Posts tagged ‘USA’

May 9, 2011

Twitter and other social media sites legally bound to obey UK superinjunctions

[Jenny Lang, Law & Courts Contributor]

Regarding the widespread confusion about the enforceability of UK ‘superinjunctions’, iTOD contributor, Jenny Lang, seeks to bring light on the subject.

For those of you who don’t know this, ‘superinjunctions’ refer to privacy orders given by a UK court whereby it becomes a contempt of court (punishable by imprisonment and fine) for the specified private details, about a person to be published, or for it to be revealed that they had sought the injunctions.

Contrary to confusing information abounding about the worldwide enforceability of the injunctions, the reality is that in fact, they can bind the whole world. They are not cheap – in the UK, they cost around £120,000 to achieve.  However, in other jurisdictions, eg., Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, the cost may be considerably less expensive, but just as effective as it is possible to get the injunctions in any jurisdiction where this is not prohibited by the awarding country’s constitution, or similar laws. In particular,  courts of record (eg., High Court) in common law countries have an inherent right to grant these injunctions.  The USA, however, is an exception as the First Amendment of its constitution specifically prohibits the right to privacy of individuals.

What this means that worldwide publishers, be they Internet based, or not, will not be able to ignore the injunctions as most countries, like the USA, reciprocate judgment recognitions and enforcements under reciprocity protocols. As such for an Internet hosting site, or search engine to ignore a court order would be perilous. That is why Twitter was bound to ‘redact’ the list of published names of the ‘superinjuncted’ recently and Wikipedia in a similar situation recently, had done the same.

May 7, 2011

Update 7th May 2011 – killings in Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Bin Laden’s plans to attack the USA

[Military Analyst Contributor, Sam Trowell]

Afghanistan

Kandahar, Afghanistan is a hotbed of fighting between militants and government supporters. They have attacked the governor’s office, the country’s spy agency (AIA) and a police station. Around 22 people have been killed in the attacks which have included at least six suicide blasts. The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

Nigeria

Attackers burn many houses in the village of Bauchi state, Nigeria killing at least 16 people who are believed to have been Christians. As Bauchi belongs to Nigeria’s region which separates the Muslim north and the Christian south, it is an area of much tension between the two sides involving power struggles.

Syria

Reports on the Syria people protests situation are claiming that troops and tanks are moving into the Syrian city of Baniyas which has been the hub of anti-government protests. More than 800 protestors have been executed by the Syrian government since the demonstrations started two months ago.

Bin Laden

US Officials studying material taken from Bin Laden’s apartment are confirming that after 10 years of no attacks upon the USA, he had been planning to put the American railway system under 911-type attacks imminently and it is feared that if he had not been killed in Abbottabad, the USA and the world would have been in the greatest danger.

After further study of the Bin Laden materials, the US Officials plan to debrief their administration and the world on the other attacks that had been planned by Bin Laden. In the meantime, various blogs purposting to be Jihadist, or from the leadership of Al’ Qaeda, are confirming Bin Laden’s death which, according to the US Officials are more or less conclusive that he was killed in the daring raid by unnamed Navy SEALs at his private quarters near the Pakistani military training college and the Pakistani security services headquarters in Abbottabad.

May 4, 2011

Americans to get Internet ID cards

By Tollat Kulie, Internet Security Contributor
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Engadget: The USA in planning to give each American a unique Internet ID in a major plan to combat cyberterrorism and to make life easier for the regulatory agencies policing the current ‘wild west’ of Internet life.
The Obama administration expects the scheme to generally make Internet security better for millions of Americans and to, coincidentally, take away the need for users to memorise login details, passwords, etc, for online use.  The measure is being drafted as the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which is expected to be in project stage at the Department of Commerce shortly.
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It is proposed that the new unique Internet ID system will be optional for all citizens, but many are saying that it looks like another ID card scheme. Time will tell.
April 14, 2011

Article review: Cyberterrorism and you – how Internet reputation repair consultants are raking it in from your online misery

[Dr. Edward Lestrade, CyberCrime Contributor]

Professor Ann Bartow is a law professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. In May this year she will be joining Pace Law School Faculty as a Law Professor.

International Times of Dominica CyberCrime Contributor, Sarah Blum, reviews her article, ‘Internet Defamation as a Profit Center: The Monetization of Online Harassment’ which was published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 32, No.2, 2009.

The article, although written primarily from a feminist perspective,  provides an insightful and seminal view of the increasing problem of cyberbullying and online harassment which has now reached epidemic proportions in the USA in particular and how this has provided for the birth of a brand new business form  – Internet reputation repair consulting.

The article, investigates the problem of cyberbullying/ online defamation, or harassment and particularly its effect on women due to the misery it causes to them. It explains that  in face to face harassment situations in a public place, or at work, a person can look to the police, or other state protection agencies (eg., Equal Opportunity Commission) for assistance. But when, harassment, be it sexual, or otherwise, takes place on the Internet, the level of protection that is available in face to face situations, simply is not there especially if the attackers are anonymous, as is often the case.

Professor Bartow explains that this lack of protection from cyberterrorism, or online harassment, is mainly due to the glaring loopholes in US privacy and harassment protection laws courtesy of the protective First Amendment protections and freedom of information laws in the US. As a result, victims of internet harassment and bullying are left to fend for themselves and are increasingly finding themselves at the mercy of entrepreneurs in the guise of ‘reputation repair’ consultants.

The ‘repair management’ companies tend to offer services to assist the victims to manage the information available on them on the Internet, not by erasing it (although some claim to be able to do so), but in practically all cases, by suppressing it – pushing it lower down the page ranks of the popular search engines.  Professor Bartow observes that generally the harder the abusers try to reduce the abundance of negative commentary on the Internet, the worse the problem appears to get. This appears to particularly in the case of women.

The Launch of the Internet ‘ProtectionBusiness

The Internet reputation protection business was effectively launched as a result of a recent spate of celebrity-type incidents of cyber sexual harassment and bullying and an abundance of not-so-hi-profile others.

The businesses promise to ‘squeaky-clean’ your online image to leave you free to go about your day to day basis knowing that your Internet reputation is intact.  However, as Professor Bartow points out,  these ‘knights in shining armour’ are not such gifts as they make themselves out to be for the very reason that it is in their interest to have as many people as possible harassed on the Internet.

Furthermore, due to their skills in the art of ‘de-dissing’, they are in excellent positions to do the opposite to prospective clients to increase the size of the market.  She points out that these companies also have little incentive to support changes in the law that would restrict the cyber terror of victims and enable them to seek the assistance of the courts without too much problems.

March 25, 2011

The ‘protection’ racket is back, but this time on the Internet

Cyberprotection racketeering and Cyberbullying are today’s fastest-growing cybercrimes. That is because, in the age of the ‘blog’, it is easy for anyone to publish anything about anybody quickly and damagingly.

If anyone publishes anything negative about you on the Internet, this is certainly likely to affect your business, career prospects and credibility. So vis a vis the posters, you are in a vulnerable position. That is because to get to the reputation-bashing perpetrators normally takes a lot of money, time and a court order as they tend to hide behind ‘message boards’ and say that the offending comments have been posted anonymously and at the same time manage to arrange unsolicited offers from ‘consultants’, to fix/ repair your online reputation for hard cash.

If you decide to go after the actual perpetrators and win, getting money out of them will certainly be an issue. But take heart, all is not hopeless…read on.

One way you can protect your reputation is to complain to your local law enforcement agency for internet crimes. For USA sites, the FBI would be your first port of call.  However, the perpetrators will need to be claiming that you are involved in criminal activity, or have committed a crime for you to get anywhere and you need to have hard evidence of the persons behind the campaign.

In the USA as well as in most jurisdictions, it is a criminal offence for anyone to publish something about someone who they claim have committed a crime, or are involved in criminal activity, when that is not the case. Basically, they are required to either ‘put up’, or ‘shut up’, or face the consequences.  Therefore, your law enforcement people may be able to assist you in getting the offending comments removed, or  by prosecuting the offenders who could go to jail, or face heavy fines.

However, as your cyberstalkers and cyberprotection criminals are likely to be and are normally sociopaths, psychopaths and/ or hardened bandits, they will usually stop at nothing to get to you. So despite your best efforts and that of the law enforcement agencies, expect their campaign to continue with anonymous postings on various ‘consumer protection’ blogs which will serve further the damage to your reputation.

However, the UK courts now provide the remedy of a ‘privacy’ injunction which will stop anyone publishing anything about you whether it is true or not upon pain of arrest and imprisonment.  As most jurisdictions will comply with a UK court order, the measure is a very powerful one for protecting your online reputation. However, the measure is not cheap and professional advice should be sought as to its efficacy  as far as you would be concerned.

Fraud Protection Sites & the Cyberprotection Racket

There are many fraud protection blogs on the Internet these days. The majority offer to provide a free screening service for anyone looking to check up on a potential business partner, employee, or service provider.

Many such sites, like RipOff Report, or Complaints Board, provide such a comprehensive reference source for checking up especially as they publish complaints from members of the public claiming to have been ‘ripped off’, or cheated by financiers, etc, and vice versa.  However, do be warned that these sites  do not verify any of the postings. So basically, at some flicks of anyone’s keyboard, you and your company could have their names instantly rubbished and there would not be much that you could do to defend yourself.

In particular, do beware of those fraud sites which are also linked to companies providing the same services as the financiers they seek to discredit as they are no more than hate sites aiming to narrow down the competition. In many cases they are linked to ‘cyberprotection’ racketeers who will certainly demand you to pay up for the ‘pain’ to stop.

One such site is: Quatloos, or Quatloosia which was founded by and is managed by Jay Adkisson and Chris Riser whose law firm, Riser Adkisson LLP runs an investments service. In fact, both partners are themselves involved in deceptive practices to run their business. A case in point is that they are putting out that Mr. Riser is a qualified UK solicitor so as to make their law practice more attractive it seems. However, Mr. Riser has never been so qualified.

Here is what the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority had to say when approached by our Fraud News Contributor:-

1)” …I can confirm that I have viewed the website link (http://www.risad.com)…..this has been forwarded to our Fraud Intelligence Unit and Regulatory Investigations….

Bev Hunter
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Phone : 0870 606 2555
Fax : + 44 (0) 207 320 5964
Email : contactcentre@sra.org.uk
Website : http://www.sra.org.uk

______________________________________

2)”..Thank you for your email of 02 March 2011.

I have checked the records held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for a Mr Christopher Michael Riser and can confirm that he has never held a practicing certificate.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further queries that you would like to discuss, please contact us by telephone on 0870 606 2555. Our lines are open 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday. If you are calling from overseas please use +44 (0) 1527 504450. Please note calls may be monitored/recorded for training purposes. Alternatively you can e-mail us on contactcentre@sra.org.uk.

Thank you for contacting the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Yours sincerely

Lucinda Jones
Contact Centre Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
(: 0870 606 2555
7: 0207 320 5964
*: contactcentre@sra.org.uk

Various other complaints about Mr. Adkisson and Mr. Riser can be found on ‘Rip-Off Report and  USA Complaints Board, as well as other consumer complaint sites mainly in the USA. The complaints cover matters like outright theft, malpractice and so on. The attorneys, who were exposed by Dr. Edward Lestrade as falsely holding out Mr. Riser to be qualified as a UK solicitor when he has never held a licence to practice, have since mounted a cyberbullying campaign against  Dr. Lestrade and the company, LLAGROUPEUROPE to which he is associated. Their postings of innuendos and typical unsubstantiated commentary have appeared on their site and various other consumer complaint blogs as posted by them. Both Dr. Lestrade and LLAGROUPEUROPE have reported the matter to the FBI.

Our Fraud News Contributor called the office of the attorneys last week to get an explanation for their bizarre behaviour towards the aggrieved parties but were met with an automated response.

In the meantime, the aggrieved parties have been inundated with approaches from reputation ‘repair’ management consultants who have been offering to perform ‘reputation repair’ services starting from a base fee of $5000. Is this the ‘protection’ racket all over again, but this time in ‘cyberspace’?

So the conclusion is that, if you are looking to check up on a business or individual, if that business, or individual does not show up on consumer complaint sites, that is not necessarily a good thing.  That is to say, should you be so inclined, at a few keystrokes, you too could easily and with considerable impunity rubbish their standing and reputations by a blog posting on a complaint site such as the one run by the attorneys Adkisson and Riser, or indeed any other such site.  The same could happen to you too!

For example, if you go to Complaints Board and search the names of these banks/ financial services and companies as well as individuals below, you will find that they will all have several complaints about them, some trivial, some serious. You may also try searching under your name, or that of you company, or an associate company (large, small, or well-known), you will be surprised what you will find!:-

Therefore, when ‘checking out’ people or businesses , you should certainly rely less on what is posted on these ‘complaint’ sites, but  more on the integrity of the person’s, or businesses’ actual presentation to you.

Help Line – if you are a victim of Cyberprotection, or Cyberbullying, please feel free to contact us at International Times of Dominica for assistance. We may not be able to help you directly, but will certainly know of people who can.

[Fraud News Contributor]

Related Articles

March 8, 2011

Article: How financial melt-down in Eastern and Central Europe will domino-effect the west

[Dr. Edward Lestrade, Finance & Economy Contributor]

This article was written in 2009 as “The Financial Crisis in Central & Eastern Europe and Implications for Western Economies” and originally published in European Newsletter 4/2009 (Thomson Reuters) and SSRN.  It shows how western economies can be dominoed if the financial crisis currently obtaining in the region of eastern and central Europe brings about economy collapses in the region.

Emerging Economies and emerging risks

In the early 1990’s following the decline of the Soviet Union and the advent of the independence of the countries formerly occupied by it, west European banks keenly bought out, or into the relatively cheap  major  banks  in  the  majority  of  the  newly-independent  countries.  Furthermore,  the  cut  in interest rates in the USA post-2002, had effectively raised interest rates world-wide to record low levels creating an easy-credit scenario and attendant higher risk lending in foreign currencies.

Following from all that, in the period between 2002 and 2007, western banks, especially Austrian, Swiss  and  Swedish  banks,  made  unprecedented  loans  to  banks  in  eastern  and  central  Europe  in anticipation  of  capturing  the  potentially  lucrative  markets  opening  up  in  the  region  and  took advantage of the low international interest rates prevailing at the time. However, the risk aspects of those  deals  are  now  emerging  with  a  vengeance  as  the  global  economic  downturn  bites  further forcing western banks to pull back and refuse to renew loans, or ‘rollover’ credits and thus leaving many borrowers in the region of Central and Eastern Europe with unpayable loan debts.  Apart from Austrian banks, other western banks at risk in eastern and central Europe include leading banks in Belgium (KCB), Italy (Intesa Sanpaolo) and Sweden (SEB and Swedbank).

In  the case  of  Hungary,  Swiss  and Austrian  banks  had  promoted  home  mortgage  loans  in Swiss currency  where  interest  rates  were  significantly  lower.  The  only  risk  for  borrowers  then  was  the event of the devaluation of the Hungarian currency which would force the house owner borrowers to repay something like double the monthly amount of their repayments in Swiss Francs.

Unfortunately, for Hungary and some other countries in the region, in 2008 to early 2009, that risk did emerge when the  Hungarian currency significantly  lowered against the Swiss  franc. This  had been  mainly  due  to  the  situation  over  the  past  18  months  where  western  banks  and  funds  had significantly reduced their business investments in eastern countries so as to revert capital to parent banks in the west which had been hard hit by the US financial institutions’ collapses. In respect to Poland, where more than 60% of the country’s mortgages are in Swiss francs and with the Polish zloty dropping recently to more than 50% against the Swiss franc, the  country is  now facing the same position as Hungary in exposure terms.

According to Neil Shearing of ‘Capital Economics’, a leading economics research consultancy, Austrian and Swedish banks are most exposed to the ‘high risk’ countries in emerging Europe which include: Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. He explained that whilst the ongoing structural reforms to the financial regulatory systems in these countries made it difficult to assess the true extent of the west’s exposure, it was clear that it would take only one western bank in the region running into difficulty to create a serious system risk to the west’s banking systems.

This view was echoed by the Austrian newspaper, Der Standard, which commented that a failure rate of only 10% in the banking systems in eastern and central Europe would lead to a collapse of the entire Austrian financial sector. In that context, especially depressing is the estimation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which assesses that bad debts in the region may well go up to 10% and could even reach 20%.

According to the Morgan Stanley investment bank, eastern and central Europe has borrowed more than USD1.7 trillion mainly from west European banks. Much of the borrowing is in the form of short-term  lending  indicating  repayment  over  one  year.    Effectively,  in  2009,  eastern  and  central European  countries  are  due  to  repay,  or  procure  to  be  rolled-over,  around  USD400  billion amounting to some 33% of the region’s total GDP.

However, in the current economic climate where western European banks are becoming less willing and in  some cases, refusing to roll-over  loans to eastern and central European banks and thereby effectively shutting down credit avenues for the region, loan repayments to western European banks have  become  seriously  problematic  for  the  region.    This  problem  has  contributed  to  the  steep decline of the region’s financial health which in turn is impacting more and more negatively the financial systems of western Europe.

Impact on western European banking system and economies

According to Danske Bank of Denmark the economies in the region of central and eastern Europe are on the verge of collapse with Ukraine, in particular, being on the brink of sovereign default. As such, it said, policy makers all over Europe must continue to call for immediate action to stop the problem affecting the Eurozone. However, it would seem that the problem is already affecting the Eurozone as in February 2009, credit agencies, such as Moody’s, reported that west European banks with eastern and central European subsidiaries were likely to be downgraded due to their exposure in the precarious current situation of the region’s banking system which has been brought about by the financial crisis in the west. The Moody’s report specifically referred to banks in Eastern Europe owned by western European banks and included banks such as: Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich and Sweden’s Swedbank. This public warning by Moody’s is serving to more, or less force western banks with subsidiaries in eastern Europe to severely restrict lending conditions in the region at a time when exactly the reverse is needed to keep economic growth from folding totally and thereby setting off a chain reaction of lending defaults in the west.

The  credit  rating  agency’s  reports  have  underlined  the  vulnerability  of  western  European  banks operating in eastern and central Europe, particularly those based in Austria and Sweden. According to the ratings agencies, generally, banks headquartered in Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden comprise around 85% of the total western European bank claims on eastern and central Europe.  As such, most debts in central and eastern Europe are owed to the west, in particular, to Austrian,  Swedish,  Greek,  Italian,  and  Belgian  banks  and  of  the  USD4.9  trillion  in  loans  to  the region from western banks, 74% amounts to lending from western European banks.  These figures make it abundantly clear that the west’s banking systems are inextricably linked to those of eastern and central Europe and declines in either region are going to seriously affect the other.

Impact on the commercial sector in Western Europe

The banking sector of western Europe has not been the only sector in Western Europe affected by the downturn in the economies of eastern and central Europe. The commercial sector has also been hit hard.  Central and eastern Europe which was once a dream destination for western companies eager to tap into new markets, has become a nightmare for large foreign operators in the region such as Telekom Austria and the German retailer, Metro AG.  Several other western European telecom companies are also critically exposed in the region. For example, the Norway-based Telenor Group earned 20% of its 2007 income from its activities in central and Eastern Europe and is also present in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. It is also the majority owner of Kyivstar, the largest  mobile  operator  in  Ukraine.  The  company  is  again  the  second-largest  mobile  network operator in Serbia which, like Ukraine, was bailed out by the International Monetary Fund (‘IMF’) but has recently requested more money as a result of its sharply deteriorating economy.

The  other  large  investors  in  the  Balkans  at  risk  too  are  Telekom  Austria  and  Greece’s  Hellenic Telecommunications  Organization  SA  OTE.  Furthermore,  Sweden’s  largest  telecoms  operator, TeliaSonera, has a strong presence in the Baltic region as well Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan. The company has a 40% or so sales income from Eastern Europe. Also at risk is France’s Telecom FTE which has a 20% or so sales output to the emergent countries in Europe and Africa.

Extent of the financial crisis in eastern and central Europe

The  position of  Hungary,  the  Balkans  and  Ukraine  is  more  or  less  the  same,  compounding problems for western banks in general. Specifically, according to the IMF, western European banks are five times more exposed to the current financial crisis than their US and Japanese counterparts, being almost 50% more leveraged. As a result it is not surprising that the Greek government had recently ordered Greek banks to withdraw from the Balkans and there is the likelihood that western European  head  offices,  or  countries  may  well  follow  suit  resulting  in  the  closing  down  of subsidiaries in eastern and central Europe.

Bail-out  sums  needed  to  rescue  the  economies  that  will  be  affected  by  such  actions  are  already beyond the limits of the IMF which  has already  doled out rescue packages to  Hungary,  Ukraine, Latvia,  Belarus  and  Iceland  (with  Pakistan  and  Turkey  being  in  line  for  such  aid  shortly).  It  is reported that the IMF’s reserves of 155 billion Euros are fast depleting and it has been forced to sell off its gold reserves to raise much-needed cash for rescuing economies in trouble.

Particular countries in risk of imminent economic failure in the region of eastern and central Europe according to recent reports are:-

Ukraine

It  appears  that  the  IMF’s  $16bn  rescue  package  is  fast  going  towards  default  as  the  country’s economy shrank by 12% in GDP recently leaving, in particular, banks like Unicredit, Raffeisen and ING facing disasters of unimaginable proportions.

Latvia

The country is fast moving towards irretrievable bankruptcy with confirmation by country’s central bank’s governor that the Latvian economy is: ‘clinically dead’ after it reduced 10.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Western European Countries at risk from the effect of banking failures in eastern and central Europe

Austria

The  country  is  exposed  to  the  tune  of  Euro  220  billion  by  its  financial  sector.  This  exposure  is equivalent of around 75% of the country’s GDP.  The Austrian banks which appear to be most at risk from the failure of the eastern and central European banking system are Austria’s Erste Bank and  Raiffeisen  International  RAIFF,  as  well  as  Italy’s  UniCredit  Group,  which  controls  Bank Austria, which has a focused and dominant presence in Central and Eastern Europe.

Switzerland

In a recent interview with economist, Arthur P. Schmidt, the Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger. reports that Switzerland is threatened with bankruptcy over its exposure in eastern and central Europe.  That is because, in countries such as Poland, Hungary and Croatia where the Swiss franc had become the currency of choice, many households and small firms took out loans in Swiss francs, and not in the national currency zloty, forint, or kuna, because of the lower interest rates offered. As a result, in Hungary, 31 percent of all loans are in Swiss currency and of household loans it is 60%.  Therefore, as the financial crisis ended cheap credit, central and eastern European currencies are in decline. For example, at  the end of September 2008, 46 francs was the going rate for 100 Polish zlotys, but now the going rate is in the region of 30 francs and dropping. What this means is that borrowers are likely to default on their loan repayments due the significantly increased cost of the borrowing. This will lead to economic problems in the already fragile economies of the region. Furthermore, as as large amount of the 200 billion U.S. dollars of eastern European loans were issued in Swiss francs, economic failures in central and eastern Europe have clear and dire implications for the Swiss economy.

Summary

As the EU has no current framework for dealing with the crisis in eastern and central Europe, it is clear that its failure to rescue one of the economies in trouble will trigger huge crisis for the region which  would  have  serious  implications  for  any  recovery  from  the  global  economic  downturn  in western  Europe.  Therefore,  it  was  not  surprising  that  in  February  2009,  the  World  Bank  urged intervention in Central and Eastern Europe to assist the region to cope with the effects of the global financial crisis and economic downturn.  The bank had already commenced helping the region with urgently needed funds, but according to its president, Robert Zoellick, in an interview with the UK Financial Times in 2009, more backing from the EU was needed.

Generally,  the  EU  seems  to  be  cautious  to  devise  a  co-ordinated  action  plan  for  the  region  as, according  to  the  EU’s  Economy  Commissioner,  the  member  states  of  the  region  each  enjoy different relationships with the EU and as their needs therefore differ, making a combined initiative for  the  region  impracticable.    However,  this  view  was  not  shared  by  Lithuania  as  the  country’s Prime Minister, Andrius Kubilius, supports Austria’s urging of the EU to develop a support plan for the  region  on  the  basis  that  the  cause  of  the  region’s  recent  economic  problems  was  due  to  the banking troubles of the west.  Also, the Hungarian prime minister, Ference Gyurcsany has called for a €100 billion  cash  injection  plan  from  the  EU  for  assisting  the  region’s  banks  which  are  under severe pressure from the current global economic downturn.

[reprinted from: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1408530 – 4/2009]

March 1, 2011

Steaming hot ‘Cadence- lypso’ and the rise of a pop music legend

Julie Mourillon is the creator of the new sound craze, Cadence-lypso, which is igniting the Caribbean, French and niche European music scenes. Cadence-lypso is a  fusion of Dominican and Caribbean/ Latino rhythms and has totally revolutionized the music scene in its genre and is now the main dance music of Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe and other French Creole Caribbean islands.

Born and raised in the Caribbean island of Dominica, Julie started getting involved in music very early in life playing with top Dominican bands of the early seventies and quickly became one of the top guitarists on the island. In 1973, he teamed up with several Dominican musician friends and moved to the neighbouring French island of Guadeloupe where they created the Group EXILE ONE and pioneered Cadence-lypso.

In 1975, Julie moved to Paris with his EXILE ONE colleagues. That same year he recorded his first solo album ‘Rock Your Bones’. The hit track ‘Pays a Moin’ shot up to number one in Dominica and other Caribbean islands. A number of musical experiences followed including the making of his own band ‘Emphasis’ and later, teaming up with some of his old colleagues giving birth to the group ”Roots of Exile”. Together, they launched a new beat dubbed Island Boogie, a fusion of cadence- lypso and North American funk and soul and toured Africa and Europe. In 1984, Julie went truly solo as a main act and since then has released 15 albums including 2 reggae albums, unleashing hits such as Aniece, Ecoutez, Piman Cho, Julianna, Trodding On, Jump Up Party, Keep the Feeling and Need U2Nite. In the following years, Julie toured Africa, Europe, the  USA, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Very much in demand as a session musician he has worked with top rap and reggae acts in Paris and Africa including Alpha Blondy as well as with top Jamaican musicians such as Cat and Rugs of Third World and more recently, superstar Jimmy Cliff.

Now, Julie’s music is being distributed by Jet Star Music, a worldwide record distribution company based in London.  ‘Jump Up Party’ is the newest offering of Julie Mourillon. It demonstrates his versatility as a composer, writer and singer. As its name suggests, it is a party album with great ambience and Julie is dishing out hot spicy Caribbean music: soca, bouyon, cadence-lypso and merengue.

Julie’s new album is scheduled for release in spring 2011 and a preview can be heard on http://www.myspace.com/juliemourillon. He is planning a tour of Russia and the Baltics scheduled for later on this year.

[Music & Arts Contributor]

March 1, 2011

The case of the unseeming rise of Justice Irving Andre

Who is Justice Irving Andre? He is a black Canadian judge with a doctorate in law, a gold medalist in English and a receiver of the African Canadian Achievement Award and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award. What is special about Justice Andre is that he is from the Caribbean having been born in Curacao and raised in Dominica.

Dominica is a small Caribbean island, about the size of Singapore. It has a population of around 75,000. Andre was the 4th child of seven and grew up in an environment where he soon realised that education for him was the only key to achieving his dreams. The young Andre was industrious at school and after getting a US aid scholarship, he graduated with a degree in geography at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He then went on to the USA on a scholarship to further his studies at doctoral level. However, he did not complete this degree, but instead after two years moved to Canada with his girlfriend, another Dominican, whom he had met at the university and who is now his wife.

His move to Canada was tough. Settling in, supporting a growing family he had to deliver newspapers and pamphlets over weekends to make ends meet whilst working as an office clerk. A year later, he began law studies. “..law offered the promise of being able to work independently of others and being able to make a difference,” he comments.  Having qualified as a lawyer, he practised criminal law for almost ten years and was admitted to the bench in 2002 upon a distinguished record at the criminal bar.

[Law & Courts Contributor]