May 29, 2017 nº 1,870 - Vol. 14

"Study nature, not books."

  Louis Agassiz

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

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  • Top News

Trump son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy

Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Those contacts included two phone calls between April and November last year, two of the sources said. By early this year, Kushner had become a focus of the FBI investigation into whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Kushner initially had come to the attention of FBI investigators last year as they began scrutinizing former national security adviser Michael Flynn's connections with Russian officials. While the FBI is investigating Kushner's contacts with Russia, he is not currently a target of that investigation. The new information about the two calls as well as other details uncovered by Reuters shed light on when and why Kushner first attracted FBI attention and show that his contacts with Russian envoy Sergei Kislyak were more extensive than the White House has acknowledged.

  • Crumb

1 - Australian pension funds push for more female company directors - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China moves to stabilize currency, despite promise to loosen control

Beijing may make the renminbi less responsive to market moves, which could stem a flight of money out of the country but undermine earlier promises.

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  • Brief News

Muslim women in India challenge 'instant divorce' law

In person, over the phone, in a letter or even on WhatsApp, Muslim men who repeat talaq — the Arabic word for divorce — three times can instantly end their marriages, according to some interpretations of Islamic law. The word is used by Indian Muslims even if they do not speak Arabic. With such divorces, which are available only to men, husbands can oust their wives from their homes, usually without any alimony or other financial support, leaving the women with few resources or prospects. Half of Muslim women in India are illiterate, and only 14 percent have ever worked outside the home. But now the Supreme Court of India is poised to rule on complaints filed by five Muslim women who argue that being divorced in this way violates their fundamental right to equality under the Indian Constitution. Three Muslim women's organizations have filed petitions in support of the divorced women. The Constitution grants citizens the right to "equality before the law" and prohibits "discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste and sex." But it also gives Indians "the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion" and allows every religious denomination the right "to manage its own affairs in matters of religion." In practice, although the Constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens regardless of their religion, matters dealing with marriage, divorce, alimony and inheritance are handled differently by members of different religions. India does not have a uniform set of laws on marriage and divorce that applies to all citizens.

Duterte jokes that his soldiers can rape women under martial law in the Philippines

Three days after declaring martial law in the rebellious southern Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his troops to crush the militants, and gave a speech to inspire them: "You can arrest any person, search any house," Duterte told the soldiers Friday. "I alone would be responsible" for anything they did under martial law, he said. "I will go to jail for you. If you happen to have raped three women, I will own up to it." This last comment — absolving his soldiers for any future rapes — was widely reported as a joke, and if it was, it wouldn't be the ruler's first attempt at the genre. Before he won the presidency last year, Duterte joked that he "should have been first" in the gang rape of a woman who was held hostage, raped and killed in the 1980s.

France announces law to eliminate prison terms for marijuana usage

The government of France, under its newly elected president Emmanuel Macron, announced its intention on Friday to introduce a law ending prison terms for marijuana usage by the end of the year, although marijuana consumption will remain a criminal offense. Macron had promised during his campaign to reform cannabis laws upon becoming president. Under current law, offenders face up to a year in jail and fines of up to US $4,200. In 2016 alone, 180,000 French citizens were found to be in violation of drug laws. (Click here)

Merkel: Europe 'can no longer rely on allies' after Trump and Brexit

Europe can no longer "completely depend" on the US and UK following the election of President Trump and Brexit, Merkel said. She wants friendly relations with both countries as well as Russia but Europe now had to "fight for its own destiny". "We Europeans have to take our destiny into our own hands."

US might extend cabin laptop ban worldwide

The authorities in the US are still considering banning laptops from cabin baggage on all international flights, the head of Homeland Security says. John Kelly said there was a real threat and terrorists were "obsessed" with the idea of knocking down a US plane. The US already has a ban on laptops on flights to and from eight mostly-Muslim countries. Two weeks ago, officials decided not to extend that ban to flights between the US and EU countries. (Click here)

HRW: Chechen police attempting to purge gay and bisexual men from society

According a Human Rights Watch report, Chehen police have rounded up, beaten and humiliated dozens of men who are suspected of being gay or bisexual in an attempt to purge them from society. The report contains several interviews with victims who have been persecuted under a campaign against homosexuality that began in early spring. Some have been forcibly disappeared while others are returned to their families, starved and barely alive. Homophobia is a prolific issue in Chechnya, a traditionally Muslim and highly conservative region. Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's leader, has denied the abusive round-ups but the report issued by HRW shows that they were sanctioned by top-level authorities.

Germany vaccination: Fines plan as measles cases rise

Parents in Germany who fail to seek medical advice on vaccinating their children could face fines of up to $2,800. Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said it was necessary to tighten the law because of a measles epidemic. The government wants kindergartens to report any parents who cannot prove they have had a medical consultation. However, Germany is not yet making it an offence to refuse vaccinations - unlike Italy. Under the plan, the children of parents who fail to seek vaccination advice could be expelled from their daycare center. The law is expected to be adopted next month. The upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, said forcing kindergartens to report some parents to the health authorities might breach data protection laws.

White House backs down on keeping ethics waivers secret

In a reversal, the White House said it would publicly disclose waivers allowing former lobbyists to work in the administration.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The Weight Loss Trap: Why Your Diet Isn't Working

Newsweek
Donald Trump and the agony of H.R. McMaster. Trump's national security adviser is being hit hard by left, right and center for his White House performance

Business Week
When the Patient Is a Gold Mine: The Trouble With Rare-Disease Drugs

The Economist
The marine world ocean warning: Deep trouble

Der Spiegel
Erbfeinde

L'Espresso
Fratello governo, sorella lobby

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