The Armed Forces and Electronics Communications & Electronics Association are holding A classified symposium (Top Secret/SI/TK) entitled Spring Intelligence Symposium on the theme "Lessons Learned: Building a New National Intelligence Partnership" @ the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center, Bolling AFB Washington, DC if you want to go contact Phil Jordan Phone: 703) 631-6219 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are 26 pages of members , from Accenture (Andersen Consulting before it fell apart) to Zero Manufacturing who make snazzy aluminum, foam filled cases for fancy electronic gear.
One such outfit who will be showing some of their stuff will be Narus.
Who say on their website "Narus secures the health and profitability of Services over IP." What they don't say is that they help the US Government (and maybe many others) to snoop on telephone calls and Internet data lines.
Narus is derived from the Latin word "gnarus," which means (appropriately) "all knowing."
Founder Ori Cohen worked VDOnet, an Israeli video streaming software company. Cohen, a 33-year-old Israeli immigrant discovered that ISPs were reluctant to deploy streaming video products, because there was no way to bill the customers.
Cohen saw an opportunity, and he left to start Narus in about 1996.Want to know what Narus standard billing software can do? It can find out how much time you spent on the network, how many E-mails you sent, how long you played online video games, how many files you uploaded or downloaded and what web sites you accessed. "The idea is that a guy who sends only E-mails shouldn't be billed as much as the guy who is streaming video off the Internet,"
"It is not just billing, it is much more than billing," says President Mark Stone. Too right Mark.
Truthout has a story about a whistleblower, Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, who tells how a secret room was set up at AT & T where he worked in San Fransisco and also in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. The rooms contained fiber optic cables from the secret room which were tapping into the Worldnet (AT&T's internet service) circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal."
The split circuits appear to have included traffic from peering links connecting to other internet backbone providers, meaning that AT&T was also diverting traffic routed from its network to or from other domestic and international providers. This setup also included using data-mining equipment called a Narus STA 6400, "known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for pre - programmed targets."
Which will all come as a great surprise to the Internet community !
Ben Rockwood's website will tell you more ...v. interesting.
Another place to look here
Saturday, April 08, 2006
The Armed Forces and Electronics Communications & Electronics Association are holding A classified symposium (Top Secret/SI/TK) entitled Spring Intelligence Symposium on the theme "Lessons Learned: Building a New National Intelligence Partnership" @ the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center, Bolling AFB Washington, DC if you want to go contact Phil Jordan Phone: 703) 631-6219 or E-Mail email@example.com.
Foreign Office Minister, accident probe, Welsh windbag Kim Howells, in an interview with BBC Radio Four's Today programme, visiting Afghanistan ahead of the UK assuming control of operations from the US next month in Helmund , said that he expected that poppy cultivation in the country could even be higher again this year following recent record harvests after the overthrow of the Taliban regime.
"I don't think it has got worse," the minister said, adding that Britain, which is lead G8 country with responsibility for combating drugs in Afghanistan, was "learning much."
"We don't know how much opium and harvest was produced" under the Taliban regime, he insisted. The country was "completely lawless" and no one could find out, he said.... as distinct from now when the country is "completely lawless".
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said earlier this year that the eradication of Afghanistan's poppy fields would be a much longer process than first thought.... which is surprising because his Kandahar based brother Ahmed Wali Karzai is heavily involved in the business.... and helped finance Hamid's election.
The admission of a further bumper crop came as the Ministry of Interior's counter narcotics forces conducted their first ever drugs raid into Zaranj, capital of Nimruz Province, on the border with Iran.
"Whilst other forces are attacking the big opium dealers in Helmand, (ie the real heavy lifting) in Nimruz we are attacking other parts of the opium snake that is trying to poison the nation of Afghanistan," the spokesman said.
Howells was visiting British civilians and troops in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan the centre of opium and heroin production in Afghanistan.
Defense Minister John Reid told the Commons that he would "not hide" the "difficulties and risks of this deployment". A former Foreign Office adviser, now a consultant in the United States, described Reid's comments as "delusional". He said: "Reid makes it sounds as though Afghanistan is a unified, well-policed, controlled country that is facing some imminent terrorist threat or a return of the Taliban. Someone should tell him there is no unified or controlled Afghanistan .... and someone should tell him the Taliban never really left.
Richard Haass, George Bush's head of policy planning in his first term, he also co-ordinated policy on the future of Afghanistan and knows both the Iraq and Afghanistan policies inside out, being an architect and adviser on both.
"A barely functioning Iraq, with a weak central government and highly autonomous regions, such as a secular Kurdish-dominated north; a religious, Shi'ite-dominated south, a Sunni-dominated west; and a demographically mixed and unsettled centre that takes in Baghdad." Haass said: "Think of it as a version of today's Afghanistan - minus the poppy fields."
The 6000 ill equipped British troops (taxpayer cost £1Bn.), at the end of a very long and stretched supply chain, with a dangerous and and ill defined war against the opium trade , whilst a fully stretched US force elsewhere tries to keep the peace, contains a much wider significance than John Reid might care to admit.Yorkshire Ranter has some well informed information about aerial support etc.,
LATE GOOD NEWS IN THE WAR ON TERROR
Delivering his address on the GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR at the Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte in North Carolina, Bush commended President Pervez Musharraf for making a choice to side with the international community in the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. “Colin Powell did a wonderful job of talking to President Musharraf in a very respectful and dignified way,” he said.
Musharraf is of course a military dictator who declared himself President after a military coup and amended the Constitution so that he could make any law, and the courts and Parliament cannot change any such law.
Which is why perhaps the President went on to say there had been 4 attempts on President Mushariff's .... and maybe this is why he holding him back from following his example.
Good to have such friends.
"Your World with Neil Cavuto" offers news and insight on Wall Street and other market activities, while wrapping up the business news of the day and airs on Rupe's Fox Channel at 4.pm ET.
David Asman substituted for Neil Cavuto on March 28, 2006 .... he headed for a break .... "If America had tortured Zacarias Moussaoui when they caught him in August of 2001, would 9/11 have been prevented?"
Then again.... "Well, could 9/11 have been avoided if we had tortured Zacarias Moussaoui? After all, he was caught in August of 2001...lying to investigators so the evil plot could move forward."
After a break, Asman opened the segment - featuring Fox employee and Reagan-era Irangate crook who famously lied to Congress (and sold US arms to US / Israeli foe Iran) , Oliver North - with this:
"Well, the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui continued today. Moussaoui stunning the court yesterday when he testified he was supposed to pilot a plane on 9/11 and ram it into the White House. Moussaoui was arrested August 16, 2001, just about a month before the September 11 attacks. He's now admitted to lying about his involvement in 9/11 so the attacks could go forward. So, would 9/11 have been prevented if we had simply tortured Moussaoui to get the truth out of him?
Baby faced Asman asked North what he thought and North said: "Torture no," but "let's just you and I agree on the term 'harsh interrogation methods'." For example, you say, "If you don't answer me, I'm going to take you out and shoot you."
Perhaps they should stop pussyfooting about with lawyers and try this on the AIPAC spies, "Our" Kenny Lay, Tom DeLay, and all jack's "friends" in Congress, Karl Rove, Libby, Miller, Cheney, Condi, Blair ... Bush.
Newshounds we watch FOX so you don't have to
When Madonna fans across Europe buy T-shirts at her concerts this summer, they might wonder about the tour programme: London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Horsens.
A small (Pop 60,000) mid-Jutland town 1 hours drive south of Arhus, is now a fixed spot on the international music promotion circus. From 250 fans for an intimate Bob Dylan 6 years ago a string of world-class names have followed: Robbie Williams, David Bowie, R.E.M., Elton John, "Sir" Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker....
On June 8th the Stones "A Bigger Bang" show, 3 weeks later on 24th June it's Madonna.
Horsens was famous for the local state prison and little else. Frank Panduro, the director of the town's New Theatre believed he and the town could do better.
He got the local bosses and bigwigs and made a pitch, as a result they pitched in with DKK 1m (EUR 130,000) in sponsor funds.
After the Dylan concert, doors began to open.
Orla Kjeld Bothe, who financed the New Theatre and sits on its board, recalled how the windsurfing and surfboard-selling Panduro made a strong impression. Panduro earns respect. From the theatre's accountant, Kaj Atzen, who tips his hat and calls Panduro a 'passionate soul who can't be stopped' to the ticket sales agent who considers him 'a big teddy bear'.... and no censorship (it is Denmark ... no anti muslim cartoons however !!) so you will be able to hear "A Dangerous Beauty" from the Stones about the Abu Ghraib tortures banned in the US of A Superbowl
Now I have discovered the Stones will be censored in Shanghai and won't play 40 year old hits "Brown Sugar" and "Let's spend the night together", I have 2 plane tickets, hotel and concert "ALL AREAS" passes to give away .... it makes Horsens. Meanwhile here are some bootleg backstage pics of Mick and Keef up to no good at the last concert in Horsens.(Do not download pics)
Three months ago, after their car was stolen and with no real prospects in Las Vegas, the Todoras were prepared to retreat back to Louisiana .......
Blues singer Sarah Todora, foreground, poses for a photo with her father Phil, rear, at a plush condo in Turnberry Place in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 29, 2006. Todora, an unassuming 18-year-old with a Louisiana drawl, has landed a gig at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip and a US$6mn condo for US$6 for six months from an anonymous benefactor...
read on ... a story to jerk a tear and warm any heart if you believe in the American Dream.
You can book your ticketsto see Todora at the Casbah lounge, Sahara Hotel here
Brazil and Syria and US proceed with sugar refinery project
Resulting from a visit in December 2003 by the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the Middle East,the American company Cargill's ( US$6Bn.TO one of the largest agricultural combines in the world) subsidiary Cargill's Africa subsidiary (40%) in partnership with Brazilian company Cristalsev (10 % plus technical expertise), plus 3 Syrian companies, Assaf Invest, Sugar Invest and Sugar Mezzanine, are set to build a US$150 Mn , 1 Mn tonnes per year sugar refinery in Jandar 30 kmt south of the city of Homs, in Syria. This has interesting political repurcussions in the region.
UK-based corporate finance firm, International Investment Trust, has acted as financial adviser to the project.The curious American Wellington Group is also involved in the project.
The raw sugar will be supplied by Brazil, by Cristalsev, responsible for the sales of sugar from nine mills from the state of São Paulo,worth US$ 200 million, according to forecasts by the Brazilian minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, when the project was announced.
Land is available and though a start was expected early this year a start date has not yet been finalised.
The demand for sugar is the Middle East is high and rising , between Jan-Nov 2005 Brazil had sugar sales to the region of US$1.2 Bn 22% up on the previous year (US$983Mn)
Syria has a small sugar beet industry and prouces some sugar in bulk. The intention is the plant will distribute finished product to Jordan and Lebanon.
In January Brazil forecast a record cane harvest up 5.7% of 440 Mn. tonnes (417 Mn). Of this, 220 Mn. tonnes will produce 27 Mn. tonnes of sugar. Another 177.9 Mn.tonnes will produce 17 billion litres of alcohol, and the remaining 40 Mn. tonnes will be used for cachaça (spirit typical of Brazil), rapadura (a sweet), seeds and animal food.
Cargill's involvement is related to the thorny problem of Turkey's sugar politics not unrelated to EU entry, itself a viper's nest of financial and industrial interests / subsidies etc.,
Cargill's production in Turkey is restricted to 100,000 tons because of quotas. Having invested $90 million in Turkey, Cargill is unable to use its capacity to the fullest because of the country's sugar beet lobby.
Cargill's new investment is also of interest to Turkey's sugar politics. Experts report that Syria is a major source country for sugar smuggled into Turkey. When Syrian sugar production is increased, it will mean that sugar smuggled into Turkey will also rise. Cargill's production in Turkey is restricted to 100,000 tons because of quotas. Having invested $90 million in Turkey, Cargill is unable to use its capacity to the fullest because of the country's sugar beet lobby.
Fifteen percent of the sugar produced in Turkey is produced privately, the largest share belonging to Cargill (when they took over Cerestar worldwide), and the remaining 85 percent by state-owned Türkşeker Fabrikaları and six privatized partially state-owned sugar factories using sugar beet.(Cargill are involved in hazel nuts as well - 80% of the world's traded crop is harvested in Turkey).
It is claimed that Syria is a major source country for sugar smuggled into Turkey. When Syrian sugar production is increased, the same critics say that sugar smuggling into Turkey will also rise.
UK & Israel proceed with sugar refinery project
Elsewhere in the ME ( In a deal shrouded in secrecy since it was signed in September 2005 ) Tate & Lyle will acquire 65 per cent equity in a new Israeli company, the net assets of which will be £ 8.1m. for a sugar refinery to be designed by Tate & Lyle Process Technology, Tate & Lyles specialist engineering division. Israel’s Gadot Biochemicals will own the remaining 35 percent.
EU sugar reforms, which come into effect on 1 July 2006, and says Stanley Musesengwa, Tate & Lyle chief operating officer. "This investment is another example of how we are reacting positively to changes to the European sugar regime."
"It will enable us to continue serving our customers effectively by replacing our existing European Union exports to Israel."
The EU currently exports 4.5 million tons of sugars a year, including 400,000 tons to Israel. The new regulations will reduce EU sugar exports to 1.3 million tons a year (and costly taxpayer subsidies) . Last October, the price of sugar was less than $300 in the international market. Now it is over $500 per ton. (25 yr high in Feb 2006)Pakistan is experiencing severe shortages and soaring internal prices and more are forecast an inevitable consequence of EU crop reductions and diversion of cane crop to ethanol production as the oil price rises.
Tate and Lyle have a Turkish office, but as their website points out, it doesn't deal with Israel. "(Sales for Middle East (except Israel),Adana Organize sanayi Bolgesi,Yakapinar Adana 01350, Turkey t. +90 (0) 322 355 4077 f. +90 (0) 322 355 4093. " (Was this the reason for the secrecy ?)
Pic ? here's a clue ... Textile polymer ingredient Bio-PDO produced by DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts and used by DuPont to produce Sorona® polymer. Sorona® polymers are stain and chlorine resistant with great 'stretch and recovery' and are exceptionally soft to the touch. Fibre made of DuPont™ Sorona® polymer is used in a wide range of textile applications from swimwear to carpets.
Binyam Muhammad (a/k/a/ Talha a1 Kini, a/k/a Foaud Zouaoui, a/k/a/ Taha a1 Nigeri a/k/a John Samuel) one of ten Guantanamo Bay prisoners to be charged is represented by Clive Stafford Smith who acts for more than 30 other Guantanamo detainees as the legal director of Reprieve, a British human rights organization..Charge Sheet here PDF Alert - which involves charges of conspiracy.
According to a written account read by Smith, Muhammad was born in Ethiopia, and moved to Britain when he was 15. Three siblings went to the United States and eventually became naturalized citizens. He claimed that as a practicing Muslim he went to Afghanistan to kick a drug habit, and thought he could do so if he got away from London.He called the charges a "con" and claimed they still couldn't spell his name correctly.
He also wanted to see the Taliban Islamic regime in Afghanistan with his own eyes, he said. (It was whilst he was in Afghanistan it is claimed he attended a1 Qaida's a1 Farouq training camp, where he received training in light weapons such as the Kalishnikov, Simonov, PKA, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and crew-served weapons and also met Usama-bin-Laden who told the group "something big is going to happen in the future" and to "get ready" or words to that effect..it is also claimed when he was being trained in Kabul he met "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.(!!)
He was captured in April 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan, whilst returning to London. The circumstances of which are odd. On or about April 4,2002, Binyam Muhammad and Jose Padilla (who were alleged to be plotting to make a "dirty bomb" and had been given US$16,000 to get to the US and undertake the task) were both detained at passport control at the airport in Karachi (Binyam Muhammad for a forged passport and Jose Padilla due to visa violations),but were released the next morning. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad arranged to get Binyam Muhammad a different forged passport while Jose Padilla continued on to Chicago, Illinois. On or about April 10,2002, Binyarn (sic) Muhammad was arrested at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan attempting to get back to London using a forged passport.
Three months later, he was transferred by the United States to Morocco.Muhammad said he landed at an airfield he believed was near Rabat, the Moroccan capital, and was driven for about a half-hour before being taken into a house behind a metal fence. An English-speaking woman who claimed to be Canadian but he thought was American, calling herself Sarah was often present when he was interrogated.
His torturers applied sleep deprivation, beat him and sliced Muhammad's penis with a scalpel, according to the detainee's account.
"They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists," Smith quoted Muhammad as saying.
Muhammad said that while he was handcuffed, his jailers put headphones on him.
"They played hip-hop and rock music, very loud," Muhammad said. "I remember they played Meatloaf and Aerosmith over and over. I hated that. They also played Tupac. ... When I became a Muslim, I had tried to get away from this.
In January 2004 Muhammad was sent back to Afghanistan, held in a CIA Kabul jail for five months and, in May 2004, moved to Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2004.
The United States alleges Muhammad conspired with Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida commander, and Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, to cause explosions at apartment buildings and gas stations in the United States. Muhammad has denied knowing Padilla and says he is innocent.
During his incarceration at Bagram last year, Muhammad claimed, he was forced to sign a false confession he did not write.
"The story was something like this: First, Jose Padilla and I were meant to have good connections, because we both spoke English. We were meant to have been hanging out together," Muhammad said, according to Smith's notes of their meeting. "By the time I was in Bagram, I was telling them whatever they wanted to hear."
Stafford Smith said. "I would like some answers from the U.S. as to where they got this evidence, because I am confident we will find all this evidence was exacted at the tip of a razor blade."
Friday, April 07, 2006
"Sides are being chosen, and the future of man hangs in the balance! The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ they never will. ... It is for us then to do as our heroes have always done and put our faith in the perfect redeeming love of Jesus Christ."
Tom DeLay Conference "The War on Christians" March 20th 2006.
I put mine in Scanlon, Rudy and Jack.
Scientists at the Air Vehicles Directorate have announced testing of yet another unmanned air vehicle, which "may" become an operational reality for the "warfighter". Basically another toy for the boys.
SkyTote is an unmanned aerial cargo delivery vehicle. The proprotor consists of two propeller blades that rotate in opposite directions and allow SkyTote to take off and land vertically, like a helicopter, and then shift to horizontal flight, like a fixed wing aircraft. This capability allows SkyTote to take off and land from confined areas while being able to fly faster than a helicopter could during flight. SkyTote will benefit the warfighter by delivering cargo to dangerous locations without jeopardizing a human pilot’s safety.
Researchers claim SkyTote will become a safe, inexpensive and reliable choice for assessing bomb damage and conducting resupply missions or emergency troop evacuations.
During the initial design phase, the vehicle was redesigned from the original 2-foot to an 8-foot wing span vehicle to make it more realistic and usable for customers.
The current test vehicle will carry a 50-pound payload within 150 nautical miles.
The power unit is a rotary Wankel engine (invented by German engineer Felix Wankel, which uses a rotor instead of reciprocating pistons patented 1929) made by UAV Engines Ltd in the UK which follows on from developments by Norton,famous for post war motor cycle racers. This results in a more compact engine, low weight,reduced mechanical friction and lower fuel consumption and greater operating range.
French German Airbus manufacturer European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) has had 6 significant items to ponder this week.
1. They have been edged out of the Thales / Alcatel alliance in consolidating French space technology industries.Alcatel website.
2. At the same time, two of the main shareholders in EADS, DaimlerChrysler autos and Lagardere publishing, said that they would reduce their holdings.Both selling 7.5% shareholdings.
3. Today BAe who have been partners since 1978 announced they want to sell their 20% stake as discussed here recently.BBC Online.
4. The A350, its rival to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is meeting criticism recent industry reports suggest the A350's intended fuel efficiency is so poor it needs a complete redesign. Meanwhile, provisional orders are being put on hold and estimates of sales drastically scaled back.
Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng said in an interview today (7/4//2006) in Zurich, "Having gone to the trouble of designing a new tail, and introducing a lot of new composites, and everything else, they might as well go the whole way and design a whole new fuselage as well instead of using something old." Chew said his airline will decide on whether to buy as many as 80 new aircraft at a board meeting next month.
"We still have an open mind," Chew said today.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, CEO of International Lease Finance Corp., the world's largest aircraft lessor said in March should spend $8 billion to $10 billion more to redesign its A350 airliner to compete with Boeing's 787.he says they need to decide on needs to decide on a redesign before the Farnborough, England, air show in July.
5. Only last week, Emirates delayed a $4.2bn order for 20 Airbus large jets, the A340-600, to give Airbus time to develop a better version.
6. Testing the wings of the A380 to destruction has shown that the wing fails within 95% of the US FAA 1.5 wing loading limit - although the results are still not clear they could dig their heels in and refuse landings in the US. Airbus executive vice president of engineering Alain Garcia deemed the test a success, and was quoted as saying, "This is within 3 percent of the 1.5 target, which shows the accuracy of the finite element model." The wing was deflected more than 24 ft/7.4m when the break occurred. (remeber the banning of Concorde supersonic overflights in the US ?). ( Emergency evacuation trials passed with flying colours however)
BAE chief executive Mike Turner , who acquired United Defense Industries, the US maker of Bradley armored personnel carriers, for $3.97 billion dollars, in March last year said: "We believe that now is the right time for us to divest our Airbus shareholding to allow us to concentrate on our core transatlantic defense and aerospace strategy." BAE won orders worth US$ 1.13 Bn. from the US Army to re-manufacture and upgrade more than 500 Bradley combat vehicles in June 2005.
Airbus booked record firm orders exceeding 1,000 passenger planes in 2005, taking 51.0 percent of the world market and beating arch-rival Boeing for the fifth year running.
All this is excellent news for Boeing , for two reasons...
1. It puts BAe into play for a take over by Boeing or other US defence companies.(Remember BAe are not part of the Euro consortium developing the Combat Unmanned Aerial vehicle CUAV nEUROne)
2. It makes life more difficult for Airbus who have been causing them lots of problems in the last few years.
Boeing will however maintain their PR assault ...
On June 13th 2005 Ambassador Linnet Deily, U.S. Representative to the WTO complained ...
"Over its 35-year history, Airbus has benefited from massive amounts of EU member State and EC subsidies that have enabled the company to create a full product line of aircraft and gain more than a 50 percent share of large civil aircraft sales. Every major Airbus aircraft model was financed, in whole or in part, with government subsidies taking the form of "launch aid" – that is, financing with no or low rates of interest, and repayment tied to, and entirely dependent on, sales of the financed aircraft. Moreover, if a particular model does not sell well, Airbus does not have to repay the financing. The Airbus A380 “super jumbo” alone received approximately $3.7 billion in launch aid subsidies from France, Germany, Spain, and the UK."
Also BBC report about N Wales subsidies for training.
The UK share of the A380 launch was £780m, of which £530m went direct to BAE. So if BAe sell up that is UK taxpayers investment thrown away. EADS’ shares have enjoyed a more than fivefold increase from the low of €6.50 in March 2003 to a peak two weeks ago of €35.13. As one BBC radio commentator said on the World News last night, "BAe are taking the money and running".
Wouldn't it be a surprise that a la Kuwait buying BP when it went public , Dubai financiers leapt in to take up BAe's share ?
Pic Iran Air use Airbus - not for nuclear bombing however. The Shah of course bought Boeing...and so have El Al...so far!
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis Libby Jr., testified that he was authorized by President Bush, through Mr. Cheney, in July 2003 to disclose key parts of what until then was a classified prewar National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E) on Iraq, according to a new court filing.
Mr. Libby testified, the prosecutors said, that he was "specifically authorized in advance of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified N.I.E. to Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the N.I.E. was 'pretty definitive' against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the vice president thought that it was 'very important' for the key judgments of the N.I.E. to come out."
This means (if true - and hey that's a big IF - if you really know what "IF" means) that Mr. Bush, who has long criticized leaks of secret information as a threat to national security, may have played a direct role in authorizing disclosure of the intelligence report on Iraq.
"We're not commenting on any ongoing legal proceedings," said Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush's press secretary, NYT reports today .Previously having said Sept. 29, 2003. “If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.”
For example he was reported by CNN Wed. Feb 11th 2004 ...
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."
"I welcome the investigation. I am absolutely confident the Justice Department will do a good job.
"I want to know the truth," the president continued. "Leaks of classified information are bad things."
He added that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."
Bush said he has told his administration to cooperate fully with the investigation and asked anyone with knowledge of the case to come forward.
Consortium News has some commentary on events today ...
"Also deserving an explanation is the curious trip that Fitzgerald reportedly made to the office of Bush’s personal criminal attorney, James Sharp, on the morning of Oct. 28, 2005, just before announcing the indictment of Libby on charges of obstruction, perjury and false statements. [NYT, Oct. 29, 2005]
It’s unclear why Fitzgerald would take time out of his very busy schedule that day to visit Bush’s personal lawyer unless Fitzgerald had to pass on sensitive information about Bush’s status in the investigation. Possibilities range from telling Bush that he would not be named in the Libby indictment to saying he had become an investigative target.
Attorney Sharp accompanied Bush on June 24, 2004, when the President was questioned about the Plame case"
Iran has missiles to carry nuclear warheads claims Con Coughlin in today's Daily Telegraph.
Aided by a graphic remarkably like the one in the AJC ad in the Financial Times on Wednesday demonstrating the mythical range of yet to be developed mythical missiles (and boosted by the State Broadcasting Corporation aka BBC yesterday) he says Iran has successfully developed ballistic missiles with the capability to carry nuclear warheads. Enlarged map click here.
"Military expert analysis " of recent firings of the antique N Korean (German WWII V2 derivative) Rodong (range 800 miles) concludes The Shahab-3 is a modified version of North Korea's Nodong missile which itself is based on the old Soviet-made Scud.
The Nodong, which Iran "secretly" acquired from North Korea in the mid-1990s, is designed to carry a conventional warhead. But Iranian engineers have been working for several years to adapt the Shahab-3 (Tech. spec. Here)to carry nuclear weapons says CC. Instead of the single cone normally attached to this type of missile, the new Shahab has three cones, or a triconic, warhead. A triconic warhead allows the missile to accommodate a nuclear device and this type of warhead is normally found only in nuclear weapons. (Yes and they are very, very heavy - hence the size of US ICBM's - Ultimately, a total of 500 x 3 stage single RV Minuteman IIIs will be the USA's ICBM deterrent force through 2020, each 60 feet long weighing a total of 16 tons with a range of 6,000 miles (all downgraded from 3 unit MIRV nuclear heads)
According to the new research, the Iranian warhead is designed to carry a spherical nuclear weapon that would be detonated 2,000 feet above the ground, similar to the Hiroshima bomb.
"This is a major breakthrough for the Iranians," CC claims a senior US official said. "They have been trying to do this for years and now they have succeeded. It is a very disturbing development."
He admits that US defence officials believe that Iran is several years away from acquiring nuclear weapons, but says it is believed that the warhead could hold a version of the nuclear bomb Pakistan is known to have developed.
In 2003 the Iranians concluded another secret deal with North Korea to buy the Taepo Dong 2 missile, which has a range of 2,200 miles and would enable Iran to hit targets in mainland Europe ..... which it would if this multi stage missile worked and had a throw weight of more than a few pounds.
Earlier this week The Revolutionary Guards have been holding their maneuvers code-named the "Great Prophet" . The Iranians announced that they had successfully test-fired a new missile, the Fajr-3, which has the capability to evade radar systems and carry multiple warheads.
This report has been said by senior DOD military figures as a gross exaggeration ..." the missile used in Friday's Iranian test was only a Shahab-2, (pic hauled by a Benz lorry) the Iranian designation for the old short range Scud-C missile, which has a range of only 310 miles. "It was not a new missile as (the) Iranian press reported,"
Analyst Uzi Rubin is reported as saying the Iranian description of the Fajr-3 sounded very much like the new Russian Iskander-3 missile, except for the independent targeting, which the Iskander-3 does not have. In 2003 it was reported that North Korea (DPRK)was importing this missile from Russia via Syria. Israel has Arrow and PAC-3 anti-missile missiles that at least partially neutralize such a threat.
Israel is probably less concerned about the Iskandar than the Russian SA-18 surface to surface missile which Syria is said to have .
Western analysts are equally skeptical about the Iranian claim to have developed a remarkable new underwater torpedo-missile with aircraft carrier-killing capabilities that can travel at four times the speed of current fast torpedoes - the Kowsar
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "It's possible that they are increasing their capability and making strides in radar-absorbing materials and technology."
But "the Iranians have also been known to boast and exaggerate their statements about greater technical and tactical capabilities," he said.StrategyPage.com reported that the weapon was most likely a version of the Russian-built VA-111 Shkval rocket-torpedo. The Shkval is fast, "the Russians have not had any success convincing the world's navy that their rocket propelled torpedo is a real threat," the Web site says.
"The attacking sub has to get relatively close (within 4.2 miles) to use it. Modern anti-submarine tactics focus on preventing subs from getting that close. For that reason, the Russians themselves tout the VA-111 Shkval torpedo as a specialized anti-submarine weapon for Russian subs being stalked by other subs,"
In all this one must remember that after the AIPAC spying scandal the Israeli's are conscious about Pentagon concerns about Israel supplying China with hi-tech defence systems and equipment.
Now why would the DT want to talk up this onon-existent threat to Western Europe .. the Jewish Lobby at work again ? ... Hmmm.. Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism etc.,
Readers of the Torygraph with a good memory might recall a story By Anton La Guardia from last year ...
"Israel admitted yesterday that it is buying 500 "bunker-buster" bombs, which could be used to hit Iran's nuclear facilities, as Teheran paraded ballistic missiles as a warning against attack.
The BLU-109 bombs, which can penetrate more than 7ft of reinforced concrete, are among "smart" munitions being sold to Israel under America's military aid programme."
What would they want those for ?
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Russian state-controlled media, including the RTR television channel and Radio Mayak, report Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s recent three-day visit to Moscow as a potential turning point in Putin’s struggle for control of the Caspian Basin’s oil and gas reserves.
This followed a trip to Tashkent on March 22nd to meet President Karimov where Nursultan Nazarbayev’s speech was broadcasted by Uzbek National TV-Channel on March 22,..."“I know that you defended peace of 26 million Uzbekistanis in Andijan too...We know it very well, and now, in order to defend state security in the whole world, such measures are taken......We know it very well, and now, in order to defend state security in the whole world, such measures are taken he said addressing Islam Karimov., who has of course chased the US forces out of Uzbekistan after the criticism of the Andijan massacre.
The visit resulted in an agreement to vastly expand Kazakhstan’s oil exports via Russia, along with Astana’s (Astana is the new (1998) capital of Kazakhstan) endorsement of a Moscow-led Eurasian economic union. These announcements are seen by Russian leaders as a major geopolitical victory…over the US and it’s allies in the struggle for energy resources. Consequently this raises questions about Kazakhstan’s participation in the US-backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 4, Nazarbayev stated that the volume of Kazakhstani oil transported via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) route would rise to 67 million metric tons from its present level of 28 million tons. The 1,500 Km long CPC route connects the oil fields of Western Kazakhstan to the Russian port of Novorossiysk. Russia has claimed (probably correctly) the route, which began operations in 2003, has been deliberately underutilized, reportedly causing significant losses. Provided that Kazakhstan follows through on its commitment, the CPC pipeline could begin to operate at near capacity.
"We can jointly determine the rules of the game in the Eurasian space," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Nazarbayev as saying. "Of course, Russia will play a leading role" in the budding Eurasian Union.
Nazarbayev said on Russian TV that the agreement on the CPC "means that in the next seven or eight years the increase in oil production in Kazakhstan will be backed by transportation possibilities," He added that Kazakhstan and Russia would jointly develop three off-shore oil fields, which the Kazakhstani leader identified as Kurmangazy, Khvalynsky and Tsentralnoye.
The opening of the US-backed ( Clinton was a great supporter, BP wasn’t until taken over by Amoco) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in 2005 broke an effective Russian pipeline monopoly linking the Caspian Basin to Western markets. The CPC route is the chief Russian competitor to BTC which was designed to bring oil and gas South not North to Russia.
It is claimed that heavy Kazakhstani participation in BTC is needed to make that export route viable. Astana has repeatedly said it will ship oil via BTC, but no deals have been negotiated ... so far.
On April 4, Putin said that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would soon sign framework agreements to for joint economic efforts. Vagit Alekperov, the CEO of LUKoil, which has invested roughly $3 billion in Kazakhstan in recent years, wants to develop new joint projects, including an expansion of the CPC pipeline.(Pic 2002 NN & Dubya in happier times)
Russian-Kazakhstani trade in 2005 reached nearly US $10 billion, a 35 percent increase over 2004. After this the third meeting by Putin and Nazarbayev this year they have agreed to double trade from current levels .
The leaders also made agreements on defense and security involving reduction sin costs of Russian bases and size of military firing ranges in Kazakhstan (Sary-Shagan, Emba, and Priozersk) as well as an agreement on the Kazsat launch at Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan which is scheduled for June 8 and which President Putin will attend. The Kazakhstan Kazsat satellite is designed to provide TV broadcast and communications for Central Asia and the central part of Russia.
The Russian Vneshekonombank and the Eurasian Group headed by Kazakh millionaires Mashkevich, Shodiyev, and Ibragimov also had talks about joint projects.
Those who read the runes on these things saw significance that Nazarbayev's entourage on the visit included Timur Kulibayev, his son-in-law, now VP of Samruk a recently established major holding company , Timur is on the national Golf Team and is known in golfing circles as the "Lion King".(see pic)
Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Singapore in autumn of 2003 and met the leader of their State Holding company (STN) who is Mrs Lee Syan Lee wife, of the President, who is the son of founder of modern Singapore Lee Kuan Yu.
A year after the official visit, Singapore established joint venture between the national company "Kazakhstan Engineering" and "Singapore Technologies Engineering" . STN President Таn Pheng Hok and Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Danial Akhmetov signed an agreement in Ferb 2005. The range of interests of the Joint venture include electronics, oil and gas production and shipbuilding, and reconstruction of the armed forces of Kazakhstan."
In December 2004 Nursultan Nazarbayev gave the order to the government to form a state holding which will unite the largest national companies with the help of international consulting company McKinsey & Co this is Samruk.
Total area: 1,049,149.53 sq miles (2,717,300 sq km)
Land area: 1,030,809.78 sq miles (2,669800 sq km)
- Ninth largest in the world, equivalent to the size of Western Europe.
- Five times the size of France.
Boundaries: Total 7,459 miles (12,012 km). The Republic of Kazakhstan shares its longest borders with Russia, 4,251 miles (6,846 km) and China, 951 miles (1,533 km), as well as with Uzbekistan 1,369 miles (2,203 km), Kyrgyzstan, 653 miles (1,051 km), and Turkmenistan, 235 miles (379 km). It also borders 1,183 miles (1,894 km) of the Caspian Sea.
Population: 15,1 million
Kazakh 51.8%, Russian 31.4%, Ukrainian 4.4%, Tatar 1.7%, German 1.6%. There are over 100 other nationalities.
Removing all its nuclear warheads by 1996, Kazakhstan became the first state in history to complete voluntary disarmament.
Lawyers acting for Rupes rag NOW declined to petition the Court of Appeal to overturn yesterday’s comprehensive judgment refusing an injunction against publication of photographs of him.
Respect MP George Galloway today branded News of the World employee Mazher Mahmood, aka the fake sheikh, a liar challenging the NOW to publish the tapes of their meeting after Mahmood supplied a written submission to the High Court denying GG version of the meeting.
“Investigations into Mahmood are continuing. I will be seeking an adjournment debate in Parliament on standards in the British media. I’m also charging Mahmood with perjury over his submission to the High Court on Wednesday. The matter does not end here,” says George.
Well, you can go to the "Respect" site ( A political Party) and see one photograph repeated, once with the title Mazer Mahmood, once as The Fake Sheik .... of course you could have Googled Mazer Mahmood under images for the last four years at least and found the same photograph. The above may be MM apparently he put lots of people in prison as MM claims to have done (the hairy one)
Let's hope our dear Queen didn't choke on her cornflakes when this pic dropped out of her mail ... mind you her mind was on the Gee Gees not GG ... probably picking the winner in the Grand National ... mind you the fragrant and beautifully coloured co-ordinated Lady Scotland fouled up (as Norman Tebbitt discovered) and you can no longer be hanged for Treason here anymore but you can be in Ireland (But not in Portugal). See here. "The lunatics HAVE finally taken over the Asylum"
I raised the "fake news" on the BBC "World at One" half hour mid-day news program yesterday 6th April 2006 about the full page ad in that day's Financial Times and an interview by Beeb journo Mark Latey (?) with a representative (?) from the advertisers the American Jewish Council (AJC).(Click for PDF of ad shown here)
The AJC is a huge organisation with lots of money, rich and powerful friends, with world wide high level support ... Visitors to their forthcoming 100th AGM include President Bush, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
They are very adept at spreading their message which they claim on their website . "Using the latest technologies in our advocacy work – airwaves, films, internet – and translating AJC research and statements into other languages, AJC stands out as a global Jewish organization."
It is evident that the over riding concern of the AJC is to identify Iran as enemy of the Israeli state - and of everyone else. An objective shared with many other such organisations.
Indeed No 1 item on the List of topics for the AGM is ..
What should we worry about next?
Iran: Growing danger to the region
and the world
With lectures and discussion lead by ..
Iran: Growing Danger to the Region and
Efraim Halevi, (Who went to the same school at the same time as Tony's pal Lord Levy, his "special Mid-East envoy) Director, Israel’s Mossad
R. Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State (Condi's sidekick - big chance she will make a "surprise" show as AIPAC Pin up girl)
The lead news item on their site is ...
Stop Iran's Nuclear Arms Drive
Israel Defense Minister Tells AJC Iran is Number One Threat
March 21, 2006 – Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the American Jewish Committee today .......
”The moment Iran will have nuclear capability it will be a different world,” he said.
“Iran will continue to support terrorism activities, and be a leader of the Axis of Evil, all under a nuclear umbrella.” He emphasized that Iran’s desire to develop nuclear weapons threatens many countries, not just Israel, and without American and European action, and UN sanctions, it will be difficult to stop Iran.
The Lead item in a list of the ways mebers can help punches home the message...
Time is running short: only a few years remain for preventing a nuclear Iran – and possibly less. Iran already has the missiles to deliver such weapons across the Middle East and beyond ...... Please call upon Congress to pass legislation now that could help stop a nuclear Iran before it is too late.
It is easy therefore to see how the ad in Wednesday's Financial Times ... fits into a sophisticated global media campaign. So how did the discussion about this misleading and deceitful ad with just a representative from the AJC, no balance, no serious discussion, become a BBC news item ? Is this the Jewsih Lobby at work ???
You might well ask ... I shall be asking Helen Boaden who is responsible for BBC News output.... you can as well, e - mail her desk ... firstname.lastname@example.org .. to learn how this "selling" the news is done go here
Thanks to Stef for help.
The Miss USA pageant is calling Baltimore again, 2nd year running... and excitement is rising ...
"The judges are going to have a big job on their hands trying to figure out which one of these ladies is worthy of being Miss USA," said Dennis Castleman, assistant secretary for tourism, film and the arts, in Maryland's Department of Business Economic Development.
The pageant has also added a third emcee to the telecast. Carson Kressley, of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, will act as "color commentator" to the show's two hosts, Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell and Drew Lachey, of Dancing with the Stars fame.
Make sure you have enough Kleenex in.
Alerted by a suspicious taxi driver terrist Plods halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport in England and then boarded it, to arrest Harraj Mann, 24. He was released after 3 hours questioning and missed his flight.
The taxi drivers concern was prompted because Mann had been singing along to The Clash's 1979 anthem "London Calling" , especially the lines "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" and "meltdown expected."
Mann said the driver let him plug in his MP3 player to the Taxi's sound system and he had been playing The Clash, Procol Harum, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles for the driver.
"He didn't like Led Zeppelin or The Clash", Mann told the Daily Mirror. (Reuters report)
"Can't be too careful ,,, Sir ... now then , move along"
" .... First they came for the Clash fans.... "
NEWS UPDATE 7/4/06
Plod pounces on Punk SMSer
Further to the Clash fan hustled by Plod at Durham Airport, I have been reminded of a story at the Techie online Register By Lucy Sherriff of 3rd June 2004
An Orange tech worker, father of two, Mike Devine who played in a Clash "tribute" band was arrested at his office in Bristol when a text message he sent was intercepted and traced back to his phone.
Special Branch officers slapped the cuffs on Mike and took him away for questioning, but he was not charged or arrested.
Devine, had sent a message containing lyrics from The Clash's Tommy Gun to his lead singer Reg Shaw who had forgotten the words to the song.
"How about this for Tommy Gun? OK - SO LET'S AGREE ABOUT THE PRICE AND MAKE IT ONE JET AIRLINER AND TEN PRISONERS"
Plod claims the message went to someone else who alerted the Police (not the band of that name) about the content.
The police questioned Devine about his phone, and asked about texts sent texts at the end of April. They showed him a print out of the text and asked him to confirm that he had sent it. "I said, 'That's the lyrics from Tommy Gun. I'm in a tribute band'," Devine said.Plod reportedly looked puzzled.
Plod accepted the explanation not before suggesting to Devine that he be careful about where he sent such messages in future.
Google the above Clash text (43,900 items) and you will find many more related stories including BBC Online who add the final line..."A spokesman from GCHQ in Cheltenham refused to comment."
I say it again "...first they came for the Clash fans, the tribute bands ...."
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Nur al Cubicle in a characteristically learned post identifies the new voice of dissent on the Italian Street, Berlusconi has remarked in his infantile fashion that people who don't vote for him are coglione - assholes. (Although I thought a Coglione d'oro meant Golden Balls)
A result is a Website claiming I am an Asshole Io Sono Un Coglione website (in Italian)
Corriere della Sera also have a photogallery of young attractive Italian (?) ladies bearing the slogan and looking very jolly.
PS Just in case the lawyers are reading - coglione is NOT a reference to David Mills AKA Mr Tessa Jowell - or indeed any of his spaghetti munching friends.
I haven't seen the Financial Times today, apparently it has a full page advertisement from something called the American Jewish Centre which bigs up on the Iranian nuclear menace ... not only to Israel but the whole of Europe!
Circles of increasing radii, spread out from Iran as the imagined range of imaginary nuclear tipped missiles are loosed off by the Mad Mullahs of Teheran.
"The whole of Europe is under threat" !
How do I know this ? ... Well the State Broadcasting Company AKA BBC "World at One" helpfully described this paid for advertisement and spoke to an hysterical lady from this organisation AJC (?).
I had spent the morning looking at the case of Abdul Zahir the first defendent from Guantanamo (see earlier posting) - he had some money (US$10,000) and a photocopier.He was said to have used the photocopier to conspire print leaflets urging Afghans to attack the occupying US forces, he had conspired (it is alleged) to throw a grenade at a car containing journalist which injured 3 of them.
Here was this screeching monger of war, shelling out her (and her lobbyist and PR friends) hard earned telling us, courtesy of the State Broadcasting Corporation that we were to expect the nuclear holocaust because the Mad Mullahs could sell the terrists a nuclear bomb.
Well lady, Teheran doesn't have any nuclear bombs, plenty of countries do, including Israel who have not, unlike Iran signed the Nuclear Non Proliferations Treaty.
If Mr Abdul Zahir, after 4 years in custody, is the worst type of terrist the US can produce, well his 10, 000 bucks isn't going to buy many bombs. ($10K in a country awash with drugs money and without banks - this is unusual ?) - a photocopier - crazy and expensive way of printing anything - can you slip out for some more toner in downtown Kabul ?
Iran has some pretty mean missiles and other weapons judging by the recent sabre rattling - remember they bombed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor site before Israel did .. with Israeli help.
Israel has an awesome "Defence" Force (IDF) ... well so would Iran ifthe USA gave them US$3 Bn a year to spend on armaments. The highest per capita overseas of any donor to any state in the world - just for arms.
The Beeb, knowing how to spend the licence payers money ... boosting ads in the FT from the Jewish Lobby.... nah nah the Lobby ... nah nah shum mishtake .... there is no Jewish Lobby. Those Harvard guys ..... anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism, anti semitism ........
High Court judge Mr Justice Mitting has refused the injunction raised by Rupes Rag NOW on MP George Galloway publishing photographs of Mazher Mahmood claiming Mr Mahmood's arguments would be more likely than not to fail at a full trial. (Pic GG on ITV Big Brother)
Such an injunction had had only been granted three times, in the "exceptional" cases of James Bulger's killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, child killer Mary Bell and Maxine Carr, ex-girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley.
Mr Galloway claims that he decided to expose Mr Mahmood after the journalist's covert attempt to trick him into discreditable conduct during a dinner at the Dorchester Hotel last week.
He said that he was satisfied that the true purpose of his application was not protection of his life but of his earning capacity and his position as an investigative journalist for the newspaper. After further legal argument the judge agreed to extend an injunction until 4pm on Thursday 6th April pending moves by the NOW to the Court of Appeal.
Costs were awarded to GG and his blue blood Royal briefs Farrar & Co whose Client Queen Elizabeth received (claims GG on BBC PM program) to have received a copy of the photograph at her breakfast tale of the "Fake Sheikh - one hopes that one could still wrestle the top of the Tupperware box to get at the All Bran. George drove off from court waving a lit, fat big cigar in a large black chauffeur driven limousine to the roars of the poor and the opressed lawyers trousering fat paychecks. Here's a picture of a fat lawyer Charlie (Goering) Falconer of that Ilk, ex flatmate of Tony.... another fucking champagne socialist.
Rupe has deep pockets but does he want to waste his money on this farrago?
Baugur CEO faces further charges
In October 2005, Iceland’s supreme court dismissed 32 of 40 charges levelled against Mr Jon Asgeir Johannesson CEO of Baugur and five co- defendants. Eight charges relating to book-keeping irregularities and customs violations were referred to a Reykjavik district court which acquitted Mr Johannesson in March 2006.
The prosecutor has now resubmitted 19 charges of the 32 dismissed charges. They include the use of funds in relation to the purchase of a yacht in Florida; the acquisition of the Icelandic 10/11 convenience store chain; loans between Baugur and Mr Johannesson’s Gaumur investment firm; and the sale of shares to Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank.
The Icelandic special prosecutor has resubmitted some fraud charges against Jon Asgeir Johannesson, and also unexpectedly , Jon Gerald Sullenberger, a former supplier to Baugur whose evidence formed the basis of the original investigation against Mr Johannesson, (some sordid problem about a Invoice for US$19.000 for escort girls in Miami run up by Jon Asgeir) and was included in the charges. Triggvi Jonsson, Baugur’s former chief financial officer, also faces charges.
All charges against Mr Johannesson’s sister and father and two executives from KPMG, Baugur’s auditors, have now been dropped.
Bauger controls Hamleys the London Toy retailer, it has had stakes of varying size in the UK supermarket chain Iceland, together with stakes in other British retailers such as ,Booker wholesaler, Woodward foodservice, Goldsmiths jewellery chain and Mappin & Webb retailer of luxury watches and fine jewellery, the fashion chains MK One and Jane Norman, the health products chain Julian Graves, LxB II a property development company, The Shoe Studio Group and Mosaic Fashions Ltd. which owns and operates the Oasis stores, Karen Millen, Coast and Whistles.
Baugur Group is also the largest shareholder of Magasin du Nord, the famous, Danish department store chain.
Baugur is said to control 45% of food sales and 30% of clothing sales in Iceland and has been blamed for pushing prices up, the company website claims they employ 62,000 people worldwide in over 3.500 stores.
FL Group sell out 16.7% Easyjet holding
In January Easyjet ( 41% owned by the founder Haji-Ioannou (now Non Exec. Director) and his family) appointed Goldman Sachs as advisers when LP Group with a (then ) 16.7% stake,were said to be mounting a bid the shares peaked at the time at 411p.
Yesterday (4/4/06) J.P.Morgan (with in house boker JPMorganCazenove) were said to be offering the LP holding at between 340p and 343p (when the market price was 356.5p), with the stated intention of raising their stake in Finnair (FL has has announced it has raised its stake in Finnair to 10.3 %) - this at the time the Icex fell 4.7%.The sale of this holding bought in October 2004, (topped up with 4 Mn shares in Oct 2005) have yielded a profit to LP Group of 140 Mn Euros on sale value of 325 Mn Euros a return of 70%. Fl Group also own Icelandair who have today just announced an order for 2 more Boeing 787 Dreamliners for delivery 2012 2 years after their original order for 2 will be delivered... for developing longer range world routes.
FL Group (ICEX: FL) also has significant holdings in FL Group has made significant investments in a number of companies, including Bang& Olufsen (10.5%) and Royal Unibrew (17%) in Denmark, Aktiv Kapital (10%) in Norway, Finnair (10%) in Finland and Glitnir (16%) in Iceland.
Largest shareholders of FL Group are Eignarhaldsfelagid Oddaflug ehf.
(18.9%), owned by Hannes Smarason, CEO, Baugur Group (18.3%), Icon (7.3%) and
Materia Invest (6.6%)
Well, Easyjet plunged 31p today, closing at 327p a fall of 8.7%.
US pulls Defence Forces out of Iceland
In a little noticed move, Geir Haarde the Icelandic Foreign Minister told the Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament), on March 16th 2006 that president Bush had made the final decision to end the permanent deployment of US forces in Iceland based on the recommendation of the US secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld. It is expected that all forces will be withdrawn from the Keflavik base by September 2006.
Icelandic employees (approx 600) have been informed that they would all be dismissed by October 1st.
Pic HH60G USAF Blackhawk at Keflavik (c) John Smith
Chief Cardiologist Peter Schnohr at Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen reported in the British Medical Journal the aapparent improvement in longevity as a result of jogging - which was discussed in 2000 in the BMJ(1)
The team also reported further studies in 2003(2). This was the first observational population study based on a random sample of 7,000 men and women from Copenhagen, Denmark, we investigated the impact of both regular leisure-time physical activity and altered physical activity on risk of death in healthy younger, middle-aged, and elderly men and women.
Now he and his team have reported in European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, the results of a further study in the exercise habits of over 5,000 people. They claim they can now directly relate hours of exercise undertaken into extra years of life.
People who exercise 4 hours a week live an average of 7 years longer than people who exercise less than 2 hours per week, concludes the new study based on data collected from the Østerbro Study, which has followed the lives of a group of Danes since 1976.
"Most people know that their health improves and they live longer if they exercise, but what's new is that we can calculate how many years you gain by exercising," Peter Schnohr is reported as saying in the Danish daily Politken.
Dr. Schnohr, who led the study, said the results reconfirm that exercise prevents hardening of the arteries.
"What's more, our study supports the belief that there is a relationship between exercise and mortality from cancer," he adds. "That's good news, because the number of people with colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer is on the rise. Therefore we need to find something we can do to reduce the risk."
The size of the current study was too small to determine which types of cancer could be prevented by exercising he states.
Think you need to run a marathon to benefit ? Nonsense! says Dr. Schnohr The biggest gain comes when you get up from the sofa and start doing something.'
(1) Schnohr P, Parner J, Lange P. Mortality in joggers: population based study of 4658 men.
BMJ 2000;321:602-3. (9 September.)(HERE also )
(2) P. Schnohr, H. Scharling, and J. S. Jensen
Changes in Leisure-time Physical Activity and Risk of Death: An Observational Study of 7,000 Men and Women
Am. J. Epidemiol., October 1, 2003; 158(7): 639 - 644.
Recognise the City of joggers ? Moscow.
I'm not going to speculate as to what is or what is not controlling
A US military judge (Marine Col. Robert S. Chester) presiding over one of the military commission proceedings that resumed [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay Tuesday in the case against Abdul Zahir [JURIST report], one of ten detainees who have been charged with war crimes could not decide what body of law would be applied in the case against Abdul Zahir When asked by Zahir's military counsel Army Lt. Col. Thomas Bogar.(AP Report)
Judge Col. Robert Chester replied "Obviously military law is going to have some application. I suppose we will look at military criminal law and federal criminal laws and procedures." Asked to be more specific as to which laws applied , he crisply retorted, "I'm not going to speculate as to what is or what is not controlling."
The chief military prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, told a news conference later that the judge can choose from several standards of law "to provide a full and fair trial."(AP report)
This confusion arises it appears because the testy Judge is trying to force a quare peg of terrorism into the round holes of civil and military law. The Bush Administration’s attempt to frame its detention and prosecution policies in the “war on terror” within the rigorous framework of the law of war, and the far more logical approach of prosecuting alleged combatants either in a manner similar to rules long established for prisoners of war or as alleged terrorists under U.S. Code Title 18 (under which alleged terrorists ( but evidently mentally challenged if not severely ill) detained in the United States, such as Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid, have been solely prosecuted and convicted).
No trial date was set by the JUdge, and Zahir did not enter a plea.Abdul Zahir has been formally charged with conspiracy, aiding the enemy and attacking civilians, and is accused of working as a translator and money-man for former Taliban rulers in Afghanistan and with al Qaeda. The accusations also implicate Zahir in a 2002 grenade attack that injured three journalists ... in which a grenade was thrown through the window of their vehicle as they traveled toward Gardez. Toronto Star correspondent Kathleen Kenna suffered serious leg injuries.. The DOD charged five other detainees in November and the first four in 2004, but none of their trials under a tribunal of US military officers has been completed.
Zahir is also was charged with producing anti-American leaflets to recruit Afghans living near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and near the U.S. military bases in Afghanistan to commit terrorist attacks against U.S. soldiers.
The Department of Defense announced that charges were approved and referred to a military commission in the case of Abdul Zahir by the appointing authority, John D. Altenburg Jr., on Jan. 18, 2006.
Charge Sheet against Abdul Zahir 4 Pages - V. interesting re conspiracy charges(PDF Alert)
The Guantanamo tribunals are the first military commission proceedings since World War II; last month the US Supreme Court heard arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfield [Duke Law Backgrounder] on whether such tribunals are legal as currently constituted. Legal scholars have argued that the US government has confused matters by trying terrorism cases under the law of war, in the process alleging crimes by some detainees - such as "conspiracy to commit war crimes" - that do not exist under either US or international law.
The last time the crime of conspiracy appeared in association with war crimes was in the 1945 London Charter of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. It was swiftly abandoned by the judges during the Nuremberg trials and only "conspiracy to commit crimes against the peace" survived. The 1948 Genocide Convention established the separate crime of a conspiracy to commit genocide, but genocide, regarded as the most heinous of atrocity crimes, is not legally defined as a war crime per se any more than are crimes against humanity (for which there is no crime of conspiracy either).
The statutes of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), approved by the U.N. Security Council in 1993 and 1994, respectively, and of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, all with full U.S. support, identify the crime of conspiracy only with genocide consistent with the Genocide Convention.
Neither the Uniform Code of Military Justice nor Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which includes the War Crimes Act of 1996 as amended, aligns the crime of conspiracy with the law of war. It is simply implausible, as the Nuremberg judges discovered, to sweep vast numbers of individuals into conspiracy theories about war crimes.
The US Supreme Court is soon to hear a challenge from Salim Ahmed Hamdan against President Bush’s power to create such military tribunals to put Guantanamo prisoners on trial for war crimes.
Pentagon officials have admitted that only 50 to 75 of the approximately 500 Guantanamo detainees are likely to be charged because the DOD will only charge detainees whose actions rose to the level of "war crimes". Aside from the ten detainees already charged, President Bush has declared four other detainees eligible for trial under the military tribunal (so far).
This is what is happening, what the world's most powerful nation is doing today and every day, and what Jack Straw and Condileezza Rice have been parading around as democratic justice... plus the odd bit of rendition ... torture and the odd murder assisted by unethical medical practices.
Of course Condi encourages protest - "methinks she doth protest too much" but she still doesn't give a flying fuck what anybody thinks, applauded wildly by Poodle Jack.
Pic = photograph of a drawing by sketch artist Janet Hamlin (C) AP
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Militias are a problem and they are going to have to be dealt with
A senior US military official has called for the Iraqi government to adopt a clearer policy on militias, which the US embassy now dubs "armed gangs", underlining recent criticism of such groups by the US ambassador .. reports BBC's Online Andrew North from Baghdad.
Militias "are a problem and they are going to have to be dealt with" said the senior military official, who spoke on condition his name or rank not be identified.
He refused to name the groups he is concerned about, but acknowledged there is confusion about the official stance on militias.....
Mr Khalilzad the US Ambasssador has also threatened in the past to cut off US aid to ministries regarded as following a sectarian agenda, a comment seen as being directed at the Shia Interior Minister Bayan Jabr.
Yet, like the US military official, Mr Khalilzad would not name the militias he was referring to. (although widely believed to be not a million miles from Moqtadr Al Sadr and his Mahdi Army)
Elsewhere the BBC report ...This week senior Shia politicians said US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had told them President George W Bush "doesn't want, doesn't support, doesn't accept" the retention of Mr Jaafari.
Mr Jaafari responded by saying the comments undermined Mr Bush's commitment to democracy in Iraq. TThe Guardian has an interview by Jonathan Steele which headlines claims that Mr Jafaari refuses to step down ... evidently not impressed by the threats from Condi and her lover boy Jack at the weekend.... read the complete article.
Rupe's Rags AKA News International tonight obtained a 24-hour injunction against George Galloway MP (Respect), Ron McKay (PRO) and those acting on their behalf against the publication of photographs of News of the World employee Mazher Mahmood, their “fake sheikh”.
The picture had already been circulated to MP's and the House of Lords, to the Queen’s private secretary (WOW the Queen and George share the same briefs, Farrar & Co (plus cher)!!!) and to others (?) in public life who may be in targeted by Mahmood’s unscrupulous, agent provocateur methods.
The restraining order expires at 4pm tomorrow (5th April) Rupert Murdoch tells me and George Galloway apparently plans vigorously to contest the ban. “This is exactly what we expected. And now we see just how hypocritical and slight News International’s professed commitment to press freedom is,” GG says. Rupe just vaguely smiles and winks knowingly.
“Since I broke the news of my encounter with the fake sheikh other interested parties (?) have come forward providing voluminous further evidence of thoroughly unscrupulous methods."
From the Victoria Beckham "kidnap" trial judge , and the judge in the trial of TV starlet John Alford, serious concerns about his activities have been raised,others are in prison awaiting trial (not to mention my namesake the "5th" 7/7 bomber Mr Patel of Leeds (no relation))says GG. Any good he might once claim to have achieved has now been massively outweighed by the damage he is doing, GG goes on to say in his Press Release.
"If News International were truly concerned with the integrity of the press it would be retiring Mahmood this evening instead of trying to prevent others from being forewarned of his activities." fulminates GG.
Hang on a minute GG ... surely you are feeding the publicity surrounding this cheap little shit and his nasty bag of false moustaches and make up I say to the greatest Press magnate in the World ? Rupe smiles vaguely again and picks up the phone ..... A beautiful Asian lady hands me my Mahatma Coat and I make my excuses and leave. (Pic is this the mystery Mazer Mahmood from NOW ?)
For further details ... or contact Ron McKay on 07980 675 998
The former head of the Star Wars missile defense program under Presidents Ford and Carter, Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, Ret. has gone public on coast to coast TV, to say that the official version of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory and his main suspect for the architect of the attack is Vice President Dick Cheney.
Asked if he could name a prime suspect who was the likely architect behind the attacks, Bowman clearly stated, "If I had to narrow it down to one person....I think my prime suspect would be Dick Cheney."
Bowman is a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.
Read the whole story here about his appearance on US Nationwide TV here at Prison Planet.
Bond yields have begun to rise worldwide.
Well, the US Fed put up interest rates in the US last week .
Eurozone rates are edging up.
Japan's central bank has announced the finish to zero interest allowing the flooding of markets with cheap liquidity.
Investors know the era of low interest rates and cheap money is rapidly coming to a close.
What are the effects .... ?
Iceland, has a freely floating currency, and like the UK and US it's 300,000 folks have borrowed heavily to buy houses. Inward investment has been high as has outward investment (Baugur etc.,) The Icelandic economy expanded a hefty 8% in 2004 and 5.5% in 2005, inflation doubled to 4.5% (ish ... they fiddle their Retail Price Index as much as the US Fed and the UK Treasury does) double their "target" of 2.5%.
Result ? The central bank slams on the brakes, interest rates now a heart stopping 11.5%...other rises rumoured.
Result ? The Icelandic krona has declined 10% ( and falling) and import prices are rising.
Check out New Zealand ... standard 9.5 % interest on loans and rising. The currency lost another 1 per cent against the United States dollar yesterday and weakened sharply against other currencies. Government bonds are yielding nearly 7%.
The NZ dollar has fallen more than 6 per cent in March and 12 per cent this year against the US dollar. Against the yen it has fallen to 71.15 yen from 87 yen in December a fall of 19%.
It closed below US62c for the first time since June 2004, ending on US60.48c in frenetic late trading.
NZ is running the largest Trade deficit ever.
"Car dealers hurting as dollar crashes" says one report which says that as the NZ dollar declined cheaper Russian cars are being imported 37, 000 in January this year (annually a totsal of 150,000) against3,500 January 2005.
However new car registrations were up 20% on last March with Toyota and Ford the major sellers.
Today the he NZX 50 gross index closed at an all time high of 3739, said to be fuelled by the declining dollar as investors fled for solid investments, rather than bricks and mortar.
Should we be worried ?
Small countries, small straws in the wind, but a prudent withdrawal from stocks known to be held by Baugur, and FL Group might not be unwise .... otherwise read Signs of the Economic Apocalypse, 4-3-06 or this review of Q1 2006 ...
"Friday was the last day of the first quarter of 2006, so let's recap the year so far. Gold went from $519.70 an ounce to $583.50, a rise of 12.3% in three months. Oil went from 61.04 dollars a barrel to $66.35, an increase of 8.7% after having risen 40.5% in 2005. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note increased 46 basis points from 4.39 to 4.85 so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up for the quarter, going from 10,717.50 to 11,109.32, a rise of 3.7%. The NASDAQ rose 6.1%, from 2,205.32 to 2,339.79 in Q1 2006. Sounds like good news for the U.S. stock market, unless you compare stock prices to the price of oil or gold. The dollar fell 2.3% from 0.8440 to 0.8252 euros so far in 2006."
Read more here at "Signs of the Times".
Read Bloomberg about how FOREX of 16 currencies fared today against the US$ (Swedush krona rose 1.9% .....here
Boeing are quite naturally miffed that the Europeans had the only supersonic passenger plane and now sell the worlds largest passenger plane (pic of A 380 Flight deck). So their PR offensive has slipped into top gear ....
Emirates A340-600 delayed deliveries
Emirates of Dubai has reportedly told Airbus it was postponing indefinitely the date on which it was due to take delivery of the 20 x A340-600 jets on order due to tart 2007 due it is said to concern over fuel costs. (AFP reports confirmed by Reuters )
Emirates reportedly wants an improved version more fuel efficient version of the aircraft. International airlines collective fuel bill increased by 50 % last year to US 92 Bn. according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva.
Boeing claims the new 777-200LR twin-jet is the world’s longest-range aircraft and can transport more than 300 passengers for 24 per cent less fuel per passenger than the rival A340.
Airbus claims the 4 engined A340 frees operators to fly any route in the world, including the shortest and most effective paths across oceans and deserts. Twin-engined planes such as the Boeing 777 have to operate within a certain range of an emergency airport in case one of the engines fails. Insisting that engines are now thoroughly reliable, Boeing has argued for flight restrictions to be lifted, eroding the A340’s advantage.
Launched 15 yrs ago the A340 family , rivals to the 30 year old Boeing 747 has become a problem. 15 A340s were ordered last year, out of a record 1,055 firm orders for all types of passenger jet. Airlines ordered 154 Boeing 777s last year.
"One year does not make a trend," said Airbus president Gustav Humbert. The company’s commercial director, John Leahy, said a 4 engined plane burns only 6/7 % more fuel than a twinjet of equivalent size. Airbus are considering an enhanced A340 with lower fuel consumption, but the market is very much determined by purchase / leasing costs.
"With the 777, Boeing has a better product that uses less fuel," the head of India’s low-coast Kingfisher airline, Vijay Mallya, told AFP in February. "Nevertheless, we are contemplating buying the A340 all the same, if we can come to an agreement on the price."
Akbar al Baker President of Qatar Airways had announced an intention to buy 20 Boeing 777's but at the Singapore air show in February said he might change to Airbus 340-500/600s instead.
Boeing "Strategists" tell Airbus how to run their business
Boeing "strategists" claim Airbus cannot renew the A340 range at the same time as bringing its A380 superjumbo to market and developing a new twin-jet A350 to compete with the Boeing 777-200ER and the 787 Dreamliner.
Randy Baseler, said at Singapore that Airbus risked being overtaken in the next decade in the battle to develop and sell a new generation of medium-range aircraft to replace the current Boeing B737s and Airbus 320s.
No delays on A380 deliveries
Meanwhile Le Figaro report delays on the A380 firmly denied by Airbus. So far only the A380 with Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines has flown however the precise date for tests of the A380 powered by the Engine Alliance GP 7200 engines developed jointly by GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney are still not available. Emirates confirm that deliveries were expected 2Q / 2007.
BAe sale of Airbus stake ?
Bloomberg report Charlotte Lambkin, head of communications at London-based BAE System saying " ``We have no immediate plans to sell our Airbus stakeholding,'' in a telephone interview. ``It's exactly as we always say: assets and shareholdings are under constant review to deliver value to shareholders.'' This was after a Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that BAE may sell the holding Airbus, the world's biggest maker of commercial aircraft, for more than £3 Bn. (US$5.2 billion).... which would make BAe a delightful soulmate for Boeing in making planes that kill people rather than carry them on holiday.
BAe has a put option to sell the Airbus holding to European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., owner of the other 80 percent. EADS assigned a value to BAe's stake of 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion)
EADS Chief Financial Officer Hans Peter Ring said at the time that the 3.5 billion-euro figure wasn't necessarily the price EADS would pay, as the 2 parties would need to agree on the final terms.
US Leasing firms criticise A330 v Dreamliner
Last week US-based aircraft leasing firm ILFC Chief Executive Steven Udvar-Hazy, andr lessor, GE Commercial Aviation Services publicly warned last week that Airbus ran the risk of getting badly beaten by US rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. (Reuters)
Colin Stuart of Airbus said there were no plans to change the A350, based on the design of the older A330, but incorporating a composite wing and using the more fuel efficient engines being developed for the 787.
Boeing has so far won 343 firm orders for the 787, Airbus has 91 for the A350, launched a year later.
If anybody out there at Boeing (or anyone else) wants to learn how to put the worlds largest airlinere the A380 together in 7 minutes take a look at this video here Awesome !!