Global democracy at risk, warns watchdog | World news | The Guardian

Global democracy is at greater risk than at any time in the past 25 years, according to a landmark report by the independent watchdog Freedom House.

In the annual report, Discarding Democracy: Return to the Iron Fist, the Washington-based group said 61 countries were going backwards as far as democracy was concerned, compared with only 33 moving forwards. Moreover, some of the transgressors, including Russia, Egypt, Thailand, Nigeria and Turkey, are global or regional powers setting a bad example to others, it said.

Its findings come despite the fact that 2014 was a record year for democracy, with more people casting votes in national ballots than ever before. But holding elections does not always translate into healthy democracy. As the authoritarian Hungarian leader, Viktor Orban, put it: “A democracy does not necessarily have to be liberal.”

via Global democracy at risk, warns watchdog | World news | The Guardian.

Panicked super rich buying boltholes with private airstrips to escape if poor rise up – Mirror Online

Super rich hedge fund managers are buying ‘secret boltholes’ where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed.

Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up.

With growing inequality and riots such as those in London in 2011 and in Ferguson and other parts of the USA last year, many financial leaders fear they could become targets for public fury.

Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.

via Panicked super rich buying boltholes with private airstrips to escape if poor rise up – Mirror Online.

As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian

With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.

via As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian.

How a billionaire gets away with it: FULL TEXT Jeffrey Epstein’s federal sex abuse non-prosecution agreement; #OpDeathEaters gets traction | HongPong.com

Here’s another new piece of hard evidence showing how billionaire sex abusers get their own special treatment in America. One of the most dire problems facing the United States is the double-standard justice system.

If you’re a greasy billionaire like Jeffrey Epstein, federal prosecutors (who ultimately report to your chums) will eventually bend over backwards to let you get away with running an international sex abuse ring, and even protect your co-conspirators from prosecution.

via How a billionaire gets away with it: FULL TEXT Jeffrey Epstein’s federal sex abuse non-prosecution agreement; #OpDeathEaters gets traction | HongPong.com.

Prince Andrew allegations: Virginia Roberts’ diary reveals bombshell claims of her ‘tryst’ with Duke of York – Mirror Online

In her journal she chronicled her alleged time with the fifth in line to throne when she was flown to London by her ‘master’, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

via Prince Andrew allegations: Virginia Roberts' diary reveals bombshell claims of her 'tryst' with Duke of York – Mirror Online.

How the Wall Street weasels won: Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman and the 1 percent’s desperate battle to save themselves – Salon.com

Like the Roosevelt administration before it, the Obama administration’s response to the crisis entailed much more than just the use of fiscal and monetary tools. It included an impressive array of initiatives targeted at specific sectors, from housing and motor vehicles to financial services. Few if any of these, however, began to approach, in ambition or achievement, the initiatives launched under the New Deal.In particular, the Obama administration’s attempts to provide distressed homeowners with mortgage relief were a pale imitation of what was achieved by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation of the 1930s. Changes in the nature of housing finance in the intervening period made it more difficult to restructure mortgages without imposing large losses on either the banks or taxpayers, something that was both a political and an economic nonstarter. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 did not begin to rise to the ambition of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. By more successfully deploying their monetary and fiscal tools, policy makers this time prevented the worst. And by preventing the worst, they allowed the vested interests that benefited from the prevailing financial system to regroup. They relieved the pressure for root-and-branch reform.

via How the Wall Street weasels won: Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman and the 1 percent’s desperate battle to save themselves – Salon.com.

Prince Andrew may have been secretly filmed with underage girl he is alleged to have abused – Mirror Online

Prince Andrew’s tycoon pal may have taken compromising photos of him with the underage girl he is alleged to have abused.Details buried in original court papers filed against pervert Jeffrey Epstein, 61, reveal that he recorded the sordid orgies he threw for VIPs at his luxury homes using cameras hidden in the walls of guest bedrooms.The woman known as Jane Doe 3 – said to be 30-year-old Virginia Roberts – claims she was held as a sex slave and forced to sleep with the Duke of York in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.She says she was 17 at the time – under the age of consent in Florida.One of the sexual encounters with the Prince, 54, is alleged to have taken place at an orgy ­involving other underage girls on Epstein’s private island.The financier, who was jailed for 18 months in 2008 after pleading guilty to solicitation for prostitution, kept a sickening stash of images on a computer seized at his Palm Beach mansion in 2006.

via Prince Andrew may have been secretly filmed with underage girl he is alleged to have abused – Mirror Online.