October 21, 2015 nº 1,685 - Vol. 13

"When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them."

Evelyn Waugh

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  • Top News

Mistrial is declared in Dewey & LeBoeuf case

It was the rare trial that had captured the attention of lawyers across the country: a criminal case against some of their own, the top leaders of a once large and prominent law firm. But the month’s long case against three former executives of Dewey & LeBoeuf resulted in a mistrial on Monday as a Manhattan jury deadlocked on dozens of charges after 21 days of deliberations. The jury of seven women and five men had previously acquitted the defendants on dozens of charges. But they told the trial judge on Monday that they remained "hopelessly deadlocked" on the remaining 93 charges, including some of the most serious offenses such as grand larceny and scheme to defraud.

Jury in Dewey law-firm case felt inundated by details

Prosecutors spent four months trying to prove why three former executives of Dewey & LeBoeuf were guilty of more than 150 counts in a financial fraud scheme. In the jury room, it proved to be too much to handle.

UN rights expert concerned over violence across Occupied Palestinian Territory

UN Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono expressed "grave concern" Friday over the intensification of violence across Occupied Palestinian Territory. In his statement he urged Israel to "exercise restraint and to recognise that all, including Palestinians, have equal right to respect for their human rights and their dignity." Palestinian deaths have been on the rise, as have complaints that Israeli officials have been using excessive force against Palestinians. Wibisono continued to urge Israeli officials to recognize that all life deserves to be protected and to diffuse volatile situations "in accordance with international law."

New guideline on gun-jumping

New guidelines, recently issued by the Brazilian Antitrust Commission, about how to proceed to avoid risk of gun-jumping are discussed in this article by Pedro Paulo Salles Cristofaro and Guilherme Leporace, lawyers from Lobo & Ibeas Advogados. (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

1 - Canada's Trudeau topples PM Harper in shock election win - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Yum Brands to split China business into separate company

The move came after Yum Brands announced this month that the pace of recovery in its Chinese business was "below our expectations" as it reported weaker earnings than expected.

China has an odd way of manipulating the Yuan

The US Treasury has concluded that none of its major trading partners are driving down the value of their currencies. The Chinese yuan is "below its appropriate medium-term valuation" and Korea's won is "undervalued," but neither is manipulating its currency. Japan's yen is... well, it's not really clear what the Treasury thinks on that one. Switzerland, the only country named as intervening in foreign-exchange markets to weaken its currency, is given a pass on the basis that it's home to a lot of banks and commodity traders. The Treasury hasn't designated any country a manipulator since China in 1994. The world that gave birth to this report is one where emerging economies were devaluing to pump up exports to the US Right now, they face the opposite problem: With China's commodities appetite declining and the US moving toward raising interest rates, many central banks have been intervening to support rather than depreciate their currencies, as the report notes.


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  • Brief News

Obama administration backs bipartisan criminal justice reform bill

US Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates on Monday voiced the Obama's administration's support for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation would reduce the prison sentences of some nonviolent drug offenders whose sentences have overwhelmed the criminal justice system's correctional facilitates. Speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee Yates said, "[t]his bi-partisan bill recalibrates some of our sentencing laws, invigorates recidivism-reduction programs and provides added protections to juveniles, all designed to make our communities safer and our system more just." On Saturday President Barack Obama spoke in favor of criminal justice reform, noting that the US houses 2.2 million prisoners compared to the prison population of 500,000 30 years ago.

Germany rights group files criminal complaint against high-ranking CIA official

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) on Monday filed a criminal complaint against a high-ranking CIA official for mistreatment of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who was detained and allegedly tortured for four months in 2003. El-Masri was on vacation in Macedonia when he was mistaken for Khalid Al-Masri, a suspect in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. El-Masri was then transported to Afghanistan where he was detained and questioned for four months under the direction of Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. At the time, Bikowsky was deputy chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Bin Laden Issue Station. ECCHR asserts in the complaint that the US Senate's Torture Report ties Bikowsky to El-Masri's detention, and ECCHR requests that the German federal prosecutor investigate.

Alabama judge orders defendants to give blood to avoid jail

An Alabama judge encouraged defendants who could not pay court fines to donate blood rather than spending time in jail. "If you do not have any money and you don't want to go to jail, consider giving blood today," Judge Marvin Wiggins said in a recording released by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Some of the 500 defendants gave blood to avoid jail, but their debt remained. The practice violates the US Constitution, legal experts said.

Le Pen goes on trial over Muslim remarks

French National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen has appeared in court in Lyon, to answer charges of inciting racial hatred, for comparing Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation. Le Pen insisted on Tuesday she did not commit any offence. And the prosecutor called for her acquittal, saying she was not referring to the whole Muslim community. The FN leader had only spoken about a specific number of people and was exercising her freedom of speech. The case was originally dropped last year by the Lyon court of appeal but revived by anti-racism groups who made a civil complaint.

Canada reopens market to EU beef after long ban

Canada is reopening its market to beef exports from 19 EU member states, lifting a ban that was imposed in 1996 because of BSE "mad cow disease". The UK and Ireland are among the countries that can now sell beef to Canada. France and Germany - the EU's biggest producers - are also included. Canada has signed a far-reaching free trade agreement with the EU, which is now going through the ratification process.

Guinea-Bissau should increase access to justice

UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Mónica Pinto on Monday urged officials in Guinea-Bissau to implement measures aimed at increasing residents' access to justice throughout the nation.

French business seeks to kill bill on liability for remote units

France's biggest companies are pushing hard to thwart a government-backed bill that would hold them legally responsible for ensuring social and human rights at units in countries where labor is cheap precisely because such restrictions don't exist. AFEP, Medef and Croissance Plus are the three business lobbies leading the fight against the proposed law, which will be applied to all companies with more than 5,000 employees in France or operating in France with more than 10,000 employees globally.

Irish court hears Facebook data privacy challenge

The High Court in Dublin is to resume a case in which a privacy campaigner is trying to block Facebook from sending EU citizens' personal data to the US. Max Schrems wants the court to order the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to audit Facebook to see what material it passes on to the US authorities. The privacy watchdog had previously said the transfers were protected under the Safe Harbor trade agreement. But a fortnight ago the European Court of Justice ruled the pact invalid. The ECJ said that as a consequence the Irish regulator was indeed required to examine Schrems' complaint with "all due diligence" and ultimately decide whether to suspend transfers if it believed the firm was not providing an "adequate level of protection" to protect people's privacy. Following the ruling, the Irish data commissioner sought guidance from the High Court about how it should proceed, resulting in the latest proceedings.

Federal judge allows Texas officials to deny birth certificates to children of immigrants

A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Texas on Friday issued a temporary order allowing Texas officials to continue denying birth certificates to children of immigrants. Earlier this year a group of undocumented immigrants sued the state because the state refused to issue birth certificates to immigrants who provided forms of identification provided by foreign governments. In particular the state was refusing to recognize the matricula consular, an identification card issued by the government of Mexico, as well as foreign passports unless accompanied by a VISA. In the order, the judge noted that the plaintiffs provided evidence raising "grave concerns" about the treatment of immigrants' children, but said more evidence was needed to explore the facts and circumstances of the case.

Credit Agricole fined $800m for US sanctions violations

French bank Credit Agricole has agreed to pay $800m to settle charges it broke US sanctions in Iran and other countries. The bank stands accused of transferring billions of dollars to accounts held by entities from those same countries between 2003 and 2008. The bank is paying the fine as part of a so-called deferred prosecution agreement. The agreement means the bank will not have to plead guilty to any charges as long as it meets certain requirements. It follows a lengthy investigation of European banks by US authorities into illegal dollar transactions.

Citigroup accused of improperly avoiding $800 million in New York State taxes

A lawsuit is reigniting an issue that roiled Congress after the government's bailout of Wall Street: the use of valuable deductions known as net operating losses.

Kathleen Kane to lose law license Wednesday night

After the stroke of midnight Wednesday, the fairy tale of Kathleen Kane's rise from obscurity to the top of state Democratic politics takes another cliff-hanger turn for the worse. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's emergency suspension of Kane's law license for her alleged misconduct as attorney general begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. The temporary suspension, which has no end date, stems from felony perjury charges over her alleged role in helping a newspaper obtain grand jury secrets to discredit her critics. The suspension does not remove Kane from office, but effectively strips her of most of the duties she is mandated to perform under state law. A suspended lawyer cannot practice any aspect of criminal or civil law, both of which the office of attorney general handles for state government and counties on request. Court rules also bar a suspended lawyer from "expressly or implicitly" conveying his eligibility to practice law in public talks or on "letterhead, business cards, signage, websites and references to admission to the Pennsylvania Bar," which could prevent Kane from using part of her elective title: attorney.

  • Daily Press Review

Turkey sacks Ankara police chief after suicide bombings
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

MPs approve Osborne's budget rules
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Israeli-Palestinian violence: What you need to know
CNN International, London, England

Heidi Klum is 'mom and a dad at the same time' since her split from Seal in 2012
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Denmark's Princess Marie denies boob job after Her & Nu magazine claimed she had one
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Tense times in Jerusalem
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Israel seals off East Jerusalem after 'Day of Rage' attacks
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Sanat to present a rich program in its new season
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

'Blood moon' prompts Mormon announcement: This is NOT the end of the world
Independent The, London, England

Pompeii's pilferers punished with a curse from the gods
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

The Apprentice 2015: episode 1, live
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Hung ouster in motion, Chu calls for party unity
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Up to 10 Million People Made Sick by Their Phones
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Pope Francis makes historic first US visit
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Minister vows to return donations from firms involved in bid-rigging
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Financial services startup Square files for $275M IPO
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

Nike says expects revenue of $50 bn by 2020
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

It's official ó the 1% finally own 50% of everything
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

New York teen dies after beating at church during 'counselling'
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

Wall St declines as Wal-Mart's weak forecast drags on retailers
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Malaysia's embattled PM facing stern test as parliament returns
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Blue Jays cut lead to 2-1 against Rangers in Game 5
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

US troops to help fight Boko Haram
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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