October 10, 2011 nº 1,100 - Vol. 9

With money in your pocket, you are wise and handsome, and sing well too.

Yiddish Proverb

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 GE, robo-lawyers

Can a computer solve legal disputes? General Electric Co. thinks so. The company's oil-and-gas division is testing online dispute resolution with a simple goal: Reduce the time and money the company might otherwise spend on lawyers. The GE unit, which provides equipment and services to oil companies and construction firms, is requiring thousands of suppliers to agree to cyber-settlements in simple disputes. The approach is being tested mostly in Italy to resolve disagreements over no more than €50,000, or about $65,000. There's a concern that commercial arbitration is costing too much. GE says the cost to pursue a €10,000 claim through typical arbitration could ultimately cost each side at least €10,000, making it hardly cost-effective. The company's system involves blind bidding online to see if the parties agree on a settlement amount. If that that doesn't pan out, an arbitrator rules, but communicates only online and without a hearing.

Status updates lead to real-life arrests

If anyone ever told you to be careful of your activity on Facebook, that's probably good advice. In a few recent incidents, disputes have arisen and arrests made over matters that started in Facebook posts, illustrating how integral to real life people's internet lives have become. A man in Texas has pleaded not guilty this week to charge of battery against his estranged wife over his Facebook status update. The man was allegedly upset that his wife had not "liked" his status update, according to the criminal complaint. In another recent incident, a man in Bowling Green, Ky., is accused of assaulting and pointing a gun at a woman after they fought over his refusal to change his Facebook information from "single" to "in a relationship." What people write on Facebook, or the internet, is considered fair game as evidence. Indeed, whether a person is considered for jury duty can be dependent on what they've revealed about themselves online. The personal information created by the user can draw legal scrutiny, as well as the scrutiny of those in personal relationships and can even lead to physical altercations.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Rights groups call for China to release Nobel winner Liu

Three human rights groups on Friday called for the release of Nobel peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned on an 11-year sentence in China for "inciting subversion of state power" and dissidence. AI - Amnesty International, HRW - Human Rights Watch and CHRD - Chinese Human Rights Defenders released simultaneous press briefings urging freedom for Liu, and his wife Liu Xia, who remains under house arrest. CHRD confirmed that Liu was released to attend his father's funeral, and was temporarily reunited with his wife. The groups contend this was done to deflect criticism on the eve of the 2011 Nobel peace prize. The CHRD reported that China is attempting to legalize secret detentions.

Sinopec to buy Daylight Energy for $2.1bn

The deal is the latest by Chinese energy companies that are flocking to Canada's oil-rich resources.


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  • Brief News

Gaming techniques now used to motivate workers

Companies are embracing elements of videogames such as rewarding points for completing tasks on time to make management training, data entry and even brainstorming seems less like work.

Merkel, Sarkozy say deal is near

The leaders of Germany and France said they will present a "comprehensive package" of measures against the crisis in euro-zone banking and government bonds by the end of this month but they gave no details.

UN calls for respect for human rights as Libya conflict winds down

The UN - United Nations called on all parties to the Libyan revolution to maintain respect for human rights as the conflict winds down in Sirte. As the interim government forces push through the hometown of former Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative Ian Martin urged respect for the due process of law instead of seeking personal avengeance for alleged war crimes and other grave violations. UN officials also expressed concern for civilians who have chosen to remain in Sirte, which is seeing heavy street fighting, and have urged the continuance of medical aid and help by local communities and charities.

Brazil inflation rate climbs after interest rate cut

Brazil's inflation rate has spiked to its highest level in more than six years. Consumer prices rose 7.31% in September from a year earlier, according to the national statistics agency. This follows a surprise 0.5% interest rate cut at the end of August. The central bank cited a "substantial deterioration" in the global economy in cutting rates to 12%. "The interest rate cut came too soon," said Oxford Economic's Lloyd Barton. "It's acting as a trigger for a decline in the exchange rate, and that is exacerbating the central bank's problem with inflation."

Egypt PM urges calm after clashes

The Egyptian prime minister has appealed for calm after 24 people were killed in clashes between Coptic Christians and security forces. The violence broke out after a protest in Cairo against an attack on a church in Aswan province last week, which Copts blame on Muslim radicals.

Polish PM claims election victory

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk claims victory in parliamentary polls after exit polls give his ruling Civic Platform party a clear lead. Poland has been the only EU member state to avoid recession and this year its economy is forecast to grow by about 4%, the highest rate among the EU's seven largest economies.

Telcos appeal Digital Economy Act

BT and TalkTalk will launch a fresh challenge against the controversial Digital Economy Act. The companies have been granted permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that upheld most of the anti-piracy law. Like many service providers, they believe that the law unfairly compels them to police users' behavior. The government has said it wants to protect the creative industries such as music and film making.

California enacts pro-migrant law

The governor of California, Jerry Brown, signs into law legislation allowing illegal immigrants to receive state aid to attend college. Critics argue that it condones entry into the US without proper documentation. About 2,500 students are expected to qualify for grants under the new legislation.

California governor vetoes affirmative action bill

California Governor Jerry Brown Saturday vetoed a bill that would have allowed public colleges and universities to consider demographic factors such as race during the admissions process. The bill, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez, would have effectively overturned ballot measure Proposition 209, which banned the use of affirmative action for state hiring, contracting, or university admission. The Governor said in his veto message to the Senate that although he agreed with the purpose of the bill, it is the role of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to decide the boundaries of Proposition 209.

Candid talk about the constitution

In a rare hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer discussed the role of judges under the Constitution. Among the revelations: Scalia considers himself out of touch with modern American values and Breyer likes to top off debates with a joke.

UK prevents arrest of Israel ex-foreign minister

The UK FCO - Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Thursday declared that former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livini enjoys temporary diplomatic immunity during her visit to London, thereby sparing her from arrest. Livini risked arrest after an application was made on Tuesday to the DPP - Director of Public Prosecutions, seeking his consent to a private prosecutor for a warrant to arrest her based on war crimes charges relating to Israel's Gaza Offensive.

After WikiLeaks, U.S. tries to shield classified data

The federal government announced plans to create a task force setting up government-wide policies and standards to prevent data theft. The presidential order requires U.S. agencies to appoint senior people to prevent and detect breaches and creates a task force to monitor potential wrongdoing by government officials, bureaucrats, diplomats or soldiers handling classified data. That task force, to be headed by the attorney general and director of national intelligence, will set out government-wide policies to prevent data theft and establish binding standards within a year.

Secret Orders Target Email

The U.S. government obtained a controversial type of secret court order to force Google and a small Internet provider to turn over data from the email of WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum.

Firm faces continued fallout after associate charged with theft

Less than a month after a Crowell & Moring associate was arrested on suspicion of stealing $2.5 mln in client funds, the firm is accused of a cover-up and faces a $6m lawsuit.

Tunisia's Islamists back moderate form of Sharia law

Tunisia's main Islamist party, eyeing gains in upcoming elections, supports a moderate form of Sharia law that would combine "democracy, which is a Western product, with Islam, which is our own heritage." In a sign of the pre-election tensions, police in the capital, Tunis, used tear gas on Sunday to disperse Islamists who were protesting against a ban on veiled women enrolling in college. Protesters also tried to storm the offices of a private television station that had broadcast a French-Iranian animated film called "Persepolis," which they said denigrated Islam, and dozens were arrested.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Ideas, Technology and Art: How Steve Jobs Became an American Icon.

Thanks for the Future. How a college dropout trusted his gut, defied corporate America, and carried us into tomorrow.

Business Week
Steve Jobs: The Beginning, 1955-1985. The high school loner who figured out what the world wanted from technology. Steve Jobs: The Wilderness, 1985-1997. Cast out from Apple, Jobs tried—and failed—to make a different kind of computer. Steve Jobs: The Return, 1997-2011. In his third act, Jobs led Apple on a run of success unprecedented in corporate history

The Economist
The magician. The revolution that Steve Jobs led is only just beginning.

Der Spiegel
Steve Jobs - Der Mann, der die Zukunft erfand.

Il j'accuse di Prodi. Un premier senza credibilità. Che perde persino l'appoggio degli imprenditori. E intanto il referendum dimostra che la gente ha capito che qualcosa non va. Il prof rompe il silenzio. E chiede un nuovo governo purchessia. Subito.

  • Daily Press Review

Deadly Cairo clashes over Coptic protest
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Lebanon bans screening of documentary on Iran vote
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Saleh keeps Yemenis guessing with talk of departure
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Jerusalem kindergarten to remain closed due to fears it may turn into Hamas terror hub
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Egyptian cabinet to meet over violence that left 24 dead
Post, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Cameron to receive report on Fox
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Abbas stumps in El Salvador for statehood
CNN International, London, England

Man to admit Thai monarchy insult
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

The end of the conker? Scientists say the glorious horse chestnut could disappear within 20 years - ravaged by a moth that came to Britain in the back of a lorry
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell carry on the celebrations with wedding party
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Religious vandals arrested in Israel
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

EGYPT: Clashes between Copts and police turn deadly in Cairo
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkey condemns attacks against Syrian opposition figures
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

24 killed in clashes with troops as violence returns to Tahrir Square
Independent The, London, England

Ken Clarke 'regret' over attack on Home Secretary
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell mobbed by distraught fans on wedding day
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

BoT estimates flood damage at B60bn
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

1st lender to fall victim to eurozone crisis gets France, Belgium, Luxembourg rescue
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Han River Bicycle Path to Extend to Busan
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Magnitude 5.6 quake jolts northeastern Japan-TV
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

NIDians design innovative tiffin service for Amdavadis
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Tigers' Murton stretches hitting streak to 28 games
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Pisa expert says Big Ben leaning
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Protesters occupy bridge in central London
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

US tracked email of Wikileaks volunteer: Report
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

High cost of market failure
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Indonesian forces fire on striking miners; 1 dead
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Air Canada union rejects deal, set to strike
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

War of 1812 battles a nation146's collective amnesia
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Gold Price Rising Edging Between $1,596 - $1,677
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

MEXICO: Efficient Transport Needed for a Cleaner Environment
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Dexia accepts rescue offer after marathon meeting
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Polish PM Tusk scores historic election victory
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Cairo clashes draw Christians, Muslims and military
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Gaddafi town 'close to falling'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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