May 23, 2016 nº 1,746 - Vol. 13

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."

Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at


Get Migalhas International on your mobile

You can now read the newsletter on your mobile device, through the website. The content of the main sections is the same as that found on the newsletter, but optimized for small-screen displays on mobile devices. Migalhas International Mobile, advancing legal news.

  • Top News

Federal judge orders DOJ lawyers to attend ethics classes

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Thursday ordered Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers appearing in multiple states to take ethics classes after finding DOJ lawyers misled the court. Judge Andrew Hanen found that the DOJ lawyers, who had initially been defending the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) policy, misrepresented information regarding when the government would be implementing and accepting applications for the program, and subsequently misled the court in regards to the number of individuals given their work permits through the program while still under an injunction. In imposing sanctions for these misrepresentations the court held that it would not enforce monetary sanctions because it would not make the states challenging DAPA whole, nor would it serve to deter any future misconduct. Hanen stated, there was "a lack of knowledge about or adherence to duties of professional responsibility in the halls of the Justice Department." He ordered that "any attorney employed at the Justice Department in Washington D.C. who appears, or seeks to appear, in a court (state or federal) in any of the 26 Plaintiff States annually attend a legal ethics course." In addition, the judge ordered that the Attorney General provide a plan within 60 days to prevent any further misconduct and ordered that the government provide a list of roughly 100,000 who entered illegally through early implementation of this program.


100% Migalhas:


  • MiMIC Journal

China 'flooding' social media with fake posts

China is "flooding" social media with comments by paid supporters in a bid to sway public opinion, a report has said. The research by Harvard academics draws on leaked documents to paint a picture of the way China polices social media. The government and its army of helpers write 488 million fake posts a year. The profusion of comments on social media sits alongside other efforts, to find and delete content deemed too sensitive for Chinese citizens. The vast majority of the comments and posts made on social media are crafted to look like they come from ordinary people. Many of the posts do not attempt to rebut or argue with critical commenters. "They do not step up to defend the government, its leaders, and their policies from criticism, no matter how vitriolic; indeed, they seem to avoid controversial issues entirely," said the paper. "Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone's back up," it said.

China’s cash-strapped local governments mull ways to boost funds

China’s cash-strapped local authorities are scrambling for ways to rebuild their fiscal firepower as a tax overhaul has seen them lose out to the central government and efforts to clear unsold apartments prompts many to restrict land sales for new development. Proposals include turning over pension commitments to Beijing, redistributing sales-tax revenue from the central government to local coffers, or allowing provinces to start applying new levies on housing, according to proposals by former officials and tax experts in Beijing. The Ministry of Finance is in the midst of an overhaul of the nation’s tax system, with details on how local governments can boost revenue anticipated in coming weeks and months.


Tell your friends and colleagues you’ve read it in Migalhas International


  • Brief News

Obama signs bill modernizing racial language

US President Barack Obama signed a bill into law Friday that would remove terms such as "Negro" and "Oriental" from federal law in an effort to modernize racial language. The bill seeks not only to replace these terms with African-American and Asian-American, but to also redefine minorities in legislation. Minorities were previously defined as "Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent," and the new language will read US citizens who are "Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaska Natives." Representative Grace Meng (D-NY), sponsor of the legislation, welcomed the president's signature: “The term "Oriental" has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good. ... No longer will any law of the United States refer to Asian Americans in such an offensive way, and I applaud and thank President Obama for signing my bill to get rid of this antiquated term. Many Americans may not be aware that the word "Oriental" is derogatory. But it is an insulting term that needed to be removed from the books, and I am extremely pleased that my legislation to do that is now the law of the land.” The legislation passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate.

Turkish parliament votes to strip lawmakers' immunity

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey on Friday advanced an amendment to the constitution to strip members of parliament of their immunity privileges. The assembly voted on the measure with some 376 out of 550 members approving the constitutional amendment, preventing the need for a referendum on the issue. The move, backed by the president's Justice and Development Party (AKP) is could lead to the removal of Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) members of parliament in order to prosecute them for their alleged ties to militant Kurdish forces. As many as 130 members are now subject to removal and could face prosecution within the year if the bill is signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. EU representatives have called the lifting of immunity an issue of concern and implored the assembly to ensure the immunity is retained by all members.

Austria presidential vote: Postal ballots to decide result

Postal ballots will decide Austria's presidential election after polling station results from Sunday's vote gave the far-right candidate a slender lead. Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party was slightly ahead of his rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, the interior ministry said on Sunday. If elected, Mr Hofer would be the first far-right head of state in the EU. A key campaign issue was Europe's migrant crisis, which has seen asylum-seeker numbers soar. About 90,000 people claimed asylum in Austria last year, equivalent to about 1% of the Austrian population, and the Freedom Party ran an anti-immigration campaign. Some 750,000 postal votes from roughly 12% of Austria's 6.4m voters are due to be counted on Monday.

Greece approves new cuts to unblock bailout funds

The Greek parliament has passed new budget cuts and tax rises two days before a eurozone meeting expected to unblock much-needed bailout funds. The government led by the leftist Syriza coalition passed the widely unpopular bill by 153 votes to 145. Greece agreed to a third bailout worth €86bn (£67bn; $96bn) last year. Demonstrators gathered outside parliament on Sunday to protest against the new legislation. Eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels on Tuesday. The bill also creates a state privatization fund requested by its eurozone finance ministers.

Axa stubs out €1.7bn tobacco industry investment

Axa, the world's largest insurer, will stop investing in the tobacco industry and sell investments worth more than €1.7bn. It said investing in the sector made no sense given that smoking killed some six million people a year. The move by Axa is an attempt to support government efforts to reduce the number of people who smoke. A major health insurer, Axa said its role was increasingly about prevention rather than cure.

Turkey needs to move to presidential rule

The ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been nominated as the country's new prime minister has called for a move to presidential rule. Addressing a congress of the ruling AK Party before it confirmed him as party leader, Binali Yildirim called for a new constitution. He said it was time to make the current "de facto situation" a "legal" one. Erdogan came to office in 2014 when Turkey held its first presidential election by direct national vote. Previously, presidents had been elected by parliament.

Chelsea Manning appeals 35-year sentence

Attorneys for Chelsea Manning, the former US military soldier who leaked secrets to WikiLeaks, on Thursday, filed a brief to appeal her 35-year prison term for violating the Espionage Act. Manning is asserting that her rights to free speech were violated by the Espionage Act because the court failed to determine the importance of the interest of the public's need to know the information. Manning also argues that the limiting of speech under the act prevents a democratic society from being able to hold government officials accountable for their actions. Furthermore, the vagueness of the act will have a chilling effect on speech because the government has neither narrowly tailored the restrictions nor has it used the least restrictive means to regulate speech. As such the deterrent effect is to discriminatorily prosecute government whistle blowers and leakers.

Europe rights chief denounces Belgium prison conditions

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, criticized prisons in Belgium Friday for their "rapidly deteriorat[ing] living conditions. This statement, posted to Facebook, comes during a three-week strike by prison workers throughout the country. As a result of this strike prison conditions have been severely lessened to the point where prisoners have not left their cells for weeks, have not been able to access counsel or family, and have been unable to receive proper medical care. He also stated that sanitary conditions are worsening.

Oklahoma lawmakers request articles of impeachment against Obama

The Oklahoma legislature approved a resolution Thursday asking Congress to impeach President Barack Obama over his administration's guidance on ensuring the protection and inclusion of transgender individuals in federal civil rights law. The legislators believe that the president has overstepped his constitutional authority and are requesting that congress initiate impeachment proceedings.

UK white-collar prosecutions rise as cybercrime threat grows

The number of UK prosecutions for white-collar crime rose for the first time in five years in 2015, with cybercrime one of the key areas of growth, according to a law firm’s report. There were 9,401 white-collar cases last year, up from 9,343 in 2014. The number of cybercrime cases, while still small, grew 36 percent to 61 last year. Action on white-collar crime has risen up the government agenda, spurred by the 2008 financial crisis and a growing recognition of the damage offenses such as money-laundering can have on London’s reputation as a global financial center. Tackling online offenses has become a particular priority after a number of attacks on large firms.

Argentina’s Macri vetoes jobs law, day after minimum wage jump

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said Friday that he’s vetoing a law that would have all but barred companies from firing workers for six months, a day after he agreed to a jump in the minimum wage in an effort to placate labor unions threatening a national strike. Macri said the bill would only increase poverty and accused his opponents of trying to sabotage the success of the reforms he’s trying to implement. Congress had approved the opposition-backed law Thursday.

Fannie, Freddie and the secrets of a bailout with no exit

Newly unsealed documents cast doubt on the Treasury’s justification for sweeping the mortgage giants’ profits, exposing the perils of letting the government act in secret.

Should law enforcement have to get a warrant to obtain stored emails?

When it comes to the privacy of telephone calls and written documents, US law is clear: Government officials and agencies can't access that communication without going before a judge and getting a search warrant based on probable cause.

Bondholders challenge Puerto Rico's debt-moratorium law in court

Holders of bonds from Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank are suing to challenge aspects of a debt-moratorium law that island officials say is crucial to maintaining essential services as the US territory struggles under a nearly $70 billion debt load. The amended federal lawsuit filed late Friday in the US District Court in San Juan names Puerto Rico's governor and treasury secretary as well as an unidentified bank receiver. It argues that amendments to the law prioritize the rights of certain creditors at the expense of others in violation of US and Puerto Rican law.

Law firm offers counsel to those fighting to prevent guardianship takeover of rights

A nonprofit law firm hopes some fresh eyes might help ease the troubles facing Southern Nevada’s guardianship system. Led by former state lawmaker Barbara Buckley, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada jumped into the field earlier this year, offering a service lacking in guardianships in Clark County: attorney representation for those facing the possibility of having their constitutional rights stripped away through a court-approved guardianship. Similar to a public defender in criminal cases, the center offers representation to those facing guardianship who can’t afford their own attorney. Before 2016, they had offered their services in other areas such as consumer rights, bankruptcies, foreclosures and payday loans.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Battle of the Bathroom

The viral and bacterial links to the brain's decline

Business Week
How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes

The Economist
Antibiotics: When the drugs don’t work

Der Spiegel

Rompiamo il buio

How are we doing?

We would like to hear from you how we perform. What you like and what we should change or add… Send us an email; we aim to please!

Tell your friends and associates…

to subscribe to Migalhas International!

Express yourself

Want to share your opinion, your experience, your questions? You are welcome to do so. This forum is yours. Please contact the editor: [email protected]


We welcome information about your events or conferences to come. Please contact the editor.


Become a sponsor. Spread your name in the business and legal spheres around the world in Migalhas International.


To subscribe:Register your name and your address at

To unsubscribe:Send your name and e-mail address to in the subject line.We will remove your name soonest.

Address changes:If you want to continue to receive Migalhas International, please make sure we have your current e-mail address.


Michael Ghilissen, editor: [email protected]

Miguel Matos, publisher: [email protected]

Please feel free to send your comments, questions and suggestions to the editor.

Your comments

We always welcome information, articles, testimonials, opinions and comments about something you've read in Migalhas International. Please forward your contributions to the editor.


When you add your name to Migalhas International, you can be sure that it's confidential. We do not share, trade, rent or sell this list.Our "privacy policy" contains no fine print.No one gets our list. Period.Your e-mail address is safe with us.

Sharing Migalhas International

If you'd like to share this Migalhas International with friends and colleagues, feel free to forward this issue including the copyright notice.Or, invite them to subscribe so they receive their own Migalhas International every week.


The content of the Migalhas International newsletter is edited for purposes of news reporting, comments and education from several sources, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The London Times, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Financial Times, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Google News, International Herald Tribune, Paper Chase (, The World Press Review:, Forbes, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, American Bar Association, American Lawyer Media,, The National Law Journal, Reuters, Associated Press, Internet Business Law Services, Folha de S. Paulo, O Estado do S. Paulo, Lexis Nexis, West Law, CNN, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia and more.

Fair use notice

This newsletter contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of legal, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this newsletter is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

The messages that appear in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice nor substitute for obtaining legal advice from competent, independent, legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information contained on this list may or may not reflect the most current legal developments.

Copyright 2016 - Migalhas International