AusTex Oil Limited has filed a Home Country News Release – Production Activities and Results ? Audio Interview To view the full release click here (link to PDF).
Category : Stocks
Italy’s caretaker Prime Minister, Mario Monti, promises to cut labour taxes in an interview seen as the launch of his election campaign.
Go here to read the rest: Italy’s Monti launches campaign
In first interview since re-election, president sticks to requirement of higher taxes on the wealthiest 2% as a non-negotiable point
Barack Obama has rejected the latest proposal from Republican leaders on how to avoid the fiscal cliff, dismissing their offer as unbalanced and based on faulty calculations.
A day after senior Republicans led by John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, put forward their package of increased tax revenues and cuts in entitlements, Obama poured scorn on it, calling it “still out of balance. When you look at the math, it just doesn’t work”.
Obama’s objections to the Boehner ideas, given in his first television interview since winning re-election on 6 November, centre on its lack of tax increases for the top 2% of US earners. Over the past few days the president has doggedly stuck to this point as a non-negotiable element of his fiscal plans.
“We’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up, and we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it,” he said in an interview with Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg TV.
Under their plans, the Republicans would allow an increase in tax revenue but through attacking the deductions that people are granted rather than by increasing the tax rate for high-income households. Obama said that the only way such an approach would add up would be if “you completely eliminated for example charitable deductions, that means every hospital and university and not-for-profit agency across the country would suddenly find themselves on the verge of collapse.”
The president did hold out a possible carrot to the GOP, however, when he suggested that the deal that would need to be done in the next two weeks to avoid the fiscal cliff occurring on 1 January would be “down payments” on a longer term solution. “We’re not going to be able to come up with a comprehensive entitlement reform package that gets it all done in the next two weeks,” he said.
That opened the prospect of a temporary solution being found now, with the promise of a more substantial deal further down the line. Feasibly, that could involve the tax rate on the top earners rising now to 39.6% as the president insists, but being lowered again towards the end of 2013 by which time extensive tax reforms, properly conceived, could be introduced.
“We’d have to have some specific down payments now, recognising that we would then have to continue to work to see if we can come up with even better ideas to reduce healthcare costs over the long term,” he said.
As the standoff between the White House and the GOP continued, the debate over how to combat the fiscal crisis widened, with a cross-party group of state governors arriving in Washington. With 40% of federal discretionary spending relating to grants to the 50 states, governors are worried that they will become the fall-guy as cuts are passed on to them.
Despite the impasse, Obama sounded an optimistic note on the US economy which he said was poised to take off. “Let’s make sure we don’t have a self-inflicted wound, because there are a lot of silly games played up on Capitol Hill.”
The president deflected a question from Bloomberg TV on whether Republican attacks on the UN ambassador Susan Rice had “boxed him into a corner” over her possible appointment as secretary of state. Rice is presumed to be Obama’s first choice to replace Hillary Clinton, but her comments on the attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans died, has engulfed her in a conservative firestorm.
Obama said he had not yet made a decision on who to nominate to be secretary of state, and swatted away the query by saying “the most important thing we can do for national security is to get our economy right”.
• Telecoms company’s London flotation slips
• Post-Communist Moscow connections emerge
The photograph is low quality and appears similar to any taken of a group of male friends after dinner in post-Communist Moscow. But contained within this grainy 1994 shot, are some remarkable characters who have suddenly started to fascinate City bankers.
On the bottom right is Andrei Skoch, now rated as the richest man sitting in the Duma, Russia’s parliament. He is also a close friend of the billionaire oligarch and Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov and indirectly a leading figure behind MegaFon, the Russian telecoms business that Usmanov jointly listed on the London and Moscow stock markets on Wednesday.
Sitting next to Skoch is Sergei Mikhailov and, next to him on the front row is Viktor Averin. These are said to be two of Russia’s most feared gangsters.
These old connections have suddenly resurfaced as MegaFon – which last week announced the appointment to its board of former Labour minister and one time chairman of the Guardian Media Group Lord Myners – began trading 17% of its shares in London. Coincidentally, that is almost the same size of stake indirectly owned by the Skoch family. The shares fell nearly 3% on their first day.
Skoch, who has placed all of his business interests in the name of his father, Vladimir, declined to answer any questions about his connections when approached by the Guardian in Moscow last week. In a response to questions by email, a spokesperson for Usmanov said there have been “too many unwarranted allegations, rumours and speculations about different people in Russia”.
However, Skoch was prepared to give an interview to last Friday’s Financial Times in which he admitted knowing Mikhailov and Averin. He also previously spoke about the ties in a 2010 interview with the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, during which he confirmed that the photo was genuine.
He said that he got to know Mikhailov after he and Lev Kvetnoy bought several service companies at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport.
Skoch added that he was “introduced” to Mikhailov and Averin as the “owners” of the Vnukovo companies. “We met, discussed terms, and then agreed – the photo was taken afterwards,” he said.
Averin subsequently invited him and his wife to a holiday in Prague, in 1995. Skoch was one of 50 guests who celebrated Averin’s birthday at the Ritz Hotel. In his Vedomosti interview, Skoch said the guests had been sitting down for 15 minutes over dinner when the Czech police burst in. The police took all the guests down to the station for questioning, photographed them and then let them go. “After that I didn’t have any shared history with Viktor [Averin]. Not with him, not with Sergei [Mikhailov]. We didn’t have any joint interests,” he said.
However, Skoch told the FT last week that he continued to meet Averin for business purposes after the incident, with their last meeting seven years ago when they bumped into each other at a Moscow restaurant. “He’s a nice enough guy,” he told the paper.
The politician, whose wealth has been valued by Forbes at $4.2bn (£2.6bn), denied that he, Mikhailov or Averin had any links with Russian organised crime. “I can’t say they were bandits. They were ordinary businessmen,” he told the FT.
“I couldn’t say that anyone joined a [mafia] group. That would be incorrect,” Skoch also told Vedomosti. In the lawless Russia of the 1990s, he said it wasn’t entirely clear “who was in a mafia group and who wasn’t”. “You’d go into any restaurant and there would be a serious-looking guy sitting there. If you wanted to live, you had to be unafraid,” he said.
However, according to Federico Varese, professor of criminology at Oxford University, Mikhailov is the alleged founder of the “Solntsevo fraternity”, Russia’s most powerful mafia gang.
The group is named after a rundown area of western and southwestern Moscow – the name Solntsevo would translate as Sunnyside in English. Varese dubs the gang “arguably the mightiest organised crime group to emerge from the wreckage of the Soviet Union.”
In the same Vedomosti interview Skoch boasts of his close friendship with Usmanov – who has also faced questions about links to the alleged Uzbek drug trafficker, Gafur Rakhimov.
Usmanov denies that he has ever had any business dealings with Rakhimov, whom he says was a neighbour of his parents.
Skoch recalled that he met Usmanov in 1995, and went into business, buying a metallurgical industrial complex. The venture succeeded thanks to Usmanov’s “intellect”, Skoch said, adding: “We are very close. I trust him with my life.”
In 2010 Skoch said he saw Usmanov “virtually every day” and had travelled with him to Tashkent when Usmanov had a major operation.
Alps Shooting: BBC interview with Brett Martin
The shooting of a British family in France “was like something out of a Hollywood movie,” a British man who was first on the scene has said. Brett Martin helped seven-year-old Zainab al-Hilli after the attack which claimed the lives of her parents, …
Prosecutor: Key to Alpine killing case is in UK
SmallCapVoice Announces a New Audio Interview With Mr. Steven M. Hershman, Chairman and CEO of Loans4Less.com, Inc.
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SmallCapVoice.com, Inc. announced today that a new audio interview with Loans4Less.com, Inc. (LFLS) is now available. The interview can be heard at http://smallcapvoice.com/blog/9-11-12-smallcapvoice-interview-with-loans4less-com-inc-otc-lfls
Mr. Steven M. Hershman, Chairman & CEO of Loans4Less.com, Inc., called into SmallCapVoice.com to go over the business model and market for the company. The interview includes an overview of the business strategies used by management, the goals for the company in 2012 and the major achievements of the company to date.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain as they are based on current expectations and assumptions concerning future events or future performance of the company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only predictions and speak only as of the date hereof. In evaluating such statements, prospective investors should review carefully various risks and uncertainties identified in this release and matters set in the company’s SEC filings. These risks and uncertainties could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.
Originally posted here: Loans4Less.com, Inc. (LFLS: OTC Link) | LFLS Audio Interview – SmallCapVoice
President Francois Hollande vows to get France’s economy back in shape in two years with a series of measures, in a televised interview.
Read the original here: Hollande vows economic recovery
Mooter Media Ltd. has filed a Home Country News Release – Boardroom Radio Interview and WebEx Presentation To view the full release click here (link to PDF).
The expanding mall is a kind of undemocratic city, with levels of planning and security that almost guarantee ‘no riots here’
Bluewater, the enormous north Kent shopping mall, is planning an extension. About 1,500 “private sector jobs” will arrive in a deindustrialising area, as if to answer the coalition’s increasingly desperate prayers, but the continued success and expansion of a shopping centre during a double-dip recession might seem unexpected. Its co-owner, Lend Lease, has recently been better known for closing down high-profile projects – as in the chaos of its redevelopment of Elephant and Castle, or the demise of the Tithebarn “mall without walls” in Preston. Somehow, Bluewater endures and grows. How can an out-of-town mall manage to become more successful during an apparent decline in retail spending? Why are people going there to nose around chain stores, when we’re all apparently buying on Amazon or going to farmers’ markets and niche high street shops? What exactly is Bluewater’s secret?
The first thing you need to know about Bluewater is that it’s not merely a shopping mall, but something much more ambitious. I know the place very well, having regular appointments at the nearby, contiguous PFI-built Darent Valley hospital. As the crow flies, the two are about a quarter of a mile apart, but you couldn’t walk it – buses have to loop for some time around the massively over-engineered motorways that feed the mall. But when you finally do arrive, the entrance is exceptionally well defined. Neoclassical gateways and signs make the distinction from straggling north Kent subtopia apparent. Even the flyovers here have their concrete decorated to make it clear you’re somewhere different. There is a reason for this – a reason for everything in Bluewater.
According to its architect Eric Kuhne, head designer at the multinational firm CivicArts, Bluewater is “a city rather than a retail destination”. Its design and planning are intended, he said in a 2008 interview, to “dignify the heroic routine of everyday life that drives you to produce a better world for yourself and your kids”.
What this means in practice is that Bluewater is not solely a retail hangar, in the vein that runs from the Arndale Centres to Westfields. It’s the same typology, a heavily patrolled and surveilled series of shops and restaurants in a big enclosed box, but it takes some of those spaces’ innovations much further. Not just private security, but an entire code of conduct for entry, not to mention a dress code. No hoods, no baseball caps, no swearing, even.
If Bluewater is a city, then it’s obviously not a democratic one. Kuhne wouldn’t have it any other way – in the same interview, he pointed out that “democracy has a pretty poor track record of building great cities. The great cities of the world that we travel to see were built by benevolent despots”.
Like any other city, Bluewater has its periphery. Ebbsfleet, the exurban new “town” that boasts its own line to Paris, is effectively its suburb. Its cul-de-sacs and wood-clad flats abut wide motorways and retail parks, discouraging any civic or public life in anything but the mall itself. The Thames Gateway, the unofficial eastward expansion of London, has no centre, no real public space – for that it has Bluewater, and its older, gawkier north-of-the-river cousin Lakeside. Also, like a city, it has its slums. Nearby towns such as Chatham or Northfleet are as stricken as Barrow-in-Furness or Merthyr Tydfil. Their former centres are practically decimated by Bluewater.
Yet to discover Bluewater’s secret you have to go inside. Its architecture is so didactic it sometimes evokes Stalin’s pet projects, like the Moscow Metro or the Exhibition of Economic Achievements. Sculptures and slogans urging jollity, exhorting commerce, singing the beauty of nature and stressing historical continuity are in every corner. Many depict the trades that people once practised in north Kent, appropriately for this mall scraped out of a chalk quarry. Cutlers, Tanners, Fletchers, Bowyers, Chandlers, Glaziers and others are all immortalised by little statues in niches on the mall’s upper levels.
From a distance, the big box’s glass extrusions resemble Kentish oasthouses. Bluewater tears the heart out of older towns, and replaces – partially and inadequately – older jobs, but it immortalises them as it does so. It is, in Kodwo Eshun’s phrase, a “future shock absorber”, a new and destructive landscape that strains every sinew to reassure, to make the shopper feel secure and at ease, to eliminate anything alarming or obviously new and strange. It boasts levels of planning and security that practically guarantee “no riots here”.
Bluewater’s architects are right – its success is not merely about shopping, but about the production of a particular kind of place. The successful city, as represented by Bluewater, is clean, corporate, homogeneous, authoritarian, and, should anything unexpected occur, easily sealed off. The worse things get, the more it will thrive.