October 23, 2017 nº 1,917 - Vol. 14

"It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning."

Claude Bernard

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


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  • MiMIC Journal

Xi consolidates power with new ideology

The move helps to elevate him to levels of authority close to those of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Charting China´s ´great purge´ under Xi

Since becoming China´s leader in 2012, Xi Jinping has overseen a vast and ruthless anti-corruption drive in which more than a million officials have been disciplined. More than 170 ministers and deputy minister-level officials have been sacked and many jailed under Xi, accused of charges such as corruption, misconduct and violation of party discipline. It has been described by some as a massive internal purge of opponents, on a scale not seen since the days of Mao Zedong, in whose Cultural Revolution many top officials were purged.


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  • Brief News

Madrid denies ´coup´ by Spanish Prime Minister takes unprecedented step to dissolve Catalan government

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced he was invoking a previously unused Spanish constitutional article to "restore order." The Spanish Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, has denied that his government´s move to reassert control over Catalonia amounts to a "coup". The speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, called measures announced by the government on Saturday a "de facto coup d´état". "If anyone has attempted a coup, it is the Catalan regional government," Dastis said. Madrid acted after regional leaders refused to halt an independence drive. "What we are doing is following strictly the provision of our constitution," he said, describing it as a "carbon copy of the German constitution".

European banks will have to share data with their rivals

The castle walls are about to come down. For years, European banks have been self-contained fortresses that plied their customers with everything from checking accounts to credit cards to mortgages, while stockpiling terabytes of data on their spending habits. Now these institutions are about to open up like never before as lawmakers seek to foster competition. Starting in January, lenders in the European Union will have to provide rival firms with access to their customers’ accounts and data, as long as clients give their permission. Under the revised Payments Services Directive, known as PSD2, the banks will also be obliged to build digital links with outside firms to speed the flow of information. (Click here)

Should you register marketing hashtags as trademarks?

Many companies not only try to build a hashtag-driven marketing campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but they also seek to register hashtags as trademarks. That raises these questions: Should your company try to register marketing hashtags as trademarks? And if you do register your hashtag as a trademark, will that prevent others from using it to criticize your goods or services like what happened with McDonald’s? More than 4,500 hashtag trademark registration applications have been filed in the US Such applications frequently fail. Out of those 4,500ish applications, fewer than 1,300 have resulted in hashtag trademark registrations. There are important limitations on registering a hashtag as a trademark and on what you could stop with a hashtag trademark. To register a hashtag, you must use the word or phrase in the hashtag as a source indicator for your product or service, such as using the name of the product or service itself, or using a slogan that promotes the sale of that product or service. To back up this requirement, the federal trademark office requires you to show use of the hashtag outside of social media messages, such as on in-store displays or in television commercials. You won’t get a trademark registration if you use your hashtag only in social media posts. Next, you can’t get trademark protection for merely informational matter: a generic name (car), merely descriptive language (four-wheeler), an everyday phrase (Boston Strong), advertising puffery (we sell for less) or religious quotes or citations (John 3:16). A hashtag may not be worth it. If the company already has a trademark registration for a particular word or phrase, getting a registration for the same word or phrase preceded by a hashtag won’t add meaningful protection when fighting infringers who use confusingly similar trademarks containing hashtags.

US ´wiped Raqqa off Earth´ - Russia

Russia has accused the US-led coalition of bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa "off the face of the earth" during the fight against so-called Islamic State. Syrian Democratic Forces took Raqqa last week and on Sunday said they had taken Syria´s largest oilfield. Pictures suggest much of Raqqa is in ruins, and Moscow compared it to the Allied destruction of the German city of Dresden in World War Two. The US-led coalition says it tried to minimize risks to civilians. Russia has itself been accused of committing war crimes for its bombardment of Aleppo last year. UN war crimes investigators said last week that there had been a "staggering loss of civilian life" in Raqqa. cover up evidence of crimes.

Italy referendums: Lombardy and Veneto vote on greater autonomy

Two of Italy´s richest northern regions are holding referendums to ask voters if they want more autonomy. Lombardy, which is home to Italy´s financial capital Milan, and the Veneto region around Venice together account for about 30% of national wealth. The governors of both regions belong to the Northern League, which has long argued that the north is subsidizing the country´s poorer south. A "Yes" win is expected in both polls but the results are not binding. The central government in Rome says the polls are unnecessary although they are permitted under the Italian constitution.

Federal appeals court finds cross monument unconstitutional

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Wednesday that a 90-year-old cross shaped monument in Maryland violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The monument, erected in 1925 to honor 49 Prince George´s County men who died during World War I, was challenged by the American Humanist Association in February 2014. A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the presence and use of the cross was primarily secular, finding that it did not violate the constitution. (Click here)

BMW head office searched by EU officials

BMW has confirmed its head office was searched this week by European Union officials investigating an alleged cartel among five German carmakers. EU investigators are looking into allegations that BMW, Daimler, VW, Audi and Porsche colluded to limit their spending on emissions technology. BMW said EU staff had inspected its Munich offices, adding that it was assisting the regulators in their work. Also on Friday, Daimler said it had filed an application for leniency. The firm, which owns Mercedes-Benz, also has no current plans to set aside funds for possible fines. (Click here)

Trump says he will allow scheduled release of JFK files

Trump has said he plans to allow the opening of a trove of long-classified files on the assassination of former president John F Kennedy. The president tweeted to say he would allow the release "subject to receipt of further information". The files are scheduled to be opened by the US National Archives on 26 October, but the president is entitled to extend their classified status. Kennedy was shot dead by a sniper on 22 November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The National Archives has already released most documents related to the assassination but a final batch remains under lock and key. (Click here)

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Motherhood Is Hard to Get Wrong. So Why Do So Many Moms Feel So Bad About Themselves?

Trump Takes A Break From Obama Hate In Video Message

Business Week
Fighting the Fires in Wine Country

The Economist
Left in the lurch: Globalisation has marginalised many regions in the rich world

Der Spiegel
Macht und Missbrauch



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