French lenders have submitted a proposal to roll over Greece’s debt in attempts to stop the cash-strapped nation from defaulting, Bloomberg News reports. The euro advanced on the news.
Greek lawmakers will vote this week on an austerity package that’s a condition for receiving further financial aid. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has appealed to lawmakers’ patriotic duty in efforts to pass the measure. Failure to adopt the $111 billion in cuts and asset sales could result in the eurozone’s first sovereign default – an event that could spread to other European nations.
First Amendment protects rights to sell violent video games to children
The Supreme Court has struck down a California law banning the sale of violent video games to children, The New York Times reported. In a 7-to-2 decision on Monday the court ruled that the law violated First Amendment protection of free speech. Depictions of violence have never been subject to government regulation, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority decision. The California law would have imposed a $1,000 fine on stores that sold violent video games to anyone under 18.
The video game industry generates domestic sales of more than $10 billion.
Blagojevich found guilty on 17 counts
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 counts of wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery, extortion conspiracy and bribery conspiracy on Monday, The New York Times reported. He was acquitted on one charge of bribery, and the jury deadlocked on two counts of attempted extortion.
Blagojevich was charged in December 2008, one month after Barack Obama was elected president, on charges that he tried to personally benefit from his official acts as governor, including the duty of picking a senator to replace Obama. The trial was the second effort to convict Blagojevich after the first attempt ended with a hung jury.
Dodgers file for bankruptcy
The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team filed for bankruptcy on Monday, The New York Times reported. Bankruptcy protection will give the team access to $150 in financing needed to continue day-to-day operations. The team will also have more time to negotiate a media rights deal.
The Dodgers have run up more than $400 in liabilities since Frank McCourt bought the team in 2004. Most recently, the team has been caught in a bitter divorce between McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who claims to own half the team. In April the Dodgers were taken over by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selif, who named a trustee to run the franchise.
Ex-Citigroup VP charged with embezzling more than $19 million
A former vice president of Citigroup Inc. was charged on Monday with embezzling more than $19 million from the company’s accounts, Bloomberg News reported. Authorities arrested 35-year-old Gary Foster on Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport after he returned from a vacation in Bangkok. Foster was charged with bank fraud and accused of transferring money from Citigroup accounts to a personal account. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called the transfer “the ultimate inside job.”
Foster was released today on an $800,000 bond secured by his parents’ house in Teaneck, NJ. U.S.