October 27, 2014 nº 1,560 - Vol. 12

"The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end."

Leon Trotsky

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  • Top News

Brazil re-elects Dilma Rousseff

President Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected for a second term, after securing more than 51% of votes in a closely-fought and contentious election. In her victory speech, Rousseff said she wanted to be "a much better president than I have been until now". She faced protests last year against corruption, record spending on the football World Cup and poor services. Rousseff, who has been in power since 2010, is popular with poor Brazilians thanks to her government's welfare programs. (Click here)

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  • MiMIC Journal

Hong Kong protesters scrap vote on government proposals

Protesters in Hong Kong have abandoned plans to hold a ballot over whether to accept several government concessions. Protest leaders said they decided to "adjourn" the vote after disagreements over its format and apologized for a "lack of discussion" with protesters. The vote was to be held electronically and was cancelled just four hours before it was meant to start. The government, represented by deputy leader Carrie Lam, offered to send a report to Chinese government officials reflecting the protesters' views, and set up a platform to facilitate dialogue on future constitutional changes.

China's property prices fall

China has said its property prices fell 1.3% in September, marking the first year-on-year fall in the sector. The government measures property prices across its 70 biggest cities. It said new home prices in 69 of those cities had shown month-on-month drops in September, compared to 68 in August. The housing sector accounts for some 15% of China's economy, which grew at its slowest pace in the three months to September since 2009.

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  • Brief News

Banks demand that law firms harden cyberattack defenses

Big banks are demanding that their law firms do more to protect sensitive information to ensure that they don't become back doors for hackers. Once given special status as trusted third parties, lawyers, particularly those who get access to sensitive bank information, now are more likely to get full background checks. The number of compliance checklists for law-firm technology systems and security procedures has ballooned. And law firms big and small increasingly are getting on-site audits to check who has access to documents and office servers. A spate of cyberattacks has sharpened financial institutions' focus on security when dealing with outside law firms.

Law lets I.R.S. seize accounts on suspicion, no crime required

"Who takes your money before they prove that you've done anything wrong with it?" The federal government does. Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up. On Thursday, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by "exceptional circumstances." Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, "This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.'s mission and key priorities." He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not apply to past seizures.

Qatar dismisses IS funding claims

Senior officials from Qatar have strongly denied claims the country is supporting terrorist groups in Syria such as Islamic State. Qatar had only provided support to moderate militants, in co-ordination with the CIA and other Western and Arab intelligence agencies. Strict financial controls had been put in place, they added. They said since Qatar's intelligence agency had taken over responsibility for its Syria policy in 2012, the new financial controls had been brought in and a number of suspect financiers had been arrested.

Ebola: US nurse 'to take legal action' over confinement

A US nurse held in quarantine in New Jersey after treating Ebola patients in West Africa says she will challenge her confinement in a federal court. Kaci Hickox said she was made to feel like a criminal after returning from Sierra Leone last Friday. Her lawyer says the case has raised "serious constitutional and civil liberties issues". The White House and mayor of New York have expressed concerns over new strict quarantine orders in several US states. The new rules in New York, New Jersey and Illinois require a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for all health workers who have had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa and just returned to the US.

Twenty-four European banks fail EBA stress test

Twenty-four European banks have failed stress tests of their finances, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has announced. The banks now have nine months to shore up their finances or risk being shut down. The review was based on the banks' financial health at the end of 2013. Ten of them have taken measures to bolster their balance sheets in the meantime. All the remaining 14 banks are in the eurozone. The health check was carried out on 123 EU banks by the EBA to determine whether they could withstand another financial crisis. The list of 14 includes four Italian banks, two Greek banks, two Belgian banks and two Slovenian banks. 

Deutsche Bank sets aside another $1.1 billion for legal costs

Deutsche Bank said on Friday that it would record 894 million euros ($1.13 billion) in litigation costs for the third quarter as it set aside yet more money to cover the cost of lawsuits and official investigations related to accusations of past wrongdoing.

AG Holder announces federal recognition of same-sex marriage in six states

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Saturday announced that the federal government will recognize same sex marriage in six additional states. The addition of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming will now bring the total number of states recognizing same-sex marriage to 32. The decision by Holder comes after the US Supreme Court recently refused to hear any case dealing with state issues of same-sex marriage. Holder declared it his goal to bring equality to all citizens, saying that the Department of Justice is "acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law."

Ukraine election results in large support for pro-European party

Ukraine held a parliamentary election on Sunday which resulted in large support for pro-Western parties. President Petro Poroshenko's Bloc party, which has been known to be a pro-European political party, received the most support. President Poroshenko stated in regards to the outcome, "I hope that we will have new Government, Parliament and pro-European coalition just like new Ukraine and new President we already have after the Revolution of Dignity."

Grand jury decision could reignite Ferguson unrest

The fires of Ferguson are far from out. And the grand jury's decision, expected some time next month, may be all that's needed to fan the flames. The "story of a cold-blooded execution by cop seems even more unlikely"; it seems inevitable that Wilson will not be charged. And it's just as inevitable that when that happens, "chaos will once again reign" in Ferguson. "Compounding and clouding the factual findings in this case is a pervasive history of institutional discrimination - both overt and covert - so that the default position becomes one in which the system is perceived to be rigged to cover up a killing of an African American by a Caucasian police officer."

Chiquita will not buy Fyffes, clearing the way for its own takeover

Chiquita Brands said it was entering into talks with a group of Brazilian bidders offering about $680 million, a deal that is expected to be agreed on by Monday.

Driver destroys disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments statue

Federal authorities have detained a man suspected of smashing his car into the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol, reducing the disputed statue to rubble.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The War on Teacher Tenure

Newsweek
The Crisis That Changed Pope Francis

Business Week
Too Cool for Crisis Management

The Economist
The euro zone: The world's biggest economic problem

Der Spiegel
Allein gegen den Terror: Der IS-Vormarsch und der einsame Kampf der Kurden

L'Espresso
Nuove Lobby all'assalto

  • Daily Press Review

Dilma Rousseff re-elected Brazil president
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Latest updates / New York governor spells out new rules on Ebola quarantine
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

'HS3' backed for north of England
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Son: Jeb very likely weighing a run
CNN International, London, England

Miranda Kerr pictured at Malibu mansion with millionaire playboy and Liz Hurley's ex Steve Bing after rumoured romance with billionaire James Packer
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

How Billy Joel found love and fortune, and even married Christie Brinkley, but lost it all due to drinking, depression and infidelity
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Secularists claim lead in Tunisia's historic poll
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Dilma Rousseff re-elected president of Brazil
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Medusa to gaze once more from mosaic
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Axe-welding US Navy veteran who attacked police officers was trying to end his own life and take revenge for 'all that racism'
Independent The, London, England

Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Rebel fighters in Aleppo: in pictures
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

George Clooney's mother-in-law: I hope George and Amal renew their vows
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Cardinals OF Taveras dies in car accident in DR
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Messing with U.S. Garrison Plans Is a Costly Blunder
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

More heavy fighting in Libyas Benghazi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

DDA to webcast 'Housing scheme 2014' draw live on YouTube
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

U.N. climate chief urges Japan to slash emissions, and to shell out $1 billion
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Questions about the care of Dallas Ebola patient
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Paul's moment of truth
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Islam takes 5 wickets as Zimbabwe 94-7 at lunch
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged to probe London rally incident
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Brazil election: Dilma Rousseff is narrowly re-elected president
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Mali confirms first Ebola case as world total tops 10,000
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By 'Joe Bogus': How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Panama's Indigenous People Want to Harness the Riches of Their Forests
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asia up as upbeat earnings, data sharpen risk appetite
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Pro-West parties secure big win in Ukraine election - partial vote count
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

CBC fires Jian Ghomeshi over sex allegations
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

US envoy condemns Ebola response
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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