NEWS 12.April.2016

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Global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay a more than $5 billion settlement over its deceptive sales of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

The deal, first disclosed by Goldman Sachs in January, is in response to investigations by the US Justice Department, the New York and Illinois attorneys general, state regulators, and others against the firm for the bank’s packaging, securitization, underwriting, and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007, according to a DOJ statement.

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Ortho, a top US manufacturer of lawn and garden pesticides, will phase out products containing the neonicotinoid class of chemicals, the use of which has been linked to a massive decline in honeybee population.

Ortho, a division of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, announced Tuesday that it will cease the use of neonicotinoid (“neonic”) ingredients imidacloprid, clothianidin and dinotefuran by 2017, while phasing out neonics in eight products that are used to kill garden pests by the year 2021.

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Hundreds of US schools test positive for unsafe lead levels in water

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Martin Schulz, liderul grupului socialist din P.E, participa la mitingul electoral organizat de PSD Sector 2, in Bucuresti, joi, 27 noiembrie 2008. INTACT IMAGES/Jurnalul National/Dragos Savu

Many people have lost trust in “entire institutions, whether national or European,” EU parliament Chief Martin Schulz says. He sounded the alarm over a possible “implosion of the EU” due to the underestimated Euroskeptic movements in member states.

“Europe has been on a sliding slope for some time now. Many people’s trust in institutions, whether national or European, has gone,” Schulz said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

“Hardly any of the governments is fighting to reach the hearts of the people,” Schulz said, blaming heads of states and administrations for the loss of confidence.

There is a high risk of an “implosion of the EU,” Schulz added.

“If the British leave the EU, there will be [other] demands for further escape referendums,” he warned.

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India has vowed to protect farmers from exploitation and continue regulating the price of genetically modified cotton seeds in the country, looking to break down the monopoly of Monsanto – a US based agrochemical giant which controls 90 percent of the Indian market.

Monsanto is being pushed by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept the dictated government price, as India expects to develop its own genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties early next year.

In a move to break away from a dependency on American technological know-how in the genetic seed market, India has cut royalties paid by local firms for Monsanto’s seeds by more than 70 percent. The government also capped GM cotton seed prices at 800 rupees ($11.90) for a packet of 400 grams, starting in April 2017.

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Two FEMEN activists were arrested and later deported from Morocco Monday after attempting to stage a protest outside the trial where two men were convicted of homosexuality.

A YouTube video with more than 200,000 views in less than 24 hours shows the activists being detained in a scrum of protesters and police besides the courthouse in Beni Mellal.

FEMEN activists appear to be outnumbered by “homophobic aggressors” supporting another group of men on trial in the courthouse for attacking the two victims/suspects for their sexuality.

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Anal sex is on the rise for UK teens, according to a report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, citing porn and male competition as significant factors.

Research finds the increase comes despite indications that it isn’t a “pleasurable activity for young women.”

Looking at child safety online, the report examined teenage sexual behavior and how it is influenced by content coming through their computer and mobile devices.

“Unwanted sex”, such as anal, showed up as a growing issue in one of the studies cited by the report which asked 130 teenagers between 16 and 18.

Feminist author Naomi Wolf flagged this issue in the US three years ago during an interview with HuffPo.

“I visited a conservative college campus and a liberal one and anal fissures were the number one health problem women were having because everyone was doing anal when they were drunk and had just met, which is not the best way to do anal,” she said. “It’s a very delicate thing. So, the scripts are being set by porn.”

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