Archive for ‘Dispute Resolution’

May 26, 2011

Earthquake of magnitude 5.9 shakes Fukushima region on May 24th 2011

[Sumi Aleksander, Japan News Contributor]

USGS: On Tuesday 24th May 2011, an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude struck the Honshu region which encapsulates the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant. No tsunami, or damage reports have been made.

The Honshu region is a notoriously unstable part of Japan and practically each day earthquakes at M4 to 6 strike the area.

An anonymous source at the UN has disclosed that it is looking into the Fukushima plant disaster to decide whether Japan was negligent in building the a nuclear plant in such an unstable part of the country and in that respect whether it should be made to compensate all countries that are now affected from serious radioactive contamination from the nuclear disaster that struck the plant.

May 20, 2011

UK superinjunction judges declare war on Twitter and Internet bloggers

[Tamsin Ledbetter, Privacy Law Contributor]  Britain’s Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge‘s opinion is that your Tweets, social media and Internet postings can get on the wrong side of the law if they are meant to defy privacy injunctions and to ‘peddle lies’.  He is angry that it seems that modern technology is totally out of control and is advocating a strict crackdown on the social media bandits who are using the Internet and social media sites, such as Twitter, to make people’s lives miserable and to defy the due process of law.

However, the learned judge agreed with a recent Judicial committee report on privacy orders which said that they should be used only in ‘very limited circumstances’ and for short periods of time only (hmmmnnn…do we smell a climb-down here??).  But he was most critical of the practice whereby many blogs, Twitter and similar sites are being used to bypass restrictions placed on traditional newspapers and TV stations for breaking the terms of the court orders.

In respect to recent attempts to circumvent the privacy orders by raising them in parliament under the protection of ‘parliamentary privilege’, Lord Judge said that if the matters were raised in parliament with the intention to contravene the injunctions, then they would be likely to be in contempt of court as they would lose the protection of ‘good faith and absence of malice’ which are required for the protections to kick in.
Analysts are saying that if  British judges do ‘climb down’ on privacy orders and make them less accessible to those who want them, then they will have unwittingly given birth to the concept and practice of ‘privacy injunctions shopping’ whereby other countries, like Dominica, Grenada and some of the Baltic states may grant such orders to bring in much needed income into the coffers of their cash-starved economies.

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May 3, 2011

G20 Protester, Ian Tomlinson, gets justice after his unlawful killing by UK Police


[Samuel Evans, UK  News Contributor]

New Statesman: The jury giving the verdict upon the death of Ian Tomlinson, who had been knocked to the ground in an unprovocked attack by the British police during the G20 protests in London in 2009, has concluded that he had been unlawfully killed.  The not-totally-unexpected verdict has made many red faces in the UK Crown Prosecution Service which had decided earlier that there had been no case to answer upon the circumstances of Mr. Tomlinson’s death.

In a blistering attack upon the British police involved in anti-protest control, the jury concluded that it was ‘sure’ that the action of the policeman causing Mr. Tomlinson’s death, was: “excessive and unreasonable…[that Tomlinson had] posed no threat” to the police.

The policeman, PC Harwood, who had been instrumental in the death of Mr. Tomlinson, first said at the hearing that Tomlinson had been obstructing police and had refused to move away at which point, he had  “engaged” him. However, after the evidence had been considered, he agreed that Tomlinson had been obeying officers and had his back turned when he had struck him violently with a baton.

May 3, 2011

US lawyer, John J Maalouf of New York City, achieves national award for excellence for the sixth year running

[US Law & Courts Contributor, Dr. Edward Lestrade]:  John J Maalouf is a US lawyer to reckon with for setting the highest standards possible for delivery excellence in the international trade and financial services industry in the USA.  That is because, for the sixth year running John has won the distinction of being in the top ten international trade and finance lawyers in the USA according to United States Lawyer Rankings.

John’s dedication to quality of service to all clients, small, or large, has earned him a reputation that only few in his demanding field are able to achieve consistently.  He is also a registered arbitrator of the Online International Arbitration Court (‘OIAC’) which operates out of Wyoming and provides commercial disputes settlement by mediation and arbitration 100% online.

Complimenting his personal high standards of delivery, John’s law firm, Maalouf Ashford & Talbot, has been recently being named “Oil & Gas Law Firm of the Year” for 2010 by Corporate International Magazine in New York.  The firm operates throughout the USA and internationally and represents some large reputable clients in high-profile matters concerning international mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private equity, oil & gas transactions and cross-border deals in China and the Middle-East.

April 30, 2011

Bristol in flames over Tesco

[Paul Goddaddie, Courts & Legal Affairs Contributor]

MailOnline: reports that the British city of Bristol is up in arms about the monopolizing antics of the Tesco stores company. It seems that residents are angry that the proliferation of the company’s shops all over the city is stifling local competition and amounts to an oppressive monopoly.

A peaceful protest this Friday by more than 400 people turned nasty as scuffles broke out with police. Two men were arrested and charged with public order offences and more than 15 are in police custody. Bottles, stones and roof tiles were thrown at the police by protesters and some officers were injured.

April 26, 2011

The poisoned chalice of NATO’s aid to the Libyan rebels

Depleted Uranium birth defects and cancers in Iraq, Afganistan and the Former Yugosalvia

[Akif Brownlie, Libya News Contributor]

International reports suggest that it is a well known secret that NATO forces assisting the rebels in Libya are using depleted uranium ordinance (‘DU‘) in their bombing strikes on Col. Gaddafi’s forces.

Whilst DU weapons are effective tools for wearing down the wily Colonel, there are serious questions now by the international community concerning the devastation on the health of all Libyans that the use of these weapons will bring.

DU is highly toxic as a radioactive substance and because of that analysts and international public health monitors, like the World Health Organisation, are echoing the view of the international community that there will be serious and wide-ranging permanent effects on the health of Libyans for many years to come from radiation contamination brought about by NATO’s shelling of their country.  That is because DU is proved to have devastated the health of residents in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, where it has been used in bombing attacks by NATO forces.

It was in 1991, that the US military, in a real war for some time and keen to test out its new super toxic DU amour piercing artillery deployed the use of DU material in its military invasion of Iraq.  Later on and delighted by the apparent usefulness of DU to create weapons of serious destruction in Iraq, the USA used DU ordinance again to pound peace into the conflict in the former Yugosalvia.

But questions began to pile up with regard to the usefulness of DU in war as cancer rates began to increase in more than 5 provinces in southern Iraq which had been shelled by the Americans. Chilling facts had emerged for the World Health Organization which found that the DU shells had contaminated the air, water and soil in the areas with highly toxic radiation which was linked to the increased cancer cases.  As such, by 2003, leukemia south of Baghdad had skyrocketed and by 2009, cancer rates had increased by the rate of thousands year by year. In 2011, reports suggest that the problem is getting worse.

In Yugoslavia too, where the ordinance had been used, leukemia symptoms became epidemic and in some parts of the country radiation levels had risen to up to 1000 times above normal. Even NATO troops suffered from the use of DU and more than 250 Italian force members have since died from DU-related cancer. As for civilians, cancer rates went up from 1 per 1000 per each new-born baby to more than 15 per 1000.

Analysts are saying that there is no need for US, or NATO forces to use DU as there is nothing to indicate that non-DU bombs can be less effective. Furthermore, as DU-inflicted wounds on humans are practically impossible to treat and present hazards for not only the victims, but also the medical personnel treating them who are likely to be seriously contaminated with radiation, there is a strong case that they should not be used whatsoever by any civilized military force.

Furthermore, where DU shells explode in non-residential areas, the problem does not go away but becomes a deferred sentence of death for residents in the target country, or region as such explosions have been found to contaminate the soil and water permanently and to cause untold misery and deaths from cancer upon residents.

According to United States’ former Justice Secretary Ramsey Clark, DU utilisation is: “An unacceptable threat to life and a violation of international law”.

April 22, 2011

Libyan black residents being slaughtered by rebels

[Alice Bolitho, Middle East News Contributor]

According to AlterNet’s Race-Talk Contributor, Philip Martin, it’s not a good time to be black in Libya as Libyan blacks are being targeted by the rebels in reprisal killing sprees.

The reason for that is because, at the start of the hostilities, the besieged incumbent Libyan dictator, Col. Gaddafi, had engaged more than three-thousand black mercenaries from neighbouring Niger, Chad, Mali and in other parts of the Sub-Saharan area to assist his internal security forces to contain the rebellion.  The so-called ‘Pan African Army’, identified by the yellow helmets, were exclusively dark-skinned and according to various reports had been particularly brutal towards Libyans in Benghazi, allegedly firing into crowds of demonstrators and clubbing, sometimes to death, unarmed civilians.

But, not all Libyan blacks are mercenaries as the country’s south is home to a large number of its black citizens. However, the rebels in their anger against the mercenaries are targeting all blacks in Libya in vicious reprisal attacks.  As a result, the indiscriminate killing of blacks in Libya is at an all-time high as black citizens and mercenaries are being equally subjected to hash treatment by the rebels with some being hanged from Poles in Benghazi,  beaten to death, or shot.   Now, there is widespread fear in the community of the many thousand black Libyans who are totally unconnected with the rogue Colonel’s drive to remain at the helm.

So, it seems that when Col. Gaddafi is finally removed, which by all accounts, will be soon, he will merely be replaced by another regime, equally as bloodthirsty and ruthless in respect to what it perceives to be in the best interest of is members and the dispensation of justice.

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April 22, 2011

Horrified users learn that their Iphone is stealthily tracking their every move

[Kent Ashdown, Technology News Contributor]

GottaBeMobile: From ‘not good’ to ‘nicht gut’, Iphone users world wide are up in arms after learning that their cherished ‘must-have’/ ‘can’t do without’ gizmo is secretly tracking their every move without their perceived consent.

It is now common knowledge that Apple logs all its  iPhone and iPad users’ movements to help it generate more ‘hitting’ ads.  By buying, or contracting a 3G iPhone, or iPad, each user gives Apple permission to track their movements. The secret tracker App can be downloaded by clicking on this link for those who want to check out how much Apple knows about their every move. 

According to GeekWire, Apple’s privacy policy says (page 37 of 45):-

We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising.

April 19, 2011

Epidemic sexual harassment and assaults on women at Yale causes US government to intervene

[Alice Walker, Courts & Legal Affairs Contributor]

AlterNet:  All is not right at Yale for its female members. That is because the prestigious university’s male members’ sexual harassment, date rape and other serious assaults upon its female members have reached such epidemic proportions that the US government has had to intervene.

The US government’s intervention followed the filing of a recent suit by 16 of the university’s members alleging it to be  ‘hostile environment’ in that, in particular, it is in violation of  the US’s Equal Opportunity in Education Act’s (‘Title IX‘) provisions which seeks to ensure that  university bodies take active measures to protect women and ensure fairness for treatment of all students regardless of gender, or race.

As a result of the suit against Yale, the US Office of Civil Rights together with the US Department of Education and the Obama administration is pressing ahead to get universities to follow  federal rules for dealing with incidences of sexual assault and harassment. The OCR has since sent Yale and other schools a reminder that ignoring sexual harassment and sexual assault is illegal under Title IX.

But Yale is not unique. In 2007, the US Justice Department reported that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men are being raped in US universities with many of both sexes never reporting the incidents.


April 18, 2011

US debt collectors facing criminal prosecution and compensation claims

[Faye Grinchgold, Financial Crisis and Consumer Rights Contributor]

AlterNet These are tough times for US debt collectors, as with the USA still in its most severe financial crisis since since the 30s, hard-pressed Americans are finding it more and more difficult to repay their debts.

As reported by AlterNet, it would seem that out of desperation, debt collectors are using illegal and criminal methods to try to get debtors to pay up. These range from collectors pretending to be attorneys, the use of racial and anti-semitic rants as well as sexually degrading comments to harass their victims. Some are reported even to have even urged their victims to commit suicide.

However, all this is backfiring for the desperate collectors as more and more of them are falling foul of the US’s criminal justice system and are being sued for compensation by their victims.

According to AlterNet, last month the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that complaints upon debt collectors were in the league with identity theft complaints and among the most it that came to it in 2010. In that year, it got 144,000 complaints concerning debt collectors,  4,100 of which had concerned threats of physical violence from the collectors.

Ira J. Rheingold of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) in Washington, DC comments: “The level of abuse and harassment in the debt collection industry is reaching epic proportions…..for example, calling people at work inappropriately, calling neighbors inappropriately, people on the phone being particularly abusive—we’re seeing more of that type of abuse than we ever have before.”

US debt collectors are regulated nationwide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 (FDCPA). The Act specifies what they can and what they can’t do. For example, profane, abusive, insulting or threatening language is unlawful as well as deceitful communications, for example where debt collectors pretend to be attorneys or law enforcement agents. The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors to discuss the specifics of a debt with third parties.

If you feel that a debt collector’s actions is threatening, or abusive you should inform the police forthwith and contact an specialist attorney, or the National Association of Consumer Advocates for assistance.