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  • World
    The Daily Beast

    Corrupt Cop Linked to Trump Tower Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya Exposes Russian Ops

    LONDON—A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia’s complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries. The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general’s office was exposed. He reportedly told a court in Switzerland this week that he discussed a high-profile corruption case against Russia with Russian officials during an all-expenses-paid hunting trip to Siberia. On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general’s office. Victor K. told the appeals court Tuesday that he had conferred with the Russian officials on the trip about the high-profile Magnitsky case, which he was supposed to be investigating. The $230 million fraud against the Russian people was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, who was subsequently detained and beaten by Russian officials, who left him to die in a prison cell. The case led to American sanctions against Russia, which were signed into law by President Obama in 2012, after a campaign by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder. While the Swiss authorities originally froze millions connected to the Magnitsky case that flowed through Switzerland nine years ago, the case has stalled.The appeals court ruled Friday that Victor K. was guilty of improperly accepting the hunting trip, but it dismissed the fine that had been imposed by a lower court. “The decision holds; he received undue benefit from the Russians, but it’s just a slap on the wrist for a serious crime,” Browder told The Daily Beast. “The fact that the Swiss discovered a Russian mole and he bears effectively no consequence is pretty alarming, and makes Switzerland look like a banana republic.”According to a lawyer who attended the hearing, Victor K. told the court that he had spent three or four hours discussing the Magnitsky case with the Russian officials. The lawyer’s transcript also said he told his bosses in the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office that they should drop the case, because they would never be able to follow the money trail, which he likened to finding the source of several bottles of wine once they had all been poured into the same barrel.On a previous trip to Moscow, Swiss court papers revealed that Victor K. met Veselnitskaya, the lawyer responsible for the notorious Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner.Victor K., who was responsible for working on investigations into the Swiss financial dealing of the Russian mafia and oligarchs for decades, had met Veselnitskaya’s collaborator, Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan, in Geneva, Zurich, and Moscow “without the knowledge of his superiors,” according to Swiss court papers. Karapetyan was one of the members of the delegation on the Siberian hunting retreat.Novaya Gazeta reported last month that Victor K. mysteriously continued to take trips to Russia after he stopped working for the Swiss authorities.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • U.S.
    ABC News

    Following Obama, Clinton and Bush, former president Jimmy Carter issues a statement on George Floyd protests

    Former President Jimmy Carter has become the latest and final living president to weigh in on the nationwide protests after the killing of George Floyd while he was in police custody. In a statement released by The Carter Center Wednesday, the oldest living president said he and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, are "pained by the tragic racial injustices and consequent backlash across our nation in recent weeks." While Carter said "our hears are with the victims’ families and all who feel hopeless in the face of pervasive racial discrimination and outright cruelty," he also said that violence is not the answer, as some protests nationwide have turned destructive.

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  • World
    The Telegraph

    Putin declares a state of emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel oil leak into Arctic river due to climate change

    Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency after more than 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Russian Arctic. Several miles of the Ambarnaya river were turned red after a fuel tank at a power plant in Norilsk, an industrial city in northern Siberia, collapsed on Friday. Mr Putin berated regional officials for their slow response in a Zoom call broadcast on state television on Wednesday. "Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact?" he asked Sergei Lipin, the head of the subsidiary that runs the plant. "Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media?" Yevgenny Zinichev, the head of the Emergencies Ministry and and Alexander Uss, the governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai said that they only learnt about the spill on May 31, two days after it occurred and established a true picture of the situation "only after information on social media." Mr Uss said officials were considering burning the oil off, but that there was no precedent for attempting to do so on such a large scale and it was not clear if it would succeed. The power plant is a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium. The company said in a statement that no one had been hurt by the accident and that it had deployed emergency teams to clean up the spill. It said the spill appeared to have been caused by "a sudden sinking of supporting posts in the basement of the storage tank" and that it was reviewing the threat of melting permafrost at other storage facilities. Russia's investigative committee, its rough equivalent of the FBI, has opened a criminal investigation. The head of the power plant has been taken into custody but has not been charged.

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  • Business

    Billionaire Jim Simons Snaps Up These 3 Penny Stocks

    When billionaire financier Jim Simons makes a move, Wall Street pays attention. Simons is best known as the inventor of quantitative trading, using data crunching algorithms to make market predictions. He put his theories to work in the 1980s, when he founded the Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, and since then has established the best record on Wall Street, averaging a 66% annual return for over 30 years.Ask how he did it, and Simons will likely tell you that he took the emotional factor out of trading. Humans are fickle beasts, but data never lies. Take out the human factor, focus solely on the numbers and their patterns, and you can’t lose. Following this insight, Simons’ fund has brought in $100 billion in profits since 1988, and his personal fortune totals over $20 billion.It’s clear that a smart trader can build an investment strategy just by following Simons’ lead. And right now, the 13F filings show that Simons is buying, among others, penny stocks. These equities, priced below $5 per share, typically offer high upside potentials. Even a small gain in share price – just a few cents – quickly translates into a high yield return. Yes, there is risk involved, but that’s where Simons’ quantitative algorithms come in, to pick the winners.Looking into Renaissance's basket of stocks, we’ve chosen three penny stocks that TipRanks database reveals as a “Buy” and offer solid upside potential. Let’s take a closer look and see what Wall Street analysts have to say.Orbcomm, Inc. (ORBC)We’ll start with a small-cap communications company. Orbcomm controls both ground-based wireless messaging infrastructure and a network of 31 satellites, giving it global coverage. Orbcomm’s network provides machine-to-machine communications, and is heavily involved with Internet of Things. The company boasts 2 million billable subscribers in 130 countries.During the first quarter, Jim Simons' Renaissance upped the ante by 464%, adding 1,150,018 shares of the company to the fund. The fund had first bought into the stock in Q4 2019, with a purchase of 248,000 shares. Its latest buy brought its total holding to over 1.39 million shares, worth $4.8 million.Currently going for $3.43 apiece, some members of the Street believe the share price reflects an attractive entry point.Canaccord's 5-star analyst Michael Walkley sees a bright future for Orbcomm, despite the coronavirus pandemic. He writes of the company, “With a portion of ORBCOMM’s business dedicated to helping its customers transport food and medicine during these uncertain times, a strong piece of the firm’s recurring revenues remains protected… we view the risk-reward as very positive…” The analyst added, "ORBCOMM should be well positioned with its 2.2M subscriber base to drive consistent adjusted EBITDA through its high-margin recurring revenue solutions. Further, its improving cost structure and consolidated platforms should lead to longer-term margin expansion."To this end, Walkley rates ORBC a Buy along with an $8 price target. His target implies a wildly robust upside potential of 133% for the coming year. (To watch Walkley’s track record, click here)Overall, Orbcomm has 4 recent analyst reviews, and all are Buys, making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. The average price target stands tall at $6.88, which suggests the stock has room to double in the next 12 months. (See Orbcomm stock analysis on TipRanks)Arcos Dorados Holdings (ARCO)Next up is Arcos, the master franchise holder for McDonalds in the Latin America & Caribbean region. The company is one of the world’s largest McDonalds franchisees, and lists some 20 countries in its franchise territory. Arcos is the largest fast-food chain in Latin America.Pulling the trigger on ARCO in the first quarter, Renaissance purchased over 563,000 shares. This is a 221% boost to the fund's holding, and brings its stake in the company to nearly $2.6 million.As you can easily imagine, the sudden halt in economic activity imposed to stop the coronavirus spread hit Arcos hard, as restaurants were among the businesses most harshly affected. Arcos saw Q1 earnings turn sharply downward, from a 16-cent Q4 profit that was nearly double the forecast to a 26-cent net loss. The Q1 loss was more than 6x worse than analysts had anticipated. Looking forward, Q2 losses are estimated to reach 70 cents per share.Yet, JPMorgan analyst Ian Luketic believes ARCO's long-term growth narrative remains strong and that its $4.59 share price reflects the ideal entry point. Luketic lays out the clear case for Arcos’ return to profitability in the wake of corona: “As stores are reopened and the company is able to adjust its cost structure, we expect to have more visibility on what to expect from margins going forward. Although margins were at a miss, we don´t expect a major negative reaction as the market is already pricing-in weak margins for 2020 and focus should be on results ahead and potential indicators of consumption pick-up.”Luketic maintains a Buy rating on this stock, and his $5.50 price target implies a 19% upside potential. His is the only recent analyst review on record for ARCO. (To watch Luketic’s track record, click here)Some stocks fly under the radar, and CATS is one of those. Luketic is the only recent analyst review of this company, and it is decidedly positive.Adecoagra SA (AGRO)Last on the list, we have an agricultural holding company. Adecoagra’s subsidiaries operate in crop farming and dairy, along with sugar, ethanol, and even energy production. The company’s field of operations is in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The company was hit on two fronts – food production and distribution were impacted by the shutdowns, while forced social lockdown policies put a heavy damper on the fuel market’s demand for ethanol. Yet, AGRO’s niche is essential, and the company is expected to benefit quickly as economies reopen. Demand is already beginning to resume for ethanol, as consumers are starting to purchase more automotive fuel. Simons’ algorithms are forward-looking, so maybe it’s no surprise that he bought into this company, picking up 415,131 shares in Q1. This holding is worth $1.9 million. Lucas Ferreira, covering this stock for JPMorgan, noted, “COVID-19 and the oil price decline drove sugar and ethanol prices down by 18%-25% year-to-date and compressed sector valuations and near-term free cash flow generation prospects.” He goes on to add that “the worst seems behind us with domestic ethanol demand surprising to the upside and the gradual reopening to give a further booster to volumes.”Ferreira’s Buy rating comes with a $6 price target that indicates a solid 31% upside potential from the current share price of $4.57. (To watch Ferreira’s track record, click here)To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

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  • Lifestyle
    In The Know

    Woman considers divorce over new next-door neighbors: 'Am I being unreasonable?'

    Sometimes the people you live next to really challenge the sentiment of "Love thy neighbor" — but what if they're family?

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