Facebook suspension halted
A court on Saturday reversed an order that would have blocked access to Facebook in the country for a day after the popular social media site allegedly refused to pull a page including illegal political material. An electoral court in Florianopolis, capital of the southern state of Santa Catarina, voided the ruling, which also included a fine of about US$25,000. Facebook was accused last week by electoral court judge Felipe Siegert Schuch of refusing to comply with an order to take down a page deemed offensive to local councilman Dalmo Menezes, who is seeking reelection in October. The US company said it was pleased with the new ruling.
Spanish economy talked-up
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he does not think Spain’s government will need help from European relief funds, according to an interview in a newspaper yesterday. Speaking to the Bild am Sonntag, he said that “the Spanish government with its Prime Minister [Mariano] Rajoy shows great determination in implementing its reforms. This is why I am optimistic. I consider Spain a very strong country with a strong economy.” The eurozone in the middle of last month approved an aid package for Spanish banks with funds of up to 100 billion euros (US$122.9 billion).
Goldman Sachs avoid court
Goldman Sachs escaped prosecution over its sales of high-risk mortgage securities on Friday when the US Department of Justice closed a probe without action despite a damning report on the bank’s practices. Following a two-year inquiry, senators concluded in April last year that the Wall Street investment banking giant misled clients ahead of the US financial crash by offloading securities its traders fully expected to lose value, but the Justice Department said there was “not a viable basis” for a criminal prosecution against Goldman or its employees.
Mercedes in floor mat recall
Mercedes-Benz is recalling all-season accessory floor mats sold in this year’s and next year’s model ML-Class vehicles because they could cause the car’s gas pedal to get stuck. Mercedes said on Saturday that the mats may not conform to the contours of the car’s floor. As a result, the gas pedal may not fully retract after the driver stops applying pressure and the car may not slow down as expected. The company is advising ML-Class owners to remove the accessory floor mats. A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz says the company is not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the floor mat problem.
Qatar donates cash to Egypt
Qatar has decided to give US$2 billion in financial support to Egypt, which is plagued by serious economic challenges, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported on Saturday. The announcement follows a Cairo meeting between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. “Qatar has decided to deposit two billion dollars in the Central Bank of Egypt,” the report said. The central bank’s reserves have fallen to US$14.4 billion, against US$36 billion a year and a half ago, since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February last year. The cash shortfall raises fears about Egypt’s ability to maintain imports of basic commodities such as wheat and refined fuel and to honor its international financial commitments.