December 13, 2017 nº 1,931 - Vol. 14

"It must require an inordinate share of vanity and presumption, too, after enjoying so much that is good and beautiful on earth, to ask the Lord for immortality in addition to it all."

Heinrich Heine

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  • Top News

UK's May faces choice of retreat or defeat over Brexit law

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is facing another painful Brexit dilemma: cave in to rebels in her Conservative Party who want the power to veto the final Brexit deal, or face a potentially damaging defeat. Tory lawmakers are lining up to defy May's orders on Wednesday and vote for an amendment to her flagship law that paves the way for the UK’s exit from the European Union in 2019. They want Parliament to be given a "meaningful vote" on whether to accept the final Brexit treaty - and are seeking to guarantee this in the text of the bill. "Nobody voted in the referendum for our parliamentary democracy to be undermined," said Labour member of Parliament Chuka Umunna. "We need scrutiny on Brexit, not a blank check for government ministers." With no automatic majority in the House of Commons, the premier is facing a potential defeat over the amendment, which is likely to be voted on in London on Wednesday. A defeat or a retreat at this time would be a blow for May, who is fresh from securing a last-minute Brexit agreement on the terms of the divorce in Brussels last week. She heads back to the Belgian capital on Thursday where she's expecting to be given the green light to open talks on the future trade relationship between Britain and the EU. Lawmakers from the Conservative Party, as well as the opposition Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru signed a joint statement last weekend backing the call for Parliament to be given a meaningful vote on the final Brexit treaty. (Click here)

Net neutrality

In this exclusive article, Ericson M. Scorsim, of Meister Scorsim Advocacia, discusses the net neutrality and the regulatory debate on its flexibility in the USA and Brazil. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - U.S. Federal court: military must begin accepting transgender troops by January 1. (Click here)

2 - Apple confirms deal to buy music discovery app Shazam. (Click here)


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  • MiMIC Journal

Google to open artificial intelligence center in China

Google is deepening its push into artificial intelligence by opening a research center in China, even though its search services remain blocked in the country. Google said the facility would be the first its kind in Asia and would aim to employ local talent. Silicon Valley is focusing heavily on the future applications for AI. China has also indicated strong support for AI development and for catching up with the US.

Inside China's 'virtue schools' for women

Centers training women to be "virtuous" have sprung up across China in recent years, telling women that career and femininity do not mix and forcing them to do menial work.


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  • Historias Verdaderas


Colombia multó con más de US$ 66 mlls. a las cementeras Argos, Cemex, Holcim y a algunos de sus directivos por fijar precios de manera encubierta con perjuicio para los consumidores. La Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio informó que las empresas involucradas, que representan el 96% del mercado colombiano, llegaron a acuerdos para fijar precios entre enero de 2010 y diciembre de 2012, un periodo en que el valor del cemento subió un 29,9%, lo que se compara con una inflación de un 9,3% en el mismo lapso.


Los senadores brasileños aprobaron una norma que propone fuertes incrementos en el uso de biocombustibles como el etanol y biodiésel en el país durante los próximos años, como una forma de reducir las emisiones de carbono. El proyecto creará un programa llamado RenovaBio, que obliga a los distribuidores a aumentar gradualmente la cantidad de biocombustibles que comercializan cada año. La aprobación es una victoria para el sector agrícola brasileño, que realizó una fuerte campaña en favor de la medida.


El Gobierno de Argentina autorizó a la empresa Norwegian para explotar servicios aéreos locales e internacionales de bajo costo en distintas localidades del país. La autorización fue publica en el boletín oficial. Abarca 72 rutas de cabotaje y 80 rutas internacionales, con bases de operaciones en las localidades de Ezeiza, Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosario, Salta y otras ciudades del interior del país. Norwegian comenzará a operar en la Argentina en 2018, con una inversión total de US$4.300 mlls.

  • Brief News

Trump's criticism of W.T.O. hurts America First

Trump's statements against the World Trade Organization hurt America first. The president is no friend to the global trade body, which is hunkering down for its biennial confab. Reforms are needed, but America has won most of the complaints it has brought to the global trade body, including against China. Trump's trade chief, Robert E. Lighthizer, will emphasize national sovereignty over multilateralism at meetings in Buenos Aires this week. His push for W.T.O. reforms and fair trade policies has tamped down expectations for this year's gathering, when reducing agricultural subsidies is on the agenda. During his presidential campaign, Trump threatened to pull the United States out of the W.T.O., and he has repeatedly said the country has been treated unfairly. Yet the United States, the most frequent W.T.O. complainant, has won more than 90 percent of its cases over the last 20 years. China has been a frequent target. In 2015, China eliminated quotas for rare earths used in mobile phones after the organization declared the system violated trade policies. The United States followed up with a complaint against Chinese quotas on raw materials used in the steel and auto industries. The Trump administration is also undermining the organization's dispute-settlement system by blocking the appointment of new judges for its seven-member appellate body. With another judge's term ending this month, the panel will go down to four members, with three of them needed to decide cases. That could slow down United States cases, such as a complaint on Chinese quotas on wheat, rice and corn advocated by American farmers.

Cruise line isn't an internet provider under surveillance law

A cruise line doesn't amount to an internet provider under a key federal surveillance law, according to a court ruling released Tuesday. US Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson rejected arguments from federal prosecutors in Washington that Royal Caribbean Cruises is "a provider of an electronic communication service" because of the internet connections it makes available to guests.

Swedish government wants new law to stop begging exploitation

The Swedish government wants to tighten laws in order to stop people from being exploited as beggars, creating a new crime of "human exploitation" as well as increasing the punishment for other crimes in the area. There are problems with poor and vulnerable people being lured to Sweden with the promise of work only to find themselves forced to beg or work under difficult conditions. Just last week for example a large group of people were detained for allegedly transporting Bulgarian citizens to Sweden in order to beg, then taking their earnings. In order to tackle the problem, the Social Democrat-Green government wants to create a new crime under Swedish law, "human exploitation". (Click here)

In a retail storm, mall owners seek refuge in the courts

Decades of overbuilding have saddled property markets with too many malls even as online shopping and changing consumer preferences are reshaping the retail sector. Now landlords, tenants and investors are looking to the courts for relief.

Trump signs bill reinstating the FAA's drone registration requirement

Back in late-2015, the Federal Aviation Administration introduced new rules requiring owners of small drones to submit their devices to a database and attach a registration code to the side of the product. In May of this year, a judge in the D.C. Circuit shot down the rule, and the FAA began the process of returning the $5 registration fee. Now the registry is back on, courtesy of a bill signed into law earlier today by President Trump. The reinstated rules were one small piece of the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act, about which the president reportedly said, "We need our military, it's gotta be perfecto." Likely the bit about drone registration didn't even register a blip on the president's radar.

Bitcoin futures set scene for more gambling

Bitcoin futures open fresh avenues for trading, but for now the new contracts have little utility beyond speculation.

SEC chairman warns investors against Bitcoin

Wall Street's top regulator on Monday raised alarms about the money flooding into bitcoin trading and other cryptocurrency markets, warning the red-hot corner of less-regulated finance is burning with risk for retail investors.

Rebellion threat to EU Withdrawal Bill

The government is facing the threat of a defeat by rebel backbenchers when MPs vote on its flagship EU legislation. Led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve - a Conservative MP - the rebels want to insert a legal guarantee that MPs should get a vote on any final Brexit deal before it is finalized. The amendment, which could be backed by Labour, will be debated later. Theresa May said she was listening to MPs' concerns, while Brexit Secretary David Davis has written to Tory MPs. The government has no majority in the Commons and is vulnerable to a revolt by its MPs.

Disney set to seal $60bn 21st Century Fox takeover

Walt Disney is close to confirming a deal to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for about $60bn, reports say. The sale would include the 20th Century Fox film studio and the Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in the UK, Europe and Asia. Disney was left as the front runner after Comcast, the NBC owner, dropped out of the race on Monday. (Click here)

France moves to ban students from using cellphones in schools

The country's education minister says the strict rules are a matter of public health. But some teachers and parents call it a losing battle.

ICC announces referral of Jordan to Security Council over Bashir visit

The ICC on Monday announced that it will refer the Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations Security Council over its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. The referral comes after the ICC decided issued two arrest warrants for Al-Bashir for the alleged genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. However, because Sudan is not a part of the ICC, it is up to member nations to effect an arrest if the suspected individual is in their jurisdiction. The ICC is referring Jordan because they granted him immunity as a head of state and refused to arrest him when he visited in March for a summit.


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