July 4, 2011 nº 1,061 - Vol. 9

"Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable."

Franz Kafka

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


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


Happy Independence Day!

To refresh your memory, the Fourth of July didn't become Independence Day until 1938. But, meanwhile, have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

  • Top News

DHS demands international consensus on cybersecurity

US DHS - Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Friday criticized other nations for not advancing and embracing new technology, thus leaving themselves open to attacks from cyber-criminals. At an international security conference in Vienna, Napolitano called for an international legal framework to defend and prosecute threats to cyber security. She declined to address the status of any current investigations. Napolitano was referencing the string of recent cyber "attacks" by "hacker-activist" groups Anonymous and LulzSec - Lulz Security. Anonymous is credited with launching "operations" against a variety of targets whose politics upset them, including Iran, during the 2009 election protests; Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and the Swiss bank PostFinance for denying services to Wikileaks; and the governments of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya during their recent revolutions. Anonymous typically engages in distributed denial of service attack, which disrupt bandwidth allocations causing web page owners to incur heavy fees and their websites to crash. LulzSec, who claimed to retire earlier this month, is primarily devoted to exposing holes in major websites' security, but also has taken up some political causes, such as attacking Arizona's recent immigration legislation. They've released documents, usernames and passwords from several organizations, including: Fox News, PBS, Sony, the US Senate, the CIA - Central Intelligence Agency, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, AT&T, Viacom, Disney, EMI, NBC Universal, and the US Navy. Several nations have made arrests from members of both organizations.

Letter to the Editor

Sir, I want to comment on the arrest ordered in Kadaffi's and his son's on charges of persecution and murder of civilians. There is another crime that he had not been charged yet: the order for soldiers to commit rape. Rape here is a war crime and should be treated as such, rather than disavow the act states, it is necessary to punish in an exemplary, open discussion about the case and frame it as soon as a war crime is of urgency, attention should be paid to women-victims, who besides having their lives torn apart, are subject to bias because of isolation from family and other people's living, not to mention the problems of physical and mental violence that can generate, this practice still continues because it has not been punished, becoming then a 'weapon' for rapid destruction. Thanks, Claudia Sinibaldi.

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  • Brief News

Strauss-Kahn allies eye comeback

Allies of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn say he could make a political comeback in France after being freed from house arrest in the US. The man who had been written out of the script for next year's presidential elections is potentially back in the running. "The case is not over. There will be no rush to judgment. The process will go on," judge Michael Obus said.

It gets even worse

The laws vary in their details but share a common strategy: to make it impossible for people without papers to live without fear. They give new powers to local police untrained in immigration law. They force businesses to purge work forces and schools to check students' immigration status. And they greatly increase the danger of unreasonable searches, false arrests, racial profiling and other abuses, not just against immigrants, but anyone who may look like some officer's idea of an illegal immigrant. It has long been clear that America is suffering for lack of a well-functioning immigration system that better protects workers and families, promotes lawfulness at the border and in the workplace, and gives hardworking people a path to legality. Congress's inaction has let the states run amok with their own destructive ideas. Supporters insist they are only trying to enforce the law. But trying to catch and deport 11 million people is lunacy. The damage to this country — its citizens and its laws — is enormous.

AMA backs challenge of "don't ask" gun law

The House of Delegates directed the American Medical Association at its Annual Meeting to support litigation contesting a Florida law that restricts physician communication with patients and parents about firearms. Gov. Rick Scott on June 1 signed the first-of-its-kind law into effect over vocal opposition from physician organizations. Under the law, physicians who ask patients harassing questions about gun ownership, enter unnecessary information about such ownership in medical records or discriminate against gun-owning patients could be referred to the state medical board for possible sanctions. The law contradicts professional guidelines on counseling parents about the dangers to children who live in homes with unsecured guns, impedes doctor-patient communications and violates physicians' First Amendment rights, delegates said.

Mladic to boycott Hague tribunal hearing

Ex-Bosnian Serb army head Ratko Mladic will boycott a hearing at The Hague war crimes tribunal where he is due to enter pleas. His defense team has not been approved. The tribunal has asked for more time to vet the lawyers Mladic has submitted. He appeared before the court on 3 June and declined to plead then on what he called 11 "obnoxious" charges.

Google faces 'wire tapping' case over Street View

Google could be sued for scooping up data from open wi-fi networks after a US court ruling. A judge in San Francisco decided that the company's actions may have violated federal laws on wire tapping. Google had tried to have the class action lawsuit thrown out, claiming that anyone could have intercepted the wireless signals. It had previously admitted collecting the data by mistake while gathering images for its Street View service.

Russia rescues Bank of Moscow in record bail-out

Russia's fifth largest bank, Bank of Moscow, has been given the biggest bail-out in Russian history. The $14bn rescue came after another bank, VTB, gained control through a hostile bid, only to uncover bad loans valued at $9bn - a third of the bank's assets. Bank of Moscow's former head, Andrei Borodin, has fled the country, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Carrefour and Casino's Brazilian battle heats up

The battle between France's Carrefour and Casino for Brazilian retailer Pao de Acucar is heating up. Casino has raised its total stake in the company to 43.1%. It followed an approach by Pao de Acucar's chairman Abilio Diniz to merge the company with the Brazilian assets of Carrefour, Casino's big rival. Casino has started arbitration proceedings against Diniz, saying that the secret merger talks violated the terms of their partnership. The proposed Pao de Acucar-Carrefour deal would create a firm with a 27% market share and sales of more than $40bn a year. Pao de Acucar is already Latin America's second-biggest retailer.

Cuba reveals more details of private property laws

The authorities in Cuba have released more details of their plans to allow people to buy and sell their cars and homes for the first time in 50 years. The new laws will open up a private property market and enable Cubans to buy any car they can afford. Private property has been severely restricted on the Communist-run island since the revolution in 1959. The proposed laws, which still have to be passed by parliament, are part of a shake-up of Cuba's struggling economy.

Graffiti reclaims Egypt's revolution from marketers

Companies in Egypt now reference the revolution in their ads — even some of the phone companies that gave into the regime's request to shut down service during the uprising. "The revolution is not a cow; let's not milk it," one man says. Street artists hope to reclaim the uprising's message.

UN expert warns new El Salvador law harms judicial independence

UN Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul warned Friday that an El Salvador law requiring its high court to issue unanimous judgments is an "attack" on judicial independence and the separation of powers. The new law, passed by the Legislative Assembly and issued by the president, places requirements on the judgments of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. Knaul said that requiring unanimous rulings will harm the judges' ability to function effectively.

Morocco voters overwhelmingly approve revised constitution

Moroccan voters on Friday overwhelmingly approved a revised version of the constitution, highlighted by fewer powers reserved for their king. With 94 percent of polling stations reporting and 98 percent of voters in approval, Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui announced that the revisions had passed. Under the new constitution, King Mohammed VI, who previously enjoyed almost absolute power, remains head of the army, but a variety of his other political powers are now held by the prime minister and parliament. In addition to curbing the king's powers, the revision also guarantees more rights for women and makes Berber, an indigenous language, official.

Federal appeals court finds Michigan affirmative action ban unconstitutional

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Friday that Proposal 2, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution banning affirmative action in public employment, public education and state contracting, is unconstitutional. The court ruled that this unduly burdened minorities by abusing a political process where minorities were likely to have no redress. Editor's note: Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs.

UN rights expert warns Greece austerity measures could harm basic human rights

UN Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Cephas Lumina, warned Greece that implementation of the latest batch of austerity measures to solve its economic crisis could result in serious violations of basic human rights, Lumina said in a statement released Friday. The Greek Parliament passed the new austerity measures Thursday with $40bn in budget cuts, in addition to selling $72bn in state assets, under pressure from them IMF - International Monetary Fund, the EU - European Union and the European Central Bank, which want to stave off Europe's first sovereign default. But Lumina urged a balancing of this interest with Greece's human rights obligations.

Russia court bans Scientology texts

A Shchyolkovo town court ruled Thursday that the main texts of Scientology, including What Is Scientology?, are "calls to extremist activity" and placed them on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, effectively banning them in Russia. The judge ruled, based on expert testimony, that materials by L Ron Hubbard "aimed at creating an isolated social group whose members are trained to flawless execution of their functions, much of which is to fight with the world." In addition to What Is Scientology?, two dozen essays were also banned. Distributing materials on the list can be considered inciting hatred, punishable by up to five years in prison. Spokespeople from the Church of Scientology in Russia said they plan to fight the decision.

A Dallas lawyer's social contacts with arbitrator prove costly

A Dallas appellate court this week vacated a $22bn arbitration award, a rare move prompted by the court's conclusion that the arbitrator had improperly failed to disclose contacts he'd had with a lawyer in the case, including attending a Dallas Mavericks basketball game and sharing meals with the attorney.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

The war next door. Day of the Dead. The drug war is Mexico's tragedy now its survivors are fighting back.

America's Dumbest Budget Cut. Why Republicans are wrong to put fiscal arithmetic ahead of global influence.

Business Week
No Apologies Over Gulf Oil Spill. From the day its Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, Transocean has denied wrongdoing, deflected blame, and paid dividends, not cleanup costs. So far, its hardball strategy is working.

The Economist
The end of the Space Age. Inner space is useful. Outer space is history.

Der Spiegel
Die digitale Unterwelt - Das verborgene Netz der Internet-Verbrecher

  • Daily Press Review

Mladic to boycott war crimes hearing
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

IDB governors demand urgent action on IF promotion
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Hezbollah leader rejects Hariri court indictments
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Hamas blames Fatah for reconciliation delay
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Report: Syria troops pull back from central city of Hama
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

'Explosion once again hits Egypt-Israel gas pipeline'
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Hamas: Egypt will fix Rafah delays 'within 2 months'
Ma'an News Agency, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Iraq attacks kill civilian, seven police
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Tough task for IMF boss as crises linger
Times of Oman Business, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Dar-alsalam urges international community to help displaced
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Social care costs 'need capping'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Cork paired with Galway in hurling qualifiers
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Thai PM quits after Yingluck Shinawatra wins election
CNN International, London, England

Hawker murder trial due to start
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Dominique Strauss-Kahn hotel maid 'told police she had been raped after he refused to pay her for sex'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Accuser's lies threaten US case against DSK
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

THAILAND: Thaksin allies in landslide election victory
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkey to face Russia in EuroBasket women's final
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Truffles, galleries and a weekend of 'freedom' for Strauss-Kahn
Independent The, London, England

Luzhniki market closes down
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Gaddafi's son: 'We will never surrender'
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Google interested in buying online video site Hulu
WNC News, London, England

Torrential rains kill 16 in Mexico
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Warrants out in squatter attack
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Outgoing Thai PM resigns as party leader
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Australia military may scrap all gender barriers
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Talk of drift, corruption is propaganda: Manmohan
Hindu The, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Australian pub ejects man for wearing turban
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Two Bihar legislators get extortion calls
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

First Boeing 787 arrives for test flights by ANA
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

US nuclear lab cleared to open after bushfire
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

11 dead as Kandahar clashes enter 2nd day
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

Japan's monetary base increases 17% in June
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Bautista top vote-getter for All-Star spots
Sify News, Chennai, India

Tiger Airways chiefs in Australia for crisis talks
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Power cut in Sindh chief minister's house
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Slowdown fever hits China's service sector
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Thousands return home after Los Alamos evacuation order lifted
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Will Republicans accept a short-tem deal on debt limit to avert Treasury default?
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Former justice minister and attorney general insists she acted appropriately in 'Dudus' extradition matter
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Rally could spell pullback for stocks
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Thaksin sister prepares to lead Thailand after stunning win
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

UK aid for drought-hit Ethiopia
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

North, South Sudan leaders arrive in Ethiopia for summit
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan


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