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In brief: Stocks slip on world markets

From Wire Reports

World stock markets mostly drifted lower Friday, while China’s main stock benchmark plunged as government efforts failed to reassure panicky investors.

European stocks were mixed, with France’s CAC 40 falling 0.6 percent to close at 4,808.22. Germany’s DAX dropped 0.4 percent to 11,058.39. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.7 percent to 6,585.78. U.S. markets were closed in observance of Independence Day.

A Chinese market rout deepened as investors dumped shares in spite of government measures this week aimed at restoring confidence, such as cutting fees and easing rules on borrowing money for trading. The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the market watchdog, said late Thursday it’s launching an investigation into suspected stock market manipulation, state media reported, an indication that the government is trying to halt the market slide.

Prosecutors: Executive earned leniency in Madoff case

NEW YORK – A 79-year-old former New York accounting firm executive who did work for some of Bernard Madoff’s most important clients has earned leniency at sentencing because his cooperation provided new insights into history’s largest financial fraud, prosecutors said.

In a filing late Thursday in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors wrote Paul Konigsberg provided valuable information by admitting his crimes, including offenses the government didn’t know about, and by disclosing facts vital to the investigation of others.

Konigsberg, scheduled for sentencing Thursday, began formally cooperating after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy and falsifying books and records. Madoff, 77, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after he revealed in December 2008 that his fraudulent private investment business serving thousands of customers had squandered about $20 billion over several decades.

Mexico City crafts conditions for Uber, similar companies

MEXICO CITY – Mexico City is proposing regulations that would allow Uber and other smartphone-based ride-sharing apps to operate, while requiring drivers and cars to be registered, the city’s Office of Legal and Legislative Studies said Friday.

The proposed regulation also calls for such companies to pay into a fund for transportation infrastructure. The city would create an app for licensed taxis and help pay for their GPS technology.

The regulation so far does not specify what Uber and other app-based drivers would have to pay to operate.

The Organized Taxi Drivers of Mexico City have pushed the city to regulate or ban Uber, saying it’s unfair that its drivers avoid costly licensing and inspections that taxis must undergo to operate.

Online search engines face new restriction in Russia

MOSCOW – Lawmakers in the Russian parliament on Friday voted for a bill forcing online search engines to remove search results about a specific person at that person’s request.

The Russian State Duma voted overwhelmingly for the controversial law that critics say could be used to block information critical of the government or government officials. Though similar to one recently adopted by the European Union, the Russian law is more sweeping, extending the right of removal to public figures and information that is considered in the public interest.

“This bill impedes people’s access to important and reliable information, or makes it impossible to obtain such information,” Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine, said in a statement last month.

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