Did somebody just try to buy the British government?

Hmmh, hmmmh, hmmmmh.


(Hat tip to [REDACTED] over on LJ for spotting this one …)

(DUE TO THE HEAVY LOAD WE’RE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING, (90,000 page views/hour — just slightly more than this blog usually gets), comment posting may be slow (or fail completely). — cs.)

Hansard is the official printed transcript of the proceedings of the houses of parliament — in other words, the working log of the British government.

It is an authoritative primary source, and records every speech made in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Interestingly, it also records words spoken under parliamentary privilege.

So when an eminent member of the House of Lords stands up six hours into a debate and blows the gaff on a shadowy foreign Foundation making a bid to buy the British state, and this is recorded in Hansard, one tends to sit up and take notice. And one takes even more notice when His Lordship tip-toes around actually naming the Foundation in question, especially after the throw-away about money-laundering for the IRA on behalf of the Bank of England. Parliamentary privilege only stretches so far, it seems, and Foundation X is beyond its reach. I’m going to quote at length below the cut — if you want to read the original, search for “1 Nov 2010 : Column 1538” which is where things begin to tip-toe into Robert Ludlum territory.

(NB: The venue is the House of Lords, at 10:42pm on November 1st, 2010.)

Lord James of Blackheath: At this point, I am going to have to make a very big apology to my noble friend Lord Sassoon [Treasury Minister], because I am about to raise a subject that I should not raise and which is going to be one which I think is now time to put on a higher awareness, and to explain to the House as a whole, as I do not think your Lordships have any knowledge of it. I am sorry that my noble friend Lord Strathclyde [Leader of the House] is not with us at the moment, because this deeply concerns him also.For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X. That is not its real name, but it will do for the moment. Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City firm, which is FSA controlled. Its chairman came to me and said, “We have this extraordinary request to assist in a major financial reconstruction. It is megabucks, but we need your help to assist us in understanding whether this business is legitimate”. I had the biggest put-down of my life from my noble friend Lord Strathclyde when I told him this story. He said, “Why you? You’re not important enough to have the answer to a question like that”. He is quite right, I am not important enough, but the answer to the next question was, “You haven’t got the experience for it”. Yes I do. I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and funny money that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of pounds of terrorist money.

Baroness Hollis of Heigham [Labour]: Where did it go to?

Lord James of Blackheath
: Not into my pocket. My biggest terrorist client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1 billion of its money. I have also had extensive connections with north African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediately call the Bank of England as my defence witness, given that it put me in to deal with these problems.

Read moreDid somebody just try to buy the British government?

YouTube begins removing al-Qaeda videos after UK Government contacted White House

YouTube has begun removing al-Qaeda videos from its website after the British Government contacted the White House to complain about the material.

A number of clips by Anwar al-Awlaki, believed to have been the mastermind of the cargo bomb plot, were deleted from the video sharing site last night. However scores more, including incendiary calls to wage war on non-Muslims, remain.

A Google search for one of the most provocative videos – entitled 44 Ways to Support Jihad – on Google brings up more than a hundred results from YouTube. Two of the three top results have now been blocked although the bulk of the rest remain available.

Users clicking on the deleted content were confronted with a message saying “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s terms of service.”

YouTube says its community guidelines “prohibit dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech or incitement to commit specific and serious acts of violence”.

A source at Google, which owns the video sharing site, confirmed that staff had begun to take down al-Awlaki’s videos after being alerted by the Telegraph’s report.

Read moreYouTube begins removing al-Qaeda videos after UK Government contacted White House

Canada: Tories Reintroduce ISP Intercept Bill (Intercept Online Communications, Get Personal Information From ISPs Without Warrant)


Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announces legislation, designed to help law enforcement and national security agencies tackle internet crime, in Ottawa on Monday. (CBC)

The federal Conservatives have reintroduced legislation that would allow police and intelligence officials to intercept online communications and get personal information from internet service providers (ISPs) about their subscribers without first obtaining a warrant.

“New and evolving technologies provide new ways of committing crimes, making them harder to investigate,” said Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, while announcing the legislation in Ottawa. “Criminals continue to find new ways to evade the law. Our Criminal Code and other federal legislation must be updated.”

Together, the two bills will help target child sexual predators, distributors of pornography and identity thieves, added Dave MacKenzie, parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. The bills would also aim to disrupt those who would use the internet to plan terrorism.

The Investigative Power for the 21st Century Act would:

  • Allow police to identify all network nodes and jurisdictions involved in data transmission and trace the communications back to a suspect.
  • Force ISPs to keep data temporarily so that it isn’t lost or deleted before law enforcement agencies return with a search warrant or production order to obtain it.
  • Make it illegal to possess a computer virus for the purpose of committing a criminal offence.
  • Enhance international co-operation to help Canadian authorities investigate alleged crime that goes beyond its borders.

Its partner, the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act, would:

  • Force ISPs to install interception systems in their networks, making it easier for law enforcement or national security agencies to intercept information.
  • Provide police with “timely access” to personal information about subscribers, including names, address and internet addresses, without the need for a warrant.

Concerns about civil liberty

The bills have the “strong and united support” of police chiefs across Canada, said Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who was also present at the announcement.

While “the overwhelming majority” of internet providers co-operate already with police, “at the current time they don’t have legislative authority to co-operate with us,” he said.

When asked to provide an example in which the legislation could be helpful, Blair pointed to cases of child pornography.

Often, those distributing such pornography shield their identities by sharing information through a variety of networks, Blair said, adding that the new legislation could help law enforcement agencies pierce through those shields more easily.

“The mandated disclosure of personal information” by ISPs is a major concern, said Michael Geist, a law professor who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa.

“That type of approach is open to abuse, and I don’t think it strikes the right balance,” Geist told CBC News. “There is a significant price to be paid, and sadly, scant evidence that a) we’ve got a problem, and b) that this is going to do very much about it.”

“If you were serious about dealing with cyber crime … it’s not new legislation that’s needed. It‘s the resources for law enforcement that’s needed.”

Daniel Petit, Nicholson’s parliamentary secretary, said the legislation “addresses Canadians’ privacy concerns by including strict privacy safeguards.” In the case of the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act, that includes stricter requirements for obtaining judicial authorization to obtain data relating to suspect’s location, he said.

Numerous attempts

This is the fourth time this type of legislation has been introduced.

Nicholson introduced the same legislation on June 18, 2009. It died after Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Parliament in on Dec. 30, 2009 in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Similar bills were also launched previously by the Harper government, as well as by the Liberal Party under then prime minister Paul Martin. The legislation stalled on both occasions.

Nicholson acknowledged “it has been difficult” to get the legislation passed, but said he is buoyed by the new composition of the Senate, where Conservatives hold 52 of 105 seats.

“I’m confident we can move forward and get this bill passed,” he said.

Last Updated: Monday, November 1, 2010 | 6:24 PM ET

Source: CBC NEWS

Report: Imaginary Cows And Non-Existant Lemon Groves ‘Cost EU Taxpayers £1.2 Billion’

Imaginary cows and non-existant lemon groves are among the fraudulent claims for European Union funding that have cost taxpayers £1.2bn in the last year, a new report shows.


In one case, thousands of pounds was paid out to livestock owners in Slovenia for ‘non-existent’ cattle Photo: GETTY

The number of “irregular payments” last year doubled and are now costing taxpayers £3.3 million a day.

According to the European Commission’s Fight Against Fraud report irregularities and fraud in the Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for half the EU budget, cost £108.5m, up 23 per cent.

However, the worst area for fraud in 2009 was “cohesion policy”, where funds go to Europe’s poorest regions and which takes up more than one third of the whole EU budget.

Suspected fraud and irregularities here cost £1.06bn last year, an increase of 109 per cent on the previous year. About two-thirds of alleged EU fraud concerns six countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Read moreReport: Imaginary Cows And Non-Existant Lemon Groves ‘Cost EU Taxpayers £1.2 Billion’

Irish Bond Yields Shooting To Record And Another Prof. Warns That It’s Just One Month Until Endgame

Irish 10-year yields are shooting to new records this morning.

What’s going on? Now another University College Dublin professor, Karl Whelan, is warning that things could collapse in one month when the Irish budget is due.

Yesterday it was Colm McCarthy, also a UCD professor, making similar comments that got people nervous again.

Joe Weisenthal | Nov. 2, 2010, 4:47 AM

Source:  The Business Insider

Al-Qaida (CIA) Bombs Too Sophisticated For X-Rays

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US.”
– Robin Cook, Former British Foreign Secretary

Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist or How The US Created Al Qaeda (Documentary)


Counter-terrorism officials admit blind spot in international aviation security over devices smuggled onto cargo planes


Theresa May during a speech at the Conservative conference Home secretary Theresa May has announced a review of air cargo security. Photograph: Nils Jorgensen / Rex Features

Senior counter-terrorism officials warned that al-Qaida has exposed a blind spot in international aviation security by successfully smuggling bombs onto commercial cargo planes bound for the US.

One official told the Guardian that the bomb inside a computer printer discovered at East Midlands airport on Friday, en route from Yemen to Chicago, was “one of the most sophisticated we’ve seen … The naked eye won’t pick it up, experienced bomb officers did not see it, x-ray screening is highly unlikely to catch it.”

Saudi Arabian intelligence was tipped off by an informant leading to the discovery of the devices at East Midlands airport and Dubai airport. A special team of officers from MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, which works closely with the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism branch, was activated as soon as the Saudi Arabian authorities tipped off US and UK intelligence agencies.

The home secretary, Theresa May, said the devices could have exploded over the UK or the US as it emerged that the bomb found in the UK was first missed by investigators and was only picked up during a second check.

Read moreAl-Qaida (CIA) Bombs Too Sophisticated For X-Rays

Fed QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony

Commentary:

“By a continuing process of inflation , governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
– John Maynard Keynes

Quantitative easing = printing money = creating money out of thin air = increasing the money supply = inflation = hidden tax on monetary assets = theft.

The US is totally broke.

Prof. Kotlikoff: ‘The US is bankrupt’, Government Debt At $200 Trillion – 840 Percent of Current GDP

US Debt Has Increased $5 Trillion Since Speaker Pelosi Vowed, ‘No New Deficit Spending’

Three Horrifying Facts About the US Debt ‘Situation’

#3: The US will Default on its Debt

… either that or experience hyperinflation. There is simply no other option. We can NEVER pay off our debts. To do so would require every US family to pay $31,000 a year for 75 years.

Bear in mind, I’m completely ignoring the debt we took on with the nationalization of Fannie and Freddie, AIG, and the slew of other garbage we nationalized or shifted onto the Fed’s balance sheet. And yet we’re STILL talking about every US family making $31,000 in debt payments per year for 75 years to pay off our national debt.

Obviously that ain’t going to happen.

Finally real change is coming!


As the US Federal Reserve meets today to decide whether its next blast of quantitative easing should be $1 trillion or a more cautious $500bn, it does so knowing that China and the emerging world view the policy as an attempt to drive down the dollar.


QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony Photo: AFP

The Fed’s “QE2” risks accelerating the demise of the dollar-based currency system, perhaps leading to an unstable tripod with the euro and yuan, or a hybrid gold standard, or a multi-metal “bancor” along lines proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s.

China’s commerce ministry fired an irate broadside against Washington on Monday. “The continued and drastic US dollar depreciation recently has led countries including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand to intervene in the currency market, intensifying a ‘currency war’. In the mid-term, the US dollar will continue to weaken and gaming between major currencies will escalate,” it said.

David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC, said the root problem is lack of underlying demand in the global economy, leaving Western economies trapped near stalling speed. “There are no policy levers left. Countries are having to tighten fiscal policy, and interest rates are already near zero. The last resort is a weaker currency, so everybody is trying to do it,” he said.

Read moreFed QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony

‘Body Worlds’ Anatomist Sells Body Parts Online

Look where he got the bodies from and then better not dig deeper:

In 2008, the front page of the exhibition website had a disclaimer describing the presumed origin of the bodies and fetuses:

Disclaimer:
-This exhibit displays human remains of Chinese citizens or residents which were originally received by the Chinese Bureau of Police. The Chinese Bureau of Police may receive bodies from Chinese prisons. Premier cannot independently verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons.

-This exhibit displays full body cadavers as well as human body parts, organs, fetuses and embryos that come from cadavers of Chinese citizens or residents. With respect to the human parts, organs, fetuses and embryos you are viewing, Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons.

Source: Wikipedia


BERLIN (Reuters) – Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist famous for his controversial Body World exhibition displaying plastinated bodies, is now selling human and animal body parts — even as jewelry — online.

The move has provoked strong condemnation from German churches which accuse him of degrading human dignity.

A whole body from www.plastination-products.com costs about 70,000 euros ($97,400), torsos start at 55,644 euros and heads come in at around 22,000 euros each — excluding postage and packaging.

For those on a tighter budget, transparent body slices are available from 115 euros each.


Gunther von Hagens

But these real body parts — which have undergone plastination, a process which replaces water and fat with plastic for preservation purposes — are not available to everyone.

Only “qualified users” who can provide written proof that they intend to use the parts for research, teaching or medical purposes can place an order.

Read more‘Body Worlds’ Anatomist Sells Body Parts Online

Brazilians to be forced to use RFID chips and GPS trackers in their cars

Brazil‘s government, behind the facade of open democracy, continues to advance its way as one of the most autoritarian police states in the world.

Brazilian population will be forced very soon to have in their cars identification chips (RFID), as well as GPS locators and blockers.

According to several news , the brazilian government hurries to show until november of 2010 the GPS tracker that will be legally required to be in all new cars from February of 2011.

It is unclear how this will work but in this article of the Folha de Sao Paulo says the Denatran (Transit National Department) will oversee the center, and that it will be operated by Serpro (organ of government for data processing). This means that the brazilian government can access the location of any car registered in the country!

Read moreBrazilians to be forced to use RFID chips and GPS trackers in their cars

The BBC Nuclear Bunker They Don’t Want You to Know About

See also:

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Apocalypse Bunker Mentality: The Ultimate Underground Shelter

Derinkuyu, the mysterious underground city of Turkey


Who knew that, 10 storeys beneath a Worcestershire hill, the corporation is ready for Armageddon?


Matthew Bell skulks around Wood Norton

It all makes sense, once you know what you’re looking at. The 200 acres of thickly wooded hillside, inaccessible by public footpath; the radio mast strategically poking out on top; the hidden entrance, just off the A44 near Evesham, in Worcestershire, surrounded by CCTV cameras and a high-security barrier. But to the passing motorist, there is nothing about Wood Norton Hall to identify it as the site of the BBC’s secret nuclear bunker.

Who knew there even was such a thing? The BBC would certainly rather we didn’t. It emerged recently that, from tomorrow, the continuity announcers at Radio 4 will decamp there for three weeks while a £1bn refurbishment is finished at Broadcasting House, London. However, a corporation source declined to confirm or deny the story. They would rather not discuss what goes on at Wood Norton, she said, and no, The Independent on Sunday was certainly not welcome to come and visit.

So, what don’t they want us to see?

According to the official line, Wood Norton is a training camp, where sound engineers are sent for residential weekends. That is certainly one function: zoom in on Google Earth and you see a compound of modern buildings nestled in the woods which, according to engineers who have visited the site, are equipped with the latest high-tech facilities. Other blocks house accommodation and a canteen. But it’s what you can’t see from above the ground that is intriguing.

Buried 10 storeys into the hillside is a fully functioning nuclear bunker, built at great expense in 1966, at the height of the Cold War. So few people knew of its existence that, even when it was being built, visiting trainees were told not to ask why all that concrete was being mixed. Those involved in its construction were obliged to sign the Official Secrets Act, and even now you won’t get a peep out of the BBC press office to acknowledge the reality.

Read moreThe BBC Nuclear Bunker They Don’t Want You to Know About