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June 28, 2017 nº 1,879 - Vol. 14

"The most violent element in society is ignorance."

 Emma Goldman

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

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  • Top News

Global ransomware attack causes turmoil

Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber-attack. The virus, the source of which is not yet known, freezes the user's computer until an untraceable ransom is paid in the digital Bitcoin currency. The US National Security Council said government agencies were investigating the attack and that the US was "determined to hold those responsible accountable". The US Department of Homeland Security advised victims not to pay the ransom, saying there was no guarantee that access to files would be restored. The international police organization Interpol has said it was "closely monitoring" the situation and liaising with its member countries. Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the WannaCry attack last month. (Click here)

Brazilian President Michel Temer is formally charged with corruption

The indictment handed down Monday night by Brazil's top prosecutor makes Temer the first sitting president in the country's history to be charged with a crime. And the legal saga is far from finished. Temer has rejected the bribery charge against him, saying it is a "fiction" based on "revenge and vengeance". In a passionate speech, he questioned the authenticity of the evidence presented by Brazil's chief prosecutor. Temer is accused of receiving money from the executives of a meatpacking firm implicated in a corruption scandal. He denies any wrongdoing. It is the first time that a sitting Brazilian president has faced charges. Temer rejected the evidence presented by chief prosecutor Rodrigo Janot, saying he mounted a baseless case that was an assault on his "dignity" and sought to "paralyze" Brazil as it recovers from a two-year recession. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Queen to receive £6m pay increase from public funds - click here.

2 - Salvador Dali's body 'to be exhumed' - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

US downgrades China over trafficking

China "is not making significant efforts" to stop human trafficking, the US says, claiming that fewer people are now being prosecuted than before. The US Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report on Thursday, and downgraded China to one of the worst offenders. The reports highlights the treatment of North Koreans who may have been trafficked and then sent home by China. There has been no response from China, which could now face sanctions.

China passes tough new intelligence law

China's legislature passed a new intelligence law on Tuesday after an unusually brief round of discussions, a draft of which gave new powers to monitor suspects, raid premises and seize vehicles and devices. President Xi Jinping has overseen a raft of legislation to bolster national security against perceived threats from both within and outside China. (Click here)

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  • Historias Verdaderas

Fusión

El organismo regulador de la competencia económica de México condicionó la fusión en el país de las compañías estadounidenses Dow Chemical y DuPont a que ambas se desprendan de distintos negocios locales. (Presione aquí)

Contrato

El banco comercial de China, el Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, firmó un contrato de financiamiento con Shougang Hierro Peru para la ampliación de su planta de procesamiento en Marcona, Ica, al sur de Lima, Perú, por US$ 500 mlls. El proyecto de ampliación de la mina de hierro a cargo de Shougang, permitirá incrementar la producción anual hasta 3.5 millones de toneladas métricas de hierro, con una inversión estimada de US$ 1,500 mlls. e iniciara operaciones a fines del 2018.

Inversión

Pan American Energy (PAE) invertirá unos US$ 1.200 mlls. en Argentina durante el 2017 para la producción de hidrocarburos convencionales y no convencionales. Del total de la inversión, unos US$ 400 mlls. corresponden al desarrollo de las áreas concesionadas de recursos no convencionales de la formación Vaca Muerta.

  • Brief News

Google hit with record $2.7bn EU fine

Google has been fined 2.42bn euros by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results. The amount is the regulator's largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market. The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty. The US firm said it may appeal. However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet's average daily worldwide earnings. Based on the company's most recent financial report, that amounts to about $14m a day. The commission said it was leaving it to Google to determine what alterations should be made to its Shopping service rather than specifying a remedy. (Click here)

Big win for Trump and his travel ban

Trump just got his travel ban. At least, most of it... Although the Supreme Court left parts of the lower-court-ordered suspension of his travel ban intact, and agreed to consider the merits of the case in October, a considerable portion of it can now go into effect. The path to entry into the US for immigrants and refugees from the affected nations, if they don't have existing ties to the US - either through family, schools or employment - just became considerably harder. It didn't take long for the president to take a victory lap, via an official statement. He touted the "unanimous" nature of the court's unsigned opinion and called it a "clear victory for our national security". While his victory wasn't complete - as he acknowledged, it will "become largely effective" - the way the court decided the case makes it a significant win for Trump. The decision marks a reaffirmation of the sweeping powers the president has traditionally been granted by the courts in areas of national security. (Click here)

Republicans delay Senate healthcare vote

US Senate Republicans have delayed a vote on their healthcare bill until after next week's 4 July holiday. The announcement is a setback to their plan to replace Obamacare. Eight Republican senators have vowed to oppose the bill and the party can only afford to lose two votes to get it passed in the upper chamber. Trump invited Senate Republicans to the White House for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Sitting alongside some of the party rebels, he said: "This will be great if we get it done. And if we don't get it done, it's just going to be something that we're not going to like. And that's okay, and I understand that very well." A similar version of the bill has already passed the House, after facing a similar delay.

Helicopter attacks Venezuelan court

Venezuela's Supreme Court has been attacked by grenades dropped from a helicopter in what President Nicolás Maduro called a "terrorist attack". Footage on social media shows a police helicopter circling over the city before shots and a loud bang are heard. The police officer said to have piloted the stolen aircraft issued a statement denouncing the "criminal government". Maduro has faced months of mass protests amid a political and economic crisis.

Colombia anti-corruption chief arrested on US charges

Colombia's top anti-corruption official has been arrested on US charges of money laundering in connection with an alleged bribery scheme. Luis Gustavo Moreno Rivera, national director of anti-corruption, was arrested in Colombia and faces extradition to the US. A Colombian lawyer was also arrested. They are both charged with conspiring to launder money to promote foreign bribery, US prosecutors say.

Merkel paves way for gay marriage vote

Angela Merkel has opened the door to a free vote in parliament on legalizing same-sex marriage, after signaling a shift in her party's position on it. Merkel surprised the German media by saying she favored a "decision of conscience" on gay marriage. It is not yet clear whether the vote will happen before parliament's summer break, as Merkel does not want opponents to score political points from it. Many of Germany's EU partners have legalized gay marriage, notably the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and the UK.

Supreme Court rules on deadline for opting out of class actions

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Anz Securities, Inc., et al. that a member of a class action suit cannot file a new suit separately past the statute of repose. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court in the 5-4 decision. Kennedy did not buy petitioner's argument that the court's decision in American Pipe and Construction Co. et al. v. State of Utah et al. stating that American Pipe was not a case that revolved around a "legislative enactment" instead of the "tradition equitable powers of the judiciary."

Can good corporate citizenship be measured?

If you spend time around corporate boardrooms these days, you’ll hear the abbreviation "E.S.G." thrown around with such frequency it is almost a trope. E.S.G. stands for "environmental, social and governance." Basically, it refers to the three main ways to measure a company's commitments to ecological sustainability, to its community and to corporate governance. Big investors, like pension funds and others, have publicly declared that they now consider environmental, social and governance issues to be key metrics of their investment decisions. To pass muster, companies seeking their favor must show a proven track record of responsible stewardship in all three categories.

A proposed bankruptcy for banks that will lead to bailouts

If Congress repeals Dodd-Frank's orderly liquidation authority, regulators would have no tools to address the failure of a financial giant.

Puerto Rico's Federal Supervisors veto $9 billion utility debt deal

A $9 billion restructuring deal covering Puerto Rico's public power monopoly failed to win approval from the island’s federal oversight officials, raising the likelihood of default at one of the largest US utilities.

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