July 27, 2016 nº 1,770 - Vol. 13

"Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

George Bernard Shaw

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  • Top News

Here's how law school grads would fix law school

Law grads want more experiential learning, more diversity, and reformed grading policies. Ask any third year law student from any graduating class, and you’ll hear the same knocks on law school. The curriculum is out of touch with the practice of law. Sure, they’ll admit the need to learn the theories and precedents underlying the legal system. At the same time, it’s hard to refute their deeper concern: How helpful is ‘thinking like an attorney’ when you don’t know what to file or when (let alone taking a case from start-to-finish)? It wasn’t always like this. The law was once an apprentice industry, no different than the training of plumbers and electricians. Future lawyers spent years “reading law” under the tutelage of a judge or seasoned attorney to prepare for practice. Eventually, law evolved from a vocation to an academic discipline. The result: law graduates can churn out briefs in droves — just don’t ask them about procedure. As you can imagine, this places law graduates at a disadvantage early in their careers. And Duke Law’s Seth Pearson, a former White House intern, believes schools should focus more heavily on practical skills. “I think many law students leave law school with no idea what it means to be a lawyer,” Pearson says. “Duke Law has made great strides in creating opportunities for students to practice the skills they learn in the classroom, but the opportunities are optional and can be seen sometimes as a distraction to your education instead of a critical piece of the academic experience. I would like to see professional conduct and practical skills become a pillar of legal education. It would make us all better at what we will be asked to do in practice.”

VW gets initial ok of $14.7 billion settlement with US drivers

A federal judge granted preliminary approval to Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion settlement with US drivers of diesel-powered vehicles, clearing the way for the company to put the plan into action and put the emissions scandal behind it.

  • Crumbs

1 - Vatican and Bank of Italy sign key agreement after years of mistrust - click here.

2 - Judge slams Uber for digging up dirt on customer who sued - click here.

3 - Labour sued by members barred from leadership vote - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

HK journalists jailed in China for 'illegal business'

Two journalists who worked on political magazines in Hong Kong have been jailed in mainland China for running an illegal business. Publisher Wang Jianmin and editor Guo Zhongxiao worked on New-Way Monthly and Multiple Face, which published gossipy news about mainland leaders. The articles were published in Hong Kong, which has greater media freedoms, but copies were sent to the mainland. They were arrested in 2014 in Shenzhen, and both men pleaded guilty in court. Wang was jailed for five years and three months, while Guo was jailed for two years and three months and is expected to be released soon for time served.

China shuts several online news sites for independent reporting

China has shut down several online news operations amid a crackdown on political and social news reporting, local media report. News services run by some of China's biggest online portals, including Sina, Sohu, NetEase and iFeng, were shut for publishing independent reports instead of official statements. The sites had seriously violated reporting rules, officials said.


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  • Historia Verdadera


El gobierno de Ecuador inició los trámites para procesar a jueces y funcionarios judiciales que actuaron con negligencia en el caso Chevron y permitieron que la multinacional gane al país un proceso por US$ 102 mlls. por denegación de justicia. (Presione aquí)


La australiana Lithium Power planea iniciar en septiembre las perforaciones para un proyecto de litio en el norte de Chile tras asociarse con una firma local. La empresa estima que la iniciativa en el salar de Maricunga podría empezar con sus ventas comerciales para el 2020. Lithium Power se asoció con la local Minera Salar Blanco para la exploración y desarrollo del proyecto.


Un tribunal de Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, revocó una resolución que autorizaba a Odebrecht Oleos e Gas a participar de licitaciones en Petrobras. La subsidiaria de la constructora Odebrecht está mencionada en el proceso por corrupción denominado Lava Jato.

  • Brief News

One thing both parties want: to break up the banks again

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both called for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, a 1933 law that separated investment and commercial banks. The landmark 1933 law aimed to protect the common folk who deposited money in their banks for safekeeping, and ordered that those banks decouple themselves from the business of placing the type of speculative stock market bets that caused the great crash of 1929. The potential change hasn’t yet become a major talking point for Hillary Clinton or Mr. Trump — and there is a chance it will never be one — but the language that was inserted into both parties’ formal platforms is raising eyebrows in Washington and the financial world.

EU watchdogs permit Privacy Shield to run for one year

The new EU-US data-sharing agreement will be able to run for at least a year, European regulators have announced. The Privacy Shield allows companies to transfer personal data from the EU to the United States. EU governments approved the pact earlier this month, but 28 data protection authorities had yet to comment. They have now said they will not challenge the deal for at least a year. This means that no legal objection to the framework will be launched until it has had time to go through its first annual review next summer. The Privacy Shield replaces an arrangement known as Safe Harbour, which was struck down in October 2015 after leaks showed data was subject to US surveillance.

Facebook 'anti-spam systems' blocked Democrat emails dump

Facebook has said its anti-spam filters were to blame for its website briefly blocking access to internal emails from US Democratic Party committee members published by Wikileaks. "Anti-spam systems briefly flagged links to these documents as unsafe," Facebook said. Earlier, Facebook's chief security officer confirmed the dump of emails had been inaccessible from its website. Over the weekend, Wikileaks accused Facebook of "censoring" the emails. Although they had remained accessible from Facebook via a shortened online link. Wikileaks says 19,000 emails were leaked from the accounts of seven Democratic Party officials. Some appeared to suggest party insiders had tried to disrupt Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since the emails' dissemination, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chaired of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has resigned.

Australia PM proposes strict anti-terror legislation

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday proposed new counter-terrorism legislation that would allow for indefinite detention. Turnbull announced plans to introduce Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2016, which would allow for the indefinite detention of convicted terrorists who have served their sentences but are still deemed a threat to public safety. According to Turnbull, this would be, "supervised by the courts similarly to the arrangements that apply in a number of our jurisdictions for sex offenders and extremely violent individuals." The legislation would also allow for "control orders" to be placed on individuals as young as 14 years of age and would add a new offense of advocating genocide.

New trials for delivering goods by drones, in UK

The government's getting together with the retail giant Amazon to start testing flying drones that can deliver parcels to your door. Amazon's paying for the programme, which will look at the best way to allow hundreds of robotic aircraft to buzz around Britain's skies safely. The company claims it'll eventually mean small parcels will arrive at your house within 30 minutes of ordering them online. Ministers say they want to pave the way for all businesses to start using the technology in future, but they will still have to convince the public that having automated drones flying around is both safe and won't invade people's privacy.

AB InBev revise offer for SABMiller after drop in pound

AB InBev has raised its takeover offer for rival SABMiller after a fall in the pound made its original offer less attractive. The offer was raised by £1 a share to £45 a share, valuing SABMiller at about £79bn ($104bn) up from £70bn previously. SABMiller said the two brewing firms had discussed the deal last week "in light of recent exchange rate volatility and market movements". The pound has lost about 12% against the dollar since the UK referendum. The increased offer comes after major investors in SABMiller argued the fall in sterling made their part in the deal worth less.

Doping scandals reduce interest in Olympics

Doping scandals have reduced public interest in the Olympics, according to a poll. A majority of 57%, from 19,000 people surveyed across 19 countries, said doping has had "a lot" or "some" negative effect on the level of attention they will pay the Games. Respondents from Germany and the host nation, Brazil, were least affected. An average of 62% of citizens also said their country's performance has "a lot" or "some" impact on national pride. Olympic success had the greatest impact on national pride among respondents in emerging economies such as Indonesia, Kenya, Russia, Peru and India. National pride in Brazil, Germany, the US and France appeared least affected by Olympic success.

Turkey's Erdogan criticises EU over Syria refugee deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the EU has not been "sincere" over an aid deal with Turkey to contain the influx of refugees from Syria. There has been concern about the EU-Turkey deal, clinched in March, since Turkey was thrown into turmoil by a coup attempt on 15 July. Turkey is hosting about 2.7 million Syrian refugees and Mr Erdogan said the cost to Turkey so far had been nearly $12bn.

Argentina announces new gender violence plan

The Argentine President, Mauricio Macri, has announced a national plan to fight violence against women. He said every 37 hours a woman was attacked in Argentina and that education was the key to ending deeply rooted cultural patterns of violence. The plan, due to start next year, includes creating a network of women's refuges, and money for the electronic tagging of violent men. Last year 235 women were killed in gender violence incidents in Argentina. The government's National Plan for the Eradication of Violence against Women is putting into force a 2009 law.

Puerto Rico lawsuits live on after Promesa

While Puerto Rico is on a path to a historic debt restructuring, the commonwealth still faces legal challenges. Hedge funds and insurance companies are seeking to stop the island from redirecting revenue and imposing a moratorium on debt payments, with two suits emerging even after the passage of the Promesa bill. The US law, which means promise in Spanish, creates a federal control board that will oversee debt negotiations and seek to end Puerto Rico’s habitual budget deficits. It also aims to halt ongoing lawsuits and prohibits creditors from suing for repayment. Debt holders have still found ways to use the courts to protect their investments. The firms are contesting Puerto Rico’s claim that existing suits fall within the stay or claim the island’s fund transfers violate the Promesa law.

Deutsche Börse shareholders approve London Stock Exchange merger

At least 60 percent of the German stock exchange operator’s outstanding shares were pledged in support of the transaction.

What goes up must come down: the end of Yahoo as we know it

The sale of Yahoo’s core web business to Verizon for $4.83 billion caps a long downward spiral for the onetime pioneer, which at its height was valued at $125 billion. The caps two decades of deals and non-deals that shaped internet history. Yahoo got lucky with Alibaba, but failed to capitalize on its dominance by not acquiring companies like Google, Facebook and eBay. Spurning Microsoft also was a mistake. It is a one-company textbook on timing.

Fraud probe hits hedge fund tied to Jewish community

Platinum Partners, a New York hedge-fund firm facing a probe into alleged bribery, is also under investigation into whether it has been paying exiting investors with money from incoming ones.


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