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While the world is in lockdown and many if not most countries have ordered the closure of barbers' shops and hairdressers' salons, there is something strange.

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One can understand the logic - the Malaysian government has a tendency to make its laws out of the public eye, then to announce an in-force date and then, when everyone moans they aren't ready, to postpone it. Getting a postponement works for e.g. so-called "e-hailing" drivers. The public likes them and so a few hashtags go a long way. But there is little public sympathy for companies and even less when there is a suggestion that the new law is designed to reduce corruption.

Ngel Morris-Cotterill's blog from www.countermoneylaundering.com

It's been going on for weeks, the deluge of spam about personal protective equipment of one sort of another. But this one is special.

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They say, at the end "this is not invoice." But by the time you get that far, you've already been sucked in.

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English barrister Abigail Holt explains important changes in what used to be called "affidavits" and are now termed "statements of truth." The changes appear in a practice direction published 6 April 2020. Holt also looks at some of the practical problems that arise when taking statements from those for whom English is not a first or even second language.

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A business using, almost inevitably, an e-mail address at one of the large US based anonymous e-mail services (in this case harry.vangundy@msn.com ) claims to be operating out of Luxumbourg. In fact, the form advertises arguably illegal services and promotes it by wilfully committing unlawful access to websites.

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In a notice issued 22 April, the Australian Consumer and Competition says "Petrol retailers should not use the current pandemic to further increase profits, which the latest ACCC petrol industry report
https://www.accc.gov.au/public... shows have risen in recent years, and should pass on the full benefit of falling oil prices to motorists." The full notice is below. In this teaser we ask this: with dramatically reducing volumes, if the price per litre falls in line with current oil prices (which are lower than those when the oil that is now current petrol stocks were bought), who's paying for the infrastructure and the staff? Prices per litre must cover those costs and that may mean a higher, not lower, price per litre simply to maintain a cashflow neutral business.

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The following notice has been published by the Royal Courts of Justice Criminal Appeals Office

15 April 2020

And yes, the typos are in the original notice as is the mysterious absence of the "s" in Criminal Appeals - probably deliberate even though it's nonsense.

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The authorities in Malaysia say that the corona-virus triggered lockdown in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, has led to a 67% reduction in crime. That, of course, might not be all that it seems - crime and reported crime not being the same and if people can't get to a police station, they can't make reports. Also, Malaysians have an odd habit: they make "police reports" at the drop of a hat, for all kinds of reasons, often political or for matters that in other countries would be regarded as civil matters not as police matters. When they do, they often issue a press release tp say they are going to do it and - incredibly, Malaysian media turns up to photograph them entering, or leaving, the police station. If people can't go out, they can't do that, either, so that may (we put it no higher than that) distorts the crime figures anyway.

But that aside, organised crime gangs, which are a business, are finding that their commercial activities are curtailed along with their movements. They...

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As countries around the world close their borders for international travel from badly affected countries, are airport transits a threat?

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Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals service has issued guidelines for witnesses who, because of CoVid-19, give evidence from a remote location. They will be expected to have regard to the same duty to tell the truth as if they were in a witness box in a courtroom.

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If it were not for one grossly irresponsible group, Malaysia's anti-viral policies would have been remarkably successful. But the long term effects might be problematic.

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A man who can be identified only as B4 left the UK to go to Syria to join al Qaeda, the UK government alleges. A citizen of Libya, he took UK citizenship in addition. The UK Home Department (part of the Home Office) decided to cancel his British citizenship and passport. He has appealed and, at the same time, applied for anonymity. His appeal is stayed pending a determination of his application for legal aid.

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It's incredible - a tiny bar that has no nameplate, that is hidden behind a door bearing the sign "no admittance" and holding only 25 people in an unfashionable district of Kuala Lumpur's city centre is famous. It's such a cool, almost magical, place that it's the kind of place you keep for special occasions. It's regularly featured in "Best Bars" in all kinds of magazines and, even, seat-back glossies in airlines.

And, sadly, in just a few days, it will be gone.

Hotels.Com already allows cancellation of bookings without penalty in many of the properties it advertises. But the unprecedented range of restrictions being placed on travellers, often at short notice, means that contracts are, to all intents and purposes, being frustrated by operation of law. It's not, in strict terms, force majeur although many are calling it that or, even, an Act of God. No, it's not that either.

Hotels.com has produced an excellent analysis of exactly what the US blockade of travellers from some parts of the EU means. The notice addresses many of the misconceptions and false arguments that are popular on much social media.

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