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Tue, 29 Nov 2022
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Justice Department investigated Wall Street Journal for claims reporters bribed Chinese officials

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© AFP Photo
The US Justice Department last year opened an investigation into allegations that employees at The Wall Street Journal's China news bureau bribed Chinese officials for information, the newspaper reported.

But citing government and corporate officials familiar with the case, the paper said a search by the Journal's parent company found no evidence to support the claim.

According to the paper, the Justice Department approached News Corp.'s outside counsel in early 2012 and said it had received information from a person it described as a whistleblower, who claimed one or more Journal employees had provided gifts to Chinese government officials in exchange for information.

Attention

The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were wrong all along

No, the world ISN'T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that's making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well... what do YOU think?

The Mail on Sunday today presents irrefutable evidence that official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed. The graph on this page blows apart the 'scientific basis' for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. These moves have already added £100 a year to household energy bills.

Steadily climbing orange and red bands on the graph show the computer predictions of world temperatures used by the official United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The estimates - given with 75 per cent and 95 per cent certainty - suggest only a five per cent chance of the real temperature falling outside both bands.
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Arrow Down

Confusion and panic spreads in Cyprus: Bank holiday extends to Tuesday to prevent bank run

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For those who read the previous article on the topic of last minute chaos and confusion in Cyprus, and Europe, it will come as no surprise that the previously scheduled Monday bank holiday (aka Green Monday) has been extended into Tuesday. So prepare to not be surprised.

From Kathimerini:
The Cypriot cabinet has declared Tuesday a bank holiday, for fear of capital flight, and this may even be stretched to Wednesday, as depositors are certain to withdraw huge sums from the Cypriot banks after the haircut imposed.

Nicosia postponed from Sunday to Monday the tabling in Parliament of the bill including the measures for the Cypriot bailout - including a bank account haircut and a tax hike on interest and corporate earnings - but the European Central Bank insists on a rapid voting because there are already signs a domino effect will follow across European lenders and markets from Monday.

There is genuine fear of market unrest on Monday morning when stocks may crumble in the eurozone and bank accounts in other southern European bank may suffer.

Skai radio reported on Sunday that the Bank of Greece has sent between 4 and 5 billion euros to Cyprus in order to help Cypriot banks respond to cash requirements by their clients.
So, if the official name of the March 18 holiday was "Green Monday", will the March 19th ad hoc holiday be called "Red Tuesday"? Inquiring minds want to know.

USA

American War Policy: Kill Anything That Moves

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God Bless America
Book review - Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, by Nick Turse

Nick Turse's Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam is not only one of the most important books ever written about the Vietnam conflict but provides readers with an unflinching account of the nature of modern industrial warfare. It captures, as few books on war do, the utter depravity of industrial violence - what the sociologist James William Gibson calls "technowar." It exposes the sickness of the hyper-masculine military culture, the intoxicating rush and addiction of violence, and the massive government spin machine that lies daily to a gullible public and uses tactics of intimidation, threats and smear campaigns to silence dissenters. Turse, finally, grasps that the trauma that plagues most combat veterans is a result not only of what they witnessed or endured, but what they did. This trauma, shame, guilt and self-revulsion push many combat veterans - whether from Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan - to escape into narcotic and alcoholic fogs or commit suicide. By the end of Turse's book, you understand why.

This is not the book Turse set out to write. He was, when his research began in June 2001, a graduate student looking at post-traumatic stress disorder among Vietnam veterans. An archivist at the U.S. National Archives asked Turse whether he thought witnessing war crimes could cause PTSD. He steered Turse to yellowing reports amassed by the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group. The group, set up in the wake of the My Lai massacre, was designed to investigate the hundreds of reports of torture, rape, kidnapping, forced displacement, beatings, arson, mutilation, executions and massacres carried out by U.S. troops. But the object of the group was not to discipline or to halt the abuses. It was, as Turse writes, "to ensure that the army would never again be caught off-guard by a major war crimes scandal." War crimes, for army investigators, were "an image management" problem. Those charged with war crimes were rarely punished. The numerous reports of atrocities collected by the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group were kept secret, and the eyewitnesses who reported war crimes were usually ignored, discredited or cowed into silence.

Nuke

U.S. vows to protect Seoul with nukes amid rising Korea tensions

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© AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je
US Air Force soldiers aim their weapons behind their vehicle during a drill as part of annual joint exercises with South Korea outside a US airbase in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, on March 14, 2013.
Every military resource the US has, including nuclear arms, will be available to its ally South Korea in the confrontation with its northern neighbor, US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged in Seoul.

"We remain steadfast to our commitment to extended deterrence offered by the US nuclear umbrella," Carter said after talks with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin.

"We'll ensure all of our resources will be available to our alliance," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency. Carter is visiting South Korea as part of a four-nation tour of American allies in Asia, which also includes Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The veiled threat comes amid heightened tensions in the Korean Peninsula, which started with Pyongyang's third nuclear test in February. North Korea detonated a nuclear device in defiance of the UN Security Council resolution banning it from developing nuclear weapons.

Bad Guys

Russia attacks U.S. missile defense plans, says no concessions possible

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© AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic
US soldiers stand near a Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013.
The latest American steps to wrap up the missile defense project in Poland and to deploy additional interceptors in Alaska will not change Russia's position on the European AMD system, leading Russian officials have said.

"This is not a concession to Russia and we do not perceive it as such," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said commenting on the news that the United States had canceled the fourth stage of the deployment of the anti-missile system in Eastern Europe.

Last Friday US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to deploy additional interceptors in Alaska in reply to the growing threats from North Korea. The move will come at the expense of wrapping up the missile defense program in Poland and Romania.

"I see no connection between Russia's objections to the deployment of the US missile defense system in Europe and the announcement made by the US defense secretary," Ryabkov said in an interview. "All aspects of strategic uncertainty, connected with the creation of the US and NATO missile defenses remain. Therefore, our objections also remain in force," the Russian diplomat noted.

Bomb

Somalia car bomb leaves 10 dead

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© Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images
A woman near the site of the car bomb, in Mogadishu.
Blast meant for officials ended up killing members of public near presidential palace and national theatre, say police

A car bomb has exploded near the presidential palace in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people in a blast that appeared to target senior government officials, police say.

The suicide attacker detonated explosives while driving along a boulevard that runs between the palace and the national theatre, a route lined by tea rooms which were engulfed in fire moments after the blast on Monday, the senior police officer Abdiqadir Muhammad said. A public minibus driving along the road burst into flames.

"The suicide car bomber targeted a senior national security officer whose car was passing near the theatre," Muhammad told Reuters.

Vader

China warns U.S. over missile defence programme against North Korea

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© Reuters
South Korean and US navy ships take part in a military drill - which angered North Korea.
Beijing says American interference could only make matters worse in sabre-rattling between Seoul and Pyongyang

China has said that US plans to bolster missile defences in response to provocations by North Korea would only intensify antagonism, and urged Washington to act prudently.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, made the comments at a daily news briefing.

He said: "Actions such as strengthening anti-missile [defences] will intensify antagonism and will not be beneficial to finding a solution for the problem.

"China hopes the relevant country will proceed on the basis of peace and stability, adopt a responsible attitude and act prudently."

The Pentagon said the US had informed China, North Korea's neighbour and closest ally, of its decision to add more interceptors but declined to characterise Beijing's reaction.

The US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced plans on Friday to bolster American missile defences in response to "irresponsible and reckless provocations" by North Korea, which has threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US.

Eye 1

MI6 and CIA were told before invasion that Iraq had no active WMD

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© Dominic Lipinski/PA
Tony Blair's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are challenged again in Monday's Panorama.
BBC's Panorama reveals fresh evidence that agencies dismissed intelligence from Iraqi foreign minister and spy chief

Fresh evidence is revealed today about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein's foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction.

Tony Blair told parliament before the war that intelligence showed Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programme was "active", "growing" and "up and running".

A special BBC Panorama programme tonight will reveal how British and US intelligence agencies were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries.

It describes how Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign minister, told the CIA's station chief in Paris at the time, Bill Murray, through an intermediary that Iraq had "virtually nothing" in terms of WMD.

Sabri said in a statement that the Panorama story was "totally fabricated".

Bad Guys

Suicide bombers target judicial complex in Peshawar, Pakistan

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At least three persons were killed when two suicide bombers attacked within the premises of the judicial complex in Peshawar on Monday.

Two attackers tried to enter the Judicial complex premises from the Jail road entrance where they were stopped by security.

One of the attackers was shot dead by security forces after he had hurled a hand grenade.

Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) personnel defused the explosive vest on the attacker.

The other attacker blew himself inside the complex.