Archive for the ‘law’ Category

Legal Hurdles in West Slow Pursuit of Pirates

November 29, 2008

Somali pirates firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades hijacked yet another ship in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, this time seizing a chemical tanker. A German military helicopter from a nearby warship arrived in time to pull three security guards out of the water, but not soon enough to prevent the hijacking of the ship and the rest of the crew.

By Nicholas Kulish
The New York Times

The latest attack, in which even trained security personnel aboard could not deter the pirates, demonstrated the urgent need for coordinated action by governments from Cairo to Berlin. But the bureaucratic and legal hurdles facing international institutions and national governments have so far defeated most efforts to deal with the nimble crews of pirates in speedboats, whose tactics have grown bolder as their profits have paid for better weapons and equipment.

The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf ... 
The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden. Somali pirates dodged an increased foreign naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to seize another ship as the deadline ticked down for a Saudi tanker held to ransom.(AFP/Eric Cabanis)

While the pirates have been buying GPS devices, satellite phones and more-powerful outboard motors, officials in Europe have been discussing jurisdictional issues surrounding the arrest of pirates on the high seas and even the possibility that the pirates might demand asylum if brought onto European Union shores.

Germany, perhaps more than any other country, epitomizes both the importance of safe passage for ships and the difficulty of reacting swiftly. It is the world’s leading exporter of goods, and according to the German Shipowners’ Association it has the world’s largest container-ship fleet, with some 36 percent of total container capacity.

That would seem to argue for swift action to stop the pirates, and Germany did indeed draw international attention earlier this week when it announced that up to 1,400 military personnel members might take part in the mission to combat piracy. But the figure significantly overstated the likely deployment as part of a European Union mission in the region, and Parliament has yet to approve it. It also remains to be seen whether the rules of engagement give German sailors a free enough hand to fight the pirates.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/world/europe/29pirates.html

Brain drain, talent mismatch hold Taiwan back

March 16, 2008
By Lee Chyen Yee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – When Bernard Liu was looking for people to join his team of equity researchers at JPMorgan in Taiwan last year, he found a labor market rich in engineers but lacking in people qualified for the service sector.

Below: Taipei, Taiwan (臺北市)

In the end, it took him a whole year to fill the three posts.

“It’s typically a much more mixed skillset and unfortunately on some of the critical skills, candidates sometimes are lacking,” said Liu, whose company employs about 550 staff in Taiwan working in investment banking, securities and asset management. “It’s actually quite a handicap for Taiwan in the integration in the global economy.”

Managers like Liu are feeling the effects of a brain drain of talent from Taiwan to more global economies like the United States, Hong Kong and China.

Multinational companies also complain that candidates have weak English skills, a lack of talent in management and insufficient expertise in high-level research.

These deficiencies are hampering Taiwan as it tries to transform itself from a manufacturing economy into one that offers more sophisticated financial, legal and other business services.

“Some Taiwanese lawyers we know prefer to work in Hong Kong or China nowadays because the markets are hot,” said Jack Huang, partner-in-chief in Taipei of global law firm Jones Day.

For decades, Taiwan has profited from contract manufacturing, making electronic products for brands such as Dell and Texas Instruments. But, as a growing China takes on some of that manufacturing, Taiwan could be left behind.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080316/bs_nm/
taiwan_economy_jobs_dc_1

Note to Berkeley: Marines Are Not The Enemy

February 2, 2008

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2008

“Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace.

Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training ...
U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training simulation of a search through an Iraqi city built at the U.S. Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2006.
REUTERS/Mike Blake 
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Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 6-3 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week.Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.”I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security.Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own.”Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion, http://www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs.

Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
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U.S. Marine Corps,
Berkeley
BERKELEY – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.”He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.

A Marines spokeswoman said Friday that the Corps has no intention of abandoning its space at 64 Shattuck Square that has been the subject of protests for months.

The council voted 6-3 Tuesday to tell the Marines that their recruiting station is not welcome in the city. In a separate vote, the council supported the women’s peace group Code Pink by giving it a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

The council also voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines.
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Letter from A Former POW to Mayor of Berkeley

Dear Mayor Bates and the City Council of Berkeley: It is because of the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors that you are not conducting city business in Japanese or German. Here is an excerpt from the poem “What is a Vet” that follows.

Mike Benge civilian VN-POW 1968-73

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

WHAT IS A VET? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a aged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together,a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t runout of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of  The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now andaggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not haveto sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Whoserves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

China set to pass first anti-drug law

December 23, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is expected to pass its first anti-drug law this week to combat drug-related crimes and reduce the number of abusers, state media said on Sunday.

Opium, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine hydrochloride — commonly known as “ice” — as well as morphine and cocaine were listed as banned drugs in the draft, Xinhua said.

A revised version also said drug-addicted pregnant women who breast-feed babies under one year old were not suitable for compulsory rehabilitation.

At present, drug dealing is considered a crime under more general criminal laws.

Drug abuse was virtually wiped out after the Communist Party took power in 1949, but….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071223/wl_nm/china_drugs_law_dc_1

Vietnam: “NO!” to VN Human Rights Act in U.S.A.

September 20, 2007

Preface: On September 18, 2007, the U. S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 414 to 3 the “Vietnam Human Rights Act.” The act, if also passed by the Senate and enacted into law, requires future increases in U.S. nonhumanitarian aid to Vietnam to be tied to improvements in the Hanoi government’s human rights record. The president would be required to certify that Vietnam made significant progress in its human rights record — before any increase in nonhumanitarian aid is released.

September 20, 2007
Xinhua News, China

Vietnam strongly protests the United States’ Vietnam Human Rights Act 2007, which contains fabricated information on the situation in the country, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Thursday.

The bill would negatively impact on the positive development of the Vietnam-United States relations, the paper quoted spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Dung as saying.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday.

“Over the past many decades, the Vietnamese people have pursued their struggles to gain independence, freedom and democratic rights. The Vietnam Constitution clearly stipulates that the state respects and ensures its citizens’ economic, political, cultural, social and civil rights, including the rights to freedom of religion, speech, the press, information, meetings and forming of associations,” he said.

“After 20 years of renewal, Vietnam has recorded huge achievements in economic development, executed social justice, brought into play democracy, improved the living standards and ensured the rights and freedom of its citizens. This progress has been recognized by the international community,” Dung said.

“Vietnam has been and will be ready for dialogue with the United States on a number of issues, including democracy, human rights and religious issues,” he said. “We ask the United States to view democracy and human rights issues in Vietnam objectively and within our historical context while respecting Vietnam’s economic, cultural and social particulars in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, without letting these issues hinder the fine development of the two countries’ relationship,” he said.