July 7, 2010  Nº 928 -  Vol. 8

"With high hope for the future, no prediction is ventured."

Abraham Lincoln

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  • Top News

Law firms looking to expand and merge

Despite lingering effects of the economic downturn, law firms are looking to expand, while merger activity among firms is also picking up. Big firms mergers have grabbed the headlines, there have been plenty of smaller law firm pair-ups. The office expansions and merger activity aren't limited to U.S. shores.

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 - Did two French Ministers quit to save a third? (Click here)

2 - Australian PM Gillard plans E Timor asylum centre. (Click here)

3 - Brazil, top ethanol exporter, to help Kenya produce biodiesel and improve agriculture sector. (Click here)

4 - Gay ban at campsite before tribunal. (Click here)

5 - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? producers wait for final answer on $270m battle with Disney. (Click here)

6 - David Cameron announces torture inquiry. (Click here)

7 - Courts owed £1.3bn in unpaid fines, audit reveals. (Click here)

8 - Calls to update maritime laws. (Click here)

9 - Thai government extends state of emergency. (Click here)

10 - Court gives doctors right to pre-select embryos for implantation. (Click here)

11 - Judicial culture still deters gay and lesbian lawyers, say researchers. (Click here)

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China shares fall to 15-month low on slowdown fears

The Shanghai composite index has closed at a 15-month low after data pointed to slowing growth and rising inflation. The index dropped 19 points or 0.8% to 2,364 at the end of trading, its lowest close since April last year. Shanghai was one of the first markets to recover after the global financial crisis, but peaked in August last year. It has since fallen 32%.

China to build $8bn oil refinery in Nigeria

China is to build an $8bn oil refinery in Nigeria. It will be the first of three refineries under a deal signed in May between Nigeria's state oil company, NNPC, and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC). The refinery will be built in the Lekki free trade zone of Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city.

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Panamá – Portugal

Panamá negocia con Portugal de un Tratado de Doble Tributación para alcanzar el décimo acuerdo, de los 12 que se necesitan para salir de la lista lista gris.

Coima

La empresa La Reserva, de inversionistas estadounidenses, denunció el martes que en la Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (Anam) de Panamá le pidieron alrededor de US$ 100 mil por aprobar el estudio de impacto ambiental de su proyecto residencial.

Canadá – México

La Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural y Equidad para las comunidades (SEDEREC), y Víctor Carrozzino, asistente de dirección al Presidente Nacional de UFCW Canadá, firmaron un acuerdo de cooperación mutua y una Carta de Intención para proteger los derechos humanos y laborales de los trabajadores agrícolas temporales mexicanos en Canadá.

Cemento

Cementos Panamá, filial de Cementos Argos, firmó un contrato con el Grupo Unidos por US$ 65 mlls., en virtud del cual se convertirá en uno de los principales proveedores para la ampliación del Canal de Panamá.

Tiendas

Chedraui, la cuarta mayor minorista de México, firmó un contrato para comprar once tiendas en Los Angeles en California, para ampliar su presencia en Estados Unidos. Chedraui, que opera unas 160 tiendas en ambos países, se conoció que será financiada con deuda y flujos de sus negocios en Estados Unidos.

Minera

La peruana Compañía de Minas Buenaventura presentó en una audiencia pública el Estudio de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) del proyecto minero Depósito de Relaves 4A y 5 en la localidad de Orcopampa, así como también el aumento de capacidad de su Planta de Beneficio a 4,000 TMSD de la Unidad Minera Orcopampa, dedicada a la extracción de oro y plata.

  • Brief News

US government sues Arizona over immigration law

The US federal government has filed a legal challenge to a law passed by Arizona to target illegal immigrants. The law requires police to query the immigration status of people stopped for a legitimate reason who arouse suspicion of being in the US illegally. The justice department will argue the law is unconstitutional as it usurps federal authority over immigration. Due to take effect this month, the border state's new law is opposed by Mexico and civil liberties groups. (Click here)

Sarkozy rejects donation 'smears'

French President Nicolas Sarkozy dismisses allegations that his campaign received illegal donations from a L'Oreal heiress.

European parliament to approve bank bonuses limit deal

The European Parliament is due to approve a deal placing new limits on bankers' bonuses from next year. Under the deal agreed by the EU members in June, bankers will receive no more than 30% of their bonus immediately and in cash, or 20% for larger bonuses. The remaining bonus payments will be delayed and linked to long-term performance, with 50% paid in shares. Hedge funds will also be covered by the new rules. But there will be no cap on what bankers can be paid.

Wal-Mart isn't a bank. Yet.

Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart, will work with a finance company to offer loans of up to $25,000 to small businesses, the company said today. It's the latest in the company's move into the world of finance. When Wal-Mart applied for a bank charter a few years ago, regulators said no. A charter would have allowed Wal-Mart to take deposits and make loans. But that rejection hasn't stopped the company from significantly expanding its financial offerings.

Skadden tops global table of legal dealmakers in H1

U.S. law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom nailed the most lucrative tally of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) worldwide in the first half of 2010, advising on $137 billion of deals. Securing top deals in telecoms and media helped the New York-headquartered firm hold on to the top spot from 2009, despite its market share falling more than 8 percentage points to 12.8 percent since the first half of 2009.  Skadden's 82 deals included the second largest of the six-month period, U.S. phone operator CenturyLink's $22 billion acquisition of Quest Communications International Inc

Go mobile: Apps for lawyers

The introduction of iPhones, the Blackberry, the Droid, and recently the iPad has revolutionized the way we conduct business. These tools help attorneys become "mobile." Immediate access to the Internet and email is now commonplace. These devices also support a variety of applications ("apps") or programs to enhance the user's experience. These apps range from games, to weather alerts, to dictionaries, to navigation tools. There are applications to improve productivity or to keep current with news. New apps are developed daily, each designed to perform a function. Apple, for example, currently lists more than 150,000 Apps.

This article focuses on a few apps created for the legal community. A majority of the applications available are for Apple products, such as the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad.

PocketJustice

PocketJustice is an application that brings the U.S. Supreme Court to your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad. It provides "abstracts of the Court's constitutional decisions and access to its public sessions. The application includes voting alignments and biographical sketches for all justices. PocketJustice harnesses recordings of the Court's public proceedings to deliver hundreds of hours of oral arguments and opinion announcements. In many of these cases, PocketJustice provides synchronized, searchable transcripts identifying all speakers." There are two versions available. The first is free and provides access to the top 100 constitutional law cases. The other version costs $4.99 and includes all U.S. Supreme Court cases.

LawStack

The LawStack App is a tool for individuals looking for federal materials such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Constitution. LawStack includes all these rules in a single program. It is compatible with the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. A nice feature of LawStack, and many other Apps, is the ability to use the information offline. The federal rules package is free, and the user has the option to download additional titles. The cost of these other titles varies, but all fee-based programs are reasonably priced. Examples include the CFR, the Delaware Code, and Florida Statutes. 

Law Pod

Law Pod features applications for both the Blackberry and Apple products. According to its website, various federal rules are available for both devices. Apple users can also download U.S. Code sections, individual CFR titles, and an extensive selection of Texas materials.

WaffleTurtle

WaffleTurtle offers a variety of law-focused programs for Apple devices. Researchers can choose from a nice selection of state laws and specific federal code sections. In my opinion, however, the primary reason to stop at this site is that it excels in practice-specific apps. Securities lawyers can browse a collection of significant securities laws by purchasing the securities research app ($4.99). Patent attorneys can obtain the Patent Cooperation Treaty for $7.99, patent local rules for $2.99, and a patent research application ($2.99) that "allows you to use your device's internet connection to efficiently retrieve United States utility patent information, particularly claims, title, inventors, and priority information, if you already know the patent number. Patents can be bookmarked and associated with matter names and numbers, and an editable history of patent numbers is maintained."

There are other legal applications available, and the number will likely increase exponentially. Bar members can download the Fastcase app for their iPhones. Black's Law Dictionary is available from West for $49.99, and Lexis users can download the Get Cases & Shepardize app to assist in their research. As mobile technologies develop, it will be interesting to witness the impact on legal professionals.

Pope toughens laws on abusive priests

Pope Benedict has revised the Vatican's sex-abuse norms in a bid to streamline the Holy See's handling of cases world-wide and hold more clerics accused of abuse accountable under church law.

Monsanto loses EU seed case

The EU's top court ruled that Monsanto cannot block Argentine farmers from exporting to Europe soy meal containing the company's patented genetic modifications.

Canada court orders government to remedy Khadr rights breach 

The Federal Court of Canada (official website) on Monday ordered the Canadian government (judgment, PDF) to provide Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr with a list of remedies to ameliorate its breach of his constitutional rights. The court held that Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, has a right to "procedural fairness and natural justice" under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the government has so far failed to take appropriate action to guarantee these rights. The court also ruled that Khadr is entitled to submit additional potential remedies and will provide his list to the government within seven days of their original submission. Judge Russell Zinn, delivering the judgment of the court, held that upon receiving the remedies list, the government must "advance a potential curative remedy as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable and to continue advancing potential curative remedies until the breach has been cured or all such potential curative remedies have been exhausted." Zinn concluded that he retained jurisdiction to impose a remedy if the government does not implement an effective remedy withing a "reasonably practicable period of time." Khadr has been held at Guantanamo since his 2002 capture by US forces in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. He is facing murder and terrorism charges for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed one US soldier and injured another. He has repeatedly denied the accusation.

Thailand government extends state of emergency 

The Thai government on Tuesday extended the state of emergency in Bangkok and 18 provinces for another three months based on claims of continuing unrest related to the country's latest round of political violence. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the decision was based on intelligence reports regarding certain areas of the country and also noted that the state of emergency would be allowed to expire in five provinces that are considered to be stable. The state of emergency was declared in April after protesters, known as red shirts, broke into Parliament, causing government officials to evacuate. Rights groups have expressed concern about the treatment of anti-government protesters arrested during the protests and urged the government to end the state of emergency. The International Crisis Group (ICG) (advocacy website) on Monday released a report detailing reconciliation efforts in Thailand (report, PDF) following the protests. In the report, they called for an immediate end to the state of emergency, which they say has "empowed" the government to stifle political discourse (press release) within the country. Thailand's Human Rights Commissioner Nirand Pithakwachara has expressed concern over the extension, calling on the government to clarify the reason for extending the state of emergency and noting that the extension was not consistent with the steps the government has been taking toward reconciliation. Under the state of emergency, civil liberties will continue to be restricted through the institution of curfews and the banning of public gatherings. Additionally, the police have broader powers to arrest and detain, the government may censor media reports and detainees can be held for 30 days without access to legal counsel. Abhisit first extended the state of emergency last month, but he had indicated at that time that the state of emergency would be allowed to expire on July 7.

HSBC clients in U.S. tax probe

Some HSBC Holdings clients are being investigated by the United States Justice Department on suspicion of failing to disclose accounts in India or Singapore. Letters from the Justice Department did not mention HSBC by name but were sent to people with accounts at the bank.  

Dutch court orders Van der Moolen investigation

A Dutch commercial court on Monday ordered an investigation into the collapse of the brokerage Van der Moolen, which went bankrupt last September after 117 years as a key player on global stock exchanges, Reuters reported. The commercial court said the investigation would look at the activities of the company and its management from the start of 2005 up to and including the bankruptcy filing.

  • Daily Press Review

US pushes direct Middle East talks
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Jordan Convicts Ex-Minister for Oil Refinery Bribery
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

BP Chief Executive Hayward visits Abu Dhabi
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Report: Four guns belonging to Netanyahu security go missing in U.S.
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

MIDEAST: Obama and Netanyahu All Smiles
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Most of 'Marmara' wounded had Islamic ties - report
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Health sector to get more robust
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

ME airlines at forefront of recovery: IATA
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Queen Elizabeth Addresses U.N., Places Wreath at Ground Zero
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Obama calls for direct Middle East peace talks by September
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran pushes US on missing scientist
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Yemen's vast lands should be properly used to flourish its agricultural development
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

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

UK troops 'to move out of Sangin'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Cowen: Backbiting has to stop
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Captain faces trial over oil spill
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

School forced to buy computer translator because half of pupils don't speak English
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Telenor, Tele2 to expand LTE network to 100 localities
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

DIPLOMACY: Obama urges Middle East peace talks for September
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Mongolia's winter disaster spurrs urban migration
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Asos Broderie Laser-Cut Shoe-Boots, GBP 50
Look Magazine, London, England

Cumbrian towns and villages hit by hosepipe bans
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Serbia President Chides UN Over 'Unprovoked Violence' in Kosovo
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Hunt For 'Killer' In Hills Amid Letter Threats
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

When Science Fiction Becomes Reality: Rebuilding the Berlin Wall with Augmented Reality
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

After 100 deaths, UK troops to pull out of Sangin
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Lindsay Lohan sent to jail
The Independent, London, England

No classic, but Dutch trek on to final
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Putin Promises Oil and Ski Jobs to North Caucasus
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Town living in fear of killer
The Sun, London, England

Lindsay Lohan: factfile
The Telegraph, London, England

Raoul Moat: letter to police lists enemies he will 'come back and shoot'
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

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

Celebrities in porn videos can likely be named suspects
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Spain shrugs off bad economy, launches bull runs
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

SC hearing petitions challenging 18th Amendment
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Integra Group, Schlumberger's WesternGeco Form Seismic JV
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Leaked climate mail inquiry to release report
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Indefinite curfew in Srinagar continues, Army deployed
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Wait for T3 at IGI airport gets longer
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Nagoya Basho 2010  ó a tournament that will live in infamy
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Doctor of Science degree for Mahathir
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Vatican to issue long-awaited sex abuse document
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

New Zealand to send troops to Solomon Islands
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Neanderthal males had Popeye-like arms
Sify News, Chennai, India

England a better bet: Warne
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Domestic demand
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Poll shows majority support for ECFA
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Levi Johnston apologizes to the Palins
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Army may be deployed as violence escalates in Kashmir
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Heat wave blankets Ontario, Quebec
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Special migration body launched
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Publisher's unexpected death stuns community
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Police eye Colombian link to four men gunned down in 24 hours
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

COLOMBIA: Palm Planters and Displaced People Wait for New Government
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

I'll be vindicated
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru's Nolberto Solano wanted by New Hull City team
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Japanese court convicts activist of obstructing whaling mission
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

World Cup: Netherlands beats Uruguay 3-2
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Smelter plant not option óKing
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Athlete Semenya free to compete
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

President Kabila Pays Respects to Sange Victims
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Stx Deal Is Too Premature For Approval -DI
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Python panic for motorists
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Cops had sex while motorists nearly died
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Bulcha Demeksa's last comments in Ethiopia parliament
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

A hospital for big game
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Rate cut hopes rekindled
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Jonathan wants Police Academy upgraded degree-awarding institution
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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