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Showing posts from September 30, 2007

Gas stored in Ukraine to be transferred to Gazprom

06.10.2007, 13.06 KIEV, October 6 (Itar-Tass) - A protocol will be signed on October 8 to transfer gas stored in Ukraine to Gazprom's possession to settle a part of the Ukrainian debt, Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuri Boiko said in a televised interview on Saturday. The debt exceeding 1.3 billion dollars owed to Gazprom was formed as companies working in Ukraine did not pay for gas stored in Ukrainian underground tanks. Companies have the gas, but they have not paid money for it to Gazprom, the minister said. Stored gas is usually sold in autumn and winter, and then payments are made or a loan is taken for payment, he said. Gazprom will sign a protocol on October 8 on the transfer of the gas in Ukrainian underground storage tanks to the Russian company's possession, and it will be counted as repayment of about 600 million dollars of the debt. The gas volumes were not destined for use on the Ukrainian market, Boiko noted. On Friday, the Russian company's p

CSTO to receive RF weapons at internal prices

CSTO to receive RF weapons at internal prices 06.10.2007, 20.51 DUSHANBE, October 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said member-countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) would receive Russian armaments and special hardware at internal prices. President Putin told journalists on Saturday, “Serious concrete results have been achieved with the CSTO. They are mainly related to military-technical supplies. We coordinated and approved a list of all documents under which CSTO members would receive Russian armaments and special hardware for their Armed Forces and their special services at internal prices.” On September 25, CSTO General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha told President Vladimir Putin that a set of documents concerning military-technical cooperation and some other spheres would be presented at the CSTO summit in Dushanbe. “We will present seven agreements to the presidents. They will concern the peacekeeping potential, the protection of

CHINA: AFTER NORTH KOREA, MYANMAR?

By B.Raman In the run-up to next year's Beijing Olympics, China has been keen to project itself as a facilitator of solutions to long-standing problems in the Asian region. 2. Its quiet role in persuading North Korea to give up its military nuclear capability and to respond positively to South Korean overtures for a normalisation of relations between North and South Korea is widely recognised. If North korea is showing signs of wanting to come out of its years of international diplomatic isolation, a large part of the credit should go to Beijing. 3. Since June last, there have been indicators that Beijing has mounted a similar initiative to nudge the military Junta in Myanmar to come out of its isolation and respond to international concerns over its policies. The first indicator was its facilitating a low-profile meeting between senior officials of the US State Department and the Myanmar Government in Beijing in the last week of June. The meeting was reportedly attended b

RUSSIA : New Foreign Intelligence head , Fradkov to be appointed SVR new director

06.10.2007, 17.11 DUSHANBE, October 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov would be appointed new director of the Foreign Intelligence Service. President Putin told journalists on Saturday, “As for the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, you know this man very well. It’s Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov.” Incumbent director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Lebedev was appointed CIS executive secretary on Friday.

World’s shortest war lasted for only 45 minutes

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896. With a duration of only 45 minutes, it holds the record of being the shortest war in recorded history. The war broke out after Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini, who had willingly co-operated with the British colonial administration, died on 25 August 1896, and his nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, seized power in what amounted to a coup d’état. The British favoured another candidate, Hamud bin Muhammed, whom they believed would be easier to work with, and delivered an ultimatum ordering Bargash to abdicate. Bargash refused. While Bargash’s troops set to fortifying the palace, the Royal Navy assembled five warships in the harbour in front of the palace. The British also landed parties of Royal Marines to support the “loyalist” regular army of Zanzibar. Despite the Sultan’s last-minute efforts to negotiate for peace via the U.S. representative on the island, the Royal Navy ships opened fire on the palace at 9

Intelligence failure: Tales which sting

7 Oct 2007, 0007 hrs IST,Rajeev Deshpande & Vishwa Mohan, TNN NEW DELHI:/TNN/ "We need to go far beyond conventional responses in facing severe terrorist threats. We need superior intelligence capabilities which can alert us to impending threats. On internal security, we face formidable challenges" - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while addressing the conference or directors-general and inspectors-general of police in Delhi last week. At a time when the role of intelligence in prevention and containment of terrorist and other security threats is recognised more than ever before - not the least by the PM himself - India's covert agencies are handicapped by a thick curtain of institutional opaqueness and a culture of obsessive secrecy. This, often enough, leads to incessant turf battles, little or no accountability and costly glitches. Even 60 years after Independence, India's primary intelligence agencies - the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Ana

Spy versus shy

Saturday, October 06, 2007 at 0000 hrs Time for senior government figures to call for major reform of Intelligence agencies? In their spare moments our country’s spies must be feeling sorry for their counterparts in other democracies. The CIA, for example, is not only answerable to the US legislature’s Intelligence oversight committees, its files can’t remain classified for ever and the American media has a good record of analysing and exposing the agency’s more bizarre and questionable methods and operations. RAW, in contrast, does not have to suffer from institutionalised parliamentary scrutiny. All of us in the Indian media should acknowledge that our Intelligence agencies have got away lightly as far as investigative reportage goes. And, the biggest advantage of all, RAW has the Official Secrets Act that many eminent leaders over the years have apparently found reprehensible but no one has found the time to amend it, far less kill it, which is the fate it deserves. Tha

5 Minutes Over Islamabad

By A.H Amin 26 September, 2007 Countercurrents.org There appears to be a strong evolving consensus in the USA as well as its NATO allies that Pakistan is the centre of gravity of the Islamists in the ongoing so called war on terror.This idea gained currency in various high US policy making circles as well as think tanks around 1987-89 and then assumed a solid shape in the decade 1990-2000.After 2001 it was adopted as a policy and concrete albeit top secret planning was started to deal with Pakistan which at the ulterior level was seen as part of the problem rather than a solution. When the Spaniards landed in Mexico their main collaborators were indigenous Mexicans themselves ! In Pakistan thus the USA made use of indigenous collaborators ! Generals whose sons had a US passport ! Bankers who were US nationals but also dual Pakistani citizens ! Thus these leaders justified collaboration with the USA after 9/11 on the grounds that what they did was the only guarantee for the survival

Division of the people More Disastrous Than Partition

Justice Dr. M. Rama Jois Courtesy:Organiser Under our Constitution, there is no necessity at all to classify the citizens into majority or minority for the reason that Article 14 mandates the State to give protection to all the persons and to ensure equality before law for all of them. Article 15 prohibits the State from discriminating against any citizen on the ground of religion, race or caste. After we secured political independence for the truncated motherland, we framed and adopted a Constitution describing all of us as “We the People of Bharat” meaning that we are one nation bound by the feeling of fraternity as stated in the Preamble of the Constitution. The partition of our motherland carving out Pakistan out of our motherland on the basis of two-nation theory and communal hatredness is the greatest tragedy of the 20th century nay in the history of the world. It is estimated that number of persons killed on the eve of partition and immediately thereafter, far exceeded the

Balochistan maps

Indian Air Force Eager To Hold Military Exercises With USAF

Dated 6/10/2007 The Indian Air Force (IAF), which has turned 75 years old, wants to expand its 'reach' in future up to the South China Sea to secure the country's energy needs, due to the changing global scenario. The IAF wants to have facilities that would help the force to operate away from homeland for purposes as varied as disaster relief operations and securing country's energy need, said Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F H Major. He said that with many significant changes taking place in our environment, roles and organization, the IAF is adapting to reorient itself to the country's expanding strategic boundaries. The endeavor is to acquire long-reach aircraft, persistence, all weather precision, networked and space-enabled capabilities, he added. Air Chief Marshal Major's reference of South China Sea indicates the growing concern about the security of the oil vessels passing through the crucial Strait of Malacca, due to the growing activity of no

Saudi Arabia : Ghawar Oil field running dry ?

by James D. Hamilton http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200710/oil-field-decline No country is more important to oil markets than Saudi Arabia. The kingdom produced roughly 9.2 million barrels of crude a day in 2006, and accounted for 19 percent of world oil exports. Many analysts expect it to supply a quarter of the world’s added production over the next few years. And as the only producer with significant excess capacity, it has played a crucial role in alleviating temporary supply disruptions, increasing daily production by 3.1 million barrels during the first Gulf War, for example, when oil production in Iraq and Kuwait dropped by 5.3 million barrels. [Click here to view a larger image of the chart above.] The Ghawar oil field is the kingdom’s crown jewel. Stretching for more than 150 miles beneath the desert, it is the largest known deposit in the world. It produces perhaps twice as much oil as any other field, and has doubtless accounted for more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil produ

Inflation and the Federal Reserve

by Richard C. Cook Global Research, October 2, 2007 No term in the “dismal science” of economics is more misunderstood than “inflation.” The word means “rising prices,” but is used at different times by different people to describe totally different phenomena. The most predominant type of inflation is natural and occurs as raw materials are used up and must be replenished. It’s akin to the law of diminishing returns, or entropy, and is overcome by technological innovation. Another type of inflation is expressed through constantly changing conditions of supply and demand, including the fluctuating cost of labor. Yet another type results from the predatory pricing practices of monopolies such as the worldwide oil cartel which has jacked up the cost of petroleum to over $80 a barrel. Of an entirely different order are the inflation induced by central banks such as the Federal Reserve in creating financial bubbles or by the federal government in taking inflationary actions such as

Babalog’s day out The battlefield of 2009

Barkha Dutt October 05, 2007 First Published: 22:33 IST(5/10/2007) Last Updated: 22:44 IST(5/10/2007) Babalog’s day outThe battlefield of 2009, claim political pundits, will pitch youth against age, the new against the old and India’s future against her past. In an overwhelmingly young country that is bustling with energy and is adamant about taking a seat at the global high table, strategists in the Congress believe that Rahul Gandhi’s 37 years will sparkle in comparison to L.K. Advani’s 80 years and more. Of course, it’s not fully clear yet that the next election will be Rahul’s Big One. Much will depend on the outcome and if it’s a coalition formation like the present one, Manmohan Singh may well be back as Prime Minister again. And next year, this time, Singh will be 76 years old. Even so, there’s no question that as elections approach, the Congress will stomp onto the playing field with a swagger that belongs only to the young . It’s also true that the formal elevation of the yo