June 5, 2017 nº 1,871 - Vol. 14

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."

  John Maynard Keynes

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

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  • Top News

California Supreme Court: judges must scrutinize prosecutor decisions to exclude jurors

The California Supreme Court, in an opinion overturning three Kern County attempted murder convictions for alleged jury tampering, unanimously ruled on Thursday that judges must thoroughly examine prosecutor decisions to exclude potential jurors to ensure there is no racial bias. In so ruling, the Court concluded that the trial judge erred in rejecting the three Hispanic defendants, Rene Gutierrez Jr., Ramiro Enriquez, and Gabriel Ramos's, claims that a potential juror was dismissed because she was also Hispanic. The prosecutor had used 10 of 16 peremptory challenges to remove other Hispanic individuals from the jury, which prompted defendants to file a motion challenging the juror exclusions. Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar opined that "taints of discriminatory bias in jury selections - actual or perceived - erode confidence in the adjudicative process" and offends Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional guarantees of the right to a fair trial and equal protection of the laws. The Court additionally ruled that the Court of Appeals erred by refusing to conduct comparative juror analysis to determine the credibility of the prosecutor's explanations for dismissing or approving each juror. The Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals, and remanded the case.

Trump administration appeals travel ban to Supreme Court

The Trump administration filed a petition Thursday asking the Supreme Court to temporarily lift injunctions that block the president's executive order suspending visa issuance to individuals traveling to the US from six Muslim-majority countries. The move is appealing an injunction the Fourth Circuit upheld last month. The administration is also seeking to place on hold a second injunction held by the Ninth Circuit concerning the ban. The administration is arguing that the ban should be implemented until the court looks at the legality of the order later this year. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - US to pull out of Paris climate deal - click here.

2 - EU approves Biogen's Spinraza for lead genetic cause of infant death - click here.

3 - Swiss court convicts man over 'defamatory' Facebook likes - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese banks face up to funding squeez

Household deposits, long the foundation of China's economy, are now fleeing the country's banking system.

Is Trump abandoning US global leadership?

"Donald Trump's every instinct runs counter to the ideas that have underpinned the post-war international system," writes G John Ikenberry, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton. "Across ancient and modern eras, orders built by great powers have come and gone," he writes. "But they have usually ended in murder not suicide." However, in the wake of President Trump's first, much scrutinised foreign trip, two of his closest aides argued that America's allies have nothing to fear. "America First does not mean America alone." The president's approach is fundamentally transactional and highly competitive. But there are signs that his muscular approach, while popular among supporters at home, has already caused a shift in the tectonic plates of the global world order. It's been clear since Donald Trump's election that China sees this as a moment of opportunity.

China human rights lawyer arrested

Family members of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong said Friday that police have informed them of his formal arrest and his decision to dismiss all legal counsel. The legal activist disappeared in November after publicizing the plight of families of human rights lawyers and activists that have been detained in an effort to stifle opposition to the Communist Party.

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  • Brief News

Four countries cut links with Qatar over 'terrorism' support

Image caption Qatar has so far made no public comments on the latest developments. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region. The countries say Qatar is supporting terrorist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood. Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with Qatar to "protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism". Egypt has also closed its airspace and ports for all Qatari transportation. The United Arab Emirates has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. Abu Dhabi accuses Doha of "supporting, funding and embracing terrorism, extremism and sectarian organizations." Bahrain's state news agency said the country was cutting ties with Qatar because Doha was "shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs".

California lawmakers pass sanctuary bills protecting undocumented immigrant students

The California State Assembly passed two bills on Thursday which, if passed by the senate, will strengthen protections for undocumented immigrant students in public schools from kindergarten through college. Assembly Bill 699 passed by a 60-13 vote, with seven members not voting, and will provide numerous protections for students attending K-12 public schools in the state. Assembly Bill 21, passed by a narrower 55-23 vote with two members abstaining, will provide similar protections to students in higher education. Among the protections provided in the bills are provisions preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from "entering a schoolsite without... a valid judicial warrant... and approval from the superintendent." The laws would also prevent school staff from collecting information regarding the immigration status of students or cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies that seek to deport students based on their immigration status. Additionally, AB-21 would prevent students enrolled in the California State University, University of California or California Community Colleges systems from losing financial aid, housing stipends, or other benefits granted to state residents in the event the student is deported. (Click here)

New York top prosecutor accuses Exxon of false climate change predictions

Eric Schneiderman, New York's top prosecutor, accused ExxonMobil in a court filing Friday of misleading investors about climate change risks and demanded the corporation turn over internal documents. Schneiderman, Attorney General for New York, said in the filing that he had evidence of "potential materially false and misleading statements by Exxon" that could have led investors to believe that the oil company had accurately assessed environmental impact when it had ignored its internal formula for calculating such an impact. According to Schneiderman, Exxon frequently showed a "proxy cost" for greenhouse gas emissions to investors that may not have been included when estimating actual profits and losses. Schneiderman wrote in his filing, "Exxon's own documents suggest that if Exxon had applied the proxy cost it promised to shareholders, at least one substantial oil sands project may have projected a financial loss, rather than a profit, over the course of the project's original timeline." (Click here)

Venezuela president pledges to hold referendum on new constitution

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged Thursday to hold a referendum on a new controversial constitution that he has proposed. Maduro's pledge to rewrite the national charter has led to two months of protests in which at least 62 people have been killed. Maduro's pledge came after criticism from opponents that his plan to rewrite the charter was anti-democratic. In response to criticism, Maduro said on state television, "I shall propose it explicitly: the new constitution will go to a consultative referendum so it is the people who say whether they are in agreement or not with the new, strengthened constitution."

California lawmakers pass bill prohibiting state assistance in enforcement of federal marijuana laws

The California State Assembly passed a bill on Thursday with the bare minimum 41 out of 80 votes that, if passed by the Senate, will prohibit state and local authorities from assisting federal agencies in the enforcement of marijuana laws without a court order.

Brazil police arrest president's aide in corruption probe

Brazilian police have arrested Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a former congressman and close friend of President Michel Temer. Loures was seen in a video released in May carrying a bag with 500,000 Brazilian reais ($154,000). Prosecutors allege he was handling a bribe from a businessman who had been recorded discussing hush money with Temer. (Click here)

Farc rebels threaten demobilization delay

Colombia's Farc rebels have threatened to delay their demobilization, saying the government has repeatedly broken the terms of last year's peace deal. Farc leader made the warning after the arrest of a rebel - a move that went against the terms of the deal. President Juan Manuel Santos said there had been "confusion" over the arrest and the situation was being resolved. Under the deal, the left-wing rebels are due to disarm by 20 June.

U.N. Security Council unanimously broadens sanctions on North Korea

China, a longtime friend of the North, joined the rest of the Security Council members in penalizing the country for its missile tests, adding over a dozen people and entities to a blacklist Friday.

US firms criticise Trump move

Some of the biggest firms in the US have reacted with dismay to President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate deal. General Electric, Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney were among corporate giants to condemn the move. Critics say the withdrawal, part of Trump's "America first" policy, will hurt US companies' ability to work abroad and inhibit innovation. US coal firms welcomed the move, saying it would save jobs and ease regulation. The Dow Jones share index closed up 0.6% following the widely expected announcement.

Guatemala judge pleads guilty in FIFA fraud case

Hector Trujillo, a Guatemalan judge who served as general secretary for Guatemala's soccer federation, pled guilty Friday to fraud and conspiracy in the FIFA scandal. Judge Trujillo entered the plea before US District Judge Pamela Chen in the Eastern District of New York. Trujillo has agreed to pay back $175,000 that he received as kickbacks in exchange for marketing for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Trujillo could face up to 20 years in jail at his sentencing on September 20. (Click here)

California considers law to inform patients of doctors' misconduct

A controversial rule that would force some physicians on probation for medical misconduct to disclose the offense to their patients was approved last week by the state Senate, which killed a more stringent version of the bill last year. If approved by the state Assembly and ultimately signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would require physicians to notify patients if they are on probation for the following: sexual misconduct; drug or alcohol abuse while treating patients; or a criminal conviction involving patient treatment. Patient notification would also be required if the doctor had been put on probation multiple times.

Delaware adopts 'breed bias' law to prevent dog discrimination

The law stipulates that state regulations to protect the public from dangerous dogs cannot define criminal liability based solely on breed specific criteria. By extension, the work of animal control teams and shelters cannot discriminate against certain breeds for purposes of facilitating adoption. "Findings to deem a dog dangerous will be based on actions of the dog, or an individualized demonstration of vicious behavior," the bill clarifies. Municipalities will also be barred from enacting any breed-specific ordinances or regulations.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Family First: The Trials of Jared Kushner

Newsweek
Stand up, stay strong and the killers will never win

Business Week
The U.S. Is The Loser as Trump Dumps the Climate Accord

The Economist
The British election: Britain's missing middle

Der Spiegel
You're fired! Triumph der Dummheit

L'Espresso
Voto e rivoto

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