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Showing posts from February 10, 2013

CIA Now Accepts Email FOIA Requests

From: "Tom" To: intelforum[at] Subject: CIA enters 21st Century on FOIA submissions Apparently starting last Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, the CIA has begun accepting Freedom of Information Act requests via email. Accessing the CIA's form for FOIA requests takes a bit of patience. The forms are located way inside the CIA website (, inside the Library, Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room, and then third entry down (marked by dots) under the title "What is electronic reading room?" There is then a link to take you to the procedure format: FOIA requests can now be made online The designer of this wounderous new procedure has also included one of those marvey captcha things - a puzzle that might drive you a bit nuts since it is verbal rather than a group of fancified letters you are supposed to view and type . . . Good luck - but just think that this might actually save some time.... The big snafu that remains is

ESPIONAGE :Case Summaries from 1975 to 2008

 And Other Compromises of National Security   Since its first publication in 1985 as Recent Espionage Cases, this product has offered the  security educator easy-to-find factual information about espionage-related cases for use in briefings, newsletters, and other educational media. This new edition, issued by the Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC), supplements the collection of case summaries with 20 new entries, and updates and expands previous accounts for which we now have more complete information. With this July 2009 edition, we have changed the title to Espionage and Other Compromises of National Security: Case Summaries from 1975 to 2008 in order to more accurately reflect the range and type of events summarized here. CLICK & Download

China lands in Greece

The Chinese takeover of two-thirds of the port of Piraeus, which predates the Greek debt crisis, delights the Greek ship owners, and the European Commission. It's a miserable augury of the future. by Pierre Rimbert Britain used gunboats to gain access to Chinese ports in the 1840s, since China had closed Canton, in part to block the British-run opium trade. After the first opium war, British warships forced the Emperor Daoguang to sign the Treaty of Nanking on 29 August 1842, under which five ports were opened and Hong Kong ceded to the British crown. After a second opium war (1856-1860), the opium trade was legalised and Chinese sovereignty further eroded. The agreements that concluded these wars are still known as "unequal treaties". "Cosco go home!" was the slogan on banners carried by Greek dockers from Piraeus on 28 November 2008, when they marched through Athens in protest against a contract that gave China's biggest ship owner, the state-run China

Elite won’t share power and wealth

After the Arab spring The ruling Al-Khalifa family of Bahrain has offered hope of democratisation to the nation, but repeatedly failed to deliver, and intensified its dictatorship, certain that it will not be censured internationally. by Marc Pellas Twice in a decade Bahrain's ruling Al-Khalifa family allowed the tiny archipelago nation a brief hope of democratic change, only to dash those hopes with a return to absolutism. More than 98% of the population ratified a National Action Charter in February 2001, which set out terms (some of them negotiated) for establishing a democratic framework for the political system, the separation of powers and the supremacy of popular sovereignty. The new emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, seemed to have ended 25 leaden years of political exile, torture and repression. The way appeared clear for the election of a representative parliament with full powers. But a year on, the emir quashed those hopes by declaring himself king and (unconsti

Masters of the Internet

The US calls loudly for ‘Internet freedom’, but it is Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon that have built up the dotcom services used by people all over the world. Is that now about to change? by Dan Schiller The geopolitics of the Internet broke open during the first half of December at an international conference in Dubai convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN affiliate agency with 193 national members. At these meetings, states (thronged by corporate advisors) forge agreements to enable international communications via cables and satellites. These gatherings, however boring and bureaucratic, are crucial because of the enormous importance of networks in the operation of the transnational political economy. The December 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai produced a major controversy: should ITU members vest the agency with oversight responsibilities for the Internet, responsibilities comparable to tho

East Asia’s lost opportunity The region has yet to recognise its potential role in global governance, writes  Ross Buckley . To do that, China needs to change tack SIXTY years ago, it might have made some sense for East Asia to play only a minor role in global economic and financial governance. Today, though, it doesn't. East Asia – China, Japan, Korea and the ten ASEAN countries – produces 26.5 per cent of global GDP, more than the United States and as much as the European Union. China is the second largest economy in the world and holds about 30 per cent of worldwide official foreign currency reserves; Japan holds about another 15 per cent. For decades, China and Japan have been the principal buyers of US Treasury bonds; the two countries have saved and lent so that Americans can borrow and spend. Traditionally, global economic governance was the preserve of the G7 nations. But during the global financial crisis it quickly became apparent tha

Best (overlooked) books 2012

Inside Story contributors nominate the books from 2012 (or, in a few cases cases, late 2011) that didn't get the attention they deserved • Nicholas Gruen's nomination: Jonathan Haidt is an American academic psychologist whose research has focused on uncovering deep patterns common to the ethical framework of all human societies. In The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Penguin, $39.95), he likens the five or six basic themes of all cultures' ethical systems — avoidance of harm, protection of the weak, reciprocity, respect for authority, purity and loyalty — to "moral tastebuds" with which different societies build the sociological cuisines that constitute their moral codes. It's a compelling perspective that enables him to explain how, as a liberal (what Australians would call a "left liberal"), he came to have more empathy for the concerns of those on the right, whom he calls "conservatives.&quo

CHINA: Food and water security most significant national challenge

John Boulter | Future Directions International (FDI) 8 February 2013   DOWNLOAD  China faces a significant challenge in maintaining food and water security over the next 30 years. With less than ten per cent of the world's arable land and only seven per cent of its potable water, China must feed 20 per cent of the world's population. China is presently 95 per cent self-sufficient in food. Demand, however, will rise until at least 2030, when China's population will peak. Demand will also be influenced by a rising middle class, who will demand more nutritious food. From a supply perspective, China will face a number of challenges, including the need for greater access to fresh water and a decline in the availability of arable land. Food production will have to be more efficient and place greater reliance on research, science, technology, innovation and education. China will also require greater access to food imports, at a time when other parts of the world will also be v

At Shahbagh, Bangladesh’s fourth awakening

HAROON HABIB 16F13   APBangladesh's largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists participate in a demonstration in Dhaka on Feb 4, 2013   The protests in Dhaka against attempts to subvert justice in the war crimes trials show that the new generation is alive to the horrific acts committed by anti-liberation forces The younger generation of Bangladeshis has made history by not keeping silent when fundamentalist and communalist forces who had opposed the nation's independence from Pakistan openly challenged the state. Since February 5, Dhaka's Shahbagh Square has been the site of a mass protest in which young people have demanded capital punishment for all who committed crimes against humanity during the national liberation war in 1971. These young people have achieved what political parties locked in acrimonious feuding could not do. Led thro

Telangana Songs - Golla mallamma Kodala

US Student Loans Going the Way of Housing

By Douglas French Colleges are good at getting people enrolled. They get kids lined up with education loans. The money goes to pay exorbitant prices on textbooks. It pays for meal cards. Tuition is crazy high. Parents go along and shell out until their bank accounts are barren.  What colleges are not good at is getting the kids degrees. And those without those degrees have a hard time getting a good job to pay back a student loan. Instead, they fall into delinquency, starting off life saddled with an unpayable debt.  According to Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO), delinquencies on student loans made in the last two years have reached 15% . The pool of loans made between 2005-2007 is almost as bad, with 12.4% past due. Bloomberg reports that "almost 60% of bank managers surveyed in December expect delinquencies to worsen in six months, FICO said."  The analogy with housing is unavoidable. Do you remember 2007? The peak in the price of housing had come and gone. But the leverage of

Sanskrit & Computers

I have been studing and focusing on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics for the past 6 months. Linguistics here means the scientific structural study of a language.  Why Sanskrit??  Some details below: - this wil be a concise introduction for those who don't know and want to know  "how Sanskrit is the most suitable language for Computing" . Rest of the pundits and my teachers who are copied in this mail - please correct if there is anything wrong in the content and also add what ever I missed specific to this topic of Linguistics When I first heard -  Sanskrit is the most ideally suited language for Computing - i wanted to know How  ?  - then later I found out in my own research that - Dr. Leonard Bloomfield and Dr. Zellig Harris - these 2 early 20th Century linguists first came out with English Linguistics theories  and they came out with lot of theories on Structural Linguistics - which later got adopted in Computer programing languages in early computer. - later Nao


  A four page document titled the 'Peace Process Roadmap to 2015' seems to be scripting events and future developments in AfPak. Reportedly drafted by the Afghan President Karzai and his inner circle, the document's western 'tone and tenor' has led some analyst to suspect a foreign linkage. The 'roadmap to 2015' on the letter head of the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) and datelined November 2012 enumerates a five step process; each step with its objectives and superimposed on a timeline. The plan was presented to Pakistan and the US during visits in November 2012 by the HPC Chairman Salauddin Rabbani. The roadmap 2015 is not without its grey areas, and opens itself to varying interpretations and implications.    The Afghan peace process envisions that "by 2015, Taliban and other armed groups will have given up armed opposition, transformed from military entities into political parties…and participated in national elections." And more significant

Peace at a cost

 by Kamal Siddiqui in Express Tribune 11/2/13 It is an offer that is too hard to resist. At a time when the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is busy attacking key installations and playing havoc with our country's fragile peace, the militia has also talked of ending it all and making up. The TTP has made it clear that the institution it wants to talk to is the army, which it calls the "real power" in Pakistan. The ball is now in the government's court. However, instead of welcoming the offer, the government has remained somewhat silent. Even the otherwise very vocal Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, has said little on the offer. There is a debate, it seems, within the government on how to proceed here. The TTP has named three people to act as guarantors to the talks. The names are quite telling. All three have welcomed their nomination but have expressed their inability to make guarantees on behalf of the gover