August 14, 2015 nº 1,659 - Vol. 13
 

"See what perils do environ those who meddle with hot iron."

 John Galsworthy

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Boost your marketing message with this 15-point website content checklist

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  • Top News

SEC use of administrative judges dealt setback

The US Securities and Exchange Commission's use of administrative law judges, greatly expanded following the enactment of the Dodd-Frank law, has received a setback. US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan Wednesday ruled that the agency's method for appointing its in-house judges "is likely unconstitutional." Berman held that because of the power they wield in overseeing internal cases, administrative judges probably should be appointed by the president or SEC commissioners. They're now named through the agency's normal hiring procedures. Last week, the judge said the agency could adopt an "easy fix" and change its appointment process. The SEC has so far refused. Berman's decision, along with two that reached a similar conclusion in Atlanta in June, poses a dilemma for the SEC. The agency's options include routing fewer cases to in-house judges or trying to challenge the ruling on appeal. The regulator has been holding administrative hearings for decades. Dodd-Frank, enacted in 2010, expanded the agency's jurisdiction beyond brokers and investment advisers and empowered its judges to issue orders and levy fines that previously had been available only in federal court. But the controversy extends well beyond the SEC. Other government agencies also use administrative law judges for disputes. Because the issue has potentially wide ramifications, the US Justice Department is handling the SEC's appeal in the litigation pending in Georgia.

Greek MPs back €85bn bailout deal

Greece's parliament has backed draft terms for a third bailout in five years after talks that lasted through the night and well into the morning. The proposed deal involves tax rises and spending cuts in return for a bailout of about €85bn ($95bn). Tsipras also survived a significant rebellion within his own Syriza party. There were 222 votes for the deal, 64 against and 11 abstentions. But there were 31 "No" votes from Syriza members, and 11 abstentions - the biggest rebellion within Mr Tsipras' government so far. Reports in Greece said he will ask for a confidence vote before parliament in the next week. Greece faces an urgent deadline on 20 August, when it must repay about €3.2bn to the European Central Bank (ECB). If it had failed to agree on new terms for a bailout, the ECB is likely to have stopped giving emergency funds to Greek banks. The terms of the bailout will be discussed by eurozone finance ministers later on Friday.

US seeks to seize $1 billion in telecom probe

US authorities are asking European counterparts to seize about $1 billion in assets related to a wide-ranging criminal probe of alleged corruption by three global telecom companies and intermediaries close to the daughter of Uzbekistan's president. The effort is one of the biggest recent moves by US authorities targeting what prosecutors believe are the spoils of alleged corrupt activities overseas. The US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission probes were disclosed last year, and related investigations by European counterparts have been under way for several years. But the recent move by the US to seize assets sheds new light on the magnitude of the corruption American prosecutors believe took place. US prosecutors believe Amsterdam-based Vimpelcom Ltd. , Mobile TeleSystems PJSC of Russia and Sweden's TeliaSonera AB funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses controlled by Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, in an effort to secure wireless frequencies and other deals in that country. No individual or company has been charged as part of the US and European investigations. The three companies disclosed last year they were the focus of investigations by the Justice Department and the SEC in connection to their operations in Uzbekistan. They declined to comment on the corruption accusations, saying only that they were cooperating with US and European judicial authorities.

FTC issues guidelines on powers to police unfair competition

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday released its first guidelines on its authority to police "unfair" competition, giving businesses more clarity on actions that could invite scrutiny from antitrust authorities. The FTC's policy statement outlines basic principles the commission will use when it considers taking action under Section 5 of the 1914 FTC Act, which says "unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce" are illegal. "Our aim in adopting this policy statement is to reaffirm the principles that guide our enforcement decisions, leaving for future generations the flexibility to do the same," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. Ramirez said Thursday's statement doesn't signal a change in course. Instead, it "makes explicit what has been evident to close observers of FTC enforcement actions over the past few decades," she said. The FTC vote to adopt the policy was a bipartisan 4-1 tally, with three Democrats and a Republican in the majority.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Amnesty approves policy to decriminalise sex trade - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China again lets its currency fall, and stocks follow

China has set the guiding rate for its yuan currency lower for a third consecutive day. But Thursday's rate of 1% down against the dollar was a smaller margin than the shock cuts earlier in the week. The bank had on Tuesday announced it would start setting the daily rate based partly on the previous day's trading, bringing the yuan closer to a free-floating currency. The move triggered concerns over a currency war to boost China's exports. Recent economic data had seen a decline in Chinese exports, adding to the worries that the world's second largest economy was headed for a prolonged slowdown. A weaker yuan will make products cheaper abroad, meaning Chinese companies are more competitive on international markets.

China examines aftermath of immense twin explosions that killed dozens

The powerful blasts toppled stacks of shipping containers, scorched hundreds of cars in nearby lots, and blasted out the windows of cars and buildings. Gao Huaiyou, deputy director of Tianjin's work safety watchdog, told reporters that there were major discrepancies between the accounts of company managers and customs officials. The blasts have become one of the biggest talking points on Chinese social media in the last 24 hours, with Weibo posts on the explosion being viewed more than 590 million times. More than a million users have also been actively posting about the blast. Tianjin local television "only showed soap operas" after the incident. "Netizens were censored."

  • Law Firm Marketing

Boost your marketing message with this 15-point website content checklist
By Tom Trush

Your website content is an essential piece in the persuasion process.

Its effectiveness determines how well your marketing message appeals to your prospects' emotional senses that trigger action. The writing on your website also affects whether people can find you and your business using search engines.

When you have poor website content, your ability to collect leads diminishes and your online sales suffer.

I encourage you to print out this checklist and set aside a few minutes to review the questions below. Then mark the items that apply to your current website content.

If you're missing more than two of the following 15 items (and please be honest with yourself), then don't wait to adjust your writing.

Are you ready? Here we go ...

> Do you have compelling headlines? Use the text at the top of your content to instantly grab your prospects' attention and encourage further reading.

> Have you stated your prospects' problem and explained the need for a solution? Identify the problem, clarify the need for a fix and then work your product or service into the solution.

> Are your words easy to understand? Write your website content as if it's a one-on-one conversation ("talk" directly to a single prospect), avoid using unfamiliar industry jargon and match the language your prospects use to describe their situation.

> Are keywords incorporated into your content? Include keywords used by your target audience -- and variations of those keywords -- in title tags, headers, anchor text and your body content so search engines know what your website is about.

> Have you focused on your prospects' needs? Curb your desire for an instant sale or inquiry and instead offer information that helps address your prospects' problems.

> Have you expanded your features to create benefits? A feature is a fact (e.g., the lawnmower has a 21-inch cutting blade), while a benefit explains an outcome resulting from the feature (e.g., you slice a wider cutting path so you slash your mowing time by as much as 51%).

> Have you answered WIIFM? Explain how your solution addresses the subconscious question your prospects can't ignore -- What's in it for me?

> Do you offer several ways to interact with your prospects? Encourage involvement by asking for questions or driving prospects to other contact channels (e.g., your Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog, etc.)

> Do you have a way to collect your prospects' e-mail addresses? Allow prospects to qualify themselves and gain knowledge, while you grow a valuable list of people who express a need for your product or service.

> Have you linked your content (i.e., anchor text) to other sections of your website? Direct prospects to internal pages with more in-depth information so they gain a greater understanding of their problem and you keep them on your website longer.

> Are your claims backed up with proof? Incorporate testimonials, case studies, letters of recommendation, media references, published articles, celebrity endorsements and demonstrations of your product or service.

> Do you have a call to action? Tell prospects on every page the specific step you want them to take next.

> Is your content "skimmable" with subheads and bullets? Format your text so it matches the natural reading style of Internet users, which is to skim first and then re-read in more detail.

> Is your content free from typos and spelling errors? Let someone else look over your content so it gets a fresh perspective.

> Have you eliminated unnecessary text? Cut excessive words so you have tighter sentences and clearer ideas.

Tom Trush is available at http://www.writewaysolutions.com

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© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Demanda colectiva

Emprendedores de Chile anticipan entrar con una demanda colectiva contra el Google por publicidad engañosa. La denuncia es por la aplicación de impuestos por el uso de su aplicativo Google Adwords. (Presione aquí)

Comercio exterior

El Comité de Comercio Exterior de Ecuador en su sesión plenaria de este 13/08/2015 emitió dictamen favorable para iniciar negociaciones de un Acuerdo Estratégico de Cooperación Económica con la República de Corea.

Negocios

El grupo mexicano FEMSA afina detalles para concretar la compra de la cadena chilena de farmacias Cruz Verde, en una operación que sería anunciada en el corto plazo y que superaría los US$ 1.000 mlls.

  • Brief News

International hacking scheme members indicted

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday indicted an international web of hackers and traders who stole information from press releases prior to publication and traded on said information, making over $100 million in illegal profits. The SEC filed the complaint against 32 defendants on Monday in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, which entered an asset freeze that day. In the SEC's release, it was noted that "this international scheme is unprecedented in terms of the scope of the hacking, the number of traders, the number of securities traded and profits generated." According to the complaint, hackers hid their intrusions and recruited traders with videos documenting their ability to steal such information prior to public release, which the traders could then use to their benefit in the stock market. In return, the traders paid the hackers a share of the profits. The complaint charges violations of anti-fraud laws and related SEC anti-fraud rules, "and seeks a final judgment ordering the defendants to pay penalties, return their allegedly ill-gotten against with prejudgment interest, and be subject to permanent injunctions from future violations of the anti-fraud laws."

Will law firms flock to .law domain?

Starting in mid-October, law firms and credentialed lawyers will be able to purchase web addresses ending in .law, a new domain reserved for their industry. The .law domain is part of a new wave of so-called top-level domains that became available after ICANN, the nonprofit that regulates the Internet, ended restrictions on suffixes for site names in 2011. Minds + Machines last year won an auction for .law and was granted an exclusive license to operate it through an agreement with ICANN. At the moment, the company is restricting sales to law firms and credentialed lawyers. As part of a marketing push, it gave three influential firms a .law registration for free. The company in an announcement last week touted those firms, DLA Piper, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and SCOTUSblog-affiliated Russell & Goldstein PC as "early adopters of .law." A lawyer at one of the firms that was gifted a law domain expressed skepticism about its value, saying Internet users already know how to find them on the Internet. "It won't make a huge difference, but it certainly can't hurt," the lawyer said. Other law firms are going to have to pay get a .law domain. The price to register .law starts at $200. Minds + Machines says domains for practice areas, like divorce.law or antitrust.law, will cost more with prices subject to negotiation. The company hopes the practice-area domains will appeal to lawyers who in the past paid a premium for easy-to-remember phone numbers like 1-800 DIVORCE or 1-800 INNOCENT.

Brazilian merger activity has collapsed to its lowest level in 10 years amid political crisis

Brazilian mergers plunged 44 percent this year to the lowest since 2005 as threats of impeachment, devaluation and recession stymie deal talks. Companies in South America's largest economy announced $29 billion of acquisitions this year through Aug. 11, compared with $52 billion for the same period of 2014. The slide runs counter to the global market, where mergers are set to pass $3 trillion for the first time since 2007. The merger business is shrinking in Brazil as Dilma Rousseff bats away attempts to remove her from office, putting at risk her policies to address the worst economic contraction in a quarter century. The nation's currency, the real, is this year's worst performer among emerging-market economies, tumbling 24 percent, amid a corruption scandal that fueled a credit squeeze for some of Brazil's biggest firms. "Price agreements between parties are harder to reach because of the real's volatility and the perception of asset-value volatility," Daniel Wainstein, who heads merger-advisory firm Greenhill & Co in Sao Paulo, said.

Law curbing public assembly takes effect in Thailand

Thailand's military-installed prime minister defended a new law that places tight restrictions on public gatherings and warned Thursday it will be strictly enforced. Human rights groups have voiced concern about the Public Assembly Act, which took effect Thursday, and its stiff penalties. It is the latest restrictive measure to be put in place since the military ousted an elected government in a coup last year, following years of political demonstrations that led to violence and often paralyzed the country's capital. The law requires that protesters apply for permission from police for rallies at least 24 hours in advance. It bans all demonstrations within 150 meters (500 feet) of the prime minister's headquarters known as Government House, Parliament, royal palaces and courthouses unless a specific area has been authorized and designated by authorities. It also bars protesters from blocking entrances or creating a disturbance at government offices, airports, seaports, train and bus stations, hospitals, schools and embassies. Thailand has had waves of massive anti-government protests over the past decade that spread to key government offices, Bangkok's central business district and major airports.

Russia adds countries to food import ban over sanctions

Russia has extended its list of countries subject to a food import ban in retaliation for Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. Prime Minister Medvedev said the ban would now apply to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Albania and Montenegro. He said Ukraine would be added in 2016 if an economic agreement between Kiev and the European Union came into force. The bulldozing of tonnes of Western-produced cheese and other foodstuffs has angered anti-poverty campaigners. The move comes after the EU and US introduced sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea and actions in eastern Ukraine.

Julian Assange case: UK to make formal protest to Ecuador

The UK is to make a formal protest to the government of Ecuador over the country's decision to "harbour" Julian Assange, the Foreign Office has said. UK officials said the bill for policing the embassy, which stands at £12m ($18.8m; €16.8m), was "unacceptable". The British Ambassador in Quito, Ecuador's capital, is to make the formal protest to the Ecuadorean government on Thursday. "Ecuador must recognize that its decision to harbor Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice... It is completely unacceptable that the British taxpayer has had to foot the bill for this abuse of diplomatic relations." With the five-year statute of limitations deadline approaching, Julian Assange could be cleared of three out of four accusations of sex crimes. One allegation of rape remains.

Greece economy in surprise return to growth

The Greek economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, confounding expectations of a steep contraction. The official figures, based on a flash estimate, also revised a reading of 0.2% negative growth in the first quarter to a flat reading, showing no change in economic activity. Some economic activity indicators in the second quarter, including consumption, industrial production and tourism, had shown particular resilience.

North Korea Vice Premier executed

South Korean Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday reported that Kim Jong-un executed North Korea's Vice Premier by firing squad earlier this year. The South Korea news agency cited an unnamed source which claims that 63-year-old Choe Yong gon was executed for expressing his disapproval of Kim Jong-un's forestation policy. The Ministry of Unification have addressed the possibility of the execution stating, "Choe has not been seen publicly for about past eight months since he was last witnessed in December last year at the ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the death of North's former leader Kim Jong-il." If the unnamed source is accurate, then the Vice Premier becomes another victim to Kim Jong-un's high profile executions which have been criticized by the international community.

BP Faces Penalties as Judge Sees Texas Gas-Market Manipulation

BP Plc faces millions of dollars in penalties and surrendered profits after a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge concluded Thursday that the natural gas producer manipulated markets in Texas in 2008. BP artificially lowered the price of gas at a Houston hub in 2008 for financial gain, FERC Administrative Law Judge Carmen Cintron in Washington said in a non-binding ruling. The judge's decision will be voted on by FERC's five-member commission, which will issue a final ruling on the case.

Palestine documents leaked claiming political corruption

The Palestinian government on Wednesday defended its record after documents were leaked claiming officials have attempted to misuse public funds. It is reported the documents reveal efforts to fund a private neighborhood complex for government officials, pay for a official's daughter's schooling and pay for an official's family's medical bills. A Palestinian official who has remained anonymous has confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents proving the allegations of political corruption to be true. The corruption evidenced in the numerous documents has lead to criticism from Palestinians who have now challenged all their official's reputations and finances. Many have called for government reform to address the allegations brought forward to end any effort to misuse funds.

India seeking $99 million from Nestle over noodle soup scare

A class action claims "gross negligence, apathy and callousness" over what the government says were tainted batches of the company's popular Maggi brand of instant noodles.

Samsung loses bid for rehearing in patent appeal

Samsung Electronics Co. was rebuffed in its request for reconsideration of whether it infringed Apple Inc.'s patented designs for smartphones. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington on Thursday denied a petition for a rehearing in the case, which was originally decided in May. A three-judge panel at that time upheld about $548 million worth of damages won by the iPhone maker. The case will now be sent back to the trial court in California to see the full amount Samsung will have to pay. Samsung argued that the May decision was wrong on the finding of infringement of the designs, and for allowing damages to be based on Samsung's entire profit rather than just a fraction of that amount.

In good times or bad, Brazil banks profit

With sky-high interest rates for consumers and businesses, favorable government policies and limited competition, Brazil's banks do well, even when the broader economy is faltering.

Academy can reclaim auctioned Oscar statuette for $10

The Academy is not always successful at stopping Oscar sales. An Oscar statuette that changed hands last year for $79,200 (£50,726) can be reclaimed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for just $10 (£6.40), a Los Angeles judge has ruled. The Academy tried to prevent the sale, claiming it breached a rule, instituted in 1951, that Oscar winners and their heirs cannot sell statuettes without first offering it to the organization for $10. "The Oscar is perhaps the world's most distinctive and prestigious award for achievement in the arts. This case established that the Academy can maintain the dignity and value of such an award by keeping it from becoming a commodity."

Pearson's stake in Economist group to be sold to other shareholders

The British education company Pearson agreed on Wednesday to sell its 50 percent stake in the Economist Group, the publisher of The Economist, to other shareholders of the group for $730 million. Pearson, which sold The Financial Times last month, is trying to streamline its operations to focus primarily on its core education and assessment businesses. The biggest participant in the Economist Group transaction will be Exor, the Italian holding company of the Agnelli family, which is a major shareholder in Fiat Chrysler. Exor, which already holds a stake of almost 5 percent in the Economist Group, will pay 286.5 million pounds, or about $446 million, for a combination of 27.8 percent of the Economist Group's so-called ordinary shares and all of the company's Class B shares. The Economist Group said it would sell its London headquarters to help pay for the share buyback. An increased stake in the London-based publisher will not increase Exor's influence. That is because of a complicated trust structure that essentially ensures that the Economist Group cannot be taken over by owners eager to impose their own interests. (Click here)

  • Daily Press Review

China sends chemical experts to Tianjin blast site
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Palestinian prisoner loses consciousness 60 days into hunger strike
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Back anyone but Corbyn, Kendall urges
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

9-year-old saves grandpa
CNN International, London, England

Benedict Cumberbatch does autographs and selfies after Hamelt with fans
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Chester man whose wife died at Dignitas 18 months ago will end his own life
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico's Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Greek lawmakers approve third bailout deal after all-night debate
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Civil engineers' warning for Aspendos Theater
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Tianjin explosions: Teenage survivor pulled from wreckage after 32 hours as authorities warn another blast could hit 'at any time'
Independent The, London, England

Analysis: 'Islamic State will use any weapon they can to spread panic'
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Benedict Cumberbatch in pictures
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Huge warehouse blasts hit Tianjin
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Google Gets Second Extension in EU Antitrust Case
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

US presses China on human rights; Beijing brings up Ferguson
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Number of suicides among married men on rise in state
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Japanese firms assess damage amid aftermath of deadly blasts in Tianjin
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Pakistan renews talks offer to India on resolving Kashmir
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

Bungling Beijing's stock markets: Why China's economic problems bode ill for the world as a whole
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Joe Biden's big decision: make a 3rd attempt for president?
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Jeb Bush says he would not rule out use of torture by government
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

Asia shares on track for weekly losses; crude oil slumps
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Greek government secures votes to pass bailout in parliament
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Nigel Wright's payment described as 'deliberately deceptive scenario,' Duffy trial told
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Boko Haram deadline for Nigeria army
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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