September 30, 2009 Nº 824 - Vol. 7


"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."

Elie Wiesel

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Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

Two-thirds of Americans object to online tracking

About two-thirds of Americans object to online tracking by advertisers — and that number rises once they learn the different ways marketers are following their online movements, according to a new survey. The researchers say they believe the study is the first independent, nationally representative telephone survey on behavioral advertising. The topic may be technical, but it has become a hot political issue. Privacy advocates are telling Congress and the Federal Trade Commission that tracking of online activities by Web sites and advertisers has gone too far, and the lawmakers seem to be listening. Representative Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia, wrote in an article for The Hill last week that he planned to introduce privacy legislation. And David Vladeck, head of consumer protection for the F.T.C., has signaled that he will examine data privacy issues closely. Marketers are arguing that advertising supports free online content. Major advertising trade groups proposed in Julysome measures that they hoped would fend off regulation, like a clear notice to consumers when they were being tracked. The data in this area, however, has been largely limited to company-financed research or Internet-based research, which survey experts say they believe is not representative of all Americans. So the study — among the first independent surveys to examine this issue — has attracted widespread interest.

Seeking billions, Ontario sues tobacco companies

The Province of Ontario filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking 50 billion Canadian dollars from several tobacco companies to recover smoking-related health costs since 1955. "We believe that taxpayers should be compensated for the costs that they have paid," Chris Bentley, the province's attorney general, told reporters in Toronto. Ontario follows British Columbia and New Brunswick in attempts to recover health care costs from tobacco companies. All three provinces passed legislation enabling their legal actions, an approach that was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005. The defendants in the case include the Altria Group of Richmond, Va., and some of its Philip Morris subsidiaries, British American Tobacco of London and its Canadian unit Imperial Tobacco as well as R. J. Reynolds and JTI-Macdonald, a Japan Tobacco unit that is in bankruptcy proceedings. Eric Gagnon, a spokesman for Imperial Tobacco, called the government "hypocritical" for filing a lawsuit.

Honduras 'may restore liberties'

The interim leader of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, has said civil liberties could soon be restored in the country. They were suspended in response to a call for protests by deposed President Manuel Zelaya, who remains holed up in the Brazilian embassy in the capital. Hundreds of soldiers and riot police are still surrounding the Brazilian embassy compound in Tegucigalpa, where Mr Zelaya has been living since his dramatic return to Honduras last week. Zelaya, addressing the UN General Assembly by phone, appealed for help to reverse "the dictatorship" in Honduras. The interim authorities have invited the Organisation of American States (OAS) to return to Honduras for talks. Zelaya was forced from office at gunpoint after announcing plans to hold a non-binding public consultation on whether people supported moves to change the constitution. His opponents said the move was unconstitutional and was aimed at removing the current one-term limit on serving as president, so paving the way for Zelaya's possible re-election. He has denied this.

Anti-competitive conditions in the pharmaceutical sector

Back in July 2009 the European Commission adopted the Final Report on its competition inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector. the final report "Inquiry into the Pharmaceutical Sector", which examines, among other factors, the entry of generic products in the domestic market is available. Click here to access the document.

New Czech move to block EU treaty

Czech senators opposed to the EU's Lisbon Treaty have filed a new complaint against it with the country's constitutional court. The complaint could create a new delay to treaty ratification, even if Irish voters back the treaty in a referendum on Friday. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, a Eurosceptic, says he will not sign the treaty until the court decides. The treaty cannot take effect unless all 27 EU member states back it.

Careful now!

The Irish hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty this Friday, but Wednesday is polling day for 742 registered voters living on the rocky Atlantic outcrops of Arranmore, Gola, Inishbofin, Inishfree and Tory Island. The architects of the Lisbon Treaty will be watching anxiously as the Irish take a second look at a deal designed to reshape the continent's institutions for the next few decades. Businesses - both home-grown and foreign - are lining up to educate voters on the benefits, as they see it, of voting "Yes". The fear that foreign investors will take a dim view if the Irish vote "No" haunts many in the financial sector. Sinn Fein, the biggest political party to oppose Lisbon, is leading the "No" charge. "In this Lisbon Treaty there's nothing to create jobs, there's nothing to help recovery, it is spin." As the country suffers its worst-ever recession, the power-brokers at the EU headquarters in Brussels fear the government could be punished by voters rejecting the Lisbon Treaty again. Getting the Irish to vote "Yes" this time is a tall order for Prime Minister Cowen, but compared to the other challenge of taking the economy off life support and rescuing the banks it might prove to be a walk in the park.

Immigration crackdown with firings, not raids

The firings at the company, American Apparel, have become a showcase for the Obama administration's effort to reduce illegal immigration by forcing employers to dismiss unauthorized workers rather than by using workplace raids. The firings, however, have divided opinion in California over the effects of the new approach, especially at a time of high joblessness in the state and with a major, well-regarded employer as a target.

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

Michael Page specializes in the placement of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim positions within client companies around the world. Have a look at the new section of the Migalhas website and discover the professional development opportunities with large corporations, in legal and business fields, presented by Michael Page International. Click here to peep through the hole!

  • Crumbs!

1- Report: Peru's Fujimori pleads guilty in bribery case (click here)

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  • MiMIC Journal

China to "cut army, boost air force, navy"

China plans to cut back its army and boost the navy and air force, extending its military reach and risking greater regional tensions. The world's biggest military will modernize, over two to three years, into a leaner high-tech force. China watchers are monitoring international deployments for signs of China's rising global status translating into a more assertive foreign policy and presence.

Danone to sell Wahaha stake as China, France broker end to 2-year dispute

Groupe Danone SA, the world's largest yogurt maker, agreed to sell its stake in ventures with Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co., ending two years of legal disputes in a deal brokered by China and France.

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  • Historia verdadera

Honduras - Democracia

Van a tres meses la crisis político social en Honduras, los ánimos beligerantes se reavivaron tras el retorno sorpresivo del ex presidente Manuel Zelaya, quien permanece refugiado en instalaciones de la Embajada de Brasil. El gobierno interino de Roberto Micheletti ha dado 10 días a Brasil para que decida si el ex presidente es un asilado o no, caso contrario debe entregarlo a las autoridades judiciales. El conflicto que las últimas horas ganó un entredicho diplomático, preocupa a autoridades de Brasil que han solicitado al derrocado presidente, Manuel Zelaya, reducir la cantidad de personas que permanece dentro de su embajada en Tegucigalpa, además una comisión desde Brasilia debe viajar al país centroaméricano para evaluar la situación.

PDVSA

La estatal venezolana Pdvsa y su contraparte sudafricana PetroSA evalúan la explotación del bloque maduro de crudo pesado Boyacá 4, en la Faja del Orinoco, que produciría hasta 30.000 barriles por día con una inversión de 400 millones de dólares durante los próximos cuatro años, según informaron medios locales. PetroSA trabaja junto con Pdvsa en la certificación y cuantificación de reservas del bloque Boyacá 4, que fue operado por la estadounidense ExxonMobil hasta 2005.

Constructora

La mexicana Homex registró ante la Comisión de Valores de Estados Unidos (SEC por sus siglas en inglés) un prospecto de colocación de acciones o bonos. Asimismo, la compañía aclaró que sus accionistas podrían vender títulos, aunque no fueron especificados montos o fechas. Desarrolladora Homex es una compañía desarrolladora de vivienda verticalmente integrada y enfocada en los sectores de vivienda de interés social y vivienda media en México. La empresa ocupa una posición de liderazgo en los cuatro principales mercados del país.

  • Brief News

Suicides in France put focus on workplace

A recent spate of suicides at France Télécom has revealed a paradox of French society: Despite strong labor protections, workers see their lives at work as profoundly insecure. What has caught the attention of the French media, public and government is that many of the suicides and more than a dozen failed attempts have been attributed to work-related problems by some experts and labor officials. High labor costs — health insurance, unemployment, pensions — borne by employers in France create a reluctance to hire new workers, because job security means it is hard to get rid of them later if business turns down. Since those already on the payroll cannot be easily laid off, then companies must somehow make a place for them, even if their skills are no longer in demand. At the same time, companies increasingly rely on short-term employment contracts, which raise different strains on employees. The seemingly comfortable French lifestyle has been made possible by the high productivity of the country's workers. France ranks fifth in the world in terms of gross domestic product per hour worked, just behind the United States, according to a July report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Norway, with its oil wealth and tiny population, ranked No.1, followed by Belgium and the Netherlands.)

US banking insurer in cash call

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which controls the US banking sector, is calling for more cash to insure against failing banks. The FDIC wants banks to pre-pay fees for the next three years upfront, boosting its coffers by $45bn. This would help to cover potential losses at banks that might go bust as a direct result of bad loans during the financial crisis. Ninety-five US banks have already gone under this year.

Qatar establishes constitutional court

A new Constitutional Court of Qatar, established to hear disputes over matters of constitutional interpretation, became functional Sunday. The court will act primarily to ensure that legislation complies with the country's constitution, which took effect in 2005, but will also be an appellate court for disputes over lower courts' interpretations of the law. Those seeking review of a court decision will be given 60 days to bring the matter to the court. The court has also been given the authority to decide jurisdictional issues in lower courts and to appoint a court to hear a specific issue.

Cybercriminals step up bank raids

Cybercriminals have developed sophisticated ways to remain undetected. A gang, based in the Ukraine, stole 300,000 euros ($420,000) in 22 days. It used a sophisticated piece of malicious software, which fooled banks' anti-fraud systems as well as forging bank statements to hide the thefts. It also recruited innocent job-seekers as so-called money mules. Such mules were needed to prevent a direct money trail being traced back to the gang.

Microsoft launches free security

Microsoft has released its free computer security package to the public. The free software gives basic protection against viruses, trojans, rootkits, and spyware. Microsoft said the software would be available to anyone who wanted to use it and downloading it would not involve registering with the software firm or having a limit on the amount of time it could be used for. The only restriction on use is that it has to be installed on a "genuine" Windows PC - one whose copy of its operating system has been verified by Microsoft. Alongside the software, people still needed to run a firewall and keep their browser and operating system up to date with the latest patches and fixes.

Banks, unions set new talks in Brazil's bank strike

Unions and bankers will make another attempt to bring Brazil's week-old bank strike to an end with a new set of talks set for Thursday morning, said spokesmen for both sides on Tuesday. The nationwide strike has had spotty effects, with banks operating normally in small states and rural areas but shutting down many banking operations in big cities. So far, the strike has had little effect on financial exchanges. Effects on consumers are varied, with many able to use electronic transfers and automated teller machines but others inconvenienced by the inability to pay bills or take out loans. Unions are demanding a 10% wage hike, revisions in profit-sharing agreements and job guarantees from banks in the event of future mergers or acquisitions. Representatives of the National Bankers Federation have offered a 4.5% wage hike, in line with the current inflation rate, and minor changes to profit-sharing plans.

Brazil Bank expects more power distribution mergers

Brazil's national bank for economic and social development expects power distribution companies to accelerate mergers and acquisition talks in coming months and said it's ready to help finance any deals. Brazilian electricity distributors such as Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais and CPFL Energia SA are seeking to buy rivals to cut costs and boost profitability. Brazil has 64 power distributors, according to Abradee.

EPA gives Congress a heads-up on toxic chemicals

US Congress will review the 33-year-old law that governs how the Environmental Protection Agency controls toxic chemicals, saying the current law is inadequate to protect against risks. Since passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, EPA has issued regulations to control only five existing chemicals. That's five from a universe of almost 80,000. EPA listed some chemicals of special concern, including bisphenol A, used in some baby and water bottles; certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers used in flame retardants; and phthalates, used to give plastic flexibility.

Cellphone use on airplanes

Cellphone use on airplanes, it would seem, is on extended hold. The US national union representing flight attendants wants Congress to ban in-flight phone calls, and survey after survey of airline passengers shows strong opposition to allowing cellphones on planes. So while domestic airlines rush to wire their cabins to provide in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity, there is no indication whether, or when, passengers in the United States might be able to make a cellphone call at 37,000 feet. In much of the rest of the world, meanwhile, passengers on various foreign airlines are already routinely using cellphones and other personal wireless devices to make and receive calls in flight. Industry officials say cellphones can be used on more than 15,000 flights a month. Despite dire warnings that cellphone use on planes would unleash social turbulence and possibly even violence in the cabin, there have been remarkably few complaints so far, industry executives and passengers say.

Israel pressuring Palestinians to drop ICC case for cellular network

Israel has threatened to deny the Palestinian Authority (PA) permission for a second cellular phone provider to operate in the West Bank unless the PA drops its request that the International Criminal Court investigate Israel for possible war crimes, Haaretz reported Sunday. The PA has contracted with Wataniya Mobile to provide service in the West Bank and faces a $300 million penalty if it does not receive Israel's approval by October 15. According to the report, Israel is using the impending deadline to pressure the PA into dropping its request that the ICC investigate Israel for possible war crimes committed in December and January during Operation Cast Lead. Israeli officials, according to Haaretz, feel betrayed by the PA, claiming that the PA urged Israel to take a strong stand against Hamas and then appealed to the ICC when Israel did so.

Fake it 'til you break it

We've all heard the saying "fake it 'til you make it." You know, the theory that directs aspirants to exude confidence they may not actually feel in order to achieve a goal. For most people, such confidence can be faked by a simple squaring of the shoulders and firmly shaking someone's hand. In the November issue of Vanity Fair, Bryan Burrough writes up an interview with Dreier that took place in April, in which Dreier tried to explain how and why he set out on a bold $380 million Ponzi scheme that landed him in prison for the next 20 years. In the interview, Dreier pointed to a 2003 walk on the New York beach during a difficult time in his life as the impetus for fraud. His wife had divorced him, the two other name partners in his law firm had jumped ship and he was disappointed with how his life had turned out. Already used to faking it, purchasing art and office space he couldn't afford, it wasn't a big leap for Dreier to believe he needed that beach house to make himself happy and build a successful image. He made two choices, Burrough said. One, he would that house. Two, he would get the money through a major expansion of his eponymous law firm, Dreier LLP.

Former Enron Broadband CEO sentenced to 16 months for wire fraud

Former Enron Broadband Services (EBS) CEO Joe Hirko was sentenced Monday to 16 months in prison for misrepresenting to investors the capabilities of Enron's broadband service. Hirko pleaded guilty last October to one count of wire fraud for issuing a press release falsely claiming that EBS had integrated a new feature into its broadband service. As part of the plea agreement, the government recommended Hirko receive a prison sentence of between 12 and 16 months. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered Hirko to pay $8.7 million in restitution.

Peru ex-president Fujimori pleads guilty to illegal wiretapping and bribery

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of illegal wiretapping and bribery. Fujimori was charged with ordering former Peruvian intelligence director Vladimiro Montesino to use government funds to secretly wiretap politicians, journalists, and other prominent Peruvians and to bribe congressmen and journalists to join his party and to support his 2000 re-election campaign. His guilty plea avoids a potentially long trial in which many prominent Peruvians would have been set to testify against him.

Disagreements over definition of 'terrorist' complicating US prosecutions

Only about one out of every four individuals charged with terrorist activities has been prosecuted because federal agencies do not agree on what constitutes a terrorist, according to a study released Sunday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The study looked at thousands of records from the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AOUSC), the National Security Division (NSD), and the Executive Office for US Attorneys (EOUSA), each of which keep independent records on terrorism cases. The TRAC report, which covered cases from the last five-and-a-half years, demonstrated an apparent disconnect between the agencies' definition of a terrorist because the various lists had few names in common. The report also showed that US attorneys had declined to indict approximately 67 percent of cases that had been recommended for prosecution over that time period, that rate being as high as 73 percent in 2008. A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice (DOJ), of which the NSD and EOUSA are part, disagreed with the findings, saying the report uses different information than the DOJ.

  • Daily Press Review

Three Jordanians Kill Sister Over 'Bad Reputation'
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Filipinos in Dubai launch typhoon relief efforts
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Chinese official: China, U.S. rift could deepen over struggle for Mideast influence
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST: A Good Time Not to Make Peace
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Analysis: Assad skillfully plays East against West
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Bar Raised for Full Inspection of Schools
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Iraqi Industry Ministry spends $6m on new projects
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

36 Dead, Villages Flattened in Samoa Quake, Tsunami
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Erekat plays down expectations for Obama?s Mideast diplomacy
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

US visit marks slow growth of Syria ties
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Harf Sufian displaced: out of the frying pan and into the fire
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

Brown defiant after Sun rejection
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Man's body recovered from River Lee in Cork
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Jackman and Craig fans upset New Yorkers
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Chaos over cervical cancer jab for girls: Thousands cancel vaccines after 14-year-old's death
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Digicel passes 10 mln worldwide customers milestone
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Liverpool FC in global hunt for money
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Primary school head orders parents to stop swearing
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

EU gives home pig slaughtering in Europe the green light
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

PM: 'People Decide Elections, Not Papers'
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Nailbiting as the Irish Prepare for Lisbon Vote: Will Undecided Voters Determine EU's Fate?
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

We can win without the Sun, insists Brown
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Fresh challenge to Lisbon Treaty
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Samoan Tsunami: Two year old British infant missing in Samoa
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Typhoon Ketsana hits Vietnam and Cambodia
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Indonesia has only 0.18 pct self-sufficient business people
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

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

No land deal with any country, food ministry tells LHC
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Air India pilots' strike called off
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

'Chhota' recharge exposes big 'SSP'
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Learn the coded language all Japanese know
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Three teams to monitor Bagan Pinang polls: EC
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Sia Figiel: Tsunami's impact on island life
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Key associate of Pakistan Taliban chief arrested
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

She had gone to Samoa to celebrate her 50th
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Resume duty today or face action, Air India pilots told
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

HSBC boss in warning
The Standard, Business daily, Hong Kong

Tourist claims she was attacked repeatedly
Antigua Sun Online, Independent daily, St. John's, Antigua

Serani making moves in US - combo with Latifah
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Barbados police probe discovery of newborn baby in bag
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Eleven port bids received
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Father wants proof as Nagua kidnapping enters 11th day
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

CHILE: Activists Press Candidates to Take a Stance on Women's Rights
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

On right track - Legal expert supports Jamaica's move to reform libel, defamation laws
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru's Juan Vargas had outstanding performance with Fiorentina
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Tight credit new threat to rebound, IMF warns
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Tsunami levels Samoan villages
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

On PNM's membership list... Jeremie agrees with final result
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Guinea bans 'subversive' meetings
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Surrenders and repatriations of FDLR combatants increase as MONUC steps up DDRRR efforts
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Fao blames hunger on high food prices
Daily Monitor, Independent daily, Kampala, Uganda

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

Mills Accepts 'Kickback'
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pacific islands count dead
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

ANC says sorry for 'greed'
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

FM Seyoum- "last eighteen years have not been easy for Ethiopians"
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Deadline looms for Bharti-MTN deal
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Tsunami warning 'came late'
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

We'll partner World Bank to revamp infrastructure - Oshiomhole
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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