January 23, 2017 nº 1,830 - Vol. 14

"The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same."

 Stendhal

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

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  • Top News

Apple files $1 billion suit against Qualcomm over royalty charges

Technology giant Apple filed suit against Qualcomm on Friday seeking $1 billion in damages, alleging that the chip manufacturer demanded unfair terms for use of its technology. In a statement, Apple alleged that Qualcomm, despite being only one of many manufacturers involved in the production of Apple's iPhone, insisted on onerous and allegedly illegal prices for technology. Apple's complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, also alleges that Qualcomm took punitive measures against it when Apple cooperated in a South Korean investigation, stating "to protect this business scheme Qualcomm has taken increasingly radical steps, most recently withholding nearly $1B in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them." The Apple lawsuit also follows closely behind a suit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, based on Qualcomm's status as the main supplier of modem chips that enable phones to connect to cellular networks. As such, the company has collected licensing fees on nearly every cell phone utilized worldwide, which the FTC alleges is the perpetuation of an illegal monopoly. Qualcomm responded to Apple's complaint, stating that "it is quite clear Apple's claims are baseless," and responded to the FTC complaint, stating that it is based on bad law and significant "misconceptions." (Click here)

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  • MiMIC Journal

US-China trade war

Trump may be accused of flip-flopping on many issues, but there is one thing he's been remarkably consistent on: China. A nation that's "raping our country", he called it on the campaign trail. One that is "stealing American jobs". He's promised to slap a 45% tax on Chinese imports if Beijing doesn't start playing fair - a move that's led to concerns over a US-China trade war. Trump says his plan is good economics, and would create more jobs in the US. But many economists argue this would hurt US consumers more than it would hurt Chinese businesses. Capital Economics says American consumers may have to pay up to 10% more for Chinese-made goods if tariffs were imposed.

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  • Brief News

Women's march floods Washington, sparking rallies worldwide

Less than a day after President Trump's inauguration, protesters are taking to the streets to oppose his policies. Between a rally and a march, they aim to call attention to a broad list of demands. The event grew from humble origins — a simple Facebook invitation after Election Day — to the much more massive demonstration seen Saturday. Ultimately, more than 200 organizations — ranging from Planned Parenthood and the NAACP, to Amnesty International and the AFL-CIO — partnered with the Women's March on Washington. Boston, San Francisco, London, Sydney — D.C.'s massive protest has spawned sister marches in all 50 states and hundreds of cities across seven continents.

DOJ: Trump appointment of son-in-law does not violate anti-nepotism laws

The US Department of Justice released a 14-page legal opinion Saturday holding that US President Donald Trump's appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser did not violate federal anti-nepotism laws. Particularly, some have argued Kushner's appointment violates a federal law that reads in pertinent part that appointing a relative "to a civilian position in the agency ... over which exercises jurisdiction or control" is forbidden. In response, the DOJ, mirroring arguments from Kushner's attorneys, held that "[i]n choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office." While Kushner's appointment could still be challenged in court, the Trump administration will have a stronger argument, in that he is following the guidance of government attorneys. (Click here)

US legal watchdog to sue Trump over foreign payments

A US legal watchdog says it will file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging he is violating a constitutional ban on accepting payments from foreign governments. The group of lawyers and researchers say he is receiving payments from foreign governments via guests at his hotels and leases on his buildings. They argue that a clause in the constitution bans such payments. Trump's son Eric described the move as "harassment for political gain". (Click here)

Republican plan to replace Obamacare would turn Medicaid over to States

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway says Medicaid block grants are part of the new administration's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The new health care law that will replace Obamacare will turn Medicaid — a joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor — into a block grant program. The change would mean the federal government would give money to the states to implement Medicaid as they see fit.

Romanians march against prisoner release plan

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Romanian capital Bucharest and other cities in protest at government plans to release around 3,000 prisoners. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu says the move would ease overcrowding in prisons. His critics say he is trying to release allies convicted of corruption. They also want the proposals to be debated in parliament. Those who would be due for release include several elected officials and magistrates convicted of corruption. President Iohannis said: "Several political officials who have judicial issues want to change the legislation and weaken the rule of law. It is unacceptable to modify the law so that the cases of dozens, even hundreds, of politicians, are wiped out.".

Israel approves settlement homes following Trump inauguration

Israel has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem, after the staunch pro-Israel Trump took office. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said: "Now we can finally build." Israel's PM reportedly delayed approval given the opposition of Obama, who infuriated Israel by allowing a UN resolution against settlements to pass. Settlements in East Jerusalem are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. A statement said the two leaders held a "very warm" telephone conversation in which they discussed issues including the Iran nuclear deal and the peace process with the Palestinians.

Cambridge scientists consider fake news 'vaccine'

The appearance of fake news on websites and social media has inspired scientists to develop a "vaccine" to immunize people against the problem. A University of Cambridge study devised psychological tools to target fact distortion. Researchers suggest "pre-emptively exposing" readers to a small "dose" of the misinformation can help organizations cancel out bogus claims. Stories on the US election and Syria are among those to have caused concern. "Misinformation can be sticky, spreading and replicating like a virus," said the University of Cambridge study's lead author Sander van der Linden. "The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible."

South Korea court rules detention of prostitutes in 1960s and 70s illegal

The Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday ruled that the South Korean government had broken the law by detaining prostitutes serving American soldiers and forcefully treating them for venereal diseases. The court ordered the government to pay the equivalent of $4,240 in compensation for physical and psychological damage to each of 57 plaintiffs who worked as prostitutes during the 1960s and 70s. The government had denied any involvement in organizing the prostitution, but the plaintiffs alleged they were forced or cheated into prostitution and forced to live in large camps, unable to get away.

Turkish parliament approves plan to strengthen presidential powers

The Turkish Parliament on Saturday approved a plan which, if approved by vote later this year, would increase presidential power within the country and would allow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stay in office until 2029. The referendum acquired 339 votes, nine more than required, to go to a public vote. Among the new powers granted to the president would be the power to issue decrees, declare emergency, appoint top state officials and ministers, and the power to dissolve parliament.

Foxconn signals $7bn US investment

The chief executive of Taiwan's technology giant Foxconn has confirmed his company is considering setting up a new plant in the United States. Terry Gou told reporters the investment might exceed $7bn. The investment by a major supplier of Apple would be likely to generate thousands of jobs, if it goes ahead. The plans come after confirmed his "America First" agenda meant overturning international trade treaties.

Trump says Nafta 'renegotiations' with Mexico and Canada to start

Trump has said that he will soon begin "renegotiating" the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. Meetings have been scheduled with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, he said. The Nafta agreement came into effect between the three countries in 1994. Trump has called it the worst trade deal the US has ever signed. The White House website says that if Canada and Mexico refuse to accept a renegotiation of Nafta that provides a "fair deal" for American workers, then the US will move to withdraw from it.

Heineken in talks to buy Kirin's Brazilian beer brewer

Heineken is in negotiations with Japanese group Kirin to buy its Brazilian beer business. Heineken could pay $870m for the Brazilian brewer, a big discount from the $4bn it was valued at in 2011. The global beer industry has been shaken up by the £79bn merger of the world's two biggest brewers, AB InBev and SAB Miller. Brazil is the third largest beer market in the world, but has been hit by the country going into recession.

Largest servicer of US student loans facing lawsuits

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing Navient, the largest servicer of US student loans. The CFPB alleged that Navient "failed borrowers at every stage of repayment" in a press release on Wednesday. CFPB went on to allege that Navient, among other harms, convinced many students to take out larger loans than necessary, concealed information about payment renewal (leading to fines and interest), and damaged the credit reports of students with disabilities, including veterans. Navient, formerly part of Sallie Mae, services about 12 million students and handles around $300 billion worth of loans. Navient has denied all allegations. (Click here)

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Trump: We Will Get the Job Done

Newsweek
White House In 'Early' Talks To Move U.S. Embassy From Tel Aviv To Jerusalem

Business Week
How Deutsche Bank Made a $462 Million Loss Disappear

The Economist
A Trump White House. The 45th president

Der Spiegel
Trumps Spiel. “Win-win ist fuer Pussies”

L'Espresso
Chi ha ucciso Alitalia

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