Exclusive: Regulators irate at NY action against Standard Chartered – Reuters) – The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve were blindsided and angered by New York’s banking regulator’s decision to launch an explosive attack on Standard Chartered Plc over $250 billion in alleged money laundering transactions tied to Iran, sources familiar with the situation said.
By going it alone through the order he issued on Monday, Benjamin Lawsky, head of the recently created New York State Department of Financial Services, also complicates talks between the Treasury and London-based Standard Chartered to settle claims over the transactions, several of the sources said.
Lawsky’s stunning move, which included releasing embarrassing communications and details of the bank’s alleged defiance of U.S. sanctions against Iran, is rewriting the playbook on how foreign banks settle cases involving the processing of shadowy funds tied to sanctioned countries. In the past, such cases have usually been settled through negotiation – with public shaming kept to a minimum. More…
Hydra’s new head: Copyright activists in panic over CETA
Less than a week has passed since ACTA was defeated by a comprehensive vote in the European parliament. But some copyright activists believe its provisions may get in through the backdoor via the CETA treaty.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a wide-ranging set of agreements between the EU and Canada. Only a small part of it concerns intellectual property, but this part appears to have been lifted from the drafts of ACTA, often word-for-word, as has been revealed by a leak of unpublished treaty protocols.
“The European Commission strategy appears to be to use CETA as the new ACTA, burying its provisions in a broader Canadian trade agreement with the hope that the European Parliament accepts the same provisions it just rejected with the ACTA framework,” claims Michael Geist, a Canadian law professor, on his website.
Geist quotes dozens of identical passages in ACTA and CETA. ACTA – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – was meant to fight intellectual property theft in the age of rapid technological progress. Although initially accepted by individual countries with little public consultation, it provoked mass demonstrations across Europe by citizens concerned about governments’ increased surveillance, a decline in privacy and a stifling of free enterprise that could result from the application of the law. More…
Jared Lee Loughner pleads guilty to trying to murder Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others last year.
Jared Lee Loughner has pleaded guilty to carrying out the deadly Arizona mass shooting in January 2011 that was a failed attempt to kill US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Six people were killed and 13 injured, including the congresswoman.
By pleading guilty, the 23-year-old will avoid the death penalty but will face a life sentence without the possibility of parole, the prosecution explained during the hearing at a federal court in Tucson.
Loughner also waived all right to appeal.
Dressed in a tan prison jumpsuit, his hair cut short, the defendant appeared calm and showed little emotion as he answered the judge’s questions.
“Yes, it is” true, he told the judge, confirming that he approached Giffords, 41, intending to kill her.
Loughner’s lawyer, Judy Clark, said her client was agreeing to plead guilty “knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently”.
A few minutes earlier, Federal Judge Larry Burns had declared the defendant mentally competent to understand and admit to the charges against him. More…