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Showing posts from September 14, 2008

Towards a taxonomy of blogs

THE WEB Posted: 11-09-2008 Before we criticise bloggers, let’s define our terms, writes MARGARET SIMONS SOMETIMES language can obscure as much as it reveals, particularly when the world changes faster than our ability to create new vocabulary. I think we have reached this situation with “blogging.” Never the most beautiful sound, the word “blog” is now manifestly inadequate to allow us to talk in sensible ways about the many different things that are happening in internet based publication by individuals and groups. We need new words. To draw an analogy, both Hello and The Monthly are magazines, but knowing that is hardly enough to decide whether or not you might be interested in reading them. For that we need more information, and more differentiation. I think the need for new vocabulary is becoming urgent. Last month I took part in many anguished discussions in various forums in the wake of the redundancy a

Indian Mujahideen & CounterCurrents - Potential nexus

Offstumped The famed 5 e-mails from the Indian Mujahideen have been making all the news as media and public attention have been turned away from an earlier less reported and even less investigated event. For weeks now Offstumped has been researching in collaboration with others the unexplained 6th email which was sent on the 31st July 2008. This e-mail was sent from the same email id that was used to send the Ahmedabad Blasts email however it was by faking the from address using SMTP instead of using the Yahoo web mail account directly. The contents of this email have been sparsely reported in the media and have mainly to do with a bomb threat to India TV News. Now along comes news that the latest e-mail from the Indian Mujahideen has text lifted from an article on, a delhi based Indian News watchdog (first brought to Offstumped’s attention by Prasanna). Now the news story in the HT on this also alludes to the fact the is not a

Fragrance of fire

THE RIGHT VIEW TIMES OF INDIA 20 Sep 2008, 1542 hrs IST, Tarun Vijay Delhi is mourning the death of Inspector M C Sharma who dared to take on the terrorists hiding in Jamia Nagar. It's rare that police force gets such an appreciation and salute that is otherwise reserved for the armed forces. The reactions of the people and the anchors on the news channels were sad, moist and genuine. Why did he have to have this martyrdom? The men in Khaki are more known and portrayed in movies as lazy, corrupt, unintelligent and seekers of pleasure at public cost. Few know the trying circumstances they work in and the salaries they draw. They are facing the Communist terrorism in thirteen states, their martyrdom in action, go often less reported and almost unsung. They are given the most outdated rifles and equipment and the facilities to act against terrorists who are cunning, resourceful and heavily armed with modern weapons. The police laws are shamefully inadequate. Indian police was go


B.RAMAN Since 9/11, the Marriott Hotel Chain has been the victim of six terrorist strikes mounted by Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda jihadi terrorist organisations. On four occasions---- thrice in Islamabad and once in Jakarta--- it was directly targeted. On the remaining two occasions (New York and Karachi) it was a collateral victim of a terrorist strike not directly targeting it. 2. On 9/11, the destruction of the two towers of the New York World Centre by Al Qaeda destroyed the New York Marriott World Trade Center Hotel and damaged the 504-room Marriott Financial Center located there. Some senior executives of the hotel chain, who had their offices in the towers, were killed. 3.On June 14, 2002,the Marriott Hotel in Karachi suffered minor damages when a suicide car bomb exploded near the US Consulate in the same area. Eleven persons----mostly passers-by---were killed. The hotel was not targeted.On August 5, 2003, the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta was the direct target of an attack

"Creative Genius of India" : YUKTI ENRICHMENT PROGRAM on 26th September 2008

YUKTI ENRICHMENT PROGRAM on 26th September 2008 "Creative Genius of India" We invite you to YUKTI’s enrichment program for September. This month’s program is a talk and multi-media presentation on the Creative Genius of India” by Sri Rajeev Srinivasan. The attachment has all details. Heritage, a not-for-profit charitable organization has created a forum titled YUKTI . The forum is an active one that brings to the contemporary mind knowledge about our country, heritage and culture. Wisdom that will enable us to not only find our roots and keep us connected to our unbroken culture in this fast paced life of globalization but to surge ahead and be leaders too. This month’s program is supported by Rotary Club of Midtown, so their members will be present too. If you have any colleagues or friends who are interested kindly do give us their co-ordinates so we can inform them. The audience is restricted to about 125 people so do respond at the earliest. The session will be

Post-communism, post wars: life worsens for Gypsies

LeMonde Diplomatique Balkan Roma, people without a state The fall of communism and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia have left the Roma people, long settled throughout the Balkans and forming a strong part of the region’s identity, with few protectors. Many fled persecution and unemployment as refugees; others remain, underprivileged and under threat By Laurent Geslin The young man drove us carefully on the bumpy road from Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, to Fakulteta, where more than half the 30,000 Roma of Sofia live. It would be impossible to enter this area, where the socialist housing blocks give way to vegetation and rubbish heaps, without a guide, since it has been under guard since last autumn’s violence. The driver said: “I’m taking these detours to avoid the police. I don’t have a driving licence.” Baptiste Riot, a young French teacher who gives photography classes to the children of the Mahala, the Roma district, explained: “Groups of

Oil war: MEND shuns N'Delta elders

Source: VANGUARD ONLINE , Nigeria Written by Emma Amaize, (Regional Editor, South-South), Miebi Senge& Jimitota Onoyume Saturday, 20 September 2008 The declaration of “Oil War” by the main militant group in the Niger Delta, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), sparked off gun duels between the militants and the Joint Task Force, JTF, on several fronts in the region yesterday leaving at least 10 suspected militants dead. The militants however, scored a hit when they destroyed a major pipeline belonging to the Shell militants Petroleum Development Company at Elem Kalabari, Cajuthone channel in Rivers State. Two South Africans that were caught in the shootout between the Joint Task Force and the militants were rescued. The South Africans were released following aa plea for their release from Azuka Okah, wife of the detained MEND leader, Henry Okah. Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori has also joined the fray, appealing to both faction

QUOTE OF THE DAY : Vikram Sood

Nearly three years ago in an article, I wrote: “ Many in India are given to wishful thinking that peace between India and Pakistan is possible and .... that this would lead to an end to terrorism in India. It will not, given the mindset that prevails in Rawalpindi and Islamabad along with the madrassa culture which collectively dreams of a destabilised, if not balkanised, India. If Pak- inspired terrorism in India were to come to an end where would all these jehadis be sent? To the rest of India, perhaps? Or to Afghanistan, Central Asia or even further into Europe? Keeping them in Pakistan would be suicidal for the Pakistani establishment. Islamic radicals and terrorists may not have yet developed a replica of the Comintern but they do seem to have a Jehad’s Rapid Deployment Force as a counter to Centcom.” And so it came to pass. -- Vikram Sood Vikram Sood was a career intelligence officer who retired in March 2003 after heading India's external intelligence service, the Researc

Terrorists innovate, but Govt response is unchanged

By VIKRAM SOOD THE terror attack in Delhi on Saturday was the 14th such incident — among both big and small – since April 1999 ( about the time Kargil was taking place). It was also the 12th attack on a major urban civilian target since the Mumbai train blasts on July 11, 2006. Other bomb attacks have taken place in Mumbai, Malegaon, the Samjhauta Express, Hyderabad ( twice), Ajmer Sharif, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. In the last three years more than 600 persons have been killed in various terrorist attacks. Democracies are supposed to react to terrorism with determination and sensitivity. In India, however, each terrorist act brings forth the same tired clichés, the same repetitive promises and compensations, the same gory pictures on front pages, the same breathless TV channel reporting in shrill horror, the same allegations of intelligence failure in a trial- bycamera. Yet nothing is done to strengthen intelligence, the counterterrorist

A British Agenda for Europe: Designing Our Own Future

A Chatham House Commission Report Commission on Europe after Fifty: Policy Implications for Britain, September 2008 Download Paper here This major new report on Britain's role in Europe is published by the Chatham House Commission on Europe after Fifty: Policy Implications for Britain, chaired by Sir Stephen Wall. Its key messages are: The sterile debate about Europe is compromising future British prosperity and security British thinking on international challenges will evolve closer to its EU partners and away from the US British leadership is needed, for example, on energy security, to better handle Russia's dominant position The political thinking behind the island mentality that dominates the British debate on domestic security disregards the increasingly mobile nature of 21st century threats. First, Britain’s ability to deal with the principal external challenges of the twenty-first century will depend on its active participation in effective EU policies.

Top Military Advisor Warns US against Iran Attack

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian military advisor warned that any US military action against Iran will seriously endanger thousands of American soldiers deployed in the region. "If the US officials make a strategic mistake, 200,000 American soldiers will be seriously imperiled in the (Middle East) region," Major General Yahya Safavi, the senior military advisor to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei told IRNA. The former chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) emphasized that "the US and Israel are not in a position to get engaged in a great war." "The Zionist regime of Israel lacks the needed capabilities to begin a large conflict and it seems that the US is not interested in getting engaged in a fourth front, after wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Georgia," he said. He said that the Iranian military, the IRGC forces, and 11 million volunteer paramilitary troops are ready to defend the country agai

US Earning Profits on Drug Business in South America

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION, Russia 17.09.2008 Nil NIKANDROV When Grumman Gulf Stream II aircraft crashed in Mexico last year, the police discovered a total of 6 tons of packaged cocaine and heroin among the debris. At that time, the blame was pinned on local drug lords. Recent publications in Mexican media indicate, however, that the aircraft had a rather dark past. An investigation which influential forces in the Mexican law enforcement agencies attempted to obstruct revealed that the plane had been used by various US special services to transfer terrorism suspects to secret jails in Europe and to the US concentration camp in Guantanamo. But even more often its route has been Colombia-US-Colombia, its passengers being Colombian drug lords taken to the US to reach multi-million deals - or deals with the US justice. Such stories of air crashes related to drug trafficking occur increasingly often. The consumption of psychoactive drugs in the US is soaring and drug cartels have to


B.RAMAN The rules of engagement relating to Pakistan's tribal belt followed by the US forces in Afghanistan before July,2008, were that while Pakistan had agreed to deniable air strikes by unmanned Predator aircraft of the US on suspected terrorist hide-outs in Pakistani territory adjoining the Pakistan-Afghan border in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), it had not agreed to any unilateral ground strikes by the US forces based in Afghanistan either in exercise of the right of hot pursuit or to pre-empt planned attacks by Al Qaeda and the Taliban on the NATO forces in Afghanistan from sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. 2. According to leaks to sections of the US media by unidentified US officials, in the middle of July President George Bush approved some changes in the rules of engagement relating to ground strikes under which he authorised the US special forces to undertake unilateral ground strikes in Pakistani territory under certain circumstances. In this con