Thursday, March 31, 2016

Obama’s Syria legacy: Horrific genocide

Jennifer Rubin

The plunge of Syria and Iraq into seemingly interminable warfare is the most long-lasting debacle of the Obama presidency. Despite a temporary cease-fire in Syria — which only cements Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule and Russia’s geopolitical victory — and some gains in Iraq, the facts on the ground have changed irreparably.

IRS Will Never Call To Demand Immediate Payment Over The Phone

   Posted in Debt, Tax debts

I’ve written before about IRS scams involving a call or robocall supposedly from the tax agency demanding immediate payment and threatening arrest if the payment isn’t made.  However, I’m still getting calls from anxious clients rattled by these calls.  Let me repeat, the IRS will never call you to demand immediate payment over the phone.

Here’s what the IRS has to say about this scam:

The IRS will never:
·         Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.

Иоффе О. С., Красавчиков О. А. "О критике науки и научности критики"

Если бы о советской науке гражданского права вообще и особенно о ее отношении к правовому регулированию хозяйственной деятельности не было другого источника информации, кроме появившейся в 1977 г. брошюры В. К. Мамутова[1215], вот какое впечатление об этой науке сложилось бы у неосведомленного читателя.
Во-первых, она не оправдана исторически. Само ее существование до 1929 г. было связано только с нэпом; <в 1929 - 1938 гг. общецивилистический подход к регулированию хозяйственных отношений не встретил поддержки ни в теории, ни на практике>; уготованное же ему <монопольное положение на протяжении восемнадцати лет> (1938 - 1955) <явилось не следствием развития экономики и права, не следствием научных достижений, а следствием искусственного насаждения такого подхода не без использования мер административного характера> (с. 14 - 15).
Во-вторых, <сомнительной исторической обоснованности> (с. 16) сопутствует сомнительный понятийный аппарат. Этот аппарат <позаимствован из <домохозяйственного> прошлого> и, стало быть, сформировался еще до 1929 г. В то же время <нередко вместо приспособления старых конструкций к новым условиям, стремились приспособить условия к старым конструкциям> (с. 15).

Професор В.С. Щербина "Модернізація господарського законодавства. Курс на Європу"

До вашої уваги пропонуємо статтю завідувача кафедри господарського права проф. В.С. Щербини "Модернізація господарського законодавства. Курс на Європу" (Юридичний вісник України. - 2016. - 21 березня)

Останнім часом все частіше згадую слова одного з відомих українських цивілістів (з етичних міркувань не називаю прізвище шанованої мною вченої): «Карфаген повинен бути зруйнований, а Господарський кодекс – скасований», і дивуюся: який зв'язок існує між фінікійським містом (згодом і державою на території сучасного Тунісу) і кодексом незалежної держави?

Слова про Карфаген – ворога Риму – приписують сенатору Риму Катону-старшому, ініціатива скасування Господарського кодексу, гаряче підтримувана Міністерством юстиції України, – виходить від «неурядових» організацій – спочатку (у 2005 р.) це була комісія «Блакитної стрічки» (група експертів «найвищої якості»), тепер (у 2015 р.) – EasyBusiness. Долучилися до цієї ініціативи і «регулятори», які протягом 11 років дії ГК України не бачили його недоліків і «прозріли» лише після звернення до них з боку Мін'юсту. Особливо дивною видається позиція Національного банку України, який з 1996 р. по 31 грудня 2005 р. (вже 2 роки, як діяв ГК України), маючи згідно з ч. 1 ст. 93 Конституції України право законодавчої ініціативи, не вжив жодних заходів щодо узгодження норм ГК України з положеннями банківського законодавства.

Meeting between President of Ukraine and U.S. Secretary of Commerce: Ukraine is open for American investments

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in the course of his working visit to the United States.

New Saudi Companies Law – Accumulated Losses and Risk of Statutory Dissolution

Posted in New Companies Law, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh - Saudi Arabia_dreamstime_12711865
For the past few decades, the obligations of companies with losses reaching 50% or more of their share capital has been a topic of high debate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. That is due to the uncertainty surrounding the application of Articles 148 and 180 of the current Companies Law (Current Companies Law), which regulate this matter in connection with joint stock companies (JSCs) and limited liability companies (LLCs), respectively. On 9 November 2015, however, a new Companies Law (New Companies Law) was enacted, which addressed some of the ambiguities relating to this matter under the Current Companies Law. The New Companies Law will repeal and replace the Current Companies Law with effect from 2 May 2016 (Effective Date).
Below is an overview of the required steps to be taken by the management of an LLC or a JSC with accumulated losses reaching 50% or more of its share capital under the New Companies Law.

W sprawie odszkodowania za Jukos władze Rosji doszły do zaskakującego wniosku

Andrzej Kublik

Władze Rosji twierdzą, że dzięki nowemu oprogramowaniu odkryły, iż akcjonariusze Jukosu ukradli akcje tego naftowego giganta i nie należy im się 50 mld dol. odszkodowania za likwidację koncernu.

Rosja nie może wypełnić wyroku arbitrażu w Hadze o wypłacie 50 mld dol. odszkodowania dla byłych akcjonariuszy Jukosu, bo ten wyrok zapadł z naruszeniem procedur - tak oświadczył rzecznik Komitetu Śledczego Rosji Władimir Markin.

Gunvor (company)

Gunvor Group Ltd is a global commodity trading company registered in Cyprus, with its main trading office in Geneva,Switzerland. Gunvor also has trading offices in Singaporethe Bahamas, and Dubai, with a network of representative offices around the globe. The company operates in the trade, transport, storage and optimization of petroleum and other energy products, as well as having investments in oil terminal and port facilities. Its operations consist of securing crude oil upstream and delivering it to market via pipelines and tankers.
The company, which was founded in 2000, is the fourth largest crude oil trader in the world after GlencoreVitol, andTrafigura. The company was co-founded and controlled by Gennady Timchenko together with Torbjörn Törnqvist (after whose mother the company is named); however, due to United States sanctions, Timchenko sold his stake in the company to Törnqvist in March 2014.

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly discovered that the Court is primed to flex its muscles when deciding jurisdictional questions presented in the franchisee’s motion to dismiss.

Defendant TFL Fishers, owned by co-defendant Rosalyn Harris, had entered into a franchise agreement with Plaintiff GISF to operate an exercise studio in Indiana under the “Get In Shape for Women” brand owned by GISF. The franchise agreement included provisions under which Defendants agreed to pay GISF a percentage of gross sales as royalties, only use GISF names and trademarks for operation of its studio, and to attend an annual training session in Massachusetts.  The franchise agreement also contained other significant terms, including a right of GISF to receive notification of any offers to purchase the franchise and to purchase the studio on the same terms, and a clause entitling GISF to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred from enforcement of the agreement.

Taking aboard the political carcasses – Coalition building, Ukraine

With a new majority coalition remaining out of reach despite over a month of horse trading and an extreme amount of shuffling behind the curtain among the Grey Cardinals, it appears Block Poroshenko and the People’s Front will attempt to gather between them enough currently independent parliamentarians into their faction folds to garner the slimmest of Verkhovna Rada majorities.
Many of those they are currently wooing are long standing parliamentarians, known as “carcasses”, whose allegiance and vote have been bought and sold over the years and who generally do little else than vote the party line for reward – per vote – if they turn up at the Verkhovna Rada at all.  Occasionally they may make speech/TV appearance to support whatever policy, or put their name to authoring a (usually dubious) law vested interests want to become statute in return for favour of whatever kind.

Parliament simplifies family farm registration

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted the law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the promotion, creation and operation of family farms.
Some 262 deputies voted for relevant draft law No. 1599.
The document provides a simplified procedure for the transformation of personal peasant farms into family farms, simplifies registration and organization of their business activities, as well as the procedures for obtaining permits.

Ukraine, Australia sign agreement on uranium supply in Washington

Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Volodymyr Demchyshyn and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes.
According to an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent, the agreement was signed in Washington on March 31 as part of the working visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the United States.

U.S. environmental groups sue to overturn GMO salmon approval

U.S. health regulators are facing a lawsuit from a coalition of environmental organizations seeking to overturn the government's landmark approval of a type of genetically engineered salmon to be farmed for human consumption.

Ukraine Pitches To Break Russian Monopoly in India

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Ukroboronprom's deputy director general of strategy. The position is held by Artur Kheruvymov.
GOA, India — Ukraine has launched an aggressive effort to manage multiple overloaded armaments and weaponry that New Delhi acquired during the Soviet era and which have become a liability for the Indian defense forces.

Stop Glorifying Hard Work and Long Hours

The late night check-outs of your office.

The tweet/check-ins on Saturday and Sunday trying to humblebrag that you work weekends.


Please stop.

Ranking business costs: National rankings

The surging value of the US dollar in 2015 has greatly impacted the global business landscape, significantly constraining US competitiveness. The high value of the US dollar drives down the cost of doing business in all other countries, when measured in US dollar terms. The US now stands out as a high cost business location relative to its peers.

Business costs represent one important factor considered in virtually all corporate location decisions, thus making Competitive Alternatives a valuable reference for corporations evaluating their national or international location options.

The property manager and Putin's friends

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) smiles next to Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva during a meeting with the Russian Olympic team at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia in this November 4, 2004 file photo.
A little-known Russian businessman from St Petersburg has provided properties to multiple women who share one common theme: President Vladimir Putin.

What You Should Know about Children with Investment Income

Special tax rules may apply to some children who receive investment income. The rules may affect the amount of tax and how to report the income. Here are five important points to keep in mind if your child has investment income:

1. Investment Income. Investment income generally includes interest, dividends and capital gains. It also includes other unearned income, such as from a trust.

2. Parent’s Tax Rate. If your child's total investment income is more than $2,100 then your tax rate may apply to part of that income instead of your child's tax rate. See the instructions for Form 8615, Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income.

Employment Law Attorney Discusses Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Dutch PM believes Ukraine-EU Association to win majority in referendum

Most of the Dutch will vote in favor of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte said in an interview with Nieuwsuur.

"I have great confidence in the wisdom of the Netherlands. I think a majority will vote yes on April 6, in the interests of … trade and stability in Europe,” said Rutte.

MetLife wins a legal battle to be deemed unimportant

An American court sides with a big insurer against a powerful new regulator

LIFE-INSURANCE companies usually go to inordinate lengths to demonstrate their dullness. That makes MetLife’s chief executive, Steven Kandarian, extraordinary. He did what the head of no other big American financial firm has dared to: challenge head-on the legitimacy of the business-shaping decisions made with increasing frequency by regulators in the wake of the financial crisis. More remarkable still, he won.

Yes, Turkey Belongs in NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to speak with U.S. President Barack Obama more than any other foreign leader. Now he can't even make it onto Obama's official schedule when he visits Washington. Can this marriage be saved?

Xi signs landmark Czech agreement

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) shakes hands with Czech President Milos Zeman in Prague yesterday. — AFP
CHINESE President Xi Jinping yesterday signed a landmark strategic partnership with his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman in Prague.
The Czech president, who had billed Xi’s visit as a chance to boost trade with the world’s second-largest economy, announced that Chinese investors would pour CZK95 billion (US$3.93 billion) into the central European country this year alone.

Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food: Ukraine will cooperate with Netherlands in rural development

“Ukraine sees great prospects for bilateral cooperation with the Netherlands in the field of rural development and support of business in rural areas. 
“We are also going to boost trade cooperation and increase the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries”, Oleksii Pavlenko, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, stressed during a meeting withMartijn van Dam, the State Secretary for Economic Affairs/Minister of Agriculture, which was held in the framework of Business Forum Ukraine-Netherlands.
Speaking about the bilateral trade in agricultural products, Oleksii Pavlenko emphasized that the turnover between Ukraine and the Netherlands amounted to $680 million in 2015, with the exports reaching $580 million and imports – $100 million.

NATO and Ukraine agreed Partnership Goals in the framework of Alliance Planning and Review Process

The document includes a number of joint activities on the most important areas of reform of security and defence sector and implementation of the NATO standards in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
A NATO-Ukraine meeting in the format of the Alliance program The Planning and Review Process (PARP) took place at NATO Headquarters. Ukrainian delegation was led by Director of Directorate General on International Defence Cooperation of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Ihor Protsyk.
The participants discussed the draft of PARP Assessment of Ukraine’s participation and Partnership Goals package. During the meeting a decision on preliminary approval of these documents and sending them to the North Atlantic Council was adopted.

Turkey seeks to increase tourists from Ukraine by over 40% in 2016

Turkey seeks to increase the number tourists from Ukraine by over 40% in 2016, to 1 million people, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mahir Unal has said.
"Our goal in 2016 is to increase the reception of tourists from Ukraine from 730,000 to 1 million people. We will show our hospitality to everyone who will come," he said at the presentation of the Turkey's stand at the Ukraine International Travel & Tourism Show (UITT) 2016 in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Bloomberg: Wanted in the US, Firtash wants to end exile (VIDEO)

A billionaire Ukrainian living in Austria has told Bloomberg he wants to end his self-imposed exile and return to his own country.

The following is a transcript of Dmytro Firtash's remarks:
"It is clear that the current government is politically bankrupt. One cannot expect anything from this government. This government has brought the country to the edge of catastrophe. 

Is a viral video subject to intellectual property law?

The concept of “viral” videos is relatively new as compared with intellectual property rights, which have been around for decades. When a video starts receiving exponential attention on social media, the application of traditional intellectual property laws can be as unclear as the grainy, homemade footage itself.
Classification of viral videos

French protesters return to streets in anger over labour reforms

Paris (AFP) - France was set for a fresh day of protests over labour reforms on Thursday, in yet another challenge for the embattled government of President Francois Hollande.
The protests coincide with strikes by air traffic controllers that are expected to cause travel chaos for thousands of passengers.
For Hollande's Socialist government, the priority is to prevent the protests by unions and students from turning violent, as they did last week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Statement by the President of Ukraine at the Forum “Ukraine’s Battle for Freedom Continues”

Dear members of the World Affairs Councils of America,
Distinguished audience,
Your Excellency,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to be here tonight and see so many friends of Ukraine.
This is especially important for me to be in the Congress building.

Erdoğan’s uncomfortable US visit

It would come as no surprise to anyone if we were to conjecture that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not one of Washington’s favorite world leaders at present. 

There was a time when he was looked on as someone who could breathe fresh life into a Middle East unable to overcome its glaring democratic deficiencies and backward ways. In a controversial article for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg recently wrote that while President Barack Obama initially said Erdoğan was a “moderate Muslim leader who would bridge the divide between East and West,” he “now considers him a failure and an authoritarian.”

Website accessibility case shows big risks to companies

By Mike Underwood on 
We have reported previously on the emerging trends in litigation over website accessibility. Briefly, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires accessibility for disabled persons to places of public accommodation. Increasingly, disabled persons are pursuing litigation or threats of litigation, arguing that a company’s website which provides access to goods and services must be accessible under the ADA. 
The law remains somewhat unsettled. Federal courts have reached varying conclusions on the question of whether websites are places of public accommodation and, if they are, what steps are required to make them accessible under the ADA.

EU-India Summit: A new momentum for the EU-India Strategic Partnership

Brussels, 30 March 2016
The 13th Summit between the European Union and India took place in Brussels on 30 March 2016. Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, participated in the Summit.

The 13th Summit between the European Union and India took place in Brussels on 30 March 2016.

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, participated in the Summit.

Joint Statement 13th EU-India Summit, Brussels, 30 March 2016 (PDF)

The 13th EU-India Summit was held in Brussels on 30 March 2016. The EU was represented by Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The Republic of India was represented by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 

The leaders strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016 as an unacceptable affront to our open democratic societies and extended their deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The EU and India will remain united and firm in the fight against hatred, violent extremism and terrorism.

As global partners and the world's largest democracies, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the EU-India Strategic Partnership based on shared values and principles.