A Message from Apple

20.-apple-skull

February 16, 2016
A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

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Chapo Guzman Clearly Most Dominant North American Trafficker

TNC-AreaOfInfluence-2015.png

In what may be the reason behind El Chapo Guzman’s easy prison escapes, a newly released DEA report shows there are few areas in the United States that are not influenced by the Sinaloa cartels trafficking operations.  After years of Mexican TCO consolidation via US and Mexican crime-shaping initiatives, El Chapo has finally emerged as king of the hill.

Source: Business Insider

Shading indicates areas of cartel control, with darker-colored areas indicating population density, which is a sign of a potentially deep market for narcotics.

The DEA’s report cautions that “Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them.”

And, the DEA notes, “The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most significant presence in the United States.” Continue reading

How The CIA Played America: The Covert Selling of Anti-Communism

BUSHES

Source: WSWS – Part 1 / Part 2
The history of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—its coups, assassinations, detention, extraordinary rendition, torture, “black sites,” drone executions, dirty wars and the sponsorship of dictatorial regimes [1]—not only underscores the ruthless, bloody and reactionary role of American imperialism, but most especially the ruling elites’ mortal fear of the working class internationally.

From its founding in 1947, the Agency recognized that global hegemony could not be achieved and sustained by brute repression alone. Accelerating anticolonial struggles, revolutionary struggles in Greece and across Europe, mass struggles and strikes across the world (not the least of which was the Great Strike Wave of 1945-46 in the US [2]) were all deeply influenced by socialist views. Despite the collaboration of the Stalinist regime in the USSR in disarming these movements and assisting in reestablishing the authority of the capitalist governments, the American bourgeoisie was well aware that the fate of their system hung in the balance. Continue reading

National Endowment for Democracy is Now Officially “Undesirable” in Russia

NED-LogoSource: New Eastern Outlook / Voltairenet
This is the clear reaction of Washington to the decision by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office on July 28 to declare the activities of the US National Endowment for Democracy as “undesirable in the territory of Russia.” The official statement stated that, “the National Endowment for Democracy used Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations under its control to take part in campaigns aimed at denying the legitimacy of results of Russian elections; organize political actions designed to influence the authorities’ decisions and discredit the service in the Russian Armed Forces.” It further elaborated, “In pursuit of these goals, the fund allocated about 2.5 million US dollars to Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations in 2013-2015.”

Under Russia’s law on Undesirable NGOs, adopted by the Duma or parliament and signed into law by President Putin this May, any foreign or international non-governmental organization could become “undesirable” if it threatened the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order, the country’s defense capability and the security of the Russian state.

Significantly, in a statement regarding the decision, Russia’s Foreign Ministry named Carl Gershman, the neo-conservative who has been president since NED was founded in 1983. They noted that Gershman said – absolutely openly – that the NED organization was intended to be a beautiful facade for distributing funds among opposition circles in foreign countries. That suggests they have done their homework very well before banning the NED. Continue reading

‘Fair trade’ cocaine and ‘conflict-free’ opium: the future of online drug marketing

darkweb

Source: Hamilton Spectator
In October 2013, US authorities shut down Silk Road, the world’s largest cryptomarket. At the time, prosecutors claimed that the closure of the so-called “eBay of illicit drugs” represented the beginning of the end for online drug distribution.

This assertion has since proved incorrect. Over the next 10 months, drug trading on the “dark net” recovered rapidly. It is now estimated to be at least twice the level it was at the height of Silk Road’s popularity.

A new generation of cryptomarkets is supplying the expanding online drug trade. They are populated by thousands of dealers who use digital encryption to communicate with clients, spruik their wares and conduct illicit transactions.

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Increasing Heroin Supply Becomes Increasingly Evident

Reinforcing a common Monolithik theme, a DEA Agent giving a presentation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana indicates that “black market” opiate pills are leading to Heroin use and death. As previously indicated, the increase in worldwide opium production has fueled the illegal manufacture of counterfeit opioid pills and the large-scale theft and distribution of legally made prescription opiates. As if by design, the utter failure that is the war on drugs has perpetuated a drug that was almost dead. But now, in the immortal words of 1993’s Pulp Fiction anti-hero, Lance “Heroin is coming back in a big fuckin’ way.
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London is now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

UK banks and financial services have ignored so-called “know your customer” rules designed to curb criminals’ abilities to launder the proceeds of crime, Roberto Saviano warned. Mr Saviano, author of the international bestseller Gomorrah, which exposed the workings of the Neapolitan crime organisation Camorra, said: “The British treat it as not their problem because there aren’t corpses on the street.”

His warning follows a National Crime Agency (NCA) threat assessment which stated: “We assess that hundreds of billions of US dollars of criminal money almost certainly continue to be laundered through UK banks, including their subsidiaries, each year.”

Last month, the NCA warned that despite the UK’s role in developing international standards to tackle money laundering, the continued extent of it amounts to a “strategic threat to the UK’s economy and reputation”. It added that the same money-laundering networks used by organised crime were being used by terrorists as well.

Roberto Saviano's 'Gomorrah' has sold 10 million copies around the world (Teri Pengilley)Roberto Saviano’s ‘Gomorrah’ has sold 10 million copies around the world (Teri Pengilley)

Interviewed by The Independent on Sunday, Mr Saviano said of the international drugs trade that “Mexico is its heart and London is its head”. He said the cheapness and the ease of laundering dirty money through UK-based banks gave London a key role in drugs trade. “Antonio Maria Costa of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that drug trafficking organisations were blatantly recycling dirty money through European and American banks, but no one takes any notice,” he said. “He found that banks were welcoming dirty money because they need cash, liquidity during the financial crisis. The figures are too big to be rejected …. Yet there was no reaction.”

Referring to HSBC’s record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) US fine for money laundering for the Mexican Sinaloa drugs cartel in 2012, Mr Saviano said: “The biggest UK bank! Yet it has scarcely been written about. The British treat it as not their problem, because there aren’t corpses on the streets.

“They think it’s all happening ‘over there somewhere’, so they needn’t worry about it. Sure, HSBC has been reported but there has been no debate. You need to fill the papers. The intellectuals have said nothing. [David] Cameron has said nothing. It’s his country. How can he say nothing on such a piece of news?”

US justice officials concluded HSBC was guilty of “stunning failures of oversight – and worse, that led the bank to permit narcotics traffickers and others to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through HSBC subsidiaries and facilitate hundreds of millions more in transactions with sanctioned countries”, including money banked for Middle East terror groups.

He accused the British Government, together with Austria, of consistently blocking anti-money-laundering moves by the European Union. “They will carry on like that until someone gets killed here by the Russians or the Italians. ” he said. Mr Saviano said he feared one reason was because banks are a key source of political funding.

“Every time there’s an election campaign, I wonder if someone will come forward and start a campaign on money laundering … but it never happens. The reason, I am convinced but I don’t have the proof, is that a good part of the money that comes from money laundering goes into the election campaign. Not illegally, legally, because it can come in because of a lack of regulation.”

Labour MP David Lammy is worried about London’s dirty moneyLabour MP David Lammy is worried about London’s dirty money (Getty)

Twenty years ago, drug money was laundered offshore because the top international banks “were afraid of opening their doors to dirty money, they were afraid of losing control”, he said. “The more criminal capital comes in, the more criminals there are on the boards. The Mafia set up its own bank, Michele Sindona’s Banca Privata Finanziaria, and the other banks would have nothing to do with them,” he said. “Not any more. Now, because of the problem of cash, they can’t wait to get the Mafia organisations in.”

Labour MP David Lammy, who met Mr Saviano last week, said the UK needed to take “very seriously” his claims about its financial services’ role in the international drugs trade. Mr Lammy, who is seeking to become Mayor of London in 2016, said: “We are rightly proud of our financial services industry in this country, but we cannot afford to be complacent.

“I am particularly concerned that London’s inflated property prices are fuelled by dirty money and I will do everything in my power as mayor to ensure that money laundering and tax evasion are rooted out by the authorities.”

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