Monday, February 29, 2016

Argentina’s Debt Settlement Ends 15-Year Battle


The announcement of a $4.65 billion agreement between the Argentine government and four “holdout” hedge funds promises to end a 15-year battle that started when the government defaulted on $100 billion in debt in 2001.

The hedge funds refused to accept a steep discount in two restructurings over the years, while others took 30 cents on the dollar. The agreement announced on Monday gives the four holdouts — Paul Singer’s NML Capital, Mark Brodsky’s Aurelius Capital Management, Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Bracebridge Capital — 75 percent of their claims. Two other hedge funds struck an earlier agreement for 75 percent of their claims. The deal is subject to approval by Argentina’s Congress.

Here’s a look at some crucial moments of the fight over the years.

To Patent or Keep Secret? That Is the Question

Posted in Data Protection, Patent, Trade Secrets
As an emerging technology company, maintaining an edge over your competitors may depend to a great extent on choosing the right strategy for intellectual property (IP) protection. The question is what kind of protection do you actually need, and how do you go about getting it? Two types of IP protection that most tech startups will want to consider are patents and trade secrets. Each offers different types of protection with distinct benefits and risks, so you will need to decide which path is right to meet your business goals.
Is Patent Protection the Right Option for You?
#Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation.  They can cover almost any novel aspect of a technology, including hardware, software, compositions, materials, and business methods. 

Kant and Lying to the Murderer at the Door . . . One More Time: Kant's Legal Philosophy and Lies to Murderers and Nazis

Helga Varden


Kant's example of lying to the murderer at the door has been a cherished source of scorn for thinkers with little sympathy for Kant's philosophy and a source of deep puzzlement for those more favorably inclined. The problem is that Kant seems to say that it is always wrong to lie—even to a murderer asking for the whereabouts of his victim—and that if one does lie and despite one's good intentions the lie leads to the murderer's capture of the victim, then the liar is partially responsible for the killing of the victim. If this is correct, then Kant's account seems not only to require us to respect the murderer more than the victim, but also that somehow we can be responsible for the consequences of another's wrongdoing. 

ЯВОРНИЦКИЙ Дмитрий Иванович История запорожских казаков. - Т.2.

ЯВОРНИЦКИЙ Дмитрий Иванович
Яворницкий Д.И. История запорожских казаков. 

К.: Наук. думка, 1990. - Т. 2. - 660 с.
Академия наук Украинской ССР
Археографическая комиссия

Институт истории

В томе освещается история запорожского казачества от его возникновения в конце XV в. до 1686 г. Описываются происхождение казаков, их борьба против грабительских нашествий на Украину орд крымских и турецких феодалов, сухопутные походы в Крым и морские - в Турцию. 

Aerojet Rocketdyne, ULA win Air Force propulsion contracts

by Mike Gruss

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force will invest up to $536 million in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 rocket engine and as much as $202 million in United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket as a way to end dependence on the Russian rocket engine used to launch most U.S. national security payloads, according to a Feb. 29 announcement from the Pentagon.

#Aerojet_Rocketdyne will use the money to help develop its AR1 rocket engine. ULA will develop a prototype of its Vulcan launch vehicle with the BE-4 engine and work on its next-generation upper stage engine known as the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage, or ACES.
The contracts are among the Air Force’s top space acquisition priorities for 2016.

Utilities Cautioned About Potential for a Cyberattack After Ukraine’s

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has warned the nation’s power companies, water suppliers and transportation networks that sophisticated cyberattack techniques used to bring down part of Ukraine’s power grid two months ago could easily be turned on them.

After an extensive inquiry, American investigators concluded that the attack in Ukraine on Dec. 23 may well have been the first power blackout triggered by a cyberattack — a circumstance many have long predicted. Working remotely, the attackers conducted “extensive reconnaissance” of the power system’s networks, stole the credentials of system operators and learned how to switch off the breakers, plunging more than 225,000 Ukrainians into darkness.

Capital investments in agriculture increased by 27.1%

As Oleksii Pavlenko, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, reported, capital investments in the agriculture of Ukraine had increased in 2015 and amounted to 27.1%.
“Throughout the year 2015, the volumes of capital investments in #agriculture, forestry, and fisheries have amounted to UAH 27.9 billion, 27.1% more than in the previous year, and this trend occurred at the background of general decrease of capital investments in the country’s economy by 1.7% and specifically, in the industry by 20%”, the Minister noted.
Oleksii Pavlenko stressed that the capital investments in agriculture have increased by 26.1%, in the forestry – 1.7 times, and in the fisheries – 2.5 times.

Ukraine calls on UN to beef up international presence in Donbas

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has called on the United Nations to enhance an international presence in #Donbas, eastern Ukraine, by deploying UN peacekeepers and OSCE police.

"A more active international presence is needed to ensure security on the ground [in Donbas]. An OSCE mission should work. We favor the extension of the mission's mandate at Ukraine's request," he said at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday evening.
"We've invited a UN peacekeeping mission [in Donbas] – this invitation is still in force," he said.

N.Y. judge backs Apple in encryption fight with government

The U.S. government cannot force #Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to unlock an #iPhone in a New York drug case, a federal judge in Brooklyn said on Monday, a ruling that bolsters the company's arguments in its landmark legal showdown with the Justice Department over encryption and privacy.

The government sought access to the phone in the Brooklyn case in October, months before a judge in California ordered Apple to take special measures to give the government access to the phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California, attacks.

Home Energy Credits Save Money and Cut Taxes

You can trim your taxes and save on your energy bills with certain home improvements. Here are some key facts to know about home energy tax credits:
Non-Business Energy Property Credit 
·         Part of this credit is worth 10 percent of the cost of certain qualified energy-saving items you added to your main home last year. This may include items such as insulation, windows, doors and roofs.

Voting and Elections: Join Us at 8 PM ET Monday For a Chat on Facebook

Super Tuesday is almost here, and many people have questions about the presidential primaries or the voter registration process. Join us for a thought-provoking Q&A on Facebook this Tuesday, February 29 at 8 PM ET. We will cover:
  • Why voting matters
  • The presidential primary process
  • How to register to vote
Get your questions answered – ask us anything! You can also join the conversation in Spanish on GobiernoUSA's Facebook page.

What to make of Decree 68/2016 (On promotion of civil society in Ukraine)?

Civil society in democratic State-society relations occupies a distinct and wide space.
Imagine four concentric circles.

In the centre circle is a reasonable/sensible sized circle – The State.  The next circle is that of “political society”.  The following circle would then be civil society – meaning the mass media, NGOs, intellectuals and cultural entities etc. 

The outer circle is that of the “parochial society” – religion and family, as well as corporations, business and trade unions.  Somewhere else in a square reinforced box segregated from the concentric circles are the “uncivil/unlawful” groups that act outside of the rule of law, only being allowed to enter the circular world having given up their unlawful ways.

A whole year? Yes, a whole year for leaping.

Seth Godin

Every four years, the worldwide calendar reminds us of a secret.
Leaping powers innovation, it is the engine of not only our economy, but of a thrilling and generous life.
Of course, you can (and should) be leaping regularly. Like bathing, leaping is a practice, something that never gets old, and is best done repeatedly.
But we don't need a worldwide holiday (one that lasts an entire year) for you to leap. You're already doing it.
No, the benefit of the holiday is to give you an excuse to encourage others to leap. It's socially acceptable to say, "Happy leap year." And then explain. Every four years we get to spread this subversive idea.

European Social Innovation Competition

The 2016 Social Innovation Competition focuses on social innovation for refugees and migrants. The 3 winners of the competition will each receive a prize of €50,000. The competition is open for entries until 8 April 2016. Take a chance, enter the competition and submit your idea!

 2016 theme: Integrated Futures
The European Commission is looking for innovations in products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants. 
Innovations can relate to any aspect of the reception and integration process including, but not limited to, ideas around:
·         education and skills development
·         employment and entrepreneurship
·         access to appropriate housing and health services
·         safety and human rights

Ukraine President Urges Coalition to Decide on Cabinet, Premier

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ruled out an early national election and urged a majority coalition in parliament to decide on a new cabinet to end the worst political crisis since deadly street protests ousted Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

“We don’t have the time because it will mean half a year of total inaction and populism,” Poroshenko said Monday in a statement on his website. “And there is no need, because we won’t get a better parliament. The parliamentary coalition needs to decide on candidates for the cabinet and the head of government as well as on the reform agenda.”

The Value of Background Checks – A Legally Compliant Screening Program

“Ukraine Week” – EU Parliament

29th February sees the start of “Ukraine Week” within the European Parliament, Brussels.

A total of 40 Ukrainians – MPs, political party leaders, Verkhovna Rada committee leaders and assorted others, together with the EP counterparts (and a few stray EU Member State politicians) will be grazing upon EU canapes for 3 days whilst attempting to keep Ukraine high upon the European agenda, dispel any creeping “Ukraine fatigue”, and also try and find/refine solutions to the dysfunctionality that envelopes the generally feckless Ukrainian political class and how it actually functions within the Verkhovna Rada building.

EU visa agreement good for Dutch trade with China

In its capacity as holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Netherlands today signed an agreement to open more visa desks in China. Applicants will soon be able to request Dutch and other EU visas in more cities. Every Schengen country will be allowed 15 visa locations in China. The Netherlands has been a strong advocate for establishing the agreement.

Economic importance to the EU

Increasing the number of visa desks is of direct economic importance to the Netherlands and the other EU member states. The growth of the Chinese economy offers many business opportunities. Imports from China were worth €53.9 billion in 2015 and exports from the Netherlands €8 billion. More Chinese tourists are also visiting the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. With a visible presence in more Chinese cities, the Netherlands will be better positioned to benefit from these economic opportunities.

Restoring trust in transatlantic data flows through strong safeguards: European Commission presents EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 29 February 2016
The European Commission today issued the legal texts that will put in place the EU-U.S.
The European Commission today issued the legal texts that will put in place the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and a Communication summarising the actions taken over the last years to restore trust in transatlantic data flows since the 2013 surveillance revelations. In line with President Juncker's political guidelines, the Commission has (i) finalised the reform of EU Data protection rules, which apply to all companies providing services on the EU market, (ii) negotiated the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement ensuring high data protection standards for data transfers across the Atlantic for law enforcement purposes, and (iii) achieved a renewed sound framework for commercial data exchange: the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

Germany working on 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine

Germany is working on a 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine, Karl-Georg Wellmann, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and head of the German-Ukrainian parliamentary group, said in an interview with the newspaper Segodnya.

"We have been working on a new strategy for Ukraine's stabilization and development with much greater financial and political efforts. This is something new, and it will supplement the Association Agreement," he said.

President: Reboot of the Government is a responsibility of the Parliament and the coalition

Reboot of the Government today is a responsibility of the Parliament and the coalition, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko at the meeting with the representatives of the Aspen Institute.

The Head of State noted that the coalition played a key role in that issue and "should determine candidates for the ministerial posts, define a program of reforms to be implemented and clear out the position of factions within the coalition".

Government adopted a decree on establishment of the State Bureau of Investigation and approved 6 members of the Commission for the selection of an SBI chairman

The Government of Ukraine, at an extraordinary meeting on Monday, February 29, adopted a resolution on the establishment of the State Bureau of Investigation and approved six out of nine members of the Commission for the selection of an SBI chairman. Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk informed that first meeting of the Selection Commission would take place on March 1.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk noted that the Government had received an official letter from the President of Ukraineregarding candidates for the Selection Commission on the appointment of the chairman of the State Bureau of Investigation.

World Debt by countries

TTIP: US yet to approve EU investor court plan

The United States “understands” why the European Union wants to include an investor court system in the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, discussed in Brussels this week, but the US' chief negotiator refrained from giving a substantive analysis of the EU plan.

“We’ve received the proposal fairly recently,” said Dan Mullaney at a press conference on Friday (26 February), wrapping up the twelfth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

“We do understand the concerns that are behind the proposal,” he noted, but did not say whether he liked the idea or not, only that the two sides would discuss it further.

Трещины в единстве Кремля — не новость

Краткий обзор
27 февраля исполняется год со дня убийства влиятельного российского оппозиционера Бориса Немцова. Его убийство держало российские политические круги в напряжении в течение двух недель, обнажив прежде скрытую ожесточенную конкуренцию внутри Кремля и поставив под сомнение способность президента России Владимира Путина контролировать ситуацию. 

Этот спор, который вышел за рамки смерти отдельного лидера оппозиции и даже за рамки фракционной конкуренции, на самом деле представлял собой борьбу за право контролировать будущее России. Все это напоминает о трехлетнем периоде в начала 1920-х годов, который завершился сменой руководства и определил траекторию развития Советского Союза.

U.S. court test on abortion reflects success of strategy shift

When the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday hears a major abortion case for the first time in nearly a decade, the regulations at issue will not involve fetuses or the mother, but rather standards for doctors and facilities where the procedure is performed.

That the high court is taking up a case about such arcane regulations reflects the success of a legal strategy that abortion opponents embraced about a decade ago and initially caught some abortion-rights advocates off guard.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

An appeal to the civil society of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Director of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine

Representatives of Ukrainian Jewish organizations, on behalf of the Jewish community of Ukraine, are advancing the initiative to make an appeal to the civil society of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In this appeal, we request support for Ukraine’s entry to an Association with the European Union.

The united #Jewish_community of Ukraine fully supports Ukraine’s aspiration towards stability, prosperity and successful development. With all our heart, we wish for a swift end to political, economic and social crises.

At the same time, the relations between Jews and politics have always been complicated, on the one hand, but on the other hand, they have been quite straightforward. And I would like to express my opinion on this subject.

5 tips for making sense of taxes after a divorce

Did you know that, in America, there is one divorce about every 36 seconds? That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces per year.

With tax season upon us, that means approximately 876,000 people are newly navigating the realm of post-divorce taxes. Taxes are complicated enough as it is, but when you add in assets, dependents, alimony, child support and other freshly split obligations, filing can be downright daunting.

Here, the five most important things to keep in mind when facing this new challenge.

Yatsenyuk promises strong banks, transparent privatization, reform in state sector

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says that the goals of the Cabinet's economic program in 2016 include the strengthening of the banking system, transparent privatization and the reform of management at state-owned enterprises.

"The implementation of the free trade agreement with the EU forms the basis of our program," Yatsenyuk said during the "10 Minutes with the Prime Minister" weekly program broadcast by major TV channels on Sunday evening.

In his words, the government's action plan consists of two main sections. "The first one is designed to ensure economic growth, including the creation of new jobs and poverty reduction; the other is to restore a social contract, or I would call it "to serve the Ukrainian people and restore trust in the government."

Flashback: Poroshenko reveals details of his visit to Crimea prior to annexation

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has posted a video on Facebook to reveal details of his visit to the Autonomous Republic of #Crimea prior to its annexation on February 28, 2014, when he was Member of Parliament before he was elected president in May 2014.

"I made up my mind – I would go there on the day of the pseudo-voting by the Supreme Council of Crimea. I secured authority from the then Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and [simultaneously] acting President [Oleksandr Turchynov]. My agenda included negotiations with Crimean Supreme Council members, the presidium, its chairman – I intended to offer all they had been seeking. At that time, we were ready to discuss every detail as for the legislation of Ukraine, the Crimean Constitution and ensure necessary safeguards of the people's interests, even in their understanding," Poroshenko said.

How Moscow Is Subverting Ukraine’s Bid for Freedom

How can one explain the contradictory picture of today’s Ukraine — a country whose government has loudly announced a reform agenda, yet whose reformers are currently leaving this very same government?

Kiev can boast its first successes in implementing the wide-ranging reform agenda it adopted in July 2014. A number of consequential laws have been passed: on lustration, fighting corruption, procurement, restructuring the civil service, modernizing higher education, creating a new police force, introducing public broadcasting, and so on. Four new anti-corruption agencies are being established.

Российская агрессия: почему Украина все время медлит с ответом?

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: "We have no right to stop reforms. Or alternative program with realistic and effective new team, or support the action plan of the Government"

We have no right to stop the reforms and the fight between us. We must move forward, "- said the" 10 Minutes "on Sunday, February 28, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

"I appeal to the President and all national political forces. Or go out to the public with an alternative program and  realistic and effective team, that be able to provide it – with program only, not a pre-election slogans. Or stop mutual combatting, quench passion, a sense of personal transgressions in and support the country's plan for this year, "- said the Prime Minister.

Poland’s ‘rule of law in danger’

Draft report says country’s radical changes to its highest court threaten democratic norms.

WARSAW — Changes to Poland’s constitutional court pushed through by its new conservative government “endanger not only the rule of law, but also the functioning of the democratic system,” according to a draft report from a European legal advisory body.

The Venice Commission, part of the Council of Europe, was invited to examine the state of the Constitutional Tribunal by Poland’s foreign minister in December after a constitutional crisis was set off by disputes over which judges should sit on the Tribunal and the Law and Justice party government’s subsequent legal changes to the court’s functioning. The situation is also being examined by the EU, which in January launched an unprecedented “rule of law” probe into the Polish government’s actions.