April 26, 2010  Nº 898 -  Vol. 8

"For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered."

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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  • Top News

Supreme Court ruling could spark deluge of non-U.S. class actions

Can U.K. and European investors gain legal redress through U.S. courts for corporate malpractice committed by a non-U.S. firm in America? And might charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Goldman Sachs unleash a cascade of such class actions by non-U.S. investors? The case with potential watershed qualities that is being closely followed in international legal circles isn't in fact Goldman Sachs. It's an appeal that was heard in the U.S. Supreme Court last month. Judgment is due soon. It has important implications for non-U.S. shareholders and international public companies. The case, Morrison v. National Australia Bank, involved transnational securities fraud and the extraterritorial application of U.S. securities laws.

Obama criticizes proposed Arizona illegal immigrant law 

US President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed opposition to a pending Arizona bill that would require any individual suspected of being an illegal immigrant to present valid identification to law enforcement officials. In remarks delivered at a naturalization ceremony, Obama stated that failure to enact federal immigration reform has given rise to laws such as the one under consideration in Arizona: “Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.” Obama's stance on the Arizona law reflects his administration's policy that aims "to bring people out of the shadows." The remarks underscored Democratic opposition to the bill in Arizona. Proponents argue, however, that the law will discourage illegal immigration.

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China tightens property finance requirements, pledges `proactive' measures

China tightened real-estate financing by requiring developers to submit fund-raising plans for review, stepping up efforts to prevent a bubble even as the central bank pledged to maintain an "easy" monetary policy.

U.S. companies' doubts over China future growing with rules

U.S. companies in China are concerned about the "increasingly difficult regulatory environment" and the country's protectionist industrial policies, the American Chamber of Commerce said in a report.

China court awards Microsoft record damages in software piracy suit 

A Shangai court ruled Thursday that a Chinese insurance company is liable to software company Microsoft for using illegal copies of its products, ordering the insurance company to pay Microsoft USD $318,000 in damages. The $318,000 awarded against Dazhong Insurance is the largest amount of damages ever ordered by a Chinese court in a software piracy suit. This was Microsoft's first major anti-piracy lawsuit in China, where last November a court ruled that Microsoft had infringed on intellectual property of a Chinese company.

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  • Brief News

Are pirate ransoms legal? Confusion over US order

Shipping companies with U.S. interests don't know if they are allowed to pay ransoms to Somali pirates anymore after Obama declared them an "extraordinary threat," even as pirates extended their reach farther than ever toward Asia, hijacking three Thai vessels. Pirate attacks have risen over the last year despite increased patrols by U.S. and European warships, in part because the multimillion dollar ransoms keep rising. The shipping industry has long seen ransom payments to retrieve hijacked vessels, cargos and crews as a cost of doing business. But after Obama last week issued an executive order on Somalia, shipping officials say it's no longer clear whether companies with U.S. interests can legally pay ransoms. The industry is worried because ransoms have been the only way to quickly and safely free hostages. "It's confusion, is the way you could sum it up," said David Osler. "Industry sources believe the executive order is worded poorly ... it's not immediately clear to everybody what is being said here." Obama's order outlaws anyone from supplying financing to any Somalis involved in military activities.

US prosecutors indict 11 suspected Somali pirates 

US federal prosecutors have charged a group of 11 suspected Somali pirates in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, according to indictments unsealed Friday. The US District Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia filed separate charges against two different groups of suspected pirates. Charges were filed against a group of six alleged pirates who were captured by the USS Nicholas in late March, and separate charges were filed against the other five who were captured by the USS Ashland earlier this month. The US government is prosecuting the suspects for conspiring to commit and committing various offenses, including piracy and attack with the intent to plunder a vessel, noting that "the primary purpose of the conspiracy was to make money by means of piracy on the high seas." 

Researcher says law students need to learn to read like lawyers

Most law students are told they need to think like lawyers. But a Pennsylvania State University researcher says students also need to read like lawyers. The scientist and higher education professor, Dorothy Evensen studied law students’ reading strategies. She found that the better law students spent more of their reading time using strategies that involve setting expectations, asking themselves questions and connecting with the overall purpose of their reading. Students who had lower grades spent more time using strategies such as paraphrasing and rereading. 

Vatican says US lawsuit against Pope 'without merit'

The Vatican says a lawsuit brought against Pope Benedict and two Church officials by a US man who says he was abused by a priest is "without merit". Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena said the lawsuit, filed in a Milwaukee court, "rehashes old theories already rejected by US courts". He said the lawsuit was "an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack" on the Church.

Utah murderer chooses death by firing squad

A convicted murderer in the US state of Utah has chosen to be executed by firing squad. When given a choice between lethal injection or being shot, Ronnie Lee Gardner told the judge: "I would like the firing squad, please." Of the 35 US states that have the death penalty, Utah is the only one to give firing squads as an option. Critics say the method is a relic from the state's Wild West past and should be abolished. State legislators removed that choice in 2004 and made lethal injection the standard method - but inmates sentenced before then still have a choice.

SEC lawyer watched 8 hours of porn a day amid financial crisis

Allegations are out that senior staff, including a senior attorney in the SEC's Washington, D.C., office, spent hours surfing porn sites from their government computers. It's "disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation's economy on the brink of collapse. A memo reported on probes of 33 employees who looked at explicit images over the past five years. Most of the reported probes were during the last 2½ years, during the heart of the nation's financial crisis.

Spain rallies behind Franco judge

Marches are being held across Spain in support of a high-profile judge accused of overreaching his powers by launching an inquiry into the Franco regime. In 2008, Baltasar Garzon opened the probe - later shelved - into atrocities committed during the four-decade rule of General Francisco Franco. A magistrate has ruled that the judge had acted without jurisdiction, and he now faces the prospect of a trial.

Spammers pay others to answer security tests

Faced with stricter Internet security measures, some spammers have begun borrowing a page from corporate America's playbook: they are outsourcing. Sophisticated spammers are paying people in India, Bangladesh, China and other developing countries to tackle the simple tests known as captchas, which ask Web users to type in a string of semi obscured characters to prove they are human beings and not spam-generating robots.

Near deal on derivatives rules

Democrats took a step toward their goal of overhauling financial regulation, reaching a tentative deal to set restrictions on trading in exotic financial instruments known as derivatives. A key Senate committee had changed its proposed overhaul of derivatives regulation after lobbying by Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., potentially helping the famed investor avoid a financial hit. Among the considerations still in the balance: A big provision being sought by Warren Buffett in recent weeks.The provision, sought by Berkshire would largely exempt existing derivatives contracts from the proposed rules. Previously, the legislation could have allowed regulators to require that companies such as Nebraska-based Berkshire put aside large sums to cover potential losses. The change thus would aid Berkshire, which has a $63 billion derivatives portfolio, according to Barclays Capital. Buffett's push is especially notable because he has warned of the potential dangers of derivatives, famously branding them "financial weapons of mass destruction."

  • Daily Press Review

Scandal rocks Indian cricket league
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Hamas Broadcasts Israeli Soldier Cartoo
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

UN rights chief meets UAE ministers
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Suicide bomber strikes U.K. ambassador convoy in Yemen
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST: Hunger Strike by Palestinian Prisoners Cuts No Ice
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

UK ambassador escapes San'a explosion
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Two killed in hot air balloon crash
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai- Master plan for Nujoom Islands project unveiled
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Strong Quake Hits Taiwan
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Iran makes little headway in diplomatic offensive
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Abbas invited to Washington
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Suicide attack misses British ambassador
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

In Brief - 1356
Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Tories target Labour heartlands
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Lenihan: Pension issue is up to Geoghegan-Quinn
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

3 million endure noisy neighbours
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Pope Benedict's British visit: Vatican fury at Britain's 'dark forces'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Carphone Warehouse FY profits ahead of expectations
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

EURO ZONE: France, Germany push for tough line on Greece
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Istanbul's rendezvous with poetry
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Shop Preview: Reiss' High Summer 2010 Collection
Look Magazine, London, England

Election webchat: Jill Perry, Green Party
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

The Rundown - April 26
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

British Ambassador Survives Bomb In Yemen
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

'We're on a Slippery Slope': Will the Greek Bailout Destroy the Euro Zone?
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Nick Clegg goes public on coalition and looks to Tories
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Chavez threatens to nationalise gold mines
The Independent, London, England

Bank of Ireland unveils proposal to raise capital
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Chaika Says Traffic Cops Actively Extorting Drivers
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Minister of silly talks
The Sun, London, England

Susan Boyle could sing for the Pope
The Telegraph, London, England

Pope memo sent by 23-year-old Oxford graduate
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

IPL chief Lalit Modi suspended amid corruption claims
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Foreign photographers take part in underwater photo competition
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Pact with China to benefit both sides: Ma
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Five killed in North Waziristan drone strike
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Ex-Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan refused to participate in presidential elections
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

BIG Cinema acquires 188 screens in 27 US cities
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Chirayu Amin replaces Modi as IPL chairman
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Delhi: Girl found dead in her car
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Fujita beats Taniguchi in playoff
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Last Fokker 50 given an emotional send-off
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Strong quake hits Philippines
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Over 93 percent of Cuban voters participate in local elections
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Emergency loans likely for Greece, official says
Sify News, Chennai, India

'Cosmeceutical' revolution
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

China Shipping to buy dry-bulk ships
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Ma, Tsai square off in ECFA debate
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Fashion faux pas socks-and-sandals combo is now the hot new look
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Pakistan wants Indian magistrates to testify
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

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

Rescuers look for U.S. tornado victims
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Teenager's body to be exhumed
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Turtle Farm meat reduced
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Dominican cyclist Leonardo Grullon killed by a truck
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

ARGENTINA: We're Drowning in Sadness"
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Portia lights fire under spokesmen
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Informal mining at Huascaran park must end, says Environment Minister
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

At the forefront of the green movement
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

McGuinty backs down on sex ed changes
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Penal  entrant  scores
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Sudan fighting 'leaves 55 dead'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

South Kivu Governor Resigns
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

$520m for electricity in 2,200 communities
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Earthquake hits Taiwan
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Nine die in fiery crash
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

21 Ethiopians arrested in Yemen
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Kebede goes one better to win London Marathon
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

9 burn to death in taxi
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

'Nigeria's leadership has failed'
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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