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Showing posts from July 22, 2007

U.S.: The Debate over Security Contractors

Source: Stratfor July 27, 2007 18 27 GMT The latest Defense Appropriations bill goes to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives next week. Included among the spending measures is a provision requiring the secretary of defense to set minimum standards for civilian security contractors and to establish a clear set of rules of engagement for those operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. In effect, this is a crackdown on security contractors -- though, like previous attempts, it is unlikely to change the way they operate in war zones. The legislation is a response to the negative perception of contractors among members of Congress and the public. The prevalent view is that armed security contractors operating in foreign countries are mercenaries, that they get away with murder and that the lack of oversight makes them reckless and indiscriminate as to how they behave and whom they kill. These issues were first visited in 2000, when Congress passed the Military Extraterritorial Juri

French Economic Intelligence release booklet for professionals

Working group undertaken of the IHEDN July 25, 2007 Association of the Listeners in Economic Intelligence of the Institute of the High Studies of National Defense (AAIE-IHEDN), release a boklet for economic intelligence professional under available for download under the title document: “Management of the trades of the economic intelligence in company”. This booklet, is intended to the professionals of human resources confronted with the recruitment of the experts of the economic intelligence or with any other person interested by this speciality. Click to download the Booklet

A new world scientific gate available

July 26, 2007 offers to the researchers and to the public informed a free access to more than 200 million pages of information on international research. This new gate Internet was developed jointly by British Library and the ministry for the Energy of the United States. It associates for France the INIST-CNRS (national Institute for scientific and technical information) as well as comparable organizations of Denmark, of Germany, of the Netherlands, of Australia, Brazil, of Canada and Japan. Source: the economic letter intelligence infos of the INHES

TURKEY : Winning Kurdish hearts and minds

How the AKP overshadowed Kurdish nationalism in Turkey’s southeast Saturday, July 28, 2007 Since the beginning of the Republic, Ankara’s Kurdish policy has been based on the principle of “Turkification,” an authoritarian policy that has sparked violent reactions. But now, the AKP is accomplishing something that the state has never been very successful in doing: Winning Kurdish hearts and minds MUSTAFA AKYOL DİYARBAKIR - Turkish Daily News Hasan Uğur is a “haci,” a word used to describe pilgrims to the Kaaba, the Muslim holy shrine in Mecca. Like many hacis, he has a nicely trimmed beard and wears a kippa-like cap. After some comments in Kurdish and some prayers in Arabic, he kindly passes loaves of bread and dishes of goat meat to me and a dozen other men, who are all brothers, nephews or grandsons of Uğur, and are all sitting on the same carpet. This is one of the handful of houses in the Dalbudak Mezrası, a mini village tied to Ergani, a province of Diyarbakır. While

Al-Qaeda sets eyes on Bangalore DECCAN HERALD, JULY 10, 2007 Al-Qaeda sets eyes on City Bangalore, DH News Service: According to top police officials, prominent installations in the City such as the ISRO, HAL, Infosys campus and the IISc, are under al Qaedas radar. Is the IT City under al Qaeda radar? Evidence gathered so far by the City Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths, along with Intelligence Bureau (IB), which is probing the involvement of Kafeel Ahmed and Dr Sabeel Ahmed in London terror plot, are pointing at Bangalore being one of the prime targets of the al Qaeda. According to top police officials, prominent installations in the City such as the ISRO, HAL, Infosys campus and the IISc, are under al Qaeda’s radar. “An attack on the IISc might be its (al Qaeda) first step into Bangalore,” the sources said. Over and above, the investigators now have strong suspicion that the al Qaeda may also be involved in the Indian Institute of S

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: A Tit-for-Tat with Great Britain

Introduced by Vladimir Frolov Russia Profile Contributors: Nicolai N. Petro, Eugene Kolesnikov, Andrei Zagorski, Stephen Blank Last week, the new British government expelled four Russian diplomats and tightened visa requirements for Russian officials in response to Moscow’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, a Russian citizen whom the British Crown Prosecution Service wants to be tried in Britain for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who died of polonium poisoning last year. There was no word of economic sanctions yet, which probably reflects the British business community’s reluctance to lose the handsome profits they are making in Russia. The United States strongly supported Great Britain, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling on Russia to extradite Lugovoi. The EU, however, was quite lukewarm to the idea of being dragged into another brawl with Russia on a matter that did not directly concern other EU states. The British move was met with surprise in M

Aitzaz Ahsan: A Lawyer who turned a Judge into a National Cause

A Lawyer Who Turned a Judge Into a National Cause By SOMINI SENGUPTA; New York; July 28, 2007 PROFILE OF Aitzaz Ahsan ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 25 — In the hands of a lesser political bloodhound, the matter might have been simply a court case to decide the fate of the chief justice of Pakistan. In the hands of Aitzaz Ahsan, one of the country’s best known lawyer-politicians, the case of the chief justice was rendered a case of justice under military rule. What could have been no more than a polite exchange of arcane constitutional arguments became over the last four months a political finger in the eye of the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was removed by the president in March on charges of misconduct. Mr. Chaudhry appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled a week ago that General Musharraf’s action was illegal, and restored him to the post. As the principal counsel for the chief justice, Mr. Ahsan not only led the l

The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us

The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us (Hardcover) From Publishers Weekly Meredith, who covers India and China for Forbes, upends conventional wisdom in this well-reported book, arguing that the U.S. shouldn't fear these two rising economic powers. The U.S. (buyer to the world) and China (factory to the world) have, respectively, the largest and fourth largest economies, but they will reach parity in 2015. Though American politicians tax Chinese goods, Meredith points out that Americans actually gain from the undervalued yuan: our companies profit from the cheap goods the Chinese manufacture. Meanwhile, India (backoffice to the world) has picked up most of the one million white-collar jobs that moved out of the U.S. by 2003. But Meredith notes that for every dollar that goes overseas, $1.94 of wealth is created—all but 33 cents of which returns to the U.S. Protrade and antiprotectionist, she makes a compelling argument that Chi

BALOCHISTAN : Militant group claims responsibility for killing Raziq Bugti

Islamabad, July 27: Pakistan's banned militant group Baluch Liberation Army (BLA) Friday claimed responsibility for killing Balochistan provincial government spokesman Raziq Bugti, a private TV channel reported. Biberg Baloch, self-claimed spokesman of BLA, has called a press club in Quetta to make the claim, according to Dawn News. Raziq Bugti was shot dead Friday afternoon by gunmen in an ambush in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, local TV channels reported. Raziq Bugti, 55, was alone and driving his vehicle and no security guard was with him when assailants opened fire at the vehicle, the private Geo TV channel reported. Attacks on government installations or public assets have been reported frequently in the remote southwest region where anti-government tribal people have been campaigning for more autonomy and bigger royalties share from the local natural resources. Since early July, Pakistan has seen a series of attacks across the country, most of which targ

Pakistan's Pashtun 'problem'?

SPEAKING FREELY Pakistan's Pashtun 'problem' By Haroun Mir Jul 26, 2007; Asia Times At least since September 11, 2001, most of the perpetrators of terrorist actions in the West have been Arabs or Pakistanis, yet the victims of the West's military reactions have been Afghans and the Pashtun tribes living in Pakistan. The majority of Pashtuns have fallen prey to Arab and Pakistani propaganda against the West. The continued insurgency in Afghanistan and the sudden deterioration of the situation in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province make the Pashtun tribes the prime target in the "war against terror". They have lived in poverty and become the proxy soldiers in the confrontation between the West and the Islamic extremists. The radicalization of young Pashtuns in madrassas (seminaries), generously financed by Saudi Arabia, menaces the cohesion of Pashtun tribal structure. About 30 million to 35 million Pashtuns live in both Afghanistan and Pakista

Russia says U.S. can't have both Gabala, Europe missile shields -1

21:33 | 27/ 07/ 2007 MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - The United States cannot deploy a missile shield in Central Europe and at the same time accept Russia's offer for the use of the Gabala radar in Azerbaijan, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday. "Russia's proposals are an alternative, rather than a complement, to U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said. In Kamynin's comments, posted on the ministry's Web site, the spokesman discussed the results of a meeting of the NATO-Russia Joint Permanent Council held Wednesday, at which Russia sought to clarify proposals for alternative missile defense sites made to the U.S. by President Vladimir Putin. Kamynin said Russia's delegation to the Brussels meeting had said that "missile defense systems affecting the interests of many states should be developed, built, and deployed on the basis of collective assessments of real mis

Pakistan: Musharraf Forced to Compromise

Source: Stratfor July 27, 2007 14 25 GMT Summary A suicide bombing occurred at a market in the Pakistani capital July 27, while former Red Mosque students reoccupied the nearby Red Mosque. The domestic security situation continues to deteriorate and is exacerbating political instability in the country, which would explain reports that say President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who is on a trip to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, will meet with top Pakistani opposition leaders in those countries. Musharraf has been weakened to the point that he is forced to seek a compromise with his opponents in an effort to salvage his regime. Analysis Another suicide bombing occurred July 27 in the Pakistani capital, this one targeting security forces at a restaurant in a marketplace. About a dozen people were killed and nearly 50 injured. Meanwhile, Islamabad's Red Mosque was the scene of unrest again as radical seminary students briefly occupied the mosque on the occasion of its r

Indian Officials Satisfied With Nuclear Pact With US

By Steve Herman New Delhi 28 July 2007 Herma report - Download 646k Listen to Herma report Indian Nat. Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, center, Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, left, and Dept. of Atomic Energy Chairman Anil Kakodkar, right, address a press conference, 27 July 2007 Indian officials are expressing deep satisfaction with a peacetime nuclear deal with the United States that took two years to finalize. The agreement permits the U.S., for the first time in three decades, to provide assistance and fuel for energy-deficient India's civilian nuclear power program. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi that Indian government officials are optimistic the deal will also find favor with a skeptical U.S. Congress. After five rounds of intensely technical negotiations over two years, India appears to have extracted nearly all the concessions it had sought from the United States. Both countries are calling the landmark civil nuclear cooperation

Works of art from the Aga Khan's collection on show in London

Islamic art For your edification and delight Jul 26th 2007 The Economist “THE supposed ‘clash of cultures' is in reality nothing more than a manifestation of mutual ignorance,” writes the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's 15m Ismaili Muslims, in his introduction to “Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection”. Be reassured: the exhibition, at the Ismaili Centre in London until August 31st, is no judgment-paralysing blockbuster. It is small but with big ambitions, both to educate and to delight. With some 160 objects and works of art, from a still growing collection already six times that size, the show sets out to illustrate 1,000 years of Islamic artistic and scientific accomplishments in countries from China to Spain. Inevitably, it is just a taster show. But it's a honey of a primer, by turns beautiful, eye-opening, mysterious and puzzling. The material is organised into two broad areas: “The Word of God” and “The
The Gandhis' girl Jul 26th 2007 | DELHI The Economist The election of India's president is a modest boost to the government AP Victor, not consensus-builder NOT even women's-rights activists celebrated loudly on July 25th when Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India's first female president. Her election—by a two-thirds majority of a college of national and state assembly members—was unusually fractious. India's head of state, a largely ceremonial post, tends to be the consensus choice of the main political parties. But Mrs Patil was nominated by the government, a coalition dominated by the Congress party, and opposed by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP considered Mrs Patil, 72, a stooge of the Gandhi family, Congress's hereditary chiefs. Worse, in the run-up to the election, the former Congress politician was implicated in rather a lot of scandals. It is alleged, for example, that she used her influence to help a brother evade in

New Study Says Venezuelan Economy to Continue to Boom

Thursday, Jul 26, 2007 By: Washington, DC: A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at the Venezuelan economy during the last eight years and finds that it does not fit the mold of an "oil boom headed for a bust," as is commonly believed. "There's no obvious end in sight for Venezuela's current economic expansion," said economist Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and co-author of the paper “The Venezuelan Economy in the Chávez Years.” The paper notes that Venezuela's economy was wracked by political instability for the first four years of President Hugo Chávez's tenure, but has grown steadily and rapidly over the last four years, after political stability returned to the country following the oil strike of December 2002 to February 2003. Since the bottom of that downturn in the first quarter of 2003, Venezuela's real GDP has grown by 76 percent

Indo-US Nuclear Agreement : Indian Govt reasoning and Way out as per Arun Shourie

This excerpt is from an article by Dr.Arun Shourie last year Arun Shourie The sequence of the government’s reasoning has been: • We need huge quantities of energy. • Nuclear energy has to supply 35,000 megawatts of what we need — against the 3,500 megawatts it supplies today. • While we have the requisite reserves of natural uranium, we are not able to get enough of it out of the ground for the reactors. • Hence, the operating/plant-load factors of all the reactors have been falling since 2000. Therefore, we need imported uranium. • Therefore, we need this agreement. • Therefore, we have to accept the conditions that go with this agreement. Now, it is true that with the quantities of uranium that we are currently mining and milling, we cannot pursue both — that order of power generation as well as our weapons programme — simultaneously. If for electricity one uses X amount of uranium, I was instructed, for weapons, one

Steal Public Funds, Go to Jail - Yar'Adua Tells Ministers

Daily Trust (Abuja) NEWS 27 July 2007 Posted to the web 27 July 2007 By Abdulfattah Olajide Thirty nine new ministers were sworn-in in Abuja yesterday with a warning from President Umaru Yar'Adua that anyone caught stealing public funds would be sent to jail. "As an Administration, we have absolute zero-tolerance for corruption in all its ramifications. We must never abuse public trust either through misappropriation, misapplication, or outright stealing of public funds. Anyone who does so will have the full weight of the law to reckon with", Yar'Adua said to the thirty-two men and seven women who became the first ministers of the Yar'Adua administration. In the new cabinet line up, Yar'Adua himself retained the Energy portfolio, following in the footsteps of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, who held the Petroleum portfolio during most of his eight years in office. Three Ministers of State for Energy were however appointed. Hajiya Fatima Balaraba Ibrahi

NIGERIA : EFCC Has No Power to Prosecute Corrupt ex-Governors - SANs

Vanguard (Lagos) NEWS 27 July 2007 Posted to the web 27 July 2007 By Ise-Oluwa Ige Before President Olusegun Obasanjo completed his tenure of office on May 29, this year, the most vociferous anti-graft agency established by his regime--the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), vowed to hunt down, a total 33 state outgoing governors in the law courts. The Chairman of the Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who disclosed that prima facie case of corruption had been established against the governors said that none of them would escape justice. He had said that the only obstacle militating against their prosecution was the constitutional immunity enjoyed by them then. Although many a Nigerians did not like the modus operandi of the anti-graft agency, demystifying corrupt governors by way of arrest, detention and prosecution by the agency, was a welcome development. On the eve of the hand over date, many had thought that not less than 20 governors would be arrested by men of t