June 28, 2010 Nº 924 - Vol. 8

"Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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  • Top News

G20 summit: leaders agree to halve deficits by 2013

The Group of 20 countries endorsed a goal of cutting deficits by 2013, despite concern by the U.S. that reducing spending too quickly might set back the fragile global recovery. In a reversal from the unity of the past three crisis-era Group of 20 summits, the leaders decided to adopt "differentiated and tailored" economic policies for each country. "Our challenges are as diverse as our nations," Obama said. "But together we represent some 85 per cent of the global economy, and we have forged a coordinated response to the worst global economic crisis of our time."

Kagan hearings promise political theater

Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Supreme Court is virtually assured unless she makes a gaffe, but both Democrats and Republicans are aiming to score political points at Senate hearings.

How women changed the High Court ... and didn't

If Elena Kagan is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, fully one third of the current court will be female. The court's gender makeup is not likely to be front and center when confirmation hearings begin Monday, but the fact that Kagan would be the third woman on the current court has prompted a discussion about the role of women in judging, and even about their marital status. Do women judge differently than men? Justice Sandra Day O'Connor famously said: "A wise old woman and a wise old man will reach the same conclusion." There is hard data that suggests the experiences of women both influence and do not influence their decisions. A study conducted at the State University of New York looked at 7,000 U.S. Court of Appeals decisions from 1976 to 2002 and found no significant difference in the way female and male judges decided cases — except in one area of the law: sex discrimination. In these cases, female judges were about 10 percent more likely to rule in favor of the person charging sex discrimination. The data also showed that the presence of women influenced male judges. On a three-judge panel with at least one woman, the men were 15 percent more likely to rule in favor of the plaintiff than on panels where the judges were all men.

Europe pushes Google to turn over wi-fi data

Google is allowing privacy regulators in France, Germany and Spain to inspect Internet data that the company improperly collected for its street mapping service, but those reviews, so far, show no sign of resolving the inquiries into its surveillance. Google has been reluctant to forward the data, which is being kept on hard drives at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, but has offered regulators from the countries a long-distance look via computer from Google offices in Paris, Hamburg and Madrid. In France, Google also turned over two hard drives containing log-in data, source codes for software and audit reports and other supplemental information from its French mapping activities. That has not satisfied the regulators, who are reiterating their requests that Google give them the original data collected in their countries.

Europe court finds no right to same-sex marriage

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled 4-3 that the European Convention on Human Rights does not mandate that member states recognize same-sex marriages. The applicants, an Austrian same-sex couple, argued that their country's prohibition on same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Article 8 right to private and family life, the Article 12 right to marry and the Article 14 prohibition against discrimination. They contended that because of social changes, marriage is no longer an institution aimed at procreation and the education of children and is instead a "union of two persons which encompassed all aspects of their lives." The Austrian government argued that because of the wording of Article 12 and the lack of European consensus on the issue, the court should uphold the ban on same-sex marriage. The UK government intervened in favor of Austria, arguing that there was no reason to depart from ECHR case law in Austria's favor. Four non-governmental organizations intervened as well, arguing that denying marriage to same-sex couples was discriminatory and that the prohibition could not be rationally justified. In rejecting the applicants' argument and finding no violation of the convention, the court noted that only six of 47 states party to the convention had legalized same-sex marriage, stating: "The Court cannot but note that there is an emerging European consensus towards legal recognition of same-sex couples. Moreover, this tendency has developed rapidly over the past decade. Nevertheless, there is not yet a majority of States providing for legal recognition of same-sex couples. The area in question must therefore still be regarded as one of evolving rights with no established consensus, where States must also enjoy a margin of appreciation in the timing of the introduction of legislative changes[.]"

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MiMIC Journal

China bans 2.3m PLA soldiers from blogging

China has banned its 2.3 million soldiers from internet blogging, state media report. A new regulation prohibits the People's Liberation Army (PLA) from creating websites or blogs, citing confidentiality concerns. China operates vast internet censorship, dubbed the "great firewall of China".

Chinese funds venture into U.S. market

Chinese investment funds are tiptoeing into the U.S. stock market, raising their holdings of U.S. companies as they seek diversification from their volatile home market and see better prospects in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world. Securities filings show that Chinese funds that cater to individual investors have been allocating a larger share of their investments to the U.S. market in recent months. New entrants are also rolling out U.S.-focused investment products.

Hong Kong legislature approves China-backed political reform package

The Legislative Council of Hong Kong on Friday approved an addition of 10 members to its body. By a vote of 46-12, the council approved increasing its membership number to 70 one day after it approved changes to the way in which Hong Kong's chief executive is elected. While Hong Kong's current Chief Executive Donald Tsang, applauded the changes—the first to Hong Kong's electoral procedures since the change from British rule in 1997—the additions to the council were seen by many as a blow to the pro-democracy movement in the country.


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  • Brief News

US Government wins legal battle over anti-terror law

The U.S. government won a major legal victory this week at the Supreme Court over an anti-terror law that has sparked a fierce debate about the issues of security and freedom of speech. By a vote of six to three, the Supreme Court upheld a key anti-terror law that bars groups and individuals from providing material support to organizations designated as terrorist groups by the U.S. State Department. The material support law was first enacted by Congress in 1996 and strengthened after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States as part of the Patriot Act. The law bars citizens and groups from knowingly providing any service, training, expert advice or help to any designated terrorist groups.

Egypt concedes to resistance on privatization push

Back in the 1990s one of Egypt's top economic priorities was the privatization of state-owned industries, as Egypt tried to free itself from a failing, centrally controlled economy. Last month the Egyptian government quietly announced that the sale of state assets to individual investors had effectively ended. The act of selling state companies had become radioactive because of resistance from a skeptical public that believed that the transactions were riddled with corruption and insider dealing as well as from powerful old-guard officials who equated the status quo with stability.

US wants China action over North Korea ship attack

Obama says he has had what he called blunt talks with President Hu Jintao of China on the issue of the sinking - allegedly by North Korea - of a South Korean warship in March. Obama said he understood China's position of restraint as regards its neighbour. But, he said, restraint was different to what he called "willful blindness". North Korea has denied it was responsible for the sinking of the warship, the Cheonan. ts foreign ministry has instead issued a statement saying the country would be preparing a new level of nuclear deterrent in response to US "hostility".

German court legalizes euthanasia with patient consent

A top German court has ruled that it is not a criminal offence to cut off the life support of a dying person if that person has given their consent. The ruling does not legalize active assisted suicide, which is punishable by up to five years in prison in Germany. The ruling applies to passively assisting death through the removal of artificial life support. It makes this legal if the patient has given clear consent.

SEC loss shows difficulty of insider-trading cases

When the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two Wall Street executives with insider trading in credit-default swaps and produced tape-recorded phone calls in which they were sharing information about a possible deal, it appeared the case was a crucial moment in the agency's twin crackdowns on insider trading and derivatives. The SEC's defeat in the case, in which the judge said the regulators offered "no evidence" that inside information was passed between the two defendants, is a blow to the agency as it goes after far bigger names from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to hedge fund Galleon Group.To succeed in this and similar situations, the SEC has to "build a case where the communications really are nefarious rather than what goes on every day on Wall Street."

BP talks between US and Britain

Britain and the US have agreed that BP must meet its clean-up obligations, but also that it was in both countries' interests that the company remained a viable business. BP will be hoping the talks put an end to political attacks on the company.

Swiss graffiti man faces Singapore caning

A Swiss man has been sentenced to five months in jail and three strokes of a cane for spray-painting graffiti on a train in Singapore. The judge called it a serious breach of security. Caning in Singapore involves being struck with a wooden stick on the back of the thigh, which can leave permanent scars. Amnesty International called the sentence barbaric.

Romania high court rules pension cuts unconstitutional

The Romanian Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that a government plan to reduce pension funds by 15 percent was unconstitutional, jeopardizing a pending billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needed to stabilize the Romanian economy. The planned decrease in the pension fund was part of a larger package of benefit reforms enacted in order to limit the budget deficit to the 6.8 percent required to qualify for the loan. Also included in the reforms was a 25 percent decrease in wages for public sector jobs, which the court upheld as constitutional. Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc indicated that the government is working to create a new reform package in order to ensure that the loan can be dispersed as scheduled.

  • Weekly Magazine Review


Thomas Edison. The Electrifying Edison. Thomas Edison helped create the American way of innovation--but today the U.S. is in danger of losing its pre-eminence in science and technology.


Silence Is Kagan's Friend. The best strategy for the Supreme Court nominee during her hearings this week is for her to say nothing.

Business Week

Life Amid the Ruins. An economic collapse, the biggest bailout in EU history, and sweeping government reforms have shocked Greece. A special report on the country's new misery—and opportunity.

The Economist

Losing Afghanistan. Barack Obama has sacked his commander in Afghanistan. But the real worry is that the war is being lost.

Le Nouvel Observateur

Les secrets de la mémoire.

Der Spiegel

Die Wahl, die keine ist .

  • Daily Press Review

Kyrgyz voters back new constitution
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Palestinian Refugees Seek Basic Rights in Lebanon
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Dubai food warehouses catch fire
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Police: Three Nazareth men tied to global jihad suspected of killing taxi driver
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

This Light Is Always Red
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Turkey bans Israel from airspace
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

7-year-old girl dies in fourth floor fall
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

77% of Dubai's labor force without health cover
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

N.Korea Responds to U.S., Vows to Bolster Nuclear Deterrent in New Way
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Iranian lawmakers to travel on Lebanese aid ships
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

ElBaradei leads big Egypt anti-torture protest
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Job Vacancy
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

The OPEC Fund for International Development Scholarship
Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

G20 agrees deficit cuts by 2013
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Daly's Dubs drawn against Clare
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Gillard reshuffle hints at election
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

World Cup 2010: England v Germany referee Jorge Larrionda responds to goal blunder with 'Oh my God'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Icann approves Chinese domain names, .xxx domain
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

GUINEA: Polls close after high turnout in historic presidential election
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkey’s first Museum of Apiculture to be formed in Marmaris
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Celeb Spot Alert: Glastonbury Festival 2010
Look Magazine, London, England

Hundreds have fun in the sun at Wigton carnival
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Mottaki And The Megaphone
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Capello Fighting For Job After Record Defeat
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

US-China Currency Dispute: 'No-One Is Going to Be Bought Off by a Tiny Revaluation'
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Capello refuses to resign before crisis meeting
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Iranian ships could join wave of flotillas to Gaza, says Hamas chief
The Independent, London, England

Oil spill has cost BP $2.65bn
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Medvedev Tweets His Way Through G8 Forum
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Message to England players: You let your country down
The Sun, London, England

Emma Crosby finds there is no more room on the GMTV sofa
The Telegraph, London, England

Millions face incapacity benefit cuts as welfare reforms speed up
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Bull 1, Mexican matador: never again
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

President leaves Toronto for Turkey
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

DPP mayors absent from rally 'took the day off': Tsai
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Fourteen killed, 40 injured in Hyderabad explosion
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

US, Russia fail to grip Kyrgyz helm
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

NKorea to enhance nuclear deterrence
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Stripped Dalit girl says caste-hatred behind attack
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Buy house for wife or go to jail: Delhi HC
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Challenges of social progress for Brazil, India, South Africa
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

M'sian-born singer makes waves in Japan
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Rudd left out in Aussie cabinet shuffle
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

2 NATO oil tankers torched in Pakistan's Balochistan province
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Pakistan must take Headley's disclosures seriously, Obama told
Sify News, Chennai, India

New scandal flattens sumo
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Chinese painter dies
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

New Jiaxian Bridge reconnects mountain areas
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Combo MMRV vaccine linked to 2-fold risk of seizures
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Deflation a bigger risk: Manmohan
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

PM hails G20 deficit reduction targets
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Pastor: I did nothing wrong in helping Dudus
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Cayman and Canada agree to share tax info
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Dominican police detain two in killing of Portland lawyer
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

BRAZIL: Forestry Law Reforms Augur More Disasters
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

'Coke wants peace'
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru International Reserves totaled US$ 35.4 billion by June 22
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Kyrgyzstan endorses new constitution
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Pilot killed in crash near Buttonville airport
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Temple row flares up again
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Burundi votes in one-choice poll
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Report Says Uganda's Elusive LRA Rebel Almost Caught Last Year
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Ghana make Ayew yellow card appeal
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

New fight for Pacquiao
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

'I killed myself with my kids'
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ghana again the Pride of Africa, beats US in World Cup - Video Highlights
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Vettel revives title bid with Valencia win
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'Polite' gang robs Aus tourists
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

NDLEA arrests 128 in Benin
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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