Boris Nemtsov R.I.P.

The funeral is due to be held of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in Moscow. The service at Moscow’s Troyekurovskoye Cemetery will follow a public ceremony at the Andrei Sakharov rights centre. Mr Nemtsov, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was killed on a bridge near the Kremlin wall on Friday night. Several prominent foreign and Russian figures have been prevented from attending the funeral.

We are told that he is the great campaigner for democracy. What a load of bullshit! No politician is interested in democracy. What they are all trying to do is con the electors into believing that there really is a democracy. In fact all politicians want to do is to concentrate the power into the hands of a limited group of people. They are financed only by the evil powers of business ; namely arms companies, drug companies and oil and gas companies. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The payback is to create havoc in the world where innocent people are killed by destroying “dictatorships” and all in the name of “democracy” One has to accept the lesser of all evils “dictatorships and royalists” so that we don’t have huge amounts of people being slaughtered and pushed around and sadly turned into refugees. The axis of real evil is in fact the money power club and peace unfortunately doesn’t pay. The money power club classifies the likes of Putin and other rulers as undesirable because it ends up having no control. Remember back in August 1939 when Hitler and Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and they agreed to split Poland between themselves. The German minorities were being slaughtered by the Poles and when eventually the invasion happen

Gemalto needs to thank Edward Snowden

Sim card firm confirms hack attack

The Dutch Sim card maker at the centre of NSA-GCHQ hacking claims has said it believes that the US and UK cyberspy agencies did indeed launch attacks on its computer systems. In a statement, Gemalto said it had carried out a “thorough investigation” following the claims, which were based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. “The investigation into the intrusion methods described in the document and the sophisticated attacks that Gemalto detected in 2010 and 2011 give us reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ probably happened,” the company said.

Sim cards pirated by government agencies

US and British intelligence agencies illegally hacked into a major manufacturer of Sim cards to steal codes and facilitate eavesdropping on mobiles, a US news website says. The Intercept website said that the information came from former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The company allegedly targeted – Gemalto – says it is taking the allegations “very seriously”. It operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. The Intercept says that “the great Sim heist” gave US and British surveillance agencies “the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data”. It says that among the clients of the Netherlands-based company are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and “some 450 wireless network providers around the world”. The Intercept claims that the hack organised by Britain’s GCHQ and America’s National Security Agency took place in 2010. Neither agency has commented on the allegations. The stolen encryption allowed the agencies to decode data that passes between mobile phones and cell towers. They were able to un-garble calls, texts or emails intercepted out of the air.A Gemalto spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency that while the company was not targeted “per se”, there was “an attempt to try and cast the widest net possible to reach as many mobile phones as possible”. “We take this publication very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope of such highly sophisticated techniques to try to obtain Sim card data,” she said. Correspondents say that the revelations are highly embarrassing for the agencies, because they give the impression that they will do whatever is required to improve their surveillance powers, even if that means stealing data from law-abiding Western firms. Gemalto makes Sim cards for mobile phones and furnishes service providers with encryption codes to keep the data on each phone private.The Intercept claims that by first cyber-stalking employees at Gemalto and then penetrating their emails, the spy agencies were able to steal thousands of encryption keys at source. Apparently this would allow them to eavesdrop easily on phone calls and texts without seeking permission from telecoms companies or foreign governments, and without leaving a trace. The Intercept cites as its source documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who is currently living in Russia.

Impatience

Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience.

Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age.
Behold her appearance and her attire. Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eyebrows sit cheerfulness and joy. Her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, despising and laughing him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross. She rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace.

Assange stupidity

Scotland Yard has spent about £10m providing a 24-hour guard at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed asylum there, figures show.
Mr Assange, who denies allegations he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden, faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.
A Wikileaks spokesman said the policing costs were “embarrassing”.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Mr Assange should go to Sweden and “face justice”.
Between June 2012 and October 2014, direct policing costs were £7.3m, with £1.8m spent on overtime, police said.
Scotland Yard confirmed the cost of the operation to UK taxpayers in the first 28 months, until 31 October last year, had reached £9m.
The cost of a further three months policing is now expected to have taken the total bill to about £10m. The figures – which equate to more than £10,000 a day – were obtained by LBC radio under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It is embarrassing to see the UK government spending more on surveillance and detaining an uncharged political refugee than on its investigation into the Iraq war, which killed hundreds of thousands,” WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said.
Speaking on the “Call Clegg” show on LBC radio on Thursday, Nick Clegg said it was a “frustrating” situation, both for the British taxpayer and the Swedish government.
“[Sweden] is a country of impeccable democratic credentials with a well-respected judicial system that says [Julian Assange] should go to Sweden to face very serious allegations and charges of potential rape,” he said.
“Of course the right thing for him to do is to do that, is to face justice.”
Mr Assange has attacked Sweden, saying the country had “imported Guantanamo’s most shameful legal practice – indefinite detention without charge.”
In August last year, Mr Assange indicated he would “soon” leave the embassy, where he has now been for more than 950 days, but he remains inside.
Julian Assange with philosopher and writer Noam Chomsky
Mr Assange appeared with American writer Noam Chomsky on the balcony of the embassy last year
Swedish authorities want to question Mr Assange over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture in 2010.
A Swedish appeal court upheld an arrest warrant against Mr Assange in November last year.
UK courts have repeatedly ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden to face questioning.
But Mr Assange fears he could be extradited to the US to face charges over the release of top-secret documents by Wikileaks.
He entered the embassy after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his bid to reopen his appeal against extradition.
He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012
He has been warned he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy, prompting the 24-hour guard by Metropolitan Police officers.

Report on phony “Weapons on destruction”

This report will reveal embarrassing secrets and information but will it confirm the financial and political reasons of this invasion. Iraq and Libya should have been left to deal with their own problems. The west cannot continue to impose its own “democracy” on undeveloped countries and expect a peaceful outcome. Dictators should have been helped and nudged but NOT taken out.
The west is responsible for these blood baths and the ISIS uprising together with the Boko Haram massacres. Western politicians need to be brought to trial and their conflicts of interest and true reasons for these invasions revealed. The public will not like the results of this report. The problem will be the trials of the responsible and holding them accountable.
Iraq War British sponsored report “not before the general election on May”
Sir John Chilcot began his work in 2009
The official inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War will not publish its long-awaited report before the general election, it is understood. Sir John Chilcot was expected to confirm in a letter to David Cameron that it would be delayed until after the election on 7 May. The inquiry began its work in 2009 and held its last public hearing in 2011. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the delay was “incomprehensible”. The Liberal Democrat leader said that the public would assume the delay was caused by those criticised in the report attempting to “sex it down”. The prime minister is to write a letter to the inquiry to “restate his frustration” at delay in publication and to say the report should have been published before the election, sources have told the BBC. The inquiry has been looking into the reasons for the UK’s involvement in the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein and the aftermath of the conflict, which saw UK troops remain in Iraq until 2009. MPs have demanded that the report be published before voters go to the polls in May. However, Nick Robinson said the process of giving witnesses time to respond to allegations against them, which began last autumn, cannot be completed in time for this to happen. He said he expected Sir John to set out the reasons why the report could not be completed in time, a development first reported by the Guardian, on Wednesday. Ministers had made it clear that the report would have to be finished by the end of February to allow enough debate on its contents before Parliament rises at the end of March ahead of the election.

Ebola

IMG_0055.GIF
Africa is slowly becoming a sex-free, no kiss, no hand-shake, no touch zone.
François Hollande, the French president, is in Guinea today and Senegal tomorrow….shaking hands and kissing cheeks ?

The head of the UN Ebola response mission in West Africa has told news channels that there is still a “huge risk” the deadly disease could spread to other parts of the world. Tony Banbury declined to say if targets he had set in the fight against Ebola, to be achieved by Monday, had been met. The targets were for the proportion of people being treated and for the safe burial of highly infectious bodies. The UN boss was speaking in Freetown, one of the worst affected areas. On Sunday in Sierra Leone’s capital, bulldozers were clearing large areas for a new burial ground. At the clearance site, near a rubbish tip, car after car was arriving with bodies, and several hundred workers were digging graves. Health workers wearing Ebola protective gear remove the body of a man that they suspect died from the Ebola virus in Liberia More than 6,000 people have now died from Ebola, the vast majority in this corner of West Africa In October, Mr Banbury told the UN Security Council that by 1 December, “70% of all those infected by the disease must be under treatment and 70% of the victims safely buried if the outbreak is to be successfully arrested”. This interim goal – the ultimate UN goal is zero Ebola deaths – was set to try to bend down the upward curve in the graph of cases. Mr Banbury said the 70% targets were being met in “the vast majority” of areas in the three worst-affected countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. “But in some areas”, he said, “including here in Sierra Leone – especially in the capital Freetown and in the town of Port Loko – we are falling short. And it is in those areas where we really need to focus our assets and our capabilities”. More than 6,000 people have now died from Ebola, the vast majority in this corner of West Africa, and over 16,000 have been infected. The latest figures show that between 200 and 300 people are still dying every week. But Mr Banbury said the situation would have been even worse if the UN had not intervened: “Early on we adopted a strategy to get this crisis under control which involves treatment centres, safe burials and community mobilisation. That strategy is working.”
The American UN boss added that, even so, “there is a huge risk to the world that Ebola will spread. It may spread around this sub-region, or someone could get on a plane to Asia, Latin America, North America or Europe… that is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible”.

Today’s headlines at G20 in Oz

The dynamic duo Cameron and Obama are warning the big boys Putin and Xi Jinping.
Political camoflage for the benefit of the electorate because they have no cojones !

David Cameron warns Russia of more Ukraine sanctions.
“Russia could face further sanctions unless it stops “destabilising” Ukraine” dixit David Cameron

Obama warns of Asia ‘intimidation’ as summit begins
US President Obama: “Choices are conflict or co-operation, oppression or liberty. Asia’s security must not be based on intimidation, where big nations bully small ones.”

Five banks fined £2bn by regulators over forex failings

This is a total scam as the biggest culprits are the central banks. Currency rigging by central banks is going on as i write and has been going on for centuries. Each currency for every government hides a hidden agenda and this agenda has to be defended. Manipulation via interest rates or other means has always been used and will continue to be done by the central banks to defend its country’s overall well-being or not… ;-)

Five banks have been collectively fined £2bn by UK and US regulators for traders’ attempted manipulation of foreign exchange rates.
HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and US banks JP Morgan Chase and Citibank have all been fined.
A separate probe into Barclays is continuing.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued the fines.
Separately, the Swiss regulator, FINMA, has penalised UBS 134m Swiss francs. Barclays, which had been expected to announce a similar deal to the other banks, said it would not be settling at this time.
“After discussions with other regulators and authorities, we have concluded that it is in the interests of the company to seek a more general coordinated settlement,” it said in a statement. FCA boss Martin Wheatley told the BBC: “This isn’t the end of the story. The individuals themselves will face the consequences,” he said. Several senior traders at the banks have already been put on leave and the Serious Fraud Office is in the process of preparing potential criminal charges against those alleged to have masterminded the scheme. The fines follow a year-long investigation by regulators into claims that the foreign exchange market – in which banks and other financial firms buy and sell currencies between one another – was being rigged.
The massive market, in which $5.3 trillion worth of currencies are traded daily, dwarfs the stock and bond markets.
About 40% of the world’s dealing is estimated to go through trading rooms in London. There is no physical forex marketplace and nearly all trading takes place on electronic systems operated by the big banks and other providers. Daily “spot benchmarks” known as “fixes” are used by a wide range of financial and non-financial firms to, for example help value assets or manage currency risk. The FCA fined the five banks a total of £1.1bn, the largest fine imposed by it or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority.
“At the heart of today’s action is our finding that the failings at these banks undermine confidence in the UK financial system and put its integrity at risk,” the FCA said. The US regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has fined the same banks a total of more than $1.4bn (£900m).
“The setting of a benchmark rate is not simply another opportunity for banks to earn a profit. Countless individuals and companies around the world rely on these rates to settle financial contracts,” said the CFTC’s director of enforcement Aitan Goelman.
Chancellor George Osborne says “tough action” is being taken to “clean up corruption in the City by a few” Both regulators found the attempted manipulation of the foreign exchange market had been going on for several years, with the FCA saying the failings occurred between 1 January 2008 and 15 October 2013. The CFTC said its investigation found the traders’ misconduct took place between 2009 and 2012. They found certain foreign exchange traders at the banks had coordinated their trading with one another to attempt to manipulate benchmark foreign exchange rates. The CFTC said traders had used private online chat rooms to communicate. They had disclosed confidential customer order information and trading positions, and altered their positions accordingly to “benefit the interests of the collective group”.
The FCA said the “tight knit groups” formed by traders at the different banks had used code names for clients including “the 3 musketeers”, “the A-team” and “1 team, 1 dream”.
It said traders had attempted to manipulate the relevant currency rate in the market, for example to ensure that the rate at which the bank had agreed to sell a particular currency to its clients was higher than the average rate it had bought the currency. “If successful, the bank would profit,” the FCA added.
The banks all issued statements following the fines:
The Royal Bank of Scotland said it had placed six individuals into a disciplinary process and suspended three of them pending its own further investigation. Chief executive Ross McEwan said the bank had fallen “well short” of the standards he expected.
HSBC said it “does not tolerate improper conduct and will take whatever action is appropriate”.
UBS said it had taken “appropriate disciplinary action” against employees involved in the matter.
JP Morgan said the trader conduct described in the settlements was “unacceptable”. It added it had made “significant improvements” to its systems and controls
Citigroup said it had “acted quickly” once it became aware of the issues. “We have already made changes to our systems, controls and monitoring processes,” it added.
Chancellor George Osborne said the fines “would be used for the wider public good”.
“Today we take tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone. It’s part of a long term plan that is fixing what went wrong in Britain’s banks and our economy,” he added.
However, Professor Mark Taylor, a former foreign exchange trader and now dean at Warwick Business School, said the fines were “relatively small beer for banks that regularly report billions of dollars in annual profit”.
“The interesting thing is that there are no individuals named as yet, and no individual prosecutions. This is still a possibility and it will be interesting to see how that pans out. At the moment, it’s really only the shareholders – which in the case of RBS means British taxpayers – who suffer from these fines,” he added.
And here is more crap to confirm my words at the top of this page……Bullshit !! ;-)
Separately, the Bank of England – which had been accused of knowing about the foreign exchange scandal, but doing nothing about it – published a separate report by Lord Grabiner, (He was member of the Bank of England Financial Services Law Committee from 2002 to 2005 ! ) clearing its officials. “There was no evidence that any Bank of England official was involved in any unlawful or improper behaviour in the foreign exchange market,” it said.
It said the suspension of the Bank’s chief dealer in March, and his subsequent dismissal on 11 November was unrelated to the foreign exchange scandal. “The individual’s dismissal was as a result of information that came to light during the course of the Bank’s initial internal review into allegations relating to the FX market and Bank staff. This information was related to the Bank’s internal policies, not to FX,” a Bank spokesperson said.