Daily Archives: March 4, 2015

Judge tells Atlantic City's Revel Casino to seek higher bid

(Reuters) – Advisors to the shuttered Revel Casino
Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, failed to get approval on
Wednesday for an agreement to sell the hotel for $82 million and
were told by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to look for a better price.

The decision by Judge Gloria Burns could open the door for a
Los Angeles developer, Izek Shomof, whose attorney told
Wednesday’s court hearing he could offer more money.

The ocean-front Revel has already lost two deals in the last
six months, with the price dropping from $110 million to the
current price. The massive hotel cost $2.4 billion to open in
2012.

“I think in order for me to be comfortable with this you
need to satisfy me that every stone has been overturned to find
the best deal,” Burns said at hearing in Camden, New Jersey.

Revel had asked Burns to approve the sale agreement with
Florida developer Glenn Straub, who had failed to close a prior
sale agreement. The current agreement required Straub to close
the deal by March 31.

Shomof’s lawyer urged Burns to delay approving the Straub
sale and also complained the current sale process was unfair. He
said his client was barred from performing due diligence and
said Straub had been threatened to sue him for interfering with
the Revel sale.

Although Burns only postponed a ruling for a week, Revel’s
advisors and lawyers for other parties urged her to take the
certainty of a sale to Straub, given how difficult it has been
to find a buyer for Revel. The casino filed for bankruptcy in
June and closed three months later as it struggled to find a
buyer.

The bankruptcy is being funded by a loan from Wells Fargo,
and the bank’s lawyer warned Wells might withdraw its support if
Burns delayed approving a sale agreement with Straub.

“Then maybe a conversion to a Chapter 7 is the right way to
go,” Burns said in response. While Chapter 11 allows for a
reorganization, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a piece-meal liquidation
overseen by an independent trustee.

Atlantic City’s gambling market has declined dramatically in
recent years as neighboring states have embraced casinos.

Earlier this year New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie,
appointed an emergency manager to oversee the strained finances
of Atlantic City, where four of the resort’s 12 casinos closed
last year.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by
David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Judge tells Atlantic City's Revel Casino to seek higher bid

(Reuters) – Advisors to the shuttered Revel Casino
Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, failed to get approval on
Wednesday for an agreement to sell the hotel for $82 million and
were told by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to look for a better price.

The decision by Judge Gloria Burns could open the door for a
Los Angeles developer, Izek Shomof, whose attorney told
Wednesday’s court hearing he could offer more money.

The ocean-front Revel has already lost two deals in the last
six months, with the price dropping from $110 million to the
current price. The massive hotel cost $2.4 billion to open in
2012.

“I think in order for me to be comfortable with this you
need to satisfy me that every stone has been overturned to find
the best deal,” Burns said at hearing in Camden, New Jersey.

Revel had asked Burns to approve the sale agreement with
Florida developer Glenn Straub, who had failed to close a prior
sale agreement. The current agreement required Straub to close
the deal by March 31.

Shomof’s lawyer urged Burns to delay approving the Straub
sale and also complained the current sale process was unfair. He
said his client was barred from performing due diligence and
said Straub had been threatened to sue him for interfering with
the Revel sale.

Although Burns only postponed a ruling for a week, Revel’s
advisors and lawyers for other parties urged her to take the
certainty of a sale to Straub, given how difficult it has been
to find a buyer for Revel. The casino filed for bankruptcy in
June and closed three months later as it struggled to find a
buyer.

The bankruptcy is being funded by a loan from Wells Fargo,
and the bank’s lawyer warned Wells might withdraw its support if
Burns delayed approving a sale agreement with Straub.

“Then maybe a conversion to a Chapter 7 is the right way to
go,” Burns said in response. While Chapter 11 allows for a
reorganization, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a piece-meal liquidation
overseen by an independent trustee.

Atlantic City’s gambling market has declined dramatically in
recent years as neighboring states have embraced casinos.

Earlier this year New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie,
appointed an emergency manager to oversee the strained finances
of Atlantic City, where four of the resort’s 12 casinos closed
last year.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by
David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Remains of ancient civilization uncovered in Honduran jungle

(Reuters) – Archaeologists working in the dense jungle of Honduras have found dozens of artifacts at a site where they believe twin cities from an ancient civilization once thrived, the head of the country’s anthropology institute said on Wednesday.

The artifacts unearthed at the site, in the eastern Mosquitia region of Honduras, point to a civilization with advanced artistic and engineering skills and are distinct from ancient Mayan cites also known to the region, said Virgilio Paredes, head of the national anthropology and history institute.

“No one had been there in over 600 years,” he said.

The jungles of Mosquitia are located about 200 miles (322 km) northeast of the Honduran capital.

Paredes said 52 objects, including mostly-buried stone sculptures resembling men and jaguars as well as the remains of a pyramid and other structures, have been identified by a team of specialists from the United States and Honduras.

He said it is not clear if the discovery is related to the mythical White City first mentioned by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century or the lost “City of the Monkey God” popularized by American explorer Theodore Morde who claimed he made the discovery in the same region of Honduras in 1939.

The name of the civilization is still unknown.

“What we do know is that the site covers two cities that were heavily populated,” said Paredes.

The pre-Colombian ruins are believed to date from between 1,000 and 1,200 A.D. and were first detected in 2012 using aerial mapping techniques.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Rapper Big Sean beats Kid Rock to top of Billboard 200 chart

Big Sean and singer Ariana Grande  in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Big Sean and singer Ariana Grande in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni


(Reuters) – Rapper Big Sean topped the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday for the first time, beating out rocker Kid Rock.

Big Sean’s “Dark Sky Paradise” sold 139,000 album copies, 218,000 songs and was streamed more than 17 million times, tallying 172,000 total units in its debut on the chart, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Kid Rock’s “First Kiss” entered at No. 2 with 146,000 total album units, while the soundtrack to Universal Pictures’ steamy hit film “Fifty Shades of Grey” remained steady at No. 3 with 108,000 copies sold.

The only other new entry in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart, which tallies album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album), was “Fan of a Fan: The Album,” by rappers Chris Brown and Tyga at No. 7, selling 67,000 units.

Last week’s chart-toppers, alt-rockers Imagine Dragons’ “Smoke + Mirrors,” dropped to No. 9 this week.

On the Digital Songs chart, which measures online song sales, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ upbeat “Uptown Funk!” held steady at No. 1 with 240,000 downloads in the past week.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Alan Crosby)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Leonardo DiCaprio partners with Netflix for documentary projects

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York September 20, 2014.    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York September 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri


(Reuters) – Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest high-profile name to partner with Netflix Inc, as he and his production company Appian Way will produce a documentary and a series that will premiere exclusively on the digital streaming service, the company said on Wednesday.

DiCaprio, who worked with Netflix on the Oscar-nominated documentary “Virunga” about the Democratic Republic of Congo’s rare mountain gorillas, will act as a producer or executive producer for the projects that will focus on the environment and conservation.

“This partnership is a natural extension of our incredible relationship with Leo on ‘Virunga,'” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement.

The deal with DiCaprio, 40, pushes Netflix, which produces the Emmy-winning political thriller “House of Cards” and the comedy-drama “Orange Is the New Black,” further into original programing in an effort to gain a larger audience.

DiCaprio, a best actor Oscar nominee for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” joins several stars who have entered deals with Netflix.

In October the company announced that comedian and actor Adam Sandler will star in and produce four films that will be shown exclusively on the service, which has more than 57 million members in 50 countries.

The company also completed a two-season order for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a comedy by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock that is due to premiere on Netflix this month.

Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, best known for “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” have also inked an agreement to make four films exclusively for the service. But they also have an option to show them in movie theaters first.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Shumaker)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Bankruptcy judge okays disputed bonus plan for RadioShack execs

(Reuters) – The judge overseeing RadioShack Corp’s
Chapter 11 bankruptcy case on Wednesday approved a revised $1.5
million bonus plan for eight top executives at the electronics
retailer, over the objection of the U.S. Trustee in the case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon said that while he
shared some of the trustee’s concerns over the key executive
incentive plan, or KEIP, he was convinced the executives would
be “up to their elbows” with the sale of 2,000 RadioShack
stores.

Shannon also said he was impressed the plan’s payout had
been reduced through negotiations.

Acting Trustee Andrew Vara on Saturday filed an objection to
the plan, initially set at $2 million.

Vara said it would reward the executives for staying put at
RadioShack after reaching the stalking horse bid for the 2,000
stores. A stalking horse bid is an attempt by a debtor to test
the market in advance of an auction.

The bid was reached before RadioShack filed for bankruptcy
in February. RadioShack said its executives worked to increase
the value of the bid by $30 million during negotiations.

The objection said the plan was effectively a retention plan
and criticized paying the executives an incentive bonus of
$500,000 for working on the stalking horse agreement.

The Standard General hedge fund has agreed to make a $200
million stalking horse bid that would keep about half of the
retailer’s stores open and operate them under an agreement with
Sprint Corp.

If there are competing bids, an auction will take place
March 23.

Changes to the U.S. bankruptcy code in 2005 essentially
swept away retention plans that unions criticized for rewarding
insiders who slashed payrolls.

KEIPs then emerged as a way to reward insiders. Unions and
investors have often complained they are little more than
dressed-up retention payments.

The case is In re RadioShack Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
District of Delaware, No. 15-10197.

(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Bankruptcy judge okays disputed bonus plan for RadioShack execs

(Reuters) – The judge overseeing RadioShack Corp’s
Chapter 11 bankruptcy case on Wednesday approved a revised $1.5
million bonus plan for eight top executives at the electronics
retailer, over the objection of the U.S. Trustee in the case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon said that while he
shared some of the trustee’s concerns over the key executive
incentive plan, or KEIP, he was convinced the executives would
be “up to their elbows” with the sale of 2,000 RadioShack
stores.

Shannon also said he was impressed the plan’s payout had
been reduced through negotiations.

Acting Trustee Andrew Vara on Saturday filed an objection to
the plan, initially set at $2 million.

Vara said it would reward the executives for staying put at
RadioShack after reaching the stalking horse bid for the 2,000
stores. A stalking horse bid is an attempt by a debtor to test
the market in advance of an auction.

The bid was reached before RadioShack filed for bankruptcy
in February. RadioShack said its executives worked to increase
the value of the bid by $30 million during negotiations.

The objection said the plan was effectively a retention plan
and criticized paying the executives an incentive bonus of
$500,000 for working on the stalking horse agreement.

The Standard General hedge fund has agreed to make a $200
million stalking horse bid that would keep about half of the
retailer’s stores open and operate them under an agreement with
Sprint Corp.

If there are competing bids, an auction will take place
March 23.

Changes to the U.S. bankruptcy code in 2005 essentially
swept away retention plans that unions criticized for rewarding
insiders who slashed payrolls.

KEIPs then emerged as a way to reward insiders. Unions and
investors have often complained they are little more than
dressed-up retention payments.

The case is In re RadioShack Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
District of Delaware, No. 15-10197.

(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Nirvana rocker Kurt Cobain's childhood home on sale for $400,000

(Reuters) – Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain’s childhood home in Washington state is on sale for $400,000, complete with drawings he made on the bedroom wall, a realtor said on Wednesday.

Cobain rose to fame as the lead singer and songwriter of Nirvana, arguably the defining band of the grunge era that dominated rock music, and elements of popular culture, for several years in the 1990s.

Nirvana broke through to mainstream success with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the first single from the band’s second album, “Nevermind,” released in 1991.

The 1,522-square-foot Craftsman-style bungalow in Aberdeen, about 100 miles southwest of Seattle, was re-listed this week at $100,000 less than its price in September 2013, according to Aberdeen Realty Inc, the company representing the sellers.

Cobain lived in the home when he was a few months old until he was 9, when his parents separated, and then again from age 16 until about 20, according to a profile of the home by The Agency, a California real estate firm.

Some of its furniture and decor has been preserved, including marks and drawings Cobain made on the walls, a rug in his room and a family dining table, and a hole he punched in a wall as a teen, almost breaking his hand, the California firm said.

Cobain was 27 years old when he shot himself on April 5, 1994, at his home in Seattle. His body was discovered three days later.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Eric Beech)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Texas man caught trying to sneak sword into jail in 'snake' cane

(Reuters) – A Texas man has been caught trying to smuggle a two-foot-long sword into a jail where he son was being held by hiding it in a cane adorned to look like the head of a snake, corrections officials said on Wednesday.

Jose Gonzalez, 53, was caught at the jail in San Antonio with the sword inside the cane affixed with a twist-off top in the shape of a snake, said James Keith, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

“He had to go through the scanners, which is standard procedure for visitors,” Keith said, and there, the sword was discovered.

Officials said they did not know why Gonzalez brought the sword to the jail. He was booked on a charge of illegally carrying a weapon and has been released on bond, Keith said.

“There is a reason why we have to have security monitors,” he said, adding that the sword and cane had been confiscated.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Beech)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Kerry says demanding Iran's 'capitulation' is no way to secure nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) meets his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) for a new round of nuclear negotiations in Montreux March 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool


(Reuters) – Simply demanding Iran’s capitulation is no way to get a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday as he wrapped up three days of talks with a veiled dig at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kerry said he and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Jawad Zarif made some progress in their negotiations in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux and would resume them on March 15. Kerry aides said many obstacles remained before a late March deadline for an outline accord between Iran and six world powers.

“There are still significant gaps and important choices that need to be made,” Kerry told reporters after more than 10 hours of talks all told with Zarif.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said in a speech in the U.S. Congress that Washington was negotiating a bad deal with Iran that could spark a “nuclear nightmare,” drawing a rebuke from President Barack Obama and exposing a deepening U.S.-Israeli rift.

Kerry said politics and external factors would not distract from the talks, which aim to constrain Iran with intrusive U.N. access and verification of its nuclear activity and lengthen the “break-out” time needed for it to build any nuclear weapon.

“No one has presented a more viable, lasting alternative for how you actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. So folks, simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a plan. And nor would any of our P5+1 partners support us in that position.”

The other P5+1 countries are Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, who would all have to sign off on any deal.

Netanyahu has called for the powers to insist Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and change what he described as its “aggressive” regional posture — an idea swiftly rejected by the Obama administration as equivalent to seeking “regime change” in Tehran. Israel and Iran have been arch-enemies since 1979.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, elected in 2013 on a platform of easing Iran’s isolation abroad through diplomacy and a removal of sanctions imposed on it, said Tehran was prepared to accept greater nuclear scrutiny as part of a deal.

“If the basis of these negotiations is for increased transparency, we will accept greater transparency,” he said in a statement. “But if the negotiations are trying to prevent the people of Iran from (enjoying) their inalienable right, in other words advancement in science and technology, it is very natural that Iran will not accept such an understanding or agreement.”

KERRY REASSURES IRAN’S ARAB RIVALS

Kerry also sought to address the concerns of Arab nations who fear that a nuclear deal may simply leave Iran with more cash and energy to pursue its regional agenda, including supporting Shi’ite Muslim groups in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon’s political and militant movement Hezbollah.

“For all the objections that any country has to Iranian activities in the region, and believe me, we have objections and others in the world have objections, the first step is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Kerry said.

Zarif told Iran’s state-run Press TV: “We are not far from reaching an agreement. There are gaps that need to be filled, serious gaps. But that does not mean that we are not capable of moving forward.

He added: “We have one very serious problem and that is that there is a great deal of pressure being imposed by warmongers, by scaremongers … trying to prevent the deal by scaremongering tactic, by lying, by demagoguery. And that is an impediment to the necessary atmosphere that is required to reach a deal.”

The six powers’ foreign ministry political directors will meet Iranian negotiators in Switzerland on Thursday ahead if the next round between the two pivotal players, Kerry and Zarif.

Kerry flew to Saudi Arabia later on Wednesday and plans to meet the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany in Paris on Saturday, a senior U.S. State Department official said, and U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman will brief Israel soon.

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, in which he blasted the current diplomatic approach to resolving the dispute, may make it harder for the Obama administration to sell the potential deal back home.

Netanyahu argued that rather than preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, a deal would “all but guarantee” that it would one day get the atomic bomb, putting Israel, the wider region and U.S. interests at risk.

Obama responded within hours saying Netanyahu had offered no “viable alternatives” to the current course of negotiations.

Netanyahu said on arrival back in Israel on Wednesday by saying he had offered a “practical alternative” with his proposals for the powers’ negotiating approach.

Iran and world powers are trying to put a framework agreement in place by the end of the month, despite the misgivings of Israel, U.S. congressional Republicans and some Gulf Arab states. Such an accord would be followed by a comprehensive agreement to be completed by the end of June.

The aim of the negotiations is to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled the major oil exporter’s economy. Iran wants sanctions scrapped swiftly, the powers only in phases.

Western powers and Israel suspect Iran of having used its civil nuclear program as a cover to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran says it seeks only peaceful nuclear energy.

(Additional reporting by Lucien Libert in Montreux and Babak Dehghanpisheh in Beirut; Editing by Tom Miles and Mark Heinrich)


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