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Europe in Disarray

December 19th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

Europe's underpinnings can only hold so long. Years of entrapment under euro straightjacket rules means eventual dissolution and collapse.

Throwing more money at out-of-control debt problems buys delay only. Instead of swallowing painful solutions, EU leaders keep repeating the same mistakes, heading dire conditions to catastrophic ones.

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Newt Gingrich, Marianne and the Arms Dealer: A Buried FBI Investigation

December 18th, 2011

By Joseph Trento, on December 13th, 2011

National Security News Service | Creative Commons

On October 5, Sarkis Soghanalian, once the world’s largest private arms dealer, died at 82. He had sold weapons to scores of dictators including Saddam Hussein, and he took many secrets with him to his grave. But one secret he did not take involves Newt Gingrich when he was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. DCBureau has learned that Gingrich was at the center of a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation in the late 1990s for a scheme to shake down the arms dealer for a $10 million bribe in exchange for Gingrich using his influence as Speaker to get the Iraq arms embargo lifted so Soghanalian could collect $54 million from Saddam Hussein’s regime for weapons he had delivered during the Iran-Iraq War.

Soghanalian was an FBI informant and was responsible for launching one of the most sensitive and secret investigations in FBI history involving the former Speaker and his second wife. According to Marianne Gingrich, it took the direct intervention of then FBI Director Louis J. Freeh to "get the investigation called off." Freeh did not return emails and telephone calls for comment.

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December 18th, 2011

Ellen Brown

The campaign to "move your money" has gotten a groundswell of support. Having greater impact would be to "move our money" -- move our local government revenues out of Wall Street banks into our own publicly-owned banks.

Occupy Wall Street has been both criticized and applauded for not endorsing any official platform. But there are unofficial platforms, including one titled the 99% Declaration which calls for a "National General Assembly" to convene on July 4, 2012 in Philadelphia. The 99% Declaration seeks everything from reining in the corporate state to ending the Fed to eliminating censorship of the Internet. But none of these demands seems to go to the heart of what prompted Occupiers to camp out on Wall Street in the first place – a corrupt banking system that serves the 1% at the expense of the 99%. To redress that, we need a banking system that serves the 99%.

Occupy San Francisco has now endorsed a plan aimed at doing just that. In a December 1 Wall Street Journal article titled “Occupy Shocker: A Realistic, Actionable Idea,” David Weidner writes:

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Illegal FBI Spying on Community Groups

December 18th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

On December 1, an ACLU of Northern California press release headlined, "FOIA Documents Show FBI Illegally Collecting Intelligence Under Guise of Community Outreach," saying:

"The trust that community outreach efforts aim to create is undermined when the FBI exploits these programs to gather intelligence on the very members of the religious and community organizations agents are meeting with."

"The FBI should be honest with community organizations about what information is being collected during meetings and purge any improperly collected information."

Instead, FBI agents illegally collected names, ID information, opinions of community event attendees, as well as sponsoring groups, including their goals, activities, names and positions of leaders, and their racial, ethnic, and national origin.

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Bankers Rule the World: "The Network of Global Corporate Control"

December 17th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

Bankers rule the world. A new Swiss Federal Institute of Technology study says so. Written by Stefania Vitali, James Glattfelder and Stefano Battiston, it's titled "The network of global corporate control," saying:

"We find that transnational corporations from a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic 'super-entity' that raises new important issues both for researches and policy makers."

The study says 147 powerful companies control an inordinate amount of economic activity - about 40%. Among the top 50, 45 are financial firms. They include Barclays PLC (called most influential), JPMorgan Chase, UBS, and other familiar and less known names.

Twenty-four companies are US-based, followed by eight in Britain, five in France, four in Japan, and Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands with two each. Canada has one.

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A Tireless Advocate of Justice for Palestinians - Francis Khoo Kah Siang (1947-2011)

December 17th, 2011

By Franklin Lamb

Francis Khoo Kah Siang passed away on November 20, 2011. ?

In addition to the countless reasons Francis will be sorely missed by his friends and loved ones, he will be missed because he leaves a void for many of us who were and remain inspired by his work for Palestinian rights. Francis Khoo is an icon of countless others, who like himself, are neither Arab nor Muslim, neither from the Middle East nor culturally or politically connected to Palestine by birth, but who support the Palestinian cause.

Many of us, but especially Westerners and Americans it seems, learn essentially nothing about the Nakba in school.  Yet many, often quite by chance and for one reason or another, have come into contact with the Question of Palestine and, learning about the great injustice that has befallen the Palestinian people, could not remain indifferent or idle. Francis was one of these.

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Russia united – for the time being (Part II)

December 17th, 2011

Eric Walberg

Russia’s parliamentary elections have sparked a political crisis, surprising everyone, from President Putin (excuse me, Medvedev) down, including the demonstrators themselves.

Tahrir Square continues to send out its beacon of light. Thousands of Russian riot police were deployed in Red Square to prevent it from being turned into another Tahrir last Saturday, when demonstrators, without any resources except cell phones and fur-lined winter coats, pulled off the largest uprising since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, in 60 Russian cities, across nine time zones, with at least one repeat performance scheduled for 24 December.

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