Al-Qaida Advertises for Suicide Bombers; China Steals 2.7M US Jobs; Cartels Bribe DHS Workers

Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 03:59 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Cartels’ Bribing of DHS Workers Raises Terrorist Threat
2. Young Americans ‘Paying the Price’ for Poor Economy
3. Seven of Nine Richest Lawmakers Are Democrats
4. Megyn Kelly Tells of Her ‘Aha Moment’
5. Al-Qaida Advertises for Suicide Bombers
6. Trade With China Cost US 2.7 Million Jobs
 

1. Cartels’ Bribing of DHS Workers Raises Terrorist Threat

Mexican cartels are increasingly engaged in the “systematic corruption” of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) workers to expand their smuggling operations — including the trafficking of aliens from terrorism-linked countries.

“Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have become not only more violent and dangerous, but more clever as well. The DTOs have turned to recruiting and corrupting DHS employees,” Charles Edwards, the acting DHS inspector general, told a hearing of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee.

“A corrupt DHS employee may accept a bribe for allowing what appear to be simply undocumented aliens into the U.S. while unwittingly helping terrorists enter the country. Likewise, what seems to be drug contraband could be weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons or bomb-making materials.

“According to government reports, DTOs are becoming involved increasingly in systematic corruption of DHS employees to further alien and drug smuggling, including the smuggling of aliens from designated special interest countries likely to export terrorism.”

Special interest countries are nations thought to pose a terrorist threat and include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia, CNS News pointed out in a report on Edwards’ testimony.

Edwards said border corruption may take the form of cash bribes, sexual favors, and other gratuities in return for U.S. employees allowing contraband or illegal aliens through inspection lanes — “or even protecting and escorting border crossings.”

He also said DHS employees may be bribed to leak or sell sensitive law enforcement information to smugglers, and provide them with documents such as immigration papers.

The cartels target employees who may be “going through financial difficulties, gambling, debts, [or] sexual infidelity,” he added.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner David Aguilar, who testified alongside Edwards, said that 141 CBP employees “have been arrested or indicted for acts of corruption” since October 2004.

Edwards warned in his written testimony that “while those who turn away from their sworn duties are few, even one corrupt agent or officer who allows harmful goods or people to enter the country puts the nation at risk.”

Organized gangs in Mexico are also increasingly involved in the theft of petroleum from the nation’s state-run oil company, Pemex, CNS News reported.

Pemex said on Aug. 10 that the national pipeline systems “are practically taken over by organized crime gangs associated with heavily armed groups.”

Criminals use devices called “clandestine taps” to steal the oil from the pipelines.

According to Pemex, more than 1.84 million barrels of oil were stolen from the pipeline system in the first six months of this year, meaning that on average, at least 17,500 gallons of oil were stolen per hour!

Editor's Note:



2. Young Americans ‘Paying the Price’ for Poor Economy

Politicians on both sides of the aisle might heed a new survey showing that nine in 10 young adults say the poor economy negatively impacts their life, and just 38 percent believe today’s leaders represent their interests.

Why pay attention? Because the poll by Generation Opportunity also disclosed that 76 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 plan to vote in the presidential election.

“These numbers should put elected leaders on notice. What you see is a very pointed story of the impact the failed policies coming out of the White House over the course of the last three years are having on the daily lives and the long-term plans of young Americans,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Frankly, it is not a pretty picture — millions of young Americans are paying the price, in a very personal way, for failed leadership and failed policies.
 
“Millennials are savvy. They know national policies have personal impact — they feel it first-hand. So it is no surprise that so few believe their interests are being represented in Washington, and it is no surprise that they plan to make their voices heard this November.”

In the poll of more than 1,000 young adults conducted at the end of July, 89 percent of respondents said the poor economy is negatively impacting their life.

Among those impacted young people, 51 percent reduced their entertainment budget, 40 percent skipped a vacation, 38 percent drove less, 27 percent sold personal property including electronic appliances and cars, 17 percent skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event, and 26 percent moved in with their family, took extra roommates, or moved to a “downgraded” house or apartment.

The survey also revealed that 84 percent of respondents had planned to make a major life change but now might delay or not make it at all due to the current economy.

Among the changes cited: buying their own place (38 percent will not make the change), starting a family (31 percent), paying off student loans or other debt (26 percent), saving for retirement (25 percent), and getting married (23 percent).

Generation Opportunity is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to engage and mobilize young Americans on the important issues facing the nation.

Editor's Note:



3. Seven of Nine Richest Lawmakers Are Democrats

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul ranks as the wealthiest member of Congress for the second year in a row — but seven of the top nine richest members are Democrats.

McCaul reported a minimum net worth of $290.5 million for 2011. That’s nearly $100 million more than his nearest challenger and former No. 1, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who had at least $198.8 million last year, according to The Hill’s list of the “50 Wealthiest Lawmakers.”

McCaul’s father-in-law is founder of radio giant Clear Channel Communications, and Kerry’s wealth comes largely from his wife Theresa Heinz Kerry’s links to the Heinz ketchup fortune.

Third on the list is Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who made his fortune in car security systems and had at least $140.6 million last year.

The next six lawmakers on the list are Democrats:

Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, worth $91 million, is the founder of American Information Systems, an Internet access firm.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, an early investor in Nextel, was worth $85.9 million last year.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia’s fortune stood at $83 million in 2011. His trusts are valued at a minimum of $80 million.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, whose wife is the daughter of real estate mogul Peter Malkin, was worth $80 million last year.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, co-founder of Automatic Data Processing, a payroll services firm, was worth $56.9 million.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, married to investment banker Richard Blum, was worth $47.2 million.

The Hill reviewed lawmakers’ 2011 calendar year financial disclosure forms. To calculate a member’s wealth, The Hill used the low figure in the value range for each asset and liability. The liabilities were then subtracted from the assets to reach a minimum net worth.

Of the 50 wealthiest, 31 are in the House and 19 are in the Senate, and 31 of the 50 are Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, at No. 37, is the only GOP leader to make the top 50, with $8.9 million. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California is No. 15 with $26.4 million.

The “poorest” member on the top 50 list, Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, was worth $5.9 million.

Editor's Note:



4. Megyn Kelly Tells of Her ‘Aha Moment’

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly says a meeting with network Chairman Roger Ailes was the “aha moment” that changed her career — and her life.

Bullying by other girls in grade school led Kelly to put up a tough front and “project a sense that nothing could hurt me,” she said in a candid interview with Howard Kurtz of Newsweek/The Daily Beast.

“The underlying feelings of insecurity only deepened when I made the leap from law, which I came to despise, to television news.

“I was still learning the ropes when I came to Fox News in 2004. And when I mispronounced a name on one of my first stories — and got a mild scolding from my boss Brit Hume — I was completely dejected.”

A few months later Ailes called Kelly into his office, she recalled.

“‘Love the look, the voice, the confidence,’ he said. ‘Now who’s the real you?’

“I was stunned. I barely knew him. It was like he was using X-ray vision to peer into my soul. He told me not to fear making a mistake, just admit it to the audience and move on. ‘You can’t be afraid to be vulnerable,’ he said.

“It was what Oprah would call an ‘aha moment.’”

Kelly said she learned, thanks to Ailes, that she needn’t strive to be perfect and exude an air of invulnerability.

“I was no longer putting out fake perfection. I was being the real me,” she said.

“Now I’m not afraid to admit the obvious: I’m not perfect.”

Editor's Note:



5. Al-Qaida Advertises for Suicide Bombers

The terrorist organization al-Qaida is running a “job ad” on an Internet forum seeking applicants for short-term employment — as suicide bombers.

The ad on the Shumukh al-Islam forum, which is accessible only to al-Qaida members, appears under the heading “Area of activity: The planet Earth.”

Applicants must be Muslim, mentally mature, dedicated, able to listen, and utterly committed to completing their mission, according to the ad.

While real names are not required, candidates are asked to send details of their nickname or handle, their age, marital status, languages spoken, and a list of passports in their possession, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The ad also specifies the targets of the suicide attacks that applicants will be expected to carry out, including “People who fight Islam and Muslims” and enemy “financial, military and media targets.”

And it states: “Only one person will be in charge. He will gather all of the intelligence, he will prepare the operation — and he will complete the attack.” However, “a military panel” will oversee the bomber’s training and select the target.

The job description promises only a “very slight chance of being caught.”

The Yedioth article claimed the ad has elicited several positive responses.

The Times of Israel observed that the ad indicates al-Qaida is “apparently low on bombers.”

Editor's Note:



6. Trade With China Cost US 2.7 Million Jobs

Since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, the massive increase in Chinese exports to America and China’s unfair trade practices have cost Americans more than 2.7 million jobs, according to a new report.

“The growing trade deficit with China has been a prime contributor to the crisis in U.S. manufacturing employment,” states the report from the Economic Policy Institute.

U.S. imports from China have soared from $102 billion in 2001 to $398.5 billion last year. Meanwhile American exports to China have grown from $18 billion in 2001 to $96.9 billion in 2011, producing a trade deficit last year of more than $300 billion.

“China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was supposed to bring it into compliance with an enforceable, rules-based regime that would require China to open its markets to imports from the United States and other nations by reducing tariffs and addressing non-tariff barriers to trade,” observed Robert E. Scott, the author of the report. Scott is director of trade and manufacturing policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that analyzes the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States.

“However, as a result of China’s currency manipulation and other trade-distorting practices, including extensive subsidies, legal and illegal barriers to imports, dumping, and suppression of wages and labor rights, the envisioned flow of U.S. exports to China did not occur.
 
“Further, the agreement spurred foreign direct investment in Chinese enterprises, which has expanded China’s manufacturing sector at the expense of the United States. Finally, the core of the agreement failed to include any protections to maintain or improve labor or environmental standards or to prohibit currency manipulation.”

The 2.7 million-plus jobs lost since 2001 include more than 2.1 million in manufacturing, or 77 percent of the total. The hardest hit industry was computer and electronic products, which lost more than 1.06 million jobs, followed by apparel and accessories (211,000 jobs), textile mills and textile product mills (106,000), and fabricated metal products (120,000).

The report’s job loss estimates “include only the direct and indirect jobs displaced by trade, and exclude jobs in domestic wholesale and retail trade or advertising,” Scott points out.
 
“Imports displace goods that otherwise would have been made in the United States by domestic workers.”

The hardest hit state was New Hampshire, which lost 20,400 jobs or 2.94 percent of its total employment from 2001 to 2011, followed by California (2.87 percent), Massachusetts (2.86 percent), and Oregon (2.85 percent).

In actual numbers, California lost 474,700 jobs, followed by Texas (239,600), New York (158,800), and Illinois (113,700).

“But the jobs impact of the China trade deficit is not restricted to job loss and displacement,” according to Scott.

“Competition with low-wage workers from less-developed countries such as China has driven down wages for workers in U.S. manufacturing and reduced the wages and bargaining power of similar, non-college-educated workers throughout the economy.”

He concludes: “The U.S.-China trade relationship needs a fundamental change. Addressing the exchange rate policies and labor standards issues in the Chinese economy is an important first step. It is time for the administration to respond to the growing chorus of calls from economists, workers, businesses, and Congress and take action to stop illegal currency manipulation by China and other countries.”

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Editor's Note:



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