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Showing posts from September 27, 2009

The spies who love us

By Fabrice de Pierrebourg, Michel Juneau-Katsuya Book Description In 2006, a Russian secret service spy was expelled from Canada. In 2007, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) revealed that China was implicated in as many as half of the ongoing counter-espionage dossiers in Canada, with 1,500 spies operating here. Allegedly, there are at least 15 countries involved in covert operations within our borders, many of them “friendly” nations such as France and Israel, but all representing a serious risk to Canadian security and economic interests. Industrial espionage has already cost our nation thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. Ultimately, the responsibility to protect our country’s intellectual assets remains with businesses themselves, but are they prepared to face the daunting task of working against a very organized and professional foe? Nest of Spies provides some answers and describes ways that businesses can defend themselves. Canada is the world

US Bases Centre of New Latin America Struggle

September 28th 2009, by Federico Fuentes - Green Left Weekly Washington is continuing to step up its offensive to reestablish dominance over Latin America as South American governments take Colombia to task over the proposed installation of five new US military bases in its territory. At the same time, fissures and realignments in the region are occurring. The US is seeking to counter the growing influence in the region of the Bolivarian Alliance of Our Americas (ALBA), an anti-imperialist bloc of countries led by Venezuela and Cuba. ALBA has led the opposition to US bases in the region. On September 15, Washington launched another attack, expressing its “concern” over a supposed Venezuela-led arms race in the region. This referred to Venezuela’s plan to buy US$2.2 billion of military hardware from Russia. Clinton said Venezuela “should be putting in place procedures to insure that the weapons that they buy are not diverted to insurgent groups or illegal organisations”. The

Afghan elections and Af-Pak Strategy

Shanthie Mariet D'Souza September 29, 2009 The recent Afghan elections have thrown the Obama administration’s much proclaimed ‘stronger, smarter and comprehensive’ Af-Pak strategy into a quandary. One of the essential components of the Af-Pak strategy is transferring authority to a legitimate Afghan government, which in turn would pave the way for eventual US ‘exit’ from Afghanistan. To that extent, it was necessary that the elections be seen as fair and neutral in electing a candidate deemed ‘acceptable’ to most Afghans. However, widespread allegations that ballot boxes were stuffed, ballots pre-marked, and polling stations closed during the elections have largely discredited the process. The preliminary tally gives President Hamid Karzai 54.6 per cent of the vote, compared to 27.8 per cent for his main opponent, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The European Union's election monitoring team says a third of Karzai's votes are questionable. If the official, UN-backed, Electoral C

The Wheat Miracle : How Norman Borlaug made it possible

by Prof M. S. Swaminathan I wrote an article on the Punjab Wheat Miracle in The Illustrated Weekly of India (May 11, 1969) at the request of Mr Kushwant Singh, then Editor of the Weekly. I then pointed out that the catalyst of the miracle was the new plant type sent by Norman Borlaug in 1963. This plant type had a semi-dwarf plant stature and was capable of utilising fertiliser and water very efficiently. When grown with good agronomic practices and soil fertility management, varieties like Lerma Rojo - 64A and Sonora 64 gave about 5 tonnes of wheat per hectare, in contrast to 1 to 2 tonnes per hectare of the earlier tall varieties. The earlier varieties like C306 bred by Chowdhry Ramdan Singh had amber grains and excellent chapati making properties. Fortunately, Borlaug had also sent segregating populations from which wheat breeders at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and Punjab Agriculture University, Lu

Has America reached turning point in Afghanistan?

by Rupert Cornwell Six months after proclaiming a new commitment to the war in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is under growing pressure to make what would amount to a U-turn in US policy and scale back America’s commitment to a conflict that many experts – and a majority of the public – now fear may be unwinnable. The debate, which divides Mr Obama’s most senior advisers, was thrown into stark relief by the leaked report of General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and allied forces in Afghanistan, warning that the war might be lost within a year without a further boost in troop strength and a major change in strategy to combat the spreading Taliban insurgency. General McChrystal’s bleak assessment coupled with Washington’s frustration with the Afghan leader Hamid Karzai and the fraud-ridden election over which he presided, has reignited a rift between Vice-President Joseph Biden and Hillary Clinton, the Secretary o


By B. Raman (What will be the impact of the global financial and economic melt-down on the Chinese economy? This question should be of interest to the other countries of the South and the South-East Asian region. If the Chinese economy is badly affected, they too are likely to feel the negative consequences of the down-turn in the Chinese economy. Keeping this in view, we have been bringing out a periodic "Chinese Economy Monitor" based on open information. This is the eighth in the series) ASSESSMENT The Chinese authorities have reasons to be gratified over the economic indicators for the first half of 2009. After touching a record low of 6.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, the GDP growth rate has risen to 7.9 per cent in the second quarter. If this improvement is maintained, the authorities are confident of reaching or even exceeding the targeted growth rate of eight per cent for 2009. According to Chinese experts, this is the minimum growth rate required