Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a San Diego-based investment advisory firm and its president for allegedly steering winning trades to favored clients and lying about how certain money was being spent. The SEC has also been aggressively pursuing lawyers who defraud and short-change their clients, by lying about the actual settlement amounts that were disbursed, while keeping the bulk of the money.
The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Ian O. Mausner and J.S. Oliver misused soft dollars, which are credits or rebates from a brokerage firm on commissions paid by clients for trades executed in the investment adviser’s client accounts.
Mausner and J.S. Oliver misappropriated more than $1.1 million in soft dollars for undisclosed purposes that in no way benefited clients, such as a payment to Mausner’s ex-wife related to their divorce.
“Mausner’s fraudulent schemes were a one-two punch that betrayed his clients and cost them millions of dollars,” said Marshall S. Sprung, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “Investment advisers must allocate trades and use soft dollars consistent with their fiduciary duty to put client interests first.”
The SEC also charged Douglas F. Drennan, a portfolio manager at J.S. Oliver, for his role in the soft dollar scheme.
According to the SEC, Drennan participated in the soft dollar scheme by submitting false information to support the misuse of money belonging to his clients, and approving some of the soft dollar payments to his own company.
The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Ronnie Lasky and C. Dabney O’Riordan of the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit in the Los Angeles Regional Office. The SEC’s litigation will be led by David Van Havermaat, John Bulgozdy, and Ms. Lasky. The examination of J.S. Oliver was conducted by Ashish Ward, Eric Lee, and Pristine Chan of the Los Angeles office’s investment
adviser/investment company examination program.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Despite Britain’s rejection of David Cameron’s
proposal to attack Syria, France is ready to follow the US and strike Syria, President
François Hollande told Le Monde newspaper on Friday. Although strikes should not
take place before UN inspectors have finished their investigation in Damascus, they
could be launched before a special meeting of the French parliament on Wednesday,
France wants a firm, proportionate action against the Damascus regime,” Hollande
told Le Monde, insisting that Paris can take such action without British support.
“Every country is sovereign when it comes to taking part in an operation or not,” the
president said. “That goes as much for France as for the United Kingdom.”
Hollande is to have an “in-depth” phone discussion with US President Barack Obama,
he told the paper, pointing out that, even if he is counting on support from other
European powers and the Arab League, France is one of the few countries with the
“capacity to inflict punishment with the appropriate means”.
Germany will not take part in a military strike on Syria, Foreign Minister Guido
Westerwelle told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung on Friday.
Source: Radio France Internationale
Newscast Media COPENHAGEN—Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Friday his country rejects any partial reports by the UN Secretariat before the completion of the mission of the UN chemical weapons investigation team, state-run SANA news agency reported.
The minister said so during a phone call with UN chief Ban Ki- moon on Friday, a day after the UN said the chemical investigators, currently operative on ground, would leave Syria on Saturday. Syria rejects any partial reports before the completion of the mission and the completion of the laboratorial tests of the samples assembled by the team, al-Moallem said.
According to SANA, the foreign minister asked Ban about the reasons behind the abruptness of the UN team’s mission, urging him to stick to even handedness. He also stressed that any aggression against Syria would “blow up all of the exerted efforts to politically solve the Syrian crisis.”
He further requested that the UN team should also investigate the sites where the government accused the rebels of using nerve agents against troops and civilians. The UN team did not investigate all reported instances of chemical weapons’ use, but its officials promised to return to Syria after submitting the result of their primary investigation.
The investigation team, led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, has been carrying out its work without incidents after a pause last Tuesday, when its convoy was attacked by snipers while heading to Damascus’ eastern suburb of Ghouta, where chemical weapons were allegedly used on Aug. 21.
The alleged incident opened the appetite of Washington to militarily intervene in Syria to “punish” President Bashar al- Assad even before the submission of the investigation’s results.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—As US President Barack Obama prepares to start yet
another war in Syria, House Republicans are asking him to justify such military action
against Syria’s Assad. Obama has not yet made a case against Assad, even though
he and his Administration have accused Assad of using chemical weapons, before the
UN inspection has been finalized.
Boehner asks Obama for answers in his letter as the administration continues to
sound the war drums.
“What results are the Administration seeking from its response?” Boehner asks.
“What is the intended effect of potential military strikes?
“Does the Administration have contingency plans to respond should Assad retaliate
against U.S. interests or allies in the region?
“Does the Administration have contingency plans should the strikes implicate foreign
power interests such as Russia and Iran?”
Republicans have threatened to impeach Obama, in particular, Rep. Walter Jones
(R-N.C.) who last year introduced a resolution saying the use of military force without
authorization from Congress was an impeachable offense.
“If one of our troops goes to Syria and is killed, I will introduce articles of
impeachment against the president,” Jones said.
“No president, Democrat or Republican, should have the authority to bypass the
Constitution and the will of the American people and bomb a foreign country because
he does not like the leader of the country,” he said.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia is sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile
cruiser to the eastern Mediterranean over the next few days because of the
“well-known situation”, Interfax news agency quoted a source in the armed forces’
general staff on Thursday.
“The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain
corrections to the make-up of the naval forces,” a source in the Russian General Staff
told Interfax. A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them (the
existing naval forces) over the next few days.
“Later it will be joined by the Moskva, a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet which is
now wrapping up its tasks in the northern Atlantic and will soon begin a Transatlantic
voyage towards the Strait of Gibraltar.”
In addition, a rocket cruiser of the Pacific Fleet, the Varyag, will join the Russian
naval forces in the Mediterranean this autumn by replacing a large anti-submarine
The navy later denied the deployment was linked to events in Syria and said it was
part of a long-planned rotation of its ships in the Mediterranean. It did not say what
kind of vessels, or how many, were on their way to the region.
The initial Interfax report had made clear that the aim was to beef up the navy’s
presence and not to replace the ships in the Mediterranean.
Source: Al Manar
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent
International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said testimonies from the victims strongly
suggest it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas in
the eastern Gouta.
The UN official told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions,” that the
rebels had used the nerve agent.
She added that her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces
using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she stressed more investigation
Damascus has repeatedly denied growing Western accusations that its forces used
such weapons, which President Obama has described as crossing a red line.
“Our investigators have been in neighboring villages interviewing victims, doctors and
field hospitals. According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are
concrete suspicions of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,”
Ms. Del Ponte, a former Swiss prosecutor and attorney general, told Swiss TV.
The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established in
August 2011 to examine alleged violations of human rights in the Syrian crisis which
started in March that year.
Source: Al Manar TV News
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—It was 50 years ago on Aug. 28, 1968, that civil
rights leader Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, that drew a
crowd of over 300,000 to the Washington D.C., in an effort to address the inequality
and discrimination faced by Blacks in this country.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s official daily has criticized Western powers for escalating their war rhetoric against Syria despite an ongoing UN investigation into a recent alleged chemical attack near Damascus.
“The tones are becoming ever more drastic and the action being taken by the United Nations appears subjected to a sort of crossfire,” the Osservatore Romano newspaper wrote on Tuesday. The daily said that “various international actors appear no longer to consider the investigation a determining factor,” adding that “what commitment there was” to a negotiated settlement “appears to be dying out.”
On Thursday, the Vatican’s permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva called for caution over opposition allegations that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack.
“There should not be a judgment until there is sufficient proof,” Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said.
“What immediate interest would the government in Damascus have in causing such a tragedy?” he asked, adding that the real question is “who really benefits from this inhumane crime.”
Pointing to the havoc caused by the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tomasi said that “armed intervention does not bring any constructive results.”
The call for military action against Syria intensified after the foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching the alleged chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on August 21.
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem challenged the United States and its allies to present evidence that the government had used chemical weapons.
“We are hearing war drums around us. If they want to launch an attack against Syria, I think using the excuse of chemical weapons is not true at all. I challenge them to show what proof they have,” Muallem said.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media TEHRAN—Iran is convinced that an attack on Syria is justification for an immediate attack on Israel. A military source that spoke on condition of anonymity told FARS News Agency, “If Damascus comes under attack, Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a license for attacking Israel, the source said. “We are rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” the anonymous source added.
FARS also reported, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) underlined that Islamic resistance movements and Damascus are fully ready to confront and respond to any potential US attack on the Muslim country, reiterating preparedness for the worst and most dangerous scenarios.
“The Islamic resistance and Syria have prepared themselves for the most dangerous options,” PFLP-GC’s Information Dissemination Director Anwar Raja told FNA’s correspondent in Damascus on Tuesday.
He pointed to the preparedness of the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements to confront possible threats and aggressions in the region, and said, “If needed these two Islamic resistance movements are fully ready to carry out the necessary missions.”
Russia doesn’t have to act immediately, all Moscow needs to do is funnel weapons to Iran, which will then funnel them into Syria, and the battle is on.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—As various news source report that Barack Obama
could start bombing Syria as early as Thursday, Russia has warned against military
action and said the West is acting like a monkey with a grenade. Moscow has
continuously condemned any strick on Syria, and strongly criticized the United States
and its allies’ aggressive behavior against Assad’s regime. “The Western Countries are
acting like a monkey with a hand-grenade in response to the Islamic world,” wrote
Dimitry Rogozin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister on his twitter account.
Robert Ford, senior US official leading negotiations, the Syrian opposition was told
that military strikes are imminent.
“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical
weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that
they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva,” a source told Reuters.
According the Guardian, Russia warned that Western military intervention in Syria
would have “catastrophic consequences” for the Middle East as divisions widen
between Moscow and Washington.
“Attempts to bypass the security council, once again to create artificial groundless
excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria
and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North
Africa,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.
“We are calling on our American partners and all members of the world community to
demonstrate prudence (and) strict observance of international law, especially the
fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” said Alexander Lukashevich, a ministry
According to news sources, Obama could start bombing Syria as early as Thursday,
and the bombing would last for three days. Russia is evacuating its citizens from
Syria in preparation for the impending war.
Al-Qaeda rebels in Syria have been unable to defeat the Syrian regime, and for
months have been requesting military reinforcements.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today sanctioned a former portfolio manager at a Boulder, Colo.-based investment adviser for forging documents and misleading the firm’s chief compliance officer to conceal his failure to report personal trades.
An SEC investigation found that Carl Johns of Louisville, Colo., failed to pre-clear or report several hundred securities trades in his personal accounts as required under the federal securities laws and the code of ethics at Boulder Investment Advisers (BIA). Johns concealed the trades in quarterly and annual trading reports that he submitted to BIA by altering brokerage statements and other documents that he attached to those reports. Johns later tried to conceal his misconduct by creating false documents that purported to be pre-trade approvals, and misled the firm’s chief compliance officer in her investigation into his improper trading.
To settle the SEC’s charges – which are the agency’s first under Rule 38a-1(c) of the Investment Company Act for misleading and obstructing a chief compliance officer (CCO) – Johns agreed to pay more than $350,000 and be barred from the securities industry for at least five years.
“Securities industry professionals have an obligation to adhere to compliance policies, and they certainly must not interfere with the chief compliance officers who enforce those policies,” said Julie Lutz, Acting Co-Director of the SEC’s Denver Regional Office. “Johns set out to cover up his compliance failures by creating false documents and misleading his firm’s CCO.”
In settling the SEC’s charges, Johns has agreed to pay disgorgement of $231,169, prejudgment interest of $23,889, and a penalty of $100,000. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Johns consented to a five-year bar and a cease-and-desist order.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Michael Cates and Ian Karpel of the Denver Regional Office following an examination conducted by Craig Ellis, Bruce Ketter, and Thomas Piccone of the Denver office’s investment adviser/investment company examination program.
Newscast Media LONDON—Britain’s armed forces are drawing up contingency plans for
military action in Syria, but no decision had been made about what action may be
taken, Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said Tuesday.
Cameron will decide later on Tuesday whether to recall parliament from its summer
recess to debate a possible military intervention in the wake of a chemical weapons
attack that Washington, London and Paris believe was carried out by the Syrian
government, Downing Street said.
“We are continuing to discuss with our international partners what the right response
should be, but, as part of this, we are making contingency plans for the armed
forces,” Cameron’s spokesman said.
The prime minister will continue talks with other world leaders to agree a
“proportionate response” to the gas attack near Damascus last Wednesday. “This is
about deterring the use of chemical weapons,” the British spokesman said.
Cameron has cut short his summer holiday in order to deal with the Syria crisis and is
due to chair a meeting of Britain’s National Security Council in London on Wednesday.
His spokesman refused to confirm whether lawmakers would be offered a vote on a
possible military strike. “We will make an announcement later today about whether or
not there will be an early recall to discuss these issues,” the spokesman said.
Source: Al Manar
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—US President Barack Obama is on the brink of making
a decision that could affect mankind and this civilization. Make no mistake, a
declaration of war against Syria, is a proclamation of World War III. There are so
many actors whose interests in Syria are at stake, and will not idly sit on their hands
while their ally is attacked based on falsified news reports of an alleged chemical
attack by the Syrian government on its own people. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Russian officials conducted a secret inspection this week of a US missile defense base in California under the auspices of the New START arms treaty, a conservative US website reported.
The officials on Friday were set to wrap up a week-long visit to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California for the inspection of five missile defense interceptors as part of the treaty signed between the two countries in 2010, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Thursday citing officials in US President Barack Obama’s administration.
The US State Department and the White House National Security Council did not immediately provide comment when contacted Friday morning by Russian news agency RIA Novosti, and a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington said he was traveling in Moscow and unable to comment on the report.
But the Free Beacon cited officials from the State Department and the US Defense Department as confirming the visit.
The defense official said the inspection was part of a treaty verification visit hosted by the US Defense Threat Reduction agency, while the State Department official said it was related to New START but declined to give further details, the Free Beacon reported.
“Implementation activities under New START are confidential,” the website cited the official as saying.
The reported inspection is a one-time visit allowed under the New START deal, the Free Beacon reported, a treaty signed by the US and Russian presidents in Prague in April 2010. It entered into force in February 2011. The deal requires both nations to cut their arsenals to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads by 2018.
In the negotiations leading to New START, Russia demanded that the five ground-based interceptor (GBI) silos at the California base be included in the deal to allow Russian officials to monitor the United States’ conversion of long-range launch tubes into missile defense shooters, the Free Beacon reported.
Washington initially resisted the provision but ultimately allowed the one-time visit because the silos had been converted from offensive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos, the website cited former US Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer Thomas Moore as saying.
“The United States is required to conduct a one-time exhibition not later than three years after the treaty entered into force at Vandenberg to show Moscow how it distinguishes GBI silos from ICBM silos,” Moore said, the Free Beacon reported. Under the New START treaty, both sides are prohibited from converting ICBM launchers to missile defense interceptors, though this provision does not extend to ICBM launchers converted prior to the signing of the deal.
The missile defense issue has been a sticking point in US-Russia ties in recent years. Moscow remains staunchly opposed to US plans to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Europe, saying it undermines Russia’s security. Washington, meanwhile, insists that its missile defense systems are aimed at protecting the United States and its allies from potential attacks from Iran and North Korea.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in March that the United States would add additional ballistic-missile interceptors on the West Coast in response to “irresponsible and reckless provocations” from North Korea.
“We will strengthen homeland missile defense by deploying 14 additional Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) at Fort Greely, Alaska,” Hagel said. “That will increase the number of deployed Ground Based Interceptors from 30 to 44, including the four GBIs at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.”
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media ROME—Following a wish expressed by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, together with FIAMC (World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations) are organizing a preparatory workshop on 2-3 November 2013 in the Casina Pio IV (or Villa Pia) in Vatican City, to examine human trafficking and modern slavery, in order to establish the real status quo and an agenda to combat this heinous crime.
For example, natural sciences today can provide new tools that can be used against this new form of slavery, such as a digital registry to compare the DNA of unidentified missing children (including cases of illegal adoption) with that of their family members who have reported their disappearance.
“No one can deny that the trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights and is an accelerator of criminal wealth creation in this new century,” the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo said.
“The Second Vatican Council already stated that slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, and disgraceful working conditions where people are treated as instruments of gain, constitute a supreme dishonor to the Creator,” he added.
The Vatican also said that each year, it is estimated that about 2 million people are victims of sexual trafficking, 60% of which are girls. Human organ trafficking reaches almost 1% of that figure, thus affecting around 20,000 people who are forced or deceived into giving up an organ (liver, kidney, pancreas, cornea, lung, even the heart), not without the complicity of doctors, nurses and other medical staff, who have pledged to follow Hippocrates’ oath Primum non nocere instead. But these chilling figures “represent only the tip of the iceberg, as criminals generally go to great lengths to prevent the detection of their activities”.
Some observers speculate that, within ten years, human trafficking will surpass drugs and weapons trafficking to become the most profitable criminal activity in the world.
The Department of Justice has filed a new lawsuit against the State of Texas, the Texas Secretary of State, and the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety over the State’s strict voter photo identification law (SB 14).
The United States’ complaint seeks a declaration that SB 14 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Newscast Media FORT MEADE—Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of leaking
classified material to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks, has said he wants to be a
woman and wants to be called Chelsea.
Manning announced the decision in a statement read on NBC’s “Today” show.
The statement read, “I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I
am a female.”
The statement was made public one day after a military court sentenced Manning to
35 years in prison for sending classified documents to WikiLeaks that were then made
Manning’s attorneys had presented evidence of the soldier’s gender-identity struggle
as part of his defense during the military trial.
Manning’s lawyer David Coombs said Manning has requested hormone therapy at the
military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Prosecutors were originally demanding 60 years of hard time for Manning, but his
attorneys said he should not serve more than 25 years.
One wonders if Manning becomes a woman, will he be held in an all-male prison, or
would he be transferred to an all-female facility? What would be the pros and cons
of being held in either facility?
Of course that would probably depend on whether or not Manning plans to retain his
Source: Radio Liberty
Newscast Media RIO DE JANEIRO—The first batch of tickets for the 2014 World Cup in
Brazil have gone on sale, 295 days before the tournament kicks off. FIFA officials are
hoping for demand comparable to the 2006 tournament in Germany.
Fans can now apply for their tickets to the World Cup on the website of world
football’s governing body FIFA. The first phase of ticket sales for the 2014 World Cup
began at 10.00 GMT Tuesday; but fans did not need to race to the website. All
requests submitted before October 10 will be entered into a random selection draw in
the likely event of demand exceeding supply.
CONTINUE FOR FULL STORY AND 2014 SCHEDULE>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While the media has been quick to find pictures of dead Syrians and post them on the Web alleging a chemical attack by Assad on his own people, Moscow is taking a different approach and sees things differently.
Moscow does not rule out that reports alleging the use of chemical weapons in Syria, claims released as a UN investigative team began working in the country, are a “planned provocation” by media outlets to sway public opinion against the ruling regime, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.
“Moscow considers it important to conduct an objective and professional investigation,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. He said later in the day that a homemade rocket “with an unidentified chemical agent” was launched Wednesday in a Damascus suburb from the Syrian rebels’ positions, similar to the one launched Monday in Khan al-Assal.
A UN team of chemical weapons investigators, headed by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, started working in Damascus on Monday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that the team would investigate a reported March 19 chemical attack in Khan al-Assal as well as alleged attacks in two other locations being kept secret for security reasons.
The Syrian opposition has accused the government of killing scores of people in a massive nerve gas attack in Damascus, with death toll estimates varying from a hundred to more than a thousand people.
Russia’s UN mission said Wednesday that the UN Security Council would hold an emergency meeting over the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. Both sides in the ongoing Syrian civil war have traded allegations of chemical weapons use. The UN investigative team had been unable to travel to Syria because of diplomatic wrangling over the scope of the access they would have.
Meanwhile, Syria Arab News Agency (SANA) has refuted the claims and said the reports circulated by the TV channels of al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, Sky News and other channels which are involved in the shedding of Syrian blood and supporting terrorism, are completely baseless, and that the aim behind broadcasting such reports is to distract the UN chemical weapons investigation committee from its mission.
In a telephone call with the Syrian TV, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said a media and political campaign of lies began today, led by some Arab and foreign channels, accompanied by statements from officials in countries known for their hostile stances towards Syria.
Source: SANA/Ria Novosti
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Senator Ted Cruz who on Monday said he recently
discovered there is a likelihood he could be Canadian, and offered to renounce his
citizenship, would still have to wait an additional eight months for a security clearance
before he bifurcates ties with Canada.
“Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe
I should be only an American,” Cruz, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Houston, said in a
statement, Reuters reported.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada official Remi Lariviere is reported to have said
reasons for renunciation could include running in a foreign election or serving in a
“Currently, under the Citizenship Act, children born in Canada are automatically
Canadian citizens, unless they are born to foreign diplomats,” Lariviere said. “In some
situations, an individual may decide to renounce their Canadian citizenship.”