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Corruption

United Nations Official Also On The Board Of Shell Oil

Jane Holl Lute is in high demand. In 2020, on top of her two high-level United Nations jobs, the American diplomat has juggled other numerous executive roles on corporate and/or nonprofit boards, earning more than $900,000, according to public records. Lute was the U.N. envoy for Cyprus until she resigned in August, and she still holds the post of special coordinator on improving the U.N.’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse. If her many endeavors outside the U.N. passed the U.N.’s ethics test, her latest gig became more complicated: working as a nonexecutive director for Royal Dutch Shell, the multinational energy company based in the Netherlands. The company has stakes in the heart of the longstanding Cyprus conflict: natural resource exploitation in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Pandora Papers Are Just A Distraction

The latest revelations of creative accounting used by the global elite notably failed to mention any American billionaires. A curious omission, considering eight of the ten richest men on Earth reside in the good old US of A. The release of the Pandora Papers, which brag of leaks exposing the somewhat ‘artistic’ financial practices of the rich and powerful, has once again seen the media take aim at Vladimir Putin. The West’s obsession with the Russian president’s private life is on full, torrid display. His name and picture are on the front pages of publications and above online articles, although reports finally acknowledged that he is not actually named anywhere in the ‘bombshell’ papers. Western media are obsessed with trying to peek inside the private life of Putin for anything salacious, and their motive is transparent.

Democratise Central Banks

In the US, two senior central bank officials recently stepped down after concerns were raised about their trading activities during the pandemic. Robert Kaplan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, will step down next month, and Eric Rosengren, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will step down at the end of September. Both were actively involved in financial markets at the beginning of the year, and therefore stood personally to benefit when the Federal Reserve made the unprecedented decision to extend its asset purchasing programme (what most of you will know as quantitative easing) to a number of different markets. The Fed not only created new money to purchase long-dated government bonds, it also actively intervened in corporate, consumer, and municipal debt markets – effectively propping up thousands of private companies, many of which then provided bumper returns to their shareholders.

Reporting A Federal Crime

I tried to report a crime last week.  It was a serious crime, too.  Rather, it was a whole bunch of federal crimes.  It was impossible to find anybody interested. Let me start at the beginning.  Over the past year, I have developed first-hand knowledge of what I believe is a major international fraud.  The principal is an American citizen who is defrauding investors in a financial technology bank scam based overseas, and the investors include people in the United States and in at least three foreign countries. I have thousands of pages of evidence, including forged documents, surreptitious recordings of the principal admitting to his crime, and affidavits from his former employees and targets.

Rally To Save The Public Post Office: Dump DeJoy And Bounce Bloom

Thursday, September 23, 2021, in front of Brookfield Asset Management's NYC office, 250 Vesey Street, the Rally to Save the Public Post Office: Dump DeJoy & Bounce Bloom was loud and strong. Ron A. Bloom is the Chair of the Postal Board of Governors & also the Vice Chair & Managing Partner of Brookfield where he heads up their $60 billion investment fund.  Recently, the Washington Post had an expose that showed that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has purchased $305,000 in bonds from his boss Ron A. Bloom's company: Brookfield. DeJoy also helped give a $125 million contract to his former company XPO Logistics from the Postal Service.  Somehow DeJoy is allowed to keep $30 million in stock that he has in XPO.  Bloom's company also holds 1.2 million in stock in XPO Logistics. 

How Elite US Institutions Created Afghanistan’s Neoliberal President Ashraf Ghani

No individual is more emblematic of the corruption, criminality, and moral rot at the heart of the 20-year US occupation of Afghanistan than President Ashraf Ghani. As the Taliban took over his country this August, advancing with the momentum of a bowling ball rolling down a steep hill, seizing many major cities without firing a single bullet, Ghani fled in disgrace. The US-backed puppet leader allegedly made his escape with $169 million that he stole from the public coffers. Ghani reportedly crammed the cash into four cars and a helicopter, before flying to the United Arab Emirates, which granted him asylum on supposed “humanitarian” grounds. The president’s corruption had been exposed before. It was known, for instance, that Ghani had brokered shady deals with his brother and US military-linked private companies, letting them tap into Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in mineral reserves.

Afghan Crisis Must End US’s Empire Of War, Corruption And Poverty

Americans have been shocked by videos of thousands of Afghans risking their lives to flee the Taliban’s return to power in their country - and then by an Islamic State suicide bombing and ensuing massacre by U.S. forces that together killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops.  Even as UN agencies warn of an impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the U.S. Treasury has frozen nearly all of the Afghan Central Bank’s $9.4 billion in foreign currency reserves, depriving the new government of funds that it will desperately need in the coming months to feed its people and provide basic services.  Under pressure from the Biden administration, the International Monetary Fund decided not to release $450 million in funds that were scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Guatemala Protests Call For Resignation Of President And Corrupt AG

Protests and road blockades are being held on roads and highways across Guatemala to demand the resignation of neoliberal President Alejandro Giammattei and his Attorney General, Consuelo Porras following the dismissal of the head of the Special Prosecutor Against Corruption, Juan Francisco Sandoval, now in exile. A large number of opposition movements and parties, including indigenous, campesino and student organizations have organized at more than 60 meeting points in the capital and across the country, in what some are calling a ‘Plurinational strike’. Indigenous authorities issued a call on Thursday, urging the population to support mobilizations by taking to the streets to show rejection of the government and its corruption and flagrant mismanagement of the state.

White Helmets Corruption Scandal Deepens

The decade-long dirty war on Syria proved to be a cash cow for some of the most prominent US and UK regime-change operatives. Western government contractors got hundreds of millions of dollars to run schemes to destabilize Damascus – and some of them took a cut for themselves, profiting off of the pillage. One of the main players in the cottage industry of contractors that helped run the Western regime-change war on Syria,  and which was eventually implicated in a massive corruption scandal, was the Mayday Rescue Foundation. Mayday served as the fiscal sponsor of Syria Civil Defense, known popularly as the White Helmets, a deceptive humanitarian interventionist operation that became a key propaganda weapon in the dirty war on Damascus.

Maryland To Review Cases Of Medical Examiner Who Testified In George Floyd Case

During the trial of Derek Chauvin, one key issue was a dispute over the cause of George Floyd’s death. While the prosecution was pointing out that Floyd had suffocated because of neck restraint by police, the defense suggested that there were additional factors that contributed to his death, including Floyd’s reported heart disease and drug abuse. Autopsy conclusions of in-custody deaths made by forensic pathologist Dr. David Fowler during his 17 year career as a chief medical examiner in Maryland, who testified in Chauvin’s trial, will be re-examined, the Baltimore Sun reported on Friday, citing state officials. The decision was made after Fowler, a former chief medical examiner in Maryland from 2002 to 2019, testified in court as a defense witness, stating that Chauvin’s neck compression was not a "substantial contributor" to Floyd's death.

On Contact: Securing Democracy With Glenn Greenwald

On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to the US journalist Glenn Greenwald about how his reporting exposed the corruption that is rife among Brazil’s political, judicial, and economic elite. Greenwald was able to show, through a trove of documents, how President Jair Bolsonaro and his crypto-fascist party manipulated the legal system with the connivance of federal anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro, and were able to discredit and eliminate Bolsonaro’s political rival, former two-term president Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, the leader of the Workers’ Party. These revelations, dubbed the Secret Brazil Archive, which were published just after Bolsonaro’s inauguration in 2019, have led to repeated death threats against Greenwald and his family, and the prospect of criminal investigation and prosecution. His new book is ‘Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro’s Brazil’.

Tens Of Millions In Florida Properties Linked To Ecuadorian Candidate

In March 2017, ahead of Ecuador’s second-round presidential election, CEPR reported that Florida-based shell companies linked to then-candidate Guillermo Lasso owned 144 properties in Broward and Miami-Dade counties valued at over $30 million. In that election, voters approved a referendum barring politicians and civil servants from holding assets in tax havens and giving them one year to divest or transfer their holdings. Though Florida is not included among the list of tax havens, it is considered a “low tax jurisdiction,” which authorities will handle on a case-by-case basis. Four years later, Ecuador is again headed to a second-round presidential vote, with Lasso on the ballot. While additional layers of anonymity have been introduced in order to further hide...

Haiti Begins General Strike

February 1, 2021 - Industries across Haiti are shut down today as workers in multiple sectors participate in a 48-hour general strike. The strike was called by the labor unions following years of struggle in Haiti against brutal austerity and government corruption. Part of the reason behind the general strike is that the current president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, is refusing to step down on February 7, when many believe that his term is up under the constitution. Moïse claims that his term isn’t up until February 7, 2022, as he was elected to a five year term in 2017. Many fear that Moïse is taking the preparatory steps to rule as a dictator of Haiti.

Venezuela Sentences Former Citgo Executives For Corruption

Merida - Six former oil executives were sentenced for corruption on Thursday by a Venezuelan court. They were detained in November 2017 in Caracas on charges of embezzlement, money laundering and conspiracy at state oil company PDVSA’s US subsidiary, Citgo. Attorney General Tarek William Saab stated at the time that the accused had signed contracts without government permission which “jeopardized the country’s assets.” Refinancing plans with Frontier Group Management and Apollo Global Management allegedly had draconian conditions and offered the company itself as collateral.

Guatemalans Continue Anti-Government Protests

Guatemala City, Guatemala – Guatemalans have returned to protest across the country for the second Saturday in a row, as discontent with President Alejandro Giammattei and his government continues. More than 2,000 people gathered in Guatemala City’s central plaza to demand the resignation of Giammattei and congressional representatives who had approved the country’s controversial 2021 budget. “We are demanding that they respect our rights and that all those corrupt politicians in Congress leave,” Maria Fernanda Saldana, a 22-year-old university student...
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