Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UN decolonization panel: PR plebiscite rejected ‘current political 18/06/13 08:12 from Caribbean Business

» UN decolonization panel: PR plebiscite rejected ‘current political
18/06/13 08:12 from Caribbean Business
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» Martes 18.06.2013 
17/06/13 23:03 from Opinión – Vocero de Puerto Rico
Martes 18.06.2013 El Gobernador realizó las expresiones durante una entrevista con la cadena CNN Arrestados por poseer 173 plantas de marihuana Viuda de banquero asesinado demanda a ejecutivos de Doral El ejecutivo murió el 15 de junio de ..




Governor: Status bill doomed on Hill

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Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said Thursday that legislation in Congress to put the island on the path to statehood has “no chance” of making it off Capitol Hill.
“Everyone in Washington and Puerto Rico knows it has no chance of being approved,” the governor said in San Juan.
García Padilla, who heads the commonwealth Popular Democratic Party, said Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi filed the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act to maintain his hold on the statehood New Progressive Party.
“This was done because the president of that party didn’t want them to take his position,” the governor said. “It’s that simple.”
Earlier in the day, the NPP unveiled a website www.hr2000pr.com where statehood supporters can read about and track developments on the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act (HR 2000).
Pierluisi’s bill to put Puerto Rico on the path to statehood continues to build bipartisan support in the House, where 67 lawmakers have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors. That’s up from the 30 who had signed on before the resident commissioner presented the measure on May 15.
The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act hinges on a proposed federally sanctioned “yes” or “no” vote on statehood in Puerto Rico.
Pierluisi is a national Democrat and Puerto Rico’s sole representative in Congress.
The measure proposed in the House of Representatives would ask Puerto Rican voters, “Do you want Puerto Rico to be admitted as a state of the United States?” A majority vote for statehood would trigger a 180 deadline for the president to certify the results of the plebiscite and lodge legislation in Congress to admit Puerto Rico as a state the union “on an equal footing” with other states.
Despite its bipartisan support, action on Pierluisi’ bill is not guaranteed. The House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico, has not scheduled a hearing on Pierluisi’s bill. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which covers Puerto Rico in the upper chamber, will hold a general hearing on statehood, likely this summer, but has yet to pencil in a date.
García Padilla, who met in Washington this week with members of Congress and top Obama administration officials, said he told Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, that status was not a pressing issue in Puerto Rico.
“The agenda of Puerto Rico is creating jobs and fighting crime,” he said.
García Padilla opposes a yes-no vote on statehood, arguing any status vote should include all options.
“If I respect statehooders and independence supporters I’m not going to hold a yes or no vote on commonwealth,” he said. “The fact that I don’t agree with their status preferences doesn’t mean I would exclude them.”
Commonwealth was put to a yes or no vote in a local election-day plebiscite last November.
In the first question of November’s two-part referendum, 54 percent of voters said they were not content with the current commonwealth status.
The second question asked what status was preferred. Of the about 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000 supported statehood, some 437,000 backed sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. But nearly 500,000 left that question blank.
The White House has said “the results were clear, the people of Puerto Rico want the issue of status resolved, and a majority chose statehood in the second question.”
“Now is the time for Congress to act and the administration will work with them on that effort so that the people of Puerto Rico can determine their own future,” reads a statement by the White House issued in early December.
The Puerto Rican Independence Party and NPP maintain that the results of the two-step plebiscite represent a clear rejection of the continuation of the current territorial status. Those voting “no” included statehood supporters, as well as advocates of independence and free association.
García Padilla and his commonwealth PDP argue the ballot was rigged against the current status and that the empty ballots represent a protest against commonwealth’s exclusion from the second question.
Pierluisi and García Padilla have been sparring over whether the current commonwealth should be included in the first federally sanctioned status plebiscite in Puerto Rico.
The $3.8 trillion fiscal 2014 budget President Barack Obama sent to Congress in April includes $2.5 million for a status plebiscite in Puerto Rico. The White House is seeking the funds for Congress for voter education and the first federally sanctioned plebiscite in Puerto Rico on options that would resolve the fundamental question of the island’s future political status.
The $2.5 million sought by the White House would be appropriated to the U.S. Department of Justice to be granted to the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission. The monies could be used after the attorney general has found a commission plan that includes education materials and ballot options to be consistent with the Constitution and basic laws and policies of the United States.
A similar appropriation was proposed by then President Bill Clinton in 2000 and enacted into law by the Republican Congress in 2000 for a Puerto Rican status choice in 2001. (It was not spent because the funds lapsed before a plan was developed.)
In a March 2011 report, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status found that the island’s development needs were hindered by lack of resolution of the ultimate status question. The issue also raises questions about the appropriate federal policies related to Puerto Rico.
The task force also advised, as it did under President George W. Bush, that Puerto Ricans should vote to determine their aspirations among the possible options for Puerto Rico’s status. It identified the possible options as: commonwealth (under which islands exercise local self-government but are subject to broad congressional governing authority under the Territory Clause of the Constitution, may be treated differently than states in federal laws, and do not have voting representation in the federal government; U.S. statehood; Independence, nationhood in a free association with the U.S. (similar to the arrangements that the
Click here to read the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act: http://www.cb.pr/pdfs/statehood_bill.pdf
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FBI no logró vincular a ex juez

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Las huellas dactilares del ex juez del Tribunal Supremo Carlos Irizarry Yunqué estuvieron bajo el microscopio del Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) nueve meses después del asesinato de su esposa, Georgina Ortiz Ortiz.
Sin embargo, una pregunta quedó sobre el tapete ayer en el sexto día del juicio contra la mucama del matrimonio, Aida de los Santos Pineda, hasta ahora la única acusada: ¿realmente el FBI evaluó la huella principal en el cuchillo que se usó como arma homicida y que según la Policía involucra a la acusada, o se limitó a analizar lo demás?
La pregunta es determinante porque el informe de la agencia federal concluyó que, tras evaluar la pieza, no se encontraron huellas latentes de valor para poder establecer a quién pertenecen, según trascendió en la sala de la jueza Eloína Torres, del Centro Judicial de San Juan.
El agente especial del FBI Rubén Marchand Morales, del Equipo de Recopilación de Evidencia en Puerto Rico, testificó que el 25 de mayo de 2011 se reunió con el entonces jefe de los fiscales Obdulio Meléndez y aceptó un pedido para colaborar en el caso, haciéndole la salvedad de que la política del FBI es de no evaluar evidencia que las autoridades locales hayan analizado previamente.
Detalló que, una vez se les entregó el cuchillo –que confirmó que no estaba amarrado según dicta el protocolo–, las instrucciones enviadas al laboratorio del FBI en el estado de Virginia eran que se verificara toda la pieza, excepto esa huella ubicada en la hoja de metal porque ya la Policía la había estudiado y, basado en ocho características, determinó que pertenecía a la mucama.
Marchand dijo que el FBI no usa esas ocho características para fijar a quién pertenece una huella, sino “otros métodos”.
Pero, en el contrainterrogatorio a cargo del abogado Jesús Peluyera, el testigo admitió que envió dos comunicaciones escritas, una el 25 de mayo de 2011 y otra el 27 de mayo de 2011, y solamente en la segunda se hizo la salvedad en el pedido de análisis.
El informe final del FBI, una vez evaluada la pieza estrella, llegó casi dos meses después, el 11 de julio de 2011, cuyo contenido fue un misterio en la vista preliminar.
En el informe se concluyó que “el pedido de examinar (el cuchillo) fue conducido, pero ninguna huella latente con valor fue observada”, según lo tradujo el agente Marchand en la sala.
“¿Ahí no dice que no se evaluó la huella trabajada por la Policía, verdad que no?”, preguntó el licenciado por lo menos dos veces, a lo que el agente federal respondió en ambas ocasiones “no”. “¿Tampoco dice que ninguna huella corresponde a Aida de los Santos?”, preguntó el abogado, a lo que el testigo respondió también que no.
La fiscal Elba Acevedo, a través de sus preguntas, buscaba establecer que estaba clara la exclusión. Respondiendo a sus preguntas, Marchand indicó que informó la excepción al laboratorio en Estados Unidos por teléfono, por escrito y mediante el envío de una foto específica de la marca en la parte de metal.
En el cuchillo había por lo menos otra huella parcial, según trascendió en vista preliminar, pero no se pudo determinar a quién pertenece.
El cuchillo, que según Carlos Pérez, el agente que primero llegó a la escena, pareció ser plantado en la mano de Ortiz, no tendría huellas de la víctima tampoco, según el informe del FBI, ya que Marchand dijo que se mandaron al laboratorio tres sets de huellas para compararlas: las del ex juez, las de la mucama y las de la víctima.
El agente federal detalló que también se enviaron fotos del cuchillo, pero como el formato de las imágenes digitales no era el adecuado, el FBI examinó la pieza directamente, dijo el testigo.
Por otro lado, el ayudante especial del entonces jefe de los fiscales Miguel Ángel Soto dijo que en su oficina se custodió el cuchillo, pero descartó que hubiese movimientos irregulares de la pieza por parte de Meléndez o de la fiscal Mirna Rivera, quien tuvo el caso durante algunos meses. Negó que no se haya documentado algún traslado de oficina de esa evidencia.
Por otra parte, el técnico del Instituto de Ciencias Forenses (ICF) Rafael Olivo certificó que parte de su labor es retratar los cuerpos que llegan a esa institución y cortar las uñas de ser necesario, como le tocó hacer Ortiz Ortiz.
A preguntas del abogado Aarón Fernández, el técnico dijo no recordar que a la mujer le faltaran dos uñas.
Señaló, además, que del cuerpo de la víctima se recuperaron pelos en la mano izquierda, también en las pulseras que tenía en la muñeca izquierda y del antebrazo derecho.
Todavía en esta etapa del proceso no se ha hablado de la comparación de los cabellos encontrados con los recopilados de los sospechosos.
Un técnico de servicios técnicos de la Policía también certificó ayer que, cuando le tocó tomar fotos al cuchillo, por petición de la agente investigadora Ormarie Roque, la pieza no estaba amarrada, como se supone.
El juicio continúa el miércoles.
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LGBT Latino youth continue to have fear of acceptance issues - Las Vegas MyNews3

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LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The largest and oldest civil rights organization for the Latino community is hosting its annual convention in Las Vegas. and bringing in some political heavy hitters.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, is a democratic organization that spans across the country. The group has more than 132,000 members nationwide with about 300 here in the valley.
Its focus is on bringing issues important to the Latino community to the forefront.
This is just one of several conferences going on during the weeklong convention. There are also some key speakers including Gov. Brian Sandoval and Vice President Joe Biden.
LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilks says their programs do a lot for the community.
“We do leadership development; we do a lot of work on housing, building housing projects to let people get in their own homes. We do health, fitness and trying to improve health outcomes for Latino communities but the overall goal is trying to improve the quality of life for Latino families across the country,” Wilks said.
They say they feel accepted at school, but not at home. Today LULAC and the human rights campaign released a study providing insight into the attitudes of gay and lesbian Latino youth. News 3's Sergio Avila spoke with some of the people behind the study. As he explains, the results are promising but there's still a lot of work to do.
The study focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Latino youth in the high school age range and found that one in four feel they have no one to talk to and fear their families will not accept them.
Daniel Hernandez, 23, was thrust in to the spotlight January 8, 2011. He was the intern that was by representative Gabrielle Giffords' side when she was shot in Tucson, Ariz.
“I went from being someone who was on the city of Tucson’s LGBT committee when I was 19 and 20. To now becoming someone who is nationally recognized for being a part of these communities,” Hernandez said.
Since the tragedy, Hernandez now speaks against gun violence and continues to pour his heart in to equal rights for the LGBT community.
A study just completed by the human rights campaign and the league of united Latin American citizens found that three quarters of gay Latino youth feel school is a safe place for them to be themselves.
So while we're making great strides, 75 percent is not enough.
Lisbeth Rivera helped put the survey together and says this study shows the Latino community is making strides when it comes to acceptance.
“It's incredible the stories of acceptance and of joy that many of these people have in saying I'm glad my child trusted me enough to give me his or her truth completely,” Hernandez said.
What's concerning is many of those interviewed say they don't feel accepted where it may be most important, at home.
Hernandez says the key is to educate not only the youth but also their parents.
For Hernandez it's all about focusing on your own growth.
“There is no perfect way to be Latino, there is no perfect way to be LGBT,” Hernandez said. “What we can do and what we must do an what is our charge is to make sure we're providing the space and opportunities for people to feel they're accepted and even though we don't understand that we're listening figure out who they are.”
Support for teens who Hernandez says are coming out at a younger age but who need the help to make it through some tough challenges.
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García Padilla: U.S. Annexation Could Destroy Puerto Rico's Economy

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San Juan, Puerto Rico –  Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said Monday that being annexed by the United States would destroy the island's economy.
"There is not a single economic study that does not show that reality," said the governor after participating in a meeting with legislators from his party, the Popular Democratic Party, or PPD.
García Padilla's remarks came after an interview broadcast Monday by CNN en Español in the United States in which he said that if Puerto Rico were to become a full-fledged U.S. state it would be transformed into a "Latin American ghetto."
The governor said that the island - presently a U.S. commonwealth - would lose its ability to attract investment from multinational companies through incentives such as tax exemptions, which would cease to exist if the island became a U.S. state.
"I believe in the development of the Free Associated State," García Padilla said. "I don't believe in annexation. It would be disastrous for Puerto Rico's economy. It would convert Puerto Rico into a ghetto, a whole country transformed into a Latin American ghetto and we cannot allow that."
"Puerto Rico is different because it has a distinct contributory condition and it's not a state. If that advantage is eliminated, it would impoverish Puerto Rico," he said.
In addition, he emphasized that a future referendum on the island's status must include the option for it to remain a commonwealth, along with becoming independent and being annexed.
Last November in a referendum on the island's political relationship with the United States, 54 percent of Puerto Ricans said "no" to the concept of a Free Associated State, which allows a high level of autonomy but allows Washington authority to act in areas such as defense, foreign relations and border security.
A total of 61.1 percent of Puerto Ricans voted for annexation to the United States, vs. 33.3 percent who selected a Sovereign Free Associated State, understood as a relationship among equals, while just 5.5 percent opted for independence.

Reconoce comité de la ONU el rechazo al ELA

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WASHINGTON – Por medio de un nuevo texto que reconoce el rechazo expresado por los electores de Puerto Rico en noviembre pasado a la actual “subordinación política”, el Comité de Descolonización de la ONU reafirmó ayer su compromiso con el derecho de Puerto Rico a su libre determinación e independencia.
Sesenta años después de que la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) excluyó a Estados Unidos de la obligación de rendir informes sobre Puerto Rico, tras la entrada en vigor de la Constitución del Estado Libre Asociado, la resolución describe ahora explícitamente la dependencia política de la Isla.
En el preámbulo de la medida, adoptada por consenso y promovida por Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador y Bolivia, el Comité de Descolonización afirmó que tiene “presente que el pueblo de Puerto Rico se expresó mayoritariamente el pasado 6 de noviembre de 2012 rechazando su actual condición de subordinación política”.
La resolución, sin embargo, no hace referencia a la segunda pregunta del plebiscito local de hace siete meses, en la que la estadidad obtuvo el 61% de apoyo, frente al Estado Libre Asociado soberano y la independencia.
Aunque el Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) insiste en que la estadidad ganó claramente esa consulta, el porcentaje a favor de esa alternativa se queda en menos del 50% si se cuentan los votos en blanco solicitados por la Junta de Gobierno del Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), vencedor en la elección general celebrada el mismo día.
La resolución también hace alusión, entre otras cosas, a la determinación de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Celac) de incluir a Puerto Rico como un asunto de interés de los 33 países que conforman la organización.
El texto, a su vez, incluye un reclamo a favor de la devolución y limpieza de los antiguos terrenos militares en Vieques y Culebra, y la excarcelación de los prisioneros políticos Oscar López y Norberto González Claudio.
La resolución vuelve a solicitar a la Asamblea General de la ONU que examine “de manera amplia y en todos sus aspectos” el caso de Puerto Rico.
“Estadidad o soberanía”
La medida fue aprobada después que los miembros del Comité de Descolonización escucharon durante varias horas a cerca de tres decenas de ponentes puertorriqueños y algunos embajadores, sobre todo latinoamericanos.
Como el primer delegado de Puerto Rico ante el Congreso que declara sobre el caso político de la Isla ante el Comité de Descolonización, el comisionado residente en Washington, Pedro Pierluisi, presidente del PNP, habló sobre los resultados del plebiscito de hace siete meses y solicitó a la comunidad internacional que respalde “un proceso de autodeterminación que resulte en un status digno y plenamente democrático para Puerto Rico, ya sea la estadidad o la soberanía”.
El presidente ejecutivo del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP), el exsenador Fernando Martín, consideró como un paso de avance que la resolución haya incluido entre sus fundamentos el rechazo mayoritario (54%) del electorado de Puerto Rico a la condición política territorial actual.
“El status actual perdió su legitimidad democrática”, dijo Pierluisi.
“Votaron en contra”
Catorce funcionarios electos del PPD –incluidos la alcaldesa de San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz; el presidente de la Asociación de Alcaldes, Josean Santiago, y el representante Luis Vega Ramos– y el grupo autonomista PROELA, entre otros, refutaron la teoría del PNP de que Puerto Rico solicitó convertirse en el estado 51 de Estados Unidos.
“La mayoría le votó en contra a la anexión”, dijo el representante Vega Ramos, quien leyó la ponencia de los funcionarios electos del PPD.
Los políticos populares aprovecharon también para advertir que el plan de status del presidente Barack Obama no es incompatible con la convocatoria a una Asamblea Constitucional de Status, el mecanismo procesal que favorecieron también en la sesión el PIP, el Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH) y el Movimiento Unión Soberanista (MUS), entre otros.
La medida aprobada, de hecho, reconoce a la Asamblea Constitucional de Status como uno de los mecanismos procesales para avanzar este asunto.
“Un gueto latinoamericano”
Por otro lado, la cadena CNN en español difundió el domingo una entrevista en la que el gobernador Alejandro García Padilla advirtió que la estadidad significaría para Puerto Rico convertirse en un ‘gueto’, debido al impacto negativo que pronostica tendría la pérdida de los beneficios contributivos federales por medio del cual corporaciones estadounidenses pueden operar en la Isla como empresas de control foráneo.
“Creo en el desarrollo del ELA. No creo en la estadidad. Sería desastrosa para la economía de Puerto Rico. Convertiría a Puerto Rico en un gueto… un país entero convertido en un gueto latinoamericano y eso no lo podemos permitir”, afirmó García Padilla.
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The G8 that failed: Syria, Russia and the demise of summitry

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There are many reasons why the G8 has become a shadow of its former self, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently put his finger on one major limiting factor – the inclusion of Russia, which, under Vladimir Putin, has moved steadily away from the principles of democratic government that underpinned the old G7.
The history of the G8 is instructive in this regard. When the first summit of world leaders took place in Rambouillet, France, in November 1975, it was a summit of six like-minded Western democratic nations – France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Germany, with Italy added at the last minute – that dealt with a narrow range of economic concerns. Italy’s inclusion prompted U.S. President Gerald Ford to insist on Canada being invited to the second summit, hosted by him in Puerto Rico.
The Rambouillet summit and those which succeeded it had three key objectives: (1) to generate political leadership to resolve pressing economic problems that could not be addressed at the national bureaucratic level; (2) to reconcile the growing tensions of globalization that were creating frictions at the boundaries of domestic policy and the external environment; and (3) to develop a system of collective management of the international system, recognizing that the United States no longer had the capacity or policy reach to deal with a wide range of global challenges.
The purpose of summits, in the words of the distinguished former British diplomat Nicholas Bayne, was to ‘concentrate the mind,’ ‘resolve differences,’ and have a ‘catalytic effect’ on international co-operation.
Today’s summits have fallen well short of these objectives. And as is all too apparent, the G8 club is not composed of like-minded countries because of the inclusion of Russia. Mr. Putin’s authoritarian governance model is at odds with the others. His unflinching support for the Assad regime in Syria contrasts sharply with the G7, who themselves are already somewhat divided over whether to arm the rebels.
Even when macroeconomic issues were too taxing for consensus, political crises of the moment usually gave the G7 leaders a basis for concerted action. Not so this year. The high hopes from the early nineties when Russia first joined have faded over time as has the value of these annual summits.
Russia alone is not to blame for this state of affairs. Effective global diplomacy requires leadership and credibility. Both are in short supply. The absence of China compounds the difficulty, but then even if China were included, its presence would not likely help much on a thorny issue such as Syria.
Neither the Chinese nor the Russians have much appetite to support internal dissent anywhere in case it prompts some echoes at home. What we have in Syria is in fact a civil war with plenty of outside meddling – a situation which needs above all credible, firm diplomacy.
What minimal consensus can be mustered in Northern Ireland will be either on feel-good issues such as pledging funds to alleviate child malnutrition, or high-sounding pledges to expose hidden bank deposits. Laudable as both may be, they are some distance from the original rationale for summitry.
Sadly, the cost of these annual gatherings has increased in inverse proportion to their effect on global stability.
Derek H. Burney is senior strategic advisor for Norton Rose Fulbright and a former Canadian Ambassador to the United States (1989–1993). Fen Osler Hampson is distinguished fellow and director of global security at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He is also Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton University.
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Prensa Latina News Agency - Cuba's Resolution on Puerto Rico Stresses at UN

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Imagen activa18 de junio de 2013, 10:43Havana, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) Edwin Gonzalez, delegate of the Puerto Rican Mission in Havana, stressed the importance of the draft resolution submitted by Cuba on his country in the UN Decolonization Committee, Granma newspaper reported.
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The fact that the "UN participate on the matter is of vital importance to our independentist intentions, as the U.S. justification for ignoring the matter is that this is an internal issue," Gonzalez told the newspaper.
The member of the National Independence Hostosiano Movement of Puerto Rico highlighted the role of Latin America and the Caribbean in the fight that the right of Puerto Ricans to be recognized as a people with own culture and identity is respected.
Referring to a possible dialogue with U.S. authorities after the UN vote, Gonzalez said that "nothing is going to happen. We do not believe that there will be any change."
Cuba presented yesterday a draft resolution at the United Nations, reaffirming the inalienable right of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence.
The text was put into consideration of the 29 country members of the UN decolonization committee by Cuba's Permanent Representative to the world body Rodolfo Reyes.
sus/iff/las

CFTC Says Pay Up! US Regulator Orders Puerto Rican Firm To Pay $1,593,444 For FX Fraud

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Puerto Rico is not a region synonymous with FX trading, nor with regulatory matters. Although not part of the federal union of the United States, it does come under US Federal Law and is classified as an unincorporated territory of the United States, therefore making any misconduct with regard to FX committed within the country very much the business of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
cftc
Today, the CFTC has announced that it obtained a federal court consent order requiring defendants Angel F. Collazo, formerly of Salinas, Puerto Rico, and his companies, ACJ Capital, Inc. (ACJ) and Solid View Capital LLC (Solid View), both of San Juan, Puerto Rico, jointly and severally to pay $843,444 in restitution and to pay a $750,000 civil monetary penalty for fraudulently soliciting customers to participate in an off-exchange leveraged foreign currency (forex) pool, misappropriating pool participant funds, and issuing false statements to conceal trading losses and misappropriation.
The CFTC also obtained a second federal court consent order, requiring defendants Fernando Clemente, of Weston, Florida, and his company, Felgi Investments Corp. (Felgi) of Caguas, Puerto Rico, to pay $30,000 in restitution, to disgorge $120,933 in pool participant funds to which they were not legitimately entitled, and to pay a $120,000 civil monetary penalty.
The Orders also impose permanent trading and registration bans against all defendants and prohibit them from violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.
The orders, entered by Judge Jose A. Fuste of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on February 13, 2013 and June 10, 2013, respectively, stem from a CFTC complaint originally filed in February of 2012 (see CFTC Press Release 6180-12, February 15, 2012). In July 2012, the CFTC complaint was amended to include defendants Clemente and Felgi. Clemente and Felgi were also named as relief defendants for receiving funds from ACJ, Solid View, and Collazo to which they were not legitimately entitled.
The February 13, 2013 Order finds that Collazo and his companies fraudulently solicited commodity pool participants by falsely claiming profitable returns, while minimizing and failing to fully disclose the risks of trading leveraged forex. The Order also finds that Collazo, ACJ, and Solid View misappropriated pool funds to make payments to pool participants and for personal uses, failed to disclose their intended uses of pool participant funds, misrepresented the profitability of pool trading accounts, and distributed statements to ACJ and Solid View pool participants that contained false account values, including showing consistent trading profits.
The June 10, 2013 Order finds that Mssrs. Clemente and Felgi, misappropriated $30,000 in customer funds that were to have been provided by Felgi to Solid View for personal uses and failed to disclose their intended uses of pool participant funds. The Order also finds that Clemente and Felgi retained $120,933 in purported trading profits to which they were not entitled.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Puerto Rico in this matter.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Kara Mucha, James A. Garcia, Michael Solinsky, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
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New Leak Indicates US and Britain Eavesdropped at World Conferences

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A new set of classified documents disclosed Sunday suggested that Edward J. Snowden, the formerNational Security Agency contractor who has provided a trove of documents to The Guardian newspaper, had obtained a wider range of materials about government surveillance than had been known, including one document revealing how American and British intelligence agencies had eavesdropped on world leaders at conferences in London in 2009.
The latest disclosures, appearing again in The Guardian, came the night before a meeting of the Group of 8 industrialized nations was to open in Northern Ireland, where some of the leaders who were intelligence targets four years ago will be in attendance.
The newspaper reported Sunday night that Government Communications Headquarters, or G.C.H.Q., the British eavesdropping agency that works closely with the N.S.A., monitored the e-mail and phones of other countries’ representatives at two London conferences, in part by setting up a monitored Internet cafe for the participants. In addition, the United States intercepted the communications of Dmitri A. Medvedev, then the Russian president and now the prime minister, the newspaper said.
The Guardian posted some G.C.H.Q. documents on its Web site with part of the contents blacked out. A spokesman for The Guardian said Sunday that the paper decided to redact the documents, and that enough was published “to show the authenticity of the report.”
The documents indicated that e-mail interception and key-logging software was installed on the computers in the ersatz Internet cafe, that foreign diplomats’ BlackBerry messages and calls were intercepted, and that 45 analysts tracked who was phoning whom at the meeting.
Richard J. Aldrich, a professor of international security at the University of Warwick and the author of a history of the G.C.H.Q., said the logos of the N.S.A. and Canadian intelligence on one of the Britishdocuments suggested that they were accessible to Mr. Snowden “under the auspices of a joint program.”
He said Mr. Snowden’s leak showed that British and American diplomats and politicians got a real-time feed of intelligence on their counterparts at major summit meetings. “Now this is integrated into summit diplomacy, almost like a newsreader getting a feed in their ear,” he said.
American intelligence officials have expressed alarm at the variety of highly classified material Mr. Snowden obtained, suggesting that his actions revealed a shocking breach in the fundamental principle that intelligence officers should have access only to the material they need to do their jobs. On Sunday, a spokesman for the British foreign service said he would not comment on intelligence matters.
Mr. Snowden, 29, who left the N.S.A. station in Hawaii this spring and is now thought to be hiding in Hong Kong, delivered hundreds of N.S.A. documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post. Their initial reports covered the routine collection of data on all phone calls handled by the major American telephone companies and an N.S.A. program called Prism that collects the e-mails and other Web activity of foreigners using major Internet services like Google, Yahoo and Facebook.
Disclosures linked to Mr. Snowden now rank among the most significant breaches in the strict secrecy of the N.S.A., the largest American intelligence agency, since its creation in 1952. It suffered a handful of defections during the cold war; more recently, insiders have revealed warrantless eavesdropping inside the United States.
By contrast, the latest disclosures have exposed surveillance approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and shared with Congress.
A letter delivered to Congress on Saturday from the office of James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said that the surveillance programs had helped thwart “dozens” of terrorist plots in the United States and more than 20 other countries.
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The Ring and the Rings: Vladimir Putin's Mafia Olympics | Sport

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Putin Super Bowl ring
In this 2005 photograph, Russian president Vladimir Putin holds a diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring belonging to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
Josef Stalin famously uttered the demonically cynical maxim that "the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic". In other words, he believed that when faced with the choice of focusing on horrors small and tangible or vast and incomprehensible, humanity goes small. It is the political spawn of Stalin's feared security apparatus, Vladimir Putin, who is proving that this applies to scandals in the world of sport. One small theft is the sports story of the moment in the United States, while a heist of epic proportions, is emitting nary a peep.
The sports press is agog with the revelation by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft that in 2005, Putin stole his Super Bowl ring. At the time, Putin's sticky fingers were caught on camera and the scene generated some laughs. There was the leader of Russia trying it on at a press event and then walking out of the room, as a bovine, slack-jawed Kraft looked on. The Patriots organization played it off as an intentional gift. But Kraft revealed this week that it was more of a mugging with the parodically alpha-male Putin icily looking at Kraft and saying, "I can kill someone with this ring," then in Kraft's words, "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out."
It's a pulpy, punchy story and it's understandable why sports reporters are flocking to it like a seagull to carrion. It also fits a narrative that has served Vladimir Putin well. He's the Tony Soprano of world leaders: the man who gets what he wants and wants what he gets.
But Putin – not unlike the decaying Mafia itself – isn't nearly as ruthlessly efficient as his legend suggests. For evidence of this, we don't even have to leave the world of sports. I'm referring to the billions in disappeared "spending" for the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held – for reasons that boggle the mind – in the humid, subtropical Russian resort city of Sochi.
Putin has staked his reputation on the smooth hosting of the winter games. Based on the planning, it either speaks to how little he values his reputation, or more likely, that beneath the steely glare and martial arts muscles, he's being exposed as little more than a thuggish front man for a kleptocracy.
According to a detailed report issued by Russian opposition leaders in May, businessmen and various consiglieres of Putin have stolen up to $30bn from funds intended for Olympic preparations. This has pushed the cost of the winter games, historically far less expensive than their summer counterpart to over $50bn, more than four times the original estimate. That $50bn price tag would make them the most expensive games in history, more costly than the previous twenty-one winter games combined. It's a price tag higher than even than the 2008 pre-global recession summer spectacle in Beijing.
As Andrew Jennings, author of Lords of the Rings and the most important Olympic investigative reporter we have, said to me, "The games have always been a money-spinner for the cheerleaders in the shadows. Beijing remains impenetrable but is likely to have been little less corrupt than Putin's mafia state."
"Mafia state" may sound extreme, but these winter games will go down in history as perhaps the most audacious act of embezzlement in human history. As Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk wrote, "Only oligarchs and companies close to Putin got rich. The absence of fair competition, cronyism … have led to a sharp increase in the costs and to the poor quality of the work to prepare for the Games … The fact is that almost everything that is related to the cost problems and abuses in preparation for the Olympic Games was carefully concealed and continues to be covered up by the authorities."
One of those officials was Akhmed Bilalov, who was forced to flee Russia, fearing for his life, after Putin blamed him for the ballooning costs. Now Bilalov has gone public with news that he is undergoing medical treatment for being poisoned, allegedly by agents of the Russian state.
Even more nauseating, if not surprising, than the alleged theft/attempted murder is the shrug of the shoulders from the International Olympic Committee. Jean-Claude Killy, the French skiing superstar from the 1970s, is now in charge of the International Olympic Committee's coordination commission for the Sochi games.
"I don't recall an Olympics without corruption," Killy said. "It's not an excuse, obviously, and I'm very sorry about it, but there might be corruption in this country, there was corruption before. I hope we find ways around that."
If $30bn is too much of an incomprehensible "statistic" to get our heads around, even in a country with poverty and hunger rates that spiked dramatically in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis, consider the people who actually have to live in Sochi. Thousands of families have been forcibly displaced by construction projects that will have no use once the cameras have cleared. The local environment has strip-mined and polluted the ecosystem. According to Human Rights Watch, one village, Akhshtyr, which has 49 homes and a population of 102 people, has been without water for a year because of Olympic construction without end. Sochi is basically being treated like Henry Hill's bar in Goodfellas: to be discarded by the Russian state once the Olympics are over and it has nothing left to give.
The 2014 Winter Games are nothing any sports fan with a conscience should support. Putin should be protested at every turn for allowing his cronies to loot his country and immiserate the people of Sochi. If there is any justice, these games will mark the beginning of his end, as the veil is lifted and the cost of his rule is revealed in stark relief for all to see. Putin's got to go. If it makes it easier, he can keep the damn ring.
Dave Zirin is the author of Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love. This piece first appeared in The Nation.
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: : H.R. 2000 | PUERTO RICO STATUS RESOLUTION ACT : :

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  • Ipsum

    Show your support for the Bill and be part of this historic moment



  • 4 comments:

    1. Greetings,

      We need to work together to decolonize Puerto Rico and free Oscar López Rivera. Join 2 peaceful protests until it is accomplished!

      Un abrazo,
      José
      www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete
    2. The Second Oscar – Mandela March in New York City 2015

      We will be having our 2nd Oscar – Mandela Protest March on Monday, June 22, 2015. We will start marching peacefully at 9 AM from Hunter College on East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, to East 43rd Street and Lexington Avenue. We will then go East (turning left) to end up at the Ralph Bunche Park on First Avenue (across from the United Nations).

      We will be at the park until 5 PM. We will be giving out flyers and talking to people about who Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is. We will also be educating the public about Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the government of the United States (US).

      Most people don’t know that every year, usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, the United Nations holds its hearing about the decolonization of Puerto Rico. The petitioners will usually join our protest after this meeting.

      The UN determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Since then, the UN has issued 33 resolutions asking for the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government has ignored these resolutions. What kind of democracy is that?

      The US government tries to keep these hearings a secret. What we are trying to do is to get them out of the closet. The UN is in its 3rd decade trying to make the world colony-free. Please help us!

      Most people also don’t know that the United States government takes out 14 times more money than what it invests in Puerto Rico. But, that is what colonies are for!

      This savage exploitation impedes Puerto Rico’s ability to provide opportunities for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans living away from Puerto Rico than in their homeland.

      Oscar López Rivera has been incarcerated for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico. Since colonialism is an international crime, international law gives Oscar the right to use whatever means necessary to decolonize his homeland. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for doing the same thing as Oscar. This is why we say, Oscar López Rivera is our Nelson Mandela!

      United Partners for Puerto Rico Decolonization invites the public to be part of the tsunami of people that will be necessary to make the US government comply with the UN resolutions. These annual protests in Puerto Rico and at the UN are absolutely necessary, because, those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all!

      José M López Sierra
      787-429-1981
      www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete
    3. Best 2015 UN Hearing Coverage about Puerto Rico

      The alternative news media, InformaciónAlDesnudo.com, will have the best coverage of the United Nations’ (UN) hearing about Puerto Rico’s 117 years of colonial relationship with the United States (US). This year’s hearing will be on Monday, June 22, 2015.

      For 3 consecutive Saturdays (June 6, 13 and 20), InformaciónAlDesnudo.com will be giving its listeners the most comprehensive coverage in order to provoke the widest involvement of the people interested in this subject. We hope to encourage them to continuously work together, so that our decolonization could occur sooner rather than later.

      The total delegation from Puerto Rico petitioning the UN’s Decolonization Committee will participate on the Saturday, June 20, 2015 program from 7 to 9 PM. These petitioners will share with our InformaciónAlDesnudo.com listeners what they will tell the Committee of 24. Our listeners will also have the opportunity to speak to our panelists to better understand what they hope to gain from their petitions at the UN.

      The spokesperson for United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico, José M. López Sierra, is part of the team for these 3 special programs. In addition to the petition that he will make to the UN, he is part of the committee that organized the 2nd Oscar – Mandela March in NYC. José is also a correspondent in Puerto Rico for InformaciónAlDesnudo.com.

      The 2nd Oscar – Mandela March in NYC will be on the same day as the UN’s hearing about Puerto Rico. We will march at 9 AM from Hunter College on 68th Street and Lexington Avenue to the Ralph Bunche Park across the Avenue from the UN.

      Help us spread the word about the media coverage, and our peaceful march to force the US government to comply with the 33 UN resolutions to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.

      The UN determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 for being a threat world peace. Therefore, UN is convinced that there could be no peace without justice. The US government knows that too, but it is much more interested in its overwhelmingly exaggerated profits around the world. That’s why we must continue to peacefully protest as long as necessary, because those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all!

      Those who demand exaggerated profits around the world, don’t believe in justice for all!

      Jose M Lopez Sierra
      www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
      787-429-1981

      ReplyDelete
    4. Could PR be decolonized through elections?
      Impossible. Why?
      The 1% makes the laws of the United States (US) government for the 99%. And that 1%, of course, is above the law. This is why the 1 % wants Puerto Rico to pay the cost of her colonial relationship with the United States in what many are calling the “Puerto Rico’s debt”. The 1 % never wants to lose!
      Noam Chomsky says on page 146 of his book PROFIT OVER PEOPLE that over 2 hundred years ago in the leading democracy of his day, Oliver Goldsmith observed that “laws grind the poor, and the rich men make the law”. “He who makes the law makes the trap” is a popular Puerto Rican saying. Pedro Albizu Campos said that if Puerto Rico’s independence were possible through elections, the US government would abolish them. Trying to decolonize Puerto Rico via elections would be like trying to win in a casino that is rigged, so that the players will always lose. So why do 80% of Puerto Ricans vote in the colonial elections in Puerto Rico?
      The US government has brainwashed our minds. History is always written by the winner. The US government has had 117 years to mold Puerto Ricans to serve its interest. The 1 % knows that it could stay in power forever, if it could control our minds. If the 99% ever knew the truth, it could use its numerical power to stop the 1%, despite its enormous wealth and power. How have we been brainwashed?
      It has been achieved through the Puerto Rico education system, the imposition of US citizenship against our will, state terrorism like the Rio Piedras, Utuado, and Ponce Massacres, the assassinations like in the Cerro Maravilla and the Machetero leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos.
      Most Puerto Ricans believe that it is their duty to vote, and if they don’t vote, than they shouldn’t complain later. Many believe that Puerto Rico is a democracy, although they know that Washington has the final word on what happens here. So how do we decolonize ourselves?
      We know that the United Nations (UN) will not do it. It is controlled by the US government. How do we know that?
      The UN has thus far issued 34 resolutions asking the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and it has ignored them all! The morning session’s video, of the last Puerto Rico decolonization hearing where the Chairperson said that he felt disrespected when the UN at the last minute decided not to broadcast live the hearing after telling him it would, has never been available for public viewing on its WEBCAST as it is normally done. The resolution of this year’s hearing has never been published on the UN website as it usually does. Obviously, the US government wants to hide to the world its colonial relationship with Puerto Rico!
      We know that it will take a long time to reverse 117 years of brainwashing. But, as more and more Puerto Ricans become convinced that we are destined to be its colony forever, more and more Puerto Rican could choose to stop voting in the colonial elections. This way we can say to the world that we are not the democracy that the US government wants it to believe!
      Instead, we should protest permanently and peacefully. Once we get the tsunami of people necessary, and demand once again our inalienable right to self-determination and independence, the US government, like in Vieques, will have no other choice, but to comply with the 34 UN resolutions.
      Once we become our own nation, we must permanently stay vigilant, because the US government will try to install, as it has done so many times before in many parts of the world, a puppet government to continue exploiting us. We must do so, because those who govern only for the 1%, definitely don’t believe in JUSTICE FOR ALL! www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete