Enron investors pin hopes on court

first_imgMuch of corporate America has jumped into the court fight, arguing that shareholders in companies that commit securities fraud should not be allowed to sue banks, accountants, law firms and suppliers that allegedly participated in the fraud. Allowing investors to file class-action lawsuits in such cases would “threaten the safety and soundness of individual financial institutions and the nation’s banking system,” a coalition of business groups, including the American Bankers Association, said in court papers. Firms and corporations that enabled companies such as Enron to defraud stockholders should now have to pay, lawyers for the investors say. “The banks orchestrated the fraud; they weren’t sideline viewers,” said Patrick Coughlin, the lead lawyer for Enron shareholders. “So when the question comes up about who should be on the hook for Enron, it’s the banks.” Meir Feder, a New York lawyer who defends companies in securities cases, said “everybody understands that the Enron shareholders are victims here, but there’s a reason that Congress and the Supreme Court haven’t allowed people to sue third parties.” LAWSUIT: Justices weigh a fraud case that could be a last chance for compensation. By Pete Yost THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – The hopes of Enron investors are riding on a Supreme Court case that may be the last chance at compensation for their losses from the scandal-ridden energy company’s collapse. He added, “In the real world, for every third party who actually had a role in a fraud, you’re going to get lots of suits against other third parties who really didn’t.” When the Supreme Court hears arguments on the issue Tuesday, Enron investors will be on the sidelines. The court is dealing with a suit by Stoneridge Investment Partners against Motorola Inc. and Scientific-Atlanta Inc., which Cisco Systems Inc. now owns. Only eight of the nine justices will participate. Justice Stephen Breyer has withdrawn from the case; he gave no reason, but financial disclosure documents state he owned Cisco stock. Chief Justice John Roberts, who did not participate in the court’s decision to take the suit, has come back into it. The Stoneridge case has strong parallels to the one pursued by Enron shareholders, which the high court has left alone. The Enron suit was up for consideration June 21 at one of the justices’ regularly scheduled private conferences, but the court has neither accepted nor rejected it. “It’s easier to decide a legal issue in a noncharged atmosphere, which may have been what the justices had in mind by not taking on Enron,” Coughlin said. Stoneridge accused Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta of engaging in sham transactions with a cable television company, Charter Communications Inc. The alleged motive was to inflate Charter’s revenue by $17 million, help meet Wall Street expectations and avoid a drop in the company’s stock price. Because of a number of deals including the ones involving Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta, Charter eventually restated its financial statements, reducing revenue by $292 million from 2000-2002. In addition, four former Charter executives pleaded guilty in the matter after the Justice Department investigated the deals. Stoneridge’s efforts to recoup investment losses from Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta were turned back by lower courts, which said that the allegations were nothing more than claims that the two companies aided and abetted the fraud by Charter.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

NCS soccer: Cherms nets golden goal, Arcata girls down Eureka in OT to advance to section title match

first_imgBailey Cherms delivered a stunning golden goal which drifted just over the Loggers’ goal-keeper’s head from just a foot or two outside the penalty box, giving Arcata a 2-1 overtime win over Eureka in the semifinal round of the North Coast Section Division-I playoffs, Wednesday night at Eureka High.With the game-winning goal Cherms, who was sidelined last season due to a knee injury, sends Arcata to the section title round where it will host No. 5 Middletown on Saturday.“It was just an amazing …last_img

Africa’s high-tech boom boosts the continent’s competitiveness

first_imgKonza City is one of the largest infrastructure projects planned in Africa. When complete, it will be a major technology hub. (Image: KOTDA)• Miriam RahediManager, Branding, Marketing & CommunicationsKonza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA)+254 20 434 [email protected] Sulaiman PhilipIn Nigeria it’s the Wennovation Hub; Cape Town has CodeBridge, and Zambia BongoHive. Across Africa, from these centres to the ICT Incubator in Mauritius, the continent is alive with tech entrepreneurs.In Nairobi coders and entrepreneurs find one another at the iHub. In Ghana, Mobile Webs’s 300 techies have driven the growth in region-specific apps and technology, showing that Africa’s tech industry has grown quickly and organically; now African governments are looking to harness that success to spur diversity and growth in their economies.Over the next few years two new cities will emerge. Both – one in Ghana and the other in Kenya – are the vision of a new Africa made real.Ghana will spend $10-billion of private and public money over the next three years to build Hope City. Once completed it will provide employment for 50 000, have housing for 25 000, and facilities geared towards encouraging the growth of Ghana’s blossoming IT sector.Designed around a complex of six towers, which will be built to resemble Ghana’s traditional compound housing, the tallest will be a 75-storey, 270m-high colossus, the highest building in Africa. Once completed Hope City will be the largest tech assembly plant in the world, able to manufacture a million products a day.Hope City in Ghana will be home to the tallest building in Africa, once it is completed. (Image: OBR Architects) Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannahs’Roland Agambire, CEO of Ghanaian tech company RLG Communications, has been tapped to run the project. He believes that the lack of research and manufacturing infrastructure is holding back Africa’s ability to diversify its economies and tap into the high-tech boom that is coming to the continent. As he told CNN, “The inspiration behind Hope City is to have an iconic ICT park where ICT players from all over the world can converge to design, fabricate and export software and everything arising from this country.”Over the next 20 years Kenya will spend $14.5-billion to build Africa’s Silicon Savanah 60km from Nairobi. The construction is part of Kenya’s $25-billion infrastructure re-building programme. Money will be spent to improve Kenya’s commuter rail system, increase investment in green energy, and build a world-class sports academy. And it is Konza, with its hoped-for 200 000 jobs, that is the most significant project.The architects envision a network of roads sweeping out from a CBD through residential neighbourhoods, a science park and two tech hubs. Green space will run along the seasonal rivers, and schools and a university, hotels and places of worship will all grow out of the 20km² open savannah.Water pipelines are being laid to supply the 100 million litres a day Phase 1 – predicted to be completed by 2017 – will need. Construction on a new rail link connecting Konza to Mombasa and the port of Malaba has also begun.The Konza Technopolis Development Authority aims to attract software developers, data centres, call centres and light assembly manufacturing industries to the Silicon Savanah. Konza will be a game changer for the ICT sector in Africa, President Mwai Kibaki believes. “We expect to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the ICT sector.” Diversifying African economies through ICTA recent Africa Progress Panel report highlighted the importance of diversifying African economies. The authors argued that governments needed to embrace new technology to help diversify and improve their financial systems. They went on to argue that continued foreign investment was dependent on a skilled labour market and acceptance of new technologies.World Bank economist Hinh Dinh believes that now is the time for projects like Hope City and Konza, large infrastructure projects that show the world that Africa is indeed open for business. “If African countries miss this opportunity, it will take decades to catch up with the rest of the world.”There have been advances and successes in African IT. The face of mobile banking has been changed by M-Pesa. Rwanda is hoping that its investment in digital technology will speed its transition from an agrarian economy to a service one.John Ngumi runs the Konza project and believes steadfastly that the project will create between20 000 and 30 000 jobs by the time the first phase is completed in 2017 and a total of 200 000 by 2030. He believes that Konza will create jobs outside the IT industry as the city evolves to completion.But not everyone is convinced that this top-down idea to build the African IT industry will work. Including local communities for sustainabilityAlex Mukaru is a Nairobi-based IT entrepreneur who argued, to CNN, that the government has both overlooked the challenges of starting a business and misjudged the ability of the sector to create jobs on a large scale. “Getting everything you need to help you compose your project into a working unit is a challenge. You find that you lack the money or resources to move to the next level.”His concerns are grounded as Konza and Hope City have run into problems with local communities.Kenya had to introduce bylaws (recently rescinded) restricting informal settlements to outside a10km exclusion zone and the Hope City site has had to be moved after the developers squabbled with local leaders, who claimed they had angered the ancestors.Professor Vanessa Watson of UCT’s African Centre for Cities writes that cities like Hope and Konza threaten the well-being of the urban poor and, as is happening already, help to mobilise against them.Governments, Watson warns, want to re-imagine African cities as sub-Saharan Dubais or Shanghais without considering the conditions in most African cities. Looking to build legacies politicians disregard the fact that most of the population that will be displaced are extremely poor and living in informal settlements and that those left behind are excluded from the benefits of new developments.“Draped in the rhetoric of ‘smart cities’ and ‘eco-cities’, these plans promise to modernise African cities and turn them into gateways for international investors and showpieces for ambitious politicians. They disregard conditions of urban populations living in deep poverty and with minimal urban services, and could indeed make the situation worse.”Social engineering through grand purpose-designed cities are nothing new. Among the most legendary is the Le Corbusier-designed city of Chandigarh in northern India. Intended to replace Lahore – lost to Pakistan after partition in 1947 – as Punjab’s provincial capital, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to set a marker. Chandigarh was going to represent India’s emergence into a brave new world, free of the yoke of Britain’s colonial rule.The crowning achievement of the Swiss architect’s career, the only city he custom-designed (right down to the manhole covers, door handles and furniture) and built, was meant to be a living experiment, the encapsulation of his theories on urban planning.Its boulevards were designed to accommodate a growing number of cars and its wide open plazas meant as a gathering place for citizens. Designed to house 300 000 people it is now home to a million. It is considered safe, with job opportunities in abundance and lively cultural and educational sectors.Chandigarh is a success not because it was custom-designed, but in spite of this. The administration quarter, the reason for the city’s existence, is surrounded by machine gun nests and barbed wire – because of its proximity to the border with Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region. The Capitol complex is slowly returning to the forest while the rest of the city is thriving. Chandigarh’s administration centre has been allowed to decay. The pools around the Capitol are dry most of the year. (Image: Dave Morris)The citizens of Chandigarh appropriated their city and made it more blue collar than bureaucratic. Today Konza and Hope City are still jigsaws of trenches encircled by fences. In Konza the water infrastructure is being completed and just the borders of Hope City has been marked out of the bush. It is a long way away before any citizens of these silicon savannahs get to make their cities over in their own image.last_img read more

Seeking water quality cooperators

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio State University Extension is seeking additional farmers in the Maumee River Basin to help with a water monitoring research project looking at Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus losses from fields. Increases in DRP in the watershed have been tied to increased occurrences of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie. The data collect will help better quantify actual losses from an economic and environmental standpoint, lead to tools that can target high risk fields so cost effective Best Management practices can be designed that maintain crop productivity while reducing phosphorus losses.This project gives a farmer the chance to find out how much Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) in pounds per acre is leaving their field site, based on their crop production system. Farmers will be provided their individual data plus summary data for all sites in the project. The data will be used to understand what conditions lead to DRP loss and what recommend Best Management Practices (BMP’s) can be used to reduce nutrient loss.A plastic water sampling disk is placed at the end of field tile or within drainage water management structures during two periods of the year, September to December and March to June. The sample devices are changed out every 4-5 weeks during each sample period. A standard soil test analysis will be provided as well. There is no cost to the farmer for the water or soil sampling.The primary field selection recommendation is that drainage water sampled should only include water from the farm practices being done by the cooperating farmer. Shared field mains that include multiple farmer managements, road drainage, household water drainage or other areas not under control of the farmer should not be used. The field main should drain 5 or more acres. There is no upper limit to field size as long as the drainage area is known and the field area drained is under the control of the cooperating farmer. The end of the field main tile or a drainage control structure on the main tile should be accessible for deploying samplers.Field Management information by date for tillage, fertilizer applications and crop cover planting that occur in the 3 months prior to sampling through when the last sampler is pulled out will be collected. This data is extremely valuable to understand how practices influence the water quality results.More details on the sampling project as well as a signup link can be found at http://go.osu.edu/farmerwaterproject or contact Lee Richter, Program Coordinator, Water Monitoring Project, [email protected] or Greg LaBarge [email protected] Please signup by March 10 to participate in the second sampling period.For farmers who participated in the September to December, 2015 sampling. Samplers from this period are currently at the lab and we expect results back in the next 6-8 weeks. You do not need to sign fields that were used in 2015 up for this 2016 sampling. If you would like to add a field please give Lee a call or send her an e-mail.last_img read more

Understanding FMLA for Military Families & Caregivers

first_imgWhen working with our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Military Program at various installations across the state, it became apparent that many of our employees were unaware of the types of leave that are available. Approximately half of our Extension Military Program personnel consist of families of active duty service members, the other half are families of veterans. When we employ these types of individuals it is important that not only our Agency understand the types of leave available to the employee, but that our employees are also aware. If you are a military family member or a military caregiver currently employed, there is new legislation regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that could be beneficial to your family.In 2010 FMLA was amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to expand leave rights to employees with family members in the military depending on the individual’s circumstances. Under the new legislation by NDAA, FMLA includes two new benefit entitlements for military families: (1) Qualifying Exigency Leave and (2) Military Caregiver Leave.Let’s take a closer look at which type of leave would best fit you and your service member’s situation.Qualifying Exigency LeaveEligible employees who fall under the Qualifying Exigency Leave can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave yearly for reasons related to the call to active duty of covered service member’s spouses, children, or parents. Qualifications for Exigency Leave include:Service member has received a week or less for orders of deploymentService member is involved in military events and/or related activitiesUrgent child care or school activities is warrantedFinancial and legal tasks related to family member’s active dutyCounseling for the employee or child who isn’t already covered by FMLATime spent with service member on rest and recuperation (R&R) breaks during deploymentPost-deployment activitiesProviding care to parent of the service member when the parent is incapable of self-care and the service member necessitates a change in the existing care arrangement for the parentCertificationIf you qualify for Exigency Leave you must give reasonable notice to your employers upon seeking leave. Employers may require certification for Qualifying Exigency Leave, in which you will need to provide a copy of your service member’s active duty orders.For more information on Qualifying Exigency Leave go to the Department of Labor’s, Qualifying Exigency Leave under FMLA fact sheet.Military Caregiver LeaveIf you are caring for an active duty service member or veteran that has been wounded, Military Caregiver Leave is available. Military Caregiver Leave allows employees up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for seriously injured or ill “covered” service members. However, eligible employees may take an additional 26 weeks of leave in a different 12-month period to care for the service member in the event another injury is sustained. Employees may also take Military Caregiver Leave to care for families members who sustained a qualifying injury for up to five years after they have been discharged from service. Eligible employees include the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or “next of kin” of the covered service member.Service members who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness may be covered under the following qualifications:Member of the Armed ForcesDischarged or released under conditions other than dishonorableDischarged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for the service memberCertificationIf you qualify for Military Caregiver leave you may be required to provide certification by an authorized health care provider for employers to allow for leave to care for your service member. Health care providers can be from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE, or non-military affiliated providers. In addition to authorization from your healthcare provider, you may be required to submit documentation of family relationship in order to complete the certification process.To see if you qualify for FMLA leave for your current service member or veteran check out the following fact sheets provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.Military Caregiver Leave for Current Service Members under FMLAMilitary Caregiver Leave for Veteran under FMLABy knowing the types of leave available to you, it will not only help alleviate the many emotions that come with being part of the military community, but it will help you to know your options as an employee in the event your service member is deployed or wounded.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on May 22, 2015.last_img read more

Fighting is family affair for Golovkin

first_img“Nobody knows about it because camp is always closed,” Max Golovkin said. “No one knows how dedicated and focused and concentrated he is.”Max knows Gennady better than anyone. They had an older brother, Vadim, who helped introduce them to the sport and another brother, Sergey, who took time to work with them as well.Two brothers diedTragically both brothers were killed in separate incidents during Russian government service.The funeral for Vadim, who died first, was held with an empty casket. The family is still trying to find out the details of what happened.Gennady named his first child, a boy, Vadim. Max is also on Gennady’s mind when he fights. The family didn’t have much money so when Gennady turned 18 he was the one they picked to pursue a boxing career.“They chose Gennady should continue his career,” Max said.When you consider Gennady’s difficult journey to the pinnacle of his profession it is easy to see why he insists on taking nothing for granted.They say styles make fights and this one has the ingredients to be the start of a special rivalry. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Pelicans add free agent Tony Allen Boxer Gennady Golovkin poses on the scales during a weigh-in with Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on September 15, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Alvarez will challenge WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin for his titles at T-Mobile Arena on September 16 in Las Vegas. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIGennady Golovkin has travelled the globe winning boxing matches in 22 cities and seven different countries to earn his Las Vegas debut on Saturday.The 35-year-old Golovkin has waited years for the arrival of this career-defining superfight against Mexico’s biggest star Canelo Alvarez.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments MOST READ LATEST STORIES When reporters asked him on Wednesday about the birth of his second child, which happened last Friday, he said, “Please don’t ask me about my family. I am just focused on boxing.” His boxing career started in his native Kazakhstan. Growing up in a family of four boys, if he wasn’t scrapping with his brothers at home he was fighting much older and bigger kids in the streets.He had his first professional fight in 2006 at age 24 after a superb amateur career which included a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. His fought in Germany and Denmark before joining forces with trainer Abel Sanchez who taught him how to maximize his strengths.Sanchez and Golovkin teamed up for fights in Panama, Kazakhstan, Germany and Ukraine before Golovkin made his US debut in 2012.Golovkin’s twin brother, Max, said Gennady is a very private person.ADVERTISEMENT Alvarez insisted on a rematch clause for the fight which some are hoping is the beginning of boxing’s newest trilogy series like Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera and Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti.Golovkin says he’s willing to take on all comers and can’t wait to get into the ring with Canelo, comparing the excitement to being with a new lover.“It is like you are going with your new girlfriend. Oh yeah,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Golovkin, Alvarez make weight for blockbuster fightIt is also the three-belt champion’s first fight in Las Vegas and it fittingly comes against the toughest opponent he has ever faced in a career which has been defined by a steady jab and explosive knockout power.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“The biggest day is coming,” Golovkin said. “This is my game. My fight, I am the boss. I am the champion.”That was a mouthful from Golovkin. All week long during the build up to Saturday’s fight at the T-Mobile Arena for middleweight supremacy, the reserved Golovkin has said he prefers doing his talking in the ring. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more