April 6, 2015 nº 1,613 - Vol. 11

"The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only"

   Thomas Hobbes

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

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  • Top News

Obama confident of Iran success

The White House has said it is "confident" of reaching a final deal over Iran's nuclear program by an end-of-June deadline. A framework agreement struck on Friday will see Iran curb nuclear activities in return for relief from sanctions. US Republicans skeptical to the deal have threatened to derail it or impose new sanctions. Obama said he had begun efforts to win over skeptical members of Congress. Republicans control both US Houses of Congress, and there is bipartisan support for a bill which would give Congress the right to review any deal before sanctions are lifted. Obama has threatened to veto it. Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, has vowed it will abide by the terms of the preliminary nuclear agreement it signed with six world powers, so long as they do too. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that it posed a grave danger to the region, in particular his own country. He said any comprehensive accord, due before 30 June, had to include a "clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist".

Tax advantages

The tax advantages of Brazilian real estate investment funds are discussed in this article by the lawyers Renata Maria Novotny Vallarelli, Guilherme Leporace and Juliana Zielinsky Yonenaga, from Lobo & Ibeas Advogados. (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

1 - Kenya court urges change to law that penalises women who pass HIV to baby - click here.

2 - Arkansas Governor Asks Lawmakers to Recall Religious Exception Bill - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Google stops 'trusting' Chinese net regulator after lapse

A Chinese internet regulator has hit out at Google for no longer accepting its security certificates. When browsing the internet, certificates are designed to ensure the communication between a computer and web server is secure. Google said it would no longer accept certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) following a security lapse. The CNNIC said Google's decision was "unacceptable and unintelligible". The CNNIC is responsible for providing certificates for websites with .cn domain names, as well as Chinese-language domains - including banks and government sites.

China ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang charged

China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang has been charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets, state media report. Zhou was, until his retirement in 2012, one of China's most powerful men. He headed the Ministry of Public Security and was a member of China's top decision-making body.

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  • Brief News

Arkansas and Indiana pass changes to religious laws

Arkansas and Indiana have passed laws to quell the outcry over new "religious freedom" legislation that critics say encourages anti-gay discrimination. Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a revised version of his religious objections bill that he hopes addresses these concerns. The amendments mean his state's law more closely mirrors what Bill Clinton signed into federal law in 1993. Indiana also approved law changes which were signed off by its governor. The Indiana amendment prohibits businesses from using the law as a legal defense if they refuse to provide services to gays and lesbians, or other groups. The change does not apply to churches, religious schools, or non-profit religious organizations.

HSBC sues Petrobras supplier Schahin over unpaid notes

HSBC Holdings Plc is suing Schahin Engenharia SA, a Brazilian oil-industry supplier accused of paying kickbacks to win public contracts, for 173.6 million reais ($55 million) related to unpaid promissory notes. The claim, which was filed in Sao Paulo on March 30, doesn't say when the notes were supposed to have been paid to London-based HSBC, a court filing shows. HSBC joins Deutsche Bank AG and Banco IBM SA, the local financial division of International Business Machines Corp., in making claims against Schahin this year. Schahin is among more than 20 companies that have been temporarily banned from bidding on new projects with state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, amid allegations that suppliers and builders paid bribes to inflate the value of contracts.

15 states urge US Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage bans

Fifteen states, led by Louisiana, urged the US Supreme Court on Thursday to uphold same-sex marriage bans. The brief asserts that voters should decide for themselves whether to allow same-sex marriages in their respective states. Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia joined the brief, even though courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans in these states. Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas, which have not legalized same-sex marriage, were the other states that took part in the brief. The Supreme Court agreed in January to rule on same-sex marriage, and oral arguments are scheduled for April 28.

Despite laws and lawsuits, quota-based policing lingers

The NYPD is denying allegations that officers were forced to make a certain number of warrantless stops, and faced retaliation from superiors when they didn't. One of the dirty secrets in law enforcement that no one likes to talk about is quotas. Police departments routinely deny requiring officers to deliver a set number of tickets or arrests. But critics say that kind of numbers-based policing is real, and corrodes the community's relationship with the police.

French MPs back ban on skinny catwalk models

French MPs have approved a law to ban the use of fashion models deemed to be excessively thin. Under the law, models will have to show they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above a certain level. Modelling agents that break the rules face fines and six months in jail. The lower house of parliament also passed a separate measure making it illegal to condone anorexia, a move targeting internet sites that encourage dangerous weight loss.

Indigenous tribe's blood returned to Brazil after decades

An indigenous tribe in the Amazon jungle has secured the return of blood samples taken from its people by American researchers in the 1960s. Thousands of samples were taken from members of the Yanomami tribe, in 1967 for genetic testing. A Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa, said the blood would be buried with special prayers. He said his people had been horrified to discover it had been kept in freezers far from home for years.

Death row inmate freed after 30 years

An Alabama man has been freed after spending nearly 30 years on death row. Anthony Ray Hinton, 58, was convicted of murdering two restaurant managers in Birmingham in 1985, but was granted a new trial last year. Tests on bullets found at the crime scene could not be connected to a gun found at Hinton's home, prompting prosecutors to drop the case. His lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, said his client was convicted because he could not afford better legal counsel. The US Supreme Court ruled last year that Hinton did not have adequate legal counsel at the first trial and said the case should be reconsidered at a second trial.

Kuwait top court upholds prison term for Twitter posts

Kuwait's Supreme Court on Sunday upheld a two-year prison sentence for a man accused of insulting the emir on Twitter, his lawyer said. Opposition activist Ayyad al-Harbi is an online journalist in his 20s who posted verses by an Iraqi poet critical of the nation's ruler. Al-Harbi was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime in May, and could have faced as much as five years. Lawyer Mohammed al-Humaidi said al-Harbi's final hope now would be a pardon by the emir.

Delaware senate votes to repeal death penalty

The Delaware Senate voted 11-9 Thursday to repeal the death penalty. The legislation is being sponsored by Senator Karen Peterson and includes an exemption for the 15 inmates currently on Delaware's death row, who will face death by lethal injection. Delaware is one of 32 states that employ capital punishment. Supporters of the death penalty believe that it is a just penalty for the most detestable of offenses, but detractors say execution is costly, encourages violence against minorities, and violates human rights.

Sri Lanka panel calls for prosecutions, probe into state airline

A board appointed by the Sri Lankan government recommended a criminal investigation into the $2.3 billion re-fleeting process of the state-owned airline under the former administration. The board found instances of "gross abuse of power" by former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and recommended prosecution.

Court Rejects Bharara's plea to reconsider insider trading ruling

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, was denied in his request for the appeals court to reconsider a ruling that narrowed the definition of what constitutes insider trading.

Digital cracks the final frontier: Law school

Law schools will never be the same thanks to a Minnesota law school which went up against the American Bar Association and won. The William Mitchell College of Law applied to the ABA for permission to design a hybrid online program to students. In an unprecedented move, the ABA approved it. Even though online law schools have existed since the 1990s, their reach was very limited and the ABA refused to recognize them. Many now believe groundbreaking changes are coming in the way lawyers are being educated across the board. In January, 85 students from 31 states and two countries began taking classes in the first-of-its-kind hybrid program, according to the William Mitchell College of Law. Every class is half online and half in person.

Thailand's new law could be worse than martial law

The decision of the Thailand government to lift martial law on April 1 has failed to appease critics after General Prayuth Chan-ocha signed a new law that imposed harsher security measures across the country.

Telecoms ready fight against Net Neutrality

The telecommunications industry has myriad objections to the government's new net-neutrality rules, but its legal challenge could start with a procedural point: whether the Federal Communications Commission provided adequate notice. Groups representing wireless carriers, cable firms and Internet providers are expected to file lawsuits seeking to overturn the new rules as soon as they land in the official record of government actions, which is imminent.

Uber hires Facebook's security chief to help with fallout

Uber is bringing in an enforcer of security to help quell concerns about whether the ridesharing service suitably protects the private data of its riders and drivers.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Freedom fight. The battle of Indiana

Newsweek
Kenya Says Government Official's Son Among Garissa Gunmen

Business Week
Trading Floors Can’t Feed Africa

The Economist
Urban land. Space and the city

Der Spiegel
Schuld und Psyche

L'Espresso
Un partito buttato

  • Daily Press Review

Hadron collider restarted after two-year upgrade
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

WATCH: Jon Stewart on the appeal of a chocolate bunny vs. a dead lamb's bone
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Easter sermons focus on persecution
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Kenya: Leader has extensive terror network
CNN International, London, England

Tamara Ecclestone dresses up daughter Sophia in cute pink rabbit costume
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Boy, 14, and girl, 16, arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism†
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Christians in Iraq and Syria celebrate Easter and pray for better days
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Pope decries religious persecution, Kenyan killings
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

'Transformers' statue called upon for help by Ankara's eccentric mayor
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

The dramatic growth in plant cover will not offset the damage made from deforestation
Independent The, London, England

Man in Pakistan kills 10 including ex-fiancee in dowry dispute, police say
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Sir Salman Rushdie accidentally shares his book tastes with the world
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Taiwan needs strength for AIIB: Gou
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Billions Up for Grabs If Nuclear Deal Opens Iran Economy
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Dozens killed in fighting near Yemens Aden port
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Here, they count on torn notes to rake in moolah
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Suga, Onaga hold talks over relocation of U.S.' Futenma base in Okinawa
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Mexico non-violence art features guns with knotted barrels
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Child sex abuse survivors' hopes for national redress scheme take a whallop
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Gov. Jerry Brown defends drought order that spares farmers
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Alibaba-backed ShopRunner gains momentum, eyes China
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Kenyan attacker in college killings shows security challenge
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

British police arrest 14-year-old boy, 16-year-old girl on terrorism charges
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

Deforestation in the Amazon Aggravates Brazil's Energy Crisis
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Argentine central bank to send regulators to local Citibank HQ: media
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Kenya says government official's son was among gunmen in Garissa attack
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

CIA staff tried to stop arrest, torture of Canadian Maher Arar, says former spy
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Kenya mourns Garissa attack dead
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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