New York - Swiss bank UBS and its former auditor, Ernst & Young, have agreed to pay $250.5 million to settle lawsuits brought by shareholders of HealthSouth in the wake of the hospital operator's accounting fraud. Under the settlements, which must be approved by a judge, UBS's insurers will pay $117 million to HealthSouth stockholders and $100 million to the health care provider's bondholders. Ernst & Young will pay $33.5 million to bondholders. Both UBS and E&Y have denied any wrongdoing.


Norwalk, Conn. - XBRL US and the Financial Accounting Foundation have inked a three-year agreement to conduct joint research on further developing interactive data tags for financial statements. The FAF and XBRL US Labs will collaborate to foster the U.S. GAAP taxonomy for XBRL and to promote interoperability and consistency between future versions of that taxonomy with other financial reporting taxonomies that XBRL US will develop and implement.

The research will build on tools and techniques developed by XBRL US Labs to maintain and publish taxonomies for tagging financial statements. XBRL US Labs is also engaged in other research projects to standardize common business reports for mutual funds, credit ratings, mortgage-backed securities, and corporate actions such as dividends and mergers, as well as projects for using XBRL for tax filings, and a research and development effort to bring XBRL apps to the Apple iPhone and iPad.


Washington, D.C. - The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Inspector General found that at least 33 SEC employees and contractors used government computers to view pornographic images in the past five years.

Many of the employees were at a senior level and earned substantial salaries. Several admitted in testimony that they had misused resources and official time to view pornography. One regional office staff accountant received over 16,000 access denials for Web sites classified by the SEC's Internet filter as either "sex" or "pornography" in a one-month period.

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