Sheldon Silver, an assemblyman who rose from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to become one of New York State’s most powerful politicians, was found guilty on Monday of federal corruption charges, ending a trial that was the capstone of the government’s efforts to expose the seamy culture of influence-peddling in Albany.
After a five-week trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the end came rather quickly and unceremoniously for Mr. Silver, 71, a Democrat who served more than two decades as Assembly speaker before he was forced to resign from the post after his arrest in January.
Mr. Silver, who must automatically forfeit the legislative seat to which he was first elected nearly 40 years ago, was convicted on all seven counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering filed against him.
Fourteen years after the FBI began using national security letters to unilaterally and quietly demand records from Internet service providers, telephone companies and financial institutions, one recipient — former ISP founder Nicholas Merrill — is finally free to talk about what it’s like to get one.
The FBI issues the letters, known as NSLs, without any judicial review whatsoever. And they come with a gag order.
But a federal District Court judge in New York ruled in September that the continuous ban on Merrill’s speech about the order was not justified, considering that the FBI’s investigation was long over and most details about the order were already openly available.
After waiting for 90 days to let the government appeal the decision — which it didn’t — the judge lifted the gag on Monday.
Merrill immediately released the FBI’s attachment to the national security letter it sent him 11 years ago, listing the kinds of information it wanted about a particular customer without getting a warrant.
INCONTROVERTIBLE is the first and only feature length documentary we have which portrays the frank and candid views of Police Officers, Firefighters and Soldiers as they express their grave concerns about the official explanation for the events of 9/11. The film is intended to act as a practical aid in combating the mainstream media’s propaganda and outright lies concerning the attacks on September 11th 2001.
The International Monetary Fund on Monday designated the Chinese renminbi as one of the world’s elite currencies, a major milestone that underscores the country’s rising financial and economic heft.
The decision will help pave the way for broader use of the renminbi in trade and finance, securing China’s standing as a global economic power. Just four other currencies — the dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen — have the I.M.F. designation.
But joining this group also introduces new uncertainty into China’s economy and financial system, at a time when the country’s growth is already slowing. To meet the I.M.F. requirement, China was forced to give up some of its tight control over the currency, which could inject fresh volatility into the economy.
The I.M.F. designation, an accounting unit known as the special drawing rights, bestows global importance.
France Puts 24 Environmental Activists Under House Arrest Because They Might Protest at Climate Summit
The two-week COP21 open its doors only Monday but French law enforcement has already placed twenty-four environmental activists under house arrest in line with the country’s emergency laws which were extended for three more months after the Paris atrocities.
After Hollande claimed a state of emergency in France, police don’t need a judicial decision to put suspects under arrest, search homes and conduct raids at night.
But unsuspecting climate activists, who actively demonstrate every time France hosts environmental summits, were surprised to find themselves suspect after police officers came to arrest them. On Thursday, police handed Amelie and five her flat mates an order that restricts their liberty of movement in western city of Rennes until 12 of December, the same day the Paris summit will close its doors.