September 26, 2007  nº 545  -  Vol. 5  
 

"There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know."

William Makepeace Thackeray



In today's Grammatigalhas: we discuss the hearsay rule and its exception. For technical reason, this column cannot appear in the newsletter today, but it is available on the website. You can read it by clicking here.

  • Top News

Iran President Vows to Ignore U.N. Measures

Defiant Iran's president has criticized "illegal" UN Security Council sanctions against his country, in a speech to the General Assembly in New York. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said debate over Tehran's nuclear program was "closed" and the issue was now in the hands of the UN's nuclear watchdog. Earlier, France's president said a nuclear Iran could threaten the world. Other issues raised by world leaders included Darfur, climate change, protests in Burma and human rights.

A controversial visit

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clashed with the head of New York's Columbia University while making his controversial appearance at the campus. He said there were no homosexuals in Iran - not one - and that the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research. In repeated clashes with his hosts, Ahmadinejad accused the United States of supporting terrorist groups and characterized as hypocritical U.S. and European efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. Many Americans said the Iranian leader should not have been invited to speak at Columbia University. Yet his appearance also offered evidence of why he is widely admired in the developing world for his defiance toward Western, especially American, power. It remains unclear whether Columbia's leaders were able to mollify critics with their critical treatment of Ahmadinejad.

Magna Carta to be auctioned

The 2,500 words fill a single page. The faded letters in Latin are unreadable in places. Something that looks like a scraggly, russet-colored tail hangs from the bottom. It is the document that laid the foundation for fundamental principles of English law. Angry colonists complained long before the Boston Tea Party that King George III had violated it. The men who drafted the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights borrowed from it. It is Magna Carta, agreed to by King John of England in 1215 and revised and reaffirmed through the 13th century. The tail dangling off the page is a royal seal. And it is about to go on sale. Sotheby's, which plans to auction it in New York in mid-December, estimates that it will sell for $20 million to $30 million.

Iraq to end contractor 'immunity'

The Iraqi interior ministry has said it has drafted legislation regulating private security companies following a shooting allegedly involving Blackwater, a US firm guarding diplomats. The new code would require contractors to be subject to Iraqi law and to be monitored by the Iraqi government. The draft is being considered by the consultative State Shura Council before being passed to parliament for debate.

US court reviews lethal injection

The US Supreme Court is to review the legality of lethal injections, the means of execution in most US states. The high court has agreed to hear challenges from two death row inmates Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. The pair sued the state of Kentucky in 2004, saying lethal injections were cruel and a violation of civil rights. The case could affect the way inmates are executed in the US. Lawyers for the men said the court had not reviewed the issue for more than 100 years.

Federal government challenges Illinois immigration law 

The US Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois  Monday filed a federal lawsuit  against state of Illinois  in an effort to invalidate a state law that would prevent employers from using the voluntary E-Verify  program maintained by the US Department of Homeland Security. E-Verify tracks whether potential employees can legally work in the United States. US Department of Justice  and DHS officials say the Illinois law frustrates their efforts to combat illegal immigration  and violates the Constitution's Supremacy Clause. Supporters of the Illinois law say E-Verify is often inaccurate and therefore discriminatory.

Dollar falls to another euro low

The dollar has fallen to yet another all-time low against the euro, after further weak US economic data. In early Wednesday trading, the euro hit a fresh high of $1.4163. Analysts said the data boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again when it next meets in October.

Araújo e Policastro opens in Rio

The Brazilian law firm Araújo e Policastro Advogados has recently opened a new office in Rio de Janeiro. Maria Aparecida Seabra Fagundes has been appointed as managing partner. She has been the general counsel at power utility Eletrobrás for ten years. Before that,  she worked for almost two decades as general counsel for Furnas, the largest state-owned electricity producer in Brazil. Click here to read more.

Book sweepstake

Migalhas is delighted to offer its readers, by random drawing, two copies of the book "Legal Audit in Migalhas Website: The Road Towards Institutionalizing it" (Edition: Armazém de Idéias - 311 p.), written and graciously offered by the author, the famous Jayme Vita Roso, of the office of Jayme Vita Roso Advogados e Consultores Jurídicos. Please click here to enter your information. 

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  • Crumbs!

1 - GM, UAW resume talks as strike impact spreads. (Read more)

2 - Vick indicted by state grand jury in dogfighting case. (Read more)

3 - McCanns could face charges over security firm. (Read more)

4 - Europe puts brakes on Google deal. (Read more)

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  • MiMIC Journal

WTO investigates Chinese 'piracy'

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has launched a formal investigation into a US complaint about piracy in China. A WTO dispute body has now been set up to look into allegations that Beijing has failed to tackle counterfeiting. According to the US, China's failure to enforce copyright laws is costing software, music and book publishers billions of dollars in lost sales.

Delta, UAL win approval for new China flights

The Department of Transportation approved two new U.S.-to-China flights and proposed four more, as packed planes, China's rapid economic growth and ballooning commercial links with the U.S. open up the airways between the two countries.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Centroamérica – UE

Delegados de las naciones centroamericanas y de la Unión Europea (UE) se reúnen en San José, Costa Rica, para avanzar en la preparación de la primera ronda de negociación entre ambas partes, que se espera concluya el viernes con la firma de un acuerdo de asociación.

Costa

El secretario de Marina de México, Francisco Saynez, pidió al gobierno normas legales destinadas a una mayor presencia en las costas nacionales, dijo que pese a ser México, vecino del país más poderoso del mundo no existen acuerdos específicos con Estados Unidos sobre la vigilancia de los litorales.

Argentina – Japón

La Sociedad Cooperativa Popular Limitada (SCPL) de Comodoro Rivadavia, propietaria del mayor parque eólico de la Argentina y América del Sur, vendió “certificados de carbono” o “bonos verdes” a Japón por más de un millón de pesos. Se trata del primer contrato que se firma entre una asociación argentina y una japonesa en el marco del Protocolo de Kyoto de 1997.

Empresa

El conglomerado chileno Sigdo Koppers, que tiene inversiones en construcción e ingenieria civil,  crea nueva firma en Perú, mira a Brasil y apuesta con más de US$ 61 mlls. en el negocio de buses chinos.

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  • Brief News

Argentine boy sex change approved

A court in the central Argentine province of Cordoba has for the first time agreed that a sex change operation can be carried out on a minor. The case concerns a 17-year-old male called Nati who wants to be a woman. The decision ends a long-running legal process for Nati, who suffers from the transsexual disorder known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome. The judge insisted that Nati receive counseling after the operation, which will take place in the next few days.

Getty to hand back 'looted art'

One of the world's wealthiest museums, the Getty in Los Angeles, has signed an agreement in Rome to return priceless artefacts allegedly stolen from Italy. Under the deal with the Italian culture ministry, 40 major works of ancient art will be returned from next week. The items include a prized limestone and marble statue of the goddess Aphrodite, to be handed over in 2010. The Italian government been battling in the courts for the past decade to defeat the enormously profitable international trade in smuggled ancient art works.

General Motors workers on strike

United Auto Workers (UAW) union members at General Motors (GM) have walked out on strike after contract talks failed to reach an agreement. The carmaker wants staff to give up some of their expensive benefits such as pensions and health insurance. The UAW strike against GM is a bold gamble to force a weakened company into a better contract. The talks apparently became bogged down on Sunday because the union wanted guarantees that new vehicles and models will be built in the US. The UAW says it will not suspend the strike without an agreement. 

Japan's new leadership sworn in

Japan's new Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and his cabinet have been formally sworn in by Emperor Akihito. Fukuda was elected by parliament on Tuesday.

Italy plans prostitution penalty

Italy is considering imposing on-the-spot fines on prostitutes' clients, the interior minister says.

Federal appeals court rules treaty does not give individual prisoners cause of action 

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit  ruled Monday that foreign prisoners do not have a cause of action under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations  if police do not inform the inmate of their right under the treaty to call the inmate's home country embassy following arrest. Finding that the Vienna Convention is applicable only to sovereign nations, and not individuals, the court wrote :

"Article 36  does not create judicially enforceable rights. Article 36 confers legal rights and obligations on States in order to facilitate and promote consular functions. Consular functions include protecting the interests of detained nationals, and for that purpose detainees have the right (if they want) for the consular post to be notified of their situation. In this sense, detained foreign nationals benefit from Article 36’s provisions. But the right to protect nationals belongs to States party to the Convention; no private right is unambiguously conferred on individual detainees." Attorneys for the inmate plaintiffs indicated that they plan on filing an appeal with the US Supreme Court, saying that other federal jurisdictions have held that the convention does indeed provide such an enforceable right to individuals.

Anglicans to halt gay ordinations

Leaders of the Episcopal Church in the United States have agreed to halt the ordination of gay clergy to prevent a split in the Anglican Church. The Church will also no longer approve prayers to bless same-sex couples.

US polygamist leader found guilty 

A US polygamist sect leader is convicted by a court in the state of Utah for forcing a 14-year-old girl into marriage.

Anger at Giuliani 9/11 fundraiser

Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has been criticized over a fundraising party at which participants are being urged to donate $9.11. The International Association of Fire Fighters accuses him of exploiting the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Argentina war crimes suspect sentenced in US for visa fraud 

Former Argentinean military officer Ernesto Guillermo Barreiro  has been sentenced  in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to six months in jail for one count of visa fraud, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  said Monday. According to ICE, he will likely be deported to Argentina when his US sentence is complete, where he faces charges of torture, kidnapping, and murder for his role in Argentina's 1976-83 Dirty War. If convicted of those charges, he faces up to life in prison. Barreiro was arrested  in April for violating US immigration laws, along with two former Peruvian military officials, Telmo Ricardo Hurtado and Juan Manuel Rivera-Rondon.

Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Voter ID

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether voter-identification laws unfairly deter poor and minority Americans from voting, stepping into a contentious partisan issue in advance of the 2008 elections. The justices will hear arguments early next year in a challenge to an Indiana law that requires voters to present photo ID before casting their ballots. The state has defended the law as a way to combat voter fraud. The state Democratic party and civil-rights groups complained that the law unfairly targets poor and minority voters, without any evidence that in-person voter fraud exists in Indiana. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona and Michigan, but struck down Missouri's. In June, the Georgia Supreme Court threw out a challenge to that state's voter ID law but sidestepped a decision on whether the requirement was constitutional.

Facebook Probe

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is probing Facebook, saying an undercover investigation found the site delayed in responding to complaints about sexual solicitations aimed at underage users.

Hungary licensing of sex workers said to violate human trafficking treaty 

Hungarian officials announced Monday that the government has begun granting entrepreneur licenses to sex industry workers, despite critics' claims that the licensing scheme encourages human trafficking and violates Hungary's obligations under the 1950 UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others . The licenses will allow sex workers, who are already legally allowed to work subject to government regulations, to issue receipts and pay income and social security taxes. Supporters of the government's bid to better integrate Hungary's sex industry with the country's economy say that legalization and decriminalization has already allowed for greater transparency and government regulation, which improves the conditions of sex workers.

KKR deal completed despite crunch

The private equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has completed its $26bn  takeover of the credit card payment processor First Data Corp. The deal was reported to have been threatened by a credit crunch that has hit the banks from which much of the money was borrowed. It is the second biggest private equity buyout, behind the $45bn paid for the US utility firm TXU.

Ban on Tax-Plan patents?

US Congress is moving to ban government-granted patents on tax-planning strategies. The change responds to critics who see the practice as a symbol of the flaws in both the tax and intellectual-property systems, where companies have devoted significant effort to cutting their tax bills, and in some cases essentially equate clever accounting schemes with innovations like a new semiconductor or a pharmaceutical product. Supporters hope to overhaul the patent system.

  • Daily Press Review

New force for Chad and CAR
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Tensions Flare in Eastern Congo Amid Ongoing Clashes
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Flood Appeal Falls on Deaf Ears
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

UN: Summit on Africa Should Not Overlook Justice
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Speak 'Bush' in one easy lesson
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

SA, UK cops crack R5bn drug ring
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Mbeki: UN structure favours rich countries
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'We just robbed your husband'
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Peruvian president promises fair trial of Fujimori
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Call to ban Sizzla and Elephant Man in Canada
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Chilean President Visits Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

Colombia: Local Candidates Sign Agreement with Civil Society in Slum
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Highway tragedy - Crash claims six in Clarendon
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Photo of the day - Peru's Government to Produce National Bread
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Myanmar cracks down
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Harper sees second minority
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

RI declares commitment to supporting peace-making efforts in Africa
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Bush: Saddam's Legacy Slowing Progress in Iraq
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

World Champions return home to huge welcome
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Mother, kids killed in Ahmedabad
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Back-chatting TVs and translating photocopiers
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Negri govt says no to new poultry farms
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

NZ-born technician dies following Batmobile - reports
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Convicted Philippine ex-president files reconsideration motion
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Bikini battalion sets a record
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Progress in border talks, says Wen
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Burma monks march as police act
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Suspect denies terror training camp charges
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Could the girl in this picture be Madeleine in Morocco?
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Mobitel's 'Instant Internet' packages take off
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rape victim's family say police failed them
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Calls for a breakup grow louder in Belgium
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Ventnor seafront scheme refused
Isle of Wight County Press, Independent daily, Isle of Wight, England

Presidents of the Visegrad Group countries meet on Lake Balaton
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

'Madeleine Photo' Under Investigation
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Spiegel Interview with Anatoly Chubais:  '40 Million Russians Are Convinced I'm a Scoundrel'
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Police fire warning shots to disperse protesting monks
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Burmese junta cracks down on protesters
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Interpol check photo in Madeleine case
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Child porn cops grab Elton pic
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Tebbit: Brown is the natural heir to Thatcher
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Monks brave teargas and gunfire to challenge generals' grip on Burma
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Report: Most Ministers Support Prisoner Deal
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Syria, N.Korea Deny Nuclear Cooperation
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Church warns against buying Pope relics online
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Wife of abducted soldier blames Ahmadinejad for kidnapping
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Trade: North Africa a Launch Pad For Auto Markets
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

GCC, Seoul Set to Start FTA Talks
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Rights Groups Call for U.N. Session on Myanmar
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Israel delays 'goodwill' release of Palestinian prisoners
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Protests around the republic
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.