Thursday, November 15, 2018

UN Charge Against Syria Is Led by Saudi From Sword to Saw to Snow as Interpreters Leave No Vote


By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

UNITED NATIONS, November 15 – The absurdity of today's UN was on display in its Third Committee on November 15, the 134th day in a row Inner City Press has been banned for its coverage by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. There was a draft resolution against Syria for human rights violations - introduced and promoted by Saudi Arabia, which did not once in its speeches acknowledge the murder of Jamal Khashoggi or its airstrikes on Yemen. 

Khashoggi was brought up - a reference to Saudi moving from sword to saw - by Iran. Syria argue that the resolution would cost member states $20 million in 2020, which would trigger the need to prepare a statement on Program Budget Implications (a requirement that Guterres himself evaded, then had Inner City Press roughed up as it covered the UN Budget Committee on July 3 and banned it since).
   Finally Iran asked for separate vote on whether the Committee and its members were competent to move forward on portions of the resolution. Few seemed to understand this competence vote. By the time it passed 88 yes, 13 no and 48 abstentions, it was after six o'clock. The chairman, from Afghanistan, said the meeting had to end before the vote on the overall resolution, because the interpreters had to leave. Saudi's long time Permanent Representative demanded the floor to demand that the interpreters stay, or be asked to stay. (The Saudis can be persuasive.) 
  The Afghan chair almost gave in, but since it was a formal meeting, it could not proceed without interpreters, who left into the snow. It was said the vote might not then happen until Monday. It was over and if it were not banned by corrupt Antonio Guterres Inner City Press would have run to the conference room to ask the participant why. But since it is still banned, for 134 days like Trump has banned Acosta for seven, this report, and those to come. Guterres doesn't get to choose who can cover the UN, nor to ban a Press which questions his misuse of public funds to fly to Lisbon from having access to the General Assembly. That would be like Trump banning Acosta from Congress.  
  Amid the outrage at the Trump White House suspending the credential and access of CNN's Jim Acosta - which we share, including if video was doctored, see UN Nov 8 video here - and the November 14 well-pleaded First Amendment lawsuit it is worth noting that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 3 July 2018 has critical Inner City Press roughed up by UN Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins as it covered the UN Budget Committee: UK Independent with video here.  Guterres and Dobbins had impunity: the UN has refused to lift (misused) legal immunity even for Dobbins.  Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said in public and private that entry into the UN is a privilege - even though the compound houses the General Assembly, the so called parliament of humanity. Now business journalists Charles Gasparino opines, "point here for reporters to digest: you DON'T need official access to break news. i was consistently denied access to Goldman, Merrill Citi - all the big Wall Street firms. And for the most part I still am but never stopped me covering them." Good point, and Inner City Press is committed to establishing that Antonio Guterres et al. don't get to choose who can cover the UN. But there is a difference between a private corporation and a government or "meta-government" like the United Nations which claims to be for We the Peoples, and #UN4ALL, etc. Some corporations lined up for public money like Amazon and thereby also lose or should lose such privacy rights. Inner City Press which also covers banks has faced legal threats from JP Morgan Chase (more on JPMC as well as Amazon to follow) - but ironically the threat was withdrawn. Even a corporation is subject to constraint and accountability. The UN, particularly of Guterres, is not accountable at all: it is lawless, and it is spreading. Trump's defense argues that he "and his staff have absolute discretion over which journalists they grant interviews to, as well as over which journalists they acknowledge at
press events. That broad discretion necessarily includes discretion over which journalists receive on-demand access to the White House grounds and special access during White House travel for the purpose of asking questions of the President or his staff. No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House and the President need not survive First Amendment scrutiny whenever he exercises his discretion to deny an individual journalist one of the many hundreds of passes granting on-demand access to the White House complex." So - the argument now made by Trump was made first by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who pontificated elsewhere about freedom of the press. A difference? Guterres is not only banning Inner City Press 133 days from "his" Secretariat, but also the General Assembly and its committees. Could Trump ban Acosta from Congress? From events held in the Capitol? We'll have more on this.
 Guterres had Inner City Press' UN media accreditation, in place for ten years, suspended for weeks and weeks, with Inner City Press having to report on the UN from the sidewalk. CJR here.
  On August 17 Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale issued an orderwithdrawing Inner City Press' accreditation, without any hearing and no appeal. She never answered UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye's question about an appeals process. There is none, and the UN unlike the US government is immune from lawsuit. So it reaches out, via spokes- / hatchetman Stephane Dujarric, to those who question UN censorship, at least if they are from Europe. What does he tell them? 
  To give the UN its best chance, Inner City Press on the morning of November 8 emailed questions to Guterres, his Deputy Amina Mohammed, Alison Smale, Dujarric and his Deputy Farhan Haq including: "November 8-2: I am informed that the SG's spokesman has selectively contacted those (from Europe) raising questions about the UN 3 July 2018 Press ouster and ban since, including stating that unnamed UN staff members or officials demand a lifetime ban in order to feel “safe.” Given the lack of due process, please name which officials or safe claim to feel unsafe in order to justify censorship, and the basis for your claims. Also, again, answer UNSR David Kaye's and others' question: what is the appeals process for a unilateral no due process physical ouster and banning by the UN of a journalist?" But seven hour later, no answer to any of the questions.
   So, for now due to the UN's constant threat of retaliation even against those it has unilaterally chosen to reach out to with dirt that cannot stand the light of day, this is a composite:
Dujarric claims that Inner City Press made "diplomats" feel unsafe. But he has yet to provide the name of a single diplomat, other than the false Morocco Mission complaint in USG Alison Smale's 17 August 2018 ban letter.
Dujarric claims that his staff didn't like having the movement reported on. This seems to refer to Inner City Press, once it had no office to use, working on a bench in the Secretariat lobby and noting when spokespeople who refused to even acknowledge formal questions went out to lunch. This is not a basis to ban a journalist for life.
Dujarric goes low and says that unnamed female reporters didn't want to see Inner City Press doing stand-up Periscope broadcasts. But the purpose of these -- filming on the fourth floor was permitted without an escort, Inner City Press was told by Media Accreditation -- was to show EMPTY offices, for example Morocco state media, while Inner City Press had nowhere to work. In fact, Inner City Press went out of its way not to speak with or engage in any way with Dujarric's coterie of pro UN correspondents - that why it left the building after work through the garage, which was later used against it.
  There is more, and we will have more. But it is clear these are pretexts. And even if Antonio "The Censor" Guterres, who believes it is impermissible for a journalist to do a critical stand up on the public sidewalk across two lanes of traffic from the $15 million publicly funded mansion he (sometimes) lives in believes these pretexts, an interim solution was and is clear.
 Simply allow Inner City Press in to go to the noon briefing and asked question - unless that is what they are afraid of - and to cover UNSC stakeouts and Budget Committee meetings. It is pathetic that a UN and Secretary General that be focused on "conflict prevention" can't find a solution other than violent ouster and banning for a critical journalist. We'll have more on this.
  Note that the UN has gone further, putting Inner City Press on a non -public list of people banned from all UN premises for life. Guterres even had his Security get Park East Synagogue head of security Shay Amir try to oust Inner City Press from his speech on tolerance on October 31.

  So while the outrage at the White House action on Acosta grows, as it should (the Free UN Coalition for Access opposes it, like the arrest of journalists in Cameroon), why is the UN given a free pass to rough up and ban a journalist? Is there a right or principle of free press or isn't there? It has been raised - watch this site.

On Cameroon Staged Q&A in UN of Guterres Who Bans Inner City Press Quest...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

UN Guterres in Paris Refused To Meet Staff And Told Diplomats To Arrive Early For 4-Minute Speech


By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR  Q&ANY Post
UNITED NATIONS GATE, NOVEMBER 14 -- Before UN Secretary Guterres took off for Paris (coverage by Inner City Press here), his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on November 9 declined to provide information about who Guterres would meet with but said "one of our colleagues, Vannina [Maestracci] will be travelling with the Secretary-General and we'll try to provide details once we have the schedule firmed up." While few details were provided by the UN, disgusted diplomats and UN staff have contacted banned Inner City Press with what happened and didn't. First Guterres refused to meet with regular UN staff in Paris, something that even his predecessor Ban Ki-moon did. Then a strange event mixing high ("D") level UN officials with diplomats was arranged. The diplomats were told to arrive at 8:30 am, but then Guterres did not show until 9 am. "Who the hell does he think he is?" one asked, and was told that it was to ensure the diplomats were there. "For the Great Man," the diplomat snarked, noting that Guterres' 4-minute talk was entirely uninspiring and showed he cannot lead the organization. "This ship is going down," the diplomat said. When the Press is beaten up by Guterres' thugs in New York, and UN Security ousts people from UNESCO on the day Guterres was there, story here. Guterres' pedantic Paris Internet Governance Speech said, among other things, "We see the Internet being used as a platform for hate speech, for repression, censorship" - this from a man who has banned and censored Inner City Press for 131 days and counting, and whose spokesman Stephane Dujarric blocks Inner City Press on Twitter. Guterres intoned, "Non-traditional, multilateral and multi-stakeholder cooperation will be crucial, including governments, private sector, research centres and civil society" - while Guterres maintains a non-public "banned from the UN" list which according to his own guards includes political activists he doesn't like. Guterres said, "You have support from UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)" - a department taking payments from UN bribery imprisonee Patrick Ho. This is Guterres and his UN.  The day before in his ParisPeace Forum speech Guterres said, among other things, "We must never accept the plight of the victims of violence and terrorist acts in Syria, Yemen, Mali or Myanmar" - but covering up the slaugher of Anglophones by Cameroon's Paul Biya is fine with him, either for a golden statue or bureaucratic favors from Biya's Ambassador as chair of the UN Budget Committee. Guterres said, "Alongside Jürgen Habermas, we must recognize that the oxygen of a modern democracy is a continuous flow of communication between civil society and the political authorities" - this as Guterres has Inner City Press banned for the 130th day after having it roughed up on June 22 and July 3; his spokesman Stephane Dujarric blocks Inner City Press on Twitter. Some continuous flow of information.  Guterres said, "horror must never prevail over hope. The hope with which I receive my guests in the meeting room on the 38th floor of the Secretariat Building at United Nations Headquarters, adorned by the Matisse tapestry Polynésie, le Ciel, with its deep, peaceful shades of blue." It was from even photo ops on the UN's 38th floor that Dujarric unilaterally banned Inner City Press, just before having it assaulted by UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins on June 22 and July 3 and now contacting and dissembling to those who question that online, at least if they are from Europe. As Inner City Press moved forward with its inquiry into UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' personal use of public funds, silence on slaughter in Cameroonand elsewhere and failure to disclose family members' financial interests in Angola and elsewhere, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric on 20 June 2018 said that “things will soon be getting worse” for Inner City Press' reporter. Inner City Press has now been banned from the UN for 127 days and Dujarric is providing his and his boss' pretext, as purported background, to some of those asking questions, at least if they come from Europe, see below. The pretexts are lies - now that they are becoming public, the ban is more disgusting and should be UNtenable.
  Two days after Dujarric's threat this reporter was pushed out of the General Assembly lobby during a speech by Guterres by UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins, who did it again more violently on July 3. Since then Inner City Press has been banned from entering the UN, and Guterres even tried to get Inner City Press ousted from Park East Synagogue twenty blocks north of the UN on October 31.
   As many online have questioned this no due process ouster, including from Cameroon,Japan, the UKItaly and other places in Europe, we can now report that Dujarric while refusing to answer Inner City Press' and a UN Expert's written questions about how to appeal this lifetime ban has reached out to try to quiet some critics. 
Tellingly, while he has entirely ignored for example Anglophone Cameroonian critics regardless of how polite or articulate they are, or how many social media followers they have, Dujarric has reached out to European critics. What does he tell them? 
  To give the UN its best chance, Inner City Press on the morning of November 8 emailed questions to Guterres, his Deputy Amina Mohammed, Alison Smale, Dujarric and his Deputy Farhan Haq including: "November 8-2: I am informed that the SG's spokesman has selectively contacted those (from Europe) raising questions about the UN 3 July 2018 Press ouster and ban since, including stating that unnamed UN staff members or officials demand a lifetime ban in order to feel “safe.” Given the lack of due process, please name which officials or safe claim to feel unsafe in order to justify censorship, and the basis for your claims. Also, again, answer UNSR David Kaye's and others' question: what is the appeals process for a unilateral no due process physical ouster and banning by the UN of a journalist?" But seven hour later, no answer to any of the questions.
   So, for now due to the UN's constant threat of retaliation even against those it has unilaterally chosen to reach out to with dirt that cannot stand the light of day, this is a composite:
Dujarric claims that Inner City Press made "diplomats" feel unsafe. But he has yet to provide the name of a single diplomat, other than the false Morocco Mission complaint in USG Alison Smale's 17 August 2018 ban letter.
Dujarric claims that his staff didn't like having the movement reported on. This seems to refer to Inner City Press, once it had no office to use, working on a bench in the Secretariat lobby and noting when spokespeople who refused to even acknowledge formal questions went out to lunch. Inner City Press also noted, when a favored wire service got an advance copy of a UN report, the open favoritism of Associate Spokesperson Vannina Maestracci. This is not behavior - it is content, and critique. More t the point, this is obviously not a legitimate basis to ban a journalist for life. But today's UN is lawless.
Dujarric goes low and says that unnamed female reporters didn't want to see Inner City Press doing stand-up Periscope broadcasts. But the purpose of these -- filming on the fourth floor was permitted without an escort, Inner City Press was told by Media Accreditation -- was to show EMPTY offices, for example Morocco state media, while Inner City Press had nowhere to work. In fact, Inner City Press went out of its way not to speak with or engage in any way with Dujarric's coterie of pro UN correspondents - that why it left the building after work through the garage, which was later used against it.
  There is more, and we will have more. But it is clear these are pretexts. And even if Antonio "The Censor" Guterres, who believes it is impermissible for a journalist to do a critical stand up on the public sidewalk across two lanes of traffic from the $15 million publicly funded mansion he (sometimes) lives in believes these pretexts, an interim solution was and is clear.
 Simply allow Inner City Press in to go to the noon briefing and asked question - unless that is what they are afraid of - and to cover UNSC stakeouts and Budget Committee meetings. It is pathetic that a UN and Secretary General that be focused on "conflict prevention" can't find a solution other than violent ouster and banning for a critical journalist. We'll have more on this.
   This is how any dictatorship would try to justifying physically assaulting and banning a reporter - say that the journalist's reporting made unnamed people feel unsafe in unspecified ways.
  Yes, Inner City Press named UN officials who took money from now convicted briber Ng Lap Seng, including to provide Ng with falsified General Assembly documents. Is it legitimate for Guterres' UN to oust and ban a media for making briber-takers feel unsafe? There are others: the Patrick Ho trial starts this month.
   Even in Dujarric's private outreach to European critics, he has no evidence. This is why he and USG Alison Smale never offered a hearing or opportunity to be heard: there is no evidence, the charges are Trump-ed up. Smale's deputy claims an article shouldn't have been written about him using audio of what he said at an official stake-out position accepted (at least for other media) by Smale's own Department, which called frivolous the Morocco Mission complaint Smale also used.
  But today we ask: why does Dujarric refuse to response for example to African critics while reaching out to Europeans to say that the banning of Inner City Press should be accepted, that asking the UN questions in person is a privilege? It is because Dujarric himself is privileged. Publicly available records -- don't be scared -- show that Dujarric bought an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side for $3,785,000.
   Now the UN is wasteful - but does it pay its spokesman enough to buy a $4,000,000 apartment? The money, it seemed from public records, came from (where else) an art gallery, the Odyssia Gallery in New York, which among other things produces vanity shows. The NY Times had reported that "Ilaria Skouras Quadrani, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Federico Quadrani of Rome and New York, was married last Monday to Stephane Dujarric de la Riviere, a son of Anka M. Begley of New York and Francois Dujarric de la Riviere of Paris. Msgr. Robert Charlebois performed the ceremony at the church of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome. Mrs. Dujarric, 24, is a researcher at the Kate Gansz Company, an art dealer in London. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received a master's degree in art history from New York University. Her parents own the Odyssia Gallery in New York."  This Odyssia Gallery, which later published a book (cover photo here) of Ilaria's drawings, has or had as address 305 East 61st Street, Manhattan. But a recent reporter's visit to the site found an empty building. So what IS the source of this spokesman's $4 million apartment?

   It is all very nice, a position from which to target hard working media and try to destroy a shirt, a laptop, a livelihood, all without due process, only later evidence-free excuses provided in private to other European, banning questions from Africa and about the UN's corruption. It is UNacceptable. We'll have more on this.

Financial Follies Mock Bankrupt Puerto Rico As in DC Forecloser Joe Otting Targets the Community Reinvestment Act


By Matthew R. Lee, VideostoryFOIA docs
SOUTH BRONX, November 10 – A non-funny thing happened at the Financial Folllies fundraiser of the New York Financial Writers Association on November 9. They said they would "Skewer Bankers, Executives and Politicians." But, beyond mocking the #MeToo movement, the skewering turned about to be of bankrupt Puerto Rico - and with the costumes and hats being from Mexico, sombreros, with lyrics, to tune of Despacito: We can help you with your little bankruptcito/we’re the brains, you’re the debtor in ‘el possessionito’/words turn into Spanish just by adding ‘ito’/when we’re in San Juan we drink mojito-itos/& look out 4 the Zika from the ‘squitos." Video here, via Law360's Alex Wolf. While many in the audience were outraged, there was little real time in-person opposition expressed. This is called skewering the victim. What's next, mocking those being foreclosed on - by OneWest Bank, now CIT? The US Treasury Department is in a process to try to weaken and take the community out of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. Docket file here. The protagonist, akin to Scott Pruitt when he was at the US Environmental Protection Agency (and soon it would seem to be subject to greater oversight in the House Banking Committee), is Comptroller of the Current Joseph Otting. On September 12 Fair Finance Watch (and on FOIA, Inner City Press) commented to the OCC, here. On October 16, yet more on Otting's assault on the CRA became known. Under him, the OCC has ignored the rare racial redlining settlement by Klein Bank, rubber stamping Old National's acquisition of the bank over the timely and detailed objection and public hearing request of Fair Finance Watch. Otting doesn't like public hearings.  In April 2018 his OCC approved an application by E-Trade Saving Bank which Fair Finance Watch had challenged based on the bank having no fewer than six states rare "Needs to Improve" CRA ratings. FFW noted rare Needs to Improve ratings for the entire states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Oregon, and an undeserved “Satisfactory” for New York. Otting's OCC, after the approval, helpfully contacted E-Trade Bank to tell it that upon (Otting's) reflection, it was no longer even subject to the Community Reinvestment Act. Another institution was similarly contacted - the OCC under Otting is going through its roster of banks seeing which ones it can "free" from CRA even if they hadn't requested in. In one case, some in the bank still didn't want Otting's freedom and move more business into the bank to get a second reversal of Otting's orders. But it shows where Otting is coming from, beyond the unexplained comment-fraud for which he should be recused. Inner City Press on October 11 raised the E-Trade (and another bank) issue into the record on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. But, Otting being Otting, his OCC denied expedited processing for Inner City Press' Freedom of Information Act request bout his deregulation move, ruling that "You requested all records in the OCC's possession concerning the applicability of the Community Reinvestment Act to - or exemption there from - any affiliate of E-Trade or Bank of America California NA for the time period of October 11, 2016 to October 11, 2018. You also requested expedited processing of your request on the basis that the ANPR on CRA is open through November 19, 2018. Your request for expedited processing does not meet the criteria provided for in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(E) and Treasury disclosure regulations at 31 C.F.R. 1.5(e)." And that regulation... requires a formal certification. So Inner City Press appealed: "As a  a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, I am appealing the denial of expedited processing of my FOIA request, summarized by the OCC as for all records in the OCC's possession concerning the applicability of the Community Reinvestment Act to - or exemption there from - any affiliate of E-Trade or Bank of America California NA for the time period of October 11, 2016 to October 11, 2018.
...The OCC under Joseph Otting's actions to try to find banks to exempt from CRA outrageous and something on which there is an  urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity. As noted in my request, this is particularly the case given the OCC's unilateral moves regarding the CRA. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. Executed on October 16, 2018." Now weeks later, the OCC's Deputy Chief Counsel Charles M. Steele has denied the appeal, claiming it is not clear why the public needs access to these records of Otting's current attacks on CRA before OCC closes its comment period on Otting's new, desperate attempt. The OCC's denial makes light of Otting's actions including soliciting false comments during the public review process of his sale of OneWest Bank to CIT - as if there is no connection to Otting's current gambit. FOIA Denial here and for download on Patreon. 


This is FOIA denial at its most obtuse - and self serving. We'll have more on this.  Many more are resisting Otting, but Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta J. Mester on October 3 said that "the OCC, a part of Treasury, has put out an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR) seeking comment on ways to modernize the CRA regulations. The Federal Reserve is also undertaking efforts aimed at ensuring that the CRA regulations continue to meet the goals of the legislation amid the evolving financial services environment" - with these as her footnotes for that: "Brainard, Lael, “Community Development in Baltimore and A Few Observations on Community Reinvestment Act Modernization,” Baltimore, Maryland, April 17, 2018a and Brainard, Lael, “Keeping Community at the Heart of the Community Reinvestment Act,” New York, NY, May 18, 2018b. Both of those Brainard speeches were before Otting's proposals. And since? Well, the Fed after comments from FFW and NCRC has asked Synovus, "Synovus Bank received a “Needs to Improve” rating in the Tennessee state assessment area for the service test. Describe how Synovus Financial is addressing, or has addressed, this rating." That's on its now protested application to the Fed to acquire FCB Financial Holdings, Inc. (“FCB Financial Holdings”) and thereby indirectly acquire Florida Community Bank, N.A. In the OCC's ANPR docket file is the President of  First National Bank & Trust in Elk City, Oklahoma who writes, "I firmly believe that this form of oversite was meant for metropolitan areas and banks with multiple branches. There’s got to be a better way of monitoring and locating those banks that aren’t helping the population it serves. I would be surprised to find there are very many banks that fail the CRA examination." It's called grade inflation. On September 29 The Intercepthas dug into it, citing FFW's formal request that Otting recuse himself - and so here now are some of the Freedom of Information Act documents. On October 2 in the Senate Banking Committee, Otting insisted he is not trying to weaken the CRA; he called the ANPR an "Advanced Notice of Public Rulemaking" instead of Proposed. He said he met with 1100 individuals - still undisclosed - and expects five to ten thousand comments on the ANPR. (So far there are 33 listed but only 29 visible). Senator Sherrod Brown began by asking him indirectly about the blogs at CFPB of Eric Blankenstein. We'll have more on this. And this - as obtained by Inner City Press and fellow NCRC member CRC, here are more of the documents, for (this time) free download on Patreon
 On October 1 Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch submitted the documents obtained under FOIA into the record before the OCC, stating that "These documents, which must be considered as part of this ANPR and any subsequent formal rulemaking, show that fraudulent comments supporting Otting's OneWest were submitted to the OCC - presumptively attributable to Otting.
The documents show that the OCC sought an explanation from Otting's / OneWest's outside counsel - and the OCC's and Justice Department's response to date reflect that no such explanation was ever provided. The OCC nevertheless approved the merger and even gave weight to the fraudulent comments. On this record we again insist that Otting be recused from this ANPR and any related rulemaking or proceedings. We have other substantive concerns about this ANPR but view the question of Mr Otting's recusal (and of with whom he has met, on which Inner City Press has another long-pending FOIA request) as threshold matter than must be addressed as quickly as possible."
 The FOIA document as provided by the OCC and US Department of Justice reflect that the OCC never followed up on its lone (and wan) question to Otting's counsel as Sullivan & Cromwell to explain the fraudulent comments. Nor did this counsel respond to questions from The Intercept's David Dayen, who reports: "AFTER A YEARLONG effort to obtain the information, which included ongoing litigation, the OCC made available 15 pages. They contain emails to and from David Finnegan, an OCC senior licensing analyst who was a point of contact for public comment on the merger.

Four individuals contended in emails to Finnegan that they never sent the comment letters supporting the merger. “This is to bring to your attention that I received an email from the office of OCC regarding a subject I am completely unaware of,” wrote one individual (the OCC redacted the emailers’ identifying information). “I DID NOT send the email below that you responded to. This is a fraudulent use of my email account.” The other three sent similar complaints.

The letter of support attributed to these individuals was identical to the letter posted at the OneWest Bank website.

Matthew Lee of Inner City Press expressed outrage at the fake comments. “There’s nothing more offensive of speech rights than artificially presenting someone as saying something you don’t believe,” Lee said. “You have the right to be silent. It’s so beyond the pale.”

Finnegan responded to these emailers, thanking them for letting him know. He also sent two emails to Stephen Salley, an attorney with Sullivan & Cromwell, who was representing OneWest in the merger. “FYI and review. We would appreciate any information you can provide regarding this submission,” Finnegan wrote to Salley on both occasions.

Presumably, Finnegan reached out to OneWest’s lawyer about the fake comments because they featured the same form letter that OneWest had written to encourage public support. But the two emails are the only record that OCC did any investigation of the fake comments. There is no reply from Salley or Sullivan & Cromwell to the OCC, at least not in written form. “By reaching out to the attorneys immediately, it suggests something serious, and yet there’s no follow-up that’s apparent whatsoever,” said Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition...Olivia Weiss, a spokesperson for CIT, forwarded a request for comment to her colleague Gina Proia, who declined to comment. Salley did not respond when asked whether he or his law firm responded to the OCC....In his public comment for Inner City Press, Lee asked for Otting to recuse himself from the new rule-making, highlighting the fake comment controversy. “Public participation is key to CRA, on performance evaluations and crucially on bank merger and expansion applications,” Lee wrote. He added that it’s unclear whether the OCC has improved its processes to prevent fake comments from being submitted again in the CRA rule-making. The public comment period ends in November.

Otting is scheduled to appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on October 2, where his CRA push could be a topic of discussion." We'll have more on this Why didn't the OCC more seriously look into this fraud? What has been improved since? Shouldn't Otting be recused, as Fair Finance Watch has already timely requested? One analogy, also noted by The Intercept, is to the gaming of the FCC's process on net neutrality, when even Senator Jeff Merkley and Pat Toomey's identities were borrowed, as reported by the Washington Post's Hamza Shaban.  Unlike Otting to date, at least the FCC's Ajit Pai responded, if only to blame David Bray, as reported by Adam Jacobson in RBR. Otting simple refuses to answer - for now. From the Fair Finance Watch / Inner City Press comment: "Fair Finance Watch (and where applicable Inner City Press) appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currencys (OCC) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) regarding the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). CRA has leveraged significant amounts of loans and investments for low- and moderate-income communities.

We began enforcing the CRA in the South Bronx then beyond starting in 1994, in connection with the applications for mergers or expansions on which banks' records are considered. Numerous banks excluded the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan from their CRA assessment areas even though, as we proved, they collected substantial deposits from area residents. We got six banks to open branches and make lending commitments, in the Bronx and beyond.

We concerned that the OCC's proposal threatens to weaken CRA, see below. As as relevant here, we commented along with others on the CIT - OneWest proceeding, and were concerned both by OneWest's record under now-Comptroller Otting and by what emerged as the gaming of the system with pre-fabricated comments Otting openly solicited. We may comment in more detail on this later in his ANPR proceeding.

For now we wish raise particular concern about the approach signaled by Questions 21 and 15 and to emphasize that public participate is key to CRA, on performance evaluations and crucially on bank merger and expansion applications. Inner City Press, which often submits FOIA requests to the OCC (which is, frankly, slow), the Federal Reserve, FDIC and even non-USA regulators many of whom are faster than the OCC, emphasizes that comment periods should never close while information that is not specifically exempt from disclosure under FOIA is being withheld. Inner City Press has pending with the OCC, but not yet responded to, FOIA requests related to this proceeding / process, that should be responded to in full, including any necessary appeal, during this proceeding.

If the OCC proceeds to significantly diminish the importance of assessment areas on CRA exams, the progress in increasing lending to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods will be halted. NCRC estimates that low- and moderate-income neighborhoods could lose up to $105 billion in home and small business lending nationally over a five year time period. We join in the comments of NCRC, of which we are members... We urge the OCC to go back to the drawing board and develop reform proposals with the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC.

And, for the reasons above and yet to be submitted, we contend Comptroller Otting should be recused from this process. Thank you for your attention to this."

While Reuters blandly noted that he is "a former banker," the bank he headed, OneWest, was accused of predatory lending and when its acquisition by the CIT Group was challengedby Fair Finance Watch, CRC and others Otting arranged for seemingly counterfeit or compelled comments supporting the merger. In this light, Question 11 of his "Advanced Notice of Proposal Rulemaking" or ANPR is noteworthy: "11. How can community involvement be included in an evaluation process that uses a
metric-based framework?" How, indeed. Here's what Otting wrote as a banker, already long public, in support of his merger: 
"From: Otting, Joseph M [at] owb.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 5:00 PM
Cc: Haas, Alesia Jeanne; Tran, Cindy; Kim, Glenn
Subject: Support For OneWest Bank

Dear Friends,

We were excited to announce on July 21, 2014, that IMB HoldCo LLC, the parent company of OneWest Bank entered into a merger agreement with CIT Group Inc. As part of the applications for regulatory approval of the transaction, our regulators are interested in the perspectives of the public. We are writing you to seek your support of the Bank and pending merger. This merger, if approved, would create the largest bank headquartered in Southern California with a full suite of banking products and services, which will allow us to better serve our customers. We would retain and grow jobs and are committed to continuing and expanding our efforts to serve the economic and development needs of our community. I would like to ask you to take a moment to click on the link below and submit a letter of support adding any of your own words or thoughts.

Please submit your letter by clicking here, or by visiting our website at www.OneWestBank.com/merger-support (if the link isn't clickable or part of the link is cut off, please copy and paste the entire URL into your browser's address bar and press Enter)

Thank you for your support.  Best wishes for a successful 2015 and please call on me if I can ever be of assistance.

Joseph M. Otting
President and CEO
OneWest Bank N.A.
888 East Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91101"
   There will be fight-back, under NCRC's TreasureCRA campaign. Watch this site - including on actual enforcement of CRA. A bank that was sued by the US Justice Department in 2017 for redlining and discrimination is trying to sell itself to Old National, and Fair Finance Watch has formally challenged it under the Community Reinvestment Act in a filing to the Federal Reserve on the last day of the comment period. From the filing: "This is a timely first comment opposing the Applications of Old National Bancorp to merge with Klein Financial, Inc., Chaska, Minnesota, and thereby indirectly acquire KleinBank, also of Chaska, Minnesota.
As an initial matter, this is a request that the FRS immediately send by email to Inner City Press all non-exempt portions of the applications / notices for which the Applicants have requested confidential treatment.
  It was only last year that “the U.S. Justice Department accused Chaska-based KleinBank of redlining, the illegal practice of denying mortgage loans to minority residents. Lawyers from the department's civil rights division said KleinBank engaged in discrimination in Minneapolis and St. Paul by failing to market its services and open bank branches in areas dominated by minorities. KleinBank, which operates 21 branches in mostly outer-ring suburbs of the Twin Cities, is one of Minnesota's largest community banks. 'KleinBank's discriminatory practices … have been intentional and willful, and implemented with reckless disregard for the rights of individuals on the basis of their race and/or national origin,' the complaint said.” 
   Now, attempting to cash in / out of that discrimination, Klein Bank seeks to sell, to Old National which has its own insufficient records. Fair Finance Watch has been tracking Old National:
In 2012 in its Evansville (Headquarters) MSA for conventional home purchase loans back in 2012, Old National Bank made only six such loans to African Americans. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, Old National made only THREE such loans to African Americans.  In Table 4-1, in 2012 it made three such loans to African Americans. In 2016 this fell to one.
Old National has gotten worse. It cannot be allowed to acquire Klein so recently prosecuted for discrimination.
 (Separately, note that in Evansville MSA in 2016, Old National reported a 100% approved and originated rate for both African Americans and Latinos, until in other MSAs - this is not credible, presumptively indicates pre-screening and should be investigated in connection with this Klein proposal.)

   For refinance loans in Evansville in 2012, Old National made eight such loans to African Americans. This fell to four in 2016.
   For home improvement loans in the Evansville MSA, Old National in 2012 made five such loans to African Americans. This fell to four in 2016.
   For refinance loans in Indianapolis in 2012, Old National made 18 such loans to African Americans. This fell to a mere seven in 2016, when Old National denied 62% of applications from African Americans (see above). 
Old National has gotten much worse. It cannot be allowed to acquire Klein so recently prosecuted for discrimination.
  Also troubling regarding Old National is its history of branch closings. According to its hometown newspaper the Evansville Courier News & Press
 "since 2004 Old National has purchased 175 banking offices, either through acquiring smaller financial institutions or buying selected office locations. Old National has also shed 140 banking offices by consolidating 121 locations and by selling 19 other offices."
 Old National is a bank with a disparate lending record that specializes in buying and closing bank branches - now it seeks to acquire Klein Bank prosecuted only last year for redlining.
  ICP is requesting evidentiary hearings and that this proposed acquisition, on the current record, not be approved. There is no public benefit." We'll have more on this - and this: the US Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, who said he's never witnessed discrimination and is poised to attack the Community Reinvestment Act, yesterday announced he'll be giving out "fintech" bank charters. CRA won't apply. Instead, the announcement vaguely says, "The expectations for promoting financial inclusion will depend on the company’s business model and the types of planned products, services, and activities." But what to expect of the OCC of Otting? When at OneWest, he arranged for Astro-turf and even fake public comments supporting its acquisition by the CIT Group. In other comment period news, we like it when banks challenge each others. Like this, today: "The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today called on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to deny Nelnet Bank’s deposit insurance application for its proposed industrial loan corporation and impose a two-year moratorium on future ILC applications. Like the since-withdrawn applications of SoFi Bank and Square, Nelnet’s is designed to avoid the legal restrictions of the Bank Holding Company Act, ICBA wrote in a letter to the agency. “The ILC loophole allows commercial interests to own full-service banks while avoiding the legal restrictions and regulatory supervision that apply to other bank holding companies—threatening the financial system and creating an uneven regulatory playing field,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “To support a safe and sound financial system and to maintain the separation of banking and commerce, the FDIC should impose a two-year application moratorium and Congress should close the ILC loophole for good. Our deposit-insurance system was created to protect depositors—not commercial firms.” Regulation under the Bank Holding Company Act entails consolidated supervision of the holding company by the Federal Reserve and restricts the activities of the holding company and its affiliates to those that are closely related to banking. Because of a loophole in the law, companies that own ILCs are not subject to BHCA supervision even though the ILC charter is a full-service banking charter. As a result, companies that own FDIC-insured ILCs are not subject to consolidated supervision and can engage in non-banking commercial activities. Citing several previous moratoriums on ILC applications, ICBA’s letter notes that Nelnet Bank is applying as an ILC—not a commercial bank—so its parent company can retain its commercial activities. These include investing in start-ups, and maintaining telecommunications, investment and sports-software businesses. Nelnet Inc. should be subject to the same restrictions and supervision as any other bank holding company, ICBA wrote."  Later on July 31 New York regulator Maria T. Vullo issued this: "The New York State Department of Financial Services fiercely opposes the Department of Treasury’s endorsement of regulatory ‘sandboxes’ for financial technology companies. The idea that innovation will flourish only by allowing companies to evade laws that protect consumers, and which also safeguard markets and mitigate risk for the financial services industry, is preposterous. Toddlers play in sandboxes.  Adults play by the rules. Companies that truly want to create change and thrive over the long-term appreciate the importance of developing their ideas and protecting their customers within a strong state regulatory framework. DFS also strong opposes today’s decision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to begin accepting applications for national bank charters from nondepository financial technology (fintech) companies.  DFS believes that this endeavor, which is also wrongly supported by the Treasury Department, is clearly not authorized under the National Bank Act. As DFS has noted since the OCC’s proposal, a national fintech charter will impose an entirely unjustified federal regulatory scheme on an already fully functional and deeply rooted state regulatory landscape." Sounds good -- but NYS DFS has for example allowed First Republic Bank to redline The Bronx, and hasn't even confirmed receipt of a timely comment opposing it. We'll have more on this - and on this: First Republic Bank, which excludes The Bronx as well as Brooklyn and Queens from its assessment area while funding outer borough slumlords, has applied to New York bank regulators to open another branch in Manhattan. Fair Finance Watch has filed opposition, along with Inner City Press, also citing FRB's record of displacement in California:  On behalf of Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch (ICP), this is a timely comment opposing the application by First Republic Bank to open a new insured deposit-taking facility at 329 Tenth Avenue, Borough of Manhattan, City of New York 10001. First Republic Bank is engaged in redlining. Its branches in New York are entirely in Manhattan, and only in the most affluent sections. It excludes from its CRA Assessment Area, in their entirety, the boroughs of The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. This is an outrage, and that ICP had thought was no longer allowed by regulars. (ICP previously challenged and got changes such exclusionary Assessment Areas at Bank of New York, HSBC, predecessors of Bank of America and others). Cynically, while excluding the outer boroughs from its assessment area, First Republic Bank does business with landlords who have been described as slumlords, such as Moshe Piller. See, e.g., Daily News, “Moshe Piller, owner of the Hunts Point Ave. building in the Bronxwhere two children died when a faulty radiator spewed steam into their bedroom.” (
ICP also takes note of the San Francisco analysis of its fellow NCRC member CRC). Fair Finance Watch has reviewed First Republic Bank's most recent publicly available HMDA data for the NYC MSA and, for home purchase loans, find that FRB made 283 such loans to whites, and only three each to Latino and  African American applicants. Its denial rate disparity is astronomical: 20% denial rate for African American, less than 1% for whites. Again: First Republic Bank is a redliner. For all of these reasons, First Republic Bank's applications should be denied." We'll have more on this

On Cameroon Inner City Press Asked UN and US About Journalist Mimi Mefo Now Released No Thanks to Guterres


By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, November 10 -- Throughout Paul Biya's crackdown in Cameroon, even more so after his lobbyists received the advice of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 11 July 2018, Biya's forces have targeted journalists. On November 7 they arrested Equinoxe TV reporter Mimi Mefo Takambou, a decidedly moderate and even handed journalist who is active on social media, including following Inner City Press. Reportedly the outrageous basis for her arrest is having informed the public that US missionary Charles Trumann Wesco was shot and killed by the Cameroon Army.  While the US Administration, at least for now, is conveniently accepting Biya's diversion that Wesco, the father of eight, was killed in a crossfire, the jailing of a journalist for reporting what they knew should trigger a real investigation of Wesco's murder - and one hopes the many other murders by Biya - by for example the FBI. On November 9, with its questions to Antonio Guterres and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed, Communicator Alison Smale and spokesmen not answered, Inner City Press endeavored to ask US Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen about Mimi Mefo, and murdered Charles Wesco at the UN Delegates Entrance gate, video here. Now on November 10 we are happy to report that Mimi Mefo, according to Equinoxe TV, has been released (although we doubt the intimidation is over) -- released no thanks to the US Mission or the UN, whose spokesman Stephane Dujarric has bragged that The Secretary-General is committed to press freedom and defending their right to go about their profession. He has been very vocal about this, both publicly and privately. His private diplomacy has led to a number of journalists being freed. Matthew’s issue is not about press freedom. These are lies - Guterres did nothing on Cameroon, and censors Inner City Press in New York. We will have more on this.  On November 8 before the noon briefing Guterres has banned it from for the 127th day with no end in sight, Inner City Press submitted questions to Guterrs, his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed and Under SG Alison Smale, as well as two spokesmen, including this: "November 8-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action on the jailing of Equinoxe TV journalist Mimi Mefo Takambou for having reported that US missionary Charles Wesco was shot and killed by “Cameroon soldiers”? During the briefing, none of those allowed by Guterres and is $4 million spokesman Stephane Dujarric to be in the briefing room asked about Mimi Mefo or anything at all in Africa (Agence France Presse tellingly did ask about Jim Acosta of CNN, not jailed, and let Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq claim he is allowing in person any and all questions) - and after the briefing, nothing from the UN. Inner City Press reported based on its sources directly in Guterres' office that Guterres decided to go quiet on the slaughter in Cameroon, largely of Anglophones, because Biya's long time UN Ambassador was chair of the UN Budget Committee where Guterres wanted and wants favors. Soon after Inner City Press reported on this, and as it was covering the Budget Committee meeting on 3 July 2018 including speaking to Cameroon's Ambassador, it was assaulted by UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and another UNnamed and physically pulled out into the street. It has been banned from the UN since. Still - it is free to move around New York City (other than in the Park East Synagogue from which Guterres also tried to have it ousted). Thankfully the UN does not run its own jail in New York. The outrageous questioning and reported detention of Mimi Mefo Takambou must be reversed. The Free UN Coalition for Access, which the Department of Public Information now run (into the ground) by UK USG Alison Smale also threw out of the UN, is on the case. Watch this site. The UN is getting worse: Cameroon was elected to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council on October 12, with 176 votes out of 193 in a clean slate outrage that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres banned Inner City Press from covering in person, in the General Assembly chamber. After the vote Inner City Press asked Guterres spokespeople in writing, "October 12-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action on the video portraying Paul Biya's forces “storming [Maurice] Kamto's party office kicking and dragging men on the floor”? Also, and relatedly, now what is the SG's comment on Cameroon being put on the UN Human Rights Council?" On the afternoon ofOctober 15, after another UN noon briefing from which Inner City Press was banned from for the 104th day, Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq replied, "Regarding question 12-1, the selection of members of the Human Rights Council is a decision of the Member States of the General Assembly, and the Secretary-General does not comment." But Guterres DOES provide Biya's lobbyists advise on how to beat back Anglo Saxon press coverage as on July 11 (below). And apparently no comment on the video portraying Paul Biya's forces “storming [Maurice] Kamto's party office kicking and dragging men on the floor” nor any answer to this October 15 noon question: "October 15-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action on calls that ELECAM, which you have said the UN is supporting in some way(s), release results polling site by polling site? What of the government's leaking of dispute results and arrest order for some opposition candidates? The reported summary executions in Mutengene, Fako Division of the South-West Region?" Golden statues. Now on Guterres' secret banned list which, UN Security admits, includes "political activists" with no due process, Inner City Press on October 12 asked questions on the sidewalk: Are you going to vote for Cameroon? The US Legal Adviser under Nikki Haley did not respond, as per usual. Inner City Press also asked the Permanent Representatives of including Security Council member Germany (who at least slowed to hear the question) and of UNSC candidate Canada, video here. Also elected: Burkina Faso - 183
Togo 181
Somalia 170
Eritrea - 160
India - 188
Fiji - 187
Bangladesh - 178
Bahrain - 165
Phillipines-  165
Bulgaria - 180
Czech Republic - 178
Bahamas 180
Uruguay 177
Argentina 172
Italy - 180
Austria - 171
Denmark- 167
and not elected, joke: US - 1 
This comes as Cameroon's 
 36-year ruler Paul Biya  imposed a curfew on the Anglophone regions a week before his supposed re-election on October 7, complete with "observers" Biya's state TV falsely claimed were from Transparency International.We'll have more on this. Guterres' genocide adviser Adama Dieng in an interview with BBC said "things seem to be under control." Here from 2:40, and see below. Now after acanned statement to all sides by Guterres, who has banned Inner City Press from any entryinto his UN, the charades of an election in which Biya's spokesman declared victory even before the polling - and a new contract to lobby the US and "multilateral" organizations like the UN, where Guterres offered to help Biya's government and has banned Inner City Press from entering the UN in any capacity at all. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has not answered "October 9-1: On Cameroon, describe the UN's support to ELECAM and its communications, which have included the statement the voting went of “without a hitch” amid burning of homes by the government." Now as Biya's state television has lied that Transparency International observed and approved the electoral process, the UN is silent and refuses to explain whether its support of ELECAM's communications included or encouraged this. Meanwhile, Biya's government has signed a new public relations and lobbying contract, with Glover Park Group for more than $600,000. The one-year contract went into effect Sept. 1. Either party upon receipt of 30 days' notice may terminate the contract. If the termination occurs before Feb. 28, Cameroon's embassy will pay the WPP Group unit all monthly fees and expenses through Feb. 28.The FARA filing says, "Registrant will provide government affairs and communications services and support to the Embassy of the Republic of
Cameroon and related agencies with regard to its relations with the United States and relevant multilateral institutions" - more UN lobbying
On October 8, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman in writing (since it remains banned from noon "press" briefing, 97 days and counting), "On the Cameroon election, given the low turn out and state violence in the Anglophone areas what is the SG's comment and action?" See below. From the UK's Minister Harriett Baldwin, this: "UK concerned by reports of violence & casualties on polling day in Anglophone regions of #Cameroon & by how difficult it was for citizens to vote there. UK calls on all parties to follow proper procedures for tallying results, exercise restraint & avoid pre-empting the outcome." Call them crocodile tears, as the UK never called a UN Security Council meeting on Biya's slaughter in the area, and its FCO has yet to provide documents in response to Inner City Press' Freedom of Information request about the UK Mission's role in British UN official Alison Smale's ghoulish no due process ban for life of Inner City Press from the UN. See bus stop studio interview of October 8, here. Inside the UN, from which Inner City Press was banned for the 97th day, tor the second time in a week, the retired - from UK Reuters - correspondent, good friend of Guterres' Global Censor Alison Smale, who famously said "the Anglophones have been doing some shooting" asked a softball question in response to which this was read out and then emailed to Inner City Press, which publishes it in full: "Regarding the Cameroon election, we are saying the following: The UN is not mandated to observe the ongoing electoral process. Therefore, the Organization is not in a position to assess the conduct of the election.The UN in Cameroon played a technical advisory role in the electoral process, supporting Cameroon’s electoral management body (ELECAM) in the areas of capacity building, strategic communication, civic and voter education.  The UN has advocated for and promoted the participation of women and youth, internally displaced persons and people with disabilities. It has worked with the National Communication Council (NCC), the media and political parties to prevent hate speech and promote the peaceful coverage of the election.We are concerned about reports of displacements, threats and violence that may have impacted participation in some parts of the North-West and South-West regions. We condemn all forms of incitement or acts of violence and intimidation by any group and reiterates the Secretary-General’s call for an inclusive dialogue process to address grievances and prevent the further escalation of violence. We also encourage the Government of Cameroon to grant unfettered access to human rights and humanitarian actors to all areas affected by violence." So the UN is supporting ELECAM in communcations such as this, from ELECAM's Essosse Erik, "With the exception of certain polling stations which functioned following a security plan in the Northwest and Southwest regions given the prevailing situation, voting operations as a whole were conducted hitch-free within the country and in the diaspoara. It was peaceful.Will Guterres echo this? Essosse Erik added, "Rendez-vous latest 22 October 2018 for the proclamation of the final result." For now the award for most colonial media coverage for now goes to Reuters, whose Edward McAllister blames the victims of Biya's crackdown for "draining the life" out of the areas Biya's army has burned. This is the same Reuters whose Stephen J. Adler was happy with Guterres banning Inner City Press from his "Press Freedom" event in the UN in late September, after his UN bureau chief  urged Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric to oust Inner City Press from the UN then got his leaked complaint removed from Google Search by (mis) using the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. McAllister, who as Reuters West and Central Africacorrespondent has fewer than 2000 Twitter followers despite being on the platform since 2012 bemoans as he features a photo of a beach the loss for international tourists of the fight back. Biya could not have taken a more blame the victim line, nor even Guterres' Global Communicator and Censor Alison Smale, whose propaganda "UN News Centre" has issued a story about Cameroon which emphasizes Boko Haram and not Biya's killings in the Anglophone zones. Her DPI's most recent or relevant Cameroon stories are about Bakassi - and all the way back to Kofi Annan - who as we've noted, never had roughed up much less banned for 95+ days the media criticized him. Guterres and Biya: birds of a feather. And Issa Chiroma Bakary and Smale... Meanwhile Biya's spokesman Issa Chiroma Bakary has been filmed saying that "President Biya has already won an overwhelming victory" -- before the October 7 voting has even began. Video from Garoua here. What will the distracted, many say bought off UN of Guterres say or do? Bakary's also ghoulish statement follows the one of October 4 from the Deputy Spokesman of Guterres (who remained silent for at least a year on the slaughter oAnglophones, and according to the government offered to help them not be criticized in "Anglo-Saxon" press, one of which he's banned) -- "Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the presidential election in Cameroon
As Cameroon prepares for presidential elections on 7 October, the Secretary-General encourages all Cameroonians to exercise their democratic right and calls for a peaceful, credible and inclusive process.
The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to exercise restraint before, during and after the election. He also urges all candidates to address any complaints related to the electoral process through established legal and constitutional channels.
The Secretary-General condemns all threats of violence or acts of intimidation by any group and reiterates that all grievances should be addressed through an inclusive dialogue. The United Nations stands ready to provide support in this regard. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, New York, 4 October 2018." We'll have more on this. H
ow can the UN view Biya's repeatcandidates as under control when areported "Candidates for the office of President of the Republic... have to show proof of having resided in Cameroon for an uninterrupted period of at least 12 (twelve) months." How many of these months was Biya in Geneva? Meanwhile he returned to give a gift to Japan's outgoing Ambassador to YaoundeKunio Okamura: "a special gift to the Japanese Diplomat – as a symbol of the hospitality of the Cameroonian people, and the win-win relationship existing between Yaounde and Tokyo. H.E. Kunio Okamura will be remembered for fast-tracking the road projects along the Yaounde-Brazzaville corridor and that linking Cameroon to Chad."
On Guterres' Dieng, given that what control exists is the product of state violence by 36 year ruler Paul Biya, Inner City Press banned from the UN after asking Guterres about his silence immediately published a story with Guterres adviser Dieng's troubling "under control" quote. And now BBC has edited or disappeared Dieng's "under control" line out from his response in a longer piece for Africa Today. Audio answer here from Minute 7. Why is BBC burying its own news to make the UN of Guterres and Dieng look better? Perhaps relatedly, with Inner City Press' physical ouster from the UN and banning since having been covered by thUK IndependentFox, the Columbia JounralismReview, then CNN and Politico, BuzzFeed then The Hill, and the New York Post (two-pager), among others, why has not a worabout it been on BBC, which previously had Inner City Press on, for example here, as a guest? Too close to the UN? We've asked their correspondent on the sidewalk in front of the UN, to which we are for not confined to ask our questions. We'll have more on this. Dieng'sbelated and some say cynical call for an independent investigation of what he characterizes as "violence on both sides" with an emphasis on what he calls "separatists" is a continuation oa pro-Biya line adopted by Guterres since he took office, or since Cameroon took the chair of the UN Budget Committee. The BBC did not ask Dieng about this, nor about the UK's role including that ofMinisters Harriett Baldwin and Alistair Burt and Minister Liam Fox bragged about UK-based New Age's natural gas contract with UK-based New Age. Guterres has had Inner City Press roughed up and banned from the UN as it asked him about this, including photo-journalism on him and Dieng, herenow prevented since 3 July 2018. Continuing its reporting from the sidewalk in front of the UN as it will until these policies and the ban are reversed, Inner City Press questioned Diengwho insisted that "separatists must not be encouraged." Video here. Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric on September 28 insisted the ban is not about Inner City Press' reporting or questions on Cameroon, Guterres' conflicts of interest and corruption, but "behavior" - while claiming to be answered Inner City Press' questions (largely false so far) and that the ban is not for life, while providing no road map to end it and resume UNcensored reporting. Video here. On October 1 in lieu of being able to attend the less than 20 minute noon briefing, Inner City Press asked: "October 1-1: On Cameroon, beyond the unanswered questions below, what is the SG's comment and action on the curfew imposed in Anglophone areas in the run-up to the October 7 elections? Again, what if any is the UN's role in those elections?" Later in the day this arrived from UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply and we publish it in full: "Your question on Cameroon: We remain concerned about the situation in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon and the impact that the violence is having on the civilian population. We urge all parties to fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law, guarantee the protection of civilians and facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access to the North-West and South-West regions. The United Nations remains available to work with the Cameroonian authorities in their efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis." So no role in the elections? And what about the many other specific questions?  As the Cameroon government of 36 year President Paul Biya slaughters civilians in the Anglophone regions as well as in the North, it re-engaged Washington lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggsand Mercury Public Affairsdocuments show. The UN belatedly acknowledged to Inner City Press, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had roughed up on July 3 right after it spoke to Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe and on August 17declared banned for life from entering the UN that Guterres met with a Cameroon delegation on July 11. And they discussed, disturbingly, strategies to reduce negative coverage of Biya's killings, see below. Guterres' team is now refusing to answer basic questions from Inner City Press, such as on September 27, a day on which the briefing Inner City Press was banned from put only one question to spokesman StephanDujarric, Inner City Press submitted more in writing including "September 27-1: On Cameroon, beyond the unanswered questions below, what is the SG's comment and action on the multiple reports of seven young men just assassinated by the government in Buea?" The question has not been answered, despite Dujarric receiving only one other questions. Inner City Press has also asked: "September 24-1: On Cameroon, many in the country are expressing concern and some asking Inner City Press about UN vehicles recently photographed arriving in the port of Doula. Please immediately state UN's knowledge and explanation of these vehicles. Also, including because Cameroon was not mentioned in SG's AU read-out, please inform Inner City Press if and when the situation in North-West or South-West Cameroon comes up in any of the SG's meeting this week." Two days later, no answer - Guterres' silence and censorship continues. The next day Inner City Press asked this, also UNanswered a day later: "September 25-1: On Cameroon, beyond the UNanswered questions below, please state the UN's role(s) in the October 7 elections, and the SG's comment and action on doubts about voting and counting in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions." Instead Guterres is doubling down on censoring, rebuffing even one of his own Special Representatives who urged him to stop banning Inner City Press - instead, even from an UNGA event on slavery and banks to which Inner City Press' RSVP had been accepted by a Mission and UNU, Guterres banned Inner City Press and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed, when her office was called and written to, did nothing. Now an event on "UN human rights" - an oxymoron - looms, with no response from elsewhere in Guterres' network of censorship. This is corruption. Now Biya's government is raising the specter of Anglophones, or as the UN of Guterres seems to say, secessionists, in the capital Yaounde. A crackdown is foretold in the neighborhoods of Obili, Biyem-Assi, Etoug-ebe. Photo here. And the UN says nothing, refusing to answer even the simplest of questions from Inner City Press which Guterres had roughed up and banned from the UN for 80 days now, on September 21 to be prevented from questioning Geoffrey Onyeama the foreign minister of Nigeria which engaged in the illegal refoulement Guterres supposedly cared about, for 47 including Ayuk Tabe. For nowhere were Inner City Press' questions, and his answers, last UNGA High Level week before Guterres got even worse than he was then. On September 19 in a briefing Inner City Press was prohibited from attending, Guterres' special adviser on the prevention of genocide Adama Dieng said, as to Cameroon, that nothing must be done to encourage secession - a position that while Guterres' goes beyond what is supposed to be Dieng's focus, preventing the killing of people based on ethnicity or, here, language. As luck would have it, Inner City Press while conducting its daily sidewalk interviews at the UN Delegates' Entrance gate on September 20 asked Dieng why he'd done beyond his mandate. He said that he wants to visit the country.Video here. Then, still in the morning, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who USG Alison Smale said would be answering writting questions, this: "September 20-3: On Cameroon, please confirm that the SG's adviser Dieng is seeking to visit the country and explain both how it is within his mandate to speak, as he did yesterday in the briefing like today's by the SG I am banned from, in opposition to any encouragement of secession and how the SG thinks this position is a legitimate one for the UN and separately how it could play a role if it has already said what the outcome should be." Six hours later, nothing at all. Guterres' UN is corrupt.  Now in North-West Region travel restrictions have been imposed - in fact, one can't leave without saying exactly where one is going. Photo here. It was impossible for Inner City Press to get any comment from the UN of Guterres, since he has banned Inner City Press from the building for 77 days now, and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric has not been answering any written questions, including about sexual abuse by a Cameroon Army "peacekeeper" in the Central African Republic, here.A campaign to gain the release of imprisoned and increasingly sick journalist Thomas Awah is being ignored by the authorities. In Ekonain South-West Region Cameroon's government has engaged in what's become their trademark abuse, the killing at point blank range of civilians, in this case Bezeng Jonas and his sons, one of whom was attending University of Buea. Where are the "positive steps" the UK Mission's Karen Pierce asserted this week to Inner City Press across the street from the UN, from which British USG Alison Smale hasbanned Inner City Press for 66 days with assists?  Things havereportedly reached the point that in Lebialem Division in the South West region officials have de facto separated the country by instituting an ‘Access Card’ from locals fleeing insecurity in the division. Oneneeds to pay FCFA 20, 000 for the 'Laissez passer' to cross over." After Guterres did nothing, in order to try to get Cameroon's support as chair of UN Budget Committee, and after again refusing Inner City Press' questions on August 31, video here, is now in China which is arming Biya. Now with Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric cutting off question and saying Guterres' ban of Inner City Press is "settled" and that it cannot enter to cover the General Assembly high level week where last year Guterres greeted Paul Biya, Guterres is headed to China September 1-4. And here's from China state media: "In March, Cameroonian President Paul Biya was the first African leader to visit China this year. It was the sixth trip to China by the president. Fruitful deals from FOCAC Beijing summit can significantly revamp the country's economy," Mpoche said. "That is why, I think the Belt and Road Initiative is laudable."
According to the Cartel of Cameroon Entrepreneurs, known in its French acronym as GICAM, close to 100 Cameroonian businessmen will visit China on the sidelines of the Beijing summit, scheduled for early September. The businessmen traveling to China intend to seize the opportunity and sign deals with Chinese private companies to "boost our cooperation and create more jobs for the youths back home," said Magloire, the rapporteur at Cameroon's Ministry of Economy and Finance."  The article makes no mention of Southern Cameroons and Biya's killings - nor, apparently, will Guterres. We'll have more on this.Here are questions Guterres and his spokesman, contrary to the promise of evicter Alison Smale, has left UNanswered: "August 27-6: August 22-3: On Cameroon, your belated July 11 read out does not answer the questions Inner City Press has asked. Before asking more, there are now broken out by letter for ease of reference and for belated answer today, as well as this:

was DSG Mohammed present at the July 11 meeting? And what is the SG's response to what was said about him in the demonstration by Anglophone Cameroonians in Washington yesterday? How does he respond to their charges of corruption?

a) Cameroon has hired Mercury Public Affairs for $100,000 a month, even as the UN is paying money to the government. Is UN money being used for the mass killing cover up campaign? Are there any safeguards in place?

b) please disclose any and all other meeings the SG has had this year arranged by paid lobbyists.

[responded to Aug 22, but see (d) below: c) what is the SG's comment on the recent announcement of seven arrests for summary executions, and the newer video of Cameroon Army executions that has emerged?

d) Specifically, how are these videos being incorporated into the supposed vetting of Cameroon's contributions to UN Peacekeeping missions?

e) please provide a list and read-out of each of the Secretary General's meetings and communications with Cameroon Ambassador Tommo Monthe during Monthe's time as chair of the Fifth (Budget) Committee.

[semi-answered Aug 22 f) In light of statements at the August 8 noon briefing please state whether envoy Fall even requested to meet with President Paul Biya or whether the UN believes that Biya is once again out of the country, in Geneva. Has the UN ever met with Biya in Geneva? ]

g) I reiterate August 7-1 and 8-1 and 9-1, on this: was the SG or anyone else in the UN aware that this Biya delegation's lobbying trip was stage managed by the DC-based lobbying firm Patton Boggs? Why was this meeting not disclosed at the time? Why is there no photo, even just UN Photo, of it? Where did it take place? Who attended, on each side?

h)Has the Secretariat communicated since with the Biya government? Has it ever communicated with the opposition?" 
 
O
n August 26, in Nigeria those Anglophones displaced by Biya's killings, covered up and support by Antonio "Mr. Refugees" Guterres simply so he could try to get Cameroon Ambassador Tommo Monthe's support for his power grab reform proposals, are called "invaders." But still when they are interviewed some truth emerges: "one of the refugee, Polycarp Ande who fled from Furawa Sub-division into Fikyu village alleged that Cameroonian soldiers led the ethnic cleansing of their people. According to him, hunger, elusive health care, lack of shelter and idleness were major challenges, which he noted has in turn had ripple effect on their host community, who are predominantly low scale farmers. He explained that the villagers and churches has been feeding them, and expressed worry over their increasing numbers amidst meager resources. “Some of our brothers who went back to see how the situation was in our villages keep running back as the onslaught is still going on. ” As at last Saturday, over 15 of our people came into Kpambo-piri in Ussa and more people keep coming into Nigeria every week. “Our children are the most affected because they can’t go to school and we want the government of Nigeria and the world to come to our aid." Inner City Press is inquiring with legislators in the area and others - watch this site.  
On August 22, in response to detailed questions about what Guterres knew - including about Cameroon which receivedthe public's funds through the UN paying Patton Boggs and now Mercury Public Affairs, see below - his spokesman Stephane Dujarricsent Inner City Press, whom he has played his role in banning for life, this which we publish in full: "On Cameroon: On new video released on alleged human rights abuses in Cameroon:
We are aware of the new video released on social media concerning alleged human rights violations in the country and remain deeply concerned over the continued violence. We are encouraged that the Government has pledged to carry out a thorough investigation into these incidents and to publish the results. We continue to ask the Government to grant unimpeded access to the UN human rights bodies. We further reiterate the need to lift all restrictions on humanitarian access to the North-West and South-West regions.
On SRSG Fall’s visit to Cameroon and upcoming elections:
With regard to SRSG Fall’s recent visit to Yaoundé from 4 to 9 August, as mentioned earlier, he met with the Prime Minister, the Minister of External Relations, the Minister for Territorial Administration, the President of the National Commission for the Promotion of Multiculturalism and Bilingualism, and the Director-General of Cameroon’s electoral management body, ELECAM, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon, among others. In his meetings with the authorities, he discussed the situation in the country in the lead-up to the 7 October presidential election, as well as humanitarian assistance to those in urgent need.
Meanwhile, the UN continues capacity-building activities, as well as voter education targeting the media and civil society in close cooperation with ELECAM ahead of the elections, and will continue to closely monitor the situation." The UN's no due process "investigation" of Inner City Press with the outcome pre-determined puts the first response into context, as does the government memodescribing Guterres that the UN won't respond to. And UN "capacity building" for Biya's latest ghoulish "election"? We aim to have more on this. Watch this site.