Daily Archives: April 6, 2017

Nasdaq SMARTS Wins Three Sell-Side Technology Awards – Further Solidifying Leadership in Surveillance

SMARTS Surveillance named ‘Best Sell-Side Market Surveillance Product,’ ‘Best Alliance or Partnership’ and ‘Best Overall Sell-Side Product of the Year’

NEW YORK, April 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ), the world’s leading provider of market technology, was awarded three major awards in Waters Technology’s 2017 Sell-Side Technology Awards. Nasdaq received the awards for its SMARTS Trade Surveillance technology, which enables customers to proactively address evolving compliance challenges, as well as for strategic alliance with cognitive computing leader, Digital Reasoning, to offer next generation surveillance technology.

Nasdaq was honored with three major awards:

  • Best Sell-Side Market Surveillance Product – Nasdaq’s SMARTS Trade Surveillance has been honored as the ‘Best Sell-Side Market Surveillance Product’ for four consecutive years. The category focuses on solutions that incorporate real-time surveillance capabilities for both internal and external obligations, including pattern-recognition software and case-building capabilities.
  • Best Alliance or Partnership – This category is new for 2017 and is awarded to two technology providers that have combined their technologies or services over the course of the last 12 months into a single offering that is currently in use at a sell-side firm.
  • Best Overall Sell-Side Product of the Year– The winner of this category is selected from the 26 winning entries from each category.

“We are thrilled to be honored with three awards from Sell-Side Technology this year,” said Valerie Bannert-Thurner, Head of Nasdaq’s Risk & Surveillance Business. “These awards are a testament to our continuous innovation and dedication to delivering the most comprehensive investigative capabilities for our clients, who are the driving force behind our technology.”

As the industry benchmark for real-time and T+1 cross-market surveillance platforms, SMARTS Trade Surveillance technology leverages over 22 years of experience to create meaningful alerts that analyze complexities in trading across asset classes and trading venues. SMARTS Trade Surveillance automates the detection, investigation and analysis of potentially abusive or disorderly trading, to help improve the overall efficiency of the surveillance organization and reduce cost, even as market complexity and new regulations increase.

SMARTS Surveillance solutions are used to power monitoring in more than 45 marketplaces, 17 regulators and 140+ market participants across 65 countries.

About Nasdaq:

Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services across six continents. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 85 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to more than 3,700 listed companies with a market value of $10.0 trillion and approximately 18,000 corporate clients. To learn more, visit: nasdaq.com/ambition or business.nasdaq.com


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Court Halts One of Eight Scheduled Arkansas Executions as Amnesty International Urges Governor to Commute All Sentences

A federal judge has blocked one of eight scheduled executions from going forward in Arkansas this month, saying that the case should have more time to be considered after the state parole board recommended clemency.

Earlier in the day, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) called on Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson to halt the executions, which are scheduled over a period of 10 days later this month, with some happening twice a day.

All of the scheduled executions must be halted for good, said James Clark, campaigner at AIUSA. While the death penalty is unacceptable in any case, the judicial process should not be cut short for something as trivial as an expiration date when the stakes are so high.

The letter to the governor was signed by Margaret Huang, executive director of AIUSA, and read in part: While there can be no ‘humane’ way for the state to kill a human being, we ask that you consider the fact that Arkansas is rushing to be able to use a drug that has been shown to make prisoners die in agony.

Justice is not served by these or any executions, the letter concludes. Please consider the dignity and human rights of these eight men, and the image of the state of Arkansas presented to the world by these rapid executions.

Source: Amnesty International USA

Myanmar President Heads to Beijing Amid Reported Chinese Rethink of Myitsone dam

A Myanmar Foreign Ministry official was cautious on Thursday about reports that China was willing to walk away from a controversial $3.6 billion dam on the Irawaddy River, a project suspended in 2011 in the face of popular opposition.

Speaking at a press conference on Myanmar President Htin Kyaw’s trip to China beginning on Thursday the official told reporters to wait for government-appointed commission to deliver its recommendations on the Chinese-financed Myitsone Dam.

citing multiple sources in Myanmar, reported earlier this week that China had shifted from insisting the dam be built to being willing to abandon the project in exchange for other economic and strategic opportunities in Myanmar.

President Htin Kyaw will discuss the 6,000 megawatt dam, one of the biggest Chinese infrastructure projects approved by the military junta that ruled Myanmar until 20011, during his trip to China, two senior Myanmar officials and a person familiar with the matter told .

China is now discussing alternative options with Myanmar, including developing a number of smaller hydropower projects and securing preferential access to a strategically important port to compensate it for shelving the project, reported, citing seven sources in government or involved with the project.

One factor behind the reported change in China’s thinking was that the border province of Yunnan, which would have received the power, now has an oversupply of electricity as it switches to less energy-intensive industries amid an economic slowdown, reported.

In 2011, Myanmar’s military-backed transitional government yielded to public protests over environmental concerns � and anger over the fact that 90 percent of the dam’s electricity was expected to go to China — and suspended the project.

De facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who as opposition leader spoke out against the dam, tasked a 20-member committee last August with scrutinizing Myitsone and other planned hydropower dam projects on the Irrawaddy River and determining whether they should be allowed to proceed.

The commission’s report, originally expected in November, is now due to be released shortly.

One outstanding issue is Myanmar’s liability for the $800 million that China’s State Power Investment Corporation has already spent on feasibility and technical studies, as well as supporting infrastructure.

Copyright (copyright) 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

Tech Firms Must Go Beyond Congo’s ‘Conflict Minerals’ to Clean Supply Chain: Study

LONDON � Abuses linked to mining in countries such as Myanmar and Colombia are being overlooked by technology companies focused only on eliminating “conflict minerals” from war-torn parts of Africa in their supply chains, researchers said on Thursday.

In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), competition for mineral resources has fueled two decades of conflict in its eastern provinces, including a 1998-2003 war that killed millions, mostly from hunger and disease.

Congo’s supply of tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold – metals used in smartphones, batteries and laptops – has been under scrutiny since 2010, when U.S. laws required U.S.-listed firms to ensure supply chains were free from “conflict minerals”.

Yet the same minerals are being quarried in areas controlled by armed groups � sometimes using child labor � in countries such as Myanmar, Bolivia and Rwanda, according to research published by Verisk Maplecroft on Thursday.

The problem for tech companies was being able to trace the metals used in their products to the source mine or smelter, the risk consultancy group said in a report.

“The problem is because this is so far down the supply chain, it’s difficult for technology companies to know if those minerals they’re using are coming from irresponsibly managed operations,” said Stefan Sabo-Walsh of Verisk Maplecroft.

Sabo-Walsh told the Thomson Foundation that in the most extreme cases the minerals are excavated using forced labor in order to buy weapons and fund violence.

A convoluted process

After minerals are mined, they are sold to a middleman and usually taken to the country’s capital, where the raw metal is extracted and blended with other metals, the report said.

The blend is exported to a country such as China and then transformed for use in tech products.

The complicated process “further muddies supply chain transparency efforts” for companies that strive to only use safe and ethical extraction, Verisk Maplecroft said.

Tin, which is used in tablet computers and smartphones, was ranked as having the highest risk for labor rights violations at illegal mines.

Bolivia, Myanmar and Indonesia, some of the largest tin-producing countries, pose an “extreme risk” for child labor at tin mines, the research showed.

Some smaller mines are not run by armed groups but still hurt the environment and local communities and are difficult to police, Sabo-Walsh said.

At illegal mines, waste water runoff often makes its way into local water sources, polluting the supply, he said.

“Organizations need to be aware of the bigger picture when sourcing minerals from different countries � otherwise they risk a consumer backlash or regulatory penalties from the raft of emerging supply chain legislation,” he said in a statement.

Source: Voice of America