27 December 2008

The Paranoia Squad

i assume George Monbiot is OK? This from "the Truth Seeker", which sounds a bit swively-eyed and green inky: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/

But fits with today's other posts: end of the animal rights militia, so the cops need a new enemy!

Boat burglaries up says insurer

Winter a common time for burglaries from boats. Leave a note saying all valuables have been removed. Not sure how many boatowners read this blog, but thefts up 20% in 2008

Animal Rights Activists Guilty of Blackmail

End of a particularly unpleasant campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences and its suppliers?

Police crackdown on prostitution expected to close 1,200 brothels

I wonder if anyone has worked out the economic consequences of that? Risk-profiling? It all sounds good as an attack on human trafficking, and on class A drug taking, but there are other impacts to assess.

The results of the privatisation of immigration detention

Given that all UK politicians seem capable of doing is copying US madness, here's a vision of our future. If you pay $100 a day for each suspected illegal immigrant locked up, everyone gets locked up.
"In a sinking economy, immigration detention is a rare growth industry."
Just make sure you have papers and they're in order!

16 December 2008

Scores held in anti-Mafia raids

Aim of carabinieri to prevent the rebuilding of the Sicilian Mafia. Other papers say that those arrested were trying to set up a Supreme Council to resolve disputes

15 December 2008

The Madoffometer

FT website tallying reports on losses admitted by banks investing in Madoff.

BBVA may los 300m euros from Madoff

FT article with links to other pieces on emerging losses from European banks in connection with alleged fraud

Human Trafficking Working Group Website

University of Queensland has launched a new website on human trafficking in Australia in collaboration wiyh University of British Columbia, Canada.

Russian Firms most likely to use bribes abroad

Transparency International publishes Bribe Payers Index.

"All Just One Big Lie"

Washington Post article on the alleged Madoff fraud, which appears to be affecting UK banking this morning. Here's the story of the impact on Jewish charities in the US

Mexico Drug Cartels send a message of Chaos, death

More beheadings, this time in Mexico. Article effectively argues that this is criminal terrorism the work of "terrorist mafias", trying to intimidate the government into stopping its crackdown.

In Rusia, a Grisly message Marks Rise in Hate Crimes

Neo Nazi skinhead gangs being blamed, but for the first time, political demands have been made and an unknown group has claimed responsibility for a beheading.

12 December 2008

Social Websites LureYoungsters into Gangs

I wonder whether cause and effect are being confused here. Time for some research funding?

Gang members in violence summit

This has happened in Glasgow. I heard a US expert say on 5Live this morning: you cant arrest your way out of this problem. They just come back out onto the streets a year later and take up where they left off. The model is the Boston Ceasefire Project.

$50 billion fraud charge at hedge fund

Apologies for the absence. Your blogger has been having his wrist dewired. Normal service should now resume.

This case involves Bernard Madoff, former chair of Nasdaq and later of a hedge fund, unidentified in this BBC piece. It is claimed he admitted his hedge fund was a giant pyramid selling scheme. We shall find out in court.

06 December 2008

Mumbai attacks: police admit there were more than ten attackers

The maths always did seem wrong and at least two gunmen seemed to disappear from the timeline-style accounts. All we can be certain of is that there will be more arrests.

The FBI hero who joined the Mafia

Trial of an undercover agent who allegedly changed sides. Or did he? Murky story of the use of Irish-American gangsters against Italian-American gangsters. How complicit was the FBI leadership> Already made a good film. The books will be out as soon as the trial is over. An IRA dimension to the allegations as well

BAE accused of £100m secret payments to secure South African arms deal

A word of warning on this, in that it is a story that only the Guardian is pursuing seriously over here. Your blogger was not allowed to use BAE- pinochet deals as a case study in a report to a client. So it is all "alleged" m'lud. If you go to the December 5th story linked from this report : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/05/bae-armstrade, you will note that the man who wouldnt let the SFO prosecute in another case, allegedly acted as lobbyist in this one....conflict of interest? Well, he was PM, so he wouldnt have been paid. So that's all right then. All done "in the national interest".

Gang rapists of girl, 14, named

This blog has noted how gang culture is expanding throughout the UK. This is intimidation worthy of the Congo or Darfur. But we have also seen how gang culture can expand in jails, particular examples coming from the U.S., but parallels beginning to appear under the aegis of jihadist groups in UK jails.
So send them to jail by all means, but is there a unit to prevent them maintaining gang structure while incarcerated? Or even a policy? Or only Ian Duncan-Smith? Where do I sign on for a gated community?

05 December 2008

DNA database breach of rights

Not really sure which source to use for this story. The decision was unanimous. Judges from 17 countries including the UK agreed that keeping data indefinitely on people not even convicted was against human rights. Another "no-brainer". Thew Home Office could have followed Scottish practice and there would never have been a case. Lazy politicians and an over-mighty Home Office combine yet again! Who is giving them legal advice....or is the question why don't they take it? And why is it a matter for the Home Office anyway when the UK now has a Ministry of Justice? Another finals exam paper emerging here....

Paris Thieves Steal $100m jewels

BBC TV was suggesting an East European connection as the jewellery will be easier to sell there.

03 December 2008

Report on Damian Green arrest sent to CPS

This Guardian article includes a statement from the acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Ive not bothered to blog this affair, although it may yet turn out to involve crimes of the powerful. I suspect, however, that the real struggle is about the succession to Sir Ian Blair, but just who i up to what exactly I cant yet see for the smoke and mirrors.
The reorganisation of Special Branch into Counter Terrorism Command seemed a mistake at the time and if what Stephenson says here is true, then we may need a new unit to deal with allegations against top politicians and official leaks, which were/are an SB responsibility and now therefore come under CTC with all its spooky paranoia and excess of powers.

French studies on wartime denunciations to the Nazis

Family and neighbour disputes more frequent reason for denunciation than Jewishness. An awful warning of how petty people can be and why police power has to be controlled...in the Torygraph even!

01 December 2008

33 face "crash for cash" rap in court

This little scam has been quite common in France and Germany for a while, but usually involving car theft. Intriguing to see Liverpool leading the way as usual!