February 23, 2011. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ahmadinejad-predicts-mideast-unrest-coming-to-america/ Iran's president said Wednesday he is certain the wave of unrest in the Middle East will spread to Europe and North America, bringing an end to governments he accused of oppressing and humiliating people. "The world is on the verge of big developments. Changes will be forthcoming and will engulf the whole world from Asia to Africa and from Europe to North America," Ahmadinejad told a news conference. Ahmadinejad said the world was in need of a just system of rule that "puts an end to oppression, occupation and humiliation of people." [and from another] This correlates with what the Zetas said about the 8 of 10, "These sociological and political dramas are part of the 8 of 10 scenarios, as well as geological and astronomical features. This is the next chapter." http://poleshift.ning.com/profiles/blogs/zetatalk-fame The Zetas did say that Ahmadinejad is STO . Did he got his information from reading ZT or is there more too it?


Ahmadinejad is speaking as a leader of a Muslim country, viewing the Arab Spring as an uprising against colonialism, imperialism, and western corporate influence. This stance is expected of him because of his political role in Iran. The article makes much of Ahmadinejad's criticism of Gaddafi and his brutal treatment of his people. This is to differentiate between an Arab leader who was considered a puppet, as was Mubarak, and Gaddafi who was considered a leader who resisted western influence and control and thus should be a brother to his people. Does Ahmadinejad read ZetaTalk and have an inside track on the Transformation, the pending 8 of 10 scenarios? Yes on both fronts, as despite disbelief that Ahmadinejad is a Service-to-Other individual, he is a sleeper like Obama, awaiting his opportunities to make a difference in the world. He gives a hint as to the sequence of revolt and discontent - from the Arab Spring to Asia, then Africa, then Europe and thence to N America.

Source: ZetaTalk for June 18, 2011


Note: This blog is about his prediction. Keep in mind that political debates are not allowed on the poleshift ning.

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Comment by jorge namour on July 7, 2017 at 9:56pm



PROTESTS ERUPT in Hamburg, Germany regarding the G20 Summit where President Trump today met with Vladimir Putin and several other world leaders.

Comment by Matt B on June 29, 2017 at 8:12pm

Vatican cardinal hit with sex assault offenses takes leave, will fight charges


June 29, 2017

Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of "historical" sexual assault offenses, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, said in an early morning appearance at the Vatican that he would take a leave of absence as the Vatican's finance czar and would return to Australia to fight the charges. He denied the accusations and denounced what he called a "relentless character assassination" in the media.

Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton in Australia's Victoria state said police have summonsed Pell to appear in court to face multiple charges of "historical sexual assault offenses," meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Patton said there are multiple complainants against Pell, but gave no other details on the allegations against the cardinal. Pell was ordered to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

For years, Pell, 76, has faced allegations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. But more recently, Pell himself became the focus of a clergy sex abuse investigation, with Victoria detectives flying to the Vatican last year to interview the cardinal. It is unclear what allegations the charges announced Thursday relate to, but two men, now in their 40s, have said that Pell touched them inappropriately at a swimming pool in the late 1970s, when Pell was a senior priest in Melbourne.

Patton told reporters in Melbourne that none of the allegations against Pell had been tested in any court, adding: "Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process."

Specific details about the multiple complaints brought against Pell were not detailed by Victoria State Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton.

“The charges were today served on Cardinal Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne and they have been lodged also at the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,” Patton said, according to news.com.au.

The charges are a new and serious blow to Pope Francis, who has already suffered several credibility setbacks in his promised "zero tolerance" policy about sex abuse. The charges will also further complicate Francis' financial reform efforts at the Vatican, which were already strained by Pell's repeated clashes with the Italian-dominated bureaucracy. Just last week, one of Pell's top allies, the Vatican's auditor general, resigned without explanation two years into a five-year term, immediately raising questions about whether the reform effort was doomed.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Pope Francis had learned with "regret" of the charges and had granted Pell a leave of absence to defend himself. He said the Vatican's financial reforms would continue in his absence.

Pell's actions as archbishop came under intense scrutiny in recent years by a government-authorized investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to the sexual abuse of children. Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse -- the nation's highest form of inquiry -- has found shocking levels of abuse in Australia's Catholic Church, revealing earlier this year that 7 percent of Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children over the past several decades.

Last year, Pell acknowledged during his testimony to the commission that the Catholic Church had made "enormous mistakes" in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests over centuries. He conceded that he, too, had erred by often believing the priests over victims who alleged abuse. And he vowed to help end a rash of suicides that has plagued church abuse victims in his Australian hometown of Ballarat.

Australia has no extradition treaty with the Vatican. But in a statement from the Sydney Archdiocese, Pell said he would return to Australia "as soon as possible," following advice and approval by his doctors. Last year, Pell declined to return to Australia to testify for the third time before the Royal Commission, saying he was too ill to fly. He instead testified via video conference from Rome.

The Blue Knot Foundation, an Australian support group for adult survivors of childhood abuse, said the decision to charge Pell sent a powerful message to both abuse survivors and society as a whole.

"It upholds that no one is above the law, no matter how high their office, qualifications, or standing," the group's head of research, Pam Stavropoulos, said in a statement.

The charges put the pope in a thorny position. In 2014, Francis won cautious praise from victims' advocacy groups when he created a commission of outside experts to advise him and the broader church about "best practices" to fight abuse and protect children.

But the commission has since lost much of its credibility after its two members who were survivors of abuse left. Francis also scrapped the commission's signature proposal -- a tribunal section to hear cases of bishops who covered up for abuse -- after Vatican officials objected.

In addition, Francis drew heated criticism for his 2015 appointment of a Chilean bishop accused by victims of helping cover up for Chile's most notorious pedophile. The pope was later caught on videotape labeling the parishioners who opposed the nomination of being "leftists" and "stupid."

Francis appointed Pell in 2014 to a five-year term to head the Vatican's new economy secretariat, giving him broad rein to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See. The mandate has since been restricted to performing more of an oversight role.

Comment by Gerard Zwaan on May 19, 2017 at 12:22pm

Greek parliament passes austerity cuts as Molotov-throwing protesters clash with police in Athens

New pension cuts and severe tax hikes have been appoved by the Greek parliament as thousands of demonstrators protested new austerity measures amid clashes with police, Molotov cocktails and tear gas in central Athens.

The latest batch of austerity measures was passed late on Thursday with 153 votes secured by the ruling coalition government of PM Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza party and the Independent Greeks (ANEL), while 128 opposition deputies voted against the measures in the 300-seat parliament.

WATCH MORE: Protesters clash with police at anti-austerity protest ...

People took to the streets of Greece’s capital for the second consecutive day to protest new pension and tax-break cuts. The protest turned violent at some point as a small group of masked demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at the police, who fired tear gas and pepper spray.

The protest was staged by the country’s major trade unions.

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people gathered in front of the parliament building in Athens' Syntagma Square, AP reports. The situation escalated as a small group of masked demonstrators started to throw petrol bombs and other projectiles at the police. Police responded with tear gas and pepper spray.

Two people were detained and one arrested by the police in the aftermath of the clashes, according to ANA news agency. Law enforcement agencies reportedly confiscated an axe and a hammer from the arrested man.

A post of the iconic Evzones Presidential Guards near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in front of the parliament, was set alight by a Molotov cocktail.

The clashes erupted as Prime Minister Tsipras was delivering a speech in parliament defending the controversial proposed legislation, which includes pension cuts and further tax hikes through 2020. The legislation is a part of measures to convince international creditors to release a €7.5 billion bailout tranche and grant Greece further debt relief.

While the ongoing protest will hardly have any impact on the ongoing political process, they indicate that the Greek society lost its faith in politicians, Professor of Social Anthropology in the VU Amsterdam University, Prof. Dr. Dimitris Dalakoglou believes.

“The reality is that unless the people storm the parliament there will be no real difference there. However, what you can see is a symbol and example of what is going on right now in Greek society,” Dalakoglou told RT.

“It is more relevant what happens outside the parliament than what happens inside, because the government has no consent, and the political parties have no consent, so whttps://on.rt.com/8c1rhatever they vote the society believes that they all are the same, they all are the same policy with a different name.”

“These people rioting and clashing with the police outside the parliament right now and protesting for the last two days, during the general strike yesterday, are the important political agent of the moment in Greece,” he added.

Source: https://on.rt.com/8c1r

Comment by SongStar101 on May 4, 2017 at 8:40am

Redefining The Middle Class: It Isn't What You Earn & Owe, It's What You Own That Matters


No wonder the "middle class" has lost political power - it has lost the economic power of the ownership of productive assets.

Longtime correspondent Mark G. observed that the key phrase in yesterday's excellent commentary by correspondent Ron G. is property-owning middle class. Mark wrote: "It appears to me that the income bracket method used today isn't very informative."

Here is Ron's commentary again:

"The American economy and people are not being served by a government that was designed to be a Democratic Republic, whose architecture and balance of power depended on a property-owning middle class to be the countervailing force against Oligarchy; given the irreversible nature of the market and technology that contributed to the decline of the US middle class, (globalization, automation and AI), it is apparent that we will stay on this downward track of the middle class for the immediate future, and therefore more disparity, dispossession, and coercion will be needed to maintain control, and to me this means a future of intimidation, censorship and continued involuntary servitude."

What does property-owning actually mean? to answer that, we have to tease apart earnings, debt and what assets are owned.

The core contradiction in the present-day version of capitalism is between production and consumption: The system must produce goods and services that can be sold at a profit, and there has to be consumers who are able to buy the goods and services.

Over time, the focus in our culture and economy has shifted from production to consumption, and from acquiring capital to credit-funded consumption. The balance between production and consumption is dynamic and can become dangerously asymmetric; if there are only producers and no consumers, the goods and services pile up unsold and enterprises go bankrupt. If there are only consumers and no producers, the system eats its seed corn (capital) and sinks into impoverishment.

As Mark noted, the income of a household reflects very little of this distinction. Many households enjoy incomes above $100,000 annually but they own essentially nothing. By income alone, we categorize the household as "middle class."

But if we consider their total debt load, their ownership of income-producing assets and assets they own free and clear--essentially nothing--then they must be re-categorized as well-paid proletarians.

So what happens when we redefine the qualifications of "middle class" from what you earn and owe to what you own free and clear that generates income? How many American households qualify as "middle class" under this new definition?

Longtime readers know I have addressed the characteristics of the middle class in some depth for many years. For example:

What Does It Take To Be Middle Class? (December 5, 2013)

The Destabilizing Truth: Only the Wealthy Can Afford a Middle Class... (May 6, 2014)

Under this new definition, every household one housing-bubble-burst away from the destruction of their home-equity "wealth" isn't really middle class. Neither are households a paycheck or two away from insolvency.

In Endangered Species: The Self-Employed Middle Class (May 2015), I reported on the results of poring over IRS income and deduction data. Of the 141 million taxpayers reporting income, only 7 million earn a middle class income from an enterprise they own (sole proprietorship or professional corporation).

Compare this to what the wealthy own. Note that the bottom 90%'s assets are largely the family home, an asset which is offset by a heavy burden of debt. The wealthy own income-producing assets: business equity, stocks, bonds, trusts and rental real estate.

No wonder the "middle class" has lost political power--it has lost the economic power of the ownership of productive assets, which is the foundation of political power. A class of well-paid proletarians burdened with debt is not middle class --it is a class of debt-serfs who have been persuaded that debt-fueled consumption is wealth because this delusion is politically useful to the self-serving elites who own the wealth and thus the power.

Mark's conclusion is sobering: "With no genuine middle class exerting power we are left merely with competing groups of oligarchs, with both groups recruiting supporters in the plebeian "mob".   This most resembles Rome  when the Republic was breaking down.  I would therefore not rule out civil war, or even a political partition.   Proletarians have much less to lose in such an event than a real middle class."

Comment by SongStar101 on May 4, 2017 at 8:11am

The Elites Have Destroyed The Status Quo's Ability To Self-Correct


You may have seen these charts before, but they tell the story of a middle class in decline.
For any system to endure, it must maintain a built-in capacity to self-correct: that is, it must generate accurate informational feedback about dangerous asymmetries and auto-correct with behavioral feedback.
This is true of ecosystems and enterprises as well as political/social systems.
Human systems can lose the ability to self-correct in three basic ways.
1. The information feedback is no longer accurate because self-serving interests manipulate the data to maintain whatever narrative/data-flow supports their power, wealth and income.
2. Self-serving interests limit any behavioral feedback that threatens their power, wealth and income.
3. Those in positions of responsibility who are tasked with managing behavioral feedback are no longer accountable, so the needed behavioral feedback fails.
Self-serving interests committed to protecting their power, wealth and income have destroyed our economic-political system's ability to self-correct. There are many examples of these three dynamics; here are a few.
A law enforcement/judiciary system that has plenty of resources to pursue a costly, destructive, failed War on Drugs, but no resources to pursue white-collar financial crime. Have a low-level drug dealer in your sights? Hey, the DEA et al. have essentially unlimited resources to nail the perp: SWAT teams, surveillance, helicopters, you name it.
But when a bank embezzles/defrauds to the tune of $100 million, law enforcement and the judiciary throw up their hands: it's too complicated and costs too much. Really? So there's billions of dollars available to bust small-time drug dealers, but only pennies to pursue financial criminals stealing billions?
Financial rackets, fraud and embezzlement are now rewarded rather than punished. If a bank scams $100 million by rigging a market (for example), if the Feds even catch on the fine is a measely $10 million.
In effect, finance-based criminals are being told: go ahead and run your rackets--we'll impose a 10% fee on your skim.
Corporate-white-collar criminality is pervasive. Please read No Wrongdoing Here, Just 6,300 Corporate Fines and Settlements (May 2015):
I am honored to share a remarkable data base of Corporate Fines and Settlements from the early 1990s to the present compiled by Jon Morse. Here is Jon's description of his project to assemble a comprehensive list of all corporate fines and settlements that can be verified by media reports:
"This spreadsheet is all the corporate fines/settlements I’ve been able to find sourced articles about, mostly in the period from the 1990’s up to today (with a few 80’s and 70’s). This is by far the most comprehensive list of such things online. At least that I could find, because the lack of any decent list is what made me start compiling this list in the first place."
What struck me was the sheer number of corporate violations of laws and regulations--thousands upon thousands, the vast majority of which occurred since corporate profits began their incredible ascent in the early 2000s--and the list of those paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and settlements, which reads like a who's who of Corporate America and Top 100 Global Corporations.
I encourage you to open one of the three alphabetical tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet on Google Docs and scroll down to find your favorite super-profitable corporation.
Many have a long list of fines and settlements, and many of the fines are in excess of $100 million. Many are for blatant cartel price-fixing, not disclosing the dangers of the company's heavily promoted medications, destroying documents to thwart an investigation of wrong-doing, etc.
In other words, these were not wrist-slaps for minor oversights of complex regulations-- these are blatant violations of core laws of the land.
Correspondent Ron G. summarized a core reason why the status quo can no longer self-correct politically: the middle class has been so diminished, it has lost its essential function as a political counter-balance to the financial-political elites:
"The American economy and people are not being served by a government that was designed to be a Democratic Republic, whose architecture and balance of power depended on a property-owning middle class to be the countervailing force against Oligarchy; given the irreversible nature of the market and technology that contributed to the decline of the US middle class, (globalization, automation and AI), it is apparent that we will stay on this downward track of the middle class for the immediate future, and therefore more disparity, dispossession, and coercion will be needed to maintain control, and to me this means a future of intimidation, censorship and continued involuntary servitude."
You may have seen these charts before, but they tell the story of a middle class in decline: declining income, declining wealth and declining political influence as the elites (the few) rig elections (bye-bye Bernie), control the dominant narratives (official "fake news" isn't fake news, it's from the Ministry of Truth!) and siphon off the nation's wealth at the expense of the many.
Bread (SSI, welfare, Universal Basic Income, etc.), circuses (the corporate media, social media, etc.) and social "progressive" crumbs (gender-neutral bathrooms, etc.) are highly effective means to distract us from the core dynamic of our status quo: the transformation of our middle-class society to a neofeudal society of New Nobility, debt-serfs and a bread-and-circus-consuming lumpen-proletariat class.
Though this chart is from 2010, the recent data is even more lopsided in favor of the top tranche of wealth: data updated to 2013 (latest available):
Rather than address this rising inequality directly, the self-serving Elites have promoted propaganda and policies that protect their gains while obfuscating the reality that most American households have been losing ground for decades, a decline that has been masked by replacing real income with rising debt.
The rapid concentration of wealth has also concentrated political power in the hands of a few who seamlessly combine public and private modes of power.
This wealth and power protects the self-serving Elites from the perverse consequences of their dominance. Their precious offspring rarely serve at the point of the American military's spear, they never lose their jobs or income when corporations shift production (and R&D, etc.) overseas, and they are never replaced with illegal immigrants paid under the table.
The self-serving elites' accountability? Zero.
Systems that lose their ability to self-correct collapse. The self-serving elites and fiefdoms that have crippled the system's feedback mechanisms to protect their power, wealth and income think they're "winning" by imposing a new neofeudal order. But all they're really doing is insuring the demise of the entire system.
Comment by KM on April 29, 2017 at 3:26am


Protesters fight pitched battles with riot police as general strike by 35million Brazilians turns ugly

  • 35 million Brazilians stayed away from work across the country during the strike on Friday
  • Dramatic images show police firing tear gas at protesters who are ransacking their cities and starting fires
  • They are furious at proposed changes to labour laws and the pension system by President Michael Temer

Violent clashes between public and police marred a national strike in Brazil that saw 35 million citizens stay away from work. 

Millions stayed home on Friday, and thousands flooded the streets in anger against labour law and pension reforms, raising questions about whether President Michel Temer will be able to push his proposals through Congress.

Temer's administration argues that more flexible labor rules will revive a moribund economy and warns the pension system will go bankrupt without changes. 

Unions and other groups called for the strike, saying that the changes before Congress will make workers too vulnerable and strip away too many benefits.

Demonstrators and police clash during a strike in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, earlier today. Millions stayed home, but thousands flooded the streets in anger

Demonstrators and police clash during a strike in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, earlier today. Millions stayed home, but thousands flooded the streets in anger

A riot police officer fire tear gas toward demonstrators during the protest, which raises questions about whether President Michel Temer will be able to push his proposals through Congress

A riot police officer fire tear gas toward demonstrators during the protest, which raises questions about whether President Michel Temer will be able to push his proposals through Congress

Demonstrators set barricades on fire in Vale do Anhangabau in Sao Paulo. Unions and other groups called for the strike, saying that the changes before Congress will make workers too vulnerable and strip away too many benefits

Demonstrators set barricades on fire in Vale do Anhangabau in Sao Paulo. Unions and other groups called for the strike, saying that the changes before Congress will make workers too vulnerable and strip away too many benefits

Demonstrators stand near a burning barricade on BR-116 road

Demonstrators stand near a burning barricade on BR-116 road

A bus burns. Public transport largely came to a halt across much of Brazil on Friday

A bus burns. Public transport largely came to a halt across much of Brazil on Friday


Comment by KM on April 22, 2017 at 3:20pm


At Least 12 Die as Rioting Breaks Out in Venezuela

Employees worked on Friday to clean a supermarket that was one of the stores looted overnight in El Valle, a neighborhood in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times

At least a dozen people were killed as the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, erupted into a night of riots, looting and clashes between government opponents and the National Guard late Thursday and early Friday, with anger from two days of pro-democracy demonstrations spilling into unrest in working-class and poor neighborhoods.

The attorney general’s office in Venezuela said 11 people had died of electrocution and gunshot wounds “in acts of violence” in El Valle, a neighborhood of mixed loyalties, where armored vehicles struggled to contain crowds of looters. In Petare, a working-class section in eastern Caracas, a protester was shot dead at the entrance to the city’s largest barrio, said Carlos Ocariz, the district mayor.

Throughout the night, the sounds of banging pots and pans reverberated through the capital, a traditional form of protest known as the “cacerolazo,” which has taken on greater significance as the country struggles with shortages of food.

Liang-Ming Mora, 43, a resident of El Valle, described watching from the window of her high-rise apartment as her neighbors threw objects at National Guardsmen and residents of a nearby area descended onto the streets, burning tires and looting stores.

The crowd, she said, moved through the neighborhood, destroying a large supermarket, a liquor store and other businesses.

“They wanted to loot the bakery, too,” Ms. Mora said, but people shouted, “No, not the bakery, no!” — apparently sparing one of the few places that could still supply the neighborhood with bread.

The clashes are a challenge to Venezuela’s opposition politicians, who have been trying to channel resentment over President Nicolás Maduro’s growing power into a peaceful protest movement. Many thousands of people gathered on Wednesday and Thursday, flooding the capital and parts of other cities, to demand that elections be scheduled.

Bolívar notes on the floor of a looted supermarket in Caracas. CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times

The government has responded by trying to repress the protests with rubber bullets and tear gas. Making matters worse, bitterness against the government has been boiling over as the country struggles with severe shortages of food and medicine, forcing Venezuelans to wait in lines for hours for basics like cornmeal.

The anger was apparent into the early hours on Friday. In videos posted on social media, people screamed as gunshots were fired into dark streets and looters broke store windows. Protesters were captured on videos in cat-and-mouse games, throwing stones and other objects at soldiers. Fires burned in the streets.

At one point during the night, clashes became so heavy that a nearby children’s hospital was evacuated after a ward filled with tear gas. The government said security forces were responding to an attack on the hospital by opposition protesters.

Mary Carmen Laguna Andrade, 23, who lives in El Valle, said she had watched as looters prowled the streets into the early hours of the morning.

A supermarket in Caracas on Friday after it was looted. CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times

“They passed my house with food, liquor bottles, shopping carts, computers and even a motorcycle they’d stolen,” she said.

Some residents took to the streets to support the government.

A crowd gathered in Fuerte Tiuna, a military base that is also home to large public housing complexes built by the government, chanting in defense of the country’s so-called Socialist revolution. “Neighbors, listen, join the struggle!” chanted the crowd, which was not interrupted by the security forces.

While both the government and the opposition have held protests this year, unrest surged after a decision last month by the Supreme Court, which is controlled by the president’s supporters, to dissolve the Legislature.

The move was widely condemned, and Mr. Maduro eventually ordered the court to reverse much of the ruling. It was not enough, though, to persuade large portions of the country that the president was still committed to democratic rule.

Comment by Matt B on April 1, 2017 at 10:39pm

Park Geun-hye: South Korea's former president arrested over corruption allegations


  • Ms Park has been taken to a detention facility and faces over 10 years in prison
  • Her ousting leaves behind a political vacuum amid rising tensions with North Korea
  • The scandal has also landed the head of the Samsung Group in detention and on trial

31 March 2017

South Korea's disgraced former president Park Geun-hye — the country's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office — has been arrested over high-profile corruption allegations of bribery and abuse of power.

A convoy of vehicles, including a black sedan carrying Ms Park, entered a detention facility near Seoul after the Seoul Central District Court granted prosecutors' request to arrest her.

Many Park supporters waved national flags and shouted "president" as the car entered the facility.

Ms Park can be held in a cell for up to 20 days while she is investigated over allegations that she colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses to contribute to now-defunct foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

A judge at the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement that "the cause and the need for the warrant are recognised as the main charges against her have been verified and as evidence could be destroyed".

Ms Park gave about eight hours of testimony at the same court on Thursday and was held at the prosecutors' office next door while the judge studied the evidence and arguments to decide on whether to issue the arrest warrant.

On Thursday, Ms Park, 65, arrived expressionless at the court to plead her case that she should not be arrested or held while prosecutors investigate the scandal.

Ms Park argues that she does not pose a flight risk and will not try to tamper with evidence

She and Ms Choi have both denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Park's removal from office capped months of paralysis and turmoil over the corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in detention and on trial.

Her impeachment this month has left a political vacuum, with only an interim president pending a May 9 election, at a time of rising tensions with North Korea over its weapons program and with China, which is angry over South Korea's decision to host a US anti-missile system.

Prosecutors said on Monday that Ms Park was accused of soliciting companies for money and infringing upon the freedom of corporate management by using her power as the president.

She was was questioned for 14 hours by prosecutors last week.

She could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes from bosses of big conglomerates, including Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee, in return for favours.

Ms Park may be given a bigger cell than other inmates in a Seoul detention facility, but she would be subject to the same rules on everything from meals to room inspections, former prosecution and correctional officials have said.

She was removed from office when a constitutional court upheld her impeachment by parliament.

The ruling sparked protests by hundreds of her supporters, two of whom were killed in clashes with police outside the court, and a celebratory rally by those who had demanded she be removed from office.

Comment by Matt B on April 1, 2017 at 10:28pm

South Korea president Park Geun-hye impeached, could face criminal proceedings


  • Park Geun-hye faces possible criminal proceedings, first South Korean president forced from office
  • Fears that Ms Park's impeachment could spark violence between supporters and opponents
  • Weeks of rallies involving millions of protesters created huge pressure on Ms Park

10 Mar 2017

In an historic ruling, South Korea's Constitutional Court has formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil, worsened an already-serious national divide and led to calls for sweeping reforms.

It was a stunning fall for Ms Park, the daughter of a dictator who rode a lingering conservative nostalgia for her father to a big win in 2012, only to see her presidency descend into scandal.

The unanimous ruling opens her up to possible criminal proceedings, and makes her South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be removed early from office since democracy in the country in the late 1980s.

The court's acting chief judge, Lee Jung-mi, said Ms Park had violated the constitution and law "throughout her term", and despite the objections of parliament and the press, she had concealed the truth and cracked down on critics.

"The removal of the claimee from office is overwhelmingly to the benefit of the protection of the constitution ... We remove President Park Geun-hye from office," Ms Lee told the hearing.

Ms Park denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Park's parliamentary impeachment in December came after weeks of Saturday rallies that drew millions who wanted her resignation.

Overwhelmed by the biggest rallies in decades, the voices of Ms Park supporters were largely ignored. But they recently regrouped and have staged fierce pro-Park rallies since.

People on both sides have threatened not to accept a Constitutional Court decision that they disagree with.

One of Ms Park's lawyers told the court last month that there will be "a rebellion and blood will drench the asphalt" if Ms Park is booted from office.

Many participants at anti-Park rallies had said they would stage a "revolution" if the court rejected her impeachment.

"If Park accepts the ruling and soothes those who opposed her impeachment, things will be quiet," said Yoon Tae-Ryong, a political scientist at Seoul's Konkuk University.

"But looking at what she's done so far, I think that might be wishful thinking."

Prosecutors named Ms Park, who now loses her presidential immunity from prosecution, as an accomplice in two court cases linked to the scandal, suggesting she is likely to be investigated and could face legal proceedings.

Ms Park, 65, was been accused of colluding with her friend, Choi and a former presidential aide, both of whom have been on trial, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

The court said Ms Park had "completely hidden the fact of [Choi's] interference with state affairs".

Ms Park was also accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours, including backing a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that was seen as supporting the succession of control over the country's largest "chaebol" — or family owned — conglomerate.

Samsung Group leader Jay Y Lee has been accused of bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal and is in detention — his trial began on Thursday.

Comment by SongStar101 on February 8, 2017 at 8:28pm

Romania protests continue over plans to revive corruption bill


(CNN)Demonstrations are expected to continue in Romania today despite a temporary government retreat over a bill that would have protected many politicians from being prosecuted for corruption.

On Sunday -- when an estimated half a million protesters took to the streets -- a government statement was issued repealing the decree, which had been approved Tuesday without input from the country's parliament.
This did little to stem anger as Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu still appears determined to push through the amendments to the criminal codes. He has asked the country's justice minister, Florin Iordache, to prepare a draft law which is similar to the controversial decree. The proposed legislation will be sent to parliament for approval following public consultation.
In a statement reported by the Romanian national news agency, Agerpres, Monday, Iordache said: "We will develop and post a regulatory act. Before we move further, all experts and whoever wants to, will have the opportunity to express a point of view."

'Government should resign'

Businessman Cosmin Alexandru, 47, has participated in the protests over the past six days, which have been the largest demonstrations Romania has seen for decades.
He told CNN Monday: "The ordinance has been withdrawn but has now been introduced almost unchanged into the parliamentary process. They did not withdraw it because they considered it wrong but because of the pressure."
"The only reasonable outcome for me is the government resigning and either put a better government in place or call an election," he added.
He expects, however, that the draft law will eventually be passed.
The original decree, which would have taken effect in about a week, decriminalized corruption that causes damage worth less than about 200,000 Romanian lei, or $48,000.
This could have benefited politicians such as Liviu Dragnea, president of the Social Democrat Party, which recently took power. Dragnea is under investigation over abuse of power allegations and had also previously received a two-year suspended sentence for an elections offense.
The new draft law, while similar to the controversial decree, does eliminate the section that decriminalized damage worth less than 200,000 lei.
Photos: Romanians protest new corruption law

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