Tag Archives: quotation mark

The Poussin painting stolen by the Nazis found in Italy, returned to its Jewish owners | Instant News

A painting by French master Nicolas Poussin, stolen by Nazi soldiers from French Jewish owners in 1944, has been found in Italy and returned to its rightful owner, Italian police said on Thursday.

An oil painting of the 17th century Baroque painter, entitled “Lot with his two daughters serving him drinks”, was confiscated from the home of an antiques dealer near Padua.

Measuring 120 by 150 cm (47 by 59 inches), it was stolen during World War II when German soldiers occupied the house of a Jewish owner at Poitiers in western France, Italian police specializing in cultural heritage said in a press release.

The owners began searching for their stolen property after the war in 1946.

The work was listed in 1947 in the “Directory of property plundered in France during the war 1939-1945” published by the French restitution bureau.

The investigation was launched again last year when the heirs, a 98-year-old Swiss woman and a 65-year-old American man, filed a complaint through their Italian lawyer.

The whereabouts of the painting were not known until 2017 when it was brought to Italy from France by an Italian antiques dealer, who sent it to Belgium for display, police said.

Two years later, another antiques dealer from Milan, whom the police say is the original owner, sent the work to an international art exhibition in Maastricht in the Netherlands.

There, a Dutch art expert recognized him from an official list of French art stolen during the war.

The painting was found inside the dealer house and returned to its rightful owner, police said.

Artwork plundered by Nazi invaders during the war continues to be found around the world, often causing protracted court battles to return the work to its rightful owner.


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Australia’s Largest Casino Company Lose Big On License Findings | Instant News

Australia’s biggest gambling company, Crown Resorts, is facing a crisis of its own consequences after damning reports that it is not feasible to open its newest casino.

Crown has opened the doors to the sleek and sparkling 75-story Crown Sydney skyscraper, which is now the tallest building in Sydney. Hotels and restaurants are open to customers. But the gambling floor will likely remain closed for a while.

It’s because of former judge Patricia Bergin released its findings that the company is “unfit” to hold a gambling license. Casino license applicants with Crown’s “stark reality of facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in foreign jurisdictions and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals with connections to the Triads and organized crime groups will not be certain of a positive outcome,” Bergin wrote.

Bergin’s report could be disastrous for Crown. If Crown is deemed unfit to hold a gambling license in Sydney and around New South Wales, it is hard to imagine how well reputed it is in Melbourne and Perth, where it already operates a casino. And politicians are starting to ask those questions.

“If they are, as has been found, unfit to hold a license in Sydney, of course they are just as unfit to hold a license in any other jurisdiction,” said Andrew Wilkie, a lawmaker campaigning against gambling, according to a report. from Reuters.

However, the stock has not been battered. Crown shares plunged 8.9% at the open on Wednesday but quickly recovered most of it, ending up with a 3.4% loss. Shares have generally held up since last summer despite public hearings during Bergin’s investigation that raised serious questions about Crown’s management practices.

This price movement shows investors do not expect Bergin’s findings to color the whole company. Crown may move on to overhaul its executive ranks. Its largest shareholder, James Packer, is likely to step up his efforts to sell his 35.9% stake, possibly to a Las Vegas company.

Crown on Tuesday had requested a halt to trading in its shares until Thursday or when Bergin’s report came out. However since the report was released on Tuesday afternoon, trading resumed here on Wednesday. A total of 5.3 million shares changed hands. Sales may increase on Thursday.

The crown comes from the kingdom of James Packer’s father, Kerry Packer, who lived a big life literally and in the public imagination. Kerry himself is a great gambler, on the table and in corporate terms. According to the story, a Texas oil tycoon once bragged that he had a fortune of US $ 60 million while trying to get Kerry to play him at poker. Kerry should have pulled out a coin and said, “I’ll throw you for that!” Malcom Turnbull, who later became Australia’s prime minister, said Kerry Packer threatened to kill him when they clashed over a business dispute.

Kerry’s son, James, now heads the Crown kingdom. With a net worth of $ 3.6 billion, he is the ninth richest person in Australia, based on Forbes. But he has stepped back from executive control and may now even want to leave the company. Lieutenant Packer on the Crown board, Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston, resigned Wednesday, leaving Packer without a representative on top.

Crown shares fell 50% as the pandemic hit, with casinos losing foreign gamblers and competing with local lockdowns. But Crown had largely recovered by mid-2020. The stock was one-third of the high price set in August 2018, but does not represent the drawbacks you might expect from a casino operator who has been told it is unsuitable for running a casino.

New South Wales gambling regulators will meet later this month to discuss Bergin’s report and decide whether Crown accepts a Sydney license. It seems that the previous conclusion that the license will be rejected.

Crown has not been successful in its efforts to expand overseas, although it has started a successful joint venture in Macau. The consequences of this partnership in the former Portuguese territory are still being felt.

Crown has tried several times to enter the Las Vegas casino market, recently buying a piece of land in 2014 that is expected to transform into the 1,100-room Alon Las Vegas casino. But never got a shovel on the ground and sold the plot in 2018 to Wynn Resorts (WYNN).

Crown ran into trouble in mainland China in 2016, where 16 of its employees were jailed for finding whales, or top players, to come and play at the company’s casinos. It is illegal to invite people to gamble in China, where only Macau is allowed to operate casinos. Partly because of problems in China, Crown decided to focus on its operations in Australia.

James Packer and Lawrence Ho, who are heirs to a gambling fortune, formed a joint venture in 2004 to operate a casino in Macau, with two offspring as co-chairs. But despite helping build three highly profitable casino resorts in Macau, Crown sold out its US $ 1.2 billion stake in 2017.

It was Packer’s close relationship with Ho that led to a reference to Crown’s business dealings with entities associated with the Chinese triad gangster. Lawrence Ho’s father, Stanley Ho, held a gambling monopoly in Macau for 40 years, where underground links to the gambling industry exist and are widespread. The area’s image has improved since the monopoly broke in 2002 and the Las Vegas operator entered. But even the Vegas company has faced accusations that triads operated their junket operations and high-risk private spaces in the back rooms.

US gambling regulators have ruled that Stanley Ho and his daughter Pansy Ho have links to Chinese organized crime. That forces the MGM Mirage (MGM), which has a joint venture with Pansy Ho in Macau, to submit its license in New Jersey.

Packer agreed in May 2019 to sell his 19.9% ​​stake in Crown Resorts to Lawrence Ho for US $ 1.76 billion. That would bring Packer’s former Macau partners to the limit of permitted ownership in Australia before minority shareholders had to bid for the entire company. Lawrence Ho said publicly that he would be interested in enlarging his interest.

However, Australian gambling regulators have balked at Lawrence Ho’s involvement, sparking a review by the New South Wales gambling regulator that has recently concluded. They noted that Stanley’s father, who later died, owned shares in his son’s company through a company that was prohibited from doing business in Australia.

In February 2020, Lawrence Ho postponed the purchase of Crown shares, which will be carried out in two stages. The second sale of 9.99% ownership discontinued, and Melco sold the original 9.99% block to Blackstone Group (BX) with a 37.3% discount from the price paid. Ho said he wanted to focus on the Macau market because of the financial problems stemming from the coronavirus.

James Packer, who stepped down as executive chairman of Crown’s board in 2019, citing mental health reasons, still wants to sell his holdings. Previous discussions with Wynn over his entire 36% stake were canceled when it became public knowledge.

The company now looks set to continue without Packer’s involvement, and potentially without his ownership if he sells most of the stock. It may have been his dismissal that ultimately resulted in revisiting licensing issues for casinos in Sydney and determining the company’s future.

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Germany sues 100 year old Nazi concentration camp guards | Instant News

A 100-year-old former concentration camp guard has been charged with involvement in 3,518 murders as Germany races to bring surviving Nazi staff to justice, prosecutors told AFP Monday.

The man was accused of “knowingly and willingly” of assisting in the murder of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

Germany, Sachsenhausen concentration camp

Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany

(Photo: Shutterstock)

He was deemed fit for trial despite his age, the public prosecutor’s office in the city of Neuruppin confirmed after the story was reported by broadcaster NDR.

The case comes days after German prosecutors charged a former secretary at a Nazi concentration camp with involvement in the murder of 10,000 people, in the first case in years of a woman.

The 95-year-old defendant had worked at the Stutthof camp near Danzig, now Gdansk, in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Germany has been hunting down former Nazi staff since the 2011 sentence of former guard John Demjanjuk on the grounds that he served as part of the Nazi killing machine set a legal precedent.

Germany, Sachsenhausen concentration campGermany, Sachsenhausen concentration camp

Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Since then, courts have convicted several convictions on that basis, not for murder or atrocities directly related to the accused individual.

Among those brought to trial late were Oskar Groening, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at the same camp. Both were convicted of involvement in the mass murder at the age of 94 but died before they could be jailed.

Former Nazi concentration camp guard Bruno Dey was convicted at the age of 93Former Nazi concentration camp guard Bruno Dey was convicted at the age of 93

Former Nazi concentration camp guard Bruno Dey was convicted last year at the age of 93

(Photo: AP)

In the latest verdict, the former SS guard, Bruno Dey, was found guilty at the age of 93 and sentenced to two years probation.

A case was filed against another former guard at Stutthof in July for involvement in the murders of several hundred people.


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Germany’s Buchenwald camp knocks on ‘impolite’ tobacco | Instant News

The German memorial at the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald on Thursday demanded an end to visitors playing winter sports at the site, after some were even seen sledding on mass graves.

Criticizing the “disrespectful” behavior, the foundation asked guests to refrain from free time in Buchenwald and the former Mittelbau-Dora subcamp in eastern Germany.

The former Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald

The former Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald

(Photo: picture)

“The sporting activity is a violation of visitor regulations and unsettles the dead,” he said in a statement, warning that his security staff would increase patrols and violators would be reported to the police.

The foundation’s director, Jens-Christian Wagner, told the Der Spiegel news site that a “mass” of daytrippers had gathered at the site over the weekend and most seemed to come to have fun in the snow.

“Some of the sled lines end up in mass graves,” he said.

Mass grave in Buchenwald Mass grave in Buchenwald

Mass grave in Buchenwald

(Photo: picture)

Wagner said he can understand that many families with children want to spend time outside, especially during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus, but the warning expects appropriate behavior from its visitors.

“Over time, historical sensibilities have faded,” he said.

More than 76,000 men, women and children died in Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora during World War II. They were killed by the Nazis or died from illness, cold or hunger.

Thousands of Jews were among the dead, but also Roma, gypsies and Nazi political opponents, gays and Soviet prisoners of war.

Local Jews in Thuringia place flowers in mass graves during Holocaust Remembrance Day Local Jews in Thuringia place flowers in mass graves during Holocaust Remembrance Day

Local Jews in Thuringia place flowers in mass graves during Holocaust Remembrance Day

(Photo: AP)

Last January, the head of the Buchenwald foundation, Volkhard Knigge, warned that unwanted visits from neo-Nazis were becoming an escalating problem ahead of the 75th anniversary of camp liberation.

“We are increasingly finding messages in the guestbook claiming that Nazism and concentration camps make sense and are good for Germany,” he told German media.


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The UK is on a COVID-19 lockdown – how much will it cost? | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on Monday night saying the highly contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was first identified in Britain is spreading so fast that it risks weighing on healthcare.

Britain on Tuesday announced 4.6 billion pounds ($ 6.2 billion) in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs.

Here’s a quote about the impact.


“This new strain of virus presents all of us with a big challenge – and while a vaccine is being rolled out, we need to tighten the restrictions further.

“Throughout the pandemic we have taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we are announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs through the spring.

“This will help businesses get through the coming months – and most importantly will help keep jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they can reopen.”


“I want to say to everyone across Great Britain that I know how difficult this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have more than enough government guidance on how to beat this virus. But now, more than ever, we must work together. “


“The leave scheme is set to run until the end of April, and a further extension is likely as recovery dates have been pushed further. While the ever-increasing size of the fiscal deficit will put pressure on the BoE (Bank of England) to adjust for larger QE purchases – for example, a 50 billion pound increase would appear to be on average on this metric – in November the BoE indicated that they have done more than necessary (+ £ 150 billion) on a risk management basis.

“As those risks are now taking place, it is unclear if they want to do more directly: The BoE has laid out a buying program that is expected to occur by the end of this year, and has indicated that it will only increase its weekly buying pace if there is any sign. – a sign of a new disturbance in the market. “


“Although welcomed, the new lockdown provided support from Rishi Sunak and the Ministry of Finance in stages.

“Ministers need to put in place a clear package of support for the whole of 2021 – not just through Spring – to help businesses of all shapes and sizes survive this difficult and uncertain year.”


“We are very pleased that the Ministry of Finance has accepted our recommendation to increase local government discretionary grants. This policy has helped reach those who are not yet able to access other support. The government must be ready to increase funds if necessary.

“Chancellors must remain vigilant against the edge of a springy cliff in business support as leave schemes and other support measures weaken. Businesses will also be interested in the government to continue working on its plans for vaccine launches, to support their planning.

“The path of the virus is very uncertain, and the Government must be agile in responding to prevent prolonged economic damage.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden and Kate Holton


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