This Week in Review

European Union Top Court Strikes Down Data-Retention Law

On Tuesday, the European Court struck down a law that required telecommunication providers to retain user mobile data for two years for law enforcement purposes. The Court emphasized that while holding onto data to “fight crime” was compliant with European Union (EU) law, the overbroad scope of the law as well as the lack of clear boundaries violated EU citizens’ “fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.”

United Nations May Approve Deployment of Peacekeeping Forces in the Central African Republic

The United Nations (UN)’s Security Council unanimously approved the deployment of nearly 10,000 UN soldiers and 1,1800 policemen to the Central African Republic (CAR). This peacekeeping force will take over from the current African Union force of 5,000 soldiers on September 15th. For the past year, Christian and Muslim militiamen have been fighting after the Muslim forces staged a coup and briefly retained power of the CAR government. The resolution cites a number of human rights violations both groups committed, including killings, torture and sexual violence against women and children. and seeks to identify and prosecute specific perpetrators.

Citigroup under federal investigation after disclosure of fraudulent loans in Mexico

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation after Citigroup disclosed their discovery of a fraudulent loan in its Mexican subsidiary Banamex. Oceanografía, a Mexican oil services contractor for Mexico’s state-owned Pemex, took out the $400 million loan using false invoices. Authorities are investigating if Citigroup was a victim or an enabler.

US Trade Report Points to US-Korea Tensions Regarding Bilateral Treaty

The annual US Trade Report on trade barriers claims that an allegedly government-funded Korean business group has been restricting the growth of US restaurant chains in South Korea for the past year. The National Commission for Corporate Partnerships (NCCP) gave US chains a choice of opening only 5 branches per year in Korea or opening only in certain geographic zones. The NCCP claims that its funding comes from private business donations, not from the government.

Bipartisan Bill Banning Iran’s United Nations Envoy From Entering The United States Passes Senate Unanimously

The Ted Cruz and Charles Schumer-sponsored bill (I think “A bill sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz and Charles Schumer” sounds better) aims to keep Hamid Aboutalebi, recently appointed United Nations (UN) representative to Iran, from taking his post at the New York UN headquarters. Aboutalebi allegedly belonged to the student group that led the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. The US State Department mentioned they have voiced their concerns with the nomination to the Iranian government.