August 18, 2010 Nº 946 - Vol. 8

"Things to remember:
1) The worth of character;
2) The improvement of talent;
3) The influence of example;
4) The joy of origination;
5) The dignity of simplicity;
6) The success of perseverance."

Marshall Field


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at


  • Top News

Blagojevich convicted of one count

A federal jury in Chicago found him guilty of making false statements but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on 23 other corruption charges. The judge said he intended to declare a mistrial on the remaining counts. Blagojevich, 53, was accused of trying to use his office for personal gain - including a bid to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat. The trial of Rod Blagojevich was one of the most high profile and politically charged in recent years. It threatened to involve White House officials - although none were called to give evidence - and centered on whether President Barack Obama's former US Senate seat was being sold for political favors. It also raised questions about the nature of Chicago politics, where Obama honed his political skills, and whether normal "wheeling and dealing" had moved into the territory of criminal racketeering. But Blagojevich denied all charges and, in the end, the prosecution was unable to convince the jury that he was planning to following through on some of the questionable deals he was caught discussing on tape. He was found guilty of just one of the 24 charges - that he lied to the FBI during the investigation. That's a crime that carries up to five years in prison and is the same offence that landed lifestyle guru Martha Stewart behind bars for five months in 2004. Blagojevich will remain free until he is sentenced. Prosecutors said they would seek a retrial on the remaining counts, but Mr. Blagojevich claimed a victory moments after the verdict was read. "This jury shows you that the government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me," Blagojevich said. "They could not prove I did anything wrong—except for one nebulous charge from five years ago.” A juror reached by telephone Tuesday evening said the jury was split 11-1 in favor of convicting Mr. Blagojevich on the charge of selling the Senate seat vacated by Obama. A hearing has been set for 26 August to decide whether he will be retried on the remaining counts of corruption, extortion, bribery and racketeering. He was also accused of attempted extortion. After the verdict was announced, US attorneys said the government planned to retry the case "as quickly as possible".

US law to squeeze 'conflict minerals'

The links between electronic devices such as smartphones and the bloody conflict in the Congo may to date have been largely invisible to most consumers. But a combination of increasing public pressure and a far-reaching new regulation in the US could well change this. A fresh law, buried in section 1,502 of the Wall Street reforms passed last month, will force many manufacturers to overhaul checks on their supply chain in an attempt to identify any "conflict minerals" that can be traced back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo or adjoining countries. Thousands of companies will be affected by the law. The Congo region is a widely used source of important industrial metals and minerals such as tantalum, copper, germanium, gold, manganese and cobalt. Tantalum, for example. The existing practice of many manufacturers on relying on undertakings from their supply chain is unlikely to satisfy the law, due to be codified by the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission. The American action is also likely to have a wider international effect. The disclosure requirement will affect companies listed in the US, even if their headquarters are elsewhere, drawing a number of Chinese, European and Latin American manufacturers within its scope.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Privacy law to stop rise in gagging orders by judges (Click here)

2 - LA judge orders release of man sentenced to 25 years-to-life for stealing food from church (Click here)

3 - Legal aid cuts put access to justice at risk, say lawyers (Click here)

4 - No charges against DeLay in Abramoff inquiry (Click here)

5 - Radovan Karadzic trial recalls siege of Sarajevo (Click here)

6 - Defamation suit against lawyer, PR firm tossed (Click here)

7 - Barclays Bank to Forfeit $298 million to settle criminal charges (Click here)

8 - Judges crack down on inappropriate clothes in court (Click here)

9 - Company seeks dismissal of case brought by family (Click here)

10 - The wave of added regulation has the oil industry worried (Click here)


100% Migalhas:


  • MiMIC Journal

China Sets Strict Rules on Off-Book Loans

Authorities are worried that banks and trusts are forming partnerships and creating products to evade rules aimed at slowing bank lending and reducing excess credit.


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  • Historia Verdadera

Colombia – EE.UU

La Corte Constitucional de Colombia declaro inexequible el convenio suscrito por el gobierno de Álvaro Uribe con Estados Unidos en octubre de 2009, que autorizaba el uso de bases militares por efectivos estadounidenses. Faltó el aval del Congreso, según observación del tribunal. (Presione aquí)


La azucarera brasileña Cosan debe concluir las negociaciones con el gigante petrolero Royal Dutch Shell para crear una empresa conjunta en biocombustibles en Brasil, se habla de una inversión de US$ 12.000 mlls.


El Fondo de Recuperación del Patrimonio Bancario de Uruguay remata hoy 888 artículos recuperados de entidades bancarias entre ellos están monedas de oro y plata, una mayoría chilenas, libras esterlinas, águilas mexicana y Krugerrands sudafricanos, aunque también se encuentran monedas "Napoleón" de 20 francos y una moneda austrohúngara y otros objetos de valor incalculable. (Presione aquí)


La comisión mixta del Congreso chileno aprobó el proyecto de ley sobre femicidio. La norma condena a hombres que matan mujeres. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Rio de Janeiro sets up grammar hotline

Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil has set up a grammar hotline to help people who have difficulties using Portuguese. Experts will field questions about topics such as spelling and the use of accents in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil. Correspondents say Brazilians are sensitive about making grammatical errors, which are often associated with a lack of education.

Brazil election candidates begin television campaigns

From Tuesday all Brazilian TV and radio networks have to broadcast daily two hours of program by political parties canvassing votes for the October polls. The public broadcasts are very influential in Brazilian elections. For most voters, TV and radio are the main sources of information. In the first public broadcasts, the main candidates for the presidency in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Jose Serra, have avoided direct criticism of their rivals of the election campaign and have appealed to voters' emotions rather than detailing their party manifestos.

US judge drops piracy charges against six Somali men

A US federal judge in Virginia has thrown out piracy charges against six Somalis accused of attacking a US Navy ship last spring off the coast of Africa. Judge Raymond Jackson ruled the piracy charges should be dismissed because the group did not rob, board or take control of the USS Ashland. Prosecutors accuse the six of opening fire on the ship in the Gulf of Aden. The men still face seven other charges over the alleged 10 April attack. The piracy charges, which would have carried a minimum penalty of life in prison if proven, were brought under a nearly 200-year-old statute in a courtroom in Norfolk, Virginia. Prosecutors argued that any unauthorized armed attack or violent act on open waters should qualify as piracy.

When it comes to HIV, prejudice thrives

The trial of Nadja Benaissa, the German singer accused of knowingly infecting a partner with HIV, has taught us many things; it has underlined that stigma about HIV is alive and well and that, in Germany, failing to disclose HIV-positive status before having unprotected sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If the unwitting partner dies of Aids, that can increase to life. The law is rather different hin the UK – there is no law that explicitly spells out anything to do with HIV, and despite common misconception, no law that compels anyone to announce their status. Instead, the judiciary relies on the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which, derisively put , was designed for people hitting each other over the head with a piece of two-by-four. It has now been stretched, like knicker-elastic, to cover stalking, psychological harm and disease transmission." Under this act there are two possible offences: "intentional transmission" – which, sex generally being a private act, is near-impossible to prove; and "reckless transmission", under which rubric 20 cases have so far been successfully prosecuted. A number that pales in comparison with the US, where a man was recently jailed for 35 years for spitting at someone else. Never mind that it is not possible to transmit HIV through saliva. The first person to be convicted in England and Wales was a Kenyan-born asylum-seeker who was tried in 2003 and eventually jailed for four and a half years. The maximum sentence is five years per transmission, and it says a great deal, that while most people charged with GBH get a couple of years, or no custodial sentence at all, those convicted of passing on HIV tend to get nearly the whole whack. About 30 to 40 people come to the trust each year asking for advice on how to proceed with prosecutions, but the vast majority are dropped. The best thing is education – and comunication: "We have a culture in which it's easier to have sex than talk about it. And that leads lots of people into lots of problems."

Colombia declares US base share deal unconstitutional

A Colombian court has declared as unconstitutional a deal which gives US troops access to its military bases. The constitutional court ruled the 2009 accord should be redrafted as an international treaty and sent to Colombia's Congress for approval. The deal allows the US to use seven bases to help with operations against drug trafficking and terrorism. But it was criticized by other Latin American countries over a concern about the rise in US influence in the region.

India orders Blackberry deadline

India sends formal notices to mobile operators telling them they must have equipment to monitor Blackberry services by 31 August.

UK court refers airline passenger compensation issue to Europe court

The UK High Court on Tuesday suspended enforcement of a regulation requiring airlines to compensate passengers for flights that are delayed for more than three hours, until the European Court of Justice (ECJ) releases a new ruling on the issue. In November, the ECJ ruled that airline passengers confronted with flight delays of three hours or more may receive compensation equal to that of passengers whose flights are canceled. The case arose under European Parliament and European Council Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, which sets forth rules for compensation and assistance of airline passengers. UK airlines, which asked the court to refer the issue back to the ECJ, have indicated that they believe the ECJ's 2009 ruling was incorrect and that they would not compensate passengers for delayed flights.

France urged to repay Haiti's huge 'independence debt'

A group of intellectuals and politicians has called on France to repay 17bn euros "extorted" from Haiti in the 19th Century. The money, they say, would help impoverished Haiti rebuild after January's devastating earthquake, which killed more than 250,000 people. In 1825 France demanded 150m gold francs in compensation after Haiti gained independence in a slave revolt. Campaigners say that demand was illegitimate and illegal.

American Apparel debts warning

The US clothing chain American Apparel, once praised for the excellence of its business model, has warned it might not be able to continue because of debts and trading losses. The firm, which has more than 280 stores worldwide, warned of losses up to $7m for the three months to June. The company, which is known for its t-shirts and low-budget advertising style, has been involved in several controversies. Last year, US immigration inspectors ordered it to dismiss some 1,500 workers in Los Angeles because they did not have work documents. The firm employs around 10,000 people.

Germany high court strikes down inheritance tax discrepancy for same-sex partners

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that a portion of the tax code requiring same-sex partners in a civil union to pay a larger inheritance tax than partners in opposite-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Under Germany's current tax code, citizens in homosexual civil unions are required to pay between 17 and 50 percent for an inheritance tax upon the death of a partner, while heterosexual married partners are required to pay between 7 and 30 percent for the tax. Germany has recognized same-sex civil unions since 2001, but the legal status falls short of the status given to heterosexual marriage. The German government attempted to remedy the tax discrepancy in 2008, but, because registered partners are legally viewed as distant relatives, inconsistencies in the tax rates remain. The court stated that the discrepancy was not justified by the fact that heterosexual marriages could produce children and that equality in taxation will not undermine the government's efforts to promote marriage. The court gave the German government until the end of the year to compensate citizens who were taxed at the higher rate.

Ninth Circuit extends stay on California same-sex marriages

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday issued an emergency stay pending an appeal of a federal judge's decision overturning Proposition 8, the California ban on same-sex marriage. The stay will prohibit California from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while the court of appeals considers the issues raised on appeal as well as whether the remaining parties to the suit have Article III standing to appeal. California was scheduled to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Wednesday, after District Judge Vaughn Walker refused last week to issue a stay pending appeal. The court of appeals sua sponte ordered that the appeal be expedited pursuant to Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and has ordered the proponents of Proposition 8 to submit opening briefs by September 17. Freedom to Marry expressed disappointment in the court's decision, but indicated that they were pleased with the expedited schedule set by the court. (Click here)

Drug information fliers: prescription for confusion?

A lot of the information pharmacies provide patients about their prescriptions is too long and chock-full of medical jargon and legalese, according to a new study. The Food and Drug Administration wants to make patient information more user-friendly.

Google sued in Spain over data collecting

A judge in Spain opened an investigation into whether Google unlawfully collected data from unsecured wireless networks while gathering photographs for Google's photo-mapping service Street View. The Spanish association of Internet users, whose acronym is Apedanica, contends that Google violated an article in Spain's criminal code that forbids the unauthorized interception and collection of such communications data. Breaching that law can lead to prison sentences of up to four years.

Can the S.E.C. avoid scrutiny of its settlements?

The Securities and Exchange Commission may well have thought of Yogi Berra's famous quotation that "it's like déjà vu all over again" when Judge Ellen S. Huvelle in Federal District Court in Washington refused to approve its settlement with Citigroup over the bank's failure to fully disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages back in 2007. The judge expressed bafflement at the terms of the settlement requiring Citigroup to pay a $75 million penalty, reportedly stating: "I look at this and say, 'Why would I find this fair and reasonable?'" and "You expect the court to rubber-stamp, but we can't." (Click here)

Federal judge finds Missouri funeral protest bans unconstitutional

A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri on Monday ruled that Missouri laws restricting protests near funerals are unconstitutional. Judge Fernando Gaitan held that two 2006 laws banning protests at funerals violated the US Constitution's First Amendment right to free speech. The court concluded that prosecutors failed to show how restrictions on protests were narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest of preventing interruptions at funeral services. Gaitan noted that the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit had previously rejected the argument. In 2006, the Missouri General Assembly passed two laws in response to protests at military funerals by the Westboro Baptist Church. The laws banned protests within 300 feet of any funeral location and within one hour prior to and one hour after the services.

  • Daily Press Review

Pakistan aid 'arriving too slowly'
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Police: Shots Fired at Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Shaikh Mohammad receives Crown Princes of Sharjah and Ajman
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Police probe double murder after couple found shot in Be'er Sheva home
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

U.S. Journalist To Be Deported From Turkey
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Death sentence for spies in Lebanon
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

ID card must for all traffic transactions in Abu Dhabi
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Minimum taxi fare in Sharjah will be Dh10
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Taliban Attack Afghan Official's Home, Killing Him and Wife
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

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

Nuclear plant attack amounts to 'international crime' - Iran
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Judges targeted as bomber kills 57 Iraq army recruits
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

International companies evaluate oil, gas reserves in Yemen
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Against Female Genital Cutting
Yemen Times, (Independent weekly), Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Lib Dem MPs 'need coalition veto'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Cheryl not dating Hough, friends insist, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Disney sued over Alice in Wonderland throne
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Flight Options customers in chaos as holiday firm collapses
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Telekom Austria revenues drop 1.9%, net profit down 16.5%
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

PAKISTAN: Aid money for Pakistani flood victims lags behind Haiti relief
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkish Press Scan for Aug. 18
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Angelina Jolie Wears Another Sparkler For Salt
Look Magazine, London, England

Alcohol warning after Cumbrian man found dead after drinking session
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Lawyer: Nokia Siemens Played Key Role In Saharkhiz's Arrest
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Do Kids Need Siblings?
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Letter from Berlin: Chancellor Merkel Looks to Take Off the Kid Gloves
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Lib Dems show cracks as Hughes questions coalition
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Man dies after US police station shoot-out
The Independent, London, England

APN sees market recovery
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Sputnik to Glonass: Playing Catch-Up in Outer Space
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Moat ashes scattered at scene of his death
The Sun, London, England

Cross-dressing Angelina Jolie is taken to task for 'betraying' her son
The Telegraph, London, England

Simon Hughes calls for Lib Dem veto on Coalition policies
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Two foreign ministers discuss Peninsula situation
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Lawmakers pass landmark ECFA with China
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

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

Nearly half of flood funds secured, says UN
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Mongolia, Mongolian Kazakhs and Kazakhstan, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

Recession recovery to take few years: Obama
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

UK woman 'molested' in Orissa hotel
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Punjab cops mount pressure on suspected Sikh militants in M'sia
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Poll: Obama at new low for handling economy
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Philippine GDP growth to hit 5%-7%
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Demand for blonde hair dye in Britain signals end of recession
Sify News, Chennai, India

Break point at Bennelong
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

36 killed, hundreds injured in new China flooding
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Art Taipei to provide smorgasbord of art
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Deal paves way for nuclear liability Bill
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Federal gun program head ousted
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Jamaica capital to host CMEx 2010
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Farming to be third leg of economy
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Wide rebuke forces Dominican senate to discard wage hike
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

CUBA-US: Tourism and 'Cuban Five' Top Agenda
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

'Prove it!'
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Desserts from Peru to be promoted in Paris, France.
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

President's Choice Chocolate Chunk Cookies recalled
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

U.N. says secured more Pakistan flood relief funds
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Suspect held in murder of cop
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

South Africa workers begin strike
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

SADC Summit to Discuss Zimbabwe's Political Progress, Independent online news aggregator

Castle fraud - INTERPOL impounded cars missing
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Gang hires pretty killers
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Aids is a scam - Prince
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Ethiopia to have $ trillion birr economy - Meles
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

Cricketer blames cat over drunken-driving charge
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Strike at court affects Agliotti, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Tension in Jos over plot to remove Speaker
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria


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