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Showing posts from June 16, 2019

FATF on Pakistan: Excerpt of the Report Pakistan Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including the recent development of its TF risk assessment addendum; however, it does not demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risk.. Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by: (1) adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the TF risks posed by the terrorist groups , and conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis; (2) demonstrating that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, and that these actions have an effect on AML/C

World's Biggest Lift Irrigation Project Is Flowing in India

By The Associated Press June 21, 2019 HYDERABAD, India — Pumping stations on Friday began lifting river water toward parched land in southern India in what is said to be the world's largest such irrigation project. Some of the 19 pumping stations on the Godavari River lifted water to a height of 618 meters (2,020 feet) to irrigate about 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) in Telangana state, instead of allowing the floodwaters to flow to the sea. The project was built in three years at an estimated cost of 880 billion rupees ($12.9 billion). At its inauguration, the top elected official in Telangana state, Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, said the project is the world's largest using lift irrigation. Experts say the Colorado River in the United States and the "Great Man-Made River" in Libya previously had the world's largest lift irrigation projects. The Indian project comprises 20 reservoirs with canals running up to 1,530 kilometers (955 miles) and under

India sending warships to the Middle East to protect shipping

India sending warships to the Middle East to protect shipping By  Brad Lendon , CNN CNN reporter gets up-close look at attacked tanker 03:02 (CNN) —  The Indian Navy is sending two warships to the Gulf of Oman to protect the country's shipping in the wake of a series of attacks on  tankers there  in the past six weeks. The guided-missile destroyer INS Chennai and the patrol vessel INS Sunayna "have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations," an Indian Navy statement said. Surveillance aircraft are also being dispatched in what India is calling Operation Sankalp. India announced the operation Friday, one day after  Iran said it shot down a US spy drone over the Gulf of Oman. The Indian guided-missile destroyer INS Chennai is shown ahead of its commissioning into the Indian Navy in Mumbai on November 18, 2016. The ship is heading to the Gulf of Oman to help protect Indian shipping from the attacks that have been h

INDIA: Modern day mango plantations: Short and sweet

Modern day mango plantations: Short and sweet Times are changing, and so are mango trees. As unusual as it may sound, there are mango trees now that are just 6-feet tall. By Mukesh Adhikary   Thursday, June 22, 2017 Published in Times are changing, and so are mango trees. As unusual as it may sound, there are mango trees now that are just 6-feet tall. The regular height of a mango tree can be anywhere between 30 to 40 feet. This is thanks to agricultural researchers, who have developed a technology that limits the growth of mango trees. A farm in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, has large ripe mangoes hanging really close to the ground, some of them even brushing against the soil. The mango plantation has the look and feel of a tea garden - short plants regularly pruned. Reminder - it's not bonsai, the Japanese style of plantation which miniaturises taller plants.   Those running the farm say disbelief is common among first-time visitors when they see the fruit gr

American Friends of Balochistan's Weisner appeals to Oman and UAE to help Balochistan

American Friends of Balochistan's Weisner appeals to Oman and UAE to help Balochistan An American woman who has been a fighter for the rights of the voiceless people all her life has written to the governments of Oman and United Arab Emirates to step in to keep Gwadar in Baloch hands and help with creation of a sovereign Balochistan for their own long-term national interests. Jane Eastwood Weisner, American political activist and General Secretary of the American Friends of Balochistan, in her letter to Hunaina bint Sultan Al Mughairy and Yousef Al Otaiba, ambassadors of Oman and the UAE in Washington DC, said her support for independence of Balochistan is also in Oman’s and UAE’s interests. “I see this cause as imperative to the security of America and your countries, United Arab Emirates and Oman. Pakistan's occupation of Balochistan has put the strategic Gwadar port in the precarious situation of possible terrorist control?" Weisner's letter to the governm

China's caution about loosening cross-border capital flows

China's caution about loosening cross-border capital flows Fear of financial instability will continue to slow the liberalization of the capital account By  Max J. Zenglein  and  Maximilian K√§rnfelt Download as PDF 1.14 MB Main findings and conclusions China is adjusting its management of cross-border capital flows in response to changing economic conditions . Increasing capital outflows and a shrinking current account surplus have spurred Beijing to adjust the ways in which capital can move in and out of the country. It has opened new investment channels for institutional investors and more sectors of the economy to investment by foreign companies. China will continue to closely manage its capital account to prevent financial crises . Despite moves towards integration with the global financial system, China’s leadership has no interest in complete liberalization, which it considers incompatible with the country’s economic system. In its view, rising debts and risks to financ


AXIOS FUTURE Steve LeVine 1 big thing: The U.S. cyber offensive Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios   After years of bitter complaints about cyberattacks from foreign adversaries, a new report describes an aggressive U.S. cyber plan against Russia, a show of long-understood American prowess on the leading edge of warfare. What’s happening : Experts tell Axios that the leak, published Sunday in the New York Times, may intend to signal the damage that Russia could suffer in its confrontation with the U.S. But the disclosure also risks exacerbating already-fraught relations. The big picture : Over the last half-dozen years, the U.S. has been on the receiving end of some of the most damaging hacks in history, climaxing with Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. But now, in a high-profile story,  the U.S., under tremendous military, economic and diplomatic pressure globally amid the multi-front brinkmanship of the Trump administration, has been depicted as a for

Evading Trump: How Iran circumvents sanctions

08/11/2018 Evading Trump: How Iran circumvents sanctions Iran experts have been taken aback at the rapidity with which new rounds of sanctions have impacted the Iranian economy, even before major oil and financial sanctions kick in from 4 November. Within a month of 7 August sanctions taking effect (outlawing dollar purchases, precious metals, and trade in certain industrial materials), the riyal plunged by 60 percent. With oil accounting for around 70% of Iran’s exports and 80% of tax revenue, recorded exports fell by around 900,000bpd, from around 2.5mbpd in April. However, as we shall see below, a significant proportion of this shortfall is already being offset by off-the-books exports. Following the money:  This is my Middle East-focused blog series focusing on my areas of specialisation: Money laundering, financial crime, sanctions evasion and funding for terrorist and militant groups.  Barry Marston, Senior Consultant, Aperio Intelligence (Article published in the 31 Octobe