Category Archives: Crime

Xenophobia runs amok in post-Brexit Britain


And the frankly xenophobic character of pro-Brexit propaganda has played a leading role in the epidemic of racial and religious violence sweeping Old Blighty:

BLOG UKIP Poster

We begin with a roundup from Deutsche Welle:

According to initial police figures, there has been a sharp spike in hate crimes since last week’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU: an increase of 57 percent in reported incidents between Thursday and Sunday, compared with the same days four weeks earlier. In addition to the incidents reported to police, accounts of verbal abuse have proliferated on social media. “I suddenly feel a lot further away from home,” German national Karoline Weber, who works in London, told DW.

While much of the aggression has been targeted at EU nationals, non-white Britons have also been affected. BBC journalist Sima Kotecha was called a “Paki” while reporting on the responses to the Brexit vote in her home town of Basingstoke. Channel 4 News correspondent Ciaran Jenkins heard three people shout “send them home” in the space of five minutes as he reported on the referendum in Barnsley in northern England.

“The attacks are mostly on eastern European migrants – but not all,” says Liz Fekete, director of the Institute for Race Relations. “What we’re observing is Muslim women are a prime target and a lot of children as well. A lot of damage has been done to social and community cohesion. There’s a hell of a lot of work to be done to repair that.”

BLOG Brexit billboard
Next up, two stories from U.S. Uncut, the first reporting on on attack targeting Muslims:

Kashmir Meat & Poultry, a halal butcher shop owned and operated by a Muslim man, was attacked with a “petrol bomb” this Monday evening in the West Midlands in England.

Bashir Hussain, who was managing the store at the time of the attack, luckily escaped with only minor bruising from being struck by the weapon itself, but most of the store itself was destroyed by the flames.

The owner, Jamal Hussain, was dismayed by the attack and still seemed in shock when he spoke with reporters.

BLOG Brexit German

Next, even Western Europeans are begin singled out by bitter xenophobes:

British radio host James O’Brien and his guest Simon Woolley were stopped in their tracks this morning when an elderly German woman named Karen called in hysterical tears after facing an onslaught of xenophobic attacks following the Brexit vote last week.

“I came from Germany in 1973,” she said, her speech punctuated by sobs throughout the entire conversation. “My husband, my late husband, was British. I’ve lived here for 43 years, and I’m so scared now.”

Despite having lived in the country for over four decades, Karen has been the victim of vandalization and hate speech so consistently that she has now locked herself in her house.

“I’ve gotten dog turds  thrown at my door on Friday… I’ve got nobody in Germany… I haven’t been out of the house for three days because I don’t know what to do,” she sobbed.

Finally, from Al Jazeera, a call for action from the United Nations:

The United Nations raised alarm as a series of racist incidents against minorities and foreigners were reported in the United Kingdom, following the country’s decision to leave the European Union.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that “racism and xenophobia are unacceptable in any circumstances” around the world.

“I urge the UK authorities to act to stop these xenophobic attacks and to ensure that all those suspected of racist and anti-foreigner attacks and abuses are prosecuted,” Hussein said.

“All of us must refuse to tolerate discriminatory acts in our daily lives – to ensure that there is nothing ‘everyday’ about discrimination.”

Violence, intimidation and calls of “Go home” directed at minorities – from Europeans in England to non-white Britons – have surged since the referendum last Friday.

Trumpies are more racist [surprise, surprise]


A new poll from Reuters/Ipsos:

BLOG Trumpies

Audit clears Brazil’s Rousseff, coup polls lower


Two notable stories coming out of Brazil today, both reported by teleSUR English.

First, an audit has cleared Rousseff of financial wrongdoing, one of the key charges lodged in the impeachment resolution that forced her to step aside:

A report prepared by analysts in the Brazilian Senate said Monday there is no evidence that suspended president Dilma Rousseff participated in fiscal wrongdoing, one of the causes that led to the opening of the impeachment process against her.

The Senate Impeachment Commission has 72 hours to analyze this report, and starting from July 5 they can interview the analysts. The vote to determine whether the impeachment will be confirmed is scheduled to be held on August 9.

teleSUR’s correspondent in Brazil, Ignacio Lemus, said the report indicates that Rousseff did not directly participate in a scheme to manipulate the budget.

According to Lemus, the analysts found that no direct actions were taken by Rousseff to delay payments to public banks by the Brazilian National Treasury.

The report states there are no reasons to continue the impeachment process because Rousseff had no direct participation, and according to the constitution the individual accused must bear direct responsibility.

And in the second story, the interim government holding power pending Rousseff’s trial, has been plagued by scandal, with several ministers already forced to resign in disgrace after revelations that they’d been guilty of the same offenses they’d charged Rousseff with committing.

And now a new poll reveals a catastrophic decline in their popularity:

Three quarters of Brazilians reject Senate-imposed interim president Michel Temer while suspended president Dilma Rousseff has a lower disapproval rating than before the impeachment, according to an IPSOS poll published Monday.

Temer’s disapproval rating was 61 percent in February, and is now 70 percent nationwide. Dilma Rousseff went from having an 80 percent disapproval rating during her impeachment to her current rating of 75 percent.

The figures are part of the first research poll on the image and conduct of the interim government, announced by columnist José Roberto de Toledo, at the State of Sao Paulo.

The poll reflects strong opposition to politicians involved in the Petrobras corruption scandal, including members of Temer’s government, but the interim president is also poorly rated on various aspects of his administration. Polls show he has a 44 percent rating for combating unemployment, 42 percent for resolving the political crisis, 40 percent for fighting inflation and 40 percent for policies around anti-corruption.

Headline of the day: Man’s gonna do hard time


Crooked cops have real troubles behind bars, and we suspect that a crooked cop who once ran a jail will have really hard time.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Former top L.A. County sheriff’s official given 5-year sentence for obstructing FBI probe

A jury in April convicted Paul Tanaka of obstructing a federal probe and conspiring with others to intimidate the lead agent in the case, pressure deputies not to cooperate and conceal the whereabouts of an inmate who was working as a federal informant.

Sacramento neo-Nazis rallied for Donald Trump


Yep, that bloody melee in the state capital Sunday was the result of a rally called to bolster support for The Donald.

The Sacramento Bee got the goods straight from Traditionalist Worker Party spokesman Matt Parrott:

“The purpose of the protest was actually a reaction around the Donald Trump rallies where working-class white Americans were trying to peacefully organize, not on racial terms,” he said. “We wanted to have a march to show we will not back down in the face of radical leftists, who threatened violence beforehand.”

Parrott said his group was “prepared for a fight; they were prepared to defend themselves.”

The party’s chairman is Matthew Heimbach, who reportedly is Parrott’s son-in-law and briefly was a Trump delegate until his racial views became known. He sparked national headlines when he was accused of shoving an African American woman at a Trump rally in Kentucky in March.

Heimbach could not be reached Sunday, but anti-hate groups that monitor such organizations have labeled Heimbach as a rising leader among white nationalists.

“He’s part of the dry-cleaned Klan, if you will,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Quote of the day: America’s deep racial divide


Following up on our previous post, few have expressed the deep nature of the impact of America’s deep racial divide than a former Philadelphia high school teacher.

Jesse Williams, who plays Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC television’s hit series Grey’s Anatomy, has devoted much of his recent time to involvement in Black Lives Matter, producing and narrating a documentary film, Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, for BET, where it aired last month.

Sunday night Williams was honored by BET with its Humanitarian Award, and his acceptance speech is one of the best statements we’ve heard in recent years on the plight of black Americans:

“Now, this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics. The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

“Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours.

“Now, I got more, y’all.

“Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday. So, I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him , so I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television, and then going home to make a sandwich.

“Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012, than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.

“Now, the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back. To put someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies and now we pray to get paid with brands for our bodies. There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There’s no tax they haven’t levied against us. And we pay all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here.

You’re free, they keep telling us, but she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so free.

“Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter but, you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight here, just a little side note. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job. All right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo. And we’re done watching, and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us. Burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them. Gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is, that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.”

We would have loved to have included a video of the speech, but, alas, WordPress allows us to post only YouTube and Vimeo offerings.

When we searched YouTube, all the video postings had been replaced by this:

BLOG Jesse

Viacom, the owner of BET and its brand, is, in turn, owned by a very old, very rich white man, Sumner Redstone, who also owns the Los Angeles Clippers.

And who is Redstone?

Well, consider his remarks recorded by then-companion V. Stiviano, herself of African and Hispanic heritage:

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to? You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.”

You can hear the whole recording here.

Panama Papers: The case of the silent watchdog


Back in the fictional London of 1897, if criminals struck the prominent, there was only one person to call, Sherlock Holmes.

In The Adventure of Silver Blaze, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about the case of a famous racehorse, abducted before a major race.

After visiting the scene of the crime, a rural farm, Holmes discusses his findings with Inspector Gregory of Scotland Yard, when the Inspector asks a question:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

Needless to say, as Holmes had correctly inferred, the case was an inside job.

Fast forward 119 years and the same question is equally relevant in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, that massive cache of data revealing the names of the members of the global elite — including some of the planet’s mpost powerful drug cartels and criminal syndicates — who available themselves of the services of a Panamanian law firm specializing in create covert tax shelters hidden under a bizarre network of pseudonyms and false fronts.

It’s been three months since the documents were first leaked to journalists and findings were reported in some of the planet’s leading publications and many governments have requested their own copies.

Many governments, except the government of the world’s richest nation, where no requests have come from the Department of Justice of those committees of the House of representatives and Senate charged with oversight of the institutions of power.

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

The inaction raises questions about the response by Congress and the Obama administration to the unprecedented leak that rocked governments in Iceland, Pakistan and the United Kingdom and prompted investigations worldwide.

“The biggest financial scandal involving offshores is greeted with a yawn by U.S. law enforcement officials?” said Charles Intriago, a former federal prosecutor and money-laundering expert in Miami. “It doesn’t make any sense that a pot of evidentiary gold is going unpursued by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

In the weeks following the April 3 publication of stories across the globe about hidden offshore fortunes, President Barack Obama vowed to work with Congress to tackle reform aimed at offshore companies. His Justice Department declared that it “takes very seriously all credible allegations of high-level, foreign corruption that might have a link to the United States or the U.S. financial system.”

Yet as of June 23, Panama said it had not received a single request from the United States for access to the data seized by Panamanian authorities from Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers, said Sandra Sotillo, spokeswoman for Panamanian Attorney General Kenia Porcell.

On Capitol Hill, there is also little movement.

Obama’s proposed legislation to change reporting on the true owners of companies does not appear to have found any sponsor. The White House did not respond to questions.

Odd, ain’t it?

Or maybe not, considering all that dark money that fuels the American political machine. . .