September 21, 2009 Nº 820 - Vol. 7

"There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press"

Mark Twain

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  • Top News

Argentine media fight

After a long and at times acrimonious session, Argentina's Chamber of Deputies this week passed a new media law proposed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. More than 100 opposition lawmakers stormed out in protest at the bill, which comes amid an ongoing tussle between the presidency and one of the largest media groups in Latin America, Grupo Clarin. Kirchner has said her aim is to get rid of a hated media law from the military era, and establish a new regulatory framework for the media. She argues that the new law will increase competition, allowing smaller players more access to frequencies and restricting the number of licenses granted to dominant media players. But critics have questioned Kirchner's intentions, as the law, if it is also passed by the Senate, is likely to curb Clarin's influence and force the group to divest itself of some of its interests.

US objects to Google book deal

The US Justice Department has urged a New York court to reject a deal that would allow internet company Google to publish millions of books online. The deal raised copyright and anti-trust issues, the department said, and should be rejected in its current form. The court is due to rule on the issue early next month. Under the deal - the product of a legal suit - Google would establish a $125m fund to compensate those whose works it published online. It would establish a Book Rights Registry so that authors whose work it digitized were paid when their material was viewed online. The deal was agreed in October 2008 with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) after they sued Google for copyright infringement.

Number of failed US banks hits 94

Another two US banks have been closed by the federal regulator, taking the total number of American banking failures this year to 94. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which controls the banking sector, has shut Irwin Union Bank & Trust and Irwin Union Bank. The move comes after their parent firm - Irwin Financial - was unable to meet an FDIC demand to boost their capital.

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  • Brief News

Microsoft to open up say on pay

Software giant Microsoft is to allow shareholders to vote on the pay of its board members, although their votes will not be binding. The US firm said shareholders would be allowed to vote on the issue every three years, starting at the 2009 annual general meeting on 19 November. Microsoft's move comes amid growing pressure in the US for firms to cut down on excessive pay deals for bosses. Politicians in Washington are looking at legislating over the issue.

Now, an Invention Inventors Will Like

The world can be a rough place for independent inventors. They can often find themselves in court, battling big corporations, spending piles of money on lawyers and leaving it up to judges and juries to determine the value of their hard-won patents. That could be changing. Wrangling over patents is beginning to move out of the courtroom and into the marketplace. A flurry of new companies and investment groups has sprung up to buy, sell, broker, license and auction patents. And venture capital and private equity is starting to pour into the field.

Firm agrees Ivorian waste payouts

An oil trading firm has agreed to pay more than $46m compensation to people in Ivory Coast who say they were made ill by dumped waste in 2006. Trafigura, with offices in London, Amsterdam and Geneva, said 30,000 people will each receive $1,546. The money is in addition to the nearly $200m that the company paid the Ivorian government in 2007. Trafigura and the plaintiffs' lawyers agreed that a link between the dumped waste and deaths had not been proved. A joint statement by the company and the British lawyers representing the Ivorians, Leigh Day and Co, said at worst the waste had caused flu-like symptoms.

Former French PM's trial to start

The former French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, goes on trial on Monday charged with plotting to discredit President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is alleged that Mr Villepin tried to manipulate a judicial investigation to hurt Mr Sarkozy's chances of winning the 2007 presidential election.If found guilty of the charges Villepin faces up to five years in prison.

IRS extends amnesty deadline for Americans to disclose offshore accounts

The Internal Revenue Service will extend until Oct. 15 the ability of Americans with undeclared offshore accounts at UBS AG and other banks to avoid criminal prosecution and some fines if they disclose their holdings, a government official familiar with the program said.

Argentine defaulted bonds rally on speculation Kirchner to offer accord

Argentina's $20 billion of defaulted bonds are trading at a one-year high as speculation builds that Cristina Kirchner will revive a 2008 debt restructuring plan as early as this week.

Brazilian companies to step up overseas takeovers

Brazilian companies are prepared to step up international takeovers as the domestic economy recovers from a recession and the local currency gains, according to Rothschild, the country's top mergers and acquisitions adviser.

Obama refuses to halt CIA probe

Obama has rejected a request by seven former heads of the CIA to end the inquiry into allegations of abuse of suspects held by the agency. "Nobody's above the law," Obama said on television. The US Attorney General Eric Holder last month named a prosecutor to examine whether the CIA had gone beyond approved interrogation methods. The former heads wrote to Mr Obama saying the probe would hamper CIA work.

Race 'not behind health protests'

Obama has said that some Americans may oppose him because of race, but that this has not been the main factor behind healthcare protests. He suggests, in TV interviews to be broadcast on Sunday, anti-government sentiment was the key reason for angry protests against healthcare reform. Many felt "that an African-American should not be president", Jimmy Carter said.


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  • Weekly Magazine Review

Mad Man: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America? Glenn Beck is channeling the fears and anger of Americans who feel left out — but is he also stirring that anger and heightening those fears?

The Case for Killing Granny. Rethinking end-of-life care.

Business Week
100 Best Global Brands. As buyers rethink their loyalties, companies are trying to adapt their marketing. Some have done it well. Many more haven't.

The Economist
Vandalism. A protectionist move that is bad politics, bad economics, bad diplomacy and hurts America. Did we miss anything?

Le Nouvel Observateur
L’homme qui parle à l’oreille de Sarko (Nicolas Hulot).

Der Spiegel
Deutschland vor der Wahl. Die Kandidaten - SPIEGEL-Doppelporträt.

  • Daily Press Review

Medvedev: Israel Not Planning to Strike Iran
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

US Judge orders man to quit smoking after his cigarette caused fire
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Yehezkel Dror / Israel's failed strategy in handling Goldstone
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

POLITICS: Libya's Mercurial Leader Keeps U.N. Guessing
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

World Bank urges Israel to ease Palestinian exports
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

President exchanges Eid greetings with leaders
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Emaar confirms attendance at Cityscape 2009
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

2 Police, Top Muslim Cleric Killed in Russian Caucasus
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Panel formed on Lebanon poll law
Saudi Gazette, English-language daily, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

IAEA urges nuclear inspections in Israel
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iraq says no progress with Syria over insurgents
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Popular movement demands rights for central Yemen
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

Charge students more, say bosses
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Maguire wins Clare rally, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Homes shortage raises asking prices
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Britain's gone soft on drunks: Stigma of being inebriated in the street disappears as offenders escape with no more than a 'slap on the wrist'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Lycamobile inks roaming deal with O2 UK
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Curtis Warren trial: 'Warren's such a high profile criminal the authorities will stop at nothing to get him'
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Dad shot dead in 'gang-related' attack
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

A perfect place by the sea
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

Lib Dems Outline £1m Luxury Home Tax Plan
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

New Video Message: Al-Qaida Threatens Terror Attacks in Germany after Election
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Barack Obama ready to slash US nuclear arsenal
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Father sought as US family killed
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Labour plans uturn with detailed programme of cuts
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson wins an Emmy for playing Winston Churchill
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Islam opposed to extremism
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

10th Seoul International Financial Forum Kicks Off
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Bagram and the fine print
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed under house arrest: Pak media
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Delhi doc rapes sales executive in clinic
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Less 'exclusionary' DPJ to test mettle of reporters
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Community service for seat-belt offenders
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Terror house becomes tourist trap
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Taliban's 'butcher' dies in custody
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Sex slur: Tania Zaetta wins payout
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Congress, NCP narrow down their differences
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Esprit sees full-swing recovery by early next year
The Standard, Business daily, Hong Kong

ADA dances across Europe
Antigua Sun Online, Independent daily, St. John's, Antigua

Buju Banton concerts cancelled in the United States
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Offer for CLICO Barbados assets; IMF says urgent action needed
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

No pay cut for civil servants
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

More than 100 Dominicans arrested in drug raid
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

MEXICO: The Goal: Not a Drop Wasted
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Party Time! PJ leads new charge - PNP at 71 'Rebuild and repackage'
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Presumed murderer of Peruvian wife will not be extradited
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Emmy Awards ceremony goes viewer-friendly
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Mad Men wins best drama Emmy
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

Driver dies in south highway crash
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Firm agrees Ivorian waste payouts
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

UN Report Describes 'Terrible' Year for Children in Armed Conflict, Independent online news aggregator

Muslims: We never got Gaddafi cash
Daily Monitor, Independent daily, Kampala, Uganda

Ex-teacher crafts money through works
Daily Nation, Independent daily, Nairobi, Kenya

Ghana Celebrates Centenary of Founding President Nkrumah
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Trial of an era kicks off
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Hlophe will not withdraw
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Haile hopes to break own record in Berlin
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

CEO scores R5m amid new claims of incompetence
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

High drama at Hlophe interview, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

No rift with EFCC over Econet shares, says Aondoakaa
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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