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LEGAL STREET NEWS Circulated Weekly To Cities In Florida
Volume 731 Issue 23
June 4, 2012
P O W E R in The News This Week B A C K U P P R O B E D A T C A L BACKUP POWER PROBED AT CAL NUKE PLANT N U K E P L A N T The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant in California operated for decades with equipment that might have temporarily severed the plant's emergency power supply in the event of an earthquake. Page 1
interrupt the onsite electrical generation" during a temblor. if the generators fail, the plant can use battery power for up to four hours to operate the steam generators to cool the twin reactors.
SWiSS GOVERNmENT GETS PAiD TO BORROW mONEy
The plant between Los Angeles and San Diego has been idle since January while investigators try to determine why tubing that carries radioactive water in relatively new steam generators eroded at an unusual rate, in some cases rapidly.
Global investors are paying Switzerland to take their money. Page 1
ROmNEy CLiNChES NOmiNATiON, BUT TRUmP OVERShADOWS mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential nomination after years of fighting. Page 2
NEW CyBERWEAPON DiSCOVERED; iRANiAN COmPUTERS hiT A massive data-slurping cyberweapon is circulating in the middle East, a Russian internet security firm reported monday. Page 3
FLORiDA ACCiDENT STATiSTiCS Accident Statistics from Florida Department of highway Safety and motor Vehicles Page 4
FLORiDA ACCiDENT REPORTS
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant in California operated for decades with equipment that might have temporarily severed the plant's emergency power supply in the event of an earthquake, government filings revealed Tuesday. The disclosure by Southern California Edison about a possible backup power problem comes amid a probe into excessive wear on tubing that has kept the seaside plant sidelined for nearly four months. The company disabled the equipment - a vibration sensor - and reported the power issue to federal regulators as "an unanalyzed condition that significantly degraded plant safety."
This Weeks Accident Reports from Various countys in Florida. Page 5
Edison said other back-up systems were in place during that time.
RADiOACTiVE BLUEFiN TUNA CROSSED ThE PACiFiC TO US
"Engineers are continuing to analyze the condition and have not reached a final conclusion if the sensor would actually cause a shutdown during an earthquake," a company statement said.
Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plan. Page 6
EUROPEANS AmBiVALENT TO ThE EURO, SURVEy FiNDS The debt crisis that has ravaged Europe for the best part of three years has exposed a dislike of the single currency. Page 7
NyC PROPOSES BAN ON SALE OF OVERSiZED SODAS What next
JUDGES SENTENCE ChARLES TAyLOR TO 50 Page 8 yEARS
A steady supply of electricity is a critical issue at nuclear plants, which need power to control heat in the reactors. A tsunami destroyed backup generators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant - setting off the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. At issue at San Onofre is a vibration sensor in use since 1981 on emergency diesel generators, which start if the plant's outside power is cut - a possibility during an earthquake. Engineers found the sensor - designed to protect components inside the generators during operation - might incorrectly stop them during an earthquake. According to records filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Edison engineers are looking into whether "high vibration ... could
Gradual wear is common in such tubing, but the rate of erosion in some tubes at San Onofre alarmed officials since the equipment is relatively new. The company has said 1,300 tubes will be taken out of service, although the number is well within the margin to allow the generators to keep operating. Edison initially targeted a June restart for at least one of the twin reactors, but that appears increasingly unlikely as investigators continue to review the widespread problem.
Swiss Government G e t s P a i d To Borrow Money GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- Global investors are paying Switzerland to take their money as they look for safe places to park their capital. The Swiss government issued short-term debt bills worth 688.8 million francs ($716 million) Tuesday at a negative interest rate of 0.62 percent. That means investors are paying to lend money to Switzerland for three months. Switzerland first offered negative interest on government debt last year when the franc surged on market fears about the euro. Unicredit economist Alexander Koch says it underscores how investors are willing to incur some losses to preserve capital. Tuesday's debt sale comes after the Swiss National Bank said Switzerland was preparing for a possible collapse of the euro. SNB president Thomas Jordan told Zurich Newspaper SonntagsZeitung on Sunday that Switzerland was considering introducing cross-border capital controls.
Legal Street News Monday June 4, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
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R O M N E y C L i N C H E S N O M i N AT i O N , BUT TRUMP OvERSHADOWS By ED WHITE Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) -- mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential nomination after years of fighting, though his triumph was partially overshadowed by the celebrity businessman who helped him along the way. As primary voters in Texas on Tuesday pushed him past the 1,144-delegate threshold he needed to win the nod, Romney was raising money in Las Vegas with Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who has stoked doubts about whether President Barack Obama was born in America. it's the start of a weeklong push to raise millions of dollars during a West Coast swing as Romney looks to bring in as much cash as possible ahead of a ramped-up campaign schedule later this summer. "mr. Trump, thank you for letting us come to this beautiful hotel and being with so many friends. Thank you for twisting the arms that it takes to bring a fundraiser together," Romney told the approximately 200 people who paid thousands to attend the event at the Trump international hotel. "i appreciate your help." The Trump event and surrounding controversy overshadowed the Texas primary win that officially handed Romney the nomination, a triumph of endurance for a candidate who came up short four years ago and had to fight hard this year as voters flirted with a carousel of GOP rivals. According to the Associated Press count, Romney surpassed the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination by winning 105 delegates in the Texas primary, pushing his total to 1,191 delegates. The former massachusetts governor reached the nomination milestone with a steady message of concern about the U.S. economy, a campaign organization that dwarfed those of his GOP foes and a fundraising operation second only to that of Obama, his Democratic general election opponent. he outlasted a half-dozen Republican opponents to clinch the nomination later in the
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calendar than any recent GOP nominee. Romney must now fire up conservatives who still doubt him while persuading swing voters that he can do a better job fixing the nation's struggling economy than Obama. in Obama, he faces a well-funded candidate with a proven campaign team in an election that will be heavily influenced by the economy. Romney will continue his push to raise money with fundraisers this week in wealthy California enclaves like hillsborough, near San Francisco, and Beverly hills. he has at least one major fundraising event every day for the rest of the week, as well as a series of smaller events. But the focus Tuesday was on Trump, who once led polls of GOP primary voters. he endorsed the former massachusetts governor just before the February Nevada caucuses, offering his support at a morning endorsement event in ballroom in the hotel that bears his name. in the same room Tuesday night for the fundraiser, Trump introduced Romney. he steered clear of the "birther" issue as he spoke to donors, though just hours earlier he had repeated his doubts about the authenticity of the birth certificate that shows Obama was born in hawaii. "A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate," Trump told CNN of
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N E W C y B E RW E A P O N D i S C O v E R E D ; i R A N i A N C O M P U T E R S H i T Stuxnet," with thousands of lines of code that took a large team, ample funding and months, if not years, to develop, he said. "it's a live program that communicates back to its master. it asks, where should i go? What should i do now? it's really almost like a science fiction movie."
By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO Associated Press LONDON (AP) -- A massive data-slurping cyberweapon is circulating in the middle East, a Russian internet security firm reported monday, saying that computers in iran appear to have been particularly affected. The virus, dubbed "Flame," is unprecedented both in terms of its size and complexity, moscow-based Kaspersky Lab ZAO reported, saying it possesses the ability to turn infected computers into listening devices and even suck information out from nearby cell phones. "The complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious program exceed those of all other cyber menaces known to date," the company said in a blog post announcing the discovery. The announcement sent a ripple of excitement across the computer security sector. Flame is the third major cyberweapon discovered in the past two years, and Kaspersky's conclusion that it was crafted at the behest of a national government fueled speculation that the virus could be part of an israeli-backed campaign of electronic sabotage aimed at archrival iran. Some evidence suggests that the people behind Flame also helped craft Stuxnet, a notorious virus that disrupted controls of some nuclear centrifuges in iran in 2010, according to ilan Froimovici, the technical director at Power Communications, which represents Kaspersky in israel. The two codes "use the same vulnerabilities in the operating system and the computer infrastructure in order to infect the computer system. We do believe that the same programmers built the two codes," he said.
average size of malware samples collected by internet security company Sophos in 2010, around the same time that Kaspersky believes Flame first started spreading. Woodward compared the virus to a smartphone. Depending on what kind of espionage you want to carry out, "you just add apps." he said Flame's ability to attack Bluetoothenabled devices left near a computer attack was "very unusual." Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communications protocol generally used for wireless headsets, in-car audio systems or file swapping between mobile phones. Woodward said that Flame can turn an infected computer into a kind of "industrial vacuum cleaner," copying data from vulnerable cell phones or other devices left near it. "i don't believe i've seen it before," he said. Udi mokady, CEO of Cyber-Ark, an israeli developer of information security, said he thought four countries, in no particular order, had the technological know-how to develop so sophisticated an electronic offensive: israel, the U.S., China and Russia. "it was 20 times more sophisticated than
Stuxnet revolutionized the cybersecurity field because it targeted physical infrastructure rather than data, one of the first demonstrations of how savvy hackers can take control of industrial systems to wreak real-world havoc.
C o u r t W o n ' t R e v i e w P o l i c e Use Of Stun Guns
Unlike Stuxnet, Flame appears focused on espionage, Kaspersky said. The virus can activate a computer's audio systems to eavesdrop on Skype calls or office chatter, for example. it can also take screenshots, log keystrokes, and - in one of its more novel functions- suck data from Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.
WAShiNGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has decided that it will not review the appropriateness of stun guns used by police on suspects.
israel's vice premier did little to deflect suspicion about possible israeli involvement in the latest attack. "Whoever sees the iranian threat as a significant threat is likely to take various steps, including these, to hobble it," israeli Vice Premier moshe yaalon told Army Radio when asked about Flame. "israel is blessed with high technology, and we boast tools that open all sorts of opportunities for us." Alan Woodward, a professor of computing at the University of Surrey in southern England, said that Flame was a different order of threat than run-of-the-mill cyberfraud programs. "most malware writers like to have tiny bits of code that kind of hide away in the dross that's on a computer," Woodward said. "Flame is 20 megabytes large. That's nearly 60 times the
The high court on Tuesday refused to hear appeals from police in hawaii and Washington, or people who got stun-gunned by officers. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said officers could not be sued in federal court. But judges also said officers used excessive force by using stun guns. malaika Brooks was driving her son to school in 2004 when she was stopped for speeding. Officers used a Taser three times when the woman, who was seven months pregnant, refused to get out of her car. Jayzel mattos was stun-gunned in 2006 in her house by police who said she interfered with the arrest of her husband,
iran claims Stuxnet and other computer viruses have done no serious harm to iran's nuclear or industrial facilities. it sees them as part of a campaign by israel, the U.S. and their allies to undermine its nuclear program with tactics that include the assassination of iranian atomic scientists. Kaspersky said the cyber espionage worm came to its attention after the United Nations' international Telecommunication Union asked it for help in finding a piece of malware that was deleting sensitive information across the middle East. The company stumbled across Flame when searching for that other code, it said. The Geneva-based union didn't return emails seeking comment. The discovery of the Flame virus comes just days after talks between iran and six world powers in Baghdad failed to persuade Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment. A new round of talks is expected to take place in moscow next month. yaalon, the israeli vice premier, told Army Radio on Tuesday that the talks in iraq "yielded no significant achievement" except to let iran buy time. he appeared to take a swipe at President Barack Obama by saying it might "even be in the interest of some players in the West to play for time." yaalon in the past has expressed disappointment that the U.S. has delayed plans to expand sanctions against iran, suggesting Washington was afraid the penalties would send oil prices soaring and hurt Obama's re-election chances.
Legal Street News Monday June 4, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
F L O R i D A
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S T A T i S T i C S
Data From the Official Website of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. www.flhsmv.gov
Lighing Conditions at the Time of Crash
Lighting Conditions Daylight
Vehicle and/or Prperty Damage only Crashes
Road Surface Conditions at the Time of Crash
Vehicle and/or Prperty Damage only Crashes
THiS W EEK
____________________________________________Legal Street News Monday, June 4, 2012
iN SOUTH FLORiDA
A motorcyclist died and six peoplewere injured crash on Interstate 95 north of Sample Road.
PBSO deputy hurt in crash on I-95 through Boynton Beach
May 28, 2012
BOYNTON BEACH— A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy was injures Tuesday after his unmarked patrol car was hit by a pick-up truck on Interstate 95, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tim Frith. Trooper Michael John Taylor, 56, was writing a report while sitting in the emergency lane south of Woolbright Road, when the driver of a pick-up truck hit him, Frith said.
The four vehicles were traveling in the southbound lanes when the accident occurred shortly before 11:30 p.m. All southbound lanes were closed until 3:10 a.m., Wysocky said. According to a press release issued by Wysocky, the chain-reaction crash played out like this: Rojo was driving a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta when he slowed for a crash and was rear-ended by a 2003 Chevrolet van driven by Anthony Burke Taylor, 52, of Lauderhill. Rojo's Jetta spun so that it was facing north in the southbound lanes and was struck by a Ford F-150 truck driven by Richardson N. Sid, 28, of Boynton Beach. Sid's truck veered to the right and was struck by Koesterman on his motorcycle. Sid was taken to North Broward Medical Center with minor injuries. Taylor also sustained minor injuries but was not hospitalized. Everybody was wearing seat belts and Koesterman was wearing a helmet..
Motorcycle accident Delray Beach May 28, 2012 A man was killed riding a motorcycle eastbound on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach on Saturday May 26, 2012 around 5 PM.
Newlyweds unhurt as I-95 debris pierces windshield May 30, 2012 According to the Highway Patrol, Spates was driving southbound on I-95, just south of the Griffin Road exit in Hollywood, about 11:30 a.m. when she saw a vehicle ahead of her hit some debris in the roadway. The debris "was kicked up in the wind" by the other vehicle, and it pierced the Range Rover's glass, Wysocky said. The pair were wearing their seat belts during the accident, the Highway Patrol said. Given vehicles' high speed on I-95, the pole essentially became "a projectile" on the highway, said Mark Steele, division chief for Hollywood Fire Rescue.
Lake Mary doctor arrested on hit-and-run charges in fatal motorcycle crash May 31, 2012 A Lake Mary doctor was arrested on hit-and-run charges after he hit a motorcyclist in Volusia County and then left the scene, authorities said. The Florida Highway Patrol said Dr. Kevin Wynne hit 50-year-old Sabra Vocaturo with his SUV in February on State Road 415 and never stopped to help. Vocaturo was thrown from her bike into oncoming traffic. Authorities said two drivers ran over Vocaturo. They stopped to help but told officers there was nothing they could do. Wynne was arrested at his Heathrow home on Thursday by the Florida Highway Patrol. His lawyer contacted FHP the day after the crash, telling them where to find Wynne's Infiniti SUV, which had a part missing.
May 30, 2012
The driver of the 1998 Ford Ranger pick-up truck, identified as Garret Allen Taylor, 42, of West Palm Beach, failed to notice the cars in front of him slowing down in response to flashing lights, Frith said. Taylor veered to the left to avoid hitting the car in front of him, striking the concrete barrier wall at high speed and bouncing across the highway toward the deputy's 2008 Dodge Charger in the emergency lane, authorities said. The truck struck the deputy's cruiser and then flipped over. Both men were taken to Delray Medical Center with serious injuries, Frith said. The 7:30 a.m. crash slowed southbound traffic until nearly 9 a.m. when the rolled over pick-up truck and the deputy's vehicle were removed from the scene. Charges are pending against the pick-up truck driver, Frith said.
3 People Injured In Okeechobee Blvd., Jog Road Car Crash
3 dead in passenger van accident June 3, 2012 A Lake Mary doctor was arrested on hit-and-run charges after he hit a motorcyclist in Volusia County and then left the scene, authorities said. The Florida Highway Patrol said Dr. Kevin Wynne hit 50-year-old Sabra Vocaturo with his SUV in February on State Road 415 and never stopped to help. Vocaturo was thrown from her bike into oncoming traffic. Authorities said two drivers ran over Vocaturo. They stopped to help but told officers there was nothing they could do. Wynne was arrested at his Heathrow home on Thursday by the Florida Highway Patrol. His lawyer contacted FHP the day after the crash, telling them where to find Wynne's Infiniti SUV, which had a part missing. Wynne is being held in the Seminole County jail with bail set at $50,000.
Two lanes shut on NB I-95 near 54th Street after crash June 3, 2012 A tanker truck hauling liquid nitrogen drifted off Interstate 95 early Saturday morning and ran over a car that was stopped along the highway, killing the man inside, state troopers said. The 3:20 a.m. crash ended up blocking one lane of northbound I-95 until at least 9 a.m. as the Florida Highway Patrol investigated.
June 1, 2012 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Three people are injured from a two vehicle crash on Okeechobee Boulevard just west of Jog Road. Officials tell us a SUV and pickup collided just after 8 p.m. A total of three people were injured. One person had to be extricated from one of the vehicles due to heavy damage. That patient was taken to St Mary's, the other two were taken to nearby hospitals.
A 29-year-old Sarasota woman is in critical June 2, 2012 MARION COUNTY -The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that killed a man late Friday night. Officials said 22-year-old Daniel Lee Hunt was driving southbound US-27, south of Southeast 80 Street at high rate of speed at about 11:25 p.m. Hunt lost control of his Chevy Camaro, causing it rotate onto the grass shoulder and collide with two trees. Hunt was pronounced dead at the scene.
Questions About Your Accident Report
Killed was 40-year-old Christopher White of Titusville, whose 2001 Mitsubishi was parked on the interstate shoulder about two miles south of the Dunlawton Avenue exit when the tanker struck. The tanker's driver, Frank Moceri, was not injured. Both men were listed as Titusville residents. Montes said Moceri's semi drifted toward the emergency lane "for reasons still under investigation." The front of it slammed into the back of White's vehicle, then "drove over (it) as the vehicles came to final rest in the northbound lanes of I-95," according to the FHP's crash report. In the past six months. In December, a dual-trailer semi carrying methly bromide slammed into an overturned log truck and exploded, killing the 68year-old driver of the chemical-filled truck.
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Wynne is being held on $50,000 bail.
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ROMNEy CLiNCHES N O M i N AT i O N
RADiOACTivE BLUEFiN TUNA C R O S S E D T H E PA C i F i C T O U S were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances - ceisum-134 and cesium-137 - that were higher than in previous catches.
Obama's birth certificate. When CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer told Trump he was "beginning to sound a little ridiculous," Trump responded, "i think you sound ridiculous." Such allegations about Obama's birthplace have been repeatedly proven false. The state of hawaii recently re-affirmed that he was born there. Trump's comments, repeated in several media interviews Tuesday, overshadowed Romney's attempts to focus on failed stimulus projects and federal money given to companies like Solyndra, the green energy company that received millions from the government only to go bankrupt. Romney hasn't condemned Trump's assertions. On monday night, he told reporters aboard his campaign plane that Trump is entitled to his opinion. Even as Trump-related criticism from Democrats and Republicans intensified in recent days, Romney showed no sign of distancing himself from the polarizing figure. "i don't agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don't all agree with everything i believe in," Romney said. "But i need to get 50.1 percent or more." Trump remains popular among the conservative base and boasts ties to deep-pocketed donors. he has recorded automated phone calls for Romney, hosted a fundraiser with Romney's wife, Ann, in New york, and pressed the candidate's case as a television surrogate. The Obama campaign released a video Tuesday criticizing what it considers Romney's unwillingness to stand up to Trump and the more extreme elements in his party. Former house Speaker Newt Gingrich, once a rival for the GOP nomination and now a Romney supporter, suggested that the Trump issue will not derail Romney's campaign. "Gov. Romney's not distracted. The Republican Party's not distracted," said Gingrich, who attended the Trump fundraiser. "We believe that this is an American-born jobkilling president. Other people may believe that he was born somewhere else and still kills jobs." Gingrich was one in a series of rivals who challenged Romney during the prolonged primary fight.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away - the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. "We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments. Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in march 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors. But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances. One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, mexico. Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New york and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that
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To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s. The results "are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source," said Ken Buesseler of the Woods hole Oceanographic institution, who had no role in the research. Bluefin tuna absorbed radioactive cesium from swimming in contaminated waters and feeding on contaminated prey such as krill and squid, the scientists said. As the predators made the journey east, they shed some of the radiation through metabolism and as they grew larger. Even so, they weren't able to completely flush out all the contamination from their system. "That's a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing," Fisher said. Pacific bluefin tuna are prized in Japan where a thin slice of the tender red meat prepared as sushi can fetch $24 per piece at top Tokyo restaurants. Japanese consume 80 percent of the world's Pacific and Atlantic bluefin tuna. The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples. Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. how this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.
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EUROPEANS AMBivALENT TO THE EURO, SURvEy FiNDS By PAN PYLAS Associated Press LONDON (AP) -- The debt crisis that has ravaged Europe for the best part of three years has exposed a dislike of the single currency but little desire to abandon it, a wide-ranging survey public opinion found Tuesday. of Pew Research Center's survey across eight European Union countries, including five members of the 17-country eurozone, indicated that the region's financial problems have triggered full-blown fears about the future of Europe as a political project. "This crisis of confidence is evident in the economy, in the future, in the benefits of European economic integration, in EU membership, in the euro and in the free market system," Pew said in a statement accompanying its survey. Despite those concerns, Pew found there was no desire for those countries that use the euro to return to their former currencies, such as the French franc or the Spanish peseta. The euro launched in 1999 and is now used by 17 countries. in Greece, the epicenter of the debt crisis, 71 percent of those polled want to keep the euro, as against to 23 percent that want to return to the drachma. more people in Greece, which is now in its fifth year of a savage recession, think the euro has been good for them than bad - 46 percent of those surveyed compared to 26 percent who thought it was a bad thing. These findings may be crucial as Greece heads to the polls on June 17 in a general election many see as a referendum on the country's euro membership. Varvara Konstantopoulou, a 65-year-old pensioner in Athens, summed up the dilemma that is at the heart of a country that is trapped between indefinite austerity and a catastrophic currency exit. "i don't think the euro helped us. When we joined everything became more expensive," she said. "But we are trapped now. if we leave the euro, our money will not be worth anything. it's worse for people on a fixed income." her 45-year-old unemployed daughter, Alexia, agreed with her mother that Greece was not ready for the euro when it joined in 2001. however, she thinks the euro will survive but that in the future countries should get a grip on their public finances so there's no repeat of the current crisis. "Otherwise they will end up like said. "Every country should sort out problems, but they have to help us things going smoothly (for the
us," she its own to keep euro)."
Recent opinion polls in Greece have suggested there's a movement towards political parties, notably the conservative New Democracy, that are willing to meet the commitments the country has already made in return for its bailout lifeline. Though Pew found little appetite for abandoning the euro, the survey revealed a prevailing skepticism over Europe's single currency. more people in France, italy and Spain think the euro has been more damaging than beneficial. in italy, which has the second-highest debt burden in the eurozone after Greece, 44 percent of those people surveyed said the euro
would be more expensive relative to the other currencies in Europe." The survey also found that two-thirds of Germans want to keep the currency even though the country has to make the biggest contributions to the financial bailouts.
An immigrant sleeps at a bench of a bus stop in central Athens . The four biggest Greek banks received 18 billion euros (22.6 billion USD) in rescue funds
has been a bad thing, as opposed to 30 percent who think it has done good. italy is also home to the biggest anti-euro constituency, with 40 percent of those polled wanting to return to the lira as against to 52 percent backing the euro. Among the five euro countries surveyed there wasn't one where a majority - over 50 percent - of those polled thought the currency has been beneficial. in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, more people thought it was beneficial than damaging. "it's got a lot of advantages," said Andreas Schwanekamp, an office worker in Frankfurt, Germany. "We don't have to exchange currency when we leave the country." Germany's exporters have benefited from the relatively low value of the euro against other key currencies such as the dollar when compared to what the deutschemark would likely be trading at. "We're an exporter," Schwanekamp, 47, added. "if we still had the deutschemark, we
Among the countries surveyed that did not have the euro as their currency there were big majorities in Britain, the Czech Republic and Poland who thought it has been better for them not to have been in the euro bloc. in Washington, the Obama administration announced Tuesday it had dispatched its top international finance official to Europe for a round of discussions. U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for international Affairs Lael Brainard was holding discussions with senior government officials in Athens on Tuesday. She was scheduled to meet with officials in Frankfurt, Germany, and madrid, Spain, on Wednesday. On Thursday, Brainard will meet with officials in Paris and Berlin and will wrap up her trip with further discussions in Berlin on Friday. The U.S. Treasury said in a statement that Brainard would meet with "senior government officials in each country to discuss their plans for achieving economic stability and growth in Europe." The Pew surveys were conducted by telephone in some countries and face-to-face in others between mid-march and mid-April, with at least 1,000 people surveyed in each country. The margin of error varied by country, from 3.3 percent to 4.4 percent.
NyC Proposes Ban on Sale of Oversized Sodas NEW yORK (AP) -- mayor michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in the city's restaurants, delis and movie theaters in the hopes of combating obesity - an expansion of his administration's efforts to encourage healthy behavior by limiting residents' choices. The proposal - expected to be announced formally on Thursday in a City hall briefing would take 20-ounce soda bottles off the shelves of the city's delis and eliminate supersized sugary soft drinks from fast-food menus. it is the latest health effort by the administration to spark accusations that the city's officials are overstepping into matters that should be left in the hands of individual consumers. "There they go again," said Stefan Friedman, spokesman for the New york City Beverage Association, who called the proposal "zealous" in a statement. "The New york City health Department's unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top. The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates." But City hall officials, citing a 2006 study, argue that sugary drinks are the largest driver of rising calorie consumption and obesity. They note that sweet drinks are linked to long-term weight gain and increased rates of diabetes and heart disease. The administration's proposal would impose a 16-ounce limit on the size of sugary drinks sold at food service establishments, including
restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. it would apply to bottled drinks as well as fountain sodas. The ban would apply only to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. it would not apply to diet soda or any other calorie-free drink. Any drink that is at least half milk or milk substitute would be exempted. The ban, which could take effect as soon as march, would not apply to drinks sold in grocery or convenience stores that don't serve prepared food. Establishments that don't downsize would face fines of $200 after a three-month grace period. The proposal requires the approval of the city's Board of health - considered likely because its members are all appointed by Bloomberg. Under the three-term mayor, the city has campaigned aggressively against obesity, outlawing trans-fats in restaurant food and forcing chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus. The mayor has also led efforts to ban smoking in the city's bars, restaurants, parks and beaches. Bloomberg often cites the expectancy numbers as proof working, but his efforts have from others who accuse him "nanny state."
city's rising life the approach is drawn criticism of instituting a
City hall's latest proposal does not require approval beyond the Board of health, although public hearings will be held.
Legal Street News Monday, June 4, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
JUDGES SENTENCE CHARLES T A y L O R T O 5 0 y E A R S
By MIKE CORDER Associated Press LEiDSChENDAm, Netherlands (AP) -international judges sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison Wednesday, saying he was responsible for "some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history" by arming and supporting Sierra Leone rebels in return for "blood diamonds." The 64-year-old warlord-turned-president is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War ii and judges said they had no precedent when deciding his sentence. Taylor will serve his sentence in a British jail. his lawyers, however, said they will appeal his convictions and that will likely keep him in a jail in The hague, Netherlands, for months. Prosecutor Brenda hollis also said she was considering an appeal. "it is important in our view that those responsible for criminal misconduct on a massive scale are not given a volume discount," hollis said. The Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted Taylor last month on 11 charges of aiding and abetting the rebels who went on a brutal rampage during that country's decade-long war that ended in 2002 with more than 50,000 dead. At a small protest outside the court, one man held up a hand-written placard proclaiming: "Blood diamonds are not forever. They come at a cost Taylor." Taylor showed no emotion as he stood while Lussick handed down what was effectively a life sentence. "The lives of many more innocent civilians in Sierra Leone were lost or destroyed as a direct result of his actions," Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said.
Prosecutors had asked for an 80-year sentence; Taylor's lawyers urged judges to hand down a sentence that offered him some hope of release before he dies. hollis said the sentence would only provide a measure of closure for victims of one of Africa's most savage conflicts. "The sentence that was imposed today does not replace amputated limbs. it does not bring back those who were murdered," she said. "it does not heal the wounds of those who were victims of sexual violence and does not remove the permanent emotional and psychological and physical scars of those enslaved or recruited as child soldiers." Lussick said an 80-year sentence would have been excessive as Taylor was convicted of aiding and abetting crimes and not direct involvement. But the judge added that Taylor was "in a class of his own" compared to others convicted by the United Nations-backed court. "The special status of mr. Taylor as a head of state puts him in a different category of offenders for the purpose of sentencing," Lussick said. Taylor's lead attorney, Courtenay Griffiths, warned that the court's refusal to take into account Taylor's decision to step down from power following his indictment in 2003 when setting his sentence sent a worrying message against the backdrop of ongoing atrocities allegedly being committed by Syrian government forces. "What lesson does that send to President Assad?" Griffiths said. "maybe the lesson is: if you are a sitting leader and the international community wants to get rid of you either you get murdered like Col. Gadhafi, or you hang on until the bitter end. i'm not so sure that's the signal this court ought to be transmitting at this
particular historical juncture." At a sentencing hearing earlier this month, Taylor expressed "deepest sympathy" for the suffering of victims of atrocities in Sierra Leone, but insisted he had acted to help stabilize the West Africa region and claimed he never knowingly assisted in the commission of crimes. "What i did...was done with honor," he said. "i was convinced that unless there was peace in Sierra Leone, Liberia would not be able to move forward." Judges rejected that argument, saying that while he posed as a peacemaker he was covertly funning the flames of conflict by arming rebels in full knowledge they would likely use weapons to commit terrible crimes. Prosecutors said there was no reason for leniency, given the extreme nature of the crimes, Taylor's "greed" and misuse of his position of power. "The purposely cruel and savage crimes committed included public executions and amputations of civilians, the display of decapitated heads at checkpoints, the killing and public disembowelment of a civilian whose intestines were then stretched across the road to make a check point, public rapes of women and girls, and people burned alive in their homes," prosecutor Brenda hollis wrote in a brief appealing for the 80-year sentence. Taylor stepped down and fled into exile in Nigeria after being indicted by the court in 2003. he was finally arrested and sent to the Netherlands in 2006. While the Sierra Leone court is based in that country's capital, Freetown, Taylor's trial is being staged in Leidschendam, a suburb of The hague, for fear holding it in West Africa could destabilize the region.