September 16, 2015 nº 1,670 - Vol. 13

"Sanity is the lot of those who are most obtuse, for lucidity destroys one's equilibrium: it is unhealthy to honestly endure the labors of the mind which incessantly contradict what they have just established."

Georges Bataille

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  • Top News

Federal appeals court bolsters power of 'fair use' in copyright law

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday ruled that copyright owners must consider "fair use" before demanding the removal of online materials. The fair use doctrine, composed of a four-part test, essentially permits use of copyrighted materials where the use in question is sufficiently transformative to have little to no impact on the marketability of the original. Before this ruling, copyright owners would routinely send takedown demands to websites such as YouTube without justification or consideration of fair use.

UN rights chief urges 'effective and principled migration governance'

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday, gave the opening statement at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in which he addressed, among other pressing human rights issues, the migrant crisis. In his statement, he commended the efforts of ordinary citizens in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK who have opened their homes to refugees and have galvanized politically to help with the crisis. While acknowledging that there are no easy or quick solutions, Hussein implored "decision-makers in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific - as well as Europe - to take swift action to establish effective and principled migration governance." He stated that while countries have a right of sovereignty and to determine who can and cannot enter the country, they have "have an obligation to respect international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law."

EU battles over refugee quotas as Hungary strengthens border

European Union governments fell short of a consensus on sharing the burdens of sheltering people fleeing war zones in the Middle East and Africa, as the refugee crisis assumed dimensions that overwhelmed even the bloc's most advanced economies. EU interior ministers signed off on existing plans to house 40,000 refugees but agreed only to the broad outlines of proposals to relocate an additional 120,000, as a cluster of eastern European countries continued to balk at a proposed quota system. Germany's prediction that it alone could be the destination for 1 million migrants in 2015 laid bare the scale of the crisis, which has turned the cross-continental wanderings of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and others into a test of Europe's cohesion.

Uber case highlights outdated worker protection laws

A dispute in California over whether Uber's drivers are employees or contractors shows that labor laws that were passed decades ago just don't work in the smartphone world. But it's not just about the workplace. This litigation is becoming a Rorschach test for people's views of the sharing economy and whether it is a force for good — or for exploitation. In the California case, a law firm based in Boston has brought a class-action lawsuit against Uber, contending that its drivers are illegally paid as independent contractors and not employees. As with most disputes, this one is about the money. If Uber's drivers are employees, then they are entitled to the benefits that go with such classification, such as unemployment insurance and overtime, that are not required to be bestowed upon independent contractors. Uber's critics say the company is exploiting workers by not paying the benefits of employment. The sharing economy, some of them say, is doomed to further enhance inequality in the United States. Uber would appear to be another example of how the average worker in America, particularly the unskilled one, can no longer make a living wage or even get a real job. Uber and its supporters, however, contend that its drivers want this system. Uber is a technology service for matching drivers and customers and therefore is a middleman no different from, say, eBay or Etsy.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Google Found Guilty of ‘Abusing Dominant Market Position’ in Russia - click here.

2 - Iran: Criminals sentenced to buy books - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China names veteran diplomat to lead global crime team

China named a veteran diplomat to lead its global hunt for fugitive former officials, part of the Communist Party's effort to improve cooperation with overseas law enforcement authorities in corruption cases. Former Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao has been installed as director general for international cooperation at the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The division of the anti-graft agency oversees Sky Net, President Xi Jinping's initiative to repatriate corruption suspects.

US confirms state visit for Xi Jinping

US has confirmed Chinese President Xi Jinping will be given a state welcome when he visits in September. The White House said Xi would be hosted at the White House for a state dinner on 25 September. It will be "an opportunity to expand US-China co-operation", said a spokesman, and to "address areas of disagreement constructively". Among the issues likely to be on the agenda for the visit is China's increasing assertion of power over territory it claims as its own in the South and East China Sea. Cyber espionage will also be a point of tension.

China official says Hong Kong chief above judiciary, legislature

China's top official in Hong Kong has dispelled the notion of a separation of powers in the city and says the chief executive has authority over the executive, judiciary and legislature branches. In a speech titled "the correct understanding of Hong Kong's political system," Zhang Xiaoming, head of the city's central government liaison office, said he picked a controversial issue to discuss in order to tackle the issue head on. "It should be clear that Hong Kong does not implement the political system of separation of powers," said Zhang, at an event commemorating the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution. "It didn't before the reunification, nor does it after the reunification."


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  • Historia Verdadera


La filial de la española Iberdrola USA y UIL Holding Corporation de EE.UU. han alcanzado un preacuerdo con las autoridades de Connecticut, un avance esencial para desatascar la fusión de ambas entidades que habían frenado los reguladores del Estado. No obstante, aún deben superar el examen del supervisor del mercado, la SEC, y la del comité encargado de las inversiones extranjeras. La aprobación por parte de los reguladores estatales es una de las nueve necesarias para llevar a cabo la operación, valorada en 3.600 millones de euros. (Presione aquí)


El brasileño Grupo BTG Pactual SA, el mayor banco de inversión independiente en los mercados emergentes, concluyó la adquisición de la firma de banca privada suiza BSI Group en US$ 1,290 mlls. (Presione aquí)


La centenaria disputa territorial entre Venezuela y Guyana, que se avivó en mayo a raíz de un descubrimiento petrolero, ha dado un giro tecnológico y ahora involucra al gigante de internet Google. La pequeña nación de habla inglesa solicitará al gigante tecnológico que modifique los nombres asignados en su sistema de mapas a algunas vías que están en un área fronteriza con Venezuela, que ambos países reclaman como suya, por estar en el idioma español, informó el primer ministro guyanés. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

California legislature approves aid-in-dying bill

The California State Legislature on Friday approved the End of Life Option Act1 by a vote of 23-14. The measure would allow doctors to provide terminally ill patients with and aid-in-dying drug that a patient takes with the purpose of ending his or her own life. The bill now proceeds to the office of California Governor Jerry Brown for final approval. Under the legislation, doctors would have to consult with patients in private to ensure the individual is not being coerced into ending their own life. Experts caution that the bill may lead to situations where lower-income individuals seek out assisted-suicide as an alternative to dealing with expensive medical care or treatments. National legal support includes the Death With Dignity National Center, and supporters of the bill argue its approval in California could mark a change in the national viewpoint towards the aid-in-dying or death with dignity movement. If Brown takes no action on the bill, it will become law 30 days from Friday.

Putin defends Russian military support for Syrian regime

Putin has pledged continued military support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad despite growing concerns over Moscow's role in the war. He urged other countries to join Russia in sending "military-technical assistance". He said the flow of refugees to Europe would have been "even bigger" without Russian support for Syria's government. But the White House said Russia's support for President Assad was "counterproductive". The US would prefer to see more "constructive engagement" from Russia with the coalition against so-called Islamic State (IS). Moscow has been a key ally of Assad throughout the bloody civil war, which began in 2011. It says military equipment is being sent to Syria to help the government combat IS.

Top court backs German block on EU migrant benefits

Germany can bar EU migrants from certain social security benefits even if they have previously worked in Germany, the EU's top court has ruled. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling applies to all EU member states. Even after six months' residence in an EU state a migrant may still be refused any social assistance, the ECJ ruled. Denying certain non-contributory benefits - also called "social assistance" - to EU jobseekers from another EU country "does not contravene the principle of equal treatment", the ECJ said. The judgment concerned a Bosnian-born Swedish national - Nazifa Alimanovic - who had claimed subsistence allowances after losing her job in Germany. Changes to EU policy on migrant benefits are a key part of his renegotiation, ahead of a UK in/out referendum on EU membership, set to take place by the end of 2017.

Hewlett-Packard to cut 25-30,000 jobs as it plans split

Hewlett-Packard says it will cut another 25-30,000 jobs, 10% of its workforce, as it plans to split the company in two. It follows 55,000 job cuts announced earlier this year. The losses will come in Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which is splitting from the printer and PC business. The company says the cuts will save $2.7bn in annual costs, although the plan will cost $2.7bn to carry out. The new structure proposed by Meg Whitman sees HP Enterprise focusing primarily on businesses and government agencies, and the PC and printing divisions on the consumer market.

France court blocks extradition of genocide suspect

A court in Toulouse, France, on Tuesday refused extradition requests for a Rwandan man facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Joseph Habyarimana allegedly incited the murder of monks when he worked in a monastery in 1994. Authorities accuse Habyarimana of identifying Tutsi monks to killers. The court stated it denied extradition because his actions were not crimes at the time they were committed. Many Rwandans have criticized this decision, comparing it to trials of former Nazi collaborators.

Kremlin denies Putin phoned over gay rights

The Kremlin has firmly denied that Putin contacted pop star Elton John, who has said he wants to talk to him about gay rights. Sir Elton had said he wanted to talk to Putin about his "ridiculous" stance. Later, a message on the musician's Instagram account thanked Putin for "reaching out" in a phone conversation. But a Kremlin spokesman said no conversation between the two men had taken place - and hinted that the call could have been a hoax.

Argentine Falklands war troops 'tortured by their own side'

Argentine soldiers were subjected to abuse and torture by their own superiors during the 1982 Falklands War against Britain, files released by Argentina's armed forces reveal. They are the first official documents from the conflict to be made public and contain testimonies from soldiers who say they were poorly equipped and cold. They say they were severely beaten for leaving the trenches to look for food. The conflict over the islands cost the lives of more than 900 soldiers.

Turkey targets Dogan media 'terror propaganda'

Turkish prosecutors have begun an inquiry into a big media group, after photos were published of dead soldiers. The inquiry into the Dogan group, which owns Hurriyet newspaper and partly owns CNN Turk TV, also involves an interview with an alleged Kurdish PKK militant. A ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK unraveled in July and the conflict has escalated in recent weeks. As tensions increased, protesters attacked Hurriyet's offices last week. Pro-government demonstrators accused the paper of misquoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Brazilian court said to lean toward rejecting Rousseff accounts

The momentum has shifted against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in a ruling on her government's finances that could be decisive in attempts to impeach her, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Most members of Brazil's audit court known as the TCU are leaning toward a ruling against Rousseff. Pressure from civil society makes it difficult for court members to go back on a preliminary June decision that said Rousseff's 2014 accounting practices were illegal. The TCU's decision is expected in October and could shift the balance on starting impeachment proceedings. Leaders from ruling coalition parties on Tuesday came out in support of Rousseff, saying attempts to remove her from office only exacerbate the country's economic malaise by heightening uncertainty. Also on Tuesday, opposition parties formally questioned the lower house president on procedural issues involving impeachment.

Facebook backs German anti-racism drive

Facebook has promised new measures to help Germany counter racism and anti-migrant abuse on the internet. Facebook says it will promote "counter speech" in Germany to combat such prejudices and will deploy experts to monitor hate speech and act against it. It was a response to German government concern about a spate of race hate messages, some targeting politicians who defended the rights of migrants. The government has urged Facebook to do more to delete and combat racist abuse. Germany's official welcome for a record number of refugees - mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - has triggered a backlash from nationalists, including neo-Nazis.

South Korea top court upholds ban on divorce rights for unfaithful spouses

The Supreme Court of South Korea on Tuesday upheld a law that forbids an unfaithful spouse from filing for divorce. The 7-6 ruling was the result of a challenge to the law by a man seeking to divorce a wife he left 15 years ago for another woman. In affirming that "the spouse who is mainly responsible for a broken marriage cannot file for divorce," the court stated that its ruling was due in part to a need to protect women from their husbands divorcing them without justifiable complaint in a country where gender equality still needs to improve. Couples may still end their marriage if the spouses are able to agree on a settlement.

The Facebook vigilantes catching thieves - and punishing them

A large and often violent vigilante movement is spreading on Facebook in Peru. “Next time we catch a criminal, we won't call the police but we will punish them ourselves," is the emerging strategy. Citizens have launched hundreds of Facebook pages called "Chapa tu choro", or "Catch your thief" and more are being created all the time. Many have far more brutal names than the original, adding phrases like "leave him paralyzed", "cut off his hands" and "castrate him" into the title. These are encouraging criminal violence against alleged thieves, without any trial to determine their guilt or innocence. So why are the vigilantes happy, or even proud, to post evidence of their actions on Facebook? Well, to date, none of them have been arrested by the police. Acceptance of this kind of justice is very high in Peru, more so than in other Latin American countries according to a recent study.

Thumbs Down: Facebook finally will add a 'dislike' mechanism

Facebook is to add a "dislike" button to its social network, founder Mark Zuckerberg has said. Users have constantly requested a “dislike” button since the introduction of the now-iconic "like" button in 2009. He said he did not want it to be a mechanism with which people could "down vote" others' posts. Instead, it will be for times when clicking "like" on "sad" posts felt insensitive. Social scientists profess that users will not suddenly turn on each other's posts. "They may use a dislike button to express some negative emotions (like frustration with ads popping up in their feeds) but I doubt it will cause them to start wantonly disliking pictures of their friends' babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments. I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss."

Brazil cuts spending and raises taxes

The Brazilian government has announced a $7bn (£4.5bn) package of spending cuts aimed at plugging a huge black hole in the country's 2016 budget. At the same time, it unveiled plans to raise another $8bn by bringing back an unpopular financial transactions tax that was abolished eight years ago. The government is struggling to pull the country's economy out of recession. It has also been hurt by the slump in Dilma Rousseff's public approval rating, which is now just 8%.

At massive Dallas rally, Trump's speech lacks policy

Donald Trump addressed a crowd of thousands at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Monday. He spoke mostly about himself but also addressed illegal immigration, which drew a thunderous reaction.

France court upholds poisoning ruling against agriculture company Monsanto

The Lyon Appeals Court in France upheld a 2012 ruling on Thursday in which the agricultural company Monsanto was found guilty of chemical poisoning of French farmer Paul Francois. Francois said he suffered various neurological problems as a result of inhaling the US company's Lasso weedkiller. Monsanto was ordered to fully compensate the grain grower for his ailments. Monsanto's lawyer said the company would now take the case to France's highest appeals court on the theory that experts had found no causal link between the alleged exposure and the health effects Francois claims.

FDA orders four Reynolds cigarette products off the market

Four cigarette types from Reynolds American Inc. can no longer be sold in the US, after the Food and Drug Administration said they violate a 2009 law that gave the agency authority over the tobacco industry. On Tuesday, the FDA ordered a halt to the sale and distribution of Reynolds's Camel Crush Bold and three other products, according to an agency statement. Camel Crush cigarettes have a menthol capsule in the filter that releases flavor when squeezed. The other products include Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes.

  • Daily Press Review

Pirates of the Bay of Bengal
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Netanyahu: Israel expanding its 'war on stone-throwing' beyond Jerusalem
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Corbyn set for first Cameron clash
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

N.K.: Ready to use nukes 'any time'
CNN International, London, England

Sam Faiers wraps up in snakeskin-effect coat at FriendsFest party
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Apple's iOS 9 update release will save iPhone battery life and speed up browsing
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

US floods: At least 16 dead in Utah
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Migrants head to Croatia as Hungary shuts borders
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Istanbul to get into jazz groove for 25th festival
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

British Isis jihadists 'had phones hacked by GCHQ' before they were killed by drone strikes
Independent The, London, England

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

Former Australian PM Tony Abbott mocked for fax resignation
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Never-before-seen photos of stars revealed for TV Times magazine's anniversary
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Russian moves in Syria flummox US
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

A False Move from N.Korea Would Have Dire Consequences
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Binladin Group sanctioned by Saudi King for Mecca crane crash
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Justice Ministry unveils eased refugee-recognition criteria but critics quick to cry foul
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Burundi: Over 100 arrested in 1 province amid rebel fears
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

Apple-supplier Imagination warns of H1 loss on semi-conductor slowdown
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

With Hungary closed off, some refugees turn to Croatia path to Europe
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Hundreds of Syrians find shelter in impoverished country on edge of Sahara
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

Shares rise, dollar frozen ahead of Fed rate decision
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Assad says only Syrian people can decide if he quits
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Wynne vows to work with whoever is PM
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Zimbabwe's Mugabe reads wrong speech
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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