September 26, 2016 nº 1,795 - Vol. 13

"Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders."

 William Faulkner

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  • Top News

Brazil Supreme Court allows corruption probe of President Temer

The Brazil Supreme Court approved a motion by prosecutors to open a preliminary investigation into accusations from Sergio Machado, former Transpetro head, that president Michel Temer sought illegal campaign donations in 2012. It was revealed by the Supreme Court in June that portions of Machado's plea bargain testimony allege that Temer requested contribution from an engineering group in relation to Sao Paulo's 2012 mayoral campaign, which was legal but resulted from illegal kickbacks on contracts with Petrobras. Transpetro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company, which is currently the subject of Brazil's largest corruption scandal to date. Temer, the former vice president of now-impeached Dilma Rousseff, has denied the accusations.

UN rights expert warns arms deals are threat to human rights

Independent UN human rights expert Alfred de Zayas said Thursday that "[a]rms deals are a major threat to security, peace and human rights." De Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, explained that the arms deals often bring with them the risk that the weapons will be used in a manner "contravening international law and human rights treaties" as well as the possibility that they will be used to commit war crimes. He urged states to "abstain" from engaging in arms deals, adding that those who do engage in arms deals cannot be granted military aid and instead stressed that these nations should "work collaboratively on resolving the root causes of local, regional and international conflict, often emerging from the unrepresentative nature of governments, great injustices and inequalities prevailing in the world, the race for natural resources and the asymmetries of trade relations."

‘Brexit’ prompts many British C.E.O’s to consider relocating

Three-quarters of British chief executives are considering moving their headquarters or some of their operations outside Britain as a result of the country’s decision to leave the European Union, according to a new survey by the accounting firm KPMG. To be sure, few chief executives have made concrete moves to relocate their businesses. In fact, more than two-thirds of the leaders surveyed remain confident about the future growth prospects of Britain over the next three years. But more than half of those surveyed believe that Britain’s ability to effectively conduct business will be hindered once the nation leaves the bloc. The vast majority of those surveyed voted to remain in the European Union, KPMG said.

  • Crumbs

1 - AT&T agrees to pay $450,000 to settle FCC probe - click here.

2 - Volkswagen facing over $8 billion in claims - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China slowdown is global economy's biggest threat

The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund has told the BBC a slowdown in China is the greatest threat to the global economy. Ken Rogoff, now Professor of Economics at Harvard , said a calamitous "hard landing" for one of the main engines of global growth could not be ruled out. "China is going through a big political revolution," he said. "And I think the economy is slowing down much more than the official figures show." The Bank of International Settlements, the global think tank for central banks, said that China's debt to GDP ratio stood at 30.1%, increasing fears that China's economic boom was based on an unstable credit bubble.

China teen killing sparks internet boot camp debate

Image caption Internet addiction is said to be a growing problem in China. A murder case in China, in which a teenager reportedly tied up and killed her mother after being sent to an internet addiction treatment centre, has sparked shock across the country.


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  • Brief News

Obama vetoes 9/11 victims bill

Obama has vetoed a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government. He said he felt "deep sympathy" for the families but that the law would be "detrimental to US national interests". Saudi Arabia's foreign minister had warned that the bill could cause his government to withdraw US investments. The country denies any involvement in the 2001 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people. Congress overwhelmingly passed the bill earlier this month following a campaign by relatives. However it was known that President Obama had serious concerns about the bill and was unlikely to sign it into law. (Click here)

EU Commission refuses to revise Canada CETA trade deal

The European Commission has ruled that a controversial EU-Canada free trade deal - CETA - cannot be renegotiated, despite much opposition in Europe. A similar deal with the US, TTIP, which has also faced criticism. A draft CETA deal has been agreed, but parliaments could still delay it. Thousands of activists protested against CETA and TTIP in Germany on Saturday and thousands more in Brussels - outside the EU's headquarters - on Tuesday. Activists fear that the deals could water down European standards in the key areas of workers' rights, public health and the environment. There is also great anxiety about proposed special courts where investors will be able to sue governments if they feel that legislation hurts their business unfairly.

Swiss endorse new surveillance powers

Swiss voters have given a strong approval to a law on new surveillance powers for the intelligence agencies. The new law would allow the authorities to tap phones, snoop on email and deploy hidden cameras and bugs. It would help Switzerland catch up with other countries, supporters say. Opponents have feared it could erode civil liberties and put Swiss neutrality at risk by requiring closer co-operation with foreign intelligence agencies. Swiss law currently prevents authorities from relying on anything more than publicly available information or tips from foreign officials when monitoring domestic threats.

Syria situation a breach of humanitarian law

Attacks in Aleppo, Syria's capital, were called a "breach of international humanitarian law" in a joint statement by EU officials on Saturday. The EU is urging countries with influence on the parties to encourage negotiations to cease the attacks and allow humanitarian aid to victims in need. Suffering in Aleppo has become worse in the last 48 hours, according to the officials. They denounced the targeting of a humanitarian convoy, which was hit by an airstrike last week. Because of this, many civilians in Aleppo were deprived of water supplies. According to UN officials, millions more civilians were also left without water after attacks damaged a pumping station. The EU said it will review actions it could take to help parties in negotiations.

US accuses Russia of 'barbarism' in Aleppo

The US ambassador to the UN has accused Russia of "barbarism" over the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo. At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Samantha Power said Russia had told the council outright lies about its conduct in Syria. Russia said Syrian forces were trying to remove terrorists from Aleppo while harming as few citizens as possible. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin did not say Russian forces were involved. But he said that bringing peace to Syria was "almost an impossible task now." He also accused opposition armed groups of sabotaging the ceasefire.

UN rights experts: Australia must amend indefinite detention laws

UN experts condemned Australia Friday for its laws allowing indefinite detention of intellectually disabled persons facing criminal charges. Under the current law, if a person is found unfit to plead to a charge against them, they may be held in custody for an unspecified amount of time. Such prisoners may not come before a court until they are found to understand the idea of "criminal responsibility." The legislation, the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Defendants) Act 1996, led to an Aboriginal man being detained for 10 years without having the charges against him determined. Marlon James Noble was conditionally released in 2012. The UN urged Australia to amend its law and provide Noble with, "an effective remedy." The UN highlighted that Australia has ratified its Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, requiring each nation to recognize the equal legal rights of disabled people on par with all other citizens.

Republic of Congo Foreign Minister welcomes new constitution

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Congo, Jean-Claude Gakosso, embraced the country's new constitution on Saturday before the UN General Assembly, which he said will improve political, economic and social governance. The new constitution, which Gakosso said was "more adapted to the requirements of the rule of law in its most commonly accepted sense," is structured on the separation of powers, particularly entrenching the independence of the judiciary, and abolishes the death penalty, works towards equalizing education opportunities for both genders, and recognizes fundamental rights of indigenous peoples. In addition, the constitution laid the groundwork for a more participative democracy. Finally, Gakosso reiterated his belief that the new constitution will "improve the political, economic and social governance in."

Court slashes damages to be paid by ex-trader Kerviel

A French appeals court has slashed the amount of damages due to be paid by rogue trader Jerome Kerviel to €1m ($1.12m). Kerviel had been ordered to pay back the €4.9bn of losses his trades amassed for his ex-employer Societe Generale. In 2010, Kerviel was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud, breach of trust and forgery over his trades. Kerviel wants a retrial, arguing that he should not have to pay anything, as his bosses knew about his activities. The appeals court said that Kerviel was "partially responsible for the loss". But it acknowledged that Societe Generale had shown "deficiencies" in its oversight, which was partly to blame for the loss.

Former Wells Fargo employees file lawsuit against bank

Two former employees of Wells Fargo filed a class action lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of employees whom they claim were penalized over the last 10 years for following the rules and not meeting sales quotas. The lawsuit seeks $2.6 billion in damages or possibly more for allegations that include wrongful termination, unlawful business practices and failure to pay wages. According to the lawsuit, Wells Fargo was aware that their strict sales quotas were leading bankers to fraudulently open accounts for customers. The plaintiffs allege that the biggest victims of this were employees who did not engage in these practices. (Click here)

Wells Fargo hires law firm for advice on clawbacks

Wells Fargo & Co. hired a law firm to advise the board on potential pay clawbacks as the bank grapples with the fallout from a scandal over the opening of accounts without customers’ approval. The lender retained Robert Mundheim, a lawyer with Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York, to help the board determine whether to claw back pay from Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan and Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of community banking. The law firm had helped JPMorgan Chase & Co. during its so-called London Whale trading debacle, which resulted in losses of more than $6.2 billion. Authorities including the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells Fargo $185 million on Sept. 8 for potentially opening about 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts without authorization. The scandal escalated this week, when Senate Banking Committee members including Democrat Elizabeth Warren urged Stumpf to return compensation and resign.

More junior lawyers would please courts

A growing movement is taking root among judges around the country to actively push younger lawyers into court. (Click here)

  • Weekly Magazine Review

The Perilous Fight: All Across the Country, Athletes Are Fueling a Debate About How America Defines Patriotism

PM Theresa May Undermined Cameron In Brexit Fight, Books Claim

Business Week
How Chase Made the Perfect High for Credit Card Junkies

The Economist
The global economy: The low-rate world

Der Spiegel
Steh auf und lauf (entspannen und bewegen)

Carissimo Nemico


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