April 12, 2010 Nº 893 - Vol. 8

“Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”

Horace Walpole

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  • Top News

Poles mourn president, political elite

Poland has declared a week of national mourning after a plane crash Saturday killed 96 people, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the first lady, as well as dozens of Poland's senior military, political and religious leaders. They were traveling to Katyn, where they were to participate in a memorial service for the victims of a 1940 massacre, in which 20,000 Poles were killed by the USSR. In February, the Polish government joined a lawsuit before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) alleging that the Russian government failed to provide adequate investigations into the incident and did not grant victim status to 13 relatives of those killed. The loss is devastating to Poland; in addition to the president and first lady, the rest of the dead include the head of the Polish central bank, the deputy foreign minister, the national security adviser; the deputy parliament speaker and several members of parliament, including two presidential candidates. The military faced equally horrific loses: the heads of the Polish navy, air force, special forces, ground forces and the army chief of staff were all killed. It is Poland's biggest tragedy in its post-World War II history. The electoral mechanisms to replace the officials among the 96 people killed on the plane were functioning according to plan, and senior Polish officials reassured the public that the government would continue to operate normally. Military leaders were immediately succeeded on an interim basis by their subordinates. Members of Parliament will be replaced automatically by the next-highest vote winner from the same party in the electoral region. The first deputy president of the National Bank, Piotr Wiesiolek, assumed the duties of the institution's president. The bank issued a statement saying it was "functioning without disruption and performing all of the statutory tasks of the central bank." The crash also threw the presidential election into disarray, making one candidate, the leader of the lower house of Parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, the acting president under Poland's Constitution, and killing the incumbent Mr. Kaczynski as well as the main left-wing candidate, Jerzy Szmajdzinski.

First, they get rid of the law clinics

Law school clinics give students real-world experience in advocacy and provide underserved communities with legal representation. Increasingly, they are being attacked by business interests, which are often the targets of clinic lawsuits. Barring clinics that receive public money from suing companies or government agencies for money damages, unless the Legislature gives them an exemption and threatening the funding of universities are a direct interference with law schools' freedom to decide how to educate students. Extracting information from clinics about the people they serve and the work they do also threatens the clinics' professional relationships with their clients. The president of the American Bar Association, Carolyn Lamm, urged "those who would undermine clinical law school programs to step back and remember that the rule of law cannot survive if pressure prevents lawyers from fulfilling their responsibilities to their clients." Law school clinics often provide the only legal assistance available to poor people. Some powerful interests may not like that, but it is critically important work.

  • International Arbitration Express

International arbitration loses its grip

Arbitration was supposed to be the solution for international companies seeking to resolve disputes without expensive and drawn-out court battles. But it is starting to look more like the problem. Once a swift, cost-efficient method of resolving international commercial disputes, the process is now often bogged down in long and costly legal proceedings. “It now takes longer, costs more and has many more steps in the procedures,” says Joseph R. Profaizer, of counsel to Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Washington, D.C. “There is now broader discovery, larger damages requests, longer briefing schedules, much bigger briefs, far greater reliance on experts and their testimony, and more procedural challenges to the arbitration.” If that sounds suspiciously like U.S.-style litigation, well, that is exactly the problem. Arbitration of international commercial disputes has taken on many of the characteristics of litigation in U.S. courts. And this has upset many companies that rely on arbitration to resolve cross-border business disputes. “There’s been an increasing chorus of voices that international arbitration is getting too expensive, mostly because it is taking too long,” says Richard W. Naimark, senior vice president of the American Arbitration Association’s International Center for Dispute Resolution. A growing number of businesses appear to be turning away from arbitration and resolving their international commercial disputes the old-fashioned way—in the courts.


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MiMIC Journal

China's reluctant first entrepreneur

Imagine how much courage it takes to set up a market stall outside your house, knowing that the authorities could come along and arrest you for doing just that, starting your own private business. That was the risk China's first entrepreneurs faced when they took tentative steps towards establishing their own businesses three decades ago in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Now of course those pioneers have helped to create a capitalist style system in the world's most populous communist country.

China banks told to report on loans as credit boom raises bad-debt risks

China's banking regulator told lenders to report on their risk exposure to borrowers including local-government companies by the end of June to help prevent the nation's record credit boom from causing more bad loans.


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  • Brief News

Greece debt deal boosts euro value

On Sunday, finance ministers of the 16 eurozone nations agreed to provide a multi-billion euro loan package up to 30bn euros ($41bn) to debt-ridden Greece. The country hopes it will not have to ask for the emergency loans. Instead, it hopes that an extensive package of austerity measures will help to cut its debt levels and restore confidence in Greek government debt. The euro rose by more than 2 cents, or 1.5%, against the dollar, to $1.3672. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team has started work in Athens to provide technical assistance - which means advice - on managing the public finances and collecting revenue.

Why penal law must apply to judges as well

Fear of contempt of court is forcing many jurists, the Bar, and journalists to remain silent. How do you otherwise explain this silence in the world's largest democracy, while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Collegium of India seeks to keep information concerning vital aspects of the functioning of the court to himself and says he is not a public servant? (Of course, he reversed his stand subsequently.) And now a judge dismisses a direction given by the Collegium, a syndrome of the judiciary that finds no mention in the Constitution, nor is it an institutional functionary. What will the public think of a judge who is prima facie found to have involved himself in questionable practices and is thus found to be unfit to be elevated to the highest Bench but is allowed to continue as the Chief Justice of a High Court? The mystery deepens as they discover that the same strange robe is transferred to the Sikkim High Court — as if the litigants of Sikkim can submit to corrupt justice. The obvious course of action is to prosecute a corrupt judge. Does not the High Bench know that judges are bound by the penal law, too?

Sudan's landmark polls off to an uncertain start

Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years are going into their second day amid reports of confusion and disarray in many regions. While the process generally went well in the capital Khartoum, voters faced obstacles in several states from the Red Sea in the north to the far south. The dominant party in the south is calling for a four-day extension. The presidential, parliamentary and state polls are part of the deal that ended Sudan's north-south civil war.

Obama issues nuclear warning

President Obama says the biggest threat to US security is the possibility of terrorists obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Brazil needs investment to spur growth

Investment in Brazil should hit 18 percent in 2010, and must stay at multiples of economic expansion to keep the country growing. The important thing "is that investment grow two to three times gross domestic product and pulls up growth," said Luciano Coutinho, president of the BNDES bank. "This year, I expect investment to rise 18 percent and the GDP just under 6 percent. The relationship is holding, which assures sustainability. Nor is it time yet to start foreseeing inflation.” "It's very early to prognosticate the appearance of inflationary pressures," he said. "Right now, there's no bottleneck in supply." Brazil's rebounding economy has sparked fears of inflation, leading analysts to see the country's central bank hiking the benchmark interest rate, the Selic, from its record-low 8.75 percent in April.

Toyota delayed a U.S. recall, documents show

Toyota promised a remedy for floor mat problems but did not implement one quickly, raising questions about why federal officials did not force the issue.

Facebook meeting on safety with Ceop due in Washington

Facebook executives are due to meet the head of a child protection agency in Washington to discuss safety measures on the social networking site. It has been criticized by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre for not installing "panic buttons" on every page. Facebook had previously said it would not install a "panic button" on its main pages for users to report suspected paedophiles, but would develop its existing system. It also said it would announce any changes to its plans following the meeting.

More airline mergers are necessary, chief of industry association says

Further mergers among airlines are essential in order to cut costs and improve competitiveness in an industry expected to face losses of $2.8 billion this year, said the head of the International Air Transport Association.

Europe acts to ensure its imported timber is legal

The European Union has no regionwide law preventing the importation of illegally logged wood products, although in response to consumer demand, some companies voluntarily buy timber from sources certified by various groups as sustainable. The union is considering legislation that would require all importers in the bloc — from furniture makers to those buying raw materials like boards — to conduct due diligence to show that the timber had been legally harvested. Under the voluntary partnership deals, source countries are responsible for determining that the timber has been harvested according to their national laws and the criteria in the European agreements. While the agreements may vary among countries, requirements typically include that trees not be cut from protected forests, that endangered species of trees not be logged and that companies comply with trade and customs regulations. A third-party monitor, like an independent auditing company, would conduct spot checks to ensure compliance.

Judge takes paper to court over online comments

The judge presiding over a high-profile serial killer case in Cleveland is now herself under scrutiny after her e-mail address was linked to dozens of comments on the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Web site. Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold is suing the newspaper for $50 million, saying it violated her privacy.

  • Weekly Magazine Review


Should schools bribe kids? Is Cash The Answer? What motivates kids to work hard in school? The exclusive story of a national experiment that delighted children, offended adults and provoked death threats against the scientist.


America’s back! The Comeback Country. How America pulled itself back from the brink—and why it's destined to stay on top.

Business Week

The hot hand. Why the Obama Plan Is Working. Polls say the economy is heading in the wrong direction. Markets say it's back on track. This time, the markets are right

The Economist

Britain's choice. Voters deserve a more radical vision than the timid and uninspiring policies all parties have put forward so far.

Le Nouvel Observateur

Spécial immobilier 2010. Stimulés par la baisse des prix et des taux d'intérêt ainsi que par les aides publiques, les acheteurs se ruent sur les petites surfaces. Mais le marché reste déséquilibré et la reprise, indexée sur les incertitudes de la conjoncture.

Der Spiegel

Hilfe! Pubertät! - Ein kleiner Ratgeber zum Großwerden

  • Daily Press Review

Red shirts in Bangkok coffin march
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Saudi Arabia: Government Warns of Al Qaeda Elements Disguising Themselves as Journalists
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Unending wait at traffic signal in Dubai
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Far right storms to third place in Hungary election
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST: Belgian Bank Financing Illegal Settlements
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Abdullah to US to talk peace negotiations
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Dh100 toll for trucks plying Al Dhaid Road
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UAE consumer confidence surges
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

41 Pakistan Militants, 2 Soldiers Killed in Fierce Clashes
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Israeli rights groups slam army rules for West Bank expulsion
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran to complain to UN over Obama nuclear 'threat'
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Parliament exposes property squatters
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Sa'ada detainees still not released
Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Bomb explodes near N Ireland MI5 base
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Boy George unapologetic for past actions
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Carrey still 'tweeting' about Woods scandal
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

'This will outrage British taxpayers': Deal to rescue Greece to soak up millions
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Egypt court upholds block on France Telecom buy of Mobinil
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

POLAND: Russia, EU join Warsaw with official day of mourning
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Award-winning Chilean films in Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Coleen Rooney Shows Off Her Enviable Curves At Ladies Day
Look Magazine, London, England

Special award in memory of Cumbria floods hero policeman
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Defiant Kyrgyz Leader Addresses Supporters
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Labour Manifesto Shake-Up For Public Services
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Hungary Lurches to the Right: Orbán Triumphs in Landslide Victory
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Brown: I will end 'take it or leave it' public services
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Obama highlights threat of nuclear terrorism
The Independent, London, England

Woods set to take another break
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Polish Ties Face Test After Plane Crash
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Lovely bubbly Harry
The Sun, London, England

List of top earning US actors
The Telegraph, London, England

Nuclear terrorism is gravest threat to global security, Barack Obama warns
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Euro rallies on 30 billion euro Greek rescue
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

President: Islam, democracy, modernization can develop together
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Pakistan: 41 militants, 2 soldiers die in fighting
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Contempt of court petition filed against Babar Awan
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

US President supports Kazakhstan in questions of strengthening of regional safety
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Judge shot dead in Moscow
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

PM to warn world on terrorists seizing Pak nukes
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

2 held for raping student, making video
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Arimura beats Park in playoff to take Studio Alice Ladies
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

S'gor Sultan wants less politicking, more policy implementation
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Triple Aussie killer dad lived in NZ - report
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Commander surrenders
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

Japan's money stock up 2.6% on year in March
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

I'm not a star: Pierce Brosnan
Sify News, Chennai, India

Clicking with cheats
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

China said to suspend imports of soybean oil from Argentina
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

MOFA issues travel warning for Bangkok
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Clashes in Pakistan kill 40 militants, four soldiers
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Nations mull plan to tighten security of nuclear materials
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Poles mourn president killed in plane crash
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Air Jamaica to change hands by month-end
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Medical tourism deal sealed
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Lack of Electoral Police may hinder peaceful campaign
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

U.S.: Kissinger Rescinded Warning Against Condor Assassinations
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Spanish Town residents march for change
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Number of traffic tickets applied in Peru has dropped by 40%
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Phil Mickelson wins Masters
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Jack: We are going to shock the nation
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Uncertain start to Sudan's polls
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

DR Congo army regains control of Mbandaka
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Kufuor tours voting centres in Khartoum, Omdruman
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Obama salutes SA
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

ET's sex scandal surfaces again
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Bekele Jirata flees Ethiopia
Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

lesson in Argentina? Watching the World Cup
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'on course' with Malema
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

urged to implement N-Delta Tech C'ttee's recommendations
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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