"“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, August 30, 2008

Taliban very nearly kill PM - inches from certain death - one bound our hero is free .. : Amazing Pictures

Crikey! We are very lucky. The Taliban very nearly killed Gordon Brown 64, (Prime Minister currently) when he made a surprise visit to Kabul before spending time enjoying himself at the Olympics with Boris.

Two gunmen (see pic) were seen when he was going to be ferried in one of the few helicopters we have left, from the roof of the Embassy - regrettably when ,"Afghan police rushed to the rooftop scene the two gunmen are understood to have realised they had been spotted—and escaped"

Phew!

"The PM spent another 45 minutes sheltering inside the embassy ." Then .... "....a massive security operation swung into action for the 10-minute flight to the city’s international airport."

Phew ! Crikey! PM Minutes away (literally) from death.

Now this 2 week old story can be told - HOLD THE FRONT PAGE ! More thrilling details at NWOT Plus Gap year girls porn shame

The Putin Doctrine: Nuclear Threats and Russia's Place in the World - : Part 23

Stratfor published an analysis on January 17th, 2000 -The Putin Doctrine: Nuclear Threats and Russia's Place in the World, which in the light of the Topol firecracker this week is worth re-reading.


No matter how unlikely a Russian first strike is, there is a huge difference between a negligible threat and a non-existent one, particularly at the orders of magnitude involved. During the Cold War, the threat of a Soviet nuclear response was in the back of every policy maker's mind when dealing with issues from Nicaragua to Angola to India. That threat disappeared with Glasnost. Putin intends to resurrect it.

The establishment of a deep militarily backed buffer zone along the Russian / Georgian border can also be seen in a different perspective ..


With some reason, Russians are convinced that outside forces - backed by the United States - are supplying Chechen rebels through neighboring Georgia. The situation in Chechnya reminds many Russian military men of Afghanistan, where a great power created logistical support systems and sanctuaries in a neighboring country, bleeding Moscow's forces. Putin is now reminding the United States that the survival of the Russian Federation - intact - is a fundamental national interest. Therefore, any aid to the Chechens threatens an interest so profound that the use of nuclear weapons might be rational.

Putin was then as now speaking to a domestic audience ...


Putin remembers Afghanistan well. He is not going to be drawn into another Afghanistan, nor is he going to withdraw from Chechnya. In the extreme case, anything is possible. And that is precisely the ambiguous situation Putin wants to create. He wants Russia's antagonists to peer into the abyss and see the worst. He is calculating, quite rightly we think, that this will dramatically increase the caution and respect with which Russia is treated. That will yield an international payoff for Russia - and a massive domestic payoff for Putin.
The moves Putin has made seem to be paying off very well for Putin.

We have a Chancellor of the Exchequer appearing in public to explain like the Treasurer explaining to the Sidesmen that, although the books don't appear to balance, and the Vicar has an excellent record, a little more rattling of the collection plates and a few firm stares might well be in order.

We have the Boy David appearing in Ukraine attempting to appear stern, learned and statesmanlike, but is clearly out of his depth as were the Ukraine's last month in the worst floods for 100 years - floods unreported in the UK and for which we offered zero aid or support .....

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov is a famed Chess player ...

Sarah Palin - Good Choice say Wall Street Journal readers

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin as "Mrs Doubtfire in the White House", is brilliant pick for VP - 4 more years of Bushism is a slam dunk


Sarah Palin GILF is a brilliant pick for VP.

Young - Younger than Obama -youngest person elected governor of Alaska and the first woman to hold the job
Pro Life - a decision "above Obama's pay grade" and she has 5 children , the youngest has Down's syndrome
Married to a Native American - an Inuit
Pro Military - her son is waiting to go and be killed in Iraq
Lifetime member of the NRA
Sporting - Basketball, hunting , fishing
Qualified Pilot

Blunt but sharp, outspoken and charming and very good looking - runner-up for the Miss Alaska title, won Miss Congeniality in that contest and plays the flute.

Palin made her name in part by backing tough ethical standards for politicians. During the first legislative session after her election as governor, her administration passed a state ethics law. Now Ted Stevens, his son and his cronies face prison if they don't 'fess up. Vic Kohring now ex Senator is now in prison for taking VECO bribes.

Nevertheless, she is under investigation because state trooper Mike Wooten, was locked in a child-custody battle with her sister. She (or someone from her office )asked Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegano sack him. He didn't so she sacked Walter.

She has denied wrongdoing and Repugs will see that this is a mother protecting her brood. Nobody sides with cheating husband.This report covers the whole sordid saga of TROOPERGATE But see Why Walt Monegan got fired: Palin's abuse of power


This covers the SHADOW shadow Governor's role and Andrew Halcro on him ad nauseam
intereisting Inuit is Todd.


It's a disaster for the West that Mr Fix a Dent will be Commander in Chief but that's Democracy.
Palin subscribes to the need for Congress to allow the development of Alaska’s wealth of oil and gas - as she sees it , billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas are under their feeet. She doubts global warming stems from human activity, and she considers herself both a fiscal and social conservative.

Nobody saw this coming ? see here Aug 4th even 8th May the 22nd Aug and just Google around with AIPAC and Palin - but see House Leader Steny Hoyer (His sister was Chairman 3 years ago of AIPAC) video who says Palin is worse than Dan Quayle.

Mr Rove's handiwork.

My God, Shrillary and Nancy will be spitting feathers - marble ceilings indeed!!

FOOTNOTE : There is criticism of her lack of knowledge / experience on Foreign Policy - most voters in the US think that abroad is a lady with too much make up, and overseas is a town in Alabama.

They'll soon get her glasses fixed - although maybe not.

FOOTNOTES : Saturday am BST


Interesting connections between Sarah Palin and Rabbi Greenburg (also pally with Ted Stevens BTW) whose Chabad community he set up in 1991 . The free and liberal minded Cabalistic Rabbi was successful in having a recital cancelled at U of Anchorage by Philip Munger, "The Skies Are Weeping," about Rachael Corey's murder , the lyrics provoked some anger. See them and hear some of the cantata here
4. Song: God the Synecdoche in His Holy Land in memoriam Rachel Corrie

Around you the father gods war. This

Father. That father. The other father.

What more dangerous place could

A woman stand, upright, than on that sand, as if

She were still antiphon to that voice, the other

Mind of that power. The very idea!

Crush her back in to her mother!

Crush her. Crush her. Consensus. War.

-- Linda McCarriston


Also references to the D9 Caterpillar 'dozer that killed her...

Philip Munger writes at Firedoglake having set up a Ted Fest poetry Festival in commemeration of the Feds bustin' Ted Stevens at his Girdwood Lodge - the only time ever a Senator has been busted at home.

Winners include ;

Ted Stevens glows at midnight.
Son already sunk.
Glaciers calving justice

--- Prairie Sunshine

There are odd things done in the midnight sun
By the men whom Oil has sold
Their fishy tales meet with hearty gales
from wise heads when they are told
The FBI’s knights have recited some rights
but the queerest they ever had read
was that night by the mouse of a Girdwood house
that belonged to Senator Ted.

--- Darkblack

FOOTNOTE : BTW when Lord Patel researched his post Sunday, August 24, 2008 Alaska Airlines complete replacement of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet to save US$115 Mn. + a year on fuel - and some fishy goings on in Alaska he archived the Wiki page of Sara Palin (August 21st) which you can see here ... compare and contrast with today's... some one has been sprucing it up.

We also got an e-mail from Larry Greenfield, the California director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, "Governor Palin has a very close relationship with the Jewish community of Alaska, with Chabad (Rabbi Greenberg) and with AIPAC. She is close to the Frozen Chosen!"

This is what he said on the RJC website - ""By choosing Governor Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate, John McCain once again demonstrates good judgment and a commitment to challenging politics-as-usual. As governor of Alaska, Palin has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Alaska's Jewish community. She has demonstrated sensitivity to the concerns of the community and has been accessible and responsive. "


Some Alaskan Blogs to Read ;

  • Alaska Anonymous
  • Alaska Cafe
  • Alaska Chinook
  • Alaska Employment Law
  • Alaska Peace Coalition
  • Alaska Real
  • Alaskablawg
  • An Alaskan Abroad
  • Bent Alaska
  • and best of all Progressive Alaska also checkout our old friend Stacey Fritz at No Nukes North and here's a message from her ..


    Finally unbelievably this guy has been boosting Sarah Palin as Veep for over a year at "Draft Sarah Palin"

    The Future of Privacy


    The September 2008 issue of Scientific American is all about the Future of Privacy.

    Content includes:

    Industry Roundtable: Experts Discuss Improving Online Security
    Internet Eavesdropping: A Brave New World of Wiretapping
    How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People
    Digital Surveillance: Tools of the Spy Trade
    Data Fusion: The Ups and Downs of All-Encompassing Digital Profiles
    Cryptography: How to Keep Your Secrets Safe
    Beyond Fingerprinting: Is Biometrics the Best Bet for Fighting Identity Theft?
    Tougher Laws Needed to Protect Your Genetic Privacy
    Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy?
    How Loss of Privacy May Mean Loss of Security
    Privacy in an Age of Terabytes and Terror

    Areva, 2 year delay and massive cost increases on Olkiluoto 3 - Half Year profits rise


    Greenpeace have been sniping at French nuclear group Areva (see postFriday, August 15, 2008
    Greenpeace and the Magic Documents - How they are mongering scares and totally missing the point about nuclear power - it's too expensive chuck ) and their problems in building the world's first, next-generation pressurised water reactor , the Finnish Olkiluoto 3.

    The cost of construction at Olkiluoto has risen from 3 to 4.5 billion euros (US$ 6.7 Bn.), and Areva admits the need to boost staff levels "ensure work proceeds better."

    Finnish nuclear safety agency STUK launched a probe earlier this month into whether safety procedures were respected at the site after Greenpeace disclosed confidential documents indicating there were no qualified personnel supervising the welding and that the quality of the welding had not been verified.

    Areva has been forced to set aside one billion euro in provisions to absorb the rise in costs, the French business newspaper Echo eports as Areva nnounce record profits of nearly 750 million euros today.

    Construction delays have already forced Areva to push back the target date for the reactor to enter service to 2011 from 2009.


    Should therefore EDF get into bed with British Energy (improbably incredibly John Hutton Minister of some crazy name thinks a deal is still possible), this news must impact upon the whole flawed energy planning of the UK and the forecast costs of plants and the electricity produced.

    Areva produced half year results today

    These show that Profits were up 14.8% and operating margin up from 3.9% to 8.7% with EPS up from 8.31 Euros to 21.45 Euros.

    The Order backlog has risen 13.6% to 38.5Bn Euros

    IFA 2000 - strategic link at the heart of the European electricity market.

    It is of interest of course that part of that backlog includes the announcement in July that AREVA's Transmission and Distribution Division has been awarded a contract with the UK National Grid and RTE, to enhance the reliability and reinforce availability of IFA 2000, the world's largest subsea High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) scheme opened in 1986 which can supply electricity for 3 Mn. people.

    This subsea system interconnects the French and British national power systems from Mandarins near Calais, to Sellindge in Kent and enables France to sell us electricity from the French nuclear powered grid.

    AREVA will replace the existing high-voltage converter equipment and the control and cooling system, implementing its H-400 HVDC Thyristor valves and Series V control system. Learn more hereabout this critical system and Europe's closely linked electricity network.

    Chalabi ally arrested by US military at Baghdad Airport returning from Lebanon - responsible for Sadr City bomb that killed 12 including 4 US staff


    Ali Faisal al-Lami, a senior Shiite Iraqi government official who works for the de-Baathification council headed by the oleaginous but well connected (in Arlington VA) Ahmad Chalabi stepped off a plane from a family holiday in Lebanon at Baghdad International airport yesterday.

    Ali Faisal al Lami, is a Shiite Muslim official and a member of the Sadrist Party and currently serves as an executive of the Justice and Accountability Committee, which Chalabi heads. The Justice and Accountability Committee screens former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who are applying for jobs in the government.

    Ali Faisal al Lami's first day back home started badly as he was arrested by US forces as he stepped off the plane..

    Apparently they think he was responsible for the excellently targeted June 24th bombing of a district council meeting in Sadr City, which killed six Iraqis, two Americans employed by the State Department and two American soldiers.

    The bombing was evidently based on very accurate and detailed inside information about the meeting @ 9.30 am local time, inside a district council building involving the 4 dead US personnel six Iraqis, and an Italian citizen employed by the Department of Defense According who had gathered to discuss (and no doubt rig) the election of senior local council members.

    US Ambassaador Ryan Crocker, identified one of the victims as State Department employee Steven Farley from Oklahoma who was working with a provincial reconstruction team. (Steve's Guest Book Memorial here) Brian Conklin in Camp Tarji wrote ..."The last time I saw Steve was on Friday night. He came out to a little coffee house called the Mud House to hear a friend and I play some live jazz. He had that enthusiastic smile and energy about him. I only had a few months left and was feeling tired and burned out. I asked Steve about his decision to come back and the challenges of working in Sadr City. "

    These deaths follow an incident on in a village in SE of Baghdad in which a security guard for an Iraqi politician grabbed his Kalashnikov automatic rifle and opened fire on at least a half-dozen American soldiers, killing two of them.

    Mr. Chalabi was once the pal of Dick Cheney who fell in love with Mr Chalabi's Iraq National Council and showered them with the tax payers money ( the Defense Intelligence Agency said it was paying Chalabi’s organization $350,000 a month to provide information. ) , said in a statement after the arrest , “We condemn firmly this action against one of the high officials of the council.” ..."Chalabi condemned the arrest. “This incident shows the need for an end to the random arrest of Iraqis by the American forces, which are against the human rights outlined in the constitution. It proves for a fact that each Iraqi might be arrested or put in prison without knowing the reasons,”

    In his book, "At the Centre of the Storm" (Amazon )former CIA Director George Tenet wrote ...

    You had the impression that some Office of the Vice President and DOD reps were writing Chalabi’s name over and over again in their notes, like schoolgirls
    with their first crush.

    The multi faceted, multi friended Chalabi is now said to be a close ally of Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, who was involved in arranging the recent cease-fire between Iraqi forces and Sadr’s militia in Basra.

    Representatives of the two Iranian-backed parties that anchor Iraq’s ruling Shiite bloc — the Dawa Party of Prime Minister al Maliki and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq — went to Iran for talks with high-level Iranian officials. They met Suleimani in Tehran, according to two insiders’ accounts, and then with Sadr himself in the holy city of Qom.

    “A delegation went to speak to the officials in Iran in the name of the alliance, to ask them to encourage these groups to stay within the boundaries of the law,” said Ammar al Hakim, the son and senior aide of the leader of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. “They met with a number of officials, and Mr. Suleimani was one of them.”

    At the same time Iraqi President Talabani, a pro-American Kurd on the weekend of March 28-29, a higher-level meeting took place at the Iran-Iraq border crossing at Mariwan. Talibani delivered to Suleimani what one Iraqi politician, speaking on condition of anonymity, called a plea: “Stop the fighting.”

    The U.S. Treasury Department has placed Suleimani on a terrorism watch list of individuals with whom Americans are barred from doing business. In October 2007, Treasury named the Quds Force as a supporter of the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and “other terrorist organizations.” U.N. Resolution 1747 of March 2007 ** put Suleimani on a watch list of Iranian officials associated with the country’s nuclear program.

    "Ahmed Chalabi is a treacherous, spineless turncoat," says L. Marc Zell, (this in 2004 Ho.Ho.Ho.) a former law partner of Douglas Feith, who was for some time undersecretary of defense for policy, and a former friend and supporter of Chalabi and his aspirations to lead Iraq. "He had one set of friends before he was in power, and now he's got another."

    Footnote

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps key persons named in UN resolution March 2007

    1. Brigadier General Morteza Rezaie (Deputy Commander of IRGC)
    2. Vice Admiral Ali Akbar Ahmadian (Chief of IRGC Joint Staff.)
    3. Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi (Commander of IRGC Ground Forces)
    4. Rear Admiral Morteza Safari (Commander of IRGC Navy)
    5. Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi (Commander of Bassij resistance force)
    6. Brigadier General Qasem Soleimani (Commander of Qods force)
    7. General Zolqadr (IRGC officer, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs)

    plus

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps entities
    1. Qods Aeronautics Industries (Produces unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), parachutes, paragliders, paramotors, etc. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has boasted of using these products as part of its asymmetric warfare doctrine)
    2. Pars Aviation Services Company (Maintains various aircraft including MI-171, used by IRGC Air Force)
    3. Sho’a’ Aviation (Produces micro-

    Qods force - not a pantomime act

    Chinese (CNPC) sign services contract for Al Ahdan oilfield, Ahdab, Wasit province, Iraq for 20 years.



    It wasn't only the invasion of Georgia that happened while the Olympics diverted attention - the US oilco's have been sidelined again on sigining contracts for Iraqi oilfields - this time by the Chinese.

    A Chinese company has a contract to supply a new electricity power station in al-Zubaidiya in Wasit province, Iraq. This week it has been reported (WSJ and NYT) that China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC)has been awarded , and the US$3 Bn. contract signed off, for the nearby Al Ahdan oil field, which is expected to start first crude oil production in 2009, (which will feed the power station) according to Assem Jihad , an Iraqi oil ministry spokesman who spoke to Dow Jones Newswires by telephone from Baghdad yesterday.

    Jihad said the oil field would produce up to 25,000 barrels a day once the first stage has been completed after a year and , "The field would reach a production capacity of 125,000 barrels a day in later stages"

    The Al Ahdan field is located at Ahdab in the Shiite dominated Wasit province, about 160 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. (See pic - River Tigris snakes E-W)

    The 20-year oil service contract contract was signed in Beijing yesterday during a visit to China by Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani. The Al Ahdab field in Wasit province, has a proven oil reserve of 1 billion barrels.

    The signing makes China National Petroleum Corp. the first foreign oil firm to enter an agreement with the central Iraqi government to invest in the domestic oil industry since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. This contract replaces a a production-sharing agreement made with Saddam Hussein's regime to develop the Al Ahdab field, giving it a 23-year stake in profits. It is the first Saddam-era oil deal to be honored by the new Iraqi government.

    Before 2003, Iraq had oil agreements with China, Russia (which LUkoil are trying to re-negotiate) , Indonesia, India and Vietnam, three of them production sharing.

    The new service contract specifies that China will receive fees for work carried out on the field but Iraq will keep the profits, the oil ministry said in a statement last week.



    South Korea signs MOU with Iraq on Oil Field Development

    There is no more news since of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Oil ministers from Iraq and Korea on April 12th 2007 that could help South Korean companies secure a bigger stake in oil and gas fields in Iraq. Iraq currently supplies 15.4 million barrels of crude per year to South Korea, which is less than 2% of South Korea’s total crude imports.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal Al-Maliki was at the time in Seoul on a 3 day visit. The South Korean government said earlier that the two governments will seek ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of natural resources, energy and construction in Iraq during Al-Maliki's visit. South Korea is the world's 10th largest energy consumer and imports 96% of their energy needs.

    The MOU was signed by Kim Young-ju, South Korea's minister of commerce, industry and energy, and Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraqi oil minister.Under the MOU, the two countries will establish a committee for cooperation of resource development and hold high-level working group meeting in Baghdad or other countries to "discuss bilateral cooperation in energy sector". The two sides also agreed to increase investment in oil development in Iraq.

    The South Korean government expressed their strong willing of developing the Halfaya oil field in southern Iraq during the ministerial meeting. The Halfaya oil field is estimated to contain up to 3.8 billion barrels of oil.

    South Korea imported 15 million barrels of crude oil from Iraq last year, making up for 2 percent of South Korea's annual needs.

    At the time about 2,300 South Korean troops are stationed in northern Iraqi city of Irbil.


    However only last month a South Korean consortium has agreed to participate in oil projects with Iraq's Kurdish regional government to secure an estimated 1.9 billion barrels of oil, according to group leader Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC).

    The consortium signed a memorandum of understanding on June 25th 2008 , with the regional government to participate in eight oil reserve projects estimated to have reserves of 7.2 Bn. barrels of oil.

    The group, which includes builders such as Hyundai Engineering & Construction Kolon Construction and Doosan Construction , also agreed to participate in the construction of infrastructure worth $2.1 billion.

    Disputes over the federal oil law between the largely autonomous northern region of Kurdistan and Baghdad have stalled international investment in Iraq.

    Baghdad controls Iraq's export pipelines, and until the Kurdish region reaches an agreement with the federal government it will remain (in theory) unable to produce more oil although there are some small "widlcat drillers" at work.Norwegian wildcatter Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, or DNO (They are also the second-largest operating company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with 24 operatorships and interests in a total of 46 licenses.) has in fact hired Great Wall Drilling Co., a unit of Beijing-based China National Petroleum Corp., to drill for oil.

    In March 2008, DNO signed revised agreements with the Kurdish Regional Government
    (KRG), amending the production sharing contract (PSC) for the Dohuk and Erbil license areas.
    The Dohuk area was divided into two license areas, one for the Tawke oil field and one for the
    remaining Dohuk area. The purpose of the amendments has been to bring the PSCs into
    conformity with the Oil and Gas Law of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the standard
    commercial terms published by the KRG last year, including royalty, cost recovery and profit
    sharing components. DNO s working interest share in the Tawke PSC is 55 %. Tawke PSC is considered to have 231 Mn barrels of oil.

    Other drillers are : Canada's Western Oil Sands Inc. and Heritage Oil Corp.; Switzerland-based Addax Petroleum Corp.; Genel Enerji, a unit of Turkey's Cukurova Holding AS; and the U.K.'s Sterling Energy Plc are all exploring the region(See Bloomberg lengthy article on the wildcat scene July 1st 2007)

    See posts - Saturday, March 01, 2008 Stop the War , Iraqi Oil Union Leader Hasan Juma and Ibrahim Mousawi - resistance personified and Sunday, July 09, 2006 Perfidious Albion cosies up to Kurdistan

    Iraqi WEtlands re-flooded and re-populated - Sacred Ibis back and spreading globally : Amazing pictures

    The Mesopotamian marshes where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet - reputed to be the location of the biblical Garden of Eden, have both a regional and global significance for biodiversity as well as human culture and survival. By 1999, 90% of the wetlands in Iraq had been converted into parched desert land due to the construction of dams and hundreds of drainage channels by the Iraqi government and the population plummeted from 500,000 to less than 50,000.

    Canada's University of Waterloo's Wetlands Research Centre since 2004 have particpated in a project of marshland restoration which kicked off with funding of Can$3 Mn. from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), with the support of Aileen Carroll, Minister for International Cooperation.

    At 20,000 Sq. Km. they are twice the size of the Florida Everglades. Originally water had returned to some 40% of the previous wetland areas by 2005. De-population was due both to forced resettlement program and campaigns of included indiscriminate attacks by artillery, helicopter gunships and fixed-wing aircraft on villages. The victims, among them women and children, were rounded up in the marshes of al-Chibayish (west of al-Qurna) together with captured fighters of the opposition SCIRI. There were reports that they were taken to an army camp in N Iraq, where they were executed over a period of about two weeks.

    The first signs of revival of the ecology has been were the return of previously reported bird species of the region. These include the rare and indigenous Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus, Pygmy Cormorant, Goliath Heron, and African Darter Anhinga rufa, the Dalmatian Pelican and Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris.

    While many dams and canals ordered to be built by Saddam in 1993 have been destroyed, large dams upstream both inside Iraq and in Turkey are preventing the spring water surges from the melting snows of the mountains in Kurdistan from arriving with the force needed to flush out the brackish water that accumulates in the summer months.

    By this spring there is now said to be around 60 % of the previous wetland areas reflooded, thanks also in part to projects overseen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    Richard Porter, Middle East adviser to Birdlife International, says that in recent years at least 160 bird species have now been recorded of which some 65 species are of "conservation concern."

    "They are not doing terribly well either in Europe or Asia or the Middle East - Seven of the species they have discovered are globally threatened -- three of these are endemic birds, the Iraq babbler Turdoides altirostris and the Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus , and the Basra reed warbler Acrocephalus griseldis which is now (remarkably) breeding in Israel.

    "No species of bird has been discovered to have become extinct in the marshes. Everything that has been found is very positive for conservation," says Porter, illustrating the immense capacity for survival without man intervening.

    Porter is co-author of "Field Guide to the Birds of Iraq." (Arabic edition only) which has just been published in Amman. Jordan on Lord Patel's birthday. Funding had been provided from funding from the Canadian Government via the Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative, the World Bank and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME) and AviFauna.

    The book is based on illustrations and text taken from ‘Birds of the Middle East’ (in the Helm Field Guide series), recently translated into Arabic. Nature Iraq was responsible for adapting the text for Iraq, especially that on status, distribution and habitats. The publication was designed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in Jordan.

    Copies of ‘Field Guide to the Birds of Iraq’ (price £15.00 including postage) can be obtained in the UK from OSME Sales: e-mail: sales@osme.org

    A 5th survey of the marshlands birdlife has been underway all summer.

    The Sacred and rapidly expanding Sacred Ibis

    For reasons which are unclear the Sacred Ibis (but rapidly declared to be evidence of climate change) has been spreading in Southern Europe and has been recorded since 1989 in the Canary Islands.

    It has also been breeding in the Po Valley since 1989 and is now widespread in S. France with colonies established colonies have been established at various sites along the French Atlantic seaboard up to 350km south of Branféré, from Morbihan
    to Gironde. They can also be seen as far north as Britanny and Normandy scavenging on rubbish tips.

    They have also become established as escapes from zoos in Dubai and Florida.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Guradian exposes secret document about secret unit doing secret work to secretly infiltrate web forums and taint Al Quaida "brand"

    Stef points to a very odd story in Tuesday's Guradian Revealed: Britain's secret propaganda war against al-Qaida - BBC and website forums targeted by Home Office unit .

    If this story about a ," Whitehall counter-terrorism unit .. targeting the BBC and other media organisations ..."taint the al-Qaida brand", it is an outrageous scandal and waste of money.

    In time honoured fashion ," secret Home Office paper" has been seen , preusmably in secret by the Guradian.

    This crack elite counter-terrorism experts group is/will/are already "channel(ling) messages through volunteers in internet forums" as part of their campaign.

    John Reid before he really set about the whisky bottle set up a Research, Information and Communication unit, [RICU] to counter al-Qaida propaganda at home and overseas. It is staffed by officials from several(?) government departments.

    This secret report read in secret by the Guradian crack expert team of journalistic anti terrorism RICU observers got to see the title of this secret document ... "Challenging violent extremist ideology through communications" - the use of "Challenging" dates the document as post June 12th 2007, says our crack team of expert, elite mathematical crytpographic gifted team of archair generalists ..

    Oh Christ the will to live has gone ... read the fucking article. or even listen to the author Guradian Home Affairs Editor whisper about it on their exclusive audio newsclip.

    But then of course if you go here you can find out about a secret Foreign Office unit staffed by civil servants led by Norman Reddaway , closely linked to MI6 , approved by PM Ted Heath to conspire against those concerned public (especially the ‘Keep Britain Out’ campaign) opposed to Britain joining the EEC in the early 1970s. Also read ‘Britain’s Secret Propaganda War’ (a title curiously stolen by the Guradian piece) by Paul Lashmar and James Oliver published in 1998 - Amazon

    This secret unit was said to be given the name : Information Research Department, or IRD for short. Allegedly Heath's secret tool for getting an unwilling public and Parliament to accept entry and General de Gaulle to say "Non!"

    When William (later Lord) Armstrong, who was head of the Civil Service, found out about the unit and it’s ‘dubious activities’, which he considered ‘scandalous’, he went to Heath and demanded funds were withdrawn. Dr David Owen had it closed down after Labour got in after the 1974 general Election.

    Sleepless night for this guy then ....

    UK Motorway service network 50 years old.

    The post war motorways had their origins in an investigation by the Councils of the four Counties in the Regions into a route for a North-South motorway in the mid-1930s . Halted by the war , in 1946, the Minister of Transport announced a 10-year programme of construction, which included the Preston by-pass. In 1949, of the Lancashire County Council's Road Plan proposed two categories of motorway, the first for through traffic, and the second, for inter-urban links.

    Trunk road construction had been curtailed and virtually non-existent since the beginning of the 1939 war, and the road construction of the 1930s tended to follow ground levels. Grade separated interchanges were never envisaged. A new and steep learning curve was involved with the construction of Motorways and the (then) novel concept of uninterrupted traffic flow.

    It is possible that the huge growth of the nuclear power industry was a factor in developing these roads - facilitating perhaps the exodus of massive civilian populations which may be needed if things went wrong. Which of course they had done on October 10th 1957 at the primitive Windscale piles - now Sellafield.

    It seems remarkable but the UK Motorway network was opened to traffic 50 years ago when Prime Minister Harold Macmillan opened the 8.25 mile Preston By Pass with 19 very distinctive bridges and built by Tarmac. It was designed for a speed of 70 mph, but was opened without any speed limit. There is a wonderful pdf of the booklet produced for the opening here.

    An experimental speed limit of 70 mph was introduced for motorways in December 1965, after a series of multiple crashes on motorways, and made permanent in 1967.

    It is claimed that Jack Sears and Peter Bolton in a 427 AC Cobra Coupe were calculated to have done 185mph on the M1 motorway in 1964, during shakedown tests prior to that year's Le Mans 24hr race - which they didn't finish due to an accident. The Police lobbied for the revised speed limit so they could catch speedsters.

    It was reduced to 50 mph in response to the 1973 oil crisis, and restored to 70 mph in 1974.

    The new motorways introduced central rservations ot separate traffic flows and high level lighting - this was installed at Preston but some mandarin at the Department of Transport decided that they should be removed before the motorway was opened, "due to change of policy" - apparently they thought the site looked "cluttered". Plus ca change

    One of the first Motorway service stations, opened in 1965 was at Forton, just north of Preston. It was designed by Sir Thomas Penberthy Bennett KBE FRIBA who ,amongst other things was Chairman of the Development Corporation of Crawley New Town, in West Sussex. He was also the splendidly titled Director of Bricks at the Ministry of Works during WWII. Whilst it may seem an absurd title he held a major responsibility - during WWII Chellaston Minerals near Derby were required to have sufficient bricks for a major rebuilding of the Derby Rolls Royce factory where the famous Merlin engines were manufactured, in case it was seriously damaged in enemy bombing raids.

    The striking airport style tower housed the hexagonal Pennine full service restaurant and a publicly accessible sun terrace with striking views. It is still standing but not used as it fails to meet current Health & Safety and Fire regulations.

    A visit to Forton (Now Moto Lancaster) , 2 weeks after it opened, whilst on the way to a field trip to Ingleborough to find the striking Birds Nest orchid Neotiia nidus avis which is a mycotrophic plant totally devoid of chlorophyll was memorable.

    After a hearty breakfast a visit to the toilets revealed a recent and carefully inscribed sgraffito, which we have never seen or heard of since ..which is worth repeating ...

    Shithouse poets, I despise
    They think they are so bloody wise,
    But, for all their foolish rhyming wit.

    They only shine - where others shit.

    There are currently 3 main groups of UK Motorway service station operators (The 86 sites are owned and leased by the Ministry of Transport).

    Moto - 43 stations , 6,000 staff - purchased by a consortium led by Australian Macquarie Bank Group on 10 April 2006 from the Compass Group for an aggregate consideration of £1,822 million on a debt and cash free basis.

    Welcome Break - 28 stations - purchased by the Appia group from Investcorp in March 2008 for £500Mn. Appia Investments Limited is a consortium of experienced infrastructure investors, including: • NIBC European Infrastructure Fund I C.V. ( Dutch Merchant Bank - c.53% shareholding) • ING European Infrastructure Fund (Dutch Insurance conglomerate - c.29% shareholding) • Challenger Life No 2 Limited (Australian Insurance company - c.14% shareholding)

    Road Chef - 19 sites plus 15 Premier Inns total 792 acres - Acquired by Nikko Europe Plc (Japanese Finance house) in 1998 for £240 million. Nikko sold RoadChef to Israel based Delek Belron International (75% owned personally by 75 percent owned by Delek Belron personally) , a unit of Delek Real Estate (DLKR.TA) for £375 Mn on April 1st 2007 (£216 Mn for debt)

    UK companies , Westmoreland owns Tebay, First owns 2 sites , Cairn Lodge one and Poplar 2000 a large truckstop at J20 on the M6 (rave reviews) .

    So over 90% of the UK Motorway services is owned by overseas based companies.

    Useful sites Motorway Trivia , and for a serious engineering history of the Preston by-pass the Motorway Archive .

    Bradford & Bingley First half results out ....Crystal Balls looked at

    The latest Covered Bond report from B & B showed 1 month arrears rising again - they were 2.86 % in May but 23 months have improved - which may mean they are acting faster to stop deterioration in arrears.

    Mr Pym may be too late to sweep the Augean stables like any self respecting City new Broom on £2.5 Mn a year ++++ but if he isn't City expectations of losses for the first half year a loss of between £5m and £26m seem optimistic. Remember these will not be AUDITED accounts.

    The share issue has been an unqualified disaster and will have left the underwriters smarting with their unexopected losses - dammit it all , they don't underwrite to reduce a chap's losses - simply to boost their profits.

    With this inherited shambles leaving UBS and Citi with (say) £100 of unsold stock. The six banks (Barclays, HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland & Abbey) and underwriters are prohibited from selling their B&B shares for 20 days.

    With 5% between them Mr Pym's activities and words will be very carefully scrutinised by his new and unexpected shareholders.

    He also has to address Crawshaws disastrous agreement to take on board the toxic detritus from GMAC, which B&B are obliged to take on board.

    The shares lost 1.5 p today and will lose a lot more tomorrow - even with a Market cap of £700 Mn they offer nothing to a swooping bottom fisher.

    PS : This news report from March made us all smile - Toscafund Asset Management led by activist investor Martin Hughes , increased its stake in Redrow from 9.7% to 16.6%, giving it voting rights equivalent to 26.5m shares. It also doubled its stake in Taylor Wimpey to 10.2%, causing share prices to jump... Tosca ... Tosser ?

    The TosserFund ™ website has a fascinating Disclaimer - "The collective investment schemes managed by Toscafund are unregulated collective investment schemes, which under UK legislation may only be promoted to persons who are sufficiently experienced and sophisticated to understand the risks involved and satisfy the criteria relating to investment professionals. Persons other than those who would be regarded as investment professional must not act upon the information in this document or acquire units in the scheme to which this document relates. "

    "The information contained in this document is believed to be accurate but no warranty is given as to its accuracy and the information, opinions or estimates are subject to change without notice." ©


    Too right My Son ! Too right

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Zipcars - a brilliantly simple new car hire/sharing scheme - learn more today ? Save the world tomorrow - Amazing pictures !!


    Zipcar explain everything on their website. Clearly and with great simplicity. Wikipedia

    It is a novel international concept where you rent / carshare a car by the hour / day and pay nothing else, insurance, fuel, London congestion charge.

    How does it work ? - Go here
    FAQ's - Go here

    Sign up. Become a Zipster (200K worldwide May 2008)get a Zipcard - hope it's more secure than an Oyster.

    Then to select a car (so far only London which opened Nov 2006 and N. America) - simply click on a flag of above map - Bit thin on the ground sarf of the river .. which gives availability hourly / daily rates (incl 180 miles) ... some exclusions on age if under 21.



    Select the car ...

    New sites opening daily - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Mass. has just announced a partnership with Zipcar - two self-service Zipcars – 2008 Honda Civic Hybrids – will be available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, parked along the campus Quadrangle. The cars will be available to all staff and students aged 18 and older, with gas, maintenance, insurance, and reserved parking included in low hourly and daily rates.

    Anyone any experience / tales to tell ?

    Lord Patel is NOT on a commission. This just seems a brilliantly simple and ideal use of the web, and helps to reduce car ownership. Let's hope they have done their sums right and make it work.... with current cost of car ownership it sounds good

    There is even a T shirt ..


    Nothing to do with the Conservative Party

    Webinair for Pie in the Sky Jatropha for pains in the stomach - the latest energy fads to fuel the City slickers

    Date: 28 August 2008
    Time: 14:30 UK time/ 9:30am EST / 15:30 CET
    Location: Online, delivered through your browser
    Duration: 90 minutes
    Cost : £119.00 (139.83 inc. VAT)

    If you wantto check in to the latest chip in the City casino and watch people mamking money by making money disappear sign up here NOW! Gemma says click on it to make it bigger



    It's either that or plant Jatropha - BBC4 listen now see also here or visit D1 Oils website here and read more about D1 here



    The BBC4 program about Jatropha provided the information that 1 hectare = 2.47 acres of Jatropha yields 1,500 litres of biodiesel pa = 319 gallons (European) pa = 12/13,000 miles pa pa at an average 40 mpg. Wikipedia gives figures of 540 to 680 litres per hectare.

    1 sq Km = 100 hectares. So if Holland (41,526 sq km) was planted entirely with jatropha it would support 4.1 Mn vehicles. There are some 33 Mn licensed vehicles on the roads of the UK.

    Jatropha is a Genus within the Euphorbiaceae and like the Castor oil plant which produces Ricin, also produces many very toxic compounds including lectin, saponin, carcinogenic phorbol, and a trypsin inhibitor. Eating 2-3 seeds untreated seeds(which can be a skinirritant) is said to be fatal.

    Bhutto's boondoggles first published Just after Chrsitmas 2007 when nobody noticed

    Swiss investigation against Bhutto for alleged money laundering closed, lawyer says
    AP in IHT December 28, 2007

    GENEVA: A Swiss investigation against the late Benazir Bhutto for alleged money laundering was declared closed, her lawyer said Friday.

    A parallel investigation against her husband continues, however, said Alec Reymond, Bhutto's lawyer in Geneva., there is allegedly a third un-named suspect.

    A Geneva magistrate convicted Bhutto and her husband in absentia of money laundering in July 2003 under a Swiss law that empowers high-level investigators to impose penalties without a court hearing.

    They received six-month suspended sentences and were ordered to pay US$11 million (€9.1 million) to the Pakistani government, but the conviction was automatically thrown out when the pair contested it. They were then charged by another Swiss magistrate, Vincent Fournier, in July 2004 and the case was reopened.

    Swiss authorities said in 1998 they found about 20 million Swiss francs (then US$13.8 million) in Swiss accounts belonging to Bhutto and her family. The accounts were frozen at the request of Pakistan.

    Bhutto said she has no connection with the accounts.

    "Miss Bhutto has always said that this was not her money. The accounts were not in her name," Reymond told The Associated Press.

    Swiss and Pakistani investigators allege much of the money came from Societe Generale de Surveillance, or SGS, one of the world's largest customs inspection companies, in exchange for business with the Pakistani government when Bhutto was in power. SGS has consistently denied the claims.

    UPDATE :

    The case against former prime minister and Chairperson of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari in the Swiss court was set for September 28th 2007 has been adjourned for the time being on the request of the government of Pakistan.

    UPDATE :

    It looks as though Asif Ali Zardari will be the new Pakistani President (until HE gets shot/ helicopter fails) .

    Harry's Place pulled down by childish academic Israeli academic boycotters



    Harry's Place is a blog. "Harry's Place may be removed (or rather have it's DNS disabled) after a 'complaint' to the company that the domain name is registered with. (it is down) (cached Home Page here)

    Harry explains ; "We assume after threats were made on the weekend that this 'complaint' originates from Jenna Delich or her supporters." (A blogspot archive of material is here)

    "Though we have not yet seen the complaint submitted, we assume it runs along the lines that pointing out that Ms Delich linked to the website of a known neo-Nazi figure and former Ku Klux Klan leader is defamatory." More here and here

    No details have been provided of letters communications firms of solicitors involved etc.,There is however a lengthy detailed and fairly urgid and academic explanation of the rather arcane row between Harry's Place and the delicious Jenna Delich which appears to be fundamentally about the use of the word "links" which may be used ;

    1. As a url link - here is a link to the "Listen again" BBC 4 programme Jatropha the Wonder Plant first aired yesterday - highly recommended.

    2. To suggest that there is a moral/physical / actual connection - eg Tony Blair is linked to the death of Dr David Kelly

    The link provided by the delightful Delich was to David Duke's website and more especially this web page with an aticle by Joe Quinn. Apparently Delich pleaded ignorance when what David Duke actually stands for was pointed out to her - in which case she must be stupid beyond the realms of belief and sacked without delay or further argument.

    She also said the facts speak for themselves ... for example as reported in the Times the BBC are guilty ...BBC news 'favours Israel' at expense of Palestinian view

    Max Dunbar under a post confusingly entitled so Sue Me Mr Cushman usefully explains the histor of throwing toys out of the pram which seems, asinine and juvenile in the extreme. Mr Cushman it appears is not the homoseualist actor and agitator but another of the same surname. Mike Cushman, who is one of the official leaders of the boycott campaign (BRICUP) against Iraeli academics and has a sutiable academic demi-house trained beard and the woebegone look of a third rate polytechic gravy trainer.

    The row has even reached the Jerusalem Post , once owned by the criminal Conrad Black they point out that the author of the aricle a man called Quinn who delich linked to himself linked to the Web site of convicted "Holocaust-denier" David Irving ranting about the 5 dancing shlomos glorifying the end of WTC 1 &2. It was of course the Jeruslaem Post which provided details of the 7/7 bomber's expert timing before the Police even knew the bomb timings were co-ordinated in an article by the ex head of Mossad Mr Halevy and school pal of Lord Levy, agent for titles to HMQ.

    The link was discovered , and made more public by Engage, a group of left-wing trade unionists and self - confessed academics, active in the anti-boycott campaign.

    Bob from Brockley helpfully points out that ..."the article to which Jenna Delich linked is not by David Duke. It is by one Joe Quinn and originally appeared on a 9/11 Truth Cult site called sott.net. It would not have reflected well on Jenna D if she had found the article there, but she didn't; she found it on a Ku Klux Klan site, which reflects on her rather worse."

    He points to a post on Engage from an arsehole from Warwick University who hasn't discovered the use of punctuation or capital letters (or his Caps Lock or Shift keys haven't been expained to him) which ... well defies understanding . Judging by his picture his dentures need correcting to fit properly and remove his overbite.

    The defence of free speech and the free use of the internet to express any views, images, is important, but we would be happier if it wasn't spent defending these wretched and windy academics. Better we get that bastard Usmanov's shady dealing , rapes and murders out in the public than worry about this juvenile squabble.

    On a historical note Harry's Place refers to Hemingway's favourite hant in the 1920's - Harry's New York Bar near the Opera where he had been one of the earliest customers.

    He actually told us that he much preferred the nearby but hard to find Le Trou dans la Mur - which indeed it is !. The easily missed entrance was on Boulevard des Capucines handy for the Cafe de la Paix and the Opera.

    Now we wait for Mr David Davis and his gang of semi- detached democrats and libertarians to take up the cause and defend our historical freedoms on the web internet thing.

    Handbag of the day, year, Millennium !


    Choosing an understated but elegant and roomy bag is always a problem, this from the latest Hermes collection, the Jypsière (aka the Birkin messenger) which our doe eyed Paris correspondent saw launched @ Number 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré on August the 10th - was sold out by tea time! . A durable yet androgynous shoulder bag , designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, and worn by him on the runway following his Fall 08 show for Hermes. Waiting lists are long (already!) in the U.S., where the bag has yet to make an appearance. The standard 37cm is too small for Elle McPherson who has ordered several made in a special size.

    Remember girls, says Toni Fabuloso -if it has testicles or tires, it's going to give you trouble-

    Afghani democracy in action - Hamid Karzai signs Presidential pardon for rape of mother by warlord's gangsters

    An Afghani couple Dilwar and his wife Sara lost there son had their son taken away.

    Sara accused a local warlord commander of the boys disappearance. She was gang-raped, knifed with a bayonet and left half naked to find her way home.

    A fuller story is provided about this case here . The men were freed discreetly but the rape itself was public and brutal. It took place in September 2005, in the run up to Afghanistan’s first democratic (?) parliamentary elections.

    The most powerful local commander, Mawlawi Islam, was running for office despite being accused of scores of murders committed while he had been a mujahedeen commander in the 1980s and a Taliban governor in the 1990s, and since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Sara said one of his sub-commanders and body guards had been looking for young men to help in the election campaign.

    “It was evening, around the time for the last prayer, when armed men came and took my son, Islamuddin, by force. I have eye-witness statements from nine people that he was there. From that night until now, my son has never been seen.”

    Dilawar said his wife publicly harangued the commander twice about their missing son. After the second time, he said, they came for her. “The commander and three of his fighters came and took my wife out of our home and took her to their house about 200 metres away and, in front of these witnesses (there were again said said to be 9 witnesses) , raped her.”

    Sara alleges the commander used connections to escape justice and he was released by a local court. Three other men were eventually put on trial, found guilty of rape and sentenced to 11 years in prison. One of the men died.

    The other two were given a presidential pardon in May.

    A copy of the pardon was numbered, dated in May and appeared to bear the personal signature of Hamid Karzai. It recommended the men's release because, it said, "they had been forced to confess to their crimes."

    When shown copies of the presidential pardon and court papers, President Karzai's spokesman, Hamayun Hamidzada, was visibly shocked and said that if the documents proved genuine, Mr. Karzai would be "upset and appalled."

    Humayun Hamidzada, the president's spokesman was also happy to explain that President Hamid Karzai was also busy after Afghani Olympic Tae Kwondo champion Rohullah Nikpai defeated world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain in Peking to earn the bronze medal in the men's under 58-kilogram taekwondo competition . President Karzai spoke on the phone to Nikpai and awarded him a house at the government's expense.

    Now the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has announced a full investigation into the case of two rapists who have been freed on his presidential pardon.

    This publicity has only arisen after the BBC have discovered that the victim, Sara, had been forced into hiding by the release of the men after they saw the released men walking around their village.

    The president's office has refused to speculate on how the pardon could have been signed.

    The suspicion must be that corruption - which is widespread across the Afghan justice system - has managed to penetrate the president's office.

    A spokesman for Mr Karzai told the BBC that the acting attorney general would lead a commission of investigation.

    "We are taking this with extreme seriousness," he said.

    Another gang rape of a child rape that Karazai was called to decide on

    This follows the story publicised on 28th July of Police Chief Abdul Khaliq Samimy and four other security officials dismissed for negligence . This was done by the personal order of Hamid Karazai over the handling of an alleged gang-rape of a 12-year-old girl in the village of Baghabi in the Northern province of Saripul .

    The girl's parents travelled to Kabul and met President Karzai last week and told him the police had refused to investigate the case.

    The girl told journalists that five gunmen had raped her in the village of Baghabi and her uncle Ali Khan claims the police refused to investigate the case and had told the family not to talk about the matter.

    Another gang rape of a child involving the son of a powerful Member of Parliament

    On February 18, 2008 a fourteen-year old girl named Bashira was gang- raped by three men in the same province. One of the rapists is Najibullah, the son of Haji Payinda, a member of parliament from Sar-e- Pul.

    Sayed Noorullah, father of Bashira told Tolo TV on July 19, 2008 that the case against the rapist has not been followed property by the court, because the rapist is son of a member of parliament and they bribed the Forensic Medical Investigation department to show the 22-year-old rapist as being less than 18 to escape the charges based on law. See video of girl and parents and full story here.

    MP, Mir Ahmad Joyenda, said cases similar to Sara's were actually becoming more common. The police and the courts, he said, were usually under the sway of local commanders. "The commanders, the war criminals, still have armed groups," he said. "They're in the government. Karzai, the Americans, the British sit down with them. They have impunity. They've become very courageous and can do whatever crimes they like."

    Deputy Director for Program Support at Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, AREU, Mir Ahmed Joyenda is AREU’s link person to officialdom in Kabul. He is well adapted for this role as he formerly used to work for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including serving as a diplomat at the Afghanistan Embassy in India for a few years after 1993. He joined AREU in 2001, as the first non-Western employee in the organisation

    See Women under seige in Afghanistan also here

    Kabul today


    Three white Aryan Nations assassins plotted to kill Obama at Bronco's Stadium in front of 75,000 .. or maybe not.


    The Secret Service detail (provided as official protection under Public Law 90-331 after Bobby Kennedy's assassination by the required crazy loner ) for Barack Obama call him Renegade. Now some folks are forming a disorderly queue to shoot him . Or maybe not.

    First from out under the stones are Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, Nathan Johnson and Tharin Gartrell , arrested yesterday on weapons charges . They are said to have ties to the white supremacist group Aryan Nation, according to Victor Ross, the police chief in Glendale, a suburb of Denver where one of the suspects was arrested. The other two were held in Aurora, another suburb.

    Now the Feds are on the case.

    The group are said to have been planning to shoot Renegade during his convention acceptance speech, to be delivered outdoors at Invesco Field, home of the Denver Broncos , football stadium tomorrow night with a possible audience of 70,000 people – the anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

    It all started on Sunday when a police patrol car stopped a blue Dodge pick-up truck driving erratically in Aurora which it turned out was driven by unemplolyed 29 year old and curiously named Tharin Gartrell .

    In the back of his vehicle, officers found two high-powered rifles, one with telescopic sights, a spotting scope, a flak jacket, camouflage clothing, a bulletproof vest, boxes of ammunition, three fake identity cards, two wigs, two walkie-talkies and a quantity of the drug methamphetamine, a form of speed known as crystal meth.

    Four hours later, police raided a nearby hotel where alleged accomplice Shawn Robert Adolf, a wanted fugitive with an impressively long list of previous convictions for drugs and violence, was staying - he had several outstanding warrants, one with a $1 million bail set. In attempting to esacpe by "jumping from a sixth-floor window" he broka an ankle.

    Shortly afterwards, police made two more arrests, of Nathan Johnson, 32, and his girlfriend, Natasha Gromek, both on drugs charges, at another hotel.

    In an extraordinary live interview from his jail cell, Johnson told a reporter from CBS television that Adolf had planned to kill Mr Obama during his nomination acceptance address to 75,000 supporters at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High football stadium tomorrow night.

    Aryan Nations is the most influential of dozens of neo-Nazi groups spread across the US. Last year, one of its members, Jason Hamilton, went on a shooting spree last year that left three people , including a cop Lee Newbill, and himself dead in Moscow, near Boise, Idaho, after a row with his wife Crystal - the previous year he tried to strangel his girlfriend. Hamilton was a member of The Order, a self-styled commando group within Aryan Nations.

    They are used to violence in that neck of the woods ...see this current case

    The group's website is blunt about its role in creating a whites-only state in North America. "We realise that it takes a cold-blooded, pragmatic and realist viewpoint to enact the changes which will be necessary to achieve our goals."

    Colorado's U.S. attorney, Troy Eid, (Why does everyone have such strange names in this story ?) announced that authorities had decided that Adolf, Johnson and Gartrell were basically not as dangerous as they looked. The feds didn't plan to charge any of the three men with threatening a presidential candidate, a federal felony that comes with a possible five-year prison term.

    Crazy and crazed...it doesn't mean they cannot shoot straight.

    Meanwhile,downtown Denver has been closed off, with high metal gates and concrete barriers , inside police vehicles cruise the streets with armed officers in black jumpsuits clinging to the sides.

    Meanwhile here is a picture of Michelle Obama with her friend Ex Weatherwoman and Sidley Austin Partner Bernardine Dohrn at a political rally.see Monday, April 28, 2008 Obama. Ayers Rocks.

    Bernardine (on the right) is the wife of Weatherman ("You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," from the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues. ) Bill Ayers and mother of his 2 children. She went to prison on various charges - Dohrn and Ayers became legal guardians of the son of former members of the Weather Underground, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, after they were convicted of murder of a security guard and 2 police officers during a 1981 Brinks armoured car robbery.

    The Weathermen bombed the Pentagon, the US Capitol, the New York Police Benevolent Association, the New York Board of Corrections, as well as the offices of multinational companies. Boudin, along with Cathy Wilkerson, was a survivor of the 1970 Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, the premature detonation of a bomb that had been intended for a soldiers' dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Boudin was 27 at the time. Both women were awaiting trial, out on bond for their alleged actions in Days of Rage in Chicago several months earlier. Wilkerson had been released on a $20,000 bond and Boudin was out on a $40,000 bond.

    Kathy Boudin’s father had connections directly to Fidel Castro: Leonard Boudin was Castro’s lawyer.

    Holes in the Swisss Post office ... a cheesy story


    Andrew Chapman, an IT manager from Oxford bought a computer / hard disk drives on e Bay for £35 , which it now appears, not only contained bank account numbers, phone numbers, mothers' maiden names and signatures of one million customers of American Express, NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland, it was, "pre owned" by Graphic Data Ltd.,and was used at the firm's archive centre in Shoeburyness, Essex.

    What no press reports seem to mention is ....

    MailSource UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Swiss Post since 2002, based in Richmond, Surrey, acquired Graphic Data Ltd , based in Milton Keynes – a company with 200 employees that specializes in digital document management in April this year.

    MailSource UK Ltd and Graphic Data have worked together in the form of a strategic partnership since 2006. In the field of physical mailroom services, MailSource UK Ltd was already the market leader in Britain. With Graphic Data, it now offers a wider range of services, such as credit card application processing or automated invoice settlement.

    "MailSource have over ten years of experience in managing the provision of On-Site Mail and Courier Screening Services to clients across the UK, many in what are considered to be high threat industries including several Government Departments."

    CNN reported yesterday "The IT equipment that appeared on eBay was neither planned nor instructed by the company to be disposed," said Nicole Morgan, spokeswoman for Graphic Data, based in southeast England. "Investigations are ongoing to find out how this equipment was removed from one of our secure locations."

    Jenny Thomas, a spokeswoman for eBay, said the item should have never been sold on the auction site.

    Gangmaster Licensing Authority should have it's role extended to cover care and cleaning

    Paul Whitehouse who retired as Chief Constable on a hefty £50,000 pa pension one day ahead of being sacked, has been doing an excellent job as part time and well paid Chairman of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority.

    He has made a determined blitz in "Operation Ajax" this last mnth in closing down rogue gangmasters and has been been making a parallel blitz on the media. See stories today on BBC - uncluding a very forceful interview on "Farming Today" and headline news item on the BBC4 "Today" programme, PA , Sky News , More> RSA News , NE Journal and Gazette , Times with a story on August 17th "'Squalor' of David Leslie Fruits workers - Scottish supplier to Sainsbury's and Tesco probed over accommodation etc.,

    Whilst all of this is to broadcast the succcess of the Agency, and to warn off the rogue operators, Paul Whitehouse wants to expand his fiefdom to cover gangmasters and labour only suppliers in care and cleaning.

    He has powerful allies - TUC general secretary Brendan Barber is quoted on Sky News ; "An opportunity has been missed to address the flaws which keep two million workers in conditions which shame a modern economy."

    "It is disappointing that ministers are not prepared to extend the coverage of the Gangmasters' Licensing Authority to other vulnerable sectors such as construction, care and hospitality."

    "Nor has the Government been prepared to examine the legal loophole that deprives many workers from gaining the legal status of an employee."

    For example ; The David Leslie fruit farms were being investigated because there were , "allegations of mistreatment relating to the working and housing conditions of 251 Bulgarians who had been sent to work at David Leslie’s Scones of Lethendy berry farm in Perthshire".

    This swoop involved co-ordinating the work of the GLA inspectors with the UK Border Agency, the UK Human Trafficking Centre, the Health and Safety Executive, Tayside Police and Perth and Kinross Council.

    In his BBC Farming Today interview (Listen again here and more info) Paul Whitehouse tells Melanie Abbott that the GLA need more than the curent 30 inspectors they have, to cover England , Wales, SCotland and Northern Ireland. He also claims the whole operation is more than self financing as HMRC revenues have risen , with income Tax, NI, and VAT.

    He also claims the Low Pay Unit have seen the effects of the success of the GLA.

    Meanwhile the Government, under pressure from the CBI, has set it's face firmly against expanding the role of the GLA and Building quotes a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR): “There are no plans at the moment to review the GLA. We don't think extending its remit to the construction industry is the best way forward."

    At the TUC conference at Brighton last autumn a unanimous motion was passed in support of the extension of the work of GLA at the conference.

    Shelter on their website says “Government has missed the opportunity to expand the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, which plays a valuable role in protecting workers in the agricultural and food-processing industries. “Shelter is calling for the GLA to extend their remit to other sectors such as construction, cleaning and hospitality in order to help lift all workers out of bad housing.”

    Jack Dromey Deputy General Secretary of Unite ***says..."...law needs to be strengthened. That is why we will continue to press for the extension of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to cover Construction. The GLA has raised standards in agriculture and fisheries, putting rogue employers out of business. But gangmasters are moving into Construction and the GLA should follow them."

    Meanwhile the Government are busy setting up a new Fair Employment Enforcement Board to co-ordinate the work of government agencies covering minimum wage, health and safety, employment agencies and gangmasters. They have also allocated £6million for a campaign to raise awareness of employment rights and how to enforce them - twice the annual cost of the GLA alone.

    The recommendations form part of the final report by the Vulnerable Workers Enforcement Forum which was set up in June last year . Employment relations minister, Pat McFadden, who chaired this Forum, said last month which reported on August 5th : "This is in the interests of workers themselves and, as was made clear by business representatives on the forum, it is in the interests of the reputable businesses who treat their workers fairly and obey the law." The Forum report is available here (pdf)

    On Page 46 in the Conclusions they report "There has been extensive discussion in the Forum, though no agreement, on whether the Gangmaster Licensing Authority’s licensing regime
    should be extended to employment agencies operating in sectors other than agriculture and food processing."

    The bottom line is that Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EASI) , who have signally failed to do the job so far, are to have their Inspectorate doubled by June 2008 (the report came out on August 4th) and a telephone contact number publicised.... oh yes ... the new talking shop Fair Employment Enforcement Board chaired by the Employment relations minister, Pat McFadden will (eventually) see the light of day.

    It is with reluctance, and with a heavy heart that we recommend yet further intrusion of the State - but the GLA have shown themselves to have acted to improved working conditions, wages , and Health and Safety for the lowest paid workers in society .. it is something you might imagine a Socialist Government might want to extend.

    *** Jack Dromey (apart from missing the millions paid for honours (including Lord Patel's) into Labour Party Coffers - he first "read about it in the papers" Ditto Abrahams Gate) is also married to the fragrant and delicious Harriet Harman QC, MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party , Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal and Minister for Women and Equality- and sent their son to a selective grammar school in Bromley

    If you visit this busy lady's website today you will find that on the 18th of the month she was busy celebrating 10 years of the introduction of the Minimum Wage Act.

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