Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Money Laundering Scandal at Australia’s Largest Bank Triggers Another Call for Ban of Cash

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by Mish Shedlock, Mish Talk:

Ian Narev, the CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s largest bank is set to step down amid money laundering charges.

Money laundering is big business in Australia because regulations do not cover lawyers, real estate agents, accountants, and CEOs ignoring warnings from police.

Despite the obvious problem, it’s cash itself that gets the blame.

There are several stories here buts let’s start with Australia’s Biggest Bank Says CEO Will Retire Amid Money-Laundering Scandal.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev will step down by the end of June 2018 as the nation’s largest lender seeks to mitigate the fallout from a money-laundering scandal.

Pressure is building on Commonwealth Bank amid allegations by the nation’s financial crimes agency that drug syndicates used its network of deposit machines to launder cash, despite warnings from police. The nation’s securities regulator opened its own inquiry last week and the governor of the central bank called for accountability in the banking industry, which is beset by a string of scandals.

Narev, 50, has presided over a market-topping stock price since he took the helm at the start of December 2011. Last week, he delivered the lender’s eighth consecutive record profit.

His achievements have been overshadowed by the money-laundering allegations — the third major public-relations scandal he has faced as CEO. The bank has paid A$29 million ($23 million) in compensation to customers who were allegedly given poor financial advice, and has faced accusations it wrongly failed to honor insurance claims to sick clients.

The financial crime agency, Austrac, alleges that Commonwealth Bank failed to report either on time or at all suspicious transactions through its network of automated cash deposit machines totaling more than A$624 million, and it failed to monitor the activities of drug syndicates even after being alerted by police. The bank has blamed most of the breaches on a software coding error which has since been fixed.

The allegations are the latest in a series of scandals in Australia’s banking industry, ranging from giving poor advice to wealth-management customers to allegations the nation’s three other biggest banks manipulated a benchmark swap rate.

Moral of the Story

With share prices high after three scandals, the moral of the story must be CEO crimes pay. What other lesson could there possibly be?

Australia a ‘Place of Choice’ for Money Laundering

Please consider Australia a ‘place of choice’ for money laundering due to lack of regulation.

Australia’s hot property market is an attractive haven for criminals, with estimates that billions of dollars of dirty money is being laundered through residential property.

Australia’s anti-money laundering law does not cover real estate agents, lawyers and accountants, despite promises when the law was enacted in 2006 that the legislation would be widened.

ANZ’s head of financial crime, Guy Boyd, is scathing of the failure of subsequent governments to extend the legislation.

Australia’s housing market has been targeted by money launderers from countries including Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and China.

Read More @ MishTalk.com

The Civil Unrest in Charlottesville is Part of the Cycle into 2020

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by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

The violence that erupted ahead of a planned rally where thousands of white nationalists were expected to gather for an alt-right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, led to numerous injuries of which at least two people were seriously injured. A video appears all over YouTube showing the confrontation as a man is being dragged away by officials. The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park with hundreds moving through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ as they made their way towards the event.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer had denounced the ‘cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights’ and warned for residents to stay away from the rally. Clearly, this rally is anti-immigration with many pointing the finger at Europe.

We must realize that such riots against immigrants is by no means new. Turn the economy down and unemployment rises, the first thing people blame is the immigrant. For the major to label this event simply caused by “hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance” demonstrates he does not comprehend the cause nor does he even think this is something that has occurred in the past. The people who oppose this alt-right also are typically the people who are students and have lost nothing yet.

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

Fed’s Facebook Page Gets Viciously Trolled

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by Peter Schiff, SchiffGold:

Whomever runs social media for the Federal Reserve learned a tough lesson about the cruelty of the internet this week.

The Fed’s Facebook page got wickedly trolled after the central bank posted a simple warning about potential scams.

The post seemed innocent enough. The Fed simply wanted to warn people about scammerssending out emails that claim to be from the Fed.

The very first comment gave a pretty good indication as to how this was going to go.

Whether it is or isn’t from the federal reserve the answer is yes…it is a scam.”

From there, people just piled on.

Everything from the Federal Reserve is a scam. I have more faith in emails from long lost Nigerian relatives.”

A few people took a more tongue-in-cheek approach.

I received a piece of paper with ‘federal reserve note’ written on it. Is it legit?”

Another reader took the opportunity to post an educational video.

Some commenters chimed in to chastise the poor Federal Reserve social media person, noting that the whole page was probably a bad idea.

Ha ha ha…..wow! This is just too easy FED. Whoever green lighted this story must have a great sense of humor.”

As of the writing of this article, there were over 100 posts. I didn’t see anybody defending the Fed.

Aside from offering a valuable lesson about the dangers of Facebook posting, the whole episode underscores a deeper truth. The Federal Reserve has very little credibility. It’s fiat money and financial manipulations have done significant damage to the economy. It has devalued currency, blown up asset bubbles, and manipulated interest rates.

Read More @ SchiffGold.com

Lying Australian press and the Vaxxed scandal

by Jon Rappoport, No More Fake News:

(Part 1 of this story here.)

FACT: Recently, the film Vaxxed (trailer) was shown in locations across Australia.

FACT: The film exposes horrendous and criminal scientific fraud at the US Centers for Disease Control.

FACT: Vaxxed features the 2014 public confession of William Thompson, a long-time CDC researcher.

FACT: Thompson states that he and his colleagues falsified data to make it appear that the MMR vaccine has no connection to autism, when in fact the vaccine does raise the risk of autism.

FACT: The film’s producer, Polly Tommey, came to Australia with the film and spoke with audiences at showings.

FACT: The Australian government, upon her exit from the country, canceled her visa.

Why?

Here is one version of the story, from the Australian press, about Polly Tommey and a colleague, Suzanne Humphries. Herald Sun, August 7-8: “…[they] entered the country on false visas…it is believed they did not declare their intentions to work…”

It is believed? By whom? Three drunks in a bar? A ghost in an attic? A paid public-relations hustler for a vaccine manufacturer?

Well, here is the actual statement of the Australian government canceling Vaxxedproducer Polly Tommey’s visa. Here’s the actual statement, signed by an anonymous government official who scribbled his unreadable name at the bottom of a document issued on August 8th at 10:45 hours:

“Ms. Tommey stated in her subclass 651 visa application that the purpose of travel to Australia was ‘business’ however there is no further details [sic] as to the business she intended to undertake. Given this visa does permit the holder to undertake business visitor activities, I give a little weight in Ms Tommey’s favor.”

I see. So Polly Tommey DID state her intention to work. The press story was entirely misleading.

The document continues, with its real bombshell, under the section titled, “Evidence for grounds of [visa] cancellation”:

“Open source information indicates that Ms Tommey is a prominent anti-vaccination activist in the United States of America…”

“I am satisfied that if the wider Australian community became aware of Ms Tommy’s intended activities…her presence in Australia would be a risk to the good order of the Australian community.”

“’Good order’, in the context of 116(1)(e) is concerned with actions by a visa holder which have an impact on public activities…including the risk of an adverse reaction by certain members of Australian society…Therefore, it appears Ms Tommey’s presence in Australia would be a risk to the good order of the Australian community and I am satisfied that there is a ground to cancel your [Tommey’s] visa under section 116(1)(e).”

My, my.

“Certain members of Australian society” might react adversely?

Who are they? Vaccine-company CEOs? Three drunks in bar? A few snowflakes who are “triggered” by the presentation of ideas they haven’t been trained to believe?

This towering government document, this gibberish is—“Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Decision Record of Visa Cancellation under Section 128 of the Migration Act.”

By its brand of logic, many, many people could be banned from Australia for causing an adverse reaction in “certain members” of “the Australian community.”

How about banning a man with a moustache? There are those who don’t like moustaches. How about banning a woman after she had a bad facelift? Bad facelifts can be visually troubling. How about a priest who tells his flock the only way to God and salvation is through the Church? How about an American tourist wearing checkered pants, a pink and purple shirt, and an orange fedora lugging a giant bag of golf clubs and holding a tiny yapping dog?

As you can see from the government document, maintaining “order” is the primary obsession. No matter what. Keep the sheep in line.

“We don’t want any outsiders coming in here with disruptive ideas. And that goes for internal control, too. Don’t say anything that punctures the status quo.”

Vaccination is a holy of holies. People must get jabbed. People who point out dangers are heretics.

Questioning the Church of Vaccination is a sin.

But the whole point of the film Vaxxed, and the whole point of what producer Polly Tommey was doing in Australia, impacts that Church—because the film reveals a “priest,” CDC researcher William Thompson, confessing that sacred doctrine has a giant hole in it. Thompson and his colleagues cooked data to make it seem the MMR vaccine is safe—and it isn’t safe. That’s the revelation.

Read More @ NoMoreFakeNews.com

Gold interest from big institutional players point towards higher prices as shorts dump their Comex positions

by Kenneth Schortgen, Daily Economist:

While the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) report isn’t always the best indicator for the future direction of precious metals, it does provide a snapshot of what big institutional players are doing in regards to futures and interest.

On Aug. 13 the latest COT report came out showing that short covering is continuing in the futures markets as positions on the downside dropped to their lowest levels since September of last year, and just before the election.  In the meantime, long positions began to slowly increase, which when coupled with recent remarks from billionaire investors like Ray Dalio, signal that gold should continue to move higher and soon breach the $1300 price level.

The latest Commitment of Traders ((NYSE:COT)) report, showed another rise in speculative longs for the week, though it was a bit subdued. The big change in gold speculative positions came on the short side as speculative shorts lowered their own positions to around 29,000 contracts outstanding – the lowest levels of speculative gold shorts since last September when gold was well over $1300. 

Silver, the best performing precious metal on the week, also saw a similar drop in short interest as longs essentially stayed put. – Seeking Alpha

Read More @ DailyEconomist.com

Rod Wheeler Suit Riddled With Contradictory Information

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by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Disobedient Media previously reported that Rod Wheeler had filed a defamation suit against Fox News. Wheeler is a retired Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor hired as a private investigator by the Rich family regarding the still-unsolved murder of Seth Rich. The suit centers on a Fox story which was eventually retracted, which Wheeler claimed misquoted him regarding the Seth Rich case. Disobedient Media’s previous coverage of the suit discussed the case being relatively weak.  If misquotation or false quotation were proven to have occurred, it would still be unlikely to legally prove that defamation had occurred.

Many of the claims made in Wheeler’s suit have been brought into serious question. On the day the suit was filed, Big League Politics investigative journalist Cassandra Fairbanks released two audio tapes; one with legendary, pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh referencing Seth Rich as the source of Wikileaks’ DNC email publication. The other audio clip contained a recorded conversation where Wheeler appeared to support the information attributed to him in the initial Fox story.

Further questions regarding Wheeler’s suit were raised after his appearance on MSNBC where he contradicted significant elements of the defamation suit against Fox. During the interview, Wheeler stated that he did not know for a fact if President Trump knew about the Fox story, which fundamentally contradicts Wheeler’s previous allegations that the Trump administration had participated in orchestrating  Fox’s story.

Wheeler also told MSNBC that the DNC was involved in this investigation with the DC police department. He stated that: “During my investigation when I first reached out to the police department, Donna Brazille was the one that contacted the Rich family wanting know why I was snooping around. Why would Donna Brazille even be involved in this situation if this is just a street murder?” This is extremely important, as it supports the statements quoted in the Fox story, and contradicts Wheeler’s legal claim that Fox misquoted him, which even if true would be unlikely to qualify legally as defamation. Fox has also strenuously denied the race discrimination claim made in the suit.

Adding to controversy surrounding the case, Consortium News reported that pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh confirmed that audio files released by Cassandra Fairbanks were legitimate. Hersh told Consortium that the tape in question was “made without his permission” when he quoted an unnamed government source who stated Seth Rich had offered the DNC emails to WikiLeaks in exchange for money.

Significantly, the recording of Hersh was made by Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Republican donor and Trump supporter. This is important because it is Butowsky who was named in Wheeler’s suit as a coordinator of the now-retracted Fox story regarding Rich. Butowsky represents the crux of alleged Trump administration knowledge of the story, which legacy media has widely circulated. However, even Wheeler contradicted these claims when he told MSNBC that he did not know whether President Trump was aware of the story. This would be important in the Wheeler suit, and for its implications for the already discredited Trump-Russia narrative and possibly for Seth Rich’s murder.

That such a shaky suit would be widely heralded by establishment press as evidence that the Seth Rich case is a figment of fevered conspiracy theory imagination deserves serious skepticism from the public. The mainstream media enthusiasm for a story which is based on a lawsuit that appears to be contradicted so clearly by the facts, indicates the degree to which issues raised by the case may threaten establishment interests, as Wheeler himself indicated during his MSNBC interview. It is deeply concerning that legacy media figures, some of whom appear supportive of Media Matters, would use this legally shaky suit to discredit Ed Butowsky personally and to create a scandal to replace  the thoroughly discredited Russian hacking narrative.

It appears on this author’s inspection that Ed Butowsky enjoys a good reputation and has had no complaints made against him in the past.

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

Sick. CNN’s Ana Navarro Defends Antifa Terrorists Hurling Bricks, Using Flame Throwers on Protesters (Video)

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by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

Trump-hater Ana Navarro from CNN was in rare form on Saturday after the violent protests, rioting and deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ana Navarro defended the violent far left antifa protesters who were hurling bricks and paint bombs and using blowtorches protesters.

Navarro defended this far left violence.

Ana Navarro: No, no, no, no. You can’t say this is both sides of violence. What we saw was some white supremacists and then what we saw was some brave people risking their lives and putting themselves in between white supremacists and what they were doing.

You just cannot trust CNN to report the truth anymore.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

12 Lifesaving Canning Rules

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by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog:

When it’s that time of year for canning your garden bounty, or when canning any time of the year, before you dust off your canner and heat the stove, first take a look at these 12 lifesaving canning rules.

Having just canned 18 pints of beans, time for a refresher:

If done properly, canning is entirely safe; however certain precautions should be taken.

Generally, I will say that the most important thing to remember (especially for newbies) is to follow the instructions of a modern canning recipe.

Choose a reliable source for home canning recipes because they are tested, proven, and designed to provide a wide margin of safety.

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning

 

SAFETY RULES OF CANNING

 
1. Don’t use jars larger than a quart. Home canning technology cannot guarantee that larger quantities will be sufficiently heated through for enough time. Rather, the food on the outside will overcook, while that on the inside won’t get hot enough for food safety.

2. A water-bath canner may only be used for high acid foods such as tomatoes, fruits, rhubarb, sauerkraut, pickles, and jams/jellies. A pressure canner MUST be used for low acid foods including vegetables, meats, and stews.

3. Use only modern canning recipes from reliable sources (especially when first learning canning as a beginner).

4. Never reuse jar lids. Used lids aren’t reliable for sealing correctly. If a screw-on band is rusty or bent, it won’t work right and should be discarded and replaced. That said, you might consider purpose-designed reusable Tattler lids.

5. Don’t use antique or ‘French’ -type canning jars. They aren’t as safe as the modern, regular ‘Ball, Kerr’ type.

6. Check the jar rims carefully every year by running your finger over the top of the rim and checking for nicks. Even the tiniest nick makes the jar unusable for canning. A nicked jar rim won’t seal reliably.

7. Raw pack is not safe for certain foods: beets, all kinds of greens (spinach, etc.), white potatoes, squash, okra, a tomato/okra combination, and stewed tomatoes.

8. You must allow the correct amount of space (head-space) between your food, together with the liquid that covers it, and the jar lid (follow the recipe instructions).

9. Water Bath Method: Do not begin counting the processing time until after the water in the canner comes to a rolling boil

10. Pressure Canner: Do not begin counting the processing time until after steam has vented for 10 minutes AND until the pressure gauge has risen to the recommended pressure after placing the weight on the vent pipe.

11. Process the full recommended time (and at the recommended pressure if using pressure canner).

12. If a jar did not seal, discard the lid, check to see if the jar rim is chipped (discard jar), check for food residue on the rim (clean), put on a new lid, and reprocess. Or consume the food and/or put in the refrigerator as you would any other leftover food for later consumption.

Read More @ ModernSurvivalBlog.com

Gov. McAuliffe in Charlottesville ‘No Place in America’ for Alt-Right, Refuses to Condemn AntiFa

by Raheem Kassam, Breitbart:

Charlottesville, VA — The usually busy streets of the historic downtown of Charlottesville saw its tourists and locals substituted with heavily armed police and protesters this afternoon, following altercations which lasted from Friday night through to Saturday morning.

Originally billed as a protest in favour of free speech — alongside the disdain over the removal of Confederate statues in the city — the “alt-right” rally found itself transformed into a torch-wielding, Nazi-flag waving dereliction of American values — at least considering the publicity afforded to the event, and the behaviour of some of the rally’s attendees.

In brief, what transpired amounted to a disgusting and unwelcome throwback to segregationist ideas and rhetoric at a time when patriotic conservatism is gaining ground. While many media minutes and deliberations will be afforded to the fascistic right, almost none will be dedicated to the fascistic left.

Gun control supporter Governor Terry McAuliffe was whisked into a downtown building under massively armed police protection in the middle of the afternoon, via a small alleyway off Main Street. One female witness to the scene shouted, “Thank you for showing up!”

On Main Street, after the initial violence, hard leftists sang songs, re-purposing Lady Gaga’s hit song “Paparazzi” with the words “pop a Nazi”. One man told me he was told it was the “wrong day to be white in this town,” while the abandoned stores and bars sported signs that read: “We kindly ask to respect our policy to not bring weapons inside our restaurant or on our patio”.

In the mid afternoon — after protesters were run over by a car, leaving one dead — stick-wielding left-wing activists roamed the streets aimlessly in groups of four or five. One such group screamed: “F**k Donald Trump,” as a girl — clearly unrelated to either side — walked past them.

A few hours later, McAuliffe took the opportunity to address the nation from the stage of the Albemarle County office building, flanked by local officials, as well as a man in a t-shirt which read “Menace II Supremacy”.

McAuliffe flipped back and forth between urging for calm and unity, and demanding division while insisting pro-Confederate statue protesters were persona non grata in his Commonwealth.

He lauded presidents Jefferson and Washington, but ran entirely contrary to their commitments to free speech by declaring of protesters: “There is no place for you in America”.

Insisting “we were here to bring people together and unify folks”, he added “We are a nation of immigrants… unless you’re native American”.

“Please go home and never come back,” he said to Unite the Right protesters, adding: “Take your hatred and take your bigotry”.

Instead of a call for dialogue, or even trying to explain what would be a totally reasonable and easily-made argument against flying Nazi flags or torch-lit demonstrations, he chose to further drive a wedge, as did those who flanked him on stage.

“They’re going to be in the trash heap of history,” said the Charlottesville mayor, while police chief Al Thomas defended the police strategy on the day. Despite having had weeks of notice, as well granting a protest permit to alt-right protesters, there were three fatalities and many injured. In an oddly nativist tone, he declared “outsiders do not tell our story”.

The media tone is also evidently one-sided. While no one — including this website — would take up the cause of defending the actions of the alt right or Nazi flag wavers, it is important to note how quickly many have chosen to lump the blame at the doorstep of President Donald Trump.

CNN issued a push notification to app users’ mobile devices around 8:30pm local time stating: “President Trump fails to condemn the alt-right and white supremacists in his statement about violence in Charlottesville, Virginia”.

No such accusations were hurled by the establishment media at Democrat leaders when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot at Republican congressmen in June.

Read More @ Breitbart.com

North Korea On Standby To Launch At Mainland US

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by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

According to state run propaganda media, North Korea is on standby to launch a missile at the mainland United States.  Responding to President Donald Trump’s recent warnings to the rogue regime in this manner has just flung tensions to heights never seen – not even during the Cold War.

North Korea took its turn Saturday to raise tensions in the back-and-forth escalation toward war with President Trump and the United States.  The state-run newspaper said that North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un’s revolutionary army is “capable of fighting any war the U.S. wants.”  The same newspaper also noted that the Paektusan army is now “on the standby to launch fire into its mainland, waiting for an order of final attack.” Unfortunately, it is possible that we will witness World War 3 and these heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea could be the catalyst.

The editorial also stated that the United States “finds itself in an ever worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). This is tragi-comedy of its own making. … If the Trump administration does not want the American empire to meet its tragic doom in its tenure, they had better talk and act properly.”  Pretty big talk for a small country run by a chubby dictator. And unfortunately, it won’t help stop the progression toward war; it was simply yet another provocation.

The editorial appears to be in response to a series of comments made by President Trump in recent days, most recently Friday that the United States is “locked and loaded.”  The president’s comments are in response to Kim threatening a missile attack on U.S. territory of Guam.  So far, the back and forth tensions have been heightened by continued military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, and North Korea’s insistence on obtaining a nuclear weapon that can strike the mainland United States.  These wars of words will do nothing to calm the nerves of innocents caught in the crossfire of nuclear war.

Trump continues to pursue a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s purported development of a nuclear warhead that could reach the United States and other countries on an intercontinental ballistic missile. The White House says Trump had a phone conversation Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which the leaders reiterated their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The president also saluted Xi for China’s recent United Nations vote to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, in response the country’s escalating pursuit of nuclear weapons, according to the White House.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com