September 3, 2007  nº 536  -  Vol. 5  
 

“Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.”

Voltaire



Insider's view
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  • Top News

UK general attacks US Iraq policy

The head of the British army during the Iraq invasion has said US post-war policy was "intellectually bankrupt".

Gen Jackson added that US strategy had been "short-sighted". The US Department of Defence said: "Divergent viewpoints are a hallmark of open, democratic societies."

Judge halts illegal immigrant notices

Government's illegal immigrant notices can't go out yet, Federal judge rules. The Social Security Administration cannot start sending out letters to employers next week containing notification of more serious penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Ruling on a lawsuit by the nation's largest federation of labor unions against the U.S. government, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the so-called "no-match" letters from going out as planned starting Tuesday. She set the next hearing on the matter for Oct. 1. The Social Security Administration has sent out "no-match" letters for more than two decades warning employers of discrepancies in the information the government has on their workers. Employers often brushed aside the letters, and the small fines that sometimes were incurred, as a cost of doing business. But this year, those letters will be accompanied by notices from the Department of Homeland Security outlining strict new requirements for employers to resolve those discrepancies within 90 days or face fines or criminal prosecution, if they're deemed to have knowingly hired illegal immigrants.

Brazilian army general says investigation into dictatorship would violate amnesty law

Brazil's army commander said an investigation into political killings during the 1964-85 military dictatorship would violate an amnesty law pardoning civilians and military officials for alleged crimes and be a "step backward" for the country. Gen. Enzo Martins Peri said the amnesty law "produced indispensable harmony in society, because historic facts have different interpretations, depending on one's point of view."

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  • MiMIC Journal

China starts recall systems for food

China's first nationwide recall systems for unsafe food and toys came into effect Friday in one of the strongest steps taken by Beijing to clean up the country's scandal-hit manufacturing industry.

New Chinese rules on Dalai Lama

Communist China has introduced new rules that appear aimed at controlling the selection of the next Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual head. Most Tibetans believe that eminent monks, such as the Dalai Lama, are reincarnated after death. China, which governs Tibet, will now have the final say over who can be selected as a reincarnated monk.

  • Brief News

Swiss expulsion proposal draws criticism

The campaign poster was blatant in its xenophobic symbolism: Three white sheep kicking out a black sheep over a caption that read "for more security." The message was not from a fringe force in Switzerland's political scene but from its largest party. The nationalist Swiss People's Party is proposing a deportation policy that anti-racism campaigners say evokes Nazi-era practices. Under the plan, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offenses or benefits fraud. The party is trying to collect the 100,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the issue. If approved in a referendum, the law would be the only one of its kind in Europe.

Chavez to meet Colombian rebels

Chavez has agreed to invite Colombian rebels to discuss a hostage release deal.

Chavez announced the plan after talks with Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe on his role as mediator between Colombia's government and the rebels.

Chile priest charged over deaths

Twelve people in Chile - including a Catholic priest - have been charged over death squad killings during the military rule of Pinochet. It is the first time a Catholic priest has been charged over abuses committed during Pinochet's dictatorship. Luis Jorquera - whose whereabouts are not known - is accused of covering up the deaths of 28 dissidents. More than 3,000 people were killed or "disappeared" during military rule in Chile between 1973 and 1990.

Sydney fenced in for Apec summit

A 5-km concrete and steel fence is being built across the centre of Sydney amid a massive security effort for a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders next week.

More than 5,000 police and troops will also be deployed as part of Australia's largest security operation ever. The world leaders  will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) meeting for talks on climate change, regional security and free trade.

US court allows navy to use sonar

The US navy has won the latest round in a court battle over whether it can use sonar equipment which environmentalists say can kill whales and other mammals. An appeals court overturned a decision banning the use of sonar equipment in tests to be held off California. National security needs must be weighed against protecting the safety of marine mammals, the judges ruled.

French utility firms agree merger

French utility groups Suez and Gaz de France (GDF) have agreed to merge to create a global energy firm. Suez will divest 65% of its water and waste management operations by placing shares on the stock market.

Academy in bid to stop Oscar sale

A court case has been filed in the US in a bid to stop the public sale of two Academy Awards which were given to the late silent film star Mary Pickford. The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences said it had the right to buy the statuettes for $10 each. The academy says an heir to the Oscars demanded $500,000 for a single statuette in July. The Academy said the articles would be "cheapened" if bought and sold.

Argentine-Uruguay row heats up

Hundreds of Argentineans crossed into Uruguay amid tight security to protest outside a paper pulp mill, the cause of a major dispute between the countries. Argentina and environmentalists say the plant pollutes rivers. Uruguay and the mill's Finnish owners say it will not.

US says draft Norway anti-terror law not tough enough 

The US ambassador to Norway has told Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget  that the circulated draft of Norway's new anti-terrorism law is too lenient, Oslo newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday. Ambassador Benson K. Whitney  expressed particular concern about the fact that membership of a terrorist organization was not by itself an offense; as it stands, the draft imposes criminal penalties only if a person is concretely connected to the planning of a terrorist attack. Storberget said in the wake of the letter that he had no object to the US government expressing its opinion, but that Norway would make its own decisions.

Executions worldwide up, countries with death penalty down

The number of executions worldwide increased slightly in 2006 while the number of countries that employ capital punishment decreased, according to a report  released Thursday by the Rome-based anti-death penalty group Hands Off Cain . According to statistics compiled from news reports and NGOs, there were 5628 executions in 27 countries in 2006, up from 5494 executions in 24 countries in 2005. At the same time, three countries abolished the death penalty  last year, reducing the number of countries that use capital punishment.

Mexican President assails U.S. measures on migrants

President Felipe Calderón harshly criticized the United States government on Sunday for the recent crackdown on illegal immigrants, saying it has led to the persecution of immigrant workers without visas. The Bush administration has stepped up raids on factories and farms suspected of hiring illegal workers, imposing heavy fines and deporting a record number of illegal immigrants in 2006. The United States Congress this summer failed to approve proposed legislation to revamp immigration laws to make it easier for Mexican immigrants to gain citizenship or temporary work visas, disappointing the Calderón administration.

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  • Weekly magazine review

Time

The Case for National Service. In a changing society facing all manner of new challenges, volunteers are helping bind America together. Why the U.S. and the next President should make a new commitment to national service

Newsweek

Lazy like a fox. His story sings—a small-town boy who became a senator and a star. But does he have the requisite fire in the belly? We'll soon see.

Business Week

Fear & Loathing At The Airport. Long lines, late flights, near collisions—everyone is unhappy with the state of the U.S. air travel system. Unfortunately, no one, especially not the FAA, seems able to do anything about it

The Economist

The world's internet superpower faces testing times (Google)

L'Express

Les 650 meilleures affaires des foires aux vins

Der Spiegel

Die Bio-Welle
Vom Öko-Traum zur globalen Massenproduktion. Der Bio-Boom macht die Branche immer unübersichtlicher - und anfällig für Betrüger. Wie in Ostwestfalen aus normalen Mastschweinen Bioschweine wurden. Erdkorn-Geschäftsführer Thomas Hinz über die Konkurrenz der Discounter

  • Daily Press Review

Ban to press for peace in Darfur
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

World Health Organization Investigating Deadly Unknown Illness in Congo
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Ghanaian Fooballer Found
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Israel: Halt Summary Expulsion of Sudanese Migrants
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

SABC unhappy with Sanef on Manto
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Tax money bankrolls luxury home for Langa
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Men arrested after stealing hearse, corpse
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'My father blames himself'
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Felix becomes powerful category five hurricane
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Bounty and Buju perform at Carifest despite GLAAD protests
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Brazil: Report on Past Atrocities a Key Step Forward
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

'Quilombos' Fight Exclusion
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Judgement Day - Political careers on the line as nation goes to polls
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Photo of the day - Reports to President Garcia
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Hoping to beat the back-to-school traffic jams? Tell kids to hoof it
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Battle ends Lebanon siege
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

President to give lecture at Airlangga University
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

U.S.: North Korea to Disable Its Nuclear Plants This Year
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Blast 'mastermind' detained in B'desh
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Minors forced to conceive in Delhi
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Tanihara wins Fujisankei Classic
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

CCM: Reasons why charges against Zakaria and Co dropped
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Malaysia declares fashion war on taxi slobs
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Profile: Bangladeshi former prime minister Khaleda Zia
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Plea to find missing Crystal, 13
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

GSLV launched successfully
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Basra base withdrawal nears end
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Brown in court for custody hearing
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Bush furious as British troops complete pull out of Basra base
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Mobitel to launch revamped mobile portal
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

More Mersey children heading for obesity
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Pope Benedict XVI leads "eco-friendly" youth rally
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Fires cause 1m damage
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Teenager may be 'hit and run' victim
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Good Riddance
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

Horse chestnuts are here, so say good-bye to the summer
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

UK Troops 'Complete Basra Palace Handover'
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Picture This:  Remembering Diana
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

British forces withdraw from Basra Palace base
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Manufacturing hit 1-year high in August
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

China vows to clean up toxins amid food scares
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Tears at tragic Rhys's vigil
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Tube strike: Last ditch talks proceed
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Grieving mothers tortured by questions left unanswered
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

MK Hendel on Kassam Attacks: The Game Is Over
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Jordan king holds Mideast talks in Saudi
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Hurricane Felix becomes rare top-ranked storm
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Jailed Fatah leader Barghouti slams Hamas for 'bloody coup'
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IRAQ: Children Starved of Childhood
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

AIMS International to launch its global hub in Dubai
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Ex-SKorean Hostages Say They Felt They Got Their Lives Back
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Maliki orders investigation into Kerbala bloodlettingMaliki orders investigation into Kerbala bloodletting
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

50% of Yemeni people's decisions are manipulated by political parties (Front)
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

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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.