Tag Archive: Rupert Murdoch


Murdoch: ‘More stuff coming out’ to hobble Chris Christie’s 2016 hopes

News Corp boss, hosted by Rand Paul, attends Kentucky Derby and hints at his thoughts for Republican presidential field

rupert murdoch
Rupert Murdoch talked about the race he cares most about at the race Americans cared about Saturday. Photograph: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images

The main business of the day on Saturday was America’s most famous horse race. It was also a chance for Rupert Murdoch to check out the Kentucky Derby.

Murdoch, the media boss and Republican party kingmaker, cast his view over the GOP presidential field on Saturday and thought some mounts looked stronger than others. In particular, Murdoch thought New Jersey governor Chris Christie, hobbled this winter by an abuse-of-power scandal, looked weak down the stretch.

“He’ll be a very strong, fighting candidate in the primaries, but there will be more and more stuff coming out, I think,” Murdoch told New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz in a private suite at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, as Derby Day went on below. “Not him but, you know, on his aides. There will be more stories.”

 

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

News Corp. headquarters in New York. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/DAPD)Here in Manhattan the other day, you couldn’t miss it — the big bold headline across the front page of the tabloid New York Post, screaming one of those sick, slick lies that are a trademark of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire. There was Uncle Sam, brandishing a revolver and wearing a burglar’s mask. “UNCLE SCAM,” the headline shouted. “US robs bank of $13 billion.”

“The problem: ideology and self-interest trump the facts or even caring about the facts, whether it’s banking, Obamacare or global warming.”

Say what? Pure whitewash, and Murdoch’s minions know it. That $13 billion dollars is the settlement JPMorgan Chase, the country’s biggest bank, is negotiating with the government to settle its own rip-off of American homeowners and investors — those shady practices that five years ago helped trigger the financial meltdown, including manipulating mortgages and sending millions of Americans into bankruptcy or foreclosure. If anybody’s been robbed it’s not JPMorgan Chase, which can absorb the loss and probably take a tax write-off for at least part of it. No, it’s the American public. In addition to financial heartache we still have been denied the satisfaction of seeing jail time for any of the banksters who put our feet in cement and pushed us off the cliff.

This isn’t the only scandal JPMorgan Chase is juggling. A $6 billion settlement with institutional investors is in the works and criminal charges may still be filed in California. The bank is under investigation on so many fronts it’s hard to keep them sorted out – everything from deceptive sales in its credit card unit to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to the criminal manipulation of energy markets and bribing Chinese officials by offering jobs to their kids.

Nor is JPMorgan Chase the only culprit under scrutiny. Bank of America was found guilty just this week of civil fraud, and a gaggle of other banks is being investigated by the government for mortgage fraud. No wonder the camp followers at Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and other cheerleaders have ganged up to whitewash the banks. If justice is somehow served, this could be the biggest egg yet across the smug face of unfettered, unchecked, unaccountable capitalism.

One face in particular: Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. One of Murdoch’s Fox Business News hosts, Charlie Gasparino, claims the Feds are on a witch hunt against Dimon for criticizing President Obama, whose administration, we are told, “is brutally determined and efficient when it comes to squashing those who oppose their policies.” But hold on: Dimon is a Democrat, said to be Obama’s favorite banker, with so much entree he’s been doing his own negotiating with the attorney general of the United States.

But that’s crony capitalism for you, bipartisan to a fault. Rupert Murdoch has been defending Dimon in his media for a long time. Last spring, when it looked like there might be a stockholders revolt against Dimon, Murdoch was one of many bigwigs who rushed to his defense. He tweeted that JPMorgan would be “up a creek” without Dimon. “One of the smartest, toughest guys around,” Murdoch insisted. Whether Murdoch’s exaltation had an effect or not, Dimon was handily reelected.

“Ignorance will kill democracy as surely as the big money that funds and encourages the media outlets, parties and individuals who spew the lies and hate.”

Over the last few days, The Wall Street Journal, both Bible and supplicant of high finance as well as one of Murdoch’s more reputable publications — at least in its reporting — echoed the “UNCLE SCAM” indignation of the more lowbrow Post. The government just wants “to appease their left-wing populist allies,” its editorial writers raged, with a “political shakedown and wealth-redistribution scheme.” Perhaps, the paper suggested, the White House will distribute some of the JPMorgan Chase penalty to consumers and advocacy groups and “have the checks arrive in swing congressional districts right before the 2014 election.” We can hear the closet Bolsheviks panting for their handouts now and getting ready to use their phony ID’s to stuff the box on Election Day with multiple illegal ballots.

Such fantasies are all part of the Murdoch News Corp. pattern, an unending flow of falsehood and phony populism that in reality serves only the wealthy elite. Fox News is its ministry of misinformation, the fake jewel of the News Corp. crown, a 24/7 purveyor of flimflam and the occasional selective truth. Look at the pounding they’ve given Obama’s healthcare reform right from the very start, whether the non-existent death panels or claims that it would cause the highest tax increase in history.

While it’s true that the startup of Obamacare has been plagued by its website nightmare and other problems, Fox News consistently has failed to mention Republican roadblocks that prevented the program from getting proper funding or the fact that so many states ruled by Republican governors and legislatures — more than 30 — have deliberately failed to set up the insurance marketplaces critical to making the new system work. Just the other day, Eric Stern at Salon.com fact-checked a segment on Sean Hannity’s show. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity declared, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”

Eric Stern tracked down each of the Hannity Six and found that while their questions about health reform may have been valid, the answers they received from Hannity or had decided for themselves were not. “I don’t doubt that these six individuals believe that Obamacare is a disaster,” Stern reported. “But none of them had even visited the insurance exchange.”

And there you have the problem: ideology and self-interest trump the facts or even caring about the facts, whether it’s banking, Obamacare or global warming. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists say that climate change is happening and that humans have made it so, but only four in ten Americans realize it’s true. According to a new study in the journal Public Understanding of Science, written by a team that includes Yale University’s Anthony Leiserowitz, the more that people listen to conservative media like Fox News or Limbaugh, the less sure they are that global warming is real. And even worse, the less they trust science.

Such ignorance will kill democracy as surely as the big money that funds and encourages the media outlets, parties and individuals who spew the lies and hate. The ground is all too fertile for those who will only believe whatever best fits their resentment or particular brand of paranoia. It is, as an old song lyric goes, “the self-deception that believes the lie.” The truth will set us free; the lie will make prisoners of us all.

Bill Moyers

Journalist Bill Moyers is the host of the new show Moyers & Company, a weekly series of smart talk and new ideas aimed at helping viewers make sense of our tumultuous times through the insight of America’s strongest thinkers.. His previous shows on PBS included NOW with Bill Moyers and Bill Moyers Journal. Over the past three decades he has become an icon of American journalism and is the author of many books, including Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, Moyers on Democracy, and Bill Moyers: On Faith & Reason.He was one of the organizers of the Peace Corps, a special assistant for Lyndon B. Johnson, a publisher of Newsday, senior correspondent for CBS News and a producer of many groundbreaking series on public television. He is the winner of more than 30 Emmys, nine Peabodys, three George Polk awards and is the author of three best-selling books.

Michael Winship

Michael Winship, senior writing fellow at Demos and president of the Writers Guild of America-East, is senior writer for Bill Moyers’ new weekend show Moyers & Company.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Jon Stewart Goes on Epic Smackdown Against CNBC, FBN ‘F*ck All Y’all!’

PoliticalStar!·

Published on Oct 23, 2013

Jon Stewart does not often dip into the shenanigans of the financial world, but when he does, it’s certainly something to see. And he set his sites Wednesday night on financial networks CNBC and Fox Business Network for their incredibly hyperbolic outrage over JP Morgan paying a settlement fine of $13 billion.

Business analysts are calling the settlement a “shakedown and a jihad.” Stewart took it one step further, suggesting “it’s like if the Holocaust had sex with slavery while the last ten minutes of Human Centipede watched!”

Stewart pointed out how JP Morgan anticipated potential litigation issues and set aside a rainy day fund. “And guess what? It’s raining, motherfucker!” He mercilessly mocked the two networks for their unqualified defense of anyone and everything in the business world, and ended the segment with an impassioned “Fuck all y’all!”

 

……….

 

JPMorgan Chase’s $13 Billion Fine Pales Next To Profits From Crisis Deals

 

The Huffington Post  |  By

Posted: 10/21/2013 11:42 am EDT  |  Updated: 10/22/2013 2:57 pm EDT

If JPMorgan Chase is a scapegoat, it is an extremely well-paid scapegoat: The crisis-era mergers that are costing the bank a small fortune in fines probably have racked up an even bigger fortune in profits.

Many on Wall Street, including the Wall Street Journal editorial page, are in a fit of rage over the news that JPMorgan has struck a tentative deal to pay $13 billion to settle federal charges that it sold bad mortgage securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ahead of the crisis.

The source of the rage is the fact that most of these securities were sold by Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, two banks that JPMorgan bought in 2008 to help calm the financial crisis.

It seems JPMorgan is being punished unfairly for its kind-hearted assistance to the U.S. government at its darkest hour. That should make JPMorgan and other massive banks far less likely to come to the rescue in the next financial crisis, in Wall Street’s view.

“My only hope,” bank analyst Gerard Cassidy of RBC Capital Markets sobs on the Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog, “is that the next time a large financial institution gets into trouble and the government calls a large bank CEO to help with a bail out that he chooses not to pick up the phone.”

But before we start playing the world’s smallest violin for America’s biggest bank (by assets), it is worth remembering that JPMorgan and its CEO, Jamie Dimon, knew the risks when they bought Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. They took the good with the bad, and there will likely be a lot more good from those deals than bad.

When asked for comment on this story, JPMorgan spokesman Joseph Evangelisti pointed to Dimon’s annual letters to shareholders in the past two years, saying “he gives plenty of detail on the pluses and minuses of the WaMu and Bear purchases.” You can read them for yourself, but I didn’t see all that much detail in them. The 2010 letter has a little bit more detail, but no tally of the pros and cons.

In each letter, Dimon brags that the bank absorbed Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual without hurting its capital levels. That is at least partly because JPMorgan bought both banks at fire-sale prices.

 

Read More and Watch Video Here

……….

Enhanced by Zemanta

Press TV: School killings, first shock, then blame and conspiracy

 

Grieving residents gather following a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

Grieving residents gather following a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

“America is crumbling from within and even the wanton killings of the innocent children of Sandy Hook Elementary School have failed to touch hearts hardened over long years of brutality.”

 

America is a nation that has known tragedy but will never be able to come together in suffering and support.

America is crumbling from within and even the wanton killings of the innocent children of Sandy Hook Elementary School have failed to touch hearts hardened over long years of brutality.

The murder of twenty children, mostly five and six-year-olds, in an otherwise peaceful town in Connecticut is conveniently called a “tragedy.” It is much more than that.

I refer to the children only though there were seven adults that were butchered also. Children represent something that is supposed to be universal to all of us, something everyone can understand, parents, grandparents, siblings, the idea of a small child, forty pounds, not yet four feet tall, shot nearly a dozen times with a precision Swiss semi-automatic pistol, this should be a picture all can draw common horror from.

In a sane world, this would be the case but we do not live in a sane world.

I see the scene “in my head,” twenty children blown to pieces, I picture myself as one of the police officers entering the scene. As a former soldier, it is not hard to imagine this scene; I see versions of it every time I sleep, as do so many others.

The butchery should be unimaginable but it is not.

I would be remiss if I did not point out that an almost identical scene, perhaps even more ghastly, more children dead, happened in Gaza only a few short days ago.

President Obama was silent on this.

We could also talk about the other killings, so many, so often, mass murders, Breveik’s seventy seven in Norway, all children albeit a bit older or so many attacks, America, Europe, some murders, some from war.

The blood pools, the blood of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School had not begun to dry, to take on that reddish brown hue we know so well before the busy little minds of America’s political opportunists kicked into “high gear.”

First was Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, former presidential hopeful, current spokesman for Rupert Murdoch’s “Fox News.” Huckabee inferred that the murders were the “will of god.”

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools… should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

Congresswoman Michelle Bachman of Minnesota equates violence in schools with “Jihadi lunches.” Bachman pointed out that schools that served “terrorist lunches” that included falafel or hummus, substances she believes likely to draw down the “wrath of god,” are responsible.

Within five minutes of the first reports, mass emailings originating from “think tanks” tied to the National Rifle Association, an ultra-right wing, pro-Israel group, credited President Obama and the CIA with planning the attack.

Many spoke of how the president faked his tears, knowing well he had personally ordered the carnage as part of a plot to seize America’s guns and implement what was actually the totalitarian regime promised by his former electoral opponent, Mitt Romney.

The emails claimed that Adam Lanza, thus far seen as the lone shooter, was part of a mind control program to bring about a slaughter akin to the Jonesboro killings that are cited as responsible for Australia’s draconian weapons laws.

I am sure that millions of dollars were sent to the NRA and tens of thousands of Americans rushed out to buy the same weapons Lanza is reputed to have used during his “kindergarten killing spree.”

Not to be outdone, the Israeli papers, the Jerusalem Post in particular, focused on six-year-old Noah Posner, the only Jewish victim.

Though Noah’s parents have our heartfelt condolences, the Post simply does not understand what their “take” on the tragedy tells the rest of us:

“authorities release names of twenty children, six adults; list includes youngest victim, 6-year-old Jewish child Noah Pozner.”

 

Read Full Article Here

Rupert Murdoch Under Fire for MidEast Tweet: ‘Can’t Obama Stop His Friends in Egypt Shelling Israel?’

by

The Blaze

Rupert Murdoch scientology

(Photo: AP)

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is under fire for weighing in on the violence cascading throughout the Middle East on his Twitter account, where he implied that President Obama should have more influence with the Egyptians he helped put into power.

“Can’t Obama stop his friends in Egypt shelling Israel?” the News Corp. chief wrote from his verified Twitter account.

Israel has been under attack from all sides for the past four days, facing hundreds of rockets from Gaza, skirmishes on the Syrian border, and now rockets from extremists in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as well.

Rupert Murdoch Tweets: Cant Obama Stop His Friends in Egypt Shelling Israel?

(Photo: Twitter/@rupertmurdoch)

The Egyptian government was arguably the most significant transfer of power during the so-called “Arab Spring,” when President Obama supported what appeared to be the youth of Egypt calling for freedom from longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, but ended with Islamists controlling the government.

“I have no words. Just disgusting,” a Daily Kos article says of Murdoch’s “offensive” tweet.

Twitchy grabbed a number of other responses, most of which implied that Murdoch is “off his medication,” “drunk,” “evil,” or “dribbling in public.”

“Why aren’t you in jail yet?” one Twitter user asked.

But that’s not all Murdoch had to say.

“Middle East ready to boil over any day. Israel position precarious. Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment,” he asserted.

As of this article’s publication, Murdoch’s most recent tweet reads: “Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti- Israel in every crisis?”

Recently re-elected, President Obama is currently traveling throughout Southeast Asia.

(H/T: Twitchy)

Related:

Society of Professional Journalists

Society of Professional Journalists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rupert Murdoch - Caricature

Rupert Murdoch – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Fox News gets okay to misinform public, court ruling

03/09/10 11:48 Filed in: Media Reform

courtesy of Broadcast Bluescourtesy of The Corporation

UPDATED:Many news agencies lie and distort facts, not many have the guts to admit it…in court…positioning the First Amendment as their defense!

The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, successfully argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves. We are pushing for a consumer protection solution that labels news content according to its adherence to ethical journalism standards that have been codified by the Society of Professional Journalists (Ethics: spj.org).
A News Quality Rating System and Content Labeling approach, follows a tradition of consumer protection product labeling, that is very familiar to Americans. The ratings are anti-censorship and can benefit consumers.

Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie.
By Mike Gaddy. Published Feb. 28, 2003
On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

On August 18, 2000, a six-person jury was unanimous in its conclusion that Akre was indeed fired for threatening to report the station’s pressure to broadcast what jurors decided was “a false, distorted, or slanted” story about the widespread use of growth hormone in dairy cows.

The court did not dispute the heart of Akre’s claim, that Fox pressured her to broadcast a false story to protect the broadcaster from having to defend the truth in court, as well as suffer the ire of irate advertisers. Fox argued from the first, and failed on three separate occasions, in front of three different judges, to have the case tossed out on the grounds there is no hard, fast, and written rule against deliberate distortion of the news.

The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation. Fox aired a report after the ruling saying it was “totally vindicated” by the verdict.

Politics and Legislation

UK minister denies colluding with Murdochs

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Britain’s culture minister has denied having inappropriate contacts with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in testimony before a public inquiry, as pressure continues to mount on Prime Minister David Cameron’s government over the issue.

Jeremy Hunt, appearing before the Leveson media standards inquiry on Thursday, admitted that he was “sympathetic” towards US-based News Corporation’s failed bid to control British satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Al Jazeera’s Peter Sharp reports from London.

GOP 2012 Voter Suppression Begins in Florida

Published on May 31, 2012 by

From the Majority Report, live M-F 12 noon EST and via daily podcast at http://Majority.FM:
Thousands upon thousands of eligible voters are being told they cannot vote in Florida…

‘ACTA could turn honest citizens into criminals by mistake’

Amazing  how  they  can see through  this move in  Europe  and no one  can seem  to  see their way  clear  of the  subterfuge hidden  within  this legislation here  in the United  States!  Makes  you  wonder  huh ?

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The controversial ACTA anti-piracy agreement has been dealt a blow by the European Parliament. Three key committees have voted against the treaty, citing concerns over its legality. ACTA sparked Europe-wide protests, with activists saying online freedom of speech is being put at risk.

Rick Falkvinge from the Swedish Pirate Party says the treaty is confused at best.

FISA: US under total surveillance

Published on May 31, 2012 by

On Thursday, US lawmakers discussed whether or not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act should be renewed. FISA gives government the power to monitor phone calls, emails and other forms of electronic communication. Critics believe that FISA can now be used to target citizens all in the name of homeland security. Andrew Blake, RT’s web producer, joins us with more on the controversial legislation and discusses other legislation such as CISPA, SOPA and PIPA.

 

 

House rejects bill penalizing doctors for sex-selective abortions

By Pete Kasperowicz

The House on Thursday rejected a Republican bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions for the sole purpose of controlling the gender of the child, a practice known as sex-selective abortion.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, was defeated in a 246-168 vote. While that’s a clear majority of the House, Republicans called up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which limits debate and requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. In this case, it would have required more support from Democrats.

 

Twenty Democrats voted for the bill, while seven Republicans opposed it. The bill would have needed 30 more yeas to pass.

Suspension votes are normally used for noncontroversial bills, but the GOP-backed measure was clearly controversial. Republicans have occasionally put controversial bills on the suspension calendar in order to highlight that Democrats oppose certain policies.

In some cases, Republicans have rescheduled these bills for regular consideration after they have failed, allowing for passage by a simple majority. But Republicans gave no sign that they would try again with PRENDA.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that the issue of stopping sex-selective abortion is important enough that they would try again, but he was not specific.

 

Read Full Article Here

**********************************************************************************

Economy

Who Will Benefit From Haiti’s Gold Rush? Haitian Govt Embraces U.S., Canadian Mining Firms

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Democracynow.org – After years of rumors that mining companies were exploring in Haiti, Canadian and U.S. corporations now confirm they have permits to mine gold in more than 1,000 square-miles in northern Haiti. Haiti’s new prime minister says the estimated $20 billion worth of minerals in Haiti’s hills could help liberate it from dependency on foreign aid, and rebuild from the devastating 2010 earthquake. But many worry the mines will be a boom for foreign investors and a bust for local communities. We speak to Jane Regan, lead author of “Gold Rush in Haiti: Who Will Get Rich?” The report by Haiti Grassroots Watch was published Wednesday in The Guardian and Haïti Liberté. “You have a perfect storm brewing where you have giant pit mines in the north in a country that is already environmentally devastated and giant pit mines being run by Canadian and American companies,” Regan says. “Most of the money and gold dug up will go straight north.”

To watch the complete weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Indian anger over economic woes

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Thousands of labourers have walked off the job in India in protest over fuel prices.

The strike on Thursday was organised by the country’s main opposition party after the government announced a new set of price hikes.

Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi, India.

 

Moody’s cuts ratings for 9 Danish banks

LAST UPDATE
Moody’s Investors Service has cut its credit ratings for nine Danish banks, citing the impact of the ongoing eurozone crisis on bank loan quality and on their fund-raising capacity.

The ratings agency lowered the debt ratings of the banks, along with the Finnish subsidiary of one of the banks, by up to three notches on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The banks are Danske Bank, Jyske Bank, Sydbank, Spar Nord Bank, Ringkjobing Landbobank, Nykredit, Realkredit, DLR Kredit, and Danmarks Skibskredit. Moody’s also downgraded Danske Bank’s Finnish arm Sampo Bank.

“Danish financial institutions face sluggish domestic economic growth, weakening real estate prices, and higher levels of unemployment, as well as the risk of external shocks from the ongoing euro area debt crisis,” Moody’s said.

“Asset quality is deteriorating, and these pressures are expected to continue,” it added.

The agency also noted that the significant reliance of most of the financial institutions on market funding has enhanced their vulnerability to the eurozone crisis.

“Structural changes to that market have increased refinancing risk, posing a particular concern for mortgage credit institutions whose access to alternative funding is limited,” Moody’s stated.

Europe was hit by a serious financial crisis in 2008 and the situation has intensified over the past few months.

GJH/MHB/AS/HN

 

***********************************************************************************

Wars and Rumors of War

Freed Bahraini Activists Nabeel Rajab & Zainab Alkhawaja Urge End to U.S.-Backed Crackdown

Published on May 31, 2012 by

DemocracyNow.org – We go to Bahrain to speak with two recently released political prisoners, Zainab Alkhawaja and Nabeel Rajab, both jailed for protesting the U.S.-backed monarchy. Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was released on bail after being held for nearly a month. “We always thought that America and Bahrain’s good relations would benefit our fight for freedom and democracy in our region, but it has turned out to be opposite,” he says. “They are supporting a dictator here, the oppressive regime. … We have to suffer for being a rich region.” Alkhawaja, who was jailed in April after protesting the detention of her father, Abdulhadi, vows: “We are going to carry on protesting … It doesn’t matter if we get arrested five, six, 10 times, it’s not going to stop. In the end, we have sacrificed a lot for democracy and freedom.”

To watch the complete weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Rwanda ‘training rebels to fight Congo army’

Published on May 31, 2012 by

A group of defectors fighting for the M23 rebel movement against the Congolese army say that they were recruited and trained in neighbouring Rwanda against their will.

The revelations come after weeks of fighting in the east of the country and would be the first direct evidence that Rwandan troops are involved in the fighting that has displaced thousands from their homes.

The allegations made by the rebel defectors across the border in Congo will strain relations with Rwanda, but so far officials from both sides have held back, and are talking about a joint investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.

Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports from Kigali.

Israel returns remains of Palestinians

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The bodies of 91 Palestinians who died in Israel have been handed over to the Palestinian Authority.

The remains had been buried in unmarked graves in a cemetery controlled by the Israeli army. Some had been there for more than three decades.

Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports from Ramallah.

‘Rebels behind Houla massacre, US plan to destabilize & save Syria in full swing’

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The Syrian government says the massacre of more than a hundred people in the Syrian town of Houla was the work of armed terrorist gangs. This, as the U.S. Secretary of State admits military planning for action in Syria is already going ahead, but Moscow has vowed to block any moves for outside interference at the UN.

Activist Sara Flounders talks to RT. She says Washington was never interested in a diplomatic solution in Syria.

 

 

Mosaic News: Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins election

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins the election, Sudan pulls troops from Abyei amid new bombing accusations by the South, prominent Bahraini activist Zainab al-Khawaja released on bail, and more.

Today’s headlines in full:

Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins election
Al-Alam, Iran

Sudan pulls troops from Abyei amid new bombing accusations by South
Dubai TV, UAE

Prominent Bahraini activist Zainab al-Khawaja released on bail
BBC Arabic, UK

Afghan rage over sharp increase in civilian casualties
Press TV, Iran

Israel lacks courage to wage war on Iran, says Supreme Leader’s aide
Press TV, Iran

Iran’s foreign ministry in talks with Saudi Arabia over jailed Iranians
Press TV, Iran

Iran hit by ‘Flame’ computer virus as Israel keeps mum on speculated involvement
IBA, Israel

Turkey authorizes arrest warrants for ex-IDF chiefs over 2010 flotilla deaths
IBA, Israel

Israeli forces turn Palestinian family home into prison
Palestine TV, Ramallah

Mood ‘deeply disturbed’ by executions in Syria
Future TV, Lebanon

Iraqis rally for national unity as government faces no-confidence vote
Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq

Image: Flyers of Egyptian presidential candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq are seen on the ground outside his campaign headquarters in Cairo May 29, 2012:L REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Mosaic is a Peabody Award-winning daily compilation of television news reports from the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq and Iran. Watch more Mosaic at http://www.linktv.org/mosaic

 

 

 

Syrian ‘rebels’ (CIA, Mossad, MI6) issue ultimatum to Assad: Capitulate or we blow your country apart

Irish Times

Syrian ‘rebels’ pose for the camera

Syrian rebels have given president Bashar al-Assad a 48-hour deadline to comply with an international peace plan otherwise they would renew their battle to overthrow him.

The ultimatum was issued after UN observers reported the discovery of 13 bodies bound and shot in eastern Syria, adding to the world outcry over the massacre last week of 108 men, women and children.

The latest developments emphasised how the peace plan drafted by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has failed to stem 14 months of bloodshed or bring the Syrian government and opposition to the negotiating table.

Col Qassim Saadeddine of the rebel Free Syrian Army said its leadership set a deadline of 9am tomorrow for Mr Assad to implement the peace plan, which includes a ceasefire, deployment of observers, and free access for humanitarina aid and journalists.

If it fails to do so “we are free from any commitment and we will defend and protect the civilians, their villages and their cities,” Mr Saadeddine said in a statement posted on social media.

Both sides in the conflict have violated a tenuous ceasefire over the past two months but Mr Assad’s forces have been by far the worst offender, according to UN monitors.

Outrage at last Friday’s massacre in the town of Houla, led a host of Western countries to expel senior Syrian diplomats on Tuesday and to press Russia and China to allow tougher action by the UN Security Council.

Major-general Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of the observer mission, said the 13 corpses found yesterday in Assukar, about 50 km (east of Deir al-Zor, had their hands tied behind their backs. Some had been shot in the head from close range.

Mr Mood called the latest killings an “appalling and inexcusable act” and appealed to all factions to end the cycle of violence.

He did not apportion any blame but Syrian activists said the victims were army defectors killed by Mr Assad’s forces.

Video footage posted by activists showed the bodies face down on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, with dark pools of blood around their heads and torsos.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said in New York on Tuesday that the Syrian army and “shabbiha” militiamen supporting Assad were probably responsible for killing the 108 people in Houla with artillery and tank fire, guns and knives.

The government denied any responsibility and blamed Islamist “terrorists” – its term for rebel forces.

The uprising began last March with street protests against Mr Assad, who succeeeded his late, authoritarian father Hafez al-Assad 11 years ago to perpetuate the family dynasty.

While initially a pro-democracry movement, the struggle has grown into an armed struggle increasingly involving sectarian rivalries pitting the Sunni Muslim majority against the Alawite sect, to which the Assad clan belongs.

Mr Assad’s forces have killed 7,500 people since it began, according to a UN toll. The government, which says the unrest is the work of foreign-backed terrorists, says more than 2,600 soldiers or security agents have been killed.

Mr nnan, trying to save his peace plan from collapse, told Mr Assad in Damascus on Tuesday that Syria was at a tipping point.The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that more than 100 people were killed in Houla the same day.

Diplomats said the UN Human Rights Council would meet in Geneva on Friday to consider the Houla massacre, the fourth time Syria has faced such scrutiny since the anti-Assad revolt broke out in March 2011.

Mr Assad has so far proved impervious to international scolding and Western sanctions for his crackdown and has failed to return troops and tanks to barracks, as required by the Annan plan.

However, the UN observers sent in to monitor a notional ceasefire were able to verify the horrors in Houla, which produced a wave of world revulsion.

Mr Assad’s heavyweight international allies, China and Russia, stuck to their rejection of any intervention or UN-backed penalties to force him to change course.

The West is itself averse to military intervention, although French president Francois Hollande said on Tuesday this could change if the UN Security Council backed it. But that is not possible unless veto-wielding members Russia and China allow it.

Turkey joined other countries including the United States, Britain, France and Germany in expelling Syrian diplomats in protest at the Houla massacre, saying unspecified international measures would follow if crimes against humanity continued.

Stung by the expulsions, Syria told the Dutch chargee d’affaires to leave. She was one of the few senior Western diplomats left in Damascus.

Despite the diplomatic deadlock, Mr Annan, a former UN secretary-general and Nobel peace laureate, is pressing on with his mission.

“It is important to find a solution that will lead to a democratic transition in Syria and find a way of ending the killings as soon as possible,” he said after talks in Jordan yesterday.

***********************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

New Yorkers Sound Off on Bloomberg’s Drink Ban

Published on May 31, 2012 by

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined a plan Wednesday to ban the sale of sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts and other venues.

Reason.tv’s Anthony Fisher took to the streets to ask New Yorkers what they thought about Bloomberg and the ban.

Approximately 2 minutes.

Camera by Kaplan Akincilar. Produced by Anthony Fisher

 

 

Propaganda Alert! Iran site buildings completely razed: US think-tank

Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
Print

A U.S. security institute has published satellite images which it said increased concerns that Iran was trying to “destroy evidence” of suspected past research relevant for developing a nuclear weapons capability, a charge Tehran dismisses.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) posted them on its website hours after diplomats said the U.N. atomic watchdog showed what appeared to be similar imagery at a closed-door briefing in Vienna.

Western envoys who attended Wednesday’s briefing earlier told Reuters that two small side buildings at the Parchin military facility had been removed, and ISIS said its pictures from May 25 showed that they “have been completely razed”.

The disclosure followed inconclusive talks between Iran and six world powers in Baghdad last week to address concerns about the nature of its nuclear activities, which Iran says are aimed at generating electricity.

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly asked Iran for access to Parchin as part of a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran may be seeking the ability to assemble nuclear bombs, should it decide to do so.

The Islamic state has so far refused to let inspectors visit the facility – which it describes as a conventional military complex – saying there must first be a broader framework agreement on how to address the IAEA’s questions.

The new satellite images will add to Western suspicions that Iran is “sanitizing” the site of any incriminating evidence before allowing the IAEA to go there.

Iran’s IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, dismissed such accusations by Western officials, telling reporters after the briefing at IAEA headquarters that “this kind of noise and allegations are baseless”.

ISIS, which tracks Iran’s nuclear programme closely, said there were visible tracks in the images “made by heavy machinery used in the demolition process”, adding that the two buildings had been intact in early April.

No Parchin Access?

“Heavy machinery tracks and extensive evidence of earth displacement is also visible throughout the interior as well as the exterior of the site’s perimeter,” the think-tank said.

The Parchin complex is at the centre of Western allegations that Iran has been conducting research and experiments that could serve a nuclear weapons development programme. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied any such ambition.

Last week, the IAEA said in a report issued to member states that satellite images showed “extensive activities” at the facility southeast of Tehran.

Western diplomats said this was an allusion to suspected cleaning at Parchin. They have earlier cited other images showing recent activity at the site, including a stream of water, as suggesting Iran is trying to remove evidence.

Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability, has dismissed charges aired about Parchin as “childish” and “ridiculous”.

“The newest image raises concerns that Iran is attempting to raze the site prior to allowing an IAEA visit. The razing of the two buildings may also indicate that Iran has no intention to allow inspectors access soon,” ISIS said.

An IAEA report last November said Iran had built a large containment vessel in 2000 at Parchin in which to conduct tests that the U.N. agency said were “strong indicators of possible (nuclear) weapon development.”

It said a building was constructed around a large cylindrical object, a vessel designed to contain the detonation of up to 70 kg of high explosives. Diplomatic sources say the suspected tests likely took place about a decade ago.

Last week, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying the IAEA had not yet given good enough reasons to visit Parchin.

Comment: Images and words about tracks in dirt made by heavy machinery is offered as proof. No mention of earlier International Atomic Energy Agency Reports where the IAEA clearly said Iran is not a nuclear threat and has no nuclear ambitions in any military capacity.

Things are starting to take a repeat roll of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The obvious target: Iran.

But, first things first: NATO’s ‘Civil War’ Machine Rolls Into Syria

By the way, construction in and around nuclear sites is not uncommon. In simple terms; a construction company who did work inside the facility leveled the lunchroom they built for their workers, since work at the site was complete. Leave it to the West to always conclude (for us) the worst, while bastardizing free decent people, whose resources the 1% intend on plundering.

 

 

 

WikLeaks Founder Assange Loses U.K. Extradition Appeal

The Vancouver Sun

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, but put his deportation on hold to give his lawyers a final chance to reopen the case.

The court, which handed down its decision after an 18-month legal marathon, rejected Assange’s argument that the Swedish prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant over sex crime allegations was not entitled to do so.

Julian Assange

© unknown
Julian Assange

“The request for Mr Assange’s extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed,” Supreme Court president Nicholas Phillips said as he delivered the ruling to a hushed courtroom.

The seven judges were split five to two but their majority ruling was that the prosecutor was a rightful judicial authority, and therefore allowed to issue the warrant for the Internet whistleblower.

But in a new twist, Assange’s lawyer Dinah Rose asked for 14 days to consider whether to apply to reopen the case, on the grounds that the judgment referred to material that was not mentioned during the last hearing in February.

The judge granted the request, which is highly unusual in the three-year history of the Supreme Court.

“With the agreement of the respondent, the required period for extradition shall not commence until 13th June 2012,” the Supreme Court said in a statement.

Assange, a 40-year-old Australian national, was not in the central London court for the judgment. One of his supporters, journalist John Pilger, said he was “stuck in traffic” with his mother, who flew in from Australia for the verdict.

The Swedish lawyer for the two women who accuse Assange of rape and sexual assault said he would be extradited eventually.

“The decision was what we expected . . . It’s unfortunate that it has been delayed further, but he will ultimately be extradited,” Claes Borgstroem told AFP.

Assange is at present wanted for questioning over the sex crime allegations, but Borgstroem said he expected an indictment perhaps within a month after he gets to Sweden.

Australia said it would closely monitor the case and added that consular officials were available to help him if he wished.

“The Australian government cannot interfere in the judicial processes of other governments but we will closely monitor the proceedings against Mr Assange in Sweden,” said a spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Assange, whose website enraged Washington by releasing a flood of state and military secrets, has been living under tight restrictions on his movement for 540 days, including wearing an ankle tag and reporting daily to police.

He has said he fears his extradition would eventually lead to his transfer to the United States, where U.S. soldier Bradley Manning is facing a court-martial over accusations that he handed documents to WikiLeaks.

Outside court, Assange’s principal lawyer Gareth Peirce confirmed that the extradition was stayed while his legal team considers whether to apply to reopen the case, although the judgment still stands.

The point in question is the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties, “which was never addressed in the hearing, one way or another, by either side,” Peirce added.

If Assange fails to have the case reopened in Britain, he still has the option of a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The white-haired Assange does not deny that he had sex with two WikiLeaks volunteers in Sweden while attending a WikiLeaks seminar, but insists the sex was consensual and argues there are political motives behind the attempts to extradite him.

Assange’s mother Christine told Australian television ahead of the judgment: “It’s a 24-hour nightmare because we know he is not safe and the biggest governments in the world are gunning for him.”

The former computer hacker has been fighting deportation since his arrest in London in December 2010 on the European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

The Supreme Court is his final avenue of appeal under British law, after two lower courts ruled he should be sent to Sweden for questioning.

 

 

 

UK doctors set first strike date in 40 years

Press TV

The British Medical Association has decided to delay non-urgent patient care on June 21 after doctors voted with an overwhelming majority for the first industrial action in the profession in 40 years.

The BMA said in an open letter published in UK newspapers that the “reluctant” day of action is not meant to harm anyone and those with the most severe situations will still have access to medical care.

“On that day, doctors will be in their usual workplaces but providing urgent and emergency care only”, wrote the BMA.

“We will be postponing non-urgent cases and although this will be disruptive to the NHS, rest assured, doctors will be there when our patients need us most and our action will not impact on your safety,” it added.

The letter said the doctors are keen to have their “voice heard by the government.”

The action comes after BMA warned ministers against pushing ahead with “totally unjustified” pension contribution rises and a simultaneous increase in doctors’ retirement age.

The move puts doctors alongside a host of other public sector workers including teachers, civil service personnel and even police officers who have already announced or launched strikes in reaction to the austerity measures and changes to their pension schemes.

“We are taking this step very reluctantly, and would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution,” said chairman of council at the BMA, Dr Hamish Meldrum.

“But this clear mandate for action – on a very high turnout – reflects just how let down doctors feel by the Government’s unwillingness to find a fairer approach to the latest pension changes and its refusal to acknowledge the major reforms of 2008 that made the NHS scheme sustainable in the long term,” Meldrum added.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen lashes bankers during Berlin concert

The Guardian

© Britta Pedersen/EPA
Bruce Springsteen tapped into Europe’s anger at bankers while performing at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Rocker taps into anger at financial world, dedicating anti-bank song to ‘those who are struggling in Europe and Berlin’

Bruce Springsteen has touched on a nerve of widespread discontent with financiers and bankers while performing a concert in Berlin.

Springsteen played to a sold-out crowd at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, singing from his album Wrecking Ball and speaking about tough economic times that have put people out of work worldwide and led to debt crises in Greece and other countries.

“In America a lot of people have lost their jobs,” said Springsteen, 62, who performed for three hours to 58,000 fans in the stadium that hosted the 1936 Olympics and 2006 World Cup final.

“But also in Europe and in Berlin, times are tough,” he said, speaking in German. “This song is for all those who are struggling.” He then introduced Jack of All Trades, a withering attack on bankers that includes the lyrics: “The banker man grows fat, working man grows thin.”

Europe has been especially hard hit since 2008’s financial meltdown that sparked an enduring sovereign debt crisis. Unemployment on the continent has risen to levels not seen since the 1990s.

Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour began on 13 May in Spain, which is struggling with its crushing debt load, and runs for two and a half months with 33 stops in 15 countries before concluding on 31 July in Helsinki.

Berlin has been a special place for Springsteen since his July 1988 concert behind the old Iron Curtain in East Berlin.

Watched by 160,000 people, it was the biggest rock show in East German history, and The Boss spoke out against the “barriers” keeping East Germans prisoners in their country. Some historians have said the concert fed into a movement gaining moment at the time that contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall 16 months later in November 1989.

“Once in a while you play a place, a show that ends up staying inside of you, living with you for the rest of your life,” he told the crowd on Wednesday after being handed a poster from a fan thanking him for the 1988 concert. “East Berlin in 1988 was certainly one of them.”

Germany has weathered the financial crisis well so far but Berlin itself is struggling with double-digit unemployment, low wages and a high incidence of poverty.

“The financial world has caused us all a lot of our problems and Springsteen has always been a critical spirit – that’s what I like about him,” said Kathleen Wapp, a 42-year-old doctor’s assistant from Wolfsburg who was at the show. “I like the way he’s not afraid to put a critical light on the key issues.”

“I think it’s great the way he’s taking on the banking industry – he’s got it dead right,” said Matthias Beck, 46, a carpenter from Leipzig. “There’s hardly anything good about banks. They take advantage of the little people and it’s always hard to find someone who’ll take responsibility when it all goes wrong.”

Source: Reuters

************************************************************************************

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Obama’s below-the-radar healthcare push


By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck

The Obama administration is employing an aggressive ground game to build support for its controversial healthcare law that often reaches beyond the Beltway.

While President Obama doesn’t mention healthcare much in his public appearances, the administration consistently touts its popular reforms to make the case for a law whose approval rating is stuck just below 50 percent.

In the two years since Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the administration has released a deluge of reports, press releases and blog posts from the White House and the Health and Human Services Department (HHS). The administration consistently highlights new policies as they take effect and tries to keep other popular provisions, such as discounts on prescription drugs, in the news.

Read Full Article Here

Rep. Issa circulates contempt resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder

By Jordy Yager

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has circulated a draft copy of a resolution that would hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

The 44-page measure was sent to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday in an attempt to shore up support for what would be the toughest action taken by Issa as chairman of the powerful panel.

Issa has been investigating the botched gun tracking operation Fast and Furious for more than a year and has repeatedly expressed his frustration at the Department of Justice’s lack of cooperation.

Issa has issued two subpoenas to obtain documents from the DOJ, and is arguing that the agency’s glacial pace in returning the requested information provides cause for holding Holder in contempt of Congress.

“The Justice Department’s failure to respond appropriately to the allegations of whistleblowers and to cooperate with congressional oversight has crossed the line of appropriate conduct for a government agency,” reads a 17-page memo attached to the draft copy of the resolution on contempt circulated to members.

“Congress now faces a moment of decision between exerting its full authority to compel an agency refusing to cooperate with congressional oversight or accepting a dangerous expansion of executive-branch authority and unilateral action allowing agencies to set their own terms for cooperating with congressional oversight.”

Issa says he has received about 7,300 documents from the DOJ. That’s only a small fraction of the documents that Justice has provided to its inspector general, who has been conducting an investigation of Fast and Furious for more than a year.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) recently said the oversight committee has received documents in only 10 of the 22 categories that Issa requested in last year’s subpoena.

The DOJ has said it has been responsive to Issa’s large request for documents. In some cases, the agency opted not to turn over documents because their public release could damage ongoing criminal cases, according to agency officials.

Read Full Article Here

RELATED ARTICLES

Blind Chinese dissident calls Congress, wants meeting with Secretary Clinton

By Pete Kasperowicz – 05/03/12 04:26 PM ET

The Chinese dissident at the center of a political firestorm called a hearing Thursday and told lawmakers he wants to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng called a hearing set up to explore his efforts to leave China and escape persecution—apparently from a Chinese hospital room.

“I want to meet with Secretary Clinton,” he said on the phone. “I hope I can get more help from her. I also want to thank her face to face.”

Chen added that he is most concerned with his family, and said, “I really want to know what’s going on with them.”

“I want to thank all of you for your care and your love,” he added, through a translation by Pastor Bob Fu, Founder and President, ChinaAid Association. Fu was a witness at Thursday’s hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Chen is at the center of a diplomatic row between the U.S. and China that has become a political liability for President Obama.

Read Full Article And Watch Video  Here


**********************************************************************************

Economy

Wall Street CEOs Personally Lobby Federal Reserve to Weaken New Financial Regulations

By Travis Waldron

Federal regulators in charge of writing the Volcker Rule, which would ban federally-insured financial institutions from risky proprietary trading, are moving at a faster pace than expected and could have the rule finalized by September.

Wall Street banks have been lobbying to weaken the rule since it was originally proposed by its namesake, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and now that it is just months away from finalization, their efforts are getting stronger. The chief executives of six major Wall Street banks, led by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, traveled to Washington yesterday to personally lobby the Federal Reserve on multiple issues — weakening the Volcker Rule chief among them — Bloomberg reports:

Read Full Article Here

Everyone Agrees That the Decline in Pay has Been Understated

logo private sector of the americas

By Dean Baker

Jason Richwine and Andrew Biggs have a piece saying that many public-sector workers are overpaid in which they also say that I agree with them in much of their analysis. This is true.

Let me outline what I think are areas of agreement. First, we seem to agree that if we just compare the wages paid to public-sector and private-sector workers, the latter do better. When we adjust for education and experience, private sector workers tend to get higher pay than their counterparts in the public sector.

This is not true across the board. My colleague John Schmitt has found that while workers with college and advanced degrees (e.g. doctors and lawyers) get less in the public sector, less-educated workers get paid the same or slightly more than their counterparts in the private sector. In other words, there is less inequality in public sector wages than we see in the private sector, with the average being somewhat lower.

We also agree that the lower wages for public-sector workers are largely or completely offset by higher benefits. The key difference here is that public-sector workers are far more likely to have a traditional defined benefit pension plan. Most workers in the public sector still have defined benefit pensions, while less than 20 percent of workers in the private sector do. (The difference is considerably less stark if we restrict the comparison to large private firms, where defined benefit plans are still common.)

Read Full Article Here

Ford Motor Backs Thailand And Opens Second Plant

Published on May 3, 2012 by

Ford opened a second plant in Thailand on Thursday giving the firm the ability to produce 445,000 vehicles a year in the country.

Expect stagnant U.S. economy in 2013: Roubini

Second half of a double-dip recession is possible, economist says

 |Russ Britt, MarketWatch

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — The U.S. economy could retreat into stagnation in 2013 and ultimately cast the nation into the second half of a double-dip recession, high-profile economist Nouriel Roubini said Wednesday.

Speaking at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Roubini noted that real wages for U.S. workers are not growing and that America’s crushing debt is strangling growth.

That translates into possible fiscal decay in which GDP will be “lucky” to grow 2% this year and faces the prospect of retreating into near-zero growth next year, according to Roubini.

Both political parties can share blame for the trouble, he added, arguing that the Republican Party wants to limit spending and Democrats don’t want to cut programs, and so are at an impasse. Little is likely to change regardless of this year’s presidential election, as Senate Democrats are likely to use the filibuster even if Republican candidate Mitt Romney unseats President Barack Obama.

“If there is gridlock, it’s going to get worse,” Roubini said.

Read Full Article Here
***********************************************************************************

Wars and Rumors of War

Israel gets 4th German submarine

Advanced submarine handed over to Israel in festive ceremony; new sub is IDF’s most expensive weapon. Defense Minister Barak: Vessel will greatly boost army’s capabilities

Yoav Zitun

Published: 05.03.12, 18:15 / Israel News

Fourth Dolphin submarine starts long journey to Israel: An official ceremony was held in the German city of Kiel Thursday to mark the handover of a fourth submarine to Israel’s Navy.

The Tanin (“alligator” in Hebrew) is considered one of the world’s most advanced submarines and is the IDF’s most expensive. The vessel is expected to reach Israel only in 2013 and dock at the Haifa Port.

Read Full Article Here

Russia threatens Nato with military strikes over missile defense system

Russia has threatened Nato with military strikes against in Poland and Romania if a missile defense radar and interceptors are deployed in Eastern Europe.

Russia has threatened Nato with military strikes against in Poland and Romania if a missile defence radar and interceptors are deployed in Eastern Europe.

Gen Makarov has threatened to target Nato bases hosting an anti-missile system designed by the US to protect European allies against attack from states such as Iran Photo: AFP

By , Brussels

6:06PM BST 03 May 2012

General Nikolai Makarov, Russia’s most senior military commander, warned Nato that if it proceeded with a controversial American missile defence system, force would be used against it.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” he said.

Gen Makarov has threatened to target Nato bases hosting an anti-missile system designed by the US to protect European allies against attack from states such as Iran.

He said that Russia would counter Nato deployment by stationing short-range Iskander missiles in the Russian Kaliningrad exclave near Poland, creating the worst military tensions since the Cold War.

“The deployment of new strike weapons in Russia’s south and northwest – including of Iskander systems in Kaliningrad – is one of our possible options for destroying the system’s European infrastructure,” he said.

Read Full Article Here

Russia Says May Strike Preemptively Against NATO Missile Defense

Published on May 3, 2012 by

Russia said on Thursday (May 3) that it may use pre-emptive force against the NATO missile defense system if it considers the threat of it growing.

Russia hosted an international conference on missile defense in Moscow on Thursday where Russian army officials showed computer simulation models to illustrate how they believe the planned U.S. and NATO missile shield threatens its security.

NATO officials are hopeful an agreement with Russia will be reached before the NATO summit but Russia is adamant their concerns are not being listened to.

Washington says the shield, due to be completed in four phases by roughly 2020, is meant to counter a potential threat from Iran. Moscow says the system will undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent because it could also give the West the ability to shoot down Russian missiles.

The shield’s first phase is to be declared up and running at the summit in Chicago later this month.

Russia and NATO agreed in 2010 to seek ways to cooperate on missile defense but have failed to reach a deal. The Kremlin wants a legally binding guarantee that the system will not be used against Russia. The United States says it cannot agree to any formal limits on missile defense.

In the meantime, Moscow said it can strike the missile defense system elements pre-emptively if they are considered a serious threat to Russia’s security.

Two blasts kill 14, injure over 80 in Dagestan

Published on May 3, 2012 by

14 people have been killed and up to 87 others injured as two powerful explosions hit Makhachkala, the capital city of Dagestan in southern Russia, security services report. The first bomb was detonated by a suicide car bomber not far from a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Makhachkala, when the car was stopped for a regular check. The second bomb, which caused most of the casualties, struck when rescuers arrived at the scene 20 minutes later. The blast caused a fire but it was soon extinguished. The combined power of the blasts was equivalent to 60 kg of TNT, according to officials from the National Antiterrorism Committee. The incidents are being treated as terror attacks. RT’s Sean Thomas has the details and also RT talks to Doctor Walid Phares, a counter-terrorism adviser to the US Congress.

Encircling Iran: US claims would win in 3 weeks

Published on May 4, 2012 by

The war rhetoric from Washington towards Iran is again being ramped up – just ahead of the second round of high-level international talks on the country’s nuclear program. US military top brass claim they would need just three weeks to defeat Iran’s armed forces. RT’s Gayane Chichakyan looks at whether it’s just more tough talk – or preparation for real action.

“We are Preparing for Massive Civil War,” Says DHS Informant

Posted by

In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.

“Folks, we’re getting ready for one massive economic collapse,” Hagmann told TruNews host Rick Wiles.

“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”

Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.

Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis.

Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria.

“The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued.  “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look, what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.  We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.”

Read Full Article Here

Related Links

DAILY TRUNEWS BROADCAST

Before It’s News

***********************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

ALEC Wasn’t First Industry Trojan Horse Behind Fracking Disclosure Bill – Enter Council of State Governments

By Steve HornFile:House Financial Services Committee hearing with Ben Bernanke.jpg

19th Century German statesman Otto von Bismarck once said, “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), put on the map by the Center for Media and Democracy in its “ALEC Exposed” project, is the archetype of von Bismarck’s truism. So too are the fracking chemical disclosure bills that have passed and are currently being pushed for in statehouses nationwide.

State-level fracking chemical disclosure bills have been called a key piece of reform in the push to hold the unconventional gas industry accountable for its actions. The reality, though, is murkier.

On April 21, The New York Times penned an investigation making that clear. The Times wrote:

Read Full Article Here

Rupert Murdoch in “Unprecedented Firestorm” As UK Panel Finds Him Unfit to Run Media Empire

Published on May 3, 2012 by

DemocracyNow.org – A British parliamentary report has issued a scathing report that finds Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run a major international media company because of how News Corp. handled its phone hacking scandal. The Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport said Murdoch and his son, James, showed “willful blindness” about the scale of phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid. The panel’s finding has prompted a U.S. watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, to call on the Federal Communications Commission to revoke News Corp’s 27 Fox broadcast licenses in the United States. We speak with David Leigh, investigations editor at The Guardian, the news outlet that first exposed the phone-hacking practices taking place within the Murdoch media empire. Leigh says the British panel’s findings could threaten Murdoch’s media presence across the Atlantic: “People are now beginning to say, ‘Doesn’t this bleed over into the man who runs Fox News and has all those TV outlets in the U.S.?’ If he is not fit and proper person in Britain, then he is not a fit and proper person in the U.S. either.”

To watch the complete independent, weekday news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, and for more information about Democracy Now!, please visit http://www.democracynow.org

Alex Jones: Pentagon prepares re-education camps for political activists

Published on May 3, 2012 by

On May Day in 1971, the US Army rounded up approximately 7,000 protesters into a stadium in Washington, DC that they treated like a make-shift prison camp. Have things changed in the past 40 years? Now a Department of Defense document has been leaked to the Web that details “Internment and Resettlement Operations.” The manual outlines policies for processing detainees in internment camps domestically and abroad and how to “re-educate” unruly activists. Alex Jones, host of the Alex Jones Show, joins us to find out what this means to people across the globe.

Pungent Chemical Smell Alarms Gush Dan Residents

Home Front Command reports source of smell drilling off coast of Ashdod; environment officials: gas concentrations ‘negligible’

By Gabe Kahn

Panic in the Dan!

Panic in the Dan!
Flash 90

There were reports in the Tel Aviv and the Sharon region of a strong chemical smell on Thursday.

Most complainants reported a strong smell of chlorine or bromine, or insecticide.

While most residents simply closed their windows and remained calm, others became concerned there had been a chemical attack.

Police and city administrations in the region received numerous calls, and Environment Ministry officials were dispatched to take readings.

The officials reported low concentrations of gas in the air, which they say do not pose a danger to public health.

“All measurements in the Tel Aviv area are negligible,” they reported. “The Environmental Protection Agency is continuing to perform measurements, and trying to locate the source of odors. We are continuing to monitor other areas too.”

The officials also stressed they had yet to identify the souce of the smell.

However, a local environmental consultant told Channel 10 that concentrations producing a pungent scent were not healthy.

“This is an exceptional case,” the consultant said. “Such chemicals in high concentrations can be dangerous. The smell is quite strong.”

“The city administration could not identify the source,” he added.

However, the IDF Home Front Command identified the source of the smell as drilling off the coast of Ashdod.

Ramat Hasharon Mayor Itzik Rochberger complained that while the HFC told him the source of the smell, officials from the Environment Ministry were still in the dark.

“If it were a harmful substance what would happen?” he asked. “Why is no synchronization between the government systems?”

************************************************************************************

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics  and  Legislation

House passes JOBS act


By Pete Kasperowicz

The House Thursday afternoon overwhelmingly approved legislation aimed at easing the rules for capital formation for small companies, which Republicans hailed as a major job-creation bill but Democrats said is just a minor fix for the economy.

Members approved the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) act in a 390-23 vote that saw 158 Democrats join every voting Republican in support of the bill. All “no” votes were Democrats.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/214979-house-passes-jobs-act-sends-to-senate

Senate blocks Keystone pipeline approval plan


By Ben Geman

The Senate has rejected a GOP plan to approve construction of the Keystone oil pipeline after President Obama made personal calls to Democrats urging them to oppose it.

The 56-42 vote staves of an election-year rebuke of Obama, but will give political ammunition to backers of TransCanada Corp.’s plan to build a pipeline connecting Alberta’s massive tar sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/215051-senate-blocks-keystone-pipeline-approval-plan

The Bipartisan Force Behind the For-Profit College Scam: Big Money
Zaid Jilani, Republic Report:

“As we head into an election year, we’re going to increasingly hear that Democrats and Republicans fight like cats and dogs, that there is a civil war in Washington. This describes the state of play on some issues, but on others there is bipartisan agreement to do the wrong thing: Both parties do what the money tells them to do.”

http://www.truth-out.org/bipartisan-force-behind-profit-college-scam-big-money/1331141403

 

Economy

Asia Buys Gold After Massive Single Trade Sell Off During Bernanke’s Testimony

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/asia-buys-gold-after-massive-single-trade-sell-during-bernanke%E2%80%99s-testimony

China faces huge employment pressure: minister

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) — China faces huge employment challenges in 2012 brought by a large number of job seekers and unbalanced job market, Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said Wednesday.

Chinese cities and towns will see 25 million more people join the workforce this year, half of whom will be university and college graduates, while another 9 to 10 million rural residents will seek jobs away from home, Yin said at a press conference during the ongoing parliamentary session.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012npc/2012-03/07/content_14782010.htm

Financial Survival Network: Darryl Schoon Sees the Mother of All Crashes Coming Soon–02-28-2012

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1840/261/Financial_Survival_Network:_Darryl_Schoon_Sees_the_Mother_of_All_Crashes_Coming_Soon02-28-2012.html

Economic Recovery for Whom?

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout:

“The truth about ‘economic recovery’ is that, for the mass of people, it is untrue. For the top 10 percent and especially the top 1 percent – those who brought global capitalism into crisis in 2007 – recovery has been real…. ‘Recovery’ is the go-to word when business and government impose conditions to make the US more profitable especially for big business. ‘Recovery,’ in this capitalist economy, refers to profits, not to people.”

http://www.truth-out.org/economic-recovery-whom/1331043859

Fractal Analysis: Gold to $3,500 this year still likely despite crash

http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page103855?oid=146416&sn=Detail&pid=102055

 

On the News With Thom Hartmann: A New Study Shows That Extreme Poverty in America Has Doubled in the Last 15 Years, and More

In today’s On the News segment: A new study shows that extreme poverty in America has doubled in the last 15 years, a new front has opened up in the battle against Citizens United, European austerity continues to take its toll, and more.

http://www.truth-out.org/news-thom-hartmann-new-study-shows-extreme-poverty-america-has-doubled-last-15-years-and-more/1331-0

 

U.S. jobs data lift world stocks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. and European stocks advanced on Wednesday after promising U.S. jobs data, and the euro rebounded after hitting a three-week low on renewed optimism that Greek will complete its debt restructuring after major banks and pension funds pledged their support.

Completion of the debt restructuring is crucial for Greece to secure 130 billion euros in international rescue funds needed so it can avert a chaotic default.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-markets-fall-over-greece-003835021.html;_ylt=AgHLLR6iqbYbhHOWakoVR2miuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTNyMzByb2Z2BG1pdANGUCBUb3AgU3RvcnkgTGVmdARwa2cDMjE2YzM2MDItYmFmYy0zNTEyLTk0NzItMjEyZTE2MWNlOTRkBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzY5N2MwOTQwLTY4YTMtMTFlMS1iOGZmLThmYmExODlkMzgzZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Banks and Congress Grapple With Stubborn, Stupid Facts
Michael Winship, Moyers & Co.:

“Facts are stubborn things, said founding father John Adams, a basic truth Ronald Reagan famously mangled at the Republican National Convention in 1988, when he tried to quote Adams and declared, ‘Facts are stupid things,’ before correcting himself…. Witness the resistance on the part of banking institutions and certain members of the congressional leadership, despite regulations demanding that they allow facts and figures to be reported, information that could keep us from the edge of yet another economic meltdown.”

http://www.truth-out.org/banks-and-congress-grapple-stubborn-stupid-facts/1331148612

 

U.S. Consumers Stronger Than Expected: Barry Ritholtz Isn’t Buying It

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/u-consumers-stronger-expected-barry-ritholtz-isn-t-142319259.html;_ylt=AkbDaUHVXt18IkWPqd7LdiCiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0NXRmOGwzBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYTJmODViODItMmNmZS0zMzNjLTlhMDMtMTI2NTQyZThmYzY3BHBvcwM2BHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzE4NTlhNGIwLTY4NjEtMTFlMS1hZmJmLWY2NWQ5NzMyMDc5ZQ–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

In Troubled Europe, Agonizing Options
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.:

“It’s not too hard to see what Europe as a whole should be doing: less in terms of demands for austerity, much more general reflation … And you can make the case that austerity, at least at this level of harshness, is actually counterproductive even in fiscal terms: it depresses growth, so that the debt position becomes worse even if the current budget deficit is reduced. It’s much harder, however, to say what the leaders of such peripheral economies should do.”

http://www.truth-out.org/troubled-europe-agonizing-options/1331147478

 

Illinois state ‘on brink of collapse’

Source: FT

Illinois’ financial problems are forcing it to choose between its pensions and its teeth.

Governor Pat Quinn says the state needs to face its “rendezvous with reality” and tackle its dysfunctional budget habits. Top of the list, Mr Quinn says, is to slash spending on Medicaid, a federal programme that provides healthcare to poor Americans.

To save a system he says is “on the brink of collapse”, Mr Quinn proposes cutting $2.7bn from Illinois’ $11.5bn Medicaid bill. Few would dispute that the state needs to change its behaviour. Last year, Illinois underfunded Medicaid by $2bn as it struggled with debts totalling more than $280bn, an $86bn hole in its public pension funds and a $9bn backlog of unpaid bills.

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4494

 

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Chu, White House rebut gas price claims

State of play: Energy Secretary Steven Chu will appear before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel Wednesday to defend the Obama administration’s fiscal 2013 budget request.

As with previous budget hearings, expect Republican lawmakers to pepper Chu with questions about gasoline prices and the administration’s $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar panel firm Solyndra. Chu has become a top target for Republicans over the issues.

Republicans have pounced on Chu’s recent comments to allege that the administration wants higher gas prices, a claim both the Energy Department and the White House have strongly denied.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/213695-overnight-energy

Obama Phone: Gov to Spend $2.4 Billion On Millions of Free Phones In 2012

One of the complaints about the U.S. Constitution recently, being as outdated as it is, is that it fails to guarantee certain unalienable rights such as free medical care, housing , food, and of course, the right to bear cell phones. And, although the founders failed to specifically cite social programs as a necessary element for promoting the general welfare, the living nature of our founding document has been interpreted by political and legal scholars alike to allow for the seizure of assets by force from one group of people in order to redistribute those assets in a fair and responsible manner to those less fortunate.

As such, if you’re one of the 100 million Americans living below or at the edge of the poverty line, you’ll be happy to know that you more than likely qualify for a free cellular phone, also known as the Obama Phone, from the US government:

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/free-obamaphone-gov-to-spend-2-4-billion-on-millions-of-free-phones-in-2012_02092012

 

Wars and Rumors of War

 

Attacking Iran: Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Mean We Should
Camillo “Mac” Bica, Truthout:

“The debate regarding Iran’s nuclear program has focused upon pragmatic, tactical, strategic and economic issues regarding the feasibility and consequences of continuing and/or escalating military action against Iran…. While such discussions may have media and political appeal, they are premature and miss the point entirely. They either take for granted or completely ignore the more fundamental question of whether continuing/escalating a war with Iran is the right thing to do, not militarily or pragmatically, but legally and morally.”

http://www.truthout.org/attacking-iran-just-because-we-can-doesnt-mean-we-should/1330726438

 

By conjuring the Holocaust, Netanyahu brought Israel closer to war with Iran

Haaretz’s editor-in-chief says that the Prime Minister publicly booby-trapped himself to war with Iran by comparing the need to strike its nuclear program with the Jewish request to bomb Auschwitz.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/by-conjuring-the-holocaust-netanyahu-brought-israel-closer-to-war-with-iran-1.416847

 

Netanyahu, Obama divided on price of Israeli strike against Iran

Netanyahu considers missiles on Tel Aviv preferable to nukes in Iran, says senior Israeli official.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-obama-divided-on-price-of-israeli-strike-against-iran-1.416909

 

Stratfor leaks: NATO commandos in illegal special ops in Syria

Wikileaks is a part of the covert operations, a part of the perception management, a part of the forged agenda to have you psychologically prepared for the coming war. When the times comes and you turn on the radio or TV with news that Israel/US have initiated airstrikes in Syria and/or Iran you will not even think twice about it and go about your day not giving a shit about what the hell is really going on in the Middle East .

-Phantom Report

http://www.phantomreport.com/stratfor-leaks-nato-commandos-in-illegal-special-ops-in-syria

 

Environmental

 

Amy Goodman | The Bipartisan Nuclear Bailout

Amy Goodman, Op-Ed: While the Republican candidates attack Barack Obama daily for the high cost of gasoline, both sides are traveling down the same perilous road in their support of nuclear power. This is mind-boggling, on the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, with the chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission warning that lessons from Fukushima have not been implemented in this country.

http://www.nationofchange.org/bipartisan-nuclear-bailout-1331216800

 

Misc

 

Despite Risks, Undocumented Immigrants Stage “Coming Out of the Shadows” Week
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout:

“Despite a year of record deportations and little movement on a progressive immigration policy, undocumented people are coming out and publicly declaring their immigration status for the third year in a row, telling American society that they are ‘undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic.’ March 10 will be the first day of a weeklong set of actions by a coalition of groups in Illinois to highlight the continuing crisis caused by enforcement and lack of rights in immigrant communities.”

http://www.truth-out.org/despite-risks-undocumented-immigrants-stage-coming-out-shadows-week/1331146237

 

Reclaiming the Commons (Graphic Journalism)

Susie Cagle, Truthout:

“Founded by squatters more than 150 years ago, full of foreclosed buildings, and shrinking by thousands per year, Oakland in many ways presents as a tremendously attractive target for occupation. But it’s been a bumpy road since the first camps were cleared on October 26.”

http://www.truth-out.org/occupied-oakland/1331135674

UN top torture official denounces Bradley Manning’s detention

In December, 2010, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture announced a formal investigation into the conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention that endured for the eight months he was held at a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. The Army Private has been detained since May, 2010, on charges that he leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks, but has not yet been tried. Yesterday, the U.N. official overseeing the investigation pronounced that “Bradley Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the excessive and prolonged isolation“ to which he was subjected at Quantico. That official, Juan Ernesto Mendez, heads the U.N. office created by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, bestowed with the mandate “to examine questions relevant to torture.”

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/07/un_top_torture_official_denounces_bradley_mannings_detention/?source=newsletter

 

Two Murdoch journalists reportedly attempt suicide as pressure mounts

By msnbc.com staff and news services

Two senior journalists working for Rupert Murdoch’s News International have attempted suicide as pressure mounts at the scandal-hit publisher of the now-defunct News of the World, according to media reports.

The suicide attempts follow weeks of intense scrutiny of the role of The Sun, another Murdoch paper, in the phone-hacking scandal and police bribery case.

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/06/10594806-two-murdoch-journalists-reportedly-attempt-suicide-as-pressure-mounts

 

High- end Madam for running upper East Side brothel is a suburban mom with four children
Arrest was culmination of five-year investigation by Manhattan DA’s office

A high-end madam who boasted she used cops as security and made millions by peddling flesh — including underage girls — to rich and powerful clients has been busted after a five-year probe, prosecutors said.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office indicted petite, blond, green-eyed Anna Gristina, 44, in a corruption investigation that amassed 50 to 100 hours of audio and video recordings, some showing prostitutes doing the deed, according to court records.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan-madam-busted-running-upper-east-side-brothel-catering-wealthy-clients-court-records-article-1.1033622#ixzz1oacGeC5L

 

“Journalist” Paul Conroy is MI6 operative

Portrayed as a photojournalist for The Sunday Times, Paul Conroy, who has recently escaped from the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr, is a British MI6 agent.

http://www.voltairenet.org/a173025

 

Engineer reveals shockingly simple method to defeat any airport body scanner and smuggle guns, explosives onto airplanes without being detected

By Mike Adams, March 7 2012
(NaturalNews) The following is an article by Steve Watson, an in-house reporter for InfoWars (www.InfoWars.com). Steve covered the astonishing breaking news of an engineer who revealed a shockingly simple loophole that completely defeats the TSA’s “naked body scanners” and would allow anyone to smuggle guns, explosives, box cutters or practically any metallic objects directly onto airplanes. Even more astonishingly, as this story reports, YouTube immediately censored the video of this engineer…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035175_naked_body_scanners_defeated_engineer.html

155 resignations from global banks, investment houses, and money funds

155 RESIGNATIONS FROM WORLD BANKS, INVESTMENT HOUSES, MONEY FUNDS
I don’t mind if you re-blog this listing. Save yourself the wear and tear on your karma and do me the favor of including http://americankabuki.blogspot.com in your reposting. Thanks to all who have caught minor errors. Special thank to Gabriel at Facebook Global Mass Resignations for some resignations I did not find in my searches.

From:
American Kabuki
Updated 3/7/12 Huge amount of resignations today. Special thanks to Gabriel of Facebook GLOBAL MASS RESIGNATIONS for the heads up on a number of new banking resignations that I missed. Gabriel will be tracking Insurance, Government and Healthcare Resignations. There’s been a large number of Healthcare resignations lately.

█▓▒░ End of list as of 3/7/12 ░▒▓█
Addendum:
It is not known under what circumstances these individuals have left their positions, I make no judgement on that. I find the timing of so many resignations extremely curious and a temporal marker in history of high significance. No one should assume I make any judgement about the character of these people. I frankly don’t know their reputations except for a few rather famous ones.
This list includes Banks, Investment Houses, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Equity Funds, Savings Retirement Funds and other shadow banking organizations. The line is very blurry between these entities, some are owned by banks some are banks, some invest in banks as well as owning entire industries (common in Hong Kong and Japan).

http://americankabuki.blogspot.com