"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sarkozy - tough talk, tough action on immigrants

French Interior Minister Mr Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, steered the new French Immigration Bill to it's introduction. The bill, which must also be passed by the French Senate, offers residence permits to highly qualified newcomers from outside the European Union and also will lead to deporting more immigrants.The Bill still requires Senate approval.He has set a target of 25,000 deportations by the end of 2006 but said he hoped to exceed this.

Msr Sarkozy is currently visiting Mali wher he is not welcome as planes carrying deportees arrive in Mali every day, some carrying 70 people expelled from France.Many of the Malians living in France come from the western region of Kayes, while Gao is at a key staging post on the migration route from West Africa across the Sahara desert to Morocco and then Europe.

The Bill's main points include ;
1.Only the qualified get "skills and talents" residency permit
2.Foreigners only allowed in to work, not live off benefits
3.Foreign spouses to wait longer for residence cards
4.Migrants must agree to learn French
5.Migrants must sign 'contract' respecting French way of life
6.Scraps law on workers getting citizenship after 10 years

In the capital of Mali, Bamoko, 100's of Malians have marched to protest against the visit of the hardline French Interior Minister holding banners reading "Sarkozy, neo-Nazi" and "Immediate halt to deportations.

Ahead of his arrival, more than 20 MPs said he should not visit Mali. Wednesday's (17/5/06) march to the French Embassy was organised by the Association of Malians Expelled from France, which is also called for a sit-in on Thursday in front of the hotel where Mr Sarkozy was staying.

He then travelled on to Cotonou in Benin to meet President Thomas Yayi Boni before giving a speech on France's Africa policy. The high-profile trip has been soured by African frustration over the immigration bill.Some of Benin's MP's demonstrated their opposition by boycotting a lunch hosted by Sarkozy, saying that they did not consider him "a friend of Africans."

Anti-racist and student activists organised a sit-in at the interior ministry: placards accused Sarkozy of racism, compared him to bird flu .Hundreds of people shouted: "Racist, out of our country" and "Go home," as riot police stood guard at the interior ministry in Cotonou.(see pic)

Undaunted Sarkozy said France had to build a "new, healthier, straightforward, balanced" relationship with Africa which had to be more trasnparent, "We have to get rid of these networks from another era, unofficial envoys with no other mandates than those they invent for themselves," he said.

"The normal operation of political and diplomatic institutions must prevail over the unofficial circuits which did so much harm in the past."

The Immigration bill is not without critics in France

Socialist MP Serge Blisko said it amounted to "the organised pillaging of brains", and the French anti-racism organisation SOS Racisme has called it "dangerous".

Sarkozy has ordered local police to round up the youngsters and their families and ensure they are expelled after the school term finishes at the end of June. Even those who are French-born will not be spared.

Pierre Labeyrie, a Green party councillor in Toulouse, said he would have no hesitation in breaking the law. "We will give these people our support, our protection. "We will not denounce them to the police."

A recently formed protest group, the Réseau Education sans Frontières (Education Without Borders), claims to have more than 24,000 signatures protesting against such expulsions.... which are enormously popular with the right wing of the electorate which Sarkozy is trying to attract ahead of the Presidential elections ...building on his actions whivch set off the November riots in the Paris banlieus. Posted by Picasa

Bush turns back on Israel to protect borders

In a shock move to protect US Borders with an "electronic fence "President Bush has turned his back on Israeli contractors and turned to major Industrial military complex providers Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, who say that within 3 weeks three they would submit bids within two weeks for a multibillion-dollar federal contract to build what the administration calls a "virtual fence" along the nation's land borders.

Operation Hold the Line in El Paso or Operation Gate Keeper in San Diego, using National Guard and men on the ground have failed so he has turned to hi-tech surveillance using high priced hi-tech tools - Umnanned Aerial vehicles (UAV's) like Predator, Global Hawk, ground surveillance / imagery satellites and motion-detection video equipment

Through its new fancy sounding Secure Border Initiative, the Bush administration says it is not just h-tech they turn to but a blend of electronics and patriotic personnel to patrol the periphery of the United States.

"This is an unusual invitation," the deputy secretary of homeland security, Michael Jackson, told contractors this year at an industry briefing, just before the bidding period for this new contract started. "We're asking you to come back and tell us how to do our business." ... and he should have added ."spend our money".

"We are launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history," Mr. Bush ( a man described as the President of the United States) said in his speech from the Oval Office on Monday.

The Department of Homeland Security and its Customs and Border Protection division will still be charged with patrolling the 6,000 miles of land borders - so that will be adding another layer of administration to slow response and add more costs.

It could also mean the sight of aerial pollution such as the Tethered Aerostat Radar, a helium-filled blimp twice the size of the famous Goodyear blimp that Lockheed Martin has made for the Air Force, tethered statically, the airship can hover overhead and automatically monitor any movement night or day and carries the AN/DPS-5 S-band CFAR/MTI and AN/TPS-63 search radars.... but not on windy days when the hi-tech winch will pull it in.50/60% up time is standard.

Meanwhile he is sending in ..er... 6,000 National Guards. i.e men with guns.

Just in case you missed it ...The Federal Aviation Administration first advised Customs to begin looking for aerostat sites on the Southwest border and the gulf in 1981. Major General Piotrowski, in hearings before the House in 1983, urged consideration of the use of aerostats in the war on drugs. The requirement for the Tethered Aerostat Radar System network was established in 1984 by the U.S. Customs Service to help counter illegal drug trafficking.

...and Lockheed Martin is to rollout local Vendor Industry Days to meet with potential suppliers for SBInet, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) comprehensive multi-year plan (i.e unending) to secure America's borders (well the Mexican one anyways) and reduce illegal immigration.

To build a world-class team of industry partners, Lockheed Martin is actively seeking small business participation through a series of supplier information and outreach sessions being held across the United States. i.e we are desperately searching for ideas for Uncle Sam to spend his taxpayer's dollars. Roll up...Roll up.Suppliers and universities with services, technologies, or product capabilities that might support SBInet can find more information and submit contact information at: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/secureborder

"As a systems integrator, Lockheed Martin recognizes need for diversityin a team, and is committed to including small, small disadvantaged, women, HUBzone, Native American, service disabled veteran and veteran-owned businesses in our SBInet solution," said Jay Dragone, vice president, Homeland Security Programs.i.e spread the tax dollars around amongst the areas most affected by illegal throughput.

SBInet will create an integrated border security system to transform, integrate and expand technology and infrastructure systems throughout the border to reduce illegal entry to the United States. SBInet will integrate multiple state of the art systems and traditional security infrastructure into a single comprehensive border security suite.... excuse me this paint needs watching carefully.....

Can I tender to write the speech a future President will make to explain why SBInet didn't work as planned ? Posted by Picasa

Canada will double oil production by 2020.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents 150 companies that explore for, develop and produce more than 95 per cent of Canada s natural gas and crude oil. They announced today that Canuck crude oil in Canada production is set to double by 2020.

Total Canadian oil production is projected to increase from 2.5 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2005 to 4.6 million b/d in 2015 Growth after 2015 will bring total Canadian production (revised from last years forecast) to nearly 4.9 million b/d by 2020.

Oil sands production, which now exceeds one million b/d, is forecast to reach 3.5 million b/d by 2015 and 4.0 million b/d by 2020, accounting for more than 80 per cent of Canadian production.

Whilst the volume increase is important the product mix has wide implications on costs on pipelines and refineries to be able to process both the added volumes of crude and the new mix. Canada's oil sands contain an estimated 174 Billion barrels of petroleum, a resource second in size only to that of Saudi Arabia (264 BB).(whose figures are becoming increasingly suspect) With oil prices remaining at current levels, removing the tar-like bitumen from sand and refining it into synthetic oil yields enough profit that about C$100 billion is expected to be invested in the region over the next decade.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) (Among the largest holders of oil and gas resource lands onshore North America) and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) both said last year that they plan to boost output from the region by a half-million barrels a day over the next decade and more. The two firms expect to spend a combined C$25 billion on their oil sands projects.

Other major players and more information here

Syncrude is currently the worlds largest producer of crude oil from oil sands, in 2005 Syncrude produces 78.1 million barrels of crude oil from the oil sands.

Petro Canada possesses large lease holdings in the Alberta oil sands in addition to owning a large refinery in the Edmonton area which is in the process of being converted to process oil sands feedstock exclusively. Petro Canada possesses a 12% interest in Syncrude and is has 100% ownership of the MacKay River Oil sands project. Petro Canada is a 55% owner in the Fort Hills oil sands project where they plan to develop an estimated 2.8 billion barrels of bitumen. Total oil sands reserves are estimated at 5 billion barrels.

In May 2005, Synenco created the Northern Lights Partnership (NLP) with SinoCanada Petroleum Corporation, the Canadian subsidiary of China based Sinopec. Synenco holds a 60% interest in and is the managing partner of NLP. The current cost of the NLP project is $5.3 billion. When fully operational the NLP is expected to produce 100,000 barrel a day of light sweet synthetic crude oil, with first production beginning in late 2010.

Suncor began crude oil production from the Alberta Oil Sands in 1967 and has produced over 1 billion barrels of oil in its history. Suncor expects to reach 550,000 barrels of crude per day from the oil sands by 2012.

More information is available from the Government of Alberta of the Oil Sands Consultation Group published May 13th 2006 PDF alert!

Zimbabwe remembers and nobody takes any notice

Operation Murambatsvina was launched one year ago in Harare, Zimbabwe as an alleged slum-clearance operation that left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans homeless. In reality it was a Stalinist movement of population engineered by Mengistu the refugee Ethiopian deposed dictator which affected over 800,000 people. UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka produced a devastatingly critical report in July 2005 and demanded the government to pay reparations to those who had lost housing and livelihoods and punish those who, "with indifference to human suffering", had carried out the evictions.

Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT's Executive Director, said the 3 month operation, "breached both national and international human rights law provisions guiding evictions, thereby precipitating a humanitarian crisis".

Not a word has been said by any G8 Leader, EU leader or President Bush and the man in his trousers Tony Blair ... as the country plunges further into chaos.

The BBC remain silent as well.

Arrests at Protest meetings.
Today Police arrested more than 100 members of a civil society organization that staged a commemorative protest in central Harare in defiance of a police ban on commemorations of Operation Murambatsvina.

Some 1,000 members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) demonstrated in a commorative protest and 103 of them, including 61 women, were arrested, said NCA Chairman Lovemore Madhuku. He charged that the police severely beat many of the arrested demonstrators, whose intention, he said, was to "remind the world of President (Robert) Mugabe's evils."

The Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe and the National Association of Nongovernmental Organizations, or Nango, postponed commemorations until later in the month. Crisis Coalition spokeswoman Elizabeth Marunda said police ordered the groups to put observations off until after a parliamentary by-election in Budiriro on Saturday.Plans are for a protest on May 27th.

Arrests at By Election of MDC officers

Arthur Mutambara , head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pro-Senate faction, was campaigning in Harare's high-density Budiriro suburb, where this weekend's by-election will be fought. He was detained along with the faction's deputy secretary-general, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, at least 50 other members were arrested along with Glen Norah MP Goodwill Chimbaira, Edwin Mushoriwa of Dzivaresekwa and the MDC's candidate in the weekend Budiriro parliamentary by-election, Gabriel Chibva. (see pic)

But the postponement followed a visit by police to the Crisis Coalition's Harare offices Thursday, supposedly to inquire about the organization’s registration status. Coalition advocacy officer Itai Zimunya, questioned by police, said a policeman threatened to make “an example’’ of the organization. The police threatened they would return today meet the group's executives and inspect registration documents.

In Bulawayo, the Christian Alliance of churches assisting Murambatsvina victims was awaiting a High Court decision on an urgent application for the justices to overturn a police revocation of a permit for a prayer meeting and march on Saturday, May 20. A spokesman for the group said it would lead prayers then whatever the decision.

Nongovernmental organizations including the Combined Harare Residents Association and the Crisis Coalition, along with HIV-AIDS activists and Murambatsvina victims, met in a community hall in Harare's Highfield section. They signed a petition asking African countries and the United Nations to declare May 18 International Anti-Eviction Day.

UN Secretary General's visit not certain

Augostino Zacharias a United Nations spokesperson and Zimbabwe country director is investigating a continuing roundup of homeless people and street vendors being carried out in the cities in an exercise named Operation Round-Up.

All this might stop the visit to Zimbabwe by Secretary General Kofi Annan planned for June which is still under discussion.

The Zimbabwean government says it is satisfied with the results of Operation Murambatsvina,the cities are cleaner, crime is down and there are fewer outbreaks of disease. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mullah Dadullah, another one legged jihadist captured again...

Late News The Scotsman reports Reuters that a man claiming to be Dadullah told them by phone 20th May 2006 he was alive and well and not captured.

September 23rd 2000 Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement publicly executed two men accused of working with opposition forces and carrying out bomb attacks in the capital Kabul.The two blindfolded men in their late 30s, their hands tied behind their backs, were hanged by the neck from ropes attached to two separate cranes. (see pic)

The site was close to the famous Ariana square where the Taliban executed former communist president Dr Najibullah and his brother when the Taliban movement captured Kabul.

Mullah Dadullah, the one legged Pashtun Taliban military chief, told reporters that the two men were involved in the recent bomb blasts including a missile attack on Kabul airport and at other Taliban military installations.

On March 12, Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, the former president of Afghanistan and the current chairman of the upper house of parliament, was wounded in a suicide car-bomb attack in Kabul.Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah claimed responsibility for that suicide attack, warning that "attacks against American puppets will continue" In December 2005, Dadullah warned that "we have prepared 200 young men who are ready to sacrifice and carry out suicide bombings against the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan"

According to Waheed Mujda, a former high-ranking member of staff in the Taliban's Foreign Ministry, "When fighting against Ismail Khan [the current minister of water and energy supply] in the first months of the Taliban's formation in 1994, Dadullah stepped on a land mine near Herat city, and lost his leg."

Today the BBC have been told that , Mullah Dadullah, has been captured by international troops in Afghanistan, and to have been detained in the southern province of Kandahar. However he has a habit of re-appearing ...For instance,Dadullah reportedly escaped the U.S. and Northern Alliance onslaught of the Taliban regime in the winter of 2002 and surfaced in South Waziristan, Pakistan, where he raised funds and organized the Taliban insurgency. Then in early February 2003 , Yusuf Stanezai—the spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry—stated in an interview with Kabul-based Tulu TV that Dadullah had been killed during fighting in Helmand province ). Once again, Dadullah somehow survived. Just 10 days after the rumor of his death, Dadullah appeared on al-Jazeera television announcing his link and support to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (al-Jazeera, February 13).

"We currently do not have any information but are looking into the claim," said Lieut. Tamara Lawrence, a U.S. military spokeswoman about the identity of the one legged jihadist they had captured, addeing pessimistically . "
"There was an operation and three high-ranking Taliban commanders have been captured but I cannot confirm that Mullah Dadullah was one of them," said the Afghan spokesman, Karim Rahimi to Reuters.

Coalition troops captured the insurgent during a battle in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province on Wednesday, fighting that led to the deaths of 18 militants and a female Canadian soldier, Capt. Nichola Goddard. About 35 rebels were reported captured in the battle. This brings the reported deaths to more than 170 the number of Taliban killed in several major battles in Afghanistan since last Wednesday.

Last year a special anti-terrorism court in Quetta Pakistan sentenced Mullah Dadullah in his absence to life in prison for trying to kill Maulana Shirani, a Pakistani parliament member (Pajhwak Afghan News, December 29, 2005).a member of the Pakistani parliament.

Three years ago, Mullah Dadullah told the BBC the Taleban, deposed in 2001, hoped to regain power in Afghanistan.

He is quoted as saying In a satellite phone interview with The Associated Press in December ..

Our suicide attackers will continue jihad until Americans and all of their Muslim and non-Muslim allies are pulled out of the country.” He ruled out reconciliation and talks with Karzai's government, saying it "owed its existence" to non-Muslims, and to do so would amount to "joining Christianity and working for Christians." and claimed the country's new parliament -- its first in more than 30 years, inaugurated the previous week -- was "obedient to America."

The Arabic satellite channel, al-Jazeera, conducted a 23 minute interview with Mullah Dadallah, the military commander of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Monday, February 13, 2006, and claiming the universality of the jihad said, “The problem with Iraq is a problem of all Muslims. We are not fighting here for Afghanistan, but we are fighting for all Muslims everywhere and also the Mujahideen in Iraq. The infidels attacked Muslim lands and it is a must that every Muslim should support his Muslim brothers. If they withdraw from Afghanistan we will still fight them.”Posted by Picasa

Tony's nuclear wheeze..A case of Entente Con Cordiale ?

Tony Blair first spoke publicly about nuclear power on January 30th 2005 in Manchester ..this is what he said ..

"We don’t have any plans to open new power stations .... I think there is a debate to be had about nuclear power but it has to happen in a rational way. If we suggest a new generation of nuclear power in this country I can guarantee there will be public concern about it so we would have to look at what is going on in other countries very carefully."

Last night the moguls of UK industry sat down to feed themselves at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) dinner and listen to Prime Minister. Tony Blair faced the inevitable consequences of the insane run down of the UK's oil and gas reserves , along with the destruction of the indiginous deep coal industry. This, combined with MrsThatcher's "lunatic "dash for gas" as Closed Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) plants were installed willy nilly, a policy stopped by the dumb Deputy Prime Minister and then later re-started.The imminent closure of most coal and nuclear stations in the period to 2025 means the UK will require significant investment in new core generating plant.

This is what Tony said to industries top brass ..."Essentially, the twin pressures of climate change and energy security are raising energy policy to the top of the agenda in the UK and around the world." ...which is completely untrue. The UK is in this position, as it has moved from a country being wholly 100% self reliant in energy to one that within 10 years will become wholly reliant on imported energy, with all the trading consequences, security issues and impact on society these will have. It has got absolutely fuck all to do with Co2 / climate change / global warming.and a great deal to do with energy security - which given Putin and his gang's policies of using energy as a power play, IS of massive interest.

"Yesterday I received the first cut of the [energy] review. The facts are stark. By 2025, if current policy is unchanged, there will be a dramatic gap on our targets to reduce emissions, we will become heavily dependent on gas and at the same time move from being 80-90 per cent self-reliant in gas to 80-90 per cent dependent on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East, and Africa and Russia. (All of which was evident in the late 90's)

Mr Blair has also decided there will not be a separate white paper after the energy review, (i.e he realises time is fast running out) suggesting there will be no legislation to bring in nuclear stations - reducing the opportunities for a focused backbench rebellion in the Commons. He will face familiar questions on the cost and safe disposal of nuclear waste, and strong criticism from his own Sustainable Development Commission, chaired by Jonathon Porritt.... which he will of course totally ignore after making suitably emolliant noises.

For Tony the crucial thing is ,a survey of 1,491 people this year, carried out by Mori and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, found 60% of people would support new atomic power stations as long as renewable energy sources were developed and used at the same time, and 63% agreed that Britain needed nuclear power as part of a mix of sources to ensure a reliable supply.

THAT is the clincher for Blair , who last January said , "there will be public concern", this was of course ahead of the election, but he knew that the immediate political consequences were more important to him then , than the energy security of the UK in the next 50 years.

Now we learn today that the Scots are going to try and maintain nuclear energy as a core source and extend the lives of current stations and even have new build.

The major problem of new build power station is...who literally will build them, does the UK have the firms, the staff, the knowledge, the expertise to build and run them .. say like the French, who by owning so much of the industry now MUST have a big influence on any decision making. As British Energy said in their submission to the Energy review ..."any policy should address the decline in industrial and intellectual ‘infrastructure’ since this will be needed to support the UK’s long-term energy strategy.

For example today, there is not a single British university offering a full undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering.

Looks like Tony is going to be giving the go -ahead to the French pulling the UK's irons out of the fire. He should worry, he will be long gone by the time they are pumping out the kilowatts.
Just in time (nice coincidence heh ?) French Group Areva (which has built 98 of the world's 443 reactors) have published their submission to the Energy review

They say (broadly) that a new generation of nuclear power stations can be launched in the UK without Government subsidy and operate within a competitive energy market and producing by 2017, given certain conditions about planning and waste disposal..

Friends get fed up of me quoting Nye Bevin ..."This is an island of coal surrounded by a sea full of fish. Only an organising genius could organise a shortage of both."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Israel a Day in the Life of .....

Here in Israel it is interesting to see what priorities head the news ....

FREE World Cup Socer in Israel

Eitan Cabel is the new Israeli Minister responsible for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, but he has already come out with announcements, conducted interviews and made political contacts aimed at letting the public know that he is completely in favor of people being able to watch the World Cup soccer championships for free.

Charlton, owned by Eli Azur and Pini Zahavi, have the local Israeli TV rights to the World Cup it's expected revenues from the World Cup are $23 million, of which $6.2 million will come from selling the broadcasting rights to commercial television channels, cellular telephone operators and Internet providers. The rest will come from the sale of some 200 ,000 subscriptions to the World Cup channel on cable and satellite TV. IDF soldiers will so far receive free viewing.

It is difficult to see how Cabel's promise can be kept.

French Fireworks on Tel Aviv Beachfront

An estimated 300,000 people packed the Tel Aviv beachfront Tuesday night to watch a massive offshore fireworks display orchestrated by a French production company specializing in pyrotechnics.

Five tons of fireworks were launched from a raft located 400 meters off the coast over the course of 28 minutes - making this the largest pyrotechnic display in Israel's history.

A computer was programmed to synchronize the musical beats with the fireworks.

The performance kicks off "Voila!"  a season of French culture, featuring art, theater, music, film and fashion events scheduled which will continue until August.Police issued a statement Wednesday denying accusations it mishandled Thursday's fireworks display that led to massive traffic jams in the Tel Aviv area.

2 More years to complete "Security Fence"

According to figures issued by the Defense Ministry today , only 336 kilometers of the security fence are considered operational out of a total planned length of 790 kilometers. An additional 102 kilometers are in various stages of construction, 67 kilometers are still at the paperwork level, and the building of 285 kilometers is still waiting for court approval.

Hams set up embryo militias defying Abbas

Earlier today (Wednesday,May 17th '06) the Hamas government has started deploying members of a new security unit made up of militants across the Gaza Strip, despite a veto by Abbas.The unit is headed by Jamal Abu Samhadaneh, a militant high on Israel's wanted list.

The move will heighten tensions between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah Party even further.

In direct defiance of Abbas' veto, Interior Minister Said Siyam of Hamas announced earlier Wednesday that the unit would begin operations. "In line with my authority, I announce the beginning of the work of the executive unit that was formed recently to protect the security of the citizens and their property," Siyam told a news conference.

Karni crossing re-opened to commercial traffic by Perutz

Defence Minister Amir Peretz, leader of the Labor Party reopened the main cargo crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip ar Karni , which may be the start of a policy shift aimed at easing some of Israel’s security restrictions on the Palestinians.

Israel had kept the Karni crossing closed in both directions since April 4. It has been closed for a total of 55 days since Jan. 1. Every day, the Palestinian economy loses at least $1.5 million when Karni is closed, according to PalTrade, a coalition of Palestinian business people that monitors trade. Karni has been a target of attacks by Palestinian militants.

IDF kill at least 10 Palestinians in raids in Nablus / Jenin

IDF forces operating in the West Bank town of Nablus early Wednesday killed at least two members of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades, and injured another seriously during gun battles in the city.

The terrorists who were shot dead were identified as Ilar resident Mustafa Abed el-Rani, a senior Jihad leader in Tul Karm, and Ustman Sadaka, from the village of Anza, near Jenin. Early this week an IDF force killed top organization leaders in Qabatiyeh, near Jenin. Seven Palestinians, among them a security officer and Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members were killed

Also on Sunday, Palestinian sources said that a security officer died in exchanges of fire between the IDF and wanted terror suspects in the West Bank town of Jenin.

Former PA security funds manager Fuad Shubaki tells of arms purchases by Arafat.

Fuad Shubaki was kidnapped in the Jericho Prison charade and has been interrogated by Shin Beth and told ;

1. Shubaki admitted that money received by Israel was used by the PA to fund terrorist cells which operated against Israel.

2. He also admitted that under Arafat's instructions, the Palestinian Authority was involved in smuggling and producing weapons, and funding terrorist cells which operated against Israel.

3. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hizbullah were behind the Karine A weapons ship intercepted by Israel in January 2002. The Iranians and Hizbullah coordinated the arms ship with senior members of the Palestinian Authority, he said.

4. Shubaki met Iranian envoys in 2001, who offered military aid to the PA, including sites to produce weapons, technology to produce arms, and military training.

It must be remembered that Shubaki made a visit in 2002 to Baghdad where he met with high-level Iraqi officials. The Iraqis committed themselves to supply the Palestinians with large amounts of weaponry, at no charge (Ma'ariv, January 16, 2002).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

LUKoil takes on Marathon Russian fields and moves into Uzbekistan

LUKoil has bought nine oil fields in the Khanty-Mansiisk (in the Tyumen field) autonomous district in W Siberia from US giant Marathon for US $787 Mn. which Marathon bought 3 years ago for US$275

Clarence P. Cazalot, Jr., Marathon president and CEO. "We have elected to monetize the value of these particular assets, while continuing to evaluate other attractive opportunities in the Russian Federation." Marathon have of course re-started in Libya and have just announced the first crude liftings.

LUKoil intends to boost production by 2.5 times from the current 26,000 barrels per day

LUKoil said the total recoverable reserves purchased were 257 million tons in ABC1+C2 Russian categories, or around 1.88 billion barrels = to 10% of LUKoils stated reserves of 16 Bn barrels. (Bigger than Marathons's estimates of 250 Mn barrels in proven and probable reserves.)

The figure is much bigger than Marathon's own estimates. It has said that, under international standards, the assets have around 250 million barrels in proved and probable reserves.

By LUKoil's calculation, the deal would add more than 10 percent to its total oil reserves of over 16 billion barrels.

Bank UralSib noted that the sale came after the Natural Resources Ministry warned Marathon it could lose seven of its nine oil field licenses if it did not produce as much oil as stipulated by the license agreement.

LUKoil said the development of new assets would provide significant synergies due to a joint use of infrastructure with LUKoil's other assets in the area.

"The present value of the synergies to be achieved is estimated at over $100 million," LUKoil said.

Meanwhile in Tashkent,Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil President , said on Tuesday during opening of the 10th International exhibition Oil and Gas Uzbekistan that , "Our company is proud of being one of the first companies to get an opportunity to work in Uzbekistan," "The Uzbek government's balanced and well-considered economic policy is convenient for us. We will soon have staff comprising many thousands engaged in oil and gas extraction in Uzbekistan".

Iraq, the numbers don't add up ......

40 dead in Iraq violence
BAGHDAD: More than 40 Iraqis died in bombings and shootings on Tuesday. The dominant Shias promise the quick formation a new government... perhaps by Thursday 6 months after the Election.......

Attacks kill 19 in Iraq
Last Updated Tue, 16 May 2006 18:30:27 EDT
CBC News
Police in Iraq say 19 people have been killed in a shooting and bomb attack at a bus garage in eastern Baghdad.

Twenty-three die in Iraq attack
Scene of the blast in Baghdad
Officials fear that the death toll could rise further
At least 23 people have been killed in a shooting and bombing attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police say.

May 16, 2006, 9:24AM
Militants Kill 18 in Baghdad Parking Lot © 2006 The Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Militants raided a parking lot in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 18 people with gunfire and a car bomb, police said.

New (?) images of what hit the Pentagon .....

This is a .gif animation of the 4 pictures released in 2003 from the Petrol station oposite the Pentagon. Go Here for an explanation. You can see the released CCTV fillum from the Pentagon on the BBC Online website (amongst many others) of the news item incorporating the released frames.

Spot the Difference (s) ... Lucretius notes the difference, we have the BBC's Matt Frei saying this answers all the doubters - and there are only a few of them... blah, blah , etc., Apart from adding several minutes of smoke the sequence is the same and one can see the vapour cloud trail along the ground as from a missile.Go to the fillums quoted below for a better view.

Some Blog Comments to look at here an absolute must see of the fillum at different speeds here
and someone who will never believe the crap from the "official" story line here

If this shows a Boeing Passenger jet of any fucking denomination hitting the Pentagon I am have several friends in Nigeria who will gladly supply many, many Squllions of Dollars / Euros / Pounds Sterling, not to mention some winning lottery tickets to the person who convinces me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Further chaos in Carbon Markets in Europe - UK are losers.

The 21 EU Member States with active registries (Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Poland figures are still not available) have allocated an annual average of 1,829.5 million allowances to installations in the ETS. Independently verified emissions data for installations operating in these 21 Member States (with a small number still to report) amounted by 30 April to approximately 1,785.3 million tonnes for 2005. 44.1 million tons less carbon dioxide, or 2.5 % less, in 2005 than expected.

The European Commission admitted Monday that member states had given companies far too generous targets for greenhouse gas emissions last year, (well there is a surprise) raising questions about the Continent's ability to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and triggering chaos in Europe's embryonic market in trading emissions.

It appears that the higly paid analysts in this market did not, or could not understand that European governments are more interested in protecting their companies than in reducing carbon emissions.

The EU has devised the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as a model for carbon trading to fight climate change and meet its Kyoto pledges to reduce emissions of global warming gases.

12,000 utilities and high energy plants, aluminium smelters etc., have from Jan. 1st 2005, to buy and sell permits to emit carbon dioxide, which it is claimed cover approximately 40% of the EU's total CO2 emissions.

A CO2 cap has been set for each plant in the scheme, with the intention of causing a shortage keep prices high of carbon credits high, which should encourage high polluters to reduce emissions and provide a market in extra credits that "greener" plants can trade.

Prices in the freely traded credits , which are traded by anybody, not just CO2 producers fell like a stone when reports that Germany, France, Italy and other EU countries had emitted far less CO2 than had been expected. Since then against all reason and expectation they have risen. Possibibly due to people having to complete shorted positions in the market.

The UK has emitted more CO2 than its quota, forcing it to buy over 30 million tonnes extra allowances on the EU carbon market. This did not offset the overall trend, prices have fallen and so has the whole credibility of the EU scheme.

Most market analysts cited by Bloomberg news agency agree that over-allocation is the principal cause of the market mayhem , "It's clear that most countries were too generous when handing out allowances," said David Foster, head of emissions and weather derivatives at Calyon, part of Credit Agricole SA. "There's no doubt [EU countries] had an incentive to exaggerate emissions," said Per Lekander, an analyst with UBS AG in London.

The scheme is a shambles , naturally the cricket playing Englishmen have played by the rules but it appaers no-one else has, and the spivs have cleaned up. Plus ca change.

Banks, brokers, hedge funds and traders that jumped into the rapidly growing market for trading carbon emission credits are now complaining bitterly that the big difference between what countries estimated they would use and what they actually used has crewed the market Well fucking well grow up you ninies , this is the real world , full of dishonest xenophobic politicians and industrialiast who care more for the bottom line than the environment.

The spivs have of course made off with their loot.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

JESS reported lost... Vital Trivia cannot find it....

Jess is the name of my cat and also the shy and retiring UK government’s Joint Energy Security of Supply Working Group (JESS).

This organisation was set up in July 2001 by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) to “to assess risks to the UK’s future gas and electricity supplies”. It has to produce 2 reports a year but the last one was due in November 2005 and is still not published.

Vital Trivia has been on the trail of the non-appearance..... a fascinating tale of sloth, buck passing , incompetence and fear ...Read it all here. Remember , buy a forest and get a wood stove.... oh and if JESS is found, let me know. Posted by Picasa

Syria signs up oil/gas contracts with US and Russia

On Thursday 11th May 2006 Director General of the Syrian Petroleum Company Ahmed Moualla, signed with Russian Sios Nift Gas Company to explore and develop as well as produce oil in the region of Al-Mayadin, in far NE Syria.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sufyan Allaow attended with first Vice President of the Russian company Arthur Estrogen (not waiting for Godot hopefully)“ We hope this contract will consolidate the strategic relation between Syria and Federal Russia due to the common interest of peoples in the two friendly countries,” he said.

The Syrian government would own a proportion of the full production of oil up to 12.5% of the whole production.

US$ 50 millions will be allocated to train employees from the Syrian Petroleum Company during the contract period of 20 years.

Marathon Petroleum Company have also signed A 25 year contract for the development and production of petroleum in al-Shaer and al-Sharifa oil fields, some 120 KM east of Homs, with Syrian Companies of Petroleum and Gas.

Initial production estimates are of 2 million cubic meters of dry gas per day, 5,000 BPD of oil and around 100 tons of house liquid gas per day,

Marathon will invest an estimated US$ 127 Mn. and allocate US$50,000 per annum for taraining throughout the contract.

The contract was signed from the Syrian side by Minister Allao, Director General of Petroleum Company Ahmad Mualla and Director General of the Gas Company Ali Abbas from, and from the Marathon Company side by its Representative David Clark.

Director General of the Syrian Petroleum Company Ahmed Moualla is reported to say on Saturday that Syria's total current oil production is more than 400,000 BPD.

(Pic a Roman silver cast figurine / medallion from a recent dig in Palmyra, Syria - dated 100AD)

Israel now uses the legal definition of "illegal combatants"

Ron Dudai of the SOAS School of Law at the University of London writes for JURIST that the US response to 9/11 has given Israel an excuse to engage in its own questionable practices, as reflected by a recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling endorsing the detention of two Palestinians an "illegal combatants"... The Court Decision is in Hebrew but Ron explains the history of the decsion and the implications.

PS If not a subscriber to prize winning website JURIST I would advise it.

Chavez's Anti-American circus hits London today

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in London today after a 3 day summit of European Union, Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Vienna, Austria. He has a busy 2 days ahead, meeting London's mayor, Ken Linvingstone, TRade Unionists and guests including Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize winning playwright, and Bianca Jagger, the actress and political activist.

Although he met Tony Blair on his 2001 visit, one isn't planned this time - perhaps because he describes him as Hitler's sidekick and a "pawn of imperialism".

Blair in the House of Commons in February said Venezuela "should abide by the rules of the international community" and that he would like to see Venezuela's close ally Cuba become a "functioning democracy."

Venezuela's London embassy issued a statement on Thursday, confirming that Chavez would not have any contact with the British government during his visit. The statement did not mention the recent tensions, saying only that Chavez has "already had an official visit to the United Kingdom where he met with the prime minister and other British authorities." There is a useful Chavezian history at the Embassy website.

On Sunday Chavez will address a meeting on Venezuelan social reform and greet supporters at a conference center in central London.

He then gives a lecture on Monday evening at Canning House, an institution that works to strengthen commercial and cultural ties between Britain, Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.

One wonders what security Sir Ian Blair of that Ilk (noticeably missing from public comment about the 7/7 reports- probably feels he has told enough lies)will offer in the way of insecurity for the visiting Leader. One Imagines the likes of Otto Reich would not be unhappy if his taxi blew up, with him inside it.


Herma Marksman, who spent 10 years with Hugo describes him confusingly as both a pussy cat and as the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.
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Spies Were Us ?

David Shayler with his ubiqitous fag and the glamourous Annie Machon at the Labour Spring Conference in Manchester.

The London Anarchist Bookfair (28th October 2005)
"Two visitors to the bookfair who were certainly less welcome were the former MI5 spies David Shayler and Annie Machon, who using a room booked in the name of another organisation, held an impromptu meeting to promote Ms Machon’s memoirs of their time spying on “subversives” – i.e. you and me.

That Shayler cannot open his mouth without contradicting what he has said previously becomes more apparent each time he appears in public. He now seems to be on at least his fourth different version of what went on when the security services were supposedly infiltrating Class War – we hope you can keep up with your own story David, because you have already lost everyone else! That some alleged “radicals” give this plummy voiced fraud the time of day says more about their goldfish sized memories than anything else."

My oh my, they put themselves about in dissident circles, these two "unemployed" spies. Someone should start a "spy twitchers" circuit to record where they pop up. Posted by Picasa

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish