July 11, 2011 nº 1,064 - Vol. 9


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

John Quincy Adams

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

South Sudan officially recognized as independent nation

The Republic of South Sudan was recognized as an independent country on Saturday, making it the world's 193rd nation. In the capital city of Juba, President Salva Kiir was sworn in for a four-year term, in which he hopes to lead the world's newest nation into a time marked by less corruption and violence. After taking his oath, Kiir offered amnesty to rebel groups that continue to create conflict within the country. Voters living in southern Sudan overwhelmingly showed their support for the Southern Sudan's Independence Referendum in January 2011, when it passed with 98.83 percent of the vote. In February, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who campaigned against secession, issued a formal decree accepting the result of the referendum.

Justice Department shifts policy on same-sex bankruptcies

The Department of Justice will no longer intervene to block same-sex married couples from filing joint petitions for bankruptcy, according to a department spokesperson. All petitions for U.S. bankruptcy are filed in federal court. Before the policy change, the U.S. Trustee, a division of the Justice Department charged with enforcing the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, routinely intervened to dismiss joint bankruptcy filings by same-sex couples who were married under state law. The trustee's position was that the bankruptcy code only allows joint filings by opposite-sex spouses as defined under the federal DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The policy change is the latest setback for the 1996 law, which has come under increasing pressure since the Obama administration announced in February that it would no longer defend its constitutionality.

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  • MiMIC Journal

US army chief begins China visit

The top US military officer, Adm Mike Mullen, begins a visit to China, aimed at improving military relations.

Inequality in China

Rural poverty persists as urban wealth balloons. The rapid growth of China's economy over the past three decades has been greeted with largely unquestioned assumptions that increasing affluence would lead to a happier, wealthier and more equitable society. Of course, such assumptions came with an implicit acceptance that some would get rich faster, but also that these benefits would eventually trickle down. The emergence of a middle class, combined with high levels of personal savings and low levels of personal debt, offers tantalizing evidence of China's new-found wealth. Yet, behind these headlines, there is compelling evidence that although economic growth has created vast wealth for some, it has amplified the disparities between rich and poor. These disparities indicate an often hidden vulnerability in China's rapid growth, but one which is neither unique nor new to China's leadership.

Nestlé to buy control of China's biggest confectioner

The deal, one of the biggest ever by a foreign company in China, will expand Nestlé's presence there while giving Hsu Fu a bigger international footprint.

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  • Brief News

Europe rights court rejects appeals against Switzerland minaret ban

The ECHR - European Court of Human Rights rejected two appeals from Swiss Muslims challenging Switzerland's ban on construction of minarets. The court ruled that the appeals were inadmissible because the complaints failed to meet the requirements of Article 35 Section 3 and 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, the court found that since the appeals were only meant to challenge a constitutional provision in a general manner in Switzerland, the applicants had failed to show any specific injury. Supporters and opponents were not surprised by the ECHR's decision. Hafid Ouardiri, one of the challengers, characterized his failed challenge as a necessary step and was encouraged by the court's statement that the Swiss courts "would be able to would be able to examine the compatibility of a possible refusal to authorise the construction of a minaret with the European Human Rights Convention".

Law job stagnation may have started before the recession—and may be a sign of lasting change

The legal profession is undergoing a massive structural shift—one that will leave it dramatically transformed in the coming years. There's no doubt that the financial crisis beginning late in 2007 was for most lawyers a game-changer, prompting drastic measures as firms laid off thousands of associates, de-equitized partners, and slashed budgets and new hires. But many hoped—and still do—that the effects of the recession would ebb, and that the profession, which had just witnessed a golden age of prosperity unmatched by any other industry, would re-emerge relatively unscathed. The golden era is gone, but this is not because the law itself is becoming less relevant. Rather, the sea change reflects an urgent need for better and cheaper legal services that can keep pace with the demands of a rapidly globalizing world. The Great Recession—a catalyst for change—provided an opportunity to re-examine some long-standing assumptions about lawyers and the clients they serve. Whether BigLaw lawyers, boutique specialists or solo practitioners, U.S. lawyers can expect slower rates of market growth that will only intensify competitive pressures and produce a shakeout of weaker competitors and slimmer profit margins industry wide. Law students will find ever-more-limited opportunity for the big-salary score, but more jobs in legal services outside the big firms. Associates' paths upward will fade as firms strain to keep profits per partner up by keeping traditional leverage down. And those who wish to rise above the disruption will have to deal with technology that swallows billable work, a world market that takes the competition international, and a more sophisticated corporate client with vast knowledge available at the click of a mouse.

US jobs numbers

Today's job numbers from the US are a reminder that the space program isn't the only feature of postwar America that seems to have gone into reverse. When Nasa was created, in 1958, around 85% of American working age men were in work. Today that figure is less than 64%. And the percentage of all Americans, men and women, in work, is lower than it has been at any time since the early 1980s, when that first space shuttle was launched. The US labour market added only 18,000 new jobs last month. Analysts had expected a number well over 100,000 today, to begin to put the jobs recovery back on course. Instead they got this. Today's shocking payroll figures for June won't help one bit. To put these large sounding numbers in perspective, remember that the US labour force is growing a lot faster than in Europe. It needs to create a lot of jobs each month just to stand still, let alone make a dent on the 9.2% unemployment rate (which rose again last month). Here's the number to remember: from where it is now, the US would need to create at least 200,000 jobs a month, every month for 5 years, just to get unemployment back to its long-term average of 5%.

IMF releases new funds for Greece

The International Monetary Fund has backed the latest 3bn-euro ($4.3bn) installment of a rescue package for Greece. The IMF also said on Friday that Greece had continued to make "some progress" in introducing economic reforms. The fund said it believed Greece would return to positive growth in the first half of 2012. "The program is delivering important results: the fiscal deficit is being reduced, the economy is rebalancing, and competitiveness is gradually improving. However, with many important structural reforms still to be implemented, significant policy challenges remain."

Israel blacklists pro-Palestinians over Facebook

Israel recently used Facebook as a way to prevent pro-Palestinian supporters from flying to or entering the country. Israel's government blacklisted hundreds of names based on social media activity and ordered airports to prevent their travel. Over 300 people were held for questioning after landing at Tel Aviv's airport.

Berlusconi's Fininvest ordered to pay 560m euro damages

An Italian court has ordered PM Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest to pay 560m euros (£500m) in damages to a rival media group, CIR, over bribery allegations. The Milan appeals court's ruling was over Fininvest's winning control of publisher Mondadori from CIR in 1991. The takeover was sanctioned by a judge who was later sentenced for corruption. Berlusconi's daughter Marina called the ruling an "act of aggression" by Italy's judiciary against her father. Fininvest had appealed against an earlier order to pay 750m euros in damages to CIR.

Secret agents raid Apple store webcam 'artist'

The US Secret Service has raided the home of an artist who collected images from webcams in a New York Apple store. Kyle McDonald is said to have installed software that photographed people looking at laptops then uploaded the pictures to a website. The investigation is taking place under US Code Title 18 /1030, which relates to "Fraud and related activity in connection with computers. Offences covered by the legislation carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Yahoo! criticised over e-mail scanning

A leading consumer group has accused Yahoo! of scanning through personal e-mails for information to use to sell advertising. The world's largest e-mail provider says signing up to its new service means scanning technology will be used to block spam, and eventually to offer adverts relevant to the user. "This is a blatant intrusion of privacy". A Yahoo! spokesperson said, a box will appear 'asking for users' consent'.

Suicide 'link' to money problems

The financial crisis "almost certainly" led to an increase in suicides across Europe, health experts say. Researchers argued supporting people back into work or having programs to stop them losing their jobs in the first place was more important than giving them benefits.

UN rights chief: US execution of Mexico national violated international law

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday criticized the US execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal Garcia a day earlier, saying that the sentence violated international law. Pillay said that the US denied consular access to Leal Garcia, which was his right under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Although the State of Texas convicted and sentenced Leal Garcia for murder in 1998, Pillay noted the broad reach of the state's actions: "Today's execution will undermine the role of the International Court of Justice, and its ramifications are likely to spread far beyond Texas. It is also the responsibility of all federal countries ensure that all individual states respect the international obligations assumed by the country as a whole."

Banks poised for poor showing

Wall Street banks are expected by analysts to report a nearly 20 percent drom in sales and trading revenue, as investor appetite cools, and the commodities and fixed-income desks struggle.

Federal appeals court reinstates Indonesia lawsuit against Exxon Mobil

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Friday revived a lawsuit brought by 15 Indonesian citizens against the US corporation ExxonMobil Corp. alleging that its wholly-owned subsidiary hired security forces that committed numerous human rights abuses. The US District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the lawsuit in 2009. Plaintiffs alleged that ExxonMobil hired members of the Indonesian military as security that it knew had committed human rights abuses in the past. They claim that the security forces committed abuses including genocide, extrajudicial killing, torture, crimes against humanity, sexual violence and kidnapping in violation of the ATS - Alien Torture Statute and the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991. The plaintiffs appealed that decision and ExxonMobil issued a cross-appeal arguing for the first time that it was immune from the lawsuit since it is not subject to the ATS. The court held that the plaintiffs had alleged sufficient facts to prove ExxonMobil was guilty of aiding and abetting and that "neither the text, history, nor purpose of the ATS supports corporate immunity for torts based on heinous conduct allegedly committed by its agents in violation of the law of nations." One judge dissented arguing that the ATS is meant to apply to conduct within the US or on the high seas, not in foreign countries, and that the ATS does not apply to corporations since it depends on customary international law that does not recognize corporate liability.

NY councilman calls for 'perp walk' ban after DSK

NY Councilman David Greenfield proposed a bill that would make it illegal for any city employee, including NYPD, to assist in the public showing of anyone arrested and charged with a crime.

Brazilian leader feels heat of unruly coalition

Six months after coming to power in a landslide victory, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff is riding a booming economy and high popularity. Yet her six-month-old administration has become paralyzed by political infighting and embarrassing scandals. The resignations have added a new layer of complexity to Rousseff's bigger problem: Trying to keep her unruly political coalition happy. Coalition parties upset about being excluded from big government jobs are undermining Rousseff's legislative agenda by siding with the opposition on some votes, and delaying others. A Rousseff aide denied that the government was paralyzed, and pointed out that the government is cutting spending, and rolling out new infrastructure initiatives. "Her political upbringing is about giving orders and having people follow them, and she always had Lula around to make things work. Now she's finding out that Congress isn't there to take orders, they are there to grab funds." Rousseff's handling of the corruption scandals is being viewed as the work of a political novice. Corruption allegations are common in Brazil's freewheeling politics, and deflecting them is an important skill. Mr. da Silva was re-elected by a landslide even as his government was under investigation for running a bribe-per-month program to pay off congressmen. But Rousseff is botching the job, analysts say, further alienating political allies. Observers are alarmed by the degree of political turmoil enveloping the Rousseff government. In the short term, it means that important political objectives such as reforming tax laws and reducing spending—a bid to bring down inflation—may be delayed as the government scrambles to put out political fires.

Israel set to vote on controversial law penalizing boycotters

The Boycott Law, which would apply a series of sanctions on a person or organization that calls for a boycott of Israel or on Israel's settlements, is expected to be put to a second and third vote of the Knesset plenum.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The future of fish. The End Of The Line. Fish are the last wild food, but our oceans are being picked clean. Can farming fish take the place of catching them?

Newsweek
Sarah Palin Plots Her Next Move. She hasn't jumped into the race for the White House (yet), but believes the prize is there for the taking.

Business Week
She's With the Government, and Here to Help. Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Consumer Financial Protection. Banks don't trust her. Republicans won't confirm her. Yet she's already won her battle to remake how America borrows.

The Economist
Back to the coffee house. The internet is taking the news industry back to the conversational culture of the era before mass media.

Der Spiegel
Die Familie Kohl - Ein deutsches Drama

  • Daily Press Review

South Korea's Pyeongchang awarded 2018 Winter Olympics
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Deadly blasts at Cyprus military base
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Govt orders monitoring of milk prices
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Mass grave with 222 bodies found in Iraq
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israel's northern residents protest proposal for new international airport
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

World facing worst humanitarian disaster
Iran Daily, English-language, reformist, Tehran, Iran

'Gaddafi govt in talks with France'
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Limited goods to be allowed into Gaza Strip
Ma'an News Agency, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

63 dead, 200 hurt as trains derail in India
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Oman sees more scope as non-oil exports soar 32%
Times of Oman Business, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Fire damages Debnah Oasis in Yemen's biggest Island (Socotra Island)
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Hunt seeking advice on BSkyB bid
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Villa: No Gunners bid for Downing
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

U.S. deficit-reduction talks planned
CNN International, London, England

Probe over war hero's ride death
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Millions give up on sunshine holidays as hard times as exchange rate makes Europe too expensive
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

SENEGAL: Senegal calls off extradition of Hissene Habre to Chad
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Argentine songwriter Facundo Cabral murdered in Guatemala
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Massive explosion at Cyprus naval base
Independent The, London, England

Russian post fears delays thanks to customs
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Jedward are going on tour - but they won't be singing
OK! Magazine UK, Celebrity news, London, England

News of the World phone hacking: the 'smoking gun' emails from 2007
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Royal tour: Prince William and Kate Middleton fly home
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Consultative meeting for national dialogue kicks off
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Last cabinet meeting tomorrow
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

DPP slips up on banana attack: Ma spokesman
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Patent troll wins US$8 million in suit against Apple
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Malaysian PM defends protest crackdown
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Egypt protesters to stay in Tahrir despite PM promises
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

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

NOTW reporters tried to access 9/11 phone data: Report
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Kalka Mail accident: Toll rises to 63, rescue operations still on
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

167 'lucky' passengers of ill-fated Kalka Mail arrive in Delhi
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Hakuho begins Nagoya basho with a bang
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

10 feared dead at Cyprus naval base
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Malaysian PM defends protest crackdown
News The, Left-wing, Karachi, Pakistan

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

Libyan PM urges UN intervention to stop NATO military attack
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Rep. Hastings asks that harassment case be tossed
Sify News, Chennai, India

India: Death toll from derailed train in India now at 60
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan shifts into high gear with electric vehicles
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Suzuki to spend $620 mn against quake risk in Japan
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

9 dead, more than 90 missing in Volga boat sinking in Moscow
Times of India, Conservative, New Delhi, India

Asia stocks slump on U.S. economic outlook; Nikkei sheds 0.7%
Business Insider, New York, U.S

Barbados, Panama sign air services agreement
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Cholera death toll reaches 71 in Dominican Republic
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Costing success in Afghanistan and Iraq
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Housing finance grows amid rate calm
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Dudus takes on MOUs -Coke's attorneys claim wrong US official signed deal with Phillips
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Hurdles abound in global recovery
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Sudan's Bashir warns about disputed Abyei region - report
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Change to pool rules means less time for kids to cool off
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Hollywood royalty meets real British royalty
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

Sudan president in border warning
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Analysis: Rethinking DDR in post-independence Sudan
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

Sudan central bank ceases control over the South's financial system
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan

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