January 26, 2015 nº 1,587 - Vol. 13

"In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.

Jean Paul Getty

Insider's view: see how local concerns shape up the global world. Read the daily press review in Migalhas International

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  • Crumbs

1 - McDonald's workers sue over racial discrimination - click here.

2 - China’s Biggest Law Firm Nears Deal With Dentons  - click here.

3 - Obama says hopes Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage  - click here

4 - DreamWorks Will Shut Down PDI/DreamWorks Studio; 500 Jobs Will Be Eliminated - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Death Threats and Dawn Raids: Welcome to China's Anti-Graft Drive

Frozen Chinese bank accounts. Top executives taken in for questioning. Reports of death threats and pre-dawn clashes between armed body guards and police in Beijing.

Fake banks, and a fake local government

A fake bank which was set up to look just like a real one has swindled Chinese savers out of 200m yuan ($32m). A police investigation found that it was actually a rural cooperative, which had none of the accreditations required to operate as a bank. The fact the "bank" was able to operate for so long has left some Chinese social media users incredulous. "More than a year, it looks like the authorities have gone blind.”

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  • Brief News

Legal murkiness hovers over Sheldon Silver case

The federal graft charges against New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver rest on a shifting and at times uncertain application of anticorruption statutes, experts say.Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, was charged Thursday in a criminal complaint that alleged two schemes. The federal case against New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver involves alleged asbestos litigation and real-estate referral fee kickbacks and bribes. Defense attorneys and former prosecutors described the complaint as robust, a sound application of the Hobbs Act, a federal statute for extortion committed by public officials, and the so-called honest services statute, one of several federal laws used to prosecute corruption on the state level.

US Attorney challenges insider trading ruling

Federal prosecutors are mounting a challenge to an appellate court's verdict in an effort to reverse it, or at least narrow it. In a filing late Friday, the prosecutors mounted a two-pronged challenge to the appellate ruling. Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, is asking the same three-judge panel that issued the ruling to revisit its decision, which imposed the greatest limits on insider trading prosecutions in decades. "The opinion breaks with Supreme Court and Second Circuit precedent, conflicts with the decisions of other circuits and threatens the effective enforcement of securities laws," prosecutors said. As an alternative, Mr. Bharara's filing proposes the legal equivalent of a do-over in a process known as en banc. The process would require every judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to hear the case.

Anti-austerity leftists win Greek election

Anti-austerity Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras vows to end Greece's "five years of humiliation and pain" after winning the general election. Tsipras pledged to renegotiate Greece's massive international bailout and raised fears about Greece's future in the euro. Greece has endured tough budget cuts in return for its 2010 bailout, worth €240bn ($268bn) and negotiated with the so-called troika - the European Union, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB). In Germany, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he hoped "the new Greek government will not make promises it cannot keep and the country cannot afford". The euro dipped to an 11-year low against the dollar.

ICC to try former child soldier with war crimes

The international criminal court in the Hague was founded to prosecute those who commit war crimes — particularly the crime of abducting and conscripting children as soldiers. But for the first time in that court's 15-year history, it's putting on trial a man who was once a victim of that same crime: Dominic Ongwen.

DNA exonerates man who served nearly 40 years for murder

Joseph Sledge, now 70, spent 37 years in prison for a crime that a three-judge panel said Friday he did not commit.

UK court upholds regulation on legal aid for domestic violence

The UK High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected a claim that procedural regulations, known as CLA(P) Regulation 33, unlawfully restrict domestic violence victims' access to legal aid. Under the regulations, domestic violence victims seeking to obtain legal aid must first provide specific types of evidence. The claimants argued these regulations thwarted previous legislation, which removed legal aid funding with the exception of categories of cases which included domestic violence. They further claimed that it would be highly unlikely for the victims to obtain this evidence for legal proceedings and that it does not protect those who have not yet suffered domestic violence but are at high risk. The court that ruled that because the purposes of the original legislation were to limit civil legal aid expenditure and to promote means of dispute resolution outside of court, CLA(P) Regulation 33 did not frustrate these purposes and was consistent with the pre-existing law.

Brazil in 'worst water crisis'

Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira has said the country's three most populous states are experiencing their worst drought since 1930. The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais must save water. Industry and agriculture are expected to be affected, further damaging Brazil's troubled economy. The drought is also having an impact on energy supplies, with reduced generation from hydroelectric dams. The finger of blame has been pointed at national and local governments that have responded slowly and fallen behind in upgrades of pipes, dams and transmission lines. Waste is rife. A recent central government report showed that 37% of tap water is lost due to leaky pipes, fraud and illegal access.

Auto loan surge fuels fears of another subprime crisis

Dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit, and more of them are having trouble making payments. The situation is evoking comparisons to the subprime mortgage boom.

France top court approves stripping nationality of convicted Franco-Moroccan terrorist

France's top court, the Conseil Constitutionnel on Friday upheld a decision from 2013 to strip Franco-Moroccan terrorist Ahmed Sahnouni el-Yaacoubi of his French nationality following a conviction for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. Sahnouni, a naturalized citizen since 2003, appealed to the Conseil Constitutionnel arguing that while France's civil code permits the government to strip a naturalized citizen of their nationality, to do so violates France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In a statement, the court wrote, "people having acquired French nationality and those to whom French nationality was given at birth are in the same situation, but that the difference in treatment, which was created to fight terrorism, does not violate the principle of equality."

Malaysia Air site hacked by group claiming 'ISIS will prevail'

Malaysia Airlines's website in some regions was hacked by a group calling itself "Cyber Caliphate" with the slogan "ISIS will prevail," the latest in a series of cyber-attacks by people claiming affiliation with Islamic State.

Obscure law is getting its sexy on

After Caesars got into trouble and the company eliminated the guarantee, the investors turned to an obscure, rarely invoked Depression-era law devised to protect bondholders from abusive tactics. And when federal courts agreed with bondholders that the law might have been violated at not just Caesars but also at another troubled company, Education Management Corporation, they turned the sleepy Trust Indenture Act of 1939 into something that is becoming, well, sexy.

Spaniards protest proposed security law

Thousands of protesters are marching in Spanish cities to express their opposition to a proposed law that would set hefty fines for offenses like demonstrating outside parliament buildings or strategic installations. Parliament approved the Public Security Law last month and it's expected to become official in February if passed by the government-controlled Senate. Protesters with tape over their mouths and carrying banners calling the measures a "gagging law" gathered Sunday near Spain's parliament under heavy police surveillance.

Behind 'American Sniper,' a lot of legal sniping

The movie "American Sniper," based on the life of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has brought in more than $130 million in domestic ticket sales in its first week. But the SWAT team training business that Mr. Kyle founded after leaving the military is preparing to shut down. Before "American Sniper" hit the big screen, there was a messy trail of accusations and bankruptcy litigation involving the business he founded, Craft International LLC, and his widow, Taya Kyle, who was called the company's "litigation nemesis" in court filings by Craft's lawyers in US Bankruptcy Court in Dallas. Now, Ms. Kyle and Craft's creditors have reached a settlement under which the company will shut down, the Kyle family can live rent-free until Oct. 30 in their Midlothian, Texas, home, and Ms. Kyle will get the rights to Craft's skull-shaped logo. The logo, imprinted on Craft apparel like T-shirts, patches and coffee mugs, drove the company's merchandise sales and is surrounded by these words: "Despite what your Momma told you…violence does solve problems."

Manorial rights could be outlawed as 'feudal relic'

Hound killing fox Householders affected by lordship rights, including hunting on third-party's land, call for abolition of pre-Norman conquest law.

Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing anti-Semitism

European Jewish leaders, backed by a host of former EU heads of state and government, are to call for pan-European legislation outlawing anti-Semitism amid a sense of siege and emergency feeding talk of a mass exodus of Europe's oldest ethnic minority. The proposal would outlaw anti-Semitism as well as criminalizing a host of other activities deemed to be violating fundamental rights on specious religious, cultural, ethnic and gender grounds, such as banning the burqa, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and Holocaust denial.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The Cost of Cheap Gas

Newsweek
Greek Leftist Leader Tsipras Claims Victory Over Austerity

Business Week
The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch

The Economist
Education and class. America's new aristocracy

Der Spiegel
Die letzten Zeugen. 19 Auschwitz-Überlebende berichten

L'Espresso
100.000 spariti nel nulla

Daily Press Review

Three likely outcomes of Obama's visit to India
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

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

Left-wing, anti-austerity Syriza party wins Greek election
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Greek poll winner vows to end 'pain'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

NYC mayor: A storm like 'we've never seen before'
CNN International, London, England

Enemy review by Brian Viner
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

'Ban junk food adverts before the watershed': Experts call for new controls as current rules lead to parents being pressured into buying unhealthy snacks †
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Anti-austerity Syriza party wins Greek election but falls short of an absolute majority
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Greek far-left leader Tsipras claims victory over austerity
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

HDP complains of no suspects in seven killings in Turkey's Cizre town
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Postcard from... Riga
Independent The, London, England

Malaysia Airlines website hacked by 'Cyber Caliphate'
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Celebrities write open letter to PM urging him to do more to help Syrian refugees
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Experts Investigate Raising of Sunken Ferry
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Bangladesh charges Khaleda Zia with instigating attack on bus
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Delhi wakes up to a rainy Republic Day
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Abe says likelihood of video being real is 'high'
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Malaysia Air site hacked by group claiming support for IS
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Tony Abbott dismisses social media as 'electronic graffiti', again
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Millsap, Horford lead Hawks to 16th straight win
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

CVC unit sells 8 per cent stake in Indonesia's Matahari for $293 mn
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Auschwitz liberation's 70th anniversary focuses on survivors
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The 'Mule Women' of Melilla, Spain
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

Forced Disappearances Are Humanitarian Crisis in Mexico
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Oil falls after Greek election sends euro tumbling
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Tsipras moves to form anti-austerity Greek government after crushing victory
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Search for Toronto's next police chief officially on
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

LRA commander due in Hague court
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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