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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

March 25, 2019

In SDNY 22 Year Old Bronx Murder Triggers Testimony of Drive By and White Van on the Concourse

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 21 – In a trial for a Bronx murder 22 years ago in 1997, on March 21 a former NY police officer now working in Florida testified about stopping a white van with a gun in it on 188th Street and the Grand Concourse on 29 August 1991 and, along with Officer Serge Denecko, arresting for men in the van. Earlier a woman who was shot at and grazed on the chin described seeing a gun sticking out the passenger's side, and that Hinton, her ex boyfriend, sold drugs on 149th Street under the direction of "Rob," presumably the defendant Roberto Acosta a/k/a Mojica. More and more facts are coming in - maybe too many? Back on March 20 a now elderly man who had moved tens of kilos of cocaine in 1998 was cross examined about how much times he has met with the prosecution to prepare this testimony. It got repetitive, as pointed out by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Kevin Castel. Did he meet Detective Vasquez on January 26, 2018? He couldn't remember the date but yes, many times. Did Detective Vasquez drive him around and take photographs of the sights and stash-houses he pointed out (presumably including 156th and Broadway)? Yes. Later on March 20 there were two forms of testimony about University Avenue in The Bronx. There was the double murder, on 22 December 1997, Carlos Ventura and another. By 1999 there were payments into the prison commissary account of Jose Diaz a/k/a Cano, a full $200 from Joyce Pettaway who lived in Apartment 4-G of 2769 University Avenue from September 1992 to November 5, 2001, according to a stipulation by the landlord Jonah Associated. There was a long sidebar about an objection to double hearsay; there was a reference to two cassette tapes of recorded conversations between Robert Acosta a/k/a Mojica and a person whose name was redacted, and a description of how evidence is destroyed.

March 18, 2019

In SDNY 22 Year Old Bronx Murder Triggers Testimony on Fingerprints From 1994 Friction Ridge

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 14 – In a trial for a Bronx murder 22 years ago in 1997, on March 14 NYPD Detective Ramirez described even older fingerprints to a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before Judge Kevin Castel, Detective Ramirez described friction ridge characteristics of one Robert Mojica going back to 1994 on Edgecombe Avenue in Upper Manhattan. The defense, on cross examination, wondered why Ramirez was not being asked about the 1997 crimes. Judge Castel declared a break, during which he would meet with students of a lawyer who has appeared before him. A tray of bagels was rolled in. We'll have more on this trial. Back on March 8, another shooting in The Bronx in October 2018 was the subject of an ill-attended conference in the SDNY. Jerome Jackson is described as in a white t-shirt with silver handgun on 2 October 2018 on Freeman Street - but in the SDNY courtroom of Judge Kevin Castel he was in jail house blues and shackles. His lawyer Julia Gatto questioned whether the NYPD detectives who questioned Jackson about the shooting were in fact part of a joint task force with the Feds - no, Karin Potlock for the government said, and on that basis no suppression - and questioned probable cause. There will be a hearing on that on April Fools Day and Inner City Press aims to be there. The case is US v. Jackson, 18 CR 760. A week before on March 1 when Statue of Liberty climber Patricia Okoumou appeared in the SDNY , it was to face revocation of bail for more recent climbs, all to protest the separation of immigrant families. SDNY Judge Gorenstein did not revoke bail but imposed house arrest. He jibed that it appeared Ms. Okoumou could only support herself by donations garnered by climbing. Afterward Inner City Press asked her lawyer Ron Kuby about this argument. He said the judge has it precisely wrong, or in reverse: she raised money because she is an activist, she is not an actively in order to make money. Ms. Okoumou raised her fist, and headed to Staten Island. Photos here.

March 11, 2019

In SDNY Bronx Shooting Triggers Hearing on Probable Cause But Not Suppression Of NYPD Interview

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 8 – A shooting in The Bronx in October 2018 was the subject of an ill-attended conference on March 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Jerome Jackson is described as in a white t-shirt with silver handgun on 2 October 2018 on Freeman Street - but in the SDNY courtroom of Judge Kevin Castel he was in jail house blues and shackles. His lawyer Julia Gatto questioned whether the NYPD detectives who questioned Jackson about the shooting were in fact part of a joint task force with the Feds - no, Karin Potlock for the government said, and on that basis no suppression - and questioned probable cause. There will be a hearing on that on April Fools Day and Inner City Press aims to be there. The case is US v. Jackson, 18 CR 760. A week before on March 1 when Statue of Liberty climber Patricia Okoumou appeared in the SDNY , it was to face revocation of bail for more recent climbs, all to protest the separation of immigrant families. SDNY Judge Gorenstein did not revoke bail but imposed house arrest. He jibed that it appeared Ms. Okoumou could only support herself by donations garnered by climbing. Afterward Inner City Press asked her lawyer Ron Kuby about this argument. He said the judge has it precisely wrong, or in reverse: she raised money because she is an activist, she is not an actively in order to make money. Ms. Okoumou raised her fist, and headed to Staten Island. Photos here. Inner City Press, which interviewed Okoumou on December 5 just after another SDNY decision, in the Patrick Ho / CEFC China Energy UN bribery case, headed out and streamed this Periscope, and this Q&A, with more to come, on this case and others. March 4, 2019

At SDNY Inner City Press Asks Ron Kuby of Argument Okoumou Only Makes Money By Breaking Law

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 1 – When Statue of Liberty climber Patricia Okoumou appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 1, it was to face revocation of bail for more recent climbs, all to protest the separation of immigrant families. SDNY Judge Gorenstein did not revoke bail but imposed house arrest. He jibed that it appeared Ms. Okoumou could only support herself by donations garnered by climbing. Afterward Inner City Press asked her lawyer Ron Kuby about this argument. He said the judge has it precisely wrong, or in reverse: she raised money because she is an activist, she is not an actively in order to make money. Ms. Okoumou raised her fist, and headed to Staten Island. Photos here. Inner City Press, which interviewed Okoumou on December 5 just after another SDNY decision, in the Patrick Ho / CEFC China Energy UN bribery case, headed out and streamed this Periscope, and this Q&A, with more to come, on this case and others. How guns eject shell casings was the subject of expert testimony in a Bronx gang trial on February 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before Judge Robert W. Sweet, an ATF agent traced a bullet back to Illinois; under cross examination he said a shell casing might eject feet rather than yards unless it bounced on something. Then testimony went back to 2007, a 14-year old with a gun heading from the Millbrook projects to the Mitchell Houses. The defense asked for a mistrial when the name of a second gang was introduced; the prosecution shot back (so to speak) that it came from photos on the defendant's own Facebook page. And so it goes in trials these days. Back on February 25 a prison sentence of life plus five years was imposed for a Bronx murder by SDNY Chief Judge Colleen McMahon on February 25. She presided over the trial in which Stiven Siri-Reynoso was convicted of, among other things, murder in aid of racketeering for the death of Jessica White, a 28 year old mother of three, in the Bronx in 2016. Jessica White's mother was in the court room; she was greeted by Judge McMahon but declined to speak before sentencing. Siri-Reynoso was representing himself by this point, with a back-up counsel by his side. Judge McMahon told him, "You're a very smart man... a tough guy, a calculating person... You are a coward, sent a child to do it for you... Your emissary shot the wrong person, a lovely lady... It was a vicious, evil attack against the good people of that neighborhood." When she imposed the life plus five sentence, a woman on the Jessica White side of the courtroom cried out, yes Ma'am, put the animal away! Later, after Siri-Reynoso ended asking how he can get more documents about the case, a woman on his side of the courtroom said, "No te preocupes, muchacho, Dios sabe lo que hace" - don't worry, God knows what he is doing. But does He? Earlier on February 25 when the government tried to defend its 2018 change of policy or practice on Special Immigrant Juvenile status in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl had many questions about the change. He asked, are you saying that all the decisions before 2018 were just wrong, under a policy in place but not implemented at the time? In the overflow courtroom 15C the largely young audience laughed, as the government lawyer tried to say it wasn't a change of policy but rather an agency interpretation of the statute. Shouldn't there have been notice and comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act? The government said the argument proffered for this was about the Freedom of Information Act (on which, as Inner City Press has noted, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has similarly reversed its policy 180 degrees without justification). SDNY Judge Koeltl demanded t know if the government is arguing that no juvenile court in New York, California (and maybe Texas for other reasons he said) is empowered to grant relief. The answer was far from clear - but where the ruling is going does seem so. Watch this site. February 25, 2019

As NYC de Blasio Talks Parking UN Abuse of Diplomatic Plates Raised By Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Photos

NEW YORK CITY, February 21 – When Mayor Bill de Blasio took questions in the Chinatown Senior Citizen Center on February 21 on parking placards, Inner City Press asked him if his new digital approach can do anything about abuses by the UN and diplomatic missions withe blue licence plates. Good question, de Blasio said. Video here. Then his team said this is an issue for the City's Office of International Affairs - which has yet to respond to a months' old Inner City Press Freedom of Information Law request. We'll have more on this. De Blasio to his credit then took questions on other topics. Inner City Press asked him about the City's proposed $5 million settlement with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Video here. De Blasio replied, we screwed up, some of our friendly in the Department of Transportation present company excluded screwed up. (Alongside him on the placard issue was DoT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.) De Blasio said the City worked with the Federal government to make them whole. The settlement is for now proposedFebruary 18, 2019

In SDNY Bronx Oxy Dealer Argues To Stay Out of MDC Brooklyn via Goodwin Proctor

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, February 15 – When Gustavo Salvador pled guilty to selling oxycodon in The Bronx before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer on February 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, his two lawyers tried to argue for a suspended remand based on the cold in the MDC Brooklyn. Judge Engelmayer turned them down saying he had personal knowledge that the heat was back on; not surprising. Surprising, though, was that a Bronx oxy dealer was represented by the white shoe Goodwin Proctor lawfirm. Was it pro bono? Their representation goes back at least until Thanksgiving, before the MDC Brooklyn conditions became public. In the audience, a young child then a baby cried. The volume of oxy pills was in the thousands, according to the indictment. The sentencing guidelines run from 57 to 71 months. Judge Engelmayer said he said something else on his schedule coming up, should the sentencing be rescheduled? It went forward. Goodwin Proctor. February 11, 2019

After SDNY Sentencing Norman Seabrook Tells Inner City Press YouTube Is Doctored But Here It Is

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope video

NEW YORK CITY, February 8 – Before Norman Seabrook, former head of the NYC Corrections Officers union, was sentenced on February 8 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to 58 months in prison, a victim's statement to the court cited what it called Seabrook's racist rant on YouTube.

   Afterward on Worth Street Inner City Press asked Seabrook about the YouTube video - actually, an audio file with an array of still photographs.  Seabrook told Inner City Press they doctored it to make him look bad. His (actual) answer on Periscope here - and here now audio file on YouTube, here.

  In the SDNY courtroom it was cognitive dissonance: Norman Seabrook who rose from poverty to head of a union with 10,000 members, who endorsed Michael Bloomberg; Norman Seabrook who asked for tens of thousands of dollars to steer union money into a Cayman Islands hedge fund which failed.

  Prosecutor Martin Bell referred to a Ferragamo bag visible in Seabrook's house for months. When Seabrook spoke he said it was a gift with cigars, taking a cigar out of his suit jacket.

Seabrook's lawyer Paul Shechtman cited Seabrook's work on the so-called feces bill to make throwing excrement at a corrections officer a felony. On the hand Seabrook was accused of threatening his board members with returning to work in a prison as punishment, and of going after anyone who dared run against or otherwise oppose him. Seabrook felt that it was his time to get paid, that he was bigger than the cause he began fighting for, Bell said.

Shechtman also spoke after the sentencing. Inner City Press asked him about Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein's seeming reversal of an initial position that it would be hard to leave Seabrook out on bail pending appeal. Shechtman replied affably that he had to win something, after the 58 month sentence.  Video here.

  An issue on a appeal will be whether Seabrook's second jury should have heard about the $19 million loss.

 Inner City Press asked Shechtman about the restitution, how much would be paid by hedge funders Murray Huberfeld,  Jona Rechnitz and perhaps (Judge Hellerstein indicated) Jeremy Reichberg. Shechtman told Inner City Press, If Norman wins $19 million in the lottery, we'll have about that. For now, $2500 is due in 60 days, through the SDNY Clerk, for the union. We'll have more on this.

   Exiting the courthouse after Seabrook, with a bag of Utz potato chips and a copy of the Daily News was New York Knicks icon Charles Oakley. He said that there are others who need to be locked up as well, and that the Knicks need better players. There was no rebuttal. Periscope video here. February 4, 2019

For Bronx Arson of Competing Deli 28 Months In Prison Imposed In Nearly Empty SDNY Courtroom

By Matthew Russell Lee

NEW YORK CITY, February 1 – A Bronx man who pled guilty to conspiracy leading to the burning down of a convenience store in the Bronx on 11 September 2016 was sentenced to 28 months in prison on February 1 by Judge William H. Pauley III in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  Arson and The Bronx were for a time synonymous, though few of the perpetrators were caught much less sentenced. Times have changed. Present at Friday afternoon's sentencing on the 20th floor of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse were only the defendant Richard Sanchez and his lawyer, a lone prosecutor, three family members and Inner City Press. Yet the tale was heartbreaking, in its way.

  Sanchez' lawyer Patrick Brackley recounted that he had prior run-ins with the law, citing an incident with a dirt bike. But, he said, Sanchez had used his time out free on bail to re-build his life. Sanchez himself read what he called an open letter to Judge Pawley, speaking about his ten year old daughter, a business he was starting and his brand.

   Judge Pauley said he took note of these but found it inexplicable that someone would, for $500, agree to find people to burn down a store in their own neighborhood. Sanchez was contracted by the owner of one deli to burn down a nearly-open competitor; both stores were across the street from where Sanchez lived. Judge Pauley told Sanchez he was lucky no one had been injured or killed, alluding to the felony murder rule which would have held Sanchez liable.

   While the prosecution via Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam S. Hobson sought a sentence of from 46 to 57 months, Pauley imposed 28 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, at a prison as near to New York City as possible.

   Restitution of $50,000 was ordered, and the same standard $100 mandatory special assessment that SDNY Judge Edgar Ramos had imposed the day before on former NYPD Lieutenant Paul Dean for his admitted role in gun permits for cash scam (see Inner City Press' story here).

  That sentencing drew a gaggle; that of Richard Sanchez for his role in the arson of a store in the Bronx did not. Pauley said to his mostly empty courtroom, The public must understand that people can't be going around burning down stores in their own neighborhood.

The case: United States v. Richard Sanchez, 18 Cr. 26 (WHP)

Upcoming in the SDNY is a just-filed complaint by the Bangladesh Central Bank for the $81 million hacking of its funds, which were then wired through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a case that Inner City Press will cover. Times change. Watch this site.
January 28, 2019

Amazon Banned Press From Beautiful Boy in UN For SG Guterres and Alison Smale But YouTube Monetizes Guard Grabbing Phone

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video CJR Letter PFT

UNITED NATIONS GATE, January 25 – When Amazon scheduled a screeing of its Amazon Studios' movie "Beautiful Boy" with Steve Carell on January 23, Inner City Press was invited and was told to come pick up its ticket in a United Nations Development Program building before six pm. It arrived and a handler in a black suit confirmed Inner City Press was on the list - but said that the actual ticket couldn't be found. Another Amazon production rep same and said "UN Security" was behind the disappearance of the ticket. Then Security grabbed Inner City Press' phone to stop it from live-streaming (to not give in to censorship, interviews continued outside.)

  Now on January 25, YouTube has reversed its seemingly automatic de-monetization of Inner City Press' video of the UN guard grabbing its phone to stop filming: "Hi Inner City Press, Great news! After manually reviewing your video, we’ve determined that it is suitable for all advertisers:  "Amazon Bans Press From Beautiful Boy Screening in UN Has Guard Grab Phone To Stop Recording"

Thanks,  The YouTube team." So which were the advertisers it was not, initially and automatically, appropriate for - Guterres' Gulbenkian Foundation? CEFC China Energy? Then there's the longer video of interviews of attendees ("What do you think of the UN?" "Not much") here.

  On January 24 Inner City Press in writing asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his Under SG for Global Communications Alison Smale, deputy spokesman Farhan Haq and lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric some questions, including: "January 24-2: On last night's Amazon Studios film screening that you promoted in yesterday's briefing, please immediately state who in the UN approved the use of UN premises for a for-profit company's for-profit film, any and all transfers of funds in connection with the event, the basis on which despite an accepted invitation Inner City Press are barred from the screening, and the specifics of the security in the lobby of DC1, one of whom grabbed Inner City Press' phone and stopped it from filming. Are these guards employed by the UN? Are they trained by the UN, since they are the face of the UN / UNDP there? Do they have immunity? On deadline."

  But three hours later there were no answers at all. The UN has become entire corrupt, roughing up and censoring journalists and refusing to answer Press questions about it. Today's UN should not be partnered with, particular by those claiming to care about freedom of the press and of expression.

   Inner City Press asked the basis, noting that Amazon and Jeff Bezos either shouldn't be involved in censorship or should at least explain it. The Amazon rep went out on the sidewalk to make a call; the rep in the black suit whispered to others that Inner City Press had started recording, which it had, openly.    

  Other tickets were given out, including to people not on the list, to one Elizabeth Dujarric, to another UN correspondent. Finally the Amazon rep came in front the sidewalk and said she had nothing to add, no explanation.    

   A guard came over and grabbed Inner City Press' phone, stopping it from filming, turning it dark. Who do you work for, I asked. The guard refused to answer. Video here.

Another blue shirted UN Department of Safety and Security officer refused to answer if those guarding UNDP work for the UN, or some outside firm. The handlers came over, once the camera had been stopped by the guard, to insist they were not from Amazon but Amazon's production company. Is that better?   

   The guards filmed Inner City Press out on the sidewalk as it ask some of those leaving the UNDP building what they thought of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his censorship. His spokes- / hatchetman Farhan Haq opening promoted this Amazon Prime for profit film, here. We'll have more on this.January 21, 2019

As Amazon Abuses Opportunity Zone Law To Gentrify Local Fight Back to DC As UNSG in Limousine

By Matthew R. Lee, Video, story, FOIA docs

NEW YORK CITY, January 19 – Whatever one thinks of Amazon and its proposal to build a second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, it seems obvious that this gentrifying area should not be using Opportunity Zone benefits which were presented as helping lower income people. Consider that already two Amazon employees bought units in Adam America Real Estate’s Galerie condominium on Jackson Avenue in LIC just before the subsidized deal was announced. Nowcarried by postal service employees in Queens are mailers promoting Amazon's claims of 25,000 jobs with a smiling swoosh imposed on the Unisphere, along with phone numbers to call local elected officials and tell them to support the project. But will the fight be limited to City Hall and Albany? Could the use of Federal Opportunity Zones legislation allow for a widening of the fight to the Federal level? Don't, for now under UN Secretary General Antonio Guterrres, count on the UN - Guterres drives around in a Mercedes and lives alone in a $15 million mansion on Sutton Place and 57th Street, right across the river from the Amazon's gentrification and corporate corruption site. We'll have more on this

January 14, 2019

On Haiti Trial Against US Ending TPS Judge Cites Cholera Exacerbated By If Not Introduced By UN Peacekeepers

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A

UNITED NATIONS GATE, January 9 – How arrogant is the UN, when it comes to Haiti like as to Cameroon and elsewhere? Just as the UN of Antonio Guterres didn't even send anyone one to the SDNY Federal court in December to monitor the UN bribery trial of Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee, now it seems the UN has no monitor or response when in the case challenging the impending end of Temporary Protected Status in the US for Haitians - even as the judge in the case on January 8 referred to Haiti cholera "exacerbated by if not introduced by UN peacekeepers." [h/t Beatrice Lindstrom of IJDH. When Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse spoke in the UN General Assembly on September 27 he referred clearly to "le cholera introduit par la MINUSTAH" - the cholera introduced by MINUSTAH, the UN Mission in Haiti, here. But when the UN of Antonio Guterres put on its website a purported summary of Moise's speech, it contained no mention at all of cholera, here. Why not? This week in Federal court in Brooklyn there is the continuation of a case - the trial began January 7 - charging Donald Trump and DHS with not only arbitrarily ending TPS status for Haitian - but also being motivated by racism. The UN of course can't be charged - only before they assert total immunity and impunity. Call it the ultimate white-wash under Guterres, who has also banned from UNGA, and from the UN as a whole apparently for life, Inner City Press which accompanied and covered the UN Security Council's most recent trip to Haiti and interviewed some of the many victims of the UN. Inner City Press emphasized Guterres' failure on accountability for bringing cholera to Haiti to the Sept 23 New York Post, here. January 7, 2019

In SDNY Reichberg Convicted Of Bribing For Private Police As UN Corruption Cover Up Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video I II III RS HK

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, January 2 – Less than a month after a jury rendered seven UN bribery guilty verdicts against Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee, for which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres continues to cover up, now on January 2 Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As a unanimous jury found, Jeremy Reichberg orchestrated a years-long bribery scheme that led to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits being provided to a select group of NYPD officers to provide Reichberg with a private, paid police force.  These illegal acts clearly undermine the mission of the NYPD and leave the citizens of New York City poorer, and Reichberg’s subsequent attempt to hide evidence of his scheme from law enforcement cannot be tolerated.  We respect the jury’s verdict as to James Grant, and we thank the jurors for their service during this lengthy trial.  Our Office will continue to work with the NYPD and the FBI to prevent corruption.” His Office should do more to prevent continuing corruption in the UN of Antonio Guterres.

December 31, 2018

Annals of the NYS Assembly: Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has admitted he couldn't recall ever hiring any black employees.

"I don't know that I've had any," he responds when asked about ever having any African-Americans on his staff.

Asked how many people have worked for him during his tenure as a lawmaker, Dinowitz says he's unsure, according to the court documents.

"Twenty, I don't know; I'd have to look at the records to figure it out," he said...[DN]

December 24, 2018

  A Bronx case we follow is the decision by
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark NOT to seek Supreme Court review after New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, found that the risk of deportation entitles noncitizens to jury trials on misdemeanor charges. “After serious consideration of the court’s opinion, I have decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case,” Darcel said. “Instead, I believe a legislative solution is the best path forward for the Bronx and New York City.” We'll have more on this.

December 17, 2018

In SDNY Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years In Jail Media Circus Unlike For UN Bribery Verdict

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video I II III RS HK

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, December 12 – Michael Cohen received a three year sentence on December 12 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, surrounded by a sea of cameras, tripods and a liv-streamer. See Inner City Press Periscope broadcasts here and here. In Courtroom 20B - while a week before in Courtroom 12A there was a guilty verdict in the UN bribery trial, see below. On Cohen, this US Attorney said, "Robert Khuzami, Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515, announced that MICHAEL COHEN was sentenced today to three years in prison for tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations.  COHEN pled guilty on August 21, 2018, to an eight-count information before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, who imposed today’s sentence.  In a separate prosecution brought by the Special Counsel’s Office (“SCO”), COHEN pled guilty on November 29, 2018 to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Congress and was also sentenced on that case today, receiving a two-month concurrent sentence.

NYPD Claimed No Records On UN Barred List But Called UN About It Misspelling Assaultant Name

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

UNITED NATIONS, December 11 – The UN under Antonio Guterres has a non-public "BARRED" list which includes political activists, according to Guterres' own UN Security, audio link below. But when Inner City Press whom Guterres put on the list for asking him about corruption submitted a Freedom of Information Law request to the NYC Police Department, NYPD first called UN Security insider Matthew Sullivan, then claimed they have no records or information. This is a scam. Inner City Press submitted an appeal, below. And on December 10 the NYPD replied, repeating exactly what the UN's Sullivan said: "Upon conferral with the NYPD Intelligence Division, it was confirmed by UN security that the list of “banned” individuals to which you refer in your request is an internal UN record that is not shared with this agency." But the rest of the response show how in bad faith the initial claim of no responsive documents was: "As it pertains to your request for records related to the “review, suspension or revocation of pistol permits for UN personnel”, the appeal is denied, first, because the records that you have described are exempt from disclosure under FOIL law; first, in that they are inter-agency or intra-  agency records that do not contain: i.) statistical or factual tabulations or data; ii). instructions to staff that affect the public; iii.) final agency policy or determinations; or, iv.) external audits [Public Officers Law §87(2)(g)]. Additionally, the disclosure of any records related to the “review, suspension or revocation” of a firearms license would reveal non-routine criminal investigative techniques or procedures [§87(2)(e)(iv)]; would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the license-holder(s) [§87(2)(b)]; and could endanger the life or safety of that person [§87(2)(f)]."

  But that means they HAVE responsive records, but are seeking to withhold all of them. To say, No records, is in bad faith. The NYPD ended, for now "Finally, to the extent that you seek information related to the Complaint Report filed with the 17th Precinct on July 4, 2018, enclosed herein please find the requested Complaint Report." On December 11 Inner City Press wrote again to NYPD and New York authorities: "   This concerns NYPD's December 10 response “denying” Inner City Press' and my appeal under FOIL of the NYPD's 4 December 2018 denial of my FOIL request acknowledged 15 October 2018 and quoted below, which was submitted on behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity.
  I am concerned that while the FOIL request was initially denied with the statement “The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has closed your FOIL request FOIL-2018-056-10172 for the following reasons: In regard to the document(s) which you requested, this unit is unable to locate records responsive to your request based on the information you provided.”
  But now it turns out that wasn't true. For example, the NYPD *does* have records concerning the pistol permits of and disciplining of UN Security personnel - it's that, on appeal, you've come up with an argument that you think it can be withheld.
  This should have been disclosed in the already delayed Dec 4 response. Now you leave no opportunity for an administrative appeal of the total withholding. The normal decision then decision on appeal process allows requesters to pursue their rights before having to resort to expensive litigation.
  So this is a request for a COOG advisory opinion on the now dubious Dec 4 denial stating there are no records. Even on the UN's barred list and any NYPD records related thereto, the fact that NYPD called the UN about it calls into question whether NYPD has no records. The argument that they are records of another agency or organization is a different argument.
Also, NYPD had the complaint information - with the name of the harasser mis-spelled. (It is Ronald E. Dobbins, not "Dobbing"). So why was I told, there are no record?
    Please explain, confirm that a substantive administrative appeal can be filed. And we will separately await an advisory opinion from the COOG so that does not keep happening. We want the requested records and the NYPD should not be protecting or running interference for the UN." We'll have more on this - the UN scam continues - as Guterres BARS Inner City Press in retaliation and to cover up his corruption.  This was the appeal: "To NYPD's FOIL Appeals Officer, and NYS Committee on Open Government, et al:

This is an appeal under FOIL of the NYPD's 4 December 2018 denial of my FOIL request acknowledged 15 October 2018 and quoted below, on behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity.

In short, I believe the NYPD's denial is not only erroneous but is in bad faith in its claim the NYPD is “unable to locate records responsive to your request.”

The request involved not only the processing of a complaint I filed against abuse and harassment by UN Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and others with the 17th Precinct on 3 July 2018 (report number #2018-017-2848) but also NYPD record about the pistol permits of UN Security officers and knowledge of the UN's “barred” list which includes, according to the UN, “political activists” - and me, confirmed by UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights email to me also pasted below and made part of this appeal.

Most troubling, and the reason for the cc, UN Security official Matthew Sullivan told me on camera on October 24, nine days after my FOIL request to the NYPD, that “NYPD called us, we called them also. 'Cuz it's an internal document.” See, from Minute 8:34, this video.

That the UN, which has no Freedom of Information procedures, characterizes its no due process barred list as internal is no basis for the NYPD to withhold information under FOIL, much less deny it is aware of any records. The requested records must immediately be identified - and provided. And we will appreciate an advisory opinion from the COOG as expeditiously as possible.

The initial request was for: “all records in the possession of the NYPD regarding the exclusion of persons in the last three years from premises of the United Nations, in and around First Avenue and 42-48th Streets in Manhattan, including of NYC residents including journalists. This is also a request for all records in the same time period of the review, suspension or revocation of pistol permits for any UN personnel including but not limited to UN Department of Safety and Security personnel and the grounds therefore. To assist you in identifying and producing the responsive records on an expedited basis, I personally was physically ousted from the UN by UN DSS Lieutenant Ronald Dobbins and another unnamed on 3 July 2018 as I staked out and covered, as a journalist, the UN Budget Committee meetings. On 4 July 2018 I filed a report at the 17th Precinct, despite being told - erroneously I now believe, including based on how my First Amendment rights have been impacted - that all UN personnel have total immunity. The report number is #2018-017-2848. On 5 July 2018 when I went to the UN to continue my work as a journalist I was told I am “banned.” I have since been told that the UN has a “current and active barred notice” against me, that there is a banned list that includes “demonstrators” and “political activists.”

For the record, 11 October 2018 UN DSS audio here.

I find this deeply troubling and worth of urgent Press coverage. This request includes but is not limited to all records related to the above, related to any knowledge by NYPD of any UN “banned” list and how it is compiled, and what due process protections if any are in place, etc. Also any knowledge by NYPD of any disciplinary measures taken against UN Security officers or other personnel, at least for the past three years.”

First NYPD denied expedited processing - while calling the UN, according to UN DSS officer Sullivan. Then the NYPD ruled / claimed: “The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has closed your FOIL request FOIL-2018-056-10172 for the following reasons:

In regard to the document(s) which you requested, this unit is unable to locate records responsive to your request based on the information you provided.”

It is not credible that the NYPD has no records about UN DSS pistol permits, or the complaint I filed on 3 July 2018, or in context the UN's “BARRED” list, which the NYPD ultimately enforces.

December 10, 2018

On UN Bribery Verdict SG Guterres Refuses To Comment From Mercedes to Cipriani Corrupt Censors

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video I II III RS HK

CIPRIANI SIDEWALK, December 5 – Today's UN and its partners are well versed in hypocrisy - but sometimes things go so far they must be noted in person, in the street if necessary. On December 5 after an eight day trial Inner City Press covered, also here, a jury in lower Manhattan rendered seven guilty verdicts in the UN bribery case of US v Ho, in which a still UN accredited NGO known as CEFC used the UN to offer weapons to Chad's Idriss Deby for oil and a stake in the Chad - Cameroon pipeline. This is a new low even for the UN of Antonio Guterres, who did not answer through his spokesmen the written request for comment from Inner City Press, banned from the UN for 154 days and counting by Guterres. Later on December 5 in front of an expensive catering hall near the UN, Cipriani 42nd Street, Secretary General Antonio Guterres lumbered out of a Mercedes and Inner City Press asked him, Any comment on the UN bribery guilty verdict? Guterres, whose spokesman Stephane Dujarric was standing in Cipriani's entrance, made a dismissive gesture with his hand and went in. This is today's UN. Guterres was a guest of honor - of the UN Correspondents Association. The UN bribery verdict questions must and will continue be asked, and should be answered. Watch this site. December 3, 2018

In UN Bribery Case of US v Ho Gadio Admits Taking $20000 Then Pushes Photographer on Sidewalk

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video I II III RS HK

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, November 29 – In the UN bribery prosecution by the US against Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee, on the afternoon of November 29 Senegal's former Foreign Minister Cheikh Gadio admitted he took $20,000 from an unnamed courier from a businessman he did not want to identify. But Gadio is not the defendant in this bribery case - he is, at least so far, the prosecution's lead witness, with a Non Prosecution Agreement. But does that NPA cover Gadio, after his testimony, pushing a journalist on the street outside the court? Video here (YouTube), shorter (Twitter). Inner City Press along with other journalists, mostly from Hong Kong media, waiting outside the Southern District of New York courthouse at day's end. Gadio emerged and Inner City Press asked him how he thought the day had gone. He did not answer but rushed past. Inner City Press asked, louder, "Are you still running for president of Senegal?" Gadio turned back and pushed a journalist who was following him. This happened again a few blocks away. Finally on the stoop of a pharmacy on Canal Street Gadio's companion said he would not be answering questions today but to give your business card. Inner City Press gave its and asked if the former President of Senegal Gadio wrote took money from China for dropping Taiwan was Abdoulaye Wade. Gadio looked back in recognition - then was gone. Inner City Press preiously questioned him in the UN when he was the Organization for Islamic Cooperation's envoy on the Central African Republic. Much has changed since then. As Inner City Press reported yesterday, Gadio was already on shaky ground when his email to Ho complaining he hadn't gotten Chinese money after, as Senegal's foreign minister in 2005, he worked to drop Taiwan and recognize the PR of China. But the bag of (campaign) cash allegation, dropped without warning in cross examination by Edward Kim, caused a break in the proceeding. Inner City Press rushed down to retrieve its phone and tweet and quickly live stream the news, here. Back upstairs, the name of the businessman was not disclosed, allegedly to protect him - from current president Macky Sall? We'll have more on this. Gadio testified for a second day about how he tried to broker weapons to Chad's President Idriss Deby from CEFC's Patrick Ho, who delivered gift boxes with $2 million in cash inside. Gadio's testimony got more specific, that in March 2015 Deby wanted to keep the meeting with CEFC small and confidential, "because of the war situation." Gadio cited Boko Haram, and Ho in a text message said CEFC's offer, for CNPC's 10%, was $200 million "and some arms." This is the head of a still UN accredited NGO, offering weapons for oil - with no audit by SG Antonio Guterres. Gadio tried to get paid for offering opportunities with the Chad - Cameroon pipelines. Gadio's firm Sarata had its bank account in Dubai closed for not being able to document where the money came from; his joint UN tax return with his wife, the head of the UN in Equatorial Guinea, was found to be false and is part of Gadio's non prosecution agreement. And the UN? And Gadio's reiterated dream to run for President of Senegal, after saying in writing he wanted money from China, while foreign minister, for flipping the country from Taiwan to the PR of China? The defense began its cross examination shortly before the lunch break, getting Gadio to admit he misspoke when he claimed Deby was calling him everyday. Mid-day Periscope video here. November 26, 2018

UN Spokesman Dujarric Spins Censorship For Guterres While Former Boss Helen Clark Questions

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR  Q&A, NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE,  NOVEMBER 19 -- As Inner City Press moved forward with its investigative reporting about the UN including its  Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric on 20 June 2018 said that “things will soon be getting worse” for Inner City Press' reporter. Inner City Press has now been banned from the UN for 138 days and Dujarric is providing his and his boss' pretext, as purported background, to some of those asking questions, at least if they come from Europe, see below. But on November 19 Dujarric's former boss at UNDP Helen Clark, answering Inner City Press' question across First Avenue from the UN, pointedly called out "the exclusion of journalists across the road." Vine; longer version here. One might think this would be jarring for Dujarric. One might question if ANY of the other candidates for Secretary General would have been the censor Guterres has been for 138 days, enabled by Dujarric. Inner City Press at noon on November 19, before questioning Clark, asked in writing Guterres and Dujarric: "Now that the Trump Administration has given CNN time (44 hours) to response to their re-suspension, please explain why the UN did not nad has not provided even that amount of time or due process - and immediately provide it, readmitting Inner City Press in the interim to the noon briefing and SG and GA proceedings.

More specifically, please immediately explain how Mr. Dujarric's statement that “press credentials to work at the UN, just like any other institution, is a 'privilege'” is different in any way that the position taken by the Trump Administration in response to the CNN lawsuit. Now that the Federal judiciary has ruled that access to the White House is not, as OSSG Dujarric has claimed, a privilege but a right, this is a FORMAL REQUEST THAT THE SG LIFT MIS-USED LEGAL IMMUNITY IN THIS CASE." Eight hours later, no answer to this or any other question submitted, on DRC, Cameroon, Mali. Guterres' UN is corrupt, and Dujarric is a corrupter. We'll have more on this.

The pretexts of Dujarric for Guterres are lies - now that they are becoming public, the ban is more disgusting and should be UNtenable.

  Two days after Dujarric's threat this reporter was pushed out of the General Assembly lobby during a speech by Guterres by UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins, who did it again more violently on July 3. Since then Inner City Press has been banned from entering the UN, and Guterres even tried to get Inner City Press ousted from Park East Synagogue twenty blocks north of the UN on October 31.

   As many online have questioned this no due process ouster, including from Cameroon, Japan, the UK, Italy and other places in Europe, we can now report that Dujarric while refusing to answer Inner City Press' and a UN Expert's written questions about how to appeal this lifetime ban has reached out to try to quiet some critics.

Tellingly, while he has entirely ignored for example Anglophone Cameroonian critics regardless of how polite or articulate they are, or how many social media followers they have, Dujarric has reached out to European critics. What does he tell them?

  To give the UN its best chance, Inner City Press on the morning of November 8 emailed questions to Guterres, his Deputy Amina Mohammed, Alison Smale, Dujarric and his Deputy Farhan Haq including: "November 8-2: I am informed that the SG's spokesman has selectively contacted those (from Europe) raising questions about the UN 3 July 2018 Press ouster and ban since, including stating that unnamed UN staff members or officials demand a lifetime ban in order to feel “safe.” Given the lack of due process, please name which officials or safe claim to feel unsafe in order to justify censorship, and the basis for your claims. Also, again, answer UNSR David Kaye's and others' question: what is the appeals process for a unilateral no due process physical ouster and banning by the UN of a journalist?" But seven hour later, no answer to any of the questions.

   So, for now due to the UN's constant threat of retaliation even against those it has unilaterally chosen to reach out to with dirt that cannot stand the light of day, this is a composite:

Dujarric claims that Inner City Press made "diplomats" feel unsafe. But he has yet to provide the name of a single diplomat, other than the false Morocco Mission complaint in USG Alison Smale's 17 August 2018 ban letter.

Dujarric claims that his staff didn't like having the movement reported on. This seems to refer to Inner City Press, once it had no office to use, working on a bench in the Secretariat lobby and noting when spokespeople who refused to even acknowledge formal questions went out to lunch. This is not a basis to ban a journalist for life.

Dujarric goes low and says that unnamed female reporters didn't want to see Inner City Press doing stand-up Periscope broadcasts. But the purpose of these -- filming on the fourth floor was permitted without an escort, Inner City Press was told by Media Accreditation -- was to show EMPTY offices, for example Morocco state media, while Inner City Press had nowhere to work. In fact, Inner City Press went out of its way not to speak with or engage in any way with Dujarric's coterie of pro UN correspondents - that why it left the building after work through the garage, which was later used against it.

  There is more, and we will have more. But it is clear these are pretexts. And even if Antonio "The Censor" Guterres, who believes it is impermissible for a journalist to do a critical stand up on the public sidewalk across two lanes of traffic from the $15 million publicly funded mansion he (sometimes) lives in believes these pretexts, an interim solution was and is clear.

 Simply allow Inner City Press in to go to the noon briefing and asked question - unless that is what they are afraid of - and to cover UNSC stakeouts and Budget Committee meetings. It is pathetic that a UN and Secretary General that be focused on "conflict prevention" can't find a solution other than violent ouster and banning for a critical journalist. We'll have more on this.

   This is how any dictatorship would try to justifying physically assaulting and banning a reporter - say that the journalist's reporting made unnamed people feel unsafe in unspecified ways.

  Yes, Inner City Press named UN officials who took money from now convicted briber Ng Lap Seng, including to provide Ng with falsified General Assembly documents. Is it legitimate for Guterres' UN to oust and ban a media for making briber-takers feel unsafe? There are others: the Patrick Ho trial starts this week.

November 19, 2018

 Today Nov 19 in The Bronx: "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gives opening remarks at the New York Federal Reserve Bank's Economic Forum. Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx" - tell the Fed to more seriously review proposed bank mergers, and to not join with Comptroller of the Currency Otting in weakening the Community Reinvestment Act...

November 12, 2018

Financial Follies Mock Bankrupt Puerto Rico As in DC Forecloser Joe Otting Targets the Community Reinvestment Act

By Matthew R. Lee, Video, story, FOIA docs

SOUTH BRONX, November 10 – A non-funny thing happened at the Financial Folllies fundraiser of the New York Financial Writers Association on November 9. They said they would "Skewer Bankers, Executives and Politicians." But, beyond mocking the #MeToo movement, the skewering turned about to be of bankrupt Puerto Rico - and with the costumes and hats being from Mexico, sombreros, with lyrics, to tune of Despacito: We can help you with your little bankruptcito/we’re the brains, you’re the debtor in ‘el possessionito’/words turn into Spanish just by adding ‘ito’/when we’re in San Juan we drink mojito-itos/& look out 4 the Zika from the ‘squitos." Video here, via Law360's Alex Wolf. While many in the audience were outraged, there was little real time in-person opposition expressed. This is called skewering the victim. What's next, mocking those being foreclosed on - by OneWest Bank, now CIT? The US Treasury Department is in a process to try to weaken and take the community out of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. Docket file here. The protagonist, akin to Scott Pruitt when he was at the US Environmental Protection Agency (and soon it would seem to be subject to greater oversight in the House Banking Committee), is Comptroller of the Current Joseph Otting. On September 12 Fair Finance Watch (and on FOIA, Inner City Press) commented to the OCC, here. On October 16, yet more on Otting's assault on the CRA became known. Under him, the OCC has ignored the rare racial redlining settlement by Klein Bank, rubber stamping Old National's acquisition of the bank over the timely and detailed objection and public hearing request of Fair Finance Watch. Otting doesn't like public hearings.  In April 2018 his OCC approved an application by E-Trade Saving Bank which Fair Finance Watch had challenged based on the bank having no fewer than six states rare "Needs to Improve" CRA ratings. FFW noted rare Needs to Improve ratings for the entire states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Oregon, and an undeserved “Satisfactory” for New York. Otting's OCC, after the approval, helpfully contacted E-Trade Bank to tell it that upon (Otting's) reflection, it was no longer even subject to the Community Reinvestment Act. Another institution was similarly contacted - the OCC under Otting is going through its roster of banks seeing which ones it can "free" from CRA even if they hadn't requested in. In one case, some in the bank still didn't want Otting's freedom and move more business into the bank to get a second reversal of Otting's orders. But it shows where Otting is coming from, beyond the unexplained comment-fraud for which he should be recused. Inner City Press on October 11 raised the E-Trade (and another bank) issue into the record on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. But, Otting being Otting, his OCC denied expedited processing for Inner City Press' Freedom of Information Act request bout his deregulation move, ruling that "You requested all records in the OCC's possession concerning the applicability of the Community Reinvestment Act to - or exemption there from - any affiliate of E-Trade or Bank of America California NA for the time period of October 11, 2016 to October 11, 2018. You also requested expedited processing of your request on the basis that the ANPR on CRA is open through November 19, 2018. Your request for expedited processing does not meet the criteria provided for in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(E) and Treasury disclosure regulations at 31 C.F.R. 1.5(e)." And that regulation... requires a formal certification. So Inner City Press appealed: "As a  a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, I am appealing the denial of expedited processing of my FOIA request, summarized by the OCC as for all records in the OCC's possession concerning the applicability of the Community Reinvestment Act to - or exemption there from - any affiliate of E-Trade or Bank of America California NA for the time period of October 11, 2016 to October 11, 2018.
...The OCC under Joseph Otting's actions to try to find banks to exempt from CRA outrageous and something on which there is an  urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity. As noted in my request, this is particularly the case given the OCC's unilateral moves regarding the CRA. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. Executed on October 16, 2018." Now weeks later, the OCC's Deputy Chief Counsel Charles M. Steele has denied the appeal, claiming it is not clear why the public needs access to these records of Otting's current attacks on CRA before OCC closes its comment period on Otting's new, desperate attempt. The OCC's denial makes light of Otting's actions including soliciting false comments during the public review process of his sale of OneWest Bank to CIT - as if there is no connection to Otting's current gambit. FOIA Denial here and for download on Patreon.

November 5, 2018

UNSG Guterres Tried To Have Press Thrown Out of Synagogue Before His Speech No Answer on Why Or Missionary Killed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Audio, Video, Alamy photos

PARK EAST SYNAGOGUE, October 31 – In the wake of the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Inner City Press went to cover a memorial event at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue. As it stood in line with others to be screened, the UN Security detail of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, one of the speakers, pointed out Inner City Press. One heard audibly into the microphone in his ear, "He's going in." But once in, Inner City Press was told to go up to the balcony with the rest of the media including photographers. It was setting up its recording equipment when a non-UN security man told it to follow up. In the basement he said, "Go," opening a door out to 67th Street. Inner City Press asked why. Audio here. The security man reached over and turn off Inner City Press' recorder. Ultimately when Inner City Press demonstrated what it writes and streams about, the office -- Shay Amir, head of security - allowed Inner City Press back to the balcony. So here are Inner City Press' photos of the event on Alamy, here. Inner City Press photos of two of Guterres' Security involved in this censorship here. Inner City Press from the balcony, before noon, e-mailed questions to Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Alison Smale who told UNSR David A. Kaye questions would be answered, Deputy Amina J. Mohammed and others: "October 31-1: Immediately explain the basis on which SG Guterres' Security tried to get Park East Synagogue head of security Shay Amir to have Inner City Press removed from his speech about tolerance." Hours later, the UN refused to answer this question, and one on the missionary killed by Cameroon, while send a single canned answer on Sri Lanka. Also at the event were, among others, Bronx congressman Engel, US Deputy Ambassador David Cohen, Israel's Danny Danon. Guterres has yet to speak or have his spokesman Stephane Dujarric answer Inner City Press' question about Cameroon killing missionary Charles Wesco, despite promises by UN USG Alison Smale to UNSR David Kaye that questions would be answered. What has the UN become, under Guterres?
October 29, 2018

In The Bronx, Great Liberia Photos and Ambiguous Role of UN Failing on Cameroon and Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 – There is in The Bronx an exhibition of photographs from Liberia by two martyred journalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. Inner City Press went to see it - and an exhibition opening speech by senior UN official Amina J. Mohammed. Video here. This is, therefore, a hybrid review - but we'll start with the photographs. They are stunning. Child soldiers, internally displaced people in a former Masonic Lodge in Monrovia, US Marines guarding the port.

Any positive UN role at the time of the photographs is harder to find. But people assume that the UN is good, or project on it all of their good feeling. And so Deputy Secretary General Mohammed, arriving characteristically later accompanied by unneeded security guards whispering into microphones that a question might be asked - was the keynote speaker, pitching her Nigerian government's role in all these West African conflicts. But what about Biafra? What about Mohammed herself remaining silent less than a year ago about her Nigerian government illegally detained and sent to Cameroon UN-registered refugees, Ayuk Tabe and 46 others? This was beyond the scope of the (excellent) exhibit.

In full disclosure, Inner City Press has in the past known the organizer, Michael Kamber, when he photographed the Inner City Press homesteaders fixing abandoned buildings in the Crotona Park East area of the South Bronx for the now defunct Village Voice. Inner City Press made point of telling him afterward, I'm going to praise the exhibit but tell the truth about the UN. He said he understood, that is Inner City Press' way. And so:

  In 2017 it emerged that Amina Mohammed, just before she left her position as Nigeria's Minster of Environment, signed thousands of back date certificates for illegally exported rosewood sent to China from Nigeria and Cameroon. Inner City Press, then in the UN, sought to question her about it. Soon Inner City Press was roughed up by UN Security and thrown out onto First Avenue on 3 July 2018, video here, and banned since.

   In fact the UN of Mohammed and SG Antonio Guterres who nominated her - and whose son Pedro does UNdisclosed business in Angola, Namibia, Sao Tome and Cabo Verde - have a secret banned from the UN list, on which they have put Inner City Press amid its questions, and which their Security official Matthew Sullivan is telling NYPD not to disclose. No self respecting Bronxite would put up with such a scam, and Inner City Press is not different. As we told Amina Mohammed as she fast-toured the exhibition after her speech, the UN should belatedly take action on the slaughter of Anglophones in Cameroon, and UN Censorship must end. She could end it - but will she? The request is in. These questions might seem aggressive. But that is journalism. The UN cannot be allowed to rough up and ban the Press that asks the questions.

  There was a speaker from the Office of the Mayor - which, when Inner City Press asked under the Freedom of Information Law for its knowledge of the UN's secret banned list which includes "political activists" conferred with the UN and then seeks to delay response to 2019.

 But, back the positive, the work of Bronx Documentary Center and Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), training freelance war correspondents in emergency medicine, must continue. We recommend their work, and the exhibition. It is at 364 East 151st Street in The Bronx. Tell us what you think.
October 22, 2018

For years Inner City Press has reported on the outrage of Metro North's red Connecticut trains not allowing on passengers at Fordham Road, even testifying about it to the MTA. Now the MTA claims it never knew, to the Daily News: "The New Haven line set up goes back to 1848, when the New York & Harlem and the New Haven railroad companies met at a junction in what is now Woodlawn.

The New Haven trains would pull into the station and let passengers off — but wouldn’t pick up any new riders.

By 1920, the Connecticut trains no longer stopped in the Bronx. But by the 1970s, a few New Haven trains began to stop at Fordham — but only to drop off riders.

When the rail lines became Metro-North in 1983, more trains were scheduled to stop at Fordham, along with the Harlem line trains. But the policy of excluding city riders at the Fordham and 125th St. stops.

“A lot of people wonder why you can’t get on the New Haven train in Fordham if you’re going to Grand Central,” Tom Meehan, New York Chapter, chairman, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. “It’s an anachronism.”

Metro-North and Connecticut Department of Transportation split the costs of running the New Haven line, with the Nutmeg State putting up two-thirds of the bill, totaling $130 million last year, after fares are collected.

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said that the agency will review the policy and discuss the arrangement with Connecticut.

“It is essential to ensure that we’re providing the best service possible to all of our customers,” Donovan said." Really...
October 15, 2018

UN Has Secret List of People Banned Guterres Puts Inner City Press On With Political Activists Without Review

By Matthew Russell Lee, Audio

UNITED NATIONS, October 11 – The UN maintains a secret list of people banned from entering its premises. Even the Security officers who enforce the ban are not told the reason why a person is on the list: whether it was for actual violence, or writing articles questioning the Secretary General Antonio Guterres' misuse of public funds, for example. One told Inner City Press the secret list includes "demonstrators" and "political activists," audio here.

  Guterres or apparently his head of Global Communications Alison Smale, if only as a proxy, can put a journalist on the list without any review, any notice, any appeal. It is a dictator's dream come true.

   Inner City Press was physically ousted twice by Guterres' UN Security this summer as it reported on his now-15 flights to his home in Lisbon with public funds, his trading away of Cameroon human rights abuses for favors in the Budget Committee, and now his son Pedro's undisclosed business links in Africa. Smale on August 17, without once speaking to me covering the UN for Inner City Press for 11 years, withdrew my media accreditation.

  But it's gone further than that. For example, on October 11 I showed up for a film screening about sex trafficking, “Love Sonia,” to which I had been invited by the UN Office of Drugs and Crimes. UNODC's New York director personally put me on the list for a post screening reception and came and met me and took me to the UN gate to sign me in, since my ticket - which she said she'd seen - mysteriously disappeared.

  UN Security refused to allow the NY director of UNODC to sign me in. “Even if he had a ticket we'd have to check,” one officer said. I was told that a supervisor would come out, and that UNODC would speak to them. But after one hour it never happened. Guterres' chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti left the building and I audibly told her, I'm invited but I'm being blocked. She did not even break stride.

  The UN has given me nothing in writing that I am banned. Guterres' spokesman has stated it as a fact, without explanation or rationale, on October 9 and 11, while refusing to answer my e-mailed questions despite Smale's promise they would be answered to supposedly respect my "journalistic endeavours."

   Another UN Security officer told me, No one is going to help you. You are on the list. I asked him, who else is on the list? He mentioned “demonstrators” and "political activists" and others. Audio here.

  Tellingly, NOT on Guterres' banned list are those who pleaded guilty to UN bribery for example in the Ng Lap Seng - John Ashe case. They are not banned by Guterres, UNlike the journalist who most closely covered those convictions, and the current UN bribery case of Patrick Ho and the China Energy Fund Committee. Guterres is fine with bribery, but bans those who investigate and expose it.

UNSG Guterres thinks he can ban people without no notice, no due process, no review? And that it won't be noticed or reviewed? Watch this site.

October 8, 2018

Here was an event that became too full for the public, and for which a request to cover did not garner a response:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be hosting another listening tour event as part of her campaign's commitment to cultivating a dialogue in the Bronx and Queens. Space is very limited at these events and press will need to apply for campaign credentials. To apply, please send an email to

Decarceration in NYC: Restoring Dignity, Uplifting Communities
What: Criminal justice reform activists will speak on their work and ways to affect change in our communities, followed by a Q&A session.
Who: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Shanequa Charles, Akeem Browder, and Michael Beltzer
Where: Parkside Senior Center, 644 Adee Ave, Bronx, NY 10467
When: Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET
Justice Democrats, 714 South Gay Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902, USA

October 1, 2018

Gadio Cooperates Against UN Briber CEFC Patrick Ho Says $2M Donation to Deby Guterres Bans Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Q&A, HK here

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 – Four months after the arrest for UN bribery of former Senegalese foreign minister Cheik Gadio and Patrick Ho, the head of China Energy Fund Committee full funded by CEFC China Energy, his ultimate boss at CEFC Ye Jianming was brought in for questioning in China. On July 19, the lawyers for Patrick Ho, led by Benjamin Rosenberg of Dechert LLP, argued before U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska that count after count of the indicts should be dismissed. Edward Kim of Krieger Kim & Lewin LLP tried to get Ho's emails and text messages suppressed, without success. On August 9, Ho's appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to get out on bail was again denied. Now the prosecution, opposing yet another Ho bail application, has written: "Gadio has been meeting with the Government for some time and he is expected to testify at trial pursuant to a recently executed non-prosecution agreement.  And far from weakening the case, Gadio’s testimony will provide substantial evidence of the defendant’s guilt. As the defendant is well-aware from a written disclosure made by the Government more than four months ago, Gadio is expected to testify, in sum and among other things, that (i) the defendant provided $2 million in cash, concealed within a gift box, to the President of Chad in connection with a business meeting in Chad in or about December 2014, (ii) the President refused to accept this obvious bribe, which Gadio understood was connected to the defendant’s interest in business opportunities in Chad, and (iii) the defendant thereafter drafted a letter to the President, purporting to pledge this $2 million to charitable causes, but the defendant appeared to have no interest in doing charitable works in Chad, and indeed, the defendant never asked Gadio about the status of the purported “donation” or made any other reference to the subject. (See Def. Ltr. Ex. A.) This expected testimony considerably strengthens the Government’s proof beyond the
already-strong case reflected in the detailed Complaint. The Complaint explained that, following a December 2014 business meeting in Chad, the defendant drafted a letter pledging a $2 million so-called “donation” to “the people of Chad at [the President of Chad’s] personal disposal to support [his] social and other programs as [he] see[s] fit.” (Compl. ¶ 28(a).) The Complaint did not, however, explain whether—and at what point—any money was actually paid. Gadio’s expected testimony makes clear that, in fact, the defendant provided $2 million in cash directly to the President, concealed within a gift box, and that the pledge letter was drafted after the bribe had already been offered. Thus, the evidence of the defendant’s intent to bribe the President of Chad is, on the whole, much more robust in light of Gadio’s expected testimony."
On September 24, a letter from May was disclosed: UN accredited executive of an NGO still in ECOSOC handed Deby of Chad $2 million in a box, for oil. This is the UN, which won't even audit this scandal. Guterres is corruption - and on September 26 even banned Inner City Press which reports on this from a human rights event. We'll have more on this.

September 24, 2018

UN Guterres Said Inner City Press Made Hostile Environment For Diplomats Now Says No Input from Diplomats

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFTracker

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 17 – How arrogant and counter-factual a self-styled world leader is has been revealed in the Leader's contemptuous approach to freedom of the press and whose who even gently chide him on it, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner. No, this is not a reference to Donald Trump, but to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. On August 27 Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric answered a question on camera about Guterres banning of Inner City Press by saying that "the revocation of Mr. Lee's credential has to do with creating a hostile environment for diplomats." Vine video with over 1270 views here. But on September 17 Dujarric after trying to avoid or intimidate a question on the same topic said that the decision was by Guterres' Secretariat "without any input from any member state." Video here. So how did Guterres and Smale "know" that diplomats felt a hostile environment? Or was it Guterres who didn't like questions and coverage about his mis use of public funds for junkets to Lisbon, his silence on the slaughter in Cameroon and his son's now exposed business links in Africa? Someone is lying. We'll have more on this. The Nobel Peace Prize winner who has sought the reversal of Guterres' outrageous 56 day and counting ban on Inner City Press even entering the UN is Jose Ramos Horta of Timor Leste, still serving Guterres' UN, who told Inner City Press on August 27, "Dear Matthew I did reach the very inner sanctum of the UN system reporting on your case to no avail. Apologies but I don't know what else I can do." Later on August 27 an independent journalist asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric why things are not fixed with Inner City Press' access, since it "looks bad" given other attacks on press freedom. Video here. Dujarric tried to cut the journlist off, insisting to say this is about freedom of the press would be wrong. (Then why is it in the Press Freedom Tracker, here, and the Columbia Journalism Review, among others for example in the UK, Japan, Italy and Cameroon?) Dujarric changed the earlier reference to Inner City Press being in a "garage ramp" - something Guterres' Grand Inquisitor Alison Smale never asked Inner City Press about - to being in the "parking lot." (Inner City Press' pass worked to get there, many use it as a way to exit, and several senior UN official, anti-Guterres sources of Inner City Press ask to meet it and give it documents there. Maybe that's the reason.) Dujarric then said that Inner City Press creates a "hostile environment" for the diplomats, some times correspondents and always UN officials it covers. Seems clear the ban is entirely about freedom of the Press, freedom to question, and a Secretary General and vindictive team of holdovers who seek to retaliate against questions and coverage, including live streamed covering, with a lifetime ban with no appeal. Here is an example of Inner City Press' August 28 questioning at the Delegates Entrance, since Guterres and Alison Smale have banned it from the Security Council stakeout. Is this hostile?  Would Guterres, former NYT bureau chief Smale and former former Dujarric like to write Inner City Press' questions? Its articles? Perhaps to omit all refernce to Cameroon and what Guterres did and didn't do?September 17, 2018

In The Bronx Alessandra Biaggi Beats Klein Amid Bad Review of UN and US Mission Good for Tacos El Bronco II

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFTracker Scope

UNITED NATIONS, September 14 – In US politics, the upset in June by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Joe Crowley for a House of Representatives seat in The Bronx and bits of Queens sent many to Wikipedia or Google to look up “Democratic Socialism.” On September 13 Ocasio-Cortez campaigned in The Bronx at least in some places for and with Alessandra Biaggi, taking on Jeff Klein for a State Senate.A flier supporting her said "Klein Vendio a los Neoyorquinos" on the "Ley de Votcion Temprana." Inner City Press, banned by the UN for the 72d day in a row, went to the Bronx intersection of Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road to cover Biaggi's campaigning, video here. And hours later Biaggi declared victory, 55-45, at the Bronx Ale House. She said, “This is because of every single one of you who were courageous, who saw a vision as well, who knew that we could not tolerate Democrats who would be empowering Republicans, that that was intolerable,” she said. “And we have now cut the head off the IDC snake.” Klein spent over $2 million in the race, while Biaggi had spent only $244,000 through the end of August, pursuant to state Board of Elections campaign finance disclosures.

Earlier, Ocasio-Cortez' press list was told to expect her at Pelham Parkway between 4:30 and 5 pm. Inner City Press went, banned from the UN now for the 72d day in a row for covering the corruption on Cameroon and elsewhere of Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Up on under the El train on White Plains Road the reviews of the UN and also the US Mission to the UN weren't very positive. But where was Ocasio-Cortez?

   Biaggi's volunteers handed out her laminated flier at the stairs up to the 2 and 5 train tracks. A couple arrived in a car with a small sound system. But still no Ocasio-Cortez. Finally Biaggi appears, speaking with people on the sidewalk and heading south toward Lydig Avenue.

Inner City Press did too, launching the Periscope live-stream which the UN cited in banning it for life, and on which the US Mission's Nikki Haley, a one time governor of South Carolina and seeming to want more, refuses to answer. One hopes those who now represent not only this district but areas like it can push to get from the UN less corruption, or at least an end to censorship. Politics retail and wholesale, immunity by the pound. At Tacos El Bronco II they serve them for two dollars, with big green onions. They get this reporter's vote. Watch this site

This was Ocasio-Cortez' schedule:

10:00 AM - Parkchester South Condominium, 2059 McGraw Ave, Bronx, NY 10462 (Ocasio-Cortez will cast her ballot)
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - PS 019 Marino Jeantet, 98-02 Roosevelt Ave, Corona, NY 11368 (Ocasio-Cortez will be joined by Zephyr Teachout and Jumaane Williams)
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM - Westchester Square
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Pelham Parkway
5:15 PM - 5:30 PM - PS 069, 560 Thieriot Ave, Bronx, NY 10473
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM - 46th Street/Bliss Street Station on the 7 Subway Line
7:15 PM - 8:15 PM - PS 122, 21-21 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 1110
September 10, 2018

UN of Guterres Says Trump's USUN and UK Request Ban of Inner City Press So FOIAs Filed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Letter PFT Q&A Haley

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 6 – How arrogant or out of touch a self-styled world leader is has been revealed in the Leader's contemptuous approach to freedom of the press and whose who even gently chide him on it, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner. No, this is not a reference to Donald Trump, but to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, including as represented by his Franco-American spokesman Stephane Dujarric. And now Inner City Press is told that Guterres is cynically trying to recast his 65 days of censorship as being based on a request FROM the Trump Administration, or at least Trump's UN Mission to the UN and its ally, the UK. A UN Correspondent who sought as many have to get the ban on Inner City Press lifted at least from the upcoming General Assembly week has said, in writing: "I spoke with Stephane the other day and unfortunately your situation remains unchanged. The case against you is based on complaints from the US & UK Missions... I have tried to get you a waiver for the UNGA week but Security remains firm in their refusal." So, the answer is that Guterres ban on Inner City Press -- which began on July 3 right after I spoke with Cameroon's Ambassador -- is now based on questions I have asked the US Mission's Deputy Ambassadors including Jonathan Cohen and UK Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen at the Delegates' Entrance AFTER I was already banned. There was also serial questioning of Guterres and UK Permanent Representative Karen Pierce in front of IPI on July 20, Periscope video here. In fact, all of my questioning of the US and UK Missions, and all other Mission, is online on Periscope, full archive here. It is no different that the questions hurled at Trump. But there, the First Amendment applies. At the UN, it seems, an already censoring Secretary General can claim to get subsequent support from... Trump and his Mission. See 6 September 2018 question put to US Ambassador Nikki Haley, here. Inner City Press had already submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the UK government, after statements by UN (British) Under Secretary General Alison Smale. Now today a US FOIA request has been filed to the US State Department in Washington:

"On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity as its United Nations bureau chief, Matthew Russell Lee, pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 for the following information: 1) Most pressingly, any and all record reflecting communications by the US Mission to the UN or its personnel to the UN concerning Inner City Press or me, including but not limited to my questioning and broadcasting on Periscope of and concerning such personnel; and 2) any and all record reflecting communications by the US Mission to the UN or its personnel to the UN concerning Inner City Press or me from January 1, 2017 to the date of your response.    This request, particularly (1) above which can and should be treated separately, should be afforded expedited treatment. I have today been informed that my banning from the UN, including prospectively from covering the UN General Assembly High Level week as I have for 11 years and for which I submitted a timely application on Sept 3, is based on complaints by the US Mission to the UN, who officials I have questioned in a journalistic capacity since July 5. Such a complaint would impinge on my First Amendment rights, and threatens imminent irreparable harm. Expedited treatment must be accorded.  If this request is denied in whole or part, please provide the basis for each such denial or deletion by reference to the specific exemption of the Act which you assert is applicable. Request for All Portions of Material for Which No Exemption to Production is Claimed Please provide all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. We reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information... I am requested expedited treatment of the request for all USUN communications to the UN about Inner City Press or me since July 3, 2018 due to such communications being cited as a basis to ban me from covering the UNGA High Level week beginning September 24 - the US Mission is being called responsible for the ban and it is imperative to prove or disprove that before then, asap, before irreparable harm including to First Amendment interests takes place." ["Your request has successfully been submitted."] Watch this site.September 3, 2018

UN Guterres Justifies Censorship With Lies Like That Inner City Press Shouted at Smale's Building But Has Never Been There

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, CJR Letter PFT, Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 31 – Before Inner City Press was roughed up by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' Security on June 22 and July 3, 2018 and under a ban on entry since then, made "permanent" by Guterres head of Global Communications or censorship Alison Smale on August 17, it insistently asked about Guterres' conflicts of interest, for example with murderous Cameroon chairing the UN Budget Committee where Guterres sought support or with the business interests of his family, as for disclosure of how many of Guterres' publicly funded trip took him through his real home, Lisbon. (The answer, with no UN help, is at least 14.) Now on August 31 Inner City Press has been informed of some of the intentional mis-information Guterres and Smale are trying to use to justify their censorship of the critical Press. Two senior UN officials who are privately outraged at what Guterres is doing, one calling Guterres "arrogant" and the other "abusive," both recount hat  supporters of Guterres are spreading the rumor that Inner City Press "went to the apartment of Alison Smale and shouted at her." We've heard that from others as well. It is an outright lie, not nearly the first by the team of Guterres, Smale and Dujaric. First, Inner City Press doesn't even know, or want to know, where Smale lives. Second, while Inner City Press several times tried to explain to Smale that her total failure to implement content neutral accreditation and access rules (and rather hob-nobbing with now retired correspondents of or before her era) would lead and has led to shameful censorship, Inner City Press never raised its voice, even when at the Russian Mission to the UN Smale's pianist husband Sergei Dreznin told Inner City Press it would always be targeted until it wore a suit. (For now, he will presumably have access during GA week to the UN, where he played back up piano, while Guterres through Smale bans Inner City Press which actually covers the UN, Yemen, Myanmar and (Guterres wishes it wasn't so) Cameroon.. So the UN of Smale and Guterres, now on his way to China after refusing to answer why Inner City Press is banned, is powered by lies - is it any wonder that no conflicts have been prevented? In fact, Guterres poured gas on Biya's killings in Cameroon, staying quiet for his reasons(s) and sending the envoy Francois Lounceny Fall who equated separatists with extremists? We'll have more on this. Despite Smale's assuarces, Inner City Press' questions are not being answered by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, and Guterres has had Inner City Press banned from the UN for life, by his Global Communicator Alison Smale who has failed to make even the minimal public financial disclosure called for under Guterres' predecessor Ban Ki-moon. Guterres' forms do not include the business interests of his direct children - but they should, see below.

On August 31, the 59th day Inner City Press has been banned from the UN by Guterres, there was nothing listed on Guterres' schedule until 4:30 pm: grip and grin photo op with the new Ambassadors on Armenia, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sidhartha Francisco Marin Aráuz of Nicaragua. But at 1:10 pm some of Guterres many guards -- one, Lt Ronald E Dobbins, twice roughed up Inner City Press on June 22 (which Inner City Press wrote to Guterres about on June 25) and more so on July 3 - showed up telling other cars including diplomats' cars where they could and couldn't park on 46th Street. Soon fully three black 4x4s pulled up in front of the restaurant Aretsky's Patroon, which recently hosted Hillary Clinton. Out stepped Guterres and UN President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak, who disclosed a 1:15 pm appointment with Guterres. First (silent) video here.  An hour and a half later, Guterres emerged with his chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti and with Miguel Graca. Inner City Press asked, calmly but audibly, why Guterres is banning it from entering to cover the General Assembly Week, which is has covered for 11 years, about what he has (not) done on Cameroon and on conflicts of interest related to his son's business links, first reported by Inner City Press. As is the Guterres way, he got into his limosine. Video here. By contrast the President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak listened when Inner City Press asked about access to the GA and seemed... well, we'll see and report.

Guterres, as is typically including on the business dealings of his son, did not even disclose his meeting with Lajcak. Guterres has shown such bias in having Inner City Prss roughed up and banned that Inner City Press has asked Lajcak, and will ask him and hereby his successor again, to take over the case and ensure Inner City Press can cover the upcoming UN General Assembly week. Lajcak's chief of staff says Lajcak is trying; his spokesman says "I discussed your letter with the PGA. Please know that he is personally sympathetic to your situation. He also continues to strongly believe that the UN should be as transparent as possible and that journalists should be able to do their work without hindrance.
At the same time, our practice here at the UN is for the Secretariat – not the Office of the PGA – to handle matters related to media accreditation and security. In that regard, we will continue to defer to the Secretariat in such areas. The PGA appreciates your interest in and coverage of the General Assembly. In that regard, from our side, we will continue to respond to your journalistic questions – whether you are inside or outside UNHQ. I look forward to our continued collaboration during the rest of the 72nd session." We'll have more on this As Inner City Press has now exclusively reported, Guterres' son Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres has been Manager of Planning and Control at PT Portugal since 2009, see here. And "PT Portugal has significant interests in telecommunications companies in Angola, Cape Verde, Namibia and São Tomé and Principe in Africa and in Timor-Leste in Asia," see US SEC filing here. (Guterres recently rebuffed, in an entreaty to stop banning Inner City Press, Time Leste's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta, here). Given that his father, as a UN Secretary General who has shown himself willing to stay quiet of the deaths of Anglophone Cameroonians to gain the support of Cameroon's Ambassador as chair of the UN Budget Committee, has and can impact on each of these countries, where are the clearly needed controls against conflict of interest? Inner City Press Periscop stand-up, here. As Guterres flies off for a business confab about Africa and China from September 1 to 4, complete with 100 businesses from Cameroon where Guterres is complicit in the crackdown, how is he recusing himself there and in New York (and Lisbon) from involvement in things impacting where his son's company does business and makes money? We'll have more on this
August 27, 2018

UN Guterres' Ban of Press Spun to IPS By Ex-IPS Haq Eviction Was to Change Reporting, UN Censorship Alliance

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFTracker

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 24 – After having covered the UN since 2005 for Inner City Press, and pursued stories of UN under-performance from Sri Lanka to Darfur and Haiti to Yemen and most recently Secretary General Antonio Guterres' failure and conflict of interest on Cameroon, at 4 pm on Friday August 17 I got a four page letter from Under Secretary General Alison Smale, formerly the New York Times' Berlin bureau chief. We've put the letter on Scribd here, Patreon download here

The letter informed me, without a single opportunity to be heard and offer rebuttal, that “your accreditation is hereby withdrawn pursuant to the Guidelines.” It cited what it called three previous warnings. But on further inspection there is no there, there. See below. It also claimed that Guterres' spokesmen would answer Inner City Press' e-mailed questions. But this it false. Of the fourteen question Inner City Press e-mailed to them, and Smale, and Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed and others on August 23 and 24, not one was answered. Not one. Including: "August 24-3: Given that Deputy Spokesman Haq told IPS “we respect his press rights, but we also want to respect other’s press rights. And some journalists feel their press rights have been impeded by his actions” - state, since this is the basis of me being banned, who these are, and how they feel their press rights have been impeded by my actions. Also all video and other evidence that Haq alluded to to IPS should be produced, today, since it is the basis of my being banned." Nothing has been provided, eight hours later, by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric who was drawing pay all day after having essentially ordered or passed on from his boss the order to rough up Inner City Press. From the IPS article: "Lee has been known for asking thought-provoking questions during daily briefings and at press stakeouts. He has reported on global conflicts such as those in Sri Lanka, Congo, Somalia, and others... However, the incidents with Lee started back in 2012, when he was warned by the DPI to treat his fellow journalists with respect." That's not the case. In 2012, the President of the UN Correspondents Association Giampaolo Pioli, who had rented one of him Manhattan apartments to one Palitha Kahona then unilaterally granted his request or demand for an UNCA screening of the war crimes denial film of the Sri Lanka government he represented at the UN, ordered Inner City Press to remove from the Internet its article about the conflict of interest. Inner City Press declined but offered to publish any response, at any length. Pioli and the UNCA board demanded removal of the article, and ultimately Inner City Press quit UNCA and co-founded FUNCA, the Free UN Coalition for Access. The UN claimed it was uninvolved - instead, then head of Accreditation Stephane Dujarric tried to condition Inner City Press' re-accreditation as a resident correspondent on more positive coverage of the Secretariat, specifically his fellow Frenchman Herve Ladsous, the head of Peacekeeping who famously said peacekeepers would rape less if they had more "R&R." So from 2012 it was the UN trying to strong arm positive coverage of its officials, and using the aura of "other correspondents" in UNCA as the leverage - making UN the UN Censorship Alliance.
  The article continues: "wo years ago, things changed: he was in an interpreter’s booth recording a closed-door meeting of UN correspondents, without their consent. Then, DPI’s Media and Liaison Unit (MALU) made the decision to downgrade his accreditation from “resident correspondent” to “non-resident correspondent”, which means he was deprived of his own office space, barred from going to the UN on weekends and prevented from staying late hours and restricted from some areas in the building. Although Lee believes this was “bogus reason” for the treatment he received, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary General, told IPS: 'Matthew has come up with his own version on his website. But in that case I know to be true what I saw with my eyes.'"
  What the IPS article - which we are appreciative of, including for getting these quotes - omits is that this supposedly closed meeting was in the UN Press Briefing Room, open to all journalists. And Haq, when he followed Dujarric in, reflexively took the side of the UN Censorship Alliance, saying of Inner City Press, "He lies a lot." Video hereIs that appropriate, under Smale's rules of procedure?
  IPS continues, " It seemed that the change in his accreditation pass had no effect. “After that, the problems with his behavior did not subside”, said Haq.

[That is, the goal is taking Inner City Press' work space and giving it to no-show, no question Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom's Sanaa Yousseff was to make Inner City Press behavior or reporting "subside." Note as the article didn't and perhaps didn't have to that Farhan Haq previously worked for IPS - that and his father are how he got his UN job - and presumably was a member of UNCA. We'd asked but wouldn't get an answer, if the past is any guide.]