April 19, 2010 Nº 896 - Vol. 8

"Constant repetition carries conviction."

Robert Collier
1885-1950

Insider's view: see how local concerns shape up the global world. Read the daily press review in Migalhas International
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  • Top News

What's the deal with Iceland?

We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Ash from an Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano is causing big and costly disruptions in Europe but, so far, it's nothing compared with the havoc caused by the country's economic eruption a year and a half ago. If the drifting ash from Iceland's volcano shows the interconnected nature of weather, ecological and economical systems around the world, the fallout from Iceland's bank failures shows the interconnectedness of global financial systems.

EU emergency talks called on volcanic ash air chaos

EU transport ministers are to hold emergency talks by video conference on easing the air travel crisis caused by a volcanic ash cloud in Europe's skies. More than 6.8 million passengers have been affected so far, as the crisis enters its fifth day. The enormous shroud of fine mineral dust particles now stretches from the Arctic Circle in the north to the French Mediterranean coast in the south, and from Spain into Russia. Airspace remains closed, or partially closed, in more than 20 countries. Sixty-three thousand flights have been cancelled in the four days since the clampdown began. And the prospect of a return to normal air travel remains far from clear.

Goldman Sachs accused of fraud by SEC

Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse, has been accused of defrauding investors by America's financial regulator. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges that Goldman failed to disclose conflicts of interest. The claims concern Goldman's marketing of sub-prime mortgage investments just as the US housing market faltered. Goldman Sachs officials said they knew that regulators were examining controversial mortgage securities created by the firm, but were stunned by the bombshell civil fraud suit lodged against it. News that the SEC was pressing civil fraud charges against Goldman and one of its London-based vice presidents, Fabrice Tourre, sent shares in the investment bank tumbling 12%. The is investigating whether other mortgage deals arranged by some of Wall Street's biggest firms may have crossed the line into misleading investors.

Germany considering legal action against Goldman Sachs

The German government said Saturday that it is considering taking legal action against Goldman, Sachs & Co. for defrauding investors, according to a report by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. The announcement comes just a day after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil suit on alleging securities fraud against the bank. German government spokesperson Ulrich Wilheim said that the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will request information from the SEC to decide whether to file a suit. Britain has indicated that it may also pursue legal action after it found out the scope of the allegations contained in the SEC lawsuit.

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For Chinese, web is the way to entertainment

The Internet, already a potent social force, has become the country's prime entertainment service. Frustrated with media censorship, bland programming on state-run television and limits on the number of foreign films allowed to be shown in China each year, young people are logging onto the Web and downloading alternatives. Homegrown Web sites like Baidu, Tencent and Sina.com have captured millions of Chinese youths obsessed with online games, pirated movies and music, the raising of virtual vegetables, microblogging and instant messaging.
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  • Brief News

Goldman Sachs: Brown attacks firm's 'moral bankruptcy'

Gordon Brown has called for a "special investigation" into Goldman Sachs after reports that the bank is to pay £3.5bn in bonuses. He described the situation as one of "moral bankruptcy". His criticism follows allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission in US that Goldman defrauded investors during the sub-prime housing crisis. Goldman called the charges "completely unfounded in law and fact" and said it will contest them.

Ecuadorean threat to oil giants

The Ecuadorean government has threatened to take over foreign oil concessions if the companies resist growing state control of the industry. President Rafael Correa said every day millions of dollars were going to oil companies that should go to the state. The government has been pressing the companies to give up concessions that give them a share of oil field profits and accept service contracts instead. Oil firms operating in Ecuador come from Spain, Brazil, China and Italy.

Judge allows start of bids on controversial Brazil dam

A Brazilian court has overturned a ruling that could have delayed building a massive dam on an Amazon tributary. A judge ruled bidding can go ahead next week for contracts to build the Belo Monte dam on the River Xingu. It would be the third largest dam in the world. The dam is opposed by indigenous groups and environmentalists. When it is completed, Belo Monte would be third largest hydro-electric dam in the world, after the Three Gorges in China and Itaipu, which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay. It is expected to provide electricity to 23 million Brazilian homes. Critics say the Belo Monte plant will be hugely inefficient, generating less than 10% of its capacity during the three to four months of the low-water season.

Holocaust-denying bishop fined by German court

A renegade British bishop has been fined 10,000 euros for denying the Holocaust in a case that has acutely embarrassed the Vatican. The case went ahead in a German court without Richard Williamson, whose breakaway Catholic fraternity, Saint Pius X Society, told him not to testify, his lawyer said. Denying that the Holocaust took place, or questioning key elements, is illegal in Germany. Williamson said the bishop was told the interview would be aired only in Sweden and he could not be held criminally responsible for its release in Germany. The bishop acknowledged the offending comments in a statement read in court.

How the pope got his U.S. lawyer

As the Vatican reels from a swirling clerical sex abuse crisis, the Holy See has turned to an unusual advocate: a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley, Calif., whose obscure interest in sovereign immunity law and fluency in Italian landed him the job of the pope's U.S. lawyer.

Sudan elections short of standards, monitors say

International monitors said Saturday that Sudan's first multiparty elections in more than two decades failed to meet international standards, an assessment that diminishes hopes the voting would set the nation on the road to peace and democracy.

Toyota is expected to pay $16.4 million fine

The automaker is not expected to admit wrongdoing in paying the fine for concealing information about a recall.

Soldier gets death sentence in military court after civil acquittal

A US military jury has sentenced a soldier to die for a triple murder more than 20 years after a civilian court acquitted him of the same charges. Military jurors convicted Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis last week after deliberating less than three hours. The death sentence was imposed Thursday after another 13 hours of deliberations. The sentence will be automatically appealed. Prosecutors wanted to retry Hennis after new DNA tests linked him to sperm found on a slain woman, Kathryn Eastburn. She was killed along with her two daughters, ages 5 and 3, in 1985. Double jeopardy had barred a retrial in state court, but not in military court. The military recalled Hennis to active service so he could stand trial by the military court at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Confused about fair use? Best practices for bloggers

Seasoned bloggers are generally familiar with the parameters of copyright law. But anyone can start a blog, and even for those who have been active on the Internet for years what is and isn't permissible fair use is sometimes unclear. The law itself can be confusing, especially when it is applied to media other than traditional print. However, understanding the policies underlying the law make it easier to interpret. "You cannot enter into discourse about our culture without quoting from it," says Aufderheide, and hence fair use standards are based on the right of free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thus, excerpting reasonable portions of copyrighted material to tell a story is considered fair use. He for-instances a video in which a voiceover that mentions taking a page out of John Lennon's songbook is illustrated by 15-second clip of Lennon's song "Imagine." "In order to make sense out of that comment, you had to play the song." The Web Pro News article links to a video in which the two experts discuss fair use standards in greater detail.

Russia lower house approves WWII amnesty law

The Russian State Duma voted 437-0 Friday to approve a bill giving amnesty to veterans as well as concentration camp and Leningrad siege survivors for most crimes committed during World War II by. If approved in the upper house, the bill would apply to an estimated 100-200 persons, but the amnesty would not apply to crimes of murder or sexual crimes against minors. The legislative action commemorates the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, as the period of the war along the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945 is known in Russia.

  • Daily Press Review

Europe flights 'set to resume'
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Sudan State Media Report Bashir Poll Lead
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

UAE to issue visas for stranded travellers
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Barak: Iran poses no immediate existential threat to Israel
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens Mideast Status Quo
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

German Mediator Visits Gaza, Israel, Egypt
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Ex-governor of DIFC not released on bail
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan to offer branchless banking services
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Half of Monday's Flights Could Go Ahead, EU
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Sudan state media reports overwhelming Bashir lead
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran conference urges Israel to sign nuclear treaty
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Social Guidance Foundation brings awareness to Marib
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

New cement plant aims to spur employment and development in Hadramout
Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

EU emergency talks on air chaos
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Elan looking into dividing firm into two
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Seven die as quake hits Afghanistan
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Iceland volcano eruption: Navy armada ready to pick up stranded Britons
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Icasa slashes interconnect rates
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

AVIATION: Half of flights could be restored on Monday, EU presidency says
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Mehmet Okur out for playoffs, might miss worlds
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

The Hills Girls Audrina Partridge And Kristen Cavallari Hit The Shops
Look Magazine, London, England

Crowds flock to Carlisle rail station as Tornado steams in
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Magnitude 5.3 Quake Reported In Central Afghanistan
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Emergency Meeting To Discuss Ash Crisis
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Eyjafjallajkull Awakes: How an Icelandic Volcano Shut Down Europe's Airspace
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Volcano crisis: 'We need to bring people home'
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Turkish-Cypriot hardliner wins presidential poll
The Independent, London, England

Philips records profit in first quarter
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Volcano Ash Strands Foreign Visitors
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Spanish airmada
The Sun, London, England

Carly Cole shows off baby for first time
The Telegraph, London, England

Volcanic ash cloud: Wounded troops may be flown to coalition countries
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Thailand braces for another week of unrest
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Indonesian 7 Summit Expedition team reaches Ndugu-ndugu peak Papua
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Taiwan's greenhouse gas emissions rise
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Pakistan displays its military might
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Number of victims of Chinese earthquake exceeded 1.1 thousand people
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Saudi Arabia to set up nuclear city
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Jessica Lall case: SC upholds conviction of Manu Sharma
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Troubled by ex-wife, cop shoots self
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Urawa trounces rival Frontale, climbs into first place in J. League
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Seven killed in 5.3 magnitude quake in Afghanistan
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Underbelly gangster killed in prison
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Earthquake leaves one dead in central Afghanistan
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Pakistani president to sign bill curbing his power
Sify News, Chennai, India

MasterChef's hot deals
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Hu Jintao tells quake rescuers to keep searching for survivors
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

ROC inks working holiday pact with Canada
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Student killed, 50 hurt as school bus falls into river (Lead)
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Tharoor quits after Manmohan asks him to step down
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

TWO DIE IN FIRE
Antigua Sun Online, Independent daily, St. John's, Antigua

Flights scrapped as Iceland ash heads to N.L.
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Renewable energy, climate related projects to get millions more - IDB
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

New Auditor General chosen
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Surgery to separate twin girls will be delayed
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Migrants Risk Everything in Arizona Desert Crossing
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Wrong spirit! Stores which sell alcohol to minors should lose licences - Clarke
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

US Defense Secretary visited Peru to strenghten cooperation ties.
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Jacmel artisans anxious to see customers again
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Dion Phaneuf will wear the 'C' on his Maple Leafs sweater
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Labour needs to delve into politics
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

'Disrepute probe' of ANC's Malema
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

U.N. Security Council Cancels Congo Trip
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Nana Addo Starts Campaign
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Big guns turn on Lib Dems
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Jub Jub case: Blood test blunder emerges
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ethiopia: TPLF's EFFORT brings financial complications - VOA
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Pakistan duo ruled out of T20 World Cup
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Pressure builds to get Europe flying again
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

WAEC, NECO and varsity admission
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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