October 17, 2011 nº 1,102 - Vol. 9


"The word 'now' is like a bomb thrown through the window, and it ticks."

Arthur Miller

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

Contagion

A European Union summit later this month will agree "decisive" measures to tackle the eurozone debt crisis. The ministers from the G20 group of nations in Paris said that central banks "would continue to supply banks with liquidity," and that they were "committed that the IMF must have adequate resources". Details of the rescue plan discussed in Paris include a bigger write-down than previously expected of Greek debt, a much more powerful European bailout fund and a re-capitalisation of weaker banks to arm them against inevitable losses. Even if European governments agree a bold rescue package for the eurozone next weekend, they will not have sorted the region's fundamental financial and economic flaws. The G20 meeting came amid continuing fears about the EU's debt-related problems spreading. The US has expressed particular concern about the threat to its economy. The head of the IMF - International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde said emerging economies - whose growth helped support the world economy during the global crisis - are starting to be affected by weaknesses in the advanced economies. "The main thing is that the situation has got worse rather than having improved over the last three weeks," she said.

European Commission chief to propose criminal penalties for financial sector violations

The head of the EC - European Commission Sunday announced plans to propose criminal sanctions for wrong-doers in the financial sector. In an interview-format article published over the weekend, EC President Jose Manuel Barroso stated that during the coming week he will propose to introduce into European law for the first time the recognition of individual criminal liability for financial players who break European regulations. Barroso's proposals would oblige EU nations to amend their statutory framework to include criminal penalties for financial regulation violations.

SEC asks companies to disclose cyber attacks

U.S. securities regulators formally asked public companies for the first time to disclose cyber attacks against them, following a rash of high-profile Internet crimes. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidelines on Thursday that laid out the kind of information companies should disclose, such as cyber events that could lead to financial losses.

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  • MiMIC Journal

HK starts bullion trading in yuan

Hong Kong becomes the first centre to offer gold trading in yuan, cementing its status as an offshore hub for the currency.

China communists hold key annual meeting

The Chinese Communist Party is holding its most important meeting of the year over the next four days. The gathering of the party's central committee is the last big meeting before leadership changes next year.

US delays ruling on China currency manipulation

The US Treasury has delayed a ruling on whether China manipulates its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage until later this year. Critics of China say it keeps the yuan low to keep its exports cheap. The decision to defer the report to US Congress comes just days after the Senate approved a bill to push China to let its currency rise faster in value.

Wal-Mart China chief, deputy resign as retailer grapples with food probe

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Ed Chan, president of its China operations, quit as the company grapples with a pork-labeling probe that shut all 13 of its stores in Chongqing city and led to the detention of at least 27 people.

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  • Brief News

FBI's DNA database upgrade plans under fire

A major upgrade of the FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation's DNA database system has come under fire from members of the forensic science community. The Codis system is used to generate the genetic profiles stored in the US national DNA database. The FBI wants to expand the number of genetic markers used by Codis to classify individual DNA profiles. The FBI established a working group to review the core loci used for database searches. It has now recommended the current set of 13 markers be increased to 24. While the probabilities of chance matches between unrelated individuals are relatively small, they increase as DNA databases grow in size. But a former science chief at the bureau says the plan is not being driven by scientists' needs. The US national database - the largest in the world - currently contains about 10 million offender profiles and has assisted in more than 141,000 investigations.

Brazil takes hard line on corruption

Rousseff wasted little time firing her top aide in May when the country's biggest newspaper reported that he had received $4m in unexplained income. She didn't stop with her chief of staff. In quick succession, she let go of three other ministers publicly accused of everything from receiving kickbacks to charging the government for staying at a love motel. Meanwhile, public outrage had turned into regular street protests. People are making it clear in the streets and elsewhere that long-tolerated sins such as bribery, graft and other acts of corruption are no longer tolerable. Brazilians have long accepted such malfeasance as the necessary cost of doing business, be it in commerce or public service. Every year, the country loses up to $47.4bn to undeclared tax revenue, vanished public money and other casualties of widespread corruption

US lawmakers defend DOMA in court filing

Members of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group defended the DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act in a filing on Friday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. In the filing, the three Republican members of the group, including House Speaker John Boehner, responded to a motion for summary judgment by plaintiff Karen Golinski, whose request to extend her health insurance benefits to her wife was denied. Golinski seeks a declaration that DOMA is unconstitutional.

Egypt military council issues ban on discrimination

The Egyptian SCAF - Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Saturday issued a decree banning discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion. The SCAF article, Law Decree No. 125 / 2011, amended Criminal Law provisions first passed in 1937. The new article imposes heavy penalties, amounting to fines of up to EGP 100,000 (US$16,778) and a prison sentence of up to three months, on civil servants who discriminate against citizens either as individuals or as a sect in ways that threaten social justice or equal opportunity or disturb the public peace.

EU billions for broadband plan

The European Commission is set to propose investing almost €9.2bn in a massive rollout of super-fast broadband infrastructure and services across the European Union. The plan is partly aimed at stimulating further investment in rural broadband. It is hoped the initiative will also help to create a single market for digital public services. Europe needs these fast broadband networks to allow its economy to become more competitive in the future, and so create more jobs and prosperity.

Betting on food prices may sell the hungry short

Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically. Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty.

Samsung seeks iPhone4S sales ban

Samsung raises the stakes in its current legal battle with Apple as it seeks a ban on iPhone4S in Australia and Japan.

Philips cutting 4,500 jobs as profits fall

Struggling Dutch lighting and consumer electronics group Philips is to cut 4,500 jobs. It made the announcement as it reported a sharp fall in third-quarter profits as a result of lower margins, falling sales and a loss at its TV division.

News Corp investor to vote against Murdoch re-election

One of the world's biggest investment groups, says it will vote against the re-election of Rupert Murdoch to the board of News Corporation at this week's annual general meeting. Calpers is concerned about the power held by Murdoch and other members of his family.

Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko facing new charges

The Security Service of Ukraine on Thursday brought new corruption charges against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, just days after she was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of power and corruption. Prosecutors allege that Tymoshenko embezzled USD $400m of debt from her company United Energy Systems of Ukraine onto the state. AI - Amnesty International has called the prosecution of Tymoshenko politically motivated and based on charges that are not internationally recognizable offenses. The US and several European countries have echoed AI's statements and have called the prosecution the criminalization of normal political decision-making.

Procter & Gamble settles trademark dispute with small company

A Connecticut woman will be allowed to name her line of skin care products after her daughter Willa. Procter & Gamble contended consumers would confuse the brand with its Wella hair care products.

Conference due on Eta separatists

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan will be among senior figures at a conference on Basque separatism, which some see as a possible prelude to the dissolution of Eta. The armed Basque separatist group called a ceasefire in January after more than four decades of violence. But Spanish politicians rejected the move, saying Eta remained a potential threat and must disband for good. Eta has fought for an independent Basque homeland since the 1960s.

Judge orders al Qaeda to pay back insurers

Magistrate Judge Frank Maas of Manhattan federal court said five major insurance groups were entitled to recover $9bn from al Qaeda over the September 11 attacks.

New York Law School fights suit over job rates

In a motion to dismiss, the school said students' claims of misleading post-graduate job prospects relied on 'broad generalities' and that they were attempting to vilify the law school industry.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The return of the silent majority. Taking It To The streets. A small protest on Wall Street has exploded into a nationwide phenomenon. Will populist demands for jobs, fair taxes and corporate oversight reshape the political landscape?

Newsweek
Yes, we cain. Citizen Cain. A month ago, he was a punch line. Now Herman Cain is laughing. Meet the rising GOP star who is confounding the pundits and much of black America.

Business Week
Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer's Apprentice at Apple. The iOS chief is a lot like his mentor Steve Jobs: brilliant, presents well, a tenacious infighter—arguably just the taskmaster Apple needs to stay on top.

The Economist
Nowhere to hide. Investing during a crisis.

Der Spiegel
Das überförderte Kind - Wie viel Ehrgeiz verträgt gute Erziehung?

L'Espresso
Ci giochiamo 72 miliardi Slot, gratta e vinci, poker on line, bingo, lotterie: sarà l'anno record per le scommesse legali. Gestite dai grandi gruppi ma anche dalla malavita. Mentre lo Stato incassa una quota sempre più bassa.

  • Daily Press Review

Kenya sends troops to attack al-Shabab
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Saudi Arabia takes assassination plot to the UN
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Saudi takes Iran to UN over alleged plot
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Syria, Qatar, Turkey said willing to take prisoners deported in Shalit deal
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Pro-Gaddafi TV station confirms death of son Khamis
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

PM pledge to 'bring down bills'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Israeli Supreme Court to hear cases against prisoner swap
CNN International, London, England

Annan to attend Basque peace talks
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

The great Tesco 'Big Price Drop' rip-off: Supermarket pushed prices UP weeks before its GBP 500m cost-cutting campaign
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Jennifer Lopez shields her face after being caught out with Bradley Cooper
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

UK driver killed in multiple IndyCar crash
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

FRANCE: Socialists elect Hollande to face Sarkozy in 2012 election
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Unemployment in Turkey falls to 9.1%
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Heavy security at Steve Jobs memorial service
Independent The, London, England

Property prices diverge as crisis looms
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

UK economy brought to grinding halt by euro crisis
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

James Franco's made-to-measure turn for Gucci
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Residents stop new flood barrier
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Ma, Tsai face off in dueling rallies
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

More Men Treated for Infertility
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

US troops massed on Pak border: reports
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Man sleeping inside gunny bag run over by van
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Zou wins horizontal bar; Uchimura takes bronze
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Europe debt crisis plan wins backing
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Distribution is the big challenge for business in Africa: report
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

BP recovers $5.1b in Gulf oil spill costs from Anadarko
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Is discretion dead?
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

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

Occupy Toronto takes to the streets again
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

ASX Trading Competitor Chi-X Ready to Operate on Oct. 31
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Alleged Plot Weakens Claims of Iran's Sway in Latin America
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Stock index futures signal higher open
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Thailand raises minimum wage as firms struggle with floods
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Cardinals off to World Series after beating Brewers 12-6
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Kenya hunts kidnappers in Somalia
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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