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Funders from around the world have limitless finance available for cases with merit, though lawyers warn that sound funding agreements are needed to ensure clients retain strategic control

712920aThere has been an increase in the number of third-party funders from around the world that are looking to finance disputes in Spain and Portugal, with some specifically targeting insolvency cases valued at more than €1 billion. Indeed, lawyers indicate that there is a limitless amount of third-party funding available for cases in Iberia that investors deem to have merit.

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Adrian Hasler, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, is certain that blockchain technology will have an impact on a variety of areas and is preparing a new blockchain law to provide essential requirements in order to establish a regulatory base for blockchain businesses.

The blockchain law — so called Blockchain Act — was announced by Adrian Hasler at this year’s Finance Forum on March 21. According to Adrian Hasler, the new act is about integrating current business models in regulatory terms in order to give companies and their clients a legal base. The planned act is expected to be circulated for consultations this summer.

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Automation can help – not hinder – a sector which still needs the human touch

Did you hear the one about the affordable yet efficient human lawyer and its robot counterpart? One is complete myth and will never happen while the other might be just around the corner thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).

I couldn’t help myself. Everybody loves a silly lawyer joke but the joke may be on us because the lawyer or barrister is one of the professions least likely to be replaced by automation and it may also be one that will benefit most from AI and machine learning.

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How Does ‘The Right To Be Forgotten’ Exist Alongside An Immutable Ledger?

When the GDPR entered into force on May 25, 2018, mailboxes around the world were flooded with obligatory emails by various services informing their customers about the new “GDPR compliant privacy policies.” All of us have been a “victim” of this annoyance and we’re well aware that nobody reads the terms of service, but we assure you – this one actually matters.

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A new leak of documents from the offshore service provider at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal reveals the company could not identify the owners of up to three quarters of companies it administered.

Two months after becoming aware of the data breach, Mossack Fonseca was unable to identify the beneficial owners of more than 70% of 28,500 active companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as well as 75% of companies in Panama, according to new documents seen by BBC Panorama.

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Since the advent, in 2008, of BitCoin—a completely peer-to-peer cash system free of third-party involvement—the interest in “blockchain” technology has increased. Blockchain protocol offers an alternative to the need for trusted third parties to prevent property fraud. However, it also requires the application of law other than property law to police blockchain activity. More particularly, contract and tort law are more applicable than property law to properly adjudicate blockchain property transactions.

GiannoniD 80 108ManzoniA 80x108The Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of 25 young plaintiffs seeking protection of their rights to life, health, food, and a healthy environment obliges the government to design an inter-generational pact to reduce deforestation and gas emissions. This highlights the connection between protection of the environment and intergenerational solidarity, as well as underlining personal and social responsibility for the impact of everyday behaviours on whole societies and on the environment, write Domenico Giannino (London Metropolitan University) and Antonio Manzoni (King’s College London).

We often read about the gradual devastation of the Amazon rainforest due to intensive exploitation and deforestation. However, the recent finding of the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice that the government is legally obliged to halt this trend and protect the area offers hope for radical change.

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The head of Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras, Pedro Parente, has resigned, following a nationwide strike by lorry drivers that caused huge disruption.

The strike against diesel prices, which ended this week, caused major shortages in the country.

Many of the protesters blamed Mr Parente for rising costs, after the company stopped subsidising fuel prices for its domestic consumers.

However, Petrobras gave no specific reason for the resignation.

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LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in lender CYBG rose as much as 3 percent on Monday after it announced a revised bid for rival Virgin Money (VM.L), increasing the likelihood of a deal that would create a new competitor to Britain’s biggest banks.

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, and Virgin Money, founded almost 25 years ago by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, would combine to create Britain’s sixth-largest bank by assets, albeit one still dwarfed by rivals such as Lloyds (LLOY.L) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L).

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Apple and Russia are locked in a stand-off over the company’s App Store.

The Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor has asked the US firm to remove the popular messenger app Telegram from the Russian version of the store.

Despite attempts by Russian authorities to block the app since mid-April, it remains in widespread use.

Roskomnadzor has given Apple a month to reply and it is unclear what will happen if it ignores the request.

Apple has previously complied with Chinese requests to remove VPN services from its App Store.

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It’s the latest attempt to cash in on gamers’ nostalgia – a throwback console that promises “100+” classic games built in, with new online play.

Pre-orders for the Atari VCS went into overdrive on Wednesday, with a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo raising more than $2m (£1.5m).

That’s well in excess of the $100,000 the company was aiming for, and a remarkable endorsement of the long-lasting appeal of the Atari brand.

Now all the company has to do is deliver on its promises. That may not be straightforward, as attempts to build retro game consoles have had mixed results.

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Google is offering a new service, which it says could help British homeowners save money by switching to solar power.

The tech giant has released an online tool called Project Sunroof, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, that estimates savings using data from Google’s Earth and Maps apps.

It first launched in the US in 2015, where reviews suggested it was broadly accurate but gave some odd results.

Google is also working with German software firm Tetraeder on the project.

Project Sunroof uses machine learning to estimate how much solar potential a house has by examining the property’s features, such as its roof area and angle, and weather data, such as sun positioning.

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A £5bn contract to run Wales’ rail service for the next 15 years has been awarded to two European firms, who will run it jointly.

France’s Keolis and Spanish-owned Amey’s bid triumphed over a rival offer from Hong Kong’s MTR commuter railways.

It will also drive forward the south Wales Metro in Cardiff and the valleys.

The operators said while the changes would not happen overnight Wales’ railway “would be unrecognisable” in five years time.

KeolisAmey already runs Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s Docklands Light Railway, among others.

But full details of its plans for Wales will not be revealed until next month.

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s antitrust regulator has approved the acquisition of U.S. seed major Monsanto Co (MON.N) by Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE), in a decision that moves the $62.5 billion deal a step closer to the finish line.

German conglomerate Bayer is preparing to close the takeover this quarter, giving it control of more than 25 percent of the world’s seed and pesticides market.

Both Bayer and Monsanto had subsidiaries in India, making it mandatory for them to receive clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The acquisition had been approved “subject to compliance of certain modifications,” the CCI said on Twitter, without elaborating.

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ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay has issued an open-ended suspension of arms and ammunition imports in a bid to fight illegal trafficking across the border into neighboring Brazil, the head of the National Directorate of War Material told Reuters on Tuesday.

During the suspension, the directorate will update computer programs it uses and improve coordination with Paraguayan and Brazilian law enforcement agencies, directorate chief Enrique Caballero said.

“We want to provide traceability,” he said. “The illicit market is our concern and we must increase efforts at stopping that.”

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‘Little Dragon’ can chat to customers, accept bank cards and check accounts. She joins a growing army of robot workers in China’s cities

Xiao Long, the latest employee at the Jiujiang Road branch of the China Construction Bank is never late for work. “Welcome to China Construction Bank,” she chirps to customers arriving at the Shanghai branch, flashing her white teeth. “What can I help you with today?”

Xiao Long, or “Little Dragon”, is not your typical employee – she’s a robot at China’s first fully automated, human-free bank branch.

As guardian of the bank, she talks to customers, takes bank cards and checks accounts (she comes complete with a PIN pad) and can answer basic questions. After a quick initial chat with Xiao Long, customers pass through electronic gates where their faces and ID cards are scanned. On future visits, facial recognition alone is enough to open the gates and call up customer information.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the European Union (EU) failed to comply with requests to end subsidies for Airbus.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) said the ruling in the dispute opens the way for placing tariffs on EU goods.

The USTR argued that European countries had given $22bn in state aid to Airbus to help launch its A380 and A350 jets, causing losses to US rival Boeing.

The European Commission said most of the disputed support ended in 2011.

It said it had “only a few” remaining things to do to be compliant and pledged “swift action” on those fronts.

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With worldwide debt at $164tn, 190 countries will be included in database dating back to 1950s

With global debt currently at a record high, the International Monetary Fund is launching a database of public and private borrowing across 190 countries – virtually the entire world – dating back to the 1950s.

In April the fund said the global economy was more indebted than before the financial crisis and immediate action needed to be taken before the next downturn. It said worldwide debt now stood at $164tn, equal to 225% of global GDP and up from a previous record of 213% in 2009.

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Argentina is to start talks about a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday amid reports it is seeking $30bn (£22bn).

Finance minister Nicolas Dujovne is due to fly to the IMF's Washington offices.

After recent turmoil that saw interest rates hit 40%, President Mauricio Macri said IMF aid would "strengthen growth" and help avoid crises of the past.

The talks come 17 years after Argentina defaulted on its debts and 12 years since it severed ties with IMF.

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France has condemned as "unacceptable" a US move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran.

The action from Washington followed President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European companies should not have to pay for the US decision.

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Theresa May has divided her top team of ministers into two working groups to hammer out their differences on Brexit.

The cabinet is split over how to manage customs arrangements with the EU.

Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson are against Mrs May's preferred option of a "customs partnership", which is backed by Remain-voting ministers.

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