Showing posts from April 3, 2015

HSBC Violates its Sweetheart Deal and Loretta Lynch Praises It

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[The concept of "...networks of criminal elite bankers financing terrorists, drug gangs, and venal and brutal kleptocrats with impunity from the laws" is reality, not fiction, in the US today. "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini. *RON*]
By Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives, Posted by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism, 3 April 2015

HSBC got a sweetheart deal from the Obama administration. It laundered vast amounts of money for Mexico’s murderous Sinaloa cartel, helped bust sanctions for terrorists and mass murderers, and did not cooperate with the investigation. The U.S. Attorney in charge of the case, Loretta Lynch, refused to prosecute any of the HSBC bankers or even sue them individually. Instead, there was a pathetic non-prosecution agreement limited to HSBC. Lynch is accused of not contacting either of the primary whistleblowers in the…

John Baird lands yet another job as adviser to Hong Kong billionaire

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[More new and oh-so-fun experiences for Mr. Baird who, like Mr. Harper, has never actually held a real job before. The pay-offs for past cronyism and political corruption continue. *RON*]

Steven Chase, Globe and Mail, 2 April 2015
Former foreign affairs minister John Baird has another new job, this one advising Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, son of one of the wealthiest men in Asia.
Mr. Baird will be based in Toronto and offer Mr. Li advice on international matters as the tycoon makes investments around the world. It is not a full-time job, but Mr. Baird is expected to spend as much as half his time on this new assignment.

Mr. Baird, who quit Stephen Harper’s cabinet in February to build a post-political career, has picked up a number of blue-chip jobs in the past week. Barrick Gold Corp. hired him to sit on its international advisory board, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. nominated him to serve as a director.

As part of his work for Mr. Li, th…

Bernie Sanders Goes Biblical on Income Inequality

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[The Senate's pugilistic progressive on timorous Dems, America's greed problem, and whether he'll run for president. See also Buffett: U.S. economy OK, but not income inequality, and De Blasio: Hillary Clinton ‘Absolutely’ Needs to Address Income Inequality. *RON*]

—By Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, 2 April 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest-serving independent in Congress and its only self-described democratic socialist, is best known for his stands against wealthy special interests and in favor of government programs that help the poor and the middle class. Now 73, Sanders announced last year that he may run for president in 2016. During a swing through San Francisco this week, he stopped byMother Jones HQ to talk to us about America's greed problem, the fecklessness of Democrats, and how to catalyze the progressive movement.

Mother Jones: What have you been up to lately?

Bernie Sanders: I'm going around the count…

Canada passed on U.S.-Mexico climate announcement

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["A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the suggestion that Canada declined to participate was incorrect." Our failure to appear at these meetings - which we fully support telepathically and in our talking points - was simply due to our not being present. And we have a bridge we'd like to sell you in Brooklyn. And those strings connected to Mr. Harper's head and hands are definitely NOT being pulled by Alberta oil and gas companies! *RON*]

Valerie Volcovici & Mike de Souza, Reuters / Toronto Sun, 2 April 2015

WASHINGTON/OTTAWA -Canada declined a U.S. invitation last week to jointly announce climate policy cooperation with Mexico, with Ottawa saying it has not yet finalized its own domestic strategy, sources from both countries familiar with the discussions said on Thursday.

On March 24, three days before the United States and Mexico announced they would partner on a high-level bilateral clean energy and climate…

Boreal forest suffering 'significant' losses in Russia, Canada

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["Russia and Canada led the world in the loss of tree cover in 2013" 180,000 square kilometres of forest being lost each year is equivalent to losing the area of Germany every two years - thank you for that Wolfram Alpha! *RON*]

CBC News, 2 April 2015
Related Stories

Boreal forests ignored in climate change fight
Save half of boreal forest from development, scientists urge
'Bird nursery' at risk unless half of Canada's boreal forest preserved
Canada boreal forest protection expanded in 2013 but concerns remain
'Bird nursery' at risk unless half of Canada's boreal forest preserved
Russia and Canada led the world in the loss of tree cover in 2013, according to analysis of new satellite images by researchers and Global Forest Watch.

Kenya student survives Al-Shabab killing spree by smearing victim’s blood on her face and playing dead

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[Part of the ongoing horrors of life in Africa that we typically are scarcely aware of in the West. Northeast Kenya routinely sees incursions of Islamic radical Al Shabab forces from neighbouring Somalia, who target Christians. We hear about this more so when a white tourist is kidnapped or killed in one of their northern beach resorts. And just now: Al-Shabaab leader responsible for Garissa attack is Kenyan, and he was linked to the Westgate Mall atrocity. *RON*]

Ilya Gridneff, Bloomberg News, National Post, 3 April 3, 2015

When Al-Shabab gunmen went on a killing spree at Garissa University in eastern Kenya, Hellen Titus played dead by smearing other students’ blood on her face.

“As soon as I heard shooting, I knew it was Al-Shabab,” the 21-year-old bachelor of education student said as she recovered from a gunshot wound to her right wrist at Garissa Hospital.

“They killed Christians praying in the morning. They separated the women from the men …

Canada Post's Massive 2014 Profit Confirms: No Need To Withdraw Door-to-door Delivery

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[This is how you balance a budget while running a war, spending tens of millions on advertising your political party on the public dime, and paying huge subsidies to oil and gas. This is a posting on the postal workers' web site. They make a good point (Canada Post is not running a loss as they said they were but making a large profit - so why are they cutting door-to-door service?), but I don't recall having seen this being picked up by any media. *RON*]

CUPW Web Site, 27 March 2015

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA – Today, the Canada Post Group reported a massive profit from operations of $299 Million for 2014. The Canada Post segment reported profit from operations of $204 M and a profit before tax of $194 M.

“This is affirming news for our members,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President, “It’s some $555 Million better than the loss projected in Canada Post’s corporate plan. Postal workers are justifiably proud to perform a valuable, pr…

Multiple hurdles hold back Surrey coal terminal

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[Fraser Surrey Docks' proposal to ship U.S. thermal coal faces many hurdles - including the fact that the company doesn't even have agreements with suppliers and has doubts about whether the project is a good business decision. But they're pushing ahead anyway. Our best opportunity to stop this stupid, harmful project is to make sure Fraser Surrey Docks doesn't get their permit to pump toxic coal sludge into our public sewers. Metro Vancouver wants to hear from you about their permitting decision, but there are only seven days left for comments. Click here to send your message today. *RON*]

by Jeff Nagel - Surrey North Delta Leader, 1 April 2015

Opponents of a proposed new coal export terminal on the Fraser River in Surrey have lost one legal challenge, but other court battles and regulatory decisions continue to hold up the project.

Fraser Surrey Docks got approval last summer from Port Metro Vancouver to build the $15-million fac…