EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rebound after sharp losses amid China concerns

(Updates prices) SAO PAULO, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Brazil and Chile’s currencies on Tuesday bounced back from steep losses from the prior session after a sharp slump in China’s equities roiled markets…

UPDATE 1-Conatus liver drug shows promise in mid-stage trial

Jan 5 (Reuters) – Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental drug reduced the presence of a protein fragment in patients with liver cirrhosis in a mid-stage trial.

Samsung Gear S2 Follows In Apple’s Footsteps With iOS Support, Gold And Platinum Variants

GearS2_Classic_Platinum_Rosegold_Main When Samsung unveiled the Gear S2, it looked lot like Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch. And the company announced another move in this direction today by unveiling a new 18-karat rose gold and platinum Gear S2. Like the Apple Watch, it’s made of real gold and it’s not just gold-colored. Read More

In A Crowded Market, A VC Uses Its Office As A Hook

Aspect You might be hearing talk of depressed valuations, but that message certainly isn’t reaching commercial real estate owners in the Bay Area. The median price per square foot to rent office space in the city has shot up 33.7 percent in just the last three months alone, says Loopnet, an online real estate resource. Over the last 12 months, San Francisco rents have soared 106 percent.… Read More

Bernie Sanders References Gordon Gekko: ‘Greed Is Not Good’

WASHINGTON — Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Tuesday sharply criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton during a fiery Manhattan speech about Wall Street reform.

Most of Sanders’ barbs were directed at the banking world. The socialist senator from Vermont reiterated his call to break up the biggest banks, declared that “fraud is the business model on Wall Street,” and elicited a round of enthusiastic boos from the crowd by invoking JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as a villain of the 2008 financial crisis.

“To those on Wall Street who may be listening today — and I’m sure there aren’t many of them — let me be very clear: Greed is not good,” Sanders said, in a reference to the film “Wall Street.” “If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”

But some of Sanders’ harshest rhetoric was reserved for Clinton.

“Wall Street makes huge campaign contributions, they have thousands of lobbyists and they provide very generous speaking fees to those who go before them,” Sanders said, in a not-so-subtle reference to lucrative talks Clinton gave at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and private equity firms after finishing her tenure as secretary of state.

“My opponent says that, as a senator, she told bankers to ‘cut it out’ and end their destructive behavior,” Sanders said. “But, in my view, establishment politicians are the ones who need to ‘cut it out.’ The reality is that Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street –“

Familiar with the line, the pro-Sanders crowd interrupted him to complete the slogan: “Wall Street regulates Congress!”

Clinton holds a commanding lead over Sanders in national polls and has generally dominated the Democratic debates. But she has repeatedly stumbled over Wall Street accountability — an important issue for the progressive base elevated by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party. Clinton has resisted calls to break up big banks, while simultaneously insisting that her bank reform agenda is tougher than that of Sanders. Clinton has emphasized her plan’s focus on beefing up the regulation of so-called “shadow banking” — financial transactions that take place outside of traditional banks at institutions similar to Lehman Brothers and AIG, which collapsed during the 2008 crisis. During a November debate, Clinton bizarrely argued that her work in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks explained her hefty campaign cash haul from the banking sector.

During his speech, Sanders emphasized that his “break up the banks” platform includes shadow banks and any other financial institution large enough to threaten the broader economy.

“I will require the secretary of the Treasury Department to establish a ‘too-big-to fail’ list of commercial banks, shadow banks and insurance companies whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk to the United States economy without a taxpayer bailout,” Sanders said. “Within one year, my administration will break these institutions up.”

Clinton campaign CFO Gary Gensler — one of the most celebrated financial regulators of the post-crash era — responded to Sanders in a written statement.

“We are pleased to see that Senator Sanders is finally talking about the importance of dealing with risks posed by activities in the shadow banking system,” Gensler said. “Unfortunately, however, he failed to put forward a single new proposal that addresses those risks. We already knew that Senator Sanders wants to break apart financial institutions.”

Gensler’s statement is not true, nor was a pre-emptive statement he issued ahead of Sanders’ speech. Sanders call for a financial transactions tax would indeed impact shadow banks, even if it is not a new proposal from him. The Clinton campaign has also previously insisted that Sanders’ break-up-the-banks call does not apply to shadow banks.

The barbed words for Clinton reveal an escalation in Sanders’ rhetoric as the primary contest nears the first-in-the-nation caucus in Iowa on Feb. 1. Clinton’s most effective attack lines against Sanders have focused on his mixed gun control record, but both she and her campaign have turned up the temperature in recent weeks. They’ve suggested the Sanders team may have committed crimes during a recent Democratic National Committee data breach, accused Sanders of subsidizing rich families with his plan for free tuition at public colleges and universities, and invoked questionable numbers from the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board to critique his Medicare-for-all health care proposal.

Sanders isn’t backing down from his college plan. On Tuesday, he said it would be funded by a small tax on every Wall Street trade. Sanders’ financial transactions tax is a broader version of Clinton’s plan to tax risky, economically useless high-frequency trading. Sanders also called for the post office to offer basic financial services to low-income Americans, alleviating the demand for expensive, predatory loans from payday lenders.

Clinton holds a 15-point lead over Sanders in Iowa, according to HuffPost Pollster’s average of presidential polls, while Sanders holds a narrow lead over Clinton in New Hampshire, which will host its primary the week after Iowa’s contest.

Zach Carter is a co-host of the HuffPost Politics podcast “So That Happened.” Subscribe here, or listen to the latest episode below:  

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Hypnosis replaces anesthetic in brain surgery—and there’s video

Just imagine that the whirring noise—from drills and saws cutting into your skull—is the gentle engine-hum of a motorboat, gliding past your canoe as you float in a tranquil lake.

Those may be some of the instructions a cancer patient might hear while in a hypnotic trance during brain surgery.

The technique, which replaces general anesthetics, was used on 37 patients undergoing surgery to remove brain tumors, researchers report in the journal Neurosurgery. Though there’s been little science to back up hypnotherapy, the authors conclude that their small study’s success suggests hypnosis could be a viable tool to help sedate patients during delicate brain surgery.

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Lockheed, U.S. to argue stop-work bid on Army trucks on January 20

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Court of Federal Claims will hear arguments on Jan. 20 in Lockheed Martin Corp’s motion to halt Oshkosh Corp’s work on 17,000 armored Humvee truck replacements for the U.S. Army while Lockheed challenges the $6.75 billion contract.