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Showing posts from August 1, 2010

DETROIT---DECEMBER 25,2009, NEW YORK---MAY 1,2010 & HORMUZ---JULY 28,2010

B.RAMAN Forensic experts of the United Arab Emirates are reported to have concluded that the "M Star", a fully-loaded Japanese oil tanker sailing home from Abu Dhabi through the Strait of Hormuz, which suffered easily-repaired damages in an incident of unknown origin on the night of July 28,2010, had been the target of a terrorist attack which failed to cause severe damages. 2. A local news agency, citing Coast Guard sources, has reported as follows: "An examination carried out by specialised teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack.UAE explosives experts who collected and examined samples found a dent on the starboard side above the water line and remains of home-made explosives on the hull. Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from a boat loaded with explosives." 3.US and Japanese officials, who are making their own investigation, have not yet come out with their finding. However, the suspicion of the

South China Sea

C. Raja Mohan Posted online: Wed Aug 04 2010, 02:48 hrs China’s declaration last week claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea has set the stage for a tense power play in the waters that connect the Pacific and Indian Oceans. After nearly three decades of lying low in order to improve its position in the western Pacific, Beijing has put its ties with the region at risk with a strong assertion of its territorial claims and flexing its newly powerful naval muscle. As China’s anxious neighbours, especially in southeast Asia, turn to the United States for protection, the Obama administration has waded into the dispute by calling for an “international framework” to resolve the disputes. Unsurprisingly, China says it is opposed to internationalisation of the contesting territorial claims in the South China and that it is prepared to negotiate bilaterally with all other states that have competing claims over South China

India should shun the Generals of Burma

Courting the junta Hiranmay Karlekar In November 2009, India opposed a resolution on Burma’s human rights violations in the United Nations General Assembly. So did China, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Zimbabwe and Belarus. If any of these countries is celebrated for the vibrancy of its democracy or the intensity of its commitment to human rights, then it is as closely guarded a secret as any embarrassment that India might have felt for being in such exclusive company. Judging, however, by its record of fawning over the Burmese junta, it must have felt proud and not embarrassed. That this was so, tends to be further indicated by the warm welcome it extended to Gen Than Shwe during his ‘religious-cum-official’ visit to this country from July 25 to 29. The General is Burma’s President and the head of the country’s State Peace and Development Council, which, in turn, is a reincarnation of the State Law and Order Restoration Council

India has a role in Afghanistan Ashok K Mehta For the Americans, June was feared as the worst month in Afghanistan for fatalities in their longest campaign in history. Now July has overtaken the average loss of two soldiers a day with more than twice that number wounded. In August the trajectory is expected to rise. The US dilemma of fixing Afghanistan is compounded, it turns out, by first fixing Pakistan where, not surprisingly, they have found a tunnel at the end of light. The choice is stark: Pakistan, a failed state with nuclear weapons, or Pakistan a treacherous state which has to be managed. For the Americans the journey to Afghanistan is in some ways akin to the 15th century Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus. When he left, he didn’t know where he was going. When he had reached, he did not know where he had arrived. When he returned, he did not know where he’d been. That is the reason most Americans are asking: Where are we, where ar

Negotiate to lose?

G Balachandran Posted online: Fri Aug 06 2010, 00:40 hrs The Indian government, at the last round of commercial negotiations with Russia for the supply of four additional reactors at Kudankulum, had wanted the contract to include a clause allowing for the “right of recourse” to NPCIL to sue the Russian supplier for any nuclear liability that may arise as a result of a nuclear accident due negligence on the part of the Russian supplier. The Russians have, apparently, refused to accept the Indian suggestion, citing article 13 of the India-Russia Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) of 2008, which stipulated that “the Indian side and its authorised organisation at any time and at all stages of the construction and operation of the NPP power units to be constructed under the present agreement shall be the operator of power units of the NPP at the Kudankulam site and be fully responsible for any damage both within and outside the territory o

Infosys-TVS merger! The south Indian wedding of the century is in the offing! Rohan Murthy, the 28-year-old son of Infosys co-founder and Chief Mentor N. R. Narayana Murthy, got engaged to Lakshmi, daughter of TVS Motor Co-chairman Venu Srinivasan on Friday in Chennai. This wedding will bring together two illustrious families who are industry moguls in their own right. Narayana Murthy told Deccan Chronicle, “Our son Rohan and Lakshmi, daughter of Venu Srinivasan and Mallika Srinivasan, were introduced to each other by a mutual friend of theirs seven months ago. They courted for seven months. Rohan proposed to Lakshmi yesterday (Thursday), and she said YES!” Rohan is a Microsoft fellow doing a doctoral programme in computer science at Harvard University while Lakshmi is on the board of the TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton. Murthy went on to say that everyone in his family is excited. “Lakshmi is a wonderful girl and Rohan is an extraordin

Modernisation and a new political game in Russia?

By Félix Krawatzek EU Neighbourhood Policy CEPS Commentaries Date of publication: 05 August 2010 When President Medvedev took office in 2008, it was widely expected that former President Putin would take back the reins by 2012, at the latest. The change in the constitution in December 2008 to extend the presidential term to six years was widely seen as a strengthening of President Putin’s tenure in the future. Against all expectations, however, it is Medvedev who is increasingly distinguishing himself from his former mentor by proposing an independent political project for Russia, which has at its heart the ‘modernisation’ of the country. In this new Commentary, Félix Krawatzek, visiting Researcher to CEPS, explains why 2012 will be a decisive year for Russia and an interesting one for the rest of the world. Free download (pdf, 146.83 Kb)

Gone With the Heat

By Tai Adelaja Russia Profile Russia has Moved to Ban Grain Exports as Drought and Wild Fires Continue to Destroy Crops, Putting a Big Question Mark Over the Winter Sowing Set to Start this Month The Russian government on Thursday slapped a temporary ban on the export of grain and related agriculture products as sizzling heat and stifling humidity across Russia continue to destroy crops and jeopardize winter grain planting. "I think it is advisable to introduce a temporary ban on the export from Russia of grain and other agriculture products made from grain," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a televised government meeting. The ban is expected to last from August 15 to December 31, 2010. Experts say the move would enable Russian wheat exporters to renege on their supply contracts as it provides them with the possibility of pleading force majeure. As the drought grows in intensity and impacts

Anti-Iran Sanctions: The Iranian Solution

Author : Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi By Sadegh Kharrazi IRANIAN DIPLOMACY Iran is a major focus of the global media, just as it always has been. It seems to have turned into a never-ending story that becomes more misunderstood day by day. So let’s delve into the story. Is there one more opportunity to employ rational diplomacy to mitigate the threats and alleviate the unbefitting tone used against our country? Or should we sit by idly and see how our fate turns out? A propaganda machine has started its psychological warfare against Iran, inverting the truth to such an extent that even some of our international friends are starting to doubt our intentions. Diplomacy is one of the basic challenges for Iran. On the one hand, there is the delusion-inflicted rhetoric of some Iranian diplomats that has accomplished nothing—rather, it has resulted in strategic failure. On the other hand, the international community is increasingly moving farther away from applying justice in its deali

Stress-Testing European Banks The results of the bank stress test in Europe have been greeted with widespread skepticism; even though financial markets seem calmer, the system is not yet out of the woods, Robert M Cutler writes for ISN Security Watch. By Robert M Cutler for ISN Security Watch Last month, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors carried out what is known as a ‘stress test exercise’ in order to determine how well the principal European banks could hold up in the event of a replay of a major financial crisis. The Council of the European Union had told it to do so in the wake of the chaos following the panic of 2007-08. In the event, 91 banks were tested and seven failed: five in Spain, one in Germany, and one in Greece. However, leading financial analysts in Europe have scoffed at the results and dismissed them as misleading or worse. Anthony Harrington, a Contributing Editor to Bloomsbury’s QFinance and twice

US Interference in Venezuela Keeps Growing

By EVA GOLINGER- POSTCARDS FROM THE REVOLUTION , August 5th 2010 Despite President Obama’s promise to President Chavez that his administration wouldn’t interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is channeling millions into anti-Chavez groups. Foreign intervention is not only executed through military force. The funding of “civil society” groups and media outlets to promote political agendas and influence the “hearts and minds” of the people is one of the more widely used mechanisms by the US government to achieve its strategic objetives. In Venezuela, the US has been supporting anti-Chavez groups for over 8 years, including those that executed the coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. Since then, the funding has increased substantially. A May 2010 report evaluating foreign assistance to political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy, reveal

Mercosur Summit Discusses Venezuela-Colombia Situation

By TAMARA PEARSON - VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM Merida, August 5 th , 2010 ( – The 39 th president’s summit of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) that took place on Tuesday in Argentina, considered the discussions by the extraordinary meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) last week regarding the tense situation between Colombia and Venezuela. Also, after years of discussion, it approved joint customs regulations. Mercosur is a trade bloc consisting of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela as associate members. The Colombian government went to the Organisation of American States (OAS) to accuse Venezuela of supposedly “protecting” guerrillas, whereupon Venezuela requested a meeting of UNASUR to discuss the situation. UNASUR agreed on general notions of peace but failed to reach concrete consensus and called for a presidential Summit of UNASUR members. On Tuesday, Mercosur formally deci