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Showing posts from July 21, 2013

CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria King Abdullah names Prince Bandar, director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, on top of his post as secretary-general of the National Security Council. By Zvi Bar'el | Jul. 25, 2012 | Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan fell in love with the United States when he was still an air force pilot and took aerobatics training on an American air base. The romance was renewed several years later when he was named the Saudi ambassador to Washington, a tenure that lasted 22 years. He was a regular guest of George H.W. Bush and later his son, and was the only ambassador guarded by the U.S. Secret Service. Last week, King Abdullah named Bandar, 62, director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, on top of his post as secr

The Doctor’s Grim Reward \ Jun 11, 2012 1:00 AM EDT He helped lead America to bin Laden. Now he rots in a Pakistani prison. Shaheena Mamraiz can only wish she had never met the man who strode into her office one March afternoon last year. Smiling and well dressed in a black business suit, white shirt, and tie, he seemed bursting with energy. “I’m Dr. Shakeel Afridi,” he announced. “I want to run a free hepatitis-B vaccination campaign in the area. I need the data for women aged between 15 and 40.” Mamraiz, a senior public-health official in the northwestern Pakistani town of Abbottabad, was taken aback. His aggressiveness verged on arrogance. “I refused to cooperate,” she tells Newsweek. “He didn’t seem to have any permission.” That changed two days later with an urgent call from her supervisor in Peshawar. “Shaheena, please cooperate with Dr. Afridi,” he told her. Despite her doubts, Ma

Three idiots: Now running at the Congress madhouse

JOHN LAW --The art of accumulating great wealth

Extract "Men of Wealth" JOHN LAW .. .did develop a new technique of money getting. He did not invent, but he did perceive, the possibilities of two instrumentalities that have been at once the blessing and the curse of the modern world. The art of accumulating great wealth had consisted in sharing in a fraction of the labor product of a large number of people . The monarch had taken his by taxes; the politicians had taken theirs by intercepting the flow of taxes to and from the state; the slave owner had taken his by brute force; the landlord had taken his by owning the land that was the source of wealth drawn from it by many workers; the merchant had taken his by gathering into his hands the product of many small producers, finding a market, and taking a toll on each sale. The moneylender had got his portion because his loans enabled him  to participate in the profits of many farmers, merchants, and producers. The wealth was drawn out of the current income of many peop

UPA’s future grim, says writing on wall

  By Gautam Mukherjee on July 27, 2013 The substantial CNN-IBN tracker opinion poll broadcast concluded on the July 26, places the NDA winning up to 180 seats to the Lok Sabha and at the pole position. It suggests, being an early poll, that the BJP has the momentum to take the tally higher, perhaps to over 200 seats on its own, making the formation of a Government very much easier. Rajdeep Sardesai, who anchored the poll discussions, said several times that this might be the last poll before the elections because the Election Commission is thinking of banning them. But everything depends, for the BJP and NDA albeit, on the pronouncements of an urban intellectual set of panellists, on not ending up reinforcing negatives that could put off the undecided and lukewarm. The poll panellists all agreed that the concern of the voters is largely based on economic issues such as the huge and grow

India looks back in anger By Shashi Shekhar on July 26, 2013 Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, speaking recently in his Lok Sabha Constituency, remarked that there was “anger” across the country. It appears that the Congress general secretary has started to feel the heat of the political reality staring his party in the face. A week-long television show on CNN-IBN presented the results of an electoral survey conducted by a Delhi-based NGO. The findings of that survey reveal the BJP to be on an upswing in Uttar Pradesh and other key States while the Congress struggles in its strongholds like Andhra Pradesh. Perhaps, in a reflection on how hot the “anger” that Rahul Gandhi is perceiving is, the Congress also went into an overdrive on the issue of Telangana. At the time of the writing of this column, it appeared that a decision may be imminent, but given the track record of the Congress on this issue, this writer is not holding h

European Parliament identifies Wahabi and Salafi roots of global terrorism

MURTAZA HAIDER 2013-07-22 13:24:10 It is not merely the faith or oil that flows out of Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich Arab state and its neighbours are busy financing Wahabi and Salafi militants across the globe. A recent report by the European Parliament reveals how Wahabi and Salafi groups based out of the Middle East are involved in the "support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world." The report, released in June 2013, was commissioned by European Parliament's Directorate General for External Policies. The report warns about the Wahabi/Salafi organisations and claims that "no country in the Muslim world is safe from their operations ... as they always aim to terrorise their opponents and arouse the admiration of their supporters." The nexus between Arab charities promoting Wahabi and Salafi traditions an

INSAT-3D launched successfully The payload of INSAT-3D adds a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, and provides vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone. India’s weather satellite INSAT-3D, carrying advanced weather monitoring payloads, was launched successfully in the early hours of Friday by the Ariane-5 (VA214) launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana. After a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane-5 launch vehicle lifted off right on schedule at the opening of the launch window at 1.24 a.m. IST on Friday, an ISRO press release said. After a flight of 32 minutes and 48 seconds, INSAT-3D was placed in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one. Soon after the separation of INSAT-3D from the Ariane-5’s upper cryogenic stage, the satellite’s solar panel automatically got deployed. ISR

A world where everything is for sale

Those who prostitute their high offices By Hossein Askari While growing up, I thought certain things in life were not for sale - that no amount of money could buy them. These included a democratic country? its national interest and its highest offices, the reputation of internationally admired men and women, Nobel laureates, institutions of higher learning and on and on. Boy, was I naive, Today, it would appear that everything is for sale, even if it belongs to nations. Maybe, just maybe, it has always been so but I was blind. To my mind, it is not in the United States' long-term national interest to support dictators in the Middle East. If the US supports oppressive, corrupt and incompetent rulers, it is to the detriment of the general citizenry of these countries. Who would want to live under oppressive rulers who bleed their country dry for their own personal wealth, run their economy into the ground and don'

China’s Anti-Satellite Program: They’re Learning

Joan Johnson-Freese, Professor at US Naval War College  July 12, 2013           Arms control opponents repeatedly and consistently use the difficulty in defining what constitutes an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon as a reason not to engage in ASAT arms control efforts.  Broadly defined, an ASAT weapon can include anything that can destroy or disable a satellite, including by kinetic impact, ground-based or satellite equipped lasers, or, as the Soviets insisted in the 1970’s, a spacecraft like the Space Shuttle which maneuvers and has a robotic arm theoretically capable of plucking a satellite out of the heavens and capturing it. Some of these are clearly dedicated ASAT weapons with no other real use; others offer ASAT “capabilities” though perhaps not as its primary purpose. Clearly, however, under any definition the 2007 Chinese intercept and destruction of one of its own moribund satellites at about 850 km above the earth constituted the testing of a hit-to-kill ASAT weapon.  China is