June 27, 2016 nº 1,759 - Vol. 13
 

"What was once unthinkable has become irreversible."

Francois Hollande

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

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  • Top News

EU's founding members urge the UK to quickly exit the bloc

Six European Union foreign ministers at a crisis meeting in Berlin say they want to avoid a period of uncertainty. Merkel and Hollande have say they are in "full agreement" on how to handle the fallout from the UK's decision to leave the European Union. Hollande warned that "separated, we run the risk of divisions, dissension and quarrels". Obama has already said that the special relationship between the US and the UK would endure despite Britain's decision. The pound fell further in early trading in Asia on Monday as markets reacted. UK Chancellor George Osborne will issue a statement before the start of trading in the UK in a bid to calm markets. Over the weekend, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the process for Britain's withdrawal from the bloc should begin "immediately". Several EU foreign ministers also urged Britain to start the process soon. However, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond indicated the UK would resist pressure for a swift start to negotiations, insisting that "nothing is going to happen at the moment". David Cameron has said he will step down by October, allowing his successor to conduct the talks and, presumably, trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which sets a two-year deadline for an exit deal.

Brexit throws uncertain EU off balance

A while ago France's National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen said that Brexit would be like the Berlin Wall falling in 1989. She was right. Brexit is a momentous event in the history of Europe and from now on the narrative will be one of disintegration, not integration. That does not mean that the EU will fall apart, or even that another country will leave, which is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. But the centrist politicians who run nearly every EU member state will henceforth be on the defensive against the populist forces who oppose them and the EU. The European Commission, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker, believes in further integration. It generally seeks to respond to crises by pressing member states to accept "European" solutions that involve more powers for EU institutions. But the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, takes a different line. In recent weeks he has repeatedly warned that more centralization would turn citizens against the EU. "Obsessed with the idea of instant and total integration, we failed to notice that ordinary people, the citizens of Europe, do not share our Euro-enthusiasm," he said. The EU is unlikely to become significantly more protectionist. Free market instincts, economic liberalism and smaller EU budgets are here to stay. Nevertheless, without the British there will be less pressure for completing trade agreements and extending the single market.

Can the EU save itself?

For many across Europe, the unthinkable has happened. But in truth it has been coming for a long time. The European Union is now facing the biggest crisis in its history. "It's an explosive shock." Political emotions are running high in many European countries. Old certainties are being abandoned. And those who believe in the idea of European unity know that they have to respond quickly. Their vision of Europe has taken a decisive step backwards, and the EU will be weaker without the UK.

After Brexit vote, Britain asks Google: 'What is the EU?'

Google Trends shows that this was the second-searched EU-related question in the United Kingdom after polls closed. The first was "What does it mean to leave the EU?"

  • Crumbs

1 - Led Zeppelin cleared of stealing riff for Stairway to Heaven - click here.

2 - Supreme Court limits scope of blood alcohol tests for drunk drivers - click here.

3 - Man can’t be punished ‘simply for being homeless’ - click here.

4 - German government agrees to ban fracking after years of dispute - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Brexit: Asian powers warnings over global stability

There is fear that the uncertainty created by Britain's decision will continue to affect financial markets around the world. Some of Asia's biggest economies have expressed concerns over the world's economic stability as a result of Britain's vote to leave the EU. Both South Korea's President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said their countries were prepared to react to market volatility. China's central bank monetary policy committee said Brexit could mark a "reversal of globalisation", which would be "very bad" for the world. Last year, China was responsible for $3.3bn worth of foreign direct investment in Britain.

China implements new internet regulations for search companies

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Saturday announced that search companies must abide by new internet regulations. The CAC stated that search companies must produce results in line with national interests and must clearly distinguish normal results from paid ads which may display illegal and misleading information. Search companies are also required to properly report illegal content which may threaten national security or negatively impact public judgment.

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  • Brief News

UN experts: Brazil taking "negative steps" in commitment to freedom of opinion

Recent measures taken by Brazil's interim president, Michel Temer, are "negative steps for a country known for its solid commitment to freedom of opinion and expression," according to a joint statement by UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye and OAS Inter-American Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression Edison Lanza. Several recent actions by Temer's government have caused concern, including the termination of the chief executive officer of the Brazilian Public Broadcaster (EBC) in May. The executive was reinstated in his position after appealing to the nation's highest court, but several journalists' contracts were terminated in this time because of an alleged political bias. The government also merged the National Controller’s Office (CGU), into the Ministry of Transparency, Monitoring and Oversight. The experts say this is troubling because the CGU played a critical role in promoting access of information in Brazil. According to news reports, Temer will also introduce a bill in the legislature that would dissolve the EBC's council and enact budget cuts that would lead to the shut down of TV Brasil. The human rights experts wrote that "“Brazil is undergoing a critical period and should ensure it preserves the progress it has made in the promotion of freedom of expression and access to public information over the last two decades."

Russia lawmakers approve anti-terrorism amendments

Russia's lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, passed a number of counter-terrorism amendments on Friday. Dubbed the "Yarovaya Law" after their key drafter, the anti-terror laws ban proselytizing, preaching and praying outside officially recognized religious institutions. They also criminalize failure to report certain types of crimes and force cellular and internet providers to store all communications data for six months and to help security services decipher all messaging applications. An application's owner would face a fine of one million roubles (approximately US$15,000) if they decline to decrypt messages. Citizens, officials, and legal entities could face fines between 3,000 and 50,000 roubles for refusing to allow law enforcement to read their messages.

London lawyers try to ease Brexit fears, and wait for windfall

As the reality of Britain’s exit from the European Union set in Friday, London’s top lawyers worked to reassure anxious clients that everything was going to be fine, even if they couldn’t offer firm predictions about what happens next. The overriding message is ‘don’t panic. The ‘Leave’ vote will have no immediate effect on the vast majority of existing deals, and life continues today much as it did yesterday. How and when the UK leaves the EU depends on fragile political alliances, personalities and market reaction. Those things are far more difficult to divine than legal contracts. The resolution of Brexit may have as much impact on the future of the capital’s law firms as it does their clients. The UK legal market contributes about 20 billion pounds ($27.4 billion) a year to the country’s economy with London seen as the leading global professional services hub. Almost every top US law firm has had a presence within the City of London for decades.

Pope Francis says Church owes gays an apology

Pope Francis has said that the Roman Catholic Church should apologize to gay people for the way it has treated them. He told reporters that the Church had no right to judge the gay community, and should show them respect. The pontiff also said the Church should seek forgiveness from other people it had marginalized - women, the poor, and children forced into labor. The Pope has been hailed by many in the gay community for his positive attitude towards homosexuals. But some conservative Catholics have criticized him for making comments they say are ambiguous about sexual morality.

Keystone XL pipeline: Company to sue over rejection

TransCanada, the company behind the disputed Keystone XL pipeline project, has filed a formal request to sue the US government for damages. TransCanada made its intention clear in January to recover costs through arbitration. It is filing its claim for $15bn in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions. The pipeline, which was designed to carry oil from Canada to refineries in the US, was rejected by Obama last November. It would have allowed for an increase in the supply of oil from the oil sands in Alberta in Canada. But President Obama said it was not in the "national interests" of the US. The pipeline's construction has been hotly disputed for more than seven years, with environmentalists saying it would do irreparable damage.

Cameroon parliament votes for gender-balanced adultery ban

Cameroon's parliament voted on Wednesday for the country's penal code to punish men and women for adultery under equal terms. Though adultery was already a criminal act for both genders, the penal code previously punished women for committing any adulterous act while only punishing men for adultery committed in the home or "habitually elsewhere." The adjusted law charges adulterers with two to six months jail time or fines of up to about $175. The changes were pushed by President Paul Biya and are expected to be supported by both the president and the senate moving forward.

White House announces series of measures for incarcerated individuals

The White House announced on Friday a series of programs aimed at ensuring that former prisoners have better resources to transition back into the community. The administration said that improving education and job opportunities can reduce crime. Other programs will also provide funding to organizations to provide job training to young adults, develop career pathways programs for residents of high-poverty areas, and provide mentorship and career training to high school students at risk of dropping out.

Kuwait sues IOC over Olympic ban

The government of Kuwait filed a lawsuit in Swiss court on Thursday against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) seeking $1 billion in damages for its suspension of the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee (KOC). The IOC has said that it suspended the KOC last October "to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference."

When you dial 911 and Wall Street answers

Since the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have increasingly taken over public services like emergency care and firefighting, often with dire effects. Today, people interact with private equity when they dial 911, pay their mortgage, play a round of golf or turn on the kitchen tap for a glass of water. Private equity put a unique stamp on these businesses. Unlike other for-profit companies, which often have years of experience making a product or offering a service, private equity is primarily skilled in making money. And in many of these businesses, private equity firms applied a sophisticated moneymaking playbook: a mix of cost cuts, price increases, lobbying and litigation. In emergency care and firefighting, this approach creates a fundamental tension: the push to turn a profit while caring for people in their most vulnerable moments.

Nissan sues South Korea over emissions-cheating accusations

Nissan Motor’s South Korean unit has filed a lawsuit over the Korean’s government’s claims that the Japanese auto maker rigged emissions tests on its Qashqai diesel sport-utility vehicles.

How Texas led a legal revolt against Washington

Texas has sued the Obama administration at least 44 times since the president took office—more than any other state over the same period.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
The gene machine. A New Technique That Lets Scientists Edit DNA Is Transforming Science—and Raising Difficult Questions

Newsweek
Brexit: Labour Party In Turmoil As Corbyn Resists Resignation

Business Week
The ‘Anti-Business’ President Who’s Been Good for Business (Obama)

The Economist
Artificial intelligence: March of the machines

Der Spiegel
Europa is tot. Es lebe Europa?

L'Espresso
Assalto al governo

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