May 21, 2012 nº 1,180 - Vol. 10


"Remember tonight.. for it is the beginning of always."

Dante Alighieri

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

Proven innocent after proven guilty

Exoneration. It is one of the most redeeming concepts in the American legal system -- the possibility that the justice system will liberate a person who was falsely convicted of a crime. But it is of course also one of the most terrifying aspects of that same system, predicated on the existence of actual failures. The National Registry of Exonerations, formally inaugurated today by the University of Michigan and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern, contains nearly 900 examples of that paradox. The stories, of everyone from white collar defendants to convicted murderers, focus on how these criminal defendants were convicted, and then, thanks to DNA evidence and re-canted testimony, among other things, were subsequently released, sometimes decades after their convictions. The list dates from 1989 to the present and includes 885 examples from both federal court and state courts around the country. It is something of an information-gathering feat: No authoritative data base on exonerations already exists, and information on individual cases is scattered across a range of different sources, according to Samuel Gross, the University of Michigan law professor who made the registry. The "easy" cases to identify were ones already investigated by non-profit legal groups such as the Innocence Project, which focuses on exonerating wrongfully-convicted defendants in death-penalty cases. But beyond that, Gross and his assistants (he had about 18 helpers, some volunteer, some part-time) scoured the Internet, newspapers, state and federal court records and interviewed attorneys to come up with the list of defendants across the country - most cases occurred in state courts - about whom they could gather proof that they'd been exonerated for crimes they didn't commit. But even with these nearly 900 entries, the list is by no means exhaustive, Gross said, because they are largely anecdotal. He assumes more cases will come to light once the registry is public.

Dewey to consider bankruptcy filing

Ailing law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf contends with new debt holders who want to take a more aggressive track, shifting away from earlier attempts at an out-of-court liquidation.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Google wins Chinese approval for Motorola Mobility bid

Chinese regulators have approved Google's $12.5bn purchase of US phone maker Motorola Mobility, the final hurdle for the deal to go through. Chinese authorities said Google must keep its mobile software, Android, free for other device makers for up to five years. The acquisition would be Google's biggest ever. It has already won clearance from US and European regulators.

China's Wanda to buy AMC cinema

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group agrees to buy US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6bn, making it the biggest movie theatre owner globally.

Yahoo agrees $7.1bn Alibaba deal

US internet company Yahoo says it has reached a deal to sell part of its stake in China's biggest internet company Alibaba Group.

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  • Brief News

Could Glass-Steagall have stopped JPMorgan loss?

The banking giant's $2 billion loss has many lawmakers and economists wondering what happened to the 2010 financial overhaul, which was supposed to prevent risky hedging. Many are also looking back further. They say the law, known as the Glass-Steagall Act, was so consequential that there's a direct link between its repeal and both the 2008 financial meltdown and JPMorgan's huge loss. Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression. The original intent was to prevent the kind of speculation and bank runs that led to the catastrophic stock market crash in 1929. But by 1999, the overwhelming consensus on Capitol Hill was that it was time for a change. Then-President Bill Clinton and his treasury secretary, Larry Summers, urged Congress to ease the regulations that separated commercial and investment banks. "If we don't pass this bill, we could find London or Frankfurt or, years down the road, Shanghai becoming the financial capital of the world," Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said on the Senate floor. Glass-Steagall says there needs to be a wall between those two kinds of activities. It's not going to work to let the biggest financial institutions just go out and do what they want. The Volcker Rule, part of the Dodd-Frank Act passed two years ago, is meant to keep those risky activities in check by having federal regulators watch the big banks. But that's not enough. If that's not working, if we don't have regulators who are able to be strong enough and write tough enough rules to keep that distinction in place, the Volcker Rule won't be able to do its job.

Israel parliament rejects civil marriage bill

The Israeli Knesset Wednesday rejected a bill that would have legalized civil marriages in the country. The "Freedom of Choice in Marriage" bill was proposed to allow marriages not approved by Jewish Law, including same-sex marriage and marriages between a Jewish person and a gentile. Currently marriages in Israel are only conducted in religious institutions, and the bill would have allowed the creation of civil marriages not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate. Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz submitted the bill to the Knesset earlier this month. He had submitted the bill twice before but each time it was dismissed during its preliminary reading. While proceeding to a vote this time, the bill was rejected 39-11.

Google given a 'matter of weeks' to submit remedies in EU antitrust probe

Google Inc. must submit remedies within weeks to assuage European Union regulators' antitrust concerns to avoid a formal complaint and possible fines. It is alleged that Google promotes its own specialist "vertical" search services, that it copies rival content including travel and restaurant reviews and that its contracts with software developers prevent ads from being moved to different services. Regulators in 2010 started investigating claims that Google discriminated against other services in its search results and stopped some websites from accepting rival ads.

Strauss-Kahn faces french inquiry over alleged Washington rape in 2010

A French prosecutor has ordered an initial inquiry into claims that ex-IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was involved in "gang rape" in Washington. The allegations come from a Belgian prostitute who said she was at a hotel sex party in the city in December 2010. DSK is already under investigation with three other men over their alleged roles in a prostitution ring. It is claimed that he and his friends hired prostitutes for sex parties in France and the United States while Strauss-Kahn was in charge of the IMF. He denies the allegations. His lawyers said he was the victim of a "lynching campaign".

Euros not austerity: Can Greece have it both ways?

Most Greeks want to keep the euro as their currency. Most also want to cancel the eurozone-imposed austerity measures that come with the billions in international bailout loans keeping the country solvent. This dilemma has paralyzed the country's politics and its people. If Greeks kick out corrupt politicians, then the country will be able to pay its bills without wage and pension cuts and tax hikes. Austerity has strangled the Greek economy, which is now in its fifth year of recession. The unemployment rate is 21 percent — more than double what it was in 2009. Tens of thousands of businesses have closed.

Malawi president vows to decriminalize homosexuality

Malawi President Joyce Banda announced in her first national address on Friday that she will decriminalize homosexual acts. The provisions she intends to repeal are Section 153 and 156 of the Penal Code, which provide 14 years or 5 years imprisonment, respectively, for anyone engaging in male homosexual activity or relationships. Lesbianism is not criminalized in Malawi. The laws have been widely criticized by the international community. The announcement comes as a move to normalize relations with Malawi's development partners in response to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration's pledge to promote LGBT rights when granting foreign aid.

Maryland high court grants same-sex divorce

The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled Friday that a lesbian couple legally married in California can get a divorce in Maryland. Even though Maryland does not currently allow same-sex marriage, the court ruled 7-0 that valid same-sex marriages performed out-of-state should be recognized for purposes of divorce.

Nasdaq blames software design for delayed Facebook trading

Nasdaq, under scrutiny after shares of Facebook Inc. were plagued by delays and mishandled orders on its first day of trading, blamed "poor design" in the software it uses for driving auctions in initial public offerings. Computer systems used to establish the opening price were overwhelmed by order cancellations and updates during the "biggest IPO cross in the history of mankind," Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld said. Nasdaq's systems fell into a "loop" that prevented the second-largest US stock venue operator from opening the shares on schedule following the $16 billion deal, he said. While disappointing new investors who were betting on fast gains, Facebook had a wide winner's circle, creating huge paper gains for scores of early insiders, hundreds of employees and some stragglers who bought stakes recently.

Formula One said to seek $3 billion in Singapore I.P.O.

The Formula One group is aiming to raise up to $3 billion through a Singapore stock market listing, and will begin presenting to fund managers and other big institutional investors on Tuesday. By seeking to list in Singapore, Formula One is moving closer to a region that has become one of its key growth markets. The company, based in Britain, organizes the motor racing world championships of the same name and makes money by managing the commercial rights related to the sport. Formula One employs 200 people and last year booked revenue of 1.17 billion euros, or $1.5 billion.

Using untested law poses risks for prosecutors

As the NATO bomb-making probe intensified over the weekend, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez continued to push a bold — and unprecedented — strategy to hold the suspects accountable under the state's obscure anti-terrorism law. The decision, however, does not come without risk or second-guessing. With four men charged in the last two days under the never-used anti-terrorism law, prosecutors find themselves hitched to an untested statute that was never envisioned as a tool for combating suspected anarchists.

Law schools are developing in-house counsel classes to prep students for changing job market

Law firms have been the traditional first job for attorneys, but during the recession, most large firms dramatically reduced the number of young associates they hired as work slowed. Companies also sought to reduce their legal bills by doing more work in-house, putting the demand for corporate counsel on an "upward trajectory." Many business enterprises have decreased their reliance on outside counsel for legal services and brought more of their legal needs in-house, resulting in more opportunities in this area of practice. Educating students for the unique aspects of this practice will give them a leg up in this job market. Law schools are following suit: they are developing in-house lawyering courses for the 2012-13 academic year that are to address law firm management, business and legal regulatory compliance and other issues confronting in-house counsel as part of their effort to increase opportunities for students to gain practical skills.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
King Bibi. Bibi's Choice. Will He Make War? Can He Make Peace?

Newsweek
New secrets of the universe

Business Week
How Zuck haked the Valey

The Economist
The endangered public company

Der Spiegel
Ziemlich beste Feinde

L'Espresso
Psico-dracma Le riforme arenate. Il percorso a ostacoli del governo. Il ritorno di Berlusconi. I timori del Quirinale. Così la politica rischia un copione alla greca.

  • Daily Press Review

Scores killed in Yemen suicide blast
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Lebanon: Ministers urge GCC States to reconsider travel warnings
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Israeli MKs engage in stormy debate over African asylum seekers
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Bomber hits Yemen military practice, kills 63
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Hunt investigated over donations
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Strauss-Kahn faces gang rape allegations
CNN International, London, England

New rules on traveller TB screening
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

John Terry lampooned online after Chelsea captain lifted Champions League trophy in full kit (and even shinpads) despite being banned from the final
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Shilpa Shetty gives birth to baby boy with husband Raj Kundra
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Quake victims sleep outdoors as aftershocks hit Italy
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

YEMEN: Dozens killed in suicide attack on Yemen army
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

May 19 celebrations are better this way
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

63 soldiers killed in huge suicide bomb blast in Yemen capital Sanaa
Independent The, London, England

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

Adele wins 12 Billboard awards
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

MPs seek probe into ft rise plan
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

NATO to endorse Afghan exit plan, seeks routes out
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

KDI Cuts Growth Outlook to 3.6%
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Suicide attack against Yemen army in Sanaa kills 50
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Women's expedition team close to reaching Mt Everest
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Overwork dropped as new angles emerge in fatal bus accident
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

At least 20 soldiers killed in Yemen bombing
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Who can provide good solution for European issue?
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

96 soldiers killed in Yemen suicide blast: Medics
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Is this the next big thing?
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

China files diplomatic protest over US military report
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Google says disagrees with EU antitrust opinion
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Mount Everest descent claims Canadian woman, 2 others
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Mount Everest claims Canadian, 2 others, on descent from peak
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Air India Pilots' Strike: Minister To Hold Talks With Unions, IPG Not Invited
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Buenos Aires Offers Same-Sex Marriage to Foreign Couples
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Stock futures higher as G8 wants Greece in euro
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Putin dominates new Russian government
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb dies at 62
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Lockerbie bomber's funeral due
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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