March 27, 2017 nº 1,852 - Vol. 14

"The best way out is always through."

Robert Frost

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  • Top News

 EU summit: Leaders stress unity on Rome anniversary

European Union leaders have stressed the need for unity at a celebration in the Italian capital marking 60 years since the Treaty of Rome was signed. Twenty-seven European Union countries, not including the UK, signed a new declaration to honor the 1957 treaty, which led to the bloc's foundation. With Brexit looming, UK PM Theresa May is not attending the celebrations. European Commission head, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke of a new mood of optimism about the way forward. "The atmosphere is now such that we can approach this with confidence," he said, referring to the future of the bloc as Britain leaves. May plans to launch the Brexit process on Wednesday by formally triggering article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. On the Capitoline Hill, where the six original states signed the Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957, the 27 leaders put their names to a declaration of unity.

Iran imposes reciprocal sanctions on 15 US companies

According to a report issued by IRNA, Iran has imposed sanctions on 15 US companies for human rights violations and supporting Israeli "terrorism" against Palestinians. The sanctions were issued in response to what the Iran government called "one-sided extraterritorial sanctions" issued by the US on Friday against China, North Korea, or the United Arab Emirates for providing Iran with technology which could help the country's ballistic missile program. The 15 companies sanctioned by the Iran government, including the United Technologies Corporation and Oshkosh Corporation, were said to have a direct or indirect part in supporting the Israeli government's actions in occupied Palestinian territories in opposition to UNSC Resolution 2334. Additionally, under a bill announced on Thursday, Iran could face even tighter US sanctions over ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities. (Click here)

Appeals Court rejects challenge to ban on non-lawyer firm ownership

Law firms don't have a constitutional right to share their profits with non-lawyer investors, a federal appeals court in New York ruled. The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld New York's ban on non-lawyer investment in law firms, throwing out a challenge by a firm that argued the prohibition violated its First Amendment rights. New York, whose rules are set by its judiciary, is hardly alone in allowing only lawyers to own stakes in firms. With the exception of the District of Columbia, no jurisdiction in the country permits non-lawyer ownership of law firms. Jacoby & Meyers LLP, which brought the suit, hoped its case would help bring those barriers down. The consumer law firm, which has offices in Southern California, the New York area and several other states, markets itself as affordable lawyers for the little guy. It says restrictions on ownership are "outdated" and make it hard for it to provide legal services at a reasonable cost. Those who support a ban say giving people who don't have a law license the ability to share firm profits would undermine the profession's ethical obligations of client loyalty and confidentiality. They fear that decision-making within firms would be influenced by investors or shareholders who aren't bound by the same rules of conduct as licensed lawyers.

  • Crumbs

1 - United Airlines bars teenage girls in leggings from flight - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China lifts Brazil meat ban

China has lifted a total ban on imports of Brazilian meat imposed over allegations that companies have been selling unsafe produce for years. Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi says the move follows a "giant effort" by officials to explain the investigation into tainted food. Chile and Egypt have also lifted their bans, the Brazilian government says. Brazil is the world's biggest red meat and poultry exporter, selling more than $12bn a year.

China's new limits on money outflows hit a would-be paradise

Based in Malaysia, Forest City promises clean air and beaches, but China's efforts to keep money at home leave some buyers struggling to pay what they owe.


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  • Brief News

Trump defiant after healthcare bill pulled before vote

Trump has suffered a major setback after his healthcare bill was withdrawn before a vote in Congress on Friday night. The bill faced certain defeat from members of Trump's Republican party, who control both houses of Congress. However, Trump blamed the minority Democrats for the failure. Repealing and replacing the healthcare program enacted by his predecessor, Barack Obama, was one of the president's major election pledges. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and Mr Trump agreed to withdraw the vote, after it became apparent it would not get the minimum of 215 Republican votes needed.

Trump warns in 'Art Of The Deal': 'Deliver the goods' or lose in a 'landslide'

Trump co-wrote the book on making a deal in 1987. But the former businessman couldn't deliver on overhauling health care. That effort failed. But this is how Trump sold himself. "All those politicians in Washington, and not one good negotiator," he bemoaned in August 2011. It was the day after then-President Obama and congressional Republicans struck a deal over raising the debt ceiling in a high-stakes negotiation. A year and a half later, he offered, "If the Republicans need a chief negotiator I am always available." In his 1987 book, Trump: The Art of The Deal, the president and his co-author Tony Schwartz wrote about how Trump approaches negotiations. In Chapter 2, Trump describes "The Elements of the Deal," with sections like "Think Big," "Enhance Your Location" and "Contain the Costs." He has time to start delivering the goods. But at the moment, many of his biggest promises remain unfulfilled or stalled. He promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act way back in 2011, when he was contemplating a run for president, and he promised it throughout his successful 2016 campaign. Now it remains the "law of the land," as House Speaker Paul Ryan put it on Friday.

Article 50: Brexit implemented by a 'series of diktats'

On Thursday, the government will publish its Great Repeal Bill, which will ensure EU law no longer applies in the UK after Brexit. It includes proposals for the government to be given a "new time-limited correcting power" which would allow changes to be made through so-called Henry VIII clauses - without needing the approval of Parliament. The government says it needs the power to make "technical" changes quickly as a lot of EU law will not work properly without changes being made. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We are not going to sit there and hand over power to this government to override Parliament, override democracy and just send down a series of diktats about what's going to happen in the future."

The law is adapting to a software-driven world

When the investor Marc Andreessen wrote in 2011 that "software is eating the world," his point was a contentious one. He argued that the boundary between technology companies and the rest of industry was becoming blurred, and that the "information economy" would supplant the physical economy in ways that were not entirely obvious. Six years later, software's dominance is a fact of life. What it has yet to eat, however, is the law. If almost every sector of society has been exposed to the headwinds of the digital revolution, governments and the legal profession have not. But that is about to change. The rise of complex software systems has led to new legal challenges. Take, for example, the artificial intelligence systems used in self-driving cars. Last year, the US Department of Transportation wrote to Google stating that the government would "interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor-vehicle design" as referring to the car's artificial intelligence. So what does this mean for the future of law? It means that regulations traditionally meant to govern the way that humans interact are adapting to a world that has been eaten by software, as Andreessen predicted. And this is about much more than self-driving cars. Complex algorithms are used in mortgage and credit decisions, in the criminal justice and immigration systems and in the realm of national security, to name just a few areas. The outcome of this shift is unlikely to be more lawyers writing more memos. Rather, new laws will start to become more like software — embedded within applications as computer code. As technology evolves, interpreting the law itself will become more like programming software.

Egypt court sentences defendants over drowning of migrants

An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 56 people to prison for up to 14 years for their involvement in a deadly capsizing of a boat carrying migrants and refugees. The boat capsized close to the Egyptian coast last September, possibly on its way to Italy. 169 people were saved by rescuers and local fishermen, but at least 202 drowned. The 56 defendants were convicted of causing the accidental death of 202 passengers, not using sufficient rescue equipment, endangering lives, receiving money from the victims, hiding suspects from the authorities and using a vessel without a licence.

Russian opposition leader Navalny and hundreds others arrested

Russia's main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been arrested at an anti-corruption protest he organized in the capital, Moscow. Thousands of people joined rallies nationwide, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations. At least 500 other protesters were detained in the capital and across the country. Most of the marches were organized without official permission.

Oil nations look at extending supply cut

Major oil producers are considering extending their recent cuts to output in a fresh bid to boost prices. Countries in the oil cartel Opec and several other oil nations started to reduce production at the start of 2017. The move initially pushed up the oil price, but it has dropped in the last few weeks on fears the limits would not be enough to deal with an oil glut. A group of ministers agreed on Sunday to review extending the cuts by six months, taking them to the end of 2017. At a meeting in Kuwait, they requested that officials report next month "regarding the extension of the voluntary production adjustments".

Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona crash

Uber has pulled its self-driving cars from the roads after an accident which left one of the vehicles on its side. The car - a Volvo SUV - was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, on Friday, Uber said. No one was hurt. A spokeswoman for the police in Tempe, Arizona said the accident occurred when another vehicle "failed to yield" to the Uber car at a left turn. "There was a person behind the wheel. It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision," she said. Uber's self-driving cars always have a human in the driving seat who can take over the controls. The incident follows a tumultuous few weeks for the car-hailing app service, after several negative stories about workplace practices and ethics. A number of executives have quit in recent weeks, including the president, Jeff Jones. (Click here)

Argentina ex-leader Cristina Fernandez to go on trial

A judge in Argentina has ruled that the former president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, should stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement. Fernandez, 64, is accused of fraudulently administering state funds in 2015. The former economy minister, Axel Kiciloff, and the former head of the central bank have also been charged. Fernandez, who governed from 2007 to 2015, said says she is the victim of "political persecution". The former president already faces unrelated investigations into alleged corruption.

Belarus protests: Government defends mass arrests

Belarus has defended the arrests of hundreds of people who were taking part in rare protests on Saturday. About 400 people were detained, and some beaten, in the protests against a tax on those classed as under-employed. More people were arrested on Sunday in further demonstrations in the capital, Minsk, and other cities. Belarus tolerates little dissent but has recently been seeking to improve ties with the West and reduce its dependency on Russia. The foreign ministry said the demonstrations on Saturday were not peaceful, as "petrol bombs and arms-laden cars" were found near the Minsk protest.

US and UK laptop bans come into effect

A ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Turkey and some countries in the Middle East and North Africa to the US and UK has come into effect. Officials say devices "larger than a smartphone" must travel in the hold because of an increased risk that they could contain explosives. The US Department for Homeland Security has cited attacks on planes and airports over the past two years as the reason for the ban. Aviation experts say the ban could hit airline profits as risks include a fall in passenger numbers, decreasing customer satisfaction and higher costs linked to screening baggage.

US State Department instructs embassies to beef up screening for visa applicants

The directions, in four memorandums sent last week, require social media checks on certain applicants and instruct consular officials to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny."

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Can President Trump Handle the Truth?

Crooked Media Fights Trump With 'Pod Save America'

Business Week
The South's Auto Jobs Boom Comes With a Heavy Price

The Economist
The future of the European Union: How to save Europe

Der Spiegel
London: Keep Calm

Rivolta a sud


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