Daily Archives: January 31, 2012

Illinois AG Sues S&P

English: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Ill...

Image via Wikipedia

The Illinois attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing Standard & Poor’s of misleading investors by assigning its highest ratings to risky mortgage-backed investments.

The suit alleges that the agency issued AAA ratings for unworthy investments to boost revenue and market share. It cites internal dialogue, including an instant messenger conversation in which one employee told another an investment “could be structured by cows and we would rate it.”

The attorney general began investigating S&P in early 2010. She has been involved in discriminatory-lending suits against Countrywide Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo. In December, the United States Department of Justice announced a $335 million settlement with Bank of America stemming from her lawsuit.

Via The Washington Post.

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Filed under Business, Sidebar

China Doubts Sudanese Claim It Freed Captives

-Khartoum,Sudan-

Image by Vít Hassan via Flickr

The fate of twenty-nine Chinese construction workers kidnapped in Sudan is unclear after Chinese officials cast doubts on reports that some were freed.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted embassy officials in Khartoum as saying all the workers were still missing.

Earlier, Sudan’s army said that fourteen had been “liberated”.

Rebels seized the group in South Kordofan state, near the border with South Sudan on Saturday.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the workers were caught in crossfire with the army.

He said they were captured together with nine Sudanese soldiers after the SPLM-N attacked and destroyed a Sudanese military convoy in the area.

Via the BBC.

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Khmer Rouge Tribunal Cannot Pay Cambodian Staff

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Cambodia’s U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal has run out of money to pay the wages of hundreds of workers as contributions from donor countries have dried up.

None of the more than 300 Cambodians working at the tribunal, from judges to drivers, will be paid this month and may not receive their salaries in February and March either.

Some judges and prosecutors have not been paid since October.

The funding shortfall does not affect the more than 130 international employees at the war crimes court. The United Nations pays the wages of international employees.

Voluntary contributions from donor nations pay the salaries of Cambodian staff members.

The court, set up to find justice for the deaths of two million people during the Khmer Rouge’s rule, is perpetually cash-strapped, but this is the longest period of non-payment.

The tribunal has long been dogged by allegations of political meddling, adding to donor reluctance to stump up more cash.

Court officials will travel to New York in February to meet with donor countries to discuss the court’s budget for 2012-2013.

The court, which has spent $150 million since 2006, has completed one trial, sentencing a former prison chief to thirty years. An appeal verdict in that case is expected on Friday.

A second trial involving the regime’s three most senior surviving leaders is ongoing.

Via The Bangkok Post.

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Filed under International Justice, Sick Sad World, World

On This Day…

In 1865, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.

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