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As Russia Denies Paulson's "Dump Fannie Mae" Story, Chinese Tricks Explored

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 2 -- Buried in the just released memoir of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is the allegation that in August 2008 Russia asked China to join with it in dumping on the market the securities of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

  While Paulson does not draw the connection, it was in August 2008 that Russia's conflict with Georgia about the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia flared up into a war. The U.S. Administration jumped to Georgia's defense, at least verbally, and according to Paulson, Russia try to lure China into a "dump the GSEs" campaign. As it turned out, Russia did sell its over $60 billion stake in the two mortgage giants.

  Inner City Press asked a senior Russian representative to the UN about Paulson's story on February 2, as the Security Council met about its program of work for February. "I don't think so," the diplomat said.

  Why then would Paulson tell the story? "We are getting closer with the U.S.," the diplomat said. "People get jealous." He went on, "We don't have a good relationship with China right now. The U.S. does not have a good relationship with China." He shrugged. "People don't want Russia and the U.S. to get along."

  Paulson sources his story in "On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System" to the Chinese, bragging perhaps that they hadn't gone along with Russia's urging. So, in this view, was China trying to drive a further wedge between Russia and the U.S.?

Paulson, China: Russia's "dump Fannie Mae" strategy not shown

  At the time of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflict, through which Russia recognized both territories as countries independent from Georgia, China expressed unease. What if Tibet or Taiwan, or even Uighur Xinjiang Autonomous Region, were similar recognized by another state?

  If Chinese officials did in fact pass dirt about Russia along to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, perhaps the disagreement about recognizing breakaway separatist states explains it. It's something that should be expected to be covered more in the media, as Paulson hawks his book. It is may arise further at the UN -- watch this site.

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UN Claims No More Tear Gas, Dodging Wyclef Jean, Killings by Haitian Police

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 -- Of the UN's use of tear gas in Haiti, the UN first denied it, then called it routine and regulated. Now, with its quasi partner Wyclef Jean saying he will speak to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about this "unacceptable" practice, the UN is at once acknowledging past use and saying it won't happen in the future.

Inner City Press at the February 1 noon briefing asked top Haiti envoy Edmond Mulet and his new adviser Michele Montas about Wyclef Jean's protest of the UN. Video here, from Minute 25:51.

  Mr. Mulet answered that in the "first days" after the earthquake, there were "some of this incidents."

   "All that has been taken care of," he said. "That is not happening anymore." This was tied, as he presented it, not to any swearing off of pepper spray, but due to what he called the instant success of the World Food Program's shift to distributing food coupons rather than food, only to women. He was asked about reports of some distributions breaking down this very day.

   Ban Ki-moon traveled to Haiti with Wyclef Jean in March 2009, accompanied by Bill Clinton. What does he think of the UN's use of tear gas?

  The Haitian National Police, with whom the UN proudly collaborates, are known to have shot and killed a number of "scavengers," and even some others.

  Inner City Press asked Mulet about this. Mulet said the UN has "heard reports," acknowledged that "maybe elements of the HNP" shot at "looters." Video here, from Minute 27:37.

   Earlier, the UN had urged journalists not to report on "looters."

UN's Ban, Wyclef Jean and Bill Clinton, earlier - tear gas answers not shown

 Now, the term is deployed in connection with killings by the UN's partner the Haitian National Police. Meanwhile, there are reports of the HNP committing summary executions. Where is the UN's Special Rapporteur on executions, Philip Alston, when you need him? Mulet claimed the UN is "investigating" cases of killings by the HNP. Inner City Press was allowed no follow up questions at the briefing, nor any questions to UNDP's coordinator. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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