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Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM - UK Politics - UK

Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM - UK Politics - UK
* Claiming they have used their access to Downing Street to get David Cameron to speak to the Chinese premier on behalf of one of their business clients within 24 hours of asking him to do so; * Boasting about Bell Pottinger's access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, to Mr Cameron's chief of staff Ed Llewellyn and to Mr Cameron's old friend and closest No 10 adviser Steve Hilton; * Suggesting that the company could manipulate Google results to "drown" out negative coverage of human rights violations and child labour; * Revealing that Bell Pottinger has a team which "sorts" negative Wikipedia coverage of clients; * Saying it was possible to use MPs known to be critical of investigative programmes to attack their reporting for minor errors. In Uzbekistan, child labour is used in cotton fields to fulfil state quotas and the country also has a terrible human rights record: the think tank Freedom House put it on its 2011 list of the "Worst of the Worst" repressive regimes. Related:  corruption

Lobbying for Dictators: The Real Reason it's Scandalous - Joshua Foust - International A high-powered U.K. lobbying firm was caught pitching its services to the government of Uzbekistan. Unfortunately, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Uzbek soldiers in a corridor of high court building in Tashkent / Reuters The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has a blockbuster story about how U.K.-based lobbyists use their relationship with the British government to advance the interests of their clients. The basics of what they allege the firm Bell Pottinger did -- Search Engine Optimization, access to 10 Downing Street, targeted message placement -- is really just standard kit for a lobbying firm. In case that sounds familiar, that is because it is precisely what Harper's journalist Ken Silverstein did with Turkmenistan and DC lobbyist firms four years ago. Though Silverstein's 2007 investigative piece was very interesting for what it revealed about DC's rather disgusting underbelly, the piece could at times seem limited by a propensity for outrage over analysis.

Aurora theater shooting: Bizarre court filing blames massacre on police chief, Illuminati - Denver - News - The Latest Word - Page 2 Earlier, we introduced you to the James Holmes is Innocent Facebook group, whose members say they're uninterested in wild conspiracy theories -- like, for example, the assertions in the strangest Aurora theater shooting document to date. The motion, made public yesterday and on view below, deals with claims allegedly (but not actually) made by a victim pointing the finger of blame at Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates and the Illuminati. The filing, submitted on August 27, redacts the name of the person who supposedly submitted it -- but the text suggests that the moniker appears in the official charging document, which lists 116 counts of attempted murder. Moreover, the victim whose identity was appropriated is female, as indicated in an order by Judge William Sylvester that responds to the motion; it's on view below as well. A footnote reads, "The District Attorney's Office has informed the Court that the victim indicated in this Motion informed an investigator that she did not file it."

Photos du mur Undercover police had children with activists | UK news Two undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the Guardian can reveal. In both cases, the children have grown up not knowing that their biological fathers – whom they have not seen in decades – were police officers who had adopted fake identities to infiltrate activist groups. Both men have concealed their true identities from the children's mothers for many years. One of the spies was Bob Lambert, who has already admitted that he tricked a second woman into having a long-term relationship with him, as part of an intricate attempt to bolster his credibility as a committed campaigner. The second police spy followed the progress of his child and the child's mother by reading confidential police reports which tracked the mother's political activities and life. Until now it was not known that police had secretly fathered children while living undercover.

Top Obama campaign aide lobbied for bank bailout - 2012 Elections The Obama campaign is keeping mum on the role senior advisor Broderick Johnson played in lobbying for the 2008 Wall Street bailout when he worked as a hired gun for the country’s largest financial services companies. Johnson’s past work as a lobbyist was noted in the press when he was appointed a top Obama surrogate in late October, but not the details of his extensive and lucrative work for the financial services industry. Johnson’s hiring despite his recent work for Wall Street strikes a dissonant note in view of the Obama camp’s reported strategy of “channeling anti-Wall Street anger” as a way to take on the Republicans. Records show that in 2008, as an employee at Washington law firm Bryan Cave, Johnson lobbied for the $700 billion TARP bailout on behalf of the Financial Services Forum, which is composed of the CEOs of the 20 biggest financial institutions doing business in the United States. Johnson is known as an extremely well-connected Democratic operative.

Assange complaint over nightclub footage dismissed The Australian, who campaigns against secrecy and censorship, is currently holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London where he is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. Independent regulator Ofcom said in a ruling on Monday that his "complaints of unjust or unfair treatment and of unwarranted infringement of privacy in the programme as broadcast should not be upheld". Assange complained to the watchdog about a November 2011 documentary on Britain's independent Channel 4 network called "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies", which traced the website's history. The 41-year-old former computer hacker said that around one minute's worth of footage of him dancing at a nightclub in Iceland, shown with commentary on the legal case played over it, was used without his consent. Assange said the footage was filmed on condition that it would be "for personal use" and that his privacy was "unwarrantably" unfringed.

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture. Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company. Assassination of U.S. citizens War crimes

Giant grain firm buys up all British wheat in ‘unprecedented’ purchase Britain’s most powerful grain company jointly owned by Cargill and Associated British Foods bought and took delivery of all the available UK feed wheat last month. The series of purchases by Frontier Agriculture, described by a number of traders as ‘unprecedented’, will reignite growing concerns among food manufacturers and campaign groups over the potential for giant trading companies and financiers with deep pockets to profit and even distort commodity markets. Traders told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that Frontier bought all available May Futures contracts on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe) in the period running up to the tender date in the last week of April. Feed wheat sets the benchmark price for wheat used in food. ‘The UK government has turned a blind eye and has aimed to block European proposals for regulating commodity markets that would bring this type of profiteering to a halt. ‘We are not speculators’, said Duffy. Backfired?

the capitalist network that runs the world - physics-math - 19 October 2011 AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable. The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York's Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). "Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it's conspiracy theories or free-market," says James Glattfelder. The Zurich team can. So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. 1. (Data: PLoS One)

Majority Of File-Sharers Are Heavily Monitored Get Breaking News First Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning. Sign Up LONDON (CBSDC)- A recent study found that those who participate in illegal file-sharing are not flying under the radar, but rather are closely monitored within hours of engaging in suspect activity. The study, conducted at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, used software created by computer scientists that emulated the file-sharing program BitTorrent and logged all interactions and connections made to it, the Korea IT Times reported. Over the course of the three-year study, researchers reportedly saw monitoring firms tracking activity within three hours of a given download. According to the tech website, those conducting the study were “surprised” at the diligent way in which such activity was monitored, and noted in their findings that there was no difference between frequent users and occasional downloaders. “You don’t have to be a mass downloader.

Everything You Know (about Parallel Programming) Is Wrong! David Ungar is "an out-of-the-box thinker who enjoys the challenge of building computer software systems that work like magic and fit a user's mind like a glove.". this is a summary from SPLASH 2011 in November 2011 In the end of the first decade of the new century, chips such as Tilera’s can give us a glimpse of a future in which manycore microprocessors will become commonplace: every (non-hand-held) computer’s CPU chip will contain 1,000 fairly homogeneous cores. Such a system will not be programmed like the cloud, or even a cluster because communication will be much faster relative to computation. Nor will it be programmed like today’s multicore processors because the illusion of instant memory coherency will have been dispelled by both the physical limitations imposed by the 1,000-way fan-in to the memory system, and the comparatively long physical lengths of the inter- vs. intra-core connections. If we cannot skirt Amdahl’s Law, the last 900 cores will do us no good whatsoever.