August 4th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
Keep up the great work, NaturalNews readers! In the hours following the public protests and global attention being paid to the Rawesome Food raids, an LA County Judge reduced James Stewart’s bail from $123,000 to $30,000. By all indications, James Stewart will be out of jail Friday morning (if not sooner). A condition of his release is that he not engage in the sale of unpasteurized milk and cheese — a condition which is, by itself, completely unconstitutional and a violation of natural law. But nevertheless, this is the condition being set by the LA County courts.
In addition, Victoria Bloch, the L.A. liaison to the Weston A. Price Foundation, has been released and is reportedly at home this evening. We hope to speak with Victoria Friday in a phone interview and bring you her report, if she’s ready to share that story publicly. This ordeal has no doubt been extremely stressful for all those involved, and it’s nowhere near over: The charges of conspiracy against all three persons (James, Victoria, Sharon) still exist and will reportedly be prosecuted by a special “environmental prosecutor” from the FDA. (We are still working on confirming that tip so we can’t 100% support that yet…)
You are making a difference! NaturalNews wishes to thank Alex Jones (www.InfoWars.com), Matt Drudge (www.DrudgeReport.com) and RT America (http://rt.com/usa) for covering this news and having me on as a guest. You can watch my segments on Alex Jones at:
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, I wish to THANK YOU, the NaturalNews readers who have joined in this fight for food freedom by sharing our stories, donating money to the Rawesome Foods legal defense fund (over $7,000 collected so far and counting), protesting in person at the LA County Courthouse, and calling your state and federal representatives to drive home the point that We the People will not tolerate this kind of government terrorism against farmers and raw dairy buyer’s clubs!
You are making a difference! Already, the bail has been reduced for James Stewart and it looks like he’ll be free on Friday (at least until the 13 felony charges are leveled against him, which is when the real legal bills start to add up). We are not going to stop hammering this issue. Here at NaturalNews, we will see this through, and we will continue to ask for you help in reminding the bureaucratic tyrants in Sacramento, California and Washington D.C. that they cannot use our farmers for target practice!
Hands off our farms, dammit!
If people want to buy raw milk knowing full well that there is a tiny fraction of a percentage of risk that the milk might make them sick, then let ‘em buy the milk! Doesn’t raw fish have a warning that could be used for raw milk? Isn’t downhill skiing dangerous? Isn’t swimming in a public pool far more dangerous than drinking raw milk? And what about the dangers of eating aspartame, MSG, hydrogenated oils and chemical food preservatives? Why are all the government agencies okay with all those poisons but not okay with people eating real food that might, on extremely rare occasions, cause someone to have an upset stomach?
I am sick of our nanny state Big Government bureaucrats trying to intervene in our private lives to the point where parents are barred from packing their children’s school lunches… or where parents are restricted from buying raw goat’s milk to provide nutrition for infant babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed. With the Rawesome Foods raids, our government is stealing food from babies and then charging people with felony crimes for daring to provide such wholesome food in the first place!
NaturalNews continues to bring you the cutting-edge news from the front lines on this story, and we plan to cover every significant development in this story as quickly as we can, so keep checking our home page for updates throughout the day Friday (and beyond).
May 13th, 2011
The Huffington Post
In what has been a heavily-watched insider trading case, Galleon Group hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam has been found guilty on all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy, according to multiple reports. The announcement was made in a lower Manhattan federal court.
(Update: Analysts react to the Rajaratnam verdict below.)
For now, Rajaratnam, who ran one of the world’s largest hedge funds, will be free on bail, but will be fitted with an electronic monitoring device. Reuters has more on the Rajaratnam verdict:
Rajaratnam, a one-time billionaire, will remain free on bail until sentencing on July 29, U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell ruled after the jury delivered its verdict.
Rajaratnam was expressionless during the verdict reading by a courtroom deputy.
He could face 15-1/2 to 19-1/2 years in a federal prison under sentencing guidelines, prosecutors said.
The Manhattan federal jury announced its unanimous verdict on the 12th day of deliberations in what many legal experts said was a strong prosecution case using FBI phone taps and testimony of three former friends and associates of Rajaratnam.
The jury convicted Rajaratnam of nine counts of securities fraud and five counts of conspiracy for what prosecutors describe as the money manager’s central role in the most sweeping probe of insider trading at hedge funds on record.
During the two-month trial, prosecutors hammered at their argument that Rajaratnam cheated to gain an unfair advantage in the stock market from 2003 to March 2009, reaping an illicit $63.8 million.
Defense lawyers had stuck consistently to their main theme that Rajaratnam’s trades were guided by a trove of research and public information, not secrets leaked by highly-placed corporate insiders.
Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam, 53, was ordered to be fitted with an electronic monitoring device while out on bail.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to jail Rajaratnam pending sentencing, but the judge rejected that request.
The case is USA v Raj Rajaratnam et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 09-01184.
The Wall Street Jorunal has a nice round-up of some of the key moments that may have swayed the jury. For example, Rajaratnam apparently told a colleague: “I heard yesterday from somebody who’s on the board of Goldman Sachs that they are going to lose $2 per share. The Street has them making $2.50.” Because this information came from a key bank employee and was sufficiently outside of the consensus view, the WSJ reports, prosecutors deemed it “material” information.
In 2009, Forbes estimated Rajaratnam’s net worth at $1.3 billion, ranking him 559 on the magazine’s list of the world’s richest people.
Update: Below are analyst reactions to the Rajaratnam verdict:
Yahoo! economics editor Daniel Gross dismisses somewhat the significance of the trial, calling it “a sideshow to the larger financial scandals” of recent years. “Its impact on the economy pales in comparison to the Lehman Brothers debacle,” Gross writes. “The sums of money and institutional failures involved were much less dramatic than in the Bernard Madoff affair.”
What makes Rajaratnam’s case significant, he says, is that it signifies the increasing prominence of South Asians in U.S. pop culture.
Charles Ferguson, director of the Academy Award-winning Inside Job, agrees that the focus on Rajaratnam’s trial is misguided. “The total amounts of money and the consequences in insider trading are trivial,” says Ferguson, according to The New York Times, “compared to the damage caused by the behavior that caused the financial crisis[.]”
Not everyone agrees. Anthony Michael Sabino, a professor at St. John’s University, said in a statement that this could be a turning point in the larger fight against white collar crime. “For more than 30 years, the government has had a spotty history in insider trading cases, reflecting the difficulty of gathering evidence, explaining the machinations of high finance to a jury, and reconciling sometimes conflicting legal theories,” the statement reads, according to the Washington Post.
“It is a defining case,” says Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning, who went on to say Rajaratnam “joins the pantheon of [convicted stock trader] Ivan Boesky and [fictional Wall Street character] Gordon Gekko,” according to Bloomberg.
The trial could also be a boon for the well-meaning trader. “The honest hedge fund managers should breathe a sigh of relief,” San Diego State professor of finance Dan Seiver says, according to Reuters. “This will make the competition fairer… That’s why we need these laws and cases to level the playing field.”
The conviction hasn’t seemed to rattle Wall Street thus far. “There is no market reaction,” says Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading, according to Reuters. “(But) it’s the talk of the Street, no doubt about it.”
November 29th, 2010
By: Theunis Bates
A 15-year-old British girl has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after she allegedly set fire to an English-language copy of the Koran and posted footage of the incident on Facebook.
The unidentified teenager is accused of torching the Islamic holy book at her school in Sandwell, near the city of Birmingham in central England, as other students watched. She was questioned by police on Friday and was released later that day pending further inquiries.
Police also arrested a 14-year-old boy on Tuesday on suspicion of making threats on the social networking site, in connection with the alleged burning. He has also been released on bail pending further inquiries.
The group that published the English-language version of the Koran is believed to have visited the school this week, to talk to pupils and explain the significance of the book to Muslims, the BBC reports.
Under British law, if an adult is found guilty of religious hatred — something no one has been convicted of since the law was introduced in 2006 — they can face up to seven years in prison, a fine or both. However, it is not clear what kind of penalty a minor found guilty of the charge would incur.
August 11, 2010
Some House Democrats and advocacy groups are getting squeamish about the move to fund the $26 billion jobs bill by making cuts to food stamps, a federal assistance program currently depended on by nearly 41 million Americans.
Some Democrats are upset and advocacy groups are outraged over the raiding of the food-stamp cupboard to fund a state-aid bailout that some call a gift to teachers and government union workers.
House members convened Tuesday and passed the multibillion-dollar bailout bill for cash-strapped states that provides $10 billion to school districts to rehire laid-off teachers or ensure that more teachers won’t be let go before the new school year begins, keeping more than 160,000 teachers on the job, the Obama administration says.
But the bill also requires that $12 billion be stripped from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, to help fund the new bill, prompting some Democrats to cringe at the notion of cutting back on one necessity to pay for another. The federal assistance program currently helps 41 million Americans.
Arguably one of the most outspoken opponents on the Democratic side is Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who has blasted the move as “a bitter pill to swallow” but still voted yes.
“I fought very hard for the food assistance money in the Recovery Act, and the fact is that participation in the food stamps program has jumped dramatically with the economic crisis, from 31.1 million persons to 38.2 million just in one year,” DeLauro said in an e-mail sent to FoxNews.com. “But I know that states across the nation and my own state of Connecticut also desperately need these resources to save jobs and avoid Draconian cuts to essential services for low income families.”
The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that several state advocacy groups, including the Texas Food Book Network and the Houston Food Bank, rallied for House members to strike down the legislation, which passed 247-161 in the House. Three Democrats voted against the measure, while two Republicans voted in support of it.
Democratic rank and file members, including Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, say the cuts won’t take effect until 2014 and will merely return food stamp benefits to pre-stimulus levels.
The Food Research and Action Center said a family of four would see benefits drop about $59 per month starting in 2014.
“While we support the education initiatives (in the bill), we adamantly oppose using food stamps to pay for them,” said James Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. “The rain on food stamps to pay for other things absolutely has to stop and stop now.”
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, the number of people on the food stamp rolls has been growing to record levels for 18 straight months. Nearly $5.5 billion in aid went out to beneficiaries in May alone. The number of May recipients marked a 19 percent increase from a year ago and the USDA projects that next year’s enrollment will reach about 43.4 million.
Republicans, meanwhile, vocally opposed the state aid bill. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Fox News it rewarded “irresponsible states” and their unions.
“It is basically taxpayers from fiscally (responsible) states bailing out fiscally irresponsible states. … Medicaid funding, teacher funding, the more popular of the public unions, what this is, it’s a bailout to prevent states from doing the necessary spending prioritization that they need do,” he said.
The Obama administration pushed hard for the $26 billion bill. The White House argued that it is essential to protecting 300,000 teachers and other nonfederal government workers from election-year layoffs and will not add to the national deficit.
“If we do nothing, these educators won’t be returning to the classroom this fall, and that won’t just deprive them of a paycheck, it will deprive the children and parents who are counting on them to provide a decent education,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden shortly before the bill passed on Tuesday.
“This proposal is fully paid for, in part by closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations that ships American jobs overseas. So it will not add to our deficit,” he said. “And the money will only go toward saving the jobs of teachers and other essential professionals…I urge members of both parties to come together and get this done, so that I can sign this bill into law.”
February 15th, 2010
By Stephanie Chen
Three police cars pulled into Christina FourHorn’s front yard one afternoon just before she was supposed to pick up her daughter at school. The officers had a warrant for her arrest.
“What do you mean robbery?” FourHorn remembers asking the officers. Her only brushes with the law had been a few speeding tickets.
She was locked up in a Colorado jail. They took her clothes and other belongings and handed her an oversize black-and-white striped uniform. She protested for five days, telling jailers the arrest was a mistake. Finally, her husband borrowed enough money to bail her out.
“They wouldn’t tell me the details,” she said.
Later, it became clear that FourHorn was right, that Denver police had arrested the wrong woman. Police were searching for Christin Fourhorn, who lived in Oklahoma.
Their names were similar, and Christina FourHorn, a mother with no criminal record living in Sterling, Colorado, had been caught in the mix-up.
FourHorn went public about her case more than two years ago, filing a lawsuit that alleged the arrest violated her constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from arrest without probable cause.
The problem of mistaken arrests continues, said attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. The group, which represented FourHorn, calls Denver’s police work “recklessly sloppy.” An ACLU mistaken identity lawsuit on behalf of four other people is pending against Colorado police agencies.
A mistaken identity arrest occurs almost every day, said policing experts and officials at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. But most people taken into custody are released shortly after the mistake is realized.
Since the FourHorn case, the ACLU found at least 237 cases in Colorado in which police may have arrested the wrong person. The figure is likely a small sample since police often release those wrongfully arrested before the first court appearance, the ACLU said.
“We are trying to demonstrate that this is a widespread practice,” said Mark Silverstein, an ACLU attorney who filed FourHorn’s suit in 2008. FourHorn’s case was settled, and the terms remain confidential.
“This is not some fluke in a rational system,” Silverstein said. “It’s something that happens regularly, predictably, and therefore the city should be doing more to ameliorate the problem.”
Silverstein said his search of Colorado court records showed repeated examples of police arresting the wrong person:
“Defendant states this is not him and he has never driven a car!!!!” said one.
“Dismissed, wrong defendant. Sister used her ID,” another said.
In 2009, Denver’s Department of Safety found 51 cases in which a person claimed the warrant naming them was incorrect — a number that’s a small fraction of the 46,864 people arrested that year. A Denver police spokesman declined to comment on the mistaken identity arrests.
“While no one should be misidentified and incorrectly held in jail, we realize it can happen,” said Mary Dulacki, records coordinator for Denver’s manager of safety.
Experts at the Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute said name similarities such as in the FourHorn case are a common reason for errors. The group, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, trains police departments across the country on how to avoid mistaken arrests.
Other times, police may be relying on a person’s alias. Suspects often give officers false names, which remain on their records as an alias. Also computer typos and glitches lead to mistaken identity arrests, policing experts said.
An alias mistake allegedly occurred in March 2007 when Denver police arrested Muse Jama, a college student studying for an exam, under a warrant for a person named Ahmed Alia. Jama’s name had popped up as one of Alia’s aliases.
Jama protested and showed the officers his identification cards. Still, he was arrested and remained behind bars for eight days. His lawsuit against the Denver Police Department, filed in 2008, is pending.