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Saturday, 1 March 2014

March 1, 2014: News Updates

Switzerland Freezes Assets, Launches Inquiry into Yanukovych

20:05 28/02/2014

KIEV, February 28 (RIA Novosti) – Switzerland launched a money-laundering investigation into ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son on Friday after freezing bank accounts belonging to the deposed leader and over a dozen other top Ukrainian officials.
Swiss financial regulator FINMA said it had frozen the assets of Yanukovych, his son Alexander, and 18 other Ukrainians including ex-prime minister Mykola Azarov and former senior officials.

Ukrainian Court Drops Criminal Charges Against Ex-PM Tymoshenko

KIEV, February 28 (RAPSI) – A court in Ukraine has dropped criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko over alleged financial abuse at United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU), her party announced Friday.

The Kievsky District Court in Kharkiv also removed a seizure order on property belonging to Tymoshenko, the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party reported.

Russia approves use of military in Ukraine

— Mar. 1, 2014 12:06 PM EST

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia executed a de facto military takeover of a strategic region in Ukraine as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to proceed to protect Russian interests. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react to the swift takeover of Crimea by Russian troops already in Ukraine and more flown in, aided by pro-Russian Ukrainian groups.

Russian Parliamentarians Call on Putin to Act in Crimea- March 1, 2014

...The State Duma, Russia’s lower house, released a similar statement Saturday that said must Putin bring the situation in Ukraine under control.
“All available means” should be deployed to protect Russian citizens, said Sergei Naryshkin, a former head of the presidential administration and the current parliamentery speaker in the Duma.

 Iceland Seen Threatened by Capital Flight From Its Own Citizens

By Omar R. Valdimarsson Feb 28, 2014 7:01 AM GMT+0100
U.S. hedge funds aren’t the only ones trying to exit Iceland.
Its own citizens may follow if the government doesn’t show it can lift capital controls in place since 2008 without triggering a currency sell-off, according to Iceland’s biggest insurance firm.
...Iceland has yet to test the staying power of its economic recovery. Capital controls, imposed at the end of 2008 after the island’s three biggest banks defaulted on $85 billion, have so far stopped offshore investors selling $7.2 billion in assets, equivalent to half the nation’s gross domestic product.

 N.Y. Barclays Libor Traders Said to Face U.K. Charges

By Suzi Ring Feb 28, 2014 4:17 PM GMT+0100
Three Barclays Plc (BARC) Libor traders in New York were notified by U.K. prosecutors that they may be charged for allegedly manipulating the interest-rate benchmark, according to four people with knowledge of the situation.
Ryan Reich, Alex Pabon and Jay Merchant are under investigation by the SFO and may be prosecuted in connection with suspected rigging of the dollar London interbank offered rate, or Libor, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation is private. All were derivatives traders who have left Barclays.

Citi Paid $400 Million in Fake Invoices

35 Feb 28, 2014 1:17 PM ET
By Matt Levine

As far as I can understand it from Citigroup's press release, which is not very far, here's how Oceanografia S.A. de C.V. took Citi's Mexican subsidiary, Banamex, for $400 million:
This went on for years? That to me is the oddest part. Oceanografia is -- somewhat obviously -- not a public company, but a random assortment of pseudo-comps suggest that typical accounts receivable turnover in the oil-services industry averages around three months.1 One imagines that Pemex gets more breathing room than the average customer, but still, at some point, wouldn't Banamex call Oceanografia after not getting paid for a year or two? Did Oceanografia just say "yeah, I know, what jerks, they're really slow, keep trying"?2 And Banamex kept extending more credit on more fake receivables, to a total amount of $585 million? And never called Pemex?

Eventually they called Pemex, after "Oceanografia was banned on Feb. 11 by Mexico’s anti-corruption agency from bidding on government contracts for 21 months because it violated agreements with Petroleos Mexicanos,"

Questioning if Sweden's gold reserve exist's...

Questions about Sweden's gold reserve exists
Expert requires that the Central Bank may control whether the gold with their own eyes

The Central Bank revealed last week where the Swedish gold reserve is located.
Now  experts demands that the gold should be audited physically.

– How can we be sure that the gold exists in the described scope if we've never seen the gold,   CEO of Liberty Silver AB, Mikael From is asking.

 Socialist Venezuela: World's top stock market

Despite poor economic news and ongoing protests, Caracas' stock exchange grew 452 percent in 2013.
28 Feb 2014 15:45
Caracas, Venezuela - Despite sky-high inflation, rigid currency controls and socialist expropriations targeting private firms, Venezuela boasted the world's best performing stock market over the past fiscal year.
The Caracas Stock Exchange rose a surprising 452 percent in 2013, according to data from financial services firm Morningstar, making it the world's highest growth index. Other firms confirmed the counter-intuitive trend, but local economists cautioned against believing "lies, damned lies or statistics".

Largest single personal data hack ever? 360mn stolen account credentials found online

Published time: March 01, 2014 01:31
A cyber security firm has reported a “mind boggling” cache of stolen credentials which has been put up for sale on online black markets. A total of 360 million accounts were affected in a series of hacks, one of which seems to be the biggest in history.
Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security LLC, said that the firm had uncovered the data over the past three weeks.

26 top American corporations paid no federal income tax from ’08 to ’12 – report

Published time: February 28, 2014 22:55
Twenty-six of the most powerful American corporations – such as Boeing, General Electric, and Verizon – paid no federal income tax from 2008 to 2012, according to a new report detailing how Fortune 500 companies exploit tax breaks and loopholes.

Friday, February 28, 2014, 14:17 • Tatiana Vovkanich

All Navy Command wrote a report on the sacking (entire Ukraine Navy Command resigns)

Google Translate:
KIEV. February 28. UNN. All command of the Naval Forces of Ukraine wrote a report on the dismissal. This UNN said one of the agency staff.
Today, from its own sources UNN became known that the Navy Command wrote a report on the dismissal.
At the same time on the official website of the Ministry of Defense is no entry for chapter Navy.
The press service of the Defense Ministry, said that they know nothing about it.
"We did this have not heard," - said the press service of the Defense Ministry.
Now UNN is trying to communicate with the press service of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and take their comments on this occasion.

Russia sent 'several hundred' troops into Ukraine: US official

9 hours ago
Washington (AFP) - Russia has sent "several hundred" troops into Ukraine's Crimea region, US defense officials said Friday, after Kiev called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the peninsula.;_ylt=AwrBJR8dFxFT8n0AdAfQtDMD

Gunmen from Kiev attempted to seize Crimea's Interior Ministry - Russia

Published time: March 01, 2014 09:13
Unknown armed men from Kiev have tried to seize the Crimean Interior Ministry overnight, and there were several injuries in that attack, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Thanks to the decisive action of self-defense squads, the attempt to seize the building of the Interior Ministry was derailed. This attempt confirms the intention of prominent political circles in Kiev to destabilize the situation on the peninsula,” the statement added.

 Wall Street Hates JPMorgan Fee for $1 Trillion Junk Loans

By Lisa Abramowicz Feb 28, 2014 6:01 AM GMT+0100
On Wall Street, $3,500 goes further than anyone dared imagine in the 1980s when the predecessor to JPMorgan Chase & Co. charged the fee to trade each non-investment grade loan it sold.

Kenya: Banker Peter Njuguna Mukuria Shot Dead

The Family Bank Director Was Murdered in Suspected Love Triangle Crime
 February 27, 2014 14:52 PM
A senior African banker has been gunned down outside a Kenya school in a suspected love triangle murder, according to African news website the Kenya Star.

Court puts Navalny under house arrest

Published time: February 28, 2014 10:13
A district court in Moscow has ordered anti-corruption blogger-turned-opposition politician Aleksey Navalny be placed under house arrest for repeated violations of his travel ban.

Egypt forces kill four anti-government protesters

Peru police, protesters clash in Cuzco

Crandall police officer, wife found dead in Dallas

Thursday, Feb 27 at 6:03 PM
DALLAS — Dallas police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman who were found in a residence near police headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.
The Crandall Police Department identified the man as 47-year-old Patrol Sgt. Nick Pitofsky and the woman as his wife Vanessa, 42. ...
...News 8 was contacted by several of Vanessa Pitoksky's friends through e-mail. Many of them knew her through her work as an executive assistant for Wachovia and Wells Fargo bank for 18 years. She had recently started working for Sun Trust bank in a similar capacity.

Secrets of the Vatican- PBS special

Doctors warn new FDA-approved painkiller is deadly dangerous

Published time: February 28, 2014 20:22
A new painkiller set to hit the market in March is coming under heavy fire from doctors and lawmakers warning of its powerful ability to kill.
Although the opiate Zohydro was ultimately approved by the US Food and Drug administration, that endorsement went against the recommendation given by the agency’s own advisory panel. The panel voted 11 – 2 against approving the drug, but the FDA argued its availability is necessary to help patients unfazed by current medication.

 Fordham University mumps outbreak affecting only vaccinated students; school bans unvaccinated students anyway-Thursday, February 27, 2014

One of New York's lesser-known institutions of higher learning is making headlines after 13 confirmed cases, and counting, of mumps emerged on two of its campuses, prompting school officials to impetuously ban all unvaccinated students from attending classes. But these same reports clearly indicate that all affected students had already been vaccinated for mumps, proving once again the utter uselessness of vaccines and the imbecilic tendencies of organizations chained to the vaccine status quo.

How a Chemical Used in Rubber Found Its Way Into 500 Food Products

By Venessa Wong February 27, 2014
A chemical commonly found in rubber will soon be removed from Subway’s sandwich bread and baked goods sold at Publix supermarkets. But a report released today identifies almost 500 other foods—from bagels and breads to pizza crusts and danishes—sold under 130 brand names that still contain the food additive azodicarbonamide, including Pillsbury and Sara Lee.
Environmental Working Group, the nonprofit that released the report, is trying to persuade food manufacturers to stop using azodicarbonamide, or ADA, which acts as a kind of baking powder in the making of rubber, plastics, and ceramics, making them lighter and more elastic. Food producers took to using the same chemical to soften the texture of baked goods.