June 13, 2012 nº 1,188 - Vol. 10


"I always have a quotation for everything -- it saves original thinking."

Dorothy L. Sayers

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  • Top News

Finra to launch new program for large arbitrations

A pilot program that will give parties more flexibility in securities arbitration cases involving $10 million or more in claims will launch on July 2. The FINRA program will allow parties in large disputes to "shape their own arbitration." Parties that agree to use the pilot program can bypass certain FINRA arbitration rules and procedures by customizing the process to better suit their cases. For example, parties will be able to hire arbitrators that may not be in FINRA's arbitrator pool and develop their own procedures for exchanging information prior to the hearing, among other things. FINRA, Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog, runs the arbitration forum in which most investors and securities industry members are required to resolve their legal disputes against brokerage firms. The pilot program is FINRA's response to a surge in cases in which claimants are requesting significant awards. There are more than 200 cases pending in FINRA's arbitration forum involving claims over $10 million. Claimants, in a small number of those cases, are requesting as much as a $100 million.

'Under God' in pledge isn't a 'religious truth'

It's only been part of the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954, but the phrase "under God" has been the subject of a fair number of lawsuits, including new one in which the judge declared that it is not a "religious truth." S. Jane Haggerty, a Superior Court judge in Massachusetts, rejected a lawsuit form an atheist couple and their children, who sued their school district in a challenge to the use of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Boston Globe reported. Judge Haggerty said in her ruling that the daily recitation of the pledge with those words didn't violate plaintiffs' rights, and despite plaintiffs' claims, the phrase "under God" was not a religious truth. Judge Haggerty said the flag salute and the pledge are "clearly designed to inculcate patriotism and to instill a recognition of the blessings conferred by orderly government under the constitutions of the state and the nation." She added that the addition of "under God" doesn't "convert the exercise into a prayer." Instead, the judge wrote, "under God" was "intended to reflect the history and political philosophy of the United States," citing Congress' 2002 affirmation of the pledge.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Sky unit may face TV sports-clip price curbs, court aide says - click here.

2 - Deloitte settles Bear Stearns shareholder lawsuit - click here.

3 - LinkedIn defends reaction in wake of password theft - click here.

4 - French publisher group strikes deal with Google over e-books - click here.

5 - Top court rejects Padilla torture lawsuit appeal - click here.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Candidatura

El presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, se registró como candidato para las elecciones de octubre. El mandatario busca un cuarto periodo de seis años en la presidencia del país, que gobierna desde 1999. (Presione aquí)

Ley

El presidente chileno, Sebastián Piñera, promulgó la ley que establece la inhabilidad de por vida a quienes hayan sido imputados por delitos sexuales contra menores. Los condenados constarán en un registro público para evitar que trabajen en rubros que tengan contacto directo con niños. (Presione aquí)

Boda

La Justicia uruguaya reconoció, por primera vez en la historia del país, un matrimonio homosexual. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Victims file new brief on corporate liability for torture overseas

Victims of alleged torture and international law violations that took place overseas filed their supplemental brief to the US Supreme Court Monday arguing that the ATS - Alien Tort Statute of 1789 is not limited to torts that occur in the US. The brief argues that because the 18th century statute was enacted to prosecute piracy, which occurs in international waters, it does not make sense to construe the statute today to only apply to US territory. In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the Supreme Court in March ordered the parties "to file supplemental briefs addressing the following question: 'Whether and under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute ... allows courts to recognize a cause of action for violations of the law of nations occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States.'" The court originally took the case in October and heard arguments in February to determine whether three oil companies are immune from US lawsuits under the ATS for alleged torture and international law violations.

Leak probe likely to include White House

Attorney General Eric Holder said prosecutors would conduct a nonpartisan, independent investigation into national security leaks which will probably include scrutiny of Obama Administration officials. Because some of the media reports containing alleged leaks included information attributed to Obama administration officials, no investigation by the prosecutors "would be taken seriously if it didn't include" scrutiny of White House officials' actions.

Syria in civil war - UN official

Syria is in civil war, warns the UN's head of peacekeeping, as the US accuses Russia of supplying the Syrian government with attack helicopters. Clinton said the move would "escalate the conflict quite dramatically". Syria blames the violence on foreign-backed armed terrorist gangs. Claims cannot be verified independently as Syria severely restricts journalists' freedom of movement.

Falkland Islands to hold referendum on sovereignty

The Falkland Islands will hold a referendum on its "political status" in a bid to end the dispute with Argentina over the archipelago's sovereignty. The islands' government made the announcement ahead of the anniversary on marking 30 years since the end of Argentina's 74-day occupation in 1982. It said it wanted to send a firm message to Argentina that islanders want to remain British. The UK prime minister said Britain would support the result of the vote. The referendum will be organized by the Falkland Islands government and will take place in the first half of next year.

Brussels plans European banking union from 2013

A single regulator to oversee banks across all 27 European Union states could be in place as early as 2013 according to the European Commission. A controversial new bank bailout fund financed by a tax on financial institutions is also planned. The proposal includes an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme to protect savers in the event of a bank collapse. The UK has said it would not sign up to a full banking union, suggesting it should only be for eurozone members.

Wal-Mart bribery review includes Brazil, China

Lawyers were retained to investigate company policies in five foreign countries where the risk of corruption is suspected to be the greatest. The company has acknowledged it is investigating bribery allegations involving its Mexican operations, and that it initiated a world-wide review of its anti-corruption compliance program in March 2011, but has not provided details about the review.

Brazil tries to curb crime wave

Some 400 extra policemen are deployed in the streets of Sao Paulo, to deal with a wave of robberies at bars and restaurants, where armed gangs typically enter bars and restaurants and rob clients. The measure was announced by state governor Geraldo Alckmin after a series of robberies in bars and restaurants largely in wealthier areas of the city.

Pakistan court finds former ambassador guilty of authoring secret memo

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday found former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani guilty of authoring the secret memo that implied Pakistani politicians were collaborating with US politicians. The memo was sent to US Admiral Mike Mullen in May of last year after Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces. The court's holding was based on the findings of a commission that revealed that Haqqani had no intention to live in the country, had no assets there, was not loyal to the country and had used $2 million annually received from the US government. The court requested Haqqani appear at the next hearing and noted that Haqqani had promised the judiciary when he left the country to return within four days upon such request.

Apple successful in barring HTC from using patents in lawsuit

The USITC - US International Trade Commission ruled on Monday that HTC could not use five patents that it obtained from Google last August in its case against Apple. Apple had argued that HTC did not obtain all necessary rights to the intellectual property from Google. The patents were transferred from Google to HTC to counter Apple's claim that HTC infringed several of Apple's patents and Apple's attempt to block HTC products to enter the US market. HTC plans to appeal Monday's decision.

Ex-Hedge Fund Manager Sues for Loss on RBS Unit Ignoring Ponzi Warnings

A former hedge-fund manager sued Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's NatWest unit claiming the bank ignored evidence its accounts were used to conduct what may be one of Britain's biggest Ponzi schemes, in which he lost about 19.3 million pounds ($30 million).

Credit card debt cut

A new study showing that Americans lost nearly 40 percent of their wealth in the Great Recession turned up another notable result: Credit card debt also fell sharply; the median family's balance tumbled 16 percent. But it's not just because people rushed to pay off their plastic. While it's encouraging to see families carrying less debt, economists say the improvements don't reflect good news, such as a surge of income for paying off bills. Rather, the decline shows lots of people filed for bankruptcy to clear out their old debts.

Strauss-Kahn appeals rejection of immunity claim

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers argue that he had immunity from prosecution at the time of the incident, based on a U.N. treaty that grants protection to the heads of specialized agencies.

Court Reporters and the Rise of the Machines

A pressing question of modernity: will man be replaced by machines? In the case of stenographers in New Jersey's state judiciary, the answer is yes. Court reporters have been almost entirely replaced by digital recordings in New Jersey courtrooms, The Record reported. About 400 courtrooms have taken to using digital devices, while the number of court reporters has shrunk to about 50. State judiciary officials said those 50 remaining courtrooms would be fitted with the recording equipment by September. The move was largely driven by financial concerns. Amid nationwide budget cuts, digital recordings are cheap means of fulfilling the legal requirement that all court proceedings be recorded.

Court reporters were replaced largely through attrition. Rather than re-hiring a court reporter with an average salary of $50,000 to $60,000 per year, the high-tech digital recording systems are installed for about $15,000 to $18,000 per courtroom. While court officials have argued that the systems are reliable, skeptics have raised concerns about the quality of the recordings.

  • Daily Press Review

Scores killed in Iraq blasts
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Health of Egypt's Mubarak stabilizes in prison
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

In joint appearance in Washington, Peres and Clinton express their 'deep concern' over Syria
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Clinton worried Russia may send Syria helicopters
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

MPs to vote on Hunt investigation
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

U.S. accuses Russia of sending helicopters to Syria
CNN International, London, England

McAreavey trial adjourned for day
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Ronald Poppo images: Miami cannibal victim pictured after Rudy Eugene ate most of his face
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Leonardo DiCaprio and Erin Heatherton ignore their food as they snuggle over lunch
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

At least 42 dead in Iraqi bomb attacks
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

IRAQ: Iraq hit by wave of deadly bomb attacks
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Why does Erdo?an support Davuto?lu's foreign policy?
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Racing stable used as front for Mexican drugs cartel
Independent The, London, England

The end of the affair
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Stephen Lawrence profile: the ambitious teenager with a fun-loving streak
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Bernie Ecclestone's daughter Tamara seeks suitor for her mother Slavica
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Uefa rejects rebroadcast request
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Torrential rain death toll rises to six
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Seoul Must Urgently Address Problems in Alliance with U.S.
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Bombs kill at least 44 in Baghdad: Iraq police
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

60 stalls, 4 trucks gutted in fire in Hyderabad
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Kings finally claim Stanley Cup after 45-year wait
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Lindy Chamberlain: Some will never believe me
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Massive wildfires raging Colorado, New Mexico in U.S.
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Falklands to hold referendum on political status in 2013
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Teen prank or plain evil?
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

NATO hopes to soon reopen military supply routes through Pakistan
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Saab finds buyer: Official
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Russian arms will escalate Syrian conflict, U.S. says
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

String of bombings kill 20 in Iraq
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

South Korea's Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.2% In May
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Argentina's Desaparecidos - the Epilogue
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Global shares creep higher in choppy trade, Spain drags
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Bombs kill 44 in Iraq attacks on pilgrims, police
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Mom thrives after losing limbs to flesh-eating disease
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Tunisia imposes curfew after riot
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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