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US probe after Goldman investment in Facebook

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A Goldman Sachs investment of nearly half a billion dollars into Facebook has spawned a probe by US regulators eager to safeguard the dividing line between public and private companies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

US media earlier this week said that investment giant Goldman had poured 450 million dollars into Facebook and that a Russian investment firm, Digital Sky Technologies, sank another 50 million dollars into the social networking site.

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The Journal reported however that the federal Security and Exchange Commission has begun examining whether disclosure rules for privately held firms need to be rewritten as a result of recent deals allowing investors to buy shares in Internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook’s agreement with Goldman Sachs Group to create an investment vehicle that will allow some of the securities firm’s richest clients to buy as much as 1.5 billion dollars of equity in Facebook has caused the SEC to re-examine the divide between public and private companies, The Journal wrote.

SEC rules require firms with 500 or more shareholders of record in a given type of stock to publicly disclose certain financial information. The requirement is designed to protect investors from risking money on companies that say little about their operations and performance.

Citing people familiar with the probe, the financial daily wrote that the review is at an early stage and that SEC officials looking at the recent deals have not concluded that any of them run afoul of the 47-year-old rules governing private companies.

The fast-growing Facebook website has more than 500 million active users per month worldwide as subscribers “friend” their contacts and share their activities.

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Its founder Mark Zuckerberg, 26, recently named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” has resisted pressure to launch an initial public offering of stocks.

With this reported fresh investment, Facebook has a bigger capitalization than Boeing, at 48.7 billion dollars, or Time Warner, about 36 billion.

Yet its annual revenue, primarily based on advertising, is estimated at two billion dollars, compared with Boeing’s 64.62 billion and Time Warner’s 26.5 billion.

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John Oliver explains how the Ukraine scandal so stupid even Fox News ‘idiot’ Steve Doocy should understand it

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver closed out his season with a special report for Fox News hosts who seem to be struggling with the basic understanding of things like "bribery" or the concept that attempted crimes are still actually crimes.

At the top of Sunday's show, Oliver played a clip of Fox News host Laura Ingraham who made the argument that if Trump tried to commit a crime and didn't manage to pull it off, then he's clearly innocent.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution," proclaimed Ingraham, forgetting about what "high crimes and misdemeanors" covers. "Remember, Ukraine got its aid, it was 14 days delayed, big deal. And Ukraine never made any public statement about the investigation."

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This is the energy executive who first exposed Trump’s Ukraine scandal: report

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CNN host Chris Cuomo did a special investigative report by Drew Griffin looking at the money trail from Russia to President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal.

"You probably don’t know Dale Perry, but history may record this energy executive as one of the first who sounded the alarm about what would become President Trump’s impeachment inquiry," said Griffin. "In April, Perry’s former business partner Andrew Favorov, now a director at Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz, says two shady characters had approached him, with a secret management plan to take over the management from the inside. Those two shady characters Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are two low-level, Soviet-born businessmen from south Florida. And they were trying to clear the way for their own gas business."

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‘A slam-dunk-case’: MSNBC analysts predict GOP will defend Trump — and ‘the guy is going to get off’

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More evidence was outed Sunday as the Wall Street Journal revealed emails from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who promised to keep the White House abreast of President Donald Trump's demand for an investigation by Ukraine. The news prompted an MSNBC panelists to explain that it wouldn't matter how much evidence was presented, Republicans will never vote to remove Trump.

Host Geoff Bennett asked about the witness testimony and preponderance of evidence that "all points in one direction at this point, that President Trump orchestrated this entire" Ukraine investigations.

"It's a slam dunk case, and yet we know the guy is going to get off," said Los Angels Times White House reporter Eli Stokols. "That's effectively what you're saying. Because all the testimony has lined up so closely, the fact that [EU Ambassador Gordon] Sondland has come to come in, and because testimony from [Ambassador Bill] Taylor and others, has had to change testimony, Republicans have no choice -- the president has no choice but to try to dismiss the entire thing as partisan."

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