Archive | September 15, 2016

250 ISIS Terrorists Killed in Russian Air Strikes*

250 ISIS Terrorists Killed in Russian Air Strikes*

The Russian Aerospace Forces have eliminated 250 ISIS terrorists and 15 vehicles armed with machine guns near the Syrian city of Palmyra, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported on September 14. Russian warplanes conducted airstrikes north of the city where a group of terrorists was preparing offensive on the Syrian army positions.

Photos of the Syrian S-200 air-defence system deployed in southern Syria appeared in pro-government social media accounts on September 14. According to reports, the same system was used against Israeli aircraft on September 13 when Syria claimed to down an Israeli drone and a warplane over the country. However, the claim of the Syrian military has not been confirmed with video or photo proofs.

On September 19, the Syrian Air Force will stop to carry out combat flights in accordance with terms of the U.S.-Russian agreement on Syria, a senior U.S. official said during a special briefing for press held on the phone on September 13. At the same time, the U.S. side noted that in the current period, the Syrian Arab Air Force is still technically allowed to strike on Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. After the joint U.S.-Russian integration centre will be created, new restrictions will come into force. Then the air force of the regime will not be able to strike on Jabhat al-Nusra.

The statement came amid reports that Russian and U.S. defence officials even have not agreed a plan for military cooperation in Syria. According to Spokesman for the Pentagon, Peter Cook, the aim of recent discussions was to strengthen security measures to avoid incidents in the Syrian airspace. In this case, it’s hard to say when the U.S.-Russian joint centre will be de-facto launched.

Source*

Related Topics:

As Expected U.S. Failing to Fulfill Obligations of Syria Ceasefire Deal*

As Expected U.S. Failing to Fulfill Obligations of Syria Ceasefire Deal*

As Expected U.S. Failing to Fulfill Obligations of Syria Ceasefire Deal*

The military added that the U.S. failed to deliver on its promise to separate truce-observing moderates and truce-violating terrorists and is now “apparently trying to use a smoke-screen to cover up the violations of their part of the deal.”

Earlier the U.S. said that both Damascus and the rebels were reported as violating the ceasefire, which was announced earlier this week. Washington acknowledges its responsibility to stop violations committed by the anti-government forces.

“We’ve always been clear, just as we have said that Russia’s responsibility is to exert influence or put pressure – however you want to put it – on the regime to abide by the cessation of hostilities, it is incumbent on us to persuade, convince the moderate opposition to also abide by the cessation of hostilities, and ultimately, that’s a decision they’re going to have to make,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday.

“We’re continuing our outreach to the Syrian moderate opposition – that’s been ongoing – and trying to explain the arrangement to them, answer their questions. And again, we’ve seen, as I said, sporadic reports of violence, but in large part we think [the ceasefire] is holding,” he added.

Amid the mounting differences of opinion over the truce between U.S. and Russia, Moscow reiterated its call to declassify the entire deal negotiated in Geneva last week. The U.S. insisted that the documents were classified, which Russia initially agreed to, saying it would help protect it from potential derailment.

But after several officials in the U.S. voiced doubt about Russia’s sincerity in keeping to the deal, Moscow said it would seek to make the agreement public so that people could see for themselves what the deal was about. Declassifying all relevant documents and endorsing them in a U.N. Security Council resolution would prevent speculation about the responsibilities of the parties involved, Russia believes.

“We know well how often documents get leaked to the media, and not by Russia but by our American colleagues,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

“Moscow suggests publishing [the documents] to avoid any erroneous interpretations, prevent an impact of such leaks on any party involved in the conflict or manipulation attempts by parties not familiar with details of the deal.”

Russia is not the only nation to take this stance. France said on Thursday it wants to see the exact wording of the deal.

“If there is confusion… then there is also a risk of the moderate opposition being hit,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, as cited by Reuters. “At one point we’re going to be asked to support in greater detail this plan, so to do that we will need to have all the information.”

The U.S. and Russia signed a deal to curb the violence in Syria last week, with both sides hailing it as a major breakthrough. The ceasefire is meant to last for seven days. The U.N. said the truce managed to significantly reduce violence in Syria, but scepticism remains, as a similar attempt in February eventually collapsed.

Terrorist groups Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are not part of the deal and are legitimate targets for Russian and Syrian troops. Some reports have claimed that Damascus has attacked ‘moderate rebels’ while supposedly going after Al-Nusra. Moscow says the U.S. has failed to clearly distinguish Al-Nusra Front-allied groups from those which are meant to be protected by the ceasefire, despite Russia’s numerous requests to provide such intelligence.

Source*

Syria’s “Good” and “Bad” Terrorists: Russia Accuses Al Qaeda Rebels (Supported by US) of Violating Ceasefire

Related Topics:

US, Russia Agree to Syria Cease-Fire Followed by Joint Airstrikes*

Terrorists Launch New Offensive in Golan Heights as Ceasefire Begins*

Syrian Army Command Confirms Shooting Down Israeli Aircraft*

…and the last time…

As Russia Bombs ISIS, U.S. Bombs Syrian Civilian Power Stations*

Since 30 Sept. Russia has Carried Out 600 Sorties While U.S. Coalition Bomb Public Facilities*

U.S. Playing Games Whilst Russia Strike 72 Terrorist Targets in Syria*

As far as Honour Goes U.S. has None: Tries to Bait Russia with Lifting of Sanctions for Russian Withdrawal from Syria*

The Joint U.S-Russia U.N. Security Council Draft Resolution “To Defeat ISIS!?*

Georgia is Using an Error-Riddled Database to Reject Thousands of Voter Registrations*

Georgia is Using an Error-Riddled Database to Reject Thousands of Voter Registrations*

By Kira Lerner

Tens of thousands of Georgia voters have had their registrations thrown out because of typos in the state’s databases or because their name in the databases may not exactly match the information on their registration form.

Voting advocates filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday alleging that the state’s requirement that voter registration forms exactly match information in state databases violates the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Thousands of voters — disproportionately minorities — have had their registrations rejected because of discrepancies as small as an extra hyphen or accent mark, according to lawyers.

“Would-be voters, including a disproportionate number of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian-American voters are denied the right to register and vote because many of the databases maintained by the state are riddled with errors,” Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said on a press call.

Clarke noted that Georgia has rejected or suspended five times more registration forms from black applications compared to their white counterparts. Michelle Cantor Cohen, election counsel with Project Vote, added that the exact match requirement is “not unlike a literacy test.”

The lawsuit names Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who has mandated the exact match policy, and demands that the state terminate the policy before the November election.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of challenges to election laws across the country that make it more difficult for minority voters to cast a ballot. After the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the VRA in 2013, many states across the south scrambled to write new laws with that intended effect.

It’s unclear if Georgia’s exact match policy would be in place today if the entire VRA were still intact. Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, Georgia was required to pre-clear changes to its election laws with the U.S. Department of Justice. Although this exact match policy was approved by the federal government in 2010, the evidence that the policy disproportionately affects minority voters was not readily available at that time, according to attorneys.

“This is yet another example of ongoing efforts we’re seeing across the country to make registering to vote more difficult,” Clarke said.

Georgia currently has one of the strictest exact match policies in the country because other states have been required to loosen their requirements or give voters more time to fix problems and discrepancies, according to one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs.

But it’s far from the only state where voter registration has been an issue before the general election. Ohio elections officials are being scrutinized after they began purging voters’ registrations if they have skipped three or more federal elections. Illinois Republicans have sued to shut down same-day voter registration, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently vetoed legislation that would have made his state the sixth with automatic voter registration.

Georgia has also seen its fair share of voting issues. In 2012, a few months before the last presidential election, Secretary of State Kemp similarly purged thousands of voters from the rolls because of faulty data. And last year, the state’s director of elections resigned after her office mistakenly cancelled the registrations of hundreds of thousands of voters.

“We know these tactics well,” Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia NAACP, said on the press call Wednesday. “They have one goal in mind, and that is to suppress the vote from folks whose values are progressive-leaning in this country.”

Source *

Related Topics:

Election Fraud Report Recommends Primary Results for Hillary Invalid*

The U.S. Military Court Recent Decisions, and the Black Vote*

Extreme Voter Suppression in New York and Arizona – Demands for Recount*

California Primary Results in Voter Suppression, Election Fraud*

Ballots With Sanders Votes Covered with Erased in San Diego*

Federal Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act, Discriminates Against Blacks and Latinos*

Man Proves Hacked Software Gave Hillary Stolen Votes*

Black Lives Matter Fighting Alongside Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters*

Black Lives Matter Fighting Alongside Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters*

By Ashoka Jegroo

There’s been growing solidarity between the #BlackLivesMatter and #NoDAPL movements in recent weeks, and activists in New York are looking to strengthen that bond even more.

On Aug. 27, Black Lives Matter activists from Minneapolis and Toronto travelled to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles North and South Dakota, to support indigenous tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). On Sept. 2, BLM’s national chapter released a statement expressing its solidarity with #NoDAPL protesters. And now, members of New York City’s most active BLM groups plan on visiting Standing Rock this week to prevent the proposed 1,172-mile, four-state oil pipeline from being built on Native treaty lands.

“We decided that we really need to stand in solidarity with the tribes out in Standing Rock because we know very well that all of our struggles are connected, and until we unite, we’re never going to win,” Kim Ortiz, organizer of NYC Shut It Down, told me.

NYC Shut It Down is one of several grassroots, anti-police brutality groups from New York City that will be in Standing Rock from Sept. 14 to 18. Its goal? To deliver supplies, and support a coalition of hundreds of tribes that want to stop the DAPL’s construction. Other groups travelling there include Millions March NYCCopwatch Patrol Unit, and Equality for Flatbush, all of which are active in the city’s Black Lives Matter movement.

On Friday, these groups also helped New York City-based #NoDAPL activists organize and promote a rally in Washington Square Park. Earlier that day, a judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction on the pipeline. But then, minutes later, three federal agencies issued a statement requesting that Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners “voluntarily pause” construction within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe—land the tribe considers sacred.

Despite the Obama administration’s support, however, Friday evening’s rally went on as planned because activists “do not see [the statement] as having any teeth,” Rally for Standing Rock organizer Audra Simpson said.

And so, hundreds gathered in Washington Square Park for several hours of speeches, songs, drum-beating, and chants of “water is life.” Organizers also collected piles of donated items—including school supplies, tents, blankets, sleeping bags, medical supplies, and coats—a portion of which will be delivered to Standing Rock by the BLM contingent.

For the activists, this kind of support between black and indigenous movements is the only way they’ll be able to defeat their common oppressors.

“It’s a pronouncement of solidarity, empathy, and support for each other in our intersecting movements and attempts to stay alive in a settler state that has targeted us differently for life and for death,” Simpson, a Columbia University professor of Mohawk descent, said.

Red Sky Harjo, a 22-year-old student, communicates regularly with his father and three cousins who are currently protesting in Standing Rock. Harjo said he was happy to witness unity among the various indigenous tribes protesting the DAPL, as well as BLM’s support for their cause.

“We have all these nations coming together, which I don’t think anybody ever thought was possible. And with Black Lives Matter, it’s just an added plus for the two movements to stand in solidarity with one another,” Harjo told me at Friday’s rally.

“I’ve been down with the Black Lives Matter movement since the beginning because white America just doesn’t understand the residual affects that going through slavery and going through a genocide has on future generations.”

“It’s just an added plus for the two movements to stand in solidarity with one another.”

Abby Rojas, a 22-year-old Mexican American of Tlaxcaltec descent and member of NYC Shut It Down, organized BLM’s upcoming trip to Standing Rock. Rojas said she was first inspired to join the #NoDAPL movement after meeting Victor Puertas, an activist with the anti-DAPL collective Red Warrior Camp, who told her about the situation. Then she and Ortiz found out about Defenders of the Water School, a makeshift Native school at Standing Rock, on Twitter. They decided to help by donating school supplies, but soon expanded the purpose of their trip.

“It all began when the donations began for the new school that’s coming up in Standing Rock, and everyone in NYC Shut It Down was willing to help. So we just decided to go as a group to help out the school,” Rojas told me.

“But it became a bigger thing. Now, we’re just looking for supplies for the whole camp.”

In addition to the supplies collected at Friday’s rally, NYC Shut It Down set up a GoFundMe page on Aug. 31 to collect donations for protesters at Standing Rock, and ultimately raised $4,782. The activists are using this money to buy school supplies and fund their trip to North Dakota.

Imani Henry, a community organizer with Equality for Flatbush, is one of several New York-based BLM activists who travelled to Standing Rock earlier than the rest of his colleagues.

 “I am in solidarity to bear witness to this struggle, lend a hand in the kitchen, bring supplies, and do whatever is asked,”

Henry, who flew to North Dakota on Sept. 9, told me via Facebook Messenger.

Beyond donating supplies and showing solidarity, one group called Copwatch Patrol Unit plans to act as a watchdog against police and private security forces, which reportedly behaved aggressively towards #NoDAPL protesters earlier this month.

“We are going to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Reservation after media reports of road blockades, security attacking people with dogs, and rumours of law enforcement overstepping their boundaries,” Michael Barber, a member of Copwatch Patrol Unit, told me at Friday’s rally.

“So I’m going there to live-stream and document the police state that we all live in right now. Basically, the revolution will be televised.”

Much like the indigenous tribes they’re supporting, Black Lives Matter activists from New York City see themselves engaged in a fight against state violence, oppression, and exploitation. For these activists, black and indigenous struggles are intimately tied together.

“I think we’re starting to see that a lot of these movements are related, that there’s intersectionality between issues of social justice and issues of environmental racism,” Tara Houska, national campaigns director of the indigenous environmental-justice group Honor The Earth, told me.

“We know that our communities are not only targeted by police and killed at a disparate rate by police officers, we also know that our communities are targeted at a disparate rate by these projects.”

Solidarity between Black Lives Matter and indigenous tribes are part of a long tradition of black and Native unity in the face of injustice, activists say.

“Solidarity and kinship between African peoples and the peoples of the Americas is almost 500 years old,” Equality for Flatbush’s Henry said.

“We proudly have fought together in wars against European invaders and slavery, from Jamaica to Florida and elsewhere. This is why thousands of people of colour claim both black and indigenous nations as their racial and cultural identities.”

Activists on both sides see these movements as urgent battles for survival.

And since black and indigenous people have historically been victimized by the state, activists on both sides see these movements as urgent battles for survival.

“We’re talking about forced enslavement, dispossession, corporate privatization of natural resource, and we see this from the Bronx to Flint to Standing Rock. And the key point is that this entire system is made possible by the police institution, by the prison system, which functions as the enforcement arm of this violent system,” Vienna Rye, an organizer with Millions March NYC, told me over the phone.

“Standing Rock is really the epitome of why reform continues to kill us, and why we need abolition. These institutions have proven, time and time again, that they can’t be reformed. Standing Rock is evidence 400 years later.”

Ultimately, though, both movements are cooperating because they know they’re much stronger together than apart.

“Native Americans have been through so much. African Americans have been through so much,” NYC Shut It Down’s Ortiz said. “And we will never be free until we unite and get free.”

Source*

#NoDAPL Protesters Shut Down 2 TD Bank Branches in DC

Activists called out TD Bank today for its financing of a gigantic, $3.8 billion fracked-oil pipeline that would cross Lakota Treaty territory in North Dakota.

Several of the activists walked into the branch to deliver a letter calling on TD Bank to stop lending its investors’ money to Energy Transfer Partners to build the 1,134-mile Dakota Access Pipeline that would run from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing beneath the Missouri River near Standing Rock Reservation and threatening the tribe’s water supply and sacred and cultural lands.  TD Securities, the bank’s parent, is contributing $365 million to the project.

As the letter-deliverers rejoined the group outside, bank officials locked the doors as the protest continued on the sidewalk.

“I believe that we will win. I believe that we will win,” the group chanted. And

“Stop funding this pipeline. Stop funding genocide.” And

“White, black, yellow, red; without water, we’re all dead.”

Protesters strung yellow crime-scene tape that said “FRESH GRAVES KEEP OUT” across the bank’s doors.

“This is not just an assault on Mother Earth. This is an assault on Native Americans,” said Caro Gonzales of the International Indigenous Youth Council.

The pipeline originally was to cross under the Missouri River farther north, near Bismarck, North Dakota’s capital.

“The white people there said, ‘We are afraid for our children,’ ” she said.

So, they moved the pipeline route to “right above Native American territory – that has children. That is racism,” she said.

The spirited local action, organized by Beyond Extreme Energy, was one of many across the nation this month during Global Weeks of Solidarity, which was called by the Camp of the Sacred Stones and the Red Warrior Camp in North Dakota.  A day earlier, for example, hundreds rallied in front of the White House to call on President Obama to stop the pipeline. In response to the expanding protests, the Justice and Interior departments and the U.S. Army have called for a halt in construction until the pipeline can be reviewed.

After a 23-hour drive from the North Dakota resistance camps, Gonzalez and Lauren Howland had arrived in Washington late the night before. Their first stop: the White House.

“It’s funny how I felt like a tourist in my own land,” Howland said.

“My ancestors died here. … Everywhere there’s a building built, my ancestors are underneath. … Everywhere in America is built on my ancestors’ [burial ground]. That is desecration.”

She said about 5,000 people are at the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior camps near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

“Money doesn’t exist at Standing Rock, and we are making it work very well,” she said.

“To TD businessmen and women:  You have caused violence. … You cannot drink oil.”

Gonzalez and Howland plan to take their urgent message to President Obama and Congress. “They need to know that Native Americans are no longer expendable,” Howland said.

She added that she is relearning her culture and Native ways:  “I am decolonizing my people.”

“We are living proof that we are not giving up,” she said.

“A hundred million Native Americans died to make the United States what it is today. … It was stolen; it was genocide.”

After writing #NoDAPL messages in chalk on the sidewalk, the group headed for a second TD branch on 14th St. NW, where the doors had already been locked.

Activists are sending a message to TD bank officials, customers and employees that they don’t approve of their investments, said Gabe Shapiro of BXE and Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

 “It is 2016. It is time for us to take a moral stand on these issues, whether or not it’s your job, whether or not it’s how you put food on the table for your kids,” he said.

“This bank right now is funding the destruction of Indigenous sovereign land, land that was granted to be Native land. It was the concession to them – after we stole it from them and invaded this country violently.”

“Every person working for this bank is complicit,” he said.

“This bank is profiting off of genocide of the Indigenous people in this country.  Is it not enough, everything that has been done? Is it not enough? When do we draw the line?”

He called on the president to stop the pipeline or be prepared for more actions and arrests. “This pipeline is already history,” Shapiro said.

“The federal government has paused the pipeline, and its future is uncertain,” said BXE member Drew Hudson.

“It would be prudent for TD’s customers, and for the planet, if they pulled the funding now and invested in clean energy instead.”

 Source*

Related Topics:

Black History Month and Indigenous Americans*

Palestinians back Standing Rock Sioux in “struggle for all humanity”*

The Banks Financing the Dakota Pipeline*

Riot Police Begin Mass-Arrests at Dakota Access Pipeline*

Obama Pipeline Plot Twist Is Not a Victory—and Could Erase the Struggle*

An Important Message From Chief Arvol Looking Horse*

Why were the Black Lives Matter protesters at London City Airport all White?*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

Scramble for AfricaBy Lord Aikins Adusei

In May, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain told Queen Elizabeth II that he was inviting the leaders of some ‘fantastically corrupt countries’, including Nigeria and Afghanistan, to attend an anti-corruption summit. Cameron’s comment about Nigeria and Afghanistan, though not surprising, undoubtedly hides the truth and is pregnant with hypocrisy and double standards.

The response by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, that he would not demand an apology from Cameron but rather would demand the return of the country’s looted assets, brings to light the true nature of corruption in Nigeria, Africa and the developing world and the indifference of Western politicians, institutions and corporations, in particular the media, in fighting corruption.

The tens of billions of dollars that leave the shores of Africa and other poor regions every year are not the making of these regions alone. Britain, France, Switzerland, the United States and other developed economies are not only deeply involved but actually provide the avenue, incentives and the legal and institutional infrastructures in promoting corruption in the developing world. The cities of London, Paris, New York, Washington, Geneva, Zurich and Monaco serve as home to the billions of dollars that leave Africa each year.

David Cameron pointing accusing fingers at Nigeria and Afghanistan is nothing new. Quite often when you read the newspapers, listen to the radio and watch television in the West, you learn how poor Africans are and how corrupt African leaders are. But you will never watch, read or hear anything in these media outlets about the role being played by Western banking institutions, property development and real estate companies, big corporations, and the Western political and business elite in promoting corruption in Africa. When it comes to Africa and the developing world, the Western media pretend to be doing a good job only when there is an embarrassing story or a scandal, which undermines their credibility as the watchdog of the state.

It is common to see poverty-stricken Africans in poor living conditions in Western documentaries and movies but the same documentaries and movies are always silent on the role played by the institutions in the West. Bribery, as we all know, involves a giver and a taker, but it is often only the taker who is reported on in the media. In many instances bribes are offered in order to secure a contract or an official favour or to influence a government decision. In other instances corruption is facilitated because of the existence of favourable conditions as can be seen in most Western countries with their banking secrecy laws.

The media in the West tend to ignore the role of Western institutions for many reasons. One main reason is the interlocking shareholding and other corporate and financial links between the media companies and these organisations. Another reason has to do with the fear of losing advertising revenue from the corporations involved.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, ITV, Fox, Sky News and other media houses assiduously portray Africa as poor and undeveloped but do not show the same zeal in reporting about the role Western banking and other institutions play. They fail to tell the world that the proceeds from the looting that makes Africans poor are indeed sitting in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and the offshore enclaves (e.g., Jersey, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Monaco) controlled by the West. They fail to tell the world that Africa would be a different place if all the stolen monies are returned, but would they ever raise a voice in support of such a laudable idea? Why would the media change the way they report when for centuries they have been the source of misinformation and misrepresentation of non-Western affairs?

Corruption in Africa is facilitated by banking institutions in Europe and North America, especially the U.S., Switzerland, Britain, France, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Austria and many others, which accept money from African leaders without questioning the source of the money. According to the U.N., around $148 billion is stolen from the continent every year by political leaders, the business elite and civil servants, with the collusion and connivance of banking industries in Europe and North America.

Even though it is common knowledge that Western banks are acting as safe havens for looted funds from Africa, very little is done by the Western media to expose them. The media tend to focus their attention on the corrupt leaders, with little or no mention at all as to where the monies they have stolen are being kept. There has not been any concrete effort to expose the banks and the law firms that collude and connive with these corrupt leaders who are impoverishing the people. No decisive move has been made by the political elite in Europe and North America to force the banks to return these stolen monies to the poorest of the poor. They talk about corruption because it is embarrassing to them but they have no agenda to fight it.

In the five years of his reign (1993-98), Sani Abacha of Nigeria was able to stash abroad $5 billion, according to official figures (the unofficial amount is estimated at between $12 billion and $16 billion). After his death in 1998, investigators in Nigeria, Europe and North America found over 130 foreign bank accounts where some of the money stolen was kept.

The banks that received Abacha’s stolen funds are: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Frankfurt branch; ANZ, London; ANZ, New York; Bank Len, Zurich; Bankers Trust Company, Frankfurt; Bankers Trust Company, London; Bankers Trust Company, New York; Banque Baring Brothers, Geneva; Banque Edouard Constant, General; Banque Nationale de Paris, Basel; Banque Nationale de Paris, Geneva; Banque Nationale de Paris, London; Barclays Bank, London; Barclays Bank, New York; Citibank NA, London; Citibank NA, Luxembourg; Citibank NA, New York; Citibank, Zurich; Credit Lyonnais, New York; Credit Suisse, General; Credit Suisse, New York; Credit Suisse, Zurich; Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Jersey; First Bank (Schweiz) AG, Zurich; First Bank of Boston, London; Goldman Sachs and Company, Zurich; Gothard Bank, Geneva; LGT Liechtenstein Bank, Vaduz; Liechtenstein Landesbank, Vaduz; MM Warburg and Company, Hamburg; MM Warburg and Company, Luxembourg; MM Warburg and Company, Zurich; Merrill Lynch Bank, Geneva; Merrill Lynch Bank, New York; Midland Bank, London; National Westminister Bank, London; Paribas, Geneva; Paribus, London; Royal Bank of Scotland, Leeds; Standard Bank London Limited, London; UBS AG, Geneva; UBS AG, Zurich; Union Bancaire Privee, Geneva; Union Bancaire Privee, London; and Verwaltungs Und Private Bank AG, Vaduz (source: Tell Magazine, 7 October 2002).

Since his death in 1998, various Nigerian governments have attempted to retrieve Abacha’s loot scattered across Europe and other jurisdictions with very limited success.

  • Switzerland has repatriated $723 million to Nigeria and signed a letter of agreement with Nigeria to repatriate a further $321 million.
  •  Liechtensteinhas also repatriated some $227 million.
  • The U.S. has agreed to return to Nigeria more than $480 million hidden in U.S. banks.

However, the total amount returned falls far below the official estimated figure of $5 billion stolen by Abacha and his family.

It has been the Nigerian governments (past and present) that have been working hard to get the looted funds returned. The Western media (and the politicians, banks and law firms) have turned a blind eye to Nigeria’s effort to recover its stolen wealth.

In February 2009, a French court had the then Gabonese President Omar Bongo’s nine bank accounts containing several millions of euros frozen. In confirming the court’s decision, lawyer Jean-Philippe Le Bail said,

‘This concerns Credit Lyonnais, in which the president of Gabon has two current accounts, two savings accounts and a share account, and BNP, in which he has two checking accounts, a savings account and a share account.’

Before his death in June 2009, Bongo together with his family had 70 bank accounts in France the money from which was used to purchase several properties worth millions of dollars. His wife Edith had over $75 million stashed in banks in Monaco.

According to French police investigations, Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his family have 112 bank accounts in France. It is believed that these accounts contain hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned from the coffers of his resource-rich but economically impoverished country.

According to a secret 110-page report prepared by international risk consultancy firm Kroll and exposed by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and his family have banked 1 billion in 28 countries including Britain, but the media in the West will not expose the banks involved.

These are the banks whose shady dealings with the political and business elite in Africa continue to impoverish African countries but which the media refuse to tell the world about. The banks know these corrupt leaders have stolen the money but pretend not to know until there is a scandal, after which they begin to act as if they are responsible institutions. Most of the above banks have also been implicated for receiving billions of dollars of looted funds from a number of other current and former African leaders, yet Western media are silent about where the funds are being kept.

Apart from the banking sector, the property sector (particularly real estate and vehicles) in Europe, North America and Australia has also been the beneficiary as Africa’s political and business elite spend their ill-gotten gains. It has been revealed that several African leaders and public officials have bought luxury mansions and expensive cars in Europe and North America using the monies stolen from their poor countries.

It is on record that the late Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo had bought several villas in France, Switzerland, Belgium and many other European countries. A French police investigation established that Omar Bongo and his family owned at least 33 luxury properties in France. In Paris alone Bongo owned 10 luxury mansions including a 21,528 sq ft villa located at Rue de la Baume near the Elyse Palace, bought in 2007 for _18.8 million. Bongo was spotted greeting then French President Nicolas Sarkozy in this villa. Another four of the 10 houses are on the exclusive Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe.

Bongo bought a fleet of limousines, including a 308,823 Maybach for his wife Edith in February 2004. Payment for some of the cars was directly taken from the treasury of Gabon. Bongo’s daughter Pascaline used a cheque from the same account for part-payment of 29,497 towards a 60,000 Mercedes two years later. Bongo himself bought a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1 in October 2004 for 153,000.

The current President of Gabon Ali Bongo, Omar Bongo’s son, purchased a luxury housing estate costing _100 million. The building, which covers a space of 4,500 square metres with the garden covering 3,700 square metres, is located in Paris’ University Street and has been described as ‘one of the most beautiful’ in the heart of the city. French satirical newspaper Le Canard enchain reported that ‘the _100 million does not include other expenditure to be made for the renovation and maintenance work which could take a third of Gabon’s GDP’. In June 2001, Ali Bongo bought a Ferrari 456 M GT for 156,000. French police investigations indicate that this lifestyle of profligacy was supported by leading French banks, housing developers and vehicle dealers.

It has recently come to light that Kenya’s Moi and his family bought several multi-million-pound properties in London, New York and South Africa and a 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia. While the majority of Kenyans live in slums and in rural areas, with little roofing over their heads and lacking water and other basic necessities of life, Moi’s family live in a 4 million home in Surrey and 2 million flat in Knightsbridge in Britain, yet the media will not expose the real estate companies involved.

The Panama Papers leaks have revealed how Nigeria’s political elite and public officials use money stolen from their people to buy expensive homes in London. The Speaker of Nigeria’s Senate, Bukola Saraki, bought a 5.7 million property in London’s Belgravia area and registered it in his wife’s name to hide the true ownership of the property. Folorunsho Coker, a former head of the Number Plate Authority of Lagos State and currently a business adviser to the state governor, bought a property in London worth 1.65 million. Mallam Bello Gwandu, a former director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, bought a flat in London’s affluent Maida Vale district. He also bought a property at St George Wharf in London for 450,000. Yet again the companies selling the villas and luxury mansions were never exposed by the media. They will not be exposed by the media. Why would they?

Another area often ignored by the Western media is the role played by Western corporations in encouraging corruption, bribery and thievery in Africa. It is very common for Western companies to pay bribes and kickbacks to induce officials to award them lucrative contracts. For example, in September 2002, Canadian firm Acres International was convicted by a High Court in Lesotho for paying a $260,000 bribe to secure an $8 billion dam contract. In 2002, Halliburton, a company once controlled by former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, was accused of establishing a $180 million slush fund with the intent of using it to bribe Nigerian officials in order to secure a $10 billion liquefied gas plant contract in Nigeria. Achair Partners, a Swiss company, and Italian firm Progresso have been accused of bribing Somalia Transition Government officials in order to secure contracts to deposit highly toxic industrial waste in the waters of Somalia. Such corrupt practices by Western companies seeking contracts in Africa are one of the reasons poverty and disease are rife in the continent.

The catastrophic environmental damage being caused by petroleum, mining and timber companies such as Shell, BP, Mobil, Total, Elf, Texaco, Mittal and Anglo-America Corporation in Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal rarely makes the news in the West. How often do we hear about the huge environmental price Africans are paying to satisfy the West’s insatiable appetite for precious metals, energy and technology? Apart from the huge profits being made by these conglomerates, which we often hear about in the news, do we also hear about their complete disregard for environmental protection: the pollution of rivers, lakes, streams, wells and land?

In October 2002, after a three-year investigation a U.N. panel of experts implicated Cabot Corporation (Boston, U.S.), Eagle Wings Resources International and OM Group (Ohio, U.S.) in arming rebel groups and collaborating with them to traffic from the Democratic Republic of Congo gold, diamonds, timber and, most importantly, coltan (columbo-tantalite), a precious ore essential to videogame consoles, laptop computers and cellphones. Coltan is often spirited out of the DRC to U.S., Swiss, Belgian and German clients by Ugandan and Rwandan army officers, rebel groups and through a network of criminal syndicates. In all, 85 companies were implicated in the report.

Beyond the wars and the desperate faces of hungry refugees, do these illegal activities by the corporations make the news in the Western media? Definitely not. Even when local journalists and writers seek to document these for broadcast in the Western media, they are refused because it does not serve the media’s interests in the wider scheme of things. This, then, is the hypocrisy and the double standards of the Western media. They want the world to know how poor Africans are, but fail to tell the world that Africans are poor because Western banking institutions, housing developers, car manufacturers, defence companies and defence contractors, and oil, mining and technology corporations are major stakeholders in promoting Africa’s poverty and underdevelopment.

Corruption and bribery in Africa and indeed the developing world could be substantially reduced if the media for once put aside their pick-and-choose journalism and reveal the degree of involvement by Western capitalist institutions in keeping Africans poor.

Source*

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Offshore Firm Helped Billionaires Plunder Africa*

Rothschild Billion Dollar Money Laundering Plot in Africa*

U.N. to Send 4,000 Soldiers to South Sudan despite Govt. Opposition*

Why Apartheid Still Exists in South Africa*

Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder*

Six Countries that Grew Filthy Rich from Enslaving Black People*

Hillary Clinton and the Ex-Im Bank Financing of the World’s Largest Coal Plants in South Africa*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

African High Court Allows Largest Class Action for Miners*

A Reminder Why South African Mineworkers have a Right to Strike*

Why are World Business leaders Meeting in South Africa!

TPP, TPPA Goes EPA in the Recolonization of Africa*

AFRICOM’s Tentacles Across Africa*

The Case for Reparations to Africa: Britain Apology is Cheap*

WATCH: THE UTILIZATION OF WESTERN NGOS FOR THE THEFT OF AFRICA’S VAST RESOURCES

Rabbi Admits Jewish Role in the African Slave Trade*

Zionists Swindling all the Way into Sub-Saharan Africa*

New Colonial Carve-up of Africa? British firms vying for £1trn Natural Resources*

Destroying Nigeria Vital to World Entropy *

ICA Finally Admits World Map is a Propaganda Tool for Power, Western Cartographers Deliberately Shrunk Africa*

24 African Countries Ban China from Fishing Illegally in Their Waters*

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*

Gates and Friends to Meet Privately on how they can Profit from African Seeds*

The French Patent an African Indigenous Plant (anti-cancerous)*

We Who Come from Africa, the Maghreb and other Countries*

Canadian Mining Abuses in Africa*

Vulture Investors Playing Monopoly with Africa!

Half the Size of Europe ‘Grabbed’ from Africa!

African Civil Society Rejects Foreign Investment*

From Black Man’s Burden to African Renaissance*

College Turns Its Own Football Field into an Organic Farm and Sees Students Transform*

College Turns Its Own Football Field into an Organic Farm and Sees Students Transform*

By Alexa Erickson

Nine years ago, when the historically black school Paul Quinn College in Dallas was in financial crisis and had a 1% graduation rate, a new school president turned everything over, including the football field.

“There’s more than one field of dreams,” said the school’s president, Michael Sorrell, who had no experience running a college. He urged that a student’s future shouldn’t necessarily be tied to their athletic success.

Knowing the school couldn’t afford athletics, he chose to support student success in other ways by turning the field into an organic farm, which now generates more than 20,000 pounds of organic vegetables annually. These vegetables make their way into high-end restaurants and into the Dallas Cowboy’s stadium.

At Paul Quinn College, every student must work 150 hours to fulfill their tuition at the school. It’s the first urban work college in the nation, and its president says the new program has changed the narrative of the institution.

“Our students learn what it means to be effective and to have job skills and work skills,” said Sorrell.

Students are assigned jobs from day one, and then use an app called UAttend that records their work college hours.

“Eighty-three percent of our students are Pell Grant-eligible, which means, by and large, that their families have a dysfunctional relationship with wealth and with work,” Sorrell explained.

“So if you have never been in an environment where you have come to understand the expectations of a career, because all you have ever seen is people be underemployed or unemployed, then how are you going to learn that?”

During a student’s first two years at Paul Quinn, they are given on-campus jobs, many of which require contact with the public. This allows them to develop and improve their communication and problem-solving skills. During the last two years of their college career, they’re working off-campus in companies or other businesses that correlate with their career aspirations.

“Our students are getting two forms of education. They’re getting a rigorous liberal arts training, and they’re also getting real world work experience,” Sorrell said.

Unless students are on the farm, they wear business attire — or face a steep fine.

Student Destiny Modeste is interning at Slingshot, an advertising agency in downtown Dallas. Her employer pays Paul Quinn College $7,500 per school year for Destiny’s work.

 “Having the opportunity to work and help pay your tuition at the same time at an actual agency and see what they do on a daily basis, and then maybe, at the end, they offered a job, that’s very important to me,” she explained.

“There is no employment training program that will cost as little as $15,000. This is an investment in improving the talent pool of your company and your office,” Sorrell said.

And while career and college are part of Sorrell’s vision, community service is also a large factor as well.

“We believe that colleges have a fundamental responsibility, if you’re located in an urban area, to turn outward and address the needs of the communities you serve. We are in a food desert. There’s no grocery store for four miles.

“People don’t have access to healthy food. I mean affordable, fresh and healthy produce. We decided we have the ability to solve the problem, and we’re going to go solve the problem.”

The college donates 10% of the produce from the farm to the surrounding underserved community.

Source*

Related Topics:

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And their eyes glazed over -Technology and Attention Deficit*

A School Run by Students has Near Perfect Graduation Rate*

Students Give Bottled Water to Senior Citizens in Flint, Michigan*

States Take a Stand against the Increasing Centralization of Education*

How a Black-Owned School is Revolutionizing Education for the Gifted*

An Ivorian Professor Helps a Student Focus on Class by Carrying Her Baby on His Back*

Iraqi Engineering Students Share their Graduation Ceremony with Iraq’s Orphans*

Bio-Pirates Big Pharma Co-Opts Ancient Flower that Heals 96% of All Diabetics*

Bio-Pirates Big Pharma Co-Opts Ancient Flower that Heals 96% of All Diabetics*

Chiliadenus iphionoides found in Palestine, Jordon, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Spain and Lebanon this plant has been used as a Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herb for medicineal purposes

 

By Christina Sarich

When pharmaceutical companies can’t recreate mother nature’s astounding healing abilities, they simply co-opt them. Of course, they do this so that they can patent a drug, when a real plant is freely available to the world in a non-pharmaceutical form, to make billions off of their ‘invention.’

Big Pharma’s latest attempt to profit from the offerings of the natural world comes in the form of an ancient flower. This stocky, furry-stemmed plant with yellow buds has been found to practically cure diabetes Type 2. Does the modern medical establishment promote the use of the whole flower? Nope. They can’t make any money off of that remedy. Instead they eagerly take it to a lab and start trying to mimic its ‘active’ compounds and isolate them.

Israeli scientists conducted studies on Chiliadenus iphionoides, also known as sharp varthemia. Dr. Jonathan Gorelick of the Judea Research and Development Centre recently presented the published findings at a conference. They concluded that, “Chiliadenus iphionoides exhibits considerable anti-diabetic activity, although the mechanism of action remains to be determined.”

This is the rub. Scientists often can’t figure out exactly how a plant does its magical, miraculous healing, so they dissect it to bits, and create a drug. The problem is that the isolated phyto-active compounds are often either chemically reproduced, or they simply don’t account for the synergistic way that multiple plant compounds and phytonutrients work together to make a plant’s medicine efficacious.

Though scientists who studied sharp varthemia discovered the flower worked on both cellular and animal models to help control blood sugar – the researchers admit they don’t know exactly how this is possible. That didn’t stop Big Pharma from jumping on the findings to try to recreate a marketable drug.

Laughably, the flower proved to be more effective than any diabetes drug currently on the market. 71% of patients were taken off all diabetes drugs and 96% of type 2 diabetics were able to completely alter their blood glucose levels for the better.

This simple flower isn’t the only plant that helps cure one of the most profitable diseases for the pharmaceutical industry in the world. Bitter melon, ginseng, milk thistle, guggul, loquat, banaba, prickly pear, garcinia kola, bilberry, fenugreek, chamomile, tulsi, onion, and cinnamon have all been shown to effectively control blood sugar levels.

If you are in the pharmaceutical industry, diabetes is the ‘perfect’ disease, because it has reached epidemic proportions.

“Such a big market provides an incentive business-wise and the patients are the beneficiaries,” says Dr. Nathaniel Clark, a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association (ADA)

The beneficiaries of what? A 10,000% mark-up on drugs to treat something that diet, exercise, and a few herbs can cure without any side effects?

Source*

Related Topics:

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More Teens Dying from Prescribed Drugs than Illegal Drugs*

The Doctor Who Prescribes Fruit and Veg. Instead of Drugs*

U.S. Drug Company Sues Canada for Trying to Lower Cost of $700K-A-Year Drug*

88 Year Old Woman Recovering from Alzheimer’s and Diabetes Using Coconut Oil*

The Strange Death of Dr. Sebi the Man Who Cures AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes

Drug-Induced Dementia IS NOT Alzheimer’s Disease*

Drug Firms’ Plan to Maximize Profits on Cancer, AIDS and Heart Drugs*

No Cheap Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine For U.S. and Europe*

AMA Threatens Outspoken Holistic Doctors*

Big Pharma Myth Buster: High Cholesterol Makes You Live Longer*

Big Pharma Assassinations and New Toxin Found in Vaccine*

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*