March 8, 2017 nº 1,845 - Vol. 14

"Those of you who think that you know everything are particularly annoying to those of us who do."

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  • Top News

EU leaders embrace multi-speed Europe amid tensions

France, Germany, Italy and Spain have backed the idea of a multi-speed EU, as the 28-nation bloc prepares to mark 60 years since its founding treaty. "Unity does not mean uniformity," Hollande said. The EU Commission accepts that projects do not have to involve all EU members. EU leaders are focusing on a strategy of promising both deeper co-operation but also the possibility of different member states joining common projects at times that suit them. "We need to have the courage for some countries to go ahead if not everyone wants to participate. A Europe of different speeds is necessary, otherwise we will probably get stuck. If Europe gets stuck and doesn't develop further, then this work of peace may run into danger faster than one might think," Angela Merkel said. The 1957 Treaty of Rome established the goal of "ever closer union". And the 60th anniversary is an occasion to stress unity, amid widespread speculation that the EU could disintegrate. Brexit - a psychological and budgetary blow - now overshadows the anniversary.

Supreme Court clarifies correct standard for recusal of judge

The US Supreme Court on Monday reversed a case due to the lower courts' analysis that focused on the presence of actual bias as opposed to an objective probability of actual bias. In Rippo v. Baker, Michael Rippo discovered that the judge hearing his criminal case was the subject of a federal bribery investigation, and Rippo believed the same district attorney's office that was prosecuting him was playing a part in the judge's bribery investigation. Rippo sought to disqualify the judge based on the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but the judge declined to recuse himself. A later judge denied a motion for a new trial, and the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed. The state courts again denied Rippo's argument in later proceedings based on the failure to show evidence of actual bias. The Supreme Court reversed, stating that precedent dictates recusal at times where actual bias is absent. "Recusal is required when, objectively speaking, 'the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge or decisionmaker is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.'" Due to this, the previous judgment was vacated and Rippo's case was remanded for further proceedings. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - WikiLeaks says it releases files on CIA cyber spying tools - click here.

2 - Trump's new travel order bars citizens from 6 Muslim nations - click here.

3 - U.S. top court backs Hispanic man over juror's racist comments - click here.

4 - SoftBank to sell 25% of Arm to Saudi-backed fund - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China calls on N Korea to suspend missile and nuclear tests

China has proposed that North Korea suspend its tests of missile and nuclear technology to "defuse a looming crisis". Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that in exchange, the US and South Korea could halt annual joint military drills, which consistently infuriate the North. The appeal comes after North Korea test-launched four missiles on Monday, breaking international sanctions. In response, the US began rolling out a missile defense system in South Korea.

US fines ZTE of China $1.19 billion for breaching sanctions

The Chinese technology company agreed to plead guilty to charges that it broke United States sanctions and sold electronics to Iran and North Korea. (Click here)


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  • Historia Verdadera

Causa Justa

La CSJ de Panamá abrió sus archivos sobre la invasión militar estadounidense de 1989 que puso fin al gobierno dictatorial de Manuel Noriega. El caso tiene relación con el denominado operativo “Causa Justa” cuando un grupo efectivos invadió el país con el fin de capturar al ex militar quien era requerido por la justicia norteamericana. (Presione aquí)


México canceló los permisos vigentes de exportación de azúcar a Estados Unidos para evitar sanciones frente a una interpretación de convenios que regulan el comercio de edulcorantes entre ambos países. (Presione aquí)


El presidente de Brasil lanzó un programa de concesiones de infraestructura con el que pretende recaudar US$ 14.430 mlls. en inversión para la construcción de autopistas, terminales portuarias, transporte ferroviario y líneas de transmisión eléctrica. Michel Temer afirmó que el programa era crucial para restaurar el atractivo de Brasil como un mercado apto para los negocios.

  • Brief News

Brazil's economy shrinks for second straight year

Brazil's worst recession on record extended for a second- consecutive year, dealing a blow to living standards and raising doubts about the pace of recovery for the once-dynamic emerging economy. Brazil's gross domestic product shrank 3.6% in 2016, following a contraction of 3.8% in 2015. A combination of political turmoil exacerbated by a mammoth corruption scandal centered on state-controlled oil company Petrobras, and a decline in commodity prices has forced Brazilian companies to slash investment, while rising unemployment has pushed consumers to rein in spending. Some economists are forecasting a return to growth for 2017, but say conditions following two years of deep recession are likely to limit the pace of expansion. "The worst is probably over, but given the weakness of companies' and families' cash situations, the recovery will be very gradual."

Republican turn on their own health bill

Republicans' long-awaited plan to replace former Obama's health law is facing opposition from members of their own party. House committees plan to begin voting on the legislation - which would repeal penalties for those who do not buy health insurance - on Wednesday. But congressional Republicans have been saying the plan goes too far or does not go far enough. Senator Rand Paul said the bill will be "dead on arrival" at the Senate. He and other conservative critics have dismissed it as "Obamacare 2.0" or "Obamacare Lite". The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, helped 20 million previously uninsured Americans get health insurance.

UN court refers Turkey to Security Council over detained judge

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals referred Turkey to the UN Security Council on Monday for failing to release one of its judges. Turkey has detained Judge Aydin Sefa Akay on suspicion of being involved in last July's failed coup. In a public ruling the court's president condemned Turkey's actions. "Turkey's non-compliance materially impedes the Appeal's Chamber's considertion of the merits of this case and threatens the independence of the Mechanism's judiciary." Akay was one of 40,000 people accused of being part of the failed coup against the current government.

UK's May fights back after another Brexit law defeat in Lords

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is fighting back against Brexit rebels in her ruling Conservative Party as she steps up her battle to start the formal process of pulling Britain out of the European Union. The premier fired government adviser Michael Heseltine after he led a 13-strong revolt in the House of Lords, helping to inflict a second Brexit-bill defeat on May in a vote on Tuesday. The upper chamber rewrote May's draft law to guarantee Parliament a "meaningful vote" on the outcome of exit talks, potentially vetoing any final agreement and stopping the premier walking away without a deal. May's team insisted they would seek to delete the changes made by unelected members of the upper house when the bill returns to the House of Commons, probably next week.

Brazil, widening the hunt for corruption, finds it under every rock

Hundreds of scandals are coming to light as prosecutors and police in smaller cities press corruption probes. They have been emboldened by a three-year-old nationwide case dubbed "Car Wash" that ensnared top political and business figures.

Deputy Attorney General nominee won't commit to Russia special prosecutor

At his confirmation hearing, Rod Rosenstein, the nominee to be deputy attorney general, wouldn't commit to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate any Russian interference in the election. Asked about Trump's tweets claiming he had been wiretapped by Obama, Rosenstein declined to offer an opinion.

Hungary lawmakers approve tough anti-migrant measure

Hungary's parliament approved a plan to detain migrants in refurbished shipping containers until their asylum applications are decided, as the government stepped up efforts to close off one of the main corridors for migrants trying to reach Western Europe. Under the new rules, authorities will be allowed to confine any asylum seeker and accompanying child who enter the country to the area of the renovated shipping containers, which are arrayed along Hungary's border with Serbia. Previously, people registering at the border as refugees didn't usually face detention, and most kept traveling on to other countries like Germany. Now, they stand to be detained pending a process that often takes months, and in rare cases, more than a year.

Google faces new EU complaint over Android

A group of Google adversaries announced a new formal complaint to the European Union’s antitrust watchdog over Google’s Android mobile-operating service.

Europe court backs rejection of visa to Syrians

The European Court of Justice has backed a Belgian decision to refuse a humanitarian visa to a Syrian family. It decided that EU law did not require member states to allow visas to people whose ultimate aim is asylum. Had the Court decided otherwise, the decision would have potentially opened up a new path to EU countries for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Israel Knesset passes legislation limiting entry visas and residency rights

The Israeli Knesset passed legislation Tuesday that would limit or eliminate entry visas or residency rights for those groups who call for economic, academic, or cultural boycotts of Israel or its West Bank settlements. The legislation could limit the entry of Palestinians who are temporary residents in Israel while their applications for permanent residency are under review. The new Entry into Israel Law (Amendment No. 27) aims to increase a sense of national cohesion and discourage boycotts of the county and its goods due to the controversy surrounding the West Bank Settlements.

EU top court upholds electronic publications tax

The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that EU member states may not charge less than the standard value-added tax on electronic publications. The court held that while physically printed books and materials may be taxed at the lower VAT rate, solely electronic publications must be subject to the standard VAT rate, with the exception of digital publications distributed on CD-ROMs. The case came before the court when the Polish Constitutional Court asked for guidance on the matter due to a suit questioning the difference in tax rates brought by the Polish Commissioner for Civic Rights.

Ukraine asks ICJ to bar Russia from aiding Ukraine separatists

Hearings began on Monday in a case before the International Court of Justice, with Ukraine asking the ICJ to bar Russia from "any action which might aggravate" the contentious border conflict between the two nations. Ukraine's filing that started the proceedings alleges that Russia has subjected Ukraine to "increasing degrees of pressure and intimidation." Ukraine alleges that Russia has supported pro-Russia separatist fighters in Ukraine, leading to the "shooting down of flight MH17, with 298 innocent civilians on board," bombing residential areas and peaceful political rallies, and other acts of terrorism. Further, Ukraine alleges that Russia has attempted the "cultural erasure" of Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.

For I.P.O., Saudi oil company may have to give up some of its secrets

Some bankers think the state-held Saudi Aramco is worth only a fraction of the value it claims. Investors are pushing for transparency before its initial public offering.

The huge January trade deficit shows Trump's hard job ahead

What matters is not whether the deficit is rising or falling, but why.


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