Trump defends removal of impeachment witness

first_img“Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him [I don’t believe!] but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly.””In other words, ‘OUT’.”Vindman was present during a now famous July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.House Democrats who impeached Trump on allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress argued that the call was part of a concerted effort to coerce a weak foreign ally at war with Russia into helping him cheat in November’s presidential election. President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire an army officer who gave damning evidence against him during the impeachment probe.Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted Friday out of the White House, where he worked on the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine. His lawyer called the move an act of revenge by the president, two days after he was acquitted by the Senate.”Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to news outlet MSNBC. Subpoenaed by Congress to testify at the House impeachment hearings, the Ukrainian-born Vindman, who received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Iraq, said Trump’s actions were “improper.”That testimony helped build the case leading to Trump becoming only the third president ever impeached by Congress.Vindman’s lawyer David Pressman on Saturday called Trump’s tweet “a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.””They conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the President is well aware,” he said in a statement to US media.”While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”On Friday, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and who also testified against Trump, said he was being recalled immediately.Democratic Senator Jack Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, on Saturday slammed Trump’s “personal insecurities and vindictiveness.””By firing Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ambassador Sondland like this, the Trump Administration signaled it won’t tolerate people who tell the truth,” he said in a statement.”This is a dangerous moment for our democracy and the non-partisan institutions charged with defending it and upholding the law.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

85% survival rate of 10M trees in Negros greening project

first_imgThe Project Management Office of 10Min 10 said a ceremonial planting of a Katmon tree was held at the ProvincialCapitol grounds here. This was a positive developmentconsidering that in the past four years, 10M in 10 partners have planted around7.7-million trees in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental way ahead ofschedule, said Frances Ariola, public relations specialist of geothermal powerleader Energy Development Corporation (EDC). The 10M in 10 is a private sector-ledmovement that aims to unite, inspire and encourage people to plant, grow andprotect 10-million trees in 10 years to re-green the Negros Island, accordingto its Project Management Office.(With areport from PNA/PN) To mark their fourth year anniversary,the movement honored partners whose contributions have allowed the greeningproject to reach almost eight-million native trees planted in less than halfthe number of years targeted to attain its goal.  The EDC initiated the greeningmovement in 2015, partnering with the Department of Environment and NaturalResources, other government agencies, non-government organizations and privateinstitutions to embark on a massive forest restoration by planting nativetrees, she added. Professor Marlo Mendoza and ProfessorPastor Malabrigo Jr. from the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the Universityof the Philippines-Los Baños have graced the event. “The partners’ commitment andcontinuous tree-growing efforts are the reason behind the Movement’s deeperroots. Our shared re-greening experiences within the past four years, alongwith the increasing amount of groups and individuals who express their interestto be part of 10M in 10 only reflect that the idea of uniting for a greenerNegros has taken root within each of us,” said Pinky Medina, head of the 10M in10 Project Management. BACOLOD City – The 10 Million Trees in10 Years (or simply 10M in 10) for a Greener Negros Movement on Thursdayreported an 85-percent survival rate of the millions of indigenous trees it hasplanted on the island.   The highlight of the celebration wasthe recognition of the 10M in 10 partners, who planted over 10,000 trees thisyear as their contribution towards achieving the movement’s three main goals:to help protect and restore the watersheds, improve biodiversity and buildresilient communities in Negros Island. Around 100 partners attended thecelebration, representing various stakeholder groups such as governmentagencies, local government units, academic institutions, businesses, media,non-government organizations, and other concerned groups and individuals. Certificates were also granted topartners who were able to maintain at least an 85-percent survival rate oftheir planted trees. last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports Twins Bob, Mike Bryan end record-breaking doubles careerNEW YORK (AP) — American twins Bob and Mike Bryan announced their retirement after a record-breaking doubles career Thursday, making official what seemed clear when they did not enter the U.S. Open.The 42-year-old brothers collected 16 Grand Slam championships together, 119 tour-level titles and a 2012 Olympic gold medal. They finished 10 seasons atop the ATP doubles rankings and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007.Along the way, they became as famous a doubles team as there was, known for leaping to bump chests at the end of victories.The Bryans, who were born in California, already had said 2020 would be their last year on tour. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditRACIAL INJUSTICE-SPORTSBoycotts leave sports schedules up in the airUNDATED (AP) — The NBA’s board of governors is expected to meet and discuss whether Thursday’s playoff games will be played, after all three games on Wednesday’s schedule were postponed by player protests. NBA players also plan to meet to decide how long the stoppage will last. August 27, 2020 The Milwaukee Bucks started a protest movement that spread to other sports when they declined to take the court Wednesday their playoff game against the Orlando Magic following the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin. Before the day was over, three Major League Baseball games, three WNBA games and five Major League Soccer games had been called off.It’s not clear if more games could be affected. Plans call for the baseball games that were postponed Wednesday to be made up as part of doubleheaders Thursday. Those games are the Cincinnati at Milwaukee, Seattle at San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants.Several NFL teams have canceled their Thursday practices.NFL-ALEXANDER-MISSING FATHERSheriff: Missing dad of Bengals player found safe in Florida FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The missing father of Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander turned up early Thursday at a ranger station at a Florida state park.The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said in a Twitter post Thursday morning that 65-year-old Jean Alexandre walked up to the ranger station at the Kissimmee (kih-SIH’-mee) Prairie Preserve State Park, which is about 25 miles north of Okeechobee in central Florida. He was reported to be in good health and will be reunited with this family., Alexandre, a Haitian immigrant who uses a French spelling of the family’s surname, went missing after going to pick palmetto berries Monday, according to official. A missing persons report was released Wednesday.His son, cornerback Mackensie Alexander, was jailed Wednesday on a misdemeanor battery charge after deputies say he beat up a man shortly after returning to Florida to help search for his missing father. Alexander had left Bengals training camp earlier Tuesday to assist in the search.TENNIS-BRYAN BROTHERS RETIRElast_img read more

David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Beware the Gambling Commission’s change of corporate control process

first_img SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Kansspelautoriteit enters into MoU with Malta Gaming Authority August 28, 2020 Submit John Williamson to oversee UK Tote Group’s international growth August 28, 2020 Share Related Articles The Gambling Commission has announced on its regulatory sanctions register that it has revoked the operating licence of a Malta-based remote casino operator, Maxent Limited (trading most recently as MaxEnt, with the domain names betat.co.uk and slottyvegas.com).Although the Commission states on its website that “this decision will come into effect on 18 June and therefore from this date MaxEnt will cease to be licensed”, the decision to revoke the licence was taken on 21 May 2019, following a Regulatory Panel hearing. The reason for revocation was that “…. the Commission is not satisfied that it would have granted the operating licence to the licensee had the new controller been a controller of the company when the application for the operating licence was made”.This reasoning reflects the fact that a change of corporate control of the company had previously taken place, necessitating Maxent Limited to apply to the Gambling Commission for its operating licence to continue to have effect. This is known as a change of corporate control application, which must be made within five weeks of the change occurring. This is in addition to the five working days’ “key event” notification requirement under LCCP Licence Condition 15.2.1.The need for such an application is triggered when either an individual person or a company (or any other legal entity) either directly or indirectly (a) becomes the owner of 10% or more of the shares in the licence-holding company and/or (b) becomes entitled to 10% or more of the rights to its profits/dividends and/or (c) has 10% or more of its voting power and/or (d) is, or becomes, able to exercise significant influence over its management.I know that some people have mistakenly assumed that, for gambling licensing purposes, a change of control of a licence holding company only occurs when a majority shareholder is created (for example, in the sense of a new investor holding more than 50% of its shares). That is wrong. The meaning of “controller” in the Gambling Act 2005 is taken from the definition of that word as it appears in the UK’s financial services legislation. More information about this can be found on the Gambling Commission’s website.When a change of corporate control application is made, the Commission will look afresh at the licence-holding company in much the same way that it does when first considering a new operating licence application. This means that the Commission will take into account such matters as (a) the identity, (b) the past and present financial circumstances, (c) the integrity and competence and (d) the criminal record (if any) of all such shareholders and others with a financial interest in the company. Not surprisingly, when considering a change of corporate control application, the Commission will particularly focus its attention on the new owner or investor.In the case of Maxent Limited, the Commission has stated that “in particular” it was “not satisfied as to the source of funds used to acquire and support the Licensee at the time of, and following, the change of corporate control.” It went on to say that it had “also identified concerns relating to the new controller’s suitability, in that it appeared that he had provided conflicting information and had failed to be full and frank in his dealings with the Commission.”Strictly speaking, under section 102 of the Gambling Act 2005, the Commission has only two options when faced with a change of corporate control application, namely (a) to determine that the licence shall continue to have effect or alternatively (b) to revoke the licence. That said, it is not unknown for the Commission to make known, at a relatively early stage of the change of control process, any major concerns that it has with regard to the probity of a new owner or investor, allowing a potential opportunity for the transaction to be “undone.”However, absolutely no reliance should ever be placed on the Commission agreeing to take such an approach because, amongst other things, section 103 of the 2005 Act enables an advance change of corporate control application to be made when a proposed transaction has progressed sufficiently for the parties to expect that a person or entity will become a controller of the licence-holding company (whether directly or indirectly by means of acquiring shares/voting rights etc in its parent company).In the case of all applicants to the Gambling Commission (whether for a new operating licence, for variation of an existing licence or for a change of corporate control), it is essential that they are fully frank and open with the regulator. For example, this principle is embodied in the Commission’s LCCP which requires licence-holders to “to work with the Commission in an open and cooperative way and to disclose anything which the Commission would reasonably need to be aware of in exercising its regulatory functions.”In the case of Maxent Limited, the Commission clearly had reason to believe that the “frank and open” principle was not being followed. At a time when AML requirements oblige all casino operators to focus, in appropriate cases, on the source of funds of their customers, it is hardly surprising that the Commission has reacted negatively to the new controller of Maxent Limited providing “conflicting information” in this respect.Amongst the major lessons to be learned from this episode is that, when selling shares in a licence-holding company, the vendor should undertake its own full due diligence enquiries on the intending purchaser, including in relation to the origin of the monies to be used for the purchase. It should tread very carefully indeed if it senses that the purchaser is being less than fully transparent on that or any other relevant issue. It should also bear firmly in mind that its licence will be considerably less at risk of revocation if, instead of application for change of corporate control being made within five weeks after the transaction has completed, an advance such application is made with time allowed for determination of that application by the Commission before the transaction completes.This is an area in which my company, Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited, has had considerable experience, including the provision of advice when an operating licence-holder realises that it has inadvertently failed to submit a change of corporate control application within the required five-week period. This is a potentially extremely serious position for a licence-holder, bearing in mind that section 102(5) of the 2005 Act provides that, if the Gambling Commission becomes aware of any such failure, it “shall revoke the relevant operating licence.”last_img read more

Stock funds see 2.1 percent return

first_img“Investors are coming to the conclusion that small-caps are probably at their zenith right now,” Tjornehoj said. Large-cap stocks and the funds that invest in them are often regarded as defensive because such companies tend to have international operations that can perhaps better withstand economic changes and can get by on thinner profit margins. Investors did seek some defensive positions during the period. The quarter saw a broad sell-off on Feb. 27 that began with a drop of nearly 9 percent in the often-volatile Shanghai Composite Index. The global rush of sell orders that day shaved more than 3 percent off the major U.S. stock indexes. Though stocks eventually made up much of the lost ground, volatility returned after keeping a low profile for much of the second half of 2006 and into the first part of 2007. “Volatility reared its ugly head,” said Brett Hammond, managing director and chief investment strategist at TIAA-CREF, a financial services organization that managed more than $406 billion at the end of 2006. “We had quite a long period of relative calm. Some bumps and grinds around the world began to make people feel they needed to do some repricing of risk. “I don’t think it was a change in fundamentals. I think perceptions changed.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In any case, the pace of Wall Street’s advance slowed markedly from the fourth quarter, when diversified equity funds produced an average return of 12.9 percent. “Over all, it was a decent quarter,” said Lipper analyst Jeff Tjornehoj. “We certainly had a lot of momentum at the beginning of the year, and that dropped precipitously at the end of February with problems in China. Since then it’s been rather sideways,” he said. Investors who didn’t rush to perceived safety in large capitalization funds did better in midcap and small-cap funds. Multicap funds showed returns of about 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent, depending on whether they targeted faster-growing companies or those more established companies that might pay dividends. Small-cap funds saw gains of about 2.5 percent to 3 percent. But large-cap growth funds showed 1.02 percent return and large-cap value funds turned in 1.01 percent. In years past, small-cap funds had often showed stronger returns than large-cap and midcap funds. NEW YORK – Mutual fund investors who avoided panic when volatility strode back onto Wall Street in recent months managed decent if decidedly smaller returns for the first quarter. Returns from mutual funds concentrated in natural resources stocks and utilities far outpaced those in other areas, but most mutual fund classes showed gains for the quarter. Financial services funds and funds that bet stocks would fall, known as short-bias funds, were laggards. The 7,977 U.S. diversified stock funds tracked by Lipper Inc. showed an average preliminary return of 2.1 percent for the three months ended Thursday. The final trading session of the quarter was Friday, when major stock indexes were little changed. Collectively, the funds’ assets rose to $3.82 trillion from $3.74 trillion at the end of 2006. By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.18 percent during the first quarter. The S&P 500 total return index, a preferred measure by the industry because it includes dividend appreciation, was 0.64 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, made up of 30 blue chip stocks, fell 0.87 percent for the quarter. last_img read more