Puppet MastersS


Dollars

Investigation ordered after Spanish politicians got 'salaries' from private companies

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attends a national executive meeting of the Popular Party (PP) in Madrid on January 21, 2013.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy ordered Monday an internal investigation into the finances of his centre-right Popular Party which was shaken by allegations of under-the-table payments to party officials.

"To dispel any doubts he has ordered a deep and exhaustive internal investigation regarding the party's finances and the way that Popular Party staff are remunerated," party secretary general Maria Dolores de Cospedal told a news conference following a meeting of party officials.

The results of the internal investigation will be submitted to an external audit, she added.

The centre-right newspaper El Mundo reported Friday that senior members of the party, which Rajoy has led since 2004, had received undeclared salaries, mainly from private companies, over a 20-year period.

Sherlock

Two Canadian 'Islamists' found dead in Algeria hostage carnage, Siege toll rises to 80, Officials suspect terror operation planned BEFORE Mali invasion

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Al Qaeda's latest bogeyman, brought to you by SITE Intelligence. Black al Qaeda flag - check. One-eyed terrorist - check. Bin Laden beard - check. Gun - check. Turban - check. Terrorist-type green jacket - check. Conclusion? Be afraid, be very afraid.

Algerian special forces have found the bodies of two Canadian Islamist fighters after a bloody siege at a desert gas plant, a security source said on Monday, as the death toll reached at least 80 after troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal is expected to give details later in the day about the siege near the town of In Amenas, which left American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers dead or missing.

The Algerian security source told Reuters that documents found on the bodies of the two militants had identified them as Canadians, as forces scoured the plant following Saturday's bloody end to the crisis.

Veteran Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of al Qaeda, and an official Algerian source has said the militants included people from outside the African continent, as well as Arabs and Africans.

Comment: Two 'Canadian Islamists' reminds us that Belmokhtar is wanted by the Canadian government for abducting two Canadian 'diplomats' in 2008...

Islamist hostage-takers led by bandit who abducted Canadian diplomats


Bad Guys

U.S. government arming itself while hindering citizens' right to arm themselves

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Where is the liberal outrage? Where is the liberal suspicion about powerful, unchecked governments? Where is the liberal unflinching devotion to individual liberty?

We have a president who has radically reshaped the landscape of American government so that it is more of a behemoth than at any time in history and more involved in every aspect of our lives. It is also more unanswerable than ever before.

Now this president is issuing 23 new edicts aimed at curbing individuals' gun rights. At the same time, his federal agencies are stockpiling more and more weapons and ammunition.

And for what, exactly? To go hunting? To shoot the Chinese when they come to collect their debts? To shoot Mexicans tumbling over the Southern border? To shoot the Canadians?

Comment: Don't worry, Obama's "edicts" don't amount to much. 'Gun control' in terms of confiscating firearms isn't a realistic proposition. Listen to the latest SOTT Talk Radio broadcast on this very topic to find out why:

Gun Control USA: Do Guns Protect Civil Liberties?


Question

Google chief Eric Schmidt's teenage daughter on 'very strange' North Korea visit

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Google executive chief Eric Schmidt
The teenage daughter of Google chairman Eric Schmidt has shed some light on her father's secretive trip to North Korea, writing a first-hand account of the visit to a "very, very strange" country.

In a blog posting at the weekend entitled "It might not get weirder than this", Sophie Schmidt provided a candid take on the controversial three-day trip earlier this month that was criticised by the US government.

Schmidt, 19, had accompanied her father on the visit as part of a delegation led by Bill Richardson, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.

On their return, the two men answered a few questions about the nature of the visit, but Sophie Schmidt's informal account was in many ways far more revealing.

Cowboy Hat

Rapper Lupe Fiasco thrown out of inaugural party after criticizing Obama during performance

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Rapper Lupe Fiasco was kicked off the stage during a party celebrating President Barack Obama's second inauguration on Sunday night after performing a song that both criticized the president and indulged in 9-11 conspiracy theories.

Footage posted online by Now This News shows Fiasco, the headliner at the Start Up Rock On private event, performing "Words I Never Said," which he released as a single two years ago. The song includes these lyrics, which can be heard in the video:
And these the same people supposedly telling us the truth
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say shit
That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either
I'm part of the problem
My problem is, I'm peaceful

Eye 1

Best of the Web: CIA media infiltration is real: From Operation Mockingbird to Pentagon social media trolls

Abby Martin takes a look at America's history of government infiltration in news media, from the CIA's 1950s secret cold-war program, dubbed 'Operation Mockingbird', through to paid Pentagon online trolls today.


Calculator

Goldman bankers get rich betting on food prices as millions starve

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Bank criticised for making £250m after destructive spikes in global food market

Goldman Sachs made more than a quarter of a billion pounds last year by speculating on food staples, reigniting the controversy over banks profiting from the global food crisis.

Less than a week after the Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, slapped Goldman Sachs on the wrist for attempting to save its UK employees millions of pounds in tax by delaying bonus payments, the investment bank faces fresh accusations that it is contributing to rising food prices.

Goldman made about $400m (£251m) in 2012 from investing its clients' money in a range of "soft commodities", from wheat and maize to coffee and sugar, according to an analysis for The Independent by the World Development Movement (WDM).

Comment: The banks may actually have a point. They are not solely to blame for food price increases; extreme weather has devastated crops in recent years. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the few continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the many.


Snakes in Suits

Japan should let elderly 'hurry up and die': finance minister Taro Aso

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© AFP File/Yoshikazu TsunoJapanese Finance Minister Taro Aso
Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said Monday the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.

Aso, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, reportedly said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms: "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government.

"This won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die," he said.

"I don't need that kind of care. I will die quickly," he said adding he had left written instructions that his life is not artificially prolonged.

During the meeting, he reportedly referred to "tube people" when talking of patients who cannot feed themselves.

Dollars

A simple solution to end banker control: Bankers, bradburys, carnage and slaughter on the western front

A little known historical fact that will collapse even further the reputation of the City of London.

Bradbury Treasury Note
© Unknown
As I start to write this article, today is Remembrance Sunday and I'm listening live to the sombre but magnificent strains of Elgar's Nimrod as the parade at The Cenotaph assembles for the nation's annual act of remembrance to the fallen. Like almost everyone else, I'm always humbled and moved by the veterans' march-pass to pay their respects to fallen friends and comrades - but this year I will find it particularly poignant in the light of my recent research concerning a little known fact about the outbreak of the First World war. Let me explain.

Yesterday, I watched by sheer chance the spectacle of the Lord Mayor's Show on television. This year's parade for the inauguration of the 685th Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, was no different from any other. As ever it was a combination of centuries old, corporate traditions, with floats and vintage vehicles representing the various Worshipful Companies, combined with local units from the armed forces along with enthusiastic and diverse community groups of children and young people. It was pageantry and modern day life parading together side by side to show off all that is best about our capital city.

Eye 1

Algerian hostage toll rises to 81 with reports of nine Japanese deaths

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© Photograph: ReutersPaul Thomas Morgan, who was killed during the hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas plant and the first British victim to be identified.
At least nine Japanese nationals reported killed in attack claimed by veteran Islamist fighter on behalf of al-Qaida.

The death toll from the four-day siege at an Algerian gas plant deep in the Sahara has risen to at least 81, with nine Japanese nationals also reported killed in an attack claimed by a veteran Islamist fighter on behalf of al-Qaida.

The Algerian prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, is expected to give details at a news conference on Monday about one of the worst international hostage crises in decades, which left British, American, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workers dead or missing.

A security source said on Sunday that Algerian troops had found the bodies of 25 hostages, raising the total number of hostages killed to 48 and the total number of deaths to at least 80. He said six militants were captured alive and troops were searching for others.

That number climbed further on Monday when a Japanese government source said the Algerian government had informed Tokyo that nine of its citizens had been killed, the biggest toll so far among foreigners at the plant.