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Estonia: Sale of Alcohol at Night Prohibited

(Apr. 2, 2008) On February 26, 2008, the Parliament of Estonia approved amendments to the nation's Alcohol Act that introduce time restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages. According to the new law, alcohol can be purchased only between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. New restrictions are also introduced in regard to minors. The previous […]

South Korea: Court Bans Executives from Switching to Rival Company for Certain Period

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Seoul Central District Court banned 13 former executives of Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company from working for the rival company, STX Heavy Industries Company, for from one to three years. Six of the executives were criminally charged with industrial espionage for divulging classified information they acquired from Doosan in November […]

Mauritania; Senegal: Fishery Agreement Signed

(Apr. 2, 2008) Mauritania and Senegal signed a one-year fishery agreement, under which 300 permits will be issued to Senegalese fishermen working in Mauritanian waters. The agreement was concluded in the Mauritanian capital Noakchott by Mauritanian Fishing Minister Assane Soumaré and the Senegalese State Minister and Maritime Transport Economy, Fishing and Apiculture Minister Souleymane Ndéné […]

European Union: Commission Imposes New Fines on Microsoft

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 26, 2008, the European Commission, the European Union's main antitrust law enforcer, imposed new fines of €899 million (about US$1.364 billion) on Microsoft for failing to comply with the Commission's decision against the company issued in 2004. This fine is in addition to the initial penalty of €497 million imposed […]

Central America: Presidents Sign Customs Union Agreement

(Mar. 2, 2008) The presidents of the five Central American republics that make up the Central American Integration System (SICA) signed an agreement in Guatemala City, on December 12, 2007, on the establishment of a customs union to create a free trade zone in the region. The document has to be ratified by the congresses […]

Israel; Mercosur: Free Trade Agreement Signed

(Feb. 2, 2008) Following negotiations that began in 2005, on December 18, 2007, in Montevideo, Uruguay, the member states of MERCOSUR, the trade bloc that comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, signed a trade agreement with Israel, the first non-Latin American country to sign this type of agreement with the bloc. Besides Israel, MERCOSUR has […]

United States: Private Securities Lawsuits Curtailed

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 15, the United States Supreme Court ruled that private persons may not maintain lawsuits under section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (1934 Act) against persons who participated in arrangements facilitating securities fraud but did not prepare or distribute financial statements. Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC sued respondent Scientific-Atlanta, […]

Israel; Mercosur: Free Trade Accord to Be Signed

(Jan. 2, 2008) Delegations representing Mercosur and Israel held meetings in Geneva to negotiate a free trade accord that can be signed in early 2008. It will be the first accord signed between the bloc and a country outside Latin America. However, participants in the discussion said that there are still obstacles to be overcome […]

Canada; European Union: Trade Dispute over Seals

(Dec. 2, 2007) The European Union is the second largest market for seal products originating from Canada. Canada annually exports €12.7 million (about US$18.6 million) worth of seal products to the EU. Only white seal cub furs are prohibited for import. This ban has been in place since the 1980s, following the vocal campaign against […]

Hong Kong: New Building Laws Proposed

(Dec. 2, 2007) The Hong Kong Government has proposed an amendment to the Buildings Ordinance to introduce a system for the approval of minor works. Currently all building works (regardless of complexity) are subject to the same procedures. Under the Building (Amendment) Bill 2007, minor works will be classified into three categories (depending on scale, […]