Archive for September, 2013

Barack Obama and Netanyahu discuss Iran negotiations

Barack Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Israel’s prime minister has called on the US to maintain pressure on Iran, despite what he described as “sweet talk” from Tehran. This comes days after the first conversation between US and Iranian leaders in decades.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday to call on him to keep the current economic sanctions in place, despite what may be the start of a thaw in relations between Washington and Tehran.

“If diplomacy is to work, those pressures must be kept in place,” Netanyahu said as the two leaders met in front of the media in the Oval Office.

“In fact, if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened,” Netanyahu added, referring to the resumption of talks between Iran and the P5 +1 group, made up of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, scheduled for October 15 in Geneva.

Obama sought to reassure the Israeli prime minister that “we enter into these negotiations very clear-eyed.”

At the same time, though, Obama, whose relations with Netanyahu have at times been strained, asserted that the West needed to “test diplomacy,” in efforts to get Tehran to come clean on its nuclear program. Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu came just days after the US president spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani via telephone, the first conversation between leaders of the two countries in more than 30 years.

During that conversation, Rouhani reiterated Iran’s assertion that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. However, the US and its Western allies fear Iran may be using its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons. Next month’s negotiations are to be about finding ways for Tehran to provide sufficient proof about its peaceful intentions, for the US and others to drop the long-standing economic sanctions against Iran.

Obama said that while he was determined to pursue diplomacy on Iran, the upcoming negotiations would not be easy and “anything that we do will require the highest standards of verification in order for us to provide the sort of sanctions relief that I think they are looking for.”

Source: Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm

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Iran considers resuming direct flights to the United States


Newscast Media TEHRAN—Iranian President Hassan Rohani has ordered aviation
authorities to study the possibility of resuming direct flights between Iran and the
United States for the first time in more than three decades.

Iranian news agencies on September 30 quoted presidential adviser Akbar Torkan as
saying Rohani wanted to study the option of resuming flights in order to “alleviate
problems” for Iranian expatriates who want to visit.

Rohani has made some groundbreaking overtures to the West, including delivering a
conciliatory speech at the United Nations’ General Assembly last week and declaring
his readiness for new negotiations with the West over Iran’s nuclear program.

On September 27, U.S. President Barack Obama held a phone conversation with
Rohani, the first direct conversation between the two countries’ leaders since
Washington and Tehran broke diplomatic ties in 1979.

Source: Radio Free Europe


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Nigeria’s President Jonathan condemns college student killings

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday condemned the bloody terrorist attacks in northeast Yobe State that claimed more than 40 lives. Speaking in a televised media chat in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, President Jonathan extended sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the dastardly attack.

The Nigerian leader said the apparent objective of the criminal and unpatriotic elements and forces behind the attack is to set back the progress the administration has made in the fight against terrorism in the country.

“It is obvious that these people do not mean well for Nigeria and its unity and development,” he said.

Medical Director of the Damaturu Specialist Hospital Garba Fika confirmed that 40 students of the College of Agriculture at Gujba in Yobe State were killed by gunmen in the early hours of Sunday.

Garba said this when Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe visited the hospital to inspect the wounded and the corpses of students deposited at the mortuary. He said five students including three with fractures, one with bullet wound and another with abdominal injury were receiving treatment at the hospital.

Earlier, the governor appealed to the federal government and security chiefs to take urgent steps towards ending the frequent attacks and killings of innocent people in Borno and Yobe.

Gaidam made the appeal while inspecting the remains of 40 students of College of Agriculture deposited at the mortuary of Specialists’ Hospital, Damaturu.

The governor described as highly alarming, the number of lives being lost to insurgents in the two states, warning that anyone traveling on the Damaturu to Maiduguri highway, was taking a huge risk. He urged the newly established Seven Division of the Nigerian Army to intensify surveillance of all flash points in the two states, to flush out the insurgents.

Source: Xinhua


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 3:33 pm

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SEC charges Madoff’s accountant for falsifying records and books


The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the longtime accountant for many of Bernard Madoff’s oldest and wealthiest clients for his role in the creation of false books and records used in the massive Ponzi scheme.

The SEC alleges that Paul Konigsberg’s assistance resulted in the formation of
inaccurate trade confirmations each month as well as the development of phony data
and records documenting the fabricated trades that were, in turn, falsely reflected in
the ledgers and related books and records at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm

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Qatar World Cup project allegedly using modern slavery


Newscast Media DOHA—Dozens of Nepalese migrant laborers died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labor abuses, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks, Al-Alam reported.

The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of laborers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labor Organization, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

The investigation also reveals:

• Evidence of forced labor on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and
have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and
refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

• Some laborers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the
desert heat.

• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal
conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament.

The investigation also found men throughout the wider Qatari construction industry sleeping 12 to a room in places and getting sick through repulsive conditions in filthy hostels.

Some say they have been forced to work without pay and left begging for food. Almost all migrant workers have huge debts from Nepal, accrued in order to pay recruitment agents for their jobs. The obligation to repay these debts, combined with the non-payment of wages, confiscation of documents and inability of workers to leave their place of work, constitute forced labor, a form of modern-day slavery estimated to affect up to 21 million people across the globe.

So entrenched is this exploitation that the Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma, recently described the emirate as an “open jail”.

Source: FARS News Agency


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm

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US-Russia reach deal on UN resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons

Putin and Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed
Thursday that after weeks of negotiations a deal had been struck with the United
States on a resolution regarding Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.

“We reached an understanding with the United States on a draft resolution,” Lavrov
told reporters at the Security Council.

He gave no details on the contents of the draft agreement.

The US and Russia are expected to submit the resolution to the full 15-member
Security Council. A meeting in New York has been called for 8 p.m. local time.

The resolution has the potential to become the first to be passed by the Security
Council since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011.

Source: Radio Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 10:53 pm

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Bill Clinton praises Russia’s Vladmir Putin in interview

Former President Bill Clinton—Photo by Joseph Earnest

Newscast Media NEW YORK—Former President Bill Clinton offered some rare words of praise Wednesday from a US politician about Vladimir Putin, describing the Russian president as “very smart, brutally blunt” and true to his word.

“Mr. Putin … he’s very smart,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN talk show host Piers Morgan. “And, remarkably, we had a good, blunt relationship.” Asked to describe just how blunt that relationship was, Clinton replied: “Brutally blunt,” indicating he preferred this level of frankness in private conversations.

Putin took over as acting Russian president on January 1, 2000 following the surprise New Year’s Eve resignation of the late Russian leader Boris Yelstin, and was formally elected for his first term two months later. Clinton, who left office in January 2001, worked with him as head of state for a year.

Asked if Putin ever reneged on a promise, Clinton was categorical: “He did not.”

“He kept his word on all the deals we made,” Clinton said.

Broadcast of the interview came as some US officials publicly question whether the United States should trust Putin – both the man and his administration – enough to invest fully in a new Russia-US push to destroy chemical weapons in Syria and sponsor negotiations to end the two-year conflict there.

The joint effort staved off what appeared to be imminent US military action in Syria earlier this month, but many US politicians have voiced skepticism on whether it will bear fruit.

“We do have to believe it” will help, Clinton said of the latest Russian-US effort. “We just have to see what happens and make the most of what happens,” he said, adding that “it would be a terrible mistake” not to explore viable opportunities for resolving the Syrian crisis peacefully.

Source: Ria Novosti


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm

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Billy Graham asks Iran’s president to release Christian pastor

Rouhani and Billy Graham

by Alex Murashko

Newscast Media NEW YORK—Renowned evangelist Billy Graham is asking Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison, pointing out that such an action might be perceived by U.S. leaders as a significant step in reducing tensions.

“On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini’s imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God,” Graham writes in a letter addressed to Rouhani and published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. “I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions.”

Abedini has been in Evin Prison in Tehran since his arrest last year, and was later sentenced to eight years in jail, supposedly for endangering national security. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently launched the largest campaign in its history aimed at sending thousands of letters each week to Rouhani, petitioning for the U.S. pastor. The ACLJ, which represents his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children in the U.S., says that Iran has targeted the pastor for his Christian faith.

Despite a worldwide petition signed by close to 650,000 people, and top U.S. officials, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, calling on Iran to release the pastor, who has suffered beatings and been placed in solitary confinement, the Islamic republic has refused to listen to pleas for his release. In addition, the Tehran Court of Appeals declined to reduce Abedini’s 8-year sentence in August.

On Monday, Naghmeh Abedini was able to hand-deliver a letter to Rouhani’s delegation in their hotel lobby while in New York to attend the U.N General Assembly, according to news reports. In the note, she asked for her husband’s quick release, according to her attorneys.

Click here to read or download Billy Graham’s letter to Rouhani.

In Graham’s letter to Rouhani, he writes that as a religious leader he has have often spoken, both publicly and privately, with U.S. leadership about the need for greater understanding and peace among the nations of the world. “As you come to the United States this week for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, it is my sincere hope that ways may be found to reduce the current tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he states.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:39 pm

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2016 Presidential Straw Poll announced by Texas GOP

United States Senator John Cornyn (Texas) —Photo by Joseph Earnest

The State Republican Executive Committee, at its last quarterly meeting, approved
Chairman Steve Munisteri’s proposal to hold a 2016 Presidential Preference Straw Poll
concurrently with the 2014 Republican State Convention.

Last year the 2012 Texas GOP state convention was the largest state convention and
had the highest number of delegates and alternates of any Republican convention in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm

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First Lady hosts spouses of visiting heads of states in New York

joseph earnest

FLOTUS - Michelle Obama

Newscast Media NEW YORK—In hosting the spouses of chiefs of state and heads of government participating in the United Nations General Assembly, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged her guests to talk to each other about the work they are doing in their countries on behalf of children.

“We all have so much to offer one another, and so much to learn, and so much support we can gain from each other,” Obama told nearly 50 spouses at the September 24 event at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a neighborhood of New York City.

“Our young people will soon be leading the way,” she said. “They will soon be building the businesses, and making the scientific discoveries, and writing the laws that will move our world forward for decades to come.”

Obama said that in traveling around the world, she has met many girls “with so much promise, girls eager and desperate to learn, girls who just blossom when they get that one chance to go to school and to start scratching at the fulfillment of their potential.”

She added that “when both boys and girls have an equal opportunity to learn, we all know that’s not just good for our children, it’s also good for their families and it’s good for their countries as well.”

The First Lady talked about the history of Harlem and about its place in American history. She called the New York neighborhood “quintessentially American.” She described how Harlem, as home to many African-American writers, artists and musicians in the early 20th century who depicted black subjects, was “the cultural heart of the African-American community.”

She added that these artists’ influence was felt beyond America. Jazz musicians Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong played on stages in Europe. Aaron Douglas’ artwork was viewed around the world. And young people worldwide have been inspired by the words of poet Langston Hughes, including “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

At the museum, the spouses viewed an exhibition of works by American artist Robert Pruitt that “highlight the strength and dignity of women,” as the first lady described them.

The event also featured young performers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, music from LaGuardia Arts High School, and award-winning vocalist Audra McDonald. Each guest received a jar of White House honey butter made with fresh honey from the White House beehive; two jars of White House–produced honey; a custom pewter honey pot made by Salisbury Pewter, a Maryland company; lemon verbena grown in
the White House herb garden and used to create the aromatic tea sachets; and a cookbook, New American Table.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 10:28 pm

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UN General Assembly to be dominated by Syria and Iran talks

UN building

Newscast Media NEW YORK—President Obama defended his threat of force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime at the annual UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, saying Damascus must face consequences after the use of chemical weapons.

“There must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so,” Obama said to the world leaders.

His remarks come as the US and Russia negotiate a UN Security Council resolution in connection with an agreement by Damascus to give up its chemical weapons.

The US-Russia brokered deal was struck following a push by Obama for a military strike on Syria.

Obama denounced critics who questioned whether Assad carried out the August 21 chemical attack outside Damascus, which the US says killed more than 1,400 people.

“It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack,” he said.

“Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country,” he said of Assad. Obama cautioned, however, that military action would not achieve lasting peace and that any nation, including the US, should not determine who will lead Syria.

Obama also used his time in front of the Assembly to welcome the new Iranian government’s pursuit of what he called a “more moderate course,” in relation to stalled negotiations over its nuclear program.

“The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama said.

On Monday, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, announced that Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, would join talks with six key nations due to “energy and determination” shown by Tehran for fresh talks.

The foreign ministers of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are set to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Despite the focus on Syria and Iran, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her opening speech at the General Assembly to criticize Obama and the US National Security Agency (NSA) over reports it had spied on Brazilian government communications.

She announced Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect it from illegal interception of communications.

Last week, Rousseff called off a high-profile state visit to Washington scheduled for October over the reports.

“Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff said to the gathering of world leaders.

Source: Radio Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 9:20 pm

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Nelson Mandela honored with Humanitarian Achievement Award

Nelson Mandela

Newscast Media SOWETO—Nelson Mandela was given a Humanitarian Achievement
Award at this year’s South-South Awards ceremony here on Sunday night.

The former South African president, a global icon for peace and freedom, was
awarded for his outstanding leadership for human rights and development. His wife,
Graca Machel, received a Humanitarian Achievement Recognition for her tireless
advocacy for education, children’s welfare and culture.

Mandela and Machel have both contributed greatly to development and human rights
across Africa and the whole world. Their most recent initiative, Legacy of Hope, was
formed to fund the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa
and will bring free healthcare to children in South Africa.

The 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero was admitted to hospital on June 8 for a
recurring lung infection. On Sept. 1, Mandela was discharged from hospital.
At the Sunday ceremony, Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the president of Costa Rica,
Khalifa bin Saliman Al-Khalifa, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Josaia
Voreqe Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, were given this year’s Global
Governance Leadership award.

The Global Governance Leadership Awards are presented to individuals who have
made distinctive contributions to sustainable development, the youth, e-governance,
and information and communications technology.

The theme of this year’s award ceremony is “Innovation and Technology for
Sustainable Development.”

“South-South cooperation offers real, concrete solutions to common development
challenges,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message to the ceremony.
“Sharing best practices, funding pilot projects in far-flung locales, providing the
capital to scale-up successful projects, supplying regional public goods, developing
and adapting appropriate technologies, these are the opportunities that the
international community needs to better leverage.”

Source: Xinhua


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Kenya Islamist terrorist mall attack–68 dead, 175 hospitalized

by Joseph Earnest September 23, 2013

Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya—Kenyan officials are in the final phase of rounding
up Islamists who launched an attack upon Christians at Westgate Mall, an upscale
shopping center in Nairobi.

“We can confirm that 3 terrorists have been killed so far, a few others have suffered
injuries,” the interior ministry wrote on Twitter.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech on Sunday, that the attackers will
“not get away with their despicable and beastly acts.”

“We will punish the masterminds swiftly, and indeed very painfully,” His Excellency
said also revealing that a family member, a nephew and his nephew’s fiancee, were
among the dead.

The government has confirmed that the entire mall is now under government control,
and all the 10 terrorists have been apprehended. The mall will be searched hereafter
for explosives.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 12:06 am

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iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor hacked by German hacker

Hacking the iPhone 5S biometrics in real time

Newscast Media BERLIN, Germany—A German hacker who calls himself “Starbug” has
successfully hacked Apple’s latest iPhone 5S fingerprint security feature.

The hacker will now collect several thousand dollars for breaking into the Touch ID
finger sensor, by using a fake fingerprint that was photoshopped from the Internet.

Below is the video posted by the Chaos Computer Club of the iPhone being hacked:

The congratulatory message read, “Yes! Big congratulations to Starbug (of the
Chaos Computer Club), the first to demonstrate the hack! Starbug is giving the
challenge pledge funds to Raumfahrtagentur, a spinoff from CCC-Berlin…”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm

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Russia wants assurance US will not store iPhone 5S fingerprints


Newscast Media ST. PETERSBURG—A St. Petersburg city lawmaker known for his conservative views cautioned Russian officials Monday against using Apple’s new iPhone until there is proof that the advanced technology is safe from US spying.

Vitaly Milonov, who helped mastermind Russia’s controversial legislation against the promotion of homosexuality to minors, said he planned to ask Russia’s Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) to find out whether there is a guarantee that “the [iPhone] 5S fingerprints will not appear in the US special services database.” (FAPSI, once responsible for communications security and signals intelligence, was disbanded 10 years ago and its functions were reassigned to other agencies; it was not immediately clear whether Milonov in fact intends to appeal to one of its successors.)

“If it turns out that there is no guarantee against the theft of fingerprints, then the use of the 5S could be restricted for state officials at work,” Milonov wrote on Twitter.

Apple’s new iPhone allows users to register their fingerprints on their device as a security measure to enable them to unlock it. The US tech giant said earlier this month that “information about the fingerprint is stored on the device and not uploaded to company networks – meaning it wouldn’t be in data batches that may be sent to or collected by US intelligence agencies under court orders,” according to Bloomberg.

A group of German hackers claimed to have found a way to dupe the iPhone fingerprint scanner on Sunday, just two days after the new technology was unveiled. The hackers said that fake fingerprints can be made with “materials that can be found in almost every household.”

Source: Ria Novosti


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 10:19 pm

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Russian govt agency threatens to ban Facebook over illegal ads


Newscast Media MOSCOW—The Russian federal communications and media watchdog,
Roskomnadzor, has threatened to ban Facebook over claims the social network
advertised smoking blends designed to cause effects similar to those of illegal drugs.

Roskomnadzor spokesman Vladimir Pykov on Thursday said the social network has
been provisionally put on a list of banned Internet sites and asked it to remove the
controversial content within three days.

Pykov said several users had complained that Facebook ads were advertising illegal
products, leading to online stores selling the products.

Facebook blamed the appearance of the advertisements on a technical glitch.

Later on September 19, Facebook said the controversial ads had been removed.

Under a 2012 law, websites that publish materials propagating the use of narcotics,
child pornography, or suicide are banned in Russia.

The offending website can be blocked if it does not eliminate the problem within three

Source: Radio Free Europe


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm

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JPMorgan Chase agrees to pay SEC $200 million settlement

JPMorgan Chase

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged JPMorgan Chase & Co. with misstating financial results and lacking effective internal controls to detect and prevent its traders from fraudulently overvaluing investments to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars in trading losses.

The SEC previously charged two former JPMorgan traders with committing fraud to hide the massive losses in one of the trading portfolios in the firm’s chief investment office (CIO). The SEC’s subsequent action against JPMorgan faults its internal controls for failing to ensure that the traders were properly valuing the portfolio, and its senior management for failing to inform the firm’s audit committee about the severe breakdowns in CIO’s internal controls.

JPMorgan has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $200 million penalty, admitting the facts underlying the SEC’s charges, and publicly acknowledging that it violated the federal securities laws.

Click here to read or download the SEC order or settlement.

“JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses,” said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “While grappling with how to fix its internal control breakdowns, JPMorgan’s senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate governance and deprived its board of critical information it needed to fully assess the
company’s problems and determine whether accurate and reliable information was being disclosed to investors and regulators.”

As part of a coordinated global settlement, three other agencies also announced settlements with JPMorgan today: the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. JPMorgan will pay a total of approximately $920 million in penalties in these actions by the SEC and the other agencies.

According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against JPMorgan, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 established important requirements for public companies and their management regarding corporate governance and disclosure. Public companies such as JPMorgan are required to create and maintain internal controls that provide investors with reasonable assurances that their financial statements are reliable, and ensure that senior management shares important information with key internal decision makers such as the board of directors.

JPMorgan failed to adhere to these requirements, and consequently misstated its financial results in public filings for the first quarter of 2012.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Michael Osnato, Steven Rawlings, Peter Altenbach, Joshua Brodsky, Joseph Boryshansky, Daniel Michael, Kapil Agrawal, Eli Bass, Sharon Bryant, Daniel Nigro, and Christopher Mele.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 12:10 am

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Death toll from floods in Mexico rises to over 90 victims

Mexico floods

Newscast Media MEXICO CITY—The death toll from rain, landslides, and floods in
Mexico has risen to 97 as a new hurricane hits northwest of the country, officials

“For the moment, there are 97 deaths from these two weather phenomena,” Luis
Felipe Puente, the national civil protection coordinator, said on Thursday, referring to
Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel which hit the country’s east and west
coasts earlier this week.

The official said that 65 of the deaths have been registered in the southwestern
state of Guerrero which has been hit worst.

State civil protection official Constantino Gonzales Vargas also said that over 2,000
people have been evacuated, power to 21,000 homes has been cut off and bridges
and roads have been severely damaged in Guerrero.

This is while a fresh wave of hurricane Manuel, the same weather system that roared
through the country earlier this week, battered the state of Sinaloa and caused the
evacuation of a small fishing town.

There have been no reports of the fresh storm in Sinaloa.

Source: Press TV

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm

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McCain writes op-ed on Pravda in response to Putin’s article

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—US Senator John McCain, well-known for his vociferous criticism of the Russian leadership, has slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime for corruption, repression and bigotry in an op-ed published on a Russian news website,, in response to Putin’s piece in a US newspaper last week.

In an article titled “Russians deserve better than Putin,” McCain, who says he is not anti-Russian but “more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today,” criticizes Putin and his associates for disrespecting human dignity, punishing dissent, rigging elections, controlling media and perpetuating their power by fostering rampant corruption.

He condemns Putin for the death of whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky and for destroying Russia’s economy and global reputation by allying it with “some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies,” and supporting a Syrian regime “that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities.”

President Putin rules “by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you,” McCain wrote in his piece submitted to following an invitation prompted by his interview with CNN last Thursday in which the senior Republican senator slammed Putin’s op-ed in The New York Times criticizing Washington’s push for military action in Syria.

McCain, who had earlier called Putin’s piece “an insult to the intelligence of every American,” joked “I would love to have a commentary in Pravda.” The original Pravda was the official newspaper of the Soviet Union, but closed down after the breakup of that state. Both and a new print publication called Pravda claim to be the legitimate heirs to the original publication.

“We have to remember who Putin is. He’s a KGB colonel apparatchik, who has never abandoned the Russian ambitions for an empire and influence in the world,” McCain said on Jake Tapper’s show on CNN, “The Lead.”

Putin has not yet read McCain’s piece, which was published in both Russian and English, but he definitely will, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding, however, that he is unlikely to respond.

“McCain is well-known for not being a fan of Putin,” Peskov said in an interview with Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio. “Entering into polemics is unlikely: It’s the opinion of a person who lives across the ocean.”

“As for what the Russians deserve, they are able to answer that question themselves, and they do just that when they go to the polls. I don’t think the opinion of anyone across the ocean will play a role in the Russian people expressing their political preferences,” Peskov said.

Source: Ria Novosti


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 8:44 pm

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Iran’s president pledges not to develop nuclear technology

Iran nuclear

Newscast Media TEHRAN—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a major U.S. network
on Wednesday that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he
has full authority to make a deal with Western powers on his country’s atomic

Rouhani made the announcement in an interview with NBC News, the outlet reported.
It said Rouhani also talked about his initial interactions with U.S. President Barack
Obama, who sent him a letter of congratulations after his election and raised “some

“From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive,”
Rouhani said. “It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future. I believe
the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not
be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in
the future.”

In an interview with ABC News broadcast on Sunday, Obama said he exchanged
letters with Rouhani, and the Iranians understand the nuclear issue is “a far larger
issue for us than the chemical weapons issue.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the letter—in which Obama
said the U.S. is open to a resolution that allows Iran to prove its nuclear program is
peaceful—conveyed the need to act quickly because the window for a diplomatic deal
” will not remain open indefinitely.”

Source: Xinhua


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm

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