Monday, October 30, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Once a week Tony Blair and his closest aides gather in a room at the back of Downing Street for the Prime Minister's weekly video conference with his close friend and ally, President George W. Bush.
It is a select gathering. Apart from Blair himself, the only other regular attendees are Jonathan Powell, his long-serving chief of staff, and Sir Nigel Sheinwald, his highly experienced foreign policy adviser. At the White House the President is usually accompanied by the brooding presence of Vice President Dick Cheney, who sits on a sofa listening in on the conversation, but rarely contributes anything of note.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Perle, 65, was as a director at Hollinger while then- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Conrad Black allegedly looted the newspaper company. More than a year after warning Perle in a so-called Wells notice that he might face civil charges for failing to police Black, the SEC this month told him it won't be filing a lawsuit, his lawyer, Dennis Block, said.
``There was absolutely no basis for it,'' Block, a partner at Cadwalalder, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York, said today in a telephone interview.
The SEC hoped to make Hollinger an example of its three- year-old effort to hold corporate boards more responsible for failing to detect and thwart fraud. This month, the agency also abandoned efforts to sue three other ex-directors, James Thompson, Richard Burt and Marie-Josee Kravis.
John Heine, an SEC spokesman in Washington, declined to comment.
Hollinger, shareholders and the SEC alleged that Black and former President David Radler wrongfully diverted proceeds from sales of company newspapers for their personal use. Hollinger later sued Black, saying in a 513-page report that he and other top executives looted the company of more than $400 million over seven years. Black was ousted as chairman in 2004.
At its peak, Hollinger published newspapers including London's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post. The Chicago-based company, now called Sun-Times Media Group Inc., has sold the Telegraph and the Post.
Radler pleaded guilty in September 2005 to a criminal fraud charge and is cooperating with the Justice Department's case against Black. The SEC filed a civil suit against Black, 62, and Radler, 64, in 2004, accusing them of fraud. That case is pending. Black pleaded not guilty last year in federal court in Chicago to criminal fraud charges.
Perle was a member of Hollinger's three-member executive committee, together with Black and Radler, from 1996 to 2003. He stepped down from the company's board this year.
The leading architect of U.S. nuclear arms policy during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, Perle served on the Pentagon's advisory Defense Policy Board for 17 years until he quit in 2004. He's a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, and advised Bush on foreign policy during the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign.
Perle didn't return calls and an e-mail seeking comment.
Black's alleged wrongdoing was investigated internally by former SEC Chairman Richard Breeden and detailed in report filed with the SEC in 2004. In an interview last year, Perle said he was ``blown away'' by the accusations in the report.
Perle received $3.1 million in undisclosed bonuses at Hollinger for running an Internet investment arm called Hollinger Digital, according to Breeden's probe. The unit had lost $49.6 million as of 2003.
The report also said Perle helped convince Black to put $2.5 million of Hollinger's cash into Trireme Partners LP, a venture- capital fund in which Perle and Black participated. Black didn't seek board approval for the related-party transaction, according to the report.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
|Paris, 17 Oct. (IPS) As Iran continue to resist pressures from the United Nations Security Council and Germany over its nuclear activites, it is the forthcoming elections of the 86 members Experts Assembly that is becoming the major ground floor of battle between the two major wings of the theocratic regime's leadership, the so-called hard liners and the so-called pragmatists.|
Recently it came to our attention that, on at least three occasions—publicly and privately—Christopher has given credence to a pernicious charge that American Free Press has been infiltrated and controlled by “Zionists,” thus lending his support to attacks on the credibility and integrity of American Free Press and its staff.
Jews United Against Zionism
Thursday, October 05, 2006
In the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, a car bomb kills Islamic Jihad officials Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub. In June, Mahmoud Rafeh confessed to the killings and admitted he had been working for the Israeli Mossad since 1994.
“For the second time in eight days,” Fisk wrote, “the Israelis have committed a war crime.”