May 15, 2017 nº 1,865 - Vol. 14

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Samuel Johnson

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

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  • Top News

Ransomware cyber-attack a wake-up call, Microsoft warns

A cyber-attack that has hit 150 countries since Friday should be treated by governments around the world as a "wake-up call", Microsoft says. The computing giant said software vulnerabilities hoarded by governments had caused "widespread damage". The latest virus exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by US intelligence. There have been warnings of further "ransomware" attacks as people return to work on Monday. Many firms have had experts working over the weekend to prevent new infections. The virus took control of users' files and demanded $300 payments to restore access. The spread of the virus slowed over the weekend but the respite might only be brief, experts have said. More than 200,000 computers have been affected so far. Organizations targeted worldwide included Germany's rail network Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, French carmaker Renault, US logistics giant FedEx and Russia's Interior Ministry. Microsoft criticized the way governments store up information about security flaws in computer systems. "We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world, An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen."

Federal court orders disclosure of immigration ban draft

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to disclose the draft of the so-called "Muslim ban" executive. Arab American Civil Rights League v. Trump, is a case before the court arguing that the immigration ban initially proposed by the administration had discriminatory intent against Muslims. The previous draft in question was alleged to have been made by an adviser of Trump who said the administration asked him to find a way to make a Muslim ban legal. The court held the draft had enough significance to warrant limited discovery as the parties involved had standing to proceed with the case. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Odebrecht O&G nears $5 billion debt restructuring deal - click here.

2 - Canada's Brookfield to take control of Brazil's Renova click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China invests $124bn in Belt and Road global trade project

The Chinese government is investing tens of billions of dollars as part of an ambitious economic plan to rebuild ports, roads and rail networks. China's President Xi Jinping has pledged $124bn for the scheme, known as the Belt and Road initiative. "Trade is the important engine of economic development," Xi said. The plan, which aims to expand trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, was first unveiled in 2013. Part of the massive funding boost, which is aimed at strengthening China's links with its trading partners, includes 60bn yuan ($9bn) in aid to developing countries and international institutions that form part of the Belt and Road project. Xi assured Western diplomats that the plan, described as the new Silk Road, was not simply an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally.

Chinese lawyer 'wore torture device for a month'

It's a form of restraint that would be more in keeping with the practices of a medieval dungeon than a modern, civilized state. But the device - leg and hand shackles linked by a short chain - is a well-documented part of the toolkit that the Chinese police use to break the will of their detainees. And it is one that they allegedly forced one of this country's most prominent human rights lawyers to wear, for a full month.

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  • Brief News

US to discuss with EU possible laptop ban on flights

US and EU officials are due to discuss the possible extension of a US ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage when they meet in Brussels next week. It comes after US Homeland Security said it was considering extending to Europe an existing ban for flights from eight mostly Muslim countries. The ban was introduced over fears a bomb could be concealed inside electronic devices. An EU spokeswoman said no decision had been made yet.

Trump urged to hand over any tapes

Senior US lawmakers have called on Trump to turn over any recordings of conversations with fired FBI director James Comey. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer warned that destroying any tapes would break the law. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the White House needed to "clear the air" about whether tapes existed. The comments come after Trump tweeted what appeared to be a thinly veiled threat to the former FBI chief. He warned Comey last week against talking to the media, saying he had "better hope there are no tapes" of their conversations.

ECJ: Uber falls under transportation regulations

The European Court of Justice on Thursday issued a non-binding opinion finding that Uber is a transportation company subject to additional regulations and fines. Uber presented itself as technology services that uses infrastructure to provide transportation. But a Spanish taxi union argued the description gave Uber an unfair tactical advantage because the company was not subject to the same rules and regulations as other transportation companies. The court found because Uber controlled every aspect of the encounter, it was a transportation company and subject to the all local rules and regulations of the jurisdictions they enter. It did uphold Uber's right to have independent contractors instead of employees and refused to order an injunction on the app.

Thousands protest Tunisia corruption amnesty bill

Thousands of Tunisians on Saturday protested a bill that would grant amnesty to officials facing corruption charges from a previous regime. Under the amnesty bill officials who had money seized from them following the overthrow of former president Ben Ali would be pardoned and have their funds returned to them. Proponents of the bill say it would help reconcile political divisions in the country but it has been met with massive public disapproval.

Julian Assange: Ecuador 'concerned' over serious lack of progress

Ecuador has voiced concern over the "serious lack of progress" by the Swedish government in dealing with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. It said there had been a "serious failure" by Sweden's prosecutor to complete an inquiry into sexual assault allegations dating back to 2010. Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorean embassy, where he has asylum, for nearly five years. He fears he will be extradited to the US if he leaves the building.

Costa Concordia captain's sentence upheld by Italy court

Italy's highest court has upheld the 16-year jail sentence given to the captain of the Costa Concordia, which capsized in 2012 killing 32 people. Francesco Schettino had handed himself in to the Rebibbia prison in Rome after the verdict, his lawyer said. Schettino was sentenced in 2015 after a court found him guilty of manslaughter, causing a maritime accident and abandoning ship. The cruise ship capsized after hitting rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio. Schettino was nicknamed "Captain Coward" by the media, after the coastguard released recordings of him in a lifeboat resisting orders to return to the stricken vessel.

Sessions tells prosecutors to seek 'most serious' charges, stricter sentences

The move, which was announced in a memo, reverses an Obama-era recommendation that asked federal prosecutors not to hit low-level drug offenders with charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences.

Egypt judicial council nominates head despite amended law

Egypt's State Council General Assembly on Saturday nominated their own council head despite a recent amendment reserving that right for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi . The nomination follows a contentious debate over amending the judiciary laws to give the president more control over the judiciary to fight terrorism.

Trump's lawyers deny he has Russian income or debt, 'with a few exceptions'

Trump's attorneys say his tax returns don't show financial ties to Russians, with some exceptions, such as the time he got $95 million from a Russian billionaire.

Hungarian law could close Central European university founded by George Soros

Teachers and students at an American university in Budapest founded by investor George Soros are bracing for the worst after the adoption of a new Hungarian law that could close the institution.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
How President Trump Spends His Time After Hours

Newsweek
Trump impeachment inevitable, historian says

Business Week
Mini-Trumps Are Running for Election All Over the World

The Economist
Governing France: Macron's mission

Der Spiegel
Teurer Freund (Macron)

L'Espresso
Per un pugno di sentenze

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