Author Archive: mrdsk

France to send heavy artillery to Iraq in fight against ISIS

Al Jazeera reports:

French President Francois Hollande has said that France will send heavy artillery to Iraq to support the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Hollande announced the plan on Friday, saying the artillery equipment “will be in place next month”.

Ground forces will not be deployed in the country, Hollande said, following a high-level security meeting in Paris, his fourth since the ISIL-claimed lorry attack in Nice on July 14, which killed 84 people.

The president also reiterated that the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle would be deployed in the region in late September to help in ongoing operations against ISIL, also known as ISIS.

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U.S. Insists Airstrikes Against Syria’s Manbij Will Continue Despite Civilian Deaths

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

With growing disquiet among their allies over a Tuesday morning flurry of airstrikes that killed scores, and potentially hundreds, of innocent civilians around the Syrian city of Manbij, the US was facing calls from its own allies within Syria to immediately suspend their air campaign for the sake of an investigation.

US officials, however, insist that’s not going to happen, with Army Col. Christopher Garver insisting that the US airstrikes against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria will continue unchanged despite the reports of huge civilian casualties.

It’s perhaps unsurprising, as the US rarely reacts to their most glaring blunders with actual policy changes, instead doubling down and offering a series of blanket denials and flimsy excuses for what happened, and spurning any suggestion of a change being necessary.

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ISIS Attack on Afghan Shi’ite Protest Kills 80, Wounds 231

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

A public protest by Afghanistan’s Shi’ite Hazara minority in Kabul turned tragic today, when ISIS launched a suicide bombing against the demonstration, killing at least 80 people and wounding at least 231 others.

The Hazaras were protesting over the planned route of a power transmission line from Turkmenistan to Kabul, calling for it to be rerouted through a pair of provinces with large Shi’ite populations to ensure the electricity supply there. The government has argued this change in route would take years and cost millions of dollars more.

ISIS was quick to claim credit for the attack, saying a pair of suicide bombers with explosive belts got into the crowd and detonated, causing huge casualties. The death toll is the single deadliest attack on the Shi’ite minority during the entire US occupation.

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Munich gunman fixated on mass killing, had no Islamist ties

Joern Poltz and Karin Strohecker report for Reuters:

A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on TwitterA German-Iranian teenager who shot dead nine people in Munich was a deranged lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy, police said on Saturday.

The 18-year-old, born and raised locally, opened fire near a busy shopping mall on Friday evening, triggering a lockdown in the Bavarian state capital.

Seven of his victims were themselves teenagers, who police said he may have lured to their deaths via a hacked Facebook account on what was the fifth anniversary of twin attacks by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik that killed 77 people.

The Munich shooting, in which a further 27 people were wounded, some seriously, was the third act of violence against civilians in Western Europe – and the second in southern Germany – in eight days.

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The CIA’s first captive after 9/11 describes his years of torture

Jason Leopold reports for VICE News:

[…] Abu Zubaydah, 45, a Saudi national who was the CIA’s first captive following the 9/11 attacks, served as the guinea pig for what the CIA euphemistically referred to as its “enhanced interrogation” program. The details about Abu Zubaydah’s treatment were revealed in a sworn, eight-page declaration [PDF at the end of this story] he provided to his attorney in 2009 that was filed under seal in US District Court in Washington, DC seven years ago in his habeas corpus case in which his attorneys have argued for his release.

That declaration was unsealed one week ago, prepared for public release in response to a motion filed earlier this year by investigative journalist Raymond Bonner, who convinced the federal judge presiding over Abu Zubaydah’s case to unseal dozens of court filings that have been shrouded in secrecy since 2008.

The judge who previously oversaw the case, Richard Roberts, failed to rule on nearly every motion Abu Zubaydah’s attorneys have filed over the past seven years. He abruptly retired from the bench as chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia on March 16, the same day a woman filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago when she was 16 years old.

The partially redacted declaration was attached as an exhibit to a 21-page motion his attorneys filed on September 21, 2009 asking the court to impose sanctions against the government for destroying “material evidence” — nearly 100 interrogation videotapes, at least one of which showed Abu Zubaydah being waterboarded.

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A Tectonic Shift in Conservative World: Trump Accepts Nomination as Roger Ailes Ousted from Fox News

When Fox News Chair Roger Ailes, amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment, resigned on the same day the Republican Party welcomed its new presidential candidate, Amy Goodman got the reactions of several top TV news hosts who are in Cleveland covering the convention, including Jake Tapper of CNN, Shepard Smith of Fox News, Willie Geist of NBC, John Heilemann of Bloomberg and Chris Matthews of MSNBC. (Democracy Now!)

Ex-KKK leader and Trump-backer David Duke to run for Senate seat in Louisiana

Amber Jamieson reports for The Guardian:

The former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke announced on Monday that he is running for a US Senate seat in Louisiana.

In a video, the former KKK grand wizard said, “I’m proud to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate.”

“I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European Americans.” He added that he was “overjoyed” to see the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, embrace his ideas.

“I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years” said Duke, a white supremacist who has backed Trump’s presidency in recent months.

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Leaked Docs Reveal DNC Determined to Undermine Sanders Campaign

Andrea Germanos reports for Common Dreams:

WikiLeaks on Friday published roughly 20,000 leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The whistleblowing organization describes the trove, which includes over 8,000 attachments, as “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series,” and is just the latest in a series of document dumps that show the DNC—which, as the The Intercept notes, “isn’t supposed to favor one Democratic candidate over another until they receive a nomination”—seeking to bolster the candidacy of the former secretary of state and working against that of rivalBernie Sanders.

It is unclear at this point whether the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who claimed responsibility for two previous leaks from the DNC servers, provided the latest documents to WikiLeaks.

The new leaks span from January 2015 to May 2016, and come from what WikiLeaks describes as “the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC.

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Clinton Inflames Progressive Base with Choice of Tim Kaine as Vice President

Jon Queally reports for Common Dreams:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) wave to the crowd during a campaign rally at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, U.S., on July 14, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)Hillary Clinton‘s Friday night announcement of Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her vice-presidential running mate stirred immediate disappointment and outrage among the progressive wing of her party and the army of supporters inspired by Bernie Sanders‘ historic and visionary campaign.

“I’m thrilled to tell you,” Clinton texted those on her mailing list just before 8:15 PM EDT on Friday evening: “I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate.”

Reporting in recent days increasingly signaled that Kaine was Clinton’s top choice, but the official announcement confirmed the worst fears of progressives who warned such a pick would be taken as “a pronounced middle finger” to the millions who voted for Sanders during the primary season. At stake, many critics of the choice indicate, are pressing issues—including reproductive rights, climate change, financial regulation, and corporate-friendly trade agreements—where Kaine holds positions far to the right of where they think the party, and the country, should be headed.

Instead of courting the energized progressive base activated and inspired by Sanders, Clinton’s choice was interpreted as a calculated affront to those potential voters.

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Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

Ben Tarnoff writes for The Guardian:

[…] Most of the media is baffled by Peter Thiel’s endorsement of Donald Trump. And it’s true that at first glance the two men aren’t an obvious match. Trump is an authoritarian populist who promises to abolish free trade. Thiel is a self-described libertarian who worships capitalism. Thiel is also one of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley – and Silicon Valley hates Trump.

So why would Thiel embrace Trump? So far, observers have offered two explanations. One is Thiel’s contrarianism; another is his lifelong crusade against “political correctness”. Thiel certainly enjoys courting controversy, whether it involves funding a lawsuit to destroy Gawker or funding a fellowship to induce kids to drop out of college. And Thiel shares Trump’s antipathy to the “politically correct” rhetoric of diversity and multiculturalism, as well as to affirmative action.

But neither of these reasons speak to Thiel’s deeper affinities with Trump. What Trump offers Thiel isn’t just an excuse to be contrary and politically incorrect. Trump gives Thiel something far more valuable: a way to fulfill his long-held ambition of saving capitalism from democracy.

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Does Trump Have a Subversive Partnership With Putin’s Propaganda Machine?

Jeff Stein reports for Newsweek:

The opponent wields a “firehose of falsehood” with “a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.” He “entertains, confuses and overwhelms the audience” with exaggerations and unfounded rumors. His technique is entirely new, confounding decades of conventional wisdom that says effective political messages should stay close to the truth.

Donald Trump? No, Vladimir Putin, who has piloted “a remarkable evolution in Russia’s approach to propaganda,” according to a new study from RAND, a think tank based in Santa Monica, California, which has been supplying the Pentagon and CIA with ideas since 1948. Despite ignoring past principles of propaganda, RAND says, Putin has “enjoyed some success” in his main goal: undermining Western unity, and specifically its military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.

His success stories: The rise of Moscow-backed right-wing “populist” movements in Europe, along with Western disunity over Ukraine, Turkey, Syria and how to deal with Syrian refugees. And now Donald Trump?

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U.S. Media Blames Putin Conspiracy for Homegrown Trump Phenomenon

Adam Johnson writes for AlterNet:

Donald Trump is the media’s favorite excuse to bash Official U.S. Enemies. His Rorschach politics that shift almost weekly allows overworked writers to project onto Trump whatever traits they need to make an analogy stick (and deadline met).

Over the past year Trump has been Nicolas MaduroJoseph Stalin, Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein, an African dictator,Bashar al-Assad, Bernie Sanders, Fidel Castro, Ayatollah Khomeini, Hugo Chavez(a dozen times!), Mao Zedong, a Chinese communist (present day), a Chinese communist (1980s), Caligula, Rodrigo Duterte, Jeremy Corbyn, Pinochet, Norse god LokiBrexit, Napoleon, Barry Goldwater, Mussolini, Nero, Andrew Jackson,Voldemort, Groucho Marx, Adolf Hitler, Moqtada al-Sadr, Joseph Goebbels, L. Ron Hubbard, King George III, Richard Nixon, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Basically the entire cast of Game of Thrones, Batman vs. Superman, and Donald Trump himself. Twice.

The Daily Beast alone has accused Trump of simultaneously being a communist, a fascist, an Iraqi Shia cleric, an Iranian Shia cleric, a Republican president from the ’70s, a Russian president from the present, a Roman emperor, and a cult leader.

Put simply, Trump is whomever we need him to be.

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Will Trump Policy Unravel Traditional Neocons?

Sharmini Peries speaks to economist Michael Hudson who says Donald Trump’s divergence from the conventional Republican platform is generating indignant punditry from neocons and neoliberals alike. (The Real News)

Alex Jones and Roger Stone Interrupt The Young Turks Republican National Convention Coverage

The first video shows Alex Jones and Roger Stone interrupting The Young Turks coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, while the second video shows Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, explaining what happened. The third video features Infowars’ take on the clash.

John Nichols: The GOP is More United in Disdain for Hillary Clinton Than in Support for Donald Trump

Amy Goodman speaks to The Nation’s John Nichols, and author of the new piece, ‘Trump Is Officially the GOP Nominee—but Republicans Aren’t Exactly Celebrating‘, about Donald Trump being official nominated as the Republican Party Presidential Candidate. (Democracy Now!)

Chris Christie Stages Mock Trial of Hillary Clinton Despite Corruption Charges Dogging His Own Staff

Amy Goodman speaks to Bob Hennelly, a political analyst and investigative reporter in New Jersey, about the state Governor Chris Christie and his staging of a mock trial of Hillary Clinton, but Christie is immersed in his own corruption scandal involving five of his appointees. (Democracy Now!)

In a Speech Filled with Fear and Xenophobia Donald Trump Accepts GOP Nomination

Amy Goodman speaks to three guests after Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination. David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of the forthcoming book The Making of Donald Trump, Jamil Smith is a senior national correspondent at MTV News, and Vincent Warren is an executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. (Democracy Now!)

Turkey’s secret pact with Islamic State exposed by operative behind wave of ISIS attacks

Nafeez Ahmed reports for INSURGE INTELLIGENCE:

New evidence has emerged that the Turkish government under President Erdogan is covertly providing direct military, financial and logistical support to ISIS, even while claiming to fight the terror network.

The evidence comes in the form of testimony from an ISIS terrorist captured by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, widely recognised as the most effective force confronting ISIS on the ground.

The testimony has been reported by two Kurdish news agencies, the Syrian-Kurdish Harwar News Agency (ANHA) based in Rojava, and the Turkish-Kurdish Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê (Firat News Agency or ANF News). The latter’s head office is based in Amsterdam.

Websites of both news agencies are blocked in Turkey.

Interviews with the ISIS fighter, captured by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), reveal that Turkish military and security forces are facilitating ISIS operations within Syria, as well as ISIS terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

The new testimony corroborates similar claims made by other former and active ISIS members, as well as Western and Middle East intelligence sources.

Yet Turkey is a leading member of the NATO alliance. And while the Western members of NATO have gathered mounting intelligence confirming Turkey’s sponsorship of ISIS, they have refused to act on this intelligence.

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In hot Acapulco, too many bodies in morgue’s fridges

AFP reports:

Soldiers stand guard along a street during an operation to help increase security and prevent violence in Acapulco, Mexico, October 27, 2015. Morgue workers lift a dismembered male body dumped on the street of a poor Acapulco neighborhood in broad daylight, then pick up his severed leg and a bag containing his head.

Placing the body parts in the back of a van, they drive away to the Mexican Pacific resort’s only coroner’s office, overflowing with scores of unidentified and unclaimed corpses.

Back inside the morgue’s cold chambers, bodies lie in pairs side by side on shelves meant to hold just one — grim evidence of the drug cartel-related killings swamping the authorities in Mexico’s murder capital.

Officials granted AFP journalists a rare visit last week, when a worker opened a set of refrigerator doors to reveal the bodies inside.

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63% of casualties in 2014 Gaza War were civilians, says B’Tselem report

Eliyahu Kamisher reports for the Jerusalem Post:

Two years after Operations Protective Edge, a B’Tselem report said 1,394, or 63 percent, of the 2,202 Palestinians killed by the IDF did not take part in the conflict.

This is lower than the figure cited by the United Nations and other NGOs of 70% but is still higher than Israeli intelligence estimates of 50%. Sixty-six soldiers and seven civilians were killed on the Israeli side.

The data gathered by B’Tselem, and released on Wednesday, was collected from field researchers in Gaza, cross-referenced with publicly available data.

This report is the first time B’Tselem has collected data on the war. Prior to this all casualty numbers were based on outside figures.

According to B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli the purpose of the report is to inform the Israeli public of the war’s high death toll.

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Panama to identify victims of 1989 U.S. invasion

AFP reports:

The government of Panama on Wednesday launched an independent commission to identify people killed or missing in the 1989 US invasion of the country that brought down dictator Manuel Noriega.

“There can be no reconciliation if the truth is not known,” Panama’s vice president and foreign minister, Isabel De Saint Malo, said.

“Panama is seeking to heal its wounds,” she added, speaking to a gathering of officials, religious leaders, some who lost kin or property in the invasion, and the UN representative to Panama.

There have been insistent calls in Panama for compensation from the US for the deaths and damage wrought in the invasion.

While the Panamanian government has not officially backed those demands, it has for the past two years pressed for a “reconciliation” effort.

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Saudi Arabia’s PR Machine Uses the 28 Pages to Blame Iran for 9/11 Attacks

Lee Fang reports for The Intercept:

Last Friday the U.S. government finally released 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report that detail possible ties between the Saudi Arabian government and the 9/11 hijackers.

The document lists various forms of assistance provided by Saudi agents to the hijackers, including help finding a flight school and various forms of financial support when the hijackers arrived in the United States. Many of the findings in the report have not been fully vetted as several of the Saudi agents named in the 28 pages have refused to cooperate.

But that has not stopped Saudi-funded lobbyists and media outlets from claiming that the disclosure of the 28 pages ends all speculation about the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terror attacks. Several outlets controlled by Saudi Arabia’s vast public relations machine are trumpeting the document as a vindication that closes the door on any suggestion that the Saudi government had any ties to the 9/11 terrorists.

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Why defense stocks could keep soaring no matter who wins the election

Rebecca Ungarino reports for CNBC:

Two defense stocks hit 52-week highs this week, and may be heading higher. In a time of international market volatility and global conflict, some analysts say defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications will continue to thrive. And the future of defense spending, and of these stocks, may not depend on who wins the election in November.

“I do think they will go higher,” Gina Sanchez of Chantico Global said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “The fundamentals support them; the fundamentals are rather scary fundamentals. … We have seen an increase in conflict around the world, and that has not only increased U.S. defense spending, but it’s also increased spending by its allies.”

“And if you look at both candidates, [Hillary] Clinton is hawkish, and she’s seen as likely supporting a strong military. And we know that [Donald] Trump is in favor of expanding the military, so I think the defense contractors on either side of that ticket are going to win.”

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Oil Industry CEO Claims Democrats Have Done More For Oil

Lincoln Brown reports for Oil Price:

Mike Sheffield PioneerWith the Republican National Convention set to wrap up on Thursday, and the Democratic National Convention getting ready to kick off in Philadelphia next week, one prominent oil executive is noting that the industry has fared better under Democrats than Republicans.

Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, says that he has noticed the trend during his 42 years in the business.

That may sound strange considering the two parties’ diverse platforms when it comes to energy. The Republican party is touting deregulation and has said that it does not support the Paris Climate Accords. Going a few steps further, the party has plans to defund renewable energy, and open public lands and the outer continental shelf to drilling. Additionally, the party also wants to leave the regulation of fracking and drilling to the states, and increase oil and gas exports.

Conversely, the Democrats are calling for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and oppose the expansion of oil and gas production. They also want to phase down energy production on public lands. The party supports the inquiries into the alleged “climate change cover-up” by Exxon Mobil, and wants to see the nation using only renewable energy by the middle of the century.

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CEOs Meet in Secret Over the Sorry State of Public Companies

Andrew Ross Sorkin reports for The New York Times:

Warren E. Buffett quietly walked through the lobby of JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan last summer and was ushered up to the 49th floor by a security guard, trying to avoid drawing too much attention. Laurence D. Fink, chairman of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager — with more than $4 trillion — soon was also escorted upstairs. Abby Johnson, the chief executive of Fidelity (which invests more than $2 trillion), and Frederick William McNabb III, chief of Vanguard ($3 trillion), were also shepherded to the elevator.

In all, the parade included about a dozen chief executives of investment firms — T. Rowe Price, State Street — plus the head of a public pension fund and an activist investor. All had arrived for a meeting that they were told they would absolutely have to keep secret.

When they reached the 49th floor, they were met by JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon.

The agenda — shaped over many conversations Mr. Dimon had had with his friend, Mr. Buffett — was to discuss the sorry state of publicly traded companies: too little trust and connection between shareholders and management, too many rules imposed by so-called governance experts and too many idiosyncratic accounting guidelines. As a result, much of the smart money in the United States is going — and staying — private, creating more companies that have less public accountability and transparency.

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Rich Countries Often Fail to Bolster Well-Being, Boston Consulting Says

Josh Robinson reports for Bloomberg:

With economic growth trending downward globally, many of the world’s largest economies are not converting what growth they have left into an increase in well-being for their citizens, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.

The SEDA, or Sustainable Economic Development Assessment ranks more than 160 countries across 10 areas including economic stability, health, governance and environment. It uses two measures, the first a current score taking into the most recent data and a rolling score that assesses how countries can convert economic growth into well-being over an eight year period from 2006 to 2014.

Ethiopia is at the top of list of countries that managed to convert growth to well-being since 2006 with Norway at the top of the list for the most recent data, according to Boston Consulting. The stark contrast between these two countries sets the trend for the two lists in some respects. Norway is ranked sixth globally in terms of gross domestic product per capita and Ethiopia is ranked 169th out of 187, according to the most recent IMF outlook.

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The Republican Platform’s Surprise Revival of Glass-Steagall Legislation

David Dayen reports for The Intercept:

The last-minute decision to include in the Republican platform a call to restore the firewall between commercial and investment banking comes as a surprise, because Donald Trump himself has never publicly addressed or endorsed such a reform in his year-long presidential run.

Trump did once say at a debate in New Hampshire, “nobody knows banking better than I do,” but a review of the transcripts of all 12 Republican debates shows that he never endorsed restoring Glass-Steagall, legislation first passed in 1933. Websites devoted to detailing Trump’s positions find no record of him having any opinion on the Depression-era law. The issues pages of Trump’s presidential website steer clear of anything related to banks or finance.

In fact, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who first leaked word that the platform would endorse the reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, ran a campaign consulting firm in the 1980s that helped elect to Congress Phil Gramm, co-author of Glass-Steagall’s repeal. (Gramm supported Ted Cruz in the GOP primaries.)

The measure is haphazardly attached to the end of a paragraph decrying regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency, National Labor Relations Board, Federal Communications Commission, and more. Tacking on a call to restore a law that prevents private corporations from particular lines of business suggests that there wasn’t much thought put into it before Monday.

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Revolving Doors Between Wall Street and Washington: Interview with Nomi Prins

Max Keiser talks to Nomi Prins, former banker and author of All the Presidents’ Bankers, about a solution to the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington D.C. They also discuss Hillary Clinton’s highly paid speeches to Goldman Sachs matter and whether or not Wall Street expects anything in return for its contributions to her campaign. (Keiser Report)

U.S. Seize $1 Billion In Embezzled Malaysian Assets Which Goldman Sachs Helped Buy

Tyler Durden writes for Zero Hedge:

FILE PHOTO --  A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoThe last time we wrote about the long-running saga of the scandalous collapse and constant corruption at the Malaysian state wealth fund, 1MDB, which also happened to be an unconfirmed slush fund for president Najib, was a month ago when we learned that the NY bank regulator was looking into fundraising by the fund’s favorite bank, Goldman Sachs. Then overnight, the story which already seemed like it has every possible angle of crime and corruption covered for a series of Hollywood action-adventure blockbusters, got a new twist when the DOJ announced it would seek to seize some $1 billion in assets from individuals affiliated with the fund as part of one of the largest seizures in US history.

The expected asset seizures would be the U.S. government’s first action tied to the 1MDB investigation. Among the properties the US is looking to confiscate, are Van Gogh paintings, Beverly Hills properties, a private jet, ultra high end real estate in NYC and LA, and the rights to profits from the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

The move by U.S. authorities to seize assets tied to an investment fund run by a foreign government would be a major escalation in Washington’s global efforts to fight corruption and block allegedly illegally obtained funds, facilitated by Goldman Sachs, from moving through the world’s financial system the WSJ adds.

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HSBC internal probe ‘cleared’ top forex traders

Martin Arnold and Caroline Binham and report for The Financial Times:

The HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters sits in the Canary Wharf business, financial and shopping district of London, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Europe's largest bank started considering whether to uproot its headquarters from London this year with the board mulling a rising tax burden, tougher regulation and the risk of Britain exiting the European Union in a referendum. Photographer: Simon Dawson/BloombergHSBC conducted its own investigation two years ago into a $3.5bn currency trade that US prosecutors now believe was criminally fraudulent but found nothing wrong with the transaction, according to people briefed on the internal HSBC probe.

The HSBC review, conducted in the wake of the global foreign exchange rigging scandal that erupted in 2013, was led by the law firm Cleary Gottlieb and found no breach of its code of conduct, the people said. HSBC declined to comment.

The bank is now reviewing that investigation of the $3.5bn trade to decide whether to support Mark Johnson, its global head of forex cash trading, who was arrested on Tuesday evening at John F. Kennedy airport in New York. Mr Johnson was later released on a $1m bond secured by $300,000 in cash and his house in the UK.

A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Stuart Scott, who was head of forex cash trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa until he was fired by HSBC for separate conduct issues in 2014.

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