No gag order in Enron case

first_imgHOUSTON – A judge Friday refused to muzzle out-of-court statements related to the fraud and conspiracy case against Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling after Lay’s speech Tuesday lambasting government tactics in pursuing him. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake denied prosecutors’ request for a gag order at a hearing Friday that was scheduled before Lay spoke Tuesday to Houston business and academic leaders. Lay, Skilling and former top Enron accountant Richard Causey are scheduled for trial Jan. 17. Lake brought up the possibility of a gag order last month in anticipation of heavy publicity stemming from the blockbuster trial to emerge from the Justice Department’s nearly 4-year-old investigation of Enron’s 2001 collapse. Prosecutors supported it, but the defense teams didn’t. The judge decided against a gag order for the second time this month, saying Friday that Lay’s speech was “a drop in the bucket” among news stories, books and movies spawned by the Enron scandal. “The prosecutor becomes a human guillotine when given the power to charge an individual, act as judge and jury, as well as executioner if a ‘cooperating’ witness does not assist the prosecutor as the prosecutor believes the ‘cooperating witness’ should,” Lay said in his speech. Prosecutors have repeatedly denied intimidating anyone, and Lake so far has been unmoved by the allegations. This week, the count of people who have pleaded guilty to Enron crimes dropped to 15 from 16 when U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon granted former Arthur Andersen LLP auditor David Duncan’s request to withdraw his April 2002 guilty plea to obstruction of justice. Duncan was the only individual from Andersen to be charged with a crime, and the remaining 15 who have pleaded guilty to various offenses are former Enron executives. Duncan, who once led Andersen’s Enron audit team, made his request after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned Andersen’s 2002 obstruction conviction. The high court said vague jury instructions allowed the panel to convict without finding criminal intent behind a mass effort to destroy Enron audit documents as investigators began probing Enron’s finances before the company imploded. Lay alleged in his speech that prosecutors don’t want Duncan to testify because he might repeat his testimony in Andersen’s trial that he believed Enron’s accounting was done correctly. Skilling and Causey face more than 30 counts each of conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and others related to alleged schemes to maintain Enron’s prosperous appearance before the company crashed. Lay faces seven counts of fraud and conspiracy for allegedly perpetuating the ruse after Skilling resigned in August 2001. All three have pleaded not guilty. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “If this were the only thing ever said about Enron in the media, this might be a concern,” Lake said. Lake added that he would monitor public statements during the trial and might revisit the issue of a gag order. In Tuesday’s speech, Lay issued a plea for former Enron employees to defy a “wave of terror” by federal prosecutors and help him fight criminal charges. In court papers filed Thursday, prosecutors said Lay “made public statements regarding the credibility and testimony of potential witnesses in this case and commented on the motivation of the government in prosecuting him,” and that a gag order “is now appropriate.” Lay accused the government of bullying critical witnesses so they wouldn’t talk to the defense teams for fear of being indicted or getting harsh prison sentences if they had already pleaded guilty to Enron-related crimes. last_img read more

‘Significant progress’ for SA’s nuclear programme

first_img17 December 2014The South African government has been holding vendor workshops with countries it could potentially partner with for its nuclear build programme, the Presidency said in a statement on Wednesday.This marks “significant progress” for the government in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries as part of the process towards the implementation of the expansion in the nuclear new build programme, the statement said.Intergovernmental framework agreements have been signed with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, marking the “initiation of the preparatory stage for the procurement process”, the Presidency said.Delegations from these countries have presented technology they believe would best suit local conditions at these workshops, held during October and November.The vendor workshops form part of the government’s technical investigation “in preparation for a procurement decision”, the Presidency said.Future energy mixPotential vendors have had to show how they would best meet the 9 600MW (9,6 GW) threshold that the South African government has set for the country’s future energy mix.The countries all have pressurized water reactor nuclear technology, which is similar to that used at the Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape.“South Africa has been safely using this technology for the past 30 years,” Mac Maharaj, the President’s spokesperson, said.Senior technical government officials, representatives from state-owned entities in the energy field, as well as academics involved in nuclear and engineering programmes attended the workshops, leading to “robust and open discussions” with vendors, Maharaj said.Guidelines for the expansion of nuclear power to ensure energy security based on a sustainable energy mix have been set out in the National Development Plan, the Nuclear Energy Policy, the Nuclear Energy Act and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) adopted in 2011.Under the NDP, the government is required to do a thorough technical investigation before making a procurement decision.The Presidency said its commitment to nuclear energy would be accompanied by the commitment to a “procurement process that is in line with the country’s legislation and policies”.“The nuclear new build programme will create a massive infrastructure development, thus stimulating the economy and enabling the country to create thousands of high- quality jobs for engineers, scientists, artisans, technicians and various other professions, develop skills and create sustainable industries, and catapult the country into a knowledge economy,” said Maharaj.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

#SheSpeaks by Lady Nam: Find Your Voice with Nambitha Ben-Mazwi

first_imgPlay Your Part ambassador, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, affectionately known as Lady Nam is an entertainer and philanthropist with a passion for community development. Lady Nam’s philanthropy is driven by a longing to make a positive impact in society using her personal brand and platform to reach out, educate and empower young girls and women.“Girls compete with girls, but women empower other women” says Lady Nam.Most notably, Lady Nam has created a platform for engagement on social media called #SheSpeaks by Lady Nam. This initiative aims to uplift young girls and women by encouraging them to find their voices in their careers and personal lives using #SheSpeaks by Lady Nam. Discussions address topics such as financial management, entrepreneurship, career guidance, spirituality, health and beauty.The initiative lives off social media and is amplified through various face-to-face interactions that Lady Nam has with experts from various fields, her entertainment industry peers and her mentees.“#SheSpeaks by Lady Nam is a women’s movement. It’s about empowering young girls and women. It’s about women finding their voice and after finding their voice, it’s about them walking, speaking and living their purpose.” says Lady Nam.Follow Lady Nam on YouTube to find out how you can get involved and find your voice.last_img read more

Were 2016 Ohio soybean yields an anomaly?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s no secret that soybean yields around Ohio were great and many believe a new state record will be set. Was this year’s successful crop a fluke? The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins asked that question to Account Manager Troy Putnam for this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img

How To Choose The Right Streaming Music Service — A Guide

first_img12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout GroovesharkNumber of Songs: 13.2 millionPrice (monthly): Free (unlimited) / $9 per month for premium Geographic Availability: Everywhere but Germany and DenmarkMobile Platforms: HTML5 Web app, plus Android and an unofficial Windows Phone appOffline Syncing: NoSound Quality (bit rate): VariesWeb App: YesKiller Features: More fluid catalog with rare (and sometimes unauthorized) materialUsers: 20 million monthly uniques (not the same as registered users) Related Posts SpotifyNumber of Songs: 20 millionPrice (monthly): Free for desktop (limited) / $5 – $10 for premiumGeographic Availability: 23 countries (mostly western Europe & U.S.)Mobile Platforms: iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 8, SymbianOffline Syncing: YesSound Quality (bit rate): 160 kbps on desktop & “low bandwidth” mobile; 320 kbps option on mobileWeb App: YesKiller Features: Ability to import local MP3s; 3rd party add-on apps are excellentUsers: 24 million RdioNumber of Songs: 20 millionPrice (monthly): Free for desktop (limited) / $5 – $10 for premiumGeographic Availability: 24 countries (mostly western Europe & The Americas)Mobile Platforms: iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Windows Phone, BlackberryOffline Syncing: YesSound Quality (bit rate): 192 kbpsWeb App: YesKiller Features: Vastly superior UI designUsers: Unknown  DeezerNumber of Songs: 20 millionPrice (monthly): Free for desktop (limited) / $5 – $10 for premiumGeographic Availability: 182 countries (U.S. launch expected in 2013)Mobile Platforms: iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackberryOffline Syncing: YesSound Quality (bit rate): Up to 320kbpsWeb App: YesKiller Features: Ability to import local MP3sUsers: 26 million  RhapsodyNumber of Songs: 16 millionPrice (monthly): $10Geographic Availability: U.S. onlyMobile Platforms: iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Windows Phone, BlackberryOffline Syncing: YesSound Quality (bit rate): 128 kbps – 192 kbps on desktop; 64kbps on mobileWeb App: YesKiller Features: Sells high bitrate MP3s for downloadUsers: 1 million (paid) 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#digital music#grooveshark#rdio#spotify#streaming music It’s going to be an interesting year in online music. The all-you-can-stream music subscription space is set to heat up, with rumored Spotify competitors from Google and Amazon potentially in the offing and an already-huge European service called Deezer planning to launch in the U.S. In the meantime, there are already a number of music subscription services to choose from, depending on where you live. None of them are perfect. Spotify and Rdio generally the lead the pack, each with its own impressively massive library of music. Spotify wins points over Rdio for letting you import your own MP3s, whereas Rdio’s interface design, especially on mobile, is vastly superior to that of any other offering.Then there are solid offerings from Grooveshark and MOG, both of which face an uncertain future, for completely different reasons. MOG was acquired by headphone maker Beats Audio, which plans to launch a new service called Daisy this year. Meanwhile, Grooveshark has faced a barrage of lawsuits from record labels, who accuse the startup of copyright infringement, but remains standing… for now.Which service is right for you? It depends on how much you value things like audio control, design aesthetics, music selection and user control. A year from now, the landscape may well look totally different and we’ll be updating this post accordingly. For now, here’s a comparison of the major all-you-can-stream music services.  john paul titlow 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… MOGNumber of Songs: 16 millionPrice (monthly): Free for desktop  / $5 -10 for premiumGeographic Availability: United States and AustraliaMobile Platforms: iOS and AndroidOffline Syncing: YesSound Quality (bit rate): 320 kbpsWeb App: YesKiller Features: Streams are high quality audio by defaultUsers: 500,000last_img read more

BMW hit & run case: 2 yr RI to Haryana industrialist’s son

first_imgA city court on Saturday awarded two years of rigorous imprisonment to Utsav Bhasin, the son of a Haryana—based industrialist, convicted of ramming his BMW car into a motorcycle and killing a man in 2008.Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar also asked Bhasin to pay ₹ 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased and ₹ 2 lakh to a journalist who was riding pillion on the two-wheeler and was injured.The court had on May 5 held Bhasin guilty of offences under sections 304A (causing death by negligence), 279 (driving rashly which could endanger human life) and 338 (causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.The court had while convicting him dropped the charges of 304(II)(culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.Bhasin was driving his BMW car when he had hit the two— wheeler on Moolchand flyover in South Delhi, killing Anuj Singh on September 11, 2008. A journalist of a TV channel was also injured in the incident.last_img read more