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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Unthinkable? Publish and be damned | Editorial

Category : Business

Major deals are being struck about which we know nothing. If they are such good value, why be so shy?

The high court was told this week that it is extremely rare for the facts of any of the tax settlements between the revenue and large businesses to become public. The National Audit Office came to the same conclusion. What they called “bespoke governance settlements” represented good value for the country and were properly carried out. That is, of course, until the details of any such “sweetheart” deal are leaked – such as the “handshake” deal between Dave Hartnett, former permanent secretary of HMRC, and Goldman Sachs. As we now know, this was anything but transparent. It nearly came apart when it was rejected by the revenue’s high-risk corporate programme board because it failed to collect any interest on the sum owed, but was nodded through to prevent the bank pulling out of a new code of conduct George Osborne had just announced. Up to £20m waived? All in a day’s work. According to Hartnett, deals in excess of £1bn are “not uncommon”. HMRC say that a lot of dosh is collected by protecting taxpayer confidentiality. But Margaret Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee, surely has a point when she asks that if we got £4.5bn from four settlements alone, how many more billions have slipped under the thickly piled carpet? The fact is that major deals are being struck about which we know nothing. If they are such good value, why be so shy? Wherefore the modesty? Why not publish the details of each one as a matter of course and let the public judge for itself?

New Guinea Energy Ltd. (NGELY: OTCQX International) | Home Country News Release – NGE Fact Sheet

Category : Stocks

New Guinea Energy Ltd. has filed a Home Country News Release – NGE Fact Sheet To view the full release click here (link to PDF).

Go here to read the rest: New Guinea Energy Ltd. (NGELY: OTCQX International) | Home Country News Release – NGE Fact Sheet

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No more excuses. The only defensible option is to go vegetarian | John Harris

Category : Business

As the horsemeat scandal demonstrates, the global meat industry destroys the planet and leads to animal cruelty. If you care, there’s only one thing for it …

Scores of questions, but no satisfactory answers. Did British ministers really know back in 2011 that horsemeat had entered domestic food supplies? Might the scandal now include donkeys? And what exactly was the role of an almost comically shadowy set-up called Draap Trading Ltd, which is owned by a trust registered in the British Virgin Islands?

While we’re on the subject of the more light-footed aspects of modern capitalism, what of the fact that Findus – caught with horse flesh in its lasagne, and revealed to have outsourced the making of its Crispy Pancakes to the now-notorious French firm Comigel – is part-owned by a private-equity outfit commanded by one Lyndon Lea, a polo-playing gadfly once famed for a party in Montecito, California, where sushi was reportedly served on the bodies of half-naked women?

Accounts of his company’s role in the recent Findus story are full of phrases such as “extensive cost-cutting”, the sour tang of class and echoes of a lyric once sung by a long-lost indie rock band who went under the wonderfully apt name World Domination Enterprises: “Don’t feel sick, cos someone’s got to eat it.”

As the scandal goes on, that very British sensitivity whereby cows and pigs can be killed and hacked to pieces, but no one must touch horses – or dogs – remains as curious as ever. No one has died, or even fallen ill; the possible entry of the veterinary drug bute into the scandal still looks likely to be a mildly worrying detail rather than the basis of any reasonable cause for mass panic. As far as I am aware, as the meat industry has grown both increasingly complex and ever-more unregulated, precious few of the voices now screaming about its excesses have ever sought to prise open its doors, question whether cutting back on inspection and regulation was such a great idea or wonder whether modern meat-eating might be leading us somewhere grim.

Nonetheless, something interesting is going on, as proved by a run of newspaper front pages. Last Thursday, for example, the Daily Mirror’s headline was “the horse butchers”, and the picture showed an anxious-looking man, seemingly cutting every last half-edible morsel from a chunk of flesh and bone. As with so much of the coverage of the current scandal, its visceral impact was not about whether the meat in question was from horses or cows, but the simple reality of the industrialised processes whereby sentient creatures are turned into what one former abattoir worker recently described in the Financial Times as “a block of frozen mush that’s maybe 2ft by 2ft by 3ft”. In an age when most people buy their meat from supermarkets and have rarely glimpsed a carcass, this points up one of 21st-century living’s most messed-up aspects: the fact that most people eat meat, but recoil when they see what it entails.

At which point, an admission: I am a vegetarian, and I have not (knowingly) eaten meat since the mid-1980s. I stopped for two reasons: the simple realisation that I found killing animals for food objectionable, and a vague mess of thoughts bound up with what it was to be an archetypal 80s lefty. In the years since, I have barely uttered a word about it, mindful of the pieties that led George Orwell to malign certain people as “vegetarians and communists”, and convinced that there are much more important things to shout about.

The clincher was the night I spent at the official Linda McCartney tribute concert at the Albert Hall, when the walls were covered in adverts for her less-than-interesting frozen foods – just relaunched, which is some feat of timing – and the musicians onstage exhorted everyone present to “go veggie”. I cannot quite unpick what did my head in about this: something to do with a misplaced sense of priorities, coupled with a small “p” politics that seemed a little too twee and self-regarding.

But over the last decade or so, the case for vegetarianism has grown ever-more urgent, and unanswerable. A watershed came in 2008, when Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change, highlighted the links between meat consumption and environmental crisis, and advised anyone listening to “give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there.” Now as then, the meat industry accounts for around a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is directly responsible for huge levels of deforestation. When it comes to wider arguments about sustainability, the arguments are just as stark. Sixteen years ago, a Cornell University study established that 800 million people could be fed with the grain used to fatten up US livestock; the majority of corn and soy grown in the world is now set aside for cattle, pigs and chickens.

Such is the rising noise focused on the meat industry: on the one hand, level-headed arguments about the future of the planet; and on the other, periodic spasms of outrage – as last happened in 2010, when the campaign group Animal Aid revealed the stomach-turning brutality that seemed to be routine at many English slaughter houses, a story which included one abattoir certified for the “humane slaughter” of organically reared cows, sheep and pigs.

But the horsemeat scandal is probably the first big story that joins the two elements together. Ever-rising food costs are what pushed retailers and manufacturers to source questionable meat, so as to keep prices low. Costs are going up partly because of increasing worldwide meat consumption, particularly in China and India, which pushes up the price not just of meat, but the foodstuffs used for livestock. The worldwide meat economy, then, is looking increasingly unaffordable – both financially and environmentally. And the upshot is obvious enough: if the world is going to eat ever-increasing quantities of meat, a lot of it will originate in places where rules are not respected, where animals are routinely brutalised and where what exactly is in those frozen blocks of mush is anyone’s guess.

So, you cannot be a “flexitarian”, and throw a couple of quorn products into your trolley and pretend that that makes everything OK.

Even if you have the money to buy organic meat at your local independent butcher, you will still collide with a couple of inescapable facts: that, as the Animal Aid revelations proved, organic butchery is no guarantee of ethical standards, and that getting our nutrition from meat-eating is unsustainably inefficient. If the personal is political, the only defensible option is to “go veggie”. There: said it.

Why the free market fundamentalists think 2013 will be the best year ever | Slavoj Žižek

Category : Business

As communists once did, today’s capitalists blame any failures on their system being ‘impurely’ applied

The Christmas issue of the Spectator ran an editorial entitled “Why 2012 was the best year ever“. It argued against the perception that we live in “a dangerous, cruel world where things are bad and getting worse”. Here is the opening paragraph: “It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world. That sounds like an extravagant claim, but it is borne out by evidence. Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The west remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing countries are charging ahead, and people are being lifted out of poverty at the fastest rate ever recorded. The death toll inflicted by war and natural disasters is also mercifully low. We are living in a golden age.”

The same idea has been developed systematically in a number of bestsellers, from Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist to Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. There is also a more down-to-earth version that one often hears in the media, especially those of non-European countries: crisis, what crisis? Look at the so-called Bric countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, or at Poland, South Korea, Singapore, Peru, even many sub-Saharan African states – they are all progressing. The losers are western Europe and, up to a point, the US, so we are not dealing with a global crisis, but simply with the shift of progress away from the west. Is a potent symbol of this shift not the fact that, recently, many people from Portugal, a country in deep crisis, are returning to Mozambique and Angola, ex-colonies of Portugal, but this time as economic immigrants, not as colonisers?

Even with regard to human rights: is the situation in China and Russia now not better than it was 50 years ago? Describing the ongoing crisis as a global phenomenon, the story goes, is a typical Eurocentrist view coming from leftists who usually pride themselves on their anti-Eurocentrism. Our “global crisis” is in fact a mere local blip in a larger story of overall progress.

But we should restrain our joy. The question to be raised is: if Europe alone is in gradual decay, what is replacing its hegemony? The answer is: “capitalism with Asian values” – which, of course, has nothing to do with Asian people and everything to do with the clear and present tendency of contemporary capitalism to limit or even suspend democracy.

This tendency in no way contradicts the much-celebrated progress of humanity – it is its immanent feature. All radical thinkers, from Marx to intelligent conservatives, were obsessed by the question: what is the price of progress? Marx was fascinated by capitalism, by the unheard-of productivity it unleashed; but he insisted this success engenders antagonisms. We should do the same today: keep in view the dark underside of global capitalism that is fomenting revolts.

People rebel not when things are really bad, but when their expectations are disappointed. The French revolution occurred only once the king and the nobles were losing their hold on power; the 1956 anti-communist revolt in Hungary exploded after Imre Nagy had already been a prime minister for two years, after (relatively) free debates among intellectuals; people rebelled in Egypt in 2011 because there was some economic progress under Mubarak, giving rise to a class of educated young people who participated in the universal digital culture. And this is why the Chinese Communists are right to panic: because, on average, people are now living better than 40 years ago – and the social antagonisms (between the newly rich and the rest) are exploding, and expectations are much higher.

That’s the problem with development and progress: they are always uneven, they give birth to new instabilities and antagonisms, they generate new expectations that cannot be met. In Egypt just prior to the Arab spring, the majority lived a little better than before, but the standards by which they measured their (dis)satisfaction were much higher.

In order not to miss this link between progress and instability, one should always focus on how what first appears as an incomplete realisation of a social project signals its immanent limitation. There is a story (apocryphal, maybe) about the left-Keynesian economist John Galbraith: before a trip to the USSR in the late 1950s, he wrote to his anti-communist friend Sidney Hook: “Don’t worry, I will not be seduced by the Soviets and return home claiming they have socialism!” Hook answered him promptly: “But that’s what worries me – that you will return claiming USSR is not socialist!” What Hook feared was the naive defence of the purity of the concept: if things go wrong with building a socialist society, this does not invalidate the idea itself, it simply means we didn’t implement it properly. Do we not detect the same naivety in today’s market fundamentalists?

When, during a recent TV debate in France, the French philosopher and economist Guy Sorman claimed democracy and capitalism necessarily go together, I couldn’t resist asking him the obvious question: “But what about China?” He snapped back: “In China there is no capitalism!” For the fanatically pro-capitalist Sorman, if a country is non-democratic, it is not truly capitalist, in exactly the same way that for a democratic communist, Stalinism was simply not an authentic form of communism.

This is how today’s apologists for the market, in an unheard-of ideological kidnapping, explain the crisis of 2008: it was not the failure of the free market that caused it, but the excessive state regulation; the fact that our market economy was not a true one, but was instead in the clutches of the welfare state. When we dismiss the failures of market capitalism as accidental mishaps, we end up in a naive “progress-ism” that sees the solution as a more “authentic” and pure application of a notion, and thus tries to put out the fire by pouring oil on it.

Verde Media Group, Inc. (VMGI: OTC Link) | Verde Media Group Inc. Has Filed the 2012 Annual Report and Financials

Category : World News

Verde Media Group Inc., (OTC:VMGI) announces that the company has filed the required Annual Report and consolidated financials required to maintain current information with OTC Markets in compliance with their disclosure requirements.

To view the filings go to-


The results described herein cannot be guaranteed. This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this news release other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements” that are based on current expectations and assumptions.

See the original post: Verde Media Group, Inc. (VMGI: OTC Link) | Verde Media Group Inc. Has Filed the 2012 Annual Report and Financials

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Leaving the European Union would be bad for Britain | Roger Carr

Category : Business

The case for Britain staying in the EU and acting as an agent of change is unarguable

As British industry prepares for the challenges of the year ahead, while little has changed in reality, it does so with a more positive mindset and greater optimism than in recent times.

The economic misfortunes of Europe are increasingly contemplated as a fragile long-term condition to be managed rather than a looming crisis to be feared.

Recent achievements in building export volumes in growth markets are now seen as a spur for greater endeavour by all rather than simply the laurels on which a few may rest. The resurrection of the automotive industry through sensible co-operation between government and business has become a beacon for other sectors to follow rather than an isolated example of industrial success.

There are still many battles to be won. Levels of unemployment are unacceptably high – particularly among the young – and the pace of economic recovery remains slow. Inflation in food and energy prices continues to impact the hard-pressed consumer in the wake of ever-increasing global demand. With no obvious solutions in sight, the combined endeavours of government and business to improve education and training and pursue new forms of energy are at least positive signs of work in progress.

Business leaders and politicians of all colours, while differing in detail, are broadly aligned in the belief that growth remains our overwhelming priority with the increased export of products and services our key to sustainable prosperity.

But in a climate of relative harmony and common purpose, our membership of the European Union remains the issue that divides political parties, business communities, media magnates and the public at large.

More than any other topic, opinions are polarised and views driven by emotion over fact. Those who are passionate in their desire for departure are organised, vocal and visible. Siren voices that suggest the UK could survive as another Norway fail to register its population is one twelfth of the UK, its GDP per capita one and a half times that of Germany, its wealth in natural resources, the price it pays for a trading relationship with Europe or its absence of influence without full membership credentials.

Those who offer Switzerland as an alternative discount its unique strength as a country that has accumulated wealth through years of neutrality, established a financial niche through banking secrecy and invested years in reaching trade agreements with Europe that are far from all encompassing.

With a few facts and much prejudice there is a real and present danger that we move towards a referendum with the risk of “in” or “out” as stark choices. It becomes increasingly important therefore that those with a view – whether political or industrial – speak up to ensure a fair balance of argument is heard by a generation of voters who will determine the economic consequences for generations to come.

Whatever the emotional appeal of exiting the EU may be to some in our society, there are key facts that we must all remember: UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer. Departure would necessitate multiple bilateral agreements, frustrate free trade and damage our export performance in the medium term. Growth in new markets, however rapid, could not compensate for the inevitable decline in European activity.

UK membership attracts inward foreign investment from both banks and industry capitalising on the open market culture, skills, rule of law, flexible labour force, language and time zone. The UK is often the preferred bridge into Europe. Departure would undermine jobs, dilute international relationships and damage national wealth.

UK membership encourages large company capital investment within the UK, creating jobs and wealth that trickle down to medium and small company suppliers. Departure would be bad for employment and growth across a broad business spectrum. Europe benefits companies of all sizes.

But we must not pretend the EU is a perfect structure. It has levels of bureaucracy and cost that require addressing to ensure it achieves its potential in an increasingly competitive world. It requires streamlining, de-layering and deregulating to be a truly effective institution. And events mean that it is changing in front of us. The consequences of the eurozone crisis are driving ever closer union for eurozone countries, of which we will not be part. This will affect the nature of the EU of which we are a part. It, too, will be different and far from perfect.

The UK is an agent of change. It is a welcome ally of all those in Europe who seek improvement. It is potentially a force for good where its culture, instincts, experience and pragmatism will drive change. To have influence, the UK must be viewed as a committed partner today seeking constructively to create a better future for tomorrow. It is in no one’s interest that the UK is persistently seen as a reluctant player constantly looking for the way out and not the way forward.

For the UK, an improved European vision should be the centrepiece of a growth policy that builds on the expansion of global trade to achieve a sustainable prosperous future. We are an island nation whose wealth was built in trading with the world, leading by innovation and winning by determination.

As countries sharing the same currency inevitably fuse, both economically and politically, the UK’s voice still needs to be heard, helping to shape our collective futures.

We must remember when considering the EU that this time the door marked exit will not be revolving. Departure will consign many to a long-term economic future that ultimately few may envy.

Now is the time for cases to be made and arguments to be heard. Silence will not be golden.

Fact check: Claims about Syria, Libya, Iraq scrutinized – USA TODAY

Category : Stocks

New York Times
Fact check: Claims about Syria, Libya, Iraq scrutinized
Fact check: Claims about Syria, Libya, Iraq scrutinized. Tim Mullaney, Gregory Korte, Tom Vanden Brook, Paul Davidson and Alan Gomez, USA TODAYShare. Comments. debate2. President Obama and Mitt Romney debate in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday.
Obama and Romney clash over foreign policy in final presidential debateThe Guardian
Obama reverses roles, comes out swinging at Romney in final debateLos Angeles Times
Libya is debate's first question — and question left unansweredFox News

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Letters: Aromatherapy treatment for Tesco

Category : Business

John Harris wants a Campaign to Protect Urban England to fight for the character and diversity of our towns (15 October). But CPRE already supports the direction he advocates: for a genuinely democratic local planning system and against homogeneity. Our report From Field to Fork shows both the importance of local food webs and the high streets they support, and how they are threatened by a massive expansion of supermarkets – 44m sq ft of development planned, 80% of it out of town. It makes the case – economically, socially and environmentally – for protecting towns like Frome from yet another bland superstore. We are working across the country to improve local plans, including by ensuring that they have robust retail policies.
Shaun Spiers
Chief executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England

• There is no doubt that it can be aesthetically pleasing to walk along a high street composed of independent retailers. The reality, however, is that while many may offer good-quality, well-made items, they are often non-essential and non-affordable to the majority of locals, who, as a result of being priced out of their local high street, will opt for the nearest Argos or Tesco. Costa, Cafe Nero and others are no doubt popular for the very same reason – that and the fact that not everyone wants to drink their coffee surrounded by adverts proclaiming the benefits of reiki head massage, aromatherapy and locally produced chorizo. I am sure these things are all very nice, but the dogma that local and independent improves everyone’s lives is getting a little tiring.
Paddy Austin
Lewes, East Sussex

Sharp Jabs Dominate Combative Vice-Presidential Debate – Wall Street Journal

Category : Stocks

Wall Street Journal
Sharp Jabs Dominate Combative Vice-Presidential Debate
Wall Street Journal
By CAROL E. LEE, LAURA MECKLER and COLLEEN MCCAIN NELSON Eric Gay/AP Vice President Joe Biden and Republican rival Paul Ryan engaged in a confrontational debate Thursday night that included interruptions, flippant asides and pointed accusations over a
Biden, Ryan clash in feisty vice presidential debateLos Angeles Times
Fact Checking the Vice Presidential DebateABC News
Biden holds Ryan accountable for support for privatizing Social

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EnerBrite Technologies Group, Inc. (ETGG: OTC Link) | Enerbrite Technologies Group Inc. Releases Open Letter to Shareholders regarding the current STOP sign status on ETGG by OTC Markets

Category : World News


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