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Showing posts from January, 2015

auditors alerted Pemex in February 2013

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Español: Torre Pemex en la Ciudad de México, México. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)  The state-owned petroleum giant Pemex paid $9 million in 2011 to have an oil rig towed halfway round the world, from the United Arab Emirates to the Gulf of Mexico. When government auditors looked at the contract, they turned up some problems. The rig had the wrong equipment for the assignment, according to a report by Mexican congressional auditors. And the tow job itself was a fiction: The rig didn’t need to be moved. It was already in the Gulf of Mexico. The auditors alerted Pemex in February 2013, urging it to discipline the employees who handled the contract. Pemex did nothing. About a year later, an explosion aboard the rig killed two workers. The cause of the blast is still under investigation by Pemex. The rig deal, a Reuters examination finds, is typical of the way Pemex and the government respond to widespread signs of fraud in the company’s vast contracting budget: by looking the other way. Reut…

SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy protection

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SkyMall, whose in-flight shopping catalogs have long been a staple of airline travel, has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming changing consumer habits and the loss of contracts from two major carriers, Delta and Southwest. Xhibit Corp (XBTC.PK), SkyMall's parent, on Friday said it hoped to sell its main assets, including the SkyMall online retail business, in April through a court-supervised auction, and then complete an "orderly wind-down" of its affairs. It also said it suspended its retail catalog operations on Jan. 16, laying off 47 of its 150 employees. Xhibit and SkyMall filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on Thursday night in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Phoenix, their hometown. The debtors, including several affiliates, face $12 million of creditor claims. Founded in 1989, SkyMall said it sold more than 30,000 products it calls "cool stuff," including novelty items ranging from personalized socks to dog beds to a $2,499 football helmet…

President Obama's call for the FCC to adopt fresh legislation

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In the face of President Obama's call for the FCC to adopt fresh legislation to protect net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has reminded the leader politely that the agency works for Congress, not the White House. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found itself at the heart of a discussion on what is deemed net neutrality -- the principle of treating all Internet traffic the same way. The US communications regulator is currently thrashing out a new set of net neutrality rules, but the current proposal would allow for telecommunications and broadband providers to charge content providers, such as Netflix, for priority Internet fast-lanes. If content providers refused to pay additional rates, theoretically, this could result in throttled speeds for US subscribers -- or ISPs which produce their own content could slow down rivals in a bid to promote their own services. The proposal drew mass protest and a high volume of comments by the public, which resulted in the …

Netflix of magazines is not exactly moving forward

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Millions of people are more than willing to pay for steady access to streaming content. Netflix counts 50 million subscribers to its online video library, and Spotify has 12.5 million listeners ponying up a monthly fee for a massive buffet of music. For magazines, however, the idea of paying a flat fee for unlimited access hasn't caught on. The idea of banding together into a Netflix of magazines isn't untested, just unpopular. Several major magazine publishers joined forces in 2011 to launch Next Issue Media, a company that charges $15 per month for access to about 140 magazines, or $10 for a more limited selection. Even under the most optimistic assessment, the project has so far only been a decent proof of concept. “No one has heard of us,” acknowledges Morgan Guenther, the company’s chief executive officer. He puts the number of subscribers at "well into the hundreds of thousands." But maybe 2015 will be different. Next Issue just raised $50 million from private…

Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million in the fourth quarter

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English: "Fly Delta Air Lines" marker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million in the fourth quarter largely due to fuel hedge settlements, although the carrier topped analysts' estimates and offered positive outlook for the start of 2015. The Atlanta-based carrier lost 86 cents per diluted share, including a $1.2 billion charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges, which Delta had announced. Delta also said its refinery produced $105 million in profit. The airline earned $649 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, compared with the average analyst estimate of 77 cents per diluted share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Wall Street estimates excluded special charges. Passenger revenue grew 4.6 percent to about $8.24 billion versus the fourth quarter of 2013, with unit revenue up 0.8 percent. Although Delta had to pay a hefty premium because its hedges had not bet on oil prices falling, t…

Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs

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Baker Hughes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Oilfield service providers Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs as drilling activity slows further due to a steep fall in crude oil prices. Global oil prices have tumbled almost 60 percent since June, hitting five-year lows as growing production and tepid global demand has caused a supply glut and prompted oil producers to scale back spending. "We expect our headcount adjustments to be in line with our primary competitors," Halliburton's Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Miller said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday, without giving a specific number. The company, which employees more than 80,000 people, said it cut 1,000 jobs in its operations in the eastern hemisphere in the fourth quarter. Baker Hughes, which is being acquired by Halliburton in a near-$35 billion deal, said earlier in the day it would lay off 7,000 employees. Shares of Halliburton and Baker Hughes were down about 2 percent in morning tr…

Online specialty foods at eComBizcenter

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eComBizCenter online shopping with 16,540 online specialty foods products from CanAmShop!

CanAmShop.com is not the biggest competitor in online shopping world however it really does have one of the most extensive product selections around in the grocery/gourmet specialty foods website category. Other sites offer their products but CanAmShop’s pricing is extremely competitive and hard to beat. Shipping is not free and sales don’t exist, the best you might see is a $5.00 courtesy coupon saying thanks for shopping here. Some of CanAmShop’s categories are Allergy Free, Baking Pans, Tools, Bags, Totes, Baking Essentials, Breakfast Foods, Condiments, Drinks, Eco-Home, For Baby, Pets, dog treats, Fruits, Vegetables, Gift, Ideas, Grains, Beans, Sides, Health, Beauty, Meal Ideas, Paper, Disposable, Snacks, Soups, Bouillon, Teas, Vitamins, Supplements, organic, natural products. CanAmShop for online shopping for organic, natural, green products spanning 775 brands in over 125 product categories t…

JPMorgan Chase & Co are pressuring managers across the bank to cut costs,

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JPMorgan Chase Tower (Dallas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Senior executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) are pressuring managers across the bank to cut costs, after disappointing revenue growth has hurt profits, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. The bank might implement specific expense goals for businesses, the source told Reuters, adding, "Everyone is having to give at the office on this." JPMorgan said it expects to disclose more about its cost-cutting efforts on Feb. 24, when it hosts its investor day. On Wednesday, JPMorgan posted a 3 percent decline in revenue, but only a 1 percent decline in non-interest expense, resulting in its overall income dropping by 7 percent. Those results were disappointing enough to investors to pull the company's shares down 3.45 percent. Even excluding $1.1 billion of legal expenses the bank recorded in the quarter, it spent 61 percent of its revenue on expenses, a ratio known as its "efficiency rati…

Billions in bills for Europe's banks!

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Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays may have to pay some of the biggest bills from an estimated $52 billion in fines and other litigation costs facing Europe's banks in the next two years, Morgan Stanley analysts said.
U.S. and European banks have paid $230 billion in litigation costs since 2009 and could pay out another $70 billion by the end of 2016, mostly from the 20 largest European banks, they said in a research note on Tuesday.
European banks have paid out about $104 billion so far and the $52 billion they still have to pay, much of it related to foreign exchange trading and U.S. mortgage mis-selling, could restrain how much they pay in dividends, the analysts said.
The fines and compensation in the last five years are related to practices that include alleged manipulation of benchmark interest rates and mis-selling of mortgages in the United States and insurance in Britain.
Regulators fined six banks $4.3 billion in November after traders tried to manipulate foreign exchan…

Yellowstone National Park

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Throughout decades of admiration by millions at Yellowstone National Park, researchers now say that tourists may be a contributing factor to the visible rainbow-effect of the famed hot springs.
Researchers have formed a model that depicts the colors of the famous hot springs dating back to the 1800s when the area was seldom visited. As Yellowstone grew in popularity and tourists began flocking to the park, certain behaviors changed the makeup of the natural springs.
Starting in the 1940s, colors began to change according to Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
"An accumulation of coins, trash and rocks over the intervening decades has partially obscured the underwater vent," researchers wrote.
© Provided by AccuWeather The Morning Glory Pool at Yellowstone National Park draws visitors in every year to wonder at the colorful sight. (Photo/Joseph Shaw, Montana State University)
The addition of outside material lower…

new information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States

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American Logo for American-Canadians (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A B.C. MP is warning people about a new information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States that could put travellers who regularly spend a lot of time in the U.S. at risk of significant consequences. The Entry Exit Initiative allows officials to track how many days Canadians have spent in the U.S. Prior to the agreement, the country could only track entry dates, not exit dates. "We were specially wanting to alert people that this could potentially be a problem for them if they were being careless about their travel," said Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for B.C. Southern Interior. 'Anyone who travels to the U.S. regularly should keep a log and make sure they're accurate if they're asked to substantiate their time across the border.'— Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for B.C. Southern Interior Hunnisett said she's been …

CanAmShop

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CanAmShop.com is not the biggest competitor in online shopping world however it really does have one of the most extensive product selections around in the grocery/gourmet specialty foods website category. Other sites offer their products but CanAmShop’s pricing is extremely competitive and hard to beat. Shipping is not free and sales don’t exist, the best you might see is a $5.00 courtesy coupon saying thanks for shopping here.
Some of CanAmShop’s categories are Allergy Free, Baking Pans, Tools, Bags, Totes, Baking Essentials, Breakfast Foods, Condiments, Drinks, Eco-Home, For Baby, Pets, dog treats, Fruits, Vegetables, Gift, Ideas, Grains, Beans, Sides, Health, Beauty, Meal Ideas, Paper, Disposable, Snacks, Soups, Bouillon, Teas, Vitamins, Supplements, organic, natural products.
CanAmShop for online shopping for organic, natural, green products spanning 775 brands in over 125 product categories totaling 16,450 products for shipping in the US and Canada or worldwide. No order is too s…

Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) cut its profit forecast

Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) cut its profit forecast for the full year, citing a disappointing holiday shopping season and further weakness in Japan.
Tiffany shares fell as much as 14.4 percent to $88.52 on Monday, their biggest intra-day decline in nearly 11 years.
The company said it now expected an adjusted profit of $4.15-$4.20 per share in the year ending Jan. 31, down from its prior forecast of $4.20-$4.30.
Analysts on average were expecting full-year earnings of $4.31 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The Americas segment appears to have run out of steam," Canaccord Genuity Inc analyst Laura Champine wrote in a note.
Both overall and same-store sales in the Americas, the company's biggest market, fell 1 percent in the two-month holiday shopping period ended Dec. 31, Tiffany said.
Sales in that segment had risen 6 percent in the same period last year.
Tiffany President Frederic Cumenal said the stronger dollar not only affected the trans…

U.S. Supreme Court rejects former Goldman Sachs Group director challenge to a permanent ban

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected former Goldman Sachs Group director Rajat Gupta’s challenge to a permanent ban from acting as a public company officer.
The court’s refusal to hear the case means a June 2014 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the sanctions remains intact. In addition to the officer ban, Gupta was prohibited from further violating securities law and associating with brokers, dealers or investment advisors.
Gupta, 66, is serving a two-year prison sentence stemming from his conviction in a separate criminal case.
The appeals court had concluded that a $13.9 million fine and the officer ban imposed in a civil case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision were not excessive.
A three-judge panel of that court concluded that U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who oversaw the criminal and civil cases, acted within his discretion in imposing that punishment. Rakoff imposed the officer ban in the civil case despite finding at the criminal se…

Mark Zuckerberg and Xiaomi Inc CEO Lei Jun discussed a potential investment

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Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, shows off the new messaging system in Facebook. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mark Zuckerberg and Xiaomi Inc CEO Lei Jun discussed a potential investment by Facebook in China's top smartphone maker ahead of its $1.1 billion fundraising last month, but a deal never materialized, several people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The discussions, at a private dinner when Zuckerberg visited Beijing in October, were never formalized, three of those people said, as the two CEOs weighed the political and commercial implications of Facebook - which has been banned in China since 2009 - buying into the Chinese tech star now valued at $45 billion.
One individual with direct knowledge of Xiaomi's fundraising said the mooted Facebook investment was "not huge", but the talks underscore how ties between U.S. and Chinese companies have deepened as China's tech industry matures.
A Facebook investment in Xiaomi would have raised the internati…