July 15, 2015 nº 1,646 - Vol. 13

"We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions."

  Isaac Bashevis Singer

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  • Top News

Greek senior bank bondholders risk imposed losses after aid deal

Greece's bailout puts senior bank bondholders explicitly in line for losses because the deal requires the country to approve reforms as a condition for aid. International creditors led by Germany are demanding that Greece agree by July 22 to adopt the European Union's Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive, known as the BRRD, which makes it easier to impose losses on senior creditors and depositors. Greece's existing insolvency laws exclude a bail-in of the debt, according to Fitch Ratings. Tsipras bowed to demands from European creditors on Monday in exchange for a bailout of as much as 86 bn euros ($95 bn) that will keep the country in the euro zone. A 25 billion euro recapitalization of the banks, which have have been shut for two weeks to prevent their collapse, may not be enough.

IMF attacks EU over bailout

The International Monetary Fund has attacked the bailout deal offered by Eurozone leaders to Greece. The creditor said Greece's public debt had become "highly unsustainable" and it needed relief from its debts. The IMF suggested options including writing down the debt - a move most fiercely resisted by creditors. The Greek parliament must pass four pieces of legislation on Wednesday. The IMF's assessment makes it much harder for Tsipras to persuade the Athens parliament to back the measures needed in Wednesday's votes. It brings into question the validity of the reform measures demanded by the Eurozone and endorses the kind of debt write-offs the Greek public have been arguing for. Why should Greek MPs vote for a painful economic reform package which the IMF - the supposed global arbiter of these things - does not believe will put the country back on the path to prosperity? Tsipras said in an interview on state television that he did not believe in the bailout offered but was willing to implement it to "avoid disaster for the country" and the collapse of the banks. The conditional agreement to receive up to €86bn (£61bn; $95bn) from the EU over three years depends on further economic reforms - including the labor markets, banks and privatization - being passed after Wednesday.

US conservatives condemn ran nuclear agreement

US conservatives have lined up to condemn the deal reached between major world powers and Iran. The agreement limits Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of crippling international economic sanctions. Obama said the agreement would oblige Iran to: (1) remove two-thirds of installed centrifuges and store them under international supervision, (2) get rid of 98% of its enriched uranium, (3) accept that sanctions would be rapidly restored if the deal was violated, (4) permanently give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access "where necessary when necessary" Sanctions relief would be gradual, Obama said, with an arms embargo remaining in place for five years and an embargo on missiles for eight years. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the "historic" deal opened a "new chapter" in Iran's relations with the world. In his own televised address, he said the prayers of Iranians had "come true". The US Congress has 60 days in which to consider the deal, though Obama has said he will veto any attempt to block it. Israel's government has strongly criticized the agreement. The Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, said the deal would only "embolden" Tehran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a "stunning historic mistake" that would provide Iran with "hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe".

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  • MiMIC Journal

China's 7% second quarter growth beats expectations

Growth in the world's second largest economy, China, beat expectations in the second quarter, but it was still the weakest showing since the global financial crisis. A weaker property market and factory production have hampered growth. Beijing has rolled out a series of stimulus measures amid the slowdown.

China cracking down on lawyers

Dozens of Chinese lawyers have been detained or interrogated over recent days in what seems to be a coordinated roundup. The crackdown has targeted those who take on cases involving free speech, human rights and abuses of power, presenting many of them as motivated by greed and a reckless disregard for social order. A statement from the Ministry of Public Security said suspects included lawyers, social media celebrities and petitioners but that lawyers were the core.

HRW: China restricts travel for religious minorities

China has significantly restricted the freedom of movement for Tibetans and other minorities said Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday. Referencing a report released by HRW last week, the rights group stated that China's two-tiered passport issuing system essentially requires residents of certain areas mainly populated by minorities, such as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to provide more documentation than residents in other areas. HRW said the process for receiving passports is also much slower for minorities as they are subject to more delays, sometimes lasting years, and denials of passports without explanation.


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  • Historia Verdadera


México impuso cuotas compensatorias provisionales a las importaciones de tubería de acero al carbono con costura, originarias de Estados Unidos, España e India. La medida es parte de una investigación por posibles prácticas desleales de comercio en la modalidad de discriminación de precios. (Presione aquí)


La aerolínea Avianca Holdings, una de las mayores de América Latina, acordó la venta del 30% de su subsidiaria LifeMiles B.V. por US$343,7 mlls. al administrador de fondos Advent. Avianca Holdings, propiedad del magnate colombo-brasileño Germán Efromovich, dijo que la transacción está sujeta a las respectivas autorizaciones de los reguladores del mercado.


La petrolera estatal chilena ENAP y Enel Green Power anunciaron el inicio de la construcción de una planta de geotermia en el norte en el país, con una inversión estimada en unos US$320 mlls. La central Cerro Pabellón, que se estima estaría operativa en el primer semestre del 2017, será financiada por Enel Green Power, con un acuerdo de compra de energía de largo plazo.

  • Brief News

Obama lays out a sweeping criminal justice reform plan

Obama has called for sweeping reforms to the US criminal justice system including curbing the use of solitary confinement and voting rights for felons. He said lengthy mandatory minimum sentences should be reduced - or thrown out entirely. "Mass incarceration makes our entire country worse off, and we need to do something about it," he said. Obama urged Congress to pass a sentencing reform bill by year's end. On Thursday, Obama will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison - part of week long focus by the White House on the criminal justice system. Obama on Monday granted commuted sentences to 46 drug offenders in what he said was part of an effort by his administration to remedy the unfairness of the criminal justice system.

Religious groups must comply with contraception opt-out rule

Religious nonprofit groups must formally opt out of a US health-care mandate if they wish to avoid a requirement that employers provide health-insurance coverage for birth control, a federal appeals court said. The decision is the second win for Obama's Affordable Care Act in three weeks. On June 25, the Supreme Court upheld a core component of the health-care law, backing tax credits used by millions of Americans to buy insurance. The 6-3 ruling eliminated the most potent legal challenge to a law designed to cover at least 30 million uninsured people. In Tuesday's case, the nonprofits said their religious and free-speech rights were violated by a mandate that they must actively opt out of a rule requiring them to provide contraceptive coverage as a form of preventive care. They cited last year's ruling in another Supreme Court case, in which the high court said closely held companies can refuse on religious grounds to offer birth-control coverage to their workers. But the Denver-based appeals court said that decision didn't directly apply to religious nonprofits.

Russia may overrule European law

Russia can avoid implementing European court judgments if they conflict with the Russian constitution, a top Russian court has ruled. Russia is legally bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. But the Russian constitutional court says Russia "can step back from its obligations" if that is the only way to avoid violating its constitution. Russia objects to a European Court of Human Rights demand that it compensate shareholders in former oil giant Yukos. The Council of Europe (CoE), which monitors compliance with the convention and ECHR rulings, voiced concern about the Russian decision. CoE said Russia acknowledged that ECHR rulings were "binding". However, the stipulation in today's decision that there may be exceptions to this rule raises several question and concerns. CoE experts are analyzing the decision and I will be taking it up with the highest Russian authorities. The Russian court ruling on Tuesday said ECHR judgments did "not override the pre-eminence of the constitution in the Russian legal system".

Google Maps alters disputed South China Sea shoal name

Google has updated its map of a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, removing a Chinese name for the reef after complaints from many Filipinos. Google Maps now refers to the reef by its international name, Scarborough Shoal. Previously, the area was also named as part of the Zhongsha Islands. Both China and the Philippines claim the shoal and its rich fishing grounds. The Philippines has filed a case against China's claims at a UN tribunal - but Beijing has refused to take part.

Banks face new legal action over forex manipulation

After fines totaling many billions of pounds from UK and US regulators, a new threat is about to hit the major banks found guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market. US lawyers are preparing multi-million-pound legal action - to be lodged in the autumn - against up to 12 banks. The targets include HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and US banks JP Morgan and Citigroup. The action will be led by the US law firm Scott and Scott. Complainants are likely to include multi-national businesses, pension funds and even central banks. The European Commission is now investigating whether competition laws were also breached by the banks' behavior.

Brazil politicians' houses searched in Petrobras probe

Brazilian police have searched properties linked to politicians suspected of taking bribes in a scandal involving the state-run oil company, Petrobras. Prosecutors said the aim was to prevent evidence being destroyed. Police seized luxury cars from the home of the former Brazilian President, Fernando Collor de Mello. The bribery scandal has undermined the standing of the current President, Dilma Rousseff. Fifty-three searches were carried out "in homes, offices, company headquarters, law firms and public institutions." the police said.

Transgender troops could serve openly under US military plan

The US military is considering a plan that would allow transgender people to serve openly in the armed forces. "The Defence Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty," US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said. Transgender people now serve in the military, but their experiences vary.

Vatican postpones diplomat's child abuse trial

The Vatican City State Tribunal on Saturday delayed the child abuse trial of former papal diplomat Józef Wesołowski due to an "unexpected illness" that resulted in hospitalization. The accused, formerly stationed in the Dominican Republic, is charged with pedophilia and possession of child pornography.

Pirate Bay founders acquitted in Belgium copyright case

A Belgian court on Thursday found the co-founders of the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay (TPB) not guilty of copyright infringement and electronic communications abuse. According to the Mechelse court, the prosecution failed to prove that co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij, former website representative Peter Sunde and website investor Carl Lundström were connected to the file sharing site during the period it was under review by the court, as defendants claimed they had no participation in it following its sale in 2006. Olivier Maeterlinch, director of Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) who is a civil party in this case, stated that, "technically speaking," they agreed with the court's ruling.

Rand Paul sues Obama over foreign banking law

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday officially sued the Obama administration, seeking to stop it from enforcing a federal banking law that has led large numbers of Americans overseas to renounce their citizenship. In a move with implications for his 2016 presidential bid, Mr. Paul joined six other plaintiffs in a suit filed by Republicans Overseas Action (ROA), arguing that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is unconstitutional.

Wal-Mart faces potential class action for prior denial of same-sex benefits

Two civil rights groups are trying to build a class action against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the retailer's former policy of denying health-insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of gay employees.

  • Daily Press Review

NASA spacecraft calls home after passing Pluto
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Netanyahu is misleading: There is no such thing as a good deal with Iran
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IMF attacks EU over Greek bailout
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Surveillance video shows drug lord escaping from prison
CNN International, London, England

Rita Ora shows cleavage in cutaway dress at VIP Summer Party in London
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

New Zealand Dad's video showing how to hold an infant attracts over 2m views
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Iranians celebrate a future with no sanctions after nuclear deal
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Tsipras takes responsibility for 'bad' bailout deal, says only option
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

VIDEO: Van Persie arrives in Istanbul to join Fenerbahçe
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Pound jumps as Bank of England signals rate rise is 'closer'
Independent The, London, England

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Gröning says 'I'm truly sorry' as verdict due earlier than expected
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Sinead O'Connor calls for boycott of Rolling Stone over Kim Kardashian cover
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Center for victims of water park fire opens
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Iran Nuclear Deal Leaves N.Korea Exposed
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

19th century Kalighat paintings at Oxford now online
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

MoS Home takes stock of preparations
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Three dead, more than 800 taken to hospital amid heat wave
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

70 years on, Japanese firm to apologize to US WWII veterans
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

South Korea selects China consortium for Sewol ferry salvage
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

6 things you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

NASA's New Horizons Pluto mission offers a successful 'Apollo moment'
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

Toyota recalls 625,000 hybrid cars globally for software glitch
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

IMF calls for Greece debt relief ahead of bailout vote
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Economy changing political outlook as election nears
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Rwanda MPs back term limit change
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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