"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


.
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Monday, July 14, 2014

World Cup tickets official arrested over illegal sales

Yahoo – AFP, Claire De Oliveira Neto, 8 July 2014

The CEO of Match Hospitality Raymond Whelan sits at a police station in
Rio de Janeiro after being arrested on July 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/Tasso Marcelo)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Brazilian police have arrested a director from the FIFA partner company handling World Cup ticket packages, accusing him of leading a network that illegally sold game passes.

Ray Whelan, a director at Match Hospitality, was detained Monday at Rio de Janeiro's luxurious beachfront Copacabana Palace Hotel, a police spokesman told AFP, days after 11 people were rounded up in a raid to dismantle the network.

Local media said Whelan is a 64-year-old British citizen, but police were not immediately able to confirm that.

The arrest was made on the eve of the tournament's first semi-final game between Brazil and Germany in Belo Horizonte. Argentina and the Netherlands will face off for the final's last spot on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

Police say the international scalping syndicate sold thousands of tickets worth millions of dollars, going back to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

The scandal is the latest to hit FIFA, which is already battling allegations that members accepted bribes from a Qatari football official to secure support for the emirate's campaign to get the 2022 World Cup finals.

Security personnel stand guard outside the Copacaban Palace Hotel following
the arrest of Ray Whelan, a director of Match Hospitality, a subsidary company
of FIFA, over illegal cup tickets in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/
Yasuyoshi Chiba)

One of Match Hospitality's shareholders is Swiss-based Infront Sports and Media, headed by Philippe Blatter, the nephew of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

A French-Algerian suspect, Mohamadou Lamine Fofana, was initially thought to be responsible for the ticket scheme after he was among 11 people arrested last week in Rio and Sao Paulo.

But suspicions moved toward an individual at Match Hospitality, the official World Cup ticket agency, which sells deluxe packages that include private suites at stadiums and gourmet catering.

Authorities intercepted phone calls between Fofana and Whelan, according to the newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Tickets canceled

Match Hospitality said earlier that it had canceled the tickets bought by Fofana's company, Atlanta Sportif, for the semi-finals and the final.

The hospitality firm warned that it would cancel the remaining tickets of three other companies whose names appeared in tickets seized by police unless they cooperate with the probe.

The CEO of Match Hospitality Raymond Whelan arrives at a police station
 in Rio de Janeiro after being arrested accused of leading a network that illegal
sold game passes, on July 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/Tasso Marcelo)

Match identified the companies as Reliance Industries Limited, Jet Set Sports and Pamodzi Sports, but did not give details about the companies' ownership.

Reliance Industries bought 304 packages for 19 matches worth $1.2 million, including access to a private suite for all games in Rio, Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte. Match Hospitality said 59 tickets seized last week had the company's name on them.

One ticket was imprinted with the name Jet Set Sports, which purchased 40 packages for two games worth $108,250. The package had been allocated to an individual who resides in Australia, Match Hospitality said, without naming the person.

Another ticket had the name Pamodzi, which secured 350 packages for 18 games -- including private suites and business seats - worth more than $1.2 million.

Byrom plc, a Manchester, England, company, has a 75 percent stake in Match Hospitality. It also owns Match Services. Both Match firms are based in Zurich and provide World Cup ticketing and hospitality services.


Ray Whelan was first arrested on Monday and released
after questioning


Citigroup agrees to pay historic fine

US bank Citigroup will fork out a total of $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into how it misled investors into buying risky mortgage-backed securities with flawed loans ahead of the 2008 financial meltdown.

Deutsche Welle, 14 July 2014


The settlement announced by US Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, included a $4-billion (2.9-billion-euro) civil penalty that is not tax-deductible and which is the largest handed out so far since the shake-up of the banking sector in the wake of the financial crisis. Another $500 million will go to the US federal government and the remaining $2.5 billion are to be paid in various forms of consumer relief by the end of 2018.

"This historic penalty is appropriate given the strength of the evidence of the wrongdoing committed by Citi," said Holder, adding that the bank's activities "contributed mightily to the financial crisis that devastated our economy in 2008."

Citigroup and other US banks have been investigated for allegedly misleading customers over loans before bundling these into mortgage-backed securities and selling them.

"They did so at the expense of millions of ordinary Americans and investors of all types - including other financial institutions, universities and pension funds, cities and towns, and even hospitals and religious charities," said Holder.

But despite the historic fine and the possibility that Citigroup and its employees could face criminal charges, the bank's chief executive Michael Corbat was optimistic the deal would help the bank in the long run.

"We believe that this settlement is in the best interests of our shareholders, and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future, not the past," Corbat said.

The settlement weighed on Citi's second-quarter earnings reported on Monday. The company took a $3.8 billion pre-tax charge, which dragged Citi's earnings down 96 percent to $181 million. But excluding the legal settlement, the bank's results translated to profits of $1.24 per share, beating market expectations and sending shares up by more than 3 percent in midday trading.

In recent months other US banks also agreed to pay hefty fines and damages to resolve government claims over mortgage-backed securities. JPMorgan Chase, America's largest bank, for instance agreed to pay $13 billion in fines and damages. Bank of America is also under investigation and could itself face billions in penalties, according to news reports.

nk/uhe (AP, dpa)
Related Article:

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy,Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) -(Text version)

“… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Phantom tech firm worth billions, inexplicably

Yahoo – AFP,  Luc Olinga, 10 July 2014

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on
June 20, 2014 in New York City (AFP Photo/Spencer Platt)

New York (AFP) - It has no assets, no revenues and no business plan to speak of. But a company called Cynk Technology has seen its value soar as high as $4.7 billion.

Wall Street analysts have been at loss to explain the spectacular 24,000 percent rise in Cynk, which trades on the lightly regulated over the counter (OTC) market.

While its share price and market value fell at the close of trade, the company unknown in the technology or financial communities for a time traded in the range of the value of firms such as Groupon, Pandora Media or Yelp.

"We must sadly conclude that the company is nothing but a fraud," said the financial news website Zero Hedge.

"And it is nothing short of a testament to just how broken this excuse for a market is that a company with no assets, no revenues, no website and one employee can go from zero value to nearly $5 billion in market cap in a few days."

The stock trading at six cents on June 16 inexplicable surged to $2.25 the next day, and rose to as high as $16 on Thursday, before slipping to around $14 at the close -- making its paper value still an eye-popping $4 billion or so.

The company avoided scrutiny until its disproportionate value drew the attention of Wall Street veterans.

The phone number listed on company documents was out of service.

Richard Green of the market analysis firm Briefing.com examined the company's regulatory filing, which indicated Cynk had no assets, no cash and an accumulated loss of $1.5 million.

Cynk calls itself a social network, based on its early incarnation as introbiz.com, which offered to put people in contact with celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp for $50.

"The company is no more of a functional business than your average college student's entrepreneurial dream," Green said.

"There was no news or other recognizable event to explain such stock trading activity."

Analysts note that the market value is merely on paper, based on trades of a small number of shares.

"We want to stop short of directly calling Cynk Technology a 'scam operation,' as we have not yet been able to find a reason for the unusual trading, but it certainly has all the appearances of the typical 'pump and dump' scheme used to deceive ignorant investors into buying into 'the next social media' giant,'" Green added.

One concern is that certain "momentum" investors who use algorithms to trade can be attracted to the stock simply because of its rise.

"There is no rational explanation for yesterday's trading activity and the $4 billion market capitalization," Green said.

"In short, Cynk has 'stynk' written all over it and we think the best approach to this stock is to avoid it entirely."

Whistleblower law expands protection to US intelligence agents

US President Obama has signed into law expanded whistleblower protections that cover intelligence agents for the first time. But the protections still do not apply to contractors, such as ex-NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

Deutsche Welle, 10 July 2014


Five years after vowing to strengthen whistleblower rights, President Barack Obama has extended statutory protections to intelligence agency employees who report abuse, closing a major gap in a law at least ostensibly designed to shield federal workers from retaliation.

Part of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2014, the provisions would protect intelligence agency employees from retaliation if they report waste, fraud or abuse to designated entities. Those entities include superiors at the agency in question, one of the inspector general watchdogs, and the House and Senate intelligence committees.

For the first time, intelligence agency employees can use whistleblowing as an affirmative defense if they suffer retaliation; for example, if their security clearance is taken away. In addition, they are protected from retaliation for cooperating with an investigation or providing testimony under oath. They can also appeal to an internal administrative board to have their grievances redressed.

"It's a significant precedent," Shanna Devine, the Government Accountability Project's legislative director, told DW. "No time before in history have there been enforceable statutory protections for intelligence community government employees."

Rights codified into law

In 2012, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), which sought to bolster safeguards for federal employees who reveal waste, fraud or abuse. Although the WPEA originally included protections for intelligence agency employees, that language was removed from the legislation before the president signed it into law.

"Historically speaking, the intelligence community has rejected these types of protections and has been able to muster enough persuasive strength on the congressional intelligence committees to have language stripped from it," Mark Zaid, a lawyer who represents intelligence agency whistleblowers, told DW.

The White House subsequently sought to close the gap in the WPEA by issuing a presidential directive that extended whistleblower protections to intelligence agency employees. Although the directive carried the force of law, it could have been reversed at anytime by the current president or one of his successors.

"The presidential policy directive largely mirrors the protections included in the Intelligence Authorization Act, but the directive was not a statute," Devine said.

"Those rights couldn't be codified; it was essentially an executive order," she added. "These protections are very similar, but they have become law."

Lack of independent hearing

Although intelligence agency whistleblowers are now protected by an act of Congress, some lawyers are concerned that, in practice, the law could fall short of its aims. According to Zaid, internal reporting channels are often used to identify and punish whistleblowers instead of actually redressing their grievances.

Intelligence agency contractors still
do not have whistleblower protections
"Now we supposedly have a substantive package, but we have to determine whether its effective or legitimate and that's only going to be determined by time when we have our first cases," Zaid said.

For example, whistleblowers can appeal to an administrative board under the new law, if they believe that they've been retaliated against for reporting abuse. But the board's members will all be selected by the director of national intelligence.

"In practice there are serious concerns about the access to a fair and independent hearing," Devine said. "You simply don't have an independent hearing, per se, through this new law. No, it's not a guarantee that a whistleblower will be protected when they exercise their rights under this new provision."

Contractors not covered

In addition, if an intelligence agency employee signs a non-disclosure agreement, they won't enjoy whistleblower protections at all. And defendants are not allowed to view the evidence against them if it's classified.

But perhaps most glaringly, intelligence agency contractors are not protected under the law. Former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst Edward Snowden, who revealed the agency's massive surveillance operations to the press, was a contractor employed with Booz Allen Hamilton.

According to Devine, the House intelligence committee, chaired by Representative Mike Rogers, stripped protections for contractors from previous legislation.

"From 2007-2012, through the stimulus law and the National Defense Authorization Act, contractors at select intelligence agencies did have very strong whistleblower rights, including access to due process and an independent hearing," Devine said.

"Those rights were removed in 2012, really just months before Snowden made his disclosures."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Andy Coulson to spend weekend in prison as 18-month jail term starts

Judge tells David Cameron's disgraced former spin doctor his achievements as News of the World editor 'count for nothing'

The GuardianLisa O'Carroll, Friday 4 July 2014

Andy Coulson is to spend the weekend at HMP Belmarsh before he
is likely to be moved to an open prison. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

David Cameron's disgraced former spin doctor Andy Coulson is spending the weekend at Belmarsh prison after being jailed for 18 months for plotting to hack phones while in charge of the News of the World.

His reputation in tatters, Coulson was spared the maximum tariff of two years, but the judge told him his achievements as editor of Britain's largest selling newspaper now "count for nothing".

Mr Justice Saunders said Coulson had presided over an unedifying period at the News of the World between 2003 and 2007 when staff routinely trampled on rights to privacy. Not only did journalists hack phones, they deceived phone companies, rifled through bins and spied on people, all in a cynical attempt to increase sales.

Saunders said the 46-year-old "has to take the major share of the blame" for the hacking that took place on his watch. "He knew about it. He encouraged it when he should have stopped it," the judge said.

Coulson has said he did not know phone hacking was illegal but the judge said this was no defence in the eyes of the law and the former editor knew it was "morally wrong".

Saunders highlighted the hacking of the phone of Milly Dowler, rejecting arguments that the paper was merely trying to assist police in the hunt for the 13-year-old missing schoolgirl, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2002.

He said Coulson's co-defendant Neville Thurlbeck, a newsdesk executive who was also sentenced on Friday, had dispatched a team of reporters to the Midlands to try to find her after a voice message led the paper to believe she had run away from home.

It was Thurlbeck who ordered the investigation into Milly that led to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire hacking her phone, but the paper failed to tell police for 24 hours it had a lead that she may have been alive. Saunders said this was "unforgivable" and could only have happened with Coulson's knowledge.

He said the true motive of the paper was not to help police but to "get credit for finding her and thereby sell the maximum number of newspapers".

Coulson was convicted last week after an eight-month trial triggered by the scandal that led Rupert Murdoch to shut down the News of the World in July 2011. Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, and four others were acquitted.

In handing down the prison sentence, Saunders noted that Coulson and three former colleagues also sentenced for their part in the hacking conspiracy were "distinguished journalists who had no need to behave as they did to be successful". He said they had "all achieved a great deal without resorting to the unlawful invasion of other people's privacy. Those achievements will now count for nothing".

Thurlbeck and his predecessor on the newsdesk Greg Miskiw pleaded guilty to their part in the phone hacking plot before the trial and were sentenced on Friday to six months in jail. They will serve 37 days after getting a discount of 53 days on curfew last summer.

A third former newsdesk executive, James Weatherup, got four months suspended while Mulcaire, who pleaded guilty to three other counts of hacking was told he was "truly the lucky one" and given a six-month suspended sentence.

Cameron, who employed Coulson as his director of communications after he left the newspaper, said the jail sentence showed "no one is above the law".

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said his thoughts were with the victims of phone hacking, who included royals, politicians, celebrities, members of the public and victims of crime.

"I think it's right that justice has been done. I think, once again, it throws up very serious questions about David Cameron's judgment in bringing a criminal into the heart of Downing Street despite repeated warnings. This is a verdict on Andy Coulson's criminal behaviour but it is also a verdict on David Cameron's judgment."

Coulson received a discount on his sentence of six months for his previous good character. He will serve half his sentence and be released under licence in March. It is likely, however, that he will be released earlier as a non-violent offender.

He will be processed at HMP Belmarsh and is likely to be sent to an open prison early next week, possibly on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

The judge said there was "insufficient evidence" to conclude Coulson started phone hacking at the News of the World but there was "ample evidence that it increased enormously while he was editor", taking in politicians such as David Blunkett, royals including Prince William and Harry and crime victims such as Milly.

"The true reason for the phone hacking was to sell newspapers," said Saunders who noted that Coulson was undoubtedly under pressure to maintain or increase market share.

The judge described him as ambitious and said "it was important for him to succeed" as a young editor, but that he had passed down that pressure to others fostering competition between newspaper departments. The culture he created "demonstrates that rights to individual privacy counted for little".

Dressed in a grey suit and white shirt, as he frequently was during the trial, Coulson stood in the dock emotionless as Saunders handed down the sentence. His wife, Eloise, who loyally appeared in the public gallery during the trial despite revelations over his affair with Brooks, was not present.

All five defendants face financial ruin in addition to prison time after the crown notified them it would be seeking to recoup £750,000 in costs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Occupy activist Cecily McMillan released from jail after two months

McMillan, 25, served two thirds of three-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer during Occupy protest in 2012

theguardian.com, Jon Swaine in New York, Wednesday 2 July 2014

Cecily McMillan said: 'We will continue to fight until we gain all the rights
we deserve as citizens.' Photograph: Jon Swaine

Cecily McMillan, the Occupy Wall Street activist who was imprisoned for assaulting a police officer, was released on Wednesday after spending eight weeks at New York’s Rikers Island jail.

McMillan, 25, left the facility after serving two thirds of the three-month jail sentence that she received in May for deliberately striking NYPD officer Grantley Bovell as he led her away from a protest in lower Manhattan in 2012. She now faces five years of probation.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon beside the entrance bridge to Rikers Island, in Queens, McMillan read a lengthy statement that she said was on behalf of a group of female inmates in which she called for better access to healthcare, drug rehabilitation services and education inside the jail.

"I am inspired by the resilient community I have encountered in a system that is stacked against us," she said. Promising to continue her activism, she said: "The court sent me here to frighten me and others into silencing our dissent, but I am proud to walk out saying that the 99% is, in fact, stronger than ever. We will continue to fight until we gain all the rights we deserve as citizens".

McMillan has previously said that she was placed in a barracks-like room with almost 100 other women. A friend of McMillan’s told the Guardian that the New School graduate student and community organiser was made to wait almost three weeks before she received a necessary prescription medication, before then being denied it for two days, given it for two days, and then denied it again.

McMillan was found guilty by a jury of intentionally elbowing Bovell in the face as he walked her out of Zuccotti Park, where demonstrators had gathered on 17 March 2012 to mark six months of the protest movement. The police officer, a US navy veteran who typically patrols the Bronx, suffered a black eye and later reported dizziness and sensitivity to light.

McMillan, who had pleaded not guilty, maintained throughout her trial that while stopping at the park briefly to collect a friend, she had swung her arm instinctively after having one of her breasts grabbed from behind. She also said that she suffered bruising and a seizure after being wrestled to the ground during her arrest.

However, assistant district attorney Shanda Strain said at McMillan’s sentencing hearing: “The defendant not only physically assaulted the police officer but also levelled false accusations of misconduct against him in an effort to avoid her own criminal responsibility for the assault.”

McMillan’s felony conviction for second-degree assault is thought to be the most serious against any of the more than 2,600 members of Occupy who were arrested for alleged offences around protests after their movement began in 2011. Most had proceedings against them dismissed or “adjourned contemplating dismissal,” meaning they will not end up with police records.

McMillan, the last Occupy defendant to go through the New York courts system, had rejected an earlier offer from prosecutors that would have seen her plead guilty in exchange for a recommendation to the judge that she not receive a prison sentence. The deal would still have resulted in her being classed as a felon.

On the day of her conviction in May, she told the Guardian that she was “done” with New York. She said that she planned to move back to Atlanta, Georgia, where she spent much of her childhood, to work as a community organiser.

Monday, June 30, 2014

End of the Line for Akil Mochtar as Disgraced Court Chief Jailed for Life

Jakarta Globe, Jun 30, 2014

The former chief justice of Constitutional Court Akil Mochtar was jailed on
 June 30 after being found guilty of selling election disputes to the highest
bidder. (EPA Photo/Maliq)

Jakarta. Akil Mochtar’s disgrace was complete late on Monday night after the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court sentenced the former chief justice of the Constitutional Court to life in prison. Akil was found guilty of having sold off Indonesia’s powerful local government seats to corrupt politicians.

“The defendant has been proved guilty beyond doubt of corruption,” the presiding judge at the court said, reading out the verdict.

Akil was also found guilty of corruption and money laundering during his term as the chief of Constitutional Court between 2010 and 2013. He was arrested at his house in October last year after Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators arrived with a warrant for his arrest. The commission would later say they had tapped his phone to confirm longstanding suspicions that he was taking bribes to issue favorable verdicts in election disputes.

The Constitutional Court is the highest authority in the country in such disputes. Its decisions are binding and complainants have no further recourse once it has ruled. Lawyer Susi Tur Andayani and businessman Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, better known as Wawan, were also brought in by investigators on graft charges. Wawan was caught red-handed, trying to bribe Akil to rule in favor of candidates loyal to his family in the Lebak district of Banten.

It was not long before the case widened to take in Wawan’s sister,  the governor of Banten province, Ratu Atut Chosiyah, a matriarch whose vice-like grip on the province’s finances allegedly extended to rigging just about every public contract for the province — which lies contiguous to both Jakarta and West Java — but did not include working to improve the down-at-heel province’s education system or better the lot of its citizens.

Indonesia’s highly decentralized political framework confers vast budgets and significant powers on provincial and district chiefs.

“The defendant has ruined public trust in the Constitutional Court, and it will take quite some time to revive it,” KPK prosecutor Pulung previously said in court, while Indonesia Corruption Watch said at the time of Akil’s arrest that the case was “a disaster for law enforcement in Indonesia.” ICW went on to accuse Atut of conducting graft on an industrial scale in Banten — again and again awarding tenders to companies owned by her and her family.

Several other cases against Akil have since come to light — including district seats in Central Kalimantan and the mayoralty of Palembang — and the disgraced former judge may face further charges as investigators work their way through a backlog of similar complaints.

Akil — who recently conceded he was “no angel” — was defiant prior to the ruling, insisting he would file an appeal “to heaven” if necessary.

Related Articles:

Wawan Gets Five Years for Bribing Top Judge
KPK Discovered Secret Cash Stash in Akil’s Karaoke Room: Mahfud
Top Judge’s Arrest Rattles Justice System


The Constitutional Court, once seen as squeaky clean, has been rocked
 by the arrest of its chief justice, Akil Mochtar, for bribery. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Former military leader expelled from CPC for graft

English.news.cn2014-06-30


BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and his case handed over to prosecutors, announced the CPC Central Committee on Monday.

The decision was made earlier in the day at a meeting of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, presided over by President Xi Jinping.

Investigation found that Xu took advantage of his post to assist the promotion of other people and accepted bribes personally and through his family members, said the statement issued after the meeting.

He was also found to have sought profits for others in exchange for money and properties, taken through his family members.

"His case is serious and leaves a vile impact," the statement said.

Xu had been under investigation for disciplinary violations from March 15 and his case has now been handed over to the military procuratorate.

Born in 1943, Xu was CMC vice chairman from 2004 to 2012 and was granted the military rank of General in 1999.

The investigation into him displayed firm resolve and zero tolerance of corruption in the Party and armed forces, according to the statement.

"The whole party and armed forces should be fully aware of the time-consuming, complicated and tough mission to fight corruption," it said.

"Anyone, no matter what authority and office he holds, will receive serious punishment if violating Party disciplines and laws. We will never compromise nor show mercy."

To carry out the CPC's political decisions, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) should follow a high and strict standard in terms of discipline, the statement said, vowing, "The Party will not harbor corrupt members nor will the armed forces."

For the Party and people, the PLA must always be trustworthy, the statement warned. The CPC leadership urged the armed forces to educate officers and soldiers to carry on good traditions, and maintain firm political status and high moral standards.

Party organs of all levels are asked to educate, manage and supervise their officials, especially senior ones, so that anti-corruption campaigns will continue making progress.

Officials should uphold socialist values, establish a correct perspective about power, fame and gain as well as resist temptations, the statement urged.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wonga to pay £2.6m compensation for fake debt firm letters

FCA orders payday lender to compensate 45,000 customers after it sent threatening letters from non-existent companies

theguardian.com, Rupert Jones, Wednesday 25 June 2014

Wonga has apologised for the poor practice, which was uncovered by
the OFT Photograph: David Levene

Britain's best-known payday lender, Wonga, has been ordered to pay more than £2.6m compensation after it was found to have sent threatening letters to customers from non-existent law firms.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Wonga had been guilty of "unfair and misleading debt collection practices" after it emerged the lender had created fake law firms using the names of employees who in some cases still work for the company. The regulator said the firm would be compensating around 45,000 customers who received the letters, which threatened legal action over outstanding debts.

However, the firm escaped a potential financial penalty or worse because the FCA only started policing payday lenders in April 2014, and these practices occurred while the now-defunct Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was in charge.

Between October 2008 and November 2010, Wonga sent letters to customers in arrears under the names Chainey D'Amato & Shannon and Barker & Lowe Legal Recoveries – leading customers to believe that their outstanding debt had been passed to a law firm or another third party. Legal action was threatened if the debt was not repaid. The communications were typically headed up "Urgent message" and began: "We have been instructed by Wonga to recover from you a debt of £X ..." 
 
In fact, said the regulator, neither Chainey D'Amato & Shannon nor Barker & Lowe existed. Wonga was using this tactic "to maximise [its] collections by unfairly increasing pressure on customers", it added. In some instances, Wonga also added charges to customers' accounts to cover the administration fees associated with sending the letters. It is a criminal offence for anyone to call themselves a solicitor or act as a solicitor if they are not one, but it is thought the offending letters and emails from the fake firms did not use the word solicitor.

Wonga, which is well-known for its TV adverts featuring puppets of older people, is the UK's biggest payday lender; in 2012 it made nearly four million loans to more than one million customers.

Earlier this month it emerged that a founder of the company, Errol Damelin, had quit asa director, just seven months after stepping down as chief executive.

To compound the company's woes, it has also been disclosed that Wonga will have to pay compensation to many current and former customers after it discovered that "system errors" had resulted in the miscalculation of some people's balances. Almost 200,000 customers overpaid Wonga as a result, the majority by less than £5, the company said. This occurred over a period of several years, though "a greater number" underpaid and will not be asked to repay the shortfall, said a spokesman.

The use of fake law firms was uncovered by the former consumer credit regulator, the OFT, in 2011, after Wonga was asked to disclose information about its debt collection practices.

This is not the first time the firm has been in trouble for its debt collection activities.In 2012 the OFT told it to clean up its act after it sent letters to customers accusing them of fraud.

The agreement with the FCA states that the lender must identify and pay redress to all affected customers. Some customers will receive cash, while others are likely to have their outstanding balance reduced. The regulator has appointed a "skilled person" to oversee the process and ensure customers get what they are owed.

In terms of the compensation relating to the threatening correspondence, there will be a flat-rate £50 settlement offer to all 44,556 customers sent letters, to reflect the distress and inconvenience they have suffered. Some will also receive a refund of the charges incurred for being referred to Barker & Lowe or Chainey D'Amato, which has been estimated at £400,000, and will be provided to customers who paid these fees. In some cases there may be extra compensation payments based on individual circumstances.

Where customers have overpaid Wonga, this will be reimbursed with interest, though the 8% rate - in line with the rate used by the Financial Ombudsman Service, said the firm - contrasts starkly with the 5,853% "representative" APR that the lender charges, as quoted on its website.

The process will start by mid-July, and compensation payments are likely to be paid from the end of July. Wonga has also disclosed that some customers' credit ratings "may have been impacted" by the systems errors.

Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: "Wonga's misconduct was very serious because it had the effect of exacerbating an already difficult situation for customers in arrears. We are pleased Wonga has been working with us to put matters right for its customers and ensure these historical practices are truly a thing of the past."

Tim Weller, Wonga's interim chief executive, said: "This is not the proudest day in Wonga's history ... We would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone affected by the historical debt collection activity and for any distress caused as a result. The practice was unacceptable and we voluntarily ceased it nearly four years ago."

The company said "all the people directly involved in those practices are no longer with the business and have not been here for some time". It revealed that some of the names used to create the fake law firms "were people at the time who were in the business ... In some cases they are still at the company but they have no responsibility for this at all".

Weller added: "I would also like to apologise to customers affected by our system errors. We fully accept the impact on customers was negative in many cases and our priority is to ensure we deal quickly and fairly with customers who've been impacted, again in conjunction with the FCA."

Martin Lewis, founder of consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com, said he welcomed the action being taken, adding: "Using lawyers as fake as its puppets, then having the stomach to charge people for it, is a thuggish tactic, aimed at scaring and intimidating people who are already struggling."

It appears some sharp-eyed customers may have rumbled Wonga's tactics years ago; a MoneySavingExpert post dating from February 2010 states: "I have received an email from Wonga's email address saying they are Barker & Lowe, but when I googled their number and name, nothing is found. Just wondered if anyone had heard of them or whether my suspicions are right, that this is just Wonga's own made-up company to try to scare people a little."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tens of thousands march in London against coalition's austerity measures

An estimated 50,000 people in London addressed by speakers, including Russell Brand, after People's Assembly march

theguardian.com, Kevin Rawlinson and agencies, Saturday 21 June 2014

Russell Brand told the marchers there will be a 'peaceful, effortless, joyful
revolution' against austerity in the UK. Photograph: Rex Features

Tens of thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday afternoon in protest at austerity measures introduced by the coalition government. The demonstrators gathered before the Houses of Parliament, where they were addressed by speakers, including comedians Russell Brand and Mark Steel.

An estimated 50,000 people marched from the BBC's New Broadcasting House in central London to Westminster.

"The people of this building [the House of Commons] generally speaking do not represent us, they represent their friends in big business. It's time for us to take back our power," said Brand.

"This will be a peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution and I'm very grateful to be involved in the People's Assembly."

"Power isn't there, it is here, within us," he added. "The revolution that's required isn't a revolution of radical ideas, but the implementation of ideas we already have."

A spokesman for the People's Assembly, which organised the march, said the turnout was "testament to the level of anger there is at the moment".

He said that Saturday's action was "just the start", with a second march planned for October in conjunction with the Trades Union Congress, as well as strike action expected next month.

People's Assembly spokesman Clare Solomon said: "It is essential for the welfare of millions of people that we stop austerity and halt this coalition government dead in its tracks before it does lasting damage to people's lives and our public services."

Sam Fairburn, the group's national secretary, added: "Cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations."

Activists from the Stop The War Coalition and CND also joined the demonstration.

The crowds heard speeches at Parliament Square from People's Assembly supporters, including Caroline Lucas MP and journalist Owen Jones. Addressing the marchers, Jones said: "Who is really responsible for the mess this country is in? Is it the Polish fruit pickers or the Nigerian nurses? Or is it the bankers who plunged it into economic disaster – or the tax avoiders? It is selective anger."

He added: "The Conservatives are using the crisis to push policies they have always supported. For example, the sell-off of the NHS. They have built a country in which most people who are in poverty are also in work."

The People's Assembly was set up with an open letter to the Guardian in February 2013. Signatories to letter included Tony Benn, who died in March this year, journalist John Pilger and filmmaker Ken Loach.

In the letter, they wrote: "This is a call to all those millions of people in Britain who face an impoverished and uncertain year as their wages, jobs, conditions and welfare provision come under renewed attack by the government.

"The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament."

The Metropolitan police refused to provide an estimate. A police spokesman said the force had received no reports of arrests.

A spokesman for the prime minister declined to comment.

Related Article:


FIFA chiefs pocketed ‘secret 100% pay rise’

Al Arabiya News, Staff writer, Sunday, 22 June 2014

FIFA President Sepp Blatter at a news conference after the Executive
Committee meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. (File photo: Reuters)

Members on FIFA’s Executive Committee have secretly doubled their pay after newly imposed ethics rules banned their fat six-digit World Cup bonuses, The Sunday Times revealed this week.

Secret documents leaked to the newspaper showed that the 25 powerful members on the Executive Committee of football's top governing body saw their $100,000 salary double this year, and the money was paid to Swiss banks controlled by the organization, allowing the top members to withdraw the amounts in cash, and dodge taxes, added the British newspaper.

In addition, the executives enjoyed a VIP treatment of free Business Class air travel, five-star hotel stays, and luxury meals - all to complement their high end social status.

Undercover

FIFA had pledged this year to scrap its practice of awarding its executives bonuses ranging from $75,000 to $200,000 during World Cup years, as a new audit signaled unethical behavior in the practice.

But with the announcement, the Zurich-based organization failed to mention the 100% pay raise it agreed with its committee members as remuneration.

A current member reportedly confirmed the raise last week to The Sunday Times. “It has been doubled to take account of the dropping of the bonus,” the unnamed alleged member was quoted as saying.

Bribery and corruption

FIFA recently came under fire over a controversy that had allegedly “proven” bribery allegations surrounding Qatar’s winning bid to host the World Cup 2022.

Qatar allegedly paid $5 million to help raise its chances in winning the bid, The Sunday Times also revealed earlier this month.

The new outlet claimed it had obtained a “bombshell” cache of millions of leaked emails and documents, relating to payments made by Mohammad Bin Hammam, Qatar’s former top football official, who was an executive member of FIFA at the time.

The Qatar World Cup organizing committee denied all the allegations, however the revelations could see the tournament be withdrawn from the Gulf state.

James Dorsey, author of a blog and related book entitled The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, told Al Arabiya News earlier this month that the potential fall-out of The Sunday Times revelations could be massive.

“A possible retraction of Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup,” he said, adding: “But we’ve got a fair way to go in legal terms before we see any legal action which could see a withdrawal of the hosting rights and a re-running of the bid.”


The boardroom of Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich (The Sunday Times)

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