February 22, 2017 nº 1,841 - Vol. 14

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."

                 Erma Bombeck

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

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  • Top News

Fight over Supreme Court pick set to ramp up

The battle over the next Supreme Court justice will soon shift into a higher gear with less than a month to go before Judge Neil Gorsuch appears before a Senate panel considering his nomination. Judge Gorsuch, Trump's choice to fill the seat that has been open since Justice Antonin Scalia's death a year ago, will begin confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 20. The effort by conservative groups and the GOP apparatus to smooth Judge Gorsuch's path resembles a political campaign as much as a traditional confirmation push. Many Democrats, furious that Senate Republicans never agreed to give a confirmation hearing to Obama's pick to replace Justice Scalia, have already said they would oppose Gorsuch. Others have expressed serious concerns about some of the judge's positions, although they haven’t ruled out considering the nominee.

  • Crumbs

1 - HSBC amends pay of senior bosses after failing to tackle potential financial crime - click here.

2 - Apple claims Brussels breached its fundamental rights in tax case - click here.

3 - Telefonica to sell up to 40 percent of Telxius to KKR for 1.3 billion euros - click here.

4 - China's Sinochem may sell 40 percent stake in Brazil's Peregrino oilfield - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Lawmakers push for tighter scrutiny of Chinese investment in US

Lawmakers from both parties are mounting efforts to bolster the federal government’s scrutiny of surging Chinese investment in the US, emboldened by President Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric on trade. They have yet to coalesce around any one plan, and the disparate ideas so far show early battle lines emerging. But the common goal among key lawmakers is to see the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US used more aggressively.

Chinese police to track cars in Xinjiang in terror crackdown

Chinese authorities in part of the western Xinjiang region have ordered all vehicles to be installed with satellite tracking devices as part of a crackdown on terrorism. The government wants an end to sporadic attacks in the province, which it blames on Islamist militants. A police statement said cars are the main means of transport for terrorists. Drivers in the Bayingol area who refuse to install the system will not be allowed to buy fuel.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Regulador

El regulador del sector petrolero mexicano negó a la canadiense Renaissance Oil una solicitud de fuerza mayor para llevar a cabo actividades petroleras en un área terrestre debido a daños ambientales en la zona, alegando que la petición de la empresa no tenía sustento y era extemporánea. (Presione aquí)

Permiso

La minera multinacional Anglo American se retirará de la pequeña mina de cobre El Soldado en Chile si no recibe el permiso de autoridades locales para reestructurar la operación, dijo su presidente ejecutivo, Mark Cutifani. El grupo espera obtener la aprobación de los reguladores para la mina en un lapso de tres a cuatro semanas. La minera tuvo que suspender temporalmente sus operaciones luego de no recibir la autorización de los reguladores.

Acuerdos

Los puertos de Misisipi de Pascagoula y Gulfport firmaron acuerdos en Cuba con la vista puesta en negocios futuros pese al temor a que el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, de marcha atrás en las relaciones mejoradas entre ambos países. El senador Thad Cochran es el único republicano entre los cinco representante de Estados Unidos que llevan a cabo una visita de tres días a la isla caribeña para discutir las relaciones y explorar oportunidades de negocio.

  • Brief News

Supreme Court to decide whether guilty plea waives right to challenge law

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari on Tuesday to determine whether a guilty plea waives a defendant's right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute under which he was convicted. The case, Class v. US, concerns a guilty plea made by Rodney Class to possession of a firearmt. Class lacked counsel at the time of his plea at his own request. The appeals court ruled that because the defendant signed the plea agreement, which included an explicit waiver of appeal rights as to his conviction and sentencing, he has no standing to any appeal of this matter.

UK appeals court rules heterosexual couple may not enter into civil partnership

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales on Tuesday rejected a heterosexual couple's legal challenge to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, ruling 2-1 that only same-sex couples may enter into civil partnerships. The court's decision gave the government more time to review the law, which currently prohibits opposite-sex couples from taking advantage of civil partnership arrangements. All three judges stated that the ban could not last indefinitely, giving the government time to review the law. The judges all agreed that the ban could constitute a violation of both Article 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It now turns to the government to address the issue. (Click here)

Homeland Security outlines new rules tightening enforcement of immigration law

The Trump administration has issued tough guidelines to widen the net for deporting illegal immigrants from the US, and speed up their removal. Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes. The memos do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures. There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.

Magnitsky bill turns UK into 'hostile environment' for kleptocrats

A bill inspired by the case of a Russian whistleblower will turn the UK into a "hostile environment" for organized criminals and kleptocrats. The Criminal Finances Bill, which cleared the Commons on Tuesday, is meant to freeze the assets of foreign officials who abuse anti-corruption and human rights activists. The law was prompted by the case of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He died in prison after revealing alleged fraud by state officials. Speaking during the bill's reading, Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "We need to make the UK a hostile environment for those seeking to move, hide and use the proceeds of crime and corruption. In an increasingly competitive international marketplace, the UK simply cannot afford to be seen as a haven for dirty money."

High Court to hear case of Mexican boy killed in cross-border shooting

The question before the Supreme Court comes down to whether the family of a Mexican citizen shot on Mexican soil has the right to sue under the US Constitution.

Brexit law hits Lords with May watching quietly from steps

The UK House of Lords began debating the draft law that would allow Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Britain’s departure from the European Union, with some members seeking to make changes that opposition lawmakers failed to secure in the lower House of Commons. In an unusual move, May sat on the steps in front of the Royal Throne. Though silent, her presence reinforced a warning to the unelected chamber not to meddle with her plan to trigger Brexit by the end of March. So far 30 amendments have been proposed. While that’s nowhere near the more than 250 submitted in the lower house, May’s lack of a majority in the Lords means she’s more vulnerable to losing there. In particular, some members are seeking a vote on May’s eventual Brexit deal that would leave time for her to return to her EU counterparts and negotiate changes if Parliament finds the accord unsatisfactory. The general debate on the bill takes place on Monday and Tuesday, with discussion on substantive changes not due until next week. If the Lords change the bill, it will return to the Commons, in a process known as ping pong where the bill bounces back and forth until both chambers can agree. The Brexit Bill “comes to us with a strong mandate from both the people and the elected house and we should not overlook that,” the government’s leader in the upper house, Natalie Evans, told lawmakers on Monday. “This bill is not the place to try to shape the terms of our exit” or attempt to “re-run the referendum,” she added.

As an age of nationalism dawns, a multinational deal collapses

Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion bid for Unilever would have been the biggest cross-border deal in nearly two decades. But instead of being a triumph of global capitalism, it induced only whiplash as the offer was withdrawn just days after its disclosure. The short life span of the deal cabe blamed in large part on national barriers — which are likely to rise even further as a new mercantilism emerges. Kraft Heinz is controlled by the crafty Brazilian deal makers of 3G Capital. There’s no doubt the company and its advisers were well aware that it would be forced to come out with a public statement if word of its approach to Unilever got out. And that’s exactly what happened. If this had involved only American companies, probably nothing would have happened, as the companies could just decline to comment. In Britain, however, where shares of Unilever trade, it’s different. The regulator of takeovers in Britain forces companies to announce the status of any acquisition as soon as rumors start. The idea is to ensure that the market has any notice of potential deal talks.

Cambodia approves law allowing judges to dissolve political parties

A new law passed on Monday by Cambodia's parliament gives the Supreme Court the power to dissolve any political parties it finds unconstitutional. This law is seen as an attempt by Cambodian premier Hun Sen to crack down on rival political parties before the 2018 election. Phil Robertson, the Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch Asia division said in a statement, "The passage of these amendments marks the final consolidation of absolute power in the hands of PM Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People's Party. This day will be remembered for the triumph of dictatorship over the dream of the Paris Peace Accords for a rights respecting, multi-party democracy." Parliamentary spokesperson Leng Peng Long denies that the law will be used to target political opponents and says the new law applies to all political parties. (Click here)

Life sciences firms remain targets for securities fraud litigation

The number of class-action securities fraud lawsuits filed against life sciences companies in 2016 was 70% higher than the number brought in 2014, and there are no reasons to expect a slowdown in litigation in 2017

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