Secret Offshore Bank Accounts, FBI's Surveillance Scandal, US Top Brass Corruption
Revealing News Articles
November 20, 2012
Below are key excerpts of important news articles on an investigation of the British bank HSBC's secret offshore bank accounts, the scandal of rogue FBI surveillance, corruption sweeping through the US military top brass, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" box below the summaries. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: For an excellent History Channel documentary revealing the battle over the centuries of the Catholic Church against science and reason, click here. For an intriguing article in Germany's Der Spiegel on distrust among central banks concerning gold reserves, click here. For a great, 8-minute video showing the huge scam behind bottled water, click here. Another great one along the same lines is "The Story of Change" available here. For an educational video titled "The Great Culling" on the dangers of fluoridated water, click here. For a short video with a number of stars calling for labeling of GMOs in food, click here.
HSBC Investigation: clients of Britain's biggest bank exposed
November 15, 2012, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Britain's biggest bank is at the centre of a major ... investigation after it opened offshore accounts in Jersey for serious criminals living in this country. Tax authorities have obtained details of every British client of HSBC in Jersey after a whistleblower secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and account balances earlier this week. Among those identified on the list are Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now in Venezuela; Michael Lee, who was convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon; three bankers facing major fraud allegations and a man once dubbed London's "number two computer crook". The disclosures raise serious questions about HSBC's procedures in Jersey, with the bank already preparing to pay fines of around $1.5 billion in America for breaking money laundering rules. The bank is legally obliged to report to the authorities any suspicions about the source of money deposited in its accounts. The list identifies 4,388 people holding £699 million in offshore current accounts and they are also likely to have billions of pounds more in investment schemes. Several celebrities and other well-known figures are understood to be identified in the client data. The HSBC Jersey client list is understood to be heavily dominated by senior figures in the City. Dozens of bankers are understood to have deposited six-figure sums offshore with some institutions said to have "clusters" of employees taking advantage of the accounts. Doctors, mining and oil executives and oil workers are also heavily represented in the list.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption and criminality, click here.
FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation
November 13, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Petraeus scandal is receiving intense media scrutiny. Several of the emerging revelations are genuinely valuable, particularly those involving the conduct of the FBI and the reach of the US surveillance state. The FBI investigation began when Jill Kelley - a Tampa socialite friendly with Petraeus (and apparently very friendly with Gen. John Allen, the four-star U.S. commander of the war in Afghanistan) - received a half-dozen or so anonymous emails that she found vaguely threatening. She then informed a friend of hers who was an FBI agent, and a major FBI investigation was then launched that set out to determine the identity of the anonymous emailer. What is most striking is how sweeping, probing and invasive the FBI's investigation then became, all without any evidence of any actual crime - or the need for any search warrant. The FBI traced all of [Paula] Broadwell's physical locations, learned of all the accounts she uses, ended up reading all of her emails, investigated the identity of her anonymous lover (who turned out to be Petraeus), and then possibly read his emails as well. They also discovered "alleged inappropriate communication" to Kelley from Gen. Allen, who is not only the top commander in Afghanistan but was also just nominated by President Obama to be the Commander of US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (a nomination now "on hold"). This is a surveillance state run amok. It also highlights how any remnants of internet anonymity have been all but obliterated by the union between the state and technology companies.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government surveillance, click here.
Sense of entitlement behind military ethics scandals?
November 14, 2012, USA Today
Three of the military's most senior leaders are embroiled in ethics scandals. The latest, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, is under investigation for more than 20,000 pages of material including e-mails sent to Jill Kelley, the woman involved in the scandal that forced David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. Allen succeeded Petraeus in Kabul. An Associated Press report ... called the e-mails "flirtatious." Experts speculate that these lapses stem from the sense of entitlement in the upper reaches that exists not just in the armed services. "It's an old narrative that those at the top often become poisoned by their power," said Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. Two other members of the top brass face ethics probes of their own. Adm. James Stavridis, head of European Command, was criticized last week in an Pentagon inspector general report that cited his use of military aircraft for personal business, including a trip to a Burgundy wine-tasting society. Earlier this year, Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, then head of U.S. Africa Command, was hammered by another inspector general report for lavish travel and improper use of military transportation and staff. The report said Ward and his wife had staff pick up their laundry and do their shopping. [Allen] had been scheduled for a Senate confirmation hearing this week for his new post: succeeding Stavridis as chief of European Command. That hearing has been postponed.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on military corruption, click here.
Jimmy Savile, who may have abused as many as 300 children, was so close to Prince Charles
November 4, 2012, London Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Late TV presenter Jimmy Savile, who may have abused as many as 300 children, was so close to Prince Charles that he advised him on the appointment of one of his most senior aides. In an indication of the power and privilege extended to Savile by the royal family, Charles asked the DJ and television presenter for advice before selecting Sir Christopher Airy to be his private secretary in 1990. The revelation shows the close friendship between the heir to the throne and the television presenter, who the prince grew to rely on in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The two men became unlikely friends after meeting in the late 1970s while working with wheelchair sports charities. Former palace aides have described how Savile inveigled his way into the royal family, dropping in to see Charles when it suited him. While the prince seemed amused by Savile's eccentricity, Diana, Princess of Wales seemed more cautious. Despite this, the friendship between Charles and Savile grew closer over the years, in part due to Savile's charity work. In 1990, Charles brought Savile into his home in an attempt to help smooth over his relationship with Diana when it became clear their marriage was beginning to fall apart. Charles even dispatched the presenter to help the Duchess of York keep a low profile as her marriage to his brother Prince Andrew deteriorated. Savile's tasks also included helping Charles pick his private secretary. After consultation with Savile, Airy was appointed private secretary and treasurer to the prince and Diana. When Savile died last year, Charles led the tributes to him, saying his death had left him "incredibly saddened".
Note: This article requires payment to view in its entirety on the Times website. To read the full article on another website, click here. If you want to understand how these sex scandals reach to the highest levels of government with impunity, don't miss the Discovery Channel's powerful documentary Conspiracy of Silence available here. For lots more from reliable sources on the Savile case and other major sexual abuse scandals, click here.
Patriot Coal to Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining
November 16, 2012, ABC news/Associated Press
Bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp. agreed [on November 15] to become the first U.S. coal operator to phase out and eventually stop all large-scale mountaintop removal mining in central Appalachia, under an agreement reached with three environmental groups that sued over pollution from several West Virginia operations. St. Louis-based Patriot said the proposed agreement allows it to postpone as much as $27 million in expenses into 2014 and beyond, improving its liquidity and the likelihood it can successfully emerge from Chapter 11 protection as a viable business. Mountaintop removal is a highly efficient but particularly destructive form of strip mining unique to West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Coal companies blast apart mountain ridge tops to expose multiple coal seams. The resulting rock and debris is dumped in streams, creating so-called valley fills. Patriot is one of the largest mountaintop removal operators in the region. Presented to U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington for consideration, the agreement came out of water pollution lawsuits filed by the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, called the agreement a historic moment in the fight against what he called an "abhorrent" form of mining. "Patriot Coal may be the first company to cease mountaintop removal mining, but because of the tireless efforts of committed volunteers and community organizations, it certainly won't be the last," he said.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on energy issues, click here.
State seeks answers in gas price spikes
November 15, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
October's record-setting jump in gasoline prices cost Californians $320 million, and yet state officials lack some of the basic information needed to ensure that refineries aren't playing games with the fuel market. That was the testimony [on November 15] at a hearing that explored the causes of the price spike, which saw the state's average price for a gallon of regular reach $4.67. The hearing could lead to legislation. With its own specialized gasoline blends made by just a handful of refineries, California has long been prone to price spikes. But four of the most severe on record happened in 2012. The October price spike began after an electrical outage suddenly shut down an ExxonMobil refinery in Los Angeles County. Fuel supplies in California had already been strained by the Aug. 6 fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond refinery, as well as the closure of a crude-oil pipeline in the Central Valley. Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute in Berkeley, noted that the state's reliance on just a few refining companies gives those businesses significant power over the market, even if they don't conspire to raise prices. No pipelines connect California to refineries in the Midwest or on the Gulf Coast, leading many analysts to label the state an "energy island." "Unfortunately, we've created a situation in the California market where because we're an island and because it's pretty concentrated, we actually do have companies that are in a pretty strong position to raise prices by putting less (gas) on the market. There is no law against them doing that," [Borenstein said].
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
San Francisco area drivers 1st with algae biofuel
November 14, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel. Biodiesel B20 is made from 20 percent algae and 80 percent petroleum, and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel. Advocates say it is the first in a wave of clean fuel to hit the marketplace. "We are putting a stake in the ground," said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, as he prepared to fill the first tank with the algae-based product at a Valero station in Redwood City. The fuel's algae was grown by South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. and already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies. It was sold for about $4.25 a gallon at the Redwood City station, about the same as the average price for diesel fuel in California. Horton said most diesel vehicles could run on 100 percent algae fuel, but doing so would result in higher costs for consumers. He added that many automakers oppose allowing a mix higher than 20 percent.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on new energy developments, click here.
Uruguay's President Mujica Shuns Wealth for Small Farm and VW Beetle
November 15, 2012, Fox News
Uruguay's [president] José Mujica ... has shunned the country's Residencia de Suarez for the cozy but modest quarters of his small home on the outskirts of the capital, Montevideo. Dubbed by many media organizations as the world's "poorest" president, Mujica and his wife keep house on a small farm surrounded by other tiny homes and guarded by only two police officers and his three-legged dog, Manuela. "I've lived like this most of my life," Mujica told the BBC. "I can live well with what I have." Unlike his forebears and counterparts around the world who live in comfort and are chauffeured around in limousines, Mujica donates 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity organizations benefiting the poor and small businesses, and his means of transport is a beat-up 1987 Volkswagon Beetle worth about $1,800 – or the equivalent of his annual personal wealth declaration. This year he bumped his wealth declaration up to $215,000 – only after declaring his wife's assets of land, tractors and a house – which still pales in comparison to Vice-President Danilo Astori's declared wealth and former President Tabare Vasquez's bank account. "I'm called 'the poorest president,' but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," Mujica said. "This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself."
Note: For more on this unusual and inspiring president, click here.
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