had made a motion for the lawsuits to be dismissed but a US judge has allowed the claims to move ahead.

Hate crimes against LGBT people rise worldwide

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned Tuesday that hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people are on the rise worldwide, marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Pillay said that statistics show that homophobic-based crimes are on the rise around the world, urging that states act to stop this trend.

Rwanda genocide tribunal convicts ex-military chief Bizimungu, 3 others

The ICTR - International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday convicted former Rwandan army chief Augustin Bizimungu and three others involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Bizimungu was sentenced to 30 years in prison while two others, Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Innocent Sagahutu, to 20 years in prison and Augustin Ndindiliyimana to time served since his arrest in 2000. Bizimungu was found guilty on six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity for murder, extermination and rape in addition of violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Germany prosecutors appeal release of convicted Nazi death camp guard Demjanjuk

German prosecutors said Monday they are appealing a German court's decision to release Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk after he was convicted of helping murder thousands during the Holocaust. Last Thursday, a German court in Munich found the 91-year-old Demjanjuk guilty of assisting in the murder of nearly 28,000 Jews while serving as a guard at the Sobibor death camp. He was sentenced to five years in prison, less than the six years sought by the prosecution. But Judge Ralph Alt ordered his release because of his advanced age and because the verdict is not final. Appeals could take another year or more. With no surviving witnesses, Demjanjuk was convicted based on wartime documents as prosecutors proved he was guilty because he worked at the death camp.

Supreme Court rules on exception to whistleblower law

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-3 in Schindler Elevator Corp. v. US ex rel. Kirk that a written response to a Freedom of Information Act request is a "report" within the exception to a federal whistleblower law. Daniel Kirk brought a qui tam suit under the FCA - False Claims Act alleging that his former employer Schindler Elevator had submitted hundreds of false claims under its federal contracts after he learned of the false claims from documents his wife received from a FOIA request. The Civil War-era FCA authorizes private citizens, dubbed qui tam relators, to sue on behalf of the US accusing federal contractors of fraudulent claims against the government. However, the FCA public disclosure bar forecloses qui tam suits "based upon the public disclosure of allegations or transactions ... in a congressional, administrative, or Government Accounting Office report, hearing, audit, or investigation." The five-justice majority opinion by Clarence Thomas held that the written response to the FOIA request met the definition of report, thus precluding Kirk from bringing his qui tam suit. The court found that the ordinary meaning of the term "report" supported including the FOIA response.

Supreme Court allows warrantless search when exigency is created by police

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled 8-1 in Kentucky v. King that the exigent circumstances rule applies when the police do not act or threaten to act in a way that violates the Fourth Amendment. The case involved a situation where police smelled marijuana outside an apartment door and then knocked on the door announcing their presence. When they heard sounds consistent with the destroying of evidence, they kicked down the door and saw, in plain view, the occupants attempting to destroy the drugs.

Daily Press Review

Tanks storm south Syria city and activists call for general strike in new tactic
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dorothy Parvaz is free
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Ignorance is not bliss in diabetes treatment and care
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Fatah, Hamas agree mechanism for unity deal
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Egypt military council says it has no plans to pardon Mubarak
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

EU divided over Greek solutions
Iran Daily, English-language, reformist, Tehran, Iran

Egypt's army says it has no plans to pardon Mubarak
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Obama seeks clarity in 'Arab spring' speech
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

63 years passed since Nakba and its image still in minds of Palestinians
Sana, Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus, Syria

Yemen opposition refuses further talks with Gulf representative
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Clegg fights NHS competition body
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Source: Al Qaeda appoints acting leader
CNN International, London, England

Staycations: The GBP 7.3bn boost to the British economy as a third of people decide to holiday at home
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Sardinia says no to nuclear power
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

FRANCE: Mounting pressure on Strauss-Kahn to quit IMF
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Paletti's Istanbul work to show in Amsterdam
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Peruvian presidential candidate calls on Giuliani to help
Independent The, London, England

EU concedes Greek debt could be restructured
Irish Times The, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

7, mostly migrants, killed in apartment fire
Moscow Times The, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Missing Al-Jazeera journalist back safely in Doha
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

The Queen in Ireland: symbolic visit to Croke Park
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Mother of Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child named as housekeeper
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Pakistani PM arrives in Shanghai for China visit
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Britain's Queen Elizabeth starts historic visit to Ireland; bomb destroyed
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

The coming mobile battle between Android and Windows Phone 7
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Stuart Clark quits, will manage T20 franchise
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

New stealth drones flew into Pakistan to see Osama house
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Dawood Ibrahim's brother was not present at firing spot: Mumbai Police
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Detained journalist released by Iran
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

3 policemen killed in Jalalabad explosion
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

US sues Starbucks for firing dwarf from barista job
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

U.S.: IMF chief under suicide watch at NYC jail
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Emerging economies now eye top IMF job
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

World's biggest gold ring now worth $3m
Times of India, Conservative, New Delhi, India

St Lucia shootout fuels debate over extrajudicial killings
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Fernandez's friend not linked to drugs case, Prosecutor says
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Moderate wage increases seen in Australia
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

ARGENTINA: Small loans, big solutions
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Man commits suicide by crucifixion
Newser, News web site, Chicago, U.S

Asia stocks rise amid caution over euro debt, U.S. data
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

10 dead in protests over Afghanistan raid - health official
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

GTA's voice could grow with Harper's cabinet shuffle
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Carla Bruni expecting baby: report
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

South Africa holds crucial vote
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

'Strauss-Kahn victim of plot'
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: Ten years of HIV treatment - a look back
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

Jonglei: Six people killed and one wounded in Ayod cattle rustling
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan


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