• Jan

January 16, 2017 nº 1,827 - Vol. 14

"I assure you that a learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant fool."

Moliere

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

US Congress takes big step to Obamacare repeal

The US House of Representatives has taken the first step toward demolishing President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. Republicans passed a budget measure to introduce a bill - which Democrats cannot block - to roll back the law. But members of both parties in Congress are concerned about a lack of replacement for Obamacare. The political showdown raises a big question mark over medical coverage for more than 20 million Americans. The measure passed in the House nearly on a party-line vote, 227-198, delivering a blow to President Obama's legacy a week before he leaves office.

Trump promises 'insurance for everybody' as health law replacement

Trump, in an interview Saturday evening, said that health care offered under his plan would come "in a much simplified form — much less expensive and much better." "We're going to have insurance for everybody," Mr. Trump said. "There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us."

Eight billionaires 'as rich as world's poorest half'

The world's eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to Oxfam. The charity said its figures, which critics have queried, came from improved data, and the gap between rich and poor was "far greater than feared". Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mark Littlewood, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam should focus instead on ways to boost growth. "As an 'anti-poverty' charity, Oxfam seems to be strangely preoccupied with the rich," said the director-general of the free market think tank. For those concerned with "eradicating absolute poverty completely", the focus should be on measures that encourage economic growth, he added.

  • Crumb

1 - Russia moves to decriminalize domestic violence - click here.

2 - S Korea corruption: Prosecutors to seek arrest warrant - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Can Xi Jinping be star of the show in Davos ?

It's the first time a Chinese head of state is attending the global forum and he'll be star of the show. But besides the allure of snow-capped alpine peaks and tasty cups of hot chocolate, why is he doing this? And why now? First off, let's not kid ourselves. Davos is a venue where little meaningful gets done. It has struggled to shake its reputation as a very expensive talking shop that sees the rich and powerful of global business, politics, arts and society meet every year to sip cocktails and connect. Along the way they're supposed to think big thoughts about how to improve the world economy. But given that their wealth and lifestyles are precisely what many parts of the developed world is seeing a backlash against right now, it's not clear how much their solutions will help. Globalization and free trade is being attacked in the US and Europe. And with a new president about to enter the White House, President Xi's speech will be watched very carefully. According to a minister in China's State Council Information office, will be "offering Chinese remedies for the world's economic ailments".

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  • Brief News

CIA head warns Trump to watch his tongue

Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan has warned US President-elect Donald Trump to avoid off-the-cuff remarks once he takes office. He said spontaneity was not in the interests of national security. Trump is known for regularly making broad pronouncements on issues of national importance on his Twitter feed. Brennan also said that Trump did not fully appreciate Russia's capabilities or intentions. "I think Mr Trump has to understand that absolving Russia of various actions that it's taken in the past number of years is a road that he, I think, needs to be very, very careful about moving down," he said.

Turkish MPs back new constitution boosting Erdogan's powers

Turkey's parliament has given preliminary approval to a new constitution which will increase the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There will be a second round of voting later this week and, if approved, a referendum will follow. Critics claim it amounts to a power grab by Erdogan. But the president says the changed system will resemble those in France and the United States. The new constitution will allow the president to appoint and dismiss ministers, and it will abolish the post of prime minister for the first time in Turkey's history. Instead there will be at least one vice-president. The bill's final articles were passed late on Sunday, with the governing AK Party (AKP) gaining the three-fifths majority it needed.

Strategic planning in law firms: essential steps for success

Law firms doing the "same old thing" isn't going to work anymore. 66% of Managing Partners report that their law firm's strategy has not changed. It is imperative for today's law firms to have a strategic plan that evolves with the firm and changes in the market; however, only 24% of law firms report having strategic plans, even though 71% of Managing Partners report that having a strategic plan improved their firm's performance. Successful strategic planning is an ongoing process; the first step is creating the plan, but just as crucial is the follow-up. Steps include: (1) implementation, (2) review, and (3) making changes as needed (and things can change fast). When drafting a strategic plan, it's important to think about the process--and to incorporate measurable capabilities. The tenets of good goal setting should apply--keep things simple, realistic, and achievable, looking ahead three to five years with annual goals. As you create the plan, build it with the knowledge that it is a living document that must change, because the world is changing. It should function as a sort of guiding principal, and it reminds your firm of your priorities when crisis situations arise.

Pound falls ahead of Theresa May Brexit speech

The pound has hit its lowest level for more than three months on reports Britain was set to quit the EU single market as part of its Brexit plans. Sterling fell below $1.20 before bouncing back slightly on Monday. The pound also dropped to a two-month low against the euro, falling more than 1% to about 1.13 euros in Asian trading. Analysts said traders were reacting to reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would use a speech on Tuesday to signal a so-called "hard Brexit". That is a term used to imply prioritizing migration controls over single market access. Much of that volatility has been due to uncertainty about the economic impact if the UK gives up its tariff-free access to the EU. While May has said she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March, starting the formal withdrawal from the EU, few details of the kind of deal she will seek have been revealed.

Trump says Merkel made 'catastrophic mistake' on migrants

Trump has said Merkel made "one very catastrophic mistake" by admitting more than 1m migrants. He said Merkel was by far Europe's most important leader, and that the EU had become a vehicle for Germany. Trump was giving details of his foreign policy goals in an interview with British and German newspapers. He told the Times and Bild his priority was to create fairer trade deals for the US and have strong borders. He said the US had to address its trade deficit with the rest of the world, particularly with China. The emphasis for his administration should be smart trade, rather than free trade, he said.

Death toll from Brazil prison riot reaches 26; Decapitations are seen

The death toll from a riot in a penitentiary in northeastern Brazil rose on Sunday to 26 prisoners, increasing the number of prison killings in the country this year to more than 120. Decapitations and mutilations are common in Brazil's violent, overcrowded prisons, in which 40 percent of inmates have yet to be sentenced, but the latest wave of brutality has appalled many. "The situation of the rebellion is controlled," said Maj. Eduardo Franco of the Rio Grande do Norte police. The prison has a capacity of 620 but was holding around 1,100 prisoners when the riot began, the authorities said. All of the inmates had been sentenced, Major Franco added.

Palestine leader warns President-Elect Trump against moving embassy to Jerusalem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a recent letter, warned President-Elect Trump against moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Specifically, Abbas said the move would have a "disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region." The new administration's plan has also been criticized by many in the international community, who have hypothesized that the move could lead to violence. Palestinian officials have expressed their belief that the move could put to a halt the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and one official has even likened the move to "a declaration of war."

Philippines President threatens martial law to combat drug problem

The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said he plans to declare martial law if the country's drug problem becomes "very virulent." Duterte, who recently called reports that he intended to institute martial law "nonsense," has made a concerted effort to combat drugs in the country, a campaign which has resulted in the killing of 6,000 people and the arrest of over 1 million drug traffickers and users. Specifically, Duterte said "if I wanted to, and it will deteriorate into something very virulent, I will declare martial law," and, in reference to the Supreme Court and Congress, he said "no one can stop me." The current crackdown on criminal activities in the Philippines has been Duterte's central focus since he entered office last year.

Facebook to roll out fake news tools in Germany

Facebook is introducing new tools in Germany to help combat the spread of fabricated news stories. The world's largest social network said it would enable German users to flag potentially false stories. The stories will then be passed to third-party fact-checkers and if found to be unreliable, will be marked in users' news feeds as "disputed". It is the first major expansion of the fake news features since Facebook announced tests in the US in December. (Click here)

Venezuela: Opposition attacks Maduro over Supreme Court address

The Venezuelan opposition has accused President Nicolas Maduro of violating the constitution by delivering his annual state of the union address before the Supreme Court. During his speech, Maduro said he hoped to be able to address the National Assembly next year. Last week the assembly declared that he had in effect abandoned his post by mismanaging the economy. Maduro said he was fulfilling his daily duties. After the National Assembly's decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Maduro was allowed to deliver his annual report to the judges.

Federal appeals court vacates damages determination in Samsung-Apple dispute

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday vacated its damages determination in the longstanding patent lawsuit between Samsung and Apple. The previous $399 million damages award was overturned by the Supreme Court last month. Apple's damages were initially calculated on Samsung's total profits from the sale of phones that infringed on the iPhone's patented design but the Supreme Court partially rejected this approach stating that profits could also be associated with the individual components of a product. It will now be a matter for the appeals court to decide.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Life at 1600 (Pennsylvania Ave: White House)

Newsweek
Trump: I'll Trade Russian Sanctions for a Nuclear Arms Cut

Business Week
Netflix Wants the World to Binge-Watch

The Economist
Learning and earning: Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change

Der Spiegel
Das problem mit der Liebe und dem Geld

L'Espresso
Cosi il Vaticano protegge I preti pedofili

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