Archive | December 31st, 2016

Video Shows Texas Police Shooting Black Man as He Walked Away

NOVANEWS
  • Black Lives Matter activists hold signs during a protest against police shootings of Black people in the United States.
    Black Lives Matter activists hold signs during a protest against police shootings of Black people in the United States. | Photo: Reuters.
Two off-duty police officers are seen shooting the unarmed man, who is now paralyzed, in the back as he walked away without posing any threat to them.

A video of the July police shooting of 33-year-old Black man David Collie in Texas has been released and it clearly shows a police officer shooting him in the back as he walked away without posing any immediate threat, Collie’s lawyer said after releasing the dashcam footage to the public.

RELATED: Largest US Police Union Pressures Retailers to Drop Black Lives Matter Shirts

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen from the Fort Worth police officer in that video is not an isolated incident. Many members of our community have been assaulted, handled roughly by Fort Worth police officers,” attorney Nate Washington said Wednesday after releasing the video, obtained from the District Attorney’s Office.

“To be clear, we believe the vast majority of police officers are good and decent people,” he added. Following the shooting, his client was hospitalized for 61 days and is now paralyzed from below the abdomen.

The footage contradicts the police’s story at the time when they claimed that Collie had threatened the two officers — who were off duty and working on a private security detail — with a box cutter. The video shows the African-American man walking away from the officers and then getting shot by one of them.

Washington also disputed the police’s version of the incident, saying that while a box cutter was found at the scene, it was at least 10 feet away from the victim. The lawyer said other lawyers in the city have been contacting him about similar cases and videos in their possession showing police brutality.

“We’ve gotten calls from attorneys across the city, who said, ‘I have videos as well, I have photographs of what happened to my client,’ and so we’re investigating the culture and the practice of the City of Fort Worth,” Washington said, according to MSNBC.

RELATED: Some 1,900 People Died Under Police Custody: Report

But shooting Collie was not enough for the police department in Fort Worth. He was also charged with aggravated assault, but a grand jury dismissed the case against him because the video did not show him holding any weapon, according to Washington.

The news comes just days after another video was posted online showing a Fort Worth white policeman violently arresting a Black woman.

Jacqueline Craig, 46, had called the police to report that a white neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for throwing trash in front of his home. But instead of responding to the incident, police arrested her and both of her daughters.

The news comes amid a national debate on racial injustice fueled by high-profile cases of police brutality and killings of unarmed Black people which have received increased attention in recent years.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on Video Shows Texas Police Shooting Black Man as He Walked Away

Palestine’s Last Hope for a Two-State Solution

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  • The future is bleak, both for Palestine and Israel.
    The future is bleak, both for Palestine and Israel. | Photo: AFP
The Palestinians lead the hellish existence of an open prison, surrounded by Israeli walls and checkpoints.

The Christmas season is when people in the Christian world are encouraged to think of those less fortunate, including of course people oppressed for no other reason than being a particular ethnic or national group by birth. Iconic in such misery are Palestinians. Palestinians are both Christian and Muslim. Few in the West know, for example, that the late President Yasser Arafat’s wife is Christian. Also Hanan Ashrawi the notable scholar, legislator and activist, and her mentor the late Edward Said.

RELATED:Palestine Celebrates UN Condemnation of Israeli Settlements

Among the most unfortunate of oppressed peoples, the Palestinians lead the hellish existence of an open prison, surrounded by Israeli walls and checkpoints. Originally one-fifth were Christian, some of the families in fact the original Christians, although their numbers have now diminished. Given the number of instances of Palestinians needing urgent medical attention being snarled at checkpoints instead of being rushed through, one fears if Joseph and Mary, in the apocryphal tale, had traveled to Bethlehem today, Jesus would have been born at a checkpoint.

The 22 percent of the land left to the Palestinians out of the original Palestine is sometimes quietly, sometimes noisily, getting gobbled up by illegal settlements. In theory, the U.S. opposes them but in practice does nothing. So it came as a pleasant surprise when the U.S. did not cast its expected veto against the recent U.N. Security Council resolution condemning them. Congratulations are in order to the all too gutless Obama administration and to our Compromiser-in-Chief, a Peace Nobelist, who has remained nobly aloof (at least apparently) while a swathe of countries stretching from North Africa through the Arabian Peninsula and into the Pakistan border have been devastated, not to mention Ukraine destabilized through a coup.

Yet out of this cauldron of death and destruction plus a resulting refugee tsunami destroying a European experiment, comes a chance, a small chance, of some legacy — even Obamacare the health initiative has taken to its sick bed. In the three weeks remaining of this president’s term, he can recognize Palestine as a state. It would enable Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations and press its legitimate rights. Otherwise the future is bleak, both for Palestine and Israel.

President-elect Trump has signaled the last gasp of the two-state solution through his choice of ambassador to Israel. His friend and bankruptcy lawyer (used often) David Friedman is noted for his affinity with extremist Israeli settlers, illegally squatting in universally condemned settlements that also violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. He is president of the American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva and Bet El Institutions, raising money to support settlers.

RELATED:Palestine Solidarity Day

Since the end of his presidency, Jimmy Carter and his exemplary foundation have undertaken many admirable challenges including the eradication of certain waterborne diseases in Africa. He has also written about the plight of Palestinians, the latest of which is an op-ed in the New York Times (November 28, 2016) titled America Must Recognize Palestine. He exhorts President Obama to recognize Palestine as a country and annul U.S. objections to it becoming a full member of the United Nations.

It is perhaps the last hope for a two-state solution.

 

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PETITION TO STOP THE UK SUPPORTING SAUDI ARABIA AGAINST THE YEMENI PEOPLE

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The United Kingdom has been supporting Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime politically and militarily for a longtime. In fact, just in recent years, the UK has sold more than £2,800,000,000 (yes thats 2.8 billion) worth of military equipment to the Wahhabi family. What does Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime do with those weapons? It launches a war against a poorly equipped and oppressed Yemen, which has no way of defending itself.

In the Summer of 2016, the United Nations acknowledged that 10,000 people had been killed in the war on Yemen and in late October the UN Security Council was told that more than 21 million Yemenis — 80 percent of the population — are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. “Over 2 million people are malnourished nationwide, including 370,000 children who are severely malnourished,” it was said. That is an increase of 65 percent compared to the year before the conflict began.

Yemen: Jews arrested for International OrganTrafficking ring ‘ www.shoah.org.uk’

But truth is not yet dead. There are still voices willing to speak up in denunciation of tyranny, falsehood, manipulation and war capitalism.

A petition was launched in the UK this December so that 2017 would not be spent under the miasmas of unaccountability.

We at AIM request that everyone do their utmost to stand for the oppressed in Yemen and partake in this petition to put pressure on the UK government to cease their arms sales and support of the despotic Saudi regime.

The petition is available by clicking here . 

Please sign the petition and spread the word.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, UK, YemenComments Off on PETITION TO STOP THE UK SUPPORTING SAUDI ARABIA AGAINST THE YEMENI PEOPLE

Cynthia McKinney: every candidate for Congress has to sign a pledge to vote for ‘Israel’.

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Former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney says every candidate for Congress has to sign a pledge to vote for supporting the military superiority of ‘Israel’.

Image result for JEWISH LOBBY LOGO

Cynthia McKinney is the bravest woman in politics. When she was in congress she introduced a bill (HR 1106) to have then President Bush impeached for the Iraq has WMD lies. She also exposed the Dyncorp sex slave trade and confronted Rumsfeld over the Pentagon’s missing billions. (video of the congressional proceedings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esvf-GOO8EM ) She is as Red pilled as they come and has balls of steel to come out swinging.

Her congressional district was eventually Gerrymandered out of existence.

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Ukraine in Full-Blown Collapse: Deep-seated Economic, Social Crisis and Environmental Crisis

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Ukraine

With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what’s left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better.

In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse—all five glorious stages of it—setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.

Phase 1. Financially, the Ukrainian government is in sovereign default as of a couple of days ago. The IMF was forced to break its own rules in order to keep it on life support even though it is clearly a deadbeat. In the process, the IMF stiffed Russia, which happens to be one of its major shareholders; what gives?

Phase 2. Industry and commerce are approaching a standstill and the country is rapidly deindustrializing. Formerly, most of the trade was with Russia; this is now over. The Ukraine does not make anything that the EU might want, except maybe prostitutes. Recently, the Ukraine has been selling off its dirt. This is illegal, but, given what’s been happening there, the term “illegal” has become the stuff of comedy.

Phase 3. Politically, the Ukrainian government is a total farce. Much of it has been turned over to fly-by-night foreigners, such as the former Georgian president Saakashvili, who is a wanted criminal in his own country, which has recently stripped him of his citizenship. The parliament is stocked with criminals who bought their seat to gain immunity from prosecution, and who spend their time brawling with each other. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk was recently hauled off the podium by his crotch; how dignified is that? He seemed unfazed. Where are his testicles? Perhaps Victoria Nuland over at the US State Dept. is keeping them in a jar. This sort of action may be fun to watch on Youtube, but the reality is quite sad: those who “run” the Ukraine (if the term still applies) are only interested in one thing: stealing whatever is left.

Phase 4. Ukrainian society (if the term still applies) has been split into a number of warring factions. This was, to some extent, inevitable. What happens if you take bits of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Russia, and stick them together willy-nilly? Well, results may vary; but if you also spend $5 billion US (as the Americans did) turning the Ukrainians against Russia (and, since they are mostly Russian, against themselves), then you get a complete disaster.

Phase 5. Cultural collapse is quite advanced. The Ukraine once had the same world-class educational system as Russia, but since independence they switched to teaching in Ukrainian (a made-up language) using nonexistent textbooks. The kids have been taught a bogus history hallucinated by rabid Ukrainian nationalists. They’ve been told that Russia is backward and keeping them back, and that they deserve to be happy in the EU. (Just like the Greeks? Yeah…) But now the population has been reduced to levels of poverty not commonly seen outside of Africa, and young people are fleeing, or turning to gangsterism and prostitution, to merely survive. This doesn’t make for a happy cultural narrative. What does it mean to be “a Ukrainian” now? Expletives deleted. Sorry I asked.

Now, here’s what it all really means. With so much going wrong, the Ukraine has been unable to secure enough natural gas or coal supplies to provide a supply cushion in case of a cold snap this winter. A few weeks of frosty weather will deplete the supply, and then pipes will freeze, rendering much of the urban areas unlivable from then on (because, recall, there is no longer any money, or any industry to speak of, to repair the damage). That seems bad enough, but we aren’t quite there yet.

You see, the Ukraine produces over half of its electricity using nuclear power plants. 19 nuclear reactors are in operation, with 2 more supposedly under construction. And this is in a country whose economy is in free-fall and is set to approach that of Mali or Burundi! The nuclear fuel for these reactors was being supplied by Russia. An effort to replace the Russian supplier with Westinghouse failed because of quality issues leading to an accident. What is a bankrupt Ukraine, which just stiffed Russia on billions of sovereign debt, going to do when the time comes to refuel those 19 reactors? Good question!

But an even better question is, Will they even make it that far? You see, it has become known that these nuclear installations have been skimping on preventive maintenance, due to lack of funds. Now, you are probably already aware of this, but let me spell it out just in case: a nuclear reactor is not one of those things that you run until it breaks, and then call a mechanic once it does. It’s not a “if it ain’t broke, I can’t fix it” sort of scenario. It’s more of a “you missed a tune-up so I ain’t going near it” scenario. And the way to keep it from breaking is to replace all the bits that are listed on the replacement schedule no later than the dates indicated on that schedule. It’s either that or the thing goes “Ka-boom!” and everyone’s hair falls out.

How close is Ukraine to a major nuclear accident? Well, it turns out, very close: just recently one was narrowly avoided when some Ukro-Nazis blew up electric transmission lines supplying Crimea, triggering a blackout that lasted many days. The Russians scrambled and ran a transmission line from the Russian mainland, so now Crimea is lit up again. But while that was happening, the Southern Ukrainian, with its 4 energy blocks, lost its connection to the grid, and it was only the very swift, expert actions taken by the staff there that averted a nuclear accident.

I hope that you know this already, but, just in case, let me spell it out again. One of the worst things that can happen to a nuclear reactor is loss of electricity supply. Yes, nuclear power stations make electricity—some of the time—but they must be supplied with electricity all the time to avoid a meltdown. This is what happened at Fukushima Daiichi, which dusted the ground with radionuclides as far as Tokyo and is still leaking radioactive juice into the Pacific.

And so the nightmare scenario for the Ukraine is a simple one. Temperature drops below freezing and stays there for a couple of weeks. Coal and natural gas supplies run down; thermal power plants shut down; the electric grid fails; circulator pumps at the 19 nuclear reactors (which, by the way, probably haven’t been overhauled as recently as they should have been) stop pumping; meltdown!

If this winter stays very, very warm, then the “19 Fukushimas” scenario just may be averted. This is not impossible: we’ve been seeing one freakishly warm winter after another, and each passing month is setting new records. The future is looking hot—as in very warm. Let us pray that it doesn’t also turn out to be hot—as in radioactive.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Ukraine in Full-Blown Collapse: Deep-seated Economic, Social Crisis and Environmental Crisis

NATO Ramps Up Ukraine War After Defeat in Syria

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The timing of the large-scale attacks on Donbas comes just as the US and its NATO allies incur a strategic setback in their covert war for regime change in Syria.

ukraine-war

by Finian Cunningham

SPUTNIK

A surge in military attacks this week by NATO-backed Kiev regime forces on the breakaway eastern Ukraine regions is no mere coincidence.

It is the reaction to events in Syria by the US-led military alliance in its hybrid warfare against Russia.

Hundreds of ceasefire breaches by troops belonging to the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) are being reported in the separatist self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Over the past few days, several towns and villages have come under intense shelling from artillery, rockets and mortars in stark violation of the Minsk agreement.

That agreement was brokered by Russia, Germany and France during 2014 and 2015, and was meant to facilitate a political settlement between the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in a coup d’état in February 2014, and the breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, which refused to recognize the legitimacy of the usurper Kiev cabal.

Houses, schools and water treatment plants have been hit as the UAF and associated Neo-Nazi militias move heavy weaponry close to the so-called contact lines. All indications suggest that the NATO-backed Kiev regime is mobilizing for a renewed offensive on the mainly ethnic Russian Donbas region comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

So far, the militia of the DPR and LPR have repelled the offensive, with dozens of casualties reportedly suffered by the Kiev regime’s military.

The timing of the large-scale attacks on Donbas comes just as the US and its NATO allies incur a strategic setback in their covert war for regime change in Syria. The liberation of the battleground city of Aleppo last week by the Syrian army, supported by Russian, Iranian and Lebanese allies, portends the end of the nearly six-year conflict in Syria.

The routing of jihadist militants from Aleppo, who had been backed covertly by the US and certain NATO powers, including Britain and France, has signaled the end of the regime-change project in Syria to oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

NATO member Turkey had played a key role in the US-led dirty war on Syria, serving as a conduit for fighters and arms to the proxy jihadist militants trying to overthrow Assad – a longtime ally of both Russia and Iran.

But now Turkey seems to be aligning with Russia and Iran to bring an end to the war in neighboring Syria. This week, foreign and defense ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow to declare their commitment to end the Syrian conflict.

The New York Times reported: “Russia, Iran and Turkey meet for Syria talks, excluding the US”. Pointedly, it added: “The new alignment and absence of any Western powers at the table all but guarantee that President Bashar al-Assad will continue to rule Syria under any resulting agreement.”

In other words, it’s “game over” for Washington and its criminal enterprise to subvert Syria.

The setback for American imperialist scheming in the Middle East cannot be overstated. For decades, US rulers have seen it as their God-given exceptional right to roll over any foreign government deemed unfit for their geopolitical interests. Syria was among target countries on the American hit-list, which came into action back in March 2011 when the US and its NATO partners and regional client regime unleashed hell with terror proxies.

US ambitions of conquest in the oil-rich region have now been dealt a stunning blow after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military operation at the end of 2015 to support the Syrian state, along with Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

Despite a massive propaganda campaign orchestrated by the Western media and Washington puppets at the United Nations, the Syrian army and its allies have won a historic victory in retaking Aleppo from NATO-backed jihadists.

Not only is this a bitter military defeat for Washington. It is a political and moral triumph over Western lies as told through major media corporations. The latter were saturated with claims of atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by Syrian and Russian forces. Those reckless claims have now been exposed as blatant fabrications, as the people of Aleppo openly celebrate liberation from Western-backed jihadists who had imposed a reign of terror on large parts of the city for nearly four years.

It seems significant that only days after the liberation of Aleppo, Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was brutally assassinated in Turkey’s capital Ankara, when a gunman shot him in the back as he addressed a cultural event. The murder was evidently aimed at derailing the political talks underway between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Who would benefit from such an atrocity? Obviously, the US-led NATO powers.

If NATO military intelligence did not specifically order the assassination of Karlov, we can at least say that Washington and its Western allies certainly created the climate of hatred and demonization that made the Russian diplomat a “legitimate target”.

A further significant development is the renewed offensive by the NATO-backed Kiev regime against the ethnic Russian people of east Ukraine. Again, this provocative move comes only days after the spectacular military victory by Russia and its allies against NATO’s jihadist proxies in Aleppo, and possibly now for the whole of Syria.

Make no mistake, the reactionary junta that seized power in Kiev is a surrogate for NATO’s long-held offensive designs on Russia. Citing unsubstantiated “fears” of Russian aggression, NATO has given itself a license to escalate troops and missiles on Russia’s border. Washington and its European lackeys have financed, armed and trained the Kiev regime. This week, British defense minister Michael Fallon announced more British army training for Kiev’s forces, claiming that it was to counter Russian aggression. Fallon had the cheek to spout this nonsense in the same week that the assaults on eastern Ukraine have surged.

At a NATO-Russia summit in Brussels earlier this week, the US-led military alliance had the gall to call on Moscow to influence “Russian separatists” in Donbas to “honor the Minsk ceasefire”.

Russian delegate to NATO Alexander Grushko reportedly introduced some reality to the meeting by pointing out the hundreds of violations being committed in recent days by the Kiev regime. Such violations are par for the course, since the NATO-backed junta first launched its offensive on the region back in 2014, and which has resulted in up to 10,000 deaths.

As with the Syrian war, Washington and its NATO allies, aided and abetted by the Western news (sic) media, play with semantics and illusions, and insult common intelligence.

In Ukraine, NATO is waging a covert war every bit as it was in Syria, where as many as 400,000 people have been killed and from which Europe is struggling with its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, including the threat of terror attacks as seen in France and Germany this week.

Shamelessly, Washington and its Western subordinates accuse Russia of hybrid warfare and aggression. The reaction to defeat in Syria through ramping up conflict in Ukraine shows that it is the US-led NATO alliance that is the real culprit of hybrid war and aggression.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on NATO Ramps Up Ukraine War After Defeat in Syria

Nazi Gestapo to Spray Pesticides Along Gaza Border

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20160518_Israel-damages-gaza-crops-agriculture-9

The Palestinian ministry of agriculture has warned local people that the Nazi Gestapo occupation are going to spray pesticides along the Gaza border between 25 December and 5 January. The ministry’s statement was reported by a number of media outlets.

“This is an annual Israeli activity which takes place at the end of the year to get rid of unneeded grass in this farming strip along the border,” the General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, Younis Al-Zaytouniyeh, told Quds Press.

He noted that the Nazi pesticides have a negative effect on Palestinian crops. This sometimes causes huge losses for Palestinian farmers in the besieged territory. Last year, he explained, most of the crops near the border were damaged.

The office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip informed the ministry of agriculture about the Nazi plan to spray the pesticides.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, HealthComments Off on Nazi Gestapo to Spray Pesticides Along Gaza Border

Did Big Media Run Fake Headlines on the Deutsche Bank “Settlement” ?

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

deutsche-bankTypically, it takes two to settle bank fraud charges – the bank committing the fraud and the law enforcement agency bringing the charges. But in the case of the announcement late last Thursday evening that Deutsche Bank and the U.S. Justice Department had reached an agreement to settle claims against the bank for allegedly swindling investors in the sale of toxic residential mortgage backed securities, all that could be heard was the sound of one hand clapping in a press release issued by the defendant, Deutsche Bank. Nowhere to be found was a statement of particulars on what the bank was admitting to or a man behind a podium bearing the seal of the U.S. Justice Department in a press briefing room, as typically occurs in a real settlement.

The lack of substantive details to this “settlement” and no confirmation from the Justice Department that an agreement actually existed did not hamper expensive media real estate from running with the story. The New York Times plopped the story on the front page of its business section on Friday, December 23 – the last trading day before Christmas – under the decidedly declarative headline: “Deutsche Bank to Settle U.S. Inquiry Into Mortgages for $7.2 Billion.” The Times article said the bank’s statement “came ahead of a formal announcement in the case.” It’s now a week later and as of this writing there is still no formal announcement from the Justice Department.

The timeline for this potentially fake news spreading like wildfire at major media outlets went like this:

At 7:56 p.m. on Thursday evening, December 22, Reuters ran this headline: “U.S. sues Barclays, ex-executives for mortgage securities fraud.” This headline was based on very material evidence. The U.S. Justice Department had just filed a 198-page lawsuit against Barclays in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York replete with allegations of breathtaking securities fraud. The lawsuit alleges that Barclays “knowingly securitized defaulted, delinquent, and defective” loans “to get them off Barclays’ books” and then lied to investors and ratings agencies about the quality of the loans. The lawsuit makes clear that the Justice Department has the emails to back up these charges. The Justice Department also disseminated a scathing press release on Thursday evening in which it excoriated the conduct of the bank and named two executives that are being charged: Paul K. Menefee, who served as Barclays’ head banker on its subprime residential mortgage backed securitizations and John T. Carroll who served as Barclays’ head trader for subprime loan acquisitions.

Just 37 minutes after this Justice Department fireball was dropped on Barclays and its red-faced legal team, Reuters was running this headline: “Deutsche Bank says it has reached settlement with U.S. DoJ on mortgages case.” The headline correctly indicates that Reuters is getting its information strictly on the basis of what the bank “says.”

Deutsche Bank’s legal team had simply released a 255-word press release to garner major headlines across big media’s digital and print platforms. In actuality, it was the Seinfeld version of a settlement agreement – it was about nothing concrete. The first clue should have been the words that ran above the title of the Deutsche Bank press release: “Ad-hoc.” According to the American Heritage Idioms Dictionary, used in that context, it means “improvised or impromptu.” Indeed, Deutsche Bank notes in the second paragraph of its 255-word missive that “The settlement is subject to the negotiation of definitive documentation, and there can be no assurance that the U.S. Department of Justice and the bank will agree on the final documentation.”

If there can be “no assurance” of a future agreement between the only two parties that can settle this case, how can this legitimately be called a settlement in headlines.

Adding to the potential for a deceptive public relations tactic on the part of Deutsche Bank, in September of this year the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department was seeking $14 billion from Deutsche Bank to settle the case – almost twice what the bank now says it has reached an agreement on. The $14 billion initial tab suggests that the Justice Department has strong evidence of wrongdoing against the bank and could, as it did with Barclays, drop all that sordid laundry in a detailed complaint in Federal Court if Deutsche refuses to admit to its wrongdoing.

Another irony of big media taking the word of Deutsche Bank to write its headlines is that at the very heart of why the Justice Department is seeking billions of dollars from the bank is that it has engaged in serial deceptions.

In April of 2015, Deutsche Bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department over wire fraud and antitrust charges related to its role in manipulating U.S. Dollar LIBOR and engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy to rig Yen LIBOR. (LIBOR is an interest rate benchmark used to set rates on everything from credit cards to mortgages.) At the same time, a bank subsidiary pleaded guilty to wire fraud for manipulating LIBOR. The tab to Deutsche Bank was $775 million in criminal penalties. In June of this year, the Justice Department indicted two Deutsche Bank traders on LIBOR-rigging charges.

In November of 2015, Bloomberg News reported that “Deutsche Bank will pay $258 million and fire six employees to resolve a probe into sanctions violations from 1999 to 2006 after a string of e-mails showed employees discussed the ‘tricks’ used to move money in and out of Iran, Libya, Syria, Burma and Sudan.”

In 2013, FHFA, the conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, announced a $1.925 billion settlement with Deutsche Bank to resolve claims that the bank had misled the mortgage giants in the sale of mortgage-related investments. Deutsche Bank did not admit wrongdoing in that settlement.

In 2010, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $553.6 million to the U.S. and admitted criminal wrongdoing in a fraudulent tax shelter scheme that facilitated billions of dollars in U.S. tax losses.

Even after Deutsche settles or goes to court in the current matter with the Justice Department, there are still potential new charges that may be brought. According to Ed Caesar, writing in the August 29, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, Deutsche Bank is currently under investigation by “the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and financial regulators in the U.K. and in Germany” for so-called “mirror trades,” a technique used to “turn rubles that were stuck in Russia into dollars stashed outside Russia.”

The above list is by no means exhaustive. It is simply meant to point out that big media should know better than to rely on a global bank that has been serially charged with egregious frauds and deceptions to write its headlines.

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How to remain completely anonymous and hidden online

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anonymous in mexico
Maintaining online anonymity is no easy task. Today’s ad-driven and heavily surveilled internet ecosystem endeavors to accomplish the exact opposite result. Be it for national security or to sell you a smartphone, governments and companies want to know everything they can about you. To make them lose your trail is not a simple matter.

It is possible to be remain anonymous online, but it’s getting more difficult as time progresses. No measure you take will ever be perfect, but unless you’re a high profile criminal, you can make it more difficult than it’s worth for anyone to expose you.

Being anonymous has its benefits. Certain freedoms come with being unrecognizable and untraceable. It also requires sacrifice. Many of the conveniences of the modern web were built around profiling, tracking, and analyzing user behavior.

Bearing that in mind, these are the steps you can take and the tools you’ll need to stay anonymous and hidden online.

Tor

No anonymity checklist would be complete without Tor. This network of volunteer nodes around the world is synonymous with anonymity. Tor, short for “the onion router”, allows you to encrypt your internet traffic and, each time you connect to a web server, route that traffic through a random array of nodes before heading to the final destination.

There are dozens of ways to use Tor from many different devices. The Tor Browser is the most popular. Simply installing this Firefox-based application on your Mac or PC will allow you to anonymously browse the web. For Android devices, try Orbot. iOS users don’t have any official support from the Tor project, but the Onion Browser seems like a decent option.

tor browser wikileaks url bar

Tor does have a few downsides. For one, it’s slow. Tor isn’t suitable for streaming video or torrenting files. You can browse the web and that’s pretty much it due to the lack of volunteer resources and competing traffic from other users.

Secondly, even though your internet traffic is encrypted and untraceable, an internet service provider can still detect whether or not you are using Tor. This alone might be enough to raise suspicions, as Tor is often used for criminal activity online. Your ISP could choke your bandwidth, send you a cease and desist letter, or report you to the authorities even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

For this reason, we advise Tor users to use an obfuscation tool like Obfsproxy, turn on a VPN when using Tor, or both. Obfsproxy is a Tor project that makes encrypted Tor traffic look like normal un-encrypted traffic so that it doesn’t draw undue attention. More on VPNs further down.

Finally, there’s considerable speculation that the US government successfully used traffic analysis on Tor on at least a few occasions that led to arrests, including that of the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts of the Silk Road illicit goods marketplace. Rumor has it that governments also operate and monitor activity on several Tor exit nodes. None of these allegations come with concrete evidence, so take it with a big grain of salt.

Live OS

A browser is suitable for escaping targeted advertisements and occasional visits to the DarkNet, but those who require complete anonymity will need a more nuclear option. While no one can track your browsing activity on Tor Browser, for instance, chances are you’ve still got multiple applications running in the background. These applications–word processors, video players, update managers–send data to the web. Rumor has it that authorities have used unencrypted error reports from the Windows operating system to find people. Windows 10 includes a litany of tracking software that’s enabled by default.

You could disable all of those settings and uninstall all of your applications, but that’s not very practical. Instead, we recommend a live operating system. Live operating systems can be installed on USB drives or DVDs. By tweaking a few settings in your computer’s bootloader, you can launch an entirely independent operating system from a thumb drive on your everyday laptop.

Tails is the official live OS from the Tor Project. All internet traffic–not just web browsing–goes through the Tor Network. The OS leaves no trace on your computer and all instant messages, emails, and files are encrypted. It’s simple to use and is designed to be idiot proof.

If Tails doesn’t seem suitable for whatever reason, another option is Whonix. Whonix isn’t an independent live OS. Instead, it runs in a virtual machine on your existing operating system. It has all the advantages of Tails (it also uses the Tor Network) plus it is designed so that IP address leaks–which can be used to track users–are impossible. The downsides are that it takes a reasonably powerful computer to run a virtual machine and it’s rather complicated to set up.

Other options are also on the table. Kali, Qubes, and ZeusGuard are all alternatives to Tails and Whonix worth considering. Do your research and figure out what’s best for you.

Logless VPN

A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and then routes it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. The end result is that the device’s IP address is masked and third parties–including ISPs–cannot monitor traffic.

Most VPN providers utilize shared IP addresses on their servers. Multiple users–dozens, hundreds, and even thousands–are assigned a single IP address. This makes it nearly impossible to trace the activity of a single person in the pool.

ipvanishclient_3

VPNs are built for privacy and not anonymity, however, so we caution against using them alone if you want to truly remain hidden. Privacy and anonymity often go hand in hand, but remember this important distinction: anonymity means no one can identify you, but privacy implies no can see what you’re doing.

Using a VPN requires a certain degree of trust in your VPN provider and the entities that host their servers. Very few VPN providers own their own physical server infrastructure. Your traffic is encrypted on your local device and remains encrypted until it arrives at the VPN server. It is then decrypted before being sent onto its destination. For a brief moment, your activity is visible to the VPN provider.

This is why we highly recommend “logless” VPNs. Branded with a “logless”, “no-logs”, or “zero-logs” policy, this means that the VPN provider does not store any information about the content of users traffic. Assuming the VPN provider is telling the truth, that’s a good thing.

But it’s not so simple as that. Some VPN providers claim to be logless but in reality they still store metadata. Depending on how anonymous you want to be, this is a nuance to be wary of. Metadata doesn’t contain any information about the contents of your traffic, but it can include details such as when you used the VPN, for how long, how much data was transferred, and even your original IP address. Always skim through a VPN provider’s privacy policy for devilish details like these.

Even the few true zero-logs VPNs out there require customers to trust them. There’s no way of knowing whether they are being honest and how they will react when faced with a government subpoena. For the highest level of anonymity, then, try combining your VPN with Tor. Avoid VPNs based in the United States and Europe, where data retention laws and government intelligence agencies could put your data at risk.

Simply running Tor Browser while connected to the VPN makes tracing the user twice as difficult. VPNs can also be configured manually in live operating systems like Tails.

Logless DNS

When a URL is entered into a browser, a request is sent to a DNS server to lookup the IP address that matches the URL. Even when using a proxy like a VPN, these DNS requests can be sent outside the encrypted tunnel to the default server. By default, DNS requests usually go to and are recorded by a nearby server operated by the user’s ISP.

If this happens when using a VPN, it’s called a DNS leak. Many VPN providers offer DNS leak protection, which ensures that all internet traffic, including DNS requests, are directed through the VPN. These VPNs typically operate their own DNS servers, which won’t record which websites you visit if they meet the logless criteria outlined above.

Even if a VPN advertises DNS leak protection, that statement often only applies to IPv4 DNS leaks. IPV6 DNS requests can still travel on the default network and be picked up by both web servers and ISPs. It would be great if more VPNs would set up IPv6 DNS servers to handle this situation, but at the moment the best solution is simply to disable IPv6 in the device’s internet settings.

If the VPN you use lacks DNS leak protection, or you aren’t using a VPN at all, try opting for a public no-logs DNS server. You can change your device’s DNS settings so that requests aren’t sent through your ISP. We recommend DNS.WATCH or OpenNIC.

Burner emails

It goes without saying that remaining anonymous online means not logging into any of your existing accounts. But since many apps and websites require users to sign up, you’ll need an email address or two.

Several services offer free fake and burner email accounts. For one-off registrations and messages, we recommend Guerilla Mail. No registration is required and it includes a password manager to help remember the passwords associated with those accounts.

guerrilla mail ss

For a more long-term untraceable email account, the best option is probably ProtonMail. This end-to-end encrypted service is open-source and uses zero-knowledge apps for web and mobile. Unfortunately, new users must apply for an invite due to limited server capacity. ProtonMail is donation-based.

If you don’t want to wait around for an invite, Zmail is another alternative. It allows you to send emails from fake addresses.

Never use your own email account when trying to be anonymous. Don’t even read your email or log into the account. If you want to send encrypted email from a burner account, you’ll have to set up new PGP or S/MIME keys.

Cryptocurrencies

If you want to make an anonymous purchase or donation, cryptocurrencies are superior to PayPal and obviously credit cards. That doesn’t mean that you can just open up a Bitcoin wallet with a big exchange like Coinbase and start spending, though.

There’s a big misconception that bitcoin is always anonymous, when in fact the very nature of blockchain technology means every transaction is tracked and verified. This publicly available ledger can be analyzed so that the wallets you use and the transactions you make could be linked to your identity.

By analyzing the activity which is visible to anybody on the public blockchain an observer may well be able to link your personal identity with all of the wallets you use and therefore your entire transaction history. In a way, this makes Bitcoin even less private than a bank account.

To get around this, use wallets that change your bitcoin address after each transaction. This makes you harder to trace. Use a bitcoin mixing service, which pools your bitcoins with other people’s and mixes them up before making a payment to the receiver.

Perhaps the most difficult part is anonymously buying bitcoins in the first place, as doing so requires fiat currency. Private deals and peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins are not for the careless, but they are the best means of anonymously getting your hands on coins.

Remember that Bitcoin isn’t the only player in town, although it is the biggest. Litecoin, DarkCoin, and Dogecoin are popular as well.

Search engines

Google keeps track of every search query and link you click on. If you’re using Tor, this doesn’t matter so much, but it’s still a good idea to opt for an alternative.

DuckDuckGo is perhaps the most popular search engine that doesn’t track or profile users. It can be set as the default search engine in your browser.

DuckDuckGo is a fully independent browser, so, let’s be honest, the results won’t be as good as Google’s. Luckily, there’s a way to get Google results without Google.

startpage ss

StartPage removes all your identifying information and submits a search query to Google on your behalf. It doesn’t log or track user activity. All search results are displayed with a proxy link beneath them, allowing you to click through to any site while retaining your privacy through a proxy.

File transfers

The moment might arise when you need to anonymously send a file that’s too big for an email attachment. If you’re a whistleblower who wants to leak a large trove of damning documents to the public, uploading the files to Dropbox just won’t do.

FileDropper is a simple and convenient solution that allows uploads of up to 5GB with no registration required. WeTransfer is another option that allows files up to 2GB without signing up. For these types of services, just upload a file and then send the link to whoever you want to receive it.

Remember to access the site using Tor and share the links using a burner email or some other anonymous method, as the website might well be gathering information on site visitors despite the fact that registration isn’t required.

Choose your browser extensions carefully

The Tor Browser has very little support for extensions, and there’s a good reason for that. Advertising companies are getting smarter about how they track users. One of the most advanced methods is called fingerprinting. By gathering information about your web browser–what extensions are installed, what device you use, what language you read in, etc–ad tech companies can create a “fingerprint” that identifies a user. Fingerprints are superior to IP addresses because they don’t change if a user switches wifi networks or connects to a VPN.

Many extensions can help maintain your privacy–ABP, Disconnect, Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, etc–but they also contribute to a more well-formed fingerprint. This is one of several reasons it’s so difficult to be anonymous on a popular browser like FireFox or Chrome.

If you want to test how well your browser protects you from tracking, head over to the Panopticlick website. This tool made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) can show you in excruciating detail how an ad agency can identify your browser using a unique fingerprint.

Besides fingerprinting, browser extensions can communicate with servers in the background without your knowledge, potentially logging metadata that could help identify you and your online activity.

Read more: 75+ free tools to protect your privacy online

Encrypted communications

Besides email, you’ll also want to cover your tracks when sending messages and making calls. Encryption is more focused on privacy than anonymity; even if a message is encrypted, a snoop still knows who the sender and receiver is. But if you’re going through the trouble of being anonymous, you might as well take every precaution.

Signal is the premier app for encrypted voice calls on smartphones. It also includes instant messaging. Users can verify the identities of their contacts by comparing key fingerprints.

cryptocat ss

For encrypted text and media messaging, there’s a wealth of free and private options. TorChat uses peer-to-peer encrypted messaging on the Tor network. It requires no installation and can be run from a USB drive. Other alternatives include Pidgin, and CryptoCat.

Encrypted backup

Even anons need to back up and store large files, and sometimes allow other people to access them. Stay away from Google Drive and Dropbox, as these contain no real privacy protections such as encryption and aren’t anonymous at any rate.

Backups are best done locally to an encrypted external hard drive. Crashplan offers a free version of its software that makes this easy.

backblaze web app

If you want a cloud solution, it will require trusting a provider. Seek out a “zero knowledge” service that allows you to set your own encryption key. SpiderOak, iDrive, BackBlaze, and Crashplan all offer this option, which prevents the provider from decrypting your files.

If you insist on using Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other un-encrypted storage provider, you can always encrypt your files before uploading them to the cloud.

Secure your webcam

It’s been proven that webcams can be remotely activated and used to spy on users. The head of the FBI and Mark Zuckerberg both go so far as to put tape over their webcams for this very reason.

Webcams are usually remotely activated through malware, so a real-time virus scanner and regular system scans can prevent this from happening. If your laptop has an LED light that turns on whenever the webcam is active, make sure it’s enabled. If you don’t want to put tape on your webcam, make sure you close the laptop when not in use.

Learn more about securing your webcam here.

Secure your wifi router

Many of us never bother changing the settings that our wifi routers came with from the factory. Unsecured routers can make users extremely vulnerable to nearby snoops. Routers can be used to intercept, read, and modify internet traffic. If you’re on someone else’s wifi network, be sure to use a VPN.

If you want to remain anonymous, it’s important to change the router’s login credentials, update the firmware, set the strongest level of encryption (usually WPA2), restrict inbound and outbound traffic, turn off WPS, disable unused services, check port 32764, enable and read logs, and log out of your router when finished.

You can learn more about how to take all of these steps and more in our guide on securing wireless routers.

iOS and Android are not optimal for anonymity

If you’re choosing between iOS and Android based on which is more anonymous, go with Android. But don’t get comfortable and think you can be totally anonymous on either.

It is far more difficult to be anonymous on a smartphone than on a computer. Anonymity tools for Tor just haven’t matured to a point where they work well on mobile, yet. Apple and Google are too deeply embedded in these devices. You might be able to browse an onion site with Orbot on Android, but that’s about as far as you’ll get. There are no official Tor browsers for iOS.

There are no live operating systems that can be utilized by smartphones like TAILS for desktops.

Smartphones have IMEI numbers, MAC addresses, and possibly vulnerable firmware that cannot be altered and can be used to identify a specific device when connected to the internet. Because Android is usually modified by manufacturers, it’s difficult to audit and keep up with each device’s potential vulnerabilities. Apple and Google have the power to track almost every iOS and Android phone, respectively.

Apps constantly communicate with servers over the internet, passing data back and forth that could be used to track users. Even something as basic as a keyboard could be used to monitor activity. Cameras and microphones can be hacked into to spy on users. Any time a device receives a signal from a cell tower, their device’s location can be traced. Simply put, there’s just too much that could go wrong on Android and iOS that the user cannot see.

While making smartphones completely anonymous might be a futile effort, they can be made significantly more private. Android devices can be encrypted and iPhones are all encrypted by default. Use VPNs to encrypt internet traffic, and set up a self destruct sequence if the passcode is entered incorrectly too many times.

Finally, companies like Silent Circle make Android-based smartphones with security first in mind. The Blackphone, for instance, is fully encrypted and runs several “virtual phones” to compartmentalize data. Silent Circle also has a subscription service to make iPhones private. Again, the key difference is that this phone is focused on privacy, not anonymity. While the contents of the phone are protected, the same isn’t necessarily true for the identity of the user.

Be wary of the Internet-of-Things

The internet of things presents a whole new wave of opportunity for hackers and snoopers. Security has unfortunately been an afterthought for many IoT manufacturers. A simple log of when your smart air conditioner is activated, for example, can tell a lot about a person’s daily routine. Critics have warned against devices like the Amazon Echo, which are always listening for input even when deactivated.

Depending on your online activity, this can be a threat to a user’s anonymity. Use IoT devices with caution.

Make a checklist

No anonymity tool, even Tor, is perfect. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective. While a well-funded corporation or government agency could spend huge amounts of time and money running traffic analysis on the Tor network to eventually find the person they are looking for, it’s much more likely that person will make a mistake and drop a clue somewhere along the way.

So how do you avoid making mistakes? The same way surgeons and other high-risk occupations do: with lists. Every time you want to be anonymous online, start from the beginning of your checklist. Write it down on a piece of paper, but don’t include any login credentials or other identifying information. Here’s what one might look like based on everything discussed:

  • Connected to a logless VPN
  • Connected to the internet through Tor Browser/Tails
  • DNS settings are configured to use a logless DNS
  • Logged out of all online accounts
  • Closed all apps and background services connected to the web
  • All tracking in my browser and OS are turned off and blocked
  • Emails are sent using burner accounts
  • New accounts registered and logged in with burner emails
  • Search with DuckDuckGo or StartPage
  • Bitcoins are properly mixed and using a third-party wallet

With a standard protocol in place, you can drastically reduce the chances of making mistakes. Don’t be overconfident. Anonymity is something you can get right 100 times, but it only takes one misstep for it all to crumble.

Posted in Education, PoliticsComments Off on How to remain completely anonymous and hidden online


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