July 11, 2007  nº 513  -  Vol. 5  
 

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

John Quincy Adams



In today's Grammatigalhas: as news reports pour out on the subject, we discuss privacy: the right and the invasion thereof .

  • Top News

Firms breaching data protection

A "horrifying" number of companies, government departments and other public bodies have breached data protection rules in the past year, a report says. Organizations must take the personal data of both customers and staff seriously. The report says 56.5% of these required only advice and guidance, while a breach was likely to have happened in 35% of cases, of which a further 77% resulted in remedial action. Internet firms generated the most complaints, with 13% of the total. They were followed by banks, 12%, direct marketing organizations, 10%, and telecoms firms, 7%. A total of 12 high street banks were guilty of discarding customers' personal details in unsecured bins outside their premises during the last year. 

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  • Crumbs!

1 - Energy obese" UK could be emissions-free by 2027. (Read more)

2
- Lawmakers drop union provision in 9/11 bill.
(Read more)

3 - Brazil gives preliminary OK to Amazon dams criticized by environmentalists. (Read more)

4 - White House defies Congress in prosecutors probe. (Read more)

5 - China's trade surplus soars to record $26.9 billion. (Read more)

6 - States push ahead with subprime-mortgage laws as Congress lags. (Read more)

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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese product scares prompt US fears

More products are being imported to the US from China than ever before - but a series of scares has left some wondering whether they are safe. From pet food to toothpaste, tyres to jewellery and seafood to toys, questions have been raised over the reliability of Chinese-made goods. With Chinese imports totalling $288bn last year - nearly triple the figure of five years ago - is enough being done to protect consumers? Part of the problem is that the speed of China's expansion into the global export market has not been matched by the growth of a countrywide regulatory infrastructure. The Chinese authorities say they are making efforts to improve supervision of safety standards, but that it will take time for them to catch up with the West.

Recent Chinese product scares:

Pet food - tainted with chemical melamine

Toothpaste - tainted with chemical diethylene glycol and bacteria

Farmed fish - traces of banned drugs and pesticides found

Tyres - fault may cause blow-outs

Toys - contain lead or pose choking hazard

Children's jewellery - contains lead

Ceramic heaters - pose fire safety risk

China food safety head executed

The former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, has been executed for corruption. He was convicted of taking 6.5m yuan ($850,000) in bribes and of dereliction of duty at a trial in May. The bribes were linked to sub-standard medicines, blamed for several deaths. China has been criticized over a number of recent cases involving tainted goods, and correspondents say Zheng had become a symbol of the crisis.

Zheng had appealed against his sentence, arguing that it was "too severe" and saying he had confessed his crimes and co-operated with police.

But his appeal, heard in mid-June, was rejected shortly afterwards.

  • Grammatigalhas

Legal Meaning Is Not Everyday Meaning

Right of privacy 

Right of a person to be free from intrusion into matters of a personal nature. Although not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, a right to privacy has been held to be implicit in the Bill of Rights, providing protection from unwarranted government intrusion into areas such as marriage and contraception. A person's right to privacy may be overcome by a compelling state interest. In tort law, privacy is a right not to have one's intimate life and affairs exposed to public view or otherwise invaded. Less broad protections of privacy are afforded public officials and others defined by law as "public figures" (e.g., movie stars).

Invasion of Privacy

The wrongful intrusion into a person's private activities by other individuals or by the government. Tort law protects one's private affairs with which the public has no concern against unwarranted exploitation or publicity that causes mental suffering or humiliation to the average person. The right to be left alone is not always superior to the rights of the public and it may or may not exist or may exist to a lesser degree with regard to the life of a public figure, such as a politician or other person in whom the public has a rightful interest. The right to personal privacy is encompassed as an aspect of liberty protected against government interference by the Constitution's due process clause. Some of the personal decisions protected from unwarranted government interference include decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education. 431 U.S. 678. See privacy, right of; wiretapping.

Amendment to the US Constitution

First Amendment

The First Amendment was approved by Congress during its first session in 1789 in response to concerns by anti-Federalists that the Constitution did not sufficiently protect individual liberties from federal intrusion.

More than a constitutional protection against governmental interference with the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion or a guarantee of the separation of church and state, the First Amendment is one of the nation's fundamental normative and cultural symbols. The government may restrain only speech that is likely to incite imminent unlawful action. The First Amendment therefore protects even speech that calls for overthrow of the government or lawless action. 

Fourth Amendment

While investigating crime, police detain or arrest persons, frisk for weapons, and search for incriminating evidence or contraband such as illegal drugs. Other government officials, ranging from regulators to school principals, conduct a wide variety of inspections. The Fourth Amendment to the federal Constitution is the principal legal limitation on government arrest, search, and inspection authority. It is enforced primarily by an exclusionary rule that sometimes prohibits the use as evidence of items or information obtained in violation of Fourth Amendment standards.

For example, antiterrorism legislation has loosened restrictions on wiretaps and has authorized novel forms of searches such as “sneak-and-peak” warrants that permit police to surreptitiously enter and search a residence without giving notice to the residents that the search ever occurred. The Supreme Court has not yet addressed the constitutionality of these practices under the Fourth Amendment.

Fifth Amendment

Adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution contains a number of important clauses that protect individuals against governmental authority. Many of these guarantees pertain to the procedures governing the prosecution of criminal offenses. Thus, the Fifth Amendment requires that “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime” without presentment or indictment by a grand jury. The amendment also prevents a person from being tried twice for the same offense (Double Jeopardy), and from being compelled “to be a witness against himself” in any criminal case.

In addition to these safeguards against abuses of criminal law, the Fifth Amendment provides that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Ninth Amendment

Provides that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” On its face, this provision seems to mean that a right is worthy of judicial protection even if it is not listed in the Constitution. To fail to protect these “other” un-enumerated rights “retained by the people” in the same manner that we protect the enumerated rights would surely be to “disparage” them if not to “deny” their existence altogether.

The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is somewhat of an enigma. It provides that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not take away from the people rights that are not named. Yet neither the language nor the history of the Ninth Amendment offers any hints as to the nature of the rights it was designed to protect.

Everyday “Legal” Jargon

The right of privacy

Distinct from the right of publicity protected by state common or statutory law, a broader right of privacy has been inferred in the Constitution. Although not explicitly stated in the text of the Constitution, in 1890 then to be Justice Louis Brandeis extolled 'a right to be left alone.' This right has developed into a liberty of personal autonomy protected by the 14th amendment. The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments also provide some protection of privacy, although in all cases the right is narrowly defined. The Constitutional right of privacy has developed alongside a statutory right of privacy which limits access to personal information. The Federal Trade Commission overwhelmingly enforces this statutory right of privacy, and the rise of privacy policies and privacy statements are evidence of its work. In all of its forms, however, the right of privacy must be balanced against the state's compelling interests. Such compelling interests include the promotion of public morality, protection of the individual's psychological health, and improving the quality of life. 

These distinct rights of privacy are examined separately:

• The Right of Privacy: Access to Personal Information

• The Right of Privacy: Personal Autonomy

• The Right of Publicity

Access to personal information

The right of privacy has evolved to protect the ability of individuals to determine what sort of information about themselves is collected, and how that information is used. 

Most commercial websites utilize "cookies," as well as forms, to collect information from visitors such as name, address, email, demographic info, social security number, IP address, and financial information. In many cases, this information is then provided to third parties for marketing purposes. 

Other entities, such as the federal government and financial institutions, also collect personal information. The threats of fraud and identity theft created by this flow of personal information have been an impetus for right of privacy legislation requiring disclosure of information collection practices, opt-out opportunities, as well as internal protections of collected information. However, such requirements have yet to reach all segments of the marketplace.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in charge of preventing "unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." In matters of privacy, the FTC's role is one of enforcing privacy promises made in the marketplace. 

The Privacy Act of 1974 protects personal information held by the federal government by preventing unauthorized disclosures of such information. Individuals also have the right to review such information, request corrections, and be informed of any disclosures. The Freedom of Information Act facilitates these processes.

The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999) establishes guidelines for the protection of personal financial information. Financial institutions are required by law to provide a privacy policy to customers, which explains what kinds of information are being collected and how that information is used. Such institutions are further required to develop safeguards in order to protect the information they collect from customers.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects personal financial information collected by consumer reporting agencies. The Act limits those who can access such information, and subsequent amendments have simplified the process by which consumers can obtain and correct the information collected about themselves. The FTC also actively enforces prohibitions on fraudulently obtaining personal financial information, a crime known as "pretexting."

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act  allows parents to control what information is collected about their child (younger than 13 years old) online. Operators of websites that either target children or knowingly collect personal information from children are required to post privacy policies, obtain parental consent before collecting information from children, allow parents to determine how such information is used, and provide the option to parents to opt-out of future collection from their child.

However, despite the rights described above, other participants in the marketplace are not bound by law to develop similar protections and disclosure practices. Rather, in the remainder of the marketplace, the FTC encourages a voluntary regime of protecting consumer privacy. In two reports to Congress though, the FTC found that most sites falling outside of the jurisdiction of the established right of privacy laws do not adequately inform consumers about collection practices, nor do the majority of sites adequately protect the privacy of visitors' personal information. It appears that the voluntary regime is insufficient, and the prospect of further right of privacy legislation in the area of access to personal information is very real.

Personal autonomy

The right of privacy has evolved to protect the freedom of individuals to choose whether or not to perform certain acts or subject themselves to certain experiences. 

This personal autonomy has grown into a 'liberty' protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, this liberty is narrowly defined, and generally only protects privacy of family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing. Further extensions of this right of privacy have been attempted under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, however a general right to personal autonomy has yet to take hold beyond limited circumstances.

The personal autonomy dimension of the right of privacy has been overwhelmingly developed in cases dealing with reproductive rights, and accordingly it is most firmly established in this area. The Supreme Court first recognized an independent right of privacy within the 'penumbra' (fringe area) of the Bill of Rights in Griswold v. Connecticut. In this case, a right of marital privacy was invoked to void a law prohibiting contraception. Later cases expanded upon this fundamental right, and in Roe v. Wade, the right of privacy was firmly established under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. The court classified this right as fundamental, and thus required any governmental infringement to be justified by a compelling state interest. Roe held that the state's compelling interest in preventing abortion and protecting the life of the mother outweighs a mother's personal autonomy only after viability. Before viability, it was held, the mother's liberty of personal privacy limits state interference due to the lack of a compelling state interest.

The personal autonomy aspect of the right of privacy has limits, although these are always changing. In 1986, for example, a law criminalizing same sex sodomy was upheld in Bowers v. Hardwick. The Court held that not all private consensual sexual activity is insulated from the state. At the time, the same sex activities in question were not granted inclusion in the due process protected categories of relationships. 

Today, however, it appears that opinions have changed. Bowers was overturned in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), thereby recognizing a shifting public opinion about same sex relationships. Indeed, the activities protected by this aspect of the right of privacy are constantly in flux, with limits simultaneously being expanded and restricted.

As activities become further removed from reproduction and intimacy, less fundamental that is, the right of privacy weakens. Pornography is an area where the court has been reluctant to completely grant the liberty of personal autonomy, although some privacy has been allowed. 

The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been utilized to varying degrees of success to protect privacy in these gray areas of activity. The court's preference for a case-by-case approach to the right of privacy in as much as it protects personal autonomy, combined with ever-changing public opinion on the status of various relationships and activities, makes a succinct statement about the boundaries ofthe right of privacy nearly impossible.

Right of publicity

The Right of Publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial use of an individual's name, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of one's persona. It gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial promotion.

In the United States, the Right of Publicity is largely protected by state common or statutory law. Only about half the states have distinctly recognized a Right of Publicity. Of these, many do not recognize a right by that name but protect it as part of the Right of Privacy. The Restatement Second of Torts recognizes four types of invasions of privacy: intrusion, appropriation of name or likeness, unreasonable publicity and false light. Under the Restatement's formulation, the invasion of the Right of Publicity is most similar to the unauthorized appropriation of one's name or likeness. 

In other states the Right of Publicity is protected through the law of unfair competition. Actions for the tort of misappropriation or for a wrongful attempt to "pass off" the product as endorsed or produced by the individual help to protect the right of publicity. See Unfair competition.

If a person can establish an aspect of his or her identity as a trademark, protection may be provided by Federal law. See Trademark.

The Federal Lanham Act can also provide protection where a person's identity is used to falsely advertise a product or designate its origin. 

Invasion of privacy

Invasion of privacy is a legal term essentially defined as a violation of the right to be left alone. The right to privacy is the right to control property against search and seizure, and to control information about oneself. However, public figures have less privacy, and this is an evolving area of law as it relates to the media.

The development of the doctrine regarding this tort was largely spurred by an 1890 Harvard Law Review article written by Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis on The Right of Privacy. Modern tort law gives four categories of invasion of privacy:

Intrusion of solitude - physical or electronic intrusion into one's private quarters.

Public disclosure of private facts -- the dissemination of truthful private information which a reasonable person would find objectionable

False light - the publication of facts which place a person in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory.

Appropriation -- the unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness to obtain some benefit.

Intrusion of solitude

Intrusion of solitude occurs where one person exposes another to unwarranted publicity. In a famous case from 1944, author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was sued by Zelma Cason, who was portrayed as a character in Rawlings' acclaimed memoir, Cross Creek.[1] The Florida Supreme Court held that a cause of action for invasion of privacy was supported by the facts of the case, but in a later proceeding found that there were no actual damages.

Public disclosure

Public disclosure of private facts arises where one person reveals information which, although truthful, is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person [2].

False light

One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light is subject to liability for invasion of privacy, if:

The false light would be highly offensive to a reasonable person; and

The actor acted with malice -- had knowledge of or acted with reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.

The tort of false light involves a "major misrepresentation" of a person's "character, history, activities or belief." 

For example, in Peoples Bank & Trust Co. v. Globe Int'l, Inc., a tabloid newspaper printed the picture of a 96-year-old Arkansas woman next to the headline “SPECIAL DELIVERY: World's oldest newspaper carrier, 101, quits because she's pregnant! I guess walking all those miles kept me young.” 786 F. Supp. 791, 792 (D. Ark. 1992). The woman (not in fact pregnant), Nellie Mitchell, who had run a small newsstand on the town square since 1963, prevailed at trial under a theory of false light invasion of privacy, and was awarded damages of $1.5M. The tabloid appealed, generally disputing the offensiveness and falsity of the photograph, and arguing that Mitchell had not actually been injured, and claiming that Mitchell had failed to prove that any employee of the tabloid knew or had reason to know that its readers would conclude that the story about the pregnant carrier related to the photograph printed alongside. The court of appeals rejected all the tabloid’s arguments, holding that “[i]t may be. . .that Mrs. Mitchell does not show a great deal of obvious injury, but. . . Nellie Mitchell's experience could be likened to that of a person who had been dragged slowly through a pile of untreated sewage. . . [and] few would doubt that substantial damage had been inflicted by the one doing the dragging.”

The false light invasion of privacy cause of action has been a source of hot debate among judges and legal scholars. See Gannett at 1. Some courts have held that this invasion of privacy action duplicates the cause of action for defamation, while allowing the plaintiff to avoid the strict requirements that are designed to ensure freedom of expression. Gannett at 4.

Appropriation

Although this is a common-law tort, most states have enacted statutes that prohibit the use of a person’s name or image if used without consent for the commercial benefit of another person.

Privacy and the Fourth Amendment

Invasion of privacy is a commonly used cause of action in a legal pleading. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ensures that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The amendment, however, only protects against searches and seizures conducted by the government. Invasions of privacy by persons who are not state actors must be dealt with under private tort law.

As If Your Life Depended On It… or How to get to Carnegie Hall? - Practice, practice

Prepositions (wrong)

One of the clearest indications that a person reads little and doesn’t hear much formal English is a failure to use the right preposition in a common expression. You aren’t ignorant to a fact; you’re ignorant of it. Things don’t happen on accident, but by accident (though they do happen “on purpose”). There are no simple rules governing preposition usage: you just have to immerse yourself in good English in order to write it naturally.

Prodigy / Progeny / Protégé

Your progeny are your kids, though it would be pretty pretentious to refer to them as such. If your child is a brilliantly outstanding person he or she may be a child prodigy. In fact, anything amazingly admirable can be a prodigy. But a person that you take under your wing in order to help promote his or her career is your protégé.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Convenios vs Negocios

Con la suscripción de un convenio Cemex, la tercera cementera del mundo por su capacidad de producción, alcanzó una participación de más de 90% de las acciones del grupo australiano Rinker Group Limited. La empresa mexicana Cemex  habría cerrado la comprar en US$ 12 mil 800 millones.

US$ bajo el colchón

Habrá más tela que cortar en el caso del empresario chino-mexicano Zhenli Ye Gon, que guardo más de US$ 205 ml en su residencia de México; su abogado Ning Ye, desde Nueva York, advirtió al gobierno de Felipe Calderon preparse para las revelaciones que hará su cliente la próxima semana y dijo que solo le piden que se tome el tiempo para revisar de “la primera a la octava prueba que le vamos a presentar”.

Seguros

La compañía de seguros francesa AGF cerró un acuerdo de venta de su filial Adriática de Seguros en Venezuela, con la empresa Multinacional de Seguros. El monto de la venta no fue divulgado.

BM & Chile

Los medios de comunicación chilenos destacan en sus titulares el informe del Banco Mundial que considera que Chile, Uruguay y Costa Rica están alcanzando niveles de gobernabilidad en América Latina similares a países ricos, mientras otros, como Venezuela, no han presentado mejorías.

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  • Brief News

Former Milberg Partner May Help U.S. Build Case

In their criminal investigation of Milberg Weiss & Bershad LLP, prosecutors yesterday enlisted the cooperation of a major player who could potentially help them snare bigger targets, including the class-action law firm and prominent plaintiffs lawyers Melvyn Weiss and William Lerach. David Bershad, 67 years old, a former senior Milberg partner with deep knowledge of the firm's finances, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in federal court in Los Angeles. He said in court papers that he and others agreed to conceal from judges secret payment arrangements that the firm had with named plaintiffs in class actions. He will forfeit $7.75 million and pay a $250,000 fine. He could face as much as five years in prison; how much time if any he serves may depend in part on his cooperation, the plea agreement says. Milberg Weiss was indicted last year on charges of paying millions in kickbacks to clients to induce them to serve as lead plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits; the firm, a pioneer in the area of securities class actions, pleaded not guilty. Until yesterday, the government had failed to land any major figures despite a probe that has lasted more than six years, opening it up to criticism that the prosecution lacked legs.

Paris Puts on Friendly Face for 'Tourist Day'

The French have been known for their reserve, if you will, toward tourists. But on Monday, Paris' tourism authority held an event designed to persuade tourists they are, in fact, welcome. Paris launched a charm offensive aimed at foreign visitors after a survey showed that while the French capital was the most visited city in the world it was also one of the rudest. The campaign was launched after a Global Market Institute study ranked the French capital as the world's most visited city, ahead of London and Rome. When it came to hospitality, however, Paris only made 52nd place on a list of 60 cities. According to the agency, 20 percent of people working in Paris are directly or indirectly dependant on the tourism industry. In 2006, 16.3 million visitors, including 9.7 foreigners, stayed in Paris hotels. By 2020 the number of foreign tourists to the city is expected to climb to 20 million annually, according to Tourism Office figures.

Brazil to revive nuclear project

Brazil's president has pledged to revive a long-stalled project to build the country's third nuclear reactor and also a nuclear submarine. Lula said hundreds of millions of extra dollars would be made available for the project over the next eight years. Work on the third reactor for uranium enrichment stopped in the 1980s over security fears and lack of funds.

US mistrial for Colombian rebel

A US judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera, after a jury could not agree on a verdict. The Farc rebel leader was facing four charges of terrorism and hostage-taking over the kidnapping of three US contractors in Colombia in 2003. The US Justice Department has offered Palmera a lighter sentence on Monday's conviction of conspiracy to commit hostage taking if the three Americans are released unharmed.

Buenos Aires sees rare snowfall

Buenos Aires has seen snow for the first time in 89 years, as a cold snap continues to grip several South American nations. Temperatures plunged to -22C (-8F) in parts of Argentina's province of Rio Negro, while snow fell on Buenos Aires for several hours on Monday. Two deaths from exposure were reported in Argentina and one in Chile. In Bolivia, heavy snowfall blocked the nation's main motorway and forced the closure of several airports. Thousands of people cheered in the streets of Buenos Aires at the sight of the capital's first snowfall since 1918.

As for Canada, finding the border is a bit of a trick

An organization, called the International Boundary Commission, in partnership with Canada, is supposed to stake out the border and keep a 10-foot strip mowed on either side of it. The border is 5,525 miles long. As its diplomats pointed out to the State Department in March, Canada contributes nearly twice as much money, putting the U.S. in violation of the 1925 Treaty of Washington, which obliges each country to chip in the same amount. Mowing the grass between the U.S. and Canada, though, doesn't weigh heavily in the arena of border security. With the collapse of its immigration overhaul, the Bush administration is promising to keep on spending billions for guards, fences, radar towers and robot airplanes. The focus is on the dry expanses of the Mexican border, where weed whacking isn't the main issue.Meanwhile, the Boundary Commission -- whose officials think it's probably the smallest and poorest independent agency in the federal government -- is still working with the maps it drew up in 1937. It often has trouble finding the Canadian border, much less mowing it. "They talk about securing the border, well, nobody ever came to talk to us," Mr. Hipsley said. He circled around Lake Memphremagog, just west of Beebe Plain, turned north up a dirt road and stopped at a border gate with a rusty padlock on it. "That's what we don't understand. What could be the most basic thing you'd think of? How can you protect it if you can't see it?"

Chilean copper firm strikes widen

Chilean copper production has been hit by a further series of industrial disputes in the country. Hundreds of workers have downed tools at the Collahuasi mine in the Andes in a row over pay. Meanwhile, the world's biggest copper producer, Codelco has halted work at its Andina division in central Chile. Codelco said it had stopped production after a worker was hurt by protesters. 

Dollar falls to record euro low

The dollar has fallen to a record low against the euro and yet another 26-year slump against the pound. With investors fearful that the ongoing downturn in the US housing market will start to slow the economy, the euro rose as high as $1.3741 on Tuesday. The pound touched as high as $2.0274, as it continued its recent gains. The dollar's latest fall came after the key Standard & Poor's credit rating agency said it may downgrade $12.1bn in sub prime mortgage debt. Housing worries led to nervousness on US markets, with the Dow Jones benchmark index falling 148 points to close at 13,502

Ryanair to sue EU over state aid

Ryanair is planning to sue the European Commission, accusing it of not acting on claims the budget airline has made about rivals. The Irish firm alleges that a number of national carriers - including Alitalia, Lufthansa and Air France - are being propped up by their home governments. Ryanair made the claims last year, but says there has been a "repeated failure" to investigate them. Last month, the Commission blocked Ryanair's bid to take over Aer Lingus. A fortnight ago, the firm launched a court appeal against that decision.

US senator admits 'serious sin'

A Republican senator has apologized for "a very serious sin in my past" after his phone number was linked to an alleged Washington prostitution ring. David Vitter, a Louisiana senator, said he had asked for and received forgiveness from God and his wife. Deborah Palfrey, dubbed the "DC Madam", faces charges of running a lucrative city prostitution ring for 13 years. Palfrey, who says she provided a legal escort service, has said she will call prominent clients to testify. Vitter's statement, confirmed to the Associated Press by his spokesman, said his telephone number was included on the phone records published on her website on Monday. The records date from before Vitter ran for the Senate in 2004.

Wal-Mart to crack down on young shoplifters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week tightened its rules on prosecuting young shoplifters, lowering the age at which it will prosecute and authorizing store managers to call the police if a parent doesn't appear within an hour to retrieve a child. The policies, which went into effect Monday, now include prosecuting first-time shoplifters as young as 16 years old, compared with the previous limit of 18. The company also will prosecute younger shoplifters whose parents don't quickly respond to a store's call, and children repeatedly caught stealing. The stricter policies come as rising thefts are bleeding Wal-Mart's profits. In May, the company cited higher theft as one of the reasons for weaker profit margins during its fiscal first quarter.

SEC proxy-access proposal draws fire from investors

Securities and Exchange Commission is circulating a much-anticipated draft proposal of a plan to give shareholders an easier route to nominating candidates to corporate boards, offering an approach that already has drawn criticism from investor groups. A major sticking point, according to critics, is that the SEC is mulling requiring a high ownership threshold, equal to at least 5% of shares, for those looking to propose bylaw changes that would give shareholders a greater hand in nominating director candidates. The question of shareholder access to corporate proxy ballots is a key issue being tackled by the SEC. The matter has long been controversial, pitting shareholder advocacy groups, who want to bolster the clout of individual shareholders, against corporate executives who worry that open ballots will lead to chaos. Critics of the SEC's proposal say a 5% ownership stake is so high that it would make the plan usable only by hedge funds. “If the SEC sticks with such an approach, it would "create a field day for hedge funds." Some think the 5% level is meant to be a starting point for discussion and could be lowered to 3%, a level that would still be seen as too high by some pension fund groups and might be viewed as too low by business groups.

Trespass Charge

An ex-Boeing worker was charged with 16 counts of computer trespass for allegedly downloading and leaking internal documents.

Gonzales Was Informed of Patriot Act Violations

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales received at least half a dozen reports of FBI violations of the Patriot Act, according to Tuesday's Washington Post. Gonzales had apparently received the reports in the weeks and months before he told senators in 2005 that no violations had taken place.

  • Daily Press Review

Libya to rule on HIV medics case
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Condoleezza Rice Adds DRC to Africa, Mideast Trip
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Ghana's foreign debt now $2.7 Billion
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Uganda: Adequate Penalties Needed Along With Trials
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Jail cell murder probe underway
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

He’ll look good in orange, says ex-wife
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Twenty injured as truck smashes into train
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Victim's perpetrator was out on bail
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Spicy cuisine originated in Mexico 1,500 years ago
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Original charges dropped against Piarco fraudsters - 4 added
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Brazil: Investigate Deaths in Rio Police Operation
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

RIGHTS-BOLIVIA:  Indigenous People March On Constituent Assembly
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Goverment of Jamaica to pay early -Cost sharing for schools by August
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Travel - Tourism - Exportation in Review
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Canadian's appeal summarily dismissed
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

'Try harder,' Black jury told
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

Indonesian bird flu victim had no contact with poultry : Official
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Bangladesh election commission to finalize political reform proposals after consulting political parties
Bangladesh Journal, Independent news portal

Bush, Congress Locked in Legal Battles
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Operation continues, toll crosses 100
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

HC asks: Why shouldn't Bluelines go?
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Asean parliamentarians to meet in KL
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

US getting wrong information about Fiji - Bainimarama
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Four security personnel confirmed dead in operation against Lal Masjid militant in Pakistani capital
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Grounded girl's revenge plot
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Lal Masjid stormed, cleric killed
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Housing to dominate Brown agenda
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Fowler in Sydney talks
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Home buyers crisis as mortgages approach crash rates
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Fans back Carragher over radio slur
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

EU backs former French official to lead IMF
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Injuries after cowes brawl
Isle of Wight County Press, Independent daily, Isle of Wight, England

Gumball death driver arrested
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Crash Victims' Bodies in Secret Tests?
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Town is losing faith in police says have-go-heroâ€ôs survey
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

UNESCO recommendation gives hope to opponents of new skyscrapers
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

MPs: Press Are Harrassing Kate Middleton
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Blame Bovine Belching:  Changing Cows' Diet Could Cut Emissions
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Labour's NHS plan:  the end of the local general hospital
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Brazil survive to reach Copa final
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Hearst Beverly Hills estate goes on sale
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Cheshire mum weds Bin Laden
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Faulks to write new James Bond book
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Call for vote on ‘Europe empire'
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Man Threatens Suicide Over Meitarim Bridge
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Palestinian President Calls for International Force in Gaza
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

14 killed in clash with Philippine rebels
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UN: Shaba Farms should be under UNIFIL control
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Economy-Middle East:  Many More Millionaires but Income Gap Widens
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Archaeologists call for urgent action to protect Petra
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Red Mosque Extremist Leader Killed in 'Final Stage' of Operation
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Sunni extremists seize control of village in Iraq
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

15 arrested on Al-Qaeda links allegations (Front)
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

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