"“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, October 14, 2006

The Wit and Wisdom of General Sir Richard Dannatt

Evidently, after listening to the BBC Radio 4 "Any Question" there is some confusion / ignorance about what the leader of the UK military forces said to the Daily Mail...which they described / reported as follows ... "Sir Richard warned that the consequences will be felt at home, where failure to support Christian values is allowing a predatory Islamist vision to take hold."

"When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country."

"Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind."

"There is an element of the moral compass spinning. I think it is up to society to realise that is the situation we are in." (Vide Tony Blair after 9/11 and his kalaedoscope being shaken.. Sedgefield)

"We can’t wish the Islamist challenge to our society away and I believe that the army both in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably wherever we go next, is fighting the foreign dimension of the challenge to our accepted way of life."

"We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and in a perverted way try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it."

"It is said that we live in a post Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army."

General Dannatt says he has "more optimism" that "we can get it right in Afghanistan."

How on Earth do we end up with a military leader who can (with an apparently straight face), say this sort of nonsense and a Prime Minister who says there is not a "cigarette paper" between them ? Then compare this Messianic zeal with the shambles of military procurement, preparedness, logistics in the field, inadequate planning and ill concealed ill discipline, where "force protection" long overtook rigorous military endeavour in support of clear, determined and agreed objectives.

Pic (C) Big Pictures of the New Messiah in his Ruritanian new suit of Clothes.

Les Evenements de Novembre ...reprise ?

Ville d’Epinay-sur-Seine, the gateway to Paris, is twinned with Oberursel in Germany, South TyneSide in the UK , Alcobendas in Spain(1986). It also enjoys special relations with Ramallah in Palestine and Mevasseret Zion in Israel.

Nearly 12 months ago it experienced three weeks of rioting which swept through this area which is heavily populated with immigrants.

Early this morning a policeman was rushed to hospital after being hit in the face with a stone after responding to a report about a robbery. A Police report said the officer and a colleague fell into an ambush and were surrounded by about 30 youths, some wearing masks. The youths blocked the police vehicle with their cars and sprayed the officers with tear gas ubtil they fled when the gendarmes fired psitols into the air..

Tension has been building in Orgement and in the south of Paris and at Tarterets, where anti-police riots occurred last month.

At that time Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, always anxious to stir the merde ,and a Presidential wannabe claimed anti-riot police at Tartarets had been ambushed, but a later investigation showed that the violence had not been premeditated.

The attacks on the Police were condemned by the Police Unions, and Sarkozy claimed the perpetrators of the assault would be arrested " one by one ".

Sarkozy also criticised the weak judiciary and claimed some judges of not having "the courage" to jail young offenders, triggering a public row. President Jacques Chirac raised a vote of confidence in the judiciary although opinion polls show that the French public shares Mr Sarkozy's view of the judges.

Opposition MP's have demanded but not received answers from Mr Sarkozy about an abortive raid in Western Paris at run down Les Mureuaux, on October 4th when Police and CGS swooped before dawn, raided the wrong apartment in pursuit of four suspects in an attack on policemen the previous Sunday that left seven policemen injured.

The 100 strong raid was accompanied by a fleet of journalists and cameramen. The German Press Agency later reported that Christian de Lavernee the police chief of the departement of Yvelines, said that to proper procedure were carried out and that that only one family's apartment was mistakenly raided, and that police had apologized for the error.

General Sir Richard Dannatt is a dangerous man

General Sir Richard Dannatt is a professional soldier, an early (aged 22) recipient of the MC in Northen Ireland. He is a devout Christian and besides being responsible for the whole of the UK military forces is also vice-president of the Officers' Christian Union and president of the Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Readers Association. He is also a supporter and endorser of the curious Christian Alpha program .... "Alpha has been so wonderfully used over the years, and I am delighted that it has expanded into the Armed Forces."

Two weeks into his post, wearing a uniform that Herr Goering would have envied ,he seized public attention in highlighting the situation in Afghanistan. UK troops were doing "more than their share" .... "We are running hot, certainly running hot. Can we cope? I pause. I say 'Just'." Cheered the lad up in Helmland no end... of course it got Tony Blair to make even more promises that he cannot possibly fulfill.

Now in a comedic scene of solitary pomposity (No backing group to this soul singer) on the steps of the MOD, a portly portent, he seeks to justify his irregular and public outburst in the columns of the Daily Mail. We then have the absurdity of the other architect of this Judaeo- Christian Crusade Tony Blair claiming that everyone in the Church is singing from the same hymn sheet. Which resolves nothing.

General Sir Richard Dannatt is a dangerous man, he exemplifies the muddled and chronically myopic vision of the modern MOD who cannot seem to procure the necessary weapons of war, nor execute their use, usefully or successfully. Nor do their leaders appear able to cope with the lunatic ambitions of their political masters either nationally or collectively through NATO and the EU.

Whatever the failings of the leadership, ... and one must remember the old saw, "There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers" ... this balding, overweight, pompous, conceited Schweik, reminds me of Sassoon's majors,

"If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath, I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base, And speed glum heroes up the line of death."

Whatever flash of Messianic light that has lit up his landscape, I remain convinced that his unorthodox, illegitimate and essentially counterproductive remarks, suggest that General Sir Richard Dannatt is more a part of the problem than even the start of the solution.

Whatever the failing of our Democratic process, the debate about our foreign policy and military endeavours should not be conducted in the columns of the Daily Mail, impromptu gatherings al fresco with the Press or on State radio.

I repeat. General Sir Richard Dannatt is a dangerous man.

Update later today after posting the above ...In support of this argument go to here and read with interest this youthful supporter of General Sir Richard Dannatt's muscular Christianity, set against the nonsensical fears that England is about to become some sort of Eurabian Caliphate.

A Straw Poll - Readers decide about the veil

Pit you wits against the veil...here is a typical response from a member of the public (Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary Rt.Hon. Margaret Beckett ) to the Lancet report that 600,000 plus people have died in Iraq as a direct result of the illegal invasion. Which conveys the most A.Information B. Emotion C.Understanding C. Belief D. Humour E. Hypocrisy F. Whatever

'Every death in Iraq is a tragedy for those affected.

'The Government of Iraq represents all communities and is committed to tackling sectarian violence. We are supporting this effort and will continue to do so.

'The numbers that the Lancet has extrapolated are a substantial leap from other figures.

'What is important is that we bring an end to the violence and death in Iraq.'

'Every death in Iraq is a tragedy for those affected.

'The Government of Iraq represents all communities and is committed to tackling sectarian violence. We are supporting this effort and will continue to do so.

'The numbers that the Lancet has extrapolated are a substantial leap from other figures.

'What is important is that we bring an end to the violence and death in Iraq.'

'Every death in Iraq is a tragedy for those affected.

'The Government of Iraq represents all communities and is committed to tackling sectarian violence. We are supporting this effort and will continue to do so.

'The numbers that the Lancet has extrapolated are a substantial leap from other figures.

'What is important is that we bring an end to the violence and death in Iraq.'

Did the one wearing the veil convince you as easily as the others ? Please pass on your answers in a handy cut out Radio phone in program near you. Note that only cool calm white Anglo Saxons who speak clear english and badly spoken ranting exciteable Asians will be allowed to enter.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Paedophiles and the GOP - we've been here before

If you are interested in why Hastert has asked ex Head of FBI Lois Freeh to head the enquiry into the Foley scandal - spend 55 minutes watching this video made by Discovery Channel and Yorkshire TV about Larry King / and the paedophiles from the Cornhusker State in the late 80's , ...Craig Spence and the midnight trips by young boys round the White House .. and how the FBI shut it all down.

Conspiracy Of Silence

You can find a lot more on the Web but the role of George H Bush discussed here is a good starting point.

The Ceausescu moment

Cameron's languid despatch of Blair into startled (if brief) silence in the House when he personally championed his Chancellor as his successor was a pointer.

The broadside from the military will ...or should .. hurry the bastards on their way.

Simply, the problem is .... to select the lamp post on the Mall to hang the bastards from.

Iraq - OUT - OUT- OUT Blair - OUT- OUT- OUT

In February 2003 Tony Blair ignored a million marching citizens.

It is evident from Blunkett's indiscretions, Clare Short's spurned woman's vitriol, Robin Cook's measured remarks and Michael Meacher's ramblings he also ignored (and rode roughshod over it) hisCabinet and most of his backbenchers (courtesy HM Opposition).

It remains to be seen if the remarkable, constitutionally groundbreaking broadside from the new CGS, General Sir Richard Dannatt in today's Daily Mail is dealt with in the same way.

Such sniping at HMG in the pages of the Daily Mail is usually conducted in an arcane code by ex-Generals from the cozy perlieus of St James, or broad Sussex acres.

Sir Richard's knees were hardly under his desk and he was pointing out the immense problems in Afghanistan.

Now he says, the jig is up in Iraq, we should never have been there, and now (3 years and 650,000 dead Iraqis later) he says we should get out.

Time for another march on the citadel.

...... or another terrist "outrage".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Huge bomb haul, rocket launcher biowarfare gear find in NW town with large Muslim population

The largest amount of chemical explosive of its type ever found in the country has been found by PC Plod in a quiet tree lined suburban street in Colne, Burnley, Lancs where there is a large Asian population and is home to many Muslims.

A man aged 49, of Talbot Street, Colne appeared before Burnley magistrates charged with possession of an explosive substance. He was charged under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after forensic experts searched his home, allegedly discovering chemical components which could be used to make explosives.

Officers claim that their find is the largest haul of chemicals (the exact nature of the chemicals has not been revealed) of its kind discovered in the home of an political extremist in the UK.

Mrs Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution , alleged the 2 men had "some kind of masterplan". She said a search of Jackson's home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.

Curiously there were no Asians demonstrating outside the court, nor claims of Police heavyhandedness. John Reid didn't appear on television ranting about terrists, extremists .. even Tony remained silent.

Curiously, there was no “air exclusion zone” or assaults on neighbours, no closing down of surrounding streets, and no smear stories about those arrested. No kiddie porn.

Curiously, Superintendent Neil Smith instantly moved to reassure residents and stressed, “It is not a bomb making factory.” He was able to add that it was not related to terrorism.

Curiously there were no charges under the various Terrist Acts etc., The Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT), The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA), Prevention of Terrorism 2005 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Curiously .... it may be because the man is a native, white, Caucasian, Anglo Saxon male, Robert Cottage who stood for the extreme right wing, anti immigration, British National Party in the BNP in the May elections in the Vivary Bridge ward of Colne... and the BBC, and the main media missed the story. Totally. Completely. Search in vain. A 62 year old retired dentist David Bolus Jackson, of Trent Road, Nelson, was charged with similar offences.

Magistrates remanded Cottage in custody and referred his case to Burnley Crown Court where he is due to appear on October 23rd. Lord Patel will be there.

.....OH! By the way, the Forest Gate brouhaha cost £2.3 Mn. and was based on "reliable information".... only one person shot.

...and this is NOTHING to do with Aly "I'm Depressed" Campbell being a big supporter of Burnley FC. Honest.... or Angie Hunter being married to that man with several chins on Sky TV News.

See Pickled Politics

EU telephony details available on demand - terrist threats

"The EU Data Retention Directive places serious data management and process burdens on telco service providers. "

Aurore Pettitt, Director, CACI(NYSE: CAI).

After the Madrid train bombings in 2004 the EU decided to get serious about joint action to fight terrorism and organized crime, and to erode the privacy of all their citizens even more.

One consequence is the EU Data Retention Directive which was passed on February 21st 2006 and becomes active in August 2007. The UK during its six-month presidency of the EU for the new legislation, arguing strongly for it, claiming it was necessary to help fight terrorism and organised crime.

"Agreement on retaining communications data places a vital tool against terrorism and serious crime in the hands of law enforcement agencies across Europe," said the then Home Secretary, grossly fat, rude, Charles Clarke.

The main consequence is that Internet service providers and fixed-line and mobile operators will now be forced to keep details of their customers' communications for up to two years.... including telephony, texting, email messaging, web traffic and custom applications (Intranets etc., ) .

At the telco's own cost these details must be stored and be available, including date, destination and duration of communications and providers must produce details of specific transactions as requested by authorized law enforcement organizations “without undue delay.”.

More details from lawyers Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, June 2006

Every such requirement is of course, a challenge and an opportunity ... an opportunity to make money. CACI " SMART solutions for intelligent marketing" ...

There is a solution Telco Compliance , featuring SenSage and EMC,

EMC, Intec and SenSage ????

EMC, (EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC)) Intec (Intec Telecom Systems (LSE: ITL.L))and California based SenSage Inc. have developed a joint EU Data Retention solution that significantly reduces the cost of compliant data management for service providers. The combined technology completely supports the guidelines set out by the Directive and is able to cost-effectively manage and obtain results in minutes from over 100 billion Call Detail Records (CDR).

“The EU Data Retention directive increases the cost of doing business for Telco’s and ISP,” said Jim Pflaging, president and CEO of SenSage. “This joint solution offers the rapid response law enforcement needs in a highly secure system the public wants, at the lowest cost to the service provider.”

You can read more about this wonderful opportunity "EMC, Intec and SenSage Technology Able to Identify Evidence of Terrorist Activity in 100 Billion Call Detail Records "in a Press release from SenSage on 27th September 2006

You can find more about the Detailed test results and estimates of costs at http://www.sensage.com/eudrpoc (PDF Alert) "Integrating event data management and storage management to cost-effectively support regulatory compliance requirements of European telecommunications service providers"

Broadly not only do the providers have to retain the data they have to make it available within very narrowly defined parameters, not for the providers benefit but for the law enfrocement agencies (and of course at the providers cost) ..

Telcos must maintain CDR transaction recording systems that are:
1. Capable of recording all transaction information including successful and unsuccessful calls.
2. Segregated in a manner for compliant investigation rather than business use.
3. In accordance with data privacy mandates and preserve appropriate security and access controls.

This requires that all call and message transaction data be retained:

1. For a period not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years according to each member state
authority (which can extend the retention terms).
2. With reasonably assured and demonstrable data filtering, integrity and availability safeguards.
3. In a manner that supports immediate access to support the “without undue delay” condition.

This requires that event data analysis:
1. That yields answers which narrows and optimizes data analysis as much as possible.
2. That deliver results within the “without undue delay”
condition – implying a test of generally acceptable response times measured in minutes and hours.

The Telcos need to have a scaleable system that is ready now for ..

1. Increase call detail record volume.
2. Telephony and non-telephony integrated data analysis.
3. Mergers and acquisitions.
4. Differences in member state rules on customer data transport, access and retention.
5. Expansion of Directive requirements.... which you can rest assured will happen very quickly.

The solution that is offered can retain and analyze over 100 Billion call detail records (CDR) and produce answers to required query constructs within 15 minutes to 1 hour against a 2-year retention period.

The set up cost ? US$850K to US$2Mn.... and all this using "off the shelf " Dell™ Dual Core, Dual CPU PowerEdge™ 2950 servers containing the Intel® Xeon® 5160 “Woodcrest” processors and the 64-Bit version of RedHat® Enterprise Server 4.

So, from next year the many, many authorised law enforcement authorities throughout the EU can by law call up you Telco, and demand the details of every telephony event to / from your phone(s) for up to 2 years.... and get an answer in minutes or hours.... and the system they have, will almost certainly be able to meet any "Expansion of Directive requirements" ... content ...?

Now. Does that make you feel safer ?

Bet you didn't feel a thing either as the busy legislators imposed these burdens on industry and stole a bit more of your privacy ... see passenger data provisdion for the US.


Digital Rights Ireland, is taking a case both against the Irish Government and the European Directive on data retention.

The action will begin in the High Court in Ireland but will probably end up in the European Court of Justice, said the chairman of DRI, TJ McIntyre. The suit argues that the Irish law breaches that country's Constitution and that the EU Directive contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights.

"It's a challenge to both Irish law and the EU Directive," said McIntyre. "We're challenging the domestic law on national constitutional grounds and the EU Directive and we're hoping for a preliminary reference to Luxembourg to assess the validity of the Directive."

Don't hold your breath.

(NYSE: CAI)... CACI ? CACI ? now weren't they the folks who .. wait a minute aren't they being sued with Titan because their employees were torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib ?

That's right there is a 64 page detailed list of thirty one counts of complaint against CACI and Titan of a whole host of common law torts (such as assault and battery), as well as violations of international human rights, and a RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations ACT) conspiracy.

That's right there is a 64 page complaint which contains detailed descriptions of the torture suffered by some of the other named plaintiffs. One Haj Ali was hung from a ceiling while made and shocked with electric pulses. Umer Abdul Mutalib was dragged until he went unconscious. Jasim al-Nidawi's private parts were attacked by dogs. Other detainees were stripped naked and put in a room with a naked female detainee who had a mesh bag on her face and was screaming. The complaint also alleges that one of the private contractors raped a fourteen year old girl, and provides evidence that there may have been a rape room set up in the prison.... but you've seen the pictures (but not the videos ..yet)

It is important to recognize that all of these events were carried out by employees of American companies who were not part of the military. Significant amount of the information upon which the complaint was based came from the military's own Fay and Taguba reports. Without those reports it is unlikely that the world would have known about the abuses committed by American private contractors.

Yeh! CACI ... sounds like the sort of people to be supplying software that deals with private data "In accordance with data privacy mandates and preserve appropriate security and access controls."


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brits steal White House Furniture - Dubya wants it back

Robert Ross (1766 - September 12, 1814) was a British army officer, born in Ireland who led the British troops in the attack on the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, where the American army , mainly composed of militias quickly collapsed. Moving on from Bladensburg, Ross captured Washington, D.C. with little resistance. Ross insisted on only destroying public property, including the destruction of the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

He is commemorated by a 100 ft granite obelisk near his birthplace on the shores of Carlingford Lough in County Down. There is also a monument to his memory by Josephus Kendrick in the South transept, St Paul's Cathedral, London.

As a result of this action the Lancashire Fusiliers helped in the sackjing and burning of the White House in which they stole and shipped back to England the furniture and various bits of pottery etc.,

As a result these spoils of war are now are in the stewardship of the Trustees of the Museum of the Lancashire Fusiliers for perpetuity, but for reasons of space were sent to the Imperial war Museum.

Apparently Dubya has asked his good buddy Tony for his chairs back.

It will be interesting to see if this loot, held in perpetuity by the Lancashire Fusiliers Trustees, has or will find it's way back the the home of President James Madison who had so unwisely declared war on Britain On June 19th 1812. Fortunately the First Lady Dolly Madison was warned of the immminent arrival of the conquering British. She and her staff fled across the Potomac - taking with her the portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart that had been torn from a White House wall see pic above ... and leaving the furniture.

Cue : Elgin Marbles

Church of England approves theft of valuable Papal gift by Scots Nats

Phil Woolas Minister of State (Local Government & Community Cohesion), and self important MP for Oldham was defending the remarks made today by Ruth Kelly about rubbing along with Muslims, and he said we cannot accept a situation where people accept that religious law replaces civil law.

The Church of England does however have courts and apply ecclesiastical law, these are the Diocesan Consistory Courts of the Church of England - whose ultimate appeal is to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ?

Whilst their arcane proceedings, often achieving front page status in the red tops due to the frolics and unbridled lust of the servants of the Lord, they can and do involve themselves in fascinating crimes.

One such crime involves the handsome and notable medieval brass eagle lectern dating from the 1490s from which has been removed / stolen several times from St Stephen's Church, St Albans.... see picture.

The 150 Kg ( 3 cwt) brass 1.6 metres ( 8 feet) high lectern or reading desk bears the inscription Georgius Creichton Episcopus Dunkeldensis - George Creichton Bishop of Dunkeld. George Creichton was abbot at Holyrood abbey from 1515 to 1522 and it is likely he presented the lectern to the Abbey on being made Bishop of Dunkeld. It apparently originated in Italy in 1498 and was gifted to Scotland by Pope Alexander VI.

It is said that this was seized on the orders of Henry VIII in the 15 th Century from Holyrood by a Richard Lee who was granted land and buildings in St Albans including St Stephen's Church. It is assumed that the lectern was placed in St Stephens at this time. A lectern described as: 'É an eagle of brass to lay the booke of martyres on.' appeared in a church inventory of 1597. A similar lectern is described in an inventory of 1638.

St Albans became a Parliamentary stronghold during the Civil War and the lectern disappeared after Parliament passed laws authorising the destruction of religious objects. By 1748 the lectern had somehow been returned for use, it had apparently been recovered from the Montagu family tomb in the chancel of St. Stephen's church

Scots with long memories have however been calling for a return of the lectern since 1879 - The Lord Provost of Edinburgh asked for it back and was refused by the Vicar of St. Stephen's who expressed .." utmost repugnance to parting with the Crichton lectern".

In 1972 an attempt to steal it, left the lectern lying in pieces in the church and the loss of three lions from the base - which were subsequently found and are still today, in St Stephens possession.

It did travel to Scotland briefly for an exhibition in 1982 for an exhibition "Angels, Nobles and Unicorns"- an exhibition of mediaeval Scottish art at the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in Edinburgh which caused a lot of interest and widespread demand , that like the Elgin Marbles it be returned to the land of it's birth. (Although oroginally Italian - but don't expect consistency of thought / ideals / morals in this story)

Some body(ies) perhaps inflamed be these calls in 1984 attempted another theft and the greater part of it was (successfully ?) stolen from St Stephen's.

Lengthy and distant negotiations were held between the new holders of the lectern (said to be not unrelated to Siol nan Gaidheal, a Scottish nationalist organisation), the Church of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Museum . St Margaret's Church, Barnhill, Dundee generously offered St Stephen's church a Victorian reproduction eagle lectern to replace the one removed in 1984.

It was however stated to be the intention that the lectern would only see the light of day when a Scottish Parliament again sat in Edinburgh.

This gesture of a replacement lectern however lubricated the negotiations and in 1999 a courier anonymously delivered the (incomplete - sans Lion feet still in St Albans) lectern to Netherbow Arts Centre on Edinburgh's Royal Mile and since then negotiations have been on going to arrange a long-term loan to the National Museums of Scotland.

A consistory court was held in 2004 to attempt to finalise this long term greivance with a long-term loan - which they agreed to, effectively absolving the thieves - who under Common law were bang to rights. Speaking after the court sat, the Keeper of the National Museums of Scotland, Dr David Caldwell said, "I am very appreciative of the generosity of the Vicar and community of St Stephen's Church, St Albans and the Diocese of St Albans. This loan provides a great opportunity for the lectern to be displayed as an important piece of Scottish medieval history here in Edinburgh. However, the significant role of St Albans in the story of the lectern will not be forgotten."

The Vicar of St Stephens, The Revd David Ridgway now using a splendid replica lectern given by St Margaret's Church Dundee, said, "The lectern has had a long and turbulent history and so I am pleased that its future is now more settled. I am sure that it will make an excellent display with other church treasures in Edinburgh. "

Legally, the Church claims, it still belongs to the Church of England in St Stephen's Parish where the lions feet still reside.

However remember .."It apparently originated in Italy in 1498 and was gifted to Scotland by Pope Alexander VI." .... expect a visit from Pope Benedict any day.


British Airways / Virgin price fixing - not out of the woods yet

Jeff Randall in today's Daily Telegraph has a typically entertaining view on the corporate shenanigans at British Airways, which resulted in a couple of corporates being thrown off the sleigh this week. He points out that the airlines' fuel surcharges – which are at the heart of US and UK regulators' concerns – had begun to be imposed (almost simultaneously) by BA and Virgin Atlantic in May 2004, long before the sainted Sir Rod Eddington left the business.

"Burns looks like the fall guy." says Mr Randall, "Even if Burns did make a compromising call to Virgin, a tape of which is rumoured to be at the centre of civil and criminal investigations, does anyone really believe that a £75,000-a-year PR man, who spent much of his time organising press jolly-ups, masterminded an alleged multi-million-dollar price-fixing campaign on his own initiative?"

" ...let's not forget that if BA was involved in a conspiracy, it could not conspire on its own."

Three other airlines – American, United and Virgin Atlantic – are being investigated for possible misdemeanours in the passenger market, and no fewer than 15 carriers have been named by the inquiry into the cargo market."

Perhaps whilst all this rather unfortunate washing of linen carries on, might it not be a good time for Mr O'Leary, against whom there is not the slightest whiff of attempting to rig prices or fare structures to get approval for his audacious raid on Aer Lingus ? On April 19th this year Ryanair has reiterated its commitment to low fares by guaranteeing not to introduce fuel surcharges .

Michael O'Leary, accused BA of "gouging passengers" by passing on the cost, pointing out that the latest increase was the 7th fuel surcharge the airline had introduced.

The cocky little Irishman pointed out that the £35 surcharge for a one-way trip is more than Ryanair's average total fare of £28, he added.

"Yet again British Airways go for the soft option," said Ryan at the time. "Over the past two years as oil prices have doubled from $35 to $70 a barrel, British Airways' fuel surcharges have increased fourteen-fold from £2.50 per sector to £35 per sector."

Price fixing is not a victimless crime, nor does it go unpunished - Alfred Taubman, the owner of Sotheby's set up up a cartel with rival auction house, Christie's. He was fined $7m in 2002 and jailed for a year.

After the extradition to the US of the spotless Nat West 3 there might be a few sweaty palms in the airline boardrooms.


On Tuesday British Airways World Cargo (BWAC) announced a reduction in its fuel surcharge. The surcharge will be GBP 0.34kg, US$ 0.50kg, €0.50kg, with effect from 19 October, 2006. Chris Bosworth, general manager commercial development said: "This is the second drop in the fuel surcharge level in as many weeks."

Foley & Dubya - Amazing pictures

I tell ya, some of those pages have them this long.

Florida adult store owner dead in Chemical warfare attack

Urban terrism has hit Gainesville Fl.

47 year old Jerry Sullivan was evidently a local character - he owned the Cafe Erotica, located just off Interstate 95 in Gainesville FL. , which featured scantily clad dancers...but it closed down last September.

Undaunted , he decided to set up Cafe Risque, an "adult entertainment centre" in nearby Waldo which met stiff resistance...Sullivan told Channel 4 TV that people around Waldo had tried everything from prayer to protest to keep him from opening the restaurant.

Things came to a head when someone used a home made device to flood the premises with a noxious but non-lethal and unidentified gas.

"It comes under domestic terrorism, we're going to look at it as such," said serious looking Alachua County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Keith Faulk. "We're going to prosecute to the fullest extent as we can."

Officials said use of such a device is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The store, which will sell adult magazines, videos and sex toys, is set to open in a couple of months.

"You don't want to hear what I got to say; you couldn't print it on TV," Sullivan said. "I'm coming; this business is coming. It's legal and coming. OK?"

However Jerry Sullivan, who would have turned 48 this Friday, was found dead on Sunday morning by his 14-year-old son.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is waiting for the results of an autopsy for his cause of death, but said it does not suspect foul play.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New French Airbus CEO - Cut Hamburg and 10,000 jobs

EADS co-Chief Executive Louis Gallois took over as head of Airbus late on Monday when Christian Streiff resigned after just 100 days in the job.

Gallois told Europe 1 radio in Paris when on his way to meet managers at Toulouse: "It will be painful, yes, because there will be job cuts." (Trans : 20% of it's 55,000 staff)

"We have to ask questions about the sites, the assembly lines, in order to rationalise it," Gallois added. "We cannot live with two sites that each share all the assembly lines." ( Trans : Hamburg is definitely going)

Rating agency Fitch on Tuesday said the latest management changes highlighted corporate governance issues that were "inherent weaknesses" within EADS. It cut EADS's debt ratings.

EADS shares rose 3.6 percent to close at 20.89 euros (14 pounds), after dropping over 36 percent so far this year.

Meanwhile ...

Bole International Airport at Addis Abeba has been chosen as the next Airbus 380 test site for the local altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level with trials to srat in the next 7 days. Take the attention off Darfur anyway.

Reuters report more exciting news from Addis...there is a leopard on the loose in the UK Embassy compound.

Legal loopholes + learner drivers + dangerous roads = tragedy

BBC's Law in Action this afternoon identified a remarkable loophole in Road Traffic law.

Martyn Burridge father of Chantelle Burridge (pic) told how his daughter was a passenger in a Nissan Sunny on August, 2005, which crashed on the B1502 Stanstead Road at Great Amwell.She subsequently died 4 weeks after her 17th birthday.

The driver, 20 yr old Daniel Lancaster who had recently qualified ,was prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, was fined £200 and was suspended from driving for 6 months. In a conversation with a CPS lawyer at the trial, Chantelle's father discovered hat the driver had run up 9 penalty points on his licence prior to passing his test.(More here)

Any recently qualified driver who runs up 6 penalty points within 2 years of passing the driving test automatically lose their licence for 6 months under the The New Driver's Act 1997. Paradoxically this penalty does not apply to pre-test drivers, nor do any penalty points "carry over" on passing the test.

Nick Freeman, notoriously the lawyer the rich and famous turn to to retain their licnce was interviewed and said;

"There isn't any fairness in the system when you can amass 11 points on a provisional licence, take the test and drive."

The Department of Transport issued a statement to the BBC which said: "We are looking carefully at whether there is a case for automatic disqualification of provisional licence holders before they accrue 12 points."

Perhaps a coincidence but the House of Commons yesterday were considering the Road Safety Bill especially Clause 6 - Immediate suspension and revocation of drivers’ licences ... plenty about taxicabs but nothing about provisional driving licence holders.

Nick Freeman again , poacher turned gamekeeper ..."It's a loophole that needs to be plugged."

A maze is being built (grown?) Chantelle’s monkey maze, built in 9 acres of Hertfordshire Countryside with 4 miles of paths in the shape of a giant albino gorilla named Snowflake - Chantelle loved monkeys. It was Commissioned by Martyn Burridge in her memory and designed by the worlds leading maze designer Adrian Fisher and his team.

A website has been set up http://www.chantelleburridge.co.uk/ to campaign for a change in the Road Traffic (new drivers) Act 1995 you can sign a petition (website - 380 signatories to date) and any Monies collected from the Chantelle Burridge Memorial Fund will be donated to the ITU (intensive care unit) at the Princess Alexander Hospital , Harlow.

Numbing Postscript

Two adults and a toddler were killed in a later three-vehicle collision, which occurred on the same dangerous bend where Chantelle was killed.

News Editor of the Hertfordshire Mercury News editor Paul Brackley said: “It is obvious to anyone who uses this road that this bend is dangerous, yet it has taken Hertfordshire Highways more than a year to complete a report into it.

Any action to make the road safer will not be taken until the financial year 2007-08, meaning two years could have passed since the teenager’s death before work is carried out.

The Hertfordshire Mercury report another accident on September 29th 2006 at the same spot.

Northern Ireland's biggest ever drugs haul today

The Organised Crime Task Force report today that the largest ever haul of cannabis (Street value £mn's) has been seized at premises in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. Two men have been arrested.

UPDATE 11th October

Now said to be 4 tonnes with street value of £10 MN Euros 14.5 Mn. Local Strangford MP Iris Robinson congratulated those who had succeeded in keeping the huge haul off the streets. “It is not yet clear who was responsible for this criminal act or whether there was paramilitary involvement ..."

The NI Drugs Misuse Database Statistics
were published yesterday for the period 1/4/2005 - 31/3/2006


The Ulster Defence Asociation (UDA) in Northern Ireland (which is a proscribed organisation) is divided into six areas and the leaders of each call themselves "brigadiers" including, Jackie McDonald who runs South Belfast , Matt Kinkaid who runs West Belfast, Billy McFarland who runs North Antrim and Londonderry elsewhere Andre Shoukri and his brother Ihab (31)(see picture of the brothers) has now been eased out to meet political diktats from London.

Back in November 2004, senior members of the UDA (a proscribed organisation) and their political representatives held tentative talks with senior officials from the Northern Ireland Office and the then Secretary of State Paul Murphy. (including the Shoukri's)

In the last 10 months these talks have intensified under immense pressure from Tony Blair and his senior advisors.

Publicly In July, senior members of the UDA, four of its so-called brigadiers, met Secretary of State Peter Hain and wannabe Deputy Prime Minister, and then travelled to Dublin to meet Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

NIO officials made it clear that the British government would respond if there was evidence of a genuine attempt by the UDA leadership to abandon terrorism and criminal activity....resulting in an announcement on Monday, 19 th September 2006 by Peter Hain that the government is giving £135,000 to a project aimed at helping the UDA move away from paramilitary activity and crime.

This "project" is the "first stage of a new conflict transformation initiative in loyalist areas", NI Secretary Peter Hain has announced. It was proposed by the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), which advises the (still) illegal paramilitary Ulster Defence Association.

Part of the agreement for this funding , (a fraction of their proceeds from crime), (implicitly) involves the alienation and removal from the UDA of the Shoukri brothers , Andre and Ihab (The result of an Egyptian father and local girl) who held a firm grip on their territory in South Belfast.

Last month Ihab Shoukri 31, has denied being a member of the UDA, and earlier this month charges of UDA and UFF membership were dropped when a judge ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him. (Which is just as well after they have been hobnobbing with Peter Hain and Teoseach) In a recent court case police said Andre Shoukri had gambled £863,000 in a Belfast bookmakers. Ihab had previously had a run in with the PNSI and was accused of the murdering a loyalist, Alan McCullough (an ally of Johnny Adair) though that charge was later dropped.

Andre who joined the UDA in the mid 1990's has appeared in court over the years for

1. His involvement in the death of Dubliner Gareth Parker who was run over by a car after being punched by Shoukri. He was found guilty of unlawful and malicious wounding and served eight months.
2. He was jailed for attempting to smuggle cigarettes in 1998.
3 Two years later he was jailed again for his part in a blackmail plot (extort protection money from Cathoic pizza shops), against a Catholic businessman.
4. During the 2002 UDA feud, that saw the end of Johnny Adair, Shoukri was arrested with a gun in his car. He was initially jailed for six years but the conviction was overturned on appeal.
5. Last June a PSNI inspector said the "Ye Olde Strathmore Inn" on the Belfast's, Cavehill Road, which was formerly known as "Bonaparte’s Bar", were “under the control of a paramilitary organisation”. The comments were made during a Belfast city council entertainments license application hearing by its then owner, Mandy Hillman.(now on th emainland under w itness protection program) - Both brothers were arrested in November last year after a woman approached the PSNI with information on illegal money making rackets being run by the north Belfast UDA.

“Having the PSNI take him off the streets saves us from doing it ourselves.” said a "well placed source". Probably not unconnected with the hurt that £10,000 raised at a charity boxing night went missing earlier this year. Challenged to explain Andre simply said "the money had gone".

The 12 th Independent Monitoring Commisiion report published last week, said ;

We said in our 10th Report that the UDA had continued to engage in acts of violence,
being responsible for both the paramilitary murders in the six months 1 September 2005 to 28 February 2006; that it was heavily involved in crime; that it continued to aspire to arm and equip itself; and the organisation remained an active threat to the rule of law..... there continues to be violence and a heavy involvement in crime amongst some members.

Members of the UDA remain heavily involved in a wide variety of other serious crime, including drug dealing, the sale of counterfeit goods, robbery and extortion.

But it did say something encouraging about this bunch of criminals and thugs...

We think that there is a genuine desire on the part of some leading members
to steer the organisation away from crime. So far they have had mixed success. The
expulsion of members of the North Belfast Brigade on the grounds of their criminal
activity (the Shukri's) and the subsequent avoidance of bloodshed was a valuable step forward;

Meanwhile the Organised Crime Task Force report today that the largest ever haul of cannabis 4 tonnes - street value £10 Mn.was seized at premises in Newtownards. Two men have been arrested.

PS. There are not many non - Loyalist criminals in Newtownards

DPRK "test" to be welcomed...

To the nervous, the underground explosion in NE North Korea, stop worrying. The desperate gamble by the madman dictator and his crazy scientists is, on balance a GOOD thing. (Pic Sean Garland "Official IRA leader" - not a GOOD thing, wanted in the US for distributing counterfeit DPRK manufactured US currency)

1. There are 2 types of rudimentary bomb that they might be able to re-create, the Uranium bomb - the only one ever used was at Hiroshima and the ability to produce the required type of Uranium is way beyond their technology and energy sources.

The lower cost Plutonium bomb and more easily acheivable in terms of substrate demands precise engineering and control systems, it would of course destroy or make unuseable and irrecoverable the plutonium they used.... lowering or even eliminating a future threat.

2. The amount of Plutonium they have been able to make is unknown, but best estimates are between 5 and 10 Kg. - they have displayed possibly 500 grams to US diplomats.

3. There is evidence that the explosion was actually produced by the use of massive amounts of chemical explosives, meaning that they have not been able to produce even a rudimentary bomb mechanism.

4. There is no evidence whatever they have the ability to produce a small device which could be air launched by missiles or aircraft.

5. The BAD NEWS news is (despite the "test") that they have enough nasty radioactive materials to make a very unpleasant "dirty" bomb - which is why the US are naturally (and sensibly) calling for marine inspection of North Korean cargoes.... which stems from the criminal nature of the regime.

For a useful background to the need for this, go here The North Korean Criminal State, its Ties to Organized Crime, and the Possibility of WMD Proliferation by David L. Asher published as their Policy Forum Online 05-92A: November 15th, 2005 disclaiming that his views represent those of the US State Department which he left in July 2005 or the view of the US government, or the Department of Defense. He starts ...

he rise of the criminal state in North Korea is no secret. It has occurred in full view of foreign governments and with increasing visibility to the world media.

...and finishes...

North Korea is the only government in the world today that can be identified as being actively involved in directing crime as a central part of its national economic strategy and foreign policy. As a result, Pyongyang is radically - and perhaps even hopelessly - out of synch with international law and international norms. In essence, North Korea has become a "soprano state" - a government guided by a Worker's Party leadership whose actions, attitudes, and affiliations increasingly resemble those of an organized crime family more than a normal nation.

Asher states, that the DPRK government is involved in a wide range of illicit businesses in partnership with organized crime groups or unilaterally... including :

1. Production and overseas distribution of narcotics, in particular heroin and methamphetamines:

Seizures of DPRK Meth (1,500 Kg) - of a distinctive high quality represented 35% of all such seizures in Japan with a wholesale value of over US$75 million and a street value of as much as $300 million.

The DPRK established an Embassy in Canberra, shortly after the 4,000 tonne Pong Su ( a "Workers Party" vessel with a KWP secretary on board and flying the Flag of Convenience of Tuvalu) was boarded by Australian Special Forces and 125 kg of Heroin worth $150 million seized.

23 crew members were deported and on March 2nd 2006 4 ships officers were found not guilty by the Australian Supreme Court.

On 23 March 2006, in a joint RAAF and RAN operation, the Pong Su was sunk by two 2000-pound laser-guided bombs dropped from RAAF F-111 aircraft.

At the time William Bach of the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs told a Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee that there have been at least 50 arrests or drug seizures involving North Koreans in more than 20 countries.

The Police said that the heroin was of the high-quality Double UOGlobe brand most likely produced in Myanmar, because the Korean made product is too low a quality for the market.(Wapo story here)

2. Production and international distribution of counterfeit currency, especially US currency, as well as cigarettes and pharmaceuticals.

Under International Law, counterfeiting another nation's currency is an act of causus belli, an act of economic war.

The United States Secret Service has designated certain counterfeit US currency as "C-14342" and they came to be known as "Supernote" or "Superdollar" , first discovered in the Philippines in 1989. Their origin was a printing plant in Pyeongseong, one of the cities in the province Pyeongahnnamdo in North Korea. They were cited in evidence of |Sean Garland and others of the Official IRA for their partnership in the criminal distribution of counterfeit US currency. (BBC report June 20th 2004 and Panorama programme same day)

On April 1st 2006, Sean Garland was unanimously re-elected as President of The Workers' Party (previously the Sinn Fein Workers party) and in a keynote address to the party membership gathered in Dublin he vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States.

3. Smuggling sanctioned items, including conflict diamonds, rhino horn and ivory, and endangered species, utilizing official diplomatic means - at least six North Korean diplomats have been forced to leave Africa after attempts to smuggle elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns.

4. Money laundering for its own account and in partnership with recognized organized crime groups abroad including the Macau based Banco Delta Asia which was designated under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act.

5. Weapons smuggling and trading in WMD - 1,000's of shipping containers leave the DPRK every year from Najin on the east coast and Nampo on the west coast. They enter the international maritime transport system, through friendly ports, typically in China, the ROK, and Japan.

The North Korean vessel Sosang, which was interdicted shipping missiles (under a commercial cargo of cement) to Yemen in December 2002 .

The US President recently announced a new policy on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) has been defined as the effective knowledge of all activities associated with the global maritime environment that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States.

The purpose of MDA is to generate actionable intelligence. Without actionable intelligence, counterterrorist or maritime law enforcement operations are largely pointless.

It is for these reasons that the DPRK regime should be removed - as well as their continued and continuing starvation of their population.

However the State sponsored (and very well run) Fear Factories are happier to have screaming headlines about missiles, nuclear bombs and other such nonsense.It keeps their populations alert and obedient, ven if it does nothing to remove the problem.

The US, have of course displayed their impotence in invading Iraq, against much advice, and with the acquiesence of our Dear Leader - and China, has no desire to bring the madman down with it's attendant chaos and the threat of millions of refugees streaming across the Yalu river.

So nothing will happen - unless a different criminal gang decide to depose Kim, but then you just have just another gang of Sopranos running the country , just like Italy.... or the US.

OH! the picture .... that's Sean Garland, ex-Marxist, who the UK won't extradite to the US, the man the Irish Gubment don't want to arrest and everybody seems to want to leave in peace running his criminal gang in Dublin. and the man who pops in and out of the Moscow DPRK Embassy like the man with the umbrella on the weather clock.

The Northern Ireland Office website head their report on organised crime ..

The criminal gangs who operate in Northern Ireland are involved in a range of crime areas in order to maximise their own gain.

Organised crime in Northern Ireland differs from the rest of the UK because of its history of paramilitary involvement and the land border with the Republic of Ireland. Many have links with criminals in other countries, highlighting the global nature of organised crime."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chinese Seismic data on DPRK underground Test

The data originally supplied were of course dynamaic and so access to them is now irrelevant and the links have been removed. However see above for a wider discussion. There is no full international consesus about the size / nature of the test other than it was ;

1. Small maybe only 1/2 kiloton - within the range of a conventional explosive event (although large).

2. Possibly even a failed event, but certainly not a full result of a fissionary event.

For an excellent graphic and explanation of the difference between seismographic recording of shallow explosions and earthquakes go here

Biometric ID Cards to be introduced by TESCO, Asda, M & S ... ??

Organization: RETALIX LTD. (RTXL : NASDAQ)
Position: President & CEO : Mr. Barry Shaked
Address: 10 Zarhin St., Corex House,P.O.Box: 2282,Raanana,ISRAEL, 43000

An Israeli based software outfit that develops grocery store software - US Operations based in Texas.

On May 9, 2001 three Israeli nationals arrived at Dallas Fort Worth via Air France Flight #40 from Paris, France who all claimed they were wroking / going to work for the company, they were

Tomer BEN DOR, male, Israeli, DOB: 08-24-75

Marina GLIKMAN, female, Israeli, DOB: 12-15-72.

Zeev MILLER, male, Israeli, DOB: 09-04-71.

They were also all identified in a DEA report about itinerant Israeli students hawking artwork around US Government offices. Here is a fascinating item of information about the company.

On September 20, 2005 – Retalix USA formed an alliance with Pay By Touch to integrate Pay By Touch’s biometric authentification payment system with Retalix’ Point Of Sale solutions for grocery retailers.

Pay By Touch holds more than two dozen issued U.S. patents covering tokenless biometric transactions for authentification, age verification, loyalty, and check-cashing, with more than 70 patents pending. See Lord Patel Saturday, September 9 Globalisation ...another perspective Chip and PIN ...forget it

As an aside in discussion with Eddie Mayor on the BBC4 news program "PM" tonight (9th Oct 2006) , Liam Byrne the UK Home Office minister, overseeing the ID card ,he mentioned (very precisely) "150,000 people in the US pay for their groceries by biometrics" (Pop. 260 Mn) .... going on to suggest that costs could be kept down as private industry seized the benfits of biometric identification.

Now if the major stores, TESCO, etc decided to turn their loyalty cards / payment systems to using biometrics ? How much easier the whole project would be QED ?

In this light consider the way TESCO use the space on milk containers to spread a message from the Inland Revenue / Customs thet tax payers/employees who receive tax credits and now have a live in partner , have changed their "circumstances" and may need to contact the IRC to notify the change and have their Tax credits re-assessed - ie, reduced.

Then just reflect that TESCO don't want a tax on plastic bags, managed to hand off a suggested tax on supermarket car park places, manipulate the Planning regime, land banks, etc.,

The cynical might expect that the major retailers will at least be "evaluating" the benefits, costs / political influence obtained etc., etc., by developing biometrics on their loyalty cards etc., etc.,

Well informed man Mr Byrne.

The curious thing is, the average Joe trusts Tesco more than he trusts the Gubment....so natch. Get Tesco to do the dirty work for you.

Pic (c) M& S - Per Una Contrast Lace Trim Underwired Padded Plunge Bra £12.00 Product code: T811313 Luscious lace trim and a sexy half cup design make this soft and delicate underwired bra a flattering and fabulously feminine choice. Phwooorah would'nt mind getting my hands on her biometrics.
Per Una Contrast Lace Trim Brazilian Shorts £6.00 Product code: T811316

Declaration of interest : Lord Patel today banked an immense dividend cheque from his immense shareholding in TESCO plc.

BA throw employee / Director to wolves as fuel surcharge scam is exposed by OFT

On 2 June 2006 The Office of Fair Trading announced that it is conducting both a criminal and civil investigation into alleged price coordination by airlines in relation to fuel surcharges for long haul passenger flights to and from the UK.

The OFT's civil investigation is being conducted under the Competition Act 1998 and Article 81 of the EC Treaty and the criminal investigation under the Enterprise Act 2002. It has become known since that this was an understatement as the the US Department of Justice was particpating in the investigation.

Those knowledgeable about the matter say that Sir Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, tipped off competition chiefs about the possible fixing of fuel surcharge pricing, arising from alleged conversations between Virgin and BA concerning the timing and impact of raising fuel surcharges.

It was also unkown at the time that 2 British Airways people - commercial director Martin George and communications chief Iain Burns - were put on the quaintly titled 'gardening leave' .

Penalties for an an airline involved in price fixing, can be as much as 10% of its worldwide sales. BA's worldwide sales last year amounted to £8.52bn.

British Airlines today announced that both Martin George and Iain Burns are leaving the company and being replaced by Robert Boyle, (previously Planning Director) had been appointed to take over as Commercial Director and that Thomas Coops, former communications director at Abbey National, had been appointed interim head of corporate and media relations.

In a letter to BA chairman Martin Broughton, Mr George said there may have been "inappropriate conversations" in his office over long-haul fuel surcharges but Mr George said he had 'not been involved in such conversations'. He went on, 'Although the board of BA have not found that I have behaved in a dishonest way, I fully recognise my responsibilities as head of department and as a board director.'

Mr George, who has worked for BA for 19 years, said he was leaving 'with deep regret, while believing that departing is, in these circumstances and for these reasons, nevertheless, the right course'.... and the Board hopes, will save them from a whopping fine.

In Fiscal year ending 31 March,2005, BA posted a profit of £415m on sales of £7.8bn (an 80% jump in annual profits) at the same time as (June 24th 2005) they announced an increase in the fuel surcharge on each long-haul return ticket to £48 ($87) from £32. "We now expect our fuel bill for this financial year to be around £1.6bn," said none other than BA commercial director Martin George to the BBC.ooooooOOOOOOPPPPPPPS!!! BA shares dropped 9.5 p (2.2%) today as the FTSE soared. (Aer Lingus Euro 2.96 , 10 cents above Ryanair offer price)

The OFT enquiry continues.

Last February, BA and a number of other airlines, including Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and SAS, were investigated by the European Commission and US competition authorities.

That inquiry was believed to focus on the area of fuel surcharges and other levies for cargo handling.

The above graph traces the steps taken to increase the "fuel surcharge" by both BA and Virgin Airlines against the bulk cost of airline fuel stolen from the Daily Telegraph today.

Last week Air France dropped their surcharge from £39 to £35 - roughly the current level of BA and Virgin.

BBC "claim" that DPRK "claim" nuclear test

The BBC demonstrate remarkable care in announcing the reports from the DPRK State News Agency (KCNA) of an underground nuclear explosion ("test"). ....." North Korea claims nuclear test".

The North Koreans were a bit more upbeat and said the "test" was an, "historic event that brought happiness to our military and people".

"The nuclear test will contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and surrounding region,"

The US Geological Survey (USGS) detected a 4.2 magnitude quake in North Korea that coincided with the claimed test but so far USGS official Bruce Presgrave of the Colorado-based agency was unable to tell whether the event was the result of an atomic explosion or a natural earthquake.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency locates the test site at Gilju in Hamgyong province at 1036 (0136 GMT). South Korea's Foreign Ministry said it had detected a seismic tremor of 3.58 on the Richter scale that it believes was a nuclear explosion.

President Putin criticised the action and his aises expressed the view that the explosion was equivalent to a 5-10 kiloton explosion - a Nagasaki size bang.

Don't expect much truth from the Western Gubment 's their puppet regimes or their news sources. Lord Patel's sources refuse to believe that the DPRK have the materials (Plutonium), the engineering skills and certainly not the very sophisticated remote sensing, and analytical equipment , tools and experience to benefit from an underground test. It is not difficult to find informed comments that agree with Lord Patel..."The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says North Korea's claimed test does not necessarily mean it has a fully-fledged nuclear bomb or warhead that it can deliver to a target."

In the unlikely (and it is VERY unlikely) event that the Dear Leader's mad scientists have set off a giant atomic firework, it is an immensely complicated step to making a device which can be air launched with any accuracy - or success... of course the original concepts of delivery included ship borne devices sailed like fire ships into harbours and detonated - rather like the fire ships that destroyed the remnants of the Spanish Armada.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Hu Jintao at their meeting in Beijing over the weekend publicly agreed that Japan and China could not jontly accept North Koreas undertaking a a nuclear test .

Japan said officially if the test was confirmed it would be a "grave threat", (which coincided with the arrival in South Korea of Shinzo Abe ), China denounced the North Korean action as "brazen".

The White House condemned North Korea's nuclear test as a "provocative act", and issued a statement on October 3rd "A North Korean test of a nuclear weapon would severely undermine our confidence in North Korea's commitment to denuclearization and to the Six Party Talks and would pose a threat to peace and security in Asia and the world."

The South Korean armed forces have been put on a heightened state of alert, and President Roh Moo-hyun has called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council... and they have burnt pictures of the Dear Leader.

US/UK Nuclear testing continues

Few people will be aware that the US and the UK performed a sub-critical underground nuclear test in Nevada on Thursday 23rd February 2006, the second by the UK (the last one in February 2002) - and the 9th by the Bush Administration.

After this test the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Britain's Atomic Weapons Establishment ''successfully'' undertook the experiment in an underground laboratory of horizontal tunnels about 290 metres beneath the surface of Nevada.

The US argues that subcritical tests do not involve a nuclear chain reaction and are necessary to ensure the safety of nuclear stockpiles and are fully consistent with the nuclear test moratorium it has maintained since 1992.

At the time the term "sub-critical" was explained - ' No critical mass is formed and no self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction can occur, thus, there is no nuclear explosion.'' Such tests ''examine the behaviour of plutonium as it is strongly shocked by forces produced by chemical high explosives".

So that's alright then.

Nuclear Testing, re - commenced under Clinton
On 2 July,1997 (Siesmograph trcaes of DPRK explosion supplied by Japanese) (Under the Clinton Administration) the US Department of Energy (DOE) conducted the first of an initial series nuclear experiments at its Nevada test site. At the time the US non-governmental organisation (NGO) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) heavily criticised the Clinton Administration. The group's Director of Security Programs, Robert W. Tiller said on 1st July:

"Since the United States is committed to ending nuclear testing, we do not need to do these subcritical tests. It is outrageous for the US to continue these needless and expensive tests at a time when we should be setting an example of disarmament."

Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki both voiced criticism. Hiroshima's Mayor, Takashi Hiraoka, complained:"The United States says it aims to secure the safety of nuclear weapons, but this represents their strong intention to continue possessing nuclear arms.."

The Mayor of Nagasaki, Itcho Ito, also strongly critcised the test : "Efforts of people concerned have been bearing fruit toward a nuclear test ban, but the experiment will make them meaningless."

For offical discussion and explanation of "subcritical testing" at time of tests in 2004, go here.

Oh by the way, The Foreign Office took a "robust" view ..."provocative"blah, blah, blah.

The bottom line is, that DPRK is in a desperate state economically, the Gubment cannot feed, heat, house, transport it's population and are attempting a pathetic blackmail of the West for economic assistance .... who have sustained a blockade for decades to drive the country into the Stone Age.

The Chinese of course are desperate that they do not become flooded by economic, illiterate refugees.

The horizontal-pendulum seismograph was of course invented by John Milne of Milnrow, Rochdale, and he is known in Japan as the "Father of Seismography".

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Massive cash payouts to hospitalized soldiery promises Prime Minister - "the man behind the veil".

UK troops injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and hospitalised, will, according to the Sunday Telegraph today, receive £5 per day and £10 if overseas, under the iniative our Dear Leader Tony Blair announced yesterday. (Will there be a sliding scale (The Yossarian Index ?) - lost a leg £5 , and eye £4, a finger £3 ?

Cherie Blair, who famously spent £7,700 of the "cash for coronets" funds on her hairdressing needs during the election last May will be only too well aware of what it is like to be married to a man continuously under fire.

Perhaps Carole Caplin with whom our dear Leader is (again) in regular telephonic touch might be able to rustle up some restorative aromatherapy for our brave lads, from the lissome, leggy lass whose soothing unguents and soothing tactile caress have restored many a frayed nerve at No 10. See Rupe's Rag today "Caplin’s second bite of Toblerone Tony" by Isabel Oakeshott, Deputy Political Editor..."Caplin is... said to be offering him fashion advice, diet and fitness tips .... feedback on his television appearances."

Perhaps between hot tips on make-up and slimming teas she could whisper in his ear about the Nato's report on Operation Medusa, (Telegraph) that seethes with NATO commanders wrath about the extent of the Taliban's military capability and states clearly that Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) (Taliban 'R' US) is involved in supplying it.

"Commanders from Britain, the US, Denmark, Canada and Holland are frustrated that even after Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf met George W Bush and Tony Blair last week, Western leaders are declining to call Mr Musharraf's bluff.

"It is time for an 'either you are with us or against us' delivered bluntly to Musharraf at the highest political level," said one Nato commander."
Or perhaps he should consult his man on the spot, Sid Boil (AKA Kim Rentagob Howells) for advice.... or maybe make a speech ..."stiffeneing up the sinews...shoring up the breach with the English dead ?" Mmmmm perhaps not.

Iceland - Russians pay a visit - unannounced

Whilst Ryanair has denied media reports claiming it had added Iceland to its destination list for next summer, the Russians have added it to their itinerary since the US military decided to leave.

Hjördís Gudmundsdóttir, press officer of the Icelandic Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCAA),claims that two Russian bombers flew through Icelandic airspace last Friday 30th September (the day the last US forces left) and the traffic control, tower was unaware. Although the Minister for Foreign Affairs says this is not true.

Gudmundsdóttir says that the DCAA only registers aircraft that have their radars (transponders?) on, and this is not always the case with military aircraft.

In 1980, 120 Soviet aircraft were intercepted from Keflavik. In the past 14 years, that number has dropped to four.

At the DCAA's recent annual aviation symposium, delegates representing the airport, airlines, government departments and assorted other interests, spent a day in debate over what should happen next.

Redevelopment is essential, Keflavík airport CEO Björn Ingi Knútsson told the audience:

“A lot of the development that remains at the airport is old. The radar, the fire engines and the crash and rescue units are becoming so aged that they are regarded by ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] as the minimum [acceptable].”

There is no shortage of plans, but there probably is a shortage of funds , current ideas include the former military area of the site being used by one of the freight integrators as hub, or by the Icelandic military for troops, and for some of the hangars to be rebuilt as movie studios.

Chief executive of Keflavík-based Icelandair, Jón Karl Ólafsson, who says the airport will handle 1 million passengers next year said,
“It is a very poor terminal building. It is a shame, it is a disgrace to us all, and we need a new terminal. We have to finish the new terminal and this must be done through a private undertaking as soon as possible.”

FL Group (ICEX: FL) who made a tidy profit (a profit to LP Group of 140 Mn Euros on sale value of 325 Mn Euros a return of 70%.) buying and selling a big chunk of Easy Jet (Lord Patel 5/4/06) also own Icelandair and 10% of Finnair. They have orders for 2 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for delivery 2010 and a further 2 in 2012.

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%)

Of course it would be absurd to suggest that Ryanair would buy up Icelandair. Wouldn't it ?

Musharaff gets the rockets again - does he get the message ?

A Dawn Online report by Munawer Azeem and Mohammad Asghar gives details of 2 more rockets found near Government offices in Islamabad. This time 2 live 107mm rockets of Russian manufacture were found at around 8:30am by grass cutters of the Capital Development Authority, who informed police.They were found at Zero Point on the Kashmir highway Zero point connecting Islamabad with Rawalpindi, the garrison city. - a route to be used by Prime Minister Shaukat Azize on Saturday.The sprawling Shekerparian hills are a popular picnic area.

The BBC report
that President Pervez Musharraf was in a conference centre about two kilometres away when the discovery was made.

Some reports claimed that the authorities created confusion when some officials said the police had planted dud rockets to test security after the scare two days earlier.

This is the third incident of recovery of rockets near strict security zones within four days. In all the incidents, 107mm rockets attached with mobile phones were found.A major security alert was launched in Islamabad. However, the authorities are still in the dark and refuse to comment on the phenomenon.

The previous 2 incidents were ..

1. On Wednesday October 4th an explosion in Ayub Park near President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s camp office

2. On Thursday October 5th two rockets, believed to be pointing toward the president's and prime minister's houses, were found near the parliament, they were said to be fitted with some sort of mobile phone remote access firing mechanism.

Syed Saleem Shahzad in Asia Times,
says The Taliban, emboldened by the success of this year's spring offensive, have drawn up a blueprint for an Islamic intifada in Afghanistan next year in the form of a national uprising and the internationalization of their resistance.

It is claimed that the Waziristan peace initiative has not been observed by Musharaff and that the release of al Quaeda prsioners (read this Telegraph story September 15th 2006) was the cause of trouble as a few, whose arrest was also known to US intelligence, were not freed. Musharraf said they would be freed once he returned from Washington, but this did not happen. Negotiations were still under way when an incident happened that angered the Pakistani Taliban.
see the Counterterrorism blog for more

Shazad explains the problem ..

1. Shah Abdul Aziz is a member of the National Assembly from Karak in North-West Frontier Province. Though his direct party affiliation is with the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam led by Maulana Samiul Haq (the father of the Taliban). As a veteran mujahideen from the days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He vocally supports the Taliban, Arab militants and Osama bin Laden, and his fiery speeches on these topics are compiled into compact discs that are popular among the Pakistani Taliban.

2. He has a younger brother Shah Mehboob Ahmed popular among local as well as Afghan Taliban for helping the mujahideen.

3. Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, at Lal Mosque Islamabad is a major Taliban supporting cleric whom a UK based visitor only known as Abdullah was arrested by the ISI after meeting him. Mehboob was also picked up by them.

4. Despite intervention with the ISI by Shah Abdul Aziz (an MP) about his brothers arrest, neither he nor Abdullah were released because the ISI claimed they were held for activities involving India not the Taliban or al Quaeda.

5. Musharraf said in an interview whilst on his book signing tour in the US that some retired ISI officials could be assisting Taliban insurgents, adding: "We are keeping a very tight watch and we will get hold of them if that at all happened. I have some reports that some dissidents, some retired people who were in the forefront in the ISI during the period of 1979 to 1989, may be assisting the links somewhere here and there."

6. This was seen by many as a reference to Hamid Gul, (see picture) one of the most popular Islamist generals and Musharraf's immediate boss and close associate before September 11, 2001, might be arrested.

7. Gul termed Musharraf's statement a reflection of his "impulsive nature" and said he was in danger of opening up a "Pandora's box" in a conversation with Asia Times.

It is claimed that these incidents serve merely to put Musharaff on notice by the Taliban .... and also no doubt as a marker to the US.

The extremely "well informed"(ie CIA mouthpiece) Bill Roggio at Fourth Rail
identified these as being released by Musharaff and got his Rolodex out ...

Ghulam Mustafa:
"He was once close to Osama bin Laden, has intimate knowledge of al-Qaeda's logistics and financing and its nexus with the military in Pakistan."

Maulana Sufi Mohammad:
"Maulana Sufi Mohammad was Faqir Mohammed's first jihadi mentor who introduced him to militancy in Afghanistan in 1993. Sufi Mohammad was one of the active leaders of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) in the 1980s. He was the principal of the JI madrassa in Tamaergra, a town in the northwestern part of NWFP. He was an instinctive hardliner and in due course developed differences with JI and left them in 1992 to form Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM]." Sufi Mohammad organized Pakistanis to fight jihad in Afghanistan and along with the TNSM fought in Kunduz November of 2001.

Mohammad Khaled:
A brigade leader who led the Taliban in against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. ""It is a difficult time for Islam and Muslims. We are in a test. Everybody should be ready to pass the test - and to sacrifice our lives," said Mohammad Khaled.

A senior aide to Osama bin Laden, and "an ethnic Pakhtoon resident of Swabi district of the North West Frontier Province."

Khairullah Kherkhawa:
The former Taliban governor of Herat.

Khalid Khawaja:
"Khalid Khawaja is a retired squadron leader of the Pakistan Air Force who was an official in Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, in the mid 1980s. After he wrote a critical letter to General Zia ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan from 1977 till 1988, in which he labeled Zia as hypocrite, he was removed from the ISI and forced to retire from the airforce. He then went straight to Afghanistan in 1987 and fought against the Soviets along side with Osama Bin Laden, developing a relationship of firm friendship and trust. Khalid Khawaja’s name resurfaced when US reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted and subsequently killed. Pearl had come to Pakistan and met Khalid Khawaja in order to investigate the jihadi network of revered sufi, Syed Mubarak Ali Gailani."

Mansour Hasnain:
A member of the group that kidnapped and murdered Danny Pearl. He also was "a militant of the Harkat-al-Mujahedin group, is one of those who hijacked an Indian Airlines jet in December 1999 and forced New Delhi to release three militants -- including Omar and Azhar."

Mohammad Hashim Qadeer:
"Suspected of being one of [Daniel] Pearl’s actual killers, was arrested in August 2005 and has notable al-Qaida links" and "ties with the banned extremist groups Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Muhammad."

Mohammad Bashir:
Another Pakistani complicit in the murder of Daniel Pearl.

Aamni Ahmad, Hala Ahmad and Nooran Abdu:
Facilitators/couriers, and wives of al-Qaeda members. "Pakistani authorities arrested 23 Arabs, including two children, suspected of links to Osama bin Laden, officials said Wednesday. All of them sneaked into the country from Afghanistan in recent weeks. The suspects include three women, identified as Aamni Ahmad, Hala Ahmad and Nooran Abdu, who are believed to be relatives of bin Laden. An interior ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the arrests were made in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan."

Gul Ahmed Shami & Hamid Noor:
Al-Qaeda foot soldiers who fought in Afghanistan. "I want to be the next Osama bin Laden," said Shami in 2001. "Allah is with us. The Americans have technology but they don't have the courage to face death, which we do. I will be there until my death if need be. I know I probably won't come back," said Hamid.

General Abizaid is on record that Musharaff was heavily bribed ... (he is being upbraided by Musharaff this week for not understanding things on the ground) ... does Musharaff see that he backed the wrong Pony ?

Watch this space.


Read "Musharraf and Pakistan Slipping Toward Disaster" by Rick Moran in The American Thinker 7th October, for the authentic voice of the CIA on these events.

"NATO commanders are asking that Bush and Blair confront Musharraf over this blatant support for the Taliban by the ISI but to no avail."

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