Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Map of Latin America showing countries where major protests have occurred in recent months (AFP Photo)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Friday, November 30, 2012

How illegal logging in Brazil's Amazon turns 'legal'

BBC News, Sue Branford, Para state, Brazil, 29 November 2012

Small settler communities are seeing their land targeted by loggers

Related Stories 

Deforestation in Brazil's huge Amazon region has slowed in recent years, and this week the government said it was at its lowest level since monitoring began 24 years ago. But despite tougher regulations, unscrupulous loggers are still finding ways to get timber out of the jungle and selling it as legally felled wood, locals say.

Fabio Lourenco de Souza, a young Brazilian farmer, lives in a settlement known as PDS Esperanca (Hope), in the Xingu river valley in eastern Amazonia.

Although the land is rich in tropical timber, along with most of the 300 families in the settlement, he wants nothing to do with loggers.

"It makes no sense at all for us to start logging the timber on our settlement," says Fabio, who stops work on the construction of a new wooden house for himself and his family to talk. "The logging companies would not pay us enough for the wood, and would destroy the forest, and we need it for the future of our children."

It is better to grow crops, he says, particularly cacao, which brings in a good income.

On guard

For years, the inhabitants of PDS Esperanca have been worried about loggers stealing timber from their land.

They say it happens routinely, and that loggers use falsified papers to make the wood look as if it had been legally felled.

This illegal-to-legal transformation is known in Brazil as "heating" wood. 

Fabio Lourenco de Souza
 wants no involvement with
To legally harvest wood on the land, a landowner must make an inventory of the species of timber on his or her land and apply to the government for authorisation. Provided the plan respects the legal limits for timber extraction, and contains a commitment to reforest the cleared area, it will be authorised.

In cases of "heating", loggers bribe and bully landowners, big and small, to draw up the documentation, which they then buy, often under duress and for a negligible sum. The loggers then use the plans to give a legal cover story for timber they have logged illegally from a different area.

The BBC approached the government about this practice, but it refused to grant an interview.

A few years ago, the residents of PDS Esperanca grew so concerned that they blockaded the entrance to their settlement to stop illegal loggers from entering.

After seven tense months, they persuaded the National Institute of Colonisation and Agrarian Reform (Incra) - which distributes land and manages settlements - to build a sentry-box to guard the settlement and to pay a private security firm to man it.

It is still there, and helps to explain why life is relatively tranquil in PDS Esperanca, although some residents still get death threats from the loggers.

There is more tension in another settlement, PDS Virola-Jatoba, where most of the 180 families are also trying to stop the loggers stealing their timber.

They have a rota for guarding the settlement round the clock

At the end of September, one family discovered that loggers had secretly built a track into the back of their land so they could take out timber by barge along a tributary of the Amazon River. The following day, a small group of settlers, accompanied by three Incra officials, drove as close as they could to where the loggers were working. Then, guided by the sound of the machines, they walked about 10km (six miles) through the forest to find them.

One of the settlers, who did not want to give his name, admitted that he was scared. "We didn't know what was waiting for us," he said. "We were afraid that there would be armed guards protecting the workers."

As it turned out, the workers were unarmed and readily handed over the keys to the machinery.

The two sides ended up sharing their dinner.

Death threats

Many settlers in the region want to exploit their timber, but on their own terms.

A few are being trained by the Brazilian Forest Service to run their own logging operation, but they face fierce opposition from logging companies. Several locals confirmed that they had received death threats.

And few communities can manage to keep the loggers out.

Urara, a town of about 50,000 inhabitants on the Transamazon highway, is a typical frontier town with no running water, no sewerage and no airport - apart from small, clandestine landing strips, which some people say are used for drug trafficking.

What it does have in abundance are logging companies, which drive the town's economy.

As the light fades, lorries without number plates arrive at the timber yards loaded with what locals say is illegally felled tropical timber.

The next morning in the bright sunshine, lorries with number plates drive out of the yards, loaded with sawn planks, each with an identification label, as required by law.

This timber can now be sold on the domestic market or exported.

Land conflict

PDS Esperanca and PDS Virola-Jatoba were created by an American nun, Sister Dorothy Stang, as a means of countering the plundering of the forest by the loggers.

They have a strong emphasis on forest conservation - while settlers can cultivate their own individual plots, they cannot sell them.

The two settlements are proving successful, but - largely because they have not been endorsed wholeheartedly by the authorities - they have not spread throughout the region, as Sister Dorothy had hoped.

And Sister Dorothy herself was murdered in PDS Esperanca in 2005, by gunmen sent in by landowners.

The conflict over land that gave rise to her killing still simmers.

In 2009, a memorial plaque was nailed to a tree close to where Sister Dorothy was murdered. It was soon riddled with bullets. The message was clear: farmers who resist logging do so at their own risk.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nobel peace laureates call for Israel military boycott over Gaza assault

Letter with 52 signatories including artists and activists also denounces US and EU 'complicity' through weapons sales, Chris McGreal in Jerusalem, Wednesday 28 November 2012

A man looks at the ruins of a Hamas police station destroyed by an Israeli
air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA

A group of Nobel peace prize-winners, prominent artists and activists have issued a call for an international military boycott of Israel following its assault on the Gaza Strip this month.

The letter also denounces the US, EU and several developing countries for what it describes as their "complicity" through weapons sales and other military support in the attack that killed 160 Palestinians, many of them civilians, including about 35 children.

The 52 signatories include the Nobel peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; the film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach; the author Alice Walker; the US academic Noam Chomsky; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; and Stéphane Hessel, a former French diplomat and Holocaust survivor who was co-author of the universal declaration of human rights.

"Horrified at the latest round of Israeli aggression against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip and conscious of the impunity that has enabled this new chapter in Israel's decades-old violations of international law and Palestinian rights, we believe there is an urgent need for international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel," the letter says.

"Such a measure has been subject to several UN resolutions and is similar to the arms embargo imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past."

The letter accuses several countries of providing important military support that facilitated the assault on Gaza. "While the United States has been the largest sponsor of Israel, supplying billions of dollars of advanced military hardware every year, the role of the European Union must not go unnoticed, in particular its hefty subsidies to Israel's military complex through its research programmes.

"Similarly, the growing military ties between Israel and the emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Korea are unconscionable given their nominal support for Palestinian freedom," it says.

The letter opens with a quote from Nelson Mandela: "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

The other signatories include John Dugard, a South African jurist and former UN special rapporteur in the occupied territories; Luisa Morgantini, former president of the European parliament; Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the US Congress; Ronnie Kasrils, a South African former cabinet minister; and the dramatist Caryl Churchill.

Related Articles:

The Jewish-Palestinian Declaration (1997)

UN recognizes Palestine as non-member observer state

NO voters:

Czech Republic
Marshall Islands

“… Let us talk about the swords: When you hear the word sword, the first thing that occurs to you is battle. The Bridge of Swords is a battle and we told you that as well. Swords are metaphoric and they mean many things, so let us describe the things we mean them to say to you.

Number one: They are indeed a weapon in a battle. There is a battle coming. "Kryon, does that mean there's going to be a war?" Potentially, yes. Right now we will tell you that the Middle East cooks itself. You've noticed, haven't you? What do you know about the Middle East, dear one? Let's start examining things for a moment. What energy did you grow up in? What was the energy of the Middle East? In the '40s, what was the energy? With the establishment of the state of Israel, you built a wall of hate, both sides. The wall was so thick that the children of both sides were taught to hate one another as soon as they were able to understand the language. They were told who their enemies were. Now, where were you then?

Some of you weren't here yet. By the time you arrived, in your youth, were you aware of the Middle East? Not particularly. "What's the hatred about?" you might ask. What if I told you it's about a family feud? Two sons of a Jewish master are involved. One founded the Arabs and one remained a Jew. They don't want to hear this, but they are all Jews. (Don't tell them this.)

If you look at the lineage, it's pretty obvious and yet it's a complete and total set-up for either solution or war. The set-up would have this world ending in a conflagration that would have been brought about by this hatred. That's in the prophecy of Nostradamus and your scripture, but it is no longer the prophecy of the planet. Yet the hatred still exists. The hatred is as great today as it was then, but where was all the terrorism 40 years ago? It was isolated.

Those in Israel and Palestine and surrounding areas took the brunt of it, but now it's seemingly everywhere - and you're worried. Why would this be? The answer is that the old energy was happy to have this hatred contained, for it would keep it going and never involve outsiders. Outsiders tend to bring unwanted light to the party. Suddenly, the whole earth is involved and can see the entire scenario before them. The old guard wants war, just like all the eons before them. The ones on the bridge are holding the light and showing the earth how to cross. Even many younger ones in Israel and Palestine and Iran are holding light! It's all around the old guard and they are furious, for they are losing the "battle of hatred." …”

9. It can be no other way—simply, this is the physics that governs life in this universe. As Earth continues apace into successively higher planes, nothing with low vibrations in any form—physical bodies, subversive plans, theft, dishonesty, unjust laws and imprisonment, bigotry, cruel customs and deeds—can survive.

10. Moving on, no, it will not be quite like religions being “totally discarded and replaced by universal laws in the Golden Age.” When the truths come forth that science and spirit are one and the same and that religious dogmas were originated by early leaders of church and state to control the masses, people whose consciousness has risen beyond the constraints of third density will adhere to the spiritual aspects of their respective religions and the devised, controlling aspects will fall by the wayside.

11. One of the truths to come forth is that Zionism, which by dark intent has been made synonymous with Judaism, actually is a bellicose political movement within the Illuminati, and its aim for more than six decades has been to create conflict and instability in the entire Middle East. Zionists, who have wielded powerful influence within and behind major governments and their military forces, do NOT represent the Jewish peoples in Israel or anywhere else. And, like all other Illuminati factions, they have been committed to that cabal’s goal of global domination.

12. Although Semites are of diverse national origins and religions, the Zionists have been successful in convincing many that “anti-Semitic” is exclusively prejudice against the Jewish peoples and opposition to Israel’s right to defend itself from its “enemies.” By means of that blatant distortion, they obtained not only world sympathy, but also massive defense funding from Israel’s allies, most especially the United States, all of which served to increase the Illuminati’s vast profits from their industrial-military machine.

13. In addition to controlling the masses through dogmatic teachings, religions have served the dark purpose of divisiveness to such an extent that it resulted in centuries of trauma and bloodshed. Witness the Crusades, wars between Catholics and Protestants, pogroms against Jews, executions of “blasphemous” individuals who refused to “recant.”  (Read More …)

US court averts Argentina default at the last minute

Deutsche Welle, 29 November 2012

A New York appeals court has given Argentina a reprieve on outstanding debt, lifting a December deadline that may have pushed it into default. Last week, a lower court ordered Argentina to pay billions to US hedge funds.

On Wednesday, New York's Second Circuit Court of Appeals placed a stay on a lower court's order that Argentina must pay $1.3 billion (1 billion euros) in long-defaulted bonds to a group of US hedge funds, including NML Capital, Elliot Management and Aurelius Capital Management.

The payment was due on December 15, and if not made by the debt-laden South American country, would have driven Argentina into technical default.

In 2001, Argentina defaulted on government bonds worth about $100 billion. Under a 2005 debt swap deal, most creditors agreed to exchange those bonds with new government debt worth 70 percent less. However, the US hedge funds have held out, pressing their claims for full repayment in a New York district court.

"We do not think it is right or legitimate to pay to vulture funds," Argentina's Economics Minister Hernan Lorenzino said last week, following the ruling by the court which ordered that the hedge funds must be paid "before or in parallel" with other creditors.

With that ruling now set on stay by the appeals court, Argentina is able to repay around $3 billion to exchange bondholders due in December. The appeals court said it would hear oral arguments on the case on February 27, 2013.

On Tuesday, ratings agency Fitch cut Argentina's creditworthiness by five notches to CC, saying it expected the country to default if the hedge funds were to finally succeed.

Uhe/mz (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Related Articles:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Colombia pulls out of International Court over Nicaragua

BBC News, 28 November 2012

Related Stories

Juan Manuel Santos said the court's
 decision was riddled with mistakes
and inconsistencies
Colombia has announced it no longer recognises the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, in The Hague.

The decision comes nine days after the ICJ redrew Colombia's maritime border in the Caribbean in favour of Nicaragua.

The court's ruling ended a decades-long dispute over the San Andres islands.

President Juan Manuel Santos said individual countries, and not courts of law, should fix their borders.

The ICJ ruled that the islands and a group of islets near the Nicaraguan coast in the western Caribbean belonged to Colombia.

But it set up new maritime borders in the potentially oil-rich area, extending Nicaragua's territory by some 70,000 square km (19,000 square miles).

The judgment, which is binding, was welcomed by Nicaragua but greeted with anger by President Santos.

'Peaceful means'

Mr Santos has now announced that Colombia is pulling out of the Bogota Treaty, signed in 1948, that recognises the court's rulings.

The region is rich in fishing resources,
and potentially gas and oil
"The borders between nations cannot be in the hands of a court of law," he said. "They must be drawn by agreement between the countries involved."

Mr Santos reaffirmed he would only be using "peaceful means" to solve dispute.

The competing claims date from the early 19th Century, when the nations of Latin America were gaining their independence from Spain.

Nicaragua and Colombia signed a treaty in 1928 to settle the border and sovereignty of islands in the Caribbean.

But in 1980, Nicaragua's Sandinista government unilaterally annulled the agreement, arguing that it had been signed under US pressure.

In 2007, the ICJ ruled that the treaty was valid and that the sovereignty of three islands, San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, remained with Colombia.

The archipelago lies some 775km (480 miles) from the Colombian coast and 230km from Nicaragua.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brazil says Amazon deforestation at record low

Google – AFP, 27 November 2012 

Large-scale deforestation has made Brazil one of the world's
 top greenhouse gas emitters (AFP/File, Lunae Parracho)

BRASILIA — Deforestation of Brazil's Amazon has slowed for a fourth consecutive year to its lowest rate since authorities began monitoring the world's largest rainforest, officials said Tuesday.

The National Institute of Space Research found that the Amazon lost 4,656 square kilometers (1,797 square miles) of rain forest over a period running from August 2011 to July 2012, 27 percent less than the previous year.

"It is the lowest deforestation rate since Brazil began its monitoring" in 1988, said Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira.

"I believe that it is the only good piece of environmental news," she told a press conference called to unveil a new electronic system to slap fines on those found guilty of deforesting the Amazon.

A year ago, INPE reported that the Amazon lost 6,238 square kilometers (2,408 square miles) of rainforest between August 2010 and July 2011, 11 percent less than the previous year.

Declines in the extent of deforestation have been registered in each of the past four years.

Destruction of forests releases large quantities of CO2, which account for 17 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Large-scale deforestation has made Brazil one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, but the government has made significant strides in curbing it over the past decade.

Key causes of Amazon deforestation are fires, the spread of agriculture and stockbreeding and illegal trafficking in timber and minerals.

Related Article:

Chavez returning to Cuba for cancer treatment

Google – AFP, Valeria Pacheco (AFP), 27 November 2012

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (AFP/File, Luis Acosta)

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he is returning to Cuba Tuesday to continue treatment for cancer, raising new questions about his health just weeks after he won re-election to another six-year term.

Chavez, who had claimed in July that he was cancer free, disclosed his travel plans in a letter to the National Assembly that left unclear whether he had suffered a relapse.

The 58-year-old, who has been in power since 1999 and gained international prominence as an anti-American firebrand, appeared weakened and subdued during the presidential campaign but he won a third term that extends to 2018.

In the letter, Chavez said he had been zealously following a "complementary treatment plan" ordered by his doctors, despite the intense re-election campaign.

They recommended undergoing "a special treatment consisting of various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation along with physiotherapy to continue to consolidate the strengthening health I have been experiencing," he said.

Chavez, who has never disclosed the type or severity of the cancer he had, underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his pelvic region last year in Cuba followed by multiple rounds of chemotherapy after the cancer returned.

The trip to Cuba for medical treatment would be Chavez's first since July when he said he was free of the disease.

Once a dominant media presence, commandeering national television and radio on a weekly basis and firing off multiple tweets, Chavez has largely dropped from sight since his re-election October 7.

Television pictures have shown him leading meetings of his cabinet at the presidential palace, but otherwise he has been a no-show even though the country is heading into important regional elections December 16.

Chavez had been expected to attend rallies in support of his former vice president, Elias Jaua, who is running for governor of the key state of Miranda against the opposition's former presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles.

"Where is the president?" Capriles recently asked, challenging Chavez to "show your face."
"The president offered villas and castles during the campaign and now he has disappeared, now you don't see him anywhere," said Capriles.

Luis Vicente Leon, head of the Datanalisis polling firm, said Chavez's absence from the regional campaign was evidence that his health remains a problem.

"The climate will fill up again with rumors about Chavez's illness and the regional campaign will be overshadowed," he said.

After his election, Chavez elevated foreign minister Nicolas Maduro to the vice presidency, a position that would put him in line to succeed if the president were to step down or die in office.

The president's letter announcing his trip to Cuba was read by the head of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, a former military officer seen as head of a rival pro-Chavez faction.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Offshore secrets revealed: the shadowy side of a booming industry

A worldwide research effort in collaboration with the Guardian/ICIJ reveals the real people behind these anonymous companies

James Ball travels to the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis searching for Sarah Petre-Mears,
 who on paper controls more than 1,200 companies scattered around the Caribbean, the
Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and the UK itself Link to this video

The existence of an extraordinary global network of sham company directors, most of them British, can be revealed.

The UK government claims such abuses were stamped out long ago, but a worldwide joint investigation by the Guardian, the BBC's Panorama and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has uncovered a booming offshore industry that leaves the way open for both tax avoidance and the concealment of assets.

Offshore Secrets
More than 21,500 companies have been identified using this group of 28 so-called nominee directors. The nominees play a key role in keeping secret hundreds of thousands of commercial transactions. They do so by selling their names for use on official company documents, using addresses in obscure locations all over the world.

This is not illegal under UK law, and sometimes nominee directors have a legitimate role. But our evidence suggests this particular group of directors only pretend to control the companies they put their names to.

The companies themselves are often registered anonymously offshore in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), but also in Ireland, New Zealand, Belize and the UK itself. More than a score of UK agencies sell offshore companies, several of which also help supply sham directors.

One British couple, Sarah and Edward Petre-Mears, who migrated from Sark in the Channel Islands to the Caribbean island of Nevis, have sold their services to more than 2,000 entities, with their names appearing on activities ranging from Russian luxury property purchases to pornography and casino sites.

In 1999, the government claimed Britain's sham director industry had been "effectively outlawed" after a judge, Mr Justice Blackburne, said the court would not tolerate "the situation where someone takes on the directorship of so many companies and then totally abrogates responsibility". But our findings show this has failed to be policed.

These nominee fronts conceal a wide variety of real owners, including those that are perfectly legal, from Russian oligarchs to discreet speculators in the British property market. Their only common factor is the wish for secrecy. Some of the owners we have identified include:

• Vladimir Antonov, the London-based billionaire Russian purchaser of Portsmouth FC, who is currently fighting an extradition request from Lithuania, where he controlled a bank. He denies wrongdoing.

• Yair Spitzer, a north London software engineer who bought and sold London flats. He said: "We were advised by UK accountants that this structure … was perfectly legal."

• The Hackmeys, a wealthy Israeli family, one of whom used a BVI company to buy a £26m London office block. Their spokesman said: "The deal was introduced by a [confidential] joint venture partner who set up the deal and structure."

• Nicholas Joannou, whose Armstrong Group sold shares from an address in Berkeley Square, central London. The Guardian was unable to contact him.

• SP Trading, which was linked in 2009 to a Kazakh businessman and an arms to Iran scandal. The nominee directors in Vanuatu turned out to have no knowledge of the company's true activities. They told us there were "very few cases of misuse by clients".

In a parallel investigation Monday's Panorama on BBC1 is due to show a company formation agent offering to assist its undercover reporter to escape tax. The agent, James Turner, of Turner Little in York, offers nominee directors in Belize and says: "They won't even know that they were a director, they just get paid."

A representative of a second company, Atlas Corporate Services, is asked for maximum confidentiality. He explains that many of its nominees are not even aware of how their names are being used. Jesse Hester, who runs Atlas Corporate Services from Mauritius, is seen assuring a potential client that the UK is unlikely to catch up with him. "Tax authorities don't have the resources to chase everybody down … They reckon it's probably the same rough odds as probably winning the lottery," he says.

The revelations launch a week-long series onthe Guardian site designed to strip away anonymity from offshore companies, the most shadowy aspect of the UK's financial industry. The British Virgin Islands are a particularly successful hideaway, thanks to the exceptional secrecy on offer. This Caribbean territory, which is ultimately controlled by the UK, has sold more than a million anonymously-owned offshore entities since launching itself in 1984 as a tax haven.

The purchasers are often people who, for a variety of reasons, some perfectly legitimate, do not wish to advertise what they are doing with their wealth.

But a worldwide research effort has been launched this year by the ICIJ. It aims to identify, country by country, thousands of the true owners.

The Guardian has collaborated with the ICIJ, a non-profit organisation, to analyse many gigabytes of the British data. This week we intend to reveal the names of more owners. We do not suggest criminal wrongdoing by them. Among those we have contacted, not all go so far as to employ nominee directors. Some insist they have done nothing improper, and are merely taking advantage of legitimate tax breaks or the opportunity for privacy. Critics say, however, that the islands' system can be open to abuse because of its lack of transparency.

Gerard Ryle, the director of the ICIJ, said: "We are applying specialist software to crunch through literally hundreds of thousands of offshore entities to look for patterns. We are marrying our findings with old-fashioned shoe leather and interviews from key insiders who can provide further context on this little known and loosely regulated world. We are satisfied that the information we have is authentic."

Ryle believes the ICIJ's global project, when it is completed next year, will haul into the open a shadowy financial system estimated to conceal the movement around the world of trillions of dollars.

Offshore secrets

Guardian team: David Leigh, Harold Frayman and James Ball.

The project is a collaboration between the Guardian and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) headed by Gerald Ryle in Washington DC. Guardian investigations editor David Leigh is a member of ICIJ, a global network of reporters in more than 60 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories that cross national boundaries. The ICIJ was founded in 1997 as a project of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington DC-based non-profit.

Brazil dismisses officials over corruption allegations

BBC News, 25 November 2012

Related Stories 

President Rousseff dismissed all
 those accused of taking part in the
influence peddling ring
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has dismissed a number of senior officials accused of involvement in the latest corruption scandal to hit the government.

Among those sacked are Rosemary de Noronha, who heads the regional office of the presidency in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, and Deputy Attorney General, Jose Weber Holanda.

The officials are accused of influence peddling, fraud and corruption.

They have not yet commented.

The dismissals come as another set of former government officials is being sentenced in an even larger corruption scandal, known as "Mensalao", or Big Monthly Allowance.

The BBC's Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo says that this latest police investigation apparently began after an official who had received a substantial bribe had second thoughts and alerted the authorities.

On Friday, police arrested six people for allegedly running the influence-peddling ring selling government permits to businesses in return for bribes.

Among those arrested are two brothers who were recommended for their senior government posts by Ms Noronha.

Police said the brothers, Paulo and Rubens Vieira, headed the corruption scheme.

Ms Noronha was a close aide to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. She has not yet responded to the allegations.

Treasury to crack down on UK's offshore tax havens

Channel Islands and Isle of Man will be among those ordered to reveal names behind hidden accounts

The guardian, The Observer, Jamie Doward, Saturday 24 November 2012

The Cayman Islands: will they really come clean about their tax practices?
Photograph: Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Radical plans to force the UK's tax havens to reveal the names behind hidden companies, account holders and trusts have been drawn up by the Treasury.

The news has delighted tax justice campaigners, who predict that the move, which is expected to be unveiled in the chancellor's autumn statement and come into force in 2014, will have major consequences for those trying to hide their money offshore.

A leaked document reveals that the UK plans to impose its own version of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) on the crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, as well as its overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands.

Fatca, which will come into force in the middle of next year, requires foreign banks to report American account holders to the US Inland Revenue Service. The draft UK equivalent, seen by the magazine International Tax Review, will require British tax havens to make similar disclosures about UK account holders to UK tax authorities.

"It's a complete bombshell for these places," Richard Murphy, a tax expert who has seen the draft plan, told the Observer. "Some people will try to flee, but this is going to change the whole of the offshore market."

He explained that the draft plan amounted to the UK using US legislation to give tax havens an ultimatum: "It's either they give the UK the same data that they want to give the US or the UK won't pass their laws to let data flow to the US."

The ultimatum is crucial, Murphy suggested. If the UK refuses to pass the laws, its tax havens "might just as well shut up shop since there would be almost no banks or other institutions willing to locate there".

News of the plans is likely to surprise many tax experts. This month, responding to an international development committee report, the government publicly rejected the need for a UK version of Fatca.

Joseph Stead, Christian Aid's senior adviser on economic justice, said that if the draft was implemented it "would be the beginning of the end for tax haven secrecy".

However, he said it was vital that it should not just be the UK which obtains full information disclosure from its tax havens: "We should ensure that other countries get it too, so they can catch up with people and companies hiding money. Otherwise there will be tax haven secrecy for some countries and not others.

"Poor countries lose billions every year to tax dodging and tax havens are often involved. We hope the UK government will use the G8 meeting it is hosting next year to agree action to ensure a global end to tax haven secrecy."

The Treasury declined to comment but confirmed to the Review that it was assisting the UK's crown dependencies and overseas territories to produce their response to Fatca.

However, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott was sceptical about whether the plan could succeed. "Tax havens really coming clean are as likely as a snowy Christmas day in the Cayman Islands," he said.

Last night the Labour shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, outlined a five-point plan for tackling tax avoidance. In an article for the Huffington Post, Balls writes: "We urgently need to look at how UK tax laws can be made stronger so as to properly deter tax avoidance."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Colombia Farc rebels optimistic about Cuba peace talks

BBC News, 24 November 2012

Related Stories 

Farc negotiator Andres Paris read
 the statement before Saturday's
round of talks in Havana
Negotiators from Colombia's largest rebel group, the Farc, say they are highly optimistic about peace talks currently under way in the Cuban capital, Havana.

The rebels denied reports that the atmosphere between them and Colombian government negotiators was tense.

But they did accuse Colombian Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon of trying to sabotage the talks.

They also renewed their call for the release of a jailed rebel commander.

Going into another round of talks on Saturday, Farc negotiator Jesus Emilio Carvajalino, also known as Andres Paris, read out the statement in which the rebels accused Mr Pinzon of being a "minister of war".

"He's an element dedicated to the task of sabotaging the peace efforts the country is making," the statement said.

Jailed commander

Mr Pinzon had last week rejected a proposal by the Farc for a temporary unilateral truce, calling it "incoherent".

Farc lead negotiator Ivan Marquez had said the rebels would halt all attacks from 19 November until 20 January.

He said it was "a contribution made to strengthen the climate of understanding necessary so that the parties that are starting the dialogue achieve the purpose desired by all Colombians".

In Saturday's statement, the rebels also reiterated their demand that rebel commander Simon Trinidad, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence in the United States, be allowed to take part in the talks.

The negotiations in Havana are held behind closed doors, but the two teams said before the talks started that they would focus initially on the issue of land reform in Colombia.

Four other points will be discussed: the end of armed conflict; guarantees for the exercise of political opposition and citizen participation; drug trafficking; and the rights of the victims of the conflict.

Listen to the Kryon channels that chronicle Lee's amazing journey during the Kryon 2012 Kundalini Tour, 25 November 2012 



  1. Mini-channeling (Mendoza, October 17th 2012)
  2. “The K in Kundalini” (Mendoza, October 17th 2012) - (Text Version)
  3. “The U in Kundalini” (Uspallata, October 18th 2012)
  4. “Aconcagua” (Mount Aconcagua, October 19th 2012)
  5. Mini-channeling (Santiago, October 20th 2012)
  6. “The N in Kundalini” (Santiago, October 20th 2012)
  7. Mini-channeling (Santiago, October 21st 2012)
  8. “The D in Kundalini” (Santiago, October 21st 2012)
  9. “The A in Kundalini” (Elqui Valley, October 23rd 2012)
  10. “The 33 Miners” (San Jose Mine, October 24th 2012)
  11. “Gaia’s Ley Lines Explained – part I” (Valley of the Moon, San Pedro de Atacama, October 26th 2012)
  12. “The L in Kundalini” (Journey Home Seminar, San Pedrode Atacama, October 27th 2012)
  13. “Gaia’s Ley Lines Explained – part II” (Island of the Sun, Lake Titicaca – Bolivia, October 29th 2012)
  14. Mini-channeling (Cusco – Peru, October 31st 2012) 
  15. “The I in Kundalini” (Cusco – Peru, October 31st 2012)
  16. “Divine Feminine Wisdom” (Machu Picchu – Peru, November 1st 2012)
  17. Mini-channelling (Lima – Peru, November 3rd 2012) 
  18. “The 2nd N in Kundalini” (Lima – Peru, November 3rd 2012)
  19. Mini-channelling (Lima – Peru, November 4th 2012)
  20. “The 2nd I in Kundalini” (Lima – Peru, November 4th 2012)
  21. Mini-channelling (Caracas – Venezuela, November 10th 2012)
  22. “Ascending Status” (Caracas – Venezuela, November 10th 2012)
  23. “Your Portal To The Other Side” (Journey Home Seminar, Margarita Island – Venezuela, November 11th 2012)
  24. Mini-channelling (Riviera Maya – Mexico, November 16th 2012)
  25. “Q&A with Kryon Part I” (Riviera Maya – Mexico, November 17th 2012) 
  26. “The Concept of You” (Riviera Maya – Mexico, November 17th 2012)
  27. “Q&A with Kryon Part II” (Riviera Maya – Mexico, November 18th 2012)
  28. “The Tour Has Just Begun” (Riviera Maya – Mexico, November 18th 2012)