May 24, 2017 nº 1,868 - Vol. 14

"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it."

Estée Lauder

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  • Top News

Trump urges Muslim leaders to lead fight against radicalization

Trump has urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation in a major speech in Saudi Arabia. "Drive them out of this earth," he told regional leaders in Riyadh, as part of his first official trip abroad. Trump blamed Iran, Saudi Arabia's rival, for instability in the region. His speech is seen as an attempted reset with Muslims after his harsh campaign rhetoric stirred concerns in the Islamic world. Trump had previously suggested he would be open to creating a database of all the Muslims in the US. And he had also called for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns. But, speaking in the Saudi capital to leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries, Trump called this a "new chapter", saying he was not there to "lecture" them or impose the American way of life. The fight against extremism, he added, was not a battle between different faiths or civilizations: "This is a battle between good and evil". (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Taiwan's top court rules in favour of same-sex marriage - click here.

2 - Greece fails to secure fresh bailout funds click here.

3 - U.S. plan to sell oil reserves undermines OPEC supply management efforts click here.

4 - Citigroup agrees to pay $97m to end money laundering probe click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China crippled CIA by killing US sources

Up to 20 CIA informants were killed or imprisoned by the Chinese government between 2010 and 2012, the New York Times reports, damaging US information-gathering in the country for years. It is not clear whether the CIA was hacked or whether a mole helped the Chinese to identify the agents. They said one of the informants was shot in the courtyard of a government building as a warning to others. The CIA did not comment on the report.

Moody's downgrades China's credit rating

China has received a downgrade on its credit score, on worries about the future state of the economy. Moody's Investors Services brought down China's long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3. But China's finance ministry said Moody's was exaggerating the mainland's economic difficulties and underestimating reform efforts. The downgrade could raise the cost of borrowing for the Chinese government. The ratings agency also changed its outlook for China to stable from negative.


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  • Historias Verdaderas


La empresa China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) invertirá US$ 2,000 mlls. entre el 2017 y 2023 para desarrollar el proyecto de gas natural en el Lote 58 en Cusco, Perú. El presidente de la petrolera estatal, Rafael Zoeger, afirmó que CNPC planea empezar a producir gas natural en dicho lote en el 2023.

Sin restricciones

El secretario de Economía de México, Ildefonso Guajardo, dijo que su país no se opone a revisar las reglas de origen, para fortalecer las cadenas productivas locales, cuando el Tratado de Libre Comercio para América del Norte (TLCAN) comience a ser renegociado en agosto. México ya adelantó que no aceptará cuotas ni aranceles y que cualquier esfuerzo para mejorar la balanza comercial entre los tres países que conforman el acuerdo - Canadá, Estados Unidos y México- debe pasar por una expansión del comercio.


Con una inversión inicial de US$ 30 mlls., la planta de la automotriz china BAIC arrancó operaciones en Veracruz, México, con la meta de ensamblar 6,000 unidades en los segmentos subcompactos (el D 20) y SUV’s (X 25) para este año. El CEO de BAIC Internacional, Dong Haiyang, dijo que México se convierte en su cuarta plataforma de producción en el mundo para exportar a mercados de Latinoamérica y Estados Unidos, en el mediano plazo.

  • Brief News

Trump's problematic math: budget plan adds growth, but doesn't subtract cost

The White House is projecting faster growth as a consequence of tax cuts. But it does not project the cost of those tax cuts, that is, the loss in tax revenue. Trump's budget hews to a longtime Republican premise, but past efforts to enlarge the pie even while slicing it have fallen short of hopes. Economists see little magic in tax cuts to promote growth.

TPP trade deal will continue without Trump

Asia-Pacific trade ministers have agreed to resuscitate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, despite Trump abandoning it. Trump signaled in January he would block the passage of the 12-nation pact in order to protect American jobs. Trade ministers from the 11 remaining countries have met in Vietnam to get the deal back on track. The representatives also agreed to help the US rejoin the deal at any time. The bid to revive the TPP, which would have covered 40% of the global economy, was led by trade ministers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

New laws in the UK and EU further restrict tobacco industry

An EU directive goes into force today, with new rules regulating the tobacco industry. The UK is going further: Cigarettes must now be sold in plain green packaging with graphic health warnings. (Click here)

Mindanao martial law could last a year

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said martial law on Mindanao island could last a year, while the army fights against Islamist militants. The violence on the southern island has left three members of the security forces dead. Duterte earlier declared martial law for 60 days on Mindanao, where Muslim rebel groups are seeking autonomy. Some of the groups, such as the Maute, have pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State. After announcing martial law on Tuesday, Duterte warned that he would be harsh in dealing with terrorism. (Click here)

UN panel releases draft treaty banning nuclear weapons

UN panel released a draft treaty in Geneva on Monday that would ban the use of all nuclear weapons. States that are party to the treaty are obligated never to develop, produce, manufacture, acquire or use "any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." The draft is supported by more than 130 non-nuclear states, although none of the countries that are known to possess nuclear arms participated. Nine countries are believed to be in possession of nuclear arms: UK, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and the US. Those countries that have nuclear arms would rather refocus efforts into strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Critics of the treaty say the efficacy of the ban is determined by the involvement of those states currently in possession of nuclear arms.

Supreme Court: service of process by mail allowed under Hague Service Convention

US Supreme Court held unanimously Monday in Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon that the Hague Service Convention does not prohibit service of process by mail. The purpose of The Hague Service Convention is to simplify, standardize and generally improve the process of serving documents abroad. The court analyzed the text of Article 10(a), which states, "the Convention shall not interfere with the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad." The court saw no reason why the word "send" would exclude the transmission of documents for the service of process. With the scope of the Convention being limited to the service of documents, the court noted that it would not make sense for Article 10(a) to exclude the service of process. Furthermore, the court reasoned that if the drafters of the Convention had wished to limit Article 10(a), they could have done so as they explicitly did in Article 15. Finally, in refuting the argument that service of process should not include mail, the court cited the French version of the convention which uses the word "adresser", a word commonly understood to mean service or notice.

Brazil leader asks to be investigated

Brazil's President Michel Temer has asked the Supreme Court to proceed with an investigation against him for obstruction of justice and corruption. His lawyers say that a secret recording that appears to incriminate him has been edited 70 times. On Saturday Temer filed a petition at the Supreme Court to have the investigation suspended. But his lawyers now say they want the investigation to go ahead to have the president's name cleared. His legal team hired an audio expert, who concluded that the tape would not stand up as evidence in a court of law. (Click here)

Trump 'appoints' lawyer for Russia probe

Trump has appointed lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent him in an inquiry into Russia's alleged meddling in the US presidential election and any links to the Trump campaign. Trump has used services of the New York lawyer - known as a tenacious litigator - for more than a decade. Last week, former FBI boss Robert Mueller was named special counsel for the Department of Justice inquiry. Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Russia. However, US intelligence agencies believe Moscow tried to tip the 2016 election in favor of Trump.

German police raid Daimler offices

German police have searched 11 offices of carmaker Daimler as part of their investigation into possible fraudulent emissions data by employees. A total of 23 prosecutors and 230 police officers took part in the search in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Saxony, Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said it was co-operating with authorities. It added "known and unknown employees" were being sought over suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising.

Apple and Nokia settle ongoing patent dispute

A six-month legal dispute over the right to use patents and other intellectual property, Apple and Nokia reached a settlement Tuesday that covers all ends of the lawsuits filed. The suit came as a result of Apple stating that they would no longer pay to use Nokia's patents, many of which are built into Apple's miscellany of products. Apple claims that the Finnish telecommunications company is guilty of extortion while Nokia is adamant in defending their intellectual property. Nokia's former chief executive, Stephan Elop, said the settlement "enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market." (Click here)

Gambia court orders seizure of former president's assets

A Gambian court issued an order to freeze former president Yahya Jammeh's remaining assets on Monday. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said that the order was "necessitated after the discovery of unlawful withdrawals" between 2006 and 2016 that possibly totaled $50 million. The order affects 131 properties, 88 bank accounts, 14 companies associated with the former president as well as a number of his livestock.

Turkey: 200 defendants put on trial over 2016 coup attempt

A trial over the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey began at a prison courtroom in Sincan on Monday. Two hundred of the 221 defendants in the case were marched into the courtroom before a group of protesters, some of whom threw nooses and demanded the death penalty. Many of the protesters had lost relatives during the coup, which resulted in 240 deaths, primarily civilians. Most of the defendants are former military personnel, with ranks ranging from captains to generals. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for the defendants' alleged involvement in the coup, where they are accused of "commandeer[ing] tanks, warplanes and helicopters, bombing the parliament and attempting to overthrow the government." US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, named as the number one defendant in the case and accused of orchestrating the coup, will be tried in absentia. The trial is scheduled to last until June 16.

UN rights experts urge Indonesia to decriminalize blasphemy

Human rights experts at the UN called on Indonesia Monday to review and repeal its criminalization of blasphemy. The UN experts decided to step in after the former governor of Jakarta, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, was sentenced earlier this month to two years in prison for blasphemy against Islam, a sentence that was more harsh than what prosecutors sought.

Uber to repay millions to drivers, who could be owed far more

The company concedes taking tens of millions in excess commissions. A lawsuit alleges improper tax deductions that are costing drivers even more.

Asia's flagship same-sex marriage law reaches a day of decision

Lawmakers in Taiwan had nearly approved Asia’s first law that would let same-sex couples marry as easily as anyone else. But as word of the legislation got around earlier this year, opponents came out en masse. It just so happened that Taiwan’s Justices of the Constitutional Court were already reviewing the legality of same-sex marriage based on an earlier request from the city of Taipei where administrators were wondering whether they could register the marriages of two men or two women. The justices are set to rule Wednesday whether same-sex marriage is constitutional in Taiwan. Proponents of two related parliament bills are waiting for that outcome before making anything final. They may need to scrap or redo the bills. That recourse could take a lot of work, depending on what the justices say. Two-thirds of the justices must agree on the decision. “They can speak very broadly or very tersely, but nothing is for sure yet,” says Liu Ke-lun, head of publicity for the justices. “The range is very big.” An announcement favoring constitutional protection of same-sex marriage would confirm growing momentum in Taiwan for what’s happening already: unmarried, same-sex couples are adopting children. Under the law now, only one person can be the legal guardian. That unequal right is one impetus for legalizing same-sex marriages.


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