ugust 1, 2007  nº 522  -  Vol. 5  
 

"Na prática, a teoria é outra."

(In practice, the theory is different.)

according to an Old Brazilian saying


In today's Grammatigalhas

Failure to prepare for forensic and litigation events is a costly business. If you are trying to navigate the minefield of forensic analysis, data-mining, compliance, constructing policy, deciding when to out-source, building a team, or managing discovery processes. Read the second part on electronic discovery.

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  • Top News

EU watchdogs probe energy firms

European watchdogs have launched a formal investigation of German energy firm E.On and Gaz de France (GDF) over claims of anti-competitive practices. The European Commission is studying whether the two agreed not to sell gas in each other's home markets. E.On and GDF said they were cooperating with the probe. They could be fined if they have broken European laws. Europe has warned it will act against any anti-competitive practices in the sector, saying prices are too high.

US chief justice suffers seizure

The chief justice of the US Supreme Court has been released from hospital after suffering a seizure. John Roberts, 52, collapsed at his holiday seaside home in the north-eastern state of Maine on Monday. Roberts has helped position the Supreme Court - which began its summer recess last month - on the political right over issues like abortion, race in schools and Guantanamo Bay. He succeeded William Rehnquist, who died of cancer.

Bad news from the housing sector

Mortgage lender American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. says it can no longer fund home loans and may liquidate assets. The New York Stock Exchange never opened trading in shares of American Home Mortgage on Monday after the company said late Friday that it would suspend its dividend and was facing "significant margin calls" from its banks. The lender's survival is in doubt, and its shares plummeted about 90 percent Tuesday. Problems in the U.S. mortgage market are spreading deeper and farther afield, including in European funds holding investments in American loans.

The authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession

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Before you open the door to the boardroom, peek through the keyhole!

Have a look at the new section of the Migalhas website and discover the professional development opportunities with large corporations presented by Michael Page International. Click here to peep through the hole!

  • Crumbs!

1 - Nike to pay $7.6 mln to settle suit. (Read more)

2 - Chief justice tumbles after seizure. (Read more)

3 - Ethics bill would expose lawmakers' pet projects. (Read more)

4 - Unequal justice for two fathers in hot car deaths. (Read more)

5 - News Corp close to securing votes for Dow Jones. (Read more)

6 - HSBC to launch cashpoint warnings on overdraft fees. (Read more)

7 - Break-up may end in court for unmarried couples. (Read more)

8 - Guantanamo cell is better than freedom, says inmate fighting against release. (Read more)

9 - Raul Castro lifts hopes of economic relief in Cuba. (Read more)

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  • MiMIC Journal

Olympics ban for China firm

Lekit Stationery, a Chinese stationery firm accused of using child labor, has been stripped of its license to produce merchandise for the 2008 Olympics, the Beijing Olympic committee said.

Brazil and China to launch earth resources satellite  

China and Brazil are to launch a satellite to map agricultural areas, prospect for minerals and gather environmental data. The Earth Resources 02B satellite, the third Sino-Brazilian satellite since 1999, will be launched from Taiyuan, capital of the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, in September or October.

Carrefour tries to sell its food as safer in China

As the Chinese government issues warnings on diseased pork and cooking oil made from restaurant waste, the Paris-based company is promoting itself as safer than local outlets.

  • Grammatigalhas

Legal Meaning Is Not Everyday Meaning

Technical aspects of e-discovery

One of the major conveniences of performing electronic discovery, versus standard document coding, is that it is an automated process, in which digital files are taken, have their metadata extracted, and built into a database. This process can be done at a much lower cost, not just because it takes less time to accomplish, but because most of the time it takes to accomplish is considered machine time, and not man hours.

Using this process, the number of fields you can capture are only limited to the amount of metadata each file can give you. Common fields used in electronic discovery include "to", "from", "cc", "bcc", "time/date message sent", "time/date message received", "subject", "body", "author", "document date", "date created", "last modified date" and others.

When a need arises to perform electronic discovery, usually a litigation support vendor would be contacted, and will consult as to how data can be processed to have the best possible result. The vendor would extract the necessary information from the files provided, either using proprietary software developed by the vendor, or an "off the shelf" solution. 

Using the information extracted from the raw data, either a load file, or a database is built. The databases or load files are then processed through software or Application Service Providers.

Exercise: Check the file properties of a Microsoft Word: File/Properties… You will see that some properties are automatically updated and include statistics that are maintained for you, such as file size and the dates files are created and last modified. Others are preset such as author, title, and subject and already exist, but you must enter a text value.

Everyday “Legal” Jargon

Discovery in the digital era (part 2)

Identification, preservation, and collection of electronic information  

A. Identification.  

Responding to discovery in a paper world usually means looking through a number of files organized by chronology, subject, or person.  While time consuming, it was and is a relatively simply task.  Meanwhile, backup tapes of electronic documents collect data indiscriminately, regardless of topic, author, or subject.  They span a company’s system and are oftentimes disposed of or taped over after a relatively short period of time.  That makes collecting documents responsive to discovery requests expensive, not only monetarily, but also in terms of the effort required to accomplish the task.    

The first step in responding to electronic discovery requests is the same as with traditional discovery: requests for information should be sent to all responsible persons so that appropriate measures can be implemented to identify, preserve, and collect all potentially relevant information.  While that may seem to be easy, it is not.  Each of these steps will likely require the involvement of those responsible for a company’s information technology systems, because technology-centric collection of information may require case- and issue-specific suspension of automated electronic document destruction facilities.  

The nature of this problem is perhaps best illustrated by looking at the different types of electronic information that could be subject to production. However, even this inquiry is not as simple as it may first appear.  In fact, courts that have dealt with these very issues have struggled to come up with a uniform classification of the different types of electronic information that are subject to production.  In some instances, courts will look to the type of electronic information in determining how the discovery rules should apply.

Among the different types considered are the following: 

Electronic Documents. This category encompasses those documents intentionally created by a computer user, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and the like. 

E-Mail.  The proliferation of e-mail as a means of communication has greatly increased the amount of information that may be discoverable.  Without e-mail, interaction is conducted face-to-face and by telephone and no discoverable record is created.  With e-mail, communication is conducted electronically and copies of the communication are retained on both the sender’s and the recipient’s computers. 

“Hidden” Information.  “Hidden” information includes generally electronic information created or maintained on a computer that was not intentionally created by the computer user but instead was created or maintained automatically by the computer.  Hidden information includes: Meta-data, system logs, temporary files, and “cookies.” 

Backup Files.  As a matter of good information management practice, many companies routinely create backup copies of their computer systems for disaster recovery purposes.    

Other courts, instead of looking to the type of electronic information or its intended use, will examine the means by which the information is used and maintained in the ordinary course of business.  For example, the court in Zubulake identified five categories of electronic information and classified each as to the means by which such information could be accessed. 

Those categories include:  

Active, online data:  “On-line storage is generally provided by magnetic disk.  It is used in the very active stages of an electronic records (sic) life – when it is being created or received and processed, or when the access frequency is high and the required speed of access is very fast, i.e., in milliseconds.”  Examples of online data include hard drives. 

Near-line data:  “This typically consists of a robotic storage device (robotic library) that houses removable media, uses robotic arms to access the media, and uses multiple write/read devices to store and retrieve records.”  Access speeds vary from milliseconds for media already in a read device, to thirty seconds for optical disk technology, to as long as two minutes for sequentially searched media, such as magnetic tape. 

Offline storage/archives:  As defined by Cohasset Associates, one of the nation’s leading information management consulting firms, offline or archival data is:  

Removable optical disk or magnetic tape media, which can be labeled and stored in a shelf or rack.  Off-line storage of electronic records is traditionally used for making disaster copies of records and also for records considered ‘archival’ in that their likelihood of retrieval is minimal.  Accessibility to off-line media involves manual intervention and is much slower than on-line or near-line storage.  Access speeds may be minutes, hours, or even days, depending on the access-effectiveness of the storage facility. The principle difference between nearline data and offline data is that offline data lacks “the coordinated control of an intelligent disk subsystem,” and is, in the nomenclature of technology experts, JBOD (“Just a Bunch of Disks”).

Backup tape:  As defined by the Zubulake court, a backup tape is:  A device, like a tape recorder, that reads data from and writes it  onto a tape.  Tape drives have data capacities of anywhere from  a few hundred kilobytes to several gigabytes.  Their transfer speeds also vary considerably. . .  The disadvantage of tape drives is that they are sequential-access devices, which means that to read any particular block of data, you need to read all the preceding blocks. 

As a result, “the data on a backup tape are not organized for retrieval of individual documents or files because... the organization of the data mirrors the computer’s structure, not the human records management structure.”  Backup tapes also typically employ some  type of data compression, permitting more data to be stored on each tape, but also making restoration more time-consuming and expensive, especially given the lack of uniform standard governing data compression.  All data on each backup tape must be restored from the backup tape format to a format that the standard computer can read.  In the case of a large data volume on multiple tapes the restored files from each tape must be compared to the restored files from every other tape and duplicate files eliminated.  The restored data files that are not duplicates must be converted to a common format so that a search program may seek information within them.  Once the backup tapes have been restored to a disk or hard drive from which they can be read, someone has to review the restored file, whether a word-processing document or e-mail, and determine whether it falls within one of the discovery requests. 

Erased, fragmented or damaged data: Namely,  When a file is first created and saved, it is laid down on the [storage media] in contiguous clusters ... As files are erased, their clusters are made available again as free space.  Eventually, some newly created files become larger than the remaining contiguous free space.  These files are then broken up and randomly spaced through the disk.  Such broken-up files are said to be “fragmented,” and, along with damaged and erased data, can only be accessed after significant processing. 

Some courts have recognized that backup tapes are not created for record retrieval purposes, but rather to allow for system reconstruction in the case of disasters. In such situations, it is less likely that a court will force a respondent to pay for the cost of producing the data.  It is when a party maintains electronic data for the purpose of utilizing it in connection with its current activities that the party may be expected to respond to discovery requests at its own expense.   

Courts also recognize, with regard to the issue of searching backup tapes, that “the likelihood of finding relevant data has to be a function of the application of the common sense principle that people generate data referring to an event, whether e-mail or word processing documents, contemporaneous with that event . . . .” Accordingly, those subject to a document request asking for backup files must be ready to argue that the request be limited to certain back up tapes which span the relevant time period.  Preparation may be the difference between convincing a judge that searching only some versus all of the company’s backup tape is appropriate.  It could mean the difference between spending thousands of dollars versus millions of dollars in responding to discovery.  

B. Review of collected information.  

The quantity of information collected in response to a discovery request covering electronic materials is typically massive.  Moreover, the methods used to collect the information can impact significantly the costs associated with review for relevance, privilege, and confidentiality.  In particular, it is much more efficient to collect and review native-file copies of documents as opposed to hard-copy printouts.  Native-file copies can be full-text searched, which can reduce the costs associated with review and the use of the materials throughout the litigation.  Further, as already stated, native-file copies of documents may contain information that does not appear on hard-copy printouts, such as document metadata and e-mail header information.  

While courts have shifted the cost of producing electronic documents to the party demanding the production, the issue of who should pay the cost to identify privileged and confidential communications contained within the backup systems is often allocated to the producing party.  The district court in Rowe held that any defendant who elects to conduct a full privilege review of its e-mails prior to production, must do so at its own expense.  Accordingly, based upon the holding in Rowe, the full cost of retrieval from the backup tapes would be borne by the party who wanted to conduct a privilege review prior to production.    

Other courts, however, have parted company with that position and have held that the producing party must have an opportunity to assert that the e-mail is confidential or privileged without bearing the cost of retrieving the e-mail.  However, those courts provide that the producing party would have to bear the cost of separating pertinent e-mails from the non-responsive e-mails and identifying the privileged or confidential e- mails found within the pertinent e-mails.  

C. Form of production of responsive materials.  

Traditionally, documents only were produced in hard copy format.  The nature of digitally maintained information expands available options, with a corresponding expansion of the considerations relating to production.  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require production of documents as they are maintained in the ordinary course of business. Does this rule require the production of exact digital copies, or will hard copies or limited digital copies suffice?  

Case law is split on whether a party is entitled to discovery of electronic versions as well as hard copy paper versions of computer files.86  Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may require production of computer data in machine-readable form in addition to providing hard copy printouts of that information.87  Exact digital copies can be manipulated in ways that are difficult to detect.  If proprietary file formats are used, the producing party may be required to make available the tools necessary to view the files.  

Electronic records may contain data that the hard copy does not include.  Important information present in the computer system regarding who sent the document, when he or she sent it, and to whom the document was sent will not always be preserved in the paper printout.  The Advisory Committee Notes to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 make it clear that information stored in computer format is discoverable.88  Because the electronic data files could reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible evidence that is not available from a hard copy, courts will find this to be a factor weighing in favor of a respondent paying for the cost of production. 

The United States District Court for the Southern District of California has noted that the only restriction on the discovery is that the producing party may be protected against undue burden and expense and/or the invasion of privileged matter.  To protect privilege, confidentiality, and the integrity of the evidence, courts will sometimes appoint a qualified neutral computer expert to conduct discovery of the defendant’s computer hard drive.  Often, the time, cost, and intrusiveness associated with the production are far greater than originally estimated. 

What’s a company to do ?  

A. Overview of most pressing concerns that can be addressed.  

One of the most pressing concerns that companies responding to electronic discovery requests face is downtime in operations.  A short four- to five-hour shutdown in order to recover information from a company’s hard drive can mean significant lost profits and additional costs in employee expenditures.    

Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires, at a minimum, locating all sources and locations of electronic data. Data will commonly be located on individual desktops and laptops, network hard discs, removable media such as floppy discs, tapes, and CDs, and, increasingly, personal digital assistants such as hand held computers.  Data may also be in the possession of third parties, such as Internet service providers, and on the computer systems of other entities outside the corporation.    

Determining the volume of e-mail and other electronic information is crucial, but it can be difficult to do without the assistance of an experienced electronic discovery expert.  In order to comply with a typical electronic discovery request, a respondent will have to engage in a three- step process: cataloging, restoring, and processing. Cataloging involves identifying the tapes that contain the e-mail files and marking them for restoration. Restoration consists of saving all relevant documents from the identified files to a master database and then removing the duplicates. Processing involves making the files readable on a computer screen but also printable so that they can be Bates-labeled for production.  

B. Have a plan in place before the need arises.  

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) provides that parties who have suits pending in federal court must meet early in the process to discuss various issues of import to the litigation. One of the tasks the parties are charged with is to develop a proposed discovery plan:  In the electronic age, this ‘meet and confer’ should include a discussion on whether each side possesses information in electronic form, whether they intend to produce such material, whether each other’s software is compatible, whether there exists any privilege issue requiring redaction, and how to allocate costs involved with each of the foregoing. 

That guideline can assist companies in helping to formulate their plans for preserving electronic discovery.  A party who has been sued or who has filed suit may be required to submit a proposed discovery protocol to the court as early as possible.  In addition, it may be necessary that those submitting such a protocol provide statements from technology professionals at the company in support of the proposal.  The court will then likely review the proposal along with the opponents and craft a discovery plan by which both parties must abide.    

Courts that have addressed the issue have recognized various types of discovery protocols in electronic discovery cases.  In cases where the producing party elects not to review the communications on the backup tapes prior to production, the following protocol has been described:  

The producing party produces a log of the backup tapes that identifies the dates of the e-mail communications at issue and the party which has propounded the discovery selects one of the backup tapes.

The party seeking the discovery then designates one or more experts to retrieve the e-mail from the selected backup tape, subject to objection by the producing party.  Once an expert has been agreed to, the backup tape is delivered. 

Counsel for the party seeking production shall then review the e-mail communications retrieved, identify which e-mail is responsive to their discovery, and provide it to the producing party with bates numbers and the back up tape.  (The party seeking production shall bear the expense.) 

The producing party shall then review the documents and designate in a privilege log any documents that are proprietary, any that contain attorney-client communications, any that represent the work product of an attorney, and those documents that are discoverable.  Any documents determined by both counsel to be proprietary are subject to a protective order, and those deemed privileged and still in the hands of the opposing counsel shall be destroyed. 

The parties must seek the court’s intervention in case of disagreements as to what documents are responsive and what are non-discoverable.

Courts have recognized a second protocol if the producing party elects to review the e-mail communications on the backup tapes prior to production.  The first two steps are the same as set forth above except that the compelling party’s expert must agree in writing that he or she shall not disclose to the party or its counsel any information pertaining to the substance of the e-mail communications until after the proprietary and privilege issues are resolved.  

The expert selected, at the expense and direction of the party seeking production, shall retrieve the e-mail communications on the selected back up tape. 

At its expense, the producing party shall review the e-mail communications retrieved and cull out those e-mail documents that are not responsive to the discovery requests and which are privileged or proprietary. 

After a review of the log setting forth claimed privilege and/or proprietary information, if there is agreement then it shall be subject to the terms of the protective order set forth above. 

If there is disagreement then the parties are to seek judicial intervention. 

In some cases, courts have taken it upon themselves to craft the protocol.  In Playboy Enters., Inc. v. Welles, the court, noting that the defendant’s own actions in deleting incoming and outgoing e-mails were partly to blame for the dispute, ordered that an expert, paid for by the party seeking production, be employed to determine whether some of the deleted e-mail could be recovered. The parties were required to agree upon and employ a computer expert who specializes in the field of electronic discovery to create a “mirror image” of the defendant’s hard drive. After the hard drive was mirrored, the expert was to give it to defendant’s counsel who would print and review any recovered documents. The defendant’s attorney had to produce to the plaintiff’s counsel any responsive communications. Any documents that were withheld based upon privileged or propriety information were to be noted in a privilege log.   

With all the confusion about what electronic data is subject to production, companies must be cognizant of the fact that they may be questioned about the electronic documents they produce.  Many attorneys will serve interrogatories on, or take the deposition of, the producing party, questioning whether it has overwritten or revised any relevant documents since the beginning of the dispute.  Responses can be a powerful weapon that can carry significant consequences.  

Another tool parties are utilizing more frequently is the motion to compel, specifically as a means by which to enforce the production of electronic data.  Parties are also resorting to hiring computer experts to determine whether the data is being produced in an altered state.  If alterations are proven, then spoliation claims often follow.  Parties likewise are seeking protective orders from the courts in order to prevent the destruction of electronic data.  One court recently granted an ex parte application for a preliminary injunction which effectively put a “freeze” on defendants’ electronically stored data so that it would be available for future discovery, thereby avoiding possible destruction of that evidence during what might be innocent, routine document disposal practices of defendants. 

Electronic evidence creates new and unique ways for companies to unwittingly destroy evidence.  There are many means by which respondents can get themselves in trouble with the court when copying data for production or review.  Failure to make sector-by-sector images prior to viewing may result in a spoliation claim.  Simply “booting” a computer can destroy “slack” and “temporary” files.   

Clicking on a file rather than properly copying it can change its last access date and lead to harsh sanctions or inadmissibility. These are reasons why it is important to have a sound document retention and production plan in place.  Companies should consider having a knowledgeable computer systems analyst, administrator, or engineer on staff or retained who understands the company’s systems and how to produce the data in pure form.    

The average person in a company is not computer literate enough to know how to protect the company from inadvertent spoliation.  Accordingly, it is important that companies be prepared to retain a discovery expert, used in the records-custodian capacity, who can perform the tasks necessary to insure that electronic data is being properly maintained.  Companies also need to be informed when hiring a law firm to represent them should they be sued or believe they will be sued.  A law firm that is properly educated in the area of electronic data production is important in this electronic age.  Some law firms recommend that the firm itself be the entity to hire the electronic discovery expert so that counsel can then argue that all of the experts’ duties fall squarely within the work- product doctrine. 

C. Address and control your company’s culture concerning electronic documents.  

The most important step for a company to take is to update or institute a corporate retention policy for electronic records.  Such a policy is necessary to enable a company to meet the current challenges of discovery.  A company’s in-house counsel may be viewed as having an obligation to affirmatively advise his or her client that the company should have a reasonable system of e-document retention to maintain any materials that may legitimately be the subject of discovery in possible future claims.  If a company is sued, there is an obligation to tell the client to save e-documents that may be relevant to the claims.    

Courts have imposed liability on defendants and have ordered defendants to pay plaintiffs’ attorney fees if defendants fail to preserve and produce electronic documents. Courts will consider ordering the responding parties to pay attorney fees and the costs expended to litigate motions for sanctions based upon claims of spoliation. In Metropolitan Opera Association v. Local 100, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union, the court stated:   

Counsel (1) never gave adequate instructions to their clients about the clients’ overall discovery obligations, including what constitutes a ‘document’ ... ; (2) knew the Union to have no document retention or filing systems and yet never implemented a systematic procedure for document production or for retention of documents, including electronic documents; (3) delegated document production to a layperson who ... was not instructed by counsel that a document included a draft or other non- identical copy, a computer file and an e-mail; ... and (5) ... failed to ask important witnesses for documents until the night before their depositions and, instead, made repeated, baseless representations that all documents had been produced.  

Both litigation and the pervasiveness of electronically created and stored information are realities that need to be anticipated and addressed.  Employees need to be educated to be mindful of the contents of all electronic documents – especially, but not exclusively, e-mail, text messaging, and other seemingly “informal” means of communication.  Systemic controls need to be implemented to enforce document retention and information policies with respect to electronic information.  Technology needs to be chosen that facilitates control, retrieval and appropriate destruction of electronic information.  

Thomas Y. Allman, an attorney who drafted California’s proposed model rules for e-discovery, proffered the following procedures that companies could establish in order to ensure that they are properly protected in case they should become obligated to respond to an electronic discovery request:  

Establish a formal policy which requires each corporate employee to manage business records, regardless of what form the records take, that he creates or maintains in his or her ordinary course of business and make each person cognizant that his or her responsibilities include retaining records of business activity.   

Work with individual business units to develop practices and customs, designed for their business needs, that identify the business records they need to retain. 

Develop presumptive limits on retention of e-mails that are not to be saved as business records and establish communications policies that promote the appropriate use of e-mail and other company-owned systems. 

Eliminate unnecessary retention of backup tapes and deny routine access to back-up tapes for reasons other than crisis reconstruction.  

Establish procedures to identify and notify individuals and business units of the need to preserve electronic and other records which may be relevant for threatened or pending litigation. 

Publicize policies and procedures for preserving potential evidence when threatened with litigation.  Also, train lawyers and business people on when and how to preserve the information for which they are responsible.

D. Marshall appropriate resources to assist with production.  

Companies should not skimp when allocating resources toward a document retention plan.  As with emerging technology, it is important to do it correctly the first time.  Any person who has lost work due to a computer crash knows that once information is lost or destroyed, there often is no going back.  Use of proper resources can help minimize the costs and maximize the benefit of information technology in litigation.  

Even more importantly, though, recent case law makes it clear that courts will force the production of electronically stored data and materials.  In planning their budgets, companies may want to take into account not only the cost of maintaining and storing electronic data but also the cost of retrieving and producing it.  It can be very costly to produce electronic files, duplicate hard drives, restore back up tapes, and resurrect outdated software.  Companies cannot expect that this cost will automatically be shifted to the party requesting the electronic data.  Accordingly, businesses with appropriate systems can reduce the “pain” necessary to meet the obligations of doing and protecting business in an electronic age.  

Sources for this article include: “Negotiating the Minefields of Electronic Discovery”  by Stephen D. Williger & Robin M. Wilson, and “Shifting burdens and concealing electronic evidence”, by Rebecca Rockwood 

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

Long time no see

Catchphrase used on meeting someone after a long time. It apparently comes from the USA, but far from being jocular or Hollywood parody of the limited English of the American Indians, as has been suggested, it is a direct translation of the Chinese equivalent and obviously originated among Chinese immigrant communities learning to speak English in the United States.

As best as / as best

You can try to be as good as you can be, but it's not standard to say that you do something “as best as you can.” You need to eliminate the second “as” when “good” changes to “best.” You can try to do something as best you can. You can also do the best that you can (or even better, the best you can).

Unlike asbestos removal, “as best as” removal is easy, and you don’t have to wear a hazmat suit.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Amazonía

Los países de la Organización del Tratado de la Cuenca Amazónica (OTCA) anunciaron en Quito, Ecuador, un plan para convertir a esa región selvática de Sudamérica en un destino turístico sustentable en el año 2009.

Comercio

La mayor empresa que de tiendas de comercio en Chile, Matriz de Casa&Ideas revierte pérdidas y obtiene ganancias por US$ 438 mlls.

Del Consumidor

La aerolínea brasileña Gol deberá pagar una multa de 672.000 reales (US$358.782) por no informar ni prestar condiciones adecuadas de asistencia a pasajeros en esperas y cancelaciones de vuelos producidas entre octubre y noviembre del año pasado.

Mafias ?

La llegada de las mafias china y rusa a México y a todos los países de América ya no es una hipótesis, alertó el general Óscar A. Naranjo, jefe de la Policía Nacional de Colombia 

Turismo

Panamá será, a partir de diciembre de 2008, un home port de cruceros. La línea Royal Caribbean Internacional hizo el lanzamiento oficial de Panamá como puerto de origen de cruceros para esta empresa. El centro turístico estará en el puerto Colón 2000 en la región atlántica.

Ley

El Congreso de Guatemala agiliza la aprobación de una ley de adopciones, tras la advertencia del gobierno de Estados Unidos que no entregará visas de adopciones a niños que no cumplan con los acuerdos de La Haya.

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Diga a sus amigos y colegas que lean migalhas LatinoAmerica, nuestro informativo en español cubriendo las noticias, los acontecimientos y las oportunidades del mundo jurídico en Centro y Sud América

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  • Brief News

Murdoch wins control of Dow Jones

Murdoch finally won his long-coveted prize on Tuesday, gaining enough support from the deeply divided Bancroft family to buy Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal. It is believed his News Corporation company has paid $5bn to secure the deal. The widely respected WSJ is regarded as America's leading business newspaper. Murdoch overcame concerns that the editorial independence of the newspaper would be threatened under his control.

Latin American young 'lack water'

More than a third of children and teenagers in Latin America lack access to safe drinking water in their homes, a United Nations report says. Only about one-in-four adults have the same problem, the report adds. It says the disparity between children and adults is even greater in terms of lack of access to sanitation. The authors of the study call for improvements in water privatization programs, to include greater community involvement.

US doctor on organ harvest charge

A transplant surgeon in the US has been charged with attempting to hasten the death of a disabled man in order to harvest his organs. He could face up to eight years in jail if convicted, and denies the charges. The patient’s mother says her son was exploited and did not die with dignity.

BA gets £121.5m price-fixing fine

British Airways has been fined £121.5m after it admitted price fixing of fuel surcharges on long-haul flights. BA colluded with Virgin Atlantic over the surcharges, which were added in response to rising oil prices, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said. The OFT and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) have been investigating the allegations since June last year. The DoJ will announce how much it plans to fine BA later on Wednesday. Virgin Atlantic is not expected to be fined, the OFT said, as it had been given immunity after it reported BA's activity.

Wireless auction to change cell phone pay structure

The US Federal Communications Commission has approved rules that will clear the way for the opening of the most important airwaves auction to date. The event will affect the pay structure on cell phones and other mobile devices.

More bad news from the housing sector

Bear Stearns has prevented investors from taking their money from a hedge fund that put some $900 million in mortgage investments.  11:31 p.m.

Harvard lost about $350 million through an investment in hedge fund Sowood, which was founded by a former Harvard-endowment manager. 

Zimbabwe launches $200,000 note

Zimbabwe is to start circulating a new 200,000 Zimbabwe dollar note, in a bid to tackle the country's inflation, the highest in the world. The new note, issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from Wednesday, can buy 1kg of sugar.

Pilot error suspected in Brazil plane crash

Authorities investigating the TAM airlines crash that killed 199 people in Sao Paulo last month believe pilot error caused the tragedy, according to sources familiar with the probe. The finding, if confirmed, would cast doubt on speculation that poor runway conditions were to blame and could lessen pressure on a government that many Brazilians still fault for the country's worst air disaster. The sources said investigators believe the pilots incorrectly adjusted the plane's engine settings upon landing. A failure to correctly set thrust levels for one of the two engines would explain why the plane veered off the wet runway before crashing into a fuel depot and catching fire.

Family of Brazil crash victim files suit against TAM, Airbus in Miami

Relatives of a man who died in Brazil's worst air disaster have filed suit in U.S. federal court seeking damages from the airline and the plane's European manufacturer, lawyers said Tuesday. The suit filed late Friday in Miami seeks unspecified damages from TAM Linhas Aereas SA and Airbus SAS for the death of Ricardo Tazoe, a 35-year-old Peruvian-American. Lauwyer Martinez-Cid said in a telephone interview from Miami. "Any case in the U.S. is worth many times more than any case in Brazil."

A business like steel!

ArcelorMittal reported a 50% rise in quarterly net profit, boosted by merger synergies and higher demand and selling prices for steel. 

Copyright warnings contest

A trade group representing Google, Microsoft and other tech heavyweights claims that several content companies are overstepping bounds with their copyright warnings, saying those warnings and others like it on movies and books are trampling over consumers' rights to fair use of copyrighted content. The group wants the FTC to investigate and order copyright holders to stop wording warnings in what it sees as a misrepresentative way. The conflict illustrates the shifting concept of fair use in the digital age. "Fair use" of intellectual property revolves around the question of how much, if any, of movies, books, music and other creations can be used without permission of the owners. As Internet platforms have made it easier to redistribute chunks of content without asking for approval, copyright owners have become more protective about enforcing their rights.

British soldiers shut down operations in Northern Ireland

The British Army, for 38 years a prominent symbol of the sectarian antagonisms of Northern Ireland, closed down its operations there Tuesday.

FBI searches US senator's house

Federal agents in the United States have searched the Alaska home of veteran Republican Senator Ted Stevens as part of an inquiry into corruption.

Lobbying Overhaul Wins Approval in House

The House on Tuesday approved a bill to make sweeping changes to the way lawmakers deal with lobbyists. The vote was 411-8. The bill aims to bring more transparency to so-called "earmarks," or special-interest spending in particular lawmakers' districts.

Paulson tells U.S. lawmakers that pressing China on yuan risks trade war

He and other administration officials said measures proposed by the Senate Finance and Banking Committees could jeopardize American exports by starting a trade war, would not help persuade China to open its economy, and risked undermining "market confidence" in the United States. A senior Chinese official also told the visiting U.S. Treasury secretary that China is still poor and poses no threat to anyone.

  • Daily Press Review

UN backs new Darfur peace force
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Government seeks help for 75,000 IDPs
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Health Insurance Scheme to implement new medicine list
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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

ATM blown up in small Limpopo town
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

N2 highway barricaded
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

R150-million revamp for Frere Hospital
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Parliament 'should probe report'
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Brazil submit bid for 2014 FIFA World Cup
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

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

El Salvador: Terrorism Law Misused Against Protesters
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

PARAGUAY:  Justice for Supermarket Fire Victims - An Impossible Goal?
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Parties red-flagged - Ombudsman says orange and green graffiti must go
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Gold Hawk Resources Inc. Announces US$3 Million Loan
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

1981 arrest haunts U.S. professor at border
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Gold dream a nightmare for Bre-X victim
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

President still looking for successor to aling home minister
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Rice, Gates Discuss Iraq with Saudi Leadership
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Sensex crashes, dips below 15K level
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Cricket betting racket busted in Delhi
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Stellar conviction rate is suspect
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Mechanic charged with raping underaged girlfriend
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Nepali man cuts off hand for goddess - report
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

ASEAN, Russia to enhance cooperation
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Mara pleads guilty to cocaine plot
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Sanjay Dutt sentenced to 6 years in jail
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

BA gets GBP 121.5m price-fixing fine
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Villians sign US youngster
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

New TV 'fake' row:  Alzheimer's victim did NOT die in ITV documentary
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Belarus revises telecom regulations
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Merseyside teacher killed in whitewater tragedy
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

French town rebuilds frigate of U.S. revolutionary war hero
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Woman, 83, lay dying for days
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Sainsbury's plan to open Carlisle store
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Health report to push for treatment at home
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

Finland-based band Dope Aviators make rare return to Prague
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

Heathrow Attempts To Stop Protests
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Audi Shifts into Overdrive:  Carmaker Narrows Gap with BMW, Mercedes
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

British Airways fined GBP 121.5m for price fixing
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Fitzpatrick sign for St Pat's
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

East Timor president sets deadline for new govt
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Murdoch to buy Dow Jones
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

British Airways hit by multi-million pound fines
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

British tourists in waiting game as fires sweep holiday islands
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Feiglin Leads on Likud Web Site Poll
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Fifteen Militants Killed in Fierce Pakistan Clashes
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

S Korea hostage families plead for US help
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Saudi Arabia willing to attend U.S.-led Mideast peace summit
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IRAQ:  Religious Minorities Hit From All Sides
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Panel approves RO15.62m for infrastructure projects  - Oman
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Taliban Sets New Deadline as Body of S. Korean Hostage Found
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Rights group urges Israel to stop demolitions, evictions
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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