March 4, 2016 nº 1,715 - Vol. 13

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."

Alexander Graham Bell

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Have prospects who don't respond after an inquiry? Try this...


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  • Top News

UN rights chief marks 50th anniversary of human rights treaties

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Tuesday marked 50 years since the adoption of two prominent UN human rights covenants which he said have paved the way for international respect regarding individual liberties in civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights work in conjunction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to secure opportunities for nations and individual to sustain development. Zeid addressed the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva saying the treaties ensure "that nations and peoples can live in peace, with development that is sustainable and long-lasting." The high commissioner stressed the importance of the rights of all people as a connection which will stand against division created by inequity and tyranny. He also called upon member states to adopt both of the covenants before the end of the anniversary year. Even though both treaties are widely implemented, 27 member states still have not adopted either document.

UN rights expert warns homelessness spreading with impunity

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing Leilani Farha warned Thursday that homelessness is increasing in every country due to government inaction. Presenting a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Farha said that homelessness has become a global crisis because of government failure to respond to structural issues and legislation that allows for the displacement of individuals. The report indicates that social stigmas of homeless have prevented displaced people from recovering or having access to resources. The report furthered states that governments have sacrificed human rights for profits resulting in unregulated industries and market forces that have negative effects including making land and property unobtainable: “These systemic inequalities are compounded by direct discrimination against people who are poor, often pushing them to precarious housing conditions, including into informal settlements or on occupied land, and ultimately into homelessness. Many municipalities use planning and zoning laws or regulations to prevent construction of shelters or affordable housing in their communities. Homeless people are often denied opportunities to live in central locations; instead, they are compelled to live in remote, isolated and poorly serviced areas where there are no jobs.” Farha called on governments to recognize that homelessness is a global crisis and change polices to ensure that the epidemic ends by 2030.

For US tech firms abroad and data in the cloud, whose laws apply?

The legal dispute over whether Apple should be forced to help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by one of the terrorists in San Bernardino is making headlines in the US But it's just one skirmish in a broader global conflict: American tech companies are feeling similar pressure from law enforcement agencies around the world, and they say the lack of international legal standards is creating a crisis. American companies often can't comply with foreign laws because the data in question is often stored on servers in the US — and federal law says they can't just turn that kind of data over to foreign courts. Foreign authorities are supposed to go through diplomatic channels — through something called a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, or "MLAT." But forget it. With the bureaucracy of the MLAT these days, there's no point pursuing an investigation, because it'll take two or three years just to get back the information you've requested." That kind of frustration is causing more countries to skip the diplomatic route. In fact, American judges do it, too. A couple of years ago, a court in New York ordered Microsoft to turn over a user's emails that were stored on a server in Ireland. That came as the result of a search warrant issued in a drug-trafficking investigation. Microsoft refused, saying American courts don't have jurisdiction over data held overseas. That case is still on appeal, and at a congressional hearing last week, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the broader trend is becoming a serious problem. For the last couple of decades, the mantra of American tech companies has been that they comply with "all lawful orders" in the countries where they operate. But the rise of cloud computing is making that policy unworkable. Some American tech companies have responded to the situation by "mirroring" data on servers in countries where judges are demanding more cooperation. By keeping the data on that country's territory, they hope to comply with foreign court orders without violating US law.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Beijing's sharp turn to authoritarianism

The atmosphere in Beijing has changed noticeably in recent months; and many liberal-minded people here now fear that the government of Xi Jinping has made a sharp turn towards authoritarianism. As nearly three thousand Communist Party delegates gather in the capital for the National People's Congress, this is clearly a critical time for China's economy. The rate of growth is down yet again, and although that by itself doesn't necessarily make the Chinese government unhappy, it does mean a greater possibility of a so-called hard landing for the economy, with worrying effects on people's jobs and their standard of living. The American ratings agency Moody's has cut its outlook for China from "stable" to "negative".

China tries its hand at pre-crime

Beijing wants to identify subversives before they strike. China’s effort to flush out threats to stability is expanding into an area that used to exist only in dystopian sci-fi: pre-crime. The Communist Party has directed one of the country’s largest state-run defense contractors, China Electronics Technology Group, to develop software to collate data on jobs, hobbies, consumption habits, and other behavior of ordinary citizens to predict terrorist acts before they occur. “It’s very crucial to examine the cause after an act of terror,” Wu Manqing, the chief engineer for the military contractor, told reporters at a conference in December. “But what is more important is to predict the upcoming activities.” The program is unprecedented because there are no safeguards from privacy protection laws and minimal pushback from civil liberty advocates and companies.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Have prospects who don't respond after an inquiry? Try this...
By Tom Trush

A recent Northwestern University study that examined doctors' visits with patients revealed insight that can affect how prospects perceive you during an initial interaction.

But before I share the details, I must warn you ...

Don't discount the simplicity of what you're about to read or assume the concept won't work in your industry or profession.

The study, published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine, analyzed doctors' first-time interactions with patients suffering from common colds. The doctors used paper charts (computerized systems were removed so attention could focus on nonverbal cues) and spent about 3.5 minutes with each patient.

Following the visits, each patient was asked questions to help measure their perception of their doctor's empathy and likeability, as well as the "connectedness" they felt toward their doctor.

Researchers then analyzed the video recordings second-by-second, paying close attention to nonverbal communication. They concluded that while social touch and visit length can play a role in a patient's perception of empathy, one factor was the most critical to establishing trust ...

Eye contact.

This simple action, researchers stressed, can lead to patients who return for care, adhere to medical advice and stay with the same providers.

Makes sense, doesn't it? After all, eye contact shows you're focused and paying attention. It also indicates openness in communication.

But here's the problem for us:

As professional service providers, many times our first communication with prospects isn't face-to-face. So we can't make eye contact As a result, we miss opportunities to establish instant trust.

For instance, let's say someone submits an inquiry through your website or emails you about your services. What do you do?

Typically, you might reply with an email that introduces yourself, answers any questions and provides an offer to further assist.


Prospects who submit inquiries online expect these types of responses -- and that's fine. Many companies follow this approach.

But what I recommend to my clients (especially those with too many prospects who don't respond/engage after an initial inquiry) is to reply back with a video message. Simply record a quick video that addresses your prospect's inquiry and introduces yourself.

Keep in mind, your prospects don't expect to see a video ... your face and eye contact ... or a personalized message. All these factors work to your advantage.

Think about this for a minute ...

When you see someone for the first time, you instantly create an impression Your intuition tells you if you like that person or sense a bad feeling. Whether positive or negative, these first impressions last.

So how to do you feel about people who go beyond what's expected to help you?

Of course you remember these people. You hold them in higher regard. You look for ways to return the favor.

Fortunately, you achieve this status every time you go beyond what your prospects expect. Your first interaction is just the starting point.

Tom Trush is available at


© Trey Ryder
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  • Historia Verdadera


Los fiscales brasileños critican el acuerdo que la minera Samarco, - BHP Billiton y Vale SA - alcanzó esta semana con el gobierno federal para pagar un total estimado de US$ 5.270 mlls. como compensación por los daños derivados del letal colapso de una represa en noviembre en la región de Marina, Minas Gerais. El equipo especial de fiscales que investiga el derrame y los fiscales de los estados de Minas Gerais y Espírito Santo a través de un comunicado dijeron que el acuerdo no bloquea las medidas judiciales.


A dos semanas del acuerdo que que restablece el servicio aéreo comercial entre Esetados Unidos y Cuba, varias grandes aerolíneas estadounidenses postulan para adquirir rutas de vuelo a la isla. Entre ellas están : American Airlines Group Inc, que pidió 10 vuelos diarios a La Habana desde su terminal en Miami, y uno al día desde Charlotte y Dallas/Fort Worth, además de uno por semana desde Los Angeles y Chicago. JetBlue Airways Corp solicitó cuatro vuelos diarios desde Fort Lauderdale, dos desde Tampa, Orlando y New York y uno desde Boston y Newark. Otras empresas interesadas son : Southwest Airlines Co, United Continental Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., American, JetBlue y Southwest.

  • Brief News

Chamber sues over Seattle law letting Uber drivers unionize

The US Chamber of Commerce is suing the city of Seattle over a law that allows drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions. The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court says the ordinance violates and is pre-empted by federal antitrust law and illegally allows for-hire drivers to get together and set rates. The group said in a statement that the law will burden innovation, increase prices and reduce services for consumers.

New doubts about 'too big to fail' banks rattle foundation of regulations

While a vast system of new rules governing bank behavior has arisen, some regulators wonder if enough has been done, and some analysts say the largest banks may shrink.

Tech giants back Apple on iPhone unlock

More of the biggest names in tech - including eBay, Google and Amazon have joined Twitter and AirBnB in backing Apple in its court battle with the FBI. Two groups of tech giants have now filed an amicus brief, which allows parties not directly involved in a court case, but who feel they are affected by it, to give their view. Apple has appealed against the court order, arguing that it should not be forced to weaken the security of its own products.

Brazil congressional speaker to face corruption charges

The Brazilian Supreme Court has voted to back corruption charges against the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha. He is a rival of President Dilma Rousseff, He will be charged with bribery connected to contracts with the state oil company, Petrobras. The court will rule later on whether Cunha should leave his post. He denies wrongdoing and refuses to stand down. Cunha has been leading efforts to impeach Rousseff.

Princess takes stand at fraud trial

Spain's Princess Cristina has testified for the first time at her trial for alleged tax fraud, answering only the questions posed by her own lawyer. She told the court in Mallorca that she had never asked her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, how he ran a property company they jointly owned. Urdangarin is accused of using his royal connections to generate business income they used for private spending. Both deny any wrongdoing. Fifteen other defendants are also on trial. Princess Cristina, the 50-year-old sister of King Felipe, could face a maximum of eight years in jail if found guilty. She denies knowledge of the alleged embezzlement scam that also involves her husband and 16 other defendants.

US House committee calls for Syria war crimes tribunal

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday passed two resolutions calling for an international tribunal in the Middle East to address the alleged war crimes committed by the government of Syria and its allies, specifically Russia and Iran. The resolutions call on the president to direct the UN ambassador to promote the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in Syria for violations of international law in the Syrian conflict. The committee found that the gross violations amount to war crimes and deserve an immediate, international response. The resolutions will now go before the House and Senate.

ICC opens first war crimes hearing for destruction of religious or cultural heritage

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague opened the confirmation of charges against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for destruction of religious and cultural heritage on Tuesday. The charges levied against Al Faqi, an alleged member of Islamic terrorist group, Ansar Dine, and an important figure in the occupation of Timbuktu, signal what appears to be the first ever war crimes trial addressing attacks against cultural heritage. Specifically, the charges state that Al Faqi is criminally responsible, either himself or through his assistance, for "intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and/or historical monuments in Timbuktu," including nine mausoleums and the Sidi Yahia Mosque. According to Regulation 53 of the Court, the Pre-Trial Chamber must deliver its decision to either confirm or deny that the prosecutor has established a reasonable grounds to prosecute Al Faqi within 60 days of the end of the confirmation hearing.

Venezuela students protest against Supreme Court ruling

Venezuelan students clashed with police in the western city of San Cristobal on Wednesday. The students were protesting against a ruling by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court curtailed the power of the opposition-controlled National Assembly to review government appointments of Supreme Court justices. The clashes come at a time of rising tension between the opposition and the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Brazil's economy shrank 3.8% in 2015

Brazil's GDP fared worse than almost any other major economy in 2015, contracting by 3.8%, according to the national statistics agency IBGE. Economic growth in the world's seventh-largest economy has fallen sharply in recent months. This was due partly to low commodity prices and sluggish global growth. But political paralysis has hampered Brazil's efforts to tackle its economic problems, including a budget deficit that has reached 10.8% of GDP. Dilma is trying to head off the opposition's efforts to impeach her over alleged accounting irregularities, which means she cannot afford to alienate supporters in her Workers' Party by cutting spending or raising taxes.

Clinton employee 'granted immunity over emails'

A former US state department employee who set up the email server used by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state has been granted immunity. It comes as part of a criminal investigation into her possible use of the server for classified emails. Clinton denies doing anything wrong, in a case that has dogged her US Democratic presidential campaign. Thousands of emails have been released except for those deemed "top secret".

China's Wanda behind US cinema merger

AMC Entertainment, a US cinema chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, is acquiring rival Carmike, creating the largest US cinema chain. The deal is valued at $1.1bn. The Carmike acquisition comes on the heels of Wanda buying studio Legendary Entertainment, the company behind blockbusters like Jurassic World and The Dark Knight. Dalian Wanda, the world's biggest movie theatre operator, took over AMC in 2012 for $2.6bn.

South African Court denies Oscar Pistorius' bid to appeal murder conviction

Signaling a possible end to a years-long legal saga, South Africa's highest court denied the former track star's request, clearing the way for sentencing.

No, you can't vape on commercial flights, Transportation Department says

The department formally announced a rule that explicitly bans the use of electronic cigarettes on commercial flights heading to or from the US Previous guidance had led to some confusion.

US judge lifts Argentina bond payment ban

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday lifted injunctions blocking Argentina from paying its restructured debt. According to Judge Thomas Griesa, the circumstances of the situation have changed so significantly that the injunction was now detrimental to public interest. Lawyers for a majority of Argentina's creditors requested that the judge instate a 30-day delay of the ruling in order to pressure Argentina to negotiate further, which Griesa denied, citing a pressing need or finality. Argentina, which has been blocked from paying holders of its restructured bonds since July 2014, will now be able to make payments. These bond holders are owed more than $3 billion in past due interest.

UK court rules Nigeria towns can sue Shell in UK

A UK judge ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) can be sued by two Nigerian towns in a British court for their involvement in oil leaks in Nigeria. Lawyers from Leigh Day brought a case in England against the oil conglomerate on behalf of the Nigerian towns of Ogale and Bille. The lawsuit stems from a claim that RDS has neglected the cleanup of oil spills for decades within the Nigerian region. The unaddressed spills have allegedly contaminated Nigerian farmland and polluted fishing waters. RDS has denied the allegations, blaming the oil pollution on sabotage and theft.

  • 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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