Monday, August 20, 2018

Turkey initiates WTO dispute complaint over additional U.S. tariffs

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has initiated a dispute complaint with the World Trade Organisation against additional tariffs imposed by the United States on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, the WTO said on Monday.

The move was previously flagged by Turkish officials and comes after President Donald Trump this month said he would double tariffs on Turkish metal imports over Turkey’s trial on terrorism charges of a U.S. evangelical Christian pastor.


Back to school: Protect your child’s information

Many school forms require personal and sensitive information. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s personal information safe — from pre-school through college.
  • Safeguard your child’s Social Security number (SSN). Don’t carry your child’s Social Security card with you, and don’t share it unless you know and trust the other party. Ask why it’s necessary and how it will be protected. Ask if you can use a different identifier, or use only the last four digits.
  • Know your rights under FERPA. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records. FERPA requires schools to notify parents and guardians about their school directory policy. It also gives you the right to opt out of sharing contact or other directory information with third parties, including other families.

The many faces of capitalism in Europe

The model of capitalism emerging in Central and Southeast Europe is similar to the Southern European model. The region is so diverse, however, that a homogeneous regional model of the economy is unlikely to develop.
It has long been known that capitalism has many different variations. The French economics professor Bruno Amable, a lecturer at the University of Geneva, proved this in his book “The Diversity of Modern Capitalism”. In his opinion, there are at least five different models of capitalism:

Just enough

Seth Godin
There are two paths, really:
"I will serve just enough to make the maximum profit"
"I will profit just enough to provide the maximum service."

John McCain and the End of Romantic Conservatism

Crimea agonistes

In the context of legal and ideological disputes around the cessation of the Russian war on Ukraine supposedly using diplomacy, there appear to be constant, stubborn efforts to remove Crimea from the framework of the discussion. Moreover, this is being done, not just in the West, but even among Ukraine’s top politicians, some of whom say, “First Donbas and the Minsk accords, and then, at some point later, Crimea...”
At his meeting with US President Trump in Helsinki, Russian President Putin decided to “shut up” the US by announcing that the issue of Crimea was closed once and for all. History has seen many such pronouncements. In soviet times, it was considered an unquestionable truth that the USSR would survive until worldwide communism was established, but in fact it lasted less than 70 years. The Third Reich was called “millennial,” but its millennium lasted all of 13 years. 

Whiteboard Session: How to Work Successfully Across Borders

Prague Spring: 50 years on what can we learn from Czechoslovakia's failed attempt to reform communism?

Fifty years ago this week, on 21 August 1968, the citizens of Prague awoke to find tanks on their streets. For some it came as no surprise. Student activist Pavel Kamenicky was sleeping. “At first I thought it was the university bus trying to find the right gear,” he says. “But I realised it was way too loud. I jumped up thinking, ‘they’ve come’.”

Czechoslovakia had dominated news bulletins throughout the summer after its premier, First Secretary Alexander Dubcek, had begun reforming his communist government’s structures earlier that year. But now, what had become known as the Prague Spring, or Dubcek’s “socialism with a human face”, was lying crushed beneath the tank tracks in Wenceslas Square.

Attack on economy like attack on Turkish flag: Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called the ongoing currency crisis an attack on the Turkish economy, which he described as an attack on the Turkish flag and call to prayer, indirectly defying the United States administration’s warnings of more sanctions if the U.S. pastor is not released soon. 
“An attack on our economy is no different from a direct strike against our flag and call to prayer. The purpose is not different. It aims to bring Turkey and the Turkish people to their knees,” Erdoğan said in his Eid al-Adha message on early Aug. 20.

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

Greece has successfully concluded a three year European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme with its place at the heart of the euro area and European Union secured.
The successful conclusion of the programme is a testament to the efforts of the Greek people, the country's commitment to reform, and the solidarity of its European partners.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The conclusion of the stability support programme marks an important moment for Greece and Europe. While their European partners have demonstrated their solidarity, the Greek people have responded to every challenge with a characteristic courage and determination. I have always fought for Greece to remain at the heart of Europe. As the Greek people begin a new chapter in their storied history, they will always find in me an ally, a partner and a friend."

U.S. Rebuffs Effort to Tether Bank Fine to Pastor’s Release

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration has rejected an effort by Turkey to tie the release of a U.S. pastor with relief for a major Turkish bank facing billions of dollars in U.S. fines, telling Ankara other issues are off the table until the minister is freed, a senior White House official said.

The jailing of Andrew Brunson has triggered the worst crisis between the two countries in decades and helped push the Turkish currency to record lows in recent months. The rejection of a possible trade sets the stage for the U.S. to...

Putin strikes blow against Russia's isolation by Europe

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has joined forces with Germany against the US over a new gas pipeline.
His weekend trip, which included a visit to Austria, also struck a symbolic blow against EU diplomatic sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine.

Между Украиной и Россией, или «если вы смотрите это видео....»

Employee termination law in British Columbia

At-will status and/or notice period?
Notice period. Canada is not an at-will jurisdiction. Therefore, on termination without cause, employees must be provided with notice of termination or pay in lieu. This entitlement may be included in a contract. If not, in British Columbia, the Employment Standards Act sets a minimum notice entitlement ranging between one to eight weeks depending on length of service. Further, common law provides a greater right to notice.
What restrictions apply to the above?
In an employment contract, the employer and employee can agree to the employee’s entitlements on termination, as long as those entitlements satisfy the minimum requirements under applicable employment standards legislation. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Президент підписав Закон щодо створення ефективного механізму використання земель сільгосппризначення, запобігання рейдерству земель в Україні

Президент Петро Порошенко підписав Закон України «Про внесення змін до деяких законодавчих актів України щодо вирішення питання колективної власності на землю, удосконалення правил землекористування у масивах земель сільськогосподарського призначення, запобігання рейдерству та стимулювання зрошення в Україні». 
Реалізація Закону створить ефективний механізм використання масивів земель сільськогосподарського призначення, створить необхідні умови для запобігання рейдерству та стимулювання зрошення земель в Україні.

Tough talks, no agreements at Merkel, Putin meeting near Berlin

MESEBERG, Germany (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Iran and a gas pipeline project that has drawn U.S. ire during tough talks outside Berlin that ended with no clearcut progress.

The welfare state needs updating

In June 1941 William Beveridge left the office of Arthur Greenwood, a British cabinet minister, with tears in his eyes. A well-known academic and civil servant, Beveridge had sought a big job in the war effort. The 62-year-old was brilliant, but also obsessive, vainglorious and prim. To sideline him, Greenwood proposed what seemed a thankless task: reviewing Britain’s social-insurance schemes. 
What emerged was a blueprint for the modern welfare state. In December 1942, having stretched his brief to the point of bursting, Beveridge published his account of the “Five Giants”: disease, idleness, ignorance, squal- or and want. He proposed new benefits for the retired, disabled and unemployed, a universal allowance for children and a nationwide health service. 

UA MoD/MIC cruising?

On 17th August in the southern-most parts of Odessa Oblast, Olexandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council made claim to successful Ukrainian built cruise missile launches via the NSDC website.

Well bravo – though a reader may consider this a minor achievement for a nation that has a long history of missile development and a proven ability at lobbing satellites into orbit during the dark Soviet days and continuing since independence.
What matters with the claims of “cruise missile capabilities” is not that Ukraine can manufacture them, but rather should there be a requirement to use them, the high degree of accuracy needed for targeting, the consistency of target destruction, and the ability to actually reach the target without being intercepted.

U.S. Opposition to Pipeline Hangs Over Meeting Between Putin and Merkel

As President Vladimir Putin met with Chancellor Angela Merkel near Berlin on Saturday to try to safeguard a controversial Russian-German gas pipeline, the U.S. wasn’t present but it could have a big say in the outcome.

The U.S. has in hand a package of sanctions that could be used to try to stop completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is already in its advanced stages, by targeting companies, and potentially financial firms, involved in its construction. Current and former U.S. officials said such sanctions had been...

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.