September 19, 2016 nº 1,792 - Vol. 13

"Good is something you do, not something you talk about. Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket."

Gino Bartali

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  • Top News

UK PM denies EU report that Article 50 proceedings will begin in February

UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday denied EU President Donald Tusk's report that May intends to begin Article 50 proceedings by February. Article 50 is the portion of the EU Constitution governing procedures for nations seeking to leave the Union, and is the next step in UK's withdrawal. A majority of British citizens voted to leave the EU in June. Concern over the economic health of Britain going into the future led to a global market plunge following the vote, as the pound fell as far as ten percent against the US dollar; a low not seen since 1985. While the vote has fallen in favor of departure, no legal changes have taken place yet as Britain must take further steps to confirm its separation. However, Britain's leading public-interest law firm, as well as several experienced litigators, are currently drafting a legal challenge to trigger a parliamentary debate. Under Article 50, a member country can only be removed from the EU two years after notification. While Britain might bypass this process through repeal of the European Communities Act of 1972, it is believed that this would make coming to a preferential trade agreement with the EU more difficult.

  • Crumbs

1- Swedish court upholds Julian Assange arrest warrant - click here.

2 - Connecticut appeals ruling ordering sweeping school changes - click here.

3 - Employees don't have a right to wear dreadlocks - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Global banking watchdog warns over Chinese banks

Risks of a Chinese banking crisis are mounting, according to a warning indicator from the banking industry's global watchdog. A key gauge of stress in the banking sector is now more than three times above the danger level, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in its latest quarterly review. China's credit-to-GDP gap hit 30.1 in the first quarter of 2016, it said. The BIS considers a credit-to-GDP gap of 10 to be a sign of potential danger. A year ago the BIS quarterly review put the figure for China at 25.4. The BIS calculates the gap by looking at borrowing in relation to the size of the economy, and comparing that with the long-term trend of that ratio. When the two start to diverge, the BIS argues, a banking crisis could be on the way.

Rush of Chinese investment in Europe's high-tech firms is raising eyebrows

A Chinese spree of buying top European tech companies is raising questions about the origins of the funds and the acquirers' intentions.


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  • Brief News

Losses for Merkel's CDU

Germany's CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has suffered historic losses in Berlin state elections. It has been ousted from the state governing coalition with the center-left Social Democrats. Meanwhile the right-wing anti-migrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) made gains and will enter the state parliament for the first time. Merkel's popularity has waned since her decision last year to allow more than a million migrants into Germany. The CDU won 17.6% of the vote - its worst-ever result in Berlin.

Putin-backed party well ahead in Russian election

United Russia, backed by President Vladimir Putin, is far ahead in the country's parliamentary election, taking about half the votes, exit polls and partial results suggest. Liberal opposition parties appear to have failed to pass the 5% threshold needed for party-list representation. In the system of "Managed Democracy" crafted by the Kremlin, it was unthinkable that President Putin's control of parliament would weaken. And so, the four pro-Kremlin parties which dominated the previous parliament will do so again. But will the new parliament be recognized by the public as legitimate? The Russian authorities have tried to present this as one of the cleanest elections in years. Some opposition candidates were permitted to run; a respected human rights advocate was appointed head of the Russian Election Commission. Yet throughout the day there have been reports of voting fraud - and video to back them up. In some cases, webcams installed at polling stations recorded what appear to be election officials stuffing ballot boxes.

Wells Fargo customers file suit against bank for fraudulent accounts

A class action lawsuit was filed on Friday in a US District Court in Utah against Wells Fargo by customers alleging invasion of privacy, fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. Over the past five years, Wells Fargo has opened millions of fake bank and credit card accounts for customers in hopes of earning extra fees from the customers and artificially inflating sales figures. The customers are seeking damages for identity theft, anxiety, emotional distress, and legal fees. This is the first lawsuit against the banking giant for the fraudulent accounts, but it appears that further legal action may come as the US Department of Justice has already begun an investigation into the matter, and the US House Financial Services Committee announced on Friday it would be opening an investigation into the bank and would hold a hearing sometime in the upcoming weeks.

Group of EU states 'could veto Brexit deal'

A group of Central European EU members known as the Visegrad Four is ready to veto any Brexit deal that would limit people's right to work in the UK, Slovakian PM Robert Fico says. He said Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia would be uncompromising in negotiations. His comments come a day after the EU's first major meeting without the UK. All the EU leaders have insisted there will be no formal Brexit talks until Britain triggers the two-year divorce process and says what it wants.

Three news outlets sue FBI over Apple decryption case

USA Today, the Associated Press and Vice Media on Friday filed a federal complaint against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking to learn how the government was able to overcome Syed Farook's iPhone's encryption allegedly without Apple's help. The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially filed suit against Apple in an attempt to force them to unlock Farook's iPhone after he was involved in the San Bernardino killings. In March, the DOJ dropped the case against Apple, stating that they had another method of unlocking the phone. Apple's refusal to assist the government sparked controversy over digital privacy rights, which came to an anticlimactic end when the FBI used a third-party tool to overcome the iPhone's security measures. Now, the media outlets seek to know what third-party tool was used, to what extent it may be used in the future and what security vulnerabilities the tool takes advantage of. (Click here)

Italy's censorship law

After a string of high-profile cyber bullying and revenge-porn incidents, the Italian Chamber of Deputies has put forward a bill that will do nothing to prevent these abuses, and everything to allow for rampant, unaccountable censorship of the Italian internet, without rule of law or penalty for abuse. Under the proposed law, the "site manager" of Italian media, including bloggers, newspapers and social networks would be obliged to censor "mockery" based on "the personal and social condition" of the victim - that is, anything the recipient felt was personally insulting. The penalty for failing to take action is a fine of €100,000. Truthfulness is not a defense in suits under this law - the standard is personal insult, not falsehood.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

We joke, you decide. Trump Loses Late-Night TV

Donald Trump's Economic Leap of Faith

Business Week
One Nation Divisible (Elections)

The Economist
The superstar company: A giant problem

Der Spiegel
Fuenf Minuten vor Trump

Avanti populismo


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