French ‘rogue trader’ Kerviel loses bid for retrial

Jerome Kerviel has been trying for almost a decade to shift the blame on to Société Générale for the €4.9 billion loss he was found guilty of causing at the bank a decade ago. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2018
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French ‘rogue trader’ Kerviel loses bid for retrial

  • The former French investment banker’s trades cost his employer Société Générale €4.9 billion
  • Kerviel has fought a 10-year legal battle against his former employer, alleging that his superiors were aware of his trading

PARIS: Jerome Kerviel, the former French investment banker whose trades cost his employer Société Générale €4.9 billion, lost a legal bid Thursday to force a retrial following his 2010 conviction, a lawyer acting for the bank said.
A French legal commission that deals with requests for retrials “has decided that there was nothing new, that Mr.Kerviel’s request was without basis,” a lawyer acting for Société Générale, Jean Veil, told reporters.
Kerviel was sentenced to a five-year prison term in 2010, with two years suspended, for breach of trust, forgery and entering false data over his huge trading losses which he attempted to hide from the bank.
The losses amount to $5.8 billion at current exchange rates.
The former trader, now aged 41, has fought a 10-year legal battle against his former employer, alleging that his superiors were aware of his trading and then attempted to manipulate the judicial investigation afterwards.
Kerviel, who was released from jail after four months behind bars, has lost two previous appeals against his convictions in 2012 and 2014.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.