July 12, 2017 nº 1.884 - Vol. 14

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

Henry David Thoreau

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

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  • Top News

Tech firms unite for 'net neutrality' protest

A host of internet giants - from social networks to dating apps to porn sites - will join a protest Wednesday against plans to roll back rules protecting "net neutrality". The sites will display a variety of messages, or simulate the potential effects of losing the basic principle of all internet traffic being treated equally. The US communications regulator earlier this year voted to remove an Obama-era rule that would prevent the prioritization - or "throttling" - of data, as well as other measures campaigners consider to be detrimental to the internet. Opponents to net neutrality say it stifles innovation and discourages investment in telecoms infrastructure. Among the companies protesting, the headliners include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Reddit, AirBnB, Twitter and Snapchat.

The question hanging over Washington: Did Donald Trump Jr. break the law?

Trump Jr.'s email exchange concerning a meeting with a Russian attorney last year has raised questions about a federal law that prohibits foreign nationals from aiding US political campaigns.

Is a more prosperous world more secure? Not as Trump sees it

The president has abandoned a policy consensus that alleviating poverty around the world is a key to reducing the chances of instability and conflict. Poverty reduces the opportunity cost of violence. Scarcity intensifies competition over resources. Inequality pits have-nots against haves. And poor states are weaker — less able to contain conflict once it breaks out. President John F. Kennedy summed up the argument more than half a century ago: “A more prosperous world would also be a more secure world.” President Trump isn’t buying. This is bad news from the perspective of poverty reduction and economic development around the globe. The shift in policy also opens another question: To what extent could it destabilize the world and come back to bite the United States?

Patent applications

The MERCK & CO, INC, one of the larges users of the Brazilian patent system, obtained a favorable judgement from Brazilian Federal Courts granting expedited examination of a patent application covering Temodal IV filed before the BRPTO almost 13 years ago. Less than three months after the lawsuit has been filed, the 31st Federal Trial Court rendered a favorable judgement to MERCK, compelling the BRPTO to perform the substantive examination of the application and, if requirements are met, to expedite the granting of the patent and issuance of the letter patent. MERCK is represented by Licks Attorneys.

Book

In his most recent book "Communication Law Matters in the Jurisprudence of the Brazilian Supreme Court", Ericson M. Scorsim, of Meister Scorsim Advocacia, presents the relevant decisions from the Brazilian Supreme Court over the past 30 years on matters such as the Internet, telecommunications, broadcast TV and Radio, Pay TV, and press. The book presents these cases under the critical viewpoint of the author, who revises the jurisprudence, as the case may be. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - London court rules UK arms export to Saudi Arabia can continue (Click here)

2 - France to step up tax cuts while reducing deficit: source (Click here)

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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese troops head to first overseas base

China says the base in Djibouti will be used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa.

Why is China's 'Disney rival' being sold?

Three Chinese theme parks, intended to compete with US giant Disney's ventures in the country, are being sold. The operations are among businesses being offloaded by conglomerate Dalian Wanda in one of China's biggest ever property deals. Developer Sunac is paying $9.3bn for the assets, including the theme parks and 76 hotels. Dalian Wanda has not explained its thinking behind the sale, but the firm is heavily in debt. Some analysts believe that, having delisted from the Hong Kong market last year, a smaller debt pile will strengthen the argument for relisting in mainland China.

China’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund seeks more US access

The China Investment Corporation said that the United States was impeding direct investment, but American lawmakers have urged greater scrutiny of Chinese deals. The fund has a stake in Heathrow airport in London. Regulatory barriers have made such “symbolic investments” difficult in the United States

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Tributos

El gobierno de México tiene los ojos puestos en las cuentas bancarias que tienen los mexicanos en el extranjero, como Estados Unidos. Informó que desde el 1/9 entra en vigor un acuerdo para compartir información financiera con 47 países, con el objetivo de detener delitos de evasión fiscal. (Presione aquí)

Garantía

El banco canadiense Scotianbank reclama a Perú el pago de $ 448 mlls. (en soles). El caso está relacionado a un pago de garantía para evitar el embargo de bienes del banco Wiese Sudameris. (Presione aquí)

Acuerdo

Los gobiernos de Paraguay y Taiwán acordaron un arancel cero para decenas de productos industriales del país sudamericano que ingresen a la isla asiática. El acuerdo, que será suscrito este miércoles en el marco de una visita a la isla del presidente de Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, reafirma los lazos entre Asunción y Taipei. El acuerdo contempla 54 categorías de productos que incluyen carne bovina congelada, leche en polvo, jugos y concentrados de naranja y pomelo, almidón de mandioca y pisos de madera, según informó el Ministerio de Industria y Comercio.

Litio

La minera chilena SQM adquiere el 50% del proyecto de litio Mt Holland de la firma australiana Kidman, ubicado en el estado de Western en dicho país. El convenio incluye el desarrollo conjunto del proyecto a cambio de un pago en efectivo por US$30 mlls. a Kidman. Además SQM contribuirá con US$80 millones para financiar el proyecto y como parte de este aporte proporcionará una préstamo convertible en acciones de US$ 21,5 mlls a Kidman. Además el desarrollo de una mina y planta concentradora de espodumeno y una planta de refinería para procesar el concentrado proveniente de la mina.

  • Brief News

Erdogan says EU wastes Turkey's time

Turkey will find it "comforting" if the EU says it cannot be accepted as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. "Once upon a time when I was in my first term as prime minister, Turkey was being described as a country which has accomplished a silent revolution during European Union leaders’ summits. But now the same EU not only doesn't invite us to the leaders' summits any more - they also waste our time. This is the situation right now. Turkey is able to stand on its own two feet". He also denied the country had jailed 150 journalists, saying only two people with press cards were in prison. His claim came as Turkey extended the detention of the local director of Amnesty International and nine others.

Belgian face veil ban backed in European court ruling

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium's ban on face veils does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. It was a ruling in a case brought by two women who wanted to wear the niqab veil, which covers all but the eyes. Belgium banned the wearing of partial or total face veils in public in 2011. The court agreed that the ban sought to guarantee the concept of "living together" and the "protection of the rights and freedoms of others". The court came to a similar judgement on Tuesday in the case of a Belgian woman who was contesting a bylaw brought in by three Belgian municipalities in 2008 that also banned face veils. The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959 and rules on individual or state applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. (Click here)

Brazil Senate passes controversial labor reform

The Brazilian Senate has approved a controversial labor reform bill - the first major overhaul in 70 years. The law aims to reduce costs for businesses, allow firms to negotiate contracts freely with employees, and reduce the scope for legal action in labor disputes. It was deeply unpopular with unions, who say it will reduce job security and called two general strikes in protest. The vote is expected to give President Michel Temer a boost before Congress' lower house decides if he should be suspended to face corruption charges. The bill will now be sent to Temer to be signed into law.

Trump 'didn't know about son's Russia meeting'

Trump's son has said he did not tell his father about a meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she could help his election campaign. Donald Trump Jr told Fox News the meeting was "just a nothing" but he should have handled it differently. He released emails showing he had welcomed an offer to meet the lawyer, who allegedly had Kremlin ties and material damaging to Hillary Clinton. US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election. Since he was elected, President Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Clinton's campaign.

Trump sued for blocking people on Twitter

Trump has been party to an eye-watering 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years. And now the mogul turned commander-in-chief has attracted one more, after seven people sued him for blocking them on Twitter. Trump is an avid user of the social media forum, which he deploys to praise allies and lambast critics. The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute, a free speech group at Columbia University. The seven Twitter users involved claim their accounts were blocked by the president, or his aides, after they replied to his tweets with mocking or critical comments. People on Twitter are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them. The legal complaint argues that by blocking these individuals, Trump has barred them from joining the online conversation. It calls the move an attempt to "suppress dissent" in a public forum - and a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

India Supreme Court suspends government ban on cattle traded for slaughter

The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday suspended a government ban on cattle trading for the sole purpose of slaughter. In May Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, decreed that cattle trade could only be conducted for agricultural purposes such as dairy production and plowing. Cows are considered holy in Hinduism and their slaughter had been previously banned in most of the country. The new regulations put forth in May expanded the ban to include the slaughter of buffaloes and camels. The leather and meat industries, which brings in more than $16 billion in annual sales, are run by minority Muslims who claim the ban was implemented to marginalize them. The ban spurred several attacks on Muslims involved in the cattle industries including the deaths of 28 people. The court stressed the hardships the ban would incur upon those who rely upon the meat and leather industries. The government plans to modify and reissue the order in light of the court's decision.

Airline to drop pregnancy test demand

The Spanish airline Iberia has said it will stop requiring female job candidates to take a pregnancy test after it was fined for the practice. Labor inspectors in the Balearic Islands discovered the airline insisted on the tests, and fined it €25,000 ($28,000). Iberia insists it did not refuse to hire anyone for being pregnant - and says requiring tests is commonplace in Spain. The airline argued it had only been trying to "guarantee that pregnant women did not face any risks". But this explanation drew ridicule on social media.

EU naval mission has failed to end people smuggling

An EU naval mission has failed to achieve its main objective of disrupting people smuggling, a UK Lords committee report has concluded. Operation Sophia, which the UK supports, appears to have done little to deter migration and its mandate should not be renewed, peers said. However, they said search and rescue work in the Mediterranean had saved many lives and should continue.

The pound stumbles

Sterling slips after the Bank of England's Ben Broadbent says he is not ready to raise rates.

US agency moves to allow class-action lawsuits against financial firms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is adopting a rule that would block banks and credit card companies from forcing customers into arbitration.

EU can 'go whistle' over Brexit divorce bill

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told MPs the European Union can "go whistle" for any "extortionate" final payment from the UK on Brexit. And he said that the government had "no plan" for what to do in the event of no deal being agreed with the EU. He said: "The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country appear to be extortionate." "Go whistle seems to me to be an entirely appropriate expression," he added.

Dutch pass 'tapping' law, intelligence agencies may gather data en masse

The Dutch Senate passed a law early on Wednesday giving intelligence agencies broad new surveillance and other powers, including the ability to gather data from large groups of people at once. The Senate's approval was the last hurdle for the "tapping law," which was molded into its current form after years of debate and criticism from both the country's constitutional courts and online privacy advocates. The law, which was passed with broad support, will go into effect this month after it is signed by the country's monarch and circulated in the official legislative newspaper. Online rights group Bits of Freedom warned the Netherlands' military and civil intelligence agencies will now have the opportunity to tap large quantities of internet data traffic, without needing to give clear reasons and with limited oversight. They also object to a three-year term for storage of data that agencies deem relevant, and the possibility for them to exchange information they cull with foreign counterparts. The government argued that the powers are needed to counter threats to national security in the modern era, and their use can be tested by an oversight panel.

Paying professors: Inside Google’s academic influence campaign

Google operates a little-known program to harness the brain power of university researchers to help sway opinion and public policy, cultivating financial relationships with professors nationwide. Over the past decade, Google has helped finance hundreds of research papers to defend against regulatory challenges of its market dominance, paying $5,000 to $400,000 for the work. Some researchers share their papers before publication and let Google give suggestions. The professors don’t always reveal Google’s backing in their research, and few disclosed the financial ties in subsequent articles on the same or similar topics. In some years, Google officials in Washington compiled wish lists of academic papers that included working titles, abstracts and budgets for each proposed paper—then they searched for willing authors. Google promotes the research papers to government officials, and sometimes pays travel expenses for professors to meet with congressional aides and administration officials. The research has been used, for instance, to deflect antitrust accusations against Google by the Federal Trade Commission in 2012.

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