Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL):
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Agence France-Presse (AFP):
Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Italian oil company Eni S.p.A.: "Eni has made a world-class supergiant gas discovery at its Zohr Prospect, in the deep waters of Egypt. The discovery could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place covering an area of about 100 square kilometers. Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea."
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Making Monte Carlo: A History
of Speculation and Spectacle
Nonfiction book by Mark Braude
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Simon & Schuster:
A rollicking narrative history of Monte Carlo, capturing its nineteenth-century rise as the world's first modern casino-resort and its Jazz Age heyday as infamous playground of the rich.
Monte Carlo has long been known as a dazzling playground for the rich and famous. Less well known are the shrewd and often ruthless strategies that went into creating such a potent symbol of luxury and cosmopolitan glamour. As historian Mark Braude reveals in his entertaining and informative Making Monte Carlo, the world's first modern casino-resort started as an unlikely prospect — with the legalization of gambling in tiny Monaco in 1855 — and eventually emerged as the most glamorous gambling destination of the Victorian era. The resort declined in the wake of WWI, and was reinvented, again, to suit the styles and desires of the new Jazz Age tastemakers, such as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gerald and Sarah Murphy, and Coco Chanel.
Along the way, we encounter a colorful cast of characters, including the fast-talking François Blanc (a professional gambler, stock market manipulator, and founder of Monte Carlo); Basil Zaharoff (notorious munitions dealer and possible secret owner of the casino in the 1920s); Elsa Maxwell (a brash society figure and Hollywood maven, hired as the casino's publicist); René Léon (a visionary Jewish businessman, who revitalized the resort after WWI); Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, and other satellite members of Serge Diaghilev's Ballet Russes dance company; as well as Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and other American expats who 'colonized' the Riviera in the 1920s.
A rollercoaster history of how a small, rural town grew into the prosperous resort epicenter of the late nineteenth century and rose again to greatness out of the ashes of WWI, Making Monte Carlo is a classic rags-to-riches tale set in the most scenic of European settings.
Friday, August 28, 2015
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP):
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) aircrews and interagency partners intercepted a drug-trafficking vessel in the Caribbean Sea stacked with approximately 3,000 pounds of marijuana.
On Aug. 18, a CBP OAM P-3 crew detected a suspicious vessel during a patrol designed to disrupt the illegal flow of drugs and illegal activity in the Carribean. CBP Miami Air and Marine Branch personnel aboard a OAM DHC-8 aircraft and U.S. Coast Guard air and maritime assets continued tracking the go-fast vessel as suspected smugglers onboard attempted to elude authorities.
Law enforcement partners intercepted the vessel and apprehended three individuals while seizing 1.5 tons of marijuana. The estimated street value of the drugs is $7.6 million.
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision
of the Future
Nonfiction book by Steve Case
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Simon & Schuster:
The cofounder of America Online and the Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship shares a roadmap to success for future innovators.
Steve Case was on the leading edge of the Internet revolution when he cofounded AOL in 1991. He was an entrepreneur in a business that hadn't even been invented, yet he saw how significantly his efforts could change not only America, but the world. In The Third Wave, Case uses his insights garnered from nearly four decades of working as an innovator, investor, and businessperson to chart a path for future visionaries.
From his position as an investor in startups like Zipcar and LivingSocial, Case predicts the future of the economy and describes what he calls the "Third Wave of the Internet." AOL and other companies introduced early consumers to the Internet in the first wave; search giants such as Google and companies such as Apple have led us into the second wave, the app economy; and the third wave will be "the Internet of things," in which every experience, product, and service will be transacted online. Using his own experience, and examples from companies he's invested in, he lays out a vision for the future of success in a disrupted age.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America
Nonfiction book by Robert Benmosche
with Peter Marks and Valerie Hendy
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
In 2009, at the peak of the financial crisis, AIG — the American insurance behemoth — was sinking fast. It was the peg upon which the nation hung its ire and resentment during the financial crisis: the pinnacle of Wall Street arrogance and greed. When Bob Benmosche climbed aboard as CEO, it was widely assumed that he would go down with his ship. In mere months, he turned things around, pulling AIG from the brink of financial collapse and restoring its profitability. Before three years were up, AIG had fully repaid its staggering debt to the U.S. government — with interest.
Good for the Money is an unyielding leader's memoir of a career spent fixing companies through thoughtful, unconventional strategy. With his brash, no-holds-barred approach to the job, Benmosche restored AIG's employee morale and good name. His is a story of perseverance, told with refreshing irreverence in unpretentious terms.
Called "an American hero" by Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of Too Big to Fail, Benmosche was a self-made man who never forgot what life is like for the nation's 99-percent; again and again, he pushed back against obstinate colleagues to salvage American jobs and industry. Good for the Money affords you a front-row seat for Benmosche's heated battles with major players from Geithner to Obama to Cuomo, and offers incomparable lessons in leadership from the legendary CEO who changed the way Wall Street does business.
Voice of America: "The deal struck between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program should see sanctions against the country beginning to ease by next year — and Iranians are hoping the lifting of travel restrictions could prompt an influx of international tourists. Travel agencies already are seeing an increase in demand."
Wall Streeters: The Creators and Corruptors
of American Finance
Nonfiction book by Edward Morris
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Columbia University Press:
The 2008 financial collapse, the expansion of corporate and private wealth, the influence of money in politics — many of Wall Street's contemporary trends can be traced back to the work of fourteen critical figures who wrote, and occasionally broke, the rules of American finance.
Edward Morris plots in absorbing detail Wall Street's transformation from a clubby enclave of financiers to a symbol of vast economic power. His book begins with J. Pierpont Morgan, who ruled the American banking system at the turn of the twentieth century, and ends with Sandy Weill, whose collapsing Citigroup required the largest taxpayer bailout in history. In between, Wall Streeters relates the triumphs and missteps of twelve other financial visionaries. From Charles Merrill, who founded Merrill Lynch and introduced the small investor to the American stock market; to Michael Milken, the so-called junk bond king; to Jack Bogle, whose index funds redefined the mutual fund business; to Myron Scholes, who laid the groundwork for derivative securities; and to Benjamin Graham, who wrote the book on securities analysis. Anyone interested in the modern institution of American finance will devour this history of some of its most important players.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Associated Press (AP):
The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World
Nonfiction book by Sally Denton
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Simon & Schuster:
From the bestselling coauthor of The Money and the Power (which the Los Angeles Times called "one of the most important nonfiction books published in a half century" — the inside story of the Bechtel family and the empire they've controlled since the construction of the Hoover Dam.
The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. "Dad" Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to "build the world," from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe.
Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively.
Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom the New York Times called "a wonderful writer," exposes Bechtel's secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
Pennsylvania State University:
Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers.
Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and responsible for more than 50,000 deaths annually, according to the American Cancer Society.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race
to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts
Nonfiction book by Joshua Hammer
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Simon & Schuster:
To save precious centuries-old Islamic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world's greatest and most brazen smugglers.
In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 300,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.
Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara's heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali's — and the world's — literary patrimony. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu explores the city's manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about Al Qaeda in northwest Africa. But above all, it's an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature against extremism.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex intercepted and seized more than 424 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of tires originating from South America. The estimated street value of the confiscated cocaine is $8.08 million."
U.S. Justice Department:
A leader of a human trafficking ring pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to charges that he lured Guatemalan minors and adults into the United States on false pretenses, then used threats of physical harm to compel their labor at egg farms in Ohio. The guilty plea was announced by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio.
Aroldo Castillo-Serrano, 33, of Guatemala, pleaded guilty to a labor trafficking conspiracy, one count of labor trafficking, one count of witness tampering and a related immigration offense. His co-conspirator, Conrado Salgado Soto, 52, of Mexico, pleaded guilty on Aug. 5 to participating in the same labor-trafficking conspiracy, as well as an immigration offense, the Justice Department also announced today. The guilty pleas are pending approval from a federal court judge and are not final until that approval is granted.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed on July 2, the defendants and their associates recruited workers from Guatemala, some as young as 14 or 15 years old, falsely promising them good jobs and a chance to attend school in the United States. The defendants then smuggled and transported the workers to a trailer park in Marion, Ohio, where they ordered them to live in dilapidated trailers and to work at physically demanding jobs at Trillium Farms for up to 12 hours a day for minimal amounts of money. The work included cleaning chicken coops, loading and unloading crates of chickens, debeaking chickens and vaccinating chickens.
The defendants threatened workers with physical harm and withheld their paychecks in order to compel them to work. Castillo-Serrano also pleaded guilty to convincing a witness to lie to the FBI about the scheme. Eight minors, as young as 14, and two adults were identified in the indictment as victims of the forced labor scheme.