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NJ Pension Fund Sues NYSE-Euronext on ICE Deal

“…..The sale was “designed to ensure the sale of NYSE-Euronext to ICE on terms preferential to ICE and designed to benefit NYSE Euronext’s insiders,” the pension fund said…..”

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Bill Ackman Launches a Website: FactsAboutHerbalife.com


“…Ackman, who has an “enormous” short position, believes Herbalife is a pyramid scheme.  He also has a price target of $0 and believes the company is going to fail.

His newly launched website, FactsAboutHerbalife.com, includes Herbalife distributor presentations, recruiting material, videos, nutrition club photos, third-party investigative reports, Herbalife Today magazines, court depositions, etc.  ..”

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UBS Faces Probe for Possible Misconduct on Hong Kong Rate

UBS (UBSN) AG, which will pay $1.5 billion to settle charges with U.S. and U.K. regulators for manipulating Libor, is under scrutiny in Hong Kong for possible misconduct linked to the benchmark rate set in the city.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has started an investigation to see if there was wrongdoing by the Swiss bank in its submission of data for setting the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate, according to a statement from the de-facto central bank today. The HKMA is also reviewing whether the potential misconduct may have had a material impact on the rate…”

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‘Citizen Drone Warfare’

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“Less than a month ago, rumors that celebrity news and gossip website TMZ was interested in obtaining a paparazzi drone prompted privacy concerns and public debate about the appropriate personal and commercial uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Now, a new online video poses a more troubling question: What if civilian drones are equipped to shoot more than just pictures?

Titled “Citizen Drone Warfare” and posted to YouTube last week by an anonymous man calling himself “Milo Danger,” the video shows a hobbyist drone equipped with a custom-mounted paintball pistol flying over a grassy field and peppering human-shaped shooting-range targets with pellets.

Following an attack pass by the drone, one of the targets sports three large red blotches on its head and neck area.

“I wanted to show an inevitability of what I think will happen with these drones,” said “Milo,” who lives on the West Coast and spoke to The Washington Times on condition of anonymity. “I’m not advocating bad activities. But I wanted to raise some of the ethical issues we need to think about with this new technology…”

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HERBALIFE CEO: ‘The U.S. Will Be Better When Bill Ackman Is Gone’

“Herbalife’s CEO Michael Johnson is responding to Bill Ackman’s short position on Herbalife.

CNBC’s Kate Kelly first reported that Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, is shorting Herbalife calling it a “pyramid scheme.”

Johnson sounded angry calling it a “bogus accusation” and “blatant market manipulation.” ”

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Instagram Says it Now Has the Right to Sell Your Photos, Get to Deleting Your Account

“Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.”

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Massachusetts Fines Morgan Stanley Over Facebook I.P.O.

“Morgan Stanley is paying for its role in the troubled stock market debut of Facebook.

On Monday, Massachusetts’s top financial authority fined the bank $5 million for violating securities laws, the first major regulatory action tied to Facebook’s initial public stock offering.

William F. Galvin, the secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, accused the bank of improperly influencing the stock offering process. The regulator’s consent order asserts that a senior Morgan Stanley banker coached Facebook on how to share information with stock analysts who cover the social media company, a potential violation of a landmark legal settlement with Wall Street. While the banker never contacted the analysts directly, his actions, Mr. Galvin said, put ordinary investors at a disadvantage because they lacked access to the same research.

“The broader message here is we are going to use any means possible to enforce the strict code in place about giving out information,” Mr. Galvin said in an interview. “We want to get the message across that if Wall Street wants to get confidence back, they can’t disadvantage Main Street.”

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Patriot Missiles in Turkey Threaten “World War:” Iran Army Chief

“(Reuters) – The planned deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border with Syria could lead to a “world war” that would threaten Europe as well, Iran’s military chief of staff was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, in November to help bolster its border security after repeated episodes of gunfire from war-torn Syria spilling into Turkish territory.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian armed forces chief, said Iranwanted its neighbor Turkey to feel secure but called for NATO not to deploy the Patriots in its easternmost member state, which also bordersIran.”

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$BAC Issues Default Notice to $MBI

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) said it’s issued a notice of default to MBIA Inc. (MBI) after buying some of the bond insurer’s notes in an attempt to block a legal maneuver in their three-year dispute over toxic mortgage assets.

Bank of America, which failed to persuade investors to sell it a majority of the $329 million of 5.7 percent bonds due in 2034 that were outstanding early in November, said in a statement yesterday that it has acquired $136 million of the notes. MBIA said on Nov. 26 that it repurchased $170 million of the securities, leaving $159 million in investors’ hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

MBIA was seeking consent from its bondholders to alter terms of the securities to protect itself from the threat of a regulatory seizure of MBIA Insurance Corp., its unit that insured real estate-related debt that soured during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. After Bank of America bid to buy the December 2034 bonds, potentially providing holders with a better deal than the $10 per $1,000 of face value solicitation fee from MBIA, the insurer purchased about 52 percent of the debt in order to ensure it had sufficient support.

BofA Objection

The bank is objecting to MBIA’s buying back notes at or above par from a select group of holders after discouraging bondholders in a Nov. 20 statement from accepting Bank of America’s tender offer at face value, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Bank of America also asserts the consent solicitation is invalid because their bond indenture dictates that if MBIA beneficially owns any portion of the notes, they don’t count as outstanding for purposes of changing the terms, according to the person.”

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More Than One Way to Get Sick on the High Seas

High seas will make most people sick. Luxury liners get rid of that factor by choosing course and boating style, but they seem to have a hard time containing all sorts of illness.

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Report: $FDX ‘Systematically’ Overcharged Customers For Years

“While the U.S. Postal Service struggles to drum up business, one of its biggest competitors stands accused of regularly taking advantage of customers.

A FedEx executive said in an email that the company “systematically” overcharged businesses and government offices for years, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.

“I have brought this to attention of many people over the past five or six years, including more than one managing director, and no action has been taken to address it,” said Alan Elam, a FedEx sales executive, in a 2011 email revealed in a lawsuit, according to Bloomberg.

FedEx fought back against the charges on Tuesday. “We highly value our relationships with our customers and these relationships are at the core of all we do,” FedEx spokesperson Sally Davenport wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “These 11 documents do not tell the entire story of this case. We will continue to defend these allegations in a court of law and not the media.”

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U.S. Banks Brace for Another Round of Islamic Web Hacking Terrorism

“Developing: A group claiming to be aligned with Islamic terrorism that launched a massive attack against U.S. bank websites in the fall has threatened another round, set to start this week.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters posted on a popular message board late Monday, saying it will target the websites of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services and SunTrust Banks…”

FOXBusiness gauges the banks’ reaction.

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HSBC to Pay a $1.9 Billion Wrist Slap on Failing to Stop Money Laundering

“This may be the world’s largest wrist slap.

British banking giant HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, is set to pay $1.9 billion to settle accusations that it didn’t do enough to stop money laundering in its branches, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. According to the WSJ, the U.S. government could announce the deal as soon as Tuesday.

HSBC’s fine would shatter records for criminal and civil penalties paid by a bank, according to the WSJ. But it would not be more than investors had already expected. The bank on November 5 said it was setting aside $1.5 billion to cover potential penalties and warned it might have to pay a “significantly higher” amount. Reuters reported last week that the bank would likely soon settle for $1.8 billion.

Investors may well cheer the actual number. HSBC stock, which fell slightly on Monday in London trading, has gained 4 percent since the bank’s November 5 warning.”

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Arizona Powerball Winner Takes The Lump Sum, Blames The Fiscal Cliff

“The second winner of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot was identified Monday as Matthew Good, a married man in his 30s who moved to an affluent Phoenix suburb last year from Pennsylvania.

Good had decided to remain anonymous, but lottery winners in Arizona are a matter of public record. The Associated Press filed a public records request to learn his name.

Good took the one-time payout of $192 million from the Nov. 28 drawing, telling lottery officials the looming fiscal cliff was the reason he claimed the winnings now and not in the next calendar year. He had 180 days to claim the jackpot.”

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$WMT Back Pedals on Obamacare

“After making a big deal of publicly supporting the Affordable Care Act, Walmart—the nation’s largest private sector employer—is joining the ranks of companies seeking to avoid their obligation to provide employees with health insurance as required by Obamacare.

It was not all that many years ago that Walmart announced, in response to harsh criticism over the low pay provided to Walmart ‘associates’, that the company would provide a healthcare benefit to its part-time, low earning employees. The uncharacteristically generous nod to worker needs was short lived as the company partially pulled back on the commitment in 2011, citing premium rate increases that Walmart deemed beyond their capacity to pay…”

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Silvio Berlusconi Is Running For Italian PM Again


“Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday ended weeks of speculation by announcing he would again run for the job of prime minister, which he was forced out of last year.

“I am running to win,” the leader of the right-wing populist People of Freedom (PDL) party told journalists in Milanello, near the northern city of Milan.”

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