January 21, 2015 nº 1,585 - Vol. 13

"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."

Benny Hill

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

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  • Top News

For a few whirlwind days, Davos becomes the deal capital

The World Economic Forum is an endurance contest for dealmakers, who have the rare opportunity to see dozens of clients in one setting. With the event taking place over just three full days, that amounts to a unique sort of corporate speed-dating. Dealmakers are not necessarily finalizing term sheets amid the snowdrifts. It might seem mundane. But comfort is important because, for investment bankers, the main reason for being at the snowy resort town this week is not to linger over presentations about artificial intelligence or to schmooze at the chalet soirees. The point is to meet up with clients and prospective clients. As many as their endurance will allow. Beyond reconnecting with clients, the chance to confer with foreign officials, regulators and representatives from sovereign wealth funds makes a few days in Davos different than an average workday in London or New York.

Brazilian labor and employment retrospective

Ana Lúcia Pinke Ribeiro de Paiva, Priscila Freire da Silva Cezario and Sofia Moura de Freitas of Araújo e Policastro Advogados prepared a special retrospective of recent Brazilian labor and employment matters highlighting issues, which may impact your day-to-day activities. (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

1 - China Posts Weakest Annual Growth In 24 Years, More Stimulus Expected - click here.

2 - U.S. honors Martin Luther King amid protests against police brutality -click here.

3 - Jury selection to start in Colorado cinema massacre trial - click here

4 - Facebook report says it adds more than $200 billion to global economy - click here.

5 - Google sticks to EU only application of 'right to be forgotten' - click here

6 - British intelligence agency 'spied' on journalists - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China's proposed counterterrorism law facilitates human rights abuses

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday criticized China's proposed new counterterrorism legislation as a "recipe for abuses." The Chinese government maintains that their draft law conforms to UN resolutions and that it allows for human rights to be "respected and guaranteed." HRW, however, notes various areas of concern in the document. The draft defines terrorism as "thought, speech, or behavior" that attempt to "influence national policy-making," "subvert state power," or "split the state." According to HRW, this broad application of terrorism would allow the government to take action against seemingly innocuous actions, such as requesting a policy change.

China punishes officials

Four district officials have been sacked over a stampede on New Year's Eve in the Chinese city of Shanghai that left 36 people dead. Seven more officials have been disciplined over the tragedy in the Bund district. "Preventative and response preparation was sorely lacking, early warnings on the night were weak, and the response measures were not suitable."

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  • Historia Verdadera

Resolución

El conglomerado químico industrial Mexichem presentó una apelación en contra de una resolución de la Comisión de Comercio Internacional de Estados Unidos, que descartó imponer impuestos o aranceles a la importación de gases refrigerantes procedentes de China. (Presione aquí)

Mercados

El ministro de Hacienda de Brasil, Joaquim Levy, viajó este martes hacia Suiza, donde presentará ante el Foro Económico Mundial los planes del Gobierno de Dilma Rousseff para recuperar la economía nacional y la confianza de los mercados. Tras cuatro años de bajo crecimiento con elevada inflación y las cuentas públicas en rojo, la confianza que los mercados tenían en Brasil se ha desvanecido. Sin embargo, Rousseff ha decidido aplicar un fuerte y ortodoxo ajuste fiscal con un aumento a la carga tributaria.

Minería

Bolivia y Bielorrusia acordaron hoy crear cuatro empresas mixtas para emprender la prospección geológica y posterior explotación del yacimiento minero El Porvenir, ubicado en el oriental departamento de Santa Cruz. El vicepresidente del país europeo, Viktor Sheiman, trató el tema con el ministro de la Presidencia, Juan Ramón Quintana, durante una reunión realizada tras su arribo a esta capital para participar en la toma de posesión del mandatario Evo Morales. Como parte del convenio, Bielorrusia invertirá inicialmente entre 10 a 12 millones de dólares en el proyecto de El Porvenir, donde existen reservas de oro, tantalio, níquel y cobalto.

  • Brief News

Obama demands spread of wealth

"It has been, and still is, a hard time for many. But tonight, we turn the page." Obama said as he unveils plans to help working families gain from a growing economy, in his annual State of the Union speech. Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges. Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS and pass bills to improve cyber-security. Early reactions to President Obama's speech are focusing on whether his message against cynicism and his touting of economic, foreign and domestic gains was a bit too cheery to match America's mood. His speech included possible areas of cooperation with his Republican opponents — and a threat to use his veto power.

Detroit's lawyers and advisers defend billing

The lawyers and advisers who guided the city of Detroit through the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history are now defending their work's multimillion-dollar price tag. Officials at Jones Day, who pointed out they had already cut $17.7 million from their tab, defended the $53.7 million in fees charged for roughly 17 months' work. "Nothing in the Chapter 9 case suggests that Jones Day's fees and expenses were irrational or overreaching," firm officials said in court papers. The firm's defense raises a novel issue in a municipal bankruptcy cases: the rules laid out in the US Bankruptcy Code for Chapter 11 cases related to how professionals can bill clients don't apply to Chapter 9—the type of bankruptcy used by struggling cities and counties.

Supreme Court rules on standard of review for patent claims

The US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Tuesday that appellate review of factual matters in a patent dispute must apply the clear error standard of review, not a de novo standard. In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the court held that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was incorrect in applying a de novo standard in its review of claim construction, or what the specific claims in a patent mean. The court declared that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a)(6) is the appropriate standard of review and appellate review of factual matters relating to claim construction must not be set aside unless clearly erroneous.

BP judge urged to impose $11.7 billion-plus spill fine

BP Plc's exploration unit should be fined at least $11.7 billion, or more than triple what the company set aside, for its role in causing the largest offshore oil spill in US history, a government lawyer told the judge who will determine the penalty. "The penalty is going to have to be high enough for companies of their size to even notice it, but not high enough to be ruinous to their operations," O'Rourke told US District Judge Carl Barbier in his opening statement. "It has to be high enough so massive companies like Anadarko and BP will be deterred." Barbier is conducting a three-week trial without a jury to consider Clean Water Act fines against BP and Anadarko. BP is facing a maximum potential fine of $13.7 billion. The US isn't asking for the maximum fine of $3.5 billion from Anadarko.

Western world 'vulnerable' to epidemics, warns Ebola expert

The Western world is "vulnerable" to epidemics such as Ebola, and must invest more in researching vaccines, a leading scientist has warned. Professor Peter Piot said that developed nations would be in "deep trouble" if they failed to adequately prepare for another outbreak. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, he urged global leaders to take a "long-term view". Public health policies must "transcend politics and borders", he said.

Standard & Poor's is near costly settlements with US

The credit rating agency has struck two tentative deals, one with state regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and one for $1.37 billion with the Justice Department and state attorneys general.

Germany rights official urges Israel to cooperate with ICC

Germany's top human rights official on Tuesday urged Israel to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories. After a prosecutor for the ICC announced the investigation last week, Israel's government said that it would not work with the ICC and called for its funding to be cut. Germany's human rights commissioner Christoph Strasser told the Associated Press that Israel's reaction was counter-productive and warned Israel against the proposal to suspend funding for the court.

Nepal lawmakers clash over new constitution

A Nepalese parliamentary meeting on Tuesday resulted in violence and arrests after the Maoist opposition sought to extend the deadline for the drafting of the new constitution. An original deadline for completion of the constitution had been set for January 22, a date to which the ruling parliamentary majority sought to adhere. The Maoist lawmakers, however, argued that deliberations should continue until agreement is reached, regardless of deadline, and accused their majoritarian colleagues of attempting to push through Maoist proposals without consensus.

US to pay woman $134,000 for impersonating her on Facebook

An upstate New York woman who sued the US government and a Drug Enforcement Administration agent for impersonating her on Facebook without permission has settled her case for $134,000.

German Aldi heirs win 19m euros in art dealer damages

The heirs to the Aldi supermarket empire in Germany have won €19.4m in damages in a civil case against art dealer Helge Achenbach. A court in Duesseldorf ruled that he had made unauthorized charges on the purchase of paintings and vintage cars on behalf of Berthold Albrecht. Achenbach argued that he had a verbal agreement with the Aldi owner for the extra commission he received. However the judge agreed with the Albrecht family that no such arrangement existed.

Ban on Indian mango imports to EU to be lifted

A ban on Indian mango imports into the European Union is to be lifted, clearing the way for them to return to member states. Indian mango shipments to the EU were suspended in May after fruit flies were found in consignments. However, other foodstuffs such as Indian aubergines, two types of squash, and a type of leaf used in cooking will remain restricted.

Supreme Court rules Muslim prisoner may grow beard

The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday in Holt v. Hobbs that an Arkansas prison policy that bans Muslim prisoners from growing half-inch beards for religious beliefs is unconstitutional. The court held that prohibiting the growth of a religious beard violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

New radar allows law enforcement to see into your home

More than 50 US law enforcement agencies are using a type of radar that effectively lets officers peer through the walls of homes to determine whether anyone is inside. Agencies began using the radar, known as Range-R, more than two years ago without informing the public and with little notice to the courts.

More fallout from Eric Holder's changes to civil asset forfeiture law

Attorney General Eric Holder's changes to the equitable-sharing program, which allows local police agencies to circumvent state restrictions on civil asset forfeiture by procuring nominal federal involvement in their investigations, makes those investigations governed by more forfeiture-friendly federal law. The feds take 20 percent of the proceeds, then give the rest back to the police. Sheriff Tim Dunning said that he fears Holder's directive will lead to fewer forfeitures and fewer federal drug prosecutions, and to drug traffickers doing less time in state prison than they would in federal facilities. "This benefits nobody but drug dealers," Dunning said. "Federal law is a tremendously bigger hammer. I don't see what hammer we are going to have over these people now."

Canada's flawed sex trade law

In December, a new prostitution law came into force in Canada. The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, or Bill C-36, criminalizes the purchase (but not the sale) of sexual services, and restricts the advertisement of sexual services and communication in public for the purpose of prostitution. Many hoped this would be Canada's chance to emulate New Zealand, where the buying and selling of consensual sex between adults was decriminalized in 2003, and provisions were introduced to protect sex workers' health and safety. Instead of implementing such proven policies, Bill C-36 has — as Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who sponsored the legislation, told the Senate Committee in September— effectively made prostitution "illegal for the first time in Canada."

Daily Press Review

Commuters injured in Tel Aviv bus stabbing
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

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

To end Islamic terror, Islam needs a revolution
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Iraq War report 'not before election'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Is it finally morning in Obama's America?
CNN International, London, England

Jemima Khan is dressed to impress as she hits the town in London
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Two UK establishments take top honours in this year's TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Washingtonians react positively to Obama's union address
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Live: Paris prosecutor's press conference on terror probe
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Tracing the foods of the early Islamic world
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Barack Obama silences Republicans with epic put down
Independent The, London, England

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

Watch: Aftermath of Tel Aviv bus 'terrorist' stabbing
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Robert Redford: I nearly did a third film with Paul Newman
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Obama sets progressive agenda in State of the Union speech
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Pyeongchang Won't Share Olympics
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Boko Haram leader threatens Nigerias neighbours claims Baga attack
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

15,000 votes through postal ballot
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Islamic State threatens to kill two Japanese hostages
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Supreme Court may weaken housing bias cases
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Live: Australian Open 2015 - Day 3
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Australian race walker condemns ban on Russian rival
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Charlie Hebdo massacre: France issues first charges against 4 in terror attacks
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Obama touts 'middle-class economics' at state of the union address
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Saudi Arabia's free-speech crackdown linked to war on terror and critical support of clerics
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

Caribbean Youth Ready to Lead on Climate Issues
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Brent crude oil rises above $48.50, but outlook remains weak
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Obama strikes defiant tone with Republicans in big speech
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

TTC wants more electronic surveillance of its driver behaviours
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Boko Haram 'leader' claims Baga raid
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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