Our love of teaching and training in Legal English has prompted Updates

Legal-Ease International the World Leader in Legal English has begun for the first Time a WhatsApp group. This group provides vocabulary and different terms to participants each day. The terms are sent out daily, Dena Falken Founder of Legal-Ease International is hands on in this endeavor.

It is a daily reminder of the terms learned in the Legal-Ease Seminar. It also provides a free service for Foreign Legal professionals that can not afford the Legal-Ease Seminar or simply want to review daily.

Our love of teaching and training in Legal English has prompted this new format and we look forward to sharing and teaching with as many Professionals that need our services around the World. Legal Professionals from Mexico, South America, and the Middle East participate. It is interesting to see the needs that all Legal Professionals have in Legal English, when it is not the first language.

The WhatsApp group formed exclusively by Legal-Ease International brings together Professionals that share a common need. It is a new idea, and a needed service. Legal-Ease International WhatsApp group…once again, helping Foreign Professionals with Legal English.

The WhatsApp group receives the term first thing in the morning. It is a great way to start the day. A new term, and learning, what could be better. They are personally answered and so receive direct attention.

At Legal-Ease International we pride ourselves on new and innovative ways to train Foreign legal professionals and students in Legal English. The WhatsApp Legal-Ease group is just one more way. Join us. 25 years of helping the world, and we are not stopping. This WhatsApp group is one more way to reach out to those that need our services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

U.S. Charges 5 People With Money Laundering In Alleged Venezuela Bribery Scheme Updates 2021

(Reuters) -Five individuals, including a politician from Venezuela’s ruling party and an associate of a businessman close to President Nicolas Maduro, have been charged with money laundering in connection with an alleged Venezuela bribery scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida charged three Colombian nationals and two Venezuelans, the DOJ said in a statement on Thursday.

The indictment alleges that the five laundered the proceeds of a bribery scheme to obtain and retain inflated contracts through a Venezuelan state-run food and medicine distribution program known as CLAP.

The five are: Alvaro Pulido Vargas, 57, of Colombia; Jose Vielma-Mora, 55, of Venezuela; Emmanuel Enrique Rubio Gonzalez, 32, of Colombia; Carlos Rolando Lizcano Manrique, 50, of Colombia; and Ana Guillermo Luis, 49, of Venezuela, the DOJ said.

Pulido Vargas is a long-time business associate of fellow Colombian businessman Alex Saab, who is close to the Venezuelan president and was extradited to the United States over the weekend to face money laundering charges. Pulido Vargas was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in 2019, and indicted alongside Saab that same year over an alleged money-laundering scheme. Rubio Gonzalez is Pulido Vargas’ son.

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Saab in 2019, accusing him of being a “profiteer” who enriched himself by skimming from contracts from the CLAP Venezuelan state-run food distribution program.

Vielma-Mora is a long-time Venezuelan ruling party politician who was formerly the governor of the Andean state of Tachira and is now a congressman.

Between 2015 and at least 2020, the five individuals conspired with others to launder the money from bank accounts in Antigua, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere through U.S. bank accounts, the DOJ said.

They received about $1.6 billion from the Republic of Venezuela and transferred about $180 million through or to the United States, the DOJ. said.

Representatives of the individuals could not immediately be contacted for comment by Reuters.

If convicted, they each face a maximum total penalty of 100 years in prison, the department said.

Updates NEWS: Western Digital Talks To Merge With Kioxia Stall – Sources

The talks reached a standstill over concerns about the valuation, approval from the Japanese government and an ongoing strategic review at Kioxia shareholder Toshiba (OTC:TOSYY) Corp, the sources said.

Earlier in August, Reuters reported that Western Digital was in advanced talks for a possible $20 billion stock merger with Kioxia, in a move that would create a NAND memory giant to rival Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF).

Kioxia, sold by Toshiba Corp in 2018 to a consortium led by Bain Capital, shelved plans for an initial public offering last year after U.S.-China trade tensions slammed Huawei, one of Kioxia’s biggest clients. The Japanese chipmaker has said it is still considering an IPO.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news earlier in the day.

Exclusive: UK Public’s Inflation Expectations Rocket To Record High – GfK Updates

LONDON (Reuters) – A record proportion of the British public thinks inflation will accelerate over the next 12 months, according to data that could further boost expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next month.

Some 48% of people surveyed this month by consumer research firm GfK expected prices to increase more rapidly over the next 12 months, up from 34% in September, the figures seen exclusively by Reuters showed.

It marked the highest share since records began in January 1985, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and more than a decade before the BoE became operationally independent.

The surge in inflation expectations follows a month of rocketing gas prices that have caused the collapse of several British energy suppliers, leaving households faced with the prospect of hefty bills in 2022.

Global supply chain problems as the world economy reopens from COVID-19 lockdowns and labour shortages, exacerbated by Brexit, have added to Britain’s recent inflationary tilt.

The BoE has said it expects inflation to exceed 4%, more than double its target, soon before easing back.

Economists increasingly expect the BoE will become the first major central bank to raise borrowing costs – possibly at its next policy announcement on Nov. 4. [ECILT/GB]

“More and more shoppers expect that costs for goods and services will jump dramatically in the next 12 months,” said Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK.

“This rapid increase will impact our ability to shop and save, and our willingness to spend at a time when our incomes are outpaced by inflation.”

BoE rate-setters are keeping a close eye on gauges of inflation expectations as they weigh up whether to raise interest rates.

On Sunday BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said the BoE would have to act if it saw a surge in inflation expectations in the medium term. Last month the BoE defined medium-term inflation expectations as five to 10 years from now.

While the GfK’s gauge of inflation expectations covers the only the next 12 months, the scale of the move is likely to catch the eye of members of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee. The data are collected as part of GfK’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index, which dates back to the early 1970s. The overall confidence index fell in October to an eight-month low.

“Consumers are already nervous about the state of their personal finances. The spectre of rising costs can only add to that growing concern,” Staton said.

Before Brexit, GfK’s price expectation figures were freely available as part of the European Commission’s monthly consumer surveys of EU countries, but have not been publicly available since the start of the year.

The survey of 2,000 Britons was conducted Oct. 1-13.

Powell, With Ethics Move, Clears Decks For Nov Meeting And Maybe His Renomination Updates 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a sensitive policy meeting less than two weeks off and a renomination hanging fire in the White House, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s tightening of Fed ethics rules on Thursday has shifted the narrative away from an issue that had become a chief target for his critics and eliminated a distraction from his day job as well.

The new limits on Fed officials’ investments came at “warp speed” for the central bank, just 44 days from the initial reports on regional bank presidents’ trading activities, noted David Beckworth, a senior fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

It had to.

The Fed has a policy meeting in less than two weeks at which the central bank is expected to pin down plans to pare its monthly bond purchases, an important moment for Powell to communicate clearly what the Fed is doing and why.

Absent action on the ethics issue, his Nov. 3 press conference would risk being subsumed by questions about the securities trading that forced two regional bank presidents to resign, and that has led to a steady drip of commentary from critics who have brought Powell’s own portfolio – mostly of municipal bonds and index funds – under scrutiny.

In addition, the administration of President Joe Biden has let a raft of Fed appointments drift without a clear sign whether he plans to use open seats on the Board of Governors to launch a dramatic overhaul of monetary policy, as some of his progressive supporters hope, or opt for stability and a second term for Powell as chair.

The White House did not address the ethics scandal at the Fed specifically but White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that Biden respects the independence of the Fed.

“President Biden believes that all government agencies, and officials, including independent agencies, should be held to the highest ethical standards, including the avoidance … of any suggestions of conflicts of interest,” she said.

Powell’s current term expires in February, and his renomination would have to be cleared by the U.S. Senate.

The fallout from the ethics scandal may still resonate in those confirmation hearings if Powell is reappointed. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has said she will oppose his reappointment, and the ethics controversy has become a focus of both the senator and critics of Powell in general.

That criticism won’t die fast, with those who had focused on the stock trading saying the rules announced Thursday either did not go far enough, or shifting their criticism to other issues, such as how regional bank presidents are hired.

But he has now taken the initiative, with limits on what Fed officials can own or sell that are stricter, for example, than those that apply to members of Congress.

Bettors at online political wagering market. PredictIt.org, on Thursday took a brighter view of his reappointment prospects, with a “Yes” Powell contract now implying a 74% probability he will be renominated. That had slumped to 65% at the start of the week.

The ethics controversy “is a ding against him,” Beckworth said. “But at the same time, his Fed acted fairly quickly in responding to it. … If he goes up for nomination and nothing had been done … I think it would look poorly.”

Updates NEWS: Blinken Spoke To Bogota Embassy Staff Affected By Havana Syndrome

BOGOTA (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met with U.S. embassy staff in Bogota who had been affected by anomalous health incidents (AHIs) – known as Havana syndrome – a senior state department official said.

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that at least five families connected to the U.S. mission in Colombia had been affected by what the State Department calls unexplained health incidents.

Around 200 U.S. diplomats, officials and family members overseas are believed to have been struck by the mysterious ailment – with symptoms including migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness.

It first came to public attention in 2016 after dozens of diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, complained of the sickness, but officials are yet to reach a firm conclusion of the syndrome’s cause or whether an adversary is responsible.

A senior State Department official said Blinken addressed the incidents during a meeting with the embassy staff and families on Thursday, the last stop of a three-day trip to South America.

“He made clear that he has no higher priority than the health and safety of the workforce and emphasized that the Department is determined to get to the bottom of AHIs, provide care to those affected, and protect our colleagues around the world,” the official said.

Blinken then had a separate private meeting with those affected by the incident, the official said.

The Biden administration has been under. pressure to show it is taking the complaints seriously, with a bipartisan group of senators last week urging Blinken to quickly appoint a new official to head the investigation into them.

Blinken Spoke To Bogota Embassy Staff Affected By Havana Syndrome Updates NEWS

BOGOTA (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met with U.S. embassy staff in Bogota who had been affected by anomalous health incidents (AHIs) – known as Havana syndrome – a senior state department official said.

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that at least five families connected to the U.S. mission in Colombia had been affected by what the State Department calls unexplained health incidents.

Around 200 U.S. diplomats, officials and family members overseas are believed to have been struck by the mysterious ailment – with symptoms including migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness.

It first came to public attention in 2016 after dozens of diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, complained of the sickness, but officials are yet to reach a firm conclusion of the syndrome’s cause or whether an adversary is responsible.

A senior State Department official said Blinken addressed the incidents during a meeting with the embassy staff and families on Thursday, the last stop of a three-day trip to South America.

“He made clear that he has no higher priority than the health and safety of the workforce and emphasized that the Department is determined to get to the bottom of AHIs, provide care to those affected, and protect our colleagues around the world,” the official said.

Blinken then had a separate private meeting with those affected by the incident, the official said.

The Biden administration has been under pressure to show it is taking the complaints seriously, with a bipartisan group of senators last week urging Blinken to quickly appoint a new official to head the investigation into them.

Updates NEWS: Human Remains Found In Florida Are Those Of Brian Laundrie – FBI

(Reuters) -Human remains found in a Florida wilderness park have been identified through dental records as belonging to Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of murdered woman Gabby Petito, the FBI said on Thursday.

The partial human remains were found on Wednesday in a swampy Florida wilderness area where authorities were searching for Laundrie since he was reported missing by his family in mid-September.

Laundrie, 23, had been named a “person of interest” in Petito’s death but was never criminally charged.

Petito’s disappearance last month during a cross-country road trip with Laundrie captivated the country, first as an internet sensation and then as a tabloid mystery.

Petito, 22, had last been seen alive on Aug. 26. Her body was discovered near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Medical examiners found that she had been strangled.

Petito and Laundrie, who lived with Laundrie’s parents in North Port on Florida’s west coast, embarked on their trip in early July from New York’s Long Island, where they had both attended high school.

As they traveled through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and points west, Petito documented their “van life” on social media with videos and pictures that depicted a loving couple having a.n American adventure.

She posted her final photo to Instagram on Aug. 25, the same day she last spoke to her mother by phone.

Updates: Liquid Assets Are An Important Part Of A Portfolio Because They Can Be Quickly Converted Into Cash

Generally, you should keep a portion of your overall assets as liquid assets, in case you need to get your hands on some cash.
Rachel Mendelson/Insider
You’ve probably heard the term “liquidity” thrown around when it comes to your portfolio and assets. It refers to how quickly an asset can be converted into cash. As such, liquid assets are those that can easily be sold or traded.
Liquidity is really a gauge of how much access an individual or business has to cash. The easier an asset – be it an investment, a collectible, or even a precious metal stored in a safe somewhere – can be “liquefied” for its cash value, the higher its liquidity.
“A liquid asset is something you can pay rent with next month,” says Jedidiah Collins, a certified financial planner and financial educator who runs Money Vehicle, a financial literacy program. “It’s something I can change into cash fast, to put it more simply.”
Each type of asset has a differing level of liquidity. But liquid assets tend to include things like money in bank accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and even certain types of bonds such as US Treasuries.
How liquid assets work
For an asset to be considered truly liquid, there are several boxes to tick:
A liquid asset must exist or be traded in an existing, established market. That means that there are buyers and sellers and the asset is always (or nearly always) in demand at some price. When there’s always a buyer, the asset is easy to sell or trade, making it more liquid.
A liquid asset can be converted to cash quickly. The more difficult or time consuming it is to sell an asset, the less liquid the asset is – otherwise known as illiquid. Collins says an illiquid asset is something that requires at least some leg work to exchange for cash: “An illiquid asset would be anything I need to find a buyer for. Something that there’s not a buyer readily available for.”
The process of selling or trading the asset also needs to be both secure and simple for it to be truly liquid. Think about the cash you may have in a bank account, for example. The cash in it is considered a liquid asset because the process of getting it out is as easy as a trip to the ATM. And because banks are liable for the the safely securing your funds, they’re also protected. The same goes for other assets like stocks or exchange-traded funds: Stocks can be easily traded or sold for cash since there’s always an interested buyer.
Finally, the vast majority of liquid assets also are the type most commonly owned by investors. That is, they’re things like stocks, or other easily-sold securities such as US Treasury bonds. Cash, of course, also fits the bill, as it can be used by anyone at any time.
Analyzing liquidity
When considering liquidity for businesses and organizations, analysts can use solvency and liquidity ratios to determine their ability to meet short- and long-term financial obligations. This can help them make investment or spending decisions.
There are numerous ratios that are used. Two of the most common are the quick ratio and the current ratio:
The quick ratio takes into account a company’s most liquid assets, and calculates whether it can meet its short-term (within one year) costs.
The current ratio also helps determine if a company can handle its short-term costs, but incorporates more variables into the calculation. It’s another method for calculating whether the company’s current assets exceed its liabilities.
There’s a lot more to know about these ratios alone. But remember, they’re usually used for businesses and not necessarily calculating personal liquidity.

Liquid assets examples
Assets come in a variety of types, and are spread across a spectrum of liquidity. Even among certain asset types, liquidity can vary – some real estate assets may be more liquid than others, for example.
Finalassesttable 02
Yuqing Liu/Business Insider
Here are some of the types of liquid assets:
Cash, and cash equivalents: It doesn’t get much more liquid than cash. It can be used to purchase just about anything, and doesn’t require a transaction to “liquify.” Cash equivalents, such as CDs, are in the same bucket, although there may be a fee to pay when liquify ing this type of asset.
US Treasury bills and bonds: Treasuries are bonds issued by the US government. They are among the most liquid types of bonds, as there are always buyers in the market.
Stocks: As we mentioned before, stocks are liquid in that they can easily and almost always be purchased or sold for cash at a moment’s notice. It may take some time for cash to hit your account, of course, and you may take a loss on the sale. But the speed and ease with which stocks can be liquidated is what earns them a spot on the list.
Bonds: Much like stocks and other securities, bonds can be sold at any time for cash so long as the markets are open.
Mutual funds: While not quite as liquid as other securities as they only trade at the market close, mutual funds can be liquidated for cash rather fast and easily.
ETFs: Perhaps best described as baskets of investments – like a bundle of stocks – ETFs trade on exchanges like other securities. Since they trade easily, they are likewise fairly liquid.
Foreign currency: Foreign currencies are cash, and as such, are highly liquid. You would need to exchange a foreign currency for US dollars, which may require an extra step, but in terms of liquidity, foreign currencies are among the most liquid assets you can own.
Precious metals: Gold, silver, platinum – precious metals are fairly liquid, as they’re easy to sell for cash. It might require a trip to a local coin shop to access the “market,” but in terms of liquidity, precious metals tend to tick the boxes.
Quick tip: It may be best to think of liquidity as a spectrum – different assets will have varying levels of liquidity. And within each asset class, certain assets may be more liquid than others. For instance: Certain types of bonds (Treasuries) may be more liquid than other types.
Example of illiquid assets
Conversely, illiquid assets are those that cannot be easily converted to cash. They may take a while to sell, or lack a bustling market full of potential buyers. The point is, it’ll be tough to turn these types of assets into fast cash:
Real estate: Real estate may hold a lot of value, but it is neither fast nor easy to sell. On average, it takes around two months to sell a house in the US, making real estate an illiquid asset.
Collectibles: Collectibles can be almost anything, from baseball cards to paintings. While these assets may hold value, it can be difficult to find buyers, depending on the specific market, and their values may be hard to assess. For that reason, collectibles are considered illiquid.
Stock options: Like other items on this list, stock options may be valuable, but aren’t easy to transfer or squeeze cash out of.
Private equity: Do you own a share of a business or organization? This is also called “equity,” and while it may be of some value, that value isn’t easy to tap into.
Intangible assets: It’s hard to define intangible assets since they’re, well, intangible. But they may include things like intellectual property. These would be illiquid, given their specific nature, and a lack of an immediate marketplace where they can be exchanged for cash.
The financial takeaway
Liquid assets give their owners quick and easy access to cash. They can quickly be sold, granting access to their cash value, in contrast to illiquid assets, which may take more time and effort to sell or trade. Generally, you should keep a portion of your overall assets as liquid assets, in case you need to get your hands on some cash.
A good goal? Think about how long you’d be able to maintain your lifestyle, and tackle all of your financial obligations, if you sold your liquid assets – and aim for three years’ worth of available cash. “It’s not a percentage of your portfolio that matters,” says Collins. “It’s about the protection of your lifestyle.”
REITs are a way to own real estate without becoming a landlord – here’s how they work and ways to investStart investing in mutual funds in 4 steps5-step beginner’s guide to investing in index fundsDigital assets are becoming the new normal – here’s how to buy cryptocurrency

Judge Imposes Harsher Sentence Than Requested On Man Accused Of Encouraging U.S. Capitol Rioters Updates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A judge on Thursday imposed a longer prison term than prosecutors requested on a Dallas man accused of posting inflammatory social media messages inciting people to violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 even though he did not himself participate directly in the rioting.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced Troy Smocks, 58, to 14 months incarceration and three years supervised release after he entered a guilty plea to a charge of making threats in interstate communication.

Smocks, who is Black, told the judge that the Justice Department had treated him differently than white defendants who participated directly in the riot, which followed a speech by then-President Donald Trump, a Republican, at a nearby rally repeating his false claims that his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden was the result of widespread fraud.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Smocks traveled to Washington on Jan. 5 and, using accounts under the name “ColonelTPerez” and “@Colonel007” on the Parler social media network, posted threats on Jan. 6 and 7 regarding the riots.

The Justice Department said Smocks’ threats included claims that he and others would return to the U.S. Capitol the day before Biden’s scheduled inauguration carrying weapons in large numbers and that Smocks “threatened that he and others would ‘hunt these cowards down like the Traitors that each of them are’, including “RINOS, Dems, and Tech Execs.” RINO is pejorative and stands for “Republicans in Name Only.”

Smocks has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in January and both federal prosecutor Michael Friedman and defense lawyer John Machado told the judge they believed he now should be released from jail and put on supervised release.

But Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said that while Smocks claimed to have served in the U.S. military, no official record could be found to confirm this, that Smocks had an extensive criminal history, and that he had an apparent “inability to live a law abiding life.”

“He does not appear to have any genuine remorse for his actions,” Chutkan said.