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Thursday, July 26, 2012

11:39 AM 7/26/2012 - News Review

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July 25 - Q2 earnings are expected to reflect the deepening euro zone crisis; big names reporting include Shell, Lloyds, Santander, BASF and Siemens
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July 25 - StarMine's Sri Raman says the best analysts are predicting Facebook to miss estimates when it reports Q2 earnings, and points out the stock is trading well above its intrinsic value of under $10.
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July 25 - Deutsche Bank's capital and job-cut plans still look less punchy than peers', says Breakingviews.
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via The Guardian World News by Paul Lewis on 7/26/12
Ecuadorean diplomats seek UK assurances that WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to US after Swedish proceedings
The Ecuadorean government is seeking to avert the "evil" of the extradition of Julian Assange to the US, according to a senior legal adviser to the country's embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has sought sanctuary with a view to claiming asylum.
Diplomats for the small Latin American country said they had been seeking assurances from the UK that Assange would not be extradited to the US after the completion of legal proceedings in Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.
Lawyers for Assange, who has been living the Ecuadorean embassy for five weeks, believe there are secret plans to extradite him to the US to face trial, possibly for conspiracy to commit espionage. If found guilty, the 40-year-old could face life imprisonment.
Two officials at the Ecuadorean embassy said it had been seeking assurances from both the UK and Sweden that Assange would not be eventually sent to the US, but had received no answer.
They said Ecuador would now formally ask the US if there were any legal proceeding against Assange or "an investigation which has identified him as a target and which may result in a later extradition request".
The senior legal adviser said: "The evil that Ecuador wishes to prevent is the extradition [of Assange] to the US. Now if there are ways and means of that being tied down, I think that would be a just solution."
Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, citing the UN declaration on human rights, on 19 June. Ever since, he has been living in the ground-floor embassy in a small, square room, which friends who have recently visited estimate is around 15ft wide.
The embassy, adjacent to the Harrods department store in Knighstbridge, has no courtyard, so Assange has been given exercise equipment. But he remains confined to the small room and adjoining corridor, with a window that barely opens.
Meanwhile, diplomats at the embassy have spent recent weeks seeking to negotiate a solution to the legal impasse. Assange remains on bail, after losing his last supreme court appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with accusations of sexual assault and rape in Stockholm in 2010.
If he leaves the premises, he is liable to immediate arrest by the Metropolitan police, which has stationed two officers outside the building.
A political adviser to the Ecuadorean government said Assange's asylum claim had presented Ecuador with "an absolutely extraordinary case" that placed it at the centre of a global controversy involving four other countries: the UK, Sweden, the US and Australia – where Assange was born and remains a citizen.
Ecuador was seeking to be an "honest broker", he said, while meeting its international obligations. He said that on Wednesday, Ecuador formally offered the Swedish prosecutor the opportunity to interview Assange inside the London embassy. Sweden had not responded to the proposal.
Most of the discussions have focused on seeking to establish whether, once Swedish legal proceedings against Assange are resolved, there will be any attempts to extradite him to the US.
He said Ecuador was "deeply concerned" with the prospect of Assange's extradition to a country which has the death penalty.
He added: "Ecuador has also raised the point – and is very much concerned about – life sentence," he said. "According to our law, life sentence may be equally be inhumane, in the sense that any person that has no prospect of leaving confinement is, in fact, as we see it, condemned to a death sentence [for] life. For us, that is equally inhumane."
Assange's US lawyer, Michael Ratner, said he was certain that Assange had already either been secretly indicted by a grand jury in Washington or would face extradition with a view to prosecution in the future. He said he believed the the death penalty remained a "possibility".
"I have no doubt there is a serious investigation, which has gone on, and is continuing, into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks," he said. However Ratner said it was "highly unlikely" that the US would confirm to Ecuador or any other party that it intended to prosecute Assange.
Ever since Assange unexpectedly sought refuge at the embassy five weeks ago, diplomats have been in regular discussions with both the Swedish and UK governments.
The two officials estimated there had been more than 20 meetings – including video conferences – with the UK Foreign Office. There had also been around 10 meetings arranged between Ecuadorean and Swedish diplomats, they said.
Diplomatic discussions were said to have been "friendly and polite".
The Ecuadoreans said discussions had focused on what was likely to happen to Assange once legal proceedings in Sweden were completed.
The senior legal adviser said that under extradition law, the concept of "specialty" ensures an individual can only be extradited to one country – in the case of Assange, Sweden. Once legal proceedings in that country have been completed, the individual is given a 45-day leave, during which they are free to go where they want.
Assange should, therefore, be free to travel to any other state – including the UK, Ecuador or Australia – once legal proceedings against him are completed in Sweden.
However, specialty can be waived by the country granting the initial extradition request – in this case the UK – thereby allowing an individual to be extradited to a third country.
The senior legal adviser to the Ecuadoreans said that the home secretary, Theresa May, would need to waive specialty under section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Assange could be extradited from Sweden to the US.
Despite repeated requests from Ecuador, the Foreign Office has not said whether or not May intends to exercise her powers to allow for any potential future extradition to the US. The Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment.
"The concerns that Ecuador has in relation to that whole process is that some states – not least of which the US – have been known to hold back on their extradition requests, to a timely moment, when they can serve the process with greatest impact," the senior legal adviser said. "And so the concern would be that the US has in mind a request for extradition on the basis of WikiLeaks charges."
The officials said they did not expect a decision to be made on Assange's asylum claim until after the Olympics.

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A hospital lab technician is accused of giving himself medicine meant for patients and not disposing infected syringes. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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Anaheim, California, Mayor Tom Tait reflects on a pair of weekend police shootings that sparked days of protests. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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A filmmaker documents the carnage wrought on the Syrian city of Rastan. CNN's Diana Magnay reports. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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CNN's Tom Foreman reports on a 2006 killer whale attack at Sea World. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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via Voice of America by William Eagle on 7/25/12
A prominent American epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Halperin is encouraging international health experts to support behavior change as a primary tool in helping to prevent the spread of HIV. He expresses his views in a new book Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How The World Can Finally Overcome It. It’s co-authored by Craig Timberg, the former Johannesburg editor for The Washington Post newspaper. Cutting edge The authors say there are relatively ...

via Voice of America by Kane Farabaugh on 7/26/12
ST. LOUIS, Missouri — The Mississippi River is the longest and most economically important waterway in the United States. But a lack of rainfall is reducing the depth of the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is surveying the river in an effort to keep it navigable during one of the worst droughts in US history. On board the US Army Corps of Engineers survey ship, the MV Pathfinder, Captain Terry Bequette is watching the river level drop. "You see probably 15 or 20 foot ...

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Demands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad quit power are blocking efforts to end the 16-month-old conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Thursday. Lavrov said such calls - made by the United States, several European and Arab governments and Turkey - were fanning the flames of violence and reiterated Moscow's claim that support for Syrian rebel groups was tantamount to backing terrorism. "We propose things that would allow for an immediate ceasefire, but the other side says, 'No, either the regime capitulates or we will continue to back ... ...

The Drug Enforcement Administration is leading a national crackdown against manufacturers, distributors and vendors of synthetic designer drugs.

The CEO of the world's largest gold company says production will start in August at the huge Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.

via NYT > World by By ANDREW E. KRAMER on 7/26/12
The allegation touched on the personal dealings of Aleksandr I. Bastrykin, head of the Russian agency that coordinates criminal investigations and Aleksei A. Navalny, a figure loathed by anticorruption activists.

via Reuters Video: Top News on 7/26/12
July 26 - Zynga slashed its 2012 outlook and quarterly results badly missed Wall Street targets, just as Facebook prepares for its inaugural results.

via Voice of America by Anita Powell on 7/26/12
LONDON — As athletes from around the world convene in London, Africa watchers are looking at competitors from the small coastal nation of Eritrea -- not for their skills, but because Eritrean athletes have been defecting in droves from the increasingly restrictive nation. Dozens of athletes have defected in the last decade due to what critics say is to escape an authoritarian regime. ​​As competitors take to the Olympic arena, Eritreans in exile say they will be watching ...

via The Guardian World News by Josh Halliday on 7/26/12
Person behind Steve Auckland parody seeks advice after they claim Twitter will reveal their personal details in days
The person behind a parody account of a senior Daily Mail & General Trust executive is preparing a legal challenge in the US after Twitter said it would reveal their personal details within days.

Twitter has complied with a legal order in California sought by Northcliffe Media, DMGT's regional newspaper division, against a spoof account of the Northcliffe chief executive, Steve Auckland.

The person behind the anonymous account, @UnSteveDorkland, is now preparing legal representation in the US, MediaGuardian has learned.

They confirmed to MediaGuardian: "I am speaking to a Californian lawyer tonight who has expressed an interest in representing me pro bono."

The person behind @UnSteveDorkland added: "It was a parody, pure and simple. Made a few people laugh, I hope. Pointed out some of the absurdities of corporate life.

"It is Steve Auckland who has elevated this beyond all that by hunting me down via a US court. He must now face the consequences of his actions, as we all must. I am supremely confident I have done nothing illegal or immoral."

Twitter told the account holder earlier this week that it will hand over their personal details – including email address, IP address and any other identifying information – to Northcliffe on 1 August, according to this person.

The San Francisco-based company is complying with US law in disclosing the anonymous person's private details.

On Wednesday evening Twitter's legal department told the person behind the account that they should consider contacting the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and American Civil Liberties Union (UCLU). In the email, which has been seen by MediaGuardian, Twitter suggested contacting the advocacy groups "if you need assistance seeking counsel in the United States".

Northcliffe insiders said there was no plan to drop the legal action, despite an apparent end to what they claimed are the most offensive tweets. They said the want to find out who is behind the account so they can understand their grievances with the company.

Auckland described the person's tweets as "obsessive and offensive" and said the company took the action "to protect our staff from harassment".

He added in a statement: "We made no request for, nor had any input in, a decision to stop tweeting. Our first priority is a duty of care to all of our employees.

"Some of the recent anonymous activity on Twitter has been both obsessive and offensive. We will not tolerate such behaviour and for these reasons we sought legal advice.

"Anyone who knows me realises I am a supporter of open communication. I am very happy to engage and directly answer any questions relating to the business. I will not tolerate any form of harassment of Northcliffe Media's employees, especially from anonymous sources. At this stage I cannot say anything further due to the legal situation."

Twitter's move to hand over the details was first revealed by the Guido Fawkes political blog.

Paul Staines, the blogger behind the site, told MediaGuardian on Thursday that he was organising legal support for the Twitter user. He said: "We have had an offer from a Californian attorney to assist pro bono."

Northcliffe insiders said the company and its lawyers received no response from Twitter when they attempted to contact the San Francisco-based company directly about the parody account. They said the newspaper group has not had any response from Twitter to date.

Twitter declined to comment.

The case follows other high-profile subpoenas against the company to unmask anonymous users. In May 2011, Twitter handed over the personal details of the South Tyneside councillor, Ahmed Khan, who was accused of being the author of a pseudonymous account critical of the council.

Khan is attempting to appeal his case to the supreme court of California, the US state where Twitter is based and where South Tyneside council launched the legal action.

"I have no problem with an individual taking action but they should use their own money, not public money or that of a newspaper group," Khan told MediaGuardian on Thursday.

He said that Twitter handed over an 82-page document containing "strings of numbers", IP addresses, and dates and times in his own case.

In some cases, Twitter will attempt to quash the subpoena. Last week, the company opposed a high-profile bid to unmask the Occupy Wall Street protester, Malcolm Harris.

Harris hired a lawyer to help challenge his case.
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov smiles as he listens to Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, unseen, during their talks in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 26, 2012. Lavrov said at a briefing after the talks that Russia believes that the U.N. monitors must stay in Syria after their current mandate expires and their number should be increased. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)Russia's foreign minister says there can be no talk of humanitarian corridors in Syria and accused the West of fueling the violence by supporting the Syrian opposition.

via The New York Times's Facebook Wall by The New York Times on 7/26/12
The 41-year-old Briton, whose body was found in November in a hotel in Chongqing, was allegedly poisoned by a woman trying to protect her son.

Bo Xilai’s Wife Is Charged in Killing of British Businessman
Gu Kailai, the wife of the disgraced political leader Bo Xilai, has been indicted for intentional homicide, in a crime that has triggered China’s most serious political crisis in decades.

via The Wall Street Journal's Facebook Wall by The Wall Street Journal on 7/26/12
WSJ projections for London 2012 suggest the U.S. will dominate, bringing home more medals than any other nation. Do you agree?

How much of the Olympics will you be watching?

Photo illustration: Sean McCabe

via NYT > World by By HIROKO TABUCHI on 7/26/12
The Japanese bank's chief executive, Kenichi Watanabe, and one of his top lieutenants resigned on Thursday in response to recent revelations that their employees abetted insider trading.

via BBC News - World on 7/26/12
Border checks should be relaxed to prevent three hour queues at airports - now that the "panic" over Brodie Clark's resignation has died down, MPs say.

via BBC News - World on 7/26/12
Sixty years after the death of Eva Peron, three actresses describe how they are approaching their portrayal of the flamboyant Argentine First Lady in stage productions of her life in Buenos Aires.

BEIJING — Gu Kailai, the wife of deposed Politburo official Bo Xilai, and one of her household aides have been formally charged with “intentional homicide” in the case of a deceased British businessman, Neil Heywood, the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.
Read full article >>

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An app is giving a voice to children with autism. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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Wolf Blitzer asks Peter Bergen & Walter Isaacson if our national security is at risk in wake of the Colorado shooting. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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A man from Illinois is behind the production of the crosses placed at the memorials sites in Aurora, Colorado. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com Or visit our site at www.cnn.com
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via The Guardian World News by Matthew Taylor on 7/26/12
Bryn Phillips says he would use position to democratise City, and Occupy will field full slate of candidates at next year's elections
An activist from the Occupy movement is standing in a City of London byelection on Thursday in a direct electoral challenge to the way the City is governed.
Bryn Phillips, a writer and community organiser who was a spokesman for protesters who occupied St Paul's cathedral last year, is contesting a byelection for the City of London Corporation, the Square Mile's local authority.
Critics have accused the corporation of using its statutory position to lobby for the financial services industry. Phillips, who is running in Farringdon Within ward, said if elected he would use his position to democratise the ancient traditions, societies and conventions of the City.
"We want to renew the balance of power in the City and then the country at large," he said. "There will be full elections on 13 February next year and Occupy will be fielding a full slate of candidates at that point. We hope today will be just the starting point."
The relatively small electorates for City of London elections mean seats can be won and lost with a handful of votes. Businesses as well as individual residents can vote and political parties are not involved, leaving candidates to stand as independents.
Phillips said: "We need to renew the balance of powers in the wider British constitution. If we can fix the problem of the broken democracy in the City we can fix the wider problem of our broken democracy at large and cut the democratic deficit."
He said he would stand up to vested interests in the City, and called for more transparency. "I'm convinced that democratic reform of the City of London is the best way to start addressing the problems we face," he said.
Philips, 32, is facing two charges of violent disorder in connection with last year's English riots. He said was an "honest man" who had made a mistake and had handed himself in to the police. He is due to appear in court on 2 August.
The other candidates standing in Thursday's byelection are Trevor Brignall, Mark Clarke, Spencer Marshall. The result is expected before midnight.

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Gunnar Peterson shows everyone how to get into shape.
Time:04:08More inEntertainment

Two police officers patrol at St. Pancras Station in London, Thursday, July 26, 2012. Opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics will be held Friday, July 27. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street†in London, Thursday, July 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has caused a stir in Britain by questioning whether the country is prepared to pull off the Olympic Games without a hitch.

The Obama administration is upping the ante in the fight against health care fraud, joining forces with private insurers and state investigators on a scale not previously seen in an attempt to stanch tens of billions of dollars in losses.

via Reuters Video: Top News on 7/26/12
July 26 - U.S. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney met with Labor leaders in London as he expresses high hopes for the Olympic Games. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

via Financial Times's Facebook Wall by Financial Times on 7/25/12
A rapid fall in the euro can save Spain - so argues Martin Feldstein, professor of economics at Harvard University. Read his article for free on ft.com: http://on.ft.com/OiicPL

The iPhone 5 is shaping up to be a product launch for the ages as it is hard to overstate the significance of this single gadget to the world’s most valuable company

In a trip to the UK, Israel and Poland, Republican US presidential challenger is promising to stress themes of liberty and freedom

If Boris Johnson, the London mayor, has a good games addressing the world, Tory MPs will wonder if he is who they need, writes Andrew Gimson

The familiar tools of stimulus seem unlikely to work. The way forward would be to come up with new tools, writes Sebastian Mallaby

Succour is provided to peripheral financials after European Central Bank president says it will do ’whatever it takes’ to preserve single currency

Exchange operator defies wider industry gloom in the low volume trading environment, reporting results that beat analysts’ forecasts

US equities were mixed after trading in negative territory for the previous three sessions as some blue-chip companies sent positive news to investors

Market regulators in Spain and Italy this week re-introduced restrictions lifted less than six months ago after several days of equities turmoil

Toshiba falls 7.3 per cent and Panasonic sheds 5.5 per cent while Taiyo Yuden, which makes electronic capacitors for mobile devices, drops 6.2 per cent

Hedge fund manager Man Group jumps 9.4% on hopes that its AHL fund is back on track, while benchmark index ends down less than 1 point

With falls in production forecast after severe weather problems, traders are speculating about possible export taxes or even a ban

The fund has not provided leadership in Europe and it is unprepared to provide stability for the next global crisis, writes Arvind Subramanian

The Affordable Care Act extended insurance coverage to almost all Americans. A Republican alternative should aspire to do the same, says David Frum

A Polish-German alliance, building bridges between strong northern eurozoners and euro candidates, serves core European stability, says Philip Boyes

It is natural to worry about what will replace the Syrian regime, but not in a way that encourages it to fight on, writes David Gardner

via Financial Times on 7/25/12
Tough economic times are affecting opportunities for foreigners seeking work

via Financial Times on 7/25/12
Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat, pork is not going to be too far behind, chicken is catching up fast, says Larry Pope of Smithfield Foods

Market needs to move closer to simpler times by cutting the number of people who divide investors and companies, says review into equities

via FT.com - Science on 7/24/12
Drugs that treat rare diseases have transformed an industry struggling for growth – but high prices are putting them under threat, writes Andrew Jack

via FT.com - Science on 7/6/12
It now becomes clear that the best chance of preventing the disease lies in blocking the formation of both bap and tau, writes Clive Cookson

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