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US regulators agreed Tuesday to place tight controls on banks' trading their own accounts, in an attempt to avoid the high-risk behavior that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. The long-awaited Volcker Rule, to be fully applied by July 21, 2015, also tightly limits banks' investments in and involvement with hedge funds and private equity funds, also with the aim of distancing them from financially risky activities. The banks will still be able to engage in some activities, like hedging positions and trading for clients, that overlap with sheer trading of their own assets to generate profits, regulators said, acknowledging the frequent overlap. President Barack Obama, who has overseen efforts to reform Wall Street regulation to prevent another near-catastrophe like the 2008 crisis, said in a statement that the US financial system "will be safer and the American people are more secure because we fought to include this protection in the law."
Reigning Olympic figure skating champ Evan Lysacek has halted his comeback bid eight weeks ahead of the Sochi Games due to a nagging hip injury, the US star announced on Tuesday. Lysacek has not competed since winning gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and now says that he faces possible surgery to fix the problem. "My goal was to be 100 percent healthy for Sochi. I followed doctors orders and remained optimistic," Lysacek said.
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — A disgraced French businessman was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for filling tens of thousands of breast implants with industrial grade silicone. But he left the courthouse freely after lodging an appeal, and thousands of women will have to wait longer to discover if they will receive damages.
By Emily Stephenson and Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banks will no longer be able to make big trading bets with their own money after regulators on Tuesday finalized the Volcker rule and shut down what was a hugely profitable business for Wall Street before the credit crisis. After struggling for more than two years to craft the complex rule, five regulatory agencies signed off on the nearly 900-page reform that included new tough sections narrowing carve-outs for legitimate trades. The rule is expected to eat into revenues at large investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, even if many have already wound down some of their trading desks in anticipation of the rule's release, and may spark legal challenges. That's going to be a really important document," said Bradley Sabel, a lawyer at Shearman and Sterling in New York.
Supporters of Istanbul giant Galatasaray on Tuesday publicly paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, after the Turkish Football Federation threatened to punish two top Ivorian club players for their homage to the late South African anti-apartheid hero. Star striker Didier Drogba had removed his club shirt after a match Friday against SB Elazigspor to reveal a T-shirt that read "Thank You Madiba", using Mandela's clan name. Teammate Emmanuel Eboue also honoured the former South African president who died on Thursday with a T-shirt that said "Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela".
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's Senate was finishing its final debate Tuesday before voting on an audacious and risky plan to create the world's first national marijuana market, with the state regulating the entire process of growing, selling and using a drug that is illegal almost everywhere else in the world. Approval late Tuesday was all but assured, given the ruling coalition's majority and support from President Jose Mujica, who says he's convinced the global drug war is a failure and that state regulations can do a better job than weapons to contain addictions and defeat a thriving illegal market.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — More than 500 people have been killed over the past week in sectarian fighting in Central African Republic, aid officials said Tuesday, as France reported that gunmen fatally shot two of its soldiers who were part of the intervention to disarm thousands of rebels accused of attacking civilians.