July 1, 2015 nº 1,644 - Vol. 13
 

"Some people read because they are too lazy to think."

   Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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

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  • Top News

Greece, missing I.M.F. Payment, is called effectively in default

Greece missed a crucial €1.6bn debt payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the fund said early Wednesday, deepening a crisis that has haunted world leaders and financial markets over the past week. Eurozone ministers refused to extend its bailout. Greece is not technically in default, but missing the payment of 1.5 billion euros, or about $1.7 billion, is yet another warning that the country will probably be unable to meet its other obligations in coming weeks, to its bondholders and to the European Central Bank. That might make the bank, one of the country's chief creditors, less willing to continue emergency loans that have been propping up Greek banks for the past several months. By declaring Greece in arrears, the I.M.F. avoided using the term "default." Credit rating agencies also will not consider Greece in default based on missing the I.M.F. payment, because the I.M.F. is not considered a commercial lender. The Eurozone ministers say they will discuss a last-minute request from Greece for a new two-year bailout on Wednesday. Greece is the first advanced country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears. With the Eurozone bailout expired, Greece no longer has access to billions of euros in funds and could not meet its IMF repayment. The European Central Bank (ECB) has also frozen its liquidity lifeline to Greek banks. Meanwhile, ratings agencies have further downgraded the country's debt. If it can't repay a debt to the ECB on 20 July, that would probably be the end, and Greece will be at risk of leaving the euro.

Wisdom of the crowds? Online effort seeks to raise funds for Greece

A crowd-funding effort to get the $1.8 billion Greece needs to make a loan payment to the International Monetary Fund has so far raised $124,569. Donors get gifts ranging from salads to gift baskets. It's a nice thought, but unlikely to be a magic debt bullet. At that rate, it would take another 40 years to meet Tuesday's repayment.

On Wall Street, cautious optimism as merger deals near peak level

The volume of deals announced in the first half of the year is approaching that of 2007, but some bankers fear an unforeseen crisis could upend the boom. Nearly 20,000 deals worth $2.2 trillion have been announced this year as of June 29. Driving much of the activity is the continued consolidation among huge swaths of industry.

Congress leaves for recess without reauthorizing Export-Import Bank

A government agency is about to close. An agency of the federal government will have to stop doing business today. That's because members of Congress went home last week for the July Fourth recess without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The bank helps American companies sell their goods overseas. The bank's critics say they're stopping corporate welfare. The bank will likely wind down operations after July 1 if Congress doesn't act. The bank makes loans and loan guarantees for the foreign customers of American businesses. The bank's customers include giants such as Boeing and General Electric, as well as 1,700 smaller companies. Supporters hope to revive the bank. Lawmakers plan to link its renewal to a highway bill Congress plans to take up next month.

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Crumbs

1 - Egypt prosecutor Hisham Barakat killed in Cairo attack - click here.

2 - Jails and universities obliged to prevent radicalisation as new act becomes law - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Fighting for a free press in Hong Kong

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets on Wednesday during the annual pro-democracy protest that marks Hong Kong's return to China.

China climate change plan unveiled

China - the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases - has announced details of its climate action plan. The office of Premier Li Keqiang said that emissions "will peak by around 2030" and China would work hard to achieve the target even earlier. The statement echoes China's declaration last November following a US-China summit. China aims to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% by 2030, from 2005 levels, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to about 20% by 2030.

China expands national security law to cyber threats, space

China adopted a new law that expands the scope of national security legislation in the world's most-populous country to cover everything from cybersecurity, food and religion to outer space and the deep sea. The law replaces existing legislation from 1993, before Internet monitoring, cyber espionage, and food safety became pressing issues for Chinese authorities. The bill seeks to "safeguard national security, defend the people's democratic dictatorship and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics." A core component of the law is to make all key network infrastructure and information systems "secure and controllable". China's security covers areas including politics, culture, the military, the economy, technology and the environment. But foreign business groups and diplomats have argued that the law is vague and fear it could require that technology firms make products in China or use source code released to inspectors, forcing them to expose intellectual property.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Demanda

El millonario estadounidense Donald Trump presentó una demanda por US$ 500 mlls. contra la red Univision de México, por la decisión de la cadena de televisión en español de poner fin a un contrato para transmitir el concurso Miss Estados Unidos. (Presione aquí)

Exportaciones

Estados Unidos reanudará las importaciones de carne fresca bovina argentina después de 14 años de mantener cerrado su mercado. Argentina exportará cerca de US$ 280 mlls. de carne vacuna por año luego de que la nación norteamericana volviera a autorizar el ingreso del producto del país austral. La apertura del mercado también se extenderá a México y Canadá. (Presione aquí)

Acciones

La petrolera canadiense Canacol Energy Ltd anunció la emisión de acciones ordinarias para el pago principal de su deuda convertible equivalente a unas 9 millones de acciones ordinarias. A través de un comunicado la empresa señaló que “actualmente la deuda convertible acumulada tiene un valor principal de US$ 25.5 mlls canadienses, con unos intereses acumulados aún no pagados por un valor de US$ 1,020.” La petrolera con activos en Colombia y Ecuador había anticipado la reducción de sus inversiones en US$ 84 mlls.

Alianza

La española Telefónica y China Unicom emprendieron un programa estratégico de colaboración para la compra conjunta de terminales para la selección de smartphones con especificaciones comunes y que permitirá a ambas compañías la oferta de mejores servicios de datos a sus clientes en Latinoamérica, China y Europa. Como primer resultado de dicha colaboración, recién se concretó la compra de terminales 4G.

  • Brief News

France sets trial date for Uber executives

French officials on Tuesday ordered the trial of two senior executives for Uber Technologies on allegations of maintaining an illegal taxi service. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty and Thibaud Simphal, general managers for Western Europe and France respectively, were detained on Monday for alleged violations of a French transportation law that bans running unlicensed taxi services. The two executives had previously said that UberPOP, a service of Uber, would continue to run in France until a court ruled against their service, despite being illegal since late last year. The service is accused of violating Article 40 of the French Penal Code, punishable by a 300,000 euro fine and two years in prison. The trial is set for September 30.

Russia examines 1991 recognition of Baltic independence

The Russian chief prosecutor's office is to examine whether the Soviet Union acted legally when it recognized the Baltic states' independence in 1991. Two deputies said the 1991 decision to recognize Baltic independence had been taken "by an unconstitutional body". Nato has stepped up its presence in the Baltic states, responding to massive Russian military exercises, including heightened Russian air force activity in the Baltic. The investigation was described as an "absurd provocation" by Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were occupied by Soviet communist forces in 1940. The USSR broke up in 1991. Last week Russia's chief prosecutor declared illegal the transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine in 1954. At the time Russia and Ukraine were republics of the USSR, under communist leader Nikita Khrushchev. Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was condemned internationally. Ethnic Russians there voted to rejoin Russia, in a highly controversial referendum. There are large ethnic Russian minorities in Estonia and Latvia, while Lithuania has a smaller ethnic Russian minority.

New federal law fights European boycotts of Israel

Obama signed into law the sweeping Trade Promotion Authority, a measure with broad significance for future international trade deals with Europe. It also includes important new federal legislation, the United States-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, opposing boycotts and other economic warfare against Israel. The law will significantly increase the legal and economic risks for the E.U., and companies world-wide, to pass discriminatory sanctions and restrictions against Israel. The central provision requires US trade negotiators, when negotiating trade agreements, to seek to "discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated non-tariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel." This measure is particularly timely as the law will apply to a major future trade negotiations with the European Union, which has long been threatening to impose economic restrictions on Israel.

UNESCO: Islamic State's destruction of heritage sites may be war crimes

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee said Monday that extremist groups' destruction of antiquities and heritage sites in conflict zones could amount to war crimes. The committee noted particularly the Islamic State's (IS) destruction of the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq, and was deeply concerned about the group's capture of Palmyra in May. Both cities are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and carry much archaeological significance. The committee adopted a resolution which states in part that "intentional attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes and historic monuments may amount to war crimes".

US and Cuba to announce embassies

The US and Cuba will on Wednesday announce the opening of embassies in each other's capitals, a major step in re-establishing diplomatic ties severed in 1961. Relations had been frozen since the early 1960s when the US broke links and imposed a trade embargo with the Communist island. But the US and Cuba agreed to normalize relations at the end of 2014. Since 1977, the US and Cuba have operated diplomatic missions called "interests sections" in each other's capitals under the legal protection of Switzerland. However, they do not enjoy the same status as full embassies.

Washington Post encrypts its news website

The Washington Post has begun encrypting parts of its website to make it harder for cyberspies and hackers to monitor the stories users are reading. The move will make it harder for governments to censor its site. The US newspaper said it wanted users to "feel secure", adding that it was the "first major general news organization" to make such a move. It acknowledged, however, that it might see a fall in ad sales as a result. Several government agencies have expressed concern about the increasing use of encryption. The Freedom of the Press Foundation called on the wider news industry to adopt the HTTPS encryption protocol in September 2014, saying it would "protect the integrity of their content and the privacy of their readers." "Eavesdropping on people reading the news is a real danger that has already happened, as demonstrated by the NSA and GCHQ spying on visitors to WikiLeaks.org," it said.

Massive jailbreak in Yemen

About 1,200 prisoners, including al-Qaeda suspects, have escaped from a prison in central Yemen. There were clashes between Houthi rebels and their opponents at the prison in the central town of Taiz ahead of the break-out. Yemen is in the grip of its most severe crisis in years, as competing forces fight for control. It is the third major jailbreak in Yemen since a Saudi-led air campaign against the rebels began on 26 March.

California enacts mandatory vaccination law for students

California governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that imposes one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the US. It would require most schoolchildren to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough. The bill has faced fierce criticism from some who say parents should decide whether their children are vaccinated. Only children with serious health issues would qualify for exemption from the new measures. Unvaccinated children would have to be home-schooled.

Border Patrol urged to crack down on corruption in its own ranks

The draft report by outside law enforcement experts says the agency needs more internal affairs investigators. It also calls for more transparency in investigations, especially shootings by agents.

A dozen officials suspended as probe into N.Y. prison break widens

The house-cleaning of top administrators and guards at the prison where two inmates escaped comes as the FBI begins its own investigation into possible corruption and drug dealing at the facility.

Obama pitches overtime rule that could raise wages for 5 million

The regulation, which retailers and restaurants likely will fight, would mean that all employees earning up to $50,440 a year would be guaranteed overtime pay, up from the current cap of $23,660.

New York puts fracking ban in place

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) released a final environmental impact statement on the dangers of fracking on Monday, which carries the force of law and officially bans fracking in the state.

  • Daily Press Review

Houthi rebels pound Yemen's Aden with rocket artillery
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Sidney Blumenthal gave wide-ranging, detailed advice to Hillary Clinton, emails show
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Report backs third Heathrow runway
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Matt and Sweat started escape plan in January, D.A. says
CNN International, London, England

Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts enjoys meeting Prince Charles dressed as soup
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Test yourself against the children battling to become UK's brightest youngster
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Spain's King Felipe promotes ties with Mexico
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Greece misses IMF payment as bailout programme expires
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Countdown starts for Diyarbak?r's World Heritage site bid
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Tunisian beach mass murderer Seifeddine Rezgui 'was carrying unexploded bomb when he was shot dead by police'
Independent The, London, England

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

Tunisia attack: British victims to be repatriated as latest victims named - latest
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Allison Pearson: Finally, I'm glad to be grey
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Athens will miss debt repayment, bailout to expire
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Defense Ministry to Delay Troop Cuts Until 2030
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Hillary Clinton emails show old friend advising on foreign policy
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Upper Lake: BMC gets harvester to weed out unwanted growth
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

'Self-immolation' on bullet train south of Tokyo leaves two dead, 26 injured
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Russia-US ties alive and well at Iran nuclear talks
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

North Korea opens new airport terminal building in Pyongyang
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Greece vs. creditors: what they're fighting about
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

U.S. to reopen Cuban embassy and restore diplomatic relations
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

Greece defaults on IMF payment despite last-minute overtures to creditors
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Greece defaults on IMF payment despite last-minute overtures to creditors
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Greece defaults on IMF payment
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

South Sudan army 'burnt girls alive'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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