"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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Friday, April 18, 2014

KPMG in Holland again under investigation, this time for tax fraud

DutchNews.nl, Friday 18 April 2014

Pheijffer: the affair on the construction
 of the KPMG office, is not isolated.
Accountancy company KPMG is again under formal investigation by the authorities, this time for suspected tax fraud involving the construction of its new Amstelveen headquarters.

The public prosecution department said in a statement on Thursday the investigation focuses on fake bills supplied by the building firm and inflated costs which were used to depress the company's tax bill.

The Financieele Dagblad says the allegations are particularly painful because accountants should never be the subject of such claims about its tax returns and points out that KPMG Meijburg is one of the biggest tax advisors in the Netherlands.

Painful

Local chairman Jurgen van Breukelen told a press conference on Thursday the case is 'extremely painful for KPMG.' The governance around the company set up to develop the new building was 'not in order', he said. KPMG was 70% owner of that vehicle, the FD said.

The FD points out this is the second criminal investigation against KPMG in a short space of time.

The company was also investigated in connection with bribery allegations at building group Ballast Nedam and reached a €7m out of court settlement to head off prosecution. Three members of staff do face charges.

Procedures

Last year, KPMG was fined €900,000 by the Dutch financial sector regulator AFM for failing to have proper internal procedures in place. The company was also involved in the collapse of housing corporation Vestia, the paper points out.

At the press conference Van Breukelen said the company had failed to move with the times and had an 'archaic and introverted culture'.

Partners had become over-focussed on the 'bottom line' and were more interested in their profits. Quality and integrity should take first place, the paper quoted him as saying.

Switch

The revelations come at a time that the big four accountancy groups in the Netherlands are competing for major new corporate contracts.

The Dutch government has introduced new rules forcing large companies to switch auditor every eight years and that means and a number of lucrative contracts are up for grabs.

The new rules will also stop companies using the same accountant to control its books and provide advice. The aim of the change is to make accountants more independent in the wake of the financial crisis.

Related Articles:




Two former Anglo Irish Bank executives found guilty of handing out illegal loans

Patrick Whelan and William McAteer convicted in Dublin court of illegally lending to Maple 10 group of investors

The Guardian, Henry McDonald in Dublin, Thursday 17 April 2014

Patrick Whelan outside court. He was found gulity of illgeal lending.
Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Two former Anglo Irish Bank executives have been found guilty of handing out illegal loans from the financial institution whose reckless lending almost bankrupted Ireland.

Patrick Whelan and William McAteer were convicted in a Dublin court of illegally lending to the Maple 10 group of investors in the summer of 2008, in order to prop up the Anglo Irish share price and save the bank from collapse.

The 10-week-long trial of the directors transfixed a nation that had been forced to pay out more than €30bn (£25bn) in taxpayers' money to rescue the business.

It was the first time that any bankers faced charges under Section 60 of the Irish Republic's Companies Act, which bars banks from giving out loans to bolster their share price.

However the pair were found not guilty of orchestrating illegal loans from the bank to the family of Seán Quinn, Ireland's one-time richest man.

William McAteer leaves
court after the verdicts.
The pair will remain on bail until they are sentenced on 28 April, the Dublin circuit criminal court was told. Trial judge Martin Nolan warned that sentencing may go beyond that date.

Whelan, 52, the former head of lending in Ireland for Anglo Irish Bank, and McAteer, 63, its former chief risk and finance officer, could face up to five years in jail on each count.

The jury took nearly 17 hours to decide the fate of Whelan and McAteer as well as Seán FitzPatrick, former Anglo Irish chairman, whom they found not guilty on Wednesday.

The guilty verdicts for Whelan and McAteer were unanimous. Outside court the two men refused to talk to the media.

The judge had previously directed that 65-year-old FitzPatrick be found not guilty in connection with loans to Quinn, because of a lack of evidence. He also cleared Whelan of seven counts relating to the amendment of loan facility letters sent to the so-called Maple 10, a group of rich Irish investors allegedly used to buy out the Quinn family's shares in the bank.

Quinn and his family's legal battle with the Irish state over the collapse of Anglo Irish sustained a blow after the jury decided the loans given to them were legal.

The Quinns are engaged in a civil action against the state which rests on the supposed illegality of the loans from Anglo Irish.

The trial focused on moves by the bank to unravel Quinn's secret holding in the institution, built up via financial instruments called contracts for difference – or highly leveraged bets on an increase in the Anglo Irish share price.

By July 2008, with financial ruin looming for Anglo Irish Bank owing to excessive lending in the Irish property boom, Quinn controlled about 28% of the shares in the ailing bank.

The Maple 10 investors were lent a total of €450m by Anglo to buy about 10% of the shares that Quinn controlled. Quinn's wife and five children were also lent €169m to buy nearly 15% of the stock.

In February prosecutors said that executives at the bank decided to do something "absolutely illegal" by lending money to the individuals.

FitzPatrick, who was chief executive of the bank from 1986 to 2005, said his successor, David Drumm, told him the plan to lend the money was "kosher and above board", according to interview notes that police read out during the trial.

FitzPatrick's legal team had persuaded the jury that he was kept in the dark as to the identities of the Maple 10 investors and consequently would not have known the loans were illegal transactions.

The case was one of the most complex in European financial criminal history and lasted 43 days. More than 600 documents were read into the book of evidence and 54 witnesses were called during the trial in court number 19 of Dublin's circuit criminal court.

Attention will now turn to whether the Irish government will hold a public inquiry into the Anglo Irish scandal. In 2010 the state was ultimately forced to seek a €67.5bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund, the European commission and European Central Bank, which it exited last year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

End of an era as Prince Bandar departs Saudi intelligence post

Prince's exit could signal shift in kingdom's policy towards Syria, with looming leadership transition complicating picture

The Guardian, Ian Black, Middle East editor, Wednesday 16 April 2014

Prince Bandar bin Sultan in 2008. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP

Prince Bandar bin Sultan's departure as head of Saudi intelligence, confirmed this week, marks the end of an era for a flamboyant and powerful character on the Middle Eastern stage. The big question is whether it signals a meaningful shift in the kingdom's policy towards Syria and its commitment to the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.

Bandar – known as "Bandar Bush" from his 22 years as Saudi ambassador to the US – is a legendary networker and hawk. The Saudi press agency said he stepped down at his own request. (It did not say whether he would continue as head of the national security council, a less important position.) He will be replaced by his deputy at the Saudi equivalent of the CIA, Youssef bin Ali al-Idrisi, who is not a royal and therefore far less powerful.

For the past 18 months Bandar had led Saudi efforts to better co-ordinate the supply of weapons to Syrian rebels fighting Assad. But he faced criticism for backing extreme Islamist groups and thus risking a repeat of the "blowback" that brought Osama bin Laden's Saudi fighters home after the officially sanctioned jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Bandar's departure is not a complete surprise. Amid unprecedented tensions in relations between Riyadh and Washington, there had been signs he had fallen from favour and had in effect already been sidelined on Syria.

"Bandar's approach was very black and white," said one well placed observer. "And he seems to have over-promised to the king in terms of confidently predicting Assad's departure."

He was often abroad, reportedly being treated for health problems, or "unavailable" at home due to illness. He is also known to suffer badly from depression. Several months ago he failed to turn up for an urgently-scheduled meeting on Syria with David Cameron at Chequers.

According to sources in Riyadh, Bandar faced strong opposition from the powerful interior minister (and possible future king), Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who led the crackdown on al-Qaida following a wave of attacks between 2003 and 2006. Bin Nayef became increasingly concerned about battle-hardened young Saudis returning home radicalised after fighting in Syria. Bandar's removal probably reflects that policy divergence, western diplomats and Saudis say.

Bandar has irritated the Americans with outspoken criticism of Barack Obama's failure to punish Syria following the chemical weapons attack near Damascus last August. After that he talked of limiting interaction with the US in protest at its policies on Syria, Israel and especially the beginning of rapprochement with Iran – the latter an unchanging bogeyman and regional and sectarian rival for the Saudi prince. Bandar was also said by a senior Arab figure to have angrily threatened the emir of Qatar, which upstaged its larger neighbour in backing anti-Assad forces. His departure may help heal the rift between the US and the kingdom following last month's meeting between Obama and Abdullah. That, in turn, could impact on Saudi policy towards Syria.

Bandar, a former fighter pilot, is King Abdullah's nephew. He was close to presidents Reagan and both Bushes. He negotiated huge arms deals for the kingdom – including the infamous £43bn al-Yamamah agreement with the UK. The Guardian reported allegations that he had received £1bn in secret payments from BAE.

Known for his showy lifestyle – he has a penchant for cigars and flies in a private Airbus – he has kept a low profile since returning from the US to Riyadh in 2005. He became head of intelligence in July 2012. Apart from the Syria file, he was also closely involved in Saudi support for Egypt's military rulers after they ousted the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

Saudi-watchers say decision-making in Riyadh is in poor shape. King Abdullah is 90 and frail, Crown Prince Salman is 78. Last month the appointment of a new deputy crown prince, Muqrin, a relative youngster at 68, again focused attention on the succession.

"The looming transition in Saudi leadership … may contribute to the uncertainty and opacity of the kingdom's foreign policy-making," said Yezid Sayigh, of the Carnegie Foundation. "Already highly personalised, decision-making may become further dispersed as multiple centres of princely power prepare to compete over the succession from King Abdullah."

Related Article:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations

Pair awarded highest accolade in US journalism, winning Pulitzer prize for public service for stories on NSA surveillance 

theguardian.com, Ed Pilkington in New York, Monday 14 April 2014

The Guardian revealed the NSA's bulk collection of phone records 10 months
ago based on Edward Snowden's leaks. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.

The award, announced in New York on Monday, comes 10 months after the Guardian published the first report based on the leaks from Snowden, revealing the agency’s bulk collection of US citizens’ phone records.

In the series of articles that ensued, teams of journalists at the Guardian and the Washington Post published the most substantial disclosures of US government secrets since the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war in 1971.

The Pulitzer committee praised the Guardian for its "revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy".

Snowden, in a statement, said: "Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance."

He said that his actions in leaking the documents that formed the basis of the reporting "would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers".

At the Guardian, the reporting was led by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and film-maker Laura Poitras, and at the Washington Post by Barton Gellman, who also co-operated with Poitras. All four journalists were honoured with a George Polk journalism award last week for their work on the NSA story.

Investigative reporter Laura Poitras accepts the George Polk Award alongside
 Barton Gellman, far left, and Ewen MacAskill. Photograph: Andrew Burton/
Getty Images

The NSA revelations have reverberated around the world and sparked a debate in the US over the balance between national security and personal privacy. On the back of the disclosures, President Obama ordered a White House review into data surveillance, a number of congressional reform bills have been introduced, and protections have begun to be put in place to safeguard privacy for foreign leaders and to increase scrutiny over the NSA’s mass data collection.

"We are truly honoured that our journalism has been recognised with the Pulitzer Prize," said Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian. "This was a complex story, written, edited and produced by a team of wonderful journalists. We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting. And we share this honour, not only with our colleagues at the Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize."

Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of Guardian US, said: "We're extremely proud and gratified to have been honoured by the Pulitzer board. It's been an intense, exhaustive and sometimes chilling year working on this story and we're grateful for the acknowledgement by our peers that the revelations made by Edward Snowden and the work by the journalists involved represent a high achievement in public service."

Among the disclosures were:


• the program codenamed Prism used by the NSA and its UK counterpart GCHQ to gain back-door entry into the data of nine giant internet companies including Google and Facebook

• the cracking of internet encryption by the NSA and GCHQ that undermined personal security for web users ;


The coverage of the Snowden leaks presented a particularly thorny issue for the 19-strong panel of journalists, academics and writers who recommend the winners. The stream of disclosures invoked strong and polarised reactions in the US and around the world.

In January, Obama said that the debate on the acceptable limits of government surveillance prompted by the articles “will make us stronger”. But other prominent US politicians such as Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, have suggested journalism based on Snowden’s leaks was tantamount to dealing in stolen property.

Snowden has been charged with three offences in the US. He is the eighth person to be charged with breaking the 1917 Espionage Act by the Obama administration – more than all the prosecutions brought under previous presidents combined.

The Guardian's US operation, headquartered in New York, was incorporated as an American company in 2011 and recognised last year by the Pulitzer board as a US news outlet eligible to be considered for its prizes.

Last month editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger was given a special award at the European press awards; earlier this month the Guardian was named newspaper of the year in the UK; and there it has been awarded other prizes for online and investigative journalism in Germany, Spain and the US.

The Snowden stories were edited from New York by Guardian US editor-in-chief Janine Gibson and deputy editor Stuart Millar. The UK end of the reporting was led by deputy editor Paul Johnson and investigations editor Nick Hopkins.

Others on the team of journalists included Spencer Ackerman, James Ball, David Blishen, Gabriel Dance, Julian Borger, Nick Davies, David Leigh and Dominic Rushe. In Australia the editor was Katharine Viner and the reporter Lenore Taylor.

The Pulitzers have been bestowed since 1917, at the bequest of the legendary newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer who established the honour in his will as a means of encouraging publicly-spirited journalism. The awards have shifted and grown over the years to reflect the modern publishing landscape and today stands at 22 categories, including 14 journalism awards and seven gongs for books, drama and music. All the awards are administered by Columbia University.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Liechtenstein Banker Shot Dead in Reported Investment Feud

Bloomberg, Jan-Henrik Foerster and Carolyn Bandel  Apr 7, 2014

Jürgen Frick
A Liechtenstein banker was shot dead after a feud involving an investment fund, and police said they believe the alleged killer later committed suicide.

The 48-year-old man was shot in the underground garage of a financial institution in Balzers at 7:30 a.m. local time, the Liechtenstein police said on their website today. Neither the victim nor the institution was identified in the statement. The deceased was Juergen Frick, CEO of Bank Frick & Co. AG, according to Switzerland’s Radio 1, which cited employees of his bank.

The suspect, Juergen Hermann, fled the scene in a Smart car with Liechtenstein license plates, according to police. The authorities later said Hermann appears to have committed suicide after they found the vehicle in Ruggell, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Balzers, with his passport and a confession.

“Service dogs were able to track the suspect to the banks of the Rhine,” police said in a statement. “Clothing belonging to the suspect was found there. Because of the circumstances and the evidence, suicide has to be assumed.”

Calls to Bank Frick were answered by a voice-mail message saying the company is closed because of “a death.” It gave no further details. A police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Prime Minister

Bank Frick & Co., founded in 1998, specializes in wealth management and investment advice. The firm managed about 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion) of assets on behalf of clients at the end of 2012, according to its website. The company’s chairman is Mario Frick, who was prime minister of Liechtenstein from 1993 to 2001.

Bank Frick was previously partly owned by Bawag PSK Bank AG, the Austrian lender that almost collapsed because of its links with failed U.S. futures firm Refco Inc. Bawag owned 26 percent and Refco had a 4 percent holding, according to a report by the Austrian Press Agency. After Austria led a bailout of Bawag in 2006, the company sold its stake in Bank Frick, according to a paper published the following year on the European Commission’s website.

Hermann is a fund manager who has been embroiled in a dispute with the Liechtenstein government and Bank Frick for many years, according to Radio 1.

Hermann Finance

The Liechtenstein government and the country’s Financial Market Authority “illegally destroyed my investment company Hermann Finance and its funds, depriving me of my livelihood,” according to a website registered under the name Juergen Hermann of Hermann Finance AG.

He has filed lawsuits seeking recovery of 200 million Swiss francs from the government and 33 million francs from Bank Frick, according to the website. The lender “illegally enriched itself,” among other alleged crimes, it said.

A representative of Hermann’s lawyer declined to comment when reached by telephone. A call to an office telephone number listed on Hermann Finance’s website was answered by an employee of a law firm who said his company isn’t related to Hermann Finance.

Hermann had been “publicly hostile” to the country’s Financial Market Authority and some of its employees, forcing it to take security measures in consultation with the police, FMA spokesman Beat Krieger said in an e-mail today.

Liechtenstein, a country of 36,800 people wedged between Switzerland and Austria, hasn’t seen a homicide since 2011, when three people lost their lives to crime, police said in their annual report. Bank Frick is one of 17 lenders in the Alpine country, according to the Liechtenstein Banking Association.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jan-Henrik Foerster in Zurich at jforster20@bloomberg.net; Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net James Kraus, John Simpson

Related Article:


Ex-ABN Banker Schmittmann Killed Wife, Daughter, Himself

Bloomberg , Maud van Gaal and Martijn van der Starre,  Apr 7, 2014

Jan Peter Schmittman, CEO ABN AMRO
 Bank Nederland. (Photographer: Peter
Boer, Hollandse Hoogte/Redux)
Former ABN Amro Netherlands Chief Executive Officer Jan Peter Schmittmann committed suicide after killing his wife and one of his daughters, Dutch police said, as his family said he suffered from depression.

The Dutch forensic institute has “confirmed suspicions” of a murder-suicide, the police said in a statement today. Schmittmann’s family was cited as saying in the statement that “we knew Jan Peter struggled with severe depression.”

Schmittmann, 57, and his wife and daughter were found at their home in Laren, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, on April 5 after the police received a call from an acquaintance who said something might be wrong at the property. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf identified the dead women as Schmittman’s 57-year-old wife, Nelly, and their daughter Babette, 22.

“A farewell letter has been found inside the house,” the police said in the statement. The authorities declined further comment on the letter’s contents and time and cause of death.

Schmittmann, who was born in Maartensdijk, Netherlands, is survived by one daughter, who wasn’t at home and was informed by officers of the death of her family, the police said on April 5.

“We are deeply shocked and devastated by this incomprehensible news,” Schmittmann’s family said in the police statement. “Our first concern now is supporting the remaining daughter in coping with this indescribable grief.”

De Telegraaf reported today that Schmittmann hanged himself, citing two people it didn’t identify.

Nationalization, Dismissal

Schmittmann joined ABN Amro Holding NV, once among Europe’s biggest banks, in 1983 as an assistant relationship manager and was named head of the lender’s Dutch unit in 2003. As a member of the bank’s executive board, he was responsible for restructuring it along the lines agreed by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Fortis and Banco Santander SA in their three-way takeover of the lender in 2007.

A year after the biggest financial-services takeover in history, the credit crunch drove Fortis to the verge of collapse, forcing the Netherlands to take over its Dutch banking and insurance units, including assets of the former ABN Amro in 2008. The Dutch asked Gerrit Zalm to lead the company now called ABN Amro Group NV.

On the eve of the nationalization, Schmittmann was dismissed by the Dutch Finance Ministry, he told lawmakers in a 2011 hearing. He received an 8 million-euro ($11 million) severance payment, less than what he was entitled to under his contract and more than the Dutch government sought to pay.

London Deaths

Schmittmann owned 2phase2, a management company for investments and financial transactions, according to information on LinkedIn Corp.’s professional social-networking website. He’s also co-founder of 5 Park Lane BV, and last year returned to banking as a supervisory board member at Delta Lloyd Bank NV.

Recent deaths by finance workers around the world have raised concerns of mental health and stress levels in the industry.

A coroner in London last month started an inquest into the apparent suicide of William Broeksmit, 58, a retired Deutsche Bank AG risk executive found dead in his London home in January. The inquest for Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old vice president in technology operations at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who died after falling from the firm’s 33-story London headquarters, is scheduled for late May.

In 2009, former ABN Amro Holding NV Chief Financial Officer Huibert Boumeester, 49, took his life while suffering from depression, according to the coroner investigating his death. The banker was found dead from gunshot wounds by police that June in woodlands 25 miles west of his London home.

To contact the reporters on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net; Martijn van der Starre in Amsterdam at vanderstarre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net Keith Campbell, Steven Crabill

Related Article:


Occupy activist facing seven years in jail was 'promoter of non-violence'

• Cecily McMillan, 25, charged with assault on a police officer
• Defence lawyers seek to prove history of peaceful behaviour

theguardian.com, Jon Swaine in New York, Monday 7 April 2014

Cecily McMillan arrives at court in Manhattan on Monday as jury
selection was set to begin. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

An Occupy Wall Street activist charged with assaulting a police officer is a “promoter of non-violence” who wandered into a tussle with law enforcement while celebrating St Patrick’s Day, her lawyers plan to argue in court this week.

Jury selection began on Monday morning in the trial of Cecily McMillan, who denies assaulting Officer Grantley Bovell as he arrested protesters from the anti-capitalist movement in New York’s Zuccotti Park on 17 March 2012.

“An innocent woman is being accused of something that could send her to prison for seven years,” McMillan’s attorney, Martin Stolar, told reporters outside the state supreme courtroom in lower Manhattan. “She was leaving the park pursuant to the police department’s orders when she was brutally assaulted by a police officer and subsequently accused of assaulting that police officer.” McMillan told a small group of supporters: “Thank you for being here today.”

Prosecutors are expected to argue that McMillan, 25, intentionally elbowed Bovell in the face as he carried out his official duties. They are expected to cite testimony from police officers and a long-range video clip of the incident.

McMillan insists that she did not know Bovell was a police officer and swung her arm at him only after he grabbed one of her breasts from behind. Stolar told the Guardian in an interview that the court would hear that she was renowned among fellow campaigners in the Occupy movement and in other activist circles as “a profound pusher of non-violent political action”.

“Her reputation is somebody who promotes non-violence as the preferred method of achieving political ends,” said Stolar. “She is not somebody who has a reputation for being a violent person. So there will be character witnesses that will testify that her character is such.”

McMillan’s defence team also intends to stress that although she had been active in the occupation of Zuccotti Park, she was enjoying a “day off” on 17 March by celebrating St Patrick’s Day with a friend visiting from outside the city. She had stopped at the park only for about 20 minutes to collect another friend when the clash with Bovell took place, they claim.

“She was out partying, she wasn’t out to get into a confrontation with the cops,” said Stolar. “And she was dressed in bright green: you don’t go out and go commit a crime wearing something that is obvious and makes you easily picked out.”

Jurors are expected to be shown photographs of McMillan taken three days after the incident showing a hand-shaped bruise on her right breast. Her lawyers argue that while other bruising – on her back, the back of her head, and backs of her legs – was caused when police pushed her to the ground after she struck Bovell, the bruise on her breast was inflicted before this.

“The explanation for her having a bruise on her front, as far as we are concerned, is that is where she was grabbed by the person who turns out to be a police officer,” said Stolar. “And her swinging around and her arm hitting the cop in the face was a reaction, a response to being grabbed on the breast.”

Stolar last month had a motion requesting access to Bovell’s NYPD personnel file rejected by Judge Ronald A Zweibel as irrelevant to McMillan’s trial. The NYPD’s response to Stolar’s motion confirmed that Bovell had been subject to inquiries by the force’s internal affairs bureau at least twice and had received a “command discipline” in 2010.

The Guardian last week disclosed that Bovell is being sued by another Occupy activist, Austin Guest, who alleges that the officer dragged him down the aisle of a bus while “intentionally banging his head on each seat” while removing him and dozens of other protesters from the demonstration, which marked six months of the Occupy movement.

Guest’s attorneys said in an updated complaint in federal court that as a result, the 33-year-old Harvard graduate “suffered physical, psychological and emotional injuries, mental anguish, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and other damages”.

Guest and eight other protesters, none of whom was charged with a crime, are suing Bovell, several of his colleagues, the NYPD and city authorities for allegedly violating their rights. They are seeking unspecified compensation, damages and legal fees. Lawyers for the NYPD said in a response motion that the officers denied all the allegations.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

JPMorgan shareholders 'can sue' over London Whale

The Independent, Tuesday 01 April 2014

(Photo – AP)
               
A US judge has ruled shareholders can can sue JPMorgan Chase for securities fraud over the activities of the “London whale” trader.

The US bank lost $6.2 billion  (£3.7 billion) as a result of the scandal linked to trades made by Bruno Iksil from the London-based chief investment office.

District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said shareholders could pursue claims that chief executive Jamie Dimon and former chief financial officer Douglas Braunstein hid increased risks the office had been taking early in 2012, according to Reuters.

But he dismissed an action brought against bank’s directors and another brought by employees over losses made by investing in the bank’s stock in their pensions.

The judge said shareholders could press head with their claims that they were misled on the April 2012 earnings call when Dimon made the memorable quote. It related to a portfolio of “synthetic” credit that Iksil managed. They also allege that the bank materially understated its “value at risk”.

Last September the US giant was hit with $920 million  (£550 million) in fines, including £138 million from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Iksil and colleagues departed the bank in the wake of the scandal as did their boss Ina Drew, who had been one of Wall Street’s most powerful women.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Former Prime Minister Olmert convicted in Israeli bribery case

Deutsche Welle, 31 March 2014

Israeli media have reported that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was found guilty of two counts of bribery, dating back to his time as mayor of Jerusalem. The case was tied to a major real estate development project.


A court in Tel Aviv on Monday convicted Ehud Olmert of bribery in connection with a Jerusalem real estate deal during his time as mayor. The verdict looked likely to end any hopes Olmert might have held of launching a political comeback.

Olmert's spokesman Jacob Galanti said that the 68-year-old former premier would probably appeal the ruling, telling reporters: "The last word hasn't been said."

The apartment complex is not Jerusalem's
most beloved piece of architecture
Sentencing was scheduled for April 28; the maximum Israeli sentence for a public figure found guilty of accepting bribes is 10 years.

During the case, prosecutors had alleged that Olmert accepted more than $228,000 (166,000 euros) from developers of the Holyland apartment complex in Jerusalem in exchange for smoothing over legal and zoning restrictions.

Judge David Rozen said when handing down the conviction that the case "exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years." The judge also said that Olmert "lied in court" during the trial.

One of more than a dozen people accused in the case was Olmert's former aide Shula Zaken. In a major blow to Olmert's defense, Zaken last week agreed to turn state's witness against him in return for her own legal liability being reduced.

Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, and served as Israeli prime minister - via ministerial posts in government - from 2006 to 2008. Olmert resigned amid separate allegations of corruption first leveled in 2008, although he was later acquitted of all major charges in that case, paying a $19,000 fine and receiving a suspended jail sentence.

The centrist politician gained international recognition for making progress in peace talks with Palestinians. His recent criticisms of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comparatively tough stance on the current peace talks with Palestinians and on Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions had prompted speculation that Olmert was preparing for a political comeback.

msh/jr (AP, Reuters)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Glimmer of Hope for Indonesian Migrant Worker Facing Execution

Jakarta Globe, Mar 29, 2014

Jakarta. An Indonesian domestic worker on death row for murder in Saudi Arabia is 1 million riyal (Rp 3 billion, $266,645) short of delaying her execution, as the victim’s family has agreed to shave off 2 million riyal from their initial “blood money” demand and accept a smaller payment for the time being.

“The family of Nura al-Garib has announced that they will accept the diyat if an additional 1 million riyal is [added] — making the total 5 million riyal,” head of the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) Gatot Abdullah Mansyur said on Friday, as quoted by the official website of the Cabinet Secretary setkab.go.id.

Satinah Binti Jumadi Ahmad, 41, of Ungaran, Central Java, was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia after admitting that she killed her former employer Nura in 2007 and fled with 37,970 riyal. She is scheduled to be executed on April 4 if the Indonesian government fails to collect the proper amount of diyat, or blood money, by that date.

The al-Garib family initially requested 10 million riyal in 2011, but negotiations between the family and the Indonesian government lessened the amount to 7 million riyal.

Gathering the funds has been a struggle thus far, but Indonesian celebrities, public officials and labor activists have campaigned on Satinah’s behalf to chip in for her cause.

According to BNP2TKI data, 4 million riyal (the equivalent of Rp 12 billion, or $1 million) has been collected — 3 million riyal from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, 500,000 riyal from Indonesian Association of Migrant Workers Service Companies (Apjati) and another 500,000 riyal from various donors.

Gatot added that if the victim’s family stuck to their agreement, Satinah would not be beheaded on April 4. The execution could be postponed for as long as two years while the remaining 2 million riyal in diyat is paid off.

“Inshallah [God willing], the execution will be postponed for two years,” Gatot said as quoted by news portal Detik.com.

He also aired hope that the victim’s family would forgive Satinah after receiving the 5 million riyal and not seek the remaining money.


A photo of Satinah Binti Jumadi Ahmad is seen on her sister’s phone
in Ungaran, East Java. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)

Capital punishment 2013

Congressman Mike Rogers, One of the NSA's Biggest Defenders, Is Retiring to Be a Radio Host

The Wire, Abby Ohlheiser, Mar 28, 2014


Seven-term Republican Rep. Mike Rogers announced early on Friday that he would not seek re-election this November. Instead, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will host a national radio show. In a statement, the Michigan legislator said:
“I have always believed in our founder's idea of a citizen legislature. I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after. The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress in 2014. As I close this chapter in my life, I am excited to begin a new one that allows me to continue serving as a voice for American exceptionalism and support a strong nation security policy agenda.”
According to Detroit News, Rogers told WJR-AM radio this morning that “They may have lost my vote in Congress, but you haven’t lost my voice." His show will be syndicated by Cumulus Radio.

Although Rogers's pre-congressional career was in the FBI and not in talk radio, Rogers noted that he used to host a show in college. He's also a frequent Sunday talk show guest. Lately, Rogers's highest-profile opinions have been about the NSA and whistleblower Edward Snowden. The congressman has, for instance, called journalist Glenn Greenwald a "thief" and accused him of "selling" the NSA documents provided to him by Snowden. Rogers has also suggested that a "foreign power" was behind Snowden's leaks, despite the existence of no evidence to support that theory.

More recently, Rogers and the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, introduced an NSA reform bill to compete with the bulk collection reforms announced by President Obama yesterday. Obama's reform plan would require the NSA to get a court order to access metadata records stored by telephone companies, while Rogers's bill would allow the government to get that approval after accessing them.

Rogers is the 22nd member of the House to announce his retirement this cycle, as Roll Call points out. That's still around the average number of retirements from the House per cycle. This year, he's the 12th Republican to do so.

Related Article:


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rolls-Royce accused of sacking senior engineer for whistle-blowing

Company denies Hilmi Kurt-Elli's claim he was dismissed for raising potentially serious safety concerns over jet engines

The Guardian, Rupert Neate,  Tuesday 25 March 2014

A vacuum chamber for aero engine tests at a Rolls-Royce mechanical test
 facility in Dahlewitz, eastern Germany. Photograph: Sebastian Willnow/
AFP/Getty Images

Rolls-Royce has been accused of sacking a senior engineer after he blew the whistle on allegations of potentially serious problems with the company's jet engines.

Dr Hilmi Kurt-Elli, who was a senior design engineer on Rolls-Royce engines used on more than 30 different types of passenger jets, claimed at an employment tribunal on Tuesday that he was dismissed after raising safety concerns with the FTSE100 company's chief executive, John Rishton.

The company said it had thoroughly investigated Kurt-Elli's claims, which relate to alleged errors in a computer modelling system used in designing engines, and found "no evidence to substantiate product or safety integrity concerns".

Rolls-Royce said Kurt-Elli was not sacked for blowing the whistle, but for his unreasonable attitude and the total breakdown of his relationship with colleagues and senior executives.

Kath Durrant, Rolls-Royce's human resources director, told the tribunal in Nottingham she was horrified when she read Kurt-Elli's letter to Rishton outlining "a set of extraordinary allegations".

"I took your claims very seriously," she told Kurt-Elli. "A genuine whistleblower coming to us should expect to be taken very seriously, and that is what I did. We would have been on your side."

Durrant said investigators were called in to investigate Kurt-Elli's claims, first made in October 2011, and Rishton was personally briefed on their progress.

She said Kurt-Elli refused to accept the investigators' verdict that there was no evidence of any safety problem, and he went on to accuse Rishton and other senior executives of "corruption, potentially illegal acts and behaving unethically".

Durrant said Kurt-Elli alleged that "multiple layers of management were involved in a conspiracy to cover up information". Kurt-Elli, who was Rolls' vibration specialist until he was dismissed in February 2012, said it was his case "that the CEO and yourself [Durrant] conducted a sham investigation. It was designed specifically to not uncover the truth."

Durrant denied there were any safety concerns or a coverup. "Dr Kurt-Elli starts from the basis that everybody in the company is corrupt," Durrant said. "I started from wanting to understand what the hell was going on here."

Durrant said the company had no choice but to suspended, and later dismiss Kurt-Elli after he refused to accept the outcome of the investigation and continued to make serious allegations against "so many people".

"The claimant made personal attacks on everyone who would not agree with his position," she said. "I've never seen such language, such allegations used against colleagues. After such a long period of issuing the same allegations there was no relationship on which we could continue."

Kurt-Elli, who was representing himself at the tribunal, said: "People have lied, people have misled." He also alleged that the company did not follow a proper dismissal procedure. Rolls-Royce said the dismissal was carried out correctly.

Tribunal judge Richard Hutchinson said: "We have to decide whether you were dismissed because you made a protected disclosures [blew the whistle], or if it had all to do with your behaviour, not the disclosure.

"They say you made unfounded allegations about your work colleagues leading them to believe you could no longer work in the organisation. If we decide it was because of the protected disclosure, they are in trouble."

Kurt-Elli is seeking compensation of £450,000 from Rolls-Royce.

The tribunal continues.

The case comes as Rolls is subject to a criminal investigation into claims raised by separate whistleblowers that the company paid bribes in Indonesia and China.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Online news attracts star power and big money

Google – AFP, Rob Lever (AFP), 23 March 2014

Journalist Katie Couric speaks during a keynote address by Yahoo! President
 and CEO Marissa Mayer at the 2014 International CES on January 7, 2014
in Las Vegas, Nevada (Getty/AFP/File, Ethan Miller)

Washington — The news media is generating some big news of its own, as a growing number of star US journalists move online, bringing followers and financial backers with them.

Online news sites have been around for years, but in recent months the trend has gained momentum, defying predictions of a troubled media industry.

The latest was the relaunch of FiveThirtyEight, headed by Nate Silver, a statistician and journalist who made his own headlines with his accurate prediction of the 2012 presidential election.

Yahoo! Vice President of Editorial David
Pogue speaks during a keynote address by
 Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer
at the 2014 International CES on January
7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Getty/
AFP/File, Ethan Miller)
The site, which covers a range of news with a statistician's eye, is backed by the sports broadcaster ESPN, after Silver left The New York Times with his blog.

Also joining the fray was The Intercept, a news site backed by tech entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar with an editorial team led by Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian reporter who broke news with documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Omidyar has pledged to invest $250 million in his First Look Media, which includes a not-for-profit news operation and a separate technology arm for new media.

The Washington Post's popular "Wonkblog" columnist Ezra Klein meanwhile left the newspaper to start a news website backed by Vox Media.

Yahoo wooed television news star Katie Couric and former New York Times tech writer David Pogue. And journalists at The Wall Street Journal-backed tech blog AllThingsD broke off in January to create Re/code, a separate website with support from Comcast's NBCUniversal.

The new energy in Internet news comes as the entrenched news industry faces deepening financial woes, and the model for online profits remains unclear.

Dying or reviving?

So is the news business dying or being reborn?

Alan Mutter, a former Chicago newspaper editor who consults for journalism and technology ventures, said that while traditional newspapers are withering, online news sites may be working.

But the digital news business is likely to be "vertical," covering a segment such as technology, sports or politics, unlike a newspaper, which aims to cover all sectors. Online news can get money from subscriptions, premium content or links to shopping, for example.

"The future of digital publishing is the antithesis of traditional publishing," Mutter told AFP.

Journalist Ezra Klein speaks
during the opening plenary
session of Families USA's 
Health Action 2014 conference 
January 23, 2014 in 
Washington, DC (Getty/
AFP/File, Alex Wong)
Newspapers try to get a broad audience by offering comics, coupons and recipes, while covering news ranging from local crime to politics to walks on the moon, and online sites are changing that model.

The shift is similar to what happened in retailing, with multi-sector department stores hammered by specialty apparel, housewares or electronics stores.

"Newspapers are basically following a publishing-model mindset that is locked in 1958," Mutter said.

"They take the same content and put it on a website or put it on mobile and they say they have a digital strategy."

Low cost of entry

Ken Doctor, a media analyst with Outsell who writes the Newsonomics blog, said it has become easier to launch news sites.

"The technology has gotten much better and cheaper in the past few years," Doctor said.

"And once you create the content, the social world is able to find new audiences at practically no incremental cost."

News startups can expand internationally and gain a far larger audience than they would with a local or even national US newspaper, he noted.

"You can ramp up one of these businesses and create a national or international brand for $5 million to $10 million," Doctor said.

Without the legacy costs of newspapers like printing, distribution and longstanding pensions, websites can become profitable relatively quickly.

While not all ventures will succeed, they are attracting venture capital because "you could double or triple your money if you pick a winner," Doctor said.

The startups are often personality driven -- Klein has 441,000 Twitter followers and Silver 680,000. Former Daily Beast journalist Andrew Sullivan got 35,000 paid subscribers for his "The Dish" blog.

'Golden age of journalism'?

One of Silicon Valley's most prominent venture capitalists, Marc Andreessen, sees huge potential.

Glenn Greenwald testifies in Brasilia on
 October 9, 2013 before the investigative
 committee of the Senate that examines
 charges of espionage by the United States 
(AFP/File, Evaristo Sa)
"I am more bullish about the future of the news industry over the next 20 years than almost anyone I know," said a blog post by Andreessen, who founded the early Internet group Netscape Communications.

"Maybe we are entering into a new golden age of journalism, and we just haven't recognized it yet."

Andreessen said the news business is breaking free of the "monopolies and oligopolies" that controled it for much of the post-World War II era and that the Internet is allowing new businesses to get to a scale where they can support high-quality journalism.

"On the Internet, there is no limitation to the number of outlets or voices in the news chorus," he said.

The economics of online news has allowed some sites to move beyond the practice of "aggregation," and into more in-depth reporting traditionally seen as the domain for newspapers.

But analysts point out that while Internet news outlets which can gain readers nationally and internationally can thrive, the same is not true for local news organizations, which many Americans rely on for coverage of their communities.

"It's a tale of two worlds," Doctor said. "Local newspapers are still in a death spiral, with layoff after layoff."

Related Articles:


"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“…6 - The News

Number six. I'll be brief. Watch for your news to change. It has to. When the media realizes that Human Beings are changing their watching habits, they're going to start changing what they produce for you to watch. Eventually, there's going to be something called "The Good News Channel," and it will be very attractive indeed. For it will be real and offset the drama of what is today's attraction. This is what families at night, sitting around the table, will wish to watch. They'll have something where the whole picture of a situation is shown and not just the dramatic parts. You will hear about what's happening on the planet that no one is telling you now, and when that occurs [we have no clock, dear one], it's going to compete strongly with the drama. I keep telling you this. Human nature itself is starting to be in color instead of black and white. Watch for it. And that was number six ….”


"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)

“…  Government

Let us speak of government. We're not speaking of your government, but of any government - the way it works, how it survives, how it has survived, the way it campaigns, and how it elects leaders. It's going to change.

Years ago, I told you, "When everybody can talk to everybody, there can be no secrets." Up to this point on this planet, government has counted on one thing - that the people can't easily talk to each other on a global scale. They have to get their information through government or official channels. Even mass media isn't always free enough, for it reports that which the government reports. Even a free society tends to bias itself according to the bias of the times. However, when you can have Human Beings talking to each other all at once, all over the planet without government control, it all changes, for there is open revelation of truth.. ”