by Ellen Brown
Sixteen of the world’s largest banks have been caught colluding to rig global interest rates. Why are we doing business with a corrupt global banking cartel?
United States Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks are too big to prosecute. But an outraged California jury might have different ideas. As noted in the California legal newspaper The Daily Journal:
California juries are not bashful – they have been known to render massive punitive damages awards that dwarf the award of compensatory (actual) damages.For example, in one securities fraud case jurors awarded $5.7 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages. . . . And in a tobacco case with $5.5 million in compensatory damages, the jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages . . .
by Stephen Lendman
In mid-April, CIA director John Brennan went to Kiev. He did so quietly. He held secret talks. He met with Obama's new friends.
He came to plot war strategy. He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters eliminated. He wants them slaughtered in cold blood.
He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. After his visit, coup-appointed president Okeksandr Turchynov announced a northern Donetsk region "anti-terrorist operation."
To "protect the citizens of Ukraine," he claimed. To be conducted "stage-by-stage," he added. So-called "terrorists" are committe freedom fighters.
They're Ukraine's best and bravest. They're putting their bodies on the line courageously. They're doing it for fundamental rights everyone deserves.
On April 19, Turchynov declared an Easter truce. Straightaway he broke it. He violated agreed on four-party conflict resolution terms.
by Stephen Lendman
Charles and David Koch are modern-day robber barons. They're multi-billionaires. Forbes estimates their April 2014 net worth at $40.3 billion each.
Charles is Koch Industries (KI) chairman and CEO. David is executive vice president.
They're $6 billion richer this year than last. They make money the old fashioned way. Behind every fortune lies a great crime, said Balzac. Maybe he was thinking of Charles and David.
KI is America's second largest private company. Agribusiness giant Cargill holds top spot. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $136.7 billion.
KI's are an estimated $115 billion. Both companies way outdistance number three ranked Dell. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $56.94 billion.
by Stephen Lendman
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank third in Islamic importance. They do so after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and Madina's Mosque of the Prophet.
Israel wants control. Naftali Bennett is Israel's Jewish Home Party leader, Economy minister, and Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs minister.
In February, he told the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of plans for greater Israeli control over East Jerusalem.
"Unfortunately, the Temple Mount today doesn't allow for the full exercise of freedom of religion, and there is discrimination against Jews there," he said.
Knesset members debated establishing greater Temple Mount sovereignty. Arab world criticism followed.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
What should we do when we know the government does not represent us?
Two weeks ago in reaction to the McCutcheon decision we touched on an issue that will become central to our movement: Has the democratic legitimacy of the US government been lost?
We raised this issue by quoting a Supreme Court Justice, former US president and a sitting US Senator:
“The legitimacy of the US government is now in question. By illegitimate we mean it is ruled by the 1%, not a democracy ‘of, by and for the people.’ The US has become a carefully designed plutocracy that creates laws to favor the few. As Stephen Breyer wrote in his dissenting opinion, American law is now ‘incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy.’ Or, as former president, Jimmy Carter said on July 16, 2013 “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”
“Even members of Congress admit there is a problem. Long before the McCutcheon decision Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) described the impact of the big banks on the government saying: ‘They own the place.’ We have moved into an era of a predatory form of capitalism rooted in big finance where profits are more important than people’s needs or protection of the planet.”
President Vladimir Putin: Sanctions against Russia will backfire and actually benefit the economy. “Over-reliance can lead to a loss of sovereignty,” economic sanctions is already helping boost domestic businesses, bringing more offshore funds back to Russia.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: Russia will work to boost the capacities of the Lebanese Army adding that his country respects the democratic process in Lebanon. Russia will enhance military cooperation with Lebanon, mainly by reinforcing the defense capabilities of the Lebanese Army and security forces,”
Poverty is killing us. According to a new study from the Brookings Institute, wealthy Americans are living considerably longer lives than Americans who are struggling with poverty.
Germany stopped selling arms to Russia due to current “political situation”. Sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms criticized by country’s Nato allies. Germany granted 450 arms export licenses to Russia for military equipment worth €40 million in 2012.
David Novak is the chief executive of Yum! Brands, the parent company that runs Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC. Last year, while Yum! Brands and other restaurant companies lobbied against raising the minimum wage, Novak made at least $22 million—more than 1,000 times what the average fast-food worker makes in a year. In return for paying him so much, Yum! got a tax break.
Does Washington want a war with Russia? A review of recent US actions surrounding the crisis in Ukraine clearly poses what would have once seemed an unthinkable question. The Obama administration is playing a very dangerous game of Russian Roulette.
Police today smashed a “fake Californian gold” fraud racket being run from offices in the heart of the Square Mile. Fifteen smartly dressed office workers were arrested at computer terminals in rented offices in connection with the alleged “boiler room” swindle.
Obama:US is fully committed to supporting Japan in any military conflict with China over disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in East China Sea, within the scope of Article 5 of US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Oppose attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.”
Russian president Putin told a media conference in St Petersburg that America's overseas espionage agency had originally set up the internet and was continuing to develop it, he wants a Russian-run alternative. Idea of breaking up internet has gained ground in Germany, Brazil, and round the world.
Protesters guarding entrance to Volodarsky salt mine, holds underground collection of a million firearms from first world war machine guns to Kalashnikovs, say they are there to prevent new government from using the weapons against them, officials worry pro-Russia militias could seize the guns.
Actions of Kiev government towards the people living in southeastern regions of Ukraine are a crime against own people, MP Oleh Tsaryov, who is running for presidency in the May 25 election. Kiev authorities fail to comply with provisions of the Geneva accord on resolving the Ukrainian crisis,
ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s authorities must stop immediately the use of Army units for the suppression of protests in the east of the country, Mykhailo Dobkin, a candidate for the post of president in the May 25 election representing the Party of Region.
Donetsk People’s Republic plans to hold a referendum over sovereignt simultaneously with east Ukraine’s Luhansk region. 3.5 million people can vote in Donetsk region. The minimal turnout is expected at 60% of all regional residents entitled to vote. No Russian troops are staying in Donetsk.
Vermont is being hailed as a national leader following its passage of a law requiring foods that contain genetically-modified food to be labeled, the first "no-strings-attached" legislation passed in the United States, signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine that there will be consequences for decision makers following their use of force against pro-Russian protesters. Also said Kiev’s use of force means it is actually a junta. Pro-Russian activists demanding local referendums on independence.
United States is using the Ukrainian unrest as an “excuse to expand military operations” near Russia with the ultimate goal of “balkanizing” the Russian Federation, an analyst tells Press TV. “The US is continuing, along with its NATO partners, to encircle Russia. American troops arrive in Poland.
Five anti-government protesters reportedly killed, one injured in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after Kiev authorities sent tanks and armored vehicles against the local population. Russian President Vladimir Putin: Kiev’s crackdown on anti-government protesters “a very serious crime.
Bolivian President Evo Morales: Washington is pushing Venezuela towards a “civil war” because it wants access to the country’s rich oil reserves. The Venezuelan government has also accused the US of fomenting a coup d’état.
Arctic University of Norway has detected “extreme levels” of the biotech giant’s RoundUp herbicide in our food, researchers found high levels of RoundUp on 70 percent of genetically engineered soy plants. Studies have proven there are ‘anti-nutrients’ in GM food.
New York Times made a rare admission that it submits to Israeli state gag orders, fueling charges from critics that the globally-influential publication plays fast-and-loose with journalistic ethics to give favorable coverage to Israel.
Boston: police security operation, massive surveillance. National Guard, police carried out warrantless house-to-house searches. Blanket order issued for all people to “shelter in place,” armored vehicles patrolled empty streets, helicopters buzzed overhead. Public transportation and institutions shut down.
A dentist pulled 28 healthy teeth from a 23-year-old man’s mouth for no good reason, and charged more than $5,000 to a credit card belonging to the man’s mother, according to a lawsuit. One of the teeth, the lower right first molar, had a treatable abscess.
State Representative Chris Broadwater: Louisiana making database to store information about residents who may represent a “risk to the state,” used in pinpointing “future criminals.” Permit state to “intervene” offer suggestions and guidance on factors such as mental and physical health.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,
Research from the Medical University of Graz and published in PLoS ONE: Vegetarians were Twice as likely to suffer from allergies, had 50 percent greater risk of heart attacks and cancer. higher incidence of chronic disease, impairment from disorders, and more anxiety and depression.
The juice is 99.4 percent apple and grape-derived, contains 0.3 percent pomegranate, 0.2 percent blueberry juice. Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice is 100 percent pomegranate. Food and Drug Administration allows food companies to name beverages according to flavor rather than content.
"Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed," Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, said during a news conference in Albany called by the anti-fracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York.
US fund managers have warned of risks shareholders could face from current or future Western sanctions against Russia, as Washington move to impose more sanctions on Moscow over their dispute on Ukraine, could result in depreciation of the Russian currency, Reuters reported Friday.
Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up on New York's Common Core standardized English tests. Speculation it was product placement advertising. State education officials say the brand references just happened to be contained in previously published passages.
Vice President Joseph Biden began two-day trip to Ukraine Monday as the country continued to the edge of civil war. Tensions mounting over killings in eastern part of the country. Demonstrators calling for union with Russia or federalized system of government, seized control in ten cities.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration: In 2011 and 2012, Internal Revenue Service awarded 1,146 employees $1 million in bonuses that had tax violations. Employees with back taxes received 10,582 hours of paid time, another 69 received permanent raises through a step increase.
A 4.4-magnitude earthquake has struck Slovenia southwest of the country’s capital, Ljubljana, at a depth of 12.4 kilometers, says USGS. The earthquake took place about 200 kilometers from a nuclear power plant at Krško, a town in eastern Slovenia.
US frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) has entered the Black Sea, according to the US Navy, as the Pentagon announces plans to dispatch some 600 troops to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for military exercises. US claims the ship’s entry is “to promote peace and stability in the region.”
Ukraine’s acting president has ordered the resumption of what he calls “anti-terror” operations in the east of the country. Kiev launched controversial "anti-terrorist" operation to root out pro-Russian protests, blamed deaths on “terrorists, who have taken the whole region hostage.”
First Russia, Tasmania, and Mexico say no to Monsanto and now, the Netherlands have passed a similar ban, determined to keep Glyphosate-laced herbicides away from the general public. Citizens of the Netherlands have been expressing their concern over glyphosate chemicals.
Defense Ministry on Tuesday requested the government invoke media regulations to shut down Geo, Pakistan’s largest television news station. The ministry accused Geo of running a “vicious campaign” against the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.
The Russian government will postpone the introduction of certifying genetically-modified seeds for another three years, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday during his annual report before the country's lower house of parliament.
A Transcript of the Interview with Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman conducted by journalist Bill Moyers,
Paul Krugman: Piketty is telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.
Thousands of people flooded the streets of Canadian cities in protest calling for legalization of marijuana. inspired by government promises and easing of cannabis policy in Uruguay and some US states. Rallies, dubbed ‘420’, annual day of celebrating cannabis culture – April 20.
Puerto Rico contemplating more than a hundred different proposals to jumpstart its sagging economy including legal prostitution and marijuana use. Proposals range from eliminating various government agencies to cutting down the number of public holidays.
Those who can't smell the carbon dioxide ravaging the earth for hedonistic profit - enabled by federal and many state and local governments - will find out that just because you can't smell global warming does not mean that it is not brewing a cauldron of devastation just over the horizon.
China intends to invest in massive projects in Crimea less than a month after the former Ukrainian province was annexed by the Russian Federation. Russia ambassador to E U Vladimir Chizhovsaid: Russia partners with China in two major Crimean projects: gas pipeline, Crimean deep water port.
Ukrainian acting prime minister: his country needs to be militarily and economically supported by United States in its standoff with Russia. We need financial and economic support. We need to modernize, renovate our security and military forces. “We need to be in very good shape to stop Russia.
Two influential US senators, Bob Corker and Chris Murphy, have called on US President Barack Obama to ratchet up sanctions against Russia. Must include Russia’s petrochemical and banking industries. Bob Corker and Chris Murphy are members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Russian Foreign Ministry expressed outrage over deadly gun battle Saturday in city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, said Kiev must deliver on its commitment to de-escalate the violence. Moscow condemned the violence said it indicates Kiev’s unwillingness to implement Geneva agreement.
Five people have been killed in a gunfight in Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine held by anti-government protesters. The fatalities include three protesters and two attackers, who are believed to be from the Right Sector paramilitary. People trying to flee the attackers were shot in their backs.
China refused five total shipments of GM crops in just a month – all of it coming from the U S. Chinese Minister of Agriculture unable to issue safety certificate unless these strict scientific proofs utilized. Three shipments of US GMO corn without safety certificates, approval documents destroyed.
Matthew Green, a computer science professor in cryptography at JHU, tweeted on his blog that the NSA was engaged in efforts “to break encryption” on private servers and was doing so on a big scale. His post was flagged and Green was told by the school to remove the post.
Poland defense minister; Tomasz Siemoniak: Poland and United States will announce deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. Decision made on a political level.
A suspected meteorite citizens of Russian city of Murmansk recorded bright blue trail speed across sky, then explode in air, suspected meteorite. Officials have not confirmed it.
The Dow Jones and Standard & Poor’s 500 indexes reached record highs on Thursday, having completely erased the losses since the stock market’s last peak, in 2007. But instead of cheering, we should be very afraid. Over the last 13 years, the stock market has twice crashed and touched off a recession: American households lost $5 trillion in the 2000 dot-com bust and more than $7 trillion in the 2007 housing crash. Sooner or later — within a few years, I predict — this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too.
"Help me dad, they're killing me" Kelly Thomas cried as the good police beat and suffocated him to death. One cop commented, "God there's blood everywhere." Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter; Corporal Jay Cicinelli and Officer Joseph Wolfe were each charged with one count of felony involuntary manslaughter and one count of excessive force. On January 13, 2014, Ramos and Cicinelli were found not guilty of all charges, and the district attorney's office announced it would not pursue the case against Officer Wolfe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Kelly_Thomas
Nassim Taleb, New York University (NYU) professor: genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have potential to cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.” Being able to control GMOs in nature impossible. Domino effect risk genetic manipulation of nature will have on the worldwide ecosystem. Given enough time the “total ecocide barrier” is bound to be hit.
The ugly reality is that the US government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world. The US is backing Ukraine’s extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of US propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the US government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.
“So your mother is a Palestinian and you think that you can come to Israel?” “Yes.” “You are not allowed to enter here because you have a Palestinian I.D..” “No, I do not, I am an American citizen. I wasn’t born in Palestine, nor have I ever lived there.” Again she laughed, and snidely replied, “Well there is no such thing as Palestine anyway, but you have an I.D. through your mother, so you are not allowed to enter here. No Palestinians are. But you can try the Allenby Border Crossing, that is for Arabs only” In just a few simple words it seemed that she had stripped me of my entire identity, erased my history, and labeled me as less than. I had never felt such anger in my life.
In the eastern Ukraine, which is an industrial hub and key sector of the country's economy, people are on edge, staging rallies and going on strikes. The Donetsk and Lugansk regions are also currently hotspots for anti-Kiev unrest. RT's Paula Slier went there to find out what's driving people to the edge.
On April 17, Putin held his annual televised Q & A session. He did it with ordinary Russians nationwide. He did it for the 12th time. Doing so connects with them.
He responded to questions forthrightly. Most concerned Ukraine and Crimea. He covered lots of ground.
Trust lost is hard to regain, he said. It's been "undermined to a great degree, but why is this happening?
Back in early September, 2013, Matthew Green, a computer science professor in cryptography at JHU, tweeted on his blog that the NSA was engaged in efforts “to break encryption” on private servers and was doing so on a big scale. His post was flagged and Green was told by the school to remove the post. Later, the school’s decision to impose its heavy-handed censorship measure was reversed.
On Tuesday evening, April 15, 2014, on the campus of Johns Hopkins U., a public forum featuring three panel members was held to discuss the above matter and the issue of “collaboration” between the NSA & JHU, and other universities. The event was sponsored by the students’ “Human Rights Working Group” and the “New Political Society.” The first speaker was Christopher Soghoain, a representative of the ACLU. Mr. Soghoain, a graduate of JHU, who is experienced in the field of surveillance cases, claimed: “We have an intelligence agency [NSA] that is out of control! This is an agency that is collecting information about law-abiding Americans who’ve done nothing wrong...”
Professor Green recounted his JHU-related blog/censorship experience from last year. He also underscored his concern that the “NSA has been inside ‘Google’s Data Centers‘ collecting data.” An attorney and expert on Constitutional Law, Shahid Buttar, was the third panel member. He is the Exec. Dir. of the “Bill of Rights Defense Committee.” Buttar traced the history of government-sanctioned spying and warned that the NSA’s egregious conduct has currently reached Orwellian proportions and is a serious threat to “Freedom of Thought!”
To learn more, go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/452572404886978/, “The Guardian,” Jay Rosen, Sept. 10, 2013, and the “Pro Publica” article at: http://www.propublica.org/article/johns-hopkins-and-the-case-of-the-missing-nsa-blog-post#update
US confirms CIA chief paid a covert visit to Kiev. This sparked speculation US is helping coordinate activists in eastern Ukraine. For more on this we are joined by former MI5 agent Annie Machon
Ukrainian armoured vehicle crews have switched sides, joining the anti-government protesters in the East. Activists place a Russian flag on one of them.
Current Philippine Government And Military Using ongoing Extra-Judicial Killings Targeting Activists, Poor, Left And Media
By Brian McAfee
Project Camelot … Robbie Parker … Sandy Hook: Connect the Dots
By Robert Singer
National Security vs Food Insecurity: One in seven hungry in US as Obama preps for more war
By Rady Ananda
The Sandy Hook Hoax SUBMISSION: Was it "OK?"
By Robert Singer
NATO Plans Global Dominance
by Stephen Lendman
Global Peace, Europe, America and Humanity in Search of Intelligent Leaders
Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
Reviewing James Petras' The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East (Part I)
by Stephen Lendman
Time to end the failed experiment with rigged corporate trade and put in place fair trade for the people and planet before profits. Corporate trade negatively affects labor, environment, internet freedom, healthcare, food sovereignty, immigrant’s rights, and banking regulations. Rodrigo Contreras, Chile's lead TPP negotiator quit to warn people of how big financial institutions will dominate their governments and “will become a threat for our countries: It will restrict our development options in health and education, in biological and cultural diversity, and in the design of public policies and the transformation of our economies. Mass protest against rigged corporate trade agreements can end the experiment in trade that puts profits ahead of the people and planet. To get involved in the campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership visit: http://www.flushthetpp.org
His war plans were delayed. They're not deterred. They're not halted. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. It can only do so when the Security Council acts. It has final say. Syria's government had nothing to do with August 21's chemical weapons attack. Obama, Kerry and other administration officials know it. Obama's on track for more war. He plans lawless aggression. He does so based on lies. All wars are based on them. This time's no different. Waging war on Syria constitutes lawless aggression. International law is clear and unequivocal. Contact congress and tell them to vote against this illegal and unjust war in Syria.
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