March 22, 2010 Nº 885 - Vol. 8

“The greatest wealth is health.”


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  • Top News

A bill becomes a law: House passes historic health care legislation

Capping a year of legislative activity and ending decades of Democratic frustration, the House on Sunday passed a bill that would extend health care coverage to more than 30 million Americans. With a vote count of 219 to 212, the House gave its approval to a measure initially passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve. That bill now goes to President Obama for signing. As the GOP promised, not a single Republican voted for either health care measure before the chamber. The $940 billion bill seeks to extend health coverage to most Americans. Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health insurance to the poor and disabled, will be expanded to cover all adults earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Private health insurance will be made available to individuals and small companies through exchanges that will be run by the states. Individuals who do not buy insurance face fines, as do most employers who do not offer coverage to workers. Bill sponsors predict that all but about 5 percent of non-elderly Americans will ultimately be covered. Half of those currently uninsured will receive coverage through the expansion of Medicaid and half through private insurance through the exchanges — often with subsidies that make up the bulk of the legislation's projected costs. A principal reason the health bill was so hard to get to this point, and the reason it's such a political risk, is that this landmark legislation proposes expanding the government's role in the giant health economy at a time when Americans are far less likely to trust the government to do things right. Proponents of the health legislation are quick to point out that it doesn't amount to a government takeover of health care, and they are right. The legislation builds on, rather than replaces, the employer-based health-insurance system that has prevailed in this country for decades. It funnels patients getting government subsidies into private insurance policies and pools, not a government-run health plan, and is at best a small step toward the nationalized health-care system some liberals want.

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Rio Tinto trial opens in Shanghai

Four employees of mining group Rio Tinto go on trial in Shanghai, charged with bribery and commercial espionage.

China denounces Google 'US ties'

China's state media has attacked Google for having what it said were "intricate ties" with the US government. Google provides US intelligence agencies with a record of its search engine results, the state-run news agency Xinhua said. It also accused Google of trying to change Chinese society by imposing American values on it. Google says it will not comply with China's internet censorship laws.

China technology rules hurt sales of U.S. companies

China's new rules to encourage home-grown technology are eroding sales at U.S. companies and raising concern these losses may multiply, according to an American Chamber of Commerce survey released today in Beijing.

Meirelles says Dollar-Yuan imbalance won't impact the Brazilian economy

Brazil's Central Bank President Henrique Meirelles said an imbalance between the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan would be resolved over time and is unlikely to hurt the Brazilian economy.


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  • Brief News

Bernanke says large bank bailouts `unconscionable,' must not occur again

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said government bailouts of big financial companies are "unconscionable" and must be ended as part of a regulatory overhaul following the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. (Editor’s note unconscionable: shocking to the conscience, not right or reasonable)

Thousands demonstrate in Washington to demand overhaul of immigration laws

Thousands of demonstrators gathered on Washington's National Mall to ask for an overhaul of U.S. immigration law, denouncing what President Barack Obama called a "broken immigration system."

New York judge rejects Ground Zero dust pay-out deal

A US judge says a proposed $657m deal for people who worked at New York's Ground Zero following the 9/11 terror attacks is too small. Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein said that he did not think the agreement represented a sufficient sum of money and the injured workers should be able to know the approximate value of the cash award they might receive before deciding whether or not they should accept the settlement. He added that he was concerned that too much of the final sum would be eaten up by legal fees.

No water

We will probably run out of water long before we run out of fuel. The 2030 Water Resources Group estimates that global water requirements will grow by over 50% over the next 20 years. Such levels of usage will be 40% greater than what can currently be sustainably supplied. This global figure is an aggregation: at a more local level the situation is far worse. For example, by 2030 one third of the global population, mainly concentrated in developing countries, will have only half the amount of naturally renewed water available they need.

Sarkozy's party loses French poll

Sarkozy's centre-right UMP party has suffered a heavy defeat in the French regional elections. With over 97% of votes counted, the Socialist-led opposition alliance took 52% of the vote with the UMP on 35%. With unemployment at its highest level in a decade, and with France's bank books showing screaming red deficits, many here feel Sarkozy's bold promises were little more than whispered sweet nothings. Prime Minister Francois Fillon acknowledged the defeat, admitting the left's "success", and is expected to offer his resignation.

Iraq election commission rejects calls for vote recount

Iraq's election commission has rejected calls from the president and prime minister for a recount of votes cast in the general election on 7 March.

Stolen case info creates ethics haze for lawyers

Usually they were just trying to help. But when someone—often a client—gives a lawyer privileged information that was stolen from the opposing party in a case, the main thing it does for the lawyer is create a great big ethics headache. Actually, it is fairly common for lawyers to come into possession of an adversary’s privileged information, but most of the time it happens inadvertently. Rule 4.4(b) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct directs a lawyer who “knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent” to “promptly notify the sender.” The Model Rules clearly prohibit a lawyer from initiating the theft of an adversary’s privileged information. But sometimes clients, or others, take matters into their own hands. Technology makes the task even easier. Many people now have the means to access e-mail accounts or documents belonging to others, or to secretly record conversations. And then they deliver the materials to the lawyer, secure in the belief that they have helped the cause or at least enjoyed a small measure of revenge. Whatever the motivation, however, it leaves the lawyer in an ethics quandary.

Rights group urges Spain to abolish civil war amnesty law

Spain should repeal its 1977 amnesty law that bars investigation and prosecution of crimes committed under the Franco regime rather than "prosecuting a judge seeking accountability for past abuses," Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday. HRW called for Spain to comply with the 2008 recommendation from the UN Human Rights Committee to end the amnesty law. HRW asserts that the criminal investigation and pending judicial proceedings against Spanish National Court judge Baltasar Garzon are at odds with the very principles that Garzon helped to enforce in prosecuting human rights abuses abroad. According to HRW Americas director Jose Manuel Vivanco, "Spanish courts have routinely failed to investigate allegations of horrendous crimes of the past, but are being surprisingly active in prosecuting a judge who tried to push for accountability."

New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions

A New York state appeals court ruled Thursday that the state's courts have jurisdiction to hear requests to annul civil unions performed in other states. The Third Judicial Department Appellate Division reversed a 2008 Schenectady County Supreme Court decision, citing multiple protections New York affords to same-sex partnerships as sufficient to establish competency despite the state lacking its own civil union law: “Here, while New York has not created a specific mechanism for dissolution of a civil union validly entered into in another state, neither has it exercised its power, by statute or other legislative enactment, to prohibit an action for dissolution of a civil union. Since Supreme Court's jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action has not been proscribed, and this matter involves a dispute for which "adequate relief by means of an existing form of action is unavailable to the plaintiff," Supreme Court is competent to adjudicate the case.” The case involved a same-sex New York couple that that entered into a civil union in Vermont. Vermont, however, was unable to provide relief since it requires at least one party to be a resident of the state for at least one year.

  • Weekly Magazine Review


Rewiring the Workforce: Where Will the New Jobs Come From? The worst recession in generations torpedoed 8.4 million jobs. Getting them back means understanding what makes the economy tick.


Scandal in Afghanistan. The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. Six billion dollars later, the afghan national police can't begin to do their jobs right—never mind relieve American forces.

Business Week

Revenge of the Cable Guys. If you think online TV will be free forever, think again. The cable companies have a plan to keep control—and stick you with the bill.

The Economist

Spin, science and climate change. Action on climate is justified, not because the science is certain, but precisely because it is not.

Le Nouvel Observateur

SARK.O. Le score de la droite au premier tour des régionales - son plus mauvais depuis la naissance de la Ve République - constitue un camouflet pour le président. Et déjà, au sein de la majorité, les bouches s'ouvrent et les appétits s'aiguisent.

Der Spiegel

Moderne Zeiten - Ausleihen, befristen, kündigen: Die neue Arbeitswelt.

  • Daily Press Review

US passes landmark healthcare bill
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Lebanese Army Fires on Israeli Warplanes: Military
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Al Ain flower display enters Guiness Book of Records
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

U.S. House passes landmark bill to extend health care to millions
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IRAQ: Seculars Gain as Religious Parties Lose Ground
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

PA claims Israeli 'escalation' aims to sink launch of talks
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Nuke Safety Institute to Come Up in Capital
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai Chamber unveils new model for Mohammed Business Award
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Sarkozy Takes Severe Defeat in Regional Poll, Estimate
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Berri arrives in Ankara for Arab-Turkish dialogue
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Ban in Gaza, calls on Israel to end closures
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

US House passes key health vote
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Woods ''nervous'' ahead of comeback, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

France set for strike disruption
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Soham murderer Ian Huntley's throat is slashed in attack by fellow inmate
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Google launches Google Buzz widget for Android
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

USA: House of Representatives passes healthcare reform bill
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Photographs of another hidden world
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

French Connection's Could-Be-Catwalk Dress!
Look Magazine, London, England

Delays after horse box smash on A595 road near Wigton
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

China Imports Less Iranian Oil, Despite Jump In Demand
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Obama's Historic Health Reforms Approved
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

SPIEGEL Interview with Avigdor Lieberman: 'It Is a Clash of Civilizations'
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

US House approves sweeping healthcare overhaul
The Independent, London, England

Israel 'no concession' on Jewish homes
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Rallies Calling for Putin's Ouster Fizzle
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Barack Obama on the verge of US health care victory
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Rachel Weisz wins best actress at Laurence Olivier Awards
The Telegraph, London, England

This time change really is coming to America
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

President Yudhoyono leads cabinet meeting over Century case
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Taiwan donates medical supplies to Marshall Islands
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Classic cars and the open road
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Nazarbayev appointed responsible secretaries of new ministries, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Maoists call for 48-hour shutdown in 6 states
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

14-hr power cuts leave Gurgaon dry
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Boarder Kokubo shuts down 'iPod'
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

M'sia, Indonesia to colloborate on geology, mineral resources
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

'Still capable of doing big things ' - Obama leads healthcare reform victory
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Obama hails passage of historic healthcare legislation
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Frustrations await Bush, Clinton visit to Haiti
Sify News, Chennai, India

Health change: yes he can
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

China warns U.S. against yuan sanctions
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Local currency experiences volatility
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

US Congress hands Obama a huge win with health care reforms (Second Lead)
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Vertical launch of BrahMos missile successful
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

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

Historic U.S. health-care bill passes
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Charity Golf Tournament features hats-off fun
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Deputy Minou Tavarez Mirabal brings Pablo Milanes
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

LATIN AMERICA: Still a Long Way to Go, for Black Women
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Was money paid to lobby the US for 'Dudus'?
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru invests US $22.5 million in the reconstruction of Cusco, President Garcia says.
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Health-care bill passes
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

South Africa marks 1960 massacre
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

UN Security Council holds small arms flow to Central Africa under microscope, Independent online news aggregator

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

Threat to 'chop up boy'
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Seven killed in fiery Cape crash
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Haile Gebrselassie to retire?
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Zimbabwe's power utility debts surge to $100m
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Paramedics watch helplessly as man hits lamp post, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Vehicle crushes woman, 60, two grand-children
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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