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Sat, 31 Jul 2021
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US: Fannie Mae seeks $5.1 billion more from taxpayers

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Washington- Mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae said it would ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers as it continues to suffer losses on loans made prior to 2009.

The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis. Fannie Mae has paid back $14.7 billion in dividends.

Crusader

MIVILUDES: The most dangerous 'sect' in France

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Miviludes is an official governmental body created to fight against abuses by sects. In reality, it is nothing more than a group of French right wing establishment catholics in disguise trying to monopolise all religious and moral space in France.

The latest battle that has sparked this article concerns a recent report by Miviludes concerning 'apocalytic' sects that forecast the end of the world.

Here is Miviludes' definition of how to define a sect

- Mental destablization ;
- Exhorbitant financial demands ;
- Break with original environment ;
- Attacks on physical integrity ;
- Recruiting of children, anti social discourse, public disorder ;
- Number and importance of judiciary 'skirmishes' ;
- Diversion of money from traditional economic circuits;
- Infiltration of public institutions.

Comment: The Reader might want to check out this story: The French Connection Redux Cult Accusations and The Deviant Mind

One wonders if it is not really "MIVILUDicrous"!


Pistol

US Troops Kill Iraqi Child and Policeman

Local officials in Iraq have said that US troops in the country have killed an Iraqi child as well as a policeman in the Salahuddin province north of Baghdad.

Iraq, US troops
© unknown
US soldiers patrolling the Iraqi capital, Baghdad
Officials say the two were killed during an apparent mistaken raid.

Reports on further causalities remain sketchy so far, Press TV reported.

The US-led military invasion in Iraq that began in 2003 has so far led to over a million 'violent deaths' among Iraqi citizens, according to a study by the British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB).

Further, Washington continues to exert pressure on Baghdad to extend US military presence in Iraq.

Handcuffs

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arrested

Yulia Tymoshenko
© unknown
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been taken to a detention center on the orders of the judge at her trial for "systematically violating courtroom proceedings."

After Judge Rodion Kireyev adjourned the court until Monday, Tymoshenko was driven away from the court under a heavy police escort on Friday, with members of the opposition chanting "Shame," Reuters reported.

Hundreds of her supporters took to the streets of downtown Kiev, and Tymoshenko's party has called for members of her bloc to stage more rallies in front of the courthouse in the capital.

Ukrainian prosecutors charged Tymoshenko with abuse of office, accusing her of illegally forcing state energy company Naftogaz to sign a gas supply contract with Russia in 2009.

Tymoshenko is Ukraine's leading opposition politician and the most formidable opponent of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, who says her actions in the gas deal with Russia were a "betrayal of national interests."

War Whore

NATO Airstrike Kills 8 Afghan Civilians

Eight civilians, including women and children, have been killed in a US-led NATO airstrike in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

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© unknown
A US-led NATO airstrike has left eight civilians dead in southern Afghanistan.
Provincial officials said the attack was carried out at 2 p.m. local time on Friday after Taliban militants attacked US-led troops in the area, a Press TV correspondent reported.

NATO has not commented on the incident.

In a separate incident, at least four people were killed when police opened fire during an anti-US demonstration held in the southern province of Zabul on Friday.

Bad Guys

Bread, Circuses, Spending Cuts, Unicorns & The Appearance Of Wealth

"Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses" - Juvenal - 100 A.D.
Bread and Circuses_1
© The Burning Platform

Juvenal makes reference to the Roman practice of providing free wheat to Roman citizens as well as costly circus games and other forms of entertainment as a means of gaining political power through populism. Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of the poor: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses". The Roman politicians realized this would be the most effective way to rise to power and stay in power.
Bread and Circuses_2
© The Burning Platform
With the revolting display of political theater in the last few weeks, I couldn't help but consider the parallels between the Roman Empire and the American Empire. The entire debt ceiling farce was a circus on an epic scale - The Greatest Show on Earth. The American public was treated to high wire acts of near debt experiences, Senators putting their heads into the mouths of lions, and hundreds of clowns riding tiny bikes with squeaking horns. In the end, American politicians did what they do best - pretended to solve a spending problem without cutting spending. Only in America could politicians put the country on course to increase its national debt from $14.5 trillion to $23 trillion by 2021 and declare they are cutting spending. For those that need to visualize the lies of politicians, take a gander at this chart and try to find the cuts in spending.

Bread and Circuses_3
© The Burning Platform

Handcuffs

US, Police: Mock us in Cartoons, go to Prison

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© KIRO 7
A Renton, Washington native has been accused of felony cyberstalking for making a satirical cartoon depicting local crooked cops.
Police department with long history of internal affairs investigations looks to charge satirist with felony

When cartoonist "Mrfuddlesticks" decided to make a series of animated videos parodying the local police department in Renton, Washington, they had ample source material from the media and the public record -- the city had suffered repeated misconduct scandals in recent history. The individual used the popular animation site www.xtranormal.com to create a series of videos making fun of the city's police department. Little did they know, those videos would have them facing criminal charges [Scribd] for "cyberstalking".

I. Satirist Accused of Felony Crime for Cartoons

In what legal experts are calling a rampant abuse of power, police have taken the first steps towards filing criminal charges against the creator, claiming their creator violated the Washington State cyberstalking statute "RCW 9.61.260." A local judge at the Superior Court for King County -- James Cayce -- has signed off on a search warrant sent to Google Inc. (GOOG).
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© YouTube/KIRO 7
The video reportedly depicts a city bureaucrat, Penny Bartley, talking about covering up wrongdoing.

The warrant is designed to obtain the real world identity of the cartoonist, who posted the videos to YouTube. The videos were created using the same free animation suite as the famous viral "iPhone4 vs HTC Evo" video. Two of the videos can be viewed here [1][2].

Legal experts blasted the move. In an interview with a local news network, lawyer Venkat Balasubramani, a Constitutional and cyber-law expert, states, "The cyberstalking angle doesn't pass the laugh test. It's a serious stretch. I'd be surprised if somebody looked at it and realistically thought well these acts actually fit the statute and we and could make a violation and hold someone criminally liable. [More likely] they were trying to get at the identity of the speaker and the looked around for a statute to shoehorn their conduct into."

But while legal experts say the felony charges are laughable, they're no laughing matter for the accused. The statute lists the type of cyberstalking named in the case as a Class C felony -- applicable for up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 USD fine. Drug dealing and major theft are other examples of local Class C felonies.

Bad Guys

The farce continues as usual: EU 'profoundly disappointed' by new Israeli settlement plan

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© AFP, Jaafar Ashtiyeh
A Palestinian youth throws a stone at Israeli soldiers
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday roundly disapproved Israel's go-ahead to the building of 900 new homes in east Jerusalem, saying new settlements damaged the prospects for peace.

"I am profoundly disappointed" by Thursday's approval of a project that has triggered fierce criticism from the Palestinians and the international community, Ashton said.

The new homes will expand a neighbourhood in Jerusalem's southwest that is defined as being within municipal boundaries despite lying directly next to the Palestinian West Bank town of Bethlehem.

"The European Union has repeatedly urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. All settlement activities are illegal under international law," she added in a statement.

Binoculars

The Obama Administration's "Secret" Patriot Act Spys On Americans

IAO logo
© Unknown
During last spring's run-up to the re authorization of three expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) charged that the administration and the FBI was relying on a "secret" interpretation of law to vacuum-up exabytes of data, including cell phone location records and internet data mining that target Americans.

In March, a written statement to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security by Justice Department official Todd Hinnen confirmed that the administration had used Section 215, the so-called "business records" section of the Act "to obtain driver's license records, hotel records, car rental records, apartment leasing records, credit card records, and the like."

Further confirmation of Wyden's charges came from an unlikely source: a White House nominee for a top counter terrorism position.

Star of David

Israel releases West Bank Hamas leader, other Palestinian prisoners

Palestinian flags
© flickr.com/Joi
Palestinian flags
Israel released 132 Palestinian political and security prisoners Thursday, including West Bank Hamas leader Hasan Yousef who had spent six years in prison, Palestinian officials said.

The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said the 132 who were freed had all completed their sentences earlier, but had been kept in jail till Thursday.

The ministry rejected Israeli claims that the release was an Israeli goodwill gesture for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.