April 25th, 2012
During a speech to Advanced Placement students at Von Steuben High School, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev made a strong statement of approval for President Obama. “Of course, there are many people who don’t like what President Obama is doing. But, my opinion of him is very [favorable]. I will support him,” Gorbachev said, according to a Russian translator, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
During his address, Gorbachev recalled an anecdote about a talk he gave to 12,000 university students prior to the 2008 election. At the event, there were a couple of students who were “particularly persistent” on election day in how Gorbachev should advise them to vote.
“When they asked this question, I said, ‘I don’t want to teach you because, often, America teaches others how they should live.’ If I give you advice, I said, that would be a risk,’” Gorbachev remembered.
“But nevertheless, I did say, ‘I think you Americans need your own Perestroika.’ And 12,000 people rose from their seats and gave me an ovation. And I think that the elections that followed brought a new spirit to America. Of course, there are many people who don’t like what President Obama is doing. But, my opinion of him is very [favorable]. I will support him. However, there are still vested interests who want another Cold War, another arms race, weapons trade, interventions. They will not succeed.”
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April 25th, 2012
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Investigators probing the collapse of bankrupt brokerage MF Global said Tuesday that they have located the $1.6 billion in customer money that had gone missing from the firm.
But just how much of those funds can be returned to the firm's clients, and who will be held responsible for their misappropriation, remains to be seen.
James Giddens, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global Inc, told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that his team's analysis of how the money went missing "is substantially concluded."
"We can trace where the cash and securities in the firm went, and that we've done," Giddens said.
MF Global failed last year after its disclosure of billions of dollars worth of bets on risky European debt sparked a panic among investors. About $105 billion in cash left the firm in its last week, Giddens said, as clients withdrew their funds and trading partners called for increased margin payments, leaving the firm scrambling to make good on its obligations.
It has since emerged that MF Global tapped customer funds for its own use during this crisis and failed to replace them, in violation of industry rules.
Roughly $700 million of the missing money is now locked up with MF Global's subsidiary in the United Kingdom, where Giddens and his team are engaged in litigation to have it returned to U.S. customers. Giddens said he is "reasonably confident" that these funds will be recovered, though he added that it will be a lengthy process with no guarantee of success.
Another $220 million was transferred inadvertently from the accounts of securities customers to those of commodities customers. That money is now in limbo amid a dispute over which customers it belongs to, said Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Giddens.
Giddens said his team has "a solid basis for seeking the recovery of some of the funds that were transferred to JPMorgan," and is engaged in ongoing talks on the issue. JPMorgan did not immediately return a request for comment.
Giddens' team is just one among a number of groups probing MF Global's collapse. There's also Louis Freeh, the trustee for MF Global's parent company, as well as the Department of Justice and federal regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Jill Sommers, a commissioner with the CFTC, told the hearing Tuesday that she could not disclose details of the commission's investigation, but said the case could lead to enforcement actions against the company or the individuals involved.
The SEC and CFTC can only seek civil penalties and restitution for customers, but their findings could help form the basis of a criminal case brought by the Justice Department.
Giddens, for his part, has said he may file civil claims against MF Global executives alleging breach of fiduciary duties and violations of federal law governing commodities trading. A person familiar with the trustee's probe said Jon Corzine, a former U.S. senator and Democratic governor from New Jersey who was CEO of MF Global when it collapsed, is among those against whom Giddens is considering action.
So far, most of MF Global's thousands of former customers have recovered about 70% of their money, while those that traded on foreign exchanges are missing nearly all of it.
On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge in Manhattan authorized an additional distribution of $685 million that will bring most customers up to around 80% of what they're owed. Six months after the firm's failure, however, they're still waiting for someone to be held accountable.
"Crimes have been committed here without a doubt," said James Koutoulas, an attorney and trader who has been advocating on behalf of MF Global customers.
"We think there are enough facts out here to start arresting people and start filing charges."
April 25th, 2012
New Scientist TV
Sandrine Ceurstemont, editor, New Scientist TV
It's not a bird or a plane: it's an unusual flying object that propels itself by flipping inside out. Created by engineers at Festo in Esslingen, Germany, the floating band filled with helium takes on different shapes while expanding and contracting to generate thrust and move through the air.
The design is based on the inverted cube shape discovered by inventor and mathematician Paul Schatz. By dissecting a cube into three parts, two star-shaped units can be produced at either end with an invertible belt in the middle section which is the same shape as the flying band. The system reproduces the entire structure: it opens to release the band while the ends remain on the ground as a docking station.
The flying object itself is made up of six identical prisms filled with helium, held together by a carbon-fibre framework. Three motors drive the motion coordinated by a tiny onboard computer, pre-programmed to replicate the inversion sequence. Using a smartphone, a person on the ground can guide the object around a room, which will be demonstrated on Monday at a trade show in Hanover, Germany.
The firm still hasn't come up with a specific use for inversion-driven propulsion. The mechanics of automated systems are typically based on rotational or linear motion to drive, for example, motors or grippers, but inversion is seldom used in designs. The company has now launched a competition challenging students in Germany to suggest a functional idea that could be implemented in an industrial environment.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to watch bionic penguins designed to swim or float in the air or check out a flying robot that mimics a bird.
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April 24th, 2012
By Dr. Jerome Corsi
A federal judge has dismissed a libel case against a homosexual who claimed Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign paid to rig a polygraph test regarding his sensational charge that he had sex and used drugs with the future president.
Larry Sinclair – who claims he twice engaged in sexual activity and used cocaine with Obama in 1999 when Obama was an Illinois state senator – was accused by Internet publisher Daniel Parisi of making false and damaging statements that led to the demise of Parisi’s porn website, Whitehouse.com, in 2008.
The alleged defamation did not center on Sinclair’s charges of sex and drugs with Obama but on Sinclair’s claim in his 2009 book that the Obama campaign and top adviser David Axelrod had agreed to pay Parisi $750,000 to rig the results of a polygraph test.
Parisi failed to present any evidence that Sinclair’s claim about Axelrod and the Obama campaign was false, wrote U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon in his Feb. 28 opinion dismissing the case.
Parisi filed March 30 jointly with Sinclair a “Stipulation and Order of Voluntary Dismissal,” which effectively ended Parisi’s claims against Sinclair and Sinclair Publishing.
Sinclair recounted in his book, “Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder,” Parisi’s offer to pay him $10,000 to take a polygraph test regarding his charge that he engaged in sexual acts with Obama in Chicago.
In the deal, Parisi would pay $100,000 if the polygraph showed Sinclair was telling the truth. Sinclair failed the test, and two subsequent tests corroborated the first result, according to court documents.
Parisi alleges Sinclair made defamatory statements in the book, including his assertion that “the polygraph was rigged and was arranged by Dan Parisi and Obama Campaign advisor David Axelrod.”
The judge, however, said Parisi failed to show Sinclair had published any knowingly false statements and concluded that he had taken appropriate steps to verify the information before publishing it.
Citing precedent, the judge argued that when the victim of the alleged defamation is a public figure, like Parisi, the statement in question must amount to more than negligence. The statement must be made with actual malice, he wrote, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard as to whether it or not it was true.
Furthermore, Parisi couldn’t support his claim that Sinclair’ statement was false, the judge said.
“The complaint contains no factual allegations, other than the plaintiffs own assertions that the statements were false,” Leon wrote.
Sinclair’s source of his allegation against Parisi and the Obama campaign was an anonymous phone call, but he tried to confirm the information with Parisi, who refused to respond, Leon states in his opinion. Also, a Chicago Tribune reporter contacted the tipster and affirmed Sinclair’s statement, the judge said.
Along with Sinclair and Sinclair Publishing, Parisi had sued radio talk show-host and Internet author Jeffrey Rense, who wrote the forward to Sinclair’s book; booksellers Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble; book distributor Ingram Content Group; and Internet retail giant Amazon.com.
Parisi still plans to appeal Leon’s dismissal of the case against Amazon.com, now the only remaining defendant.
Parisi’s suit effectively stopped the hardcover printing of Sinclair’s books, with used copies selling for as much $600 on Amazon.com. While defending himself in court, Sinclair was able to sell a paperback edition of the book on his website, LarrySinclair.net.
Sinclair told WND in a telephone interview that he stands by the claims in his book.
“I still believe all the charges I have made are true, and I have seen nothing to date that would change my beliefs,” he said.
He also continues to stand by his primary charge against Obama.
“I know from personal experience that Obama lied when he said he had given up drugs in college, and I can attest in detail to the fact Obama engages in homosexual sex,” Sinclair said.
In addition, Sinclair says he believes that the murder of Donald Young – the homosexual choirmaster at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago – was an attempt to protect Barack Obama’s secrets. Young was murdered shortly before the 2008 Iowa Caucus.
In the lawsuit, Parisi had sought from Sinclair $30 million in damages for himself and his various corporations, including Whitehouse.com Inc., Whitehouse Network LLC and White House Communications Inc.
Parisi claimed he created the entities to function as news agencies.
Sinclair represented himself in court while Parisi was represented by Patton Boggs, one of the most expensive, prestigious and politically connected law firms in the nation’s capital.
Sinclair, with no formal legal training, is not a lawyer licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.
WND could not reach Parisi for comment. Richard Oparil, Parisi’s attorney at Patton Boggs, also did not return WND calls asking for comment.
In January 2008, when Sinclair initially came forward to make his charges against Obama, he admitted to his criminal past, including having served prison time in Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
Feature at WND
April 24th, 2012
BLS Note: Thank the good Lord, I don't know about you but I have had about enough of the Primaries.
Now it's time to put the "anybody but Obama" mantra into effect and make it happen. Unless, of course, you're warming up to Marxism.....
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Mitt Romney implicitly accepted the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night, leaving behind the intraparty fighting that at times sullied his candidacy and vowing to defeat President Obama with a pledge to restore both the economy and Americans’ belief in the future.
Speaking as results were showing he was on the verge of sweeping five primaries, Romney reflected only briefly on the path that led him back to New Hampshire for a boisterous victory rally.
“After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility,” Romney told supporter at the Radisson hotel in downtown Manchester.
“To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance,” Romney added. “To all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight.”
Peppering his speech with such terms as “destiny” and appealing to traditional American notions of hard work and sacrifice, Romney steered clear of any political issue except the stuttering economy and the enduring pain of strapped Americans.
At one point, he paid homage to the campaign slogans of both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in their bids to defeat an incumbent president during economic turmoil.
“Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?” he said, as the crowd cheered “NO!”
“Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more AT your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Are you paying less at the pump?”
“You might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true,” Romney said. “You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright HoriIn what is essentially the crux of his campaign going forward, he added, “After 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery.President Obama’s campaign accused Romney of distorting the facts and ignoring some of the problems that Obama inherited.
“Mitt Romney has spent the last several months making dishonest attacks against the President’s record, so it’s no surprise that his speech tonight will be full of even more distortions,” said Lis Smith, an Obama campaign spokeswoman. “Here is the truth: when the President took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month because of the failed Bush policies — policies that Mitt Romney would bring back if elected.”
After months of tense election nights, spent waiting for voters to have their say in a volatile Republican nominating contest, the results Tuesday night were predictable.
Before 9 p.m., Romney had been declared the winner in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Minutes after his speech, New York was added to his victory toll.
The contests were the first without Rick Santorum, who ended his campaign two weeks ago. Newt Gingrich was considering a reassessment of his campaign, potentially ending a quixotic campaign that briefly threw a scare into Romney’s team before they buried him in attack ads.
If Gingrich drops out, the only candidate officially remaining in the race would be Ron Paul, who has yet to win a primary.
Over the past several weeks, Romney has been quietly revamping his campaign for the coming months. He’s hiring more staff, creating a fundraising program to attract top donors, and meeting with officials at the Republican National Committee to begin coordinating efforts.
He appointed longtime aide Beth Myers to head up a vice presidential search, and Romney has been campaigning with several likely prospects. He’s also started turning his attention to several key swing states, campaigning in Pennsylvania on Monday, traveling to New Hampshire on Tuesday, and planning to be in Ohio on Friday.
For Romney, the rally, held in a ballroom with exposed brick at the Radisson hotel in downtown Manchester, brought his campaign full circle. He announced his presidential bid just 30 miles away, in a field in Strafford, N.H.
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