'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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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kenya rape: protests after attackers given grass-cutting punishment

Hundreds march in Nairobi to demand justice for 16-year-old gang rape victim whose attackers were let go after cutting grass

The Guardian, Daniel Howden in Nairobi, Thursday 31 October 2013

Protesters called for an end to sexual violence and stopped traffic by wavingpairs
of knickers. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images

The placards waved outside the office of Kenya's chief of police made a point anyone could understand: "Cutting the grass is not punishment for rape," they read.

The protesters had gathered to demand justice for Liz, a 16-year-old who was brutally gang raped in western Kenya in June and whose attackers were let go after being made to cut the grass by local police. Despite the victim identifying three of the men to authorities no arrests have been made four months later.

Meanwhile the teenager, who was dumped into a 15-foot pit latrine, is still in a wheelchair while she recovers from operations to repair damage to her spine, bladder and bowel.

Protest marches are rare in Kenya, outside of party politics, and the hundreds of women, plus a handful of men, stopped the traffic by waving pairs of knickers and calling for an end to sexual violence.

"We are willing to take our demands to the streets, we've gotten to the stage where people are outraged," said Nebila Abdulmelik, a young activist who started an online petition on the campaigning website Avaaz, after learning of Liz's fate. The gang rape in Busia, a county on the shore of Lake Victoria, has crystallised anger at rising levels of sexual violence in East Africa's biggest economy and official unwillingness to enforce the law.

The victim's mother, who cannot be named, had to effectively bankrupt the family, leasing their only plot of land, to get treatment for her daughter: "Why has no one been arrested?" she asked.

A child protection agency in Liz's home area has passed to the police the names and addresses of six suspects, who have been in hiding, since the case was reporting this month in the Kenyan media.

A petition with more than 1.5m signatures from around the world was handed to the Kenyan police on Thursday demanding that her six attackers be arrested and prosecuted and the state compensate the victim. Under Kenya's sexual offences act the minimum sentence for rape is 15 years and "the state bears the burden" of treating the victims.

"We want the police to do their job," said a woman with a loud-hailer, "rape is not normal."

A police official told the protesters: "What took place we're all aware of and we are making efforts to remedy it to the best position that we can."

One of the police officers in the village of Tingolo, where the rape was reported, has been suspended, authorities said, but none of the attackers have been detained.

A recent study conducted by the UN's children's agency, Unicef, found that almost one in three Kenyan girls had faced sexual violence at school. Research by women's groups estimates that a woman or girl is raped every half hour in the country of 43m people.

As the marchers gathered in the capital, Nairobi, news came of another gang rape overnight in Busia, this time of a 12-year-old girl. Sara Longwe, a 66-year-old protestor, said she had decided to march because rape was becoming more common and people were starting to think it was normal.

"They're raping toddlers and babies," she said. "And in most cases nothing happens even though the perpetrators are known."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MPs want answers on Rabobank, editorials call for more heads to roll

DutchNews.nl, Wednesday 30 October 2013

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten has been urged to come clean about how much he knew about the settlement reached by Rabobank over the Libor interest rate scandal.

The Dutch regulatory authorities fined Rabobank €70m for its role in the affair, just under 10% of the total fine of €774m. Rabobank admitted 30 staff were involved in manipulating interest rates between 2005 and 2011.

Christian Democrat MP Eddy van Hijum wants the minister to explain why and how the deal was reached and if this means the bank will avoid prosecution. Bank staff involved in the scandal can still face legal action, the NRC reports.


So far only top executive Piet Moerland has stepped down but more heads must roll at the Dutch cooperative bank, according to today’s editorials.

NRC opens by ticking off the bank’s top brass. ‘The bank’s reaction to the €774m fine for its role in the Libor scandal can best be summarised as "this is not us, we don’t do this sort of thing". Well, without doubt it is you and you most certainly do,’ the paper writes.

It goes on to accuse the Rabobank traders of having the mentality of ‘addicted burglars who for years abused the privilege of working for one of the eighteen banks which determined the vitally important Libor interest rate for the dollar, yen, pound and euro.’


The Rabobank has done irreparable damage to its ‘image of integrity’(..) ‘but in reality it was part and parcel of many of the practices that gave the financial sector such a bad name during the credit crisis’.

Top executive Piet Moerland may have been the sacrificial lamb, the paper concludes, but ‘directly responsible’ member of the board Sipko Schat should reconsider his position as well.

The Financieele Dagblad in its editorial says the bank may have washed its hands of the Libor affair by taking measures and getting rid of Piet Moerdijk but ‘if it thinks it will be business as usual it is very much mistaken.

The supervision at the bank was woefully inadequate,’ the paper writes. ‘Is there a culture among the top executives of making sure no one strays or is it more a matter of not making things too difficult for each other,’ it asks.

The paper cites a few other instances when the bank did not react in a timely way to suspicious goings-on, such as the wide-spread use of doping in the cycle team sponsored by the bank, and the property fraud case. As in the Libor case, someone had to ‘pull the yellow card’ before the bank finally took action. It’s time for some critical self-evaluation, FD concludes.


Elsevier thinks the whole board should go. The magazine calls it ‘shocking’ that traders could carry on with impunity for six years while neither the board of directors nor the senior management had a clue.

‘In the old days when the vault in the local bank was opened, at least two members of staff had to be present to make sure neither took what wasn’t theirs. In the Libor affair the Rabobank top just let its business bankers grab to their hearts’ content.’

The bank’s reputation as a bank with a social conscience has been shattered completely, Elsevier concludes.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rabobank faces £600m fine as Libor scandal resurfaces

Dutch mutual expected to become fifth financial institution to face huge penalty for attempting to rig benchmark interest rate

TheGuardian, Jill Treanor, Monday 28 October 2013

The FCA and US regulators are poised to announced larger than expected
penalties on Rabobank. Photograph: David Levene

The Libor rigging scandal could be reignited on Tuesday when Dutch mutual Rabobank is expected to become the fifth financial institution to be hit with a huge fine for attempting to rig the benchmark interest rate.

The bank is thought to be facing fines of more than £600m from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, which are continuing their investigations into alleged manipulation of the key interest rate.

London's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and regulators in the US are thought to be poised to levy larger than expected penalties on Rabobank, a co-operative-style institution whose roots lie in financing agriculture and which escaped the financial crisis without a taxpayer bailout.

The bank has been warning that it faced a fine for Libor rigging since the summer when it revealed it had made a provision of an undisclosed sum in preparation for the regulatory action.

The Libor scandal was first exposed in June 2012, when Barclays was fined £290m for its role in attempting to manipulate the rate; its top management was subsequently forced out. Since then, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and the money broker Icap have been fined. UBS received the highest penalty of £940m.

Rabobank said last week that details of its punishment were getting closer to publication. "Various authorities have almost completed their investigation into Rabobank's role in the Libor and Euribor setting process," the bank said. "Rabobank expects to be able to enter into settlements with these authorities within the next two weeks. Rabobank is not yet in a position to comment on possible settlement amounts."

When it took a provision for Libor, it pointed out that it had been named as defendant in civil litigation in the US and that it would defend itself against any such claims.

At the time of the fine against Barclays, City regulators said they were investigating seven other potential cases, which appears to indicate there are still three outstanding.

The regulator declined to comment on Monday night and Rabobank declined to elaborate on its previous statements.

Since the Libor scandal broke, regulators have begun to scrutinise the way other benchmarks are set, such as those in the foreign exchange markets. Earlier this month, the FCA began an investigation that is expected to be on the scale of Libor after gathering information on the £3tn-a-day currency markets. The regulators are looking at the way traders may have been able to influence the way currency benchmarks are set and have also been scrutinising the way energy markets operate.

Monday, October 28, 2013

NSA scandal journalist Greenwald urges Germany to protect Snowden

Deutsche Welle, 28 October 2013

The journalist who worked with US whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged Germany to offer protection to the former intelligence operative. Meanwhile, Berlin is to debate claims the US spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In an interview with German television on Monday, Brazil-based Glen Greenwald said Germany should offer asylum to former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden, who is currently being granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Through the British newspaper The Guardian, US journalist Greenwald uncovered details of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program early this year based on leaks from Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

In an interview with German public broadcaster ARD, Greenwald said the extent of spying activity of the NSA - including the eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone - would not be known without information made available by Snowden.

"Germany is precisely one of the countries that has most benefited from these revelations, from the start," said Greenwald.

"Rather than thanking him or being grateful or just doing their duty under the law to protect people who are being politically persecuted, the German government has turned its back on him and allowed its ally the United States to threaten his political rights and persecute him."

"I think it really is up to the German people to ask why that is," said Greenwald, who no longer works for The Guardian.

Special parliamentary session

Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, is set to debate the spying affair on November 18 - signifying something of a change of heart on the part of Merkel's government. Such a debate had been requested by opposition parties weeks ahead of the German general election on September 22, but this was refused.

The formation of a special committee to discuss the NSA affair is also seen as likely, something that would require the approval of a third of Bundestag lawmakers. While the opposition Green and Left parties have only about a fifth of seats in the assembly, the CDU/CSU grouping and its expected coalition partner the SPD have said they would support an "appropriate" motion by the opposition.

Greenwald said that Snowden would be a "logical choice" to answer questions as a witness at the committee, but that he would need a guarantee that his basic rights would be respected. Several German deputies have also called for Snowden to be summoned.

However, the office of Chancellor Merkel said there were no plans to ask Snowden to attend.

The German government on Monday said it has learnt nothing new of about the spying affair since it came to light on Monday. A representative of the chancellor also refused to answer a question about whether Obama had apologized to Merkel.

"I never report on the confidential conversations of the chancellor," said the spokesman.

White House mulls changes

Meanwhile, the White House has said it believed some constraints were needed in light of recent revelations. As well as the spying on the German chancellor, the NSA is accused of tapping millions of phone calls of Spanish citizens the space of just a month. It is also accused of carrying out vast online trawling operations in that country.

"We recognize there needs to be additional constraints on how we gather and use intelligence," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

"We also need to ensure that our intelligence resources are most effectively supporting our foreign policy and national security objectives, that we are more effectively weighing the risks and rewards of our activities," Carney said.

The head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee took a tougher line, calling for a "total review of all intelligence programs."

Senator Dianne Feinstein said her committee had been informed of the NSA's collection of phone records under a secret order. But she said the committee had been kept in the dark as to the extend of the surveillance.

"Unlike NSA's collection of phone records under a court order, it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed," she said.

"With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of US allies - including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany - let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed."

Japan bank executives 'knew about gangster loans'

Google – AFP, 28 October 2013

Pedestrians walk past a sign for Japan's Mizuho Financial Group in Tokyo on
May 15, 2013 (AFP/File, Kazuhiro Nogi)

Tokyo — Mizuho Financial Group executives knew the firm was doing business with gangsters but failed to stop it, a panel said Monday, as Japan's finance minister slammed the banking giant over the affair.

One of Japan's biggest banks, Mizuho has been under fire since it emerged last month that it processed hundreds of loans worth about $2 million for the country's notorious yakuza crime syndicates.

Japan's mega bank Mizuho Financial Group
 president Yasuhiro Sato (R) speaks to the
 press at the Bank of Japan headquarters in
 Tokyo on October 8, 2013 (JIJI PRESS/AFP/
The scandal has made headlines for weeks in Japanese media, and reportedly sparked a police investigation.

On Monday, a panel of lawyers hired by Mizuho to probe the transactions said that "many officials and board members were aware of, or were in a position to be aware of, the issue".

"However they failed to recognise it as a problem, believing that the compliance division... was taking care of it," said the panel's 100-page report.

The company also submitted its own report to regulators Monday, and said 54 former and current executives would be punished, including Mizuho Bank chairman Takashi Tsukamoto. He would step down from his post but stay on as head of the parent company.

Mizuho Financial Group chief executive Yasuhiro Sato -- who has acknowledged he "was in the position to know" about the loans but has refused to quit -- would work without pay for six months, while other managers would also take wage cuts.

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Monday slammed the transactions as a "huge problem", and said Mizuho's initial claims to regulators that executives knew nothing about the shady loans was "the worst thing a bank can do".

The bank later admitted top executives were "in a position to know" about the mob business.
"We have caused a lot of trouble for many people, including shareholders and other stakeholders," Sato told reporters in Tokyo as he bowed deeply, in a typical gesture by Japanese executives dealing with a crisis.

"Again, I apologise sincerely... The problem was that we weren't aware or sensitive enough to loans that were being done by an affiliate company," he added.

Chairman of Japanese megabank Mizuho 
Financial Group, Takashi Tsukamoto (R),
 pictured in Tokyo on January 16, 2009
(AFP/File, Kazuhiro Nogi)
He also said the bank will invite a former judge of the Supreme Court as an external board member to assure better compliance.

The panel's report Monday called on Mizuho to overhaul its compliance department, noting that the transactions were made via a complicated scheme involving the affiliate firm.

"In a nutshell, they failed to recognise the loans as Mizuho's own and relied on the other company for dealing with the issue," panel head Hideki Nakagome told reporters.

Like the Italian mafia or Chinese triads, the yakuza engage in activities ranging from gambling, drugs, and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets, white-collar crime and business conducted through front companies.

The gangs, which themselves are not illegal, have historically been tolerated by the authorities, although there are periodic clampdowns on some of their less savoury activities.
Related Articles:

Friday, October 25, 2013

JPMorgan to pay $5.1 bn to settle Fannie, Freddie claims

Google – AFP, 25 October 2013

People walk by JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York,
August 14, 2013 (AFP/File, Emmanuel Dunand)

New York City — JPMorgan Chase will pay $5.1 billion to settle charges it overstated the quality of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, US officials said Friday.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the two government-backed financing giants, had accused the bank, and two subsidiaries, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, of causing "billions of dollars" in losses to the two mortgage finance companies.

The settlement resolves part of the tab as the US's biggest bank by assets proceeds with negotiations with the US over a broader pact to resolve mortgage-related violations.

The larger ($4.0 billion) of the two settlements relates to $33.8 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities sold by JPMorgan to Fannie and Freddie between 2005 and 2007, according to the FHFA's 2011 complaint.

JPMorgan "falsely" told Freddie and Fannie the underlying mortgages met the two agencies' standards for quality. In practice, the assets were much lower quality than claimed.

The FHFA said that "constitutes negligent misrepresentation, common law fraud and aiding and abetting fraud," the FHFA complaint said.

The settlement relates to securities sold to Fannie and Freddie by JPMorgan itself and also by Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, which were acquired by JPMorgan in 2008.

FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco said the settlement "provides greater certainty in the marketplace and is in line with our responsibility for preserving and conserving Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's assets on behalf of taxpayers."

"This is a significant step as the government and JPMorgan Chase move to address outstanding mortgage-related issues."

A JPMorgan statement called Friday's agreement "an important step towards a broader resolution of the firm's (mortgage-backed securities)-related matters with governmental entities."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

57 penalized in China's US$135m railway spending scandal

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2013-10-22

CRCC is the second largest state-owned construction enterprise in China with
2 million employees in more than 60 countries and regions. (Photo/Xinhua)

China's anti-graft authorities have continued their crackdown on corruption by handing down penalties to 57 people in the aftermath of the China Railway Construction Corporation scandal.

A total of 57 people have been censured, eight punished and one transferred to judicial authorities for prosecution after it was revealed that the state-owned rail construction giant spent a whopping 837 million yuan (US$135 million) on receptions and events last year.

Wang Qishan, chief of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, China's top disciplinary watchdog, demanded that the case and the problems identified during the investigation be dealt with "severely." In a move seen as his way of adding pressure on subordinates to take on more responsibility and strengthen supervision, Wang also requested that Qiang Weidong, secretary of the disciplinary committee of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and Qi Xiaofei, secretary of the disciplinary committee of China Railway Construction, sign and endorse the investigation report.

Qiang said during a media briefing that although most of the spending on receptions was generally in accordance with regulations, the investigation found that invoices were unstandardized, reimbursements of expenses were lax and that accounting was inappropriately classified. The company's management has since taken steps to rectify the problems, Qiang said, which is why it has reported a 20% drop in reception spending in the first half of the year.

The reception spending crackdown is in line with the "eight key points" introduced by the Communist Party last December focused on rejecting extravagance and reducing bureaucratic visits, meetings and empty talk. Earlier this month, a Beijing village deputy party chief held an extravagant three-day wedding celebration for his son, including performances by local celebrities. He has since been removed from his post.

On Oct. 16, Wang attended a discussion forum for province-level officials warning that fighting corruption involves cracking down on "small errors" as early as possible so that they will not develop into "large errors." He said anti-graft authorities must punish all corrupt activities so that every official will fear the consequences of their actions.

Chinese president and Communist Party chief Xi Jinping said at the start of the year that authorities would be cracking down on all corrupt officials, regardless of whether they are lowly "flies" or high-flying "tigers."

Wang is said to recognize that the problem with "flies" is that they are everywhere and in huge numbers, but that if they are not dealt with early they could eventually turn into "tigers."

Publicly available information revealed that Chinese authorities looked into 34,326 cases of corruption in 2012 involving 47,338 people and as much as 8.79 billion yuan (US$1.44 billion). Of the 2,569 government employees investigated, 93% were at the county-level or below, indicating that the vast majority of problems identified are at the grassroots level.

Last week, three county-level officials from Chongqing in southwest China were apprehended by authorities on suspicion of serious disciplinary violations, suggesting that the focus of the party's anti-graft drive could be shifting towards "flies" after a series of "tiger" takedowns over the past year, including former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, former railways minister Liu Zhijun and former state assets chief and China National Petroleum Corporation chairman Jiang Jiemin.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fugitive UBS banker arrested in Italy luxury hotel

Google – AFP, 20 October 2013

A logo of the Swiss banking giant UBS is seen above blinds drawn at its
 main headquarters on October 15, 2011 in the center of Zurich (AFP/File,
Fabrice Coffrini)

Rome — A former top executive at Swiss banking giant UBS wanted in the United States for allegedly helping wealthy Americans hide $20 billion (15 billion euros) from the taxman has been arrested in Italy, police said Sunday.

Raoul Weil, 54, had been staying in a luxury hotel in the city of Bologna where he checked in under his real name, triggering a police check because he is on an international fugitive list.

Mr Weil was the head of global wealth
 management at Zurich-based UBS
 Picture: Supplied
"He was arrested at the hotel and he is now being held in prison. He did not explain why he was in Italy," a spokeswoman for Bologna police told AFP.

The officer said the arrest took place on Friday but explained that details of the case were only being released on Sunday because of police policy.

Weil, who was chairman of the global wealth management service at UBS in Zurich, was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2008 for his alleged role in overseeing the US cross-border business.

The Swiss national always denied the charges and had been declared a fugitive by the US courts.

According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2007, Weil supervised the Swiss bank's overseas activities that serviced some 20,000 customers.

The indictment alleges Weil and co-conspirators helped US customers conceal around $20 billion (15 billion euros) in assets from tax authorities.

JP Morgan 'may pay record $13bn fine'

BBC News, 19 October 2013

JP Morgan has recently found itself overwhelmed by mounting legal troubles

Related Stories

US banking giant JP Morgan is set for a record $13bn (£8bn) fine to settle investigations into its mortgage-backed securities, US media reports say.

A tentative deal is believed to have been reached in talks with senior US justice department officials.

The sale of overvalued mortgage-backed securities was blamed for the near-collapse of the banking system in 2007.

Last month, JP Morgan was fined almost $1bn in a separate case over the "London Whale" trading debacle.

The scandal arose from disastrous trades by former bank employee Bruno Iksil, who made big bets on the financial markets.

Risky assets

The tentative deal to pay the $13bn fine to the justice department was reached during the talks on Friday, between JP Morgan lawyers with US Attorney General Eric Holder and his deputy Tony West, the Wall Street Journal said, citing officials familiar with the decision.

The New York Times also reported that the investment bank was nearing the agreement, although final details are still being discussed.

Neither the justice department nor the bank was available for comment.

If confirmed, it would be the biggest settlement of its kind ever paid by an American company.

The $13bn sum is said to include $9bn in fines and a further $4bn in relief for struggling homeowners.

In the run-up to the financial crisis, sophisticated financial products known as mortgage-backed securities were created by many investment banks.

These special bonds contained a mix of investments but at their heart were supposed to be risk-free home loans, the BBC's business correspondent Joe Lynam reports.

What JP Morgan is alleged to have done was sell the mortgage-backed assets knowing full well that many of the home loans were in fact very risky.

Some of the problems relate to mortgage bank Washington Mutual and investment bank Bear Stearns, two failing firms that JPMorgan took over in 2008.

The mortgage-backed assets are widely thought to have played a central role in the near collapse of the banking system when banks realised in 2007 that many of their assets were worth a fraction of their official book value.

The fine would settle all potential civil action that might be taken against the bank in future but does not mean that criminal cases against individuals are ruled out, our correspondent adds.

JP Morgan had initially aimed to persuade US justice department officials to drop the criminal investigation but the attorney general ruled that out, reports said.

In August, US government officials filed two lawsuits against Bank of America relating to mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America denied civil fraud in failing to disclose risks and misleading investors.

Legal woes

JP Morgan has found itself overwhelmed by mounting legal troubles lately.

Once the darling of Washington and Wall Street, it reported a rare quarterly earnings loss last week, mostly due to legal costs totalling $9.2bn.

The bank lost $380m during the quarter, compared with a profit of $5.7bn in the same period last year.

JP Morgan says it has set aside a fund of $23bn to deal with mounting legal costs. 

Related Article:

HSBC to appeal against $2.5bn ruling in US

Chicago court orders rules against bank in class action case over buyout of loans firm Household International

The Guardian, Jill Treanor, Friday 18 October 2013

HSBC will appeal against the fine. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, has been ordered to pay $2.5bn (£1.5bn) by a court in Chicago in the largest class action judgment in legal history.

HSBC intends to appeal against the decision in what it sees as the latest stage in an 11-year legal battle sparked by shareholders in Household International, the consumer lending business it bought in 2002.

The complaints by the shareholders relate to the period before HSBC bought the business, when the shareholders claimed they had been misled about accounting and lending practices by the previous management team of Household.

James Glickenhaus of Glickenhaus & Co, one of the three lead lawyers representing the shareholders, said the judgment "shows that the fraud committed by Household International and the individual defendant officers will not go unpunished, and we look forward to having the judgment affirmed on appeal".

HSBC has been warning its shareholders in its annual report about the potential cost of the legal action for a number of years and its most recent update on the situation – which takes up an entire A4 page in its interim results – had revealed the bill could amount to $3.5bn. It has taken a provision of an unspecified size as a precaution against the judgment but said it has a strong argument against the ruling, first made in April 2009 after a jury trial.

Legal proceedings since 2009 mean that the final judgment was only handed down in the Chicago court on Thursday and the cost of the acquisition has been written off. Green, who was not running HSBC at the time of the deal, was enobled and joined the coalition government as a trade minister but is now stepping down.

HSBC was hit a record $1.9bn fine in December 2012 after the US authorities accused the bank of a "blatant failure" to implement money laundering controls which allowed it to move money around the financial system for drug barons and terrorists. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Berlusconi gets two-year ban from politics

Google – AFP, 19 October 2013

Demonstrators protest in Rome on October 15, 2013 a secret vote by senators
 to expel former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi from the senate over his tax
fraud conviction (AFP/File, Filippo Monteforte)

Rome — An Italian appeals court on Saturday ordered a two-year political ban for scandal-tainted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi as part of a tax fraud ruling.

The supreme court on August 1 turned down Berlusconi's second and final appeal in the case but said another court should decide on a ban from parliament of between one and three years.

Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the Senate
in Rome on October 2, 2013 (AFP/File,
Filippo Monteforte)
Prosecutors at Saturday's hearing requested a two-year ban and the panel of judges went into chambers shortly after the start of the session to consider their verdict, Italian media reported.

The Milan ruling would complete Berlusconi's definitive conviction -- his first ever in a long history of legal woes for the billionaire tycoon.

The 77-year-old is not expected in court.

Whatever the length of the ban for Berlusconi, it would end up temporarily stripping him of the right to vote and run for re-election -- although the Senate will have to vote on when that happens.

The case revolved around Berlusconi's media empire and included a prison sentence of four years that was immediately commuted to one year because of an amnesty rule in place and will be served as house arrest or community service because of his age.

China: Nanjing mayor sacked in latest round of corruption crackdown

Ji Jianye removed for 'suspected serious disciplinary violations', two days after it was announced he was being investigated

theguardian.com, Reuters in Beijing, Saturday 19 October 2013

Ji Jianye: sacked. Photograph: Rex/Imaginechina

The mayor of the Chinese city of Nanjing has been sacked, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, the latest move in a nationwide crackdown on corruption.

Ji Jianye was stood down two days after it was announced he was being investigated for serious breaches of the law.

Ji "has been removed from his post for suspected serious disciplinary violations", Xinhua said, shorthand the government generally uses to describe corruption.

An earlier report in the online version of the official People's Daily newspaper said Ji was under investigation over "economic problems", a similar euphemism.

The People's Daily online report, citing other Chinese media reports, said Ji's case might have involved some 20m yuan (£2m).

President Xi Jinping, who took office in March, has called corruption a threat to the ruling Communist party's survival and vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

The crackdown has so far netted a handful of senior officials, among them former executives from oil giant PetroChina.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pierre Omidyar commits $250m to new media venture with Glenn Greenwald

Omidyar says decision to set up news organisation fuelled by 'concern about press freedoms in the US and around the world'

theguardian.com, Dominic Rushe, Wednesday 16 October 2013

Pierre Omidyar said he hoped the project would promote 'independent journalists
 with expertise, and a voice and a following'. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has revealed more details of the media organization he is creating with journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the Guardian, where he has broken a series of stories on the National Security Agency, based on documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In an interview with Jay Rosen, media critic and NYU professor of journalism, Omidyar said he was committing an initial $250m to the as-yet-unnamed venture. Omidyar told Rosen the decision was fuelled by his “rising concern about press freedoms in the United States and around the world”.

Omidyar said he hopes the project will promote “independent journalists with expertise, and a voice and a following” while using Silicon Valley knowhow to build an audience. “Companies in Silicon Valley invest a lot in understanding their users and what drives user engagement,” Omidyar said. The company will be online only and all proceeds will be reinvested in journalism.

In a blogpost, the eBay billionaire revealed that he had been exploring a purchase of the Washington Post, which was ultimately bought by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“That process got me thinking about what kind of social impact could be created if a similar investment was made in something entirely new, built from the ground up. Something that I would be personally and directly involved in outside of my other efforts as a philanthropist,” wrote Omidyar.

“I developed an interest in supporting independent journalists in a way that leverages their work to the greatest extent possible, all in support of the public interest. And, I want to find ways to convert mainstream readers into engaged citizens. I think there’s more that can be done in this space, and I’m eager to explore the possibilities,” he wrote.

Omidyar said he was in the “very early stages of creating a new mass media organization. I don’t yet know how or when it will be rolled out, or what it will look like.” He said the organization would cover general news as well as investigative journalism.

“As part of my learning process, I recently reached out to Glenn Greenwald to find out what journalists like him need to do their jobs well. As it turns out, he and his colleagues Laura Poitras [video documentarian] and Jeremy Scahill [author and national security expert], were already on a path to create an online space to support independent journalists. We had a lot of overlap in terms of our ideas, and decided to join forces,” wrote Omidyar.

“I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy,” he told Rosen.

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.. …”