TBR News November 16, 2017

Nov 16 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., November 15, 2017:”We will be out of the country until the end of the month. Ed”


Table of Contents

  • Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis
  • More than three years after the demise of the Mt. Gox exchange, its customers still haven’t received a crypto cent. Here’s why.
  • Bitcoin is a bubble, no plans to short-sell: Japan Post Bank CIO
  • US official: Crown Prince Salman ‘behaving recklessly’
  • Two more women accuse Senate candidate Moore of sexual misconduct
  • Saudi Arabia wants to kill the petrodollar – economist
  • Over 48,000 Gulen-linked suspects remanded in custody in Turkey
  • Homeless evictions near future site of Zuckerberg-funded school spark protest
  • Official Government Suppression
  • The Muslim Assault on Germany


Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis

November 16, 2017

by Sarah Dadouch, John Irish


BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) – Lebanon’s president said on Thursday he hoped the crisis over Saad al-Hariri’s resignation as prime minister and stay in Saudi Arabia would soon end with Hariri visiting France.

On Wednesday France invited Hariri and his family to Paris, providing what French diplomats have described as a way-out for him to leave Saudi Arabia without any side losing face.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said earlier this week that Hariri, who abruptly announced his resignation while in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, was being held hostage by Riyadh.

The crisis has embroiled Lebanon in the Middle East’s bitter rivalry that pits Saudi Arabia and its allies against a bloc led by Iran that includes the Lebanese Shi‘ite Hezbollah group.

“We hope the crisis is over and the door of solution is opened by PM Hariri’s acceptance of the invitation to visit France,” Aoun said in a tweet on Thursday.

“The problem of Hariri’s being held in Saudi Arabia is on its way to being solved,” presidential sources also quoted Aoun as saying.

After meeting Hariri in Riyadh on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Hariri would “soon come to Paris”. Asked when he would go to France, Hariri told reporters “very soon”, according to an official present at the meeting.

Saudi Arabia last week accused Lebanon of declaring war on it, citing Hezbollah’s role in other Arab countries. The group has fought alongside Iran in Syria against Saudi-backed rebels. Riyadh also accuses it of helping the Houthi group in Yemen fight a Saudi-led coalition.

Western states have taken a markedly softer tone than Riyadh, stressing their support for both Hariri and the Beirut government even though they see Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Lebanon’s army is a significant recipient of U.S. military aid.

On Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was consulting with its allies about what leverage to use against Hezbollah. “We will make the decision when the time comes,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Hariri has long been allied to Saudi Arabia. He traveled there on Nov. 3 and suddenly resigned the following day. He has since left Riyadh only for an hours-long visit to Saudi Arabia’s Gulf ally the UAE on Nov. 7.

His resignation while abroad, alleging a plot against his life and railing against Iran and Hezbollah, led to speculation in Beirut about Saudi Arabia’s role in the decision.


Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri say he was forced to quit and was being held by the Saudis. Politicians from all sides in Lebanon have called for his return to Beirut.

Saudi Arabia has denied forcing him to resign or detaining him. Hariri has said he is free to leave and would return soon to formally submit his resignation, which Aoun has said he will accept only in person.

Aoun said in a statement that once Hariri returned to Lebanon he would have to stay until a new government was formed.

In an interview on Sunday, his first public comments since resigning, Hariri warned of possible Saudi action against Lebanon, including the risk of Arab sanctions and threats to the livelihood of Lebanese workers in the Gulf.

Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees and its stability is seen internationally as important to prevent further Middle East chaos.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil had toured European capitals seeking diplomatic help to end the crisis. On Thursday he was in Germany and is scheduled to visit Turkey. On Friday he will visit Russia.

France’s foreign minister, Le Drian, said Paris was working to normalize the situation in Lebanon. After meeting Le Drian, Jubeir described Hezbollah as an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and said it must disarm and become a purely political party for Lebanon to be stable.

“Whenever we see a problem, we see Hezbollah act as an arm or agent of Iran and this has to come to an end,” he said.

France is closely allied to both Saudi Arabia and to Lebanon, which it controlled between the world wars last century. Hariri has a home in Paris and lived there for years.

Reporting By Sarah Dadouch and Samia Nakhoul in Beirut, John Irish in Paris and Stephen Kalin in Riyadh; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Andrew Heavens


More than three years after the demise of the Mt. Gox exchange, its customers still haven’t received a crypto cent. Here’s why.

November 16, 2017

by  Alexandra Harney and Steve Stecklow


TOKYO – When Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin trading exchange, collapsed in early 2014, more than 24,000 customers around the world lost access to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and cash.And although the Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee recovered digital currency now worth more than $1.6 billion, under Japanese law the exchange’s customers likely will recover only a fraction of that.

Kim Nilsson, a Swedish software developer who had more than a dozen bitcoins at Mt. Gox, isn’t optimistic of a payout soon. “It’s a legal twilight zone,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it took several years more.”

The court-appointed trustee in Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy, Nobuaki Kobayashi, did not respond to questions from Reuters about the payout process.

More than three years later, with the price of bitcoin skyrocketing to more than $7,000, not a single customer has recouped a single cent, crypto or otherwise. It’s not clear when they will. The failed exchange has become stuck in a morass of litigation – a Russian doll of bankruptcies in Japan and New Zealand, four in all, plus lawsuits in the United States and competing claims from creditors.

There are few better examples of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies than Mt. Gox. As Reuters reported in September, cryptocurrency exchanges  – where digital coins are bought, sold and stored – are largely unregulated and have become magnets for fraud and deception. At least 10 of them have closed, often after thefts, leaving customers without their funds.

In all, more than 980,000 bitcoins have been stolen from exchanges since 2011 – two-thirds of those from Mt. Gox. Today, all of the stolen coins would be worth more than $6 billion, Reuters has calculated.

Mt. Gox is one of the few collapsed exchanges that ended up in bankruptcy court; some just vanished. But the problem for Mt. Gox’s thousands of creditors is that under Japanese bankruptcy law, their claims were valued at the market price of bitcoin in April 2014 just before the Tokyo District Court ordered the exchange be liquidated. At that time, one bitcoin was worth $483. On the basis of the April 2014 value, the claims ultimately approved were fixed at 45.6 billion Japanese yen, currently about $400 million.

Based on the current price of bitcoin, Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee is sitting on enough cash to repay creditors whose claims have been approved more than three times that amount, according to Reuters’ calculation.

But that likely won’t happen, according to two Japanese bankruptcy attorneys. In Japan, by law any funds left over in a bankrupt company’s estate after creditors have been paid go to shareholders. Mt. Gox is 88 percent owned by a Japanese company called Tibanne. And Mark Karpeles, a 32-year-old French software engineer and Mt. Gox’s former chief executive, owns 100 percent of Tibanne.

Karpeles is currently on trial in Tokyo, accused of embezzling money from Mt. Gox and manipulating its data, as well as breach of trust. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, some of which carry sentences of up to 10 years. He served nearly a year in jail following his arrest in August 2015.

Many creditors are livid at the prospect of a payout for Karpeles, whom they blame for Mt. Gox’s failure. “If the government just took all of it, that would be less offensive than if they just gave it to Mark,” said Aaron Gutman, a software developer who had about 464 bitcoins at Mt. Gox, which are now worth about $3 million.

Added Henry Dienn, a 61-year-old entrepreneur in Japan who had 175 bitcoins at Mt. Gox: “Some of the people say, ‘I’d rather see the money burned.’”

In a three-hour interview, Karpeles told Reuters he doesn’t want the money. The main reason: He expects he would be inundated with lawsuits. He says he already is facing about a half dozen.

“I don’t want to be the beneficiary of this,” he said. “I don’t really need money. I work, I get by.”

Karpeles also told Reuters he has been exploring a way to resurrect Mt. Gox under new management and ownership – at an estimated cost of $245 million.

Among the factors complicating the liquidation process is a U.S. tech company called CoinLab. It agreed to partner with Mt. Gox in 2012, and is pursuing claims in a Japanese court totaling about $170 million against both Mt. Gox and Tibanne.

Through a spokesperson, Peter Vessenes, CoinLab’s former CEO who had signed the agreement with Mt. Gox, declined to answer any questions, including whether CoinLab is still in business.

CoinLab has been struck off the corporate registry in Washington state. In Delaware, state records and interviews show its registration status is “void” and it owes more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes.

Karpeles, who is required to attend various bankruptcy hearings and is forbidden from leaving Japan, said Mt. Gox’s claimants will be lucky to be paid anything before 2020 – the year Tokyo is set to host the summer Olympics.

On paper, Karpeles, who himself is in personal bankruptcy, stands to gain most of the surplus. But he would not get it all. Some of the excess would be allocated to Tibanne, and another part would likely go to the owner of a 12 percent stake in Mt. Gox. Who that is remains in question.


The Mt. Gox exchange was first launched by Jed McCaleb, an American software engineer, in 2010. The domain previously had been used to trade cards in an online game

McCaleb told Reuters in an interview that he decided he wanted to work on other projects, and transferred the exchange to Karpeles in February 2011 for free. The only conditions were that Karpeles had to share the exchange’s revenues with McCaleb for six months, not hold him legally responsible for any problems and give him a 12 percent stake. Mt. Gox became part of Tibanne, which Karpeles had formed in 2009 as a web hosting and development business. He named the company after his cat.

Karpeles said when he took over Mt. Gox, it had about 3,000 customers. As bitcoin grew in popularity among tech aficionados and investors, the exchange prospered. By 2013, it had nearly 1.1 million active accounts from 239 countries and handled upwards of 90 percent of global bitcoin trading. It generated about $40 million in fees in its last year, Karpeles said.

About 30 percent of its customers were from America, he said. Karpeles feared he was going to run into regulatory trouble there because Mt. Gox wasn’t licensed to transmit money. In November 2012, Karpeles signed an exclusive agreement with CoinLab, a Seattle-based bitcoin project incubator, to service the exchange’s U.S. and Canadian customers.

The partnership quickly soured. In a federal lawsuit filed in Washington state in May 2013, CoinLab argued that Mt. Gox and Tibanne had breached the contract by continuing to serve North American customers directly and failing to transfer their accounts to CoinLab. It demanded damages of at least $75 million.

In counterclaims filed later that year, Mt. Gox and Tibanne argued that Mt. Gox had not provided access to customer accounts because they alleged CoinLab was not properly registered or licensed to do business. They also alleged that CoinLab had not returned $5.3 million in Mt. Gox customer deposits. CoinLab said in a court filing it had complied with all relevant laws and had registered to provide bitcoin exchange services with the U.S. Treasury Department’s FinCEN bureau. The case is on hold as a result of a petition filed by the trustee in Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy, Kobayashi.

Roger Ver, who is known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for his longtime evangelism for the digital currency, personifies the complexity of the Mt. Gox bankruptcy. He was an early investor in CoinLab and was also a Mt. Gox customer with 577 bitcoins in his account when it shut down.

Ver told Reuters he urged CoinLab’s former CEO, Vessenes, to withdraw the lawsuit against Mt. Gox and Tibanne because he considered the suit “frivolous.” He did not elaborate.

Ver was also a customer of Bitcoinica, a New Zealand bitcoin exchange where he said he stored nearly 25,000 bitcoins. It collapsed in 2012 following thefts of tens of thousands of bitcoins that year. Bitcoinica had kept customer deposits at Mt. Gox, so the New Zealand exchange became yet another creditor in the Japanese bankruptcy. The Bitcoinica bankruptcy estate’s claims in the Mt. Gox case are valued at 3.29 billion Japanese yen, or about $29 million.

Mt. Gox was repeatedly robbed of bitcoins between 2011 and 2014 by unknown thieves who stole at least 650,000 bitcoins. They are now worth about $4 billion.

On Feb. 7, 2014, Mt. Gox said it had detected “unusual activity” on its bitcoin wallets and halted withdrawals. The price of bitcoins on Mt. Gox plunged.

Later that month, Mt. Gox halted all trading and filed for bankruptcy protection at Tokyo District Court. At first, the exchange said that nearly all of the bitcoins in its possession – about 850,000 – were missing. But it later located 202,185 bitcoins in storage and on its system.

Mt. Gox founder McCaleb said that in April 2014, before the court-ordered liquidation, he signed an agreement to sell his 12 percent stake to Sunlot Holdings, a Cyprus-registered company, for one bitcoin. Sunlot at the time was trying to purchase most of Mt. Gox and resurrect it, but the plan fell through.

McCaleb said he never received the bitcoin. “It’s unclear to me whether the sale was actually completed,” McCaleb said. “It’s in this weird gray zone.”

A spokesman for John Betts, who was part of the Sunlot investment group, declined to comment on the status of the sale.

This past summer, U.S. authorities announced they had found at least one person involved with the Mt. Gox hacks.

In July, a U.S. grand jury indicted Alexander Vinnik, a 37-year-old Russian, accusing him of operating an unlicensed money-service business, money laundering and other crimes. In its indictment, the government alleged Vinnik had received funds from the Mt. Gox hacks and laundered them through online exchanges including BTC-e, an exchange he operated, and Tradehill, a now-defunct San Francisco-based exchange. He remains in jail in Greece and is seeking to have his case heard in Russia, not the United States.

Alexandros Lykourezos, an Athens attorney who represents Vinnik, said his client rejects all of the indictment’s allegations. “He says he has nothing to do with the Mt. Gox incident,” the attorney said.


Mt. Gox initially filed for a form of bankruptcy that allowed the exchange to be sold, and briefly considered offers from potential buyers, including Sunlot. But a deal never happened.

On April 24, 2014, the Tokyo District Court ordered Mt. Gox to be liquidated. Kobayashi, a veteran Japanese bankruptcy lawyer, was appointed trustee.

Kobayashi filed a petition with a U.S. bankruptcy court that led to CoinLab’s 2013 lawsuit against Mt. Gox being put on hold. He began conducting meetings to brief creditors several times a year, and posting reports online about the progress of the bankruptcy in both Japanese and English.

As he sought to protect Mt. Gox’s estate, Kobayashi created bankruptcies within bankruptcies. He asked the Tokyo District Court to put Tibanne, Mt. Gox’s parent company, into bankruptcy on the grounds that he had been unable to get Tibanne to repay debts to Mt. Gox, according to a trustee report to creditors. The trustee also put Karpeles into personal bankruptcy.

Different trustees were appointed to handle those cases. Kobayashi filed claims against both Tibanne and Karpeles.

Kobayashi set up an online system for filing claims; 24,750 former Mt. Gox customers ultimately sought compensation. He valued bitcoin claims at $483 per digital coin, the market price on the day before the liquidation order, and converted that value into Japanese yen.

“Those of us who were burned by this are now permanently locked into that depressed price,” said Gutman, the software developer and Mt. Gox creditor.

According to Kobayashi’s most recent status report on the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, dated Sept. 27, as trustee he has received 163.7 million yen, or about $1.4 million, in fees since his appointment.

A Saudi-led group of countries also imposed a blockade on neighbouring Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting “extremism” in the region. Qatar has vehemently denied the accusations.Kobayashi also recently reached a settlement with the U.S. government. He recouped for the estate $2.6 million – half the funds U.S. authorities seized from Mt. Gox in 2013 for operating in the United States without a license. The United States got to keep the other $2.6 million. No creditors have benefited.

Among the claims the trustee needs to evaluate is the one from CoinLab, the U.S. bitcoin tech firm that sued Mt. Gox and Tibanne in 2013 in the United States. With its lawsuit put on hold, it filed a claim for about 8.7 billion yen, or about $75 million, in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, a court filing in Japan shows. It also filed a claim in Tibanne’s bankruptcy case for about 10.8 billion Japanese yen, or $95 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Tibanne case records are not public so Reuters was unable to determine the basis for this claim.

In interviews, Karpeles and several creditors, including Ver, blamed Vessenes, CoinLab’s former chief executive, for holding up compensation to Mt. Gox’s former customers. Records in the Mt. Gox case show the trustee rejected CoinLab’s claims but the company petitioned for a reassessment, which Karpeles and some creditors say has caused delays. According to Japanese bankruptcy lawyers, claimants are unlikely to be paid until disputes over large claims are settled.

A spokesperson for Vessenes, ex-CEO of CoinLab, said he was unable to comment on ongoing litigation.


With the price of bitcoin soaring in 2017 – it’s up more than seven-fold this year – some Mt. Gox customers are hoping the bankruptcy trustee will revalue their claims. But disputes have emerged over the best way to convince him to do that.

Some want to form a creditors’ committee to increase leverage. That involves getting a majority of the creditors – more than 12,000 – to  support the plan, according to Japanese bankruptcy law.

Japanese bankruptcy lawyers told Reuters that creditor committees are rare in insolvency cases. The court also would need to recognize the committee, they said.

One creditor supporting a committee is Kolin Burges, a British software developer and cryptocurrency investor who had 311 bitcoins at Mt. Gox, about two-thirds of his savings. He said he recognized the difficulty of getting so many creditors to sign up and of convincing the court that the group fairly represents all creditors.

“It’s going to be a tough task,” he said.

Daniel Kelman, an American lawyer in Taiwan who had 44.5 bitcoin – today worth about $310,000 – stored with Mt. Gox, predicts further disputes. “People are going to fight over the value of claims,” he said. “For sure.”

There’s also the issue of paying shareholders in Mt. Gox and Tibanne, rather than creditors.

Like Karpeles, McCaleb, Mt. Gox’s founder, told Reuters that he didn’t “want to make money” from the bankruptcy. McCaleb said he would give “as much as possible” from any money he received to creditors – minus any legal costs or taxes.

“The people that are more hurt by the whole Mt. Gox fiasco are more deserving,” he said. “It seems kind of silly that Mark or I would get it.”

Meanwhile, Mt. Gox’s bitcoin assets keep climbing in value. In August, bitcoin’s underlying software code split, creating a clone called “bitcoin cash.” In addition to the 202,185 bitcoins that it already had, the Mt. Gox estate now owns an equal number of bitcoin cash digital coins. Those are now worth about $200 million, while the bitcoins are worth about $1.4 billion.

In his latest status report on Mt. Gox, Kobayashi said he wished to proceed with distributing the assets “as soon as possible,” but that the timing and method “have not yet been determined.”

To solve the Mt. Gox bankruptcy mess, its former chief executive says he is exploring a dramatic solution – reviving the exchange so it can start generating money again.

Mark Karpeles told Reuters he believes Mt. Gox, which collapsed in 2014, could be resurrected under new management and ownership – at a cost of $245 million. He said he would have no role and would only receive “money for required expenses, mostly legal.”

Karpeles is currently on trial in Japan, accused of embezzling money from Mt. Gox and manipulating its data, as well as breach of trust. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He said the $245 million would be needed to set up a fund to cover possible payments to “uncooperative creditors,” to fund a year’s operating expenses and future cash flow, for compliance in the United States, Europe and Japan, and to convince creditors to support the plan.

To raise the money, he proposes either finding a buyer for Mt. Gox or conducting an online fundraiser.

If Mt. Gox were to resume business, as unlikely as that may seem, Karpeles said he would have “no role nor benefit at all, except for the fact people may hate me a little less.”


Bitcoin is a bubble, no plans to short-sell: Japan Post Bank CIO

November 16, 2017

by Tomo Uetake, Hideyuki Sano


TOKYO (Reuters) – Bitcoin BTC=BTSP is in a bubble and its fair value should be around $100, or about 99 percent below the current level, Katsunori Sago, chief investment officer of Japan Post Bank (7182.T) said on Thursday.

The bank could consider buying the digital currency if it falls to $100, but has no plans to short-sell bitcoin because it is too volatile, he added.

The current bitcoin craze is worse than the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s that eventually busted in 2000, Sago said.

“During the information technology bubble, we saw a rally in dot-com company shares. But at least at that time, there were people using Yahoo or (Japanese internet firm) Rakuten — people were using their services,” he said.

“But this time, I see quite a lot of people doing crypto-currency businesses in my circle of friends. But I hardly know anyone in person who is trading crypto-currencies and I haven’t seen anyone using them in real life,” he said.

“So in that sense, it’s worse than the IT bubble,” he added.

Sago also said he found it troubling when a friend who has no background in the financial industry recently asked his opinion of crypto-currencies.

“When people who have nothing to do with finance ask me that sort of question, normally that market will get into trouble in a few months. According to knowledge from my experience, it is a very important signal for me,” noting that he had a similar experience twice, once before the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 and another in 2007, when stock prices peaked in many countries.

Sago said bitcoin’s rally could end after its price hits the $10,000 mark or right before the CME Group launches bitcoin futures some time by the end of this year.

The futures contract is expected to make it possible for institutional investors to short the digital currency.

But Sago said it is hard to predict when and where a bubble will burst, and therefore, the bank is not interested in shorting bitcoin.

Sago noted that blockchain is a great technology and one day bitcoin could become a major means of settlement.

“But that will be years away, possibly more than a decade — so there’s no need to buy bitcoin now. Since no one knows when the bubble will burst, the best thing to do here is to stay away from it,” he said.

($1 = 113.00 yen)

Editing by Jacqueline Wong



US official: Crown Prince Salman ‘behaving recklessly’

November 15, 2017


US officials have expressed “growing alarm” at the moves made recently by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince saying they could “damage US interests”, the New York Times reported.

US diplomats along with officials from the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency say Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is behaving recklessly without sufficient consideration to the likely consequences of his behaviour”, the Times quoted an unidentified State Department official as saying on Tuesday.

Crown Prince Salman, 32, also known by his initials MBS, has quickly consolidated power after being named next in line for the throne by his father, King Salman, last June.

Dozens of senior Saudi officials were rounded up and detained – allegedly in a corruption crackdown – on November 4, including 11 cabinet ministers and some of the kingdom’s most powerful businessmen.

Hariri breaks silence: ‘I am free in Saudi Arabia’

On the same day, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation on television from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, saying Iran and the Hezbollah movement were interfering in his country’s affairs.

Hariri has yet to return from Saudi and critics within Lebanon’s government have accused Riyadh of detaining him against his will.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said Hariri’s resignation was “forced” by Saudi Arabia.

The comments by the State Department official to the New York Times again reflect the disunity within the US administration of President Donald Trump.

After the mass arrests in Saudi Arabia Trump tweeted: “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing. Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years.”

A Saudi-led group of countries also imposed a blockade on neighbouring Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting “extremism” in the region. Qatar has vehemently denied the accusations.

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the crown prince to engage Qatar in dialogue to end the Gulf crisis, but he said there was “not a strong indication” MBS was ready to talk.

MBS was appointed defence minister in January 2015 and his most notable move was to launch Operation Decisive Storm, a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen against Houthi rebels in control of much of the country.

The war has not gone the coalition’s way with the Houthis still controlling the capital, Sanaa, and areas in the north. Yemeni civilians have borne the brunt with 10,000 dead, tens of thousands wounded, the impoverished country on the brink of famine, and a deadly outbreak of cholera.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of “direct military aggression” through the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The crown prince has pledged to overhaul the economy of Saudi Arabia by weaning it off its heavy reliance on oil, rid the kingdom of systemic corruption, and “moderate” a society that has long been influenced by religious hardliners.

He has also driven a far more aggressive foreign policy to counter the influence of regional rival Iran.

After taking over in June, MBS vowed to take “the battle” to Iran, which he accused of seeking “to control the Islamic world”.


Two more women accuse Senate candidate Moore of sexual misconduct

November 15, 2017

by John Whitesides


(Reuters) – Two more women came forward on Wednesday with allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, one accusing him of groping her and the other of forcing a kiss on her when he was 30 and she was about 18.

They are the sixth and seventh women to accuse Moore of sexual improprieties since his race for the Alabama Senate seat began. Most were teenagers at the time. Moore, 70, has denied the accusations and said he is the victim of a witch hunt.

Gena Richardson told the Washington Post that Moore, then a 30-year-old attorney, had repeatedly asked her for a date in 1977 just before or after she turned 18. Richardson said she finally agreed and went to a movie with Moore, the Post said.

In a dark parking lot at a mall in Gadsden, Alabama, Richardson said Moore gave her an unwanted, “forceful” kiss that scared her, the Post reported.

Another woman, Tina Johnson, told AL.com, an Alabama news site, that Moore groped her while she was in his Alabama law office on legal business in 1991.

Johnson, who was 28 at the time, said she visited Moore’s office with her mother, who had hired Moore in a custody case involving Johnson’s 12-year-old son.

Johnson said Moore grabbed her buttocks as she left. “He didn’t pinch it, he grabbed it,” Johnson told AL.com

Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegations from either woman, and Moore’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Five other women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct or of dating them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers.

National Republican Party leaders have responded with demands that he drop out of the Senate race. The Dec. 12 special election will fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was named U.S. attorney general last spring.

Moore on Wednesday denied the allegations of the first five women to step forward.

“We are in the process of investigating these false allegations to determine their origin and motivation,” he said in a statement.

Moore also said he believed a message that one of the accusers, Beverly Young Nelson, said he had written in her high school yearbook had been tampered with. Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 and he was in his 30s.

Nelson displayed the yearbook message at a news conference in New York, where she made the allegations on Monday. Moore’s campaign on Wednesday demanded that Nelson turn over the yearbook to a neutral custodian so a handwriting expert could examine it.

The Alabama state party’s leadership met on Wednesday night to discuss their stance and took no action, news media reported.

Republican leaders in Washington have asked Moore to withdraw from the race and said they are exploring write-in options for the election.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has spoken to President Donald Trump and others about the situation. Trump appeared at the White House on Wednesday but did not mention Moore.

Under state law, Moore cannot be removed from the ballot. If, however, the state party tells election officials that it wants to withdraw its nominee, or if Moore himself decided to do so, election officials would not certify any votes cast for Moore.

Before the allegations surfaced, Moore, a Christian conservative and former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, had been heavily favored to defeat Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney. But a new poll on Wednesday, released by the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, had Jones surging to a 12-point lead since the allegations surfaced.

A Democratic win in Alabama would be a blow to Trump’s agenda and shift the political outlook for next year’s congressional elections, giving Democrats a stronger shot at wiping out the Republicans’ 52-48 Senate majority.

Moore has suggested that McConnell and other establishment Republicans are working with news media to discredit him.

The Washington Post first disclosed allegations by four women about their relationships with Moore when they were teenagers, ranging in age from 14 to 18. One of the women said he initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 and Moore was in his 30s.

Additional reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler, Larry King



Saudi Arabia wants to kill the petrodollar – economist

November 16, 2017


The United States and Saudi Arabia are so interdependent that a rift would mean disaster for the petrodollar system and the greenback’s reserve currency status, warns economist Brandon Smith. He is sure Riyadh is planning to ditch the dollar.

“I believe the next phase of the global economic reset will begin in part with the breaking of petrodollar dominance. An important element of my analysis on the strategic shift away from the petrodollar has been the symbiosis between the US and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been the single most important key to the dollar remaining as the petrocurrency from the very beginning,” Smith wrote in an article for his website Alt-market.com.

The site claims its goal is to “facilitate barter networking and the exchange of knowledge and ideas for thriving in a faltering monetary environment.”

According to the economist, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been seeking ways of cutting dependence on the US dollar. Smith says the country’s Vision 2030 program may be not about reducing oil’s share in the economy, but killing the petrodollar.

“Prince Mohammed’s revolutionary “Vision for 2030” developed as he entered power was touted as a means to end Saudi reliance on oil revenues to support economic stability. However, I believe this plan is NOT about ending reliance on oil, but ending reliance on the US dollar. In fact, the plan indicates a move away from the dollar as the world’s petrocurrency and a de-pegging of the riyal from the dollar,” he wrote.

A 1974 agreement between US President Richard Nixon and Saudi King Faisal meant Riyadh has been accepting dollars for all its oil exports.

“Prince Mohammed has also established much deeper ties to Russia and China, creating bilateral agreements which may end up removing the dollar as the mechanism for oil trade between the nations,” Smith added.


Over 48,000 Gulen-linked suspects remanded in custody in Turkey

November 15, 2017


ANKARA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — More than 48,000 people have been remanded in custody in Turkey over alleged links to the Gulen network since July 15, 2016, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Wednesday.

“A total of 48,739 people have been remanded in custody so far,” Soylu told a parliamentary session of the Planning and Budget Commission.

The security forces have conducted 19 major operations since the defeated coup, and “state institutions have been largely cleared of Gulenists,” he was quoted by state-fun Anadolu Agency as saying.

The police also detected around 215,000 ByLock users, a secret smart phone messaging app linked to followers of Gulen, as part of the probe.

Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based preacher, is blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that left 250 people killed and 2,200 others injured.

The Turkish government declared a state of emergency and launched a massive crackdown on Gulen’s supporters in the aftermath of the coup attempt.


Homeless evictions near future site of Zuckerberg-funded school spark protest

Foundation launched by Facebook founder and his wife says it had nothing to do with evictions near planned private school for low-income students

November 15, 2017

by Alastair Gee in East Palo Alto, California

The Guardian

Residents of a Silicon Valley city protested on Wednesday as officials evicted homeless families and others living in RVs from their parking spots over public health concerns.

The location of the showdown was suggestive: next to the future site of a private school for low-income students that receives funding from a philanthropic initiative by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

Schoolchildren living in the vehicles were among those evicted and the outcry highlighted the profound poverty in the local school district, which includes the Facebook campus in its catchment area.

Homelessness in Silicon Valley is deeply intertwined with the technology boom and the real estate crunch that has ensued. The foundation said it had nothing to do with the RV removals, and construction was still more than a year away.

According to data gathered by the school district based on federal requirements, about 58% of its students experience homelessness, defined as couch-surfing or doubling up with other families, or sleeping in RVs and shelters, said the superintendent, Gloria Hernandez-Goff. Previous data had put the number at more than one-third of students.

“No matter what we do, they’re only Band-Aids,” Hernandez-Goff said of her efforts to help the students. She was critical of the city.


Official Government Suppression

In April 1984, President Reagan signed Presidential Directorate Number 54 that allowed FEMA to engage in a secret national “readiness exercise” under the code name of REX 84. The exercise was to test FEMA’s readiness to assume military authority in the event of a “State of Domestic National Emergency” concurrent with the launching of a direct United States military operation in Central America. The plan called for the deputation of U.S. military and National Guard units so that they could legally be used for domestic law enforcement. These units would be assigned to conduct sweeps and take into custody an estimated 400,000 undocumented Central American immigrants in the United States. The immigrants would be interned at 10 detention centers to be set up at military bases throughout the country. REX 84 was so highly guarded that special metal security doors were placed on the fifth floor of the FEMA building in Washington, D.C. Even long-standing employees of the Civil Defense of the Federal Executive Department possessing the highest possible security clearances were not being allowed through the newly installed metal security doors. Only personnel wearing a special red Christian cross or crucifix lapel pin were allowed into the premises. Lt. Col. North was responsible for drawing up the emergency plan, which U.S. Attorney General William French Smith opposed vehemently.

The plan called for the suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to FEMA, appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and the declaration of Martial Law. The Presidential Executive Orders to support such a plan were already in place. The plan also advocated the rounding up and transfer to “assembly centers or relocation camps” of a least 21 million American Negroes in the event of massive rioting or disorder, not unlike the rounding up of the Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

The second known time that FEMA stood by was in 1990 when Desert Storm was enacted. Prior to President Bush’s invasion of Iraq, FEMA began to draft new legislation to increase its already formidable powers. One of the elements incorporated into the plan was to set up operations within any state or locality without the prior permission of local or state authorities. Such prior permission has always been required in the past. Much of the mechanism being set into place was in anticipation of the economic collapse of the Western World. The war with Iraq may have been conceived as a ploy to boost the bankrupt economy, but it only pushed the West into deeper recession.

Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was a classified “scenario and drill” developed by the United States federal government to suspend the United States Constitution, declare martial law, place military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens who are deemed to be “national security threats”, in the event that the President declares a “State of National Emergency”. The plan states, events causing such a declaration would be widespread U.S. opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad, such as if the United States were to directly invade Central America. To combat what the government perceived as “subversive activities”, the plan also authorized the military to direct ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels.

Rex 84 was written by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who was both National Security Council White House Aide, and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and John Brinkerhoff, the deputy director of “national preparedness” programs for the FEMA. They patterned the plan on a 1970 report written by FEMA chief Louis Giuffrida, at the Army War College, which proposed the detention of up to 21 million “American Negroes”, if there were a black militant uprising in the United States. Existence of a master military contingency plan (of which REX-84 was a part), “Garden Plot” and a similar earlier exercise, “Lantern Spike”, were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in an article in CounterSpy.

Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.

The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby. The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners. Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold approximately 2 million people.

Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:..

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to seize all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10999 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities. EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation. General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA’s role as a “new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis.” FEMA’s powers were consolidated by President Carter to incorporate the…

National Security Act of 1947 allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities.

1950 Defense Production Act gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy.

Act of August 29, 1916 authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency.

International Emergency Economic Powers Act enables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.



The Muslim Assault on Germany

November 16, 2017

by Christian Jürs

Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad’s teachings.

The majority of Muslims belong to one of two denominations, the Sunni and the Shi’a. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country.31% in the Indian Subcontinent, 20% in the Middle Eastand 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 23% of the world’s population (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest-growing religion in the world.

Muhammad (c. 570 – June 8, 632) was a trader and camel-breeder and who later became a religious, political, and military leader. Muslims now view him, not as the creator of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.

Muhammad posed as an apostle of God, yet his life was filled with lustfulness (12 marriages and sex with many children, both male and female, slaves and concubines), rapes, warfare, conquests, and unmerciful butcheries.

Modern Islam is a caustic blend of paganism and twisted Bible stories.    Muhammad, its lone “prophet”, who made no prophecies, conceived his religion to satiate his lust for power, sex, and money. He was a terrorist. And if you think these conclusions are shocking, additional research will easily uncover the evidence mostly from Islamic historians 70% of what is here is from Muslim and ex-Muslim historians – back to the 8th century.

When we turn and look at the life of Muhammad we find that he clearly killed and robbed people in the name of Allah according to the Quran. He taught his disciples by example, command, and precept that they could and should kill and rob in Allah’s name and force people to submit to Islam.

His next greatest weakness was women and young boys. Although in the Quran he would limit his followers to having four wives, he himself took more than four wives, numerous concubines and young boys and girls into his bed.

The 20th century saw the Islamic world increasingly exposed to outside cultural influences, bringing potential changes to Muslim societies. In response, new Islamic “revivalist” movements were initiated as a counter movement to non-Islamic ideas. Groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt advocate a totalistic and theocratic alternative to secular political ideologies. Sometimes called Islamist, they see Western cultural values as a threat, and promote Islam as a comprehensive solution to every public and private question of importance.

In countries like Iran, revolutionary movements replaced secular regime with an Islamic state, while transnational groups like Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda engage in terrorism to further their goals.

Jihad means “to strive or struggle” (in the way of God) and is considered the “Sixth Pillar of Islam” by a minority of Sunni Muslim authorities. Jihad, in its broadest sense, is classically defined as “exerting one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation.

Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defense or expansion of the Ummah. The ultimate purpose of military jihad is the goal of global conquest.

Jihad is the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law and may be declared against apostates, rebels, highway robbers, violent groups, and non-Muslim leaders or states who oppress Muslims or hamper its aggressive proselytizing efforts.

Modern criticism of Islam includes accusations that Islam is intolerant of criticism and that Islamic law is too hard on apostates from Islam

Saudi Arabia has emerged as the main group to finance and arm the rebels fighting against the Syrian government. Since 2015, under King Salman, Saudi Arabia has openly backed the Army of Conquest, an umbrella rebel group that includes an al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front and another Salafi coalition known as Ahrar al-Sham and also the Saudis supported the development of IS “Islamic State” or the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), as the arm militant of the dominant Muslim sect, the Sunnis. The purpose of this group of militants was to establish a Greater Sunni Empire, controlled by the Saudis. Iran has the largest Shia majority, with more than 66 million making up nearly 90% of the population.

Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam, comprising the vast bulk of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims

The Shi’a constitute 10–13% of Islam and are its second-largest branch.

Shi’a are also in the majority in Iraq and Bahrain. There are sizable Shi’a communities in Kuwait, Yemen, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The goal of ISIS has been to physically occupy all Shiite countries, exterminate the Shi’a and organize the remnants into a unified Sunni Empire.

Because of its economic ties with the United States, the Saudis have organized and fiscally support the ISIS movement and the United States, through its CIA and Special Forces, have armed and trained them.

Because the government of Syria permitted the trans-shipment of Russian-made weaponry to the military units of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, the Israeli government persuaded the United States to support the ousting of Syrian president Assad and to replace him with a head of state that was supportive of Israel. Russia is an ally of Assad and because of the issue of the rockets for Hezbollah and the leasing by Syria of a Mediterranean port facility to Russian naval units, the United States felt it had ample reason to oust Assad.

As an ally of Assad, Putin’s Russia intervened in the civil war and its aerial attacks on ISIS positions and training camps caused a large number of fatalities to American support personnel and so disrupted the ISIS activities that the Saudi plans for a Sunni Empire have been shattered.

It is feared in Washington that if there is a breach in relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States, or if Saudi oil runs out and America abandons her, that ISIS will begin to attack American domestic targets.

To prevent new waves of Muslim immigrants into the United States, that country arrived at a private agreement with the Merkel German administration to have that country absorb the great bulk of the new waves of Muslim immigrants.




Total population:   8,735,453

Muslim population: 700,000 (22.0%)


Total population: 11,478,426 million

Muslim population:  630,000 (5.9%)


Total population: 5,741,289 million

Muslim population: 230,000 (4.1%)


Total population: 65,073,902

Muslim population: 4,710,000 (5.8%)


Total population: 82.5 million

Muslim population: 4,760,000 (5.8%)


Total population: 58.4 million

Muslim population: 2,220,000 (3,7%)


Total population: 17,053,991

Muslim population: 1,000,000 (6.0%)


Total population: 5,258,317

Muslim population: 121,095 (2.3%)


Total population: 9,937,435

Muslim population: 430,000 (4.6%)


Total population: 7.4 million

Muslim population: 310,800 (4.2%)

United Kingdom

Total population: 66,327,186

Muslim population: 2,960,000 (4.8%)

The United States

Total population: 325,322,429

Muslim population: 6,830,000 million (2.11 %)

The 10 states with the largest Muslim populations are: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Maryland.


The Muslims in Germany


Since 2012, Germany has been the primary destination country for asylum seekers in Europe.

In 2016 an estimated 52,000 people were living on German streets, an increase of a third on the 39,000 people who were living rough in 2014,” the report says.

To blame is the so-called ‘open door’ immigration policy, implemented by the current German government, headed by Angela Merkel.

The number of refugees from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries flooding into Germany has increased six-fold during 2016.

1 million refugees, almost all of them Muslims, arrived in Germany in 2015

German states spent more than €20bn ($23,554,400,000) on refugees in 2016 alone.

Muslims do not wish to participate in the broader society. In every country Muslims want to be distinct from the rest of society rather than adopt the nation’s customs and way of life

And the number of migrant criminal suspects in Germany soared by more than 50% in 2016, and the number of crimes has increased disproportionately.

  • The crime rate among migrants in Germany rose by more than 50 per cent
  • German police were hunting 174,000 migrant criminal suspects in 2016
  • Meanwhile crimes motivated by Islamism also jumped by 13.7 per cent
  • The number of German criminal suspects fell by 3 per cent to 1.4million


The Solution: Expulsion


The international communities with large Muslim populations have been secretly meeting to agree upon corrective steps to deal with this problem.

The commission is called ‘Energy Control Commission’ and its members are: The United States, India, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

This commission has been meeting on a monthly basis in Copenhagen since July of 2006. Its sole purpose is to address the flood of potentially dangerous Muslims into Western countries. A good deal of intelligence material has surfaced in which telephone and internet communications between various Muslim activist groups point very clearly to deliberate infiltration of non-Muslim countries with the double goal of overwhelming the native populations with numbers and threats of physical violence, Muslim groups are strongly anti-Christian and are most especially vindictive towards any country that has engaged in military action against any Muslim country.

The United States is considered a prime target for infiltration and domestic terrorism while Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden and France are also high on activist terrorist lists.

The general agreement between all parties is that Muslims cannot remain in basically Christian countries because of their often-stated desire to not only take over these countries by population increase but also by the on-going threat of terrorism. At this time, the Commission is awaiting what is felt to be the imminent change of government in Libya.

When this event occurs, either naturally of from outside implementation, Libya will then be opened up as a designated ‘Country of Welcome’ and when this happens, mass deportations of Europe, and America’s, Muslims will begin.

This Islamic Diaspora will be implemented by a joint team of multi-national military personnel using aircraft and shipping that has already been allotted.



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