May 30, 2011 No. 1,047 - Vol. 9

"Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will"

Mikhail Bakunin

Insider's view: see how local concerns shape up the global world. Read the daily press review in Migalhas International


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  • Top News

At I.M.F., a strict ethics code doesn't apply to top officials

At the International Monetary Fund, there is one set of ethics guidelines for the rank-and-file staff and another for the 24 elite executive directors who oversee the powerful organization. Over the last four years, the fund has tightened internal systems for catching ethical misconduct among its 2,400 staff members, establishing a telephone hot line for complaints like harassment; publishing details of complaints in an annual report; and empowering an ethics adviser to pursue allegations, which last year led to at least one dismissal. But the fund's board members remain largely above these controls. The ethics adviser, for example, is not able to investigate any of them. The board is responsible for policing its own directors as well as the managing director. It has a five-person ethics committee, whose work is confidential. And the only way the board can discipline its members is to write a warning letter to them or to their home countries, or the group of countries that appointed them.

Shadow banking makes a comeback

The shadow banking industry is back — and it could become bigger than ever, according to a new report by Standard & Poor's. As traditional lenders and big investment banks face a wave of new rules stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, their lightly-regulated brethren — money market funds, private investment companies and hedge funds — see an opportunity to profit. These resurgent shadow-banking firms are aiming to "bolster their balance sheets to take on business that the banks discontinue," according to the report. While the shadow industry has benefits — like providing cheap financing to companies — it also comes with plenty of risk to investors and the broader economy.

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Yuan at record high versus dollar

China's yuan has hit a record high against the US dollar after the US Treasury department said the Chinese currency was undervalued but not manipulated. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) fixed the yuan's mid-point at 6.4856 against the US dollar on Monday. China has been accused by the US and other developed economies of keeping the value of its currency artificially low to boost its exports.

US lawmakers block China firms from Pentagon contracts

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives have voted to bar Chinese defense firms from receiving Pentagon contracts. It excludes all companies owned by or affiliated to the Chinese government from US defense deals.


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  • Brief News

Colombia: land theft put at 7m hectares

The Colombian government says almost seven million hectares of land has been stolen by armed groups involved in the country's civil conflict over the past 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of families were driven from their land by paramilitaries, rebels and drug dealers who had used violence and fraud to take the land.

Mladic to file extradition appeal

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic is set to file an appeal against his extradition to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Fiat to take majority stake in Chrysler

Fiat says it will buy the US government's 6% stake in Chrysler, which will give the Italian car maker a majority share in the US company. Buying out the government would give Fiat 52% ownership of Chrysler. The price will be negotiated within 10 business days.

Egypt court fines Mubarak $90 million for Internet, telecom shutdown during protests

An Egyptian judge on Saturday fined former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and two ministers $90 million for shutting down Internet and mobile phone service during the protests culminating in his ouster. The massive fine, the first court ruling against Mubarak since leaving office, is to compensate for damage to the economy resulting from the shutdown of services and must be paid from private assets. Mubarak, already under house arrest at a hospital, is responsible for $33.6 million of the fine issued by the administrative court. The ousted leader has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and conspiring to kill protesters, which may carry the death penalty.

Google responds to PayPal trade secrets lawsuit

Google on Friday responded to allegations of misappropriating trade secrets made in a lawsuit filed by PayPal, arguing that it had done nothing illegal. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the Superior Court of California following the unveiling of Google Wallet a mobile payment system to be utilized by Google's Android phone line. The suit centers on two former PayPal employees, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, who PayPal claims were poached by Google following the breakdown of three-year negotiations to make PayPal the payment system of the Android phones. The lawsuit further alleges that Bedier had given Google confidential documents relating to PayPal's mobile payment strategies and willfully and maliciously shared his knowledge of the company's trade secrets after leaving PayPal, violating California state law. The lawsuit also alleges that Tilenius assisted in recruiting Bedier from PayPal, violating contractual obligations requiring her to refrain from doing so for a year after her departure from the company. The lawsuit also alleges that Google violated state law prohibiting unfair business practices. In response, Google emphasized that it respects trade secrets and that state law and public policy recognize people's ability to seek better employment opportunities.

Europe rights court rules against Poland in abortion case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday that a Polish woman who had been denied genetic testing and an abortion was subjected to "inhuman treatment." The court found violations to Articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Car bailouts left behind crash victims

In rescuing the car makers, the U.S. prevented a potential meltdown of the auto industry. But it also washed away the companies' legal responsibility for car-accident victims who had won damages before the bankruptcy sales.

  • Weekly Magazine Review


The science of optimism. The Optimism Bias. Those rose-colored glasses? We may be born with them. Why our brains tilt toward the positive.


Are You Ready for More? In a world of climate change, freak storms are the new normal. Why we’re unprepared for the harrowing future.

Business Week

The end of mail. The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse. Delivery of first-class mail is falling at a staggering rate. Facing insolvency, can the USPS reinvent itself like European.

The Economist

Welcome to the Anthropocene. Humans have changed the way the world works. Now they have to change the way they think about it, too.

Der Spiegel

Fehlurteile - Wie gerecht kann Justiz sein?

  • Daily Press Review

UP to 20 protesters killed, 150 injured as Yemen forces control Freedom Square in Taez
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Yemeni soldiers killed in al-Qaeda-held town
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Saudi economy is strong: Naif
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Egypt arrests Iran diplomat on spy charges: report
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

2 shot dead, tanks circle Syria towns: activist
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Cabinet approves NIS 145m budget increase ahead of Jerusalem Day
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Peacemakers Swim Against the Tide
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Gov't-Majlis Harmony Imperative
Iran Daily, English-language, reformist, Tehran, Iran

Two Shuafat men sentenced for killing US citizen in 2006
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Readers,
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Arab Peace Initiative Committee Requests Palestine's Full Membership at UN within 1967 Lines & Jerusalem as Capital
Sana, Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus, Syria

Panel formed on Lebanon poll law
Saudi Gazette, English-language daily, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Karzai announces council to push Taliban talks
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Heavy shelling to restore city from Al Qaeda in south Yemen
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Mladic to file extradition appeal
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Nato apologises for civilian deaths, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Minister: Germany to be nuclear-free by 2022
CNN International, London, England

Palin kick-starts tour on motorbike
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Hunt for killer of Red Cross worker finds body of man who jumped under train
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Cheryl Cole told she isn't wanted by X Factor UK
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Shuttle Endeavour leaves ISS for the last time
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

SERBIA: Mladic to appeal extradition over war crimes
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkish miniaturist depicting aura of Istanbul's conquest
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Yemen leader accused of allowing Islamist takeover
Independent The, London, England

Zuma seeks Libya peace deal
Irish Times The, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Nicole Scherzinger's Amazing Fashion Evolution
Look Magazine, London, England

Potanin dismisses NorNickel offer
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

When Time Completely Stopped for a Fallen Soldier's Wife
Moscow Times The, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Russian scientist photographs souls
MosNews, Online daily, Moscow, Russia

NATO Apologizes For Deaths Of Afghan Civilians
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Pro-Mladic Serbs Clash With Riot Police
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

A cheap excuse for opposing open borders
Spiked, (Alternative Internet Magazine), London, England

Mysterious Virus Attacks South Korean Citizens, a Type of Flu Suspected
WNC News, London, England

RI embassy awaiting funds for evacuating Indonesians from Yemen
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Thailand hosts Asean air forces meeting
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Al-Qaida group tightens grip on Yemen town
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

N.Korean Regime Prefers Begging to Reform
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Wifi operators are ISPs so not liable for copyright breaches: Computer Society
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

North Korean leader celebrates ?successful? trip to China
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Obama vows national response to Missouri tornado
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Behind the Pakistan F-16 deal, a tale of many wheels
Hindu The, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

New sex harassment scandal rocks France
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Paternity suits to baby swapping, social cases keep police DNA lab busy
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Mayor to zoom on Mangalore streets in new car
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Stabilizing reactors by year's end may be impossible: Tepco
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Malta says 'Yes' to divorce
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

North Korean leader celebrates ?successful? trip to China
News The, Left-wing, Karachi, Pakistan

Two injured in Jalalabad explosion
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

Railway linking Jordan, Iraq to be installed
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Syrian security forces fire on protest, killing 4
Sify News, Chennai, India

ISAF apologises for Afghan civilian deaths
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

I was gutless over ads
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Yemen: Yemen leader accused of allowing Islamist takeover
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Bunun teacher gives aboriginal students new voice
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

'Hangover Part II' tops US box office
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group hires Richard Yetsenga to head global foreign exchange strategy
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Taliban co-founder tipped off US on Osama bin Laden hideout: Report
Times of India, Conservative, New Delhi, India

Obama hails 'heroes' of tornado-struck Missouri town
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

WANTED: The Caribbean Richard Branson - Do you have what it takes?
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Cholera death toll reaches 30 in Dominican Republic
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The importance of India’s diaspora
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Australian new home sales displayed minimal increase in April
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Amnesty's Tireless Vigil during South America's Dark Night
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Bruce fires back - PM attacks Gleaner over WikiLeaks cables
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Strauss-Kahn Case Spurs Women to Report Minister
Newser, News web site, Chicago, U.S

Dollar struggles near 2-week lows; stocks steady
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Yemeni soldiers killed near al Qaeda-held city
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Triple shooting jolts peace-loving Kensington
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

PNM 'rebirth' group slams Mayor Lee Sing
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

France's Carla Bruni shows off bump at G8 summit
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

Zuma to seek peace deal in Libya
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

GHANBATT marks 'UN Blue Helmet Day'
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bomb blasts rock Nigeria
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

SRI LANKA: Women "key" to water projects
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

Is it possible to achieve peace while keeping the ideology of war?
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan


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