November 30, 2011 nº 1,119 - Vol. 9


"Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge."

Winston Churchill

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  • Top News

Eurozone finance ministers likely to miss rescue target

Plans to expand the eurozone's debt rescue fund to about 1tn euros ($1.3tn) look unlikely to be achieved. Eurozone finance ministers held talks late into Tuesday evening in a bid to agree a deal on bolstering the European Financial Stability Facility. But Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said after the meeting that the 1tn euro target was unlikely to be hit. However, ministers did agree to allow the bailout fund to partially guarantee potential losses investors might incur on the purchase of government bonds. In a statement the EFSF said the guarantee would give a bondholder "an amount of fixed credit protection of 20-30% of the principal amount of the sovereign bond. "The partial risk protection is to be used primarily under precautionary programs and is aimed at increasing demand for new issues of Member States and lowering funding costs." European leaders are coming under increasing pressure to agree a decisive plan of action to resolve the debt crisis.

US minors' life sentences 'must end'

Amnesty International has called for the US to stop sentencing juveniles to life in prison without parole. More than 2,500 adults are in US jails for crimes committed as a child - under current rules they will never be freed. Amnesty says the practice is incompatible with the basic principles of juvenile justice. The US and Somalia are the only two countries not to have ratified a UN convention that bans life in jail without parole for under-18 year olds.

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  • Crumbs

1 - American Airlines parent AMR files for bankruptcy as Horton is named CEO - click here.

2 - Conrad Murray gets four years for role in Michael Jackson's death - click here.

3 - Facebook reaches deal over deceptive behavior allegations - click here.

4 - Fitch keeps U.S. credit rating at 'AAA', cuts outlook to negative - click here.

5 - Secret Fed loans gave banks $13bn - click here.

6 - General Motors offers loaner cars to Volt owners - click here.

7 - U.S. job market shows ills of Europe - click here.

8 - Hungry criminal gets 80 years in prison - click here.

9 - Joseph Kabila and where the election in Congo went wrong Democracy under threat - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China to limit 'vulgar' reality television shows

China is to clamp down on the number of entertainment shows broadcast on satellite television channels in a bid to boost public morality. Authorities are concerned at the "vulgar tendencies" of light entertainment shows, particularly reality TV, dating and talk shows. From next year, satellite channels will each be permitted to screen only two programs of this type a week. Networks will be required to promote "socialist core values" instead.

China redefines countryside poor

China increases the level at which people in rural areas are considered poor to $1 a day, a move that should see millions more get state benefits.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Arbitraje

Tethyan Copper, que controla el proyecto de oro y cobre en la provincia pakistaní de Baluchistán, dijo que comenzó procedimientos de arbitrio internacional para proteger sus derechos luego de que la provincia rechazó su concesión minera. Tethyan, es un emprendimiento conjunto entre Antofagasta de Chile y la canadiense Barrick Gold. (Presione aquí)

Demandas

Venezuela espera que en lo que resta del año se resuelvan los millonarios arbitrajes que enfrenta en tribunales internacionales con las petroleras estadounidenses Exxon Mobil y ConocoPhillips. El país miembro de la OPEP enfrenta una veintena procesos internacionales, luego de las nacionalizaciones llevadas a cabo por el presidente Hugo Chávez.

Pensiones

AFP Capital sumará un nuevo propietario. Se trata de un fondo de inversión estadounidense que esta semana cerrará un acuerdo con el Grupo SURA para participar de la operación de compra de los activos en América Latina de ING, transacción que incluye las operaciones de la administradora de fondos de pensiones en Chile. La operación implica una inversión de US$ 300 mlls. por parte del fondo, según afirma el presidente de Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana, David Bojanini.

  • Brief News

Wall Street titans in credit downgrade

Using a new standard announced recently, Standard and Poor's reduced the credit rating for seven of the top eight American banks, as well as banks in Europe. The agency lowered by one notch its long-term credit ratings on some of the biggest and best-known banks in the United States, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase. In Europe, Barclays, HSBC, UBS were downgraded. The move could increase funding costs for some banks. S.&P. left 20 other banks unchanged and actually increased the ratings on two Chinese firms, the China Construction Bank and the Bank of China.

American Airlines files for bankruptcy

American Airlines' parent company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but expects business to continue as normal. Shares in the airline plunged immediately they resumed trading on Tuesday and closed 81% down. They are now worth 31 cents each. Speculation about AMR's financial position surfaced in recent weeks after cost-cutting negotiations failed. It's a complex business, but when it comes to costs, there are just two that really keep CEOs and CFOs awake at night: fuel and labor. Bankruptcy, for the airline industry in particular, is just a way to refinance the business. It is a financial move to keep you in business and give you some time to renegotiate with your lenders.

EU plans new consumer watchdog for disputes

Shoppers who get into disputes with European traders should find it easier to get an out-of-court settlement in future, under new EU proposals. The European Commission proposes an EU-wide online platform for consumers to "solve contractual disputes entirely online within 30 days". Often mechanisms for resolving customer complaints only exist in some regions or sectors, the commission says. Standardized rules could save consumers 22.5bn euros (£19bn) annually, it says.

Facebook settles with FTC on users' privacy

Facebook has agreed to tighten privacy controls as part of a settlement with US regulators over abuse of user data. The Federal Trade Commission said Facebook would tighten consent rules on privacy, and close access to deleted accounts in 30 days or less. Facebook did not admit guilt and was not fined, but it was barred from "making any further deceptive privacy claims" and will undergo regular checks on privacy practices.

Facebook may be forced to go public amid market gloom

Facebook will almost certainly have to go public during this time whether it wants to or not — and whether or not it can get a valuation of $100 billion or more in doing so. And it's partly Facebook's fault — it just has too many shareholders. Securities regulation requires a United States company with 500 or more shareholders of record to begin filing reports, including audited financial information, with the Securities and Exchange Commission four months after the year it exceeds this threshold. Facebook most likely exceeded 500 shareholders this year. By the end of April 2012, it will become subject to this heightened regulation and have to disclose a spate of confidential business information.

Arab League serious on Syria

The secretary general of the Arab League has said its approval of unprecedented sanctions has sent a very serious political message to Syria. It is not business as usual; sanctions recently agreed by Arab states would come into force on Saturday unless Syria kept its promises. Syria's foreign minister has described the sanctions as "economic war". Past experience of international sanctions against countries like Iraq and Libya have shown they were not foolproof.

Company bond sales plunge as trust in banks fades

European companies are selling the fewest bonds in six years as the sovereign crisis sidelines cash-rich treasurers increasingly wary of the region's banks. Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest automaker, Italian power company Enel SpA and Renault SA led 80 billion euros ($107 billion) of bond sales this year, the smallest amount since 2005. Borrowers may cut sales further next year to a euro-era record low of 70 billion euros.

Lawyers' bonuses under pressure

Traditionally a barometer for the profitability of the legal industry, law firm bonuses are expected to remain at 2010 levels, still significantly lower than the lucrative days of 2007. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP sent a sobering message on the financial state of the legal economy, saying it would keep its year-end bonuses to associate attorneys mostly at 2010 levels. The bonuses are only slightly higher than they were in 2009—when they were at their post-financial-meltdown lows—but are still down significantly from 2007.

FBI fights to keep jurisdiction on terror suspects

FBI Director Robert Mueller is joining the fray as lawmakers and the Obama administration fight over whether the U.S. will rely on civilian or military authorities to detain and try terrorists in the U.S. The Senate is pushing a plan to put the military in the lead. and would allow the FBI to take charge only if the defense secretary granted a waiver. The legislation "introduces a substantial element of uncertainty as to what procedures are to be followed in the course of a terrorism investigation," Mueller wrote. He added that the proposed changes "will inhibit our ability to convince covered arrestees to cooperate immediately, and provide critical intelligence."

Nobel peace laureate urges ICC investigation into former Yemen regime

Nobel peace laureate Tawakkul Karman on Monday uged the ICC - International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into the violent crackdown on dissent and alleged human rights violations by the country's former president, Ali Abdullah Sakeh. Although Karman presented ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo with a file on crimes she believes were committed by Saleh's regime, the Nobel laureate was also quick to acknowledge that her plea will likely fail due to the fact that Yemen has not signed the court's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, and is therefore not a member of the ICC.

Citigroup faces toxic asset trial

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday blocked a proposed $285 million settlement with Citigroup Inc over the sale of toxic mortgage debt. The US SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission put no effort into learning what Citigroup did wrong, Judge Jed Rakoff wrote, adding that the SEC was wrong to ask the court to ignore interests of the public.

Nestle to investigate child labor on its cocoa farms

Nestle, the world' largest food company, has hired an organization that specializes in accountability to investigate and document child labor on the cocoa farms that supply its chocolate in Côte d'Ivoire.

Nigeria Senate approves bill criminalizing same-sex marriage

The Nigerian Senate passed a bill Tuesday that makes it illegal for same-sex couples to marry or for an individual to aid in the marriage of same-sex couples. The bill explicitly states that marriages entered into by persons of the same gender are prohibited and will not be recognized as valid, even if the marriage certificate is obtained in a foreign country.

  • Daily Press Review

Turkey puts sanctions on Syria
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Saudi Arabia urges citizens to leave Syria
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Thousands in Syria rally against Arab sanctions
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Turkey cuts trade ties with Syria amid continued protest crackdowns
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Britain says withdrawing 'some' staff from Tehran
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Up to two million set to strike
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Clinton looks for signs of real change in Myanmar
CNN International, London, England

Killer whale to remain in captivity
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

George Osborne upgrades benefits and hard working families are footing the bill
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Meryl Streep takes home prestigious film award for portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Britain to pull all diplomatic staff out of Iran
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

IVORY COAST: Gbagbo faces crimes against humanity charges at Hague
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Paid exemption from military service starts Dec. 31
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Norway closes embassy in Tehran
Independent The, London, England

Let me entertain you
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Leveson Inquiry: 'One or more NOTW journalists deleted voicemail from Milly Dowler's mobile'
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

British Fashion Award 2011: Fashion's most talented line-up in a generation
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Jatuporn: I've been persecuted
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Border staff, teachers join major UK strike
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Jeju Sees Over 8 Million Tourists
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

New quake hits eastern Turkey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

FIR against Salman Khan for assault
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Bhutan royals trip masks rights issues
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Police prepare to evict Occupy Los Angeles camp
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Jordan's king says failure to reach Mideast peace threatens int'l stability
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

UK public sector workers begin 1-day strike
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

TV star and swinger code
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Kaohsiung E-DA Crown Plazacelebrates its first anniversary in Taiwan
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

US economy expands 2% in September quarter
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

U.K. sees delays as 2 million workers strike
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Ex-Ivory Coast president Gbagbo charged with crimes against humanity
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

RBI's Reference Rate for Dollar Today
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Nicaragua Sows Quality Seeds to Reap Quantity
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Global stocks hit by fresh bank tremors
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Gbagbo faces charges of crimes against humanity - ICC
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Biggest public transit system in recent history could be run without the TTC
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Ivory Coast ex-head taken to ICC
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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