Victoria’s Secret Angels Erin Heatherton, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Lindsay Ellingson, Doutzen Kroes and Lily Aldridge let you in on their resolutions and a sexy little New Year’s tradition.
Authoritative PRC media reports of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s live online appearances illustrate authorities’ expanding use of the Internet to set and control policy discourse in Chinese-language virtual space. They also suggest ongoing efforts to manage leaders’ images and portray them as accessible and soliciting online public opinion. While some apparent missteps suggest a cautious, evolving approach to interactive Internet media in relation to top leaders, reported leadership statements indicate sustained attention to the goal of incorporating new technologies into the propaganda system.
Recent online appearances by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on authoritative PRC media platforms indicate that Beijing continues to expand its use of Internet media to broadcast unique programs communicating the government’s view and signaling its policy preferences as part of its overall media strategy.
- On Saturday 27 February, in the run-up to the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), Wen appeared in a live “web chat” — his second — jointly hosted by Xinhua Wang, the internet portal of PRC official news agency Xinhua, and by Zhongguo Zhengfu Wang (www.gov.cn), the PRC central government website. The two sites also posted feature pages with reports, video, and transcripts of the chat. Xinhua billed the event in advance as Wen’s “annual dialogue with netizens” (27 December 2009).
- Wen’s 27 February 2010 online appearance followed his first live “web chat” (zaixian fangtan), held by Zhongguo Zhengfu Wang on 28 February 2009. Xinhua later described that chat as the first of the “top ten events” of 2009 (29 December 2009).
- On 27 December 2009, Xinhua Wang broadcast an exclusive online interview of Wen held inside the Zhongnanhai central leadership compound, in which — like the web chats — Wen presented the Chinese leadership’s views by “answering netizens’ questions.”
Suggesting an attempt to portray Wen as accessible and soliciting public opinion, in his live online appearances Wen answered selected questions ostensibly submitted by Internet users. Reports portrayed the live online events as direct and sincere communication between Wen and the public as represented by Internet users, who are sometimes referred to in PRC media as “netizens” (wang min) or “net friends” (wang you).
- The moderator of Wen’s 27 February web chat claimed to have selected questions from among 190,000 submitted online by Internet users and 70,000 submitted via cell phone instant message (SMS) by users of the joint Xinhua Wang — China Mobile online newspaper, according to the chat transcript (Xinhua Wang). The moderator described “net friends” worldwide as “eagerly looking forward” to “meeting” Wen based on the “deep, positive impression” created by the 2009 web chat, in which Wen was said to have answered Internet users’ questions in a “frank and honest way.”
- Wen and the moderator worked to create personal emotional appeal throughout the chat, starting with the language of Wen’s opening remarks emphasizing his sense of duty to “the people” and his desire to have a sincere “heart-to-heart” exchange (Xinhua Wang). Wen claimed that he “follows the various issues raised by netizens on the Internet very closely.”
- Similarly, a Xinhua report on the February 2009 web chat quoted Wen as saying that the government needs to solicit “questions about governance from the people” (28 February 2009).
- Jiefangjun Bao Online, website of the daily newspaper of the Central Military Commission, touted “zero distance” between netizens and the PRC leadership and described Wen as a “super net friend” in a report on the 2009 web chat (10 March 2009).
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BROOKLYN, NY—Following three weeks of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn today returned guilty verdicts against Courtney Dupree, the former chief executive officer at GDC Acquisitions, on charges of bank fraud, false statements, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. These charges arose out of the defendant’s scheme to defraud Amalgamated Bank, GDC’s asset-based lender, of $21 million in fraudulent loans. When sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the most serious charge. The jury also acquitted Thomas Foley, GDC’s former chief operating officer.
The verdicts were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
GDC, based in Long Island City, Queens, is a holding company that owns various subsidiaries, including JDC Lighting, a lighting distributor; Unalite Electric and Lighting, a lighting maintenance company; and Hudson Bay Environments Group, a furniture distributor. The evidence included the testimony of GDC’s former chief financial officer and two GDC accountants, all three of whom had previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges arising from the scheme. At trial, the government proved Dupree and others gave Amalgamated Bank false financial information for GDC in which they had fraudulently inflated the company’s accounts receivables in order to obtain initially, and then maintain, credit lines totaling approximately $21 million. For example, the defendant represented to Amalgamated Bank in writing in November 2009 that GDC had $25.2 million in accounts receivables when, in fact, it had only $9 million. The evidence proved that the conspirators inflated the accounts receivables by a variety of means, including by recording fake sales that had never taken place in the corporate books. According to the trial testimony, the scheme unraveled when one of the accountants turned himself into the FBI and cooperated in the government’s investigation in an undercover capacity for approximately two months.
“The defendant Courtney Dupree defrauded an FDIC insured bank out of millions of dollars by lying about his company’s financial condition,” stated U.S. Attorney Lynch. “Executives who abuse positions of influence and trust should expect to be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
U.S. Attorney Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s criminal investigation.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David C. Woll and Michael L. Yaeger, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Morris.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.
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This report was originally released by the Chinese central bank before later being removed. For more explanation of the report and its contents, see:
China’s rulers say corrupt cadres are the nation’s worst enemy. Now, according to a report that was given widespread coverage this week in local media, Beijing says that enemy resides overseas, particularly in the U.S.
The 67-page report from China’s central bank looks at where corrupt officials go and how they get their money out. A favored method is to squirrel cash away with the help of loved ones emigrating abroad, schemes that often depend on fake documents.
News of the study got prominent notice this week in Chinese media. A sample headline from page one of the Shanghai Daily on Thursday: “Destination America For China’s Corrupt Officials.”
The reports said the study was posted to the website of China’s central bank. While the document remains widely available in Chinese cyberspace, the report – dated June 2008 and identified as “confidential” – no longer appears on the People’s Bank of China website.
The central bank didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Though the report reads like an academic study, it doesn’t cite a clear conclusion.
Instead, it is broken into two main sections, the first starting with estimates that up to 18,000 corrupt officials and employees of state-owned enterprises have fled abroad or gone into hiding since the mid-1990s. They are suspected of pilfering coffers to the tune of 800 billion yuan, or $123 billion — a sum that works out to 2% of last year’s gross domestic product.
Destination America for China’s corrupt officials:
America is the destination most favored by high-ranking corrupt Chinese officials fleeing the country with large sums of money, according to a report by China’s central bank.
Other popular destinations include Australia and the Netherlands.
Those unable to get visas for Western countries opt for temporary stays in small countries in Africa, Latin America and eastern Europe while they wait for a chance to move to more developed countries, the People’s Bank of China report said.
Low-ranking officials usually escape to neighboring countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia and Russia, it said.
The report cited research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences which revealed that about 16,000 to 18,000 government employees, police officers, judicial officers, senior managers of government institutions and state-owned companies, as well as employees of Chinese organizations in foreign countries, had escaped abroad or gone missing since the middle of the 1990s.
The money they carried with them is said to add up to 800 billion yuan (US$123 billion).
The United States (U.S.) Pacific Command (PACOM) and the Hawaii National Guard (HING) have entered into an Inter-Service Support Agreement (ISSA) to execute two (2) USPACOM J07, Command Surgeon, Pandemic Influenza (PI) led activities in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): A Comprehensive Nation Review/Disparity Analysis and a PI Healthcare System Surge Demand and Intervention Workshop. These USAID approved and resourced training and education activities support military-to-military engagement for a World Health Organization (WHO) PI Phase 6 event in six (6) USAID focus countries; a WHO PI Phase 6 event is defined as sustained human-to-human transmission in at least two (2) WHO regions with at least two (2) countries involved in one of the regions. The six (6) USAID focus countries for this project are Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, and Vietnam. This report will focus specifically on China.
The People’s Republic of China is one of the global leaders in vaccine research and production, and an active participant in international PI initiatives, but despite steps to improve influenza surveillance and ministerial coordination, major challenges remain to Chinese PI response preparedness. Substantial global concern has emerged in recent years regarding China’s ability to effectively monitor, prevent, and contain infectious disease threats within its borders. Factors including potential Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in poultry, China’s immense size and population, a largely underdeveloped health care infrastructure, and a sizable poultry industry all contribute to make China a global PI hotspot and an important area of focus for the potential emergence of human influenza pandemics that threaten the rest of the world.
A PI Review Team from PACOM will use the results of this report as a starting point to complete an in-country review of China’s military capabilities (People’s Liberation Army) to prepare for and respond to this threat. The team will use an interactive Review Tool, standardized and scalable to the needs of China, to aid the team members in identifying capability disparities. Analysis of the information collected in this Review Report and through the use of the Review Tool will provide PACOM and USAID with the data needed to develop a three (3) to five (5) year strategic plan for future PI preparedness efforts in China.
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A new bill approved by Congress last week would again make the Defense Department the premier funder of security assistance to foreign countries, giving it more than double the comparable budget of the agency popularly associated with America’s foreign aid, the State Department.
The $17 billion Pentagon aid budget for the 2012 fiscal year is the second in a row to exceed the State Department’s by $10 billion, a disparity that has begun to provoke debate among foreign policy experts in Washington. Seven years ago, circumstances were reversed, with the State Department spending triple the amount the Pentagon spent on such aid.
Some foreign aid experts have complained that, as a result of the shifting responsibilities, U.S. aid priorities have shifted from trying to establish good governance to supporting stronger foreign military partners.
Defense-funded security assistance programs, like those funded directly by the State Department, include military and police training, counter-drug assistance, counterterrorism activities, and infrastructure projects. These programs, detailed in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, have been steadily expanding, according to a March 2011 report by the Stimson Center, a nonprofit research group in Washington.
The expansion has largely come at the expense of the authority of the State Department, which was long chiefly responsible for the planning, budgeting and oversight of security assistance – including military training – with the Department of Defense responsible for implementation. After 9/11, the Pentagon has assumed more authority in foreign aid budgeting and planning.
The Pentagon has argued that supporting foreign forces reduces the chance that U.S. troops will be deployed overseas. The Pentagon has also long complained that State Department-run aid programs are too slow and inflexible. Its combatant commanders now frequently tap funds that can be distributed almost at will, known in aid parlance as “walking around money” and formally as the Combatant Commander Initiative Fund and the Commander Emergency Response Fund.
The 2012 budget bill authorizes spending of more than $415 million for these funds, or around $100 million less than in 2011.
the year 2011 has shown which damage the “Nazi underground” and their terrorist cell could do.
Much more damage, much meaner and more dangerous is going on with the Neo-Stasi.
They have a strong netwerk of politicians, lawyers, attorneys, bankers, media, hackers, SEO specialists, informers, experts and cyber-infiltration killers, but continues to be of professional killers.
Because these people were still not detected and punished.
They still use a lot of money missing from the DDR-money and their fellows even sit in the German parliament!
The peak of the iceberg is “GoMoPa”.
They could even prevent an impeccable Berlin justice Senator by infiltrating the media before he could be dangerous for them.
2011 was the year of the unmasking of Neo- Stasi and their supporters in the media and the judiciary by our strength and dedication.
Bernd Pulch, Master of Arts in Journalism, Germanic and Comparative Literature
das Jahr 2011 hat gezeigt, welche Schäden der “Nationalsozialistische Untergrund” und deren Terror-Zelle angerichtet hat.
Viel mehr Schäden, viel gefährlicher und viel gemeiner geht die Neo-Stasi vor.
Sie verfügt über ein starkes Netwerk von Politkern, Anwälten, Bankiers, Medien, Hackern, SEO-Spezialisten, Unterwanderungsexperten und Cyber-Killern, aber auch weiterhin von professionellen Mördern.
Denn diese Leute wurden bis heute nicht enttarnt und bestraft. Gehen die etwa aufs Arbeitsamt oder schulen die sogar um ?
Wohl kaum, denn sie werden weiter gefragt, die alten Stasi-Seilschaften funktionieren und viel Geld aus den verschwundenen DD-Geldern ist da und die Genossen sitzen sogar im Bundestag !
Die Spitze des Eisberg ist die enttarnte Stasi-Seilschaft “GoMOPa”.
Sie konnten sogar einen untadeligen Berliner Justiz-Senator durch willfährige Medien verhindern bevor er ihnen gefährlich werden konnte.
2011 war auch das Jahr der Enttarnung dieser Stasi-Bande ud ihrer Helfer in den Medien und in der Justiz.
Brnd Pulch, Magister Artium der Publizistik, Germanistik und Komparatistik