President Woodrow Wilson said that “the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.” This Nov. 11, the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs (OMVA) hopes the campus will be filled with an outpouring of solemn pride. OMVA is hosting a Remembrance Day Roll Call on Nov 11. Starting at 7 a.m. at the Upper Lodge, volunteers will read off the entire U.S. casualty list from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to Natasha Bergeron, a volunteer with the Veteran Affairs office, the U.S. casualty list exceeds 3,000 names. According to Iraq Body Count—”widely considered as the most reliable database of Iraqi civilian deaths,” in the words of the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele—the post-invasion Iraqi death toll exceeds 100,000. The roll call is not unique to this campus; there will be colleges all over the country reading these same names on their campuses. This event is being organized by Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). They estimate on their website that the reading of the names will take almost eight hours. There will also be one minute of silence observed at 11:00 a.m. Alongside the Roll Call, there will be an open house for veteran and military students also at the Upper Lodge. There will be speakers and information about tuition assistance, housing, and other subjects aimed at military students. Bergeron said the speakers will be, “people that will benefit veterans.” The open house will last until noon. According to the NASPA website, Retired Lt. Col. Brett Morris, the National Roll Call coordinator, said, “We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices, or those of the fallen.” There will be a continental breakfast offered early, at 8:30 a.m., and a barbecue lunch following the end of the open house. The guest at the breakfast is Lt. Col. Ed Anderson, the executive director of the National Institute of Science, Space and Security Centers here on campus, according to the UCCS Communiqué. There will be free parking offered for the event in Lot 7, behind Columbine. The OMVA is requesting volunteers to read names for the Roll Call. The readers will work in 15-minute shifts, reading names continually throughout the day. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Heather Kling at 255-3253.
Part of the $10,000 in Avery school supplies were stacked in boxes in front of the stage. Monday, October 31, 2011 By JOEL TURNER – Staff Writer Henry Elementary, one of the smallest schools in Franklin County that ranked as one of the top five schools in the nation in a recent online promotion, received its reward Wednesday.Avery Office and Consumer Products presented school officials with $10,000 of Avery school supplies, 10,000 Box Tops for Education Coupons (a $1,000 value), and $1,000 in gift cards for teachers to purchase additional school supplies.That was the prize for Henry for placing among the top five schools in the Avery Give Back to Schools competition, involving thousands of schools nationwide.Henry Elementary received more than 44,000 online votes to rank in first place among the top five grand-prize winning schools in the nation.”To be the top school in the entire nation is a true testament to our students, parents, staff and local PTO and I thank them for their relentless efforts,” said Principal Robin Whitmer at a school assembly.”I also want to thank Avery for this wonderful opportunity they have provided our school and for the great awards they have gifted to out students,” she added.The school gymnasium was filled with students, parents, teachers, school administrators, school board members and Del. Charles Poindexter.Jeff deLeon, marketing director for Avery, presented the prizes to Whitmer and Sabrina Greco, a parent who entered Henry Elementary in the contest.The students waved small Avery flags during the assembly.Part of the $10,000 in Avery school supplies were stacked in boxes in front of the stage.Henry, which has about 200 students, competed with many elementary schools that had more than 1,000 students. More than 16,000 schools nationwide competed in the online voting.The national contest required people to go online daily and vote for their school from June 15 to Sept. 16. Greco, a former student whose daughter now attends Henry, entered the school in the contest. She said that the voting campaign began in June, and as soon as Henry Elementary made it to one of the top 5 positions, it never left. Greco, who is the Box Tops coordinator for Henry Elementary, thanked everyone for helping the school become a winner.”We felt the support of the students, staff, parents, friends, family, acquaintances, customers, business owners, sheriff and police departments and even a member of the House of Delegates (Poindexter) who would support us in the effort to get this little school to the top of the nation for a moment in the spotlight,” Greco said.”This small, little school, the school that my sisters, brother and I attended, my two nephews attended, and where my daughter and nieces are now attending, this small little school is going to get some attention,” she said.”We would love the opportunity to thank all the community for their help in voting every day since June to make Henry Elementary School number one in the nation,” Greco said.School officials said that the supplies would last several years. The supplies will help the students at a time when many families are struggling economically because of layoffs and plant closings in the region.
Stevea Jobse přežily jeho sestry Patti Jobs a Mona Simpson, manželka Laurene a tři děti Eve, Erin a Reed. PODÍVEJTE SE NA REPORTÁŽ S jeho rodinou to ale ani zdaleka není tak přímočaré. On sám byl adoptovaný, a jakkoliv se ho jeho biologický otec původem ze Sýrie snažil kontaktovat, Jobs se s ním odmítl setkat. ČTĚTE TAKÉ:Steve Jobs: Jak šel čas s velkým vizionářem…Tyhle REVOLUČNÍ NOVINKY dal světu Steve Jobs! PODÍVEJTE SE! Ve dvaceti navíc splodil dítě se svou studentskou láskou Chrisann Brennan, která v roce 1978 porodila Lisu Brennan-Jobs. Jobs se ale k dcerce odmítl hlásit a dokonce tvrdil, že je neplodný. Z otcovství ho usvědčily až po dvou letech krevní testy. PODÍVEJTE SE NA PRŮŘEZ ŽIVOTEM STEVA JOBSE: Jeho biologičtí rodiče Joanna Simpson a Abdulfattah Jandali poté, co dali malého Stevea k adopci, počali další dítě. Jobs se se svou biologickou sestrou Monou setkal až ve svých 27 letech a celý život rezolutně odmítal prozradit, jak ji našel. Právníci teď podle britského deníku Daily Mail tedy stojí před obtížným úkolem dělení jeho astronomického majetku.
Editor’s Note: We’ve had this piece on the schedule to run today for a while, but in an odd coincidence, it turns out that Mona Simpson is the biological sister of Steve Jobs. Read about it here.1.One of my favorite books/presents to give to the coming-of-agers in my life has long been Anywhere but Here, by Mona Simpson. Set in the 1960s and 70s, the book follows the 12-year-old Ann August as she and her twice-divorced mother, Adele, move from Bay City, Wis., to Beverly Hills, Calif., with little more than a new car and vague aspirations of having Ann get television work in Hollywood. It’s a book that I think provides a nice picture of my own past — not in literal ways, but emotional, or perhaps even generational — as well as one that might give some insight into what the future might hold for those on the cusp of figuring out what life has to offer.I first read it in college, a few years after it was published in 1986. As a 20-year-old, I remember being excited by Simpson’s prose, which seemed almost miraculously informal and lyrical, particularly in comparison to some of the stilted so-called classics I slogged through in my classes. To spend time with Ann in particular (other chapters are narrated by her mother, aunt, and grandmother) felt like hanging out with a cool older sister or cousin, or maybe even one of the effortlessly precocious girls around whom I always seemed to orbit during that phase of my life. In one second she would describe a character as “laughing, but not really,” or admit to feeling “I don’t know, kind of proud,” and then in the next offer some startlingly beautiful image: “The weeds moved under the water like swollen hair. I pulled the cattail hard with my hand and the silver seeds blew off into the tall grass like scattered wishes.”I recently read the book again and in addition to laughing nostalgically at 1970s references like “prime tanning hours” and Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream, was struck by how Ann seems to be almost an archetype for a certain kind teenager we see a lot today, a girl who is understandably very skeptical about the adult world, even as she acknowledges the desire or need to navigate her way into it, and with the desire to turn out better or, more bluntly, at least not quite as fucked up as her parents. It’s a very muted form of Gen-X optimism/insecurity that evokes memories of a lot of inward (and sometimes, regrettably, outward) eye-rolling and cringing. I’m thinking specifically about characters like Angela Chase in My So-Called Life, or Daria from the eponymous animated show — or maybe even Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if you want to look at the entire ensemble as they more or less evolve from high-school kids into adults, confronting monsters all the way.2.In keeping with this theme, the 12-year-old Ann often seems more adult than her mother. In the opening pages of the book, for example, when Ann and Adele are en route to Los Angeles, Ann questions whether they can afford to stay at a nice hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. She says that “I worried about money. And I knew that it was a bigger system than I understood. I tried to pick the cheaper thing, like a superstition.” At the same time, though, Ann (like her mother), is not exactly consistent, and capable of tween petulance, like when a few pages later, after arriving at the Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, she angrily orders a steak off the menu, reasoning that “if we could afford to stay here then we could afford to eat, and I was going to eat.”Later in the book, as Ann struggles to fit in with her, generally speaking, much wealthier Beverly Hills classmates, she starts telling lies, exactly like her mother has always done. Unlike her mother, however, who in the moment of lying actually seems to believe what she’s saying, Ann is more self-aware, and clearly understands what she’s doing, even if she’s not quite interested in stopping. Adele, who lies about everything from gifts she claims she sent to her relatives that must have been lost in the mail to the level of interest a man holds for her (when in fact she is basically stalking him), is pretty much certifiable, whereas Ann manages to remind us that she’s the teenager, acting in ways that are perhaps typical, or at least not unexpected, for someone who doesn’t fit in anywhere and knows exactly why. What’s great about Ann is that she doesn’t indulge in the kind of overly dramatic rebellion we often associate with adolescence, but exudes a slyer, more introspective type of dissonance that allows us to keep rooting for her, perhaps because it’s a feeling that we know will never quite go away.If teenage Ann is the moral center of the book, her mother, Adele, is the star, a woman who walks thin lines between charisma and cruelty — at times monstrous cruelty, even — intelligence and insanity, or perhaps more accurately veers into all of these areas, sometimes all at once. Now is probably as good a time as any to admit that I haven’t seen the movie version of Anywhere But Here, mostly because as much as I love Susan Sarandon, I didn’t want the film to wreck my image of Adele; some characters are really too perfect — too complicated, too charming, too demented — for the movies.Adele is nothing if not demented and charming, someone you do in fact want to meet and watch, but only from a distance or for a short time, the kind of person who is great fun at a party but can destroy your life if you make the mistake of getting involved. The best example from the book is probably how Adele, until Ann is 12 and “old enough to get in trouble,” makes a habit of abandoning her daughter by the side of whatever road or highway they happen to be driving on, making her get out of the car and leaving her there until “she drove back…nodding, grateful-looking, as if we had another chance, as if something had been washed out of her.” Later in the book (but earlier in Ann’s life), Adele takes her daughter to an orphanage, where she tells Ann that “‘I brought you here because I’m telling you, Honey, you can’t act the way you’ve been doing. I’m warning you.’”At other times, Adele’s cruelty is almost campy, such as when she confronts her 10-year-old daughter in the basement of their Wisconsin house and, after noting her displeasure at the way she fidgets on the couch as she watches television, demands to know who has “fucked” Ann, “because they really ruined you.” Or how Adele constantly harps on her daughter’s appearance, telling her she needs to take off about 10 pounds because she “just gobble[s] down the milkshakes” or how after a couple of neighborhood kids attacked Ann and cut off her hair on Halloween: “‘You talk about going to California and auditions for television, well, let me tell you, other kids are cuter. Your hair was what you had going for you. Without it, I just don’t think you’ll stand out.”Still, for all of these Mommie Dearest moments, Adele is never one-dimensional. It’s hard not to develop compassion for her — and this is clearly Simpson’s genius — to identify with her longing to escape the tedious confines of her Wisconsin existence and create opportunities for her daughter that she never had, or at least squandered, and later — once she’s in L.A. — the terrifying prospect of establishing herself with very few connections as a single mother in an expensive, socially foreign city where she will do pretty much anything to “catch a man.”Despite the occasional breakdown and the many, many lies she tells (some sad, many funny), Adele is a woman who scrapes by, bouncing more than a few checks along the way, but is always willing to splurge on something “smashing” (like a suede jacket or a great hat) for her daughter or to take them out for ice cream, which is a constant ritual throughout the book. Also constant is Adele’s desire to instill “class” into her daughter, whether it involves getting rid of her Midwestern twang — Adele has a master’s degree in speech therapy, which she uses to get a job in Los Angeles — or more hilariously by encouraging Ann to impress her new Beverly Hills classmates by alluding to a “bunnyfur” jacket like the one she used to wear in Wisconsin.In the end, I ended up liking — maybe even loving — Adele in spite of myself. Despite her cruelty, the many lapses into selfishness or irresponsibility, the failures to provide much in the way of furniture or even food (except for ice cream) for her daughter, it’s easy to understand why Ann ultimately forgives her mother, which of course is the adult thing to do.3.When I give Anywhere But Here as a present, it’s my way of telling someone I love that I understand what it feels like not to fit in, which it turns out is a feeling that doesn’t exactly fade away with the years (so be prepared, in other words). But as much as the book is about the pain our families can bring us, it’s about relinquishing and sometimes laughing at it. It’s about the need to honor our parents, our crazy mothers and absent/distant fathers, who instilled this discomfort with the larger world into us, along with the yearning to escape. I would never say this explicitly, but I think to myself, here you go, dear niece or nephew: I understand how exasperating or sometimes insane your parents (my siblings) can seem, but try to remember that they would do anything for you, that they have lived for you. Which in my mind is a message that sounds better coming from me, an uncle, than it would from an actual parent, because I’m more impartial, someone who wants everyone involved to forgive the worst tendencies in each other as much as they appreciate the best.
LSU’s brand of football is frightening. The team plays in a stadium called “Death Valley,” the name hinting at its status as one of the scariest stadiums in college football. The defense and kickoff coverage blasts ball carriers. The running game bludgeons opponents and punts are nailed in coffin corners. Despite all this, the team’s players are not invincible. Halloween looms around the corner and the occasion has them divulging their fears. For some football players, the fear of dropping a pass or missing a tackle or block can be haunting. Junior tight end Chase Clement is confident in his abilities on the field, but that fear of failure manifests itself in another of his hobbies. “The only thing that scares me is when I’m sitting in that deer stand on Halloween day, and a big buck walks out, I might miss him,” said Clement, an avid hunter. “There’s always that gut feeling you might miss.” Sophomore defensive end Barkevious Mingo has wrestled the Florida Gators twice, once in their own lair, “The Swamp.” He’s recorded three tackles and a pass breakup in two LSU wins against the Gators, but the actual animal has him shying away from the Everglades. “I’m scared of big animals, something that could eat me,” Mingo said. “I wouldn’t walk up to a bear or a gator.” Although senior safety Brandon Taylor’s spider web tattoos can be seen stretching out from underneath his shirt collar, one won’t see him dusting any derelict corners of his team’s meeting rooms. “I don’t play with spiders,” Taylor said. “I walk through a spider web, I’m taking off running.” Though senior Jarrett Lee is accustomed to being swarmed by the nation’s best defensive lines, LSU’s quarterback shares in Taylor’s disgust for creepy crawlies. “Spiders, insects, bees, wasps,” Lee said. “Anything like that. They creep me out.” Slithering beasts have junior wide receiver Rueben Randle running away the same way he leaves opposing defensive backs in the dust. “[I'm scared of] snakes, if anything,” Randle said. “I hope I don’t run across any of them any time in the future.” Senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert won’t be caught dead spending his bye weekend at the lake house after watching the 2008 horror flick “The Strangers,” a suspenseful movie about a couple terrorized by masked psychopaths. “‘Strangers’ is pretty crazy because ‘Strangers’ could happen,” Hebert said. “I feel like whenever you’re in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere, and you start thinking about it, you could really freak yourself out. You’d have to be on your guard.” Hebert, a notorious gamer, also said he’s familiar with the video game horror genre. He said he’s beaten “Resident Evil 4,” the 12th game in the series that pioneered the genre. Junior wide receiver Russell Shepard recently got his horror fix, but he’d rather indulge his sweet tooth on All Hallows’ Eve. “I went to go see that new movie ‘Paranormal Activity ‘ and that was pretty scary,” Shepard said. “I’ve never been a big Halloween guy. I like the candy. I’m a big candy guy.” His favorite? “Reese’s,” Shepherd said, without pausing to think. “Reese’s cups.” Sophomore defensive end Sam Montgomery’s greatest fear is one many students may face, and it’s a fear he may have to deal with every day when he comes home from practice. “My most greatest fear would be opening that door and not having any food in my refrigerator,” Montgomery said. _____ Contact Alex Cassara at
October 31, 2011, 9:04 AM EDT By Carla Main (Updates China banks in Comings and Goings and adds EU bank recapitalization and circuit breakers in Compliance Policy and HomeServe and ‘fund supermarket’ in Compliance Action.) Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Some defense lawyers need to pay closer attention to possible conflicts of interest when they represent both companies and their employees in front of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency’s top enforcement official said. The SEC has seen “situations where counsel represents 20, 30 or 40 witnesses and the company in a case,” SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said at a securities law conference Oct.28 in Los Angeles. “It’s conceivable that there are no conflicts, but when you see those kinds of numbers you start to get concerned.” Khuzami said that lawyers representing multiple defendants pose problems for people who may wish to cooperate with investigators in exchange for lighter sanctions. In some cases, attorneys have represented both a manager under investigation for supervisory failures as well as the subordinate who engaged in the questionable conduct. Khuzami also faulted some defense attorneys for coaching their clients aggressively, resulting in witnesses who recall facts that exonerate them while claiming to forget basic facts that might incriminate them. Referring to internal investigations at companies, Khuzami said that “the firm conducting the investigation obviously should be representing the best interests of the company and the shareholders, but the concern is sometimes much more about representing management and those who made decisions.” Compliance PolicyEurope Tries to Recapitalize Its Banks Without Injecting Capital Europe’s largest banks may raise just a tenth of the total capital shortfall estimated by regulators, fueling concern policy makers’ plans to bolster the region’s lenders could fail. European Union leaders ordered banks last week to increase the ratio of “highest quality” capital they hold by the end of June, creating a shortfall of 106 billion euros ($150 billion). Of Europe’s 28 largest lenders, only eight will need to raise a total of 11 billion euros from investors, Huw Van Steenis, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote in an Oct. 28 report. Rather than tapping investors or governments, firms are trying to hit the 9 percent core capital target by adjusting risk-weightings, limiting dividends, retaining earnings, reducing loans and selling assets. Banks had threatened to curb lending, risking a recession, to meet the goal rather than take government aid that would bring limits on bonuses and dividends. EU leaders already are pressing banks to restrain payments to employees and shareholders until they meet the capital target. Lenders may sell as little as 6 billion euros of new stock to investors to plug the shortfall, according to Alastair Ryan, an analyst at UBS AG in London. That’s seven times less than the amount banks will raise from retaining earnings and adjusting risk-weightings, he said. Spanish bankers said lenders in other European countries benefit from looser standards after regulators found the country’s banks had a 26.2 billion-euro ($37 billion) capital shortfall. Banco Santander SA Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Saenz pointed to “fudges beyond our frontiers” as he highlighted the differences between the rules used to calculate capital ratios on his bank’s balance sheet and those in Switzerland. Jacobo Gonzalez-Robatto, chief financial officer of Banco Popular Espanol SA, complained to analysts about the “stark and massive” differences in regulation for computing capital ratios. For more, click here, click here, and click here.Nasdaq OMX Plans ‘Minimum Life’ Orders on PSX Stock Exchange An exchange owned by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. asked for permission to introduce a type of order for stocks that must last for a tenth of a second, 10 times longer than some of those placed by the fastest traders. The Nasdaq OMX PSX market is seeking to attract volume with the orders, which would earn anyone using them a higher payment from the exchange. Equity venues employ a variety of strategies including rebates to spur market makers and trading firms to provide orders at the best prices nationally. Nasdaq OMX PSX made the proposal as regulators study the impact of high-speed automated trading on the ability of investors to get the prices and transactions they want. Exchanges, traders and government officials have examined whether orders that remain accessible for as long as a second would assure investors that they can trade with the prices they see on their screens. The PSX proposal requires SEC approval to go into effect. For more, click here.Power Hedges May Be Mifid Exempt, Banks May Win, Lobby Says Power hedging by utilities will probably be exempted under the European Union’s plan for financial regulation including energy and commodity derivatives, said Eurelectric, the electricity lobby group. Marco Foresti, an adviser on energy markets for the Brussels-based lobby, which represents companies including Germany’s EON AG and Italy’s Enel SpA, said if utilities “want to do trading to make money they would need to get a Mifid license for that.” He made the remarks in an by e-mail, citing preliminary analysis by the group of Oct. 20 EU proposals. The EU’s plan to expand its Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid, will seek to regulate some companies and transactions that are currently exempt, to better protect investors in the wake of the financial crisis. Banks may win new trading business in the region’s energy industry from utilities because of the tighter restrictions, Foresti said. “Heavy capital requirements deriving from the Capital Requirements Directive” may result in fewer buyers and sellers trading in markets for energy commodities, slashing trading volumes, he said. The draft Mifid directive offers exemption from compliance duties on the condition that the trading activity is ancillary to the entity’s main business and that it isn’t part of a financial group.Coordinate Single-Stock Halts, Marketwide Curbs, Sifma Says U.S. circuit breakers that halt futures and securities trading during market plunges should also be triggered when 25 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index undergo individual pauses, according to an industry group. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association told regulators in a letter Oct. 27 that expanding the events triggering marketwide halts to include pauses in 5 percent of S&P 500 companies is necessary because the index calculation may become unreliable. The broader halts, adopted after the 1987 stock rout, are currently set off only by crashes. Sifma told the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency should analyze data to assess the impact that trading halts in individual stocks “may have on the measurement of the performance of the index,” and decide whether another percentage may be more appropriate. Regulators and exchanges are overhauling rules adopted a quarter century ago to shut down the equity market and related futures trading during periods of volatility. Among other changes, the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and other venues proposed that the curbs be triggered when the S&P 500 falls 7 percent. The circuit breaker is currently set off when the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 10 percent. The proposal also shortens the length of most halts. For more, click here. Compliance ActionTocqueville, Fund Manager Accused of Price Manipulation by AMF Tocqueville Finance SA, a Paris-based portfolio management company, and one of its executives were accused by France’s financial markets regulator of manipulating share prices. Tocqueville and Marc Tournier, a fund manager there, bought shares in June 2009 in order to drive up the price, representatives of the Autorite des Marches Financiers told the regulator’s board at a hearing Oct. 28, asking the board to fine them a total of 250,000 euros ($354,000). Tocqueville and Tournier disputed the accusation, saying the purchase decision was triggered when the share price fell and that the motivation was to increase their stake rather than inflate the price. “It is their job to find stocks” whose prices may rise, said Francois Klein, a lawyer representing them. “That is what Mr. Tournier did.”SEC Enforcers Frozen as Watchdog Unleashes ‘Chilling’ Probes The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog Inspector General H. David Kotz has castigated the agency for missing the Bernard Madoff fraud, spotlighted employees who viewed online pornography, and called for a criminal probe into the ethics of the SEC’s former top lawyer. While his blunt reports have won admiration on Capitol Hill, a backlash against Kotz among staff and managers has grown in intensity at the SEC and spread to the legal community outside the agency. Now critics led by former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt say Kotz is undermining the market regulator’s effectiveness. Pitt, who has represented several people involved in Kotz’s investigations, described the atmosphere at the SEC as a “reign of terror” in an e-mail last month to securities lawyers obtained by Bloomberg News. Kotz’s supporters say he’s a zealous investigator who arrived when the SEC’s lapses in the run-up to the credit crisis called for a tough in-house cop. His critics say that some of Kotz’s reports lacked evidence of wrongdoing and unfairly damaged the reputations of those he accused. In interviews, almost three dozen current and former SEC staff members, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from Kotz, raised concerns similar to Pitt’s. Kotz, 45, disputed his critics in an e-mailed statement, saying his work has had “an extremely positive impact” on the SEC. For more, click here.Avon’s Jung Under Scrutiny as SEC Starts New Investigation With the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probing Avon Products Inc.’s dealings with analysts, Andrea Jung may be facing the toughest challenge of her 12-year tenure as chief executive officer. The investigation increases scrutiny of the world’s largest door-to-door cosmetics company, which has trailed Wall Street’s forecasts and earlier this year fired four executives amid a probe involving possible bribes to Chinese officials. The SEC’s subpoena seeks information about the company’s contacts with financial analysts, Avon said Oct. 27. The SEC is also investigating Avon’s international operations. “We are going to conduct in-depth operational and financial reviews and reassess the internal and external factors that impact our performance,” Avon spokeswoman Jennifer Vargas said. She declined to comment further. In 2008, Avon began investigating its Chinese operations’ compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which outlaws bribing foreign officials. The four executives were fired in May, and Avon expanded the probe to other developing countries. As Jung, 53, deals with those distractions, her company vies to compete with larger rivals in emerging economies. For more, click here.Deutsche Boerse Says Has ‘Strong Arguments’ in Antitrust Probe Deutsche Boerse AG, seeking to acquire NYSE Euronext to form the world’s largest exchange, has “strong arguments at hand” for European antitrust regulators who have sent the companies a statement of objections, Chief Financial Officer Gregor Pottmeyer said. Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext are defending their proposed $7.26 billion deal at a regulatory hearing in Brussels against European Union criticism that the combination may harm competition and restrict innovation in financial markets. The EU’s antitrust authority can block anti-competitive deals or require companies to sell off units or change the way they do business to eliminate antitrust concerns. Pottmeyer, on a conference call Oct. 28 to discuss third- quarter earnings, said the impact on competition “is negligible,” because regulatory reform ensures competition between listed and over-the-counter derivatives markets “will not only continue, but be invigorated.” The exchange is confident that the regulators will see the benefit of the deal, he added. Regulators told the exchanges their merger would monopolize derivatives trading in Europe, according to a person familiar with the situation. For more, click here.HomeServe Suspends Phone Sales Operations After Internal Review HomeServe Plc, a U.K.-based emergency-repair service provider, suspended all telephone sales operations and marketing activity following an internal investigation. The monthlong review, which included the commissioning of an independent report from Deloitte LLP, found cases where sales processes failed to meet company standards, HomeServe said in an e-mailed statement. It will begin taking incoming customer calls again in the next few days after staff are retrained and new scripts developed, according to the statement. Outgoing calls won’t be restarted until the relevant staff have been through a “comprehensive retraining program,” the company said. HomeServe has been in regular talks with the Financial Services Authority and still plans to announce first-half results on Nov. 22, according to the statement.Horlick Shelves Plans for Fund Supermarket, Telegraph Reports Nicola Horlick, the chief executive officer of Bramdean Asset Management LLP, shelved plans to launch a new fund- management business aimed at retail investors because of regulatory uncertainty, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Horlick put on hold plans to start her Bees and Honey online fund supermarket, or interface between retail investors and asset-management companies, pending a review of such offerings by the Financial Services Authority, the newspaper said without specifying where it got the information. The U.K. regulator is reviewing how investment products are sold to individuals and aims to bolster its supervision of the process, the Telegraph reported. Interviews/SpeechesSwiss Want to Solve Tax Problems With U.S. Soon, Minister Says Switzerland wants to resolve the dispute with the U.S. on untaxed assets of American account holders in Swiss banks as soon as possible, Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said at an event in the Swiss capital Bern Oct. 28. Any deal with the U.S. would be based on existing agreements and not on new legislation, Widmer-Schlumpf said.O’Leary Says Ireland Won’t Need Corporate Tax Increase Barry O’Leary, chief executive officer of IDA Ireland, talked about the corporate tax rate and investing in Ireland. He spoke from Dublin with Linzie Janis on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” For more, click here. Comings and GoingsChina Regulator Reshuffle Makes Shang Biggest Banks Watchdog China moved its securities regulator Shang Fulin to head the nation’s banking watchdog, overseeing a 106 trillion-yuan ($17 trillion) industry that includes four of the world’s 10 largest lenders by market value. Shang’s appointment as chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission to replace Liu Mingkang is part of the biggest reshuffle of financial officials in a decade. China Construction Bank Corp. Chairman Guo Shuqing will become head of the securities watchdog and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. Chairman Xiang Junbo will take the top job at the insurance regulator, the government said on Oct. 29. Shang, 59, takes over at the watchdog for an industry whose assets have more than tripled during the past eight years as China’s economy became the world’s second-largest. After almost nine years as the securities regulator, Shang will be in charge of curbing a potential surge in bad loans following a record $2.7 trillion two-year credit boom that propelled China’s expansion after the global financial crisis. Guo, 55, who resigned from Construction Bank on Oct. 28, will replace Shang at the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Xiang, 54, who quit Agricultural Bank the same day, will move to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, replacing Wu Dingfu. The government’s announcement didn’t say whether Liu and Wu, both 65, are retiring. The websites of the three regulators have been updated to reflect the changes. For more, click here.–With assistance from Nina Mehta, Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York; Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch, Garth Theunissen, Nandini Sukumar, Sarah Jones and Mathew Carr in London; Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong; Robert Schmidt, Joshua Gallu and Jesse Hamilton in Washington; Charles Penty in Madrid; Leigh Baldwin in Zurich; and Heather Smith in Paris. Editor: Mary Romano.To contact the reporter on this story: Carla Main in New Jersey at .To contact the editor responsible for this report: Michael Hytha at .
AUBURN — Halloween or All Hallows Eve is that time of the yearwhen it’s said that the passage between our world and theafterworld opens to allow communication with the dead. In keeping with tradition, members of the Unitarian UniversalistSociety of Auburn held a special Samhain ceremony on Sunday morningto honor their departed loved ones. Samhain is an ancient tradition of honoring departed ancestorsand other souls through feasts and celebrations. “When someone dies you don’t always get that ending,” saidMerlyn Fuller, a congregation member who led the Samhain. “Youdon’t always get that closure. This is a time to celebrate ourloved ones who have changed our lives and have lived before us. Atime when the veil becomes thin between the world of the living andthe world of the dead allowing our ancestors to return to helpus.” Many were present with pictures and mementoes of their departedloved ones ready to share stories of the good that was brought intothem because of the lives the deceased once led. “We are not supposed to be afraid of the dead,” Fuller said.“They are our loved ones. They are here to help us.” According to Celtic lore, the Samhain also marks the New Year, atime when the harvest is complete and the end of the lighter halfof the year gives way to the beginning of the darker half. Fuller encouraged members of the group to make a change in thecoming new year: to get rid of the old and make room for thenew. “Just for today, or maybe even this week allow yourself to dreama little,” she said. “Imagine what your perfect world would bewithout limitation. Through these answers you will find the answersof your life.”
(Credit:FDA) (CBS) Decorative contacts might make for a terrific Halloween costume. But the FDA has issued a warning to consumers, saying that the contacts can cause potentially blinding eye problems. PICTURES: Halloween: 10 dumb ways to end up in the ERCase in point: Laura Butler, a woman who dropped $30 on a pair of blue lenses at a beach souvenir shop, which resulted in $2,000 in medical bills and almost cost her her eyesight. No instructions came with the lenses, and the store didn’t sell solution, so she just popped them. Soon after, she felt excruciating pain – and it took her nearly 20 minutes to remove the lenses, which had stuck to her eyeballs like suction cups. “The doctor said it was as if someone took sandpaper and sanded my cornea,” she says. “He said he wasn’t going to sugar-coat it, that I could lose my eyesight or could lose my eye.” She was treated for seven weeks and had dropping eyelid for five months, and to this day has decreased vision. In addition to the trauma, decorative lens wearers also might get an infection from unsterile lenses that results in an ulcer on the cornea. Ill-fitting contact lenses might deprive the cornea of nutrients and oxygen, which would lead to “tight lens syndrome,” which can be very uncomfortable, according to the National Eye Institute. Think it’s no big deal if you just wear them once and throw them away? Think again “Bacterial infections can be extremely rapid, result in corneal ulcers, and cause blindness–sometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly,” FDA optometrist Dr. Bernard Lepri, said in a written statement. “The problem isn’t with the decorative contacts themselves,” he added. “It’s the way people use them improperly – without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care.” What’s Butler’s message for folks considering decorative contacts this Halloween? Don’t buy fashion lenses. If you do, she said “Take the time to go to the doctor, pay the extra money, and save yourself the agony.” The FDA has more on designer contact lenses.
By D. Orlando Ledbetter The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionFLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann has not missed a game in his four seasons.He’s off to a solid start as the team’s top tackler on special teams and is playing more than 30 plays a game in the defensive end rotation with John Abraham and Ray Edwards.In a Q&A with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Biermann discussed his role, life with his girlfriend Kim Zolciak of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and their baby son, Kroy Jagger Biermann.Q: The first quarter of the season is in the books. How’s it been going for you?A: I’m feeling pretty good. We’re getting things rolling, and I’m feeling pretty confident out there.Q: How was that Montana reunion when you all played Philadelphia?A: Myself, Shann [Schilllinger] and Colt Anderson were all on the field. He’s a safety and core special-teams player for the Eagles. He’s from Butte, Montana.Q: How’s playing on special teams working out for you?A: It’s going good. I’m on all of the coverage teams.Q: How’s the new defensive end rotation?A: It keeps us fresh. We have to just keep working on things. Coach Ray Hamilton does a good job of working with us. We have to finish, push through guys and collapse that pocket. Some of the times, the quarterbacks were able to sit back there and kind of step up or step out. We have to work together as a unit and play off of each other as a defensive line, and the [sacks] will start coming to us.Q: Could you tell us about your spin move. It looks lethal in practice. Have you used it in a game?A: I’ve used it a couple of times. It’s got to be right and you’ve got to feel it. You get into your stance with a move in mind, but sometimes depending on what the guy across from you does, you have to switch it up or use a counter move. The spin move has got to be there. I felt it a couple of times, but it’s a rare thing.Q: On the interception you returned for a touchdown against Chicago, what happened?A: [John Abraham] did a good job of coming off the edge and batting it up. I was there, too. Right around the corner. I was able to jump up and grab it with one hand and take off the other way. It was a good teamwork play. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the win. We’ve moved on and we have to move forward. I have to make another big play this week.Q: Has Coach Hamilton put some pressure on you guys this week to get the sacks against Aaron Rodgers?A: There is pressure every week. It’s up to the unit as a defensive line to get after quarterbacks every week. So it’s important this week because this is the team that we are playing, so we have to get after their quarterback.Q: With his quick release, do you have to make sure you get your hands up in the air?A: Yes, when they go quick. Play violent and play hard.Q: How’s fatherhood going for you?A: It’s good. He’s getting big and he’s a pretty darn good baby. It’s been a lot of fun.Q: What’s his favorite food?A: He hasn’t really started his solids yet. He’s still on the formula and the milk. He’s a big eater, and he’s growing pretty big.Q: Your fans want to know how Kim is doing?A: She’s doing good. The family is good. Things are well with us.Q: With Hank Williams Jr. being released by ESPN, they don’t have singer for Monday Night Football now. Do you think Kim could do the new song?A: I don’t know. You’re going to have to ask her that.
BASTROP— Elizabeth Tipton and her family have been living in a hotel since the Labor Day fires took their home in the ColoVista subdivision. In a few weeks, when their federal temporary housing assistance runs out, she, her husband and their three children will move into a camper on their property — a gift from strangers. Some people who know their neighbors — Tipton still isn’t clear on the connection — happened to have a camper. Next thing they knew, they owned the camper, which these strangers had outfitted with new bedding, towels, kitchen utensils, cookware, plates, a slow cooker, even coloring books and crayons for their three children. “We don’t even know them,” said Tipton, 35. “They’re not even from Bastrop. I was just … wow. Who does that? It blows me away.” For all the things the fires burned away — the homes, the pickups, the memories, the forest — the people who lost the most seem determined to focus on what they didn’t lose. It’s the people who live here and the connections they’ve woven over the years that have enabled Bastrop County to face the state’s worst wildfires with a let’s-get-on-with-life resilience that seems to permeate the community. “There’s absolutely no benefit in wallowing,” Tipton said. “You just have to keep going. We have so much support from family, from community, from friends — it’s just incredible.” Everyone who lost something seems to have a story about how friends and family and total strangers have rallied to their aid. Jackie Bagwell has seen it from the front desk of the Bastrop Inn, where all 32 rooms have been full since Sept. 4, many of them sheltering families whose homes burned. “I’ve had more people donate clothes, time, food,” Bagwell said. “For three weeks, four weeks, we had a church that brought breakfast, lunch and dinner to these people. They’d knock on every door and ask everyone if they wanted food.” Kathy Bayes has seen it from her insurance office in downtown Bastrop. In the days after the fires, one customer after another came to her agency to file claims on their destroyed homes. Bayes said they all seemed more concerned about whether her home had survived (it had). “They were worried about me when they knew their own house was gone,” said Bayes, who opened her company in Bastrop 14 years ago. “It was just a good experience for me to see how wonderful these people were.” Chuck Christian has seen it too. He and his wife were riding their motorcycles near Houston when the fires began approaching their home in Circle D. A friend rushed to Christian’s home, kicked in the back door and saved their four dogs. When they returned to find their home burned to the ground, his cellphone started ringing with offers of shelter, he said. “I had six to eight offers of houses and rooms. And I have four dogs, so they were willing to accept me and my wife and four dogs,” he said. That’s happened throughout the county. Out of about 2,300 households eligible for temporary shelter money in Bastrop County, only about 18 percent have actually used it, said Ray Perez, a spokesman with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “It’s probably one of the best I’ve seen in terms of a community rallying and helping themselves to recover as quickly as they can,” Perez said. In the blackened stands of trees, people who lost their homes talk in reverent tones about what their community has done for them. All the free food and water donated by Walmart and H-E-B, all the volunteers showing up to get it to fire victims. Christian remembers a group of Home Depot employees pulling up in a rented truck and handing out water, snacks and tools to people who were sifting through the remains of their homes. The free pancake breakfasts at Chili’s. The Texas Baptist Men pulling up with their trailers and starting to clear rubble from lots. In the bank parking lot, they’re collecting Halloween costumes and candy for the kids who lost their homes — and their trick-or-treat neighborhoods. On Main Street, shop windows are covered with fliers for fundraisers and donation drives. “I hear those stories everywhere I go,” said Mike Fisher, Bastrop County’s emergency coordinator. “I’ve been involved in disaster relief almost my whole career, and it’s not always that way; some communities don’t respond like that.” For Tipton and her family, the generosity didn’t stop with the camper. Tipton’s sister, who lives in Georgia, posted a note on her Facebook page about Tipton losing her house in the fires. Her sister’s friends responded with a flood of donations — beds; furniture; kitchen items, down to the waffle iron and cheese grater; towels, shower curtains and a soap dish for a bathroom. Her sister rented a truck and drove it all to Texas, where they stored the load at their grandmother’s house. It’ll stay there until they build their new place. Tipton said they didn’t have insurance, and they’d just used most of their savings to do some remodeling and put in a new air conditioner. FEMA approved them for assistance and gave them enough money to start a building fund (Perez said the agency is giving individuals up to $30,200 for their losses from the fires). So they’ll start saving again, and when they have enough to buy the materials, a church group already has offered to donate the labor to rebuild their home. “I’m going to design the kitchen the way I want it, and I’m going to have the right amount of storage space,” Tipton said.