July 13, 2016 nº 1,765 - Vol. 13
 

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."

  Bill Cosby

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

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  • Top News

Keeping terrorists out of Facebook is a tech problem, not a legal one

A lawsuit filed against Facebook Inc. on behalf of terrorism victims in Israel illustrates some of the complications of going to court to remedy violent radicalism. Fortunately, there’s a better way to address the problem of militants exploiting social media. Lawyers for the victims sued Facebook in Manhattan federal court on Monday, seeking $1 billion in damages. They alleged that the US company allowed Palestinian militants affiliated with Hamas, branded by the US government as a terrorist organization, to use the online service to plan attacks that killed four Americans and wounded another in Israel, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. "Simply put, Hamas uses Facebook as a tool for engaging in terrorism," the lawyers wrote. The suit alleged that Hamas has used Facebook to share operational information and instructions for carrying out attacks. Whatever one's position on the Middle East conflict, it's fair to say that the suit against Facebook faces some serious legal hurdles. First, there is the so-called safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act. That measure protects online service providers, such as Facebook, from legal liability related to what their users say. The suit against Facebook argues that the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act, which prohibits material support to terrorist groups, ought to trump the communications decency law. The First Amendment's protection of free speech could present a further legal obstacle. Hamas hastened to wrap itself in its mantle. Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas leader, told Bloomberg News by phone that “suing Facebook clearly shows the American policy of fighting freedom of the press and expression” and is evidence of US prejudice against the group and “its just cause.”

France’s labor market remains key obstacle to growth, IMF says

France’s rigid labor market rules are still hampering growth and should be the focus of government efforts to modernize the economy, the International Monetary Fund said. “A key obstacle to growth remains the labor market,” the Washington-based fund said in its Article IV report on France. “Structural unemployment is projected to remain high in the absence of additional reforms. In an environment with modest medium-term growth prospects at home and in the euro area, France thus faces two central policy challenges: to support a more rapid creation of new private sector jobs and to ensure the sustainability of public finances.” The criticism is a reminder that the new labor law that President Francois Hollande forced through parliament despite opposition from his own lawmakers this month hasn’t substantively changed the French job market or economic outlook. The unemployment rate is stuck around 10 percent, roughly twice the level of the UK and Germany.

  • Crumbs

1 - How Uber secretly investigated its legal foes — and got caught - click here.

2 - EU Competition Regulators Prepare Additional Charges Against Google - click here.

3 - YouTube’s increase in streaming hits music labels’ revenues - click here.

4 - AMC Theatres buying Europe's Odeon & UCI in $1.21B deal - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China's claim to most of South China sea has no legal basis, Court says

F001China's Claim to Most of South China Sea Has No Legal Basis, Court SaysAn international tribunal ruled that China's claim to historic rights in most of the South China Sea has no legal basis, dealing a severe setback to Beijing that the US fears could intensify Chinese efforts to establish its control by force. The tribunal in The Hague declared that a "nine-dash" line used by Beijing to delineate its claims contravenes a United Nations convention on maritime law. It also decided that China isn't entitled to an exclusive economic zone surrounding one island in the Spratlys archipelago that is claimed by China and controlled by Taiwan. (Click here)

Why law can’t solve the South China Sea conflict

The authoritative voice of law has now spoken clearly and decisively on a South China Sea churning dangerously with military maneuvers and heated rhetoric. But law’s effects on the conflict are highly uncertain. While this ruling offers a significant positive contribution, law cannot solve all the conflicts in the South China Sea. Tuesday’s decision underscores the limits of law in resolving these disputes in practice, as well as the urgent need to move ahead with negotiations, supported by prudent power politics. Since the United States has not ratified the Law of the Sea Convention, it is in an awkward position in demanding Chinese compliance. The US Senate should advance ratification as an urgent national security priority.

Chinese developer in talks with Blackstone on property purchase

China Vanke said it was working with other partners on a $1.9 billion acquisition of commercial property in China from the American group.

Johnson Controls settles China corruption case with SEC

Manufacturing company Johnson Controls agreed to pay $14 million to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over conduct in China, while the Justice Department closed its investigation into the matter partly because of extensive cooperation by the company.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Lavado de dinero

Tribunal de Justicia de Argentina abrió proceso contra una veintena de ex ejecutivos del banco francés BNP Paribas en Argentina han sido encausados por el lavado de más de US$ 1,000 mlls. (Presione aquí)

McDonald's

La multinacional McDonald's, en Chile, puede quedarse sin "cajita feliz" por no cumplir con la ley de etiquetado, advierte órgano regulador. (Presione aquí)

Acuerdo

La unidad mexicana de la estadounidense Sempra Energy, IEnova, llegó a un acuerdo con la mexicana Pemex que reestructura la adquisición del 50% que la petrolera estatal tiene en Gasoductos de Chihuahua (GDC), para superar el rechazo del ente antimonopolios a la propuesta original. IEnova espera que la operación concluya durante el tercer trimestre del año. El monto mínimo que pagará a Pemex por su participación en GDC será de US$ 1,108 mlls.

Arbitraje

Argentina busca zanjar tres litigios de arbitraje que tiene con Alemania en el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones - Ciadi. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Europe approves new trans-Atlantic data transfer deal

European officials approved a new agreement on Tuesday that will allow some of the world’s largest companies, including Google and General Electric, to move digital information freely between the European Union and the United States. The pact, known as the E.U.-US Privacy Shield, comes after months of political wrangling. It is aimed at allowing online data — from social media posts and search queries to information about workers’ pensions and payroll — to be transferred across the Atlantic. The agreement also provides extra privacy protections for European citizens when their information is moved to the United States. The pact bolsters privacy guarantees for anyone living in Europe — but not for people in the United States — when their data is shifted across the Atlantic. Many Europeans fear that their information might be used inappropriately by the United States government, including its intelligence agencies, and by companies. The new safeguards include a greater say for Europeans on how their information is used, the right to go to American courts when people think companies or the United States government may have misused their data, and written guarantees from American officials that government agencies will not indiscriminately collect and monitor Europeans’ data without cause.

Israel passes law targeting human rights groups

Israel’s parliament has passed a controversial law that increases the regulation of many Israeli human rights organizations. The law approved by a vote of 57 to 48 on Monday targets groups that receive more than half their funding from foreign governments or political organizations. In practice, the law will affect liberal groups almost exclusively because hawkish groups in Israel largely rely on donations from wealthy individuals, which are exempt. The law requires organizations to state that they rely on foreign funding in all communication with public officials and on television, newspapers, billboards and online. Representatives of these groups must also declare they depend on foreign contributions to the heads of parliamentary committees when participating in meetings. Failure to comply will result in fines.

Obama urges US to 'reject despair'

Obama has urged the US to "reject despair" as he paid tribute to five police officers killed during a deadly sniper attack in Dallas. He told a memorial service in the city the US must "try to find some meaning amidst our sorrow" and could unite, reflecting on role as 'consoler-in-chief' during Dallas speech. His trip came amid mounting racial tensions across the country.

Hundreds forcibly disappeared in Egypt crackdown, says Amnesty

Egypt's security services have forcibly made hundreds of people disappear and tortured them in the past year to try to tackle dissent, a rights group says. Students, political activists and protesters - some as young as 14 - have vanished without a trace, according to a new report by Amnesty International. Many are alleged to have been held for months and often kept blindfolded and handcuffed for the entire period. Egypt's government has denied it uses enforced disappearances and torture.

Spain and Portugal face first EU fines over deficit levels

Portugal and Spain face becoming the first EU countries to be fined for running an excessive budget deficit, after a vote in the European Council. The council found that both countries had failed to reduce their deficits to below 3% of GDP and had not tried hard enough to do so. However, Portugal's prime minister said imposing fines would be "counterproductive" for the eurozone. Both nations have 10 days to submit new deficit reduction plans.

Kimberly-Clark: Venezuela seizes and re-opens US-owned factory

The government of Venezuela has said it has seized a factory owned by the US firm Kimberly-Clark. The firm had said it was halting operations in Venezuela as it was unable to obtain raw materials. But the labor minister said on Monday that the factory closure was illegal and it had re-opened "in the hands of the workers". Kimberly-Clark, which makes hygiene products including tissues and nappies, said it had acted appropriately. Over the weekend it became the latest multinational to close or scale back operations in the country, citing strict currency controls, a lack of raw materials and soaring inflation.

HRW: Turkey preventing independent investigation into mass abuses against civilians

The Turkish government is blocking access for independent investigations, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday. HRW claims that the Turkish government is abusing civilians on a massive scale and attempting to cover it up. These alleged abuses include "unlawful killings of civilians, mass forced civilian displacement, and widespread unlawful destruction of property." HRW reviewed lists of the dead compiled in numerous attacks which show as many as 66 residents, including 11 children, killed by gunfire or mortal explosions during Turkish government security operations.

Lawsuit filed against Facebook for facilitating terrorist attacks

A group of Israeli and American citizens filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday seeking $1 billion in damages from Facebook for allegedly facilitating in Palestinian military attacks. The plaintiffs are relatives of victims who died in attack in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the West Bank between 2014 and 2016. They are accusing Facebook of assisting in the Hamas militants' operations. The complaint contends that Facebook "knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas ... facilitating this terrorist group's ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies." This lawsuit follows comments made by Israel's security minister discussing Facebook's reluctance to help track potential Palestinian militants.

IMF says Italy has 'two lost decades' of growth

Italy's economy will not return to the levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis until the mid-2020s, the IMF has said, implying "two lost decades". By the mid-2020s, it says the economies of other eurozone members will be 20-25% larger than levels seen in 2008. The Fund's comments came as it cut its growth forecasts for the eurozone's third largest economy. Italy has an unemployment rate of 11% and a banking sector in crisis, with government debt second only to that of Greece. Italian banks are weighed down by massive bad debts, and may need a significant injection of funds.

Brazil beefs up security ahead of Olympic Games in Rio

The federal government in Brazil says it is releasing additional $24m funding to help them meet security needs ahead of next month's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The military would begin patrolling sports venues from 24 July, he added. More than 80,000 police and soldiers will patrol the streets of Rio for the duration of the games.

Ireland, Home to US ‘inversions,’ sees huge growth in G.D.P.

The country, which attracts companies with a low corporate tax rate, saw its economy expand 26.3 percent last year, according to new figures.

Clinton, State Department seek to block deposition in email-server lawsuit

Attorneys for Hillary Clinton and the State Department moved on Tuesday to quash a conservative group’s request to interview the former secretary of state under oath about her use of a private email server while in government.

SEC investigating Tesla for possible securities-law breach

The SEC is investigating whether Tesla Motors breached securities laws by failing to disclose a fatal crash in May involving an electric car that was driving itself.

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