November 30, 2015 nº 1,701 - Vol. 13

"Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge."

 Winston Churchill

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  • Top News

Value in US Supreme Court’s Looking to Foreign Law

In Justice Breyer’s recently published “The Court and the World,” his third book since becoming a justice, he suggests the court should look abroad for guidance on some decisions because about 20 percent of cases have something to do with what happens outside the United States. This notion is anathema to conservative members of the court, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the most forceful advocate of the right, Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Breyer says that in an interdependent world, the court “must increasingly consider foreign and domestic law together,” noting that “more harmonizing, understanding and application of American law to foreign activities is not the same as American courts deciding cases on the basis of foreign law.” This applies particularly to national security cases in the era of terrorism. From the Civil War through the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, the courts have largely given the president a blank check in times of war. That has changed with issues such as the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Justice Breyer goes through the competing claims of security, civil liberties and foreign laws. These complications are present in a range of other issues: securities laws, copyright questions and human rights.


The CBMA – Brazilian Center of Mediation and Arbitration will promote, on December 10 and 11, the CBMA’s I International Conference on Arbitration, at FIRJAN’s Convention Center, in Rio de Janeiro/RJ. The event will bringtogether some of the most important Brazilian jurists, such as Justice Luis Roberto Barroso, Judge Alexandre de Freitas Câmara and lawyers Marçal Justen Filho, Gustavo Tepedino, Carlos Alberto Carmona and Heleno Taveira Torres, as well as renowned international arbitration practitioners, such as lawyers Luis O'Naghten (USA), Andrew Haynes (Canada), Ana Elisa Bruder (Germany), and José Miguel Júdice (Portugal), among others. The goal of the event is tostimulate the debate on the new trends and practices related to arbitration, and also to face the latest relevant discussions on the subject, such as "Arbitration in conflicts involving the Public Administration", "ArbitrationClause, Bylaws, New Market and Corporate Law", "Civil Procedure andArbitration", and "Hot Topics in International Arbitration". (Click here)

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  • MiMIC Journal

China's yuan set for IMF reserve status

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to announce on Monday that China's currency, the yuan, will join the fund's group of international reserve currencies. Just the US dollar, the euro, Japan's yen and the British pound are currently part of this select band. Earlier this month, IMF head Christine Lagarde backed the yuan's inclusion. If the decision is made, the yuan is likely to join the basket next year, experts said. China is the world's second largest economy behind the US, and asked for its currency to become a reserve currency last year.

In China, able lawyers but no rule of law

Beijing is currently pushing a rule-of-law campaign, but the reality is drastically different. In late November, Ren Jianyu, once a budding civil servant in China’s southwest, received his results for China’s National Judicial Examination: a sterling score well above what he needed to pass China’s bar. The triumph was bittersweet: for 15 months, Ren, like tens of thousands of others, had been forced to undergo “re-education through labor,” as time spent in China’s gulags is known. Ren’s offense was to have reposted on his microblog comments critical of China’s government and its leaders. He also purchased online a T-shirt emblazoned with the motto: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” For these transgressions, the now 28-year-old was never given the courtesy of a proper trial.


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  • Brief News

COP21: Poor countries fear being 'left behind' in rush for deal

A critical UN conference aimed at agreeing a new global approach to climate change is set to open in Paris. Negotiators from 195 countries will try to reach a deal within two weeks. Leaders from 147 nations will address the meeting, known as COP21, on Monday. But the world's poorest countries say they fear being "left behind" in the push for a new treaty. The French government will officially take over the running of the talks during Monday's opening ceremony. Most of the discussions here will revolve around a new deal that would limit global warming to 2C. Assessments of the more than 180 national plans that have been submitted by countries suggest that if they were implemented the world would see a rise of nearer to 3C.

Iran seeks $30bn of new oil contracts

Iran has overhauled the way in which it offers contracts to foreign energy companies in a bid to attract up to $30bn of new investment. The terms of the new oil contracts will be more favorable to foreign investors, who will be allowed a greater stake in long-term profits. Iran is gearing up for the lifting of sanctions following the nuclear deal with six world powers in July. The country has some of the biggest oil and gas reserves in the world.

NSA ends Sept. 11-era surveillance program

The program allowed the US government to collect data on Americans' phone calls in bulk. Under the new system, the government needs a court order to query a database kept by phone companies.

Brazil to sue Samarco mining firm for $5.2bn over dam burst

The Brazilian government says it will sue mining company Samarco $5.2bn for the environmental damage caused after a waste water dam at an iron-ore mine collapsed. At least 13 people died when the dam burst earlier this month in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais A village was destroyed and drinking water polluted over a wide area. Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said money was needed for environmental recovery and to compensate victims.

Dutch government to appeal Starbucks tax ruling

The Dutch finance ministry says it will fight a ruling ordering it to recover as much as €30m in tax from Starbucks. European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered the country to recover €20m-€30m in back taxes from the coffee chain, accusing it of benefiting from an illegal tax deal. Starbucks has already said it would appeal against the EU's decision. The finance ministry said it supports the fight against tax avoidance. However, it "greatly values its practice of offering certainty in advance," by providing so-called tax rulings to multinational corporations, it said in a statement. The Netherlands is under pressure to reform its tax system, which has attracted international firms with tax rates of less than 10% in some instances. The European Commission said the tax deal with Starbucks is a form of state aid. But the ministry disagrees.

Thousands mourn Kurdish lawyer death

Thousands of people have attended the funeral of a leading pro-Kurdish human rights lawyer who was shot dead in Turkey's southeastern city of Diyarbakir. Tahir Elci was killed on Saturday as he made an appeal for peace between the security forces and Kurdish rebels. His death sparked instant protests across Turkey. Crowds chanted "the martyr does not die" as his coffin was carried through the streets of Diyarbakir. Elci was killed in a gun battle between police and unidentified gunmen.

EU MiFID market-law delay nears as lawmakers pledge backing

The European Union moved closer to pushing back the start date of financial-market rules known as MiFID II, as the bloc’s parliament threw its support behind a one-year delay. The assembly informed the European Commission, the EU’s Brussels-based executive arm, on Friday that it’s “ready to accept” a postponement as long as technical rules needed to implement the law are “swiftly” completed, Markus Ferber, the parliament’s lead lawmaker on the issue, said in a statement. The deferral means the law would enter into force in January 2018.

Barclays fined for lax crime checks in 'deal of century'

Britain's financial watchdog has fined Barclays 72 million pounds ($109 million) for cutting corners in vetting wealthy customers in order to win a huge transaction described by one senior manager as potentially the "deal of the century."

New Yorkers may soon be able to buy kickbacks ... as souvenirs

New York is considered the nation's most corrupt state, according to a national poll by Monmouth University this year. This month alone, two politicians who were among the state's most powerful, are facing corruption charges in court. In Albany, Bruce Roter has secured approval to build the Museum of Political Corruption, dedicated to the state's scandalous past. if this concerned citizen has his way, there will be a Museum of Political Corruption in Albany, N.Y. "I tell people, quite frankly, I want to institutionalize corruption," Roter says. "I want to put it in this museum. I want it to be laughed at, and I want people to learn about it," he says.

Campaigners target online trolls by putting their comments on billboards

Brazilians who post racist abuse online may see their words blown up and pasted onto billboards near their houses. The campaign is called "Virtual racism, real consequences" and it's backed by Criola, a civil rights organization run by Afro-Brazilian women. The group collects comments from Facebook or Twitter and uses geo-location tools to find out where the people who have posted them live. They then buy billboard space nearby and post the comments in huge letters, although names and photos are pixelated.

Harvard Law School will reconsider its controversial seal

On the heels of an incident of racially-charged vandalism on campus, Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow has appointed a committee to reconsider the school’s controversial seal—the crest of the former slaveholding Royall family that endowed Harvard’s first law professorship in the 19th century. The school’s seal, which features three sheaves of wheat under an emblem of “Veritas,” came under scrutiny earlier this year when a group of students, calling themselves “Royall Must Fall,” demanded its removal in light of its connection to slavery. Now, it seems their activism is bearing fruit. In an email last Wednesday, Minow told Law School affiliates that she had appointed a committee to “lead research into, and a community discussion, of whether to continue using the HLS shield.”

Focus turns to judge in latest appeal of Net Neutrality rules

As a high-stakes appeal of the government’s net neutrality rule looms, telecommunications companies have found cause to take heart: The same judge who shot down two previous versions of the rule will help decide the latest challenge. But Judge David Tatel’s presence on the three-judge panel for the closely watched Dec. 4 appeal doesn’t necessarily mean the Federal Communications Commission and its high-profile rules are in trouble again, backers of the regulation say. They contend Tatel’s selection could even boost the odds of victory for the FCC, which has seen both its past efforts rejected by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Tatel wrote both of those appeals court opinions, one in 2010 and another in 2014. In both cases, the Clinton appointee found that the FCC had failed to show it had sufficient legal authority for its sweeping net neutrality rules. Net neutrality proponents say the rules are necessary to prevent big cable and phone companies from using their emerging dominance as Internet access providers to disadvantage potential rivals, particularly companies like Netflix Inc. and Alphabet Inc. ’s Google.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

How to Beat ISIS

European Union, Turkey Seal Agreement on Migrants

Business Week
How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce

The Economist
Climate change: Clear thinking needed

Der Spiegel
Strategen des Terrors

Chi combaterra Cosa fa l’Italia

  • 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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