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Showing posts from August 30, 2009

Indian Scientists Call UN Glacier Retreat Claim Unscientific

Aug. 28, 2009 (EIRNS)—Disputing the forecast made by the United Nations body studying global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warned in early May that the glaciers in the world's highest mountain range could vanish within three decades, V.K. Raina, a leading glaciologist and former Additional Director-General of Geological Survey of India (GSI), claimed recently that the issue of glacial retreat is being sensationalized by a few individuals. Raina, who has been associated with the research and data collection in over 25 glaciers in India and abroad, debunked the theory that the Gangotri glacier is retreating alarmingly. He maintains that the glaciers are undergoing natural changes which are witnessed periodically. The issue of carrying out a joint research on the Himalayan glaciers that store more ice than anywhere on Earth except for the polar regions and Alaska, and the steady flow of water from these glaciers that fills seven of the mightiest

LaRouche on Afghanistan:: 'No Alternative To Total Victory'

This article appears in the September 4, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. LaRouche on Afghanistan: 'No Alternative To Total Victory' —Over the British Empire by Jeffrey Steinberg Aug. 27—It is growing more and more clear that President Barack Obama is on the verge of committing another, perhaps fatal policy blunder, this time having to do with Afghanistan. According to Washington sources, we are days, or, at most, weeks away from a decision by the President to again escalate the U.S. troop deployments to Afghanistan, as soon as the U.S. and NATO forces commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, delivers his much-awaited recommendations. According to sources close to the Administration, McChrystal is certain to ask for more troops—an initial boost of 17,000 soldiers—and the President is likely to grant his request, despite warnings from some of his top advisors, including his National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones. According to one senior U.S. intelligence source,

Nepal: The Gurkha Exodus

4 Sep 2009 After discriminating against its famous Gurkha soldiers from Nepal for almost 200 years, Britain has now amended its resettlement policy, but the olive branch could cost both countries dearly, writes Sudeshna Sarkar for ISN Security Watch. By Sudeshna Sarkar in Kathmandu and Pokhara for ISN Security Watch From his bed in the city of Pokhara, Nepal, Captain Lalit Bahadur Gurung is fighting his final battle, watched closely by hundreds of other retired soldiers like him. The 81-year-old, who joined the famed Gurkha Brigade of the British Army as an 18-year-old, received the Military Cross in 1964 for outstanding valor during the war in Borneo and Brunei. Today, paralyzed by a stroke, he is fighting a dogged legal battle against his former employer, the British government. “His family has been struggling with his medical expenses, which are enormous,” says Mahendra Lal Rai, general secretary of the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s Organisation (GAESO), an associatio

Democracy in danger in Afghanistan

Raja Karthikeya The fraudulent practices that marred the historic elections in the country need to be investigated and correctives applied. http://www.hindu.com/2009/09/04/stories/2009090455770900.htm The recent elections in Afghanistan were historic, but fraud eclipsed it. Democracy has never been easy in Afghanistan, but it now faces the twin challenges of surviving the vicious propaganda of the Taliban and the unscrupulousess of the Afghan polity. The elections were rife with fraud, especially in the insurgency-hit parts of southern Afghanistan. Terming them an unmitigated success or failing to investigate the fraud would constitute an injustice to the Afghan people. The presidential and provincial elections were supposed to be a watershed. Unlike the 2004 presidential and 2005 parliamentary elections, these were not conducted by the U.N. An indigenous election commission (which was commendably efficient) was in charge. The Taliban called for a boycott, and rejected offe

TWO HEADS ROLL IN XINJIANG

B.RAMAN The demonstrations by a large number of Han residents of Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, from September 2 to 4,2009, to protest against the failure of the local authorities to stop the wave of mysterious attacks by hypodermic syringe needles since August 17,2009, have claimed their first victims--- one at the level of the Urumqi city and the other at the provincial level.. 2. The officially-controlled Xinhua news agency announced on September 5,2009, that the regional committee of the Communist Party of China for the Xinjiang Autonomous Region has replaced Li Zhi, who was the Secretary of the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, by Zhu Hailun, who was the Secretary of the Regional Political and Legislative Affaitrs Committee of the entire province. 3. At the provincial level, Xinhua reported that the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the province, which is the provincial legislature, has replaced Liu

'Pakistan has Pitted Radical Taliban Against Secular and Democratic Baluchi Forces

August 26, 2009 No. 2506 MEMRI Senior Pakistani Journalist on Baluchistan Problem: 'Pakistan has Pitted Radical Taliban Against Secular and Democratic Baluchi Forces… Promot[ing] Religious Radicalization' In an article, senior Pakistani journalist Malik Siraj Akbar analyzed the Baluchi movement for independence from Pakistan, arguing that Pakistan's state institutions are supporting the pro-Taliban groups and eliminating progressive forces in Baluchistan province. Akbar, who is the Baluchistan bureau chief of Lahore-based Daily Times newspaper, pointed out that in its bid to crush the Baluchi independence movement, Pakistan is not only using American weapons against the Baluchis, but is also supporting non-Baluchi refugees so as to create demographic imbalance in Baluchistan. Following are some excerpts from the article, entitled "A Home-grown Conflict:" [1] "Baluchi Youth Have Removed the Pakistani Flag from Schools and Colleges… Punjabi Officers

Pak army banks on US : India watches with cautious optimism

by Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd) http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090904/edit.htm#6 Pakistan’s current war against the Taliban represents the first real war between the Islamic extremists and the army. The army had to employ all sorts of heavy weapons that are normally not used against the insurgents or the terrorists. However, it managed notable successes against the Taliban in Swat and elsewhere in months. The army even pulled out troops from the eastern border with India for action along the western border with Afghanistan, some thing the army would never have done normally. The army’s outlook changed largely after May 2009. Whatever the reason for this change, the American pressure on account of their own Afghan-Pak policy compulsions or their economic aid so urgently needed or Pakistan’s own internal threat perception that it was time for action and curtail likes of Baitullah Mehsud and his hordes who were gradually marching ahead with impunity. Obviously, Pakistan and t

BALOCHISTAN: Abducted Baloch leader Rasool Baksh Mengal found dead

Islamabad/Lahore, Sep 1 (PTI) A leading Baloch nationalist leader was found dead more than a week after he was abducted by armed men, triggering violent protests in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province that claimed at least two lives. The body of Balochistan National Movement leader Rasool Baksh Mengal, which was found hanging from a tree in Lasbela district of Balochistan yesterday, bore marks of torture, reports said. Mengal, a well-known human rights activist, was abducted by unidentified men on August 23. Mengal's son had accused intelligence agencies of abducting him and expressed the fear that he might be killed. Two persons of Punjabi-origin were killed as violence broke out in various Baloch-dominated districts last evening after Mengal's body was found. Protesters set fire to banks and government offices in Maskhy area, the reports said. Rezaul H Laskar and M Zulqernain A shutter down strike is being observed in certain parts of Balochistan against

Clinton has her own problems

By Peter J Brown http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KI01Ak01.html Much has happened since United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first trip to Asia in February. She has demonstrated that she is a capable partner with President Barack Obama, and that she can excel as a strong team player in his cabinet. Clinton is riding a wave of popularity that grows with each successive trip she takes, and abundant optimism surrounds her. As Clinton reacts to changing realities abroad, the US Department of State itself warrants her immediate attention. In the process, she will have to wear many hats, including a few that may not fit too comfortably as she addresses problems involving staffing, security and strategic communications. When she presented her department's 2009 budget to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations earlier this year, Clinton frankly admitted that far too many key staff positions overseas remained vacant, "for the simple reason that

Border war rattles China-Myanmar ties

By Larry Jagan BANGKOK - Myanmar military operations against an ethnic insurgent group have forced tens of thousands of refugees across China's southern border and ratcheted up bilateral tensions between the usually allied neighboring nations. Now there are growing fears that Myanmar army actions against the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) could explode into a wider conflict as other ceasefire groups, including the heavily armed United Wa State Army (UWSA), are dragged into the fighting. The 20-year-old ceasefire agreement between the ruling junta and MNDAA has fallen victim to the government's attempts to exert its authority over border areas before democratic elections are held next year. Some analysts believe the guerilla MNDAA has suffered heavy casualties and that at least one-half of their estimated 1,500 armed forces have fled into China. In response, Beijing has deployed extra troops and armed policemen to the area to guard agains

India reels under explosive nuclear charge

By Neeta Lal http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KI01Df01.html NEW DELHI - In an explosive revelation that may well have unsavory foreign policy repercussions, a senior official of India's premier defense organization - the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) - who played a pivotal role in orchestrating India's nuclear program during the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998, has declared that the tests that year were a dud and not nearly as successful as projected to the world. The declaration by K Santhanam - remarkable as it comes from a top nuclear scientist directly associated with India's nuclear program - has stirred a hornet's nest in New Delhi. The scientific community and political parties - primarily the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and its principal right-wing opposition Bharatiya Janata Party under whose stewardship the tests were conducted - are scrambling to offer explanations to counter Santhanam's statement. Home Minist

Strange Bedfellows

China's problems in Xinjiang are forcing it to reach out to India. But does India care? BY BAHUKUTUMBI RAMAN | AUGUST 31, 2009 In its attempt to stomp out the pro-Uighur movement in its restive western autonomous region, Xinjiang, China might be looking for help from a surprising partner: its major rival in the region, India, according to a recent report in the South China Morning Post. The two countries don't have a history of ground-level cooperation on counterterrorism -- far from it -- but they could end up moving in that direction as the anarchy in the North Waziristan area of Pakistan begins to spill over into China as well as India. But major questions remain: How far will China go to win India's help? And is Beijing sincerely looking for advice, or just fishing for intelligence from the other rising powerhouse in Asia? Before attempting to answer these questions, it's important to note that the pro-Uighur movement in Xinjiang is actually two distin

Swiss Banking Secrecy: Today's news rooted in records from recent past

SOURCE: Swiss Info Banking secrecy and the country's tax policy were also concerns in Swiss international relations in the 1960s, as diplomatic documents show. The latest volume in a series of foreign policy files from the time has been published, and the contents should be of interest to a wider public, argue the editors. "The topics of the early 1960s are issues that still make today's headlines," says Hans-Ulrich Jost, president of the research group's editorial commission. The retired history professor dismisses suggestions that the publication of key diplomatic documents is primarily intended for academics and students. One report by the Swiss ambassador to Washington follows an informal conversation with a security advisor to President John F. Kennedy. The official, McGeorge Bundy, reportedly hinted that the United States government was concerned about Swiss banks accepting what was described as "dirty money". "This documents from 1962

U.S. Says Pakistan Made Changes to Missiles Sold for Defense

By ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER Published: August 29, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/world/asia/30missile.html?ref=world WASHINGTON — The United States has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand its capability to strike land targets, a potential threat to India, according to senior administration and Congressional officials. The charge, which set off a new outbreak of tensions between the United States and Pakistan, was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials. The accusation comes at a particularly delicate time, when the administration is asking Congress to approve $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next five years, and when Washington is pressing a reluctant Pakistani military to focus its attentions on fighting the Taliban, rather than expanding its nuclear and conventional forces aimed at India. While American officials say that the weapon i