Daily Archives: February 10, 2015

Saba Software to be taken private by Vector Capital

<span class="articleLocatio

n”>Feb 10 (Reuters) – Enterprise software provider Saba
Software Inc, whose chief executive and other
executives recently settled charges of accounting fraud, said
private equity firm Vector Capital would take it private for
about $268 million in cash.

Vector offered $9 per share for the Pink Sheets-listed
company, which delisted from the Nasdaq in 2013.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said earlier on
Tuesday that two former Saba chief financial officers agreed to
repay nearly half a million dollars in combined bonuses and
stock profits over the fraud, which involved falsified
time-sheets by consultants at an Indian subsidiary.

Founder and former Chief Executive Babak “Bobby” Yazdani
agreed in September to repay $2.57 million of bonuses, incentive
pay and profit from stock sales.

Yazdani, who founded Redwood Shores, California-based Saba
in 1997, resigned as CEO in March 2013.

Saba shares closed at $8.80, just before the deal was
announced.

Morgan Stanley & Co LLC is financial adviser to Saba, while
Morrison & Foerster is legal adviser. Law firm Shearman &
Sterling is advising Vector.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Ted Kerr)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

UPDATE 2-Valeant to buy bankrupt vaccine maker Dendreon

(Updates with confirmation from Valeant)

By Tom Hals

<span class="articleLocatio

n”>Feb 10 (Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
will scoop up bankrupt cancer vaccine maker Dendreon
Corp, after no additional qualified bids came forward
by Tuesday’s deadline, Valeant said.

A potential buyer dropped from the bidding process, three
sources close to the sale told Reuters earlier.

Valeant, of Laval, Quebec, will get Seattle-based Dendreon’s
Provenge cancer treatment and other assets for $400 million in
cash.

Dendreon and Valeant will seek court approval of the sale on
Feb. 20, Valeant said. It expects to close the deal by the end
of this month.

Valeant was what is known as a stalking horse bidder, who
jump-starts an auction by setting a minimum bid. Other
interested parties had to submit qualified bids by 4 p.m. EST
(2100 GMT) on Tuesday, according to rules approved by the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Valeant already raised its stalking horse bid from the $296
million that it originally agreed to pay in January.

A competing joint bid had been submitted by US Worldmeds of
Matthews, Kentucky, with Deerfield Management, a New York
investment firm with a focus on healthcare that is also a major
Dendreon creditor. The pair did not meet Valeant’s higher bid,
however.

A source told Reuters there has already been essentially two
auctions: an initial one in January to pick a stalking horse,
then one with several rounds last week that resulted in Valeant
raising its bid.

“The surprising thing was Valeant made a blind offer,” said
the source, referring to brief due diligence done by Valeant.

Dendreon had been up for sale long before it filed for
bankruptcy in November, and 40 parties signed non-disclosure
agreements to comb through its books. Valeant was a late-comer
to that process, according to two sources close to the process.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Additional
reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Time and activity linked to back pain risk

Factors that can trigger pain in the lower back include working in awkward positions, being distracted, and being physically or mentally tired, a new study shows.

“Back pain is a major public health concern,” said Manuela Ferreira of The George Institute for Global Health at The University of Sydney, Australia, one of the study’s authors. “It’s among the leading causes of disability around the world.”

Ferreira and her colleagues interviewed nearly 1,000 people who developed sudden lower back pain in 2011 and 2012, asking whether they’d been exposed to any of 12 possible triggers in the two hours before their pain started.

Overall, people were most likely to have sudden lower back pain in the morning.

Manual tasks involving awkward positions were tied to an eight-fold increase in risk for lower back pain, the researchers found. Manual tasks involving objects away from the body, animals or people, and unstable objects increased the risk of back pain between five and six times.

Being distracted during a task or activity increased the risk of sudden lower back pain by 25 percent, they found. Being physically or mentally tired increased the risk about four times.

Alcohol consumption and sex were not tied to an increased risk of sudden lower back pain, however.

The new study can’t explain why certain things greatly increased the risk of back pain while others did not.

There are some theories, however. For example, people may be at higher risk of back pain in the morning because they may not be fully alert yet. Or, Ferreira said, the disks in the spine might be more susceptible to damage in the morning.

She said people who are used to lifting heavy objects probably know how to do it safely, but people should ask for guidance from doctors or physical therapists if they’re unsure.

“Back pain will affect about 10 percent of the world’s population at some point in their lives,” Ferreira and her colleagues wrote February 9 online in Arthritis Care and Research.

“Although we have many studies looking at the interventions for back pain, we don’t have a lot of knowledge about prevention,” Ferreira said.

“People who are not involved with these activities on a daily basis, they should pay attention to how they’re lifting,” she advised. “Even brief exposures to those activities can lead to back pain.”

Also, she said, it helps to be physically and mentally strong, with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1DYn8Br

Arthr Care Res 2015.


Source: Newsjyoti Health

Powerball reaches $485 million for Wednesday drawing

A man leaves a store selling Powerball tickets in San Francisco, California February 10, 2015.   REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

A man leaves a store selling Powerball tickets in San Francisco, California February 10, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith


(Reuters) – Gamblers betting on the multi-state Powerball lottery this week could win one of the biggest jackpots in the game’s history, as the total climbed to $485 million on Tuesday, the Powerball website showed.

The third-largest jackpot in the game’s history, at stake for Wednesday’s drawing with a $327.7 million cash payout, comes after nearly three months of no jackpot winners.

The last time someone won the jackpot was in the Nov. 29 drawing for $90 million, a Washington woman who bought her first-ever lottery tickets on a whim on Thanksgiving Day.

Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow until at least one player comes up with the winning numbers at a twice-weekly draw. The next drawing will take place on Wednesday evening.

The jackpot winners receive either payments over 29 years or a smaller cash lump sum.

The biggest Powerball jackpot awarded by the Multi-State Lottery Association was $590.5 million and went to the holder of a single winning ticket in 2013. The association also operates the Mega Millions jackpot, which awarded a top prize of $656 million three years ago.

Game drawings for Powerball, played in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.

Powerball sales reached nearly $5 billion last year for game tickets that are sold through more than 210,000 lottery terminals. Each ticket costs $2. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175 million.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Richard Chang)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Gay rights advocates in Alabama sue for right to marriage licenses

Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Marvin Gentry


<span class="articleLocatio

n”>(Reuters) – A U.S. judge in Alabama said on Tuesday she will hear arguments later this week on whether to force a local judge to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a day after officials in most of the state refused to do so in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawyers for same-sex couples unable to obtain marriage licenses in Mobile County filed separate legal challenges against the county’s probate court judge, Don Davis, late on Monday.

Mobile County, home to Mobile, the state’s third-largest city, was the most populous of the 42 of Alabama’s 67 counties that continued to refuse to provide marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Tuesday, gay rights advocates said, down from 52 counties a day earlier.

U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, a President George W. Bush appointee who struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional in a ruling that took effect on Monday, scheduled a hearing for Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a strong signal in favor of gay marriage, refused on Monday to grant a request by Alabama’s Republican attorney general to keep the weddings on hold until the high court decides later this year whether laws banning gay matrimony violate the U.S. Constitution.

But Roy Moore, the conservative chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, ordered state judges to defy Granade’s ruling and uphold the state’s gay marriage ban.

Gay rights advocates said any order Granade issues arising from the hearing will apply specifically to Mobile but it could compel other judges to begin issuing licenses.

“We don’t think it will be necessary to sue each of them, but we can if need arises,” Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in an email. The center is representing some of the plaintiffs.

Most legal experts say the state judges will ultimately have little choice but to follow the federal court’s ruling.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Sandra Maler and Eric Beech)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Wenders enlists Franco for healing film at Berlin festival

Actor James Franco and director Wim Wenders (L) pose during a photocall to promote the movie 'Every Thing Will Be Fine' at the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival, in Berlin February 10, 2015.    REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke


(Reuters) – Wim Wenders says not enough films are about healing, so for his “Every Thing Will Be Fine” at the Berlin film festival he got James Franco to play a writer who runs over a child and has to deal with the emotional trauma.

The veteran German director of “Paris, Texas” said he filmed his latest muted and somber film in 3D because it allowed him visually to explore the depths of his characters, including Franco as the successful novelist Tomas, who accidentally kills a boy whose sled careens into the street.

“Truly the issue of death was not for me the governing theme of the film. The opposite. For me, the main subject of the film was healing and how to deal with it,” Wenders, 69, told a news conference on Tuesday.

“Not enough films deal with healing, most films deal with wounding. And it’s time to take on this subject of how you forgive and how you forgive yourself because it is not time that heals, that’s a lie, you have to do something.”

Franco, appearing in three films at the festival, said it had not been a challenge to switch gears after starring in Seth Rogen’s comedy “The Interview”, that incurred the wrath of North Korea because it is about a plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-un.

“I did this movie at least six months after we finished filming ‘The Interview’,” he said.

“I like to bring myself to the movie rather than have the movie or the character bring itself to me, meaning I want to fit the tone of the film. I want to help the director achieve his or her vision,” Franco said.

Another of Franco’s festival films is also by a German director, Werner Herzog, whose “Queen of the Desert” stars Nicole Kidman as the British female “Lawrence of Arabia” spy and diplomat Gertrude Bell in the early 19th century.

Franco said he thought Herzog, who has a reputation as a demanding director, was in a mellow mood making his first feature centered on a female character.

“Werner’s still kind of in there, he makes a point of clacking the slate and he’s just always there … Wim is connected in his own way to the same degree, but it comes off as a little more gentle,” Franco said.

Wenders’s film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as the mother of the dead boy and Robert Naylor as the boy’s grown-up brother.

(This version of the story fixes director’s name in third para)

(Editing by Crispian Balmer)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Right-to-die ruling signals tough stance by top court

(Reuters) – A landmark decision to overturn a ban on physician-assisted suicide by Canada’s top court shows it could take a tough stance on federal government legislation, including security and citizenship bills, that challenge the boundaries of the country’s rights-based constitution.

Academics and lawyers said that even though right-leaning Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed 7 of its 9 justices since he became prime minister in 2006, the Supreme Court is proving to be a stern defender of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that took force in 1982.

“The perception that the current government is pushing rights-diminishing legislation through without apparent regard to the Charter may well be effectively forcing the Court to be more liberal, more activist, and more protectionist,” said Jamie Cameron, a professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

The Supreme Court last week voted 9-0 to overturn a ban on physician-assisted suicide – a position not supported by Harper’s Conservative government. Parliament has a year to implement a regulatory framework. Or it can do nothing and allow the court ruling to come into effect in 12 months’ time.

It was the latest in a series of defeats for the government. Last year, the court blocked Harper’s plans to introduce elections to the Senate and term limits for senators. In 2013, it struck down Canada’s restrictions on adult prostitution over the government’s objections. Both decisions were unanimous.

While Harper has appointed judges who have a record of being more restrained and less activist, how an individual judge will be affected by the evidence and arguments in a case is unpredictable, noted Carissima Mathen, an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa.

“It is a cautionary tale for any prime minister who thinks that they can insert certain factors to shift the way the court works,” she said.

“The charter provides a framework for argument, it provides a benchmark and now, 30 years on, it provides a whole body of case law such that if the court wanted to go in a radically different direction, it would have to explain itself,” Mathen said.

Ironically, the charter was brought into being by former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, whose son Justin is set to face Harper in an election likely to be held in October.

Pierre Trudeau fought to include the charter when he repatriated the Canadian constitution from Britain in 1982. The addition brought Canada more in line with the United States, where the Bill of Rights also offers constitutional protections to citizens.

Harper’s party, which includes social conservatives who deride what they say is the court’s “judicial activism”, has pursued a tough-on-crime agenda.

Appointments to Canada’s Supreme Court have been less politicized than in the United States, where potential judges have every aspect of their record, character and life scrutinized, said Philip Slayton, a retired lawyer and author of a book on Canada’s top court.

“We know nothing about these people (in Canada). I call them mystery judges because they’re appointed, therefore we shouldn’t be surprised when they do things that we wouldn’t expect,” Slayton said.

MORE CHALLENGES COMING

While no near-term Supreme Court rulings are expected on watershed issues such as abortion or gay marriage – both legal in Canada – some recent legislation pushed through by Harper is expected to be challenged in the courts.

Last year, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers said it is challenging changes to the Citizenship Act, which would allow the federal government to strip citizenship from a dual citizen convicted either in Canada or abroad of criminal offences such as treason and espionage.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said new anti-terrorism legislation may threaten free speech by criminalizing anyone ‘advocating’ terrorism. The CCLA said the wording is overly broad and may be triggered even when the speaker has no intention of supporting an act of terrorism.

Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati said he sees both these new laws eventually being challenged at the Supreme Court.

“There are a lot of non-violent acts that are caught by the definition of terrorism,” he said.

Galati made headlines and history when he challenged Harper’s appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court, arguing he did not meet the specific criteria for judges appointed from the province of Quebec.

Supreme Court appointees from Quebec must be either judges of Quebec’s provincial courts or lawyers with at least 10 years standing with the Quebec Bar Association. Nadon was a federal court judge.

The case went all the way up to the top court itself, which quashed the appointment early last year, handing Harper another stinging defeat.

(Additional reporting by Mike De Souza in Ottawa; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Grant McCool)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Farmers in eastern Ukraine feel the bite of conflict

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Food production in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine is set to drop in the coming months, as farmers don’t have regular access to seeds and fertilizers, a U.N. official said on Tuesday.

Some farms surrounding the battered cities of Donetsk and Luhansk lost up to 30 percent of their winter wheat harvest and planting for the spring crop has been badly hit, said Rajendra Aryal, senior emergency coordinator with the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

In peacetime, banks would loan farmers money to buy fertilizer, with the upcoming harvest acting as collateral, Aryal said.

“Now that the harvest could be at risk (because of fighting), banks aren’t providing the loans,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “For many people, agriculture is the only means of earning a living.”

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists has intensified in the past month.

The official rate of Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, fell to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar on Monday, making fuel and fertilizer inputs more expensive for farmers.

Once known as the “bread basket of Europe”, farming in other parts of Ukraine has not been directly affected by the conflict in the east, Aryal said.

More than one million people, mostly from the east, have been displaced in violence which has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine’s large collective farms were divided up among the peasants.

Today some of that land is farmed in small plots by local families, while other owners lease their land to larger companies.

Because of the hostilities, and the inability to access credit, some of the larger farms are set to face losses, Aryal said, and might not be able to pay rent to small landowners, including pensioners, who depend on the money for survival.

“Without the rent, their lives become a lot more vulnerable,” he said.

(Reporting By Chris Arsenault; Editing by Ros Russell)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

'Twilight's' Pattinson sees paparazzi in different light after playing photographer

Actor Robert Pattinson poses during a photocall to promote the movie 'Life' at the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival, in Berlin February 9, 2015.                        REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Actor Robert Pattinson poses during a photocall to promote the movie ‘Life’ at the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival, in Berlin February 9, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke


(Reuters) – British actor and “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson says playing a photographer in his latest film has made him more sympathetic to the paparazzi.

In “Life”, Pattinson plays Dennis Stock, the man behind some of the most famous photos of legendary actor James Dean.

The film explores the friendship between the two men as Dean was starting out in Hollywood in the 50s and Stock saw a star in the making, eventually getting him a cover spread in “Life” magazine.

For Pattinson, 28, whose boyish looks and huge following among teenage girls after his performances in the Twilight films have frequently made him a target of paparazzi, the film forced him to acknowledge that the job of celebrity photographer isn’t always easy.

“I did feel like being a paparazzi for a second. I do empathize with their plight,” Pattinson told a press conference at the Berlin International Film Festival where “Life”, directed by Dutch photographer-turned-filmmaker Anton Corbijn, was screened this week.

“At the end of the day I feel they go home and beat themselves. That’s what I was doing to get into character,” he added, laughing.

Pattinson said that, like many other actors, he had looked up to Dean, star of “East of Eden”, “Giant” and “Rebel Without a Cause”, who was killed in a car crash aged 24.

“I remember when I first started acting, sort of 16 or 17, I think a lot of actors have their James Dean phase where every audition, no matter what the part is, they come in and do a James Dean impression. I definitely had one of those,” he said.

Variety magazine said Pattinson is a “sly turn” as Stock in “Life”, and “brings intriguing layers of childish dysfunction” to the character.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Dean’s death, yet his appeal endures, something American actor Dane DeHaan, who plays Dean in the film, tried to explain.

“I guess he was such an open, emotional vessel that I think he tapped into human nature,” DeHaan told the press conference in Berlin.

“So it just left people wondering what would have happened. I think James Dean would be 83 today. He could be here, what would he be doing?”

(Editing by Michael Roddy and Liisa Tuhkanen)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Man GLG macro hedge fund lost 9 percent in January, to shut – sources

(Reuters) – A macro hedge fund managed by the GLG unit of Man Group lost 9 percent in January and is closing, sources said.

The performance contrasts with gains in the group’s hedge funds which use computer programs to drive their investment decisions. The $4.4 billion AHL Diversified fund gained 7.2 percent last month, while the $4 billion AHL Evolution fund returned 7.7 percent, according to data seen by Reuters.

The decision follows a torrid month for many macro hedge funds who were caught out by the Swiss franc rise during the month after a surprise decision by the Swiss National Bank to remove a cap on the currency.

The GLG Atlas Macro fund manages about $70 million, down from peak assets of about $600 million in 2012, and is one of the smallest hedge funds under the GLG unit, which managed $32.2 billion at the end of September last year.

The remainder of the fund’s assets will be merged into the Man GLG Multi-Strategy Fund, which manages about $1 billion, one of the sources said.

Macro hedge funds, which focus on major economic trends and bet on assets such as stocks, currencies, bonds, commodities and indices, gained 2.35 percent last month, data from industry tracker Eurekahedge showed.

A spokeswoman for Man Group declined to comment.

GLG Atlas Macro fund joins the likes of COMAC Capital and Everest Capital to shut funds, following nearly four years of mediocre performance by macro hedge funds globally.

Others such as the $750 million Harness Macro Currency Strategy, a hedge fund started by former Fortress Investment Group portfolio manager Philippe Peress, lost 8.8 percent in January, while the Fortress Macro Fund lost about 7 percent.

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Carolyn Cohn and Louise Heavens)


Source: Newsjyoti Business