South Korean Soccer Team Apologizes for Filling Stands with Sex Dolls
We are living in profoundly weird time.
South Korean Soccer Team Apologizes for Filling Stands with Sex Dolls
We are living in profoundly weird time.
When it comes to serial and systemic frauds perpetrated by big banks on Wall Street, the U.S. Department of Justice typically punts. It will either not charge the bank itself or it will issue a felony charge along with a non-prosecution agreement that lets the bank settle the charges without a trial. These tactics by the Justice Department are why Wall Street crimes remain serial and systemic in nature.
This morning, the Attorney General in Malaysia stunned Goldman Sachs with an indictment of 17 of its former and current executives. That came on the heels of criminal charges filed last December by Malaysian authorities in the same matter against three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries and two former Goldman employees, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng.
Indictments announced this morning included charges against Richard J. Gnodde, Goldman’s top international banker in London and former Goldman executive J. Michael Evans, who is currently president of Alibaba.
The charges stem from a Malaysia state development fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) for which Goldman Sachs underwrote $6.5 billion in bonds in 2012 and 2013. Goldman made an outsized $600 million in fees on the deals. According to prosecutors, $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds have gone missing, of which at least $2.7 billion was stolen according to prosecutors.
Malaysia Attorney General Tommy Thomas said jail time and criminal fines will be sought against those indicted given the “severity of the scheme to defraud and fraudulent misappropriation of billions in bond proceeds” and “the lengthy period over which the offences were planned and executed….”
Contrast how Malaysia has moved to hold key Goldman Sachs executives accountable versus what the U.S. Department of Justice has done. On November 1 of last year, the Justice Department announced charges against former Goldman employees Tim Leissner and Roger Ng and a financier involved in the dealings, Jho Low. But the Justice Department did not bring charges against any of the three units of Goldman Sachs that were involved and its press release is even too timid to mention the name Goldman Sachs. It refers simply to “U.S. Financial Institution #1,” suggesting it believes Goldman Sachs somehow deserves reputational protection.
It’s important to recall that the Justice Department let Goldman Sachs wiggle out of criminal prosecution with a payment of $550 million in 2010 over its role in facilitating a $1 billion fraud called Abacus. Goldman Sachs allowed the hedge fund, John Paulson & Co., to select mortgage bonds that were likely to fail to put into the deal so that the hedge fund could short the deal and end up making $1 billion. Goldman Sachs pitched the deal to its investors as a sound investment. Those investors ended up losing the same $1 billion that Paulson & Co. made in profits. A lowly Goldman Sachs’ salesman on the deal, Fabrice Tourre, was the only Goldman employee to be charged in the matter. Tourre was found guilty at trial but also got off by paying a fine. (See John Paulson and the Ick Factor at NYU.)
For the love of God, please let these prosecutions proceed to completion.
SOMEONE needs to hold these ratf%$#s accountable.
Basically, anything indicating a move toward a Taiwanese declaration of sovereignty, and the People’s Republic will completely lose their sh%$, and if they tie this to Hong Kong protests, I would expect a military intervention there:
The protests in Hong Kong which have reverberated around the world have had more impact on Taiwan than anywhere else.
The anxieties they triggered about Beijing’s intentions toward Taiwan came to the boil in demonstrations in Taipei. On Sunday June 23, for example, a rally by around 5,000 mostly young people against Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill was followed by a much larger protest involving hundreds of thousands criticizing Chinese influence on Taiwan’s media.
They urged the government to take action against the so-called “Red Media,” a reference to local outlets purchased by business people with interests in China.
While the Red Media are at the front of the Taiwanese protesters’ complaints, the extradition law is clearly not far behind. The fear that Beijing is tightening its grip on the former British colony exacerbates Taiwanese people’s fears about their own futures — and brings Taiwanese and Hong Kongers closer together.
I have a bad feeling about this.
There is no better example of a complete and total intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the American foreign policy establishment in general, and liberal interventionism in particular than Susan Rice’s OP/ED in the New York Times.
It appears that, in Susan Rice’s world, negotiations should only occur when the other side has capitulated completely, and putting the official end to a war that started 69 years ago makes one an enemy of peace.
She notes that Kim sees his nuclear program as, “Vital to his regime’s survival,” but seems to think, particularly as the US is fomenting a coup in Venezuela, that talking without further tightening of sanctions, which, incidentally, would likely trigger refugee flows into China, is somehow irresponsible.
In the words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon.”
In response to aggressive Chinese actions in the Pacific and Indian oceans, Vice Presidence announces, completly unaware of the irony, that, “Empire and aggression have no place in Indo-Pacific.”
Seriously? There has been nothing but since the East India Company became the furst trans-national firm:
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told leaders of Southeast Asian nations on Thursday that there was no place for “empire and aggression” in the Indo-Pacific region, a comment that could be interpreted as a reference to China’s rise.
The prime minister of Singapore later said that Southeast Asian countries did not want to take sides when pulled in different directions by major powers, but that one day it may have to.
Leaders at the ASEAN meetings this week heard warnings that the post-World War Two international order was in jeopardy and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could trigger a “domino effect” of protectionist measures by other countries.
“Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive – secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together,” Pence said. “We all agree that empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific.”
As Yves Smith says, “Not the Onion”
The two Koreas and the US-led United Nations Command have agreed to remove weapons in a border village where troops from both sides face off daily, the latest sign of increasingly warm relations between the once-hostile neighbours.
Seoul’s defence ministry said in a statement that, following trilateral talks on Monday, agreement had been reached to withdraw firearms and guard posts from the Joint Security Area (JSA), also known as the truce village of Panmunjom.
The parties will then conduct a “three-way joint verification” for another two days, it added.
The highly symbolic move comes amid the failure of nuclear talks to yield concrete results the complaints from the US that it had not been properly briefed on military agreements between the two Koreas. The approval of the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) is significant given wariness in Washington about the pace of inter-Korean rapprochement and its earlier order to block shipments across the border.
I am not sure how or why this happened, you could ascribe this to Trump, but my guess is that it’s more about the fact that Kim Jong-un, and most of his government, are young enough to not have lived through the Korean war.
It really is about the only thing that hasn’t gotten worse on the world stage in the past few years.
But reports that there are direct contacts between the US and the DPRK is an indication of at least a small modicum of sanity in Foggy Bottom:
The Trump administration acknowledged on Saturday for the first time that it was in direct communication with the government of North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests, seeking a possible way forward beyond the escalating threats of a military confrontation from both sides.
“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said, when pressed about how he might begin a conversation with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that could avert what many government officials fear is a significant chance of open conflict between the two countries.
“We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we’re not in a dark situation, a blackout,” he added. “We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” a reference to North Korea’s capital.
Considering the fact that the US and the DPRK are the principals in their dispute, direct contacts are a good thing, even if it runs against the standard US regime change consensus among the DC cognoscenti.
The organization that oversees the Nobel Peace Prize said Friday the 1991 prize awarded to Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi cannot be revoked.
Olav Njolstad, head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said in an email to The Associated Press that neither the will of prize founder Alfred Nobel nor the Nobel Foundation’s rules provide for the possibility of withdrawing the honor from laureates.
“It is not possible to strip a Nobel Peace Prize laureate of his or her award once bestowed,” Njolstad wrote. “None of the prize awarding committees in Stockholm and Oslo has ever considered revoking a prize after it has been awarded.”
An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on Change.org is calling for Suu Kyi to be stripped of her Peace Prize over the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
Suu Kyi received the award for “her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while standing up against military rulers.
Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh have reported being ordered to leave Myanmar under the threat of death. They have described large-scale violence allegedly perpetrated by Myanmar troops and Buddhist mobs that included homes being set on fire and bullets sprayed indiscriminately.
Suu Kyi has dismissed the Rohingya crisis as a misinformation campaign.
I’m wondering where the outrage is over a program of targeted assassination by flying robots, including the deaths of thousands of non combatants hasn’t generated a f%$#ing petition.
Seriously, the Nobel prize committee is really the gang that cannot shoot straight.
Yesterday, anonymous intelligence sources claimed that North Korea had a miniaturized warhead suitable for use on its recently fired missile:
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.
The analysis, completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency, comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The United States calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts think the number is much smaller.
The findings are likely to deepen concerns about an evolving North Korean military threat that appears to be advancing far more rapidly than many experts had predicted. U.S. officials concluded last month that Pyongyang is also outpacing expectations in its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the American mainland.
You know, maybe it’s the time to engage in direct talks, exchange ambassadors, and END THE F%$#ING KOREAN WAR, which is still technically ongoing.
The US position, complete capitulation as a prelude to negotiations, is not a winning strategy.
Earlier posts are here,.