Wednesday, January 11, 2012
We'll take a deeper look at where things are heading for China and the US. After President Obama clearly and publicly laid out the new US military strategy that will rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region out of what they call, "necessity" and the Chinese ministry of defense fired back. Are the actions thus far objective and rational or are the two setting up for a new Cold War? Thomas P.M. Barnett, Chief Analyst for Wikistrat discusses. Source
It seems unlikely that US foreign policy will matter a lot in the upcoming US election as the economy is on top of the agenda. Nevertheless, some presidential candidates can't miss the opportunity to showcase their support for Israel, even if it requires going to such extremes as denying the fact of the Palestinians' existence. How do Americans view their long-lasting friendship with Israel today? Does everyone who runs for president have to be pro-Israel? And does this fervent desire to protect Israel do any good to Israel's foreign policy? CrossTalking with Sarah Wildman and Shmuel Rosner on Today. Source
Those who are anti-SOPA and anti-PROTECT IP have made public lists featuring those lawmakers who stand behind the broad-sweeping internet censorship bill. And they've even worked hard to stage petitions to protest the proposed laws, which have been pretty successful thus far. Paul Ryan for example, after Reddittors learned that the republican representative didn't take a clear stance on SOPA, they actually raised money for Ryan's congressional opponent. Ryan released a statement explaining that he's not a co-sponsor of the bill, and even forced him to come out against SOPA just yesterday. Democratic representative Bob Goodlatte, and Republican Marsha Blackburn are also preparing for backlash in the form of support for their opponents. Source
Iran accuses Israel and the USA of assassinating an Iranian nuclear professor in Tehran, pointing to a string of attacks against such scientists in the country.
Both countries have denied the accusations, according to AP.
Iran's vice-president reacted to the attack by saying it would not stop "progress" in the country's nuclear program.
“Those who claim to be combating terrorism have targeted Iranian scientists. They should know that Iranian scientists are more determined than ever in striding towards Iran's progress," Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told state television.
Identified by Iranian media as Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the chemistry expert was killed on January 11 in a car-bomb explosion, while two others were injured.
"This morning a motorcyclist attached a bomb to a Peugeot 405, which exploded," the deputy governor of Tehran province, Safar Ali Baratloo, was quoted by the ILNA news agency as saying.
The magnetic bomb, attached under Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s car, went off at a faculty of Iran's Allameh Tabatai University.
"The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and the work of the Zionists [Israelis]," Fars quoted Safarali Baratloo as saying.
Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, was a director of the Natanz Uranium enrichment facility in central Iran and specialized in making polymeric membranes which are used to separate gases. The technology of gas separation is required for the enrichment of uranium.
The blast follows confirmation made by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday that Iran has begun to enrich uranium in a new, underground bunker in Fordo, southwest of Tehran. The United States, Britain, France and Germany responded to the IAEA’s conformation, calling it an unacceptable "violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.
The blast, which comes amid extremely high international tensions over Iran's nuclear program, is not the first crime against Iranian scientists involved in nuclear activities. Another three scientists were killed in 2010 and 2011 in similar circumstances. Those attacks were also considered by Iranian officials as assassination operations carried out by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, possibly with help from US counterparts.
The international community believes, though, that Iran’s nuclear program is merely a front for its ambitions to create a nuclear weapon.
Tehran firmly denies that its nuclear program is for anything other but peaceful purposes and threatened to close the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, if Israel or the United States attacks Iran. Source
Europe ruled it illegal, but police in Britain continue to stop and search people whenever and wherever they like, with little grounds for suspicion. The area of society which finds itself most often targeted know there is only one reason for it.
The police are institutionally racist.
This is supposed to prevent terrorism, but what constitutes the term “suspicious” is hugely controversial.
“We got stopped because we were in a certain type of car. So when we got stopped they explained it: 'this type of car's been used in recent robberies and gang attacks'. Things like that. That was their explanation for stopping the car,”college student Mark Oshodi shared with RT.
But he then explained to Ivor that they were stopped because they were four black boys in a nice car.
“I think it is mostly to do with stereotyping. They see me in tracksuits, or the skin color of the people I am with. Let's just stop these lads and see what they've got,” agrees another college student, Fuad Faid.
Stabbings are frequent in this part of London – carte blanche for police to stop and search whoever they want.
It can be in public, sometimes physical, poorly-explained and often humiliating.
“It's embarrassing. It was in the middle of the street I found it highly embarrassing – everyone was looking as they went past in their cars and on the bus. It was embarrassing, I don't like that at all,” Mark says.
When the law came into force in 2001, police did not even need a reason to stop and search.
Europe finally ruled this illegal early last year, forcing concessions from the government.
Since then, stop-and-searches have decreased by 90 per cent, but problems still exist.
In theory, there are strict limitations to stop and search: the powers can only be used for 14 days in a specific area. It used to be 28. But in practice, all that means nothing. The powers can simply be renewed on expiry – which is why the whole of London has been a stop-and-search zone for the last 10 years.
Police now do not even need to record the suspect’s name, any injury they suffer, or the outcome of a search.
The government says it will reduce paperwork, but it leaves the door wide open for repeat targeting and physical abuse.
Kyle Kidd runs the youth centre. He too has been stopped repeatedly.
Suspects are entitled to a receipt. But few know this and Kyle says police are often reluctant to make any record.
“Most stops and searches refuse to give you the actual slip. I've heard excuses like ‘We don't have note pads. We have to go to the station to get it.’ And if I still stand there and argue the case, someone can give me a form at the end of it. So I do think they target young people,” he told RT’s Ivor Bennett.
Police used to have similar powers in the 1980s, but they were scrapped after racial targeting provoked massive riots.
Some saw the August riots as history repeating itself.
“One of the things that caused it was policing, the way the police talk to them, the overuse of stop and search, and a sense that the police are institutionally against young urban people and probably institutionally racist as well,” states Diane Abbott, MP from the Labour Party.
Eighty-five per cent of rioters cited anger at police as their reason for violence in a recent study by The Guardian newspaper.
It is a fact the government can no longer ignore.
It has prompted Home Secretary Theresa May to launch a review of how stop and search powers are used.
Angelo (Generation X view): Our parents could barely find a place to live due to UK Racism. This is an old story of which I can sight many similar events even as an UK Greek with African and Afro-Caribbean friends. Bristol City is worse than London. To be fair there is, even in darkest Bristol the occasional good cop that disproves the officer Pike rule. Trust me or test me, sadly we all have many many stories on this shameful subject.
Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cross posted from “New Economic Perspectives .
The New York Times published a column by its leading financial experts, Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story, on November 22, 2011 which contains a spectacular charge against the Obama administration’s financial regulatory leaders. I have waited for the rebuttal, but it is now clear that the administration does not contest the charge.
The specific example that prompted the NYT article (“Financial Finger-Pointing Turns to Regulators”) was a civil action against a former executive of IndyMac. IndyMac was supposed to be regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). OTS was the worst of the federal financial regulators – which is a large statement. It was so bad that the Dodd-Frank Act killed it. I used to work for OTS. One of the things I did to make myself unemployable during the S&L debacle was to testify before Congress against the head of our agency, Danny Wall, and our head of supervision, Darrell Dochow. Wall resigned in disgrace and Dochow was demoted and sent back to run the obscure office he had once run in Seattle.
Ms. Story and Ms. Morgenson’s column discusses how an IndyMac manager is defending himself against suit by arguing that Dochow told him to file false financial statements. OTS’ senior leaders knew from my book exactly what they were getting when they promoted Dochow and made him the top (anti) regulator for all the top S&L originators of fraudulent liar’s loans.
This column addresses a more general point, the charge that Obama’s financial regulatory leaders actively oppose the prosecution of elite financial criminals and the regulators who conspired with them (to use the term the article quotes Professor Kane as insisting upon).
“Any financial crisis case that named a regulator probably would turn into a huge political battle, because it would question many of the nontransparent acts that bank regulators take while trying to save banks, said Denise Voigt Crawford, former commissioner of the Texas securities board and now a law professor at Texas Tech University.In any prosecution of bank regulators, she said, “you’d have the Justice Department in a fight with the policy goals of the Department of Treasury. Particularly in this environment, you know the banking regulators would fight it tooth and nail.”Some longtime lawyers go further and say the overall scarcity of cases related to the financial crisis might be in part because regulators want to avoid scrutiny of their own kind.“It’s not just one 30-year-old wunderkind who was responsible for the financial crisis,” said Dennis C. Vacco, who was the New York State attorney general in the 1990s and now is a lawyer at Lippes Mathias Wexler & Friedman. “Once you start pulling the string through in these complex cases, you might be surprised what you find at the other end.”Mr. Vacco continued: “What’s at the end of the string? The defense may be that ‘at the highest echelons of the financial institutions, we were in regular contact with the government.’”
These charges are exceptionally severe. Senior former regulators are willing to be quoted by name asserting that Obama’s (not Bush’s) financial regulatory leaders are blocking lawsuits against fraudulent financial elites and their anti-regulatory co-conspirators because they fear embarrassment. That would be a disgraceful policy. Indeed, it is hard to think of a worse reason for granting the elite white-collar criminals that caused the crisis and the Great Recession immunity from prosecution. The fact that Obama has no response rebutting this grave charge against his administration’s integrity sounds loud, but not proud. Source
IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL WORLDWIDE OCCUPY MOVEMENTS. ACTION IS NEEDED. DOWN WITH NDAA. DOWN WITH SOPA
This message is an immediate call to a day of action against SOPA, NDAA, and the United States Government. 15th January 2012
Citizens of the United States,We are Anonymous.This message is an immediate call for a day of action. On January 15th, the collective is calling upon the citizens of the united states to protest against the new sections in the national defense authorization act that were passed a short while ago. While we cannot force the american people to protest, we must tell them that this law will strip away any rights they thought they had including, but not limited to, Free speech, Free press, Free access to information, and the right to protest, assemble, and bear arms. This law cannot be changed according to the Feinstein Act. Sections Ten thirty one and ten thirty two of the national defense authorization act have been passed and ratified. It grants unlimited powers to the executive branch of the government to indefinitly detain suspects, even American citizens, without trial. All a person has to do is to commit a belligerent act.What is a belligerent act? Is protesting a belligerent act? Is being Anonymous a belligerent act?This is where we draw the line. This is when we leave our computers. This is when we take out our masks and defy the corrupt rule of law.This is when we revolt.The time has come for you to accept the truth and join us in overthrowing yet another corrupt military regime.Operation Blackout, engaged.We are Anonymous.We are Legion.we do not Forgive.we do not Forget.To the United States government, you should've expected us. Source, anonymous.
By David DeGraw
Finally, after trillions in fraudulent activity, trillions in bailouts, trillions in printed money, billions in political bribing and billions in bonuses, the criminal cartel members on Wall Street are beginning to get what they deserve. As the Eurozone is coming apart at the seams and as the US economy grinds to a halt, the financial elite are starting to turn on each other. The lawsuits are piling up fast. Here’s an extensive roundup:
As I reported last week:
Collapse Roundup #5: Goliath On The Ropes, Big Banks Getting Hit Hard, It’s A “Bloodbath” As Wall Street’s Crimes Blow Up In Their FaceTime to put your Big Bank shorts on! Get ready for a run… The chickens are coming home to roost… The Global Banking Cartel’s crimes are being exposed left & right… Prepare for Shock & Awe…
Well, well… here’s your Shock & Awe:
First up, this shockingly huge $196 billion lawsuit just filed against 17 major banks on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bank of America is severely exposed in this lawsuit. As the parent company of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch they are on the hook for $57.4 billion. JP Morgan is next in the line of fire with $33 billion. And many death spiraling European banks are facing billions in losses as well.
FHA Files a $196 Billion Lawsuit Against 17 Banks
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), today filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions, certain of their officers and various unaffiliated lead underwriters. The suits allege violations of federal securities laws and common law in the sale of residential private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) to the Enterprises.Complaints have been filed against the following lead defendants, in alphabetical order:1. Ally Financial Inc. f/k/a GMAC, LLC – $6 billion
2. Bank of America Corporation – $6 billion
3. Barclays Bank PLC – $4.9 billion
4. Citigroup, Inc. – $3.5 billion
5. Countrywide Financial Corporation -$26.6 billion
6. Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc. – $14.1 billion
7. Deutsche Bank AG – $14.2 billion
8. First Horizon National Corporation – $883 million
9. General Electric Company – $549 million
10. Goldman Sachs & Co. – $11.1 billion
11. HSBC North America Holdings, Inc. – $6.2 billion
12. JPMorgan Chase & Co. – $33 billion
13. Merrill Lynch & Co. / First Franklin Financial Corp. – $24.8 billion
14. Morgan Stanley – $10.6 billion
15. Nomura Holding America Inc. – $2 billion
16. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC – $30.4 billion
17. Société Générale – $1.3 billionThese complaints were filed in federal or state court in New York or the federal court in Connecticut. The complaints seek damages and civil penalties under the Securities Act of 1933, similar in content to the complaint FHFA filed against UBS Americas, Inc. on July 27, 2011. In addition, each complaint seeks compensatory damages for negligent misrepresentation. Certain complaints also allege state securities law violations or common law fraud. [read full FHFA release]
You can read the suits filed against each individual bank here. For some more information read Bloomberg: BofA, JPMorgan Among 17 Banks Sued by U.S. for $196 Billion. Noticeably absent from the list of companies being sued is Wells Fargo.
And the suits just keep coming… Source/full story