March 16, 2015 nº 1,605 - Vol. 11

"You have a ready wit. Tell me when it´s ready."

Henny Youngman

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  • Top News

NGOs call for establishment of UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy

Ninety-two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world on Friday issued an oral statement calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to institute a Special Rapporteur on Privacy, citing a pressing need for the provision of continuous and authoritative guidance on the scope and content of the right to privacy. The group of NGOs, which include International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) request in the joint statement that such a mandate be established at the UN Human Rights Council´s current session, saying that the UN General Assembly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and existing procedure mandate holders have clearly recognized the need for guidance regarding the right to privacy set forth in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This step, the organizations said, would make an "essential contribution to the development of a coherent and complementary approach to the interaction between privacy, freedom of expression and other human rights," and would enable the Council to "play a leading role in strengthening the promotion and protection of the right to privacy."

The clean company act and the changing risk landscape for MNCs

The lawyer Thiago Jabor Pinheiro of Mattos Muriel Kestener Advogados presents on March 18 the webinar "The clean company act and the changing risk landscape for MNCs". This webinar will explore the evolution of the brazilian anti-corruption regime as well as the current and emerging risk landscape. For more information, click here.

Brazilian anticorruption law

In this article, Maria Fernanda Pecora Gédéon and Amanda Federico Lopes Fernandes, lawyers at Gouvêa Vieira Advogados, talks about the brazilian anticorruption law. According to them, this law has come to fill a gap in brazilian legislation, "since, until its enactment, there was not a specific law responsible for imputing to legal entity penalties for acts of corruption". (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

1 - Commerzbank to pay $1.45bn for US banking violations - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China probes chairman of auto giant FAW

China is investigating the chairman of one of its biggest state-owned automakers for "serious" discipline violations - wording that generally implies a corruption probe.

China is third largest arms exporter

China has overtaken Germany, France and the UK to become the world´s third largest exporter of arms behind the US and Russia.


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  • Brief News

Who says you need a law degree to practice law?

Michelle Cummings never went to law school. Like a fully licensed attorney, she´ll be able to open an office and set her own fees. Cummings is part of Washington state´s ambitious experiment to revolutionize access to legal services, particularly among the poor. In the United States, 80 to 90 percent of low-income people with civil legal problems never receive help from a lawyer. This means that domestic violence victims might file for a restraining order alone. Couples who want to divorce might do it without counsel. In some states, parents who have lost custody of their children might fight that decision without any guidance. Columbia law professor Risa Kaufman has called this a "human rights crisis." And it´s fueled by the sky-high price of legal help. In 2014, even lawyers with less than three years´ experience billed an average of $255 an hour (though, of course, rates vary widely). Most younger lawyers, saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in law school debt, can´t charge more affordable rates. And legal aid offices, meant to fill the gap, are shedding funding and services at an alarming rate. Washington state´s answer is a new class of legal professionals called "limited license legal technicians." They are the nurse practitioners of the legal world. Rather than earning a pricey law degree, candidates take about a year of classes at a community college, then a licensing exam. Once they do, they can help clients prepare court documents and perform legal research, just as lawyers do "It´s groundbreaking." California, Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico say they may follow Washington´s lead. The program, if it spreads, could transform how middle- and lower-class Americans use the law. The government is required to provide counsel in criminal cases. But when it comes to civil suits (everything from consumer issues to employment, real estate and family law), people are often on their own.

Facebook revamps its takedown guidelines

Facebook is providing the public with more information about what material is banned on the social network. Its revamped community standards now include a separate section on "dangerous organizations" and give more details about what types of nudity it allows to be posted. The section on nudity, in particular, is much more detailed than the vague talk of "limitations" that featured previously. Other sections with new details include: bullying, hate speech, criminal activity, and self-injury. The US firm said it hoped the new guidelines would provide "clarity".

Massive protests against Brazil´s president seek her ouster

More than a million people across Brazil join demonstrations against President Dilma Rousseff over a corruption scandal at Petrobras oil company. The protesters say the president must have known about a corruption scandal in the state oil firm, Petrobras. The political opposition say much of the alleged bribery took place when she was head of the company. But Rousseff has been exonerated in an investigation by the attorney general and denies involvement. Most of the politicians accused of taking bribes in a kickback scheme come from the governing coalition. After the protests, the government promised a series of measures to combat corruption and impunity.

DOJ criticizes new white collar crime sentencing recommendations

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday criticized the US Sentencing Commission after a federal panel introduced a proposal which would reduce prison time for white-collar criminals. The DOJ objected to the panel´s ideas to reduce prison sentences for various fraud-related crimes. Reports indicate that the commission has proposed a new policy that could reduce fraud related sentences by 26 percent. The DOJ stated that the new proposed sentence reductions are against an "overwhelming societal consensus." Many members of the panel were skeptical of the DOJ´s arguments, including Circuit Judge William Pryor found the DOJ´s arguments "singularly unpersuasive." Current data has shown that many federal judges view the current guidelines for fraud sentencing as overly driven by victim losses and have often consistently given lower sentences than recommended.

Saudi warning on Iran nuclear deal

A senior member of the Saudi royal family warns that a deal on Iran´s nuclear program could prompt other states to develop atomic fuel. Saudi Arabia would then seek the same right, as would other nations. Six world powers are negotiating an agreement aimed at limiting Iran´s nuclear activity but not ending it. Critics have argued this would trigger a nuclear arms race in the region spurred on by Saudi-Iran rivalry. "So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it´s not just Saudi Arabia that´s going to ask for that.”

Venezuela leader to govern by decree

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been granted the power to govern by decree until 31 December. The measure was approved by the National Assembly, where Maduro has a majority. He requested the approval of the Enabling Law after the United States issued new sanctions against Venezuelan officials. The opposition says he is using the incident to amass power and divert attention from the economic crisis. Last week, relations between the two countries suffered a new blow when Obama issued an executive order freezing the assets of seven Venezuelan officials and banning them from entering America. Obama also said the situation in Venezuela, including "the government´s erosion of human rights guarantees... constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States".

Swedish prostitution law targets buyers, but some say it hurts sellers

Sweden´s pioneering law criminalizing the purchase of sex while allowing its sale — putting the criminal burden on the buyer, not the prostitute, while providing more assistance to women who want to stop selling sex — has been considered a success and a model for other countries since it was introduced in 1999. A study issued Friday by a government agency in Stockholm found that street prostitution had been cut by more than half since 1995 and that the number of men admitting to having purchased sex was down more than 40 percent. The law had reduced trafficking and transformed attitudes toward buying sex. Norway and Iceland adopted legislation similar to Sweden´s in 2009, and leading British politicians have called for the same. Last year, the European Parliament resolved to "reduce the demand for prostitution by punishing the clients." Sweden itself is considering extending its law to make it a crime for Swedish citizens to buy sex abroad. But as Sweden assesses the lessons of its approach, it continues to grapple with issues that could limit progress in reducing prostitution and sex trafficking, including the effects of technology on the market for sex and the rights of prostitutes themselves. It is unclear to what extent mobile phones and the Internet, rather than the law, may have accelerated the reduction in street prostitution by bringing buyers and sellers together electronically. The law is forcing women who sell sex into more dangerous situations; transactions have become faster and more furtive because men are afraid of the police, leading women to jump into cars without first checking if the driver is drunk, high or otherwise threatening. And the number of Swedes in favor of a ban on the sale of sex as well as its purchase appears to have grown.

Ukrainian president calls for further sanctions after Russia fails to honor a ceasefire

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday spoke to Germany´s Bild newspaper, calling for further sanctions against Russia after they allegedly failed to honor a ceasefire. An agreement was signed in Minsk in September calling for the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry from the front lines. Though the attacks from both sides have become less frequent since the ceasefire established in late February, both sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.

Uber, Lyft cases focus on drivers´ legal status

A pair of court rulings involving Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. may have far-reaching consequences for the ride-sharing firms, and may help to bring clarity to a murky but increasingly important area of employment law. Two San Francisco judges separately ruled last week that suits filed by drivers of the ride-sharing services should go before juries. At issue in both cases is whether drivers, who are employed as independent contractors, should be considered employees of those firms, and thus entitled to the protections afforded most full-time workers. A verdict that required Lyft or Uber to reclassify their drivers as employees would throw a wrench in business models that have commanded large investments and valuations.

French financial prosecutor requests that HSBC face criminal tax evasion trial

The French financial prosecutor´s office demands that HSBC´s Swiss private bank face a criminal trial for tax evasion. The request follows an investigation by local magistrates into alleged tax fraud involving 3,000 French taxpayers. HSBC turned down a €1.5bn ($1.6bn) settlement offer. HSBC faces 10 separate investigations around the world for allegations that it helped wealthy clients avoid paying millions in taxes to governments in the UK, the US, Argentina, France, and elsewhere.

Vatican backs using force against IS

The Vatican says force may be necessary to stop attacks on Christians and other Middle East minorities by Islamic State (IS) if no political solution is found. It said jihadists were committing "genocide" and must be stopped. The Vatican traditionally opposes military intervention in the region.

Pakistan reorders detention of alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks

Pakistan authorities on Saturday reordered the detention of Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi, the main suspect in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, one day after a court in Pakistan ordered his release.

DOJ asks Fifth Circuit to stay injunction against new immigration policy

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday sought an immediate stay pending appeal of a Fifth Circuit preliminary injunction against the recent immigration initiative announced by US President Barack Obama that would halt the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. The injunction was issued against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, enjoining the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expansions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program described in the executive order. The DOJ called the move "unprecedented and wrong" arguing that the Constitution does not allow for a federal court to "intrude into the uniquely federal domain of immigration enforcement." The DOJ requested that the states which requested the injunction be directed to respond within seven days and that the court respond within 14 days after the filing of the motion.

New Nebraska law to keep vacant properties in better shape

Under the new law, when a property goes into foreclosure, a bank-designated person responsible for maintenance must contact the local government within five days and assume all future care until the property is sold

  • Weekly Magazine Review

The Clinton Way. They write their own rules. Will it work this time?

Taliban Group Claims Responsibility for Pakistan Bombs

Business Week
This 27-Year-Old Made Millions Riding the Death Spirals of Penny Stocks

The Economist
Global manufacturing. Made in China?

Der Spiegel
2030 Es kommen härtere Jahre

Noi podemos. O no?

  • Daily Press Review

Israel to head to polls in elections too close to call
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Ultra-Orthodox schools get more funding in Israel than regular state schools
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Pam ´wiped out´ Vanuatu development
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Russian President hasn´t been seen publicly in days
CNN International, London, England

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Now Queen Helen is putting Blair in the hot seat
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Yes, you can keep love alive: All this week, we are drawing on the latest expert research to give you the ultimate guide to surviving the menopause
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

´We will have to begin again´ says Vanuatu president after ´monster´ cyclone
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Kerry says ´in the end´ US must negotiate with Assad to end Syria conflict
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkey sends controversial security bill back to committee
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Postcard from... Washington
Independent The, London, England

Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Parents tipped off police about British teenagers ´caught trying to join Isil´
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

T-Bone Walker: a true musical innovator
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Institute: China now world´s third-biggest arms exporter
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Korea Has to Stop Global Dithering
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Aid workers struggle with unprecedented scale of Vanuatu cyclone
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Shell out 3 times more in Gurgaon as Haryana government increases excise duty on imported alcohol
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

To counter China and South Korea, government to fund Japan studies at U.S. colleges
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

17 people killed in bus accident in northwestern Nepal
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Eurovision 2015: hear Guy Sebastian´s shock song choice
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Electrolux 2014 Sustainability Report Highlights New Focus on Strategic Themes
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

General Electric sells Australia-New Zealand lending arm for US$6.3 billion
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Saddam Hussein´s tomb destroyed in fierce battle for his hometown of Tikrit
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Pakistan mourns for victims of deadly Taliban church attacks
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By ´Joe Bogus´: How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

More Fighter Jets in Nicaragua, Second-Poorest Country in the Americas
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Activist investor Elliott seeks boardroom shakeup at Alliance Trust
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

UK teens suspected of trying to join Islamic State arrested
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Is the third time a charm for Rexdale revitalization?
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Deadly dawn raid on Nigerian village
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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