News Corp.’s Murdoch Scandal Thickens, Barrick Gold’s New Setback, and 3 More Hot Stocks

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA): Chairman Rupert Murdoch may face criminal charges in the United States stemming from a recording that was discovered in which Murdoch indicated that payments to public officials for information was part of the culture of U.K. journalism, according to New York lawyer Bradley Simon. The tape indicates that Murdoch implied he may have known about bribery at News Corp.’s U.K. operations, and the recording may undermine his testimony to regulators. Lying to law enforcers is a crime under Title 18, Section 1001.

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Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:ABX): As if the Pascua-Lama project in Argentina wasn’t plagued enough, a Chilean court is expected to unanimously rule that the suspension of work on the $8.5-billion project is to be continued. Construction has been on a freeze since April over environmental concerns.

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Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP): Shares of Leap are racing over 112 percent after AT&T’s (NYSE:T) Friday announcement that it will be acquiring the company. Under the terms, AT&T will be shelling out $1.18 billion for Leap’s equity and assuming $2.8 billion in net debt. Leap has 5 million prepaid subscribers on a network covering 96 million people, and AT&T says it will keep the Cricket brand alive and work to expand its reach. For AT&T though, the jewel of the deal is the amount of unused spectrum at Leap’s disposal, which could be of use in AT&T’s 4G network expansion plans.

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Venaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:APPY): The company says the Data & Safety Monitoring Board that was created for the trial of the company’s APPY1 Test has recommended continuing the study based on two futility analyses that were carried out on 579 patients, and will enroll a total of 2,000 patients for the APPY1 Test, which identifies patients who are at low risk of appendicitis. However, the recruitment will not be completed in August as expected, and will more likely be finished toward the end of the year.

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