July 24, 2015 nº 1,650 - Vol. 13
 

"Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate."

    Ambrose Bierce

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Databases don't build relationships

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  • Top News

Obama administration: will close Guantanamo Bay by end of term

The Obama Administration confirmed Wednesday in a press briefing that they are drafting a plan to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay before President Barack Obama's time in office runs out. President Obama has been promising since his inception as President to close the prison. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest delivered the briefing, in which he said that closing the prison is in the national security interest of the US. Once the plan is fully drafted, it will be presented to Congress for approval. Of the 779 prisoners that have been held at Guantanamo since its opening, 653 have been released or transferred, 121 of which were released under the Obama Administration.

Brazil Attorney General fights impeachment risk over budget

The administration of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has shifted into overdrive to defuse what could become the biggest risk for her impeachment -- accusations she doctored her budget results last year. Attorney-General Luis Inacio Adams has filed a 1,000-page defense and personally met with the nine members of the audit court, appointed by Congress, to persuade them to approve Rousseff's 2014 fiscal accounts. Opposition lawmakers say they could use a Rousseff defeat in this case as a reason to begin impeachment hearings. "We can't let the political environment contaminate a ruling that is this important," Adams said in a telephone interview before he turned in the government's defense. "Of course, the political debate exists, but we can't let it influence the technical decision." The inquiry by the audit court, known as the TCU, is one of the many pressures facing Rousseff after the first months of her second term were consumed by a widening corruption investigation, a rebellious Congress and deepening economic crisis. With three recent polls confirming Rousseff's record-low approval rating, her government is trying to stomp out every spark that could ignite impeachment proceedings.

Major US city poised to implement Islamic law

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray "wants to help Muslims" attain home ownership by offering Shariah-compliant loans. While some cities in Texas and other Southern states have been adopting ordinances that protect their citizenry from creeping Shariah-compliant practices, cities such as Seattle are taking the opposite approach. Seattle's Democrat Mayor Ed Murray was so concerned that Muslims and other residents weren't buying enough homes in his city that he had a committee investigate how that could be rectified. One of the committee's recommendations: Banks need to offer "Shariah-compliant" mortgage loans for Seattle's growing Muslim community. Muslims are forbidden by their religious law, Shariah, from paying interest on loans so they must be offered loans structured in such a way that interest is not part of the package. The 28-member committee recommended the city convene lenders and community leaders to explore options for increasing access to Shariah-compliant loans. More and more lenders are offering Shariah-compliant financing, according to a report. The sector has grown to more than $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades, and analysts see potential for continued growth as the number of Muslims in the United States and Europe grows. The Obama administration, with the full support of Congress, is following an immigration policy that allows at least 100,000 Muslims into the country every year, according to US Census data. So financial-service companies see that as a business opportunity.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Swiss widen Petrobras corruption probe to include Odebrecht - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Writer criticizes China's new national security laws

Award-winning Chinese writer Murong Xuecun has criticized China's new national security laws, saying they are a further attempt by the government to control its people. Murong first published his book Dancing in the Red Dust online in 2008. But now, he says, the space for writing on the internet in China is getting smaller, as censors widen their reach.

Restaurant buoys investors with 'lucky' new menu

A restaurant in Beijing is attempting to turn around the fortunes of millions of Chinese investors hit by tumbling share prices by offering a "lucky" menu of stock market-themed dishes. Three trillion US dollars have been wiped off China's stock market over the last month, leaving millions of small investors counting their losses. The restaurant says its new range of dishes - many of which are red, a color associated with prosperity in China - are aimed at rewarding its customers with a rebound in stock prices. Among the dishes on offer is Red Burned Lion Head, which has the same pronunciation in Chinese as "burning market investments". Another dish of spicy crayfish urges investors to show resilience and "not give up so easily on the stock market"; while having a dish of braised pork symbolizes wealth in China. The menu has been well-received by customers and attracted thousands of comments on China's social networking site Weibo.

A Mostly deserted Chinese city is set to quadruple GDP by 2017

Tianjin city's replica of New York's Manhattan, still mostly deserted, is set to double output this year and quadruple it by 2017 as a new free-trade zone and high-speed rail link boost business, said a city official. The area targets output of 30 billion yuan ($5 billion) in 2017 from 7.5 billion yuan last year. The district's free-trade zone status, gained late last year, has helped lure 6,000 companies from finance, law, accounting and trade to register for business and Jiang expects that to rise to more than 15,000 next year.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Databases don't build relationships
By Linda Julian

Managing information effectively and capturing data connected with client relationships is necessary.

Selling high value professional services today takes more than socialising with the right people, slapping backs, and depending on well-worn connections. Databases, systems, and websites have an important role, but they don't build relationships: people do.

Clients want relationships with professionals who:

-- are smart and capable
-- connect, relate, and develop strong rapport
-- have (or quickly develop) genuine insights into their world and its challenges
-- are dependable, don't let them down, and are "there for them"
-- take genuine interest
-- treat them as individuals
-- work easily and collaboratively with them
-- exude a strong sense that they care far more about doing a great job than making a billing target
-- are authentic, real, trustworthy people who take the time to listen, understand, and then hop to it.

Investing in technology and data is great, but don't overlook investing in building relationships. Start with the list above to build solid relationships -- you'll build business at the same time.

By Linda Julian, www.julianmidwinter.com.au

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  • Historia Verdadera

Deuda

Jamaica salió al mercado con una emisión de bonos en dos tramos con la que quiere recaudar al menos US$ 1,500 mlls. para recomprar deuda que tiene con Venezuela y mejorar sus métricas de crédito. La oferta consiste en bonos con vencimientos en el 2028 y el 2045. (Presione aquí)

Bancos

Los cuatro principales bancos privados de Chile trabajan para cumplir con la nueva regla “Volcker” que será exigida por el regulador de Estados Unidos. La norma tiene por objetivo aplicar medidas restrictivas para proteger a los clientes contra los riesgos del mercado, y obliga a demostrar que no están tratando de esconder apuestas especulativas, haciéndolas pasar por transacciones legítimas. (Presione aquí)

TPP

La Fundación Interamericana del Corazón en México, en carta, advierte al gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto, que los productos de tabaco deben ser excluidos del Acuerdo de Asociación Transpacífico (TPP por sus siglas en inglés), de lo contrario el país correría el riesgo de llegar a demandas de arbitraje por la industria tabacalera. (Presione aquí)

Gol

El Consejo Administrativo de Defensa Económica de Brasil aprobó sin restricciones el aumento de operaciones de la norteamericana Delta Air Lines en la aerolínea brasilera Gol. El negocio fue anunciado el 10/7 y prevé que Delta eleve su participación en la empresa brasilera de los actuales 3% para 10% por medio de una operación de aumento de capital.

  • Brief News

Citigroup ordered to return $700 million to credit card customers

US regulators on Tuesday ordered Citigroup to refund $700 million to nine million credit card customers, along with a $70 million fine for illegal and deceptive practices.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered the bank and its subsidiaries to refund its customers after finding that Citi marketed or offered credit card add-on products such as 30-day free-trials when no such trials existed, or signed customers up for an add-on product whether or not the consumer actually wanted the product. Citi also allegedly misrepresented its customers by charging a $14.95 "expedited" payment fee for customers who made payments over the phone without notifying them of non-fee options. A spokeswoman for Citi said the financial group has already set aside money for the settlement and fines. Citi claims it has stopped using add-on practices and has been issuing refunds to customers since 2013. (Click here)

EU opens anti-trust case against Sky and US film studios

The European Commission has accused Sky TV in the UK and six major Hollywood studios of breaking EU competition rules by blocking access to movie content in other EU countries. The Commission's anti-trust regulator has issued them with formal complaints. The six studios are Disney, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. The Hollywood studios and Sky TV have now been asked to respond formally to the claims. The complaint follows an 18-month investigation by the European Commission into licensing agreements between the film studios and Sky, as well as other European broadcasters. The Commission believes the deals have clauses that grant absolute territorial exclusivity to Sky and eliminate cross border competition between pay-TV companies elsewhere in the EU.

Obama admits US gun laws are his 'biggest frustration'

Obama has admitted that his failure to pass "common sense gun safety laws" in the US is the greatest frustration of his presidency. He said it was "distressing" not to have made progress on the issue "even in the face of repeated mass killings". He vowed to keep trying, he did not sound very confident. However, Obama said race relations had improved during his presidency. "If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands," Obama said.

IMF urges Japan to 'reload Abenomics' to continue recovery

The International Monetary Fund has warned Japan to not rely too much on the weak yen but to push for more reforms. In its latest annual assessment, the IMF said it saw a "modest recovery". But the global lender warned that further bold structural reforms were needed to lift growth and enable financial consolidation. Tokyo's reform package dubbed Abenomics was kicked off in 2012 and aims at spurring economic growth. The IMF said that while the continued decline of the yen was beneficial for Japan's economy, helping the country's exports sector, the outlook was negative with risks stemming from weak domestic demand and incomplete policies, particularly with regard to the fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.

Spain raises marrying age from 14 to 16

Spain has raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16, having had the lowest marrying age in Europe. Before the age was raised, boys and girls could marry at the age of 14 with the permission of a judge. It is now level with most European countries. The change comes only months after the government raised the age of consent from 13 to 16. The government announced its intention to alter the law in April 2013, but it came into force only on Thursday. The move was welcomed by officials from Unicef and children's rights groups in Spain.

Israel AG orders investigation of Netanyahu expenses

Israel's attorney general on Monday ordered a criminal probe into excessive residential spending by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The announcement came after the state comptroller reported that large sums of public money were spent on food, furniture, cleaning and gardening at Mr. Netanyahu and his wife's official residence in Jerusalem and their private home in Caesarea, an exclusive coastal city. Cleaning expenses at their private home averaged $2,100 a month in public money, even though the couple rarely stays there. Mr. Netanyahu's office declined to comment.

Former Chad leader trial suspended

The Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal on Wednesday suspended the trial of former Chadian leader Hissène Habré on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes. The suspension of the trial is reportedly due to the need for court appointed attorneys to prepare Habré's defense. Habré has denied the charges against him and even attempted to refuse the services of his appointed attorneys. Human rights groups have reported the thousands of deaths under his rule and have called the trial "a tribute to the survivors of his brutal rule who never gave up fighting for justice." The trial is set to resume on September 7.

New York state to raise fast food minimum wages

New York state fast food workers' wages will eventually rise to $15 an hour, after a state wage board unanimously recommended the increase. New York City workers will be the first to benefit, with the increase due to be in place by the end of 2018. Fast food workers in the rest of the state will have to wait until mid 2021 for the rise. State Governor Andrew Cuomo said the vote marked "one of the really great days of my administration". The state minimum wage is currently $8.75. "This is just the beginning. We will not stop until we reach true economic justice," he added. New York mayor Bill de Blasio said he would now push for every worker in the city, not just fast food staff, to get a higher salary.

Ferrari files for US share listing

Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is being spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The firm did not reveal the expected price range or number of the common shares. UBS Investment Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch and Santander are underwriting the flotation, the company said. Ferrari intends to list its common stock with a fundraising target of $100m.

Ashley Madison infidelity site's customer data stolen

Customer data has been stolen from Ashley Madison, a dating website for married people who wish to cheat on their spouse. The hackers said they had obtained information including "all the customers' secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions". The site's operator confirmed there had been an "intrusion" but not its extent. One security expert said a small percentage of the site's user account data had been published online. The hackers, who called themselves the Impact Team, said they had managed to steal the real names and addresses of the site's users, including those who had previously paid to "delete" their accounts. The company had previously charged $19 for a "full delete". The hackers alleged that service was a "complete lie" because some personal information was kept even after a customer had paid for it to be removed.

At low pay, government hires immigrants held at detention centers

It's illegal to hire immigrants without legal status. Yet the federal government employs thousands of undocumented workers. They prepare food and clean detention facilities where they are held.

Trying to keep your data safe? You're probably doing it wrong

A new study by Google indicates that experts and non-experts have very different approaches to securing their online data. And the non-experts should probably rethink the way they're going about it.

Turkish officials temporarily block Twitter after Suruc bombing

Turkish officials briefly blocked access to Twitter in an attempt to prevent sharing of images from Monday's deadly Suruc bombing, and to stop Twitter users from calling for protests against the government. The ban on Twitter was both installed and lifted the same day.

Moody's says low oil price here to stay as Russia bleeds capital

Low oil prices are just the tip of what ails Russia, according to Moody's Investors Service. With its dependence on commodities and a slump in investment, Russia will have a hard time recovering from its record economic slump as global oil prices are bound to remain lower for a long time. As much as a quarter of Russia's gross domestic product and two-thirds of its exports are linked to the energy industry. Low oil prices are here to stay. Without major investment in the infrastructure, modernizing the equipment, oil production in Russia is unlikely to rise and may slowly decline in the coming years. Crippled by its first recession since 2009, Russia is starved of investment as US and European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine limit access to international capital markets and curb imports of drilling technology. Fixed-capital investment has fallen for 18 months, and the Economy Ministry predicts capital outflows may reach $90 billion in 2015 after last year's record of more than $150 billion.

IRS tries to curb private equity's fee waivers with tax rule

The IRS is seeking to limit private-equity executives' practice of reducing their tax bills by reclassifying how their management fees are taxed. Rules proposed by the agency would make it harder for firms to convert high-taxed fees into lower-taxed carried interest, and by doing so take advantage of a 19.6 percentage-point difference in top tax rates. The proposal represents one of the US government's most concrete attempts to limit the tax benefits enjoyed by private-equity managers. The "modest move" by the Internal Revenue Service would stop some of the most abusive maneuvers by private-equity firms. Typically, private-equity firms charge their investors a 2 percent fee on their assets and also keep 20 percent of profits, known as carried interest.

Law lets certified troops carry concealed handguns

Even as the debate rages about whether, where and when service members should be allowed to carry weapons, some troops already are permitted to carry concealed handguns even if their state does not have a concealed-carry law. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, a little-known federal law extended to apply to military personnel in 2013, already gives credentialed troops, in addition to military police, authority to carry weapons while off duty in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The law is designed to give some service members who have another day job, such as National Guard or Reserve members who work in law enforcement, the ability to carry personal weapons to their next location without violating other Pentagon directives or federal laws. A key requirement to qualify for concealed carry under the law is 10 or more years of experience as a law-enforcement official.

Life sentence is urged in salmonella case

Federal officials proposed a life sentence for the former head of a peanut-processing company convicted of conspiracy and other charges in connection with a deadly salmonella outbreak.

Tobacco firms won't have to pay initial damages to smokers in Canada

Units of British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco won't have to pay initial compensation of 1.13 billion Canadian dollars in damages to Quebec smokers while the companies appeal a recent court decision, according to a Thursday ruling.

  • Daily Press Review

Turkish fighter jets pound ISIL positions in Syria
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Why we don't need civil marriage in Israel
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Obama: Gun laws my big frustration
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

3 dead, including gunman, in Louisiana theater shooting
CNN International, London, England

Leggy Alesha Dixon draws attention in leather mini skirt at charity party
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

UK weather forecasts gales and rain as millions take to roads for the holidays
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Turkey fighter jets strike ISIL targets in Syria
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Turkey conducts first air raids on IS group positions in Syria
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Remembering Agatha Christie at 'Black Week Turkey' events in Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Lafayette shooting: Teacher who shielded friend from gunman hailed as hero by state's governor
Independent The, London, England

Louisiana cinema shooting: latest
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Lee Nelson: how I gatecrashed Kanye West's Glastonbury set
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Afternoon rains swamp Taipei area
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Herbal Doctors Question Dog Day Food Traditions
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

British publisher Pearson decides to sell Financial Times
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Bored up in a far off jail, convict escapes prison in MP
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Genome project aims to diagnose patients with rare diseases
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Gabby Douglas right on schedule for golden return
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

More than 100 suspects face Thai human trafficking charges
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Turkish fighter jets strike ISIS targets across Syrian border
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Warplanes strike Islamic State targets across in Syria, Turkey says
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

Nikkei's Financial Times buy follows years of attempting to break into English news
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

ECB's Noyer calls for Greek banks capital injection before autumn tests
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Eglinton-Lawrence Liberal nomination race heads toward bitter end
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Obama: Gun laws my big frustration
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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