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Aug 4, 2014

YouTube | Al Jazeera English: Hamas and Israeli officials talk to Al Jazeera about truce -August 4, 2014-.

Deeply from my heart I wish the parts in conflict will arrive to a final and fair agreement

Fernando Guzmán Cavero

Al Jazeera English has uploaded Hamas and Israeli officials talk to Al Jazeera about truce

Al Jazeera English

Israel and the Palestinian factions, including Gaza's Hamas movement, have accepted an Egyptian proposal to cease fire from 0500 GMT on August 5 for at least three days. Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader, and Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, confirmed the deal to Al Jazeera, with officials from each side pledging to commit to the truce and warning the other against violating it. Subscribe to our channel Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Check our website

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - August 4, 2014: Gold is in backwardation, signifying scarcity, Turk tells KWN.

Gold is in backwardation, signifying scarcity, Turk tells KWN

Submitted by cpowell on  Monday, August 4, 2014.  Monday, August 4, 2014

Gold in London is in backwardation for the first time since May -- at least the first time since May for small orders, GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk tells King World News today. But, Turk adds, gold likely has been in backwardation for longer for large orders, with the market being supplied -- and manipulated -- by central banks affiliated with the United States.
"Backwardation cannot predict what the gold price will do," Turk says. But it does "give a strong signal that gold is undervalued. That means gold is cheap and a good buy at current prices here at around $1,290. That conclusion is also supported by the strong rebounds we have seen the past few weeks whenever gold drops below $1,300."
Turk's interview is excerpted at the KWN blog here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

SEC | Settled Charges - August 4, 2014: Walter Ng, Kelly Ng, Bruce Horwitz, and The Mortgage Fund, LLC

SEC Seal


Litigation Release No. 23059 / August 4, 2014

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Walter Ng, Kelly Ng, Bruce Horwitz, and The Mortgage Fund, LLC, Civil Action No. C-13-0895 (N.D. Cal. filed Feb. 28, 2013)

San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Fund Managers Settle Fraud Claims

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Kelly Ng and Walter Ng, their affiliated investment advisory firm The Mortgage Fund, LLC, and Bruce Horwitz agreed to resolve fraud charges against them, which fully resolves the Commission's litigation. In the settlement, Kelly Ng, Horwitz, and The Mortgage Fund, LLC will pay a total of $5,205,367 and Kelly Ng and Walter Ng will be barred from the securities industry. The SEC filed a complaint against the Ngs, Horwitz and the firm in federal court in Oakland, California in 2013, alleging that they defrauded investors in their real estate fund called Mortgage Fund '08 LLC (MF08) by secretly using its assets to rescue an older, rapidly collapsing fund called R.E. Loans, LLC.
According to the SEC's complaint, the Ngs and Horwitz promoted MF08 in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis as a new opportunity to invest in conservatively underwritten commercial real estate loans secured by deeds of trust. But the Ngs and their advisory firm, The Mortgage Fund LLC, immediately began transferring money raised by MF08 to R.E. Loans so that they could afford distributions to investors in that fund. From December 2007 to March 2008, the Ngs transferred almost $39 million from MF08 to R.E. Loans. They later attempted to justify the transfers by claiming MF08 had purchased three loans from R.E. Loans that totaled around $39 million.
The SEC further alleged that both the Ngs and Horwitz lured investors into MF08 by making false claims about its performance and the R.E. Loans fund's performance. What investors did not know was that both R.E. Loans and MF08 began to experience significant and dramatic borrower defaults in 2008. Despite the funds' rapidly disintegrating portfolios, the Ngs and Horwitz repeatedly assured investors that R.E. Loans and MF08 were performing well and the underlying loans were safe and secure.
Walter Ng, Kelly Ng, Horwitz, and The Mortgage Fund, LLC, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, all consented to the entry of final judgments, which the court entered on August 1, 2014. Under the terms of the settlements, Kelly Ng and the Ngs' firm will pay a total of $4,480,025 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties and Horwitz will pay $725,342. The Commission intends to ask the Court to authorize the transfer of any disgorgement, interest, and penalty payments collected to the MF08 Liquidating Trustee for distribution to MF08 investors. All four agreed to be permanently enjoined from violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Kelly Ng, Walter Ng, and The Mortgage Fund further agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating Sections 206(1) and (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Walter Ng and Kelly Ng further agreed to be barred from the securities industry, including association with any brokerage firm or investment adviser. Kelly Ng currently is incarcerated and serving an 18 month sentence after he pled guilty to twenty counts of structuring cash transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements.
Previous release: Litigation Release No. 22627 (Feb. 28, 2013).

FTC | Press Release - August 4, 2014: Settlement Preserves Future Competition in Generic Injectable Tuberculosis Drug Market.

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Settlement Preserves Future Competition in Generic Injectable Tuberculosis Drug Market

Pharmaceutical company Akorn, Inc. has agreed to sell its rights to develop, manufacture, and market the generic injectable tuberculosis drug, rifampin, in order to settle FTC charges that Akorn’s proposed acquisition of VersaPharm Inc. and its parent company, VPI Holdings Corp., would likely be anticompetitive. The FTC’s proposed settlement with Akorn requires the company to divest its Abbreviated New Drug Application for generic injectable rifampin – which is currently pending before the Food and Drug Administration – to Watson Laboratories, Inc. Akorn proposes to acquire VersaPharm for approximately $324 million, under an agreement dated May 9, 2014.
According to the FTC’s complaint, only VersaPharm and two other firms currently have FDA approval to sell generic injectable rifampin. There are no viable substitutes for rifampin as a course of treatment for tuberculosis. Absent the acquisition, Akorn likely would have entered the market for generic injectable rifampin in the near future, resulting in a significant price reduction for the drug. According to the FTC’s complaint, if Akorn were to consummate its acquisition of VersaPharm, as originally proposed, the combined company would likely forego or delay the introduction of Akorn’s generic injectable rifampin.
Under the proposed consent order, an interim monitor will supervise Akorn to ensure that it provides Watson with any information the FDA requests, assists Watson to obtain FDA approval for the pending ANDA, and provides transitional services so that Watson can develop the ability to manufacture generic injectable rifampin independently.
More information about the market for this drug and the consent agreement can be found in the analysis to aid public comment for this matter on the FTC’s website.
The Commission vote to accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0.  The proposed settlement is part of the Commission’s ongoing effort to protect U.S. consumers from higher healthcare-related costs.
The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through September 3, 2014, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Interested parties can submit written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.
NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per day.
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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NYT | Times Video - Augst 4, 2014:

The Times Video
Monday, August 4, 2014

U.S. & Politics

Charles Toll died as officers forcibly carried him out of his cell in a Tennessee prison. The case raises questions about when and how the procedure - known as a cell extraction - should be used.
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A new kind of bio-rubber could change the way surf companies make wetsuits.
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Chinese law forbids surrogacy, so some agencies send poor women to Bangkok for the embryo implantation, then fly them back to China, where they live hidden lives during the pregnancy and birth.
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Some historians and church figures are crying foul over what they say are the Kremlin's efforts to reshape the legacy of St. Sergius to enhance political goals.
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Opinion - Op-Docs

In Colorado, two towns near each other have divergent reactions to their state's legalization of marijuana.
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Opinion - Op-Docs

In a remote valley in southwest Cambodia, an indigenous group fights to protect its homes from the looming construction of a hydroelectric dam.
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Technology - Molly Wood

Molly Wood demonstrates how apps from PayPal, Starbucks and Google can help you make purchases with your phone, and explains why you can't do it everywhere yet.
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Culture - Anatomy of a Scene

The director Tate Taylor narrates a sequence from "Get On Up," featuring Chadwick Boseman.
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Food - Melissa Clark

Melissa Clark uses hickory wood chips to grill salmon cured with brown sugar, allspice and mace.
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Style - Intersection

Marika Emi picked up her minimalist, all-black style from the friends she made while living in New York. Though she has since moved back home to Hawaii, "Old habits die really hard," she said.
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Style - Bill Cunningham

This summer, for women in Midtown Manhattan going to work or out for midday shopping, the long, sensuous jersey dress or skirt is a dominant look.
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SEC | Litigation Release August 4, 2014: John Thornes, Defendant, and Christopher Burnell, Kyle Larick, and Doreen Thornes, Relief Defendants

SEC Seal


Litigation Release No. 23058 / August 4, 2014

Securities and Exchange Commission v. John Thornes, Defendant, and Christopher Burnell, Kyle Larick, and Doreen Thornes, Relief Defendants, Civil Action No. 14-cv-06088 (C.D. Cal.)

SEC Charges California-Based Broker with Stealing Money from Accounts

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a California-based broker with stealing $4.4 million from two trust brokerage accounts at his firm and diverting it to a pair of friends for uses ranging from gambling to chartering a private jet.
The SEC alleges that John T. Thornes of Redlands, Calif., formerly the sole owner of Thornes & Associates, Inc., diverted funds out of a brokerage account for a trust established for the health and welfare of an 80-year-old dementia patient who has been living at home for several years with 24-hour nurse care. Thornes also siphoned money out of a brokerage account for a trust set up to fund college scholarships for local high school graduates.
According to the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Thornes stole money from the two accounts from November 2010 to April 2013 primarily to benefit two of his friends, Christopher Burnell of Highland, Calif., and Kyle Larick of Redlands, Calif. Thornes has tried to pass off the payouts as loans, however there were no loan documents, no stated interest, and no collateral for the funds given. None of the money was ever repaid.
The SEC alleges that Thornes deceived his own mother with respect to the educational trust. She served as trustee, and he periodically asked her to sign blank checks that he then used in his misappropriation scheme. Thornes never informed his mother about trades he made, and he converted the brokerage account to a margin account even though it was designated as a low or minimal-risk tolerance account. He used the margin debt in his scheme and later sold securities from those accounts to avoid the margin calls. Thornes did the same thing with the brokerage account for the elderly dementia patient.
According to the SEC's complaint, after Thornes liberally transferred money from the brokerage accounts to his friends, they used it to charter a private jet, buy a luxury car, and purchase a vacation home. Burnell also used the funds to gamble at a nearby casino or pay gambling debts. Thornes paid his mother about $84,000 in excess trustee fees.
Thornes has agreed to settle the charges and consented to the entry of a final judgment ordering him to pay disgorgement of $4,366,790, prejudgment interest of $278,540, and a penalty of $4,366,790. Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, he agreed to be permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Thornes also has agreed to consent to a collateral industry bar and a penny stock bar.
The SEC's complaint also names Thornes' friends Burnell and Larick as well as his mother Doreen Thornes as relief defendants for the purposes of recovering any illicit funds in their possession.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by John Britt of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The litigation will be led by David Van Havermaat. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Internal Revenue Service, and Secret Service.

DealBook P.M. Edition - August 4, 2014: White Collar Watch: Judge's Ruling Against Bank of America Showcases a Novel Enforcement Strategy.

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Monday, August 4, 2014
Judge Jed Rakoff, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, in his office.
White Collar Watch: Judge's Ruling Against Bank of America Showcases a Novel Enforcement Strategy Judge Jed S. Rakoff's ruling illustrates how the government has turned a provision in a 1989 statute into a formidable weapon in its pursuit of banks for their role in the financial crisis, Peter J. Henning writes in the White Collar Watch column.
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An HSBC branch in Hong Kong. In Asia, the British bank's pretax profit fell 15 percent, to $7.89 billion.
HSBC's Profit Falls on Slowdown in Asia and Markets The British bank said first-half earnings fell to $9.75 billion from $10.3 billion in the period a year earlier. Its Asian operations account for more than half of its earnings.
Arianna Huffington is among the luminaries attending an exclusive conference in Sicily being hosted by Google.
Google Hosts an Elite Conference in Sicily Google is sponsoring an elite gathering of business leaders and celebrities - a sort of Davos of the summer - though the company is being tight-lipped about just what is happening at what is being called "the Camp."
Penfolds is among the labels produced by Treasury Wine Estates.
Reuters Breakingviews: Maker of Penfolds Wine May End Resistance to K.K.R. Buyout Though there are risks to negotiating in public and K.K.R. could still walk away from its conditional bid, Treasury Wine's days as a listed company look as though they will soon come to an end, Peter Thal Larsen writes in Reuters Breakingviews.
The New York office of Warburg Pincus.
Warburg Pincus to Invest in Zenith Energy, a Fuel Terminal Business Warburg Pincus said on Monday that it would invest up to $600 million in Zenith Energy, a company that aims to build oil and natural gas terminals abroad.
A Holiday Inn & Suites in Memphis in 2009.
Marcato Capital Adds to Pressure on InterContinental Hotels to Sell Itself InterContinental, the British owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, would possibly be an attractive target for an American hotel operator seeking to reincorporate overseas in a so-called inversion.
Last year, Roc Oil produced about 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent and earned a net profit of $45.2 million.
Chinese Group Fosun International Bids $441 Million for Roc Oil of Australia Fosun International's bid, which seeks to defeat a rival offer from an Australian energy company, already has the support of the Roc board.
Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, is the chairman of the Hong Kong-listed company Cheung Kong.
Li Ka-shing's Company in Talks to Buy Planes From Guy Hands's AWAS Aviation Cheung Kong, owned by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, submitted a preliminary proposal to buy planes from AWAS Aviation Capital, the leasing company owned by the private equity firm Terra Firma.
Buzz Tracker
Calm After a Bank's Collapse in Portugal Could Signal Eurozone Resiliency The market reaction to the Banco Espírito Santo rescue plan could bode well for a larger, coming test of the Continent's resiliency, reports Jack Ewing for The New York Times.
Time Warner's Hard Stance on a Bid by Fox, So Far Time Warner's unyielding stance has some analysts wondering if an acquisition really is inevitable, reports Jonathan Mahler of The New York Times. The companies report their earnings on Wednesday.
On Class Resentment, Obama Says 'Feel Free to Keep Your House in the Hamptons' In an interview with The Economist, President Obama said White House policies have been friendly toward business, adding that "the folks who don't have a right to complain are the folks at the top."
European Central Bank to Meet on Economic Policy The European Central Bank, led by its president, Mario Draghi meets in Frankfurt on Thursday. The bank is not expected to take further action to stimulate the eurozone economy, despite signs that the crisis in Ukraine could be hurting growth.
Earnings Reports on Media Giants It is a big week for media earnings. Walt Disney will report on Tuesday, Time Warner and Viacom on Wednesday, and CBS and News Corporation on Thursday.
Bank of England to Weigh Raising Benchmark Rate On Thursday, the Bank of England will announce whether it will raise its interest rate, or leave it as is. Last month, the bank's monetary policy committee kept the benchmark interest rate at 0.5 percent, the lowest it has ever been. The minutes of that meeting, however, indicated that some committee members believe that the risk of undermining an economic recovery by raising the rate is no longer as great.
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