'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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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.. ”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thousands join rare Algeria rally

BBC News, 22 March 2014

Rival Islamist and secular party opposition supporters attended Friday's rally

Related Stories

Thousands of Algerian opposition supporters have called for a boycott of next month's presidential election, during an unprecedented mass rally.

Islamist and secular opposition parties at the rally denounced 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's attempt to win a fourth term of office.

They say a stroke last year has left him unfit to govern.

Mr Bouteflika, in power since 1999, scrapped constitutional rules in 2008 limiting him to two terms in office.

He has rarely been seen in public in recent months, but correspondents say the backing of the governing National Liberation Front (FLN), army factions and business elites almost guarantees him election victory.

'The real Algeria'

Chanting "boycott" and "the people want the regime out" about 5,000 people packed into the sports stadium where various opposition leaders denounced Mr Bouteflika's re-election bid and demanded reforms to a political system they see as corrupt.

About 5,000 people packed into an Algiers sports stadium

Some earlier small protests against Mr Bouteflika's re-election bid were
swiftly quashed by security forces

Friday's rally is believed to be one of the biggest in Algeria in recent months

Large opposition gatherings are unusual in Algeria, where FLN elites and army generals have dominated politics since independence from France in 1962.

"The people here are the people who have been excluded, who have been put aside, but this is the real Algeria," Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) party spokesman Mohsen Belabes told cheering crowds.

"The regime will collapse, but Algeria will survive."

Correspondents say Mr Bouteflika ordered heavy spending from Algeria's oil earnings on housing, public services and infrastructure projects to offset social unrest after the Arab Spring uprisings across North Africa in 2011.

But the parties within the opposition are not united and remain weak, analysts say.

Evidence of this disunity was evident at Friday's rally, where rival Islamist and secular supporters heckled and taunted at each other across the stadium.

The president is one of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France.

But he has had persistent health problems and his rule has recently been dogged by corruption scandals implicating members of his inner circle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

French rogue trader to go to prison

Google – AFP, Thomas Urbain (AFP), 19 March 2014

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel is pictured outside his hotel in Modena,
on March 18, 2014 (AFP/File, Gabriel Bouys)

Paris — A top French appeals court on Wednesday upheld rogue trader Jerome Kerviel's three-year jail sentence over high-risk trading that cost Societe Generale bank nearly five billion euros.

But the court cancelled the 4.9 billion euros ($6.8 billion) that Kerviel was ordered to pay back, referring the issue of damages to another court for a fresh decision.

Kerviel's lawyer Patrice Spinosi had argued in February while appealing the conviction for breach of trust that Societe Generale had committed "wilful misconduct" and was aware of his client's high-risk trading.

View of the Societe Generale
 headquarters in the business district
 of La Defense, on February 12, 2014
(AFP, Eric Piermont)
The controversial trader spent 41 days in pre-trial detention in 2008, but was then released.

Kerviel is currently undertaking a protest walk from Rome to Paris, but can now technically be put behind bars at any time.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in October 2010 for breach of trust, forgery and entering false data for unauthorised deals that threatened to bankrupt the bank, one of the biggest in Europe.

Spinosi said Wednesday's decision to send the ruling on damages for judgement again would effectively amount to Societe Generale going on trial over the failure of its supervisory system.

"It is, at the very least, surprising that Jerome Kerviel is being sent to prison when the existence of significant failures by his employer and the consequences of these failures have just been recognised as a factor in the case," Spinosi added.

Another Kerviel lawyer, David Koubbi, termed the outcome of the hearing a "victory" for his client.

But Jean Veil, the lawyer for Societe Generale, said the 37-year-old Kerviel "has lost the case".

The controversial trader is on a 1,400-kilometre (870-mile) protest trek to highlight the "tyranny of the markets".

He had met with Pope Francis in the Vatican during the pontiff's weekly general audience on February 19 before starting his protest.

"This is great news, that's the only thing I will say," Kerviel said in a reaction to the ruling. "I will continue to walk."

He told RTL radio later: "It's the end of recreation for bankers and banks. It's the end of impunity. That's how I interpret it.

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel relaxes himself in an Hotel in
Modena on March 18, 2014 (AFP/File, Gabriel Bouys)

"I am quite surprised that they prefer to lock me up in prison rather that investigate the destruction of evidence," he added.

Kerviel and his lawyers had launched a high-profile campaign on social media before the case came before the appeal court.

His lawyer Koubbi said his client had received several offers of help and hospitality during his protest march.

When he was passing through Tuscany he was accorded a warm welcome by Marie-Christine Ferre, the widow of poet, composer and singer Leo Ferre.

"It gives us pleasure to help someone who is doing all this distance on foot just to save his skin," she was quoted as saying on the website of Kerviel's official support group.

Indigenous protesters block Canadian passenger trains

Google – AFP, 19 March 2014

A VIA Rail train engine sits idle at Union Station on April 22, 2013 in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Getty/AFP/File, Ian Willms)

Ottawa — Indigenous protesters east of Toronto on Wednesday halted all passenger trains between Canada's capital and the nation's two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal.

The rail corridors are the busiest in the country, and all seats had already been presold through to Thursday.

"Due to First Nations' railroad blockade, Via's train service on the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto routes is interrupted," Via Rail said on its website.

Via Rail said it has arranged for train passengers to take buses instead to their destinations. It is also offering passengers refunds or credits for future travel.

Canadian media photos, meanwhile, showed a dozen indigenous people camped out on the tracks at a crossing near Napanee, Ontario about 220 kilometers (137 miles) east of Toronto.

Mohawk chief Don Maracle told AFP the protesters are calling for a government inquiry into hundreds of murdered and missing native women across Canada.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

US regulator sues 16 banks for alleged Libor rigging

BBC News, 14 March 2014
Some of the world's biggest banks have been accused of colluding to fix Libor

Libor scandal

A US regulator has sued 16 banks for allegedly manipulating the London interbank offered rate (Libor).

The Libor rate is used to set trillions of dollars of financial contracts, including mortgages and financial transactions around the world.

The regulator said the manipulation caused substantial losses to 38 US banks which were shut down during and after the 2008 financial crisis.

The sued banks include Barclays, HSBC, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has also been sued by the regulator - the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

"BBA participated in the alleged scheme to protect the revenue stream it generated from selling Libor licenses and to appease the Panel Bank Defendants that were members of the BBA," it was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

The FDIC alleged that the banks mentioned in its lawsuit rigged the rate from August 2007 to at least mid-2011.

Other banks named in the lawsuit include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS, and Rabobank.

Growing pressure

Libor is the average rate at which banks lend money to one another and is decided on a daily basis.

Most of the world's biggest banks contribute estimates to form the Libor.

But there have been allegations that some have looked to profit from it by understating or overstating their submissions.

Over the past two years, regulators across the globe have been investigating the manipulation of the rate and there have been $3.7bn (£2.26bn) in fines to date.

A string of international banks and brokers, including Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, have faced both criminal and civil penalties for their involvement in the scandal.

Some banks have also been found to have understated their submissions in the period during and after the financial crisis.

They did so in order to avoid the perception that they were having to borrow at higher interest rates than their peers and might therefore be in financial difficulty.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hoeness alleged tax liability soars to 23.7 million euros

Deutsche Welle, 11 March 2014

The amount of money involved in a tax case against Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness has risen - again. An official claims Hoeness is liable for a greater figure than the amount to which he himself confessed.

A tax investigator on Tuesday told the Munich court that Hoeness had evaded taxes totalling at least 23.7 million euros.

The amount is greater than that to which Hoeness admitted on Monday, when he and his legal team made the admission that he had evaded some 18.5 million in taxes.

The latest figure is almost seven times greater than that for which Hoeness was taken to court for failing to declare. The German football legend, who also runs a successful family sausage company, is charged with evading 3.5 million euros in taxes by hiding them in a Swiss bank account.

A tax investigator told the court that the new figure took into account the amount Hoeness should have paid for the years 2003 to 2006.

Earlier in Tuesday's hearing, the court heard that Hoeness had only supplied authorities with the required 70,000 pages of documents from his bank account two weeks before the start of the trial. It was alleged that he had held on to the information for more than a year before finally handing it over.

The data on a memory stick supplied to the tax office had only been compiled on February 24, the investigator said.

"However, the data on it was created on January 18, 2013 ... This was determined by our IT colleagues," she added.

'Deep regret'

On Monday, Hoeness caused a stir in court with the admission that he had evaded some 18.5 million in taxes. "I deeply regret my wrongdoing," he had said. "I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed."

Hoeness reported himself to authorities in early 2013 and paid 10 million euros voluntarily at the time. Any sentence handed down by the court is likely to depend on whether the admission was made early enough, and whether it was made only because Hoeness was aware of an investigation against him.

If convicted, Hoeness, who was part of West Germany's 1974 World Cup-winning squad, could face a sentence of between five and 10 years in jail.

The German taxpayers federation "BdSt" claims 55,000 tax evaders have turned themselves in over the last four years.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

'They are hanging to life' - Saudi king's ex-wife speaks out

Channel 4, Fatima Manji, 10 March 2014

Exclusive: in her first television interview, the former wife of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia claims her four daughters have suffered years trapped in the royal compound in Jeddah.

Channel 4 News has broadcast the first television interview with the former wife of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, writes Fatima Manji.

She has gone public about what she claims is years of abuse against their four daughters. It is an extraordinary insight into the House of Saud, a secretive dynasty, which has held absolute power for more than 80 years.

Princess Alanoud Al Fayez was married to King Abdullah at the age of 15. It was a marriage arranged by her uncle and she had never laid eyes on him until their wedding day. Soon she had four daughters - princesses Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher (pictured above) - but no son.

The girls led a privileged childhood - skiing trips in the Alps, visits abroad. But after their mother was divorced by the king, she says things deteriorated and she eventually fled to London.


For the last 13 years the girls say they have been trapped in the royal compound in Jeddah. They cannot leave without armed guards and are barred from leaving the country.

Their mother has not seen them in person for a decade. She tells me: "They are really in a terrible state, especially Jawaher and Sahar. She's telling me, 'Mummy, we are trying to hold on to our sanity'. They are hanging to life. They don't deserve what happened to them."

I have been communicating with the eldest daughter, Princess Sahar (pictured above), via email.

She sent me pictures of the compound where she says they are held and a surveillance tower watches them day and night. She says their villa is no gilded cage, but a house is slipping into ruin, with leaking pipes and shattered windows: "People don't realise how hard our situation is. They still see us as 'pampered' Saudi Princesses. We never were. We suffer on a daily basis."

No way out

She told me she was speaking out after being threatened by her father - the king. Sahar writes: "Our father said that we had no way out and that after his death our brothers will continue detaining us."

A few hours ago Sahar sent me a long email detailing her views on Saudi society. She says: "Women and children [in Saudi Arabia] are abused, while their male guardian enjoy privileges granted by the court in cases of domestic abuse. Princes and the elite entourage are protected and the victims and their families suffer injustice."

In London, their mother says she has tried everything to get her daughters released. Her lawyers have asked to visit the princesses in Saudi and have gone to the UN's special rapporteur on human rights.


Their mother says she is especially worried about Princess Hala, who is suffering from extreme anorexia and psychological problems. She claims she was jailed after she got a job in a local hospital and spoke up about human rights abuses.

Channel 4 News put this and all the other claims to the government of Saudi Arabia though their embassy here in London. But so far we have had no response.

The house of Saud is one of the most secretive in the world. The king, now thought to be 89, is worth an estimated £11bn, and is feted by the west.

Just a few weeks ago Prince Charles paid a visit - and President Obama will visit later this month. Yet the princesses say the west remains silent on human rights abuses in the country, particularly the treatment of women.