'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march

'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march
Demonstrators arrive on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the 'Women's March on Washington' on January 21, 2017 (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide
Thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of scienceThousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of science

Bernie Sanders and the Movement Where the People Found Their Voice

"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.)

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick
'Grandpa Wong' is a regular sight at Hong Kong's street battles (AFP Photo/VIVEK PRAKASH)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote in Zurich on May 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Buholzer)
"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. …

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018
The " Fearless Girl " statue on Wall Street is seen by many as a defiant symbol of women's rights under the new administration of President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

“… The Fall of Many - Seen It Yet?

You are going to see more and more personal secrets being revealed about persons in high places of popularity or government. It will seem like an epidemic of non-integrity! But what is happening is exactly what we have been teaching. The new energy has light that will expose the darkness of things that are not commensurate with integrity. They have always been there, and they were kept from being seen by many who keep secrets in the dark. Seen the change yet?

In order to get to a more stable future, you will have to go through gyrations of dark and light. What this means is that the dark is going to be revealed and push back at you. It will eventually lose. We told you this. That's what you're here for is to help those around you who don't see an escape from the past. They didn't get their nuclear war, but everything else is going into the dumper anyway. … “

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blow for Cameron as China welcomes Hollande

Beijing punishes PM for his meeting with Dalai Lama while French president gets full state visit treatment

The Guardian, Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent, Friday 26 April 2013

The French president, François Hollande, meets his Chinese counterpart,
 Xi Jinping, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Photograph:
Pool/Getty Images

David Cameron's mission to change the focus of British foreign policy by boosting trade links suffered a setback after Downing Street was forced to abandon a trip to China as Beijing punished the prime minister for meeting the Dalai Lama.

In a blow to Cameron, who had hoped to hold an annual summit with the Chinese leadership, the French president François Hollande was on Friday feted in Shanghai on a full state visit a few weeks after the prime minister was due to visit China.

Cameron is understood to have abandoned the planned trip after Beijing indicated that he was unlikely to be granted meetings with senior figures. He is now expected to visit in the autumn, two years after his first and only visit as prime minister.

Britain accepts that Beijing is exacting punishment after Cameron met the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, at St Paul's Cathedral last May. The meeting, which was similar to Gordon Brown's discussions with the Dalai Lama at Lambeth Palace in 2008, was designed to minimise offence in China by showing that Britain regards him as a spiritual leader. Downing Street has made clear to Beijing that it accepts Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China.

Government sources said that tentative plans for the prime minister to visit China this month were put on hold before his visit to India in February for the simple reason that the new Chinese leadership only took over in March. Cameron spoke to Li Keqiang, his new Chinese counterpart, after his appointment.

But the Guardian understands from diplomatic sources that a visit was firmly placed in the prime minister's diary for earlier this month. This was abandoned when it became clear that the prime minister would be denied the access usually granted to a G8 leader.

Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary who has just returned from China, told the Guardian: "David Cameron came to office claiming he would prioritise the UK's diplomatic and trade relationship with China, and yet the real difficulties in relations have now been laid bare. I was in China this week and it is clear that the new Chinese leadership are focused on the French president's visit, along with a large number of French companies looking for business.

"In the past, UK prime ministers have met with the Dalai Lama without the deterioration in relations with China that we are now seeing. For all of their initial boasts and bluster, the UK government has lacked a strategic or a joined-up approach to China since it came to office, and that's now showing."

A No 10 source said: "Of course, as any good diary planner would, we pencil in early on dates when the prime minister could potentially travel overseas without going firm on destinations. We decided several weeks ago that we wanted to visit some European capitals in the time we had earlier this month. When the prime minister and Premier Li Keqiang spoke in March they looked forward to meeting in due course."

Officials said trade with China is still rising and the two countries are on course to achieve £1bn in bilateral trade by 2015. Exports to China grew 13.4% last year.

But the decision to abandon the visit is a personal setback for Cameron, who said after coming to office that he would place trade at the heart of foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on the so-called Bric countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. A visit to India in February fell flat after private complaints that the prime minister appeared to regard the country as a trading opportunity rather than an emerging world power.

Hollande was greeted by Xi Jinping, the new Chinese president, when he arrived in Beijing with his partner Valerie Trierweiler on Thursday. They agreed to hold an annual summit – Cameron's original aspiration when he first visited China in November 2010 – after Hollande said he hoped to build a "multipolar" world. This is the classic French ambition to ensure the US cannot dominate the world in a "unipolar" world.

Cui Hongjian, director of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, a foreign ministry thinktank, told the South China Morning Post that this message was well received in Beijing. "France sometimes has different ideas from the US. China may co-operate with France."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Accountancy firms 'use knowledge of Treasury to help rich avoid tax' – MPs

Experts offering advice on legislation they helped to create is 'ridiculous conflict of interest', says select committee chair

The Guardian, Rajeev Syal, Simon Bowers and Patrick Wintour,  Friday 26 April 2013

Margaret Hodge MP has called on the Teasury to stop accepting staff from
the 'big four' accountancy firms when drawing up new laws. Photograph:
Dominic Lipinski/PA

The so-called "big four" accountancy firms are using knowledge gained from staff seconded to the Treasury to help wealthy clients avoid paying UK taxes, a report by the influential Commons public accounts committee says.

Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers have provided the government with expert accountants to draw up tax laws. But the firms went on to advise multinationals and individuals on how to exploit loopholes around legislation they had helped to write, the public accounts committee (PAC) found.

Margaret Hodge, the PAC's chair, said the actions of the accountancy firms were tantamount to a scam and represented a "ridiculous conflict of interest" which must be stopped. "The large accountancy firms are in a powerful position in the tax world and have an unhealthily cosy relationship with government," she said, calling for the Treasury to stop accepting their staff to draw up new tax laws.

The report comes after David Cameron on Thursday set out plans to use Britain's chairmanship of the G8 to tackle what he described as staggering worldwide levels of tax evasion and avoidance.

The PAC claims HM Revenue and Customs had to seek outside help because it was engaged in a "battle it cannot win" in seeking to stem the losses to the exchequer from tax avoidance.

The accountancy giants employed almost 9,000 staff and earned £2bn a year from their tax work in the UK, and £25bn globally, the report claims. MPs found that Revenue and Customs had far fewer resources, particularly in the area of transfer pricing: complex transactions deployed by multinational companies in order to shift taxable profits to low tax jurisdictions. "In the area of transfer pricing alone, there are four times as many staff working for the four firms than for HMRC," the report says.

The committee highlights the way the firms seconded staff to the Treasury to advise on issues in the drafting of legislation. "Through their work in advising government on changes to legislation they have a detailed knowledge of UK tax law, and the insight to identify loopholes in new legislation quickly," it said.

One example in the report is that of KPMG, whose staff advised on the development of "controlled foreign company" and "patent box" rules, and then issued marketing brochures highlighting the role they had played. The brochure "Patent box: what's in it for you" had, it said, suggested the legislation represented a business opportunity to reduce tax and that KPMG could help clients in the "preparation of defendable expense allocation".

The committee is "very concerned by the way that the four firms appear to use their insider knowledge of legislation to sell clients advice on how to use those rules to pay less tax", the report adds.

The report was welcomed by Prem Sikka, professor of accounting at University of Essex. "They [the big four] are the epicentre of a global tax avoidance industry and the loss of tax revenues is directly responsible for the current economic crisis. The Treasury should follow the US authorities and prosecute and fine the firms. The habitual offenders should be shut down," he said.

Officials from HMRC rejected criticisms that tax officers were not making progress in tackling avoidance. "The facts show that we are not only aggressively fighting battles against tax avoidance, but we are winning them," a spokesman said.

KPMG said in a statement: "When requested to by government departments we do provide individuals on secondment. Their role is to provide tax technical input and commercial experience so that the authorities can make informed choices on tax policy. Our secondees do not write legislation or make policy decisions."

Bill Dodwell, head of tax policy at Deloitte, said: "We do not believe that there has ever been any conflict of interest but would want to help ensure that there is no perception of conflict." Kevin Nicholson, head of tax at PwC, said: "We provide technical insight to government but only when asked and are never involved in deciding tax policy which is a matter for the government."

In evidence to the committee, John Dixon, Ernst and Young's head of tax, said: "I think there are benefits in the work we do with government ... benefits to the country at large. If you look at the quality of the legislation that we now have ... it is a lot better than it was 10 years ago.

"Why is that? Because we are actively working with government, at our cost, to make sure that the legislative footprint we are working with is as clear and concise as it can possibly be."

An HMRC spokesman said: "HMRC gives careful consideration to the potential risks, as well as how to mitigate any potential conflicts of interest, before any such secondments are agreed. On balance, the carefully targeted use of secondees is beneficial for the development of tax policy and improving the effectiveness of the tax system."

Cameron, who hopes to use an EU summit in May as a stepping stone to a wider agreement at the G8, wrote to all EU leaders proposing:

• Rapid movement to a global system of information exchange to help tackle tax evasion including through the use of offshore trusts.

• Action plans by G8 countries to produce full transparency, breaking through walls of corporate secrecy and establishing central public company registries.

• Voluntary deals for multinational firms to make clear the tax they pay in every country they operate in.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chinese official sacked after 'citizen journalists' expose extravagant banquet

Video and pictures of lavish dinner emerge after campaigners gatecrash event hosted by Communist boss in Jiangsu province

guardian.co.uk, Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing, Thursday 25 April 2013

A video grab by the Chinese news site Sina shows Zhang Aihua pleading
 for forgiveness on a table after hosting an opulent party. Photographs:
Sina Weibo

Zhang Aihua did what he could to appease the outraged mob that burst into his private party, shocked as they were to witness tables strewn with rare Yangtze river fish and imported wine. He knelt on a table, picked up a loudhailer, and begged for forgiveness.

As the Communist party boss of an industrial zone in Taizhou City, in the south-east of Jiangsu province, Zhang probably knew that this revelation of official profligacy would cost him his job. "I was wrong tonight. Please forgive me. I'll do anything if you let me go," he pleaded, according to state media.

But his pleas went unheeded. When Zhang was fired on Monday, he became the latest victim of president Xi Jinping's frugality and anti-corruption drive – an effort fuelled in no small part by an exasperated public set on exposing the country's extreme wealth gap with mobile phone cameras and microblogs.

Lavish party food.
"I was outside and saw a lot of people, so rushed up to see what the commotion was," said Jia Hongwei, a web forum administrator in Taizhou who captured the video at the industrial park's "entertainment centre" where Zhang was hosting at least 20 colleagues and investors around three well-stocked tables.

Jia's video shows a rambunctious flow of people cascading through narrow hallways and blowing past a smattering of helpless police officers in white safety helmets. The camera hones in on plates of mostly-eaten fish – poisonous pufferfish, long-tailed anchovy and largehead hairtail, according to onlookers – as well as top-shelf bottles of Chinese rice liquor and Australian Yellowtail wine.

More lavish party food.
Jia said that locals would often witness a steady flow of luxury cars streaming in and out of the complex, alerting them to the extravagance within. They learned of Zhang's banquet from an unidentified whistleblower. "Every room in the centre had a banquet, and each banquet included abalone and other expensive dishes," Jia said.

Jia stopped recording when he left at about 8pm. Yet three hours later, he was sent a photo of Zhang kneeling on the table, face contorted in distress, a loudhailer in his right hand. He posted both the photo and video online that night, and they quickly gained traction on Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblogging service. Taizhou officials began investigating Zhang over the weekend.

Zhang paid for most of the meal, which cost more than £700, state media cited an unnamed whistleblower as saying – well over the spending limit on official banquets imposed by central authorities last year.

Since Xi launched his anti-corruption drive in November, scores of officials have been sacked for malfeasance, sales of luxury goods have plummeted nationwide and high-end restaurants have reported dismal returns. Yet some analysts say that the drive has simply pushed lavish official banquets and venal gift-giving underground.

Steve Tsang, an expert on Chinese politics at the University of Nottingham, said that the central government may only tolerate the breed of citizen journalism that took down Zhang as long as it dovetails with the party's priorities. "I think if and when they are seen as crossing a line, and are focused on challenging the party, or party rule, that would be a different matter," he said. "I think the clampdown would be quite tight."


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fraudster who sold fake bomb detectors in war zones advised by UK officials

Whistleblower warned business department in 2008 about Jim McCormick's fake detectors, saying lives were being put at risk

Read the whistleblower's emails

The Guardian, Robert Booth and Meirion Jones, Tuesday 23 April 2013

James McCormick leaving the Old Bailey after being convicted of selling
bogus bomb-detection kits based on novelty golf gadgets. Photograph:
Gavin Rodgers/Pixel

A businessman who was found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors was given advice by British government officials on how to market his products to United Nations agencies, it has emerged.

Jim McCormick, 57, who was convicted at the Old Bailey on Tuesday of three counts of fraud, was trained at a "how to sell to the UN" seminar organised by UK Trade and Industry in March 2008. He also held meetings with officials at UK Trade & Investment, the export-promotion arm of the Department for Business.

McCormick faces up to 10 years in jail for a crime that detectives said "showed a complete disregard for the safety of those that used and relied upon the device for their own security and protection".

The devices were compared to dowsing rods and magic wands by people who used them, although their sales in Iraq and other war zones helped make McCormick a £55m fortune, and allowed him to buy a £3.5m mansion in Bath formerly owned by the actor Nicolas Cage.

There is no evidence that the business department knew the devices were useless. But it also emerged that the same department ignored a warning in 2008 about the dangers of the fake detectors from a whistleblower, who said they put lives at risk.

Ian Pearson, the Labour minister who oversaw export controls at the time, was emailed a detailed dossier about McCormick entitled "Dowsing rods endanger lives" in November of that year but his ministerial office did not reply.

The document concluded that McCormick's fake detectors could have potentially lethal consequences: "Somebody is going to be seriously hurt or killed using or relying on these devices to detect explosives, if they haven't already".

It took over a year for the business department to place limited export bans to Afghanistan and Iraq in January 2010 on the trade after officials were warned by the whistleblower that the detectors, which sold for as much as £10,000 but were based on a £15 device, were not capable of detecting anything.

The whistleblower also wrote to the chairman of the Commons defence select committee, James Arbuthnot, in January 2009 that "these devices put lives at serious risk since they cannot detect explosives". Arbuthnot passed on the complaint to Quentin Davies, the then minister for defence equipment.

Patrick Mercer MP, a former army officer, said: "It seems extraordinary that once the government knew about the nonsense of these devices that a blanket export ban was not put on the products rather than these specific ones to Iraq and Afghanistan. The government seems to have been tardy about the whole thing."

Police warned that the bogus devices were still being used in Iraq and elsewhere. Following conviction at the end of McCormick's six-week trial, Detective Inspector Ed Heath, of Avon and Somerset police said: "Both civilians and armed forces personnel were put at significant risk in relying upon this equipment. That device has been used and is still being used on checkpoints. People using that device believe it works. It does not."

It is also alleged by an Iraqi whistleblower that McCormick paid millions of pounds in bribes to senior Iraqis to secure the deals. General Jihad al-Jabiri, who ran the Baghdad bomb squad, is in prison on corruption charges relating to the contracts. Some Iraqis still believe the detectors work, while others are angry they have cost lives. Inspector general Aqil al-Turehi, of the Iraqi interior ministry, told a BBC Newsnight investigation: "This gang of Jim McCormick and the Iraqis working with him killed my people in cold blood."

A former colleague of McCormick told the BBC that he saw him set up accounts in false names for 15 Iraqi officials. He said they "don't care if people live or die"; the only thing they care about is "how much am I going to get back – cashback".

McCormick claimed the gadgets could detect explosives at long range, deep underground, through lead-lined rooms and multiple buildings. In fact, their antennae, which appeared to be like car radio aerials, were not connected to any electronics and had no power source. McCormick's ADE-101, was in fact a rebadged golf ball finder that was described by its US maker as "a great novelty item that you should have fun with". The antenna was "no more a radio antenna than a nine-inch nail", according to one scientist.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business said on Tuesday that no controls were placed on the export of the fake devices until 2010 because there was "no concrete evidence about the effectiveness or otherwise of these devices. The concerns raised in the letters did not provide a sufficient basis to impose controls."

However, the Old Bailey jury heard that by 2009 British and American soldiers in Basra and Baghdad were already expressing "real concern" about the devices after x-raying them and finding no working parts inside. "I was extremely surprised by the lack of government action at the time and apparent lack of investigation," the whistleblower told the Guardian on Tuesday. "Clearly people were dying as a result of the use of this product."

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gun control vote: all but three 'no' senators received pro-gun cash

Analysis of campaign disclosures shows 42 of 45 dissenting senators logged donations from firearms lobbyists

guardian.co.uk, Dan Roberts in Washington,  Thursday 18 April 2013

Republican senators Chuck Grassley, Dan Coats, Lindsey Graham and
Ted Cruz speak to the media about gun reforms. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

All but three of the 45 senators who torpedoed gun control measures in Congress on Wednesday have received money from firearms lobbyists, according to new analysis by the Guardian and the Sunlight Foundation.

Some, such as Indiana Republican Dan Coats, registered donations from pro-shooting groups as recently as three weeks ago, when the proposal to extend background checks was still seen as likely to pass.

President Obama and congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived a gun attack, have both accused the Senate of being in thrall to gun money following Wednesday's vote. "They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-second amendment," said Obama.

Yet campaign disclosures show the group were also direct recipients of gun cash. The National Rifle Association alone has given $800,000 to 40 of the senators who voted against the amendment since 1990, much of it in the run-up to the last election, according to Sunlight Foundation figures.

Information for the period since the Newtown school shooting is harder to come by because many quarterly filings due out on Tuesday have been delayed by the suspected ricin attack on members of Congress.

But Guardian analysis of the data available so far for 2013 reveals that some groups have continued to be active outside the election cycle – including Safari Club International, a pro-hunting organisation which gave $1,000 to Senator Coats on 29 March, according to the filings.

Documents also show the NRA saw a surge in donations to its lobbying arm in the months following Newtown – registering a record $2.7m in cash during January and February. Further disclosures showing the scale of its recent donations, particularly to politicians in the House of Representatives, are expected on Saturday.

The Gun Owners of America and National Association for Gun Rights – two groups seen as more conservative than the NRA – have also been active in the Senate, giving $9,000 and $5,000 respectively to Ted Cruz, one of the leaders of Republican opposition to the amendment.

Others to receive arms-related donations recently include Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who received $1,000 on 4 March from BAE Systems, a British defence group that manufacturers ammunition, although mostly for military purposes.

Some of the more relevant donations do not come explicitly from gun campaigners. Senator Jeff Flake, a crucial swing voter from Arizona who turned against gun control at the last minute, received $5,000 in 2012 from The Madison Project, a right-wing campaign group that lists gun rights as one of its top priorities. On 9 April, it warned against Republicans such as Flake, who voted for the gun debate, and urged members to call these senators and "tell them that when the Bill of Rights reads 'shall not be infringed' with regards to the second amendment, it means exactly that".

Though the sums are relatively small they indicate the range of lobbying targets pursued by groups such as the NRA, which spent $8.5m before the last election on television ads and telephone drives. Far more money is spent on negative attack ads against politicians seen as weak on gun rights, than in favour of supporters.

Analysis of so-called 'dark money', or undisclosed expenditure, by the Sunlight Foundation shows the NRA was behind at least five TV ad campaigns against gun control since Newtown, targeting key swing states such as Ohio.

Kathy Keily, a campaign finance expert with Sunlight, said: "Keep in mind that the power of the NRA is to a considerable degree fear-based. So it's not just how much they've given to support a politician but how much they might give to oppose."

Such thinking may have influence the handful of Democrats, such as Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who voted against the amendment, says Keily. Pryor received $1,000 from the Safari Club before the last election, but none from the NRA.

Only three senators who voted against the measure have not declared any donations from gun lobbyists – Democrats Mark Begich and Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Rand Paul – although 2013 quarterly data for Begich does not appear to have made it through the congressional mail backlog. Rand Paul was recently found to have close family ties to the National Association for Gun Rights.

A growing number of groups in favour of gun control have also been spending money in recent months, including Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but analysis of its campaign funding shows it to be dwarfed by the NRA.

The NRA has also tightened the screws on senators in recent days by taking the unprecedented decision to award negative scores to anyone who voted for a motion allowing the gun debate to go ahead. These scores are widely used during elections to show adherence to the gun cause.

Republican senators and the NRA both said they opposed the amendment on background checks because it would be a "slippery slope" to a national register of gun owners and would add burdensome delays and costs to gun purchases. They favoured measures to improve school safety and prosecutions of violent criminals instead.

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"... The Rothschild faction of the Illuminati, which governed its empire from London and the Vatican, lost its media foothold along with its other powers in that part of the world. A section of the Illuminati’s Rockefeller faction, headquartered in Washington, DC, and New York City, still has influence on major media in the US as well as on Wall Street; and their lingering foothold in Congress is evident in the intransigence that has stagnated progress. ."

Rio Tinto accused of environmental and human rights breaches

Native Mongolian herders angry that copper and gold mine is threatening fresh water supply and ecology

guardian.co.uk, Rupert Neate, Thursday 18 April 2013
The workers' accommodation area at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in the
South Gobi desert in Mongolia. Photograph: Adrian Bradshaw/EPA/Corbis

Protesters from around the world attacked mining company Rio Tinto for a string for alleged environmental and human rights breaches during a fiery meeting with shareholders in London on Thursday.

Native Mongolian herders claimed that a $5bn (£3.3bn) expansion of the company's Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert threatened the fresh water supply of hundreds of nomadic people and the area's unique ecology.

Sukhgerel Dugersuren, executive director of Mongolian civil society organisation Oyu Tolgoi Watch, said: "Water is a life and death resource. Rio Tinto is diverting water without the consent of the local community or the government.

"It is already evident that not only livestock but local communities are losing access to adequate water supply. Pasture ... [and] water resources are being taken from us and fenced in by the mine."

She claimed that a tailings pond used to collect waste material from the mine had leaked and told Rio's board that the local community demanded assurances that "there isn't going to be a catastrophe in the region".

Sam Walsh, Rio's new chief executive, said the company was committed to environmental protection and human rights and was closely monitoring the mine's development to "ensure our neighbours have a healthy and prosperous future".

At the company's annual meeting, Walsh said Rio recognised the importance of water and would draw water from a deep level aquifer, not from surface water. He said a seasonal river was being diverted around the mine, but the company would create a new spring for animal grazing and water collection further downstream.

Walsh said the mine, which is 34%-owned by the Mongolian government, would provide a massive boost to the local economy and could represent up to 36% of Mongolia's GDP.

Protesters also raised concerns about Rio's planned mines in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a controversial iron ore mine in Guinea, and a nickel and copper mine in Michigan.

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Rich Ricci, Barclays investment bank boss, resigns

BBC News, 18 April 2013

Related Stories 

Rich Ricci had been with Barclays
for 19 years
The head of Barclays' investment banking business, Rich Ricci, has resigned, the bank has announced.

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

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

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

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

Barclays declined to reveal his basic salary and pension package.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Archangel Michael on Who Was Behind the Boston Bombings: It Was an Extreme Right-Wing Group of Disaffected Americans

goldenageofgaia.com, Steve Beckow,  April 17, 2013  

I’ve just had a personal reading with Archangel Michael through Linda Dillon (April 17, 2013). I asked him to tell us who caused the Boston Bombings and here is his response.

Steve Beckow: Who was behind the Boston Bombings?

Archangel Michael: What we would call disillusionaries.


AAM: What you would think of as … no, it was not a planned government action, if that is what you are asking.

SB: How then could it be that pages appear on Facebook before the fact talking about the bombing?

AAM: Oh, there was a lot of planning implementation and the bombing was known about and not prevented. So we are not saying that there was not a form of collusion but the bombing itself was in fact perpetrated by two … well, originally two and then it grew … by a group of individuals that are very disenchanted, shall we say, by the existing regime of government.

SB: Now I would like to confirm that they were not Saudi nationals.

AAM: No.

SB: American citizens?

AAM: Yes.

SB: Alright. Will their identities become known? Will they be arrested or will this be covered up?

AAM: No, eventually it will come to the surface. And, as you well know, things are moving much more rapidly these days.  And so it will come to the surface. We are not talking about years. We are talking about a brief period of time.

SB: So the FBI will not cover this up?

AAM: The FBI will not be in a position to cover it up.

SB: Alright. Now, why did the galactics not intervene?

AAM: Because it is part of the bringing to the forefront [of] the violence. Now let us tell you something about the galactics. Just like us [the celestials] they do not intervene in acts of free will where there is a grander unfoldment – for example, the exposure of the violence in your society – that will make people denounce and change their behaviors.

So they do not intervene in that kind of a situation. Where they will intervene is more of a greater chance for, shall we say, global disaster.

SB: OK. Lots of people are saying that President Obama is complicit in this. Is he complicit.

AAM: No, he is not.

SB: Alright. So anything more you can tell us. Is it useful to know if this a right-wing group?

AAM: It is an extreme right-wing group that would like to see the elimination of what you think of as the federal government.

If you took the Tea Party and put them on the left and then put this group on the right, you would have the positioning.

SB: And you don’t want to say exactly who it is, I take it?

Rothschild to pull out of gold market after 200 years

The Telegraph, James Moore, 15 April 2013

The investment bank that has chaired the London meetings setting the world gold price since 1919 is quitting the market.

NM Rothschild will withdraw from all its commodity trading activities, which also include an oil trading business set up less than two years ago, as part of a strategic review.

The move brings to an end nearly 200 years of tradition. NM Rothschild was founded in London in 1810 by Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who helped finance the Duke of Wellington's army in the Napoleonic wars through gold trading.

The company hosts and chairs twice-daily meetings which effectively set the world's gold price. The meetings are held in a plush chamber in the bank's offices at St Swithin's Lane in the City. The other four firms involved are Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Canada's Scotia Bank and Societe Generale.

During the fixes, telephone lines are kept open to trading rooms where dealers are in touch with customers. Potential price movements are unlimited and the fix has been known to take up to two hours, although it is usually over in a matter of minutes.

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The chairmanship of the meetings is likely to be rotated between the four remaining banks in future. Gold industry sources also predicted that the meetings would be replaced by telephone fixing.

NM Rothschild's withdrawal from the gold market is being seen as one of the first major strategic moves by Baron David de Rothschild.

He set in train the strategic review after taking control of the bank from his cousin, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Sir Evelyn has been a champion of Rothschild's gold trading although a spokesman for the bank said he understood that Sir Evelyn supported the decision.

The bank's finance director Andrew Didham, who conducted the review, said commodities now accounted for just 2.2pc of Rothschild's operating income from 8.8pc in 1999.

"There is always a sadness that a bit of history is over, but we decided that the commodities business did not really fit with our other businesses," he said.

While the gold price has surged, mining companies have become less interested in hedging and trading volumes have fallen. Observers also said rival banks tended to have better links with the hedge which now make up a sizeable proportion of the market.

Simon Weeks, chairman of the London Bullion Market Association, said: "It is very sad to lose such a long-established member of the gold market but we have lost participants before, such as Credit Suisse, and the market will continue."

Rothschild has yet to decide whether to sell or close its commodities business, which employs 40 people. The company hired a number of senior traders when it set up its oil business in 2003. The price of gold fell by $7 to $402 an ounce yesterday.

Nathaniel Rothschild was hopeful of  regaining control
of Bumi, a company 
he helped found

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"... The Rothschild faction of the Illuminati, which governed its empire from London and the Vatican, lost its media foothold along with its other powers in that part of the world. A section of the Illuminati’s Rockefeller faction, headquartered in Washington, DC, and New York City, still has influence on major media in the US as well as on Wall Street; and their lingering foothold in Congress is evident in the intransigence that has stagnated progress. ."