Archive | November 25, 2015

House Passes Bill to Overhaul the Federal Reserve*

House Passes Bill to Overhaul the Federal Reserve*

By Cristina Marcos

The Federal Reserve would be subject to a controversial public audit under legislation passed by the House on Thursday.

A bill authored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) to overhaul how the nation’s central banking system operates passed on a largely party-line vote of 241-185.

Conservatives have been pushing for years to “audit the Fed” in pursuit of promoting transparency.

“The Fed is not using a transparent monetary policy. And so because of this, greater transparency, greater accountability is necessary. Otherwise, we may soon awake to discover that our central bankers have morphed into our central planners,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

But the central bank maintains that opening up its deliberations to public scrutiny would politicize its decision-making process.

“The Federal Reserve is an independent entity designed to be free from political pressures, and its independence is key to its credibility and its ability to act in the long-term interest of the Nation’s economic health,” the Obama administration wrote in its veto threat against the bill.

Under the legislation, the Federal Reserve would be subject to a one-time audit from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a letter to Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen warned that audits would hinder the central bank’s policymaking deliberations.

“The bill would severely impair the Federal Reserve’s ability to carry out its congressional mandate and would be a grave mistake, detrimental to the economy and the American people,” Yellen wrote.

The measure further clarifies the “blackout period,” an agency policy which prohibits officials from speaking publicly about policy deliberations a week before and immediately following a Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

It’s not the first time the House has passed “audit the Fed” legislation. In 2012, the House passed a long-sought bill from then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the father of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to audit the central bank. Eighty-nine Democrats at that time joined with Republicans in support of Paul’s bill.


Related Topics:

The Federal Reserve Foreclosure

Global Banking Controlled by Federal Reserve*

Federal Reserve for Whom!

$9,000,000,000,000 Missing From the Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve Owes More Than $2 Trillion in US Debt*

Usury-Free Currency Competes with Federal Reserve Notes*

Federal Reserve Returns Only Five Percent of Germany’s Gold*

After not Returning Most of Germany’s Gold, Federal Reserve Refuses Again not to be Audited*

Signs of Federal Reserve Instability Coming to the Surface*

Foreign Countries Held Hostage by the Federal Reserve*

Texas Challenges Federal Reserve with a Gold-backed Bank*

1980 Interview: How the Tax Exempt Foundation has brought about the Destruction of U.S.*

Rescued Russian Pilot Says There was No Warning before F-16 Opened Fire*

Rescued Russian Pilot Says There was No Warning before F-16 Opened Fire*

Rescued co-pilot from the downed Russian Su-24 jet said there were no visual or radio warnings issued by Turkey.

“There were no warnings. Not via the radio, not visually. There was no contact whatsoever. That’s why we were keeping our combat course as usual. You have to understand what the cruising speed of a bomber is compared to an F-16. If they wanted to warn us, they could have shown themselves by heading on a parallel course. But there was nothing. And the rocket hit our tail completely unexpectedly. We didn’t even see it in time to take evasive manoeuvres.”

Rescued co-pilot Captain Konstantin Murahtin said there was no violation of the Turkish airspace.

He also said the crew of the downed Russian bomber jet knew the area of the operation “like the back of their hands.”

“”Of course, having carried out numerous flights there we knew the region like the backs of our hands. We were conducting our sorties and returning back to base following the predetermined route. I’m a navigator, I know every altitude there. I can guide the aircraft there blindfolded,” co-pilot said.

The co-pilot added that he wants to continue serving in the Russian aviation group in Syria.

“I can’t wait until I get the all-clear from the medics, so that I can step back into the ranks. I’m going to ask our command to keep me on this base — I have a debt to repay, for my commander.”

On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 bomber jet crashed in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory, falling 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.

The crew of the plane ejected and one pilot was killed by fire from the ground, according to the Russian General Staff. The co-pilot survived.

A pilot killed by fire from the ground after ejecting from a Russian Su-24 jet downed by Turkey in Syria was posthumously awarded with a Gold Star medal, Russia’s highest honorary title.


Related Topics:

Putin: Downing Of Russian Jet Over Syria Stab in the Back By Terrorist Accomplices*

Netanyahu to ‘punish’ Syrians who Attacked ISIL-ISIS Terrorists*

U.S. Shows Footage of Russian Airstrike against ISIS as Its Own*

Ban Ki-moon Wants Russia to Join America’s War on Humanity*

ISIS Uses Dolls as Bombs to Attack Mass Shia Pilgrimage*

Russian Missiles Kill 600+ ISIS Members in One Strike*

Putin Reveals ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members*

Iraqi Forces Seize U.S.- Led Coalition Planes along with Arms Cargoes*

Inspiring Muslim Woman Donates $1 for Every Hate Tweet She Receives*

Ukraine’s Kolomosky was Aiming at the Plane with Putin When he Hit MH-17

Canadian Mining Abuses in Africa*

Canadian Mining Abuses in Africa*

By Yves Engler

Two weeks ago police shot and killed an individual at Pacific Wildcat Resources tantalum mine in central Mozambique. The incident received some attention in Canada because community members responded by seizing the Vancouver-based company’s mine site and setting some equipment ablaze.

One protester told O Pais newspaper this wasn’t the first time someone was shot dead at the mine and another said:

We don’t want to see the managers of this company operating in the mine anymore. Otherwise we will take the law into our own hands. The director of the company does not respect us, and we cannot allow someone to come and enslave us in our own country.”

In recent years Canadian mining companies have engendered a great deal of violence across Africa. In 2008 Guinea’s military killed three in a bid to drive away small-scale miners from SEMAFO’s Kiniero mine in the southeast of the country. BBC Monitoring Africa reported that “the soldiers shot a woman at close range, burned a baby and in the panic another woman and her baby fell into a gold mining pit and a man fell fatally from his motor while running away from the rangers.”

Blaming the Montréal-based company for the killings, locals damaged its equipment.

To the southeast the Ghanaian military opened fire on a 5,000-person demonstration against a Canadian-owned mine in June 2005. Seven of those protesting Golden Star’s pollution and refusal to compensate those impacted by its operations were hit by bullets. Backing a hardline approach to the local community, a company official called for “some radical way” to change the “mindset” of small-scale unlicensed miners in the region.

Fifteen hundred kilometres north, Mauritania’s national guard raided a peaceful protest, killing one employee and wounding several others during a July 2012 strike at First Quantum’s Guelb Moghrein mine. A release from the Vancouver company afterwards called the strike illegal, but failed to mention the death or injuries.

On the other side of the continent security guards paid by Barrick Gold (now Acacia) have killed a couple dozen villagers at, or in, close proximity, to the Toronto company’s North Mara mine since 2005. Hundreds more have been severely injured by the security and police Barrick pays to patrol the perimeter of its Tanzanian mine and regularly calls on site. Most of the victims were impoverished villagers who scratch rocks for tiny bits of gold and who mined these territories prior to Acacia’s arrival.

Two thousand kilometres southeast Anvil Mining transported Congolese government troops who killed 100 people near its Dikulushi mine in the port town of Kilwa, Katanga. Most of the victims were unarmed civilians.

After a half-dozen members of the little-known Mouvement revolutionnaire pour la liberation du Katanga occupied the Canada-Australian company’s Kilwa concession in October 2004, Anvil provided the trucks used to transport Congolese soldiers to the area and to dump the corpses of their victims into mass graves. A Congolese military commander told UN investigators that the military operation in Kilwa was “made possible thanks to the logistical efforts provided by Anvil mining.” Immediately after the massacre, an Anvil press release celebrated the return of law and order to its mining territory without reporting the use of Anvil planes and trucks to support the military intervention or the deaths near Kilwa.

Despite a long list of abuses by Canadian mining companies in Africa (and elsewhere) it’s incredibly difficult to hold them accountable domestically. The previous Stephen Harper government opposed legislation modelled on the U.S. Alien Torts Claims Act that would have allowed lawsuits against Canadian companies responsible for major human rights violations or ecological destruction abroad. Similarly, the Conservatives and some opposition MPs defeated Liberal MP John McKay’s private members bill (C – 300), which would have withheld diplomatic and financial support from companies found responsible for significant abuses abroad.

Is Justin Trudeau prepared to defy Canada’s powerful mining industry and adopt legislation to constrain their abuses abroad or will he continue to place the full power of Canadian foreign-policy behind this controversial industry?


Related Topics:

The Neo-Colonial Context of Canada’s Multiculturalism*

Canada and Israel Partners in Racial and Humanitarian Crimes*

Canada under Criminal Investigation for Murders, and Child Trafficking*

Controling Haiti’s Gold

What Does Ebola, Gas and Oil Have in Common?*

Protesters Are Killing Big Oil and Mining*

Tanzanian Conservationists Rejects Uranium Mining Approvals*

Tanzania Stands to Lose US$1 billion Annually in a Exxon Mobil-Norwegian Gas Deal*

Exxon Mobil-Norwegian Tanzanian Gas Deal Stopped in their Tracks!?*

Recolonizing Africa: Consolidating African Oil Assets*

Oil Exploration in Congo’s Virunga Park Canceled*

Nigeria Signs Deal for 36 Oil Wells*

Angolan Fishing Community Asks Chevron for Oil Spill Compensation*