June 16, 2010  Nº 919 -  Vol. 8

"Mollison's Bureaucracy Hypothesis: If an idea can survive a bureaucratic review and be implemented, it wasn't worth doing."

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

BP oil spill lawsuits spread to states beyond Gulf Coast

BP Plc faces more than 225 lawsuits in 11 states as litigation from businesses, individuals and investors continues to increase almost two months after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. In addition to scores of claims brought in five states along the Gulf shore, coastal businesses and property owners in Georgia and South Carolina have sued for damages from the drifting oil, which has yet to round the southern tip of Florida and enter the Atlantic Ocean. Investors in three states, including Louisiana and Alaska, have sued BP's board of directors for allegedly causing more than $50 billion in shareholder losses by failing to implement safety policies that would have prevented the spill. In a separate class-action lawsuit in Florida, the company is accused of "a pattern" of criminal acts including fraud. That suit seeks triple damages under federal civil racketeering law. "The damage is not just suffered at ground zero along the Gulf Coast," said Mark Lanier, a Houston lawyer representing dozens of fishermen and property owners against BP. "The shock waves reverberate across state lines and across occupational lines." A judge may decide there isn't a strong enough connection between some damage claims and the spill itself and those claims will be thrown out, Lanier said yesterday in a phone interview. "But we're not at that point yet," he said.

US-UBS tax evasion deal backed by Swiss parliament

Switzerland's parliament has voted to approve a deal which would see information on suspected tax-evaders be passed to US authorities. The lower house of the Swiss parliament backed the agreement, reversing its earlier decision to reject the agreement last week. The move is designed to head off US accusations that the Swiss bank UBS is aiding tax evasion. The US alleges that 4,450 of its citizens hold secret accounts with UBS. It has already agreed to drop legal action against UBS if the details of those account holders are handed over before the end of August. The upper house of the Swiss parliament has still to vote on the deal, with a third and final vote from the lower house due on Friday. There are also calls for a public referendum, which could delay a final decision even further.

Bloody Sunday inquiry: 'We always knew the dead were innocent'

One after another, outside the Guildhall in Derrytoday , the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday expressed delight at the long-awaited Saville report and their satisfaction that their loved ones' reputations had been rescued from 38 years of official condemnation. The conflict pitted nationalists, mostly Catholics, who wanted the province to secede and become part of the Republic of Ireland, against unionists, mostly Protestants, who wanted it to remain part of the United Kingdom. Several families quoted the Saville report, exultant that it specifically cleared the victims of the taint of being gunmen or bombers. Relatives of the victims are adamant that if Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service decides not to proceed with prosecutions, they could begin civil cases against the paratroopers.

UN announces $9.3 million in donations to fund piracy courts

A spokesperson for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) piracy division announced Tuesday that donors will spend more than USD $9.3 million to fund courts in Kenya and Seychelles that prosecute suspected Somali pirates. The Kenyan government announced in April that it would no longer accept Somali pirate cases due to its overburdened legal system and the lack of support that had been promised by the international community. Kenya resumed the adjudication of the piracy cases in May after being reassured it would receive additional support. The UNODC announced in May that Seychelles would create a UN-supported center to prosecute suspected pirates. The donations will be used to fund the transportation of witnesses and upgrade the courts and prisons in Kenya and Seychelles. Kenya has convicted and sentenced 18 pirates with another 123 suspects awaiting trial. In March, Seychelles began the trial of 11 accused pirates captured last year after amending its criminal code to resemble international standards.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Reminder: “Mergers & Acquisitions” the course taught live, online, by Georgetown Law CLE & Lex Mercator starts on Wednesday, June 16

from 5-8 p.m. (Washington, D.C. time). Migalhas readers get a 10% discount (Discount code “first”).To read more or register visit http://www.lexmercator.com/registration.html

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 - Airline peanuts face ban in snack attack (Click here)

2 - Australia announces Iran sanctions (Click here)

3 - Supreme Court delivers rare victory to death penalty defendants (Click here)

4 - Michael Jackson's doctor free to practice (Click here)

5 - Swiss lawmakers back UBS treaty, call for referendum (Click here)

6 - Proposed Religious Freedom Law revisits Church-vs.-State showdown (Click here)

7 - Barcelona set to follow Catalan trend with fast-track burga ban (Click here)

8 - Families in 9/11 financing case ask to have judge replaced (Click here)

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Exxon

Venezuela salió favorecida por un fallo preliminar de un tribunal del Banco Mundial en una demanda presentada por la petrolera Exxon Mobil por la nacionalización de sus activos en el 2007, confirmó el gobierno. (Presione aquí)

Donación

Los US$ 35 mlls., que donó el gobierno español al gobierno de Acapulco, México,  para el saneamiento de la Bahía serán liberados en agosto.  Serán usados en la construcción de plantas tratadoras de aguas negras y el dinero se manejará a través de un fideicomiso que tendrá el gobierno del estado.

Canal

Esta tarde el Consejo de Gabinete de Panamá aprobó un aumento en los peajes del Canal Interoceánico. Los incrementos en los peajes entran en vigencia en enero de 2011, a excepción del segmento de los refrigerados cuyo aumento se hará efectivo en abril de 2011.

Au - Ag

La canadiense Argentex Mining Corporation descubrió una nueva zona de plata-oro en su propiedad Pingüino, ubicada en la provincia argentina de Santa Cruz.

Minera

La Compañía Minera Argentum, subsidiaria de la canadiense Pan American Silver,  alcanzó un acuerdo con Minera Chinalco Perú, el cual define los derechos de superficie a largo plazo con respecto a la mina Morococha. El convenio se centró en las tierras y concesiones alrededor de la mina Morococha, uno de los más grandes yacimientos de cobre en la región andina.(Presione aquí)

Canadá – Colombia

El gobierno de Colombia informó que en tercerea lectura en la Cámara de los Comunes, por 188 votos a favor y 79 en contra, se aprobó el texto del Tratado de Libre Comercio con Canadá, por lo que se espera que en el Senado sea más rápido, hecho que viabilizaría su firma el próximo miércoles 23 de junio. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Fifteen economists issue crisis-prevention manual


Rather than setting pay levels, the government should require banks and other critical financial institutions to withhold a share of each senior manager's total pay for several years, a group of leading economists is urging in a new book. The money would be forfeited if the company went bankrupt or had to be bailed out. The pay proposal is one of the main suggestions in "The Squam Lake Report," to be released on Wednesday by Princeton University Press. The book, a consensus of 15 academics, including former advisers to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, is coming out as Congress works toward completing the biggest changes in financial regulation since the Depression. About half of the group's eight core recommendations — though not the pay proposal — are strongly reflected in the two bills that are now being merged by a conference committee. But the scholars also say the legislation contains flaws that have resulted from political imperatives rather than sound economic thinking.

Using social networking as legal tool


Law firms, particularly those that represent plaintiffs, are increasingly devoting resources to developing a presence online, where consumers—and potential clients—congregate. And some of those firms are also creating news sites, such as newsinferno.com andconsumerwarningnetwork.com, with content created by employees. The plaintiffs' sites disclose that they are affiliated with law firms, but many have the look and feel of community forums or news boards. And they have recently begun to supplant some more traditional marketing methods, such as yellow-page ads and radio and television spots. Defense law firms, which are typically relatively staid when it comes to marketing, are also working harder to try to develop a presence online. With sites like Facebook and Twitter, it has become easier for firms to build targeted communities and to network within those communities.


Nestlé sues Sara Lee


Nestlé filed a patent-infringement suit against Sara Lee, aiming to protect its piece of the lucrative market for coffee capsules, where its Nespresso system is the leading brand.


UN warship hearing angers N Korea


North Korea says its military will respond if the UN Security Council rebukes it over an alleged torpedo attack on a Southern warship in March. In a rare news conference, the North's UN envoy Sin Son-ho demanded that Pyongyang be allowed to send a team to investigate the sinking of the Cheonan.


Oil theatrics


On Tuesday evening, Obama chose to address the BP oil spill crisis from the illustrious Oval Office, a location soaked in historical importance and shrouded in seriousness, where past presidents have spoken of wars, tragedies and struggles. In what were his first Oval Office remarks, Mr Obama spoke of waging a war on an oil spill that is "assaulting our shores and our citizens". He was resolute, at times calm and at times impassioned, projecting both gravity and sobriety. The speech comes as opinion polls suggest a majority of Americans disapprove of how Obama has handled the crisis - the worst environmental disaster in US history.


Anti-trafficking measures 'not fit for purpose'


"Ignorant" officials are obsessed with punishing victims of trafficking rather than targeting those behind the crime, a report claims. A coalition of human rights groups says the system for handling victims is "not fit for purpose". It wants an independent anti-trafficking watchdog to be created to oversee the work of officials. A report, "Wrong kind of victim?", accuses the government of breaching its obligations under the European Convention Against Trafficking.


Human trafficking a 'serious problem' in US: State Department report


The US State Department (DOS) on Monday released its annual report on human trafficking conditions across the globe, finding that the US adequately complies with international regulations but still has a "'serious problem with human trafficking, both for labor and commercial sexual exploitation." The report also listed 13 countries with the worst records on human trafficking issues. The countries cited for not complying with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) are not considered to be taking "significant actions" to comply with the TVPA and include Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Mauritania, North Korea, Kuwait, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Haiti was listed as a "special case" for having made limited progress before the January 2010 earthquake, which significantly impeded its efforts. Somalia was listed as a "special case" for not having an adequately functioning government to address human trafficking issues.

EU in new deal with US on bank data access

The European Commission has approved a deal to allow US anti-terror investigators continued access to European bank transaction data. Data transfers have been suspended since February, when Euro MPs rejected an earlier draft agreement, saying the privacy safeguards were inadequate. The European Parliament still has to vote on the revised deal. Barroso told MEPs that the new draft "has strict safeguards on privacy". US access to bank data in the Swift money transfer system would be "strictly limited" to the prevention and detection of terrorist financing, he said. Swift handles millions of transactions daily between banks and other financial institutions worldwide. It holds the data of some 8,000 banks and operates in 200 countries.


Mexico targets 'dirty dollars'


Mexico places new restrictions on the use of the US dollar, in an attempt to limit money-laundering by drugs gangs. The Mexican treasury estimates that $10bn of laundered money enters the country's banking system each year, fuelling drug-related violence.


Old maritime law doesn't shield Transocean

An effort by Transocean to use a 159-year-old maritime law to limit its liability in the Gulf spill doesn't shield it against most lawsuits filed against it under the nation's environmental laws.


Kyrgyzstan president issues 'shoot to kill' order as ethnic violence continues

Kyrgyzstan interim President Roza Otunbayeva on Sunday issued shoot to kill orders to the nation's military as violence continued against ethnic Uzbeks. The orders were issued after the reservists were activated and sent to quell the ethnic conflict that has been primarily focused in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal'abad. The reserves were activated after the Russian government refused a request by the interim government to send peacekeeping troops, instead opting to send a few hundred paratroops to protect a Russian military base in the country. Additionally on Sunday, Otunbayeva declared a state of emergency in the south and established a curfew for Osh and the surrounding areas. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concern over the violence on Sunday, stating that he would coordinate relief efforts with the government of Kazakhstan and the EU. The violence began on Friday for reasons that are not yet clear. The official death toll stands at 117, but has been estimated at 200 or higher by leaders of the Uzbek community. On Sunday, an estimated 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks sought to cross the border into neighboring Uzbekistan, where the Uzbek government has been hastily establishing refugee camps.


Latest Turkish 'plot' trial opens


Thirty-three serving and retired Turkish military officers have gone on trial on charges of plotting against the elected government. They have been arrested since last November on suspicion of conspiring to stir up anger against the government and trigger a military coup. This is one of several trials involving accusations of anti-government plots by the military and secular establishment. So far, more than 200 people have been detained and brought before the courts. Yet, three years after the first official investigation, no-one has been convicted.


Chevron presses 2nd circuit to allow review of film's raw footage


Lawyers for Chevron and two of its attorneys pleaded with a federal appellate panel Tuesday to clear the way for a judge-ordered release of outtakes from "Crude," a documentary on a hard-fought legal battle involving environmental pollution in Ecuador. Company attorney calls requested outtakes a 'candid camera' into an allegedly collusive relationship between plaintiffs attorneys and Ecuadorian officials.


Criminal liability for legal entities


Albania introduced criminal liability for legal entities through the adoption of the Law on the Criminal Liability of Legal Entities. Under the law, legal entities can be held criminally responsible for the conduct of individuals who act on their behalf and to their benefit. The law applies to both national and foreign legal persons (e.g. joint stock and limited liability companies, non-profit organizations) and, with a few exceptions, to local governmental bodies, public legal entities, political parties and labor unions.


In India, law is recession-proof


Gone are the days when parents wanted their wards to become only doctors and engineers. Several streams, alongside MBA and law, have come into reckoning. Legal studies today have indeed become coveted. "Choosing law is no longer a matter of compulsion but of choice,” says Poonam Saxena, University of Delhi.


Brazil upholds cartel fine on steelmakers CSN, Usiminas


A Brazilian federal court ruled late on Monday that steelmakers CSN and Usiminas harmed competition by agreeing to raise prices for some steel products in 1996 and 1997, upholding a previous ruling by the antitrust agency. The ruling is a setback for both Usiminas and CSN amid government plans to keep steel prices from rising by slashing taxes on some imported products. Local steelmakers began to raise prices of flat and long steel this quarter after the cost of iron ore, the main ingredient for steel, doubled this year.


Supreme Court upholds use of attorney's fees to offset debt to government


The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously in Astrue v. Ratliff that an award of attorney's fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) is payable to the prevailing party rather than to the party's attorneys and can therefore be used to satisfy a preexisting debt owed to the government. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that the fees are awarded to the attorneys, shielding them from government debt offset. Justice Clarence Thomas, delivering the opinion of the court, reversed the circuit court's ruling, holding that the term "prevailing party" under EAJA clearly refers to the litigant through both statutory provisions and practice


Spain to include burqa ban in religious freedom bill


Spanish Justice Minister Francisco Caamano said Tuesday that the Spanish government plans to introduce legislation to ban the Islamic burqa in public places. The measure will be included in Spain's Religious Freedom Bill, which would also prohibit religious symbols, such as crucifixes, in state-owned buildings. Caamano said that the reasons for the impending ban are twofold. The government holds that burqas impede identification in public places and that the ban is necessary to ensure public safety and security. Additionally, Caamano stated that burqas are not "compatible" with human dignity and that the government has the responsibility to protect women from be degraded. Caamano's statement comes one day after the Barcelona city council passed a ban on face coverings in all public places. Barcelona Mayor Jordi Hereu indicated that the ban was put in place out of a concern for public safety, and was not aimed at any particular religious group. Barcelona is the first major city in Spain to ban face coverings in municipal areas, although several smaller cities have already imposed or are considering similar restrictions.


Germany court recognizes foreign same-sex marriage as civil union


A German court on Tuesday ruled that a same-sex marriage performed abroad must be recognized as a registered partnership in Germany. An administrative court in Berlin held that the marriage must be treated legally as a registered partnership, after finding that authorities could not recognize the relationship as a marriage due to the requirement of different sexes for marriage under German law. The case came to the court after Andreas Boettcher was listed as single on his registration card. He initiated the case in order to compel local authorities to recognize his four-year-old Canadian marriage. Boettcher expressed disappointment with the outcome, but has stated that he will not seek to have it overturned. Germany has recognized registered partnerships between same-sex couples, a legal relationship that offers the same benefits of marriage excepting tax benefits and joint adoption rights, since 2001.

  • Daily Press Review

Obama touts oil spill 'battle plan'

Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Abbas Urges Hamas to Sign Reconciliation Deal

Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England


Lack of precautions risk pedestrian lives

Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Israeli troops kill infiltrator on Egypt border

Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel


Upstream States Challenge Egypt Over Nile Waters

IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy


PA alarmed over Hamas's rising legitimacy

JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel


What Sammy did in her first month of freedom

Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Iraq- Pure water tank constructed for ID64b

Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan


Petraeus Passes Out at Senate Hearing, Quickly Recovers

Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon


Panel formed on Lebanon poll law

Saudi Gazette, English-language daily, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Iran says it is undeterred by EU sanctions plan

The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran to cut mineral exports to sanction supporters

Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Successful Yemeni Businesswomen

Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen


The OPEC Fund for International Development Scholarship

Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Paras criticise Bloody Sunday findings

BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Shaky Brazil overcome North Koreans

BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland


'Naive Earle' sacked over tickets

Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Obama vows to make 'reckless' BP pay for oil disaster, but also calls for an end to U.S. 'addiction to fossil fuels'

Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Free, NSN start working on all-IP I-HSPA network - report

DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

BP OIL SPILL: Obama calls for 'clean energy future' in Oval Office address

France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Climate change's consequences in photos at Galatasaray

Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

LOOK Exclusive: Get A 20% Discount At Rise Fashion

Look Magazine, London, England

Hospice gets GBP 7000 boost from event

News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

U.S.-Russian Crew Blasts Off To Space Station

Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Obama Vows To 'Make BP Pay' For Gulf Oil Spill

Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Stimulus vs. Austerity: Is Germany Saving Itself to Death?

Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Bloody Sunday: 38 years on, justice at last

The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Spanish government to ban use of burqas

The Independent, London, England

15 gang suspects killed in Mexico

The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Moscow Faces Test in Kyrgyz Violence

The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Gazza was choking todeath on his own blood

The Sun, London, England

Randy Jackson hospitalised in LA with chest pains

The Telegraph, London, England

BSkyB could support proposed News Corp takeover at 800p a share

The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Bull 1, Mexican matador: never again

Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Police send one Brimob company to Papua

Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Asian states airlift nationals from Kyrgyzstan

China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

10th Seoul International Financial Forum Kicks Off

Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Over 260 return from riot-hit Kyrgyzstan

Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

China, Kazakhstan agree deals on gas, nuclear energy

Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

At least 35 dead in south China floods

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

'LeT, ISI nexus behind attacks on Indians in Afghanistan'

India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

8 killed as wall collapses in Thane

India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Pioneering approach paying off

Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Widow gets RM90,000 for husband's death

Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Killer denied last-ditch reprieve from firing squad

New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Commander surrenders

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

Romanian PM hails rejection of censure motion, opposition prepares another one

People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Proposed new rules for college recruitment

Sify News, Chennai, India

Size is everything

Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Greek investments

Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Donated heart sets Xueshan Tunnel record

Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Monkeys like watching TV, study shows

Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Siege lifted, but little relief for Manipur

The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

BP will pay for 'recklessness': Obama

Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The guilt business

Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Life-saving device for Brac 'hero'

Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Lame duck Dominican Congress ramrods last minute land deals

Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

LATIN AMERICA: Predatory Harvests

IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

We're doomed - Extraditing Coke will drive up crime, say most J'amaicans

Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru: Stephany Flores' Father Questions FBI's Actions on Van Der Sloot Case

Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Government, opposition reach deal to share detainee records

The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Waterloo football program suspended one year after steroid scandal

Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

??MP: Too much decadence in school system

Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Kenya MPs held over hate speech

BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


Adolphe Muzito Withdraws Decrees on new Towns and Municipalities

CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Delegation from KNUST Visits MCEER

GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

EU 'playing games' - Zim

iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa


Jack Frost gets firm grip on country [VIDEO]

Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Somali militants threaten World Cup TV viewers

Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

ANCYL leader off the hook on hate speech charges

Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Release Nddc funds  Rep

Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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