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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: Fantastic Mystery Adventures !




THE GUARDIAN, UK: Breaking Israel's spell
Tell us how you really feel, asshole:
Yet the blind spot that persistently handicaps those from the upper echelons of power down to street level is British Jewry's relationship with Israel. The community is bewitched by a 60-year old spell which dictates that to be a "loyal" Jew, one must profess unconditional love for Israel, regardless of the many faults and failings of the Jewish state.
If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem [Cliff May]

Saudis rebuff Obama on improving ties with Israel

Former Houstonian stabbed in Jerusalem by Palestinians
Chaim Cheskes, 41, was beaten and stabbed many times by two Palestinian assailants in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 3. The former Houstonian, who currently lives in Immanuel, was walking to pray at the Kotel on erev Shabbat, when he was attacked from behind and knocked to the street. One of his assailants stabbed him numerous times with a knife, perforating his abdomen.

The assailants fled without stealing Cheskes’ money, iden-tification or his watch. After the attack, Cheskes staggered to the Bikur Holim Hospital in the Old City. He was admitted to the ICU. Cheskes is the son of Manuel and Blanca Cheskes of Houston.

“This was clearly a hate crime,” said his father, speaking by phone from Jerusalem. “I personally think my son survived because of his strong will to live,” Cheskes said. “He could hardly make it to the hospital after the attack. But, there were no witnesses. Nobody was in the street.

“The assailants were speaking in Arabic, which my son doesn’t understand. He never saw them before. He has no idea who they were.” Chaim Cheskes moved to Israel nearly three years ago. He lives with his wife and son in Immanuel, a West Bank settlement composed mostly of Haredi (fervently Orthodox) Jews. He commutes to work at a school for disabled children in Jerusalem.
Syria: Human Rights Lawyer Held
Syrian authorities arrested a leading human rights lawyer, his colleagues said Thursday. The lawyer, Mohannad al-Hussani, who has been handling high-profile political cases, was summoned Tuesday to State Security, one of many intelligence agencies in Syria. Mr. Hussani has not been heard from since then and no charges have been lodged against him, his colleagues said. There was no comment from the Syrian authorities. Arbitrary arrests in Syria are common, international human rights organization say, and it is common for detainees to remain in jail for months before facing any charges.
Syria willing to enhance cooperation with China
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Thursday that Syria is willing to enhance cooperation with China on the basis of mutual benefits. Moallem made the pledge during a meeting with Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy to the Middle East, and both sides discussed bilateral relations and the latest situation in the Middle East region.

Wu reiterated that China supports Syria's commitment to achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the relevant UN resolutions. "The meeting with Minister al-Moallem focused on bilateral relations and the changes and developments in the region, where both sides expressed mutual support for the efforts in this regard to find a solution for the Middle East problem," Wu told reporters following the meeting.
Mashaal: Hamas to commit to immediate ceasefire
Hudna, Hudna, Hudna...KABOOM!

Dispute with Hamas may derail Fatah summit in West Bank

Hamas sponsors yet another mass wedding in Gaza

Hamas Chief Outlines Terms for Talks on Arab-Israeli Peace
I believe it is something like: KILL ALL THE JUDEN NOW, AKBAR!

Report: Turkey seeks active role in Hamas-Fatah reconciliation
No doubt!

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented: Palestinians need to recognize Israel as 'Jewish state
No doubt soon to reside under the Republican party bus with the rest of the sane people.
A top House Republican says the U.S. should be conditioning aid to the Palestinians on their combating of violence and extremism and their recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), ranking GOP member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says in a statement that the U.S. should demand that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Fatah political faction "reform their charter, renounce and combat violent extremism, stop using Israel-free maps, and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state."

“If they do not, the U.S. should condition assistance to the PA on such meaningful steps to embrace a real and lasting peace with Israel," said Ros-Lehtinen in a statement.
Fearing violence, police close Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av
Following the arrest of three Arab men at an entrance to the Temple Mount in east Jerusalem, police shut down access for Jews and non-Jews alike on Thursday, a move that was particularly frustrating for Jews who had come to commemorate Tisha Be'Av. The arrests Thursday afternoon came just after the gate to the Temple Mount had been opened at 1:30 p.m., when long lines of Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druse had gathered in the blazing heat to trek to the holy site.

OIC Member States Launch Cultural Exhibition In Saudi Arabia
The Behead the Infidel Jew Exhibition is a crowd favorite!
The exhibition falls within the context of the OIC celebration of the 40th anniversary of its creation. It showcases samples of traditional and folklore artifacts, textile items, crafts, artworks as well as photographs, books, and publications featuring cultures and civilisations across the Muslim world.
JAKARTA POST: Population control a weapon of the West
Speakers at a conference for young Indonesian Muslims on Friday urged the audience to denounce birth control methods such as condoms and the government's family planning program, claiming such measures were part of a conspiracy to weaken the country. At Ragunan Sports Center in South Jakarta, speakers at the conference titled, Young Muslims, save Indonesia with Sharia and the Caliphate asked the young attendants to reject contraception based on the rationale that reducing the population would weaken the country and draw it further into the conspiracy plans of the West.
Saudi Arabia donates $100,000 to COMSTECH
Abdul Aziz Bin Ibrahim Bin Saleh Al-Ghadeer, the Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Friday presented a cheque of US $100,000 to the OIC Committee for science and technology (COMSTECH) here at a ceremony at the COMSTECH Secretariat building.The contribution aims at strengthening the science and technology in the Islamic world.Addressing the audience, the Saudi Ambassador said that Comstech was making vigorous efforts for the development of the Muslim World in the field of Science and technology and this contribution was laudable. “Saudi Arabia has been always with Pakistan and this support would Insha’Allah continue for the development of its people.

Lieberman says Chavez maintains relations with Hezbollah and Hamas
Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez of cooperating with "radical branches of Islam" and of anti-Semitism. "I will not speak about intelligence specifics, but we have enough to be concerned about the collaboration between radical branches of Islam and Hugo Chávez," Lieberman told the Colombian newspaper ‘El Tiempo'. Lieberman said he saw "no reason" to communicate with Chávez while the latter maintained "relations with Iran, with Hezbollah and with Hamas".
Pirate School, For the Merchant Sailor in You
Legally speaking, pirates are considered hostes humani generis, or stateless enemies of mankind, and can be tried—even executed—by any nation that has laws against piracy. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to "punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas," which is why the surviving pirate from the Maersk Alabama attack was brought to New York. The bulk of piracy prosecutions, however, are in Kenya, the closest functioning Western-style government to Somalia.
The Rape of Africa: Designed in California, Made in China
Go ahead, take a moment to let the nausea-inducing vertigo of cognitive dissonance pass. How in the hell did we get to a point where advertising a mobile phone as "rape-free" was even necessary? Much less something for which you might have to pay extra? The answers lie in the dark hearts of the paragons of business virtue who profit from Africa's prostration, sunning themselves that May day in Carlsbad, California.
World Bank arm sees China as Africa energy partner
The International Finance Corporation expects closer future cooperation with China to provide funding in Africa's growing oil and gas sector, a senior investment official said on Wednesday. The world's poorest continent is emerging as an important global source of oil and gas, attracting competing interest from Europe, Russia and Asia. "We are hopeful that in a couple of years China will become a valuable partner for us because they have the risk appetite to take on the risks associated with Africa," Kamal Dorabawila, the IFC's top investment official for the oil and gas sector in Africa, told an oil conference in Cape Town. China has displaced many western countries as the major investor in Africa, where it has pumped billions of dollars to secure access to Africa's commodities which it needs for its industries.
China National Nuclear To Set Up Xinjiang Uranium Exploration Base

Chinese Leader Cites Need for 'Industrial Restructuring'
Wang Yang, Communist Party secretary of southern China's Guangdong province and a member of the party's Politburo, said Thursday that the financial crisis exposed the fragility and volatility of basing the Chinese economy on what he called "the lowest level on the value chain." "We need to start from a new beginning," said Mr. Wang
PetroChina boss to tour BP London next week

China CNPC signs MOU with Iran on South Azadegan

Updates on New Post-Election Protests in Iran

Iranian police beat up mourners

Iranian riot police armed with batons and belts clashed with mourners staging a defiant graveside commemoration for protesters killed in post-election violence on Thursday, witnesses said.
Iranian Opposition Pledges to Defy Mourning Ban

Police force Mousavi to leave cemetery

Mousavi says his staff arrested


Iranian opposition rally cancelled
Just hours before the rally was due to start, the leading opposition candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, announced that the demonstration was cancelled because it had not received official permission. I understand from sources close to Mr Mousavi that he was warned that the police and Basij militia had been given authorisation for the first time to use live rounds if the demonstration went ahead.

A smaller rally is in progress in Tehran University at the moment, being addressed by Mr Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard. She's told students that the rally was cancelled because they were worried that the lives of those attending could be in danger. Reports from her rally indicate that paramilitaries are trying to break it up. Students are taking cover in a mosque.

Iranian police arrest Mousavi backers in central Tehran

Iran arrested 50 at mourning ceremony and demonstrations

IRAN: Fresh video shows mourners gathered near Neda's gravesite

Iran to try 30 'rioters' Saturday

Colombian Cos In Venezuela Face Risk With Chavez's Latest Move

Late Tuesday, Chavez froze diplomatic relations with Colombia and threatened to shut the border for trade between the two countries. Moreover, he threatened to expropriate Colombian companies' assets in Venezuela.

"It is not easy for Colombia to find a market that absorbs $6 billion (of our exports), but it is certainly not easy for Venezuela to find another partner that will supply products with good quality and price," Colombian Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata said Wednesday.

Venezuela is Colombia's second-largest market for exports, after the U.S. But a rupture in trade flows would likely be far more problematic for Venezuela - which imports manufactured goods and about two-thirds of the food that it consumes - than for Colombia. Chavez's move follows accusations from top officials in Bogota that Swedish- made rocket launchers sold to Venezuela were found in the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a Colombian rebel group that's also listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.

As One Venezuela Oil Auction Stalls, Bilateral Deals Blossom
While Venezuela may have been forced this week to postpone an important oil block auction that's open to U.S. and other foreign oil companies, that hasn't stopped it from making or reaffirming direct oil deals with friendly countries - Russia on Monday, Japan Tuesday and Spain Wednesday.
Argentina Oil Co Bids Over $70 Million For Chevron Fields

Bolivia: Talks Begun On Nationalizing UK, French Power Cos
It is not stealing, silly proletariat, it is NATIONALIZING for good of people!
Bolivia announced Wednesday it has opened negotiations to nationalize electric power companies owned by French, U.K. and private local interests.

"These negotiations have the objective of recovering for the state these strategic companies which form part of the electric power supply network," the Hydrocarbons Ministry said in a statement posted on its web site. President Evo Morales on various occasions has expressed his desire to nationalize the Corani, Guaracachi and Valle Hermoso companies, which generate 60% of the country's electricity.

Testimony of David H. Shinn at Hearing on Sudan
Testimony of David H. Shinn, Adjunct Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing on Sudan, 30 July 2009

Launched by former Secretary of State Rice, the “American presence” concept has not taken hold in Africa, apparently due to lack of assigned positions and concerns by State Department security. This should change. Three or four “American presence” positions in some combination of the following locations make eminent sense: Nyala and El Fasher in the west, El Obeid and Kadugli in the center, Wau and Malakal in the south and Kassala and Port Sudan in the east. The “American presence” post has one significant bureaucratic advantage. It involves so few people and administrative support that it can, if requirements demand, be shut down or moved to another location without much difficulty.

Creating “American presence” positions in Sudan or many other parts of the world raises staffing and funding issues and the concerns of State Department security. There are, however, certain risks that come with a Foreign Service career and the time has passed since it should assume a few more risks in countries that are not part of a war zone. All “American presence” positions in difficult environments should be filled by volunteers. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how many junior Foreign Service officers would like to show what they can do on their own initiative.

US considering European missile defense alternatives
Tonight they gonna party like it's 1939.
A senior Defense Department official said Thursday that the United States is considering options for European missile defense other than current plans for a system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow told lawmakers in the House of Representatives at a hearing on relations with Russia that the Obama administration is looking at various configurations as part of its review of missile defense plans. “The site in Poland and the radar in the Czech Republic are among the options that are being considered, together with other options that might be able to perform the mission as well,” Vershbow said.

The administration has been seeking better relations with Russia, which adamantly opposes the U.S. plans made by the former Bush administration to install 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. Russia has said continuing with the employment would undermine talks launched by the U.S. and Russian presidents on renewed cooperation.
Presidents meet for security summit in Tajikistan

Press Statement following Meeting with Presidents of Tajikistan. Pakistan & Afghanistan
Russia is ready to make its contribution to these processes. All of us are interested in regional and international security becoming more understandable, more transparent, and more controlled. We want them to be based on international laws and on our common desire to help one another, thereby improving the lives of the many people living in this region.
Russian, Tajik Presidents Unveil Joint-Venture Power Plant
The two leaders said the power plant is the most important project completed by the countries in the last 20 years. The Kremlin and Russian companies invested some $500 million in Sangtuda-1 and own some 75 percent of its shares.
4.5 Mag Quake - TAJIKISTAN

TAJIKISTAN: LABOR MIGRANTS FACING GRIM CHOICES
But perhaps the most important issue on Tajikistan’s political and economic agenda -- labor migration -- did not figure prominently in bilateral talks. Tajikistan in recent months has been buried by an avalanche of bad economic news. One of the more serious aspects of the Central Asian nation’s current plight is the drastic fall-off in the value of remittances sent home by labor migrants. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Watchdog groups, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), have been chronicling the hardships experienced by labor migrants in Russia. Siarkhon Tabarov’s story is unfortunately a typical one told by Tajik migrant workers there. Tabarov told Human Rights Watch researchers recently that he saw a television commercial in his native Tajikistan advertising work in Russia. One month later, having signed with the employment agency, he was flown to Rostov, Russia with 33 countrymen. There his passport was taken and he was forced to dig stones from a quarry using hand tools and sleep on a soiled mattress in an abandoned refrigerator truck without any nearby source of clean water. To top it off, after 85 days of work, he was never paid.

Tajikistan says killed senior suspected fighter

Tajikistan wants Russia to pay for military base

Russia to station more troops in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan on Saturday agreed to allow Russia to station more troops in the Central Asian country as Moscow seeks to increase its military influence in the region.A memorandum signed by Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev said Kyrgyzstan had "approved a proposal by Russia to house an additional Russian military contigent in Kyrgyzstan".The memorandum, signed at the resort of Cholpon-Ata on Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk Kul, said the size of the contingent could be up to a battalion.The two sides also vowed to sign a formal agreement by November 1 on the formal status of Russian bases in Kyrgyzstan, the memorandum said.Russia already has one base in Kyrgyzstan, the Kant airbase outside the capital Bishkek.

Pakistan, Tajikistan sign two bilateral agreements

Greek ratification paves way for EU-Tajikistan partnership


EU in Turkmenistan

Reaching out to Turkmenistan – the wrong way
The EU has just sent a clear message to Turkmenistan: human rights do not feature in our relationship.
EU presidency defends credentials after Turkmenistan move

Turkmenistan signs contract for participation in "EXPO-2010"


TURKMENISTAN: BERDYMUKHAMEDOV SHAKES UP ANTI-DRUG AGENCY

Nazarbayev arrives in Kyrgyzstan to participate in CSTO
The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, arrived in Kyrgyzstan to participate in the informal summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), "Kazakhstan Today" agency reports citing the press service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan.

Fixed-line Telecommunications Penetration In Kazakhstan Increased

IMF sees risks to economic recovery in Kazakhstan

Kazakh bank BTA quits KazPrime interbank index


Kazakhstan to vaccinate 10% of Almaty population against swine flu
THIS IS A TEST.

Kazakhstan's uranium boss ill in detention
Kazakhstan's most prominent uranium industry figure, whose arrest has alarmed foreign investors in Central Asia's biggest economy, is in poor health and requires urgent medical attention, his wife said on Friday.
Uzbek Opposition Journalist Sentenced to 12 Years
Uzbekistan on Thursday sentenced an opposition journalist to 12 years in prison on blackmailing and forgery charges, a human rights group in the Central Asian country said. "The sentencing of Dilmurod Sayid in Toylok district court in the Samarkand province occurred today without the notification of his relatives and defense lawyer," said Abdurahmon Tashanov, a leader of the Ezgulik rights group. "The court official justified the closed session with security concerns," Tashanov told AFP.

Sayid pleaded not guilty and said that his "case was against all existing laws," in his closing remarks at the trial which were published on the Internet. Earlier Sayid described the case against him as retaliation by local authorities and law enforcement agencies, whose activity he had been criticizing for several years in local and online media outlets. Sayid was arrested on Feb. 22 on suspicion of extorting money from an employee of an agricultural machinery firm in the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan.
"Growth will continue to be positive in Uzbekistan"
World Bank Country Manager in Uzbekistan Loup Brefort in an exclusive interview with UzReport correspondent told about the measures on preventing the consequences of the world economic crisis, as well as investment projects in Uzbekistan.
Backward in Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan’s “tulip revolution” officially withered last week when incumbent president Kurmanbek Bakiyev won a crushing victory amid election irregularities and little attention from the West.
Barack Obama courts human rights abusers in Taliban fight
President Barack Obama is resurrecting relations with some of the world's worst human rights abusers in Central Asia as he attempts to secure new allies in the fight against the Taliban.

Oymerika Hearts Kyrgyzstan!
Kyrgyzstan pledged to create a mechanism for state officials’ declaration examination in accord with the U.S. as part of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Threshold Program,” Nancy Langston, the U.S. federal prosecutor, permanent legal issues adviser under the U.S. Department of Justice, said at the round table discussion in Bishkek Wednesday.

She says she admires ambitions of Kyrgyz government.

The cabinet paid so much attention to the mechanism that it was ratified by Parliament and obtained a status of agreement, a bill. The federal prosecutor noted that Kyrgyz officials have made a number of trips abroad to learn from the experience of foreign countries. “Now it is time to put your knowledge into work,” Ms. Langston said. The examination mechanism is to be introduced within 10 months. “Declaring of data and its examination will not fight corruption, but significantly complicate it. With time Kyrgyzstan should introduce more large-scale examinations,” she added.
In pictures: Kyrgyzstan's sacred mountain

Russia pushes for CAsia energy projects
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday pushed for energy and transportation projects — in which Russia is likely to lead the way — to boost economic development in Afghanistan and surrounding countries.

Meeting with the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, Medevdev called building energy infrastructure a vital prerequisite for prosperity."Energy projects are what really help governments that need to strengthen their economy," he said. "Assistance must not just be a one-off, it should be aimed toward the future."

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari appeared to welcome the prospect of a greater Russian role in improving stability and enabling economic development."We are a region that is asking for help," he said. "The people of Pakistan, the people of Afghanistan are looking forward and looking up to the leadership in the region to help them come out of their problems."
CSTO Summit to Formalize New Base in Kyrgyzstan
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian is due to arrive in Kyrgyzstan on Friday to attend a two day informal summit of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, where member states are to sign off on the establishment of a military base in Southern Kyrgyzstan to host the CSTO’s newly established Rapid Reaction Force.

The summit will bring together heads of state from the member countries for talks on the establishment of the base and on broader regional security issues in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata, near Lake Issyk Kul. The new base will serve as a training ground for the post-soviet alliance’s new permanent military and peace keeping forces. The CSTO, which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agreed in early February to set up the rapid-reaction force, transforming the loosely organized CSTO into a more NATO-like military alliance, complete with UN-Peacekeeping responsibilities and armed with modern compatible weapons and military hardware.
Russia dismisses NATO membership suggestions
We do not join things, silly tovariches. We take things.

Afghanistan, Russia top challenges for new NATO head

US Takes Steps to Boost Security Cooperation With Russia


Russia police detain anti-Kremlin protesters
Russian riot police detained an opposition leader and dozens of anti-Kremlin activists for trying to hold an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow on Friday, officials said.

Hundreds of police officers surrounded Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square and forced 20 activists and one journalist into waiting vans, a Reuters witness said. A police spokesman said 47 people were detained in all, some even before the rally began.

Police detained writer and activist Eduard Limonov, head of the outlawed National Bolshevik Party, while he was driving to the protest, his office aid in a statement. Police confirmed Limonov had been detained. Around 100 protesters attended the march, some shouting "shame" and "freedom of assembly" as the police closed in on the rally.
Russia starts new pipeline, Exxon under pressure

Russia's Gazprom says needs to work hard on Exxon

Russia's Gunvor to store crude off US Gulf Coast
'Ello, Gunvor!

Gazprom to set up oil venture with Petroleos de Venezuela

Threat of war hangs over Georgian energy routes
More than 800,000 barrels of high-quality Caspian crude oil flow daily to the Mediterranean beneath this Georgian village, 42 km (26 miles) from breakaway South Ossetia. Bashkoi marks the closest point at which the BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline -- one of several criss-crossing the region -- skirts the Russian-backed territory, underscoring the risks to investors with stakes in Georgia as an energy corridor to the West. Last August's five-day war over South Ossetia rattled nerves over the flow of oil and gas. Analysts cite current plans to expand BTC as evidence the worst fears were misplaced. But a year on, with the sides facing off over tense boundaries and no sign of a peace process, the risk of renewed hostilities remains high.

Putin to talk nuclear in Turkey trip

Former Adviser To Russia's Putin Denied Entry To Lithuania
A former aide to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was pulled off a train and refused entry into Lithuania Thursday because he is barred from visiting, authorities said. A Lithuanian border official declined to provide details on why Modest Kolerov was on a list of those banned from entering the country. He was not arrested and was expected to return to Russia.

Judge accepts plea deal in Russia sex tourism case
A federal judge in Philadelphia has accepted a plea deal from a wealthy Russian-American entrepreneur accused of traveling to his homeland to have sex with girls from an orphanage. Thirty-eight-year-old Andrew Mogilyansky, who owns a Bensalem car-exporting company and other businesses, pleaded guilty in April to a federal sex tourism charge and related counts. Under a plea approved Thursday, he will be sentenced to 6 1/2 to eight years.A federal prosecutor says the deal spares the victims from having to relive their ordeal in court.

Russia's Putin dives for crystals in deepest lake
Glorious Vlad can do anything my proples!

* Putin to inspect crystals packed with methane!
* New stunt keeps leader in popular view!

Russia consul general engaged in espionage and reported to Putin
And who else should he report to, stupid headline?
Russia consul general in Odesa Aleksandr Grachev was incriminated in creating a Russia-controlled network to further the Russian influence, The Ukrayinska Pravda quotes its sources in Ukraine special services as saying July 31. Grachov had large sums of money funneled to him secretly to pay for his illegal activities. “In fact, Grachev was involved in espionage aimed at pushing Russia’s political agenda for Ukraine. He established contracts with noted Ukrainian politicians, the source says. He asked his noted contacts to prepare written memos about how to implement Russia’s policy regarding Ukraine. These memos were then shown to Vladimir Putin, the source confirms.

Banks Paid $32.6 Billion in Bonuses Amid US Bailout

Mortgage Melt-Down Investigation: Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank got served by the US Senate...

Senate Probes Banks for Meltdown Fraud

Senators Urge US Fed To Reveal Firms That Received Aid
On Friday, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, urging him to release a full list of Wall Street firms that have received extraordinary aid. "It is not justifiable to have the Federal Reserve Board fail to provide this information," said the group, which includes lawmakers such as Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.

Deutsche Bank's Ariburnu Leaves Global Markets Unit
A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman in London declined to comment. Ariburnu, a Turkish native, joined Deutsche Bank in 1999.
Goldman and JPMorgan Defend Trading 'Firewalls'

Textron Names Former Goldman Sachs Executive CFO
OK.... so WTF does a Textron do?

Textron Inc.
Oy, sorry I asked....

Textron leverages its global network of aircraft, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance businesses....

Textron's CFO appointment dispels buyout rumors
For the past several months, the Providence, R.I.-based company has been the subject of speculation of a potential buyout by analysts. Press reports have suggested a possibility that defense contractors may have interest in buying Textron, as well as a Middle East consortium.

In April, published reports said a group of United Arab Emirates companies and a Kuwaiti firm were offering $21 per share for Textron.

Textron, Harman Case May Not End With Suspect's Death‎
The death of Hazem al-Braikan may not halt a U.S. regulatory probe of profits he and Middle Eastern firms allegedly reaped on bogus takeover bids.

Al-Braikan, who was named as a defendant with three firms in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit last week, was found dead from a gunshot wound yesterday in an apparent suicide, a security official at the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said, declining to be identified because the probe is ongoing. The SEC will probably continue its case against his estate, said Jacob Frenkel, a former SEC lawyer and federal prosecutor who is now in private practice in Maryland.

SNIP

The Textron Inc. and Harman International Industries Inc. trades at issue in the case were made by Kipco Asset Management “under specific instructions of its client,” Ogilvy Public Relations said in a July 24 e-mailed statement on the company’s behalf. It didn’t identify the client. Yesterday, United Gulf Bank also denied that it profited from the transactions, saying they too were for a client.

Kipco Asset Management and United Gulf Bank are part of the Kuwait Projects Co. In a statement today, the parent company’s vice chairman, Faisal Hamad al-Ayyar, said al-Braikan had been “an invaluable asset” to the group since he began working with it in 1995.

Textron Defense Systems Creates Directed Energy Weapons Business Line
Directed by one Mr. Boness. No, I can not possibly make this crap up.
Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, today announced the creation of a Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) business line led by Dr. John Boness to focus on the development of the company's laser technologies.
Textron unit to develop laser weapons‎
Textron Defense Systems unit created a business line to develop laser weapons. "We're looking over the horizon at the future of weapons systems and directed energy has been identified as an area of interest by the U.S. Department of Defense," said Mark Catizone, Textron Defense Systems general manager, in a statement. "Directed Energy Laser Weapons is an evolving technology, and with solid state laser technology developing toward more compact systems we believe that practical application will be achieved in the near future."
AIG Is Even Worse Off Than You Think

IMF delays Iceland payment

Iceland angry at hold-up in IMF aid

FSA to Hold Meeting on Oil Market


Price of oil bounces back sharply


Propaganda, False Profits and Some "Surprises to the Upside"
The Gold Report: Just reading the papers today, we're seeing lots of interesting news. We see GM has come out of bankruptcy, we see Goldman Sachs, BofA and Citigroup all recording record profits. We're even hearing, in some cases and some places that home sales are increasing. What is going on?

Bob Moriarty: That's an example of how total the distortion is in the news media in the United States. First of all, 96% of the news media is controlled by six people. Their vested interest is not in telling the truth; their vested interest is in selling products. What we call the news media is really better termed a propaganda media. It's all propaganda.
Commentary: Obama's most trusted aide
She was born in Iran to a geneticist....
Five days after the 2008 presidential election, Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes" did a profile on "Obama's brain trust," four political veterans that he reported were the president-elect's most important team members: David Plouffe, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod and Anita Dunn. When the report aired, I immediately asked myself, "Where's Valerie?" -- as in Valerie Jarrett, clearly the most important adviser to the president.

After calling around, I discovered that Jarrett didn't even know about the sit-down interview. As Arsenio Hall used to say on his show, "Things that make you go, 'Hmmm.' "

But after reading the New York Times Magazine cover story on the 52-year-old Jarrett, a longtime Chicago, Illinois, business executive, it's safe to say that that mistake will never happen again.

Washington is all about power and the approximation to power. Who is in and who is out is the favorite parlor game among the elites, and the wide assumption by many was that when it came to whom the president relied on the most for advice and counsel, it would have been chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior adviser Axelrod and press secretary Robert Gibbs.

STFU & Get On The Bus:
Rick Wade, a senior adviser, Stacey Brayboy, the state campaign manager, and Anton Gunn, the state political director, took turns beseeching their boss. The gala, they told Obama, would be attended by more than 2,000 college-educated African-American women, a constituent group that was originally skeptical of the candidate’s “blackness” and that the campaign worked tirelessly to wrest from Hillary Clinton. State luminaries like Representative James Clyburn — himself an undeclared black voter — would be expecting him. They would be in and out in five minutes.

Obama’s irritation grew. “Man, it’s late, I’m tired,” he snapped. “I’m not going to any sorority event.”

The three staff members knew what their only option was at this point. “If you want him to do something,” Gunn would later tell me, “there are two people he’s not going to say no to: Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama.”

At the day’s penultimate event, a rally in Columbia, Gunn, Brayboy and Wade pleaded their case to Jarrett, the Obamas’ longtime friend and consigliere. When they were finished, Jarrett told them, “We can make that happen,” as Gunn would recall it. Jarrett informed Michelle of the situation, and when the candidate stepped offstage from the rally, Obama’s wife told him he had one last stop to make before they called it a night.

“I told Anton I’m not going to any Pink Ice Ball!” Obama barked.

Then Jarrett glided over to the fuming candidate. Her voice was very quiet and very direct.

“Barack,” she said, “you want to win, don’t you?”

Scowling, Obama affirmed that he did.

“Well, then. You need to go to Pink Ice.”

“And he shuts up,” Gunn recalls, “and gets on the bus.”
Government watchdogs fear bill undermines them
Five government watchdogs over the financial system are fighting back against legislation speeding through Congress that they say would politicize their work and undermine their investigative authority.
Obama, The Movie
Ucccchhh!
You see it in the backstage moments, before Obama takes the stage to massive crowd, or in the victory trek that David Axelrod and David Plouffe take from the Chicago headquarters to the candidate's election night hotel suite, where there is a brief glimpse inside.
FBI corruption case witness a big campaign donor
Before he helped the government snare dozens of New Jersey public officials by offering bribes, the FBI's informant in a corruption case was a prolific on-the-books campaign donor, giving roughly $190,000 to high-level candidates over an eight-year span.

None of the 30 or so politicians who received legal campaign donations from Solomon Dwek have been implicated in the scandal. Forty-four people, mostly Democrats, were arrested last week, including three mayors, two state assemblymen, five rabbis and many other public officials.

But many recipients are rushing to give the money to charity as they look to distance themselves from Dwek and the state's culture of corruption.

"When you've taken money from somebody in involved in a scandal, you give it back as fast as you can," said Peter Woolley, a political science professor and pollster at Fairleigh Dickinson-Public Mind. "In the public's mind, giving money and influencing politicians is one in the same thing."

Dwek and his wife, Pearl, donated to candidates at all levels of government — a sign of just how politically connected the former real estate developer was. Conversely, none of the elected officials arrested Thursday received official campaign donations from the Dweks.

The Military Is Not the Police
Yet.Tick Tock!
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from law enforcement activities within the United States. If armed officers are going to knock on Americans’ doors, or arrest them in the streets, they should answer to civilian authorities.

SNIP

The American Civil Liberties Union has been sounding the alarm about the proliferation of “fusion centers,” in which federal, state and local law enforcement cooperate on anti-terrorism work. According to the A.C.L.U., the lines have blurred, and the centers have involved military personnel in domestic law enforcement. Congress should investigate.Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, said Wednesday that fusion centers were not intended to have a military presence, and that she was not aware of ones that did. She promised greater transparency about what role, if any, the active military was playing.Civil libertarians are also raising questions about a program known as the Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives Consequence Management Response Force. The Army says its aim is to have active-duty troops ready to back up local law enforcement in catastrophic situations, like an attack with a nuclear weapon. That could be legal, but the workings of these units are murky. Again, Congress should ensure that the military is not moving into prohibited areas.
Military/Law Enforcement Partnerships: A Growing Ball of Con-'Fusion'

On Thursday, the New York Times editorialized about a new kind of national security resource: so-called “fusion centers,” or joint anti-terrorism efforts between federal, state, regional, and local law enforcement agencies in which the military may also be playing a role. The Times worries that, with last week's disclosure that President Bush considered sending troops to Buffalo in 2002 to arrest members of a suspected terrorism cell, the wall that is supposed to separate the military from domestic law enforcement in this country is starting to crack.

As the Times points out, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 "generally prohibits the military from law enforcement activities within the United States." Yet earlier this year, the Army dispatched soldiers to patrol the streets of a small Alabama town after a man went on a shooting spree, seemingly crossing the line into domestic law enforcement.

During Swine Flu (H1N1) Pandemic Military To Work With FEMA
The assignment of the 1st Brigade Combat Team to Northcom alarmed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law,” said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel. The news that troops are being prepared to work with FEMA in the event of a swine flu pandemic will increase fears that the government is preparing to enforce a mandatory vaccination program – at gunpoint if necessary.
Colorado's First Confirmed H1N1 Death
This story interests me because:
NEWSCHANNEL 13 has learned she worked at NORAD and US NORTHCOM. The health department won't release more specific information about the woman and her case.
U.S. Northern Command

On April 17, 2002 Defense officials announced the establishment of U.S. Northern Command as part of the changes in the Unified Command Plan. At a Pentagon press briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the plan the most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946.

U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) stood up Oct. 1, 2002, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The NORTHCOM commander is responsible for homeland defense and also serve as head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a U.S.-Canada command. The current NORAD commander also is the commander of U.S. Space Command, also at Peterson. NORTHCOM's area of operations includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean and the contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The commander is responsible for land, aerospace and sea defenses of the United States. He will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities. The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters. NORTHCOM takes the homeland defense role from the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). JFCOM's Joint Task Force-Civil Support and related activities report to NORTHCOM. The NORTHCOM headquarters has established liaisons with the homeland security directors of each state, and has working ties with related federal and state agencies.

COPS, DHS On 'Stimulus' Patrol
The federal Community Oriented Police Services, or COPS program, has given police departments across the country something to "CHRP" about with the awarding of $1 billion in economic stimulus grants. (CHRP is the COPS Hiring Recovery Program.)

The money, part of the $795 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress earlier this year, will be funneled into the COPS Hiring Recovery Program under the U.S. Department of Justice. The funds will go to "state, local and tribal law enforcement to create and/or preserve nearly 5,000 law enforcement positions," according to the DOJ web site. The grants cover a three-year period and each department accepting the money must commit to retaining officers hired under the program for a fourth year as well.
DHS Announces $78M in New Transit Security Grants

CACI strengthens watch desk operations at DHS

Tornado drill? No, terrorism drill
President Barack Obama and other top administration officials conducted a terrorism training exercise in the White House Situation Room on Thursday that was designed to test communications and the response to a potential attack on the United States, administration officials said.

The scenario involved “preventing a terrorist from entering the United States to carry out additional attacks in the aftermath of a terrorist event outside the country, prioritizing intelligence and law enforcement activities that detect, disrupt and deter preventable terrorist incidents,” according to a release by the Department of Homeland Security.

Florida man sees security exercise, calls police
A nationwide government anti-terrorism exercise this week inadvertently alarmed a Florida man who happened to catch a mock television broadcast that was part of the drill. The Homeland Security Department coordinated the five-day exercise, which simulated "real life" scenarios, and included an internal broadcast of fake news with top officials discussing the "threat" and the "actions" the government was taking.

A man in West Palm Beach somehow managed to view part of the broadcast, became alarmed and called authorities, according to an official, who was not authorized to discuss details of the glitch and requested anonymity. The Homeland Security Department said when it learned a member of the public had accessed the signal, "the decision was made to stop utilizing the signal for the remainder of the exercise."

The content of the mock news reports was alarming, but also contained a prominent graphic saying it was part of a government exercise. "The citizen contacted the phone number provided on the screen and was told not to worry, that what he was seeing was a training exercise," the DHS statement said.Officials said they are reviewing the incident to make sure it doesn't happen again.
RU486 abortion drug to be allowed in Italy

Abortion measure passes, then fails, in House


Presidential Science Advisor Wants to Reverse American Development
The bad news just keeps coming about President Barack Obama’s “science czar” John Holdren. I first pointed out a few weeks ago that Holdren is an anti-American of the first order who fits in well with the rest of the anti-American anti-life radicals President Obama has appointed to his administration. He is a Malthusian population-control advocate, environmental extremist and global-warming enthusiast.

Yesterday it came to light that Holdren doesn’t even think young children are human beings yet; apparently they only become human once they reach adulthood. This takes “pro-choice” drivel about “we don’t know when human life begins” to stunning new heights.

Today CNS News reports that Holdren wants to “de-develop” the United States, taking us from the most advanced and prosperous nation in the world to Third World mediocrity and squalor.

“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States,” Holdren wrote in a 1973 book he co-authored with Paul R. Ehrlch and Anne H. Ehrlich. “De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.”

In the vision expressed by Holdren and his co-authors, the Ehrlichs, the need for “de-development” of the United States demanded a redistribution of wealth."

Is Big Brother watching?
Is it legal for the federal government to implement a computer intrusion detection system that reportedly can read email? The system is known as the Einstein intrusion detection system, and a version of it has been rolled out at the Department of Homeland Security.
Raytheon Partners with SafeNet for Cybersecure Networking
Raytheon Company and SafeNet Inc. recently partnered to demonstrate a new technology that secures radio communication among warfighters. Raytheon exhibited its DragonFire family of radios with SafeNet's Type 1 encryptor at the U.S. Army Cryptographic Modernization Technology Day in June 2009 at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Raytheon high-tech gear will aid dismounted ground warriors
All the better for Urban/Suburban Warfare, mine proles.

Former Bush Advisor Elected to Raytheon Board of Directors

The "US Institute of Peace" is James Baker's gig...
Raytheon has elected Stephen Hadley to its board of directors, effective immediately, the company announced July 31. Hadley previously served as the principal White House foreign policy advisor to former President George W. Bush and directed the U.S. National Security Council staff from 2005-2009. Prior to serving as a National Security Advisor, Hadley was a deputy national security advisor from 2001 to 2005. He currently is a senior advisor for International Affairs at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
DoD may curb Facebook, Twitter access

Lawmaker slams plan for Kansas biothreat lab
Foot in mouth disease! Ahahahaha. Now this we have a true pandemic of.
A Homeland Security Department plan to move foot-and-mouth disease research from an island off New York to Kansas is a "foolish tempting of fate," the head of a House oversight panel said Thursday. Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak issued his criticism as the Homeland Security Department defended its plan to build a more than $500 million animal disease lab in Manhattan, Kan.

Stupak and fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, raised concerns last year about the planned research move. They repeated their concerns Thursday as the GAO officially issued a report critical of the Homeland Security Department's plan. A draft of the report was leaked to media earlier this week.

"Moving contagious animal research to the heart of America's livestock industry remains a foolish tempting of fate," said Stupak, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations committee.
Homeland Security defends Kansas as biodefense lab site

Hazardous materials crews called to Raytheon in Seminole
FLORIDA: Hazardous materials and fire crews responded to reports of a blast of deadly gas at a Raytheon facility Thursday morning.Crews arrived at the Young-Rainey Star Center, 7885 Bryan Dairy Road, about 10:45 a.m. after reports of hydrogen sulfide. But they quickly discovered that the call actually was for nearby Raytheon, so they went there. They got negative readings for the gas.Still, one person was taken to the hospital for an undisclosed condition.
FEMA to oversee test of radiation emergency at Surry VA plant

New FEMA Midwest Headquarters Opened

But we are not told where...
A new FEMA Midwest headquarters somewhere in the Kansas City area will now allow crews to respond to disasters throughout the Midwest.The exact location of the facility is being kept secret for security purposes, but the new facility features many of the new tools that disaster response crews would need.
Governor to senator: 'Put up or shut up' on Yucca
Gov. Jim Gibbons challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Friday to "put up or shut up" about working to stop Yucca Mountain from being used as the nation's nuclear repository.

Gibbons wrote a letter to Reid, D-Nev., asking him to use his influence in Congress to repeal the Nuclear Waste Policy Act that designates Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear dump. "Sen. Reid should make Nevada safer by working to immediately repeal the NWPA and kill Yucca Mountain once and for all," Gibbons said in a written statement.
Feds speeding up removal of Moab uranium tailings
The Feds never speed up anything unless something is amiss....
Work to remove 16 million tons of radioactive waste away from the tourist town of Moab is about to go a little faster. The U.S. Department of Energy plans to double the amount of uranium tailings removed each day from the shores of the Colorado River. Right now, rail cars haul about 2,800 tons of tailings a day to a dump site 30 miles away, where they're placed in specially designed cells. A second train will be added in mid-August, according to Don Metzler, the DOE's manager for the project.

Each shipment includes 22 rail cars—each capable of holding four containers full of 32 tons of waste each. Metzler said additional rail cars and larger containers may also be added to each rail shipment later this year. The waste is part of a Cold War legacy in Moab, where rich uranium deposits were mined during the 1950s for nuclear weapons. The uranium mill closed in 1984 but left behind a 130-acre heap of tailings on the banks of the Colorado River. Officials have long worried that flooding in the area could wash some of the hazardous material into the river, which provides drinking water for millions of people downstream.
Activists battle new uranium mine
Two environmental groups are trying to block Utah's first new uranium mine in three decades. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Uranium Watch want the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to rethink its approval of the Daneros Mine, located about 10 miles from Natural Bridges National Monument. The groups also want the federal agency to stop Australia-based White Canyon Uranium from mining its Daneros claim until BLM's Utah director, Selma Sierra, determines whether her agency studied the environmental consequences sufficiently. "There are a lot of issues associated with uranium mining that were not adequately assessed before the permits were issued," Liz Thomas, an attorney for SUWA, said Friday.

Backers of Piketon uranium project push for federal loan guarantee
After losing his job of 17 years at a Chillicothe paper mill and suffering through nine months of unemployment, Scott Barker hoped he was set for decades when he landed a job in February with USEC to do mechanical maintenance at the company's uranium-enrichment site in Piketon, Ohio.

But Barker, 38 of Kingston, came to Capitol Hill today to protest an Obama administration decision he fears is about to land him right back on the unemployment line. Barker was one of dozens of USEC employees from Ohio who rode a bus overnight to attend a part news conference, part rally thrown by Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, asking the White House to reverse a decision by the Department of Energy to reject USEC's application for a $2 billion loan guarantee the company says it needs to complete financing of the $3.5 billion project.

"I thought I was good until retirement," Barker said, standing next to his 11-year-old daughter, Sydnee. "We have proven that it (the enrichment technology) will work."

NC: Radioactive Uranium Hexaflouride To Be Processed At NFS
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday authorized Erwin-based Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. to begin processing radioactive uranium hexafluoride in its new Commercial Development production line. The new production line will convert uranium hexafluoride into either uranium oxide or uranyl nitrate, according to the NRC. "Those compounds would then be either transferred to the applicable NFS customer or used in other NFS lines to process fuel for commercial nuclear use," an earlier NRC press release said. NRC spokesman Joey Ledford said during a telephone interview Thursday that NFS received authorization in the form of a letter.
Uranium Smugglers Sentenced to Time Served, Set Free in Slovakia
A Slovakian court yesterday sentenced two uranium smugglers to time already served for selling the radioactive substance to undercover police in 2007, the Czech News Agency reported
Uranium travels nerves from nose to brain

CHINA: Two Hualien farmers tap mud volcano for free gas

First Drilling into Deep Sea Earthquake Zone Succeeds
Sounds like an extrodinarily stupid thing to do to me, but WTF do I know? Surely they will gather plenty of self induced seismic data! I wonder if the recent large quakes there have anything to do with this "succesful" scientific operation?
In the first deep sea drilling expedition designed to gather seismic data, scientists have successfully drilled nearly a mile beneath the ocean floor into one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.
The Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea
Islamic racial evolutionary scientists have yet to announce their relation to Sea Monkeys, the world's favorite insta-pet. But I suspect they soon will!

Bright Spot on Venus Leaves Scientists Stumped
Stumped I tell yez!

Obama Administration Works to Woo Catholics

What dead babies?

Pope signs with same label as Snoop Dogg
Fah Shnizzle mah PoPizzle!

Holy Temple Festival in Samaria