Category Archives: World News

Glyphosate Among Chemicals Causing Cancer In Argentinian Village

Argentina Agrochemicals

A group of professors at the University of Cordoba, Argentina, detected incidence rates of cancer and other diseases that triple the provincial and national averages.

After conducting a study with thousands of people, the professors recommended that grain storage plants, pesticides and other agrochemicals be kept outside the city center.

The higher than normal incidence in various types of cancer was detected in the village of In Monte Maíz, a small town located 440 kilometers west of Buenos Aires. With only 8,200 inhabitants Monte Maíz, asked the University of Córdoba to investigate what they perceived as an increase in serious illnesses.

Medics, university students and experts of the Center for Environmental Research, University of La Plata participated in the study.

The research found that the gross rate of cancer incidence was of 707 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 264 in the province of Córdoba and 217 throughout Argentina.

The main types of tumors that were detected included breast, colon, prostate, thyroid and skin. A total of 21.6% of the cases occurred in people whose age was under 44, a segment of the population that is represented by only 11.6% at the provincial level.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Monte Maíz, 33.4% of the total deaths in 2014. In Argentina, cancer comes second as the cause of death at a rate of 20% and behind cardiovascular disease.

The researchers recommended the mayor to relocate the deposits of agrochemicals and also the grain, since toxic substances would also be released from them.

During the study conducted by experts, they found glyphosate, cypermethrin and cloropiritos residues in soil samples. “The rural area totals 65,000 hectares, where people spray 630,000 liters of pesticides annually,” says the report.

The document also expresses concern about an open dump located 800 meters from the village, notes the existence of stagnant water from past floods and a drainage channel with harmful waste products from local industries.

Cancer is not the only concern in Monte Maíz. The rate of spontaneous abortions amounted to 9.9% of pregnant women, compared to the 3% national average.

Children with congenital malformations account for 2.9% in the last 10 years, compared to 1.9% as the national average.

Doctors also drew attention to the amount of pulmonary disease, hypothyroidism and lupus.

Argentina is the third largest producer of soybeans in the world. In 2012, at the first trial on agrochemical pollution in this country, a court in Cordoba sentenced a farmer to three years suspended sentence to a farmer and a pilot whose planes fumigate the inhabitants of a neighboring district of the city while spraying chemicals on a nearby plantation.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Obama’s Rape Of Yemen

yemen

Obama is systematically raping Yemen – using Saudi-led terror-bombing to do his dirty work.

He wants Washington regaining control over its former client state. The lives and welfare of millions of Yemenis don’t matter.

Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) believes “(t)he Saudi-led collective move in Yemen entails a significant advantage for Israel.”

Houthi Ansarullah fighters “cannot be defeated from the air. The Saudi goal is to prevent (them) from using advanced weapons – fighter jets and surface-to-surface missiles – and keep the strategic port city of Aden from falling into their hands.”

Houthis don’t threaten Israel. Al Qaeda, IS and likeminded extremist groups don’t have air power except when Washington supplies it.

Endless war in Yemen continues. Casualties mount daily. Human suffering is extreme.

Streets in conflict areas are deserted – accept for bodies piling up. Essentials to life are in short supply or unavailable altogether. A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in real time.

Saudi Arabia dismissed Iran’s call to halt fighting. Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said “(h)ow can Iran call for us to stop fighting…”

He lied claiming “(w)e came to Yemen to help the legitimate authority, and Iran is not in charge of Yemen.”

The so-called “legitimate authority” is US-installed with no legitimacy whatever.

Saudi terror-bombing serves US imperial interests and its own. Mass-murdering Yemenis is considered OK – including deliberately targeting civilian men, women and children, killing them in cold blood.

The death toll likely tops 2,000.  Numbers injured include thousands more – many maimed for life.

Official figures way undercount. Slow-motion genocide explains things.

Well over 100,000 have been displaced. Eighteen days of terror-bombing and ground fighting caused horrific conditions.

Hospitals are overwhelmed. At least five were terror-bombed. Those operating haven’t enough supplies for the wounded.

The longer conflict continues, the worse things get. A grocer running out of food said “(t)he war of hunger has not started yet.”

Residents in conflict areas have no place to hide. Yemen is being systematically raped, ravaged and destroyed – another US imperial victim.

It may be turned to rubble before things end. Tens of thousands may die.

An Aden resident said everything around him is “damaged, ruined. Everything is destroyed.”

Saudis “are bombing innocent people and families.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visiting Riyadh expressed support for Saudi-led terror-bombing.

“(W)e are here to demonstrate our support, especially political, to the Saudi authorities,” he said.

One rogue regime supports another. Mass slaughter and destruction are OK.

Resolving things militarily is impossible. Violence assures more of it.

Diplomacy alone can work. Iran’s state-run Al-Alam TV said hackers accessed its Twitter account and You Tube channel.

They published fabricated reports about Houthi leader Abdul-Makik Houthi’s death.

Al-Alam officials blamed Saudi anger for its critical reporting of its terror-bombing.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kkamenei called Riyadh’s campaign a “crime and genocide.”

He cited rising civilian casualties. Obama refuses to evacuate up to 4,000 stranded US citizens.

Russia continues rescuing hundreds of people in need – so far citizens from 19 countries, including 45 Russian nationals and 18 Americans on Sunday.

Others are being evacuated by air and sea. Five air rescue missions were undertaken.

At least eight other countries are evacuating their nationals – including China and India.

A trapped US citizen told RT International:

“Nobody will help us evacuate. The (US government’s) reply was an automated message that they do not have any evacuation plans. Basically we are left on our own.”

America prioritizes waging global direct and proxy wars of aggression.

Its message to trapped US citizens in Yemen: You’re on your own, out of luck, too bad if you’re killed or injured. Expect no help from Washington.

US resources go for war-making – not helping its own citizens in need, at home or abroad.

Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Houthis haven’t decided whether to launch attacks on Saudi territory or try cutting off the strategically important Bab-el-Mandred strait – connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

Nasrallah believes Saudi aggression will end in “catastrophic failure.” How many thousands of Yeminis will perish in the meantime?

How much unspeakable human suffering will continue?

Obama wants endless conflict. He operates by his own rules. He invents them to fit policy.

He does so to justify mass murder. Human lives don’t matter. Civilians are as fair game as combatants.

He once bragged to aides about murder by drones saying “I’m really good at killing people.”

Millions died on his watch – by violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation.

How many more will perish before his tenure ends? How much more human suffering is too much?

How much longer will US unaccountability for high crimes against peace be tolerated? When will long denied justice be served?

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Fars News reported senior Yemeni Ansarullah movement member Hossein al-Ezzi saying “differences have intensified in the Al Saud dynasty over the Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen.”

“(I)nsecurities (in several Saudi regions) have been intensified.” Some Saudi official fear possible internal chaos.

Conflict threatens to spill cross-border. Anything ahead is possible.

War has a way of widening on its own. The entire Gulf area may be embroiled before things end.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Government Control Of The Media Is Next In Costa Rica

Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solís

Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solís

By: The Real Agenda -

Often times warnings about conspiracies are taken lightly and frequently those who warn about them are labeled conspiracy theorists. The label is given to try to discredit their position and assassinate their character.

However, there is little doubt about conspiracies when the conspirators themselves tell the public about their plans explicitely and openly.

Yesterday we reported how a draft bill proposed by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Costa Rica (MICITT) seeks to erode long-held freedoms in that country. After numerous public complains, however, the very Minister of Science and Technology stated that the controversial articles drafted by unknown people at her office would be promptly removed and that a new draft would be presented.

Gisela Kopper explained to the press that given the strong popular opposition seen in the last 24 hours, she was temporarily withdrawing the draft proposal and that a new one would be submitted at a later time.

According to experts and constitutional lawyers, the articles that attempted to give the Ministry of Science and Technology the power to regulate the press and the content of news programs are carbon copies of legislation enacted in other Latin American countries in which the central government took over control of the press.

The newspaper El Financiero reports that the legislation is part of a growing trend in Latin America, where governments have taken it upon themselves to control mass media.

Asdrúbal Aguiar, a specialist cited by the newspaper said that the proposal “intends to turn the mass media into a public service” which immediately promotes initiatives for the government to regulate both the media and the content they present to the public.

Aguilar added that the draft bill is contradictory because while “it labels the operation of mass media as a public service, it also treats it as a business,” obligating media owners to pay licenses to operate them.

In the same article, El Financiero cites the opinion of Claudio Paotillo, a member of the Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa, a media watchdog. According to Paolillo, the draft bill is not only a bad idea because it intends to regulate the media outlets, but also because its creators also want to regulate the content.

Several articles in the original draft explicitly sought to close media companies if they broadcast content that was deemed “offensive” by a group of unelected bureaucrats at MICITT.

Under the original bill, the MICITT would be able to close media outlets after two violations for as long as one year.

Given the clarity with which government official explained their plans to take over the media, several constitutional experts sounded the alarms about the illegality of the proposal presented by the MICITT. The experts warn that the potential constitutional violations contained in the bill are multi-pronged.

First, there is the ideological issue, whereby government officials seek to regulate the content of news and other programs based on what they see appropriate.

Second, the creators of the draft also ignored the legal reality of the country by writing a proposal that evidently goes against constitutional guarantees related to free speech and freedom of the press.

To all this, the Costa Rican president, Luis Guillermo Solís said he was open about his intention to push the proposal to change the way in which the media operates. He said that he was ready to pay the political price if need be. He added that the intention to change the way the media operates represents the new way in which his government intends to carry out political agendas.

According to local media, Solís answered questions about the opposition to the bill by saying that he was “willing to pay the political price that needed to be paid for the process to work,” but that he was not “willing to pay the political price to be silly or for causing damage to institutionalisms.

Solís said that the intention is not to erode the freedom of the press, but that it is necessary to “modernize the system that governs over mass media”.

Today, the Costa Rican Association for Radio and Television (CANARTEL) held a special event in which members talked in detail about the draft bill that seeks to regulate freedom of the press and free speech.

During the event, professionals warned that the proposal is completely opposite to the traditions that have kept a free press for over 70 years. They also explained that the initiative to regulate the media and the content they can present to the public even violates international guidelines because it seeks to restrict freedom of expression.

On this regard, the Costa Rican president said he did not know the details of the proposal presented by MICITT but that the confusion was most likely due to technicalities included by staff who wrote the bill. He added that any confusions should be worked out and solved.

Despite Solís’s statements, it is clear that a small group of bureaucrats in his administration have sought to pull a quick one with this new attempt to “modernize” the system which already regulates the press in Costa Rica. The proposal presented by the MICITT, whether the president recognizes it or not, is a clear example that some people in his government don’t like to be subjected to scrutiny and that includes Solís himself, who a few days ago complained about the way the press reported the news.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

 

UN Accuses Saudi Arabia Of Killing Yemeni Civilians

yemen

Make no mistake. Yemen is Obama’s war. He’s using Saudi-led terror-bombing to serve US interests – to regain control of its former client state.

It’s high time this naked aggression was universally condemned. Noncombatant men, women and children are being willfully murdered in cold blood.

After two weeks of terror-bombing, the UN finally noticed. Special Rapporteur for Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani accused Saudi Arabia of deliberately killing Yemeni civilians.

Saudi-led warplanes bombed civilian neighborhoods, the Mazraq refugee camp, hospitals, schools and “other civilian buildings,” said Beyani.

Power and water facilities were struck. So were Yemen’s largest food storage and dairy buildings.

Beyani called terror-bombing attacks “a grave violation against some of the most vulnerable of the vulnerable civilians.”

Scores of children were killed. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians were murdered or maimed for life.

Estimates of civilian deaths and injuries are conservative. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 643 deaths, including 74 children – another 2,226 injured.

The true toll may be double these figures. As fighting continues, expect them to be many multiples higher ahead.

Tens of thousands may die before conflict ends. Expect countless thousands more to be gravely injured.

Lives, welfare and futures are being irreparably destroyed – victims of US imperial arrogance, the same ugly business occurring everywhere America shows up.

Beyani warned the international community “to prepare for massive displacement and humanitarian crisis as conflict torn Yemen further descends into chaos and civilians flee the fighting.”

“The international community must prepare for a worst case scenario,” he said.

“While efforts to reach a diplomatic solution are essential, the picture on the ground is extremely bleak and humanitarian responses must be stepped up as a matter of urgency.”

“Unless rapidly resolved, the crisis could lead to mass displacement in the wake of heavy and ongoing fighting and airstrikes.”

“Those responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, must be held accountable.”

Conflict affects 14 of Yemen’s 22 governorates. Perhaps the entire country will be devastated before it ends.

Over 100,000 are internally or externally displaced so far – in just two weeks of conflict.

If continued for months or years like in other US regional wars, the lives and welfare of millions of Yemenis are at risk.

Obama bears full responsibility for slow-motion genocide in multiple conflict theaters. Endless US direct and proxy wars continue.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused Saudi Arabia of committing crimes against humanity in Yemen by bombing civilian areas.

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani warned Saudi officials to stop terror-bombing Yemen or face consequences for its actions.

“Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen is a very regrettable event in the Muslim world which should end as soon as possible through talks and negotiations,” he said.

“Otherwise, this blatant aggression of a government which claims (to be leading) Islam, against the Muslim people of another country who want to decide their fate will not remain unanswered.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad  Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian urged an immediate halt to fighting on all sides.

Crisis conditions must be settled diplomatically, they said.

Meanwhile, Saudi-led terror-bombing continues – with full US support and encouragement.

A devastating humanitarian crisis worsens daily. Yemen’s soul is up for grabs. So are the lives of its 25 million people.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Chile Is First Latin America Country To Allow Drones

drone

Chile introduced regulations Friday making it the first country in Latin America to officially allow drone flights.

The measure regulates both the public and private use of , remote-controlled whose use has skyrocketed in recent years for uses ranging from military airstrikes to delivering mail.

“Drones are aircraft that were operating outside the law. With these rules, unique in Latin America, their use will be regulated,” said Maximiliano Larraechea, the head of Chile’s civil aviation authority.

Drones for public use, such as in the realm of businesses and the media, are required to weigh less than six kilograms (13 pounds) and have parachutes, according to the regulations.

Larraechea said that a seven-kilogram drone falling 10 meters (33 feet) could be lethal, “so we’re calling for the parachute and weight limit.”

Under the regulations, are required to obtain a license and register their drone with the civil aviation authority.

A drone will not be allowed to fly higher than 130 meters or travel more than 500 meters from its operator, and night use is prohibited. They are also forbidden over large events and within two kilometers (1.2 miles) of an airport.

Wildly popular for personal use, drones will be allowed at residences as well as outside urban areas, but will not be allowed in urban public spaces.

Those violating the rules could face fines of up to $36,000.

Unlike in the United States, where drones have been tested for delivering online purchases, Larraechea said that the aircraft would be prohibited for commercial purposes in Chile.

Source: phys.org

Putin Working With Obama To Connect The World For Their New World Order: Behind The Scenes (VIDEOS)

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Putin in Los Cabos
By: N. Morgan | Right.is -

Over the last couple of years Vladimir Putin has gained recognition as being against the New World Order, an unexpected hero to many, but new information has come to light that may cause doubt and change that train of thought.
superhighway

Putin’s new plan has come forth and it will leave you scratching your head in wonder and perhaps a bit of trepidation.

In this latest move for power, Putin has a major plan to build a super highway from Russia to America.

Why would enemies dare to get involved in such a venture?

If Putin is truly an enemy of the New World Order, why is he signing on with enemies?

The New World Order super highway will span the globe.

The Elites are planning a world without borders.

Imagine driving from London to New York City would be possible if Russia succeeds in building a superhighway spanning across the country with links to western Europe and Asia.

During a March meeting, head of the Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin unveiled an ambitious plan called the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, which entails constructing a superhighway and an accompanying high-speed railway.

 superhighway2

If the plan is realized, motorists will be able to drive from London to New York. Russia hopes the development will spur the economies of remote cities and towns.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is about 9,000 kilometers long. According to CNN, a road trip from London to New York would cover about 20,777 kilometers.

Yakunin said other infrastructure such as oil pipelines, power plants and water supply facilities will be built alongside the highway and high-speed railway.

The mega highway system will face a multitude of difficulties, one of them being the connection to Alaska across the Bering Strait.

Either a long bridge or a undersea tunnel would be needed.

Money is likely to be another challenge. Russian Railways said the construction cost would amount to trillions of dollars.

  world

This is proof that the so called enemy, is actually part of the New World Order.

All the wars and destabilization around the world is a smoke screen to cover up their real agenda.

Many are unaware there are 10 regions to the New World Order, all to be divided up among the Elites leaders.

 russia

Joint Statement on Cooperation in the Bering Strait Region

The Presidents announced their intention to cooperate broadly in the cross-boundary Bering Strait region.

This will include enhanced contact between the government agencies responsible for the specially protected natural territories of both countries in the State of Alaska and Chukotka.

They also expressed their intention to increase interaction and facilitate travel among the native peoples living in these two regions.

The text of the Joint Statement on Cooperation in the Bering Strait Region can be found at: www.state.gov/russiabpc

 doc6

Joint Report by the Coordinators on Progress of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission

The Presidents hailed another productive year in the work of the Presidential Commission, as reflected in the latest Joint Report.

 The Commission’s second year has been focused on expanding our common agenda across 18 working groups, as well as producing new joint projects and initiatives related to our shared innovation agenda as well as in other priority areas that serve the national interest of both countries.

 The Commission’s agenda is also growing to strengthen collaboration in areas that are important to the promotion of our mutual economic prosperity.

The achievements of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission are outlined in the Commission’s annual report, which can be accessed at www.state.gov/russiabpc.

THE NEW WORLD INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION ORDER (NWICO) IN THE CONTEXT OF THE INFORMATION SUPER-HIGHWAY

 

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Costa Rican Ministry Proposes To Close Down News Media That ‘Lie’ To The Public

full-costa-rican-flag

People say that death is never as clear as when it is staring you on the face. In Costa Rica, the citizenry and the media have a tradition for enjoying freedoms and liberties not seen in neighboring countries. However, those liberties and freedoms have been challenged lately by government officials. Suddenly, the death of freedom seems closer than ever before. This time, the government intends to claim the power to shut down news media.

In Costa Rica, the media and the public have been caught off guard after the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICITT), suggested that a new law should be passed that intends to close media outlets that ‘lie’ or that report the news in a way that shows lack of ethics and that assault tradition.

As in the case of other countries, the Minister of Science and Technology, Gisela Kopper Arguedas, wants the decision to close media to be in the hands of politically appointed bureaucrats, who would base the decision to close a newspaper or a television station on their own assessment about what is ethical or true.

According to Telenoticias, a local television news broadcast, introduced a draft bill in which it is proposed that mass media are subject to closing for up to 1 year if a few politically appointed government officials deem the reporting of news as lies or because the news include vulgarity.

Apparently, the proposal for the government to have the power to regulate the media came after the Costa Rican president, Luis Guillermo Solís, publicly complained about the media’s coverage of his government. He said that the media only focused on the negative issues and not on his accomplishments as president.

If the draft bill is successfully approved in Congress, a handful of people from the Technology and Telecommunications Ministry would have the power to decide if medium needs to be closed down and for how long. The proposal to close mass media is completely opposite to Costa Rican law and tradition, which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

“Who came up with the idea that two lies or two news reports that are contrary to morality justifies closing mass media?,decried television news journalist Ignacio Santos during an op-ed. “What is behind this project? How is it that defending ethics means closing media? Who intends to threaten the media?, ” added Santos. He went on to say that if the whole purpose of the proposal was to acheive the goal of closing media, that effort has failed.

Santos challenged the proposal by asking whether or not the president of Costa Rica actually supported this draft bill. “Does the President and Members of the PAC – the president’s party- support closing mass media because of two offenses allegedly committed against decency in a year?”

The proposal from the MICITT intends to classify offenses committed by the media into three categories: light, serious and very serious. On article 68, the draft classifies offenses as very serious if a newscast or newspaper “circulates false news”. On paragraph “D” - the draft bill describes the use of language considered as vulgar or contrary to morality.

In Article 69 the document labels as serious offenses things like the commission within one year, of two or more serious offenses.” The penalties for very serious offenses would be closing radio stations and TV channels. Meanwhile, Article 74 describes details about the granting and revoking of permits for mass media. “In the case of very serious offenses it will proceedure to revoke the license or permit.”

The text proposed by MICITT has not yet been formally presented to Congress members, but it is apparently being handed out to PAC members.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Dilma Says That Brazil’s Sovereignty Depends On What Happens With Petrobras

dilma-petrobras
By: The Real Agenda -

Rousseff warns that corruption at Petrobras could plunge Brazil into unknown territory.

As we reported yesterday, the scandal surrounding Brazil’s Petrobras could have more serious implications than damaging the reputation of a few politicians and their political parties. In the last 12 months, Petrobras has been used to corrupt public officials in Brazil and the bribery system now threatens with dragging down the Brazilian economy to a point of no return.

Petrobras has lost two-thirds of its value and is now in trouble to make payments related to loans it requested while it experienced bountiful times.

Those loans were made in dollars, which added to the political scandal and the drop in the value of the Brazilian Real, will make it much harder for Petrobras to cover its liabilities.

The situation is so serious that it is already possible to hear voices warning about a possible bailout of the oil giant. But those voices also warn that the amount of money needed to bailout Petrobras could add so much debt to the deficit that a financial rescue could be as harmful to the economy as letting Petrobras default.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Monday that the “struggle for recovery” of state-owned Petrobras, immersed in a major corruption scandal, is “in progress” and that Brazil’s sovereignty and the future of the country depends on such a recovery< p>”>Rousseff mentioned the delicate situation of Petrobras during a ceremony in which her new education minister, Renato Janine Ribeiro, took office in replacement of Cid Gomes, who resigned last March amid controversy with Congress.

The president cited the Brazilian government’s plans to allocate 75% of ‘pre-salt’ royalties to education. The pre-salt is an enormous hydrocarbon deposits discovered by Petrobras in deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern coast Dilma said that the “recovery” of Petrobras, which may face serious financial problems due to the impact of corruption scandals within it, is “a struggle” both of the government and hers< p>”>”It is a struggle of the Government as muh as my struggle, because that is what interests the Brazilian people,” she said.

< p>”>The head of state also confirmed that, despite spending cuts that her government has decided to apply to supposedly balance public finances, budgets for the Ministry of Education will not be altered.

“I guarantee that the urgent need to promote economic adjustments will not affect the essential and structural programs of the Ministry of Education,” said Rousseff, who recalled that the theme of the second term that began last January 1st is “One Nation Educator” <p>”>The president explained that, based on that slogan was that she chose the new minister of that area, Mrs. Janine Ribeiro, who has dedicated her life to education.

Janine Ribeiro, philosopher 65, is a professor at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and was a member of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Council of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science, among other charges.

Dilma’s announcement about the dire situation in which the country and Petrobras are right now is the first official recognition that the corruption that took place at the oil giant may have consequences beyond what anyone could have envisioned just a year ago.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Obama’s Wars Murder Noncombatant Men, Women And Children

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (right) quickly put together a coalition to raid Yemen by air and position forces for an incursion by land.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (right) quickly put together a coalition to raid Yemen by air and position forces for an incursion by land.

Neocon lunatics in Washington consider it a small price to pay. International law calls it the highest of high crimes.

In the 1960s, Vietnam war protesters chanted “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?”

Obama way exceeds his ruthlessness – murdering and maiming noncombatants in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Donbass, Palestinians complicit with Israel and now Yemen.

Who’s next? Everywhere he shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. So does horrific human suffering words can’t explain.

Make no mistake. Yemen is Obama’s war. Months of preparation preceded hostilities. Detailed planning chose targets now terror-bombed.

Saudi-led forces are US proxies, serving American regional interests over the corpses of likely many thousands before conflict ends.

Neocon lunatics in Washington consider it a small price to pay. International law calls it the highest of high crimes.

Conditions in Yemen for many were desperate before fighting began. Now they’re catastrophic for many millions.

In more normal times, Oxfam estimates around 16 million Yemenis dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.

About 10 million haven’t enough food. Around 13 million have no access to clean drinking water.

Nine million lack basic medical care – greatly exacerbated now because most international aid workers left to avoid danger.

In the last 24 hours alone, reports estimate around 140 killed, many more seriously injured.

After nearly two weeks of terror-bombing, hundreds have been murdered in cold blood, thousands injured. The specter of starvation haunts many as food is increasingly in short supply.

Casualties mount daily. Noncombatant civilians suffer most. On April 6, a UN News Center report said:

“The violence in Yemen continues to wreak havoc upon the country’s civilian population and restricts humanitarian access to those most in need amid a spate of aerial attacks and ground incursions.”

Residential neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, public areas and vital infrastructure are being deliberately terror-bombed.

The UN reported residential buildings and bridges destroyed in Aden and Ma’ala. Conditions are “rapidly deteriorating” throughout much of the country, it said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the deaths of healhcare workers. It said hospitals were damaged or destroyed. It voiced concern about “the serious implications of these attacks.”

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported increasing numbers child deaths and injuries.

It estimates scores killed so far, many others maimed for life. It calls its estimates “conservative.”

UNICEF Yemen representative Julien Harneis said:

“Children are paying an intolerable price for this conflict. They are being killed, maimed and forced to flee their homes, their health threatened and their education interrupted.”

“These children should be immediately afforded special respect and protection by all parties to the conflict, in line with international humanitarian law.”

“The conflict is exacerbating the already precarious situation for children in one of the region’s poorest countries.”

Under more normal conditions, many Yemenis face food insecurity. Severe acute malnutrition is widespread among young children.

Growing numbers of Yemenis are being displaced. UN sources estimate at least 100,000 so far. A major refugee crisis looms.

A humanitarian one already exists. All essentials to life are in short supply or unavailable – including food, clean water, medical supplies, healthcare and electricity.

Terror-bombing disrupted, damaged or destroyed southern area drinking water and sanitation facilities.

Raw sewage flows in streets. The risk of widespread illness and disease is huge.

Aden residents reported one or more foreign warships (maybe US ones) shelling coastlines.

Explosions rocked suburban areas. Houthi fighters continue making gains despite intense terror-bombing and ground fighting.

Reuters reported heavy shelling and street fighting in and around Aden for days.

It indicated mounting food, water, medical supplies and electricity shortages throughout much of the country.

Sanaa, the capital, Aden, and surrounding areas are especially hard hit.

Reuters quoted a woman named Fatima walking through near-barren streets with her young children pleading: “How are we supposed to live without water and electricity?”

Desperately needed ICRC aid hasn’t arrived. A spokesperson said:

“We are still working on getting the plane to Sanaa. It’s a bit difficult with the logistics because there are not that many companies or cargo planes willing to fly into a conflict zone.”

The ICRC is trying to get medical supplies in by sea from neighboring Djibouti. Fighting makes it extremely hazardous doing so.

Food is in short supply. Bottled water is no longer available. Water fit to drink is hard to find.

A mother of three said “(f)ood is in short supply, and thousands of children sleep hungry.”

“Where are the international aid organizations? There is no support coming to Yemen. Innocent civilians and children are dying in Aden while the world is watching.”

Yemen under normal conditions imports about 90% of its food. Saudi-blocked sea and air routes prevents supplies from arriving.

ICRC spokeswoman Maria Claire Feghali said “(t)he most critical part, the biggest challenge is the medical one. The hospitals are exhausted.”

Last week, fighting killed three Red Cross workers. Fars News reports Saudi Arabia enlisting Al Qaeda terrorists to battle Houthis on the ground.

Yemeni General Khalid al-Barayem said Houthi fighters intercepted trucks with (likely Saudi-supplied) chemical weapons heading for areas controlled by elements loyal to ousted US-installed illegitimate president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Substances seized can produce deadly sarin gas, he said. Turkish aircraft are delivering weapons to Hadi loyalists under the cover of humanitarian aid, he added.

As of April 7, Fars News estimates at least 887 Yemenis killed – “including hundreds of women and children.”

Saudi-led terror-bombing is deliberately targeting civilian areas and infrastructure, it added.

“There is no question that the US-supported and Saudi-led attack on Yemen is a blatant act of illegal aggression,” it stressed.

Civilian victims are dying. Others are maimed for life. Hundreds of thousands are suffering horrendously from humanitarian crisis conditions.

Where is the international community when most needed? Why haven’t responsible world leaders acted to stop US-planned/Saudi-led mass slaughter and destruction?

Hey! Hey! Barack! How many Yemeni kids did you kill today?

And Afghans. And Iraqis. And Syrians among many other victims of US direct and proxy aggression!


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Meet The Secretive Group That Runs The World

BIS 2
By: Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge

Over the centuries there have been many stories, some based on loose facts, others based on hearsay, conjecture, speculation and outright lies, about groups of people who “control the world.” Some of these are partially accurate, others are wildly hyperbolic, but when it comes to the historic record, nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements, which hides in such plain sight, that few have ever paid much attention.

BIS committee

This is their story.

BIS

First unofficial meeting of the BIS Board of Directors in Basel, April 1930

* * *

The following is an excerpt from TOWER OF BASEL: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by Adam LeBor.  Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs.

The world’s most exclusive club has eighteen members. They gather every other month on a Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in conference room E in a circular tower block whose tinted windows overlook the central Basel railway station. Their discussion lasts for one hour, perhaps an hour and a half. Some of those present bring a colleague with them, but the aides rarely speak during this most confidential of conclaves. The meeting closes, the aides leave, and those remaining retire for dinner in the dining room on the eighteenth floor, rightly confident that the food and the wine will be superb. The meal, which continues until 11 p.m. or midnight, is where the real work is done. The protocol and hospitality, honed for more than eight decades, are faultless. Anything said at the dining table, it is understood, is not to be repeated elsewhere.

Few, if any, of those enjoying their haute cuisine and grand cru wines— some of the best Switzerland can offer—would be recognized by passers-by, but they include a good number of the most powerful people in the world. These men—they are almost all men—are central bankers. They have come to Basel to attend the Economic Consultative Committee (ECC) of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is the bank for central banks. Its current members [ZH: as of 2013] include Ben Bernanke, the [former] chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England; Mario Draghi, of the European Central Bank; Zhou Xiaochuan of the Bank of China; and the central bank governors of Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Canada, India, and Brazil. Jaime Caruana, a former governor of the Bank of Spain, the BIS’s general manager, joins them.

In early 2013, when this book went to press, King, who is due to step down as governor of the Bank of England in June 2013, chaired the ECC. The ECC, which used to be known as the G-10 governors’ meeting, is the most influential of the BIS’s numerous gatherings, open only to a small, select group of central bankers from advanced economies. The ECC makes recommendations on the membership and organization of the three BIS committees that deal with the global financial system, payments systems, and international markets. The committee also prepares proposals for the Global Economy Meeting and guides its agenda.

That meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning, in room B and lasts for three hours. There King presides over the central bank governors of the thirty countries judged the most important to the global economy. In addition to those who were present at the Sunday evening dinner, Monday’s meeting will include representatives from, for example, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey. Governors from fifteen smaller countries, such as Hungary, Israel, and New Zealand are allowed to sit in as observers, but do not usually speak. Governors from the third tier of member banks, such as Macedonia and Slovakia, are not allowed to attend. Instead they must forage for scraps of information at coffee and meal breaks.

The governors of all sixty BIS member banks then enjoy a buffet lunch in the eighteenth-floor dining room. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architectural firm which built the “Bird’s Nest” Stadium for the Beijing Olympics, the dining room has white walls, a black ceiling and spectacular views over three countries: Switzerland, France, and Germany. At 2 p.m. the central bankers and their aides return to room B for the governors’ meeting to discuss matters of interest, until the gathering ends at 5.

King takes a very different approach than his predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank, in chairing the Global Economy Meeting. Trichet, according to one former central banker, was notably Gallic in his style: a stickler for protocol who called the central bankers to speak in order of importance, starting with the governors of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Bundesbank, and then progressing down the hierarchy. King, in contrast, adopts a more thematic and egalitarian approach: throwing open the meetings for discussion and inviting contributions from all present.

The governors’ conclaves have played a crucial role in determining the world’s response to the global financial crisis. “The BIS has been a very important meeting point for central bankers during the crisis, and the rationale for its existence has expanded,” said King. “We have had to face challenges that we have never seen before. We had to work out what was going on, what instruments do we use when interest rates are close to zero, how do we communicate policy. We discuss this at home with our staff, but it is very valuable for the governors themselves to get together and talk among themselves.”

Those discussions, say central bankers, must be confidential. “When you are at the top in the number one post, it can be pretty lonely at times. It is helpful to be able to meet other number ones and say, ‘This is my problem, how do you deal with it?’” King continued. “Being able to talk informally and openly about our experiences has been immensely valuable. We are not speaking in a public forum. We can say what we really think and believe, and we can ask questions and benefit from others.”

The BIS management works hard to ensure that the atmosphere is friendly and clubbable throughout the weekend, and it seems they succeed. The bank arranges a fleet of limousines to pick up the governors at Zürich airport and bring them to Basel. Separate breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are organized for the governors of national banks who oversee different types and sizes of national economies, so no one feels excluded. “The central bankers were more at home and relaxed with their fellow central bankers than with their own governments,” recalled Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, who at- tended the Basel weekends. The superb quality of the food and wine made for an easy camaraderie, said Peter Akos Bod, a former governor of the National Bank of Hungary. “The main topics of discussion were the quality of the wine and the stupidity of finance ministers. If you had no knowledge of wine you could not join in the conversation.”

And the conversation is usually stimulating and enjoyable, say central bankers. The contrast between the Federal Open Markets Committee at the US Federal Reserve, and the Sunday evening G-10 governors’ dinners was notable, recalled Laurence Meyer, who served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1996 until 2002. The chairman of the Federal Reserve did not always represent the bank at the Basel meetings, so Meyer occasionally attended. The BIS discussions were always lively, focused and thought provoking. “At FMOC meetings, while I was at the Fed, almost all the Committee members read statements which had been prepared in advance. They very rarely referred to statements by other Committee members and there was almost never an exchange between two members or an ongoing discussion about the outlook or policy options. At BIS dinners people actually talk to each other and the discussions are always stimulating and interactive focused on the serious issues facing the global economy.”

All the governors present at the two-day gathering are assured of total confidentiality, discretion, and the highest levels of security. The meetings take place on several floors that are usually used only when the governors are in attendance. The governors are provided with a dedicated office and the necessary support and secretarial staff. The Swiss authorities have no juridisdiction over the BIS premises. Founded by an international treaty, and further protected by the 1987 Headquarters Agreement with the Swiss government, the BIS enjoys similar protections to those granted to the headquarters of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and diplomatic embassies. The Swiss authorities need the permission of the BIS management to enter the bank’s buildings, which are described as “inviolable.”

The BIS has the right to communicate in code and to send and receive correspondence in bags covered by the same protection as embassies, meaning they cannot be opened. The BIS is exempt from Swiss taxes. Its employees do not have to pay income tax on their salaries, which are usually generous, designed to compete with the private sector. The general manager’s salary in 2011 was 763,930 Swiss francs, while head of departments were paid 587,640 per annum, plus generous allowances. The bank’s extraordinary legal privileges also extend to its staff and directors. Senior managers enjoy a special status, similar to that of diplomats, while carrying out their duties in Switzerland, which means their bags cannot be searched (unless there is evidence of a blatant criminal act), and their papers are inviolable. The central bank governors traveling to Basel for the bimonthly meetings enjoy the same status while in Switzerland. All bank officials are immune under Swiss law, for life, for all the acts carried out during the discharge of their duties. The bank is a popular place to work and not just because of the salaries. Around six hundred staff come from over fifty countries. The atmosphere is multi-national and cosmopolitan, albeit very Swiss, emphasizing the bank’s hierarchy. Like many of those working for the UN or the IMF, some of the staff of the BIS, especially senior management, are driven by a sense of mission, that they are working for a higher, even celestial purpose and so are immune from normal considerations of accountability and transparency.

The bank’s management has tried to plan for every eventuality so that the Swiss police need never be called. The BIS headquarters has high-tech sprinkler systems with multiple back-ups, in-house medical facilities, and its own bomb shelter in the event of a terrorist attack or armed conflagration. The BIS’s assets are not subject to civil claims under Swiss law and can never be seized.

The BIS strictly guards the bankers’ secrecy. The minutes, agenda, and actual attendance list of the Global Economy Meeting or the ECC are not released in any form. This is because no official minutes are taken, although the bankers sometimes scribble their own notes. Sometimes there will be a brief press conference or bland statement afterwards but never anything detailed. This tradition of privileged confidentiality reaches back to the bank’s foundation.

“The quietness of Basel and its absolutely nonpolitical character provide a perfect setting for those equally quiet and nonpolitical gatherings,” wrote one American official in 1935. “The regularity of the meetings and their almost unbroken attendance by practically every member of the Board make them such they rarely attract any but the most meager notice in the press.”8 Forty years on, little had changed. Charles Coombs, a former foreign exchange chief of the New York Federal Reserve, attended governors’ meetings from 1960 to 1975. The bankers who were allowed inside the inner sanctum of the governors’ meetings trusted each other absolutely, he recalled in his memoirs. “However much money was involved, no agreements were ever signed nor memoranda of understanding ever initialized. The word of each official was sufficient, and there were never any disappointments.”

What, then, does this matter to the rest of us? Bankers have been gathering confidentially since money was first invented. Central bankers like to view themselves as the high priests of finance, as technocrats overseeing arcane monetary rituals and a financial liturgy understood only by a small, self-selecting elite.

But the governors who meet in Basel every other month are public servants. Their salaries, airplane tickets, hotel bills, and lucrative pensions when they retire are paid out of the public purse. The national reserves held by central banks are public money, the wealth of nations. The central bankers’ discussions at the BIS, the information that they share, the policies that are evaluated, the opinions that are exchanged, and the subsequent decisions that are taken, are profoundly political. Central bankers, whose independence is constitutionally protected, control monetary policy in the developed world. They manage the supply of money to national economies. They set interest rates, thus deciding the value of our savings and investments. They decide whether to focus on austerity or growth. Their decisions shape our lives.

The BIS’s tradition of secrecy reaches back through the decades. During the 1960s, for example, the bank hosted the London Gold Pool. Eight countries pledged to manipulate the gold market to keep the price at around thirty-five dollars per ounce, in line with the provisions of the Bretton Woods Accord that governed the post–World War II international financial system. Although the London Gold Pool no longer exists, its successor is the BIS Markets Committee, which meets every other month on the occasion of the governors’ meetings to discuss trends in the financial markets. Officials from twenty-one central banks attend. The committee releases occasional papers, but its agenda and discussions remain secret.

Nowadays the countries represented at the Global Economy Meetings together account for around four-fifths of global gross domestic product (GDP)— most of the produced wealth of the world—according to the BIS’s own statistics. Central bankers now “seem more powerful than politicians,” wrote The Economist newspaper, “holding the destiny of the global economy in their hands.” How did this happen? The BIS, the world’s most secretive global financial institution, can claim much of the credit. From its first day of existence, the BIS has dedicated itself to furthering the interests of central banks and building the new architecture of transnational finance. In doing so, it has spawned a new class of close-knit global technocrats whose members glide between highly-paid positions at the BIS, the IMF, and central and commercial banks.

The founder of the technocrats’ cabal was Per Jacobssen, the Swedish economist who served as the BIS’s economic adviser from 1931 to 1956. The bland title belied his power and reach. Enormously influential, well connected, and highly regarded by his peers, Jacobssen wrote the first BIS annual reports, which were—and remain—essential reading throughout the world’s treasuries. Jacobssen was an early supporter of European federalism. He argued relentlessly against inflation, excessive government spending, and state intervention in the economy. Jacobssen left the BIS in 1956 to take over the IMF. His legacy still shapes our world. The consequences of his mix of economic liberalism, price obsession, and dismantling of national sovereignty play out nightly in the European news bulletins on our television screens.

The BIS’s defenders deny that the organization is secretive. The bank’s archives are open and researchers may consult most documents that are more than thirty years old. The BIS archivists are indeed cordial, helpful, and professional. The bank’s website includes all its annual reports, which are downloadable, as well as numerous policy papers produced by the bank’s highly regarded research department. The BIS publishes detailed accounts of the securities and derivatives markets, and international banking statistics. But these are largely compilations and analyses of information already in the public domain. The details of the bank’s own core activities, including much of its banking operations for its customers, central banks, and international organizations, remain secret. The Global Economy Meetings and the other crucial financial gatherings that take place at Basel, such as the Markets Committee, remain closed to outsiders. Private individuals may not hold an account at BIS, unless they work for the bank. The bank’s opacity, lack of accountability, and ever-increasing influence raises profound questions— not just about monetary policy but transparency, accountability, and how power is exercised in our democracies.

* * *

WHEN I EXPLAINED to friends and acquaintances that I was writing a book about the Bank for International Settlements, the usual response was a puzzled look, followed by a question: “The bank for what?” My interlocutors were intelligent people, who follow current affairs. Many had some interest in and understanding of the global economy and financial crisis. Yet only a handful had heard of the BIS. This was strange, as the BIS is the most important bank in the world and predates both the IMF and the World Bank. For decades it has stood at the center of a global network of money, power, and covert global influence.

The BIS was founded in 1930. It was ostensibly set up as part of the Young Plan to administer German reparations payments for the First World War. The bank’s key architects were Montagu Norman, who was the governor of the Bank of England, and Hjalmar Schacht, the president of the Reichsbank who described the BIS as “my” bank. The BIS’s founding members were the central banks of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and a consortium of Japanese banks. Shares were also offered to the Federal Reserve, but the United States, suspicious of anything that might infringe on its national sovereignty, refused its allocation. Instead a consortium of commercial banks took up the shares: J. P. Morgan, the First National Bank of New York, and the First National Bank of Chicago.

The real purpose of the BIS was detailed in its statutes: to “promote the cooperation of central banks and to provide additional facilities for international financial operations.” It was the culmination of the central bankers’ decades-old dream, to have their own bank—powerful, independent, and free from interfering politicians and nosy reporters. Most felicitous of all, the BIS was self-financing and would be in perpetuity. Its clients were its own founders and shareholders— the central banks. During the 1930s, the BIS was the central meeting place for a cabal of central bankers, dominated by Norman and Schacht. This group helped rebuild Germany. The New York Times described Schacht, widely acknowledged as the genius behind the resurgent German economy, as “The Iron-Willed Pilot of Nazi Finance.” During the war, the BIS became a de-facto arm of the Reichsbank, accepting looted Nazi gold and carrying out foreign exchange deals for Nazi Germany.

The bank’s alliance with Berlin was known in Washington, DC, and London. But the need for the BIS to keep functioning, to keep the new channels of transnational finance open, was about the only thing all sides agreed on. Basel was the perfect location, as it is perched on the northern edge of Switzerland and sits almost on the French and German borders. A few miles away, Nazi and Allied soldiers were fighting and dying. None of that mattered at the BIS. Board meetings were suspended, but relations between the BIS staff of the belligerent nations remained cordial, professional, and productive. Nationalities were irrelevant. The overriding loyalty was to international finance. The president, Thomas McKittrick, was an American. Roger Auboin, the general manager, was French. Paul Hechler, the assistant general manager, was a member of the Nazi party and signed his correspondence “Heil Hitler.” Rafaelle Pilotti, the secretary general, was Italian. Per Jacobssen, the bank’s influential economic adviser, was Swedish. His and Pilotti’s deputies were British.

After 1945, five BIS directors, including Hjalmar Schacht, were charged with war crimes. Germany lost the war but won the economic peace, in large part thanks to the BIS. The international stage, contacts, banking networks, and legitimacy the BIS provided, first to the Reichsbank and then to its successor banks, has helped ensure the continuity of immensely powerful financial and economic interests from the Nazi era to the present day.

* * *

FOR THE FIRST forty-seven years of its existence, from 1930 to 1977, the BIS was based in a former hotel, near the Basel central railway station. The bank’s entrance was tucked away by a chocolate shop, and only a small notice confirmed that the narrow doorway opened into the BIS. The bank’s managers believed that those who needed to know where the BIS was would find it, and the rest of the world certainly did not need to know. The inside of the building changed little over the decades, recalled Charles Coombs. The BIS provided the “the spartan accommodations of a former Victorian-style hotel whose single and double bedrooms had been transformed into offices simply by removing the beds and installing desks.”

The bank moved into its current headquarters, at 2, Centralbahnplatz, in 1977. It did not go far and now overlooks the Basel central station. Nowadays the BIS’s main mission, in its own words, is threefold: “to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in these areas, and to act as a bank for central banks.” The BIS also hosts much of the practical and technical infrastructure that the global network of central banks and their commercial counterparts need to function smoothly. It has two linked trading rooms: at the Basel headquarters and Hong Kong regional office. The BIS buys and sells gold and foreign exchange for its clients. It provides asset management and arranges short-term credit to central banks when needed.

The BIS is a unique institution: an international organization, an extremely profitable bank and a research institute founded, and protected, by international treaties. The BIS is accountable to its customers and shareholdersthe central banks—but also guides their operations. The main tasks of a central bank, the BIS argues, are to control the flow of credit and the volume of currency in circulation, which will ensure a stable business climate, and to keep exchange rates within manageable bands to ensure the value of a currency and so smooth international trade and capital movements. This is crucial, especially in a globalized economy, where markets react in microseconds and perceptions of economic stability and value are almost as important as reality itself.

The BIS also helps to supervise commercial banks, although it has no legal powers over them. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, based at the BIS, regulates commercial banks’ capital and liquidity requirements. It requires banks to have a minimum capital of eight percent of risk-weighted assets when lending, meaning that if a bank has risk-weighted assets of $100 million it must maintain at least $8 million capital. The committee has no powers of enforcement, but it does have enormous moral authority. “This regulation is so powerful that the eight percent principle has been set into national laws,” said Peter Akos Bod. “It’s like voltage. Voltage has been set at 220. You may decide on ninety-five volts, but it would not work.” In theory, sensible housekeeping and mutual cooperation, overseen by the BIS, will keep the global financial system functioning smoothly. In theory.

The reality is that we have moved beyond recession into a deep structural crisis, one fueled by the banks’ greed and rapacity, which threatens all of our financial security. Just as in the 1930s, parts of Europe face economic collapse. The Bundesbank and the European Central Bank, two of the most powerful members of the BIS, have driven the mania for austerity that has already forced one European country, Greece, to the edge, aided by the venality and corruption of the country’s ruling class. Others may soon follow. The old order is creaking, its political and financial institutions corroding from within. From Oslo to Athens, the far right is resurgent, fed in part by soaring poverty and unemployment. Anger and cynicism are corroding citizens’ faith in democracy and the rule of law. Once again, the value of property and assets is vaporizing before their owners’ eyes. The European currency is threatened with breakdown, while those with money seek safe haven in Swiss francs or gold. The young, the talented, and the mobile are again fleeing their home countries for new lives abroad. The powerful forces of international capital that brought the BIS into being, and which granted the bank its power and influence, are again triumphant.

The BIS sits at the apex of an international financial system that is falling apart at the seams, but its officials argue that it does not have the power to act as an international financial regulator. Yet the BIS cannot escape its responsibility for the Euro-zone crisis. From the first agreements in the late 1940s on multilateral payments to the establishment of the Europe Central Bank in 1998, the BIS has been at the heart of the European integration project, providing technical expertise and the financial mechanisms for currency harmonization. During the 1950s, it managed the European Payments Union, which internationalized the continent’s payment system. The BIS hosted the Governors’ Committee of European Economic Community central bankers, set up in 1964, which coordinated trans-European monetary policy. During the 1970s, the BIS ran the “Snake,” the mechanism by which European currencies were held in exchange rate bands. During the 1980s the BIS hosted the Delors Committee, whose report in 1988 laid out the path to European Monetary Union and the adoption of a single currency. The BIS midwifed the European Monetary Institute (EMI), the precursor of the European Central Bank. The EMI’s president was Alexandre Lamfalussy, one of the world’s most influential economists, known as the “Father of the euro.” Before joining the EMI in 1994, Lamfalussy had worked at the BIS for seventeen years, first as economic adviser, then as the bank’s general manager.

For a staid, secretive organization, the BIS has proved surprisingly nimble. It survived the first global depression, the end of reparations payments and the gold standard (two of its main reasons for existence), the rise of Nazism, the Second World War, the Bretton Woods Accord, the Cold War, the financial crises of the 1980s and 1990s, the birth of the IMF and World Bank, and the end of Communism. As Malcolm Knight, manager from 2003–2008, noted, “It is encouraging to see that—by remaining small, flexible, and free from political interference—the Bank has, throughout its history, succeeded remarkably well in adapting itself to evolving circumstances.”

The bank has made itself a central pillar of the global financial system. As well as the Global Economy Meetings, the BIS hosts four of the most important international committees dealing with global banking: the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on the Global Financial System, the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, and the Irving Fisher Committee, which deals with central banking statistics. The bank also hosts three independent organizations: two groups dealing with insurance and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The FSB, which coordinates national financial authorities and regulatory policies, is already being spoken of as the fourth pillar of the global financial system, after the BIS, the IMF and the commercial banks.

The BIS is now the world’s thirtieth-largest holder of gold reserves, with 119 metric tons—more than Qatar, Brazil, or Canada. Membership of the BIS remains a privilege rather than a right. The board of directors is responsible for admitting central banks judged to “make a substantial contribution to international monetary cooperation and to the Bank’s activities.” China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia joined only in 1996. The bank has opened offices in Mexico City and Hong Kong but remains very Eurocentric. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Slovakia (total population 16.2 million) have been admitted, while Pakistan (population 169 million) has not. Nor has Kazakhstan, which is a powerhouse of Central Asia. In Africa only Algeria and South Africa are members—Nigeria, which has the continent’s second-largest economy, has not been admitted. (The BIS’s defenders say that it demands high governance standards from new members and when the national banks of countries such as Nigeria and Pakistan reach those standards, they will be considered for membership.)

Considering the BIS’s pivotal role in the transnational economy, its low profile is remarkable. Back in 1930 a New York Times reporter noted that the culture of secrecy at the BIS was so strong that he was not permitted to look inside the boardroom, even after the directors had left. Little has changed. Journalists are not allowed inside the headquarters while the Global Economy Meeting is underway. BIS officials speak rarely on the record, and reluctantly, to members of the press. The strategy seems to work. The Occupy Wall Street movement, the anti-globalizers, the social network protesters have ignored the BIS. Centralbahnplatz 2, Basel, is quiet and tranquil. There are no demonstrators gathered outside the BIS’s headquarters, no protestors camped out in the nearby park, no lively reception committees for the world’s central bankers.

As the world’s economy lurches from crisis to crisis, financial institutions are scrutinized as never before. Legions of reporters, bloggers, and investigative journalists scour the banks’ every move. Yet somehow, apart from brief mentions on the financial pages, the BIS has largely managed to avoid critical scrutiny. Until now.

Republished from Zero Hedge.

The TPP Paves The Way For World Government (VIDEO)

tpp

A coalition of major business groups is urging Stephen Harper to take a “leadership role” in completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Dan Dicks of Press For Truth breaks down the latest news on the TPP front.


Dan Dicks

Blueprint For A Mediated Massacre Event (VIDEO)

BRITAIN SHOOTING

A recent BBC documentary airing in March 2015, Surviving Sandy Hook, calls to mind the series of made-for-TV films produced by British news media memorializing Dunblane. Indeed, the March 13, 1996 massacre of 16 five-to-six-year-old school children and their teacher in Dunblane Scotland by a single recluse bears a number of similar characteristics to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, yet Sandy Hook is seldom considered in the context of this important precursor.

The foremost of such similarities is the fact that Dunblane was the key pretext for the introduction of draconian gun laws and school safety measures throughout the United Kingdom–a move ostensibly pursued to placate grieving parents, some of whom advocated for such. By late 1997, all cartridge-loading handguns had been banned throughout the UK following separate legislation passed under the Conservative and Labour governments of John Major and Tony Blair.

The Obama administration and enthusiastic gun control advocates like Michael Bloomberg have been less successful in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. Yet for this reason alone Dunblane should command the attention of those who remain skeptical of the Newtown event and its political implications.

On closer examination Dunblane shares a number of other uncanny resemblances with Sandy Hook. For example, the “official story” of Dunblane and its ensuing investigation, widely recounted via national and international news media through a focus on grieving families, had numerous inconsistencies that were not satisfactorily resolved in a court of law. And, perhaps predictably, the lone assailant mysteriously committed suicide to mark the shooting’s finale.

Further, no autopsies were ever conducted on the deceased as public discourse surrounding the event swiftly transitioned to calls for stricter gun control and school security measures.

As noted, the 1996 shooting is recounted in several “documentaries,” such as this episode of the Crimes That Shook Britain television series. Again, much like the coverage of Sandy Hook’s aftermath, the overall story is presented through the observations of several middle-age parents.

Critical book-length treatments of the Dunblane massacre and its seriously flawed investigation are almost non-existent. An exception is Sandra Uttley’s (very difficult to obtain) Dunblane Unburied, which focuses on the official inquiry and the case’s many unexamined inconsistencies, such as assailant Thomas Hamilton’s close association with the Central Scotland Police.

“The British Government,” Uttley writes in the book’s conclusion, “covered up the truth about what happened and ‘bought off’ the bereaved parents by granting them their dearest wish–a ban on handguns.”

She continues to explain Dunblane in prose that might be easily applied to today to not just Sandy Hook, but other similarly curious and poorly-investigated criminal events over the past few decades–including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Aurora and Tucson mass shootings, the London 7/7 bombing, and 9/11.

Just to mention Dunblane now brings the knee-jerk response of “we don’t need to be reminded” and accusations of gratuitous reference. Only when this situation is rectified will we, as a society, begin to lift the wool from our eyes and learn at every level, that the upholders of law and order are often an integral part of its very breakdown. And when they are part of that breakdown, they must carry the responsibility. the Denial of Dunblane will not end until then.

Connecticut and federal officials have provided what may be described at best as a slipshod inquiry of Sandy Hook that likewise suggests an effort to coverup either gross negligence or an entirely contrived event. Only when the nation moves toward an honest accounting of Newtown and similar tragedies can it likewise partake in forthright discussions of school safety, mental health, and the right to firearms ownership.

Such a discourse might begin by Connecticut’s public servants coming clean with the basic documentation corroborating the events that traumatized the nation and world on December 14, 2012.

There are those in certain policy circles who adhere to the notion that the ends justify the means. At the very least, the many similarities shared by Dunblane and Sandy Hook–including their almost identical treatment by major news media–should prompt us to consider much more closely the extent to which the former has served as a template for the latter.


Professor James F. Tracy is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. James Tracy’s work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.

Can Brazil Afford To “Rescue” Petrobras?

Petrobras

The bankruptcy of the oil giant could completely implode the Brazilian economy, but Brazil is not in a position to add billions to the deficit to rescue Petrobras.

Brazilian politics has been shaken by revelations of the scandal at Petrobras, the existence of a network of business and political corruption in the most important company in the country.

The consequences, however, go beyond the political sphere. The serious financial situation of Petrobras and its importance to the economic activity of the country could put a halt to the Brazilian economy and, with it, the government of Dilma Rousseff.

Petrobras faces the most distressing situation of its 62-year history.

The combined pressure of a five-year investment plan worth $221 billion and a gigantic debt of $130 billion threaten to bring down Petrobras despite the oil boom of recent years. The precipitous decline in oil prices and the political scandal have decimated the value of the company down to a third of what it was worth just 12 months ago.

Its market value has fallen by two thirds as the Federal Police uncovered operation “Lava Jato” the large-scale corruption scandal that involves politicians, political parties and businesses in Brazil. The fall of the Brazilian real to its lowest level since 2004 has made it even more difficult to pay the debt held by Petrobras because much of it is in US dollars.

The first problem of the company is its inability to present a credible and audited statement of accounts, because its auditors from PwC have refused to sign the report since June last year.

It is not known how much money has been diverted in recent years to pay commissions and bribes. The former president of Petrobras, Graça Foster once said that losses due to corruption at the oil giant accrued some $31 billion. That number has now been denied by her successor.

The deadline for submitting the accounts ends on the 30th of April and if no audited accounts are ready by that date the result would be a violation of the agreements with creditors, which could lead to a suspension of payments.

That’s when, due to its character as a state enterprise, the Brazilian government assumes the responsibility to provide public assistance and, given the size of the company, a public bailout would make the public deficit skyrocket to levels never seen before. Such deficit would risk the credit rating of the country to be assessed as less than desirable, which would threaten the sustainability of an economy that is already in the red.

The company has apparently begun to take action. It has announced the sale of assets between worth between $13 billion and $15 billion. The sale of these assets will happen in the next 12 months. The company is also preparing a reduction in investment plans worth $16 billion.

“The problems in Petrobras risk becoming systemic,” say market sources. Since last November, no Brazilian company has been able to place debt on the international market.

Goldman Sachs estimates that Brazilian banks have investments in the oil sector of about $40 billion, mostly to Petrobras.

The company accounts for 10% of the country’s investment and the decision to defer payments to suppliers has already caused the bankruptcy of one of its contractors. The oil company and its suppliers account for between 15% and 20% of Brazil’s GDP.

Experts from several investment offices are comparing the potential and until now hypothetical bankruptcy of Petrobras to the disaster that Russia lived in the late 1990s. They warn that it would be the largest industrial bankruptcy in history.

“If Petrobras falls, losses inflicted on large public banks would cause such financial turmoil that the government would have to come to the rescue of the financial system.” But that rescue would have a hefty price for Brazilians as the losses in a hypothetical bailout would amount to no less than $70 billion.

The only possible alternatives to avoid a substantial increase in the deficit would be to sell Petrobras to its creditors for pennies on the dollar or to hand it over to foreign investors who can pay its mounting debt. In all three cases, the losers would be the Brazilian people.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Popular Support For Dilma Collapses To 34%

Long gone are the days when Lula and Dilma shared a stage and ran around the country holding each other's hands.

Long gone are the days when Lula and Dilma shared a stage and ran around the country holding each other’s hands.

Even Lula has found reasons to criticize some of the policies adopted by Rousseff.

Brazil is – politically speaking – catching on fire and proof of that is that even Dilma’s mentor has had to accept that “some mistakes have been made”. But that does not mean that Lula is taking responsibility for the rampant corruption, or that he accepts the fact that Dilma is also to blame.

It is important to remember that much of the corruption that governs over Brazil today grew out of the complacency of the current and previous administrations, including that of Lula da Silva. Simply explained, having too much power concentrated in one political party causes its members to become arrogant and to a certain degree careless.

Every day seems to be a new opportunity for someone else to open a new front for criticism against the already weakened president of Brazil. In the case of Lula, it is easier to talk once he left office than it was when he was on the saddle.

On Tuesday the presidents, mentor and party colleague, criticized Dilma for her management of the goverment. Lula did so during a speechgiven to hundreds of militants of the Workers Party (PT), social movements and trade unions.

“We all make mistakes. Let’s be clear: we could have increased the price of gasoline in 2012 and not now,” admitted Lula at the first public meeting after the mass protest against the government in March. But Lula’s words are not an admittance of guilt. He is simply trying to imply that the hard measures imposed by the government today are a result of his lack of guts to implement some of them a few years back.

“We’ve had downturns that have not been solely Dilma’s fault,” he said later, as he tried to defend the economic reforms that the president is imposing via Congress. “I did an even stronger economic adjustment in 2003,” he recalled.

Lula appeared in São Paulo to make a promise to his audience on behalf of Rousseff: “When the economy improves, Dilma will adjust the conditions in favor of the poor”. Then, Lula added: “Whoever is here is our companion in good times and in bad times.”

Lula was subtle in his reviews about Dilma as Brazil speculates about alleged tensions between the two, especially since Rousseff named Joaquim Levy as economy minister.

A section of the allied parties of government, plus some unions expressed their revulsion to Levy. The reason is that he is a graduate from the liberal Chicago School and supporter of implementing austerity measures and budget cuts.

Lula da Silva took the opportunity to remind those who complain about the management of PT, that without a PT government there would be no negotiations with the working class. “You wouldn’t even have made it to Brasilia” he said.

In a speech of nearly 50 minutes, Lula synthesized the economic crisis and popular dissatisfaction with the government using a phrase that he often repeated in the era in which he was a trade unionist in the seventies and eighties: “The pawn eating steak does not want to eat second quality meat. The people have become more demanding.”

According to him, the social protests and claims, including those that support Rousseff happen because people have progressed socially and economically and do not want to give up what they have gotten in the past 12 years, the period during which the PT has been in power. This scenario is a good attempt by Lula to disguise the corruption that has also formed during the last 12 years.

Lula is trying to distract people’s attention from the corruption and the misery in which they live, so that they forget about it and concetrate their attention on whatever he thinks people gained over the last 12 years. The fight on the streets, according to Lula, is for what has been achieved, and not against the corruption and impunity.

In addition to experiencing political exhaustion with most of its allies, the government suffers a rift with its own constituents. According to a survey by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE) published Wednesday, government approval fell from 80% in December to 34% in March. This numbers prove Lula is wrong and that his words are sterile. It also shows that he and his party are no longer credible, even in the eyes of their followers.

In one of the few interviews she has given since she started the new term in January, Dilma Rousseff assured Tuesday that the government will reduce its own expenses in the adjustment of public accounts in Brazil. Unfortunately, Dilma forgot to say that the expenses that the government intends to reduce or cut are those directed to social programs, not the wasteful practices that are deeply rooted in the bureaucracy.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the president warned: “Let’s cut and streamline government spending.” According to her, so it will be possible to improve public accounts which will make Brazil gain the confidence of investors and markets.

What will be the effect of speeches such as the one given by Lula in São Paulo? What, if any, will be the result of promises such as the ones made by Dilma? We will all see on April12, when a new nationwide round of protests is expected to take place. Right now, the government fears that those protests can be as large as the ones seen on March 15.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

 

Germany Pre-Approves Fracking

fracking

The German Council of Ministers approved a bill that allows the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons with the technique of hydraulic fracturing.

The government will allow fracking to take place beginning in 2016, and says that the process of poisoning water and soil will have “strict limits”. According to the bill, the plan to authorize the use of this system for the extraction of oil and gas will be effective from 2019.

The restrictions that supposedly set new standards -pending approval in Parliament- were criticized as insufficient to environmental groups, the parliamentary opposition and representatives of parties in government. These groups consider that regulation is nothing more than leaving an open door to this controversial technique in the country.

The German government believes that the objective of the proposed bill is to limit the possible harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing on people and the environment. The problem is that the process of injecting chemicals into the ground to extract oil and gas is intrinsically harmful.

According to the bill, there will be measures set to protect water supplies for human consumption and nature in certain regions and it will be prohibited to use the technique at levels over 3,000 meters.

The new rules allow “limits to stop fracking when it poses a danger to people and the environment,” said Environment Minister, Barbara Hendricks, who recalled that this technique was not regulated so far in the country.

In hes view, “the law limits fracking as much as possibe” as the technique cannot be banned in its totallity, which is what opposition political parties demanded.

Hydraulic fracturing will be prohibited in cases in which “the responsibility for the risks can not be assigned to anyone or when there is a conclusive assessment” on it,  said the minister.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, the bill of the Council of Ministers “provides legal certainty to both individuals and to the industries concerned and the associated jobs” and “clearly gives priority to the protection of the environment”.

Sigmar Gabriel pointed out that “you can only make use of the technology of hydraulic fracturing for scientific purposes in very limited exceptional cases and only if the risks are controllable and bearable and practice has been adopted in a transparent and public process”.

If the scans give positive results, the approval of a future commercial exploitation of the deposits will be left to a committee of experts, a formula which has also attracted criticism from MPs that require that the final approval be given to Parliament.

The legislative package, which should come into effect in January 2016, will now be debated in Parliament, where it can be amended.

The Federal Bureau of Geology and Commodities on German soil estimated that there are about 13 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, of which 10% is removable. The 10% figure would supply Germany the gas it needs for the next 14 years.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Palestine Joins International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court
By: The Real Agenda -

Palestine officially became a member of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday in a similar manner in which other states that have ratified the Rome Statute, its founding document.

The Court is a judicial body and is not authorized to recognize any state. However, the United Nations admitted Palestine back in in November 2012 as an obsever state, clearing the way for the ICC to allow Palestine to become member number 123.

The current government of Mahmoud Abbas agreed last January to recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel since June 13, 2014. Similarly, Palestinian militants may be subject to investigation by the prosecution.

The Palestinian membership has led to outright rejection from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president considers Hamas a “terrorist organization allied with the Palestinian Authority, whose “criminals fired thousands of rockets against Israeli citizens.” The United States and Canada share Netanyahu’s opinion.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, hosted the second vice president of the Court who gave him a symbolic copy of the Rome Statute, the founding document of the high court.

“From today Palestine formally becomes a Member State of the Rome Statute, the world is closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice. This agreement brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace,” said Al Mali.

The path of Palestine to the Hague-based ICC has been slow and complicated. Abbas announced its accession on December 31 last year, just one day after his last proposal to end the Israeli occupation was rejected before the Security Council of the UN.

Then, on January 2, Abbas signed the Rome Statute thus completing the legal process that culminates now. The secretary general of the UN itself, Ban Ki-moon, announced the date of April 1 for the incorporation of Palestine via the organization’s website.

Palestine has accepted the jurisdiction of international judges from June 13 of last year, which will enable them to investigate Israel’s military operations that took place between July 8 and August 26, 2014. During this time, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed.

The prosecution of the Court evaluates at present the documentation on the subject, an essential step to open a formal investigation. In the last five years the ICC had rejected three other similar claims, because “Palestine was not part of the UN family.”

From now on a new chapter opens in international justice.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

A Yemeni’s Call For Help

yemen war

No one understands the horrors of US imperial wars better than victims experiencing it.

Overnight Tuesday, a Yemeni national emailed this call for help, saying:

“Dear Mr Stephen,

In the name of humanity and what you believe in, we call upon you to transfer our sufferings and make influential humanitarian INGOs, scholars, decision makers all over the world hear our children screams out of fears & listen to our sufferings due to this aggression led by arrogant dictators of Arabia who are bombarding our towns, destroying infrastructure and killing civilians.

Yemen prior to this aggression was dying and this brutal aggression would eliminate a whole country. We’re all humans. Poor country living with less than 2$ a day.

Please do anything you can for saving us. God bless you. I’m writing this while my 3 years daughter crying hearing sounds of air strikes.”

His call for help highlights US responsibility for daily terror-bombing horrors – the threat of death or serious injuries all Yemenis face. Civilians are as vulnerable as combatants.

Yemen is Obama’s war. He and Bush waged drone war since 2002 – killing many hundreds of mostly civilian victims.

A week ago, he launched proxy war on a nation wanting to live free from the scourge of US imperial dominance.

Saudi-led terror-bombing  followed. It continues daily. Scores of noncombatant civilians have been murdered in cold blood.

Perhaps many thousands will die before conflict ends. Yemen may end up raped like Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Donbass and Gaza. It may be turned to rubble the same way.

Reports indicate tens of thousands of Saudi forces massed along Yemen’s border ahead of a possible invasion.

Pakistan sent troops to support them. Houthi rebels continue battling diminishing numbers of forces loyal to ousted illegitimate president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi – a US-installed stooge through a farcical election with no opponents.

Hadi’s foreign minister Riyadh Yasseen urged Saudis to invade “as soon as possible.”

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian called Saudi airstrikes a “strategic mistake.”

He urged dialogue to resolve ongoing crisis conditions. “Iran and Saudi Arabia can cooperate to solve the Yemeni crisis,” he said.

Dozens are dying daily – including scores of civilians since conflict began.

A Yemeni health ministry official said shelling a Sanaa residential building killed 10 civilians.

Witnesses reported an airstrike on Yarim in central Yemen killing at least 10.

Conflict prevents ICRC medical and other essential to life supplies from being airlifted in.

Spokesperson Sitara Jabeen said “(i)n Yemen today, we have a very serious humanitarian situation.”

“Hospitals are running at a low capacity. We need to bring in urgent medical supplies to sustain our stocks.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a statement saying “(w)e cannot allow (conflict) to degrade into a Sunni-Shiite confrontation.”

“Neither can we allow the situation to turn into an open conflict between the Arabs and Iran. We will do everything to prevent it.”

On Monday and Tuesday, US warships joined Saudi-led terror-bombing. Cruise missiles were launched against Houthi targets.

How much more directly involved Washington intends getting in its largely proxy aggression remains to be seen.

AP reported Yemeni civilians “shudder(ing) in fear and bristl(ing) with anger” during Saudi-led terror bombing.

Sanaa residents seek shelter. Few can sleep. Some “took to rooftops (to vent) anger or frustration, firing automatic weapons skyward toward the roar of warplanes,” said AP.

Schools, universities, government offices and most shops are closed. “Few cars venture onto the mostly deserted (Sanaa) streets.”

“We haven’t slept. One child screams and a second cries,” said a father of eight.

They spend nights sheltered in a basement best they can – unsure if they’ll live or die.

Overnight Tuesday, Sanaa, Aden, Taiz, Ibb, Shabwa and Dahle were terror-bombed.

Civilian and military sites were targeted. Residential homes were destroyed. Bodies remained buried under rubble.

One Sanaa resident said an explosion rocked a nearby residential area – killing at least eight, injuring others.

Critics call Houthis an Iranian proxy force. Tehran denies what it calls baseless allegations.

At the same time, it supports a political ally. It rejects military solutions. It urges diplomatic ones in all situations.

Before conflict erupted, former Iranian Majles (parliament) speaker Ali Akbar Nategh-Nuri said “(w)e witness today that our revolution is exported to Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.”

Iranian General Hossein Salami compared Ansarollah Houthis to Lebanon’s Hezbollah “in a strategic area.”

Iran supports its allies. It has every right to do so. It fundamentally opposes war.

It rejects US-sponsored, Saudi-led ongoing terror-bombing. It urges resolving Yemen’s crisis diplomatically.

It shows no signs of letup. Saudis announced a campaign likely to continue for months.

Perhaps years is more likely. US imperial policy is systematically ravaging and destroying another regional country.

Slow-motion genocide continues. No end in sight looms. The nightmare of US responsibility for mass slaughter and destruction haunts the entire region.

Maybe it’ll be entirely turned to rubble before US rampaging ends.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.