July 30, 2007  nº 521  -  Vol. 5  
 

"Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence."

Murphy



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  • Top News

Bush urges Congress to update surveillance law 

Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address  that he wants to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)  to meet threats from terrorists who can now use cell phones and the Internet to communicate. Bush urged Congress to pass new legislation, saying: “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- also known as FISA -- provides a critical legal foundation that allows our intelligence community to collect this information while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. But this important law was written in 1978, and it addressed the technologies of that era. This law is badly out of date -- and Congress must act to modernize it. Today we face sophisticated terrorists who use disposable cell phones and the Internet to communicate with each other, recruit operatives, and plan attacks on our country. Technologies like these were not available when FISA was passed nearly 30 years ago, and FISA has not kept up with new technological developments. To fix this problem, my Administration has proposed a bill that would modernize the FISA statute.” This legislation is the product of months of discussion with members of both parties in the House and the Senate -- and it includes four key reforms: First, it brings FISA up to date with the changes in communications technology that have taken place over the past three decades. Second, it seeks to restore FISA to its original focus on protecting the privacy interests of people inside the United States, so we don't have to obtain court orders to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets located in foreign locations. Third, it allows the government to work more efficiently with private-sector entities like communications providers, whose help is essential. And fourth, it will streamline administrative processes so our intelligence community can gather foreign intelligence more quickly and more effectively, while protecting civil liberties. Our intelligence community warns that under the current statute, we are missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country. Congress needs to act immediately to pass this bill, so that our national security professionals can close intelligence gaps and provide critical warning time for our country.

Critics of the Bush administration have expressed concern that changes to the law would enable the executive branch to spy on US residents. Under the current procedure authorized by FISA, the US Justice Department (DOJ) must seek a warrant from the court established under the law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) , before using a wiretap.

Brazil claims WTO cotton victory

Brazil has claimed a victory over the US after the WTO upheld many of its complaints over subsidies paid to cotton farmers. The US has been accused of unfairly helping its farmers, distorting the price of cotton and make it harder for developing nations to compete. Brazil called on the US to comply with the WTO's preliminary ruling, warning of retaliation should it not. The US said it was disappointed by the ruling and would protect its farmers. It argued that it had already taken sufficient steps to meet WTO requirements, and had scrapped a number of payments and credits.

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  • Brief News

Litigation

Even as litigation becomes more globalized, it also remains stubbornly local. The top-grossing plaintiffs firms in the land grew as much from business savy as legal ability. They make the most of their opportunities, whether from asbestos, securities or mass tort malfeasance, or spectacular airplane and personal injury disasters. And as much of both as generating revenue on the defense side.

Ex-Peru head's election bid fails 

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, under house arrest in Chile, fails to win a seat in Japan's parliament.

Peru president regrets failings

Peru's President Alan Garcia has said his government has not done enough to improve the lives of the poor. In a speech marking his first year in office, Garcia - who has seen a sharp decline in his popularity - urged Peruvians to show patience. He promised that increased investment would cut poverty before the end of his term in 2011.

Congress passes anti-terror bill

The US Congress has approved an anti-terrorism bill implementing many recommendations of the commission which investigated the 11 September attacks. The bill requires the screening of all cargo on passenger planes within three years and, within five years, the scanning of all container ships for nuclear devices before they leave foreign ports.

EU outlines Intel 'market abuse'

The initial findings of a probe by the European Commission has concluded the chip firm engaged in anti-competitive action to thwart principal rival AMD, by giving customers incentives to favor its products over those of its main competitor. Regulators have the power to fine Intel up to 10% of annual turnover if they find it guilty of abusing its dominant position and stifling competition. Intel said it was "confident" it had acted lawfully.

Details of U.S.-India Nuclear Pact Unveiled

Details of a civilian nuclear power agreement between the U.S. and India were announced Friday. Many arms-control experts and members of Congress say it will weaken the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Latest furor over Gonzales

The attorney general's sworn testimony about an administration anti-terrorism program seems to conflict with FBI Director Mueller's. Now Democrats are alleging that Gonzales lied to Congress, may be the subject of a perjury investigation if he does not clear up concerns regarding the truthfulness of his testimony about warrantless wiretapping and are even calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor by the Justice Department. 

Chavez Says $20 Billion Gas Pipeline to Brazil on Hold 

Chavez said his proposed Great Gas Pipeline of the South, designed to connect Venezuela's Caribbean gas fields with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, is on hold. The $20 billion project, a centerpiece of Chavez's effort to integrate South American energy systems and secure markets outside North America, was stopped by ``an attack from within South America,'' he said.

Coca-Cola Femsa: Brazil asset buy worth $380 Million with tax credit

Mexican soft drink bottler Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF) values its planned acquisition of a Brazilian bottler owned by Coca-Cola (KO) at around $380 million, including a $10 million tax credit, the company's chief executive officer said Friday. Hector Trevino said the understanding reached with the U.S. soft-drinks company to buy its wholly owned bottling franchise, Refrigerantes Minas Gerais, or Remil, is "in line with our strategy of expanding our footprint in Latin America." The unit is expected to sell about 100 million unit cases this year and generate more than $45 million in Ebitda. The deal is estimated to increase the company's presence in Brazil by more than a third. Although the due diligence is still at preliminary stage, the company does not expect to do much capital spending to improve the plant.

Pro Bono

In the international area, firms are just stepping up to the plate of Pro Bono. International pro bono work tends to come in two forms: the relatively rare multijurisdictional projects that allow firms to show off their international reach and cross-border expertise, and the more traditional matters, in which large firms support international efforts by providing stateside legal help. Projects undertaken recently show that some firms are making strides in identifying the former, while maintaining a solid presence in the latter. Firms with large foreign offices say these efforts on behalf of governments or nongovernmental organizations are among the most popular with foreign-based partners and associates-so much so that Baker & McKenzie had to turn interested lawyers away from a recent international project after 45 quickly signed on. Other firms retained their domestic focus but still found projects that pack a real punch while utilizing a variety of legal skills.

Big firms' hirings of experts

While non-lawyer industry experts have populated some practice groups for at least a decade, like in the science-heavy IP arena, now they're being hired in new areas. In part to differentiate themselves, firms are looking to less traditional areas to bring them in. Consultants provide expertise, most often on regulatory and compliance issues, to their practice group, and they usually bill out at a far lower rate than attorneys. But it's really important work -- it's essential.

  • Daily Press Review

Ivorian leader in landmark visit
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

UN report deplores excessive use of deadly force, impunity in poll clashes
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Now  We Know
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Spain: Migrant Children at Risk in Government Facilities
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

HIV-rapist charged with murder
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Apartheid-era secrets now in ashes
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Fires leave trail of death, destruction
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

More teams called in to help fight fires
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Beckham on the bench as Galaxy lose SuperLiga game
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Blame it on me - Akon incident in Trinidad set to re-release
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Mexico: Probe Charges of Police Brutality in Oaxaca
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

ARGENTINA:  Groups Lobby Congress for Changes to Mining Laws
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Montego Bay couple slain - Murder in full view of 3-y-o
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Week in Review, Sunday July 29
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Ingmar Bergman dead at 89
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Senior care 'revolution' faltering
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

IPB, Taiwanese ICDF set up agribusiness training center in Bogor
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Music Chart (4th Week of July, 2007)
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Cong-led Govt wins trust vote in Goa
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Fake marksheet racket busted in Pune
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Ruling coalition suffers huge defeat
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Other states to use Penang model to create safe neighbourhoods
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Japan PM to stay after poll defeat
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

No information about S. Korean hostages after deadline expires
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Night out ends in tragedy
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Haneef back in Bangalore
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

World owes US a debt, says Brown
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Ombudsman to investigate Co Galway road accident
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Branson: 'I took drugs with my son'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Commission charges Intel with antitrust violations
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Six weeks training for new Liverpool teachers
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Bulwark of strength for a Bulgarian nurse
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

School's stars at Osborne 'oscars'
Isle of Wight County Press, Independent daily, Isle of Wight, England

Shootings victim identified
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Dog Stabbed In Street By Robber
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Barrow man admits supplying Ecstasy
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

Pick of the Month 7.29.2007
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

Taps Are Turned On Again In Gloucestershire
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Mr. Brown Goes to Washington:  British Prime Minister Holds Talks With Bush
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Brown tries to shift Bush talks to trade and Darfur
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Swedish director Ingmar Bergman dies
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

British cruise passengers in hospital in Stockholm
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Walk straight or you're nicked!
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

90 years on, Pte Patch still remembers them
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

One goal unites thousands of Iraqis in footballing triumph
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Russia To Give PA 50 Armored Personnel Carriers
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Scant Details as Rice Lobbies for Mideast Meeting
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

No apology to Haneef, says Australian PM
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Abbas to meet Russian FM in bid to gain full support for Fatah
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST:  A Divisive Word Surfaces
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Buy-to-let market is growing in Dubai, says property manager - UAE
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Abe Resists Resignation despite Bitter Defeat in Elections
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

'Quartet or UN should sponsor peace talks'
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Optimistic about achieving peace, ceasefire committee meets with Al-Houthi 
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

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Copyright 2007 - Migalhas International

The messages that appear in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice nor substitute for obtaining legal advice from competent, independent, legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information contained on this list may or may not reflect the most current legal development.