It's lunch time and the cafeteria at the Philadelphia High School for girls is buzzing with chatter and the clattering of plates. That's until school director Parthenia Moore calls for order. "Your vote counts," she says in a loud voice that booms through the room. "You will make a difference as to what candidate will get elected," Moore says to clapping and cheering. "You will make a difference as to what our future as country looks like." That's why, she explains, all 18-year olds or those who turn 18 by November 6, election day, still have the chance to register to vote. The independent organization "Committee of Seventy" has sent volunteers to the school to help with the registration drive. 18-year-old Jasmine has just registered. She filled out a form with 13 boxes. It was much easier than she thought, she says, though she had to call her mother to find out her social security number. Jasmine says she had no idea that she needed to register to vote. "I just found out that … [Read more...] about US parties wrangle over new election laws
State vs federal law
Presiding judge Alan Gold agreed to the request by UBS Bank, the US Justice Department and Swiss government authorities to delay the high-profile trial's opening until August 3. He added that he would gladly give further extensions "to assist in accomplishing any goal of settlement." Gold also set a telephone status conference for July 29, when he said he hoped the participants would be prepared to say whether the Aug. 3 trial would take place as scheduled. The parties involved had jointly requested the delay, saying they hope to reach an alternative settlement in the case. "The stay was requested in order to provide the parties additional time to discuss a possible alternative resolution of the matter." the Department of Justice said in a statement. Transparency vs. secrecy The showdown scheduled for Monday would have pitted the United States government against Switzerland's long-cherished tradition of banking secrecy. Authorities in the US have been asking Swiss financial giant UBS, … [Read more...] about US federal court judge approves delay in UBS tax secrecy trial
A vote on the proposed guidelines, called the Directive on the Patentability of computer-implemented Inventions, has already been delayed twice due to impassioned protests by backers of open-source software. They say passage of the regulation would have dire consequences for newcomers in the market and developers of free software products. The draft Directive, which has been through 120 amendments, is being debated on Tuesday in the parliament and is expected to come to a vote on Wednesday. In most EU countries, software is treated in the same way as the written word and receives copyright protection. The new guidelines seek to introduce patenting and its proponents say it will harmonize laws that currently differ across EU states. But critics have lashed out at the proposal, saying it only benefits larger companies and is a job killer. Smaller companies, which are often the most innovative, will suffer the most, according to Jeremy Newton of the law firm Nabarro Nathanson. “To … [Read more...] about A David vs. Goliath Fight over Proposed Software Patent Rules
Some 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil reserves, 30 percent of its gas are estimated to be in the Arctic. The higher the price of energy, the faster the ice melts, the greater the international interest in a region becoming increasingly accessible as the world continues to warm. At the same time concern is growing amongst those who see development as a threat to the sensitive environment of the "High North" - and an increasing risk for the global climate: the burning of more fossil fuels would further intensify global change by producing more CO2 emissions. The harsh nature of Russia's reaction to the Greenpeace protest at the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic demonstrates how important the region has become for the government in Moscow. Thirty of the activists and accompanying journalists have been held in jail in Russia since the Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" was impounded by Russian security officers two months ago. Last week, the Russian Federation … [Read more...] about Greenpeace vs. Russia: the tip of the iceberg?
Supporters and opponents of a much-discussed Porsche takeover of Volkswagen exchanged heated words Thursday in the northern port city of Hamburg over proposed changes to how Europe's biggest carmaker is run. The discussion on amending VW by-laws was marked by fierce argument both in and out of a conference centre where around 2,600 shareholders gathered. A few dozen meters yards away, several hundred VW workers brought in by the IG Metall trade union heard works committee head Bernd Osterloh denounce "the dreams of omnipotence" of Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking and "the arrogance of an absolute monarch." A 54-year-old electrician at the main VW plant in Wolfsburg said "Porsche wants to split the group up and sell parts of it like Audi," the high-end auto brand owned by VW. "Our fathers, our grandfathers worked for VW and contributed to its success," he said. Dirk, a 35-year-old mechanic who gave only his first name, said: "VW is only here because we, the workers are here, … [Read more...] about Battle for Control at Volkswagen — Porsche vs. the State