31-05-13

U.S. Military Intelligence Service Language School

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On Nov. 1, 1941, the Army established the Fourth U.S. Army Intelligence School at the Presidio of San Francisco to teach the Japanese language to Japanese-American (Nisei) soldiers to use in a possible conflict with Japan. War broke out in December 1941, and in 1942 the school was moved to Minnesota and renamed the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS). Almost all of the 6,000 wartime graduates of the MISLS were trained in Japanese.

In 1946 the MISLS was moved to the Presidio of Monterey. It added Russian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic and six other languages to its curriculum, and was renamed the Army Language School (ALS) in 1947. The size of the faculty and student classes and number of languages taught increased throughout the Cold War years.

Different service language schools were combined in 1963, when the ALS was re-designated the Defense Language Institute, West Coast Branch (DLIWC), with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Navy school became the Defense Language Institute East Coast Branch. The Air Force programs were phased out by 1970. The U.S. Air Force English Language School for foreign military personnel at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, became the Defense Language Institute English Language Center.

During the Vietnam conflict the need for Vietnamese language training was so great that a special branch, the Defense Language Institute Southwest Branch, was established at Biggs Air Force Base near El Paso, Texas. This branch was phased out in 1973, but not before DLI had exposed more than 20,000 servicemembers to the Vietnamese language.

When the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command was established in 1973, DLI was placed under its control. In 1974, the DLI headquarters and the East Coast Branch merged with the West Coast Branch at the Presidio of Monterey. In 1976, the English Language Center was separated from the rest of DLI, and the school at Monterey became the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC).

http://www.monterey.army.mil/About/history/DLIFLC_history.html

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DLIFLC.edu - Persian Farsi school
Program Overview
Language Schools

'Defense Language Institute' - Foreign Language Center
http://www.dliflc.edu/multilanguagesch.html
http://www.dliflc.edu/index.html
http://www.dliflc.edu/staffprofiles.aspx?id=18&t=0

MAYDA CRUZ, Spanish instructor, Associate Professor

'Three powerful forces, the Vatican, Pan American Airlines, and the U.S. State Department joined together in 1961 to save 14,000 children from being kidnapped by a Caribbean dictator. One of these children was MAYDA CRUZ, now a Spanish instructor at DLIFLC.
Soon after Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba, rumors spread that the new government was aligned with the communist government in Moscow, and children, ages five to 16, would be taken from their homes and indoctrinated in Moscow.
Operation Pedro Pan was a Catholic Charities program that was established to save these children from Marxist-indoctrination.
After diplomatic relations with Cuba broke in 1961, the U.S. State Department waived visa requirements for children coming from Cuba. This enabled the children to travel by commercial flights to Miami.
On the Cuban side of the water,Mr. James Baker, the headmaster of an American school in Havana, organized a Harriet Tubman-like underground railroad made up of Cubans and expatriates who helped the children escape from Cuba. Cruz, then eleven years old,was one of the 14,000 children who had to leave her home country. “I got on the flight and kids of every age were all crying. I was crying and everyone was nervous. This was a traumatic experience,” Cruz said.
Many families in Cuba believed that this would be a temporary solution and that they would also gain visas to join their children. But at this young age, Mayda only understood that her parents were sending her away. “Once you enter into customs, it is all glass. I could see my parents on the other side, and I was hysterical. I remember that I was crying so hard,” Cruz recounted.
“I always had the mind-frame, ‘I am going home, I am not worried about my parents coming here because I am going home.’ But as the years went by I started to embrace the new country and my thoughts began to adapt and change,” said Cruz.
On the other side of the 90-mile gap between Havana and Miami was the Catholic Charities representative which organized the children’s evacuation, provided a large school/foster care infrastructure, and offered the opportunity for the children to live free lives.
“There was an older lady at the airport in her 50s or 60s,” Cruz recalled. “She had a sign that said ‘Catholic Charities’ and she took us to our new home - little houses designed for 24 girls and a foster couple who took care of us,” Cruz said.
With only one phone call allowed to parents per week, not only was physical communication limited, but so was emotional communication. “Your parents were not telling you that they are not coming. Every conversation was like a little code, telling us about the situation in Cuba,” she said.
Cruz, did not see her parents again until she was a university graduate and a married woman. “Seeing my mom was moving, but at the same time I had grown independent and was not used to the Cuban way of life,” said Cruz.
Eventually Cruz found her way to DLIFLC. “I met a Soldier and married him,” she said. When her husband was stationed at Fort Ord, Cruz was able to find work at DLIFLC. “In 1991, I started working at DLI. I have been here for the past 19 years,” Cruz said.
The Undergraduate Persian Farsi school teaches language by employing highly educated native speakers as instructors.'

Islamic Education Center - Farsi School

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http://www.farsischool.com/farsinevis.html

On this site you can convert (transliterate) persian written in english letters, called Pinglish or Finglish, to persian language script. You can directly email the text or save it as a document from this site:

http://www.behnevis.com/en/index.html
http://mrwhatis.com/farsi-nevis.html

Persian language and literature:
http://www.iranchamber.com/literature/articles/history_literature.php

Literature and Poetry (Iran government):
http://www.parstimes.com/literature/

30-05-13

Latest News Syria: Bilderberg Conference

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Global Research, June 2, 2012

The presence of Syrian National Transitional Council head Bassma Kodmani at the 2012 Bilderberg conference clearly indicates that power brokers at the elite confab will be discussing the effort to topple President Bashar Al-Assad and install a NATO-friendly administration in the violence-stricken country.

Kodmani is the Head of Foreign Affairs with the SNC, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul, Turkey. While at the Bilderberg meeting she will be in the company of the likes of former Secretary of State and accused war criminal Henry Kissinger, warhawk Richard Perle, and Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor for the Obama White House.

Having overseen numerous wars during his tenure in the White House, Kissinger is a staunch advocate of so-called “humanitarian” interventions. Before last year’s toppling of Colonel Gaddafi, he advocated a U.S. ground invasion of Libya.

During last year’s Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, members discussed expanding the war in Libya. Four months later, Gaddafi was killed and the country was under the control of NATO-backed rebels and the National Transitional Council of Libya.

Kodmani is a darling of the establishment, having written op-eds for the New York Times calling for the overthrow of Assad. In recent months her position has become increasingly hardline and pro-NATO intervention. In January she called for “greater militarization of local resistance or foreign intervention.” Kodmani has also called for Syria to form an alliance with Israel.

Hostility towards Syria from the international community has intensified in recent weeks, particularly after last weekend’s massacre in Houla which was blamed on Assad’s forces despite the fact that eyewitnesses in Houla said opposition rebels were responsible for the slaughter, which killed 108 people – mostly women and children.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Houla massacre will be used to build an international consensus for military intervention. “Every day that goes by makes the argument for it stronger,” she said while addressing Danish university students.

This followed U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice adopting a more hardline approach following a UN Security Council meeting. “Members of this Council and members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they are prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this Council,” said Rice.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has repeatedly stated that Congressional authorization for a military assault on Syria will not be sought by the Obama administration, which considers NATO and the UN to be the supreme authority.

In June last year, President Obama arrogantly expressed his hostility to the rule of law when he dismissed the need to get congressional authorization to commit the United States to a military intervention in Libya, churlishly dismissing criticism and remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-regime-change-on-bilderberg-agenda/31210

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The next meeting of the Bilderberg group is to be held in England. The location is thought to be the Grove Hotel Watford from the 6th to the 9th of June.
These annual meetings are summits of the most wealthy, powerful and influential people in the world of politics, finance and business. The biggest mystery surrounding them is why the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters have chosen not to report on them since 1954. 

29-05-13

Saint-Gilles - La Barrière

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La Barrière de Saint-Gilles (Bareel van Sint-Gillis en néerlandais) est un important rond-point de Bruxelles, situé au cœur de la commune de Saint-Gilles, au croisement de la chaussée de Waterloo, de la chaussée d'Alsemberg, de l'avenue du Parc, de la rue Théodore Verhaegen, de la rue de l'Hôtel des Monnaies et de la rue Paul Dejaer. C'est un important nœud routier, tant pour les voitures que pour les trams et les bus.

L'appellation Barrière fait référence à un péage à barrière qui y était situé au XVIIe siècle.

Ce site était autrefois dénommé Wintmolenberch (la montagne au moulin à vent), par référence aux trois moulins à vent qui s'y dressaient aux 16e et 17e siècles. Ils furent détruits vers 1672 en vue de la construction du fort de Monterey, qui effleurait la place actuelle par l'Ouest.

À partir de 1871, le terminus des omnibus à chevaux de la Bourse se trouvait à la Barrière.

Depuis le 10 avril 1900 la Porteuse d'eau de Julien Dillens occupe le centre du rond-point.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barri%C3%A8re_de_Saint-Gilles

François Truffaut

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François Truffaut,  (born Feb. 6, 1932, Paris, France — died Oct. 21, 1984, Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris), French film critic, director, and producer whose attacks on established filmmaking techniques paved the way for the movement known as the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave).

Truffaut was born into a working-class home. His own troubled childhood provided the inspiration for Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959; The 400 Blows), a semiautobiographical study of a working-class delinquent. It is the first of the Antoine Doinel trilogy, tracing its hero’s evolution from an antisocial anguish to a happy and settled domesticity. When it won the best direction prize at the 1959 Cannes film festival, Truffaut was established as a leader of the French cinema’s New Wave—a term for the simultaneous presentation of first feature films by a number of French directors—a tendency that profoundly influenced the rising generation of filmmakers around the world.

The New Wave marked a reaction against the commercial production system: the well-constructed plot, the limitations of a merely craftsmanlike approach, and the French tradition of quality with its heavy reliance on literary sources. Its aesthetic theory required every detail of a film’s style to reflect its director’s sensibility as intimately as a novelist’s prose style retraces the workings in depth of his mind—hence the term le camera-stylo (“camera-pen”). The emphasis lay on visual nuance, for, in keeping with a general denigration of the preconceived and the literary, the script was often treated less as a ground plan for a dramatic structure than as merely a theme for improvisation. Improvised scenes were filmed, deploying the visual flexibility of newly developed television equipment (e.g., the handheld camera) and techniques (e.g., extensive postsynchronization of dialogue). The minimization of costs encouraged producers to gamble on unknown talents, and the simplicity of means gave the director close control over every aspect of the creative process, hence Truffaut’s term auteur, or film author.

Outside his art, Truffaut was reticent about his private life, although it is known that he was sent to a reformatory before leaving school at age 14 to work in a factory. His interest in the cinema, however, brought him to the attention of the critic André Bazin, doyen of the monthly avant-garde film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, who incorporated him into the staff. For eight years Truffaut asserted himself as the most truculent critic of the contemporary French cinema, which he considered stale and conventional, and advocated a cinema that would allow the director to write dialogue, invent stories, and, in general, produce a film as an artistic whole in his own style. Thus, he was influential in the cinema world before he actually made a film. Like his leading character in Baisers volés (1969; Stolen Kisses), another film in the Doinel series, he deserted from his military service, being committed to various prisons until he was able to resume his journalistic career and, eventually, put his ideas into creative practice. Again like Doinel in Domicile conjugale (1970; Bed and Board), he married and became the father of two daughters.

Truffaut’s initial creative effort, the short piece Les Mistons (1958; The Mischief Makers), depicted a gang of boys who thoughtlessly persecute two young lovers. His second short, Une Histoire d’eau (1959; A Story of Water), was a slapstick comedy for which Jean-Luc Godard developed the conclusion. Both films met with sufficient appreciation to facilitate his first feature-length film, Les Quatre Cents Coups. An evocation of the adolescent’s pursuit of independence from a staid adult world of conformity and protocol, for which Truffaut evinced a romantic sympathy, the film proved to be one of the most popular New Wave films, especially in England and the United States. Two tenderly pessimistic studies in sexual tragedy followed—Tirez sur le pianiste (1960; Shoot the Piano Player), adapted from a U.S. thriller (Down There by David Goodis), a genre for which Truffaut displayed great admiration, and Jules et Jim (1962).

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/607111/Francois-Truffaut

28-05-13

European Union's Arms trade: Oxfam awakens...

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Oxfam reaction to EU failure to extend arms embargo on Syria beyond August

28th May 2013

EU Foreign Ministers failed last night to extend the EU arms embargo on Syria as it stands. They

decided, however, not to lift it before August 1st and set a number of conditions.

In reaction, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control, Anna Macdonald, said:

“Oxfam is disappointed that the EU will not extend its arms embargo on Syria as it stands. Ministers sent out mixed signals. What was needed was an unequivocal stance that the EU will do everything it can to stop the bloodshed and prevent a deadly arms race in Syria, which would have devastating humanitarian consequences.”

“We welcome the EU’s willingness to prioritise the pursuit of a political solution and its strong commitment for human rights and international humanitarian law. However, European governments should be using their influence to secure a halt to international arms transfers from all governments to any warring party in Syria.”

“This decision does not give the green light to any member states who want to supply arms to groups in Syria. As clearly laid out in the EU Common Position on Arms Transfers, any transfers must be subject to full risk assessment procedures against the risks of arms being used for violations of human rights and humanitarian law.”

Oxfam has been advocating to bring the arms trade under control for more than a decade and played a crucial role in the campaign to secure a robust Arms Trade Treaty. Under the new treaty – which was passed by majority vote at the UN in April this year and opens for signature next week on June 3 – arms transfers must not be authorised where there is a major risk the weapons will be used to commit violations of human rights or international humanitarian law. Both European countries and all other 156 states that voted in favour of this landmark treaty need to live up to its principles.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2013/05/reaction-to-lifting-eu-arms-embargo-on-syria

26-05-13

Monsanto: Agent Orange victims

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BA VI, VIETNAM: Handicapped orphans are fed by the medical staff at the Ba Vi orphanage. These young children represent the 3rd generation of Agent Orange victims more than 30 years after the war in Vietnam, where a battle is still being fought to help people suffering from the effects of the deadly chemical.

March Against Monsanto

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May 26, 2013

Why do we march?

  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GM products.
  • Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto's GM seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world's bee population.
 
What are solutions we advocate?
  • Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
  • Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
  • Repealing relevant provisions of the US's "Monsanto Protection Act."
  • Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
  • Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
  • Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto's secrets.
  • Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/

http://dutchamazingnewsblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/marc...

Interview Marcel Vervloesem

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Sinds 1989 werkt Marcel Vervloesem van de vzw Werkgroep Morkhoven rondom verdwenen kinderen. Met zijn kennis en bewijsmateriaal inzake internationale kinderhandel en kindermisbruik werden er reeds heel wat zaken opgelost.  De Belgische autoriteiten die zelfs zware criminelen inhuurde om de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort dicht te dekken, noemt hem (uiteraard) 'Staatsgevaarlijk'. Maar in Nederland wordt hij op handen gedragen voor zijn onuitputtelijke inzet en doorzettingsvermogen.

De constante vervolging van de aktievoerder en de recente terreur die de Belgische Justitie en justitieminister Turtelboom (Open VLD) op Vervloesem's dochter en minderjarige kleinkinderen lieten uitoefenen, heeft bij heel wat mensen een lichtje doen opgaan.
Buiten justitieminister Turtelboom werden zowel de Belgische Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Noëlle Milquet (CdH) als Premier Di Rupo (PS) die onlangs stelden dat de 'veiligheid van alle burgers een absolute prioriteit is van de regering', gecontacteerd inzake de aanhoudende terreurcampagne.  Er werden ook klachten ingediend bij het Comité P dat zogezegd de werking van de politiediensten moet kontroleren, en bij de Hoge Raad voor de Justitie maar dat leidde dusver tot geen enkel resultaat.
De aanvoerder van de terreurcampagne die eerder werd ingehuurd om Marcel Vervloesem te beschuldigen en de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort dicht te dekken, mag zijn functies als voorzitter van de gemeentelijke Commissie voor Veiligheid en Politie en als bestuurslid van de lokale politieraad verder blijven uitoefenen. Dat bewijst de betrokkenheid van de overheid in heel deze zaak.

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoDFwLaL4dg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MoDFwLaL4dg#!  

Bestel het boek “Kinderen Te Koop” marcel vervloesem (prijsverlaging)

http://dutchamazingnewsblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/marcel-vervloesem-te-gast-bij-talk2myra-radio/

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Het bovenvermelde interview met Marcel Vervloesem heeft nogal wat beweging veroorzaakt. De Morkhoven-activist was bijzonder helder in zijn gesprek. Té helder blijkbaar want amper 11 uur later werd hem een uitnodiging afgeleverd om zich weer op het politiebureau aan te melden voor verhoor. 

Marcel Vervloesem kreeg 9 jaar geleden een spreekverbod met de officiële binnen- en buitenlandse pers. Dat werd hem door het parket van Turnhout dat de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort dichtdekte, per vonnis opgelegd. 

Het spreekverbod is in overtreding met de Belgische grondwet en het Europees Verdrag van de Rechten van de Mens.  Maar, zoals iederéén weet, is er van persvrijheid en vrijheid van meningsuiting al lang geen sprake meer en aktivisten zoals Marcel Vervloesem mogen zelfs geen deel meer uitmaken van hun eigen vereniging.

Het Belgische leger houdt binnenkort een grote evacuatieoefening, waarbij zo'n 1.300 militairen worden ingezet en 250 burgers als figurant. Dat maakte Defensie maandag bekend. De oefening speelt zich af in een 'fictief land dat een zware crisis doormaakt, ver van hier'...

25-05-13

Internet giant Google

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Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo is feeling lucky. Belgium’s search for investment has paid off, with internet giant Google GOOG +3.14% expanding its Belgian data center, just outside Mons, where he was mayor until becoming PM. Google said it is investing €300 million in the expansion, and that the facility will be one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, using around 50% less energy than typical data centers. “Google’s significant investment shows that Belgium is a key business destination, including for new technologies,” said Elio Di Rupo. “Although we’re going through difficult economic times, we keep attracting major investments from international companies.”

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On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…

American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

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American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

April 2013

Are US Companies Important to Belgium?

AmCham Belgium’s answer is a resounding YES, based on research that we carried out for our new report The Importance of US Companies in Belgium published on March 14. Our research revealed that the 50 largest US companies in Belgium employed 90,334 people and contributed €1.7 billion to government finances in taxes and social security in 2011, the last year for which official data are available.

The report includes an updated listing of the US Top 50 Companies in Belgium ranked by number of employees.  With 14,059 employees, ManpowerGroup tops our list for the second year in a row. Looking at the historical presence of US companies in Belgium, the top 10 companies in our list have been active in Belgium an average of 62 years. As Marcel Claes, Chief Executive of AmCham Belgium, said at the launch event, “These companies are here for the long term, and they want to be here for the long term.” What then is drawing them to Belgium?

People first

The Importance of US Companies in Belgium report was launched with a panel discussion between representatives of three of the US Top 50 companies. The panelists were quick to praise Belgium’s highly educated, multilingual and flexible workforce. This is important for Coca-Cola and Pfizer, both of which have major research centers in Belgium, and for Accenture whose ‘product’ is its people. Eric Lonbois of Accenture said, “Access to skills is very crucial.” He went further, equally stressing the mindset. Belgians tend to be very open towards other cultures, which is an important consideration for international companies.

Need for stability

The picture isn’t entirely rosy, however. The US Top 50 companies employed 2.3% fewer people in 2011 than in 2010. Asked for areas where Belgium can improve, all of the panelists called for stability. Peter Menu of Pfizer said it best: “I think that we need stability... We love to plan, in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years.” It’s difficult for companies that make big investments in Belgium to explain to their American headquarters that the rules have changed in the middle of the game.

Competitiveness was another concern. This includes not only the high cost of labor but also the tax regime. Jean Eylenbosch of Coca-Cola described the country as a sponge: “It’s small, it’s flat but it absorbs everything.” This has led Coca-Cola’s products to be 20-30% more expensive here than just across the border in France or Luxembourg.

Conclusion

Yes, US companies have made a significant and longstanding contribution to Belgium. The overall figures from the report are impressive to be certain – 90,334 employees, €1.7 billion – and this is not even the complete picture. Our research did not take into account two other important factors: indirect employment and employees’ fiscal contribution. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, the multiplier has been placed at 2.5 – that is, for every employee hired by a pharma company, another 2.5 jobs on average are created outside of the company. Moreover, the US Top 50 companies paid out nearly €5 billion in wages and salaries, on which their employees must also pay taxes and social security. That’s up to €2.5 billion more for the Belgian state. And there are, of course, other elements which cannot be quantified, such as the high quality of jobs created by US companies.

Wrapping up the panel discussion, Scott Beardsley, President of AmCham Belgium, said, “If there was ever any doubt about it in people’s minds, US companies are still important in Belgium, but I would also say that Belgium is important for US companies.”AmCham Belgium will release its 2013 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium with specific policy recommendations for the Belgian Government on May 29.

The panel discussion on March 14 was immediately preceded by AmCham Belgium’s Annual General Meeting. Eight new board members were formally elected. In addition to the six who have been serving in an advisory capacity since their nomination last September, the new board members include Joost Maes from Egon Zehnder and Roland Teixeira de Mattos from GE Europe.

The four board members whose term came to an end this year were also all re-elected: Ludo Deklerck of Bird & Bird LLP, Jean Eylenbosch of Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium, John Largent of Magic Monkey and Eric Lonbois of Accenture.

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Building the Largest Free Trade Zone in the World

by Karel De Gucht, Trade Commissioner, European Commission

Two billion euros is the value of the goods and services that cross the Atlantic between the EU and the US everyday. Two trillion euros is slightly less than the value of the investment stocks that European and American firms hold in each other’s jurisdictions. The transatlantic relationship is the biggest commercial relationship in the world. 

But if trade already flows so abundantly, why negotiate a new EU-US trade agreement?

First, despite the success of our relationship, there is still a great deal of untapped potential. Though the tariffs we impose on imports are low 

– around 4% on average 

– the volume of our trade 

is enormous. As a result, every tariff we remove, even the lowest ones, will result in millions of euros of savings to companies, savings which can be reinvested for growth. For example, car parts sometimes cross the Atlantic more than once – as components on their first journey and then going back in the finished product – meaning they currently may pay tariffs twice.

But tariffs will only be a small piece of the deal. We are aiming for an even bigger package, which will include opening of markets for services and, very importantly, in public procurement. The most effort, however, will go into addressing those barriers that lie behind the customs border, such as differences in technical regulations, standards and certification requirements. These technical barriers to trade are estimated to have the same effect as if we had extra tariffs of between 10 and 20% per product.

As an example, rules in the US and the EU on car safety are similarly strict, as public safety is always our top priority. 

But even if they have the same objective – to make cars safe for the road – the technical rules to achieve that objective differ. A car producer who wants to sell his car both in Europe and in the United States has to get it safety checked twice. This costs time and money. If we aligned our standards, or accepted the principle that a car which is found to be safe on one side of the Atlantic is also safe enough on the other, we could make real savings both for the producers, the regulators and ultimately for the consumers. If we do it well, we would be able to maintain the same levels of health and safety, but boost growth and create jobs with less red tape.

Second, because we are the biggest trade relationship in the world, transatlantic standards could be embryos of future world standards. This would mean that our businesses would not have the extra cost of producing for a plethora of different standards around the world. And because the same would apply to companies in other parts of the world, an ambitious transatlantic agreement would in effect be a global public good.

So I believe that it’s certainly not exaggerated to say that such a ‘transatlantic economic alliance’ will be groundbreaking. In short, it moves beyond anything we have done before. It could boost our economies by between 0.5% and 1% of GDP and offer real returns to everybody – expected €545 per average household in Europe – for next to no investment. Truly, this is the cheapest stimulus package you can imagine. Given that both Europe and America are recovering from the biggest economic crisis in living memory, we cannot afford to ignore these gains now. And all EU Member States stand to gain. In Belgium, for example, as Europe’s second largest port, Antwerp will benefit from the overall increase in trading volumes. In addition, exports of key Belgian products like high-quality beer and food products can also be expected to be winners. 

Can we achieve it? Reaching an ambitious deal will not be easy. The more we seek to achieve, the more protected vested interests will seek to oppose us. And finally, we want to do this as quickly as we can – in two years, if possible – though speed will not trump quality. I am ready to go the extra mile to achieve it. ¦

Karel De Gucht has been European Commissioner for Trade since February 2010. Together with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, he worked on a report recommending the launch of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which was announced by US President Barack Obama, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on February 13, 2013.

A lawyer by training and a Belgian liberal (Open-VLD), he has held numerous political offices at both national and European level. He was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament at the age of 26 and has more recently been both Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2009) before first joining the European Commission as Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid (2009-2010).

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Photo: Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Obama at the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 21, 2012 

The U.S. ranks as Belgium’s 5th principal trading partner; with Belgium ranked 18th for largest U.S. trading partner.  Bilateral trade was worth over $41 billion for the year 2010.

Security leaks leaves us open to terror

Britain.mi5-secrets-are-blown-notw-16-march-2008.jpg

We laughed heartily at MI5 losing the plans to its Thames House HQ and mocked them in general. “Not as bad as the police though,” said Dan, “because they’re all crooks mate.” I agreed and 18 March 2008 was turning into a happy day all round. It was good to talk to Dan again. His honesty about the corrupt System was refreshing.

We got down to the business of Paul Burrell and a chap on YouTube purporting to be him. I had been stringing the man along for information and to ascertain if he was genuinely Burrell. Whoever it was, he had a serious drink problem and  he visited my website http://www.news-alliance.com frequently from Florida, USA, where Burrell lived at the time.

The Sun had been after Burrell and finally nailed him with a covert camera in a New York Hotel room, admitting that he had lied for the Queen at the Diana Inquest in London. “Well, she’s the Queen,” said a drunk Burrell, unaware he was being recorded.

The Sun’s Emily Smith had telephoned me twice from New York and it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Burrell for lying to the Diana Inquest.

I agreed to work with Dan on flushing out the character behind the YouTube account and if it was no more than an impersonator, then expose that as the lesser option.

Dan complained on the telephone that there was considerable “white noise” on the line and indeed there was. He asked for a mobile number to call me back, which he did.

He asked if we could meet in London and I suggested the Garden Gate public house in Hampstead, just a few yards from where my uncle had lived until he died in March 2005. Digging into his Government Service, I had got to know Hampstead quite well.

We agreed on a meeting and all seemed well. Dan called again to say my website had been hacked offline again, and it had, and he opined, “you know who’s done that don’t you mate? MI5, because you’ve upset them with this Diana coverage on your website.”

It was entirely possible and MI5 has been in the hacking business for years… after all, that’s what spies do, gather information and disrupt the enemy. Coming from a so-called ‘subversive’ background, I was the ‘enemy of the State’ in question.

The next morning Dan called to say he couldn’t make the Hampstead meeting and that the Screws [NOTW] had lost interest in the story. I was concerned, having obtained my mobile phone number and some information, he was calling off.

This was not the same Dan Evans I knew at the Sunday Mirror. On the contrary, in just 3 years, he’d become a Murdoch creature, ruthless and cavalier.

I was not surprised that News International had corrupted yet another decent man but was deeply disappointed in Dan. He had betrayed himself, not me, he had sacrificed his integrity for ‘the story’.

The next thing, hey presto, Rob Jobson royal correspondent for the Screws had a story on Burrell and it became clear why I had been dropped. I telephoned Jobson to plug him about the story from Ron Cosgrove, based entirely on an affidavit, no real evidence to support his tales.

Naturally, I recorded every word Jobson said and we had a good laugh at the end about Burrell, Cosgrove and the whole sordid saga. I came out empty-handed as often happens in journalism but so what.

I resolved never to work with Dan again though. He had changed into a News Corp crook and I wanted nothing more to do with him. And rumours had been circulating for years about phone hacking and the ‘rogue reporter’ theory was beginning to take shape but not for long.

I knew Dan was heading for trouble and would soon be uncovered. The Guardian was breathing down the neck of News International but pulled its punches with a ‘Labour’ government in power.

It really wouldn’t do to allow the tidal wave of corruption to wash their Labour friends out of Whitehall; remember Operation Motorman and thousands of media crimes buried by New Labour…

I was tickled that now The Guardian was interested in press corruption, having refused to investigate it in 2005 when I spoke to the newsdesk… “not one for us,” they said and Sunday Times corruption remained concealed until I exposed it.

With Labour out of power in May 2010, the stage was set for the Hackgate firestorm but no one anticipated the terrifying ferocity of what was to come.

I kept a watching brief on Dan’s career and it was not long before he was outed for hacking the phones of Kelly Hoppen and Sienna Miller, amongst others that is…

He was suspended from the Screws and I decided to contact him, using the alternate email address he urged contacts to use. Why not use his NOTW email address instead of danmoves@hotmail.com

I had been exchanging emails with James Robinson at The Guardian about Evans to ascertain what was known. Robinson admitted he’d seen evidence to prove Evans was a ‘serial phone hacker’ and had targeted Sienna Miller and Kelly Hoppen.

The game was over for Dan, his career was dead as he’d known it and it was time to save himself. I owed him some advice in return for the help he’d given me in 2003.

I emailed him and advised him in strong terms to avoid prison and its harsh climate of revenge. I reminded him of the three principles: Backsides, corks and salvation.

I told him not to bite the bullet for Murdoch and the senior journos at the Screws and to come clean with the police about what had happened. I never used the term ‘supergrass’ but I did advise him to become a witness for the Crown and to betray his colleagues before they betrayed him. This was ‘night of the long knives’ episode two, after all.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Is it indeed?

Murdoch and the gang would not hesitate to throw junior employees to the wolves and why should Dan be sacrificed for the likes of Coulson, Brooks and Thurlbeck.

It’s now clear that my advice had some affect on Dan and I’m pleased it did because the journo-crooks on Fleet Street terrorised and destroyed the lives of thousands of victims for years, protected to the hilt by the corrupt police and the tame New Labour regime.

I openly admit to telling DC Richard Scott on Operation Weeting everything I knew about Dan Evans and gave him a voice recording and emails. This was not revenge, I was simply trying to engineer Dan into becoming a ‘grass’ or what the papers now call a ‘supergrass’.

Photo: MI5 secrets are blown – NOTW 16 March 2008

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