SI Newswire Press Releases https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/ Latest Press Releases from SI Newswire Velázquez Bill Would Protect Puerto Rican Investors https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/velzquez-bill-would-protect-puerto-rican-investors.263.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> Washington, DC – As Puerto Rico’s debt crisis continues unfolding, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) is introducing legislation to close a longstanding loophole that has caused significant financial losses for many Puerto Rican investors. The “Puerto Rico Investor Protection Act of 2015” would extend to investment companies operating in Puerto Rico the same safeguards that govern investment activity in the United States. The exemption, which was written into the Investment Company Act of 1940, has allowed abuses resulting in Puerto Ricans – many of them near or of retirement age – to invest in mutual funds heavily stocked with public debt bonds that have dropped significantly in value due to Puerto Rico’s debt problems.</p><p>“It is outrageous that, when investing their hard earned money for retirement, Puerto Ricans are not afforded the same transparency requirements and consumer protections that apply in the mainland,” Velázquez said. “This archaic exemption is long overdue for repeal and my bill would do exactly that.”</p><p>It has been publicly reported that some actors in Puerto Rico have used the current law’s loophole to act both as an underwriter for the issuance of bonds, and then repackage those same bonds into mutual funds they sell exclusively to investors on the island. While this type of arrangement is legal in Puerto Rico due to the 1940 exemption, it would be prohibited on the U.S. mainland. </p><p>“Large investment companies are taking a fee for acting as an advisor to Puerto Rican public entities, then repackaging bonds they issued into mutual funds, which they then in turn sell to unsuspecting Puerto Rican consumers,” Velázquez added. “This practice constitutes a flagrant conflict of interest and it must stop.”</p><p>At the time the exemption was created, it was reasoned that Puerto Rico and other “U.S. possessions” were physically located too far away for the Investment Act protections to be enforced. Puerto Rican investors holding these bonds have suffered massive losses and mutual fund customers have filed hundreds of arbitration claims with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. They are seeking more than $1.1 billion in damages after losses in the tax-free bond funds, sold as high-income investments that would preserve their capital, and in the bonds themselves.</p><p>“It is absurd to suggest we are unable to have a robust financial regulatory presence in Puerto Rico for geographical reasons,” Velázquez added. “Air travel from the mainland and Puerto Rico happens frequently and many investments are now purchased and sold electronically. All this exemption does today is help enrich large financial companies at the expense of vulnerable investors, working people and retirees.”</p><p>Velázquez’s bill will be introduced in the U.S. House on Friday. It is expected to be referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. Velázquez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, is the third most senior Democratic Member of the Financial Services Committee. </p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/velzquez-bill-would-protect-puerto-rican-investors.263.html Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:56:54 -0400 FINRA Sanctions Monex Securities Inc. $1.3 Million for Failing to Register and Supervise Foreign Personnel https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-sanctions-monex-securities-inc-13-million-for-failing-register-supervise-foreign-personnel.136.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has ordered Monex Securities Inc. to pay $1,100,000 in disgorgement of commissions, plus interest, obtained by unregistered foreign individuals who sold securities on the firm's behalf. FINRA also fined Monex $175,000 for failing to register the foreign representatives and for related supervisory deficiencies over a period of two and a half years. Additionally, Monex's President and Chief Compliance Officer, Jorge Martin Ramos Landero (Ramos), was suspended from acting in a principal capacity for 45 days and fined $15,000.</p><p>FINRA's rules require any associated individual engaged in the investment banking or securities business to be registered under the appropriate category of registration and the individual must pass the appropriate qualification examination.</p><p>FINRA found that Ramos executed an agreement on behalf of Monex with its parent company in Mexico that permitted numerous employees to conduct securities business on Monex's behalf by, among other things, collecting client information needed to open accounts, making investment recommendations to clients and transmitting orders. Monex paid these individuals transaction-related compensation for these efforts. None of these individuals, however, was registered in any capacity with FINRA. Ramos and Monex also failed to establish, maintain and enforce supervisory systems and written procedures to ensure compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations.</p><p>Brad Bennett, FINRA Executive Vice President and Head of Enforcement, said, "It is imperative that firms such as Monex are diligent in ensuring that all individuals who are acting as representatives of the firm are properly registered and supervised. When individuals are permitted by a firm to sell securities on its behalf without being registered and supervised, investors are at risk because of the lack of regulatory oversight."</p><p>In concluding this settlement, Monex and Ramos neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.</p><p>Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2013, members of the public used this service to conduct 16.5 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org/brokercheck">www.finra.org/brokercheck</a> or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org/Industry/Enforcement/DisciplinaryActions/FDAS/">FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database</a>.</p><p>FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and educating the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org">www.finra.org</a>.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-sanctions-monex-securities-inc-13-million-for-failing-register-supervise-foreign-personnel.136.html Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:26:36 -0500 FINRA Fines Pershing LLC $3 Million for Customer Protection Rule Violations and Supervisory Failures https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-fines-pershing-llc-3-million-for-customer-protection-rule-violations-supervisory-failures.135.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (WASHINGTON, DC) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has censured and fined Pershing LLC $3 million for violating the Customer Protection Rule and for related supervisory failures. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule creates requirements to protect customers' funds and securities from broker-dealer misuse and requires that assets be available for distribution in the event of the broker-dealer's insolvency.</p><p>Brad Bennett, FINRA's Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement, said, "Clearing firms have a fundamental responsibility to protect customer assets and must ensure that their supervisory systems are compliant with the Customer Protection Rule. Customers' assets were at risk because Pershing failed to establish systems to vet procedural changes with material impact to the reserve and possession and control positions."</p><p>The SEC Customer Protection Rule is intended to protect customers' funds held by their broker-dealers and to prohibit broker-dealers from using customer funds and securities to finance any part of their business unrelated to servicing securities customers. The rule requires the broker-dealer that maintains custody of customer securities and cash to comply with two requirements – to obtain and maintain physical possession or control over customers' fully paid and excess margin securities; and to maintain a reserve of cash or qualified securities in an account at a bank at least equal in value to the net cash the broker-dealer owes to customers.</p><p>FINRA found that from November 2010 to August 2011, Pershing failed to maintain adequate reserves to meet its reserve deposit requirements with reserve deficiencies ranging from approximately $4 million to $220 million. From July 2010 through September 2011, Pershing also failed to promptly obtain and later maintain physical possession or control of certain customers' fully paid and excess margin securities. During that period, the firm's failures caused 47 new possession or control deficits, and an increase in a significant number of existing possession or control deficits. These failures exposed customer funds and securities to risk.</p><p>In addition, Pershing's supervisory systems and procedures were inadequate and the firm failed to implement a system to review and approve procedural changes with material impact to the requirements of the Customer Protection Rule. Those deficiencies resulted in inaccuracies in the firm's FOCUS reports between July 30, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011.</p><p>FINRA's Member Regulation Risk Oversight & Operational Regulation staff identified the Customer Protection Rule violations during an examination of the firm. The investigation was conducted by the Department of Enforcement.</p><p>In settling this matter, Pershing neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.</p><p>Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2013, members of the public used this service to conduct 16.5 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org/brokercheck">www.finra.org/brokercheck</a> or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org/Industry/Enforcement/DisciplinaryActions/FDAS/">FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database.</a></p><p>FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and educating the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org">www.finra.org</a>.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-fines-pershing-llc-3-million-for-customer-protection-rule-violations-supervisory-failures.135.html Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:02:05 -0500 FINRA Warns Investors of E-Cigarette Stock Scams https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-warns-investors-of-e-cigarette-stock-scams.134.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (WASHINGTON, DC) The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a new Investor Alert called E-Cigarette Stock Scams: New Smoking Technology Could Light Up Pump-and-Dump Fraud warning investors of aggressive promotions touting stocks that claim to capitalize on the e-cigarette and vaporizer, or "vape," market. FINRA's Alert follows the Securities and Exchange Commission's recent trading suspension for a company that purported to make disposable electronic cigarettes because of concerns about manipulative activity related to the company's common stock.</p><p>"The popularity of e-cigarettes has grown rapidly over the last several years, and the e-cigarette and "vape" markets have been the subject of considerable media attention. Investors interested in this market have to look beyond the hype and be watchful for pump-and-dump fraudsters who are eager to make their money disappear into thin air," said Gerri Walsh, FINRA's Senior Vice President for Investor Education.</p><p>E-Cigarette Stock Scams includes a series of tips to help investors avoid potential stock scams.</p><ul><li>Consider the source. Be skeptical of press releases, "spam" emails, messages on social media sites and promotional materials such as newsletters and blogs from unknown senders.</li><li>Do some sleuthing. Find out who is at the controls of a company before you invest. Proceed with caution if you turn up indictments or convictions of company officials, or news reports that raise red flags.</li><li>Check for reverse merger activity. Some e-cigarette companies have come into existence through reverse mergers, which allow private companies, including those located outside the United States, to access U.S. investors and markets by merging with an existing U.S. public shell company.</li><li>Don't fall for name dropping. Claims of being the next Apple or Amazon of a new industry seem to be part of the pump-and-dump playbook.</li><li>Be wary of frequent changes to a company's name or business focus. Such changes may be a sign that a company is engaged in a potential fraud.</li></ul><p>Investors who receive an offer that contains exaggerated or misleading claims are urged to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finra.org/Investors/ProtectYourself/p118628">contact FINRA</a>.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/finra-warns-investors-of-e-cigarette-stock-scams.134.html Tue, 23 Dec 2014 12:05:22 -0500 SEC Charges Investment Manager F-Squared and Former CEO With Making False Performance Claims https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-charges-investment-manager-f-squared-former-ceo-with-making-false-performance-claims.132.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that investment management firm F-Squared Investments has agreed to pay $35 million and admit wrongdoing to settle charges that it defrauded investors through false performance advertising about its flagship product.</p><p>The SEC separately charged the firm’s co-founder and former CEO Howard Present with making false and misleading statements to investors as the public face of F-Squared.</p><p>According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against Massachusetts-based F-Squared, which is the largest marketer of index products using exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the firm began receiving signals from a third-party data provider in September 2008 indicating when to buy or sell an investment. The signals were based on an algorithm, and F-Squared and Present used the signals to create a model portfolio of sector ETFs that could be rebalanced periodically as the signals changed. They named the new product “AlphaSector” and launched the first index a month later. AlphaSector’s indexes quickly became the firm’s largest revenue source, and F-Squared went from losing money to becoming a highly profitable investment manager.</p><p>The SEC alleges that while marketing AlphaSector into the largest active ETF strategy in the market, F-Squared falsely advertised a successful seven-year track record for the investment strategy based on the actual performance of real investments for real clients. In reality, the algorithm was not even in existence during the seven years of purported performance success. The data used in F-Squared’s advertising was actually derived through backtesting, which is the application of a quantitative model to historical market data to generate a hypothetical performance during a prior period. F-Squared and Present specifically advertised the investment strategy as “not backtested.” Furthermore, the hypothetical data contained a substantial performance calculation error that inflated the results by approximately 350 percent.</p><p>“Investors must be able to trust that performance advertisements are accurate,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “F-Squared has admitted that it misled its clients over a number of years about the existence and success of its core strategy.”</p><p>According to the SEC’s complaint against Present filed in federal court in Boston, he was responsible for F-Squared’s advertising materials that were often posted on the company website and sent to clients and prospective clients. Present also was responsible for the descriptions of AlphaSector in its filings with the SEC, and he certified the accuracy of those filings. F-Squared and Present made the false and misleading statements about AlphaSector from September 2008 to September 2013. The SEC alleges that they claimed AlphaSector was based on an investment strategy that had been used to invest client assets since April 2001. Yet Present knew that the algorithm was not finalized until late summer 2008 when he devised rules for turning the signals into a model ETF portfolio and directed an assistant to calculate hypothetical returns for the portfolio going back to April 2001. </p><p>The SEC further alleges that the F-Squared analyst who calculated the backtested AlphaSector performance inadvertently applied the buy/sell signals to the week preceding any ETF price change that the signals were based on. The mistake carried the model portfolio’s backtested buy and sell decisions back in time one week, enabling the model to buy an ETF just before the price rose and sell an ETF just before the price fell. The SEC alleges that the analyst tried to explain this possible calculation error to Present in late September 2008, yet F-Squared went on to advertise the inflated data for the next five years and overstated that AlphaSector significantly outperformed the S&P 500 from April 2001 to September 2008.</p><p>“We allege that not only did F-Squared and Present attract clients to this investment strategy by touting a track record they presented as real when it was merely hypothetical, but the hypothetical calculations also were substantially inflated,” said Julie M. Riewe, co-chief of the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit.</p><p>F-Squared consented to the entry of the order finding that it violated Sections 204, 206(1), 206(2), 206(4), and 207 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rules 204-2(a)(16), 206(4)-1(a)(5), 206(4)-7, and 206(4)-8. The order also finds that F-Squared aided and abetted and caused certain mutual funds sub-advised by F-Squared to violation Section 34(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. F-Squared acknowledged that its conduct violated federal securities laws, and agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing violations of these provisions. F-Squared agreed to retain an independent compliance consultant and pay disgorgement of $30 million and a penalty of $5 million.</p><p>The SEC’s complaint against Present alleges that he violated Sections 206(1), 206(2), 206(4), and 207 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8. </p><p>The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Bill Donahue, Robert Baker, Jose Santillan, and John Farinacci of the Asset Management Unit as well as Rachel Hershfang, Frank Huntington, Mayeti Gametchu, Jennifer Cardello, and Rory Alex of the Boston Regional Office. The case has been supervised by Kevin Kelcourse. The SEC’s litigation against Present will be led by Mr. Huntington and Ms. Hershfang.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-charges-investment-manager-f-squared-former-ceo-with-making-false-performance-claims.132.html Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:20:44 -0500 SEC Announces Fraud Charges Against Buffalo-Based Firm and Co-Owners Accused of Misleading Investors in Hedge Fund https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-announces-fraud-charges-against-buffalo-based-firm-co-owners-accused-of-misleading-investors-hedge-fund.127.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (Washington DC) The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Buffalo, N.Y.-based investment advisory firm and two co-owners accused of making false and misleading statements to clients when recommending investments in a risky hedge fund. The hedge fund’s portfolio manager agreed to settle similar charges.</p><p>The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Timothy S. Dembski and Walter F. Grenda Jr. steered their clients at Reliance Financial Advisors to invest in a hedge fund managed by Scott M. Stephan, whose experience in the securities industry was greatly exaggerated in offering materials they disseminated. Dembski and Grenda allegedly knew that Stephan had virtually no hedge fund investing experience at all, and spent the majority of his career collecting on past-due car loans. Nevertheless, highly speculative investments in the Prestige Wealth Management Fund were recommended to clients who were retired or nearing retirement and living on fixed incomes. The trading strategy that was allegedly described to investors was fully automated by an algorithm purportedly sought by big banks. The trading algorithm, however, did not work as intended and Stephan began placing trades manually, which led to the hedge fund’s eventual collapse.</p><p>“Investment advisers owe their clients a duty of complete candor when it comes to discussing investment options,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “In this case, Dembski and Grenda allegedly violated this fundamental duty by peddling a hedge fund investment that was more risky than depicted and misleading their clients about the portfolio manager’s experience.”</p><p>According to the order instituting a proceeding before an administrative law judge, Dembski’s clients invested approximately $4 million in Prestige Wealth Management Fund and Grenda’s clients invested approximately $8 million. The hedge fund, which began trading in April 2011, did not generate the positive returns advertised, so Grenda withdrew his clients in October 2012. The fund lost about 80 percent of its value when it collapsed a couple months later, leaving Dembski’s clients to lose the vast majority of their investments.</p><p>The SEC’s Enforcement Division further alleges that Grenda borrowed $175,000 from two clients in late 2009 and falsely told them that he would use it as a loan to grow his investment advisory business. Grenda instead spent the money on personal expenses and debts.</p><p>The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Dembski, Grenda, and Reliance Financial Advisors violated the antifraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Securities Act of 1933, and Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and that Dembski and Grenda aided and abetted and caused violations of those same provisions by Reliance Financial and the general partner to the Prestige Wealth Management Fund.</p><p>In a separate order, Stephan agreed to settle findings that he violated the antifraud provisions of the Advisers Act, Securities Act, and Exchange Act, and aided and abetted and caused violations of those same provisions by the general partner to the Prestige Wealth Management Fund. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Stephan agreed to be permanently barred from the securities industry. Disgorgement and penalties will be determined at a later date. </p><p>The investigation by the SEC’s Enforcement Division was conducted by Tony Frouge, Alexander Janghorbani, Douglas Smith, and Steven G. Rawlings in the New York Regional Office, and the case was supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The litigation will be led by Michael Birnbaum and Mr. Frouge. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-announces-fraud-charges-against-buffalo-based-firm-co-owners-accused-of-misleading-investors-hedge-fund.127.html Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:39:25 -0500 New York Fed Creates New Group and Names Alberto G. Musalem Head https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/new-york-fed-creates-new-group-names-alberto-g-musalem-head.124.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (NEW YORK) The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced today the formation of the Integrated Policy Analysis Group (IPA), and named Alberto G. Musalem, executive vice president of the Emerging Markets and International Affairs Group (EMIA), as head of the new group.</p><p>IPA is designed to enhance the New York Fed’s capacity to develop a more comprehensive and integrated view of the global economic and financial environment, in order to help inform and strengthen decision-making across the Bank’s monetary, supervisory and payments policy responsibilities as part of the Federal Reserve System. IPA will integrate a wide range of information from within and outside the Bank to analyze and assess how the economic and financial environment is evolving. IPA will assess risks that could impact the Federal Reserve’s objectives and consider policy options to mitigate those risks. IPA will also manage the Bank’s international relationships to help ensure that insights gained from these engagements are incorporated into the Bank’s analysis and assessments.</p><p>IPA will begin its work in January, 2015. It will bring together teams with a unique understanding of individual markets, institutions, infrastructures, and countries as well as risk and policy experts. These teams will include analysts from the New York Fed’s EMIA, Markets, Financial Institution Supervision, Risk and Research groups and Office of Financial Stability and Regulatory Policy. The EMIA Group will cease to operate in January, 2015.</p><p>Mr. Musalem joined the Bank in 2014 as head of EMIA and member of the Bank’s management committee where he oversees the Bank’s efforts to foster international financial stability and expand international relationships. Mr. Musalem’s bio can be found here. </p><p>Contact:</p><p>Andrea Priest</p><p>212-720-6139</p><p>andrea.priest@ny.frb.org</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/new-york-fed-creates-new-group-names-alberto-g-musalem-head.124.html Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:10:52 -0500 Adult cigarette smoking rate overall hits all-time low https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/adult-cigarette-smoking-rate-overall-hits-all-time-low.121.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> The cigarette smoking rate among adults in the U.S. dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).</p><p>That is the lowest prevalence of adult smoking since the CDC's Nation Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965. The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the U.S.</p><p>While smoking rates have dropped, there is a significant need to help those who continue to smoke. Cigarette smoking remains especially high among certain groups, most notably those below the poverty level, those who have less education, Americans of multiple race, American Indians/Alaska Natives, males, those who live in the South or Midwest, those who have a disability or limitation, and those who are lesbian/gay/bisexual. Data specific to sexual orientation were collected for the first time by the NHIS in 2013. "Though smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes, cutting back by a few cigarettes a day rather than quitting completely does not produce significant health benefits," said Brian King Ph.D., a senior scientific advisor with CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Smokers who quit before they're 40 years old can get back almost all of the 10 years of life expectancy smoking takes away."</p><p>Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. For every person who dies this year, there are over 30 Americans who continue to live with a smoking-related disease. Smoking also takes a devastating toll on our nation's economy, costing more than $289 billion a year (including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity). In addition, use of other forms of smoking tobacco which are also very dangerous, such as cigars and hookahs, are not declining. In some populations, especially among young adults and adolescents, use of these products may even be increasing.</p><p>Surveys show that about 70 percent of all cigarette smokers want to quit, and research shows quitting completely at any age has health benefits. Smokers can get free help quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. There they can get free counseling and information about the seven smoking cessation medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign features real people living with the consequences of smoking-related diseases and offers additional quit resources at <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/tips," rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.cdc.gov/tips,</a> including cessation assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/adult-cigarette-smoking-rate-overall-hits-all-time-low.121.html Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:15:49 -0500 FDA warns against using laparoscopic power morcellators to treat uterine fibroids https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/fda-warns-against-using-laparoscopic-power-morcellators-treat-uterine-fibroids.119.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking immediate steps to help reduce the risk of spreading unsuspected cancer in women being treated for uterine fibroids. In an updated safety communication, originally issued in April 2014, the FDA warns against using laparoscopic power morcellators in the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or fibroids (myomectomy) in the vast majority of women.</p><p>In an Immediately in Effect (IIE) guidance, the FDA is also recommending that manufacturers of laparoscopic power morcellators include in their product labeling specific safety statements in the form of a boxed warning and two contraindications. The IIE guidance allows the FDA to issue its recommendations expeditiously to help address a significant public health issue.</p><p>“The FDA’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of patients and taking these steps will help the agency’s safety recommendations to be implemented as quickly as possible,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Updating the device label with a boxed warning and contraindications will provide clinicians and patients with critical information about the risk of spreading cancerous tissue when these procedures are performed.”</p><p>The boxed warning informs health care providers and patients that:</p><ul><li>Uterine tissue may contain unsuspected cancer. The use of laparoscopic power morcellators during fibroid surgery may spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients. This information should be shared with patients when considering surgery with the use of these devices.</li></ul><p>The two contraindications advise of the following:</p><ul><li>Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) for removal of uterine tissue containing suspected fibroids in patients who are: peri- or post-menopausal, or candidates for en bloc tissue removal (removing tissue intact) through the vagina or mini-laparotomy incision. (These groups of women represent the majority of women with fibroids who undergo hysterectomy and myomectomy.)</li><li>Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) in gynecologic surgery in which the tissue to be morcellated is known or suspected to be cancerous.</li></ul><p>The IIE guidance applies to currently marketed and new laparoscopic power morcellators for general and specific gynecological indications.</p><p>Based on a quantitative analysis of currently available data, the FDA estimated that approximately 1 in 350 women who are undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma. If laparoscopic power morcellation is performed in these women, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.</p><p>The two contraindications help to clarify the narrow population of patients in which laparoscopic power morcellation may be an appropriate therapeutic option. For example, some younger women who are interested in maintaining their ability to have children or wish to keep their uterus intact after being informed of the risks may be candidates for this procedure.</p><p>“The FDA strongly encourages doctors to inform their patients of the risk of spreading unsuspected cancer from the use of these devices in fibroid surgery and discuss the benefits and risks associated with all treatment options,” said Dr. Maisel.</p><p>There are other surgical treatment options available for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids, such as traditional surgical hysterectomy (performed either vaginally or abdominally) and myomectomy, laparoscopic hysterectomy and myomectomy without morcellation, and laparotomy using a smaller incision (minilaparotomy).</p><p>In addition to the original safety communication and quantitative analysis, in July 2014 the FDA convened a meeting of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel to discuss patient populations in which laparoscopic power morcellators should not be used, specifically mentioning patients with known or suspected malignancy. The panel also discussed mitigation strategies such as labeling and suggested that a boxed warning related to the risk of disseminating unsuspected malignancy would be useful. The panel indicated that it is critical that doctors discuss the risks and benefits of all options with their patients.</p><p>In addition to the updated safety communication and IIE guidance, the FDA is considering other ways to further help reduce the risk of unsuspected cancer spread by laparoscopic power morcellation, such as encouraging innovative ways to better detect uterine cancer and contain potentially cancerous tissue.</p><p>The agency will continue to review adverse event reports, peer-reviewed scientific literature and information from patients, health care professionals, gynecologic and surgical professional societies and medical device manufacturers and may take further action in the future, if necessary. </p><p>The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/fda-warns-against-using-laparoscopic-power-morcellators-treat-uterine-fibroids.119.html Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:32:00 -0500 Baxter Iinitiates Voluntary Recall Of One Lot Of Highly Concentrated Potassium Chloride Injection In The U.S. Due To Mislabeled Overpouch https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/baxter-iinitiates-voluntary-recall-of-one-lot-of-highly-concentrated-potassium-chloride-injection-the-us-due-mislabeled-overpouch.118.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (DEERFIELD, Ill) - Baxter International Inc. is voluntarily recalling one lot of Highly Concentrated Potassium Chloride Injection, 10 mEq per 100 mL to the user level due to a complaint of mislabeling of the overpouch. The inability to detect this overpouch mislabeling at the point of care may result in the administration of a dose lower than intended. In the high-risk patient population – patients prone to severe electrolyte imbalance – this hazardous situation may lead to serious, life-threatening adverse health consequences. There have been no reported adverse events associated with this issue to date.</p><p>Potassium Chloride is indicated for treatment of potassium deficiency and administered intravenously. Some containers of Product Code 2B0826, Highly Concentrated Potassium Chloride Injection, 10 mEq per 100 mL, Lot Number P319160, Exp. 06/30/2015, NDC 0338-0709-48 were incorrectly labeled on the overpouch as Highly Concentrated Potassium Chloride Injection, 20 mEq per 100 mL. Products were distributed to customers in the U.S. between June 23, 2014 and October 2, 2014. Unaffected lot numbers can continue to be used according to the instructions for use.</p><p>Baxter has notified customers, who are being directed not to use product from the recalled lot. Recalled product should be returned to Baxter for credit by contacting Baxter Healthcare Center for Service at 1-888-229-0001, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Central Time. Unaffected lots of product are available for replacement.</p><p>Consumers with questions regarding this recall can call Baxter at 1-800-422-9837, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time, or e-mail Baxter at onebaxter@baxter.com. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product.</p><p>Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.</p><p>Complete and submit the report Online: <a href="http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.</a><br />Regular Mail or Fax: Download form <a href="http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm</a> or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.</p><p>This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.</p><p>About Baxter</p><p>Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/baxter-iinitiates-voluntary-recall-of-one-lot-of-highly-concentrated-potassium-chloride-injection-the-us-due-mislabeled-overpouch.118.html Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:15:26 -0500 Wedbush Securities and Two Officials Agree to Settle SEC Case https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/wedbush-securities-two-officials-agree-settle-sec-case.117.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (Washington D.C) - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Los Angeles-based broker-dealer Wedbush Securities agreed to settle a pending SEC case for market access violations by admitting wrongdoing, paying a $2.44 million penalty, and retaining an independent consultant.</p><p>The SEC’s order finds that Wedbush violated the market access rule by failing to have adequate risk controls in place before providing customers with access to the market, including some customer firms with thousands of essentially anonymous overseas traders. The order also finds that Wedbush committed other violations in connection with its market access business.</p><p>“Wedbush acknowledges that it granted access to thousands of overseas traders without having appropriate safeguards in place,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division. “Broker-dealers who enjoy the benefits of being registered must honor the responsibilities that come with that status, and we will continue to hold responsible those who provide market access without implementing proper risk controls.”</p><p>Wedbush’s former executive vice president Jeffrey Bell and senior vice president Christina Fillhart also agreed to settle the charges against them for causing Wedbush’s violations of the market access rule. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, they agreed to pay a combined total of more than $85,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and penalties.</p><p>The Enforcement Division’s litigation was led by John Yun and Aaron Arnzen of the San Francisco Regional Office and Steven Buchholz of the Market Abuse Unit and San Francisco office. The case was supervised by Daniel Hawke and Robert Cohen, Chief and Co-Deputy Chief of the Market Abuse Unit, and Jina Choi, Director of the San Francisco office.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/wedbush-securities-two-officials-agree-settle-sec-case.117.html Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:08:35 -0500 Statement to the SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/statement-the-sec-government-business-forum-on-small-business-capital-formation.116.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (WASHINGTON DC) Let me add my welcome to those of the other Commissioners.[1] It is a pleasure to be with you this morning as you meet to discuss the important topic of small business capital formation. I have been particularly focused on capital formation myself, because smart policies around capital formation, particularly for small businesses, will lead to good jobs and healthy investment opportunities across America.</p><p>On a recent trip to Los Angeles’s “Silicon Beach,” I had the privilege of visiting a technology venture accelerator at University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering called the Start-Up Garage. The people I met, as well as their ideas, were truly exciting. I think there actually might be one or two of you here with us today.</p><p>Now, more than ever, America’s small businesses need smart, well-integrated, and workable rules that facilitate capital formation and ensure healthy markets that give investors the confidence to invest. As I have been saying recently, instead of a careful and thoughtful continuum of capital formation, a jumble of overlapping and inconsistent options for both private and public capital-raising have crept up.[2] The system has become increasingly complex, is at times irrational, and contains gaps. It both inhibits efficient capital formation at some stages on the continuum, while needlessly exposing investors to undue risks at other stages. We can — and should — rationalize this patchwork quilt; it will benefit both entrepreneurs and investors. I hope that some of that good thinking will be done today.</p><p>I also believe that many of the ideas for doing so share broad support from across the policy spectrum. For example, Commissioner Gallagher’s idea about venture exchanges and my views about rebuilding regional exchanges may offer, I hope, promise for progress.</p><p>At the same time, I also share Commissioner Aguilar and others’ concerns about the practical realities and risks when dealing with smaller issuers and less liquid (especially retail over-the-counter) markets. We have to be smart, practical, and willing to both experiment and adapt as we see issues emerge.</p><p>In short, I am very focused on working through the issues you’re discussing today. As part of that effort, I want to see the Commission move quickly toward finalizing three very important rules related to capital formation — crowdfunding, the new Regulation A (or “Reg A+”), and certain investor protections under Rule 506.</p><p>Moreover, as I’ve said before, we should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time: even as we work to rationalize and improve the entire system, we should move as quickly as possible to finalize the proposals that are before us. These rules arise from laws passed two and a half years ago, and Congress is looking to us to get them done.[3] Congress worked hard to make sure that the Commission had authority to establish appropriate protections around new ideas like crowdfunding, so that they could blossom into healthy, durable markets.[4] I hope we can move quickly on these and on all of our Congressionally mandated obligations. Quite frankly, I don’t think we’re very far away on some of these rules. Let’s get them done.</p><p>Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to come here and participate in this dialogue.</p><p> </p><p>[1] As was announced at the beginning of the Forum, the views I am expressing today are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Commission, my fellow Commissioners, or the staff of the Commission.</p><p>[2] See “Remarks before the Los Angeles County Bar Association 47th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar,” Oct. 24, 2014, <a href="http://www.sec.gov/News/Speech/Detail/Speech/1370543279728#.VGz3GGPgfIA." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.sec.gov/News/Speech/Detail/Speech/1370543279728#.VGz3GGPgfIA.</a></p><p>[3] See, e.g., Jump Start Our Business Startups (“JOBS”) Act section 302(c), requiring the Commission to complete Title III rulemaking 270 days after enactment.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/statement-the-sec-government-business-forum-on-small-business-capital-formation.116.html Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:14:41 -0500 SEC Statement at Open Meeting Regarding Regulation SCI https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-statement-at-open-meeting-regarding-regulation-sci.114.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> (WASHINGTON DC) Thank you, Chair White.</p><p>It is undeniable that the automation of trading and an increasing reliance on technology has transformed how our securities markets function, and has introduced complexities and an associated risk of system malfunctions and vulnerabilities that could have severe consequences for investors and the market. I am pleased that today we are considering a rulemaking on these critically important issues. Regulation SCI may not – and, to be realistic, will not – eliminate all systems failures, disruptions, or intrusions,[1] but it will undoubtedly cause entities subject to the rules to focus on the manner in which their technological systems operate, and ultimately promote the integrity of our market infrastructure.</p><p>The Regulation SCI proposal prompted significant comment, much of which was highly critical of the rules being contemplated. We heard from the public that the rules were far too broad in scope, much too prescriptive, and woefully inflexible. Based on that comment, the rules being presented today have been tailored to allow the Commission to achieve its goal of promoting systems compliance and integrity, without inflicting unnecessary costs and burdens on market participants. I am happy the Commission has appropriately calibrated Regulation SCI relative to the proposal. </p><p>The rules we are adopting are designed so they will remain relevant as technology advances. It would be impossible, as a practical matter, for us to adjust our rules at the pace that technology has and will evolve. I am pleased that the Staff guidance, which is being released concurrently with Regulation SCI, will be updated periodically to include examples of technology publications describing then-current industry standards that SCI entities can look to in developing and maintaining policies and procedures compliant with our rules. </p><p>I also want to take this opportunity to echo concerns that my colleague Commissioner Aguilar has expressed about cybersecurity.[2] Separate and apart from compliance with Regulation SCI, and regardless of whether an entity is a financial services firm deemed to be an SCI entity for purposes of this rule, or whether particular systems are within the rules’ scope, it is imperative that all market participants and registrants are vigilant about identifying and protecting against cybersecurity threats. The risks that arise from complacency are simply too high.</p><p>Of course, this rulemaking would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of the SEC Staff. I want to join my fellow Commissioners in thanking the Staff for the hard work that culminated in Regulation SCI. </p><p>I am happy to support the Staff’s recommendation to adopt Regulation SCI. I have no questions.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/sec-statement-at-open-meeting-regarding-regulation-sci.114.html Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:07:15 -0500 New York Fed Survey Shows Stable Overall Inflation Expectations; Consumers Expect Lower Increase in Gasoline Prices https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/new-york-fed-survey-shows-stable-overall-inflation-expectations-consumers-expect-lower-increase-gasoline-prices.104.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released results from its October 2014 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) which provides insight into Americans’ views on inflation, prices, the labor market and household finance. Consumer inflation expectations remained unchanged from September at both the one-year ahead and the three-year ahead horizons. Median one-year ahead expected gas price growth fell to 3.9%, a new 17-month low. The mean perceived probability of the average interest rate on savings accounts being higher in one year fell to 27 percent, also a new low in our data series.</p><p>Additional results from October 2014 include:</p><p><strong>Inflation</strong></p><p>• Median inflation expectations at both the one-year and three-year ahead horizons remained unchanged at 3.0 percent in October. Inflation uncertainty at both horizons also remained stable.</p><p>• Median home price change expectations and home price change uncertainty also were stable. At 3.7 percent, the overall median expected home price increase remains within the 3.5 - 4.0 range seen since February 2014.</p><p>• Median one-year ahead gasoline price change expectations declined to 3.9 percent, a new low in our data series. Similarly, the median expected increase in rent fell to a new low of 5.3 percent.</p><p><strong>Labor Market</strong></p><p>• Median earnings growth expectations remained stable at 2.4 percent</p><p>• The mean perceived probability of losing one’s job in the next 12 months, at 15.9 percent, remained within the tight range of14.6 to 17.9 percent seen since the data series began in June 2013.</p><p>• The mean perceived probability of leaving one’s job voluntarily and of finding a job (if current job were lost) also remained essentially unchanged.</p><p><strong> Household Finance</strong></p><p>• Median household income expectations fell from last month’s high of a median expected growth of 2.9 percent to 2.6 percent, still above its average reading since June 2013.</p><p>• Median household spending expectations increased slightly from 4.4 to 4.6 percent. The increase was driven by respondents with higher education levels and represents a reversal of last month’s decline.</p><p>• Perceptions of credit availability relative to one year ago remained stable, while expectations about year-ahead credit availability improved slightly, continuing a steady upward trend.</p><p>• The average perceived probability of a higher average year-ahead interest rate on savings accounts fell to 27 percent, the lowest value seen since the data series began in June 2013.</p><p><strong>About the Survey of Consumer Expectations</strong></p><p>The SCE contains information about how consumers expect overall inflation and prices for food, gas, housing and education to behave. It also provides insight into Americans’ views about job prospects and earnings growth and their expectations about future spending and access to credit. The SCE also provides measures of uncertainty in expectations for the main outcomes of interest. Expectations are also available by age, geography, income, education and numeracy.</p><p>The SCE is a nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of approximately 1,200 household heads. Respondents participate in the panel for up to twelve months, with a roughly equal number rotating in and out of the panel each month. Unlike comparable surveys based on repeated cross-sections with a different set of respondents in each wave, our panel allows us to observe the changes in expectations and behavior of the same individuals over time.</p><p>The survey is conducted on our behalf by The Demand Institute, a non-profit organization jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The sampling frame for the SCE is based on that used for The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS). Respondents to the CCS, itself based on a representative national sample drawn from mailing addresses, are invited to join the SCE internet panel.</p><p><strong>Media Contact:</strong></p><p>Matthew Ward </p><p>212-720-6885</p><p>matthew.ward@ny.frb.org </p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/new-york-fed-survey-shows-stable-overall-inflation-expectations-consumers-expect-lower-increase-gasoline-prices.104.html Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:14:22 -0500 Edward Smith to Retire as Executive Vice President and General Auditor https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/edward-smith-retire-as-executive-vice-president-general-auditor.92.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> NEW YORK—Edward (Ted) C. Smith, executive vice president and general auditor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, today announced his intention to retire from the Bank in May 2015. Mr. Smith is also a member of the Bank’s Management Committee.</p><p>Mr. Smith will leave the Bank after more than ten years of service. In his current role, Mr. Smith led the Bank’s internal audit function, including serving as liaison to the Office of Inspector General of the Board of Governors and to the Government Accountability Office. His direction has helped the Bank strengthen and reshape its approach to risk management and compliance.</p><p>Mr. Smith’s influence as a leader in risk and controls has been pervasive across the Federal Reserve System and internationally. In that regard, Mr. Smith has chaired the System’s Conference of General Auditors as well as many of its sub–committees. Mr. Smith has served as chair, member, and led important working groups of the Central Bank Internal Auditors Group of the Bank for International Settlements.</p><p>Beyond his direct role, he championed diversity within the organization and was always connected to employees at large as a mentor, coach and advisor.</p><p>“Ted is an innovator and a gifted leader, whose work has greatly influenced and improved the Federal Reserve’s approach to internal audit,” said William C. Dudley, president and chief executive officer of the New York Fed. “He will be missed by all who have come to rely on his sound judgment and insight.”</p><p>Mr. Smith joined the Bank in March 2005 as general auditor and senior vice president, and was appointed to executive vice president in 2008. Previously, he worked for more than 40 years in the financial services industry, including serving as senior vice president and general auditor at the Global Financial Services Division of American Express Company. Mr. Smith also held senior positions at Bank of America, American National Bank of Chicago and Dresdner Bank, all in London, England.</p><p>Media Contact:</p><p>Andrea Priest</p><p>212-720-6139</p><p>andrea.priest@ny.frb.org</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/edward-smith-retire-as-executive-vice-president-general-auditor.92.html Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:02:59 -0400 Florida Governor Rick Scott Not Waiting on Federal Government to be Prepared for Ebola https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/florida-governor-rick-scott-not-waiting-on-federal-government-be-prepared-for-ebola.81.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After meeting with officials today from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, as well the Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Division of Emergency Management, Governor Rick Scott made it clear that Florida is not waiting on the federal government for the state to prepare its citizens for a potential case of Ebola. Also today, Governor Scott urged the federal government to add Florida airports to the list of airports that have increased federal safety steps.</p><p>Governor Scott said, “We are thankful we do not have a case of Ebola in Florida and we hope we never do. But, my top priority is making sure that Florida stays safe. The CDC and the federal government have already admitted that they have failed to get ahead of the spread of Ebola in other states – and we aren’t going to let that happen in Florida. We are not going to simply wait for the federal government to be prepared. We are taking action.</p><p>“Today, we are demanding the attention of the CDC and the federal government to ensure we have what we need to be prepared to respond and keep our state safe. The federal government should add Florida airports to the list of airports that are implementing additional screening for patients. At this time, five US airports have implemented these additional screenings, and Florida airports should be included.” Governor Scott has taken the following actions to enhance Florida’s preparedness efforts:</p><ul><li>On Sunday, Florida Hospitals were asked to establish mandatory Ebola training programs to protect healthcare professionals. To date, 46 hospitals have notified AHCA that they have completed this healthcare professional training. AHCA is continuing to follow up daily with hospitals to ensure the training is complete.</li><li>The Department of Health has also identified $1.25 million in federal grant funding that Florida will immediately use to buy high-level Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other equipment to enhance preparedness efforts.</li><li>The Florida National Guard is now ramping up its preparedness efforts by setting up two Rapid Response teams that will be able to provide healthcare services for any potential Ebola cases in Florida.</li></ul><p>Governor Scott has asked the federal government for the following action:</p><ul><li>Florida has asked for 30 testing kits so the state is ready to conduct tests on any cases that healthcare officials believe could be Ebola. To date, the CDC has only offered three.</li><li>Florida has asked federal officials for over $7 million in federal funds to be redirected so the state can purchase additional high-level personal protective equipment for healthcare workers – as well as other Ebola preparedness supplies.</li><li>Governor Scott has asked the CDC to expand their contact of airline passengers to include all passengers who traveled on the same plane as Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson for the full 24 hours after her flight. Within 24 hours of Amber’s flight with a low-grade fever, the plane made five additional stops – including one into and one out of Fort Lauderdale Airport</li></ul><p>As of the Governor’s briefing this morning in Fort Lauderdale, the CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida’s requests and he is now asking them publicly to support Florida in these important preparedness efforts.<br /> </p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/florida-governor-rick-scott-not-waiting-on-federal-government-be-prepared-for-ebola.81.html Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:05:33 -0400 Governor Rick Scott: CDC Must Contact Fort Lauderdale Frontier Passengers on Any Risks; Move Quickly https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/governor-rick-scott-cdc-must-contact-fort-lauderdale-frontier-passengers-on-any-risks-move-quickly.78.html <p><a href="http://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire">(SI Newswire)</a> PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Governor Scott released the following statement today following the news that the second healthcare worker, Amber Joy Vinson, diagnosed with Ebola traveled on Frontier Airlines on October 13th with a low-grade fever: “The CDC announced that they are contacting those passengers on the airplane with nurse Amber Joy Vinson, and I am asking them to expand their contacts today to include all passengers traveling on that plane for the full 24 hours after Amber’s flight. Within 24 hours of Amber’s flight with a low-grade fever, we know the plane made five additional stops – including one into and one out of our Fort Lauderdale Airport.</p><p>“The CDC has already admitted that they have been slow to respond to developing cases of Ebola, and we do not want to take any risk of Ebola coming to Florida. Their immediate action to contact all these passengers today is essential to explaining any potential health risks to themselves and their family. I want all Florida passengers to have as much information as possible directly from the CDC to ease any of their fears and understand any way they could have made contact with the disease.</p><p>“We continue to hope we will never have a case of Ebola in Florida, but unfortunately, we have seen from the CDC’s own admission that they have failed to get ahead of this disease’s spread in America to date – and we will do everything we can in Florida to get the CDC’s full engagement to protect our Florida healthcare workers, our citizens and our visitors.</p><p>“Yesterday, we also requested the CDC conduct healthcare worker training with all Florida hospitals by conference call. Friday morning, I will meet again with our Florida Department of Health leaders and notify the public of what, if any action, the CDC has taken on our Ebola preparedness requests following that meeting.”</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/governor-rick-scott-cdc-must-contact-fort-lauderdale-frontier-passengers-on-any-risks-move-quickly.78.html Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:15:35 -0400 2nd Vote App Hits 100,000 Downloads https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/2nd-vote-app-hits-100000-downloads.66.html (SI Newswire) <p>Nashville, TN – 2nd Vote has hit a major landmark in an App’s success, passing one hundred thousand downloads! A feat achieved by the App’s continuing addition of issues and companies, like Common Core and Papa Johns. The 2nd Vote App is providing a service to consumers, by providing the tools and information to spend their money in a way that reflects their fiscal and social values.</p><p>“We are continually looking for ways to provide consumers with the information they need to make conservative shopping choices,” said Chris Walker, Executive Director of 2nd Vote. “The mere fact that consumer brands are associated with a political ideology at all is cause for alarm, and should be a wakeup call. </p><p>“Consumers should educate themselves on the political advocacy of the companies they shop with every day, and, if necessary, choose a more conservative alternative. The pressure should be to bring companies back to a neutral standing. We are as tired as you that purchases are polarized.”</p><p>Chris Walker, Executive Director of 2nd Vote will be at the Values Voters Summit in Washington this on September 26-28 and is available for media inquiries.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.2ndvote.com/">2nd Vote </a>is a new resource for helping consumers make better-informed decisions about where to spend their money. 2nd Vote conducts extensive research on multiple issues to shed light on the various support that companies and non-profits give to specific issues that are important to those who follow public policy. The free app is available as an Apple, Android, Web and Kindle app. Follow 2nd Vote on Twitter @2ndvote and on Facebook at facebook.com/2ndvote. </p><p>CONTACT: Ryan Hughes<br />Shirley & Banister Public Affairs<br />703-739-5920/800-536-5920<br />RHughes@SBPublicAffiars.com</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/2nd-vote-app-hits-100000-downloads.66.html Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:25:10 -0400 U.S. and U.K. Officials Meet to Discuss Key Components for the Resolution of a Global Systemically Important Bank https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/us-uk-officials-meet-discuss-key-components-for-the-resolution-of-a-global-systemically-important-bank.49.html (SI Newswire) <p>The heads of the Treasuries and leading financial regulatory bodies in the United States and United Kingdom today participated in an exercise designed to further the understanding, communication, and cooperation between U.S. and U.K. authorities in the event of the failure and resolution of a global systemically important bank, or G-SIB.</p><p>The event was hosted by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg. Additional participants from the United States were Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Chair Janet Yellen, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Board Member Jeremiah Norton, Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin.</p><p>Participants from the United Kingdom were Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne; Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Deputy Governor for Financial Stability Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation and Chief Executive Officer of the Prudential Regulation Authority Andrew Bailey, Deputy Governor for Markets & Banking Minouche Shafik; and Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive Martin Wheatley.</p><p>The exercise's high level discussion furthered understanding among these principals regarding G-SIB resolution strategies under U.S. and U.K. resolution regimes, aspects of those strategies requiring coordination between U.S. and U.K. authorities, and key challenges to the successful resolution of U.S. and U.K. G-SIBs. This exercise builds on prior bilateral work between U.S. and U.K. authorities, which, since late 2012, has included the publication of a joint paper on G-SIB resolution, participation in detailed simulation exercises for G-SIB resolution, and participation in other joint G-SIB resolution planning efforts.</p><p>The exercise demonstrates the continued commitment of the United States and the United Kingdom since the financial crisis to promote a safer and sounder financial system by cooperating to address issues involved in the orderly resolution of large and complex financial institutions without cost to taxpayers. Both countries reiterated their commitment to the Financial Stability Board's ongoing work concerning G-SIB resolution. The exercise was timed to coincide with the IMF annual meeting.</p> Government https://sinewswire.streetinsider.com/r/government/us-uk-officials-meet-discuss-key-components-for-the-resolution-of-a-global-systemically-important-bank.49.html Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:45:58 -0400