Matthew's Feed
Feb 23, 2012

Cyclists risk life and limb to beat Jakarta jams

JAKARTA, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Traffic in Indonesia’s
capital snarls so badly during rush hour that even motorbikes
face gridlock and to get ahead a group of commuters have taken
up an extreme sport: cycling to work.

Their logic is simple. It makes more sense to inhale the
fumes and risk being flattened by a vehicle than it does to sit
in a car or a taxi for hours going nowhere fast.

Dec 21, 2011

Special Report: Phantom clinics bleed millions from Medicare

MIAMI/ATLANTA (Reuters) – By the time authorities busted a fake AIDS clinic in Miami, it had bilked Medicare of more than $4.5 million (2.8 million pounds). Still, the man behind the scheme remained far ahead of the agents pursuing him.

Michel De Jesus Huarte, a 40-year-old Cuban-American, hadn’t simply avoided arrest. He had hatched a plan to steal millions more from Medicare by forming at least 29 other shell companies – paper-only firms with no real operations. Each time, he would keep his name out of any corporate records. Other people – some paid by Huarte, some whose identities had been stolen – would be listed in incorporation papers.

Nov 14, 2011

Analysis: Views harden in Jefferson bankruptcy blame game

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – When the commissioners of Alabama’s Jefferson County emerged from a closed session last Wednesday to take their seats at the dais in the wood-paneled hall of the county’s 80-year-old courthouse, few expected drama.

Most likely, the five elected officials would vote to extend talks with creditors over the county’s $3.14 billion sewerage project debt. After all, they had been talking with Wall Street banks and other creditors for more than three years and had agreed to a framework for an agreement in September.

Nov 11, 2011

Wall Street firms eye troubled Alabama sewer system

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – The indebted sewer system at the center of Alabama’s Jefferson County’S bankruptcy is drawing early interest from Wall Street firms and could be bought once it sheds its debt burden, an investor whose company runs the pension fund of state employees said.

David Bronner, the CEO of the $29 billion Retirement Systems of Alabama, said several Wall Street firms called him to inquire about buying the system, one day after the county filed for bankruptcy in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Nov 10, 2011

“Sad story” of Alabama record $5 billion bankruptcy

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – From corrupt and incompetent local officials to Wall Street’s credit crisis and toxic bonds, there was plenty of blame to go around on Thursday, after Alabama’s Jefferson County declared the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The county, once a leading industrial hub in the U.S. Deep South, filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday after failing to reach final agreement on terms of a preliminary deal with creditors led by JPMorgan Chase & Co in September to settle $3.14 billion in sewer-system debt.

Nov 10, 2011

Blame all around for biggest US municipal bankruptcy

, Nov 10 (Reuters) – From corrupt and
incompetent local officials to Wall Street’s credit crisis and
toxic bonds, there was plenty of blame to go around on
Thursday, after Alabama’s Jefferson County declared the biggest
municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The county, once a leading industrial hub in the U.S. Deep
South, filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday after
failing to reach final agreement on terms of a preliminary deal
with creditors led by JPMorgan Chase & Co in September
to settle $3.14 billion in sewer-system debt.

Nov 10, 2011

Huge bankruptcy filing means pain for Alabama

ATLANTA, Nov 9 (Reuters) – The decision by Alabama’s biggest
county to file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S.
history comes as a shock and represents a sharp economic setback
for the state.

It is difficult to gauge the precise impact of the decision by
Jefferson County to file for Chapter 9 because bankruptcy will
take the state into uncharted territory, according to analysts.

Oct 17, 2011

Newsmaker: From race to politics, Cain is true outsider

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Unlike Senator John McCain who presented himself as a maverick in the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican hopeful Herman Cain is a true political outsider.

The surprise leader in opinion polls of Republicans seeking to take on President Barack Obama in 2012, the one-time fast food executive Cain is running for the world’s most important job despite never having held elected office.

Oct 7, 2011

Inflation not a big worry, top Fed officials say

DALLAS/ATLANTA (Reuters) – The risk of U.S. inflation is minor compared with an ongoing morass in the jobs market, two top Federal Reserve officials said after the government reported a steady 9.1 percent jobless rate.

However, both Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher and Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart sounded skeptical of pushing for further monetary easing and unsure of how much it might help.

Oct 1, 2011

Thousands attend funeral of executed convict Troy Davis

SAVANNAH, Georgia (Reuters) – Thousands of people packed a church in the state of Georgia on Saturday for the funeral of Troy Davis, who was executed for the murder of a police officer in a case that drew international attention because of claims by his advocates that he was innocent.

The service at Jonesville Baptist Church in the coastal city of Savannah reflected a determination by his family, civil rights leaders and activists to turn his execution last week into a renewed campaign against the death penalty.