December 10, 2014 nº 1,579 - Vol. 12

"Appreciate me now, and avoid the rush"

Ashleigh Brilliant

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  • Top News

Petrobras shares drop as probe widens and investor sues

Petrobras is going through a corporate governance hurricane. Brazil's prosecutor general said that Petrobras directors should resign, since the company delayed releasing its third-quarter earnings report on Nov. 13 to adjust the value of assets to account for graft-related cost inflation. Brazil's government sees no need to remove Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster or the executive directors, Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said.

Petrobras is at the center of the country's biggest corruption and money laundering scandal that has spread to the nation's largest construction and engineering companies. Suppliers to the Rio de Janeiro-based energy company allegedly bribed executives to win contracts at projects ranging from refineries to offshore drilling rigs, according to court documents filed in Brazil.

On Nov. 21, Petrobras received a subpoena from the US SEC requesting documents related to the regulator's probe of the company, the oil producer said in a Nov. 24 statement. Carlos Lima, a Brazilian prosecutor in Curitiba, said his office has been contacted by the SEC as part of the probe. The SEC has declined to comment on its investigation. Janot's Federal Prosecution Service, known as MPF, will send a team in January to coordinate investigations with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Justice Department, he said. The agency pursues civil and criminal cases in Brazil's states and is independent of the executive branch. MPF has sent officials to the Netherlands and Switzerland to pursue probes related to Petrobras and its suppliers, he said. The next day, Petrobras' board of directors said it approved creating a governance, risk management and compliance division.

An investor filed what may be the first US lawsuit against the state-controlled producer for failing to disclose an alleged kickback plan. The US lawsuit was filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court by a sole investor, Peter Kaltman. He said that he bought Petrobras's American Depositary Receipts, and that the company made false statements that misled investors who lost money when the scandal became public. Kaltman's law firm, New York-based law firm Wolf Popper LLP, seeks to represent other purchasers of ADRs from May 20, 2010, to Nov. 21, 2014. Petrobras said in an e-mailed statement that it hasn't been notified of the lawsuit.Lawyers in the US often file securities-fraud suits with a single investor as plaintiff after a company's alleged misconduct is made public and shares drop. Law firms that gather the most, or largest, plaintiff investors seek to become lead counsel. Lead counsel in securities-fraud class actions direct the litigation and usually reap the largest reward in a settlement or verdict. The case is Kaltman v. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, 14-09662, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The Finance Ministry's financial intelligence unit, known as Coaf, has identified 23.7 billion reais in transactions since 2011 from people and companies cited in the Car Wash investigation and has delivered the information to investigators. Coaf is still reviewing the transactions and the amount could change because its not clear all of them are related to criminal activity.

CIA interrogations report sparks prosecution calls

The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in what a Senate report called the "brutal" CIA interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects. A top UN human rights envoy said there had been a "clear policy orchestrated at a high level". The CIA has defended its actions in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the US, saying they saved lives. Obama said it was now time to move on. UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson said that senior officials from the administration of George W Bush who planned and sanctioned crimes must be prosecuted, as well as CIA and US government officials responsible for torture such as waterboarding. The Senate committee's report runs to more than 6,000 pages, drawing on huge quantities of evidence, but it remains classified and only a 525-page summary has been released "As a matter of international law, the US is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice," Mr Emmerson said. "The US attorney general is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible." "The crime of torture has no statute of limitations when torture risks or results in serious injury or death, and the US government has the obligation under international law to investigate any credible evidence that torture has been committed," an Aclu statement said. The summary of the report, compiled by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the CIA had misled Americans about what it was doing. In a statement, the CIA insisted the interrogations had helped save lives. After an exhaustive three-year investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee came to the conclusion that those claims, that those types of questionings led to important information are overblown or downright lies.

Senate report: enhanced interrogation techniques 'ineffective'

The so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" employed during the Bush administration were "ineffective," according to a long-awaited report released Tuesday by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. According to the report, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deliberately misled Congress and the White House about information obtained using enhanced interrogation techniques between 2002 and 2007, which were more brutal than the public was led to believe. The more than 600 pages of materials that were released to the public are based on millions of internal CIA documents and took over five years to produce. The full report, totaling more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but has been shared with the White House.

US Congress 'reaches $1tn omnibus spending deal'

US Congressional leaders have reached an agreement on a $1.1tn spending bill ahead of a looming Thursday evening deadline. A consensus would prevent a government shutdown and fund the federal government until September 2015. The bill was agreed by congressional leaders and is expected to be passed by Congress this week.

WHO: Ebola 'running ahead of us'

The Ebola virus that has killed thousands in West Africa is still "running ahead" of efforts to contain it, says the World Health Organization head.

New Partners

Starting in 2015, Vânia Marques Ribeiro Moyano, Cristiane Ianagui Matsumoto Gago and Pedro Paulo Barradas Barata become partners of Pinheiro Neto Advogados. They are based at São Paulo office and work the in Business Law, Social Security and Civil Litigation areas, respectively. (Click here)

BKBG’s growing team

The law firm of Barretto Ferreira & Brancher – Sociedade de Advogados is continuing to develop its newly-launched energy team with the addition of two specialists, Matthew Evans and Mauricio Jayme e Silva, who will round out the team as an independent senior consultant and a senior associate, respectively.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Supreme Court justices seem divided over Amtrak's role in developing railroad regulations -click here.

2 - Oscar Pistorius case: Judge Masipa delays appeal ruling- click here.

3 - New Delhi bans Uber after woman says driver raped her -click here.

4 - Obama gets personal on racial tensions, promises to 'stay on this' - click here.

5 - Zuckerberg, Cook Meet China’s Internet Minister in U.S. -click here.

6 - US frees six Guantanamo detainees to go to Uruguay - click here.

7 - Apple's $1bn anti-competition trial might collapse - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China's former energy chief gets life in jail for bribery

The former head of China's energy agency was sentenced to life imprisonment for taking 36 million yuan ($5.8 million) in bribes to approve projects, a Chinese court said. Liu Tienan, 60, who ran the National Energy Administration, admitted to taking a lesser sum of 19 million yuan. Liu and his son Liu Decheng took the money from 2002 to 2012, receiving it in stocks, cars, cash, and a phantom job for his son drew a salary. The court ordered the confiscation of all Liu's personal assets.

China deflation risk deepens signaling room for easing

China's factory-gate deflation deepened and consumer prices climbed at the slowest pace since 2009, signaling room for further monetary easing.

  • Historia Verdadera

Del Medio Ambiente

Perú presentó una denuncia ante un fiscal local contra la organización ambientalista Greenpeace por "invadir" una zona protegida en las históricas líneas de Nasca, luego de que activistas ingresaran al lugar para colocar un mensaje de protesta por el cambio climático. (Presione aquí)


El administrador brasileño de fondos Bradesco Asset Management se unió al proveedor inglés de índices FTSE Group para lanzar un fondo y un índice que apunta a inversiones en acciones latinoamericanas. (Presione aquí)


La presidenta del Grupo Santander, Ana Botin, en visita por México anunció que la entidad destinará US$ 10,000 mlls. al país para financiar proyectos de infraestructura -incluidos los del sector energético- durante los próximos tres o cuatro años. Y destinará otros US$ 5,000 mlls. para financiar pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes), sector en el que es uno de los bancos líderes. Lo que suma un total, de US$ 15,000 mlls. para los próximos seis años.


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  • Brief News

UNICEF: 2014 a devastating year for children

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a press release Friday declaring 2014 "a devastating year for children" citing the 15 million children affected by violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine. Beyond the newly erupted conflicts of 2014, UNICEF estimates 230 million children globally live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts. The report also acknowledged the health danger posed to children by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa "which has left thousands of children orphaned and an estimated 5 million out of school." Despite the ongoing conflict and instability, humanitarian organizations including UNICEF have been able provide life-saving assistance, treating more than 70,000 children for malnutrition in South Sudan and; have launched a campaign to get 662,000 children back to school in the Central African Republican. Other efforts have delivered 68 million doses of polio vaccine to combat a polio outbreak in Iraq and Syria.

EU reaches deal on 2015 budget

European Parliament and government negotiators reach a deal on the EU's 2015 budget - a fraught issue amid national budget cuts. Spending in 2015 has been set at €141.2bn ($173.5bn) amid pressure to scale it back. National budgets have been cut across Europe to reduce huge deficits. Farm subsidies and support for the EU's least developed regions are the biggest spending areas in the 28-nation bloc. Infrastructure investment across Europe is seen as a way to create much-needed jobs, boost investor confidence and avoid economic stagnation, especially in the ailing eurozone. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: "There has been a severe disconnect between the available investment and credible projects on the ground.

New Zealand approves new anti-terror laws

New Zealand's parliament has approved new anti-terrorism laws aimed at countering the domestic threat posed by overseas extremist groups. The bill passed late on Tuesday by 94 votes to 27. It permits video surveillance for 24 hours without a warrant and the cancellation of passports for up to three years for those suspected of involvement in terrorism. Prime Minister John Key said it was a response to an evolving situation.

The surprising cost of eDiscovery

Everyone would love to see less busywork and lower costs. Nowhere is this truer than in a legal context. Depending upon the nature of your business and the scope of information you manage, eDiscovery costs can account for up to 90 percent of total litigation costs. This is particularly significant for larger, global organizations, as almost half (48 percent) report more than 20 lawsuits filed against them in the previous 12 months. How can they meet their document demands while protecting their bottom line? Through optimized information processes. When your electronically stored information (ESI) is better organized and accessible from myriad touchpoints, your legal staff can more efficiently identify relevant pieces of information.

Uber taxi app banned in Spain

A judge has ordered taxi booking service Uber to stop operating in Spain, after a series of protests by taxi associations. In his ruling on the temporary ban, the judge said Uber drivers didn't have official authorization and accused the service of "unfair competition". The move follows a complaint by the Madrid Taxi Association. An Uber spokesman said the company was "still operating" in Spain. The Madrid taxi association has to raise a €10,000 down-payment before the ruling can come into effect.

Russia admits action to buoy rouble

Russia's central bank has admitted it intervened to support the rouble in foreign currency markets last week spending a total of $4.53bn. It has spent more than $70bn supporting the rouble since the start of the year. Its admission came as the World Bank warned the Russian economy would shrink by at least 0.7% in 2015 if oil prices do not recover. Both the currency and Russian share indexes fell on Tuesday as global oil prices fell to a new five year low.

US Senate passes Venezuela sanctions

The US Senate backs a bill which would impose travel bans and economic sanctions on Venezuelan officials found to have violated protesters' rights.

BP loses latest US oil spill appeal

The US Supreme Court has rejected oil giant BP's legal challenge to a compensation deal over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It means BP will have to make the payments that stem from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. BP argued that the deal meant it could fall prey to inflated or bogus compensation claims. BP agreed to the compensation deal in 2012, but argues it has been misinterpreted. Shares in BP fell 1.7% in London on Monday.

New leak shows scope of Luxembourg corporate-tax deals

A cache of secret tax documents released Tuesday shed further light on how Luxembourg has helped multinational companies to lower their tax bills, in a second major leak that could intensify pressure on the Grand Duchy to alter its tax practices. The latest documents show how 35 major companies, including Walt Disney Co. and Koch Industries Inc., used complex financial structures to funnel profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, potentially avoiding taxes in other jurisdictions. The disclosures come amid a determined push by governments, particularly in Europe, to put an end to financial maneuvers that allow multinational companies to shift profits to tax havens from the higher-tax jurisdictions in which they are earned. But previous efforts to curb tax avoidance and evasion have made painfully slow progress, in part because all European Union governments must sign off on changes to the bloc's tax legislation.

Luxembourg says tax rulings are not secret, never have been

Tax rulings "issued by the Luxembourg tax authorities are not, and have never been, secret," the nation's finance ministry said. "In fact, Luxembourg, spontaneously and upon request, exchanges information on rulings with other countries, as foreseen by non-double taxation treaties as well as by directives and agreements concerning administrative cooperation and mutual assistance in tax matters," the finance ministry said.

Supreme Court rules employees not entitled to overtime pay for post-shift security screening

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk that employees are not entitled to overtime pay for the time spent waiting for and undergoing post-shift security screening procedures.

Harvard law school professors' portraits emblazoned with #LastWords

Portraits of professors in the main building of the law school have been covered with fliers containing the last words of victims who were either killed by police or whose controversial deaths embroiled the political justice system.

Japan secrecy law takes effect amid protests

A strict new state-secrets law that critics charge will help conceal government misdeeds and limit press freedom has taken effect in Japan. Waving banners and beating drums, hundreds of Japanese took to the streets of Tokyo to protest against the law, hours before it came into force on Wednesday. The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the law, which was passed a year ago amid protests, is essential to convince allies led by the United States to share intelligence with Japan. Critics counter that whistleblowing on government misdeeds will be chilled. Reporters Without Borders has called the law "an unprecedented threat to freedom of information".

Fed sets tough new capital rule for big banks

The Federal Reserve proposed tough new capital requirements for the biggest US banks. J.P. Morgan Chase would face a capital shortfall of $21 billion under the proposal.

  • Daily Press Review

Obama: CIA torture methods brutal and wrong
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Amr Moussa Considers Election Boycott
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Jesus: married with children? New book drops bombshell
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Ofsted warning on secondary schools
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Gruber: Sorry for Obamacare remarks
CNN International, London, England

Lindsay Lohan looks festive in red satin jumpsuit for star-studded Christmas party... as her little sister Ali opts for head-to-toe black
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Kate saves the best for last! Pregnant Duchess dazzles in formal gown as royal couple complete New York tour with glitzy Manhattan fundraiser for Scottish university where they fell in love†
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Gulf states agree need for solidarity against ISIL
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Last French hostage released
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkish orthopedics company helps disabled animals
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

CIA Torture Report: The three British plots that the CIA falsely cited to justify torture
Independent The, London, England

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

Duke and Duchess attend NY fundraiser for uni where they fell in love
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Superhero movies: in pictures
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Last French hostage freed, reviving policy debate
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Tokyo Mayor Against Sharing Olympic Venues
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Prince William charms the US by flying commercial
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

HC acquits three after they spend nearly 10 years in jail in drugs case
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Honda air bag recall goes global; 19 million cars now involved
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

France steps up effort to encourage hiring
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Kalynda's exit from China shrouded in mystery
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

1st test, 2nd day at lunch: Australia 405-6
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Friendship with India only possible on equal terms: Pervez Musharraf
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

U.S. Senate report condemns CIA harsh interrogations
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Ottawa urged to review relationship with CIA following interrogation report
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

Climate Neutrality - the Lifeboat Launched by Lima
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Brent resumes its fall, losing $1 on oversupply worries
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

China to pump more money into loss-making small airports
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Recriminations divide Washington in wake of CIA torture report
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

WHO: Ebola 'running ahead of us'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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