December 2, 2015 nº 1,702 - Vol. 13

"I would like to be Maria, but there is La Callas who demands that I carry myself with her dignity."

  Maria Callas

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  • Top News

Supreme Court hears arguments on state court securities litigation

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in two cases. In Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Manning the court will resolve the circuit split on whether Section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 provides federal jurisdiction over state-law claims based on violations or desired enforcement of the act. The US Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held that the act does provide federal jurisdiction, while the Second and Third Circuits have held that it does not.

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  • Crumbs

1 - U.S. probe finds possible misconduct by Walmart in Brazil - click here.

2 - Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, Is Found Guilty on All Counts - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China's feminists undeterred by detentions

The detentions came right before International Women's Day. Five women who all worked as activists for various feminist causes and had organized public events to raise awareness of a host of issues, from eradicating domestic violence to the need for more women's toilets in China. Few predicted the women would ever become targets of the authorities, since their causes seemed relatively unobjectionable. That is, until last March, when the women were planning a multi-city protest to call for an end to sexual harassment on public transport.

The size of their networks and their determination to speak out in public appeared to unnerve the authorities. One by one, one hundred women were detained by police.

IMF elevates Chinese Yuan to a lending-reserve currency

The IMF is close to labeling the yuan a reserve currency. Now comes the hard part. The inclusion puts new pressure on Beijing to change everything from how it manages the yuan, also known as renminbi, to how it communicates with investors and the world. China’s pledges to loosen its tight grip on the currency’s value and open its financial system will come under new scrutiny. Inclusion would also put pressure on the central bank to offer the same degree of clarity and transparency that the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and other vital institutions strive for.

Bank of China faces daily fine in US

The Bank of China will face a daily fine in the US unless it complies with a court request to give details of customers accused of selling fake goods. The bank was held in contempt of court in Manhattan last week for refusing to turn over the records. The state-owned lender is appealing the civil contempt order and fine of $50,000 a day starting on 8 December. It said it would be violating China's privacy law if it gave the information.


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  • Historia Verdadera


El consejo de administración de Aeroméxico evaluará la oferta de su socia estadounidense Delta Airlines, que busca elevar su participación en la aerolínea mexicana a hasta un 49.


La minera brasileña Vale preparó a los inversores para un 2016 complejo y develó un plan que incluye cerca de US$6.000 mlls. en recortes de inversión de capital y unos US$ 443 mlls. en costos esperados por el desastre de la minera Samarco.


El Banco Industrial y Comercial de China (ICBC, por sus siglas en inglés) ha concedido financiación por US$ 5.100 mlls. para un proyecto de cooperación de energía nuclear entre China y Argentina. La financiación incluye también un préstamo de unos US$4.700 mlls. asegurados por la Corporación de Seguros de Créditos y Exportaciones de China.

  • Brief News

Fed adopts Dodd-Frank limits on bailing out financial institutions

The Federal Reserve adopted a rule restricting its ability to lend to financial institutions in a crisis in an attempt to ease concerns about its power to pump money into the financial system.

Emerging-market defaults hit six-year high

Emerging-market corporate-debt defaults reached their highest level since 2009, as economic conditions worsen for companies that spent years piling up their borrowings.

House weighs privacy law reform, but may abandon one loophole for another

The House Judiciary Committee heard arguments on Tuesday from stakeholders interested in reforming a nearly 30-year-old computer law that has allowed investigators to access the emails of criminal suspects without a warrant, but the panel’s chairman isn’t ready just yet to rein in that power. Nuances within the proposed Email Privacy Act could create obstacles that would hinder law enforcement’s ability to obtain digital evidence during criminal and counterterrorism investigations.

US Chamber of Commerce sounds alarm over safe harbor

The US Chamber of Commerce and European business association BusinessEurope released a joint letter sent to European and American leaders that urged officials to reach a new data transfer agreement.

Pfizer’s deal for Allergan is a dubious milestone

That this high-water mark is justified by its tax workaround is a sign that the two-year boom of extraordinary corporate deals is reaching its conclusion. It was the top deal of the year, exceeding Anheuser-Busch InBev’s purchase of SABMiller. Pfizer’s all-stock transaction for Allergan also vaulted the total value of corporate deal-making in 2015. Without the ability for Pfizer, the larger of the two companies, to back its way into Allergan’s lower-tax Irish domicile, Allergan would have lost some $17 billion of shareholder treasure. Other, perhaps less perceptible, warning bells are clanging, too, which suggest companies are increasingly pursuing financial engineering to fix troubled core businesses, a trend that in previous booms has ended poorly for investors. The desire of companies to band together and reduce overlapping costs will not diminish anytime soon, particularly as the prospects for global economic growth look mediocre at best.

Brazil prosecutors allege document shows BTG Pactual bribed official

Brazil’s BTG Pactual was reeling anew on Monday, after a top federal prosecutor said Brazilian investigators allege they have evidence the bank paid a powerful lawmaker more than $11.5 million in exchange for political favors. Brazilian investigators say they have obtained a document showing that BTG in 2013 paid a bribe of 45 million reais to House Speaker Eduardo Cunha for including an amendment in a piece of legislation, which would boost the bank’s profits. Cunha is already under investigation by authorities for allegedly stashing millions in suspected bribes in Swiss bank accounts. Cunha denied the allegations. “It's a true absurdity.”

Federal judge finds public cross monument constitutional

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled Monday that the display of a prominent cross-shaped war memorial in a public park operated by Prince George County does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The monument, known as the "Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial," is a 40-foot Latin cross embellished with the symbols of the American Legion and inscribed with a dedication to "the heroes of Prince George's County Maryland."

Europe rights court: Turkish YouTube ban violated freedom of expression

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled unanimously on Tuesday that a Turkish court order blocking access to YouTube violated Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Ankara Criminal Court of First Instance imposed the order primarily on the ground that YouTube contained approximately 10 videos that were considered insulting to the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk known as the "Father of the Turks." The court order prevented access to YouTube from May 5, 2008, until October 30, 2010, and the plaintiffs, Turkish law professors Serkan Cengiz, Yaman Akdeniz and Kerem Altiparmak, argued that the order "interfered with their right to freedom to receive or impart information and ideas." The ECHR held that the order was an unwarranted interference by public authority of the rights guaranteed by Article 10.

Brazil's recession deepens in third quarter

Brazil's economy shrank by 1.7% in the third quarter of the year compared with the second quarter, deepening the country's worst recession in 25 years. Compared with a year ago, the economy is 4.5% smaller. The country's unpopular President, Dilma Rousseff, has been trying to cut spending and raise taxes and this new fall in economic activity will make the latter harder. Her government is also entangled in a massive corruption scandal. The drop in economic activity was largely due to a drop in investment, which fell by 15% compared with a year ago.

Visa-waiver program gets scrutiny

Following an initial clash over how to respond to the Paris terrorist attacks, Congress and the White House are finding more common ground in efforts to bolster security through the program that makes it easier for foreigners to travel to the US without obtaining a visa.

Northern ireland's abortion Law Violates Human Rights, Court Rules

The decision by a Belfast High Court judge puts pressure on lawmakers to reconsider the near-total ban on pregnancy termination.

Extremists reach out to refugees in Germany

In Germany, officials are becoming increasingly concerned that local extremists will seek to radicalize migrants after they arrive.

Pakistan hangs four over Peshawar school attack

Pakistan has hanged four men linked to last December's massacre at an army school which killed more than 150 people, mostly children. The men were sentenced to death by a military court and are the first to be hanged in relation to the attack.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99% of shares

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan say they will give away 99% of their shares in the company to good causes as they announce the birth of their daughter Max. Zuckerberg made the announcement in a letter to Max on his Facebook page. He said they are donating their fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative because they want to make the world a better place for Max to grow up in. The donation amounts to $45bn (£30bn) at Facebook's current value.

Annotated Hitler's Mein Kampf to be published

Adolf Hitler's political manifesto Mein Kampf with critical notes by scholars is to be published next month - for the first time since the end of WWII. The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich says it will print up to 4,000 copies with some 3,500 notes. ifZ director Andreas Wirsching says the text with expert comments will "shatter the myth" surrounding the book. But the move has been criticized by Jewish groups, who argue that Nazi works should never be republished.

Cuba reinstates controls on doctors travelling abroad

Cuba has reinstated restrictions on doctors leaving the island to work in the United States and other countries. Doctors will now have to apply for a special permit before going abroad. Cuba's health services have been "seriously affected" by the large number of doctors who have moved abroad since controls were eased in 2013, the authorities said. The government also criticized a US policy aimed at recruiting Cuban doctors and other health workers.

Sweden court rules against forcing ISPs to block Pirate Bay

Stockholm's district court on Friday, ruled against forcing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block The Pirate Bay and Swefilmer, a file sharing and streaming website, respectively. The plaintiffs, Swedish Film Industry, Nordisk Film, Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music, filed suit against Bredbandsbolaget, the second largest Swedish ISP, requesting that the ISP either block the websites in question or be held liable for the copyright infringements of its users. The court judged whether the Swedish Copyright Act complied with the EU's Copyright Directive, which directs member states to ensure "that right holders are in a position to apply for an injunction against intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right". The European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) of the Council of Europe (COE) asserts that the Swedish Copyright Act allows for such an order against anyone who contributes to such infringement. The court found that in this case the ISP cannot be considered a participant in the infringements by providing Internet access to its customers. The plaintiffs were ordered to pay for the defendant's expenses and allowed until December 18 to appeal to the Svea Court of Appeal, a higher Swedish court.

Venture capital should pay its fair share of taxes, Altman says

In the growing debate over how much investors should pay in taxes on capital gains, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist just weighed in with a counterintuitive take: investors like him should pay more. Sam Altman, the president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, says it’s “ridiculous” that venture capitalists pay a lower rate on their returns than households do on their income. The carried interest rule allows managers of funds, including venture capital and private equity, to pay taxes on the returns they collect at the capital gains rate, which tops out at 20 percent -- for gains on assets held longer than one year -- or 23.8 percent with net investment income surtax included. The top rate for regular income is 39.6 percent.

Woman in Austrian train accident can’t sue in US

The Supreme Court ruled a California woman can’t sue a state-owned railway in US courts over a train accident in Austria in which she lost her legs.

  • 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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