Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
Former White House adviser says financial investigations will take down president in sequel to Fire and Fury
Wed 29 May 2019 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 29 May 2019 10.12 EDT
The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the presidents finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.
The startling remarks are contained in Siege: Trump Under Fire, the author Michael Wolffs forthcoming account of the second year of the Trump administration. The book, published on 4 June, is a sequel to Fire and Fury: Trump in the White House, which was a bestseller in 2018. The Guardian obtained a copy.
In a key passage, Bannon is reported as saying he believes investigations of Donald Trumps financial history will provide proof of the underlying criminality of his eponymous company.
Assessing the presidents exposure to various investigations, many seeded by the special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of Russian election interference, Wolff writes: Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise.
Child labour in mining, poor working conditions take centre stage in inter-regional meeting
With the growing global movement to support just transition and formalization of artisanal and small-scale gold mines, the ILO brought together experts and global actors to address child labour and poor working conditions in an inter-regional meeting held in the Philippines.
Press release | Manila, Philippines | 29 May 2019
MANILA Experts and global actors from Africa, Asia and South America gathered in the Philippines to address child labour and poor working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM).
The first-ever Inter-regional Knowledge-Sharing Forum on Child Labour and Working Conditions in ASGM of the International Labour Organization (ILO) served as a platform for dialogue.
Governments, employers and workers organizations, international non-government organizations, civil society organizations, miners groups and their communities, and ASGM supply chain actors joined the forum.
Countries represented include Colombia, Congo, Cote d' Ivoire, France, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Italy, Mali, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
'Members of the military who cooperate with Colombia's war crimes tribunal receive no protection, de
Members of the military who cooperate with Colombias war crimes tribunal receive no protection, despite threats
by Adriaan Alsema May 28, 2019
Colombias security forces are allegedly intimidating and threatening members who try to talk to media or the countrys war crimes tribunal about military war crimes.
Last week, local media and Human Rights Watch warned that top commanders were summoned to attend a meeting in what has been called a witch hunt for the whistleblowers who alerted media about orders to double the armys number of combat kills and captures.
On Sunday, influential Semana columnist Maria Jimena Duzan said that members of the security forces who have submitted to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) have received death threats. One member of the military survived an assassination attempt, according to Duzan.
. . .
Far-right supporters of Duque and his political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, have even threatened to extradite members of the military, according to think tank Fundacion Paz y Reconciliacion.
This would make it virtually impossible for the soldiers and commanders to tell the truth about war crimes without fear of getting murdered or extradited.
Didn't expect things to get so bad so fast. This is shocking.
by Jack Norman May 24, 2019
Some 79 United States congressmen said in a letter Friday they were disturbed by reports of US pressure on Colombias war crimes tribunal and urged unwavering American support for the peace process.
The letter of the house representatives, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, criticized both US and Colombian governments for undermining important elements of the 2016 peace treaty with the FARC.
Though the letter was a rhetorical event rather than a policy announcement, it showed that a significant block within Democratic Party has taken notice of the recent political deterioration in Colombia and is concerned about how that might harm US interests.
The letter cited, among other things, the unceasing wave of assassinations of social leaders, the painfully slow progress in expanding a government presence in rural areas and US support for President Ivan Duques controversial efforts to weaken the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
Colombia again spying on courts, journalists and human rights defenders: report
by Adriaan Alsema May 25, 2019
Colombias Prosecutor Generals Office is illegally spying on the countrys high courts, local and foreign journalists, human rights defenders and politicians, prosecution officials told newspaper La Nueva Prensa.
According to the whistleblowers, former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez set up an elaborate system that allowed the wiretapping of anyone deemed a potential liability for the national government and banking conglomerate Grupo Aval, Martinez former employer and the sponsor of President Ivan Duques 2018 presidential campaign.
Duque, Grupo Aval and Martinez have all been accused of involvement in the Odebrecht bribery scandal.
Spying on foreign journos and in the United States
Multiple agents of the prosecutions technical investigation unit CTI told the newspaper that among the intercepted journalists are foreign correspondents and that the illegal activity is also carried out in the United States.
God only knows who is involved in this nightmare. It all started during Alvaro Uribe's Presidency, and Alvaro Uribe is the puppet master to this President Duque.
In The 1920s, A Community Conspired To Kill Native Americans For Their Oil Money
April 17, 20174:44 AM ET
Ernest and Mollie Burkhart married in 1917. Unbeknownst to Mollie, a member of the Osage tribe, the marriage was part of a larger plot to steal her family's oil wealth.
Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoman Collection/Courtesy of Doubleday
Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was compelled to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They made their new home in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.
As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century, members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to "help" them spend it.
And then Osage members started turning up dead.
On how the conspiracy worked
What makes these crimes so sinister is that it involved marrying into families. It involved a level of calculation and a level of betraying the very people you pretended to love. And the way these murders would take place is that people would marry into the families and then begin to kill each member of the family. ... That's exactly what happened to [Osage woman Mollie Burkhart]. She had married a white man, and his uncle was the most powerful settler in the area. He was known as the King of the Osage Hills ... and he had orchestrated a very sinister plot played out over years where he directed his nephew, who had married Mollie Burkhart, to marry her so that he could then begin to kill the family members one by one and siphon off all the wealth.
Congress Attempts to Limit Bolsonaro's Power with Its Own Package of Measures
President Jair Bolsonaro's administration is seen as ineffective
Party leaders in Congress recently released a package of measures that would attempt to limit the power of president Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), who they see as ineffective.
'Folha's research with congress members shows that many think that Bolsonaro has not demonstrated a high capacity to govern.
In addition to accelerated talks about impeachment, there is also dissatisfaction in the business and finance world. This has pushed Congress members to take the lead on tax and social security reforms.
"It will be necessary to ignore 'Bolsonaro's administration, there is no other way," said deputy Elmar Nascimento (BA), leader of DEM in the chamber.
Today 12:40 PM
By Ursula Rozum and Dr. Marianna Kaufman
Many Americans are aware of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela -- to this end, media outlets have dutifully reported the suffering of the Venezuelan people. Unfortunately, the impact of U.S. sanctions has received less coverage. A recent analysis from the Center for Economic Policy Research revealed that from 2017 to 2018, 40,000 people in Venezuela have died from the U.S. sanctions. Sanctions exacerbate the humanitarian crisis by preventing basic necessities from entering the country, including food, medicine and medical supplies. Yet, instead of lifting the sanctions killing tens of thousands of Venezuelans, President Donald Trump has recognized Juan Guaidó as president, due to his alleged concern for the Venezuelan people.
In fact, the Trump administration has sought and orchestrated the current situation in Venezuela since the beginning of his term in office. In a July 2017 private briefing with intelligence officials, Trump declared that Venezuela is who we should be at war with. They have all the oil and they are right there. That summer, Trump tightened sanctions put into place by President Barack Obama in 2015. And in January 2018, the U.S. imposed even heavier sanctions, this time on the national run oil and gas company PDVSA. Capitalizing on the suffering of the Venezuelan people in much the same fashion as we have seen in other wars with oil-rich nations such as Iraq, we have seen politicians toeing suspiciously similar talking points regarding the need to intervene in a humanitarian crisis and depose a dictator. And the means to that end? To support Guaidó and overthrow the elected government of Nicolás Maduro, in what is also an attempt to discredit the socialist governments social programs.
Launched in 1999 by President Hugo Chávez, the Bolivarian Revolution aimed to reduce social disparities using funds from oil revenues. These programs of social uplift included investment in public schools, public health and dental care, supporting training to poor and marginalized communities, and the construction of public housing. While the Bolivarian Revolution brought much-needed change to social structures in Venezuela, and while Maduro has been a champion of the indigenous, poor and working class reportedly building 2.5 million public houses for the poor in public works programs, the government has been fraught with corruption. For years, activists have criticized the Maduro government for civil rights and human rights abuses; in addition, the opposition to Maduro has also come under scrutiny for corruption and abuses. None of this gives the U.S. a right to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela -- a thinly veiled guise to secure the privatization of oil resources.
The U.S. has a long history of inciting coups in countries that reject U.S. hegemony, and the current aggression against Venezuela is part of a disturbing historical pattern. Since the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, the United States has used its military might to overthrow and assassinate heads of state. On Sept. 11,1973, the CIA-backed coup in Chile overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende and installed dictator Augusto Pinochet, who is believed to have been responsible for the murder and disappearance of between 10,000 to 30,000 political opponents. And the U.S.-backed coup of democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 is at the root of the current violence in that country which is now driving migration to the U.S. The United States has intervened to overthrow governments and suppress popular movements in Latin America no less than 41 times during the last 100 years.
Editorials and other articles:
Huge Amount of Water Ice Is Spotted on Mars (It Could Be Long-Lost Polar Ice Caps)
By Meghan Bartels 12 hours ago
An image of Mars' northern polar ice cap, exaggerated to make the layers thicker and more noticeable.(Image: © SA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASA MGS MOLA Science Team)
Scientists think they've stumbled on a new cache of water ice on Mars and not just any ice but a layered mix of ice and sand representing the last traces of long-lost polar ice caps.
That's according to new research based on data gathered by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the Red Planet since 2006 and has just marked its 60,000th trip around Mars. On board the spacecraft is a radar instrument that can see about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) below the planet's surface and in that data, scientists see lots and lots of ice.
"We didn't expect to find this much water ice here," lead author Stefano Nerozzi, a doctoral student in geology at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, said in a statement released by the American Geophysical Union, which published the new research. "That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps."
That is a lot of water. And the sheer amount of water ice in the area is backed up by a second study done by an overlapping team of scientists. That research used gravitational data about Mars collated by NASA from several of its missions to the Red Planet. But by this technique, too, the region comes up chock-full of water ice enough that if you melted it down and spread it evenly around the planet, it would flood Mars by about 5 feet (1.5 meters).
By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer | May 23, 2019 02:16pm ET
- click for image -
n this hazy nebula about 10,000 light-years from Earth, astronomers think they've found a star that came back from the dead thanks to a rare event called a double white dwarf merger. Soon, it could die again in a supernova explosion.
Credit: Vasilii Gvaramadse/Moscow University
Astronomers have discovered a star they believe has come back from the dead.
The star, located in a hazy nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia, is unlike most other stars. It shows no signs of hydrogen or helium the two lightest elements in the universe and the final source of fuel for the nuclear reactions that power the hearts of stars. Despite this, it glows tens of thousands of times brighter than Earth's sun, and howls with a stellar wind that seems to have the strength of two stars.
Perhaps, write the authors of a new study published May 20 in the journal Nature, that's because this oddball star once was two stars and two dead ones, at that. After some careful analysis of the star and the gassy nebula that surrounds it, the study authors determined that the star's unusual properties can be best explained by a rare phenomenon known as a double white dwarf merger. Essentially, two burnt-out stars got too close and collided, accumulated enough combined mass to start forging heavy elements again, and reignited. [The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe]
"Such an event is extremely rare," study co-author Götz Gräfener, an astronomer at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA) at the University of Bonn in Germany, said in a statement. "There are probably not even half a dozen such objects in the Milky Way, and we have discovered one of them."
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