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World - Buhari extends lead in tight Nigerian election

By Tim Cocks and Alexis Akwagyiram ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian opposition contender Muhammadu Buhari built a lead of over 2.5 million votes with only six states uncounted on Monday, raising the prospect of a stunning ballot box victory for a man who first came to power three decades ago via a military coup. The 72-year-old general who has campaigned as a born-again democrat intent on cleaning up the corrupt politics of Africa`s most populous nation notched up 12.9 million votes, according to a tally collated by Reuters from 30 of Nigeria`s 36 states. This compared to 10.2 million votes for President Goodluck Jonathan, a one-time zoology professor whose five years at the helm of the continent`s biggest economy and top oil producer have been plagued by corruption scandals and a bloody insurgency by Islamist Boko Haram militants. Announcement of the results will resume at 0900 GMT on Tuesday, the election commission said.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  00:47


Business - SEC says Wal-Mart can omit shareholder proposal on staff `engagement`

The proposal was submitted by Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier in December. The Securities and Exchange Commission sided with Wal-Mart`s assertion that it could be omitted on the grounds that it had already been `substantially implemented` in other ways by the company, according to the ruling posted on the SEC`s website. `The SEC agreed that it could be excluded again this year on that basis,` Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, referring to a similar version of the proposal that failed to make the ballot last year as well. The fate of the proposal had been in focus after Wal-Mart announced in February that it would raise its minimum wage in a move that was in part aimed at better engaging with and retaining its rank-and-file staff.

Monday, March 30, 2015  23:18


World - Tsipras seeks `honest compromise` as Greece wrangles with creditors

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday said he wanted an `honest compromise` as the cash-strapped country wrangled with eurozone creditors over a new package of reforms needed to unlock vital bailout funds. Experts from the IMF and the EU are scrutinising a list of reforms that Athens has proposed in its bid to get the creditors to release 7.2-billion euros ($7.81-billion) in loans. Greece`s government says the reforms would help raise an extra three billion euros for its coffers without resorting to wage and pension cuts. `We`re not there yet,` European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters.

Monday, March 30, 2015  23:18


Business - Ackman says shutting Herbalife down is key to him

Hedge fund mogul William Ackman, who has spent more than two years accusing Herbalife Ltd of running a pyramid scheme, said on Monday that shutting down the company is the most important thing he can do. Speaking at a meeting of the Council of Institutional Investors` in Washington, Ackman said again that Herbalife preys on a `vulnerable population` of undocumented Latinos and urged Herbalife investors in the audience to sell their stock. The company has vehemently denied running a pyramid scheme ever since Ackman`s $20 billion hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, first unveiled a $1 billion short bet against the company in December 2012. Federal and state regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, are investigating the company.

Monday, March 30, 2015  22:01


World - Uzbek strongman re-elected in landslide, OSCE dubious

Uzbek strongman Islam Karimov cruised to a new five-year term Monday after facing a minimal challenge, prompting withering criticism from Western observers. The election commission in the tightly controlled Central Asian state said Karimov, 77, won more than 90 percent of the vote in Sunday`s presidential election to extend his 25 years in power, with voter turnout reaching 91 percent. Karimov has led the most populous of Central Asia`s five former Soviet republics since 1989, two years before collapse of the Soviet Union. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) questioned the independence of the electoral commission, noting that Karimov`s candidacy breached constitutional term limits.

Monday, March 30, 2015  17:13


World - US, UK fear possible interference in Nigeria vote count

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his British counterpart Philip Hammond Monday voiced fears over possible political interference in Nigeria`s vote count, as the country awaited the results of weekend elections. Nigeria`s Independent National Electoral Commission flatly rejected that. `There is absolutely no basis for that at all,` commission spokesman Kayode Idowu told AFP.

Monday, March 30, 2015  15:04


Business - U.S. investor lawsuit over Harbinger`s LightSquared is dismissed

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Philip Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners LLC of misleading investors by taking a majority stake in wireless company LightSquared Inc without disclosing the investment or its risks. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said some claims did not adequately show how Falcone and Harbinger allegedly breached their duties to investors, while other claims were precluded under federal securities law. `We respectfully disagree with the judge, and are considering our options,` Jacob Zamansky, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview. Once known as SkyTerra Communications Inc, LightSquared filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012 after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission revoked its spectrum license.

Monday, March 30, 2015  21:43


Business - U.S. not liable for alleged SEC negligence in Stanford fraud: court

A federal appeals court said on Monday the United States is not liable to victims of Allen Stanford`s fraud who claimed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was incompetent for having taken too long to uncover the swindler`s $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme. A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami said the government is entitled to sovereign immunity. Stanford`s victims accused the SEC of negligence for having waited until 2009 to uncover the Ponzi scheme, despite having had evidence of it as early as 1997. `We reach no conclusions as to the SEC`s conduct, or whether the latter`s actions deserve plaintiffs` condemnation,` Circuit Judge Julie Carnes wrote for a three-judge panel.

Monday, March 30, 2015  20:31


World - Nerves on edge in Nigeria as vote count begins

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) Nigeria`s electoral commission began counting votes in hotly contested presidential elections Monday as the United States and Britain warned that the count may be subverted by `deliberate political interference.`

Monday, March 30, 2015  16:54


Business - SEC accuses financier Lynn Tilton of defrauding investors

U.S. regulators took aim at the flamboyant financier Lynn Tilton and her advisory business on Monday, saying she breached her fiduciary duty to investors by hiding the poor performance of loans underlying three collateralized loan obligations. The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Tilton and private equity business Patriarch Partners were able to collect almost $200 million in fees by failing to properly value the assets in the funds through the methodology described to investors. Tilton, who has referred to herself in the past as the `turnaround queen` because of her penchant for buying distressed assets and rejuvenating them, plans to fight the SEC`s charges in the agency`s in-house court. `We are disappointed that the SEC has chosen to bring an enforcement action that is ill-founded and at odds with Patriarch`s investment strategy, which was consistently disclosed since the inception of the funds,` a spokeswoman for Patriarch Partners said Monday.

Monday, March 30, 2015  16:00

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