June 6, 2016 nº 1,751 - Vol. 13

"If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention."

Tom Peters

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  • Top News

David Cameron struggles to win hearts in Brexit debate

This wasn’t what was supposed to happen. With just over two weeks to go until the British referendum on European Union membership, Prime Minister David Cameron might have expected his “Remain” campaign to be well ahead. Weeks of warnings from independent authorities in Britain, Europe and the world were supposed to have convinced voters that the risks of leaving were too high in terms of lost trade, investment and jobs. Remain campaigners say they are confident this message has cut through with enough voters to win the day. Yet the polls still show the contest neck-and-neck. Cameron is fighting for his political life. How did it come to this? One reason is that the spotlight has swung firmly onto the touchstone issue of immigration following data published this month that showed that a net 333,000 people came to live in the UK in the past year. That is far above the government’s longstanding target of fewer than 100,000 and has reinforced anxieties about EU rules that give every citizen in the bloc the right to live and work in the UK The Leave campaign’s claim that a British exit from the EU, or Brexit, would allow the UK to “take back control” of its borders and drastically cut migration has clear appeal for many voters who fear that excessive migration is putting an intolerable strain on the UK’s economic and social fabric.

Victims’ families back Trump in immigration debate

Donald Trump is giving a national platform to parents of victims of crimes by illegal immigrants, who help put a sympathetic face on the presumptive GOP nominee’s rhetoric branding Mexican immigrants as criminals and his plans to build a wall along the southern border.

DOJ asks appeals court to vacate sanctions in immigration dispute

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday asked a federal appeals court to vacate sanctions imposed by a district judge. The sanctions are apart of an ongoing immigration debate where 26 states sued over the president's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) immigration policy. The sanctions, which require any DOJ lawyer appearing in court in any of the 26 states undergo a mandatory ethics class. The DOJ stated in its petition: “the district court reached far beyond its authority here and dictated the scope and content of ethical and professional responsibility training for thousands of attorneys if they appear in any federal or state court in the 26 plaintiff States. These extraordinary measures imposed by the district court transgress the constitutional separation of powers and usurp the Attorney General's statutory authority to manage the Department and set policy for ethics training and enforcement and to determine which attorneys may represent the United States in litigation throughout the nation.” Earlier this week the DOJ formally objected to the federal judge's order requiring DOJ lawyers to attend ethics classes.

Arbitration: Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) Disputes

The School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London has launched its seventh major empirical survey. This year, the focus lies on technology, media and telecoms (TMT) disputes. The 2016 Survey aims to reveal common practices for resolving TMT disputes, including the use of ADR mechanisms, thereby allowing stakeholders to benchmark their own businesses' internal practices. It will put quantitative findings into market context and will seek to predict efficient solutions to challenges that surround TMT disputes. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete and is available at https://www.arbitration.qmul.ac.uk/research/2016.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China to ignore UN ruling concerning the South China Sea

A Chinese official said Saturday that China will ignore a decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague over the South China Sea dispute. The Philippines filed a case against the People's Republic of China with the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013 disputing the latter's territorial claims in the South China Sea (SCS). China's territorial claims in the SCS overlap with territory claimed by other Asian countries. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Chinese military officials maintained that the tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction. The US has vowed to take action with other nations if China does not stop constructing on territory claimed by others in the SCS.

'No shorts' rule for Beijing marriage license applicants

Couples who want to apply for a marriage license in Beijing will have to dress smartly in future, or risk being turned away. The city's Civil Affairs Bureau has announced a new rule stipulating that couples won't be issued a license to wed if they show up in shorts, T-shirts or other casual wear.


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  • Brief News

AP: police departments not filing hate crime reports

An Associated Press (AP) investigation has found that thousands of police agencies across the country do not submit hate crime reports to the FBI. Although many agencies and departments would only file zeros, federal guidelines call for reports to be submitted. Underreporting may mask the extent of bias crimes nationwide and may also show the low-priority some agencies and departments place on hate crimes. Also, victims are limited to relying on the FBI to investigate and bring charges in states that do not have a hate crime statute. Hate crime reports aid the Department of Justice (DOJ), journalists and researchers in tracking hate crime patterns nationwide. The AP report showed that 17 percent of all city and county law enforcement agencies nationwide have not submitted hate crime reports for the past six years.

Switzerland's voters rejects basic income plan

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all. Final results from Sunday's referendum showed that nearly 77% opposed the plan, with only 23% backing it. The proposal had called for adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, whether they worked or not. The supporters camp had suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,555) for adults and also SFr625 for each child. Critics of the measure said that disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would have been bad for society.

Bishops face sack for mishandling abuse under papal plans

Pope Francis has approved measures to sack bishops who mishandle child sexual abuse cases, a papal decree says. Bishops who are "negligent" in dealing with priests committing abuse will be removed under the new legal procedures. The decree comes in response to long-running demands by abuse victims and their supporters to hold bishops accountable if they fail to protect their flocks from pedophiles. Existing laws relating to abuse cases would be tightened, the Pope said.

Cuba will never rejoin OAS over Venezuela row, says Castro

Cuban President Raul Castro says the country will not return to the Organization of American States (OAS) in a show of solidarity with Venezuela. OAS Secretary General Luis Almargo has called for sanctions against Venezuela. At a summit of Caribbean countries in Havana, Castro called the OAS "an instrument of imperialist domination". Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 but following a recent thaw in relations with the US it was suggested that the island might return.

Venezuela president accuses national assembly of usurping presidential duties

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday filed a complaint in the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) accusing National Assembly opposition leaders of partaking in international relations contrary to constitutional law. Assembly leaders previously reached out to the Organization of American States (OAS) to help resolve current political and economic issues. Maduro stated that the National Assembly usurped his exclusive presidential duties by engaging in foreign affairs.

Alcohol industry braces for Scottish ruling

The global alcohol industry is bracing for a potentially precedent-setting court decision in Scotland this summer on whether the government can set a floor on alcohol prices.

Egypt appeals court acquits 33 convicted protesters

A Cairo appeals court on Saturday acquitted 33 protesters previously sentenced to two years in prison. The protesters were among 300 others who were arrested in April for holding a large-scale public demonstration against the surrendering of the Red Sea Island to Saudi Arabia.

Walmart to test food delivery with Uber and Lyft

Walmart customers in the US could soon have their groceries delivered by Uber and Lyft drivers under a pilot to be announced by the US retail giant. Walmart already offers an online grocery delivery service in 13 markets. Under the new partnership, Walmart customers can place a delivery online and a Walmart employee will then request a driver from Uber or Lyft. (Click here)

Amnesty: EU cannot return refugees to Turkey under new agreement

The EU must stop returning refugees to Turkey, Amnesty International (AI) said Friday in a briefing. The briefing details the defects in Turkey's care of refugees, stating that the hardships faced by refugees cause such a return to be illegal under the EU-Turkey Agreement of March 18. While open to refugees, AI claims that Turkey's resources have become drained under the weight of approximately 2.75 million Syrian refugees and 400,000 asylum-seekers and refugees from other countries who have entered the country. Issues involving such as child labor, durable solutions, and subsistence have arisen due to the number of people seeking safety.

Brazil said to delay Petrobras, other asset sales until 2017

Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer will prioritize infrastructure concessions this year as a way to showcase an improving political environment and rule of law, before offering stakes in state companies in 2017. Several highways and airports are almost ready to be put up for tender. Such deals are less controversial than those involving strategic assets, like units of oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, according to a Temer aide who participates in key policy discussions. Temer’s team is also identifying regulatory improvements needed to pave the way for asset sales, said the aide, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. Amid the impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff and the worst economic recession in over a century, the Temer administration will need more time to structure asset sales and reassure investors wary of years of market volatility and a heavy government hand in the economy.

What is a 'tax matters partner'?

Because an LLC is often treated as a flow-through entity for tax purposes, its owners must each report and pay tax on their respective shares of LLC income. When an LLC is audited, the IRS is faced with the challenging task of chasing down each of the LLC’s members. Congress addressed this issue in 1982 with a law (“TEFRA”) that requires each flow-through entity to designate a “tax matters partner” (the “TMP”). The idea of a TMP is that the LLC selects a single person that the IRS can work with, rather than having to deal with each LLC member individually. An LLC with 10 or fewer members may be not be subject to the TEFRA rules, but LLCs with more complex structures fall within the TEFRA regime. The members of an LLC covered by TEFRA should choose the TMP carefully as the TMP has significant powers and responsibilities in the audit process. Although all members are entitled to participate in the process, the TMP determines the time and place of proceedings and makes certain decisions that will bind the LLC and its members. The TMP must provide identifying information regarding the members to the IRS and notify members of certain milestones in the audit process. The TMP is empowered to extend the statute of limitations for the tax items under audit, and, if the LLC desires to challenge an IRS decision, the TMP has the right to select the court to which to bring the contest. In a tax court proceeding, a TMP’s settlement of the case has the potential to bind all members without their prior consent. The role of the TMP is important now, but it is headed for obsolescence. As of 2018, a new federal law will go into effect and significantly reform the audit process. The new law streamlines audits by imposing liability for any tax adjustment resulting from the audit on the LLC itself (rather than on members of the LLC for the year under review).

Party elders knock Trump over comments on judge

Two Republican Party elders on Sunday denounced Donald Trump’s attacks on a Hispanic federal judge, adding to criticism from GOP figures of their presumptive presidential nominee.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

How to Stay Married

Former PM slams 'squalid' and 'deceitful' Brexit campaign. John Major says Leave supporters are lying to voters about the cost of EU membership

Business Week
Sixty Million Car Bombs: Inside Takata’s Air Bag Crisis

The Economist
Free speech: Under attack

Der Spiegel
Geht’s noch? (Kluft zwischen CDU und CSU)

Parigi brucia


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