Financial
Fracking activist wants back on driller's land PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:12

A high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region asked a judge Monday for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state's leading natural gas drillers.

Vera Scroggins said the injunction, in place since October, has effectively prevented her from traveling to her favorite grocery store, eye doctor, hospital, restaurants, businesses and friends' homes because all of them have leased land to Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Her attorneys asked Susquehanna County Judge Kenneth Seamans to lift or modify his order. A ruling could come this week.

"It's tough to try to figure out, where can I stand? Where can I walk?" Scroggins said after the hearing in Montrose. "I never used to have to think about that. It's not a pleasant thing to endure."

A company spokesman said Cabot is only interested in preventing the activist from trespassing on its active drilling sites and contended that Scroggins, who's used to attracting media attention, is simply out for more publicity.

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Convicting 5, jury nixes Madoff claim he was alone PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:02

NEW YORK (AP) — Imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff's claim that he carried out a nearly $20 billion fraud by himself has been firmly rejected by a jury that convicted five of his former top employees of all charges that they aided his crimes.

The verdict Monday in federal court in Manhattan means more than a dozen people have either pleaded guilty or been convicted of charges related to a mammoth fraud Madoff engineered for decades before the economy's 2008 collapse exposed it for the record Ponzi scheme it was.

For more than five months, jurors listened to dozens of witnesses and saw hundreds of exhibits before convicting Madoff's former secretary, his director of operations, an account manager and two computer programmers of multiple charges.

"The evidence was just overwhelming," juror Craig Parise told reporters as he left the courthouse. As promised by prosecutors at the trial's start last October, evidence showed investors big and small were swindled, from Florida retirees to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Even Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was cheated.

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FCC: Thousands of hotels don't offer direct 911 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:07

DALLAS (AP) — Tens of thousands of hotels don't allow guests to directly reach emergency services when they dial 911, according to a national survey taken after a 9-year-old girl couldn't call for help while her mother was being stabbed to death in a Texas motel.

The killing of Kari Hunt Dunn in an East Texas hotel room spurred a petition that has garnered more than 440,000 signatures demanding hotels and motels be required to enable the direct dialing of 911. Many hotels require callers to dial "9'' before 911 or have some other system, such as calling first to the front desk, which advocates say can lead to panic and confusion in an emergency.

The petition got the attention of Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai, whose office on Monday announced the results of a survey done after Dunn's death by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The industry group found that about 45 percent of franchised hotels and motels and 32 percent of independent hotels have direct 911 dialing.

Independent owners and franchisees comprise the "vast majority" of the estimated 53,000 such properties in the U.S., including hotels using a brand name, Pai said.

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Cisco to invest over $1B in cloud computing PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 13:19

NEW YORK (AP) — Cisco says it plans to spend more than $1 billion over the next two years to build up its cloud computing network.

Cisco plans to use the money to expand its data centers for the new service to be called Cisco Cloud Services.

The move makes the San Jose, Calif.-based networking company the latest to enter an arena that caters to the growing number of companies that would rather rent computing space than build their own.

One of the biggest players in the market is Amazon.com. IBM Corp. said in January that it will invest $1.2B in its cloud computing operations.

Cisco says it will work with a set of partners to build up the network. The company already provides cloud-related services, including the online conference provider WebEx.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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