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Mar 25, 2013

NYT I Global Update March 25, 2013.: Amid Fears of Releases, U.S. Cedes Prison to Afghanistan

The New York Times International Herald Tribune

March 25, 2013
Compiled 20:45 GMT

Global Update


TOP NEWS

Amid Fears of Releases, U.S. Cedes Prison to Afghanistan

By ROD NORDLAND and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Concerns over the decisions the Afghans make on releases had stalled the handover of prisoners at the Bagram Prison, but on Monday the Americans finally yielded control.

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.

By C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT
Military help for Syria's opposition from Arab states and Turkey has grown in recent months, and the C.I.A.'s role has indicated an American willingness to help support lethal aid.

Official Europe's Reaction to Cyprus Deal Is Mixed

By DAVID JOLLY
Financial markets, at first buoyed by the bailout news, began reversing course as the implications of the agreement began to sink in.
Arts

Video: Galloping in Grand Central

Thirty ornate horses, operated by Alvin Ailey dancers, will fill Grand Central Terminal this week in a performance conceived by the artist Nick Cave.
Opinion

Op-Ed Contributor

The Oligarch Who Dug His Own Grave

By VADIM NIKITIN
The downfall of Boris Berezovsky shows that the rules he laid out still hold true in Russia today.
WORLD

Mortars Hit Central Damascus Square; At Least One Killed

By ANNE BARNARD
Mortars crashed into Umayyad Square in the Syrian capital on Monday, state media reported, in some of the worst shelling in the heart of Damascus since the uprising began.

In 'Spirited' Talks, Kerry Tells Iraq to Help Stop Arms Shipments to Syria

By MICHAEL R. GORDON and TIM ARANGO
Secretary of State John Kerry told Iraqi officials that helping to stop the flow of weapons from Iran is a condition for Baghdad's participating in discussions about Syria's future.

Israel's Prisoner X Said to Have Exposed Spies

By ISABEL KERSHNER
Two news organizations have reported that the man, Benjamin Zygier, unintentionally revealed the identities of two top spies for Israel in Lebanon to a man known to be close to Hezbollah.
BUSINESS
DealBook

Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Padding a Legal Bill

By PETER LATTMAN
Legal scholars say a legal fight over fees is likely to reinforce a perception that law firms inflate bills by performing superfluous tasks.

Bailout or No, Cypriots Simply Want Their Money

By LIZ ALDERMAN and LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Cypriots, business customers and many experts worry that the banking remedy is only a bandage on what may become a growing wound.
DealBook

Dell Founder Said to Weigh Switching to Blackstone Offer

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED
Michael S. Dell considers the Blackstone Group's preliminary proposal for his company to be potentially friendly to management and may reach out to talk later this week, a person briefed on the matter said on Monday.
TECHNOLOGY

Luring Young Web Warriors Is Priority. It's Also a Game.

By NICOLE PERLROTH
Taking a page from China, the United States is scouring high schools for hackers, finding recruits with contests that aim to get them excited about cyberdefense.

Naughty in Name Only

By NICOLE PERLROTH
Sophia Amoruso turned an eBay store selling vintage finds from Goodwill into Nasty Gal, an online fashion retailer with nearly $100 million in annual sales.
DealBook

Buyout Effort Ended, Best Buy Founder Returns to Company

By DEALBOOK
Richard Schulze, who explored and then abandoned a possible buyout bid for Best Buy, is returning to the electronics chain he founded as chairman emeritus.
SPORTS

For Japan, a Smoother Path to World Cup

By JOHN DUERDEN
As a fifth consecutive World Cup appearance comes into view, it is no longer about how soon Japan secures its place but how long it stays there.

Sharapova Advances at Sony Open

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
No. 3-seeded Maria Sharapova moved into the fourth round of the Sony Open with a win over Elena Vesnina.

France Itching to Take It to Spain

By ROB HUGHES
France, which has changed coaches twice, changed its hierarchy and changed much of its team, is on top of the group that Spain needs to win to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
U.S. NEWS

New Efforts to Make a Scenic California Highway Less Perilous

By CAROL POGASH
A tunnel, part of a $439 million project, is one of several recent efforts to improve a highway perched on rocky cliffs along the earthquake-prone California coast.

A Last Smile and a Wave for Bay Area Commuters

By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Human toll collectors on the Golden Gate Bridge will be replaced this week by a fully automated system, and some are lamenting the loss of familiar faces in the booths.

Tennessee Race for Medicaid: Dial Fast and Try, Try Again

By ABBY GOODNOUGH
The state opens a health care hot line for a few hours each year for patients who do not qualify for Medicaid. Thousands try, but not many qualify for the limited funds.
OPINION
Latitude

The Man Behind Putin

By MASHA GESSEN
Until his death on Saturday, the oligarch Boris Berezovsky thought it was a brilliant idea for him to have backed the president who is ruining Russia.
Op-Ed Columnist

Hot Money Blues

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Dealing with love-'em-and-leave-'em investors.

DealBook P.M. Edition; March 25, 2013.: Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Padding a Legal Bill


NYTimes.com Home |Business Day| Video The New York Times


Monday, March 25, 2013
TOP STORY
Adam H. Victor, an energy-industry entrepreneur, accused the law firm DLA Piper of overbilling.
Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Padding a Legal Bill Legal scholars say a legal fight over fees is likely to reinforce a perception that law firms inflate bills by performing superfluous tasks.

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DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
Rengan Rajaratnam Pleads Not Guilty to Insider Trading Charges Rengan Rajaratnam pleaded not guilty on Monday to insider trading charges, coming nearly two years after the conviction of his older brother, the fallen hedge fund titan Raj Rajaratnam.
Michael S. Dell was willing to put up his own capital for the leveraged buyout of Dell.
Dell Founder Said to Weigh Switching to Blackstone Offer Michael S. Dell considers the Blackstone Group's preliminary proposal for his company to be potentially friendly to management and may reach out to talk later this week, a person briefed on the matter said on Monday.
Qatalyst Hires Morgan Stanley Banker Qatalyst Group, the West Coast boutique advisory firm led by Frank Quattrone, has hired Marcie Vu, formerly of Morgan Stanley, as a partner.
Bankia Stock Value Is Nearly Wiped Out Under Recapitalization Plan Shares in Bankia, the giant Spanish mortgage lender whose collapse last year led to a banking crisis in Spain, slumped 41 percent on Monday after regulators wiped out most of the stock's value.
White Collar Watch: Sending a Message for Backpedaling on Settlements Peter J. Henning says that Standard Chartered learned the hard way that prosecutors take deferred prosecution agreements quite seriously, when the government forced the chairman to retract his statements on the settlement.
Buyout Effort Ended, Best Buy Founder Returns to Company Richard Schulze, who explored and then abandoned a possible buyout bid for Best Buy, is returning to the electronics chain he founded as chairman emeritus.
Breakingviews: Cyprus Rescue Deal Addresses Important Principles Hugo Dixon says that the bailout deal that Cyprus reached with its euro zone partners makes the best of an extremely bad situation, but there are lingering doubts on capital controls and the effect the debt will have on the economy.
Buzz Tracker
Yahoo Buys Mobile App Yahoo has purchased the mobile news reader Summly, as Yahoo's chief executive, Marissa Mayer, looks to buy small start-ups "for their teams of talented and innovative engineers," AllThingsD reports.
Apple Buys GPS Start-Up As the war over mapping services continues, Apple has bought the indoor GPS company WifiSLAM, The Wall Street Journal reports. The technology giant paid $20 million for the start-up, the article said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
LOOKING AHEAD
Economic Reports Economic data to be released on Tuesday include durable goods for February, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller housing price index for January, new home sales for February and consumer confidence for March.
In the United States On Tuesday, Apple and Samsung will ask an appeals court to overturn a ruling that they disclose financial information they want to keep confidential.
Overseas On Tuesday, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gather for two days in Durban, South Africa.
For the latest updates, go to dealbook.nytimes.com »

Quotation of the Day
""Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard 'churn that bill, baby!' mode."
Christopher Thomson, a DLA Piper lawyer, joking about the size of a client's bill, according to e-mails attached to a court filing.

Wall Street at Close Report; March 25, 2013.: U.S. stocks drop on European concerns; by Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 
 
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks declined Monday, erasing gains that briefly had the S&P 500 index less than one point from its record close, as Wall Street worried about Europe’s troubles. 

Stocks had initially rallied as a deal was reached to avert a financial meltdown in Cyprus. But equities retreated as investors questioned what the plan for bank restructuring in the island nation would mean for other European countries. 

“This is just a reality check. The initial euphoria was Cyprus at least didn’t sink into the Mediterranean Sea. But, as you dive in further, you realize Europe still does have significant issues to resolve,” said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank. 

After coming within a fraction of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15, hit in October 2007, the S&P 500 SPX -0.33%  ended at 1,551.69, off 5.20 points, or 0.3% on Monday.

The S&P 500 initial nearing of its all-time closing high is “much more of a Main Street story than a Wall Street story, as we’ve been watching this from 2009,” said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, referring to the bull market that started a fifth year in March. The index has more than doubled from its 2009 bottom. 

Industrials and materials were the worst performing of the S&P’s 10 major sectors, all of which lost ground.
Dell Inc. DELL +2.62% shares gained 2.6% after the computer maker confirmed it received competing bids from private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP BX -0.41%  and billionaire investor Carl Icahn that could top one offered by founder Michael Dell. 

Best Buy Co Inc. BBY +1.84%   advanced 1.8% after the consumer-electronics retailer said founder Richard Schulze would return as chairman emeritus, offsetting talk that its largest investor was considering selling his stake in the company. 

After rising as much as 51 points and then falling 117 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.44%  declined 64.28 points, or 0.4%, to end at 14,447.75. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.30%  dropped 9.70 points, or 0.3%, to 3,235.30.
For every two stocks that rose, three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 655 million shares traded. 

Composite volume approached 3.2 billion.

Bloomberg News/Landov Enlarge Image
Michael Dell, Carl Icahn
The euro fell, along with U.S. and European equities, after Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem suggested to Reuters and the Financial Times that a depositor bail-in, the most controversial aspect of the Cyprus rescue, could be repeated among others in the 17-member euro zone. His office later dialed back his comments. 

The euro EURUSD -0.74%  slid to $1.2855 after rising as high as $1.3048 in Asian trade on Monday. 

Cyprus and international lenders struck a last-minute bailout deal early Monday, clearing the way for the euro area’s third-smallest economy to receive 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in financing. The agreement calls for a restructuring of two of the island country’s largest banks — Popular Bank of Cyprus (also known as “Laiki Bank”) and Bank of Cyprus — as well as a downsizing of the nation’s overall banking sector.

Relief rally for Cyprus soon fizzles
A bailout deal for Cyprus to avoid bankruptcy gave the markets little lasting boost. Katie Martin reports. 

Deposits at both banks larger than €100,000, the cutoff between insured and uninsured deposits, will be subject to a levy. 

“We were having too much of a celebration over the near-term success of fixing the Cyprus problem, but the devil is in the details, and the details are still coming out,” said Hogan. “The good news is disaster has been avoided; the bad news is the knock-on effect,” he said.

In a speech Monday afternoon in New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said the Fed’s monetary policy should remain “very accommodative” to give the labor market more time to strengthen. Dudley also said the Fed must press ahead with its bond-buying program as Congress is going about fiscal policy the wrong way. 

“If you are worried about the Fed ending asset purchases early, you would need an outlook shift from Fed members such as Dudley. At least today, no such shift was seen,” noted Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC, in emailed commentary. 

In Britain, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told the London School of Economics that low interest rates in developed countries help the global economy while not disrupting trade via weaker currencies.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

The Economist | New Selected Articles March 25, 2013.: Cyprus’s bail-out, Big Oil v Big Corn and Chinese online literature




Charlemagne: A better deal, but still painful
The Cyprus bail-out explained
read more »
Babbage: Difference engine
As American motorists learn to use less petrol, maize growers are feeling the pinch
read more »

 
Prospero: Voices in the wilderness
A new generation is shunning the conservative state-run publishing houses and finding freedom online
read more »

NYT | Opinion Today;March 25, 2013.: Three Cheers for the Nanny State

The New York Times

March 25, 2013

Opinion Today

Op-Ed Contributor

Three Cheers for the Nanny State

By SARAH CONLY
Give me a 32-ounce soda or give me death! Seriously?
A Day in the Life
Opinionator | Anxiety

A Day in the Life

By ADANE BYRON
Getting out of my apartment to go to class should have been simple. But the voices in my head wouldn't let me go quietly.
Is the Estate Tax Doomed?
Opinionator | The Great Divide

Is the Estate Tax Doomed?

By KENNETH F. SCHEVE JR. and DAVID STASAVAGE
As inequality has risen in the developed world, many governments have been dismantling - not increasing - estate taxes.
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For the College-Bound, Are There Any Safe Bets?
Room for Debate

For the College-Bound, Are There Any Safe Bets?

Which majors and careers have a reliable "return on investment"?
Opinionator | The Stone

When Hope Tramples Truth

By ROGER SCRUTON
It is easy to trace disasters like the Euro and the Arab Spring to the bursts of unfounded optimism that gave rise to them. So why is pessimism so often ignored?
Was Lincoln a Tyrant?
Opinionator | Disunion

Was Lincoln a Tyrant?

By JENNIFER L. WEBER
Contrary to his critics, and despite greatly expanding executive powers, the president was pragmatic and respectful of individual liberties.
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Editorial

Time to Strengthen Family Immigration

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Reuniting loved ones will bolster communities and the economy, as it always has.
Editorial

The Credit-History Pariah Class

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
People whose credit history was damaged in the recession should not be shut out of the job market.
Editorial

Europe Caps Bank Bonuses

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
The restrictions just passed are unlikely to make bankers more accountable or the financial system more sound.
Editorial

Willful Ignorance

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Cuts to the Census Bureau's budget will create a big information gap.

The Opinion Pages

Read the full opinion report, including editorials, columns, op-eds and Opinionator. Go to the Section »
Don't Mention the Flimflam
The Conscience of a Liberal

Don't Mention the Flimflam

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Paul Ryan's decline.
Nicholas D. Kristof Blog

Why I am on Hunger Strike in Bahrain

By ZAINAB AL-KHAWAJA
Zainab al-Khawaja, a human rights activist in Bahrain, writes a letter from prison about why she is on a hunger strike and how Martin Luther King Jr. guides her acts of civil disobedience.
The Gun Report: March 25, 2013
Joe Nocera's Blog

The Gun Report: March 25, 2013

A day in the life of armed America.
The Man Behind Putin
Latitude

The Man Behind Putin

By MASHA GESSEN
Until his death on Saturday, the oligarch Boris Berezovsky thought it was a brilliant idea for him to have backed the president who is ruining Russia.
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