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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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Press intrusion: Don’t name suspects in the media until charged, urges MP

Category : Business

Robert Buckland calls for reporting restrictions to be imposed as controversy over ‘secret arrests’ grows

Reporting restrictions should be imposed to prevent the routine naming of suspects by police until they have been charged, a prominent Conservative MP has urged. As the debate over so-called “secret arrests” intensifies following the naming of Rolf Harris last week, Robert Buckland, a member of parliament’s influential joint committee on human rights, has called for media organisations that name individuals without seeking permission from magistrates to face punishment.

His comments come as Acpo, the Association of Chief Police Officers, is drafting fresh guidance for police forces which is likely to advise against confirming the identity of those who have been detained.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, has also called for the “arrest anonymity” to be enshrined in law but admits she is not in favour of jailing journalists or bloggers.

Buckland, a barrister and the MP for south Swindon, was a prominent supporter of a private member’s bill put forward by the Conservative MP Anna Soubry in June 2010 that would have criminalised the identification of anyone who had been arrested without first seeking official permission. It proposed a punishment of up to six months in prison. Soubry eventually withdrew her anonymity (arrested persons) bill when the government failed to support it.

“There is a case for conferring greater anonymity [on suspects],” says Buckland. “There should be reporting restrictions but there should also be a mechanism which would allow reporters to request that they are lifted.”

The media would have to make an application before magistrates if they wanted to make an application, Buckland proposes. Media practices have changed, he says, and in the past newspapers were more prepared to talk about an “18 year old man” being arrested rather than identifying suspects before charges are brought.

Buckland adds: “If you think about someone who might be wrongly accused … that [accusation] is going to be on Google for the rest of his life and he will never be able to get away from it.

“I don’t want to be too draconian, but there would have to be some sanction [to prevent newspapers naming those arrested without permission]. The need for some reform is pressing. I have had conversations with the attorney general [Dominic Grieve QC] about this.”

Crook also wants the law changed. “There should be a presumption that people have anonymity at the point of arrest,” she says. “And there should be a proper decision-making process if there’s a reason to reveal their identity.

“People are innocent until proven guilty. It has to have the force of law. I’m reluctant to attach a criminal sanction to it and I don’t want to see more people going to prison – journalists or anyone else. People’s lives have been blighted when they have been named and [subsequently never charged]. It’s not just high-profile cases.”

Following the coining of the phrase “secret courts” to describe the restricted evidence hearings sanctioned by the justice and security bill, the term “secret arrests” is gaining currency.

Few of those involved in the latest debate sparked by comments in Lord Justice Leveson’s report, however, are suggesting that the media should be formally banned from naming suspects arrested by the police.

Stricter enforcement by the attorney general of contempt of court powers has resulted in a series of prosecutions of newspapers and may have reduced the political pressure for fresh criminal sanctions against the media.

The speculation has arisen from continuing concerns over the impact of media reporting on cases such as that involving the retired Bristol teacher Christopher Jefferies.

Jefferies was vilified by the popular press after being erroneously arrested in December 2010 for the murder of 25-year-old Joanna Yeates, a tenant in the building he owned. His name, he claimed, was disclosed by police to newspapers.

In Leveson’s report on the culture, practices and ethics of the press, the appeal court judge suggested that guidance about releasing names needs to be strengthened.

“I think that it should be made abundantly clear,” he wrote, “that save in exceptional and clearly identified circumstances (for example, where there may be an immediate risk to the public), the names or identifying details of those who are arrested or suspected of a crime should not be released to the press nor the public.”

The Law Commission, which last November put out proposals on refining the contempt of court laws for consultation, did not agree. It called for “greater certainty and consistency” in the way that police forces released information about those arrested.

But, it proposed, suspects should generally be identifed following a media request. “We consider that such policy should establish that, generally, the names of arrestees will be released,” it said, “but that appropriate safeguards will need to be put in place to ensure that some names are withheld, for example, where it would lead to the unlawful identification of a complainant, where the arrestee is a youth or where an ongoing investigation may be hampered.”

Spurred on by the debate, Acpo decided it should clarify its current guidance which allows police forces to adopt different approaches on whether or not to identify those detained.

Andy Trotter, chief constable of British Transport Police and Acpo’s lead officer on media policy, told the Mail on Sunday earlier this month that there should be a presumption of not confirming identities: “We are suggesting that people who have been arrested should not be named and only the briefest of details should be given.” Acpo is drafting fresh guidance which will eventually have to be approved by the College of Policing and chief constables.

Two senior judges, Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Tugendhat, responding on behalf of the senior judiciary to the Law Commission’s consultation, recently endorsed Trotter’s and Leveson’s preference for withholding the identification of those arrested save in exceptional circumstances.

They commented: “If there were a policy that the police should consistently publish the fact that a person has been arrested, in many cases that information would attract substantial publicity, causing irremediable damage to the person’s reputation.”

The Home Office insists it is not involved in drafting the new Acpo guidelines and declined to comment on Leveson’s proposals on the grounds that it was not a “full-blown recommendation” in his report.

The free speech organisation Index on Censorship has expressed alarm at the prospect of “secret arrests” where officers decline to confirm identities of those detained. Its chief executive, Kirsty Hughes, says: “‘De facto anonymity for people who have been arrested would reverse the principle of open justice that we have in the UK and could lead to people being arrested and taken into custody without anyone knowing about it. Anonymity may be appropriate in certain circumstances, but sweeping powers for secrecy should not be the norm.”


Category : World News

Gale Force Petroleum Inc. (TSXV: GFP) (OTCQX: GFPMF) (the “Company” or “Gale Force”) today announced that it has concluded the sale of its Oklahoma Properties for $650,000, as part of a total $6.5 million property sales transaction, previously announced on March 15, 2013.

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Bourque Industries, Inc. (BORK: OTC Pink Current) | Bourque Industries Releases Update to Shareholders

Category : Stocks, World News

Update Includes Plans for Future Fully Reporting Status, Removal of DTC Chill Efforts, Prospective Funding, Introduction of New Product, Growth Strategy, Management Team Changes< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Tucson, AZ

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New rules over packaged accounts

Category : Business, World News

New rules by the City’s watchdog to govern the abuse of sales of “packaged accounts” from banks have come into force.

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VIDEO: Cypriot threatens bank with bulldozer

Category : Business

People in Cyprus have reacted with anger to news that a 10bn-euro ($13bn; £8.7bn) bailout package agreed in Brussels will force bank depositors to help foot the bill.

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Sysorex Global Holdings Corp. (SYRX: OTC Link) | Sysorex Awarded Prime Position On $250 Million Pillar Contract To Provide SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Business And Force Support

Category : World News

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Sysorex Awarded Prime Position On $250 Million Pillar Contract To Provide SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Business And Force Support

PR Newswire

HERNDON, Va., Feb. 28, 2013

HERNDON, Va., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Sysorex Government Services, Inc. (Sysorex), a leading information technology solutions and services company and wholly owned subsidiary of Sysorex Global Holdings Corp. (SYRX.PK), announced today that they have received a multi-million dollar contract as a small business Prime Contractor on the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic Business and Force Support (BFS) contract.

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Avaaz bank tax transparency petition attracts more than 200,000 signatures

Category : Business

EU finance ministers petitioned to force banks to reveal how much tax is paid and profits made on country-by-country basis

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on European Union finance ministers to force banks to reveal how much they tax they pay and the profits they generate in individual countries. The lobby group Avaaz is leading the campaign and called on the finance ministers to force banks to “tame bank trickery”.

Banks are currently only obliged to disclose how much tax they pay in total, rather than how much tax they pay in the individual countries in which they operate.

Sharon Bowles, a British member of the European parliament, said: “This petition, signed by over 190,000 EU citizens – including myself – demonstrates that taxpayers can no longer accept untransparent accounting practices by global banks.”

The campaign is under way as discussions on the capital requirements directive – which could bring in the tax changes, new international capital rules and a cap on bankers’ bonuses – draws to a close.

The false-alarmists behind this shrinking population panic | Dean Baker

Category : Business

Policy-making elites would have us believe a smaller workforce spells the end of prosperity. Actually, it spells redistribution

The retirement of the baby boom cohorts means that the country’s labor force is likely to be growing far more slowly in the decades ahead than it did in prior decades. The United States is not alone in facing this situation. The rate of growth of the workforce has slowed or even turned negative in almost every wealthy country. Japan leads the way, with a workforce that has been shrinking in size for more than a decade.

Slower population growth is affecting the developing world as well. Latin America and much of Asia are seeing much slower population growth than in prior decades. In China, the one-child policy adopted in the late 1970s has virtually ended the growth in its labor force.

According to many media pundits, this picture of stagnant or declining labor forces is cause for panic. After all, it means that countries will be seeing an increase in the ratio of retirees to workers. Countries around the world will be suffering from labor shortages. And with even developing countries experiencing slower population growth, there will be nowhere to turn to make up the shortfall.

The only part of this picture that should, in fact, be scary is the failure of people involved in economic policy debates to have even a basic understanding of economics and arithmetic. There is no reason why the prospect of a stagnant or declining workforce should concern the vast majority of people. Rather, from the standpoint of addressing global warming and other environmental problems, this is great news.

First, a bit of arithmetic would be useful. People involved in economic policy-making tend to have problems with arithmetic, which is why they failed to recognize the housing and stock bubbles. Some simple sums can quickly show that the concerns about falling ratios of workers to retirees are ill-founded. In the United States, the social security trustees project that the ratio of workers to retirees will fall from 2.8 in 2013 to 2.0 in 2035.

It’s pretty simple to figure out the impact of this decline. Let’s assume that an average retiree consumes 85% as much as the average worker. This means that our 2.8 workers must produce enough goods and services to support the equivalent of 3.65 workers. That would imply each worker gets to keep 76.7% (2.8/3.65) of what they produce, with the rest taken away through taxes or other mechanisms to support pesky retirees.

When the ratio of workers to retirees falls to 2.0 then each worker will get to keep 70.2% (2.0/2.85) of what they produce. This implies a drop in the share of output going to workers of 8% over the next 22 years.

While that would depress living standards, we will also be seeing an increase in potential living standards from rising productivity growth. If productivity grows at the rate of 1.5% annually – roughly the rate it has been growing over the last two decades – then productivity in 2035 will be almost 40% higher than it is today. This means that the fall in the ratio of workers to retirees will take back less than a quarter of the potential gains from productivity growth. (It’s true that most workers have seen little benefit from productivity growth over the last three decades, but this points again to the importance of intra-generational distribution; it’s not a reason to be distracted by demographic nonsense.)

And this story puts the situation in the worst possible light. After 2035, productivity will continue to grow, but the ratio of workers to retirees will be little changed for the rest of the century. Why, exactly, are we supposed to be so scared?

The story is even more ridiculous for China, where productivity per worker has been increasing by more than 5% annually. This translates into an increase in output per worker of more than 160% over two decades. Do we seriously expect workers in China to be terrified if 10-15% of these gains are pulled away to support a larger population of retirees?

Of course, there is a story of labor shortages in this picture – in the sense that it will be difficult to find workers for the lowest-paying and least productive jobs. With a stagnant or declining labor force, workers will have their choice of jobs. It is unlikely that they will want to work as custodians or dishwashers for $7.25 an hour. They will either take jobs that offer higher pay or these jobs will have to substantially increase their pay in order to compete.

This means that the people who hire low-paid workers to clean their houses, serve their meals, or tend their lawns and gardens will likely have to pay higher wages. That prospect may sound like a disaster scenario for this small group of affluent people, but it sounds like great news for the tens of millions of people who hold these sorts of jobs. It should mean rapidly rising living standards for those who have been left behind over the last three decades.

And that is the basic story of fears over stagnant or declining populations. The people who hire help – the very same who also dominate economic policy debates – are terrified over the prospect that they will have to pay workers more in the future.

But the rest of us can sit back and enjoy watching them sweat as ordinary workers may finally start to see their share of the gains of the economic growth of the last three decades.

Biden task force chills gun stock rally

Category : Business, Stocks

A gun-related stocks rally of recent weeks halts on talk that Vice President Biden’s task force might recommend executive order to restrict sales.

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Surge in child benefit opt-outs

Category : Business

Some 270,000 people have opted out of receiving child benefit, owing to changes in rules affecting higher earners which are now in force.

Original post: Surge in child benefit opt-outs

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