Meldungen (Feeds)

Gorbatschow vor Ukraine-Einmarsch

Rationalgalerie - Hace 12 horas 31 mins
NATO-Bataillone am Ostrand in Alarmbereitschaft : Dieser Gorbatschow. Der war doch mal der Liebling aller Deutschen, ein Darling des Westens, ein Heils- und Segensbringer aller Welt. Damals. Als einst die Gorbi-Manie die Medien bestimmte. Aber nun? Offenkundig will der Mann die Ukraine im Alleingang zurück nach...

Dem Feigling Bush jr. auf der Spur

Rationalgalerie - Hace 12 horas 31 mins
Ein Moment der Wahrheit im Kino : Hat er sich oder hat er sich nicht vor dem Dienst in Vietnam gedrückt, der extrem tapfere Oberstkommandierende der USA, George W. Bush? Was heute längst bekannt ist, war im Präsidentschaftswahlkampf Bush gegen Kerry einen spannende, möglicherweise gar entscheidende Frage....

TAGESSCHAU: Einzug der Ehrlichen - der Schmock des Monats

Rationalgalerie - Hace 12 horas 31 mins
Wie Golineh Atai den Gniffke-Journalismus perfektioniert : Manchmal fragt man sich, was die TAGESSCHAU-Meckerer Bräutigam & Klinkhammer denn jetzt schon wieder wollen. Geht doch die ausgezeichnete Ukraine-Kraft der ARD, Golineh Atai, in ihrer Sawtschenko-Heldenverehrungsnummer ganz offen mit ihrer „Widerstandskämpferin“ um. Zwar erwähnt die Atai, dass ihre Heldin,...

Der Preis der Deregulierung

German Foreign Policy - Hace 14 horas 31 mins
(Eigener Bericht) - In Frankreich dauern die Proteste gegen die Übernahme deutscher Deregulierungsmodelle ("Agenda 2010") an. Auch für die kommende Woche kündigen Gewerkschaften umfassende Streikaktionen gegen die "Arbeitsmarktreform" an, mit der die Pariser Regierung eine weitere Anpassung an die neoliberalen Standards Berlins vollziehen will. Hintergrund der Reform ist, dass die deutsche Wirtschaft sich durch die rot-grüne Agenda-Politik erhebliche Vorteile nicht zuletzt gegenüber der französischen Konkurrenz sichern konnte - und ihre dominierende Stellung in der EU seitdem systematisch ausgebaut hat. Weil alle Versuche gescheitert sind, Berlin zur Abkehr von der Deregulierungs- und Austeritätspolitik zu veranlassen, sucht Paris nun mit ihrer Nachahmung seinen weiteren ökonomischen Absturz abzuwenden. Dies wird von einer klaren Mehrheit der französischen Bevölkerung abgelehnt, nicht zuletzt mit Blick auf die sozialen Folgen des Vorbilds, der deutschen "Agenda 2010". Zur Durchsetzung der Arbeitsmarktreform hebelt Frankreichs Regierung demokratische Verfahren aus und oktroyiert die Reform per Dekret - ein weiterer Schritt zur Entdemokratisierung in der deutsch dominierten EU.

Samantha Power to Receive Prize From Henry Kissinger, Whom She Once Harshly Criticized 

The Intercept - Engl. - Dom, 29/05/2016 - 19:05

Samantha Power built her journalistic and academic career around human rights, criticizing powerful nations for their complicity in abuses and failure to stop acts of genocide.

Then she joined the Obama administration, where she currently serves as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Early next month, Power will be receiving an award named for a man used to criticize quite harshly: former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who has been implicated in a significant number of war crimes across the globe.

And she’ll be getting it from Kissinger himself.

The American Academy of Berlin’s Henry A. Kissinger Prize is awarded annually to a European or American diplomat.

Power can’t claim ignorance of Kissinger’s bloody, anti-human rights record.

In her book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which documented the lack of response to global genocides, Power complained that President Gerald Ford’s administration — where Kissinger served as secretary of state — had “little credibility” to report to the public on the genocide happening in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime because Kissinger “had bloodied Cambodia and blackened his own reputation.” Under Kissinger’s watch, the United States dropped nearly half a million tons of explosives on Cambodia, resulting in the deaths of thousands of noncombatants.

In the same book, she wrote of how Kissinger encouraged Iraq’s Kurds to engage in an armed revolt in the mid 1970s, only to withdraw support to build rapport with the country’s government — leading Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to brutally uproot them in revenge. Power dryly notes Kissinger’s justification for these events, writing: “Henry Kissinger, U.S. secretary of state at the time, said of the American reversal of policy and the Kurds’ reversal of fortune, ‘Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.’”

Finally, in her book Sergio: One Man’s Fight to Save the World, she documented how Kissinger greenlighted the brutal Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975, which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people. Power writes that Ford and Kissinger visited the Indonesian leader the day before the invasion: “Kissinger expressed some misgivings about the possible U.S. public reaction and cautioned: ‘We understand your problems and the need to move quickly, but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned [to the United States].’”

Power did not respond to a request for comment. However, a 2014 profile in the New Yorker may provide some insight into how Power’s worldview on human rights abusers has changed. “As time wears on, I find myself gravitating more and more to the G.S.D. [Get-Shit-Done] people,” she told the magazine. “We’re racing against the clock here to get as much done as we can. So when you run across people who know how to be bureaucratic samurais, or are especially persuasive in their diplomacy internationally, spend more time on those relationships, and on brainstorming with those individuals, to achieve a common purpose. Principles and positions only take you so far.”

Top photo: Samantha Power tweeted this photo alongside Kissinger at Yankee Stadium in April 2014.

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The post Samantha Power to Receive Prize From Henry Kissinger, Whom She Once Harshly Criticized  appeared first on The Intercept.

Kein(en) Tag der Bundeswehr! Am 11. Juni auf die Straße!

Bildung ohne Bundeswehr Hamburg - Dom, 29/05/2016 - 18:57

Am 11. Juni 2016 macht die Bundeswehr zum zweiten Mal in der Nachkriegsgeschichte einen „Tag der Bundeswehr“. Das Bundesverteidigungsministerium will damit zum einen für die Kriege der herrschenden Klasse der Bundesrepublik Rückhalt in der Bevölkerung erzeugen. Zum anderen beabsichtigt die Hardthöhe, Begeisterung für das Militär als Institution zu wecken, die Verbindung zwischen ziviler Bevölkerung und Militär zu vertiefen und neue RekrutInnen anzuwerben.
Der „Tag“ findet an 16 Standorten der Bundeswehr im gesamten Bundesgebiet statt. Darunter ist in diesem Jahr zum ersten Mal auch Hamburg, wo die Bundeswehr im Normalbetrieb an der Bundeswehruniversität, deren Namenspate der verstorbene Ex-Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt (SPD) ist, und an der Führungsakademie ihr Offizierskorps ausbildet. Für die Bundeswehr-Hochschule ist von 10 bis 18 Uhr ein umfassendes Programm geplant, dessen „Höhepunkt“ um 16 Uhr ein sogenannter Beförderungsappell bilden soll.
Die Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK) ruft für den 11. Juni bundesweit unter dem Motto „Kein(en) Tag der Bundeswehr“ zu Protesten auf. In Hamburg macht der lokale Ableger der DFG-VK vor der Helmut-Schmidt-Universität ganztägig von 10 bis 18 Uhr eine Kundgebung. Wer mitmachen will, kann sich direkt bei den FreundInnen melden (hamburg@dfg-vk.de). Alle bislang geplanten Aktionen findet man hier.
Das Hamburger Bündnis „Bildung ohne Bundeswehr (BoB)“ unterstützt die Proteste vor Ort und ruft alle Friedensbewegten, AntimilitaristInnen und AntiimperialistInnen dazu auf, sich an den geplanten Aktionen zu beteiligen und selbständig Protest und Widerstand zu organisieren.

52 Jahre Volksarmee FARC-EP in Kolumbien

Indymedia antimil - Dom, 29/05/2016 - 09:57
von: Kolumbien Info am: 29.05.2016 - 09:57

Artikel zum 52-jährigen Bestehen der FARC-EP in Kolumbien und Weiterleitungen zu einer Botschaft der Friedensdelegation der FARC-EP (Deutsch) sowie zur Übersetzung des Kommuniqués des Sekretariats der FARC-EP

Mold-Infested Prisons Sicken Guards and Prisoners

The Intercept - Engl. - Sáb, 28/05/2016 - 14:46

During much of her three years awaiting trial in New York’s Rikers Island jail, Candie Hailey was locked in a solitary confinement cell ventilated by a mold-covered air duct. The purpose of the vent was, of course, to pump fresh air into her 6-by-10-foot concrete room, but the mold infestation instead added to an array of hazards and discomforts that made her life unbearable at Rikers, where she made multiple attempts at suicide. “There was big, dark, gray, blackish mildew around the air vent and that’s where the air was coming from,” Hailey told me. “It’s what I was inhaling — it smelled like death.”

Hailey, who says she developed persisting asthma as a result of mold exposure, described overall conditions at Rikers that were so punishing not even the guards — who spent only a fraction of their time in the building — could withstand them. Hailey says that one officer implored her to complain to authorities about the conditions, as the employee feared she would be punished for doing so herself.

“‘Please call 311 or somebody,’” Hailey recalled a guard telling her. “That’s how bad it was.”

Hailey’s and her guards’ experiences are not unique to New York’s infamous island jail. On the issue of hazardous mold alone, numerous prison employees across the country have asserted that they cannot bear even their limited exposure to a condition that inmates must live with day in and day out, according to workplace safety complaints submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. During a one-year period ending January 15 of this year, OSHA received 81 workplace safety complaints regarding mold in penal institutions across the United States.

Citing alleged hazards at county jails, state penitentiaries, federal prisons, administrative offices, and youth centers, the grievances vary widely, but dozens of them adhere to the common theme that employees of jails and prisons fear for their health as a consequence of hazardous mold. One complaint, for instance, asserts that mold in air ducts in a state “minors unit” in Maricopa County, Arizona, poses a risk to the workers at the facility. A complaint regarding the county jail in Albany, New York, states that several “employees have respiratory ailments. There is no documentation of vents being cleaned.” One complaint from a San Diego federal prison flatly asserts that black mold at the facility is “currently making the employees sick.”

Some of the workplace complaints also note that hazardous mold conditions are making inmates sick.

Three separate complaints cite the GEO Group, a leading private prison corporation, for alleged mold violations at sites across the country. “Mold throughout building,” reads one occupational complaint regarding a GEO-run state prison in Milledgeville, Georgia. Another complaint against the GEO Group regarding a federal detention center in Texas states: “Mold found in housing 2, 3 and file area exposing employees to health issues.”

Multiple media reports have accused the GEO Group of housing inmates in substandard conditions in facilities contracted with local, state, and federal authorities. In 2007, an inmate at a GEO Group prison in Texas slashed his own throat, leaving behind notes that decried conditions such as “floors and walls covered in mold,” according to the Texas Tribune.

The OSHA documents contain no information about whether the individual complaints were judged to have merit or how they were resolved. In response to questions from The Intercept, OSHA said that it had responded to two of the complaints about the GEO Group’s facilities in Texas and that the two complaints did not meet all requirements for a formal complaint. The agency said it had no further records relating to the Milledgeville, Georgia, filing. The GEO Group did not respond to questions from The Intercept about the complaints and its policies regarding prison mold.

Hazardous mold tends to grow in humid spaces that are poorly ventilated, and aging facilities that warehouse prisoners in close quarters appear to be prime real estate for mold growth. Over the past two decades, researchers have linked the presence of excess mold to a number of health problems. In 2009, the World Health Organization asserted that the most significant effects of mold exposure “are increased prevalences of respiratory symptoms, allergies and asthma, as well as perturbation of the immunological system.”

Local news reports from around the country indicate that the OSHA complaints capture only a portion of such concerns. Employees at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, for instance, have recently voiced concerns about workplace health issues stemming from an alleged mold infestation, which the jail administration has denied. The jail was not cited in the OSHA complaints obtained by The Intercept. “You definitely feel it the first few hours you walk in the door,” said one of the jail’s employees, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation for speaking to the press. The employee said that one area of the jail was particularly infested, and some workers had developed health problems from their exposure. “These are people without ever before having allergies, and they’re suddenly getting irritable eyes, trouble breathing, scratchy throat, sneezing and coughing,” the employee said of co-workers.

Several of the OSHA mold complaints allege that prison workers are subjected to “sick building syndrome,” a term used to describe a structure that has become so infested with chemical or biological pathogens that the entire building seemingly becomes a vector of allergy-like health symptoms, ailments, and discomfort.

Hailey and others have described similar conditions on Rikers Island. Hailey said the ailing building itself felt like another form of punishment meted out to inmates as well as all the jail’s visitors. “It’s torture for us, but you’re also punishing the doctors, the officers, and the other staff who have to be there,” said Hailey, who after three years in jail was ultimately found not guilty on charges of attempted murder. “It’s like an abandoned building, but it’s filled with people.”

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Appell an Linke und Katholiken: Syrischer Klerus fordert Ende der Sanktionen

Hintergrund.de - Sáb, 28/05/2016 - 08:51

Während sich die katholischen Hilfswerke und Die Linke mit Nachdruck zum Einsatz für Flüchtlinge bekennen, rufen kirchliche Würdenträger aus Syrien dazu auf, die Sanktionen gegen ihr Land unverzüglich aufzuheben und die Bevölkerung nicht länger auszuhungern. -

Von RÜDIGER GÖBEL, 28. Mai 2016 -

Unter dem Motto „Seht, da ist der Mensch“ findet in Leipzig der 100. Katholikentag statt. Die katholischen Hilfswerke bekennen sich dort nachdrücklich zur Hilfe für Flüchtlinge. Die Kirche verstehe sich „aus der Botschaft Jesu heraus als Anwältin der Schutzbedürftigen“, heißt es in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung von Misereor, Adveniat, Renovabis, Missio, Caritas international und des Kindermissionswerks „Die Sternsinger“. „Beim Einsatz

Weiterlesen...

„Der Marsch der Völker Europas“ am 21.05.2016 - Ein trans-nationaler Event der extremen Rechten

Linksunten Antimil - Sáb, 28/05/2016 - 05:51
0oVGIM Casapound Not Welcome - Un provocatore all'Esquilino, anzi tre - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OxRb7g3YG0     Chrysi Avgi - Video zum 21.05.2016 in Athen: Dominique Venner ...

Virginia Cabbie Faces 48 Years in Prison After Driving Aspiring Terrorist To Airport

The Intercept - Engl. - Sáb, 28/05/2016 - 00:10

A federal grand jury charged a 26-year old Virginia taxi driver with helping provide support for terrorists after he transported one of his associates, a would-be member of Islamic State, 90 minutes to the airport.

The cabbie, Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, was also charged with making false statements to federal agents. He faces up to 48 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines — more than twice the maximum of 20 years faced by the budding terrorist he transported.

The charges raise questions over the government’s use of informants, three of whom were involved in Elhassan’s case, at least one of them paid. They also underline questions over how involved Elhassan really was in a terrorism plot.

Federal prosecutors say that, before driving aspiring ISIS member Joseph Hassan Farrokh to the airport, Elhassan introduced Farrokh to people Elhassan believed would assist Farrokh in traveling to join Islamic State. Elhassan later lied to FBI agents about where Farrokh was going and how, the government claims.

Farrokh, 28, pled guilty to material support charges this March. Elhassan’s case, meanwhile, has been presented in the press as part of a straightforward prosecution of homegrown terrorism. But the terms of the criminal complaint against him cast doubts on the extent of his complicity.

According to the complaint, no one involved with the case was ever actually in touch with Islamic State, only with the three informants who helped snare Farrokh and implicate Elhassan. While Farrokh, 28, seems to have desired to travel abroad and fight with ISIS, making several belligerent statements to that effect, that goal did not appear to have appealed to Elhassan, who told Farrokh that Farrokh was an “extremist.”

Farrokh was initially reached by a government informant through Elhassan. The informant, a former acquaintance of Elhassan’s, began contacting Elhassan to tell him that he had a “message” for Farrokh, suggesting that he would be able to help him link up with others to facilitate Farrokh’s travel abroad. This man was a paid government informant who had begun cooperating to receive favorable treatment on separate criminal charges.

After connecting with Farrokh, the informant introduced him to another man, also a government informant, who later introduced him to yet another man, who was also government informant, all of whom assured Farrokh (against his openly expressed doubts) that they could be trusted and would help get him to Syria.

Farrokh spent a lot of time with the informants over the next several months, planning his travel and saying he hoped to later bring his family to Syria. At the suggestion of the informants, Farrokh even pledged an oath of allegiance to the leader of ISIS, despite expressing that he “did not understand why he needed to give it here.”

At the close of one conversation with the informants, he told them that he had been asking God to help him get to Syria for over a year, and that they had “made him very happy.”

On January 1st, the informant Elhassan had known previously contacted him. In a recorded conversation, Elhassan allegedly confessed that he knew that Farrokh was planning to leave the country to join ISIS, and that he knew Farrokh had lied to his family by telling them that he was going to Saudi Arabia to study. Elhassan also expressed his own anxieties about the situation, saying that “he didn’t want to see Farrokh go to prison” and adding that he had forwarded Farrokh an article about another government sting operation that had targeted a man in upstate New York.

Two weeks later, Farrokh  packed his bags and prepared to depart the United States on a flight to Jordan. The car he took to reach the vicinity of Richmond International Airport was a taxi, driven by Elhassan. The two men spent roughly two hours together before Farrokh proceeded on his own to the airport terminal. Its not known what they discussed in this time.

After Farrokh checked-in at the airport, cleared security, and proceeded to his departure gate, he was arrested by FBI agents.

That same afternoon, FBI agents contacted Elhassan, who consented to be interviewed. According to the complaint, Elhassan told them that he believed Farrokh had been traveling within the United States for family reasons. When asked which airport Farrokh used, the complaint states that Elhassan “hesitated,” and then told them Farrokh had flown from a different airport than he actually had.

Elhassan was then arrested.

Even accepting the government at its word, the alleged plot seems to have involved Elhassan in a very marginal capacity, if at all, while the number of informants in the case exceeded the number of supposed conspirators. Elhassan now faces the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence, based primarily on Farrokh’s conversations with several government informants, and on Elhassan’s taxi drive with Farrokh to the vicinity of the airport.

In the days following Elhassan’s arrest, his lawyer at the time, Ashraf Nubani, said that the men had been the victims of public hysteria over ISIS, as well as the overzealous use of informants by the government. “I think it’s unfortunate that in the media and public discourse we allow these cases to be dictated by the position of the government,” he told WTVR. “They had three informants in this case that were looking for people to get in trouble.”

 

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Hillary Clinton Won’t Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law

The Intercept - Engl. - Vie, 27/05/2016 - 21:11

When Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law sought funding for his new hedge fund in 2011, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street: Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

The fund, called Eaglevale Partners, was founded by Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and two of his partners. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.

The investment did not turn out to be savvy business decision. Earlier this month, Mezvinsky was forced to shutter one of the investment vehicles he launched under Eaglevale, called Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity, after losing 90 percent of its money betting on the Greek recovery. The flagship Eaglevale fund has also lost money, according to the New York Times.

There has been minimal reporting on the Blankfein investment in Eaglevale Partners, which is a private fund that faces few disclosure requirements. At a campaign rally in downtown San Francisco on Thursday, I attempted to ask Hillary Clinton if she knew the amount that Blankfein invested in her son-in-law’s fund.

Watch the video:

After repeated attempts on the rope line, I asked the Clinton campaign traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, who said, “I don’t know, has it been reported?” and said he would get in touch with me over email. I sent the question but have not heard a response back.

The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family. The company paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 in personal speaking fees, paid Bill Clinton $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, and donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. At a time when Goldman Sachs directly lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department, the company routinely partnered with the Clinton Foundation for events, even convening a donor meeting for the foundation at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.

Clinton has dodged questions about her relationship with Goldman Sachs throughout the campaign. In January, we were the first to ask Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. She responded by laughing and turning away. Since our question, other media outlets, including the New York Times editorial board, have called on Clinton to release the transcripts.

Clinton at times tried to conflate the money she received with campaign finance donations to Barack Obama — though the issues are separate; Obama never personally profited from paid speeches before running for president.

Clinton most recently said she would only release the transcripts if Bernie Sanders and her Republican opponents also reveal transcripts of their paid speeches. Disclosures show Sanders made $1,867.42 from two paid speeches and a television appearance last year, and donated the money to a nonprofit in Vermont that assists low-income families.

Related:

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Senator Scolds Obama for “Preaching Nuclear Temperance From a Bar Stool”

The Intercept - Engl. - Vie, 27/05/2016 - 20:40

While President Obama called for a “moral awakening” in Hiroshima and restated his ambition for a nuclear-weapon free future, back in Washington, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., criticized him for moving forward with a costly plan to renovate the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“The U.S. cannot preach nuclear temperance from a bar stool,” Markey wrote in a Boston Globe opinion piece.

Obama’s Hiroshima speech was reminiscent of the one he gave in Prague, only three months into his presidency, when he announced that he would “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

In 2010, he negotiated a treaty that limited the U.S. and Russia to 1,550 deployed, strategic nuclear weapons each.

But that was as far as he would go. Obama is set to maintain the U.S. arsenal of 1,528 deployed warheads — almost half of which are on 30-minute alert — despite a 2013 White House assessment that he could safely reduce the U.S. arsenal by a third.

Obama is also pushing for a $1 trillion effort to replace the U.S.’s entire stock of long-range strike bombers, cruise missiles, nuclear submarines, and land-based missiles – which experts have said is sure to cause an arms race.

Markey attacked the modernization program on the Senate floor on Thursday. “The United States must take the lead,” Markey said, “instead of wasting billions of dollars on dangerous new nuclear weapons that do nothing to keep our nation safe.”

Markey also promoted a measure he introduced to delay the procurement of the new nuclear cruise missile, which he called a destabilizing and “dangerous new weapon.”

Erica Fein, nuclear policy expert with Women’s Action for New Directions, said it was courageous for Markey to “call out [his] party leader, something only a handful of other Democrats have been willing to do on this topic.”

Last month, Republicans on the House Armed Services committee lined up to kill a measure that would require the Congressional Budget Office to simply estimate the modernization’s cost over three decades.

But last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., broke ranks with his own party, calling the new generation of submarines “very, very, very expensive,” and questioning “do we even need the entire Triad given this situation,” at an event at the Brookings Institution.

Top Photo: President Barack Obama gives a speech during his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

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Wells Fargo Sponsorship of Black Lives Matter Panel Draws Scorn

The Intercept - Engl. - Vie, 27/05/2016 - 18:52

Wells Fargo’s sordid practice of steering minorities into exploitative mortgages burst into public view after the housing crash in 2008. But to a black business group the bank has partnered with — by donating nearly half a million dollars — it’s ancient history.

The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC), an organization dedicated to growing black business, has been collaborating on programs with Wells Fargo since 2014.

But a Wells Fargo-sponsored USBC luncheon held last week was a bridge too far for some observers.

USBC pamphlet

The lunch discussion was titled: “From Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter, the Movement Continues.” One panelist was DeRay Mckesson, a former candidate for mayor in Baltimore and a high-profile Black Lives Matter activist. The Wells Fargo branding was prominent.

The event drew scorn from people incensed that black activism would be linked with Wells Fargo. Dwayne David Paul, a minister at St. Peter’s University in New Jersey, tweeted: “Liberal reformist politics in a nutshell. ‘Black liberation brought to you by orgs that prey upon Black folk.'”

Indiana-based writer Fredrik DeBoer drew attention to the event in a post on Facebook, writing, “this is why I drink.”

Mckesson, who spoke on the panel with Ron Busby, the president and CEO of U.S. Black Chambers, tweeted in response: “I didn’t make/approve this graphic & Wells Fargo didn’t sponsor/pay me. You want a conspiracy here & there is none.”

But the event’s organizers made no such effort to distance themselves from Wells Fargo. In interviews with The Intercept, two board members for the U.S. Black Chambers offered Wells Fargo, without prompting, as an example of a beneficial corporate partner.

And asked about the bank’s accusations of discriminatory lending, USBC board chairman Aubry Stone defended Wells Fargo. “Obviously, they’re trying to do the right thing,” he said. “There were a lot of people caught up in that scenario, some on purpose, some by accident.”

Wells Fargo has donated to USBC since at least 1999. Its donations have been used to give grants to black chambers of commerce, including the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City, KS, and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce in Fresno, CA. Funding has also been used to create webinars on getting loans and to support the Black Male Entrepreneur Institute.

Stone is also president and CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce in Sacramento, CA, another group that receives funding from Wells Fargo.

To Stone, the bank is not entirely responsible for the predatory loans made to minority customers: “See, one of the things that is really important to understand and get the slant is that, when someone buys another company, you buy their liability and a lot of that happened in that period, so they inherited a lot of bad paper,” he said. Stone was referring to Wells Fargo’s merger with Northwest Corporation in 1998 and its acquisition of Wachovia in 2008. “So it wasn’t necessarily them doing it. They inherited a lot of bad paper.”

But it was Wells Fargo itself, not any of the banks it merged with, that came under fire in Baltimore, for instance, for targeting black communities, and referring to subprime lending as “ghetto loans” and to blacks as “mud people” — not Wachovia or Northwest.

Wells Fargo has paid millions of dollars in settlements over its practices that contributed to the U.S. housing crisis. Notably, in a 2012 Justice Department settlement, the bank agreed to pay $184 million in relief to borrowers the government alleged “were steered into subprime mortgages or who paid higher fees and rates than white borrowers because of their race or national origin.”

The Justice Department’s investigation found 34,000 cases where black and Hispanic customers were charged with higher fees and rates on mortgages than white customers with similar economic statuses, according to Reuters.

For Antwanye Ford, a U.S. Black Chambers board member and owner of a Washington, D.C.-based technology consulting firm, the partnership helps the organization make sure Wells Fargo keeps giving loans to black businesses. He said Well Fargo provides the organizations with statistics about how many black business owners are getting loans.

Kerwin Brown, another board member, said he does not recall seeing such statistics. Brown is the chairman of the board at the Black Chamber of Arizona, another organization that takes donations from Wells Fargo. He said that Wells Fargo’s discriminatory lending is not something he’s thought about recently. He also said he cannot remember the issue ever coming up at a board meeting. “We obviously have a very good relationship with our corporate sponsors,” he said.

“It’s interesting,” Ford said, “because we try to hold them accountable by saying, ‘We understand you’ve given us funding, but we want to see lending to black-owned businesses going out.’ I think for us, it’s important for them to talk about all of the lending. Have they been increasing lending? So they’ll let us know: ‘Hey, we’ve given this many businesses loans’ and we want to hear the statistics and they’ve been providing that to the board.”

Ford added: “We understand they’re getting better, but I think we want to hold them accountable for that.”

Wells Fargo has given $314,000 to USBC in the two years since the organizations became partners, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson. That’s a big chunk of USBC’s annual budget, which was $1.3 million in 2014, according to filings with the IRS.

On the same day as USBC’s Black Lives Matter luncheon, Wells Fargo announced it was donating another $180,000 to the organization. A National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Twitter account praised the bank, posting: “thrilled to see our partners going further together!”

The NAACP filed lawsuits in 2007 against Wells Fargo and other banks accusing them of violating the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts, as well as racial discrimination, but the organization dropped its claims against Wells Fargo in 2010. The next year, the two groups opened a financial literacy center together in Washington, D.C.

Top photo illustration based on USBC educational summit pamphlet.

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The post Wells Fargo Sponsorship of Black Lives Matter Panel Draws Scorn appeared first on The Intercept.

Obama gedenkt Atombomben-Opfer

Hintergrund.de - Vie, 27/05/2016 - 17:50

(27.05.2016/hg/dpa)

US-Präsident Barack Obama hat bei einem historischen Besuch in Hiroshima für eine Welt ohne Atomwaffen geworben. „Wir müssen Lehren aus Hiroshima ziehen“, sagte Obama in der japanischen Stadt, die vor 71 Jahren von einer amerikanischen Atombombe zerstört wurde. Es war der erste Besuch eines US-Präsidenten am Mahnmal in Hiroshima. Wie zuvor angekündigt entschuldigte sich Obama nicht für die verheerende Zerstörung im August 1945.

An der Gedenkstätte im Friedenspark in der japanischen Großstadt legte Obama einen Kranz mit weißen Blumen nieder. Er schloss kurz die Augen. An seiner Seite stand Japans Regierungschef Shinzo Abe, der ebenfalls einen Kranz niederlegte und sich zu

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