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In a major legal defeat for the Russian government, a Dutch appeals court on Tuesday reinstated an international arbitration panel’s order that it should pay $50 billion compensation to shareholders in former oil company Yukos.

The ruling overturned a 2016 decision by The Hague District Court that quashed the compensation order on the grounds that the arbitration panel did not have jurisdiction because the case was based on an energy treaty that Russia had signed but not ratified.

The Hague Court of Appeal ruled that the 2016 decision “was not correct. That means that the arbitration order is in force again.”

“This is a victory for the rule of law. The independent courts of a democracy have shown their integrity and served justice. A brutal kleptocracy has been held to account,” Tim Osborne, the chief executive of GML, a company made up of Yukos shareholders, said in a statement.

The Russian Justice Ministry said in a statement after the verdict that Russia will appeal. It charged that the Hague appeals court “failed to take into account the illegitimate use by former Yukos shareholders of the Energy Charter Treaty that wasn’t ratified by the Russian federation.”

The arbitration panel had ruled that Moscow seized control of Yukos in 2003 by hammering the company with massive tax claims. The move was seen as an attempt to silence Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin.

The 2014 arbitration ruling said that Russia was not acting in good faith when it levied the massive claims against Yukos, even though some of the company’s tax arrangements might have been questionable.



Airbnb scored a big win in its long-standing fight with French hoteliers as the European Union’s highest court rejected Thursday an argument that Airbnb should be subject to the strict rules that govern French real estate agents.

The case was submitted by a French court after a major association of hotels, including leading chains like Best Western, filed a complaint arguing that the Ireland-registered company should be submitted to the same obligations as traditional real estate providers. The hotel industry in France, like those in many countries across the world, accuses the online rental platform of unfair competition.

Hotel owners wanted Airbnb to follow real estate agent accounting, insurance and other financial rules. Airbnb denied acting as a real estate agent.

“We welcome this judgment and want to move forward and continue working with cities on clear rules that put local families and communities at the heart of sustainable 21st century travel,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We want to be good partners to everyone and already we have worked with more than 500 governments to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay tax.”

In its ruling, the Court of Justice said that under a European directive on electronic commerce Airbnb should be classified as an “information society service” connecting potential guests with hosts. The court said that “France cannot require Airbnb to hold an estate agent’s professional licence.”

Paris city officials have been at odds with the platform in recent years, holding it responsible for the rise of rents in the French capital. Earlier this year, the city took legal action against Airbnb and wanted to fine the company 12.5 million euros ($14 million) for allowing owners to rent their properties without having them properly registered.


Global commerce will lose its ultimate umpire Tuesday, leaving countries unable to reach a final resolution of disputes at the World Trade Organization and instead facing what critics call “the law of the jungle.’’

The United States, under a president who favors a go-it-alone approach to economics and diplomacy, appears to prefer it that way.

The terms of two of the last three judges on the WTO’s appellate body neared their end at midnight Tuesday. Their departure will deprive the de facto Supreme Court of world trade of its ability to issue rulings.

Among the disputes left in limbo are seven cases that have been brought against Trump’s decision last year to declare foreign steel and aluminum a threat to U.S. national security and to hit them with import taxes.

The WTO’s lower court — its dispute settlement body — can hear cases. But its decisions will go nowhere if the loser appeals to a higher court that is no longer functioning.

Without having to worry about rebukes from the WTO, countries could use tariffs and other sanctions to limit imports. Such rising protectionism could create uncertainty and discourage trade.

“We are in a crisis moment for our global trading system,’’ said U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla, who sits on the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade. “As of tomorrow, the court will cease to exist.’’

The loss of a global trade court of final appeals, Murphy said, is “really dangerous for American businesses.’’

The panel is supposed to have seven judges. But their ranks have dwindled because the United States — under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Trump — has blocked new appointments to protest the way the WTO does business.


The landmark British Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful did not deal directly with plans for Britain's anticipated departure from the European Union. Brexit will however be top of the agenda in Parliament now that lawmakers have returned.

As things stand, Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31 unless the British government requests an extension and the other 27 EU countries agree to a further delay.

However, Parliament passed a bill earlier this month before Johnson suspended Parliament requiring the prime minister to seek a three-month extension if no withdrawal agreement has been reached with the EU by Oct. 19.

Johnson insists that he is pursuing a deal with the EU, but has repeatedly said that if there is no deal, he will take Britain out of the EU on the scheduled Brexit date rather than request an extension.

For most economists, including those in government and the Bank of England, a no-deal Brexit would trigger a recession as trade barriers, including tariffs, are put up between Britain and the EU. There's also a widespread expectation that there will be gridlock at Britain's ports, and shortages of some food and medicine.



K-Global @ SiliconValley introduces Korea’s competitive ICT / SW technologies and companies to the local industry in the US.

This event was designed as a forum to present trends in the field of information and communication technology, aiming to provide strategic and financial partnerships between Korea and the US, in the area of future innovation.

This event highlights US innovation technology trends centered on Silicon Valley since 2012, and provides Korean Tech companies with advanced R&D direction, and local business/export. It has become the largest Korea-US exchange event in Korea.

Every year, high-level officials of the Korean government visit the event to understand new technology trends between the US and the ROK, and to establish a policy direction for the future.

This year’s K-Global @ SiliconValley theme is “Future is on 5G”. Related to the 5G theme, we are planning to explore 3 trends which have been sub-categorized (5G Core, 5G Infra, 5G+) and 4 programs (ICT Forum, Partnership Expo, K-Pitch, International Pitch).

First, the ICT Forum will provide in-depth discussions on collaboration and future 5G prospects and opportunities for global business and academia experts. At the exhibition, the 5G-related SMEs in Korea will take part in introducing their products and technology to business people in Silicon Valley. In addition, K-Pitch will be able to show Korea’s innovative Small Giants, who will lead the future 5G global ecosystem, and will also participate in the pitching of national start-ups that have entered the Silicon Valley through a separate international pitch.

K-GLOBAL is looking forward to seeing the future of 5G and becoming a good place to experience the technological power of Korea’s innovative companies.

https://kglobal.tech/introduction/



Carnival Corp. reached a settlement Monday with federal prosecutors in which the world’s largest cruise line agreed to pay a $20 million penalty because its ships continued to pollute the oceans despite a previous criminal conviction aimed at curbing similar conduct.

Senior U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the agreement after Carnival CEO Arnold Donald stood up in open court and admitted the company’s responsibility for probation violations stemming from the previous environmental case.

“The company pleads guilty,” Arnold said six times in a packed courtroom that include other senior Carnival executives, including company chairman and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison.

“We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them,” Arnold added

“The proof will be in the pudding, won’t it?” the judge replied. “If you all did not have the environment, you would have nothing to sell.”

Carnival admitted violating terms of probation from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste from its Princess Cruise Lines ships and covering it up. Carnival paid a $40 million fine and was put on five years’ probation in that case, which affected all nine of its cruise brands that boast more than 100 ships.

Now Carnival has acknowledged that in the years since its ships have committed environmental crimes such as dumping “gray water” in prohibited places such Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and knowingly allowing plastic to be discharged along with food waste in the Bahamas, which poses a severe threat to marine life.

The company also admitted falsifying compliance documents and other administrative violations such as having cleanup teams visit its ships just before scheduled inspections.

Seitz at an earlier hearing threatened to bar Carnival from docking at U.S. ports because of the violations and said she might hold executives individually liable for the probation violations.

“The concern I have is that senior management has no skin in the game,” Seitz said, adding that future violations might be met with prison time and criminal fines for individuals. “My goal is to have the defendant change its behavior.”

Under the settlement, Carnival promised there will be additional audits to check for violations, a restructuring of the company’s compliance and training programs, a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies and improved waste management practices.


A Tokyo court approved the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors to keep him jailed, a lawyer for the auto executive said.

He could be freed as soon as Wednesday morning, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

Jean-Yves Le Borgne, Ghosn's French lawyer, said a court issued a late-night ruling rejecting prosecutors' appeal of the initial ruling. Le Borgne cautioned that prosecutors still had leeway to file new charges as they had done once before.Ghosn said in a written statement that he is grateful for his family and friends who had stood by him "throughout this terrible ordeal."

He said he is "innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations."

The former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance has been detained since he was arrested on Nov. 19. He says he is innocent of charges of falsifying financial information and of breach of trust.

His Japanese lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, is famous for winning acquittals in Japan, a nation where the conviction rate is 99 percent.

Hironaka said the legal team "proposed concrete ways showing how he would not tamper with evidence or try to flee."

Hironaka said Monday that he had offered new ways to monitor Ghosn after his release, such as camera surveillance. Hironaka also questioned the grounds for Ghosn's arrest, calling the case "very peculiar," and suggesting it could have been dealt with as an internal company matter.

In Japan, suspects are routinely detained for months, often until their trials start. That's especially true of those who insist on their innocence.

The 1 billion yen bail set by the court was relatively high but not the highest ever in Japan.

Among the conditions for Ghosn's release were restrictions on where he can live, his mobile phone use, as well as a ban on foreign travel and contact with Nissan executives, according to Kyodo News.

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