February 6, 2012 nº 1,141 - Vol. 10

Change, as it's said, is difficult. But without it, we'd have no way to grow or to achieve our goals."

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  • Top News

EU asks Google to delay new privacy policy

The European Union's data protection authorities wrote a letter to Google Thursday asking it to delay implementation of its new privacy policy, which is supposed to take effect March 1. The EU is concerned the privacy policy, which will combine various policies of more than 60 of its products into one, may be in violation of EU laws. Google released details of its new privacy policy last week, saying it will make it easier to share user information between different products, as well as enhancing search engine capabilities. Google also claims the policy will be simpler and easier for users to read and understand. Although the EU has not pinpointed which areas of the policy it is concerned with, it would like a chance to investigate the terms before they take effect. Google responded to the letter in statements Friday, stating that it had already briefed data protection agencies on the new policy and giving no indication that it plans to delay implementation.

Federal judge allows challenge to Utah anti-polygamy law

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Utah ruled Friday that the Browns, a publicly polygamist family living in Utah, have standing to bring a suit challenging Utah's anti-bigamy law against Utah County Attorney General Jeffrey Buhman. The court dismissed challenges brought against Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff for lack of standing, saying there was insufficient evidence that the state officials had any intention to prosecute the family under these laws. The challenges against Buhman were allowed to stand, however, because there was sufficient evidence that complaints made to county officers had led to an investigation, and there was reason to infer that the county might pursue prosecution under the law. The family challenged the law in July as a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, saying they are not pursuing legal recognition of their marriage, but simply want to end prosecutions against them and other families who choose this lifestyle.

Law grads go to court - for bankruptcy protection

It's a sad irony of the Great Recession: Law students are borrowing an average of $106,000 for private schools or $70,000 for public schools at a time when there are fewer legal jobs to help them pay off the loans. And that's brought a rise in defaults, leaving some turning to the courts to help them cope with huge debt loads. Although no definitive data tracks how many law-school students and recent graduates have declared bankruptcy, observers say law graduates face a "perfect storm" in which average law-school debt is up 50 percent between 2001 and 2010 and is now outpacing graduates' earning power. Consumer bankruptcies overall were actually down by 11 percent in 2011, but several indicators, such as student-loan default rates, suggest that law students and graduates have not benefited from this trend. The debt load on students is made worse by the shrinking legal job market. Since Jan. 1, 2008, major law firms have laid off about 5,900 attorneys; that is about 5 percent of all attorneys at the 250 largest law firms.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Beijing defends Syria veto at UN

Chinese state-run media have defended Beijing's veto of a UN resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters. China's top newspapers said the Western push for a regime change in Syria was erroneous, citing previous campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The US earlier described as a "travesty" the veto by China and Russia of the UN resolution over the weekend. In Syria, government troops have continued attacks on the city of Homs.

China 'bans' airlines from joining EU carbon scheme

China has "banned" all airlines in the country from joining the European Union's ETS - Emissions Trading Scheme aimed at cutting carbon emissions. The authorities have also barred the airlines from increasing their fares or adding new charges for the scheme. The scheme, implemented from 1 January, levies a charge on flights in EU airspace based on carbon emissions.


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  • Brief News

Brazil airport auction to test investment climate

Brazil today will auction rights to operate three of its busiest airports in a deal worth 16 billion reais ($9bn) in investments that tests the government's ability to attract private capital ahead of the 2014 World Cup. Air travel in Latin America's biggest economy has doubled in the past decade as rising incomes have swelled the middle class. With many of the country's aging airports operating at full capacity, officials at soccer's governing body FIFA have said they're concerned Brazil will not be ready to handle the 500,000 visitors expected to attend the month-long tournament. The auction of an airport in Brasilia and two near Sao Paulo is an about-face for Rousseff's Workers' Party, which has long opposed private management of the facilities and other industries it considers strategic.

Fewer autopsies mean crucial info goes to the grave

Autopsies are conducted on just 5 percent of patients who die in hospitals, and experts say that is a troubling trend that has broad implications for public health in America: Death certificates aren't as accurate as they could be, and that information drives research dollars and public health spending.

Carlyle drops arbitration clause from I.P.O. plans

The Carlyle Group, the private equity giant that filed to go public last month, is caving to pressure from investors and regulators over a controversial legal clause in its initial public offering filing. The clause would have prohibited the company's shareholders from filing class-action lawsuits, forcing them into a confidential arbitration process instead. The plan had drawn opposition from investors, lawmakers and the Securities and Exchange Commission, with some worrying that the clause would deprive shareholders of the power to bring claims against the company in the case of wrongdoing.

ICJ rules Germany immune from Nazi victim claims

The ICJ - International Court of Justice on Friday ruled that Germany has immunity from claims brought in foreign courts by victims of the Nazi regime. The Court found that a 2008 decision by Italy's Supreme Court violated Germany's sovereign rights by allowing an Italian national to seek reparations in response to his deportation in 1944. Germany appealed this decision to the ICJ and oral arguments were heard in September 2011. Germany argued that allowing the ruling to stand would violate state immunity and open the floodgates to new claims. The Italian representatives alleged that the Italian court's ruling was necessary to secure compensation because all other avenues had failed. The ICJ found that this "last resort" notion was not a viable argument, because redress in international law is not based upon the availability of other manners of compensation.

Egypt 'to put on trial foreign NGO workers'

Egypt says it is to put on trial 43 people - including Americans and other foreigners - over the funding of non-governmental organizations. Egypt's ruling military council has accused foreign groups of funding street protests against them. It has raided the offices of several NGOs and banned a number of foreign staff from leaving the country. Washington has warned it could review US aid to Egypt unless Cairo respects the rights of NGOs.

Apple overturns Motorola's sales bans

Apple has been granted a temporary suspension of a sales ban imposed on some of its products in Germany. Motorola Mobility had forced Apple to remove several iPad and iPhone models from its online store earlier today after enforcing a patent infringement court ruling delivered in December. An appeals court lifted the ban after Apple made a new license payment offer. The suspension may only last a few days or weeks - but that Apple's revised proposal had been enough to allow it to restart sales.

France appeals court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

A French court of appeals on Thursday upheld the 2009 fraud conviction against the Church of Scientology, fining the defendants a total of €600,000. The decision upheld the original conviction of the ASES - Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology, an affiliated bookstore, and seven other members for fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy. The complaint was originally filed by a woman who was recruited in 1998 and spent €21,000 on the church and was then not allowed to leave or receive a reimbursement. The appeals court ordered the ASES to pay €400,000 and the bookstore to pay €200,000 in damages to the woman and two other plaintiffs. France does not recognize Scientology as a religion, but the court denied the plaintiffs' request to disband the group in France entirely.

Pentagon official denies extension for 9/11 suspects

Bruce MacDonald, the senior Pentagon official overseeing war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo, on Friday denied a request to extend the filing deadline for pre-trial motions for prisoners accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. The prisoners' lawyers stated that they needed the extension because of delays in getting security clearance and new restrictions on legal mail between the attorneys and their clients. The prisoners' arraignment is set to occur within months.

Crime soars in Brazil's Bahia state as police strike

The Brazilian government has deployed the army in the northeastern state of Bahia where a police strike has sparked a wave of violence. Official figures suggest the murder rate has more than doubled in the state capital, Salvador, since police stopped work there on Tuesday. The number of assaults and thefts has also risen compared to previous weeks. The officers are demanding a 50% wage increase and better working conditions. Bahia state officials said one of the strike leaders was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of stealing public funds. The officials said the arrest was related to the seizure by striking officers of more than a dozen police vehicles.

Hungarian airline Malev collapses

The Hungarian national airline Malev has folded after its financial situation became unsustainable. "At 0500 GMT... after 66 years of almost continuous operation Malev will no longer take off," it said. It came after the European Commission ordered Malev to repay various forms of state aid received from 2007 to 2010. The sums involved amounted to 38 billion forints (130m euros; $171m; £108m), a sum equal to its entire 2010 revenue. The European Consumer Organization, which "defends the interests of all Europe's consumers", said the news came after Spanair's collapse in the very same week. "This development is yet more incontrovertible proof that the current update of European legislation on air travel must incorporate a mandatory guarantee against airline bankruptcies," it said.

Federal government requests additional time for oral argument in health care reform case

The federal government on Friday requested additional time for oral argument before the US Supreme Court to argue that the minimum coverage provision of the PPACA - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires almost every US citizen to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty, is constitutional. The government requested an additional 30 minutes, which would bring the total time allotted for oral argument to six hours. The government is defending the health care minimum coverage requirement by attempting to keep the focus of the argument on health care reform as a whole, rather than on the specific minimum coverage provision. Arguments are scheduled for March 26–28.

France court rules Google Maps practicing unfair competition

The French Commercial Tribunal in Paris ruled Tuesday that Google Maps is anti-competitive because it is offered as a free service. The plaintiff, Bottin Cartographers, alleged that Google provides its maps service for free, thereby undercutting competitors, in order to gain market control. The court ordered that Google must pay £415,000 to the plaintiff, as well as a €15,000 fine, totaling about $680,000. This is the first conviction against Google's maps service. The attorney for Bottin Cartographers said the decision "recognized the unfair and abusive character of the methods used and allocated Bottin Cartographes all it claimed." Google plans to appeal the ruling.

Blankfein to speak out for same-sex marriage

The Human Rights Campaign has recruited Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs to be its first national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

This man is busting Wall Street. The Street Fighter. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has already taken down some of the financial world's most prominent figures. He's just getting started.

The war on Christians.

Business Week
Making the World's Largest Airline Fly. Merging Continental and United means endless decisions, from uniforms to coffee.

The Economist
A fistful of dollars. (Facebook)

Der Spiegel
Die Gestresste Seele.

Carceri d'oro.

  • Daily Press Review

Syrian army 'steps up Homs offensive'
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Tunisia, Yemen's Karman: cut ties with Syria
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Education Minister: Only issue with Hebron school trips is that they should have started long ago
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Fatah, Hamas close to agreement on unity gov't
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Motorists warned of ice 'hazard'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Australian residents urged to leave flood-hit town
CNN International, London, England

China to defy EU emissions tax
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

'Good lord, the bill is how much?': Man racks up $10,000 cell phone bill watching Netflix
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Tulisa Contostavlos goes for ladylike chic in a pretty checked dress
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Greek leaders seek last minute agreement on aid
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

SYRIA: China defends veto on Syria resolution
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Security in Europe and the MidEast as US move to Pacific
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Depardieu cast in role of Strauss-Kahn in new biopic
Independent The, London, England

Russians rush to snap up credit
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Scotland referendum: We need a poetry of the Union to defeat Salmond's freedom shtick
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Gemma Arterton: I'll never do a sexy photoshoot again
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Govt must be 'clear about amendments'
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Conservative wins Finland presidential vote
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Is the DUP Suffering from Amnesia?
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Pakistan doesn't want war with India: Gilani
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Name the corrupt, mantris to babus
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Hakuho wins one-day tournament
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Chavez threatens Britain with Falklands pledge
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

6.8-magnitude quake hits Negros - Cebu region, Philippines -- USGS
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Canadian Muslims issue fatwa against 'honour killing
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

The vex factor
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Former White House intern reveals 18-month affair with late US president JF Kennedy
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Drag China to WTO on currency issue: Senators
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Harper to raise Syria crisis on China trip
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Was it worth it? Canadians reflect on the war in Afghanistan
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

China Slows Down on Retail Therapy Shopping
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

A Turbulent Twenty Years for Venezuelan Democracy
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asian stocks rise, U.S. jobs gain outweighs Greece
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

China says Tibet facing 'urgent' task to maintain stability
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

TTC chair Karen Stintz moves to bury Mayor Rob Ford's subway
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Egypt 'to try foreign NGO staff'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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