Saturday, August 18, 2018

Poroshenko signs law releasing Ukroboronprom from MTC contracts with Russia

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law introducing amendments to laws of Ukraine on resolving several questions of the debt of defense enterprises, part of the Ukroboronprom State Concern, to the aggressor country and/or occupying country and providing for their stable development, the presidential press service has reported.
The law proposes mechanisms for protecting the economic activities of defense industry enterprises included in the list of state-owned objects of strategic importance for the economy and security of the state against negative consequences of the impact of legal entities registered on the territory of the aggressor country and/or occupying country or legal entities with foreign investment of the aggressor country and/or occupying country.

Friday, August 17, 2018

California: How Many Insurance Law Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Court’s government and administrative law cases on the civil side and sentencing law cases on the criminal docket.  This week and next, we’re looking at the Court’s insurance law and habeas corpus cases.
Between 1991 and 2017, the Court decided seventy-three insurance law cases.  In 1991, the Court decided three insurance law cases.  The Court decided six cases in 1992, three in 1993, two in 1994, four in 1995, none in 1996 and six cases in 1996.

Merkel Hosts Putin in Marriage of Convenience Made by Trump

The whirlwind tearing through international relations that is U.S. President Donald Trump may be forcing Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin to come together after years of confrontation.
Merkel has been Putin’s most implacable critic since he annexed Crimea in 2014, plunging relations to their worst in decades. On Saturday, however, the German chancellor will welcome the Russian president to an 18th century Baroque palace near Berlin for their first bilateral meeting in Germany in more than five years, handing Putin a major breakthrough in ending Russia’s isolation and reaffirming Merkel’s pivotal role in Europe despite election setbacks.

The United Nations is FINALLY Taking a Hard Look at Cannabis

Cannabis prohibition under U.S. federal law is nonsensical and causes many problems, from oppressive taxation to civil rights violations. Under international law, however, things may be even worse. Fortunately, it was reported this week that the United Nations (U.N.) will finally take a closer look at cannabis prohibition this fall. It was also reported that the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), an agency of the U.N., has recommended that cannabidiol (CBD) no longer be controlled under international law. Both developments are terrific news.

The situation for Chechens in Russia

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘The situation for Chechens in Russia. The report provides an overview of the situation of Chechens living in Russia, outside of the North Caucasus. 
The report examines a variety of sources and focuses on different topics such as legal requirements, the criminal justice system, socio-economic circumstances, and the role of the authorities, together with closer examination of the situation for a number of specific groups of people, the report presents an up-to-date account of the current situation for Chechens living in Russia.   

WEgate: women entrepreneurs across Europe

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me?” (- Ayn Rand)

What is WEgate?

Gateway for women’s entrepreneurship.
A growing and diverse number of stakeholders are engaging to support women entrepreneurs across Europe. The European Gateway for Women’s entrepreneurship WEgate is an e-platform launched by the European Commission to support this network.

WEgate is not an organisation as such. It does not provide support services or advice, nor has commercial purposes. It is an online gateway to useful and inspiring information, mostly presented through a short description text and useful web links.

Turkish court rejects US pastor Brunson's fresh appeal for release

A Turkish court has rejected an appeal for United States Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges.
The 3rd Penal Court in the western province of İzmir rejected the appeal on Aug. 17, ruling for the continuation of Brunson's house arrest, as well as a travel ban imposed on him.
Brunson’s lawyer, İsmail Cem Halavurt, had filed a demand on Aug. 14 around a week after his previous appeal was rejected a lower court.
The 2nd Penal Court had rejected Halavurt's plea on Aug. 15 and sent the defendant's petition to the upper court.

The irreversible path

How close is Ukraine to autocephaly for its Orthodox Church?

Just half a year ago, most Ukrainians didn’t know what tomos is and how the word is spelled. Now, the situation is the opposite. The fight for tomos, a document granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has grown into a nationwide campaign. Supportive public discourse and Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts provide serious reinforcement to the clergy’s campaign for the document. Soon enough, Ukraine is likely to receive its independent Orthodox Church recognized in the world.  

The word autocephaly is a combination of the Greek words for own and head, that stands for independence or self-governance. The family of Orthodox Churches is comprised of authocephalous churches with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople standing “first among equals”. Herein lies its difference from the Roman Catholic Church with its clear vertical hierarchy. No specific legal norms or established procedure regulate the foundation of autocephalous churches. As a result, the issue constantly fuels arguments.

Odesa Mob Rule: Leaders in Black Sea port have unchecked powers

ODESA, Ukraine — Ukraine’s third-largest city, with a population of more than 1 million residents, was largely developed in the 19th century and, despite war and 70 years of communism, Odesa has retained the grandeur of its imperial origins.
But there is a far less savory side to the Black Sea port.
The city is run by a clique of businessmen with shady pasts and connections, with unchecked powers and, it appears, the blessing of President Petro Poroshenko and other Kyiv powerbrokers to do as they please. The Presidential Administration did not respond to requests for comment.

Ukrainian prosecutors ask court to sentence Yanukovych to 15 years in prison in high treason case

Prosecutors Ruslan Kravchenko and Maksym Krym of the Ukrainian Main Military Prosecutor's Office have finished presenting their case in debates at Kyiv's Obolonsky District Court hearing a high treason case against former President Viktor Yanukovych and asked the court to sentence him to 15 years in prison.

Federal Student Aid

Getting ready for college or career school can be easier than you think.

Transfer pricing methods in Brazil

Which transfer pricing methods are used in your jurisdiction and what are the pros and cons of each method?
In relation to import transactions, four methods are available to determine the parameter price of products, services and rights imported by Brazilian companies:
  • The comparable uncontrolled price method for import transactions (PCI) – the transfer price is based on the average price of identical or similar products or services in purchase and sale transactions carried out in the internal or external market under similar payment conditions. The benchmark must represent at least 5% of the value of the import transactions subject to transfer pricing rules. If the transactions in that given year do not reach the 5% threshold, the taxpayer may also consider the transactions performed in the previous year, adjusted by currency fluctuations.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Hromadske International: How Ukraine has become a hot-spot for child surrogacy

Elizaveta Pohudina lives with her husband and young daughter near the city of Kharkov in Ukraine. In April, she gave birth to a baby girl and gave her to a couple from Spain.

Elizaveta is a surrogate mother. She has long dreamed of owning a home, though has not had the money to make the purchase. She decided to become a surrogate mother in order to receive a large, one-time payout. Her family supported her in her endeavor, though not immediately.

The capital of surrogate maternity

Ukraine is sometimes called the ‘capital of surrogate maternity’ as the laws concerning surrogacy are relatively lax in comparison to other countries.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus - Aretha Franklin, Gospel Greats 1999 album

Trump, Seeking to Relax Rules on U.S. Cyberattacks, Reverses Obama Directive

President Trump has reversed an Obama-era memorandum dictating how and when the U.S. government can deploy cyberweapons against its adversaries, in an effort to loosen restrictions on such operations, according to people familiar with the action.

Mr. Trump signed an order on Wednesday reversing the classified rules, known as Presidential Policy Directive 20, that had mapped out an elaborate interagency process that must be followed before U.S. use of cyberattacks, particularly those geared at foreign adversaries.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act

On August 14, 2018, President Trump signed into law S. 770, the “NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act.”  This Act requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop and disseminate resources for small businesses to help reduce their cybersecurity risks. The Act states that the resources should be:
  • “Generally applicable and usable by a wide range of small business concerns;
  • Vary with the nature and size of the implementing small business concern, and the nature and sensitivity of the data collected or stored on the information systems or devices of the implementing small business concern;...

Almost 350 news outlets to publish editorials denouncing Trump's 'dirty war' on press

Nearly 350 news organizations are set to publish editorials on Thursday pushing back against Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and defending freedom of the press.
The publications are participating in a push organized by the Boston Globe to run coordinated editorials denouncing what the paper called a “dirty war against the free press”.
As of Wednesday morning, 343 publications had pledged to participate, said Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy managing editor overseeing the opinion page.

Ex-Trump aide Manafort had 'huge dumpster of hidden money,' jury told

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - Paul Manafort had “a huge dumpster of hidden money” abroad, a prosecutor said on Wednesday, urging a jury to convict U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief on financial fraud charges based more on a paper trail of evidence than on the testimony of a former protege.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres gave his closing statement in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manafort is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, along with failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on a verdict on Thursday morning.

Read more here

LAWROW ZU BESUCH IN ANKARA: Russland und Türkei ätzen gegen US-Sanktionen

Kreml-Besuch in Ankara! Die Außenminister von Russland und der Türkei, Sergej Lawrow und Mevlüt Cavusoglu, haben bei einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz die US-Sanktionen gegen Russland und die Türkei scharf verurteilt.
Vor allem der russische Chef-Diplomat ätzte gegen die USA, deren neues Sanktionspaket die russische Wirtschaft empfindlich treffen dürfte. Lawrow bezeichnete die US-Sanktionspolitik als rechtswidrig und warf den Vereinigten Staaten vor, sich einen unfairen Vorteil im weltweiten Handel verschaffen zu wollen. Die USA wollen ihre Dominanz ausbauen und einseitige Vorteile für ihre Unternehmen gewinnen.

Океан Ельзи - Скільки нас [AUDIO] Прем'єра

The man in the street: Is Ukraine Under the Threat of a Naval Blockade?

Yes, it is. Russia will start a sea blockade of Ukraine in the near future.

Yes, it is. Russia will close the Sea of Azov for Ukraine.

Yes, it is. Russia will close the Azov Sea and the Black Sea for Ukraine.

Turkey Shifts Toward Russia as Sanctions Sour U.S. Relations

ISTANBUL—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stepped up his attacks on the U.S. on Tuesday, calling for a boycott of Apple Inc.’s iPhones and other U.S. electronic goods, while his foreign minister joined his Russian counterpart in criticizing Western sanctions.

Turkey, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, has been caught between the West and Russia. This week, officials in Ankara were leaning decidedly toward Moscow.

Erdogan Cast Aside as Trump Favors Other Middle East Strongmen

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could be forgiven for wondering why he alone among traditional allies in the Middle East has been singled out for U.S. sanctions on human-rights grounds.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has embraced those in the region whose priorities meshed with key U.S. policies, such as confronting Iran and Sunni Islamist groups. The authoritarian rulers of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, are among those who tick that box.

U.S. sees Russia's actions in Sea of Azov as attempt to destabilize Ukraine

The U.S. Department of State has said the Russian Federation is trying to destabilize Ukraine by its actions in the Sea of Azov. "We consider Russia's obstacles to international shipping in the Sea of Azov as another example of Russia's attempts to destabilize Ukraine," the U.S. Department of State told Voice of America's Ukrainian Service.

GDPR & PSD2: Squaring the Circle

There were around 122 billion non-cash payments in the European Union (EU) in 2016, with card payments accounting for 49% of all transactionsi and the trend is continuing: UK Finance recently reported that UK debit card payments overtook the number of cash transactions for the first time in the final quarter of 2017. As Europeans increasingly swap cash for cards and live their lives online, businesses have tremendous opportunities to take advantage of the vast amount of personal data generated by the increased use of payment services.
In the EU, activities in the payments sector are subject to the revised Payment Services Directive (2015/2366, known as PSD2). PSD2 was transposed in the UK primarily by the Payment Services Regulations 2017, the majority of which came into force on 13 January 2018.

The 3 Big Mistakes Companies Make Regarding Originality Of Copyrightable Works

Sometimes a little diligence goes a long way.  Whether a company is hiring employees to develop website content or a new programmer to assist a software development team, such companies need to be careful not only during the hiring process, but as part of its quality assurance and compliance process. These new hires perform an invaluable task — the creation of works for the benefit of the company.  That said, what these individuals may bring to the table (and serve up on it) deserves careful consideration, and for reasons that are more important to the value of the company’s intellectual property than you may think.

How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man

Shortly after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin wrapped up their recent summit at the Finnish Presidential Palace, in Helsinki, around two hundred journalists gathered in the building’s neoclassical ballroom. It was July 16th, three days after the special counsel Robert Mueller published an indictment charging twelve members of the G.R.U., Russia’s military-intelligence service, with hacking into Democratic Party servers and disseminating e-mails during the 2016 election. As Trump started answering questions about the interference, and it became clear that he would not accept the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies over the denials offered by Putin, the frenetic sense of anticipation in the room turned to silent confusion.


IF, LIKE MOST people, you thought Google stopped tracking your location once you turned off Location History in your account settings, you were wrong. According to an AP investigation published Monday, even if you disable Location History, the search giant still tracks you every time you open Google Maps, get certain automatic weather updates, or search for things in your browser. There's a way to stop it—but it takes some digging.
The problem affects anyone with an Android phone and iPhone users running Google Maps on their devices, according to the AP report, which researchers at Princeton University verified. That's more than two billion people.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Why Peace in Ukraine Cannot Wait

The war in eastern Ukraine grinds on, forgotten by many. There’s no obvious way out. The ceasefire agreements have been continuously broken, high-level dialogue between Russia and the United States stopped months ago, and the unarmed OSCE monitors in conflict zone are continuously harassed. Some analysts suspect that Moscow is waiting until March when Ukraine holds its presidential election. The Kremlin wants to see who the next president will be before taking any new steps, and time is on Russia’s side.

But time is not on Ukraine’s or the European Union’s side. The Donbas conflict should be understood anew, approached differently, engaged with directly, and solved sustainably. It should start with clearer communication of the EU’s stake in the crisis. Tighter economic and individual sanctions should be accompanied with positive offers to change Moscow’s behavior. For a transition period, the Donbas should be put under the control of an international administration and UN peacekeeping forces. Finally, Ukraine and the West need to find a way to secure control over a reintegrated Donbas while formally implementing the Minsk Agreements.

Can College Loans Be Required In a Marital Settlement Agreement?

During a divorce, many topics are covered in the Marital Settlement Agreement, and many more when the divorcing couple have children together. This can include child support as well as future college contributions. Depending on the agreement, the divorcing parties may specifically determine the percentages that each will pay for college costs, or will—if the child or children are young—defer setting any percentages until the child is in their senior year of high school. Within these agreements, there is often language that stipulates the children are required to apply for any available financial aid, grants and/or loans. However, does this mean children must be forced to take out loans for an obligation that is intended to part of their parents’ obligation?

New citizens

Analysis from various international consultancies says that Ukrainian passports have become more attractive. Ukraine ranked 80, i.e. 19 steps up from last year, on the list of 168 countries in the most recent annual Quality of Nationality Index by Henley&Partners, a provider of global residence and citizenship planning services. The top countries on the list are France, Germany and Iceland, while Ukrainian citizenship is in the “high quality” category. There are some obvious reasons for this improvement, including visa-free travel for Ukrainian passport holders to the Schengen Area and many other countries. But the current position is not the best Ukraine has seen in this index — it ranked 74 in 2013. The reasons for going down are obvious, too: Ukraine has lost a lot in terms of its domestic security as a result of the occupation of Crimea and the war in the East. 

Rule of Law: European Commission takes next step in infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Today, the European Commission decided to send a Reasoned Opinion to Poland regarding the Polish law on the Supreme Court.
The new Polish law on the Supreme Court lowers the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65, which puts 27 out of 72 sitting Supreme Court judges at risk of being forced to retire. This measure also applies to the First President of the Supreme Court, whose 6-year mandate, set out in the Polish Constitution, would be prematurely terminated.
According to the law, current judges affected by the lowered retirement age are given the possibility to request a prolongation of their mandate by the President of the Republic, which can be granted for a period of three years, and renewed once. 

EU Company Law 'upgraded' package: making the best use of digital solutions and cross-border mobility

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), BusinessEurope and UEAPME, with the support of  EY, recenlty organised a lively discussion with European decision-makers and stakeholders to shed light on recent EU company law developments and how to make the best of digital solutions and cross-border mobility.
The event was held to bring together experts following the European Commission’s unveiling on the 25 April of its long-awaited company law package,  aiming to modernise the legislative framework for European businesses.
The rules are intended to make it easier for companies to merge, divide or move within the European Union, to prevent ‘social dumping’ - or cheap labour; tax evasion and other forms of abuse. It contains two main elements - a mobility chapter relating to cross-border operations, and a digitalisation chapter.

Trump risks creating an unholy 'axis of the sanctioned' between Turkey, Iran, China and Russia

“Trade wars are easy to win,” Donald Trump reassured Americans when he launched stiff tariffs on Chinese exports. Then in rapid fire he re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran, ramped them up on Russia and sent Turkey’s currency into a tailspin with tariffs on steel and aluminium exports.

So far first blood to the United States. Even China has found that its huge trade surplus makes it more vulnerable to US measures than the US economy is to counter-measures from Beijing. The sharp falls in the rouble, Iran’s rial and the Turkish lira are all testimony to America’s status as the world’s financial heavyweight.

Qui est Oleg Sentsov, l'opposant à Poutine en grève de la faim depuis 3 mois ?

Pétitions, tribunes, téléphone rouge… aucune de ces initiatives n'a pour l'instant permis de faire libérer le cinéaste ukrainien Oleg Sentsov, condamné à 20 ans de camp pour "terrorisme" et "trafic d'armes. Détenu dans la colonie pénitentiaire de Labytnangui, dans la péninsule de Yamal, au nord de la Sibérie, le dissident âgé de 42 ans se trouve pourtant dans un état critique après une grève de la faim entamée le 14 mai.
De nombreuses personnalités ont déjà appelé à "agir vite pour ne pas laisser mourir" le cinéaste, dont Christiane Taubira, Delphine de Vigan, Maylis de Kerangal sur le site de "l'Obs", ou encore 100 signataires, dont les réalisateurs suisse Jean-Luc Godard et britannique Ken Loach, sur le site du "Monde".

When Will the U.S. Finally Act Boldly on Paid Family Leave?

When I gave birth to my daughter over a year ago, I worked for an employer that provides no paid parental leave: the U.S. government. I was able to cobble together vacation and sick time with unpaid leave for four months. But I did not feel ready to go back to work, physically or emotionally, until my daughter was closer to seven months old — when she was sitting up, investigating new toys, eating pureed solids, and getting ready to scoot around her daycare room.
It is time for the U.S. to join the rest of the developed world in providing paid parental leave. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are finally starting to recognize that the current system places American parents in an impossible position. 

Erdogan Makes Some Worrying Friends