April 28, 2010  Nº 899 -  Vol. 8

"Success means never letting the competition define you. Instead you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about."

Tom Chappell


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

Mexico migrants face human rights crisis, says Amnesty

Migrants in Mexico are facing a "major human rights crisis" as the authorities fail to tackle widespread abuses, Amnesty International has warned. The human rights group said officials ignored or even played a part in the rape, kidnap, and murder of migrants, often carried out by criminal gangs. Tens of thousands of Central American migrants pass through Mexico every year to try to reach the US and find work. Amnesty called on Mexico's government to "prevent, punish and remedy abuses".

Greece's debt downgraded to junk status by S&P

Europe's government debt crisis worsened ominously after two financially troubled countries — Greece and Portugal — had their credit ratings downgraded as markets sold off their debt. The moves exacerbated concern that Portugal and other nations trying to cut budgets will be left to fend for themselves by an EU that took two months to agree on a plan for Greece. The danger for European officials is that the fiscal turmoil which started six months ago with fudged Greek budget data will spin out of their control. As Greece waits for its euro-region partners to disperse funds, the European Union has announced no concrete plans to help other nations should aid be needed. The euro yesterday weakened to the lowest in a year. “Policy makers need to get ahead of the curve,” Eric Fine, who manages Van’s Eck’s G-175 Strategies emerging-market hedge fund. “This is no longer a problem about Greece or Portugal, but about the euro system.”

Mergers and acquisition

Georgetown University Law CLE and Lex Mercator International Education offer our readers an exclusive lecture on “The Rebound of the Global Mergers and Acquisitions Market”. The lecture by Andrew Sherman, author of “Merger & Acquisitions: From A to Z” and Professor at Georgetown University, is scheduled on May 6 at 5:00 PM (Eastern time), live from Washington. Do not miss this opportunity. It is free and the number of participants is limited. Click here to register.

  • International Arbitration Express

Supreme Court appears to favor arbitrators on enforceability issue

The U.S. Supreme Court's pro-arbitration trend appears intact after oral arguments Monday in a key case asking whether it should be courts or arbitrators themselves who rule on the enforceability of an arbitration agreement. During the past two decades, the high court has generally ruled to strengthen the enforceability of arbitration agreements. On Monday, few justices appeared eager to change that trend, though several seemed to believe that courts should play some role in checking especially egregious agreements.

Before you open the door to the boardroom, peek through the keyhole!

Michael Page specializes in the placement of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim positions within client companies around the world. Have a look at the new section of the Migalhas website and discover the professional development opportunities with large corporations, in legal and business fields, presented by Michael Page International. Click here to peep through the hole!

  • Crumbs

1 - Cigarettes to rise by $6.50 a packet as part of sweeping tax reforms in Australia (Click here)

2 - Ukrainian parliament fights over ratification of Russian deal (Click here)

3 - Turkey's foreign policy not exclusively focused on Europe anymore (Click here)

4  - Too drunk to walk? That'll be $250 (Click here)

5 - Around the World (Click here)

6 - Wal-Mart to limit toxic cadmium in kids' products (Click here)

7 - E.U. Proposes Measures to Help Airlines After Ash (Click here)

8 - Ford Reports Profit of $2.1 Billion in Quarter (Click here)

9 - German diesel power gains favor with U.S. car buyers (Click here)

10 - Bank debate stalls in Senate as industry polishes image (Click here)

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MiMIC Journal

China lifts travel restrictions for HIV carriers

China has lifted travel restrictions for foreigners who suffer from HIV and AIDS. The newly amended law, published on the government website, comes ahead of the opening of the Shanghai World Expo on Saturday, which expects 100m visitors. WHO welcomed the decision, calling it "a significant step in the right direction".

Beijing cancels land auction after developers' bids exceed price ceiling

An auction of land in Beijing was cancelled after bidding exceeded a price ceiling set for the lot as the Chinese government expands efforts to rein in the nation's property market.

China moves to tighten data controls

China is on the verge of requiring telecommunications and Internet companies to detect, stop and report leaks of state secrets by their customers.

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Exportaciones

El director de la Unidad de Asuntos Internacionales del Ministerio de Ganadería de Uruguay, Mario Piacenza, se reunió  con representantes de la Unión Europea para poner a disposición del bloque toda la información de Uruguay para que apruebe el ingreso de carne bovina de alta calidad. Hasta ahora solamente están habilitados por la Unión Europea a Australia y Estados Unidos.

Negocios

La francesa GDF Suez está interesada en comprar el 40% que de la chilena Codelco mantiene en la mayor eléctrica del Norte Grande, Eldenor, compañía que tras la fusión con los activos de Electroandina, fue rebautizada como E-CL.

Canal – Peaje

A partir de enero de 2011, los ocho segmentos de buques que utilizan el Canal de Panamá tendrán un incremento de peajes, según una propuesta aprobada por la junta directiva de la Autoridad del Canal de Panamá (ACP) . La propuesta modifica la estructura de precios para los segmentos de portacontenedores, graneles secos, graneles líquidos, portave-hículos, refrigerados, pasajeros, carga general y otros.

Compras

La chilena Sonda adquirió la firma brasileña Telsinc por US$ 38 mlls..

Construcciones

La chilena Paz Corp iniciará operaciones en Brasil con dos proyectos de vivienda en el cuarto trimestre. La compañía ya adquirió un terreno en la ciudad de Sao Paulo y prevé una venta potencial estimada de unos US$ 30 mlls.

Avon

La multinacional de cosméticos inauguró el martes la construcción del primer centro de distribución verde del país, ubicado en el municipio de Antioquia, Colombia, denominado Ecobranch Avon, en el que se invertirán más de US$ 50 mlls.

  • Brief News

Noriega to be held in French custody until trial

Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is to be held in French custody until his trial, a judge has ruled. The 76-year old was extradited from the US early on Tuesday and faces 10 years in jail for money laundering. His lawyers had argued that French courts could not try him because he is immune from prosecution as a former head of state. He was convicted on similar charges in France in his absence in 1999 but will face a new trial.

Indonesia opens first corruption prison

Indonesia's justice minister has opened the country's first prison wing for people convicted of corruption. The wing, which is part of Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta, can house up to 256 inmates convicted of graft. It was built after it emerged that many officials jailed for corruption were living relatively luxurious lives behind bars.

Levin grilling Blankfein means clash of Harvard Law standouts

Lloyd Blankfein and Carl Levin both have degrees from Harvard Law School. Judging from their confrontation on Capitol Hill yesterday, they hardly speak the same language. Levin, chairman of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, pummeled Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., with a barrage of questions about why the Wall Street firm sold securities it was betting against. Blankfein struggled to complete sentences as he tried to describe what it means to be a market-maker. "Levin had a simple narrative to tell: Goldman bet against their clients," said Jonathan Taplin, a professor of communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School in Los Angeles. "Blankfein had these long complicated explanations, but I'm not sure the average person listens or cares about that." The two men have risen to the heights of professions that are held in low regard. Viewers tended to see what they wanted to in the hearing because of cynicism both about Wall Street and Washington. As Levin's questioning of Blankfein dragged on into the evening, he lectured Blankfein about the ethics of his business. "You shouldn't be selling junk," Levin said. "You shouldn't be selling crap. You shouldn't be betting against your own customers." "Was the financial crisis caused by a failure of the markets or by the failure of government? I am of the belief that the markets utterly failed and that government failed to exercise good oversight. Levin is more credible, but only because Goldman Sachs is near zero right now," Victor Hwang said.

Hezbollah armed with improved missiles

The US defense secretary has warned that Hezbollah now has more rockets and missiles than most governments. Robert Gates accused Syria and Iran of supplying weapons of "ever-increasing capability" to the military wing of the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement. This is obviously destabilizing for the whole region. 

AstraZeneca paying $520 million to settle Seroquel charges

The Justice Department alleged the drugmaker illegally marketed Seroquel, an antipsychotic, for wide range of unapproved uses.

Mexico warns citizens over new Arizona immigration law

Mexico has urged its nationals to carry proper documentation with them to Arizona in response to a tough new immigration law in the US state. In a travel alert, the foreign ministry says there will be a "negative political environment" for Mexican visitors and migrants. The law, signed into law last week, requires Arizona police to question people on their immigration status. The Mexican government has condemned the legislation as "discriminatory".

Feds may challenge Arizona on immigration law

Attorney General Eric Holder says the law is subject to potential abuse. The measure, which takes effect in late July or early August, allows police to question anyone about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

Chavez tightens grip on judiciaryJudges are under threat in Venezuela as President Hugo Chavez increases pressure on the judiciary to toe the government line. An independent-minded judge, Maria Lourdes Afiuni, finds herself facing corruption charges for ordering the release of a former banker who ran afoul of the government.

Brazil VP says was targeted by extortion scam

Brazil's vice president says he was the target of a failed extortion attempt. Vice President Jose Alencar says he received a phone call from a man claiming to have kidnapped his daughter. The man demanded a ransom worth $29,000. A crying woman was put on the phone and said: "Daddy, I was assaulted." Alencar said Tuesday he thought it was his daughter. But he explained he didn't have easy access to the amount of money demanded. The supposed kidnapper then asked what Alencar's profession is and he replied: "I am the vice president of the republic." The man hung up. Alencar's wife immediately phoned their daughter, verifying she was never kidnapped. So-called "false kidnapping" schemes are common in Brazil.

Brazil says Google data on requests by government gives Brazil gov't bad image

Brazil says a new Google tool showing government requests for data on users or the removal of content is giving it a bad name. Google released information last week showing Brazil's government peppered it with the most requests-291 requests to remove data and 3,663 requests for information on users. The figures cover the last six months of 2009. Brazilian prosecutor Priscila Schreiner said most of the requests were related to child pornography or racist content. Prosecutors sent an order Monday to Google's Brazil affiliate to clarify the figures.

Toyota agrees to Brazil-wide recall of Corolla sedans

Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to a Brazil-wide recall of its popular Corolla sedan following complaints about sudden, unintended acceleration, repeating a safety issue that has already caused the Japanese car maker to call back millions of vehicles globally, the Justice Ministry said in a statement late Friday. During a meeting with Brazilian government regulators and consumer protection agents, Toyota executives attributed the problem in models made after April 2008 to slipping car mats, which interfere with the accelerator pedal.

Can Gizmodo win the iPhone legal battle?

As we move into the second week of the iPhone-left-in-the-bar saga, the plot is moving from a technology news story to a legal one — and entering a cul-de-sac of speculation. Late Friday evening the authorities in San Mateo County, in California, seized computers belonging to Jason Chen, the editor of the technology blog Gizmodo. The computers are part of an investigation surrounding the iPhone 4G left in a bar that Gizmodo paid $5,000 for, and then published pictures of on its Web site. Gizmodo would most likely argue that the authorities had no right to enter Chen's home because he is a journalist working at home, and so his home is a de-facto newsroom. The warrant to  search Chen's home violated two laws that protect journalists and newsrooms. "Federal and California law both protect reporters against police searches aimed at uncovering confidential sources or seizing other information developed during newsgathering activities," Do these laws applied if the property in question was most  likely stolen or illegally obtained? "The shield law is a blanket law, that is, it's a blanket that appears to ban this kind of warrant," even in cases of possible stolen property. In other words, there is no exception under the shield law for outside circumstances, including illegal activities. To the contrary, David Sugden, a California lawyer who specializes in intellectual property litigation, said the state shield law might not apply, if stolen property were involved. Chen is protecting himself as one potential target of a criminal investigation. What other sorts of socially and legally unacceptable behavior might be protected under the Shield Law if Chen’s, and his employer Gawker's, argument holds?

'Tesco law' to take step closer

Controversial plans to introduce the so-called "Tesco law" to Scotland will move a step closer when MSPs vote on the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill. The Scottish Parliament is expected to back the legislation, which is aimed at modernizing the legal profession. The bill would allow supermarkets and other commercial organizations to provide legal services to the public. But the proposals have split the legal profession, with many solicitors opposing them. The idea behind the bill is that increased competition would be better for consumers. But opponents have warned it could actually reduce the availability of services like conveyancing, leave smaller and rural law firms struggling to compete, and threaten the independence of lawyers.

Wal-Mart bias lawsuit proceeds

A federal appeals court ruled that a gender discrimination suit against Wal-Mart can go forward as a class-action case.

Supreme Court hears arguments on genetically modified crop injunction 

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Monsanto Company v. Geertson Seed Farms on what conditions must be met to obtain a nationwide injunction prohibiting the planting of genetically engineered crops. The case arose over an injunction against the planting of Monsanto's "Roundup Ready alfalfa," pending an environmental impact statement. 

Vioxx fraud suit may proceed 

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a suit to proceed against drug maker Merck & Co. over the safety record of its painkiller Vioxx. The court ruled unanimously in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds that the statute of limitations in a securities fraud lawsuit begins to run once the plaintiff actually discovered or a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have discovered the violation - whichever comes first. Investors brought the class action suit against Merck in 2003, alleging that it had deliberately concealed information about Vioxx. The case was dismissed by a federal judge in April 2007 after he determined that investors were on "inquiry notice" of the alleged fraud in September 2001 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning letter about the painkiller.

France to send legal experts to help reform Jordan courts 

French Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Jordan's King Abdullah II met Sunday to discuss increasing cooperation between France and Jordan's judicial and legislative branches and strengthening the ties between the two countries. Alliot-Marie told reporters that France would send legal experts to Jordan to help strengthen its court system. Sunday's talks follow the protocol signed by France and Jordan last April to enhance the countries' legal cooperation. The protocol provides for the exchange of current legal and judicial releases and research highlighting the countries' judiciary, and underscores revisions of Jordan's current civil and criminal laws.

  • Daily Press Review

Markets fall amid Greek downgrade
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Iraq: Judicial Review Panel Disqualifies 52 Candidates for Ties to Baath Party
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

World's first Armani Hotel opens in Dubai
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Barkat: U.S. 'slap in the face' won't stop Jerusalem building
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Goldstone Escapes Solomonic Trial
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Former Iraqi PM urges interim government
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Ministry sets  up panel to fight human  trafficking
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Prime Asset Management completes quarterly review
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

China Lifts 20-Year Travel Ban against People with HIV
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Netanyahu sees resumption of negotiations with Palestinians
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Israel commanders reprimanded for West Bank shootings
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Busses strike paralyzes Sana'a
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

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

Parties face cut plans scrutiny
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Phillippe turned off by 'crude' women
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Sir Alex article targets Cameron
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Bus hero saves 20 passengers after driver collapses at the wheel on busy dual carriageway
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Telmex revenues plunge 4.8% in Q1
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

MARKETS: Asian stocks slide on European debt woes
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Software testing world to gather in Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Matalan's Could-Be-Catwalk Bargain Boots
Look Magazine, London, England

Cumbrian senior school's new head could earn GBP 93,000
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

The Rundown - April 28
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Shots Fired At Protesters In Thai Capital
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Hesitation and Patronizing Advice: How Germany Made the Greek Crisis Worse
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Markets feel the fear amid Greek debt crisis - LIVE
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Acting President of Nigeria calls for unity
The Independent, London, England

Woods paired with Cink and Cabrera
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Medvedev Discusses Arctic Drilling, Telecoms With Norway
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

N-Dubz star Dappy snorts meow meow
The Sun, London, England

General Election 2010: What if Samantha Cameron had chosen Dominic instead of Dave?
The Telegraph, London, England

Afghanistan: soldiers killed by friendly fire due to equipment shortage
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Al-Qaeda confirms loss of two senior leaders
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

KPK praised for summoning Boediono, Sri Mulyani
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Panama's ex-dictator Noriega extradited to France
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

SC strikes down PM's order promoting 54 bureaucrats
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

KazAgro directed 500 million to credit small agricultural producers
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

US unlikely to openly criticise Sino-Pak nuke trade: report
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Damage control? JMM says voting in cut motions 'a mistake'
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Kids strangle friend, nail him to wall
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Hikosaemon
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Shooting of teenager: cops to record statement from witness
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Hunt on in Sydney for New Zealand nurse's killer
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Storms affect 152,000 people in S Brazil
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Obama to link Wall Street to Main Street
Sify News, Chennai, India

Nursing angel's horrific end
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Profit taking sends Asian shares lower
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Ma: ECFA will help Taiwan's regional integration
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

China lifts 20-year-old entry ban on HIV/AIDS foreigners
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Government relieved as cut motions fail
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

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

Afghan records denial is privilege breach: Speaker
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

TCI pay cuts delayed
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

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

Antinarcotics agency denies it tortured suspects in Figueroa Agosto case
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Bitter Taste in Mexican Coffee Farmers' Mouths
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Confession, Samuda admits Brady hired Manatt
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru's Nolberto Solano denies rape allegations
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Ontario warns other provinces pharmacy chains could profit at their expense
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Parliament wins in showdown with Stephen Harper government
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Schoolboy on $16 robbery charge
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

South Sudan rival challenges poll
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Government, IEC Confirm 2011 Elections
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Andanis: NPPs Press Conference Is Shameful And Disgraceful
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Arizona law sparks fury
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Power outages spark load-shedding fears
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ethiopia: Oromo and Ogaden Diaspora protest Zenawi Govt - Video
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

MTN in talks to buy Egypt's Orascom Telecoms
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Baby Marzaan: 2 due in court
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

NAFDAC intercepts fake drugs worth N600m
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria
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