June 2, 2010 Nº 914 - Vol. 8

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Aristotle

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  • Top News

Gulf oil spill: US begins criminal investigations

The US government has begun criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced. He would not specify which companies or individuals might be the targets of the investigation, but he said federal clean air and pollution laws give him the power to open the investigations. "If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response." He said it was time to take a comprehensive look at how the oil industry operated and how US government agencies oversaw their operations. Obama said that if new laws were needed to prevent such catastrophes in the future, they would be bought in and, "if our laws were broken leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe and the people of the Gulf region". Of course, a criminal prosecution would be terrible news for any company but it is those new laws, tighter regulations that may be worse. BP shares plummeted Tuesday, the first trading day since the so-called top kill approach to stop the flow of oil was deemed a failure. The company's shares have lost a third of their value, dropping to their lowest level in a year as it became clear that the cost of the containment and cleanup would exceed $1 billion.

Lawyers marshal their suits

Just as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has surpassed the scope of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, it appears the torrent of related litigation has, too. Lawyers here are busy trying to increase the size and scope of the lawsuits they have filed on behalf of people who contend they were harmed in some way by the disaster spreading along the Gulf of Mexico coast. BP won't discuss its legal strategy, but that hasn't kept plaintiffs attorneys from trying to predict its moves. Based on Exxon's maneuvers during litigation over the Exxon Valdez incident, the attorneys anticipate that BP will emphasize the importance of offshore drilling as part of U.S. policy, how much BP has spent on cleanup and how sorry it is for the spill. The lawyers must sort through a morass of laws that apply to maritime disasters, some of which were put in place in response to the sinking of the Titanic. Some laws prevent people on cruise ships or oil rigs from receiving certain types of damage payments. In some ways, the Deepwater Horizon litigation is likely to mimic the legal cases stemming from the Exxon Valdez spill, litigation that took about 20 years to be resolved. After lengthy appeals, damages that were at one point as high as roughly $5 billion were slashed to $500 million, with Alaska's fisherman plaintiffs each receiving an average of $15,000 in payments. Exxon, which faced criminal charges for breaking environmental laws, eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and paid $1 billion to settle the case. In other ways, the Exxon Valdez litigation was simpler: fewer fishermen were affected, and the suits were filed only in Alaska. Deepwater Horizon suits span several states in the Gulf Coast region. By some estimates, BP could be on the hook for legal liabilities in the billions of dollars.

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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 - FTC postpones 'red flags' identity theft rule. (Click here)

2 - Iraq's supreme court upholds March election result. (Click here)

3 - Hewlett-Packard plans to cut 9,000 jobs. (Click here)

4 - Valverde banned for two years by CAS. (Click here)

5 - Divorce without the rupture. (Click here)

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MiMIC Journal

Three judges shot dead at a court in Hunan

Three judges have been shot dead at a court in China's southern Hunan province by a man armed with a submachine gun. Three other judges were injured before the man, who was also carrying two more weapons, killed himself. The attacker was a 46-year-old local man who worked as head of security at a post office. The judges had been discussing a case unrelated to the gunman. The man had been motivated by revenge - he was reported to have divorced his wife three years ago and was unhappy at the way the court divided their wealth.

China and Japan 'back North Korea financial sanctions'

South Korea says it has persuaded China and Japan to take part in financial sanctions against North Korea. It comes in the wake of the sinking of a South Korean naval ship by a North Korean submarine. North Korea has angrily denied any responsibility for the attack.

China bans evidence from torture

Evidence obtained under torture cannot be used in China's courts, the government has said, weeks after a convicted murderer was set free because his victim turned out to be alive. Laws banning torture are already in place, but analysts say they are widely disregarded.

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Licitación – Canal

Seis empresas internacionales presentaron sus propuestas para dragar una sección del lago Gatún, fuente artificial que suple de agua al Canal de Panamá. En la licitación, que se cumple dentro del programa de Ampliación, están: Dredging International, US$ 39, 9 mlls., la China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) con 67, 3 mlls., y la Boskalis International, 85, 5 mlls.. También ofertaron la Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, US$ 72,3. La Van Oord con  97,9 mlls., y Jan De Nul, 57,8 mlls.(Presione aquí)

Multa

Un empresario argentino deberá pagar unos US$ 20 mil al Estado por tener un seguro de vida en el exterior. El afectado fue sorprendido cuando hizo la transferencia de dinero a favor de entidades como Zurich International Life Limited y Pan American International Insurance Corporation.(Presione aquí)

Indemnización

El empresario israelí Michael Cherney, actualmente investigado por la Audiencia Nacional española, ha sido indemnizado por la Justicia suiza con 30.000 francos suizos, tras concluir los tribunales de ese país que la investigación emprendida sobre sus supuestas conexiones con la mafia rusa no tenían fundamento. La Justicia suiza trata de compensar así al empresario por los perjuicios que una investigación que se prolongó más de una década. (Presione aquí)

Telefónica

Portugal Telecom ha recibido una nueva y mayor oferta de la española Telefónica, de unos US$ 7.900 mlls., por la participación que tiene en el grupo de telefonía móvil brasileño Vivo. El directorio de la telefónica portuguesa tiene planeado llevar adelante una junta de accionistas para debatir la nueva oferta de Telefónica.

  • Brief News

US court rules ex-Somali PM can be sued over torture

The US Supreme Court has ruled that it will not halt a lawsuit by alleged torture victims against former Somali Prime Minister Mahamed Ali Samantar. The original lawsuit was filed by Somalis living in the US under 1991's Torture Victim Protection Act. A federal judge had originally ruled that Samantar was entitled to diplomatic immunity. Samantar currently lives in the US state of Virginia. The lawsuit accuses Samantar of commanding his troops to detain, torture, and kill members of Somalia's Isaaq clan.

Trafigura accused over Ivory Coast toxic waste

Dutch prosecutors have accused multi-national oil trading firm Trafigura of illegally exporting hazardous waste to Ivory Coast in 2006. The allegations came at the start of a trial in which the firm is accused of breaking Dutch export and environmental laws and forging official documents. Tens of thousands of people in Ivory Coast said the waste made them ill. Trafigura rejects the charges. It denies the waste was dangerous, or that it knew the chemicals would be dumped. Among those standing trial is an employee of Trafigura and the Ukrainian captain of the Probo Koala, the ship that exported the waste from the Netherlands.

UK lawyers told to provide clear complaints procedure

Legal Services Board has said lawyers must provide clear information to clients about how they can complain about the service they receive. Noting 'a perception of poor complaints handling by (legal) regulators and the individuals and entities that they regulate,' the LSB said that firms must make it clear how clients can complain to the firm, and if they are unhappy with the firm's response, how they can take their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The requirements come into force when the Legal Ombudsman opens in the second half of the year. The report says the LSB is working with the legal regulators to 'ensure that consumer expectations on complaints handling and signposting requirements are met'. The regulators are required by the LSB to monitor, enforce and improve upon these requirements.

BCI asks law schools to fall in line

The regulator of legal education in Bar Council of India has cracked the whip and asked over 930 law colleges across the country to either conform to the educational standards laid down by it or be barred from admitting students after 2011. Speaking on the innovative idea of making law graduates clear an entrance test before being permitted to practice in courts, Subramaniam said the idea had received support from the rural students who were upbeat that it will allow them to compete with their counterparts from national law schools.

High Court: speak up if you want to remain silent

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday has given police greater latitude in questioning suspects, cutting back yet again on its famous Miranda decision. By a 5-to-4 vote, the high court ruled that a properly warned suspect who remains largely silent for hours of questioning has not invoked his right to remain silent and that even a one- or two-word answer to a single question can be used against him at trial. In the decades since Miranda, the Supreme Court has ruled that if you don't explicitly ask for a lawyer, you can be questioned without an attorney present. Now, the court has said that if you don't explicitly invoke your right to remain silent, the cops can keep asking you questions, too, even if you remain silent for hours.

Allen Stanford's judge rejects another lawyer's bid to quit criminal case

Indicted financier R. Allen Stanford, who clashed with two of his former defense lawyers, will have to work with a third after the attorney's bid to withdraw from the case was rejected by a federal judge.

E.U. to investigate Unilever plans for Sara Lee units

The European Commission said Tuesday that it had begun an "in-depth" investigation into Unilever's planned $1.5 billion acquisition of the body and laundry care units of Sara Lee. An initial inquiry has turned up "potential competition concerns on several product markets," the commission said.

Pakistan court lifts Facebook ban

The Lahore High Court (LHC) Monday ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to restore access to the Facebook social networking website. The LHC had blocked access to the website earlier this month, in response to a page created by a Facebook user which marked "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day", encouraging users to submit religiously-prohibited images of the Prophet Mohammed. LHC Judge Ijaz Chaudry said that the government, and not the court, should be responsible for blocking offensive internet content and called on the PTA to create a centralized system to block blasphemous content.

All-crimes DNA databank proposed for New York

New York state would be allowed to collect a DNA sample from anyone convicted of a crime, including misdemeanors such as curfew violation, petty theft and vandalism, under legislation announced by Governor David Paterson.

  • Daily Press Review

Israel deports aid activists
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Lebanon: US Embassy Launches Female-Only English Language Program in Hezbollah Controlled Areas
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Heavy traffic jam on Shaikh Zayed Road
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UNHRC likely to announce Gaza flotilla probe
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Killings Could Boomerang on Israel
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

'Diplomats' families to leave Turkey'
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

WHO's Dubai Declaration shows the way
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Egypt- Ezz Steel Q1 profits surge 78%
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Taliban Claims Attacks on Kabul Peace Jirga as Afghan Police Surround Meeting Site
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Turkey calls for punishment of Israel
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Israeli PM rejects 'flawed' U.N. nuclear declaration
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Youth's political participation sees slow progress
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Israel deports flotilla activists
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Illness forces Mayer to cancel European tour
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Funeral for bus crash schoolgirl
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Second World War bomb kills three after exploding as experts attempted to defuse it
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

France passes milestone of 20 million broadband, fibre homes
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

MIDDLE EAST: Israel begins deporting aid flotilla activists
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Pina Bausch's Istanbul on stage
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

The Celeb Set Go Back To Black
Look Magazine, London, England

Top award for Cumbria university professor
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Japan's Prime Minister Steps Down Over Base Row
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Israel Compares Flotilla Raid With WWII
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Shanghaied: The Flip Side of China's Economic Miracle
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Gaza activists deported to Jordan claim mistreatment
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Militants attack as Afghan peace conference starts
The Independent, London, England

New Look profit rises 18%
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Tsereteli's 12th Sculpture Is Dedicated to Beslan Victims
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Walcott is suited... and then booted
The Sun, London, England

Only image of JFK and Marilyn Monroe together up for auction
The Telegraph, London, England

Doctors should ask patients about their drinking more often, says Nice
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Taleban suicide squad attacks peace talks in Kabul
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Indonesian volunteers at border to be picked up
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Agatha deaths rise to 180 in Central America
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Punjabi Taliban preparing for major terror attack: Malik
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Russia moving quickly to fill power vacuum left by U.S.
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

S.Koreans vote amid N.Korea tensions
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Red citadel crumbles as Trinamool sweeps Kolkata
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Min temp in Delhi breaks 5-yr record
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Heavy blow to Mr. Hatoyama
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Spot checks on hotels to ensure authenticity of halal certification
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Detained NZer in Israel set to be deported
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Oil closes in on Florida, as BP sinks
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Hooligans escort Argentina to World Cup: Who's paying?
Sify News, Chennai, India

Descent into sinkhole city
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Ford, Mazda recall 230,000 China cars
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

WHO sees H1N1 on the wane
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

CPI-M arrogance caused Left defeat: Forward Bloc
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

We will fight terror 'root and branch': Manmohan
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

2 police officers stabbed in Calgary interview room
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

More weapons found in Tivoli
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Are Cayman's parties legal?
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

As Summit for Haiti begins, Dominicans face racism charges from abroad
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

PERU: Extradition of Chinese Citizen at Risk of Death Penalty Halted
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Tivoli bill on you
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Google appoints new general manager in Peru
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Japan's PM resigns
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

André Marin keeps ombudsman job
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Granny, 80, in court for ganja
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

US to allow Somalis to sue ex-PM
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

The ICC signs enforcement agreements with Belgium, Denmark, and Finland
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

France to offer training to Ghanaian Peacekeepers
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Al-Qaeda number 3 killed
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Molefe is head of news - SABC
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ethiopia sweeps US 10K race
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Woman sues airline for leaving her asleep in seat
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Toilet protesters due in court
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Benue varsity ASUU's strike illegal, mischievous Suswam
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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