Monday, June 25, 2012

Sea environment worsening: data |Society |

Sea environment worsening: data |Society | "Increasing discharge of pollutants and booming offshore human activity, such as oil exploration, are worsening China's fragile marine environment, according to an annual report released by the country’s ocean watchdog.

The severely polluted sea area surged to 44,000 square kilometers in China in 2011 from 25,000 sq km in 2003, according to China's 2011 marine environment report released on Monday by the State Oceanic Administration.

Li Xiaoming, director of the department of marine environment protection at the administration, blamed overdevelopment in the coastal area for the country's worsening water quality.

"Just one number can tell you how serious this is. More than 80 percent of the coastline in Bohai Bay has been crowded by factories and buildings," Li said.

The construction of offshore projects across the country represented about 110 billion yuan ($17.46 billion) in 2011, approximate 15 percent year-on-year increase, according to the data."

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Dismissal Denied in Goldman Sachs CDO Disclosure Securities Suit : The D & O Diary

Dismissal Denied in Goldman Sachs CDO Disclosure Securities Suit : The D & O Diary:
by Kevin LaCroix
"In a harsh June 21, 2012 opinion (here), Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Crotty rejected the motion to dismiss of Goldman Sachs and three individual defendants in the securities class action lawsuit pertaining to the infamous “built to fail” Abacus CDO transaction and other ill-fated deals. Judge Crotty did, however, grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss with regard to the plaintiffs’ claims based on the company’s failure to disclose its receipt of a Wells Notice."

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Moderation: Court strikes down much of Arizona immigration law : SCOTUSblog

Court strikes down much of Arizona immigration law : SCOTUSblog:
Ken Russell at Scotusblog reports on the Supreme Court's 5-3 decision striking most of the SB 1070 - Arizona's punitive law dealing with aliens.  In Arizona v. U.S. Justice Anthony Kennedy explains that the court allows the provision requiring Arizona police to check the immigration status of persons suspected of being illegal aliens.  The provision is so broad that it is likely - as enforced - to be a tool of harassment of Mexican Americans.  But on its face the law is reasonable, so the majority leaves to another day assessment of it in practice.

The other provisions blatantly intrude on federal prerogatives: criminalizing work, commanding alien registration, and permitting warrantless arrest and search on suspicion of being an alien subject to deportation.  Those provisions interfere with the federal government's exclusive power over immigration, Kennedy writes.

Justice Antonin Scalia's typically hyperbolic dissent centers on the phrase "sovereign state", which he says includes the ability to exclude people from its territory.  Well, no - because the Constitution gives the Congress the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” Art. I, §8, cl. 4.  State sovereignty is much abridged by that provision, contrary to Scalia's view, which is driven by his sympathy for the anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona:

Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy. Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so. Thousands of Arizona’s estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants—including not just children but men and women under 30—are now assured immunity from enforcement, and will be able to  compete openly with Ari­zona citizens for employment.
Today's statement by President Obama shows a markedly different sentiment:
I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes.
Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education – which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.

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In Documents on Pain Drug Celebrex, Signs of Doubt and Deception -

Dr. Steven Nissen, one of the great consumer advocates in the medical profession,
is overseeing a clinical study set to conclude when the Celebrex patent expires in 2014
The Times reports on the smoking gun emails in the Celebrex case.  Another story of marketing-driven overselling of a new drug.  We saw the same thing in the Vioxx cases.  As marge said in Fargo "and all for just a little bit of money".  - GWC
In Documents on Pain Drug Celebrex, Signs of Doubt and Deception -
by Kate Thomas
 "A research director for Pfizer was positively buoyant after reading that an important medical conference had just featured a study claiming that the new arthritis drug Celebrex was safer on the stomach than more established drugs."

“They swallowed our story, hook, line and sinker,” he wrote in an e-mail to a colleague.
The truth was that Celebrex was no better at protecting the stomach from serious complications than other drugs. It appeared that way only because Pfizer and its partner, Pharmacia, presented the results from the first six months of a yearlong study rather than the whole thing.
The companies had a lot riding on the outcome of the study, given that Celebrex’s effect on the stomach was its principal selling point. Earlier studies had shown it was no better at relieving pain than common drugs — like ibuprofen — already on the market.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

3-year plan to heal wounds of Bohai Bay oil spill |Society |

3-year plan to heal wounds of Bohai Bay oil spill |Society |

by Wang Qian

Hebei and Liaoning first to get share of 1b yuan compensation fund

Environmental authorities have mapped out a three-year plan for the restoration of Bohai Bay,which was severely damaged by oil spills last year, China's ocean watchdog said Thursday.

According to a statement by the State Oceanic Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture aims to rebuild the area's fishery industry by 2015, including putting about 3.4 billion aquatic animalsinto the bay.

The agency also announced that money from a 1 billion yuan ($157 million) compensation fund has already been allocated to Hebei and Liaoning provinces to be used to help fishermenaffected by the leaks from the Penglai 19-3 oilfield.

ConocoPhillips China, the operator of the oilfield, has also agreed with the government to setup another 1.1 billion yuan fund based on estimated damages.

The company, based in the United States, and its Chinese partner, China National Offshore OilCorporation, will also jointly pay another 600 million yuan.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The 10b-5 Daily: Supreme Court To Address Fraud-On-The-Market Theory

The 10b-5 Daily: Supreme Court To Address Fraud-On-The-Market Theory: "A key development this week was the Supreme Court's decision to hear the Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds case on appeal from the Ninth Circuit. Pursuant to the fraud-on-the-market theory, reliance by investors on a misstatement is presumed if the company's shares were traded on an efficient market that would have incorporated the information into the stock price. The fraud-on-the-market presumption is routinely invoked in securities class actions to justify the grant of class certification because it removes the potential need for individual evaluations of reliance.

At issue in the Amgen case is a circuit split over whether a plaintiff must prove that the misstatement was material to invoke the fraud-on-the-market theory in support of class certification. Three circuit courts (Second, Fifth and, to a lesser extent, the Third) previously have held that this is a required part of the fraud-on-the-market analysis when evaluating whether a class should be certified. The Ninth Circuit joined a de"

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Friday, June 8, 2012

9/11 Cleanup Fund to Cover Cancers

Based on the recommendation of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) the 9/11 `Zadroga Act' September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will cover cancer claims of workers and others exposed to the toxic mix of dusts and smoke in the aftermath of the 9/11 disaster.  The STAC considered, but did not recommend adding, cancers of the pancreas, prostate or brain.The list of WTC-related health conditions - contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is not final. After a thirty day comment period the list will be finalized.  Evidentiary standards have been generous.  The evidence would not satisfy the ordinary probability requirements seen in toxic tort and pharmaceutical litigation.

Monday, June 4, 2012

ConocoPhillips Reports Oil Leak In China's Bohai Bay - International Business Times

ConocoPhillips Reports Oil Leak In China's Bohai Bay - International Business Times:
Chinese oil company CNOOC Limited (Hong Kong: 0883) announced on Monday it received word that the local subsidiary of U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is cleaning up a "small and contained" oil spill, on the site where a much larger spill occurred last year.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oil spill offices to open Monday to process claims from lawsuit settlement |

Oil spill offices to open Monday to process claims from lawsuit settlement |
by Brendan Kirby
The Press Register

Deepawter Horizon Claims Center homepage

"MOBILE, Alabama -- There’s a new Ken Feinberg in town, and he’s opening 18 offices Monday to accept claims from Gulf oil spill victims.
Patrick Juneau, a Louisiana lawyer appointed by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to oversee the implementation of a lawsuit settlement negotiated with BP PLC, announced that all 18 claims offices will open simultaneously.
Juneau immediately became the face of the claims process, replacing the much-maligned Feinberg, who oversaw the distribution of funds to people and businesses who agreed not to sue BP for its role in the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Juneau, in fact, already has been running the program since Feinberg gave up the role. But Monday is the official date for the new process to begin."

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