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Russia launches China UnionPay credit card

RT | August 15, 2014

Forget Visa and MasterCard. After the two American credit system payment companies froze accounts without notice in March, Russia has been looking for an alternative in China UnionPay.

China UnionPay plans to have 2 million cards in Russia in the next three years.

Instead of seeing the small Visa and MasterCard logo on credits cards, ATMs, and retail outlets, Russians will start to see the three words “China. Union. Pay.”

China UnionPay first emerged in 2002 on the domestic Chinese market as an alternative to Visa and MasterCard, but quickly expanded internationally, and now is already number one in terms of quantity of cards in the world.

Russia’s biggest banks – VTB- Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Alfa Bank, MTS, and Rosbank- are already making technical preparations, running tests on Union Bank cards.

“VTB24 already serves China UnionPay cards in its ATM network and now the bank is in negotiations with this payment system to start acquiring retail merchants,” VTB24’s press office said in a statement.

Most banks just began their relationship with China by offering clients corresponding services- none of the bankers imagined that they would be issuing Chinese credit cards.

In March, both Visa and MasterCard blocked the accounts of cardholders at BankRossiya and SMF Bank, both which were sanctioned by the US over Russia’s involvement in Crimea.

Russian financiers who used to keep their assets in dollars and euros were shocked by the event, and moved their capital back to Russia out of fear one day all their assets would be blocked by politicians in Washington DC.

“Visa and MasterCard have 100 percent trust, but right now, there is no trust in the system, and many, even our clients, have shifted their transactions from American dollar and Euro to Yuan. They are eager to receive this card- we already have a big list of people waiting to get this card instead of MasterCard and Visa,” Denis Fonov, Deputy Chairman at LightBank, a small Moscow-based bank, told RT.

LightBank was working with UnionPay long before it knew the cards would be coming to the Russian market – and ordered 10,000 cards pre-emptively as a side service for clients.

As a result of the freeze, Visa and MasterCard will now have to pay a security deposit to Russia’s Central Bank, which is estimated to be billions for each company. Similarly, once UnionPay begins operating in Russia, it will also put down a security deposit with Russia’s Central Bank, about $3-4 billion, Fonov said.

$5.3 trillion in payments

There are already 20,000 cards in circulation in Russia, and a second order of 100,000 cards is planned for September. In Russia many banks accept UnionPay cards, but not merchants, that’s the next step.

By the beginning of 2014, the payment system had already issued 4.2 billion cards, mostly in China.

In terms of total world trade turnover, China UnionPay is the leader in debt cards, with over $5.3 trillion in payments, or about 47 percent of the market share, whereas Visa has 40.6 percent, and MasterCard only 12.2 percent, according to the Nilson Report.

In overall transactions, Visa is still the leader with $4.6 trillion, and China UnionPay comes in second with $2.5 trillion in transactions in the first half of last year.

UnionPay already successfully operates in Australia and Canada, with their deposits tied to both the local currency and the yuan. In total, UnionPay operates in 142 countries.

China’s UnionPay will be a temporary solution for Russia to detach from the West while it prepares to launch its own payment system, which officially isn’t slated to begin operating for another 16 months, and according to sources in the industry, it could even be 2-3 years out.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Orleans Cop Turns off Body Cam before Shooting Man

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | August 15, 2014

A New Orleans police officer turned off her body cam before opening fire on a man who had escaped from her a week earlier.

Lisa Lewis shot the man in the forehead during a traffic stop, then shot at him again as he ran away, according to the lawyer of the man who remains hospitalized.  He was wanted on warrants.

Not only did she turn off the camera, the department tried its best to downplay Monday’s incident, which they initially reported to the media as posted below:

According to a preliminary report from the New Orleans Police Department, an officer was in the area and heard gunshots and then had an altercation with a person and suffered a minor injury to the officer’s right hand.

The officer was taken to Tulane Hospital, police said.

No further information about the incident was made available in the preliminary report.

When the media found out about it anyway, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas shrugged it off as a blunder.

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said his public information officer was supposed to issue a news release on Monday, but failed to do so — an action Serpas took responsibility for.

Serpas said NOPD Officer Lisa Lewis was conducting a traffic stop was injured and shot 26-year-old Armand Bennett.

Bennett was booked on five outstanding warrants, which included possession of a weapon, resisting an officer (Gretna), resisting an officer (New Orleans), possession of marijuana and criminal damage to property.

Bennett was listed in stable condition at a local hospital.

The department issued cameras to officers in January with Serpas proclaiming “this is the future of policing in America.”

Which is pretty much like the past in that they still control the message.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Local Police and Much Else Will Be Militarized As Long As Federal Government Is

By David Swanson | War is a Crime | August 14, 2014

“Groups on the ground in St. Louis are calling for nationwide solidarity actions in support of Justice for Mike Brown and the end of police and extrajudicial killings everywhere.”

As they should. And we should all join in.

But “nationwide” and “everywhere” are odd terms to equate when discussing police militarization. Are we against extrajudicial killings (otherwise known as murder) by U.S. government employees and U.S. weapons in Pakistan? Yemen? Iraq? Gaza? And literally everywhere they occur? The militarization of local police in the United States is related to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, which has now reached the point that bombing and “doing nothing” are generally conceived as the only two choices available. Local police are being militarized as a result of these factors:

  • A culture glorifying militarization and justifying it as global policing.
  • A federal government that directs roughly $1 trillion every year into the U.S. military, depriving virtually everything else of needed resources.
  • A federal government that still manages to find resources to offer free military weapons to local police in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • Weapons profiteers that eat up local subsidies as well as federal contracts while funding election campaigns, threatening job elimination in Congressional districts, and pushing for the unloading of weapons by the U.S. military on local police as one means of creating the demand for more.
  • The use of permanent wartime fears to justify the removal of citizens’ rights, gradually allowing local police to begin viewing the people they were supposed to protect as low-level threats, potential terrorists, and enemies of law and order in particular when they exercise their former rights to speech and assembly. Police “excesses” like war “excesses” are not apologized for, as one does not apologize to an enemy.
  • The further funding of abusive policing through asset forfeitures and SWAT raids.
  • The further conflation of military and police through the militarization of borders, especially the Mexican border, the combined efforts of federal and local forces in fusion centers, the military’s engagement in “exercises” in the U.S., and the growth of the drone industry with the military, among others, flying drones in U.S. skies and piloting drones abroad from U.S. land.
  • The growth of the profit-driven prison industry and mass incarceration, which dehumanize people in the minds of participants just as boot camp and the nightly news do to war targets.
  • Economically driven disproportionate participation in, and therefore identification with, the military by the very communities most suffering from its destruction of resources, rights, and lives.

But policing is not the only thing militarized by what President Eisenhower called the “total influence — economic, political, even spiritual” of the military industrial complex. Our morality is militarized, our entertainment is militarized, our natural world is militarized, and our education system is militarized. “Unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex” is not easily opposed while maintaining the military industrial complex. When Congress Members lend their support to a new war in Iraq while proposing that the U.S. Post Office and a dozen other decent things not be funded, they are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. The United States cannot live like other wealthy nations while dumping $1 trillion a year into a killing machine.

The way out of this cycle of madness in which we spend more just on recruiting someone into the military or on locking them up behind bars than we spend on educating them is to confront in a unified and coherent manner what Martin Luther King Jr. called the evils of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to the local police. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to weapons testing sites. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to the people of Honduras causing them to flee to a land that then welcomes them with an attitude of militarism. Not any of these partial steps alone, but the whole package of interlocking evils of attitude and mindset.

There is a no-fly-zone over Ferguson, Missouri, because people in the U.S. government view the people of the United States increasingly as they view the people of other countries: as best controlled from the air. Notes the War Resister League,

“Vigils and protests in Ferguson – a community facing persistent racist profiling and police brutality – have been attacked by tear gas, rubber bullets, police in fully-armored SWAT gear, and tank-like personnel carriers. This underscores not only the dangers of being young, Black, and male in the US, but also the fear of mobilization and rebellion from within racialized communities facing the violence of austerity and criminalization.

“The parallels between the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine, the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro, the Indian police in Kashmir, the array of oppressive armed forces in Iraq, and the LAPD in Skid Row could not be any clearer. . . .

“This is not happening by accident. What is growing the capacity of local police agencies to exercise this force are police militarization programs explicitly designed to do so. As St. Louis writer Jamala Rogers wrote in an article on the militarization of St. Louis Police this past April, ‘It became clear that SWAT was designed as a response to the social unrest of the 1960s, particularly the anti-war and black liberation movements.’ Federal programs such as DoD 1033 and 1122, and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), in which St. Louis Police are active participants, provide weapons and training to police departments across the country, directly from the Pentagon. Commenting on the ominous growth of the phenomenon, Rogers continues: ‘and now, Police Chief [of St. Louis Police] Sam Dotson wants to add drones to his arsenal.’

“The events in Ferguson over these last few days demonstrate that the violence of policing and militarism are inextricably bound. To realize justice and freedom as a condition for peace, we must work together to end police militarization and violence.”

The War Resisters League is organizing against Urban Shield, an expo of military weapons for police and training event planned for Oakland, Calif., this September 4-8. The Week of Education and Action will take place in Oakland from August 30-September 5. Read all about it here.


David Swanson is a member of the National Committee of the War Resisters League. His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Ferguson cops beat innocent man, then charged him with bleeding on their uniforms

RT | August 15, 2014

The officer-involved shooting death of teenager Michael Brown this week and the subsequent protests across the United States have rekindled interest in another case of alleged excessive force blamed on the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department.

Nearly four years to the day before Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson opened fire and killed Brown, 18, a complaint filed in federal court accused the same law enforcement agency of violating the civil rights of a man who says he was badly beaten after being wrongly arrested, then later charged with “destruction of property” for bleeding on the uniforms of the cops alleged to have injured him.

On Friday, Michael Daly of The Daily Beast recounted the case of Henry Davis, an African-American welder who tried to sue the City of Ferguson after an autumn 2009 altercation with the same police department currently making headlines for the high-profile killing of Brown.

Davis, Daly recalled, was arrested on September 20, 2009 when a Ferguson cop mistook him for a man with the same first and last name wanted on an outstanding warrant. Davis was brought to the Police Department headquarters and told to spend the night in the same one-bed cell occupied by another individual. When he objected and asked for a sleeping mat of his own, his attorneys wrote, the officers got violent.

Officer John Beaird, the complaint reads, “called other officers to the area outside the cell and told the other officers that Plaintiff was being belligerent and failing to comply with his orders.” Five cops were soon in the area and, according to the suit, Officer Michael White charged Davis, grabbed him and then slammed him into a wall.

“A female police officer got on Plaintiff’s back and handcuffed Plaintiff with Plaintiff’s arms behind his back and lying on his stomach,” the complaint continues. “Just before Plaintiff was picked up to his feet, Defendant White rushed in the cell a second time and kicked Plaintiff in the head while Plaintiff was lying on the floor and handcuffed with his arms behind his back.”

“He ran in and kicked me in the head,” Davis recalled, according to The Daily Beast. “I almost passed out at that point… Paramedics came… They said it was too much blood, I had to go to the hospital.”

The detainee didn’t get help there, however, because he refused treatment unless the hospital staff would first photograph his injuries.

“I wanted a witness and proof of what they done to me,” Davis said, according to the website.

Instead, he was taken back to the jail, where he remained for several days until he could post $1,500 bond related to four counts of “property damage.” In a signed complaint, Daly wrote, Officer Beaird said David bled on his own uniform and those of three others officers.

When the issue was ultimately brought up during legal proceedings pertaining to the civil suit filed by Davis, Officers Christopher Pillarick, Beaird and White all denied getting blood on their outfits, the Beast reported.

“The contradictions between the complaint and the depositions apparently are what prompted the prosecutor to drop the ‘property damage’ allegation,” Daly wrote this week. “The prosecutor also dropped a felony charge of assault on an officer that had been lodged more than a year after the incident and shortly after Davis filed his civil suit.”

That same suit compelled the Ferguson Police Department to produce surveillance camera footage from the alleged altercation, but the cops failed to properly save the clip, James Schottel, the plaintiff’s lawyer, told Daly this week. Furthermore, the attorney explained that his efforts to obtain the use-of-force history for the officers involved proved futile when he became aware that reports involving non-fatal altercations were absent from all officers’ personnel files, per departmental policy.

“On Friday, police finally identified the officer as Darren Wilson, who is said to have no disciplinary record, as such records are kept in Ferguson,” Daly wrote this week. “We already know that he started out at a time when it was accepted for a Ferguson cop to charge somebody with property damage for bleeding on his uniform and later saying there was no blood on him at all.”

According to court papers obtained by RT, Magistrate Judge Nannette A. Baker ruled late last year in favor the city, halting Davis’ efforts to sue the city for multiple alleged violations of his civil rights. His attorneys filed a notice of appeal in March, and the case is currently slated to be considered later this year by the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Appellant presented a submissible case of excessive force and Missouri state law assault and battery and respectfully requests this Honorable Court to reverse the district court’s judgment of dismissal of Appellant’s excessive force and Missouri state law assault and battery claims against Appellees Michael White, John Beaird and Kim Tihen,” the appeal reads in part. “Appellant presented a submissible case of municipal liability and requests this Honorable Court to reverse the district court’s judgment of dismissal of Appellant’s municipal liability claim against Appellee City of Ferguson, Missouri.”

When The Daily Beast caught up this week with Schottel, Davis’ attorney, he told them that rumors of the Ferguson Police Department firing multiple shots at Brown last week didn’t surprise him.

“I said I already know about Ferguson, nothing new can faze me about Ferguson,” he told the website.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

No Russian troops crossed into Ukraine – FSB

RT | August 15, 2014

Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied Kiev’s report that it “destroyed the Russian military column” which allegedly crossed into Ukraine, saying that no such column ever existed.

Earlier on Friday Russia’s Security Service (FSB) also denied the reports. Border guards have been deployed to provide security near the frontier, but they operate only on the Russian side, the FSB said.

The mobile military teams “operate strictly within the territory of the Russian Federation,” a spokesperson for the FSB Border Guard Service in Rostov region told RT on Friday.

Russia has stepped up security measures on its border with Ukraine as local residents are under constant threat because of “regular cross-border shelling” and an increased number of “mass border crossings” by the Ukrainian military, he explained. For that reason, FSB mobile border guards’ teams have been created.

“When residents report about cross-border shooting and fighting in the frontier zone, these teams are immediately deployed to such areas to provide the safety of the Russian state border and Russian citizens, and also to prevent armed people from crossing into the territory of the Russian Federation,” Sinitsyn said.

Earlier, several foreign news agencies caused quite a stir, reporting that a convoy of Russian military vehicles had crossed into Ukraine overnight.

The reports triggered criticism from NATO and some European states.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen referred to the alleged incident as to “a Russian incursion” that they “saw.”

“Last night we saw a Russian incursion, a crossing of the Ukrainian border,” he said Friday, adding that “it is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.”

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was “very alarmed by the reports.”

“Of course the humanitarian convoy itself is a separate issue, but if there any Russian military personnel or vehicles in eastern Ukraine they need to be withdrawn immediately or the consequences could be very serious,” he told reporters in Brussels, where European Union foreign ministers had gathered for an emergency meeting to discuss crises in Ukraine and Iraq.

In an article published by The Guardian, reporter Shaun Walker said he “saw a column of 23 armored personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, traveling [toward] the border near the Russian town of Donetsk.” Late on Thursday the convoy “crossed into Ukrainian territory,” he said. However, no photographic or video evidence of the incident was presented either in his article or in his Twitter feed. The photograph published with the text was taken on Russian territory.

The Telegraph also reported that “at least 23” Russian vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. The report is accompanied by a video also filmed on Russian territory.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Local police in US kill at least 400 people a year, mostly minorities

RT | August 15, 2014

A white police officer in the United States killed a black person on average of twice per week from 2005 to 2012, according to homicide reports offered to the FBI. But this data is limited, as only about 4 percent of law enforcement agencies contributed.

There was an average of 96 such incidents out of at least 400 police killings each year that local police departments reported to the FBI, according to analysis conducted by USA Today.

The analysis comes in the wake of the fatal police shooting by a white officer of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri that has set off national outrage over US law enforcement’s aggressive use of deadly force, incongruent targeting of minorities, and a militarized posture that treats citizens as the enemy.

The FBI report shows that 18 percent of African-Americans killed during those seven years were under the age of 21. Whites killed that were under the age of 21 came out to 8.7 percent.

As USA Today noted, only around 750 agencies – out of the 17,000 law enforcement entities across the United States – offered such data to the FBI.

On top of the limited participation, the self-reported contents of the database are considered incomplete. The data are not audited after submission to the FBI, and information on “justifiable” homicides has often been at odds with independent statistics gathered on police fatalities.

”There is no national database for this type of information, and that is so crazy,” said Geoff Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina. “We’ve been trying for years, but nobody wanted to fund it and the (police) departments didn’t want it. They were concerned with their image and liability. They don’t want to bother with it.”

Alpert added that the limited FBI data – the most complete record of people killed by US police – can show that a death had occurred, but it is reliable for little else.

“I’ve looked at records in hundreds of departments, and it is very rare that you find someone saying, ‘Oh, gosh, we used excessive force.’ In 98.9 percent of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along,” Alpert told USA Today.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, on the other hand, said police use of force is blown out of proportion. Based on data from the Bureau of Justices Statistics in 2008, the group said less than 2 percent of 40 million people who had contact with police passed along complaints that officers used or threatened force.

“In large part, the public perception of police use of force is framed and influenced by the media depictions which present unrealistic and often outlandish representations of law enforcement and the policing profession,” the group said in a 2012 report.

Nevertheless, many independent studies of police shootings in major US cities have come to the conclusion that minorities are disproportionately targeted for police violence.

“We need not look for individual racists to say that we have a culture of policing that is really rubbing salt into longstanding racial wounds,” NAACP president Cornell Williams Brooks told Mother Jones.

Brooks added that in the US, many people suspected of minor crimes are confronted with “overwhelmingly major, often lethal, use of force.”

Meanwhile, officers are rarely convicted or sentenced for killing a suspect.

“Unfortunately, the patterns that we’ve been seeing recently are consistent: The police don’t show as much care when they are handling incidents that involve young black men and women, and so they do shoot and kill,” said Delores Jones-Brown, law professor and director of the Center on Race, Crime, and Statistics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, according to Mother Jones.

“And then for whatever reason, juries and prosecutor’s offices are much less likely to indict or convict.”

The US Justice Department is investigating at least 15 police agencies in the US for systemic abuse, including allegations of excessive force, racial profiling or false arrest.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ferguson Law Enforcement: An ‘Occupying Force’ With ‘Special Rights’

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | August 14, 2014

As we’ve covered in two previous stories here at Techdirt, Ferguson, Missouri is a mess. The events, which now include three days of cops vs. citizens, were set off by the shooting of an unarmed black man, Mike Brown.

The story behind the shooting is still clouded by contradictory accounts. Police say there was a “scuffle” and that Brown tried to grab the unnamed officer’s gun. The police chief points to the officer’s “facial swelling” as definitive proof of this narrative. The other story is that Brown was gunned down by a pissed off cop who didn’t like the fact that Brown didn’t immediately comply with his “get the fuck onto the sidewalk” request.

Here are two facts: Brown’s body was 35 feet away from the vehicle where the scuffle supposedly took place. Brown’s body was left unattended for hours before being removed by a police.

Here’s one more, not that it should matter, but it does: Mike Brown had no criminal record.

Even if he was a criminal, his killing wouldn’t be justified. But even the most die hard cop supporter has to wonder why a person with no criminal record would suddenly escalate a jaywalking beef to the point of trying to take an officer’s gun. That doesn’t add up. Nothing does, not when filtered through the source delivering its top down narrative.

Local law enforcement has gone into complete lock-down mode. It has detained journalists without explanation. It has fired tear gas at an Al Jazeera America camera crew. It has filled the streets with armored vehicles, police officers in combat fatigues and has done nothing to defuse the situation.

Beyond that, local law enforcement has done the following:

Enacted a no-fly zone over the town.

Told people they can’t protest after dark.

Refused to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown.

Refused to release Mike Brown’s autopsy results.

Instructed people to return to their homes to “avoid tear gas” and then fired tear gas into people’s yards.

It’s ugly all over and it’s a prime example of the “what could go wrong” with the steady militarization of the police. Law enforcement has rolled in like an invading force, with gunners peeking out of the top of armored cars and citizens confronted by multiple gun barrels everywhere they look.

The police department demands patience and understanding as it investigates the shooting. But it deserves none of that. For one, it’s handling of the situation has gone from bad to horrific and it shows little desire to scale back its aggression. Anil Dash at Medium points out that none of this needed to be handled this way.

It’s plain as day that the cops have no strategy, no end goal in Ferguson. There’s no leadership. They don’t even understand the situation that they’ve found themselves in.

Basic crowd management for a group that will not, or can not, disperse is to de-escalate. The rent-a-cops at a hippie music festival know exactly what to do when the sound cuts out, but somehow the heavily militarized police force in Ferguson missed the lesson. It’s a hot summer day? Well, then you hand out some water to folks. You even smile while you do it. No, the water shouldn’t be coming out of fire-hoses while you hold back your German Shepherds.

For that matter, take off the helmets, and holster your weapons. This is basic shit for police! Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. Don’t point an assault rifle at someone unless you intend to kill them. These are fundamentals of firearms safety that every 8-year-old who’s ever gone on a hunting trip learned.

Instead of being cops, they’re now an occupying force, setting new rules for public interaction, intimidating journalists and doing everything but ousting the population and taking over their dwellings.

This is the byproduct of militarization. No longer are they peace officers. They are now soldiers, fighting a war against their fellow citizens. Billions of dollars have been funneled into local law enforcement agencies by the DHS, giving them military tools, tactics and vehicles. And in Ferguson, we now see that every dollar of it was misspent. The local cops are geared up for a war, but they’re missing one piece of technology that could likely have cleared up the mystery surrounding Mike Brown’s shooting almost immediately.

The police department doesn’t have a single dashboard camera in operation. It owns both dash cams and body cams, but not a single one is in use.

What it does have in full working condition (along with its war toys) is a handful of rights that only law enforcement officers possess. These rights aren’t found in the Constitution and the only way to access them is to be a cop. Citizens don’t have this extra layer of protection. Ken White at Popehat :

If you are arrested for shooting someone, the police will use everything in their power — lies, false friendship, fear, coercion — to get you to make a statement immediately. That’s because they know that the statement is likely to be useful to the prosecution: either it will incriminate you, or it will lock you into one version of events before you’ve had an opportunity to speak with an adviser or see the evidence against you. You won’t have time to make up a story or conform it to the evidence or get your head straight.

But what if a police officer shoots someone? Oh, that’s different. Then police unions and officials push for delays and opportunities to review evidence before any interview of the officer. Last December, after a video showed that a cop lied about his shooting of a suspect, the Dallas Police issued a new policy requiring a 72-hour delay after a shooting before an officer can be interviewed, and an opportunity for the officer to review the videos or witness statements about the incident. Has Dallas changed its policy to offer such courtesies to citizens arrested for crimes? Don’t be ridiculous. If you or I shoot someone, the police will not delay our interrogation until it is personally convenient…

The police department has not released the name of the shooter. Because he’s one of the insiders. As has been pointed out by several people, we know the names of everyone charged with looting-related felonies in Ferguson. But we still don’t know who shot Mike Brown. The police chief wants to protect the officer and his family, but law enforcement agencies will not return that favor should a citizen kill someone. And they will unleash entire police departments to destroy you if you shoot a cop. If you’re still alive enough to give a statement, your name will be prominently displayed everywhere. Your family will be harassed by cops and citizens. Death threats will make their way through phone lines and into the mailbox. But only cops are immunized against this by policies backed by police unions and government officials.

If anyone is still wondering what happens when you increase police power (with protective policies and secondhand war machines) while decreasing accountability, Ferguson is your answer. And it’s only the most visible indicator. Around the nation, it’s more of the same — but seething under the surface.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

EU sanctions ‘shooting oneself in the foot’ – Hungary PM

RT | August 15, 2014

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has urged a rethink of the European Union’s sanctions policy towards Russia, saying the measures are like “shooting oneself in the foot.”

“The sanctions policy pursued by the West, that is, ourselves, a necessary consequence of which, has been what the Russians are doing, causes more harm to us than to Russia,” Reuters quotes Orban talking on radio, he added “in politics, this is called shooting oneself in the foot.”

Russia is Hungary’s largest trade partner outside of the EU, with exports worth $3.4 billion in 2013. Also it is highly dependent on Russian energy. Earlier this year Hungary agreed a $13 billion deal with Russian power company Rosatom to expand the country’s only nuclear power plant.

“The EU should not only compensate producers somehow, be they Polish, Slovak, Hungarian or Greek, who now have to suffer losses, but the entire sanctions policy should be reconsidered,” the Hungarian Prime Minister said, saying he is already looking for support to force through changes.

Despite the negative sentiment on Tuesday, Hungary’s Agriculture Ministry stressed the Russian embargo won’t significantly affect the Hungarian economy as the banned products account for less than a third of Hungarian agricultural exports to Russia, being only one percent of total national farming exports.

Despite weak growth in the eastern countries of the EU, Hungary, together with Slovakia and Bulgaria have shown better than expected figures, with 0.8 percent quarterly expansion according to Thursday’s preliminary GDP estimates.

On Thursday, Matteo Salvini the leader of Italy’s Northern League party called on Brussels to immediately repeal the sanctions against Russia.

“Only fools, Brussels and Rome, could decide to impose economic sanctions against Russia, which now sends us back tons of Italian agricultural products worth more than €1 billion,” Salvini wrote on his Facebook page “Who will pay our farmers? Renzi? Merkel?”

The politician claims that in order to please US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has “ruined the economy” of the country.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment