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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
Number of posts: 5,902

Journal Archives

Argentine Court of Cassation dismisses Nisman cover-up allegations

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

The Court of Cassations has refused to take on the criminal complaint formulated by late AMIA lead investigator Alberto Nisman, in which he accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and other government officials of covering up those responsible for the deadly 1994 bombing.

The chamber is Argentina's highest judicial authority for appeals, leaving the docket composed by the former prosecutor in limbo after being dismissed on no less than three instances.

Read more: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/187258/court-of-cassation-dismisses-nisman-coverup-allegations

These were the Nisman cover-up claims that the Secretary-General of Interpol at the time, Ronald Noble, debunked three months ago already.

This is an election year in Argentina; and while Mrs. Kirchner herself isn't running, her populist Front for Victory (FpV) is polling at or near the top in opinion polls just six months out. The FpV is the closest thing to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in Argentina. They've been in office for 12 years, during which real GDP doubled, poverty and unemployment fell by 70%, social programs and unions were revitalized, and real wages in Argentina rose by 75%. And yes: right-wingers hate them with the same virulent racism Teahadists hate Obama and Democrats.

The Argentine right wing (sponsored by the likes of neocons, Netanyahoo, GOP megadonor and Caymans bankster Paul Singer, and other vulture funds) has nevertheless been playing tag with this fable ever since, going from one Ken Starr-like prosecutor to another in the hope of keeping this going. This Appeals Court dismissal was their last real chance.

Definitely something we on DU can relate to given the never-ending GOP witch hunts against the Clintons and Obamacare.


Former IMF Director & Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Rodrigo Rato Arrested For Money Laundering

Source: The Spain Report

Former IMF director, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Economy Minister and chairman of Bankia Rodrigo Rato was arrested by anti-fraud police at his home in central Madrid on Thursday evening on charges of money laundering, fraud and defrauding creditors.

Tax and customs officials began searching his house on Thursday evening, El Mundo reported. Following his arrest, Mr. Rato was taken by police to an office in Madrid where a second search was carried out.

VozPópuli reported on Tuesday that Mr. Rato was one of 705 suspects being investigated by Spanish anti-fraud authorities for money laundering and that “Rato is not the only illustrious name in this list of taxpayers.”

Read more: https://www.thespainreport.com/16020/spanish-tax-officials-searching-home-of-former-imf-boss-spanish-deputy-prime-minister-rodrigo-rato/

Some may remember the aptly-named Mr. Rato as the former Director of the IMF from 2004 to 2007. It was Rato's objections -and of course, Dubya's- that were mainly responsible for the failure to adopt a global debt restructuring mechanism at the time. Vulture funds owe their continued existence to the lack of such a mechanism (they owe their successes in New York courts -the only ones that give them the time of day- to other per$uasion$).

Banksters of a feather...

New film to document the Buenos Aires Herald’s human rights stance.

By Julio Nakamurakare
Buenos Aires Herald
March 28, 2015

New film charts the newspaper’s editorial policy during the last military dictatorship

Proving that it was a fallacy to say that the Buenos Aires Herald, a centenary newspaper by the mid 1970s, was just a British community medium, the first three years (1976-1979) of the brutal military dictatorship saw the English-language news outlet soar to unprecedented heights when it took a fierce stance against human rights violations perpetrated by the military.

While the rest of the media, later referred to as the prensa canalla (scoundrel press), looked the other way and ignored the brutalities being committed in the name of the fight against terrorism, the Buenos Aires Herald, with Robert Cox at the helm, bravely reported on the thousands of cases of “disappearances,” described verbatim by other media as Armed Forces press releases about “shootouts in which terrorists were killed.” The Herald was the one and only news outlet to receive the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an organization that had just started to take shape in order to find answers to questions the military government, Catholic Church dignitaries and society at large consistently refused to confront.

The story —that of a small foreign-language newspaper braving a dictatorship and standing up for human rights — has been told in hundreds of newspaper articles, books and film documentaries. Now comes Messenger On A White Horse, a documentary written and directed by former Herald staffer Jayson McNamara. An indie project financed through crowd-funding and the unflinching support of human rights organizations — not to mention the filmmakers’ own willingness to work long hours at no profit — Messenger On A White Horse promises to take viewers on a long ride through a painful period in recent Argentine history.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/185396/documenting-the-herald%E2%80%99s-human-rights-stance

Not surprisingly, Herald editor-in-chief Robert Cox had to leave Argentina during the fascist 1976 dictatorship (which the GOP vocally applauded, until they turned into loose cannons and invaded the Falklands of course). We're very fortunate to have a living link to history like him and so many others still around, and still fighting the good fight.

Here's Bob Cox at the Carter Center last July. Skip to 1:20:00 for his contribution, although the entire segment is worthwhile for anyone interested in learning more about the Argentine Dirty War (all the more so since history is being repeated in Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico as we speak).

Jazz Radio Host Bob Parlocha Dies at 76.

By Jeff Tamarkin
Jazz Times
March 16, 2015

Longtime jazz radio host Bob Parlocha, best known for his long run at Bay Area station KJAZ-FM and for his syndicated program Jazz With Bob Parlocha, died on March 15, of a heart attack. Parlocha was 76.

Born in Solano, CA, on April 18, 1938, Parlocha listened to KJAZ (1959-1994) and also played jazz saxophone in his youth. He worked as a psychiatric nurse following his graduation from high school and became the host of KJAZ’s Dinner Jazz Show in 1978. He eventually became the station’s music director and developed several programs for the station. He also produced and engineered a number of jazz recordings.

In 1994, when KJAZ was sold, Parlocha developed his syndicated program, which was carried by numerous stations across the country and alternated between four- and six-hour shifts on different nights of the week.

At: http://jazztimes.com/sections/news/articles/157453-jazz-radio-host-bob-parlocha-dies-at-76


I lived in L.A. from '04 to '10, and enjoyed Jazz With Bob Parlocha almost every evening on KKjZ (88.1). After leaving L.A. I bookmarked KKJZ, but over time lost the habit of tuning in - much to my regret. I know I speak for a lot of his listeners when I say that Bob was Mr. Jazz Radio, and that American radio itself has lost one of its treasures.

Godspeed, Bob. Spin some Johnny Hartman for me when I get there, won't you?

Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days.

By Miles Gough
Science Alert
March 20, 2015

And it's mostly thanks to heavy rains and geothermal energy.

Well done Costa Rica, well done. The Central American country has achieved a major clean energy milestone, meeting 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy for 75 straight days.

“The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a press release.

The ICE says the country's zero-emission milestone was enabled thanks to heavy rainfalls at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015. These downpours have meant that, for the months of January, February and so far March, there has been no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.

Instead, Costa Rica has been powered primarily by hydro power - both pumped storage and run-of-the-river plants - and a mixture of geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy.

At: http://www.sciencealert.com/costa-rica-powered-with-100-renewable-energy-for-75-days


My thanks to JaneyVee for her post to this effect on the General Discussion forum: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026400861

Griesa authorizes Citi to process payments of Argentine bonds

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

New York District Judge Thomas Griesa has authorized Citibank to process interest payments on US$2.3 billion of Argentina bonds due on March 31st. The order also authorizes the bank to process a future payment on June 30th, and compels the financial entity to get out of its custody business in the South American country.

Griesa had blocked payments from Citibank Argentina to bondholders following his sentence in favor of holdout tenants of Argentine debt. The judge ordered so-called “vulture funds” should be paid in full, blocking interest payments on Argentine denominated bonds until that sentence is met. Ranked one of the world’s leading custodian banks, Citigroup portrayed itself as an innocent third party faced with the untenable choice of ignoring Griesa and being held in contempt of a federal US court, or putting its license in jeopardy, as the Argentine government has threatened to cancel Citibank Argentina’s operating license if it refuses to process payments.

Citibank had said on Tuesday it planned to get out of the business of making bond payments for the country and transfer the responsibility to another entity. “Our custody business represents approximately 2 percent of Citi Argentina’s incomes and, by its own nature, does not have any relation with the rest of its banking activities. Citi has fulfilled a relevant role in Argentina’s economy for over 100 years and hopes to continue developing that role throughout upcoming decades,” a statement released by Citibank Argentina reads.

Read more: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184937/griesa-authorizes-citi-to-process-payments-of-argentine-bonds

Basically, the judge had been trying to block any and all bondholders from collecting on their Argentine bonds (as they have since 2005) in order to pressure Argentina to pay vulture funds a 1,600% return on their bonds. Buying bonds for the purpose of suing for more later is explicitly illegal under New York Law (and just about anywhere else in the world).

Good to see Citibank keeping Griesa honest.

Israel elections: LIVE UPDATES

Source: The Guardian

Netanyahu hails 'great victory' as Herzog refuses to concede defeat

*Exit polls put Herzog and Netanyahu at dead heat with 27 seats.

*Netanyahu appeals to right wing by rejecting Palestinian statehood.

*Moshe Kahlon of Kulanu party courted as potential kingmaker.

*Arab Joint List, Yesh Atid and other parties vie for influence in outcome.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/17/israel-elections-netanyahu-herzog-voters-coalition-knesset

Extra, extra! Get your live updates!

Argentine jurist to lead UN Human Rights Committee

Buenos Aires Herald
March 16, 2015

Argentine jurist Fabián Salvioli was unanimously elected to lead the UN Human Rights Committee this morning. The 51-year-old lawyer will be presiding over the UN body for one year. He has been a member of the UN Human Rights Committee since 2009. The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Salvioli has also been critical of the Argentine Judiciary. He complained that some judges lack academic training in human rights and all too often do not have a gender perspective. “I think those magistrates should be out of the Judiciary,” he told the Herald last year. Salvioli began his career at Amnesty International and has worked in numerous human rights groups. He is also the director of the University of La Plata’s Human Rights Institute.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184484/argentine-jurist-to-lead-un-human-rights-committee


At a time when much of Latin America is returning to its era of repression, dirty wars, and human rights atrocities, its good to see the international community recognize Argentina for its efforts in human rights.

New ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi: 'Trials in Argentina have been an example for world'

Buenos Aires Herald
March 15, 2015

Argentine jurist Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi became the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week. In conversation with the Herald, the lawyer — the second Argentine to arrive at The Hague after Luis Moreno Ocampo was first appointed prosecutor before the ICC — said the 1985 trial against the Junta leaders was the example to follow when it came to prosecuting heinous crimes.

“Trials in Argentina have been an example for the rest of the world,” Fernández de Gurmendi said in a telephone conversation with this newspaper two days after she was appointed to head the ICC for the next three years. Soon after the Cold War was over, countries around the world started debating the creation of an international court to end with the impunity of criminal perpetrators. The milestone came in 1998 when the Rome Statute was approved, which entered into force four years later when it was ratified by more than 100 nations.


Q:Some authors say that the 1985 trial against the leaders of the 1976-83 dictatorship triggered a “cascade of justice” around the world. Do you agree?

A:Of course. Proceedings in Argentina influenced other trials around the world and were taken as example of how criminal justice can be applied to these crimes. The Argentine experience is an example.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184340/%E2%80%98trials-in-argentina-have-been-an-example-for-world%E2%80%99

It's worth noting Argentina is the only country in the world to have systemically tried human rights offenders regardless of military rank or having civilian/clergy status, rather than merely prosecuting a few former dictators or generals (of course, most countries with past or ongoing dirty wars have refused to do even that - or, like Colombia, Honduras, or Mexico, even admit a dirty war has taken place at all).

To be fair, it's certainly not easy and it takes courage.

Argentina declassifies files on Jewish center bombing

Source: The Times of Israel

The Argentine government on Friday declassified its files on an unsolved 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that is at the center of a new political firestorm.

In a decree published in the Official Bulletin, the government declassified “all documents in their entirety” from the probe into the bombing. It also declassified “any other new documents, reports or files that have not been part of the case and could be of interest in the investigation.”

The bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) killed 85 people and wounded 300, the deadliest such attack in the South American country’s history.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, had accused President Cristina Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranian officials from being implicated in the bombing in exchange for oil and trade benefits from Tehran. A judge dismissed the obstruction case against Kirchner last month.

Nisman had accused Iran of ordering the bombing via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. He alleged that Kirchner’s government struck a deal with Iranian officials including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to have Interpol wanted notices for them annulled.

The Iranian and Argentine governments both deny the accusations. Interpol’s director at the time, Ronald Noble, says no such request was made.

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/argentina-declassifies-files-on-jewish-center-bombing/

This is why Bibi's worried about these news: http://www.democraticunderground.com/110837470#post2
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