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Moeda chinesa passa a integrar cesta de elite do FMI

Posted by iscariotes em 2 de outubro de 2016

Fonte: Reuters

O iuan chinês passou a integrar neste sábado uma cesta de moedas de reserva do Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI), um marco para a campanha de Pequim na busca pelo reconhecimento do poder econômico da China.

A moeda chinesa se junta ao dólar, ao euro, ao iene e à libra esterlina na cesta dos direitos especiais de saque (SDR, na sigla em inglês) do FMI, que determina as moedas que os países podem receber como empréstimo do fundo.

O evento que marca a primeira adição de moeda na cesta desde o lançamento do euro, em 1999.

O iuan, também conhecido como renminbi, ou “moeda do povo”, foi adicionado à cesta do FMI no mesmo dia em que o Partido Comunista comemora a fundação da República Popular da China, em 1949.

“A inclusão na SDR é um marco na internacionalização do renminbi e é uma confirmação do sucesso do desenvolvimento econômico da China e resultado de uma reforma e abertura do setor financeiro”, disse o Banco Popular da China um comunicado.

Em http://br.reuters.com/article/topNews/idBRKCN1213MO

Posted in Economia, História, Mundo, Política | Leave a Comment »

Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on

Posted by iscariotes em 20 de setembro de 2016

Fonte: RT

The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its ’official enemies’ not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load.

For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and ‘liberal interventionist’ pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated)  was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): ‘Milosevic’s genocidal aggression’ ‘Milosevic’s genocidal aggression’.

But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime change-op which the Western elites had long desired.

The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us.

How very different it all was when the trial of the so-called ‘Butcher of the Balkans’, began in February 2002! Then, you‘d have to have been locked in a wardrobe not to be aware of what was going on.

CNN provided blanket coverage of what was described as “the most important trial since Nuremberg.” Of course, Milosevic’s guilt was taken as a given. “When the sentence comes and he disappears into that cell, no one is going to hear from him again,” declared US lawyer Judith Armatta from the Coalition for International Justice, an organization which had the former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmerman, as an advisory board member.

Anyone who dared to challenge the NATO line was labeled a “Milosevic apologist”, or worse still, a “genocide denier”, by ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’.

But amid all the blather and the hype surrounding the ’trial of the century’ it soon became apparent the prosecution was in deep, deep trouble. The Sunday Times quoted a legal expert who claimed that “Eighty percent of the prosecution’s opening statements would have been dismissed by a British court as hearsay.” That, I believe, was a generous assessment.

The problem was that this was a show trial, one in which geopolitics came before hard evidence. It’s important to remember that the original indictment against Milosevic in relation to alleged Kosovo war crimes/genocide was issued in May 1999, at the height of the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia and at a time when war was not going to plan for the US and its allies.

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ARCHIVE PHOTO: Children sit on a Russian tank near the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali on August 10, 2008 © Said Gutziev

The indictment was clearly designed to exert pressure on Milosevic to cave into NATO’s demands.

The trouble for NATO was that by the time Milosevic’s trial was due to start, the Kosovo narrative had already unraveled. The lurid claims made by the US and its allies about genocide and hundreds of thousands being killed, catalogued by the great John Pilger here, had been shown to be false. In September 2001, a UN court officially held that there had been no genocide in Kosovo.

So in an attempt to beef up their weakening case against Milosevic the prosecutors at The Hague had to bring in new charges relating to the war in  Bosnia, accusing ‘Slobo’ of being part of a ‘joint criminal conspiracy’ to kill/ethnically cleanse Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims in pursuance of a ’Greater Serbia’ project.

In normal criminal prosecutions evidence is collected and then, if it’s deemed sufficient, charges are brought. But the opposite happened in the case of Milosevic: he was charged for political reasons and the hunt for evidence then followed.

The irony is that the former Yugoslav President had already been praised by President Clinton for his role in brokering a peace deal in Bosnia in 1995, which was signed in Dayton, Ohio.

The truth is that Milosevic was no hardcore Serb nationalist but a lifelong socialist, whose commitment was always to a multi-racial, multi-ethnic Yugoslavia.

His aim throughout his time in power was not to build a ’Greater Serbia‘, but to try and keep Federal Yugoslavia together, as the ICTY now belatedly acknowledges.

Not only was Milosevic not responsible for ethnic cleansing which took place in Bosnia, he actually spoke out against it. The ICTY noted Milosevic’s “repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies made by the Accused (Karadzic) and the Bosnian Serb leadership.” Milosevic, a man for whom all forms of racism were anathema, insisted that all ethnicities must be protected.

Donald Rumsfeld (L), George W. Bush (C) and Dick Cheney © Larry Downing

But in order to punish Milosevic and to warn others of the consequences if they dared to oppose US power, history had to be re-written. The pro-Yugoslavia socialist who had opposed the policies of the Bosnian Serb leadership had to be turned, retrospectively, into the villain of the Bosnian War and indeed blamed for all the bloodshed which took place in the Balkans. Meanwhile, the aforementioned US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman, whose malign intervention to scupper a diplomatic solution helped trigger the Bosnian conflict got off scot-free.

The ‘Blame it All on Slobo’ campaign saw facts simply thrown out of the window. One article, written, I kid ye not, by an Oxford University Professor of European Studies even had Milosevic as leader of Yugoslavia in 1991 (the year that Slovenia broke away). In fact the Bosnian Croat, Ante Markovic, was the leader of the country at the time.

Inevitably, Milosevic was likened to Hitler. “It was just like watching the evil strutting Adolf Hitler in action,” wrote the News of the World’s political editor, when Milosevic had the temerity to defend himself in court. “There were chilling flashes of the World War Two Nazi monster as the deposed Serb tyrant harangued the court.”

To make sure readers did get the Milosevic=Hitler point, the News of the World illustrated their diatribe with a picture of Hitler ‘The Butcher of Berlin’, in front of a concentration camp, with a picture of Milosevic ‘The Butcher of Belgrade’ superimposed on a picture of a Bosnian concentration camp. Which in fact, he had nothing to do with.

Very conveniently for the prosecution, Milosevic died suddenly in his cell in March 2006.

Going by what we had seen at the trial up to that point, it’s inconceivable that a guilty sentence could have been passed. A whole succession of ’smoking gun’ witnesses had turned out to be dampest of damp squibs.

As I noted in an earlier piece:

Star witness Ratomir Tanic was exposed as being in the pay of Western security forces, whilst ex-Yugoslav secret police chief Rade Markovic, the man who was finally going to spill the beans on Milosevic and reveal how his former master had ordered the expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, in fact did the opposite and testified that he had been tortured to tell lies and that his written statement had been falsified by the prosecution.In addition, as I noted here, the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas (an ethnic Hungarian), testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo had been handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it. Farkas also said that Milosevic ordered no paramilitary groups should be permitted to operate anywhere in Kosovo.

When Milosevic died, his accusers claimed he had “cheated justice”. But in fact, as the ICTY has now confirmed, the injustice was done to Milosevic.

While he had to defend himself against politically-motivated charges at The Hague, the US and its allies launched their brutal, illegal assault on Iraq, a war which has led to the death of up to one million people. Last year a report from Body Count revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives as a result of the US-led ‘war on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

An Iraqi family watches U.S. soldiers in in Baquba early June 28, 2007.  (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Those sorts of figures help us get Kosovo into some kind of perspective. Even if we do hold Milosevic and the Yugoslav government responsible for some of the deaths there in 1999, (in a war which the West had clearly desired and provoked) far, far, greater death and destruction has been caused by the countries who were the keenest to see the President of Yugoslavia in the dock. As John Pilger noted in 2008, the bombing of Yugoslavia was the“perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Since then we’ve also had the NATO destruction of Libya, the country which had the highest living standards in the whole of Africa and the backing of violent ‘rebels’ to try and achieve ‘regime change’ in Syria.

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a pattern here.

Before a US-led war or ‘humanitarian intervention’ against a targeted state, a number of lurid claims are made about the country‘s leader and its government. These claims receive maximum media coverage and are repeated ad nauseam on the basis that people will bound to think they’re true.

Later it transpires that the claims were either entirely false (like the Iraq WMD ones), unproven, or greatly exaggerated. But the news cycle has moved on focusing not on the exposure of the fraudulent claims made earlier but on the next aggressive/genocidal ‘New Hitler’ who needs to be dealt with.  In 1999 it was Milosevic; now it’s Assad and Putin.

And guess what, dear reader? It’s the same people who defend the Iraq war and other blood-stained Western military interventions based on lies, unproven claims or great exaggerations, who are the ones doing the accusing.

As that very wise old saying goes: When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.

Em https://www.rt.com/op-edge/354362-slobodan-milosevic-exonerated-us-nato/

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Maconha legalizada movimentou US$ 5,4 bilhões nos EUA

Posted by iscariotes em 11 de setembro de 2016

Fonte: SuperinteressanteMaconha

Muito se discute sobre a legalização da maconha no Brasil e no mundo, e um novo argumento acaba de chegar às mesas de bar: agora é comprovado que, pelo menos nos Estados Unidos, a regulamentação da produção e do comércio da cannabis e seus derivados se mostrou um negócio extremamente lucrativo, na casa dos bilhões de dólares.

De acordo com a New Frontier e a Arc View Group, empresas especializadas em coletar dados relacionados à maconha, durante o ano de 2015 a cannabis legalizada gerou uma movimentação de 5,4 bilhões de dólares (R$ 21 bilhões). O número representa um aumento de 800 milhões de dólares, em comparação com os 4,6 bilhões registrados em 2014.

O lucro não vem só da venda da planta em si, mas de todos os derivados e dos acessórios relacionados ao consumo e produção. Wall Street recebe cada vez mais novos investidores e empresas interessadas em agir dentro do campo de negócios abrangido pela maconha.

Acredita-se que com o passar do tempo mais investidores apostem nesse mercado. “Ainda existe um certo estigma em torno do assunto”, contou ao New York Times Brandy There, cofundador de uma empresa que cria produtos para cultivo da cannabis, a Surna.

Se a tendência se mantiver, 2016 será um bom ano para o mercado da erva. Os responsáveis pela pesquisa dizem que, durante esse ano, 6,7 bilhões de dólares (R$ 26 bilhões) serão movimentados pela maconha legalizada.

Em http://super.abril.com.br/comportamento/maconha-legalizada-movimentou-us-54-bilhoes-nos-eua

Posted in Economia, História, Mundo | Leave a Comment »

Times reporter who was shot in Syria claims he saw the same gunman now being a part of US-backed rebel group

Posted by iscariotes em 4 de setembro de 2016

Fonte: Daily Mail

A reporter for Britain’s Times newspaper who hit the headlines after being kidnapped and shot in Syria said that a recent Facebook video appeared to show the gunman was now a US-backed rebel.

Anthony Loyd was seized along with photographer Jack Hill in 2014, as they were returning to Turkey after several days working in the conflict zone of Aleppo.

Loyd was shot twice in the leg while being held captive and both men suffered severe beatings after Hill and the guide tried to escape.

However, Loyd said he recently saw his shooter, whom he named as Hakim Abu Jamal, in a video waving around a Kalashnikov gun while celebrating a US-backed rebel group victory in the border town of al-Rai.

“It was with some surprise watching a video of a victorious band of western-backed rebels that I noticed the face of America’s newest ally in the war against Isis in Syria,” he wrote in Saturday’s Times.

“It was the face of a man I last saw in May 2014, when he leaned forward to shoot me twice in the left ankle at almost point-blank range while my hands were tied,” he added.

“He shot me in the middle of a crowd of onlookers, after a savage preliminary beating, denouncing me as ‘a CIA spy’. Now, it seems, he works with them,” he added.

Loyd was hooded and tied up and put in the back seat of a car, while Hill and the guide were put in the boot before being driven to a warehouse in the town of Tall Rifat.

Hill and the guide managed to break out and overpower their main captor. The guide escaped but Hill was recaptured and beaten, and Loyd was shot to stop him trying to leave.

He said Jamal was the ringleader of the gang, who hoped to secure a kidnap bounty from the two men, and criticised the CIA’s vetting process.

“Centcom, the US Central Command, did not respond to Times requests over three days this week to explain how such a well-known hostage taker with family connections to extremists could have passed US vetting procedures,” he wrote.

Reporters Without Borders says Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, with more than 110 killed since the conflict began in March 2011.

Em http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3772147/Reporter-shot-Syria-claims-gunman-US-backed-rebel.html

Posted in Mundo, Política | Leave a Comment »

Rich Clan Shaping Brazil Narrative Stays Away From Dark Chapter

Posted by iscariotes em 2 de setembro de 2016

Fonte: Bloomberg

Brazil’s Marinho clan, with a combined family fortune of $18 billion, is trying to move beyond a past that keeps popping up between the cracks of today’s impeachment crisis.

As heirs to Grupo Globo, the most powerful media operation Latin America has ever known, their soap operas and news programs reach 99.7 percent of Brazilian televisions. Revenue is seven times greater than that of their biggest competitor. And they’ve been the primary broadcaster in Brazil of the Olympics, the World Cup and the nation’s rambunctious Carnival festivities.

But buried in the story behind how this family amassed a fortune that counts three of the top 10 spots on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for Brazil is a chapter set in the nation’s dark age of military rule. Though the brothers who now control Globo have apologized for their late father’s support of the 1964 coup that ushered in a two-decade dictatorship, the legacy still haunts the Marinhos. Supporters of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla fighter who was tortured during that era, say Globo’s news coverage in the run-up to her ongoing impeachment trial helped tip the scales against her. The media juggernaut denies any bias.

 Dictatorship Era

“Globo was one of the business groups that benefited the most from the military dictatorship era,” said Joao Braga Areas, an historian who has researched Globo’s involvement in the military regime. “There are groups today that still see Globo not only as an opponent of Dilma, but as a coup monger.”

Rousseff, who presented her defense at her impeachment trial in the Senate Monday, says her ouster is a “coup” that must be righted with new elections, which are supported by a majority in polls. Globo’s logo — a sphere representing the Earth with a TV screen inside that looks a lot like an eyeball — often appears on picket signs at pro-Rousseff protests that pop up at airports and major thoroughfares and were a staple during the Olympic Games that ended this month. A favorite chant: “The people aren’t naïve — down with Globo!”

An opinion piece published by the Guardian in April dredged up Globo’s support for the 1964 overthrow and said it’s acting in a similar way today to “agitate for the Brazilian rich.” Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, accused Globo of trying to “rewrite history.”

Joao Roberto Marinho, now the group’s chairman, fought back in a rare letter to the newspaper. “Globo Group fulfilled their duty to inform and will continue to do so,” he said. “When the impeachment proceedings began, we again allocated equal time and space for defense and prosecution.”

 Grupo Globo declined to comment for this article.

Six Museums

In addition to owning the media empire, the Marinhos’ foundation has also designed six museums, giving the family a dominant hand in shaping the nation’s cultural and historical narrative. It’s a version of events, the historian Braga says, that makes little mention of the country’s complicated past with military rule or the media dominance that the regime helped Globo obtain.

Globo is mentioned 40 times in a 229-page report issued in December by Rio state’s Truth Commission, which investigated the 1964-1985 dictatorship, with a section by Braga on its business ties during that time. Roberto Marinho, the late patriarch who controlled Globo from 1925 to just before his death in 2003, is named eight times, including now-declassified documents in which the U.S. ambassador at the time describes him as the “main articulator” of the military regime.

That relationship helped Globo get around a ban on foreign media ownership to secure a lucrative partnership with U.S. media giant Time-Life, which sent $6 million to the company between 1962 and 1966 — then worth 30 times the Brazilian group’s capital, according to the report. Many of Globo’s competitors denounced the deal in a congressional inquiry, and lawmakers ruled it unconstitutional. The regime’s attorney general gave his blessing anyway. Marinho ended the partnership in 1971, even though he considered it to be legal, according to a statement on Globo’s website.

Marinho’s influence remained after Brazil’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, with close ties to leaders such as former President Jose Sarney, whose family owned a Globo affiliate. “Dr. Roberto,” Sarney once observed about the patriarch, “was very contained when it came to talking about the past.”

Truth Commission

To be sure, Globo wasn’t alone in supporting the dictatorship and then collecting dividends for decades to come. The federal Truth Commission has detailed how military ties at Brazil’s biggest builders and at other enterprises from banks to newspapers helped them amass substantial fortunes. But Globo stands out because of its influence in the everyday lives of Brazilians, and its financial strength relative to its peers. Its profit grew 30 percent to 3 billion reais ($929 million) last year, and the Olympics helped it weather Brazil’s second year of recession.

Some of the Rio Truth Commission’s findings mirrored claims made in a 1993 documentary, “Beyond Citizen Kane,” about Globo’s ties to the dictatorship. It has been widely viewed online, even after Globo didn’t approve of the film’s use of its images and tried buying the rights to the documentary.

The commission’s efforts to turn a former torture center downtown into a tribute to the victims of the dictatorship have fallen flat so far. The building remains abandoned and its windows boarded up, standing in stark contrast to the Museum of Tomorrow a few blocks away, which juts out toward Rio’s Guanabara Bay like a sort of psychedelic white beacon.

That museum, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, serves as the epicenter of Brazil’s Olympic legacy, with exhibits highlighting how human activity affects climate change. Created by the city of Rio with the Roberto Marinho Foundation, its opening was covered by Globo Group’s newspapers and TV stations.

Slavery Exhibit

Hugo Barreto, secretary general of the charitable foundation, said Globo isn’t avoiding touchy parts of history with its existing and planned museums, which also look at the Portuguese language, culture through soccer and image and sound. The Rio art museum has an exhibit that focuses on slavery, for example, and he recounted a story about a military general who once wanted an educational program to refer to the coup as a “revolution.” The foundation refused.

Barreto says there are no plans for more museums, after designing six in 12 years. He hadn’t heard of the efforts to transform the former torture center, a project that Globo isn’t involved with.

On a recent afternoon, a rusty chain kept the doors shut at the building where dissidents of the military regime were held. A sign said the dusty edifice will be restored to create a police museum. The street outside was quiet, save for the sound of an Olympics swimming race, being broadcast by Globo on TV in a nearby bar.

Em http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-30/rich-clan-shaping-brazil-narrative-stays-away-from-dark-chapter

Posted in Brasil, Política | Leave a Comment »

La triste ironie de la chute de Dilma Rousseff

Posted by iscariotes em 29 de agosto de 2016

Fonte: Le Monde

Editorial. Première femme présidente du Brésil, Dilma Rousseff vit ses derniers jours au sommet de l’Etat. L’issue de son procès en destitution, ouvert jeudi 25 août au Sénat, ne fait guère de doute. A moins d’un coup de théâtre, la dauphine du bien-aimé président Lula (2003-2010), suspendue de ses fonctions en mai, sera définitivement chassée du pouvoir le 30 ou le 31 août.

Dilma Rousseff a commis des erreurs politiques, économiques et tactiques. Mais son éviction, motivée par des acrobaties comptables auxquelles elle s’est livrée comme bien d’autres présidents, ne passera pas à la postérité comme un épisode glorieux de la jeune démocratie brésilienne.

Pour décrire le processus en cours, ses partisans évoquent un « crime parfait ». L’impeachment, prévu dans la Constitution brésilienne, a tous les atours de la légitimité. Personne, de fait, n’est venu déloger Dilma Rousseff, réélue en 2014, par la force des baïonnettes. L’ancienne guerrillera a elle-même usé de tous les recours légaux pour se défendre, en vain. Impopulaire et malhabile, Dilma Rousseff s’estime victime d’un« coup d’Etat » fomenté par ses adversaires, par les médias, et en particulier par la télévision Globo, aux ordres d’une élite économique soucieuse de préserver ses intérêts prétendument menacés par la soif d’égalitarisme de son parti, le Parti des travailleurs (PT).

La bête noire d’une partie des Brésiliens

Cette guerre au sommet s’est déroulée sur fond de révolte sociale. Après les « années bonheur » de prospérité économique, d’avancées sociales et de recul de la pauvreté sous les deux mandats de Lula, est venu, dès 2013, le temps des revendications citoyennes. L’accès à la consommation, l’organisation de la Coupe du monde puis des Jeux olympiques n’étaient plus de nature à combler le « peuple ». Il voulait davantage que « du pain et des jeux » : des écoles, des hôpitaux, une police fiable.

Le scandale de corruption à grande échelle lié au groupe pétrolier Petrobras a achevé de scandaliser un pays malmené par une crise économique sans précédent. En plein désarroi, une partie des Brésiliens ont fait du juge Sergio Moro, chargé de l’opération « Lava Jato » (« lavage express »), leur héros, et de la présidente leur bête noire.

L’ironie veut que si la corruption a fait descendre des millions de Brésiliens dans les rues ces derniers mois, ce n’est pas à cause d’elle que tombera Dilma Rousseff. Pire : les artisans de sa chute ne sont pas eux-mêmes des enfants de chœur. L’homme qui a lancé la procédure de destitution, Eduardo Cunha, ancien président de la Chambre des députés, est accusé de corruption et de blanchiment d’argent. La présidente du Brésil est jugée par un Sénat dont un tiers des élus font, selon le site Congresso em Foco, l’objet de poursuites criminelles. Elle sera remplacée par son vice-président, Michel Temer, pourtant censé être inéligible pendant huit ans pour avoir dépassé la limite autorisée de frais de campagne.

Le bras droit de M. Temer, Romero Juca, ancien ministre de la planification du gouvernement intérimaire, a été confondu en mai par une écoute téléphonique datée du mois de mars dans laquelle il réclamait explicitement un « changement de gouvernement » pour barrer la route de l’opération judiciaire « Lava Jato ». S’il n’y a pas coup d’Etat, il y a au moins tromperie. Et les vraies victimes de cette tragi-comédie politiquesont, malheureusement, les Brésiliens.

Em http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2016/08/26/la-triste-ironie-de-la-chute-de-dilma-rousseff_4988341_3232.html

Posted in Brasil, Política | Leave a Comment »

Revealed: corrupt Brazilian businessman’s UK property splurge

Posted by iscariotes em 3 de agosto de 2016

Fonte: Guardian

A Brazilian businessman who has admitted laundering millions of dollars in bribes went on a 12-month property spending spree in London and Leeds, a Guardian investigation has found.

Expedito Machado – the son of a former senator implicated in the massive corruption scandal at Petrobras – spent £21m on UK real estate in 2014 and 2015, buying office buildings in the City and Fleet Street, an apartment in Mayfair and a canal-side plot in the docklands area of Leeds.

The case potentially ties London property to one of the world’s biggest fraud investigations, called Operation Carwash.

The investigation has already uncovered an estimated $2bn of funds diverted to Brazilian politicians and their allies. The kickbacks came from contractors bidding for work with the country’s state-owned oil and gas giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.

At the heart of the inquiry is Expedito’s father, Sérgio Machado, who turned whistleblower after he left Petrobras’s distribution arm, Transpetro, in 2014.

Machado had been accused of operating a long-running bribery scheme and his evidence to prosecutors, which includes secret tape recordings, has already brought down three ministers. His accusations now risk implicating the interim president, Michel Temer, who took over following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in May.

Witness statements by Machado and his sons, who began cooperating with prosecutors in May after negotiating plea-bargains, set out in forensic detail how bank accounts in Switzerland and Andorra, British Virgin Islands shell companies and secretive trusts were used to collect bribes.

The Guardian can now reveal how Expedito Machado usedanother set of offshore structures to move cash into the UK.

The findings raise questions about whether the money used to buy the properties came from kickbacks. Expedito’s witness statement suggests this was the case. His lawyers point out that none of the UK properties are included in a list of assets of supposed illegal origin which are being returned to the Brazilian government. They say the buildings were acquired after Expedito sold one of his businesses.

Lists of offshore companies owned by the family were leaked to the press along with their witness statements in June. Checks against the Land Registry showfour BVI entities set up by Expedito Machado currently hold property in England.

The 31-year-old entrepreneur and finance worker moved to London in 2012. Starting in October 2014, he spent £6m on a freehold in the former docklands area of Leeds.

Three more investments followed – using offshore vehicles linked to multiple bank accounts at Santander:

  • In April 2015, GTD Properties Limited paid £7.2m for the freehold on an office building in Great Winchester Street. In the heart of the City of London, it is currently leased by a bank.
  • In June 2015, CDP Properties Limited, owned by The Noronha Trust, bought the leasehold to a flat on Lowndes Square in Mayfair for £1.8m.
  • In October 2015, PDB Properties Limited, belonging to The Boldro Trust, paid £6.2m for freehold land at Bell Yard, just off Fleet Street. The address is home to a legal chambers, 9-12 Bell Yard, which specialises in fraud cases.

A spokesperson for Santander said the bank could not discuss client information for confidential reasons.

Expedito Machado’s companies are understood to collect thousands of pounds a year in rent from their commercial tenants. There is no suggestion these leaseholders were aware of the identity of the beneficial owners or the source of the offshore companies’ funds.

The money trail

Close to his father and keen to follow him into politics, Expedito began acting as a go-between in 2007, helping collect kickbacks from contractors. His witness statement says his father, after taking up his post at Transpetro when he lost his Senate seat in 2003, was “pressured to obtain illegal funds by politicians who had supported him”.

The majority of the funds was handed over to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which nominated Machado to the Transpetro post. But some of the money was set aside to fund his future campaign to become a state governor. It was “his dream”, according to his son.

Over the following five years, the family collected 72m reals (£16.7m) in payments to an account held by HSBC in Zurich. Opened in 2007, the account was controlled by a trust set up by the bank, Expedito claimed.

The cash was transferred from HSBC to another Swiss bank, Julius Baer, in 2013. There, it was held in investment funds.

The following year, Expedito decided to move the proceeds into property. “At the end of 2014, he decided to start making investments in real estate in Europe and was advised by lawyers that the best tax structure would be via a trust,” Expedito’s witness statement claims.

The senator’s son had already moved to London following the sale of an education business he had founded in Brazil.

“With the conclusion of the sale in 2012,” his statement claims, he “changed his residence to London to find a solution to the bribery money that had been deposited in Switzerland”.

“The idea of keeping the resources in a trust was … to have full flexibility in inclusion of new beneficiaries indicated by my father; That our father, even could be included as one of the beneficiaries.”

The money allegedly came from six firms, named in the witness statement, specialising in construction, shipping and engineering. At the time, Machado Sr was overseeing the modernisation of Transpetro’s fleet of ships, a programme that cost billions of reals.

Expedito arranged to meet executives from the contractors at cafes, offices and restaurants in São Paulo and other locations. It was at these encounters that arrangements for the illegal transfers were agreed. In one case, he claimed he travelled to Paris to see a Greek shipping owner at the opulent Hôtel de Crillon, where he allegedly handed over the details of the family’s Swiss account at HSBC.

In another instance, a construction company is alleged to have made a 9m real payment using a shell entity called Desarrollo Lanzarote SA, and bank accounts in the tax haven of Andorra.

Expedito said he had been assured by his father that the payments would not influence the choice of contractor, and would be taken from their profit margins. The system “would maintain good management” at Transpetro, which operates a large shipping fleet, terminals and thousands of kilometers of gas pipelines. “I understand this today to be incompatible,” Expedito’s statement conceded, “but at the time I did not think that way.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/28/corrupt-brazilian-businessman-expedito-machado-uk-property-splurge

Posted in Brasil, Política | Leave a Comment »

Nice authorities turn down police request to delete footage of fatal truck attack

Posted by iscariotes em 23 de julho de 2016

Fonte: RT

Nice authorities have turned down the request of French anti-terrorist police to delete footage from surveillance cameras and any other videos which captured the fatal truck attack on Bastille Day.
The request was sent by Anti-Terrorist Sub-Directorate (SDAT), a special police division battling extremism, to the mayor of Nice’s office on Wednesday, according to the paper.

 

Le Figaro managed to obtain the copy of the document in which SDAT, citing articles of the criminal and penal codes, demands the city authorities delete “completely” nearly 24 hours of the attack captured on cameras on the Promenade des Anglais.

“Delete the recordings between July 14, 2016 22:30 and July 15, 2016 18:00,” the documents demands.

The anti-terrorist police named six cameras which recordings should be “particularly” deleted. Plus the city authorities should delete any footage from any camera “that captured the crime scene”, the paper added.

“This is the first time we’ve been asked to destroy evidence [from the attack],” a source close to the city authorities said. “The CCTV center and the city of Nice could be prosecuted for this… Also the officers in charge of the cameras don’t have jurisdiction to engage in such operations.”

Le Figaro reported that the day after the attack police demanded from the city authorities to recover 30,000 hours of CCTV-related events. A backup operation is reportedly ongoing and will take place for several days. Le Figaro source said that the authorities are concerned for the safety of the backup operation with this new demand.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris later confirmed the information to Le Figaro, saying that the demand had been made “to prevent the uncontrolled distribution of the images [of the attack].” The office added that “of thousands of surveillance cameras” in Nice, at least 140 of them contain “interesting” elements regarding the attack.

Anti-terrorist police, however, claim that their experts have managed to recover 100 percent of the information from Nice cameras.

On Friday, Nice Matin newspaper reported that the local mayor had refused to answer the call. According to his lawyer, Philippe Blanchetier, the municipality will even ask the prosecutor to keep these pictures “in order not to jeopardize with any other procedures that may emerge beyond the investigation.”

Since the murderous attack in Nice on July 14, numerous photos and videos have emerged in media showing police approaching and shooting at the truck, which plowed into a crowd of spectators, or depicting the aftermath of the Bastille Day assault.

At least 84 people were killed in what has been called in the city’s worst terrorist attack in history. Weapons and grenades were found in the vehicle following the rampage.

The truck driver was later identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. It was revealed that he was a 31-year-old French national who was born in Tunisia.

The attacker was aided by a tight-knit team of associates, who helped him sketch out his plan and acquired weapons for him, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said on Thursday.

Em https://www.rt.com/news/352631-police-nice-delete-footage/

Posted in Sem categoria | Leave a Comment »

US and Britain wrangled over Iraq’s oil in aftermath of war, Chilcot shows

Posted by iscariotes em 18 de julho de 2016

Fonte: The Guardian

The US and British governments fought bitterly over control of Iraq’s oil following the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Chilcot papers show. Tony Blair seemed more concerned than the Americans about any invasion being seen by critics as a war for oil, telling them it would be very damaging if the two countries were seen to “grab Iraq’s oil”.

But Sir David Manning, foreign policy adviser to Tony Blair, told Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser, in Washington on 9 December 2002 that Britain still wanted more of the spoils.

“It would be inappropriate for HMG [Her Majesty’s government] to enter into discussions about any future carve-up of the Iraqi oil industry,” he said. “Nonetheless it is essential that our [British] companies are given access to a level playing field in this and other sectors.”

UK government officials called in a team from BP for a briefing about the prospects for the Iraq energy sector on 23 January 2003, two months before the invasion, which ended in May.

Later that year, the British oil company started a technical review of the Rumaila field, the second largest in the world. By 2009 BP had won a service contract to raise production on the field, which has 20bn barrels of recoverable oil.

Edward Chaplin, the British ambassador in occupied Iraq, talked of raising “BP and Shell’s interests” when he held discussions with Iraq’s interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, on 13 December 2004.

Blair had told the US president, George W Bush, at a meeting mid-invasion on 31 March 2003, that a clearer picture was needed of the shape of a post-Saddam Iraq to “sketch out a political and economic future and dispel the myth that we were out to grab Iraq’s oil”.

Yet a civil service briefing note in the same year for Geoff Hoon – then the UK defence secretary – before talks with his US counterpart, Donald Rumsfeld, discusses the need for “Level playing field: big contracts to rebuild Iraq. Putting UK lives on line. Expect level playing field for UK business in oil and other areas.”

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to the United Nations, identified budgeting and oil as the two clearest examples of issues on which the UK was not consulted by the US-run coalition provisional authority put in to run Iraq.

“We did not see anything whatsoever in the oil sector; they [the CPA] kept that very closely American, because they wanted to run the oil sector,” he told the Chilcot inquiry, and was quoted in the final report.

Meanwhile, a note between two British civil servants on 6 September 2004, headed “Energy strategy for Iraq”, highlighted that the UK was to take advantage of Iraq, which has some of the world’s largest oil reserves. It said: “Iraq’s energy sector development to be complemented by the increasing involvement of UK firms, leading to sustained investment over the next five to 10 years and substantial business for the UK.”

BP declined to comment.

Em https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/07/us-and-britain-wrangled-over-iraqs-oil-in-aftermath-of-war-chilcot-shows

 

Posted in Economia, Mundo, Política | Leave a Comment »

BOMBSHELL: 28 Pages Prove US Ignored Saudi 9/11 Ties Because They Are US Ally

Posted by iscariotes em 16 de julho de 2016

Fonte: The Antimedia

At long last, the so-called ‘missing’ 28 pagesfrom the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, have been released, albeit in redacted form.

While obviously critical information has been obscured from the general public, the evidence remaining appears to show the hijackers and their associates received and had been receiving funds from individuals working for the government of Saudi Arabia—as has long been rumored and intimated.

The redacted report also keenly criticizes failures in communication between the FBI and CIA, which its authors suggest could have been a crucial intelligence breakdown prior to the attacks.

According to the report, with all emphasis added:

“[T]he committees are particularly concerned about the serious nature of allegations contained in a CIA memorandum found by the Joint Inquiry Staff in the files of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. That memorandum, which discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi government officials, and members of the Saudi royal family, was drafted by a CIA officer [REDACTED], relying primarily on information from FBI files. The CIA officer sent it to the CTC to determine whether CIA had additional information. He also provided a copy to the FBI agent responsible for the investigation of one of the individuals discussed in the memorandum. Despite the clear national implications of the CIA memorandum, the FBI agent included the memorandum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI headquarters. FBI headquarters, therefore, was unaware of statements in the memorandum until the Joint Inquiry brought the memorandum’s implications to the Bureau’s attention [FULLY REDACTED SENTENCE CONCLUDING THAT PARAGRAPH].”

 

Those connections between the planners of the 9/11 attack and members of the Saudi royal family and Saudi government are fleshed out in many of the remaining pages, despite redaction of many obviously telling points. For instance:

“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, or received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected with the Saudi government. There is information, from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged to be Saudi intelligence officers.”

Even more damning, a heavily redacted paragraph suggests the reason, prior to 9/11, the FBI did not focus its investigations of possible terrorist ties of “Saudi nationals in the United States was due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.’”

Though it appears the Joint Inquiry discovered telling evidence of ties between terrorist actors and the Saudi principals, the report refused to make a definitive statement on the issue due to the limited scope of its investigation.

However, the report states, “it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest as indicated in a [REDACTED] dated July 2, 2002, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi government,’” though that statement is downplayed with a disclaimer there may be legitimate, innocent reasons for those connections.

Another revelation the Joint Inquiry discovered on examining evidence suggested:

“One individual who provided assistance to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mindhar may be connected to the Saudi Government. A second individual who may have been in contact with al-Hazmi and al-Mindhar also has ties to the Saudi government, including connections to the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. There is reporting in FBI files that persons have alleged that both of these individuals may be Saudi intelligence officers.”

In fact, the hijackers “may have been in contact with other Saudi Government officials in the United States prior to”the attacks, and—perhaps most damning of all—“Saudi Government officials in the United States may have ties to Usama Bin Laden’s terrorist network.”

One subject, in particular, Omar al-Bayoumi, was found to have “extensive ties to the Saudi Government.” Nevertheless, Congress decided not to pursue those allegations any further.

Indeed, the report states:

“Al-Bayoumi had been an accountant at the Saudi Civil Aviation Administration from 1976 to 1993, when he relocated to the United States,” and, further, the FBI found “Al-Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control.”

Al-Bayoumi also received regular payments from the Ministry of Defense through a Saudi company called “Ercan,” and he contacted Saudi government “establishments” in the U.S. “almost 100 times between January and May of 2000.”

At a closed hearing in October 2002, the document notes, a former FBI agent in San Diego testified that al-Bayoumi “acted like a Saudi intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing or payment of some sort, then I would say that there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi intelligence and UBL,” with UBL being the government’s acronym for Usama, or Osama, bin Laden.

nother former agent in charge in San Diego apparently said he received around six reports from individuals who suspected al-Bayoumi “was a Saudi intelligence officer”—but the FBI ultimately somehow found there was not sufficient evidence to conclude as much.

Further lending credence to theories the Saudis may have been directly involved in the attacks, the Inquiry noted:

“In testimony and interviews a number of FBI agents and CIA officers complained to the Joint Inquiry about a lack of Saudi cooperation in terrorism investigations both before and after the September 11 attacks.”

One agent even said the “Saudis had been useless and obstructionist for years” and will “only act when it is in their self-interest.”

These 28 pages certainly seem to indicate the U.S. pursued, targeted, and invaded the wrong country in its choice of Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11 attacks—as has been widely assumed for some time.

Though no definitive statements are made concerning conclusive proof of Saudi involvement—directly or indirectly—in the planning of 9/11, sufficient information is laid bare to conclude as much. In fact, the evidence calls directly into question exactly why the United States government continues to this day to categorize Saudi Arabia as a ‘trusted ally.’

Em http://theantimedia.org/28-pages-us-ignored-saudi-ties-911/

 

Posted in História, Mundo, Política | Leave a Comment »