May 16, 2012 nº 1,178 - Vol. 10

"It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake."

Henry Louis Mencken

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  • Top News

Apple, publishers must face consumers' e-book suit

Apple Inc and five major book publishers have failed to persuade a US judge to throw out a lawsuit by consumers accusing them of conspiring to raise electronic book prices two years ago. The lawsuit in US District Court in New York is related to government charges in April accusing Apple and publishers of colluding to break up Amazon.com's low-cost dominance of the digital book market. HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Simon & Schuster Inc and Hachette Book Group reached settlements with the Department of Justice's anti-trust division. Apple and two of the publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, said in court last month that they want to go to trial to defend themselves against the government charges. The judge has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for June 22. The consumers' main allegation is that the publishers worked together to raise prices and decrease retail competition with Apple coordinating the agreement among them. In court papers, the defendants described the pricing agreement allegation as implausible. One of their arguments was that after the purported pricing agreement, prices became more varied, not less so.

Greece To Pay Out Foreign Law Bond

Greece's government said Tuesday that it would honor in full a maturing, foreign-law bond that was not included in the country's recent debt restructuring but said the payment would not necessarily set a precedent. The principal as well as the interest due on approximately EUR435 million of bonds maturing on May 15 make it a small redemption, but the decision does not prejudice future decisions on the treatment of the remaining bonds not tendered in the debt restructuring. A move not to pay out those bond holders was seen as setting a worrying precedent for European debt markets that could further rattle investors.

Access to public information in Brazil

The recent law on access to public information in Brazil will be implemented gradually, with some specific resistance, up to the moment when transparency has become a permanent culture posits Marcelo Sarkis lawyer at Alcantara & Holstad International Consultancy in Brasilia. To read this article, click here.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Hollande Sworn In as President of France - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China: Trouble at the top?

The machinations of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, the nine people who run China day to day, are always kept secret to ensure a sense of stability in this country of 1.3 billion. For the Communist Party that's especially important now, ahead of the power handover - a time deemed highly sensitive. In a speech, China's hugely powerful security chief Zhou Yongkang spoke of the dangers of Western, democratic influences undermining the rule of the Communist Party, saying "we must have a clear head and a clear-cut stand to confidently boycott those trains of thoughts that attempt to Westernize China, separate China and bring chaos to China". What's interesting is not so much the content of the speech, which isn't new, but the prominence it is given.

Chen speaks to US Congress again

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng tells the US Congress of "a pattern" of harassment against his relatives, in a second telephone conversation. The Chinese dissident told the hearing that ''trumped up'' murder charges had been brought against his nephew.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Aerolíneas extranjeras?

La aerolínea chilena PAL estudia demanda contra el Estado. La compañía presentará un recurso de protección, solicitando una orden de no innovar, para que se paralicen los vuelos de la sueca West Air Sweden y la mexicana Aerolíneas Damojh de C.V. (Presione aquí)

Petrobras

La estatal petrolera de Bolivia, YPFB, dijo el martes que negociará tres nuevos contratos con la brasileña Petrobras para la exploración y explotación de gas natural en el distrito sureño de Tarija, el principal productor de hidrocarburos del país. (Presione aquí)

Extradición

Tribunal de Costa Rica espera extradición de ambientalista, Paul Watson, recluido en Alemania. El acusado debe enfrentar un proceso por atentado contra un barco de pesca en aguas guatemaltecas. (Presione aquí)

Protesta

Guatemala se queja por rechazo de Estados Unidos en devolución de una menor adoptada ilegalmente. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

New Greek elections as coalition talks fail

Greece is set to go to the polls again after days of coalition talks failed to produce agreement on a new government, says the leader of the Socialist Pasok party, Evangelos Venizelos. A final round of talks on Tuesday morning broke up without a deal. European leaders say that they will cut off funding for Greece if it rejects the bailout agreed in March. This would mean effective bankruptcy for Greece and its all but certain exit from the European single currency, analysts say.

France vows to work with Germany

Newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande pledges to work with Germany to resolve the EU's economic crisis, despite policy differences. Hollande said "everything must be put on the table by everyone" that could promote growth. He included the possibility of eurobonds, which would pool the debts of eurozone nations, backed by all 17 member governments. Germany has always rejected the idea of eurobonds. Their most critical division is over austerity. Politically Merkel regards Hollande as a tax-and-spend socialist.

Brazil to cut electricity taxes to boost economy

Dilma Rousseff plans to cut and simplify taxes for electricity producers and distributors, two senior officials told Reuters, as part of a strategy to reduce Brazil's high business costs and stimulate its struggling economy. Brazil has been on the brink of recession since mid-2011 as high taxes, an overvalued exchange rate and other structural problems squeeze what had previously been one of the world's most dynamic emerging economies.

Court remands Apple's injunction request against Samsung

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit partially on Monday reversed the district court's refusal to grant a temporary injunction for Apple against Samsung for Samsung's "Galaxy" line of products. The appeals court agreed with the district court in denying a temporary injunction on three of the four appeals but remanded the case for further consideration of US Patent No. D504,899. The district court had held that the patent was obvious in light of certain prior art references, but the appeals court ruled that the district court improperly considered "the 'general concept' of a tablet" rather than "the distinctive 'visual appearances' of the reference and the claimed design."

Mladic to face genocide charges

Bosnian Serb former General Ratko Mladic goes on trial in The Hague on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide. He is the last of the main protagonists in the Balkan wars of the 1990s to face an international trial. Judicial authorities have rejected defense calls to delay proceedings, most recently a petition to have the Dutch presiding Judge Alphons Orie replaced on grounds of alleged bias.

Strauss-Kahn sues NY maid for $1m

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is counter-suing a hotel maid who accused him of sexual harassment, seeking $1m in damages. The allegation led DSK to resign from his post at the IMF and was widely seen as having ruined his chance of becoming the socialist presidential candidate back in France. He is now seeking compensation for the loss of his job, defamation and false imprisonment. His claim also demands further unspecified punitive damages as well as his legal fees. He denies all wrong-doing and says the sexual encounter was consensual.

Airlines 'are conforming' with EU rules on emissions

The EU required airlines to report by March on 2011 emissions as a "dry run"; all did, bar 10 from China and India. The issue is controversial, with China telling airlines not to take part and US firms mounting a legal challenge. The outcome could be a full-scale trade war, even though the measure will add only about $3 to the price of a trans-Atlantic flight. The EU has said it will suspend the requirement to include all flights beginning or ending in the EU in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) if other countries can agree a genuinely global mechanism that will charge airlines for the contribution they are making to global warming.

Facebook said to raise size of IPO to 421 million shares

Facebook Inc. (FB) is boosting the number of shares for sale in its initial public offering to 421 million, letting it raise as much as $16 billion. The world's largest-social networking website is increasing by 25 percent an offering that was initially set at 337.4 million shares. Facebook, gearing up for the largest-ever IPO for a technology company, had already increased the IPO share-price range to $34 to $38 apiece. Facebook, gearing up for the largest-ever IPO of a technology company, had already increased the offering's price range to $34 to $38 apiece, from $28 to $35 previously. Investors are betting that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg can overcome slowing sales growth by expanding into areas such as mobile advertising and e-commerce.

Supreme Court rules on Chapter 12 bankruptcy tax issue

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday in Hall v. United States that family farmers filing bankruptcy under Chapter 12 of the bankruptcy code cannot discharge a capital gains tax incurred by a post-petition sale of a farm, as the profit of that sale is not considered part of the estate. The majority, in an opinion authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, declared that a taxes incurred by a post-petition sale of the farm to aid the estate are incurred by the individuals who sold the farm, not the estate itself

Murdoch editor charged over hacking

Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charlie, have been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over the phone-hacking inquiry. Three of Brooks's staff, and News International security head Mark Hanna, are also charged with the offence. They have been charged with offences including concealing documents and computers from police.

Israeli court orders three West Bank settlements demolished

The European Union this week continued the international condemnation of Israel's policy of building settlements in largely Palestinian areas. The enclaves are a stumbling block to restarting peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But in a minor win for Palestinians, an Israeli court has ordered three small West Bank settlements in Ulpana to be demolished after ruling they were illegal.

  • Daily Press Review

Ratko Mladic to go on trial for genocide
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Iraq vice-president's death squad trial begins
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Iraq bomb attacks against security kill five
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israeli communication tycoons suffer losses of NIS 353 million in two days
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

'United States expands ties with Syrian rebels'
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Mladic to face genocide charges
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Long-awaited Mladic war crimes trial to open
CNN International, London, England

Obama teases 'up and comer' Beckham
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Blow the bloody doors off! Sir Michael Caine locked in his dressing room overnight after falling asleep on set of new movie
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Meg Matthews nearly spills out of her plunging dress for charity event
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Hollande and Merkel pledge joint eurozone proposals
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012: Hollande and Merkel vow to seek growth for Europe
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkish doctors complete fourth face transplant
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Carlos Fuentes, author of The Old Gringo, dies at 83
Independent The, London, England

Bucking expectations, April capital outflow reaches $8 billion
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Greece on brink of collapse
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Coronation Street Musical dates postponed
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

111 gathering at Pheu Thai
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Gov't sets up task force to monitor stock market
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Partial Solar Eclipse Next Monday
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Police disperse protesters at anti-Putin sit-in
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Missing Nashik girls traced to Punjab, brought back
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

260 the target for summer whaling in northwest Pacific
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Newlywed bride found dead in bathtub
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Canada marks anniversary of repeal of anti-Chinese immigrant law
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Obama assets valued between $3.3m and $10.4m
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Love loses to old and cold
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Iran and IAEA extend nuclear talks
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Thomas L Friedman: Online courses by MIT, Harvard is a revolution
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Greece seeing deposits drain, report says
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Mexican novelist, essayist Carlos Fuentes wrote with a social conscience
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Australian Stock Market Report - Midday 5/16/2012
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Brazilian Government Sets Guidelines for Success at Rio+20
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Global shares fall as Greek turmoil saps risk appetite
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Austerity to strain transatlantic ties at NATO Chicago summit
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Woman dies after long ORNGE ambulance delay, family says
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

UN warns of South Sudan hunger
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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