December 16, 2009  Nº 853 - Vol. 7

"My plea to you is: Realize what is at stake and reach a result that gives momentum to the process."

Al Gore
in Copenhagen


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  • Top News

At climate talks, key decisions unresolved

World leaders will arrive in the Danish capital of Copenhagen over the next three days to agree on a pact to fight global warming. There may be nothing to sign. Some key decisions still haven't been made. It's unclear how to fund a deal that could involve the transfer of billions of dollars from industrialized countries to the developing world; delegates remain at loggerheads over which mechanisms should be employed to reduce emissions; and there is continuing debate about how to monitor compliance with a treaty. The uncertainty over the talks' direction raises questions about the next step: what sort of binding treaty policymakers will be able to produce next year, the new deadline they have set.

Study: 15 percent of teens with cells receive 'sexts'

The study by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly 1 in 6 young people aged 12 to 17 has received a sexually suggestive picture via cell phone. Report says boys and girls are equally likely to send, receive suggestive pictures on their phones. "Teens told us that it is something they have quite a bit of experience with. It's part of their daily lives." Boys and girls are equal-opportunity sexters. Law enforcement has been stepping in to control sexting, they are overreacting. One can points to the case of Phillip Alpert as an example. When Alpert was 18 years old he had a fight with his 16-year-old girlfriend. In a fit of rage, he forwarded a naked photo of her to their friends and family. Alpert was prosecuted and found guilty of sending out child pornography. He's now a registered sex offender. A few state legislatures are trying to make more appropriate laws. Getting teens to think before they act is fight that's gone on for generations. In this digital age it may be taking on a new urgency.

Supreme Court dismisses final challenge to Chrysler sale

The US Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the final challenge to the sale of Chrysler Group assets to Italian automaker Fiat. The Court granted, vacated, and remanded Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler, an appeal from a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeal was opposed by both the Obama administration and the new Chrysler, and the Court dismissed the appeal as moot, since the sale was finalized in June.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Choking in China's polluted city

On the road into Linfen, the cars seem to disappear into dense smog that clings to vanishing buildings. The sun shines through a murky haze, if at all. The smells of industry are pungent. Just a few minutes outside and your eyes start to sting, your throat starts to hurt. You may feel dizzy or nauseous. For visitors it can be unbearable. For residents, this is life -- breathing the consequences of China's long march toward economic prosperity.

China prosecutors formally charge rights activist with inciting subversion

Chinese prosecutors formerly charged prominent rights activist Liu Xiaobo on Saturday with inciting subversion. Liu, who spent two years in prison following the Tiananmen Square uprising, has long challenged China's one-party rule, and co-authored Charter 08, a petition calling for political reforms in the country. Liu was formally arrested in June, but has been in detention since last December, shortly before the petition's release. Other organizers of the Charter 08 movement have asked that Liu's sentence be shared with them. His trial, which could begin in 10 days, will likely move slowly due to the ordinary delays of the Chinese judicial process. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.


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  • Historia Verdadera


El argentino Banco Patagonia confirmó que hay negociaciones avanzadas con el Banco de Brasil para la venta de sus acciones. Banco Patagonia es la cuarta institución financiera de Argentina en cuanto a su nivel de activos. Cuenta con más de 150 sucursales.


Una corte venezolana ordenó el allanamiento de tres corredurías como parte de una investigación de bancos recientemente cerrados por las autoridades debido a irregularidades. La agencia citó a la fiscal general, Luisa Ortega, diciendo que el onceavo tribunal de control de Caracas ordenó la intervención de las corredurías Interbursa, Equivalores y Interacciones.

Chile - OCDE

Tras liberar a Chile de la lista “negra” de los países considerados paraísos fiscales, la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico (OCDE) le invitó oficialmente a convertirse en miembro del club, lo que según el Gobierno chileno se traducirá en más empleo en la economía más estable de América Latina. (Presione aquí)

Honduras - Amnistía

El Congreso de Honduras analizará en breve una amnistía para los involucrados en salida precipitosa salida del país del removido presidente, Manuel Zelaya, en junio pasado. La medida será tratada a pedido del presidente electo, Porfirio Lobo, que pugna por una solución a la crisis política

  • Brief News

Hospital, physician lobbyists fought Medicare buy-in plan

The letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), attests to the effectiveness of a ferocious campaign by influential hospital and physician lobbyists to defeat the idea. And it underscores the difficulty of forging policy and political deals in the warp-speed, supercharged environment in which Congress is trying to reshape the nation's health-care system. The proposal to allow people ages 55 to 64 to buy insurance through Medicare -- one of the most significant ideas to emerge from the Senate's side of the debate -- appeared and vanished in a mere six days.

Measure to allow drug imports fails

A measure to allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and some other countries fell short in the Senate Tuesday night, but lawmakers were working on other ways to squeeze concessions from the pharmaceutical industry. In June, the industry agreed to put up $80 billion over 10 years to support a health overhaul, including steps to improve drug coverage for seniors in Medicare, provided they wouldn't be asked for further contributions to the cost-cutting effort.

EU cuts import tariffs in a bid to end 'banana wars'

The European Union has agreed a deal to cut tariffs on banana imports, signalling the end of the world's longest-running trade dispute. Banana producers in Latin America will be subject to lower EU import tariffs as a result of the deal. This should make them more competitive with producers in Africa and the Caribbean, who pay no tariff. The price of bananas could fall by 12% as a result. The formal agreement will be signed in six to nine months' time.

Kraft warns Cadbury shareholders over 'risk'

Kraft Foods has warned Cadbury's shareholders that they will be "taking a risk" if they support Cadbury as a standalone company. The US food giant said that its proposed takeover of Cadbury would deliver cost savings and deliver "substantially more value". It questioned the Cadbury board's optimistic view of its future as an independent company. Cadbury has urged its shareholders to reject Kraft's hostile bid.

Turkey finds 39 leftists guilty after 28-year trial

A trial in Turkey, which has lasted nearly 28 years, has finally concluded. A panel of judges found 39 of the 1,223 defendants guilty of trying to topple the government and constitution, and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The charges against other defendants were dropped because of the time that had elapsed.

British Airways in legal challenge to strike

British Airways is to take legal action to try to prevent a cabin crew strike set to begin on 22 December. BA said it hoped the legal action would "protect customers from the massive stress and disruption" threatened by the 12-day stoppage. It has highlighted "irregularities" in the strike ballot which it believes makes the outcome of the vote invalid.

New immigration bill is introduced in House

The on-again, off-again drive to overhaul the nation's immigration laws moved back to Congress on Tuesday with the introduction of legislation that would open a path to legal status for millions of illegal immigrants. The bill reflects a growing impatience with the pace of immigration change among a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, immigrant advocates and labor and religious groups. Under the bill, to gain legal status and possibly citizenship, illegal immigrants already here would have to demonstrate they had been working, pay a $500 fine, learn English and undergo a criminal background check, among other provisions. Unlike previous proposals in Congress, they would not have to return to their homeland first, something known as "touchback." The bill lacks a broad program championed by many Republicans to address future labor demands and to better control the flow of immigration.

Brazil's Senate approves Venezuela in Mercosul

Brazil's Senate on Tuesday approved Venezuela's request to join the South American trade bloc Mercosul despite concerns over President Hugo Chavez's restraints on democracy.

Lula to propose torture truth commission

Lula will propose a truth commission this month to investigate torture during the country's 1964-85 military dictatorship. The move could mark a rare step by Brazil towards tackling the thorny question of dictatorship-era abuses.

DUI driver writes off car damage

The U.S. Tax Court allowed a driver to write off thousands of dollars of damage on his tax return after he totaled it while under the influence.

Australia introduces web filters

Australia intends to introduce filters, which will ban access to websites containing criminal content. The banned sites will be selected by an independent classification body guided by complaints from the public

Italy investigates pasta makers over 'price-fixing'

Italy's financial police have raided the offices of the country's five main pasta makers as part of a price-fixing investigation, judicial sources say. The headquarters of firms such as Barilla, De Cecco and Divella were among those searched. They say they are co-operating with the authorities.

US House passes Iran sanctions bill amid nuclear row

The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Iran aimed at halting its disputed nuclear program. The measure empowers Obama to ban foreign firms that supply Iran with refined petroleum from doing business in the US. It expands an existing US law that punishes any firm that invests $20m a year in Iran's energy sector.

Israel rejects British legal threat to ex-minister

The Israeli government has condemned an attempt in Britain to arrest a former Israeli Cabinet minister for alleged war crimes. An arrest warrant was issued in London over the weekend against former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who was targeted for her role in Israel's military offensive in Gaza last winter.

Glaxo discloses doctor payments for first time

For the three months ending in June, the drugmaker paid $14.6 million to about 3,700 people for speaking and consulting. That works out to an average of about $3,900 per U.S. health professional paid.

US moves to ban 'excessively noisy' TV advertisements

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill which aims to limit the volume of television advertisements. Most Americans were willing to tolerate adverts but were annoyed by sudden volume increases. Under the rules, "excessively noisy or strident" advertisements would be banned, as would adverts which are noticeably louder - or have a "maximum loudness substantially higher" - than the program they accompany.

Saddam lawyer seeking consent to prosecute former UK PM Blair for war crimes

Saddam Hussein's former lawyer on Saturday asked the British attorney general for consent to prosecute former prime minister Tony Blair for violations of the Geneva Conventions. Giovanni di Stefano, who represents former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz, sent a letter asking for consent to prosecute Blair after Blair said in a BBC interview aired Sunday that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. According to the letter: “In summary the allegation against ANTONY CHARLES LYNTON BLAIR involves a violation of offences within the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 which without doubt and by his own admission can only but be deemed "not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly." The attorney general's office has not yet commented on the request.

  • Daily Press Review

Explosions in 2 major Iraq cities kill 9 people
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Abbas: Peace possible in 6 months if Israel freezes all settlements
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST: Occupation Eats Away Israel's Heart and Soul
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Ayalon pens 'unprecedented' op-ed for Arab daily
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

We Can Do It
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Riyadh's city council snubs critics
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Blast Kills 22 Near Lawmaker's Home in Pakistan
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Abbas sticks by terms for talks, rules out violence
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

127 killed in Iraq blasts
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Ministers take over climate talks
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Carr not getting carried away, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Abuser's mind 'must be unlocked'
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Price of depravity: Parents' fury as nursery paedophile Vanessa George gets just seven years' jail
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Gartner forecasts flat mobile device sales in 2009
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Graham Sankey held over attack on Joe Anderson
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Prison Service slated over suicide
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Nov Prostor street magazine marks 10th anniversary
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

BA In Court Bid To Stop Christmas Strikes
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Picture This: Brrrr!
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Cameron's £20bn plan for green homes
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Delany extends Shelbourne contract
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Copenhagen climate summit: Gordon Brown says 'future of humanity' at stake
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Accidental tourists enjoy breakfast with the Obamas
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

OPM leader shot dead
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

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

Ineffective service delivery
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Rana called a 'flight risk', denied bail
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Nehru stadium to miss CWG deadline
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Buffalo targets gamers with new USB stick
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Half-a-million Perakians yet to register as voters
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Tiger's popularity suffers record fall - poll
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Brazilian president arrives earlier in Copenhagen to participate in COP-15
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Actress alleges he's hounded her since 2002
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Time for consensus has arrived: U.N. chief
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Antigua Sun Online, Independent daily, St. John's, Antigua

Buju Banton held in Miami on cocaine charges
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

New media body head wants harder work to preserve free expression
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Auditor General ponders future
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Ten U.S. bound Dominicans vanished one year ago today
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

ENVIRONMENT: Honduras Heads List for Climate Risk
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Buju on tape - DEA claims to have recordings of reggae star participating in cocaine deal
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Temple in Puno included in the Top 100 monuments of historic importance worlwide
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

O'Donnell lifts Kings past Oilers
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Raging fire in York Mills brought under control
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

Chutney monarch slams 'rum songs'
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Uproar at S Leone woman chief bid
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Human Rights Watch Calls on FDLR Rebels in Eastern Congo to Investigate Themselves, Independent online news aggregator

Baroda Open attracts stars
Daily Monitor, Independent daily, Kampala, Uganda

Porous definition of forest leaves experts in dilemma
Daily Nation, Independent daily, Nairobi, Kenya

NALAG should fulfill development aspirations of the people- Mr Aidoo Mensah
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Obama pushes health care
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Defiant Malema on thin ice
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Oromo Refugees Face Tragedy in Johannesburg
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

SABC appoints new group CEO
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'They wanted to shoot me', Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Falana asks court to compel Yar'Adua to hand over
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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