Thursday, July 24, 2014

SCAN OF SCANDALS





The New York governor’s office tampered with an anti-corruption commission that his office set up to root out corruption in state politics.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office created the anti-graft commission after the state capital in Albany was hit by numerous scandals involving lawmakers. The commission was able to subpoena state officials, lawmakers and agency records.

Cuomo had promised that the Moreland Commission, established in July 2013 to investigate violations of campaign finance laws and other corrupt practices, would remain independent. He also said the commission could investigate anyone, including him.

Cuomo initially said the commission would operate for 18 months but disbanded it in March, nine months early. The US Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara criticized that decision and said it was prematurely disbanded.

The commission was compromised from the start because the governor and his aides worked to prevent it from investigating groups close to him.

One example involves a media-buying firm called Buying Time.  Investigators subpoenaed the firm to investigate alleged violations of campaign-finance laws.  At the time, investigators were not aware that Cuomo had bought airtime through Buying Time for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. When news of the subpoena reached the governor’s office, senior aide Lawrence S. Schwartz contacted one of the commission’s co-chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick, and ordered the subpoena retracted. Cuomo, who is up for re-election this fall, is now under investigation by federal prosecutors for thwarting commission activities.

Bruce Hall, the former chief executive of one of the world’s largest aluminum smelters, was sentenced to 16 months in prison after admitting he took nearly $5 million in bribes from a Bahraini sheikh.

The case involved an eight-year conspiracy involving Alba Aluminum, Canadian-British billionaire Victor Dahdaleh, and Bahraini minister Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa.

Hall made a deal with Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) last year, agreeing to testify for the prosecution against Dahdaleh. The case centered on accusations that Dahdaleh paid nearly $65 million in bribes to Sheikh Isa in exchange for US$ 3 billion in contracts for businesses that Dahdaleh represented, including Alcoa, a major US aluminum company.

The jury acquitted Dahdaleh, though he admitted paying an additional $51 million to Sheikh Isa. His lawyer contended this was not corruption as Alba’s board allegedly approved the payments.

In sentencing Hall, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith emphasized the severity of the case due to the large amount of money and length of time involved. The judge said Hall fully supported Dahdaleh, accepting money from him and enthusiastically going along with the conspiracy.

Hall was ordered to pay $850,822 to Alba in compensation and was fined more than $ 5 million. Hall could have been sentenced to 20 months. Because of his cooperation, the judge reduced the sentence to 16 months.

Indian doctors are swindling patients by sending them to labs for unnecessary and exorbitantly priced tests because they receive commission for the referrals.

Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan denounced the practice before Parliament, a day after a Hindi news channel’s undercover sting showed doctors receiving 30 to 50 percent commissions on MRI tests, CT Scans, ultrasounds, and other pathology tests. Officials at one laboratory visited by undercover reporters said they had kickback deals with 10,000 doctors, some of who even established a monthly kickback system.

The health minister said his ministry is assembling a panel of medical practitioners and consumer law experts to better codify clinical examination laws. Vardhan called the country's drug approval agency a snake pit of vested interests.

The diagnostic market is the fastest growing sector in India's healthcare industry.  It is also one largely controlled by private companies, while government hospitals remain overcrowded and lack the resources to cater to growing demand.

This imbalance has been blamed for some of the health care corruption that occurs in India, where doctors have been accused of receiving gifts from companies for prescribing their drugs, or sending patients to labs that overcharge them for medical tests.

According to MP Shantaram Naik, patients are being forced to pay double or triple the price for medical devices at hospitals. Vardhan said that the laissez faire spirit that dominates this business in India works to the disadvantage of the consumer and needs correction.

Two Mexican men have been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to bribe the US District judge in Austin in a money laundering case involving the Los Zetas drug cartel.

Francisco Colorado Jr., 26, and Ramon Segura Flores, 52, had hoped to ensure a reduced sentence for Francisco Colorado Cessa, who was convicted in a complex scheme to launder millions of dollars of drug profits through the breeding, training, and racing of horses.

In addition to Colorado Cessa, ten other defendants were convicted in the scheme, including José Treviño Morales, who is the brother of Los Zetas leaders Miguel Treviño Morales and Omar Treviño Morales. Miguel Treviño Morales was captured by Mexican authorities last July.

After receiving a tip from an informant, federal agents monitored calls that Colorado Cessa, who is Colorado Jr.’s father and Segura’s business partner, made from jail where he discussed the plan with the others.

Colorado Jr. and Segura were arrested last September. They pleaded guilty in March and were sentenced on Tuesday. Prior to the plea bargain, they had been facing terms of up to five years in prison.

Court documents posted by Borderland Beat describe meetings between the two men and undercover law enforcement agents and their plans to bribe a judge with approximately $1 million. The judge, US District Judge Sam Sparks, did not know about the scheme.

Colorado Cessa is serving 20 years in prison for the money laundering case, and is expected to be sentenced to additional time after pleading guilty in the bribery case. According to attorneys for Colorado Jr. and Segura, both men will be deported.



ROBBING THE TREASURY

BRIBES AND KICKBACKS GALORE!

WORLD’S RICHEST KLEPTOCRATS

Vladimir Putin, Czar of Putinland, 50 billion euros
Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, 40 billion euros
Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, 30 billion euros
Abdullah Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, 28 bilion euros
Viktor Yanukovych, ex-President of Ukraine, 25 billion euros
Khalifa Al Nahyan, President of UAE, 20 billion euros
Mohammed Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai, 19 billion euros
Marcos ex-first family of Philippines,  18 billion euros
Nursultan Nazarbayev, Dictator of Kazakhstan, 17 billion euros
Ali Khamenei, Dictator of Iran, 15 billion euros
Kim Jong-un, Dictator of North Korea, 10 billion euros
Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President of Angola, 7 billion euros
Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechstenstein, 6 billion euros
Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, 5 billion euros
Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile, 4 billion euros
Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, 3 billion euros
Sonia Gandhi, Leader of India, 3 billion euros
Yulia Tymoshenko, ex-President of Ukraine, 2.7 billion euros
Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, 2.5 billion euros
Albert II, Prince of Monaco, 2 billion euros
Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, 2 billion euros
Teodoro Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, 1.9 billion euros
Bashar Al-Assad, Dictator of Syria, 1.8 billion euros
Ilham Aliyev, Dictator of Azerbaijan, 1.5 billion euros
Sabah Al-Sabah, Sheikh of Kuwait, 1.4 billion euros
Alexander Lukashenko, Dictator of Belarus, 1.2 billion euros
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Caliph of Turkey, 1.1 billion euros

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, 1 billion euros


A HALF-BILLION-DOLLAR STATUE!





Narendra Modi has unveiled his first budget as India’s new prime minister for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. This was India’s first glimpse at the type of leader he intends to become, and while some are applauding his plans for India's development, others aren't happy with the inclusion of a wasteful half-billion-dollar statue.

India used to be the land of gup, which meant talk, arguments, conversations, and debates. Babble and noise, that’s what gup is. But it is fast becoming the land of chup, of sepulchral silence, where people must think twice before they say what they feel. The hushed silence that chup demands is not the respectful silence of a library, but the silence of acquiescence; the people demanding the silence are the sort to burn or ban books.  

When Modi was first elected to serve as India’s prime minister a few months ago, he promised the country that important political issues would be tackled. These changes included creating jobs for all Indian youth, expanding India's industry, and encouraging foreign investment. With a prediction of 1 million people entering the job market each month over the next 15 years, about 12 million jobs per year, Modi's government has high expectations to significantly increase India's industry in order to allow this growth to occur.

However, up until July 10, 2014, when his budget was released, the majority of those promises were solely vocalized during Modi’s campaign trail. Mayank Jain at Youth Ki Awaaz opines, “The budget is government’s show of commitment to things which could definitely come much lower in our list of priorities.”

In a nutshell, the budget detailed plans with a general theme of drastically increasing India’s annual growth both economically and agriculturally through practices such as implementing a more uniform national sales tax and increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio (in light of the recent task force created by Modi charged with locating India’s black money). In addition, Modi announced the construction of numerous infrastructure projects such as railways, airports, and roads, which he promised to build during his campaign trial.

In Rushdie’s novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the Prince of Silence and the Foe of Speech is called Khattam-Shud, and he rules a land called Chup, which has a cult that promotes muteness. It is a land at peace, in harmony. But that outward stability conceals inner fragility. Such societies force their citizens to live a lie: that their contrived cheer and forced harmony are superior. Open societies appear brittle and frail because outwardly they are cacophonous, where everyone can contradict everyone else, and where nothing is sacred. But there is inner strength.

Rushdie points out all those arguments and debates, all that openness, had created powerful bonds of fellowship between them. The Chupwalas, those from the silent land, turned out to be a disunited rabble, suspicious and distrustful of one another. The land of Gup is bathed in endless sunshine, while over in Chup, it is always the middle of the night.  We watch as India hovers over that precipice; it must decide what kind of society it wishes to be — where the mind is without fear, or where words are swallowed, lest they offend somebody. 

Despite such growth, India has struggled to strike a balance between its security concerns and online freedom. India has been known to censor online content, typically under the guise of national security or obscenity. Though the country’s constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, the State is given the right to impose restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to an offence.

The budget showed the world that Modi intended to bring the change to India that he promised to during the campaign trail. Subsequently, there were numerous mixed reactions throughout social media regarding different aspects of Modi’s budget. Some felt that the budget illustrated the progress that Modi promised during the campaign trail, while others believed that there were certain aspects of the budget which were unnecessary and a waste of funds.

For example, the budget detailed plans to begin the construction of the world's tallest statue in Gujarat, India, where Modi formerly served as governor. The statue, called the “Statue of Unity,” was set to be about 600 feet tall and feature a museum along with an underwater aquarium. 

According to Modi, “The taller the statue will be, the more India will be known at the global stage.” Half a billion dollars certainly isn't pocket money, and for a country that strives to become more developed, there are a more than a few people who are unhappy with the decision.

Being Indian, a blog which strives to give a firsthand perspective of being from India, feels that the construction of the statue is simply a way for Indian politicians to profit off of its failure: The politicians and builders stand to gain though. So who are we to stop them from milking the nation dry?! We all know what’s gonna happen. This monument will take years to build, after which it’ll start cracking or even collapsing due to use of substandard materials. More money will be pumped into the project in the name of repairs. And it won’t stand a chance against the Statues of Liberty and the Eiffel Towers of the world.


THE REPUBLIC OF DONETSK RESTRICTS MEDIA COVERAGE OF REVOLUTION




We condemn a decree by the Republic of Donetsk drastically restricting media coverage of fighting in the region. Signed on 21 July by PRD defence minister Igor Strelkov and released yesterday, it is fuelling arbitrary arrests of journalists operating in the region.

Citing the need to protect the safety of media workers and the information security of the PRD’s armed forces, the decree bans journalists, cameramen, and photoreporters from being in combat zones or near military installations during armed operations. It also bans filming, photographing, and audio recording in these areas.

Journalistic coverage of the conflict in eastern Ukraine is essential for the public to be able to have access to information. The need to protect journalists cannot justify imposing absolute censorship on military operations. The decree’s vague wording suggests that it will be applied selectively and that there will be more arrests with the sole aim of increasing the PRD’s control of the media.

Arbitrary arrests and disappearances of journalists are on the rise again in Donbas. We are concerned about the increase and appeals again to all parties to allow the media to work without obstruction and to release all detained journalists.

Anton Skiba, a freelance journalist and fixer for CNN, was kidnapped on the evening of 22 July. He was handcuffed and taken to the local headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is now controlled by the Republic of Donetsk. According to the latest reports, he is still there.

Piotr Andrusieczko, a Polish journalist with the magazine Nowa Europa Wschodnia, was briefly detained by the PRD’s security services while photographing Donetsk railway station earlier on 22 July. While questioning him, the soldiers said they had orders to arrest all foreign journalists. They asked him to obtain a special accreditation from their commander if he wanted to continue working.

Around ten foreign journalists were arrested outside the Donetsk morgue on 19 and 20 July as part of their coverage of the MH17 crash.

British freelance journalist and blogger Graham Phillips disappeared on the evening of 22 July while covering fierce fighting near Donetsk airport. Russia Today, the Russian pro-government TV station for which he often works, said it advised him not to go there because of the level of risk.

The Russian foreign ministry said Phillips was abducted by the Ukrainian National Guard. This was denied by Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council. It said it had no information about Phillips, who was previously detained by the Ukrainian army on 21 May and released the next day.

We are also without news of Yuri Lelyavski, a Ukrainian journalist working for ZIK television whose last known whereabouts was near Luhansk.

A colleague, Vlad Yakushev, said he got an SMS from Lelyavski at around 10:30 p.m. yesterday saying he had been detained and was being taken to Perevalsk, to the Cossack chief Kozytsin.  Lelyavski was previous held hostage in Sloviansk for two weeks in April.

BANKING BEATS





The news of the New York Fed's stern rebuke to Deutsche Bank over its questionable financial data has industry observers making bets on the fallout. Deutsche Bank's chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, is now in the hot seat. Krause launched an effort to whip the bank's financial data into shape in 2010, but progress has been slow. Krause is far from the bank's only executive with an uncertain future.

If missteps in the U.S. mean Deutsche Bank must come back to shareholders for more equity, that should lead to changes at the top. Deutsche may also have to put its expansion plans on the back burner in order to focus on strengthening the quality of its financial reporting and meeting the 2016 compliance deadline for new regulatory requirements.

Analysts said efforts to improve reporting and comply with the much tougher rules was a Herculean task requiring huge investments in technology and causing a lot of senior management distraction. Management's focus will need to be internal for years to come.

Native American tribes that rely on online payday lending businesses as an economic engine are concerned about the effects of Operation Choke Point. Banks are cutting ties with reservations' online lending firms in the wake of the regulatory crackdown on lenders that do business with illicit companies. As a result, tribes, where Internet lending has grown more popular, have been forced to scramble to find willing partners.

JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon announced last week plans to cut back on Federal Housing Administration lending in order to reduce the risk of future litigation and hefty settlements. But while Dimon's idea may appeal to other banks, FHA lending is likely to stick around.  Banks can't afford to leave the program entirely because it is the easiest way to fulfill a federal mandate to serve poorer neighborhoods."

The banks at the center of the U.K.'s investigation into charges of foreign-exchange rate-rigging are hoping there's safety in numbers. Barclays, UBS, and other lenders want regulators to announce their individual settlements all at once, so as to deflect attention onto any one bank.

A bewhiskered Barney Frank jousted, cracked jokes, and interrupted during a House hearing on the effects of the 2010 financial reform law that bears his name. Among his one-liners: Republican protests of Dodd-Frank offer a very Marxist analysis, but the Marx in question is Chico.

The bank bailouts of 2008 hurt the economy by slowing new investments. To encourage investment, the U.S. needs to lower its corporate rates by at least 10 percentage points and reduce the incentive to escape the out-of-line and unreasonably high corporate tax rate.

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banque Internationale a Luxembourg's (BIL) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-' and its Viability Rating (VR) at 'bbb+'. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Negative. The rating actions follow a periodic review of major Benelux banking groups.

German state-backed lender BayernLB is selling its Hungarian MKB unit to that country's government, ending an ill-fated investment that has cost it a total of 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in losses over the last 20 years.

BayernLB bought MKB in 1994 as a way to expand its banking business in fast-growing Eastern Europe. But Hungary's banks were hit in 2010 by high taxes as the government sought to plug a budget deficit. It also forced lenders to take losses on a scheme allowing households to repay mortgages below market rates. Budapest-based MKB lost 409 million euros in 2013 alone.

"We got off with a black eye," said Markus Soeder, the finance minister of the German state Bavaria, which owns 75 percent of the lender, on Thursday.


The European Commission ordered BayernLB in 2012 to restructure and sell some businesses as a precondition for approving state aid for the German regional lender, which ran into trouble in 2008 after risky investments turned sour.

PRIVATIZATION OF GREEK BANKS

Alpha Bank CEO Dimitris Mantzounis sees a need to return Greek banks to private hands. Alpha Bank president Basil Rapanos sees a need for stability and the implementation of reforms. Mantzounis points out the pictured created by local banks’ recent share capital increases is distorted, noting Alpha has received the least support from the state, but the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund holds the biggest stake in it compared to HFSF holdings in the other systemic banks.

He noted that the warrants, the rights to buy back the shares held by the HFSF, were a very good way of attracting investors during the first recapitalization, but that conditions have now changed and investors are thirsty for Greek securities and therefore the process for the banks’ privatization has to be accelerated.

Mantzounis notes the law allows for the alternative utilization of the warrants, and banks should make the most of the favorable climate to speed up their return to private hands. Each bank should examine the issue and submit proposals for the best decisions to that end either via the Hellenic Bank Association or independently.

Rapanos hoodwinks 2014 will be the year that the economy makes a small rebound. The biggest challenge from now on is to achieve a sustainable model of economic growth. He hopes that depositors will return to banks, mission impossible for Alpha Bank which acquired the infamous Greek branches of Citibank which rob depositors!


SELLING SHIPPING SHITSCUM

Greece's Alpha Bank plans to securitize about one billion euros of shipping junk loans this summer, in a desperate move to survive. Alpha Bank, Greece's fourth-largest lender, will bundle together a series of bad shipping loans.   The deal will be arranged by its usual partner in crime, infamous Citigroup.  Selling the shitscum of shipping loans to stupid investors is the latest Trojan Horse of Greeks!

The deal also represents part of efforts by industry players to seek ways to fool investors to plug a multi-billion dollar funding gap, caused by several European banks who do not trust Greek shipowners, who play very dirty games.


PARTNERS IN CRIME!

Citigroup and Alpha Bank play Bonnie and Clyde in Greece. What this deal represents is a way for the bank to get rid of the junk loans and an alternative source of capital for infamous ship owners. But these junk bonds cannot sell, because they are backed by Citigroup, which is ready to go bankrupt.   It is likely that other infamous ship owners, especially in Greece, will also look to securitize junk debt too.

The shipping industry has suffered one of its worst ever downturns for the past five years. Ship owners ordered large numbers of vessels between 2007 and 2009, just as the global economy sank into crisis. The depression remains in full speed and the shipping industry faces a multi-billion dollar financing hole after many European banks, a major source of funding, cut back lending to boost capital in the wake of financial turmoil.


STRESS-TEST FAILURE

Citigroup has not prayer. The Federal Reserve plans to step up year-round oversight of Citigroup to ensure it’s able to pass stress tests. The stress-test failure of Citigroup has been impacted by conflicting information from their regional supervisors and Washington. Future stress tests will include tougher requirements. The Fed will test whether Citigroup would be forced into fire sales in a crisis, and damage other companies as a result.

Some mortgage investors, who are worried they could get end up paying part of the settlement that Citigroup is negotiating with the Justice Department, urge Attorney General Eric Holder to distinguish between modifications of loans Citigroup owns and those owned by investors.  Financiers avoid Citigroup like the plague.

The Federal Reserve's decided to give Citigroup till January 5 to resubmit its capital plans, after Citigroup failed to submit them on June 25. Citigroup does not answer the question whether it will resubmit its 2014 plan, or just skip it and file a 2015 request as it had once suggested. The news means no increase in dividend payments for Citigroup until 2015.


SHORTING CITIGROUP

George Soros made his most famous investment by shorting the British pound and pocketing a billion dollars in the process.  Now Soros sold his shares of Citigroup, because he expects Citigroup to go bankrupt in a couple of years.  He also looks for the appropriate time to heavily short Citigroup before the final coup de grâce of Citibank.

Citigroup has been sued by BlackRock and PIMCO, which seek to recoup losses tied to the American housing bust. Citigroup failed in its role as trust bank overseeing payments and enforcing terms on residential mortgage securities.

Citigroup and the Department of Justice reached a $7 billion mortgage-backed securities-related settlement: A $4 billion cash penalty paid to Justice, $2.5 billion in mortgage relief for borrowers, and $500 million to state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The $4 billion payment to DOJ is the largest to date. Citigroup sold one hundred billion dollars of mortgage loans packaged into private-label mortgage debt, which isn’t guaranteed or issued by government agencies.

Citigroup currency-trading head Jeff Feig has joined hedge fund Fortress Investments, following recently departed foreign-exchange chief Anil Prasad. Now Citi is short of many forex traders, and this is the latest signal that regulators are planning to shake up currency trading. The move shows banks are struggling to respond to forex-manipulation probes.  All forex desks and money desks of Citi trade centers In New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, and Tokyo are paralyzed.

In Mexico, warrants have been issued for the arrest of many Citigroup executives tied to a billion dollar fraud at the bank's Banamex subsidiary. Citi fired a dozen people for what CEO Michael Corbat described as actions or inactions that failed to protect Citi from this fraud.

Citigroup is a victim of a derivatives fraud scheme in China. The swindle reflects poorly on Citi in the wake of other major frauds, scandals, and robberies of depositors.  Regulators and shareholders now press Citigroup to explain why its controls failed again.  Citigroup has lost its goodwill entirely, and it cannot function properly as a financial institution anymore.  It looks like Citigroup is going belly up!

Citigroup now sells its Spanish consumer business to Banco Popular Espanol. Citigroup is unloading most of its consumer banking operations all over the world as fast as it can, before it goes bankrupt.  Michael Corbat is the last CEO of Citigroup and MC of its burial.  Obama cannot save Citigroup anymore.

Citigroup is exposed to trades that expire in a short period of time. This can become dangerous if markets come under stress. When markets suspect that big financial institutions are critically weak, liquidity dries up.


ROBBING DEPOSITORS

Citibank robs its clients!  This is a confirmation that Citibank is the most abusive bank on Earth.   Citibank stole the interest from the bank accounts in Greece by renewing CDs at only one thousandth percent!  Depositors are as mad as hell and they are not going to take this from Citibank anymore!   They might hit Citigroup with a multibillion euro class action.

Citigroup realizes it cannot control the bewildered acts of Citibank in Greece, and it sells its Greek branches to Alpha Bank for only two million euros, getting rid of them for nothing!  This is a metastasis of Citibank cancer to Alpha Bank.  Many times, a single branch caused big banks to go belly up. 

The Butterfly Effect of Chaos Theory shows that a minor event might bring catastrophic results.   Shifting the Citibank problems to Alpha Bank gets rid of the Greek butterfly of Citigroup!   This means Alpha Bank might go belly up.   Alpha Bank might inherit any class action of Citi depositors in Greece!  Alpha Bank thought it was smart to get the Citibank branches for nothing, but it might cost Alpha Bank billion euros in legal problems and a drastic reduction of goodwill. 




THE ISLAMIC STATE ORDERS GENITAL MUTILATION OF IRAQI WOMEN!





Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a harmful Muslim practice and a serious threat to the psychological, sexual, and reproductive health of women and girls.  FGM is mostly carried out on young Muslim girls, between infancy and age 15 and occasionally on adult women. FGM brings cysts and abscesses, damaged urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, difficulties with childbirth, anxiety, depression, and sometimes death.

Sunni militants from the Islamic State have ordered all girls and women aged 11 to 46 in and around the city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation. The potential number of victims is estimated at 4 million.

The shocking news, adding to an already long list of crimes committed by the militants since the takeover of northern Iraq last month, was broken by UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock.

"This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," she told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil on Thursday.

"This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.

The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has taken over large portions of Iraq with the goal of establishing a fundamentalist Sunni Islamic state in the territories of Iraq and Syria. Since then they have launched a campaign to cleanse ethnic and religious minorities in the territory they control, sending thousands of refugees fleeing for their lives.

We have a moral obligation to liberate all Muslim women, the zombies of Islam, from the yoke of Sharia.  Sharia teems with barbarous prescriptions that conflict with the generally accepted principles on which the Graecoroman civilization is founded, e.g. the observance of personal liberties, the equality of woman and man, or the protection of physical integrity. Sharia denies each individual his personal free choice, imposes the inequality of the sexes, exhibits absolute intolerance against the heterodox and promotes inhuman punishment.


Most people are disgusted with the misogyny of Islam. First and foremost victims of Islamization are women, the zombies of Islam. Muslim women are systematically discriminated against, oppressed and molested. According to Islam, women are subordinate to men, as they owe their fathers and husbands unquestioning obedience. In Islamic tradition, the men invariably take all important decisions in the stead of their wives and daughters. Islam dictates, a man may chasten his wife in order to keep her in line.


Islam is synonymous to humiliation and discrimination. Muslim women can only inherit half as much as a man. The testimony of a Muslim woman is half as trustworthy as that of a man’s. Furthermore, Islam coerces females into wearing head scarves, veils, niqabs, and burqas, for women are deemed responsible for men’s sexual restraint. Islam also considerably curbs women’s liberty of action. Without permission of her husband a Muslim woman may not leave her dwelling.  Along with Islam, savage practices such as honor killings, forced marriage, polygamy, and circumcision are making inroads into our society.


Islam requires all women to dress like zombies! Veil and headscarf are not welcome in Fourth Reich (EU), because they are symbols of women's subservience, repression, incivility, and an increasingly divided Fourth Reich. Veil and headscarf make women invisible, transform women to zombies, invalidate women's participatory rights, flag women as evil temptresses, oppress women with barbarity, are brands of misogynist Islam, and are a security threat.



Islam murders one Christian every single minute!  People are disgusted with the terrorism of Islam. Islam is a dangerous ideology, not a religion. Islam fails four major tests that religions should fulfill: Adherence to a religion must be a personal choice; no religion should demand that those who leave it be killed; a religion must never mandate the subjugation of those who do not belong to it; a religion must be in accord with basic human rights.


Franklin Roosevelt observed that wherever the Muslims have had a complete sway, wherever citizens have been unable to resist them by the sword, civility has ultimately disappeared. Roosevelt rejected as naive the notion that all religions are the same. Some religions give a higher value to each human life, and some religions and belief systems give a lower value. Our social values, including equality before the law, exist only because the Christians of Europe did what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do – that is, to beat back the Moslem invader.


John Quincy Adams pointed out that Muhammad poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. The essence of Muhammad’s doctrine was violence and lust; to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature.


In 2004, on a street in Amsterdam, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered by a Muslim of Moroccan descent. Van Gogh had collaborated with a Somali emigrant, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to produce the film Submission, about the abuse of women in Islam. Van Gogh's killer had impaled on his victim's chest an open letter threatening death to Geert Wilders and Ali, whose politics had put them on extremists' kill-lists. Two days after the murder, both were whisked into hiding by police because of imminent threats of assassination.


Koran was first written in Aramaic, not in Arabic.  There is also a difference between the tolerant verses of the early period, when Muhammad was still powerless and under threat, and the hostile verses of the later period. The Koran was made up by Muhammad as it suited his opportunistic goals for power, money, and sex.  September 11 is the International Anti-Koran Day!  Koran is a stupid unholy book of satanic verses, the main source of culture clashes, misogyny, polygamy, incivility, and holy wars. Mu-ham-mad is a mu ham gone mad  (((:-{>


Islam appeared one century after Muhammad’s death.  The first century of the Arab conquest shows the conquerors holding not to Islam but to Hagarism.  Hagarenes claimed descent from Abraham through his slave wife Hagar, similarly to the Jews who claimed descent from Abraham through Sarah.  The Muhammad of Islamic tradition did not exist! It was only in the eighth century, when the rulers of a now-vast Arabian empire felt the need for a unifying political theology, that they cobbled together the Islamic religion. The key figure in this enterprise was the brutal governor of Iraq, Hajjaj ibn Yusuf.  That’s why Islam is such a profoundly political religion with uniquely prominent incivil qualities.

LIBYA MISSES GADDAFI!




An International Criminal Court (ICC) decision approving Libya’s bid to prosecute former intelligence chief Abdullah Sanussi comes down amid a near breakdown of Libya’s judicial system. Sanussi is currently on trial in Libya for, among other charges, serious crimes related to his alleged role in trying to suppress the country’s 2011 uprising, though the proceeding against him raises serious due process concerns.

On July 24, 2014, an ICC appeals chamber upheld an earlier pretrial chamber decision that held Sanussi's case was inadmissible and that Libya could therefore prosecute him domestically for the crimes outlined in the ICC’s arrest warrant. The higher chamber rejected Sanussi’s appeal and upheld the pretrial chamber, finding that Libya had demonstrated that it was investigating the same case as the one before the ICC and able and willing genuinely to carry out an investigation. The decision is final and no further appeal is available.

The Sanussi decision comes out at a time when the challenges facing Libya’s justice system continue to mount at an alarming pace. Libya has done little to provide Sanussi with basic due process rights, like thousands of others detained across the country who remain without any meaningful access to a lawyer.

On October 24, a Libyan judge charged Sanussi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of Muammar Gaddafi who is also an ICC suspect, and 35 others with serious crimes during the 2011 uprising, and ordered the case sent to trial. The trial began on March 24 in a specially designated courtroom in Al-Hadba Corrections Facility in Tripoli. Subsequent trial sessions took place on April 14, April 27, May 11, May 25, and June 22. The next session is scheduled for August 18.

Libya has failed to grant Sanussi basic due process rights. Sanussi has not access to a lawyer of his choosing and describes multiple interrogation sessions without legal counsel. Sanussi has not the chance to review the evidence against him.

There are many challenges facing the Libyan judicial system, particularly the government’s inability to gain control over all detainees in militia-run facilities, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Other challenges include the abuse of detainees in custody, officials’ failure to give them access to lawyers, and the lack of judicial reviews of their cases. These issues weigh heavily on Libya’s ability to ensure that the fundamental rights of defendants, including Sanussi, are respected.

There are reports of threats and physical attacks on lawyers, prosecutors and judges in parts of Libya. There are many attacks by militias and unidentified people in Benghazi, Derna, Zawiyah, and Misrata. Many judges and prosecutors are among the victims of politically motivated assassinations by unidentified assailants. Unidentified assailants also attacked courthouses in various regions. On February 8, unidentified people assassinated Libya’s former general prosecutor, Abdelaziz al-Hasadi, in the eastern city of Derna.

The current escalation in violence in Libya risks derailing the country’s fragile transition even further. The violence includes fighting between rival militias around Tripoli International Airport in recent weeks, which left numerous dead as well as dozens injured. The precarious security environment has led the United Nations and other international organizations and businesses to temporarily withdraw staff from Libya.

Under article 19(10) of the ICC treaty, the court’s prosecutor may ask the ICC judges to review a finding of inadmissibility if she is fully satisfied that new facts have surfaced that negate the basis of the court's original ruling on the matter.

On May 21, the same ICC appeals chamber confirmed an earlier decision rejecting Libya’s separate bid to prosecute Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi in Tripoli. However, Libya has failed to turn Gaddafi over to the ICC, despite an outstanding obligation to surrender him to the court. On July 11, an ICC chamber noted that Libya's obligation to turn Gaddafi over to The Hague has been outstanding for over a year and indicated that the court may take further action to ensure Libya’s cooperation.

Article 87 of the ICC treaty permits the court to issue a finding of non-cooperation. Because the ICC has jurisdiction in Libya as a result of a Security Council referral, such a finding would be sent to the Security Council for follow-up. The Security Council then has a range of options, including resolutions, sanctions, and presidential statements.

As the country enters another month of chaos, where judges, lawyers and prosecutors are being killed, it’s hard to imagine that Libya can hold any fair trial, much less a trial of this sensitivity and significance. We look to the ICC prosecutor to closely follow Sanussi’s case and to ask the court to revisit the ruling if necessary.

ECONOMY OF NIGERIA


By Acha Leke, Reinaldo Fiorini, Richard Dobbs, Fraser Thompson, Aliyu Suleiman, and David Wright

As global investors and business leaders look to Africa as the next region of transformative economic growth, they are paying increasing attention to Nigeria. With about 170 million inhabitants, the country has long been the most populous in Africa, but it is only now being recognized as the continent’s largest economy. In April 2014, the government began to release “rebased” data that showed a gross domestic product of $510 billion in 2013, compared with $354 billion for South Africa. The rebased data also revealed an economy that was far more diverse than previously understood and that, with the right reforms and investments, could become one of the world’s leading economies by 2030. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), Nigeria’s renewal: Delivering inclusive growth in Africa’s largest economy, examines how the country can live up to its economic potential while making growth more inclusive, thus bringing more Nigerians out of poverty.


Progress and productivity

Nigeria’s troubled history and its ongoing struggles with terrorism and poverty are well known. Yet the country has made solid economic progress since 2000, averaging annual GDP growth of 8.6 percent under civilian rule from 1999 to 2010, according to pre-rebased data, compared with just 1.5 percent a year under military rule (1983–99). And the new data show Nigeria is no longer just a petro-economy. While oil and gas remain critical sources of government income and of exports, the country’s entire resource sector today accounts for just 14 percent of GDP. Agriculture and trade are larger and faster growing. In addition, it is not generally recognized that Nigeria’s productivity, albeit low, has been growing recently and now contributes more to GDP growth than the country’s expanding population.

Yet the results of Nigeria’s economic progress have not been spread evenly. More than 40 percent of Nigerians live below the official poverty line. Seventy-four percent (around 130 million people) live below the MGI Empowerment Line, a level of consumption that constitutes a decent, “economically empowered” standard of living, which we calculate for Nigeria as $1,016 per person a year in cities and $758 in rural areas. The primary reasons for this persistent poverty include low farm productivity and an urbanization process that has largely failed to raise incomes and living standards.

While crop yields have improved in recent years, they remain far below those of peer nations, as Nigerian farmers have limited access to productivity-improving inputs, such as fertilizer and mechanized tools. In addition, between high postharvest losses and an inefficient market system, farmers receive a small share of the value their work creates. Urban poverty is driven by poor employment options and low productivity: in Nigeria, workers in urban-oriented industries such as manufacturing actually have lower productivity than farm workers. This is the opposite of what normally happens as economies develop and urbanize—productivity and incomes are supposed to rise in tandem as people move off the farm and take up work in the city.


Opportunities for growth

We believe that Nigeria can build on the momentum of the past decade and, if all goes well, achieve 7.1 percent annual GDP growth through 2030 (exhibit). The country is well positioned to benefit from trends such as rising demand from emerging economies, growing global demand for resources, and the spread of the digital economy. Nigeria also has a young and rapidly growing population and an advantageous geographic location in West Africa, which enables trade within the continent, as well as with Europe and North and South America.


Exhibit

Should Nigeria reach its full potential, annual GDP could exceed $1.6 trillion in 2030 and the country could be a top-20 economy.



Our forecast is based on a bottom-up analysis of the potential for five major sectors of Nigeria’s economy:

•Trade. Given the expansion of the consumer class, we project that consumption could more than triple, rising to almost $1.4 trillion a year in 2030, an annual increase of about 8 percent. This would make trade the largest sector of the economy and provide a particularly good opportunity for makers of packaged foods and fast-moving consumer items such as paper goods, categories that could grow by more than 10 percent a year.

•Agriculture. Improvements on several fronts could help raise both the volume and the value of Nigeria’s agricultural production in the next 15 years. The economic value of agriculture, already the largest sector of the economy, at 22 percent of GDP, could more than double, from $112 billion a year in 2013 to $263 billion by 2030.

•Infrastructure. On average, the value of a nation’s core infrastructure—roads, railways, ports, airports, and the electrical system—represents about 68 percent of GDP, but in Nigeria it is only about 39 percent. Between core infrastructure and real estate, total infrastructure investments in Nigeria could reach $1.5 trillion from 2014 to 2030. This would make building infrastructure not only a major contributor to GDP but also an enabler of growth across the economy.

•Manufacturing. Though growing rapidly, manufacturing in Nigeria contributed just $35 billion to the economy in 2013, or about 7 percent of GDP. If Nigeria could match the performance of nations such as Malaysia and Thailand when their manufacturing sectors were expanding rapidly, output could reach $144 billion a year in 2030.
•Oil and gas. While the oil-and-gas sector is expected to grow by 2.3 percent a year at best, its success is still vital to Nigeria’s economy. With the right reforms, we estimate that liquids production could increase from an estimated 2.35 million barrels a day, on average, in 2013 to a new high of 3.13 million by 2030. Oil and gas would then contribute $108 billion annually to the economy, compared with $73 billion in 2013. However, this estimate of potential output assumes renewed investment to reverse the production declines of recent years.

If Nigeria can achieve the upside economic-growth scenario, it could lift 70 million people out of poverty and bring as many as 120 million above the MGI Empowerment Line. To tie growth to rising living standards across the economy, the country will have to raise farm incomes and create more formal urban jobs. Meanwhile, the government will have to take such steps as reconsidering tariffs that raise the cost of imported food and the spending needed to reach economic empowerment. The most important step that government can take, in our analysis, is to improve its delivery of programs and services. A critical initiative for Nigeria, then, will be to adopt the best practices that have been well established around the world for doing just that.