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Che Guevara

Revolution Brewing: Frontrunner to form new Greek government declares IMF loans null and void


Alexis Tsipras celebrates his party's victory in Athens on Sunday night
Frontrunner to form a new government shocks financial markets with remarks over EU and IMF loan agreement

The fate of Greece is, on Tuesday night, in the hands of the leader of a far-left party who launched the quest to form a government by declaring the country could no longer commit itself to the terms of an international loan agreement keeping its economy afloat.

After accepting a mandate to create a multiparty administration following inconclusive elections, Alexis Tsipras sent shockwaves through financial markets by announcing the pledges Athens had made to secure rescue funds from the EU and IMF were null and void.

"The popular verdict clearly renders the bailout deal null," said the politician, whose stridently anti-austerity coalition of the radical left, known as Syriza, sprung the surprise of the weekend's poll, coming in second with 16.8% of the vote. "This is an historic moment for the left and the popular movement and a great responsibility for me."

Che Guevara

Revolution Brewing: Anti-austerity parties ride protest vote in Italian local elections

© Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
The party led by comedian Beppe Grillo, who says Italy should ditch the euro, performed well in local elections.
Italians vote against tax hikes and corruption, potentially weakening Mario Monti's influence over parties in parliament

The Italian comedian Beppe Grillo has promised that his fledgling party is heading for parliament after his candidates rode a wave of protest against austerity politics and Italy's traditional parties in local elections.

"We will see you in parliament," he tweeted, suggesting his Five Star Movement party will field candidates in national elections in 2013.

The comic campaigns on green issues, fights corruption and has recently criticised Mario Monti's unpopular tax hikes, as well as claiming Italy should ditch the euro. His party took 14% of the vote in Genoa, 9% in Verona and 19% in Parma, where it forced the mainstream Democratic party into a runoff.

In all those towns, Grillo's mayoral candidates trounced Silvio Berlusconi's Freedom People party, which was subjected to humiliating defeats in its first electoral contest since the former prime minister stepped down to make way in November for Monti's technocrat government, which did not stand in the elections.


Nine men found guilty of running child sex ring in England

© Peter Byrne/PA
Mohammed Amin, one of the men convicted of conspiracy to engage a child under 16 in sexual activity.
Men plied girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs in order to use them for sex, jury heard

Nine men have been found guilty of being part of a child sexual exploitation ring involving vulnerable girls.

Five girls were "shared" by Kabeer Hassan, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rauf, Mohammed Sajid, Adil Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Hamid Safi and a 59-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons in and around Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

A jury at Liverpool crown court heard that the defendants plied the vulnerable girls, some as young as 13, with fast food, drink and drugs so they could "pass them around" and use them for sex. One 13-year-old victim became pregnant and had the unborn child aborted.

Another gave evidence of being raped by two men while she was "so drunk she was vomiting over the side of the bed". She later cried herself to sleep.


Police State: Kelly Thomas beaten to death by California police - new video revealed at pre-trial hearing

Never-before-seen surveillance footage of the beating of Kelly Thomas, a Fullerton, Calif. homeless man with schizophrenia, was revealed Monday during a hearing to determine if the police officers involved in the altercation that led to his death will face trial.

The 33-minute video starts with Thomas being approached by Fullerton Police Department Officer Manuel Ramos, who engages him in conversation. By minute 15, Ramos has already donned latex gloves.

"You see my fists?" Ramos asks Thomas. "They're getting ready to fuck you up."

Bizarro Earth

JPMorgan Chase Whistleblower: 'Essentially Suicide' to Stand Up to Bank

Linda Almonte
© Linda Almonte
When Linda Almonte alerted her boss at JPMorgan Chase about potential fraud in a major deal she was helping to close, she expected him to applaud her great catch.

Instead, he fired her.

"We went down fast," said Almonte, 41, about her family. She had been making $100,000 a year as a division vice president at Chase, enough to support her stay-at-home husband, their four kids, ages 12 to 22, and rent a three-bedroom house in San Antonio, Texas.

Her move at Chase amounted to "essentially suicide," Almonte told The Huffington Post. No bank in town would hire her after word spread that she had stood up to the banking giant, she said. After more than a year of fruitless job hunting, Almonte and her family left town, landing at a hotel near Disney World, paying $300 a week for a two-bedroom with a kitchenette.

Almonte enrolled her children in a federal program for homeless kids so that they wouldn't have to switch schools if the family had to leave the hotel. Her father joined them to help out and they survived on her father's $2,700 monthly combined Social Security and disability payments.

Her fate is far from unusual. "Employees get fired all the time for blowing the whistle," said Dana Gold, a senior fellow at the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates for whistleblowers. "We see it so much," Gold said. "It's a predictable phenomenon."


Cover Up? Soldier Dies During Skype Chat: Army Says No Bullet Wound or Trauma

© U.S. Army, File
Army investigators said Monday they found no bullet wound or evidence of foul play in the death of a soldier in Afghanistan who died during a Skype video chat with his wife.

Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark collapsed while speaking to his wife on May 1 from his base in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, southwest of Kabul. His wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, has suggested that Clark was shot, citing a hole visible in the closet behind him that she believed was a bullet hole.

Investigators said an initial probe showed no trauma to the body except that Clark broke his nose when he fell forward. Orellana-Clark said he didn't seem alarmed before he collapsed.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, said Monday that the investigation is still under way.

"But the important thing is that there was no bullet wound, no trauma," except that Clark's nose was possibly broken when he fell on his desk, Grey said in a telephone interview.

"We can positively say that Captain Clark was not shot," Grey later said in a statement.


US Jobless Toll - A Failure of Capitalism

Friday's US jobless report, the most dismal so far this year, demonstrates the complete failure of the capitalist system to provide jobs for the unemployed. Nearly five years after the official beginning of the recession, and nearly four years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a worldwide financial panic, there has been no significant recovery for working people.

Corporate profits are at pre-slump highs, CEO pay is soaring, the wealth of the multimillionaires has reached new levels of obscenity. But working-class living standards continue to fall, not only in the United States, but in Europe, Asia and throughout the world. In every country the watchword is the same: austerity for the masses, while the ruling elites have never had it so good.

More detailed analysis of the statistics provided by the US Department of Labor confirms the historic character of the stagnation in jobs and income for working people. One key metric is the labor-force participation rate, the proportion of the adult population that is engaged in paid labor. This fell to 63.6 percent in April, the lowest figure since 1981, when millions of women still worked only in the home and so were not counted.

2 + 2 = 4

Pedophile Rings Trending on Facebook

Bombshell! America's favorite social network is child-predator playground

© Unknown
Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series examining the dark side of Facebook. Part two comes tomorrow.

(EXPLICIT CONTENT: This report contains graphic details of sexual abuse of children as it has appeared in numerous locations on Facebook. WND immediately reported images of child pornography and child sexual abuse to the FBI. Censored screenshots published are among the mildest of those found.)

She's a tiny brunette with brown eyes, barely 10, and she's naked - posing for the man who raped her and traded her photo like currency with thousands of insatiable predators on Facebook.

The girl doesn't smile, because she knows what comes next. Her abuser will share photos and earn bragging rights from thousands of others just like him who will exchange their own titillating snapshots - often images uploaded from cell phones - of boys and girls they molest.

She's beautiful. In fact, she could be your own daughter, or little sister. Her little curls dangle over her youthful skin. Her bare body is clearly underdeveloped. But she has become a tool for sex, an X-rated trading card, a means to arouse the world's sexual deviants.

Comment: For more information on pedophile rings, see these Sott articles:

International Sex Ring Exposed, Thousands of Children and Infants Raped

Child sex trafficking, 'epidemic' in US

Dutroux Cover-up Protected Pedophile Networks

Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

The Pedophocracy

Arrow Down

Britain faces worst recession since 1930s

Britain is back in recession. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy shrank by 0.2 percent over the first three months of 2012, following a 0.3 percent contraction at the end of 2011. It has now entered a double-dip recession, the first since the 1970s.

The British economy has flat-lined, showing zero growth over 12 months, joining euro zone members Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain in an official recession.

Commenting on the figures, the ONS states, "The economy is weaker relative to its pre-recession peak than at the corresponding stage of the depression in the early 1930s".

The dire situation of the British economy is made even clearer in their accompanying graphic (see below).
© unknown
This view is shared by other finance experts. According to Michael Saunders, an economist at Citigroup, Britain is experiencing "the deepest recession and weakest recovery for 100 years".


The Real Culprit in U.S. Jobs Crisis: Government Cuts

© Reuters
US, Washington - Most U.S. states municipalities have balanced budget laws. What if they didn't?

Some might say a crisis in the muni bond market akin to the European debt crisis. Fair enough. But assume investors in state and local debt reasoned the states and local governments could run deficits and still make good on their bond payments. That scenario would have made for a very different recovery.

Mark McCormick, a currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, pointed out this week that the only reason the U.S. is enduring a "jobless" recovery is because of legislated austerity in state capitals. From the end of the recession in June 2009, state and local governments have cut more than 800,000 jobs. Private employers have created almost three million positions, including more than 200,000 in manufacturing, an industry that had been left for dead.

"The takeaway is that the jobless recovery is due to the restructuring of state and local government jobs and the austerity that has forced budget cuts," Mr. McCormick said in a note for clients.