Barack Obama US Attorney General Is A Bajan

The first black man elected U.S. president is poised to name Washington lawyer Eric Holder as the nation’s first black attorney general — a historic appointment but one with some potential political problems over a 2001 pardon.

A source close to the selection process said Wednesday that President-elect Barack Obama has “informally”‘ offered the post to Holder, who has accepted. The person   

spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made and because the process of vetting the nomination is still going on. Holder’s nomination is expected to be formally announced as soon as this week.

He has made no public comment on the nomination, though an Obama official and two Democrats in touch with Obama’s transition team on Tuesday confirmed that Holder is the top choice for attorney general.

Source: Miami Herald

Biography

Eric Holder [a former D.C. Superior Court judge, U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General. Current senior legal advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, a position he held also in Obama's campaign. One of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee]   as born in 1951 in the The Bronx, borough of New York City, to parents with roots in Barbados; Holder’s father, Eric Himpton Holder, Sr. (1905 – 1970) was born in St. Joseph, arrived in the United States at the age of eleven aboard the S.S. Stephen on February 24, 1916, and eventually served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. His mother, Miriam was born in New Jersey of Barbadian parents.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Israeli Navy Abducts 14 Palestinian Fishermen

Fourteen Palestinian fishermen and 3 international Human Rights Observers (HRO’s) were surrounded by the Israeli Navy and taken from their boats 7 miles off the coast of Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip.

The fishermen and the HRO’s were transferred from 3 separate boats to the Israeli warships. Other Palestinian fishermen reported that the 3 boats were seen being taken north by the Israeli Navy.

The Human Rights Observers are Andrew Muncie, a Scottish British citizen, Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian citizen, and Darlene Wallach, an American citizen. They have been volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) since they entered Gaza on ships with the first Free Gaza Movement voyage on the 23rd August 2008. All internationals have previous experience working with the ISM in the West Bank.

Fellow activists have been unable to establish contact with the HRO’s or with the fishermen since they were abducted.

Since their arrival, the ISM volunteers have been regularly accompanying Palestinian fishermen who are regularly attacked by Israeli navy vessels from as little as 3km from shore. They have regularly filmed Israeli forces using live ammunition, shells and water cannons against unarmed fishermen.

Source: International News Reports

Britain Biggest Raid In Human Sex Trafficking Exposed

Police raids on several hundred buildings in the United Kingdom have recovered dozens of sex trafficking victims, mostly from East and South-East Asia, and led to legal charges against dozens of suspects, according to a United Nations report released today [18/11/08].

The largest ever police operation to target sex trafficking in the UK recovered some 167 women and girls forced to work in the sex industry, including 13 children – the youngest just 15 years old.

The UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) reported that 528 suspects were arrested during the investigation, code-named Operation Pentameter 2 (UKP2), after UK police raided 157 massage parlours and saunas, and 582 residential premises across the country.

Within a month after the arrests were made, more than 80 individuals were charged for a variety of offences and a number of others remain on bail while investigations continue, said the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) report.

The UNIAP report also noted that the bulk of criminal activity of trafficking for sexual exploitation into the UK originates in South-East Asia, where victims are controlled by debt bondage. Most of the other victims came from Eastern Europe and were coerced into the sex industry through violence.

The operation attacked suspects’ finances and assets as a strategy to cause maximum disruption to their criminal activities. Through UKP2 investigations over £500,000 (about $750,000) in cash has been seized and more than £3 million in further assets was initially restrained pending further investigation, but this figure may increase.

UNIAP was established to facilitate a stronger and more [ coordinated response to human trafficking, in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), comprising Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Source: UN news

Bolivian President Says He Won’t Let DEA Come Back

Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed hope Monday for improved relations with the United States under Barack Obama’s presidency but said he will never allow the US anti-drug agency to resume operating in his country.

The socialist leader, a close ally of Venezuelan Presiden Hugo Chavez, accused the Drug Enforcement Administration of “polotical aggression” in Bolivia, which is a major sourc of coca plants, the rwa ingredients for cocaine. Morales said his government would set up a new intelligence operation involving the military and police to fight drug trafficking in place of the DEA whose Bolivian operations he suspended November 1.

Morales, the former leader of a coca growers union, also said Bolivia will seek to remove coca leaf from the UN list of prohibited drugs. While coca can be

turned into cocaine, Boliians use the small green leaf in its less-potent natural form as a traditonal tea or for chewing. Bolivia-US relations have deteriorated in recent months as Morales’ government halted DEA activites and expelled US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, accusing him of spying and involvement in anti-government protests in the eastern lowlands.

 The US govrnment has denied helping Morales’ opponents and warns that ending the DEA operations will esult in even more cocaine being produced in Bilivia and shipped to the other countries. the State Department did not have any comment on Morales’ latest statement.

Repeating his allegations, Morales announced the ban on DEA operations when asked at a news conference whether he would agree to a return of the DEA after Obama takes office.

“The DEA will not return while I am still president,” Morales said. “The DEA … had an intelligence structure but it wasn’t so much to fight drugs, it has more to do with the political aggression against my government.  …. In recent times, we’ve seen officials of the DEA involved in political conspiracy.”

Noting that he was the first native Indian president of Bolivia and that Obama is the first black president of the United States, Morales said, “I feel tha the world has started to change.”

“My desire is to improve diplpmatic relations, trade relations, co-operation” with the United Statea, he said.

Morales held the news conference after speaking during a General Assembly debate on UN reforms and acheiving UN anti-proverty goals. He was the only head of state to address the session. All others speakers were ambassadors or lower-ranking diplomats.

Source: Barbados Advocate

Conservatives Banking Practices Saved Region

Due to the conservative practices of the regional banking fraternity, it is able to hold its head above water in these times of finanacial crisis.

Making this assertion, Group General Counsel for Republic Bank Limited Jacqueline Quamina said that the financial crisis overseas showed the wisdom of the region’s conservative.

“Our wariness and caution about the exotic have protected a lot of us from the exposure to securities such as credit swaps and derivatives and other fancy instrumens. I firmly believe that if you can’t explain it to me properly and I can’t write it, we cannot do it,” she said.

Speaking at the opening for the 35th Caribbean Association of Indigenous Banks, on Monday evening at the Hilton Hotel, she noted that while the financial crisis continues to sweep the world, the common trend is that Caribbean indigenous banks are holding their own throughout this period of change.

“While the aftershocks continue and the final tally remains in question, …. our financial institutions generally breathe a sigh of relief,” Quamina noted.

Pointing out that the evidence of the maelstrom would be found in declines of tourism and trade, due to the regions strong linkage with the United states, she nevertheless stated, “I think I can say with confidence that we are holding our collective heads above water.”

Addressing her banking counterparts, Quamina said, “Surival has been our only goal, our membership sets us to do more. We must be relevant, successful creative and innovative all at the same time.”

Source: Barbados Advocate

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