Terry Duffy, chief executive of CME Group, the futures exchange operator that supervised MF Global’s handling of customer money, said a CME auditor heard an MF Global employee say during a conference call involving senior MF Global employees that “Mr Corzine was aware of the loans being made from segregated accounts”.
A spokesman for Mr Corzine declined to comment. The former MF Global boss and previous New Jersey senator reiterated to the same Senate hearing that he did not intend to authorise the improper use of customer funds to plug a hole in MF Global’s liquidity in the days leading up to the bankruptcy.
A diet rich in fruits and veggies can help protect against many cancers. People who eat at least four servings of fruits have a 50 percent lower risk of cancer than those who consume no more than two such servings each day. The following 7 fruits are particularly effective.
Contains Lutein (a carotenoid along with Vitamin E), Magnesium, and monounsaturated (healthy) fats. Avocado helps fight cancer of the mouth, breast, and prostate, and improves skin tone. It also improves absorption of nutrients in other foods.
Vladimir Putin will portray himself in a marathon television phone-in as a man in touch with his country despite nationwide weekend protests and, according to a close aide, he will not skirt difficult questions.
“Taking into account the busy agenda, the past election and future election, this phone-in will be special,” Putin spokesman and deputy chief of staff Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Tens of thousands demonstrated in dozens of cities across Russia over December 4 parliamentary elections, calling for new polls and chanting slogans such as “Down with Putin” and “Russia without Putin.” The election saw the majority of Putin’s United Russia party slashed, but opponents charge that even that vote was inflated by widespread electoral fraud.
The protests were the biggest since Putin first came to power in late 1999. Though he looks likely to win a March presidential election, criticism on the streets and the Internet has for the first time raised questions about the depth of his popularity.
On the June 18, 2007, a nonprofit organization called the Hebron Fund held a fundraiser on a cruise ship in the Hudson River to support Israel settlers’ occupation of a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron. Some 250 people paid a minimum of $65 each for the “Cruise ‘n’ Schmooze.” The proceeds went to support the settler who had taken the property from the Rajabi family, who denied the settlers’ claims that they had legally purchased the home.
A year and half later, Israeli police using stun grenades carried out a government order to evacuate a group of some 100 settlers hunkered down in the four-story hilltop. The house had become the center of a crisis when the Israeli government ruled that the building had been illegally seized from the Rajabi family, and ordered the settlers out.
Once evicted, the settlers commenced a rampage that lasted several hours, setting fire to Palestinian houses, olive trees and cars. Twenty-five people were wounded, including a man in critical condition after a settler shot him at close range. A Palestinian Red Crescent official told U.S. Consulate officials that during the riots, settlers stopped an ambulance and defaced the ambulance, painting “let the Arabs die” and covering the red crescent symbol with the Star of David.
The Hebron Fund is just one of more than 40 organizations that have raised some $200 million over a decade in tax-exempt donations for Israel’s West Bank settlements, a project that places them in violation of U.S. foreign policy and international law.
The recent elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo were “seriously flawed”, the US has warned as it called for a review of the process.
Official results gave President Joseph Kabila 49% of the vote against 32% for opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.
The results’ credibility has been criticised by the EU and the Carter Center but the AU said the polls were a success.
The US said there had been several “irregularities”.
“The United States believes that the management and technical execution of these elections were seriously flawed,” the US ambassador to DR Congo, James Entwistle, said.
“[They] lacked transparency and did not measure up to the positive democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections,” he said
Overwhelmed by Islamists in parliamentary elections, the secular and liberal youths who were the driving force behind Egypt’s uprising are scrambling to ensure their voices are not lost as a new constitution and government take shape.
Two Islamist blocs — newly emboldened after decades of repression under Mubarak’s secular regime — won close to 70 percent of seats in the initial balloting on Nov. 28-29, while the revolutionary parties got less than 15 percent so far, according to an Associated Press tally compiled from official results. A power struggle is emerging between religious factions and the ruling military, with liberals appearing to be on the sidelines.
The second round of voting on Wednesday and Thursday and a final phase in January are not expected to alter the outcome, and Islamists may even boost their gains.
Without a doubt, the presence of the liberal youths behind the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak will be meager in parliament and Islamists will be in control. But Wael Khalil, a member of one of the alliances born out of the uprising, Revolution Continues, said the fight for the future of Egypt will also be waged outside official institutions.
Libya’s National Transitional Council has asked the U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against the country to unfreeze the assets of two banks.
Council diplomats said the new Libyan government sent a letter to the committee requesting an end to sanctions on the Central Bank of Libya and its subsidiary, the Libyan Foreign Bank.
If none of the 15 council members object by Friday evening, the committee will order the assets to be unfrozen, the diplomats said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity because the procedure is private.
The Security Council froze assets of the two banks and three other financial institutions linked to former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in March.
Diplomats say unfreezing the banks’ assets will help Libya repatriate assets from overseas.
A lawyer for Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter said on Wednesday he had written to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ask if an investigation had been launched into the killing of her father and brother.
A copy of the letter, seen by Reuters, said that Muammar Gaddafi and his son Mo’tassim were “murdered in the most horrific fashion with their bodies thereafter displayed and grotesquely abused in complete defiance of Islamic law.”
“The images of this savagery were broadcast throughout the world, causing my client severe emotional distress,” said the letter from Nick Kaufman, who represents Aisha Gaddafi.
“To date, neither Ms. Gaddafi nor any member of her family has been informed, by your office, of the initiation of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the brutal murders,” the letter said.
Just one of a myriad of claims “historian” and Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has made that doesn’t pass the “based on anything other than a wild guess” test, Newt’s allegation that Iran is hiding nuclear weapons facilities under mosques is now being examined and, as usual, experts say that there is zero evidence that any such thing is happening.
Newt’s claim, made during the “Lincoln Douglas style” debate with Jon Huntsman, was meant to argue that simply bombing Iran isn’t enough. ISIS president David Albright says he has no clue where Newt got the idea, and that it “sounds like he is just repeating rumors.”
It’s not the first crowd control tool to use sound waves, but Raytheon’s patent for a new type of riot shield that produces low frequency sound waves to disrupt the respiratory tract and hinder breathing, sounds a little scary.
Crowd control tools like the LRAD Sound Cannon emit bursts of loud and annoying sounds that can induce headaches and nausea. But Raytheon’s non-lethal pressure shield creates a pulsed pressure wave that resonates the upper respiratory tract of a human, hindering breathing and eventually incapacitating the target. The patent points out that the sound waves being generated are actually not that powerful, so while protestors might collapse from a lack of oxygen reaching their brains, their eardrums won’t be damaged in the process. Phew!
And like Roman soldiers joining their shields to form a large impenetrable wall, these new riot shields can actually be networked together to form a larger acoustical horn, vastly improving their range, power, and effectiveness. There’s no word on what the long-term medical implications might be if you find yourself on the wrong side of one of these shields. But I imagine the unpleasant experience is not unlike being force choked from afar by Darth Vader.
SOCIAL networking sites like Facebook and YouTube are being used by terrorist groups to groom vulnerable people, and Australia and its international partners should be limiting extremist propaganda on the internet, a new study says.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) security program director Dr Carl Ungerer says terror websites have evolved from crude propaganda and bomb-making manuals to more sophisticated sites.
He said terror groups such as al-Qaeda had exploited the technology and infrastructure of global connectivity and, according to one study, there were now more than 5000 active terrorist websites worldwide, many operating from the US where free speech is protected under the constitution.
A study of internet radicalisation in Southeast Asia found the terrorist presence on the internet now involved encrypted social networking sites where potential recruits were identified, groomed and radicalised in local languages.
Usually portrayed as relatively cautious, even irksomely so by Western hawks, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seems to be finding his own hawkish groove, cheering the war in Libya while pushing for escalation elsewhere.
Speaking to reporters, he rejected the notion that NATO overstepped its bounds with its summer war against Libya, saying that it was “within the mandate” and that “there should be no misunderstanding on that.” The UN mandate for a no-fly zone was used by NATO for months of air strikes against western Libyan cities, as well as arming and coordinating with the rebels that eventually took over the country.
Capping off his day, Ban also urged the deployment of large numbers of additional troops and a significant amount of additional international funding to support the African Union’s war in Somalia, aimed at propping up an unpopular, mostly irrelevant government in Mogadishu.
Last week, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism published a story about a sting against Bell Pottinger, a major British public relations and lobbying firm. Journalists working for the Bureau approached the firm in the guise of seeking PR help for Uzbekistan, thetorture-loving former Soviet republic that has been known to boil prisoners to death. A Bell Pottinger representative told the undercover journalists it could introduce Uzbek officials “into political and media circles,” and help them “get better known by a lot of the key decision makers.”
In the course of their research, the Bureau met with lobbyists and PR agents who boasted of their ability to get think tanks to publish sympathetic reports about clients. They also talked about winning favorable media attention by setting up supposedly independent public events and hyping business opportunities for domestic companies.
In the United Kingdom, such international lobbying is virtually invisible.
Abdulkhalil was arrested in the fields of Uzbekistan’s Ferghana valley in August last year. The 28-year-old farmer was sentenced to 16 years in prison for “trying to overthrow the constitutional structures”.
Last week his father saw him for the first time since that day on a stretcher in a prison hospital. His head was battered and his tongue was so swollen that he could only say that he had “been kept in water for a long time”.
Abdulkhalil was a victim of Uzbekistan’s security service, the SNB. His detention and torture were part of a crackdown on Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), an Islamist group.
Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.
As the United States withdraws the last of its 50,000 troops after a nearly nine-year military occupation of Iraq, visiting Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki had one final request: billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. weapons for his ragtag armed forces.
A longstanding Soviet and later Russian ally, Iraq under former president Saddam Hussein never had an ongoing military relationship with the United States.
Now, Iraq is gradually abandoning its huge arsenal of primarily Russian and French equipment in favor of U.S. arms.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the current defense authorization bill, which includes a provision that would codify a system of military prisons to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects without charge or trial, including American citizens caught on U.S. soil.
The bill passed 283-136 in the House and a committee version of the bill passed in the Senate 93-7 last week. The Senate is expected to make a final vote on Thursday and send it to the White House to sign into law by the end of the week.
The Obama administration is supportive of the bill, despite threatening to veto it on the grounds that those provisions “mandat[ing] military custody” amounted to a “restriction of the President’s authority” to choose what to do with terrorism suspects. No mention of the disintegration of the fifth amendment’s due process clause appeared in the administration’s objection.
In response to this veto threat, the Senate revised the provisions mandating military custody and inserted the option of a waiver for American citizens; that is, the Executive branch would be allowed to waive the requirement to deprive suspects of their constitutional rights at their discretion.
British town grows all of its own vegetables, witnesses improved civic life and reduced crime as a result
When the small British mill town of Todmorden, tucked in between Yorkshire and Lancashire, first began installing fruit and vegetable gardens all around the area as part of theIncredible Edibleprogram, it likely had no idea that the novel, yet simple, concept would make the town a foremost inspirational and self-sustaining model of the future.
Fresh herbs, succulent greens, and tasty fruits can be found growing near civic buildings, college campuses, supermarket parking lots, and various other places. Small garden plots, raised planting beds, and even small soil strips in these areas can be found brimming with fresh produce, all of which are free to anyone who want it, and at any time.
It is all part of a program called Incredible Edible, which was founded by Mary Clear, a local grandmother of ten, and Pam Warhurst, former owner of a local restaurant in town known as Bear Cafe. The duo had a shared goal of making Todmorden the first town in the UK to become completely self-sufficient in food — and their endeavors have been successful, at least as far as keeping up with demand for produce from locals who want it.
“There are documents and evidence that show that British forces in [Afghanistan's] Helmand Province not only did nothing to prevent the illicit drug trade, but in some cases also took part in it,” Yousef-Ali Vaezi, an advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, told Press TV on Thursday.
“They cooperated in the cultivation, production, and trafficking of drugs,” he added.
The US Senate Appropriations Committee, in a move initiated by the Obama administration, has voted to waive Bush-era human rights restrictions on military aid to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet. The lifting of the restrictions, now part of the Foreign Operations bill, is before the full Senate and appears to have bipartisan support. The Obama administration has indicated that it intends to provide taxpayer-funded military assistance to Uzbekistan once the legislation passes both houses of Congress.
Torture is endemic in Karimov’s Uzbekistan, where his regime has banned all opposition political parties, severely restricted freedom of expression, forced international human rights and nongovernmental organizations out of the country, suppressed religious freedom, and annually taken as many as 2 million children out of school to engage in forced labor for the cotton harvest. Thousands of dissidents have been jailed and many hundreds have been killed, some of them literally boiled alive.
In reaction to the Obama administration’s efforts, 20 human rights, labor, consumer and other groups signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying, “We strongly urge you to oppose passage of the law and not to invoke this waiver.” The signers encouraged the administration “to stand behind your strong past statements regarding human rights abuses in Uzbekistan” and not move toward “business as usual” with that regime.
THE $2.18 billion roll-out of Victoria’s electricity smart meters will go ahead because too much money has been spent to pull back.
About 950,000 meters have been installed – almost half of all households and small businesses across the state.
The Herald Sun has learned a final review recommends the roll-out continue, despite cost blowouts, and that consumers will win from potential benefits.
The person who we love to hate and hate to love – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been selected as the People’s Choice for Time’s 2011 Person of the Year.
According to the annual poll, Erdogan received 122,928 votes nominating him as the most influential person of the year, with Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi coming in a far second with only 75,000 votes.
“Turkey’s pro-Islamic leader has built his (Secular, democratic, Western-friendly) nation into a regional superpower,” was written on the cover of the Magazine’s November issue, “But can his example save the Arab Spring?”
However, not all is rosy for the hard-line leader: A parallel online poll rendered him the least fitting figure for the coveted title. More than 180,000 people responded by pressing ‘no’ when asked if the Turkish leader should be named person of the year.
The Dean of Sheffield has said he is “afraid of losing the relationship” with banks after Occupy Sheffield based its camp outside the city’s cathedral.
The Very Reverend Peter Bradley, wrote a letter to local businesses, assuring them that it was doing all it could to end the protest. Dean Bradley said banks had previously funded projects at the church.
He said: “We don’t want them feeling that because we haven’t said anything, we are agreeing [with the protest].”
“We cannot remain silent…in the face of threats. If the enemies want to carry out their threats we will also use our capacities [to fight them]… the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be one of our capacities,” Parviz Sorouri said Wednesday.
The lawmaker, who heads Iran Majlis (parliament) Internal Security Subcommittee, went on to say that it is the absolute right of a country to use its natural and marine capacities within its territorial limits, Mehr news Agency reported.
Sorouri further added that Iran has been an advocate of peace and stability in the region and the world since the victory of the Islamic Revolution 32 years ago.
If the U.S. economy is improving, then why is child poverty in America absolutely exploding? If we are experiencing “economic growth”, then why are more than half of all children in major U.S. cities like Cleveland and Detroit living in poverty? If we are the “greatest economy on earth”, then why are one out of every four American children on food stamps?
The shocking statistics that you are about to read below should absolutely break your heart. Tonight, millions of precious American children will go to bed without any dinner. Tonight, millions of American children will shiver as they try to go to sleep because their families cannot afford any heat. How bad does child poverty have to get before we all finally admit that our economic system is completely failing many of the most vulnerable members of our society?
If you want someone to blame, you can blame Congress, the Obama administration, the Bush administration and the corrupt Wall Street bankers. But most of all, blame the Federal Reserve and the debt-based monetary system that the Fed administers. Our economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and is slowly but surely dying. Many of those that are suffering the most from this decline are children.
It’s the law in D.C. – recycle or face a fine from the Department of Public Works. But is enforcement of the law going too far?
Dupont Circle resident Patricia White says she has been fined eight times for throwing homemade cat litter in her trash. The fines total $2,000. White says she shreds old newspaper and junk mail to use as cat litter. She believes she is helping the environment by reusing the paper and avoiding cat litter you will find in stores.
After being fined several times, White says she called the Department of Public Works inspector who issued the tickets. According to White, the inspector admitted to digging through trash looking for violations. White even appealed the violations in D.C. court. Judge Audrey Jenkins agreed with the inspector after White explained the situation. FOX 5 tried to reach Judge Jenkins, but her office has declined to comment.
Horror as Walmart Stays Open After Husband ‘Stabs Wife to Death in Front of Shoppers in the Middle of the Store’
A South Carolina man has been charged with murder in the death of his wife, who was fatally stabbed inside a Greenville County Walmart this weekend.
But as shoppers looked on in horror, store management roped off the area for homicide investigators and continued to operate as usual. ’Avery L Blandin, 46, is accused of killing Lilia Blandin, 38, who worked at the Woodforest Bank inside the discount retail store in Berea.