The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has opened as case against HKMEx for using US dollar-dominated gold futures in 2011, which is seen as an attempt to ‘steal’ commodity deals from other trading floors.
The SFC statement on May 21st says “the suspected irregularities are serious ones”, and HKMEx surrendered its trading license earlier in the month.
According to some sources, Cheung borrowed large sums of money from the Hong Kong business and hasn’t yet paid back his loans, an accusation which he denies.
Cheung stepped down from his official obligations on Tuesday, after the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), in partner with local police, raided to the HKMex office and seized several electronic records as evidence of false documentation in trading securities.
Following the seizure, police arrested three men that aren’t current or former employees of HKMEx, according to Cheung. Police arrested another unidentified man by the surname ‘Zhu’ on Wednesday, on suspicion he possessed instruments used to falsify documents.
Cheung, 54, has chaired the HKMEx Executive Council since it was founded in 2006, and hasn’t been accused of any crime, and says he will fully cooperate with the investigation.
Cheung said he is the HKMEx’s largest shareholder.The Russian Oligarch Dance
The board of Rusal nominated and approved Cheung as an independent director at Rusal in 2012 and he was elected Chairman after billionaire Vicktor Vekselberg resigned in March.
According to the company’s website, Mr. Cheung remains on the Board of Directors of Rusal.
Vekselberg quit on March 12 2013 as chairman of Rusal, citing the company’s deep crisis brought on by rival oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Other members accused Vekselberg of ‘jumping ship’ because for one year prior to his resignation, he had disengaged from company activities- he didn’t even attend board meetings.
Barry Cheung of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange was nominated and approved by the board 4 days after he quit.
Sual Partners, headed by Victor Vekselberg, owns 15.8 per cent of Rusal and proposed a resolution that Cheung be replaced as head.
The shareholders meeting of Rusal will be held on June 14, when the board is due to re-elect seven directors whose term expires.
Cheung, a former McKinsey and Co. employee received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
As the 3D printed gun story unfolds, many (including me) have noted that you can't print ammo. However, you can print shotgun slugs on a 3D printer, but they suck:
Heeszel was surprised at the first two. “I didn’t think it would go through the first piece of wood at all, much less hit anything,” he says. But he also called them more of a novelty than a practical bullet. “I thought the thing was kinda lame, but I realize there’s a lot of novelty with the 3-D printed gun, and I thought it was kind of timely. But overall I think they’re kind of crappy little rounds,” he adds...
“I might be a redneck from Tennessee, but I love the technology,” Griffy says. Griffy, who runs a YouTube account ArtisanTony — where he also shows off a printable knife and buckshot rounds — tells Danger Room he printed the slugs more for their own enjoyment. “Because a real gun shooting plastic bullets is more fun than a plastic gun shooting real bullets,” he says. “You have to spend six hours printing a barrel that you’re going to use one time, and it’s not as much fun. It’s more about the enjoyment and the sport. And if you’re having to labor that much, then the enjoyment goes away.”
Griffy says he printed the slugs with a Solidoodle 3 3-D printer — which retails for $800 — using ABS thermoplastic using dimensions from one of Heeszel’s non-printed slugs. Griffy then created the computer-aided design files, converted them to a stereolithography format, and checked the files for inconsistencies with the 3-D printing software Netfabb. He also designed slugs in three sizes. The largest slug takes about an hour to print. The others take about 30 minutes. He also added a lead ball to each slug to give them more weight. The final step was mailing them to Heeszel, who fitted the slugs into hollowed-out — non-printed — shotgun cartridges.
Watch 3-D Printed Shotgun Slugs Blow Away Their Targets [Robert Beckhusen/Wired]
The Nikkei turned out to be Thursday’s negative trendsetter leading the downward tendency in Asia.
Weak Flash China PMI released on Thursday by HSBC and indicating a contraction in China's manufacturing as well as late Wednesday’s remarks from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the US bond buying program disappointed not just the Asian markets.
Other major indicators in Asia fell as well with Hong Kong's Hang Seng losing 2.5 percent, and South Korea's Kospi dropping 1.2 percent. Markets in Australia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore also fell.
European stocks traded significantly lower on Thursday, also reacting to the disappointing data from China and comments from the US Federal Reserve. The Stoxx Europe 600 index slid 1.9 percent to 304.65, deflecting down after closing at the highest level in five years on Wednesday.
Russian markets are also sharply in the red on Thursday. MICEX is losing as much as 2.93 percent, while RTS is down more than 3.5 percent. This is also due to the steep fall in the oil prices.
Chinese government’s attempts to boost domestic consumption in the world’s second biggest economy has finally caught up with recession-hit Europe, uncertainty in the US and deflation-driven Japan.
HSBC said its Purchasing Managers Index fell to its lowest level since October slipping below analysts’ expectations to 49.6 in May from 50.4 in April. Figures below 50 points indicate that activity is contracting. Analysts forecast a decline to 50.3.
"It's no secret. The true picture is that China's export sector is slowing down, and its manufacturing sector is also slowing down. That means the trade surplus is almost gone," Francis Lun, chief economist at GE Oriental Financial Group told the BBC.
Wednesday’s testimony by the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke added to the negative sentiment after the US central bank chief said the Fed could decide on pulling out of its bond buying program over the next few meetings should the US job market shows "real and sustainable progress".
The minutes of the Fed's last meeting revealed that "a number" of officials’ support pulling out of the Quantitative Easing efforts as early as June. The Federal Reseve will hold its next meeting on June 18-19.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Guantanamo, where more than 100 inmates have been on hunger strike since February, is listed first among Amnesty International’s human rights concerns in the US chapter of its annual report, which covers the year 2012. It states that the majority of Gitmo’s 166 detainees were kept at the facility without charge or criminal trial, “nearly three years after President Obama’s deadline for closure of the Guantanamo detention facility.”
Amnesty International’s 2012 annual report is a survey on human rights in 159 countries. The organization, founded in 1961, claims it does not accept funding from governments. It draws information on human rights abuses from its 3 million members and supporters around the world.
The human rights group also keeps count of the death toll at Guantanamo: “Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni national who repeatedly expressed distress at his indefinite detention without charge or trial, died during the year, bringing to nine the number of detainees known to have died at Guantanamo since January 2002 ,” the report said.
Latif was one of the first Gitmo prisoners, taken into US custody in 2001. He was ordered to be released from prison by the US District Court in Washington in July 2010, but the decision was overruled a year later on the grounds that Latif was an Al-Qaeda combatant.
The Amnesty International report recounts the 2012 trials – or rather, “attempts at trials” – for the Gitmo detainees. Five Gitmo prisoners accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks were arraigned for a capital trial last year that did not take place.
The report states that before being sent to Guantanamo, those five and another detainee “had been held incommunicado for up to four years in secret US custody, during which time at least two of them had been tortured.”
Another detainee who was allegedly tortured, Pakistani national Majid Khan, pleaded guilty in December 2012. He became the seventh prisoner convicted by a military commission at Guantanamo, and one of the five who had pleaded guilty in return for the possibility of early release from US custody.
The report also raised the issue of the 600 detainees in US custody at the US Military base in Afghanistan’s Bagram. Fifty of the inmates are non-Afghan nationals, some also held without charge or trial.
The ongoing US program of targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen –as well as the questionable legal grounds of the practice – was the basis of another lengthy entry.
“Available information, limited by secrecy, indicated the US policy permitted extrajudicial executions in violation of international human rights law under the USA’s theory of a ‘global war’ against Al-Qaeda and associated groups,” the report said
Drone strikes have increased sevenfold under Obama, Bloomberg reported in April. The US covert program to target and kill Al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders saw 35 strikes in Pakistan in 2008, the last year President Bush was in office, the Long War Journal reported. That figure grew in the following years, reaching a peak of 117 attacks in 2010. Last year, 46 US drones strikes took place in Pakistan.
A high court in Pakistan recently ruled that US drone strikes in the country should be considered war crimes. It also recommended that the Pakistani government address the issue in the United Nations, saying the strikes violated the organization’s charter and the country’s laws, but the growing uproar in Pakistan has done little to change Washington’s drone war.
"Our researchers, when talking to people in Pakistan, find that the people are living in constant fear in very remote areas. You really cannot figure out, at the end of the day, who has been injured or killed in a drone attack," Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said, according to AP.
The London-based group’s report was issued on Wednesday, the same day Washington admitted to killing four US citizens with drones.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney-General Eric Holder revealed that Anwar Awlaki was the only US citizen specifically targeted by a drone, while three others – Abdulrahman Awlaki, Samir Khan and Jude Kenan Mohammed – were also casualties in the drone war. President Obama is expected to address the issue in his Thursday speech at the National Defense University.
The CIA’s program of secret detention is mentioned among other US human rights violations. Amnesty International is concerned that no one was held accountable for the deaths of two people, who are believed to have perished in US custody abroad.
“On 30 August, the US Attorney General announced the closure of criminal investigations into the death of two individuals in US custody outside the USA. He stated that no one would face criminal charges in relation to the deaths, believed to have occurred in Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq in 2003,” the report said.
The report described the deaths as “crimes under international law committed under the administration of President George W. Bush.”
Forty-two people died in the US in 2012 after tasers were used against them by police, according to Amnesty International. “Most of those who died after being struck with a Taser were not armed and did not appear to pose a serious threat when the Taser was deployed,” the report said.
According to Amnesty International’s report, taser use has caused 540 deaths since 2001. The report cites the American Heart Association, which conducted a study on the use of Tasers that concluded they can “cause cardiac arrest and death.”
The potential risks of tasers – electroshock pistol-like weapons capable of jolting the target with 50,000 volts of electricity – have long been a source of public concern.
A recent high-profile case of alleged Taser-induced death involved Richard Metcalf, a 35-year-old from western New York. Metcalf died in November after suffering a massive heart attack while in the custody of the Erie County Sheriff's Office.