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Outside the Circle News

Ohio joins lawsuit against major book publishers


On Wednesday, April 11, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine announced that Ohio would join 15 other states in a lawsuit against electronics company Apple Inc. and publishers Simon & Shuster, Penguin, and Macmillan. The four publishers allegedly collaborated on a plan to change the way that electronic books are priced, which would cost consumers around $100 million in overcharges.

The lawsuit stated that Apple was the driving force behind the plan, which began during discussions with the three publishers about bringing electronic books to the iPad. The arrangement said resellers would not be allowed to set the retail prices, but instead would receive a percentage of the price, which was to be decided by the publisher. This caused a $9.99 electronic book to increase in price from $12.99 to $14.99.

The lawsuit seeks to return the overcharges to consumers and require renegotiation of publisher-reseller contracts. Publishers Harper Collins and Hachette have already agreed to provide consumer restitution and injunctive relief according to a news release by DeWine.

Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Colorado, West Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Vermont, Arizona, Missouri, Connecticut, Tennessee, Illinois, and Iowa are also supporting the lawsuit.

“What was at first a great benefit to buyers of electronic books – lower prices – apparently was considered too much of a benefit,” DeWine said. “Customers who pay out their hard-earned money, no matter the product or service, deserve better.”


Ten Egypt candidates barred


On Saturday, April 14, three of the leading candidates in Egypt’s presidential election were eliminated from the race. Khairat el-Shater, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, and Omar Suleiman had all reportedly gathered a solid following and few critics.

Shater, the leading strategist of the Muslin Brotherhood, was eliminated based on a criminal conviction at a political trial that occurred under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s previous authoritarian president. Abu Ismail, an ultra-conservative Islamist, was disqualified because his mother was an American citizen, which is against Egyptian law. Suleiman, the former vice president and intelligence chief of Mubarak, supposedly did not meet the minimum number of signatures required to be on the ballot.

The candidates can appeal to the election committee up to two days after the decision. The remaining Islamists consist of Mohamed el-Mursi, another leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a more liberal former leader of the Brotherhood.

A few former government officials are also running, including Amr Moussa, a popular former diplomat, and Ahmed Shafik, a former air force general, who was Mubarak’s last prime minister.

The other seven candidates that were disqualified were removed from the race for various reasons, such as conviction in a political trial, not meeting the 30,000 signature endorsement requirement, or not being nominated by a political party represented in Parliament.



Italian soccer player dies on the field


Piermario Morosini of Livorno, Italy died this past Saturday, April 14, after suffering cardiac arrest during an Italian second-division game in Italy’s Pescara province. Morosini fell to the ground in the 31st minute of the game with no one around him. He reportedly stood up, looking confused, then fell down again.

The 25 year-old was reported dead upon arrival after being rushed to the Pescara hospital.

“We have done everything possible to save him, but he never regained consciousness,” said Dr. Leonardo Paloscia.

Morosini’s condition is not the first to impact a soccer player. Marc-Vivien Foe of Cameroon, Africa collapsed during a game in 2003 and died shortly afterwards. His death was one of 20 in the past two decades.

Fabrice Muamba of Bolton, England collapsed on the field just a few weeks before Morosini’s death. Muamba was officially dead for 78 minutes, but was able to be resuscitated and is making a promising recovery.

At the time of Morosini’s collapse, Livorno was leading 2-0. The country’s soccer federation postponed the rest of the weekend’s professional matches.

According to the New York Times, Italy and Inter Milan defender and friend of Morosini, Andrea Ranocchia said, “There is huge grief. It leaves an enormous hole.”


Tribes are to receive $1 Billion from the U.S.


The U.S. federal government announced this past week that it had agreed to pay over $1 billion to multiple Native American tribes in an effort to end dozens of lawsuits.

According to the New York Times, the financial settlement, one of the largest made to American Indian tribes, was made to compensate for the mismanagement of funds and natural resources that the government holds in trusts.

The 41 tribes, located mostly in the western United States, will be receiving approximately $1.023 billion. The Department of the Interior and the Treasury Department did not properly oversee companies that extract a wide variety of resources including minerals, timber, oil, and gas.

The Department of the Interior manages approximately 56 million acres of land for Native American tribes and has been accused by those tribes of not keeping track of tribal funds and not collecting fees from companies that have leases on reservations.

In addition to the financial compensation, the Interior Department has developed a more reliable accounting system in order to avoid any further problems.

A few of the tribes included in the settlement are the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington state, the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho, and the Coeur d’Alene tribe of Idaho.

Although the U.S. has resolved this particular issue, it has yet to deal with over 60 other lawsuits filed by Native American tribes.

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