2017/05/24

Moody´s rebaja calificación de China y estas son las consecuencias

La calificadora Moody´s decidió reducir la calificación crediticia del gigante asiático, China, de A3 a A1, lo que incrementó la incertidumbre en los mercados bursátiles. Las acciones de las bolsas en China caían y el yuan se debilitaba junto con el dólar australiano, después de que Moody´s confirmara la reducción de su calificación para la mayor economía asiática, generando un fuerte impacto global ante la creciente incertidumbre sobre el dinamismo económico y aumento de deuda. Moody´s puso en duda la fortaleza de la economía china y señaló que a pesar de las reformas estructurales que ha adoptado, se podría erosionarse en los próximos años.
Moody´s rebaja calificación de China / Reuters

La calificadora Moody´s decidió reducir la calificación crediticia del gigante asiático, China, de A3 a A1, lo que incrementó la incertidumbre en los mercados bursátiles.

Las acciones de las bolsas en China caían y el yuan se debilitaba junto con el dólar australiano, después de que Moody´s confirmara la reducción de su calificación para la mayor economía asiática, generando un fuerte impacto global ante la creciente incertidumbre sobre el dinamismo económico y aumento de deuda.
Moody´s puso en duda la fortaleza de la economía china y señaló que a pesar de las reformas estructurales que ha adoptado, se podría erosionarse en los próximos años.
“El recorte refleja las proyecciones de Moody’s de que la solidez financiera de China quede erosionada de alguna forma en los próximos años, a medida que la deuda continua creciendo mientras que el crecimiento potencial se desacelera”, estimó Moody´s.
“Aunque las reformas en marcha probablemente logren transformar la economía y el sistema financiero a tiempo, no es probable que si logren evitar un aumento material de la enorme deuda de la economía”, añadió.

La economía china en cifras

En el 2016, el Producto Interno Bruto chino creció un 6.7%, su ritmo más lento de los últimos 25 años.
Desde 2011, la tasa de crecimiento anual del país asiático ha ido a la baja, pero se ha mantenido entre 8.8 y 6.7 por ciento. Al primer trimestre de 2017, la tasa anualizada era de 6.9 por ciento; sin embargo, el Gobierno chino redujo sus previsiones de crecimiento del PIB en 2017 a una cifra “en torno al 6.5%”.

Reacciones en el mercado

El referencial MSCI de acciones asiáticas fuera de Japón bajaba un 0.3%. En Japón, el índice Nikkei de la bolsa de Tokio logró avanzar un 0.7%.
“Al final del día, los inversores extranjeros habían tomado una postura cautelosa hacia China, incluso antes de ésto, por lo que no fue del todo sorprendente”, dijo Kyoya Okazawa de BNP Paribas Securities en Tokio. La medida probablemente tendrá sólo un impacto a corto plazo en el mercado, agregó el empresario citado por Reuters.
Tras el anuncio de Moody´s, el índice dólar, que sigue el desempeño de la moneda estadounidense contra una canasta de seis divisas importantes, sumaba un 0.1% a 97.456.
Frente a la moneda japonesa, el dólar agregaba un 0.1% a 111.90 yenes. El euro bajaba un 0.1% a 1.1173 dólares.
El tipo de cambio peso mexicano a dólar hoy miércoles 24 de mayo. Dólar es de 18.45 pesos a la venta y en 17.42 pesos, a la compra

China acusa fallas de Moody´s en medición

El Ministerio de Finanzas de China sostuvo que la rebaja de calificación de Moody’s se basó en una metodología inadecuada, y dijo que la agencia exagera las dificultades que enfrenta la economía y subestima los esfuerzos de reforma.

https://elsemanario.com

Norway’s wolves are being hunted; its reindeer are going mad

Two wild species battle sheep farmers and prions

Lone wolf or complex plot? Analysing the Manchester bombing

The use of an improvised bomb may suggest a more elaborate plan than other recent attacks


How the Waymo-Uber Lawsuit Could Rewrite Intellectual Property Rules

Uber
A federal judge’s orders last week in a lawsuit by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, against ride-hailing app company Uber may have launched a major rethink on how the automobile industry braces for competition and protects its intellectual property (IP). Alphabet subsidiary Waymo had accused Uber of stealing trade secrets and patent infringement by hiring Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who formerly led Google’s driverless car project, and buying a firm he had founded after leaving Google.
Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered Levandowski to turn over some 14,000 documents he allegedly downloaded before he left Google and granted a preliminary injunction Waymo sought to prevent Uber from using know-how Levandowski brought to the firm. Judge Alsup also referred the case for a federal criminal investigation. Uber has since taken Levandowski off its driverless car project and asked him to comply with the court order or risk termination of his job. Meanwhile, Levandowski has remained silent on the matter, citing the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie, who is also director of the school’s Program on Vehicle and Mobility InnovationDorothy Glancy, professor of law at Santa Clara University; and Penn Law professor R. Polk Wagner examined the far-reaching changes the Waymo-Uber lawsuit could bring, on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.)
Below are select highlights from their discussion:
Revisiting Trade Secrets as IP Protection: According to Wagner, trade secret law has traditionally not been seen as “a particularly reliable or useful way to protect technology,” partly because it is difficult to keep such technology secret when it is implemented and products based on it are sold. But that conventional wisdom is up for a reexamination. “If Google is successful at putting a dent in Uber’s ability to compete in this field as a result of this case, then people will take notice of that and you will probably see more people using trade secrets” as part of their intellectual property strategies, said Wagner. “On the other hand, if Google is not successful, or even if they win this case and they don’t slow Uber down very much, then people are going to go back to what we traditionally think of in IP, which is unless you have a patent covering the technology, you don’t have a lot of protection.”
“These are trade secrets that are incredibly hot and at the heart of a fierce and fast-paced competition around an exciting new technology.”–John Paul MacDuffieAdded MacDuffie: “These are trade secrets that are incredibly hot and at the heart of a fierce and fast-paced competition around an exciting new technology.”
Wagner’s guess is that in the meantime, all the companies involved in driverless technology must be filing as many patents as they can. “So you are going to see a wave of patent litigation, and that is going to begin as soon as some of these patents start to actually issue, which is in the near future — and some of them are probably already issued,” he said.
Coalitions, Collaborations the Way Ahead:According to MacDuffie, driverless car technology will spur the automobile industry — and the technology companies in the space — to develop completely new business models. He raised some fundamental questions on how that model might work. Will individuals buy their own autonomous vehicles and lease them to, say, an Uber? Will Uber become a company that is good at managing a fleet of hard assets like cars? Or will other firms that already have that capability — including auto companies — join the fray?
“There are a lot of possibilities of combinations of companies and skills that would be needed in the end,” MacDuffie predicted. “We may end up with competition among a few companies or coalitions of companies that have different models of how they put the hardware and software together for driverless cars. What makes them win may not be being first; it may be some other attribute of performance.”
Wagner noted that driverless technology appears to be evolving as “platform technologies,” similar to a dominant company like a Microsoft building the Windows platform on which others build products. “Being at the bottom of that stack, or being the Windows of the driverless car world, is enormously valuable,” he said, adding that the battle for those stakes is being fought right now. “In an industry with significant network effects, which this certainly appears to be, they can get locked into — for potentially decades — an area which will have a lot of impact on our society.”
“A general rule of thumb with trade secret litigation is if there is trade secret litigation, something has gone horribly wrong.”–R. Polk Wagner
Uncertain Policy Terrain for Driverless Technology: According to Glancy, it would be tough to draft public policy relating to driverless vehicles if trade secret laws are to be dominant. She noted that in her study of all the pleadings in the Waymo-Uber case, major parts are redacted because of the trade secrets law. “I don’t see how it is easy to make good public policy about something like driverless cars when all of these particulars of what makes them work keep getting redacted from the only public papers we have about this, which are the court pleadings,” she said.
Glancy also questioned Judge Alsup’s ordering Levandowski to turn over the documents he took from Google and for Uber to insulate its employees against each other to avoid any continued IP vulnerabilities. “How in the world – once a trade secret has been disclosed to a competitor – do you put the genie back in the bottle?” she asked.
“A general rule of thumb with trade secret litigation is if there is trade secret litigation, something has gone horribly wrong,” Wagner said. “You are almost certainly not going to survive the litigation with your trade secret intact. The technology is already out of the box; you can’t undo that now, no matter what.”
“How in the world – once a trade secret has been disclosed to a competitor – do you put the genie back in the bottle?”–Dorothy Glancy
Who Will Make the Cheapest Lidar: At the heart of the Waymo-Uber battle is the so-called Lidar technology, a laser-based scanning and mapping mechanism that creates real-time 3D images and allows a vehicle to “see” its surroundings and thereby detect traffic and pedestrians. Current costs are trending at between $8,000 and $10,000 each, and a driverless car would need four of them, noted Glancy.
“A lot of the Google advances were on the cost side of Lidar and not so much on the functionality of it,” said MacDuffie. “Google was moving faster to get to the low-cost Lidar, and that’s what they are saying Uber was stealing.” Many firms are working in this space, and the goal is to bring down Lidar’s cost to between $400 and $500 apiece with economies of scale, he added.
Image credit: Uber

2017/05/18

Turkey’s purges are crippling its justice system


President Erdogan’s drive for power includes putting judges under his thumb

WERE he to return to Turkey in the near future, Celal Kalkanoglu (not his real name) would have to do so in handcuffs. “They will arrest me as soon as I land at the airport,” says the judge. On July 16th of last year, the day after an army faction attempted a coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president, Mr Kalkanoglu’s name appeared on a long list of officials to be dismissed and arrested. With the judge having left Turkey, the authorities went after his family. Some of his relatives were sacked from government jobs, he says, and barred from leaving the country.

More than 4,000 Turkish judges and prosecutors, a quarter of the total, have been dismissed by decree since last summer, mostly because of alleged links to the Gulenists, a secretive Islamic movement accused of leading the coup. The vast majority, including two members of the constitutional court, are in prison. Only a fraction have heard formal charges. Mr Kalkanoglu, who denies any affiliation with the Gulenists, says the government has used the coup as an excuse to step up a purge of the judiciary that began in late 2013, after a corruption scandal implicated cabinet ministers. “I have been blacklisted since 2014,” he says. Mr Erdogan describes the corruption claims as a Gulenist plot.

Don’t mention the purges
On May 16th Mr Erdogan had a friendly meeting in Washington with Donald Trump. As Turkish security guards beat Armenian and Kurdish protesters elsewhere in the city, Mr Erdogan asked Mr Trump to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the elderly cleric who runs the movement and has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999. The two leaders also discussed Syria, where Turkey is angry about America’s move to arm Kurdish militias fighting against Islamic State. No agreement was reached on either subject, but Mr Trump praised Turkey’s efforts in the fight against terrorism. He said nothing about Mr Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule, or about the crackdown that is hollowing out the rule of law in his country.

In the past, members of Mr Gulen’s movement took over parts of the judiciary and abused their power with the government’s blessing. In the late 2000s the Gulenists worked with Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) party to sideline secular opponents, staging show trials that jailed hundreds of army officers, often on the basis of forged evidence. Many of the jurists now under arrest helped carry out that earlier wave of purges, says Mehmet Gun, head of Better Justice, a non-governmental group.

Yet Mr Erdogan’s new purge is even more extensive. A climate of paranoia has taken hold of the courts. Judges and prosecutors are constantly looking over their shoulders, says Metin Feyzioglu, head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations. “Justice is now vested in a judge’s personal bravery,” he says. Those who defy Mr Erdogan pay a high price. When one court decided to release 21 journalists accused of Gulenist sympathies from pre-trial detention earlier this spring, three of its judges were suspended. Their ruling was overturned within 24 hours.

Things are not about to get better. Under a new constitution, adopted by the thinnest of margins in a referendum in April marred by allegations of fraud, members of top judicial panels will no longer be elected by their peers but appointed by Mr Erdogan and parliament, which is controlled by the AK party. The old system allowed groups like the Gulenists to flourish. The new one places the judiciary under Mr Erdogan’s thumb. According to one opposition lawmaker, out of 900 recently appointed judges, 800 have AK links. “As long as elections to top positions are not tied to objective rules, depoliticising the judiciary will be impossible,” says Hasim Kilic, a chief justice at Turkey’s constitutional court until 2015.

Meanwhile, cases related to the crackdown, under which some 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 110,000 fired, are flooding in. The constitutional court has received 75,000 applications for redress since the attempted coup last July, but has declined to hear any case related to the state of emergency. Instead, the judiciary seems to have other priorities. In late April a Turkish court blocked access to Wikipedia because some of its posts suggested that the government had supported jihadists in Syria. Two weeks earlier a prosecutor wildly accused several American officials, including a senator, a former CIA chief and a former prosecutor, of involvement in the coup. Perhaps Mr Erdogan’s warm new relations with Mr Trump will allow his magistrates to give that investigation a rest.

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline "Empty benches"

www.economist.com

Leaked recordings are trouble for Michel Temer



Newspaper revelations put Brazil’s reforms at risk
UNTIL now, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, has personally avoided the scandals that have engulfed his administration. The supreme court has authorised investigations into eight members of his cabinet, as well as 24 senators and 39 lower-house deputies for allegations related to the vast scandal centred on Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company. However, the president was not a target of the inquiries. And no one had suggested that he had committed any crimes during his term of office, which could lead to impeachment.
That changed with sickening suddenness on May 17th, when O Globo, a newspaper, reported that Mr Temer had been caught on tape endorsing the payment of hush money to a politician convicted of taking bribes. According to the newspaper, in March the president met Joesley Batista, a businessman whose family controls JBS, the world’s biggest beef exporter. The firm is being investigated over accusations of paying kickbacks to Eduardo Cunha, a former speaker of the lower house of Congress who is serving a 15-year sentence for his role in the Petrobras scandal. Mr Batista reportedly told Mr Temer that he had been paying Mr Cunha to stay quiet. Mr Temer allegedly responded, “You need to keep that up, OK?” The tapes are now part of evidence collected in a plea-bargain deal that Mr Batista has struck with prosecutors.

The tapes also reportedly record Mr Temer advising Mr Batista to contact a congressman from his Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement to resolve a problem for the company that owns JBS. The congressman then received 500,000 reais ($159,000) sent by Mr Batista, an event that was caught on film. The tapes were part of an elaborate investigation by police in co-operation with Mr Batista and his brother, Wesley, which involved placing tracking chips into bags of cash.
Mr Temer fiercely denies the reports. His office issued a statement saying that he had indeed met Mr Batista, but had “never solicited payments to obtain the silence” of Mr Cunha. It said there was “no discussion that would compromise the conduct of the president”.
But the reports have thrown Brazil into turmoil. Immediately after they were published the opposition filed a motion for impeachment in congress. “The government’s backbone has been broken,” declared Alessandro Molon, a leftist congressman who is its author. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in several cities after the news broke, demanding a fresh election. The real slumped after O Globo’s report, as did an index that tracks Brazil’s stockmarket.

The markets’ worry is that the scandal will derail the vital economic reforms that Mr Temer introduced after he took over as president from Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last August. He has already pushed through a constitutional amendment to freeze government spending in real terms for 20 years. He is now pushing for an overhaul of the country’s unaffordable pension system, without which the spending freeze will be meaningless, and of its rigid labour laws.

Neither reform is popular. But, by holding out the prospect that Brazil will at last control its unsustainable public debt and improve its labour market, they have helped to restore confidence to an economy that remains mired in its worst-ever recession. Inflation has fallen from double-digit rates to below the central bank’s target of 4.5%, allowing interest rates to fall. Unemployment may at last have stopped rising. Real wages may no longer be falling. The Globo revelations will delay the reforms, if they do not stop them altogether.
It is far too soon to expect Mr Temer to be forced out of office. 

A motion to impeach him must be accepted by the speaker of the lower house, Rodrigo Maia, a staunch presidential ally. It would then have to pass with two-thirds majorities through both houses of Congress, where Mr Temer still has strong backing. The constitution rules out a fresh election. When a president leaves office with less than two years left in a term and has no vice-president to succeed him, Congress, not the voters, chooses the next president. Mr Temer has 19 months left to serve.

All this is scant comfort to Brazilians who hoped that Mr Temer would succeed in reforming the economy before handing over to an elected successor. His approval rating, already a dismal 20%, is sure to sink. Unless he can clear his name quickly, the political atmosphere will become more toxic. The consequences of O Globo’s revelations are incalculable, but they are certainly not good.

This article appeared in the The Americas section of the print edition under the headline "A very meaty scandal"

www.economist.com

Donald Trump and the law



A special counsel will lead an independent probe into the Russia allegations

“THERE’S frankly no need for a special prosecutor,” the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, told journalists on May 15th. He was responding to concerns about the independence of investigations into Russia’s efforts to influence the election last November, with alleged assistance from members of Donald Trump’s campaign team. Yet on May 17th the Justice Department announced that it had exercised its prerogative to appoint just such an independent investigator. The main Russia probe, run by the FBI, will be handed to a respected former FBI director, Robert Mueller (pictured), in the role of special counsel. He will be empowered to run the investigation, and press charges, as he sees fit.

This is a terrible blow for Mr Trump. The president has said Russian spies did not meddle in the election, though America’s intelligence agencies say they did, and that there was no collusion between his advisers and the Russians. He has called the FBI investigation a “taxpayer-funded charade”. He has also been accused of trying to influence it. On May 16th the New York Times reported that the president had advised his then FBI director, James Comey, to lay off Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, after sacking him for having surreptitious conversations with Russia’s ambassador and lying about them. The investigation Mr Trump has thus sought to rubbish and perhaps divert will now be formidable. Even if he has nothing to hide from it, this is deeply humiliating.

Mr Mueller, who ran the FBI for 12 years until 2013, having been hired by George W. Bush and retained by Barack Obama, is admired by both parties. He will be free to redesign and run the FBI probe, and will have ample resources to do so. In theory, he will be answerable to Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, yet the fact that Mr Sessions has recused himself from playing any role in the Russian investigation—after he was also revealed to have kept weirdly shtum about meetings with the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak—is an additional guarantee of Mr Mueller’s independence. For the same reason, the decision to appoint Mr Mueller was taken not by Mr Sessions, a Trump loyalist, but by his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. The White House was not informed of this development until just before it was made public.

Mr Rosenstein’s decision is a clear victory for America’s checks and balances. But Mr Trump and his advisers should blame themselves, not the system, for this. By hiring Mr Flynn, despite multiple indications that he was unfit for a senior government position, Mr Trump ensured his fledgling administration became instantly embroiled in a new round of Russia-related scandal. Because he failed to disclose his meetings with Mr Kislyak, Mr Sessions was forced to cede control of the FBI investigation to Mr Rosenstein. By allegedly leaning on Mr Comey—“I hope you can let this go,” the president is reported to have told him, in reference to Mr Flynn’s misdemeanour—and then, on May 9th, sacking him, Mr Trump may have blundered most seriously of all, in sight of an assiduous witness. Mr Comey is reported to have kept a careful record of all his chats with the president.

As they contemplate the gravity of Mr Trump’s troubles, even Republicans are tempted to recall the last time a Republican president was disgraced and chased from office. The president’s scandals are of a “Watergate size and scale”, said Senator John McCain of Arizona. Yet there is a big difference between Richard Nixon’s disgrace and fall in 1973-74 and now, which makes it all but certain that Mr Trump is in no danger of imminent impeachment. Then, the Democrats controlled Congress, wherein lies the power to impeach. Now, the Republicans do—and no Congress has ever moved to dislodge a president of the same party as its majority tribe. Sure enough, despite the more anxious comments being made about Mr Trump by a dozen or so Republicans, including Mr McCain, most are silent.

Electoral logic explains that. Though Mr Trump has the worst ratings of any new president on record—less than 40% of Americans approve of him—most Republican voters are still with him. With a nervous eye to the mid-term elections due next year, most Republicans therefore consider attacking the president to be electorally suicidal.

This may change. If Mr Mueller turns up something seriously incriminating for the president, even the most timorous Republicans may abandon him. If the Democrats capture the House of Representatives next year, as they may, it is also likely that they would vote to impeach Mr Trump; though he would in that case probably be saved by the Senate, as Bill Clinton was in 1999. In the meantime, however, a likelier outcome of his rule-breaking is less dramatic, but nonetheless horrendous for America.

With Congress descending into partisan rowing about Mr Trump, there is already little prospect of Democrats and Republicans co-operating on legislation. There is at best a vanishing prospect of Republican congressmen, who no longer fear the president as they once did even if they will not condemn him, co-operating among themselves to carry through his agenda. Instead of remaking America with bold initiatives, Mr Trump faces a prospect of doing little of anything. The S&P500 fell by almost 2% on May 17th as investors mulled that dismally familiar prospect.

The dismay Americans felt at their governing system’s previous round of tribalism and dysfunction fuelled the rise of Mr Trump. There is no reason to suppose this cycle will lead to anything better.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline "Deep breath, America"
www.economist.com

Las solicitudes semanales del subsidio por desempleo en EEUU bajan a mínimo de tres meses

Las solicitudes semanales del subsidio por desempleo en Estados Unidos se redujeron en 4.000 la semana pasada y quedaron en 232.000, su menor nivel en tres meses, informó este jueves el Departamento de Trabajo del país.
Los analistas habían pronosticado para la semana pasada una cifra mayor –en torno a las 240.000 solicitudes– tras el dato de 236.000 que se registró en el periodo anterior.
En cuanto a la media de solicitantes del subsidio durante el último mes, un indicador más fiable de la marcha del mercado laboral en Estados Unidos, disminuyó en 2.750 y quedó en 240.750, según el informe.
Las solicitudes de este tipo de prestaciones por desempleo llevan 115 semanas consecutivas por debajo de la cifra de 300.000.
Mientras, el número de personas que recibe el subsidio permanente en Estados Unidos por estar sin trabajo se redujo en 22.000 en la semana que terminó el 6 de mayo y se situó en 1,9 millones, el nivel más bajo desde 1988.
El desempleo en Estados Unidos cerró 2016, último año del Gobierno del ex presidente Barack Obama, en el nivel del 4,7%. Ese año también finalizó con la creación de más de dos millones de nuevos puestos de trabajo.
La fortaleza del mercado laboral se ha mantenido durante los primeros meses de mandato del actual presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, y en abril la tasa de desempleo quedó en el 4,4%, la más baja en una década.

Economía crece 0,1% en primer trimestre, pero inversión no logra repuntar

Trabajo, manufactura
PULSO  18/05/2017
El PIB de Chile creció sólo un 0,1% interanual durante los primeros tres meses de este año, luego de que se registrara una compensación de los resultados sectoriales, según reflejaron las Cuentas Nacionales, publicadas este jueves por el Banco Central.
El ente rector destacó un mayor dinamismo en el rubro pesquero, acompañado de un avance en comercio y servicios personales. Estos tres sectores, apuntan desde el central, lideraron la contribución al crecimiento del Producto nacional durante el primer trimestre.
Sin embargo, este auge fue limitado por una contracción en minería, que tuvo la mayor caída y fue la principal presión negativa para la expansión de la economía local.
“Desde la perspectiva del gasto del PIB, el aumento de la demanda interna se compensó casi en su totalidad por la caída de las exportaciones netas”, indicó el BC, apuntando que si bien el gasto interno aumentó un 2,9% –impulsado por el consumo de hogares y el Gobierno–, las exportaciones de bienes y servicios anotaron una contracción de 4,9%.
Según el informe, el ingreso nacional bruto disponible real se expandió un 0,5%, beneficiado por el tipo de cambio, mientras que el ahorro bruto total subió a 21,7% del PIB, en términos nominales.
Pero no sólo la minería se mantuvo bajo presión entre enero y marzo: la inversión no logró repuntar y marcó una caída de 2,4%, afectada principalmente por la contracción de 6% en construcción.

Obituary: Miriam Rodríguez Martínez died on May 10th


The campaigner for Mexico’s disappeared was 50

THE narcos who infested San Fernando, in Tamaulipas state in north-eastern Mexico, did not always trouble to bury their victims. They left them by the side of Highway 101, a road some people said was the most dangerous in the country. Or they took them to some abandoned ranch in the rolling hills round the town, shot them and piled them up in one room. They did that in 2010 with 72 migrants from Central America, pulling them off their buses as they tried to travel to the United States.

Sometimes, though, the killers would hide their victims. Over several months in 2011 the police found 47 mass graves outside town with 193 bodies, probably bus passengers. And more graves could turn up anywhere, in the hard, stony ground among the thorn bushes. You could tell they were there because a bad smell hung around, or the ground was sunken or disturbed. Or you might spot a piece of bone. Miriam Rodríguez knew such signs well, because in 2014 she found, in just such a place, what remained of her daughter.Up till then, she had lived with the lawlessness as everyone else in San Fernando had. In the early 2000s the narcos had been around, but not too bad. If they came to the municipal market in the Plaza Hidalgo, where she ran her belts-and-bags business, they even paid for what they took. But the showy processions of SUVs with tinted windows, cruising slowly through town, became more menacing. Then the Zetas, the most brutal of the drug gangs, began to take people. The randomness was terrifying. Why, for example, did they drag away three women from the taco place beside the highway where they gave you two beers for the price of one? Why kill 193 people who had just been on the bus to Reynosa or who knew where? After that, people began to leave town; perhaps 10,000 left. Those who stayed hardly dared go out, and the shops were trashed anyway. The federal government sent the army in, and that helped, but not enough, or Karen would not have gone.

From that day in 2012, Miriam’s life changed. It became a mission. She had always been strong, full of energy, a hard worker. Now her singlehanded efforts got 16 narcos charged for Karen’s abuction and 13 sent to jail. Day after day she went to the courts to make sure they stayed there. She also began to campaign on behalf of all San Fernando’s families who had relatives who were missing. She set up two organisations for the desaparecidos, arranged Mothers’ Marches through town, supported the families, drew up a list of 800 victims to make a database of sorts, and hounded officials at every level of government.

Nothing and no one could shut her up. No se andaba por las ramas, said her friends; she didn’t beat about the bush. In a country where violence cowed too many people and journalists were killed for their reporting, she talked, and talked. Under her elegant jackets, her chunky earrings and glittery fake nails, she was a tigress. She carried a gun, too, in case any of the Zetas tried it on with her. They had once seized her husband, bundling him out of his work and into a car, but she had roared after them in hers and called in the army to arrest them.

Possibly she was too loud. She had other causes, too, such as complaining about outsiders renting space in the market, keeping locals out. At one point in her campaign for the disappeared, fed up with officials doing nothing, she appealed to the UN and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In March she went eagerly to Texas to join an international procession of protest against Donald Trump’s immigration policies. It was called the Caravana contra el Miedo, against fear. She liked that.

Unanswered calls
She did want protection at home, though. She had a right to it, as she told any official who would listen. In March came the news of a massive break-out from the main state jail, 29 narcos, among them two she had put there for taking Karen. At that point she closed her business, not wanting the Zetas to track her to it, and by April she was sure that one day they would kill her. One policeman said he was on call for her; she rang him 30 times one day around four in the morning, testing, but got no answer. The police claimed to patrol past her house three times a day; she never saw them.
Mother’s Day, May 10th in Mexico, was a date to be treated with tamales in bed and serenades. She had two other children to spoil her, though no Karen, for whom she had done her best. Her day ended when, at about 10.30pm, a hustling band of Zetas called her out of the house. If they had waited a second, she would have told them exactly what she thought of them. 

www.economist.com

COCA COLA FEMSA CANCELA ALGUNAS ADQUISICIONES EN EU


La mexicana Coca Cola FEMSA (KOF), la mayor embotelladora en el mundo de la popular marca, dijo este martes que decidió no llevar a cabo la anunciada adquisición de ciertas operaciones en Estados Unidos dentro del Bottling Investments Group de The Coca Cola Company .
"Después de un proceso profundo de análisis y negociaciones con The Coca-Cola Company para adquirir ciertos territorios en los Estados Unidos, KOF ha concluido que bajo los términos ofrecidos no llevará a cabo dicha adquisición", dijo en un comunicado sin dar más detalles.
KOF dijo que continuará evaluando la adquisición de ciertas operaciones dentro del Bottling Investments Group de The Coca-Cola Company, sobre una base preferente de acuerdo con el marco integral de colaboración anunciado el 27 de julio de 2016.

http://mundoejecutivo.com.mx/



Colombiana Almacenes Éxito reporta pérdida de US$7.593M en el primer trimestre

Pese al saldo negativo, los ingresos operacionales de la compañía se incrementaron un 12,9% a 13,5 billones de pesos, al tiempo que el EBITDA aumentó un 34,9% a 731.000 millones de pesos en el periodo analizado, precisó Éxito en una comunicación el lunes en la noche.

La pérdida de Éxito se compara con una utilidad neta de 760 millones de pesos entre enero y marzo del año pasado.

La mayor cadena minorista de Colombia, Almacenes Éxito, reportó una pérdida neta de US$7.593 millones en el primer trimestre, debido a un incremento del gasto financiero y una mayor provisión de impuestos, informó la compañía.
La pérdida de Éxito se compara con una utilidad neta de 760 millones de pesos entre enero y marzo del año pasado.
Pese al saldo negativo, los ingresos operacionales de la compañía se incrementaron un 12,9% a 13,5 billones de pesos, al tiempo que el EBITDA aumentó un 34,9% a 731.000 millones de pesos en el periodo analizado, precisó Éxito en una comunicación el lunes en la noche.
"La estrategia de internacionalización de la Compañía empieza a materializar resultados positivos, gracias a la recuperación gradual de Brasil", agregó la compañía, que posee negocios en Colombia, Brasil, Argentina y Uruguay.

http://www.americaeconomia.com/

Un memorándum del exdirector del FBI podría quitar la presidencia a Trump

Después de dejar el tema del muro fronterizo con México por algunos días, este jueves 16 de febrero el presidente Donald Trump volvió a su discurso e insistió que será “un gran muro” a un costo razonable, ya que él se involucrará personalmente en la negociación del costo. En conferencia a medios, el primer mandatario destacó su don en las negociaciones y aseguró que logrará bajar el costo presupuestado el cual supera los 21 mil 600 millones de dólares.




Donald Trump / Twitter @POTUS

El exdirector del FBI, James Comey, aseguró que cuenta con un memorándum en el que Trump pidió terminar la investigación contra Michael T. Flynn.
El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, continúa en el ojo del huracán, tras el despido del director del FBI, James Comey, quien dirigía una investigación sobre la posible injerencia de Rusia en las elecciones presidenciales en EU en 2016.
En medio del escándalo, The New York Times y la CNN han revelado que el exdirector del FBI habría escrito un memorando tras su reunión con el presidente Trump el pasado 14 de febrero, en el que asegura que el mandatario le dijo “espero que puedas dejar ir esto”, en referencia al despido del asesor Michael Flynn quien era investigado por posibles vínculos con Rusia.
Si se comprueba que el republicano hizo esta petición, se trataría de uno de los escándalos políticos en la historia reciente de Estados Unidos, ya que Trump habría incurrido en el delito de obstrucción a la justicia, un delito que podría provocar un proceso de juicio político.
Renuentemente tengo que decir que sí”, aseguró el senador independiente por Maine, Angus King, a Wolf Blitzer de la CNN este lunes, al referirse a la posibilidad de una destitución si las acusaciones en el memorando de Comey son verdaderas.
Ante este escenario, la Casa Blanca emitió un comunicado en el que asegura que el mensaje de Comey desvirtúa el significado de la conversación que sostuvo con Trump.
“Aunque el presidente ha expresado repetidamente su opinión de que el general (Michael) Flynn es un hombre decente que sirvió y protegió a nuestro país, el presidente nunca le pidió al señor Comey ni a otra persona que pusiera fin a ninguna investigación, incluyendo cualquier investigación que involucrara al general Flynn”, confirmó un funcionario de la Casa Blanca a CNN en un comunicado.
La noticia del posible memorando de Comey ocurre en medio del terremoto político que ha provocado su despido, los insistentes señalamientos sobre los posibles vínculos de Trump con Rusia y el reciente encuentro con el canciller ruso, Sergei Lavrov.
El encuentro con el funcionario ruso ha sido desastroso, debido a que medios de comunicación aseguran que Trump habría revelado información clasificada sobre el Estado Islámico a Rusia.