20 Jan 2013

Mali war: France's new adventure

Fascist Europe Banned -Press TV: We go to Mali with French troops and ask the French president what he is doing so soon after the Libya. Our reporter asks the people of Britain about economic growth figures from China. We talk to veteran foreign correspondent, Pepe Escobar, about the continuing crisis in Syria. These and much more are all reviewed in this edition of Double Standards with Afshin Rattansi. Source

West attacks on Iranian media: What for?

"I don't want to be told who is a terrorist I can decide for myself!"  An analyst says Spain's particularly ridiculous excuse for the country's removal of Iran's Spanish language channel; Hispan TV is an obvious violation of free speech and exposure of Western double standards. The comment comes as the Spanish government has ordered the satellite service provider Hispasat to take the Iranian Spanish language channel, Hispan TV off the air in a blatant assault on the freedom of speech. Hispan TV, along with Iran's 24-hour English language news channel Press TV, has already been targeted by Hispasat's fellow European satellite providers Eutelsat and Hotbird. Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO is blamed for the recent wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.

US AFRI-CON Was Operating In Mali Months Prior To French Incursion: Meet The "Intelligence and Security Command"

Tyler Durden's picture Last week we reported that in the aftermath of the so far disastrous French campaign to eradicate "rebels" in the north of Mali, because of their implied threat fo Europe, that "US Drones, Boots Arrive In Mali." Turns out we were wrong, and as the case virtually always is, for some reason there was already a US presence of at least three US commandos in Mali in the summer of 2012. What they were doing there remains a mystery, as it is a mystery if the ever co-present flip flops on the ground were there inciting the perpetual scapegoat Al Qaeda to do this, or that. Or maybe it was not the CIA. Maybe it was the Army's "little-known and secretive" branch known as the Intelligence and Security Command. Regardless, what becomes obvious is that while the US was on the ground and engaged in secret missions, it needed an alibi to avoid "destabilizing" the local situation once its presence became conventional wisdom. It got just that, thank to one Francois Hollande just over a week ago.
From the WaPo, as of July 8, 2012:

In pre-dawn darkness, a ­Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in North Africa in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos — alongside three dead women.
What the men were doing in the impoverished country of Mali, and why they were still there a month after the United States suspended military relations with its government, is at the crux of a mystery that officials have not fully explained even 10 weeks later.

At the very least, the April 20 accident exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali

#NATO Bank of America #BAC Cash Box #AFGHANISTAN #HEROIN

OccupyTheBanks: And so rumour has it (see source); Billions of US Dollars in CASH have been seized by Pakistan.  You know, the NATO HEROIN RUNNING NETWORK's money, for the cash-intensive 'hard work' of supplying the world's heroin users, with heroin (and keeping all the funds made, all untaxed, of course).  Now we have HSBC **NAILED** as not just a drug money launderer for the COCAINE CARTELS of MEXICO, it's time to nail Bank of America for it's involvement in the GLOBAL NARCOTICS BUSINESS of DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING, too.  Do take a peek; only 36 seconds long, but these are allegedly the boxes, seized by the Pakistani Military.

Exposed: The regime of fear inside Barclays - and how the boss lied and shredded the evidence

  • British executive at £184bn broking arm hid damning report on bullying
  • Intimidated staff forced to flout rules in pursuit of 'revenue at all costs'
  • Huge blow to Barclays reputation as new CEO struggles to relaunch bank
By Simon Watkins: A senior Barclays executive has quit after it was revealed that he secretly shredded a bombshell report that described a key part of the bank as ‘out of control’.
Andrew Tinney, who was chief operating officer of the bank’s high-end private investment division, Barclays Wealth, destroyed the explosive dossier at his £5 million Surrey mansion after reading its shocking contents.
He then misled banking regulators and Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins – the man brought in to clean up the bank after the Libor rate-fixing scandal and the resignation of Bob Diamond – by pretending that the report had never existed.
But he finally owned up to suppressing it, and last week Barclays made an internal announcement that he had resigned from his job.
The dossier, seen by The Mail on Sunday, exposes a culture of fear, intimidation, bullying and mismanagement at the bank’s stockbroking and investment arm,  which handles client assets worth £184 billion.

CRASH 2: Why it is no longer in doubt

As opportunities shrink, egos expand. Doom is upon us.
The Solg: I have several pointers I use all the time when trying to judge how and when something financial is going to go wrong, fall over or implode. One of the biggest is national estate agency chains coming to market. Estate agent multiples always buy and sell at the wrong time. When they try to sell themselves to a bourse, you know it’s tits-up time.
The UK’s largest estate agency Countrywide is getting down to the short strokes for a stock market flotation by its US owner, indicating perhaps a vote of confidence in the recovery of the country’s housing market, or more likely a case of tertiary insanity. The American private equity group Oaktree Capital is having serious talks with Goldman Sachs and other suspects about launching an IPO for Countrywide, reckoned to have about 10% of the English domestic properties market.
I wish to encourage them in this venture, because as you know I’ve never liked Estate Agents that much.
Less eccentric (but equally useful in reading the runes) is the fact most Economists expect the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to reveal next Friday that the UK’s GDP contracted by around 0.22% in the three months to December. This will simply confirm that George Osborne’s optimism about the tax income/welfare balance is way off, and that once again the Conservatives have shown they can cut costs but are somewhat remiss when it comes to the creation of replacements for old business sectors. As in, they’ve done diddly-squat about it.
Once more the financial pages are talking about a ‘triple-dip recession’ which is of course a developing depression that would by now be in full swing had not £0.8 trillion of our money been needlessly thrown at pushing back the final waves.

World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over

AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
RT: The world's 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich.
“The richest 1 percent has increased its income by 60 percent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process,” while the income of the top 0.01 percent has seen even greater growth, a new Oxfam report said.
For example, the luxury goods market has seen double-digit growth every year since the crisis hit, the report stated. And while the world's 100 richest people earned $240 billion last year, people in "extreme poverty" lived on less than $1.25 a day.
Oxfam is a leading international philanthropy organization. Its new report, ‘The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt us All,’ argues that the extreme concentration of wealth actually hinders the world’s ability to reduce poverty.
The report was published before the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, and calls on world leaders to “end extreme wealth by 2025, and reverse the rapid increase in inequality seen in the majority of countries in the last 20 years.”

West Point study identifies ‘violent far-right’ with recognizing tyrannical, corrupt nature of government

By Madison Ruppert: In a new study published by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, the violent far-right is identified with the so-called “anti-federalist” ideology which consists of a belief in a “New World Order” (NWO) and recognizing the “corrupted and tyrannical nature of the federal government and its apparent tendency to violate individuals’ civilian liberties and constitutional rights.”
This is one of a long list of reports linking violence and terrorism with a wide range of factors ranging from believing in government conspiracies to identifying as a sovereign citizen (see also here and here) to almost all bodily movements to questioning the government’s narrative to certain bumper stickers to forgetting items in a hotel room to taking pictures of iconic buildings and just about everything else imaginable.
It is worth noting that the federal government is quite tyrannical and corrupt with a federal judge ruled the government can claim the legal right to assassinate Americans without any charge or trial while never explaining the legal basis, engage in widespread illegal surveillance (which is dramatically increasing) and indefinitely detain Americans. If those aren’t violations of individuals’ civil liberties and constitutional rights, I don’t know what is.
The study, authored by Arie Perliger, director of terrorism studies at the Combating Terrorism Center, is aimed at providing “a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents the empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends,”

Rand Paul: If 'His Royal Highness' Obama Tries To Legislate or Contravene Second Amendment We Will Sue

Senator Rand Paul said President Obama may have acted illegally when he issued several executive orders on gun control. Kentucky's junior senator plans to challenge the president's actions.

The always provocative Rand Paul said Obama may be acting more like a monarch than a president. "I'm very much against the use and the abuse of the Executive Order," said Paul.

Snakes and Ladders: Banksters Jumping Off Tall Buildings - Ponzi Investment Banking on the Brink

By Martin Hesse, Thomas Schulz, Christoph Scheuermann and Anne Seith: For decades, investment bankers have held the key to untold riches -- but now they're being laid off by the tens of thousands. As the crisis forces the industry to search for a new identity, is it ready to mend its ways?
The suicide victims chose a location with symbolic significance. Last fall, only a few weeks apart, a businesswoman and a banker went to the Coq d'Argent, an upscale restaurant and hot spot in the world of London high finance, located on the top floor of a shopping complex, to end their lives.
The woman put down her purse and jumped from the restaurant's cozy rooftop terrace. The banker, an investment specialist, jumped into the building's atrium around lunchtime.
The "City," the casual term the financial center uses in reference to itself, was shocked. The suicides are the most glaring expression of an apocalyptic mood that seems to have gripped all of London. Hospitals are reporting a high incidence of patients with alcohol problems, while top restaurants are fighting for every customer.
The crisis has struck at the heart of the financial center. In 2012, banks began to downsize their investment banking activities. For years, the area had been seen as a playground for those seeking instant riches and guaranteed success, and it provided tens of thousands with sometimes exorbitant incomes.
October 30 would become a horrific day for the financial district after the Swiss bank UBS announced that it was slashing 10,000 jobs in the sector.

Meet Mike, The Most Radioactive Fish Ever From Fukushima, Nothing Like Blinky!

Tyler Durden's picture Almost two years after the awful nuclear disaster occurred, a fish caught near Fukushima on Friday January 18th had a record-breaking level of radioactive contamination over 2500x the legal limit. TEPCO measured 'Mike the Murasoi' at 254,000 becquerels per kilogram (with the limit for edible seafood at 100 becquerels). As Le Monde reports, the previous record (caught on August 21st 2012) was a mere 25,800 becquerels/kg. As further precautions, TEPCO is installing new nets 20km around the Fukushima Daichi site to avoid highly contaminated fish gettig too far and being consumed by other species. While Mike's family are no doubt distraught (at him being caught and being so radioactive), it appears (somewhat disappointingly) that there is no apparent third eye, lazer fins, legs, or other 'expected' 'blinky' malformations

Mike - the slightly crispy looking Marusoi...

Sheriff Mack: Hell NO to Gun Control! + "No difference between Obama and Hitler!"

AJ: A wave of sheriffs, state legislatures and law enforcement figures have stood up to put the federal government on notice that they will NOT be involved in any disarmament measures or violations of the 2nd Amendment. Their courageous and patriotic actions are the very solution, grounded in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that Sheriff Mack has been advocating for decades through his books, and his organizational work with the Oath Keepers, the Constitutional Sheriffs & Police Officers Association (CSPOA.org) and more.