June 24, 2015 nº 1,641 - Vol. 13

"You don't tell the quality of a master by the size of his crowds."

  Richard Bach

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  • Top News

Knives out for Tsipras as Syriza hardliners threaten mutiny

Even before Alexis Tsipras arrived back in Athens after Monday night's emergency eurozone summit in Brussels, the knives were out in his fractious leftwing Syriza party. Speaking to European colleagues, the Greek prime minister talked up his latest, more conciliatory proposals for a bailout deal in a last-ditch attempt to unlock €7.2bn of bailout aid and avert a default on June 30. But members of Syriza's restive hard left faction fear Mr Tsipras is about to agree to tax increases and pension cuts resembling the austerity measures he condemned while in opposition as "barbarous" and "unacceptable". The mood in the party turned mutinous on Tuesday, even as a leaked Greek version of the proposals claimed Athens had rejected tough demands by the creditors in favor of socially responsible options.

Supreme Court rules patent expiration ends licensing fees

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled 6-3 in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment that patent holders still cannot charge royalties after the expiration of a patent. The decision, written by Justice Elena Kagan, reaffirmed the court's holding in Brulotte v. Thys. The petitioner in the case had argued that the reasoning of the earlier case was flawed because it unjustifiably limited the kind of contracts parties could engage in. The court disagreed, setting a high bar for overruling precedent and saying parties could achieve similar ends with different means

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  • Crumbs

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  • MiMIC Journal

'Pregnancy wi-fi' router causes controversy in China

Two Chinese tech firms have clashed over a new wireless router with a special setting for pregnant women. Qihoo 360 unveiled the device, an upgrade to an existing product, which has three settings it describes on its website as wall penetration, balance and "pregnant women". The third setting reduces radiation emitted by the router by 70%, the firm claims. However, tech giant Xiaomi has accused Qihoo of scaremongering. "The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. Wi-fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it," Xiaomi said.

China ‘graft app’ sees tip-offs soar

Public tip-offs about corruption in China have soared since the launch of a new whistleblower function within a government mobile phone app, it's reported. The app is run by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and now allows users to upload both text and images as evidence of local party members' "discipline violations." "At one point, we were getting three tip-offs a minute," a commission official said. Chinese President Xi Jinping has run a relentless anti-corruption drive since coming to power in 2012, making it clear he wants to catch "both tigers and flies" - meaning low-level officials are under scrutiny alongside high-profile figures.


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  • Historia Verdadera


Petróleos Mexicanos, Pemex, adjudicó a la aseguradora Mapfre Tepeyac su póliza integral, con un valor de US$ 423.3 mlls, que cubre el daño físico directo a todos sus bienes en tierra y mar, así como la responsabilidad civil general derivada del desarrollo de sus operaciones. (Presione aquí)


La compañía anglo-australiana BHP Billiton concretó una adenda para extender una autorización del sistema de evaluación ambiental de Tarapacá, Chile, y así extender la vida útil de su proyecto minero Cerro Colorado hasta 2023. (Presione aquí)


La mayor investigación por corrupción en la historia de Brasil durará al menos dos años más y podría ampliarse involucrando a más de una decena de empresas extranjeras y a la eléctrica local Eletrobras, advirtió un fiscal adscrito al caso. (Presione aquí)


La firma texana Howard Midstream Energy Partners, LLC (HEP) anunció la construcción de un gasoducto transfronterizo de 320 kilómetros, para enviar gas desde su estación en el Condado de Webb, sur de Texas, a Nuevo León, México. La compañía, con sede en San Antonio, Texas, expuso en un comunicado que el proyecto denominado Gasoducto Nueva Era será desarrollado junto con una empresa mexicana y tendrá capacidad para transportar un máximo de 600 millones de pies cúbicos de gas natural por día.

  • Brief News

Law firm investment pays off

Law firm venture capitalism is a phenomenon, centered mainly in Silicon Valley, of partners investing their own money into their startup clients. While some seem to be questioning the practice - or at least lamenting their meager returns in the wake of the dot.com bust and the financial crisis - partner earnings are still making their way into client coffers—and firms are reaping both returns and deal work from their investment targets. There's no legal or ethical bar on firms or lawyers investing in their clients. American Bar Association guidelines permit the activity as long as lawyers adhere to broader rules governing business transactions with clients. The practice raised eyebrows when it originated in the early days of Silicon Valley, with some worrying about potential conflicts of interest. Now, he says, it is widespread and rarely generates any concerns.

SEC freezes assets of China-based trader for suspicious trades on qihoo

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a court order Tuesday to freeze the assets of a China-based trader for suspicious activity ahead of a $9 billion buyout offer for a U.S.-listed Chinese Internet company last week. Haijian Luo, chief executive of a Chinese online company 4399 Co., bought approximately $700,000 of out-of-the-money call options, or bets that the stock price of a company will go up, before last week's announcement of a buyout offer for Qihoo 360 Technology. Luo made more than $1 million from the bets and requested his brokerage firm transfer more than half of the proceeds to a foreign bank account, the regulator said.

Brazil auditors may reject government's accounts for the first time

The majority of Brazil's audit agency currently favors a recommendation to reject Dilma Rousseff's fiscal accounts, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The agency, known as the TCU, last week decided to give Rousseff until July 23 to explain budget practices that it says violate the fiscal-responsibility law. A TCU member will then offer a new recommendation, which the agency's nine members will approve or amend before sending to Congress. The agency has never before recommended lawmakers reject government finances. While there's public pressure to hold the president accountable, over the next month the government may try to sway members of the TCU in Rousseff's favor given the implications of rejecting fiscal accounts. The government's 2014 accounts "aren't in any condition to be approved by this court, owing to irregularities." It was the first time the agency had held a president personally responsible. The alleged violations of the fiscal-responsibility law occurred last year when the government said it would meet its budget goal without cutting the costs that would have made that possible. The TCU is also investigating payment delays to public banks for social programs, seeking answers from current and former government officials.

US 'spied on French presidents' – Wikileaks

The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, WikiLeaks says. The whistleblower website cites "top secret intelligence reports and technical documents" from the NSA. The US would not confirm the veracity of the documents, while Hollande called a defense council meeting on the issue for Wednesday, an aide said. In 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Supreme Court rules police need warrant to see hotel guest lists

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in City of Los Angeles v. Patel [opinion, PDF] that police must obtain a search warrant before demanding to inspect a hotel's guest list. At issue was a Los Angeles law [Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49, PDF] requiring hotels to keep specific records on guests and make them immediately available to police on request, or else face criminal charges. The city had argued that the law could not be challenged facially - based on its text alone, without a specific example of its application. Writing for the court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor disagreed, saying the bare text of the law alone violated Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure [LII backgrounder], because it gave hotel operators no chance to challenge the search before complying with it. Sotomayor went on to say that the city could continue to require the records to be kept and that existing doctrines already protected law enforcement's interests.

'Fast-track' trade bill clears key Senate hurdle

Legislation key to Obama's trade agenda has passed a key hurdle in the Senate, just two weeks after it appeared to have failed. The bill known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or more commonly "fast-track" makes it easier for presidents to negotiate trade deals. Supporters see it as critical to the success of a 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The bill is expected to pass a final vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The Obama administration and many business organizations say the legislation is necessary so that trade negotiators can win lower trade barriers for US-made goods on international markets. However, opponents, including labor groups and many congressional Democrats, argue that previous global trade deals have resulted in large job losses in the US.

Hungary suspends key EU asylum rule

Hungary has suspended a key EU rule that says it must take back asylum seekers who first enter Hungary but travel on to other countries. A government spokesman said the decision had been made because Hungary is overburdened by illegal immigration. The announcement comes just days after Hungary announced a plan to erect a border fence against migrants. Hungary had said that the suspension was for a "technical reason". But the European Commission has asked Hungary for immediate clarification on the nature and extent of the technical failure.

US announces new tank and artillery deployment in Europe

The US is to deploy heavy weapons - including tanks, armored vehicles and artillery - in a number of European nations, amid Nato concerns over Russia's role in Ukraine. The equipment would be placed in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. Nato has vowed to boost defenses in the east as ties with Russia have soured. Russia has condemned the new Nato and US moves and Putin accused Nato of "coming to our borders".

You can now get a degree in fashion law

A big milestone in the melding of fashion and law took place in New York on Monday. Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute, a pioneer in establishing this field of study, announced the launch of two academic degree programs in fashion law — the first not only at Fordham, but in the world. Those who already have a general law degree can apply now for the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Fashion Law program, which starts in the fall. It will include courses on topics like fashion financing, fashion modeling law, fashion licensing and sustainability. Perhaps even more significantly, Fordham is also offering a degree program for non-lawyers, called a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), designed for industry professionals who want to learn more about laws pertaining to fashion and retail.

Insurers, Hospitals Brace for Health-Law Ruling

Hospitals, doctors and consumers are preparing for fallout if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies that help 6.4 million Americans buy insurance.

US lawmakers fear car 'recall fatigue' over air bag

US lawmakers have warned of car 'recall fatigue' in a congressional hearing with regulators and carmakers about progress in a major airbag recall. A faulty part made by Japan's Takata has been linked to eight deaths and multiple injuries. It has prompted the largest recall in US history. The size of the Takata recall is causing confusion and delays in replacing the airbags. The agency is underfunded and does not have enough staff or the right technology.

  • Daily Press Review

WikiLeaks: US spied on three French presidents
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Israel campaigning to pit EU against Gaza war report
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

UK border pledge over Calais migrants
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Why business quickly rallied against the Confederate flag
CNN International, London, England

Susanna Reid fails to hide breakfast plate on Good Morning Britain
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

White Texas woman believed she was black for 70 YEARS because her adoptive parents told her she was light-skinned African American
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Hungary suspends EU asylum rules indefinitely, provoking a call for clarification from Brussels
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

US spied on last three French presidents, WikiLeaks says
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Armenian pianist performs at Ani ruins
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Video of house cat staring down Colorado mountain lion goes viral
Independent The, London, England

'Espionnage Elysée': US says 'We do not and will not' spy on France
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

BBC digs itself into a ditch over Alan Titchmarsh's 'potty mouth'
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Japanese navy drill in South China Sea may lead to larger role
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Sedentary Life Can Mean Early Death Despite Workouts
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Syriza confident despite backlash over Greek debt deal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Tea stall owner's daughter makes it to MP Police
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Okinawa reflects on battle's end 70 years later, as Abe is heckled over base burden
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Militant bombings kill 2 soldiers in southern Philippines
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Beat the post holiday blues
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Bank of China says it will cooperate with Italians in probe
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

WikiLeaks: U.S eavesdropped on last 3 French presidents
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Saudi actor receives death threats after show satirizes Islamic State
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

Amazon Dam also Brings Health Infrastructure for Local Population
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Japan shares clear 18-year peak, dollar firm
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Australian government to strip extremists' children of citizenship
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

How much do you love me? For Immigration Canada, 532 pages of proof isn't enough
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Ebola crisis 'harming malaria fight'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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