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Sat, 18 Sep 2021
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Billionaire Koch brothers in the dock over trades with Iran

Koch
© unknown
Tea Party backers made multimillion-dollar deals with Tehran, report claims

The leading financiers of the Tea Party movement were last night attempting to rebut claims that a portion of their wealth comes from secretly doing business with the most un-American trading partner imaginable: the hard-line government of Iran.

Charles and David Koch, the prominent billionaires who fund a string of influential conservative think-tanks, stand accused of selling tens of millions of dollars worth of petrochemicals to Tehran, despite a longstanding US trade embargo against the nation that the former President, George W Bush, dubbed a pillar of his "Axis of Evil".

It has been reported that Koch Industries used foreign subsidiaries to supply the products, in an apparent effort to stay within the letter - if not the spirit - of the law. It has been suggested that the company used dozens of lawyers to help find a way around the embargo, and was trading with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime as recently as 2007.

Dollar

UK oil explorer moves into Libya

no oil war
© unknown
A British oil explorer today revealed a push into Libya despite ongoing uncertainty over the battle-weary country's future.

Jersey-based Heritage Oil said it had paid 19.5 million US dollars (£12.6 million) for a 51% controlling stake in Benghazi-based Sahara Oil Services, which runs onshore and offshore fields.

The announcement comes as ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi remains missing and bloodshed continues to rock the North African state.

Tony Buckingham, chief executive of London-listed Heritage, said his firm was "well placed to play a significant role in the future oil and gas industry in Libya".

Heritage, which operates in Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Mali, Tanzania, Malta, Pakistan and Russia, said the stake was bought through wholly-owned subsidiary Heritage Energy International.

Dollar

No Surprise Here: Rare Earth Elements Discovered In Afghanistan

Image
© Golbez
Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Extensive research by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Afghan Geological Survey, and the Department of Defense has yielded volumes of information about areas of high mineral potential in Afghanistan, including rare earth elements, gold, iron, and copper. The USGS says the research will be used by the Afghan Government as they consider developing these minerals resources.

Many of these Afghan mineral priority areas, including the rare-earth rich Khanneshin, are world-class resources that could lead to significant commercial development. This research comes from a 2009-2011 USGS study funded by the DOD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO).

"The USGS is exceptionally pleased by the contribution we have been able to make to future development of Afghanistan's world-class mineral resources, made possible through the application of modern remote-sensing tools," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "There is always increased risk for commercial ventures investing in new mining facilities in frontier areas such as Afghanistan, but by making information on the locations and estimated quantities and grades of ores publicly available, we lower that risk, spurring progress."

Dollar

China: US currency bill would have repercussions

Image
© Unknown
Beijing - China stepped up its criticism Tuesday of a proposed U.S. law to punish countries with artificially low currencies, saying there would be serious repercussions for the world's two biggest economies if it is passed.

The criticism comes after U.S. senators voted Monday to open a week of debate on the bill that would allow the government to impose additional duties on products from countries that subsidize exports by undervaluing their currencies.

How worried China is about the proposed law can be seen by the fact that the Foreign Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and central bank all issued statements denouncing it.

But the legislation faces considerable hurdles before it becomes law. The Obama White House, while agreeing that China's currency, the yuan, is undervalued, has been wary of unilateral sanctions against the Beijing government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said the Senate move "seriously violated WTO rules and seriously disturbed China-U.S. trade and economic relations."

Eagle

Petty disputes led to Nazi denunciation in WWII France

Up to a million French people denounced their neighbors to the Nazis during the Second World War, historians have revealed.
Image
© Getty Images
Power of the community: A French woman who collaborated with German troops is scorned by neighbours in Chartres, 1944

But more betrayals were over petty family and neighbour disputes than accusations of being French Jews.

The findings were aired at the world's first international conference on French denunciation in the Second World War, in Caen.

They challenge some of the popular misconceptions about denunciation in wartime France.

Historians now say only a very small percentage related to Jews and a large proportion - around a quarter - of the letters were about French family dramas often involving husbands, wives, lovers and village rivals.

"Denunciation was a very easy way of getting rid of someone," said Laurent Joly, the historian who organised the conference.

Chess

How COINTELPRO really works and destroys social movements: Open letter from former Tea Partier to Occupy Wall Street protesters

Fawkes in Wall Street
© Robert Johnson
I don't expect you to believe me. I want you to read this, take it with a grain of salt, and do the research yourself. You may not believe me, but I want your movement to succeed. From a former tea partier to you, young new rebels, there's some advice to prevent what happened to our now broken movement from happening to you. I don't agree with everything your movement does, but I sympathize with your cause and agree on our common enemy. You guys are very intelligent and I trust that you will take this in the spirit it is intended.

I wish I could believe this Occupy Wall Street was still about (r)Evolution, but so far, all I am seeing is a painful rehash of how the government turned the pre-Presidential election tea party movement into the joke it is now. We were anarchists and ultra-libertarians, but above all we were peaceful. So, the media tried painting us as racists. But when that didn't work they tried to goad us into violence. When that failed, they killed our movement with money and false kindness from the theocratic arm of the Republican party. That killed our popular support.

I am sharing these observations, so you guys know what's going on and can prevent the media from succeeding in painting you as violent slacker hippies rebelling without a cause, or from having the movement be hijacked by a bunch of corporatists seeking to twist the movement's original intentions. If you think this can't happen, it happened to the Independence Party and the tea party movement. Don't let it happen to your movement as well.

Comment: What the author details comes right out of the Ponerization/Cointelpro playbook described in Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology.


Wolf

Italy: Setback for Berlusconi in teen sex case

Berlusconi Ruby
© AFP
PM's predicament: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) is fighting charges that he paid model and nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, known as Ruby, for sex when she was 17.
An Italian court says it won't delay a ruling on charges that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid a teen for sex.

The same court, in a separate case, indicted three of Mr Berlusconi allies accused of having paid young girls to attend sex parties at the premier's villa in Arcore, near Milan.

They will stand trial from November 21.

Italy's head of state, who celebrated his 75th birthday last week amid a string of legal cases, was not present when his team asked for judgment to be postponed to February, pending a Constitutional Court ruling on the Milan court's competence in the case.

Mr Berlusconi is accused of having bought sex from Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", when she was 17 - a crime punishable by three years in jail.

Stormtrooper

The Secret Memo That Explains Why Obama Can Kill Americans

Obama
© Reuters
The Department of Justice produced it prior to the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. But they won't release it.

Outside the U.S. government, President Obama's order to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without due process has proved controversial, with experts in law and war reaching different conclusions. Inside the Obama Administration, however, disagreement was apparently absent, or so say anonymous sources quoted by the Washington Post. "The Justice Department wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike Friday, according to administration officials," the newspaper reported. "The document was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi, the officials said."

Gear

Ridiculous! UK: A hands-free green man...so devout Jews can cross the road without breaking a religious law

Image
© Alamy
Britain is to get its first 'hands-free' pedestrian crossing so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law
Britain is to get its first 'hands-free' pedestrian crossing - so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath.

The crossing is near a busy synagogue, and pressing a button to operate it is considered a breach of the strict rules that apply to Orthodox Jews.

Traffic will be held every 90 seconds from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday, covering the Jewish Sabbath period.

The crossing will be situated on one of London's busiest roads - the North Circular at the Henlys Corner junction. But planners insist it will not cause traffic chaos.

The system will come into operation in December when the junction fully reopens after a massive ten-month upgrade costing £8 million.

The decision to include automatic crossings was taken after leaders at Finchley United Synagogue explained their predicament to staff at Transport for London, which is responsible for maintaining main roads in the capital. TfL says the 'hands-free' green man has not added to the cost of improvements.

Comment: Is this an example of the British government kowtowing to and wasting £millions of taxpayers money on absurd Jewish rituals? Or is that just our opinion?


Magic Hat

Big Agri-Business and Big Pharma - The Truth Behind France's Cult-Hunting Policies Exposed

Jean-Pierre Joseph is a lawyer in Grenoble, France. He has defended many groups and individuals in France who have run afoul of France's draconian 'cult-police'. Here he talks to the Centre d'Information et de Conseil des Nouvelles Spiritualités (CICNS) and explains the background to France's cult laws and the way in which state 'anti-cult' organisations regularly infringe civil rights, clearly to the advantage of Big Pharma, Agri-business (like Monsanto), and to the detriment of all French peoples. MIVILUDES is little more than the reincarnation of the Inquisition which persecuted and destroyed the Cathars and, in the process, the entire society of Southern France.