August 10, 2016 nº 1,776 - Vol. 13

"The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers."

Jean Piaget

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  • Top News

Brazil Senate to vote on Rousseff impeachment trial

The Brazilian Senate is debating ahead of a vote on whether to try suspended President Dilma Rousseff for breaking the budget law. A simple majority in the 81-seat Senate is needed to open an impeachment trial against Rousseff. The debate is due to end around dawn on Wednesday. The Senate suspended Rousseff in May over alleged illegal accounting practices. She says they were common practice under previous administrations. If senators back an impeachment trial - as is expected - a two-thirds majority would be needed in the final vote, due in the week after the Olympics closing ceremony. As the debate got under way, Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski told senators that they were about to "exercise one of the most serious tasks under the constitution". Rousseff has been accused of spending money without congressional approval and taking out unauthorized loans from state banks to boost the national budget ahead of the 2014 election, when she was re-elected. Her allies in the Workers' Party have pointed out that many of the members of the Brazilian congress who have accused her are implicated in corruption cases themselves.

Germany court: lawsuits against Volkswagen may proceed

The District Court in Braunschweig, Germany, ruled Monday that a collective complaint against Volkswagen AG (VW) may move forward. Like US-style class-action lawsuits, the collective complaint was launched on behalf of multiple investors who lost money following the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Unlike US-style class-action lawsuits, a German court must choose one case to decide and then apply to the ruling to other cases. The district court has received 170 investor lawsuits alleging that VW failed to inform investors of the impending scandal. The lawsuits add up to approximately € 4 billion (USD $4.4 billion), and the district court will choose a pilot case by the end of the year. (Click here)

Mineral resource and reserve disclosure

According to Daniela Bessone and Gabriel Rios Corrêa, partners at the Brazilian law firm Lobo & Ibeas Advogados, potential investors or acquirers of Brazilian mining companies are often concerned about the lack of transparency and of clear standards and practices for reporting mineral resources and reserves, so far, the rules are receiving some changes. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1- Barclays pays $100m to US states to settle Libor case - click here.

2 - Dallas-based AT&T to pay nearly $7.8M in 'cramming' cases - click here.

3 - Italy highest court gives go ahead to political reform referendum - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Error puts Chinese tourist in German migrant hostel

A Chinese tourist spent nearly two weeks in a German migrant hostel after mistakenly applying for asylum when he actually wanted to report a theft. German media say the 31-year-old backpacker, who spoke neither German nor English, underwent a medical check and his fingerprints were taken. A Red Cross worker later found out that the man's wallet had been stolen in Stuttgart. But instead of going to the police the man registered as a migrant. A Mandarin speaker solved the puzzle.


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  • Historia Verdadera


Ecuador insistirá en llegar a la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos para revisión de la sentencia de apelación en Nueva York que deja inválido el proceso por contaminación ambiental por supuesto uso de medios corruptibles. (Pressione aquí)


La petrolera rusa Rosneft abastecerá de crudo venezolano a la refinería india Essar Oil luego de que finalice un acuerdo para adquirir una participación en esta compañía. Rosneft proveerá el crudo a Essar Oil como parte de un acuerdo para obtener el 49 % de las acciones en la compañía india.


La española Gas Natural Fenosa, GNF, solicitó a Colombia un diálogo de seis meses, al amparo del Acuerdo para la Promoción y Protección Recíproca de Inversiones firmado entre ambos países, para encontrar "soluciones integrales" para la eléctrica Electricaribe, que presta servicio en la costa atlántica. GNF, en su calidad de inversionista extranjero, ha notificado formalmente la existencia de una controversia con Colombia.

Juicio Político

El Senado de Brasil votó en la madrugada de este miércoles a favor de presentar cargos contra la suspendida presidenta Dilma Rousseff y someterla a juicio por violar las leyes de presupuesto. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Anger over Donald Trump gun rights remarks

Trump has sparked anger by appearing to suggest his supporters could stop his rival Hillary Clinton by exercising their gun rights. He said that Clinton would put liberal justices on the Supreme Court if she wins the presidency in November, threatening gun ownership rights. Speaking at a rally in North Carolina, Trump hinted that gun rights advocates could stop her taking power. That sparked an online backlash, many accusing him of inciting violence.

France enacts contested labor law reform in bid to create jobs

French President Hollande's labor law reform was enacted following nearly five months of debate in the National Assembly, violent street protests in Paris and the government resorting to special constitution powers three times to push the bill through legislature. The law became official with its publication in the government's official gazette on Tuesday. The new regulations will allow businesses to increase working hours with minimal compensation, cap severance pay and make it simpler for companies to eliminate jobs. Hollande, who considers the law a cornerstone of his efforts to cut unemployment, had called on the government to enact the law through decrees as quickly as possible. Controversy about the law, which faced sustained opposition from Hollande's own Socialist labor makers as well as unions, contributed to sending the president's approval rating to a record low.

Goodbye to 'Honeys' in Court, by Vote of American Bar Association

It is official. The American Bar Association says it is professional misconduct to discriminate against or harass opposing counsel, or anyone else for that matter, in the course of practicing law. The ethics rule now forbids comments or actions that single out someone on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability and other factors. Nearly two dozen state bars and the District of Columbia bar have similar rules. But there has been no national prohibition of such behavior, which, many female lawyers complain, results in too many "honeys," "darlings" and other sexist remarks and gestures toward them while they are trying to practice their profession. Without a flat prohibition, advocates of the rule said, using demeaning and misogynistic terms and actions to undermine opposing counsel and others too often does not have consequences.

M.I.T., N.Y.U. and Yale are sued over retirement plan fees

Employees contend that each university failed to monitor, and replace, expensive, poor-performing investment options in their retirement plans.

Parents of Americans killed in Benghazi sue Hillary Clinton

The parents of two Americans killed in a 2012 attack in the Libyan city of Benghazi have sued Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, filed a lawsuit against Clinton for wrongful death and defamation. The suit claims the former secretary of state's use of a private email server contributed to their sons' death. The parents also accuse her of defaming them in statements to the media. (Click here)

Court dismisses US Chamber's suit over Seattle's Uber union law

A federal judge on Tuesday threw out the US Chamber of Commerce's lawsuit over the city of Seattle's landmark Uber unionization law, but the legal fight is likely far from over. The law would give Uber, Lyft, and other "for hire" drivers the right to unionize, but the rules have yet to be implemented. In his ruling dismissing the suit, US District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik agreed with the city that any impact from the law is purely theoretical at this point, making the lawsuit premature. He said the chamber's arguments at this moment — before the law has been implemented — represent "a speculative chain of events controlled entirely by the choices of third parties not currently before the Court."

Goldman Sachs's fight to avoid paying employees' legal fees

Two cases involving the Wall Street bank illustrate how a corporation can turn its back on an employee when it sees itself as the victim of wrongdoing.

Australian census attacked by hackers

The Australian census website was shut down by what authorities said was a series of deliberate attacks from overseas hackers. Millions of Australians were prevented from taking part in the national survey on Tuesday night. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) had boasted only hours before that its website would not crash. The prime minister assured the public that their personal information was not compromised.

EU waives budget deficit fines for Spain and Portugal

The European Union has formally agreed to waive fines for Spain and Portugal over their excessive budget deficits. Under EU rules, member states are not supposed to run annual deficits greater than 3% of their total economic output. Last year, Spain's deficit was 5.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) and Portugal's stood at 4.4%. But citing "exceptional circumstances", the EU Council has given each country more time to conform to the rules and bring their deficits down.

Federal appeals court rules for Chevron in Ecuador pollution case

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday affirmed a lower court ruling that barred Ecuadoran plaintiffs from collecting a USD $8.646 billion Ecuadoran judgment against Chevron Corp. The lower court had concluded in 2014 that the Ecuadoran judgment was obtained through corruption and fraud and barred the plaintiffs' attorney, Steven Donziger, from attempting to enforce the judgment or profit from the award anywhere in the world. The appeals court affirmed the lower court's judgment that concluded that Donziger and his team had secretly authored the judgment and offered the Ecuadoran judge $500,000 to sign it. (Click here)

Brazilian judge rejects using law to block protests at Olympics

A judge blocked a provision in a law that has been used to throw antigovernment protesters out of Olympic venues, clearing the way for renewed political chants and messages at Games sporting events. Federal Judge João Augusto Carneiro Araújo ruled that expelling protesters from Olympic venues violates the right to free expression, which is guaranteed in Brazil's constitution. According to Brazil's so-called Olympic law, which bans political demonstrations at venues, spectators can't "use flags for ends other than festive and friendly displays."

New Egypt law bars police from speaking to media

Egypt's parliament has passed legislation that will prohibit police from providing information to the media without government permission, a move that critics say is an attempt to further cover up high-level abuses and corruption. Amendments to the police authority law, approved by parliament on Tuesday, will bar police officers from providing information or publishing any documents, reports or photos related to their work without written authorization from the interior ministry. Officers who break the new law could face unspecified prison terms and fines of up to $2,252.

Big banks team up to fight cyber crime

Eight of the largest US lenders, including J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, are forming a group that seeks to tackle the growing threat from cybercriminals.


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