October 5, 2011 nº 1,098 - Vol. 9


"Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control."

Denis Diderot

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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

China and Russia veto UN resolution condemning Syria

China and Russia have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria over its crackdown on anti-government protesters. The European-drafted resolution had been watered down to try to avoid the vetoes, dropping a direct reference to sanctions against Damascus. But Moscow and Beijing said the draft contained no provision against outside military intervention in Syria. The US envoy said opposition to the resolution was a "cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people".

Italy credit rating slashed

The Italian government's credit rating has been slashed by Moody's from Aa2 to A2 with a negative outlook. The ratings agency blamed a "material increase in long-term funding risks for the euro area", due to lost confidence in eurozone government debts. Despite Rome's low current borrowing needs, and low private-sector debt levels in Italy, Moody's said market sentiment had turned against the euro. The initial market reaction to the downgrade was muted. The news broke half an hour after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Analysts say Italy's downgrade is likely to be followed by similar cuts in the credit rating of Italy's banks, which would put severe pressure on their ability to borrow.

Borrow in haste, repent never

To start, writing off debts would not necessarily increase economic growth. Every liability is also an asset, so while a dollar that is no longer required for debt repayment might add some cents to consumer spending, it is also a dollar cut out of a bank's capital or of an investor's net worth — subtracting from resources and confidence. And write-offs big enough to change consumer behavior would probably be big enough to destabilize banks. The Federal Reserve or the government would need to help, presumably by injecting newly printed money as capital. Such government control is usually inefficient, and abundant printing of money increases the risk of uncontrolled inflation, which has its own way of making people feel poorer. The issue of moral hazard also cannot be ignored. Much of the excess debt was incurred through irresponsible mortgage refinancing, which peaked in 2006 at $322 billion, representing 2.4 percent of G.D.P. The reckless use of houses as A.T.M.'s was a major factor in decapitalizing and destabilizing the American economy. Forgiving such debts will teach the wrong lesson: borrow in haste, repent never.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Hitachi-LG fined for drive price fixing - click here.

2 - Court rejects request to freeze Berlusconi sex trial - click here.

3 - AT&T urges court to dismiss Sprint Nextel's suit - click here.

4 - Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito cleared of murder - click here.

5 - Lady Gaga sues cosmetics company for using her name - click here.

6 - Obama's healthcare law tops new Supreme Court term - click here.

7 - Kodak hires legal adviser amid talk of bankruptcy - click here.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Licitación

La empresa Siemens Energy gestionará la adquisición de turbocompresores y turbogeneradores para la ingeniería, procura, construcción y puesta en marcha de la planta de separación de líquidos del Gran Chaco, Bolivia, por US$ 93,4 mlls. Autoridades bolivianas informaron que el acuerdo es parte de un proceso de licitación en el que Siemens se adjudicó la entrega de cuatro turbocompresores de gas residual y tres turbogeneradores para la energía eléctrica en la planta Gran Chaco.

Bayer

En Colombia se conoció que la firma Bayes retirará del mercado pesticidas que están considerados como letales, la decisión que debe cumplirse el 2012, fue adoptada tras recibir una carta firmada por organizaciones de 40 países. (Presione aquí)

Telecomunicaciones

El magnate mexicano Carlos Slim quiere apromorar sus negocios en Brasil, según versiones el empresario planea una integración de sus empresas como Embratel, Claro y NET de telefonía y televisión, la medida se da tras la aprobación de la nueva ley de televisión aprobada por el gobierno de Dilma Rousself. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Future of music: The law remains the same

The disconnect between the culture and the law has led to a world of marooned artists, who must choose between illegal activity that can't be officially sanctioned and business as usual, where artists get paid last, if at all. While governments would prosecute consumers who blatantly infringe on artist copyrights, private-sector solutions to combat rogue file-sharing should be implemented. it's up to companies that depend on copyrighted songs for their existence to create legal platforms that are as convenient and high-quality as illegal alternatives that command most consumers' allegiance. Copyright law won't undergo a major reform to reflect new digital realities that have made the artistic manipulation and recontextualizing of copyrighted material more accessible and fluid. Instead, artist copyright as a fundamental right that must be protected while adapting gracefully to Internet innovation -- a "sweet spot" between sometimes opposing impulses. Entrepreneurs were busy trying to advance solutions, introducing platforms with applications to social media and cellphones that would actually (theoretically, anyway) pay performers, and received approving grades from a panel of artists and managers. With streaming rapidly overtaking downloading as the preferred method of accessing music via cloud-based storage lockers, artists were cautioned to secure their public-performance royalties. Yet collection agencies were denigrated on a panel that examined licensing of intellectual property, for their lack of transparency and their high overhead, with little money trickling down to middle- and lower-tier artists. In addition, current copyright law with its costly and time-consuming licensing procedures ensures that most of the revenue accrued winds up in the hands of "behemoth" corporations instead of artists.

Dexia moves EU crisis from periphery to core

Less than three months after Franc0-Belgian bank Dexia got a clean bill of health in European Union stress tests, France and Belgium are considering a second bailout, moving the banking crisis from the continent's periphery to its heartland. The two countries, which bailed out Dexia in 2008, will take "all necessary measures" to protect clients and will guarantee all of Dexia's loans. There are plenty of other banks out there that have grown their assets way in excess of their deposit base like Dexia. That makes them massively exposed. It feels like the capitulation has started.

Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union'

Putin has called for a "Eurasian Union" of former Soviet republics along the lines of the European Union. He said a "Eurasian Union" would "build on the experience of the European Union and other regional coalitions". "It would be naive to try to restore or copy something that belongs to the past, but a close integration based on new values and economic and political foundation is a demand of the present time."

Credit agencies 'have failures'

The US Securities and Exchange Commission discovers "apparent failures" at 10 credit rating agencies.

House passes bill to avert shutdown

The spending bill, passed 352-66, funds the government for six weeks, delaying a series of battles over spending and policy that include everything from labor law and environmental regulations to abortion and the Pentagon budget. Debate lasted just minutes.

Bahrain military court sentences 26 more protesters

A Bahrain civilian-military court on Tuesday sentenced 24 more protestors to prison terms ranging from 5-15 years, bringing the total number of protesters sentenced in the past 48 hours to 60. Those who were sentenced on Tuesday include prominent members of the Shiite political group who were among hundreds of protesters seeking greater rights for the Shiite majority.

Malayasia PM initiates repeal of security laws

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak initiated the repeal of Malaysia's strict security laws in Parliament on Monday. In an effort to protect civil liberties while maintaining a balance of public peace, Razak is expected to repeal the ISA - Internal Security Act of 1960, which allowed the prime minister to order the imprisonment of individuals deemed to be a threat to national security for a period of up to two years without a trial.

Guantanamo military commissions on hold until new year

Retired Vice Admiral Bruce MacDonald on Monday notified both prosecution and defense lawyers in the trial of five detainees held at Guantanamo Bay that he will be accepting recommendations until early 2012 on whether the trial should move forward as a death penalty case. A formal arraignment of the detainees is expected to occur later this month.

UK court throws out torture guideline challenge

The Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a challenge by the EHRC - Equality and Human Rights Commission that the UK's interrogation guidelines are unlawful. The guidelines provide steps that must be taken by intelligence officers before they interview, interrogate or solicit the detention of terror suspects held by foreign governments. The guidance also prohibits interrogation officials from further action if they "know or believe" the torture of a detainee will take place. The EHRC is concerned that the wording of the guidance will mislead interrogators, who could potentially be held personally liable for the torture of suspects.

California governor signs bill prohibiting circumcision bans

California governor Jerry Brown on Sunday announced that he has signed into law a bill that will prevent local governments from banning male circumcision.

Court can't kill health reform without collateral damage

Should the Supreme Court take up health-care reform this year? So far, only one appeals court has ruled that the "individual mandate" in Obamacare -- the requirement that virtually everybody must buy insurance, with government assistance if needed -- overreaches the federal government's powers under the commerce clause of the Constitution. It's not a trivial argument. But an affirmative ruling would be a huge departure from our understanding of the commerce clause going back to the New Deal. If the health-care law's individual mandate is unconstitutional, so is much of what the government has been doing for 80 years or so, and it will be the duty of the Supreme Court to sort through the ruins of the federal government as we know it and find a few shards to start building again. We can't help suspecting that the court will choose to avoid this opportunity, by not taking the case, by finding some other grounds for ruling, or by upholding Obamacare. If America wakes up one day in June with no health-care reform and no prospect of getting it, who will cheer? Not the 40 million or so Americans who don't have insurance now. Not the millions more with pre-existing conditions that leave them jobless or clinging to jobs they may not like. Not many of the doctors and nurses who labor in the current mess of a health- care system. Obama may figure that he's going to pay for the real and imaginary burdens his major legislative accomplishment will impose. He might as well start people thinking about the benefits.

Britain and European Union agree on regulating derivatives trades

Britain got an agreement that it would not be overruled by national governments on over-the-counter derivatives, a market London dominates. The European Commission would like to extend regulation to exchange-traded derivatives, which Germany dominates. The proposed changes, which will now be negotiated with the European Parliament, call for trades in over-the-counter derivatives in the 27 nations of the union to be reported to data centers. Regulators would have access to those data centers, while the newly created European Securities and Markets Authority, based in Paris, would have responsibility for the surveillance. In the United States, regulators, armed with the Dodd-Frank Act, have already moved to overhaul the over-the-counter market. American banks oppose many of the changes, saying the restrictions will force business overseas while foreign regulators lag behind with their own set of derivatives rules.

Gibson Dunn helps Gucci target banks

Gucci and Tiffany & Co. allege that major Chinese banks are maintaining accounts for counterfeiters in China who are shipping fake designer goods into the U.S.

Supreme Court hears death row inmate's missed deadline case

The Alabama death row inmate missed a filing deadline for an appeal because his New York attorneys switched jobs and a court notice to them was returned to sender.

U.S. appeals court upholds DC semi-automatic rifle ban

The ruling upheld a lower court decision that found the ban did not implicate the core rights under the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment that permits individuals to possess firearms.

Nissan to build Brazil plant in expansion

Nissan Motor Co. is counting on substantial growth in Brazil to help drive a recently unveiled strategy to expand its share of the global auto market over the next six years.

Dole settles pesticide litigation

The massive, long-running litigation against Dole Food, in which Nicaraguan banana farmers claim the company exposed them to a pesticide that purportedly left them sterile, has finally settled. The litigation has been on for years and has featured high and low drama, including the plaintiffs recovering more than $2 billion in judgments that later were called into question due to allegations that plaintiffs fabricated evidence of their alleged injuries from the pesticide DBCP. Dole and Provost Umphrey, a Texas plaintiffs' firm that represents more than 5,000 Central and South American farm workers, yesterday announced a proposed settlement of the litigation.

  • Daily Press Review

China and Russia veto UN resolution on Syria
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader placed on US terrorist list
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Forces plan 'final' attack on Sirte
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Ahmadinejad: Missile shields won't prevent collapse of Zionist regime
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Health of jailed pro-Israel Egyptian blogger worsens
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Tesco profits grow but UK subdued
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Russia, China veto Syria resolution at U.N.
CNN International, London, England

Greek civil servants on strike
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Stress: 'Top cause of workplace sickness' is dubbed 'Black Death of 21st century'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Kim Kardashian picks up a new ride... a $274,000 Ferrari
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Kosovo organ trafficking trial begins
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

DIPLOMACY: Russia and China veto UN resolution on Syria
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

NATO, US continue to share intel with Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

'Overwhelmed' Amanda Knox arrives back on US soil
Independent The, London, England

Former Yukos executive dies
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Workers injured as explosion rips through industrial estate
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Angelina Jolie to expand her role at UN refugee agency
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Labour rally threat over B300 wage
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Gov't to investigate Su's 'farmhouse'
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Korea Needs to Keep Up with U.S. in FTA Ratification
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Four Major Generals of Pakistan Army promoted
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Missing 2-yr-old's parents turn to Facebook, Orkut
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Iwakuni marines' Okinawa fighter drill transfer to Guam set to begin
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Kiwi in New York chopper crash
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Somali leader condemns Mogadishu suicide attack as toll rises to 70
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

US tests plan to speed up airport security checks
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

It's complicated
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Fierce fire in Libya burns humanism down
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China Vice-Premier Li: Global risks rising
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

N.W.T. plane crash kills 2
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Anti-Wall Street protests take off thanks to a Canadian idea
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Australia's Retail Sector Recovers, Registers Increase for 2nd Month
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

U.S.: Long-Stalled Trade Accords Move Forward
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asia stocks trim gains, test policymakers' resolve
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Cleared on appeal, Amanda Knox returns home to Seattle
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Down to the wire: Liberals lock up 416, Tories take 905, poll finds
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Deadly attack hits Somali capital
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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