May 11, 2016 nº 1,742 - Vol. 13
 

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."

Martha Graham

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

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  • Top News

Rousseff appeals to Supreme Court

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has asked the Supreme Court to block impeachment proceedings against her - in a final attempt to stop the process hours before a crucial Senate vote. Her lawyers alleged bias and irregularities. Similar attempts have been rejected by the court. Rousseff could be suspended for up to 180 days if the senators vote for a full trial on Wednesday. Waldir Maranhao, acting speaker of the lower house of Congress, caused fresh surprise on Tuesday when, less than 24 hours after suspending a vote in the chamber that had allowed the impeachment process to go ahead, he reversed his decision. Previously he had argued that the 17 April vote had breached Congress rules. Members had voted overwhelmingly in favor of the impeachment process going ahead. What has been a long, damaging and divisive political process is at a critical moment as the 81 members of the Brazilian Senate prepare to vote on whether or not to subject Dilma Rousseff to a full impeachment trial. If Rousseff loses the Senate vote, she will be replaced by Vice-President Michel Temer while the trial lasts. (Click here)

Panama-leak database makes 200,000 shells searchable online

A searchable database of more than 200,000 Panamanian shell companies was released online this afternoon, as part of an international journalism group’s effort to reveal the secrets of the offshore financial world. The database features information derived from millions of leaked documents created by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specialized in setting up secret shell companies for clients ranging from corporate executives and wealthy celebrities to relatives and associates of heads of state like Vladimir Putin and David Cameron. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a group which includes reporters and editors from more than 80 countries, has already published an assortment of stories based on the documents, alleging how the shell companies were used by the wealthy to conceal their fortunes and evade taxes. The 11.9 million records, which an anonymous whistle-blower leaked last year to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, have also led to published stories alleging that secret offshore companies have been used by money launderers, art smugglers, international criminals and repressive governments like Syria.

  • Crumbs

1 - FBI Suspects Insider Involvement in $81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist - click here.

2 - Court refuses request to force alleged hacker to divulge passwords - click here.

3 - Irish Labour Party head Burton to resign - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Queen overheard calling Chinese officials 'very rude'

The Queen of England has been caught on camera saying Chinese officials were "very rude" during last year's state visit by President Xi Jinping. She was discussing their treatment of Britain's ambassador to China with a senior police officer at a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday.

US warship sails in disputed waters

A US naval warship has sailed near a contested reef in the South China Sea, in what Washington described as a "freedom of navigation" operation. The ship neared the disputed Fiery Cross Reef, which China controls, on Tuesday. China said the move was illegal and "damaged regional peace". China and several of its neighbors are locked in a territorial dispute over the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety. China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all have conflicting claims over reefs and islands in the sea.

China transgender case: 'Mr C' vows fight on for equality

A Chinese transgender man has vowed to keep fighting for equality after a court rejected his complaint that he was fired unfairly. Mr C, 28, who was born a woman, worked in a health center in the city of Guiyang and was reportedly fired for wearing men's clothes. The tribunal in Guizhou province has awarded him unpaid wages but has ruled that his dismissal was legal, he says. It is the first case of its kind in mainland China.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Panama paper’s

El grupo legal transnacional Mossack-Fonseca rechazó la publicación de la base de datos robada de sus oficinas y anunció acciones legales contra el Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación. (Presione aquí)

Contrato

La Empresa Nacional de Electricidad Andina de Bolivia y la empresa multinacional alemana Siemens AG firmaron un contrato por US$ 397,5 mlls. para la ampliación de la producción energética en la Termoeléctrica del Sur, en el marco del proyecto de ciclos combinados para alcanzar la generación de 480 megavatios. Anteriormente, el Gobierno cerró similares contratos para las termoeléctricas de Entre Ríos y Warnes.

Seguros

La Mutua Madrileña, España, completó este martes la adquisición del 40% del grupo asegurador Bci Seguros-Chile. La operación, acordada y anunciada el pasado 26/11/2015, una vez obtenidas todas las autorizaciones administrativas necesarias. La adquisición del 40% de Bci Seguros engloba a las empresas Bci Seguros Generales, Bci Seguros Vida y Zenit Seguros Generales y ha supuesto una inversión de 208 millones de euros.

  • Brief News

Anger as France imposes reform

Fierce protests have broken out across France after the government forced through controversial labor reforms. The cabinet approved using special powers to pass the changes without parliamentary approval. France's Socialist government says the reforms are essential to help cut high levels of unemployment. Two center-right opposition parties have called a vote of no confidence in the government to be held on Thursday. The changes to the labor laws make it easier for employers to hire and fire but opponents fear they will also enable employers to bypass workers' rights on pay, overtime and breaks. Francois Hollande has faced months of resistance to the bill from students, unions and even members of his own Socialist Party.

LuxLeaks trial: Prosecutor demands jail for 'whistleblowers'

Luxembourg prosecutors are seeking 18-month jail terms for two whistleblowers on trial over the "LuxLeaks" scandal. The two former employees of auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are accused of leaking documents to journalist Edouard Perrin, who faces a fine. The papers revealed that Luxembourg offered huge tax breaks to international firms including Apple, Ikea and Pepsi. The defense has called for a landmark judgment acquitting the men. The trial began two weeks ago, and a verdict is not expected until mid-June. As he summed up the prosecution's case, deputy state prosecutor David Lentz argued that the actions of Deltour and Halet had amounted to theft, as they had violated a confidentiality agreement in their employment contract with PwC. Lentz also told the court that Perrin's actions went beyond the remit of a journalist, accusing him of manipulating Halet into releasing the information. "There are limits on freedom of expression," he said. "It is not the press that's on trial here, but this journalist who went further than his colleagues."

Facebook: Political bias claim 'untrue'

Facebook has defended itself over claims its Trending Topics intentionally suppressed stories supporting conservative political viewpoints. A report by technology news site Gizmodo said staff responsible for what was shown to Facebook's 1.6bn users frequently chose to bury articles they did not agree with. Responding to the allegations, the network's head of search Tom Stocky wrote that the site "found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true". The claims come weeks after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg publicly denounced the policies of likely US presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Miami judge: Florida death penalty law unconstitutional

A Miami judge ruled Monday that Florida's revamped death penalty law is unconstitutional because it does not require a unanimous agreement among jurors to approve executions. The law, enacted in March, only requires 10 out of 12 jurors to agree on imposing the death sentence. The law only requires a unanimous vote on "aggravating factors" that may merit the verdict. The changes were in response to the US Supreme Court ruling in January that the state's previous sentencing scheme was unconstitutional. In the matter of Karon Gaiter, the Miami judge found Monday that the amended law violates the state standard requiring jurors in all criminal cases to reach total concurrence. The judge further stated that, though the numerical difference may be slight, constitutional law does not allow a finding that a jury may be "more or less unanimous." Currently, all states besides Florida, Alabama and Delaware1 require absolute unanimous jury verdicts for death sentences. (Click here)

UN deplores Turkish military abuses in Kurdish areas

A top UN official has voiced alarm about violence against civilians by Turkish government forces in Kurdish-majority south-eastern Turkey. The UN says it has reports that more than 100 people were burned to death while sheltering in basements in Cizre. UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Raad al-Hussein urged Turkey to grant the UN unimpeded access to the affected areas. As the report came out, Kurdish rebels were blamed for a bombing that left three people dead and 45 injured. The UN commissioner said there were accounts of unarmed civilians, including women and children, being shot by snipers in south-eastern Turkey during the crackdown. Government forces also caused huge damage to the local infrastructure, he said. "It is essential that the authorities respect human rights at all times while undertaking security or counter-terrorism operations," Hussein said.

France Baupin affair: 'Sexual harassment' inquiry launched

Prosecutors in France have opened a preliminary investigation into claims of sexual harassment made by political colleagues of senior MP Denis Baupin. Several women in the Green Party have alleged they were subjected to either sexual assault or lewd text messages. Baupin, 53, who stood down on Monday as deputy speaker of parliament, has vigorously denied the allegations. His lawyer sued two French media outlets on Tuesday for defamation, condemning the claims as "mendacious". A number of French male politicians have been accused of sexual harassment in recent years.

Obama administration sues North Carolina over anti-LGBT law

The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over its controversial anti-LGBT law, calling it "state-sponsored discrimination". The law requires people to use public toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate. It also invalidated several local anti-discrimination measures that protected gay and transgender people.North Carolina announced on Monday it would sue the Justice Department over its attempt to nullify the law. "What this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has suffered far more than its fair share," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said of transgender people. "We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you." The law puts North Carolina in direct conflict with federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity, said Lynch. "State-sanctioned discrimination never works and never looks good in hindsight."

Greece parliament approves tax, pension reforms

The Hellenic Parliament voted Monday to reform their tax and pension systems in order to ensure the economic turn around of the country. The controversial reforms were apart of the agenda of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who called for the controversial reforms in order to create a plan to save the country money and prevent further austerity measures.

Sadiq Khan dismisses Donald Trump's Muslim ban 'exception'

Sadiq Khan has rejected US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's offer to make the new London mayor an "exception" to a ban on Muslims travelling to the US. "This isn't just about me. It's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world," he said. Khan also warned that Trump's "ignorant" views of Islam "could make both our countries less safe".

Budweiser's new name taps American patriotism

Budweiser beer plans to rebrand its cans for the summer in a bid to capture the patriotism of US consumers. The beer will have its name changed to "America" from May to November. Budweiser is hoping to capture the patriotic spirit of Americans focused on events like the US election, summer Olympics, and Copa America Centenario. This is not the first time Brazilian-run, Belgium-based parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has redesigned its labels to feature American icons. Ab-Inbev has run pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the American flag on Budweiser's labels in previous summer promotions. The Belgian-Brazilian company controls nearly 25% of the world's beer market.

Takata reports loss as airbag recall continues

Japanese airbag maker Takata reported its third full-year loss in four years as it grapples with the rising costs of recalling them. The company announced a net loss of 13.1bn yen ($120.5m) for its financial year ending in March. It has been hit by a huge recall of faulty, potentially deadly, airbags used by car makers worldwide, which may affect more than 100 million vehicles.

Canada to adopt UN indigenous rights declaration

Canada's Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett said on Monday, will drop its objector status against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The minister made the announcement at the UN with a delegation of leaders from "he Assembly of First Nations, Native Women's Association of Canada, Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and elders and youth. The declaration's objective is to protect the rights of indigenous peoples with a focus on their right to practice their own cultures, customs, and develop their own economic, political and social institutions. Merrell-Ann Phare, executive director of a Winnipeg-based organization that promotes sustainable First Nations communities, stated that the declaration clarifies that governments and indigenous peoples must "negotiate mutually satisfactory resolutions to conflicts." The declaration is not legally binding and many were frustrated with the lack of specific details in the announcement.

Bankruptcy judge won’t let Netflix release relativity films ahead of theaters

A US bankruptcy judge said he won’t allow Netflix Inc. to debut two films on its streaming service ahead of their theatrical release, which the studio behind the films says is crucial to its fragile reorganization plan. Judge Michael Wiles of the US Bankruptcy Court in New York stopped short of handing down a final ruling Tuesday, but he made clear that the potential damage from the premature release of the films could jeopardize his work to revive the troubled studio, Relativity Media LLC, which he released from chapter 11 less than two months ago.

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