April 11, 2016 nº 1,730 - Vol. 13
 

"There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference."

 Clare Boothe Luce

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

UN rights expert calls for end to global financial secrecy

A UN human rights expert on Friday called on the international community to put an end to financial secrecy in wake of the recent release of thousands of confidential financial documents known as the "Panama Papers". UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky stated that secrecy revealed by documents such as the Panama Papers, which expose how various wealthy people and politicians systematically hide assets in offshore accounts, can have dire effects on society and the wolrd economy. He said: “Tax evasion and the flow of funds of illicit origin undermine justice and deprive Governments of resources needed for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. ... The clients may have had different motives for depositing their assets into more than 210,000 secret shell companies. But tax evasion, hiding corruption and criminal funds appear to be a prominent reason.” Bohoslavsky also noted that shell corporations have been used in the past for drug trafficking, illegal arms trades and even authoritarian rulers' violations of human rights.

Brazil deploying troops and barricades before impeachment votes

Brazilian security forces are deploying thousands of troops and erecting barricades in the capital city of Brasilia this week to prevent violent clashes as Congress holds key votes on the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. The city’s rare state of alert reflects concern that the country’s polarized political climate will reach a fever pitch in coming days. Authorities on Sunday enlisted the help of inmates from a nearby prison to set up metal barriers that will separate the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who are expected to demonstrate for and against the president’s ouster. Protesters already are converging on Brasilia as the nation’s drawn-out political crisis moves into a decisive phase, with a special committee in the lower house scheduled to vote on Monday whether to move forward with the impeachment request against Dilma. The full house could vote as early as April 17, either squelching impeachment or setting the stage for Rousseff’s ouster in the Senate.

  • Crumbs

1 - Pennsylvania bans bias against transgender people - click here.

2 - Law firm in Iraq death case misled court, judge rules - click here.

3 - How Ted Cruz win in Supreme Court hurt U.S.- Mexico relations - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

US to China: abide by international ruling on disputed islands

China should abide by an international ruling on its territorial claims in the South China Sea even if it doesn’t like the decision, according to Colin Willett, the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary. "We don’t expect China to like it, but they should abide by the ruling."
China shouldn’t see the arbitration ruling as a threat to its sovereignty claims, and instead use it to clarify how its stance complies with international law, Willett said. The US expects the decision in June.

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  • Brief News

Congress considering Feinstein-Burr bill to force smartphone data decryption

Congress introduced a new bill on Friday which will force smartphone manufacturers to decrypt data in response to law enforcement demands. The bill was proposed by senators Diane Feinstein and Richard Burr, and states that companies "must provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information." However, the bill does not include any criminal penalties for a company's failure to comply. There are severe hurdles that need to be overcome in order for the bill to gain approval, and the Obama Administration has declined to support the bill. Security experts have criticized the bill's language as being "so broad as to target ancillary forms of encryption covering web traffic or credit card data, far beyond its intended scope."

Banks eye victory on derivatives in EU trading overhaul delay

Banks and asset managers are poised to win an exemption in rules for trading derivatives from European lawmakers, who already said they would give them a one-year delay of new financial regulations. The exemption is in an amendment to legislation delaying the wide-ranging MiFID II overhaul of financial regulations. That could exclude a potentially large portion of the derivatives markets from requirements designed to increase transparency and price competition on platforms before trades are completed. The proposed change, which wasn’t initially included in EU plans for postponing the law until January 2018, has led to closed-door debates in Brussels in recent weeks involving representatives of the UK, France, Germany and other countries who are trying to agree on a position on the policy, according to three people who asked not to be named because the talks are private. The European Commission and member states still need to negotiate a formal position and sign off on the amendment.

Panama papers: Mossack Fonseca offices in El Salvador raided

Authorities in El Salvador have raided the offices of the Panama law firm at the centre of a massive data leak, the attorney general's office says. Documents and computer equipment were seized from the Mossack Fonseca office. Mossack Fonseca's El Salvador branch was able to provide "back office" functions for the firm's clients all over the world.

Austrian government will try to seize the house where Hitler was born

The state rents the property now, and has tried for years to purchase it from the current owner. Officials say their aim is to prevent the property from falling into the hands of neo-Nazis.

Tennessee lawmakers want to make the bible the official State book

Tennessee lawmakers have passed a measure making the Bible the state's official book. But opposition is coming from an unexpected group: religious conservatives.

Russia's Communist Party seeks to copyright red star symbol

Officials are attempting to copyright their party's symbol. But it's a symbol that's been trademarked by Heineken and other companies established before the Russian Revolution.

Pakistan court issues arrest warrant for former president Musharraf

Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Court issued a nonbailable arrest warrant on Friday against former president and military leader Pervez Musharraf for detaining more than 60 judges after declaring a state of emergency in 2007. The proceedings were held without Musharraf, who left the country for Dubai after a court removed him from the exit control list last month to seek medical treatment. However, the judge told his lawyers that Musharraf should have obtained specific permission from the court before departing the country. He is ordered to appear in court in Pakistan on April 22.

UK fraud office opens criminal investigation into Tata Steel

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed Friday that it has opened a criminal investigation into Tata Steel, looking into activity that took place at the Specialty Steels unit in the UK. Tata Steel is headquartered in India, but earns nearly 70% of its revenue from foreign business operations. While the company is not commenting on the on-going investigation, reports allege that the inquiry surrounds alleged falsified documents dealing with the composition of products sold to approximately 500 customers.

Billing by millionths of pennies, cloud computing’s giants take in billions

The economics of tiny things demonstrates the global power of the few companies, including Microsoft and Google, that can make fortunes counting this small and often. In other words, you have to be really big to worry about making money off things that are really tiny. Google charges pennies for search ads and spends $9.9 billion annually building out a global computing business. Given enough software, in the realm of millionths of pennies, it could do even better. Good luck to any new entrant without the scale of these tech giants, however, as customers come to expect that sort of cheap metering. Cloud-computing companies are not the only ones focused on the small. Banks, of course, have for years been content taking a sliver of big transactions, so long as there are many of them. Uber, which enables private cars to temporarily become taxis, can monitor drivers and riders to adjust prices and routes, changing the value of things throughout the day. An auto insurance company called Metromile charges customers based on how many miles they drive a year. As tech companies get better at measuring things, other businesses can pick up on the techniques, and the fine counting at the big clouds augurs for more precise measurements and pricing everywhere.

Getting a student loan with collateral from a future job

An alternative financing arrangement will let students pledge some of their future income for monetary assistance now.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
Can America Learn to Love Ted Cruz?

Newsweek
British Pm Cameron Releases Tax Records To Quell Panama Papers Storm

Business Week
How to Hack an Election

The Economist
Facebook: Imperial ambitions

Der Spiegel
Schlimmer wohnen

L'Espresso
Ecco I primi 100 nomi

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