Brian's Feed
Jan 27, 2014

Drug critic slams FDA over antibiotic oversight in meat production

By P.J. Huffstutter and Brian Grow

(Reuters) – The Food and Drug Administration allowed 18 animal drugs to stay on the market even after an agency review found the drugs posed a “high risk” of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the food supply, according to a study released Monday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The study by the NRDC, a non-governmental group that criticizes the widespread use of drugs in the meat industry, is the latest salvo in the national debate over the long-standing practice of antibiotic use in meat production. Agribusinesses say animal drugs help increase production and keep prices low for U.S. consumers, while consumer advocates and some scientists raise concerns over antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Dec 10, 2013

Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Dec 10, 2013

D.R. Horton to return mineral rights to Florida homeowners

Dec 10 (Reuters) – D.R. Horton Inc is temporarily
suspending its practice of reserving mineral rights beneath new
homes it sells in Florida, according to a letter from the
company to the office of the Florida Attorney General.

D.R. Horton, the largest U.S. homebuilder, also said it
would offer to return to Florida homeowners mineral rights that
it had kept in the past, according to the letter, which was sent
on Friday.

Dec 10, 2013

Exclusive: Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Oct 9, 2013

Special Report: U.S. builders hoard mineral rights under new homes

NAPLES, Florida (Reuters) – Robert and Julie Davidson fell hard for the gleaming new house at the Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida. They loved the way the palm-fringed, Spanish-style home backed up to the fifth-hole fairway. And they were taken with the three-bedroom’s high ceilings and open plan. Plus the neighborhood – with its power-washed driveways, blooming hibiscus and guarded gatehouse – seemed all “dressed up.”

But when the Davidsons paid $255,385 in 2011 for the house on Birdie Drive, they didn’t know that they had, in essence, bought only from the ground up, and that their homebuilder, D.R. Horton, had kept everything underneath.

Oct 9, 2013

U.S. builders hoard mineral rights under new homes

NAPLES, Florida, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Robert and Julie Davidson fell hard for
the gleaming new house at the Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples,
Florida. They loved the way the palm-fringed, Spanish-style home backed up
to the fifth-hole fairway. And they were taken with the three-bedroom’s high
ceilings and open plan. Plus the neighborhood – with its power-washed driveways,
blooming hibiscus and guarded gatehouse – seemed all “dressed up.”

But when the Davidsons paid $255,385 in 2011 for the house on Birdie Drive,
they didn’t know that they had, in essence, bought only from the ground up, and
that their homebuilder, D.R. Horton, had kept everything underneath.

Sep 24, 2013

Gulfport Energy ex-chairman received millions in free equity

Sept 24 (Reuters) – Gulfport Energy Corp, a
publicly traded oil and gas company based in Oklahoma City,
allowed its former chairman to receive millions of dollars in
equity interests at no cost in more than a dozen companies that
have done business with Gulfport.

The equity stakes awarded to Mike Liddell, who stepped down
as Gulfport chairman in June, were granted by Wexford Capital LP
as part of an uncommon arrangement. While working for Gulfport,
Liddell also served as an adviser for energy investments by
Wexford, a $4.3 billion Connecticut investment firm.

Sep 24, 2013

Exclusive: Gulfport Energy ex-chairman received millions in free equity

By Brian Grow and Anna Driver

(Reuters) – Gulfport Energy Corp (GPOR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a publicly-traded oil and gas company based in Oklahoma City, allowed its former chairman to receive millions of dollars in equity interests at no cost in more than a dozen firms that have done business with Gulfport.

The equity stakes awarded to Mike Liddell, who stepped down as Gulfport chairman in June, were granted by Wexford Capital LP as part of an uncommon arrangement. While working for Gulfport, Liddell also served as an advisor for energy investments by Wexford, a $4.3 billion Connecticut investment firm.

Sep 17, 2013

U.S. lawmakers ask Holder to back probe into Russian helicopter program

Sept 17 (Reuters) – A group of U.S. lawmakers called on U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday to reinforce the
Pentagon’s criminal investigation into an Army aviation unit
that awarded millions of dollars in contracts to Russian and
U.S. firms to maintain and overhaul Russian-made Mi-17
helicopters.

Nine senators and 23 members of the House of Representatives
in a letter said they have “great concern” about allegations of
possible criminal activity related to the Mi-17 program. They
urged Holder “to utilize all available resources, including the
Federal Bureau of Investigation” to support the Pentagon’s
investigation.

Aug 29, 2013

Exclusive: Pentagon opens criminal probe of Russian helicopter deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has opened a criminal investigation of an Army aviation unit that awarded tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts to Russian and U.S. firms for maintenance and overhaul of Russian-made helicopters, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation, which has not been made public before, is led by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Investigators are examining potentially improper payments by the Army aviation office to contractors as well as possible personal connections between members of the Army unit and the contractors, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.