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Showing posts from October 24, 2010


B.RAMAN ( Based on open source information ) Q.What materials for assembling an improvised explosive device (IED) have been recovered by the authorities of the Dubai airport and the East Midlands airport of the UK from the cargo planes of the FedExpress and the UPS respectively which were searched on a reported tip-off from the Saudi security agencies? A.Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) - an explosive favoured by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). PETN belongs to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin. Explosives experts have been quoted by the media as saying that six grams of PETN are enough to blow a hole in the fuselage of an aircraft. The AQAP had used the same explosive in its failed attempt to have an American North-West Airlines plane bound for Detroit in the US blown up on Christmas Day last year through a Nigerian student Abdul Mutallab . That attempt had failed because an alert passenger intervened and overpowered the Nigerian before he could cause


- The US president’s trip is clearly focused on enhancing business SUNANDA K. DATTA-RAY 1101030/jsp/opinion/story_ 13115173.jsp Kamal Nath’s tale of a meeting with the European Union petering out in 15 minutes because the Indian side held forth on Iraq and Afghanistan while the Europeans wanted to discuss trade and investment came to mind as I read the transcript of the pre-tour White House press conference. South Block pundits who affect to despise commerce and see the world only in terms of lofty philosophy must have cringed when they read that the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, had no compunction about acknowledging that Barack Obama’s “trip is basically economic in focus”. Oh yes, there’s a bigger picture too. Assuming that Tuesday’s mid-term Congressional elections don’t reduce Obama to a lame duck president, his travels speak of the grand strategy of a “Pacific President” who sees the United States of America as also an “Asian power”

Mr Obama, do you have real business to talk with us?

DNA / R Vaidyanathan / Tuesday, October 26, 2010 3:10 IST opinion/comment_mr-obama-do- you-have-real-business-to- talk-with-us_1457914#comments The next two weeks will be full of atmospherics and inanities linked to the visit of US president Barack Obama. Indians are known to derive satisfaction from symbolism rather than substance. When Diwali was supposedly celebrated by George Bush’s White House — a celebration in which the US president did not participate — we went into raptures. When Rajan Zed of Nevada was called to chant Vedic hymns at a Congressional opening, we were ecstatic. Similarly, when Obama visits India next month, we will drool over Michelle buying Kanjeevaram sarees or Obama savouring a paratha at a Delhi dhaba — or some such meaningless events. There is a move to take Michelle to the Red Light areas of Mumbai to get a feel of “inclusive” growth. Imagine Gursharan Kaur being paraded in Soho in London as part of her itinerary. Sikhs are plea

Pakistan On The Mind

Bruce Riedel, Oct 30, 2010, 12.00am IST http://timesofindia. edit-page/Pakistan-On-The- Mind/articleshow/6836134.cms Barack Hussein Obama is about to become the sixth American president to visit India and the third in a row to do so. He is going in the first half of his first term; only Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon did so before him. Presidential visits are carefully planned and scripted but events invariably have a way of intruding onto the agenda and the stage. This presidential visit takes place against the backdrop of America's longest war ever in Afghanistan and a natural disaster in neighbouring Pakistan where Obama has invested a huge effort in trying to stabilise a deeply wounded state. The Afghan war and the future of Pakistan will dominate the behind-the-scenes discussions in New Delhi. Obama does not have a deliverable, as they are called in the White House , of the size and magnitude of the nuclear deal his predecessor, George

Barack Obama could salvage his presidency by containing Pakistani terrorism with India's assistance

The reforming of Pakistan Barack Obama could salvage his presidency by containing Pakistani terrorism with India's assistance, says N.V.Subramanian. archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno= 2058 London, 29 October 2010 : There has been some recent commentating about how Barack Obama should salvage his presidency. At least one of those commentaries says he should attack Iran to cause a setback to its nuclear programme. If Iran's nuke plans are jeopardized even temporarily, it would portray Obama as a strong president ready for reelection. Forgotten in all this is the old classicism about war. You can provoke a war but closure is not in your hands. This also holds true for a war with perfectly-crafted political objectives. The US's post-9/11 Afghan war started out well. But it was distracted and subsequently overtaken by George W.Bush's Iraq war. The Iraq war had flawed objectives to start with. It ended up making the Middle East more unstable than


B.RAMAN From the sketchy details available so far regarding two packages containing materials for explosive devices found on October 29,2010, on two cargo flights reportedly emanating from Yemen and bound for Chicago via Dubai and East Midlands airport in the UK , the following preliminary observations are possible: Normally, courier companies do not accept closed packages. The packages have to be kept open at the time of handing them over so that their contents could be checked for any suspicious material. The fact that the suspicious materials were not detected at the time of handing over the packages would indicate the possible complicity of some employees of the two courier companies. It is not clear whether the materials for the two explosive devices had been assembled and made ready for detonation at the targeted places. It has been reported that the two packages were meant to reach two Jewish places of worship.

What Obama can accomplish in India

By C. Fred Bergsten and Arvind Subramanian Thursday, October 28, 2010; 6:40 PM President Obama travels to India next week for the longest visit to a foreign country of his presidency. His goal is to strengthen India-U.S. cooperation, but standing between the recent heady past and a future full of promise is a highly problematic present. Last year, the United States and India concluded a landmark nuclear agreement, setting a bar for cooperation that is proving difficult to match. George W. Bush and the neoconservatives, who initiated discussions on this agreement in 2005, felt a visceral affinity for India as a vibrant democracy and as a strategic counterweight to China. But this administration has other priorities and a different worldview. Moreover, it has no Indophiles (no Condoleezza Rice or Robert Blackwill) to emphasize India's importance. The future of cooperation is bright, nevertheless

QUOTE OF THE DAY: On China -Brahma Chellaney

"Today, whether it is Arunachal Pradesh or Taiwan or the Senkaku Islands or even the Spratlys, China is dangling the threat of force to assert its claims. By picking territorial fights with its neighbors, China is not only reinforcing old rivalries, but is also threatening Asia’s continued economic renaissance – showing that it is not a credible candidate to lead Asia. It is important for other Asian states and the US – a “resident power” in Asia, in the words of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates – to convey a clear message to China: a peaceful rise and unilateral redrawing of frontiers don’t mix." A Scramble for Asia? Brahma Chellaney 2010-10-29 http://www.project-syndicate. org/commentary/chellaney11/ English

For Pakistan, the West Is a Scapegoat

Return to the Article October 7, 2010 By Dhruva Jaishankar In recent days, the world's attention has turned once again to the terrorist threat emanating from Pakistan. Last week, the American and British governments issued heightened travel alerts for continental Europe following revelations of an extremist plot hatched in Waziristan. The operationalization of this plot, which reportedly involved coordinated raids on European cities in the vein of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, resulted in a dramatic increase in U.S. drone strikes in northwestern Pakistan over the past month. On Monday, one such attack killed several German militants training in Pakistan's tribal regions. Also last week, a cross-border strike by NATO forces resulted in three Pakistani military deaths and the subsequent closure by Pakistan of vital supply routes to Afghanistan. This was followed by multiple militant raids on depots in Pakistan and the destruction of fuel and other supplies intended for NATO for

Intel, Technology Buyers Talk of Freedom in the Cloud

OCTOBER 27, 2010, 5:48 PM ET It’s hard to find a technology vendor who isn’t vociferously supporting the craze known as cloud computing. But some customers seem to be worried about the pace of progress, judging by comments from Intel and a large group of technology buyers. The Open Data Center Alliance, whose formation was announced at a news conference Wednesday in San Francisco, seems partly inspired by the fear known as vendor lock-in . That’s an age-old concern in the computer industry, typified by companies that have a hard time moving away from products like IBM mainframes, Microsoft Windows or Oracle databases. Wasn’t cloud computing supposed to end all that? The phrase, though it tends to mean different things to different people, seems above all to be about businesses exploiting the open technologies that built the Internet. Cloud computing implies, among other things, that busin

Liberalization of India's Legal Services Market and the Impact on the Legal Process Outsourcing Industry

Author: Mark Ross UK attorney and Director of Business Development at LawScribe, Inc. I recently returned from the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) conference. Out of all the sessions I attended over the course of the three day event by far and away the most thought provoking and certainly the one that sparked the most intense and combative question and answer session focused on the pros and cons of the opening up of the Indian legal services sector to foreign law firms. The position as it stands as of now is that the practice of law in India is governed by the Advocates Act of 1961. Foreign law firms are simply not allowed to engage in the practice of law in India. Over the last decade we have seen the Western legal community look to find increasingly creative way