August 15, 2016 nº 1,778 - Vol. 13

"One's eyes are what one is, one's mouth is what one becomes."

John Galsworthy

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  • Top News

Universal background check law: will it work?

"Everytown for Gun Safety" group, and proponents of Universal Background Check claim the measures represent "common-sense" proposals to regulate gun sales, with "reasonable" and adequate exceptions. These proposals, though, ignore reality: the vast majority of criminals who acquire firearms don’t go through legal channels, and won’t bother with a background check. Initiatives to impose so-called "universal background check” laws are pending in Maine and Nevada, and a similar initiative was passed in Washington State in 2014. In addition to claiming that these laws don't outlaw private transfers of guns or "criminalize traditional behavior," proponents also allege the background check laws have "commonsense" and "reasonable exceptions." The NRA opposes these measures for many good reasons – that they are misleadingly portrayed as applying to only "sales," that they accomplish little besides burdening honest gun owners with new fees and paperwork, and because these laws regulate temporary loans, gifts and similar innocuous "transfers" of guns, with few and inadequate exemptions. The Oregon Firearms Safety Act (OFSA), enacted in 2015, follows the template of such "universal background check" laws and initiatives. The OFSA applies when any change of possession of a gun occurs, even if ownership or title remains the same, by defining a "transfer" as any "delivery of a firearm from a transferor to a transferee, including, but not limited to, the sale, gift, loan or lease of the firearm." It prohibits a gun sale or "transfer" between persons who are not federally licensed, unless the transaction is completed through a licensed gun dealer. Both parties "must appear in person before a gun dealer, with the firearm, and request that the gun dealer perform a criminal background check on the transferee." Even for temporary loans or where no money changes hands, all of the paperwork that applies to a retail sale of a firearm applies. Dealers are authorized to charge fees for "facilitating" these transactions, which means a loan of a gun costs the lender or borrower twice over (once for the loan, and again when the gun is returned). A person who fails to comply with these requirements commits a criminal offense –a felony if the person has a previous conviction.

  • Crumbs

1- Google Fined for Breaking Russian Antitrust Rules With Android - click here.

2 - Common Sense Alone Not Enough in Patent Law, U.S. Court Finds - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Trillions in murky investments could rock China's economy

Long on promises and short on details, investments known as wealth management products have drawn a flood of money — and pose a big risk. A Shanghai investment firm is offering a fat return of up to 10 percent a year, handily beating both the local stock market and the paltry payouts from bank accounts. It requires a minimum deposit of about $15, making it accessible to just about anyone. Investors can pull out in as little as seven days. Best of all, the money is guaranteed. There is just one catch: Investors know surprisingly little about what they are buying. The firm, State Gold Treasure, said the money would be plowed into a real estate company building a luxury serviced-apartment complex here in Shanghai. But it will not release details, including the complex's address.

China's 'virtual economy' looks much like pre-bubble

China's high debt, slowing growth and appetite for U.S. assets—the country already owns trillions in U.S. Treasuries and dollars—raises the stakes for tech companies if the country's fortunes should suddenly reverse. As the China bubble pops, it has been commodities and commodity exporting countries in the first wave, then banks and non-performing loans, then it will be the assets they financed or were secured by.


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  • Historia Verdadera

Protección de datos

Los bancos europeos ya tienen una norma para entregar información confidencial para colaborar en la investigación de delitos financieros. (Presione aquí)


La Justicia de Mexico encuentra vínculo de corrupción entre políticos y la armadora coreana Kia, quien se habria favorecido con contratos ilícitos para operar en mercado mexicano. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

In an effort to pressure Trump, Clinton releases 2015 tax returns

Hillary Clinton has released her tax returns, adding to the pressure on her Republican rival for the White House, Donald Trump, to do the same. The Democratic presidential candidate paid an effective federal tax rate of 34.2% with an adjusted gross income of $10.6 million last year. Her running mate Tim Kaine, along with his wife Anne Holton, paid a rate of 20.3%, his returns show. Trump, who has released a self-reported financial disclosure form, said he will not make his tax returns public until the Internal Revenue Service completes audits of them. Presidential candidates typically release their tax returns to the media to show their effective tax rate, charitable donations and other financial details.

Nice court upholds burkinis ban

A French court in Nice has upheld the ban on burkinis imposed by the mayor of Cannes. The court said the ruling was legal but many religious groups were outraged. The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) said it would appeal against the decision in France's highest administrative court. Authorities in Cannes and nearby villages voted to ban full-body swimsuits or burkinis from the end of July. The court said the ban was legal under a law, which prohibits people neglecting common rules on "relations between public authorities and private individuals" on the basis of religion. The judge noted the ban came "in the context of the state of emergency and recent Islamist attacks, notably in Nice a month ago". But CCIF lawyer Sefen Guez Guez, said he would lodge an appeal with the Council of State, the highest administrative body in France.

Russia sends new air defense missiles to Crimea

The Russian military has announced the delivery of new air defense missiles to Crimea, in a move scheduled before the latest tension with Ukraine. The S-400 Triumph missile systems were earmarked for troops in Crimea last month, Russian media said at the time. Moscow also announced exercises in Crimea next week to simulate an attack by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, said this week it had foiled a Ukrainian sabotage mission. It accused the Ukrainian government in Kiev of trying to send saboteurs into Crimea and reported the deaths of a soldier and a secret police officer in an operation to foil the alleged plot.

'Millions' of Volkswagen cars can be unlocked via hack

A sizeable proportion of 100 million Volkswagen Group cars sold since 1995 can be unlocked remotely by hackers, a team of researchers has said. The problem affects a range of vehicles manufactured between 1995 and 2016 - including VWs and models from the company's Audi, Seat and Skoda brands. It is possible for a malicious hacker to spy on key fob signals to target cars via a cheap, homemade radio costing about $40. This was possible because the researchers were able to reverse-engineer the keyless entry system in the affected models - a process which yielded some master cryptographic keys. Prior to publishing their research, the team behind the paper agreed with Volkswagen that some key pieces of information - including the value of the master cryptographic keys - would not be made public.

Google being investigated by South Korea for antitrust claim

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), South Korea's antitrust regulator, confirmed on Friday that the country is investigating whether Google violated the country's antitrust laws. The KFTC's statement comes as a surprise as a local news outlet reported that the KFTC had cleared Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, of all antitrust claims against the technology giant. It is alleged that Google requires mobile-phone producers to pre-load the company's apps on phones using its Android operating system. Earlier this year, the EU Commissioner of Competition, Margeth Vestagar, launched a probe in regards to the same matter.

Pakistan lawmakers approve cybersecurity law

The National Assembly of Pakistan on Thursday approved the controversial Electronic Crimes Bill 2015. The law has received negative attention in the past from human rights activists for the role it could play in hindering the free speech and privacy of Pakistani citizens. Particularly, activists warn about the broad and vague language contained in the Act which gives officials unqualified discretion to block and remove information. The bill was designed to help the Pakistan government combat terrorism and other cyber crimes.

US economic data tests market confidence

US markets were mixed on Friday as data on retail spending and producer prices raised questions about the buoyancy of the economy.

Turkey criticizes UN rights chief for failing to condemn coup plotters

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Saturday that comments made by a top UN human rights official were unacceptable. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein previously stated that he had no sympathy for the coup plotters, but that Turkey should uphold the rights of detainees and stem its "thirst for revenge." Bilgic criticized the the UN official for not condemning the coup plotters for their attempted coup.

Swiss court says Israel must pay Iran in oil dispute

The Swiss Federal Tribunal on Thursday rejected an appeal by Israel, ordering Iran to be paid approximately USD $1.1 billion in a decades-old dispute over the Eliat-Ashkelon Pipeline. Switzerland's highest court rejected Israel's appeal for lack of due process, and also awarded close to USD $460,000 in court costs and lawyers fees. Despite the ruling, it is uncertain whether Israel will actually acquiesce to the court order. Israel's "Trading with the Enemy" law could be a potential stumbling block to Iran receiving its court mandated award. The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (EAPC) was a joint venture between the two countries set up in 1968 to transport Iranian oil to Europe, primarily the Mediterranean. Following the Iranian Revolution, however, the relationship collapsed and Iran began seeking its share of revenues and assets from the EAPC through arbitration beginning in 1994.

Maldives president signs controversial defamation law

Maldives President Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Thursday signed into law a controversial bill criminalizing defamation with fines and jail terms despite widespread criticism. The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye issued a warning Wednesday condemning the bill approved by the Maldives parliament. Kaye cautioned that the "Protection of Reputation and Good Name and Freedom of Expression Bill" has the potential to limit exercise of free expression to the degree that the right is eliminated altogether, especially due to the vague wording of the bill. The bill criminalizes statements or comments deemed defamatory against "any tenet of Islam," or that "threaten national security" or to "contradict general social norms," and violation can elicit fines and jail time of up to six months.

Twitter not liable for ISIS Tweets

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the social media platform Twitter cannot be held responsible for the Islamic State's use of the network to spread propaganda. Twitter claims that it's already suspended 125,000 accounts linked to terror groups, but despite this, families of terror victims continue to file lawsuits against Twitter, Google, and Facebook, blaming the social media sites for the loss of their loved ones.

Court allows SEC to keep judges

A US Appeals Court decision allows the SEC’s in-house judges to impose sanctions even though they are employed by the agency and not constitutionally appointed government officials. The internal court has come under increased scrutiny since the Dodd-Frank act expanded the agency’s powers, as some argue that it is problematic for judges to answer directly to an agency.

A simple test to dispel the illusion behind stock buybacks

Comparing a company’s growth in earnings per share, which can be raised by buying back stock, with its net profit growth can paint a more accurate picture of performance over time.

The billion-dollar jackpot: engineered to drain your wallet

Mind-boggling lottery prizes are no accident; they’re the result of skillful planning intended to lure players, who would almost always do better by investing that money.

Entire Indian village fined for breaching 'draconian' prohibition law

Fifty households in a village in eastern India have been fined in a collective punishment for violating Bihar state’s new strict prohibition law. The entire village of Kailashpuri was ordered to pay 5,000 rupees ($75) each after authorities found liquor bottles ther. It's believed to be the first instance of a collective punishment being meted out since the law was adopted in Bihar state in April, but not the first scandal linked with the alcohol ban.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Inside Donald Trump’s Meltdown

Brexit May Be Delayed To Allow Government To Prepare

The Economist
Ageing: Cheating death

Der Spiegel
Das blaue Wunder (das Meer)

Il mondo di Renzi


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