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More or less breaking news is that Theresa May is the ultimate cat lady. Not that she has cats but she does have nine lives and, amazingly, even though she occasionally loses one, like buses, there's another one along in a minute. One day she's getting a kicking like no other Prime Minster has ever had and the next she's laughing in the face of the Opposition as Corbyn's motion to unseat the government and force a general election came unstuck. It might all seem very random but there is a pattern emerging.

When historians look back on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, they will be focussed on whatever interests them: for some it will be the will of the people, for some it will be the choice of a "Remain" campaigner to lead the exit negotiations, for others it will focus on any one of dozens of politically motivated stands and rhetoric and for others it will focus on the drama that has surrounded attempts to do something mind-numbingly complicated that has never been done before under what turns out to be an arbitrary time-table. Then there will be the fact that partisan interests have taken over from the national interest....

The increased emphasis on the true owners of companies opens up a can of worms. The lid has been loose for years but no one dared take a proper look inside. Now's the time to find out what's buried in that wriggling mass.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has applied to the Federal Court to wind up Traditional Therapy Clinics Limited (a Chinese Traditional Medicine company) after it was delisted by the Australian Stock Exchange and has asked the court that two members of Ernst and Young be appointed as liquidators.

So, now you know what all the letters mean, let's get on with the story which is, in part, about Red Stox and the continuing risks some of them pose for shareholders, regulators and sponsors to say...

CoNet Section: 

Mail order (remember when it used to be called that?) is heating up to be a serious battleground across South East Asia. Three problems plague local platforms.

Amazon's UK operation is set to beat them without even opening a distribution centre in the region.

CoNet Section: 

Take out the ridiculous terminology and this report from the UK's Health and Safety Executive demonstrates the dilemma faced by medical centres which fall somewhere between hospitals and prisons staffed only with civilians.

CoNet Section: 

In an unusual case, an Australian who applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) was refused. He appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which has upheld the decision. That, of itself, is uncommon but it's the grounds for refusal that turn it into a story.

But first some interesting information about information.

BIScom Subsection: 

"Cognitive bias" is one of those expressions, along with various other forms of bias, that's become popular in recent months. However, there's nothing new and nothing clever about cognitive bias. In fact, it's one of the most fundamental aspects of decision making. We all, without exception, do it. But the problem is that it underpins one of the reasons that financial crime risk management fails, over and over again.

---------- A SAMPLE ARTICLE FROM World Money Laundering Report ---------

"Brexit" rumbles on but the juggernaut that is EU legislation will not be denied: indeed, in many cases even staunch "leavers" see benefits in much of what the EU does (which leads to the charge of "cherry picking" to which the leavers say "so what?")

The Trade Mark Directive is one such piece of legislation providing intellectual property protection across a large market and, through international recognition, across much of the world. But it's not all rosy and it shows something about how EU citizens relate to their law-makers.

CoNet Section: 

A rapid increase in reports of influenza (which includes only those who seek medical assistance via a National Health Service reporting line) shows that the end of 2018 was a pretty miserable time for many people. But the graphs and the absolute figures tell a different tale and demonstrate that the NHS is achieving success in reducing the incidence of this condition.

The New Year sees a major overhaul of California's gun control laws. Is it just a flash in the pan?

Case Summary: 

An international conspiracy to bribe officials of a government in connection with a substantial contract has resulted in the conviction of a company and several senior staff and officers.

Type of conduct: 
Corruption

Another day, another judgment against an Australian banking group for misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's civil action against two WestPac group companies ended with findings of fault - but, again, ASIC has not succeeded on grounds upon which it thought it was safe. Spoiler alert: the case was commenced before the start of the Royal Commission on Misconduct in Banking, etc.

BIScom Subsection: 

Fraud is cyclical. Historically, frauds would lie dormant for, perhaps, five years then come back. But the cycle has become much shorter, often only two or three months. Some frauds have become perpetual, aided by e-mail that hits so many prospective targets at such a low marginal cost. Others have a few days in the light before disappearing into relative darkness for a matter of weeks, perhaps because the targets are sorted by e.g. alphabetical order, into batches. One such is fraud relating to domain names. They take several forms but the same basic structure. The fraudster hints that, if you don't pay up, your domain name will...

CoNet Section: 

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