Archive for April 30, 2011

Financial Heist of the Century:Confiscating Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Funds

by Manlio Dinucci

Global Research, April 24, 2011           Article Here:-

The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of “willing” of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages sovereign wealth funds estimated at about $70 billion U.S., rising to more than $150 billion if you include foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more. Even if they are lower than those of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, Libyan sovereign wealth funds have been characterized by their rapid growth. When LIA was established in 2006, it had $40 billion at its disposal. In just five years, LIA has invested over one hundred companies in North Africa, Asia, Europe, the U.S. and South America: holding, banking, real estate, industries, oil companies and others.

In Italy, the main Libyan investments are those in UniCredit Bank (of which LIA and the Libyan Central Bank hold 7.5 percent), Finmeccanica (2 percent) and ENI (1 percent), these and other investments (including 7.5 percent of the Juventus Football Club) have a significance not as much economically (they amount to some $5.4 billion) as politically.

Libya, after Washington removed it from the blacklist of “rogue states,” has sought to carve out a space at the international level focusing on “diplomacy of sovereign wealth funds.” Once the U.S. and the EU lifted the embargo in 2004 and the big oil companies returned to the country, Tripoli was able to maintain a trade surplus of about $30 billion per year which was used largely to make foreign investments. The management of sovereign funds has however created a new mechanism of power and corruption in the hands of ministers and senior officials, which probably in part escaped the control of the Gadhafi himself: This is confirmed by the fact that, in 2009, he proposed that the 30 billion in oil revenues go “directly to the Libyan people.” This aggravated the fractures within the Libyan government.

U.S. and European ruling circles focused on these funds, so that before carrying out a military attack on Libya to get their hands on its energy wealth, they took over the Libyan sovereign wealth funds. Facilitating this operation is the representative of the Libyan Investment Authority, Mohamed Layas himself: as revealed in a cable published by WikiLeaks. On January 20 Layas informed the U.S. ambassador in Tripoli that LIA had deposited $32 billion in U.S. banks. Five weeks later, on February 28, the U.S. Treasury “froze” these accounts. According to official statements, this is “the largest sum ever blocked in the United States,” which Washington held “in trust for the future of Libya.” It will in fact serve as an injection of capital into the U.S. economy, which is more and more in debt. A few days later, the EU “froze” around 45 billion Euros of Libyan funds.

The assault on the Libyan sovereign wealth funds will have a particularly strong impact in Africa. There, the Libyan Arab African Investment Company had invested in over 25 countries, 22 of them in sub-Saharan Africa, and was planning to increase the investments over the next five years, especially in mining, manufacturing, tourism and telecommunications. The Libyan investments have been crucial in the implementation of the first telecommunications satellite Rascom (Regional African Satellite Communications Organization), which entered into orbit in August 2010, allowing African countries to begin to become independent from the U.S. and European satellite networks, with an annual savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Even more important were the Libyan investment in the implementation of three financial institutions launched by the African Union: the African Investment Bank, based in Tripoli, the African Monetary Fund, based in Yaoundé (Cameroon), the African Central Bank, with Based in Abuja (Nigeria). The development of these bodies would enable African countries to escape the control of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, tools of neo-colonial domination, and would mark the end of the CFA franc, the currency that 14 former French colonies are forced to use. Freezing Libyan funds deals a strong blow to the entire project. The weapons used by “the willing” are not only those in the military action called “Unified Protector.”

Il Manifesto, April 22, 2011

Translated from Italian by John Catalinotto

Categories: News of the moment

Libya: Is NATO guilty of conspiracy to commit murder?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey              Full Article Here:-

Pravda.Ru         26th April 2011

Libya: Is NATO guilty of conspiracy to commit murder?. 44156.jpeg

One thing is perfectly clear: NATO should not be in Libya for several reasons. However, now with the rumours that Predator aircraft are to be used to “take Gaddafy out” comes the threat of a clear violation of the law: in so doing, NATO and its leaders would be liable for conspiracy to commit murder.

NATO should not be in Libya for several reasons, the main one being that the hype about Colonel Gaddafy attacking his own poor innocent unarmed civilians is in a word, baloney. In another, Bullshit! The “poor unarmed civilians” are none other than the Benghazi-based terrorists Colonel Muammar Al-Qathafi refers to as “the bearded ones” and who he has infuriated time and time again with his derogatory references to the practices of Islamist fundamentalism.

One look at these machine-gun wielding “unarmed civilians” and we can see the truth behind these lines and the manipulation of the truth by a biased and bought western media, trying to create a causus belli where there is none.

The truth of the matter is that this “rebellion” was imported from abroad, and the truth of the matter is that the TNC, as they are called, are none other than elements with historic connections to the CIA, and worse, to Al-Qaeda.

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the commander of the Anti-Government forces in Libya (terrorists) is himself a convicted terrorist who has been arrested for fighting for Al-Qaeda against American and British forces in Afghanistan and has been connected with the recruiting of Benghazi-based suicide bombers in Iraq – again deployed against coalition troops. Why, then, has this not made the headlines in the bought media in the USA and its coalition allies and why are the leaders of the USA, UK, France and now Italy siding with terrorists?

Could it be to protect these unarmed civilians? Or could it be because of Libya’s vast reserves of prime quality oil and its tremendously rich reserves of gold and currency? Whatever the case, there exists something called international law, and this is governed by UN Resolutions (in Libya’s case) 1970 and 1973, neither of which allow for the support of rebel forces or any other in Libya with any kind of military equipment or training.

Why then are France and the UK doing exactly that in Benghazi and why then are weapons being smuggled in to the terrorist forces in Misrata? With the Libyan government forces pulling back, and declaring a ceasefire, it is obvious that the terrorist forces are not interested in peace and are serving as the lackeys for their colonial masters of tomorrow who will seize their country’s resources and wealth and leave Libya as the world’s poorest country – precisely where it was before Colonel Muammar Al-Qathafi turned it into the richest country in Africa in terms of human development indices.

And now, why are Predator drones being readied to murder the man who was about to receive a humanitarian award from the UNO in March? Is this not conspiracy to commit murder and are those responsible not liable for criminal prosecution? In today’s world, if international law does not exist, then it is about time it did.

Categories: News of the moment

Charlie Veitch, of the Love Police, Still In Police Custody, Taken To London

Cambridge News
Friday, April 29, 2011           Full Article Here:-

Activist Charlie Veitch who was planning to stage an anti-state protest in London at the royal wedding was arrested by police ahead of the event.

Mr Veitch, who lives off Midsummer Common in Cambridge, and set up a group called the Love Police, had previously told the News he and other group members planned to pull out megaphones as the royal procession approached.

Silkie Carlo, 21, a second year student at Cambridge University studying politics and psychology, said Mr Veitch, her boyfriend, was arrested yesterday (Thur) at 5pm.

He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

Miss Carlo added: “He was arrested as part of a political victimisation campaign.

“What he does is he is a filmmaker who uses a megaphone. He’s quite known for being harmless, peaceful and vocal.

“One of the things we specialise in is hugging police. It is fun to film. They are friends rather than enemies so this is quite unprecedented.

“This is a free speech crime but worse that that it’s a free speech pre-crime.”

Miss Carlo said: “The royal wedding itself is a public nuisance. I don’t consider a democratic protest to be a public nuisance.”

She said 20 to 30 people gathered outside Parkside police station between 9.30pm and midnightyesterday adding there would be a similar protest today at 3pm.

Terri Oaks, who lives in Cambridge and attended the demonstration outside Parkside on Thursday night, said: “Cambridge residents are appalled that the Government has so little respect for the right to protest that they are arresting people across the country for even thinking about protesting at the royal wedding.

“The public is footing the £20 million bill for the wedding, but we are being denied the right to voice our opinions, just as the government has been suppressing our right to protest against the welfare cuts which are hitting the poorest the hardest.”

A spokesman from Cambridgeshire police said: “We arrested a 30-year-old man yesterday on behalf of Met Police. He was firstly taken to Parkside police station but the Met have since taken him down to London.”

A spokesman from Met Police said: “Officers arrested a man in Cambridgeshire yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and to prevent breach of peace. He remains in custody.”

RELATED: Charlie Veitch Arrested In Pre-Crime Raid For “Conspiracy To Cause Public Nuisance” At Royal Wedding

Categories: News of the moment

Police powers are out of control

by Sunny Hundal
April 29, 2011 at 9:10 am
Full Article and Video Here:-

What gives the police the right to arrest a person who has not committed a crime and wasn’t planning to commit any crime?

Yesterday, long-time activist and professional thorn-in-the-side-of-the-establishment Chris Knight was pre-emptively arrested by the police (video below).

The crime? Planning a ‘zombie wedding’ stunt that featured a mock execution of Prince Andrew with a guillotine. Not the nicest of stunts, I’ll grant you, but an arrestable offence?

Keep in mind that a Channel 4 film crew were with the trio who got arrested, filming for the ‘Unofficial Royal Wedding’ Some of their equipment was also confiscated.

The ‘Zombie Wedding’ was billed as a “right royal orgy” with “rumpy pumpy and guillotines” and explicitly stated, “this is a totally non-terrorist event”. What did the police say? This:

This evening, 28 April, officers arrested three people – two males aged 68 and 45, and a 60-year-old woman – in Wickham Road, SE4 on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace.

The police had already “made it clear” in advance that:

This is a day of celebration, joy and pageantry for Great Britain. Any criminals attempting to disrupt it – be that in the guise of protest or otherwise – will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response.
– Cmdr Christine Jones, Metropolitan Police

Earlier in the day, the same strategy was applied to raids on various squats in Brighton:

During the attack on Grow Heathrow, sleeping people were dragged out of their beds by up to 40 cops. The police left having seen mostly vegetables and some bees. I’m unconvinced that vegetables (organic or not) required the possibly illegal presence of dozens of riot cops to stop them from being repurposed as guillotines or whatever mad nonsense the cops will inevitably say they had specific intelligence about in the press release which will be sent out just in time for the evening news.

Guy Aitchison is right when he says this is just blanket, political policing.

The political intent is quite clear. The police have gone far beyond their role as upholders of the law. At vast expense to the taxpayer, they have gone out of their way to ensure that tomorrow’s event delivers exactly what it says on the tin: a huge display of ostentation and state power used to cement people’s loyalty to the establishment at a time when your average citizen – sorry – subject, is getting screwed

But this isn’t just about the Royal Wedding is it? The police are arresting activists pre-emptively, without any evidence that a crime was going to be committed, just to restrict political protest.

Where are the checks and balances on their power? Where are the right-wing defenders of civil liberties now?

Categories: News of the moment

Royal Family Enforces Media Embargo Against Australia To Prevent Nazi Jokes

Still think the Royals have no power? Think again: Prince Charles orders BBC to cut Royal Wedding broadcast to ABC network in order to prevent jokes about Prince Philip being a notorious racist and Nazi sympathizer.

Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, April 29, 2011               Full Article Here:-

Still think the British Royal Family has no power and fulfils merely a ceremonial purpose? Think again. In order to prevent an Australian comedy show from making jokes about Prince Philip being a Nazi during the Royal Wedding, the Royals ordered broadcasters in Britain to enforce a media embargo that would have completely severed live coverage to Australia’s biggest broadcaster if they refused to cancel the satirical show.

After Prince Charles’ Clarence House found out that Australian broadcaster ABC planned to run a satirical commentary of the Royal Wedding alongside the regular feed, Charles demanded ABC cancel the show, and then ordered broadcast suppliers BBC, Associated Press, Sky and ITN to cut off the feed to Australia, a command which they instantly obeyed.

That’s right – the Royals have the power to enforce media embargoes between Britain and other major countries of the world. If this doesn’t indicate how much influence and power they still retain then nothing does.

The Royal Family threatened to deny Australia’s national broadcaster access to the Royal Wedding after they announced plans to run a satirical show called Chaser, which would have featured comedians providing light-hearted commentary over live pictures of the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Clarence House, the almost 200-year-old London royal residence which doubles as an office for the Prince of Wales and his son, Prince William, demanded the ABC cancel plans to use the controversial comedy group, the Chaser, as royal wedding commentators,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

They then contacted broadcast suppliers, including the host BBC, Associated Press Television News (APTN), Sky and ITN, to ensure the ABC would have no access to footage if it ignored the request.

Faced with the prospect of airing static for almost four hours tomorrow night, the ABC had no choice but to capitulate.

Categories: News of the moment