November 22, 2010  Nº 981 -  Vol. 8


"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination."

Voltaire


Insider's view: see how local concerns shape up the global world. Read the daily press review in Migalhas International.

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  • Top News

Migalhas Christmas 2010

It is already this time of the year at Migalhas and the bells are ringing. It's Migalhas Christmas 2010. Publisher Editora Cengage Learning offered 1 book and Editora Disal offered 11 books to gift to our readers. We invite you to be part of this celebration. All you need to do to take your chance is to fill out a registration. Click here and read more about this wonderful serendipity.

Top judge says internet 'could kill jury system'

The jury system may not survive if it is undermined by social networking sites, England's top judge has said. In a lecture published on Friday the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, raised major concerns about the use of the internet by jurors. He said: "If the jury system is to survive as the system for a fair trial... the misuse of the internet by jurors must stop." Lord Judge said some jurors had used the internet to research a rape case. Earlier this year a judge in Manchester had to dismiss a jury and restart a trial, The Sun reported, after a juror went onto her Facebook page, gave details of a trial and asked friends: "Did he do it?" Lord Judge, who is the most senior judge in England and Wales, said it was too easy for campaigners to bombard Twitter with messages in a bid to put pressure on jurors who might be looking at it. He said: "We cannot stop people tweeting, but if jurors look at such material, the risks to the fairness of the trial will be very serious, and ultimately the openness of the trial process on which we all rely, would be damaged." Lord Judge added: "We cannot accept that the use of the internet, or rather its misuse, should be acknowledged and treated as an ineradicable fact of life, or that a Nelsonian blind eye should be turned to it or the possibility that it is happening.” This is the strongest and most detailed judicial consideration of the threat to the criminal justice system posed by jurors using modern technology. It raises major questions of how to police and stop internet use.

U.S. is said to pursue broad insider trading inquiry

Federal authorities are at an advanced stage of insider trading investigations that could result in criminal charges or significant civil fines against Wall Street traders and executives. "We are far along in investigations of insider trading," said an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was incomplete. It was unclear whether the government was conducting one sweeping investigation or looking into various smaller instances of what they suspected was insider trading. One person briefed on the matter characterized the investigation as a "big case," saying it would likely result in arrests before the end of the new year, with the defendants numbering in the double digits. "Illegal insider trading is rampant and may even be on the rise," said Mr. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan. "Disturbingly, many of the people who are going to such lengths to obtain inside information for a trading advantage are already among the most advantaged, privileged and wealthy insiders in modern finance. But for them, material nonpublic information is akin to a performance-enhancing drug that provides the illegal 'edge' to outpace their rivals and make even more money."

Senator stalls bill aimed at online copyright infringement

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) stalled a bill on Friday that would allow the federal government to block websites allegedly participating in copyright infringement. The Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA) aims to discourage Internet sites dedicated to infringement activities by allowing the Attorney General to petition for injunctive relief against such sites found in both domestic and international domains. Wyden objects to the bill because of the powers it gives the government, powers that the Senator feels may result in internet censorship. If Senator Wyden is successful in stalling the bill until 2011, it will have to be resubmitted to the Senate for further consideration.

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  • MiMIC Journal

First orders for Chinese jetlinerComac C919

Chinese firm Comac takes its first orders for C919 jets as it seeks to take on Airbus and Boeing.

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  • Brief News

Bemba to face ICC trial

The war crimes trial of former Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba is to start at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.mThe former vice-president of DR Congo is accused of murder, rape and pillage in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 and 2003. He faces two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes. He is the most high profile figure to face trial at the ICC since it began its work eight years ago. The trial is expected to last several months.

Knesset set to adopt referendum law

A bill obligating the government to hold a referendum on any withdrawal from the Golan Heights or east Jerusalem is expected to pass its second and third reading Monday. The bill, which may pose difficulties for a future peace process with the Palestinians or with Syria, is expected to be adopted by the Knesset with a majority of about 70 MKs. The Prime Minister's Office refused to comment on the sensitive issue on Sunday. MKs have been asked to call off trips abroad and cancel their participation in tours and conferences in order to take part in the vote.

EU, IMF support emergency aid for Ireland

Debt-struck Ireland on Sunday formally appealed for a massive EU-IMF loan to stem the flight of capital from its banks, joining Greece in a step unthinkable only a few years ago when Ireland was a booming "Celtic tiger" and the economic envy of Europe. The Taoiseach said the amount and terms would be negotiated in the coming days with the EU and the IMF. The UK has offered to make a direct bilateral loan to the Irish Republic in addition to contributing to EU and IMF loans. The crisis has been brought on by the recession and the almost total collapse of Ireland's banks, analysts say.

Bernanke hits back at Fed critics

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has criticized countries like China that run large trade surpluses. "Currency undervaluation by surplus countries is inhibiting needed international adjustment," he said in a speech to the European Central Bank. He said that by buying dollars, these countries were hurting the US recovery and the global economy with it. He also defended the Fed's policy of "quantitative easing", which has been criticized by China and Germany.

Vatican to issue guidelines on sex abuse

The Vatican has said it will issue guidelines on how to combat sexual abuse, which will be circulated to bishops around the world. Work was being done for "guidelines to offer for a coordinated and efficient program" against abuse, the Vatican said.

Catholics debate Pope's condom remarks

Speaking to a German journalist whose book was excerpted in a Vatican newspaper Saturday, the pontiff reiterated that condoms are not a moral solution for stopping AIDS, but in some cases their use could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility.

Harrah's cancels share flotation

Harrah's Entertainment, the world's largest casino operator, has cancelled its planned share issue, blaming market conditions. The firm, owner of Caesar's Palace, had hoped the initial public offering would have raised as much $531m. Analysts said the loss-making firm had sought to price the shares too highly.

Google's wi-fi data to be deleted

The search giant has agreed to delete all the UK data that it accidentally captured via its Street View cars.

UK universities may use law to validate submissions

UK universities who subscribe to the quasi-plagiarism detector, Turnitin, can use the law to force students to submit coursework or essays even if they refuse. But the company who own the Turnitin software, iParadigms, has already caused controversy by forcing university customers to hand over the intellectual property rights of submissions, which often own the rights as part of the contract between the institution and the student. The numbers are staggering, with the company claiming to own 19 million 'licensed students' and nearly 130 million student papers to check for 'originality' in new essay submissions. For those who remember the post about the license rights to competition submissions by students to the Microsoft Imagine Cup, you can apply the same logic here. But for some students who are uneasy about handing their work to their university for a split second before it is snapped up by a third-party private company, they can refuse. Refusal though is futile as there is an interpreted element to the UK Data Protection Act which allows universities and colleges to push through the document regardless of the student's wishes.

Afghanistan officials disqualify 21 parliamentary candidates for fraud

The Afghanistan Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) on Sunday disqualified 21 candidates who had participated in September's parliamentary elections for electoral fraud. The ECC disqualified the candidates after finding widespread irregularities in the voting in 12 provinces. Of the disqualified candidates, 19 had either won or were leading in their districts, seven of which were incumbents and two were second place finishers in districts where the first place finisher was also disqualified. The disqualified candidates comprise almost one-tenth of those elected to the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga, the Afghan Assembly. According to the ECC, the candidates do not have a right to appeal the decision. With the disqualification of the 21 candidates, it is expected that the ECC will certify the election results within days.

Ground Zero workers exposed to toxic dust take pay deal

Thousands of workers exposed to toxic dust after the 2001 terror attacks in New York have accepted a legal settlement and ceased litigation. More than 10,000 firefighters, labourers and police who sued the city and dozens of companies will collect a total of at least $625m (£392m). The workers said they were not properly protected during the rescue and clean-up efforts, with some then falling ill. Only 520 opted to reject the deal their lawyer described as the "best result".

US Senate approves Pigford and Cobell suit settlements

The US Senate has approved a $4.6bn payment to Native Americans and black farmers who complained of government discrimination. The legal settlement would benefit black farmers who sued for alleged bias by US agriculture officials. It would also settle a 15 year-old suit by Native Americans who said the government cheated them out of oil, gas and grazing royalties. The legislation now needs approval by the House of Representatives.

Holder calls for increased use of DNA evidence

US Attorney General Eric Holder instructed federal prosecutors on Thursday to use DNA evidence as much as possible, in a reversal of Bush administration policy. Among the changes, defendants who plead guilty will no longer have to waive their right to DNA evidence under the Innocence Protection Act of 2004. The memo also calls for the collection of DNA from all federal arrestees. Holder said in the press release that DNA collection, when available, is the most helpful ways to find facts: "DNA evidence is one of the most powerful tools available to the criminal justice system, and these new steps will ensure the department can use DNA to the greatest extent possible to solve crimes and ensure the guilty are convicted. Improving both the collection and the use of DNA evidence will help law enforcement and prosecutors keep communities safe." The collection of DNA from federal arrestees has already been enacted, but Holder stressed it as a priority.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Who needs marriage? Marriage: What's It Good For? The state of our unions is shifting in unexpected ways. A TIME/Pew special report shows how income, age and experience alter our chances of wedded bliss.

Newsweek
Halfhearted Soul-Searching at the White House. Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama hasn’t yet experienced a political loss that taught him how to reinvent himself. He needs to surround himself with advisers who will challenge his world view.

Business Week
Ireland's Reckoning. On the brink of accepting an international bailout, the former economic superstar of Europe may be going the way of Greece.

The Economist
How to cut the deficit. Sorting out America's fiscal mess is relatively simple. What's needed is political courage.

Der Spiegel
Der Hetzer - Joseph Goebbels: Der Mann, der Hitler machte

  • Daily Press Review

Saudi King Leaves Monday for U.S.A. to Complete Medical Check-Up: Royal Court
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

At Vatican, Praise For Pope Following Comments On Condom Use
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Petition challenges sugar price hike in LHC
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

New Zealand police release names of missing miners
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Bacteria 'trained' to convert bio-wastes into plastic
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

I have a political solution in mind: President Rajapaksa
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

CBC Investigation: Who killed Lebanon's Rafik Hariri?
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

8 Ontario patients in need of $500,000 a year drug therapy
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Bemba war crimes trial to start
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

ICC: Ruling on the detention of Jean-Pierre Bemba to be reviewed
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

World's tallest Jesus statue unveiled in Poland
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Cougar due in court over Bulls plot
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

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