November 23, 2012 By 315 Comments
“If you buy a TV licence then you might be funding cover-ups for high-profile paedophiles like Jimmy Savile, it’s as simple as that. Don’t let them bully you into handing over your hard earned cash to fund their their non-stop party. There is absolutely nothing to fear from the goons who work for the BBC’s protection racket - Capita/TVL and they can’t obtain a warrant to enter your home unless they have good evidence that you’re actually breaking the law…” read more ….
November 23, 2012 By 260 Comments
21st Century Wire Says: The General Petraeus Affair could come back to bite Obama badly. The White House knew about it, covered it up, all in order to secure an election victory. That’s a shrewd risk on the part of the White House. Power it seems, trumps the general welfare for some.
General Petraeus and “the spy who loved him”By Jon Rappoport It’s absurd to think the FBI just found out about CIA Director Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. The timing is too convenient. The FBI knew about the affair some time ago and, under strict orders, kept their mouths shut until just after Election Day. If they hadn’t, the scandal would have blown up during Obama’s campaign run. During the period the FBI knew about Petraeus’ affair, they also knew he was completely vulnerable to blackmail. In FBI and CIA circles, to have done nothing about it is considered treasonous. Putting a gag on these FBI people had to been done by the White House. The latest word is that Petraeus will not testify before Congress about what really happened in Benghazi. He “may be called” on the carpet at a future time, which could mean never. His absence will help conceal details of the Chris Stevens murder and the build-up of US-sponsored terrorists in the Benghazi sector of Libya. In fact, Petraeus’ initial statements to Congress, behind closed doors on September 14, led legislators to believe that absurd film trailer was the cause of the “uprising” at the house where Stevens was attacked and killed. Was the General’s ridiculous declaration made under orders from the White House, who had the blackmail goods on him? Then, finally, on October 26th, Petraeus, perhaps fed up at how he was being used by the White House to provide cover for the president, stated: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need [in Bengazi]. Claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.” In this whole scenario, we would be looking at a potential case of double blackmail. First by the White House, who knew of the affair sometime ago, and second, by whoever might have wrung CIA and military secrets out of Petraeus because they knew about his affair with Broadwell. What does that make Paula Broadwell. In intelligence parlance, she would be a classic “honey trap.” By circumstance, by accident, or on purpose? Read more at No More Fake News RELATED: AMERICAN BEAUTY – BACKGROUND ON PAULA BROADWELL AND MRS KELLEY ….
McLibel 2.0 – Why Did ITV Hand Over 125K for ‘Schofield’s List’ and Can You Sue 10,000 Twitter Users?
November 23, 2012 By 16 Comments
By Peter Sterry 21st Century Wire Senior Editor Extraordinary – another out of court settlement – this time by ITV over the notorious ‘Schofield’s List’. Is this getting out of hand? Notice the pattern emerging. All deep pockets, all settling out of court. It stands to reason though, if you’re going to sue, because lawyers need to be paid and paid a lot – so it makes perfect sense from the plaintiff’s point of view to go for the fattest targets. All very sensible, wouldn’t you say? What’s becoming very clear, very quickly here, is that this is no ordinary libel case and the media atmosphere surrounding the case is a labyrinth of smoke and mirrors, set on the background of a highly charged political and social debate involving this nation’s most prestigious and long-standing institutions. Yesterday afternoon on the UK Column Live daily show, 21st Century Wire colleague, Patrick Henningsen, effectively re-coined the term “McLibel” as a transplant on to Lord McAlpine’s current ‘litigatorial charge of the light brigade’. But the ‘Mc’ similarity in the name is not all that draws comparison here, as we’ll explain. Although McLibel 2.0 has been reported throughout the media, very few, if any, media moguls are challenging the technical basis of it. None seem to be able to state categorically who, and exactly how, and on which technical basis the BBC and ITV have libeled this seemingly powerful establishment figure. Act One: ‘The Case of the Missing Leak’ Nothing about this case makes much sense. We all watched the Newsnight broadcast that Friday night, with many viewers expecting that a ‘top Tory’ name would be revealed in relation to their investigation into the North Wales child rape and abuse scandal. The BBC’s lead investigator Iain Overton from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism(BIJ), and Channel 4′s Michael Crick – both tweeted earlier that day something to effect, ‘If all goes well…’ blah, blah etc, ‘a name will be revealed on the programme tonight..’. Wonderful. Only it wasn’t revealed on the programme. The BBC did not broadcast any name, and in the end Lord McAlpine’s name was never mentioned on Newsnight. The current party line is that the whole fiasco began with a cock-up by the police – Lord McAlpine was not the “McAlpine” apparently identified by the police to Steven Messham, we are told that it was probably Alastair McAlpine’s cousin the late ‘Jimmie’ McAlpine, who died in 1991. Another case of ‘mistaken identity’, as it were. So why not sue the police? Hmmm. The BBC Scotland have been asked to conduct another ‘internal investigation’ (the BBC are very adept at investigating themselves when there is any alleged wrong doing) into what actually took place, and naturally their chief snoop into this affair, a rather affable chap named Ken McQuarrie, seemed to come up with everything except the one thing the license paying public was actually interested in – who leaked McAlpine’s name? So let’s say it wasn’t the BBC, then was it the BIJ? If not, was it Michael Crick? If not, was it the police? Can anyone actually tell us plebs who done it?!? Apparently not – and that ladies and gentlemen, is the foremost, biggest problem with the BBC rushing to pay the McLibel 2.0. Conclusion: The BBC’s Newsnight programme in question was slapped together in just 5 days, in what has turned out to be a very elaborate smokescreen designed to externalise the issue of child abuse in high places and provide much-needed PR cover for their institutional cover-up of rancid asset Sir Jimmy Savile, and finally to distract the public from its willful failure to investigate itself properly – not that it should be ‘investigating itself’ anyway, it’s a public broadcaster. It appears here that the maligned actor in this drama, Lord McAlpine, was merely a tool used by establishment in order to save the BBC from hemorrhaging public confidence and to shield it from other emerging scandals of a similar nature. Look at the results – it worked. The BBC did the usual ritual of paying off an outgoing DG, and hired a new safe pair of hands. No one is talking about Savile, and no one is wanting to look for skeletons in the BBC’s basement. Job done. There is one aspect of this clever plan which will come back to bite the establishment, however. They used a child abuse victim, Steve Messham, in order to pacify their institutional desires. The public will never forgive them for that. Remember McLibel 1.0, when McDonalds dragged that poor English couple through the courts for 20 years? We’ll get back to that in a minute… Act Two: Scholfield’s List This is more or less, a repeat of Act One, where the nation’s second largest British broadcaster, ITV, has agreed to pay Lord McAlpine £125,000 in damages, plus legal costs, in another out of court settlement over This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield’s alleged onscreen stunt confronting David Cameron, a stunt we are told, had linked several Conservative politicians with allegations of child sex abuse. The only problem here is that this writer, nor anyone else I know, saw any name on ‘Schofield’s List’. Who was actually linked to child abuse? It is alleged that some could see – by freeze framing the show’s recording, names on the list handed to PM David Cameron. I still don’t know who the names were. Does anyone? I did a ‘Schofield 5 minute’ super search on the internet for those names – and I cannot find them! So how did ITV libel McAlpine then? Are we getting ridiculous? On another legal caveat, it’s also worth pointing out that if a member of the public passes information to an elected representative listing people who may possibly be involved in serious crime – then that official, in this case David Cameron, is responsibly to then pass on this information to the police. Did this happen? I believe it did not. What are the implications of that? Still there is not a court in the land that has ruled yet on whether or not Lord McAlpine was libeled by both the BBC and ITV. In the end, it really does not matter whether he was, or wasn’t, because that’s how things work in the injury lawyer. Indeed, decisions were made behind closed doors in both broadcasting institutions to pay out – most likely in order to avoid a drawn out court battle that might sully the broadcasters’ media reputation somewhat, but would it really? After all these things happen in our society every day. Conclusion: In case of ‘Schofield’s List’, again like the BBC, the public was not aware of Lord McAlpine’s name being mentioned on ITV’s This Morning program. On both counts, the public was only made aware of the name after someone within those media houses, the government, or the police – had leaked them. If a libel case is to be decided on its proper legal merits, then the police and the courts need to begin with finding out those individuals who actually leaked them. This makes the threat to sue 10,000 Twitter users who McAlpine’s law firm RMPI believe had ‘linked’ their client’s name to the scandal, something built on a house of cards. Find out who is responsible for the leaks first. That would be the proper way to go about this. Chasing ghosts on Twitter does nothing to find out how his name was leaked in the first place – which started that chain of events, propagating information online. There we can achieve an accurate trail of accountability. ‘Trial By Twitter’, or echoes on Twitter? Lord McAlpine and his legal attack team were seen to some out swinging last week, with cries of ‘Trial by Twitter‘. But before we dissect what did or didn’t happen on Twitter, it’s important to understand the nature of this particular social networking tool. It’s amazing how few people in the media and government actually do. When it comes to news, Twitter is a long way away from a newspaper or magazine of record - it’s a hyper active forum – a 21st century digital echo chamber. In IT terms, it’s a crowd-sourced, information and headline aggregator. For members of the public who aren’t aux fait with the social networking tool, Twitter also allows users to use ‘hash tags’ or #tags in order to group conversations which are taking place within the Twitter information cloud community. Phrases on Twitter are the lowest common denominator there is when it comes to information. Twitter functions as the online equivalent of a social info-feed, complete with zero depth, zero analysis and as is the case so often – zero credibility when it comes to any reports. Even a headline from CNN on Twitter must be clicked through to a substantial article if one is to believe the headline. It’s highly limited. After the alleged Newsnight leak took place, and Lord McAlpine’s name was entered into the tertiary conversation surrounding the show, his name began to trend massively on Twitter. This is how Twitter works. Twitter is only limited to 160 characters, and doesn’t really quite qualify as a news publisher - more like a rumour mill. The other peculiar aspect about Twitter which separates from the others is how it works on highly a linear timeline, where users are almost exclusively attentive to Tweets which are less than 24 hrs old, and many users with large ‘follow’ lists only see what is less than 1 hr old. After this, it’s almost ancient history for Twitter users, because users are only reading and responding to happening, what is breaking, or is trending – in short, what is happening now. Old news, and opinion is constantly being overwritten by the cloud community of over 500 million active users, which ironically, gives very little weight in terms of public impact as to what ideas actually churn on that platform. Sadly, it pales in comparison to a major website, newspaper, a well distributed book, or a large TV broadcaster. For any serious opinion forming information on issues, news or op-ed, all Twitter users are forced to migrate over to larger news websites who can display more than 160 characters at a time in order to test the public perception of any said news report or rumour – sites like the Independent, The Times, or even The Drudge Report. A Tweet by a high enough profile person with many followers, like a celebrity for instance, would be picked up by many readers within a short space of time, so if a celebrity slanders another celebrity, it would move up the media tree very quickly and into the Corporate Mainstream Media sphere – here a public impact could be measured because it was large enough. Should other Twitter users actually commenting on what is actually happening in real-time be considered libel then? For banal subjects such as pop gossip, it’s taken very seriously by adolescents and teenagers who are following the movements of pop artists, Paris Hilton, and who want to know where Kim Kardashian is shopping that afternoon, or what Ronaldo did after Wednesday evening’s match. Can a personal be slandered or libeled on Twitter? Absolutely. But what constitutes a libel with the narrow margins of Twitterland versus, let’s say, the front page of the Sun newspaper – are two very different things indeed. Firstly, there is the issue of intent. If a publication runs an article saying that Mr X is perpetrating a serious crime – like paedophilia or child abuse, going on to describe the allegations in detail, along with claims of evidence, then Mr X has the right to challenge the both the author of the article, and the publication on the veracity of the allegations in question. In this instance, the intent of publication was clear – to expose the crimes of Mr X. But if the publication does not have the evidence to support such allegations, then Mr X’s libel claim is likely to succeed, and the newspaper’s subsequent claims would then be deemed malicious and defamatory by the courts of justice. The issue of intent is much murkier with regard to mentioning someone’s name on Twitter – especially if Mr X’s guilt or innocence in relation to the media expose was inconclusive at the time. Twitter users were simply commenting in real-time on what they were seeing, without any premeditated malicious intent. Other recent reports regarding ‘Twitter libel’ cases can be found here, here and here. Conclusion: How information is presented and distributed on Twitter – and how society defines this, is a conversation which certainly goes hand in hand with McLibel 2.0. To equate Tweeting and ReTweeting with libeling McAlpine, not only over-rates the significance of Twitter in terms of public opinion forming, but sets a rather dangerous and slippery precedent, where we have a law firm issuing a blanket threat over the public, while the basis of the entire chain of events involving Lord McAlpine – has been hidden from public view via a series of out-of-court agreements, namely, the BBC and ITV thus far. Again, we come back to the fundamental question in all of this - who leaked the name? Remember ‘McLibel’ 1.0? Ahhh, those were the good old days – pre-internet, when the strong preyed upon the weak and under-resourced. It was known as the “McLibel case”, where a lawsuit was filed in English courts by the humble McDonald’s Corp against environmental activists Helen Steel and David Morris (“The McLibel Two”) over a pamphlet critical of the company’s environmentally destructive footprints overseas. The original case lasted ten years, plus another 10 for ECHR Appeal – making it the longest-running case in English history, subsequently made famous in McLibel, by filmmaker Franny Armstrong. Although the goliath character in this case, McDonald’s, won two hearings of the case in English courts, the drawn-out public nature of the litigation embarrassed the company. In short, it backfired in the long run. For McDonalds execs, seemed like a good idea at the time. After Goliath’s lawyers had collected all their fees and were hence finished destroying David’s life, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) then ruled in Steel & Morris v United Kingdom - that the pair had been denied a fair trial, in breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and that their conduct should have been protected by Article 10 of the Convention. The court awarded a judgment of £57,000 – against the UK government. In the end, McDonald’s itself was not involved in, or a party to, this verdict. Conclusion: After the state’s own corrupt justice system was finished protecting the rich and powerful McDonalds, and abusing the poor free speech activist, the state ended up paying the victim in the end. The left wing of the establishment used Leveson in order the hijack free press and speech. Now we have the right wing of the establishment using the Savile and Newsnight incident to curtail free speech and to cover-up the disgusting problem on organised institutional paedophilia, not only in the BBC, but in government, and especially within in the child care industry itself. Shame on our leadership for allowing this issue to be reversed back into the shadows through their clever spin and cover. Wikileaks is being shut down for publishing public interest information, and it’s founder put under permanent house arrest, and now Twitter is in danger of being nothing more than a shopping guide for commercial news, shoes, and handbags – because users are being intimidated for doing nothing more than commenting. What’s next, ‘Trial by #HashTag’? The establishment don’t like, and never have liked, the horrid internet, because of what it represents – an affordable, endless community of open source networks and information. A vulgar concept for those who have successfully monopolised and controlled media for hundreds of years. A local carpenter named Paul, whom I often share the odd pint with at me local in Crouch End, said to me yesterday, “I think that Lord McAlpine is over cooking the pie, and that’s not on, son.” That is the crux of the matter, as we see it.
November 23, 2012 By Leave a Comment
NEWS ARCHIVE: ‘Expressing the flesh in chic circles’Kate McClymont Sydney Morning Herald May 17, 2003 The ownership of a substantial collection of erotic photos from the world of high fashion has caused a minor stir in art circles. To be auctioned in London next Friday, the owner of the assembled works – A (Very) Private Collection: Fashion and Eroticism Photographs 1970-1990 – is keen to remain anonymous. A report in London’s Sunday Times noted the collection was initially thought to be that of an ageing roue, with an eye for the ladies, who was now desperate for the 100,000 or so pounds the collection is expected to bring. The paper then received a tip the seller was the prodigious collector and former Tory treasurer, Lord Alistair McAlpine, who is hardly short of a quid. But while the peer did assemble the collection, seven years ago he kindly donated 700 photographs by the likes of Bob Carlos Clarke, David Bailey, Terence Donovan, designer Karl Lagerfeld and others to the Art Gallery of NSW. It now appears the anonymous collector who is quietly flogging the snaps is indeed our very own art gallery. The marketing manager for Bloomsbury Book Auctions, which is handling the sale, would not reveal to Sauce the identity of the seller, except to confirm it was an institution rather than an individual. Despite the art gallery’s director, Edmund Capon, being a friend of Lord McAlpine, the peer knew nothing of the sale until contacted by the Sunday Times. When Sauce contacted McAlpine, who is busy with the upcoming opening of his B & B, formerly a 14th century convent in southern Italy, his lordship was more miffed by the sleazy title. “I’m not put out, because if they [the art gallery] want to sell something I gave them, that’s their business. The fact is, I just think it was very silly to sell these things. “While they might not seem of great importance to a curator or photographer sitting in Sydney, which isn’t the epicentre of the new world, they are considered to be an important collection.” Edmund Capon did not return our calls although the gallery did send the Sunday Times an email saying: “Apologies, the gallery is unable to make a comment.” The works are described by a Sunday Times critic as influential, daring and highly formalised and that the clothes depicted “signal glamour and the high-life, not sleaze”. “The pictures in this collection were shot as high art, but their effect has been to spread this kind of eroticism throughout the culture,” the article said. “This collection is extraordinary because it captures the moment just before we chose to make eroticism banal, an environmental itch rather than a secret delight.” Back at the B & B, Il Convento di Costantinople, near the town of Marittima in Puglia, prospective visitors will be pleased to know that while it has no erotic photos, it is crammed with other works from the host’s vast art collection, including a substantial number of Aboriginal artworks… Read more at Sydney Morning Herald Read more about Graham Ovendon’s paedohilic ‘art’ at The Tap Blog
November 23, 2012 By 330 Comments
By Clifford Coonan When completed by the end of next March, Sky City in Changsha will be the tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at 2,749ft (838m) high, over 220 floors. And remarkably, they’ve not started building it yet.
It took Dubai more than five years to build the world’s tallest building, the 828m Burj Khalifa, but architects and engineers at Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a unit of the air conditioning maker Broad Group, are confident they can beat that record. Critics have pointed out that BSB’s construction company has never built anything taller than 30 storeys before, but the builders seem unworried. BSB senior vice-president Juliet Jiang told Construction Week Online that the company’s plan to construct the skyscraper “will go on as planned with the completion of five storeys a day.” Designed by engineers who worked on the Burj Khalifa, Sky City will achieve the target by assembling BSB’s 95 per cent prefabricated modular technology at a breakneck construction pace. Nine of the world’s newest tallest 20 buildings are being built in China. Adrian Smith, the Chicago-based designer of the Burj Khalifa who is working on the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, said at a meeting of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in Shanghai last month that rapid urbanisation in China would fuel major expansion in tall buildings. “There are 179,000 people moving into urban areas every week. Do they go into a horizontal or a vertical city? It’s a question of economics,” said Mr Smith. BSB, currently responsible for 20 modular structures in China, demonstrated the construction method to a wider audience in January, when it constructed a 30-storey hotel in 15 days. Read more at The Independent
November 23, 2012 By Leave a Comment
An anti-piracy company has found itself in the middle of a huge controversy. CIAPC, the company that had The Pirate Bay blocked by ISPs in Finland, tracked an alleged file-sharer and demanded a cash settlement. However, the Internet account holder refused to pay which escalated things to an unprecedented level. In response, this week police raided the home of the 9-year-old suspect and confiscated her Winnie the Pooh laptop. Very soon in the United States, letters will be sent out to Internet account holders informing them that they should stop sharing copyrighted material on BitTorrent. The message in the US from mainstream rightsholders is designed to be educational, but more aggressive companies carry out the same process but with a sting in the tail – a request for cash-settlement to make potential lawsuits go away. One such request for cash landed on the doorstep of an Internet account holder in Finland during the spring. Known locally as TTVK, Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC sent the man a letter informing him that his account had been traced back to an incidence of online file-sharing. To stop matters progressing further the man was advised to pay a settlement of 600 euros, sign a non-disclosure document, and move on with his life. He chose not to give in to the demands of CIAPC and this week things escalated as promised. Tuesday morning the doorbell of the family home rang around 8am and the man, who works in the hospitality sector, had quite a shock. Police were at his door with a search warrant authorizing the hunt for evidence connected to illicit file-sharing. Surprisingly, the man isn’t a previously unknown Kim Dotcom-related “co-conspirator”, nor does he run a warez site or BitTorrent tracker. He is, however, guilty of having a 9-year-old daughter with a taste for pop music. Having failed in her quest to put enough money in her piggy bank to buy the latest album from local multi-platinum-selling songstress Chisu, in 2011 she turned to the Internet, first via Google and then The Pirate Bay. The girl’s father said the resulting downloads didn’t work so the following day they went to the store to buy music. Nevertheless, this week’s police visit shows that CIAPC mean business, no matter how young the targets or whether or not they also buy music. In concluding their search, the police confiscated the girl’s file-sharing weapon of choice – her Winnie The Pooh laptop – and according to her father offered some final words. “It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation,” the police advised “I got the feeling that there had been people from the MAFIA demanding money at the door,” the girl’s father explained. “We have not done anything wrong with my daughter. If adults do not always know how to use a computer and the web, how can you assume that children or the elderly – or a 9-year-old girl – knows what they are doing at any given time online? “This is the pinnacle of absurdity. I can see artists are in a position, but this requires education and information, not resource-consuming lawsuits,” he added. Electronic Frontier Finland say that this week’s developments are an indication of just how far copyright enforcements issues have progressed in Finland. Read more at Refreshing News
November 23, 2012 By 84 Comments
By Oliver Wright Groups linked to both sides of the conflict have spent over £130,000 since the last UK general election on taking Parliamentarians to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Many of those MPs who accepted trips have gone on to make supportive speeches and statements in Parliament and the media backing the positions of the groups that have paid and organised their travel. On the Israeli side, the biggest single donor, according to the register of MPs’ interests, is Conservative Friends of Israel, which has spent over £30,000 taking more than two dozen Tory backbenchers to Israel and the West Bank since the election on five separate trips. Earlier this week, as the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians intensified, the organisation co-ordinated a public letter supporting the Israeli cause. “More than 1,000 rockets and mortars have been indiscriminately fired into civilian areas by Hamas and other terror organisations operating under its protection,” it read. “Israel has a sovereign duty to protect its citizens. Hamas needs to know that the British Government will not reward its terror tactics.” It was signed by 17 Tory MPs – 10 of whom had been on pro-Israeli delegations to the region in since the 2010 General Election. Other pro-Israeli groups who have paid for MPs to travel to the region include Labour Friends of Israel who have funded nine places for Labour backbenchers on trips and Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel who have spent £5,400. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has spent over £10,000 on trips since 2010, the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange £11,000 and the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre £5,000. Earlier in the week, during a Parliamentary debate on the current conflict, at least 14 of the speakers on either side of the argument had travelled to the region. Louise Ellman, the Labour chair of the Transport Select Committee, visited Israel and the Palestinian territories earlier this year as part of the Australia Israel UK Leadership Dialogue. In the debate she said: “Does the fact that Hamas is committed to the destruction of the state of Israel, that in 2005 Israel removed all its 9,000 settlers and soldiers from Gaza and that that was followed by Hamas firing thousands of rockets from civilian centres in Gaza targeted at Israeli citizens mean that Israel deserves full support in defending its citizens against this aggression?”… Read more at The Independent
November 23, 2012 By 377 Comments
Brian Gerrish, Mike Robinson and Patrick Henningsen break down this week’s developments on the UK Column Live show, including an interview with Justin Walker on the idea of a “Greenback Pound”, and his discovery that the banks demanded that the British government prosecute the first world war based on currency issued at interest, rather than interest free national credit. ….
November 23, 2012 By 14 Comments
Decision pushes country close to default again but President vows not to cough up the cashBy Nikhil Kumar Rattled investors could be forgiven a sense of déjà vu after they were put on notice about the threat of a possible government default after Argentina was ordered immediately to cough up more than $1.3bn (£800m) to hedge funds that held out when it restructured its giant debt pile following a 2001 default.
Pending an appeals court decision, a New York judge has ordered Buenos Aires to pay the money due to the funds, including NML Capital, an affiliate of Elliott Management, a hedge fund, by 15 December. Elliott is often described as one among the so-called vulture funds that buy up debt issued by struggling countries and then pursue interest payments via the legal system. Recently, the fund has been reported to have waded into Greek debt. NML’s lawyers have been aggressive in pursuing the case, most strikingly by winning an order earlier this year to have one of Argentina’s navy vessels impounded in Ghana as collateral. Read more at The IndependentAt the heart of the case is the Argentinean debt restructuring of 2005 and 2010, when the country, seeking to put its house in order after enduring a deep economic slump and failing to repay its debts, struck deals with creditors who had lent it money, buying bonds that were subsequently defaulted on. The restructuring offered creditors part of what they were owed. However, not everyone took part in the restructuring. Among the so-called “hold-outs” the biggest were NML and Aurelius Capital Management, who decided to go to court seeking payment on the bonds. Years of litigation and much political posturing followed. Argentina’s outspoken leader Cristina Kirchner has fulminated against the legal actions and recently said her country would not pay “one dollar to the vulture funds” – until US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa ruled in favour of the funds earlier this year.