tn moved

tn moved

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

March 12, 2014: News Updates

Gas leak blamed for fatal New York explosion

Wednesday 12 March 2014 16.59
Two residential buildings in Manhattan have exploded and collapsed killing at least two people and injuring 18 others.
The explosion struck the buildings at 116th Street and Park Avenue in the East Harlem neighbourhood of New York, where witnesses said they were jolted awake by what sounded like an earthquake.

Malaysian plane disappearance linked to 9/11: Barrett

Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman briefs reporters on search and recovery efforts within existing and new areas for missing Malaysia Airlines plane, on Monday, March 10, 2014 in Sepang,Malaysia.(file photo)
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24AM GMT
Transponder signals mysteriously disappear. Jetliners veer off course, then vanish without a trace. Seemingly impossible cell phone calls add to the mystery.
It happened on 9/11. Now it has happened again in Malaysia.
Family members of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines MH370 report getting ring tones when they call their missing loved ones. Social networking sites show the missing passengers "on-line." The airline reports getting ring tones on the crew's cell phones.


Malaysia Airlines flight direction unclear to Malaysian authorities

Chief denies report that military tracked jet far from where it last contacted air traffic control
The Associated Press Posted: Mar 12, 2014 12:50 AM ET
More than four days after a Malaysian jetliner went missing en route to Beijing, authorities acknowledged Wednesday they didn't know which direction the plane carrying 239 passengers was heading when it disappeared, vastly complicating efforts to find it.

Amid intensifying confusion and occasionally contradictory statements, the country's civil aviation authorities and the military said the plane may have turned back from its last known position between Malaysia and Vietnam, possibly as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane west of Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search crowdsourced by U.S. firm

Internet users can search for the missing plane in satellite images of ocean
Thomson Reuters Posted: Mar 11, 2014 6:08 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 11:05 PM ET
A U.S. company has put crowdsourcing to work in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, inviting internet users to comb through satellite images of over 3,100 square kilometres of ocean for any sign of wreckage, the company says.
Colorado-based DigitalGlobe Inc. used two of its satellites to collect imagery from an area between the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea where the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 passengers and crew on board was at first believed to have crashed after it went missing early on Saturday, the firm said on its website Tuesday.

 Russia Calls U.S. Aid to Ukraine Illegal Amid Standoff

By Kateryna Choursina, Volodymyr Verbyany and Ilya Arkhipov Mar 12, 2014 5:51 AM GMT+
Russia stood by deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and called possible U.S. aid to the new government in Kiev illegal, as the standoff with Western governments over Crimea intensified.
Financial support sought by the U.S. for Ukraine’s interim leadership would violate American law barring aid to any regime that uses force to take power, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Russia considers the ouster of Moscow-backed Yanukovych a coup, a claim rejected by the U.S.

US uses law on aid to post-coup governments as ‘political football’

march 11 2014
The US has double standards when it comes to suspending aid to countries where the authorities have been overthrown by force, Egypt and Ukraine are a clear example, Jeffrey Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review senior editor, told RT.
RT: Ukraine's deposed leader claims Washington is breaking its own laws when offering money to the current authorities in Kiev. So does Yanukovich have a point here?

Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine? Notorious U.S. mercenaries 'seen on the streets of flashpoint city' as Russia claims 300 hired guns have arrived in country

    Unidentified armed men seen on the streets of Donetsk in east Ukraine
    Russian diplomat claims 300 mercenaries had arrived in Kiev this week
    Mercenaries in the region could give Putin pretext for military action
    Donetsk has been the scene of big pro-Russian demonstrations this week
Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.
At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed soldiers with no insignia in the city, which has been gripped by pro-Moscow protests.

US war games in Black Sea 'speak in clear voice' to Russia: White House

Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:19AM GMT
White House press secretary Jay Carney says US military exercises with Romanian and Bulgarian warships in the Black Sea "speak in a clear voice" to Russia.
"We obviously have provided stepped-up assistance to those countries in this case," Carney said on Tuesday.
The Obama administration has sent 12 F-16 fighter jets and 300 American troops in Poland this week. Six F-15C Eagles and more than 60 American had also arrived at Siauliai air base, Lithuania.

Saudi chameleon: What next, jihad in Crimea?

Published time: March 11, 2014 08:40

Bond Trading Grinds To A Halt: Goldman Set To Report Weakest Q1 Since 2005; Revenues Down As Much As 25% Elsewhere

march 12/14
The topic of disappearing bond market liquidity and volume has been beaten to death on this site over the past several years. Nothing new here: thanks to the Fed's central-planning mission creep which has made efficient and fair markets into a surreal mockery, first equity, and then fixed income trading has been made irrelevant as there is no longer such a thing as price discovery, and with it have disappeared liquidity in the two largest equity and fixed income markets in the world.
It got so bad even the TBAC was openly complaining to the Treasury last August that there is no longer a bond market in the conventional sense, with the clear implication that since there are barely any fixed income transactions, Wall Street can't make money on either flow or prop trading side of things (and also warned that if and when the selling starts in earnest, watch out below). Alas, since Wall Street was explicitly fighting the Fed (remember: the main reason there is no volume is because nobody is selling) Wall Street has once again lost, and despite its appeals, the time to pay the piper has come. Said payment will be taken out of bank Q1 earnings which as everyone knows, will continue the declining trend seen in recent years (so much for that whole Net Interest Margin fable), but to learn just how bad, we go to the FT which reports that fixed income groups across Wall Street "are set for their worst start to the year since before the financial crisis, with revenue declines of up to 25%."
The punchline: "Analysts now expect Goldman Sachs to record its weakest first quarter since 2005 and JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are forecast to see their lowest revenues since they bought Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, respectively, in 2008."

Big fine imposed on ex-Goldman trader Tourre in SEC case

NEW YORK Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:49pm EDT
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader Fabrice Tourre to pay more than $825,000 after a jury found him liable for defrauding investors in a subprime mortgage product that failed during the financial crisis.

Ex-Credit Suisse banker pleads guilty to fraud, set to aid tax inquiry

By Evan Perez, CNN
March 12, 2014
Washington (CNN) -- A former Credit Suisse banker pleaded guilty on Tuesday to fraud charges, setting the stage for prosecutors to challenge claims by the Swiss bank that helping wealthy Americans evade taxes was the work of a few rogue bankers.

JP Morgan home loan whistleblower gets $64 mn reward

Published time: March 11, 2014 14:35
The JP Morgan whistleblower who revealed the bank's flawed home loans scandal is being given a $64 million reward. The bank was fined $614 million for the debacle.

When Interest Rates Rise – It’s Game Over

March 11, 2014
I just looked at the US debt clock.
Did you know that the total value of everything that America produces is LESS than the value of the US national debt?
Pretty shocking. But, it gets worse.
If you look at the US debt clock, you see that our ‘official debt’ is something like $17.5 trillion. THAT part of the debt is covered by the US Treasury Department when they issue bills, notes and bonds.
Unfortunately, there’s a TON of future debt rolling down on us. When you’re looking at the US Debt Clock webpage, that debt is at the bottom of the page, labelled US Unfunded Liabilities – about $128.22 trillion (right now). The US Treasury Department does NOT cover that debt, yet. (But, they will – in the future.)

Mar 12, 2014

Internet Tim Berners-Lee: the Web Needs a Magna Carta

Twenty-five years after he proposed what would eventually turn into the World Wide Web, British inventor Tim Berners-Lee called for an online Magna Carta to protect the Internet from the influences of governments and corporations.
Berners-Lee says the world needs a “global constitution — a bill of rights.” Jemima Kiss writes in the Guardian

Is bitcoin a derivative? US regulator weighs oversight

Published time: March 12, 2014 00:24
The US derivatives regulator is considering whether to regulate digital currencies such as bitcoin, the agency’s head said, as governments the world over begin to address how to handle mercurial cryptocurrency.
“We are looking into that,” Mark Wetjen, acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), said Tuesday, Reuters reported. “It’s been initiated, there’s been an internal discussion at the staff level.”
The CFTC regulates the commodity futures and options markets. Wetjen said the agency is analyzing whether digital currency falls under its purview as a watchdog over commodity manipulation.

U.S. surprises oil market with sale from strategic reserve

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:10pm GMT
(Reuters) - The United States will hold the first test sale of crude from its emergency oil stockpile since 1990, offering a modest 5 million barrels in what some observers saw as a subtle message to Russia from the Obama administration.

Special Report: How China's official bank card is used to smuggle money

MACAU Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:58am GMT
(Reuters) - Growing numbers of Chinese are using the country's state-backed bankcards to illegally spirit billions of dollars abroad, a Reuters examination has found.
On a recent day at the Choi Seng Jewellery and Watches company, a middle-aged woman strode to the counter past dusty shelves of watches. She handed the clerk her UnionPay card and received HK$300,000 ($50,000) in cash. She signed a credit card receipt describing the transaction as a "general sale", stuffed the cash into her handbag and strolled over to the Ponte 16 casino next door.
The withdrawal far exceeded the daily limit of 20,000 yuan, or $3,200, in cash that individual Chinese can legally move out of the mainland. "Don't worry," said a store clerk when asked about the legality of the transaction. "Everyone does this."

Former Heinz CEO Gets $110 Million As Firms Cuts 3,400 Jobs

Heinz was bought by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathawy (and 3G Capital) in February 2013 for $28 billion. Since then the firm has cut 3,400 jobs and closed factories in an effort to boost profits as they pay current boss Bernardo Hees $9.2 million. However, as The BBC reports, the most stunning dichotomy in this tale is former Heinz CEO William Johnson's $110.5 million payday for the final eight months of 2013... Perhaps more worryingly, Buffett has proclaimed this a "model for future buys." When will the President replace Immelt with Buffett as his jobs advisors?

'Slavery - and its consequences - should end'

How can the wrongs of slavery be put right? Fourteen Caribbean states are considering legal action against their former European colonizers. Jamaican Verene Shepherd is fighting with them for reparations.

Japanese scientist calls for own ground-breaking stem cell study to be retracted

Published time: March 12, 2014 01:04
Edited time: March 12, 2014 01:37
One of the co-authors of a recent study promising to revolutionize the synthesis of stem cells has called for the entire research to be retracted after he reviewed the test data and reportedly found multiple problems, including “questionable images.”

Saint John council votes to stop putting fluoride in water

CBC News Posted: Mar 11, 2014 6:50 AM AT Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 1:42 PM AT
Saint John will no longer add fluoride to the city's water.
Despite the urging of dentists and doctors at Monday's meeting of city council, the majority of councillors decided the treatment was not a worthwhile expense and voted to stop the practice.
For Coun. Ray Strowbridge, the decision came down to dollars and cents.
"The business case for the way fluoride is delivered in this city is an epic fail," he said.

Thousands clash with police as Turkish teenager buried

ISTANBUL Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:22pm EDT
(Reuters) - Riot police clashed with demonstrators in several Turkish cities for a second day on Wednesday as mourners buried a teenager wounded in protests last summer, unrest which a defiant Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cast as a plot against the state.