September 2, 2015 nº 1,666 - Vol. 13

"All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific."

 Lily Tomlin

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  • MiMIC Journal

US urges China to free Christian activists and lawyers

The US has called on China to release several lawyers and Christian leaders who were detained ahead of a meeting with a senior US official. Among the detainees is Zhang Kai, a prominent Christian lawyer, as well as pastors and activists. They were rounded up on 25 August, the evening before a planned meeting with David Saperstein, the US envoy for religious freedoms. He described it as a "particularly alarming development".

Slowing growth exposes Chinese banks' debt debris

Although overall bad debt levels remain relatively low, continued deterioration threatens to reverse years of profit growth.


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  • Historia verdadera


El presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, firmó con China un préstamo de US$ 5.000 mlls. para elevar su producción petrolera, estancada desde hace algunos años. El mandatario visitó China y Vietnam dijo que el préstamo servirá para elevar el bombeo de crudo de forma gradual en los próximos meses.


Un tribunal laboral brasileño halló culpable a unidades del Grupo Odebrecht de mantener a trabajadores en condiciones similares a la esclavitud en la construcción de un proyecto de una refinería de etanol en Angola. (Presione aquí)


El Banco Central argentino revocó la autorización para que dos de los máximos directivos de HSBC Bank Argentina SA sigan en sus funciones, en el marco de una causa legal donde se los objeta por incumplimientos en la prevención de lavado de dinero. (Presione aquí)


Sun International, el segundo más grande operador hotelero y de casinos de Sudáfrica, anunció que completó la fusión de su negocio en América Latina con la cadena chilena Dreams SA, creando un grupo valuado en cerca de US$ 400 mlls. Sun International controlará 55% de la compañía fusionada, que contará con 6,000 máquinas tragamonedas, 295 mesas de juego y más de 530 habitaciones de hotel en Chile, Panamá, Perú y Colombia.

  • Brief News

Uber loses bid to block drivers from suing as group for tips

Uber Technologies Inc. will have to defend a group lawsuit brought by drivers seeking the pay and benefits of employees. The judge's ruling may slow the company's growth and cut into its $50 billion valuation. It could affect Uber drivers around the country, even though the San Francisco case is limited to some of the 160,000 in California. Tuesday's ruling by US District Judge Edward Chen means Uber's California drivers can press as a group for reimbursement for tips. Changing drivers' status from contractors would entitle them to unemployment and workers' compensation as well as the right to unionize. Besides crimping Uber's "drive whenever you have time" motto, a jury verdict concluding many of its drivers are employees, if upheld on appeal, would damp profits.

Guatemala's Congress strips president of immunity

Guatemala's congress has voted in favor of removing immunity from the country's president Otto Perez Molina. The vote paves the way for possible prosecution in a corruption scandal that has sparked huge protests in recent months. Prosecutors last week accused Perez Molina of masterminding a scheme to defraud the customs service of millions of dollars. He denies wrongdoing. The resolution was passed by 132 votes in favor, well clear of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the motion in the 158-member congress. Under Guatemalan law the president will be automatically removed from office if remanded in custody. His former vice-president and a string of top officials have been force to resign over the scandal. It comes as the country prepares for presidential elections on Sunday.

India accuses Google of stifling competition

Indian authorities have accused internet giant Google of abusing its dominance in search advertising. The three year inquiry centers on complaints filed by several websites which claimed Google had been unfairly highlighting its own services. The accusations are similar to other allegations Google has faced in the US and Europe. The San Francisco based company says it is confident it will be cleared of wrongdoing in India.

EU court finds Italy denied immigrants' rights

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld a 2011 decision that countries must consider immigrants' asylum cases individually. According to the facts of the case, three Tunisian immigrants were detained by Italian authorities while trying to enter the country by boat. While detained the Tunisians claim that they faced degrading and inhuman treatment at the center in which they were held. The conditions at the center included sleeping on the floor, no doors separating toilets from showers and no contact with the outside world. After ten days of detention, the Tunisians were sent back to their home country as a group without individual consideration. In regards to the judgment in favor of the Tunisian citizens, "[t]he Court held that Italy was to pay each applicant 10,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and the applicants EUR 9,344.51, jointly, in respect of costs and expenses."

India law commission recommends abolition of death penalty for all non-terrorists

The Law Commission of India has recommended that the death penalty be abolished as a mode of punishment for all crimes except terrorism. This is the first time the Commission has addressed the death penalty since 1967, when they recommended the retention of the death penalty in India. The Supreme Court of India has upheld the death penalty in the past, though they have restricted it to "the rarest of rare cases, to reduce the arbitrariness of the penalty." In their concluding remarks, the Commission stated that "[t]he death penalty does not serve the penological goal of deterrence any more than life imprisonment," which, in India, truly means imprisonment for the duration of one's life. Further, in singling out acts of terrorism as those punishable by the death penalty, the Commission noted that there are many concerns that the abolition of the death penalty for these crimes will affect national security. Reasoning that the death penalty diverts attention from other problems infecting the criminal justice system, transforming retribution into vengeance. "The notion of an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth has no place in our constitutionally mediated criminal justice system."

Ukraine parliament passes decentralization resolution

Ukraine's parliament, on Monday, voted to give eastern regions a special status through constitutional changes in hopes of weakening their separatist drive. The bill was approved on a first reading, but still faces legislative and judicial hurdles. The resolution, aimed at decentralization of power, would divide Ukraine into "communities" which would be the "primary unit in the system of administrative and territorial structure." Governance within these communities would take into account "historical, economic, environmental, geographical and demographical peculiarities, ethnic and cultural traditions." Further, the draft law would "withdraw local state administrations from the constitutional regulation" and put an end to the institution of ears of local state administrations. Violent protests broke out after Monday's vote, leaving several injured.

Foreign companies in no hurry to move personal data to Russia

Foreign technology companies aren't rushing to move their Russian customers' personal data to local servers, as required this month by a law backed by President Vladimir Putin. The law requires companies such as Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to store the data in Russia to protect it from foreign security services from Sept. 1, following former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures about US government surveillance activities. Some companies are moving a minimum of data to Russia, while others are totally ignoring the law so far, waiting to establish if its enforcement will be severe.

RadioShack creditors sue hedge fund over chain's collapse

RadioShack Corp., the iconic consumer electronics chain, was driven into bankruptcy because of a takeover scheme by hedge fund Standard General LP, according to a lawsuit by a committee for creditors who say they are owed more than $500 million. By delaying actions that might have preserved some of the chain's value, Standard General allegedly sought to take over RadioShack at the lowest price possible. The creditors say turmoil at the company last year, including an October loan transaction that paved the way for the hedge fund to win control, led to RadioShack's February bankruptcy.

Judge rallies Brazil to anti-graft war

The Brazilian judge at the center of the investigation into widespread corruption at Petrobras has been rallying public support for the probe just as the impact on the economy from the scandal is starting to become clearer. In a series of events in São Paulo in recent days where he received rapturous receptions, Sérgio Moro called on the public to continue supporting the Petrobras investigation and insisted that corruption was the real danger to the economy, not its prosecution.

  • Daily Press Review

Obama nearing deal with Congress over Iran
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Western-backed Syrian rebels say kill foreign ISIS fighters in undercover strike
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

UK's in-out vote rules facing changes
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Source: China checking Ashley Madison for federal workers' names
CNN International, London, England

Bella Hadid seen amid rumours she and Gigi Hadid will join Victoria's Secret angels
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Jeremy Corbyn will have to swap Leninist cap for white tie if he is Labour leader
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Lebanon police break up 'You Stink' ministry sit-in
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Chaos in Hungary as Budapest rail station closed to migrants
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkey could rethink disputed air defense program
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

GBP 1.5m ancient Greek statue looted from Libyan heritage site 'must be returned'
Independent The, London, England

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

Tokyo drops Olympics logo over plagiarism claims
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Agatha Christie's trickiest novel voted her best after 'Poldark' signs up
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Court acquits man after controversial death penalty case
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Seoul Needs to Reassure U.S. Over China Ties
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Beijing braces for lockdown ahead of Chinese military parade
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Contested Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo scrapped amid plagiarism claim
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

A preview of new gear China's military showing off at parade
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

Former Australia PM Kevin Rudd wanted Hillary Clinton's sympathy: emails
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

In climate bid, Obama stares down melting Alaska glacier
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Chinese military parade to be a show of force
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

Oil prices extend losses on U.S. oil inventory, manufacturing data
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Native protesters seize oil wells in Peru to urge government action
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Despite need, aboriginal issues not getting much attention in election campaign
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

DR Congo's Ntaganda ICC trial to begin
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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