March 11, 2015 nº 1,603 - Vol. 11

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Wayne Dyer

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  • Top News

Brazil introduces femicide law

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has signed a new law which sets tough new penalties for the killing of women and girls. Murders linked to domestic violence will carry sentences of between 12 and 30 years. Dilma said the new law sends a clear message to women that the state would protect them. She said 15 women were killed daily in Brazil. In other cases - such as the killing of a pregnant woman, a woman who's just given birth, girls under 14, or women over 60 - the new law provides for even longer jail terms. The new legislation alters the criminal code to describe femicide as any crime that involves domestic violence, contempt or discrimination against women.

US tanks in Baltics as drills start

Hundreds of US military vehicles have arrived in the Baltic states and are to stay in Europe, in a mission to reassure Nato allies unsettled by Russia's actions in Ukraine. The shipment coincides with the deployment of a US infantry division and Nato navy drills in the Black Sea. Although a ceasefire is in place in Ukraine, the conflict has heightened distrust between Russia and the West. Russia said on Tuesday it was pulling out of a European arms control pact. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, launching an attack on the European Union, said "EU bureaucrats in Brussels are intentionally escalating confrontation between Russia and the EU," complaining that they were trying to postpone the political terms of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

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P&G fined in China for toothpaste ad

US giant Procter & Gamble has been fined close to $1m in China for what regulators say was false advertising of Crest toothpaste. They said P&G overstated the effects of its toothpaste in a TV ad featuring a popular Taiwanese talk show host. The fine is the biggest of its kind on record.

China's solution to $3 trillion debt is to deal with it later

China's government has a creative solution to address repayment concerns hanging over more than $3 trillion in regional debt. It will deal with it later. The Finance Ministry issued a 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) quota for local governments to convert maturing high-cost debt into lower-yielding municipal notes to be repaid at a future date. Questions left unanswered include whether investors will be forced into the swap, how much transparency there will be over assets involved and whether the liabilities will strain the nation's finances. China's bond risk rose the most in two months even as rating companies welcomed the government's plan to address regional debt, which is estimated at 25 trillion yuan, bigger than Germany's economy.


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  • Historia verdadera

Lavado de dinero

La autoridad financiera de Andorra intervino la Banca Privada de Andorra a raíz de una denuncia de Estados Unidos por lavado de dinero de organizaciones criminales de Rusia y China, y de fondos desviados de la petrolera estatal venezolana PDVSA. (Presione aquí)


La empresa holandesa Heineken invertirá unos US$ 475 mlls. en nueva planta de cerveza en México. La construcción se dará en la región de Chihuahua, con la cual suman siete plantas de la empresa en México y 27 plantas cerveceras en el país.


Fundidoras chinas acordaron la compra de casi 300.000 toneladas de concentrado de cobre mezclado a la estatal chilena, Codelco, en 2015, en su primer contrato a plazo para ese tipo de material que la cuprífera estatal a empezó a ofrecer el año pasado

  • Brief News

Most big firms have had some form of hacking

Data breaches don't just affect retailers and banks. Most big law firms have been hacked, too. While cybercrime has plagued US-based law firms quietly for close to a decade, the frequency of attempts and attacks has been increasing substantially. Numbers aren't available, since unlike hacking at financial institutions, law firms have no legal obligations to disclose cybercrimes to the public. But experts say that these crimes have increased, particularly at firms whose practices involve government contracts or mergers and acquisitions, especially when non-US companies or countries are involved. "Law firms are very attractive targets. They have information from clients on deal negotiations which adversaries have a keen interest in," according to Harvey Rishikof, co-chair of the American Bar Association's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. "They're a treasure trove that is extremely attractive to criminals, foreign governments, adversaries and intelligence entities."

Wikimedia Foundation sues NSA over surveillance

The NSA's mass surveillance program violates US laws on freedom of speech, alleges a lawsuit begun by the Wikimedia Foundation. The legal action has been filed against the spy agency and the US Department of Justice. Co-signed by eight other organizations, it seeks to end the NSA's large-scale surveillance efforts. The Foundation is the non-profit group that oversees the running of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. The Wikmedia Foundation said it was taking action against the NSA's so-called "upstream" surveillance work which targets communication with people not in the US. Such spying violates US laws on free speech and those that govern against unreasonable search and seizure, it said.

Utah considers resuming firing squad executions

Lawmakers in Utah have proposed resuming the use of firing squads to carry out the death penalty if lethal injections drugs are not available. US states such as Texas are struggling to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage. Other states are considering alternative methods after several inmates who received lethal injections took hours to die. It is not clear if Utah Governor Gary Herbert will sign the measure into law.

Brazilian ruling party accused of Petrobras kickbacks

A congressional hearing in Brazil has been told that the ruling Workers' Party of President Dilma Rousseff received up to $200 million skimmed from contracts with the state-owned oil company, Petrobras. The accusation was made by a former Petrobras executive, Pedro Barusco. He alleged the current treasurer of the Workers' party had been involved in the scheme. The Workers' Party has said it only received legal donations.

Colombia suspends bombing of Farc

Colombia's President Santos suspends bombing raids against Farc rebels for a month to support continuing peace talks between the two sides.

Pakistan lifts 6-year death penalty moratorium

The Pakistan Ministry of Interior on Tuesday lifted the country's moratorium on the death penalty, permitting hangings for those prisoners who have exhausted all possible appeals. The stay on capital punishment was initially partially lifted in December in response to a school attack that took 145 lives. Since then, Pakistan has hanged 24 prisoners and has ordered the expedited executions of those prisoners remaining whose mercy petitions were rejected. Human rights advocacy groups such as Amnesty International (AI) estimate that Pakistan's death row contains more than 8,000 inmates, many of whom have already exhausted their mercy petitions.

US agency drops efforts to ban armour-piercing bullets

Bullets that are able to pierce police officers' protective vests will remain legal in the US after a proposed ban met with a fierce opposition from gun rights activists. The Obama administration sought to ban certain types of ammunition used in the popular AR-15-style rifles. Most armour-piercing bullets are illegal under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act. But rifle bullets have long been exempt for "sporting purposes". More 50 US senators wrote to the ATF protesting against the proposed ban. "If law-abiding gun owners cannot obtain rifle ammunition, or face substantial difficulty in finding ammunition available and at reasonable prices because government entities are banning such ammunition, then the Second Amendment is at risk," the senators said in the letter. On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said he was "pleased that the Obama administration has abandoned its attack on the Second Amendment".

Berlusconi "bunga bunga" case acquittal confirmed

Italy's highest court has confirmed former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's acquittal on charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with an underage prostitute. Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 in what became known as the "bunga bunga" case, but won an appeal the next year. The Court of Cassation has now rejected prosecutors' appeals to overturn the acquittal and hold a fresh trial. The judges at the Court of Cassation took more than nine hours to reach their decision, and will issue a written ruling detailing their reasoning with the next 90 days.

Ireland has mistakenly legalized drugs

Ireland has accidently legalized ecstasy, crystal meth and ketamine. A legal loophole means that you cannot be arrested for possession until the new legislation is passed. It does not affect existing laws regarding the supply, possession or the sale of older, more established drugs such as heroin or cocaine, just newer ones. Ireland's 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act was found unconstitutional by the Irish Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning because both houses of Irish parliament had not agreed to the new additions, meaning that the drugs currently prohibited by the Act are legal.

Shares in the US fell sharply on Tuesday

The Dow Jones fell 332.78 points, or 1.85%, to 17,662.94, while the broader S&P 500 dipped 35.26 points, or 1.7%, to 2044.17. Both indexes erased all the gains made so far in 2015. The tech-focused Nasdaq shed 82.64 points, or 1.67%, to 4,859.79. The US dollar continued strengthening, rising 1.4% to 12-year highs against the euro. The strength of the dollar has worried some investors, because it could hurt the profits of US firms which do business abroad, as their overseas earnings are worth less when converted from foreign currencies. A strong dollar also makes it harder for US firms to compete with rival firms in other countries, which may be able to offer products more cheaply. Meanwhile, the looming prospect of an interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve is bad news for some firms, which have benefited from being able to borrow very cheaply as a result of record-low rates.

European Parliament backs cap on card processing fees

The European Parliament has backed a deal to cap the fees retailers pay to process debit and credit card transactions, which EU officials say will mean savings for customers. There are currently 760 million payment cards in circulation in the EU, which works out at about 1.5 per person. In 2013, the number of non-cash payments in the EU increased by 6%, totaling €100bn ($108bn). But this can be expensive for retailers who have to pay fees every time someone uses a card. And those expenses are often passed on to the consumer. Now the EU is bringing in reforms that will cap the fees that banks charge businesses for processing card payments.

GM soothes shareholder with $5bn share buy back

US car giant General Motors (GM) has avoided a potential row with a number of key shareholders by announcing $5bn (£3.3bn) buy back of its own shares.

Bulgaria Justice Ministry proposes criminal code changes to fight terrorism

The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice proposed a bill amending and supplementing Bulgaria's criminal code to address growing threats of terrorism on Tuesday. The purpose of the bill is to fill in gaps of the criminal code, as well as to fulfill Bulgaria's commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 2178 to fight against terrorism.

  • Daily Press Review

EU condemns Israel for destroying Jerusalem shelter
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

China says Muslim Uighurs have joined ISIS
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Top Gear halted over Clarkson 'punch'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

ISIS video: Child kills captive
CNN International, London, England

Amber Rose and Blac Chyna 'drop $10K' on strippers at the Ace Of Diamonds club
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Sydney family's pet magpie that thinks it's human is a hit on social media
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Round-the-world solar plane arrives in India
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Clinton says 'could have been smarter' about emails
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Greek artist's Istanbul paintings at Sismanoglio Megaro
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Silvio Berlusconi's 'bunga bunga' acquittal upheld by Italy's highest court
Independent The, London, England

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

Russia and North Korea declare 2015 a 'year of friendship'
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams's Blurred Lines copy of Marvin Gaye song, court rules
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

DPP allegations lead to A-bian graft probe
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Police Response in Lippert Attack Was a Disgrace
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Solar Impulse in Ahmedabad for 4 days
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Survivors mark 4 years since 3/11 disasters
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Q&A: US troop positions in Iraq keep them off front lines
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

ACCC needs bigger role in regulating ports, says Asciano CEO
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Asian News Digest, AS
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Investors see higher yields as US jobs data resets Fed calculus
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

5 questions about Hillary Clinton's email mess
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Isaac Herzog's lead ahead of election reveals Israel's changing values
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

Renewable Energies in Latin America Weather Low Oil Prices
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

U.S. banks' buybacks, dividends may be no reason for shareholder celebrations
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Kazakhstan's ruling party proposes new term for veteran leader
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Autistic boy and mother sue Peel District School Board
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Ivory Coast former first lady jailed
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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