#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW:Dec.29: A Russian court has brought forward the date of its ruling in the trial of opposition activist Aleksey Navalny to December 30, Reuters quoted his lawyer as saying on Monday.
Navalny is accused of stealing 30 million rubles ($536,193), and prosecutors want him to be imprisoned for 10 years.
He denies any wrongdoing and has described ‘the Yves Rocher case’ as politically-motivated.
#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.29:The Senate over the weekend approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that included funding for the Defense Department. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk.
The bill provides most of the government, including the Pentagon, with funding through Sept. 30, and for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27. The vote was 56-40.
The bill provides a base budget of $490 billion to the Pentagon. According to the Associated Press, defence and foreign-policy-related provisions include:
- $128 billion for the 1.3 million active-duty troops, and 820,800 reserves
- $162 billion for operations and maintenance
- $92 billion for new weapons systems, including 38 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
- A 1 percent pay raise for troops and civilian Pentagon employees in fiscal 2015
- Scaling back the housing stipend by 1 percent
- $25 million to provide more legal help to military sexual assault victims
The bill would also give the Veterans Affairs Department $160 billion, according to the Military Times, including:
- $4.2 billion for programs to specifically aid Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans
- $4.6 billion for female veterans
- $7.4 billion to combat homelessness among veterans
The bill provides $73.7 billion for overseas military operations and diplomatic efforts by the State Department to combat terrorism, including:
- $3.4 billion for U.S. operations in Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
- $1.6 billion to train and equip the Iraqi military
- $4.1 billion for the Afghan military.
The bill also provides $5.4 billion towards efforts to fight Ebola in the U.S. and abroad, including:
- $2.5 billion to help African countries
- $2.7 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services
- $1.2 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention efforts in West Africa and to strengthen public health systems in at-risk countries.
#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.29: Victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme will get afresh $322 million payout if a U.S. judge approves the request by the trustee liquidating the convicted fraudster’s firm, bringing the recovery total to more than $7 billion.
The trustee, Irving Picard, said on Monday he would seek permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge in New York to begin the fifth interim distribution of payments, which would average $299,900 and range from just under $400 to more than $60 million.
The announcement came five weeks after Picard said he had reached three settlements with various defendants, totalling more than $642 million.
#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.29:The U.S. credit union regulator sued Wells Fargo & Co Tuesday, saying the bank failed to fulfil its duties as a trustee for certain residential mortgage-backed securities trusts that soured and brought down five credit unions.
The lawsuit, filed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in a federal court in Manhattan, seeks a jury trial, damages and full compensation for legal costs associated with the case.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The NCUA said it is bringing the case after five credit unions bought about $2.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities issued from trusts between 2004 and 2007.
Those underlying loans soured, as borrowers began to default on their mortgage payments and lost their homes to foreclosure. The losses on these investments, the NCUA said, eventually led those five credit unions to fail.
#AceFinanceNews – GREECE:Dec.29:Europe’s financial markets returned from their Christmas break in a cautious mood on Monday, as Greece’s parliament prepared for a final round of presidential voting, which if unsuccessful, will fuel worries about its future in the euro…..Reuters reported. Sometime later news came that Greek lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a final round of voting on Monday, leaves the country now facing an early election that could derail the international bailout program, as it needs to keep paying its bills.
Should they not resolve this issue – it could be lights out in Athens and Greek people facing a bleak future, yet again.