August 2, 2010  Nº 939 -  Vol. 8


"He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked."

Voltaire


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  • Top News

Cluster munitions treaty goes into effect 

The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) officially went into effect on Sunday as binding international law. The CCM bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster bombs, weapons that break apart, releasing large numbers of smaller, self-contained explosives which spread out before detonating on impact. Unexploded components that fail to detonate present a serious hazard to civilians, especially children. Since its adoption in May 2008, 107 countries have signed the treaty and 37 countries have ratified it. The treaty also calls for stockpiles of the bombs to be destroyed within eight years and land contaminated with undetonated bombs to be cleared within 10 years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the treaty and the fact that it went into effect so quickly after its adoption.

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  • MiMIC Journal

New silk road built by China connects Asia to Latin America

The high-speed rail link China Railway Construction Corp. is building in Saudi Arabia doesn't just connect the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It shows how Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America are holding the world economy together. Ties between emerging markets form what economists at HSBC call the "new Silk Road" -- a $2.8-trillion version of the Asian-focused network of trade routes along which commerce prospered starting in about the second century.

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  • Brief News

Lula pushes Petrobras debt risk to 18-month high on State control concerns

Petrobras is losing investor confidence on concern its credit rating will be cut after a Brazilian plan raised the relative risk associated with the state-run oil producer's debt to the highest in 18 months. Five-year credit default swaps on Petrobras cost 177 basis points, or 1.77 percentage points, compared with 117 for contracts on Brazil debt. Last week the spread reached 61 basis points, the widest since January 2009. Petrobras is graded two levels higher than the government by Moody's Investors Service. Investors are growing more convinced Petrobras's debt ratings will be cut as a planned share-for-oil swap with the government and energy policy changes undermine the company's autonomy, said Eduardo Suarez, an emerging-markets strategist at Royal Bank of Canada. The exchange, part of a strategy to finance a $224 billion investment plan for developing the largest oil discovery in three decades, may lead the government to take a bigger stake in the Rio de Janeiro-based producer.

US to file first free trade labor rights case against Guatemala 

US Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk announced Friday that the US will file a case against Guatemala for labor rights violations. The case, filed under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), will be the first time the US has pursued a labor violations claim against a free trade partner.

France ruling expands legal protections for persons held in police custody 

The Constitutional Council, France's highest constitutional authority, ruled Friday that French police may no longer hold suspects for 48 hours without telling them their rights or bringing charges. Since President Nicolas Sarkozy's came to power in 2007 the number of people in France taken into custody and questioned without charge has exploded. In 2001 there were 336,718; in 2009, there were about 790,000. The ruling comes four months after the constitutionality of police custody under article 63-4 of French criminal procedure code was initially challenged.

Two Gulf states to ban some Blackberry functions

Two Gulf states have announced bans on some functions of the Blackberry mobile phone, claiming security concerns. The United Arab Emirates is to block sending emails, accessing the internet, and delivering instant messages to other Blackberry handsets. Saudi Arabia is to prevent the use of the Blackberry to Blackberry instant messaging service. Both nations are unhappy that they are unable to monitor such communications via the handsets. This is because the Blackberry handsets automatically send the encrypted data to computer servers outside of the two countries. The UAE ban is to start in October, while the Saudi move will begin later this month. UAE is playing a "technological leadership role in the Arab world", this is backed by "repressive laws" and a "general trend of intensified surveillance".

Alan Greenspan: US 'risks double-dip recession'

Former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has warned that the US economy could be heading towards a double-dip recession. There is currently a "pause" in the US recovery, he told US television, so that it feels like a "quasi-recession". He does not see unemployment falling any time soon.

Anwar lawyers want Malaysian opposition leader's case dropped over affair

Lawyers for Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim asked for the sodomy charges against him to be dropped following accusations last week that a member of the prosecution team had an affair with the main witness in the case.

UN rights body urges Israel to allow international inquiry into flotilla raid 

The UN Human Rights Committee on Friday called on Israel to cooperate with an international inquiry into the May flotilla incident, in which Israeli forces raided several Turkish ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip. The committee, charged with monitoring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, made a series of recommendations in order to bring the Israeli government into compliance with the covenant, to which it is a state party. It went on to call for an end to the blockade on Gaza, noting that a recent easing was insufficient to ensure that Gazans had access to basic necessities. The committee also called into question the independence of the Israeli government's internal investigation into the flotilla incident, urging Israel to invite in an international inquiry, something which Israel has refused to do.

Lawyers see both promise and problems in $20b gulf coast compensation fund

The legal repercussions from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are spreading quickly. But like so many other aspects of the catastrophe, it is hard to predict where the legal battles will lead—and impossible to say when, or how, they will end. By the end of June, with the closure of vast stretches of federal fishing waters, and with tourism plummeting along the U.S. Gulf Coast, emergency claim centers established by BP already had been flooded with some 87,000 requests for compensation to keep mortgages paid, businesses afloat and families fed.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time

Afghan Women And the Return of The Taliban. As the U.S. searches for a way out of Afghanistan, some policymakers suggest negotiating with the Taliban. But that would spell disaster for half the country's population: Afghan women.

Newsweek

Raise My Taxes, Mr. President! We can’t afford the Bush cuts anymore. The Bush tax cuts remain the single largest cause of America’s structural deficit—that is, the deficit not caused by the collapse in tax revenues when the economy goes into recession.

Business Week

The New Abnormal. Americans are broke and depressed—and also swilling $3 lattes and waiting in line for iPhones. Welcome to the schizophrenic economy.

The Economist

The rising power of China's workers. In China’s factories, pay and protest are on the rise. That is good for China, and for the world economy.

Le point

Les mégalos. La grosse tête, le mal du siècle.

Der Spiegel

Die amtlich genehmigte Katastrophe - Protokoll eines tödlichen Versagens.

  • Daily Press Review

Rockets strike Israel and Jordan
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Saddam's Ex-Lawyer Suing Jordanian Daily over Book
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Guide: Blood donation in the UAE
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Lebanon arrests fourth telecommunications man in alleged Israel spy ring
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Dutch Christian Group Backs Settlements
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Jordanian Islamists to boycott national vote
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Dubai continues to remain a tourist and trade centre
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UAE- Tanker damage raises a tidal wave of questions
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Anger of Survivors Grows as Pakistan Floods Kill 1,100
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Global treaty banning use of cluster bombs comes into effect
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Iraq Shi ite bloc rejects incumbent Maliki as PM
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

The noble, criminal Western democracies
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

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

Pakistan battles flood aftermath
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Kanye endorsement has fan all a-Twitter
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Officials miss immigration appeals
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Family victory after council snooped on them 21 times
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

RIM plans Blackpad launch in November - report
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

PAKISTAN: Death toll tops 1,200 as rescuers struggle to reach flood victims
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Children exploring science and technology at Space Camp Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Paloma Faith's Weekend Of Style
Look Magazine, London, England

Five cyclists hurt in crash near Carlisle
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Suicide Bomber Kills Five Afghan Children; Targeted Official Unhurt
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

This Weekend's FT Column: The Banking Resurgence That Could Yet Lead To A Fall
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

SPIEGEL Pub Quiz: Rabbits, Storks and an Octopus, Oh My!
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Brazil offers asylum to Iranian facing stoning
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

UK high commissioner summoned in Pakistan
The Independent, London, England

Pakistan floods death toll exceeds 1,200
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Putin Ends Weekends as Fires Kill 28 in Regions
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Man U ace in fireball car crash
The Sun, London, England

Singer Alicia Keys marries record producer Swizz Beatz
The Telegraph, London, England

Cameron terrorism row: High Commissioner in Pakistan summoned to meeting
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Six of world's best wild-water swims
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Malaysia-Indonesia friendship swim across Cowie Bay
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

China missile-removal offer goes unanswered
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Pakistan summons British envoy over Cameron remarks
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

KIOGE is the largest oil and gas exhibition and conference in Kazakhstan and the Caspian region
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

UK to send students to India for better skills
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Curfew continues in Kashmir Valley, violence in Budgam
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Crude bomb blasts on Kolkata outskirts
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Unleashing Indians' dynamism in the shift from state capitalism
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

360 medical officers in public service resign each year
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Flood victims' anger grows
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Eighteen killed, 84 elderly South Africans homeless in fire
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Bryan brother make history with 62nd doubles tennis title
Sify News, Chennai, India

$37m DJs' sex case lawsuit
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Chinese manufacturing growth slows for 3rd month
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Students skate around Taiwan in 25 days
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Ravi Teja Starrer Don Seenu To Release On Aug 6
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Eight killed as violence escalates in Kashmir Valley
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Water bomber crew confirmed killed
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Vaccinations for Haitians
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Minister extends public consultation on Conservation Law
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Guillermo Moreno creates Alianza Pais for 2012 presidential elections
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Q&A: Clean Energy and Cultural Survival in Nicaragua
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Get rid of CCN!
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peruvian chess player Emilio Cordova stranded in Poland
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

5 great excuses to buy an iPad for your business
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Australia election set for neck-and-neck finish
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Diego home in danger
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

S Africa care home fire kills 18
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Defending champions TP Mazembe draw at home to Setif
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

President Mills to tour District Assemblies
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oz store in sex scandal
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Cries of the dying
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

20 Ethiopians die in Addis road accident
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

All Blacks destroy Wallabies in Tri-Nations rout
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

11 killed in Limpopo bus crash
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Rights group condemn alleged attack on Orji in Aba
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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