yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei

lunedì 6 dicembre 2021

The second accuser in the New York sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell alleged on Monday the Briton asked her to find young women for sexual encounters with the financier Jeffrey Epstein, because his demands were insatiable.........

 

Witness ‘Kate’ is questioned by prosecutor Lara Pomerantz during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, in a courtroom sketch in New York City on Monday.
Witness ‘Kate’ is questioned by prosecutor Lara Pomerantz during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, in a courtroom sketch in New York City on Monday. Photograph: Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

The second accuser in the New York sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell alleged on Monday the Briton asked her to find young women for sexual encounters with the financier Jeffrey Epstein, because his demands were insatiable.

The accuser, who testified in federal court in Manhattan under the pseudonym Kate, said she was 17 when she met Maxwell in Paris around 1994. She gave Maxwell her phone number, she said.

The Briton struck her as “very sophisticated and very elegant”, she said, adding: “She was very impressive … everything that I wanted to be.”

Epstein, a convicted sex offender whose associates included Prince Andrew and former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, killed himself in a New York City jail in August 2019, while awaiting his own sex-trafficking trial.

Maxwell, 59 and the daughter of the late British publishing baron Robert Maxwell, was arrested in July 2020 in New Hampshire, for her alleged role in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls as young as 14. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Kate said Maxwell invited her over for tea, during which Maxwell talked about Epstein.

“She told me lots of amazing things about her boyfriend and that she said he was a philanthropist,” Kate said.

Maxwell introduced her to Epstein on another occasion not long thereafter and also at her London townhouse, Kate said. Maxwell called, she said, to say Epstein was in town and could she come over to meet him?

“She was very activated, very excited,” Kate said. “There was a sense of urgency.”

Maxwell told Epstein Kate was “very strong”, Kate said, before telling her: “Why don’t you give his feet a little squeeze to show him how strong you are?” Kate massaged Epstein’s feet, she said, and “he seemed to be very approving and said, ‘Go ahead, you can do my shoulders.’”

Then, in Kate’s telling, Epstein got a call and Maxwell ushered Kate out of the house. A couple weeks later, Maxwell called again.

“She said Jeffrey was meant to get a massage but the massage therapist had canceled. Could I do her a favor and come over … because I had strong hands,” Kate said.

Kate went to the townhouse, where, she said, Maxwell “said, ‘I’m really excited that you’re here.’ She said he needed massages all the time and it was very difficult to keep up.”

Maxwell, Kate said, led her upstairs into a room with a table in it. Epstein was in the room, wearing a robe, which he took off to be naked. Maxwell closed the door, Kate alleged, saying Epstein initiated sexual contact. Kate left the room, she said, and went downstairs, where she saw Maxwell.

“She said: how did it go? Did you have fun? Was it good? She seemed excited and happy.”

Maxwell allegedly invited Kate over again several days later: “She said, ‘I’m so glad you’re here. You did such a good job last time, he wanted you to come back.”

Kate said Maxwell led her upstairs again, to where Epstein was naked, said “‘Have a good time,’ and left.” Epstein engaged in sexual contact during the massage that followed, Kate said.

When Kate got downstairs, Maxwell allegedly said: “Did you have fun? You’re such a good girl. I’m so happy you were able to come.” Kate also recalled Maxwell saying Epstein liked her a lot.

Kate also said she saw a girl at Maxwell’s house on that occasion who was “blonde and slim and around my age”.

“She was having tea with Ghislaine and telling Ghislaine about the things she was interested [in],” Kate said, alleging Maxwell said: “I think she would be a good fit for him.”

Maxwell, Kate said, would talk a lot about “boys, boys and their willies”.

“It was always like a schoolgirl,” Kate said, adding that she thought it “odd” and that Maxwell seemed to act younger than her when talking about men. Maxwell also “would ask me if I knew anybody who could come and give Jeffrey [oral sex] because it was a lot for her to do”, Kate alleged.

“She said, ‘You know what he likes: cute, young, pretty, like you.’ She said he needed to have sex about three times a day.”

Over the next several years, Kate said, she saw Epstein several times a year. When she was about 18 Maxwell flew her to Palm Beach, Florida. When Kate went into her room, she said, she saw a “schoolgirl outfit” on her bed. She asked Maxwell about it, she said.

“She said, ‘I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit.”

Kate said she did, and he engaged in a sexual encounter.

Kate communicated with Epstein into her 30s, she said, as she was worried about what would happen if she stopped.

“I did not want to admit what had happened to me, and I thought that by [ceasing] communication, I would have to acknowledge the events that had taken place and would have to say something. I was also fearful of disengaging because I had witnessed how connected they both were.”

Maxwell told Kate “she was friends with Prince Andrew” and Donald Trump, Kate said. She did not accuse either man of wrongdoing.

Last week, an accuser named as “Jane” alleged Maxwell was sometimes present when Epstein abused her and that Maxwell sometimes participated. The alleged abuse, she said, started when she was 14.

“It would be them leading me to a massage table and showing me how Jeffrey likes to be massaged,” Jane said. Other accusers have alleged abuse under the guise of giving him a massage.


di  per "theguardian.com"

The bumper profit totals, provided exclusively to the Guardian, show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 top oil and gas companies made more than $74bn in net income. From January to September, the net income of the group, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $174bn........

 

A worker at a gasoline station puts gas in the car of a customer in New York City. Americans are paying about $3.40 a gallon compared with about $2.10 a year ago.
A worker puts gas in the car of a customer in New York City. Americans are paying about $3.40 a gallon compared with about $2.10 a year ago. Photograph: John Angelillo/UPI/Rex/Shutterstock

The largest oil and gas companies made a combined $174bn in profits in the first nine months of the year as gasoline prices climbed in the US, according to a new report.

The bumper profit totals, provided exclusively to the Guardian, show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 top oil and gas companies made more than $74bn in net income. From January to September, the net income of the group, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $174bn.

Exxon alone posted a net income of $6.75bn in the third quarter, its highest profit since 2017, and has seen its revenue jump by 60% on the same period last year. The company credited the rising cost of oil for bolstering these profits, as did BP, which made $3.3bn in third-quarter profit. “Rising commodity prices certainly helped,” Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, told investors at the latest earnings report.

Gasoline prices have hit a seven-year high in the US due to the rising cost of oil, with Americans now paying about $3.40 for a gallon of fuel compared with around $2.10 a year ago.

The Biden administration has warned the price hikes are hurting low-income people, even as it attempts to implement a climate agenda that would see America move away from fossil fuels, and has released 50m barrels of oil from the national strategic reserve to help dampen costs.

But oil and gas companies have shown little willingness so far to ramp up production to help reduce costs and the new report, by the government watchdog group Accountable.US, accuses them of “taking advantage of bloated prices, fleecing American families along the way” amid ongoing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Americans looking for someone to blame for the pain they experience at the pump need look no further than the wealthy oil and gas company executives who choose to line their own pockets rather than lower gas prices with the billions of dollars in profit big oil rakes in month after month,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.

The analysis of major oil companies’ financials shows that 11 of the group gave payouts to shareholders worth more than $36.5bn collectively this year, while a dozen bought back $8bn-worth of stock. This apparent focus, rather than on further drilling, has caused some frustration within the federal government, with Jennifer Granholm, the US energy secretary, stating that “the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.”

A glut of new oil drilling has made the US awash with oil in recent years, turning the country into a top-level exporter as well as domestic supplier, but this has kept prices low to the displeasure of investors. “A lot of this has been driven by investor sentiment,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, of the current reluctance to expand production. “They don’t want them to spoil the party.”

The situation has left the White House in an awkward position with its commitments to rapidly reduce planet-heating emissions, with environmentalists furious at administration attempts to expand drilling and fossil fuel companies also unhappy over some of its earlier climate-related moves, such as shutting down the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The oil and gas industry has fought Joe Biden’s attempts to pause new drilling permits on federal land, despite its unwillingness to expand operations in order to reap the returns of costlier oil and the fact the industry currently sits on 14m acres of already leased land that isn’t being used, an area about double the size of Massachusetts.

“It’s not the government that is banning them from drilling more,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James, told CNN. “It’s pressure from their shareholders.”

Aside from its role in the current high gasoline prices, the oil and gas industry is a leading driver of the climate crisis, the reality of which it sought to conceal from the public for decades, and is a key instigator of the air pollution that kills nearly 9 million a year, a death toll three times that of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The American Petroleum Institute, a leading industry lobby group, pointed to a blog that blamed the Biden administration for policies that “significantly weaken the incentives to invest in America’s energy future” but did not answer questions on production rates of oil companies.


di  per "theguardian.com"

Chissà se il signor Ugo (nome di fantasia) e lo State of Wisconsin Investment Board, entrambi azionisti della Juventus, un giorno si sono chiesti: come mai il club ha comprato Cristian Romero dal Genoa per 26 milioni e l’ha lasciato in prestito prima al Genoa e poi all’Atalanta? E come mai l’Atalant.........


 

Chissà se il signor Ugo (nome di fantasia) e lo State of Wisconsin Investment Board, entrambi azionisti della Juventus, un giorno si sono chiesti: come mai il club ha comprato Cristian Romero dal Genoa per 26 milioni e l’ha lasciato in prestito prima al Genoa e poi all’Atalanta? E come mai l’Atalanta l’ha riscattato per 16 milioni (da pagare alla Juve, per di più, in tre comode rate) e l’ha ceduto 24 ore dopo al Tottenham per circa 55 milioni guadagnandoci ben 39 milioni? E come mai Genoa e Atalanta sono i principali creditori della società bianconera? E come mai l’operazione Romero iniziata con Fabio Paratici direttore generale della Juve termina con Paratici dg del Tottenham? Qualcuno dirà: è il calcio, bellezza. Qualcun altro: è il mercato. Diciamola tutta: è il calciomercato e, se aggiungiamo che siamo nel regno de “la palla è rotonda”, diventa facile chiudere la questione con i tarallucci e con il vino. Sarà. Ma fino a un certo punto. Perché i risparmi del signor Ugo (e di tutti gli azionisti) sono tutelati dall’articolo 47 della Costituzione e la Consob deve occuparsi anche di una società di calcio quotata. Inoltre la cessione di Romero (e non solo) è nel mirino della procura di Torino e della Guardia di Finanza che indagano sulla Juve per falso in bilancio. E quindi, per una volta, i tarallucci e il vino mettiamoli da parte.

Per quanto tifoso e appassionato, un azionista resta un azionista e il 24,3% del capitale di Juventus Football Club spa è in circolazione sul mercato azionario. Nessun azionista può conoscere nel dettaglio le operazioni del titolo su cui ha investito. Ma una società di calcio ha una peculiarità in più: il 30% dei ricavi della Juve, nell’esercizio 2019/2020, è costituito dalla voce “proventi da gestione diritti dei calciatori”. Tradotto: dal “calciomercato” (e dalle relative plusvalenze). La percentuale – oggi scesa al 9% – nel 2018/2019 ammontava al 25,3% e nel bilancio precedente al 20,3. In altre parole: un quarto dei ricavi è dipeso dal calcio mercato e dalle plusvalenze (ho ceduto il calciatore a una cifra superiore a quella di acquisto). Ora: chi può stabilire qual è il prezzo corretto, nell’acquisto di un calciatore, se non il mercato e l’accordo tra le parti? Siamo nell’alea assoluta. Ma queste operazioni rappresentano una componente essenziale del bilancio e, quindi, dell’investimento fatto dall’azionista. Non tutte le società quotate sono uguali. Il Manchester United negli ultimi 10 anni ha realizzato plusvalenze per 122 milioni. La Juve 166 nel solo esercizio 2019/2020. Quindi il signor Ugo dovrebbe esultare. E con lui anche l’azionista Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. Ma se volessero addentrarsi nelle operazioni, se provassero a trovare una logica esclusivamente economica, ne ricaverebbero una labirintite. Scoprirebbero che, per le campagne trasferimenti, il maggiore creditore della Juve è proprio il Genoa: gli deve 31,1 milioni. E dall’ultimo bilancio scoprirebbero che proprio al Grifone la Juve ha venduto Manolo Portanova (10 milioni) ed Elio Petrelli (8 milioni) realizzando una plusvalenza da ben 18 milioni. Ottimo: sono entrati 18 milioni in cassa, penseranno Ugo e l’azionista City of New York Trust, prima di passare alla voce “acquisti” e notare che quei 18 milioni sono in qualche modo ritornati nelle casse del Genoa che, per la stessa cifra, ha venduto alla Juve Nicolò Rovella. Vabbè, si diranno: pari e patta. Ma se andassero a controllare un po’ meglio, tra le righe del calcio mercato, scoprirebbero anche che Rovella era in scadenza di contratto: aspettando soli 4 mesi la Juve avrebbe potuto acquistarlo a molto meno. Uno pensa: forse la Juve aveva necessità di Rovella. Poi cerca la sua presenza in bianconero e non lo trova: dal Genoa, Rovella, non se n’è mai andato, perché è rimasto lì in prestito. A ’sto punto uno dice, vabbè sarà stato un affare comunque, fammi vedere quanto valgono oggi ’sti tre calciatori? Clicca sul sito transfermarkt.it e scopre che Rovella (acquistato a 18 milioni) ne vale 6, Portanova (venduto a 10) ne vale 1 e Petrella (ceduto a 8) ne vale 250mila. Presa la calcolatrice, l’azionista scoprirebbe che la Juve ha acquistato per 18 milioni un calciatore che oggi ne vale 6. E che al Genoa ne ha venduti due, sempre per 18 milioni, che in totale oggi valgono 1 milione e 250mila euro. E che tutto questo fa bene al bilancio. A gennaio la Juve vende al Genoa –che è creditore della Juve per circa 31 milioni e debitore dei bia nconeri per 26,3 –Stefano Sturaro per 18 milioni (plusvalenza da 13,6) con un pagamento in 4 anni (quindi 4 milioni l’anno). Un mese dopo il Genoa vende alla Juve Luca Zanimacchia per 4 milioni. Ora, deve essere una coincidenza, ma la somma coincide la quota tonda tonda di una rata. Quanto vale oggi Sturaro (che poi ha avuto, purtroppo per lui, degli infortuni)? Per transfermarkt.it 4,5 milioni. E Zanimacchia? 400mila euro. Poiché non è il Fantacalcio la Procura di Torino sta indagando e solo al termine delle indagini, e di un eventuale processo, si stabilirà se configurano un falso in bilancio per la Juve o no.

Ma è interessante scoprire che nell’operazione Romero (acquistato dal Genoa) chi fa il vero affare è l’Atalanta (lo acquista dalla Juve per 16 milioni e lo rivende all’istante per 55 al Tottenham) che, nel bilancio 2019/2020, è in cima alla speciale classifica dei creditori bianconeri con 33,8 milioni. E fin quando si tratta di operazioni come Romero o Cristiano Ronaldo, per informarsi, basta leggere un quotidiano sportivo. Ma (con rispetto parlando) come fa l’azionista Shell Canada 2007 Pension Plan 400 quando si parla di Kevin Monzialo ceduto dalla Juve al Lugano per 2,5 milioni (oggi ne vale 200mila) con una plusvalenza in bilancio di 2,3 milioni, e si scopre che, nello stesso giorno, e per la stessa cifra, dal Lugano arriva Cristopher Lungoyi (oggi ne vale 600mila)? Operazioni come queste hanno costituito, negli ultimi 4 anni, fino al 30% dei ricavi bianconeri. Ora, cedere o acquistare un brocco, pensando che sia il nuovo Maradona, di per sé non è reato ed è quasi impossibile scoprirlo solo leggendo un bilancio. Ma la pena prevista per l’eventuale falso in bilancio, se la società è quotata in Borsa, diventa più alta e consente di intercettare gli indagati. Ed è questo il punto chiave dell’inchiesta: a quanto pare i dirigenti juventini, al telefono, del via vai di acquisti e cessioni hanno parlato parecchio.


di Antonio Massari per "ilfattoquotidiano.it"

Tuesday's talks between the Russian and US presidents come at a very “complex” moment, with strained relations further complicated by "fake news" alleging an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Moscow, the Kremlin has told RT......


‘Fake news’ may complicate Putin-Biden talks – Kremlin
Tuesday's talks between the Russian and US presidents come at a very “complex” moment, with strained relations further complicated by "fake news" alleging an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Moscow, the Kremlin has told RT.

“We are seeing a lot of fake news about the allegedly planned ‘aggression’ of Russia against Ukraine being peddled,” Dmitry Peskov told RT in an exclusive interview ahead of the talks between his boss, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and American leader Joe Biden.

“At the same time, we do not hear a single word addressed to Ukraine, not a single warning addressed to Kiev so that they would not even think about trying to resolve the situation in the southeast [of Ukraine] by force,” he added.

The US-led NATO alliance has been extremely aggressive towards Russia lately, Peskov said, arguing that it further complicates the situation ahead of the talks. The bloc’s activities are very “concerning” for Moscow, he added, stressing that the country is taking steps to protect its interests. 

“We are seeing NATO exhibiting an extremely hostile stance, we are hearing rhetoric from [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg, rhetoric of various representatives of the US. All of them are talking about non-recognition of any ‘red lines,’ that NATO will do whatever it wants, wherever it wants – and all of that to ‘contain’ Russia,” the official said.

The rare talks between the two presidents will be held through a secure video link. The channel was established years ago under previous US administrations, “when something constructive was still present” in US-Russian relations, Peskov revealed.

The online meeting comes five months after Putin and Biden met in Geneva. While both presidents described those talks as productive, they did not bring any breakthrough for Russian-American ties, which have continued going on a downward spiral.


da "rt.com"