Obama administration to fine French banking giant for violating sanctions rules

BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe
CC Monday Insight

BNP Paribas' CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe has informed his staff that the French banking giant will be fined heavily by American authorities. 

"I want to be clear, we will be punished severely," Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in the internal memo. 

The bank could be fined $8.9 billion for allegedly violating sanctions rules as early as Monday, reports suggest. 

The Financial Times and New York Times also report that the bank will, unusually, admit guilt.

The bank is accused of breaking sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba between 2002 and 2009.
"This is good news for all staff and for our clients," Mr. Bonnafe said. "It will enable us to remove the current uncertainties that are weighing on our group. We will be able to put behind us these problems, which belong to the past. "The difficulties that we are currently experiencing must not affect our future plans."There have been months of speculation about the fine, which could force BNP to slash its dividends and issue billions of euros of bonds, reports say.In April, BNP Paribas said it had set aside $1.1 billion to cover the cost of U.S. penalties, but warned that the "amount of the fines could be far in excess of the amount of the provision". The bank's share price has fallen more than 15% since the beginning of April. If the latest reports are correct, the fine could almost wipe out BNP's entire 2013 pre-tax income of about $11.2 billion. Earlier this month, one of the European Union's top officials intervened in the controversy.Michel Barnier, the EU's internal markets commissioner, said any penalty on the giant French bank must be "fair and objective". Reports at the time suggested the fine would be in the region of $10 billion.France's President Francois Hollande has also raised the matter with U.S. President Barack Obama.As part of the deal with U.S. authorities, BNP may be suspended from converting foreign currencies into dollars, reports suggest, which would hit its ability to operate in international wholesale banking markets.Reports say U.S. authorities are keen to make an announcement on the settlement early in the week.


Intellectual Capital: Bringing technology to the urban teen


As technological advancements continue to shape both the national and global landscape, a certain group has continually been left behind on this journey of innovation through inspiration. I used the latter term to define the very idea of discovery through the activation of one's intuitive and imaginative senses.... which of course is the defining factor in how technologically advanced a society or a people become.
For far too long, African-American children in particular have been discouraged from the sciences and mathematics. For young black males or females to even phanthom the idea of exploring a career in the technological field or the sciences, would mean to be branded as "trying to be white", unfortunately by their own kind.
Society, on the other hand found it convenient to pidgeon-hole the black child as a budding athlete or entertainer never once even considering the intellectual acumen and intutive dexterity that goes into music production, from the writing of the lyrics to the very art of incorporating various technical and professional nuances into the art of recording, itself.
As an immigrant to the United States, I myself experienced this unfortunate prejudice as I took science, economics and other technical classes, in the course of attaining my educational and professional qualifications. I even had the personal experience of an instructor that asked me if I was cheating as I routinely made mockery of his Organic Chemistry exams at will.
Times have however changed and as America and indeed the world's landcsape continues to be reshaped by technological advancements, African-Americans and other children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds must embrace technology and the sciences.
It is along those lines that Mosaic Blueprint, a Vancouver, Washington based diversity recruiting firm, seeks to encourage young urban kids with its urban technology initiative aptly dubbed the iUrban Teen Tech program.
Sponsored by the likes of Google and NIKE among others, Mosaic Blueprint’s iUrban Teen Academy brings together under-served and underrepresented Teens in an all day, immersive technology event that shares opportunities in a myriad of technical careers.
At these events, attendees will learn about what’s new in the amazing world of technology and preview hands-on, cutting edge products, including mobile applications for students on the go, gaming and much more.
The events are free to attend and participate while presenting children who would otherwise not have the opportunity, an environment that spurs their technological and innovative senses.
Participation in activities of this nature serves to increase the awareness of the children to the dynamic and enlightening world of technology.
In the end, America can only be better off for this as technology remains the one space where an individual's background and formal education hardly matters. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both college drop-outs and they both have gone on to shape the world in ways they probably never envisioned, even in their wildest dreams.
Mosaic Blueprint has shown through this key initiative that America's best resource remains its Intellectual Capital and it is one asset that comes in all colors and must be treasured.
About Mosaic Blueprint
Mosaic Blueprint is a boutique firm located in the Pacific NW specializing in recruiting, communications, consulting and outplacement services on a national level.
Our practice areas include, but not limited to; Executive Search, Diversity and Inclusion Consulting, Executive Coaching, Resume and Career Transition Services.
We are committed to the principles and implementation of diversity and social inclusion in our practice and services - it's one of our core values. Being a diverse organization enables us to be dynamic and innovative in a period of major change and helps us identify and meet the diversity needs of our clients. We partner with some of the top diversity practitioners across the country to bring our clients the best solutions for diversity and inclusion.


Ghanaian "prophet" predicted Ghana would get to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup™

Ghana crashed out following a 2-1 loss to Portugal
CC Videorama

Well, going by the results of the final group games played yesterday, he may actually not have heard from God as Ghana crashed out courtesy of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Portugal.

Here is the video (below) of his prediction last December.

Nothing beats video evidence as it can't be refuted.


Spain: As del Bosque ponders his future, look for La Furia Roja to bounce back

Spain won Euro 2008(L), 2010 World Cup(C) and Euro 2012(R)
CC World Cup Insight
Vicente del Bosque will decide on his future as Spain coach in the coming days after his side ended their participation in the 2014 World Cup with a 3-0 win over Australia.
The world champions finished third in Group B, having suffered two shock defeats against Netherlands and Chile.
Asked about his future, Del Bosque replied: "In the next few days, or next week. There's no rush."
Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012 under the 63-year-old. 
He added: "The president, the general secretary and I will talk and look for the best solutions for our football, sensibly and sensitively.
"We will do what is best for our football."
Despite reports suggesting the veteran midfielders Xavi, 34, and Xabi Alonso, 32, will leave the international set-up, Del Bosque said age would not be a factor when it comes to planning for the future.
"There are still players who can help the national team a great deal and we must remain aware of that," he said. "I won't rule out anyone because of age.
"We've been in control of the national team for six years now and have topped the Fifa rankings.
"This group of players has been a lesson for everyone, they've been really good players and now it's been our time to lose.
"We have to move on to the next qualification phase (the European Championship) and whoever the next manager is, the future is safe.
Yes, the future is indeed safe. One that actually began to be shaped in 1999.
Between 1999 and 2014, Spain won the U-20 World Cup (Iker Casillas and Xavi were on that Nigeria '99 team); finished with silver at Sydney 2000 Olympics football tournament; were second-best to Nigeria at the 2007 U-17 World Cup in Korea; won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, with a first FIFA World Cup™ victory also sandwiched between the those latter triumphs, at South Africa 2010.
What a run indeed and Spain has shown everyone that there are no short-cuts to lasting success.
All through their successes, they have had only two coaches from 2006 to 2014 (an eight-year period) and have never wavered from their administrative, technical and tactical philosophy.
They are not going anywhere anytime soon and it will not surprise anyone if they start another run at the next European Championship.
They are that good and that deep..... for years to come.


Can Africa send four teams to the round of 16?

Horst Hrubesch scored in the infamous "accord match".
CC World Cup Update

As things currently stand, Africa may send at least three teams out of its allotted five to the next round of the ongoing FIFA World Cup™.

Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Algeria currently lie in second place in their respective groups and the three could conceivably move on to the round of 16 if they avoid defeat in their final matches.

Cameroon on the other hand has already been eliminated while Ghana may lose out to a potential "accord match" (the Germans have a history of doing just that to African opposition) between Germany and the United States, even if they (Ghana) defeat Portugal in their final group match.

It would indeed be a major victory for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) if at least three teams go through to the round of 16, but the latter needs to alert FIFA to a potential "fix" between the Germans and the United States (the U.S. coach is a German legend) in their final match, as both teams only need a draw to ensure their dual qualifications for the next round.

It would indeed be another black eye for world football if the disgrace of 1982 were to repeat itself.

Ghana however has itself to blame for being in this precarious situation as they should have won their game against the United States considering how much they (Ghana) dominated that game.

It was indeed a match they should have won, but credit must go to the United States for grinding out a hard-earned victory.

Here are the current standings as it relates to Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.....

Group C
2Ivory Coast203

Group F
Group G
Group H
4South Korea2-21

Highlights of "accord match" between West Germany and Austria that eliminated Algeria in 1982.....

It was an absolute disgrace!


Ghana hold Germany in thrilling match as Nigeria prepares to take on Bosnia.....

CC World Cup Update

Ghana played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Germany in a pulsating World Cup match at the Estadio Castelao Fortaleza in Brazil.

All the goals came in the second-half of the Group G contest as strikers Miroslav Klose and Asamoah Gyan both equaled FIFA World Cup™ scoring records, with Gyan tying the immortal Roger Milla of Cameroon as the top-scoring African in World Cup history and Klose also now tied with Brazil's Ronaldo as the top marksman in World Cup history.

Later today, Nigeria play Bosnia-Herzegovina in a must-win match for both teams. 

Here is Nigeria's projected line-up for the game courtesy of @OfficialKeshi.....

STARTING XI: Enyeama,Yobo (c), Oshaniwa, Efe, Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Obi, Babatunde Michael, Osaze, Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike. 

A surprising inclusion to the Nigeria line-up is Michael Babatunde as one would have expected a creative and diminutive player like Ejike Uzoenyi would have been injected into the line-up along with the speedy Musa. 

Watch the Nigeria-Bosnia match live here.....


England lose to Uruguay and look set to exit World Cup early.....

Rooney scored first World Cup goal
CC World Cup Update

In another display of defensive naivety, England were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay courtesy of two Luis Suarez goals in a match played at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Yet again, England lacked the requisite cutting edge in the final third and despite their obvious superior talent (as was also the case in their 2-1 loss to Italy), were made to pay by another experienced side at the World Cup.

England are now bottom of their group with zero points from two matches and will need a miracle to advance to the next round.

Italy and Uruguay will play tomorrow for a chance to take an unassailable lead of the group.


Breaking! Defending champions Spain out of World Cup!

The end for Spain?
CC World Cup Update

Defending champions Spain lost 0-2 to Chile in their World Cup match played at the Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both Holland and Chile now go through to the next round with 6 points each ahead of their next game, coincidentally, against each other.

This is indeed a shocker as Spain was widely expected to qualify from this group.

It has however been quite a run by "La Roja Furia" as they have won just about everything the last 6 years, namely two European Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.

They were however beaten by hosts Brazil in the final of last year's FIFA Confederations Cup.

Maurice Edu's Nigerian roots shaped his drive and commitment to his craft.....

CC Weekend Sports

After spending several seasons abroad playing in Scotland, England and Turkey, Maurice Edu was called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup this summer but did not make it past the final round of cuts.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at Edu’s family life and it profiles his upbringing by his Nigerian parents in California. Edu’s father played soccer (football) in Nigeria and both his parents played a huge role in his success on the pitch and in the classroom.


I am sorry, but these Eagles are destined not to fly.....

Stephen Keshi
By Remi DaCosta

In a piece I wrote almost exactly 120 days ago, I called attention to the impending implosion of Nigeria's Super Eagles at this year's FIFA World Cup if our football stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians did not call Stephen Keshi and the Football Federation of Nigeria (NFF) to order.

Well, it seems I have been proven right at the initial onset with the listless performance of the Super Eagles against a very poor Iranian side, that essentially "parked the bus" against an inexperienced and poorly coached Nigerian team.

As a Nigerian, I believe it is imperative that I make it abundantly clear that I want this team to do well.

However, the handwriting has been on the wall since the 1-1 draw against "mighty" Kenya in Calabar.

In fact, going back as far as the Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso, it was apparent that the team lacked the requisite bite in the final third as they actually should have put Burkina Faso to the proverbial sword much sooner, had they (Nigeria) not been so profligate in front of goal.

The team struggled to score in that final game simply because one player, Emmanuel Emenike was out injured. Nigeria has never been built like that as far as I have known. We have always had players in all positions with the ability to score at any time.

The problem though was that Keshi, who was essentially the "king of the Super Eagles mafia" in those days, had again brought his well-known lack of man-management skills (same when he was with Togo and Mali) to the Super Eagles and was clashing with all the key players Nigeria needed to take this team to the next level.

Nigeria huffed and puffed its way through the qualifiers against "world beaters" such as Namibia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi and had to wait till the last day to grind out a listless 2-0 victory over Ethiopia, a country better known for producing long distance runners.

Everyone that had the ability to analyze the team pointed to the ominous flaws in the team, but Keshi, in his usual stubborn stance (that always seems to defy logic) continued to ride his self-destructive ego by alienating the proven strikers we had such as Anichebe, Martins and Ikechukwu Uche, among others.

We all continued to shout at the top of our voices, but we were always met with accusations of bias (including tribalism) by his ardent supporters who refuse to see anything wrong with a man whose antecedents point to a recurring penchant for self-destruction, by virtue of an over-bearing ego and debilitating stubbornness.

When Keshi finally released his team list, we all saw the handwriting on the wall. Although we welcomed the inclusion of Osaze Odemwingie, an experienced player with an eye for goal, there were some suspect call-ups (including the likes of Gabriel Reuben, Juwon Oshaniwa, Michael Uchebo and Michael Babatunde) that had absolutely no business being anywhere near the Eagles' training camp, much less on the plane to Brazil.

When you add the suspect call ups to Keshi's laziness (never scouts his opponents) and inability to offer the requisite technical and tactical input (pre-game and in-game), it is easy to see why this team is destined to struggle and did just that against a vastly inferior Iranian team.

This is not the African Nations Cup and as such those who are expecting another miracle should just forget about it. As a Nigerian that bleeds the Green-White-Green of that great nation, I hope this team does well and represents Africa with distinction.

It is however clear that regardless of how the team performs at this competition, Stephen Keshi and his band of agents (including Daniel Amokachi) need to be shown the door to prevent them from destroying the next generation of great talent we have coming through the ranks.

Nigeria and Nigerians deserve better as we have the talent pool needed to put us at the top for years to come..... with the right person at the helm.

Stephen Keshi is not that person and we wish him well on his new assignment with South Africa or any of the other five countries he says want him.


Implicating top Nigerian generals and other senior security personnel for sponsoring Boko Haram

CC Investigative by Remi DaCosta

Ten generals and five other senior military officers have been found guilty in courts-martial of providing arms and information to Boko Haram extremists, according to credible intelligence sources, although the military has so far denied the reports.

This is not surprising as there have been accusations from top politicians and national stakeholders that the upper echelon of the Nigerian military, which has been effectively compromised more-so under this current administration, have been helping the Islamic extremists, with some rank-and-file soldiers reportedly fighting alongside the insurgents and then returning to army camps.

Intelligence sources told CC that the recent reshuffling of President Jonathan's top security team has in-fact done more harm than good as some of the recently appointed security chiefs, a 'recurring' appointee in particular, are heavily sympathetic to the Boko Haram sect. 

The 'recurring' appointee, intelligence sources told CC has been one of the sect's most ardent financial and political supporters for years and continues to nurse incendiary aspirations for the top job at Aso Rock.

The irony of our investigative findings is that the support for the murderous sect actually cuts across ethnic lines and is rooted in political and strategic mischief on the part of both the incumbent government of Goodluck Jonathan and a core of his political opponents.

While the military continues to deny the reports, there is increasing proof (as evidenced by the recent spate of mutinous behavior by the front-line troops) that there are moles in the administration of President Jonathan from top to bottom, making it next-to-impossible for the mission of defeating Boko Haram to be accomplished.

It is inconceivable that the same Nigerian military that has distinguished itself for decades both locally and internationally (including an enviable peace keeping record across the globe) is all of a sudden incapable of defeating a rag-tag group of misfits and thugs masquerading as viable insurgents.

President Jonathan needs to stop deceiving himself, the Nigerian masses and indeed the whole world and for once grow a pair. 

He needs to clear house and put people in place that are truly committed to not only defeating Boko Haram, but ensuring that the general state of insecurity in Nigeria becomes a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, I doubt he will. 


Donald Trump in "typical fight" with Chicago Mayor over sign on his downtown skyscraper

CC News

Donald Trump is at it again! 

This time, the real estate mogul is fighting with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over a sign affixed to his (Trump's) downtown skyscraper. 

The 20 ft tall TRUMP sign was placed 200 ft above the Chicago river and is back-lit by bright lights. 

Mr Emanuel's office said the mayor believed the "architecturally tasteful building" was "scarred" by the sign. 

But Mr Trump has said the sign is "magnificent" and "popular" and argued the city previously signed off on it.

It enhances the building, he said, stating that the building itself was "a great piece of architecture, great for Chicago".
"Cities love the [Trump] brand and we are getting tweets, letters and phone calls from people who just love it [the sign]."
The real estate magnate and prolific tweeter blamed Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune's architecture critic, for stirring up controversy with his harsh criticism during the sign's recent installation.
"If this sign was in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, nobody would care - but it is in Chicago, and in a part of Chicago full of great buildings from the 1920s to the 1960s and onward," Mr Kamin, a Pulitzer Prize-winner said.
None of the other towers have signs on them, he added, calling the Trump sign an "egotistical overstatement".
Mr Trump built the Trump International Hotel and Tower six years ago to replace an ageing Chicago Sun-Times building with its own sign. It is now the second-tallest building in the city.
The former tenants of the site agree with Mr Kamin.
"It is, rather, an obnoxious New York interloper, not unlike The Donald himself," wrote the Sun Times newspaper, which described the sign on its current building as "sociable but not loud".
Kelly Quinn, Mr Emanuel's spokeswoman, told the New York Times the mayor instructed Mr Trump's office to look into "options available for further changes".
You can expect we haven't heard the last of this "world-changing" issue. 



U.S. household net worth climbs $1.5 trillion in 1st quarter

By Steve Goldstein

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Thanks to rising house prices and a growing stock market, U.S. households and nonprofits added $1.5 trillion in net worth in the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve data released Thursday.

The data was part of a voluminous report called the “financial accounts of the United States,” which contains details on an array of assets and liabilities. The gain in net worth to $81.76 trillion was driven by a $758 billion increase in the value of residential real estate and a $361 billion rise in corporate equities.

Though housing activity has remained muted, prices have grown, allowing many homeowners to escape a situation where their mortgage was greater than what their house was worth. Separate data released by CoreLogic show the number of properties that are underwater has dropped by about half since 2009.
Collectively, households now have 53.6% of the equity in residential real estate — way up from a low of 38.4% in 2009.
Debt outside the financial sector rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5% in the first quarter, a slight deceleration from the 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Household debt grew 2%, as the 6.6% gain in consumer credit like car and student loans offset the 0.9% drop in mortgage debt. Mortgage debt has dropped 15 of the last 17 quarters, a drop of 13% from six years ago.
The part of the economy that can take advantage of low interest rates, the corporate sector, continued to borrow, with nonfinancial business debt climbing at an annual rate of 7.3%. The Fed said most of that borrowing came through the bond market.
After four quarters of increases, companies began to deploy the cash on their balance sheet, which fell to $1.85 trillion from $1.94 trillion in the fourth quarter.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWgoldstein.


Okay Tom Cruise, you "invented" what again?

CC Videorama

Fani-Kayode again goes on another rant..... "leaves APC" and goes back to his vomit..... PDP

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has reportedly "dumped" the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party, accusing the party of having an Islamic agenda and being intolerant.

Fani-Kayode, in a statement earlier this week referred to the spokesperson for the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as a "liar." One would expect more refinement from someone who has served at the highest levels of government, but then again, we are talking about FFK here.

The statement by Fani-Kayode read in part, "I have stated these facts and set the record straight - due to the fact that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the spokesman of the APC, had the effrontery to say in an interview with a magazine earlier today, that I was never a member of the APC and that I never joined them formally. The truth is that Mohammed is not only a liar but he is also a coward. 

He stated further:
"I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear Islamic agenda are playing a leading role.
"This is made all the more untenable when some of those people are working hard silently and behind the scenes to impose a Muslim/Muslim ticket on the party for the Presidential elections next year. 
"I cannot be in a party where a few of its leaders are more interested in playing politics with the whole Chibok issue and hurling bricks at our military for not doing a better job. I cannot be in a party in which the role of one of its governors is not clear on the Chibok issue."
Fani-Kayode has always had a reputation for being rather bombastic and lacking in requisite discretion. To say he typifies the Nigerian political class would not necessarily be out of place, although he has shown time and again, that he is very much in a class, or an asylum of his own.

I am not exactly sure what would be wrong with a Muslim/Muslim ticket as long as the candidates are competent and care for the well-being of all Nigerians. Is Fani-Kayode saying a Christian/Christian ticket would be more appealing to him? We currently have a so-called Christian president at Aso Rock and I must say, I would take an Animist or even a Buddhist right now that can demonstrate even the most salient sense of purpose and direction, needed to lead a country of Nigeria's magnitude.

Someone needs to ensure that FFK takes his medication on a more consistent basis, as his actions are beginning to wear thin on just about anyone with even the slightest ounce of common sense.

One wonders whatever happened to his willingness to "carry an AK 47 and die for Oduduwa land." Guess, he changed his mind on that as well.

Nigeria deserves better than the likes of FFK, but unfortunately, a nation gets the leaders it deserves.

Charity begins away from home: London's most expensive homes are owned by Nigerians.....

Edgerton Crescent - Credits: Google Earth
By Chukwudi Oladimeji Akasike

A philanthropist and Chairman of New Nation, an empowerment-oriented group, Mr. Charles Dukwe, has said that 70 percent of the most expensive buildings in London are owned by Nigerians.

Dukwe explained on Saturday that owners of the houses might have corruptly enriched themselves, adding that people from the United Kingdom avoid buying houses in the area due to their (houses) expensive prices.

The philanthropist spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after unveiling the ‘Queen of Compassion and Kill the Killers Initiative;’ a grassroots campaign against diabetes and high blood pressure.

Present at the event as brand ambassadors are Nollywood stars like Ini Edo, Uche Jombo, Monalisa Chinda and Desmond Elliot.

Dukwe lamented that some Nigerians were investing funds from Nigeria in Europe and other Western countries.

Calling on Nigerians to embrace compassion and show love to each other, Dukwe observed that Nigeria was going through a lot of challenges as a result of corruption that had brought rot to the system.

"There is a street in London; it is called Edgerton Crescent. Edgerton Crescent is the most expensive street in the world. Houses there are worth three million pounds, four million pounds.

"British celebrities that have money don't buy houses on that street. They will tell you it is too expensive. But 70 percent of the houses there are owned by Nigerians."

"The most missing thing in Nigeria is compassion. We want to use compassion as a value and drive it through people so that people can help each other in the society. Our aim is to make compassion a core-value in the society."

He noted that the Kill the Killers Initiative was established to attack the major diseases that cut short the lives of the people in Nigeria and Africa in general.

According to him, diabetes and high blood pressure form over 60 percent of the cause of deaths among adults in Nigeria, just as malaria form 70 percent of the deaths among children in the country.

"Kill the Killers Initiative is designed to attack the principal diseases that cut short the lives of our people unnecessarily in Nigeria and across Africa.

"The programme begins with an organised effort against diabetes and high blood pressure, which form over 60 percent of the cause of deaths among adults in the country and malaria, which forms 70 percent of the cause of death among children.

"In Nigeria and across Africa, we have failed immeasurably by paying little or no attention to principal diseases that cut the lives of our people short and thus leaving our life expectancy to numbers way below all the advanced nations," he said.


Seattle votes in favor of $15/hr minimum wage

CC Newsreel

The U.S. city of Seattle has voted unanimously to raise the city's minimum wage to the highest level of any major U.S. city - $15 per hour, twice the national minimum. 

Wages would begin to rise next year, ultimately reaching $15 from Washington state's minimum of $9.32 over three to seven years, depending on the business. 

A councilor who supported the push said the vote "sends a message heard around the world". 

U.S. minimum wage is $7.25, although 38 states have set higher levels.

The states of California, Connecticut and Maryland have recently passed laws increasing their respective wages to $10 or more in coming years.
Nationally, U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a $10.10 federally-mandated minimum wage, which would require action by the divided U.S. Congress.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had run for election to the city's top office on the issue, and the election of a socialist councilor also provided pressure.
The proposal came out of an advisory group of labor, business and non-profit representatives organised by Mr Murray.
Under the plan, firms with more than 500 employees nationally will be given at least three years to phase in the increase, those who provide health insurance subsidies would get four years and smaller businesses would be given seven years.
Some local businesses have come out in support of the measure, but a group of restaurant owners oppose it, saying it would force them to cut back on new recruits and service hours.
A lobbying group said shortly after the measure passed it would sue because the varied phase-in time was unfair.
"The suit will seek to overturn the unfair and discriminatory minimum wage plan that was approved by the City Council," the International Franchise Association (IFA) said in a statement.
Last year, the nearby tiny town of Sea-Tac, which holds Seattle's airport, passed a $15 minimum wage. As a result, some 6,300 workers at Sea-Tac's airport, would be paid the highest minimum wage in the nation.
San Francisco previously had the highest hourly wage for a large U.S. city at $10.74.