Saturday, June 30, 2018

World Bank national accounts data: Ukraine

National Guard of Ukraine to continue cooperation with Californian colleagues

A delegation of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine headed by First Deputy Minister Serhiy Yarovy has visited the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, operated by California National Guard, which provides overall coordination of forces and facilities in case of an emergency.
Yarovy held a meeting with Gen. Mark Malanka, commander of the Los Alamitos base.
"The parties drew attention to the deepening of bilateral cooperation," the communications department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

After a Billionaire and His Wife Are Found Dead, Their Children Try to Crack the Case

TORONTO—Police found the bodies seated side by side near an indoor swimming pool. Two belts were looped around their necks and fastened to a railing.

Soon after, on that mid-December day, Jonathon Sherman spotted a social-media feed that said his father, pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman, and his mother, Honey, had been found dead at home.

Week's balance: Good-bye to small coins, welcome to EU money for Ukraine reform, and latest budget deficit

The National Bank refused from further minting of small coins, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman asked the European Union to help with the financing of Ukrainian reforms, while the state budget was reduced to a deficit - these are the key economic news of the outgoing week.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What Blockchain Can’t Do

Blockchain technology has the potential to do amazing things. It can provide an immutable, digital audit trail of transactions, and can be used to cheaply verify the integrity of data. It can help businesses and individuals agree, on a global scale, about the true state of affairs within a market without relying on a costly intermediary.

This is achieved through a clever combination of economic incentives and cryptography, and ensures that at any point in time, digital records reflect the true “consensus” among the key stakeholders involved. When it comes to sharing digital records and assets, it can therefore replace the need for trust between players, or the need for a central authority to verify and maintain the records of transactions.


CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS UNANIMOUSLY passed a new privacy bill on Thursday that would give residents of the state more control over the information businesses collect on them and impose new penalties on businesses that don’t comply. It is the first law of its kind in the United States.
The so-called California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375) was introduced late last week by state assemblymember Ed Chau and state senator Robert Hertzberg, in a rush to defeat a stricter privacy-focused ballot initiative that had garnered more than 600,000 signatures from Californians. 

Cannabis Company Basics: Capitalization and Licensure

Over the past few years, we have had many cannabis clients call us during the license application process and ask some version of the following: “The state is asking me to disclose the capitalization of the company. What should I write?” From a lawyer’s perspective, the answer to this question is usually something very simple, such as: “The capitalization of the company should be disclosed as the amount and type of capital you used to start the company.” Makes sense, right? But there is often more to this question than meets the eye.

Pay Equity In The US

Pay equity is a hot button issue for employers in the United States for a number of reasons—reputational concerns are triggered with increasing shareholder demands for transparency; activist investor groups are pushing companies, particularly in the financial services and technology industries, to disclose gender pay data; and, in the wake of pay equity in the news, employees are asking more questions about the issue. 

Iryna Bekeshkina: “We’ve never had this kind of existential political crisis before”

Sociologist Iryna Bekeshkina tells The Ukrainian Week why populism is on the rise in Ukraine and what is influencing Ukrainian voters most of all

EUCO Summit and Ukrainian defence

On 29th June, the European Council released its communique relating to the outcomes (perhaps a better word than “results”) of the conclave that had just gathered.
Much relates to foreign policy, albeit there is a good deal of internal issues too.  European eyes will be drawn toward the political issues relating to immigration and refugees from the African continent and via Turkey.  UK eyes will continue to ponder Brexit and the slow-moving car crash it was bound to become.
Also within the communique however, are mentioned matters that Ukraine may well be keeping a watchful eye upon – specifically Chapter II on Security and Defence, where PESCO, CARD, EDIDP, CDP and third party participation is mentioned along with the CSDP:

US State of Ohio recognizes Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people

The US state of Ohio has recognized Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people, as reported by the Ukrainian Embassy to the United States on Facebook.
"The State of Ohio has joined in the recognition of the Holodomor [famine] in Ukraine in 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. State Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor issued the proclamation," the statement said.
Thus, to date, Holodomor has been recognized as genocide in 12 US States: Ohio, Missouri, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Kansas.

European Council conclusions, 28 June 2018

The European Council on 28 June adopted conclusions on: migration, security and defence, jobs, growth and competitiveness, innovation and digital, and on other issues.

Justice Kennedy: A justice who changed his mind

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the online-sales-tax case South Dakota v. Wayfair was his final — and most significant — decision involving the dormant commerce clause doctrine, which prohibits state and local governments from passing laws that discriminate against or unduly burden interstate commerce unless Congress consents. Wayfair also was a sharp break from Kennedy’s dormant commerce clause jurisprudence over the preceding three decades. Before Wayfair, Kennedy was one of the most ardent defenders of the much-maligned dormant commerce clause and one of the most reliable votes in favor of litigants who challenged state and local laws on the ground that they violated that doctrine. 

Canada strikes back at U.S. over tariffs, unveils aid package

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada struck back at U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) of American goods and unveiling a C$2 billion aid package for affected industries and workers.

Donald Trump should be applauded for meeting with Vladimir Putin – here's why

Once upon a time the announcement of a summit meeting between the leaders of two powerful and unpredictable states would have been greeted with relief, even hope. But for the second time this year, the response to such news – in much of the Western world at least – has been almost the opposite.
When the President of the United States met Kim Jong-un earlier this month – he of newly nuclear-capable North Korea – there was widespread concern that Donald Trump would be tricked into betraying vital US and Western interests. He didn’t. And the same warnings are being sounded now, before Trump embarks on his first formal summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July – with as little justification.

Ukrainian President to submit constitutional amendments to the Parliament in order to consolidate the strategic movement of Ukraine towards EU and NATO membership

President Petro Poroshenko will submit constitutional amendments to the Parliament for the purpose of consolidating the strategic objectives of the Ukrainian state in the Basic Law - the acquisition of Ukraine's membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.
"Another changes to the Constitution on which I emphasize. In the near future, I will submit to the Verkhovna Rada draft amendments to the Constitution that will consolidate our two strategic goals closely linked to each other," the President said during the solemn events on the occasion of the Constitution Day of Ukraine.

California: How Many Civil Procedure Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing in detail the Court’s constitutional law decisions on both the civil and criminal law side.  This week and next, we’re looking at one of the Court’s next most common types of cases – civil and criminal procedure decisions.  Between 1992 and 2017, the Court decided 170 cases involving civil procedure questions.
In Table 455, we review the year-by-year data.  The Court decided 4 civil procedure cases in 1992, 5 in 1993, 5 in 1994, 8 in 1995, 2 in 1996 and 8 in 1997.

What Ukraine’s Anticorruption Warriors Forget, And Why It May Weaken the State

We asserted that Western anticorruption policy was failing because it had been improperly sequenced, especially with regard to judicial reform. Kaleniuk indirectly admits this by pointing to the urgent need to create an anticorruption court three years after other anticorruption prosecutorial and investigative agencies were launched. The facts are that pressure and a focus on reforming existing courts was not a top priority for the West. Clear targets were not set nor were they met with the same alacrity as those set for investigative and procuratorial anticorruption structures.

She points to over 135 cases brought by the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor and the National Anticorruption Bureau. But these agencies have managed only one conviction in three years. Such a weak record has eroded public confidence in the new anticorruption structures as well as longstanding law and justice institutions. Further confirmation that court reform should have been better sequenced.

Odessa today

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Ukraine marks Constitution Day on June 28

Ukraine on June 28 marks the 22nd anniversary of its Fundamental Law, the Constitution. Constitution Day is an official holiday in the country, therefore June 28 in Ukraine is a day off. 

The country's Constitution was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, in the early hours of June 28, 1996, which was the fifth year after the proclamation of Ukraine's independence. 

Having spent almost 24 hours in continuous work in the session hall, Ukrainian lawmakers eventually passed the document with 315 votes in its favor. 

#DisinfoReview: Dehumanizing disinformation as a weapon of the information war

Dehumanization is a quite common trait in conflict situations, where the opponents usually intend to build support for their own actions as well as lessen the support for their adversary through harsh rhetoric and disinformation about the other side.

Within the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery, dehumanization is often used as a tool to denigrate in particular the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). This despite the fact that the official line from the Kremlin (contrary to the evidence) is that Russia is not involved in the war in Eastern Ukraine.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Special Session: Ensuring Security and Stability in the OSCE region in light of developments with respect to Ukraine

Keynote Address (via Skype) by Ambassador Kurt Volker
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
to the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference
Vienna, Austria, June 26, 2018

Thank you very much, Thomas, it is an honor for me to be here.
Let me thank the Italian Chairmanship and you personally, also, for affording me this opportunity to speak by video. It just was not possible for me to be in Vienna this week, given some other commitments last week, this week, and next week. But I do appreciate the opportunity.
Let me also start by sending a word of appreciation for the work of the OSCE in Ukraine. Particularly Ambassador Sajdik, Ambassador Apakan, and the role of the SMM monitors. This is extraordinarily tedious, tiresome, difficult work. They have a mandate approved by this body – by every single member State of this body – and yet they are inhibited severely in carrying out their functions in the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine. So, it is an extraordinarily difficult job that they are doing, and they do it exceptionally well, so we are very grateful to the OSCE and the monitors.

Manafort had $10 million loan from Russian oligarch: court filing

(Reuters) - A search warrant application unsealed on Wednesday revealed closer links than previously known between President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin.

Retiring Justice Kennedy left his mark on American society

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Anthony Kennedy left an indelible mark on American society in his three decades as a mild-mannered and professorial justice on the U.S. Supreme Court in areas as varied as gay rights, abortion, the death penalty and political spending.

China’s social credit system ‘could interfere in other nations’ sovereignty’

China’s social credit system, a big-data system for monitoring and shaping business and citizens’ behaviour, is reaching beyond China’s borders to impact foreign companies, according to new research.
The system, which has been compared to an Orwellian tool of mass surveillance, is an ambitious work in progress: a series of big data and AI-enabled processes that effectively grant subjects a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behaviour.

Do Unions Have A Place In The Gig Economy?

When considering the place of unions in the gig economy, many jump to the conclusion that the National Labor Relations Act does not apply because gig workers are usually independent contractors. While it is true that the NLRA does not apply to independent contractors, businesses should not discount the ability of gig workers to find ways to bargain for certain working conditions and get similar protections.
recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that eight out of 10 Los Angeles ride-hailing drivers would be interested in joining an organization that would fight for better working conditions and pay. Although these numbers may be overstated given the prevalence of part-time drivers (who are usually less interested in organizing) in the ride-hailing market, unionizing of a contingent workforce would not be unprecedented.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin to Hold Summit

A Closer Look at Mobile Banking: More Uses, More Users

What’s new, how you can benefit, and how to protect yourself from security risks

With advances in technology, financial institutions are now increasingly providing customers the ability to use mobile phones for banking transactions and to pay for just about anything from a retail purchase to a restaurant bill you’re splitting with friends. "Mobile phones provide opportunities for consumers to conduct their banking transactions and make payments from anywhere at any time," said FDIC Senior Technology Specialist Deborah Shaw. "This is a convenient and beneficial way for consumers to incorporate banking and shopping into their busy lives."

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I can export: практичний посібник з експорту до Канади для українських малих та середніх підприємств (PDF)

A new Ukraine rising

In Copenhagen this week we will see the international community gather for the Ukraine Reform Conference, an important driver for change in a country still torn by war.
Much is at stake for Ukraine and for Europe. Let us take the opportunity to take a step back to remember how and why.

Ukraine : une lutte anticorruption en trompe-l'œil

Le président Porochenko et les cercles du pouvoir résistent aux Occidentaux et bailleurs de fonds qui veulent plus de transparence.
Un pas en avant, un pas en arrière, ainsi avance depuis quatre ans le chantier de la lutte anticorruption du gouvernement de Kiev. Le 7 juin, après deux ans d'intenses discussions, le Parlement a voté la création d'une cour spéciale indépendante, censée couronner l'architecture juridique anticorruption. Seulement le pouvoir a forgé un texte protégeant l'élite actuelle, et les hommes du président sapent déjà les fondations de l'édifice.

The battle between privacy and law enforcement isn't going away

Every time we interact with computers, smart devices or electronics, we leave detailed trails of our daily experiences. Law enforcement agencies are beginning to grasp the wealth of information new technologies provide, and courts have already made use of data from Fitbits and pacemakers. In Carpenter v United States, the biggest digital security case in decades, the US supreme court was tasked with deciding whether authorities need a warrant to see a person’s cellphone location data.
Last week, in a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court held that they do.

Dramatic changes ahead for import/export and privatisation within the Ukrainian MIC?

Following the final successful vote on the “On National Security” law of 21st June, among several notable changes in a generally good if not perfect framework law, it became clear that serious changes to the SBU and Ukrainian military industrial complex would occur.
Both the SBU and Ukrboronprom in particular will feel the changes brought under the new legislation – and to be blunt, rightly so and long overdue.
While new legislation, or piecemeal amendments to the legislation that harnesses the SBU will take some months to appear, as will new processes for greater public scrutiny and a parliamentary intelligence committee being formed, it so follows that Ukrboronprom and the MIC will not see immediate change either.

U.S. top court upholds Trump travel ban targeting Muslim-majority nations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed Donald Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency, upholding his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries and rejecting the argument that it represented unconstitutional religious discrimination.

7 Corporate Legal Department Strategies for Implementing AI

For all the buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry, the technology still hasn’t made its way into many corporate legal departments. In an HBR Consulting survey earlier this year, only 6 percent of corporate legal departments had AI tools or were piloting them. A separate Thomson Reuters survey from 2017 found that although 67 percent were open to new technology adoption, half were not interested in purchasing AI or AI-based tools.

Poroshenko signs law on creation of High Anti-Corruption Court

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on June 26 signed the law on the creation of the High Anti-Corruption Court previously adopted by the Verkhovna Rada.
"I decided that we must sign the law on the launch of the Anti-Corruption Court today. The law that was voted for extremely shortly at first reading and as a whole," Poroshenko said during a meeting with the graduates of the Kyiv Institute of International Relations in Kyiv.
He said he would like the graduates of the Kyiv Institute of International Relations to nominate themselves for the positions of judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court.

Ukrainian Prime Minister invites Danish business to step up cooperation in agribusiness, energy and IT

The agriculture sector, in particular processing, energy sector, energy efficiency, increase of  energy production, introduction of  clean energy, innovation and information technology development are the most promising areas for cooperation between Ukrainian and Danish businesses. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during a meeting with the leadership of  the top Danish companies.
The round table was held as a part of the Prime Minister’s visit to Denmark. CEOs of companies specializing in food products, in formation of retail business units, in logistics, in heavy engineering  were the participants of the meeting.

President enacted the NSDC decision on the liberalization of the foreign economic activity of Ukrainian MIC enterprises

President Petro Poroshenko signed Decree №185/2018 "On the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of June 26, 2018 “On the improvement of the state policy aimed to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations with defense commodities of foreign production, as well as to promote the development of cooperation between the defense enterprises of Ukraine with foreign partners".
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov expressed his conviction that the relevant Decree "will significantly increase the defense capability of our state and give impetus to the development of the Ukrainian defense industry".

Monday, June 25, 2018

U.S., Canada condemn deadly attack on Roma camp in Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) - The United States and Canada said on Monday they were horrified by an attack on a Roma camp in Western Ukraine in which one man was killed and several wounded, including a ten-year-old boy.

Police have detained ten teenagers suspected of involvement in the violence, which saw a 24-year-old Roma man stabbed to death and four others wounded at a camp on the outskirts of the city of Lviv late on Saturday.

The incident is the deadliest in a spate of recent attacks by nationalist radical groups, which human rights groups say are on the rise due to inaction from the Ukrainian authorities.

Remarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform

THE PRESIDENT:   We love you, too.  We love you, too.  Well, I want to thank everybody.  This is great.  And, you know, they have me really working.  I gave a speech and a roundtable, and then another roundtable, and then another speech, and here we are.  (Laughter.)  And then we go home, but I don’t want to leave your state because I love your state.  (Applause.)  So maybe we’ll just — maybe we’ll just stay, Adam.  Right?
So I want to thank Dean Heller, who has been an incredible senator — worked so hard with us to get the taxes cut.  Very simple.  You know, I talk about reform, but it’s really tax cut.  There was plenty of reform also, but we had one of the great tax — really, the greatest tax cut and reforms ever in our country’s history, the biggest.  And so I want to thank you.  That was a fantastic job.  Dean Heller.  (Applause.)

U.S. Treasury Approves Capital Tax Break Zones in U.S. Virgin Islands

This April, the United States Treasury announced it approved 14 different neighborhoods on St. Croix and St. Thomas as being Qualified Opportunity Zones, meaning they are eligible for federal tax breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration “will continue working with states and the private sector to encourage investment and development in opportunity zones and other economically disadvantaged areas and boost economic growth and job creation.”

Szijjarto names three conditions for Hungary to unblock NATO-Ukraine Commission

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has named specific requirements put forward by Budapest, the implementation of which will allow unblocking of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). In an interview with Europeiska Pravda, the minister said that both the Ukrainian side and NATO Allies were aware of said requirements. "The first condition is that the transition period regarding language of education should be extended until 2023, and during this time you have to agree with the minority on the changes to be introduced," Szijjarto said, answering the publication's questions [quotes were published in Ukrainian].

A Starter-Guide to Contract Audits

“Trust, but verify” should be your principle of choice when working with outside parties. Contract audits allow both parties to ensure that the terms of the document are being adhered to, so that you can build better relationships with your contract partners and identify issues early on in the process.
This guide will give you an overview of everything you need to get started developing an auditing program for your contracts.
If your legal team is engaged in high volume contracting you’ll likely encounter a contract portfolio review and/or audit at some point. This may be an internal process conducted to analyze the contract management system in place, or an external party may conduct the review to verify compliance. 
Here is a general checklist for preparing your agreements for your auditing program:

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Turkey's Erdogan emerges victorious, setting him up for tighter grip on power

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan emerged victorious on Monday from his biggest electoral challenge in a decade and a half, giving him the sweeping, executive powers he has long sought and extending his grip on the nation of 81 million until at least 2023.

Electrical storms (NKRECU)

The jerk fallacy

There’s a common misperception, particularly in media, business and politics, that being a jerk is a necessary ingredient on the way to becoming and staying successful.
But there’s no data to support this. Sure, some people succeed despite being jerks, not because of it.
For every person who has a reputation as a bully, a deal breaker, an intimidator—someone who fights for every scrap—there are many people who succeeded by weaving together disparate communities, by keeping their word, by quietly creating value.
Both roads can work. The presence of jerks at the top confirms this, and so does the predominance of good folks.

Ukrainian interest. Kremlin's traditional cynicism, Zakarpattia optimism, and migration threat for EU

The Kremlin's stance toward hunger strikes of Ukrainian political prisoners is especially cynical. Moscow and Washington are increasingly discussing the future summit between Putin and Trump. Negotiations of the quartet of Ukrainian and Hungarian ministers in a Zakarpattia resort allow some optimism not only toward Ukraine's participation in the future NATO summit, which is timed with the adoption of the National Security Bill, but also toward the prospects for normalizing bilateral relations. The migration crisis risks becoming a serious problem for the European Union.

Turks vote for president, parliament in crucial test for Erdogan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turks began voting on Sunday for a new president and parliament in elections that pose the biggest ballot box challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.


Saudi women take victory laps as driving ban ends

New California national origin regulations effective July 1, 2018

New California regulations impact employment practices such as English-only policies, height and weight requirements, and documents applicants or employees may be required to provide for employment.  California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council’s new regulations focused on preventing national origin discrimination go into effect July 1, 2018.  Employers should carefully review the new regulations to ensure policies are compliant and managers are following the new requirements.  It is also a good reminder for employers to review handbooks and policies at this mid-year point.  This Friday’s Five focuses on obligations created under the new FEHC regulations:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Week's balance: New customs war, currency regulations, and new Supervisory Board in Ukrzaliznytsia

Проснулся, а Украина уже в НАТО

Washington supports Ukraine reforms – U.S. Treasury

US Makes Good on Trade Threats – What Now?

Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Denuclearize North Korea

Eurozone creditors reach ‘historic’ deal on Greek debt relief

Supreme Court restricts police on cellphone location data

Friday, June 22, 2018

This is a significant step towards Ukraine's membership in NATO - the President on adoption of the Law on National Security

"This Law is a significant step on the way to European and Euro-Atlantic integration. This is our strategic course and I intend to consolidate it in the Constitution in the near future", - says President Petro Poroshenko. The President congratulated Ukrainians on the adoption of the Law "On National Security of Ukraine".
 "For four years, practically from zero, we have created one of the best armies in Europe, which firmly holds the defense in the East of Ukraine and the entire continent",said Petro Poroshenko.

Turkey’s Erdogan Strains to Turn Strongman Rule Into Dominance at Poll

Five Things to Know About Smart Contracts

EU leaders set to prolong Russia sanctions again

Five Ways the Kremlin Can Meddle in Ukraine’s Big Election

How female entrepreneurs can overcome key challenges - top 5 tips

Цена слова президента


California Senate passed what would be the country's toughest net neutrality protections, which go even further than the repealed Obama-era Federal Communications Commission rules. But Wednesday, a California Assembly committee amended the bill, removing many protections in the original.
The amended version of the bill still bans broadband providers from blocking or throttling legal content and from creating "fast lanes." But critics of the changes worry that they could create loopholes that would allow broadband providers to undermine net neutrality. Perhaps most important is the removal of a prohibition on broadband providers charging access fees to content providers. Depending on how courts interpreted the bill, this could create a loophole that would allow companies like Verizon or Comcast to charge companies like Facebook or Netflix additional fees to make their content available and block access to content from companies that don't pay.