Thursday, July 20, 2017

Canada’s Mining Industry, Foreign Policy and Neoliberalism in Africa

While few Canadians could find Zambia on a map, the Great White North has significant influence over the southern African nation.

A big beneficiary of internationally sponsored neoliberal reforms, a Vancouver firm is the largest foreign investor in the landlocked country of 16 million.

First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has been embroiled in various ecological, labour and tax controversies in the copper rich nation over the past decade. At the end of last year First Quantum was sued for US$1.4 billion by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), a state entity with minority stakes in most of the country’s mining firms. The statement of claim against First Quantum listed improper borrowing and a massive tax liability.

In a politically charged move, President Edgar Lungu recently ordered ZCCM-IH to drop the case and seek an “amicable” out of court settlement with FQM. Social movements criticized the government for (again) caving to powerful mining interests exploiting the country’s natural resources. According to War on Want, Zambia is losing $3 billion a year to tax dodges by multinationals, mainly in the lucrative mining sector. A recent Africa Confidential report on the row between First Quantum and ZCCM-IH highlighted the Vancouver firm’s political influence, pointing out that “top government officials are frequently feted and hosted by FQM.”  (more...)

The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World

 The CIA AS Organized Crime

This book provides insight into the paradigmatic approaches evolved by CIA decades ago in Vietnam which remain operational practices today in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. Valentine’s research into CIA activities began when CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in various aspects of the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. The CIA would rescind it, making every effort to impede publication of The Phoenix Program, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture and assassination in Vietnam. While researching Phoenix, Valentine learned that the CIA allowed opium and heroin to flow from its secret bases in Laos, to generals and politicians on its payroll in South Vietnam. His investigations into this illegal activity focused on the CIA’s relationship with the federal drugs agencies mandated by Congress to stop illegal drugs from entering the United States. Based on interviews with senior officials, Valentine wrote two subsequent books, The Strength of the Wolf and The Strength of the Pack, showing how the CIA infiltrated federal drug law enforcement agencies and commandeered their executive management, intelligence and foreign operations staffs in order to ensure that the flow of drugs continues unimpeded to traffickers and foreign officials in its employ. Ultimately, portions of his research materials would be archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center, and John Jay College. This book includes excerpts from the above titles along with updated articles and transcripts of interviews on a range of current topics, with a view to shedding light on the systemic dimensions of the CIA’s ongoing illegal and extra-legal activities. These terrorism and drug law enforcement articles and interviews illustrate how the CIA’s activities impact social and political movements abroad and in the United States. A common theme is the CIA’s ability to deceive and propagandize the American public through its impenetrable government-sanctioned shield of official secrecy and plausible deniability. Though investigated by the Church Committee in 1975, CIA praxis then continues to inform CIA praxis now. Valentine tracks its steady infiltration into practices targeting the last population to be subjected to the exigencies of the American empire: the American people.

'Occupation: Fraudster. Address: Street of 40 Thieves’ — how Italians mocked UK company rules

Banda Bassotti — the gangsters in Donald Duck
When alleged mafia money launderer Antonio Righi wanted to do shady deals out of sight, it was to London, not just Naples, that he turned to hide his trail, according to Italian prosecutors.

Righi — aka Tonino the Blond — is standing trial over claims that he laundered ill-gotten cash for the feared Camorra crime group.

But although his alleged wrongdoing was for paymasters in southern Italy, Britain’s super-light company laws may have provided the opportunity to cover up any murky deals.

Why? Because Britain is one of the easiest countries in the world in which to set up a business, no questions asked, through which to move money and apply a veneer of respectability to the most unsavoury of transactions.

An examination of Righi firms by the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI) found what looks to be one of the most blatant examples of outfits being set up in the UK without any pretence at making bona fide official filings.

One company which had Righi as a director was Magnolia Fundaction UK, registered to an address in Soho’s Broadwick Street. Its documents cite as a director a man with the surname “Il Ladro di Galline”, which translates as “The Chicken Thief”. He declares his occupation as “fraudster”, using the Italian word “truffatore”. (more...)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'Who is it protecting?': father questions publication ban on Toronto teacher jailed for sex offences

His daughter had the courage to come forward, so a Toronto father wonders why the courts are keeping secrets.

CBC Toronto can't tell you his name or his daughter's name.

That much, at least, is standard in cases like this one, which involves sex-offences and young victims. It is common — and with good reason — for a victim's identity to be tightly guarded from the public.

But the father is speaking out about what he calls the "overreaching" publication ban that also means we can't tell you the name of the teacher who sexually exploited his daughter and another student, or the Toronto private school where he taught.

"They're going to be hidden, the school and this convicted sex offender, behind the ban," said the father, who spoke publicly for the first time in an interview on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning on Wednesday.

"There are parents whose children are [at the school] today who don't know about this," the father told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway.  (more...)


How the United States Lost the Second World War

This massive archive program merits serious consideration as a most revealing examination and explanation of the Cold War. The history of intellectual endeavor teaches that prevailing theories in the academic disciplines may be disproved and supplanted in time. Taken in combination with AFA 36, this work documents the working hypothesis that during the Cold War, German fascism and the Third Reich did not disappear as is commonly believed but rather survived underground and achieved a very real political and economic victory over the Allies.

In the aftermath of World War I, the German Nazis learned that anti-communism could be used to achieve strategic leverage over Germany’s prospective enemies such as Great Britain and the United States. The Third Reich utilized this stratagem to establish Fifth Column movements in countries they had targeted for conquest. Those movements were composed largely of sympathizers who viewed the Third Reich as a bulwark against communism. The Third Reich sought to escape the full consequences of military defeat in World War II by playing the anti-communist card again.

When it became clear that the armies of the Third Reich were going to be defeated, it opened secret negotiations with representatives from the Western Allies. Representatives on both sides belonged to the transatlantic financial and industrial fraternity that had actively supported fascism. The thrust of these negotiations was the establishment of The Christian West. Viewed by the Nazis as a vehicle for surviving military defeat, “The Christian West” involved a Hitler-less Reich joining with the U.S., Britain, France and other European nations in a transatlantic, pan-European anti-Soviet alliance. In fact, The Christian West became a reality only after the cessation of hostilities.

The de-Nazification of Germany was aborted. Although a few of the more obvious and obnoxious elements of Nazism were removed, Nazis were returned to power at virtually every level and in almost every capacity in the Federal Republic of Germany. A Hilter-less Reich then was incorporated into the anti-Soviet alliance the Third Reich’s leaders had envisioned: NATO.  (more...)

Savior of the Christian West?

Retired Barrie teacher accused of sexual misconduct found guilty

A retired Barrie teacher who was facing allegations of sexual misconduct with a student has been found guilty by the Ontario College of Teachers and has had his teaching certificate revoked.

David Thomas Hay, who taught at Bear Creek Secondary School in Barrie, was accused of having been involved in an inappropriate personal relationship with a female student between 2009 and 2014.

Hay allegedly sent inappropriate texts to the student, including one where he told the student: “Now go and picture me giving you a vibrator and give yourself a fantastic orgasm.”

The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) also says Hay gifted the student a sex toy, and suggested the teen engage in sex with he and his wife.  (more...)


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fox News taps Mark Fuhrman, Simpson trial's racist cop, to analyze O.J.'s parole hearing

Fox News will provide live coverage of O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing Thursday featuring as an analyst the former Los Angeles police detective famous for lying during Simpson’s trial about his repeated use of racist language.

Fox News told numerous media outlets, including USA Today and Hollywood Reporter, that Mark Fuhrman, who was a chief witness against Simpson and later pleaded no contest to committing perjury during the trial, will be on hand to provide commentary on the parole proceedings.

Simpson has served nine years of a nine-to-33 year sentence for his armed confrontation with and subsequent robbery of memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007. He was arrested and later found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and conspiracy charges.

Fuhrman was one of the first officers to investigate the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson, Simpson’s ex-wife, and Ron Goldman, for which Simpson was arrested and charged.  (more...)


 Blood Oath