Archive for May, 2012

Time to invest in Africa is ripe – new business report says

U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson

Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The time to do business in Africa is now, according to a new report from global business consulting company Goldman Sachs.

“Africa is something investors have to think about, for long-term growth (either participating in it or missing it), for its economic implications for the world, and for the need for Africa to succeed in order to enable it to supply the world with scarce resources,” says the company’s March report on Africa.

The report says the continent “has a major role to play in resolving the world’s commodity, food and labor constraints in the near, medium and long term.” Although the continent is getting positioned to offer increased agricultural, mineral and commodities exports, Goldman Sachs said Africa’s potential “is about much more than resources as it evolves and climbs the consumption, urbanization and perhaps industrialization curves” mounted by other developing nations.

“Clearly there are many risks, from climate to corruption, from competence to capital, but recently it seems that more is going right than ever before,” the report says. With the continent expected to have the world’s largest workforce by the middle of the 21st century, and with one in 10 Africans expected to be in the global middle class by 2030, Africa is looking more than ever like the next frontier for investment.

But barriers still exist. Unstable governments, high trade tariffs and inadequate education remain problems in several African countries that stand to work against the continent’s economic growth.

The main impediment to growth is poor infrastructure Source: World Bank, IMF, CIA Factbook, UN comtrade

“Moving goods around Africa takes longer and costs more than in most places in the world,” the report says. “On top of this, Africa scores very badly in terms of number of power outages and poorly on transport infrastructure per capita.”

Goldman Sachs said correcting this problem will require that the funding mix shift away from governments and toward more private sector involvement, including foreign capital. “Removing this brake on growth is essential” for African growth, the report adds. Click here to read or download full report.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson recently led a U.S. trade mission to Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria to look at potential investment projects with the aim of enhancing the countries’ ability to generate electric power — a key infrastructure need for Africa. The mission, which was co-sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, made a brief stop in Kenya as well.

The United States will host the 11th annual U.S.–Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, also known as the AGOA Forum, June 14–15 with the theme of “Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade.” That forum will be followed by a U.S.-Africa Business Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 21–22, that will echo the AGOA Forum’s themes of infrastructure development, particularly in the areas of energy, transportation, water and sanitation.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

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Annan: Syria cooperating with UN to implement peace plan

Kofi Annan

Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria—The aftermath of killings in Houla, Syria have brought condemnation from across the world with several players pointing fingers at each other. The Syrian government has blamed terrorist groups for the massacre, while the West is blaming the Syrian government. United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was in Damascus early this week, for talks about his peace plan and condemned the killings.

However, Kofi Annan has praised the Syrian government for cooperating with international observers, according to the Islam Times.

“In my meeting with the president, I expressed appreciation for the cooperation that the Syrian government had extended to the UN, enabling us to deploy the military observers quickly,” Annan said during a press conference after meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Annan traveled to Syria on Tuesday, after over 100 civilians were killed in a massacre in the western town of Houla on May 25.

“The Security Council has made clear the need for these killings to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable,” said Annan, adding, “I also note that the government of Syria is organizing its own investigation and that is very encouraging.”

During the meeting, Assad also called for an end to the terrorist activities in Syria, saying Kofi Annan’s peace plan will be successful if weapons smuggling and terrorism is contained.


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Romney wins Texas primary, Dewhurst and Cruz headed for runoff

Mitt Romney

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas—According to official results from the Texas Secretary of State, Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won the primary in Texas with 69 percent of the vote, securing the GOP nomination.

Romney did not appear in Texas but released a statement on his Facebook page saying, “I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s nominee. Whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to prosperity.”

In the Senate race, David Dewhurst won 45 percent of the vote against his Republican rival Ted Cruz who won 34 percent. Cruz received an endorsement from Sarah Palin, whose clout has been tested in the primary and will be tested in the runoff. Palin also supported Newt Gingrich who dropped out of the race after a losing several key states including Florida.

Romney will now focused his attacks on Barack Obama in preparation for the general, in which pro-Romney groups reportedly plan to spend over $1 billion to unseat Obama. The entire Texas primary results can be viewed here.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 5:39 pm

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After Tuesday’s Texas primary Romney to clinch GOP nomination

Mitt Romney

by Anugrah Kumar

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas—Mitt Romney will no longer be called the “presumptive” GOP presidential nominee after Tuesday’s Texas primary, which will enable him to secure the 1,144 delegates required to clinch the official title. While Texas has 155 delegates to offer, the former Massachusetts governor requires just 60 more to reach the threshold, according to The Associated Press tally.

After a long roller coaster ride with other GOP candidates threatening his nomination, Romney’s campaign will now focus on defeating President Barack Obama in November. Most Republicans are now rallying behind the candidate.

A day before the big day in Texas, Romney promised to maintain a U.S. military “with no comparable power anywhere in the world,” apparently to draw contrasts with Obama, who is in favor of reducing the size of the military.

Addressing a crowd of 5,000 at a Memorial Day service at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in San Diego, Calif., on Monday, Romney said, “We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs. The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”

Romney also released a new web video titled “Thank You” to mark the Memorial Day. In the video, he praises veterans and pledges to “keep America strong, and worthy of the great sacrifice of America’s veterans.”

Some in the party believe Romney now needs to connect with the average Americans more than anything else.

“He doesn’t need to make a hardcore ideological argument, but he does need to connect with these people in a way that is lasting and sustained,” Fox News quoted GOP pollster Adam Geller as saying. Romney, he added, should “tell his story.”

Geller said the GOP candidate needed to do a much better job of connecting with the “frustrated middle class” and especially America’s decisive political middle.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

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Part III: Conflicting forces-incubus and succubus night attacks

Night and sleep terrors

Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, bilocation or replication is that state of being in two different locations instantly.

How such a phenomenon is possible, defies the laws of physics, yet the Discovery Channel’s blog attempts to explain the phenomenon using quantum physics:“Quantum theory dictates that a very tiny thing can absorb energy only in discrete amounts, can never sit perfectly still, and can literally be in two places at once… Physicists still haven’t achieved a two-places-at-once state with a tiny object like this one. But now that they have reached this simplest state of quantum motion, it seems a whole lot more obtainable.”

Earlier, I distinguished the difference between bilocation and teleportation which is traveling outside one’s body to another location. Sometimes it is referred to as astral projection and is almost similar to the Star Gate Project where subjects used paranormal abilities to travel to locations they had never visited.

In regard to incubus attacks, some people have reported experiencing sexual arousal during sleep, and women have actually reported achieving a climax. An incubus is originally defined as a male demonic being that has the ability to have intercourse with women. A succubus, is a female demonic entity that has the ability to have intercourse with men, the purpose of which is to gather the man’s seed, and this same demonic entity converts itself into a male demon, and deposits the seed into a female human being. An article written by Psychology Today explains the phenomenon here.

The very first occurrence of demonic beings having sexual relations with women is chronicled in scripture, where the result of fallen angels engaging in this practice produced a hybrid race of giants. Archeologists have confirmed that this biblical race once roamed the earth and have excavated the skeletons as shown below:

Excavated giant

One of the many excavations of remains of a giant race that once roamed the earth and
was destroyed by a great flood or an ice age

We can all agree that there are forces of good, and forces of evil on this planet. There is a thesis (good) and antithesis (evil), whichever one you embrace, will become the dominant force in your life. By embrace I mean, whichever of the two you allow to consume or occupy your mind, will manifest itself through your will.

Nothing can happen in the invisible realm against a human being’s will. Not even God himself can violate the will of a human. Therefore, the will becomes the synthesis. It neutralizes the conflict between good and evil. One has to open the door to evil, for it to be activated. Likewise, one has to open the door to good, for it to manifest itself through acts of kindness, justice, compassion, love and so forth.

The will, soul, spirit, conscience and heart

The will is what enables us to choose our destiny, whether it is right or wrong.
The soul enables us to exercise our will. It expresses itself in the physical body through our personality. The spirit is the gut feeling, or our intuition, or knowledge that is independent of reasoning. The conscience is connected to the spirit and it is what makes us aware of right or wrong and is not influenced by knowledge stored in the mind; it is rather a spontaneous direct judgment. A judge who deliberately ignores an injustice and rules in favor of the wrongdoer, does so against the conscience, which causes an unending restlessness within both the judge, and the wrongdoer. The judge is restless because that judge knew the right thing to do, but chose to do wrong. The wrongdoer is restless because the wrongdoer knows the judgment was undeserved and unjust. The invisible hand at play is the conscience bringing conviction to both parties. The heart is that part of us through which emotions are expressed, like joy, fear, love, sympathy and so forth.

Will to power

The most powerful of all the five aspects (will, soul, spirit, conscience and heart) is the will. I mention this because it would be useless for me to spend time researching and writing such an article, without giving a solution to the conflicts herein. Remember, nothing is permitted in your life or your reality from the invisible realm unless your allow (will) it to happen.

In the physical realm people can violate your will, but they can never break it. They may assault your spirit, but they can never destroy it. They may torment your soul, but they can never extinguish it. They may wound your conscience, but they can never silence it. They may break your heart, but Time is your greatest friend—it heals all wounds.

Practical solutions to night terrors/sleep paralysis/abductions:

(i) For a person approaching this problem from a psychological angle, the best way to stop incubus attacks in to stop sleeping on your back.

(ii) Others may view this as a spiritual problem, especially if they have been part of the occult and involved in Luciferian or satanic worship. The spiritual solution that research reveals works 100 percent of the time, is to burn all your satanic books and items, and renounce him. If tormented in an attack, or some have even called it an attempted abduction, the three magic words are: “Jesus help me!” The attacks will stop instantly, according to my research and the subjects I’ve interviewed. Remember, you won’t be able to speak, so you have to say them in your mind.

(iii) One may not believe in psychological or spiritual answers, and may want a solution that is neutral but practical. The answer to this approach is to guard your will. Nothing in the invisible realm can violate it. If you are spending nights watching horror movies, reading about UFOs, visiting psychics and palm readers, you are opening a door to these night terror attacks. Stop all those habits at the gate,
through the power of your will.


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Part II: Conflicting forces-multiple personalities in same person

Multiple personalities

Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—Once again, before I continue with this article, I would like to briefly describe multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder (DID). This is a mental disorder in which two or more relatively independent personalities appear to exist in one person. Only one personality is evident at any one time, and the alternation of personalities usually produces periods if amnesia in the personality that has been displaced. This disorder begins in childhood with most reporting their first alternate personality before the age of twelve. (Abnormal Psychology, p. 177)

Mothers with this disorder also report that it interferes with their child rearing. One stated, “Sometimes I forget that I am a mother. I feel somebody dropped off their kid for me to babysit and never picked her up” (Benjamin, Benjamin & Rind, p. 340). Another one said, “If the angry part is in control of me, it causes friction and tension with the kids. It’s hard to tell them that I didn’t mean it” (p.342).

I didn’t do it

A South Carolina woman who had twenty-one different personalities asked for spousal support payments during a divorce, claiming she did not commit the adultery that caused the divorce. She said the responsible person was a personality inside her called “Rosie” whom she tried to stop from committing the act, but Rosie wouldn’t listen. (In South Carolina, adultery is grounds for divorce).

In the case of the two violent girls who ran into traffic and later on one stabbed a man to death who tried to help her… because the defense psychologist said it was a different personality that did the stabbing, and the “good girl” who was in court was innocent, the judge found it difficult to sentence the person before him. He was forced to hand down a five-year sentence to the violent personality, and next year, the girl will be released from prison. The victim’s family thought the sentence did not fit the crime since they lost their brother, and the person who committed the crime would be out on the streets in less than five years.

The making of a super human

After the World War II, when the U.S. captured Nazi scientists, they discovered that their prisoners weren’t just ordinary men, they had extraordinary skills and were so technologically advanced. The Nazi scientists were then recruited to America under what was known as Project Paperclip, who then shared their secrets and research with the Americans.

Among the many areas of expertise, one of the most intriguing ones was in the behavioral sciences, particularly hypnosis. There is no doubt the Project MKULTRA in which the CIA learned mind-control techniques, was a bi-product of the revelations made by the German scientists. As I’ve written before, in the research study by investigative journalist Walter Bowart called Operation Mind Control, he details how people can be programmed through hypnosis to commit crimes and then forget they had done so.

This once again creates conflict in the area of science where the general rule is: “Do no harm”. If a human being’s mind can be hijacked to do acts against the conscience, then that is harmful to that person because there is no informed consent on the part of the one who is being controlled.

On Sunday March 11, a U.S. soldier went on a killing spree and killed 16 Afghan civilians, and ABC news reported: “Investigators are trying to learn what set off an Army veteran of three tours in Iraq who left his base in the middle of the night and methodically massacred 16 Afghan civilians.”

Yet after the incident, the soldier returned calmly to the base and turned himself in. The question is, what set him off? We may never know since the records are sealed, but that is an example of a super soldier in the making. Now imagine if an entire battalion were made up of super soldiers, who feared no fear, and were programmed to annihilate their enemies. You wouldn’t have any prisoners or war. Once again we see conflicting forces. On the one hand, some could reason that super soldiers are more effective, on the other hand, it would be in violation of Nuremberg Code.

The Nuremberg Code states that, “A person should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.” Read or download the entire Nuremberg Code here.

Now you see me, now you don’t

As I’ve previously written in an article concerning the cryptocracy, the most dangerous breed of scientists are Behavioral Engineers. These are behavioral scientists who are not out to change the world but to make man adjust to it. Behaviorists are looking for is a genetic factor which controls anger, docility, and other personality tendencies. What’s dangerous about this field, is that they have an unholy alliance with biochemists, and are capable of producing supernatural, or paranormal syntheses.

The most scary and one of the tightly-held top secret projects is one that can make an object dematerialize (disappear) and then rematerialize in another location. This should not be confused with “bilocation” where a person can travel and be in two locations at the same time. It should also not be confused with “teleportation” some refer to it as astral projection, which is a phenomenon where a person can travel outside his or her body to another location. Both of these are very dangerous, yet people, especially those involved in the occult engage in this practice. They do it primarily for power and for sexual reasons.

For example, there are people who report having incubus attacks during sleep. This is whereby someone is at the point of falling asleep, all of a sudden, the individual feels paralyzed and cannot move, scream or open the eyes. The person feels an external force has taken over his or her body and is helpless. Some people report having these incubus attacks when they are wide awake. They are not imagining them…they’re happening in real time. Find out the causes of incubus attacks>>


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Part I: Conflicting forces and their connection to the paranormal

Madness in the fast lane

Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—The deception that we are experiencing as a society is not only profound, but is carefully orchestrated to produce conflicting views among us. Since the word conflict has been mentioned, it would be appropriate for me to explain how it synthesized, which I will do here at the beginning of this article.

Creating conflicting views

Behavioral Scientist Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel made a remarkable observation in this area. In studying classical antiquity, Hegel observed that one philosopher would take a position that another philosopher would then negate; then a third philosopher would develop a view that was intermediate between the two opposing views.

Hegel then perfected this line of thought by developing what is referred to as the Hegelian Dialectic. Hegel’s version of the dialectic process involved a thesis (one point of view), an antithesis (the opposite point of view), and a synthesis (a compromise between the thesis and antithesis). When a cycle is completed, the
previous synthesis becomes the thesis for the next cycle, and the process repeats itself continually.

In other words, most of the conflict we experience openly is by design, whether it is orchestrated in the physical realm or the unseen realm. It is also meant to be continuous—that’s why when you have a group like the Tea Party (thesis), another group called Occupy Wall Street is created (antithesis), which gives the government the license to intervene (synthesis) in order to create a view that may appear acceptable to both opposing views.

Don’t bump me too hard!

This has more to do with human psychology than anything else. Psychology in a nut shell is defined as the study, prediction and control of human behavior. Below is an extremely graphic video, that was part of a BBC documentary, that I will use to illustrate my point. GRAPHIC VIDEO: NOT FOR THE WEAK-HEARTED

Video courtesy the BBC
The girls shown in this video were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They
simply were overcome by a supernatural or paranormal force to act violently and to
withstand acts of violence. They are what we refer to as “super humans”.

The video is about two Swedish girls who are twins, but have multiple personalities. In the video above, both girls survived after being bumped, and one who was released within 24 hours of the incident went on to stab a man, who bled to death.

The second sister who was ran over and smashed by a trailer truck recovered in just ninety (90) days, and now lives in California. Interestingly enough the girls both had supernatural strength, that it took about six grown men to hold down one of the girls. I’m sure if that has happened in America, the cops would have tased her or put her in choke-hold to make her stay put.

The judge who presided over the murder trial involving the girl who was accused of stabbing a man was conflicted while deciding the sentencing. It was revealed that the girl had multiple personalities and the one who ran into traffic and assaulted the cops, then killed a man (thesis), was a different personality from the girl who was calm and standing before the judge (antithesis). Both personalities were contained in the same person. The judge’s decision would then be the synthesis.
Find out what the judge’s decision was in PART II >>


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Iran secures cooperation trade pact with East African countries

To the right is Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi

Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya—Not wanting to be outdone by the Chinese or left behind by the West, Iran is strengthening its trade relations with the East African Community (EAC), and has dispatched the First Vice President of Iran, Mohammed Reza Rahimi to East Africa to secure a cooperation pact that will double development aid in agriculture, finance, energy, health services, and to address the trade imbalance.

Iran’s Press TV reports the Islamic Republic’s strategy is based on closer relations with African countries, particularly Kenya. Rahimi, who is currently on an official visit to two East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania, made the remark while speaking to reporters upon his arrival in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday.

“Good, amicable and historical ties between Iran and Kenya have been improved in terms of quality and quantity in recent years. We are determined to [further] expand mutual relations in all fields,” Rahimi said. Watch video below:

Video by Capital FM Kenya-Nairobi
Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga followed by
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi

Rahimi is scheduled to meet with the Kenyan President, Emilio Mwai Kibaki, Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, and the country’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga during his stay in Nairobi.

Source: Press TV


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

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Kenyans nurse wounded victims as Americans celebrate Memorial Day

Video by Capital FM Kenya – Moi Avenue blast

Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya—As Americans celebrate Memorial Day today in honor of soldiers who died in military service, Kenyans are nursing victims of a blast that happened in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. According to Capital FM Kenya, the huge explosion happened on Moi Avenue adjacent to Mount Kenya University.

Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, believes it was a bomb that was planted by terrorists, and told reporters at the site of the blast: “This is terrorism… this is a heinous act, we are under threat, but we will not be cowed.”

Odinga further asserted: “Police officers should direct their energies at this very necessary cause and forget anything else. The life and property of Kenyans is precious we condemn the terrorists and tell them that their days are numbered… Kenyans will succeed.”

Odinga is referring to the warning of revenge conveyed by Al-Shabaab at its displeasure of Kenya sending troops to Somalia on a peace-keeping mission.

According to Capital FM News, the Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode was however cautious in his comment when he visited the blast scene. He called for calm as the police combed through the boutique for clues.

“Lets us be patient and wait for the investigations report. It will be premature for me to say whether the blast was caused by an electrical fault or an explosive or a terrorist attack,” Ojode told reporters at the scene of the blast.

Moi Avenunue is a crowded street and would be a prime target for anyone who would have wanted to inflict damage to a crowd with an explosive device. Kenya’s police puts the number of injured victims at 33, as they continue to investigate and search for the source of the blast.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 6:47 pm

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Mitt Romney forgiven by Newt Gingrich for running tough campaign ads

Romney and Gingrich

by Paul Stanley

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Newt Gingrich, the one-time front-runner in the 2012 Republican primary, says he forgives the party’s presumptive nominee for running hard-hitting ads against him earlier this year.

“Mitt Romney did what he had to do to become the nominee,” Gingrich told Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Thursday.

“He’s worked at this for six years … when he got to the crunch, he was tough enough and smart enough to beat me in Florida.”

When Matthews asked Gingrich if the accusations Romney aimed at him were true, he said “no.”

“Go back and look at what Obama did to Hillary (Clinton). These are tough fights. You throw the kitchen sink. He (Romney) was in a situation when everything he had ever done was going to disappear if I beat him in Florida. So he said I have two choices. I can throw the kitchen sink at Gingrich or do nothing.”

Gingrich credits Romney for assembling a “smart group of people” and for his work ethic on the campaign trail. He also labeled the former Massachusetts governor as “methodical” and “a successful politician.”

“He is a very methodical person. He is prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country. And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president.”

Matthews also wasted no time in bringing up the fact that Gingrich consistently attacked Romney during the GOP primary for being a wealthy, out-of-touch politician who could not defeat President Obama in November.

“We’re not going to beat Barrack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares in Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a shareholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Gingrich said of Romney in January while campaigning in Florida.

But for all the competitiveness in the GOP primary, Gingrich thinks the Obama campaign team’s attacks on Romney’s wealth and business background will fall flat with the American public.

“Here’s the problem they’ve got,” Gingrich said of the Obama campaign. “It didn’t work. I wouldn’t have won it on that issue. It doesn’t work in general.”

As for possible vice presidential picks for Romney, Gingrich likes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, among others as good additions to the GOP ticket. Gingrich, who served as speaker of the House from 1994 to 1999, will be appearing at a fundraiser for Romney with billionaire investor Donald Trump at Trump Towers on May 29.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

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Fraudulent scheme of New York-based fund manager halted by SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission

Newscast Media NEW YORK—The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a New York-based fund manager and his two firms for luring investors into a trading program that would purportedly maximize their profits but instead spent their money in unauthorized ways.

The SEC alleges that since at least November 2011, Jason J. Konior and his firms raised approximately $11 million by selling investors limited partnership interests in Absolute Fund LP, an investment vehicle that Konior claimed had $220 million in trading capital. Konior and his firms falsely claimed that Absolute Fund would allocate millions of dollars in matching investment funds, place the combined funds in brokerage accounts through which investors could trade securities, and operate a “first loss” trading program that would allow investors to dramatically increase their potential profits.

However, the SEC alleges that instead of using investor funds for trading purposes, Konior and his firms Absolute Fund Advisors (AFA) and Absolute Fund Management (AFM) siphoned off approximately $2 million of the proceeds to pay redemptions from earlier investors and to pay their personal and business expenses.

The SEC obtained an asset freeze against Konior and his companies late yesterday in federal court in Manhattan.

“Konior falsely portrayed Absolute Fund as a legitimate investment vehicle designed to maximize investors’ access to trading capital in order to grow their hedge fund businesses,” said Bruce Karpati, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “In reality, Konior’s operation became a way for Konior to funnel cash to his firms and himself for unauthorized purposes.”

The SEC alleges that Absolute Fund did not actually operate the first loss trading program as promised for these investors. Absolute Fund also did not provide these investors with any matching funds or satisfy investor demands for returns of their capital contribution. You may read or download the case here.


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Brotherhood’s Morsy and Shafiq headed for Egypt’s run-off in June

Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq

Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—The preliminary presidential election round in Egypt resulted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsy leading with 25 percent of the vote, and his closest rival Ahmed Shafiq with 23 percent, according to Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm news outlet. The runn-off will be held June 16 and 17 between both contenders who have distinct differences.

Shafiq, a military man served as deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, while Morsy an Islamist whose conservative message appeals to some has promised to introduce Sharia law if elected president.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, a Brotherhood official said that with votes counted from about 12,800 of the roughly 13,100 polling stations, Morsy had 25 percent, Shafiq 23 percent, a rival Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh 20 percent and leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi 19 percent.

Morsy’s success has dismayed non-Islamists, not least Christians who make up about a tenth of the population, unconvinced by promises that freedoms will be safe in a Brotherhood-led Egypt.

“It was for the sake of the Islamic Sharia that men were … thrown into prison. Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now,” Morsy said during one campaign rally.

“We will work together to realize their dream of implementing sharia,” said the Brotherhood contender, who himself spent time in jail under Mubarak, according to Egypt Independent news.

Shafiq has relied on his military background and successes in the Civil Aviation Ministry to sell himself to the public in his presidential campaign. During his ten years heading the ministry, he was one of the few ministers whose performance was praised by both the regime and some opposition figures, journalists and writers. Some voices had called for him to be appointed prime minister or even vice president in the last few years of the Mubarak regime.

Shafiq believes it would be “unacceptable” if an Islamist takes the presidential office.

A victory for the Brotherhood will secure its position as Egypt’s dominant political group, which is a stark difference from the former military-dominated era of the past few decades.


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U.S. To Counter China’s Growth In East Africa With Trade Treaty

East African Community and U.S. relations

Newscast Media WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. is accelerating the prospects of regional trade integration in East Africa, with a proposed White House regional trade package with the East African Community (EAC), as well as the White House Partnership for Growth Initiative in Tanzania, the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA).

Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camuñez has just concluded a visit to East Africa, with the a package that is sure to slow down nations like China that are heavily invested in the region.

“Momentum is clearly trending strongly in Africa’s favor, and there are extraordinary opportunities to achieve a level of growth and development that can lift millions of people out of poverty. For these and other reasons, engaging Africa is a priority not just for me and and the Department of Commerce but for the entire Obama Administration,” said Camuñez on his trip to Nairobi, Kenya.

“The East African Community represents enormous long-term potential for U.S. industry, and these proposed initiatives will help significantly accelerate the process of regional integration, making the EAC one of the most important trading blocs in Africa,” Camuñez said.

Camuñez also delivered keynote remarks on the role of public-private partnerships in U.S.-Kenyan trade at a structured finance seminar hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Kenyan government’s “Vision 2030.” In addition, he held bilateral meetings with Kenyan officials to address key market access concerns on intellectual property rights and transparency.

In Arusha, Tanzania, Camuñez met with the secretary-general of the EAC to further advance the regional trade package in anticipation of upcoming African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meetings. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Camuñez met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to discuss the country’s successful progress on the White House Partnership for Growth (PFG) Initiative, a White House–led development initiative.

The governments of Tanzania and the United States continue to be engaged at the highest levels, ITA said, and have worked laboriously on mapping out the details of addressing two key constraints to growth in Tanzania: an inadequate supply of power and an underdeveloped rural road network.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 24, 2012 at 12:04 am

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SEC charges former Yahoo executive with insider trading

SEC charges execs

Newscast Media NEW YORK—The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former executive at Yahoo! Inc. and a former mutual fund manager at a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial Inc. with insider trading on confidential information about a search engine partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft Corporation.

The SEC alleges that Robert W. Kwok, who was Yahoo’s senior director of business management, breached his duty to the company when he told Reema D. Shah in July 2009 that a deal between Yahoo and Microsoft would be announced soon. Shah had reached out to Kwok amid market rumors of an impending partnership between the two companies, and Kwok told her the information was kept quiet at Yahoo and only a few people knew of the coming announcement. Based on Kwok’s illegal tip, Shah prompted the mutual funds she managed to buy more than 700,000 shares of Yahoo stock that were later sold for profits of approximately $389,000.

The SEC further alleges that a year earlier, the roles were reversed. Shah tipped Kwok with material nonpublic information about an impending acquisition announcement between two other companies. Kwok traded in a personal account based on the confidential information for profits of $4,754.

Kwok and Shah, who each live in California, have agreed to settle the SEC’s charges. Financial penalties and disgorgement will be determined by the court at a later date. Under the settlements, Shah will be permanently barred from the securities industry and Kwok will be permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

“Kwok and Shah played a game of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” said Scott W. Friestad, Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “When corporate executives and mutual fund professionals misuse their access to confidential information, they undermine the integrity of our markets and violate the trust placed in them by investors.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Shah and Kwok first met in January 2008 when Shah was attending a real estate conference in California at the same facility where Yahoo was holding a meeting. The two met in a hallway and began discussing their respective businesses, and thereafter they spoke frequently by phone or in person.

Kwok provided Shah with information about Yahoo, including whether Yahoo’s quarterly financial performance
was expected to be in line with market estimates. In return, Shah provided Kwok with information she learned in the course of her work, and he used it to help make his personal investment decisions. Both Shah and Kwok benefited from this exchange of information. Click here to read or download the SEC lawsuit.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm

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Nuclear inspection deal with Iran soon to be signed says IAEA

Iran nuclear plant

by Mu Xuequan

Newscast Media VIENNA—Agreement on probing suspected work on Iran’s controversial nuclear program was expected to be signed soon, said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday.

“There was an important development on the structured approach document on which we have been working since January,” Amano told reporters at Vienna airport after return from his one-day trip to Tehran where he held talks with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Amano said the decision was made to reach agreement on the mechanics of giving the IAEA access to sites, scientists and documents it seeks to address international concerns over the country’ nuclear activities.

“There remain some differences, but Mr. Jalili elaborated that the differences will not be an obstacle to reach an agreement,” Amano said.

He added that the two sides “understood each other’s positions better,” which was the reason that “we could make this important development.”

One priority issue for IAEA in recent talks with Iran is the agency’s demand for access to Iran’s Parchin military site southeast of Tehran.

Media said the IAEA has received reports that Iran had tested explosives which could be used to set off a nuclear charge. Iran denied such reports, and insisted access to Parchin would only be granted if Iran and the IAEA agree on certain conditions and steps.

In response to questions on the matter, Amano said “I have raised this issue of access to Parchin, and this issue will be addressed as a part of the implementation of the structured approach document.”

Amano was quoted by Iranian semi-official Mehr news agency on Monday as saying that they held expansive and intensive talks in good atmosphere, and the progress in the dialogue will have positive impact on the wider nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Wednesday.

New round of nuclear talks over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities was resumed between the IAEA and Iran last week. After two days of negotiations, the two sides agreed to meet again, and Amano traveled to Tehran to discuss “issues of mutual interests” with high-level Iranian officials.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:14 pm

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Afghanistan withdrawal and NATO defense key summit issues

Barack Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Drawing a road map for NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and agreement on steps to increase the alliance’s defense capabilities are the notable achievements of the NATO summit, President Obama said May 21 as he delivered a final assessment of the meeting held over the weekend in Chicago. Citing an “unwavering commitment to collective defense,” Obama said NATO nations agreed to invest in defense capabilities and new technologies that meet the alliance’s security needs.

The 63-year-old alliance is also making progress on its missile-defense system, and Obama recognized other NATO nations for increasing their leadership in this area.

“Our defense radar in Turkey will be placed under NATO control,” Obama said. “Spain, Romania and Poland have agreed to host key U.S. assets. The Netherlands will be upgrading radars.”

Obama also emphasized that a NATO missile-defense system is not intended to compromise Russia’s strategic deterrent. “I continue to believe that missile defense can be an area of cooperation with Russia,” he said.

Another important achievement of the summit was agreement to wind down the 10-year operation in Afghanistan with “a plan that trains Afghan security forces, transitions to the Afghans and builds a partnership that can endure after our combat mission in Afghanistan ends,” Obama said.

The troops from NATO nations will steadily draw down as Afghan National Security Forces take the leadership role by the middle of next year, with NATO troops remaining in a support mode. By the end of 2014, Obama said, the plan calls for Afghan forces to take full responsibility for the security of their country.

But NATO involvement in Afghanistan’s future will not end there, Obama said, and the partnership with Kabul to defeat al-Qaida and bring progress to the long-beleaguered nation will continue.

Non-NATO nations have been longtime participants in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and they too met with NATO leaders to craft this road map to war’s end. Obama called the meeting of such a wide range of nations “unprecedented”; it included 28 NATO members and 13 leaders from European, Middle Eastern, North African and Asian nations.

“Each of these countries has contributed to NATO operations in different ways — military, political, financial — and each wants to see us do more together,” Obama said. “To see the breadth of those countries represented in that room is to see how NATO has truly become a hub of global security.”

A key goal of the Afghanistan operation has been to expel al-Qaida from the nation and close down its safe haven there, a goal that Obama said has been met. But as the NATO summit ended, a terrorist attack in Yemen, blamed on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), killed more than 100 people and injured close to 200, according to news reports.

A journalist questioned the U.S. president about that attack, and whether it could be a sign that Yemen is sinking into anarchy. Obama noted the strong counterterrorism partnership that the United States has formed with the Yemeni government.

The NATO summit was met with significant protests on the Chicago streets, with denunciations of the alliance’s defense strategy and calls to end the Afghan war. But protesters did not derail the meeting; instead, Obama said, the protesters have NATO to thank for their freedoms.

“Part of what NATO defends is free speech and the freedom of assembly,” Obama said.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 6:01 pm

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Romney and GOP challenge Obama and Dems for campaign funds

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

by Paul Stanley

Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—Recent fundraising totals for both major political parties and their presumed candidates show the money race is closer than most expected. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in combination with the Republican National Committee, raked in a total of $40.1 million in April. The
Democratic National Committee and President Obama pulled in a slightly larger amount of $43.6 million.

With a little more than 160 days until voters go to the polls for the presidential and congressional elections, both Republicans and Democrats are trying to gather money from all available sources. And even though Romney still trails Obama in total dollars raised, Democrats are starting to wonder if Romney and the GOP can quickly close the gap.

“We are pleased with the strong support we have received from Americans across the country who are looking for new leadership in the White House,” Spencer Zwick, chairman of Romney Victory, told The Hill. “Along with the hard work of the Republican National Committee, we will continue to raise the funds necessary to defeat President Obama in November.”

Romney, with his own personal connections to some of the party’s most wealthy donors, was expected to raise big bucks but still lag behind the tremendous fundraising advantage of an incumbent president.

At the end of March, Romney reported about $10 million in the bank compared to Obama’s $104 million statement balance.

Romney saw his fundraising total increase in April in large part because his other three rivals stepped aside, allowing him to jointly fundraise with the RNC and to accept checks as large as $75,000 per person. And because he had no opposition in the Democratic primary, President Obama has been able to take advantage of the same arrangement for the past several months.

However, when contributions from super PACs (whose contributions are unlimited) are added to committees that support Romney, reports show the Republicans outraised the Obama backers $402 million to $340 million this cycle. An analysis of recent fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday show that President Obama’s total take took a slight dip in April. Fundraising experts say this is due in large part to an unenthusiastic Democratic electorate.

What may be the most alarming is that the main super-PAC supporting President Obama saw support fall in April to $1.6 million from the $2.5 million it raked in during March, which was the largest fundraising month to date.

Democratic strategists and party officials have another to worry and that is whether President Obama’s announcement that he supports same-sex marriage will further dampen the spirits of some potential contributors.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 1:56 am

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WHO: Heart disease and cancer are potent threats worldwide

World Health Report

Newscast Media GENEVA— The most recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that cardiovascular disease and cancer are the leading causes of illnesses and death by noncommunicable diseases.

The report finds the leading causes of noncomminicable deaths arise from cardiovascular disease (48 percent), followed by cancers (21 percent ) and chronic respiratory diseases (12 percent). Diabetes is directly responsible for 3.5 percent of noncommunicable deaths.

Behavioral risk factors, including tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol, are estimated to be responsible for about 80 percent of coronary heart disease. It has been estimated that raised blood pressure causes 51 percent of stroke deaths and 45 percent of coronary heart disease deaths, the report shows.

More than two thirds of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with lung, breast, colorectal, stomach and liver cancers causing the majority of such deaths. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women due to a high prevalence of infection with human papillomavirus. In high-income countries, the leading causes of cancer deaths are lung cancer among men and breast cancer among women.

Worldwide, 2.8 million people die each year as a resultof being overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and can result in diabetes. Being overweight or obese thus increases the risks of coronary heart disease, ischaemic stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and a number of common cancers, according to page 38 of the WHO report.

Between 1980 and 2008, the worldwide prevalence of obesity The prevalence of overweight and obese individuals was highest in the WHO Region of the Americas (62 percent overweight in both sexes, and 26 percent obese) and lowest in the WHO South-East Asia Region (14 percent overweight in both sexes and 3 percent obese).

In the WHO European Region, WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region and WHO Region of the Americas, over 50 percent of women were overweight. In all three regions, approximately half of these overweight women were obese (23 percent, 24 percent and 29 percent respectively), the report shows. Click here to read or download the 2012 WHO report.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 19, 2012 at 4:40 am

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Possibility of Bahrain-Saudi union triggers demonstrations in Iran

Iranian protetest - Tehran Times

Newscast Media TEHRAN, Iran— According to the Tehran Times, Iranians aren’t thrilled with talks of a possible Bahrain-Saudi union. Iranian worshippers across the country held demonstrations after Friday prayers to protest the decision recently made by Persian Gulf Arab states to discuss a proposal for a closer political union that could begin with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

In the demonstration that was held outside the University of Tehran, the worshippers chanted slogans in condemnation of the proposal and the Bahraini government’s wrong policies and expressed their support for the Bahraini people.

Meanwhile Press-TV reports that the leader of this week’s Friday prayers in Tehran, Hojjatoleslam Kazem Sediqi, told worshippers that the Al Khalifa government and the House of Saud must be aware that the Iranian people and other Muslim people in regional countries will not remain silent about this “American plot”.

“Though some Arab countries describe it as union, the reality is that the Bahraini regime is surrendering its identity to another country with utter ignominy, instead of paying heed to the demand of its own nation,” Seddiqi said.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to initially create a closer union with Bahrain in line with plans to unify the six Arab member states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council. The [P]GCC members, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, met in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Monday to discuss closer “union” among the six countries.

In another related article, Press-TV reports that Bahrainians have taken to the streets and are marching under the slogan “Yes to Our Nation”, to express their opposition to the Saudi bid for a closer union with Bahrain, saying their country is not for sale.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

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Talks preferred but Israel ready to strike Iran says ambassador

Ambassador Shapiro

Newscast Media JERUSALEM— U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said his nation’s military has completed the necessary preparations to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that international sanctions and diplomacy fail, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

“It would be preferable to resolve this (the Iranian nuclear crisis) diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force, but that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. Not just available, but ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready,” Shapiro told a closed lawyers’ conference in Tel Aviv earlier this week.

“We do not know if sanctions and diplomacy will work, so all options are on the table, including the military option,” Shapiro said.

The ambassador underscored that President Barack Obama had previously clarified—in meetings with Israeli leaders and public pronouncements—that the United States will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“I think this is a statement that America can take to the bank, that Israel can take to the bank, and that Iran should take to the bank,” Shapiro said.

The remarks, some of the harshest to date by a senior American official on Iran’s long-disputed nuclear program, come as Tehran and the P5+1—the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany—are scheduled to meet in Baghdad next week for a second round of talks.

Israel, Western leaders and the UN nuclear watchdog believe that Iran, which has repeatedly threatened to destroy the Jewish state, is clandestinely trying to build a nuclear weapon under the ruse of medical research and power generation.

In recent statements and interviews, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have more than hinted that Israel is geared up for a military strike if the P5+1 talks, launched in Ankara last month, fail to convince Tehran to halt its nuclear fuel enrichment.

On Monday, Barak sharply criticized as being “too lax” Western requirements for Iranian cooperation and transparency over their nuclear program.

“The demands today (of Iran) ahead of the talks are so minimal, that even if Iran accepts all of them it will still be able to continue and make progress with its nuclear program,” Barak told Army Radio.

He called on Iran to “completely cease its (nuclear fuel) enrichment activities, including to levels of 3.5 percent” and reiterated that Israel was weighing a military strike if the talks did not prove successful.

Barak said Israeli intelligence agencies were aware of the capabilities of the Parchin military facility near Tehran, where the Iranians are operating an high-explosives containment chamber commonly used in testing nuclear weapons, according to a sketch leaked last week.

Shapiro, a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the National Security Council, previously declined comments on whether the U.S. military is rehearsing plans to bomb Iran’s fortified nuclear infrastructure.

“We don’t require too much training. We already have a massive military presence in the (Persian) Gulf, don’t we?” Shapiro said in an interview with the Israeli daily Ma’ariv in January.

“It is clear that for Israel (Iran’s nuclear drive) is an existential threat. It’s also a threat to other states in the region, to Persian Gulf states and to America and its forces in the region,” he said.

The ambassador, who reportedly was not aware that he was being taped at the closed-door meeting this week, said that the U.S. military had not only drawn plans to attack Iran, but had tested them. Shapiro, however, noted that the Obama administration believes that “there is a window—not an unlimited time—in which we can still use diplomacy to achieve our goal.”

“At some point we will have to decide if diplomacy has failed. What we want to do is give it any chance,” he said.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - May 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

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