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Showing posts from January 17, 2010

Venezuela Holds One of the Largest Oil Accumulations The Orinoco Oil Belt Assessment Unit of the La Luna−Quercual Total Petroleum System encompasses approximately 50,000 km2 of the East Venezuela Basin Province that is underlain by more than 1 trillion barrels of heavy oil-in-place. As part of a program directed at estimating the technically recoverable oil and gas resources of priority petroleum basins worldwide, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the recoverable oil resources of the Orinoco Oil Belt Assessment Unit. This estimate relied mainly on published geologic and engineering data for reservoirs (net oil-saturated sandstone thickness and extent), petrophysical properties (porosity, water saturation, and formation volume factors), recovery factors determined by pilot projects, and estimates of volumes of oil-in-place. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean volume of 513 billion barrels of technically recoverable heavy oil in the Orinoco Oil Belt Assessment Unit of the East Venezuela Basin

Start of Nationwide “Soft War” Training for University Students

Source: Fars News January 20, 2010 Mohsen Islami, Cultural Affairs General Director of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology, has stated that the Ministry is planning to organize a series of [training] camps to increase the university students’ knowledge about “soft wars.” This plan was coordinated with Qom Technical University. Islami added that students will become familiarized with the history, objectives, dimensions, and psychological atmosphere of soft wars, as well as environmental conditions conducive to their creation. Given the ongoing soft war efforts of the Islamic Republic’s enemies, organizers of the camps are also planning on providing training courses to familiarize students with strategies on how to face and cope with soft war. Islami noted that, as part of the program, students will also be given political-ideological training, for which the organizers will be assisted by the Imam Khomeini Institution and all the p

"Little Saddam?" Ahmadinejad's Attack on Yemen's President

PERSIA HOUSE in International Relations Vol. 33 Aharq al-Awsat – Editorial by Tariq Alhomayed January 20, 2010 Iran’s animosity toward the countries in the region has no boundaries. A few days ago, the Iranian president attacked Saudi Arabia and today, media sources close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps attacked Yemen and its president, Ali Abdallah Saleh, calling him “Little Saddam.” Could this be a random media campaign or does it unveil true Iranian intentions in the region, particularly towards Saudi Arabia and Yemen? It is clear that the attack on Yemen’s president goes beyond defending the Houthies, since calling him “Little Saddam” expresses strong animosity against Yemen as a unified and sovereign country. Attacking Yemen today while it is struggling on three fronts—fighting the Houthies, Al-Qaeda, and the Southern Separatists—proves that Iran is not only helping the Houthies but is also helping Al-Qaeda. This is because Iran

Bharati Puja programme in Hyderabad

Dear Samskrit Lovers, Attached is a detailed invitation for the Bharati Puja programme on the coming Sunday 24/01/10 in the evening. Sri Chamu Krishna Shastry will address. You may be aware that Sri Chamu is the force behind our Speak Samskrit movement. Listening to him in Saral Samskrit is a great experience. I cordially invite all of you to attend this function with friends and other Samskrit lovers. The venue will be (for direction instructions you can call our office 2475 0111, 94901 92622 or me): Karnataka Sahitya Mandir Near Limgampalli Raghavendra Math or Nrupathunga College Kacheguda In case you have difficulty in viewing / understanding the attached invitation, here is the programme: 5:20 - Cultural Programmes 5:45 - Song 5:50 - Introduction by President, Sri Ch. Lakshminathacharya, President, Samskrita Bharati, Bhagyanagaram 5:55 - Bharati Puja and Offering 6:10 - Address by Chief Guest, Dr. Justice K. Ramaswamy, Retired Justice, Supreme Court 6:20 - Add

BALOCHISTAN: Parallel government, Analysis

—Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur The problem with the FC does not merely lie in its ethnic makeup, though it plays a major role in its attitude problem. The real problem lies with the mindset and its unbridled power compounded with a total absence of any accountability for its actions Mohammad Aslam Bhootani, the Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, though a member of the ruling coalition has a penchant for forthrightness that leaves many of his partners embarrassed. In May last year he said that the trust deficit between the Baloch leadership and Islamabad was a major impediment to resolving the Balochistan issue. He had also said there was “a perception in Balochistan that the Frontier Corps (FC) was running a parallel government in the province”. The truth of his statement has presented itself in shedding of innocent blood in Khuzdar where two students, Ali Dost and Saddam Hussain, were killed and four others were injured. HRCP Khuzdar chapter accused the FC of opening fire on a peacefu

Project Grey Goose Report on Critical Infrastructure: This Project Grey Goose investigation was launched on October 16, 2009 to answer the question of whether there has been any successful hacker attacks against the power grid, both domestically and internationally. Today, January 21, 2010, we are able to answer that question. Our Key Findings are particularly relevant now as Smart Grid research and development ramps up and implementation of Smart Grid technology occurs across the globe. There are many reports in the public domain which discuss vulnerabilities in the power grid. This is not one of them. Instead, this report looks at the broader threat landscape, some (not all) of the key actors involved, and most importantly, how U.S. Energy companies as a self-regulating and predominantly privately owned industry contribute to making the U.S power grid less secure. K ey Findings State and/or Non-state actors from the Peoples Republic of China, the Russian Federation/Commonwealth of Indepen

C.I.A. Deaths Prompt Surge in U.S. Drone Strikes

By SCOTT SHANE and ERIC SCHMITT, NY Times, January 23, 2010 WASHINGTON — Since the suicide bombing that took the lives of seven Americans in Afghanistan on Dec. 30, the Central Intelligence Agency has struck back against militants in Pakistanwith the most intensive series of missile strikes from drone aircraft since the covert program began. Beginning the day after the attack on a C.I.A. base in Khost, Afghanistan, the agency has carried out 11 strikes that have killed about 90 people suspected of being militants, according to Pakistani news reports, which make almost no mention of civilian casualties. The assault has included strikes on a mud fortress in North Waziristan on Jan. 6 that killed 17 people and a volley of missiles on a compound in South Waziristan last Sunday that killed at least 20. “For the C.I.A., there is certainly an element of wanting to show that they can hit back,” said Bill Roggio, editor of The L

Toward a security grid in South Asia By Uddipan Mukherjee Column: Machine Gun Kolkata, India — U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to deploy 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan and at the same time increase drone attacks on the tribal areas of Pakistan may have convinced many of the quick demise of the Taliban-al-Qaida duo in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. However, the hardened terrorists have been equal to the task and at times even better than the intelligence network of the U.S.-led anti-insurgency machinery. The spate of attacks, starting from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s unsuccessful attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound transatlantic flight on Dec. 25, to the Taliban’s moderately successful urban warfare in Kabul on Jan. 18, has surely awakened many from their slumber. In between, alleged Jordanian double agent Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi’s suicide attack on a U.S. facility in Khost, Afghanistan that killed seven CIA

Complaint against George Bush & others in the International Criminal Court & warning to Obama

FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh Emails; 23 January, 2010. For Crimes against Humanity Prof Boyle requests International Arrest Warrants for Rendition & Torture Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world : Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Illinois University professor Francis A. Boyle has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the “Accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” ie enforced disappearance and consequent torture perpetrated upon abo

Ethnic Lobbies in America: Outsourcing U.S. Foreign Policy?

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation LINK: 23.01.2010 Eugene IVANOV (USA) It's fashionable to say these days that the world is entering the era of post-Americanism. Few can explain what that means in reality, but the gist is that U.S. influence in world affairs is gradually declining, and sooner or later, another country – most likely, China – will become the only world superpower. We shall see. However, today it's hard to think of any major global problem – be it climate change or aid to poor countries – can be solved without at least the financial involvement of the United States. Besides, should the U.S. screw up big time – a number of great examples are available over the past decade – no one would be immune. This keeps making Washington DC a natural target of numerous ethnic lobbies trying to promote their agendas through U.S. foreign policy institutions. According to John Newhouse1, “nearly one hundred countries rely on lobb

Empty Pipelines Summit

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation Link: 21.01.2010 Igor TOMBERG It is getting increasingly difficult to route energy supplies around Russia as the resource base available to feed the fourth energy transit corridor is rapidly shrinking. The January 14-15 energy summit in Batumi, Georgia got downgraded from the outset to the level of an ordinary forum. It was expected on the eve of the event that the presidents of Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and Azerbaijan as well as Baltic leaders, United States Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy R. Morningstar, and high-ranking representatives of Romania, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan would take part, but the leaders of the countries did not bother to show up. Instead, the gathering was mostly attended by prime ministers, energy ministers, and foreign ministers. Traditionally, representatives of Russia ignore the Batumi forum due to its focus on charting routes for supplying energy to Europe

US President Announces New Restrictions on U.S. Banking Sector

SOURCE: 22 Jan 10 Seeking to regain the initiative after several heavy political setbacks, U.S. president Barack Obama yesterday proposed significant new curbs on the activities of banks to prevent future financial crises. IHS Global Insight Perspective Significance The proposals currently lack detail but are potentially far-reaching, including limits on the size of banks and restrictions on high-risk forms of trading; the proposals go much further than the tax levy on the largest banks to recoup US$90 billion announced earlier in January. Implications If implemented, the plans may lead to a break-up of some of the larger U.S. banks or at least a more formal separation of trading and banking activities; however, it is not clear whether the proposals will significantly strengthen bank stability. Outlook Although the proposals have considerable popular support, their passage through Congress is by no means assured


B.RAMAN Dear Shri Menon, I welcome your appointment as the National Security Adviser and wish you well in your new assignment. My purpose in writing this open letter to you is to share with you my thinking on the tasks ahead of you. Since retiring from the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) on August 31, 1994, I have written over a hundred articles on national security management. This letter will repeat some of the points figuring in those articles which are still valid and some others to which I will be giving open expression for the first time. 2. The importance of an action-oriented analytical process was highlighted by Lord Franks of the UK, who was asked by the British Government to enquire into the failure of Britain's national security managers to anticipate and forestall the Argentine occupation of the Falklands Islands in 1982, which led to a brief, but fierce naval conflict. Lord Franks concluded that though there was no secret intelligence regarding the Arg