- - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FRANCE

Ex-trader must pay $6.7 billion for fraud

PARIS | Ex-trader Jerome Kerviel was convicted on all counts Tuesday in history’s biggest rogue trading scandal, sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay his former employer $6.7 billion in damages.

The ruling marked a huge victory for Societe Generale SA, one of France’s most blue-blooded banks, which has worked to clean up its image and impose tougher risk controls since the scandal broke in 2008.

The 33-year-old former futures index trader was found guilty of forgery, breach of trust and unauthorized computer use for covering up bets between late 2007 and early 2008.

SWEDEN

Nobel physics prize for ultrathin carbon

STOCKHOLM | Two Russian-born scientists shared the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for “groundbreaking experiments” with the thinnest, strongest material known to mankind — a carbon vital for the creation of faster computers and transparent touch screens.

University of Manchester professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov used Scotch tape to isolate graphene, a form of carbon only one atom thick but more than 100 times stronger than steel, and showed it has exceptional properties, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Experiments with graphene could lead to the development of superstrong materials with which to make satellites, airplanes and cars.

CHINA

Gates, counterpart set to meet soon

The Pentagon on Tuesday said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates likely will meet his Chinese counterpart next week at a conference in Vietnam because Beijing resumed military ties with Washington.

In a sign military-to-military relations are back on track, officials are working out details for a meeting between Mr. Gates and Gen. Liang Guanglie, China’s defense minister, on the sidelines of an ASEAN conference in Hanoi.

In addition to the possible meeting in Hanoi, U.S. and Chinese officials are also hopeful that Mr. Gates will visit Beijing in coming months, possibly early next year, Pentagon officials said. The Chinese have already issued an invitation.

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