August 3, 2015 nº 1,654 - Vol. 13

"The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion."

 Stanley Baldwin

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  • Top News

British and French governments warn of global migration crisis

The British and French governments have warned in a joint article by British Home Secretary Theresa May and French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve that the world is facing a "global migration crisis." The two government officials stressed that countries must make dealing with the increasing number of migrants a top priority. Britain and France have recently seen the desperate measures that immigrants will take to reach their destination. Those attempting to cross the 20-mile wide area of the English Channel between Calais, France and Dover, UK have been taking more dangerous risks to cross fences and other border security measures. They note that many of these migrants have originated further south in countries such as Italy and Greece, and they called on the countries to address the problem at its root. May also announced that the British government will be cutting weekly cash allowances that support failed asylum seekers in the country, hoping to curb interest in migrating to Britain.

Imports of digital goods face test

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is to decide if ITC has power to halt digital transmissions in trade dispute over orthodontic devices The clash over protecting a free-flowing Internet while also fighting online piracy has shifted to an unlikely and largely unknown setting: a legal battle about teeth-alignment devices at a federal trade body. A US appeals court this month will consider whether federal tariff law gives the International Trade Commission the power to order a halt to foreign digital transmissions into the US when those communications infringe US intellectual property. Traditionally, the ITC has intervened only to stop the importation of physical goods. In a proceeding closely watched by tech companies and the movie, music and publishing industries, the commission expanded its approach last year while reviewing a trade dispute over orthodontic devices. The ITC decided it could take action against virtual material coming into the US and ordered a Texas-based company, ClearCorrect, to stop receiving digital models and data from Pakistan for the manufacture of teeth aligners, invisible mouthpieces used as an alternative to braces. The ITC had said ClearCorrect was infringing patents held by larger rival Align Technology Inc., a San Jose, Calif., company that generated more than $700 million in revenue last year from its Invisalign devices. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear arguments on ClearCorrect's appeal in Washington on Aug. 11.

Companies sour on Delaware as corporate haven

Most popular state for corporate registrations has challengers who say it doesn't offer enough protections against shareholder lawsuits. Like thousands of US companies, Dole Food Co. was attracted by the state's business-friendly reputation: Managers enjoy broad latitude in day-to-day operations, from corporate spending to buyouts. Firms are shielded by tough antitakeover laws. And special business courts, widely considered the most sophisticated in the nation, have over the decades blessed new corporate defenses and set clear rules for the rough-and-tumble merger world. Incorporating in the state was "a no-brainer," Dole said. "We made a conscious decision to move there, and, as a show of good faith, we brought our business with us." Now, that enthusiasm is souring. Dole is facing potentially costly litigation from shareholders who sued the fruit giant after it was sold to its chief executive, David Murdock in 2013. The lawsuits, filed in Delaware's Chancery Court, argue that the company was sold too cheaply and seek damages that could stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Dole is one of several companies that say the state has become less hospitable toward business. Among their gripes: a growing tide of shareholder litigation, which some feel the state hasn't done enough to curb. One new measure bars companies from shifting their legal fees to shareholders who sue and lose—a boon to would-be plaintiffs.

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Hong Kong protest over 'breast as weapon' conviction

Dozens of bra-wearing men and women have protested in Hong Kong after a woman was jailed for assaulting a senior policeman with her breast. Ng Lai-ying, 30, had accused Chief Inspector Chan Ka-po of touching her breast during a protest in March. But the court had ruled against her, saying she deliberately pushed her breast against him so she could accuse him of assault. The Breast Walk protesters said they were highlighting the "ridiculous" nature of the conviction.


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  • Brief News

Calais migrant crisis: Cameron accused of 'playing politics'

The Swedish justice and migration minister has accused David Cameron of "playing politics" with the migrant crisis in Calais. Morgan Johansson said scenes in Calais had resulted from France and the UK not taking "responsibility" for accepting more asylum seekers. Migrants in Calais are making nightly bids to cross the Channel. The UK and French governments have announced they will bolster security around the Eurotunnel site in Calais. David Cameron has said the UK will not become a "safe haven" for migrants and warned illegal immigrants would be removed from the country.

Immigration Bill: Landlords 'must evict' failed asylum seekers

UK landlords will be expected to evict migrants who lose the right to live in England, under measures to be included in the Immigration Bill. Those who fail to evict illegal immigrants or check a migrant's status in advance could face up to five years' jail, the communities secretary said. The government would crack down on "rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration". The government plans to end financial support for failed asylum seekers. Immigration minister James Brokenshire said he wanted to "send out a very clear message to those who seek to exploit the system that Britain is not a soft touch on asylum".

Greek shares 'set to plunge 20%' as stock exchange reopens

The Athens Stock Exchange is set to plunge by as much as 20% on Monday when trading finally resumes after a five-week closure, traders have predicted. The bourse was shut just before the Greek government imposed capital controls at the height of the debt crisis. Traders said they expect sharp losses as a result of pent-up trading and fears about Greece's worsening economy. "There is a lot of uncertainty about the government's ability to sign the... bailout on time and for possible snap elections."

France refuses to sell two warships to Russia

What do you do when you sell a couple of ships to a country that can't buy them? Russia had ordered two mistral helicopter carriers from France, the first of which was to be delivered last year. But Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made that awkward - hard to complain about Russian militarism then sell their military two ships. Russia has reportedly already made a down payment on the carriers, which are worth about 1.2 billion euros. Four hundred Russian sailors have already taken special training. France's president, Francois Hollande, said only that discussions are underway, and he'll make a decision soon. But what do you do with two carriers you don't want but can't sell or don't want to sell to an adversary? A former French chief military adviser says the cheapest solution is to just sink them, but why not sell them to Russia and put brioche crumbs in the sailor's bunks?

Canada PM Harper calls general election for 19 October

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called a parliamentary election for 19 October. In an announcement he said he had asked Governor General David Johnston to dissolve parliament. Harper said the election would be about "leadership on the big issues that affect us all, our economy and our nation's security". The campaign is likely to focus on Canada's sluggish economy and security issues.

Mark Karpeles, chief of bankrupt Bitcoin exchange, is arrested in Tokyo

Japanese police have arrested the CEO of the failed company MtGox, which was once the world's biggest exchange of the virtual currency, bitcoin. Mark Karpeles, 30, is being held in connection with the loss of bitcoins worth $387m last February. He is suspected of having accessed the exchange's computer system to falsify data on its outstanding balance.

UK officials instructed to grant Ai Weiwei's original UK visa request

The Home Office has apologized for denying the prominent Chinese dissident a six-month visa. He got only 20 days, because staff counted secret imprisonment as a criminal conviction.

Batista daring bondholders to seize ship

Out in the Atlantic Ocean, 130 miles off the coast of Brazil, an oil ship the length of New York City's Chrysler building is at the center of an escalating legal war. This battle pits the crude producer founded by Eike Batista, Brazil's most notorious ex-billionaire, against bondholders who loaned another of his companies $500 million. That company -- Batista's shipbuilder, OSX Brasil SA -- lost the rights to the vessel when it defaulted on bonds in March after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2013. The default hasn't stopped the oil company, known as OGpar, from continuing to pump oil -- free of charge. To bondholders who now own the rig, OGpar says: If you want it, come and get it. The clash is the latest chapter in the saga of Brazil's once-richest man, an investor-darling-turned-pariah who sold shares in six companies in a span of six years and lost more than $30 billion even faster when his commodities and energy empire collapsed. It's also a cautionary tale for Brazilian creditors, whose claims can get tied up for years and even decades in the nation's maze-like legal system. "Unless creditors send pirates from Algeria to go and get the vessel, the costs of executing the collateral are very high. OGpar is trying to gain time."Overdue Fees That leaves bondholders stumped: They could try to seize the ship, but only if a court and the government approves. And the tumble in crude prices means the vessel isn't worth what they're owed, anyway. They could leave the rig to OGpar while waiting for asset prices to rebound, but the oil producer is refusing to pay rental fees of as much as $265,000 a day.

Crashed jets may be easier to find as EU eyes tougher law

Black boxes on airliners would be easier to find under European Union plans to help future accident investigators after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The underwater locator beacon in an aircraft's black box, also known as the flight data and cockpit voice recorder, would have to operate for 90 days instead of 30 days by 2019, according to draft EU legislation. The new rules would also require airlines to track their aircraft over oceans as of 2021 -- a response to the vanishing in March 2014 of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing Co. 777. The disappearance of that plane on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board prompted the world's longest search for a commercial jet. A third element of the new EU law would ensure more information for crash investigators once they locate an aircraft by requiring that, by 2019, the cockpit voice recorder register conversations for 25 hours instead of two hours. The goal is "facilitating the recovery of information for the purposes of European civil-aviation safety investigations and improving flight-recorder performance and handling as well as the location of aircraft after an accident over water," according to the draft rules. The European Commission, the EU's Brussels-based regulatory arm, consulted member states in early July about the plan and intends to present it in November. The 28-nation EU is seeking to set an example for the International Civil Aviation Organization as regulators around the world mull new technological standards to aid accident investigations.

Microsoft said to invest big sum in Uber

Microsoft has agreed to invest in Uber, as part of a funding round that values the ride-hailing company at around $51 billion. If the deal is finalized, Microsoft's contribution would be a substantial amount of the financing, which totals about $1 billion. "We filed to authorize this new funding more than two months ago," an Uber said. "The filing is available to the public. We aren't commenting on additional speculation." This new round cements Uber's place as one of the most richly valued private companies ever, along with other start-ups like Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company valued by investors at around $45 billion, and Airbnb, the short-term lodging service valued at more than $24 billion.

Law firm discovers interesting fact about most bankrupt places in America

Lexington Law, a firm that bills itself as the leading credit repair firm, has compiled an interactive project that reveals the per capita rate of bankruptcy in every American county and state. The firm found that while some counties and states mired in bankruptcies also had high poverty rates, not every county or state did. In fact, according to the law firm's report, "no economic segment of the country seems immune to bankruptcy," as even "above the average income marker, bankruptcies appear at per capita rates similar to the average overall."

Law enforcement worries more about domestic than Islamic terrorism

Despite public perception about the threat of extremists inspired by al-Qaida and the Islamic State, a new study shows that law enforcement officers are more concerned about the homegrown terrorist next door. In addition, the study said, the violence associated with foreign-inspired extremists has remained low in comparison to domestic terrorism. “Local law enforcement agencies see the threat of terrorism inspired by al-Qaida and like-minded terrorist organizations as less of a threat than other forms of violent extremism, principally anti-government extremism," said the study.

Revenge porn law takes effect

A new law takes effect punishing anyone convicted of taking revenge on an "ex" by posting nude pictures. Two years-- that's how long someone could spend behind bars for publicizing a nude photo or video of someone over the age of 17, without their consent. "Kinda harsh but hopefully it'll get the message across." It's called revenge porn. "The person that you're in love with today could be your mortal enemy tomorrow and you could find those pictures you took in a consensual manner, on the internet," State Rep. Austin Badon said. The new law is necessary because so many people are falling victim to the crime. "You have people who are doing this with an intentional manner to cause emotional distress on other people so we had to step up," Badon says. People may be taking pictures or consenting to pictures at the moment but they're not consenting to it being distributed. In some cases, private images aren't just being posted to social media to cause embarrassment, they're being sold.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Game of thrones

Obama Poised to Unveil Aggressive Climate Change Plan

Business Week
Warren Buffett’s Family Secretly Funded a Birth Control Revolution

The Economist
For-profit education: The $1-a-week school

Der Spiegel
Schnell im Kopf

Oro sporco

  • Daily Press Review

Iraqis protest over power outages and poor services
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Settler terror underground seeks to overthrow Israeli government, say investigators
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Plan to evict failed asylum seekers
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

130,000 acres torched; biggest blaze just 5% contained
CNN International, London, England

Mario Balotelli shrugs off career worries as he parties back in Italy †
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Landlords who fail to check for illegal immigrants to face prison†
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Journalists in Mexico rally in protest over press intimidation after a prominent photographer and four women are murdered.
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Nigerian troops free 178 Boko Haram captives
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Record-breaking screenwriter still going strong
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Clean Power Plan: Barack Obama ignites war on coal to hit climate change targets
Independent The, London, England

Kent pays migrant kids' GBP 150 Dover-to-London cab fare due to lack of local foster homes
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn to play Raymond Briggs' parents in Ethel and Ernest
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Minister and students to meet today
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Age Difference Between Couples on the Way to Reversal
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

90 killed in lanslides, floods in Nepal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Tasmac shop gutted near native village of Sasi Perumal who died during anti-liquor protest in TN
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Delayed TPP stands to affect Japan's other global trade deals
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia
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

Iraqi Kurdistan says oil pipeline attack has led to stoppage
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Teen girl stabbed by anti-gay extremist at Jerusalem pride parade dies
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Kurdish militants target military outpost with deadly suicide bombing in Turkey
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

Greeks brace for stock market carnage after five-week shutdown
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Rescuers in Myanmar struggle to reach flood-hit areas, toll seen rising
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Federal election sure to be nasty, expensive and long
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Nigerian army frees Boko captives
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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