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Tag Archive: British


Politics and Legislation

Deputy PM denies Kremlin cover-up of multi-millions in offshore deals

The Russian Prosecutor’s Office has denied that the earnings of deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov are related to his job in government. ­The accusations came from several international business dailies that disclosed details of multi-million-dollar transactions involving Shuvalov. They said Shuvalov’s offshore company, registered in his wife’s name, has earned millions investing in the projects of Russia’s most powerful enterprises, among them Gazprom, during the last twelve years – while he has been a deputy prime minister. Journalists believe that it was Shuvalov’s post that allowed him access to the best possible deals…..

http://rt.com/news/prime-time/shuvalov-assets-offshore-corruption-692/

Open mic catches Obama asking Russian president for space on missile defense head

Posted by: CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar In a private conversation about the planned U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe, President Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for space on the issue. “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev. “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space,” Medvedev replied. “This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.” “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev said, referring to incoming President Vladimir Putin……

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=world/2012/03/26/dnt-keilar-obama-asks-for-space-on-missile-defense.cnn   http://whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/26/open-mic-catches-obama-asking-russian-president-for-space-on-missile-defense/

Children ‘forced to shout Long Live Sarkozy!’ when French president visited their school

By Peter Allen The French president has caused an outcry after dozens of infant school children were forced to chant ‘Long Live Sarkozy!’ when he visited their school. Parents complained about the youngsters being used as ‘propaganda tools’ after they were made to treat Nicolas Sarkozy as a hero, waving Tricolour flags and constantly shouting his name. Some were even kissed by Mr Sarkozy, who is hugely unpopular and widely expected to lose the presidential election being held in France in the Spring…..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101337/Children-forced-shout-Long-Live-Sarkozy-French-president-visited-school.html#ixzz1qRhEm135

38 House Members Filtered Government Money to Relatives and Their Employers

Nearly 40 members of the House of Representatives earmarked $150 million to organizations affiliated with themselves and their family members from 2008 to 2010, according to a government watchdog organization. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported that although 24 of the earmarkers were Democrats and only 14 Republicans, the top five representatives who earmarked to organizations affiliated with them or their family members were all Republicans: Kay Granger (R-Texas) earmarked $28.3 million to her son’s project. J.D. Granger is the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. Jerry Lewis (R-California) who earmarked a combined $25.5 million to three relatives’ organizations. Bill Young (R-Florida) earmarked a combined $16.6 million to two sons’ employers. In 2008 he herded $4.4 million to defense contractor SAIC’s facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, where son Patrick is a security administrator. Another $8.5 million went to the National Forensic Science Technology Center, where son Billy is a senior consultant. John Mica (R-Florida) earmarked $13 million to his daughter’s client. Mica has five relatives who work as lobbyists, two brothers, a son and a nephew. His daughter, D’Anne, ran a public relations firm whose client, the Central Commuter Rail, received the $13 million. Michael Simpson (R-Idaho) earmarked $12.5 million to his wife’s employer, the Idaho National Laboratory…….

http://www.allgov.com/Where_is_the_Money_Going/ViewNews/38_House_Members_Filtered_Government_Money_to_Relatives_and_Their_Employers_120326

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Economy

British firm discovers oil in Kenya

A British company has announced it has struck oil in Kenya for the first time, beating rivals including China in the race to strike crude. President Mwai Kibaki said it was “the first time Kenya has made such a discovery” and called it a “major breakthrough”. Tullow Oil dug more than 3,000ft into the sand and rock of the country’s northern Turkana region, hitting viable “light crude” samples that suggest Kenya’s oil is of a similar geological provenance as Uganda’s. That country found large deposits, also identified first by Tullow, in 2006 and is expected to begin refining and exports soon. The discovery in Kenya follows more than a decade of exploration across the inhospitable north stretching from the Somali border in the east to the lands around Lake Turkana in the west, where some of the oldest bones of early hominids were found. British, Chinese, Italian and French companies are understood to have been in the race to strike crude first. Tullow Oil was the most recent operator to join the search…..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/kenya/9167381/British-firm-discovers-oil-in-Kenya.html

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Wars and Rumors of War

US approves $1.3 billion in military aid to Egyptian military dictatorship By Madison Ruppert So much for revolution, and so much for the United States being absolutely and completely broke. Since I wrote the article “Egypt: what revolution?” in July of last year, very little progress has been made. United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will be giving military aid to Egypt even though there are “concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition,” according to Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency. I believe that this is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the democratic transition has yet to occur and, like Libya, the people of Egypt are in many ways worse off than they were before. Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is being ruled by a military dictatorship, Clinton waived all of the conditions placed by Congress on the $1.3 billion in aid…..

http://EndtheLie.com/2012/03/24/us-approves-1-3-billion-in-military-aid-to-egyptian-military-dictatorship/#ixzz1qRYKkwHI

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Environmental

BP oil spill continues to kill

A can is seen coated with oil that washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in Waveland, Mississippi (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP) The infamous oil spoil which gushed for 86 days in the Gulf of Mexico continues to have a rippling effect on the ecosystem. The spill caused by the London based oil giant British Petroleum, is responsible for the deaths of 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which was approximately 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, and is now being blamed by scientist for the slow death of a brightly colored deep-sea coral community. The laboratory reports which have taken several months have resulted in scientist pointing the finger at one of the most catastrophic oil spills in history. The brown and dull coral which has been left in a state of ruin continues to sway in the gulf which had more than 70,000 barrels of oil pouring into it per day……

http://rt.com/usa/news/bp-oil-spill-contines-612/

Green Climate Fund Wants Immunity from Any Kind of Prosecution

Activist Post

Fox News is reporting that the Green Climate Fund, created by the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is seeking full diplomatic immunity from “any kind of legal process, including civil and criminal prosecution, in the countries where it operates.” The U.N. enacted the legal framework for the private-public fund at the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, but it was ratified last year during COP-17 in Durban, South Africa. The fund, controlled by a 24-nation board of trustees, received $30 billion in start-up money from U.N. member nations. The function of the Green Climate Fund is to be the facilitator of money between countries. According to Wikipedia they will act “as a mechanism to transfer money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.” In other words, they are the group that decides where the money gets distributed. Clearly an outfit like this handling such large sums of money would be ripe for corruption. And perhaps that’s why they seek this broad immunity before the wealth transfers begin in earnest. Why else would any organization request immunity if they weren’t anticipating injustices in the actions they take? Their stated objective is to mobilize $100 billion in annual funds. They admit, however, that there’s “a lot of uncertainty where this money would have to come from.” Yet, they have outlined several potential sources of funding that further blends an already dubious relationship between governance and big business….

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/green-climate-fund-wants-immunity-from.html

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Whistle Blowers

US needs Assange under arrest ‘while seeking Manning link’ Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, faces an uncertain future. Pr. Marcello Ferrada-Noli told RT why he thinks it’s convenient for the US to have Assange under arrest in Sweden. ­Even considering the particularities of the Swedish legal system, there is the possibility of questioning Assange by various means, by phone, for instance, noted Ferrada-Noli, a Senior Advisor at Stockholm University. But, he added, there is a political reason why Assange is kept under arrest – and why several players are falling into place to let America get its hands on WikiLeaks’ founder. “In the US, the preparations for the trial [over Assange] are seeking a connection between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, trying to make Assange accountable. For that they need time, they need to prepare this material. For that, of course, it’s highly convenient to keep him under arrest.” The professor also mentions the biased image of Assange the media has been carefully drawing.

http://rt.com/news/us-assange-sweden-wikileaks-617/

New Whistleblower Emerges at JPMorgan Chase.

The Rumor Mill News Reading Room

New Whistleblower Emerges at JPMorgan Chase.
Posted By: Lion [Send E-Mail]
Date: Monday, 26-Mar-2012 07:54:05

——————
Source: Alcin Bramerton
http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/
New whistleblower emerges at JPMorgan Chase.
JPMC actively involved in manipulation of LIBOR and precious metals futures.
JPMC hid client assets from MF Global. Greece holds hidden derivatives in excess of $1 trillion to which JPMC is a substantial counterparty.
Cascading global credit event imminent.
The following letter was originally posted on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission website in the public comments section.

Read Letter Here 

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Activism

Bakers Green Acres vs. Michigan DNR – Family Farm Under Attack

Uploaded by Kyle Miron on Mar 21, 2012 A family farm in rural Michigan may be shut down by a Government Entity who has passed a law stating that the breed of hogs they are raising are a threat to neighboring croplands. In truth, the Big Pork Industry has been planning this campaign to take down all family farms with hopes to eventually siege complete control of the American Food Supply. This short-film was created with hopes to inspire the public to take action. The Baker Family website is http://www.bakersgreenacres.com and their battle has just begun. Please join in their fight.

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Radiation

Tokyo Soil – Blanketed With Fukushima Radiation – Would Be Considered “Radioactive Waste” In the United States

Tokyo Slammed with Radiation We noted in August that some parts of Tokyo have more radiation than existed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zones. And see this and this. There are indications that radiation levels are increasing in Tokyo. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen took 5 random soil samples in Tokyo recently, and found that all 5 were so radioactive that they would be considered radioactive waste in the United States, which would have to be specially disposed of at a facility in Texas: ……

Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/tokyo-soil-hit-with-fukushima-radiation-would-be-considered-radioactive-waste-in-the-united-states.html

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Psy – Ops

WESTERN PSY-OPS AGAINST SYRIA: When Mrs Assad’s “Shopping” Becomes a “Crime Against Humanity”

by Finian Cunningham

Michelle Obama, the fashion style icon wife of US President Obama, is to have travel sanctions imposed on her by member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, including Russia, China and SCO associate state Iran. Mrs Obama’s annual six-figure budget for designer clothes and accessories is seen as an affront to moral decency at a time when her husband is overseeing foreign wars of aggression, mass murder in several territories using aerial drones, and ordering the assassination of individuals such as nuclear scientists in Iran. The equally fashionista-conscious wives of British and French premiers, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, are also reportedly lined up for sanctions in several Middle East and Central Asian countries owing to these leaders supporting the illegal and murderous US-led NATO bombing campaign on Libya. By now, the reader will have spotted the above “report” to be a spoof. However, when it comes to the real world, the European Union is applying such unprecedented measures against the wife of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad. “EU slaps Sanctions on Assad’s Wife,” read several newspaper headlines after Europe’s foreign ministers banned British born Asma Assad from traveling to EU states, and ordered the freezing of her personal assets. Describing the 36-year-old Syrian First Lady as stylish, glamorous, even sexy, the combined lurid portrayal was aimed at presenting Mrs Assad as an insensitive bimbo in the face of her country’s ongoing violence and misery….. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29993 The CIA’s War On Human Consciousness The T.V. Kills Your Brain With The CIA’s Mass Mind Control Gun. “From 1950 to 1962, the C.I.A. ran a massive research project, a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind, spending over $1 billion a year to crack the code of human consciousness, from both mass persuasion and the use of coercion in individual interrogation.” – Professor Alfred McCoy, author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.” This quote is from Prof. McCoy’s interview with Democracy Now on February 17, 2006. “Our brain is domineering when it comes to coping with reality. We sometimes see things not as they really are, sometimes invent categories that do not exist and sometimes fail to see things that are really there. There are people who have never seen or heard of an aircraft and will not be able to imagine it and a real airplane overhead will be distorted in their minds, creating alternative realities. To recognize that what we call reality is only a consensus reality (only what we have agreed to call reality) is to recognize that we can perceive only what we can conceive. Captain Cook’s ship was invisible to the Tahitians because they could not conceive of such a vessel. Joseph Pearce explains this best: “Man’s mind mirrors a universe that mirrors man’s mind.”” – Bharati Sarkar, “Consciousness – Our third eye.” “Remember: those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo. It is obvious that they cannot completely control the propagation of the information……

http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2012/03/cias-war-on-human-consciousness.html

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Articles of Interest

Black Panther who posted bounty for Martin’s killer arrested

The New Black Panther Party member behind the call for vigilante justice against Trayvon Martin’s killer has been arrested. ­On Monday Hashim Nzinga was imprisoned for an unrelated weapons charge. According to a Dekalb County Sheriff’s arrest warrant, Nzinga had a FN Herstal 5.7 x 28 handgun which was pawned. Over the weekend Nzinga announced to the media that anyone who was able to capture Zimmerman, “dead or alive” would be handed a reward of $10,000. The New Black Panther Party’s campaign to track and hunt down Martin’s killer was widely promoted with flyers and press conferences all across Sanford, Florida, the location of the black teen’s death. The radical group’s national chief of staff was arrested during a visit to a probation office by his probation officer….. http://rt.com/usa/news/arrest-panther-zimmerman-new-688/ Citing Potential “Hate,” Feds and Race Profiteers Descend on Florida As race-hatred profiteers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson whip up a frenzy of hysteria over a hypothetical racial element to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida last month, the Obama administration’s Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether or not shooter George Zimmerman can be federally prosecuted for a “hate crime.” And experts fear the situation is spiraling quickly out of control. Some observers are even worried a “race war” may erupt as a group of racist blacks — the New Black Panther Party — offered a “bounty” for the “capture” of Zimmerman, who has not been charged with a crime. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” said New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad during a rally in Florida, leading a group of followers chanting “black power.” “It’s time for us, as black men, to take justice in our own hands. If you won’t give us justice, we will have to take justice,” Muhammad told the crowd. “An eye for an eye. A life for a life.” Local officials and law enforcement condemned the incitement to violence and warned that “vigilante justice” could result in criminal charges. But the anti-Semitic black supremacist group has repeatedly called for violence against whites, Jews, and law enforcement. And during the 2008 election, members of the party were caught on film carrying weapons and intimidating voters at polling places….. Post Pic here http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/11310-citing-potential-hate-feds-and-race-profiteers-descend-on-florida 14 defining characteristics of fascism: The U.S. in 2012 Gregory Patin BlacklistedNews.com When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. — Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here. (1935) In the spring of 2003, ex-corporate executive and political scientist Lawrence W. Britt published an essay in Free Inquiry magazine entitled “Fascism Anyone?” In his work, Britt examined the traits of the two governments that formed the original historical model for fascism, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and five other protofascist regimes that imitated that model, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. He identified 14 characteristics that were common to all of them. These traits have since been widely accepted as the 14 defining characteristics of fascism. Nearly three generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, all of these regimes have been overthrown, but fascism’s principles can still be found in many nations. History tends to repeat itself because many leaders and nations fail to learn from history, or they draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm in the world today….. http://www.blacklistednews.com/14_defining_characteristics_of_fascism%3A_The_U.S._in_2012/18642/0/0/0/Y/M.html TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony Last minute excuse blocks Bruce Schneier By Iain Thomson in San Francisco • Get more from this author Posted in Security, 26th March 2012 21:03 GMT Security expert Bruce Schneier was been banned at the last minute from testifying in front of congress on the efficacy – or otherwise – of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) much-maligned perv scanners. Schneier is a long-time critic of the TSA’s policies for screening travelers, and was formally invited to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearings. However, the TSA objected to his presence because he is currently involved in a legal case over the use of said scanners in US airports. “I was looking forward to sitting next to a TSA person and challenging some of their statements. That would have been interesting,” Schneier told The Register. “The request to appear came from the committee itself, because they’d been reading my stuff on this and thought it would be interesting.”….. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/26/tsa_schneier_congress_block/ THE PENTAGON’S SECRET NUCLEAR AGENDA: “Privatizing Nuclear War” By Sherwood Ross BlacklistedNews.com U.S. corporations that reap billions from making nuclear weapons have “a direct voice” as to “their use and deployment,” according to professor Michel Chossudovsky in a recently released book. What’s more, he says, if nuclear weapons are integrated with conventional armaments, a decision to use nuclear weapons could be made by battlefield generals. On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb., that brought together more than 150 “senior executives from the nuclear industry and military-industrial complex,” writes Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal. “This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima”. According to a leaked draft of the agenda, the secret session included discussions on “mini-nukes” and “bunker-buster” bombs with nuclear warheads “for possible use against rogue states,” Chossudovsky writes in his new book, ” The meeting was intended to set the stage for the creation of a new generation of “smaller,” “safer,” and “more usable” nukes for use, in America’s 21st Century “in-theater nuclear wars”, Chossudovsky writes. No members of Congress representing the public were in attendance. Barely a week prior to this meeting, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) disbanded the advisory committee that had “independent oversight” over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the testing and/or use of new nuclear devices…..

http://www.blacklistednews.com/THE_PENTAGON%27S_SECRET_NUCLEAR_AGENDA%3A_%22Privatizing_Nuclear_War%22/18665/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged in French prostitution case

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faced preliminary charges Monday of aggravated pimping, or illegal procurement of prostitutes, in France.

Strauss-Kahn was summoned for eight hours of questioning Monday by French judges investigating an illegal prostitution ring operating out of the northern French city of Lille. The former IMF chief was notified that he was being placed under formal investigation, but allowed to leave after paying 100,000 Euros in bail, and agreeing not to talk to others being investigated in the case, or travel without consulting a judge, the Associated Press reported.

French prosecutors in Lille have been investigating an illegal prostitution ring that is alleged to have brought prostitutes from Belgium to luxury hotels in France and to parties in Washington, D.C., and New York attended by VIP clients, France’s Radio France International reported in October. Eight people have been charged in the case so far, including a police officer in Lille and three directors with the city’s Carlton Hotel, the New York Times reported………

Read More  Here

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MF Global: A New Hope In The Effort To Send A Wall Street Big Shot To Jail

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MF Global exec tied to money transfers clams up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An MF Global executive, who has emerged as a central figure in the desperate shifting of funds before the brokerage’s collapse, refused to answer questions on Wednesday, frustrating lawmakers probing why more than $1 billion in customer money is missing.

Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien and other mid-level MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) executives, people who had operational control over money transfers at the brokerage, were called to testify before the investigations panel of the House Financial Services Committee.

O’Brien, a demure-appearing brunette dressed in a somber black dress suit, was excused after refusing to answer questions. The others remained to take scathing questions from the lawmakers who likened the missing customer funds to a grand heist.

The executives were unable to say why the money is missing, and who was responsible for it, keeping open the mystery nearly five months after MF Global filed for bankruptcy and former Chief Executive Jon Corzine resigned from the firm…..

Read  Full Article Here

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Faulty generator blamed for fatal poisoning of wealthy banker and his wife in remote Estonian forest

  • 55-year-old worked as analyst at shady Moscow investment firm

By Matt Blake

A wealthy British banker and his wife died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a ‘tragic accident’ at their holiday home in Estonia, an inquest has heard.

Philip Townsend, 55, worked for a mysterious Moscow investment company, where he was an analyst in the lucrative but murky Russian telecoms industry.

But he and his wife MaryAnne, 52, were found dead at the converted barn near the town of Valga on February 24.

They are believed to have been killed by fumes from a faulty generator.

Police at the time said they couldn’t work out if the deaths were suspicious or not.

Four years ago another wealthy British-based tycoon involved in the Russian telecoms industry vanished from his opulent holiday villa in Latvia.
Read Full Article Here

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Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction

Billionaire investor George Soros lost a challenge to his 2002 insider trading conviction, with the European Court of Human Rights saying French market regulations were clear enough to hold him responsible.

France didn’t violate Soros’s rights in punishing him criminally for trading on inside information about Societe Generale SA in spite of the market regulator’s conclusion that its rules were unclear, the Strasbourg, France-based court said.

“Soros was a famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community and a participant in major financial projects,” the court said in a statement about its ruling. “As a result of his status and experience, he could not have been unaware that his decision to invest” risked violating insider- trading laws, and given “there had been no comparable precedent, he should have been particularly prudent.”

Soros, 81, was convicted in 2002 of insider trading and ordered to repay 2.2 million euros ($2.9 million) he’d made from the share purchase and subsequent sale after a Paris court found he’d acted with the knowledge that the bank might be a takeover target. While prosecutors filed criminal charges, French stock market regulators didn’t pursue Soros, saying insider-trading laws were too vague to determine whether he’d broken them…..

Read Full Article Here

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Soros Criminal Conviction Exposes “Human Rights” Scam

Soros leverages “human rights” for personal gain – as does his global NGO empire.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post 

Bloomberg’s report, “Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction,” indicates that an appeal based on a “human rights” violation against Wall Street speculator George Soros has been rejected by the “European Court of Human Rights.” Soros, who was convicted and fined for insider trading in 2002 regarding French bank Société Générale shares he bought in 1988, has built an empire out of obfuscating global criminal activity with the cause of “human rights.”
The court’s decision in rejecting the appeal was based on Soros being “a famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community and a participant in major financial projects,” and thus should have been “particularly prudent” regarding insider-trading laws. The contents of Soros’ appeal, based on “human rights” was not heard, and the details of the appeal not yet made public, however, it is an illustrative example of how Soros and global elitists like him leverage the legitimate cause of human rights and freedom as a means to execute and defend both individual and institutional criminal behavior……

Read Full Article Here

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Politics and Legislation

 

Groups Attempt to Influence Supreme Court on

 

Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times News Service:

“Justice Clarence Thomas likens all the outside political pressure that the Supreme Court is facing over its review of the Obama administration’s sweeping health care law to the distraction faced by a free-throw shooter confronted with fans waving wildly behind the basket…. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has helped lead opposition to the health care law, has been hosting moot court sessions to prepare lawyers involved in the case.”

http://truth-out.org/news/item/8084-groups-attempt-to-influence-supreme-court-on-health-care

 

Cash-for-access scandal leaves David Cameron’s UK government reeling

 

By msnbc.com and news services

LONDON — The government of British Prime Minister David Cameron was reeling on Monday after a video emerged showing his Conservative Party’s top fundraiser claiming to offer access to senior politicians in exchange for large donations.

In a sting operation, The Sunday Times (the newspaper operates behind a paywall) secretly videotaped fundraiser Peter Cruddas discussing donations. The film showed him telling undercover reporters: “200 grand ($317,000), 250 is premier league … it’ll be awesome for your business.”…..

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/26/10863431-cash-for-access-scandal-leaves-david-camerons-uk-government-reeling

 

 

Economy

 

Loan Forgiveness Good for the Economy, and Maybe Fannie and Freddie Mac Too

 

By Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica:

“New analyses by mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have added an explosive new dimension to one of the most politically charged debates about the housing crisis: Whether to reduce the amount of money beleaguered homeowners owe on their mortgages. Their conclusion: Such loan forgiveness wouldn’t just help keep hundreds of thousands of families in their homes, it would also save Freddie and Fannie money. That, in turn, would help taxpayers, who bailed out the companies at a cost of more than $150 billion and are still on the hook for future losses.”

http://truth-out.org/news/item/8085-loan-forgiveness-good-for-the-economy-and-maybe-for-fannie-and-freddie-mac-too

Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes

Investors seeking higher yields are drawn to foreclosures because the rental market is red hot. But the heated competition for foreclosed homes is reminiscent of the frothy expectations that seem to accompany each new Wall Street investing craze.

http://profit.ndtv.com/News/Article/wall-street-gold-rush-in-foreclosed-homes-300450

 

Feds say Wells Fargo won’t turn over documents

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Federal securities regulators are asking a federal court to order Wells Fargo & Co. to turn over documents in an investigation of the bank’s sale of $60 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement Friday that Wells Fargo agreed to produce the documents under subpoenas dating to September of 2011, but the bank has failed to hand over much of the requested material.

The agency has asked U.S. District Court in San Francisco to order the nation’s largest mortgage lender to turn over the paperwork. The SEC is investigating possible fraud in the bank’s sale of securities that were made up of multiple mortgage loans between September 2006 and early 2008.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-03/D9TN1VM00.htm

 

Big Banks Continue to Suck at the Government Teat With Never-Ending Stealth Bailouts

 

WashingtonsBlog

Open-Ended Bailouts Are Continuing

We’ve previously documented the fact that bailouts of the big banks are continued in stealth mode up to the present day.

True, the banks claim they’ve repaid the Tarp bailout funds … but nearly half of the banks “repaid” such bailout funds by borrowing from other government bailout funds (and the rest could only repay money by fudging their accounting and using stealth bailouts which are are a little harder to detect).

Indeed, the government has decided on perpetual bailouts for the too big to fail banks.

Some of the ongoing stealth bailouts include:….

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/big-banks-continue-to-suck-at-the-government-teat-with-never-ending-stealth-bailouts.html

 

 

Wars and Rumors of War

 

The Dangerous Mess in Syria Grows Murkier

 

By Eric Margolis

March 25, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Syria’s murky, multi-level conflict continues to grow worse. So does public confusion here in the west as the US, British and some European media keep depicting Syria’s civil war as a simple passion play pitting the evil Asad regime in Damascus against mostly unarmed democratic protestors.

We saw this same one-dimensional, deceptive reporting recently in Libya that was designed to support foreign intervention. It’s as incomplete today about Syria as it was in Libya which, by the way, is turning into a dangerous mess.

My assessment based on reliable primary sources in Washington, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon:

Support for the Asad family’s Ba’ath regime, now in power for 41 years, is clearly slipping. But important sections of the armed forces, the 17 intelligence and security agencies, the powerful Alawai minority, most Syrian Christians, tribal elements and much of the commercial middle and upper class still back the Asad’s. In spite of intense western efforts to overthrow him, Bashar Asad, a mild-mannered former eye specialist, is still hanging on….

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30908.htm

 

Robert Bales – Lone Nut or Scapegoat?
What are the Americans hiding?

 

By Justin Raimondo

March 25, 2012 “Antiwar” – The murder of 17 Afghan civilians – most of them children – by staff sergeant Robert Bales may be far worse than we think at present. The semi-official story, as related by our compliant news media, is that a formerly model soldier went bananas under the pressure of war-related injuries, financial problems at home, and the all-purpose PTSD explanation for military misbehavior, whereupon he decided – at 3 am in the morning, after drinking with his army buddies – to walk the couple of miles to an Afghan village, shoot 16 people sleeping in their beds, pile the bodies atop a funeral pyre and set the whole thing alight.

How did he get out of the base at 3 am unchallenged and without anyone’s knowledge? How did he manage to do so much damage alone? These questions automatically register in the minimally critical mind – unless, of course, you’re an American reporter, who is quite used to accepting what our government tells us without question. On the other hand, without clear evidence of another – darker – scenario, all one can do is engage in problematic speculation. That problem has been solved, however, because evidence of an alternative explanation is now coming to light which throws the whole “lone nut” theory into question.

A few days before Bales went postal, there was a bomb attack on a US convoy in which a friend of Bales’s lost a leg: Bales’s lawyer has been detailing his client’s anger at this incident, implying it precipitated the murder spree. There are indications, however, that this is not the whole story. One local resident relates how the Americans paid a visit to the village where the killings took place and threatened residents with retaliation:….

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30906.htm

 

Robots Kill, But the Blood Is on Our Hands

 

By David Swanson

March 25, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —In her spare time, between non-stop peace activism and leading international exchanges, Medea Benjamin has somehow managed to write the best book yet on the most inhuman form of war yet. The book is called Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

Even if you’ve been reading everything you could about drones, attending peace conferences, and protesting in the lobbies of drone companies like General Atomics, you will learn a great deal from this book. In fact, I’m willing to bet that even if you “pilot” drones from a desk for a living, you will learn a great deal from this book. And if you have not been paying attention to drones, then you really need to read this book.

Many Americans first heard about “unmanned aerial vehicles” as weapons when Colin Powell told the United Nations in 2003 that Iraq might use them to attack the United States. This turned out to be a projection as well as a lie. It was, of course, the United States that used drones, among other weapons, to attack Iraq for nine years, and the U.S. drones are still in the skies of Iraq today, as well in the skies of many other countries.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30912.htm

 

US Plans No Charges Over Deadly November Strike in Pakistan

 

The United States military has decided that no service members will face disciplinary charges for their involvement in a NATO airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, an accident that plunged relations between the two countries to new depths and has greatly complicated the allied mission in Afghanistan.

An American investigation in December found fault with both American and Pakistani troops for the deadly exchange of fire, but noted that the Pakistanis fired first from two border posts that were not on coalition maps, and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops. Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and ascribed most of the blame to the American forces.

http://truth-out.org/news/item/8087-us-plans-no-charges-over-deadly-november-strike-in-pakistan

 

UK Mercenaries tackle Somalia

 

March 25, 2012

Why send in conventional military units when you can deploy mercenaries into Africa to carry out special operations, commit atrocities and confiscate natural resources all off the books….

http://www.phantomreport.com/uk-mercenaries-tackle-somalia

 

U.S. pays Afghans $50K per shooting death

March 25, 2012

The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday…..

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57404080/u.s-pays-afghans-$50k-per-shooting-death/

 

Report: Israeli soldiers scour Iran for nukes

 

Israel using permanent base in northern Iraq to launch intelligence missions in Iran in search of nuclear evidence, Western intelligence sources say.

Israel is using a permanent base in Iraqi Kurdistan to launch cross-border intelligence missions in an attempt to find “smoking gun” evidence that Iran is building a nuclear warhead, the Sunday Times reported Sunday.

According to Western intelligence sources, Israel has used sensitive equipment during its covert operations to monitor the radioactivity and magnitude of explosives tests. It was also reported that Israeli special forces used Black Hawk helicopters to carry commandos disguised as members of the Iranian military and using Iranian military vehicles……

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4207265,00.html

 

Leader of Mali military coup trained in U.S.

 

March 25, 2012

The leader of a military coup in the West African country of Mali received military training in the United States on “several” occasions, a U.S. defense official said Friday.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/leader-of-mali-military-coup-trained-in-us/2012/03/23/gIQAS7Q6WS_story.html?wprss=rss_national-security

 

Japan wants missile shield against N.Korean rockets

 

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 23, 2012

North Korea has announced it will launch a rocket next month, which will put a satellite into orbit. But the U.S. and its allies see the plans as counter to international diplomatic efforts to deal with the reclusive state’s nuclear programme – and are worried the technology could be used to develop long range missiles in the future. It could also potentially violate UN Security Council resolutions, and threatens last month’s deal between North Korea and the Washington. Under this, Pyonyang was to freeze its uranium weapons program and its long-range missile activities – in return for American food aid. Japan’s has responded by deploying its own missile defense system to shoot down any rocket threatening its territory. For more on this, RT talks to Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford, from London.

 

 

Drug lords targeted by Fast and Furious were FBI informants

 

March 25, 2012

When the ATF made alleged gun trafficker Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta its primary target in the ill-fated Fast and Furious investigation, it hoped he would lead the agency to two associates who were Mexican drug cartel members. The ATF even questioned and released him knowing that he was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fast-furious-20120322,0,3334424.story

 

Attacking Iran will spell Israel’s end: Cleric

 

A senior Iranian cleric says the Israeli threats of a military strike on Iran are mere “psychological warfare” as Tel Aviv fully understands any such venture would lead to its “total annihilation”.

“There has been some talk in the media for some time of a military move [against Iran] by the Zionist regime [of Israel] in particular; these menacing murmurs are nothing but psychological warfare,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said on Monday.

Last year during a period, foreign media created hype about a war [against Tehran] and anyone who paid attention to these media felt the US would attack Iran the following day,” he said.

The senior Iranian cleric, who is a member of the presiding board of the Assembly of Experts, said Israeli officials know that a military offensive against Iran would mean the complete annihilation of the Zionist regime

“We are not aggressors but our response to aggressors will be devastatingly crushing.”

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233265.html

 

Iran nukes: How would the world know?

 

By Pam Benson

American officials are adamant. The U.S. will respond – possibly with military force – if Iran crosses a red line and decides to actually make nuclear weapons.

But will the U.S. know with an degree of certainty that a line has been crossed?

The decision itself to push ahead really comes down to one person, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper told a Senate hearing recently that any decision would be based on “the supreme leader’s world view and the extent to which he thinks that would benefit the state of Iran or, conversely, not benefit.”

Clapper was referring to Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the supreme leader of Iran.

“It’s Khameini, period, full stop, end of sentence,” agreed Kenneth Pollack, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution.

But trying to read one person’s mind is no easy thing, observed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently, noting how Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was misread by U.S. intelligence.

“People sometimes say and do things that are at variance with what one might expect,” the secretary of state said. “It’s still quite bewildering to me why Saddam Hussein wanted everyone to believe that he had chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons of mass destruction when apparently he did not…..

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/26/iran-nukes-how-would-the-world-know/

 

South Korea warns it may shoot down North Korean rocket

 

Fears over suspected missile test overshadow international nuclear security summit in Seoul

South Korea has warned it might shoot down a North Korean rocket if it passes over its territory, as worries about what Washington calls a long-range missile test overshadowed an international nuclear security summit.

“We are studying measures such as tracking and shooting down [parts] of a North Korean missile in case they stray out of their normal trajectory” and violate South Korean territory, said Yoon Won-shik, a spokesman at the South’s defence ministry.

He called the launch “a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/26/south-korea-shoot-down-north-korea-rocket?newsfeed=true

 

 

Articles of Interest

 

Incarceration Nation

 

By Fareed Zakaria

March 25, 2012 “TIME.com” — Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today,” writes the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik. “Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America – more than 6 million – than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”

Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain – with a rate among the ­highest – has 153.

This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.’s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.

That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30910.htm

 

Hill Poll: Voters expect personal views to decide health case

 

By Sam Baker

Half of likely voters want the Supreme Court to overturn President Obama’s healthcare law, according to The Hill’s latest poll.

Just 42 percent said the court should uphold the law, with 50 percent saying it should be struck down.

A majority of both men and women want the law voided. By a 52-percent-to-39-percent margin women are more opposed to it than men, who oppose it 48 percent to 45 percent, a difference that matches the poll’s 3-point margin of error.

http://thehill.com/polls/218005-hill-poll-voters-expect-justices-personal-beliefs-to-decide-health-case

 

IRS takes heat from both GOP, Dems over Tea Party groups’ tax-exempt status

 

By Bernie Becker

The Revenue Service is taking heat from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers for its oversight of certain groups engaging in political activity, in particular Tea Party organizations seeking tax-exempt status.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/217987-irs-takes-heat-from-gop-dems-over-tea-party-groups-tax-exempt-status

 

Japan tsunami ‘Ghost Ship’ haunts Canada coast

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

 

R2P: Imperial Conquest by Another Name

 

Uploaded by GlobalResearchTV

As the world recovers from one humanitarian peace bombing in Libya, and braces for another possible intervention in Syria, many are now asking how it is that the so-called liberal left have become cheerleaders for the very wars of aggression they once pretended to deride. As long-time investigate reporter Pepe Escobar explains, an obscure international doctrine called Responsibility To Protect or R2P has been the main tool for shaping this new paradigm for the continuation of NATO’s imperial power grabs around the world.

 

Politics and  Legislation

Who can shut down cell phone service? FCC seeks public comment

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/who-can-shut-down-cell-phone-service-fcc-seeks-public-comment.ars

When does the enemy of our enemy stay our enemy and not our friend?

http://www.darkpolitricks.com/2012/03/enemy-enemy-stay-enemy-friend/

US government ultimately paid bail for Egypt NGOs

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL2E8E2B0F20120302

US Congress passes authoritarian anti-protest law

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/prot-m03.shtml

Illinois judge: law barring recording police is unconstitutional

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/illinois-judge-law-barring-recording-police-is-unconstitutional.ars

Has the Time Come to Start Taxing Online Game Currency?

http://www.allgov.com/Unusual_News/ViewNews/Has_the_Time_Come_to_Start_Taxing_Online_Game_Currency_120304

Economy

Dept. of Energy signs agreements to develop small nuclear generators

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/03/dept-of-energy-signs-agreements-to-develop-small-nuclear-generators.ars

World Bank demands further pro-market measures in China

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wbnk-m05.shtml

Perruchot report exposes French unions’ ties to the ruling class

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/perr-m05.shtml

Spain to extradite Mubarak associate to Egypt over gas deal with Israel

Yossi Maiman’s partner in the natural gas deal between Egypt and Israel is accused of making illegal profits from gas sales to Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/business/spain-to-extradite-mubarak-associate-to-egypt-over-gas-deal-with-israel-1.416304?localLinksEnabled=false

Matt Taibbi: Bank of America is a “raging hurricane of theft and fraud”

http://fthebanks.org/matt-taibbi-on-bank-of-america/

In Person: Former Reagan aide Stockman fears another collapse

David Stockman, former wunderkind of the Reagan revolution, is now an advocate for higher taxes, a critic of the work that made him rich and a scared investor who doesn’t own a single stock for fear of another financial crisis.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017652086_inpersonstockman05.html

Asia stocks down after Obama’s tough talk on Iran

Asian stock markets fell Monday as tough talk by President Barack Obama over Iran’s nuclear program and uncertainty over Greece’s ability to clear the next hurdle in its debt reduction plan unnerved investors.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017667732_apworldmarkets.html

Glencore benefits from price rise for commodities

Commodities giant Glencore International PLC says it full-year profit rose 7 percent in 2011 to reach $4.06 billion.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017668174_apeuswitzerlandearnsglencore.html

Environmental

Deepwater Oil Drilling Picks Up Again as BP Disaster Fades

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/business/deepwater-oil-drilling-accelerates-as-bp-disaster-fades.html?ref=todayspaper

6,800 tons of radiation-tainted rice straw left lying in 8 prefectures

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120303p2a00m0na010000c.html

From broken temp sensors to leaky pipes, Fukushima nuke plant plagued with problems

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120303p2a00m0na008000c.html

Wars  and  Rumors  of War

US to Attempt Overthrow of Putin Government

http://www.blacklistednews.com/US_to_Attempt_Overthrow_of_Putin_Government/18276/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Britain considers air strikes against Somali insurgents

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/soma-m05.shtml

The U.S. Strategy to Control Middle Eastern Oil: “One of the Greatest Material Prizes in World History”

http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_U.S._Strategy_to_Control_Middle_Eastern_Oil%3A_%E2%80%9COne_of_the_Greatest_Material_Prizes_in_World_History%E2%80%9D/18270/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Senior U.S. senator calls for arming Syria rebels

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/04/us-syria-usa-senators-idUSTRE8230LZ20120304

Secret State Agencies: ‘No Hard Evidence’ Iran Building Nukes, March to War Continues

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Secret_State_Agencies%3A_%27No_Hard_Evidence%27_Iran_Building_Nukes%2C_March_to_War_Continues/18272/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Israel to sell $1.6 billion in arms to Iran’s neighbor Azerbaijan

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017606201_azerbaijan27.html

Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans

At Monday’s meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama the Israeli prime minister will deliver a stark warning, reports Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9121433/Israel-delivers-ultimatum-to-Barack-Obama-on-Irans-nuclear-plans.html

British Propagandist in Syria: The Good Guys?

http://www.blacklistednews.com/British_Propagandist_in_Syria%3A_The_Good_Guys%3F/18261/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Netanyahu praises Obama’s AIPAC speech

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=260432

U.S. Backers of Israel Pressure Obama Over Policy on Iran

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/world/middleeast/israels-backers-in-aipac-press-obama-to-harden-iran-policy.html?_r=1

CIA ex-chief lauds Stuxnet virus use against Iran

http://www.legitgov.org/CIA-ex-chief-lauds-Stuxnet-virus-use-against-Iran

New poll shows Israelis oppose military strike on Iran

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/229632.html

US prepares to refuel Israeli planes striking Iran: Report

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/229601.html

Misc

Megaupload takedown a “death sentence without trial,” says Kim Dotcom

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/megaupload-got-a-death-sentence-without-trial-says-kim-dotcom-in-first-tv-interview.ars

Copyright kings are judge, jury and executioner on YouTube

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/

German intelligence agencies expand monitoring of Internet

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/germ-m05.shtml

Angry Birds, Meet Jailbirds: New App Helps You Snitch on Your Friends

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/app-homeland-security/

CIA ex-chief lauds Stuxnet virus use against Iran