June 30, 2010  Nº 925 -  Vol. 8

"The daily grind is tough."

 Larry King

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

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  • Top News

European Union tries to simplify patent law

The European Union is supposed to be a single market that seamlessly binds together consumers and traders across 27 countries. But the reality in many areas — particularly in patent enforcement — is very different. The goal is to overcome a situation that "discourages research and development and innovation, and undermines Europe's competitiveness." Even though the European Union already has a single patent office based in Munich, establishing a patent in the bloc can be 10 times more expensive than in the United States, largely because of the burden of translating documents into so many different languages. That is a particular obstacle for young or start-up companies and publicly financed organizations. Because of those costs, many inventors patent their inventions in only a handful of countries. Despite the renewed push, significant political and legal obstacles remain to the initiative, which has been discussed for more than three decades. First, all E.U. governments would have to approve Barnier's suggestions. If that proves impossible, an alternative exists in which nine countries ask the commission to present the new proposals and then those countries adopt them independently of other states. A second unresolved issue is enforcement. E.U. governments already have agreed to establish a specialized court at the European level. The European Court of Justice, however, still must rule on whether that plan can go forward. A ruling is expected by the end of the year. Most companies or inventors applying for patents would probably already have checked for pre-existing patents using English anyway.

Justices take broad view of business method patents

The door to the patent office should remain open to those who create methods of doing business, the Supreme Court said in a long-awaited decision announced on Monday. Many legal analysts had anticipated that the court would substantially narrow the rules regarding patents on business methods. The questions the justices raised during oral arguments in November made it clear that several were skeptical of the course of modern patent law.

Supreme Court rejects appeals of tobacco ruling

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up either government or industry appeals of a landmark racketeering verdict against cigarette companies for what a lower court judge had termed a half-century of lying over the health effects of smoking. The court's action surprised analysts on both sides of the issue and pushed tobacco stocks sharply higher. The decision to deny a writ of certiorari, issued without comment, meant the Supreme Court would not accept an appeal by tobacco companies to overturn the 2006 civil racketeering judgment on free speech grounds, nor a counter appeal by the Obama administration asking for the trial judge to be able to force companies to return up to $280 billion in profits. Stocks of each of the three major tobacco companies rose more than 3 percent immediately on the news on Monday morning. (Click here)

Justices uphold Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The first group established by Congress to regulate the accounting industry survived a constitutional challenge on Monday, emerging only with its members having a little less job security. But the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board still faces a major problem of dealing with a number of foreign countries that refuse to cooperate with it. And it is soon likely to get a majority of new members, perhaps including — for the first time — an auditor who has experience being regulated by the board. In its ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which established the board and sought to reform corporate America after the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals.

US, EU reach deal to access accused terrorists' financial information 

The EU agreed Monday to give the US access to bank data in order to track the finances of suspected terrorists. Under the agreement, the US can use the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program to access information from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), an interbank money transfer system, to track the finances of suspected terrorists. To protect privacy concerns, Europol will check the validity of each US request, and an EU representative will monitor the use of EU citizens' banking data by US authorities. The agreement still needs to be approved by the European parliament, but EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ceilia Malmstrom indicated that the parliament will likely support the agreement. In February, the parliament voted down a version of the agreement that did not include EU oversight.

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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 - Gwent CPS lawyer accepted share of £20,000 bribe (Click here)

2 - Fifa chief warns French president (Click here)

3 - Prisoners already threatening guards over smoking ban (Click here)

4 - Brazil's Meirelles favors 'faster' end to yuan peg (Click here)

5 - Le Monde accepts offer from Trio, snubbing Sarkozy (Click here)

6 - High Court all over the map in 'Bilski' (Click here)

7 - Banco Popular joins French Crédit Mutuel to create bank (Click here)

8 - Greeks strike to protest pensions, labor law overhaul (Click here)

9 - Right-to-Know law gives India’s poor a lever (Click here)

10 - Silvio Berlusconi ally had no Mafia links after 1992, court rules (Click here)

11 - Catalan statute is constitutional with exceptions, top court rules (Click here)

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Google in 'new approach' on China

Google announced Monday that it will stop redirecting Internet users in mainland China to its unfiltered search engine in Honk Kong in an effort to renew the company's Internet Content Provider license. In March, Google began redirecting users from its google.cn search engine to google.com.hk after reaching a legal impasse with the Chinese government over censoring search results. The redirect allowed Google to maintain a presence in mainland China without having to filter search results. The google.cn search engine is currently composed of a simple logo and an inactive search bar, and clicking on much of the page automatically redirects users to google.com.hk. The Chinese government has informed Google that its rerouting practices are unacceptable and if the company does not cease and desist, then its Internet Content Provider (ICP) license will not be renewed. (Click here)

Taiwan and China sign landmark trade agreement

China and Taiwan have signed a historic trade pact, seen as the most significant agreement since civil war split the two governments 60 years ago. (Click here)

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Brasil – Italia

El jefe del gobierno italiano, Silvio Berlusconi, y el presidente brasileño, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, se reunieron en São Paulo para profundizar las relaciones comerciales de sus países, minimizaron posibles tensiones diplomáticas por la extradición del  ex militante de izquierda, Cesare Battisti. El viaje de Berlusconi a Brasil, postergado en dos oportunidades, ocurrió en un delicado momento para las relaciones de ambos países.

Polo forestal

Los gobiernos de Argentina y Uruguay negocian desarrollar un polo   forestal y un centro universitario en la zona de Gualeguaychú, además de un protocolo ambiental del río Uruguay -que incluya un cuerpo inspectivo de la CARU. La próxima semana el canciller Luis Almagro realizará una "contrapropuesta con los agregados necesarios y convenientes" a la propuesta de monitoreo del río Uruguay presentada por su par argentino, Héctor Timerman. 

Licitación

Colombia rechazó la propuesta del Consorcio Transversal Américas 2010, liderado por las empresas mexicanas Conoisa e Ingenieros Civiles Asociados S.A. de C.V. (ICA) para la licitación de la denominada Ruta de las Américas. El Instituto Nacional de Concesiones (Inco), afirmó que este consorcio no cumple con los requisitos jurídicos establecidos en la convocatoria. (Presione aquí)

Telefónica x PT

El Estado portugués ha hecho uso de su acción de oro y ha vetado la venta de Vivo a Telefónica, después de que los accionistas dieran el visto bueno a la operación. En la votación, el sí a la oferta había ganado con claridad, con unos 700 millones de votos (acciones) a favor, frente a unos 200 millones en contra y unos 500 millones de votos en blanco.

Minera

Codelco y minera de los Luksic planean joint venture de exploración al sur de Calama. La estatal chilena entregaría pertenencias mineras y Antofagasta Minerals correría con los gastos para realizar los sondajes de los yacimientos. Se prevé  que el acuerdo alcance los US$  33 mlls. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

US Supreme Court extends gun rights

The US Supreme Court has restricted the rights of state and city governments to enforce controls on gun ownership. The US's highest court ruled by 5-4 that a ban on handgun ownership in the city of Chicago was unconstitutional. Justices said the US Constitution protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense. The ruling could potentially change laws on gun ownership in many of the 50 US states. (Click here)

BP facing fraud lawsuits over oil spill 

Two lawsuits have been filed against BP alleging violations of the Rackteer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute in connection with the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The first lawsuit, a class action filed on behalf of US residents affected by the oil spill, was filed last week and alleges that BP engaged in a scheme to secure profits by deceiving the public. According to the complaint, BP committed a pattern of criminal acts, including bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud in order to deceive the public as to its ability to safely drill for oil and to contain oil in the event of a spill. Plaintiffs in the first suit are seeking compensatory relief, as well as injunctive relief requiring BP to comply with provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). The second suit, filed Monday, alleges that BP has been involved in racketeering and corruption related to the BP claims payment process. According to the complaint, BP has been involved in corruption, wire fraud, mail fraud, unauthorized practice of law, violation of state insurances laws and regulations and other criminal activity in order to delay or reduce the payment of legitimate claims for damages. Plaintiffs are seeking damages and a writ of quo warranto ordering defendants to stop engaging in unauthorized practice of law and other criminal conduct.

Kagan makes bipartisan appeal in Supreme Court confirmation hearings

Elena Kagan told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that her political outlook is "generally progressive," but the glimpses she offered into her legal views defied Republican efforts to pigeonhole the type of Supreme Court justice she would be.

Bet on private sector for recovery could prove risky

In cutting spending to rein in deficits, governments are effectively betting that the private sector can make up for lost stimulus spending — and the markets are skeptical.

Guatemala government rejects gangs' prison demands

The Guatemalan government says the latest in a series of gruesome murders will not make it give in to demands by gangs to loosen prison rules. On Monday, a female prison official was kidnapped, tortured and killed. Her dismembered body was found along with a message addressed to the prison authorities, saying attacks like that would continue unless inmates' demands were met.

Italy seeks to end classroom crucifix ban

The Italian government is appealing to the European court of human rights to overturn a ban on classroom crucifixes. This case against crucifixes was brought by a woman who argued that her children had a right to a secular education under Italy's constitution. Last year the court agreed with the mother, saying parents should be able to bring up children as they saw fit.

US Supreme Court rejects Pfizer Nigeria lawsuit appeal

The US Supreme Court has given Nigerian families the green light to sue the drug company Pfizer over the use of a new antibiotic on their children. It rejected the firm's appeal against a ruling allowing lawsuits to proceed. The families say Pfizer did not get their proper consent to test the antibiotic Trovan on 200 sick children during a meningitis outbreak in 1996.

Total stops petrol sales to Iran

French energy company Total says it has stopped petrol deliveries to Iran, amid growing international pressure over Iran's nuclear program. Total confirmed the move days after the US Congress proposed unilateral sanctions that could punish companies doing business with Iran. The sanctions still have to be signed into law by US President Barack Obama. Other companies have already taken similar action to Total in anticipation of the measure passed by Congress.

  • Daily Press Review

Aquino takes office in Philippines
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Without Threats…Iran Will Not Change its Direction- State Department Official
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Authorities probe Sharjah Industrial Area fire
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Israel steadily increasing number of aid trucks allowed into Gaza
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

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

Hamas-Fatah gap unbridgeable
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Hanif calls for follow-up on hygiene programmes
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Villa scores for Spain in 1-0 win over Portugal
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

U.S. Attorney General on Surprise Visit to Afghanistan
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Iran says nuclear talks to resume with Brazil, Turk
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran says nuclear talks to resume with Brazil, Turkey
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Obama increases aid to Yemen
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

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

'Radical' prison overhaul planned
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Report: Hodgson set for Reds post
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Hurricane hits oil leak efforts
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

WORLD CUP 2010: England back home but Capello not quitting
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

HP adds Avaya products to UC portfolio
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

DIPLOMACY: US, Russia seek to emphasise warming ties in wake of spy scandal
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

World famous jazz bassist plays for Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Christy Turlington And Karen Elson Team Up For Louis Vuitton
Look Magazine, London, England

Quarter million package for boss made redundant by Carlisle council
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Erosion of Independent Media a Key Feature of Russia's Democratic Decline
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Emergency Budget 'Will Cost 1.3 Million Jobs'
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Eastern Inspiration: Gauck the Therapist Wants to Put Germany On the Couch
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Budget will cost 1.3m jobs, say Treasury figures
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

American surgeon found guilty of manslaughter in Australian court
The Independent, London, England

New Philippine president sworn in
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Interros, RusAl Stop Playing Nice Over Norilsk Nickel
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Are you Havana laugh?
The Sun, London, England

Celebrity sightings
The Telegraph, London, England

Russian spy ring: Barack Obama knew before meeting Dmitry Medvedev
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

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

NU's Bekasi Chapter denies supporting campaign against Christian
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

NY case alleges Russian snooping by 10 agents
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Kashmiris will decide the fate of Kashmir, says Qureshi
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

OSCE announces winners of tolerance photo contest
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Attacked by 3 teens, Indian scientist succumbs to his injuries
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Sopore killings: Murder cases against CRPF
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Kin not keen, but cops after Vora
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Korean peace still elusive, six decades on
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

NKEA labs identify projects and business opportunities
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Air NZ crew encouraged test that led to crash - expert
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Queen Elizabeth reviews international fleet to mark Canadian Navy centennial
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

CNN's King says he's ending show after 25 years
Sify News, Chennai, India

Prepare to be outraged ...
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

China stocks close lower on AgBank's low IPO pricing
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan's Lu sweeps aside Roddick at Wimbledon
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Shahid  Steals Away To London For A Mysterious Rendezvous
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

26 CRPF men killed in Chhattisgarh
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Crown may reconsider charges in Dziekanski case
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Jamaica AG faces no-confidence motion
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Arrested man charged with attempted murder
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Dominican combat planes again foil drug airdrop, top official says
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

PARAGUAY: Clean Water Out of Reach for Native Peoples
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Dudus to see proof
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru's Gastón Acurio opens T'anta Madrid in Spain's capital
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Celtics’ Pierce opting out of contract
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

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

?Look to adults for advice
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Kenya's PM 'has head operation'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

UN chief arrives in DR Congo to attend events marking independence anniversary
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

TUC gives ultimatum to Government to review tariffs
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

US envoy 'threatened me'
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Precision and patience pay off for Spain
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ethiopia dominates half-marathon at Conn.
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Villa goal earns Spain quarterfinal spot
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Steyn faces spitting headache
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Strike: Health Minister appeals to doctors
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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