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The World Below / Re: Hundreds of Jewish Settlers Raid Al-Aqsa Mosque
« on: November 15, 2019, 07:41:42 AM »
Re: Palestine Chronicle [Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media] 11/14/19
Hundreds of Jewish Settlers Raid Al-Aqsa Mosque

Protected by the Israeli police, 244 Israelis today raided Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowment said.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, 99 settlers, 97 students from religious schools, 40 government employees and eight intelligence officers raided the holy site.

The statement also said that the settlers performed Talmudic rituals and carried out provocative actions before leaving the mosque from Chain Gate.

Israeli settlers raid Al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily bases and perform Talmudic rituals inside its Yards, while occupation forces limit access to Muslim worshippers during these times.


Open, threatening and offensive disrespect for the local people at the highest level ... not even covered in the Jew-controlled world press ... including Al-Jazeera ... is tantamount to an Israeli declaration of war on the entire Muslim World.  The bold move represents another violation of the original terms of allowing refuge for Jews from around the world in the former Palestine as contracted in the Balfour Declaration.  The response is slowed by as much damage as has been visited upon the entire region ... primarily waged as artificial proxy wars against Arab populations at Israel's behest ... but the outcome should certainly entail grim losses for the fearless violators who hopelessly pretend to believe God is on their side, as if it's never backfired on them before.


Rhe Star (Malaysia) 11/14/19
MH17 probe releases new phone calls linking suspects to top Russian officials

THE HAGUE (AFP): A Dutch-led probe into the shooting-down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 released new intercepted phone calls on Thursday (Nov 14) between high-ranking Russian officials and suspects facing trial over the crash.

Investigators said they were making a "new witness appeal" based on "recorded telephone calls between the leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic, a separatist group) and high-ranking Russian officials".

"Ties between Russian officials and DPR leaders appear to have been much closer" than originally believed, Andy Kraag, the head of Dutch police's Criminal Investigations Division, said in a video statement.


They're apparently looking to sue Russia over the deaths involved ...

The World Below / Re: Netanyahu on Steroids
« on: September 26, 2019, 04:56:40 AM »
Re: Palestine Chronicle 9/25/19
Netanyahu on Steroids: What a Gantz-led Government Means for Palestine
Ramzy Baroud

Experience has taught Palestinians not to pay heed to Israeli elections. But to every rule, there is an exception.

Although it is still true that no Israeli Zionist leader has ever been kind to the Palestinian people, the dynamics of the latest Israeli elections on September 17 are likely to affect the Occupied Palestinian Territories in a profound way.

Indeed, the outcome of the elections seems to have ushered in a new age in Israel, ideologically and politically. But the same claim can also be made regarding its potential influence on Palestinians, who should now brace themselves for war in Gaza and annexation in the West Bank.

Former chief of general staff of the Israeli army, Benny Gantz, who had orchestrated the destructive war on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, is likely to be tasked with the job of forming Israel’s new government. Gantz had recently boasted about sending “parts of Gaza back to the Stone Age”.

Article continues ...


One astute Palestinian commentator noted how the difference in terms of possible outcome of the election for them is like the difference between Pepsi and Coke.

Re: Architects & Engineers for 0/11 Truth 9/3/19
University Study Finds Fire Did Not Bring Down World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11

On September 11, 2001, at 5:20 PM, the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed into its footprint, falling more than 100 feet at the rate of gravity for 2.5 seconds of its seven-second destruction.

Today, we at Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth are pleased to partner with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in releasing the draft report of a four-year computer modeling study of WTC 7’s collapse conducted by researchers in the university's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The release of the draft report begins a two-month period during which the public is invited to submit comments. The final report will be published later this year.

We invite you to read the report and to watch Dr. Leroy Hulsey’s September 3rd presentation at the UAF campus, where he first announced his team’s findings.


The Big Apple is rotten to the core, just ask Jeffrey Upstate.

Re: Philippine Daily Inquirer 8/30/19
Xi rejects PH win in South China Sea as Duterte insists ‘binding’ arbitral ruling
Nestor Corrales

MANILA, Philippines – In his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte insisted that the 2016 Hague ruling on the South China Sea was “final, binding and not subject to appeal,” but the Chinese leader rejected the Philippines’ legal victory.

In a statement early Friday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte was “steadfast in raising with President Xi concerns central to the Philippines’ claim in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), which include the ruling held by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.”

... article continues ...


Duterte - master of spontaneous outrage

Re: Taiwan News 8/29/19
MOFA says Taiwan 'not for sale' in response to White House petition to buy Taiwan
Keoni Everington

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After a petition calling for the U.S. to purchase Taiwan surfaced on Tuesday (Aug. 27) on the White House's petition website, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) today (Aug. 29) said Taiwan is "not for sale."

Two weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump started to seem to seriously consider buying Greenland from Denmark. However, on Aug. 18 Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea an "absurd discussion," prompting Trump to announce on Aug. 20 that with Greenland off the table, he would cancel the September visit to Denmark.

A week later, on Tuesday, a person only identified as "C.C." posted a petition titled "Purchase Taiwan" on the White House's petition website "We the People." In the petition, the author referred to Taiwan as "the unsinkable aircraft carrier" and an integral part of the U.S.-Indo-Pacific strategy.

Hinting at Communist China's constant threats of invading Taiwan, the petition describes the country as being on the "frontline of the free world's battle against tyranny and oppression" as it struggles to stave off an "authoritarian regime bent on annexing it." The petition points out that Taiwan shares the values of "democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law" with Americans.

... article continues ...


Let's just imagine this wasn't just a publicity stunt and guess at what might be a good estimate of a fair price for Taiwan as a real estate 'item'.

Better yet, why not we sell Alaska to China and call it about even on our outstanding financial profile ... and call it a day?

General / Re: 22 MARCH 2019 — FBI 9/11 Review Commission Lawsuit
« on: August 11, 2019, 02:57:18 AM »
Re: Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry - March '19 [video]
22 MARCH 2019 — FBI 9/11 Review Commission Lawsuit

For the first time ever, 9/11 family members and advocates are taking legal action against the FBI aimed at forcing the Bureau to assess and report the evidence of the World Trade Center’s explosive demolition as well as other unaddressed 9/11 evidence.

In 2015, the FBI released the final report of its 9/11 Review Commission. Congress mandated the Commission to conduct “an assessment of any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission related to any factors that contributed in any manner to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

However, the report did not include an assessment of evidence related to the WTC demolition nor an assessment of several other areas of evidence known to the FBI.

Now the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry and AE911Truth need your help to advance our historic lawsuit and bring this key evidence to light.


Don't call us, we''ll call you?

New Straits Times [Malaysia] 7/13/19
US probes Deutsche Bank's dealings with Malaysia's 1MDB -WSJ

The US Justice Department is investigating whether Deutsche Bank AG violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws in its work for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

The news comes after the bank announced plans to scrap its global equities unit, cut some fixed-income operations and slash 18,000 jobs globally in a 7.4-billion-euro (US$8.34-billion) restructuring program.

Deutsche Bank’s work for 1MDB included helping to raise US$1.2 billion in 2014 as concerns about the fund’s management and financials had begun to circulate, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors are mainly looking into the role of Tan Boon-Kee, a colleague of a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive, Tim Leissner, who worked with him on 1MDB-related business, the paper said.

She left Goldman to become Asia-Pacific head of banking for financial institutions clients at Deutsche Bank, where she was involved with further 1MDB dealings, it added.

In an emailed statement, Deutsche Bank said it had fully cooperated with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that made inquiries about the fund.

“As stated in asset forfeiture complaints filed by the US Department of Justice, 1MDB made ‘material misrepresentations and omissions to Deutsche Bank officials’ in connection with 1MDB’s transactions with the bank,” the bank told Reuters.


Today's Star features a story with a beaming-faced Najib touting a new alliance between the two main all-Malay parties UMNO & MAS. Good thing for a multi-ethnic ruling party being in place to put them in their place - especially with that skunk still even in their midst, nevermind pulling strings for a ... Malay-rule reality paradigm shift long overdue.

Waiting for that Jho Low to either return in custody or turn up dead in the next 72 hrs.

The World Below / Re: Antifa Fascist Violence in Portland OR
« on: July 03, 2019, 04:41:57 AM »
Re: Domi Good 7/2/19
Antifa Terrorist Who Beat Man in Head with Metal Pipe Previously Arrested For ‘Unlawful Use’ of a Slingshot Against Patriot Prayer Group

Antifa Terrorist Who Beat Man in Head with Metal Pipe Previously Arrested For ‘Unlawful Use’ of a Slingshot Against Patriot Prayer Group
Violence erupted in Portland, Oregon over the weekend as Antifa terrorists physically assaulted conservatives while police stood by and watched.

Joseph Christian Evans was identified as the Antifa terrorist who beat a man named Adam Kelly with a metal rod over the weekend leaving him with huge bloody gashes on his head.

This man, Adam Kelly was attacked in Portland by ANTIFA the domestic terrorist organization
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) June 30, 2019

Adam Kelly was taken to the hospital where doctors stapled his head shut after the Antifa terrorist tried to kill him.

This isn’t the first time Joseph Christian Evans was arrested by Portland police for participating in a violent Antifa melee.

KATU reported last August:

Portland Police quickly broke up the crowds in Saturday’s march at Tom McCall Waterfront in Portland. In the course of eight hours, officers arrested four people, while three others were hurt, sending one person to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No officers or deputies were hurt in the demonstrations.

* 34-year-old Joseph C Evans was arrested near Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Jefferson Street on charges of recklessly endangering another person and unlawful use of a weapon.

Why isn’t Joseph Christian Evans in prison?

Re: The Star (Malaysia) 6/21/19
Goldman Sachs' compensation offer not reasonable, says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Government has been offered a compensation by multinational investment bank, Goldman Sachs, over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister, however, said the sum was not reasonable.

In a Bloomberg interview at the Asean Business Summit in Bangkok on Friday (June 21), he said the amount that was stolen was about US$6.9bil in total including fees for Goldman Sachs.

"Goldman offered RM1bil (but) they made 10% from it," he said.

"In this case (1MDB), from 90% from the money raised but, we (the country) will be facing an interest of 100%," he said.

When asked if the Government is mulling a civil suit on top of the criminal suit, he said that it depends on the Attorney General.

"We would have to examine the case, before taking any action. It is up to the AG to take action," he said.

On Dec 17, the Government filed criminal charges against three subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs Inc over their handling of bonds totalling US$6.5bil (RM27bil) issued by 1MDB.

This was the first time a country has filed criminal charges against the US investment banking giant itself.

It was reported that Goldman Sachs made US$600mil (RM2.5bil) in fees for handling the bonds related to 1MDB.

In terms of recovering the lost money, the Prime Minister said that it was difficult to get all of it back because the money was stolen and the Government does not know where it is.

"If the money is invested in something, we can go to the company and ask for the money back, but the money is stolen and we don't know where it is.

"They are not telling us (where the money is) and a number of people had handled the money. Unless we can squeeze them, we would not know where it is," he said.

According to AG Tommy Thomas, Malaysia has thus far recovered US$322mil; equivalent to about RM1.3bil worth of assets belonging to 1MDB. - Bernama


Goldman Sachs want to settle out of court to avoid embarrassing a list of their clients.  They are just a shield, after all.  It's starting to look like that Jho Low guy may never show up, extradicted or not, at all; and and to think ... this all started with his high hopes of drawing Hollywood celebrities to Penang toward the end of 2010, when gold ... just happened to be at its all-time high.

The Star 9/20/10
Jho Low to bring Hollywood in

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysians can expect a major Hollywood movie to be filmed in the country within the next 12 months, said businessman Jho Low.

Re: Palestine Chronicle 6/13/19
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk about the ‘Israeli Model’
Ramzy Baroud


In a TV interview on June 2, on the news docuseries “Axios” on the HBO channel, Jared Kushner opened up regarding many issues, in which his ‘Deal of the Century’ was a prime focus.

The major revelation made by Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, was least surprising. Kushner believes that Palestinians are not capable of governing themselves.

Not surprising, because Kushner thinks he is capable of arranging the future of the Palestinian people without the inclusion of the Palestinian leadership. He has been pushing his so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ relentlessly while including in his various meets and conferences countries such as Poland, Brazil, and Croatia, but not Palestine.

Indeed, this is what transpired at the Warsaw conference on ‘peace and security’ in the Middle East. The same charade, also led by Kushner, is expected to be rebooted in Bahrain on June 25.

Much has been said about the subtle racism in Kushner’s words, reeking with the stench of old colonial discourses where the natives were seen as lesser, incapable of rational thinking beings who needed the civilized ‘whites’ of the western hemisphere to help them cope with their backwardness and inherent incompetence.

Kushner, whose credentials are merely based on his familial connections to Trump and family friendship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is now poised to be the colonial administrator of old, making and enforcing the law while the hapless natives have no other option but to either accommodate or receive their due punishment.

This is not an exaggeration. In fact, according to leaked information concerning Kushner’s ‘Deal of the Century,’ and published in the Israeli daily newspaper, ‘Israel Hayom’, if Palestinian groups refuse to accept the US-Israeli diktats, “the US will cancel all financial support to the Palestinians and ensure that no country transfers funds to them.”

In the HBO interview, Kushner offered the Palestinians a lifeline. They could be considered capable of governing themselves should they manage to achieve the following: “a fair judicial system … freedom of the press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions.”

The fact that Palestine is an occupied country, subject in every possible way to Israel’s military law, and that Israel has never been held accountable for its 52-year occupation seems to be of no relevance whatsoever, as far as Kushner is concerned.

On the contrary, the subtext in all of what Kushner has said in the interview is that Israel is the antithesis to the unquestionable Palestinian failure. Unlike Palestine, Israel needs to do little to demonstrate its ability to be a worthy peace partner.

While the term ‘US bias towards Israel’ is as old as the state of Israel itself, what is hardly discussed is the specific of that bias, the decidedly condescending, patronizing and, often, racist view that US political classes have of Palestinians – and all Arabs and Muslims, for that matter; and the utter infatuation with Israel, which is often cited as a model for democracy, judicial transparency and successful ‘anti-terror’ tactics.

According to Kushner a ‘fair judicial system’ is a conditio sine qua non to determine a country’s ability to govern itself. But is Israeli judicial system “fair” and “democratic”?

Israel does not have a single judicial system, but two. This duality has, in fact, defined Israeli courts from the very inception of Israel in 1948. This de facto apartheid system openly differentiates between Jews and Arabs, a fact that is true in both civil and criminal law.

“Criminal law is applied separately and unequally in the West Bank, based on nationality alone (Israeli versus Palestinian), inventively weaving its way around the contours of international law in order to preserve and develop its ‘(illegal Jewish) settlement enterprise’,” Israeli scholar, Emily Omer-Man, explained in her essay ‘Separate and Unequal’.

In practice, Palestinians and Israelis who commit the exact same crime will be judged according to two different systems, with two different procedures: “The settler will be processed according to the Israeli Penal Code (while) the Palestinian will be processed according to a military order.”

This unfairness is constituent of a massively unjust judicial apparatus that has defined the Israeli legal system from the onset. Take the measure of administrative detention as an example. Palestinians can be held without trial and without any stated legal justification. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been subjected to this undemocratic ‘law’ and hundreds of them are currently held in Israeli jails.

It is ironic that Kushner raised the issue of freedom of the press, in particular, as Israel is being derided for its dismal record in that regard. Israel has reportedly committed 811 violations against Palestinian journalists since the start of the ‘March of Return’ in Gaza in March 2018. Two journalists – Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein – were killed and 155 were wounded by Israeli snipers.

Like the imbalanced Israeli judicial system, targeting the press is also a part of a protracted pattern. According to a press release issued by the Palestinian Journalists Union last May, Israel has killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972.

The fact that Palestinian intellectuals, poets and activists have been imprisoned for Facebook and other social media posts should tell us volumes about the limits of Israel’s freedom of press and expression.

It is also worth mentioning that in June 2018, the Israeli Knesset voted for a bill that prohibits the filming of Israeli soldiers as a way to mask their crimes and shelter them from any future legal accountability.

As for freedom of religion, despite its many shortcomings, the Palestinian Authority hardly discriminates against religious minorities. The same cannot be said about Israel.

Although discrimination against non-Jews in Israel has been the raison d’être of the very idea of Israel, the Nation-State Law of July 2018 further cemented the superiority of the Jews and the inferior status of everyone else.

According to the new Basic Law, Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” only and “the right to exercise national self-determination is unique to the Jewish people.”

Palestinians do not need to be lectured on how to meet Israeli and American expectations, nor should they ever aspire to imitate the undemocratic Israeli model. What they urgently need, instead, is international solidarity to help them win the fight against Israeli occupation, racism, and apartheid.


There was a moment of off-color hope in there ... when they just recently tried to re-label ownership rights over the Golan Heights ... that is ... it was actually something to offer for sharing with the Palestinians ..thus not denying such an 'of the century' sales pitch.  Maybe it kinda stated out that way 'at' Trump ... followed by the ol' witcheroo after he'd made the Golan call. Obviously, too, they've gotten so far by totally screwing them to Hell, to want to toy with their well-established global image.  Israel is by all measure of cognitive fact, indeed a highly respected entity ... to be able to carry on this way in breach of laws of both code-books and morality, without ever missing a beat!

Fighter jets scrambled as Chinese planes cross median line
Staff writer, with CNA

The air force scrambled fighter jets yesterday when two military aircraft from China crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

The Taiwanese jets intercepted two Chinese J-11 fighter planes when they crossed the median line, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.

The Chinese fighter planes entered Taiwan’s southwestern airspace at 11am and retreated to the west side of the median line after they were issued a radio warning, the ministry said in a statement.

According to local media, the incident triggered a 10-minute standoff between the Taiwanese and Chinese warplanes.
Air force officer Wang Chun-hsiung (王純雄) said that Taiwan’s military has standard procedures for dealing with such incidents and would dispatch surveillance units if Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone or cross the median line in the Strait.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter that the Chinese war planes’ “intentional, reckless and provocative action” violated a long-held tacit agreement by crossing the median line.

“We’ve informed regional partners and condemn China for such behavior,” it said.

The World Below / re;-yale-statement-on-admissions-for-sale-scam
« on: March 13, 2019, 02:38:57 AM »
Yale University   
Office of the President
To the Yale Community,
I am writing to inform you of a criminal investigation involving an admissions scheme targeting universities nationwide, including Yale. Today the Department of Justice revealed that dozens of individuals have been charged with federal crimes during an ongoing FBI investigation of cheating in college admissions. Individuals allegedly involved in this conspiracy bribed athletic coaches and standardized testing officials to deceive the admissions offices of universities across the country.
As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by a former coach who no longer works at the university. We do not believe that any member of the Yale administration or staff other than the charged coach knew about the conspiracy. The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward.
The corrupt behavior alleged by the Department of Justice is an affront to our university's deeply held values of inclusion and fairness. I want to assure our community that I am committed to making certain the integrity of the admissions and athletic recruitment processes is not undermined again.
As the investigation unfolds, the university may take further actions. I will work closely with our athletics director and dean of undergraduate admissions to make any necessary changes to protect the university from the kind of criminal behavior the Department of Justice described today.
I am profoundly dismayed and disturbed by what we have learned this morning about the alleged actions of a former Yale coach, but these actions do not detract from my pride in the accomplishments and hard work of our student-athletes, athletics program, and admissions staff.

Peter Salovey, signature
Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
Yale University
Office of the President



The World Below / re--War on Al-Aqsa: What Price for Netanyahu’s Victory
« on: February 27, 2019, 10:15:38 PM »
War on Al-Aqsa: What Price for Netanyahu’s Victory


Star (Malaysia) [Bloomberg] 11//3/18
Mystery Goldman exec at 1MDB meeting signals new woes for bank

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visited New York in September 2013, a senior official from the Goldman Sachs Group went out to greet him.

At the time, that would have seemed fitting: Malaysia had been good to Goldman Sachs. Three bond offerings from the country's 1MDB wealth fund, controlled by Najib, had already generated about US$600mil (RM2.5bil) in fees for the bank.

But now, previously unreported details of that gathering at the Time Warner Center overlooking Manhattan's Central Park could prove damaging for Goldman Sachs.

A federal filing unsealed on Thursday (Nov 1) places Najib and a "high-ranking executive" from the bank in a meeting with several people the US now accuses of a massive global fraud – including a Malaysian financier who had been repeatedly flagged by the bank's compliance teams.

Attendees included the Goldman Sachs banker who'd arranged the bond offerings, Tim Leissner, who's now admitted to US authorities that he conspired to bribe officials to get the deals done and accepted some US$200mil (RM832mil) of the proceeds into accounts he controlled.

Also present was Low Taek Jho, the Malaysian financier known as Jho Low, who the US accuses of masterminding the scheme to divert billions of dollars from 1MDB to private accounts, fine art, luxury toys and high-end real estate.

By the time the top Goldman executive met with Najib and Low on that sunny Wednesday in September, Leissner had been asked – and had denied – multiple times that Low was involved in the 1MDB offerings, according to US filings.

Several compliance officers at Goldman had also shot down Leissner's efforts to bring Low aboard as a client. Yet there was Low, an effervescent networker whose free-spending exploits were already tabloid fodder.

That wasn't the end of Low's work in New York.

Three days later he returned to the Time Warner Center, where Najib was staying at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, according to the court filing, according to an FBI special agent's affidavit filed under seal in June.

There, Low and a jeweler presented Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, with a custom-made 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace, according to court documents. The jewels cost US$27.3mil (RM114mil).

The money came from funds that were raised by Goldman for 1MDB and then diverted into accounts controlled by Low, according to the filings.

The US filings don't identify many of the meetings' participants by name.

Leissner, Low, Najib and others are identifiable from previously disclosed details.

The documents include several other references to senior Goldman Sachs officials who aren't identifiable, including the one at the Time Warner Center meeting.

It's unclear whether those references are to the same high-ranking banker or to several, and the filings don't say whether the executives were aware of the bank's long-running warnings about Low.

There's no evidence that the executive at the Time Warner Center meeting had knowledge of the necklace delivered days later. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, who are running the probe, likely have a broader view.

Leissner's admission of bribery and laundering conspiracy came in a document called a criminal information, which often suggests a cooperation deal with authorities.

If that's the case, Leissner could be a crucial guide for global investigations into how a majority of the US$6.5 billion (RM27bil) raised by Goldman Sachs, ostensibly to promote development in Malaysia, was allegedly diverted in one of the largest plunderings of public funds in history.

Goldman Reckoning:
The latest documents may mean Goldman Sachs's reckoning over the 1MDB affair is far from over.

On Thursday (Nov 1), the bank placed Andrea Vella, its former co-head of investment banking, on leave.

Court documents unsealed earlier in the day said an unidentified Goldman official in Asia conspired with Leissner, Low and another then-Goldman banker, Roger Ng, and had knowledge that bribes were being paid.

Prosecutors' description of the official lines up with that of Vella, who couldn't be reached for comment.

Goldman Sachs has previously said it believed the money it was raising for 1MDB would be used for development projects. Through a spokesman, Goldman Sachs, which has said it's cooperating with authorities, declined to comment. Najib didn't immediately comment through a spokesman.

Ng, who was arrested in Malaysia and faces extradition to the US, couldn't be reached for comment. Low, whose whereabouts aren't known, said through a spokesman that he's innocent. A representative for Leissner didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lloyd Blankfein, who stepped down as Goldman Sachs's chief executive officer last month, told an audience in New York on Thursday that he didn't know of senior managers missing red flags in the 1MDB dealings.

"I am not aware of them, but I am not in a position to refute facts that I don't have a complete picture of," Blankfein said.

"We've asked for this information also, and we don't have it," he said, adding that the matter was an issue of a few employees dodging bank controls and lying about it.

The Time Warner Center meeting came at the tail end of nearly a half-decade of dueling impulses within Goldman, according to government filings.

On one hand, compliance officials across the globe were issuing warnings about Low. On the other, Leissner, Ng and some others in Asia were playing fast and loose, hiding their involvement with Low even as they aggressively pursued Malaysian business with him.

The business culture at the bank, "particularly in Southeast Asia, was highly focused on consummating deals, at times prioritising this goal ahead of the proper operation of its compliance functions," the government wrote.

Cultivating Jho Low

Leissner and Ng's relationship with Low went back to 2009, when Goldman Sachs and other big banks were digging out of the global financial crisis.

Leissner and other Goldman bankers sought to cultivate ties with him to win business with the Malaysian wealth fund, then known as TIA (Terengganu Investment Authority).

Even then, Low was gaining dubious attention.

"Big-Spending Malaysian Is the Mystery Man of City Club Scene," the New York Post wrote in early November 2009.

Chronicling US$160,000 (RM666,000) in bar tabs rung up by the then 20-something Malaysian, it said Low had "burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars at the city's hottest nightspots in the last three months – and shows no signs of stopping."

That same month, with a new Malaysian wealth fund up and running – 1Malaysia Development Bhd, known as 1MDB – Leissner was eager to capture its business for Goldman.

He emailed Ng and suggested helping to build up Low's credentials as a successful businessman, by having 1MDB find a company to buy. Leissner also sought to curry favor with Najib, who as prime minister appointed 1MDB's board.

One early effort, as outlined in the filings, could have run afoul of US rules against hiring officials' relatives to advance business interests: In a November 2009 email, Ng told Leissner that he met some of Najib's children at Low's apartment and was working to get them to join Goldman Sachs.

"Get them in," Leissner replied to his deputy.

New York meeting

One thing Low provided: access to Najib. In late 2009, in a meeting arranged with Low's help, an unidentified "high-ranking executive" at Goldman met with Najib and Leissner in New York, according to the FBI agent's June affidavit.

Evidence suggests that Low attended, the agent wrote.

Goldman's first work with 1MDB came in late 2009, according to filings. At the time, based on emails reviewed by the FBI, Leissner and Ng were both aware of Low's relationship with Najib.

Months later, Low asked Ng to blind-copy his name on emails, so his involvement in 1MDB affairs wouldn't be apparent.

Yet Leissner and Ng also spent years, from 2009 to 2011, attempting unsuccessfully to bring Low aboard as a Goldman client.

When they tried to get him an account in Goldman's private wealth-management arm in Switzerland in 2009, the bank's compliance group said that the source of Low's wealth wasn't clear and that the press surrounding his lavish spending was a negative.

In 2011, Leissner put Low forward for a similar private wealth account in Singapore – and was batted down by a different group of compliance officials.

"We have pretty much zero appetite for a relationship with this individual," one compl to the point that I'm going with iance employee wrote.

Goldman's Europe, Middle East and Africa team, as well as its Intelligence Group, had vetted Low and found "significant adverse information" about his wealth sources, according to the US.

$600 million in profits out of a depleted NGO fund, going to a foreign bank, is high funk.  This Malaysia post-election re-write keeps getting more interesting.  Najib definitely got himself suckered to a level of ... Homer Simpsonian proportions.

Re: Al Jazeera 10/20/18
Who is Saud al-Qahtani, the fired Saudi royal court adviser?

Saud al-Qahtani was dismissed as the kingdom's royal court adviser on Saturday.

Saud al-Qahtani was fired as Saudi Arabia's royal court adviser on Saturday, Saudi state media reported.

The announcement came as the kingdom's state media said the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, citing an official Saudi investigation.

Saudi state media also reported King Salman ordered the restructuring of the command of the general intelligence agency, under the supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

WATCH: Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi killed in Istanbul consulate (3:17)
Al-Qahtani, a law graduate, served as media adviser to MBS after holding several positions within the royal court.

He had previously worked as a legal adviser with late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud's team in 2003 - when King Abdullah was the kingdom's crown prince.

Al-Qahtani then worked as an adviser to the deputy chief of the royal court, before becoming an adviser to the court in 2012.

Last year, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, al-Qahtani launched the hashtag #TheBlacklist, urging Saudis to add names of Qatar sympathisers to the list.

The Saudi-led quartet accuse Qatar of harbouring "terrorism" - an allegation Doha strongly denies.

Al-Qahtani had also tweeted that anyone who "conspires" against Saudi and its allies would be unable to escape trial.

Al-Qahtani has also been accused of using bot networks against political opponents and push government propaganda.

On Twitter, where al-Qahtani had launched vitriolic attacks against those he saw as the kingdom's enemies, thanked the Saudi government for the "great opportunity they gave me to serve my country all those years".

"I will remain a loyal servant to my country for all times," he wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday.


Apperently, he is the fall guy.  This is the biggest seismic event in modern Saudi history.  Turkey wants to play hardball. What were they thinking?

The World Below / Re: Dr Nott and who's really 'in the way'
« on: October 27, 2013, 05:30:04 AM »
Re: Taipei Times 10/27/13
UN aid director wants action on Syria aid access

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos demanded action by the UN Security Council on Friday to get desperately needed aid into Syria, where 2.5 million people in need have not received help for almost a year.

Violence and excessive red tape have slowed aid delivery to a trickle in Syria, where more than 100,000 people have been killed in the civil war. After months of talks, the Security Council approved a non-binding statement on Oct. 2 urging increased humanitarian access.

“This is a race against time. Three weeks have passed since the adoption of this council’s statement with little change to report,” Amos told the Security Council. “As we deliberate, people continue to die unnecessarily.”

“I call upon all members of the council to exert influence and take the necessary action to stop this brutality and violence,” she said. “Without real and sustained pressure from this council on the government of Syria and opposition groups on the ground, it will be impossible to make progress.”

The Security Council adopted the statement on humanitarian access less than a week after overcoming a long diplomatic impasse between Russia and Western countries to pass a resolution to rid Syria of chemical arms.

Senior UN diplomats said that Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov had at the time dismissed the possibility of a legally binding resolution on aid access.

British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said after the briefing by Amos on Friday: “If the [aid statement] is not being taken seriously, then obviously it behooves us to look at stronger vehicles, including a resolution.”

Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and China have vetoed three Security Council resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned the government and threatened it with sanctions.

Australian UN Ambassador Gary Quinlan said Amos made a “direct and powerful” appeal for the council to find a way to implement its statement, drafted by Australia and Luxembourg, which urged cross-border deliveries and called for humanitarian fighting pauses and agreed on aid convoy routes.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters that, in council consultations after the briefing by Amos, “nobody explicitly suggested a resolution, but I don’t think the format of the document is a problem.”

He suggested that the main obstacle was increasingly the disparate rebel groups.
“I’m very pleased that this time more and more members of the Security Council said that they are now realizing that the problem is not only with the government,” Churkin said. “Very often various armed opposition groups are ignoring norms of international humanitarian law.”

US State Department officials on Friday urged Russia to use its influence to convince al-Assad to allow humanitarian convoys into besieged communities around Damascus.

The officials disputed a statement by Moscow on Thursday that snipers from opposition forces were shooting pregnant women “for fun,” saying European medical workers had reported that government snipers were responsible.

“The regime’s refusal to grant humanitarian access to the UN and other humanitarian organizations is preventing humanitarian relief from reaching besieged, opposition-held areas, which can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law,” the officials said in a statement.

At least the Russians are relaying reports on the more likely identity of snipers targeting pregnant women etc for apparent propaganda purposes.  As with the chemical weapons rumors, the 'destablizers' will stick with their version of events.

Money & Markets / Letter: Time to go for gold
« on: August 20, 2013, 09:44:58 PM »
Re: Taipei Times 8/21/13
Letters to the Editor
Time to go for gold
Torch Pratt

The US has enjoyed the exorbitant privilege of having the world’s reserve currency through a monopoly on the cash that is used to trade international goods, such as oil, while supporting “friendly” oil-exporting dictatorships in the Middle East with completely predictable and disastrous results as seen in Egypt.

It is now clear that the US dollar’s illegitimate hegemony will soon end and workers, investors and central bankers would be wise to heed my advice on how to deal with this.

It was recently revealed by Tyler Durden that China and Japan are dumping US Treasury paper as fast as they can, looking for a “safe haven” that will stand the test of time (such as a 5,000-year horizon).

China and India have been importing gold at a tremendous pace amid sales of “paper gold” future contracts, of which there are billions of ounces traded on an exchange where only millions of ounces actually exist, to round off the numbers for simplicity’s sake.

JPMorgan is the chief perpetrator behind this insane criminal act, which will be revealed in the next few weeks when it becomes known that it does not have enough of the physical metal in its vault to satisfy the daily delivery contracts it has agreed [to].

In other words, paper “wealth” is rapidly going out of style and the “new normal” will inevitably involve financial chaos in economies around the world.

It is worth noting that China is making the renminbi more convertible in countries across Asia, and that it trades for oil with US archenemy Iran in — you guessed it — gold.

Here on this finite Earth, each and every country’s fortunes rely on a proper trade balance with regard to foreign exchange rates, as well as imports and exports of energy, food, technology and services, as well as international transportation.

Taiwan imports almost all of its energy and a large part of its food, while exporting state-of-the-art high-tech products like microprocessors and advanced solar and electricity management products and services.

It does not quite even out, but at least Taiwan has a functioning economy.

The central bank and the other banks, which are currently holding US dollars and Treasuries, are hereby advised to dump all their US paper “assets” and import actual gold that can be stored in their vaults.

Small-time investors can buy gold coins or segmented necklaces at their local jewelry shops, which is strongly recommended, or hit a bookstore and pick up a 24-karat gold “CROSS” pen, as I have done.

The crisis has arrived. There will be no escaping the future of our global economy nor the boiling fate of planet Earth.

The tornado of debt-based “money” used to sustain an ever-expanding economy has ended and precious metals will be the wave of the future (and maybe also Bitcoin).

Taiwan’s next administration needs to ditch all long-term debt and go “net cash,” like Australia is trying to do.

Owing money to foreigners and sticking Taiwan’s youth with the bill is the wrong way to go.

Torch Pratt

Are we to depend on outside sources or the general public to alert us of such sea changes?   Is the whole eavesdropping bonanza just window dressing for a bigger 'show' of some kind?

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