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13th April 2013, 20:06
I post this as it is a resigning matter one day...


13 April

13 Oil Spills in 30 Days!


Moving oil is a dirty business, and never has that been more clear than this past month.
Since March 11, the global oil industry has had 13 spills on three continents.

In North and South America alone, they’ve spilled more than a million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals – enough to fill two olympic-sized swimming pools.

How bad was it? Here’s an infographic of all the oil spills, leaks and derailments in the past 30 days.


All spills in order of occurrence:
March 11 – 21: Gwagwalada Town, Nigera

A week-long leak of Kilometer 407.5 NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corp) pipeline. No official # of barrels spilled released, however the spill saturated a hectare (10,000 sq metres) of marshy ground near a major water source.

Tuesday, March 19: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Canada
Enbridge Norman Wells Pipeline leaks 6,290 barrels of crude oil

Monday, March 25: Fort MacKay, Alberta Canada
Suncor Tar Sands tailings pond leaks 2,200 barrels of toxic waste fluid into the Athabasca River

Wednesday, March 27: Parker Prairie, Minnesota USA
CP Rail train derails and spills 952 barrels of Tar Sands crude oil

Friday, March 29: Mayflower, Arkansas
Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline suffers a 22 foot-long rupture, spilling at least 12,000 barrels of diluted Tar Sands bitumen

Sunday, March 31: A power plant in Lansing, Michigan USA
16 barrels of an oil-based hydraulic fluid spills into the Grand River

Tuesday, April 2: Nembe, Nigeria
After suffering a reported theft of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from its Nembe Creek Trunkline pipeline, Shell Nigeria shuts off the pipe for 9 days to repair damage.

Wednesday, April 3: 350KM southeast of Newfoundland, Canada
A drilling platform leaks 0.25 barrels of crude oil

Wednesday, April 4: Chalmette, Louisiana USA
0.24 barrels (100 lbs) of hydrogen sulfide and 0.04 barrels (10lbs of benzene) leak at an Exxon Refinery

Monday, April 8: Esmeraldas, Ecuador
The OPEC-managed OCP pipeline leaks 5,500 barrels of heavy crude oil, contaminating the Winchele estuary

Tuesday, April 9: 29KM NE of Nuiqsut, Alaska USA
Human error during maintenance spills 157 barrels of crude oil at a Repsol E&P USA Inc pipeline pump station
The ExxonMobil Tar Sands Oil Spill in Arkansas. Media Coverup

13th April 2013, 20:11
So the EU/IMF money game continues squeezing Cyprus - for now at least until people say enough is enough...

Cyprus Faces Economic Meltdown as EU-IMF Refuses Extra Aid

By Bruno Waterfield, and Ben Martin – April 12, 2013


Cyprus must take on an extra €5.5bn in the cost of its bail-out, a sum equivalent to a third of the island’s annual GDP, without any additional help from the European Union and IMF.

The extra financing burden is expected to push Cyprus into a Greek-style economic meltdown and takes the cost of the Cypriot bail-out to over 135pc of the tiny Mediterranean island’s GDP.

The Eurozone’s finance ministers, meeting in Dublin, have told Cyprus that there will be no extra help for it to raise €13bn it needs to find as the condition for unlocking €10bn of EU-IMF loans.

Despite an original deal for €17.5 billion last month, the EU-IMF troika now estimates the cost of rescuing Cyprus from bankruptcy is €23bn, with all the additional money coming from the island.

Germany, facing parliamentary opposition to the €10bn bail-out, has insisted that there can be no question of increasing the amount that eurozone will pay to save a Cyprus, an island that many Germans regard as being a haven for money laundering and corrupt Russian oligarchs.

“The contribution from international creditors will not change,” said a spokesman for the German government.

Germany is taking a hard line amid splits in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats ahead of a vote on the Cyprus bail-out next week, with opponents warning that parliamentary approval will be “impossible” unless the island assumes the extra costs.

Maria Fekter, the Austrian Finance Minister, warned that unless Cyprus can show that it is ready to pay the extra bills for its bail-out the €10bn in EU-IMF funds will be blocked in the national parliaments of creditor countries, such as Austria and Germany.

“If the figures don’t add up, there probably won’t be consent in national parliaments,” she said.

Increasing the humiliation for Cyprus, Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank has written to Nicos Anastasiades, the Cypriot President, ordering him to stop angry MPs from criticising or investigating the Cypriot central bank.

“There is a letter which requests respect for the Cypriot central bank’s independence and to refrain from bringing pressure,” an EU source told AFP.

Panicos Demetriades, the head of the central bank of Cyprus has been blamed by many on the island for bungling the bail-out, leading to the near collapse of the Cypriot banking sector and the closure of the country’s second biggest bank.

President Anastasiades has written to EU institutions in Brussels pleading for “extra assistance” form European regional policy funds to help get Cyprus through the shock of finding the extra bail-out cash without its economy collapsing.

“The letter from President Anastasiades has nothing to do with asking for more money than the sum agreed,” said a Cypriot official.

“It is about a request for more support and financial assistance from our EU partners in the middle-term because of the financial and economic situation Cyprus is facing. For example, it asks about finding ways to use EU structural funds in better ways to help Cyprus.”

A European Commission official said that there would be extra cash available for Cyprus from EU funds aimed at helping the poorest regions of Europe.

“The Cypriots are asking for help in the form of technical assistance with structural funds absorption which is what we have committed to provide through the Task Force for Cyprus that is being established,” said an official.

The latest developments rattled markets on Friday morning.

The FTSE 100 slipped 24 points, or 0.4pc, to 6,392, after climbing for four consecutive days, and Spain’s Ibex shed 1pc, the Dax in Germany slid 0.9pc and France’s Cac 40 dipped 0.5pc.

Leaked EU-IMF documents have also raised concerns over Portugal, which is struggling to implement its own eurozone austerity measures.
Currently, the country will owe the EU and IMF €78bn in bail-out loans when it has to return to the financial markets for financing in July next year. But the documents showed that this will be nigh on impossible because Portugal will need to borrow €14.1bn in 2014, 30pc more annually than before the bail-out, at higher interest costs than those that caused its initial crisis in 2011.

The leaked troika documents, to be discussed by Europe’s finance ministers this weekend, set out options to help both Portugal and Ireland by extending the repayment plan for loans.

Eurozone ministers are expected to agree to give both countries an extra seven years but a confidential analysis of Portugal predicts that even with extra time for repayments the country could need a second bail-out.

Portugal was plunged into a new round of political crisis last weekend after its constitutional court blocked austerity measures contained the country’s 2013 budget, measures that are the condition of continued EU-IMF funding.

13th April 2013, 20:15
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph, UK – April 12,2013


Portugal’s leading elder statesman has called on the country to copy Argentina and default on its debt to avert economic collapse, a move that would lead to near certain ejection from the Euro.

Mario Soares, who steered the country to democracy after the Salazar dictatorship, said all political forces should unite to “bring down the government” and repudiate the austerity policies of the EU-IMF Troika.

“Portugal will never be able to pay its debts, however much it impoverishes itself. If you can’t pay, the only solution is not to pay. When Argentina was in crisis it didn’t pay. Did anything happen? No, nothing happened,” he told Antena 1.

The former socialist premier and president said the Portuguese government has become a servant of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meekly doing whatever it is told.

“In their eagerness to do the bidding of Senhora Merkel, they have sold everything and ruined this country. In two years this government has destroyed Portugal,” he said.

Dario Perkins from Lombard Street Research said a hard-nosed default would force Portugal out of the euro. “It would create incredible animosity,” he said. “Germany would be alarmed that other countries might do the same so it would take a very tough line.”

Mr Perkins said all the peripheral states are “deeply scared” of being forced out of EMU. “They fear their economies would collapse, which is ridiculous. But in the end voters are going to elect politicians who refuse to along with austerity as we are seeing in Italy, and the EU will lose control,” he said.

Raoul Ruparel from Open Europe said Portugal had reached the limits of austerity. “The previous political consensus in parliament has evaporated. As so often in this crisis, the eurozone is coming up against the full force of national democracy.”

The rallying cry by Mr Soares comes a week after Portugal’s top court ruled that pay and pension cuts for public workers are illegal, forcing premier Pedro Passos Coelho to search for new cuts. The ruling calls into question the government’s whole policy “internal devaluation” aimed at lowering labour costs.

A leaked report from the Troika warned that the country is at risk of a debt spiral, with financing needs surging to €15bn by 2015, a third higher than the levels that precipitated the debt crisis in 2011. \
“There is substantial funding risk,” it said.

In a rare piece of good news, eurozone finance ministers agreed on Friday to extend repayment of rescue loans for Portugal and Ireland by a further seven years, reducing the pressure for a swift return to markets.

Brussels said both countries are “still highly vulnerable” to forces beyond their control, and deserve a “strong signal” of support. Critics say it is too little, too late. Fast-moving events on the ground now have a will of their own.

13th April 2013, 20:27

13 April

Gold enters bear market as price plunges below $1,500

Gold entered a bear market on Friday, as the precious metal tumbled below the psychologically important $1,500 mark to its lowest level in 20 months.

The spot gold price hit an intraday low of $1,493.35 (£972.40) per troy ounce, putting it 22.3pc below September 2011's intraday peak of $1,921.41. A bear market is loosely defined as a 20pc fall from its high.

Although prices recovered to $1,505.20, the precious metal is still trading 21.7pc below its peak.

13th April 2013, 20:58
More on the gold story.


John Ward – Gold, Greed & Collapse : Who Benefitted Most From Yesterday’s Spectacular Fall – 13 April 2013

What you see above isn’t just the tale of a horrendous day for gold – it fell $88, or just over 4%, in a day – it is the record of a fall that steepened the minute New York opened, twice tried (and failed) to rally, and yet managed to do all this on a day when the vast majority of fundamentals should’ve been pushing the price up, not down.

The one exception to this was the Troika demand on Thursday that Cyprus sell its gold to help pay off debt. I have two observations to make about that: one, why do that to Cyprus now and not to anyone else before? And two, on paper it didn’t look like the sort of volume to start a gold freefall.

This is a murky business, so we need to consider it from all sensible angles.

The fundamentals

The US is degrading and diluting its currency, the UK’s austerity strategy is falling apart, the EU economy is flatlining, and Russia is massively overdependent on energy sales in a world where the outlook for energy consumption is awful: indeed, only the coldest european Spring for decades has enabled it to maintain any kind of momentum.

China’s slowdown now looks inevitable given the atrocious consumption outlook outside its borders, and US economic nerves tightened yesterday when the IMF cut its growth forecast for the year from 2% to 1.7%, alongside official figures confirming a 0.4% slump in retail sales in March – the biggest fall since last July. Factory output in the EU declined, and the north-south imbalance worsened as Slovenia edged towards the centre of the debt radar. Italy’s output fell by a disastrous 8%, and Portugal’s constitutional Court has rejected the Troika’s bailout plan. 41% of Germans no longer believe their banked money is safe.

The myth of Obama’s ‘recovery’ long ridiculed here is now clearly seen for the lie it was. The Cyprus ‘bailin’ has caused massive leakage of capital from the eurozone. The Troika’s Athens talks are acrimonious and stalled.

Every last indicator last week suggested a turning tide for gold as a hedge against currency devaluation, and as an asset which – even if it fell in value medium term – would be better than worthless paper. But that wasn’t the market mood, and it wasn’t what happened. To call that strange is like referring to the Krakatoa eruption as a small bang: worldwide gold demand in 2012 was another record high of $236.4 billion in the World Gold Council’s latest report. This was up 6% in value terms in the fourth quarter to $66.2 billion – the highest fourth quarter ever and real volume demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 was up 4% to 1,195.9 tonnes.

So who were the suspects behind what, I’m fairly sure this morning, was a massive fix?

The manipulation clues

The central banks bought gold at a rate ahead of market growth last year – which means their share of it grew.

Central bank buying for 2012 rose by 17% over 2011 to some 534.6 tonnes – the highest level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145 tonnes in the fourth quarter – up 9% from the comparable period in 2011. Central banks have now been net purchasers of gold for eight consecutive quarters. This despite the non-stop stream of CB spin about there being no money-printing or inflation to get concerned about. Fancy that.

Did anything else make sense of this strategic decision by the Draghulas? Spookily enough it did. Last year, Basel III moved the goalposts on gold’s risk score, moving gold from tier 3 to quasi tier 1 status. Gold thus became “zero percent risk-weighted” in terms of credit risk – a whopping upgrade for the shiny metal. But to buy lots of it (and thus reduce risk-panic among investors) one needs the price to go down.

And guess what? Despite that massive Central Bank buying splurge since late 2010, gold has hovered and wobbled, been weak in its challenging of top prices – and persistent in challenging lows. Or put another way, the exact opposite of what the first rule of Supply and Demand dictates. My oh my.

The Guardian this morning ran a truly daft piece saying that ‘gold fell to its lowest level in more than 18 months on Friday night amid fears that sales of the precious metal forced on Cyprus by its desperate financial plight would lead to wholesale dumping by hard-pressed countries in the coming months’. Pardon me Gruauniad, but “Bollocks”. The sum total of Cypriot selling required is €400m tops. That is a flea-bite on the ankle of the gold sector.

More pertinent, perhaps, is that the Cyprus sale (1) enabled the CBs to buy still more of it, and (2) provides an excuse for the price fall that naifs might accept at face value.

Other potential culprits are also implicated. During January 2013, the COMEX gold futures platform pushed expectations for the price up by 8.3%. One wonders who pushed it in that direction, and why. What’s more, over the last 90 days without any announcement, stocks of gold held at Comex warehouses plunged by the largest figure ever on record. JP Morgan Chase’s reported gold stockpile dropped by over 1.2 million ounces – a staggering $1.8 billion dollars worth of physical gold in just 120 days. The owners involved took their metal offsite, and it’s no longer stored in Comex warehouses…did they do so from a lack of trust? Or did they know something we didn’t?

Then there’s the chance that the Fed itself was trying to reduce its cost of returning gold: Germany’s Bundesbank recently announced it would be moving a major portion of its reserves from the US and all of its reserves from France back to Frankfurt. Nearly half of Germany’s gold reserves are held in a vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Nice way to reduce loss of face on safe assets if you work for Washington.

Is there a bottom line here?

There is, but I don’t think one can see the exact nature of it just yet. What seems to me clear, however, is that this was a fix….and Cyprus was a cover story for it, not the reason why.

On balance, it feels to me like some leaking, some massaging, and some reduction in the cost of global looting. But whatever: next week is indeed going to be interesting.

Recently at The Slog: The globalisation of disinformation

www.hat4uk.wordpress.com / link to original article

13th April 2013, 21:05

13 April

Royal Bank of Scotland VP arrested in Moscow on $10mn fraud charge

RBS Vice President Vsevolod Glukhovtsev has been charged with fraud in a Moscow court after being arrested at his home the day before. The banker allegedly hoodwinked investors to finance fake construction projects in Montenegro.

"Glukhovtsev has been charged with fraud," The Russian Interior Ministry’s Department for the Central Federal District told Interfax.

The investigators claim as soon as money was transferred to accounts of Montenegrin companies controlled by Glukhovtsev he then took the money, and provided clients with fake reports saying they owned business or property abroad. Investors did not receive promised dividends and the assets they supposedly owned did not exist or were registered for a third party, according to the Interior Ministry.

Glukhovtsev allegedly provided his investors with fake business reports which led them to believe they owned business or property abroad. Investigators say they have evidence Glukhovtsev spent the investment dollars on real estate, luxury sports cars, art and jewelry.

"According to the preliminary information alone, investigators suspect V. Glukhovtsev has received over 300 million roubles from private citizens and companies to purchase property and invest in construction in Montenegro," Interfax reported.

Interfax first reported RBS, one of the world’s top five banks, as Glukhovtsev’s employer, and said the fraud charges are “in no way” connected to the bank’s operations.

Currently five people in Moscow have been identified as victims of the fraud scheme, and likely more will surface as the investigation unfolds.

Russian news source tvc.ru has identified one of the victims as Sergey Kardashev, the president of ABN AMRO Bank. Kardashev lost earnings on his intellectual property, an Interior Ministry employee said.

“I spoke to him, reassigned patents to the project. I received and initial payment, and then, somewhere around two years ago, these royalties stopped coming. When I found out about it, it turned out that he was going to renew the patents in his name. The process was already under way and due to law enforcement, it was suspended, and to date I have not lost the patents at all,” Kardashev told tvc.ru.

Glukhovtsev’s activities may not be limited to Russia and Montenegro. Police have reported he also has a Ukrainian passport in his name.

“It’s possible he committed illegal acts in this country,” said a Ukrainian police source.

Glukhovtsev is a jack of many trades- banker, investor, hotel magnate with property on the Adriatic coast, a casino owner, and even a writer.

15th April 2013, 06:56

14 April UK

Now Met Police target Roman Catholic Church in historic sex abuse investigation

The Met Police has launched a further investigation into historic child sex abuse – this time focusing on the Roman Catholic Church in England.

I understand from good sources that the Met Police are investigating the role of a Roman Catholic bishop – both involving allegations involving paedophilia and whether he protected Roman Catholic priests who were alleged paedophiles.

For legal reasons I cannot say much more since there is an ongoing criminal investigation under Operation Fernbridge where they have already been two arrests and a decision is expected this week by the Met Police whether to charge the two individuals or extend their bail.

Quite separately I am also told the Met Police may start soon investigating other Catholic institutions in the UK.

A statement from the Roman Catholic church said: “ ”I am not aware of any generic police investigation into sexual abuse linked to the Catholic Church in the UK. Similarly, I am not aware of any investigation into a particular bishop. However, were there to be an investigation, clearly we would co-operate.”

There is a report by me and Mark Conrad, putting it into context with overseas investigations into the Roman Catholic Church on Exaro News at http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4928/met-s-paedophile-unit-starts-investigating-catholic-church-in-uk … and in the Sunday People at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/catholic-church-uk-faces-child-1830837 ….

The new direction I am told is very significant. More information on this will be put up in the next few weeks when I can get it verified and properly researched.

15th April 2013, 07:07
Arrest them all if they do end up there


Bilderberg comes to Watford? The evidence. (UK)

By ADMIN | Published: APRIL 12, 2013

There is growing evidence that this year’s Bilderberg conference will take place in the UK, at the luxury Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire, just north of Watford. This is still just speculation, but the signs are good…

Why do we think Bilderberg is taking place at the Grove?

The whole hotel – including three restaurants, a luxury spa and walled garden – is completely booked out by a private group from the 5th to the 9th of June. This was first spotted by an Italian documentary maker who is an expert on Bilderberg.

The Grove – “a private family-owned luxury hotel” – is no stranger to international conferences: it has previously hosted the exclusive Google Zeitgeist conference (in 2009, 2010 and 2012). And Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt is no stranger to Bilderberg.

Hotel staff have said that the booking has been made by a ‘major’ and ‘high profile’ group. The whole hotel is ‘out of bounds’ and ‘in lockdown’ for the duration. One member of staff said: ‘We don’t know what it is, senior staff know what it is but they won’t tell us.’ They first heard about this unusual event in January.

Hotel spa members, who have paid a yearly membership of £2400, are banned from accessing the luxury spa facilities from 2pm on Weds 5th June to 12pm on Sunday 9th June. They will get 5 days added at the end of their membership.

We were told by the nearby Fullerians Rugby Club, that it has taken an unusual booking from Herts Constabulary, who have booked the entire grounds and facilities for ten days – spanning the weekend of the conference. The rugby club has no idea what the booking is actually for. Could this be the base of operations for security during the event?

The diary of regular conference participant Neelie Kroes indicates that she will be in the UK over this weekend, plus the diary of the future King of the Netherlands and his mother, Queen Beatrix, is free between the 6th and the 9th. (The outgoing Queen Beatrix has long been one of the most prominent attendees).

This information corroborates a recent leak from a good source that the conference will take place in a ‘London suburb’ from the 6th-9th June.

The group is due a visit to England (they were last in England 36 years ago in Torquay, and met in Scotland in 1998).


This is the annual conference of the Bilderberg Group. Every year, the 35 members of the Steering Committee invite around 100 influential figures to attend the 3 day event. According to Bilderberg itself, the conference consists of: “nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion about topics of current concern especially in the fields of foreign affairs and the international economy”.

At the conference, officials from governments and opposition parties mix, in private, with banks bosses, heads of state, senior corporate officers, academics, and representatives of all the major international institutions (NATO, the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the WTO etc.) Bilderberg insists that all participants attend in a private capacity – but in 2011, it was revealed that George Osborne attended the St Mortitz Bilderberg conference in his official capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

If Bilderberg 2013 is in the UK, we can expect a return visit from George Osborne (a long time attendee) and Bilderberg steering committee member Ken Clarke MP, and conference regular Lord Mandelson. It’s also likely that David Cameron and Mark Carney (the soon-to-be Bank of England governor) will pay visits (both have also attended Bilderberg in the past). We’ll also be seeing the CEOs and Chairmen of banks and corporations such as Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Nestlé, Novartis, Airbus, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs. Plus the usual smattering of senior US State Dept and Treasury officials, National Security Advisers, Finance Ministers, European royals, Pentagon top brass and the head of the NSA.

We expect the conference agenda in 2013 to include the North Korea situation, the Cyprus “bailout”, and the ever deepening crisis in the Eurozone.


To be clear: we have no final confirmation that Bilderberg is going to be located at the Grove Hotel, but from what we know of Bilderberg’s MO this set-up fits the bill. There are few other groups with the power and resources to shut down a major hotel for five days like this in conditions of such secrecy. Please check back on this website for updates.

At this stage, it’s up to you to weigh up the evidence, and decide if you think this year’s Bilderberg conference is indeed coming to Watford.

But if it is:


Watford is served by two tubes and an overland station. There are plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts in the town and camping may be available nearby (please check updates on this website for details). There would also be a functioning press room for bloggers, journalists and filmmakers.

If Bilderberg does take place in Watford, we would urge citizen journalists, concerned citizens and interested parties to come along and witness a major international summit taking place. Enjoy the spectacle, meet new friends, and secure your souvenir picture of a Bilderberg participant gliding into the Grove’s grounds in a tinted limo.

Conference participants generally arrive from Thursday afternoon through to Friday morning and leave on Sunday morning (or late on Saturday).

Security is always extremely tight – it’s a huge operation – the hotel and its grounds is cordoned off. No press statement is made.

The privacy means that Bilderberg delegates will be able to stroll in peace in the ornamental gardens of the hotel, enjoying the wonderful, life-affirming art on display…(see pix at link of skeleton in pond...).


The hotel is near an idyllic canal, and glorious woods – and no other event or protest compares to Bilderberg for quality of roadside conversation. This year would also see the launch of the Bilderberg Fringe Festival.

Please check back on this website for scheduled events. If you have any queries (or can give us any confirmatory details) email us at bilderberg2013@yahoo.co.uk

If Watford does play host to Bilderberg, any help with organising the festival or acts who wish to perform, would be wonderful. People with technical expertise, bloggers, artists, filmmakers, photographers and entertainers would all be needed at this event. Bankers, lawyers, academics – even politicians – and any concerned citizens who believe in governmental transparency – should come too.

This is a powerful international summit, and it deserves the attention of the world’s media.

Looks the best place for them :)- Tripadvisor comment:

“Overpriced ...poor service...
what a waste of money”
Reviewed 21 May 2012
people found this review helpful
Poor service on arrival at the spa,
dreadful service in the hotel,
mediocre food and overcharged on leaving.

more here:


15th April 2013, 07:24

Thousands attend anti-austerity protest in Dublin

Rally hears campaign against property tax to intensify in coming weeks

Anti-austerity and property tax protesters have claimed the campaign against household charges is set to become more determined and militant in the coming weeks.

Many of the estimated crowd of 5,000 people who marched in the rain from Parnell Square to Dublin Castle this afternoon claimed there was growing resistance to the new property tax.

A large force of gardaí including the Garda Mounted Unit policed the marchers - a number of whom of whom waved placards bearing slogans in support of the Garda's concern about cut backs - including: "Govt Shatter Garda Life".

Standing near the Rotunda Hospital before the march Terry Brennan, from Navan, Co Meath, said people were being asked to pay additional taxes, "not for development, but for the banks". He said politicians did not seem to understand "people can't pay". He also urged people across the State to get together to organise and event in their town or village for a national day of civil disobedience to be held on May 1st.

As the march got underway the crowd was encouraged by a number of people with loudspeakers chanting slogans mainly, it appeared, aimed at the Labour Party, in particular party leader Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.

There was also criticism of Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan but Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not appear to be mentioned as frequently.

Speaking at Parnell Square, Dette McLoughlin said she was among three busloads of people who had travelled from Knocknacarra in Co Galway for the march. "We have been beggared", she said. "People are going without gas or electricity and now are being asked to pay for the roof over their heads".

As the group moved down O'Connell Street, Conor McKenna, from Swords, north Co Dublin, said he was one of a number of young adults who had mortgages which they were attempting to service, and who were suffering as a result.

He said his home at Drynham Hall was worth much less than he had paid for it in 2009, and as he was on a variable interest rate, his repayments were much higher than those on a tracker mortgage, and considerably higher now than they were when he had bought his home.

"If the [interest rate of the] tracker goes down , the banks will put their variable rates up. Some people wont manage," he warned.

Chanting a range of slogans such as "can't pay, won't pay" and "you say cut backs, we said fight backs" the marchers waved banners proclaiming the presence of groups from Carlow, Cork, Wicklow, Wexford, Limerick, Meath, Dún Laoghaire, Finglas, Galway, and Longford, among others.

A lengthy train dubbed “the gravy train” and detailing the names of towns and villages in Cork was carried along the street. A large number of political groups and the trade union Unite were also represented.

At Dublin Castle the crowd was addressed by a number of politicians opposed to the charges including TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Joe Higgins and Joan Collins.

Speaking on behalf of organisers the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, John Lyons said "there is no doubt it is more angry now.

"There has been a major shift in peoples' attitudes,” he said, adding that a lot more people were coming out onto the streets.

13 April



15 April Ireland

How convenient:

Banking inquiry unlikely until next year at earliest

Legislative bottleneck has led to only nine of 30 promised Bills being published in spring session

The long-promised Oireachtas inquiry into the banking collapse is unlikely to take place until late next year at the earliest because of a serious bottleneck in publishing legislation.

In its least productive session since coming into power, the Government published only nine of the promised 30 Bills on the spring legislation programme, with eight of those Bills carried over from the winter session.

more at link

15th April 2013, 07:33

15 APril Germany

German ‘anti-euro’ political party calls for ‘orderly dissolution’

A new political party has been formed in Germany with the sole aim to get the country out of the Euro amid the rising economic burden that Germans share to keep the currency afloat in wake of the ongoing financial crisis in the bloc.

Some 1500 delegates from the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) met in Berlin on Sunday to officially launch the organization, openly calling for “orderly dissolution of the euro.” AfD also asks for the return of some sovereignty from the EU to the member states, as well as the introduction of Swiss-style referendums at the federal level.

Created by economists and professors dissatisfied with the euro, its members number 7,500 supporters. The party aims to debut in September’s general elections.

The party is optimistic about the upcoming elections, “a double digit result is realistic”, party spokesman, Bernd Lucke told the Bild newspaper.

“We are an alternative to the euro policies of Mrs. Merkel,” AfD deputy spokeswoman Frauke Petry said last month. “We have the potential to become a major party.”

Germany’s established parties have criticized AfD’s platform as populist.

“They are advocating something that I consider to be unfounded, dangerous and illusionary,” because this would mean “a return to a traditional-style nation-state” that will hurt Berlin’s export-dependent economy, Jürgen Trittin from the Green Party told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“The Alternative for Germany has a program for destroying jobs in the German export industry,” Trittin added.

The political establishment is also worried that the new anti-euro party will attract voters frustrated by German support for a number of bailouts for debt-ridden eurozone members.

All political parties in Germany must receive five percent of the national vote in order to qualify for representation in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.

15th April 2013, 09:36
French ministers face first-ever assets declaration
AFP Updated April 15, 2013, 8:23 pm


PARIS (AFP) - French ministers will for the first time on Monday disclose their assets, in a move President Francois Hollande's Socialist government hopes will restore public confidence after a tax fraud scandal.

There was apprehension, however, that the move could backfire by revealing significant riches to a country struggling with a lengthy economic downturn.

With growth stagnant, unemployment on the rise and the government slashing spending, senior officials admit the move is risky, but hope it will help turn the page on the scandal over a secret Swiss bank account that belonged to ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac.

The assets of 37 ministers and of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will be published at 1500 GMT Monday on the government website.

The move has sparked widespread debate in France, where personal finances are rarely discussed and -- unlike in the United States where politicians often publish their tax returns -- the wealth of public officials has long been considered private.

Lawmakers on both the right and left have decried the move and the government expects a tough battle when it attempts to have the disclosure rule extended to parliamentarians in a law to be presented on April 24.

Former prime minister Francois Fillon of the right-wing UMP denounced the measure on Sunday as "useless" and aimed at "discrediting politicians".

"This would have in no way prevented the Cahuzac scandal," which saw the former minister charged with tax fraud after admitting to having the undeclared Swiss bank account, Fillon said.

The head of the Socialists' faction in the lower house National Assembly, Claude Bartolone, has also raised concerns about the measure, saying it is not the right solution and amounts to "voyeurism".

Close scrutiny is expected to fall on several ministers suspected of having significant wealth, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, a well-known art-lover whose father was an antiques dealer.

One member of the government, Health and Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine, has already said her declaration will show about 1.4 million euros ($1.8 million) in assets, based primarily on several properties in Paris.

The junior minister for the disabled, Marie-Arlette Carlotti, has declared owning two apartments and a house in southern France, worth a total of 565,000 euros ($740,000).

Others have made more modest declarations, including Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti who said she owns a 70-square-metre (750-square-foot) flat in Paris where she lives and, jokingly, a David Beckham T-shirt.

Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg declared owning a designer lounge chair worth about 4,000 euros ($5,200), while Housing Minister Cecile Duflot, of the Greens, declared two vehicles, raising questions about her environmental footprint.

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has meanwhile mocked the exercise, releasing a long declaration providing his height and weight, his shirt, trouser and shoe sizes, and the assertion that his hair is its natural colour.

An IFOP poll released on Saturday showed 63 percent of respondents supporting the asset disclosures and 70 percent saying they would not be surprised to see ministers with high levels of wealth.

The declarations are part of a package of reforms put forward by President Francois Hollande in a bid to tackle the Cahuzac scandal, which has further damaged the image of an administration already languishing in public-opinion polls.

Other measures include efforts to crack down on foreign tax havens and a new independent authority to monitor the assets and potential conflicts of interests of ministers, parliamentarians and other senior elected officials.

A special prosecutors' office will also be set up to target tax fraud and corruption.

Cahuzac, once the minister responsible for fighting tax evasion, was charged with tax fraud earlier this month when he admitted -- after repeated denials -- to having the undeclared foreign bank account containing some 600,000 euros ($770,000).

18th April 2013, 03:43
Global finance leaders to discuss IMF voting power reforms
Reuters April 18, 2013, 3:06 pm


By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Global finance leaders will do a stocktaking of IMF voting power changes when they meet in Washington this week amid concerns that a key IMF reform package is being held up in the U.S. Congress, a tough sell in a tight budget year.

Without mentioning the United States, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday repeated a call to member countries to approve the 2010 package, which would boost the voting power of emerging countries like China and India that have long called for more say in the IMF to reflect their growing economic might.

The voting power issue will be discussed by the Group of 20 developed and emerging countries and by the IMF's steering panel, the International Monetary and Finance Committee, starting on Friday.

"There isn't really much new in terms of issues on the table," a senior International Monetary Fund official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

"As soon as the U.S. approves it, it will come into effect. Certainly the view of the membership is that it should happen as soon as possible, and that is certainly our view, and the U.S. is also committed to getting it done," the official said.

While approval of the package is being delayed by the United States, there has been little progress since January among countries on agreeing a new formula for calculating members' voting shares.

The official acknowledged that further discussions hinged on updated economic data due in June.

The 2010 deal was meant to have been fully authorized by countries in October last year. But the Obama administration put off asking Congress to fund it last year to avoid controversy before the November presidential elections.

Some countries believe that delays in the voting reform package and in compiling a new formula will set back the next phase of major vote changes due in January 2014.

The United States has repeatedly said it is committed to the 2010 agreement, a thorny issue for some lawmakers who argue that the U.S. money for the IMF should go toward safeguarding domestic programs that are being cut.

Last week President Barack Obama asked Congress to shift $63 billion of U.S. money from an IMF crisis fund to permanently boost U.S. funding to the IMF.

The request, which would further enhance America's clout within the IMF, will be considered as the appropriations committees start their work in deciding fiscal 2014 funding levels for government agencies and discretionary programs.

Some congressional aides have said U.S. approval of IMF money is unlikely before October.

New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, testifying recently at a hearing on the president's 2014 budget proposal, argued it was in the interest of the United States to maintain its leadership in the IMF and a veto power over policy decision.

"We have a veto in the IMF, we have a controlling voice when we need to, we have leverage so that the United States can influence the economic decisions around the world, and it is something that our international leadership depends on," Lew told the hearing.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Xavier Briand)

18th April 2013, 23:17

18 April

Federal Reserve Refuses to Submit to an Audit of Germany’s Gold Held in U.S. Vaults

Dr. Long Xinming (4M),- The German government has been storing about half of its gold supply with the US FED, apparently in the NYC FED vaults. Germany decided to bring home all its gold, but the FED has said that isn’t possible to do, and it would need until 2020 to be able to accomplish the transfer.

The German government then asked to visit the FED vaults to inventory the gold and determine its actual existence, but the FED refused to permit Germany to examine its own gold. The reasons given were “security” and “no room for visitors”. And nothing else.

Germany did finally send some staff to the FED, and they were permitted only into the vault’s anteroom where they were shown 5 or 6 gold bars as representative of their holdings, and were permitted nothing else.

They apparently came a second time, and the FED did open only one of 9 rooms and let the Germans look at the stack of gold, but were not permitted to either enter or touch. And they returned home.

There has been speculation for a long time, that the FED doesn’t actually have much gold, that it has either sold it off, lent it out, or used it as collateral for borrowings. Either case, there are many claims that the gold that is being stored on behalf of many nations, doesn’t actually exist.

And nobody, other than FED staff, have actually been permitted inside the vaults to see or inventory any of the gold. There is no evidence that the gold actually exists, other than the word of the FED.

Even more, the situation is the same with the supposed gold depository at Fort Knox. Nobody has seen the gold there for a very long time.

The last audit, and the last public visit, was in 1953, just after U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower took office. No outside experts were allowed during that audit, and the audit team tested only about 5% of gold there. So, there hasn’t been a comprehensive audit of Fort Knox in over 60 years.

In 1974 six Congressmen, one Senator and the press were allowed to enter Fort Knox to see for themselves if the gold was there or not. The tour showed that there was gold in Fort Knox but, all the same, it sparked even more controversies.

Only a small fraction of the gold reserves were made available for viewing, and one Congressman published a report saying that the gold bars held in the fort may have been less heavy than would have been expected.

During the past two years, several US politicians have claimed that there is a high chance that neither Fort Knox nor the FED have any gold, or perhaps only a very small amount, and have demanded a full and public inventory and testing, but the FED have resolutely refused.

I have no idea what to make of this. There was another incident last year when Goldman Sachs were proven to have been selling gold certificates to the public, ostensibly backed by real gold in their vaults, but the story leaked out that they in fact held no gold at all, and were doing “fractional reserve” gold banking, on the basis that few people would want to claim their gold at any one time.

Even worse, Goldman were charging customers storage fees for the gold that didn’t exist. Also, do you recall the information I circulated around the middle of last year, documenting the immense gold theft the FED pulled on much of the world during WW II?

The FED came to all countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa and told them their gold holdings might not be safe because of the war, and they should permit the FED to take all of it to the US for safekeeping. Many countries obliged, receiving FED gold certificates in exchange, but when they later tried to cash in those certificates and reclaim their gold, they were told the certificates were fake, that they contained spelling and other mistakes which the FED would never have made, and that the serial numbers were wrong. And the FED still has all that gold.

They even did that to Chiang Kai-Shek, taking all of Taiwan’s gold – that had been looted from China – and never returning it. The last I heard, Chiang’s wife was still trying to recover her gold from the FED.

Apparently a few people have been successful in presenting their certificates to the FED, with documentation that was irrefutable, but even in those cases the owners were forced to settle for only 1% or 2% of the actual value. And most other people or nations who attempt to redeem these certificates are arrested by the FBI for fraud – at the request of the FED.

Late last year, a Canadian businessman had some of these certificates and tried to use them as collateral for a loan, and the FED had him arrested, extradited to the US, and charged him with fraud. Insiders claim this is common practice to frighten every one away.

I’ve inserted here a graph that shows the increase in the FED’s gold supply during the war. It also shows the amount decreasing heavily later, so perhaps some of the gold was returned, but it appears there was a great deal that never was.

For many years after the war, the FED denied these transactions and even denied the existence of these certificates. But a crashed US military plane was found in the Philppine jungle with heavy wooden boxes full of metal containers, all with FED markings, and all containing hundreds of billions of dollars of these same certificates. That was when the entire story finally became public, but the Western media have never cared to report on it.

I have many photos of the content of that aircraft, of the boxes and the cans and the certificates, if anybody cares to see.

Some people claimed this was a CIA counterfeiting operation supported by the US government, as an attempt to just steal the gold from many poor nations.

Via The 4th Media

Dr. Long Xinming is the founder and senior editor of bearcanada.com. He is a frequent contributor to nsnbc international and our partner media The 4th Media in Beijig.

18th April 2013, 23:26

19 April UK

Rich Ricci, Barclays investment bank boss, resigns

The head of Barclays' investment banking business, Rich Ricci, has resigned, the bank has announced.

The move follows the arrival of Barclays's new chief executive, Antony Jenkins.

The boss of the bank's wealth management business, Tom Kalaris, has also quit.

Both men played key roles under Bob Diamond, the former Barclays chief executive who left after last year's Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Mr Ricci gets a year's salary after departing, unless he lands another new job in the meantime.

Barclays declined to reveal his basic salary and pension package.

Mr Ricci, who has been with Barclays for 19 years, has often attracted controversy over his pay.

Despite waiving his bonus last year, he landed £18m from selling 5.7 million shares he gained as part of annual bonuses and incentives schemes in previous years.

He will be replaced by Eric Bommensath and Tom King, who will share the job as co-heads.

Barclays' Mr Jenkins said: "Today's changes will ensure we have the right senior team in place to deliver strategy and commitments we made on 12 February and build the 'go-to' bank."

19th April 2013, 21:06
More on the UK Operation Yewtree child abuse investigations and arrest of Rolf Harris.


19 April UK

Very Important Please Read

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

The BBC have announced that Rolf Harris has been arrested. I am aware that whenever there is any news about the allegations of sexual offences against Rolf Harris, The Needle receives a steep increase in traffic. Without wishing in anyway to seem unsupportive of the victims in this particular case, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about something far more widespread.

Over the last 40 years or more, the care home system in the UK has been targeted by paedophiles, producers of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) material (child pornogaphy) , the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation, and on occasion the murder of victims, either because their deaths become sick entertainment , or because they knew too much.

Some of this has been extremely well organised and is not restricted to one or two local authorities. This is a problem that is widespread.

When I first became aware of this I felt ashamed of myself. I felt ashamed because I had assumed that the most vulnerable in our society, children in need of care of the state, were safe. To find out that that was not the case and that because, in part, of my ignorance, the sexual abuse of children was being exploited and perpetuated was very difficult.

But now I am no longer ignorant, now I know what has been going on. Ignorance is not a crime but to turn away once all ignorance has been dispelled is morally reprehensible.

There has been a systemic cover up of the truth. One reason for this is due to the fact that many child abusers hold great power, a second reason for this is because CSA is an underworld industry which makes a great deal of money and therefore corruption is rife, a third reason for this is because some people mistakenly thought that moving a problem elsewhere solved it, and finally because with so many powerful people implicated for the three previous reasons, it has become an issue of national security.

I’d like to appeal to every parent and grandparent who reads this. This is not just historic this is a very real child safeguarding issue today.

Please take the time to read the articles here on The Needle and on Spotlight. Don’t look at the individual stories in isolation. Look at the broader picture.

Now I’ve told you, now you know, remember the words of Edmund Burke, and do not turn away.





Michelle Marie
19th April 2013, 22:54
More on the UK Operation Yewtree child abuse investigations and arrest of Rolf Harris.


19 April UK

Very Important Please Read

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

The BBC have announced that Rolf Harris has been arrested. I am aware that whenever there is any news about the allegations of sexual offences against Rolf Harris, The Needle receives a steep increase in traffic. Without wishing in anyway to seem unsupportive of the victims in this particular case, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about something far more widespread.

Over the last 40 years or more, the care home system in the UK has been targeted by paedophiles, producers of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) material (child pornogaphy) , the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation, and on occasion the murder of victims, either because their deaths become sick entertainment , or because they knew too much.

Some of this has been extremely well organised and is not restricted to one or two local authorities. This is a problem that is widespread.

When I first became aware of this I felt ashamed of myself. I felt ashamed because I had assumed that the most vulnerable in our society, children in need of care of the state, were safe. To find out that that was not the case and that because, in part, of my ignorance, the sexual abuse of children was being exploited and perpetuated was very difficult.

But now I am no longer ignorant, now I know what has been going on. Ignorance is not a crime but to turn away once all ignorance has been dispelled is morally reprehensible.

There has been a systemic cover up of the truth. One reason for this is due to the fact that many child abusers hold great power, a second reason for this is because CSA is an underworld industry which makes a great deal of money and therefore corruption is rife, a third reason for this is because some people mistakenly thought that moving a problem elsewhere solved it, and finally because with so many powerful people implicated for the three previous reasons, it has become an issue of national security.

I’d like to appeal to every parent and grandparent who reads this. This is not just historic this is a very real child safeguarding issue today.

Please take the time to read the articles here on The Needle and on Spotlight. Don’t look at the individual stories in isolation. Look at the broader picture.

Now I’ve told you, now you know, remember the words of Edmund Burke, and do not turn away.





Yes. The big picture.

Awareness. Receive the information regarding the truth of what's been going on. Discern truth, facts, etc.

Action: Spread it (you are/we are)

Pray: then follow guidance for any additional personal actions to take

Dream/vision/work toward a better world: our institutions are corrupt and crumbling. The storm is still blowing, but the new ways are also emerging. I'm working on a new kind of "Follow Your Heart" education for the new paradigm. It gives people their power back. It will free the youth from corrupt institutions. My experience was in public school and a residential children's home. Too much profit motive and not enough proper care for children. AWARENESS from the inside is what I was given.

I'm not going to sit around and do nothing with this awareness. I can assure you that.

Thank you (and I'm really sorry about all those whose lives have been so negatively affected.) We must STOP it.

Love and compassion,
Michelle Marie

23rd April 2013, 20:10
Release of Offshore Records Draws Worldwide Response

By Emily Menkes, Kimberley Porteous and Michael Hudson, ICIJ – April 20, 2013


ICIJ’s investigative series on offshore secrecy – which draws from a cache of 2.5 million secret records – has ignited reactions around the globe.

Since the initial release of stories by the ICIJ and its media partners across the world, public officials have issued statements, governments have launched investigations, and politicians and journalists have been debating the implications of the records and the reporting.

Among the latest reactions and responses:
• Finance ministers and central bankers at the G20 meeting in Washington said in a communiqué that automatic exchange of tax-relevant bank information should be adopted as the global standard to overcome international tax evasion. Skeptical European leaders reportedly “became more enthusiastic” after the public outcry over ICIJ’s offshore leaks revelations.

Bayartsogt Sangajav: resigned his post after offshore account revelation.
• Bayartsogt Sangajav, deputy speaker of the Mongolian Parliament, has reportedly resigned from his post following ICIJ’s revelations about his undeclared offshore company and bank account. In a parliamentary session he was asked to explain his actions. Several MPs called for further disciplinary action, including expelling him from Parliament entirely.

• Santosh Kumar Agarwal (Kedia), a member of the board of directors for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, has resigned from the organization after his offshore dealings were revealed. “In the interest of the integrity of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre as [an] organization and the industry as a whole, Kedia has taken the initiative to withdraw from the AWDC’s board of directors, awaiting the outcome of a potential investigation,” said a statement released by the company.”

• French president Francois Hollande has published the personal financial details of government ministers on the official government website, following the Jerome Cahuzac and Jean-Jacques Augier offshore assets scandals. The list of assets includes details of bank accounts, life insurance, property and other expensive items such as cars, art works and antiques. Various properties in Paris and the south of France have already been itemized by ministers, as well as designer lounge chair (Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg) and a David Beckham t-shirt (Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti).

• European Council president Herman Van Rompuy announced that tax evasion will be discussed at the next European Council in May, saying “we must seize the increased political momentum to address this crucial problem.”

• BVI government officials have announced they are opening a new business headquarters in Hong Kong, with Orlando Smith, BVI Premier and Finance Minister, confirmed to officiate the opening. Executive director of BVI International Finance Centre, Elise Donovan, said the data obtained by the ICIJ was “a small fraction” of the total number of BVI firms. She later added, “We want to reassure clients in Hong Kong and the region that this is an isolated incident. We remain committed to clients’ privacy and confidentiality.”

• The Swiss and U.S. governments are investigating a possible solution to the dispute over wealthy Americans using Swiss banks to hide their money. These talks come at time when Switzerland’s banking sector is under increased pressure to surrender personal information about suspected tax evaders. Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said all countries should be treated equally in the drive for bank transparency. “We consider it very important that rules must apply to all and are engaging ourselves for a level playing field in multilateral forums,” Widmer-Schlumpf said.

• German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged UK’s PM David Cameron to crack down on tax havens during talks in Berlin, following a public outcry in Germany over the “offshore leaks.” Sources “close to Cameron” claim he was actually the first to raise the issue, spelling out how his government was cracking down on tax avoidance in places such as Jersey and Guernsey.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
• Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov is moving his offshore assets back to Russia after ICIJ’s revelations that Shuvalov’s wife Olga Shuvalova was either a shareholder or owner of several secretive offshore entities. The Shuvalovs had a declared income of $12.7 million in 2011, most of which was earned by Olga.

• Spanish political party Unión Progreso y Democracia submitted written questions to the Spanish Congress today in the wake of French president François Hollande’s announcement that French banks had to declare their tax haven subsidiaries. The questions read: Is the government going to present in the European institutions any initiative to eradicate the tax havens within the Member States? and Is the government going to force banks to disclose the subsidiaries they have in tax havens and what are their activities?

•Francois Hollande: called for tax havens to be “eradicated.”French president François Hollande called for “eradication” of the world’s tax havens and told French banks they must declare all of their subsidiaries. He also announced the creation of a special prosecutor to pursue cases of corruption and tax fraud. French government ministers have been ordered to declare their assets publicly within days.

Francois Hollande: called for tax havens to be “eradicated.”

• Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced his country plans to lift bank secrecy rules for European Union citizens who have savings based in the country, ending decades of bank secrecy in Luxembourg. “We are following a global movement,” Juncker told parliament in a state-of-the-nation address. The new transparency regime would begin in January 2015. Austria is now the only EU country not sharing data about bank depositors. In a recent interview, Austrian Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Spindelegger Fekter said: “How much money someone has in the bank is a matter between the bank and the customer and is no one else’s business.”

• Algirdas Semeta, European Union Tax Commissioner stated in a recent interview that it is time to move “quicker and harder” against tax evasion. He said the “growing willingness to act” increases the likelihood of a more coordinated EU stance against tax havens.

• Europe’s five biggest economic powers — Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain — announced they would begin regularly exchanging banking and tax information as a way of identifying tax dodgers and other financial wrongdoers.

• Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) authorities are not fans of the ICIJ investigation. The BVI premier and Finance Minister Orlando Smith told the South China Morning Post that “BVI authorities are actively investigating how this private information has been illicitly obtained and used to attack the BVI financial services industry, which operates compliantly within international guidelines and the law.”

• Athens’ district attorney Panayota Fakou has started a preliminary probe to find out if Greeks who own offshore companies unearthed by the ICIJ investigation have evaded taxes or laundered money. According to the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, prosecutors will send information requests to British Virgin Islands’ financial authorities asking them to turn over records of 107 entities connected to Greek citizens.

• An investigation by Finnish State Televisionand ICIJ exposing the offshore connections of state-owned postal company Itella has been received with surprise by the Finnish Finance Minister, Jutta Urpilainen. The minister said that “state owned companies should be an example for other companies. That is why it is especially unacceptable that Itella owns a company in a tax haven.” Urpilainen said the Finnish government should adopt clear rules on the use of offshore jurisdictions by state-owned corporations and called tax havens “one of the biggest threats to the Finnish welfare state.”

• Canada’s national revenue minister Gail Shea says the government may pursue the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in court to force it to share the offshore leaks records.

• Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has declared that neither she, nor any other elected officials in her government have dealings in the offshore world. Marois also supported the handover of internal documents to Canadian authorities, stating the Quebec government would not hesitate to use “all legal means” to ensure this.

• French budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve joins the clamor from governments around the globe in urging ICIJ and its media partners to release the offshore tax haven files to them, to “aid justice and help them do their job.” Le Monde’s response: “It is up to the justice system to establish responsibilities at a time when the law might have been broken … It is up to the press to enlighten the reader…”

• Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says he is ready to make concessions on banking secrecy, to bring the nation in step with Switzerland and Luxembourg. “Austria should participate in talks on banking secrecy,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann declared to Die Presse.

• The European Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta, called for an automatic exchange of information between countries and a “tough common stance.” “Recent developments, fuelled by the outcome of the Offshore Leaks, confirms the urgency for more and better action against tax evasion …. Now it is time to put words into action.” He said he was “very pleased” to see many of the Member States reviewing where they stand on the issues and “intensifying their political will to act.”

• The Swiss government has distinguised itself from other world governments by publicly stating it does not want access to the offshore leaks records. Finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland has worked hard in recent years to curb fraud and tax evasion and that much of the activity pointed to in the leaked documents can be perfectly legal. She says the Swiss government does not want access to the data as “it was acquired illegally and Bern wants no part of that”.

• The Philippine Presidential Commission on Good Government probe into the disclosure that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, the eldest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was a beneficiary of a secret offshore trust in the British Virgin Islands, will release its report within two weeks. “We are duty bound to investigate and, depending upon informed preliminary findings, decide whether to pursue the matter,” said Andres Bautista, the chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, tasked with recovering the Marcos family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.

• The president of the Association of German Banks denied that his group’s members had helped customers engage in tax evasion. “First in line are the individuals and the organizations that invest their money in tax oases,” Andreas Schmitz said.”

• The Berne internal revenue service authorities announced they will re-open the Gunter Sachs case after ICIJ’s revelations about the former Mr. Brigitte Bardot’s intricate offshore scheme.

• In Canada, a Liberal senator urged his caucus colleague, Senator Pana Merchant, to answer questions in the wake of CBC News and ICIJ reports that she has been listed as beneficiary of an offshore trust created by her husband, a well-known class-action attorney. “We’re all innocent until proven guilty in this country, but I want to hear her explanation,” Senator Percy Downe told CBC News in an interview.

• In the Philippines, two lawmakers dismissed a report by an ICIJ media partner, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), that they had offshore holdings. Senator Manuel Villar said his offshore entity was a “1-dollar shell company” that he wasn’t required to report, because he hadn’t made any real investment in it. Villar said that he hadn’t conducted business with the British Virgin Islands company “because I decided to concentrate in the Philippines.” Congressman Joseph Victor ‘JV’ G. Ejercito suggested the story about him was politically motivated. “To the best of my knowledge, I have truthfully and accurately declared all my assets, liabilities, and net worth” on required disclosures forms for public officials, he said in a statement.

• Germany’s Economics Minister Philipp Rösler urged the media to pass the data on to the government, stressing that tax evasion was a “criminal act.”

• Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Luc Frieden says he is open to greater transparency of its banks in order to cooperate further with foreign tax authorities.

• The Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said an inquiry had been initiated by the authorities against individuals whose names figured in the global media report. “Yes. We have taken note of the names and inquiries have been put in motion in respect of the names that have been exposed,” he told a press conference.

• The Mongolian Deputy Speaker, Bayartsogt Sangajav, admitted to an “ethics failure” over his undeclared million-dollar Swiss bank account. He told a press conference: “It is true that there is 1,658 Euros or 2.9 million MNT in a Swiss bank account. I opened the account to trade in international stocks with three other acquaintances in 2008. My failure of responsibility is that I did not include the company in my declaration of income. I have admitted my ethic failure and I am ready to take responsibility.”

• Philippine government officials said they will investigate evidence that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor and daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was the beneficiary of a secret BVI offshore trust.

• George Mavraganis, the Deputy Finance Minister of Greece announced that the Greek government is moving to address offshore-driven tax dodging. Greek members of parliament asked Mavraganis what he planned to do about the 103 offshore companies that ICIJ found hadn’t been registered with Greece’s tax authorities.

• George Sourlas from Greece’s Ministry of Justice said the revenue loss caused by offshore was huge. “By the actions of offshore companies in Greece, the revenue loss to the Greek government is in the order of 40% or more of the debt of our country,” Sourlas said. “The offshore companies cast a shadow at this time of great crisis, when some get rich and many get poor.”

• In France, President Francois Hollande denied knowledge of the offshore accounts held by his 2012 campaign manager, Jean-Jacques Augier, asserting that it’s up to the tax administration to monitor Augier’s private activities. Reports about Augier’s offshore dealings by Le Monde, the BBC and other ICIJ partners came in the wake of news about tax fraud charges against Hollande’s ex-budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac.

• The office of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev asserted there was nothing unusual about the information in the leak – which showed that his two daughters were shareholders of three offshore companies. The statement said the President’s daughters “are grown up and have the right to do business.” A spokesperson for Azersun – a holding company controlled by Hasan Gozal, a corporate mogul who was listed as the director of the daughters’ companies – said the report was biased and based on inaccurate information. “I regret that authority of Press Council doesn’t go beyond Azerbaijan and there is no such institution worldwide to fight racketeer journalists,” the spokesman said.

• Ex-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez publicly defended his sons’ involvement in offshore business. Uribe stated that his sons Tomás and Jerónimo are entrepreneurs and “have participated in business dealings since they were children” and “they are not tax evaders.”

• In the UK, David Cameron is facing renewed pressure to take action over Britain’s entanglements within the offshore world. Lord Oakeshott, a senior Liberal Democrat said that the secrecy haven of the British Virgin Islands “stains the face of Britain.” Oakeshott and others are questioning whether Cameron will raise the issue in June of at the G8 summit of wealth nations. “How can David Cameron keep a straight face calling for the G8 to make big business pay tax when we let the BVI use British law and British protection to suck in billions in dirty money?” Oakeshott asked.

• German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stated on public radio that he was “pleased” with the ICIJ reports. He went on to say, “I think that such things as have been made known will increase the pressure internationally, and we will be able to increase the cooperation with those who have been more reticent”, a sentiment reflected in Germany’s previous lobbying to stamp out tax avoidance.

• Canadian Federal Revenue Minister Gail Shea called the released of offshore banking information as “good news” for Canadians and bad news for tax evaders. Ms. Shea urged ICIJ or anyone else with information on tax cheats to come forward.

• Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, said: “Secrecy is no longer acceptable. We need to get rid of it. If the rules make it possible, then we’ll change the rules.”
For further articles in the ICIJ invetsigations head to www.icij.org

23rd April 2013, 20:19

23 April UK

Investigators under investigation: Met Police inquiry into IPCC over Richmond abuse scandal

Operation Fernbridge – the criminal investigation into a paedophile ring centred round the London borough of Richmond and the shady Elm Guest House – is now turning to the role of Independent Police Complaints Commission over the whole affair.

As reported by my excellent colleague for Exaro News, Mark Conrad,(see http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4936/met-investigates-police-watchdog-over-richmond-paedo-ring) in an amazing turn of events the Met Police is now investigating the role of the police investigators.

The turn of events is extraordinary. A former local government employee at Richmond and GMB trade unionist put a complaint into the police some 20 years after the police raid on the Elm Guest House. The police while taking down the details did not appear to investigate.

So he complained to the IPCC who also appear to have dismissed the inquiry.He then used the appeal process to complain about the IPCC who again dismissed it.

To be fair most of the complaint concentrated on yet another hushed up Richmond scandal – the physical abuse of elderly people at another care home – but there is a clear mention of child abuse in the first complaint to the police.

Now 30 years later ( and one has to be careful not to prejudice a future trial) there is enough evidence to justify the arrest of two people in connection with the child sexual abuse inquiry, it logically follows that the police certainly did not do their job and the IPCC appear to have been cavalier about doing theirs.

What is emerging is that the Conservative and Liberal run leafy borough of Richmond – which made the careers of three Liberal Democrat peers, Lord Razzall, Baroness Tonge and Baroness Hamwee – was behind the net curtains not a very savoury place. And it is clear that the authorities and the complaints procedure were found wanting. Watch out for more damaging revelations to come on Richmond once Exaro has fully investigated them.

24th April 2013, 21:40

Poland Becomes The 8th EU Nation To Ban Monsanto Maize

Poland has become the eighth EU member state to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. Seven other EU member states have already imposed bans on the cultivation of GM crops approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe: Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece and Bulgaria.

The Polish Agriculture Ministry expressed concerns that GM crops may cross-pollinate with non-GM crops and Monsanto’s MON810 maize pollen may find its way into honey. The ministry also pointed to that there exists no scientific assessments confirming that GM crops are safe for the environment and people.

In a statement, Greenpeace Poland’s ‘Stop GMO’ campaign coordinator Joanna Mis said, “The government has delivered on its promise,” and, “We are happy that Poland has joined the club of countries that ban the cultivation of GM crops. However, this is not the end of our campaign. We have to make sure that the European Commission does not manage to lift the ban [...]. We also have to make sure that crops will be effectively controlled and the ban on cultivation observed.”

A panel of experts appointed by a Supreme Court has recently recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials of all genetically modified (GM) food and termination of all ongoing trials of transgenic crops in India.

See: http://www.examiner.com/article/a-10-year-cap-on-genetically-modified-foods-recommended-by-supreme-court-panel

The United States, Canada, China, UK, Australia, Mexico, and most of South America, Asia and Africa have no formal GMO-free platforms and their use is typically unrestricted and widespread.
22 April

24th April 2013, 22:04

24 April

WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k per month if blockade not lifted'

Iceland's Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) must pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month or $2,494,604 per year in fines if it continues to blockade the whistle-blowing site.

The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell.

"Today's decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks," the organization's press release stated.

25th April 2013, 09:11
The Boston story is obviously covered elsewhere on Avalon, but as with the many corruption stories, it's encouraging to see some of the 'official' stories being fed to us are unravelling and press agencies and main stream newspapers are covering the discrepancies and picking holes in some of their colleagues stories...
There's an eclipse today - good for getting stuff to the surface they say :)...


Now officials claim Boston bombing suspect was NOT armed in boat showdown - despite police account of firefight and him 'shooting himself'

Officials now claim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed as he hid in boat in Watertown

Contradicts Boston Police Commissioner's account of hour-long firefight with Tsarnaev

New York Times said M4 rifle had been found on boat

Police sources suggested Tsarnaev shot himself onboard

Two unnamed U.S. officials have told the Associated Press that the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.

The report contradicts the Boston police department's own account of Dzhokar Tsarnaev's capture on Friday - after commissioner Ed Davies described a firefight between him and officers before the terror suspect was captured.

The New York Times also said an M4 rifle had been found on the boat - another claim contradicted by the latest revelations.

Officers had originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.

But on Wednesday, the law enforcement officials told the AP that no gun was found aboard the vessel.

full story at link

PUBLISHED: 02:53, 25 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:23, 25 April 2013

26th April 2013, 06:37

26 April Pakistan

Musharraf due in court over Bhutto murder

Pakistan's ex-military ruler expected in court in connection with murder of Benazir Bhutto day after his arrest.

Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been formally arrested in connection with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said on Thursday that Musharraf will remain at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse residence in the capital but will be produced at the anti-terrorist court in Rawalpindi on Friday.

“The Musharraf case has many implications given the fact that the country is less than two weeks away from election,” he said.

“It will be the responsibility of the new elected government to deal with this important issue.

“He has admirers no doubt. Many of the powerful political parties were all on board with the former military ruler.”

Musharraf is already under a two-week house arrest over his decision to sack judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007.

The Bhutto case is the second of three cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule for which Musharraf has been arrested.

The latest arrest came a day after a court in Rawalpindi refused to extend his bail.

Since his return to Pakistan in a bid to contest the 2013 general election, Musharraf has been dealing with a number of legal cases against him, including the detention of judges and treason.

Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, while Musharraf was president.

She was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the city.

The ATC (Anti-Terrorism Court) had indicted Musharraf in the case in February 2011, and in August the same year he was declared a proclaimed offender and his property was attached because of his absence.

Musharraf's government blamed Bhutto's killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement. Mahsud was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009.

26th April 2013, 06:55
Kerry Cassidy recently mentioned the level of 'mental constraint' we find ourselves boxed into - for instance the continual impressions that it is hard and expensive and dangerous and lengthy to do space travel etc. so people don't think outside of the box on this. Same is happening with the manufactured financial crises in the Euro zone and the continual use of the word 'austerity' and 'austerity cuts'. Say it long enough and many imagine they are boxed into a life of unemployment, fear of losing jobs, rising costs etc. and can't rock the boat. However, many have been demonstrating in Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia etc. with limited amounts of coverage in the main stream media. The Brits seem to be pretty slow to wake up on this - are we the most mind controlled country as has been claimed by Cathi Morgan who has talked to the Ammach Project ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkjJbviVqfM&feature=relmfu )


26 April Spain and France

Spain protesters clash with police

Protesters hurl bottles at police in latest demonstrations triggered by anger at country's economic crisis.

Twenty-nine people have been injured in clashes between police and protesters in the latest street demonstrations sparked by anger at Spain's economic crisis, emergency services said.

Around 1,000 protesters massed in front of a police barrier protecting parliament in Madrid on Thursday, calling for the government and lawmakers to quit.

The demonstration coincided with the release of Spain's latest official unemployment figures which showed the jobless rate had surged past 27 percent, with 6.2 million people out of work.

A group of protesters hurled bottles at the police line and let off firecrackers, prompting riot police with shields and helmets to chase them along nearby avenues, beating some with batons.

Thirteen of those injured in the clashes were police officers, officials said.

Before the demonstration started police arrested four members of anarchist groups suspected of plotting to set fire to a bank and 11 people who blocked access to a university.

Austerity cuts

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government was due on Friday to unveil a further package of economic reforms which he wants to have implemented by 2015. Government officials say the plan will tread a fine line between growth and austerity.

Hundreds of protesters reponded to the call for demonstrators to "Besiege Congress" [AFP]

But, with millions people unemployed in the country, protesters on Thursday said the increasing austerity cuts were causing unfair suffering to the poor and complain that the political system is stacked against them.

As well as overseeing a bailout for Spain's banking sector, Rajoy has brought in spending cuts and labour reforms, since his conservative government took office in December 2011.

He says the steps are needed to fix the public finances and strengthen the economy and will help Spain save $196bn by 2014.

Rising unemployment in Spain has caused evictions to soar and forced tens of thousands of people to leave in search of work abroad.

The number of households in which all eligible members are unemployed reached 1.91 million in the first quarter, the statistics office said.

In neighbouring France, also hit by the financial crisis, unemployment reached its highest rate since 1997, according to data announced on Thursday.

Around 3.2 million people were out of work in the country, an 11.5 percent annual increase, the French labour ministry said.



Austerity blamed as unemployment soars in Spain and France

More than 6 million without jobs in Mariano Rajoy's Spain while figure in François Hollande's France is 3.2 million

Unemployment has soared to records in both France and Spain as the impact of government spending cuts and a collapse in consumer confidence forced employers to shed thousands of workers.

Spain's persistent rise in unemployment reached new heights over the first three month of this year, leaving a record 27% of the workforce jobless.

Spain now has 6.2 million unemployed after a 23-month run of falling employment figures, with the young and those living in the south of the country particularly hard hit as the economy continues to shrink.

Almost six out of every 10 people under the age of 25 who are not studying are now jobless, with the rate at 57%.

In France, the number of people out of work reached a record 3.2 million in March in a blow to socialist president François Hollande, who has struggled to stabilise the economy in the face of declining exports and a fall in domestic demand.

The figures triggered a heated debate about Europe's austerity drive with leading IMF and European Central Bank officials sharply at odds.

Some eurozone officials believe now is the time to ease back on debt-cutting drives because calmer financial markets are less easily panicked.

The IMF is also calling for a relaxation in austerity drives – for both the eurozone and Britain – but Germany and the ECB are opposed. (interesting split here)

"There is … a risk that Europe could fall into stagnation, which would have very serious implications for households, companies [and] banks," IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton told a conference in London.

"To decisively avoid that dangerous downside, policymakers must act now to strengthen the prospects for growth," he said.

But ECB executive board member Jörg Asmussen urged governments to push on with budget consolidation and reforms.

"Delaying fiscal consolidation is not an easy way out. If it were, we would have taken it," Asmussen said.

"Delaying fiscal consolidation is no free lunch. It means higher debt levels. And this has real costs in the euro area where public debts are already very high."

The ECB is expected by many to cut interest rates next week, although a quarter-point reduction is unlikely to lift the eurozone economy out of recession.

"It will probably require additional unconventional measures from the ECB," Lipton said, while Asmussen said monetary policy was not an "all-purpose weapon".

But German chancellor Angela Merkel intervened in the debate yesterday saying the ECB was "in a difficult position,"

"For Germany it would actually have to raise rates slightly at the moment, but for other countries it would have to do even more for more liquidity to be made available."

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy plans to announce measures on Friday designed to promote growth while keeping public spending cuts in place.

The economy shrank 1.9% over the last year and is not expected to return to growth until the end of this year or 2014.

Analysts agree new jobs will not be created until growth rises above 1%, which seems unlikely until well into next year – by which time 2 million people are likely to have been unemployed for more than three years.

Spain posted Europe's worst budget deficit last year and, although part of that was a one-off €41bn (£35bn) payment to rescue the country's banks, it will still struggle to meet the deficit targets set by Brussels without pushing even more people into unemployment.

This year's deficit target is currently 4.5% of GDP, though that looks likely to be relaxed amid the Europe-wide recession.

Household spending power has fallen to 2001 levels, thanks to a combination of unemployment, falling salaries and increased income and sales taxes, with almost one in three Spanish households now struggling to pay monthly bills.

"This has grown brutally in recent years," said Carlos Susías of the Network against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

In France, a wave of industrial layoffs sent unemployment soaring further over the 3 million level hit last August and the previous all-time record of 3,195,500 set in January 1997.

Hollande reaffirmed his goal to reverse the rising trend, calling on his government to combine with industry and other players to use all means possible to create jobs.

"Everything the government does, in every ministry, must be to continue to strengthen the battle for jobs," he said. "I want all the French people to unite behind this one national priority."

Carmakers headed a list of businesses laying off workers. PSA Peugeot Citroen is scrapping more than 10,000 domestic jobs and rival Renault aims to cut 7,500 posts in France by 2016.

26th April 2013, 07:02
Benjy Fulford's recent take on it all with what seems to be more meat on it than usual. Plus Cobra's latest and where Bush, Obama and the other presidents met yesterday on the day of the Eclipse.


Benjamin Fulford -- Making Moves Against the Corrupt Political Establishment

April 22, 2013

A member of the Japanese Yakuza was contacted by members of the cabal last week and told to inform the White Dragon Society that “after Kennedy and Bush would come Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and one other.” Since the Boston terror psy-ops included a bombing of the Kennedy Library and the missile attack in Texas took place close to the Bush ranch, the warning seems to be a hint that some major attacks linked to these two other presidents and “one other,” were planned for the near future.

Somebody has also placed a $1 billion bet on a major US stock market plunge this week in what may be a sign of foreknowledge of further major terrorist events, according to an MI5 source.

There is also evidence of a huge information war between two major factions in the US over the bombing attacks in Texas and Boston. The Department of Homeland Security (SS) Sabbatean mafia faction staged the Boston attack in an attempt to create a psychological atmosphere favourable to martial law, while the opposition inside the agencies clearly tried to sabotage this attack and make it clear to all this was government staged.

In contrast to this increasing infighting and negative news in the US, there has been very good news coming out of Asia last week. A White Dragon Society representative returned from Beijing where talks with Chinese military leaders made it clear China was not going to be fooled into war by any Sabbatean (Israeli) false flag attack in the area. In addition, on the subject of North Korea ...

More at: Three more major terrorist incidents threatened after Boston and Texas (benjaminfulford.net) (http://benjaminfulford.net/2013/04/23/three-more-major-terrorist-incidents-threatened-after-boston-and-texas/).

[ Mod-edit: We received a request not to post Benjamin Fulford's full copyright message, but just samples with a link, so I edited down the above and added a link to his site. - Paul. ]

and Cobra says this:


24 April

In early 2013, the Resistance Movement has cleared all underground facilities of the Cabal through Operation Underlord. Now they have nowhere to hide and they are concerned.

Tomorrow, on the day of the lunar eclipse, the top members of the military-industrial complex will meet in a secret location close to Bush ranch in Texas to discuss the situation. They will find no solution.

Victory of the Light is near! (full story at link)

and note


25 April (eclipse day)

Obama, former presidents rally around George W. Bush as library opens

DALLAS (Reuters) - George W. Bush basked in warm praise from President Barack Obama and three fellow former U.S. presidents on Thursday as Bush's library was dedicated in a ceremony that emphasized his resolute response to terrorism while skirting controversies such as his decision to invade Iraq.

Obama and fellow Democrats Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, came together on the campus of Southern Methodist University to honor one of their own. At the end of the hour-long ceremony, Bush - who has largely avoided public life since leaving Washington in January 2009 - choked back tears as he concluded his remarks.

Obama captured the feeling of the day when he indicated that Bush's political friends and foes both view the former president as genuine.

"To know the man is to like the man, because he's comfortable in his own skin," Obama said. "He takes his job seriously, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. He's a good man."

full story at link

Interesting times eh - depending on what resonates with you personally.

26th April 2013, 07:48
More on the UK child abuse investigations. Needleblog is doing a good job of covering these investigations and also looking at the horrifying levels of abuse that has gone on in children's homes across the UK over the years and the refusal of local authorities and government officials (such as former child minister Patricia Hodge) to investigate these properly. Plus the intimidation of local staff concerned about these. This can of course be mirrored across the world. There's a continual battle for the truth to come out on all of this now, and it is not going to go away quietly.


25 April UK

Yewtree: Freddie Starr Rearrested

Once again it looks like publicly naming someone arrested for an historical sexual offence, in this case Freddie Starr, has encouraged other alleged victims to come forward and speak to the police, thus potentially strengthening the case. This comes at a time when it looks like there is a new official policy of not releasing the names of those arrested for fear that their reputations will be irreparably harmed.

How many potential victims might come forward if the first person arrested yesterday by the Operation Pallial team were known ?

Comedian Freddie Starr has been arrested for a second time by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile sex scandal.

The entertainer, 70, answered bail yesterday and was rearrested over further allegations of sexual offences.

His detention came after he was first arrested in November last year over claims he tried to grope a woman when she was 14.

Scotland Yard said that a man had been ‘further arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in connection with further allegations made to Operation Yewtree’.

The investigation is the national inquiry sparked after allegations of abuse were made against Jimmy Savile.

Daily Mail - story here:

26th April 2013, 07:59
A suspension rather than a resignation here in the UK. But there's a concerted effort to discredit the so called conspiracy sites and followers at the moment (wonder why..:))... Look at the allegations that the Boston so called bombers where influenced by these... Nigel Farage seems to have lost his campaigning zeal and seeking for the truth motivation here. Daily Mail has forgot that they've recently even done some good stuff on the suppression of the UK abuse allegations. So easy to whip it all up into a frenzy if certain things are mentioned.. (and think the Secrets of the Fed Facebook site has been spammed recently)...


UKIP rocked by Holocaust row and BNP members, as leader Nigel Farage admits the party cannot vet all of its candidates

Anna-Marie Crampton, a UKIP candidate in East Sussex, suspended over reports she posted extreme views on a conspiracy theorist website

Crampton, 57, is allegedly quoted as saying: 'The Second World War was engineered by the Zionist jews and financed by the bankers...'

UKIP leader Nigel Farage admits the party had not properly checked all 1,700 candidates it is fielding in next week’s council elections

The UK Independence Party today suffered a string of damaging revelations about its election candidates, including one who reportedly claimed Jews murdered each other in the Holocaust.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was forced to admit the party had not properly checked all 1,700 candidates it is fielding in next week’s council elections, raising the prospect of more embarrassments to come.

The row threatens to undermine the party’s hopes of making a major breakthrough in May 2’s elections.
Anna-Marie Crampton, a UKIP candidate in East Sussex, was suspended by the party over reports she posted extreme views on a conspiracy theorist website called 'Secrets of The Fed'.

Crampton, 57, is allegedly quoted as saying: ’Holocaust means a sacrifice by fire. Only the Zionists could sacrifice their own in the gas chambers.

’The Second World Wide War was engineered by the Zionist jews and financed by the bankers to make the general public all over the world to feel so guilty and outraged by the Holocaust that a treaty would be signed to create the State of Israel as we know it today.’

25 April - more at the link

26th April 2013, 20:05

26 April UK

Max Clifford charged with 11 indecent assaults

The PR guru was first arrested by police in December 2012

PR guru Max Clifford has been charged with 11 indecent assaults allegedly committed between 1966 and 1985.

The alleged offences relate to seven different women and girls ranging in age from 14 to 19 years old.

Mr Clifford, 70, from Surrey, who says the allegations are "completely false", will appear in court next month.

He was arrested in Operation Yewtree - set up after claims were made against Jimmy Savile - although his arrest was unrelated to the former BBC DJ.

Operation Yewtree has three strands. One concerns Savile's crimes exclusively, while another relates to allegations against Savile and others.

The third strand, under which Mr Clifford was arrested, concentrates on accusations unconnected to the Savile investigations but which emerged as a result of the publicity surrounding Savile.

Mr Clifford was not charged over three further allegations as there was "insufficient evidence to authorise charges", the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Mr Clifford denied the allegations against him.

He said: "The allegations in respect of which I have been charged are completely false and I have made this clear to the police during many, many hours of interviews.

"Nevertheless a decision has been taken to charge me with 11 offences involving seven women, the most recent of which is 28 years ago and the oldest 47 years ago.

"I have never indecently assaulted anyone in my life and this will become clear during the course of the proceedings."

Mr Clifford, who was first arrested on 6 December 2012, described the situation as "living a 24/7 nightmare".

Scotland Yard said he was charged after answering bail at a London police station following advice from the CPS.

Mr Clifford was later released on bail and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 28 May.

26th April 2013, 21:25

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

By Matt Taibbi
April 25, 2013

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."

The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.

27th April 2013, 07:09

JPMorgan's Eligible Gold Plummets 65% In 24 Hours To All Time Low

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/25/2013 17:30 -0400

We are confident that in the aftermath of our article from last night "Just What Is Going On With The Gold In JPMorgan's Vault?"


in which we showed the absolute devastation of "eligible" (aka commercial) gold warehoused in JPM's vault just over the Manhattan bedrock at 1 Chase Manhattan Place (and also in the entire Comex vault network in the past month), we were not the only ones checking every five minutes for the Comex gold depository update for April 25. Moments ago we finally got it, and it's a doozy. Because in just the past 24 hours, from April 24 to April 25, according to the Comex, JPM's eligible gold plunged from 402.4K ounces to just 141.6K ounces, a drop of 65% in 24 hours,and the lowest amount of eligible gold held at the vault on record, since its reopening in October 2010!

Everyone has seen what a run on the bank looks like. Below is perhaps the best chart of what a "run on the vault" is.

The absolute collapse in JPM's eligible gold inventory, means total Comex eligible gold has fallen to just 5.8 million ounces, half of what it was in early 2011, and back to levels last seen in March 2009.

So, once again, just like last night, we ask the same questions which are even more critical today than they were 24 hours ago:

What happened to the commercial gold vaulted with JPM, and what was the reason for the historic drawdown?

Gold, unlike fiat, is not created out of thin air, nor can it be shred or deleted. Where did the gold leaving the JPM warehouse end up (especially since registered JPM and total Comex gold has been relatively flat over the same period)?

Did any of this gold make its way across the street, and end up at the vault of the building located at 33 Liberty street?

What happens if and/or when the JPM vault is empty of commercial gold, and JPM receives a delivery notice?

Incidentally, JPM now has just under a paltry 5 tons of eligible gold left in storage. We hope this is also the maximum exposure it faces for imminent delivery requests, because if tomorrow it receives withdrawal requests for 141,581.5 ounces +1, then things get really interesting.

graphs at the link


JPMorgan Accounts For 99.3% Of The COMEX Gold Sales In The Last Three Months

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/26/2013 - 19:28

When just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling. Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting. Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat). It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days... J P Morgan has fumbled ownership of 1,966,000 Troy ounces of gold since February 1. That’s 74% more gold than the US mint delivered through the US mint’s American Eagle program in all of 2012. I mention this because there’s little doubt in my mind that the US government is one of JPM’s gold “customers.” So (if I am correct) the same US government who just let the Morgue dump its gold on the COMEX floor will once again be suspending gold sales to peasants.

full story here:


27th April 2013, 18:41
Things look as tho' they're moving! There's a thread on this, but David Wilcock's new blog is just published, and there's an encouraging snippet from it below.


Divine Cosmos: The Storm of Disclosure is About to Hit...

Before LIBOR came out, we had insiders telling us that the Alliance's plan was to slowly, steadily defeat the Cabal -- not all at once.

That is exactly what has happened so far. Gradually, more and more, the noose has been tightening.

The Cabal can manipulate a major crisis with their control of the media. Many of these journalists seem to have rebelled against it, as we are now seeing with the ICIJ. (see post 2267 on this)

Instead of the Mass Arrests scenario I had originally heard would occur, a slower, more gradual and systematic approach has been going on.

Nonetheless, at some point it will not be gradual. It will strike as hard and fast as a massive lightning-storm -- just like my dream predicted.

Disclosure will be a major element of this process -- as many different dreams have indicated.

This event, once it occurs, will have such a huge effect on us that it will easily be considered the biggest event in recorded human history on earth.

I am not sure what it will be called once it happens -- that is probably something that will only be determined after it happens.

Nonetheless, I do believe that the reality of the extraterrestrial presence, and the technologies derived from it, will be a key element of this process.

and we've got this coming up:


Citizen Hearing On Disclosure

April 29 To May 3, 2013 – Washington, DC

If the congress won't do it's job, the people will.

An event with historical implications will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC from April 29 to May 3, 2013. At that time as many as forty researchers and military/agency witnesses will testify for thirty hours over five days before former members of the United States Congress.

Note: the full Citizen Hearing will be Webcast live on the Internet.

The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race will attempt to accomplish what the Congress has failed to do for forty-five years - seek out the facts surrounding the most important issue of this or any other time.

For this reason the motto for the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure is "If the Congress won't do its job, the people will."

27th April 2013, 18:53
More on the gold story.


Jamie Dimon Has Issues (or Meet The Idiot Selling Gold)

Update: On Friday April 26, JPM customers (US government??) added a whopping 558 contracts (55,800 troy oz.) to the totals reflected in this article. The CME group daily report can be found here, but note, these daily reports go into Never-neverland when the new one comes out (so save it if you want it for future reference).

Somebody should explain to the blathering numbskulls at CNBS that when just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling. Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting. Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat). It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days.

This is the CME Group’s COMEX metals issues and stops year-to-date report, which can be found here everyday for free. It chronicles the physical delivery notices of various metals, including gold. Let’s have a look:

full story and graphs at link.

27th April 2013, 19:00
Intriguing opinion piece in New York Times tomorrow. Perhaps the good guys are working in plain sight as well nowadays :)...


28 April US


Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.


Published: April 28, 2012 (well we haven't got to the 28th yet - but perhaps they're not on linear time either...)

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.

full story at link

29th April 2013, 17:45
The lastest on the reinvestigation of abuse in North Wales children's homes in the UK (link to the official police report at the end).


29 April UK

'Systematic and serious sexual and physical abuse' at North Wales care homes

Since being launched six months ago, Operation Pallial has received 140 allegations of abuse between 1963-92

A new inquiry into historic abuse at North Wales care homes has uncovered “significant” fresh evidence of “systematic and serious sexual and physical abuse”.

Operation Pallial, which was launched last November, has received 140 allegations relating to 18 North Wales care homes between 1963 and 1992 across the region. The alleged victims were aged between seven and 19.

The allegations include fresh claims by 76 new complainants.

Unveiling a progress report into the investigation North Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin said a total of 84 individuals have been named - 75 male and nine female. Of these, 16 have been named by more than one complainant. It is believed that 10 of the 16 may be deceased.

He told abuse victims: "It's never too late to report abuse."

Mr Polin added: "If you (offenders) believe the passage of time will reduce the resolve of Operation Pallial or any police force to identify people who are still alive and to bring them to justice, you are sorely mistaken.

“People who commit serious and sexual offences should live with the knowledge that we will always examine new information and evidence and seek to bring them to justice for their crimes.

“Offenders quite rightly should have to look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives."

Mr Polin said he had asked the National Crime Agency (NCA) to continue Operation Pallial into a second phase.

“I took the decision to ask the NCA to investigate these allegations, conscious that some victims of historic abuse may not have the necessary level of confidence in North Wales Police to report matters directly to us.

“Pallial has now secured accounts from almost all victims who are willing to support an investigation and it makes absolute sense for the officers and staff involved to be at the core of phase two and to move matters forward as quickly as possible,” Mr Polin said

Phase two will involve further investigations, he said, in liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Det Supt Ian Mulcahey of Merseyside Police, is leading the investigation.

He said: “These are serious allegations that will be thoroughly investigated.

“Many have provided graphic accounts of abuse, in some cases of very serious criminality.”

The investigation is being carried out by 31 officers drawn from Soca, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) and police forces from across England.

Mr Mulcahey added: “We are prioritising our work focusing on those individuals who pose the greatest risk to the public.

“I want to reassure the community we are taking their allegations seriously.”

He added that the investigation wanted to develop forensic leads through scientific advancements which might not have been previously available.



Man arrested over historic child abuse allegations in North Wales
23 Apr 2013
The man is the first to be arrested as part of Operation Pallial and is being questioned by police in North Wales

A man has been arrested over historic child abuse alleged to have taken place in North Wales.

The man was held in Ipswich, Suffolk, on Tuesday morning over “a number of serious sexual offences against a number of individuals”, the Serious Organised Crime Agency said.

He is being taken to a police station in North Wales where he will be interviewed over recent allegations of historic abuse.

The man is the first person to be arrested under Operation Pallial, which was launched in November last year and is being led by Detective Superintendent Ian Mulcahey, from Merseyside Police.

A spokesman for the investigation said no further information about the man arrested would be provided.
more at link



The 18 page report from Operation Pallial has been released today - 29 April - see the official police report at the link above.

29th April 2013, 18:05

29 April

Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash

The IMF adviser also blamed 'a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system'

In a cutting attack on America's financial hub, one of the world's most respected economists has said Wall St is full of "crooks" and hasn't reformed its "pathological" culture since the financial crash.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs told a high-powered audience at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve earlier this month that the lack of reform was down to “a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice.”

Sachs, from Colombia University, has twice been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and is an adviser to the World Bank and IMF.

“What has been revealed, in my view, is prima facie criminal behavior,” he said.

“It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading - you can even watch when you are living in New York how that works.”

In his live remarks, via videophone from New York, an emotionally charged Sachs also ripped into practices at Goldman Sachs and into the political classes on both the left and right, according to the New York Post.

“We have a corrupt politics to the core, I am afraid to say, and . . . both parties are up to their neck in this. This has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans."

Sachs described an environment of Wall Street influencing politicians with growing campaign contributions. In the 2012 election cycle, political contributions by the securities and investment sector hit $271.5 million, compared with $176 million in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now,” he continued.

“I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. And I am talking about the human interactions . . . I’ve not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably.”

"They have no responsibility to pay taxes; they have no responsibility to their clients; they have no responsibility to people, to counterparties in transactions,” he said. “They are tough, greedy, aggressive and feel absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense, and they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent.”

One audience member told the Post: “There was an initial shudder, is how I would describe it, because they could feel the passion that was in the discussion. Jeffrey Sachs’ comments were full of conviction. I was applauding him for bringing values and ethics into the discussion.”

1st May 2013, 07:31

1 May Greece

Greeks stage 24-hour anti-austerity general strike

A general strike against tough austerity measures is under way in Greece, with trade unions calling for "mass mobilisation" of protesters.

The 24-hour action is expected to severely disrupt public services, including transport and hospitals.

The organisers are demanding an end to spending cuts and tax rises.

The government says the measures are badly needed to lead Greece out of a deep financial crisis and six straight years of recession.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says the policies are part of continuing moves to ensure more bailout money from international creditors.

Cautious optimism
The 24-hour strike officially began at midnight on Tuesday to mark labour day. May 1 is technically not a public holiday in Greece this year, as that has been moved to next Tuesday - after Orthodox Easter.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says public transport will be disrupted, ferries halted and hospitals will work on skeleton staff.

But he says it remains to be seen how big Tuesday's rallies will be, as there have been far fewer strikes and protests this year, and there is a feeling the civil unrest is beginning to die down.

Nevertheless, demonstrations are planned across the country, with police on alert for a repeat of past violence.

The two largest unions - GSEE and ADEDY - have said that the action will focus on demands to end austerity.

They say that government measures have led to the country's record unemployment rate of 27%, including almost 60% among young people.

Mr Samaras has defended his policies, insisting that this year of recession will be the country's last.

Our correspondent says that more than 20 general strikes have failed to halt the cuts, and the government feels emboldened by the cautious optimism of its international creditors.

Nearly 3bn euros (£2.5bn; $4bn) of bailout money were approved this week, with another 6bn euros set to come on 13 May.

Since 2010, the European Union and the IMF have promised more than 200bn euros in lending for Greece. Talk of exit from the eurozone has receded.

However, our correspondent says the optimism has not reached the streets, where the mood remains dire given the record unemployment levels.

Other May Day action has been taking place across in the world:

Protesters demanding the execution of factory bosses over the deaths of hundreds in a recent building collapse in Bangladesh marched in their thousands in the capital, Dhaka

Rallies have been called in more than 80 cities in Spain

Thousands of Filipinos marched in Manila demanding the government protect jobs and improve worker contracts

Cambodian workers rallied in Phnom Penh, calling for higher wages

Some 55,000 marched in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, protesting at low wages and outsourcing

Trade unions held demonstrations in Tokyo, with calls for more youth employment one of the main focuses

1st May 2013, 07:35

1 May - more on gold or lack of it :)

Gold buyers forced to go on waiting list

Gold buyers are having to wait up to six weeks for their bars and coins after a price dip led to increased interest.

Investment company Physical Gold said there were waiting lists of three weeks for some coins, and four to six weeks for gold bars. "Previously all would have been available within a few days," the company said.

The company said that it had seen a 50pc increase in enquiries about purchasing gold and a 35pc increase in sales, with people buying tax-free gold coins. "We are now starting to experience physical gold shortages," said Daniel Fisher, CEO of Physical Gold.

"In particular there are waiting times on some gold bars and a real difficulty in obtaining mixed year Sovereigns. "However, many clients are willing to 'do a deal' and wait for delivery as they want to secure the current price as they feel it will be higher in the near future."

Gold prices have fallen significantly recently, which may have created some demand. Mr Fisher said his clients had been "waiting in the wings" for the current price adjustment. "Clients who have been ready to pounce have now bought as they realise they are getting good value and the environment for gold is still strong. There are still few decent alternatives to gold as a safe haven asset."

Adrian Ash, from gold trading market BullionVault, said that households had been investing heavily in gold, but that money market managers and hedge funds continued to drive the price down.

"Private households worldwide continue to take advantage of the drop, buying precious metals at prices not seen in almost two years," he said.

The Scoin Shop, which sells gold coins in the Westfield Shopping Centre, said that sales of Kruggerand have increased 468 per cent last week, as investors rush to get the precious metal at what they see as a cheap rate. (UK)

1st May 2013, 07:40
As announced in January, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has abdicated in favour of her son. She's attended all the Bilderberg meetings they say.

29 April


Netherlands' Queen Beatrix gives farewell speech

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Netherlands' Queen Beatrix thanked her people Monday and urged them to support her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, in a final address before she abdicates and he takes over as king.

Beatrix, 75, is to sign the papers enacting the once-in-a-generation change of royal titles Tuesday morning, the central moment in several days of festivities that are already underway.

"Now that my oldest son is to take over this fine and responsible job tomorrow, it is my deep wish that the new royal couple will feel themselves supported by your loving trust," the popular monarch said in a nationally televised address. Willem-Alexander's Argentine-born wife Princess Maxima will be queen.

"I am convinced that Willem-Alexander will apply himself with true devotion for everything a good king is obliged to do."

Beatrix is hosting nobility from around Europe and beyond Monday evening for a dinner at the newly renovated national museum, the Rijksmuseum. Guests will dine in front of Rembrandt van Rijn's masterpiece, the Night Watch.

Earlier in the day, the streets of Amsterdam began flooding with orange in honor of the ruling House of Oranje-Nassau, as government and noble guests prepared for the ceremonies, and the people of the country got ready for a huge party.

In the historic city center, vendors hawked orange t-shirts, hats and feather boas. Trams flew orange flags, and Dutch flags, as did many of the boats motoring through the city's ancient canals.

Shopkeepers hung orange streamers, set out orange flower displays and rolled in countless kegs of beer.

Meanwhile, city workers finished cleaning the streets, removing unwanted bicycles and setting up temporary urinals, many of them made of bright orange plastic.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told foreign journalists from more than 60 countries Sunday evening that the week's events involve an "unprecedented logistical and security operation" that was organized in just three months. Beatrix announced her intention to abdicate in January.
More than a million people are expected in Amsterdam Tuesday, with 10,000 uniformed police, 3,000 plainclothes officers and an untold number of civil servants assisting in the logistics.

The airspace above Amsterdam was closed Monday for three days. Dutch police swept Dam square for bombs, with assistance from German agents with sniffer dogs.

Royal guests from 18 countries arrived in the course of the day, and city traffic was frequently interrupted by limousines with tinted windows and police escorts.

Among the many notables on hand are Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.

Charles was also in attendance when Beatrix was crowned in 1980.

Masako's father is a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It is her first official overseas trip since the couple's 2002 visit to New Zealand and Australia.

A poll released Monday by national broadcaster NOS showed that Willem-Alexander's popularity has swelled in the run-up to his accession, mostly due to a relaxed and confident performance in an interview that was televised nationally earlier this month.

He said he's not a stickler for protocol, and he believes that "even the ultimate symbol of a ceremonial monarchy — cutting ribbons — can be very substantive." He explained that he will be able to indicate by his selection of which events and openings to attend the things he believes are important for the Netherlands.

He said he sees the function of the monarchy is to act as a living symbol of unity for the nation.

Beatrix succeeded her mother, Juliana, as head of state, and she won widespread acclaim and admiration from the Dutch people. Most feel she has proved a supremely competent, if occasionally aloof, head of state over her 33-year reign.

"My mother taught me that being queen is a position that you carry around with you day and night," she said once. "You can never forget about it, not for a moment."

Perhaps most tellingly, since she took office in 1980 the House of Orange has been almost scandal-free, a stark contrast to many other European royal families

Observers believe Beatrix remained on the throne for so long in part because of unrest in Dutch society as the country struggled to assimilate more and more immigrants, mainly Muslims from North Africa, and shifted away from its traditional reputation as one of the world's most tolerant nations.

In recent years, speculation about when she might abdicate had grown, as she endured personal losses that both softened her image and increased her popularity further as the public sympathized.

Her husband Prince Claus died in 2002; and last year she was devastated when her youngest son, Prince Friso, was hit by an avalanche while skiing in Austria and suffered severe brain damage. Friso remains in a near comatose state.

In the most emotional part of her farewell Monday, she praised Claus for teaching their children to be attuned to changes in society.

"Prince Claus brought our House closer to this time," she said. "Possibly history will show that the choice of this husband was my best decision."

and some opinions you won't find in the msm:


Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was the first president of the Bilderberg Group, which reportedly has Nazi links.

In connection with the Dutroux affair, Regina Louf provided the names of top people who had abused her and who had murdered children during orgies.

Reportedly, Regina Louf visited Prince Bernhard's yacht Jumbo VI.

full story at link

1st May 2013, 07:44

Cable demands decision over Goodwin prosecution

Wednesday 1 May 2013 UK

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has criticised Scottish authorities amid accusations they are dragging their feet over the potential prosecution of Fred Goodwin and other former directors of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) following the bank's near-collapse.

VINCE CABLE: Called for a decision on whether or not legal action will be taken against Fred Goodwin.

Mr Cable made a dramatic intervention in the inquiry by calling for a decision from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as soon as possible on whether or not legal action will be taken. He warned that public confidence in its work was at stake.

The Crown Office responded by suggesting it would be unfortunate if Mr Cable's comments could be seen as attempted interference with the independent investigation.

The Liberal Democrat MP's Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) asked authorities to look into the actions of the bank's former bosses more than a year ago, following legal advice that prosecutions could be possible. But it has heard nothing since.

Potential prosecutions could look at Goodwin's alleged failures, as RBS chief executive, in upholding the duties of a company director. If successful, the Scot could be barred from working in finance again.

The Scottish investigation was prompted by a damning report by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) watchdog that warned multiple poor decisions had triggered RBS's demise, including the £50 billion decision to buy Dutch bank ABN Amro.

RBS had to be bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of £46bn at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Goodwin lost his knighthood and a significant chunk of his £700,000-a- year pension. However, no senior RBS officials have ever been prosecuted.

In a letter to fellow LibDem, Advocate General, Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC, Mr Cable wrote that it was up to Scottish authorities which former directors their investigation considered.

He expressed frustration at a lack of progress and insisted he does not want to influence the outcome of any decision.

Mr Cable wrote that he wants to maintain public confidence in the Crown Office and that "public and media interest in the banking sector and RBS have not dissipated".

He said there was considerable public concern about the actions of the directors of the RBS prior to its insolvency.

Mr Cable said: "Following the release of the FSA's report into the failure of RBS I sought legal advice on what, if any, enforcement action was appropriate, and was advised that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service should consider a possible prosecution. Given that this matter was referred to them in January 2012, I am very keen for a decision to be reached as quickly as possible in order to maintain public confidence in the efficiency of the decision-making process."

Mr Cable's letter, which has also been sent to Frank Mulholland, the Lord Advocate, adds: "There have been numerous questions about what steps can be taken to address concerns. In particular, this has focused on the prosecution and possible disqualification of former directors in appropriate cases."

Lord McFall, who sits on Westminster's banking commission and formerly chaired the Commons Treasury Committee, called for senior bankers to take responsibility for their actions in the lead up to taxpayer-funded bailouts.

The Labour peer said: "The history of this process has been difficult throughout the banking crisis. There's a need to ensure that there is individual accountability by senior executives and non-executive directors in this area. This is what has been missing to date, and it is something that needs to be addressed."

The Crown Office said it was disappointed Mr Cable had written to the Advocate General because he has no role in investigation or prosecution of crime.

A spokesman said: "It would be unfortunate if this were to be construed as attempted interference with independent investigation and prosecutorial decision- making by the Lord Advocate."

He added: "Crown Office officials have kept BIS officials appropriately advised of progress throughout the investigation and confirmed on several occasions that in Scotland it is the Lord Advocate who is the sole prosecuting authority and that he acts independently in the public interest. Public confidence in Scotland into the investigation of allegations of criminality occurring here is best maintained by thorough independent investigation by the Lord Advocate.

"If the Secretary of State contacts the Lord Advocate direct he would be happy to brief on progress to date and timescales."

Goodwin is also facing legal action from 100 institutional RBS shareholders and 12,000 private investors, who have launched a £4bn claim against the directors who presided over the collapse.

Mr Cable has pressed for directors of the bailed-out Halifax Bank of Scotland to face bans as directors. The Banking Commission is due to publish its report on the industry in June.

1st May 2013, 07:52
Santander is the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest in the world...

Santander Chief Alfredo Sáenz Resigns

By Giles Tremlett in Madrid and Jill Treanor, The Guardian – April 29, 2013


One of Europe’s most powerful bankers, the Santander chief executive, Alfredo Sáenz, has resigned after a long-running row about whether he should be banned from heading the eurozone’s largest bank.

The shock replacement of 70-year-old Sáenz by internal candidate Javier Marín comes just two weeks after the Bank of Spain ordered a review into whether or not he would meet new rules governing bank executives with criminal convictions. Sáenz was convicted in 2009, and handed a three-month suspended jail sentence, for deliberately making false allegations against four businessman who owed money to his previous bank, Banesto.

The businessmen were remanded in jail in 1993, but later proved their innocence. Sixteen years later they won a case against Sáenz. Under Spain’s banking rules at the time, the sentence automatically meant he would have been declared unfit to run a bank as soon as the appeal process ran out.

The court declared that Sáenz “knew the allegations were false, including those in later versions of the writ”. The Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero tried to pardon him, stating that this also included wiping out his criminal record, thus allowing him to continue at Santander. But that was struck out by the supreme court, which declared that governments could not wipe a criminal record.

On 12 April, the current conservative government of Mariano Rajoy changed the law to ensure that those with criminal records were not automatically banned from senior bank jobs. However, the law left the decision with the Bank of Spain on Sáenz’s credentials and opened a new formal inquiry a few days later. A decision had been expected in May.

The government said the new law was meant to reflect European Banking Authority guidelines, which nevertheless state that “criminal or relevant administrative records should be taken into account”.

Santander sources at the time said that Sáenz remained energetic and hard-working, so his resignation seemed unlikely to have anything to do with his health. He takes away an €88m (£74.2m) pension pot.

El País on Monday reported that the finance ministry had been opposed to allowing Sáenz to continue at the bank.

Santander has quadrupled in size since Sáenz took over as CEO in 2002, expanding into Britain by buying Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and much of Bradford & Bingley, rebranding them with the Santander name.

“The board of directors expressed its recognition of and gratitude for Alfredo Sáenz’s extraordinary achievements,” a company press release stated.

Sáenz’s role as chief executive is more akin to that of a chief operating officer – Emilo Botin remains executive chairman of Santander. His daughter Ana Botin runs the UK arm of Santander. Santander wants to float off the UK arm but the move has been delayed until next year at the earliest. Marín, 46, was CEO of Banif in Spain until 2007, when he joined Santander.

¤=[Post Update]=¤

Top Lieutenant of Dimon Is Departing JPMorgan

By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, New York Times – April 28, 2013


A senior executive in the inner circle of Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, is leaving, the latest departure after the bank reported a multibillion-dollar trading loss last year.
Frank J. Bisignano, co-chief operating officer, will become chief executive of First Data Corporation, a payment processing firm, Mr. Dimon said in a statement on Sunday. The trading losses at the bank, the nation’s largest, have swelled to more than $6.2 billion since they were first disclosed almost a year ago.

Mr. Dimon said Matthew E. Zames, who shared the role of chief operating officer with Mr. Bisignano, would take over all aspects of the job, effective immediately.

“He is a proven business executive, who has performed exceptionally well since coming into his corporate role in May of last year,” Mr. Dimon said.

Mr. Bisignano’s departure is voluntary, according to two people close to the bank, adding that the top post at First Data would be a perfect role for him.

His departure is less fraught than others during more tumultuous periods, these people say. Ina R. Drew, who ran the chief investment office, the unit at the center of the huge trading loss, resigned under pressure in May last year, for example.

The bank is well positioned to make the shift more seamless, these people added, saying Mr. Zames enjoyed widespread confidence.

JPMorgan reported record profit in the first quarter, buoyed by gains in investment banking and a surge in mortgage lending. With Mr. Bisignano’s departure, the ranks of executives who once surrounded Mr. Dimon as he helped steer the bank through the 2008 financial crisis will be even thinner. Several other executives have already left, including Heidi Miller, James E. Staley, William T. Winters and Steven D. Black.

Mr. Bisignano was promoted to co-chief operating officer last July as part of a broad reshuffling of management. During his time at JPMorgan, Mr. Bisignano gained a reputation as a kind of Mr. Fix-It. His reputation had not been tarnished by the outsize bets made by traders in JPMorgan’s chief investment office.

He took the reins of JPMorgan’s floundering mortgage unit in 2011, just as the bank was grappling with thorny legal issues, including investors who accused the bank of selling shaky mortgage-backed securities that later imploded.

To root out the problems, Mr. Bisignano revamped the mortgage unit and announced a policy to address cases in which JPMorgan had wrongfully foreclosed on active-duty members of the military, a violation of federal law. He was a skilled manager, and he kept a tight watch over the mortgage operations.

Mr. Bisignano is leaving at a challenging time for JPMorgan, which once held special sway with federal regulators, in part because the bank largely sidestepped the financial crisis.

Now, JPMorgan is facing a criminal inquiry about whether it misled investors and regulators about the botched derivative trades. Besides that inquiry, JPMorgan is facing investigations by at least eight federal agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Prosecutors are examining a variety of issues, including possible breakdowns in the bank’s controls to prevent money-laundering activities.

The bank is also working to bolster its risk and compliance controls, while seeking to repair frayed relationships with regulators in Washington. The breakdown between JPMorgan and its primary regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, was illuminated during a Senate hearing in March and in a report by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which described a bank that sometimes took a defiant position with regulators.
Mr. Dimon has testified before Congress about the trading losses and has repeatedly apologized for the bank’s mistakes.

In his annual letter to shareholders this month, Mr. Dimon remained contrite, vowing to continue improving risk controls while again expressing that the bank had “let our regulators down.”

Mr. Dimon promised to redouble efforts to fix compliance problems. “We are reprioritizing our major projects and initiatives,” he said.

1st May 2013, 12:24
Ken Barlow held for rape: Coronation Street star William Roache accused of assaulting under-age girl in 1967

AFP Published: 15:35 May 1, 2013
Gulf News

World’s longest-serving soap star arrested by Lancashire Constabulary


William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, accused of assaulting under-age girl in 1967

London: British police on Wednesday arrested “Coronation Street” star William Roache, the longest-serving star in the world’s longest-running soap opera, on suspicion of rape.

Roache, 81, has played Ken Barlow in the series portraying life in a fictional northern English town since its first episode on December 9, 1960.

He was arrested at his home in northwest England over an allegation of raping an under-age girl between April and July 1967.

“An 81-year-old man from Wilmslow in Cheshire has this morning, Wednesday May 1, 2013, been arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on suspicion of rape,” a Lancashire Police spokesman said.

He said the man would be interviewed during the course of the day.

Broadcaster ITV, which makes Coronation Street, said it was not in a position to comment but reports said Roache would not not appear in the soap while investigations continue.

Roache issued an apology in March after appearing to suggest that sex abuse victims were being punished for past sins, and calling for anonymity for those accused of child sex offences.

In another interview last year Roache claimed to have slept with 1,000 women.

Guinness World Records lists “Coronation Street” as the world’s longest-running soap opera following the cancellation in September 2010 of the US show “As the World Turns”, which ran from 1956 on CBS.

It also lists Roache as the longest-serving soap actor.

British police have arrested a series of celebrities since sex abuse allegations against the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile emerged last year, although the allegations against Roache are unrelated to Savile.

Top British publicist Max Clifford was charged on Friday with 11 counts of indecent assault while former glam rocker and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr and radio presenter Dave Lee Travis have been arrested and bailed.

Veteran Australian-born entertainer Rolf Harris has been named by the British media as another of the men interviewed as part of the investigation, although police have never named him.

1st May 2013, 18:21
More on the William Roache - Ken Barlow - arrest here:

1 May UK


Now Coronation Street star Bill Roache, 81, is arrested over claims he raped 15-year-old girl 46 years ago

Roache, 81, will not appear in the ITV soap while investigation continues

Actor has called for anonymity for those accused of sexual assault

Arrest is not connected to Operation Yewtree investigation into sex crimes

story at link

1st May 2013, 18:35

GET READY: The Next 72 Hours Are Going To Be Insane (30 APRIL)

We are about to get an epic deluge of economic releases from around the world over the next three days, and we should learn a ton about the current state of the global economy.

It all starts tonight with South Korean exports at 8 PM ET. This data release is referred to as the "economic canary in the coal mine" because South Korea sends a lot of its exports to China, the health of which is critical to the global economy.

Following that is the official China manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index), out at 9 PM ET. All eyes will be on this release following a lackluster set of first-quarter economic data published a few weeks ago and the recent collapse in the commodity complex, which many ascribe to fears over Chinese growth.

Economists expect the index to tick down to 50.7 from 50.9 in March. Any reading above 50 on the PMIs indicates expansion, so 50.7 would signal continued, but slowing growth in Chinese manufacturing.

Overnight, we will also get the latest manufacturing PMI readings from Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Ireland, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Australia.

Then, Wednesday morning, we get a ton of new data on the U.S. economy.

At 8:15 AM ET, ADP releases its monthly employment report, which will foreshadow the bigger nonfarm payrolls release on Friday. Economists expect the ADP report to reveal that 150,000 private payrolls were created in the U.S. economy in April after reporting 158,000 new jobs in March.

At 8:58 AM, Markit releases U.S. manufacturing PMI. Economists expect the index to fall to 52.0 from last month's 54.0 reading, indicating a slowdown in the pace of growth in American manufacturing in April.

At 10 AM, the ISM Manufacturing index is released. It's expected to fall to 50.6 from 51.3, confirming the results from the Markit PMI report.

Also out at 10 are data on March construction spending. Economists predict that growth in spending on construction slowed to 0.6% in March after 1.2% growth in February.

Then, the main event on Wednesday at 2 PM: the Federal Reserve's FOMC monetary policy body will announce its monthly interest rate decision. Market participants will be listening closely for any acknowledgment of the recent slowdown in U.S. economic indicators, especially those that track inflation, which by various measures has been falling in recent months.

Lately, the conversation has shifted away from tapering of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program in light of these developments, so any comments from the FOMC may prove to be illuminating.

In addition, global automakers will be reporting monthly auto sales all day on Wednesday. Analysts predict total vehicle sales were 15.22 million units at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate in April, unchanged from March. Autos – along with housing – have led the U.S. economic recovery, so a slowdown there would be a bad sign.

Wednesday night, the fun begins again with more manufacturing PMI releases – starting at 9 PM ET with South Korea and featuring HSBC's China PMI at 10:45. Overnight, we will get more PMI releases from Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Poland, and Turkey.

Thursday morning, the PMI releases continue with important readings on the health of manufacturing sectors around the euro zone.

Spain is first at 4:15 AM ET, followed by Italy, France, Germany, and Greece, as well as a euro area-wide reading.

Right after those releases, the European Central Bank will announce its monthly interest rate decision (at 7:45 AM ET).

The consensus expectation among market economists is that the ECB will cut interest rates for the first time since July 2012, lowering the benchmark refinancing rate to 0.50% from 0.75% on the back of weak economic data out of the euro zone in recent weeks.

In the U.S., there are two key releases on Thursday morning, both at 8:30 AM ET:
U.S. trade deficit for the month of March, expected to narrow slightly to $42.3 billion from $43.0 billion in February;
and initial jobless claims for the week ended April 27, expected to rise to 345,000 from 339,000 the week before.

It's definitely not over on Thursday. Arguably, the best is saved for last.

Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the U.S. releases its monthly nonfarm payrolls report. Economists estimate the U.S. economy created 148,000 nonfarm payrolls in April after creating only 88,000 in March. The unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 7.6%.

To round out the week, March factory orders data and ISM's non-manufacturing (services) index are released at 10 AM. Factory orders are expected to have contracted 3.0% in March after growing 3.0% in April. ISM's non-manufacturing index is expected to tick down to 54.0 from 54.4 in March.

So get ready.

1st May 2013, 18:52

Bilderberg Bartering? Departing Italian PM Unwittingly Shows Compromising Letter From New PM

Jurriaan Maessen

May 1, 2013

Bilderberg 2012 participant and newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta apparently wrote a letter to departing PM Mario Monti, who in turn unwittingly showed it to the press.

Letta’s signature on his recent appointment as Prime Minister of Italy hardly dried or a photograph catches Monti unwittingly presented a letter pointing to bartering in respects to who will be given what position in Letta’s new cabinet, both officially and privately.

The letter, appearing to contain words written by Letta directed at the former prime minster Mario Monti, was obviously shown to the press by the departing PM by accident. Although the letter was presented upside-down, a simple rotation revealed the text, reading as follows:

“Mario, when can you tell me the forms and ways that I can be useful, both officially (Bersani asks me e.g. to interact on the question of vice) and privately. For now it seems to me a miracle! And then miracles exist!”

The Bersani mentioned in the letter refers to Pier Luigi Bersani, who was responsible for the formation of the current cabinet. This letter begs the question, to whom or whose cause Letta (as Prime-Minister) wants to be useful both in official and unofficial capacity. Could it be an echo of his pledge to Bilderberg, which he visited in 2012?

This is less farfetched than one might think. In November of 2012, the Bilderberg steering committee convened a special dinner in Rome, inviting Monti to the dinner table, suggesting prearrangement not only of the preferred menu, but also Italy’s political future in the global context. Letta was present at the last Bilderberg conference at the Chantilly Hotel in Virginia, thereby guaranteeing himself a position of power in the near future.

Italy’s former premier, Mario Monti, earlier hailed Letta, trusting he “will be able to consolidate Italy’s international credibility”.

2nd May 2013, 06:18

(HMRC - UK's illustrious tax collectors)

2 May UK

HMRC faces court challenge over Goldman Sachs tax deal

HMRC faces a court challenge on Thursday over a deal with Goldman Sachs worth an estimated £10m to the US bank, in a case aimed at pressuring the Government into tougher action against corporate tax avoidance.

The challenge by activist group UK Uncut Legal Action stems from public anger about how big and powerful firms succeed in paying less tax than many ordinary people struggling to cope with a stagnating economy and government spending cuts.

The case concerns a settlement reached in 2010 between Goldman Sachs and HMRC to end a long-running dispute over a now banned tax avoidance scheme involving the payment of bonuses to UK staff via an offshore tax haven.

UK Uncut Legal Action wants the High Court to declare the settlement, which allowed Goldman Sachs to pay the principal it owed but not the interest that had accrued during a five-year battle with HMRC, as unlawful.

The activist group labels the settlement a "sweetheart deal", a term rejected by the tax authority.

The risk for Goldman Sachs is further damage to its image in Britain after a public outcry in January caused it to scrap plans to delay paying bonuses to its bankers to make the most of an income tax cut for high earners.

In financial terms, the disputed $15m is a drop in the ocean for a bank that paid its employees $12.9bn in compensation and benefits last year.

"At a time when the Government is making huge, unjust cuts to public spending, the rich must pay their fair share," said Murray Worthy, director of UK Uncut Legal Action.

The High Court hearing into the Goldman Sachs deal is a judicial review expected to last one day. The court will reserve judgment until a later date. Goldman Sachs, which will not be an active participant in the case, declined to comment.

At a time of budget austerity, revelations about the low tax bills of companies ranging from Vodafone to Starbucks have caused widespread outrage, putting pressure on the Coalition government to act.

Chancellor George Osborne has called aggressive tax avoidance "morally repugnant" but critics say his new General Anti-Avoidance Rule is not enough.

Asked to comment on the case, HMRC pointed to a 2012 report by the National Audit Office that said five big business tax settlements including the Goldman deal were "reasonable" in that HMRC may have received less if it had litigated and lost.

and press release from UK Uncut:

HMRC in the High Court over Goldman Sachs ‘Sweetheart’ tax deal

The High Court will next week hear evidence in the full hearing of the legal case against HMRC over the Goldman Sachs ‘sweetheart’ tax deal.

The case is being brought by UK Uncut Legal Action, a campaign organisation inspired by the anti-cuts direct action group UK Uncut. The case centres around a deal which was personally negotiated by Dave Hartnett (former head of HMRC) and Goldman Sachs resulting in the global investment bank being let off paying up to £20 million in interest charges on an unpaid tax bill.

UK Uncut Legal Action claims the deal was unlawful as it breached HMRC’s own rules and guidelines.

The case was granted permission to go to a full hearing in June 2012 – just one day before the NAO concluded its judge led investigation into tax settlements which found that the Goldman Sachs deal was ‘reasonable’. However, the Guardian recently revealed that the Head of the NAO, Amayas Morse, who set up the ‘independent’ review, appeared to undermine the process before it had even started by telling Dave Hartnett that the inquiry would find ‘nothing of substance’.

Anna Walker, spokesperson for UK Uncut Legal Action said:

“We are taking this case forward to get this deal declared unlawful in the High Court so that HMRC is no longer under the misapprehension that it is either legally, nor politically acceptable to let big business off paying the tax that they owe.

“Every year £25 billion is lost to the public purse through tax avoidance schemes such as the one Goldman Sachs used. The government cannot seriously claim to be clamping down on tax avoidance whilst it continues to let companies off millions in tax owed.

“The government’s claims are hollower still when the only people they are though on are the poorest people as they privatise the NHS, cut legal aid and force people on benefits to pay extra for a bedroom that their disabled child sleeps in.”

Rosa Curling, a lawyer from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing UK Uncut Legal Action, said:

“We have advised our clients that the deal reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs was unlawful – it was in direct contradiction to HMRC’s duty to collect taxes and to do so properly, fairly and equally. Goldman Sachs is one of the richest banks in the world. The coalition government has stated on several occasions that it is committed to ensuring companies cannot avoid paying the taxes they owe.

“Despite this, the government has chosen to oppose our client’s claim. UK Uncut Legal Action has therefore had no option but to ask the Court to intervene so it can ensure a clear message is sent to all – that the tax rules apply to all corporations in the same way, however rich and powerful they may be.”



Spokespeople available:

Rosa Curling and members of UK Uncut Legal Action will be at the Court and available for photographs and interview.

The facts of Goldman Sachs’ tax avoidance scheme and the deal.

In the 1990s, Goldman Sachs set up a company in the British Virgin Islands called Goldman Sachs Services Ltd. This company appears to have been set up to achieve payments to bankers of disguised bonuses, thereby reducing or avoiding national insurance contributions payable on them.

By 2005, HMRC had demonstrated that this scheme was an illegitimate tax avoidance device. In July 2011, HMRC’s own QC, Malcolm Gammie, gave broadly positive advice that HMRC should therefore be able to recover all monies owed to it by the company.

Despite this strong advice from HMRC’s own lawyers, Dave Hartnett, the boss at HMRC, met Goldman’s tax director, Mike Housden, and shook hands on a deal which allegedly let the bank off £20 million tax owed in 2010 and refused to go back on the deal after further legal advice and a rejection of the deal by HMRC’s internal Board.

Importantly, the day after we secured our review of HMRC’s ‘sweetheart’ deal with Goldman Sachs last June, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report on how HMRC settled five large tax disputes with big business, each of these being examined by retired tax judge Sir Andrew Park. We believe that, while the report acknowledges some failures of decision-making and governance in the department, it raises far more questions than it answers.

Leigh Day has advised UK Uncut Legal Action that the agreement reached was in direct contradiction of HMRC’s own statutory duty to collect tax properly due, and its litigation settlement strategy prohibiting package deal settlements or settlements where HMRC splits the difference with the taxpayer. It is therefore unlawful.

For further information about the Head of the NAO’s comments regarding the judge led investigation: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/18/national-audit-office-tax-review

The Lawyer magazine states that the case is one of the top cases of 2013.

2nd May 2013, 06:26
Bolivian President Evo Morales expels USAID

BBC News, 1 May 2013


Bolivian President Evo Morales has said he will expel the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mr Morales accused the agency of seeking to undermine his government.

USAID had been working in Bolivia for almost five decades, with the biggest part of its funding going to its counter-narcotics and military section.

In 2008, Mr Morales expelled the US ambassador and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for allegedly conspiring against his administration.

‘Dignity’On previous May Days, Mr Morales has announced the nationalisation of key industries, such as hydroelectric power and the electricity grid.

But on Wednesday he said he “would only nationalise the dignity of the Bolivian people”.

Speaking at a rally in La Paz, the president said that there was “no lack of US institutions which continue to conspire against our people and especially the national government, which is why we’re going to take the opportunity to announce on this May Day that we’ve decided to expel USAID”.

He then turned to his Foreign Minister, David Choquehuanca, and asked him to inform the US embassy of his decision.

The president said the expulsion was in protest at a remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who he said had described Latin America as “the backyard of the United States”. It was not immediately clear what statement by Mr Kerry he was referring to.

Mr Morales has threatened USAID with expulsion in the past, saying that its programmes have “political rather than social” ends.

He has also accused it of “manipulating” and “using” union leaders.

Drugs warMr Morales, who heads his country’s union of coca growers, has also been critical of US counter-narcotic programmes in Bolivia, repeatedly stating that the fight against drugs is driven by geopolitical interests.

In 2008, he expelled the Drug Enforcement Administration saying it was aiding the opposition.

Bolivia is among the top three producers of coca in the world, according to the United Nations World Drug report. Coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine, has been used in the Andes for thousands of years as a mild stimulant and sacred herbal medicine.

The biggest part of USAID money in Bolivia goes to its counter-narcotics and military programme, according to figures published on the agency’s website.

The remainder is spent on “integrated development, health and sustainable economic growth and economic development”.

The agency cites as its main aims the strengthening of Bolivia’s health system and the provision of “equal access to health care by eliminating social exclusion”, as well as improving “the livelihoods of economically and socially disadvantaged people by increasing income and managing natural resources”.

Evo Morales became Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2005.

He was re-elected by a landslide in 2009 but has since faced protests from indigenous communities angered by the construction of a major road through their territory, and police and army officers demanding better pay.

2nd May 2013, 06:36
Great job from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

JPMorgan Chase’s Record Highlights Doubts About Big Banks’ Devotion to Fighting Dirty Money Flows

By Michael Hudson, ICIJ – April 30, 2013


Money-laundering issues at U.S. and UK financial firms shed light on role of rich nations and elite banks in the offshore world.

In the summer of 2009, Jennifer Sharkey was moving in select company. As a Manhattan-based vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Private Wealth Management group, she juggled relationships with 75 “high net worth” clients with assets totaling more than half a billion dollars.

Things changed for her, she claims, after she raised doubts about a “suspect” foreign client who had millions stashed in various accounts at the bank.

The client was making questionable cash transfers and concealing who actually owned certain accounts, according to a lawsuit Sharkey is pursuing in federal court in Manhattan. She also found evidence, her suit claims, that the client had falsified financial statements for one of his companies and that he’d been involved in the “unexplained disappearance” of millions of dollars in merchandise in another venture.

After she warned high-level bank officials that the client might be involved in fraud and money laundering, her suit claims, JPMorgan moved to silence her — pressuring her to stop raising questions about the client, assigning her other clients to junior colleagues and, finally, firing her.

“I was just doing my job,” Sharkey said in an interview with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). But for the bank, she said, “it was more important to keep this client than to do the right thing.”

JPMorgan denies it retaliated against Sharkey for pushing the bank to exit its relationship with the client — and it denies that the customer was either a foreign client or engaged in suspect activities. The bank says it goes to great lengths to identify and block money laundering, terrorism financing and other illicit transactions.

Sharkey isn’t alone, though, in raising concerns about the largest U.S. bank’s commitment to fighting the flow of dirty money around the world.

Over the years, JPMorgan Chase and its corporate forebears have been accused of serving as conduits for money controlled by drug smugglers, mobsters and political despots and acting as magnets for “flight capital” from rich tax dodgers from Latin America and other regions. The bank also played a part, lawsuits alleged, in massive tax haven-enabled frauds in the Enron and Madoff scandals.

An examination of JPMorgan’s record in policing suspect cash and offshore deals offers a case study of how big banks deal with dirty money and transnational corruption — and a window onto the decades-long history of the banking industry’s fraught relationship with the offshore world.

When people think about secret accounts and money laundering, they often imagine the Cayman Islands or some other sultry paradise. But the enablers of cross-border corruption aren’t located only in flyspeck island havens, white-collar crime experts say.

Criminals and connivers rely on easy access to banks in the U.S., the UK and other rich nations to hide their assets from investigators and tax collectors and shift money in and out of offshore hideaways.

Without this access, their shell games wouldn’t be possible.

In 2003, New York prosecutors claimed that an unlicensed money-transfer firm in Manhattan directed $9 billion in wire transactions through three dozen accounts at JPMorgan, moving money around the world for drug dealers and other dodgy characters.

In 2011, the bank paid nearly $90 million to settle regulators’ claims that it had violated economic sanctions against Iran, Cuba and other countries under U.S. embargoes.
In January, a consent order from JPMorgan’s main federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, cited the bank for “critical deficiencies” in its anti-money-laundering controls, including inadequate procedures for monitoring transactions at foreign branches.

In the 2003 case, the bank acknowledged it had been “too slow and not forceful enough” in vetting the money-transfer firm, but said it was working to tighten its money laundering safeguards. In the 2011 case, the bank said the sanction violations were isolated incidents. In the wake of the comptroller’s case, the bank told the New York Times that it has been “working hard to fully remediate the issues identified.”

Mark Kornblau, a JPMorgan spokesman, declined to answer detailed questions for this story.
In a brief written statement, he told ICIJ that complying with anti-money-laundering rules “is a top priority for us. We have already made progress addressing the issues cited in the consent orders, which contain no allegations of intentional misconduct by the firm or any of its employees.”

JPMorgan isn’t alone when it comes to taking heat for failing to do enough to stop the flow of suspect cash. Last year U.S. authorities reached settlements with HSBC, Citigroup and UK-headquartered Standard Chartered Bank over alleged money-laundering compliance failures.
HSBC agreed in December to pay more than $1.9 billion to settle an investigation into evidence it shifted cash for rogue nations, terrorists and Mexican drug lords.

U.S. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said a “pervasively polluted” culture at HSBC allowed billions in suspect dollars to flow through the bank. Senate investigators said HSBC ignored warnings from Mexican and U.S. authorities that the gush of money flowing into the bank from Mexico was so large it could only be sustained by the proceeds from narcotics trafficking.

HSBC said in a statement last year that it was “profoundly sorry” for its “past mistakes.”
How well major banks screen customers and cash flows is important because, in a digitally connected world, dirty money no longer travels as stacks of bills stuffed into suitcases. It moves by the click of a computer key. This makes big banks crucial gatekeepers in the financial system, giving them the power to cut off the flow of corrupt cash or allow it to roam free.

The offshore system can’t be reformed, money laundering experts say, without cooperation and compliance from the banking system’s biggest players.

Dennis Lormel, former chief of the FBI’s financial crimes program, says compliance watchdogs working on the payroll of big banks strive to do the right thing, but they’re often locked in losing battles with bankers who are more concerned about booking deposits and doing deals than making sure the money coming in is clean.

“The business culture usually wins,” Lormel says. “The business people take the risks and the compliance people are left to clean up the mess.”

Offshore Players
JPMorgan and other major banks have increased their risks and rewards in the offshore world by weaving a web of branches and subsidiaries across places that have been tagged as havens for financial secrecy and criminal activity.

Secret records obtained by ICIJ reveal how many of the world’s top banks – including UBS and Clariden in Switzerland, ING and ABN Amro in the Netherlands and Deutsche Bank in Germany – have worked to set up their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore locales.

The banks deny wrongdoing.

A 2008 U.S. government report found JPMorgan had 50 subsidiaries in Bermuda, the Bahamas and other places labeled as tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, tied for 11th highest among the 100 largest U.S. companies.

Since then the bank has expanded its reach in some offshore centers. Its tally of subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands grew from seven in 2007 to 20 at the end of 2012, securities filings show. Over that span its subsidiaries in Mauritius — a tiny isle off Africa’s eastern coast that’s been called “a Cayman Islands to India” — grew from eight to 14.

While the bank helps move money around the world via its tax haven subsidiaries, JPMorgan’s international private banking network attracts large deposits to the U.S. from rich customers in Latin America and other regions. Much of this money isn’t reported to tax authorities in the depositors’ home countries, according to a study last year by James S. Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Company and a board member of Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group that favors tighter regulation of the offshore system.

The study estimates JPMorgan’s private banking operations boosted their assets under management from $187 billion in 2005 to $284 billion in late 2010 — ranking it among an elite group of giant private banking institutions whose mission, the report claims, is to “entice the elites of rich and poor countries alike to shelter their wealth tax-free offshore.”

Rich history
JPMorgan Chase is an amalgam of America’s two most storied banks. Historian Ron Chernow called the Morgan banking dynasty perhaps “the most formidable financial combine in history.” Chase Manhattan traced its roots to 1799 and claimed Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice president, as its founder.

Before the mega-merger that brought the Morgan and Chase empires together at the turn of this century, both played roles in the emergence of tax havens — and in the controversies that grew out of the offshore system’s rise.

Chase and Morgan were early players, in the 1960s, in the growth of the Bahamas as an overseas financial center. Chase was one of the banks of choice for Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and the Shah of Iran, strongmen who looted their countries’ treasuries during their decades in power. Relations between Chase officials and the Shah were so close in the 1960s and ’70s, Henry says, that Chase Chairman David Rockefeller was essentially “the Shah’s private banker.”

Chase played a cameo role in an offshore money-laundering thread of the Watergate scandal, serving as a conduit for an illegal $55,000 contribution that American Airlines laundered through a foreign source and funneled into President Nixon’s re-election campaign. Federal authorities fined the airline, but apparently took no action against Chase.

In 1973, a mobster turned informer told a congressional committee that Chase and other firms helped him cook up bogus covers for illegal transactions in stolen and counterfeit securities that had been laundered through Switzerland and Belgium and then brought back to the U.S. The witness testified Chase bankers accepted the “flimsiest of proof” as to his identity when they signed off on documents that made his transactions possible.

In another case, the infamous “Pizza Connection” heroin ring used Chase to channel cash overseas, according to an account in The Money Launderers, a book by former U.S. Treasury enforcement official Robert E. Powis. In July 1980, a bagman for the ring entered Chase Manhattan’s headquarters with four leather bags stuffed with $550,000 in fives, tens and twenties. The bank accepted the money, counted it, then transferred it to a Swiss account, according to Powis.

In June 1985, the Treasury Department fined Chase and other New York banks for ignoring one of the government’s basic safeguards against financial chicanery — the federal Bank Secrecy Act’s requirement that banks report any transactions involving $10,000 or more in cash. Chase paid a then-record fine of $360,000, based on 1,442 unreported transactions totaling $853 million.

“Some clerical people did not file reports here and there,” a Chase spokesman told The Washington Post at the time. “There was nothing willful about this thing.”

Fallen angel
Along with handling money involved in drug smuggling and other underworld activities, big U.S. banks have also attracted deposits from Third World elites who want to hide their wealth from tax collectors. For decades, anti-corruption advocates say, U.S. banks have encouraged this process by dispatching armies of private bankers to solicit flight capital from developing nations.

In the 1980s, Antonio Gebauer was J.P. Morgan & Co.’s top man South of the Border, lauded by a Morgan spokesman as “the most highly esteemed banker in Latin America.” Gebauer specialized in putting together multi-million-dollar loan deals across the region. He also oversaw covert New York bank accounts for a handful of wealthy Brazilians, among them a great-grandson of the founder of Brazilian Republic.

Brazilian authorities later questioned whether the money was unreported capital. Gebauer’s attorney said the accounts had been set up under “the unusual and Byzantine relationships that often exist between bankers and flight capitalists.”

The secret deposits might have remained secret if Gebauer hadn’t been caught embezzling more than $4 million from his clients’ accounts. In 1987, a U.S. judge sentenced him to 3½ years in prison, calling him “a fallen angel of the banking world.”

U.S. media touched on the flight capital issue briefly, and the government of Brazil filed a treaty request asking U.S. authorities to subpoena account details from Morgan officials.
The bank won a court decision blocking Brazil’s push to get more information. And Gebauer’s guilty pleas allowed the House of Morgan to avoid a messy trial that have might revealed “the seamier side” of its Latin American operations, according to Henry’s 2003 book on the dark side of global finance, Blood Bankers.

Post-9/11 World
The issue of dark money didn’t go away after J.P. Morgan & Co. and Chase Manhattan Corp. merged in late 2000, creating JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In March 2001, a U.S. Senate investigation revealed Chase Manhattan had been among big firms that had provided correspondent accounts to offshore banks involved in criminal activity. Investigators found that Antigua-licensed American International Bank moved $116 million through its account at Chase even as it was engaging in frauds in the U.S. and working hand-in-hand with convicted felons.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, tracking illicit cash became a bigger concern for U.S. authorities. Lormel, the former FBI official, says JPMorgan representatives were among the compliance specialists from various banks who pitched in after Sept. 11 and helped efforts to track terrorists.

“Whatever we wanted, within the limits of the law, the bankers were incredibly helpful,” he recalls.

JPMorgan’s post-9/11 record wasn’t spotless, however.

In January 2003, federal authorities raided a business in Brooklyn called Carnival French Ice Cream, a convenience store with a limited supply of food and sundries and two soft-serve ice cream machines. During their search, investigators found paperwork that led them to conclude that, over a six-year period, the store’s proprietor had laundered millions of dollars through a JPMorgan account on its way to Yemen, China and other places.

Some of the money, investigators believed, went to a Yemeni cleric who later pleaded guilty to charges that he had conspired to aid terrorists.

In February 2003, a month after the ice-cream shop raid, investigators for then-Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau raided an unlicensed money transfer firm, Beacon Hill Services Corp., that maintained dozens of accounts with JPMorgan.

Morgenthau said Beacon Hill was able to wire $9 billion through these accounts because the JPMorgan’s compliance unit “fell down on the job,” ignoring “numerous red flags for money laundering.” A sizeable chunk of the money, he said, came from drug dealers and tax dodgers, and some ended up in the Middle East, possibly in the hands of terrorists.
No criminal charges were filed against JPMorgan in the case.

In the wake of these cases, industry officials argued it wasn’t fair to expect banks to catch every questionable transaction amid trillions of dollars in daily cash flows.

JPMorgan’s general counsel told The Wall Street Journal: “Think if you’re running a railroad, and we say to you, ‘We want you to monitor everyone who takes your train and see if their trip is legitimate.’ ”

‘Uniquely situated’
Questions about how well JPMorgan monitors its customers persisted over the past decade, coming up in lawsuits and investigations relating to the Enron and Madoff affairs and other scandals.

Investors, insurers and federal authorities accused JPMorgan and Enron Corp. of using “special purpose vehicles” based in tax havens in the UK’s Channel Islands as part of a scheme to create disguised loans that allowed Enron to hide its debts and book sham profits. The bank, which denied wrongdoing, shelled out more than $3 billion to settle claims related to Enron’s fall.

After the Madoff case broke in 2008, a court-appointed trustee, Irving Picard, invoked Enron in attacking JPMorgan’s role in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. JPMorgan turned a blind eye to Madoff’s activities, Picard claims, despite its promises to do better after it had been caught “propping up” Enron’s frauds.

JPMorgan, Picard asserted, was “at the very center” Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. As his primary bank for more than two decades, it “provided the infrastructure for Madoff’s deception” and was “uniquely situated to see the likely fraud,” the trustee alleged in a lawsuit in federal court.

The bank held as much as $5.5 billion in Madoff-connected cash and, according to court filings by Picard, earned an estimated half-billion dollars from fees and other revenues generated by Madoff’s billions.

Any concerns within the bank about Madoff “were suppressed as the drive for fees and profits became a substitute for common sense, ethics and legal obligations,” Picard’s lawsuit said.
The suit said the bank ignored a key indicator of money laundering or other financial crimes: frequent wire activity with offshore banking centers and financial secrecy havens. Within Madoff’s main account at JPMorgan, dollar amounts of wire activity with high- and medium-risk jurisdictions increased 83 percent between 2004 and 2008.

In June 2007, a JPMorgan risk officer raised questions about whether Madoff might be running a Ponzi scheme. Other than asking a junior employee to do a Google search, JPMorgan officials did nothing to dig deeper into Madoff’s business model, Picard charged. Madoff’s main JPMorgan account was still operating without restrictions when he was arrested at the end of 2008.

The bank calls Picard’s allegations “blustering” and “preposterous.”

“The trustee’s damages claims demand the absurd inference that JPMorgan deliberately joined with Bernard Madoff in a doomed-to-fail Ponzi scheme so that it could earn conventional banking fees,” the bank said in a court filing.

A judge threw out many of Picard’s claims against JPMorgan, ruling that it’s up to individual victims rather than the trustee to sue the bank. That decision is on appeal. Other claims are still alive in bankruptcy court.

Last month, the New York Times reported that U.S. prosecutors have opened a new front in the case, investigating whether JPMorgan violated federal law by failing to fully inform authorities about suspicions about Madoff.

A bank spokesman told the Times the JPMorgan employees made “good faith” efforts “to comply with all anti-money-laundering and regulatory obligations.”

As the fallout from Madoff’s fraud and the 2008 financial crisis was spreading across Wall Street, JPMorgan was dealing with another scandal 5,000 miles away.

An Argentine newsmagazine, Crítica de la Argentina, had run an exposé listing the names and deposit balances of some 200 citizens with JPMorgan accounts in the U.S. — including executives associated with the country’s largest media company.

The headline: EL MORGANGATE.
The issue of flight capital flowing from Latin America to the United States had once again come to the surface. And, once again, JPMorgan was in the middle of the affair, in a case with striking parallels to the Tony Gebauer scandal two decades before.

Hernan Arbizu was a New York-based JPMorgan vice president in charge of some $200 million in accounts belonging to Argentines. Like Gebauer, he was accused of pilfering money from his clients. And as in the Gebauer case, exposure of his wrongdoing was accompanied by questions about his employer’s relationships with wealthy, tax-shy Latin Americans.

Arbizu claims he and other private bankers helped customers launder money and evade taxes in their home countries. “I became a fraudster from the minute I started working in private banking, because if you think about it, I was committing fraud against Argentina as a whole through our activities here,” he told Bloomberg News in 2009.

JPMorgan sued Arbizu in federal court in New York, accusing him of stealing money from client accounts and violating confidentiality agreements by expropriating JPMorgan documents. The bank eventually won a default judgment against him totaling nearly $3.6 million.

U.S. criminal charges pending against Arbizu may never be prosecuted. He remains out of reach in Argentina, protected from extradition by a government that has used his testimony in various legal actions.

JPMorgan declined to answer questions about Arbizu.

Model effort
In 2010, anti-money laundering specialists at JPMorgan became concerned about a series of multi-million-dollar wire transfers involving a San Antonio, Texas, businessman. When bank officials confronted the businessman, court affidavits say, he told them he was acting as a front for his brother-in-law, the former treasurer of the Mexican border state of Coahuila.
The bank alerted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, helping spark official investigations of the ex-treasurer, who now stands accused in Mexico of embezzling millions of dollars from his state’s treasury.

In 2010 and 2011, anti-money laundering experts at the bank joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the agency’s fight against human trafficking.

Homeland Security and JPMorgan officials developed a detailed M.O. for the banking habits of businesses involved in human smuggling for prostitution and other forms of forced labor, according to John Byrne, executive vice president of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. One of the red flags: businesses that booked lots of round-number credit card payments — say, $200 — after midnight.

Byrnes’ group honored JPMorgan and Homeland Security with its Private-Public Service Award. The collaboration, Byrnes says, was an example of good-faith effort by JPMorgan and other banks to fight corruption and money laundering.

Byrnes acknowledges big banks have made mistakes, but he believes these problems don’t add up to a picture of an industry that puts profits above compliance.

The banking industry, he says, “works very, very hard to keep illicit funds out of institutions. The commitment comes from the top — from senior management.”

‘Rare incidents’
Around the time JPMorgan was helping Homeland Security and the DEA zero in on human smugglers and the former Mexican official, it was under fire from another U.S. agency.
The Department of the Treasury was investigating evidence that JPMorgan had ignored legal bans on doing business with Cuba, Sudan, Liberia and Iran.

After the department subpoenaed information about one suspect transaction, the bank claimed, repeatedly, that it didn’t have key documents that in fact it did have, the agency said. Only after the agency provided a detailed list it had obtained from another financial institution, the agency said, did JPMorgan cough up the documents.

Treasury officials found that the bank committed multiple violations of U.S. economic embargoes between March 2005 and March 2011. Among the violations: 1,711 transfers totaling $178.5 million to Cuban citizens and the transfer of 32,000 ounces of gold bullion, worth more than $20 million, to a bank in Iran.

The agency charged that bank managers and supervisors knew about the law-breaking and but did nothing to fix the problem.

After the $88.3 million penalty in the case was announced in August 2011, a JPMorgan spokesman said the matter involved “rare incidents” that were “unrelated and isolated from each other. The firm screens hundreds of millions of transaction and customer records per day and annual error rates are a tiny fraction of a percent.”

Criminal history
That settlement hasn’t wiped the slate clean for the bank when it comes to problems over its handling of suspect transactions and clients. Other investigations and lawsuits are still in the works.

In federal court in Minnesota, JPMorgan faces claims that it allowed corporate financier Thomas Petters to run a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme that raised money through investment funds based in the Caymans.

Petters moved more than $83 million in Ponzi cash through his JPMorgan accounts between 2002 and 2007, a court-appointed trustee, Douglas Kelley, claims in a lawsuit. JPMorgan accepted his deposits, loaned him huge sums and worked with him on his $426 million purchase of Polaroid Corp., the suit says, even though it knew or should have known that he had a shady business plan — and a shady backstory.

Petters had a record of convictions for forgery, larceny and fraud and his chief fundraiser in the Ponzi scheme had done time in prison for cocaine dealing and offshore money laundering.
In court records, JPMorgan says Kelley’s charges are “long on innuendo” and full of “largely irrelevant allegations.” It says it engaged in legitimate, arm’s-length transactions with Petters and that Kelley is trying to overcome the facts and the law “by talismanically invoking the term ‘Ponzi scheme.’ ”

Kelley, a former federal prosecutor, said in an interview that his court filings in various lawsuits relating to Petters’ frauds are “filled with specific facts” that show that JPMorgan and other banks that did business with Petters “turned their heads aside and didn’t ask questions they ought to be asking just because they were making money hand over fist.”

“If you’re a banker and start to see a number of these red flags crop up,” Kelley said, “you have a duty to ask questions — and you have a duty not to accept answers that are not facially candid.”

2nd May 2013, 06:41

Another Nail in the Neocon Coffin

wednesday may 1, 2013 US

The recent opening of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity was a watershed moment in American history. There has never been anything quite like it. Ideologically diverse, the Ron Paul Institute reaches out to all Americans, and indeed to people all over the world, who find the spectrum of foreign-policy opinion in the United States to be unreasonably narrow. Until Ron Paul and his new institute, there was no resolutely anti-interventionist foreign-policy organization to be found.

Neoconservatives have not responded warmly to the announcement of Ron’s new institute. Whatever their particular gripes, we can be absolutely certain of the real reason for their unhappiness: they have never faced systematic, organized opposition before.

The Democrats would see the earth tumble into the sun before supporting nonintervention abroad, so they pose no fundamental problem for the neocons. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is real opposition, and he can mobilize an army. The neocons know it. What’s Tim Pawlenty up to these days? Where are his legions of well-read young fans who seek to carry on his philosophy? You see the point.

For the first time, strict nonintervention will have a permanent voice in American life. It is another nail in the neocon coffin. The neocons know they are losing the young. Bright kids who believe in freedom aren’t rallying to Mitt Romney or David Horowitz, and, like anyone with a critical mind and a moral compass, they are not going along with the regime’s war propaganda.

At this historic moment, I thought it might be appropriate to set down some thoughts on war – a manifesto for peace, as it were.

(1) Our rulers are not a law unto themselves.

Our warmakers believe they are exempt from normal moral rules. Because they are at war, they get to suspend all decency, all the norms that govern the conduct and interaction of human beings in all other circumstances. The anodyne term "collateral damage," along with perfunctory and meaningless words of regret, are employed when innocent civilians, including children, are maimed and butchered. A private individual behaving this way would be called a sociopath. Give him a fancy title and a nice suit, and he becomes a statesman.

Let us pursue the subversive mission of applying the same moral rules against theft, kidnapping, and murder to our rulers that we apply to everyone else.

(2) Humanize the demonized.

We must encourage all efforts to humanize the populations of countries in the crosshairs of the warmakers. The general public is whipped into a war frenzy without knowing the first thing – or hearing only propaganda – about the people who will die in that war. The establishment’s media won’t tell their story, so it is up to us to use all the resources we as individuals have, especially online, to communicate the most subversive truth of all: that the people on the other side are human beings, too. This will make it marginally more difficult for the warmakers to carry out their Two Minutes’ Hate, and can have the effect of persuading Americans with normal human sympathies to distrust the propaganda that surrounds them.

(3) If we oppose aggression, let us oppose all aggression.

If we believe in the cause of peace, putting a halt to aggressive violence between nations is not enough. We should not want to bring about peace overseas in order that our rulers may turn their guns on peaceful individuals at home. Away with all forms of aggression against peaceful people.

(4) Never use "we" when speaking of the government.

The people and the warmakers are two distinct groups. We must never say "we" when discussing the US government’s foreign policy. For one thing, the warmakers do not care about the opinions of the majority of Americans. It is silly and embarrassing for Americans to speak of "we" when discussing their government’s foreign policy, as if their input were necessary to or desired by those who make war.

But it is also wrong, not to mention mischievous. When people identify themselves so closely with their government, they perceive attacks on their government’s foreign policy as attacks on themselves. It then becomes all the more difficult to reason with them – why, you’re insulting my foreign policy!

Likewise, the use of "we" feeds into war fever. "We" have to get "them." People root for their governments as they would for a football team. And since we know ourselves to be decent and good, "they" can only be monstrous and evil, and deserving of whatever righteous justice "we" dispense to them.

The antiwar left falls into this error just as often. They appeal to Americans with a catalogue of horrific crimes "we" have committed. But we haven’t committed those crimes. The same sociopaths who victimize Americans themselves every day, and over whom we have no real control, committed those crimes.

(4) War is not "good for the economy."

A commitment to peace is a wonderful thing and worthy of praise, but it needs to be coupled with an understanding of economics. A well-known US senator recently deplored cuts in military spending because "when you cut military spending you lose jobs." There is no economic silver lining to war or to preparation for war.

Those who would tell us that war brings prosperity are grossly mistaken, even in the celebrated case of World War II. The particular stimulus that war gives to certain sectors of the economy comes at the expense of civilian needs, and directs resources away from the improvement of the common man’s standard of living.

Ludwig von Mises, the great free-market economist, wrote, that "war prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings. The earthquake means good business for construction workers, and cholera improves the business of physicians, pharmacists, and undertakers; but no one has for that reason yet sought to celebrate earthquakes and cholera as stimulators of the productive forces in the general interest."

Elsewhere, Mises described the essence of so-called war prosperity: it "enriches some by what it takes from others. It is not rising wealth but a shifting of wealth and income."

(5) Support the free market? Then oppose war.

Ron Paul has restored the proper association of capitalism with peace and nonintervention. Leninists and other leftists, burdened by a false understanding of economics and the market system, used to claim that capitalism needed war, that alleged "overproduction" of goods forced market societies to go abroad – and often to war – in search for external markets for their excess goods.

This was always economic nonsense. It was political nonsense, too: the free market needs no parasitical institution to grease the skids for international commerce, and the same philosophy that urges nonaggression among individual human beings compels nonaggression between geographical areas.

Mises always insisted, contra the Leninists, that war and capitalism could not long coexist. "Of course, in the long run war and the preservation of the market economy are incompatible. Capitalism is essentially a scheme for peaceful nations…. The emergence of the international division of labor requires the total abolition of war…. The market economy involves peaceful cooperation. It bursts asunder when the citizens turn into warriors and, instead of exchanging commodities and services, fight one another."

"The market economy," Mises said simply, "means peaceful cooperation and peaceful exchange of goods and services. It cannot persist when wholesale killing is the order of the day."

Those who believe in the free and unhampered market economy should be especially skeptical of war and military action. War, after all, is the ultimate government program. War has it all: propaganda, censorship, spying, crony contracts, money printing, skyrocketing spending, debt creation, central planning, hubris – everything we associate with the worst interventions into the economy.

"War," Mises observed, "is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror. Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things. Only economic action has created the wealth around us; labor, not the profession of arms, brings happiness. Peace builds; war destroys."

See through the propaganda. Stop empowering and enriching the state by cheering its wars. Set aside the television talking points. Look at the world anew, without the prejudices of the past, and without favoring your own government’s version of things.

Be decent. Be human. Do not be deceived by the Joe Bidens, the John McCains, the Barack Obamas and Hillary Clintons. Reject the biggest government program of them all.

Peace builds. War destroys.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and CEO of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. See his books.

2nd May 2013, 07:20

Just heard someone using the phrase 'false certainty' on the radio. There's an awful lot of that 'old school' certainty being challenged at the moment. Every where you look in fact. There's many emerging pressure groups across the world getting active (the UK Uncut and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists - ICIJ - are just two examples in today's posts above).

Ron Paul has launched the Institute for Peace and Prosperity, while the media and spin doctors paint a picture of a war torn world besieged by terrorist threats and draconian austerity cuts for our own good.

The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure at the Washington Press Club at the moment laughs at the idea that we're alone.

People in the Eurozone are not accepting their austerity cuts medicine, but are taking to the streets and looking at new ways to run their communities.

The false certainties spun to us covering practically everything are falling apart day by day.

There's a turbo charged effort to discredit conspiracy theories at the moment. But of course, a lot of these are conspiracy facts and a lot of certainties - such as past drugs trials - are found not to be certain at all. Yes, some conspiracies may be garbage and some may be cleverly discredited while true, while some certainties actually are certain. The best thing you've got to shift through all of this is your OWN intuition. What feels wrong to you, probably is, and that applies to forums like this as well.

But I think we live in an precedented time of challenging the certainties of the world we live in. The media are getting braver in some cases (or have some of their constraints been lifted?), people are speaking out, abuse investigations can no longer be shut down, groups are getting together, institutions are losing their 'demi god' status and more people are waking up.

I blame it on the shift in consciousness malarkey and we've an eclipse on 10th and 24th May to come.

Reasons for optimism I think :).

2nd May 2013, 17:45

1 May UK

Stuart Hall admits to sexual abuse of girls

Veteran BBC broadcaster described as 'opportunistic predator' after admitting to assault of 13 girls between 1968 and 1986

Stuart Hall, the veteran BBC broadcaster, has been described as an "opportunistic predator" by the Crown Prosecution Service after he admitted to a string of historic sex offences against girls.

Three months after dismissing the allegations as "pernicious, callous, cruel and, above all, spurious", the 83-year-old was forced to admit that his accusers had been telling the truth.

Hall, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, first made the admissions at a brief hearing at Preston crown court on 16 April. But they could not be reported because he was facing trial over an allegation that he raped a 22-year-old woman in 1976. On Thursday it emerged that the rape case had been left to lie on the file, along with three other allegations of indecent assault.

Hall, wearing a dark blue suit and striped tie, stood in the well of the court as Judge Anthony Russell set him free on bail but told him he would pass sentence on 17 June.

Addressing him by his full name of James Stuart Hall, the judge said: "All sentencing options, including custody, will be available to the court. I genuinely have not made up my mind."

Hall was described as an opportunistic predator by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for north-west England.

Outside the court he said: "We prosecuted Stuart Hall because the evidence of the victims clearly established a pattern of behaviour that was unlawful and for which no innocent explanation could be offered.

"His victims did not know each other and almost two decades separated the first and last assaults but almost all of the victims, including one who was only nine at the time of the assault, provided strikingly similar accounts. Whether in public or private, Hall would first approach under friendly pretences and then bide his time until the victim was isolated. He can only be described as an opportunistic predator."

He added: "We have this week met with the woman who alleged that she had been raped by Stuart Hall, a charge which he has denied. The welfare of complainants is a top priority for us and we always take their concerns into account. In light of the guilty pleas already entered, the complainant no longer wishes to give evidence on the allegation of rape, and we have concluded that it would not be in the public interest to take steps to make her give evidence in court. As such, we will not be proceeding with this charge.

"I would like to thank the victims for having had the bravery to come forward. This case clearly shows that the victims of abuse will not be denied justice by the passage of time and abusers will be held to account."

Earlier, Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said Hall's 13 victims had been aged between nine and 17. They were abused between 1968 and 1986.

As he left court, Hall was mobbed by the media, but he refused to respond to questions.

In a statement issued later on his behalf, Brabners Chaffe Street said: "Stuart Hall confirms that he has pleaded guilty to 14 charges of indecent assault. Mr Hall deeply and sincerely regrets his actions. He wishes to issue an unreserved apology to the individuals concerned. He now accepts his behaviour and actions were completely wrong and he is very remorseful.

"Mr Hall also wishes to apologise to his family, friends and supportive members of the public for whom he has high regard and respect. The last five months have been a strain and an ordeal for his family, who are standing by him. He asks for privacy during the next few weeks and he emphasises that he is contrite and faces punishment with fortitude and remorse."

Crispin Aylett, defending, told the court the broadcaster's most recent offence had taken place in 1986, the first of them in 1968, "almost half a century ago".

Hall was "of otherwise exemplary character", he added, and the investigation had come "as a particularly bitter blow at this stage in his life".

Aylett said most of the offences were "one-off" incidents. "In a number of cases the parents of the complainants were aware at the time of what was said to have taken place, but they took no action apart from the perfectly sensible one of keeping their children away from the defendant."

"The defendant is, of course, sorry for what he has done. Through me he wants to apologise to his victims. He is not a man easily moved to self-pity, but he is only too aware that his disgrace is complete."

Hall, who was suspended by the BBC in December last year when the allegations first arose, was sacked by the corporation on Thursday with immediate effect.

It said: "The BBC is appalled by the disgraceful actions of Stuart Hall and we would like to express our sympathy to his victims. We will continue to work with the police to assist them in this and any other enquiries they are making."

A spokesman said: "In the light of today's events Stuart Hall will no longer be contracted by the BBC."

Asked whether any of the offences had taken place on BBC premises, the spokesman said: "The BBC has, and will continue to work with the police on all of this. We are providing the police with any assistance we can."

Lancashire police thanked Hall's victims for their bravery in reporting what had happened.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Esseen, of the force's major investigation team, said after the hearing: "The admissions of Mr Hall will at least spare his victims the ordeal of having to recount their abuse at a trial.

"They have lived with what happened for a long period of time and it cannot have been easy for them to come forward, especially as when they did so, they did not know there were others who had also suffered abuse.

"The fact that these convictions have come a long time after they were committed shows that we will always take any allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously and will investigate them thoroughly no matter how long ago they happened. We will always strive to protect our communities, no matter the status of the alleged perpetrator.

"I would encourage people with any information about sexual abuse or who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report their concerns confident in the knowledge it will be investigated appropriately and with sensitivity."

Hall's eccentric delivery had made him a popular figure in British broadcasting for half a century. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year honours list of 2012.

The allegations against him emerged in January, and the father of two was subsequently charged with three separate indecent assaults of young girls between 1974 and 1984. He then faced the rape charge and 14 further charges of sexual assault against 10 girls between 1967 and 1986.

Hall used the occasion of his first appearance at Preston crown court to make an emotional plea of innocence – and to question why the allegations had taken so long to surface. Standing beside his then lawyer, the one-time It's A Knockout presenter said: "The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare. I have never gone through so much stress in my life and I am finding it difficult to sustain."

He complained of a heart problem and said he would be "very lucky to survive another couple of years". Hall went on to say he hoped he survived those two years so he could "regain my honour and reputation and, more than ever, my life".

"Fortunately I have a very loving family and they are very supportive. I think but for their love I might have been constrained to take my own life. They have encouraged me to fight on, to fight the charges and regain my reputation and good name and whatever I have represented to this country down the years."

Hall's then lawyer, Louise Straw, had previously described him as the victim of a "clear pursuit of celebrity".

The broadcaster is married to Hazel, 74, and the couple have two children, Francesca, 52, and Daniel, 50.

5th May 2013, 09:41

29 April

Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash

The IMF adviser also blamed 'a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system'
For a 10+ minute edit of the key comments by Jeffrey Sachs, see Bill Still's "Still Report 80" that I posted here: Fixing the Banking System for Good (Post #6) (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?58341-Fixing-the-Banking-System-for-Good&p=670465&viewfull=1#post670465).

7th May 2013, 06:39
More and more abuse arrests in UK with high profile people. BBC looking very compromised for seemingly turning a blind eye over the years.


7 May UK

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck arrested in child sex abuse inquiry

The comedian Jimmy Tarbuck has been arrested in connection with a historical child sex abuse inquiry and released on bail, it was reported last night.

The 73-year-old comedian was detained at his home in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, and questioned for several hours following an arrest on Friday 26 April.

The arrest arises from allegations made to Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Yewtree, set up after the revelations about Jimmy Savile’s sex abuse.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said last night that the arrest did not fall under the Operation Yewtree investigation but that information received in light of the inquiry had been passed on.

A statement from North Yorkshire police last night said: “We can confirm that a 73-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a historic child sex abuse investigation in Harrogate. He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.'

Tarbuck launched his career at Pwllheli holiday camp in North Wales in the 1950s, and made his TV debut in 1963, becoming a familiar face thanks to a string of variety and stand-up series.

Police have arrested 13 men as part of Operation Yewtree, including convicted paedophile Gary Glitter, comics Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson, publicist Max Clifford, presenter Rolf Harris and DJ Dave Lee Travis. All deny any wrongdoing and investigations are continuing.



Nigel Evans: Shockwaves reverberate around Westminster as Tory MP is arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault

Exclusive: The 55-year-old politician is accused of raping a man and sexually assaulting a second man between July 2009 and March this year

Shockwaves reverberated around Westminster yesterday as news of senior Tory Nigel Evans' arrest emerged.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons was held on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another between July 2009 and March this year. Both are in their 20s.

A Whitehall source said PM David Cameron and Mr Evans’ boss, Speaker John Bercow, had both been informed.

Detectives swooped on the MP’s ­cottage in the Lancashire village of Pendleton yesterday morning.

Forensic teams searched the property, where the alleged attacks are said to have been committed. ­Officers specialising in sex offences quizzed the former Tory Party vice-chairman at Preston police station.

He was freed last night after about 12 hours and was driven away through the police station’s rear entrance.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: “A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire, arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault has today, May 4, 2013, been released on police bail until June 19, 2013.”

The Whitehall source said of Mr Evans’ arrest: “It’s been a total shock. Nigel is a popular and well-liked character.

No one can quite believe what has happened.”

It was unclear last night whether the police inquiry also involved a search of Mr Evans’ offices at the House of Commons or his other home in East London.

The two alleged victims are believed to have made the allegations and given statements this week.

Mr Evans has been MP for the safe Tory seat of Ribble Valley for 21 years.

The Welshman, who as one of Speaker Bercow’s deputies earns £102,000 a year including his MP’s salary, decided to reveal that he was gay in December 2010.

He said in an interview at the time that he was “tired of living a lie”.

Michael Ranson, chairman of Ribble Valley Conservative Association, said people in Mr Evans’ constituency were “completely shell-shocked” by news of his arrest.

Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin, Shropshire, said: “Nigel Evans is a very popular MP and has established himself as a first-rate Deputy Speaker.

“These are shocking allegations – but they are allegations are not proven. Time will tell if they stand up to proper legal scrutiny.”

He added: “He is a very popular MP and a very good constituency MP. He’s given assistance to a lot of his constituents over many years.”

A friend of the MP, Tory councillor Robert Rams of Barnet, North London, said: “I hope and pray the allegations are not true. He is a friend and a really lovely guy.”

more at link



6 May

BBC bows to pressure and WILL hold separate inquiry into Stuart Hall's reign of abuse amid claims his behaviour was well known at the corporation

Lord Patten, BBC Trust chairman, yesterday dismissed calls for an inquiry

He said BBC would look into Hall's reign of abuse as part of the Dame Janet Smith review into the Jimmy Savile scandal

But Corporation today confirmed it will hold a formal inquiry into Stuart Hall

The BBC last night bowed to pressure to launch an inquiry into presenter Stuart Hall’s reign of child abuse.
Former staff said Hall’s sick behaviour was well known at the corporation, but until now the BBC had resisted a new inquiry.

Only on Sunday, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten ruled one out, dismissing calls from victims and MPs by saying it ‘would probably delay arriving at the truth’.

He said the existing Dame Janet Smith review into the Jimmy Savile crisis would be widened to examine Hall’s two decades of abuse.

But within 24 hours the corporation performed a dramatic U-turn by announcing a new ‘freestanding investigation’.

A spokesman said: ‘In light of a potential conflict of interest with Dame Janet Smith there will be a freestanding investigation covering Stuart Hall’s conduct at the BBC which will feed into her review.

‘This work will be led by a different individual appointed by the BBC.’

The ‘different individual’ who will lead the inquiry was not named, leading to speculation the corporation has yet to find a suitable person willing to take on the task.

The potential conflict of interest has arisen because Dame Janet knows Ray Colley, who worked with Hall at the BBC in Manchester.

Hall abused children as young as nine. He invited teenagers desperate for fame to his BBC dressing room and molested them, and also groped girls in a sick bay on BBC premises.

Some of the dressing-room attacks were allegedly videoed by a floor manager known as ‘The Pimp’.
Lord Patten said it was clear there were people who had been willing to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the ‘thoroughly unpleasant’ behaviour of the It’s A Knockout presenter.

And he said the BBC would be liable to pay compensation to his victims.

Hall has pleaded guilty to assaulting 13 girls between 1967 and 1986. He faces a jail sentence and was described as an ‘opportunistic predator’ after he appeared at Preston Crown Court last Thursday.

In striking parallels to Savile, BBC managers were afraid to intervene because he was such a successful star.

more at link

7th May 2013, 06:56

5 May Europe

German euro founder calls for 'catastrophic' currency to be broken up

Oskar Lafontaine, the German finance minister who launched the euro, has called for a break-up of the single currency to let southern Europe recover, warning that the current course is "leading to disaster".

"The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt," he said.

"The Germans have not yet realised that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later," he said, blaming much of the crisis on Germany's wage squeeze to gain export share.

Mr Lafontaine said on the parliamentary website of Germany's Left Party that Chancellor Angela Merkel will "awake from her self-righteous slumber" once the countries in trouble unite to force a change in crisis policy at Germany's expense.

His prediction appeared confirmed as French finance minister Pierre Moscovici yesterday proclaimed the end of austerity and a triumph of French policy, risking further damage to the tattered relations between Paris and Berlin.
"Austerity is finished. This is a decisive turn in the history of the EU project since the euro," he told French TV. "We're seeing the end of austerity dogma. It's a victory of the French point of view."

Mr Moscovici's comments follow a deal with Brussels to give France and Spain two extra years to meet a deficit target of 3pc of GDP. The triumphalist tone may enrage hard-liners in Berlin and confirm fears that concessions will lead to a slippery slope towards fiscal chaos.
German Vice-Chancellor Philipp Rösler lashed out at the European Commission over the weekend, calling it "irresponsible" for undermining the belt-tightening agenda.
The Franco-German alliance that has driven EU politics for half a century is in ruins after France's Socialist Party hit out at the "selfish intransigence" of Mrs Merkel, accusing her thinking only of the "German savers, her trade balance, and her electoral future".
It is unclear whether the EU retreat from austerity goes much beyond rhetoric. Mr Moscovici conceded last week that the budget delay merely avoids extra austerity cuts to close the shortfall in tax revenues caused by the recession.
The new policy allows automatic fiscal stabilisers to kick in, but France will stay the course on the original austerity. "It is not about relaxing the effort to cut spending. There will no extra adjustment just to satisfy a number," he said.

Mr Lafontaine said he backed EMU but no longer believes it is sustainable. "Hopes that the creation of the euro would force rational economic behaviour on all sides were in vain," he said, adding that the policy of forcing Spain, Portugal, and Greece to carry out internal devaluations was a "catastrophe".

Mr Lafontaine was labelled "Europe's Most Dangerous Man" by The Sun after he called for a "united Europe" and the "end of the nation state" in 1998. The euro was launched on January 1 1999, with bank notes following three years later. He later left the Social Democrats to found the Left Party.



7 May UK

Business news and markets: live

Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor, has said that David Cameron must leave the European Union, saying the bloc has become a "bureaucratic monstrosity".

7th May 2013, 07:01

6 May

World Bank Whistle-blower: “Precious Metals To Serve As An Underpinning For Paper Currencies”

I had the opportunity yesterday to speak with one of the western world’s most courageous and astute women, Karen Hudes, Former Senior Counsel to the World Bank—now turned whistle-blower.

It was a powerful conversation, as Karen spent 20 years with the World Bank as an attorney and economist, before being “let-go” after reporting internal fraud and corruption.

During the interview Karen indicated that the world is rapidly changing, with western power structures breaking down, economic & political influence gravitating to BRICs nations, all amid a pending currency transition which will highly favor precious metals.

Starting out by discussing the shocking centralized power she witnessed while working at the World Bank, Karen explained that, “A study done by three [Swiss] systems analysts who used mathematical modeling [shows] how the [world's] 43,000 transnational corporations were being controlled through interlocking corporate directorates. There’s a group of 147 companies, most of them are financial institutions, and what they’ve done, is through the interlocking directorates, they control 40% of the net worth of these [43k] companies, and 60% of their earnings…so that group has been using the presidency of the World Bank as kind of a puppet to dominate the world—that’s [now] finished.”

A major shock to that centralized power base, according to Karen, was the recent move by BRICs nations leaders to bypass the World Bank for their financing needs, by establishing their own development bank. “As the BRICs [nations] economic power grows,” she explained, “they’re not going to be strangled anymore through the grabbing [of] their resources…So their decision to start their own development bank was their way of letting [world] governments know…that its time to end this corruption.”

Major moves toward monetary independence are also being made by growing numbers of U.S. states, Karen added. She explained that, “The states are starting to have legislation recognizing gold and silver bullion as legal currency. This is [also] a very strong signal the states are sending to the federal government, that the time to get serious about ending the corruption in the financial system is now here.”

When asked her thoughts on what this all means for the world monetary system, Karen said, “What’s going to happen, is we’re going to have all the countries of the world, sit down and figure out what’s going to be the best, most orderly transition from the current system that we have, [which has] profound imbalance and unsustainable deficits…[this change] is going to happen as each country makes its preference known, because the system we have now is not transparent, and the biggest change [in the new system], is that there’s going to be transparency.”

That transparency may be found through a gold-backed currency system, Karen noted, as, “All of the countries of the world are going to allow precious metals to serve as currency, and this will be an underpinning for paper currency, [as] we’ll have both systems at the same time. This is my guess, as I mentioned—I am an economist.”

As a final comment speaking towards her difficult journey as a World Bank whistle-blower, Karen said, “I’ve been struggling now for years, to tell the American public what’s [been] going on. I haven’t gotten through, because this [financial] group has bought up the press and has been spreading disinformation systematically. That undermines the whole point of a democracy. How can voters vote without an informed opinion, without the information that they’re entitled too? So this strangle-hold on information is going to end in very short order.”

This was a powerful interview conducted with a great American patriot and honorable world citizen. Karen is setting an example for the history books, and her interview is required listening for global thinkers and market students.

To listen to the interview, left click the following link and/or right click and “save target as” or “save link as” to to your desktop:

>>Interview with Karen Hudes (MP3)

To learn more about Karen and support her work, visit: Kahudes.net

7th May 2013, 13:14
Karen Hudes wow! Thanks Sabrina. I've got a little bit more hope today!

13th May 2013, 13:15
There's a big battle on trying to get the extent of the abuse allegations out in the UK at the moment. The high profile names are scattered on 'alternative' internet sites, but no doubt there's a great deal of intimidation being levelled at the police themselves, the whistleblowers and the msm. But it's going to blow one day. And that will be arresting....


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ben Fellows spills the beans

Ben told me he had more things that are of public interest concerning his conversation with the Police. I suggested it's best to spill everything he has. Here's the tape of the Police interview from November 2012.

It covers his experiences as a child actor, being offered by his agent Sylvia Young to Tom Cruise for sex (Tom chose someone else), Christopher Cazenove making violent sexual moves on him in a hotel room, and how he is advised to make a Police statement to protect himself from Ken Clarke suing him for the penis-touching allegations. (Once allegations are subject of a Police enquiry, the alleger cannot be sued. Furthermore, not mentioned, no newspaper can carry them)

That's just the first tape.

'That's how it was for me,' Ben says.

He explains that Max Clifford has many people recorded on tape 'admitting what they do', (TAP - presumably with kids). Was this why Max Clifford was arrested?

There's a lot of background on how the entertainment industry works and the exploitation of young actors, and how people hold dirt on each other to keep each other quiet. Young actors who love all the glamour will do 'pretty much whatever' to get a career. It's all about control, says Ben.

Esther Rantzen invited him to a party in the New Forest. Drugs. Alcohol. Children. Adults. Sex.

Police comment - 'There's the screen face, then there's who these people really are'.

A 13 year old from an Australian soap was raped at an after show party in front of fifteen people. The perpetrator is named. No one did anything about it.

Mel Smith. Joanna Lumley. Joan Collins. Drugs. Ben told the Press a few of the seedier details of his encounters with these people. The newspapers reported none of it. The PR machine makes them all seem like wonders of the world. As Ben makes clear in this video, they definitely are not. As usual the Police are concerned not to investigate but to keep the lid on the pot.

Ben seems to want to get it all off is chest, and talks fluently as you would expect from a professional actor. Once you start listening, you are transported to the end without a pause.

Bruce Forsyth is mentioned. Jimmy Savile. Andrew Lloyd Webber groomed him through multiple auditions, and then stuck his tongue down Ben's throat, grabbing Ben's genitals, when he was 15 in 1990. He didn't complain. Who could I complain to, he asks the Police officers. Silence.

From Twitter about Ben's revelations in this interview -

QUOTE: "Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise, Collin Farrel. Outed as rent boy sceners by Ben Fellows to take on VIP paedo http://bit.ly/YPcZqG"

Ben's email to The Tap.....


Okay here's full disclosure.

I've uploaded the first of 3 video's to utube naming names once and for all. If the Police won't do their job well then the public have a right to know what secrets the Police are keeping to use for their own benefit.

Here is the link http://youtu.be/lyG0RNKUGHA

Please download and repost as this video won't last long.

Good luck!
All the best

Ben Fellows




http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2013/05/ken-clarke-mp-is-above-the-law-and-cannot-be-questioned-says-metropolitan-police-paedophile-unit-2517078.html?utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Fd47 A&utm_campaign=&utm_medium=twitter&utm_content=beforeit39snews-buttonsunderheadline&utm_source=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2F6tuexOXEJq

10 May

Ken Clarke MP Is Above The Law And Cannot Be Questioned Says Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit

More from Ben Fellows:

Is it acceptable for anyone to sexually assault, grope, fondle, touch up, abuse, rape and murder your children?

Well, according to the Specialist Crime Directorate Child Abuse Investigation Command or the Pedophile Unit, if you are a member of parliament then it is acceptable to do just that.

For the record it was officers from the Paedophile Unit who approached me for information on Kenneth Clarke not the other way around. I did not go to the Police, the Police came to me. I have the tapes to prove it if that is ever an issue.

Police Comissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe -the buck stops here!

Detectives from Operation Fairbridge, (can they hide behind anymore names?) educated me into how the law actually works. This is quite complicated so bear with me. Politicians and “others” are above the Law. Got it! So stop complaining about paedophile rings in Westminster and prepare to have you sons, bent over and buggered by any politician who chooses to fancy your child.

If you are Kenneth Clarke MP or any living serving politician then you cannot be arrested, questioned under caution or charged, etc., by the Police. This dramatic information by the Police explains why Kenneth Clarke’s paedophile politician friends never get caught — as they are above the law. This was according to Senior Detective Ben Lambskin of the now, not fit for purpose, Paedophile Unit. Sorry I was under the mistaken impression that the Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit was created to hunt down and catch paedophiles and not protect them.

The Police, in the their “Dixon of Doc Green,” mode have just given every single potential charged celebrity the ammunition to win their cases on technical grounds. I have proven that there are some members of our society who will be charged by the Police such as common people whilst the elites, Royals and politicians are, in fact, above the laws of England. Every barrister representing those already charged should petition the court to have their cases dropped due to Police incompetence. How can Max Clifford et al. get a fair trail when the jury know for a fact that politicians are not being arrested and charged or even questioned? Its hypocrisy of the highest order or I should say of the lowest order.
Who’s side is the Metropolitan Police Force on? Obviously the Paedophiles!

So, if we are going to be naming names like Kenneth Clarke’s et al. it is only correct that the Police who have been in charge of this purposefully bungled investigation are also named .

Starring: Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle, Detective Constable Nathan Jones (who openly threatened me over the telephone to give the Police a statement regarding Kenneth Clarke), Detective Sergeant James Townly, Detective Constable Ben Lambskin, Andy and Julia-Anne who took an eight hour statement from me which was pretty detailed. These officers need to be suspended pending a detailed and thorough review of their actions and also the actions of “others” around them including the management up to senior officers and Tom Watson MP to find out exactly why they have decided not to question, under caution, Kenneth Clarke MP over serious allegations that I have made and committed to a Police statement.

On the 30th April 2013 Detective Constable Ben Lambskin, with his colleague who called himself Andy, turned up at my front door wishing to speak with me about my case. An up date if you will. The up shot was that Ben Lambskin, who is the Police’s sacrificial lamb in this case, informed me that they’d spoken to four people from The Cook Report and none of them had backed up my version of events. What a surprise? Media people who still work for the media and intelligence service have not agreed with me. I do believe that I said that in the first place. However, to be clear none of those people were in the room with Kenneth Clarke, Ian Greer or myself and the tape which recorded the incident has mysteriously gone missing.

DC Ben Lambskin, a Serpico wannabe but without the integrity, said after speaking with Sylvia Jones, Clive Entwhistle and two others — ” After speaking to these people, that perhaps the conspiracy view isn’t such a bad one.” He then went on to talk about the video tape showing Kenneth Clarke sexually assaulting me by stating “the possible location for that tape is that it was taken by a lawyer who was dealing with The Cook Report and that is the most likely the last time it was seen” he went on ” That particular Cook Report investigation appears to be quickly cut down and ended. By some of the people we’ve spoken to they are of the opinion that is was the company who was running it changed hands to people who were particularly involved with ‘Cash for Questions.’” At least the Police have proven political corruption within the Conservative Government as the “Cash for Questions” scandal re-emerges. We must call for a full and transparent re opening of the “Cash for Questions” case to find out the truth.

The up shot of The Cook Report investigation into Ian Greer and John Major’s corrupt government is that it was discovered that The Cook Report had indeed uncovered a major scandal leading all the way up to the Prime Minister John Major. The politicians involved along with Ian Greer et al. arranged, as far as I understand it, for Greer’s client Carlton Television to buy Central Television to stop the programme from airing. This programme was and still is in the public’s interest as all the political decisions which have happened subsequently have been linked directly to the Cash for Questions scandal.

I guess this is a case of murder will out. The scandal that ended the Major Government is set to do exactly the same thing to David Cameron’s corrupt government because it wasn’t properly investigated and dealt with at the time, it’s now worse.
The fact that Kenneth Clarke MP was seen in Ian Greer’s office at the very time of Cash for Questions is suspicious within itself. Why was a Cabinet Minister in the office of a political lobbyist? Isn’t that breaking some kind of Parliamentary law? When I asked about the tape and the convenient fire at Iron Mountain storage facility Ben Lambskin and colleague just looked at me blankly — they didn’t know. These people who call themselves Detectives have failed to detect what even the average journalist has been able to find out. Jack “I haven’t got a pad” Malvern of The Times found out about the Iron Mountain fire. Why didn’t the Police? What about the Dolphin Square flat? Back in November Sylvia Jones said to Jack “one cup of tea” Malvern that yes she saw the tape, she saw me and Kenneth Clarke but she didn’t see the grope. Now after six months to get her story straight she suddenly didn’t see anything when she was talking to the Police.

The Police also admitted that when it comes to investigating corporations they are indeed powerless there as well. Ben Lambskin proudly stated about any further enquiries about the tape — ” That’s corporate and there’s not much we can do about that, is there?” So the Metropolitan Police on official police business state that so far Politicians and Royalty are above the law and also corporations. It seems that true and tangible feudalism has returned to England’s green and pleasant land.

Ben Lambskin also said when referring to my statement — “I’m sorry but we’re not going to go galavanting into the House of Commons. There’s protocol which has to be observed.” Allow me to merely suggest that they follow the correct protocol and ask to question Kenneth Clarke MP under caution. What’s the problem? Lambskin continued “Clarke didn’t get to where he is today without being very smart!!!” If I was Kenneth Clarke I wouldn’t like that implication one bit and would probably sue the Police but I’m not Kenneth Clarke so I don’t care.

We then went on to talk about the Police questioning Ian Greer, the other person in the room and the man who introduced me to Kenneth Clarke. Detective Ben Lambskin states ” We’re not entirely sure whether he’s in the country or not”. Of course I informed them that Greer was in South Africa. Unfortunately he’s protected by protocols as well. But he’s just an ex political lobbyist. Or is he? Is Greer more important than he first appears? I imagine Greer will soon turn up six feet under with a mystery heart attack whilst wearing stocking and suspenders, which is the usual British modus operandi. Although putting people into bags is a quirky invention of the security services, Greer better throw out any large luggage he might have around. So it’s just British citizens who aren’t protected by any protocols, just to be clear, and we are now at the whim of any elite Politician, Lord or Member of the Royal family.

Who are these Detectives? Do they actually do any detecting? Have they actually been to deceptive school, sorry, I mean detective school?

To clarify Kenneth Clarke has stated, in a Cabinet Office correspondence, that his appearance in Ian Greer’s office must have been a case of mistaken identity. But who is he referring to? I didn’t introduce myself to Kenneth Clarke? So Kenneth Clarke is clearly calling his best friend’s memory into question, suggesting that perhaps Greer didn’t know who was standing in his office and accidentally introduced this mystery gentleman as Kenneth Clarke MP to me.

Really? That’s as a ridiculous a stand point as the big bang theory.

Kenneth Clarke is a barrister and Queens Council. Does he really think that answer is good enough? Is that really the best argument that he, the Cabinet Office and Prime Minister David Cameron can come up with?

read full story at the link

13th May 2013, 13:33
I wonder if the puppets have actually got their strings all tangled up! Interesting power struggles in EU at moment and politicians trying to distance themselves from it all. Met someone at weekend who had been at an EU meeting in Brussels and one woman who looked shocked (and was intuitive - but kept it quiet with the suits) said she'd just seen a vision of Europe as a woman and it had all gone - nothing there - all fallen apart. As with everything else, I take it that the whole dysfunctional organisation has to dissolve in 3D nothingness as do a lot of things.... Lunar eclipse on 25 May should aid the detox nicely :)...



"If the Queen’s Speech is amended, the Prime Minister must resign"

Were the EU referendum amendment passed, Cameron would either have to resign or abandon centuries of parliamentary convention.

If the prospect of government MPs tabling an amendment to the Queen's Speech wasn't unusual enough (it hasn't happened since 1946), it now appears that David Cameron may be prepared to take the extraordinary step of supporting them. The Sun reports that Cameron is ready to vote in favour of the Conservative amendment, which "Respectfully regrets that an EU referendum bill was not included in the gracious speech". A No. 10 source tells the paper: "The PM is determined to make as many people as possible aware how keen he is to hold this referendum.

"This amendment backs up his policy, which is a Conservative Party policy, so why shouldn’t he vote for it too?"

In other words, the Prime Minister may be about to rebel against his own government. That really would put us in uncharted territory. As the Parliament website states, by convention, "If the Queen’s Speech is amended, the Prime Minister must resign." The last time an amendment was successful was in 1924 when Labour tabled a motion of no confidence in Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government. After the motion was passed by 328 votes to 251, Baldwin resigned as prime minister and Ramsay MacDonald formed the first Labour government.

With Labour and the Liberal Democrats set to vote against the amendment (they have 314 MPs to the Tories' 305), there's almost no chance of it passing (although at least two Labour MPs, John Cryer and Kelvin Hopkins, have signed the amendment and there's always the option of abstaining...). But were the Tory rebels successful, it is clear that Cameron would either have to resign or abandon centuries of parliamentary convention.

Update: It look as if there may be an escape route for Cameron. I've just spoken to the Commons Information Office which has informed me that as a result of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, a successful amendment to the Queen's Speech is no longer regarded as a vote of no confidence in the government. This is because, for the first time, the bill offered a legal definition of a no confidence vote - a motion stating that "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government." - meaning that defeats on matters such as the Queen's Speech or the Budget are no longer regarded as votes of no confidence in the government. Prior to the act, as the Information Office put it, "it was a motion of no confidence if everyone agreed that it was a motion of no confidence."

A 2010 briefing note from the House of Commons Library had suggested that some ambiguity remained. It stated that it was "not clear whether a defeat on a motion or issue of confidence would count as a vote of no confidence for the purposes of the legislation. For example, it is not clear whether a defeat on the Government’s budget would be considered as a vote of no confidence." It went on to suggest that "One possibility would be for the Government to make it clear before such a division that they considered it to be a matter of confidence; then the Speaker would certify it as such. This would effectively allow the Government to table a constructive vote of no confidence."

But the Commons Information Office confirmed to me that this was not an option legally available to the government.

I asked earlier whether, rather than resigning, Cameron would abandon centuries of parliamentary convention. It turns out he already has.

10 May

13th May 2013, 13:37


Co-op Bank chief resigns after Moody's downgrade

(Source: Reuters)

Co-op Bank chief executive Barry Tootell has resigned after ratings agency Moody's has downgraded the bank, warning that it may require "external support". Last month a deal to purchase over 600 UK branches of Lloyds fell through.

If The Co-op had taken over the branches, it would have created Britain’s seventh largest bank.

“Against the backdrop of the current economic environment, the worsened outlook for economic growth and the increasing regulatory requirements on the financial services sector in general, the Verde transaction would not currently deliver a suitable return for our members within a reasonable timeframe and with an acceptable level of risk,” said Co-op chief executive Peter Marks.

10 May

14th May 2013, 17:28

13 May


The G-7 are meeting this weekend outside of London. This was unscheduled and can only be considered as an emergency meeting.

I have maintained all along that a “bank holiday” would ultimately occur which sets positions in cement while a revaluation of assets and currencies takes place.

My guess is that the end game is in fact being discussed. How best to shut the current system down, reboot another one AND retain as much power as possible. I truly believe that preparations are being discussed here and now “how best” (for them) to close out this current chapter of world finance. All of this has been discussed and planned years ahead of time, these are not fools. The current discussion is merely about pulling the trigger.

2013 Silver Eagles As Low As $3.79 Over Spot at SDBullion!

Submitted By Bill Holter, Miles Franklin Ltd,:
I for one would love to be a fly on the wall to hear the goings on as I am sure the “outsiders” from the rest of the G-20 would. The G-7 are the traditional “power” nations, they are also the ones doing the most printing and inflating. Since the beginning of the Greatest Financial Crisis, these nations have bankrupted themselves the most, printed and borrowed the most and basically “lost power” with their actions. I might add that these nations of the “West” have also been responsible for Gold being shipped “East”…and thus with it “power”.

So what exactly is being discussed? We will soon find out (or see the results) but I would imagine that anything and everything pertaining to the “end game” will be touched upon. Bank weakness and insolvency must be at the top of the list, QE’s lack of traction is also surely up there. Gold inventories (or lack of) must also surely have been discussed and I would certainly think that currency collapse was on the agenda. “Currency collapse”, replacement of same and “bank holiday” including “bail ins” were probably all discussed and pre planned.

Tell me that I am crazy and that none of these topics were broached, the physical metals markets globally are telling me (and them) that they were and that the end game is near. The question is this, how much longer can inventories supply the outsized demand that has been created by the false and fraudulent “paper” crash of metals pricing? “We” do not know the answer to this question, “they” do. “They” know what is really left and whether or not the bottom of the barrel is already in sight.

To the above I would add that here in the U.S. we also have a dangerous week ahead. The Obama administration is taking huge body blows over the Bhengazi attack last year. None of the official stories add up and it turns out that orders came from somewhere to “stand down” while Americans were being killed. I say that this coming week is “dangerous” because “your” attention apparently needs to altered in a different direction. The distinct possibility/probability of some sort of false flag event is now off the charts.

I have maintained all along that a “bank holiday” would ultimately occur which sets positions in cement while a revaluation of assets and currencies takes place. As time has passed, this looks more and more likely to me as nothing has been done to avoid this scenario. In fact, the West has simply pressed the accelerator harder and opened the monetary spigots further…with almost zero effect on the real economy. Stock markets are acting like an early warning signal to a hyperinflation. Gold and Silver have not been allowed to do this which is why physical inventories have been attacked so fiercely.

Since I am not a fly on the wall and can only speculate until “we find out”, my guess is that the end game is in fact being discussed. How best to shut the current system down, reboot another one AND retain as much power as possible. Call me cynical, crazy or whatever, I truly believe that preparations are being discussed here and now “how best” (for them) to close out this current chapter of world finance. By the way, all of this has been discussed and planned years ahead of time, these are not fools. The current discussion is merely about pulling the trigger. Regards, Bill H.

14th May 2013, 17:36

14 May

BP, Shell and Statoil investigated over suspected oil price manipulation

BP, Shell and Statoil are under investigation by the European Commission over suspected collusion to distort the oil price.

The EC said it had “concerns” that several companies may have manipulated the oil price benchmark in violation of EU antitrust rules, potentially having a “huge impact” on oil and petrol prices.

The Commission said that on Tuesday it had raided the offices of “several companies active in and providing services to the crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels sectors”.

BP, Shell, Statoil and price-reporting agency Platts all confirmed they were co-operating with the EC investigation.

Statoil said the suspected violations “related to the Platts’ Market-On-Close (MOC) price assessment process” and “may have been on-going since 2002”.

In a statement, the EC said: “The Commission has concerns that the companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a Price Reporting Agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products.

more at link

14th May 2013, 17:40


Economy Minister freezes pension rights of sacked chairman of CatalunyaBanc

The Economy Ministry has suspended the multi-million-euro pensions of Adolf Todó, the former chairman of nationalized bank CatalunyaBanc, and its chief executive officer, Jaume Masana, who were dismissed from the lender on Friday, financial sources confirmed Monday.

According to CatalunyaBanc’s latest annual report, Todó had accumulated pension rights of four million euros, while Masana was in line to receive 1.5 million.

The Economy Ministry, headed by Luis de Guindos, justified the freezing of their pension rights given that the prosecutor’s office in Barcelona is investigating the legality of the remunerations contracts signed by the bank before it was nationalized.

CatalunyaBanc, the commercial banking arm of savings bank CatalunyaCaixa, has received state funding of 12.050 billion euros after being nationalized in order to shore up its balance sheet, which was seriously affected by the bank’s exposure to the property bubble in Spain, which burst in 2008.

The law reforming the financial sector fixes maximum amounts of compensation in the case of top bank officials being removed from the posts, which in the case of savings banks is 600,000 euros. However, the law does not apply to pension rights acquired before the time the state intervenes in a lender.

more at link

13 May

15th May 2013, 09:16
This is a snippet from Dana Mrkich's (an energy intuitive based in Australia) May Monthly vision. Can see this unstoppable wave of untruths coming out every morning when I turn on the computer. It's wave after wave now. Now they are talking about oil price rigging (duh) and there's yet more in the UK press about child abusers being brought to justice and the complete failure of the police and social services to follow up past leads. Sab.


We are being flooded by revelations in every aspect of our selves, lives, society and world. The curtain is being pulled back to reveal that which is illusion and that which is truth. As this happens, clusters will become larger, and we’ll find that the world of unity and harmony we know we came here to help create is being created. We are riding an unstoppable wave right now toward that world, only our focus for so long has been on that which we will create we perhaps didn’t look at what the ‘resistance’, ‘intensification’ and ‘mini-polarisations’ part of the process would look and feel like. It is easy to now get overly focused on that part and think it’s all gone to &#&@ and we give up, but it is more important than ever that we focus on the job we came here to do, and do it in whatever ways we feel called to do.

part 2 here:


15th May 2013, 09:20
Shareholders getting vocal with RBS. The banks seem to have fallen off their demi god podiums completely! :)


15 May UK

RBS chief admits: I don't know if scandals are over

Bank's chairman is given a rough ride by investors over Libor rate-fixing, mis-selling, an IT fiasco and executive pay

The chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland conceded under tough questioning from the bank's shareholders yesterday that he could not guarantee an end to the rash of "skeletons in the cupboard" which have plagued the taxpayer-funded bank over the last few years.

Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of RBS, admitted that he had been "very disappointed" by the succession of scandals which have rocked the largely state-owned institution since it was bought out by the Government five years ago.

He referred to the £390m settlement the bank had to make for Libor rate fixing, the loss of a further £1.1bn from mis-selling and £175m spent on an IT fiasco, and said that while he did not see any major new problems looming, he could not be sure of that.

Sir Philip warned that there might be further job losses as the bank prepares for privatisation. While he did not give any indication of exactly when that sell-off might be, he did suggest that RBS might be returned to private hands in about 18 months, and that discussions with the Government about lifting the bar on dividends might start next year.

But it was past problems that dominated the meeting of angry RBS shareholders in the bank's Edinburgh headquarters yesterday.

Sir Philip admitted the past problems, but said he could not offer any guarantees that there were no further scandals to come. "If I made that assurance to you, the lawyers would take me out and skin me alive," he said.

He added: "It is disappointing how many skeletons have come out of the cupboard. These things are very disappointing. That is why we need to go through a significant period of culture change."

But he stated: "I think that we are through the worst of all of these things. There is not anything major on the horizon, but I might have made that statement to you two years ago before things that were not on the horizon appeared."

During an uncomfortable two-and-a-half-hour session, Sir Philip was berated by shareholders about a succession of issues from poor customer service to the font size used on bank statements.

But some of the toughest questions came on the pay levels for senior staff.

Kenneth Cramond, a shareholder, demanded that pay levels for all senior bank employees be frozen.

He said: "We have all heard about Libor and PPI and we have been told it is all down to past mistakes and excess, but £1bn has been paid out in bonuses in recent years. That's £1bn that could have gone into RBS and shared out among shareholders.

"The taxpayer will not tolerate it, and if you opened your eyes you would know it," he told Sir Philip.

And Mr Cramond asked: "If we are all in this together, how about executive pay being frozen? We cannot go along rewarding failure. Enough is enough."

Sir Philip argued that RBS had to exist in a market so had to pay its senior staff the going rate for the industry. "We have to live in a market. We still have to exist against commercial businesses and we need to be commercial ourselves," Sir Philip said. And he added: "We have been pretty tough … we have almost frozen basic pay for top people for a good while."

The bank said 99.3 per cent of its shareholders approved its pay resolution.

The chairman did deliver a thinly veiled warning that more jobs would be lost and more branches closed as RBS continues its restructuring.

He said: "We've got to have our branches where our customers are, not always where we have had them for decades. We have work to do over the coming years to get our business in the right shape to deliver these ambitions, and that could mean further impacts on employees."

RBS's chief executive, Stephen Hester, said outside the meeting that it was entirely up to the Government when it wanted to initiate discussions on lifting the block on shareholder dividends, but that could happen very soon.

"The Government could initiate that conversation at any time if they wanted to, and we would certainly be responsive to anything they did," Mr Hester said.

The chief executive stressed caution on immediate dividends, though, adding that he believed that an RBS dividend would be "more likely to be next year than this year".

15th May 2013, 09:24
More on the oil price rigging story now breaking - another Libor scandal in the making...


15 May - Oil

BP and Shell raided over allegations they colluded to fix petrol prices

Oil giants targeted by European Commission in probe into suspected market manipulation

The European Commission today raided the offices of BP and Shell on suspicion that they are playing a central role in what could be the next price fixing scandal – colluding to inflate oil prices and, in turn, the cost of petrol.

In the wake of the Libor interest rate and gas price manipulation scandals, the EC has launched an investigation into whether oil producers and traders are colluding to rig oil prices in a move that inflates their profits at the expense of consumers.

“The commission has concerns that companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a price reporting agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products,” an EC spokesman said.

“Officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in and providing services to crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels sectors,” he added.

“Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the prices of crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels purchases purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers,” the spokesman said.

The price people pay for oil, petrol and related products around the world is determined by a handful of “benchmarks”, the best known of which is Brent crude.

So-called price reporting agencies calculate the benchmark rate using data provided to them by firms such as oil companies, banks and hedge funds, which trade oil on a daily basis – submissions which the EC suspects are in some cases fraudulent.

A small increase in the price of a benchmark has a ripple effect on the prices of a wide range of products, potentially across the world analysts said.

“Benchmarks can be very influential and are used to determine all sorts of transactions. Ultimately, it effects the amount you pay for your petrol,” said Andrew Whittock, an analyst at Liberum Capital, the City broker.

BP and Shell declined to comment on whether their offices were raided – although they are known to be among a handful of players that have had “unannounced inspections”, with the Platts price reporting agency and Norwegian producer Statoil among the others. BP and Shell both conceded that they were under investigation and that they were co-operating.

The EC also said that it had concerns that some companies may have sought to increase the influence of its price inflations by “preventing others from participating in the price assessment process, with a view to distorting published prices”.

The EC’s decisive action escalated a campaign that has been gathering momentum in recent months, after a report for the G20 last summer found that the market is wide open to “manipulation or distortion”.

The G20 report concluded that traders have an “incentive” to distort the market and are likely to try to report false prices because the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of firms to submit accurate data about all their trades.

For its part, the UK government is also investigating the potential rigging of the oil market after concerns were raised by MPs.

It has asked the Financial Services Agency to examine whether the oil price could have been manipulated – and whether that had affected the price consumers paid at the pumps.

In addition the Bank of England is understood to have expanded its inquiry into Libor to include the oil price.

Last night the Conservative MP Robert Halfon, who has led the campaign for a formal investigation, said it was time for the oil companies to “come clean”.

“Last year Parliament voted unanimously for an investigation into the oil market,” he said.

“These latest allegations underline why that must happen. Motorists are being taken for a very expensive ride. The Government has done its bit, by freezing fuel duty for three years. Now oil companies must come clean and show some responsibility for what is happening to the international oil price.” Mr Halfon added that any company found guilty of rigging the market should face a windfall tax – with the proceeds passed onto motorists in the form of lower fuel duties.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change described the claims against the oil companies as “concerning”. However, he said that “until the facts are clear it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The EC pointed out that making unannounced inspections “does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself”.

Q&A: How petrol prices were fixed

Is it actually a scandal?

No, it’s probably better characterised as a scandal-in-waiting. Following the Libor interest rate and gas-price fixing scandals, the world’s guardians have been looking for the next big rigging target – and in recent months there has been a growing consensus that the price of black gold has also been routinely manipulated.

How does it work?

It’s not actually that complicated – certainly nothing like as knotty as the Libor price-rigging. Basically, the European Commission suspects that oil companies and traders are pretending to sell oil and related products like petrol for a higher price than they really are to give the impression that it’s more valuable than it really is. In other words, they are allegedly massaging the law of supply and demand that the free market says should determine prices.

I thought you said it wasn’t complicated?

It’s not. The price people pay for oil, petrol, biofuels and related products is determined by a few “benchmark” prices – you’ve probably heard of Brent crude, that’s a benchmark. Now these benchmark prices are calculated by so-called price reporting agencies, based upon submissions from oil companies, banks, hedge funds and other players in the oil trading game. By colluding to inflate the price of their transactions, so the argument goes, they can increase the price of the benchmark and, in turn, the price of oil and oil products across the world.

So the big oil companies and their mates are lining their pockets at the expense of muggins here, who’s paying extra for his petrol?

That’s the accusation yes, although I would like to point out that nothing has been proven. Still, even if they’re completely cleared, it’ll probably leave more of a stain on the big oil companies, who have already made quite a few enemies over the years as a result of environment disasters, most notably the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that resulted in 11 deaths.

Who’s implicated?

Well, the European Commission has raided the offices of BP, Shell, Statoil of Norway and the Platts price reporting agency. It may turn out that all are innocent – alternatively it could turn out to be a huge scandal implicating a large number of traders and oil companies across the world.

What are BP and Shell saying?

Both have admitted that they are being investigated and say they are co-operating with the investigation. They won’t say whether they have been raided, although it is known that they have been.

Is there any evidence that the price has been manipulated?

None has been published, but the EC would have to be fairly concerned to launch a series of raids and make them public. Furthermore, a G20 report last year found that the unregulated oil market is wide open to “manipulation or distortion” because it is unregulated and relies on the honesty of its firms to submit accurate data about their trades.

Tom Bawden

15th May 2013, 09:36
Unbelievable mishandling by the police and social services in this awful abuse case - as is suggested in the second link, how can this possibly be by accident? Watch out for the Chief Constable's resignation at some stage as the pressure mounts. Sab.


15 May UK

Missed chances to halt sex gang: Police and social workers apologise to girls tortured by 'medieval' predators but chief constable refuses to resign

Fighting broke out in the dock as two other defendants were cleared

Seven men found guilty of catalogue of offences involving underage girls

Verdicts delivered at Old Bailey at the end of a five month trial

The seven men have been remanded in custody for sentencing next month

Girls were so young 'they had just stopped believing in the Easter bunny when they were corrupted'

Police identified as many as 22 girls who were 'groomed, corrupted, brainwashed and abused and then sold for sex and worse'

Two of the three care homes where victims of the Oxford sex ring lived have been closed down but only one member of staff was sacked

Sara Thornton, who has been chief constable of Thames Valley Police since 2007, rejects suggestions she should resign (I suspect she'll be forced to resign - she did a very uncomfortable interview on BBC Radio 4 today - humility doesn't seem to be her strong point)...

Catastrophic failings by police and social services allowed a child sex ring to sexually torture girls as young as 11 for eight years.

Victims repeatedly told officers they had been raped or abused by the vicious and ‘medieval’ predators – but no action was taken.

Last night – after the abusers were convicted at the Old Bailey – the police and social services apologised for failing to answer the girls’ desperate pleas for help.

But Sara Thornton, chief constable of Thames Valley Police since 2007, refused to acknowledge calls for her to resign this morning.

The gang groomed more than 50 vulnerable youngsters before selling them for sex around the country.

They used knives, cleavers and baseball bats to inflict severe pain on the girls for their twisted pleasure.
But a catalogue of golden opportunities to stop the abuse were missed from as early as May 2005.

Three of the girls who gave evidence at the trial were reported missing from residential care on 254 occasions. One went missing 126 times in 15 months.

Astonishingly, carers at the children’s homes – which were run by Oxfordshire County Council – just watched as the men collected the girls at night.

On one occasion, a manager refused to pay a 14-year-old victim’s taxi fare when she returned to her care home. The girl was then driven back to Oxford where she was raped.

Nine out of ten social workers in Oxford knew that girls were being groomed by Asian men, a school support worker told the court. Five girls were abused while in the care of county council social services.

full story at link




Has yet another government-run child abuse ring been discovered?

In the UK, the Oxford Sex Ring 'groomed, corrupted, brainwashed and abused and then sold for sex and worse' a group of at least 50 young girls, aged 11 - 15.

The girls were sold to customers around the UK.

Did the police deliberately miss chances to halt the sex gang

On 14 May 2013, seven men were found guilty of running the Oxford child abuse ring over a period of eight years

A room at a guest house where girls were raped. A 999 call to the police described a woman being beaten in the guest house, but apparently no action was taken by the authorities.

The abused young girls lived in care homes run by the local government.

Carers at the children’s homes, run by Oxfordshire County Council, "just watched as the men collected the girls at night."

Nine social workers in Oxford knew that girls were being groomed.

The only person to be sacked is one member of the staff of one home.

The young female victims repeatedly told the police that they had been raped – but no action was taken.

more at the link

15th May 2013, 09:44

President Obama Demands Justice For "Intolerable And Inexcusable" IRS Behavior

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/14/2013

We can picture the scene of abject horror at the revelations the President read about the actions undertaken by what must surely have been a rogue element in the IRS. However, as the AP (ironically) reports, Obama believes some IRS employees failed to apply the law fairly and impartially. The blame, it would seem, is being laid at "lax managers'" feet for allowing this practice to continue for 18 months. Jack Lew has been asked to hold those renegades responsible and to ensure it never happens again - or else. Where's Fabrice Tourre when you need him?

White House Statement:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2013
Statement by the President

I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog’s report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. And the report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable. The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.

I’ve directed Secretary Lew to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General’s recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again. But regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong. Public service is a solemn privilege. I expect everyone who serves in the federal government to hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards. So do the American people. And as President, I intend to make sure our public servants live up to those standards every day.

Via AP,

President Barack Obama says a government watchdog's report shows intolerable and inexcusable behavior by the Internal Revenue Service in targeting tea party groups.

Obama says in a statement that some IRS employees failed to apply the law fairly and impartially.

Obama says he's asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to hold accountable those responsible and to ensure it never happens again. He says regardless of how it happened, it was wrong.

The report from the Treasury inspector general for tax administration blames ineffective IRS management for allowing agents to improperly target tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status. It says lax managers allowed the practice to continue for 18 months.

The IRS apologized for the practice Friday. The Justice Department is also investigating.

15th May 2013, 19:03
Sabrina and all,

Regarding the report from Bill at Silverdoctors above, and taking into account that Bilderberg is coming up in a few weeks...

There was a report on the Up at the Ranch thread about 20+ luxury jets all coming in to Charleston, a fact that was picked up by local press, so you know this was something remarkable. On them were a goodly number of billionaires including (according to the report) Oprah, Bill Gates, George Soros, etc, bound for an exclusive meeting of some sort on Kiawah Island on the south end of Charleston. A Bilderberg pre-meeting, perhaps, perhaps from the American contingent? I am speculating here. I just found the timing of it . . . intriguing.

Kiawah Island is not listed as a private island, but the bulk of it is operated as a gated beach and resort community. My husband and I never did locate access to it, when we were in Charleston last.

16th May 2013, 00:35
RP Martin CEO and director suspended amid Libor probe - source
Reuters May 16, 2013, 10:38 am


(Reuters) - RP Martin, the British interdealer broker that became involved in the Libor fixing investigation when two of its employees were arrested in December, suspended its chief executive and a director on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The source was not able to give the reason for David Caplin, RP Martin's 52-year-old chief executive, and Alan Farnan, a director at the firm, being placed on leave but said the process had been initiated by the company's board.

Caplin and Farnan were not immediately available for comment through RP Martin and the company declined to comment.

Interdealer brokers have become a focus for the investigations by authorities probing the alleged fixing of Libor rates because of the role they play in matching buyers and sellers of securities, for which they charge a fee.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also declined to comment.

Prosecutors and regulators across Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan have been investigating how traders attempted to rig key interbank lending rates such as Libor, the London interbank offered rate, which is used as the basis for pricing trillions of dollars of financial contracts ranging from complex derivatives to home loans.

Dozens of people are under investigation in the probe. The arrests in December were the first since the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission initiated an industry-wide investigation into suspected Libor collusion in October 2008.

The two RP Martin brokers arrested in the UK in December were later released.

(Reporting by Alex Smith in London; editing by Andrew Hay)

16th May 2013, 00:40
JPMorgan presses Bloomberg on reporters' access to data
Reuters May 16, 2013, 9:39 am
By David Henry


NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, one of the biggest customers of Bloomberg LP, said on Wednesday it has sent a formal legal request asking the financial data and news company to provide details of what bank information Bloomberg News reporters had been able to see.

JPMorgan's statement comes after Bloomberg acknowledged late last week that its reporters had limited access to data about clients' terminal usage, such as when a customer logs in, contacts the help desk or delves into the system for information about assets, such as equities or bonds.

The largest U.S. bank is seeking logs for five years of what precisely Bloomberg journalists accessed concerning the use of terminals by JPMorgan employees, a bank official said. Bloomberg has about 2,400 journalists worldwide.

JPMorgan said it is also seeking "confirmation" of controls that Bloomberg has put in place to stop future breaches.

The bank declined to provide a copy of what it described as a formal request from its legal department.

A Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment.

Bloomberg, which competes with Thomson Reuters Corp , the parent of Reuters News, has said it restricted reporters' access to that information last month after another client, Goldman Sachs Group Inc , complained.

Goldman flagged the matter to Bloomberg after the bank found that journalists had access to more information than it had realized, arguing the information was sensitive and should not be seen by reporters.

On Wednesday, Goldman President Gary Cohn told CNBC that the bank does not have a major concern about the issue.

The world's biggest central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, are also Bloomberg customers and said they are asking the media company what journalists could learn about their terminal usage as well.

JPMorgan public relations staffers fumed last year that Bloomberg reporters had checked when bank employees had last used terminals to discern who might have been dismissed during the bank's investigation of its $6.2 billion (4 billion pounds) London Whale trading loss.

On Monday Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, apologized for allowing journalists "limited" access to sensitive data about how clients used Bloomberg terminals, saying it was "inexcusable", but that important customer data had always been protected.

(Reporting by David Henry and Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Martin Howell and Leslie Gevirtz)

16th May 2013, 19:27

16 May Vatican

Pope Francis hits out at global 'cult of money'

Pope Francis has called on world leaders to end the "cult of money" and to do more for the poor, in his first major speech on the financial crisis.

Free market economics had created a tyranny, in which people were valued only by their ability to consume, the pontiff told diplomats in the Vatican.

"Money has to serve, not to rule," he said, urging ethical financial reforms.

Meanwhile, the Vatican's own bank announced it would publish its annual report for the first time.

The Institute for Works of Religion, which has been at the centre of various financial scandals in recent years, is to hire an external accountancy firm to ensure it meets international standards against money laundering.

The bank would launch a website and publish its annual report in an effort to increase transparency, new president Ernst Freyberg said.

The institute is considered one of the world's most secretive banks.

'Golden calf'
Pope Francis said life had become worse for people in both rich and poor countries, the BBC's David Willey in Rome reports.

In a biblical reference, the pontiff said the "worship of the golden calf" of old had found a new and heartless image in the current cult of money.

He added that reforms were urgently needed as poverty was becoming more and more evident.

People struggled to live, and frequently in an undignified way, under the dictatorship of an economy which lacked any real human goal, Pope Francis said.

He made his remarks during an address to newly accredited ambassadors to the Holy See.

The new pontiff, who took over from Benedict XVI in March, is renowned for his efforts of tackling poverty in his native Argentina.

He has previously said that the Church has a special duty to defend the poor.

"I would like a Church that is poor and is for the poor," he said following his election as head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics two months ago.

The pontiff said he had chosen the name Francis in a direct reference to St Francis of Assisi, the Italian founder of the Franciscan Order who was devoted to the poor.

16th May 2013, 19:31

Rosbank is part of the Societe Generale Group and is one of Russia’s top 10 biggest banks.

16 May Russia

Rosbank CEO Faces Extortion Charges

Investigators said Thursday that they have opened a criminal case into Rosbank chief executive Vladimir Golubkov and bank senior vice president Tamara Polyanitsina on bribery charges.

Golubkov is suspected of having taken a bribe, while Polyanitsina has been named as an intermediary in the case.

"Golubkov, through his subordinate, demanded over $1 million from a commercial organization and received that amount in several installments from 2012 to 2013," said Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin.

Investigators believe that Golubkov demanded money from a businessman for reviewing the payment terms on his multimillion-dollar foreign currency loan with the bank.

Golubkov was detained at his office Wednesday in a dramatic raid filmed by the Interior Ministry and held overnight.

Golubkov, meanwhile, has denied wrongdoing, his lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov said Thursday.

He stressed that his client had been "illegally held in custody without being charged with a crime" from Wednesday afternoon until 6:15 a.m. Thursday.

Kharitonov said his client would have no comment to make about the case.

The Interior Ministry said Golubkov was detained while receiving 5 million rubles ($160,000) in cash as the last installment in a total payment of $1.5 million, which he allegedly demanded for his favors.

Rosbank, which is owned by France's Societe Generale, has not made any public comment about the investigation.

Golubkov has worked for the bank, Russia's ninth largest, since 1999 and was appointed CEO in September 2008.

If charged and convicted of extortion, he and the senior vice president face up to seven years in prison and stiff fines.

16th May 2013, 19:43
More on abuse in the UK - in Oxford - and the apparent cover-up by the police, social services and college. And the organisation Common Purpose keeps cropping up. The UK Column is doing the job the BBC and most of the main stream media seem so slow to pick up on.


16 May UK


There have been allegations concerning snuff films at Oxford and Cherwell College, in the UK.

The following people are all in the notorious Common Purpose organisation, which may be linked to Mossad and MI5:

Joanna Simmons, boss of Oxford County Council,

Sally Dicketts, boss of Oxford and Cherwell Valley School,

Sarah Thornton, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.



Racist Thames Valley Police And Oxford Safeguarding Board Protect Paedophiles

Oxford Child Safeguarding Board and Thames Valley Police invest £1million to re-brand child-protection failure.

The UK Column has run a series of detailed articles exposing widespread physical and sexual abuse which took place over many years at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College (OCVC). Threatened with ‘action’ by the College, we have stuck to our guns in the knowledge that the serious allegations come from multiple individuals, with supporting documentary evidence, including statements, dates, times, names and more. The young victims all report a culture of intimidation and cover-up.

Sick Abuser Protected By Authorities
We have also exposed that Oxford Councillors have been duped by Council child protection officers who have either turned a blind eye, or report no crime, after they ensure there is no proper investigation. As just one example, OCVC ‘let go’ a member of staff (who we’ll identify as AF) for repeatedly showing sexually explicit images of his erect penis to colleagues. Young students report that far more serious material was shown to them. The sick college lecturer used his mobile phone, his laptop computer and the college’s computers in college time to tell, read and show inappropriate material to students. Some of their statements are harrowing and victims have been seriously traumatised by the vile material; child pornography, child beatings and abuse, snuff movies, and animal torture too vile to describe. We can also reveal that students who formally complained were not told of what ultimately happened to tutor AF. It has now emerged that OCVC staff secretly agreed with Council Officers and police that students who had complained, would not be told of the final outcomes of the dismissal action. This cynical move deprived students of both justice and possible compensation.

It is understood the man concerned AF (a white male in his late 40’s / early 50s) who was a formal lecturer at the Black Bird Leys Campus Motor vehicle department) is still freely employed in the educational motor-trade training establishment in Northamptonshire as an Assessor. He is protected by the authorities and still not flagged by CRB checks or the sex-offenders register. Why was he not investigated, charged and also barred, by the Independent Safeguarding Authority?

Documented reports of ‘Common Assault’ on students have also not been passed to police for investigation and action. More recently another staff member identified by students as a long term abuser, was allegedly slipped away on ‘sick leave’ from OCVC following more complaints in October 2012 concerning students being bullied. Again no proper action has been taken. Similarly with white men entering the college to groom students. Were OCVC partner schools ever notified that 14 year old children attending the college, undertaking a vocational qualification, were at serious risk? Were their parents ever alerted?

Blatant Racial Discrimination By Thames Valley Police
When we also became aware that students’ reports of abuse were fully supported by the factual, measured and corroborating evidence of an adult Asian member of staff, we realised that there was a racial discrimination angle to the abuse cover-up.

Just as brave NHS whistleblower Gary Walker, was sacked, bullied and victimised for reporting deaths and serious abuse within the NHS, this brave Asian tutor was also attacked by his employers and others. His crime? - trying to protect white, male and female students. Far from praising a whistleblower of serious abuse at OCVC, the college set out to destroy him. Shockingly. whilst Oxford and Thames Valley Police have crowed their success with the arrest of Asian paedophiles under Operation Bullfinch, they have steadfastly refused to accept evidence from the Asian member of staff concerned. Evidence which identifies white abusers and white victims.

Operation Bullfinch Reveals Police Dismissal Of Victims
Significantly, victims appearing in court under paedophile investigation Operation Bullfinch have also reported a culture of cover-up by police and child protection authorities. The Oxford Mail reported that “the jury was told that a young girl’s delinquent behaviour made her an ideal candidate for the child prostitution gang as she was unlikely to be believed by police.... it did not take much for the police to be persuaded that a crime had not been committed.”

Girl (1) in the trial said she “felt let down by the police after nothing happened when she reported her abuse in 2006. Most alarmingly she also stated that “They (the police) threatened, on a number of occasions, to arrest me for wasting police time for turning up at a police station in a state after running away.” She added “If you pick up a child covered in cigarette burns and bruises, something is fundamentally wrong... Adults should be doing their jobs ” The UK Column understands that both Oxfordshire County Council’s Chief Executive Joanna Symons and Director of Children’s Services Jim Leivers have been in Courtroom eight to watch proceedings. Why? Guilty conscience?

This type of blatant neglect by the police is mirrored where a former OCVC female student, who made complaints of violent sexual assaults, and feared being raped, was also ignored. In fact her complaint simply sat in Thames Valley Police’s child abuse investigation unit for over 2 years, whilst the girl had to fight for the complaint to be addressed. Complaints and supporting evidence of serious abuse from the OCVC Asian member of staff, including that concerning the female victim, were also forwarded onto Thames Valley Police. No action was ever taken

Oxford Council Officers ‘Dupe’ Elected Members
Lievers has already been identified by the UK Column as deliberately or negligently deceiving Councillors in his attempts to claim that full investigations have been carried out. He states “ From the investigations undertaken and from the subsequent information provided to the County Council following these investigations, I can confirm that the vast majority of the allegations have not been substantiated. I would also confirm that where any of the allegations have been substantiated, action has been taken to address this matter.”

But Liever’s claims are simply not true - piecemeal investigations to fragment evidence, have been sold to elected members as full investigations. This failure has been reinforced by Council Legal Staff in letters to elected Members, in which they attempt to reassure Councillors that ‘serious child abuse has not taken place.” This same legal team have branded concerned members of the public vexatious for asking for documents which help expose the cover-up. Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, appears one of those deceived by his own officers.

This disgraceful and dirty cover-up, now demonstrating racial discrimination, is facilitated by the cosy and interwoven nature of Oxfordshire County Council Child Safeguarding Board. Police sit side by side with those who have knowingly concealed evidence of abuse. “Independent’ child protection officers are, in fact, paid foot-soldiers of Oxford Council, where reputation management is more important than child-protection.

£1 Million To Re-brand Child Protection Failure
The picture of OCVC abuse grows deeply sinister when we realise that Cowley Police station, where OCVC victims report they were ignored, now hosts the ‘Kingfisher’ child protection specialist centre. This is a £1million initiative funded with £500,000 from Thames Valley Police and £620,000 from the Council. It is staffed by a Detective Constable and Sergeant, a case investigator, an intelligence officer and a missing person’s coordinator. The Council provides five social workers, two family support workers and an adminstrator.

According to the Oxford Mail article Lievers said, ”Having worked together on Operation Bullfinch, which began in spring 2011, we’re formalising our links by having this joint team. The message is clear, the authorities are set up to combat this type of crime in Oxfordshire.” His remarks are supported by East Oxford MP Andrew Smith who added “It is vital everything possible is done to protect children from abuse and it is good to see concerted action. It is crucial all children know they can speak out and there is someone to help.”

For young victims of abuse at OCVC and elsewhere the message is very clear, people guilty of abject failure in child-protection are re-inventing themselves and hiding behind a £1million smokescreen. Andrew Smith MP, joins the hypocrisy, having failed to take action for a young victim who approached him directly.

His failure is mirrored by Tory Councillor Louise Chapman, Cabinet Member for Children Young People and Families from Oxfordshire County Council. Daughter of David Cameron’s election Agent, this controversial Conservative Councillor has been privately criticised by some colleagues for her poor attendence at meetings and lack of mental acumen.

We will continue to investigate and report this story. Evidence grows that Thames Valley Police and others, appear guilty of blatant racial discrimination, and gross negligence in their failure to investigate OCVC abuse and paedophilia. The Oxford public must take appropriate action to expose this rotten situation, and protect their children.

16th May 2013, 19:51

16 May UK

Google Faces Fresh Grilling Over Low Tax Bills

Google's vice president denies suggestions the firm is trying to "disguise" how it works as MPs accuses it of misleading them.

Google has denied trying to "disguise" the way its business operates in order to minimise its tax bill in the UK.

The internet giant's vice president Matt Brittin was questioned by the Commons' public accounts committee (PAC) for a second time about the firm's practices.

His appearance came as newly-published accounts revealed Amazon.com's main UK unit only paid £2.4m in tax in 2012 on sales of £4.2bn.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge branded Google "devious, calculated and unethical" and accused the company of "deliberately manipulating the reality of their business".

She added: "You are a company that says you do no evil and I think that you do do evil in that you use smoke and mirrors to avoid paying tax."

But Mr Brittin replied: "We comply fully with the laws that are set down by politicians. Tax is not a matter of choice, tax is a matter of following the law."

Mrs Hodge warned the Google executive that it was a "very serious offence" to mislead Parliament as she raised conflicting evidence about the firm's sales.

She claimed documents seen by MPs and evidence from a "stream of whistleblowers" who said sales were happening in the UK contradicted Mr Brittin's comments last November.

"It was quite clear from all that documentation that the entire trading process and sales processes took place in the UK," she told him.

Mr Brittin refused to budge, saying: "I stand by what I said. I described very clearly how we operate."

MPs were told that Google's largest operation in Europe was based in Dublin and that any advertiser in Europe contracts with Google in Ireland.

"We set that up because we wanted to be able to contract with customers across the whole of Europe, not just the UK," Mr Brittin said.

more at link



Fresh questions for Amazon over pittance it pays in tax

Exclusive: Guardian investigation shows key role of British-based staff in pushing tax rulebook to its limits

MPs are ready to haul Amazon back to parliament to answer new questions about its tax status in Britain after a Guardian investigation's findings suggest the online retailer is pushing the tax rulebook to its limits to minimise its tax bill.

Company filings showed Amazon's main UK company paid just £3.2m in corporation tax on sales of £320m last year. However, the Seattle-based group has told investors its 2012 UK sales were £4.2bn.

The Guardian investigation has found Amazon pushing definitions close to breaking point; and tax authorities unable, or unwilling, to prevent the imposition of aggressive tax avoidance structures.

Information collected by the Guardian details extensive UK activities that suggest HM Revenue and Customs could take a much tougher line on taxing Amazon's multibillion-pound British operations.

Among the key indicators of whether a business is taxable in the UK is the location of those negotiating deals. A UK publishing executive confirmed that his contract was negotiated on behalf of Amazon EU Sarl, the Luxembourg company, by staff from the British head office in Slough.

"The contract may be with Luxembourg but it is the people from Slough who thrash out the crucial details of the contract such as the discount we agree to give them. There are also people in Slough who are charged with overseeing that the contract is properly executed," the executive said.

Meanwhile, job adverts posted this month on the careers page of Amazon.co.uk invite application for scores of roles in the UK. Among them is a vacancy for a senior financial analyst. "Based at our UK Head Office in Slough, Amazon seeks a Senior Financial Analyst to support Amazon UK's Merchant Services business," the advert said.

"This Senior Financial Analyst will help establish revenue targets, lead pricing analysis and recommendations, generate competitive analysis and support key operations metrics and goals."

The Slough office is also this month looking for applicants to its MBA leadership development programme in the UK. "From day one, you will be given ownership of large, complex problems in various areas of our business," the advert states.

Despite booking a tax charge of just £3.2m in its UK accounts for 2012, Amazon received £2.5m in government grants as well as significant tax breaks for building new warehouses. It opened a new site at Hemel Hempstead in September.

The company would pay much more tax if its sales were booked through a UK business but they are all routed through Luxembourg. Altogether it has taken £12bn from online shoppers in the UK in the last four years.

Amazon avoids paying many tens of millions of pounds in tax because it tells the taxman its main UK-focused business, which collects revenue from British shoppers but is incorporated in Luxembourg, cannot be classed as a "permanent establishment" in Britain.

Amazon has a permanent establishment in the UK that operates the warehouses and provides "corporate support services" to the wider group. Despite employing 4,191 staff – and an additional 10,000 temporary workers to cope with the Christmas rush – it had a tax bill for 2012 of just £3.2m because British shoppers are invoiced from Luxembourg.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee, said: "My committee has real concerns about the extent to which companies like Amazon are stretching the rules in order to avoid paying their fair share in tax.

"By any measure of common sense Amazon appears to have a proper established presence in the UK, and that there is a discrepancy between some of the evidence in this report about its activities in the UK and what the committee was told by Amazon when they appeared before us last year. We will now consider whether we need to recall them to explain that discrepancy."

Six months ago Amazon told Hodge's committee: "All the strategic functions for our business in Europe [including the UK] are based in Luxembourg. That could be our retail business, our third-party business, our transportation teams, our customer service, HR, finance."

UK staff, the company added, only offered "support" to these activities.

Hodge has recalled the UK boss of Google and the head of tax at Ernst & Young, the accountancy firm which advises Google and Amazon, to answer new questions raised about the search firm's low tax bill. The recall was prompted by a Reuters investigation which focused on Google's claim its UK-revenues were not part of a taxable British business.

The Reuters investigation highlighted the extent of Google's business activities in the UK in the same way as the Guardian focus on Amazon.

David Cameron has promised to address many tax issues raised by multinational groups, in particular digital businesses at the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland next month. This week at a joint news conference with President Obama, Cameron pledged to "tackle the scourge of tax evasion" by multinational companies in his role as president of the G8. International advisers are drawing up new rules to crack down on digital businesses finding legal ways around "permanent establishment" definitions.

The Guardian's investigation into the rules on permanent establishment involved looking at HMRC manuals, international double taxation treaties dating back to the 1960s, and guidelines for tax treatments of multinational businesses set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Hodge said: "Part of the problem is that this is a ridiculously complex issue. HMRC has got to get much tougher in policing the system, but we also need to simplify our tax system so that companies cannot keep exploiting these grey areas."

Ernst & Young have already acknowledged that these rules are broken. Many of these rules were drawn up before the internet revolutionised the way people shop, and did not foresee a new generation of tax structure engineering made possible.

Asked by MPs on this point, Dixon of E&Y said: "This gets to the OECD [the international body which sets tax guidelines] difficulty that we are in at the moment. The situation is that a warehouse of itself is not a permanent establishment. An internet-based business, where essentially the website and servers are based outside the UK, is also not a UK permanent establishment. The OECD needs to look carefully at whether these rules need to change."

The exclusion for warehouses, such as Amazon's eight distribution centres, is contained in the double taxation treaty the UK negotiated with Luxembourg in 1966. Amazon.co.uk is registered to a Luxembourg company, Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS, and the site runs off the group's servers in Ireland.

Tax officials refused to comment directly on Amazon, but told the Guardian: "HMRC ensures that multinationals pay the tax due in accordance with UK tax law and in doing so we apply the permanent establishment rules correctly and consistently to all businesses"

An Amazon spokesman said: "Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within. Amazon EU serves tens of millions of customers and sellers throughout Europe from multiple consumer websites in a number of languages dispatching products to all 27 countries in the EU. We have a single European headquarters in Luxembourg with hundreds of employees to manage this complex operation."

• This article was amended on 16 May 2013 to clarify the 17th paragraph, whose original version said 'UK staff, he added, were only offered "support" to these activities.'

17th May 2013, 18:49
http://www.naturalnews.com/040364_IRS_abuse_of_power_Obama_administration.htm l

16 May US

IRS engaged in 'outrageous abuse of power' warns top Democrat

(NaturalNews) After years of political gridlock in D.C., lawmakers of competing parties are finally coming to agreement on one thing: The Obama administration is rife with corruption, as a spate of scandals which have rocked the White House since the president's second inauguration indicate.

It's hard to know which scandal - "Operation Fast and Furious," Benghazi, the Justice Department's tapping of Associated Press reporter phones or the IRS targeting conservative groups - is the most serious, but the one that seems to be the most uniting, in terms of condemnation, is the latter.

Republicans are understandably outraged because Obama is a Democrat and, well, the two parties differ greatly, both philosophically and politically. But the IRS scandal has raised the ire of top Democrats as well, and that doesn't bode well for a president who now seems to be losing at least a portion of the establishment media as well for being too arrogant, aloof and dishonest with them.

Bipartisan criticism - at last

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. (a primary author of Obamacare, by the way), head of the Senate Finance Committee, has promised his panel would conduct a "full investigation" into who was responsible for the targeting of conservative , "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups and if they were targeted specifically because of their political beliefs.

"These actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public's trust. Targeting groups based on their political views is not only inappropriate but it is intolerable," said Baucus in a statement - perhaps acutely aware that, under a Republican administration, the same thing could happen to liberal groups in the future if lawmakers from both parties don't nip this in the bud.

"Americans expect the IRS to do its job without passion or prejudice. We need to get to the bottom of what happened here. ... The IRS will now be the ones put under additional scrutiny," he said.

Obama himself seemed genuinely peeved. If reports are true - and the IRS has admitted they are - the president vowed, "I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it."

Though he was actually asked by a reporter at his weekly press conference about the Justice Department's seizing of AP reporters' phone records, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., a top House Democrat, nonetheless took a firm stance on the IRS scandal:

The IRS activity was inappropriate, inconsistent with our policies and practices as a country, very concerning, needs to be reviewed carefully We need to ensure that this does not happen again, and we need to find out how long it continued, when it was stopped. It is my understanding - there was a front-page story on this at the [Washington] Post - it's my understanding that [IRS official] Lois Lerner, who was apparently overseeing this, at some point in time found out about this...

Republicans respond as well

As I said, Republicans are predictably incensed as well, but just because the GOP is the opposition party does not make their criticism less worthy or credible:

-- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.: "The conclusion that the IRS came to is that they did have agents who were engaged in intimidation of political groups. I don't care if you're a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican, this should send a chill up your spine. It needs to have a full investigation."

-- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: My question is, who's going to jail over this scandal? Someone made a conscious decision to harass and to hold up these requests for tax-exempt status. I think we need to know who they are and whether they violated the law. Clearly, someone violated the law.

-- All 45 Republican senators, in a letter to the president: "The American people deserve to know what actions will be taken to ensure those who made these policy decisions at the IRS are being held fully accountable and more importantly what is being done to ensure that this kind of raw partisanship is fully eliminated from these critically important non-partisan government functions."

It is said that how Obama reacts to the myriad of scandals now facing him will be a true test of his leadership. I say that a true leader would never be engulfed with a myriad of scandals in the first place.






17th May 2013, 18:56

17 May Canada

Tens Of Thousands Protest In Montreal, Canada Against Harper’s EI Reforms April 27th – 17 May 2013

The cabal doesn’t want us to know that millions of people worldwide are protesting, demonstrating and speaking out to end the tyranny and take their power back. If you watched the “Fix the World” trailer you would have seen undeniable evidence of the powerful movements that are shaking up the Illuminati.

In Canada it’s no different. The French and English-speaking people of Québec province are VERY vocal about their dissatisfaction with the Harper government and have rallies and peaceful demonstrations on a regular basis, it seems.

Check out the “Harper head” at 1:25 mark in this video.

Uploaded 28 April 2013 by MjmantisManifMTL

See also the Global News video.

On April 27th, Global News in Canada reported:

Tens of Thousands protest in Montreal Against Federal EI (Employment Insurance) Reforms

MONTREAL — Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Montreal on Saturday for the latest protest against proposed reforms to federal employment insurance.

At noon, people holding placards were already streaming off buses used to ferry them to the event, which began at 1:15 p.m. and then wound its way through the downtown core from three different starting points — Place du Canada, Lafontaine Park and Complexe Guy-Favreau. The groups then united and formed one large crowd at Place des Festivals, where a concert was planned.

FTQ Construction, which helped organize the demonstration, confirmed through its official Twitter account that Montreal police have been provided with a protest route in accordance with municipal bylaw P-6.

“The (demonstration) will be peaceful and familial,” the union’s tweet promised.

As of 4 p.m., there were no reports of violence or injuries. One person was arrested for obstructing police.

MPs from all three federal opposition parties were in attendance, as were Parti Québécois MNA Daniel Breton and former Québec solidaire candidate Manon Massé.

Changes to the federal insurance scheme include a requirement for regularly unemployed workers to accept a 30-per-cent cut in salary and to travel 100 kilometres for a new job. Opponents of the plan say the provisions would affect not only seasonal workers in Quebec and the Maritimes, where forestry workers and fishermen have long supplemented their seasonal work with insurance benefits, but Canadians in general.

17th May 2013, 19:00

17 May

CREDIT SUISSE: 'Gold Is Going To Get Crushed'

NOTE: Earlier, we had written that Ric Deverall's commentary is from a research note to clients. Deverall actually made these statements live to reporters in London.

Bearish sentiment toward gold has prices for the yellow metal tumbling again.

On Wednesday, George Soros revealed through a regulatory filing that he cut his gold exposure during the first quarter.

Speaking to reporters in London, Credit Suisse's Ric Deverall forecasted that gold would plunge to $1,100 this year and eventually to $1,000 within five years. This according to Bloomberg's Maria Kolesnikova.

More from Kolesnikova:
“Gold is going to get crushed,” Deverell told reporters in London today. “The need to buy gold for wealth preservation fell down and the probability of inflation on a one- to three-year horizon is significantly diminished.”
“When gold is going up, it looks like a great idea to buy more gold,” Deverell said. “And when it’s going down, do you really think risk-averse central bankers are going to try and catch the knife? No.”

Deverell was responding to the latest stats on central bank gold reserves. According to a new report from the World Gold Council, these banks bought around 109 tonnes of gold in the first quarter, marking the seventh straight quarter of net purchases.

SEE ALSO: 10 Countries Getting Slammed By The Gold Market Meltdown >

18th May 2013, 21:28
Think Greece deserves to be absolved of all its debts based on its Eurovision entry tonight :)... first link is better..




18th May 2013, 21:34

18 May EU

More London bankers in line for bonus pain as the EU cap gets tighter

Thousands more London bankers are set to be caught by the EU's controversial bonus cap, it emerged yesterday.

The European Banking Authority's board of supervisors has ruled that any employee making more than €500,000 (£420,000) annually should be deemed a "material risk taker". Experts say this means the cap, which limits bonuses to no more than 100 per cent of salary, or twice that with shareholder approval, would apply to them. Barclays, widely seen as most affected by the cap in the UK, had 393 "material risk-takers" in the current year but had 1,338 staff earning more than £500,000.

That potentially quadruples the number of its bankers facing bonus caps, which are set to come in next year. Remuneration experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers said some banks in London could see the number of bankers getting capped rise by a factor of ten.

Jon Terry, a partner at PwC, said: "This expansion of the definition of risk takers will see substantially more individuals working in the banking industry being hit by tougher pay rules, including being subject to bonus caps from next year."

He added: "This will create a major challenge for banks as to how they reward their staff. Bringing more people into the stringent pay rules again further widens the gap between pay practices in Europe and the rest of the world.

"The final rule is likely to be adopted ahead of the 2014-15 remuneration round, meaning companies

19th May 2013, 04:41

19 May UK abuse cases

Jimmy Savile investigator faces inquiry

The police's dealings with Jimmy Savile are under renewed scrutiny after a senior officer who led an inquiry into her force’s dealings with the paedophile was herself placed under investigation.

Nick Gargan, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset, is examining Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee’s business relationship with serving and retired officers of West Yorkshire Police.

Mrs Lee commissioned and oversaw the force’s internal inquiry into its dealings with Savile, whose main home was in Leeds and who had a close association with the local police.

He hosted eight officers for regular “Friday Morning Club” meetings in his flat and fronted crime prevention campaigns.
She was placed under investigation yesterday after The Sunday Telegraph found she was a director of a property firm alongside four current or former officers from the force.

Mr Gargan will lead an investigation into whether Mrs Lee, 47, followed guidelines which say business dealings by serving officers must be fully declared and cannot present any appearance of allowing an officer to be unduly influenced.

Mrs Lee, who lives in Leeds, has not been suspended and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing.

She is one of 14 directors of Oree Activite. Four others are former or serving police officers. She was previously a director of a second company which had three other officers as directors.

The Sunday Telegraph asked whether any of the officers Mrs Lee is in business with were members of the Friday Morning Club or had dealings with Savile. We also asked whether Mrs Lee declared her business interest to superiors or to the team carrying out the investigation.

The force declined to comment on the questions. It also said Mrs Lee had no statement to make and that she had not been suspended, saying that would be a matter for Mr Gargan to decide.

West Yorkshire was already under scrutiny over its dealings with Savile. It was only in March, months after the start of Operation Yewtree — the main inquiry into Savile’s abuse — that 35 of its officers and staff came forward with information about his offending, leading to two new victims being identified and 11 further lines of inquiry.

A spokesman said yesterday that it was the decision of its former chief constable, John Parkinson, not to appoint an external force to investigate its dealings with Savile.

The new inquiry came as the officer leading Operation Yewtree, Detective Superintendent David Gray, said the police had grown too close to Savile and insisted an era when police mixed with celebrities was now over.

He said: “The great danger of the celebrity culture is that it makes it much harder for victims to come forward. The challenge is to make sure this does not happen again. That is where people are having to reassess their relationships.”

The BBC and hospital authorities have also been accused of failing to properly investigate Savile. On several occasions over five decades, police received intelligence about Savile but he was never arrested or charged.

Asked if he was surprised it had taken so long for some police to come forward, Det Supt Gray refused to comment but added: “Everybody knew. We had people phoning in [in the early stages] from Canada and Australia.”

He said: “Did we miss any opportunities to bring him to justice? That is a question I would pose. Did we? We will have to leave that hanging.”

He added: “People cannot believe this happened under our noses. Of course we challenge ourselves to ask was there something we could have done differently and that challenge was for West Yorkshire and also for us [Scotland Yard].”

Det Supt Gray said the initial scale of the allegations was overwhelming. Operation Yewtree has snowballed from a handful of complaints made against Savile in a television documentary into the pursuit of Britain’s most prolific sex offender, with detectives having completed 377 individual crime reports.

Thirty officers are working on Yewtree, processing 6,000 documents and the officer said he expected more arrests after the search through evidence.

However some victims have still to be contacted. “I wish we had got to victims sooner,” he said. “There are some people still who we have not reached because for whatever reason their contact details are not correct or they didn’t give us the correct details at the time. Maybe a dozen victims.”

Other celebrities — unconnected to Savile — have also been arrested by officers working on Operation Yewtree as a result of a new “watershed” which has led to alleged victims, who had feared their complaints would be ignored, coming forward.
Det Supt Gray disclosed that Savile was thought to have sexually assaulted eight children, both boys and girls, who were aged five at the time. A previous Operation Yewtree report in January had said the youngest victim was aged eight.

The Metropolitan Police received complaints from two adults in October saying they were assaulted by Savile when they were five. Those allegations were not fully pursued until after the report in January. “We were very, very busy because of the sheer number of victims,” said Det Supt Gray. “We wanted to speak to everyone but we couldn’t travel the breadth of the country.”

19th May 2013, 13:07
Cameron 'losing control' as rift with party core widens
Reuters May 19, 2013, 11:56 pm

By Mohammed Abbas

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron is "losing control of his party", Conservative Party grandee Geoffrey Howe said on Sunday, as a row raged over whether a close aide to Cameron had labelled grassroots activists "mad, swivel-eyed loons".

The furore threatens to further alienate Cameron and his inner circle from the core of his party, with whom ties are already almost at breaking point.

Differences with the grassroots over Britain's membership of the European Union and Cameron's support for legalising same-sex marriage have raised questions over his leadership and could hurt the party's chances in the next election, due in 2015.

"Sadly, by making it clear in January that he opposes the current terms of UK membership of the EU, the prime minister has opened a Pandora's box politically and seems to be losing control of his party in the process," Howe wrote in an article for the Observer newspaper.

Howe was former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving cabinet minister, but fell out with her over relations with Europe and is best remembered for a scathing resignation speech that helped topple her as leader in 1990.

Cameron's Conservatives have been rattled by the surging popularity of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose main aims are to pull Britain out of the EU and curb immigration.

Its rise has fuelled a heated national debate over whether Britain derives sufficient benefits from EU membership to outweigh the financial cost and the ceding of some important powers to Brussels, like the ability to limit immigrants from the other 26 countries in the union.

An opinion poll by pollster ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and Independent on Sunday newspapers put support for UKIP at 19 percent, which ComRes said was the highest level the party had achieved in any survey yet.

The opposition Labour party led with 35 percent, while the Conservatives were on 29 percent and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners on 8.

"The ratchet-effect of Euroscepticism has now gone so far that the Conservative leadership is in effect running scared of its own backbenchers, let alone UKIP," Howe said, referring to the hundreds of rank-and-file Conservative members of parliament who occupy the rows of seats behind Cameron and his ministers.


In January, Cameron promised that if the Conservatives won the 2015 election they would call a national referendum in 2017 on whether Britain should stay in or leave the EU. But that did not go far enough for many Conservatives, who last week forced him to back a new bill that would enshrine it in law.

The Conservatives' restive right wing also last week voted to criticise the government's legislative agenda for not including such a bill in the first place, an unusual move in British politics that embarrassed Cameron.

Compounding Cameron's problems are media reports that an un-named close aide, at a private dinner last week, described the Conservative grassroots as "swivel-eyed loons".

Cameron's office says the comment did not come from them, and insist the prime minister is still in charge of his party.

The row comes at an especially bad time for Cameron, whose flagship bill to legalise same-sex marriage will be debated in parliament this week. Conservative activists wrote to Cameron on Sunday warning that the move would boost UKIP's membership.

"The prime minister seems to have gathered around himself a metropolitan elite who seem to inhabit a different planet to most of us ... Droves of previously loyal Conservative Party members are leaving," Bob Woollard, chairman of the Conservative Grassroots umbrella group, told the BBC.

Cameron says he would like to do more to satisfy the Conservative core, but is held back by being in coalition with the left-leaning Lib Dems.

Ties between the two parties have frequently come under strain since they teamed up in 2010, but they have pledged to stay together to help revive Britain's weak economy.

However, in an article published on Sunday, Cameron hinted that he could end the partnership before the 2015 election.

"Can we improve the state of the country? Can we fulfil our manifesto? The best way to do that is to continue with the coalition, but if that wasn't the case then we'd have to face the new circumstances in whatever way we should," he told Britain's Total Politics magazine.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

23rd May 2013, 08:51

Sage: It seems that not only governments and bankers are being held accountable for their various crimes against humanity but also their corporate sponsors and supporters.

Ex-Ford Execs Charged in Argentine Torture Cases

By Michael Warren, AP – May 21, 2013


Three former Ford Motor Co. executives were charged Tuesday with crimes against humanity for allegedly targeting Argentine union workers for kidnapping and torture after the country’s 1976 military coup.

All three men are now in their 80s. Their case is part of a new wave of prosecutions focusing on corporate support for the dictators who ran Argentina in 1976-1983, and the 150-page indictment written by Judge Alicia Vence reads like a history lesson, going to considerable lengths to explain why their actions constitute crimes against humanity and why it has taken nearly four decades to result in criminal charges.
Factory director Pedro Muller, human resources chief Guillermo Galarraga and security manager Hector Francisco Jesus Sibilla are accused of giving names, ID numbers, pictures and home addresses to security forces who hauled two dozen union workers off the floor of Ford’s factory in suburban Buenos Aires to be tortured and interrogated and then sent to military prisons.

All three were ordered to remain under house arrest on bail of about $142,000 each. Galarraga and Sibilla are Argentines and Muller is described in the indictment as a Czech national.

Ford Argentina said in a statement that it was aware of the charges against the men but could not comment because the issue was still under judicial investigation.

“Ford Argentina is not a party to the case but has always kept a collaborative and open attitude with authorities and will provide all available information that may be required to clarify this situation,” it said.
The Associated Press left phone messages and sent emails seeking comment from the offices of lawyers for the three former executives, but there was no response.

The judge said the executives sought to eliminate union resistance at Ford’s Argentina subsidiary and clearly had inside information about the coming “dirty war” in which so-called subversives would be thrown into clandestine detention centers.

She described a key meeting the day after the March 24, 1976, coup in which Galarraga told union leaders to “forget any kind of labor complaints” and all their problems would be resolved.

Witnesses recalled that union leader Juan Carlos Amoroso then asked about talks over money that workers said had been systematically removed from their paychecks. The human resources chief laughed and said, “Amoroso, give my greetings to Camps,” the judge wrote, a reference to Gen. Ramon Camps.
At the time, Camps was a little-known figure. Named police chief of Buenos Aires province by the military junta, Camps soon ran a system of clandestine detention centers where thousands of people were taken for torture and summary execution.

Camps died in 1994 after being convicted of 73 torture deaths and other crimes so wide-ranging that many of Argentina’s current human rights trials involve a network of prisons known as “the Camps circuit.” About 13,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and disappeared, according to official counts.
“I find it remarkable that the head of human resources at Ford would know information so sensitive such as the function that Camps would develop in the future, something almost impossible to know if the company didn’t have a direct and concrete relationship with the military authorities who had overtaken the state institutions of that era,” the judge wrote.

Two nights after the meeting inside the Ford factory, a heavily armed group kidnapped Amoroso at home and took him to be beaten and interrogated, according to the indictment.

Other Ford union workers were bound, with bags over their heads, and beaten inside a dining area next to the factory’s soccer fields, then hauled away to jails for more torture. Some were subjected to electric shocks; others were stripped naked and injured with power tools or made to undergo false executions as interrogators sought information about union leaders’ whereabouts.

The indictment also says that when two of the victims’ spouses went to authorities seeking information on their missing husbands, a colonel showed them a list of workers’ names on a Ford company letterhead and said it was the company, not the military, that wanted the men taken away.

The former president of Ford Motors Argentina, Nicolas Courard, would have been charged as well if he hadn’t died in Chile in 1989, the judge wrote.

About 5,000 workers were employed at the time by the Ford factory in suburban General Pacheco, producing the Falcon, a car that became a symbol of state terror because it was often used by military and police squads to carry off “subversives” and move them between secret detention centers.
The victims in this case include Pedro Troiani, Carlos Gareis, Jorge Constanzo, Marcelino Reposi, Adolfo Sanchez, Francisco Perrotta, Juan Carlos Ballestero, Pastor Murua, Ruben Manzano, Juan Carlos Amoroso, Fernando Groisman, Luciano Bocco, Juan Carlos Conti, Ricardo Avalos, Vicente Portillo, Carlos Propato, Luis Degiusti, Eduardo Pulega, Hugo Nunez, Ruben Traverso, Raimundo Robledo, Carlos Chitarroni, Roberto Cantelo and Hector Subaras.

Their treatment was investigated soon after the return of democracy in 1983, but the crimes later fell under a general amnesty that wasn’t overturned by Argentina’s Supreme Court until a decade ago. The case has developed since then and only now is coming to trial.

23rd May 2013, 08:55

Soccer stars next target for Operation Yewtree abuse squad (UK)

FOOTBALL stars are coming under the spotlight as police investigate cases of historic sex abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Officers involved in Operation Yewtree are understood to have “intelligence” regarding several footballers of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

Last night a police insider said: “There has been intelligence about sports stars from yesteryear, including some footballers. It’s too early to say if anything will come of these but it shows that it’s not just Jimmy Savile and other entertainers that we are looking at.”

Many big names in football have talked in their bestselling autobiographies about the “birds and booze” ­culture they enjoyed.

The late Sixties and early Seventies will forever be associated with flamboyant players who became celebrities such as the late George Best.

Abolition of the £20 maximum wage in 1961 saw footballers’ income rise, though they could not have dreamt of the huge salaries today’s stars enjoy.

Detectives have refused to speculate on the nature of the information they have received.

Struggling to cope with the amount of information that has flooded in during recent months and the growing number of allegations, the Yewtree investigation was split into three categories: Savile, Savile and others and Others.

The footballers fall into the last category.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said last night: “Operation Yewtree has expanded into many areas to investigate alleged offences that have been brought to our attention in the wake of the Savile case.

“People are still coming forward with information and that is constantly being assessed. If they don’t meet the criteria of Operation Yewtree then information is being passed to other units or forces. The allegations against Stuart Hall were first made to our officers, then passed on to Lancashire Police.

“What we are seeing is that when a new allegation comes to light or someone pleads guilty it gives others the courage to come forward.”

To cope with the flood of allegations £250,000 has been set aside to hire former policemen on short-term contracts to work as detectives.

So far 12 people, including Rolf Harris, Freddie Starr, Jim Davidson and Jimmy Tarbuck, have been arrested.

All deny any wrongdoing.

Last month PR guru Max Clifford, 70, was charged with 11 indecent assaults on teenage girls.

He has vowed to fight to prove his ­innocence.

Two weeks ago 83-year-old TV star Hall, host of the hugely popular It’s a Knockout for the BBC in the Seventies and Eighties, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to 14 sex offences against girls aged nine to 17 over 18 years.

He is due to be sentenced on June 17.

21 May

23rd May 2013, 09:06


Think I missed this one before on 15 May..

IRS Acting Chief Resigns In Targeting Scandal

Steven Miller's ouster, requested by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, comes as the tax agency is accused of targeting conservatives.

By Sky News US Team
The acting commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service has resigned amid a scandal that involved his agency's targeting of conservative non-profit groups.

President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that Steven Miller's resignation had been requested and accepted.

Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama called the IRS’ apparent misconduct "inexcusable", and said Americans "have a right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it".

It was confirmed in a report released this week that over the past 18 months IRS employees had targeted conservative groups with the words "Tea Party"or "patriot" in their titles when scrutinising their applications for tax-exempt status.

The targeting was possible because of what the report described as "ineffective management".

In addition to Mr Miller's ouster, Mr Obama said safeguards will be put in place to prevent similar actions in the future.

He also said steps would be taken to ensure the IRS applies the law in a fair and impartial way going forward.

"Across the board, everybody believes what happened is an outrage. The good news is it's fixable and it's in everyone's best interest to work together to fix it," he said.

He added: "Our administration has to make sure we are working hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed."

Mr Miller is one of just two political appointees to the federal tax collection agency, a low number that reflects the need to keep the IRS insulated from political influence.

Mr Obama said: "We will not tolerate this abuse of power in any agency but especially in the IRS, given the power it has in all of our lives."

"The IRS has to operate with absolute integrity."

The president did not take questions from reporters, but said he would hold a longer press briefing on Thursday.

¤=[Post Update]=¤



Rolls-Royce aerospace chief Mark King resigns

Mark King announces departure just four months after being promoted to division beset by corruption allegations

The head of Rolls-Royce's aerospace division has resigned just four months after being promoted to lead the division beset by bribery and corruption allegations.

Rolls said Mark King, who joined the company in 1986, would leave by the end of June.

Rolls did not provide a reason for the surprise departure in its stock-exchange announcement on Thursday. When pressed, a spokeswoman said King was leaving for personal reasons.

She declined to state whether his departure was related to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) investigation into alleged multimillion bribery payments in Indonesia and China.

The claims, raised by former Rolls employee Dick Taylor, include allegations that the company gave the son of Indonesia's former president $20m (£13m) and a car to persuade the national airline, Garuda, to order Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. The majority of the claims date to the 80s and 90s.

Rolls, which is co-operating with the investigation, has appointed Lord Gold, the City lawyer and Conservative peer, to review its compliance procedures. The chief executive, John Rishton, said the company would not tolerate improper business conduct of any sort.

Rolls and the SFO are reportedly close to reaching a civil settlement to halt the bribery inquiry. Any agreement would probably involve a multimillion-pound fine, but avoid criminal charges. Rolls declined to comment on the speculation.

King will be replaced by Tony Wood, head of the company's ship-engine business, on 13 May. Aerospace is the biggest of Rolls's divisions and accounted for more than 70% of its £12.2bn revenues in 2012.

The company said it was on track to report good growth in underlying profit in 2013, after a strong first quarter from its civil aerospace unit, including a $1.6bn order from IAG, the British Airways owner, for its Trent XWB engines to power 18 new Airbus A350 jets.

2 May

23rd May 2013, 09:10

Oh perhaps they've just heard there's free energy :)...


Key climate change adviser resigns from Cameron post

Ben Moxham, senior policy adviser and former aide to BP chief Lord Browne, becomes latest energy official to quit

A key adviser to the prime minister on energy and climate change policies has resigned, in the latest of an exodus of top energy and environmental officials.

Ben Moxham was David Cameron's senior policy adviser on energy and the environment for nearly two years, having been previously an aide to Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP who is a partner at the venture capital firm Riverstone.

Moxham cut a controversial figure at No 10, with some in the energy industry regarding him as a progressive force pushing the energy and climate change agenda forward, while others believed he stalled key green policies.

Some also raised questions over his links to BP and the fracking firm Cuadrilla Resources, backed by Browne and Riverstone.

A No 10 spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny whether Moxham had yet formally departed.

His resignation follows an exodus of leading energy officials in recent weeks.

Ravi Gurumurthy and Jonathan Brearley, who were advisers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and architects of key proposed energy reforms, each left though the energy bill is still making going through parliament.

The departure of three key officials in such a crucial area of policy will raise questions about the government's control of its energy policies, which are already controversial.

The former Tory minister Tim Yeo is preparing for a rebellion against the government on the inclusion of a target in the bill to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030, which he and many others back but which the government has rejected.

The recent spate of resignations also follows the departure last year of the permanent secretary to DECC, Moira Wallace, and a row over her successor.

David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, had been proposed for the post and is understood to have had the backing of Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy and climate secretary, but his appointment was vetoed by Downing Street.

Another No 10 adviser credited with championing green issues, Rohan Silva, also recently left.

There is a perception among green campaigners and some energy companies that the government is not giving clear signals on energy and climate change policy.

Andrew Warren, chief executive of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: "Everybody involved with energy efficiency will wish [Moxham] a long and happy retirement."

He called for a swift replacement for the Downing Street team. "We need someone in No 10 to ensure that [the] PM's unequivocal commitment to make us the most energy efficient nation is realised."

10 May

23rd May 2013, 09:16

The Global March Against Monsanto Saturday, May 25, 2013

There’s been a frenzy of consumers fed up with having their food supply hijacked by chemical companies — and for good reason. One company in particular, Monsanto, is the leading culprit of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) who, along with the FDA, conspired to covertly introduce GMOs on to every single person in the U.S., the unwitting participants in a devious experiment since the 1990′s, when GMOs were pushed into the entire food supply across the entire landscape of the U.S. — and that experiment is taking place, still, to this day.

If you’re not outraged by this, you should be, considering the adverse health implications that GMOs cause — from digestive disorders, cancer, organ failure, sterility to premature death in rats fed GMOs — if this is happening in rats, what do you think GMOs are doing to us?

Monsanto has fought against our right to know what’s the in the food we eat by putting up close to $50 million to defeat a bill that was introduced last December, Prop 37, which would have required a label on foods that contain GMOs.

While most Americans were debating the economy, gun control and immigration in the last few weeks, Barack Obama signed his name to a controversial bill with a provision that allows companies that make dangerous laboratory created products to get off scot-free for producing their unsafe goods.
Of particular concern with the bill is a rider, Section 735, popularly known as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” which states that federal courts cannot intervene and stop biotech companies from planting and selling GMO foods to the public, even if testing proves them to be potentially hazardous to consumers. This is now the law of the land, folks.

The majority of all corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets grown in the United States are GMOs. Fifty percent of papaya grown in Hawaii is GM. Small amounts of yellow “crook neck” and zucchini squash are also GM. The vast majority of seeds are GM as well, as these chemical companies, who try to pass themselves off as “agricultural companies” are buying up seed companies, placing a monopoly on seed supplies and destroying seed heritage that has been passed down through generations that span over ten thousand years.

We must realize that almost every box of packaged food that lines the grocery store shelves are derived from corn and other GM food sources. Literally hundreds of thousands of food items are being sold with GMOs in them, and none of the GMOs have ever been tested for their safety on humans!
Is the rise in autoimmune diseases (food allergies) a coincidence? Are the alarming numbers of cancer which have increased since the 1990′s just another coincidence?

In the past few weeks, a grassroots movement has been sweeping across the world from Australia to Africa, from Bangkok to Belize, from New Zealand to Zürich and to the U.S. The rise in opposition to GMOs has sparked off a global March Against Monsanto protest event that is so huge, that as of today, over 250 events in 34 countries are involved in this global event.

The chemical company Monsanto, if you haven’t already heard, is a company rich in coercion, corruption, fraud and deception and have been voted by the millions who oppose them, to be the most destructive company on the planet.

But we’re about do something about it! It’s time to take back our food. It’s time to March Against Monsanto!

If you’d like to be a part of this worldwide event, follow the links below and join the March Against Monsanto.

When: May 25, 2013; RSVP: http://on.fb.me/ZUxe3o

Mission Statement: For a clear understanding why the March Against Monsanto is so important to every single person on the planet, read the full mission statement here: http://on.fb.me/10oCMRb

Join in! http://on.fb.me/ZUxe3o

Find cities already participating: http://bit.ly/10lQyTX

Start your own march: http://on.fb.me/16qw2r4


23rd May 2013, 15:12

23rd May 2013, 23:04

Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud

23 May 2013

The head of the International Monetary Fund arrived in the dock of a Paris courtroom today as she braced herself to be formally charged with embezzlement and fraud.

Christine Lagarde’s humiliation is not only a massive personal blow which could lead to her resignation, but one which will plunge the world’s banking system into further ignominy.

The clearly nervous 57-year-old said nothing to reporters as she entered the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal set up to judge the conduct of France’s government ministers, shortly after 8.30am.

Lagarde faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail if found guilty of the very serious charges.

It was when she was President Nicolas Sarkozy’s finance minister that she is said to have authorised a 270 million pounds payout to one of his prominent supporters, so abusing her government position.

The money went to Bernard Tapie, a convicted football match fixer and tax dodger who supported Lagarde and Sarkozy’s UMP party.

It came after Dominque Strauss-Kahn, another senior French politician, was sacked as IMF chief following allegations that he attempted to rape a chambermaid in a New York hotel.

Ms Lagarde began campaigning to succeed Mr Strauss-Kahn soon after his arrest for the alleged crime.

But now it is Ms Lagarde, a lawyer and retired synchronised swimming star, who is facing a long court process of her own, as well as a possible jail sentence.

The scandal will not only pile further shame on France’s political class, but worry politicians and bankers desperately trying to resolve the global financial crisis.

Mr Tapie, the former head of adidas in France, claims he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank when the sports kit empire was sold in 1993.

In 2007, Ms Largarde ended the epic dispute by ordering a panel of judges to arbitrate and, in turn, they awarded Tapie the damages.

Opposition MPs were furious, with former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou accusing Ms Lagarde of ‘dipping into the taxpayers’ pocket for a private beneficiary.’

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist Party also accused Ms Lagarde of improper conduct, pointing to the fact that Mr Tapie was a vocal supporter of Sarkozy.

Ms Lagarde’s lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said the inquiry was ‘in no way incompatible’ with her new job, and expected the case to be dismissed.

Ms Lagarde denies any wrongdoing, saying before today’s court appearance: ‘If it’s decided to continue with this inquiry it won’t be particularly surprising. Personally, it doesn’t worry me at all – I didn’t benefit personally’.

But it has been widely reported in the French media that investigators intend to charge her with fraud and embezzlement.

Le Monde said that magistrates had already written to Mrs Lagarde to tell her that she should not expect any special treatment because of her high-profile international job.

24th May 2013, 09:21
Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud
Good news :).

24th May 2013, 09:43
From the Wall Street Journal explaining just what happened in a short note...

The court is looking into allegations—made by lawmakers from the then-opposition Socialist Party—that Ms. Lagarde had overstepped her authority in 2007 when she referred a case pitting the businessman Bernard Tapie against the state to an arbitration panel, rather than let it wind through the courts.

The panel eventually awarded the businessman €420 million ($543 million at current exchange rates.)

The lawmakers alleged that her decision smoothed the way for Mr. Tapie to reap bigger damages from the French Treasury than he would otherwise have gotten, as a form of thanks for his support for then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative, in the 2007 presidential election.

24th May 2013, 12:01
Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud

The IMF has a lot to answer for, but some rumours say Lagarde actually tried to stop the fraud and laundering going on in the IMF. It's tough to call things in these grey hat times.

25th May 2013, 00:52
Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud

The IMF has a lot to answer for, but some rumours say Lagarde actually tried to stop the fraud and laundering going on in the IMF. It's tough to call things in these grey hat times.

Yes I agree - I've heard the same. Yep who are the white and black hats, and who are legitimately been called to account, and who are being 'shut up'.... ?

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http://www.naturalnews.com/040481_JP_Morgan_Jamie_Dimon_too_big_to_fail.html# ixzz2UEsfGlEP

24 May

JPMorgan exposed: Company found guilty of masterminding 'manipulative schemes'

(NaturalNews) The financial institution that came to epitomize the "too big to fail" concept should have been left to its own economic destruction during the days of the Great Recession it helped to cause back in 2008-09, because had it been allowed to go under, its criminal behavior would have ended then.

But as it was, the taxpayer bailout of the financial giant JPMorgan did not "teach" it's arrogant executives anything, so it should come as no surprise that the company's cycle of corruption has continued. According to The New York Times:

Government investigators have found that JPMorgan Chase devised "manipulative schemes" that transformed "money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers," and that one of its most senior executives gave "false and misleading statements" under oath.

The findings appear in a confidential government document, reviewed by The New York Times, that was sent to the bank in March, warning of a potential crackdown by the regulator of the nation's energy markets.

'Historic criminality'

The regulator's potential actions come on the heels of similar showdowns with other agencies, the paper said. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, one of JP Morgan's primary regulators, is considering new actions against the bank regarding the manner in which it collected credit card debt and its suspected failure to alert government authorities about suspicions surrounding convicted con man and Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

In an April meeting at JPMorgan's New York City headquarters, the comptroller's office issued Jamie Dimon, the chief executive and chairman of the bank, this stark message: JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank, was losing favor in Washington, D.C. Also, JPMorgan's top lawyers "have also cautioned executives about the bank's regulatory problems, employees say," the Times reported.

Dimon said in a recent letter to shareholders that "unfortunately, we expect we will have more" government enforcement actions in "the coming months." He apologized to shareholders for letting "our regulators down," and promised to "do all the work necessary to complete the needed improvements" that the government is likely to require.

The regulatory scrutiny which involves at least eight federal agencies currently examining the bank's practices comes amid a period of record profits, but what should we expect, given its historic criminality?

But money talks, regardless of how it is made. Analysts say that despite JPMorgan's current regulatory scrutiny, investors aren't likely to pull out - because "record profits" speak louder than regulations.

The Times said that, regarding the energy market investigation, enforcement officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will recommend that the agency file actions against the bank over trades in the California and Michigan electric markets.

In a 70-page document outlining the actions, the agency also took umbrage with the bank's top official, Blythe Masters, a "seminal Wall Street figure" who "is known for helping expand the boundaries of finance, including the development of credit default swaps, a derivative that played a role in the financial crisis," the Times reported. That's a way of saying Masters is a "master" at bending the financial regulatory system to create shady investment vehicles that ultimately help to collapse entire industries.

How about jail time?

The document noted that Masters' supposed "knowledge and approval of schemes" were facilitated by a trader group in Houston. Investigators said that Masters had "falsely" denied under oath she was aware of any problems at JPMorgan and that the bank had made "scores of false and misleading statements and material omissions" to federal authorities.

The Times said it wasn't yet clear whether FERC will file actions against the bank based on investigators' findings. To proceed, a majority of the five-member commission must sign off on them. If the decision to proceed becomes reality, the agency could fine both JPMorgan and Masters.

"We intend to vigorously defend the firm and the employees in this matter," said Kristin Lemkau, a bank spokeswoman. "We strongly dispute that Blythe Masters or any employee lied or acted inappropriately in this matter."

Of course. Never mind that entities like JPMorgan Chase unnecessarily give capitalism a bad name.

Fine the guilty, for sure, but jail would perhaps teach a better lesson than a bail-out.

Sources for this article include:




Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/040481_JP_Morgan_Jamie_Dimon_too_big_to_fail.html# ixzz2UGFzBTxC

25th May 2013, 01:02

World Bank Insider Blows Whistle on Corruption, Federal Reserve

A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained. In an interview with The New American, Hudes said that when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts. Now, along with a network of fellow whistleblowers, Hudes is determined to expose and end the corruption. And she is confident of success.

Citing an explosive 2011 Swiss study published in the PLOS ONE journal on the “network of global corporate control,” Hudes pointed out that a small group of entities — mostly financial institutions and especially central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. “What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she explained, adding that the “corrupt power grabbers” have managed to dominate the media as well. “They’re being allowed to do it.”

According to the peer-reviewed paper, which presented the first global investigation of ownership architecture in the international economy, transnational corporations form a “giant bow-tie structure.” A large portion of control, meanwhile, “flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions.” The researchers described the core as an “economic ‘super-entity’” that raises important issues for policymakers and researchers. Of course, the implications are enormous for citizens as well.

Hudes, an attorney who spent some two decades working in the World Bank’s legal department, has observed the machinations of the network up close. “I realized we were now dealing with something known as state capture, which is where the institutions of government are co-opted by the group that’s corrupt,” she told The New American in a phone interview. “The pillars of the U.S. government — some of them — are dysfunctional because of state capture; this is a big story, this is a big cover up.”

At the heart of the network, Hudes said, are 147 financial institutions and central banks — especially the Federal Reserve, which was created by Congress but is owned by essentially a cartel of private banks. “This is a story about how the international financial system was secretly gamed, mostly by central banks — they’re the ones we are talking about,” she explained. “The central bankers have been gaming the system. I would say that this is a power grab.”

The Fed in particular is at the very center of the network and the coverup, Hudes continued, citing a policy and oversight body that includes top government and Fed officials. Central bankers have also been manipulating gold prices, she added, echoing widespread concerns that The New American has documented extensively. Indeed, even the inaccurate World Bank financial statements that Hudes has been trying to expose are linked to the U.S. central bank, she said.

“The group that we’re talking about from the Zurich study — that’s the Federal Reserve; it has some other pieces to it, but that’s the Federal Reserve,” Hudes explained. “So the Federal Reserve secretly dominated the world economy using secret, interlocking corporate directorates, and terrorizing anybody who managed to figure out that they were having any kind of role, and putting people in very important positions so that they could get a free pass.”

The shadowy but immensely powerful Bank for International Settlements serves as “the club of these private central bankers,” Hudes continued. “Now, are people going to want interest on their country’s debts to continue to be paid to that group when they find out the secret tricks that that group has been doing? Don’t forget how they’ve enriched themselves extraordinarily and how they’ve taken taxpayer money for the bailout.”

As far as intervening in the gold price, Hudes said it was an effort by the powerful network and its central banks to “hold onto its paper currency” — a suspicion shared by many analysts and even senior government officials. The World Bank whistleblower also said that contrary to official claims, she did not believe there was any gold being held in Fort Knox. Even congressmen and foreign governments have tried to find out if the precious metals were still there, but they met with little success. Hudes, however, believes the scam will eventually come undone.

“This is like crooks trying to figure out where they can go hide. It’s a mafia,” she said. “These culprits that have grabbed all this economic power have succeeded in infiltrating both sides of the issue, so you will find people who are supposedly trying to fight corruption who are just there to spread disinformation and as a placeholder to trip up anybody who manages to get their act together.… Those thugs think that if they can keep the world ignorant, they can bleed it longer.”

Of course, the major corruption at the highest levels of government and business is not a new phenomenon. Georgetown University historian and Professor Carroll Quigley, who served as President Bill Clinton’s mentor, for example, wrote about the scheme in his 1966 book Tragedy And Hope: A History Of The World In Our Time. The heavyweight academic, who was allowed to review documents belonging to the top echelons of the global establishment, even explained how the corrupt system would work — remarkably similar to what Hudes describes.

"The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole,” wrote Prof. Quigley, who agreed with the goals but not the secrecy. “This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations."

But it is not going to happen, Hudes said — at least not if she has something do to with it. While the media are dominated by the “power grabber” network, Hudes has been working with foreign governments, reporters, U.S. officials, state governments, and a broad coalition of fellow whistleblowers to blow the entire scam wide open. There has been quite a bit of interest, too, particularly among foreign governments and state officials in the United States.

Citing the wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers in creating a federal system of government with multiple layers of checks and balances, Hudes said she was confident that the network would eventually be exposed and subjected to the rule of law, stopping the secret corruption. If and when that happens — even if it may be disorderly — Hudes says precious metals will once again play a role in imposing discipline on the monetary system. The rule of law would also be restored, she said, and the public will demand a proper press to stay informed.

“We’re going to have a cleaned-up financial system, that’s where it is going, but in the meantime, people who didn’t know how the system was gamed are going to find out,” she said. “We’re going to have a different kind of international financial system.... It’ll be a new kind of world where people know what’s going on — no more backroom deals; that’s not going to keep happening. We’re going to have a different kind of media if people don’t want to be dominated and controlled, which I don’t think they do.”

While Hudes sounded upbeat, she recognizes that the world is facing serious danger right now — there are even plans in place to impose martial law in the United States, she said. The next steps will be critical for humanity. As such, Hudes argues, it is crucial that the people of the world find out about the lawlessness, corruption, and thievery that are going on at the highest levels — and put a stop to it once and for all. The consequences of inaction would be disastrous.

22 May

25th May 2013, 01:15

24 May

Europe Opens $80 Trillion Shadow Banking Pandora's Box: Will Seek To Collapse Repo "Collateral Chains"

In what may be the most important story of the day, or maybe year, for a world in which there already is an $11 trillion shortfall in high-quality collateral (and declining every day courtesy of Ben's monetization of Treasury paper) so needed to support the deposit-free liability structures of the shadow banking system (as most recently explained here), Bloomberg has just reported that Europe may begin a crackdown on that most important credit money conduit: the $80 trillion+ global shadow banking system, by effectively collapsing collateral chains, and by making wanton asset rehypothecation a thing of the past, permitted only with express prior permission, which obviously will never come: who in their right mind would allow a bank to repledge an asset which may be lost as part of the counterparty carnage should said bank pull a Lehman. The result of this, should it be taken to completion, would be pervasive liquidations as countless collateral chain margin calls spread, counterparty risk soars all over again, and as the scramble to obtain the true underlying assets finally begins.

From Bloomberg:

Banks and brokers face a clampdown on using assets they hold for clients as collateral for their own trades as part of European Union moves to bolster market stability and rein in shadow banking.

The European Commission is weighing whether firms should have to obtain formal consent from their clients before being allowed to reuse assets to back other trades, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The consent would be enshrined in a “contractual agreement” between the parties.

The handing over of collateral is an integral part of repurchase agreements, or repos -- one of the activities under review by global regulators as part of their efforts to regulate shadow banking. The reuse of clients’ assets poses a potential threat to financial stability should one of a chain of firms that handled the securities go bankrupt, according to the document prepared by commission officials and dated May 15. Uncertainty about who holds an asset can fuel panic in times of market stress, according to the paper.

“Complex” chains of collateral can make it difficult for investors to “identify who owns what, where risk is concentrated and who is exposed to whom,” according to the document. “This has consequences for transparency and financial stability.”

Under the plans being weighed by the commission, banks and brokers holding securities for clients wouldn’t be allowed to reuse the assets for trading on their own account -- speculation on the markets aimed solely at boosting their own revenues, according to the document.


The Financial Stability Board has estimated that the global shadow-banking system was worth $67 trillion in 2011, with EU-based activities accounting for about $31 trillion.
Here's the kicker: collateral chains collapse on their own when confidence and faith in the financial system is evapoarting. This is usually manifested in soaring variation margin, and demand for delivery of collateral (which having been pledged at 10 or more different places just doesn't actually exist).

In other words, the last thing Europe needs is to force the aftereffect of a plunge in systemic confidence to be imposed upon the market participants! And yet, it is doing just that.

And for a comparable virtualization of repo pathways in the US, here is a chart showing the key relationships as of 2009. For the modern iteration, just update $30 trillion with $80 trillion (including custodial "assets" State Street, BoNY and JPM). This is $80 trillion in custodial credit money created via repo. Just in the US.

In other words, just as we have been warning for the past four years, Europe may pull the switch on its own electric chair. Among others, read:

"The Scramble For US Safety, As Europe Imploded, Offset The $357 Billion Plunge In Q3 Shadow Banking"
"Shadow Rehypothecation, Infinite Leverage, And Why Breaking The Tyranny Of Ignorance Is The Only Solution"
"Why The UK Trail Of The MF Global Collapse May Have "Apocalyptic" Consequences For The Eurozone, Canadian Banks, Jefferies And Everyone Else".
Finally, read Kyle Bass' own thoughts on the matter: Presenting Kyle Bass' Analysis On Shortening Collateral Chains; Or The Gradual Evisceration Of Shadow Banking

Hayman Capital Letter Dec 14

(see graphs at link)

25th May 2013, 01:41

24 May US

IRS, Three Other Agencies Closed For The Day Due To Sequestration

Spending cuts have left the IRS shuttered Friday as it faces a controversy over the targeting of tea party groups.

The furloughs were put in place due to sequestration, automatic cuts included in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Office of Management and Budget are also closed Friday.

The agencies' employees will not be paid. It is the largest closing of government offices since the government shutdowns of the 1990s.

The IRS will also close on June 14, July 5, July 22, and Aug. 30 due to the cuts.

Congress and President Barack Obama have criticized the agency in the wake of news that it singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for additional scrutiny. Lois Lerner, the IRS director of exempt organizations, was placed on administrative leave Thursday after invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination Wednesday. She has since been replaced by Ken Corbin.

25th May 2013, 09:10

24 May

BBC suspends technology boss over 'wasted' £100m

The BBC has scrapped a £100m technology project and suspended the executive in charge after Director General Tony Hall admitted it had "wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers' money".

Lord Hall said the Digital Media Initiative, an effort to develop desktop computer software to make the programme making process faster and more efficient, would be shut down immediately. It was meant to link up the way BBC staff create, share, manage and archive digital footage, and do away with video tape.

"The DMI project has wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers’ money and I saw no reason to allow that to continue which is why I have closed it," said the Director General.

"I have serious concerns about how we managed this project and the review that has been set up is designed to find out what went wrong and what lessons can be learned."

John Linwood, the BBC's £287,000-a-year chief technology officer, has been suspended on full pay while the review is conducted. He chaired the Digital Media Initiative steering group. (look at the size of that salary!!)

It follows a report in 2011 by the National Audit Office which found the BBC's approach to the project had been "disappointing" and that it was "not good value for money". It was already two years behind schedule and had been brought in-house by the BBC after contractor Siemens left.

full story at the link

Rather think some heads further up the food chain should roll as well for such negligence... Along similar but even much hugher lines, the failed NHS computer national set-up cost billions and people working on it knew for years it wouldn't work... oh where does all the money end up ??? :)

25th May 2013, 09:14

More on the oil price rigging story. Interesting to see this one gain momentum and get some teeth, as with the libor scandal. This one deserves more attention across the world. S.

24 May

Oil majors face class action lawsuit over alleged price rigging

BP, Shell and Statoil have been named in a proposed class action lawsuit over alleged oil price rigging, following the launch of a European Commission investigation into the oil giants.

Chicago-based commodities trader Prime International Trading named the companies in a suit on Wednesday, accusing them of misreporting trades for the Brent oil benchmark.

It is seeking civil damages, arguing that it would have its conducted trades based on the inaccurate prices.
The EC is investigating whether the companies colluded to distort the benchmark of oil and other products by reporting distorted prices to agency Platts for more than a decade.

The Brent benchmark is used as the basis for trades and contracts for numerous products worldwide.
The EC said that small distortions to the benchmark could potentially have had a “huge impact” on prices paid by consumers at the petrol pumps.

However, the investigation is at an early stage and no charges have been brought.

The lawsuit accused the oil companies of reporting “inaccurate, misleading and false information” about Brent crude and said it planned to include up to 50 other defendants, Reuters reported.

The plaintiffs in the case are being represented by Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart, one of the firms involved in securing a $101m settlement in a class action over manipulation of the US natural gas price indices a decade ago.

Meanwhile, BP has made a “significant” gas discovery at its first joint exploration well with Reliance Industries in India. Reports suggested the find exceeded pre-drill estimates of 819 billion cubic feet of gas. BP and Reliance both said it was too early to estimate the volume.

25th May 2013, 16:48

25 May

Mass Arrest Of Leaders Has Begun In Jakarta – 25 May 2013

(Lucas: Original a Facebook member posted a photo of the helicopters flying over Jakarta. The member phoned some others if they saw it. They said they to have seen UN helicopters flying over Jakarta. It was filled in by them as they are having the president in Jakarta arrested. I keep my own discernment still about this story. If it is true we soon will know. That something is happening energetically as well in reality changing in front and behind the scenes I know myself for sure. I will say this: it is easily misunderstood if someone or a group of humans that do not make up the whole of a group or are just posting in a group are confused to be “THE’ movement as The One People is not a movement in that sense but people expressing their newly found freedoms from the slavery system. They express their own insights and do on personal title that what they do under a flag of the One People after having been freed through the UCC filings of the The One People’s Trust 1776. The people were called also wrongly oppt-ers as that was also just people having a same vision but having no leaders. The filings were done and made things happen for all. No signature nor membership needed. Just people working together in oneness with a mutual interest of the creation of a new paradigm.)

One People Canada says…
One People – SwissIndo Friends: Announcement on the UN orders on Arrest

Thursday, 23 May 2013 / Published in Removing the Veil

Report from Ross Hanley in the Absolute Data for Eternal Essence Skype room:

Dear One People / SwissIndo friends.

I’ve been asked to make an announcement regarding the UN orders pertaining to the arrest of the global leaders etc.

I received a report earlier today that the skies above Jakarta were filled with large UN marked aircraft and helicopters.

I then asked several Indonesian contacts for confirmation of this report, and I have to this point received 4 confirmations that the report is true. That’s good enough for me.

The reports suggest that the UN forces, under direct orders of Mr Ban Ki Moon, have landed in Jakarta (Pondok Cabe Airstrip) to arrest president SBY.

picture of choppers:
30-40 choppers I’m told camo UN choppers as well as white regular ones… and plenty of armoured vehicles…both camo and white.

www.2012thebigpicture.wordpress.com/ link to original article

We will have to see what there is to this one - anyone else know anything? There's this incident reported by Associated Press, which I hope has not got confused in it all... right am supposed to be gardening... get off the PC and commune with nature :)... Sabrina


Indonesian Police Arrest 2 Suspects in Burma Embassy Bomb Plot

JAKARTA—Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism squad arrested two suspected militants, including a would-be suicide bomber, in connection with a plot to bomb the Burma Embassy, police said on Thursday.

Sigit Indrajit, who allegedly masterminded the foiled attack planned for early this month, was captured on Wednesday night in the northern Jakarta area of Tanjung Priok, said National Police spokesman Brig Gen Boy Rafli Amar.

The second militant, identified only as Rohadi, was taken early Thursday from his home in Tangerang in neighboring Banten province, Amar said. He said police seized explosive substances, including sulfur powder and black powder, as well as a glue gun, cables, an iron pipe and other materials that can be used to make bombs. full story at link

26th May 2013, 06:11
Jakarta is definitely a powerbase of some of the most corrupt groups in Asia. The OPPT is a sketchy source. Ban Ki Moon ordering the arrests seems unlikely.

But who knows anymore?

It's still good to consider outsider sources now and then. Good visualisation practice. Listen to those blades whirling and people cheering.


Edit: Honestly, my feeling is this is just another intel scam to run hopes high + crash them down again.

26th May 2013, 06:40
Chief of Austrian Bank Offers to Resign


Raiffeisen Bank International, one of Austria’s largest lenders, said Friday that Herbert Stepic had offered his resignation as chief executive after his personal investments in Asian real estate came under increasing scrutiny.

Herbert Stepic, chief executive of Raiffeisen Bank International, which operates in 17 markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

Mr. Stepic, one of the longest-serving banking executives in Austria, said in a statement that he had offered to resign because inquiries into his investments and recent news reports about them threatened to damage Raiffeisen’s reputation.

The bank said its board would consider his proposal promptly. Mr. Stepic, who has been with Raiffeisen since the 1970s, will remain chief executive until the board makes a decision.

¤=[Post Update]=¤

Eric Holder Has Committed Perjury and Will Have to Resign

President Obama is probably having a TGIF sort of day: His speech on drone policy and the war on terror left everyone with more questions than answers. Now, former IRS head Doug Shulman has discussed visiting the White House 118 times in two years. In light of this, it is beyond the reach of human imagination to suggest that the President was unaware of IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. If those two issues weren’t headache enough, Obama now faces, probably, the biggest embarrassment of his Presidency – so far: United States Attorney General Eric Holder has committed perjury and will have to resign.

Perjury is commonly thought of as lying under oath. This is not strictly true; perjury is the act of knowingly swearing a false oath, as when one swears to tell the truth whilst being fully aware that they have no intention of doing so. During the hearings on Operation Fast and Furious – the Justice Department’s (DoJ) disastrous gun-running scheme between the U.S. and Mexico – Eric Holder stated clearly that he had no personal knowledge of the operation until just shortly before the it came to light. Emails obtained by Congress later revealed that direct Justice Department involvement in what was, essentially, an operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was greater than had been previously admitted. Republicans were reluctant to go after Holder himself and maintained that they had seen no direct evidence of his personal involvement with Fast and Furious.

This time around, Holder has clearly perjured himself: The first step was when he personally gave sworn testimony at a congressional hearing on Justice Department oversight. The second step came during the hearing itself. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) tiptoed around the subject of the Justice Department’s probe of the Associated Press (AP). Johnson devoted considerable time to playing the role of apologist; suggesting that it was perfectly fine for members of the press to be investigated if national security was at stake. He was persistent in his attempt to put words into Holder’s mouth, whereupon the Attorney General completely confounded him with the following statement: “with regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be wise policy.”

According to an NBC report, however, the Justice Department has acknowledged that a search warrant for Fox reporter James Rosen’s personal email account had high-level approval, including “discussions” with the Attorney General. Clearly, then, Holder was aware of – and approved – the search warrant. The warrant itself was issued as part of an ongoing investigation into a possible leak of information sensitive to national security. Therefore, when Holder said, under oath, that “…potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material…is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of…,” he committed perjury. During the same hearing, Holder went on to explain his intention of going after those who leak information to the press, rather than prosecuting members of the press themselves. The leak investigation was not targeted directly at Rosen, but, rather, at former intelligence analyst Stephen Kim. Kim has now been indicted for leaking classified information to Rosen. Holder’s problem lies in his use of the word “potential”; the Justice Department probe of Rosen could have “potentially” lead to, in Holder’s words “prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material.” Holder has, indeed, been involved in the matter, despite saying that it was not something he had “…ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

The Rosen affair comes directly on the heels of revelations that the DoJ seized the phone records of Associated Press reporters; also a “potential” case of “prosecution of the press.”

Calls are mounting for Holder to step down or be fired. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” “I think it’s past time for him to go and for the president to appoint somebody who the public can have confidence in,” Republican Chairman Reince Priebus was one of the first to call for Holder’s resignation, according to a report in the British Daily Mail. “Attorney General Eric Holder, in permitting the Justice Department to issue secret subpoenas to spy on Associated Press reporters, has trampled on the First Amendment and failed in his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution” he said.

It is not just Republicans who want Holder out: According to the same Daily Mail report, Keith Olbermann, a former host on the failed Current TV channel, tweeted “’If Mr. Holder continues to support this rogue action, he should resign.” The far Left Huffington Post also carried the headline “TIME TO GO” with a picture of Holder beneath it.

The Obama administration has shown itself, on more than one occasion, to be remarkably tone-deaf and, one could say, arrogant, when responding to the numerous scandals that have plagued Obama’s presidency; most of which have been swept under the rug by many of the same media organizations now, apparently, so outraged by the DoJ’s actions. In this case, however, Eric Holder has lost any shred of credibility he ever had and it is extremely difficult to imagine that he will remain at his post for very much longer.

26th May 2013, 06:44
Massachusetts: Lieutenant Governor to Resign

The lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Timothy P. Murray, said on Wednesday that he would resign on June 2, a move that surprised the political establishment there. Mr. Murray, who has played a prominent role in the administration of Gov. Deval Patrick since 2007, was once considered likely to try to succeed his boss, but his public image suffered from an early-morning accident in 2011 in which he crashed a state-owned car, and from a current state inquiry into campaign fund-raising done on his behalf by a public housing official, Michael McLaughlin, who this year pleaded guilty to federal charges. Mr. Murray is taking a new job leading the regional chamber of commerce in Worcester, Mass., where he was mayor from 2002 to 2007.

26th May 2013, 07:02
Trade War: China warns EU against telecom probe

China's Premier Li Keqiang has slammed the European Union for plans to investigate the country's telecom products and impose taxes on its solar panels, according to Chinese state media.

Cited by the Xinhua news agency on Saturday, Li said the planned measures would "not only cause serious damage to related industries, enterprises and employment in China, but will also hurt the personal interests of users and consumers in Europe."

Li said he hoped the EU would uphold the principles of free trade while keeping China-EU economic and trade relations in mind.

The critique, delivered in a speech to business and financial leaders during a visit to Switzerland on Friday, echoes previous warnings by China, which has threatened the EU it will take "assertive measures" to defend its interests.

The two sides are embroiled in tit-for-tat trade disputes on items ranging from agricultural products to steel tubes, highlighting growing trade tensions amid financial uncertainties around the world.

Promoting protectionism

Last week, the European Commission said it would open an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into mobile telecommunications network equipment and components from China if bilateral negotiations fail.

Earlier this month, the European Commission approved imposing a custom duty of 47 per cent on China-made solar panel products to protect European manufacturers.

Li warned that if the EU goes ahead with the moves, it risks promoting protectionism and may harm Chinese companies and employment.

"In the current economic circumstances all countries should strive to maintain a stable and open international trade environment and be cautious in using trade remedy measures."

China is the world's second-largest economy and the EU is its biggest trading partner.

In an apparent retaliatory move, Beijing's commerce ministry in November launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into solar-grade polysilicon from the EU, a key material used to make solar cells.

It also recently opened an anti-dumping probe into some seamless steel pipes from the EU and other markets, after slapping punitive taxes on another type of steel tube imports from the region and Japan.
Email Article

26th May 2013, 07:50

UK (24 May)

Humiliation for Sally Bercow as Speaker's wife faces £150,000 bill over Lord McAlpine libel tweet

Sally Bercow today faced a major libel payout and massive legal bill after a humiliating High Court defeat over a Tweet.

The Speaker’s wife must now apologise in open court to Lord McAlpine who will travel to London from his home in Italy to hear it personally.

Damages are expected to be up to £50,000 and Bercow will also have to pay costs of up to £100,000.

Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that she had Tweeted a defamatory statement which would be understood to mean that the Peer had been “guilty of sexually abusing children living in care.”

Bercow had posted the Tweet “why is Lord McAlpine trending?* innocent face*”two days after a Newsnight report into the Bryn Estyn childrens home sex scandal.

The judge ruled that the Tweet was defamatory not only in its “natural and ordinary meaning” but also through innuendo to Bercow’s 56,000 followers.

She had always denied her comment was defamatory and after today’s ruling insisted she had meant no “malice”.

“I was being conversational and mischievous, as was so often my style on Twitter,” she said in a statement.

“To say I am surprised and disappointed by this (judgement) is an understatement. I will accept the ruling as the end of the matter. I remain sorry for the distress I have caused Lord McAlpine and I repeat my apologies.

“Today’s ruling should be seen as a warning to all social media users. Things can be held to be seriously defamatory even when you do not intend them to be - on this I have learned my own lesson the hard way.”

Lord McAlpine is still receiving abuse over the internet and has called for police action to quell it, his solicitor Andrew Reid said.

“The apologies previous received from Mrs Bercow did not concede that her Tweet was defamatory but clearly she must now accept this fact,” he said.

“He failure to admit that her Tweet was defamatory caused considerable unnecessary pain and suffering to Lord McAlpine and his family over the last six months.

“The judgement is one of great public interest and provides both a warning to and guidance for people who use social media.”

He added: “Lord McAlpine is still subject to the most venomous social media commentary and all of those people who Tweeted have been encouraging this and fanning the flames.

“I hope the police will take action and they need to because it is now involving other members of his family as well and it really has to stop.”

Lord McAlpine has donated the libel damages to Children in Need and other charities. He received a total of £310,000 from BBC and ITV.

The hearing at which the apology will be read out by Bercow’s lawyers will be on a date to be fixed. She does not have to be present.

(See David Icke on McAlpine - Icke has never received any legal threats on his pronouncements on the man I believe)

and, I've posted this before, but it's worth repeating in the light of the recent legal (legal???) judgement on Bercow - high profile figure in the UK, public humiliation, a warning to social media users - hmmmm -


A word of advice from Lord McAlpine

Lord McAlpine shares his views on how to deal with the media

In his 1999 book, The New Machiavelli: The Art of Politics in Business, Lord McAlpine, who successfully defeated Sally Bercow in a libel action today stated:

“Another option is for the businessperson to learn the art of dealing with the media, using all the tricks that go with that trade – such as the false defeat: when a person seems to lose, in order to gain public sympathy, or the false triumph: where a person seems to win in order to appear strong – thus giving credibility to any number of dubious propositions that person may wish to make in the future. Neither of these ploys are examples of the use of true facts, rather of false facts given to the media to chew on, much as a dog chews on a bone”.

“Another useful ploy is the false accusation. First, create a situation where you are wrongly accused. Then, at a convenient moment, arrange for the false accusation to be shown to be false beyond all doubt. Those who have made accusations against both the company and its management become discredited. Further accusations will then be treated with great suspicion. Always remember that people’s memories are very frail, remembering only both the high spots and the lows of a person’s career, and then seldom remembering accurately. People believe in the facts that it suits them to believe”.

As Margaret Thatcher herself once said of this work, this is a “shrewd commentary”. Those who take to Twitter should take heed.

26th May 2013, 08:17

Ethiopian corruption watchdog arrests 51 suspects, most from tax, customs and business sector

Ethiopian corruption watchdog arrests 51 suspects, most from tax, customs and business sector

Source: AP

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian authorities have carried out another wave of arrests that brings the number of people detained on suspicions of corruption to more than 50.

Berhanu Assefa of the country’s federal ethics and anti-corruption commission says at least 51 people have been arrested in the past few weeks. He said the list of suspects could grow longer.

The latest campaign of arrests started May 10 with the arrest of a senior Cabinet minister. Twelve others, including the minister’s senior aides, their family and prominent businessmen were also arrested.

Most of those arrested are tax and customs officials and businessmen. Ali Sulaiman, the head of the commission, told parliament that the tax collections and customs sector have been identified as corruption-prone areas that hold back the country’s economy.

23 May

26th May 2013, 08:22

Corruption trial of Canadian trader ends in Cuba, with verdict soon

Source: Reuters - Sat, 25 May 2013 01:44 AM

Importer faces up to 12 years in prison

* Corruption arrests unprecedented in Cuba

By Marc Frank

HAVANA, May 24 (Reuters) - The trial of a Canadian businessman who bribed Cuban officials ended on Friday after two days of testimony, but there was no word on the outcome in a case closely watched by Havana's foreign business community.

Sarkis Yacoubian, originally from Armenia and the owner of import firm Tri-Star Caribbean, was expected to plead guilty and hope for leniency for his cooperation with investigators after his July 2011 arrest.

The five-judge panel was expected to announce its verdict within 10 days.

Yacoubian, 53, faced up to 12 years in prison on charges of bribery, tax evasion and damaging the country's economy. He has been in prison since his arrest.

His associate, Lebanese citizen Krikor Bayassalian, was a co-defendant at the trial.

At least three other Canadian and British executives with import businesses, all arrested after Yacoubian, are behind bars and expected to go on trial soon.

The cases are the result of a corruption crackdown launched by President Raul Castro shortly after he succeeded his ailing brother Fidel in 2008.

They have drawn the attention of those involved in foreign trade in Cuba because in the past foreign business people suspected of corruption were deported, not imprisoned.

Their prosecution is seen as a measure of President Castro's determination to end a practice he views as a threat to Cuba's socialist system.

Canada's ambassador to Cuba, Matthew Levin, attended the trial but did not speak to reporters. Journalists were not allowed to cover the proceedings.

Yacoubian's lawyers and family also had no immediate comment.

Cuba's state-run media has not yet reported the Yacoubian trial, nor mentioned the arrests and crackdown on foreign trade.

Castro said earlier this year he would speak about corruption at a National Assembly meeting in July.

Soon after taking over for Fidel, he established the comptroller general's office and gave it a seat on the ruling Council of State, even as he began implementing market-oriented economic reforms.

That step marked the start of the anti-corruption campaign that uncovered high-level graft in key sectors ranging from the cigar, nickel and communications industries to food processing and civil aviation.

The foreign trade business, which manages billions of dollars in purchases annually and is controlled by a handful of state firms, is perhaps the most vulnerable to corruption, foreign and Cuban businessmen say.

There is no open bidding in Cuba's international trade operations and state purchasers who handle multimillion-dollar contracts earn just $50 to $100 per month.

26th May 2013, 08:32

Bet there's a lot of interesting info. to uncover here about individuals and companies in the public eye...

Today, the Caymans is one of the world's biggest offshore trading centres, worth billions of pounds, based on zero taxation and banking secrecy. It comes second only behind Switzerland in the Tax Justice Network's financial secrecy index. Enron, the failed US energy giant, used hundreds of Cayman-registered subsidiaries to keep billions off its balance sheets.

26 May Cayman Islands/UK

Corruption and the FCO: Blue skies, white sands, dark clouds

Special report: Met police call for criminal inquiry into former diplomat's Cayman Islands rule

Britain's former top diplomat on the Cayman Islands should face a criminal inquiry for allegedly lying to police investigating corruption in the notorious tax haven, a Scotland Yard review has concluded.

Former governor Stuart Jack has been cited for possible attempts to pervert the course of justice over a Watergate-style break-in at a newspaper office on the islands, according to documents seen by The Independent on Sunday.

In the latest twist of a tortuous dispute played out under the island's tropical blue skies and courtrooms thousands of miles apart, the Metropolitan Police says there are sufficient grounds for an investigation into Mr Jack and two other senior officials. The head of a police team sent in 2007 to investigate the allegations accuses them of misleading him and effectively scuppering his inquiry, according to the letters.

The claims against the three, which Mr Jack strongly denies, amount to possible "misconduct in public office, attempting to pervert the course of justice and possibly wasting police time", according to a letter from the Yard's Commander Allan Gibson to the island's current governor, Duncan Taylor. "It is my view the allegations are serious and contain sufficient detail to warrant a criminal investigation," he said.

The letter – copied to Simon Fraser, the head of the Diplomatic Service – poses awkward questions for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): any inquiry is likely to inflame a long-running controversy and embarrass senior diplomats, the Cayman authorities – and the Met. If it does nothing, it faces accusations of hypocrisy after David Cameron last week called on the Cayman Islands and other British Overseas Territories to show greater transparency in their tax affairs.

The FCO is already fighting in the courts to block release of a document that could blow the lid off its attempts to avoid blame for the original bungled police inquiry. It began as a leaks investigation and ended as a multimillion-pound inquiry into alleged police wrong-doing. FCO officials have declined to release an inquiry report because its "disclosure could lead to a loss of confidence within the international community which could impact negatively on the Cayman Islands' reputation and, more directly, on its financial services industry".

Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands, a critical study of tax havens, said: "The Cayman Islands' authorities are completely and utterly captured by the financial sector... I wouldn't trust them to do an independent investigation if the reputation of the Caymans is at stake."

The case is one of a string of embarrassing episodes involving British Overseas Territories, the 14 nations that represent a hangover from Britain's imperial past and which remain some of the world's most controversial tax havens, in receipt of billions in global cash.

They include the Turks and Caicos Islands, which were ruled directly from the UK for three years from 2009 because of a corruption scandal, and the tax havens of the Caymans, Bermuda and British Virgin Islands, which all retain the Queen as head of state. The territories stopped short of claiming full independence from the Empire but secured a status that includes British oversight and, in the Caymans' case, a career diplomat, appointed from London, to become the most powerful man on the island.

Mr Jack retired from the post in 2009 and moved back to Britain after a final two years dogged by controversy over the Scotland Yard inquiry which has cost an estimated £20m, in high salaries, costs and damages payouts.

Martin Bridger, a former senior Met detective, led the original investigation into alleged police leaks to the media. But the inquiry became much longer and larger after the team learned that the island's police leadership had authorised a potentially illegal search of the newspaper office that was receiving the alleged tips.

The investigation was a disaster and led to a £1m payout to a judge who was wrongly arrested, the ousting of the islands' British police chief, and major criticisms of the inquiry in a judge-led review. The 12-strong police team – dubbed the Sunshine Squad amid claims of drinking and hard partying – was sent home in 2009, damaging the reputations of those involved. A member of the team, who declined to be named, said: "This was a flawed investigation from the start. There was arguably never a substantive offence. It seemed some officers drew the investigation out for their own ends."

Mr Bridger claimed he learned, after his team was banished from the island, that the former governor had used his position to authorise the search but failed to tell him. If Mr Jack had done so, he said he would never have embarked on the two-year inquiry. "I am pleased that the Met has agreed that a criminal investigation is warranted and should be commenced against those named," he said. "My hope is that the FCO and the Governor, Duncan Taylor, will remain true to their public statements that good governance, transparency and integrity must at all times underpin the activities of those who hold high public office."

In a statement to the IoS, Mr Jack said. "I categorically deny the allegations made by Martin Bridger. Such baseless accusations are deeply upsetting to my family and harmful to my reputation. I look forward to giving evidence when those proceedings come for trial in the Cayman Islands Grand Court. I have no doubt the court will find Mr Bridger's remarks to be wholly unsubstantiated."

John Evans, the man who searched the newspaper office, has contacted Scotland Yard and said he would back the former governor in an inquiry, threatening more bad publicity for the Met. "It's generated a huge feeling of distrust. The people in the Cayman Islands aren't sure who to blame for it all," he said.

"It has left behind a feeling that, if anyone comes out from the UK to do a future investigation, they are untrustworthy. They are only in it for what they can get out of it."

Today, the Caymans is one of the world's biggest offshore trading centres, worth billions of pounds, based on zero taxation and banking secrecy. It comes second only behind Switzerland in the Tax Justice Network's financial secrecy index. Enron, the failed US energy giant, used hundreds of Cayman-registered subsidiaries to keep billions off its balance sheets.

David Marchant, the owner and editor of OffshoreAlert, was scathing about the authorities' efforts to close down the saga. "David Cameron talks tough about clamping down on offshore tax. But he already has the framework for the Turks and Caicos Islands; he could literally take over these jurisdictions overnight. Only in Britain could this nonsense happen. People are infected with this peculiar Fawlty Towers way of conducting business. It's breathtaking. They need to bury this 50ft under the ground and move on."

Although Scotland Yard has called for an inquiry, it said it could not carry it out because it was "conflicted" owing to its former officers' initial involvement. It indicated a non-British force should be brought in.

An FCO spokeswoman confirmed it was considering the Met's letter.

26th May 2013, 09:10
Now this is something to celebrate on people participating in the change they want...


Millions rally around the world in March Against Monsanto - photos from Austin, Texas

(NaturalNews) Millions around the world rallied against Monsanto today, marching in person in nearly 300 cities and spreading the message of food freedom across websites, Facebook and Twitter.

In Austin, Texas, at least a thousand people took part in an upbeat, passionate celebration of food freedom, farm freedom and labeling or eliminating GMOs from the food supply. Although the day was rainy (which is rare for Austin), people and families showed up in huge numbers to support the message of protecting our food supply from Monsanto and the biotech industry.

Protest signs included language like:





Here are some of the photos taken by Natural News staffers during the event. It is especially interesting to note that there were no reporters present from the mainstream media. They acted like this huge rally never even took place...

see pix at link


http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/350817 (all the pix at the link_

March against Monsanto protests were held in 40 countries in the world on May 25, 2013. The message of all these protests was "Stop Monsanto" and "No more GMOs." This article will concentrate on events in Earth's southern hemisphere.

Probably the first of the Marches against Monsanto happened in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
It looks like most in the southern zone had a rainy day, but the turnout was good despite the weather.
The video above features singer Luke Wilton at the March Against Monsanto, Memorial Hall in Bellingen, NSW, Australia.
Hundreds gathered in Brisbane, Australia to protest against Monsanto.

Melbourne saw a huge crowd out on the streets chanting, among other things, "Save our Seeds!" and "No to GMOs, Monsanto has to go" with posters reading "GM Free Zone."

Sydney, Australia saw around 4,000 people demonstrating against Monsanto and "its deceptive and misleading conduct in breach of the Trade Practices legislation." It is anticipated that some 16,000 people will attend any subsequent rally. All who were in attendance were chanting "No to Monsanto" and "Monsanto leave Australia." Protesters agreed to boycott any foods which contain GMO.

Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand got out on the streets to say No To Monsanto. It was raining quite heavily throughout the march, which was "a testament to everyone's resolve." Protesters met in Cameron St Mall and proceeded to the Northland Regional Council Building where they stood and chanted: "What do we want?" "GE Free" When do we want it?" "Now!" repeatedly.

Also in New Zealand, Auckland City saw a protest with a small but noisy group of people singing what sounds like, "Monsanto, you suck bro." Banners read "The future is GE-Free" and "Save our Seeds." The weather was wet and rainy there too.

Tokyo, Japan saw a noisy protest outside the Monsanto Japan headquarters on the day of March Against Monsanto. Looks like it was a fair sized crowd out there.

South Africa saw a well-attended march through Cape Town protesting against Monsanto. Weather there was rather dull too, but there was a good turnout. The main message was for Monsanto to "stop poisoning our Earth, people, seeds, future." "No more GMO", "No more Monsanto."

Durban in South Africa saw a traditional Zulu turnout for the event:

Plettenberg Bay in South Africa saw crowds turning out, a lot of them wearing red, protesting against Monsanto and telling the agro-giant to "stop sowing seeds of suicide," referring particularly to the tens of thousands of Indian farmers who committed suicide when their GMO crops failed.

Johannesburg saw a March Against Monsanto protest, right outside Monsanto HQ South Africa in Fourways.


25 May


March Against Monsanto: GMO protests in 436 cities worldwide (images)

WASHINGTON, DC, May 25, 2013 – The Washington DC March Against Monsanto was just one of some 250 protests around the world, but it featured the unique attraction of marching between two key seats of power: the White House and Monsanto headquarters.

Protestors numbered in the several hundreds, if not thousands, armed with signs showing their anger over the actions of the biotech giant and the failure of Congress to approve legislation toward the labeling of genetically modified food.
“Give it a label if you’re going to bring it to the table,” went one of the chants.

If 60 other countries, and most industrialized countries, don’t let genetically modified food go without labels, why should the U.S., asked the speakers.

The international movement to March Against Monsanto gained momentum after last Thursday’s failed attempt by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) to repeal the measure known as the Monsanto Protection Act.

more at link



26 May

Millions march against GM crops

Organisers celebrate huge global turnout and say they will continue until Monsanto and other GM manufacturers listen

Organisers say that two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the US and in more than 50 other countries on Saturday.

"March Against Monsanto" protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organiser Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities across 52 countries.

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits, or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But some say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.

The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labelling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.

The "March Against Monsanto" movement began just a few months ago, when Canal created a Facebook page on 28 February calling for a rally against the company's practices. "If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success," she said Saturday. Instead, she said, two million responded to her message.

Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of Anti-Media.org, Canal worked with A Revolt.org digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout "incredible" and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism.

Despite the size of the gatherings, Canal said she was grateful that the marches were uniformly peaceful and that no arrests had been reported.

"It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," she said. The group plans to harness the success of the event to continue its anti-GMO cause.

"We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. "If we don't act, who's going to?"

Monsanto, based in St Louis, said on Saturday that it respects people's rights to express their opinions, but maintained that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.

The US Food and Drug Administration does not require genetically modified foods to carry a label, but organic food companies and some consumer groups have intensified their push for labels, arguing that the modified seeds are floating from field to field and contaminating traditional crops. The groups have been bolstered by a growing network of consumers who are wary of processed and modified foods.

The Senate this week overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to require the labelling of genetically modified foods.

The Biotechnology Industry Organisation, a lobbying group that represents Monsanto, DuPont & Co and other makers of genetically modified seeds, has said that it supports voluntary labelling for people who seek out such products. But it says that mandatory labelling would only mislead or confuse consumers into thinking products weren't safe, even though the FDA has said there is no difference between GMO and organic, non-GMO foods.

However, state legislatures in Vermont and Connecticut moved ahead this month with votes to make food companies declare genetically modified ingredients on their packages. And supermarket retailer Whole Foods Markets Inc has said that all products in its North American stores containing genetically modified ingredients will be labeled as such by 2018.

Whole Foods says there is growing demand for products that don't use GMOs, with sales of products with a "Non-GMO" verification label spiking between 15% and 30%.


OK Avalonians ... Sorcha Faal is disinfo as the mantra goes... and blatantly pushing one agenda yes.... but so is an awful lot of the stuff we get fed across the world - and this includes info. on this site - and no doubt some on my thread ... everyone should be grown up enough to use their own discernment. There will be something in this for those interested in it all... it's the stuff that gets to you beneath your radar, and that you don't notice, that you should be worried about :)...


Russia Issues “Extreme Danger” Warning As Alabama Death Toll Rises

The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) today has issued an “Extreme Danger” warning for all vessels entering or nearing the United States Port of Mobile, located in the State of Alabama, as the death toll rises from what this report claims is an environmental disaster related to the flowering of genetically modified cotton crops located in this region.

The RS is tasked with providing the safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, security of ships, safe carriage of cargo, environmental safety of ships, prevention of pollution from ships, performance of authorizations issued by Administrations and customers, while the Port of Mobile is the 9th largest US deep water port.

According to this report, RS officials became “highly concerned” this past week after the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reported that at least 2 people have died, and another 5 put in hospital, due to a “mysterious illness” attacking the respiratory systems of those affected and causing flu-like symptoms.

According to ADPH spokeswoman Mary McIntyre, the illness was first reported late last week and the last of the seven patients was hospitalized Monday, though it wasn't immediately clear which municipalities the illnesses were concentrated in.

“We're only aware of the Southeast, but we don't know — we haven't received reports from anywhere else,” McIntyre said, “That's why we're trying to get the information out.”

RS officials in their “Extreme Danger” warning, however, state that the deaths and symptoms being reported in Alabama are “identical” to those that were reported by Indian farmers last year who were planting the latest version of Monsanto’s Deltapine® genetically modified (GM) cotton seed, and which caused the single largest wave of recorded suicides in human history and resulted in India revoking the right for this most dangerous of seed to be sold.

In Alabama, this report continues, the Deltapine® GM cotton plants (which have a long growing season of 120 - 180 days of frost free weather) are now in their flowering stage giving off massive amounts of pollen contaminated with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins used in all of Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and proven to cause the symptoms and deaths being reported by the ADPH.

So dangerous, in fact, are Monsanto’s Bt toxins, scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology and the Institute of Biological Sciences, at the University of Brasilia, and the University of Western Ontario warned in a new study published last week that Monsanto crops are harmful to mammalian blood by damaging red blood cells and are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought. The study was published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases.

Scientists at the United States Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) had further warned that Indian farmers that picked or loaded Monsanto’s Bt cotton reported reactions of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract and that 25% of sheep herds that fed on them died within a week.

On 19 May 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”

They, also, called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM's position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

Even though the RS is now warning Russian seaman about the GM catastrophe now unfolding in Alabama, there is no evidence the Obama regie is doing the same to protect its own citizens.

As to why this is so was recently explained by the Infowar News Service in their article titled “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?” which, in part, says:

“After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA:

At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.

As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.

As the new Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.

As the new counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.

As the new head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had previously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research.

We should also remember that Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm. That firm was counsel to Monsanto.

Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.”

Even worse for the American people, and as reported by the Planet Save News Service in their article about Obama signing a new law last month to protect Monsanto titled “5 Appalling Facts About The Monsanto Protection Act Obama Signed Into Law (GMO Heaven)”:

1.) “The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future.” (Studies have revealed severe adverse health effects related to the consumption of genetically modified foods.)

2.) “The provision’s language was written in collusion with Monsanto… the fact that Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri worked with Monsanto on a provision that in effect allows them to keep selling seeds, which can then go on to be planted, even if it is found to be harmful to consumers, is stunning.”

3.) “Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ existed within the bill they were voting on.” HR 933 was a spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown.

“In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the the Center for Food Safety said in a statement. “This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate.”

4.) “On Tuesday, Obama signed HR 933 while the rest of the nation fixated on gay marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument concerning California’s Proposition 8.” (250,000 voters signed a petition opposing the provision.)

5.) The precedent, the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer protections and safety. It suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right.)

As Russia has previously warned the Obama regime that global war could very well erupt over the Americans seeming hatred of the global environment, from the people in the United States itself there appears to be no notice of these things….and for the simple reason that they aren’t being told.

May 22, 2012 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

26th May 2013, 19:01

From the ICIJ - the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists - (24 May)


ICIJ’s investigative series on offshore secrecy – which draws from a cache of 2.5 million secret records – has ignited reactions around the globe.

Since the initial release of stories by the ICIJ and its media partners across the world, public officials have issued statements, governments have launched investigations, and politicians and journalists have been debating the implications of the records and the reporting.

Among the latest reactions and responses:

Herbert Stepic. Photo: APThe Chief Executive Officer of eastern Europe’s second-biggest lender, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, has resigned a day after officials began a probe into his investments revealed through Offshore Leaks.

Documents show Herbert Stepic, who has worked with the Raiffeisen banking group for four decades and took its eastern European division public, used companies in Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to conduct property deals he did not report to his employer.
Stepic did not answer any questions at a press conference called by the bank this morning. In a statement, he referred to the potential damage to the bank because of the "media debate" around the Offshore Leaks revelations and that he took the responsibility to resign to avoid this.

He repeated an earlier statement that he made his offshore investments with income that had been taxed in Austria, and said he was resigning "for personal reasons".

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says there has been a "real breakthrough" in the EU's efforts to combat offshore tax evasion. At the council's May 22 meeting, Reuters reports, Rompuy said the current aggressiveness of the EU's push is "unprecedented. We couldn't speak in those terms on those issues, let's say, a month or two months ago. . . . There is a strong political will by the leaders, not only the Europeans but also on a global level, to go forward in attacking tax fraud and tax evasion."

Luxembourg has announced that it will begin automatically sharing information with U.S. tax authorities about bank accounts held by American citizens. The tiny western European nation, long known as a haven for banking secrecy, had previously pledged to do the same in regards to citizens of European Union members. “Luxembourg wishes to see the same conditions apply to all competing financial centers and to see the automatic exchange of information accepted as the international standard,” Luxembourg’s finance ministry said. Reuters news service said that the U.S. had stepped pressure on Luxembourg to become more transparent after the release of ICIJ’s high-profile investigation of offshore financial secrecy.

The Council of the European Union issued a statement May 14 calling for efforts at the national, EU and international levels “to combat tax fraud and tax evasion” and “aggressive tax planning.” The statement noted that the council’s presidency plans to ask ICIJ to supply EU member states “with the names and details regarding all EU citizens on the ‘offshore leaks’ list.” ICIJ has said that it will not turn over the data to government agencies, but that it is exploring the possibility of publicly releasing some entity ownership data.

After meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, British Prime Minister David Cameron made a strong call to tackle what he called “the scourge of tax evasion,” one of the key topics in next month’s G8 meeting in Ireland. “We need to know who really owns a company, who profits from it, whether taxes are paid. And we need a new mechanism to track where multinationals make their money and where they pay their taxes so we can stop those that are manipulating the system unfairly,” Cameron said.

British, U.S. and Australian tax authorities announced that they are pursuing tax evasion investigations based on a cache of offshore documents that link to the Cook Islands, Singapore and the Cayman Islands, among other jurisdictions. The secret records are believed to include those obtained by ICIJ and that are the basis of the Offshore Leaks investigation. British tax authorities said the files “reveal extensive use of complex offshore structures to conceal assets by wealthy individuals and companies.” The three agencies plan to share the information with their counterparts from other countries in what could be the beginnings of one of the largest tax investigations in history.

Canada's revenue minister Gail Shea announced a $30 million commitment to fight tax evasion and target the practice of hiding money in offshore accounts, and the formation of an international tax expert "SWAT team". Asked if her department now has the list of 450 Canadian names contained within the documents obtained by ICIJ, Shea said: "We currently don’t have the list and I can assure you that we’re looking at all of our options. We’re working with our international partners to get that list."

The UK Treasury announced that following the lead of the Cayman Islands, all British overseas territories – including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands – have agreed to share information about individuals holding bank accounts in their jurisdictions with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The South China Morning Post reported that the new information exchanges will have real implications for Hong Kong and China companies, which do significant business through the Cayman islands, the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locales.
European finance ministers may reach an agreement to eradicate tax havens on May 13, after a meeting in Helsinki between finance ministers from Finland, Luxembourg, Greece, Slovakia, and Lithuania as well as the European Commissioner on Taxation to discuss measures against tax evasion.

The European Commissioner on Taxation Algirdas Šemeta and Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan sent a letter to all EU Finance Ministers, setting out 7 key areas for immediate action in improving the fight against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance. Member States were asked to agree on these actions at the ECOFIN in May. The letter credits the offshore leaks investigation with "sharpening the focus" on tax fraud, and says it will ask ICIJ to supply names and details of European citizens from its data.

Finance ministers and central bankers at the G20 meeting in Washington said in a communiqué that automatic exchange of tax-relevant bank information should be adopted as the global standard to overcome international tax evasion. Skeptical European leaders reportedly "became more enthusiastic" after the public outcry over ICIJ's offshore leaks revelations.

Bayartsogt Sangajav, deputy speaker of the Mongolian Parliament, has been dismissed from his post following ICIJ's revelations about his undeclared offshore company and bank account. In a parliamentary session he was asked to explain his actions. Several MPs called for further disciplinary action, including expelling him from Parliament entirely.

Santosh Kumar Agarwal (Kedia), a member of the board of directors for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, has resigned from the organization after his offshore dealings were revealed. “In the interest of the integrity of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre as [an] organization and the industry as a whole, Kedia has taken the initiative to withdraw from the AWDC's board of directors, awaiting the outcome of a potential investigation,” said a statement released by the company.”

French president Francois Hollande has published the personal financial details of government ministers on the official government website, following the Jerome Cahuzac and Jean-Jacques Augier offshore assets scandals. The list of assets includes details of bank accounts, life insurance, property and other expensive items such as cars, art works and antiques. Various properties in Paris and the south of France have already been itemized by ministers, as well as designer lounge chair (Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg) and a David Beckham t-shirt (Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti).

European Council president Herman Van Rompuy announced that tax evasion will be discussed at the next European Council in May, saying "we must seize the increased political momentum to address this crucial problem."
BVI government officials have announced they are opening a new business headquarters in Hong Kong, with Orlando Smith, BVI Premier and Finance Minister, confirmed to officiate the opening. Executive director of BVI International Finance Centre, Elise Donovan, said the data obtained by the ICIJ was "a small fraction" of the total number of BVI firms. She later added, "We want to reassure clients in Hong Kong and the region that this is an isolated incident. We remain committed to clients' privacy and confidentiality."

The Swiss and U.S. governments are investigating a possible solution to the dispute over wealthy Americans using Swiss banks to hide their money. These talks come at time when Switzerland’s banking sector is under increased pressure to surrender personal information about suspected tax evaders. Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said all countries should be treated equally in the drive for bank transparency. "We consider it very important that rules must apply to all and are engaging ourselves for a level playing field in multilateral forums," Widmer-Schlumpf said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged UK's PM David Cameron to crack down on tax havens during talks in Berlin, following a public outcry in Germany over the "offshore leaks." Sources "close to Cameron" claim he was actually the first to raise the issue, spelling out how his government was cracking down on tax avoidance in places such as Jersey and Guernsey.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov is moving his offshore assets back to Russia after ICIJ's revelations that Shuvalov's wife Olga Shuvalova was either a shareholder or owner of several secretive offshore entities. The Shuvalovs had a declared income of $12.7 million in 2011, most of which was earned by Olga.

Spanish political party Unión Progreso y Democracia submitted written questions to the Spanish Congress today in the wake of French president François Hollande's announcement that French banks had to declare their tax haven subsidiaries. The questions read: Is the government going to present in the European institutions any initiative to eradicate the tax havens within the Member States? and Is the government going to force banks to disclose the subsidiaries they have in tax havens and what are their activities?
Francois Hollande: called for tax havens to be "eradicated."French president François Hollande called for "eradication" of the world's tax havens and told French banks they must declare all of their subsidiaries. He also announced the creation of a special prosecutor to pursue cases of corruption and tax fraud. French government ministers have been ordered to declare their assets publicly within days.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced his country plans to lift bank secrecy rules for European Union citizens who have savings based in the country, ending decades of bank secrecy in Luxembourg. "We are following a global movement," Juncker told parliament in a state-of-the-nation address. The new transparency regime would begin in January 2015. Austria is now the only EU country not sharing data about bank depositors. In a recent interview, Austrian Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Spindelegger Fekter said: “How much money someone has in the bank is a matter between the bank and the customer and is no one else’s business."
Algirdas Semeta, European Union Tax Commissioner stated in a recent interview that it is time to move “quicker and harder” against tax evasion. He said the “growing willingness to act” increases the likelihood of a more coordinated EU stance against tax havens.

Europe’s five biggest economic powers — Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain — announced they would begin regularly exchanging banking and tax information as a way of identifying tax dodgers and other financial wrongdoers.

Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) authorities are not fans of the ICIJ investigation. The BVI premier and Finance Minister Orlando Smith told the South China Morning Post that "BVI authorities are actively investigating how this private information has been illicitly obtained and used to attack the BVI financial services industry, which operates compliantly within international guidelines and the law."

Athens’ district attorney Panayota Fakou has started a preliminary probe to find out if Greeks who own offshore companies unearthed by the ICIJ investigation have evaded taxes or laundered money. According to the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, prosecutors will send information requests to British Virgin Islands’ financial authorities asking them to turn over records of 107 entities connected to Greek citizens.
An investigation by Finnish State Televisionand ICIJ exposing the offshore connections of state-owned postal company Itella has been received with surprise by the Finnish Finance Minister, Jutta Urpilainen. The minister said that “state owned companies should be an example for other companies. That is why it is especially unacceptable that Itella owns a company in a tax haven.” Urpilainen said the Finnish government should adopt clear rules on the use of offshore jurisdictions by state-owned corporations and called tax havens “one of the biggest threats to the Finnish welfare state.”

Canada's national revenue minister Gail Shea says the government may pursue the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in court to force it to share the offshore leaks records.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has declared that neither she, nor any other elected officials in her government have dealings in the offshore world. Marois also supported the handover of internal documents to Canadian authorities, stating the Quebec government would not hesitate to use "all legal means" to ensure this.

French budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve joins the clamor from governments around the globe in urging ICIJ and its media partners to release the offshore tax haven files to them, to "aid justice and help them do their job." Le Monde's response: "It is up to the justice system to establish responsibilities at a time when the law might have been broken ... It is up to the press to enlighten the reader..."

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says he is ready to make concessions on banking secrecy, to bring the nation in step with Switzerland and Luxembourg. "Austria should participate in talks on banking secrecy,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann declared to Die Presse.

The European Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta, called for an automatic exchange of information between countries and a "tough common stance." "Recent developments, fuelled by the outcome of the Offshore Leaks, confirms the urgency for more and better action against tax evasion .... Now it is time to put words into action." He said he was "very pleased" to see many of the Member States reviewing where they stand on the issues and "intensifying their political will to act."

The Swiss government has distinguised itself from other world governments by publicly stating it does not want access to the offshore leaks records. Finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland has worked hard in recent years to curb fraud and tax evasion and that much of the activity pointed to in the leaked documents can be perfectly legal. She says the Swiss government does not want access to the data as "it was acquired illegally and Bern wants no part of that".

The Philippine Presidential Commission on Good Government probe into the disclosure that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, the eldest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was a beneficiary of a secret offshore trust in the British Virgin Islands, will release its report within two weeks. “We are duty bound to investigate and, depending upon informed preliminary findings, decide whether to pursue the matter,” said Andres Bautista, the chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, tasked with recovering the Marcos family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.

The president of the Association of German Banks denied that his group’s members had helped customers engage in tax evasion. “First in line are the individuals and the organizations that invest their money in tax oases,” Andreas Schmitz said."

The Berne internal revenue service authorities announced they will re-open the Gunter Sachs case after ICIJ's revelations about the former Mr. Brigitte Bardot's intricate offshore scheme.

In Canada, a Liberal senator urged his caucus colleague, Senator Pana Merchant, to answer questions in the wake of CBC News and ICIJ reports that she has been listed as beneficiary of an offshore trust created by her husband, a well-known class-action attorney. "We're all innocent until proven guilty in this country, but I want to hear her explanation," Senator Percy Downe told CBC News in an interview.

In the Philippines, two lawmakers dismissed a report by an ICIJ media partner, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), that they had offshore holdings. Senator Manuel Villar said his offshore entity was a “1-dollar shell company” that he wasn’t required to report, because he hadn’t made any real investment in it. Villar said that he hadn’t conducted business with the British Virgin Islands company “because I decided to concentrate in the Philippines.” Congressman Joseph Victor ‘JV’ G. Ejercito suggested the story about him was politically motivated. “To the best of my knowledge, I have truthfully and accurately declared all my assets, liabilities, and net worth” on required disclosures forms for public officials, he said in a statement.

Germany's Economics Minister Philipp Rösler urged the media to pass the data on to the government, stressing that tax evasion was a "criminal act."
Luxembourg's Finance Minister Luc Frieden says he is open to greater transparency of its banks in order to cooperate further with foreign tax authorities.

The Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said an inquiry had been initiated by the authorities against individuals whose names figured in the global media report. “Yes. We have taken note of the names and inquiries have been put in motion in respect of the names that have been exposed,” he told a press conference.
The Mongolian Deputy Speaker, Bayartsogt Sangajav, admitted to an "ethics failure" over his undeclared million-dollar Swiss bank account. He told a press conference: “It is true that there is 1,658 Euros or 2.9 million MNT in a Swiss bank account. I opened the account to trade in international stocks with three other acquaintances in 2008. My failure of responsibility is that I did not include the company in my declaration of income. I have admitted my ethic failure and I am ready to take responsibility."

Philippine government officials said they will investigate evidence that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor and daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was the beneficiary of a secret BVI offshore trust.

George Mavraganis, the Deputy Finance Minister of Greece announced that the Greek government is moving to address offshore-driven tax dodging. Greek members of parliament asked Mavraganis what he planned to do about the 103 offshore companies that ICIJ found hadn’t been registered with Greece’s tax authorities.

George Sourlas from Greece’s Ministry of Justice said the revenue loss caused by offshore was huge. “By the actions of offshore companies in Greece, the revenue loss to the Greek government is in the order of 40% or more of the debt of our country,” Sourlas said. “The offshore companies cast a shadow at this time of great crisis, when some get rich and many get poor.”

In France, President Francois Hollande denied knowledge of the offshore accounts held by his 2012 campaign manager, Jean-Jacques Augier, asserting that it’s up to the tax administration to monitor Augier’s private activities. Reports about Augier’s offshore dealings by Le Monde, the BBC and other ICIJ partners came in the wake of news about tax fraud charges against Hollande’s ex-budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac.

The office of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev asserted there was nothing unusual about the information in the leak – which showed that his two daughters were shareholders of three offshore companies. The statement said the President’s daughters “are grown up and have the right to do business.” A spokesperson for Azersun – a holding company controlled by Hasan Gozal, a corporate mogul who was listed as the director of the daughters’ companies – said the report was biased and based on inaccurate information. “I regret that authority of Press Council doesn't go beyond Azerbaijan and there is no such institution worldwide to fight racketeer journalists,” the spokesman said.

Ex-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez publicly defended his sons’ involvement in offshore business. Uribe stated that his sons Tomás and Jerónimo are entrepreneurs and “have participated in business dealings since they were children” and “they are not tax evaders.”

In the UK, David Cameron is facing renewed pressure to take action over Britain’s entanglements within the offshore world. Lord Oakeshott, a senior Liberal Democrat said that the secrecy haven of the British Virgin Islands “stains the face of Britain.” Oakeshott and others are questioning whether Cameron will raise the issue in June of at the G8 summit of wealth nations. "How can David Cameron keep a straight face calling for the G8 to make big business pay tax when we let the BVI use British law and British protection to suck in billions in dirty money?" Oakeshott asked.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stated on public radio that he was “pleased” with the ICIJ reports. He went on to say, “I think that such things as have been made known will increase the pressure internationally, and we will be able to increase the cooperation with those who have been more reticent,” a sentiment reflected in Germany’s previous lobbying to stamp out tax avoidance.

Canadian Federal Revenue Minister Gail Shea called the released of offshore banking information as “good news” for Canadians and bad news for tax evaders. Ms. Shea urged ICIJ or anyone else with information on tax cheats to come forward.

Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, said: "Secrecy is no longer acceptable. We need to get rid of it. If the rules make it possible, then we'll change the rules.”

26th May 2013, 19:19

Confirmed: Canada 2011 polls fraudulent

The Canadian Federal Court has confirmed that the country’s 2011 federal election, which led to the victory of Stephen Harper's government, was fraudulent.

The court emphasized in a Thursday ruling that it has found in no uncertain terms that widespread election fraud took place during the vote.

The ruling also stated that “there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person with access to the [Conservative Party's] CIMS database.”

Accordingly, the Council of Canadians has called on the Conservative Party to investigate the issue. It says anything less at this point would be a cover-up on behalf of the Conservatives.

The Council of Canadians says that the non-cooperation, obstructionism, and attempts to disrupt the Federal Court case by the CIMS makes it look like Prime Minister Harper has something to conceal.

Garry Neil, Executive Director of the Council of Canadians said “This Federal Court decision is a major indictment of the Conservative Party of Canada.”

“Either senior leaders of the Conservative Party were directly involved in election fraud or they were astoundingly negligent in securing access to their voter database. Illegal or incompetent--just like in the Senate scandal.”


26th May 2013, 19:28

UK 25 May

The Met starts Operation Torva investigation into wide spread child sex abuse at schools of a Catholic order in the UK going back to the 1950s. 20 priests and teachers are involved. One former pupil who became a policeman plays a crucial role in making Scotland Yard start the investigation.

26th May 2013, 19:58

26 May Canada

more on the Canadian election fraud story: (story 2357)

PMHarperMustResign goes viral on Twitter

PMHarperMustResign” is the message countless Canadian Twitter users have been projecting this week. The HAShtag HAS proliferated across the twitter landscape, at one point trending as the most popular HAShtag among Canadian twitter users.

Critics say that with the failure of the mainstream media in Canada to live up to its responsibility to adequately expose the blunders of the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that working class Canadians are forced to turn to alternative media such as twitter in order to express their anger at what they see as the Harper regime's flagrant violations of human rights and of elementary democratic principles.

People tweeted “#PMHarperMustResign” for different reasons. The main stimuli however appears to have been the admission by the Prime Minister's, now former, Chief of Staff Nigel Wright, that he cut a cheque for $90,000 to re-pay the fraudulent expense claims of a Conservative senator, impropriety which many Canadians feel Stephen Harper himself would have undoubtedly known about.

Apart from drawing attention to the ruling Conservative Party’s election fraud, abuse of aboriginal peoples and senate expense scandals, Twitter users condemned the Harper government for its one-sided support for Israel. One twitter user slammed the Prime Minister: “For putting the interests of Israel before those of Canada”. Another critical tweet accused Harper of “showing total disregard to Palestinian’s rights and freedoms and supporting Israel’s Human rights abuses”.

TV story at link[COLOR="red"]

26th May 2013, 20:14
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/sheriffs-plan-to-put-feds-back-in-their-place/#tg2zjSCWCv1rs6r4.99


Sheriffs Plan To Put Feds Back In Their Place

'Restoring liberty in America is not only possible, but already underway'

Sheriffs and peace officers from across the country will be meeting with likeminded supporters for a national convention focused on one goal: restoring constitutional rule in the United States of America.

From May 31-June 1, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, or CSPOA, will be meeting in St. Charles, Mo., for its Heartland of America Conference.

The purpose of the conference is to equip sheriffs, peace officers and public officials with information and public support to carry out their oaths of office – specifically, to uphold the U.S. Constitution – recognizing that in the case of federal overreach, the county sheriff may be the last line of defense in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights.

“We are going to train and vette them all, state by state, to understand and enforce the constitutionally protected rights of the people they serve, with an emphasis on state sovereignty and local autonomy,” explains CSPOA Founder and Executive Director Sheriff Richard Mack. “Then these local governments will issue our new Declaration to the Federal Government regarding the abuses that we will no longer tolerate or accept. Said declaration will be enforced by our Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers.

“In short,” Mack says, “the CSPOA will be the army to set our nation free.”

Mack is more than familiar with fighting federal overreach. The former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., in 1994 Mack joined six other sheriffs in challenging a provision of the federal Brady Bill placing the burden of its background checks on local sheriffs. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down the provision.

Police Chief Larry Kirk of Old Monroe, Mo., told WND, “In the past few years we have seen many of the citizens of this country become concerned over the direction it has taken. We have watched personal rights being eroded and a disconnect developing between citizens and officers working in law enforcement.

“I wanted to find other officers that shared my concerns,” he continued. “I wanted to be able to work with our sheriffs and other peace officers in educating the citizens and others in our career field on the powers of the sheriff’s office and what is needed for us to stand on guard to protect our rights and those of our fellow citizens. The CSPOA is the organization at the front of this movement.

“The people of my state are seeing the overreach of government at the federal level and want to know where their sheriffs will stand,” he concluded. “The people of this state need to hear this message, and the sheriffs of this state need to hear it. Sheriffs and officers need the support of their communities, and we need to support them. This is the organization that can help educate us all on the proper roles that we should play and what we can do to stop the encroachment on our liberties and unalienable rights.”

Sheriff Mack further told WND, “In view of the culture of corruption, which seems so prevalent in Washington, many Americans are searching for hope and solutions that are both effective and peaceful. The purpose of the CSPOA convention is to offer absolute evidence that both indeed exist. Each attendee will leave with this evidence and a renewed hope that restoring liberty in America is not only possible, but already underway!”

The convention, to be held at the Ameristar Hotel in St. Charles, Mo., is free to all public officials and open to the public at large.

27th May 2013, 07:53

Honduran Gangs’ Truce a Truly Hopeful Sign

Posted by Steve Beckow on May 26, 2013

During my years as a refugee adjudicator, I came to see Honduras and Guatemala as two of the most troubled nations on Earth.

The extent of violence in the two societies was bone-chilling. Shootings and beheadings were so common that I wondered how civil society could continue to exist there.

I recall one hearing in which the claimants lived inside a complex that housed a police station and it was still for them a fearful occurrence even to cross the street for fear of gang violence.

Now comes an announcement that Honduran gangs like the Maras may be following the example of El Salvador and entering into a truce. (1)

I can think of no more tangible example of the possibility of there being peace in our world than this, short of the civil war ending in Syria or the drug lords of Mexico and Colombia laying down arms. It’s a hopeful sign and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Much of the violence in Central America, I believe, comes as a result and is a reflection of the support of the American cabal for regimes that would serve their dream, now ended, of world domination.

It was couched as a battle to extend “democracy,” “freedom,” and “free enterprise” in the world. It was really a war to extend Illuminati control over nation after nation.

It morphed into a “war on terror” when the war to defend “democracy” and the “war on drugs” could no longer be used to mask it.

It was enforced by organized assassins trained in the School of the Americas masquerading as freedom fighters and backed by the CIA. The CIA was itself behind much of the drug trade, which it used to fund its black projects such as the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The term “banana republic” was coined to reflect “democracy” and “free enterprise” in Central America. We ourselves turned these nations into banana republics.

The efforts of the cabal saw the almost-complete destruction of civil society in Honduras and Guatemala. It also saw the massacre of natives, theft of ancestral lands, and the murder of anyone among the population who opposed the toppling of governments which occurred with regularity there.

While the Catholic church may have had a miserable record in many other countries, in Central America its priests put forth a vigorous liberation theology on behalf of the oppressed. Many were assassinated for their efforts.

If the Honduran gangs really do enter into a truce and if that truce becomes peace, that for me is a very large indication that the world has turned a corner.

The cabal itself has already been overturned. People like former President George Bush Sr. have not yet been revealed as having been involved in or led black operations going as far back as the assassination of President John Kennedy.
He in particular has not yet been unmasked as a leading figure, during his years as CIA Director, in the world drug trade. He and former President Clinton (also involved in the drug trade) (2) have not yet been shown to have absconded with countless millions from their “fund-raising” for hurricane and other “natural disaster” victims. But all that will come.
In the meantime, I don’t think we can imagine the relief and joy experienced by most Hondurans if the rollback of violence represented by an ending of gang warfare in fact occurs and takes hold. Hopefully it’s a harbinger of peace to come in the world at large.


(1) Sage, “Honduran Gangs to Announce Truce to Cut Violence,” May 26, 2013, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/05/honduran-gangs-to-announce-truce-to-cut-violence/

(2) As Governor of Arkansas, he oversaw the use of Mena Airport as a conduit for CIA drugs shipped in from Ilopango Airport. Google Mena Airport, Clinton, CIA drug trade, etc.



Honduran Gangs to Announce Truce to Cut Violence

24 May

Honduras’ two largest and most-violent gangs will sign a truce next week and ask for a dialogue with the government and police to help them start leaving their gang lifestyle, a Roman Catholic bishop said Friday.

San Pedro Sula’s bishop, Romulo Emiliani, told The Associated Press that the Mara Salavatrucha and 18th Street gangs will begin their truce on Tuesday. “The government has been informed and it should be the next to join the dialogue,” according to Emiliani, who said he has been mediating with gang members for a long time.

He said the gangs need government help to stop charging protection fees to finance their war with each other and that authorities should try to turn the country’s prisons into rehabilitation centers. The gangs will issue a public apology.

Honduras is following the example of El Salvador, where leaders of the same gangs agreed last year to a truce that sharply lowered the number of violent deaths. According to reports from public security authorities, during the 14-month truce homicides have dropped about 52 percent.

Adam Blackwell, Ambassador for Security Affairs of the Organization of American States, said the dialogue with the Honduran gangs started eight months ago, when he and Emiliani visited prisons in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa and met with members of both groups.

“This has been a process that began 14 months ago in El Salvador and we hope it can have the same impact it had there in reducing violence,” said Blackwell, who was involved in the negotiations for the gang truce in El Salvador.

Blackwell said he has personally spoken to the Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and his minister of security about a possible truce but that there is no formal accord yet.
“There is no formal agreement like we have in El Salvador,” he added.

The Maras have their roots in Southern California, where young men seeking refuge from Central America’s civil wars formed violent gangs on the streets of Los Angeles and its suburbs in the 1980s. Gang members later deported from the U.S. re-established their violent organizations in their native countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, according to U.N. figures.

27th May 2013, 08:09
More on the lastest UK child sex abuse investigations - a new one started here.


Westminster, Whitehall and Berkhamsted village news and views

Exclusive: Met Police launch nationwide child abuse investigation into Catholic order

Over the last two weeks the Met Police Child Abuse Investigation Command has been secretly running a new investigation into alleged child abuse involving former schoolboys who went to primary and secondary schools run by the Roman Catholic Salesian Order in England and Scotland.

Some 23 alleged victims have already contacted in one of the biggest operations since Operation Yewtree which involved Jimmy Savile and Operation Fernbridge investigation into sexual abuse at Elm Guest House in Barnes – including tracing people who had left the country for Thailand.

The full story is revealed today in The People (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paedo-probe-catholic-schools-20-1911825) and Exaro News( http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4979/met-investigates-catholic-order-s-schools-over-child-sex-abuse ). It is known to involve at least 30 victims and 20 priests and teachers, some of whom are now dead, and stretching back some 50 years. Some of the figures were prominent members of the Order which was set up in London in the late nineteenth century and now stretches world-wide.

The impetus for the new investigation comes from one former pupil of a Salesian school, Graham Wilmer, who was sexually abused himself, and has tirelessly and heroically campaigned for a full-scale police investigation into the order for decades.

He now runs the Lantern Project (http://www.lanternproject.org.uk) in the Wirral which counsels victims of child sexual abuse and has managed to pass to the police 50 names of victims and abusers, some of whom had left the country.

The extraordinary decision to launch the investigation was finally prompted – after three false attempts – by a former pupil of a London Salesian school who was a senior colleague of Commander Peter Spindler, now at HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. He knew of the abuse in the order and directly contacted Spindler. His intervention led to Spindler launching the inquiry and the contacting of victims. (See http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4980/operation-torva-ex-pupil-joined-police-and-triggered-met-probe )

The Scotland Yard codename for the exercise is Operation Torva.

One of the schools where abuse by staff was alleged to have taken place was a Salesian College in Battersea, south London. Famous pupils there include Catherine Tate who attended the sixth form and Lord O’Donnell, the former cabinet Secretary, who was head boy.

The Met Police said: “The Metropolitan Police takes allegations of sexual abuse very seriously regardless of when they took place. All allegations when reported will be recorded and investigated and where possible evidence will be put before the court in order that offenders will have to answer for their actions. Officers from the Metropolitan Police have been engaging with members of the Lantern Project in order to work in partnership to encourage those who have suffered abuse to come forward.

Graham Wilmer said: “It is a matter of great comfort to us that the response we have had, when talking to the police, has always been very positive, and no one should be concerned about how they will be treated if they report abuse to the police. I would urge any one who has been abused in a Salesian school, or elsewhere, to come forward and make contact with the police in the first instant.

“It has always been a matter of real concern to me that, up until the Jimmy Savile case, it has been very difficult to get justice for victims of sexual abuse, as nobody really wanted to know. Now, everything as changed, and the police, the DPP and the CPS are actively encouraging victims to come forward and seek help.

However, there is still no sign from government that they will provide the funding necessary to support survivor groups, such as the Lantern Project, without which the support that victims who come forward desperately need, will simply not be there.”

The police are taking calls from victims on 101 or 999 and victims can also contact the Lantern Project on 0151 630 6956 if they don’t want call the police to report child abuse in the Salesian Order.

25 May

28th May 2013, 09:15
An extract of Benjy Fulford's latest take on it all.


The tide has definitely turned against the Cabal but some big battles remain ahead

Posted by benjaminMay 28, 2013

There are indications everywhere now that the tide has turned decisively against the Satanic Sabbatean cabal and its plans for a family controlled fascist New World Order global dictatorship. For example, Pope Francis is expected to make a speech on the subject of financial tyranny and the global collateral accounts when he visits South America in June, according to a senior P2 Freemason Lodge member.

President Obama, meanwhile, made a speech last weekend where he basically admitted the US government had gone rogue and was getting ready to mend its ways.

However, the Sabbateans have still not given up and may pull off a few more nasty tricks before their final defeat. The recent mass burning of cars in Sweden, the “beheading” in the UK, the stabbing in France etc. all seem part of a desperate cabal effort to somehow provoke their long planned Muslim/Christian war. There is also the matter of Israel that still needs to be settled.

In Japan, too, cabal “economic hitmen” have been on the rampage causing volatility in markets in an attempt to derail Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics. This is part of a still unfinished battle for control of Japan. There are also indications that the recent Japanese election was stolen for Abe by

full story here:

and Fulford mentions this Veterans Today link with Obama's admissions:


Poof has departed the planet:


Poofness 5-26-13…”The Continuing”… and “The Poofness” has Passed…

From Kauilapele: As I read toward the end of this, I saw that Susan wrote that Poof has passed away, after a short illness. More on that in the next post.

story at the link and


In Honor of “The Poof”… Re-release of Poof’s Interview with Brian Kelly, October, 2012… VIDEO & MP3s

story at link


October 15, 2012

The following video is an interview with POOF by Brian for the American Kabuki blog. I am pleased to have Brian as part of the American Kabuki ground crew. I am sure you will enjoy his debut interview for the American Kabuki blog as much as I have.

Poof asked me to delay posting this video because some groundwork for the new financial system was not yet complete, which is why its being released 6 weeks after the fact. Poof informed me Tuesday that I could post this Thursday as the protocols would be completed. I apologize for the delay. I thought it better to delay this video than cause complications in implementing the new financial system which will benefit all

There are some interesting revelations in this video, things that I found hard to believe prior to the election but which seem to be bearing true 6 weeks later. There have been a number of positive actions by Obama since his re-election.

Most surprising is POOFs revelation regarding the role of Timothy Geithner in all this.

You may come to the same conclusion as I have about the current buzzword "fiscal cliff" in the cabal oriented media. Its THEIR fiscal cliff, not those of ordinary Americans. The cabal has always sought to socialize their losses and privatize their profits. There has been a concerted effort to place this phrase in the public mind by repeating it constantly in the media. I am surprised college students haven't yet created a drinking game for each time a TV personality says the word "fiscal cliff"! One could get plastered from 15 minutes of watching CNBC! The cabal wants you to believe their problem is your problem. There is no cure for this debt, their cure involves centuries of deprivation and slavery to them. Do you want that? The math simply doesn't work. The only way out of this is a complete reset and restructuring which removes them from power, and they love power more than money. No amount of budget cuts will cure this debt. There is no need to panic about the fiscal cliff, there is a new system in place to replace the old. The old has to go.

28th May 2013, 09:32

28 May

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah clinically dead: Report says

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is reported to be clinically dead as the monarch is not recently seen in the public.

A Saudi journalist working for London-Based Asharq Alawsat says the Saudi monarch has been clinically dead since Wednesday.

He also quoted medical sources in Saudi Arabia as saying that the king’s vital organs, including his heart, kidneys and lungs, have stopped functioning.

Doctors are said to have used a defibrillator on him several times. He is also reported to be alive with the help of a ventilator.

The Royal Court has yet to comment on the report of King's death.

The aging Saudi monarch has not recently appeared in the public and the country's crown prince is attending official meetings on his behalf.

It is the second time in the past months that Asharq Alawsat reports the death of King Abdullah.

In November 2012, the daily reported that Saudi king has slipped into coma and was clinically dead nearly a week after he underwent a 14-hour-long back surgery in a hospital in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The report was later rejected by the Royal Court.

The 89-year-old king’s health has declined over the past few years, during which he has been hospitalized several times.

Failing health, old age as well as the death of the king’s half-brothers have raised concerns about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of anti-government demonstrations.


Fulford says on this:

This is a clear sign the cabal that forced the world to buy oil from Sabbatean
kingdoms and deposit the money in cabal controlled banks, is on the ropes.

28th May 2013, 09:36
Another extract from Fulford's latest as above (story 2363)

Also last week, China's number 2, Li Keqiang, went to India, Switzerland and
Germany in what appears to be a move to formalize relations between the 180
nations BRICS alliance and the European Union using the Swiss as intermediaries.


China and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start a free trade
agreement, the first between China and a Western country. In addition, both
countries agreed to "a bid to jointly promote the establishment of a new
international financial order featuring fairness, justice, inclusiveness and
orderliness" according to Xinhua News.

29th May 2013, 07:57
Interesting to know who and which groups were washing their money this way. Sab.


'$6bn money-laundering website' Liberty Reserve kingpin cuffed in Spain

Feds seize 'cyber-crooks' favourite' dot-com, lay charges

Posted in Security, 28th May 2013 16:04 GMT

Shadowy online money exchange Liberty Reserve has been shut down by the US feds, its dotcom website seized - and its founder arrested. He and six others are accused of running a $6bn global money-laundering operation, the biggest of its kind, according to prosecutors.

In a string of dramatic events,

On Friday, cops in Costa Rica raided offices linked to the underground payment service, which is alleged to be favoured by cyber-crooks. The police pulled the plug on the Latin America-based website when they grabbed servers during the swoop, effectively freezing all the service's customer accounts.

Meanwhile, the website's founder Arthur Budovsky, 39, was cuffed in Spain. Further arrests were made in Costa Rica and New York.
Then this afternoon, Budovsky and six others were indicted in the US on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

And the website's domain name, libertyreserve.com, was seized by the US Global Illicit Financial Team, which has cleared the site and replaced it with a takedown notice and government logos. Before that, the site's DNS records were briefly updated to resolve to Shadowserver.org, a community effort geared to fighting cybercrime.

Liberty Reserve asked for just an email address, a name and a date of birth from its users when they wished to transfer cash electronically: the money was converted into "Liberty Reserve Dollar" or "Liberty Reserve Euro" digital currencies and quickly moved with minimal bureaucracy and transfer fees no higher than $3 a transaction. These features apparently made the service popular with criminals - at least 55 million transactions were carried out - according to US prosecutors who led the investigation into Liberty Reserve.

During a press conference on Saturday, soon after the web money service went dark, Costa Rican state prosecutor Jose Pablo Gonzalez said a number of suspects as well as Budovsky were under investigation over alleged money laundering.

Today's US indictment, issued by the New York's southern district attorney's office, also links Exchangezone.com, Swiftexchanger.com, MoneyCentralMarket.com, AsianaGold.com and EuroGoldCash.com to the Liberty Reserve operation.

The official paperwork claims "the defendants [operated] an international online digital currency service and money transfer system called Liberty Reserve … which was incorporated in Costa Rica in 2006 [and] is extensively used by cybercriminals around the world for distributing, storing and laundering the proceeds of their criminal activity".

The Feds further alleged that Budovsky and his co-conspirators knowingly operated "a criminal business venture" that moved tens of millions of dollars around the world through a network of shell companies - a move to keep the cash beyond the reach of American and European investigators, it is claimed.

Budovsky was indicted in 2006 on similar charges of operating an illegal money business, called GoldAge Inc, from a New York apartment. The Feds alleged that the service transferred $30m during a four-year operation prior to its closure. Budovsky and co-defendant Vladimir Kats were found guilty and sentenced to five years' probation in 2007. However Budovsky failed to see out his punishment and fled to Costa Rica, where he set up Liberty Reserve. He also renounced his US citizenship and became a Costa Rican national.

Today's indictment charges Budovsky, Vladimir Kats, Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani, Allan Esteban Hidalgo Jimenez, Azzeddine El Amine, Mark Marmilev and Maxim Chukharev. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. ®



28 May

Founders of ‘PayPal for criminals’ Liberty Reserve are charged with money laundering

New York lawyers say $6bn of ill-gotten gains were processed though money-transfer service

A federal grand jury in the United States has charged the operators of a digital currency and money transfer business with running a sprawling enterprise that allegedly helped criminals to launder some $6bn in ill-gotten gains over the past seven years.

The allegations against Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve, its founder, Arthur Budovsky, and six other men connected to the business, were made in an indictment unsealed in New York. The accusations follow a series of arrests late last week in Costa Rica, New York and in Spain, where authorities detained Mr Budovsky.

Liberty Reserve had described itself as being the internet’s “oldest, safest and most popular payment processor... serving millions all around a world”. But prosecutors claim that the business, which was established in 2006 and was shut down last week, was “one of the principal means by cyber-criminals around the world to distribute, store and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity”. One law enforcement official told The New York Times that Liberty Reserve, which allowed users to transfer large sums money without ever identifying themselves, was “really PayPal for criminals”.

At the heart of the system, authorities allege, was a digital currency called ‘LR’, which formed the basis of transactions. Third parties would buy and sell LR “in bulk” from Liberty Reserve in exchange for real world currency. “The exchangers in turn bought and sold this LR in smaller transactions with end-users” in exchange for dollars or euros or other mainstream currency, making LR a kind of credit within the Liberty Reserve system.

Crucially, however, this third-party system allowed Liberty Reserve to avoid having to validate the identities of users, according to prosecutors. They say that while users were required to supply basic information such as name and date of birth, this was never cross-checked with official documents, or even a credit card. “Accounts could therefore be opened using fictitious or anonymous identities,” according to the indictment, which adds: “Liberty Reserve users routinely established accounts under false names – including such blatantly criminal monikers as ‘Russia Hackers’ and ‘Hacker Account’.”

Liberty Reserve also offered users the chance to transact with certain merchants who accepted LR as payment. These merchants were “overwhelmingly criminal in nature”, according to prosecutors, and are said to have included “traffickers of stolen credit cards and personal identity information”, “computer hackers for hire” and “underground drug-dealing websites”.

Liberty Reserve’s founder, Mr Budovsky, has been in trouble with US authorities before, having been convicted, along with Liberty Reserve co-founder Vladimir Katz, in December 2006 of operating Gold Age Inc, an unlicensed money transmitting business.

29th May 2013, 08:02
There's a lot coming to light at the moment. Wonder who will resign over this one - of course no politicians knew did they.... Sab.


29 May

Afghans 'unlawfully held' by UK forces at Camp Bastion

British forces are detaining up to 85 Afghan nationals in a holding facility at Camp Bastion, in what could amount to unlawful detention and internment, documents obtained by the BBC suggest.

UK lawyers acting for eight of the men said their clients had been held for up to 14 months without charge.

They compared it to when the public became aware of Guantanamo Bay and want the UK High Court to free them.

The MoD said detentions in Afghanistan were legal under the UN mandate.

Camp Bastion in Helmand province is the largest British military base in Afghanistan, housing nearly 30,000 servicemen and women.

Legal documents seen by the BBC suggest that an estimated 85 suspected insurgents are being held at the base in a temporary holding facility.

'Exceptional circumstances'
British forces in Afghanistan, operating as part of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), are allowed to detain suspects for 96 hours.

However, in "exceptional circumstances" - for example, to gather critical intelligence to protect lives - they can hold them for longer periods.

The Ministry of Defence has previously said that Isaf neither has the power nor the facilities to intern detainees in Afghanistan.

But nor can the British pass them to the Afghan authorities, after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond imposed a ban on handing over suspects to Afghan forces last November because of fears over ill-treatment.

Ministry of Defence spokesman
UK lawyers acting for eight of the men said their clients were arrested by British soldiers in raids in villages in Helmand and Kandahar provinces and have been held for between eight and 14 months without charge.

They claimed it amounted to unlawful detention and internment.

Lawyers for the men, whom the BBC has chosen not to name over fears for their safety, launched habeas corpus applications at the High Court in London on 18 April, with a full hearing due in late July.

Habeas corpus, in this context, argues for the right to be brought before a court to determine whether their detainment is lawful or not.

The lawyers argue that the MoD should release the men because the British army has no power to continue holding them.

'Perfect storm'
A senior government lawyer, James Eadie QC, described this situation in court as a "perfect legal storm" because the Army suspects each detainee of links to insurgents.

The families of two of the men who appear to have been held the longest said they were arrested in spring last year and interrogated in the weeks that followed.

But legal papers state their interrogation ended "many months ago".

Last week, the two were allowed access to lawyers but they have still not been told why they are being held and they have not been charged with any crime.

British soldiers are banned from passing suspects to the Afghan forces over fears of ill-treatment
The families only established where the men were being held with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

One, a teenager, has been held for 14 months, while the other, a 20-year-old father, has been held for 12 months.

In legal papers Dan Squires, a barrister for the 20-year-old, told the High Court: "He has not been granted access to lawyer nor brought before a court.

"He does not know how long he is to remain detained or for what purpose. He has asked whether he will be transferred to Afghan authorities but had been told they do not consider that he has committed any criminal offence and so do not want to receive him."

'Suspected killers'
In preparatory legal arguments at the High Court on 22 April, Mr Justice Collins told the government that the case raised serious questions about the British army's power to hold suspects in Afghanistan, because the UK could not operate a Guantanamo Bay-style prison - referring to the US facility in which enemy combatants can be held indefinitely without trial.

UK forces operate in Afghanistan as members of Isaf.

Isaf was established by a UN Security Council resolution which "authorises the member states participating in Isaf to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate".

The Security Council resolution does not include a power to intern detainees on the basis that they are regarded as a threat to national security or otherwise.

The MoD said detainees were held where there was evidence linking them to criminal activity.

"Many are either suspected killers of British troops or known to be involved in the preparation, facilitation or laying of improvised explosive devices. They are held pending transfer to Afghan authorities for further investigation prior to prosecution," a spokesman said.

Detention procedures
Phil Shiner, lawyer for eight of the men, said: "This is a secret facility that's been used to unlawfully detain or intern up to 85 Afghans that they've kept secret, that Parliament doesn't know about, that courts previously when they have interrogated issues like detention and internment in Afghanistan have never been told about - completely off the radar.

Phil Shiner
"It is reminiscent of the public's awakening that there was a Guantanamo Bay. And people will be wondering if these detainees are being treated humanely and in accordance with international law."

In a statement, the MoD confirmed the existence of a temporary holding facility but would not comment on the numbers of detainees held there or on individual cases.

It said the detentions were legal under the UN mandate and complied with international obligations.

A spokesman said: "Detention operations are an important part of our force protection measures protecting British troops, our allies and partners, and the Afghan civilian population.

"They directly contribute to the success of the Nato Isaf mission in Afghanistan and ultimately to UK national security. The threat of UK court action is currently preventing us from transferring detainees to the Afghan authorities."

30th May 2013, 09:26
Six Former Bosnian Croat Leaders Convicted of War Crimes

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN – May 29, 2013


(CNN) — Six former top Bosnian Croat leaders were handed long prison sentences Wednesday after they were convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the rape and murder of Bosnian Muslims.

The offenses, which date to between 1992 and 1994, formed part of a wider conflict that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

The six were accused at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia of trying to “ethnically cleanse” non-Croats from areas of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian Croat leadership, along with Croat leaders, wanted to make this territory part of a “Greater Croatia,” said the ICTY, which is based in the Hague.

In order to achieve this, they carried out crimes against Bosnian Muslims and other non-Croats that included murder, rape, sexual assault, destruction of property, imprisonment and deportation, the ICTY statement said.

Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, Milivoj Petkovic and Valentin Coric were convicted on 22 counts of the indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prlic, the former president of the Croatian Defense Council and later head of the government of a wartime Croat entity, Herceg-Bosna, was sentenced to 25 years in prison — the toughest penalty.

The other three were given prison terms ranging from 16 to 20 years in length.

Two of the accused, Slobodan Praljak and Berislav Pusic, were acquitted on some of the charges against them.

Praljak, a former assistant defense minister of Croatia and at the same time a commander of the Croatian Defense Council, was convicted on 20 counts and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

He played an important role in securing weapons and ammunition for the Croatian Defense Council army, the indictment said.
Pusic, who was formerly in charge of detention facilities and prisoner exchanges for the Croatian Defense Council, was found guilty on 18 counts and given 10 years in prison.

Defense lawyers for the six have 30 days to appeal their convictions and sentences.
‘Extreme violence’

The chamber ruled by a majority that the accused wanted to create a Croat entity to unify the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later, these areas were to be either joined with the Republic of Croatia or remain in close association with it, the ICTY said.

The indictment focused on crimes committed in eight municipalities, including Mostar, the ICTY said.

The chamber concluded that “in the majority of cases, these crimes were not committed in a random manner by a few undisciplined soldiers. On the contrary, they were the result of a plan put together by the (accused) members to remove the Muslim population of Herceg-Bosna.”

Others were also part of this joint criminal enterprise, it said, and together they secured personnel and coordinated operations on the ground to carry out the plan.
In the case of the historic city of Mostar, “extreme violence” was used to evict Bosnian Muslims from West Mostar, claimed by the Croats, to the other side of the city, the statement said.

“Muslims were woken up in the middle of the night, beaten and forced to leave their apartments, often still in their pyjamas. Many women, including a girl of 16, were raped” by Croatian Defense Council soldiers, it said.

From June 1993 to April 1994, East Mostar was under siege and the Muslim population there was subject to “intensive and constant” shelling which left many civilians dead or injured, it said.

Other testimony focused on abuses against Muslim prisoners at Croatian Defense Council detention centers, including beatings, sexual assaults and using them as forced labor on the front lines.

The trial, which started in April 2006, is one the largest and most complex the tribunal has handled, it said. More than 200 witnesses were called, 145 of them by the prosecution, and the judgment runs to some 2,600 pages.

30th May 2013, 09:35
There's a few others who should be stripped of their honours - Stuart Hall etc... tragic story of the victim and her family in all of this. S.


EXCLUSIVE: Paedophile choirmaster Michael Brewer whose victim killed herself is stripped of his OBE

Michael Brewer was jailed for six years in March for indecently assaulting Frances Andrade more than three decades ago

She killed herself after giving evidence during his trial

Brewer co-founded National Youth Choir and received OBE

Choirmaster Michael Brewer has been stripped of his OBE after being jailed for sexually abusing a pupil.

The 68-year-old was jailed for six years in March for indecently assaulting Frances Andrade more than three decades ago. She killed herself days after being subjected to a torrid cross-examination during his trial.

Today it emerged the Queen has formally ‘cancelled and annulled’ his honour, granted for services to music.

Judge Martin Rudland branded Brewer ‘a predatory sex offender’ who subjected Mrs Andrade to ‘depraved’ and sometimes daily abuse when she was 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade described the ordeal of giving evidence to the trial as 'like rape all over again' after gruelling cross-examination.

She died of a suspected overdose at her home in Guildford, Surrey on January 24, six days after appearing in court. She left behind her husband Levine and four children.

Her son Oliver said in a statement at the time: 'Like all people she was not impervious.

'Being repeatedly called a liar and a fantasist about a horrific part of her life in front of a court challenged her personal integrity and was more than even she could bear.'

28 May

31st May 2013, 01:23
How US Treasury's tax loophole saves companies billions
Reuters May 31, 2013, 12:01 pm


By Kevin Drawbaugh and Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. economy crumbled in early 2009, President Barack Obama offered a plan that he said would save American jobs: a crackdown on corporate tax loopholes that encourage companies to send profits abroad to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes each year.

Tax lobbyist Ken Kies was not worried. A decade earlier, he had led a fight to preserve a key loophole - known in Treasury Department shorthand as the "check the box" rule - when another Democratic president, Bill Clinton, had tried to kill it.

"I told my clients, 'Don't sweat this. This is never going to happen,'" recalled Kies, who has advised corporate giants Microsoft and General Electric on the issue.

Kies was right.

Business groups rose up against Obama's plan, arguing that it could damage U.S. businesses already threatened by the weak economy. Democrats in Congress balked, Obama dropped the idea and the loophole survived.

The story of the "check the box" loophole, which allows U.S. companies to choose for themselves how to classify their subsidiaries for tax purposes, and a companion policy known as the "look-through" rule, shows how Washington bureaucrats, lobbyists and politicians have worked together — sometimes wittingly - to save money for American corporations and deprive the federal government of billions in tax revenue each year.

What began in 1996 as an effort by the Treasury Department to simplify the U.S. tax code mistakenly ended up as a massive tax loophole for corporate America, which seized upon it and has never let go.

Besides fuelling an explosion in earnings that U.S. companies keep abroad - now more than $1.8 trillion (1.18 trillion pounds), the Commerce Department estimates, double the amount from less than a decade ago - the loophole has become a symbol of how difficult it can be to repeal a tax benefit once it becomes entrenched.

At congressional hearings last week, several lawmakers blasted Apple Inc. for using the "check the box" loophole and other international tax strategies to avoid paying what they estimated as $9 billion in potential U.S. taxes in 2012.

Two of Apple's most aggressive questioners, Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, have called for closing the "check the box" loophole. But even they have voted to keep it alive several times in recent years when it has been inserted into other legislation.

Levin's office did not respond to requests for a comment. McCain declined to comment for this story.

"Once a policy mistake is made that is favourable to taxpayers, and particularly to big taxpayers, it is extremely difficult to reverse," said a former Treasury Department official who helped write the "check the box" rule and was involved in Obama's effort to repeal it.

The former official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of the tax break.

The "check the box" loophole - which costs the United States about $10 billion per year, according to the White House - also has been a reflection of Washington's "revolving door" culture of policy-making and lobbying. Some of the bureaucrats who helped to write the rule went on to work for corporations that used it to lower their tax bills.

They include William Morris, who was Treasury's associate international tax counsel when the rule was imposed.

Morris, who did not respond to requests for comment on this story, joined GE in 2000 and is now director of the company's global tax policy. The company, like many other big multinationals, keeps its tax burden well below the official U.S. corporate rate of 35 percent in part by taking advantage of "check the box" and other international tax strategies.

GE's annual reports indicate that the company does so largely because many of its profits are directed to its vast network of foreign subsidiaries. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, GE said its overseas affiliates were holding $108 billion in offshore profits, which is more than any other U.S. company.

Morris's precise role in GE's tax strategy is unclear. The company declined to comment for this story.

Other former IRS and Treasury officials involved in shaping the tax loophole now hold senior positions at law and accounting firms in Washington and New York.


Offshore tax shelters have bedevilled the U.S. government virtually since the inception of the tax code in 1913.

A 1962 compromise between President John Kennedy and Congress imposed U.S. taxes on "passive" income such as royalties and interest earned abroad, but not on "active" income from regular business operations.

That law, known as Subpart F, made the tax code increasingly complex as businesses grew larger and more diverse. The law was revised 10 times between 1969 and 1996 as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service tried to figure out how to classify, and then tax, tens of thousands of corporate units.

In 1996 the Treasury Department moved to simplify matters with a rule that enabled companies to "check the box" on a tax form to describe a given corporate entity - including whether it was, for tax purposes, irrelevant, a so-called "disregarded entity."

For a company and its subsidiaries that all operate in the United States, the rule streamlined tax filing by allowing the subsidiaries' income to be reported on the same forms as the parent company's income.

When applied to U.S.-based multinational companies, however, the "disregarded entities" status could be used to set up high-volume subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions such as Luxembourg or Ireland. A key part of Apple's tax strategy, for example, is having a subsidiary in Ireland that takes in all of the income from Apple's retail stores in Europe.

Treasury had given little thought to how the "check the box" rule might affect U.S.-based multinational corporations, according to several people involved in the effort.

Treasury officials realized they had created a massive loophole when they noticed a spike in cross-border financing shortly after the rule took effect.

"The mistake was extending it to foreign entities," Donald Lubick, Treasury's top tax official at the time, told Reuters. "That was apparent pretty quickly."

Clinton's Treasury Department moved to revoke the "check the box" rule in early 1998. But multinational companies such as Hallmark, Coca-Cola, IBM and Philip Morris launched a full-court press to convince Congress to keep the rule in place.

Enter Kies, a former tax specialist for Congress' Joint Tax Committee who was eager to put his expertise and contacts to work as a tax lobbyist.

Kies's former Republican bosses - Representative Bill Archer of Texas and Senator William Roth of Delaware - accused the IRS and Treasury of overstepping their authority in trying to take away the loophole.

Kies, meanwhile, says he pursued a strategy that he figured would resonate with businesses, lawmakers and regular citizens: He argued that eliminating the "check the box" loophole would damage U.S.-based multinational companies by forcing them to pay more taxes not only in the United States, but also to high-tax nations such as France.

Roth's Senate Finance Committee passed a bill in April 1998 to prevent Treasury from making any changes to "check the box." That language was watered down to a non-binding resolution by the time the measure passed the Senate the next month, but Congress' message was clear: Don't mess with the loophole.

Treasury soon gave up its effort to revoke it.

"In light of that reception that this rule got on Capitol Hill, we withdrew the notice," said Philip West, who was then the top international tax official at Treasury and now advises clients on international tax strategy for the law firm Steptoe & Johnson.


By 2004, thanks in part to the "check the box" rule, U.S.-based multinational corporations paid an effective tax rate of about 2.3 percent on $700 billion in foreign earnings, according to the Obama administration.

To make "check the box" tougher to revoke, Kies and other corporate lobbyists urged Congress to turn the rule into a law.

Congress did so in 2006 with legislation that became known as the "look through" rule. It bolstered the "check the box" loophole by giving corporations more latitude to move some types of income from one foreign unit to another without paying a tax.

The "look through" rule became law with little debate, according to congressional records. It was tucked into a broad extension of other tax cuts.

The 2006 law wasn't permanent, but supporters have managed to extend it repeatedly by embedding it in large and important but unrelated pieces of legislation that were headed toward easy passage in Congress.

That is what happened in 2009, when Obama threatened to cut the loophole.

Congress has extended it temporarily twice since then as part of larger pieces of legislation. Both Levin and McCain voted to extend it in January as part of the legislation that kept the U.S. government from going off the "fiscal cliff," a package of across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to plunge the U.S. economy into another recession.

Both also voted to extend it in 2010 as part of a broad tax bill.

Obama has not proposed a repeal of the loophole since 2009.

During the Senate hearing last week on Apple's tax strategy, Mark Mazur, Treasury's assistant secretary for tax issues, said in written testimony that the Obama administration remained "concerned about the misuse of various income-shifting devices, including misuse of the 'check the box' rules."

Mazur noted that the White House has made proposals to discourage profit-shifting offshore. But it's unclear whether Obama will try again to have the "check the box" rule revoked.

For perspective, Obama could read the words of another president who also fell short in his assault on tax shelters, this one failing to raise taxes on overseas holding companies.

"We face a challenge to the power of government to collect uniformly and fairly, and without discrimination, taxes based on statutes adopted by Congress," that president wrote.

The letter was signed by Franklin Roosevelt and dated June 1, 1937.

(Additional reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti, Margaret Chadbourn and Kim Dixon; Editing by David Lindsey and Paul Simao)

31st May 2013, 14:23
Khmer Rouge Leaders Say ‘Sorry’ for Atrocities

31 May


Former leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge being tried by a UN-backed genocide tribunal have apologised to families of victims of the regime’s atrocities.

Khieu Samphan, the head of state of the 1970s communist regime, and Nuon Chea, the group’s main ideologist, were responding directly on Thursday to people who had testified about how they lost family members to Khmer Rouge brutality.

“I feel extremely sorry for the disappearance and extremely brutal killing of your father,” Khieu Samphan told Yim Roum Doul. But he said he did not know at the time about “the atrocities committed by the military commanders and leaders”.
“I did not know the great suffering of our people,” he said. The perpetrators “must be brought to justice”.

He said he joined the Khmer Rouge with the “determination to protect our country and to develop our country”.

“But unfortunately it turned out to be a complete disaster,” he said, describing those responsible as “the most stupid persons on earth”.

About 1.7 million people are believed to have died from forced labour, starvation and executions under the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979.

Both men have issued expressions of regret before for the killings, but have denied legal responsibility and insisted they served with the best interests of their country and its people in mind.

The two men are charged with crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture, though their current trial focuses on the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh, the capital, when the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975.

In testimony earlier this week, Khieu Samphan pointed the finger at other parties who he believed contributed to the Cambodian genocide.

He referred to American bombing during Cambodia’s 1970-75 civil war, which some have suggested helped to radicalise Cambodian society. He also reminded people that Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, served with the Khmer Rouge before defecting in 1977. He said Hun Sen should be considered more responsible than he was, because as a junior commander he would have been more aware of what was going on.

Nuon Chea told the court on Thursday he took “responsibility morally” for what occurred under the Khmer Rouge.
“I feel remorseful for the crimes that were committed intentionally or unintentionally and whether or not I had known about it or not known about it,” he said.

Like Khieu Samphan, he offered condolences.

Nuon Chea, who testified from his cell by video because of poor health, has spoken of his regrets previously, in the 2010 documentary film Enemies of the people.

“I have always said I made mistakes,” he said then. “I am regretful and I have remorse. I am sorry for our regime. I am sorry.”

But he was also clear the Khmer Rouge leaders had seen their primary duty as safeguarding the revolution and said suspected traitors were killed because they “were enemies of the people”.

31st May 2013, 14:32
Very interesting (and depressing) background to the Cleveland child abuse allegations in the UK in the 1980's, a brave documentary maker, how people were leaned on and children returned to abusive homes. Hopefully, all the stones will be unturned now. Sab.


Cleveland: Unspeakable Truths

The headline summed it up: “Is this the film that should never have been made ?”.

Just as telling was that the article under it – in the TV Times – was the only national press coverage of the film. Ten years after the Cleveland Child Abuse Crisis not a single newspaper reported on a documentary which told – for the first time – the truth about what had happened to the children at the heart of a “scandal” which had gripped and divided the entire country. Not for nothing was the film called “Cleveland: Unspeakable Truths”.

For those too young to recall it – and for those who still do – it’s worth recalling the events as they unfolded.

In the spring of 1987, 121 children from the (then) county of Cleveland – an area of some 583 square km and including the economically depressed towns of Hartlepool, Redcar and Middlesbrough – were taken into temporary local authority care on suspicion of having been sexually abused. Many – in fact the majority – of the children were very young: most were pre-pubescent and in some cases so young (or developmentally delayed) as to be pre-verbal.

This was not just the biggest sexual abuse case Britain had then encountered but the very first involving multiple victims and multiple perpetrators. Others – Rochdale, Orkney, Broxtowe – would follow on in quick succession, but Cleveland was the first and it set the template.

Newspaper coverage that spring led readers to believe that the children had been “snatched” from their parents as the result of a new and untested physical diagnosis – Reflex Anal Dilatation. The press – led by the Daily Mail – reported that two paediatricians, Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt, who had recently arrived at Middlesbrough General Hospital had begun using RAD to diagnose sexual abuse on children who had been brought to the hospital for petty and unrelated problems – “a child with a sore finger” became the familiar trope of these stories.

Worse, or so the papers claimed, RAD involved looking up inside children’s bottoms and was a new and “experimental” technique. Cleveland’s senior police surgeon – a local GP called Alistair Irvine, made a series of statements to the media in which he damned both RAD and Drs Higgs and Wyatt. He was backed by local MP Stuart Bell who gave a succession of highly inflammatory interviews to local television stations.
full article at link



(about time and remember the criminal money-making involved in all of this).. Sab


30 May UK

Search engines urged to block more online porn sites

Search engines such as Google should do more to restrict access to online pornography, a government adviser on child internet safety has said.

John Carr says internet companies should block links which paedophiles use to find pictures of abuse.

It comes after a court heard April Jones's murderer Mark Bridger searched for child abuse and rape images.

Campaigners backed the call as Google said it has a "zero tolerance" policy to child sexual abuse content.

Mr Carr, a member of the government's Council on Child Internet Safety, said Google and other search engines should reset their default search setting to the safest option - blocking access to legal as well as illegal sexual images.

Those wanting to reach such material would have to register to search for other content, which would deter many from doing so, he argued.

Mr Carr told BBC Radio 4's Today programme internet search engines did prevent access to web addresses that contain child abuse images.

But he said one of the "key routes" paedophiles used to find content was through adverts containing "code words" that are placed on legal hardcore pornography sites.

He said: "Google's moral leadership is essential here. They are the biggest player in this space in the world. If they did it, I think others would have to follow."

Vile trade
Mr Carr said there was "no question" that some men who look at child sex abuse images go on to carry out abuse.

Earlier, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live he said: "There is enough evidence to suggest that if we can put more barriers towards guys getting to child abuse images, fewer of them will do it and more children will be safe."

He said between 15 and 50 per cent of men who previously had no involvement with child abuse images would go on to physically harm children once they accessed them.

It has been suggested that some internet companies are reluctant to change their search settings as it would drive users to sites unwilling to change their policy and put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Children's charity the NSPCC said April's killing highlighted the increasing evidence of a link between disturbing and violent images of children online and serious sexual assaults.

"April's death will hopefully lead to effective measures to stamp out this vile trade," acting chief executive Philip Hoyes said.

'Personal' involvement
Google's director of communications and public affairs, Scott Rubin, says the company has a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse content and is already working with the Internet Watch Foundation to get rid of child sex abuse sites.

He said: "I have a little girl. For us at Google, there are many of us who are parents.

"This is personal, so we fight incredibly hard to support organisations like the IWF here in the UK, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the US, who provide us regularly with addresses of websites that contain this illegal material, and we immediately take them off our site.

"When we learn of it through our users, for example, we report it to the appropriate legal authorities and we do everything we can to respond as quickly as possible.

We need to invest in the work that's done to identify and locate these offenders earlier, and to interdict their behaviour before they step into the real world and harm a child”

Jim Gamble
Ex-head of Ceop
"I know that others in our industry do the same thing and it concerns me when I hear people claiming that we're not doing anything, because it gives parents and others the impression that companies like Google don't care - and the opposite is true. We care deeply about this."

Paedophile Bridger was found guilty at Mold Crown Court on Thursday of abducting and murdering five-year-old April in Powys last October.

Investment call
During his trial, the jury was told that police had found a library of pornography on his laptop which included violent images of children.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said Bridger's conviction had renewed the debate about what could be done to limit access to such material online.

Commons Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz told the Times newspaper that the case had shown "we need to act to remove such content from the internet".

He called for a code of conduct to ensure internet service providers "remove material which breaches acceptable behaviour standards".

A former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) called for more investment in identifying potential abusers.

"We need to invest in the work that's done to identify and locate these offenders earlier, and to interdict their behaviour before they step into the real world and harm a child," Jim Gamble said.

Life sentence
Bridger, 47, of Ceinws, Powys, claimed he had accidentally run April over and could not recall where he had put her body.

But a jury unanimously convicted him in a case lasting four-and-a-half weeks.

The judge branded him a "pathological liar" and "a paedophile".

April went missing on 1 October 2012 near her home in Machynlleth, sparking the biggest search in UK police history. Her remains have never been found.

Bridger was given a whole-life tariff prison sentence, meaning he must spend the rest of his life behind bars.

31st May 2013, 14:48
Oh dear, another MP caught out with his snout in the lobbying trough allegedly... Sab.


31 May UK

Patrick Mercer MP signed a contract with a bogus lobbying company, undercover photographs show

Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP who has resigned from the Conservative Party, signed a contract with a bogus lobbying company, undercover photographs disclose.

The Conservative MP for Newark said he agreed to be a consultant for work carried out outside parliament.
However, he then submitted five parliamentary questions which were all answered, as well as an early day motion, all in relation to Fiji.

Tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph will reveal the full details of the growing lobbying scandal.

The Telegraph and the BBC's Panorama launched a joint investigation the former shadow minister, sending him a list of questions on Thursday evening.

However, the Conservative MP for Newark has now resigned the whip.

The scandal, details of which will be exposed by The Telegraph and Panorama, involved Mr Mercer lobbying on behalf of Fiji.

Parliamentary records show that he asked a question about the regime's suspension from the Commonwealth and put down an Early Day Motion – a device used by MPs to draw attention to certain causes.

Mr Mercer’s resignation initially sparked speculation that he was preparing a challenge to David Cameron’s leadership. The MP has repeatedly criticised the Prime Minister and called for him to be replaced.

He was sacked from the Tory front bench in March 2007 after he suggested in an interview that being called a “black bastard” was a normal part of life in the armed forces. He added that he had met a lot of “idle and useless” ethnic minority soldiers.

In a statement, Mr Mercer said: "Panorama are planning to broadcast a programme alleging that I have broken Parliamentary rules.

"I am taking legal advice about these allegations – and I have referred myself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards."

"In the meantime, to save my party embarrassment, I have resigned the Conservative whip and have so informed Sir George Young. I have also decided not to stand at the next general election."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is aware. He thinks Patrick Mercer has done the right thing in referring himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and resigning the whip.

"It's important that the due processes take their course."

31st May 2013, 21:55
Investigative Reporting Denmark 29 May


GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations

Monsanto will halt production of genetically modified corn in all of Europe, except Spain, Portugal and Czech republic. The agribusiness multinational states not to spend any more money on trials, development, marketing, court cases or anything else to get GM corn accepted in Europe.

Quiet decision last year
”In Europe Monsanto only sells GM corn in three countries. GM corn represents less than 1% of the EU’s corn cultivation by land area. Field trials are only in progress in three countries. We will not spend any more money to convince people to plant them,” states Brandon Mitchener, Public Affairs Lead for Monsanto in Europe and Middle East, in an interview with Investigative Reporting Denmark.

The decision was taken quietly. The company found no reason to communicate it. This means that every agribusiness company has now given up on genetically modified crops in Europe – apart from selling them in Spain and Portugal.

Wikipedia on Genetically modified crops.

Effect on worldwide GMO-battle
“This is not surprising, knowing that BASF stopped its biotech research in Europe in 2012 and Syngenta moved its research years before. It will influence the international expansion of GMOs on a global scale,” comments Klaus Sall MSc.

Sall has been studying the politics of the GMO industry for several years, and is now working as a strategic business adviser. He has just written a status report on the development of GMOs in the EU for The Danish Ecological Association (Økologisk Landsforening).

BASF, Bayer and Syngenta halted their development of GMO potatoes in Europe in 2012, for the very same reasons as Monsanto – the battle was lost.

However green organisations are still fighting the agribusiness company – in Europe and the rest of the world.

”We are not a biotech company and NGOs campaigning against GM cultivation in Europe are beating a dead horse,” Brandon Mitchener points out.

Only Spain and Portugal face GMO-growth
In Czech Repulic the sale of GM corn declining, the only countries where it is on the rise being Spain and Portugal. Currently GM corn field trials are going on in just three countries: Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic. They are done by academic partners of Monsanto or for EU variety registration. Totals here.

“We stopped most of the trials, including the trial in Denmark, following a strategic decision in 2011 to focus our commercial activity in Europe on high-performance, conventional hybrid seeds. Monsanto has a thriving business in Europe with conventional seeds and crop protection products. As a matter of principle, Monsanto will only seek to sell biotech seeds in countries where there is broad customer and political support for them as well as a functioning, science-based regulatory system – conditions which only apply in a few countries in Europe today,” says Brandon Mitchener.

Touch the GMO Maize

Former Danish minister of Agriculture and Food, Eva Kjer Hansen from The Liberal Party, Venstre, announced on September 16th 2009 the start of Monsantos three trials with GMO maize resistent to herbicide Round-Up (NK 603) in Denmark.

She told the press that in three years time Denmark could face acceptance of GMO crops and that a lot of farmers would be growing it. She invited journalists on a road trip and let them touch the GMO maize in the trial field in Tystofte near the Danish city Skælskør.

Even more trials

Two years later, in January 2011, Monsanto expanded these two years of examination with an additional year of testing, which was accepted by the Danish Environmental authority, Miljøstyrelsen.

The procedure is that crop companies’ new crops will be tested by the authority for two years before possibly being allowed for selling and growing in Denmark. At the time, Monsanto wanted to test a total of five different varieties with the transformation NK603.

Trial results are normally open to the public. In this case Monsanto explicitly asked to keep the test silent, and they withdrew the varities before the testing finished, so no results were published.

No information has then been released on these trials.

Fighting for access to trial results
Investigative Reporting Denmark has, together with an organisation for openness, Åbenhedstinget, asked for access to the results. It turns out the trials failed in the second year. On the 1st of February 2011 the authority stated that the GMO crops could not be allowed on the basis of the trial results of the first two years. The authority recommended one more year of trials.

The new maize crop resistant to Round-Up only performed 97 pct. compared to traditional maize for the two test years in total, the authority (Plantedirektoratet, Afdeling for Sortsafprøvning, Fagudvalget) writes. It also warns for the harmful effect of the herbicide Round-Up and concludes that the most realistic outcome is that the crop will not be allowed for growing in Denmark.

Monsanto cancelled the different crops from growing trials on different times. The last was cancelled on the 1st of February 2012. By doing that Monsanto could keep the failure out of the public domain.

Authorities support Monsanto on silence
The authorities have – after more than two months consideration – decided to follow Monsanto’s wish to keep the trial results silent.

Key documents in the FOI-case.
The main argument is that publication of the trial results would have an economically harmful effect on the company, despite the fact that the crops did not pass the trial.

Investigative Reporting and Åbenhedstinget together raise the case for The Danish Ministry of Agriculture. From a scientific viewpoint and for the use in other countries it is necessary to also get results of failed trials published, argue the two organisations.

“It is corrupting to the scientific method itself, when companies can decide that only positive results can be published. Therefore it is important to have this research published,” stresses Klaus Sall.

“This a good example of the need to require companies to accept free access to their GMO seeds, for scientific research, when the crop has been released for import to the EU as NK 603 has.”

Danish trial to be reported later

Brandon Mitchener from Monsanto points to a webpage where trials are reported. The Danish trials will be reported there later this year. The actual data from the trials are not included in the reports.

“I cannot believe that any company would ever voluntarily disclose information that might be useful to its competitors. It’s unrealistic, even surreal, that anyone would expect us to. Laws already strike the proper balance between confidentiality and transparency,” says Brandon Mitchener.

The horse is dead.

Experts getting moved away from GMO
In September 2009 The Danish Ministry for Agriculture and Food published a 235 page report on in an attempt to revitalise the debate and have GMOs allowed in Denmark. This took place on the same day as the roadtrip for the press to trial fields.

The report was met with a heavy criticism in the public debate. Today the topic is closed.

”Currently no agribusiness companies have GM varieties under testing for registration at The AgriFish Agency anymore,” explains Kristine Riskær, head of the center for farming and plants in the Danish State Authority for Farming, NaturErhvervsstyrelsen, a branch under The Danish Ministry for Agriculture and Food.

31st May 2013, 22:14
Although GMO is getting a ceremonial euroboot up it's backside, I think there is split opening up in the European consciousness about gmo.

Do we really bother to find out where the ingredients for our foods are gathered from? Do we really bother to look at the ingredients list on packaging ?

I had a session of looking at the ingredients of many brands of supermarket bread a couple of years ago. What I found alarmed me in 2 ways. I found that nearly all 'affordable' bread 'flour' isn't all wheat. There are varying proportions of soya flour in them, seemingly dependent on the price bracket of the end product.

On quite a few of the loaves I checked, the %age of soya flour was higher than the wheat %age !

I fairly certain that the soya flour used in British 'cheap' bread comes from America where gmo soya is almost all there is these days. Yes, the main ingredient in 'cheap' bread in the UK is genetically modified soya.

That fact alarmed me then, and it still does.

Another fact that alarmed me even more was the way the 'gmo debate' rambles on and on without ever mentioning the fact that "we", that's the vast majority of brits, are already consuming vast amounts of gmo food, and yet we 'talk' as if we are our own best guardians and we kick up a fuss to keep gmo out of British food !

It baffles me, how this can be so. It even frightens me too. It gives me the creeps to sense that we are so blind as a population. So theoretically self righteous about so many things, yet we fail on the most basic level of all because there is some vast voodoo at work on our mass consciousness that manages to slip gmo food into our bellies without seemingly ever being spotted on our self righteous radar.

2nd June 2013, 06:13
Although GMO is getting a ceremonial euroboot up it's backside, I think there is split opening up in the European consciousness about gmo.

Do we really bother to find out where the ingredients for our foods are gathered from? Do we really bother to look at the ingredients list on packaging ?

I had a session of looking at the ingredients of many brands of supermarket bread a couple of years ago. What I found alarmed me in 2 ways. I found that nearly all 'affordable' bread 'flour' isn't all wheat. There are varying proportions of soya flour in them, seemingly dependent on the price bracket of the end product.

On quite a few of the loaves I checked, the %age of soya flour was higher than the wheat %age !

I fairly certain that the soya flour used in British 'cheap' bread comes from America where gmo soya is almost all there is these days. Yes, the main ingredient in 'cheap' bread in the UK is genetically modified soya.

That fact alarmed me then, and it still does.

Another fact that alarmed me even more was the way the 'gmo debate' rambles on and on without ever mentioning the fact that "we", that's the vast majority of brits, are already consuming vast amounts of gmo food, and yet we 'talk' as if we are our own best guardians and we kick up a fuss to keep gmo out of British food !

It baffles me, how this can be so. It even frightens me too. It gives me the creeps to sense that we are so blind as a population. So theoretically self righteous about so many things, yet we fail on the most basic level of all because there is some vast voodoo at work on our mass consciousness that manages to slip gmo food into our bellies without seemingly ever being spotted on our self righteous radar.

Totally agree Norman that the average Brit hasn't a clue about the GMO content in our food, and yet there was a media storm about traces of horse meat (what was that all about really? It made people more concerned about the content of their food - and yet many didn't care about the horse meat element - or the drugs in the horses - and did it distract away from something else?)... Are we the most mind controlled little island nation as Cathi Morgan said?

¤=[Post Update]=¤

More on Libor.


RBS gives up fight, will hand over Libor documents to Canada


OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has agreed to hand over documents demanded by Canada in its probe into whether the bank was involved in a global interest rate-rigging scandal, Canada's Competition Bureau said on Friday.

The move marked a reversal for RBS, which had launched a legal challenge against the bureau's demand for internal documents. The Competition Bureau is trying to determine whether RBS and several other banks sought to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).

The bank's decision to hand over the documents "comes approximately 18 months after the launch of the (RBS) challenge and will allow the bureau to move forward with its investigation of alleged collusive conduct into the setting of Yen Libor rates," the bureau stated.

RBS now has until June 28 to produce the documents.

More than a dozen banks are under investigation by authorities in Europe, Japan, the United States and Canada over suspected Libor rate rigging between 2007 and 2010. Officials are considering reforms to safeguard the integrity of Libor, which is used in financial contracts worth hundreds of trillions of dollars globally.

RBS has repeatedly said it was cooperating fully with the Canadian investigators and that it only challenged their methods for obtaining information due to confidentiality concerns, but was willing to find alternative ways of turning over the documents.

RBS did not immediately say why it abandoned its legal challenge.

"RBS continues to cooperate with the Competition Bureau in this matter," said RBS spokesman Ed Canaday on Friday after the announcement.

31 may

2nd June 2013, 18:35

Why Didn't the SEC Catch Madoff? It Might Have Been Policy Not To


POSTED: May 31, 5:20 PM ET US

More and more embarrassing stories of keep leaking out of the SEC, which is beginning to look somehow worse than corrupt – it's hard to find the right language exactly, but "aggressively clueless" comes pretty close to summing up the atmosphere that seems to be ruling the country's top financial gendarmes.

The most recent contribution to the broadening canvas of dysfunction and incompetence surrounding the SEC is a whistleblower complaint filed by 56-year-old Kathleen Furey, a senior lawyer who worked in the New York Regional Office (NYRO), the agency outpost with direct jurisdiction over Wall Street.

Furey's complaint is full of startling revelations about the SEC, but the most amazing of them is that Furey and the other 20-odd lawyers who worked in her unit at the NYRO were actually barred by a superior from bringing cases under two of the four main securities laws governing Wall Street, the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

According to Furey, her group at the SEC's New York office, from a period stretching for over half a decade through December, 2008, did not as a matter of policy pursue cases against investment managers like Bernie Madoff. Furey says she was told flatly by her boss, Assistant Regional Director George Stepaniuk, that "We do not do IM cases."

Some background is necessary to explain the significance of this tale.

There are four main laws that the SEC uses to regulate the financial sector. At least as far as numbers go, the agency has a fairly extensive record of enforcement actions with the first two, which are aimed at the securities markets.

The first of those is the Securities Act of 1933, also commonly known as the "Blue Sky laws," which among other things set down the rules mandating public disclosure of pertinent information to investors in securities. The second is the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which governs securities already issued, and includes the laws barring insider trading. Both of these laws are primarily intended to prevent fraud in the securities markets.

But the agency's record is a little spottier when it comes to the other two key pieces of legislation, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and theInvestment Company Act of 1940. These are the agency's main tools for prosecuting fraud and malfeasance involving people who manage other people's money – mutual funds, hedge funds, investment managers. Somebody like Bernie Madoff, who took billions from investors and simply stole the money instead of investing, would largely be regulated under the latter two acts.

Kathleen Furey joined the SEC in September of 2004, starting as a law clerk in the Enforcement Division. She steadily rose within the agency and was promoted three times over the next three years.

Then in 2007, Furey started work on a case that involved Value Line, a high-profile family of mutual funds that was being accused of charging tens of millions of dollars in bogus commissions. The company had appeared on the SEC's radar via a referral in 2004, but the agency's higher-ups had not yet approved a formal investigation, which is necessary for the issuance of subpoenas.

When she tried to take that next step in the Value Line case, Furey says she was denied. This is when she says Stepaniuk filled her in on his "We don't do IM cases" policy. Upset, and convinced that the Assistant Director of the New York office did not have the authority to unilaterally non-enforce two major portions of the SEC's regulatory mandate, Furey appealed to Stepaniuk's superior in the NYRO.

According to Furey's complaint, this official, instead of helping her and paving the way for the investigation to proceed, gave Furey two options. He said she could either recant her statement about being told not to pursue "IM cases," or she could go to the SEC Inspector General.

Incidentally, Furey in her internal arguments over this case specifically warned that the agency needed to begin enforcing section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act, which barred money managers from employing "any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud any client or prospective client." She warned that pursuing cases under that statute "may save the agency from future embarrassment." Section 206 was the exact statute that the SEC ultimately employed both in the Value Line case (many years later), and in the case against Bernie Madoff.

This background is key to understanding the timeline of the SEC's response to both the Madoff story and Investment Management cases in general.

In Furey's complaint, she cites statistics that provide unsettling evidence that there was, in fact, some kind of policy in place that prevented her group from going after investment advisers. During the period from January 1, 2002, through January 20, 2009, Stepaniuk's group did not file a single case under the Investment Advisors Act (IAA) or Investment Company Act (ICA).

During this time frame, Stepaniuk reportedly approached the SEC's Commission 60 times with requests to to file cases or to open formal investigations, which, again, is necessary to file subpoenas. Out of those 60 cases, only one, the Value Line investigation opened on April 18, 2008, was an Investment Management case.

In a not-so-amazing coincidence, April 18, 2008 happened to be the same day that the SEC's Inspector General released a report that in part addressed the office's apparent mishandling of that same Value Line case. In other words, the SEC seemed not to move on Value Line until it became a public issue.

Even more damning, however, was the reaction after the Madoff story broke, toward the tail end of 2008. The scandal was incredibly embarrassing to the SEC, which had failed to investigate Madoff despite being tipped off in extraordinarily detailed fashion by investigator Harry Markopolos over eight years before.

It came out that Madoff had not merely stolen from his clients but not conducted any trades at all, simply bilking money in the most primitive conceivable Ponzi scheme. This meant that the SEC would have been able to uncover the fraud with even the most cursory examination at any time during the fund's existence.

Unsurprisingly, by the start of 2009, the SEC was being hammered by members of Congress in both parties – institutionally a terribly troubling development, given that Congress controls the regulator's budget.

So how did the agency respond? After having conducted no "IM cases" at all for years, that NYRO group's next nine cases from January 2009 on were all IAA or ICA cases.

When I contacted the SEC, I made it clear that if they could produce any evidence that Furey's statistics were off, that Stepaniuk's unit had in fact filed IAA or ICA cases during the relevant time period, then I probably wouldn't write about her complaint.

But when I pressed the agency for specifics on that question, they responded with red herrings.

First, they sent a list of 14 IM cases pursued by the SEC's New York Office between 2006 and 2009. When I asked how many of those were pursued by Stepaniuk's group, it turned out that only one of them was – a case against Henry "Hank" Morris, a top fundraiser for New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi. But that case was charged in March 2009, right after the Madoff story broke. This was completely consistent with what Furey had claimed, that her group had essentially not pursued IM cases until after Madoff.

When I pointed this out, they sent yet another list of cases, two of which appeared to have been filed by Stepaniuk's group prior to the Madoff case. One of those, SEC vs. Kevin Dunn, involved a stockbroker for MetLife who was accused of swindling the widow of a Port Authority policeman who died in 9/11.

While no doubt a worthy matter to pursue, this, too turned out not to be an "IM case." Dunn was exclusively charged with violations under the old-school '33 and '34 Acts. The only references to the IAA in the entire case were two totally extraneous facts.

One was that MetLife, which was not charged in the case at all and merely happened to be Dunn's employer, was a registered Investment Adviser. Two was that Dunn, as a condition of his punishment, agreed to be barred from any affiliations with any registered broker-dealer or investment adviser in the future. This is a common regulatory/punitive throw-in and had nothing to do with what kind of case it was.

Claiming that this was an IM case was not much different than sending on a case involving a stockbroker who had committed insider trading while flying over a registered Investment Company office in a hot air balloon – and claiming that was an "IM case." It was silly.

The other case I was sent was . . . SEC vs. Value Line!

The fact that the SEC would try to discredit Furey and sell its own sterling record of investigating investment management cases by citing the same troubled investigation that had caused Furey to blow the whistle in the first place should tell you a lot about how disorganized the agency now seems to be.

The SEC did note that the Inspector General, years back, could not find corroborating evidence for Furey's claim that Stepaniuk had told her there was a policy against "IM cases." But what was or wasn't said is not of primary relevance to the story.

What is highly relevant is that Furey was unquestionably on record – in emails and other complaints – complaining about the lack of action in this arena even before the Madoff story broke. And there's little doubt that this unit's actual record of pre-Madoff IM cases in the rest of the 2000s is essentially nonexistent.

This being the SEC, the story unfortunately did not end with a key unit of the agency merely failing to regulate an entire sector of the finance world until a $60 billion Ponzi scheme exploded in its face. In this incident they've also continued to show an inability to deal with whistleblowers, a problem that of course has been epidemic in the last two presidential administrations, but has been particularly acute in the SEC.

Noted author William Cohan described Furey's post-whistleblowing struggles within the SEC in great detail in a Bloomberg piece.

As Cohan explains, Furey went through all the usual nonsense after coming forward and complaining about the failure to bring "IM cases": She was shunned by superiors, kept away from sensitive work and taken off the promotion track.

Moreover, when Furey in 2010 asked then-NYRO director George Canellos if her career was being held back by her whistleblowing, he gave an interesting answer. She says he responded by saying that there were people in the New York office who were "not fans" of what she had done.

Canellos today mans one of the SEC's top jobs. Along with Andrew Ceresney, who worked with new chief Mary Jo White as a partner at her old firm Debevoise and Plimpton, he runs the SEC's enforcement division.

Furey contends that for a time, she was being compensated at a level not commensurate with her actual duties – without getting too wonky, Furey believed she was being paid as an "SK-14"-level civil servant while she was in fact handling the duties of an "SK-16." When Canellos and other officials did not respond to her complaints directly, she requested an external "desk audit," a government procedure in which an outside official assesses the duties of an agency employee.

Furey received a perfect score of 1,760 out of 1,760 from the outside auditor, who agreed that she was working at the SK-16 level and recommended that, if she remained in that position, she be promoted.

The SEC and Canellos instead stripped her of her duties, essentially demoting her and not implenting the recommendation of the desk audit, an action rare enough that the agency's human resources department apparently had to do research to see if it was legal (according to Furey's attorney, this checking was done only after the demotion).

The SEC, meanwhile, contends that Furey only temporarily held the higher position, filling a spot vacated by a promoted official, and that the agency had to demote her. "As a general matter, managers are not permitted to indefinitely assign work above an employee’s grade level," says SEC spokesman John Nester. "If there is not a higher level position that has been approved for filling, managers are required to remove the higher level duties."

Beyond that, neither Stepaniuk nor Canellos has any comment on Furey's allegations.

While a lot of this will seem like a meaningless intramural squabble to outside readers, it points to a larger pattern within the agency. For years, people who come forward and try to press the SEC to pursue important cases have often been treated very poorly, if not with outright hostility.

This has been true of people outside the SEC, like Harry Markopolos or Leyla Wydler, who came forward with information about the Stanford Ponzi scheme, only to be ignored by the SEC. Both the Madoff and Stanford cases, which incidentally were both "IM cases," snowballed into far bigger disasters than was necessary because the agency identically blew off those two whistleblowers.

The agency also has a poor record with whistleblowers within the SEC, like onetime investigator Gary Aguirre, who famously won a $755,000 wrongful termination settlement against the SEC after he was fired for trying to press an insider trading case against future Morgan Stanley chief John Mack.

Aguirre, ironically, now represents Furey, and it sometimes feels like we're re-living the same stories over and over again with this agency. The same kinds of blindly political creatures keep getting promoted to the top jobs, while hardworking line investigators who are just trying to do the work keep running into the same kinds of ludicrous intra-office difficulties. They have to get a clue eventually – don't they?

4th June 2013, 07:09
The up and coming UK Bilderberg meeting is covered elsewhere, but there's a list of some bankers attending, including those who recently stepped down from their powerful roles - mostly over the Libor scandal. I love the reader's comment to the earnest financial journo'... at the end.

And, something about the publicity and media circus with Icke and Jones, and helpful Bilderberg press facilities and cross referencing with the alternative meet up just smells wrong to me.


Seven banks and bankers that always attend Bilderberg meetings (including those who resigned recently)

If you’re a conspiracy theorist :) or a person with pretensions to global importance, the annual Bilderberg meeting will be etched upon your mind in indelible ink. If you’re neither of these, you may be interested to know that Bilderberg is holding its ‘secretive’ annual meeting this week.

Incongruously, this year’s Bilderberg meeting is happening in Watford, an unglamorous outer London suburb. Interestingly, it’s being held in the same hotel as Google’s recent invitation-only ‘Zeitgeist’ event.

Although it’s portrayed in some circles as a covert and slightly sinister gathering to decide world affairs, Bilderberg’s agenda is made public on its website. Among other things, attendees this year will be discussing European politics, medical research, cyber warfare and big data. :)

Although banking and financial services regulation aren’t on the agenda, it seems that plenty of bankers and banks attend Bilderberg meetings on a regular basis. We’ve combed through attendee lists for the past five years and noted that some names and organisations appear repetitively. They are:

1. Josef Ackermann, former chief executive of Deutsche Bank
According to our research, Ackermann has been at every Bilderberg meeting since 2008 and is a member of the steering committee. Despite having stepped down from Deutsche Bank in May last year, Ackermann will be at Bilderberg again this week. Neither Anshu Jain nor Jurgen Fitschen are on the 2013 guest list.

2. Marcus Agius, ex-chairman of Barclays
Marcus Agius, the former Barclays chairman who stepped down after the Libor scandal, has also been a regular fixture on the Bilderberg circuit. Like Ackermann, Agius attended Bilderberg meetings between 2008 and 2012 and is a member of the steering committee. Even though Agius is effectively retired, he’s attending again this week. Sir David Walker, Barclays’ new chairman, isn’t attending; David Wright, vice chairman of Barclays, is.

3. Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners
Roger Altman, the ex-Lehman banker and founder and chairman of US-based ’boutique’ investment bank Evercore Partners, has also been at Bilderberg meetings on multiple occasions. Altman was there in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

4. Peter Sutherland, Goldman Sachs
Lloyd Blankfein was allegedly on the Bilderberg guest list in 2007, but since then he seems to have deferred attendance on behalf of Goldman to Peter Sutherland, a former chairman of BP turned chairman and managing director at Goldman Sachs International in London. Also attending this year is Michael Evans, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs globally.

5. Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC
Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC, is also all over Bilderberg. Guest lists suggest that Flint attended the event in 2011 and 2012. By comparison, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver appears to have given the event a pass.

6. Henry Kravis, co-founder KKR
Henry Kravis, the billionaire co-founder of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, has also been attending Bilderberg meetings for many years. Guest lists posted on the web indicate that Kravis has been every year since 2009.

7. Kenneth Jacobs, chief executive of Lazard
Both Kenneth Jacons, Lazard CEO, and Vernon Jordan, managing director of Lazard, are Bilderberg devotees. It doesn’t appear that Bruce Wasserstein, the ex-Lazard chief and dealmaker, attended on any occasions.

Which banks don’t do Bilderberg?
Several banks are conspicuously absent from the Bilderberg attendee list this year. They include: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, UBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and every conceivable major hedge fund. Either the ‘finance lobby’ at Bilderberg is weakening or maybe banks deem Bilderberg a waste of time. Alternatively, conspiracy theorists might argue that senior bankers are attending in secret – the Guardian says the official list of attendees is nonsense.

Comments (1) :)

Sarah Butcher, nice spin on the story. Your parents should be ashamed. You are a disgrace! Too bad you don’t have a conscience. By US and British law it is illegal for politicians to be attending this meeting. Do you honestly believe that the LIBOR scandal was a conspiracy of one?

I recently finished reading the distinguished guest list which includes people such as the president of the EC, José M. Durão Barroso, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF. What do you think these people are going to be discussing, who’s going to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil? Or maybe they’ll talk about their favorite fishing hole? To suggest that this meeting is insignificant is asinine, ludicrous, and preposterous. Your deceptive efforts are especially insulting to critical thinkers and hurtful to mankind in general.

Please, report the facts, make a few insights and do what’s best for your fellow man, not what’s best for your bank account and the Bilderbergs. There wouldn’t be a near media blackout if they were planning something good and had nothing to hide.

4th June 2013, 07:18
One arrest and very long awaited trail that doesn't feel so good.


3 June US

Trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning opens in WikiLeaks case

The prosecutor seeks to tie the defendant, now 25, to website operator Julian Assange, while the defense says he was trying to make the world a better place.

FT. MEADE, Md. — The court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning opened Monday with much attention focused on a man who wasn't there.

Government prosecutors seeking life in prison for the young, nondescript enlistee from Oklahoma sought to tie him to the outsized Julian Assange, head of the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks website, who used his world stage to post hundreds of thousands of Manning's purloined documents in the largest leak of U.S. classified material in history.

With defense lawyers challenging the idea of a close tie between the two, the opening day of Manning's court-martial often seemed designed to set the stage for a future prosecution of Assange, who is living under a grant of asylum in a one-room office in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Manning already admitted giving WikiLeaks the documents and is assured of a long prison sentence on 21 charges that include endangering the U.S. and aiding the enemy.

Assange faces prosecution in Sweden on sexual assault charges, but his greatest fear is that Sweden will hand him over to the U.S. Assange's backers have said they believe a U.S. grand jury already has secretly indicted him.

According to the defense, Manning was motivated "to do something, something to make a difference," after arriving in Iraq in 2009 and hearing of the carnage that was going on around him.
full story at link

4th June 2013, 07:28
Perhaps MP resignations might catch on with a few more looking at their positions in the future?


3 June UK - Parliament

Mike Hancock Resigns LibDem Whip

Following our meeting today I have decided to offer to temporarily withdraw from the parliamentary party in the Commons until the civil court case against me has been concluded.

I can assure you that I will continue to vigorously defend my position and that I completely refute the allegations made against me.

I’m doing this in the best interests of the party nationally and in Portsmouth and for my family.

I will continue to work hard for my constituents in Portsmouth as I have always done.

Mike Hancock MP



Mike Hancock: Sex Case MP Quits Party Whip

Mike Hancock being sued by a constituent, accusing him of the allegations after she contacted him for help in a neighbour dispute.

Liberal Democrat politician Mike Hancock has quit the party whip while he fights sexual assault allegations.

The Portsmouth South MP said he was stepping down from the party temporarily while he defended a High Court action against him.

Mr Hancock is being sued by a "vulnerable" constituent, who is accusing him of sexual assault after she contacted him for help in a neighbour dispute.

The MP, who vigorously denies the claims, was arrested by police over the allegations in 2010.

But no action was taken as the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Following a meeting with chief whip Alistair Carmichael, Mr Hancock said he was withdrawing from the party whip until the case was concluded.

more at link



Patrick Mercer resignation sparks Tory sleaze allegations

Conservative party under fire after ex-soldier allegedly failed to declare £2,000 paid by journalists in sting operation

The Conservative party was left reeling by sleaze allegations after an MP resigned from the parliamentary party for allegedly failing to declare thousands of pounds paid by a fake lobbying firm in a damaging journalistic sting.

Patrick Mercer, MP for Newark, stepped down from the party's whip after accepting £4,000 from undercover reporters posing as lobbyists. He failed to declare £2,000 of the money within parliamentary rules and offered to secure a Westminster security pass for the lobbyist, it is understood.

The disclosure will make uncomfortable reading for David Cameron, who is under pressure for failing to introduce promised legislation to shine a light on the activities of lobbying companies. One Conservative source said: "The PM wanted sleaze allegations to be a thing of the past but they are coming thick and fast now."

Mercer, who has a majority of over 16,000, said he was resigning the Tory whip immediately "to save my party embarrassment", and would not stand again at the next general election.

His action comes before a BBC Panorama programme, made in conjunction with Daily Telegraph journalists, which will allege that he broke lobbying rules. The programme is expected to make other potentially damaging allegations against MPs and peers willing to accept money from lobbyists. Mercer is expected to argue that he was the victim of entrapment, not legitimate reporting.

more at link

1 June

4th June 2013, 07:42
On whistleblower and child actor Ben Fellows, who has made abuse allegations implicating many high profile names including politician Ken Clarke. Some question marks have been raised about his interviews - but others fully support him.


3 June



We have been in contact with whistleblower Ben Fellows’ wife on the disappearance of her husband. Please read the following article and get this out to as many people as possible, we all want Ben to return to his family safely.

At the recent UK Column conference, Ben was informed by Dave Eden, a former CID detective, that his wife was in immediate danger as a result of Ben’s work. It was made clear that Ben should have an “exit strategy”.

On Thursday 23rd of May, after the attacks in Woolwich (approximately half a mile from the Fellows residence), Ben and his wife returned home from visiting friends to find that their flat had been broken in to. Nothing appeared to be stolen.

At 11:30pm that evening, the phone rang and an anonymous man told Ben to look outside his window to the other side of the street. A man in a black ski mask stood there on a mobile phone, the caller said “What happened to that soldier today is what is going to happen to you”

By the 28th of May, Ben and his wife decided to leave London and to drive to a safe house. On arrival to the safe house, the couple were told that the safe house had been compromised, so Ben decided to leave on his own for fear of harm coming to his wife. He arranged to stay with a friend at a location known to Ben and his Wife.

However, nothing has been heard from Ben since he left on the 28th of May. This morning (3rd of June), Ben Fellows’ wife received word from the friend whom Ben was to stay with, who alerted her that Ben never arrived.

We are now attempting to contact various resources to see if anyone in the intelligence network has any details on Ben’s location.
If you have any information on Ben, please contact us in complete confidentiality.

Update: June 3 2013 – 14:28
We have conducted a special interview with Julia Fellows, Ben’s wife regarding this story

at link

and background here:


Ben Fellows spills the beans (12 May)

Ben told me he had more things that are of public interest concerning his conversation with the Police. I suggested it's best to spill everything he has. Here's the tape of the Police interview from November 2012.

It covers his experiences as a child actor, being offered by his agent Sylvia Young to Tom Cruise for sex (Tom chose someone else), Christopher Cazenove making violent sexual moves on him in a hotel room, and how he is advised to make a Police statement to protect himself from Ken Clarke suing him for the penis-touching allegations. (Once allegations are subject of a Police enquiry, the alleger cannot be sued. Furthermore, not mentioned, no newspaper can carry them)

That's just the first tape.

'That's how it was for me,' Ben says.

He explains that Max Clifford has many people recorded on tape 'admitting what they do', (TAP - presumably with kids). Was this why Max Clifford was arrested?

There's a lot of background on how the entertainment industry works and the exploitation of young actors, and how people hold dirt on each other to keep each other quiet. Young actors who love all the glamour will do 'pretty much whatever' to get a career. It's all about control, says Ben.

Esther Rantzen invited him to a party in the New Forest. Drugs. Alcohol. Children. Adults. Sex.

Police comment - 'There's the screen face, then there's who these people really are'.

A 13 year old from an Australian soap was raped at an after show party in front of fifteen people. The perpetrator is named. No one did anything about it.

Mel Smith. Joanna Lumley. Joan Collins. Drugs. Ben told the Press a few of the seedier details of his encounters with these people. The newspapers reported none of it. The PR machine makes them all seem like wonders of the world. As Ben makes clear in this video, they definitely are not. As usual the Police are concerned not to investigate but to keep the lid on the pot.

Ben seems to want to get it all off is chest, and talks fluently as you would expect from a professional actor. Once you start listening, you are transported to the end without a pause.

Bruce Forsyth is mentioned. Jimmy Savile. Andrew Lloyd Webber groomed him through multiple auditions, and then stuck his tongue down Ben's throat, grabbing Ben's genitals, when he was 15 in 1990. He didn't complain. Who could I complain to, he asks the Police officers. Silence.
full story at link

4th June 2013, 20:37

The Secretary of State is ready to leave. Bergoglio undecided.

VATICAN CITY -- We are living historic times, whereby we will see the final destruction of the Vatican just as the prophesies foretold. Already, we are seeing the Catholic Church being left desolate right before it goes up in flames forever, and unprecedented events are taking place.

The Cardinal holding the second most important position within the Vatican next to the Pope, has just handed in his resignation letter. That's right, we are speaking of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of the Vatican State.

First ex-Pope Benedict XVI Joseph Ratzinger left his post...and now this past weekend, as reported by Dagospia.com, a resignation letter was presented by the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone to Pope Francis as a result of pressure received by the eight Cardinals that form the Commission formed by Bergoglio.

The Pope has not yet made the decision whether to accept the resignation or not.
But the signs of the times are clear. The turmoil within the Vatican is seeping out left and right. The Man Christ Jesus, Jose Luis De Jesus, is unmasking this corrupt organization just like He said he would in His second coming. 2 Thes 2:8.


4th June 2013, 20:41


June 2, 2013 · by eClinik · in Zeitgeist.
Previously, we have documented these uncommon high-profile corporate shakeups which were highlighted by the Pontifical Resignation early this year. Massive CEO resignations are still continuing.

Most peculiar is this array of resignations from mining, transport, telecommunications, and even the pharmaceuticals, suggesting that these critical components of the real economy are experiencing the crunch in hard terms.

But we have yet to witness the royal resignation of the bogus Queen of England.

To all The Awakened around the world: Keep pushing. We’re almost there!

see the list of latest resignations..... :)

5th June 2013, 09:57
More on the rumours of the latest Vatican resignation.


4 June

Vatican Secretary of State Set to Resign - Insider

A source within the Vatican announced today that Tarcisio Bertone, the most powerful official in the Roman Curia and one of five Cardinals convicted by a Common Law Court of Justice last February, has prepared his letter of resignation.

Cardinal Bertone has been the effective "king maker" at the papacy for many years, and helped force Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, from office on February 11 just days after an arrest warrant was to be issued against Ratzinger.

According to the Vatican insider,

"Bertone knows that if he's arrested while in office, all of the Vatican archives and his records are subject to seizure, and they can never let that happen. Once he's resigned, he can do like Ratzinger and claim immunity from prosecution as a 'private citizen', something the Lateran Treaty allows. These guys understand the power of the common law court arrest warrant, even if others don't."

Bertone's resignation also coincides with the recent formation of a new Italian movement to expose child torture and trafficking within the Vatican, announced by the ITCCS and Rete L'Abuso in Savona, Italy on May 23.

This campaign will commence on September 20 in Rome with civil disobedience actions and church occupations, and demands to the Italian government to revoke the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican. (see itccs.org, May 24 posting).

ITCCS Field Secretary Kevin Annett is in Europe investigating this latest development.

Further communiques on the impending Bertone resignation and the September 20 campaign will be forthcoming.

ITCCS Central Office Brussels
(International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State)

5th June 2013, 10:06
Cameron Calls in Tax Havens Ahead of G8 Summit in June

By Patrick Wintour, political editor, The Guardian – June 4, 2013


David Cameron has asked the senior ministers of all Britain’s overseas territories – including Bermuda, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands – to London on the eve of this month’s G8 summit to urge them to root out the multibillion-pound evasion industry by signing up to agreements to share tax information.

Britain has made a clampdown on corporate and individual tax avoidance the central theme of its chairmanship of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on 17 and 18 June, and Cameron has decided that he cannot be a credible chair of the summit if he is not seen to be trying to put Britain’s own house in order.

The intensity of the pressure that Cameron will place on the 10 crown dependencies and overseas territories to be more co-operative has, however, not yet been determined, amid signs there are some disputes between Downing Street and the Treasury on what to demand, and whether excessive public pressure will lead them to refuse to co-operate.

Cameron wants British offshore havens to sign an OECD convention to give mutual assistance in tax matters, which provides for the sharing of information between countries, seen as key to ending evasion.

Some of the British havens have agreed to the automatic exchange of information with some western economies, but not as widely as prescribed by the convention.

The prime minister plans to chair a tax and transparency conference alongside Nick Clegg on the weekend before the G8 summit itself. Cameron is looking at the possibility of the UK dependencies and overseas territories formally signing the OECD convention in the cabinet room on Saturday, but government sources said the plan could yet unravel in the face of hostility from the overseas territories.

The precise constitutional relationship between the UK and the overseas territories is a matter of dispute, but some aid agencies claim the UK can in effect force the crown dependencies to close down the tax loopholes.

Cameron wrote to the crown dependencies and overseas territories in May saying he wanted the G8 to “knock down the walls of company secrecy” to reveal who really owns and controls firms.

The letter calling for action on tax information exchange and beneficial ownership was sent to leaders in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Many of them are furious at being labelled tax havens, and fear the basis of their economies is being threatened, and that they will be put at a competitive disadvantage.

ActionAid claims nearly one in every two dollars of large corporate investment in developing countries was routed through a tax haven. It claims 98 of the FTSE 100 multinational groups have companies in tax havens.

Melanie Ward, head of advocacy at ActionAid UK, said: “It is perfectly possible to achieve a G8 deal to tackle tax dodging that works in the interests of rich and poor countries alike. The prime minister has said that he will do this, but the question is whether he has the clout to achieve it.

“The first test is in the UK’s own backyard, and is whether he will pull all 10 of the UK’s own tax havens – the overseas territories and crown dependencies – into line.

“At the pre-G8 tax and transparency event on 15 June, David Cameron must ensure that all 10 sign up to the existing multilateral convention on tax information exchange.”

Brendan Cox, spokesman for the If campaign, a coalition of 200 groups campaigning in the run-up to the G8, said: “Cameron has to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. By getting the UK house in order, he will have the opportunity to make a wider breakthrough at the summit itself on the issue of beneficial ownership, the way to get behind the anonymous shell companies.”

Cameron and the chancellor, George Osborne, are still gauging how far to push the G8 on measures to make it easy to establish the real owners of companies and assets, in the face of hostility primarily from America and Canada.

Osborne is also facing a push-back from business about imposing excessive regulatory burdens on companies to report their profits on a country by country basis.

Ahead of the summit, Cameron will meet the European commission president, José Barroso, this week, prior to a nutrition summit this weekend.

In the week running up to the G8 summit itself, Cameron will set out his vision of Britain’s role in the world and the continuing relevance of the G8.

6th June 2013, 05:48
More on the UK phone hacking saga - with possible trial in September.


5 June UK

Rebekah Brooks to appear in court

Former News International chief will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to three sets of charges at Southwark crown court

Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, will appear in court on Wednesday in connection with a series of criminal charges in relation to her time at Rupert Murdoch's publishing empire both as editor of the News of the World and editor of the Sun.

She will be asked to tell the court if she is pleading guilty or not guilty to three sets of charges relating to alleged phone hacking, unlawful payments to public officials for stories and allegations that she tried to pervert the course of justice by concealing material from the police at the height of the phone-hacking investigation in July 2011.

Brooks will appear with nine other defendants facing a variety of charges including her husband, Charlie Brooks, the racehorse trainer and friend of David Cameron, at Southwark crown court in London.

He has been accused along with six others including Brooks's former secretary Cheryl Carter and News International's head of security Mark Hanna of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by concealing material, documents and computers from police around the time of Brooks's arrest two years ago. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life, although the average term served in prison is 10 months.

Also in court to enter pleas will be four former staff at the now defunct News of the World who have been charged in connection with allegations of phone hacking including the former NoW managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.

They are all facing the criminal trials following the Operation Weeting investigation into alleged phone hacking which led to charges that they conspired to unlawfully intercept mobile voice messages of "well-known people and those associated with them".

Brooks and her co-defendants in the Weeting police operation were charged last July, a year after the News of the World was closed down, and face possible trial this September.

6th June 2013, 05:59

One message from Turkey

Dear friends… I want to thank you most of all for your support and comfort.

We have a little over 80 million citizens here in the republic of Turkey… and something wonderful is happening here. Millions have not slept over the past 36 hours; we are all really on the streets. Large cities, small cities, suburbs are full of people who know how they will be treated. [Young] and old people, professors, actors, writers, workers all know that they will be beaten bloody, be bombarded with teargas and agent-orange. This is not stopping anyone from helping those in need.

This was not planned, we did not organize this. We were all siting in our living rooms and saw in Halk TV and read on Twitter what was being done to peaceful demonstrators.

None of us thought long about this, we simply put on our shoes and ran out to help. Not even in my years as a student, have I ever taken part in a demonstration. But this is so natural that you don’t think of yourself and your own security any longer. It is so strange to experience this sort of thing… ALL ARE ONE…

Dear friends, I and many millions of people are experiencing this here and now and I tell you it feels absolutely wonderful… The POWER and ONENESS… and it is all so simple and it all went so fast… only when it has been awakened, do you realize, that the power was there all along and that we simply forgot it… WAKE UP… what is happening today here will be happening tomorrow in your country, the game is the same… what is fascinating me and probably baffling the powers that were – is that their system is as easy to bring down like a house of cards when you just stand as one.

In Love



6 June

Turkey Protests 2013: New Clashes Erupt Despite Deputy PM's Apology

Fresh clashes erupted in Turkey early Wednesday as protesters defied a government plea to end days of unrest, the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade-long rule.

Police used tear gas and water cannon on demonstrators who ignored warnings to disperse in several major cities including Istanbul and Ankara.

The new trouble flared after a second major trade union confederation announced it would join protests against the government, calling a strike for Wednesday.

Thousands gathered in Istanbul's main Taksim Square for a sixth day early Wednesday, yelling defiance at Erdogan, who has dismissed the protesters as "extremists" and "vandals".

"The vandals are here! Where is Tayyip?" yelled the crowd.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc sought Tuesday to defuse tensions by apologising for the tough police handling of the initial demonstrations, a gesture welcomed by the United States.

But that did not appease outraged demonstrators who have been on the streets since Friday to protest at the policies of Erdogan, seen as increasingly authoritarian figure in Turkey.

They accuse the prime minister, who has won three successive elections, of imposing conservative Islamic reforms on the predominantly Muslim but constitutionally secular nation.

The nationwide turmoil first erupted on Friday after police tear-gassed demonstrators at a peaceful rally against plans to build on a park in Istanbul, one of the world's most visited cities.

On Tuesday, Arinc said sorry to those who had been caught up in the initial violence but called on "responsible citizens" to stop the protests.

"I apologise to those who were subject to violence because of their sensitivity for the environment," he said, but added that his apology excluded "the rioters".

"The government has learnt its lesson from what happened," he added. "We do not have the right and cannot afford to ignore people. Democracies cannot exist without opposition."

He was speaking in the absence of Erdogan, who began a trip to north Africa this week despite the problems at home.

Two people have been killed in the clashes, officials and medics say, and rights groups say thousands have been injured. The government puts the figure at around 300.

The atmosphere in Taksim late Tuesday was initially festive, with Turkish pipe music and singing blaring over speakers and fans from rival football teams linking arms, before police fired tear gas and water cannon.

In the western city of Izmir, police detained at least 25 people for tweeting "misleading and libellous information", the Anatolia news agency reported, after Erdogan accused the microblogging site of spreading "lies".

Protesters, many of them young Turks, rely heavily on social media to organise demonstrations and warn of trouble spots, and have complained bitterly about a lack of coverage of their action in the mainstream media.

The Turkish Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK), which represents 240,000 employees, lent its weight to the protests when it launched a two-day strike on Tuesday.

"The apology is just damage control and only because they know they are stuck," KESK spokesman Baki Cinar told AFP.

On Tuesday, an even bigger union grouping known as DISK and which claims 420,000 members, said it would join the strike and demonstrations on Wednesday.

The United Nations, the United States and other Western partners have voiced concern about reports of heavy-handed police action and called for a full investigation.

"We welcome the deputy prime minister's comments apologising for excessive force, and we continue to welcome calls for these events to be investigated," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

NATO-member Turkey is a key regional ally for the United States and has backed it notably in opposing President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war.

Sitting at the crossroads of East and West, Turkey has long aspired to join the European Union, which sets strict requirements on human rights standards for prospective members.

Erdogan, whose Justice and Development Party (AKP) first took power in 2002, is often regarded as the most influential leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.

But opponents accuse him of repressing critics -- including journalists, minority Kurds and the military -- and of pushing conservative Islamic policies such as religious education reforms and a law curbing the sale of alcohol.

Erdogan told protesters they should wait to express their views in elections next year, when observers expect him to run for president, possibly against his ally and current incumbent Abdullah Gul.

The unrest sent the Istanbul stock market plunging 10 percent on Monday although it recovered by nearly five percent on Tuesday.

Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.



And more here from Celia Fenn from a spiritual perspective. Full story at link above.

Celia Fenn: The Indigo Revolution and Turkey

As you can see, this Indigo Revolution is practically impossible for the government machinery to deal with. It is not radicals intent on violence, or extremists tryng to disrupt society. It appears to be young people, joined by others, who want to be able to live life beyond the control of Economic Conmsumerism that destroys everything in its path.

The actual Indigo Revolution began very quietly here over an incident of protecting the environment. As you may know, Gezi Park in the Taksim area was in danger of being taken over by a shopping mall development. It is apparently the last green area in Taksim, the commerical and business heart of the Europe side of Istanbul.

and another view here:


5 June


The BBC appears to reveal the thinking of MI6, the CIA and the Zionists on Turkey:

"Turkey was suggested as a model for a Muslim democracy.

"Some Arabs, who took to the streets against their own leaders, are having second thoughts about that as they watch pictures of Turkish riot police attacking demonstrators."

Could protests be Erdogan's undoing?

This might be translated as:

The Zionist model for Moslem countries may not be Turkey.

It is more likely to be Afghanistan.

MICHAEL RUBIN, in the Wall Street Journal, tells us more about (what would seem to be the Zionist attitude to) the Turkish Uprising

"Erdoğan has accumulated more foreign debt in his rule than all of Turkey's previous prime ministers combined...

"Many Turks are enraged by signs that Mr. Erdoğan and his aides have enriched themselves while in power.

"Few believe the prime minister's explanation that his newfound wealth - millions of dollars in property and a reputed eight Swiss bank accounts, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks - is the result of wedding gifts received by his son.

"Turks remember that 13 corruption cases pending from his Istanbul mayoral tenure remain suspended only because he enjoys parliamentary immunity."

This might be translated as:

You are going to be toppled, just like Suharto and a host of other former friends.

more at the link



Turkey: “This is a Revolt, Not Yet a Revolution!”

read story at link from Istanbul based journalist

6th June 2013, 06:22
Looking forward to some Judges resigning one day...



Graham Ovenden gets suspended sentence for child sexual offences

Artist is told 'there can be no doubt' of his sexual interest in children as he is sentenced for offences against former models

An internationally renowned artist has been given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences against former child models.

Sentencing Graham Ovenden at Plymouth crown court, Judge Graham Cottle told Ovenden: "There can be no doubt that at that time you had a sexual interest in children."

Ovenden, 70, who studied under the pop artist Sir Peter Blake, was convicted of six charges of indecency with girls and one allegation of indecent assault.

Cottle said a "stream" of young girls had arrived at Ovenden's home to be photographed. "The girls had no understanding at that time of the true purpose behind what you were doing, a purpose that was undoubtedly sexual," the judge said.

"There can be no doubt that at that time you had a sexual interest in children. You maintained it was an artistic interest in the female form. The jury disagreed. I believe their view was an entirely proper reflection of the attitude the general public would take."

Cottle said it was only as adults that some of Ovenden's victims had realised they had "been taken advantage of as innocent young children by a man who was pursing his sexual interest".

"They were being used," Cottle added, flagging up one image of a naked girl with her eyes taped over.

He said that by not admitting his offences Ovenden had put his victims through the anxiety of taking part in the trial. "Their victim impact statements make it quite clear how they have been affected," he said.

The judge said one of the offences Ovenden was convicted of – asking a girl to touch him while they were in a bath together – could today be treated as inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, carrying a 14-year maximum jail sentence.

But the judge said he had to take into account the sentencing regime in place at the time of the offences, between 25 and 40 years ago, before newer laws to protect children were brought in.

He also took into account that Ovenden was 70, had no previous convictions and had endured a "steep fall from grace".

He said: "You enjoyed a reputation as an eminent landscape artist. Though the quality of your work may remain undiminished, your personal reputation has been severely tarnished. Galleries that were pleased to display your work have taken down your work."

Outside court, Ovenden refused to apologise to his victims. "Why should I apologise for something I haven't done?" he said.

During his trial earlier this year Ovenden fiercely denied a sexual interest in children and claimed his images of naked girls were all about celebrating the innocence of childhood.

For decades Ovenden lived and worked at Barley Splatt, an estate and neo-gothic mansion deep in the heart of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. It was here some of his victims claimed he had committed offences against them in the 70s and 80s.

Ovenden denied that he had assaulted any of the children, who were as young as six. He claimed he was the target of a witch-hunt and his images of children were all about capturing them in a "state of grace".

But a jury found him guilty of seven offences earlier this year.

The indecent assault relates to the touching of a girl's breasts through her clothes.

One of the indecency counts involves an incident in which he got into a bath with the same girl and asked her to touch him.

The other indecency charges relate to photographs he took of two other girls.

Defending, Christopher Quinlan QC told the court that Ovenden had suffered a blow to his reputation. Some of his works had been removed from display by the Tate.

Quinlan said: "There has been a deal of publicity about these matters. Shame has been visited upon him."

The barrister also pointed out that Ovenden was 70 and had been in poor health.

Cottle argued that the offences relating to photography should be regarded as a course of conduct rather than isolated incidents.

Among supporters of Ovenden in court was the explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison, who also lives on Bodmin Moor.

and on Ovenden:


former Conservative party treasurer Lord McAlpine coveted his works.

(4 June)


5 June


Ovenden: Judge Graham Cottle

If you were surprised that Graham Ovenden only got a suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of abusing children then you obviously hadn’t taken the time to look at the track record of the sentencing judge, Graham Cottle.

In fact, if you are a child abuser in the South West of England and you get this judge then you will know you’re likely to get a sympathetic hearing.

In 2003 Judge Cottle refused to send Paul Bartlett to prison despite having been found guilty of having underage sex with a 14 year old girl and targeting 11 and 12 year olds.

In 2008 he gave Wiiliam Hart a suspended sentence after he had had sex with a 14 year old girl.

In 2009 Brian Hudson got the soft treament from the lenient judge after he was found guilty of abusing girls as young as 5 years old.

Around the same time Howard Baker, who had been indecently exposing himself to school girls across a school fence walked free.

In 2011 Judge Cottle allowed Robert Powell receive ‘treatment’ rather than face prison, despite admitting 5 sexual offences, including gooming.

So, if you expected anything different from Judge Graham Cottle when he sentenced Graham Ovenden yesterday, then you probably didn’t do your homework.

Or perhaps you just mistakenly assumed that a man found guilty of sexually abusing three girls would go to prison automatically ?

For more on Judge Graham Cottle and his lenient sentencing visit UK Paedos Exposed

9th June 2013, 02:21
More on UK abuse charges and arrests.


William Roache charged with indecent assault

William Roache charged with indecent assault

Coronation Street actor William Roache has been charged with five counts of indecent assault involving four girls aged between 12 and 16 in the 1960s.

Prosecutors said it was in the public interest for the prosecution to take place after reviewing evidence gathered by Lancashire Police.

Mr Roache, 81, already faces two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl, in 1967. He appeared in court in May.

He is due before Preston magistrates on Friday.

The latest charges relate to a period between 1965 and 1968, when the assaults are alleged to have been committed in the Manchester area.

Lancashire Police said in a statement: "Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service an 81-year-old man has this evening been charged with five offences of indecent assault.

"[William] Roache was arrested this morning after attending a police station by appointment."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said three of the alleged offences took place in 1965 and two in 1968.

No plea
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police in relation to recent allegations from four complainants that William Roache indecently assaulted them in the 1960s.

"We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with five offences of indecent assault relating to four girls who were aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time that the alleged offences happened."

He said the allegations were made to police after Mr Roache was charged with two offences of rape on 1 May.

Mr Roache, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, who is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in Haslingden, Lancashire, is due to appear at Preston Crown Court in relation to that case on Monday.

Although the actor has previously said in a statement he "strenuously denies" the allegations of rape he is yet to enter a formal plea.

An ITV spokesman has said the actor, who has been in the soap since it started in 1960, will not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings had concluded.
(6 June)



Ex-DJ Chris Denning arrested by Operation Yewtree police

A man arrested by police over sex offences is former BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning, the BBC understands.

The 72-year-old was questioned on Monday as part of the Operation Yewtree police inquiry set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Mr Denning faces allegations unrelated to Savile.

He is the 13th person to have been held as part of Scotland Yard's investigation. He has been bailed until July.

The former DJ was one of the original Radio 1 team when the station was launched in 1967, having been the first announcer heard on BBC2 when the channel took to the air in 1964.

He also worked as a music producer for the Beatles, helped launch the careers of the Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter and ran his own music and video production business.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying that the previous day a 72-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences, taken into police custody and later bailed to return pending further inquiries.

The Met has not named the individual.

Of the 13 Yewtree suspects, two have been charged - PR consultant Max Clifford and David Smith, a driver who used to work for the BBC.

Ex-BBC producers Ted Beston and Wilfred De'Ath and a 65-year-old man who has not been named have all been released without charge.

The eight others, including Gary Glitter, Freddie Starr, Dave Lee Travis, Rolf Harris and Jim Davidson, remain on police bail.

Some 589 people have come forward with information relating to the investigation, with 450 of those alleging they were sexually abused by Savile.

In January, a joint report by the Met Police and the NSPCC said 214 criminal offences had been formally recorded across 28 police force areas in which Savile is a suspect
(6 June)

9th June 2013, 02:25
Very interesting!


8 June Germany and EU

German court case could force euro exit, warns key judge

Crucial hearings on the eurozone’s bail-out policies at Germany’s top court this week could set in motion events that force Germany’s withdrawal from the euro, a leading judge has warned.

Udo di Fabio, the constitutional court’s euro expert until last year, said the explosive case on the legality of the European Monetary Union rescue machinery could provoke a showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank (ECB) and ultimately cause the collapse of monetary union.

“In so far as the ECB is acting 'ultra vires’, and these violations are deemed prolonged and serious, the court must decide whether Germany can remain a member of monetary union on constitutional grounds,” he wrote in a report for the German Foundation for Family Businesses.

“His arguments are dynamite,” said Mats Persson from Open Europe, which is issuing its own legal survey on the case on Monday.
Dr Di Fabio wrote the court’s provisional ruling last year on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the €500bn (£425bn) bail-out fund. His comments offer a rare window into thinking on the eight-strong panel in Karlsruhe, loosely split 4:4 on European Union issues.

The court is holding two days of hearings, though it may not issue a ruling for several weeks. The key bone of contention is the ECB’s back-stop support for the Spanish and Italian bond markets or Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), the “game-changer” plan that stopped the Spanish debt crisis spiralling out of control last July and vastly reduced the risk of a euro break-up.

The case stems from legal complaints by 37,000 citizens, including the Left Party, the More Democracy movement, and a core of eurosceptic professors, most arguing that the ECB has overstepped its mandate by financing the deficits of bankrupt states.
Berenberg Bank said the case was now “the most important event risk” looming over the eurozone, with concerns mounting over an “awkward verdict” that may constrain or even block ECB action.

Dr Di Fabio said the court, or Verfassungsgericht, does not have “procedural leverage” to force the ECB to change policy but it can issue a “declaratory” ultimatum. If the ECB carries on with bond purchases regardless, the court can and should then prohibit the Bundesbank from taking part.

The Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann needs no encouragement, say experts. He submitted a report to the court in December attacking the ECB head Mario Draghi’s pledge on debt as highly risky, a breach of both ECB independence and fundamental principles. The ECB does not have a legal mandate to uphold the “current composition of monetary union”, he wrote.

Dr Di Fabio said it was hard to imagine that an “integration-friendly court” would push the EMU “exit button”, but it can force a halt to bond purchases. This may amount to the same thing, reviving the eurozone crisis instantly.

“It would pull the rug from under the whole project. It is the OMT alone that has calmed markets and saved the periphery,” said Andrew Roberts from Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr Draghi said last week that the OMT was the “most successful monetary policy in recent times”.

The court dates back to the Reichskammergericht of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1490, but it was revived after the Second World War along the lines of the US Supreme Court.

It has emerged as the chief defender of the sovereign nation state in the EU system, asserting the supremacy of the German Grundgesetz over EU law, hence the German term “Verfassungspatriotismus”, or constitution patriotism.

The court backed the Lisbon Treaty but also ruled that Europe’s states are “Masters of the Treaties” and not the other way round, and reminded Europe that national parliaments are the only legitimate form of democracy. It said Germany must “refuse further participation in the EU” if it ever threatens the powers of the elected Bundestag.

It issued another “yes, but” ruling last September. It threw out an injunction intended to freeze the ESM, but it also tied Berlin’s hands by capping Germany’s ESM share at €190bn, and blocked an ESM bank licence. It killed off hope of eurobonds, debt-pooling, or fiscal union by prohibiting the Bundestag from “accepting liability for decisions by other states”.

Crucially, the court said the Bundestag may not lawfully alienate its tax and spending powers to EU bodies, even if it wants to, for this would undermine German democracy.

Chief Justice Andreas Vosskuhle said at the time that Germany had reached the limits of EU integration. Any further steps would require a “new constitution”, and that in turn would require a referendum.

9th June 2013, 12:05
Another UK MP caught out.... Murdoch's News International's Sunday Times may have its gloves off with the government over Leveson press regulations - but it's uncovering some dirt. Funny when they all turn on each other...:)


9 June UK

Sunday Times Insight

Top Tory in new Lobbygate row

MP coached client before committee grilling

Top Tory in new Lobbygate row

MP coached client before committee grilling

Tim Yeo is chairman of the parliamentary energy and climate change committee

THE Tory MP in charge of scrutinising new energy laws has been caught boasting about how he can use his leadership of a powerful Commons committee to push his private business interests.

Tim Yeo told undercover reporters — posing as representatives of a firm offering to hire him — that he was close to “really all the key players in the UK in government” and could introduce them to “almost everyone you needed to get hold of in this country”.

He said he could not speak out for them publicly in the Commons because “people will say he’s saying this because of his commercial interest”. But he assured them: “What I say to people in private is another matter altogether.”

full story is on subscription only...



Watch: Tim Yeo Stung By Sunday Times

Offered To Be £7,000-a-Day Advocate and Lobby Government

It’s all over for Tim Yeo. The Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman has been stung by the Sunday Times, offering to become a paid advocate for a fake firm for £7,000-a-day.

“The reporters approached Yeo posing as representatives of a solar energy company offering to hire him as a paid advocate to push for new laws to boost its business for a fee of £7,000 a day. He told them he could commit to at least one day a month, despite the fact that he already held four private jobs and was in negotiations to take a further two. Setting out what he could offer, the MP said: “If you want to meet the right people, I can facilitate all those introductions and I can use the knowledge I get from what is quite an active network of connections.” Asked if that extended to government figures, Yeo replied: “Yes.” The House of Commons code of conduct forbids members from acting as paid advocates, including by lobbying ministers. Yeo also said he could help them by guiding them on submitting evidence to his own committee, which he described as “a good way of getting your stuff on the map”.”
Confirming what we knew all along: Yeo is one of parliament’s most shameless Honorable Members. Guido has hunted him for years, you can read all this blog’s stories on Yeo here. Westminster is for sale…

UPDATE: Funny that he mentions his “active network”, on Newsnight a couple of years ago Guido accused Yeo of of abusing his position as an MP to facilitate a green investment network. He threatened to sue…


9th June 2013, 12:15
French Banking Secrecy Investigation Spills into Switzerland


French authorities are now extending their investigation of UBS in France into Switzerland. They are looking at allegations of assisting wealthy French clients with tax fraud by offering clients investments designed to evade taxes.

The probe comes only a week after the bank’s French subsidiary was charged with suspected ‘complicity in illegal sales practices’.

The investigators have sent a list of 353 names of suspected ‘secret’ Swiss bank accounts, undeclared by French citizens, the BBC reported.

The alleged offenses took place between 2002 and 2007.The bank also allegedly facilitated a shadow accounting system, which made transfers between French and Swiss bank accounts clandestine, and unable to trace or detect.

Under French law, being under investigation insinuates there exists a ‘serious or consistent evidence’ in implication of a crime. The case will either proceed to court or be dropped.

“We will continue working with the authorities in France within the applicable legal framework to arrive at a resolution to this matter,” UBS said in a statement.

The allegations first surfaced when a UBS bank employee raised questions over the alleged criminal activity.

Patrick de Fayet, the former head of UBS France, and two other French branch executives have already been placed under investigation.

Jerome Cahuzac resigned from his budget minister post after he was accused of, and confessed to having a Swiss bank account. (AFP Photo / Jean-Pierre Muller)

In March, French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac resigned over allegations he possessed an undeclared Swiss bank account, which he admitted to in March.

Following the financial crisis, politicians have called for a global crackdown on both wealthy individuals and corporations who use tax avoidance to safeguard their wealth, and keep tax dollars from supporting states.

Oxfam, a UK-based charity, released a report in late May which estimates that over $150 billion is lost in tax loopholes and fraud.

Following the report, EU Parliament officials met in Brussels and resolved to recover €1 trillion in lost taxes in the next year, hoping the money will help the record recession and unemployment.

According to a Boston Consulting Report, ‘offshore’ wealth has soared to $8.5 trillion.

(7 June)
The parliament also set a one year deadline to end banking secrecy, stressing states must play a larger role in tightening the tax codes.

9th June 2013, 22:14
Source of US intel leak outs self despite probe threat
AFP Updated June 10, 2013, 9:23 am


Governments Battle Spy Agency Debates

British and American intelligence agencies are facing similar accusations as New Zealand's GCSB.
Whistleblower behind US surveillance leaks identified

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 29-year-old government contractor revealed himself on Sunday as the source of bombshell leaks of US monitoring of Internet users and phone records, as US intelligence pressed for a criminal probe.

Edward Snowden, who has been working at the National Security Agency for the past four years, admitted his role in the leaks in a video interview posted on the website of the Guardian that clearly showed his face.

"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," he said.

He said he was willing to sacrifice a comfortable life "because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

A former technical assistant for the CIA, Snowden worked for the NSA as an employee of various outside contractors, including Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, his current employer.

He flew to Hong Kong on May 20 after copying the last set of documents he intended to disclose at the NSA's office in Hawaii, the Guardian said, adding that he has remained there ever since, holed up in a hotel room.

The British newspaper said it was revealing Snowden's identity at his own request.

"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," Snowden said.

He acknowledged fears of being "rendered" -- summarily detained without due process and taken into secret detention by the CIA or its partners -- or taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities.

"And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be," he said.

The leaks published in The Guardian and the Washington Post have set off a furor, with President Barack Obama and the chief of US intelligence defending the secret programs as vital to keeping Americans safe.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed on Saturday that the NSA uses a program called PRISM to gather data trails left by targeted foreign citizens using the Internet outside the United States.

A separate program, also disclosed by The Guardian, has been used to scoop up the telephone records of millions of Americans.

In an interview with NBC News, portions of which aired Sunday, Clapper called the disclosures "literally gut-wrenching" and said they had caused "huge, grave damage" to US intelligence capabilities.

"The NSA has filed a crimes report on this already," he told NBC.

He said he was "profoundly offended" that a disgruntled intelligence officer was a source for the leak to the Post. "This is someone who for whatever reason has chosen to violate a sacred trust for this country," he said.

"And, so, I hope we're able to track down whoever's doing this, because it is extremely damaging to, and it affects the safety and security of this country."

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who brought to light the PRISM program and the separate program to gather US phone records, said the public had a right to know and openly debate what the government was doing.

"Every time there's a whistleblower, someone who exposes government wrongdoing, the tactic is to demonize them as a traitor," he told ABC.

"What they were seeing being done in secret, inside the United States government, is so alarming they simply want one thing.

"And that is, they want the American people to learn about this massive spying apparatus and what the capabilities are, so we can have an open, honest debate."

Clapper said he understood public concerns about the invasion of privacy and threats to civil liberties, but that "a lot of what people are seeing and reading in the media is a lot of hyperbole."

He said two plots have been foiled through information obtained through the programs, both in 2009 -- one a bomb attack on New York subways, and another linked to David Headley, a conspirator in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"I find it a little ironic that several weeks ago, after the Boston bombings, we were accused of not being sufficiently intrusive," he said.

The intelligence chief has declassified some details of the PRISM program in the face of a storm of controversy over suggestions the government had backdoor access to the servers of Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

Internet service providers denied they had given the government unfettered access to customer data, insisting they did so only when compelled by law.

Under PRISM, which has been running for six years, the US National Security Agency can issue directives to Internet firms demanding access to emails, online chats, pictures, files, videos and more uploaded by foreign users.

But in his statement Saturday, Clapper said the government must apply to a secret US court for permission to target individuals or entities, then issue a request to the service provider.

He admitted that data on US citizens might be "incidentally intercepted" in the course of targeting a foreign national, but said this would not normally be shared within the intelligence community unless it confirmed a threat.

Obama has defended the phone and Internet data trawls, saying America was "going to have to make some choices between balancing privacy and security to protect against terror.

But civil liberties and privacy groups have raised alarm at both programs, which some have branded "Orwellian" and possibly unconstitutional.

10th June 2013, 08:10

10 June

MPs to launch inquiry into central bank watchdog's independence

(Reuters) - British MPs said they would conduct an inquiry into the independence of the Bank of England's new financial risk watchdog, following questions over its relationship with government and its appointment process.

Doubts had been raised over the independence of the Financial Policy Committee, set up following the financial crisis in 2011 to pinpoint economic risks, parliament's Treasury Committee said in a statement on Monday.

The committee cited a letter from Chancellor George Osborne that set out the FPC's remit after it gained formal powers on April 1.

Osborne had written to outgoing central bank governor Mervyn King, saying the FPC should consider short-term growth as well as longer-term stability.

The committee also mentioned the replacement of hawkish FPC members with new ones seen by critics as more friendly to banks and businesses. Confirmation hearings for three new appointees took place last week.

"The FPC is still finding its feet. It is crucial that its independence is safeguarded from the start," said Treasury Committee Chairman Andrew Tyrie.

"It is therefore particularly important that the appointment process and early exchanges between the Treasury and the FPC don't give the appearance that it has been compromised."

The committee said it would also look at the rules relating to the appointment and conduct of members of Bank of England bodies, including the FPC, the older Monetary Policy Committee, and the Bank Court.

Last week, the Treasury Committee quizzed the new external members of the FPC - Clara Furse, Richard Sharp and Martin Taylor - about the right trade-off between regulation and growth at their confirmation hearings.

It later expressed "serious concerns" about the appointment of Furse, who sat on the board of Belgian bank Fortis during its botched takeover of a stake in ABN AMRO in 2007.

10th June 2013, 08:14

9 June UK

Police reveal scale of Elm Guest House investigation into alleged paedophile ring

Scotland Yard is pursuing more than 300 lines of inquiry in its investigation into allegations that a VIP paedophile ring abused children in care during the 1980s.

The figure suggests that Operation Fernbridge, the investigation centred on historic allegations of abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, is a bigger inquiry than previously acknowledged and could lead to the identification of dozens of potential victims.

Detectives are focusing on claims from former residents of a care home run by Richmond Council that they were taken to the suburban guest house and assaulted by prominent individuals.

The Independent understands that the 300 investigative lines include allegations of multiple assaults on single individuals and a list of “several dozen” potential victims is being drawn up.

A Freedom of Information response containing the figure also reveals that seven officers are involved in the investigation – compared with 77 on Operation Weeting, the inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Operation Fernbridge, which according to the FOI has so far cost £25,000 compared with the £11.2m cost of Weeting, was launched in January as a full-scale criminal investigation following an earlier “scoping exercise” – a preliminary assessment of evidence concerning the alleged paedophile ring.

The Elm Guest House became known in the late 1970s as a meeting place for gay men still stigmatised in a country where homosexuality had been legalised barely a decade earlier and the age of consent for gay males was 21.

Operated by a German-born manager, Carole Kasir, it was close to Barnes Common, a popular cruising spot for homosexual men, and was allegedly used by rent boys as a place to bring clients.

But officers are investigating material alleging that boys from the nearby children’s home in care of the local authority were abused at the guest house, which was allegedly frequented by public figures including politicians, judges and pop stars.

Two people have so far been arrested as part of the inquiry.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said last week he understood that the Fernbridge inquiry was “going well”, according to the investigative website Exaro. Mr Johnson said that because it was an operational policing matter he could not comment further.

11th June 2013, 07:40
More on the Tory MP Tim Yeo and the undercover Sunday Times team uncovering his alleged over helpfulness to would be energy clients (he was Chairman of the Energy Select Committee).


10 June UK Parliament

Tim Yeo has tonight stood down as Chairman of the Energy Select Committee to clear his name. Full statement:

I have decided that at the private meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Committee to be held tomorrow morning I will recommend to members of the committee that for the period until the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, to whom I have referred myself today, has completed her investigation I will temporarily stand aside from the chairmanship of the committee.

I am doing so solely to ensure the smooth running of the committee during the next few weeks.

I firmly believe that I have not breached the MPs’ Code of Conduct in any respect and therefore await the outcome of the commissioner’s investigation with confidence.

In particular I absolutely and unreservedly deny the allegation that I coached a witness with whom I have a business connection before that person gave evidence to the committee.

I do not wish the Commissioner’s investigation to be a distraction from the Committee’s important work.

I believe that during the past three years the committee has been extremely effective and I want this to continue.

He may be some time. Cheers…



10 June

Veteran Tory Tim Yeo reported to police by blogger

The chairman of a powerful Commons committee has been reported to police by political blogger Paul Staines, who runs the Guido Fawkes website.

Mr Staines wrote in a letter to Scotland Yard: "The public interest is, you will no doubt agree, best served by holding elected law-makers to the highest standards.

"I urge you to proceed with an investigation using the evidence available".

Mr Yeo, who chairs the Energy and Climate Change Committee denies the claims and has referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.




JUNE 10TH, 2013

BREAKING: Tim Yeo Reported to Met Under Bribery Act 2010

Sky News are reporting that Tim Yeo has been reported to the Met. Here is the letter:

see letter at link

11th June 2013, 18:22
Another rip-off comes to the surface..


11 June UK

Sold down the river: How Thames Water diverts its tax liability via the Caribbean despite £549m profit and 6.7% price hike

UK's largest water company received £5m Treasury rebate

Britain’s largest water company has been accused of “ripping off the taxpayer” after it paid no corporation tax last year despite making profits of more than half a billion pounds.

Thames Water put up customer bills by 6.7 per cent, awarded its chief executive a £274,000 bonus and made profits of £549m on a turnover of £1.8bn. Yet customer satisfaction had dipped and hundreds of people’s homes were flooded with sewage.

But the company succeeded in cutting its tax bill to zero and was even handed £5m credit from the Treasury by writing off investments against the amount it was due to pay the Government.

The company’s accounts also show it paid £328.2m interest on “inter-company loans” via a Cayman Islands funding vehicle to pay external bondholders such as pension funds.

The arrangement is legal, although the head of industry regulator Ofwat said that the large profits and complex tax arrangements of some water companies were “morally questionable”.

“The dichotomy between profits and the prices charged to customers raises business, regulatory and moral questions,” said Jonson Cox. “Tax policy is not for an economic regulator and these structures may be legal and common in private equity. But some aspects are morally questionable in a vital public service.”

Thames Water’s finance director, Stuart Siddall, denied that the company was avoiding paying tax: “We have an absolutely clear conscience about everything we are doing. Everything is transparent. We are reviewed by HMRC every year as a major corporation and we are seen as low-risk because our tax is very straightforward.

“The Cayman Island companies are there purely to comply with UK company law requirements for the acquisition financing structure.” Critics said it was a “disgrace” that one of Britain’s biggest and most profitable companies was not making a greater contribution to the Exchequer.

Thames Water, owned by the Australian company Macquarie and a group of investment funds, said its tax bill was reduced by capital allowances on its £1bn-a-year investment programme. The remaining gains were offset by tax losses claimed from other members of the group.

It claimed the combined bill for business rates and employee income tax and national insurance and other taxes was £150m, while spending with suppliers and contractors boosted the wider economy. Thames Water recorded 549 incidents during the year when consumers’ homes were flooded with sewage as a result of record rainfall. River pollution also increased, the company said, including a “significant incident” at the River Wandle in south-east London.

At the same time Thames Water’s chief executive Martin Baggs received a pay rise to £450,000 plus a £274,000 bonus. Next month he is in line to collect a further £366,000 as part of a long-term incentive plan.

Mr Baggs vigorously defended the company’s taxation policy. “We have not paid much corporation tax in recent years because the Government’s tax system allows us to delay, not avoid, payment of tax based on how much we invest,” he said. “Because we are investing £1bn a year from 2010 to 2015, more than any water firm in the UK’s history, we are able to defer a lot of tax payments to future years.

“The HMRC tax mechanism is called the capital allowance. Its aim is to encourage firms like us to carry out early and extensive infrastructure investment. If capital allowances did not exist it would mean one of two things: customers’ bills would be higher, or Thames Water would invest less.

“As things stand we invest record amounts while our customers’ bills remain the second-lowest in the sector, at less than £1 a day. Thames Water continues to contribute around £150m annually to the public purse in other tax, including central and local government business rates, PAYE and national insurance,” said Mr Baggs.

Thames Water’s accounts also show it paid £328.2m interest on “inter-company loans”, that, Stuart Siddall said, was paid via a Cayman Islands funding vehicle to its external bondholders such as pension funds. He said the funding vehicle was “registered in the UK for tax” and there was “no tax advantage” as a result.

But Dave Prentis, general secretary of public sector union Unison, said: “This is a disgrace. Since privatisation, water companies have been ripping off consumers, pushing bills up much higher than inflation. Now we know they are ripping off the taxpayer, too.”

12th June 2013, 05:16

UK Bankers

Disgraced HBOS chief Crosby is stripped of knighthood

Wednesday 12 June 2013

JAMES Crosby, the former chief executive of HBOS, has been formally stripped of his knighthood at his own request after a scathing Westminster report into the collapse of the Scottish bank.

It follows a meeting of Whitehall's Honours Forfeiture Committee where Mr Crosby's move to shed his honour, bestowed in 2006 for services to the finance industry, was accepted.

Mr Crosby asked to have the honour removed after the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards claimed he had been the "architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster" in his handling of HBOS, which went on to receive a bailout of almost £30 billion of public funds.

Mr Crosby, 57, a former deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), follows in the footsteps of Fred Goodwin, the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who lost his knighthood for his role in the bank's near-collapse, which led to a £45bn taxpayer bailout.

While both men had their knighthoods removed by a Whitehall committee, a decision ratified by the Queen, Mr Crosby gave his up voluntarily following the furore surrounding executive conduct at the bank.

Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP, said: "It is right that the architect of HBOS's collapse has given up the knighthood that Gordon Brown gave him."

Questions have been raised about the peerage of Lord Stevenson, the former chairman of HBOS, who was heavily censured in the report of a high-powered group of MPs and peers, although peerages are technically bestowed for life.

The official announcement that Mr Crosby's honour had been withdrawn was reported yesterday in the London Gazette, the official journal of record.

It stated: "Letters Patent dated 11 June 2013 have passed the Great Seal of the Realm cancelling and annulling the knighthood conferred upon James Robert Crosby on the December 6 2006 as a Knight Bachelor."

After the commission's report in April, Mr Crosby said he would give up 30% of his £580,000-a-year pension and stood down from roles with catering firm Compass Group and private equity firm Bridgepoint. At the time, he also made clear he believed it was right that "I should now ask the appropriate authorities to take the necessary steps" to remove his knighthood.

Mr Crosby admitted the report made "very chastening reading", adding: "Although I stood down as CEO of HBOS in 2006, some three years before it was taken over by Lloyds, I have never sought to disassociate myself from what has happened. I am deeply sorry for what happened at HBOS."

The commission criticised HBOS's former chiefs, including Andy Hornby, and asked the industry regulator to consider whether they were "fit and proper persons" to remain in banking.

In September, Peter Cummings, a former HBOS banker, was the first executive to be rebuked when he was fined £500,000 and banned for life from working in the financial sector by the FSA.

Lloyds took over HBOS, which owned Halifax and Bank of Scotland, at the height of the financial crisis. However, the UK Government ended up with a 39% stake in the new Lloyds Banking Group, which has since cut tens of thousands of jobs.

Meanwhile, speculation over RBS intensified last night after a hedge fund manager was unwittingly photographed in Downing Street carrying a document on the bank's future.

Davide Serra, of Algebris Investments, was seen yesterday carrying a paper entitled "Royal Bank of Scotland – the case for improving viability" .

It described the bank as "structurally attractive" but advocated it be made "'more Canadian".

Downing Street insisted Mr Serra had not met ministers but had attended a routine meeting with an official, but the meeting raised questions about the Coalition's plan to giving RBS shares to taxpayers, an idea floated by a number of ministers.

12th June 2013, 19:05

Last updated: June 12, UK bankers

Stephen Hester to step down as RBS chief executive

The chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland is to step down at the end of the year as the UK government prepares the ground to start selling its 82 per cent holding in the lender.

The board announced on Wednesday that it would launch an immediate search for a successor to Stephen Hester who has admitted that the decision to leave was not his.

Two people familiar with the situation said Sir Philip Hampton, RBS chairman, had taken informal soundings both within the bank and externally in the past few weeks.

Richard Meddings, currently finance director of emerging markets-focused bank Standard Chartered, is among those to have been indirectly approached, the people said.

Mr Hester will receive a severance payment in December of £1.6m, equivalent to 12 months’ pay and benefits, but no annual bonus. He will remain entitled to ongoing long-term incentive awards, equivalent to about 2m shares.

However, these will be subject to performance conditions, which will cut the realisable maximum to between 45 per cent and 65 per cent of the total – equivalent to £3m-£4m at today’s share prices.

On his departure, Mr Hester said: “This is a board decision - it’s not mine. But I understand the rationale.”

The move comes after a month or two during which Mr Hester has stepped up public engagement efforts in an attempt to prove his determination to “finish the job”, as he describes it.

Mr Hester was parachuted into RBS in late 2008 to replace the disgraced Fred Goodwin. The bank had to be bailed out with £45bn of government money following Mr Goodwin’s disastrous takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro, just as the global financial crisis was taking hold.

He said in a video interview on the RBS website: “I can completely understand that a fresh face with the ability to commit many years into the future may be a good thing for privatisation. Of course I’d like to have stayed because I feel that I’ve been in the trenches with all my people helping RBS to recover. Privatisation would have been fitting end to those endeavours.”

But he added: “Its been a very bruising and difficult job, so I certainly don’t have to be prised away reluctantly.”

George Osborne, the UK chancellor, said in a statement: “When Stephen Hester took on the job at RBS in 2008 it was a bust bank with a broken culture and posed a huge risk to financial stability.

“RBS today is safer, stronger and better able to support its customers. I want to commend Stephen Hester for everything he has done to make this turnaround possible. The size and complexity of the bank has been significantly reduced, with a far greater focus on serving its UK customers.

“Stephen Hester has made an important contribution to Britain’s recovery from the financial crisis.”

Some bankers believe the end of 2013 would be a natural time for Mr Hester to step down, with RBS’s turnround programme – including the wind-down of a £280bn portfolio of “non-core”, largely non-performing, loans – set to be all but complete by December.

However, Mr Hester himself had been keen to stay on for at least another two years to see RBS return to sustainable profitability and to shepherd through the start of the bank’s reprivatisation. He told the Financial Times last week: “I hate not winning, I hate it.” ahh..

The government is keen to initiate the process of selling its 82 per cent shareholding in RBS, and its 39 per cent stake in Lloyds Banking Group, before the 2015 general election.

Bank insiders say Mr Hester has had a difficult relationship with the government and, in recent months particularly, with Sir Philip.

Sir Philip said in a video interview released by RBS: “This has been one of the most demanding business jobs in the world.”
“The public environment for banks and bankers has been very difficult. For Stephen, its been even more challenging.”

There have been annual rows over bonuses, both for himself and for RBS’s well-paid investment bankers. Mr Hester, a former Credit Suisse executive, has fought hard to keep intact RBS’s investment banking operation and its US retail banking presence.
But late last year – after a direct intervention by Mr Osborne, and under pressure from regulators over capital – Mr Hester relented on both issues. The investment bank is now being shrunk by a third and Citizens, its US consumer arm, is preparing for flotation.

Replacing Mr Hester will be a challenge. Mr Meddings is among the few British executives generally considered a feasible candidate, although bankers point out that even his nomination could be politically problematic due to his involvement in a row between StanChart and US regulators last year over sanctions breaches – an affair that ended up costing the group hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

RBS’s most likely internal candidates for the role would be risk chief Nathan Bostock, who is poised to become finance director, and Rory Cullinan, who has headed the process of winding down the bank’s non-core portfolio. Bruce van Saun, the respected finance director, is scheduled to move back to the US in the autumn to head Citizens ahead of its float.

Brooks Newmark, a MP on the Treasury select committee and former senior partner of private equity outfit Apollo Management, said that the bank and the government were right to ask Mr Hester to leave if he could not commit to another lengthy term at the helm of the bank.

“If you are planning to do a share offering, any uncertainty with key management would give hindrance to potential shareholders,” he said.

“He [Mr Hester] has completed a complicated restructuring and effectively created a new RBS going forward and it probably makes sense now to have a new chief executive in.”

“If they do the transition now, Osborne has some time for a capital raising or tax payer pay out before the 2015 election.”

13th June 2013, 06:20
As the world seems to get crazier, people are still making their voices heard across the world. Eyes are on Turkey, as the ruling party knows, and change is inevitable. Monsanto demonstrations globally, the alternative Bilderberg in the UK and a whole country here. Spare a thought for Greece, where the government as closed down the national broadcaster.


13 June Turkey

Turkey protests: Ruling AK party may hold vote on park

The deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling AK party says it is open to the idea of a referendum on controversial plans to redevelop Istanbul's Gezi Park.

Huseyin Celik hoped the "gesture of goodwill" would clear the area.

But he warned: "Those... who seek to provoke and remain in the park will face the police."

Police treatment of protesters campaigning against the redevelopment triggered broader demonstrations that have continued since 31 May.

"We might put it to a referendum... In democracies only the will of the people counts," Mr Celik said.

"We think that after this gesture of goodwill, people will decide to go home."

The BBC's James Reynolds in Istanbul says Mr Celik's comments represent the first time that the AK party has openly discussed letting voters decide what happens to the park. Demonstrators have remained there throughout the protests.

There has been a mixed reaction among protesters on Twitter, with some welcoming the proposal and others mistrustful of the authorities.

Turkish media reported on Wednesday that PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told the interior minister to end the protests in Gezi Park within 24 hours.

More than 20 opposition MPs have gone to the park to try to prevent any police intervention.

During the day, Mr Erdogan met 11 activists, but protest leaders dismissed the meeting.

A piano player was entertaining crowds gathered in Taksim Square on Wednesday evening
Senior European diplomats have expressed strong concern over Turkey's response to the protests.

There is still no obvious way out of the impasse that has seen anti-government protests in cities across Turkey over the past two weeks, says the BBC's Chris Morris in Istanbul.

'Freedom of speech'
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Taksim Square on Wednesday evening, although the square is about half as full as it was on Tuesday.

Police stood back along the edges of the square, which had been clear during the day after a series of violent clashes between police and protesters on Tuesday and overnight.

Meanwhile, there were reports of renewed clashes between security forces and demonstrators in the capital, Ankara.

Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the city centre, the AFP news agency reports.

In both Ankara and Istanbul, on Wednesday thousands of lawyers left court in their black robes to march through the streets, protesting against the treatment of their colleagues during demonstrations.

Dozens of lawyers were briefly held in Istanbul on Tuesday as they voiced their opposition to police action to clear the square.

"Our friends who had been detained in Istanbul were taken under custody just because they were reading a press release," said one of the lawyers in Ankara, Mehmet Toker. "We are here to defend freedom of speech."

Lawyers marched on Taksim Square
Demonstrators accuse Mr Erdogan of becoming increasingly authoritarian and trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.

"Oppression has been going on for months," said another lawyer, Ege Inal.

"The government is exactly like the ones that they have been criticising. That is why we are here."

Late in the afternoon, Mr Erdogan met a group of 11 people - including artists, architects and a social media specialist - to discuss the situation in Gezi Park.

Kutlug Ataman, a filmmaker who attended the meeting, told CNN that Mr Erdogan had said he would propose a referendum on the issue to the AK party's decision-making committee.

Those in the park and Taksim Solidarity, an umbrella group seen as most representative of the protesters, said the group that Mr Erdogan met did not speak for them.

"As police violence continues mercilessly... these meetings will in no way lead to a solution," a statement from Taksim Solidarity said.

13th June 2013, 06:29
Well at least there's some public scrutiny on the tax games the big companies play - paying a pathetic amount of tax against huge revenues while ordinary joe public has to comply with so called austerity measures.... Patricia Hodge is heavily implicated in ignoring child abuse in children's homes under her watch in the past - has she seen the light.. hmmm...


13 June UK

Watchdog accuses Google of failing to pay their fair share of tax

Internet giant criticised by MPs for ‘brazen’ attempt to reduce its liabilities in UK

Parliament’s powerful spending watchdog today formally castigates the internet giant Google for a “brazen” and “unconvincing” attempt to avoid paying its fair share of UK tax.

In a damming report, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) called on HM Revenue & Customs to “fully investigate” the company, after concluding it had used “highly contrived” tax arrangements with the sole purpose of avoiding corporation tax on its multibillion-pound UK revenues.

Google, however, was unrepentant, accusing the committee of failing to understand how tax laws operate, and insisting again that it operated within existing rules.

The PAC said that while the UK was a key market for Google, generating $18bn revenue between 2006 and 2011, it had paid just $16m in corporation taxes over the same period.

The committee said that while Google defended its tax position by claiming that its sales of advertising space to UK clients took place in Ireland, the explanation was “deeply unconvincing on the basis of evidence”.

It pointed to the testimony of whistleblowers, including ex-employees, which demonstrated that Google’s UK staff carried out the substance of work leading to contracts with major UK clients. It described the arrangement as an “elaborate corporate construct” that had undermined confidence in the effectiveness of HMRC in collecting tax due.

It added that any “common sense reading of HMRC’s own guidance and tests” would suggest that HMRC should have “vigorously questioned” Google’s claim that it is acting lawfully. HMRC is unable to comment on the tax affairs of individual companies.

The cross-party committee also warned that the UK’s big accountancy firms had damaged their reputations by helping clients avoid tax, calling on them to recognise “the public mood on tax avoidance has changed”.

Speaking as the report was published, Margaret Hodge, the committee’s chair, said: “Google brazenly argued before this committee that its tax arrangements in the UK are defensible and lawful. [But they have] no purpose other than to enable the company to avoid UK corporation tax.

“Google’s reputation has been damaged... That damage will not be repaired until the company arranges to pay its fair share of tax in the country where it earns the profits from the business it conducts.”

Ms Hodge said big accountancy firms were also culpable: “This committee has vigorously condemned the activities of the big UK accountancy firms in helping their clients find loopholes in legislation and establish highly artificial tax structures... The time has come for them to advise their clients responsibly.”

She said she welcomed efforts by the Government to use Britain’s presidency of the G8 to promote tackling of aggressive tax avoidance.

A Google spokesman said: “Google complies with all the tax rules in the UK, and it is the politicians who make those rules. The PAC wants to see international companies paying more tax where their customers are located, but that’s not how the rules operate today. We welcome the call to make the current system simpler and more transparent.”

Google gives £1m to help child abuse watchdog

Following revelations that Google contributed just £20,000 a year to one charity’s fight against internet child abuse images in Britain, the internet giant has increased its donation to £1m over the next four years.

Google’s donation to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a Cambridge charity that seeks to police illegal images online, came after it was exposed for donating the equivalent of profits made in 90 seconds to IWF. “We are experts at doing this and, like any organisation, can do more with more resources,” said IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves.

The funding will see IWF increase its staff to nine full-time and one part-time analysts.

13th June 2013, 06:51
There's a thread on this elsewhere. Personally, I buy into the fact that money is energy. Stay out of the fear as some reckon energies are very powerful at the moment to attract what you put your attention on. I'm putting my attention on a new functioning system of abundance - not sure there's an alternative at this stage (look at what some Greek communities have being doing to survive). Only have a few spare tins of baked beans in the garage - no doubt suitably GM modified :)....



Monkeyhammered Nikkei Plummets 6% On Risk Exodus

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/12/2013 22:10 -0400

There's blood in the streets - Where's Warren? Levered carry traders are rapidly realizing large crowds and small doors don't mix, even though if they liked the Nikkei at 16,000 they should love it at 12,700. It appears only physical gold traders are those who actually dollar cost average lower, when assets are more affordable. Either way, in Japan:

S&P Futures are below 1,600

graphs at link

13th June 2013, 06:55

13 June UK

Kingston upon Thames council leader Derek Osbourne resigns after child porn arrest

A Liberal Democrat council leader has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Councillor Derek Osbourne, who has been leader of Kingston upon Thames since 2003, was arrested by police on Tuesday.

The new acting leader of Kingston Council said the local Liberal Democrat group were "deeply shocked" by the arrest.

"Derek Osbourne has resigned from the Liberal Democrat Group," Councillor Liz Green wrote on the Kingston Borough Liberal Democrat website.

"We are deeply shocked by these allegations but I am unable to comment further as we must now allow the police the time and space they need to investigate the allegations thoroughly and without prejudice."

According to the London Councils' website, Osbourne was first elected as a councillor in 1986 before becoming leader between 1997 and 1998, and again in 2003.

He was parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Thames in 1992 fighting the then Chancellor Norman Lamont.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a 59-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday at an address in Kingston, on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

He was taken into custody at a south London police station and bailed to a date in August.

13th June 2013, 07:05

Austria (12 June)

VIENNA (AP) - Children at a former city-run home in Vienna were rampantly abused, with some of them raped and subjected to other forms of sexual exploitation both by caregivers and outsiders, an Austrian investigative commission said Wednesday.

The commission also documented cases of physical and psychological abuse in a 344-page report summarizing the results of its investigation of claims by former wards of what used to be a home managed by the city of Vienna from 1948 to 1977.

The probe was commissioned in late 2011 after two sisters said they and the other 18 girls in their dormitory were regularly raped by groups of men. The sisters said the abuse began when they were 6 and 8 and ended in their early teens, when the institution was shut.

Other alleged victims subsequently also came forward with testimonies of sexual, physical and psychological mistreatment in the late 1940s and early 1950s at the Schloss Wilhelminenberg home, which is now a hotel in a leafy outlying Vienna district.

Without assigning individual blame, the report concluded that municipal employees in the department overseeing the city's homes for children were aware of the widespread abuse but neglected to react. Municipal politicians who learned of them in the 1960s also shut their eyes to the problem.

Commission head Barbara Helige told reporters that the findings will be forwarded to the state prosecutors' office and other investigative agencies. Commission members said it was up to them to determine whether crimes committed in the home fell under statutes of limitations.

The report cites dozens of alleged victims of, or witnesses to, abuse.

"I saw how they dragged a girl onto a bench, with one person forcing her hands back and sitting on her, forcing her legs back and the other one raped her," one former resident was quoted as saying.

"She screamed and struggled," the unidentified witness said, describing the victim as aged 11 or 12.

Boys were also reportedly victimized. One former resident said he was regularly molested by a dormitory supervisor at age 14.

Once the home was turned from a coed to an all-girls institution in 1962, all male orderlies were replaced by women but the abuse continued, this time from outsiders, the report said.

Some former residents spoke of being raped and otherwise sexually mishandled by men climbing through windows. Others said their caregivers took them from their dormitory to rooms where men were waiting for them. Several said they were drugged or forced to drink alcohol.

The report also spoke of frequent beatings and other forms of physical abuse that went on for decades until the home was closed.

"Children were dragged by the hair, beaten with objects, were slapped in the face or had to kneel for long periods of time," if found guilty of misbehavior, it said. Children's faces were pushed into their food if they didn't eat properly.

Most of the children came from problem families, prompting disparaging comments about their backgrounds from those taking care of them that sometimes resulted in psychological damage, the report said.

"We should be thankful that we get something to eat and are not gassed like the Jews," one former resident was quoted as saying she was told. She said she was also told that "we are worthless ... little whores and children of alcoholics."

Since the first allegations surfaced in 2010 of abuse at Schloss Wilhelminenberg, hundreds of former residents there have turned to Weisser Ring, a victims' organization supported by the city of Vienna. Claims of past abuse in other state or Catholic church-run institutions have also surfaced.

Beyond psychological help, some of the former Schloss Wilhelminenberg children have received financial payouts as high as 35,000 euros - more than $45,000.

The report was based on 217 interviews with 140 former charges of the home, 28 orderlies and 94 other witnesses.

13th June 2013, 07:23

UK June

The curious case of Operation Yewtree, Operation Fernbridge, Chris Denning, Sally Bercow, calamitous cock-ups and the absolute 100% non-arrest of Cliff Richard

It seems that the British establishment has really cocked-things up big time.

In their desperation to keep a lid on the filthy shenanigans being investigated by Operation Yewtree and Operation Fernbridge (don’t forget Operation Pallial) they’ve taken to repeating their most popular ‘dirty trick’.

Unfortunately for them the Brits are not that stupid.

Whilst they can try the old “create a twitter storm based on a half-truth and then target a high-profile user and scare the masses with defamation costs and shut down debate” routine once, trying this twice is really rather stupid.

We saw the trick in action with the Lord McAlpine and Sally Bercow court case.

Bercow sent out tweet that alleged wrongdoing by McAlpine.

McAlpine sued and won a libel case against Bercow.

Bercow was grovelling in her apologies and begged people not to repeat her mistake.

The whole charade was presumably meant to put the public in its place and stop them discussing the issue of VIP child-abuse in the UK.

It didn’t work.

What the hell could the desperate ptb do next?

Why not try again?

This time with an even higher-profile public figure.

They did.

We now come to the curious case of the 72 year-old celeb who was arrested by Operation Yewtree officers last Monday.

Rumours spread like wildfire around the twittersphere.

It was only a matter of time before Cliff Richard’s name was in the eye of the storm.

How many other famous 72 year-olds are there?

Apart from Peter Stringfellow, not many.

It predictably turned out that Cliff had not been arrested and the 72 year-old referred to was in fact ex-BBC DJ Chris Denning.

Cliff’s friends are now angered that twitter users besmirched his good name.

Some are calling for yet another libel case to be bought.

The twitter user would presumably lose their case and yet again the public would have to shut their mouths.

Can anyone see a pattern emerging here?

Of course, there is another way Cliff can put a stop to all these wild rumours and allegations.

He can stand up, hand on Bible, and make a solemn declaration to the British people:

” I, Cliff Richard, have never been arrested by Operation Yewtree officers.

I have never been arrested by Operation Fernbridge officers.

During my 50-year career I have never once been arrested by any police force either in the UK or abroad.

I have never visited the Elm Guest House.

I have never been involved in any inappropriate activities with anyone at anytime, ever.

I am exactly who I’ve said I am for the past half-century:

A celibate, heterosexual, Christian singer who has never, ever, ever, 100% ever, been arrested”.

Go on Cliff.

You know God wants you to. (7 June)



8 June

The untold scandal of British celebrities and High Court ‘super-injunctions’

Rumours abound that certain British celebs have paid thousands of pounds to wangle themselves a super-injunction.

A super-injunction is a legal ‘ gagging order’ that prevents the press from reporting on certain stories.

It appears that many celebs don’t want the public to know about their filthy predilections.

For some unknown reason it also appears that Britain’s whiter-than-white judges are more than happy to go along with this heinous charade.

Super-injunctions should only be used in extreme cases.

They should only be used to protect the identity of vulnerable children and adults.

Why the hell are High Court judges granting injunctions for wealthy celebs who have been up to filth?

It doesn’t make sense.

Even top judge Neuberger said it is ”impossible to verify” the number of rulings being handed down which make it a criminal offence to publish certain information about individuals.

His report into injunctions stated:

“The absence of evidence has encouraged a view that an entirely secret process has developed in the civil courts, and that this is improper in principle, risks neutering press freedom to report matters of public interest and undermines the public’s right to be informed of court proceedings.”

According to an explosive investigation by the Independent there are hundreds of gagging-orders in place today.

They include the following cases:

* A footballer alleging blackmail after a group-sex session in a hotel was captured on mobile phone video

* A male celebrity with a disabled son

* At least four child abusers protecting their new identities

* A company accused of pollution

* A member of the public who didn’t want the press to report his sex change

* A television personality who received death threats

* A woman who had a laptop containing her sex videos stolen

* A paedophile who gained an injunction prohibiting reporting of his rehabilitation trips

* A football manager who strayed

* A gambling spouse

* A betting company that obtained an injunction against disclosing information about its clients’ betting

* A murderer’s ex-girlfriend given a new identity – and the psychiatrist who assessed her

* A blackmailed aristocrat

* A “leading actor” who slept with Helen Wood (only she can be named)

* Tens of Premier League footballers who are family men in public but who are in reality promiscuous cheats

* A media personality who denied alcohol addiction

* A sportsman’s child who is subject to court proceedings

* An actress whose laptop containing intimate photographs was stolen

* At least half a dozen since unmasked, among them the commodities trader Trafigura, Andrew Marr (who broke his own injunction), Sir Fred Goodwin, John Terry, Ryan Giggs (named in Parliament), and the News of the World’s “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood (the paper tried to stop photos of him from being distributed).

Isn’t it high bloody time the Government put an end to this scandalous situation?

Why the hell wouldn’t they?



14th June 2013, 01:28
This report is SUCH GREAT news!! Thanks so much for posting it.

14th June 2013, 01:43
Ahhh but our ***** has got friends in lower places, has our *****.

None other than Tony Blair and family were invited ( and they accepted ) to holiday in *****'s Barbados residence while Blair was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Don't expect ***** to stick his hands up any time soon.

15th June 2013, 01:44
Rupert Murdoch Divorce: Tony Blair's Spokesperson Denies Rumors of Affair With Wendi Murdoch

I love this story. Murdoch's latest young missus has resigned from him... she always looked like rather a fierce handler to me (very active in physically defending Rupe from a custard pie at recent UK press enquiry). There's lots to this story I reckon...


What better than to draw in Bliar as well. Oh they so deserve each other.


14 June

Rupert Murdoch Divorce: Tony Blair's Spokesperson Denies Rumors of Affair With Wendi Murdoch

UPDATED: A rep in the former British Prime Minister's office dismissed suspicions swirling around his friendship with the News Corp. mogul's wife.

LONDON – A spokesperson for Tony Blair flatly denied media rumors that Wendi Murdoch is romantically involved with the former British prime minister.

When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, the rep said: "If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no."

UPDATE: It has since been made clear to THR by Blair's rep that there has never been an affair. (journalists noted the careful use of the present tense :) )

The questions swirling around Wendi Murdoch's reportedly close friendships with various powerful men -- including Blair, MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt -- began trending on the Internet overnight after news broke Thursday that Rupert Murdoch, 82, had begun divorce proceedings in New York.

The spokesperson said Blair would not be making a public comment on the divorce proceedings himself.

Blair is godfather to Rupert and Wendi Murdoch's two children, Grace, 11, and Chloe, 9. (do they need to check out who the real dad is :) )



A perfect couple: Murdoch split and Twitterverse

story at link

15th June 2013, 19:21

13 June

Everything is Rigged, Vol. 9,713: This Time, It's Currencies


I'll get into this in more detail later (I'm on deadline for a magazine feature), but this story just landed. Given the LIBOR story, the Interest Rate Swap manipulation story, the Euro gas price manipulation story, the U.S. energy price manipulation story, and (by now) countless others of the "Everything is Rigged" variety, this screams out for immediate notice. Via Bloomberg:

Traders at some of the world's biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice . . .

Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.

This time the rates allegedly being rigged are in the foreign-exchange or "FX" markets, meaning that if this story is true, it would almost certainly trump LIBOR for scale/horribleness.

As one friend of mine who works on Wall Street put it, "It's endless! This is the biggest market in the world." Bloomberg suggested the story is just the tip of the iceberg:

"The FX market is like the Wild West," said James McGeehan, who spent 12 years at banks before co-founding Framingham, Massachusetts-based FX Transparency LLC, which advises companies on foreign-exchange trading, in 2009. "It's buyer beware."

The $4.7-trillion-a-day currency market, the biggest in the financial system, is one of the least regulated. The inherent conflict banks face between executing client orders and profiting from their own trades is exacerbated because most currency trading takes place away from exchanges.

Again, more on this later. But the key thing here is the, uh . . . well, the consistent leitmotif of all these stories. One after another, it's the same thing: Insiders rigging benchmark rates, shaving money from basically everyone on earth, systematically and over periods of many years. It's the ultimate taxation-without-representation story – crazy stuff.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever


15th June 2013, 19:25
Godfrey Bloom at the European Parliament ~ Regulation Is What Keeps Bankers Out Of Prison

12 June Strasbourg


15th June 2013, 19:57
There's an amazing amount of info. coming to the surface at the moment, people are getting more vocal in their demonstrations across the world and arrests and court cases are happening. Sometimes it seems that police and prosecutors are pushing things thru' that would have been suppressed in the past. Here's two views on it all:

James Gilliland ~ ” Your Actions Are Screaming So Loud I Cannot Hear Your Words.”

ECETI June 14 2013

We are seeing this now in all aspects of our lives. Almost all the institutions are acting completely contrary to their mandates and their words are in complete contradiction to their actions.

There is a saying – a man’s/woman’s character is established by their actions. Their actions are representative of just who is driving their boat. Whether it be social programming, a wounded ego, unseen negative influences, or a healthy soul and spirit the actions clearly define who is in charge. No matter how much we might want to be-lie-ve in someone we cannot discount their actions. Although it seems to be quite easy for them to deny, avoid and continue on; those days of denial are coming to a close.

With the new higher consciousness and energy as well as universal law pressing hard upon humanity and the Earth nothing will remain hidden. The action/reaction principle or karma will also be amplified and accelerated, no matter where you go there you are. You cannot hide from yourself or the reactions to your actions.

Now is the time to release the past, heal all wounds and traumas from past experiences, align with soul and spirit and act within Universal Law, Principles and Understandings necessary for a healthy society and environment. Step out of your pain bodies. Forgive yourself and others. Make your own personal God/Creator/Spirit connection and act on the inner guidance.

Any guidance of a lower nature will only cause more pain, suffering or loss. Unity consciousness is a wave that is exponentially building. Nothing will stand in its way. It is all about choice and action now choose and act wisely. This will determine your tomorrow. Be well,

My mantra is only love shall come to me and through me.

James Gilliland



Stand for Sovereignty

Shared recently on Face Book, the following inspiring words are not my own. Thank you Tom, for voicing what so many of us are feeling. America once brought in a revolutionary spirit. It is time to bring it in, again.

"Here’s the question everyone is asking:

“Is Edward Snowden a hero or a criminal, a whistleblower or a traitor?”

But here’s the question they really should be asking:

“Does America still have its original revolutionary backbone, or are we a nation of sheep?”

There is the possibility that Snowden’s courageous action has triggered, something much more momentous – a sudden unexpected shift in the American Psyche – a realization that since 9/11 something has gone terribly wrong in the land of the free and the home of the brave … that the NSA, CIA, FBI are starting to smell like the East German’s Stasi, The Russian KGB, The Fascist police states of the 1930’s and 1940’s – that Americans are spying on Americans … that we are being treated like a nation of petrified snitches cowering in the dark … and that the time has come to turn the light on in a darkened America.

Maybe this weekend someone working at NSA headquarters will get fed up, once and for all, with spying on his fellow citizens and turn another light on in that big, black box … telling us in detail how things really work in there.

And then, maybe the week after, a CIA operative at the Pentagon will suddenly decide to come clean and tell us how the Iraq war really started and provide us with one of those torture videos that were supposedly destroyed.

And then, maybe an army intelligence officer will fill us in on what really happened in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Yemen – telling us who our allies really are and what regimes we really support in the deep global state behind the veneer of mainstream media. Then …

Maybe on July 4th someone at The Whitehouse will remember that this nation was built upon revolution … and that the nation’s integrity, democracy – hell, the nation’s entire future depends upon the existence of people like Snowden who dare to tell us what really goes on behind closed doors, that these otherwise ordinary people continue to summon the courage and humanity to come out of the shadows and take a stand against institutionalized criminality.

Maybe, like at the end of a movie, when the hero finally reveals his true identity and everyone rises to applause, an unstoppable wave of courageous souls will now stand up in solidarity and turn the lights on all over this darkened nation, kicking off a chain reaction of refusal against the military-surveillance complex that President Eisenhower tried to warn us against half a century ago."

~ Tom (An American Citizen)


15th June 2013, 20:09

15 June

How to Fix the World


This film is packed with heartfelt power. It centers on the voices of the people of this planet and strives to present not only the REAL problems we all face, but the suppressed solutions that are available to us if we all take action. We’re exposing A LOT in this film, and the people are ready for this! There are many brave film producers who expose corruption, and we’ve done this too. We strive to take this a step further and also expose the solutions so that people are left with the hope and inspiration to do something about it.

How to Restore the Economy
How to Release New Technology
The Cabal and Environment
How to Fix the Legal System and Reform Governments


The Media
How to Fix the Education System
How to Restore Health
How to Fix the Food Supply


Bright Light – a song to fix our world
The Truth about Extraterrestrials
About the Fix the World Organization

As my beloved readers and FTW supporters know, we created this film on a shoestring budget. And did it all in 5 weeks. If you love the movie and are interested in making a donation to help us continue to bring these issues to light we would be so grateful! Here’s what we’ve set up for you:


15th June 2013, 20:45

This is one account of a girl abused in a care home in the UK, implicating high profile people (unnamed) and the threats and scars she bares. One's heart skips a beat to imagine the loneliness of these children, who were already orphaned or separated from their parents. Police investigations are getting serious on all of this (while they are also encountering on-going threats), more journalists are taking notice and the main stream media are actually starting to report. There will be a resolution on all of this one day, with those long-awaited arrests.

Heart breakingly Tom Petty in times gone by sums it up....


15th June 2013, 21:23



The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today releases an interactive database that helps crack open the historically impenetrable world of offshore tax havens.

The ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database allows the public to search through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore.

We are doing this because the political climate has changed so much over the past few months, ever since we published the second part of a multi-year investigative series that aims to strip away the secrecy associated with tax havens.

EU Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the ICIJ’s investigation has transformed tax politics and amplified political will to tackle the problem of tax evasion – knocking down what the EU Observer called “a wall of apathy” in Europe that had thwarted previous attempts to attack offshore secrecy.

Semeta said the need for tax transparency overrides the principle of data privacy.

Thanks in part to the ICIJ project, tax evasion and offshore secrecy will be a central theme of next week’s meeting of G8 industrialized nations. The chair of that meeting, the British Prime Minister David Cameron, has gone on the record saying the time has come “to knock down the walls of company secrecy” that make the offshore system attractive to money launderers, fraudsters and other criminals.

The Offshore Leaks Database helps remove a small part of this secrecy. It opens up records that may help bring accountability to an industry that has long operated in the shadows.

It is important to note however that there are legitimate reasons to use offshore companies and trusts. ICIJ does not intend to suggest or imply that the people and companies included in the database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.


The Offshore Leaks investigation
The data are part of a cache of 2.5 million leaked files ICIJ analyzed with 112 journalists in 58 countries. Since April, stories based on the data — the largest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization — have been published by more than 40 media organizations worldwide, including The Guardian in the U.K., Le Monde in France, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Germany, The Washington Post and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

ICIJ’s investigation — dubbed “Offshore Leaks” by the Twittersphere and the public — has shaken political and financial institutions from South Korea to Canada. The ICIJ team’s news reports have:

Triggered official investigations into tax dodging and other possible crimes in the Philippines, India, Greece and South Korea.

Prompted high-profile resignations of political and business leaders, including the deputy speaker of the Mongolian parliament and Austria’s most famed banker.

Sparked a renewed sense of urgency among world leaders, transforming tax-haven politics in the European Union and amplifying political will to tackle offshore tax evasion.


The ICIJ Offshore Leaks web app
The Offshore Leaks web app was developed by La Nación newspaper in Costa Rica for ICIJ. A number of ICIJ members and non-members worked on the project, over many months.

The Offshore Leaks web app allows readers to explore the relationships between clients, offshore entities and the lawyers, accountants, banks and other intermediaries who help keep these arrangements secret. The web app displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them including, when possible, the company’s true owners.

The Offshore Leaks Database is not a “data dump.” Rather, it is a careful release of basic corporate information. ICIJ will not release personal data en masse, and has intentionally withheld records of bank accounts and financial transactions, emails and other correspondence, passports and telephone numbers.

After more than a year researching and reporting, ICIJ reporters and partners are still digging into this massive trove of financial information. The Offshore Leaks Database gives ICIJ an opportunity to reach journalists and regular citizens in every corner of the world, particularly in countries most affected by corruption and backroom deals.

ICIJ believes many of the best stories may come from crowdsourcing, when readers explore the database. The public can help us in this critically important work by feeding us further leads about the offshore world that point us to things that might be important.

What's next?
As it fields tips from the public, ICIJ will continue to work on in-depth, cross-border investigations with its network of reporters and media partners.

At the same time, ICIJ will continue to reject demands from governments that it turn over all its offshore files. ICIJ is an independent network of investigative reporters — not an arm of government.

15th June 2013, 21:36
During the delay between the first discoveries and the first statement to the house of commons, or any other institution, I guess there'll be a market in "tip-offs".

Is there a tip-off agency I can buy shares in ? :)

17th June 2013, 07:48

17 June UK

Stuart Hall to be sentenced for child abuse


Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall will be sentenced today after he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls, the youngest aged just nine

Prosecutors branded Hall, 83, a child abuse "predator" following his guilty pleas last month.

The former It's A Knockout presenter initially issued an impassioned denial when he insisted the allegations were "pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious".

But following his guilty pleas, his lawyer Crispin Aylett QC told Preston Crown Court: "He is only too aware his disgrace is complete."

Hall was described as an "opportunistic predator" by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West.

He said Hall's victims did not know each other and almost two decades separated the first and last assaults, but almost all of the victims, including one who was only nine at the time of the assault, "provided strikingly similar accounts".

A brief outline of the abuse suffered by three victims was given at an earlier hearing at Preston Magistrates' Court.

In the 1980s, Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing. He also kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips after he said to her: "People need to show thanks in other ways."

Hall, who was granted bail at his last court appearance, was charged with those offences when he was arrested by Lancashire Police on December 5.

Publicity surrounding his initial arrest led to more victims coming forward.

He was subsequently charged with abusing 10 more girls and the rape of a 22-year-old woman, between 1968 and 1986.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was satisfied the rape count could lie on file after it was given consideration at "the most senior level" and the alleged victim was consulted.

The three other charges were merged with a count he has admitted involving one victim.

Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC will pass sentence today.

17th June 2013, 08:03

17 June UK Bank

Co-op Bank reveals plan to plug £1.5bn hole

The Co-operative Bank has revealed a plan to plug a shortfall of £1.5bn which will involve a 'bail-in' by bondholders and help from the wider Co-op Group.

The Manchester-based bank said today (17 June 2013) £1bn would be contributed in 2013 and a further £500m in 2014.
It said it expected to source this £1.5bn balance primarily from proceeds of the disposals of insurance assets, savings on coupon payments on target securities tendered in an exchange offer and planned management actions.

The plan involves an exchange offer to investors in the bank's subordinated capital securities, a capital commitment from the group sourced from an issue of bonds and the transfer of a significant minority equity interest in the bank to target security holders.

Co-op group chief executive Euan Sutherland said: "This announcement is good news for The Co-operative Group, The Co-operative Bank, its customers and our members.

"We have put in place a detailed and comprehensive solution to meet the current and longer-term capital requirements of the bank. We have discussed this plan in full with the regulator."

The £1.5bn rescue plan comes after an eventful two months for the bank and for new group chief executive Euan Sutherland, who officially took over from Peter Marks in May.

In April, the bank pulled the plug on a deal to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group.

The deal, which was worth up to £750m and appeared all but sealed last summer, fell down after the Co-op said it was not in the best interests of its members.

The collapse of the sale led to the departure of the Co-op Bank's chief executive Barry Tootell and ratings agency Moody's downgrading the bank's debt to junk status.

The agency warned the bank may need "external support" if it could not strengthen its balance sheet.

Co-op Bank has also stopped lending to new business customers, while former HSBC man Niall Booker has taken over as the bank's chief executive.



Director Resignations

The Co-operative Bank announces the resignations of Martyn Wates and David Davies
The Co-operative Bank plc today (Wednesday 5 June 2013) announce that Martyn Wates has resigned as a Director of both The Co-operative Bank plc and the Co-operative Banking Group Limited, with immediate effect. As previously announced, David Davies will resign as a Director of both these Boards with effect from 12 June 2013.
For further information, please contact:
Russ Brady
Patrick Tooher
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 07880 784442 / 07831 314671

17th June 2013, 08:10

17 June Czech Republic

Czech PM Petr Necas to resign over aide scandal

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has announced that he will resign on Monday after days of political turmoil.

His ruling coalition will try to form a new government led by someone nominated by his Civic Democratic Party (ODS).

Pressure had been growing on Mr Necas to quit since prosecutors on Friday charged his chief of staff Jana Nagyova with corruption and abuse of power.

Two former MPs, an ex-minister and the current and former heads of military intelligence have also been detained.

All except one have been remanded in custody.

President Milos Zeman has said the charges, brought after armed police raids on government and private offices on Wednesday, are "serious".

Up to 150m koruna (£5m; $8m) in cash, tens of kilograms of gold and large quantities of documents were seized during the raids.

'Nothing dishonest'
Detectives have said Ms Nagyova was suspected of bribing the former MPs with offers of posts in state-owned firms. It is alleged this was in exchange for them giving up their parliamentary seats.

Ms Nagyova - a close colleague of Mr Necas for nearly a decade - is also suspected of illegally ordering military intelligence to spy on three people.

Czech media reported that the targets included Mr Necas's wife, Radka Necasova. Mr Necas announced this week that they were divorcing.

Mr Necas has rejected all the accusations against Ms Nagyova and the other five accused, saying: "I am personally convinced that I did not do anything dishonest and that my colleagues have not done anything dishonest either."

However, he told a televised briefing in Prague when announcing his resignation on Sunday evening: "I am aware of my political responsibility."

"I will tender my resignation as prime minister tomorrow." he said. "The entire government will therefore resign with me."

The opposition Social Democrats had warned they would press for a no-confidence motion in parliament unless Mr Necas stepped down, and the two other parties in his centre-right coalition had signalled that they could no longer support him.

The prime minister said the coalition would try to form a new government, led by a different person, to rule until elections scheduled for June 2014. He is expected to stay on as caretaker until it is installed.

Under the Czech constitution, President Zeman - a political rival - is under no obligation to respect the coalition's wishes, and could name his own candidate to head an interim government until early elections are held,

Mr Necas also said on Sunday he would resign as his party's chairman.

"I am fully aware how the twists and turns of my personal life are burdening the Czech political scene and the Civic Democratic Party," he told the briefing.

BBC Prague correspondent Rob Cameron says the admission is the closest the prime minister has come to confirming that the woman at the heart of this scandal - Ms Nagyova - is more than just a colleague.

¤=[Post Update]=¤



Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell Resigns

The White House says he is leaving the agency to join President Barack Obama's intelligence advisory board.

The deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency is stepping down to join President Barack Obama's intelligence advisory board.

Michael Morell announced his resignation from the CIA on Wednesday, and the White House said President Obama would appoint Avril Haines to take his place.

In a statement announcing his retirement fromt he CIA, Mr Morell said: "I am passionate about two things in this world - the Agency and my family. And while I have given everything I have to the Central Intelligence Agency and its vital mission for a third of a century, it is now time for me to give everything I have to my family."

Mr Morell, who has spent 33 years at the CIA, was named acting head of the agency in November after then-director General David Petraeus resigned amidst a cheating scandal.

He served in that position until Director John Brennan was confirmed for the job in March.

"As much as I would selfishly like to keep Michael right where he is for as long as possible, he has decided to retire to spend more time with his family and to pursue other professional opportunities," Mr Brennan said in a statement.

Ms Haines is currently a deputy assistant to the president and legal adviser at the National Security Council.

(12 June)

17th June 2013, 08:16

Interesting one this. It didn't smell right at the time. Detox energies are really uncovering the 'wheels within wheels' at the moment. :)


'Plebgate' investigators arrest police officer and woman

Two arrests bring total to six in Scotland Yard inquiry into claims MP Andrew Mitchell was victim of smear campaign

Police investigating the so-called plebgate affair involving the former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell have made two more arrests, including that of a serving constable, after receiving fresh information, Scotland Yard has revealed.

The arrests, which bring the total made in the inquiry to six, took place on Saturday morning at two undisclosed residential addresses.

The Metropolitan police launched the internal investigation, known as Operation Alice, after friends of Mitchell claimed he had been the victim of a smear campaign by officers.

The MP was forced to resign as chief whip after he admitted losing his temper and swearing at officers on duty in Downing Street last September. But he denies calling them plebs, as alleged in a police log leaked to the media.

The controversy arose after Mitchell tried to ride his bicycle through the gates in Downing Street and was asked to dismount by the two officers on duty.

After CCTV footage was broadcast, casting doubt on the original account of what happened, Scotland Yard launched an investigation that led to the arrest of three Met diplomatic protection officers. Another four officers were warned that they faced disciplinary action over their behaviour.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the 48-year-old constable arrested on Saturday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office was one of the four issued with a warning. He works in the diplomatic protection group.

"We anticipate the officer will be suspended later today," the spokesman said.

A woman, aged 49, was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. She is not a police officer.

The man and the woman were taken into custody at separate police stations, one in London and the other outside the capital.

The development came as a result of fresh information disclosed on 4 June to officers investigating the matter, Scotland Yard said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was brought in to supervise the Met inquiry, has been informed.

Three Police Federation representatives from the Midlands who held a meeting with Mitchell and then called for him to consider his position, are facing disciplinary investigations by their forces over what they said to the media following the initial incident.

A Met officer was also arrested as part of the investigation over an email he sent to the deputy chief whip in which he claimed to be a member of the public who witnessed the affair, even though he had not been present. Prosecutors will now decide whether to charge the 52-year-old diplomatic protection officer with misconduct. A relative of the officer was also arrested as part of the investigation.

(15 June)

19th June 2013, 07:29

19 June

Bosses of collapsed banks should be sent to jail, banking standards commission tells George Osborne

Tougher punishments proposed to prevent another banking crisis

Britain’s banking bosses should face jail if their decisions force fresh bailouts, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards says today.

The commission’s hotly anticipated report urges the Chancellor, George Osborne, to oversee the creation of a new offence of “reckless misconduct in the management of a bank”.

Were such an offence in place in the aftermath of the financial crisis, several banking leaders could have faced prosecution.

The parliamentary commission, which was established by Mr Osborne to reform banking after the Libor scandal, describes the failure of senior financiers to accept blame for their actions as “dismal”. It says new rules are required to force executives to take proper responsibility.

The report also calls for a new licensing regime for bankers, underpinned by strict rules to ensure traders and even branch staff who mis-sell financial products are faced with the full force of penalties open to Britain’s financial watchdogs.

The commission also recommends sharp increases in the fines levied on miscreant banks and bankers to bring penalties more closely in line with those imposed by American watchdogs, who hit HSBC with a record fine of nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) when they accused it of being a conduit for dirty money.

The report is released as Mr Osborne is expected to signal the first steps in selling off the Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland in his annual Mansion House speech this evening.

He will not set out a firm timetable and will insist that taxpayers should get their money back. The last government spent £45bn bailing out RBS and a further £20bn rescuing Lloyds from disaster. Explaining the decision to introduce harsh new penalties, the report says: “One of the most dismal features of the banking industry to emerge from our evidence was the striking limitation on the sense of personal responsibility and accountability of the leaders within the industry for the widespread failings and abuses over which they presided. Ignorance was offered as the main excuse.”

It says this was “not always accidental”, accusing leading bankers of “donning the blindfolds”.

Under the proposed new regime, top bankers would in some cases have to prove how they were not responsible for rule breaches to avoid sanctions, rather than forcing regulators to make a case against them.

And when bankers change jobs they will be ordered to sign off on all the risks they are leaving for successors. If any are not highlighted, they will lose deferred bonus money, which could be held back for as long as a decade.

The commission lambasts the industry for pushing pay levels back up towards pre-crisis levels.

However, while the report blames pay policies and levels for encouraging bad practice, it rejects the European Union’s plans for a cap on bonuses at 100 per cent of basic pay or 200 per cent if shareholders approve.

It says: “Public anger about high pay in banking should not be dismissed as petty jealousy or ignorance of the operation of the free market. Rewards have been paid for failure. They are unjustified.”

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chaired the cross-party committee, said: “Recent scandals, not least the fixing of the Libor rate that prompted Parliament to establish this commission, have exposed shocking and widespread malpractice.

“The health and reputation of the banking industry itself is at stake. Many junior staff who may have done nothing wrong have been impugned by the actions of their seniors. This has to end.”

He also warned ministers and regulators not to shirk the task: “It is not just bankers that need to change. The actions of regulators and governments have contributed to the decline in standards.

“Governments need to get on with the job of implementing these reforms. Regulators and supervisors need rigorously to enforce them.

“High standards will strengthen Britain as a global financial centre. International co-ordination, while desirable, should not be allowed to delay reform. We must get on and do what is right for the UK.”

However, top bankers were aghast at some of the recommendations, particularly the new criminal offence. :)

One told The Independent: “What they have to remember is you will still have to attract top people to come in and run these institutions. What are you going to do with this offence? Prosecute a banker who made a good- faith bad business decision. Where does it end? Are you going to do the same to the supermarkets over the horse-meat scandal?”

The onus will now be on the Government to decide which of the recommendations will go forward as amendments to its Banking Reform Bill. However, Mr Tyrie believes some of the reforms, such as the new criminal offence, could be taken out and introduced as a separate Bill.

A Treasury spokesman last night promised a “swift response” to the Bill before the summer recess.

“The Government welcomes the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ report. It’s a very impressive piece of work. There are many recommendations in it which will help the Government’s plan to create a stronger and safer banking system.

“We agree with the commission when it says, ‘High standards in banking should not be a substitute for global success. On the contrary, they can be a stimulus to it’.”

In his Mansion House speech, Mr Osborne is likely to suggest that Lloyds is closer to a return to the private sector and that the Treasury favours selling the state’s 39 per cent stake in the bank by the general election in 2015.

He told BBC Radio 4 yesterday: “We want to return these banks to private ownership. It’s not a good thing for Britain to be owning these large banks.

“Second, we want to make sure the taxpayer gets value for money. We put a lot of our money into these banks; we want to get the money back.”

The Chancellor said Lloyds held more current accounts, and lent more money for mortgages, than any other bank, while RBS was among the country’s biggest lenders. “These are incredibly important institutions, and I want them doing anything they can to support the British economy, as we move from this rescue phase to the recovery phase.”

Mr Osborne will also call for the banks to step up lending to small business as he paints a cautiously optimistic view of Britain’s economic health.

City trader charged over Libor scandal

A City trader has been charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the manipulation of the Libor interbank lending rate.

The former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, 33, from Surrey, was one of the three individuals arrested in December by officers from the SFO and City of London Police.

He attended Bishopsgate police station yesterday morning where he was charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

He is set to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at a later date.

The SFO said its investigation into the manipulation of Libor continues. PA

19th June 2013, 07:47

18 June UK - abuse investigations

Wales child abuse: Justice Macur holds first Wrexham meeting

The first public meeting hosted by a judge leading a review of the Waterhouse inquiry into abuse at north Wales children's homes has been held.

Mrs Justice Macur is holding sessions in Wrexham for people to provide evidence relating to the inquiry, which began in 1996.

Almost 20 people attended the first meeting at the Ramada Plaza hotel.

The Waterhouse report examined the historical abuse of victims in former care homes.

However, there are claims it uncovered only a fraction of the abuse.

Following the first session, Mrs Justice Macur and other members of the review team made themselves available to speak to members of the public in private.

A second public meeting will then take place at the hotel at 18:00 BST with private meetings again available afterwards.

Mrs Justice Macur told those attending the first meeting it was very much a "listening exercise".

Media representatives were not allowed to take notes during the session or report anything that was said by any of those attending.

The judge had said: "I consider it to be extremely important to make myself and my team available in a venue local to the events and circumstances which led to the Waterhouse inquiry to meet with and hear from the people who were directly or indirectly involved and wish to impart information which may be significant to my review.

"It is vital to engage directly with those affected by the issues central to my review."

Sir Ronald Waterhouse's inquiry was ordered in 1996 by then Welsh Secretary William Hague, and his report was published in 2000.

It examined the abuse of victims in former north Wales care homes such as Bryn Estyn in Wrexham dating back to the 1970s.

In April north Wales chief constable Mark Polin asked the National Crime Agency to continue investigating
However, a victim has claimed the inquiry uncovered just a small amount of the alleged abuse.

Mrs Justice Macur's independent review was ordered by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling last November, and she will report back to him.

The review will examine the scope of the Waterhouse inquiry and whether any allegations of child abuse were not investigated.

In addition to Mrs Justice Macur's review, an independent investigation into claims of historical child abuse at children's homes in north Wales is also ongoing.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered the inquiry - Operation Pallial - following a Newsnight report in November, that as well as leading to a Tory peer being falsely accused of paedophilia, alleged that child abuse in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s was far more widespread than had previously been investigated. ???

In April, Operation Pallial investigators, which include the National Crime Agency, said they had found "significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse".

The team said there was evidence of 140 allegations of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992, and 76 new complainants had come forward.

The claims centre on 18 homes involving offences against boys and girls aged between seven and 19.

19th June 2013, 07:53

Nigella Lawson photos: Charles Saatchi accepts caution for assault on wife after five-hour police grilling

18 Jun 2013 07:53

The art tycoon had earlier insisted he did not hurt the TV chef when he lunged at her four times during his astonishing tirade

Stony-faced Charles Saatchi accepted a caution for assault last night for grabbing wife Nigella Lawson’s throat during a vicious restaurant bust-up.

The art tycoon had earlier insisted he did not hurt the TV chef when he lunged at her four times during his astonishing tirade, despite pictures that showed her looking distressed, weeping and in pain.

But he later changed his tune and admitted to officers he attacked 53-year-old Nigella as horrified diners looked on.

Saatchi, 70, was this week pictured in our sister paper the Sunday People gripping his wife’s throat, tweaking her nose and pushing her face.

After he left Charing Cross Police Station in Central London, where he was quizzed for five hours, a Met spokesman said: “Officers from the Community Safety Unit at Westminster were aware of the Sunday People article which was published on 16 June and carried out an investigation.

“This afternoon a 70-year-old man voluntarily attended a Central London police station and accepted a caution for assault.”

Saatchi arrived home in Chelsea around 15 minutes later, refusing to comment. But earlier he insisted he had not meant to hurt Nigella and tried to brush off the row – over their teenage children – and throat-grabbing as a “tiff”.

full story and pix at link

19th June 2013, 07:57

NSPCC is the UK's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and McMillan provided a character witness for the former BBC presenter/producer, Stuart Hall, recently convicted of child abuse after vocally denying the whole thing. Given the level of child abuse being uncovered at the moment - including serial abuse in children's homes - some would say what has the NSPCC being doing all these years?

Patricia McMillan Resigns From NSPCC Role
An NSPCC spokesperson said:

“The volunteer concerned has now stood down from her role with the NSPCC. Our priority is, and always will be, to the victims of child abuse and we will not allow anything to get in the way of this.”

Earlier today Patricia Mcmillan who is Chairman of East Cheshire Branch NSPCC was a character witness at Stuart Hall’s sentencing hearing and testified to his charity work.

19th June 2013, 08:00
Trader charged in LIBOR investigation

Tom Hayes, a former trader at UBS and Citigroup, has today been charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the manipulation of LIBOR.

Tom Alexander William Hayes, 33, of Surrey was one of the three individuals arrested on 11 December 2012 by officers from the SFO and City of London Police. He attended Bishopsgate police station this morning where he was charged by City of London Police with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud and was released on bail. He is due to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday June 20.

The SFO’s investigation into the manipulation of LIBOR continues. - See more at:


18 June UK

19th June 2013, 08:07

18 June Canada

PressTV: Montreal mayor resigns after fraud arrest

Embattled Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum has resigned, one day after his arrest on 14 charges, including fraud.

“Being mayor of Montreal is not something one can do while defending themselves against these accusations,” Applebaum said on Tuesday.

“This is why I am resigning as mayor of Montreal. It is a responsible thing to do,” he added.

The criminal charges pressed against Applebaum include fraud against the government, breach of trust and conspiracy and municipal corruption. As he stepped aside, the said the accusations were “unfounded.”

Applebaum’s short-lived career as the mayor of Canada’s second largest city ended up in a fiasco as he was brought down by allegations of corruption, which he had promised to fight and end while taking office in November.

His predecessor Gerard Tremblay stepped down facing similar allegations.

According to Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, the charges relate to garnering political backing for two real estate projects in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough between 2006 and 2011, when he was the mayor of the borough.

Applebaum’s arrest is the latest in a series of scandals to hit Canada’s internal politics. Rob Ford, his counterpart in Toronto, faces allegations that he has appeared in a video smoking crack cocaine.

¤=[Post Update]=¤

and in the US

18 June

Sen. Warren on Corporate Capture of the Federal Courts


19th June 2013, 10:00
Bankers Should Face Jail Terms, Report Says


25th June 2013, 19:30
Hi Folks, the Solstice has come and gone. The energy is changing. There's a big battle going on, but life has changed and the proof is here, so there's no need to prove the facts with this thread any longer. Truth is coming to the surface across the world all the time. People are getting arrested and going to trial (Berlusconi just one of the latest). High profile figures continue to resign. The banking world just unravels all the time. See Anglo Irish Bank:


Anglo Irish tape revelations spark official investigation

Dublin is opening an inquiry into the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank, following release of taped phone conversations between former executives.

People across the world are making their voices heard - alternative Bildeberg in the UK, the global Monsanto demonstrations, Egypt, Brasil etc. etc.

The UK abuse investigations are gaining momentum against all the odds, and I hope the same is happening in other countries.

There's no need to convince anyone that change is happening - because it's evident every day now. It's tough and it's no easy ride, but things are changing and so are people's perspectives.

The future is your responsibility depending upon where you put your attention and your energy. I believe different people may enter different timelines depending upon their scary or positive view of the future. I personally get really bored with the fear porn stuff (I could watch that on BBC's Eastenders). I wonder about some of Avalonians motives behind this.... it's pretty telling as we all get more intuitive powers.

But we're in crunch times and we're all energy warriors if we want to be - so put your attention where you want to exist - and zap it to them...

I'm off on holiday and will be back to observe from the sidelines, so PM is you feel the call, but I'm handing the baton to you to enjoy the future life you deserve :)...

Sabrina :)

29th June 2013, 04:21
Senior Vatican cleric arrested in fraud probe
AFP Updated June 29, 2013, 4:41 am


ROME (AFP) - A senior Catholic cleric, a former spy and a financer, all accused of plotting to smuggle millions of euros into Italy on a private jet have been arrested as part of a sweeping probe of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, prosecutors said Friday.

Nunzio Scarano, known as "monsignor" in recognition of his seniority at the Holy See, is accused of fraud and corruption for plotting to illegally fly 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland.

The 61-year-old was arrested along with a former member of the secret service and a financial broker after an investigation into the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) -- as the Vatican bank is known -- raised suspicions he was involved in money laundering.

Rome prosecutor Nello Rossi said the money belonged to brothers Paolo, Cesare, and Maurizio D'Amico, who own a fleet of oil tankers, and was the "fruit of tax evasion".

Broker Giovanni Carenzio, who is also under investigation in the Canary Islands for fraud according to media reports, was safeguarding the money and was looking for a way to smuggle it into Italy.

Former agent Giovanni Maria Zito was tasked with bringing the cash in on a private jet to avoid tax and customs controls, but the deal fell through when the three men argued, Rossi said.

The jet was supposed to take the 20 million euros to Rome airport, from where it would be collected and transported to Scarano's house under armed guard, but the plan was aborted.

Zito was in any case paid 400,000 euros from Scarano's bank account, Rossi said.

Mobile telephones used by three were later burned in a bid to destroy evidence, he added.

The arrests were the culmination of a two-year investigation into the three, the Rome prosecutors office said in a statement.

"Other enquires and searches are being carried out... to determine the origin of important sums of money and goods in the possession of Scarano, who holds several accounts with the IOR," it said.

The senior cleric was suspended about a month ago from his position as a member of the administration known as APSA that manages the Vatican's assets, after his superiors learnt about an investigation into his activities, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi said Vatican authorities would cooperate willingly with the investigation but had not yet received an official request.

Scarano, who had worked for years as a senior accountant for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), is being held in Rome's Regina Coeli prison.

The plot was uncovered during a separate investigation into Scarano by a Salerno prosecutor for alleged money laundering.

"They called him Monsignor 500... because of the great number of 500 euro notes he had at his disposition," which he allegedly used to launder money in southern Italy, La Repubblica said.

The probe is part of a much wider enquiry launched in 2011 into the Vatican bank, which has long been tarnished by scandals, with criminals using anonymity or false names to launder money.

The biggest scandal was in 1982 over the bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosia, in which the Vatican was the main shareholder and which had been accused of laundering money for the Sicilian mafia.

Banco Ambrosiano chairman Roberto Calvi -- dubbed "God's Banker" -- was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982 in a suspected murder by mobsters.

The Vatican promised in 2011 to redouble its efforts to reform the bank and overhaul its financial legislation following reports of anonymous accounts being used by organised crime.

The bank was back in the headlines in 2012, when its head Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was sacked after a major falling out with Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

In a bid to tighten control of its activities, Pope Francis announced Wednesday a sweeping study of the bank before a possible clear-out of top management at the Holy See.

In his first real step towards reform, Francis is to take a hands-on approach, ensuring that everything a special commission uncovers will be reported directly to him.

The pope, elected amid an in-house debate over whether a Vatican bank is even necessary, has railed against the cult of money, calling for a "poor Church".

He has also quipped that "St Peter did not have a bank account", and warned bank and other Vatican staff that "offices are necessary but they are necessary only up to a certain point."

Earlier this month, Francis named a trusted ally, cleric Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca to oversee IOR management.

The IOR, which does not lend money, manages assets of 7.0 billion euros and handles funds for Vatican departments, Catholic charities and congregations as well as priests and nuns living and working around the world.

Thank you for your monumental efforts on this thread Sabrina. Have a well-deserved break. Your input will be missed! - KE :)

29th June 2013, 04:26
Senior Vatican cleric arrested in fraud probe
AFP Updated June 29, 2013, 4:41 am


ROME (AFP) - A senior Catholic cleric, a former spy and a financer, all accused of plotting to smuggle millions of euros into Italy on a private jet have been arrested as part of a sweeping probe of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, prosecutors said Friday.

Nunzio Scarano, known as "monsignor" in recognition of his seniority at the Holy See, is accused of fraud and corruption for plotting to illegally fly 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland.

The 61-year-old was arrested along with a former member of the secret service and a financial broker after an investigation into the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) -- as the Vatican bank is known -- raised suspicions he was involved in money laundering.

Rome prosecutor Nello Rossi said the money belonged to brothers Paolo, Cesare, and Maurizio D'Amico, who own a fleet of oil tankers, and was the "fruit of tax evasion".

Broker Giovanni Carenzio, who is also under investigation in the Canary Islands for fraud according to media reports, was safeguarding the money and was looking for a way to smuggle it into Italy.

Former agent Giovanni Maria Zito was tasked with bringing the cash in on a private jet to avoid tax and customs controls, but the deal fell through when the three men argued, Rossi said.

The jet was supposed to take the 20 million euros to Rome airport, from where it would be collected and transported to Scarano's house under armed guard, but the plan was aborted.

Zito was in any case paid 400,000 euros from Scarano's bank account, Rossi said.

Mobile telephones used by three were later burned in a bid to destroy evidence, he added.

The arrests were the culmination of a two-year investigation into the three, the Rome prosecutors office said in a statement.

"Other enquires and searches are being carried out... to determine the origin of important sums of money and goods in the possession of Scarano, who holds several accounts with the IOR," it said.

The senior cleric was suspended about a month ago from his position as a member of the administration known as APSA that manages the Vatican's assets, after his superiors learnt about an investigation into his activities, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi said Vatican authorities would cooperate willingly with the investigation but had not yet received an official request.

Scarano, who had worked for years as a senior accountant for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), is being held in Rome's Regina Coeli prison.

The plot was uncovered during a separate investigation into Scarano by a Salerno prosecutor for alleged money laundering.

"They called him Monsignor 500... because of the great number of 500 euro notes he had at his disposition," which he allegedly used to launder money in southern Italy, La Repubblica said.

The probe is part of a much wider enquiry launched in 2011 into the Vatican bank, which has long been tarnished by scandals, with criminals using anonymity or false names to launder money.

The biggest scandal was in 1982 over the bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosia, in which the Vatican was the main shareholder and which had been accused of laundering money for the Sicilian mafia.

Banco Ambrosiano chairman Roberto Calvi -- dubbed "God's Banker" -- was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982 in a suspected murder by mobsters.

The Vatican promised in 2011 to redouble its efforts to reform the bank and overhaul its financial legislation following reports of anonymous accounts being used by organised crime.

The bank was back in the headlines in 2012, when its head Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was sacked after a major falling out with Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

In a bid to tighten control of its activities, Pope Francis announced Wednesday a sweeping study of the bank before a possible clear-out of top management at the Holy See.

In his first real step towards reform, Francis is to take a hands-on approach, ensuring that everything a special commission uncovers will be reported directly to him.

The pope, elected amid an in-house debate over whether a Vatican bank is even necessary, has railed against the cult of money, calling for a "poor Church".

He has also quipped that "St Peter did not have a bank account", and warned bank and other Vatican staff that "offices are necessary but they are necessary only up to a certain point."

Earlier this month, Francis named a trusted ally, cleric Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca to oversee IOR management.

The IOR, which does not lend money, manages assets of 7.0 billion euros and handles funds for Vatican departments, Catholic charities and congregations as well as priests and nuns living and working around the world.

Thank you for your monumental efforts on this thread Sabrina. Have a well-deserved break. Your input will be missed! - KE :)

this is what we need ... names and their deeds .. exposed ... so they will continue to have no place to go ....

this is working


3rd July 2013, 19:01
Drama in Portugal at the moment - altho´have to say that it all seems calm in the town where I am at the moment and the kids are happily ignoring the austerity cosh and playing volleyball on the beach... Sab.

3 July Portugal

Eurozone crisis: Portuguese political turmoil hits financial markets - as it happened

7.15 pm (British Summer Time)

Some late breaking news out of Lisbon... the CDS-PP party (the junior coalition partners) have just announced that no more ministers will resign (following rumours this morning that the agriculture and social security ministers might quit).

Instead, CDS-PP say they hope to reach a deal to preserve the government. This follows the party's meeting to discuss the way forward, and may mean Pedro Passos Coelho's position is strengthening....

Here's the news flashes from Reuters:



We'll find out more in the morning.....

Time to stop this rolling chronicle of the eurozone crisis for the day.

Here's a brief closing summary:

Portugal's prime minister has vowed to ride out the crisis that has engulfed Lisbon this week, after a day of heavy losses in Europe's stock markets.

Pedro Passos Coelho told reporters in Berlin (5.23pm) that:

I am confident that we will be able to surpass this difficulty... I hope this internal crisis can be overcome very quickly.

Coelho was speaking as his junior coalition partners held talks on whether to withdraw their support, which could trigger a general election. Local media reported that the CDS-PP party had not taken a final decision, but were prepared to 'renegotiate' their relationship with Passos Coelho (details at 6.10pm).

The turmoil in Portugal hit the country's bonds hard, driving the yield on 10-year bonds over 8% at one stage in a sign of faltering confidence in its €78bn bailout programme. The yields slid back to 7.5% tonight, up from 6.5% on Tuesday.

Portugal's president is due to hold talks with key party leaders, including the PM, tomorrow in an attempt to hammer out a deal.

Some City analysts fear that Passos Coelho's government could collapse, although he could technically carry on at the head of a minority government (see 3.13pm onwards for a round-up of expert reaction)

The Portuguese stock market tumbled by more than 5%, while in London the FTSE 100 lost 74 points (see 5.20pm onwards). Other European markets posted heavy losses too.

6.10 BST pm

Coalition partner's meeting breaks up
Back to Portugal, and the meeting of the CDS-PP party -- whose leader quit as foreign minister last night to kick off this crisis -- has finished, without clear progress.

According to local reports, CDS-PP hasn't taken a formal decision on whether to quit the coalition. The door apparently remains open......

3rd July 2013, 19:12
OK certainly worth a mention when a King abdicates. And so soon after Queen Beatrix of Netherlands, just next door.


3 July Belgium

Belgian King Albert II Says to Abdicate on 21 July

Belgium's 79-year-old King Albert II on Wednesday announced that he would abdicate on July 21, the country's national day, and leave the throne to his eldest son and crown prince Philippe, in a televised address to the nation.

The King named "age and health" as the reasons for not continuing to do his duties. The crown prince Philippe, 53, is a fighter pilot and parachutist with degrees from the world's top universities.

There had been rumors among local media about the King's resignation. Belgian national TV also reported that the King had informed the government's cabinet of his decision earlier on Wednesday.

Albert II was sworn in as Belgium's sixth king in 1993, succeeding his brother Baudouin who died at the age of 62. August would have marked the King's 20 years on the throne of the kingdom.

Though lacking executive powers, the King has been seen as a symbol of unity for the country with a long divide between French-speaking and Dutch-speaking communities. In particular, he played a mediating role in solving the country's parliamentary deadlock back in 2010 and 2011, when Belgium was left without a government for a record of 541 days.

The announcement came only three months after that of the Netherlands' Queen Beatrix to give up the throne for her son Willem Alexander.


3 July

(Reuters) - Belgium's King Albert II will give a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, the royal palace said, amid frenzied speculation in the local media that the 79-year-old monarch will step down.

"The core council of ministers has convened in the presence of the king. The king will speak to the people at 1800 (1600 GMT) via a radio and television address," the palace said in a statement.

Local newspapers, quoting government sources, reported that the monarch would announce his resignation. The government scheduled a press conference for 15 minutes after the speech.

If it happens, the abdication would come only six months after Queen Beatrix of the neighboring Netherlands announced she would vacate the Dutch throne in favor of her son Willem Alexander.

While the Belgian monarch has no executive powers and plays a largely ceremonial role, he is a rare uniting factor in an otherwise divided country, which in recent years has seen more and more powers given to regional governments.

Albert II, who has three children, ascended to the throne in 1993 when his childless brother Baudouin passed away.

His son Philippe, 53, is next in line to the throne in the small nation where European Union headquarters are located.

In 1999 Belgian media reported that Albert had fathered a fourth child, a daughter, in an extramarital affair in the 1960s. The palace never acknowledged this.

Delphine Boel, who says she is the unrecognized daughter, summoned the monarch and two of his children to appear in a Brussels court in June, according to her lawyer.

Read more: http://www.disclose.tv/forum/belgian-lizard-king-resigns-t84927.html#ixzz2Y0r2BEj8

3rd July 2013, 19:26
Major events in Egypt - will the President be forced to resign?


3 July Egypt (1820 British SUmmer Time)

Egypt army deployed amid Cairo tension

The Egyptian military has moved into key sites in Cairo hours after its ultimatum passed for President Mohammed Morsi to resolve a political crisis.

Tens of thousands of pro- and anti-Morsi protesters have gathered in areas of the capital, as Egyptians await a televised statement.

Opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei and religious leaders will make this statement, the state news agency said.

Before the deadline passed, Mr Morsi repeated his refusal to step down.

His aides took to social media to describe the events as a military coup but there was no confirmation of this.

There are unconfirmed reports that Egyptian officials have placed an international travel ban on Mr Morsi and other senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Armoured personnel carriers
The army is involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital, BBC correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports.

He described seeing eight armoured personnel carriers heading for Cairo University in Giza, where one of the main pro-Morsi demonstrations was being held. At least 16 people were killed and about 200 wounded at the university when gunmen opened fire on protesters on Tuesday night.

Another pro-Morsi protest was being held in Nasr City, where New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim tweeted that soldiers had fired into the air to disperse demonstrators.

Opponents of the president gathered in Tahrir Square in their tens of thousands. When the army's 48-hour deadline passed, cheers echoed across the square.

Whether it is a military coup or not, on the streets of Cairo it certainly looks like one, our correspondent says.

Before the army's ultimatum to President Morsi expired at 16:30 (15:30 GMT), he posted a Facebook message calling for a roadmap involving an interim coalition government.

His whereabouts were not immediately clear but BBC Arabic confirmed that he was at the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard, a military site where he has stayed since the start of the protests.

One of Mr Morsi's aides, Issam al-Haddad, wrote on his Facebook page that he was "fully aware" his words might be the "last lines I get to post on this page", adding that what was happening was a "military coup".

Defiant speech

The army had earlier held meetings with political and religious leaders to discuss the crisis.

But the ruling Freedom and Justice party - the political arm of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood - stayed away from the talks.

Mr Morsi's opponents have accused him and the Muslim Brotherhood of pushing an Islamist agenda onto Egypt, and say that he should stand down.

In a defiant televised speech on Tuesday evening, Mr Morsi said he would give his life to defend constitutional legitimacy, and blamed the unrest on corruption and remnants of the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was reported to have met his top commanders on Wednesday - and a source close to the military told AFP news agency they had been discussing details of a post-Morsi roadmap.

Members of the Tamarod (Rebel) movement, which has mobilised millions of demonstrators onto the streets to demand Mr Morsi's resignation, were also part of the meeting. So too were leading religious figures and Mr ElBaradei.

The president was put under further pressure by the resignation of six ministers from his government on Monday, including Foreign Minister Kamel Amr.

Elected president

Mr Morsi became Egypt's first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Mubarak.

But dissent has been growing, with protesters angry at the lack of change in post-revolution Egypt and accusing the Brotherhood of trying to protect its own interests.

"This is a president threatening his own people. We don't consider him the president of Egypt," said Mohammed Abdelaziz, a leader of Tamarod.

However, Mr Morsi and the Brotherhood still have significant public support, and both sides have drawn huge numbers to rallies in recent days.

At least 39 people have now died since the protests began on Sunday.

The instability has also hit global oil prices, sending US light crude above $100 a barrel for the first time since September last year, amid concerns supply routes through the Suez Canal could be affected.

3rd July 2013, 21:20
Big news tonight in Egypt. Very big news imo.. Sab.


3 July (2057 British Summer Time)

Army ousts Egypt's President Morsi

The head of Egypt's army has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in office.

Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the constitution had been suspended and the chief justice of the constitutional court would take on Mr Morsi's powers.

Flanked by religious and opposition leaders, Gen Sisi said Mr Morsi had "failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people".

Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo gave a huge cheer in response to the speech.

The army's move to depose the president follows four days of mass street demonstrations against Mr Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.

TV stations belonging to Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech and state news agency Mena said managers at the movement's Misr25 channel had been arrested.

Minutes later, a notice went up on Mr Morsi's Facebook page denouncing the army move as a "military coup".

The statement asked Egyptian citizens - both civilians and military - to "abide by the constitution and the law and not to respond to this coup".

The ousted leader's current whereabouts are unclear. However, earlier reports said security forces had imposed a travel ban on both him and other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood.

'Roadmap' for the future
General Sisi said on state TV that the armed forces could not stay silent and blind to the call of the Egyptian masses.

He spoke of a new roadmap for the future, and said that the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, would be given the task of "running the country's affairs during the transitional period until the election of a new president".

After Gen Sisi's address, both Pope Tawadros II - the head of the Coptic Church - and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short televised speeches about the new roadmap for Egypt's future which they had agreed with the army.

Mr ElBaradei said the roadmap aimed for national reconciliation and represented a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.

"This roadmap has been drafted by honourable people who seek the interests, first and foremost, of the country," added Pope Tawadros.

The army is currently involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital, BBC correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports.

He described seeing eight armoured personnel carriers heading for Cairo University in Giza, where one of the main pro-Morsi demonstrations was being held.

The tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters on the streets of Cairo are now celebrating, with fireworks lighting up the night sky and car drivers honking their horns in excitement.

But Morsi supporters elsewhere in the city are reported to have shouted: "No to military rule.''

3rd July 2013, 22:23

3 July UK

Lloyd’s of London chief resigns

The chief executive of Lloyd’s of London is to resign from the historic insurance market amid tensions over the pace of modernisation.
Lloyd’s said Richard Ward would quit the three centuries-old institution – whose often archaic business practices he sought to overhaul – at the end of the year.

Senior colleagues said there had been questions about Mr Ward’s future since Lord Levene, who recruited him, was replaced as chairman by John Nelson, an ex-Lazard banker, in October 2011.

Mr Ward, a scientist by training who was appointed from outside the insurance industry, pledged upon his arrival in 2006 that most of the market’s main activities would be carried out electronically by 2009.

Allies on Wednesday highlighted the progress Lloyd’s had made in updating its paper-based infrastructure, including introducing an electronic message service between brokers and underwriters. But critics complained that the reality failed to live up to the vision.

Mr Ward’s tenure at Lloyd’s has been less revolutionary for the market than his leadership spell at the International Petroleum Exchange.
Under the leadership of Mr Ward – who has a doctorate in physical chemistry – the IPE was demutualised and closed its “open outcry” pit to become fully electronic.

Lloyd’s provided little explanation for Mr Ward’s departure other than to highlight that with almost eight years in the role, he had had a longer tenure than any Lloyd’s chief executive.

Mr Ward, 56, who was paid £1.7m including bonuses last year, declined to comment beyond a prepared statement.

“This has not been an easy decision to make,” he said. “I believe it is now right to hand over the reins to someone else.”

Mr Ward has sought to ensure that the British market stays relevant in the face of competition from overseas rivals such Bermuda and as emerging markets develop their own insurance industries.

He led the opening of hubs in locations including China and Brazil, and helped formulate Lloyd’s so-called Vision 2025 – a development strategy that has won support from David Cameron, the prime minister.

Mr Ward’s tenure at Lloyd’s – which comprises several underwriting syndicates – was marked by relatively healthy financial performance, but also one of the biggest losses on record, for 2011. The market stood firm and remained well capitalised in spite of a series of natural disasters.
Lloyd’s said it hoped to appoint a successor by the end of the year.

Mr Ward’s pay structure was changed soon after Mr Nelson became chairman. Top managers have been granted salary increases but their maximum potential bonuses were cut.

Mr Nelson said in the statement: “The Lloyd’s market is in a significantly stronger position that when he joined, and Richard deserves great credit for this.”

3rd July 2013, 22:42

Photos coming out of Egypt.

3rd July notice the shift happening with major news coming out from across the world. Sab.

3rd July 2013, 23:00


Beyond Snowden: US General Cartwright has been indicted for espionage

While the world focuses on Washington’s pursuit of NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden, another much more high ranking member of the US power structure has been indicted for espionage this week…

US General James Cartwright was regarded by Washington insiders as ‘Obama’s General’, and now he’s facing prosecution for blowing the whistle on ‘Operation Olympic Games’ which planted the Stuxnet and Flame viruses in Iranian nuclear facilities in order derail Iran’s civilian nuclear program. At closer examination, it appears that Cartwright’s revelations didn’t so much harm US interests per say, but they hindered Israeli ambitions towards a war with Iran.

But why espionage? What is the line between “whistleblowing” and “espionage” in America today?

Journalist Thierry Meyssan give us a historical perspective and tells is what it really means…

Voltaire Net

While the international press plays up the information leaked by Edward Snowden as a revelation concerning the PRISM surveillance program, feigning to have discovered what everyone should already have known for a long time, Thierry Meyssan, is particularly curious about the meaning of this rebellion. From this perspective, he attaches more importance to the case of General Cartwright, who has also been indicted for espionage.
full story at link
2 july

4th July 2013, 10:15
Following on from story 2428 from KiwiElf from a few days ago...


Top Vatican bank managers resign after Monsignor's arrest

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY | Mon Jul 1, 2013 7:18pm EDT

(Reuters) - Two top managers of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank resigned on Monday following the arrest of a high-ranking cleric with close ties to the financial institution, in the latest of a string of embarrassments for the Holy See.

Director Paolo Cipriani and deputy-director Massimo Tulli stepped down three days after the Vatican was rocked by the arrest of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who is accused of plotting with two other people to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland.

Ernst von Freyberg, a German [with Krupp-Thyssen ties -AK] who earlier this year became president of the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), will assume the role of bank director until a permanent replacement is appointed.

The bank has also established a new position of chief risk officer who will be charged with improving compliance with financial regulations at a bank which has long been a byword for secrecy and lack of transparency.

Scarano, 61, who worked as a senior accountant in the Vatican's financial administration, was arrested along with an Italian secret service agent and a financial intermediary.

According to transcripts from a judge's report, Scarano, who is under two separate investigations by Italian magistrates in Rome and Milan, mentioned the director in phone conversations tapped by police investigators.

The judge's report, obtained by Reuters, says Scarano controlled vast amounts of money and felt he could act with impunity because of his connections to the Vatican bank.

Only last Wednesday, two days before the arrests, Pope Francis set up a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank, which has been hit by a number of scandals in the past decades.

Scarano was for years a senior accountant for a Vatican department known as APSA, whose official title is the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.


Magistrates have said there is no indication so far that the Vatican bank was directly involved in the attempt to bring the money into Italy, but that the investigation was continuing and more searches were under way.

Scarano was suspended from his duties several weeks ago when he was placed under investigation by magistrates in Salerno.

In that investigation, his lawyer Silverio Sica said wealthy friends had donated money to Scarano in order for him to build a home for the terminally ill.

According to Sica, his client wanted to use that money to pay off his mortgage so he could sell a property in Salerno and use the proceeds to build the care home.

Scarano has been accused of taking 560,000 euros in cash out of his account in the Vatican bank and giving various amounts to friends who gave him checks in exchange, apparently in a bid to cover his tracks. He then deposited the checks into an Italian bank account to pay off the mortgage.

The case against Scarano came as an embarrassment to Francis, who, since his election in March, has pointedly eschewed many of the trappings of office and sought to stress the importance of a simple life of devotion.

The IOR, tarnished by accusations of failing to meet international transparency standards intended to combat money laundering and tax evasion, is trying to clean up its image after a long history of scandals.

Its most notorious incident came in 1982 when it was enmeshed in the bankruptcy of Italy's Banco Ambrosiano, whose chairman Roberto Calvi was found hanging from London's Blackfriars Bridge.

In 2010, Rome magistrates investigating money laundering froze 23 million euros ($33 million) held by the IOR in an Italian bank. The IOR said it was transferring its own funds between accounts in Italy and Germany. The money was released in June 2011 but the investigation continues.

The European anti-money laundering committee, Moneyval, said in a July report that the IOR still had to enact more reforms in order to meet international standards against money laundering.

The Vatican is due to give Moneyval a progress report this year.

5th July 2013, 15:48
"We'll get Bush in the US" the world's top war crimes prosecutor tells The Truthseeker after Dubya's deputies warn him against travel, lawyers file for Obama's arrest tomorrow when he hits South Africa, huge secret wars in America's name being masked from the folks funding them.

Seek truth from facts with Yousha Tayob of the Muslim Lawyers Association, leading war crimes prosecutor Francis Boyle, Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher of New York's Center for Constitutional Rights which stopped Bush's first trip after his waterboarding admission, Marjorie Cohn, author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, and former NSA intelligence officer Scott Rickard.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air


28 June

12th July 2013, 07:15

11 July Luxembourg

Luxembourg prime minister resigns amid spy scandal

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has announced his resignation after failing to convince lawmakers that he was not responsible for the country’s spy scandal.

The European Union’s longest serving prime minister made the announcement Thursday after facing a parliamentary probe accusing him of failing to curb abuse of power by the country's intelligence agency SREL.

Juncker’s socialist coalition partner called for the dissolution of parliament and urged the veteran premier to request new elections.

“I will convene the government tomorrow morning at 10:00 (08:00 GMT) and will go to the Palace to suggest snap elections to the Grand Duke,” Juncker said.

The parliamentary report follows allegations that Juncker failed to stop illegal phone-taps and corruption, though the 58-year-old premier rejected the claims saying that the intelligence service is not his top priority.

Luxembourg initiated the probe after a weekly newspaper published a secret conversation between Juncker and the head of SREL from 2008, and revealed that the country’s Grand Duke was in regular contact with Britain's MI6.

Juncker has been prime minister since 1995 and was head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers until he stepped down in January.

Juncker is known as one of the pioneers of the idea of the euro currency.


12th July 2013, 22:10

12 July 2013 US

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announces resignation

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will resign her post in September, The Daily Caller has learned.

In a statement released Friday, Napolitano expressed her gratitude to President Obama for her over four years in the post.

“For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security,” Napolitano said. “The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.”

“We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity,” she continued.

In a statement, Obama praised Napolitano for her “outstanding work.”

“I want to thank Secretary Napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years. At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet’s portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country. She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values,” Obama said. ”And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks. I’ve come to rely on Janet’s judgment and advice, but I’ve also come to value her friendship. And as she begins a new chapter in a remarkable career of public service, I wish her the best of luck.”

Napolitano is slated to become the next president of the University of California system.

“After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders,” Napolitano said. “I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects.”

Napolitano is expected to more than triple her salary, from about $200,000 to the $601,000 gross pay earned by the University of California’s current president, Mark Yudof.

Ariel Cohen and Gabe Finger contributed to this report.

This article has been updated.

Correction: Napolitano announced her resignation Friday, but will step down in September.



12 July

Janet Napolitano To Resign Today! Reuters Insider Tweet

According to this HUGE breaking story, Janet Napolitano is going to resign today. This comes straight from a Tweet from Reuter’s Insider. Does this have anything to do with the DHS spying upon peaceful protesters? Is is because the DHS was arming up for war against Americans? Should this be seen as a GREAT sign or does this portend forthcoming disaster?

Here’s the statement from Napolitano: “For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security. The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career. We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity. After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders. I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects.” from Napolitano:


12th July 2013, 22:19

12 July South America

S. American states to recall ambassadors from Europe over Bolivian plane incident

South American countries belonging to the Mercosur trade bloc have decided to withdraw their ambassadors for consultations from European countries involved in the grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane.

"We've taken a number of actions in order to compel public explanations and apologies from the European nations that assaulted our brother Evo Morales," explained Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who revealed some of the agenda debated during the 45th summit of Mercosur countries in Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.

The decision to recall European ambassadors was taken by Venezuela’s head of state, Nicolas Maduro, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez, Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, and Uruguay’s President, Jose Mujica, during the meeting.

Member states attending the summit expressed their grievances with “actions by the governments of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal” over the July 2 incident, when the aircraft carrying President Evo Morales back to Bolivia after attending an energy summit in Moscow was denied entry into the airspace of a number of EU member states.

The small aircraft, which required a stop-over before completing its flight, was forced to make an emergency landing in Austria after a circuitous flight path.

It was later revealed that the European countries’ actions were prompted by accusations made by the US ambassador to Austria, William Eacho, who alleged that American whistleblower Edward Snowden had been taken on board to help him gain political asylum in Latin America.

“The gravity of the incident - indicative of a neocolonial mindset - constitutes an unfriendly and hostile act, which violates human rights and impedes freedom of travel, as well as the treatment and immunity appropriate to a head of state,” the Mercosur nations affirmed in the joint statement.

The incident was further described as a “discriminatory and arbitrary” decision by European countries, as well as a “blatant violation of international law.”

18th July 2013, 08:00
The power of the global community fighting back, thanks to the campaigning efforts of Avaaz.org. The shift is happening! Sab. :)

17 July (the day of the super rare astro alignment - the Grand Water Trine of Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces to quote Dana Mrkich).

Dear Avaaz community,

Across the planet, millions of people young and old are flooding the streets and mobilising online to reject corruption and injustice and speak of a more beautiful world. A new Twitter hashtag in Brazil tells the story: #OGiganteAcordou. Translation: “The sleeping giant has awoken".

And Avaaz - now nearly 25 million strong! - is there almost everywhere it's happening. In one example, the Brazilian Senate repeatedly cited our community last week when they voted to give any 500,000 citizen petition the power to directly introduce measures to the government.

We're growing by well over 1 million people per month, and it's accelerating. As more citizens shake off the slumber we are realising that the world really is ours and, while we face great challenges, what happens next, depends on all of us.

Because when we come together, and stay together, we win. Scroll down for victories and updates, just from the last several weeks:

Brazil says NO to Corruption, YES to 21st Century Democracy!

Brazilians are saying enough is enough to rampant corruption. First it was the hugely successful Clean Record Law campaign, to bar politicians convicted of crimes from running for office -- which studies have shown Avaaz played a key role in winning. Now an Avaaz member has created the biggest online petition in Brazilian history -- with over 1.6 million voices demanding that Senators kick out the Senate President, a disgraced politician under a cloud of corruption allegations. He’s still there for now, but we’re close to ending the secret voting process which allowed him to get the Senate top spot.

Even better, the Senate just voted to make it easier and faster for citizens to force politicians to take action. Avaaz was repeatedly cited during the Senate debate, in which they agreed to halve how many people need to sign popular initiative petitions, and they determined that online signatures can count! Now we’re going all out to get the lower house on board.

Bangladesh: Hope from the Rubble

A Swedish paper splashes our banned H&M ad
When a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed, killing over a thousand, Avaaz joined forces with labour organisations and targeted two massive retail giants. The aim: to get them to sign an enforceable worker safety plan that could be a model for the world.

Avaaz members blanketed the H&M and GAP Facebook pages. And when our ad targeting H&M’s boss was turned down by a leading newspaper in Sweden a huge debate kicked off there, in the media and online. Senior H&M executives got right on the phone with Avaaz, and 3 days later embraced the agreement, prompting more than 75 other brands to follow in their footsteps! GAP and WalMart aren’t on the list yet, but we’re working on them.

A Victory for Bees in Europe!

Wind, rain or snow, we kept up the fight for our bees
After more than two years of tireless campaigning, we played a key role in getting Europe to ban bee-killing pesticides, at least until 2015! This victory came from two years of flooding ministers with messages, launching a massive petition with over 2.6 million signatures, organising media-grabbing protests with beekeepers and a 5-metre high inflatable bee, funding opinion polls, and much, much more.

It’s been a long haul to take on mighty mega-corporations like Bayer, and it wouldn't have been possible without the collaboration of many scientists, specialists, sympathetic officials, beekeepers and environmental groups. According to Friends of the Earth: "Avaaz's massive petition and creative campaigning helped push this over the edge."

Stopping the Mass Maasai Evictions

1.7 million Avaazers back the Massai's right to live in their ancestral lands
The Tanzanian government wanted to kick thousands of families off their lands, reportedly so wealthy tourists could shoot lions and leopards! But 1.7 million of us joined them to say “no”, alerting CNN and Al Jazeera to cover the story, then running hard-hitting adverts calling out the government in local papers -- and encouraging aid donors to ask questions. President Kikwete wanted there to be nothing but silence, but the Maasai have continued to persevere. Finally, when the Maasai descended on the Parliament demanding their right to live in their ancestral lands, the Prime Minister signed a letter pledging to seek a permanent solution to this conflict with community participation. We've so far succeeded in stalling the evictions, but we'll continue to fight until the President calls it off for good.

Moving Beyond the Failed War on Drugs

Guatemalan President Pérez Molina says YES to ending the failed war on drugs
The voices of hundreds of thousands of Avaazers across the Americas called on leaders to embrace more humane drug policies. The result was a historic declaration by the Organisation of American States to move beyond prohibition and tackle drugs as a public health priority, not a military mission.

Our petition was crucial. We delivered it directly, in front of the media, to Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina. And the President explained our exact strategy in his own words: "We thank Avaaz for this petition because it gives us as leaders of the continent the strength to debate this issue without it being seen as taboo."

Ending the War on Women

In India, a 23-year-old student was brutally raped on a bus, then died from her injuries. In the Maldives, a 15 year-old girl was sentenced to flogging for having sex outside marriage. In Somalia, a young woman was brutally gang-raped by the security forces that were supposed to protect her.

In each case Avaaz members have helped turn horror into hope, amplifying millions of our voices in the media to pressure governments to pass stronger laws to protect women. In the Maldives, our campaign threatening tourism got us an open door to top political leaders, who said the girl would not be flogged for now, and a poll commissioned by Avaaz hit the front pages showing citizens wanted the laws changed. In India, a big pink bus with a larger than life fake PM Singh touting our message was driven through the streets of Delhi, and there is now growing interest in our call for a massive public education campaign challenging out of date attitudes towards women. These are just the tips of the iceberg in our fight to end misogyny.

Saving Fin Whales from Butchery

Delivering our call to save the fin whales to the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs
When an Icelandic tycoon launched his brutal summer hunt to turn endangered fin whales into dog food, Avaaz launched a campaign to stop him shipping the bloody carcasses to Japan. Over 1.1 million of us convinced Dutch politicians to commit to closing Dutch ports. Then we showed up again in Germany when he tried to reroute his shipments through Hamburg. The German Environment Ministry responded to Avaazers' messages right away on Twitter and -- working closely with Greenpeace, together we created the pressure that got the whale meat put right back on a ship to Iceland! The German government has now asked the port to refuse all future whale meat shipments, 200,000 Avaaz members in Germany are now asking the nation's biggest supermarket to stop selling products linked to the whaling company and we're chasing down the whaler's other routes to profit until he realises he has to stop killing fin whales.

Stopping the Global Tax Scam

Avaazers in action urging PM Harper to take action on tax
Each year, greedy companies and wealthy individuals use tricky schemes to hide away an estimated $1 trillion, depriving governments of tax they need to fix our services and our countries. This year we spotted an opportunity to go after the missing money, built a massive petition and linked up with famous singer Baaba Maal and worked closely with Save the Children, ActionAid and other campaign groups to deliver our voices to David Cameron, G8 summit chair. Our letter signed by 21,000 business representatives helped position this as a pro-business, pro-citizen issue, and to shift the positions of Germany and Canada, resulting in an historic agreement that can get governments to work together to stop tax evasion. The 'Lough Erne Declaration' was short on specifics, but gives us huge leverage in chasing governments to block shady tax schemes.

It's an amazing thing to be part of a community of citizens from every corner of the world, united in common and effective action. Click here to see a map of our membership by country, or here to read personal stories from and even correspond with other Avaazers.

Our sleeping giant is waking, bringing tremendous possibilities for change. Can't wait to see what our community does next.

With love, hope, and crazy appreciation for this world-changing community,

Ricken, Jamie, Oli, Alex, Dalia, Joseph, Laura, Mais, Michelle and the rest of the Avaaz team

PS -- Inspired to change something? Many Avaaz campaigns (like our biggest during the Brazil and Turkey protests) are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=26859

PPS -- Every single one of these campaigns was 100% funded by our community. To maintain our independence, Avaaz does not accept funding from governments, corporations, foundations or large donors. This is extremely rare and a huge part of why we're effective -- chip in to help keep it all going: http://avaaz.org/en/reportback_0713/

18th July 2013, 08:19

An extract from Benjamin Fulford on some of the heads which have rolled.... (July 17 2013) ~ Chaos And Panic Spreading Amongst Cabalists, More
Heads To Roll Soon

The cabal that illegally and surreptitiously seized power in the West knows it
has lost the war for planetary control. The result is spreading chaos and panic
amongst the cabal elite. The signs of this are everywhere now both in the public
realm and in the still secret world of military, spy and gangster agencies.

On the public side, the head of Homeland Security and 15 top Sabbatean agents
within that department were fired last week, joining the 26 generals, CIA head
David Petraeus, Senate Intelligence Committee Chief J. Rockefeller, Pope
Maledict, Queen Beatrix of Holland, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia,
King Albert II of Belgium and many others in a purge of cabalist operators. Only
Eric Holder now stands, and probably not for long, between President Obama and
the legal moves to remove him from office.

On the yet to be made public side of things, Italian P2 freemason lodge members
say former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy is planning to seek
political refugee status, maybe in Russia. In Japan, public security police
sources say that cancer-stricken Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has only a few months
left to live and that a replacement has already been chosen from within the
current ruling clique.

There are also ongoing secret negotiations between representatives of the
Gnostic Illuminati, the heads of the world's martial arts societies, the White
Dragon Society, the government of Russia, the dragon family and the Green and
Blue among others. According to several key negotiators there is a broad
agreement on the need to replace the current ruling structure of the planet with
something more benevolent. There is disagreement however between hardliners,
mostly in the Western military intelligence apparatus, who want to completely
eliminate the 13 Sabbatean bloodlines and the moderates, including the White
Dragon Society and various Asian groups, who favour a truth and reconciliation
committee, a jubilee and a general amnesty.

In any case, discussions about what comes next are still taking a back seat to
the ongoing efforts to remove the cabal from power in the G7 countries.

The cabal has been fighting tooth and nail to keep that power. In the US, the
firing of DHS head Napolitano helped derail a plot to use the highly
propagandized Zimmerman trial to trigger race riots as an excuse to declare
martial law in the US. The involvement of US Attorney General Eric Holder in
attempts to stir up race turmoil is now being investigated.[COLOR="red"]

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Tory MP Andrea Leadsom Accuses Bank Of England Of Missing Gilt-Rigging Attempt

Financial regulators failed to “jump into action” to stop a suspected attempt by traders to fix the prices paid by the Bank of England in its “quantitative easing” programme, a Tory MP has warned.

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Andrea Leadsom, member of the influential Treasury Select Committee, accused the Bank of England of failing to crack down on a possible attempt to rig the rates paid in buying government debt, or gilts.

“I think it is odd that the question has received so little attention. In the wake of LIBOR rigging, I would have thought the Bank of England would jump into urgent action at any prospect of gilt auction rigging.”

Leadsom’s comments came after Bank of England officials warned that such an attempt to rig gilt rates would have been “thoroughly reprehensible”.

The allegations over the rigging of gilt prices come after the banking sector was hit by different allegations over the manipulation of the interbank lending rate, or LIBOR.

A senior Bank of England official told members of the Treasury Select Committee how suspicions were raised about the price of a particular bond.

In October 2011, the Bank noted suspicious changes in the price of one class of bond, and so decided to reject all the offers on the markets on that day.

"In this instance, one line of gilts was moving in the opposite direction to the way it should be moving,” Paul Fisher, executive director for markets at the Bank, told MPs

The trading came as the bank was carrying out its £375 billion quantitative easing to directly inject credit into the economy. The process in question revolved around a reverse auction, in which the Bank buys government debt off the market.

The decision to stop purchases on the day served as a “shot across the bows” to the markets that the Bank would not pay any price in its gilt-purchasing programme.

Asked if he believed there was direct rigging, Fisher said: "If that's what somebody was doing it would be thoroughly reprehensible and appropriate sanctions would follow."

Fisher told MPs that he was not aware of anyone being charged in relation to the suspected rigging, which have been referred to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

“It wasn’t definite evidence that there was any suspicious behavior or information but we thought it worth passing onto the authorities”, a Bank source told the Huffington Post UK. The FCA refused to comment as it is an "ongoing investigation".

Speaking alongside Fisher, Debt Management Office chief Robert Stheeman, who oversees gilt management, dismissed any suggestion of “collusion”.

“The strongest argument against collusion is not just the whole legal sanction but the fact that the competition means people are very desperate to have a leading advantage,” he said.

¤=[Post Update]=¤

Obama administration drowning in lawsuits filed over NSA surveillance

16 July US


Attorneys for the Electronic Frontier Foundation have sued the Obama administration and are demanding the White House stop the dragnet surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency.

Both the White House and Congress have weighed in on the case of Edward Snowden and the revelations he’s made by leaking National Security Agency documents. Now the courts are having their turn to opine, and with opportunities aplenty.

Day by day, new lawsuits waged against the United States government are being filed in federal court, and with the same regularity President Barack Obama and the preceding administration are being charged with vast constitutional violations alleged to have occurred through the NSA spy programs exposed by Mr. Snowden.

The recent disclosures made by Snowden have generated commotion in Congress and the White House alike. The Department of Justice has asked for the 30-year-old former Booz Allen Hamilton worker to be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage, and members of both the House and Senate have already held their share of emergency hearings in the wake of Snowden’s series of disclosures detailing the vast surveillance programs waged by the US in utmost secrecy. But with the executive and legislative branches left worrying about how to handle the source of the leaks — and if the policies publicized should have existed in the first place — the courts could soon settle some disputes that stand to shape the way the US conducts surveillance of its own citizens.

Both longstanding arguments and just-filed claims have garnered the attention of the judicial branch in the weeks since the Guardian newspaper first began publishing leaked NSA documents attributed to Snowden on June 6. But while the courts have relied previously on stalling or stifling cases that challenge Uncle Sam’s spy efforts, civil liberties experts say the time may be near for some highly anticipated arguments to finally be heard. Now on the heels of lawsuits filed by the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, groups are coming out of the woodwork to wage a legal battle against the White House.

The most recent example came this week when a coalition of various organizations filed suit together against the Obama administration by challenging “an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance, specifically the bulk acquisition, collection, storage, retention and searching of telephone communications information.” Represented by attorneys from the EFF and others, the plaintiffs in the latest case filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court include an array of groups, such as: First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles; Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Calguns Foundation; California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees; Council on Islamic Relations; Franklin Armory; Free Press; Free Software Foundation; Greenpeace; Human Rights Watch; Media Alliance; National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; Open Technology Institute; People for the American Way, Public Knowledge; Students for Sensible Drug Policy; TechFreedom; and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the EFF, told the Washington Post that the NSA leaks credited to Snowden have been a “tremendous boon” to the plaintiffs in recently filed court cases challenging the surveillance state. The courts are currently pondering at least five important cases, Cohn told the Post, which could for once and for all bring some other issues up for discussion.

Since June 6, the American Civil Liberties Union, a Verizon Wireless customer and the founder of conservative group Judicial Watch have all filed federal lawsuits against the government’s collection of telephony metadata, a practice that puts basic call records into the government’s hands without a specific warrant ever required and reported to the media by Mr. Snowden. Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch has also sued over another revelation made by Snowden — the PRISM Internet eavesdropping program — and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, has asked the Supreme Court to vacate the order compelling Verizon Business Network Services to send metadata to the feds.

Perhaps most important, however, is a California federal court’s recent decision to shutdown the government’s request to stop the case of Jewel vs. NSA from proceeding. That debate first began in 2008 when Jewel, a former AT&T customer, challenged the government’s "illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance” as exposed by a whistleblower at the telecom company. That case has seen roadblock after roadblock during the last five years, but all that changed earlier this month. The government long argued that Jewel v. NSA can’t go up for discussion because the issues at hand are privileged as ‘state secrets’ and can’t be brought into the public realm.

“[T]he disclosure of sensitive intelligence sources and methods . . . reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to national security,” the government wrote in one earlier filing. "The very purpose of these cases is to put at issue whether the NSA undertook certain alleged activities under presidential authorization after 9/11, and whether those activities continue today. At every stage, from standing to the merits, highly classified and properly privileged intelligence sources and methods are at risk of disclosure. The law is clear, however, that where litigation risks or requires the disclosure of information that reasonably could be expected to harm national security, dismissal is required."

Following Snowden’s recent disclosures, though, Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California ruled on July 8 that there’s a way for those cases to still be heard.

"The court rightly found that the traditional legal system can determine the legality of the mass, dragnet surveillance of innocent Americans and rejected the government's invocation of the state secrets privilege to have the case dismissed," the EFF’s Cohn, who is working on the case, said in a statement issued at the time of the ruling. "Over the last month, we came face-to-face with new details of mass, untargeted collection of phone and Internet records, substantially confirmed by the Director of National Intelligence. Today's decision sets the stage for finally getting a ruling that can stop the dragnet surveillance and restore Americans' constitutional rights."

18th July 2013, 08:23
Haarp's starting to resign as well :)...

"NOW, only 25 more of these facilities to go...."
-Alfred Lambremont Webre

HAARP Facility Shuts Down


The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down. HAARP’s program manager, Dr James Keeney at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, told ARRL that the sprawling 35-acre ionospheric research facility in remote Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May.

“Currently the site is abandoned,” he said. “It comes down to money. We don’t have any.” Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. HAARP’s website through the University of Alaska no longer is available; Keeney said the program can’t afford to pay for the service. “Everything is in secure mode,” he said, adding that it will stay that way at least for another 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime a new prime contractor will be coming on board to run the government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) facility.

HAARP put the world on notice two years ago that it would be shutting down and did not submit a budget request for FY 15, Keeney said, “but no one paid any attention.” Now, he says, they’re complaining. “People came unglued,” Keeney said, noting that he’s already had inquiries from Congress. Universities that depended upon HAARP research grants also are upset, he said.

The only bright spot on HAARP’s horizon right now is that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research this fall and winter. DARPA has nearly $8.8 million in its FY 14 budget plan to research “physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning and geo-physical phenomena.”

The proximate cause of HAARP’s early May shutdown was less fiscal than environmental, Keeney said. As he explained it, the diesel generators on site no longer pass Clean Air Act muster. Repairing them to meet EPA standards will run $800,000. Beyond that, he said, it costs $300,000 a month just to keep the facility open and $500,000 to run it at full capacity for 10 days.

Jointly funded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Naval Research Laboratory, HAARP is an ionospheric research facility. Its best-known apparatus is its 3.6 MW HF (approximately 3 to 10 MHz) ionospheric research instrument (IRI), feeding an extensive system of 180 antenna elements and used to “excite” sections of the ionosphere. Other onsite equipment is used to evaluate the effects.

Larry Ledlow, N1TX, of Fairbanks, Alaska, said HAARP ionosonde and riometer data have been “invaluable, especially being more or less local, to understand current conditions in the high latitudes.” He said data from other sites “simply do not accurately reflect the unique propagation we endure here.”

To fill the gap, Ledlow said, several members of the Arctic Amateur Radio Club — including Eric Nichols, KL7AJ, author of Radio Science for the Radio Amateur and articles in QST — have discussed building their own instruments. “It’s all very preliminary,” he said, “but we really feel the pinch losing HAARP.” Nichols, of North Pole, Alaska, has conducted experiments at HAARP. He called the shutdown “a great loss to interior Alaska hams and many others.”

The ultra-high power facility long has intrigued hams, even outside of Alaska. In 1997, HAARP transmitted test signals on HF (3.4 MHz and 6.99 MHz) and solicited reports from hams and short-wave listeners in the “Lower 48” to determine how well the HAARP transmissions could be heard to the south. In 2007 HAARP succeeded in bouncing a 40 meter signal off the moon. Earlier this year, HAARP scientists successfully produced a sustained high-density plasma cloud in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

As things stand, the Air Force has possession for now, but if no other agency steps forward to take over HAARP, the unique facility will be dismantled, Keeney said. He pointed out that it would cost less to bulldoze the antenna field than it would to replace the 180 antenna elements.

Splashy web postings abound, blaming HAARP for controlling the weather — most recently in the case of Hurricane Sandy and the spate of tornados — and for causing other natural disasters. Quipped Keeney, “If I actually could affect the weather, I’d keep it open.”

18th July 2013, 08:26
BBC News – July 17, 2013 Japan


A woman is suing the head of Japan’s largest organised crime group, local media reports say.

The Nagoya woman, who has not been identified, is suing Kenichi Shinoda, chief of the Yamaguchi-gumi gang, for 17.35m yen ($174,200; £115,000).

The restaurateur is demanding a refund of the protection money she paid gangsters affiliated to his group.

Her lawyers argue Shinoda has “employer liability” for the mobsters’ actions, as head of the umbrella gang.

The lawsuit makes use of an anti-organised crime law revised in 2008, which says heads of organisations can be held liable for damage done by its members and affiliate groups.

This is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind in Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.

The former restaurant owner is reported to have paid a total of 10.85m yen ($109,000; £72,000) in protection money over 12 years.

Her lawyers said that when she tried to withhold payments in 2008, a gang member threatened to torch her restaurant, Kyodo reported.

Police figures suggest that members of the Yamaguchi-gumi make up over 40% of Japan’s organised crime gang members, AFP news agency reported.

Japan’s gangs, also known as yakuza groups, are not illegal.

However, they are said to be involved in a range of criminal activities including drug dealing, prostitution and stock-market manipulation.

18th July 2013, 08:31
By Jill Treanor, The Guardian – July 16, 2013 - on Barclays Bank UK & US fines


Bank penalised for attempting to manipulate US electricity market hours after appointing Tushar Morzaria as financial director

Barclays and four of its power traders have been ordered to pay a total of $453m (£299m) in fines by the US energy watchdog, which accuses the bank of attempting to manipulate the US electricity market.

The fines were announced just hours after the bank had named a new finance director. First announced last October, the fine by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relates to allegations for the two years to December 2008.

The FERC told Barclays it had to pay a $435m fine to the US treasury within 30 days; one of its traders must pay a $15m fine, and three other traders $1m each, according to an 86-page order issued on Tuesday night.

The bank must also give up $34.9m in profits which will to be distributed to low-income homeowners in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington to help them pay their energy bills, it said.

“If Barclays and the traders do not pay the penalties assessed by FERC, then FERC may seek affirmation of the penalties from a federal district court,” the regulator said.

Barclays said: “We are disappointed by the action FERC took today. We believe the penalty assessed by the FERC is without basis, and we strongly disagree with the allegations made by FERC against Barclays and its former traders in the FERC’s order assessing civil penalty. … We believe our trading was legitimate and in compliance with applicable law.

The Order Assessing Civil Penalty is by its very nature a one-sided document, and does not reflect a balanced and full description of the facts or the applicable legal standard. We have cooperated fully with the FERC investigation, which relates to trading activity that occurred several years ago. We intend to vigorously defend this matter.”

Barclays is also facing another multimillion-pound bill to lure its new finance director, Tushar Morzaria, across the Atlantic from a senior role at a US bank.

Morzaria is to receive a yet-to-be-disclosed relocation fee to move to London from New York to take up the key boardroom role, which could potentially pay the 44-year-old more than £6m a year in salary and bonuses.

more at link

18th July 2013, 22:19
Detroit emergency manager files largest municipal bankruptcy in US history
Associated Press
By Corey Williams and Ed White – 1 hour 35 minutes ago


DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit on Thursday became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection.

Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was hired by the state in March to lead Detroit out of a fiscal free-fall and made the filing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court.

A number of factors — most notably steep population and tax base falls — have been blamed on Detroit's tumble toward insolvency. Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

In recent months, the city has relied on state-backed bond money to meet payroll for its approximately 10,000 employees.

Orr was unable to convince a host of creditors, the city's union and pension boards to take pennies on the dollar to help facilitate the city's massive financial restructuring. If the bankruptcy filing is approved, city assets could be liquidated to satisfy demands for payment.

"Only one feasible path offers a way out," Gov. Rick Snyder said in a letter to Orr and state Treasurer Andy Dillon, approving the bankruptcy.

Snyder determined earlier this year that Detroit was in a financial emergency and without a plan to improve things. He made it the largest U.S. city to fall under state oversight when a state loan board hired Orr in March. His letter was attached to Orr's bankruptcy filing.

"The citizens of Detroit need and deserve a clear road out of the cycle of ever-decreasing services," Snyder wrote. "The city's creditors, as well as its many dedicated public servants, deserve to know what promises the city can and will keep. The only way to do those things is to radically restructure the city and allow it to reinvent itself without the burden of impossible obligations."

A turnaround specialist, Orr represented automaker Chrysler LLC during its successful restructuring. He issued a warning early on in his 18-month tenure in Detroit that bankruptcy was a road Detroit and its creditors did not want to tread.

He laid out his plans in June meetings with debt holders, in which his team warned there was a 50-50 chance of a bankruptcy filing. Some creditors were asked to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what the city owed them. Underfunded pension claims would have received less than the 10 cents on the dollar under that plan.

Orr's team of financial experts put together said that proposal was Detroit's one shot to permanently fix its fiscal problems. The team said Detroit was defaulting on about $2.5 billion in unsecured debt to "conserve cash" for police, fire and other services.

"Despite Mr. Orr's best efforts, he has been unable to reach a restructuring plan with the city's creditors," the governor wrote. "I therefore agree that the only feasible path to a stable and solid Detroit is to file for bankruptcy protection."

Detroit's budget deficit is believed to be more than $380 million. Orr has said long-term debt was more than $14 billion and could be between $17 billion and $20 billion.

¤=[Post Update]=¤

While you were sleeping Wall Street climbs to record
BusinessDesk – 2 hours 30 minutes ago


By Margreet Dietz

July 19 (BusinessDesk) - Wall Street rose to a record after better-than-expected economic data and corporate earnings fuelled investors' optimism the US economy is gathering steam as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank's ongoing support for growth.

Bernanke testified before Congress for a second day, now to the Senate Banking Committee. He has finally managed to reassure investors that the Fed's stimulus will not vanish, saying there is no "preset course" for its US$85 billion a month bond-buying program.

"The market gets the idea the tapering is coming, the economy is improving and rates are still going to be low for a time," Rick Fier, director of equity trading at Conifer Securities in New York, told Bloomberg News.

Meanwhile, the latest economic reports surpassed forecasts. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 334,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. That was a larger drop than economists had anticipated.

Separately, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's index of business activity index rose to 19.8 last month from 12.5 in June, comfortably beating economists' expectations.

The latest US earnings also showed strength. Shares of Morgan Stanley gained, last up 4.8 percent, on better-than-expected earnings and plans to buy back US$500 million in stock.

"Morgan Stanley has been a turnaround story and I think this buyback is an indication that they're at the next phase of their development," Kenneth Leon, analyst with S&P Capital IQ, told Reuters.

Shares of International Business Machines Corp also rose, last up 2 percent, as the company lifted its full-year earnings forecast. UnitedHealth also beat earnings expectations, boosting its shares 6.8 percent.

In late afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.56 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 0.53 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.11 percent. The S&P 500 earlier touched a record 1,693.12, while the Dow reached a record 15,589.40.

"The initial jobless claims were better than expected. Earnings are coming in OK. All in all it's hard not to be bullish on the market here," Fier said.

Shares of Dell rose 1.9 percent. The company postponed a shareholder vote on its chief executive's US$24.4 billion buyout offer to Wednesday after failing to get enough support, according to Reuters.

"The delayed vote may speak to the Silver Lake/Dell transaction not finding necessary support," Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White told Reuters. "A higher bid may be necessary to consummate this transaction."

In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.9 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 Index and Germany's DAX both rose 1 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 1.4 percent.

18th July 2013, 23:23
Detroit emergency manager files largest municipal bankruptcy in US history
Well, son of a gun ... that's a big one ... Detroit bankrupt.

From: http://www.humanevents.com/2008/01/17/newt-gingrich-on-real-change/

Detroit was, in 1950, 1,800,000 people with the highest per capita income in the United States
From the wealthiest city in the wealthiest nation on earth, to the biggest city bankruptcy in history, in 63 years.

Here's how it fell: The fall and possible rise of a great American city (http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2011/03/detroit/).

19th July 2013, 08:18
Good that some of these people in public office have been arrested - and that some of the depressingly dark abuse of power is coming out - but there's an awful lot more to come across the world with very similar stories.



Innocence violated

Charges against Levin are horrific enough, but how much darker is it that he had a hand in drafting graphic sex lessons for kids?

Benjamin Levin, Ontario’s former deputy minister of education, has been charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including child pornography.

He hasn’t just been charged with possessing images of children being sexually abused.

He’s been charged with arranging for sexual offences against a child, making child porn and distributing it to others.

Levin’s bail conditions include a ban on him using the Internet except at work — he’s a professor at the University of Toronto.

And he’s not allowed to use a cellphone that connects to the Internet or has a camera in it.

There are tens of thousands of civil servants in Ontario and, as a matter of statistical probability, a number will be charged with crimes every year.

But this is different.

The charge of making child pornography is the gravest immorality, perhaps second only to murder. This isn’t a shoplifting offence.

And the second factor is what Levin does. At U of T, he teaches teachers how to teach kids. And what he did.

He was deputy minister during the development of the proposed, hyper-sexualized curriculum for Ontario grade schools. Those sex lessons will start in Grade 1 — when children are barely toilet trained.

full story at link

13 July

19th July 2013, 08:23

18 July China

China bars Glaxo finance chief from leaving

BEIJING (AP) — Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, under investigation on suspicion its employees bribed Chinese doctors, said Thursday the finance director for its local unit has been barred from leaving China.

The executive, Steve Nechelput, has not been questioned or arrested and is free to travel within China, the British company said in a statement. It said it had been aware of the travel restrictions since the end of June. Nechelput continues to work in his role as finance director for the company's China unit.

Chinese police announced this week they have detained four GSK employees on suspicion of paying bribes to doctors, hospitals and others to encourage them to prescribe the company's medications. Police say the employees funneled as much as 3 billion yuan ($490 million) through travel agencies and consulting firms to hide the source of bribes, according to Chinese news reports. Investigators have not made clear how much of that money was paid as bribes.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the scheme appeared to be aimed at evading GSK's internal controls meant to prevent bribery. GSK has said it opposes bribery and was cooperating with the investigation.

On Wednesday, the Chinese drug regulator launched a crackdown on misconduct in its pharmaceutical market, though it gave no indication it was linked to the GlaxoSmithKline probe. The State Food and Drug Administration said the campaign is aimed at stamping out unauthorized drug production, improper online drug retailing and sales of fake traditional Chinese medicines.

The new Chinese leadership that took power in November has promised to improve China's health system and rein in surging costs of medicine and medical care that are fueling public frustration. China has suffered repeated scandals over fake or shoddy medications, some of which caused deaths and injuries. Regulators have launched repeated crackdowns on false advertising and other violations, but with limited success.

Also Wednesday, a Commerce Ministry spokesman warned that Chinese and foreign drug manufacturers would face "legal sanctions" for misconduct. Meanwhile, the Cabinet's planning agency is investigating production costs at 60 Chinese and foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to state media, possibly a prelude to revising state-imposed price caps on key medications.

19th July 2013, 08:28

19 July Spain

Thousands demand Spain PM resignation

Thousands of people in Spain have taken to the streets in the capital Madrid to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

On Thursday, protesters staged anti-government rallies after Rajoy dismissed calls by opposition lawmakers to answer questions on a corruption scandal in parliament.

On Sunday, head of the opposition Socialist party Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba called on Rajoy to resign after a media report accused him of receiving illicit cash payments when he was a minister in the late 1990s.

On June 9, Spain’s daily El Mundo published excerpts from the ledger entries of a secret slush fund run by the governing People’s Party (PP), implicating Rajoy and other senior PP members in the corruption scandal.

The document -- purportedly handwritten by former PP treasurer and senator Luis Barcenas -- showed the names of the Spanish prime minister and PP members as well as the amounts each had allegedly received.

According to the report, the illegal payments to Rojoy included an amount of 42,000 euros (USD 53,705) in 1997, and two payments of 12,600 euros (USD 16,111) in 1998.

The document was sent to the country’s High Court on Monday, the Spanish daily said.

Barcenas, who confirmed the authenticity of the ledgers last month, is currently being held in custody in connection with several corruption charges.

In January, similar claims by the El Pais , another Spanish newspaper, ignited protest rallies against the Spanish prime minister and drew calls from the opposition Socialist Party for Rajoy’s resignation.

However, Rajoy and the PP have repeatedly denied the allegations.

19th July 2013, 08:45
Warned of being arrested would be more to the point. I bet there'll be a few war criminal expert lawyers following all of this.


19 July UK

Tony Blair warned he will be criticised in Iraq report

Tony Blair is expected to be warned this month that he will be criticised by the inquiry into the Iraq war, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Sir John Chilcot, the chairman of the inquiry, wrote to David Cameron this week to inform him that “individuals” had been identified who would be criticised in his report.

It is the first confirmation that individuals have been found at fault in their decisions and actions in the run-up to the Iraq war and during the aftermath. These people, thought to include the former prime minister, will be told “this month” and given an opportunity to respond before the final report is published next year.

Mr Blair, who has repeatedly denied misleading Parliament and the public over the case for war in 2003, is likely to make strong representations to Sir John in an attempt to stop any criticism. He is likely to be wary of potential comparisons with Anthony Eden who lied to Parliament over the invasion of Suez.

Sir John has said he wishes to highlight private handwritten letters from Mr Blair to President George W Bush in 2002, in which Mr Blair gave assurances that Britain would support an invasion of Iraq.

The letters gave assurances to the US before the Cabinet had established the case for war against Saddam Hussein’s regime, so may call into question the official explanations given for the invasion.

Sir John also wishes to highlight previously unknown correspondence between Mr Blair and Gordon Brown and other communications with US presidents. The Prime Minister said Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, was aiding the inquiry on releasing this information.

Sir John wrote to Mr Cameron this week confirming that individuals would be criticised following his four-year inquiry. “The inquiry intends to write to the relevant individuals at the end of this month informing them that the committee has concluded that there are areas in which some aspect of the part they played means the inquiry is likely to make a criticism,” he said. “The inquiry recognises the seriousness with which any criticism of an individual is likely to be regarded by that individual and it is determined to adopt an approach which is balanced, considered and fair.”

In his response, dated Wednesday, Mr Cameron said the release of this information was crucial before the individuals to be criticised could respond, apparently confirming that Mr Blair would be censured. He wrote: “I agree that it is important to ensure that those who the inquiry intends to criticise are informed … clearly the complex declassification discussions must be completed before this can take place.”

(documents at the link)

19th July 2013, 14:01
Good that some of these people in public office have been arrested - and that some of the depressingly dark abuse of power is coming out - but there's an awful lot more to come across the world with very similar stories.
Innocence violated
Charges against Levin are horrific enough, but how much darker is it that he had a hand in drafting graphic sex lessons for kids?
Benjamin Levin, Ontario’s former deputy minister of education, has been charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including child pornography.
He hasn’t just been charged with possessing images of children being sexually abused.
He’s been charged with arranging for sexual offences against a child, making child porn and distributing it to others.
Levin’s bail conditions include a ban on him using the Internet except at work — he’s a professor at the University of Toronto.
And he’s not allowed to use a cellphone that connects to the Internet or has a camera in it.
There are tens of thousands of civil servants in Ontario and, as a matter of statistical probability, a number will be charged with crimes every year.
But this is different.
The charge of making child pornography is the gravest immorality, perhaps second only to murder. This isn’t a shoplifting offence.
And the second factor is what Levin does. At U of T, he teaches teachers how to teach kids. And what he did.
He was deputy minister during the development of the proposed, hyper-sexualized curriculum for Ontario grade schools. Those sex lessons will start in Grade 1 — when children are barely toilet trained.
full story at link
13 July

That is getting closer to the truth, That is the ONTARIO I know. Too bad there was a policy of exposing freemason connections when they nail these scumbags

20th July 2013, 09:13

19 July US

SEC: Cohen failed to prevent insider trading

Steven Cohen, the billionaire manager of one of the largest and most successful hedge funds, was hit with a civil action by federal regulators Friday for allegedly failing to supervise two financial lieutenants accused of insider trading.

The action filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission stopped short of accusing the famed founder of SAC Capital and one of the nation's wealthiest individuals of insider trading himself. But it seeks to bar Cohen from handling investor funds, a penalty that could force him to shutter portfolios that the agency said until recently totaled more than $15 billion.

In a relatively rare legal step, the SEC also filed administrative charges against Cohen, rather than a federal lawsuit. That means the case will be handled by an SEC administrative law judge, an employee of the regulatory agency.

That gives the agency potentially valuable "home court advantage" because the rules of evidence are somewhat less strict than those in federal court, said John Coffee, a Columbia University law school professor with expertise in securities law.

The action came roughly one week before the legal statute of limitations would have expired for some of the alleged insider trading offenses. It also follows the record $615 million in penalties that SAC Capital and CR Intrinsic, another Cohen affiliate, agreed to pay the SEC to resolve insider trading charges against the firms.

In the new case, the SEC charged that Cohen received "highly suspicious" non-public information in 2008 from portfolio managers, Mathew Martoma and Michael Steinberg, who have pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges and face separate trials later this year.

Instead of heeding his supervisory responsibility to investigate, the SEC charged that Cohen "ignored red flags" and allowed trading on the information to proceed, earning profits and avoiding losses totaling more than $275 million.

"Hedge fund managers are responsible for exercising appropriate supervision over their employees to ensure that their firms comply with the securities laws," said Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "After learning about red flags indicating potential insider trading by his employees, Steven Cohen allegedly failed to follow up to prevent violations of the law."

"The SEC's administrative proceeding has no merit," said Cohen spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter, who said the agency had ignored SAC Capital's extensive compliance policies and procedures. "Steve Cohen acted appropriately at all times and will fight this charge vigorously."

Read the SEC order http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2013/ia-3634.pdf

According to the SEC, Cohen oversaw trading by Martoma and Steinberg and required them to give him updates and convey the reasons for their trades.

Martoma bought shares of two pharmaceutical companies, Elan and Wyeth, based on their joint involvement in clinical trials of a drug being tested for potential use against Alzheimer's disease.

"Cohen allowed this despite repeated e-mails and instant messages to Cohen from other analysts at CR Intrinsic advocating against it," the SEC alleged.

"The analysts questioned whether Martoma possessed undisclosed data on the results of the trial. Cohen responded by saying it was "tough" to know whether Martoma knew something, but that he would follow Martoma's advice because he was "closer to it than you,' " the SEC said.

The SEC alleged that Cohen also was told "about a doctor who had provided his portfolio managers with potentially non-public information about the clinical trial, but failed to express any concern about the use of that information."

"Instead, Cohen encouraged Martoma to talk further with a doctor familiar with the clinical trial," the SEC said.

On July 20, 2008, Martoma told Cohen he was no longer comfortable with the firm's investments in Elan, according to the SEC.

"Despite Martoma's abrupt change in view and red flags that he likely received confidential information about the clinical trials from a tipper, Cohen failed to take prompt action to determine whether an employee under his supervision was violating insider trading laws," the SEC alleged. "Starting the next morning, Cohen oversaw the liquidation of his and Martoma's positions in Elan and Wyeth and the accumulation of a short position instead."

The SEC also alleged that Cohen supervised Steinberg when the portfolio manager was involved in insider trading of Dell securities in August 2008.

"After being looped into a highly suspicious e-mail between Steinberg and other firm employees reflecting the clear possibility that they possessed material non-public information about an upcoming earnings announcement at Dell, Cohen again failed to take prompt action to determine whether Steinberg was engaged in unlawful insider trading," the SEC charged.

"Instead, Cohen liquidated his Dell shares based on the recommendation of Steinberg, who continued short selling Dell shares in his Sigma Capital portfolio based on the confidential information," the SEC said.

"Dell's stock price dropped sharply after its August 28 earnings announcement, and funds managed by Cohen's firms profited or avoided losses totaling at least $1.7 million. Three hours after the earnings announcement, Cohen e-mailed Steinberg: 'Nice job on Dell,' " the SEC alleged.

The absence of insider trading charges against Cohen himself appears to signal that neither Martoma nor Steinberg has given SEC or Department of Justice investigators any incriminating evidence against the hedge fund manager, said Coffee, the Columbia law professor.

"That's far less than they hoped for," Coffee said of the failure-to-supervise charges. "But that seems to be all they have" or feel confident of proving.

The SEC will have a potential advantage in presenting the case before an administrative law judge because it's easier to introduce hearsay testimony and some other types of evidence than in a court, said Coffee, who predicted an "intensely fought" legal battle.

"It's rare that the SEC proceeds administratively in an insider trading related case," said Coffee, who likened the agency's legal strategy against Cohen to "aiming at his kneecaps instead of his jugular."

20th July 2013, 09:25
More on this GlaxoSmithKline drugs industry Chinese bribe story....perhaps the article should mention all the other drugs industry kick-backs to nurses, doctors, hospitals, medical centres, senators, politicians etc. etc.... intimidation of those questioning them, falsifying of medical trials etc. etc.. large pack of cards to fall down here!


19 July

GSK chief Andrew Witty set to admit China 'scam’

The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Andrew Witty, is to admit major failings in the pharmaceutical giant’s Chinese operations following allegations by the country’s security ministry that the company took kickbacks and paid bribes to government officials.

Sir Andrew is set to use the company’s second quarter results next week to reveal that GSK’s own investigation into allegations of a “huge economic scam” has uncovered evidence that appears to show senior executives in the country were involved in an orchestrated attempt to falsify invoices, pay sweeteners to third parties and siphon off payments for their own use.

GSK suspects that the fraudulent activity continued for a number of years without being picked up by GSK’s own compliance unit in the country, raising serious questions about the company’s internal procedures.
In 2012, GSK was fined $3bn (£2bn) for abusive practices in marketing drugs in America.

It what will be another significant blow to GSK’s global reputation, it is understood that the company now expects to face fines which could total tens of millions of pounds as well as criminal trials for the individuals involved. Sir Andrew is said to be personally shocked by the evidence that has been uncovered.

News that Sir Andrew is set to admit to failings comes nine days after the Chinese authorities revealed that police were looking into Rmb3bn (£300m) of deals which could go back as far 2007. GSK believes that the fraud allegations only involve a small fraction of that figure but that it could still amount to totals of several million renminbi.

Four GSK executives have been arrested in China as part of the police investigation and it has been claimed by the Chinese authorities that GSK employees have confessed to the bribery allegations.
GSK believes that the allegations only involve the four arrested officials who were acting in concert to “disrupt the business”.

Sources have also made it clear that the situation is still very fluid and new information is coming to light every day.

Yesterday, Sir Andrew sent Abbas Hussain, GSK’s president of emerging markets, to China to deal with the unfolding crisis along with the company’s global head of internal audit and a senior legal official.

The pharmaceutical firm has also hired auditors Ernst & Young to carry out an independent review of its systems in China.

Sir Andrew now also plans to travel to China to offer to solve the problem and try and support the state’s attempts to clean up the drug market.

Doctors are poorly paid in the country and there are widely held suspicions that a complicated networks exist of back hand payments by pharmaceutical companies to gain market share.

The allegations centre on GSK’s use of around 25 “travel agencies” in China which organise conferences for doctors. It appears that bribes were paid to “stimulate contracts” - that is, encourage the agencies to host GSK events in what is a very competitive market with over 700 operators.

Invoices were falsified to claim for far larger conferences than actually took place, with the overpaid money being used for personal gain and to bribe doctors and officials, GSK now believes.

An opaque system of sub-contracting made it very difficult for compliance officers to follow payment trails.
GSK has now halted the use of travel agencies and has launched an investigation into all third party relationships in the country.

Although it is now reviewing its business in China, which accounts for 3pc of the company’s global sales, it appears unlikely that it will pull out of the country where there are still major expansion opportunities.

20th July 2013, 09:38
Convicted Ex-CIA Chief Arrested in Panama

Al Jazeera – July 18, 2013


A former CIA station chief, convicted in Italy of kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric, has been arrested in Panama, Italian and Panamanian officials have said.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA chief in Milan, entered Panama, crossed the border into Costa Rica and was sent back to Panama where he was detained, according to an Italian official.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Panamanian police official said Seldon Lady had been arrested by Panama’s border authorities and handed over to Interpol.

The CIA declined to comment.

Italy’s highest court last year upheld a guilty verdict against Seldon Lady for the kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt via Germany for interrogation, where he says he was tortured for seven months.

Nasr says he was tortured with electric shocks, beatings, rape threats and genital abuse.

The imam, also known as Abu Omar, was a resident in Italy at the time of the abduction.

Seldon Lady was given a nine-year prison sentence and another 22 Americans seven-year sentences in absentia for the abduction of the imam.

The Italian trial was the first of its kind against the “rendition” flights practised by the administration of former US President George W Bush, which have been condemned by human rights groups.

The Italian government asked for the former CIA agent – “Mister Bob” – to be held in Panama and now has two months to request his extradition.

It was not clear however where Seldon Lady would be taken. Italy and Panama have no bilateral extradition treaty, according to documents on the Italian Justice Ministry’s website.

A 2006 amnesty in Italy shaves three years off all sentences meted out by Italian courts, meaning if Lady is brought back to Italy, he would face six years in prison.

20th July 2013, 09:54
For those it resonates with:

Via Cobra - Prepare for Change website - our new society is 'almost' here.



21st July 2013, 20:34

21 July UK

Ex-MI6 boss makes sensational threat to reveal secrets of Iraq dodgy dossier

Sir Richard Dearlove, 68 provided intelligence about Saddam Hussein's WMD
Had previously said he would keep his account of events leading up to Iraq War secret until after his death

A former head of MI6 has threatened to reveal explosive new details behind the ‘dodgy dossier’ scandal if he objects to the long-awaited findings of the Chilcot Inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq War.

Sir Richard Dearlove, 68, who provided intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that was apparently ‘sexed up’ by Tony Blair’s Government, has spent the last year writing a detailed account of events leading up to the war.

He had intended to keep his work under lock and key and made available only to historians after his death.

But now Sir Richard has revealed to The Mail on Sunday that he could go public after the Chilcot Inquiry publishes its findings.

Sir Richard is expected to face censure from the inquiry’s chairman, Sir John Chilcot, over the accuracy of intelligence provided by MI6 agents inside Iraq – which was used in the so-called ‘dodgy dossier’.

In a bombshell email to the Mail on Sunday, Sir Richard, who is Master at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, disclosed: ‘What I have written (am writing) is a record of events surrounding the invasion of Iraq from my then professional perspective.

‘My intention is that this should be a resource available to scholars, but after my decease (may be sooner depending on what Chilcot publishes). I have no intention, however, of violating my vows of official secrecy by publishing any memoir.’

Sources close to Sir Richard say that while he accepts that some of MI6’s information on the WMDs was inaccurate, he insists that Chilcot should recognise the role played by Tony Blair and the Prime Minister’s chief spokesman Alastair Campbell in informing media reports which suggested Saddam could use chemical weapons to target British troops based in Cyprus – a claim which put Britain on a path to war in Iraq.

Mr Blair and Mr Campbell have repeatedly denied making misleading statements about WMD.

But Sir Richard is said to remain extremely aggrieved that this piece of intelligence, which his agents stressed only referred to battlefield munitions which had a much shorter range, led to media reports that UK bases were under threat.

Last week it was revealed that Sir John had written to Prime Minister David Cameron informing him of his intention to write personally to those individuals he intends to criticise, with reports suggesting that Tony Blair is among those on Sir John’s list.

Sir Richard has taken a sabbatical from his duties at Cambridge University to research and write his record of events.

With his account nearing completion, he is expected to resume his Master’s role at the start of the new academic year.

A security source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is Sir Richard’s time-bomb. He wants to set the record straight and defend the integrity of MI6.
'And Sir Richard has taken a lot of personal criticism over MI6’s performance and his supposedly too-cosy relationship with Mr Blair.

‘No Chief of MI6 has done anything like this before, but the events in question were unprecedented.

‘If Chilcot doesn’t put the record straight, Sir Richard will strike back.’

After graduating from Cambridge, Sir Richard began his MI6 career in 1966 and was posted to Nairobi, Prague, Paris and Geneva before becoming head of station in Washington DC in 1991.

He returned to the UK two years later and became director of operations in 1994. He was appointed Chief, or ‘C’, in 1999.

In his first year, the IRA fired a rocket at the agency’s headquarters on the South Bank of the River Thames. This was followed in September 2001 by Al Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States.

The Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee subsequently accused MI6 of failing to respond with sufficient urgency to warnings that Islamic fundamentalists were planning such a major terrorist attack.

But last night the committee’s chairman, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who was appointed in 2010, offered Sir Richard his support.

Sir Malcolm told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I have never heard of a former MI6 chief putting something out there in these terms but I would be interested in what Sir Richard has to say in response to the Chilcot Inquiry which is clearly going to have some meat in it.

‘I know Sir Richard and worked with him in the Foreign Office many years ago. He is a very able man of the highest character and a man of his own opinions. We shall have to wait to see what he says.’

Sir Richard, who was elected Master at Pembroke just weeks after leaving MI6, lives in an idyllic £1.2 million property in the college’s grounds.
Last night, Alastair Campbell and the office for Tony Blair declined to comment on Sir Richard’s account.

21st July 2013, 20:51

21 July UK

Elm Guest House investigation: Former senior cabinet minister faces rape investigation

CPS considers charges as police looking into guesthouse paedophile ring broaden their inquiry

A former senior cabinet minister is now the subject of a rape allegation currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Police investigating possible child abuse at the Elm Guest House in West London have submitted a file on the former minister, and the CPS is expected to come to a decision over the matter during the summer. The claims are not believed to relate to the abuse of minors at the guesthouse, and the alleged victim was over the age of consent.

The allegation follows evidence given to the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating claims that a well-connected paedophile ring was operating from a guesthouse in Rocks Lane, Barnes, south-west London, in the early 1980s. The inquiry has been examining hundreds of leads submitted to it after a politician claimed that a historic paedophile ring with connections to Downing Street had been in operation there. The extent, breadth and wide timeframe of the claims led police to look beyond the Elm Guest House’s allegedly dark epoch and beyond the abuse of children.

Police have been looking into claims that young boys from the Grafton Close care home, run by Richmond council, were sexually assaulted at the guesthouse – now a block of respectable flats. It is alleged that the boys were taken to organised parties at the house attended by prominent people, where they were made to dress up. The parties were often “Kings and Queens” themed, a practice begun around the time of the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The lack of charges relating to the guest house has given rise to counter-claims of “conspiracy theories” and cover-ups. But in January, The Independent on Sunday revealed that the disgraced Liberal Democrat politician Sir Cyril Smith, who for decades abused children without ever facing justice, was a regular visitor to the Elm Guest House.

The revelation came after police raided the house of one childcare worker and seized documents said to contain the names of some of those who stayed at the guesthouse. Those on the list also included prominent politicians, judges and celebrities.

The Fernbridge investigation came in the wake of the allegations surrounding the TV presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile.

In October last year, Tom Watson MP told Parliament that an evidence file on Peter Righton, a former child care worker convicted of importing illegal homosexual pornography in 1992, contained “clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring”. At Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.”

Scotland Yard is still investigating those claims, as well as suggestions that its officers failed to carry out a proper examination of child abuse claims in Richmond in 2003, when the Independent Police Complaints Commission received allegations from a concerned council worker.



21 July

If you’re confused about today’s story in The Independent on Sunday concerning an ex-minister then I can understand why. I hope in a small way this short piece will help a little.

To begin with the most important part of the story is the first paragraph. The reference in the penultimate paragraph to Tom Watson’s PMQ question, in which he states, “One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad”, might mislead readers. This question concerned what would become Operation Fairbank and the person alluded to is not the ‘ex-minister’ alluded to today who is implicated in the Operation Fernbridge investigation. To complicate matters further there is at least one likely link between these two police investigations that I know of but it is better to think of these as separate investigations with different people alleged to be involved in each (for the most part) or you’re going to get very confused.

We can see from the opening paragraph of The Indie story (below) that Operation Fernbridge have submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service concerning an allegation of rape. I find it difficult to believe that the police would have taken this step without first having questioned the ex-minister involved. The Indie article goes on to state that “The claims are not believed to relate to the abuse of minors at the guesthouse, and the alleged victim was over the age of consent.” My own reading of that line is that it refers specifically to the allegation presented to the CPS.

A former senior cabinet minister is now the subject of a rape allegation currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Police investigating possible child abuse at the Elm Guest House in West London have submitted a file on the former minister, and the CPS is expected to come to a decision over the matter during the summer. The claims are not believed to relate to the abuse of minors at the guesthouse, and the alleged victim was over the age of consent.

Full Story The Independent on Sunday

For some context, which I hope will be helpful, below are a couple of selected extracts from a story run by Exaro News on the 16th February. The bold is my own

Met Commanders have received a secret briefing on preparations by Scotland Yard’s paedophile unit to arrest a former Conservative cabinet minister.

They were told of the plans during a highly confidential briefing on progress in two police operations examining allegations of child sex abuse against senior political figures and other VIPs…

… He [Peter Spindler] identified the ex-minister in the briefing. Exaro knows the ex-minister’s identity, but has decided against publishing it to avoid jeopardising police operations.

The senior detective said that his team was still at an early stage of its investigations, but had already gathered a good deal of evidence that the ex-minister had sexually abused boys. In addition, one woman has told detectives that the ex-minister raped her when she was a girl.

Full story Exaro News http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4838/met-paedophile-unit-prepares-to-arrest-ex-tory-cabinet-minister

My own view is that if this ex-minister has been questioned by the police then far from “jeopardising police operations” by naming him now, it would be in the public interest to do so and could strengthen police operations as other alleged victims might be encouraged to come forward.

22nd July 2013, 06:11

Massive Fire Reported in JP Morgan Basement Vault! Gold Force Majeure?

22nd July 2013, 06:26
No Bank Deposits Will Be Spared from Confiscation

22nd July 2013, 09:24
Mom denied food stamps shoots kids, kills self

22nd July 2013, 10:05
A second British drug company under investigation in China - spotlight on the drugs industry at last ... S.


22 July - China/pharma

AstraZeneca employee detained in China

A second British drug company is under investigation by Chinese police, in what appears to be a widening of the criminal probe into GlaxoSmithKline over allegations of bribery.

Officers from China's powerful Public Security Bureau visited the Shanghai office of AstraZeneca on Friday and detained one employee for questioning.

"We believe that this investigation relates to an individual case and while we have not yet received an update from the Public Security Bureau, we have no reason to believe it is related to any other investigations," said a spokesman for the pharmaceutical company.

The company added that it "does not tolerate any illegal or unethical conduct in our business activities."
The move comes after Chinese authorities appear to be widening their probe into drug pricing beyond GlaxoSmithKline.

UCB, a medium-sized Belgian pharmaceutical company with a particular strength in epilepsy treatment, said last Thursday its office in Shanghai had been visited by officials from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) seeking information on compliance. At the time a number of other international firms, including AstraZeneca, denied any knowledge of being investigated.

The New York Times reported that it had seen documents showing that at least six other global pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Novartis, Roche and Sanofi, had used the same travel agency as GSK to make bookings for events and conferences.

While the documents do not indicate wrongdoing, they suggest that the investigation into GSK may widen further.
Meanwhile GlaxoSmithKline, which has been ensnared in a criminal investigation in China for some weeks, has admitted that some of its executives appear to have broken Chinese law.

Abbas Hussein, GSK's head of emerging markets, conceded that a number of senior staff in China had circumvented the drug maker's compliance systems and were in breach of the country's bribery laws.
"Certain senior executives of GSK China, who know our systems well, appear to have acted outside of our processes and controls which breaches Chinese law," Mr Hussain said in a statement.

Mr Hussain, who was dispatched to China by GSK chief executive Sir Andrew Witty on Friday to lead negotiations with the country's powerful Ministry of Public Security, described the talks as "very constructive".

In an olive-branch offering, the pharmaceuticals group has pledged to lower its drug prices in China. Sources close to the investigations say Sir Andrew also has plans to visit China to support the government's efforts to root out corruption in business.

"Savings made as a result of proposed changes to our operational model will be passed on in the form of price reductions, ensuring our medicines are more affordable to Chinese patients," said Mr Hussain.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said Mr Hussain had apologised for the scandal. In a statement, it also urged GSK to take "responsibility" for the scandal, citing Mr Hussain's comment that the four detained Chinese executives from the drugmaker were able to break the law because they knew the company's internal systems so well.

Mr Hussain's statement comes as the company's internal probe uncovered evidence that appeared to support some of the allegations from Chinese police, as the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The drug maker is facing a mounting crisis in China after the country’s authorities revealed police were looking into deals worth 3bn renminbi (£320m), which could go back as far as 2007.

The allegations centre on GSK’s use of “travel agencies” in China which organise conferences for doctors and are a highly competitive business.

The Chinese authorities claim the company used some 700 agencies as middlemen to funnel money to health officials and doctors in order to win market share and clinch higher prices. GSK believes the figure is far lower and says it only has relationships with between 20 and 25 agencies.

Four senior staff, all Chinese nationals, are under arrest, and one appeared to make a public confession on state television last week. Chinese police claim the others have also confessed to the charges.

A British consultant who specialises in fraud investigations in China, and is believed to have advised GSK in the past, has also been detained as part of the probe.

22nd July 2013, 10:10
Massive Fire Reported in JP Morgan Basement Vault! Gold Force Majeure?
Original reports that this fire was in JP Morgan's headquarters building, where their gold is stored, appear to be false.

JP Morgan moved their headquarters from this building, on lower Broad St, to its current location at 270 Park Avenue, about a decade ago. Their gold is 5 stories below ground at their Liberty Street location, across the street from the New York Federal Reserve's building and gold vault.

The location of this fire, 15 Broad St, is currently a condominium.

See further Did A Raging Fire Burn Down JPMorgan's Gold Vault? (ZeroHedge) (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-21/did-raging-fire-burn-down-jpmorgans-gold-vault)

22nd July 2013, 10:15

17 July UK

UK police accused of supplying target information for military 'kill list'

Court case – launched following mistaken identity in Afghan attack – to hear claim that Soca helped to compile list for Nato

British police have been accused of illegally supplying information on potential targets for a highly controversial military "kill list" in a legal challenge being launched at the high court on Wednesday.

The role of the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has been put under the spotlight by the claims, which are set out in papers to be filed on Wednesday morning.

Lawyers acting for an Afghan man who lost five members of his family in a missile strike are demanding a judicial review of Soca's role, saying there is evidence the agency has been helping compile and review Nato's Joint Prioritised Effects List (JPEL).

They say this breaches Soca's remit and exceeds the unit's statutory mandate and powers.

Soca, which is responsible for tracking down organised crime gangs and drug-traffickers, has denied any wrongdoing.

The case revolves around in incident on 2 September, 2010, when Nato forces in Afghanistan launched a missile strike against a convoy in Takhar province.

They believed they were targeting an insurgent leader and hailed the "precision air strike" a success.

However, the military operation may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Instead of hitting a man called Muhammad Amin, an alleged member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the missile killed five men who were relatives of an Afghan bank worker called Habib Rahman.

Rahman's two brothers, two of his uncles and his father-in-law died in the missile attack. Three other members of his family were injured.

The men were driving around in convoy helping another member of the family who was campaigning for a parliamentary seat. In all, 10 people died in the attack.

Amin was not among them; he has since been seen alive.

The legal challenge states that Amin was on the "kill list" and that information from Soca has been used to help the US military decide whom to target.

It cites a report to the committee on foreign relations in the US Senate, which says Soca was one of the agencies providing information for the "kill list".

Papers filed to court say: "The UK's involvement in the list is not limited to military or intelligence officials but includes civilians working for Soca.

"The US Senate report specifically acknowledges such involvement by Soca."

The author of the report was Douglas Frantz, who was chief investigator of the committee at the time, working for John Kerry, now US secretary of state.

In a witness statement in support of the demand for judicial review, Frantz says he conducted interviews and was a witness to briefings which left him in no doubt of Soca's involvement.

"The statements made by the Soca officer quoted in the report and by others during my trip to Afghanistan led to my understanding that Soca was indeed involved in collecting and evaluating evidence as part of the preparation of the [list]," Frantz said.

Referring to the 2005 legislation that set out Soca's powers, lawyers acting for Rahman said it would be illegal for the unit to provide any information that could lead to someone being killed.

"Nothing in the 2005 Act indicates that Soca is mandated to carry out activities outside the scope of civilian law enforcement," the papers say.

"In particular, there is no express statutory authorisation for Soca to be involved in activities connected to armed conflict and the potential killing of individuals."

Soca officers are not members of the armed forces and do not have the right to directly participate in hostilities in an armed conflict, the document adds.

The legal challenge relates to "an issue of fundamental constitutional importance, namely whether a UK public body is unlawfully involved in the taking of life. If there is any such involvement, either as alleged or at all, then prompt judicial oversight of the legality of the practice challenged is essential."

In a letter to Rahman's lawyers, the London firm Leigh Day, the agency denied it provided information for the list and said the Senate report had been misconceived. Soca's role had been misstated, it said.

The agency has consistently denied supplying information to the JPEL, and described the legal challenge as a "fishing expedition".

Targeting Taliban commanders has been an important part of Nato strategy in Afghanistan, and it has involved US, British and Afghan special forces, and the use of drones.

But who is put on the "kill list" and why remains a closely guarded secret – and has become a huge concern for human rights groups. They have questioned the legality of such operations and said civilians are often killed.

Rosa Curling, who is representing Rahman, said: "Our government argues that the UK's presence in Afghanistan is needed in order to help establish and maintain democracy and the rule of law.

"The UK government has no hope of doing this, if at the same time it is itself involved in the unlawful killing of civilians in Afghanistan. We cannot have civilian law enforcement officials involved in military operations.

"The 'kill list', in which the UK is involved, operates as a target list for individuals located in Afghanistan. One of the options for dealing with those on it is to kill them."

A Soca spokesman said: "Soca denies the allegations made by the claimant in his application for permission to apply for judicial review.

"Soca operates within the scope of its core statutory functions, which are to prevent and detect serious organised crime and contribute to the mitigation of its consequences.

"Our activity overseas is conducted in line with other UK government departments, recognising the need to comply with both international law and human rights obligations."

• This article was amended on 18 July 2013 to correct the full name of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.




In 2012, the US government reportedly got British Telecom to agree to connect the US drone base in Djibouti to a US communications base in the UK.

The Lemonnier drone base in Djibouti sends drones on illegal "killing" missions in Yemen and Somalia.

The attacks break international law because they are carried out in areas where no war has been declared.

BT accused of aiding US lethal drone attacks
The UK communications giant, BT, is facing a government investigation for allegedly aiding lethal and illegal US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at City University in London, drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia have killed many hundreds of people, including many women and children.

BT's chief executive is the Polish-Lithuanian Jew Ian Livingston.

Reportedly, BT is one of the most hated firms in the UK.

Green Member of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone has said:

"The idea of a British organisation profiting while alleged human rights abuses are taking place raises many questions.

"Did the UK authorities know about this contract and, if so, did they express any concerns?"

The UK police reportedly supply lists of the people to be killed

23rd July 2013, 14:10
I've been tracking Bix Weir for some time now, a lot of what he's say's goes against what many of us have been led to believe, yet I'm inclined to agree with his interpretation of events more and more so.


24th July 2013, 05:27

23 July Bulgaria

Bulgaria protesters block parliament in Sofia unrest

Protesters have blocked the doors of Bulgaria's parliament amid mass daily rallies against government corruption.

More than 100 politicians, journalists and staff have been trapped inside the building, local media said. One report said they had been there for five hours.

Demonstrators clashed with riot police in Sofia, the capital, on the 40th day of anti-government rallies.

Earlier the EU's Justice Commissioner said she backed the protesters.

Viviane Reding, who was in the country for a live question and answer session, said on Twitter: "Here in Sofia today, my sympathy is with the Bulgarian citizens who are protesting against corruption."

Tensions rose outside the parliament on Tuesday after ministers discussed budgetary changes.

Crowds surrounded the building shouting "Mafia!" and "Resign!" and prevented a heavily guarded bus from leaving with MPs on board, local media said.

Several protesters and at least one police officer have reportedly been injured.

Bulgaria - the poorest EU member state - has been in political turmoil for months. The current government took office after a snap election in May.

For five weeks it has seen big protests against the coalition government, with thousands of people taking to the streets in Sofia and other cities.

The demonstrations erupted over the controversial appointment of a media mogul, Delyan Peevski, as head of the national security agency.

Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, who heads a Socialist-led coalition, later revoked the appointment and apologised, but the protests continued.

24th July 2013, 05:32
ANONYMOUS: Senator Dianne Feinstein has received over $698,244 from NSA affiliates in political donations, since the formation of PRISM in 2007


Video transcript:

Greetings Californian State Senator Dianne Feinstein. We are Anonymous.
Did you think that your actions against the citizens of this country would go unnoticed?

Did you think that we the people, would not respond to your gruesome dishonesty?

We have been watching.

In accordance with phase II of #Op NSA we have found you, Senator Feinstein, GUILTY Of supporting unconstitutional acts carried out by the Government and its agencies.

Although the opinion of the FISA court that oversees the National Security Agency's operations is often not released to the public, we are now making it known to the public.

While the public may have been kept in the dark; you, Senator Feinstein were fully aware of the FISA court's two thousand and eleven opinion. Eighty pages detailing how the National Security Agency's surveillance conduct is in direct violation of the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution as well as in excess of the limitations imposed by the statute: The FISA amendments act of two thousand and eight.

When you told the American people that you have no knowledge of the National Security Agency's surveillance program, PRISM, of violating anyone's civil liberties or freedoms:
You were lying.

Today the first strand of the virus has been identified. Here is the information you, the people need to know to address the system failure.

Californian State Senator Dianne Feinstein has received over $698,244 from NSA affiliates in political donations, since the formation of PRISM in 2007.
These relationships go back much longer than that however, and will continue to do so.

These donations come from organizations such as BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, SAIC, Raytheon, General Dynamics, QualComm, L-3 Communications, Palantir and Lockheed Martin.

She also voted in favor of the PATRIOT act in two thousand and eleven and sits on various committees as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Member of the Subcommittee on Department of Defense,

Member of the Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and a Member of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law amongst many others.

Lastly let us not forget Senator Feinstein firmly stands by her wishes to see NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tried for treason, punished to the fullest extent of the law.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do NOT forgive.
We do NOT forget.
You should have expected us.


24th July 2013, 05:49
First the banksters and now the pharma sters....

Big Pharma Called to Publish All Drug Trial Results

By Ian Sample, science correspondent, The Guardian – July 21, 2013


Drugs companies publish only a fraction of their results and keep much of the information to themselves, but regulators want to ban the practice.

If companies published all of their clinical trials data, independent scientists could reanalyse their results and check companies’ claims about the safety and efficacy of drugs.

Under proposals being thrashed out in Europe, drugs companies would be compelled to release all of their data, including results that show drugs do not work or cause dangerous side-effects.

While some companies have agreed to share data more freely, the industry has broadly resisted the moves. The latest strategy shows how patient groups – many of which receive some or all of their funding from drugs companies – have been brought into the battle.

The strategy was drawn up by two large trade groups, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and outlined in a memo to senior industry figures this month, according to an email seen by the Guardian.

The memo, from Richard Bergström, director general of EFPIA, went to directors and legal counsel at Roche, Merck, Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Novartis and many smaller companies. It was leaked by a drugs company employee.

The email describes a four-pronged campaign that starts with “mobilising patient groups to express concern about the risk to public health by non-scientific re-use of data”. Translated, that means patient groups go into bat for the industry by raising fears that if full results from drug trials are published, the information might be misinterpreted and cause a health scare.

The lobbying is targeted at Europe where the European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants to publish all of the clinical study reports that companies have filed, and where negotiations around the clinical trials directive could force drug companies to publish all clinical trial results in a public database.

“Some who oppose full disclosure of data fear that publishing the information could reveal trade secrets, put patient privacy at risk, and be distorted by scientists’ own conflicts of interest. While many of the concerns are valid, critics say they can be addressed, and that openness is far more important for patient safety.”

Tim Reed, of Health Action International, a group that has previously exposed the pharmaceutical industry’s financial links with patient groups, said: “It’s incredibly ironic that this is a transparency initiative and we’ve now got clear indications that the pharmaceutical industry is ready to use patient organisations to fight their corner.
“It underlines the fact that patient groups who are in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry will go into battle for them. There’s a hidden agenda here. The patient groups will say they think it’s a great idea to keep clinical trials data secret. Why would they do that? They would do that because they are fronts for the pharmaceutical industry.
“Patient groups get traction because they are assumed to represent the voice of the suffering. But industry uses them to say we’re not going to get innovative medicines if the industry is deterred from investing by having to be transparent about their clinical trials,” he added.

A recent review of medical research estimated that only half of all clinical trials were published in full, and that positive results were twice as likely to be published than negative ones.

A source in the European parliament, who is close to the negotiations over the clinical trials directive, said he had experienced intense lobbying from patient groups. “We’ve witnessed this sort of activity in recent months, and it’s a concern if the pharmaceutical industry is behind some of it. They are trying to weaken some of the transparency proposals and that’s clear from the amount of lobbying we’ve had,” he said.

The patient groups focus on the concern that if companies release all of their clinical trials data, the information might be misconstrued, or intentionally cherry-picked, and spark damaging health scares around certain drugs or vaccines.

“These aren’t completely unfounded concerns, but the risk already exists, and those things already happen. The answer is to have a responsible scientific community that can counteract the allegations and claims,” the source said.

Two other strands of the campaign include discussions with scientific associations about the risks of data sharing, and work with other businesses that are concerned about the release of trade secrets and confidential data. The final strand calls, in the long term, for a network of academics across Europe that can be called on to correct false interpretations of the data. “That is deemed to be happening in any case,” the memo concedes.

In response to queries from the Guardian, GSK said: “This is not something we are doing. One of the reasons we’re involved in this is we want more companies to move towards greater transparency. I don’t think it’s for us to be mobilising patient groups to campaign on a negative level.”

A Roche spokesperson said the company consulted patient groups to understand their concerns about clinical trials, but “to our knowledge Roche has not been involved in any EFPIA’s potential activity in mobilising patient groups to express concern about the risk to public health by non-scientific re-use of data”.

A Lilly spokesman said: “Lilly is committed to working with Europe-based patient advocacy organisations for the benefit of patients in a way that is true to the EFPIA code of practice and Lilly’s integrity in business policy.”
Individuals who received the memo at several other companies, including AstraZeneca and Novartis, did not respond.

Tracey Brown, director of the campaign group, Sense about Science, and co-founder of AllTrials, a campaign to get all clinical trials registered and all results reported, said: “We now have the prospect of really significant developments to end the secrecy and make clinical trial reporting a practical reality and, finally, some sound commitments from parts of industry.

“In this context, the industry associations’ strategy to get others to raise further spurious problems is backward. It should embarrass anyone associated with it. I would say to the individual companies that they should publicly distance themselves from any association with EFPIA and PhRMA’s strategy now,” she said.

The EFPIA told the Guardian it had been working with PhRMA on a “commitment to enhance sharing of clinical data” to researchers and the public, and intended to make an announcement this week.

“Knowing that some people want all data to be made available to everyone, EFPIA is engaging with stakeholders to share concerns with harmful ‘re-use’ of data. We will engage not only with patient groups, but also with the scientific community,” it said.

Matt Bennett, senior vice-president of PhRMA, said in a statement: “EMA’s proposed policies on clinical trial information raise numerous concerns for patients. We believe it is important to engage with all stakeholders in the clinical trial ecosystem, including the patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials, about the issue.
“If enacted, the proposals could risk patient privacy, lead to fewer clinical trials, and result in fewer new medicines to meet patient needs and improve health.”

24th July 2013, 05:56

22 July UK

First charges in Richmond paedophile ring scandal

Two people were charged last night by the Met Police after authorisation by the Crown Prosecution Service in the Operation Fernbridge investigation.

John Stingemore,now 71 and the former deputy manager of Grafton Close children’s home was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, one charge of conspiracy with others unknown to commit buggery and two charges of taking indecent images of a child .

Father Tony McSweeney, aged 66,then a trainee Roman Catholic priest was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of making indecent images of children,one charge of taking an indecent image of a child and a charge of possessing indecent images of children.

An updated report is on the Exaro News website.

The assaults involve seven children aged between nine and fifteen in the 1970s and 1980s. Both accused will appear before Westminster magistrates court in September.

Police are continuing their investigation into Elm Guest House,Barnes where it is alleged that boys were sexually assaulted by VIPs. The manager of the guest house, Harry Kasir, was recently arrested by the Met police, for having indecent images of children on his computer.

For legal reasons it is not possible to make any further comment because of the pending trial – a point made by the CPS in a blog statement today. (see below)

However as Richmond Council are not on trial I think a number of Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors and former councillors in that borough have a lot of questions to answer .They all repeatedly denied to me that they knew anything about any child sexual abuse in that borough. Without my original source none of this would have been reinvestigated by the police.


The blog of the Crown Prosecution Service


Operation Fernbridge: Two men charged with sexual assault at London children’s home in 1980s

Kay Scudder, a prosecutor in the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit of CPS London, said:

“Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations of child sexual assault committed against seven residents of the Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, London, we have today authorised charges against two individuals; John Stingemore, aged 71, and Tony McSweeney, aged 66.

“John Stingemore, who was in a day-to-day management position at the children’s home, has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two counts of taking an indecent image of a child, and one count of conspiracy to commit buggery. The charges date between 1980 and 1981 and relate to six boys who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the alleged offending.

“Tony McSweeney, who was a trainee Catholic priest at the time, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault and one count of taking an indecent picture of a child. The charges dates between 1980 and 1981 and relate to two boys aged 11 and 15 at the time of the alleged offending.

“Tony McSweeney has also been charged with three counts of making an indecent image, contrary to the Protection of Children Act 1978, on or before 15 January 2013. He faces a further count contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 for the alleged possession of 12 indecent images.

“The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the CPS legal guidance on rape and sexual offences and the DPP’s interim guidelines on prosecuting cases of child sexual assault. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

“John Stingemore and Tony Sweeney will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 4 September 2013.

“Criminal proceedings are now underway and these defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial.”

24th July 2013, 11:28
I've been tracking Bix Weir for some time now, a lot of what he's say's goes against what many of us have been led to believe, yet I'm inclined to agree with his interpretation of events more and more so.


Thanks for the video, nothing new to me.
We know the value of fiat money is defined by people beliefs and rigged game.

I do not understand why analyst put a certain date on the buble burst. Eventually the controller can print and make any value they want to the money or commodities. In the current scenario/event they consolidate more and more power. It makes no sense to burst the debt buble.

Open question to the reader.
What events can trigger the financial buble burst? We saw major financial events come and pass. While the systme is intact.

Thanks for your response.

25th July 2013, 05:22

25 July China

China charges disgraced politician Bo Xilai

China has charged disgraced politician Bo Xilai with bribery, corruption and abuse of power, state media say.

Bo Xilai, formerly the Communist Party chief of Chongqing, was expelled from the party after a scandal surrounding the murder of a British businessman.

His wife Gu Kailai was jailed in August for the killing of the Briton, Neil Heywood.

Mr Bo was charged by prosecutors on Thursday in Jinan in Shandong province, state media said.

The Bo Xilai scandal, which exposed corruption claims and infighting at the top of the Communist Party, was one of the biggest to rock China in years.

Mr Bo had taken advantage of his office to accept an "extremely large amount" of money and properties, state-run news agency Xinhua said, citing the indictment paper.

He is also charged with embezzling public money, Xinhua said.

Murder investigation
The sending of the formal indictment to a court in the city of Jinan suggests the trial is now imminent, the BBC's John Sudworth in Shanghai reports.

Mr Bo was previously considered a rising star in the Communist Party, and one of the country's most powerful officials.

Neil Heywood was a consultant to foreign businesses seeking investment in China
However, he came under criticism after his former police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012, spending a day there.

Wang made allegations about British businessman Neil Heywood's death while at the consulate, reports said.

Heywood had died in Chongqing the previous year. The Wang Lijun incident prompted an investigation into his death.

Mr Bo was suspected of trying to cover up the murder, and was stripped of his party positions.

Mr Bo's wife Gu Kailai was charged with Heywood's murder, and given a suspended death sentence, which is usually commuted to life imprisonment in China.

Wang, meanwhile, was jailed for 15 years for defection, power abuse and bribe taking.

Mr Bo was popular in his role as party chief in Chongqing.

He was known for two high-profile campaigns: a large-scale crackdown on crime, and a drive to promote China's old communist values.

Despite his charisma, his penchant for the limelight set him apart from other Chinese politicians.

According to analysts, his ambition and flamboyant style earned him enemies and was considered controversial by party leaders.

His populist brand of Maoist nostalgia, such as his encouragement of the public singing of old communist songs, was seen as dangerous by China's more reform-minded leaders, our correspondent says.

25th July 2013, 05:30


Fourth man arrested in north Wales child abuse inquiry
Suspect, 61, held on suspicion of sexually assaulting teenage boy between 1982 and 1985

A fourth man has been arrested by Operation Pallial detectives investigating allegations of child abuse at north Wales care homes.

The 61-year-old man was arrested in Chester in Cheshire on Wednesday morning on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenage boy between 1982 and 1985.

Detectives said the man was held on suspicion of "a number of serious sexual assaults" on the boy, who was aged between 12 and 15 at the time.

It is the fourth arrest in the Operation Pallial investigation ordered by David Cameron at the height of the national child sexual abuse scandal last November.

In April, detectives said more than 140 people had told police they were the victims of abuse at 18 children's homes across north Wales over three decades.

The complainants, almost all men who were aged between seven and 19 at the time of the alleged offences, have identified 84 people as responsible for attacks said to have taken place between 1963 and 1992.

The third arrest was of a man, 72, in Wrexham on 18 July who was bailed until late October. A man, 62, from Leicester arrested on 26 June has been bailed until the end of September. The first Operation Pallial suspect, a man arrested in Suffolk on 23 April, has been bailed until the end of July.

24 July

26th July 2013, 12:02
98 million Americans were given polio vaccine contaminated with cancer-causing virus, admits CDC

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041345_CDC_polio_vaccine_SV40.html#ixzz2a9VHpwWF

(NaturalNews) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has once again been caught removing pertinent but indicting information about vaccines from its website. This time it involves the infamous polio vaccine, up to 98 million doses of which have been exposed as containing a cancer-causing virus that is now believed to be responsible for causing millions of cancers in America, according to the CDC.

The information was posted on an official CDC fact sheet entitled Cancer, Simian Virus 40 (SV40), and Polio Vaccine, which has since been removed from the CDC's website. Fortunately, RealFarmacy.com was able to archive the damning page before the CDC ultimately removed it, presumably because SV40 has been receiving considerable attention lately due to its connection to causing cancer.

You can view the link to the original CDC page on SV40 and polio vaccines, which is no longer active, here:

You can view the full archived CDC page here:

As you will notice on the archived CDC page, the SV40 virus was allegedly first discovered in monkeys back in 1960, and not long after began appearing inexplicably in polio vaccines. The SV40 virus, according to this same page, has been linked to causing a variety of human cancers, including childhood leukemia, lung cancer, bone cancer, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Though the CDC denies a definitive causal link between SV40 and cancer, it implies that the virus, which was supposedly removed from all polio vaccines in 1963, was problematic in relation to cancer development. More than 98 million people, in fact, may have been exposed to SV40 as a result of receiving government-recommended polio vaccines back in the 1960s, and many of these may have developed cancer as a result.

"More than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine from 1955 to 1963 when a proportion of vaccine was contaminated with SV40," explains the CDC. "[I]t has been estimated that 10-30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of vaccine."

SV40 virus in polio vaccines linked to bone cancer, mesothelioma
So why the sudden removal of this important information from the CDC's website? The cached CDC page, as you will notice, makes sure to dissuade its readers from thinking that SV40 has been conclusively linked to causing cancer, even though it was demonstrated back in 1961 by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that SV40 is directly linked to causing tumor formation.

"Like other polyomaviruses, SV40 is a DNA virus that has been found to cause tumors and cancer," explains RealFarmacy.com. "SV40 is believed to suppress the transcriptional properties of the tumor-suppressing genes in humans through the SV40 Large T-antigen and SV40 Small T-antigen. Mutated genes may contribute to uncontrolled cellular proliferation, leading to cancer."

As far as specific conditions linked to SV40, Michele Carbone, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Loyola University in Chicago, found that the virus is present in many cases of both osteosarcoma bone cancer and the increasingly prevalent lung cancer variety known as mesothelioma. As it turns out, Carbone identified SV40 in about one-third of all osteosarcoma cases studied, and in 40 percent of other bone cancers. The same was true for 60 percent of all cases of mesothelioma.

"Many authorities now admit much, possibly most, of the world's cancers came from the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, and hepatitis B vaccines, produced in monkeys and chimps," adds RealFarmacy.com. "It is said (that) mesothelioma is a result of asbestos exposure, but research reveals that 50 percent of the current mesotheliomas being treated no longer occur due to asbestos but rather the SV40 virus contained in polio vaccination."

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041345_CDC_polio_vaccine_SV40.html#ixzz2a9VShMvP

26th July 2013, 20:20
Ex-PA Minister Sues Palestinian Authority President for Corruption in International Criminal Court
Mohammed Dahlan is a monster and was considered the “moderate” choice of the State Department to eventually take over the Palestinian Authority. The two may or may not be related.

Dahlan was a thoroughly corrupt figure, who campaigned against corruption after Arafat’s death. He was a murderous terrorist who was passed off as a moderate. And he was an opponent of Hamas who blew his chance to show Condoleezza Rice that he could deliver when Hamas beat him on his own Gaza turf.

So he’s going, where so many failed terrorists have gone before…, to the International Criminal Court.

A member of the Fatah Central Committee has filed an international lawsuit against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claiming Abbas was the author of a campaign of intimidation against him, and saying corruption in the PA is harming the Palestinian people.

While Abbas is indeed corrupt, so is Dahlan. And Abbas and Dahlan at one point used to be in it together.

In his suit, Mohammed Dahlan seeks the restoration of his former position in the PA administration and of property confiscated from him, as well as an assurance that he would not be harmed if he returned to Palestinian Authority territory.

No human court on the planet can offer such an assurance.

Dahlan, who currently resides in Dubai and Europe, hired an Israeli law firm to file the complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Wednesday. The firm is run by Zaki Kamal, the deputy president of the Israel Bar Association, and his son, Kamal Kamal.

While the firm is in Israel, the Kamals are Druze Muslims.

A former head of the Palestinian internal security services in Gaza, Dahlan accused the PA of being a corrupt institution under Abbas’s thumb.

Well obviously. That’s why it exists.

29th July 2013, 03:29
I like this it is concise.
Why the whole banking system is a scam - Godfrey Bloom MEP

31st July 2013, 08:22

30 July

Bank of England helped the Nazis to sell plundered gold

The Bank of England has admitted its role in one of the most controversial episodes in its history - helping the Nazis sell gold plundered from Czechoslovakia months before the outbreak of the Second World War.

An official history, written in 1950 but posted online for the first time on Tuesday, detailed how the "Old Lady" transfered gold held in its vaults to the Germans despite the UK Government of the day placing a freeze on all Czech assets held in London.


In the history, the Bank of England insists its role in the episode was "widely misunderstood", even though it "still rankled for some time".

The Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in September 1938. In March the following year, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) asked the Bank of England to switch £5.6m-worth of gold from an account for the Czech national bank to one belonging to the Reichsbank.

Much of the gold - nearly 2,000 gold bars - was then "disposed" of in Belgium, Holland and London. The BIS was chaired at the time by Bank of England director, German Otto Niemeyer.

The UK central bank also sold gold for the Nazis in June 1939, without waiting for approval from Westminster.
The history reveals: "There was a further gold transaction on the 1st June 1939 when there were sales of gold (£440,000) and gold shipments to New York (£420,000) from the No.19 account of the BIS.

"This represented gold which had been shipped to London by the Reichsbank.

"This time, before acting, the Bank of England referred the matter to the Chancellor, who said that he would like the opinion of the law officers of the Crown.

"On the BIS enquiring, however, what was causing delay and saying that inconvenience would be caused because of payments the next day, the Bank of England acted on the instructions referring to the Law Officers, who, however, subsequently upheld their action."

Just three months later the Government declared war on Germany, following its invasion of Poland.

In the official history, the Bank insisted that it would have been "wrong and dangerous" for the future of BIS if Governor Montagu Norman had taken any other course of action. It claimed the UK and French governments would have breached peace treaties if they had blocked the move.

Historians have argued that Montagu Norman supported Germany right up until the Second World War. He reportedly attended the christening of the son of Dr Hjalmar Schacht, president of the Reichsbank before the war.

His right hand man at the Bank was Otto Niemeyer who chaired the Bank of International Settlements which was set up in 1930 as a non-political body to facilitate the payments of reparations from Germany after the First World War.

After the outbreak of war, the documents reveal the Government told the Bank of England it should not act upon an order from the BIS "if it seems to the Bank to be likely that the order might benefit the enemy".

31st July 2013, 08:29

Good news when Mugabe finally goes...

31 July Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe election: Robert Mugabe faces Morgan Tsvangirai

Zimbabweans are voting in fiercely contested presidential and parliamentary elections which have already been hit by fraud allegations.

President Robert Mugabe, 89, has said he will step down after 33 years in power if he and his Zanu-PF party lose.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have accused Zanu-PF of doctoring the electoral roll, a charge it has denied.

Campaigning was mostly peaceful, with few reports of intimidation.

Zanu-PF and the MDC have shared an uneasy coalition government since 2009 under a deal brokered to end the deadly violence that erupted after a disputed presidential poll the previous year.

The BBC's Nomsa Maseko asks Robert Mugabe if he would step down if he lost
Mr Tsvangirai won the most votes in the first round, but pulled out of the run-off with Mr Mugabe because of attacks on his supporters.

'Determined to vote'
The government has barred Western observers from monitoring Wednesday's elections, but the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), as well as local organisations, have been accredited.

Polls opened at 07:00 local time (05:00 GMT) and are due to close at 17:00 GMT.

The turnout is expected to be high among the 6.4 million people registered to vote, with tens of thousands of people attending rallies in recent weeks. Results are expected within five days.

Wednesday has been declared a national holiday to ensure people can vote. Despite this, voters queued for several hours outside polling stations across the country before they opened, reports the BBC's Nomsa Maseko in Harare.

"I got up at four but still couldn't get the first position in the line," Clifford Chasakara, a voter in the western province of Manicaland, told the Reuters news agency.

"My fingers are numb, but I'm sure I can mark the ballot all the same. I'm determined to vote and have my vote counted."

At a news conference at State House on Tuesday, Mr Mugabe was asked if he and Zanu-PF would accept defeat.

"If you go into a process and join a competition where there are only two outcomes, win or lose, you can't be both. You either win or lose. If you lose, you must surrender," he said.

But Mr Tsvangirai dismissed the president's remarks.

"He does not believe in the right of the people to choose. He does not believe he can be voted out of office," he told the BBC.

The 61 year old has vowed to push Mr Mugabe into retirement; it is his third attempt to unseat him.

An MDC spokesman said separately that the party was only prepared to accept the results of the elections if they were "free and fair".

On Tuesday, the MDC accused Zanu-PF of doctoring the roll of registered voters, which was released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) only on the eve of the polls after weeks of delay.

The MDC claimed the roll dated back to 1985 and was full of anomalies.

A BBC correspondent has seen the document and says it features the names of thousands of dead people. He says many names with the same address appear two or three times.

A Zanu-PF spokesman denied the allegations and pointed out that appointees from both parties were on the ZEC. He also accused Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a member of the MDC, of not funding the commission properly. The ZEC has not commented.

In addition to Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai, there are three other candidates standing for the presidency - Welshman Ncube, leader of the breakaway MDC-Mutambara; Dumiso Dabengwa of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu), and Kisinoti Munodei Mukwazhe, who represents the small Zimbabwe Development Party (ZDP).

To be declared a winner, a presidential candidate must win more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate reaches this mark, a run-off will be held on 11 September.

The elections will be the first to be held under the new constitution approved in a referendum in March this year.

31st July 2013, 08:40

UK on ex BBC producer/presenter abuser

Stuart Hall’s Sentence Increased To 30 Months

Stuart Hall’s derisory sentence of 15 months has been doubled to 30 months (two and a half years).

It is still less than 9 weeks for every child he abused but at least it’s better than it was.

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, had told the Court of Appeal that the sentence “when coupled with the aggravating features… failed adequately to reflect the gravity of the totality of the offences, and the public concern about offences of this nature”.

“Even if the individual sentences for each count are appropriate given the statutory maximum available, some should have been made to run consecutively so that the total sentence passed reflected the culpability of the offender, the harm caused and [would] deter others,” he said.

He added that “it appears to me that the sentence was unduly lenient”.

Lord Judge said it was the court’s view that the statement made by Hall prior to conviction, in which he branded the accusations as “pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious”, was a “seriously aggravating feature”.

Interestingly, Mrs Justice Macur, who is currently reviewing The Waterhouse Report, was one of the judges who heard this appeal. Though what, if anything, can be inferred from this judgement as regards that review is anyone’s guess.

Well done to all those that lodged a complaint about the previous sentence.



I really don’t think an apology is too much for any of Stuart Hall’s victims to ask for. Remember that before admitting his guilt, Stuart Hall described the charges as”pernicious, callous, cruel and, above all, spurious” which must have added further insult to injury.

When Stuart Hall pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to the offences on the 2nd May, he was pressed by reporters for an apology but declined saying: “I’ve got a very heavy cold. I have no comment to make at all.”

One of Stuart Hall’s victims who wished to remain anonymous said, “I applaud the Court of Appeal’s decision and feel it reflects how seriously society views abuse. A major issue for me personally is the fact that Stuart Hall has given no personal apologies for his abuse to any of his victims, including myself. He was a family man, what made him think he could abuse other people’s children and what would his reaction been if his children had been abused? I would like to see him face-up to his misdemeanours and make a full personal apology for his actions.”

Manchester Based Law Firm

and on the Savile investigation


Celebrity arrests could soar after horrified police discover Jimmy Savile's secret lair at record shop

Names and sexual details of hundreds of girls were scrawled across huge wall in a scene from a horror film

Stunned officers chipped away plaster at a ­record shop wall and unveiled a hidden list of names thought to belong to young victims of Jimmy Savile.

The vile register, which contained the names, ages and a disgusting ratings system seemingly used to mark their sexual performance, was scrawled on a secret wall buried behind layers of wallpaper and plaster.

A source revealed: “The wall looked like something straight out of a horror movie. There were lists and lists of names of the victims – it’s a shocking discovery.”

The list of girls and young women is thought to identify ­hundreds of potential new victims abused at the hands of the BBC DJ and it raised fears Savile was at the centre of a celebrity paedophile ring.

Police believe the major breakthrough could lead to further arrests – including other well-known celebrities.

The wall also appeared to contain the names of girls the sick group hoped to target in the future.

Officers who raided the shop in ­Greater Manchester after a tip-off will now try to trace the alleged victims.

A source said the raid had provided the clearest evidence yet to show Savile was part of a larger group of monsters.

The source said: “Savile appeared to be using the room above the record store as some kind of secret HQ to plan his vile acts.

“There appears to be some suggestion that he was not acting alone either.

“There were others who appear to be involved, several others, some of whom are household names.”

As the specialist officers ripped away the layers from the wall, the names of up to 200 new ­people they believe he and accomplices attacked or planned to
attack during the 1980s and 1990s were ­gradually revealed.

At least one other well-known BBC figure and several celebrities are now being linked to the probe. Suspects face being quizzed in the coming weeks.

The source added: “Police think there might be hundreds of new female victims that needed to be spoken to as a result of the record shop raid.

Earlier this year it was suggested there were around 450 victims of Savile’s depraved actions.

“This looks like an under-estimation. If the evidence on the wall is anything to go by, we could be talking in the region of 650 victims in all. It’s shocking.”

Criminologist Professor David Wilson from Birmingham City University said the register was a way for the predators to boast about their conquests.

He said: “In the age before the internet made it possible for paedophiles to ­communicate with each other and write about who they could abuse and the form that abuse may take, they found other methods.

Paedophiles are constantly evolving ways of communicating.

“By putting it on a wall they are making it public, but by hiding it, it is private. The public nature is because they are proud of it. It is a boasting system.

It is a form of saying ‘this is what I’ve done. I’ve done more than you.’

It’s about them displaying their own sexual success in being able to abuse these children.

“They also recognise this could lead to arrest, so they had to be careful about their sexual preferences.

“At the time this was said to have taken place paedophiles used contact magazines and groups of associates to get in touch with each other.

We are beginning to see how widespread Savile’s abuse was.

“The significance of it having been found in a record shop is that at the time this was where all the young people went to buy their records and hang out.

Now they download songs on the internet.”

Police carried out the raid a few weeks ago. The findings potentially raise the depravity of disgraced Savile – who died at 84 in October 2011 – to new levels.

A joint police and NSPCC report published in January declared that with at least 450 victims, he was one of Britain’s most ­prolific sex offenders.

Commander Peter Spindler said Savile “groomed the nation” as he raised millions for charity while using his status as a platform for abuse.

Leeds-born Savile had links with ­Greater Manchester stretching back to the 1950s when he managed a ballroom in the city.

His first known attack took place in ­Manchester in 1955. Investigators who revealed the scale of his abuse said he used his appeal to target the vulnerable.

In 1964, Savile’s name was mentioned to police investigating allegations that men were exploiting girls from Duncroft ­Approved School in Surrey.

Police arrested two men in London and a ledger showed Savile was a regular ­visitor there. Following his death, 28 police forces recorded 214 crimes ­committed by the presenter, including 34 rape claims. The latest allegation against him was from 2009 when he was aged 82.

The report said he targeted children as young as eight and sexually attacked at least 23 of his victims on BBC premises.

In 1972 during a break in filming, Savile groped a 12-year-old boy and felt the breasts of the youngster’s two friends.

Investigators also found he carried out abuse in at least 14 hospitals between 1955 and 2009, including Great Ormond Street and one hospice.

Savile was stripped of his knighthood when dozens of women came forward to say he attacked them during his 54-year campaign of abuse.

Officers launched Operation Yewtree to probe the claims and there are now three strands to the investigation. One concerns Savile’s crimes ­exclusively, while another relates to allegations against Savile and others.

The third concentrates on ­accusations unconnected to Savile but which emerged following publicity.

A host of soap stars, DJs and TV ­presenters have been arrested during nationwide probes into historical sex offences in cases not connected to Savile.

BBC presenter Stuart Hall had his prison sentence for a series of assaults on girls doubled to 30 months on Friday.

Three Appeal Court judges ruled his original 15-month term was “inadequate”. The former It’s A Knockout host, 83, ­admitted sexually assaulting 13 girls aged nine to 17 over nearly 20 years.

Coronation Street star Bill Roache is one of the best-known actors to be held over allegations in the aftermath of the Savile scandal. He was charged in May with raping a ­teenage girl in 1967.

Roache has been bailed until his next court appearance on September 2 when he will enter formal pleas.

The actor, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since its launch, also faces charges of five indecent assaults­ ­involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16. He denies all the claims.

His fellow Corrie star Michael Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, has been taken off air after being charged with 19 offences against a child, including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity.

Police have been inundated with calls following coverage of Savile’s depraved legacy.

It is claimed more of those ­allegedly abused are now finding the courage to come forward because the police are taking a new approach – giving potential victims hope their cases will be treated seriously.

Dozen of other arrests so far include Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.

Comic Jimmy Tarbuck was ­arrested at his home in South West London in May in ­connection with a historic child sex abuse claim.

And PR guru Max ­Clifford has been charged with 11 indecent assaults allegedly committed ­between 1966 and 1985.

The 70-year-old has vowed to clear his name. All those who have been ­arrested have vehemently ­denied any wrongdoing.

28 July

1st August 2013, 09:11
Good that the Bank of England admission is posted on its website, and it comes from its own people.

It's not a forced admission or scandal. It looks like its voluntary. This indicates there might be good people high up in the power structure

1st August 2013, 23:15

Corruption at the World Bank:


Senior Counsel for the World Bank legal department reports corruption in the World Bank, and within other member countries.


Karen Hudes studied law at Yale Law School and economics at the University of Amsterdam. She worked in the US Export Import Bank of the US from 1980-1985 and in the Legal Department of the World Bank from 1986-2007. She established the Non Governmental Organization Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Committee on Multilateralism and the Accountability of International Organizations of the American Branch of the International Law Association.


..."This comment on Bloomberg at the bottom of the email shows that the Federal Reserve Board's day at the trough is finally ending. On July 22, 2013 Senior Judge Susan R. Winfield of the DC Superior Court, Criminal Division, dismissed criminal trespass charges that were brought against me when I reported back to work at the World Bank after having been reinstated by the 188 Ministers of Finance on the World Bank's Board of Governors. The US District Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., had to drop the case when I argued that my prosecution on false trespass charges was causing the World Bank's members to lose confidence in US' commitment to the World Bank. "[C]ountries will be reluctant to cooperate unless they are convinced that other countries are also committed to doing so."

"I argued that the World Bank was needed to prevent an economic armageddon as people lost confidence in the paper currency issued by the Fed. Before my hearing, I made sure that the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland knew that countries had been threatening to further decentralize jobs in the World Bank's headquarters in Washington because of the corrupt business climate, and of the decision of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to set up their own development bank." -- KAREN HUDES, Whistleblower from the World Bank



I question myself why she is still alive.
I answered myself, that would attract too much MSM attention.
This is a historic interview.

3rd August 2013, 08:25

First Libor and now... :)

August 2

US regulators 'find evidence' of banks fixing derivative rates

US regulators have reportedly been handed evidence that traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated a key rate for derivatives, pocketing millions at the expense of pension funds in the process.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is probing 15 banks over allegations that they instructed brokers to carry out trades that would move ISDAfix, the leading benchmark rate for interest rate swaps.
Pension funds and companies who invest in interest rate derivatives often deal with banks to insure against big movements in the ISDAfix rate or to speculate on changes to interest rate swaps

ISDAfix is published each morning after banks submit bids for swaps via Icap, the inter-dealer broker, in a number of currencies. The CFTC has been investigating suggestions that the banks deliberately moved the rate in order to profit on these deals.

Given the hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of interest rate derivatives trades that occur annually, even the slightest manipulation can have a substantial effect. The CFTC, which started to investigate ISDAfix after last summer’s Libor scandal has now been handed emails and phone call recordings that show the rate was deliberately moved, according to Bloomberg.

Barclays has reportedly handed the CFTC information, while employees at Icap and Citigroup have also been questioned. In its interim results statement yesterday, Royal Bank of Scotland also said it was co-operating with authorities regarding the investigation.

“Icap is cooperating with the CFTC’s wider inquiry into this area and due to its pending nature, we will not be commenting further,” a spokesman for the broker said, while Barclays, Citigroup and the CFTC did not comment.
The regulator began investigating ISDAfix last year after probes into the London interbank offered rate were extended into other benchmark rates.

So far, banks have been fined more than £1.5bn between them over Libor fixing.

4th August 2013, 07:41

Food for thought anyway and a good round-up of all the strange happenings at the moment!! Sab.

3 August

The Event Update : 4th August 2013 : COBRA: FULFORD : POOF and more : New Strange Mainstream Silence is Key : Many issues not covered : Clear indications : Change is Irreversible : The Event is in motion :

Many Indicators that something big is happening and is in the mix : Just take one look in the mainstream media and look at the demonstrations that are unspoken of globally. The other indication that is major is the global series of strange orchestrated jailbreaks : Could this be on the side of the light? Thirdly The train crashes phenomena, where if you dig deeply the Spanish crash had a large contingent of Vatican Cardinals on board, As in the Polish Air crash years ago ,,the clear indication that a false flag had been conducted was in the list of passengers.

However The main clue lies with money and gold as always. AKA : The new financial system that is going ahead in the light of dark side interference. The movements of gold and silver just recently and the decisions by certain leaders to lean against the UK US puppets Cameron and Obama, Germany now have split old age close ties (Nazi) of sharing data, having found that their gold has disappeared. We must not forget the man-made weather disasters globally and the meteorites and the space weather in addition to massive global UFO sightings either. All of these subjects are breaking records for sure: The most disturbing of all news is the apparent ”free for all” the military are having with drones and the police behavior in many countries are demonstrating that orders from the top appear to order physical violence an just about any human at any age and sex, even animals are not escaping the torture.

The BBC and CNN covered the story of the convicted kidnapper who held 3 girls hostage and allowed the guilty to speak about how addicted to porn he was: Is this what David Cameron is about to change in the UK via stringent new internet controls:

So where do we look to see where we can get some substance that something is definitely going ahead and when should we expect change?

What I have been doing in the past is comparing notes from Fulford, Wilcock, Cobra and Keenan & Poofness. One tends to get quite close to the truth when one does this.

Strangely that is was timely this week that Benjamin Fulford has either decided to, or has been instructed to, stay out of the limelight for a good while , sounds like a month to me and that means ‘all the month of August’ too, September incidentally is when many top Cabalists leave positions which are all finance related, at the beginning of September. Ben Bernanke for one, we all know what satanic significance has on cabalists form many previous false flags. Is this yet another precursor for a watchout?

Poofness posts now by Zap (as she would like to be called) seems to rattle off the same ‘auld same ‘auld, change is on the way which is undeniable for sure, but it gets tedious to hear each week that is will happen soon were no change is visible to us rummaging around in the dustbins.

Then there is the channelling sector Montague Keen, Sheldon Nidle and a few others who say the same and offer some light at the end of the tunnel. Also This weeks release of Keenan tapes do offer more chance change but confirms confusion reigns.

The truth is nobody can tell us what is going on because of fear of tipping off the dark side, The Snowdon scandal has gone from the proverbial ‘Trolls to hero’ debate but the Russian connection is interesting as you will see soon. Manning’s case has now got the attention of the UN and a few other International Organizations that appear not to want to support the stance made by the Cabal these days, indicating that the truth is out at very high levels.

Royalty appear up to their old tricks with an ever-increasing suspecting public that the baby George was a gambling stunt and may not be the baby that will be the Prince George of Cambridge another false flag perhaps? Out of three doctors in the centre control room of birth One Indian Royal doctor reported that Kate could never have a baby back in 2007 which was in mainstream newspapers.

The links to the other doctors and Jill Dando’s death made it all the more suspicious and the suicided Indian Nurse who was in Hospital with Kate when she was first admitted, proves this is yet another Royal scam. but the good news this time ,It is all about money as the Royals themselves are feeling the pinch of austerity or global theft and tyranny.

The Vatican for their part offer the biggest clues that some big change is in the mix is the fact that they declared a gag on reporting peadophilia from offending priests, which was promptly declared by the ITCCS as The Vatican now being a self-confessed Organized Crime Centre and Cult.

The Vatican Bank is sooo under the microscope these days, do expect some news soon. This could be their undoing as we go back to the financial matters.

To understand the structure of what is really going on behind the scenes we may have to date back to articles more than 12 months ago by our favourite reporters of the light , whether you like them or not.

Those of you who are running out of patience are fuel for the dark side and show how easily you waiver from your spiritual self.

Patience is attached to the ego and when we lose it , it is a clear sign that our ego has rebooted.

So just for those whose patience is at thin ends here is some brain food, thanks to Linda Lu on Alfred Webre’s FB site:

“The Ego is impatient because it’s time is limited, The spirit is patient because it knows it is eternal”

This is so fitting for The Event ‘. You know it is all up to YOU : Change means change and that change comes from the world you want and not the one we know now. Ultimately change is down to all of us as one being.

So for now if you really really want to know when the Event is to happen ? If you really really want to know that The Event is in the mix right now as we speak? and if you really really wish to trust the fact that the Event is irreversible ? Please read Cobra from April 2012 when he burst on to the scene and Told us then about The event. The first time it has been officially mentioned. Comments Welcome:


Due to this back peddling of intelligence and the strange happenings and occurrences and especially the silence in the face of the facts of truth in Mainstream news media that has now been released in general THE EVENTOMETER here at LIGHTWORKERSXM has been moved up to 32% : It all makes good sense when you read Cobra’s First Post below: Given it was written nearly 18 months ago it paints a perfect picture of Cyprus being the dry run and the Russians link to The Event is now greater than ever. It is the Russians now wanting disclosure and wanting an end to Global Rothschild Vatican Slavery.

An old Cobra post here:

Cobra : 28th April 2012 : THE NEW FINANCIAL SYSTEM:

"Cobra on The Event
Most of this intel comes from sources deep within occult economy and it pertains to the restructuring of the financial system worldwide.
Reset: This will happen at the time of the Event and is actually part of the operation.
Day 1

When the critical mass of pressure is exerted upon the Federal Reserve it will be forced to repay debt that it owes to people due to its fraudulent operations. Since the Fed does not have money to repay that debt, it will go bankrupt. This will trigger a chain reaction of BIS, IMF, World Bank and all central banks worldwide going bankrupt also.

Extreme volatility in markets will result in a worldwide stock market crash. Stock exchanges will close, including NYSE. All financial instruments such as options and credit default swaps will be zeroed out.

All shadow accounts will be closed and zeroed out. All public bank accounts of the Cabal will be seized. All foreclosures will be frozen, as well as all public and private debt (mortgages, loans, credit card debt).

Day 2-7

Banks will be closed and there will be a lot of uncertainty and confusion. Some businesses will be temporarily closed. Some of those that remain open may accept cash, others will only accept gold or silver coins. Credit cards will not be accepted as the system will go down. There might be moderate problems with distribution chain, it is wise to stock up some food and gasoline.

Revaluation (RV)

After about 1 week from the Event

There might still be light problems in the distribution chain.

New financial system will be introduced. It will be backed up with Yama****a gold. That gold will be stored in locations that are not to be disclosed yet. Yama****a gold will not be traded in open markets. Basket of currencies such as US dollar, Euro, British pound, Swiss franc, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan will form the basis of this new system.

Those banks that did not have strong connections with Federal Reserve and did not go bankrupt will reopen. They will not be allowed to charge interest. All their accounting will be fully transparent to the public. Stock market will not reopen.

Revaluation will take place. It means that the exchange rates between various currencies will change, but not drastically They will reflect more truly the real productivity of nations. Iraqi Dinar will not gain much value, contrary to speculations of many people. Federal Reserve notes, Euro banknotes and other banknotes will be widely accepted, until they are phased out in a few months and new money is printed.

All fair business agreements, contracts and responsibilities worldwide will be kept valid and will be respected. Those business agreements that involve criminal or fraudulent interactions with the Cabal will be cancelled, null and void.

In a few weeks

Multinationals will be obliged to buy back their shares and this will effectively force them to go bankrupt. They will be split and healthy portions of those companies will be nationalized in their own countries.

The existence of Global Settlement funds will be then introduced to the public. Those funds include about $70 trillion from old money patriots connected to the Positive Military, $100 trillion from White Dragon Society and Templar groups, $120 trillion from Resistance Movement and $10 trillion from Saint Germain Trust. Global Settlement funds will also include all money and assets from the Cabal.

Global Settlement funds will be used for many purposes. First, all national, public and private debt will be paid off worldwide. After that, all people will receive restitution for all theft and criminal activity against them by the former Cabal. Then prosperity funds will be released and humanitarian, environmental and new advanced technology projects funded. Part of the money from Saint Germain Trust will go directly to Lightworkers, the rest of it will fund projects connected to the introduction of the First Contact."

This has not changed and this is what is happening” Please stay focussed:

A nice way to stay focussed on what is really going on is listen to more of Catherine Austin Fitts and make your own mind up.


(posted 30 July)

4th August 2013, 08:20
Published on Aug 3, 2013

The Brussels Proclamation of August 4, 2013 declares the Roman Catholic Church to be a Transnational Criminal Organization under international law, and issues an arrest order against Pope Francis 1, Jorge Bergoglio, for inciting criminality and assaulting the Law of Nations. Citizens are authorized to help disestablish this criminal organization and bring Bergoglio to justice.



The Roman Catholic Church is Declared a Transnational Criminal Organization: The Brussels Proclamation of August 4, 2013
A Legal Notice and Instrument issued by The International Common Law Court of Justice


I do not agree with your presumption that Popes and Kings cannot be judged like other men, or are incapable of wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against holders of power ... There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Historic responsibility must therefore make up for the want of legal responsibility.
Lord Acton, 1887

On February 25, 2013, the Roman Catholic Church and its highest officials were lawfully convicted of engaging in Crimes against Humanity and an international Criminal Conspiracy to aid and abet child trafficking. This verdict of the International Common Law Court of Justice found that the Church and its governing body, the Vatican, Incorporated, constitutes a criminal body under international law. (1)

On July 11, 2013, Pope Francis 1, Jorge Bergoglio, confirmed the criminal status of his church by establishing new internal church policies that counsel and compel criminality among his followers, clergy and employees. These policies and Bergoglio's own public statements reaffirm the existing canon law that protects child rapists, Crimen Sollicitationis, by directing all Catholics to suppress evidence of child rape and trafficking within their church, and threatening punishment of those who disclose such evidence. (2)

By these remarks and policies, Bergoglio has not only ordered his followers to break the law but to commit treason in their own countries by violating child protection laws and undermining police agencies. The Pope, in short, is not simply facilitating international child abuse and human trafficking, but is heading a criminal conspiracy against the sovereignty of other states and the law of nations.

Under international law, such actions amount to an act of war; and those responsible are justifiably declared to be an enemy of peace-loving humanity.
Let it be known to the world, therefore, that Jorge Bergoglio, the head of the Church of Rome, is indeed such an enemy of humanity. Accordingly, on Thursday, August 1, 2013, a Bench Warrant Order was issued by the International Common Law Court of Justice in Brussels for the immediate arrest and trial of Jorge Bergoglio for these crimes.

Let it also be recognized that as a proven international criminal body engaged in human trafficking, money laundering and child torture, the Roman Catholic Church constitutes an International Criminal Organization that is waging war against humanity, its children, and its laws.

Accordingly, the Roman Catholic Church is subject to all of the sanctions provided by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000). These sanctions include the seizure of all funds, property and assets of the Church, the arrest of Church officers, and the return of all stolen lands and goods held by the Church. (3)

In effect, recognized criminal bodies like the Vatican and its church have forfeited their right to exist and are considered by civilized humanity to be dissolved. Not only their wealth but their policies, laws and authority are forever annulled. And anyone who participates in such disestablished organizations or who pays for their operations is committing a crime by colluding with convicted felons.

The top officers of the Church of Rome, starting with Pope Francis himself, are in fact fugitives from justice, under bona fide arrest warrants issued on August 1 and earlier, on March 5, 2013. (4) Therefore, these church officers no longer have any legal or moral claim to the allegiance or obedience of anyone, and both they and their organization must be actively repudiated and disestablished, under the law.

On a broader level, the conviction and disestablishment of this criminal institution is not only legal and necessary, but long overdue. For it is an indisputable fact that for centuries, the Church of Rome has acted as a predatory foreign power waging unrestricted warfare against humanity.
The Church of Rome and its client governments have unlawfully attacked, occupied and destroyed other nations, raped and drained lands of their vast wealth and vitality, waged cruel wars of aggression and genocide against other peoples and murdered millions of them, restricted and subverted their rights and liberties, stolen, tortured and destroyed countless children, and kept the world in a state of fear, dependency and impoverishment. And these crimes continue today, with the help of governments around the world.

Some of these colluding powers, including the Crown of England and the government and churches of Canada, have also been indicted and convicted by our Court for such genocidal crimes, and now stand under the same legal order of disestablishment and annullment. But any government or agency in the world that continues to recognize or subsidize the criminal Church of Rome and its officials is objectively engaged in a crime and is also subject to sanctions.

In particular, the government of Italy, through its obligations to the Vatican under the so-called Lateran Treaty, is an active participant in the crimes of the Roman Catholic Church, and through this Treaty is engaged in the same Criminal Conspiracy and War Crimes of that Church.

The Italian government and any state that funds or recognizes the Vatican can therefore justifiably be considered rogue terrorist regimes that are a threat to humanity, and are subject to the full weight of the law, sanctions and force normally employed against war-making nations.

And this is the nub of the issue: why it is necessary, to quote Lord Acton, for history to pronounce judgement on criminal regimes when established laws refuse to do so. Today, history is embodied in the capacity of men and women everywhere to reclaim the law and use it to disestablish the powers that have for centuries oppressed them and destroyed their children.

Our International Common Law Court of Justice is a first step in this reclamation, and its conviction of Pope Benedict and the Vatican last February was an opening salvo heard around the world. Today, this August 4 Proclamation is the next step in annulling the power of the oldest and most violent corporation in human history: the Church of Rome.

As such, this Proclamation is both a statement of purpose and a Legal Instrument by which men and women everywhere can adhere to the law and justice, and enforce the verdict of history and this Court against the Vatican and its criminal regime.

Therefore, let it be known and enacted that:

1. Jorge Bergoglio, the so-called Pontiff of the Church of Rome, is a wanted criminal under international law. All men and women are compelled to assist the Sheriffs and deputized Agents of this Court in arresting Bergoglio and bringing him into our Common Law Court for trial and sentencing.

2. As of this date, the Roman Catholic Church is declared to be a transnational criminal organization that has forfeited its wealth, property and authority, and its right to exist as a corporate body. It is forthwith dissolved as an organization, and its policies and laws are annulled. All persons are compelled to neither associate with nor fund this criminal body, under pain of fine and imprisonment.

3. All citizens of every nation are authorized to assist in the active disestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, Incorporated, by peacefully seizing the assets, property and wealth of this Corporation, and performing citizen arrests on Roman Catholic Church officials and clergy, especially known or suspected child rapists.

This Proclamation, signed and dated by the user, will constitute the legal authorization of these actions, as will the adjoining Bench Warrant Order issued by our Court on August 1, 2013.

These facts and the authority of the Court are hereby proclaimed and ratified by the Bearer of this Proclamation.

__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ Signature of Bearer and Date

Issued on the Fourth Day of August in the year 2013 in the City of Brussels in Belgium, under the authority of The International Common Law Court of Justice
This Proclamation is issued in nine languages and is being proclaimed publicly in twenty one countries, and across the world

George Dufort, LL.B., Secretary of the Court
4 August, 2013
ICLCJ - 04/08/13


1. Under international law, a criminal organization is "three or more persons in or outside a nation who have as their main purpose or activity the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offenses that, if committed or counselled, would likely result in the receipt of a material benefit, directly or indirectly, by the group or any persons in the group ... Facilitation of an offence does not require knowledge of the offence being committed or facilitated, or that an offence actually be committed." (Black's Law Dictionary, and also see www.itccs.org/ICLCJ for the evidence of the crimes by the Vatican for which it was found guilty by the Common Law Court).

2. See The New York Times, July 11, 2013:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/world/europe/pope-overhauls-vatican-laws.html?_r=0 . For a copy of Crimen Sollicitationis see www.hiddennolonger.com , appendix 9.

3. Refer to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto (November 15, 2000), particularly Articles 5, 6 and 12.

4. See www.itccs.org/ICLCJ and the appended Bench Warrant Order of August 1, 2013.

See the evidence of Genocide in Canada and other crimes against the innocent at www.hiddennolonger.com and at the websites of The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State at www.itccs.org and www.itccs.tv .

An International, multi-lingual ITCCS site can be found at: http://kevinannettinternational.blogspot.fr/

The complete Common Law Court proceedings of Genocide in Canada are found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvhfXAd08TE - Common Law Court Proceedings - Genocide in Canada (Part One) - 1 hr. 46 mins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPKFk_L7y9g - Common Law Court Proceedings - Genocide in Canada (Part Two) - 1 hr. 47 mins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ormOIlOi4Vc - Final Court Verdict and Sentencing - 8 mins. 30 secs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IylfBxm3sMg - Authorizations and Endorsements of ITCCS/Kevin Annett by indigenous eyewitnesses - 10 mins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CReISnQDbBE - Irene Favel, Eyewitness to the incineration of a newborn baby by a priest at Muscowegan Catholic Indian school, Saskatchewan, 1944

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBUd3UXt6fI - Other key testimonies from our Court case against genocide in Canada

Kevin Annett is a Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize (2013). Messages for him can be left at 250-591-4573 (Canada) or 386-323-5774 (USA).

"I gave Kevin Annett his Indian name, Eagle Strong Voice, in 2004 when I adopted him into our Anishinabe Nation. He carries that name proudly because he is doing the job he was sent to do, to tell his people of their wrongs. He speaks strongly and with truth. He speaks for our stolen and murdered children. I ask everyone to listen to him and welcome him."
Chief Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind
Elder, Crane Clan, Anishinabe Nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba

5th August 2013, 07:04
Consulates and the Vatican in chaos as HSBC tells them to find another bank


Diplomats in London have been thrown into chaos after Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, sacked them as customers and gave them 60 days to move their accounts.

Their situation has been made far worse because other banks have been closing ranks and refusing to take their business.

More than 40 embassies, consulates and High Commissions have been affected. Even the Vatican has been given its marching orders.

The Pope’s representative office in Britain, the Apostolic Nunciature, has banked with HSBC for many years but was told to find another bank.

One diplomatic source said he believed HSBC feared being exposed to embassies after it was fined $2billion (£1.32billion) by US authorities last year.

It was blamed for alleged money-laundering activities said to have been conducted through its Latin American operations by drug cartels. HSBC admitted at the time that it had failed to effectively counter money laundering.

Bernard Silver, head of the Consular Corps, which represents consuls in the UK, said: ‘HSBC’s decision has created havoc. Embassies and consulates desperately need a bank, not just to take in money for visas and passports, but to pay staff wages, rent bills, even the congestion charge.’

Embassies also have to pay for ambassadorial accommodation and sometimes even school fees for diplomats’ children. None of these bills can be settled without a valid British bank account.

John Belavu, minister at the Papua New Guinea High Commission, said: ‘We’ve been banking with HSBC for 22 years and for them to throw us off in this way was a bombshell.’

Lawrence Landau, honorary consul of Benin, said: ‘We have been trying everyone, but all the UK banks are clamming up.’

Other embassies are equally fraught. One said: ‘HSBC did not give us any real explanation. They have only given us until the middle of August to find another bank. We can’t find one and we are going crazy.’

Banking sources said diplomatic missions are considered to be ‘politically exposed’, which means they are at risk of money laundering activities.

HSBC, however, claims its decision is part of an assessment of all business customers to see if they satisfy five criteria – ‘international connectivity, economic development, profitability, cost efficiency and liquidity’.

One diplomat said: ‘We don’t even know what these criteria mean.’

HSBC would not explain the requirements to The Mail on Sunday and merely said: ‘HSBC has been applying a rolling programme of “five filter” assessments to all its businesses since May 2011, and our services for embassies are no exception.’

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office said it was in contact with HSBC and had provided a number of diplomatic missions with letters of introduction ‘to help in opening a new bank account’.

The debacle comes as HSBC prepares to unveil its half-year profits tomorrow. The group is expected to report that it made $14.6billion (£9.6billion) in profits for the first six months of the year. It made $12.7billion in the same period last year.

I wonder who and what is behind this move.

5th August 2013, 08:47
as I said a month or so ago ... All will be handled and the end of the cabal will happen before christmas ... and there is nothing they can do to stop it ... all of it .. the entire thing electronics and all throughout the planet will come off nice and smooth ... and it will all be controlled from the future.

where I come from


5th August 2013, 08:50
Thanks PathWalker, and here's Associated Press's story on HSBC as well. Things are certainly being shaken up. And look at the embassies currently being closed at the same time under the guise of terrorist threats. Any connection???

Official: HSBC drops dozens of London missions
Raphael Satter, Associated Press 2:18 p.m. EDT August 4, 2013
Britain HSBC

Official: Diplomats scramble to find a new place to put their money as HSBC closes their accounts.

More than 40 different embassies, consulates and high commissions affected
The move was part of a wider reassessment started by chief executive Stuart Gulliver in 2011

LONDON (AP) — HSBC bank has told dozens of foreign missions in London that it will close their bank accounts, an official said Sunday, news that has sent diplomats across the capital scrambling to find a new place to put their money.

Bernard Silver, an ex-honorary consul who serves as president of the Consular Corps of London, said he'd been told by British officials that more than 40 different embassies, consulates, and high commissions had been affected.

"The majority of missions are finding it very difficult for other banks to accept them," he said in a telephone interview.

Silver declined to name any specific missions, but the Mail on Sunday newspaper said that the Papal Nunciature — the Vatican's mission to London — was affected, as was the Papua New Guinea High Commission and the honorary consul from Benin.

Attempts to reach the Vatican's mission, Benin's honorary consul, and Papua New Guinea's high commissioner were not immediately successful, but the newspaper cited an official at the latter as expressing shock at the move.

"We've been banking with HSBC for 22 years," John Belavu was quoted as saying. "For them to throw us off in this way was a bombshell."

HSBC spokesman Will McSheehy said Sunday that the move was taking part of a wider reassessment of its business started by chief executive Stuart Gulliver in 2011. As of May, the bank's retrenchment strategy has seen 52 peripheral or underperforming units close and a loss of roughly 40,000 staff.

McSheehy said the changes had translated into a "significantly diminished appetite for the embassy business," although he declined to reveal how many U.K. missions had their accounts pulled.

Foreign missions traditionally deal in large amounts of cash, something which may have raised uncomfortable questions at a bank that has been buffeted by money laundering scandals. In 2012 HSBC was slapped with a record fine after U.S. officials revealed that its bankers had been handling assets belonging to Iran, Libya and Mexico's murderous drug cartels. HSBC is still struggling to clear its name, including in one case revolving around a former employee who claims to have evidence showing "scandalous" levels of tax evasion and money-laundering at the company.

McSheehy said that compliance issues were just one of many factors — such as profitability or efficiency — which the bank had assessed.

"There's no one single reason," he said.

Britain's Foreign Office declined to confirm the number of missions involved, saying only that it had sent an unspecified number of diplomats advice on finding a new U.K. bank. A spokeswoman said there was little more for the British government to do.

"This is a commercial matter," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with office policy.

5th August 2013, 08:55
Good that the main stream media are getting involved.



Cover-up over sex beast Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith

THE identity of whoever ­recommended paedophile politician Cyril Smith for a knighthood is being kept ­secret by Government ­officials

Since his death in 2010 it has emerged that the former Liberal Democrat MP was a child abuser who escaped justice.

But details of who in 1988 put 29 stone Smith forward to become a “Sir” are shrouded in secrecy.

A document released to the Daily Star Sunday under Freedom of Information laws reveals the grounds for the recommendation.

But the section saying “By whom recommended” is totally blacked out.

According to the Cabinet Office, headed by Sir Jeremy Heywood, releasing the details would breach Data Protection rules. But an MP who has helped expose Smith’s abuse says it should be made public because concerns about him were well known.

In 1970 – 18 years before the knighthood – police sent the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Norman Skelhorn, evidence that Smith had abused eight boys.

But Sir Norman, who died the year Smith was knighted, ruled out charges, saying the allegations were “somewhat stale” and “without corroboration”.

Nine years later, in 1979, two magazines ran details of alleged abuse by Smith but the obese politician – by then a senior Liberal MP – threatened to sue and the case went quiet.

Simon Danczuk – Labour MP in Rochdale, Lancs, where Smith abused boys – said: “There are plenty of reasons why Cyril Smith should never have been knighted and I believe these concerns were known at the highest level.

“Police officers have contacted me to say how sickened they were that the establishment knew what Cyril Smith was up to and still knighted him.

“Given that Margaret Thatcher made four attempts to get Jimmy Savile knighted I think there is a justifiable interest in knowing who was behind the campaign to get a knighthood for Cyril Smith.”

Among the reasons for giving Smith a knighthood were his services to local councils and for being an MP.

Smith, who died three years ago aged 82, duly received the award from the Queen.

In 1998 he was again let off the hook by prosecutors despite a ruling that there was “sufficient evidence” to charge him.

According to a prosecutor, Smith wasn’t charged because he’d previously been told he would not be.

The Crown Prosecution Service has since said the 1970 decision would not be made today and that the legal bar in 1998 has since been relaxed.

It has, though, withheld the charging decision documents from the Daily Star Sunday.

We are appealing against the decision to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

And we have also asked the Cabinet ­Office to lift the redaction on the knighthood paper.

13th August 2013, 06:46

12 Aug

FBI continues probe into JP Morgan

Prosecutors in New York are looking at ways to pursue JP Morgan Chase over the "London Whale" trading scandal which saw the bank rack up losses of $6bn (£3.9bn), so they can punish the company as well as just its former employees.

The US attorney's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are both continuing their investigations into the 2011 scandal and could impose a fine on the investment bank for allowing the alleged wrongdoing to occur, according to reports in The New York Times.

JP Morgan could also be forced to tighten its internal controls to prevent a repeat of the episode, during which traders working in the London arm of the bank's chief investment office racked up billions of dollars of losses by betting on the debt of large US companies.

Last week, it emerged that the prosecutors are preparing to arrest two former JP Morgan bankers in relation to the scandal.

They are reportedly preparing to file criminal fraud charges against Javier Martin-Artajo, a Spaniard living in London, who used to be a manager at the bank, and Julien Grout, a relatively junior trader who reported to him and is now said to be living in France.

US authorities are expecting to file the charges within days, starting the firing gun on what is likely to be a lengthy battle to extradite the two men to America.

Bruno Iksil, the former JP Morgan trader nicknamed the "London Whale" on account of the enormous positions he took on US debt, is not expected to face criminal charges.

However, the US prosecutors are keen to ensure that the bank is not able to make scapegoats of Mr Martin-Artajo and Mr Grout.

Any escalation would deliver a blow to Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan's chairman and chief executive, who faced a battle to win back investors' confidence following the scandal.

Whatever punishment is meted out against the bank is likely to come on top of separate sanctions imposed by America's Securities and Exchange Commission and Britain's market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.

Both have been conducting their own investigations into the alleged wrong-doing.

JP Morgan and all of the authorities declined to comment.

13th August 2013, 06:51
Disasters Are Seldom What They Seem

It seems the hidden hand manipulating humanity has run out of good ideas. It’s been rolling out the same bad ideas over and over again - ideas calling for diminished human rights, destruction of world economies, disastrous wars, and national and foreign policies entirely bereft of popular approval.

Elites’ Top 3 Favorite Disasters

The Middle East Disaster. This disaster had been on-going long before the European Rothschilds upped the stakes, infested Palestine with a militarized police state and saddled America with its upkeep. The upkeep hasn’t been cheap. It has cost America multiple billions in financial aid, military supplies, stolen patents, an AIPAC-blackmailed and compromised government, dual-citizen insider trading, staged false flags, and good old-fashioned sabotage.

As for peace talks – can the failed number even be counted? That’s because Israel’s existence was never intended to create peace. Israel was designed to be a perpetual irritant within a region already deeply infected with tribal and religious disputes.

The Banking Disaster. Can’t you just see that little guy on Fantasy Island waving and calling out “The Banks! The Banks!”

Banking and finance are an obvious disaster if you’re just “regular folk.” It's a highly profitable rip-off if you’re an upper-tier banker, senator, congressman, queen, president, or CEO of any of the “exalted-by-the-US-Supreme-Court-into-Personages” corporations.

Check out that bloated American financial bubble as it contends with bubble economies in England, Europe, China, Japan, Africa, South America. Watch it go ballistic each time other national economies are caught using lax monetary policies, market manipulations and under-capitalization. How dare other countries take such huge financial risks? Haven’t they learned that – unlike JP Morgan – they are NOT too big to fail?"

The Climate Disaster. According to the PTBs climate change is most certainly not caused by changes in the Sun, HAARP weather manipulations, chemtrails, corporate pollution, the BP Gulf disaster and/or Fukushima. Climate change is caused solely by regular humans driving cars and by coal plant emissions. And lucky us! They solved the pollution problem by deciding to tax the middle-classes in western societies while exempting big polluters like India and China from taxes and any improvements that lessen air pollution from factories and manufacturing facilities. As for coal plants – ban them. According to the Elite we’re much better off with nuclear reactors that can be sabotaged like Fukushima.

Now It's Getting Interesting

Take a close look at it all. Do you really think these cockeyed policies have been enacted by a ruling class with humanity’s best interests at heart? Can you see how rapidly this becomes apparent to the average person? The majority might not comprehend the “why’s” and “wherefore’s” of the situation but they most certainly sense things are “just not right.”

The ruling class has overplayed its hand. They’ve unleashed so many half-baked schemes around the world they now find themselves spread too thin and without a viable backup plan. Beyond just sheer incompetence there has been a sufficient unveiling (and unraveling) of covert action in recent months to create high levels of distrust among key elite players. Certainly major coalitions remain in place but inter-coalitions among the principles fray under the assault of increased uncertainty concerning probabilities of success.

The enslavement agenda has lost its luster of inevitability. I, for one, consider that good news.



14th August 2013, 08:03

14 Aug

Barclays Finance Chief Resigns Earlier on Health Reasons

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, said Chief Financial Officer Chris Lucas will resign for health reasons at the end of this week, six months earlier than planned.

Lucas, 52, will step down from the board and as group finance director on Aug. 16, the London-based company said in a statement today. Peter Estlin, group financial controller, will be acting chief financial officer until Oct. 15, when Tushar Morzaria, 44, will take over the post.

“Whilst I am saddened that his health has forced this decision on him sooner than either of us would have wished, I respect his decision and wish him well in the future,” Barclays Chairman David Walker said in the statement. “He has successfully navigated Barclays’s finances through one of the most difficult periods in its history.”

Lucas, the last of former Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond’s senior managers to depart, is leaving ahead of a planned 5.8 billion-pound ($9 billion) rights offering, which stands to be the biggest by a U.K. bank since Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s 13.5 billion-pound sale in 2009. CEO Antony Jenkins, 52, is selling the shares after financial regulators identified a 12.8 billion-pound capital hole at the bank.

‘Unhelpful Timing’
It’s “unhelpful timing for Barclays,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec Plc in London, who has a buy recommendation on the shares. However, there should be “no impact” on the rights issue next month, he said.

Barclays gained 0.1 percent to 283.85 pence at 8:24 a.m. in London. The shares have increased 8.2 percent this year.
Morzaria, the executive hired last month from JPMorgan Chase & Co., will join the board on Oct. 15, Barclays said. Lucas, who had initially planned to retire in February, cited his health as a “key factor” behind his decision.

“I want to do the right thing by Barclays, my family, and myself, and therefore I have reached the difficult decision to step down sooner,” Lucas said in the statement. “I feel confident that I leave Barclays financially robust and well placed to continue to serve its customers, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Lucas was among four past and present employees to be probed by regulators over whether Barclays adequately disclosed fees paid to the Qatar Investment Authority as part of a 7 billion-pound fundraising during the financial crisis, a move that helped the lender avoid taking government money. Barclays said last month that it’s contesting the probe’s findings.

Barclays’s first-half profit was reduced by 640 million pounds of restructuring costs linked to Jenkins’s overhaul of the lender to make it more profitable. The CEO is seeking to cut 1.7 billion pounds in annual expenses by 2015, eliminating 3,700 jobs and reduce costs to about 55 percent of income from 71 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

14th August 2013, 08:06

BP Sues Over US Ban On Contracts After Explosion

The British oil firm moves to bolster its position in America following the worst oil spill in US history.

BP is to take the US government to court over its ban on the company bidding for new federal contracts in the country, following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The lawsuit, filed in Texas, claims keeping the ban in place risks causing the company "irreparable harm" while at the same time hurting 21 subsidiaries which had nothing to do with the accident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated the ban on BP last November, citing the company's "lack of business integrity" in the wake of the rig explosion - which killed 11 workers - and the resulting oil spill.

The suspension only affects new contracts, not existing deals.

BP is currently one of the largest suppliers of fuel to the US government, including to the military, holding contracts worth more than $1.34bn (£867m), according to the suit.

The oil company's US spokesman said in a statement: "We believe that the EPA's action here is inappropriate and unjustified as a matter of law and policy, and we are pursuing our right to seek relief in federal court.

"At the same time, we remain open to a reasonable settlement with the EPA."

Bob Dudley, BP's chief executive, told investors in the second quarter that the company had plenty of work that was ongoing in the Gulf despite the ban but said the EPA order bars it from taking possession of new leases there.

The company is currently paying out millions of dollars to settle damage claims from Gulf residents in a contentious process that BP says is being mismanaged by the administrator.

Last week a judge ordered BP to pay $130m to the administrator's team despite objections from the oil company, which is also facing the second phase of a trial in federal court to determine fines for environmental harm caused by the spill.

BP has incurred about $42.4bn in charges related to the disaster.

14th August 2013, 08:11

14 AUg UK

Detention centre paedophile ring inquiry: Claims prison officers routinely raped HUNDREDS of boys

Senior officers have launched a major inquiry into the horrific sex abuse after complaints were ignored or dropped

Claims a ring of violent paedophile prison officers routinely raped hundreds of teenage boys in a borstal are finally being investigated – after an alleged police cover-up.

Senior officers have launched a major inquiry into the horrific sex abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham, after complaints were ignored by police or dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

One brave victim, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: “I was raped every single day.”

John McCabe was abused, aged 17, for six months by prison officer Neville Husband.

He said: “I was asked to work in the kitchens. That’s where I met him.

"He told me if I didn’t do what he wanted he’d kill me and nobody would care.

“I thought I was the only boy he abused. Now I know there were more. A lot more. And it wasn’t just him.”

John, of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, added: “I’m fighting for justice for those boys, for myself.

"Too many people have got away with this for far too long.”

Police fear hundreds of young men were assaulted while serving sentences at Medomsley in the 70s and 80s.

Husband was jailed for 12 years at Newcastle crown court for mass rape of boys in his care.

Storeman Lesley Johnson was jailed for six years. Both men are now dead.

Victims say the 2003 probe into Husband did not go far enough and that he was part of a ring of officers involved in systematic abuse.

At least four other prison officers were involved, along with individuals outside the centre, police suspect.

And a police officer is believed to have covered up allegations after one victim walked into Consett Police Station in 1977 to make a statement about abuse.

His claims were ignored and the paperwork for his statement has been destroyed.

The missed chance meant the ring could continue to abuse inmates for years.

ohn contacted Durham Police in 2009 – after his attacker was released from jail – to say he was also a victim.

But after a police investigation the Crown Prosecution Service took no further action against Husband, saying it was not in the public interest.

John said: “I was devastated.”

But after he contacted his MP police have now opened up the probe.

Det Supt Paul Goundry, in charge of Durham Police child protection, said: “Every avenue will be explored and we’ll do our utmost to bring perpetrators to justice.

"If there were officers who ignored evidence about a paedophile ring at Medomsley then they will be traced and investigated too.”

Some alleged victims have told police they were taken off-site on the pretence of extra curricular activities.

They claim they were dragged into a private room where they were ­blindfolded and raped by their captors.

And it is alleged that at times there were up to five men present.