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Guatemalans initiate unprecedented wave of protests over government corruption


Guatemala's President Says He Won't Resign After Massive Anti-Corruption Demonstration
A massive tax fraud scheme exposed in Guatemala this April might once have been viewed as business as usual in a country that has struggled with corruption at the highest levels for decades.

Instead, Guatemalans got angry.

A protest organized via social media quickly erupted, sparking an ongoing wave of demonstrations that's drawn the participation of tens of thousands. For the first time in Guatemala's recent history, a broad cross section of society - including politicians, students from both private and public universities, the country's powerful business lobby, indigenous peoples, and members of a historically passive middle class - joined together in a unified call for the removal of corrupt officials.

Vice President Roxana Baldetti was the first to step down, handing in her resignation on May 8. Although she wasn't implicated in the initial corruption investigation, she was plunged into controversy when her private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzón Rojas, was identified as the leader of the fraud ring. Shortly after her resignation, Baldetti was also placed under investigation.

Comment: Given the history of U.S. support for corrupt regimes in Latin America, it is wishful thinking that there will be any change in policy. It's more likely that the U.S. would simply facilitate an exchange of puppets to quell the rising dissent, so as to continue conducting business as usual.

U.S. led 'regime change' in action: 35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists


Clock

What a concept: Greece to hold national referendum on debt deal

© Reuters / Yves Herman
The Greek PM has announced a national referendum on July 5 on the conditions of the debt deal with international creditors. It's up to the Greek people, Tsipras said, to make a fateful decision on the country's sovereignty, independence and future.

"These proposals, which clearly violate the European rules and the basic rights to work, equality and dignity show that the purpose of some of the partners and institutions was not a viable agreement for all parties, but possibly the humiliation of an entire people," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address to the nation, as cited by Reuters.

The referendum will be held on July 5, a few days past the June 30 deadline, Tsipras announced.

Comment: This will prove to be interesting.


Snakes in Suits

Wall Street and corporations get fast track

© Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty images
People rose up in protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the corporate interests still got their way
Fast track passes. Our Congress - the supposed representatives of We the People - voted to cut themselves and us out of the process of deciding what "the rules" for doing business "in the 21st Century" will be.

How do the plutocrats and oligarchs and their giant multinational corporations get what they want when a pesky democracy is in their way? They push that pesky democracy out of their way.

Because of fast track, when the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and any other secretly negotiated "trade" agreements are completed Congress must vote in a hurry with only limited debate, cannot make any amendments no matter what is in the agreement, and they can't be filibustered. Nothing else coming before our Congress gets that kind of skid-greasing, only corporate-written "trade" agreements - and it doesn't matter how far the contents go beyond actual "trade."

Comment: Maybe it was nostalgia giving hope that Congress still had some threshold of integrity. What's next? Pick your favorite economic collapse, false flag, natural disaster, etc.

Just the same, there are three things that come to mind:
  1. Congress isn't concerned about the 2016 elections.
  2. Some have been promised high positions in the corporations that will be running the country.
  3. See number 1.
See also: TTP and TTIP trade agreements


Eye 2

Has Washington gone berserk?

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Washington D.C.: A modern day Mordor

Given a series of recent speeches by leading US officials and actions, the question must be frankly posed: Has Washington gone collectively looney tunes? Even as the governments of the EU are moving to buck US pressures and ease the sanctions, the Obama Administration seems intent on marching in the direction of a nuclear confrontation with Russia. As the ancient Greek expression puts it, "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad..." The following recent developments fit that pattern quite nicely, thank you.


On June 5, Ashton Carter, the neo-conservative Obama Defense Secretary gave clear indications he is prepared to be far more provocative against Russia than his fired predecessor, Chuck Hagel. Carter convened a special meeting in Stuttgart, Germany of two dozen US military leaders and US Ambassadors in Europe at the headquarters of US European Command. He told them, "We have something that has taken a sad turn recently, which is Russia."

That in itself was not so notable as were the reports that the neo-con US Defense Secretary, "Ash"—that is his nickname, appropriately enough—Carter discussed at the Stuttgart meeting returning US short-range nuclear missiles to European NATO countries to target Russia.

On June 7, just two days after Carter's Stuttgart remarks, UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, told the press that the UK might again place American nuclear missiles on British soil because of what he termed "heightened tensions" with Russia. The Foreign Secretary said there were "worrying signs" about the increased activity of Russian forces and that the UK would "consider the pros and cons of taking US intermediate-range weapons."

Comment: Are there any voices of clear-headed reason in Washington D.C or, for that matter, in Europe to be found? If you're out there - and you have any clout whatsoever - best to speak up now!


Megaphone

Varoufakis criticizes Switzerland for providing safe haven for tax evaders

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© Reuters / Francois Lenoir
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Switzerland is providing only limited information about rich tax evaders who have stashed about €80 billion from cash-strapped Greece, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in an interview with Swiss state broadcaster SRF.

"Sometimes we know that someone has taken money away from Greece. But we do not know in what city or which bank it is located in Switzerland. We know too little to be able to locate the black money,"Varoufakis told the Rundschau program on SRF on Wednesday.

It is impossible to obtain the information from Swiss authorities, he added.

Athens is working on a plan to give tax evaders the opportunity to voluntarily disclose themselves, and make them invest in Greek economy. The evaders would pay a 22 percent penalty in such a case.

Eye 2

Libya, Syria, Ukraine: It's worse than we can imagine

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Misrata, western Libya, before and after NATO's bombardment.
If you have yet to listen to last Sunday's Behind the Headlines interview with James and JoAnne Moriarty on Libya, I urge you to do so. While Sott.net carried numerous reports on the U.S.-sponsored destruction of Libya, the Moriartys' first-hand account not only reveals new details you've probably not heard anywhere else; it paints a picture that brings the stark reality home in a way that just reading reports and analyses cannot. The reality of what happened (and is still happening) in Libya is worse than we can possibly imagine.

The Moriartys were in Libya at the time of the 'uprising' and 'revolt', and the Western coalition's 'subsequent' invasion (the two were really the same thing). They saw it all first-hand. They engaged in a fact-finding mission, documenting atrocities. They were captured by Al Qaeda (i.e. the U.S.'s 'rebel allies'), interrogated and threatened with being chopped up and burned. But they managed to get out of the country with their lives and tell the story of what they saw. It is nothing like we have heard from the mainstream media.

The so-called uprising was not spontaneous. It was planned in advance. The 'rebels' were nothing of the sort. They were Western-trained, Western-financed, and Western-supported terrorists: Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, the same people that would soon move over to Syria and Mali, and later become 'ISIS'. Within days, these mercenaries had already created a Bank of International Settlements-approved private Central Bank and Libya's substantial wealth (the country was debt-free), in the form of cash deposits and precious metals, was looted.

Thousands died in the first days of the indiscriminate slaughter carried out by coalition forces under the ruse of establishing a "no fly zone". The media's job was to blame atrocities on Gaddafi. In fact, the atrocities were committed by 'our guys': rape, torture, murder, decapitation, burning alive, skinning flesh, cannibalism - if you've heard about it in horror movies, it happened in Libya in the name of Western freedom and democracy. All the hallmarks of ISIS that so terrify the world today were endorsed and supported by our own governments in order to destroy Libya and prevent it from becoming a viable African alternative to Western death culture. American 'democracy' in action.

Telephone

Putin telephones Obama

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Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama.

In particular, the two leaders discussed the Ukrainian crisis and the fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements. The Presidents agreed that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin will be in contact to discuss implementation of these agreements.


Comment: Of course Obama's view is:
The White House said Obama told Putin Russia needs to meet commitments it made in Minsk, Belarus, earlier this year, including the removal of troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory.

Significant attention was given to a set of issues pertaining to counter-terrorism efforts, particularly the spread of the Islamic State's influence in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama agreed to instruct Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry to hold a meeting to discuss this issue.

In addition, the presidents of Russia and the United States had an extensive discussion of current issues in bilateral relations. They also engaged in a detailed exchange of opinions concerning the situation in Syria and touched on settling the issue of the Iranian nuclear program.

Comment: Both men previously held a phone conversation in Februrary about Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine has only declined since. Maybe some wheeling and dealing going on? Are Greece-Russia relations part of the deals?


Quenelle

Russia and China should outmaneuver NATO by expanding influence in the Balkans and Indochina

© Unknown

The US has been tightening its containment noose around Eurasia's multipolar anchors over the past few years, having notably succeeded in wooing Myanmar away from China in 2011 and transforming Ukraine into a geopolitical enemy of Russia in 2014.

In the face of these American asymmetrical advances, Russia and China have opted to make game-changing peninsular pivots as a means of escaping the strategic traps being set, with Moscow moving to the Balkans and Beijing being beckoned towards Indochina. Their effort to sidestep the containment wall being built around them places both theaters, the Balkans and Indochina, front and center in the US' upcoming destabilization campaigns.

This article examines the historical-strategic lead-up to the present situation and explains the necessity of Russia and China's respective peninsular pivots.

Comment: The 'Great Game' has many dimensions. Check out: Chinese stock plunge leaves state media speechless


Stock Down

Chinese stock plunge leaves state media speechless

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Rising up from the center of Beijing, not far from the Temple of Heaven, is the loudest voice in the wild east of the Chinese stock market.

It's neither a bank nor a brokerage -- it's the headquarters of Xinhua News Agency, long considered the "throat and tongue" of the Chinese government.

With the heady exuberance over Chinese stocks starting to fade, sowing fears of worse to come, investors are scouring state media for clues to the Communist Party's thinking.

Comment: Look out below! And as Zerohedge mentions:
Is it time to step in and buy the dip in Chinese mainland shares after last week's harrowing 13% decline on the SHCOMP? Absolutely not, Morgan Stanley says.



Stormtrooper

Towards a global force for malevolence: One world government protected by a one world military

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As the globalists' vision for a one world totalitarian government unfolds in rapid sequence of their long plotted New World Order, a parallel process is also quietly unfurling in the covert formation of a globalized international military fighting force. The US Joint Special Operations Command Forces have built a notorious reputation as death squads known for conducting middle of the night raids, murdering entire families in the process along with detaining targeted suspects in both Iraq and Afghanistan and now all over the world.

Because Special Forces by their very nature are highly secretive and virtually unaccountable to everyone, including our own government, we never hear much about this global elite killer machine. The only exceptions are the contradictory renditions of how the Navy Seals took out Osama bin Laden, or glossy film renditions glorifying Special Forces exploits as recruitment propaganda commercials, now all closely monitored, controlled and censored by the US military. In fact, the FBI, the CIA and Pentagon all have liaison handlers assigned to Hollywood just to make sure the shady truth about them never gets to the big screen audience. Sadly the film industry has degenerated into joining the lowly ranks of mainstream media as mere gov.whore-corp propagandists. Truth is now the enemy.

Comment: If one ultimately draws the conclusion that the PTB's plans are actually designed to wreak as much drawn out discord, suffering and death as humanly possible - in as many spheres as possible - they'd be correct in thinking so.