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Dollars

Whale of a fine: After blowing $6bn, JP Morgan's trader costs another $920m

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© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
JP Morgan chairman Jamie Dimon: 'We have accepted responsibility and acknowledged our mistakes from the start.'
Chairman Jamie Dimon sends letter to staff warning of 'more to come' after regulators hit bank with fine

Last spring the City of London was rife with rumours about a trader at the vast JP Morgan investment bank who was making such huge bets on the highly complex - and deeply risky - derivatives markets that he was known as "the London Whale" or "Voldemort". After racking up losses of $6bn (£3.7bn) from his reckless trading, the London Whale blew another hole in the bank on Thursday - landing the Wall Street firm with one of the largest fines ever levied against a single bank.

The Whale was a French-born trader, Bruno Iksil. When stories of his dangerous dealings and the scale of the potential black hole first surfaced, JP Morgan's chairman Jamie Dimon, then Wall Street's most respected banker, shrugged off the losses off with a phrase that will haunt his career: "It's a complete tempest in a teapot," he insisted.

On Thursday, however, the bank agreed to pay some $920m in penalties to US and UK regulators over the "unsafe and unsound practices" that had allowed the bank's losses to balloon to $6.2bn. The near record fine comes as former JP Morgan bankers face criminal action in the US and it has all but sunk Dimon's once promising political career. It is also just one of a series of costly and damaging scandals that are rocking the financial institution.

Snakes in Suits

Shock claim by Clinton mistress on Hillary's sexuality

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© Daily Mail
Gennifer Flowers told the Daily Mail in an interview that Bill Clinton told her that wife Hillary Clinton was bisexual.
Gennifer Flowers, the woman who claimed to have had a years-long sexual relationship Bill Clinton, has said in a new interview that he told her his wife Hillary was bisexual.

Flowers told the Daily Mail that she wasn't surprised about the rumors of an affair between Hillary Clinton and longtime aide Huma Abedin, the wife of ex-congressman and failed New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

"I don't know Huma or the Weiners. I just know what Bill told me and that was that he was aware that Hillary was bisexual and he didn't care. He should know," Flowers said, according to the Daily Mail.

Stormtrooper

Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene

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On Wednesday, investigators continued to process the scene
One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday's shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal.

A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.

The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter.

Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

"I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.

Take 2

Navy Yard shooting: Capitol Police tactical team called back to Hill

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© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Police cars sit parked at the entrance to the Washington Navy Yard September 17, 2013 in Washington, DC
WUSA9 has learned that a Capitol Police tactical team was prepared to enter the Navy Yard to stop Aaron Alexis -- and was ordered back to the Capitol by a watch commander.

The team was in contact with Metropolitan Police, who were pleading for help, but was turned around by a Capitol Police inspector.

Two MPD officers went in without the team, and one of the officers was shot.

The Capitol Police Board has now launched an independent investigation following our story. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine released a statement:

Megaphone

Letter from a United States Army officer to the people of the United States

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The United States Army is here to support and defend the People of the United States. The Army is not supposed to be a tool used by the Executive Branch to wage proxy wars against Nations with different views or to impose the will of institutionalized businesses on the rest of the world as it has over the last 12 years.

We, the United States, have been part of a never ending series of proxy wars and illegal unecessary wars that really began over 65 years ago. It is time to stop. It is time for the people to take back control of our government and stop the useless killing of thousands based on the greed of a few profitable organizations.

All Soldiers have taken a sworn oath to defend the Constitution against its enemies both domestic and foreign and remain loyal to the American way of life. There are two different oaths that are taken. One is for Soldiers and one is for Officers. Both swear to support and defend the Constitution. The key difference is the omission of the promise to obey in the Officer's oath. Officers are legally bound by the same Uniform Code of Military Justice as all Soldiers are, but they are not morally bound. Officers are trusted by the American People, through their congressional representatives who approve commissions, with the enormous moral responsibility of knowing when not to obey.

Evil Rays

42 days after "microwave mind control" complaint, Alexis (allegedly) kills 12. Coincidence?

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There was a Newport, Rhode Island police report summarizing an early morning complaint in August by Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.

Alexis complained that an individual he had an altercation with in an airport had "sent 3 people to follow him and keep him awake by talking to him...using 'some sort of microwave device.'"

Was this a first red flag leading to an alarming portrait of a defense contractor suffering from mental illness? Or fact?

What caused Alexis to voice this complaint on August 7, 2013, 42 days prior to embarking on a shooting rampage at the Navy Yard, leaving 13 workers dead and more questions than answers?

Law enforcement officials close to the investigation have reported to the press that the stock of Alexis' shotgun had been carved with "Better off this way" and "My ELF weapon."

Comment: If all or any of this sounds bizarre, then y'all would not believe the stuff 'Pentagon types' get up to regularly.

The ONI was making ships (and their crews) disappear in the late '40s.

The CIA had "perfected" mind-controlled assassins by the early '50s.

That's 60-70 years ago!


Wall Street

Larry Summers sacked: Will next Fed chief be another Goldman Sachs' pick?

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Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?"

Huh?

Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again: What would Goldman think?

A shocked Stiglitz, then Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, told me he'd turned to Summers, and asked if Summers thought it appropriate to decide US economic policy based on "what Goldman thought." As opposed to say, the facts, or say, the needs of the American public, you know, all that stuff that we heard in Cabinet meetings on The West Wing.

Summers looked at Stiglitz like Stiglitz was some kind of naive fool who'd read too many civics books.

Arrow Down

FBI calls half of Americans with 9/11 doubts "potential terrorists"

© Press TV
Rethink911.org billboard in Dallas.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly considering those Americans who harbor "conspiracy theories" about the September 11, 2001 attacks as a potential terrorist.

The FBI has instructed local police departments about the case in a circular, Digital Journal reported.

"The memo thus adds 9/11-official-story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express "libertarian philosophies," "Second Amendment-oriented views," interest in "self-sufficiency," "fears of Big Brother or big government," and "Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties,"" according to the report.

A new poll conducted by YouGov showed that one in two Americans have doubts about the US government's account of 9/11.

After viewing video footage of World Trade Center Building 7's collapse, 46 percent suspect that it was caused by a controlled demolition, according to the survey that was released on the 12th anniversary of the event.

American people are still questioning the government's version of the tragic incident 12 years after the attacks left 3,000 people dead when hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center.

Last week, a new billboard was erected in New York City to urge people to "Rethink 9/11." The massive billboard was installed in the Times Square.

Robot

Predator drones 'useless' in combat scenarios - U.S. Air Force general

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Drones used by the US to spy on, hunt, and kill terror suspects are "useless" in just about every other combat-related scenario, a top Air Force general said.

The fleet of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones are no match for aircraft that can fly higher and faster, like those employed by the most basic of air defenses around the world, Gen. Mike Hostage, chief of the air service's Air Combat Command, said at an Air Force Association conference.

"Predators and Reapers are useless in a contested environment," Hostage said, as quoted by Foreign Policy.

"Today...I couldn't put [a Predator or Reaper] into the Strait of Hormuz without having to put airplanes there to protect it," he added.

The Air Force revealed this week that an F-22 intercepted an Iranian F-4 Phantom jet fleet closing in on a US Predator over the strait earlier this year. In late 2012, Iranian jets fired on and missed a Predator drone in the strait.

Comment: The Pentagon is fully aware that the only thing Predator drones are useful for is killing defenceless civilians.


Bizarro Earth

'Sexual jihad': Young Tunisian women sent to Syria to 'relieve' hundreds of 'holy warriors' daily are returning pregnant

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© febrayer.com
A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria for "sexual jihad" have returned home pregnant, the Tunisian government says.
Tunisian women have traveled to Syria to wage 'sexual jihad', performing intercourse with dozens of Islamist fighters and returning home pregnant, Tunisia's Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou told MPs.

The Tunisian girls "are [sexually] swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle," the minister said during an address to the National Constituent Assembly on Thursday.

"After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of 'jihad al-nikah' [sexual holy war] they come home pregnant," ben Jeddou continued.

Ben Jeddo did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.

Former Mufti of Tunisia Sheikh Othman Battikh in April said that 13 Tunisian girls "were fooled" into traveling to Syria to offer their sexual services to rebels fighters.

Comment: It was only a matter of time...

Rape, pillage and plunder: Al Qaeda terrorists receive retrospective blessing from extremist Saudi cleric to enjoy hours-long 'intercourse marriages' with Syrian girls