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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: Simply Tentacular!



The Alarming Record of the F.B.I.'s Informant in the Bronx Bomb Plot

Last month, police and the FBI arrested four Newburgh men on charges that they had plotted to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx and fire a missile at a military jet.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly held press conferences at the synagogues to reassure New Yorkers about their safety. During Kelly's remarks, it was startling to hear the commissioner refer to al-Qaeda by name, if only to say that the four purported home-grown terrorists had no ties to Osama Bin Laden's organization.

As more details emerged, however, the less the four defendants sounded like men with the skills to plan a sophisticated terror plot. They were small-time crooks, felons with long criminal records whose previous activities revolved around smoking marijuana and playing video games. One defendant, Laguerre Payen, was arrested in a crack house surrounded by bottles of his own urine; his lawyer describes him as "mildly retarded."

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But what the indictment didn't say, and what the initial news reports didn't fill in, was the extent to which the fifth man in the plot, an unnamed FBI informant, had provided the glue to hold the Newburgh 4 together.

That informant was a Pakistani man named Shahed Hussain, code-named "Malik," who agreed to work for the FBI to obtain leniency after he was arrested in 2002 for fraud.

Over a period of about a year, Malik met with defendants James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Payen while under FBI surveillance. Cromitie allegedly said he was upset about U.S. forces killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He talked about being willing to die as a martyr, and threatened to "do something to America."

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Obama Sends "Best Wishes" to Muslims Before the Start of Ramadan

Obama Admin Affirms Support for US-UAE Nuclear Cooperation
Does anyone else hear the screams of Afghan grain dealers? No?
The Obama administration on Friday affirmed its support for a nuclear-cooperation deal with the United Arab Emirates, an agreement that is essential to allowing U.S. companies to win a share of the estimated $40 billion to $60 billion in contracts to help the Arab country construct nuclear reactors. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said that the deal, which still faces congressional approval, "is necessary to allow U.S. companies to participate." He predicted "significant opportunity" for U.S. companies and said that the "U.S. government stands firmly behind you in this endeavor." The remarks were made at an event on the UAE's nuclear-power plan sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The UAE is in the process of picking a primary contractor to manage the nuclear-power project, and expects to announce its decision in the fall. In December, the US-UAE Business Council will lead a trade mission to the region, hoping to bring representatives from 30 to 40 companies in order to help develop partnerships.

A reminder ~ APRIL 2009 : Torture tape delays U.S.-UAE nuclear deal, say U.S. officials
Merely DELAYS it, mind you.



Saudi Arabia seeks first nuclear power plant
Saudi Arabia’s minister of water and electricity, Abdullah bin Abdul-Rahman al-Husayen, said that Riyadh is looking at building its first nuclear power plant, the Saudi daily, Al Watan, reported on Thursday. “The kingdom is working on building a pilot plant fuelled by nuclear energy” to generate electricity, he told the Arabic-language daily, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is one of a number of Arab states looking to develop a nuclear program. Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have all indicated an interest in using nuclear energy for civilian purposes, such as generating electricity and desalination. In May 2008, the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on civil nuclear energy cooperation. The U.S. has also approved a nuclear cooperation deal with the UAE.

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Saudi-Syria ties delay Lebanese government
It has become certain that Damascus and Riyadh have come to terms over Lebanon and decided to settle their differences and accept good relations with US, wrote Bassam al Dhaw in a comment piece in the Qatari newspaper Al Watan.

“It is well known to observers that good Saudi-Syrian relations go beyond Lebanon. It is part and parcel of a broader US and European approach to Middle East issues.” The rapprochement between Syria and Saudi Arabia helped in designating Saad al Hariri to form a new government, though defining their roles has caused its delay.

Damascus knows very well that it emerged victorious during the events that rocked Lebanon between 2005 and 2009. Yet it does not boast of its victory, and has chosen rather a different approach. Now Syria yearns for a greater role in Lebanon as it has asserted its position and feels that the US needs its help.

“So the next phase of Saudi-Syrian opening would focus on coordinating efforts and roles. That is why the Lebanese government is less likely to see light until Syria and Saudi Arabia agreed on the composition of the prospective Lebanese government. Both countries would possibly have a say in portfolios and their holders.”

Syria - Assad & Ahmadi- Nejad: New Prospects of Cooperation in All Fields!
President Bashar al-Assad and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on Wednesday held a round of talks in Tehran, during which President al-Assad congratulated President Ahmadinejad on his re-election, wishing him and the people of Iran more progress and prosperity. Talks during the meeting dealt with the solid friendly relations between the peoples of Syria and Iran and the mechanisms for consolidating the cooperation between both countries.

Presidents al-Assad and Ahmadinejad expressed satisfaction over the level at which bilateral relations have reached, as well as the desire for opening new prospects of cooperation in various fields serving the interests of Syria and Iran. The latest regional and international developments were also reviewed, especially in the occupied Palestinian territories, with both sides stressing necessity of achieving the national Palestinian reconciliation and discarding differences in order to close the ranks of the Palestinian people and preserve their unity to help restore the legitimate rights. They also underscored the importance of exerting concerted efforts to lift the continuous Israeli siege on Gaza Strip and open all crossings.

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Syria, Turkey sign MOU on gas
What Palestinian Moderation Looks Like
Conspiracy theories, duplicity and the glorification of terrorists.

Fatah's Dahlan: We must talk with Hamas

Hamas 'Victory Festival' in Damascus
When they feast on the spleens of their enemies!

ABU DHABI: Emergency volunteer force planned
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you....

ABU DHABI ~ The federal Government will ask 15,000 people nationwide to volunteer to respond to emergencies, including floods and hurricanes, or even terrorist attacks, in their own neighbourhoods.

The volunteers will be trained in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), search and rescue, and basic firefighting. They could also be asked to control crowds. Under the programme announced yesterday, a joint effort between Takatof, the national social volunteering group, and the National Crisis Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), 15,000 volunteers will be trained over the next five years as part of the new National Programme for Volunteer Emergency Response, which is being launched in October.

Volunteers will receive preferential treatment when they apply to university or seek jobs with the Government, officials said.

HASAN CHOP

NATO Secretary-General to visit Turkey
Dig that MFer's face. Do you see it or is it just me?
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who previously drew harsh criticism surrounding the publication of cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad in his home country of Denmark, is expected to visit Turkey shortly during Ramadan and attend an iftar (fast-breaking dinner) that will be hosted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul.
NATO Secretary General in Iceland
At the meeting, Sigurdardóttir criticized British authorities for having implemented the anti-terrorism act against Iceland, a NATO ally, to freeze the assets of Icelandic banks in the UK in the wake of the economic collapse in October last year, ruv.is reports. According to Morgunbladid, Fogh Rasmussen appreciates Iceland’s contribution to NATO. “We know that Iceland is struggling economically at the moment, like other nations. But Iceland’s government has confirmed in its discussions with me that you will continue to contribute to NATO and that is enough for me.”

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Speaking of Iceland...
Brazilian Minister of Justice might go to Iceland
hmmmm...
A week ago, a well known dangerous criminal, Hosmany Ramos from Brazil, was on his way from Norway to Canada when he was stopped in Keflavik, Iceland by police. He was found travelling on a false passport, which was his brother’s. Ramos has been sitting in a local prison in Reykjavik since his arrest.

The Brazilian Secretary of National Justice, Romeu Tuma Junior, has now said he is willing to travel to Iceland personally to discuss bringing Ramos back home to Brazil. There are Icelandic prisoners held in Brazilian prisons at the moment which would play into any potential trade of prisoners, because no formal extradition agreement exists between Brazil and Iceland, according to Frettabladid.

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We have so many uncanonised martyrs
'I am sorry I could not speak to you then because we were just about to begin the funeral service for Irfan, an 11-year-old boy who was shot in the head passed away yesterday." That was the opening line of the email from Fr Mario Rodriguez, national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan. Several hours later, Fr Mario was able to give a few more details as he spoke over the phone from Karachi. He also sent me three photographs of his parishioners.

In one photo, Fr Mario and a householder stand in a fire-blackened house. In another, in the midst of a group of men, one wears a sling, a slight bloodstain showing where the bullet entered his arm. The third photo portrays a man holding up his right arm, its blistered blackness horrific. At present, the man's injury is possibly not very painful: the serious nature of his burn probably destroyed the sensitive nerve endings in his skin. As his injury heals and the nerves regenerate, it will be agony.

Yet the message from Fr Mario's parishioners is one of defiance. "We are prepared to die for our faith!" Irfan Masih was an innocent victim who died because he was a Christian, killed when local Christians tried to prevent a group of Taliban extremists desecrating their church in Tiasar Town near Karachi, home to 300 Catholic families. The families used to live in a more central area of Karachi but were evicted and forced to move to the outskirts of the city.

Fr Mario explained: "Irfan was shot in the head a few days ago when the Taliban attacked St Jude's church in Karachi. He had massive brain injuries and was on life-support when I visited him in the hospital on Friday. He died on Monday and was buried today, Tuesday. His parents are devastated and his mother hasn't eaten or drunk since it happened."

HASAN CHOP
Afghanistan: Fear of Iranian style unrest
Tensions rose early this month after an analyst’s comment, that people “will come with their Kalashnikovs” if they disagree with the poll results, was wrongly attributed to the campaign team of candidate Abdallah Abdallah. Wounds have not yet healed from an ethnically charged civil war of the 1990s that left the capital in ruins with at least 80,000 people killed in the city alone.

The reports prompted the Interior Ministry to say it would “deal strictly” with any trouble-makers, while the British embassy in Kabul warned that any violence would be “unacceptable”. But candidates have continued to trade barbs over the spectre of unrest. Presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghaniissued a statement calling on Abdallah and incumbent President Hamid Karzai “to renounce violence and to refrain from appealing to voters based on ethnicity or factional interests”.

Much of the fear stems from the tribal and ethnic divisions in Afghanistan, with Karzai -- running for a second term -- counting on the support of the dominant Pashtoun group, and his main rival Abdallah tapping the Tajik vote. The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), a global research group, said if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, prompting a second round, “Afghanistan could be plunged into political and ethnic violence.”
Karzai, Abdullah both declare victory

Obama: Election a victory for Afghan people

Cross Cross Doublecross, They Must To Create "Populist Anger"....
A notorious New Jersey hate blogger charged in June with threatening to kill judges and lawmakers was secretly an FBI “agent provocateur” paid to disseminate right-wing rhetoric, his attorney said Wednesday.

Hal Turner, the blogger and radio personality, remains jailed pending charges over his recent online rants, which prosecutors claim amounted to an invitation for someone to kill Connecticut lawmakers and Chicago federal appeals court judges.

But behind the scenes the reformed white supremacist was holding clandestine meetings with FBI agents who taught him how to spew hate “without crossing the line,” according to his lawyer, Michael Orozco.

“Almost everything was at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Orozco said in a 45-minute telephone interview from New Jersey. “Their job was to pick up information on the responses of what he was saying and see where that led them. It was an interesting dynamic on what he was being asked to do.”
OIC High Level delegation visits Beijing
During the meeting, the Chinese foreign ministry officials explained their position regarding minorities, including the Uyghur ethnicities in particular. They emphasized the importance China attaches to the Islamic world and their wish to develop relations with the Islamic world further. They also emphasized that they value the role of the OIC in enhancing the moderate values of Islam.
Chief nuclear negotiator from China ends visit to North Korea
Beijing - China's top negotiator in talks on North Korea's nuclear programme ended an unannounced five-day visit to Pyongyang Friday after meeting his North Korean counterpart, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. Vice Foreign Minister Wu also met with North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chuna during his trip, Xinhua said, without mentioning the nuclear talks.

Instead, the agency said 'they exchanged views on bilateral relations, the regional situation and issues of mutual concern.'

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Comment: China's place in the new world order
STFU fishy gwylo Jew! None of this is happening!
One interpretation of the global economic crisis is that it marks an important moment in the shift of power from the US to China.
The president of Chevron Global Marketing's name is Shariq Yosufzai...
I find both the position itself and the name that holds it... disconcerting. So go ahead, arrest me for a Glow Ballicious Ungood Islamophobic Thought Crime.
"These sales are part of our continuing effort to increase efficiency and improve returns by creating better alignment between our marketing and refining operations," said Shariq Yosufzai president, Global Marketing, Chevron.
Chevron building solar-steam plant to produce oil
It simply would not be possible to make this crap up.

Chechen Jihadists Claim Responsibility For Siberian Hydro Power Plant Blast:
"In the name of Allah, through our efforts on Aug. 17 an act of sabotage, long in the making and thoroughly thought out, was carried out at the Khakasia region's Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro-electric power plant, the largest in Russia. "An anti-tank mine on a timer was planted in the turbine room, and its explosion caused enormous damage, greater than we anticipated. "The result halted the hydro-power station completely, and caused losses to Russia worth many billions of dollars.
Death Toll from Russia Hydroelectric Plant Explosion Rises to 47

Official: Death toll in Siberian plant blast 64

Putin says dam disaster may have killed 75


Four killed in five new blasts in Russia's Chechnya

Report: Russian hydro plant called unsafe in 1998
If it was a bombing this is entirely mootalated.

Russian court detains suspected ship hijackers
Intrigue still swirls around the Arctic Sea affair...

Russia declassifies secret documents on Nazi-Soviet pact
Russia has declassified top-secret surveillance documents in an attempt to justify its occupation of Eastern Europe under the Nazi-Soviet pact, signed 70 years ago on Sunday.The hidden protocols of the pact, in which Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler agreed to carve up Poland and other sovereign states, were denounced by the Soviet parliament in 1989, shortly after they were revealed for the first time.But the pact, which lasted until Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, is now being rehabilitated to chime with Kremlin ideology that claims a Russian sphere of interest in the "near abroad" former Soviet republics.

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Russia Gazprom unveils strategies for Turkey

Russian Islamic University opens in Grozny, with Putin's blessing

Arrogant Russian construction tycoon admits his company is nearly bust

Central Asia: Beyond Jihad
While radical Islamic groups have been involved in several insurgencies, regional governments attempt to use the connection between terrorism and Islamic ideology to strengthen their unchallenged positions. By lumping all of these groups together, they fail to recognize the differences in their strategies. A closer look at the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) illustrates this point.
France to roll out EU welcome for Turkmen chief

Russia's Medvedev to visit Turkmenistan in September

OIC calls upon 57 Muslim countries to support the President of Kazakhstan's No Nukes Crap
OIC Secretary General on August 20 addressed all Muslim member countries of the organization with the request to support the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to declare on August 29 International Day of Refusal from Nuclear Weapons, Kazakhstan Today agency reports citing the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
OIC leadership backs Kazakh initiative for world anti-WMD day

China strengthens presence in Kazakhstan
In recent weeks, China has significantly expanded its economic presence in the energy-rich Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan, where a number of countries including India and the United States have in the past few years been in a scramble for a share of its vast resources of oil and gas.In the last couple of months, through the acquisition of oil companies by State-owned enterprises, the extension of a 3,000-km oil pipeline and a number of “loan for oil” deals, China has seemingly strengthened its grip over the country’s energy resources.

Kazakhstan Approaches OSCE Chairmanship as a "National Strategic Project"
Among additional issues, restoring the authority of OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) poses special problems. ODIHR's authority is being challenged from two opposite directions. On one front, Russia challenges the legitimacy of ODIHR's methodology and structure, and has practically evicted ODIHR from Russia during its elections since 2007. On another front, self-defined democratic oppositions in Georgia and Moldova have petulantly rejected ODIHR's election assessments in those countries in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Creation of space branch of Kazakhstan
To the moon, Igor!
Creation of space branch of Kazakhstan can be executed in close cooperation with Russia. The chairman of National Space Agency of Kazakhstan, Talgat Musabaev, said during the meeting with the head of Federal Space Agency of Russia, Anatoly Perminov, Kazakhstan Today agency reports citing official mass media. T. Musabaev underlined that the goal set by the head of the state on creation of space branch of Kazakhstan can be executed in close cooperation with Russia. "Our goal - to be integrated into world space community and to create self-sufficient branch in Kazakhstan.
Uzbekistan, US sign agreement on military cooperation

Uzbekistan government offers USD 1.1bn projects to local investors

Uzbekistan: The government moves about 200 families from the border

There will be no Glow Ball outrage over this since there are no Jews oppressing Palestinians in the story... Please note they are also digging trenches at the border. Nice.
The government of Uzbekistan continues to settle out its citizens from the border with Kyrgyzstan in order to safeguard them from possible incidents, involving the use of arms. According to the source in Uzbek law enforcement bodies, 149 courtyards with 178 families are being resettled from border zone, Regnum reports. "Moreover, 85 undeveloped ground areas, allocated to the residents of local mahallah (local government body) of Khidirsh, city of Khanabad in the Andijan Oblast, will be also relocated. This place became the target of terrorists on May 25 of this year, which came to Uzbekistan from Kyrgyzstan", the source noted.

According to him, the land is allocated, considering the number of families. "This means that if the family consists of parents and three sons with wives, each of the sons is allocated a separate land area for construction. There are number of economic privileges. The houses and outbuildings are estimated and their value is compensated in cash equivalent. The government provides 10 tons of cement, 3 cubic meters of wood, 1.5 tons of reinforcement, 80 pieces of roofing slate, and 18 square meters of window glass to each family.

In addition, the migrants can use the construction materials of former houses. Considering the interethnic issue, first of all, the land (six hundred square meters) was allocated to Kyrgyz families. All other aid is provided out-of-turn. The construction materials are supplied step by step", the source indicates. Bearing in mind the experience of resettlement of people from Uzbek-Kazakh border, there are very few reasons to believe that the migrants will enjoy decent compensation. It has to be reminded that when the house at the border with Kazakhstan, to be demolished, was estimated at $50 thousand, the compensation for it reached $5-7 thousand.

On the other hand, considering the fact that in 2005 within 1.5 months over a thousand private houses were demolished and their owner received no compensation there is still progress in this direction. The demolishment of houses in the border area is reasoned by the readiness of Uzbek government to build buffer zone at the border with Kyrgyzstan. After the events of May 25-26, 2009 Uzbekistan launched big-scale works on the erection of walls in the Ferghana valley in order to fortify Kyrgyz-Uzbek border.

Uzbekistan also unilaterally started digging trenches with the depth and width of three meters in the Andijan Oblast and erected concrete walls with the height of seven meters in the Rishtan rayon of the Ferghana Oblast along the border with Kyrgyzstan.
Goldman Sachs Becomes Financial Holding Company
Goldman Sachs received Federal Reserve approval last week to become a financial holding company, the company said Thursday.

The status allows Goldman to continue to be under the direct supervision of the Fed, but can continue to participate in activities that a regular bank normally wouldn’t, including private equity among other businesses. The status was posted on the Fed’s list of Financial Holding Companies and announced to Goldman employees via an e-mail from Goldman’s Chief Financial Officer David Viniar.

Goldman spokesman Lucas Van Praag said that Goldman’s switch was widely understood by the market after the firm applied for bank holding status last year at the height of the financial crisis. Goldman has received a temporary waver to continue in these activities when it originally applied. “It’s not a material change to our business,” Van Praag said.

Geithner to Diggbats: US Dealings With Goldman Were Appropriate
Some lawmakers have questioned whether ties between government officials and Goldman Sachs influenced their decisions about which financial firms should be saved. The government's rescue efforts weren't intended to benefit Goldman but to prevent a broader collapse of the financial system, Mr. Geithner said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal and Digg, an online site where 39 million users share articles with one another and rate their popularity. Mr. Geithner was responding to questions submitted and voted on by Digg users in partnership with the Wall Street Journal.
Exelon spent $883,000 lobbying gov't in 2Q
Exelon Corp., the nation's leading nuclear power generator, spent $883,000 in the second quarter to lobby on nuclear power issues, climate change and pollution, according to a recent disclosure report.
Walgreen names a Gold Man as treasurer
Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. on Friday Goldman Sachs executive Jason Dubinsky as its new treasurer.
Cash-for-Clunkers to end Monday night, for real this time
The “Cash for Clunkers” program has been so successful that it will have to be wrapped up earlier than expected, the Obama administration announced on Thursday. Folks looking to turn in their fuel-hogging old cars will need to get their deals finalized by this Monday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. EST in order to cash in.
US Dept of Defense - Obama, Gates Lead Defense Acquisition Reforms
So here I notice we got us some Willie RAYTHEON Lynn with a side of a guy named ASSAD? Lawd save me.
Gates, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III and other defense leaders have demonstrated that they’re willing to make the difficult decisions about which programs to support and which to curtail, said Shay Assad, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology.
OK. Lemme see exactly who or WTF a Shay Assad is....
Jewsus Christos...
In 1978, Mr. Assad began working for the Raytheon Company. Between 1978 and 1994 he served in several increasingly responsible contract management positions in Raytheon's largest Electronics and Missile divisions gaining extensive experience in defense, commercial and international contracting. He was intimately involved in numerous major programs such as PATRIOT, HAWK, AMRAAM, PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, Standard Missile, Aegis ER, Sparrow and Ballistic Missile Defense. In 1994, he was promoted to Vice President – Director of Contracts for Raytheon, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Vice President, Contracts in 1997. As such, he was responsible for the contract negotiation and administration activities ($20 Billion) in all of Raytheon's businesses – both government and commercial.
Perhaps we should rename the DoD the Department of RAYTHEON
Mr. Shay Assad assumed the role of director on April 3, 2006. As the Director of the Defense Procurement, Acquisition Policy and Strategic Sourcing (DPAP), he is responsible for all acquisition and procurement policy matters in the Department of Defense (DoD).
PDF ~ MARCH 2009: STATEMENT BY MR. SHAY D. ASSAD BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMITTE RE: INVESTIGATION & OVERSIGHT

2006: He was appointed by BUSH not OBAMA just so we are clear....
The Defense Department paid two procurement operations at the Department of the Interior to arrange for Pentagon purchases totaling $1.7 billion that resulted in excessive fees and tens of millions of dollars in waste, documents show. Defense turned to Interior, which manages federal lands and resources, in an effort to speed up its contracting. Interior is one of several government agencies allowed to manage contracts for other agencies in exchange for a fee. But the arrangement between Interior and Defense "routinely violated rules designed to protect U.S. Government interests," according to draft audit documents obtained by The Washington Post.

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"We are currently reviewing the findings of the DOD IG, and we have been meeting with representatives of the DOI regarding the specifics of the draft report," said Shay Assad, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy at the Pentagon. "It would be premature to comment specifically except to say that we understand DOI is actively taking actions to improve their contracting practices in response to a number of the draft findings."
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From the comments at this article:
Is this the same Shay Assad formerly the COO-CEO that guided demise of Raytheon Engineers Constructors sale to former MK Washington Group International that went bankrupt 9-months later? The sale of REC saved the main operating unit Raytheon a huge loss. By gary | Dec 25, 2006 1:45:01 AM

TASK FORCE ON THE FUTURE OF MILITARY HEALTH CARE
MEMBER: Shay Assad, Director ~ Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy...

Section 711 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 required that the Secretary of Defense establish a task force to examine matters related to the future of military health care. As directed by the Act, in December 2006 the Secretary of Defense appointed 14 members to the Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care. The Task Force includes individuals from within and outside the Department of Defense, with wide expertise in issues related to health care programs and costs.
David Axelrod's PhRMA Payout
The Obama Administration continues to give off the appearance of sloppy vetting. The latest incident involves David Axelrod, a senior advisor to President Obama, and his former firm, AKP&D. Axelrod founded AKP&D, formerly known as Axelrod and Associates, a Chicago-based political consulting firm. Not only David Axelrod, but also his son, Michael and Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe have all worked at AKP&D.

After opting to work for the administration, Axelrod sold the company, collecting $2 million over a period of years. Now AKP&D is handling the public relations campaign for a coalition of groups that support health insurance reform. Part of this coalition is PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; basically, the lobby group for the pharmaceutical companies.

Ken Johnson, a senior vice-president at PhRMA, told NewMajority that “we hired a professional campaign team that actually hired these consultants (AKP&D). What they do is make sure the messages are consistent with our beliefs and philosophies.” The money paid by PhRMA helps to pay the salary of David Axelrod’s son, who remains at the firm. That money also supports Axelrod’s own payout from the firm.

A conflict of interest? In strict legal terms, maybe not. However, as with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s tax derelictions, this relationship leaves a bad taste behind. When Ken Johnson was asked by NewMajority why AKP&D was chosen as the public relations firm, he responded by admitting “perhaps we should have done our due diligence.”

Government Education: Enemy of a Free Society
There is no question but that the revolutionary Left has triumphed in a way that many of us never dreamed possible. What we didn’t realize is that while our conservative principles were being undermined by misguided Republicans in the White House and Congress, the Left had lost none of its intention of imposing on America its radical socialist agenda.

The main reason they were able to succeed is that for the last 75 years they have been in total control of American public education, which gave them the means to produce a whole new generation of dumbed-down Americans who don’t know the difference between capitalism and socialism, freedom and tyranny.

Ailing Kennedy asks for speedy replacement process
An ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy is urging Massachusetts' political leaders to change state law to assure his swift replacement if he has to surrender his seat. Gov. Deval Patrick and the state's top Democratic legislative leaders did not indicate Thursday whether they would act on Kennedy's request. The legislature, currently in informal session until early September, would have to hold a public hearing and schedule a formal vote, said Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat who oversees elections. "They are not going to entertain it very quickly," he said.

Pros & Czars
By Ted Nugent
My "MotorCity Madman" nickname has nothing to do with my political, social or cultural values or ideologies. Because of my various rugged, self-reliant, ferociously independent all American values and my non-stop media assault to unapologetically celebrate and promote my values liberals despise me. I drive fuzzy-headed goons batty by intellectually shooting their empty-headed nostrums full of holes, full auto.

But the MotorCity Madman does not make government policy, though that time is coming. In his administration, Prez O has appointed some real honest to God full-time kooks, nuts and madmen whose views are as out of the mainstream as his own scary, anti-American, Marxist views. But, horrifically, they aren't guitar players, they are actual bureaucrats with fingers on buttons.
Homeland Security Arrests Photographer In Lower Manhattan
A 43-year-old man was jailed for six hours – and had his camera and memory card confiscated by a judge - after filming an FBI building from across the street in New York City Monday. Randall Thomas, a professional photographer, said he was standing on the corner of Duane Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan when he used his video camera to pan up and down on the 42-story building at 26 Federal Plaza.

He was immediately accosted by a security guard in a brown uniform who told him he was not allowed to film the building.Thomas asserted his legal right to film from a public street. The guard called a Homeland Security Officer who asked Thomas what he was filming. “I said ‘that’s none of your business,’” Thomas said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Wednesday night.

The federal officer handcuffed Thomas and sat him on the curb for ten minutes, before escorting him inside the same FBI building and taking him to the 10th floor and placing him in a holding cell. His charges: Disorderly conduct; failure to comply and impeding duties of a federal officer.

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Dismissal Of ACLU Challenge To Unconstitutional Spying Law Jeopardizes Americans' Privacy
NEW YORK – A federal court today dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional government spying law. The ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – is greatly compromised by the FAA.

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CO of Naval Nuclear Weapons Facility Purged
The commanding officer of the Navy’s nuclear weapons facility in Washington was fired Friday for a loss of confidence in his ability to lead the unit, a Navy spokesman said.Capt. Timothy Block was relieved as commander of Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific at Naval Base Kitsap, Wash.

The weapons facility assembles and maintains one of the largest concentrations of nuclear weapons in the country, including nuclear-tipped Trident missiles.

Block was removed by Rear Adm. Stephen Johnson, director of Strategic Systems Programs. The admiral “lost confidence in Capt. Block’s ability to continue to lead SWFPac in execution of its mission,” said Cmdr. Cappy Surette, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon. Surette said the removal was not related to any underlying safety or security issues that would put the surrounding community at risk.

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Ridge Says He Was Pressured to Elevate Threat Warning
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, the first director of the Department of Homeland Security, says that he was pressured by other Bush administration department heads to raise the national security-threat level on the eve of the 2004 presidential election -- a move he rejected as having such uncomfortable political undertones that it could destroy the administration's credibility.
Oak Ridge Prepares to Destroy Former Enrichment Building
Workers have begun preparations to destroy a building once involved in uranium enrichment operations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee
NRC To Hold Workshops On Safe Disposal Of Depleted Uranium

How Smart Is the Octopus? Bright enough to do the moving-rock trick

Aristotle didn't have a high opinion of the octopus. "The octopus is a stupid creature," he wrote, "for it will approach a man's hand if it be lowered in the water." Twenty-four centuries later, this "stupid" creature is enjoying a much better reputation. YouTube is loaded with evidence of what some might call octopus intelligence. One does an uncanny impression of a flounder. Another mimics coral before darting away from a pushy camera. A third slips its arms around a jar, unscrews it, and dines on the crab inside. Scientific journals publish research papers on octopus learning, octopus personality, octopus memory. Now the octopus has even made it into the pages of the journal Consciousness and Cognition (along with its fellow cephalopods the squid and the cuttlefish). The title: "Cephalopod consciousness: behavioral evidence."

Genetically-Modified Barley Harvest in Iceland Sabotaged
AHAHAHA No....I did NOT make this headline up.
Genetically-modified barley, which was being grown for experimental purposes in Gunnarsholt, south Iceland, by start-up company ORF Líftaekni, was damaged by a group of activists in the early hours of Wednesday. There will be no harvest this fall “We are naturally shocked about this,” CEO of ORF Líftaekni Björn Lárus Örvar told visir.is, adding that the activists have caused ISK millions of damage to his company. “For a small company like ours, which is struggling in the difficult innovation environment, this is a serious matter”. By cultivating genetically-modified barley ORF Líftaekni’s had wanted to create valuable products for medical research, the cosmetics market and the development of pharmaceuticals. The group of activists, which calls itself Illgresi (“Weed”), sent an anonymous email to the media, claiming responsibility for the sabotage.
Peter Lance Knows...

Dick Dawkins Does Dhimmi Darwinista Da'wa

“I would like to see my books translated into Arabic. They haven’t been. They are all translated into Hebrew. Persian, I’m not sure.
Thailand conducts tsunami drill in Andaman coastal provinces

Is God protecting Fla. at Gov. Crist's request?


WFRL: Shine On, You Crazy Diamonds ~


Friday, August 21, 2009

Dr. Paul Williams on the Afghan Elections



ELECTION DAY IN AFGHANISTAN:
AMERICAN TAXPAYERS FUND TERRORISM AND CORRUPTION
Billions Missing!!!
What, Barack, Worry?
By Dr. Paul Williams
The Last Crusade


August 20 is election day in Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration has deployed 21,000 U.S. troops to safeguard the country for the momentous event, and an additional 4,000 military personnel to train Afghan security forces to squelch any problems at the polling places. In addition to the troops, Jr. Obama has provided the Afghan government with an additional $10 billion in non-military aid. Afghan President Hamid Karzai now relies on US taxpayers to provide 90% of the country’s budget. Most of this money goes into the pockets of corrupt government officials and unscrupulous contractors. For every $100 shelled out by the Obama Administration, less than $20 is spent for the designated project. The remaining $80 gets lost in the shuffle.

Of the $15 billion which the Karzai Administration has received in foreign aid, $5 billion has vanished into thin air. But no Capitol Hill official has expressed concern – - let alone launch an investigation. Afghanistan ranks fifth in Transparency International’s list of corrupt countries. The only countries with less transparency and more corruption are Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar, and Somalia. Jean Mazurelle, the director of the World Bank in Kabul, recently said: “In Afghanistan, the wastage of aid is sky-high. There is real looting going on. It’s a scandal. In 30 years of my career, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

When the inspectors general of the Pentagon and State Department investigated the U.S. funded program to train the Afghan police in 2006, they found the number of men trained (about 30,000) to be less than half the number reported by the administration (70,000). The training, which lasted less than eight weeks, at most, consisted of classroom instruction with no in-the-field tactical/weapons training. Only about half the equipment assigned to the police — including thousands of trucks — could be accounted for, and the men trained were then deemed “incapable of carrying out routine law enforcement work.”

Dyn Corp, the American firm that won the no-bid contract to train the police, has received more than $1.6 billion from American taxpayers. Similarly, the Lewis Berger Group has received billions to build roads, dams, schools, and clinics throughout Afghanistan. With weeks of its construction, inspectors found that one of the Group’s clinics was falling apart. Much of the ceiling was falling down; the plumbing leaked; and the place reeked of raw sewage. Another of Berger Group’s multi-million dollar clinics was constructed on a remote spot within the sparsely populated province of Badakhshan.

To make matters worse, the spot is subject to violent earthquakes. USAID contracted the Louis Berger Group to construct a short stretch of road between Kabul center and the international airport. The Louis Berger Group then sub-contracted the project to the Afghan Reconstruction Company, and the road was constructed at a cost of over $2.4 million per kilometer, at least four times the average cost of road construction in Afghanistan. Despite these reports, the same contractors continue to receive billions from the Obama Administration. Rarely has corruption and incompetence been so richly rewarded.

The single greatest beneficiary of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remains KBR, the former Halliburton subsidiary. KBR has received nearly $32 billion from Uncle Sam since 2001. In May, April Stephenson, director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency, testified that KBR was linked to “the vast majority” of war-zone fraud cases and a majority of the $13 billion in “questioned” or “unsupported” costs. According to Agency, it sent the inspector general “a total of 32 cases of suspected overbilling, bribery and other violations since 2004.”

According to the Associated Press, “billions of dollars” of the total paid to KBR “ended up wasted due to poorly defined work orders, inadequate oversight and contractor inefficiencies.” Contractors are getting rich and fat in Kabul – - and thanks to the $10 billion increase in reconstruction funding, they will become much richer and fatter under the Obama Administration. What’s worse, a full 40% of reconstruction funds, according to Fetrat Zerak of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, has been shelled out to the Taliban for protection.

The Taliban are not alone in profiting from the largesse of American taxpayers. Another beneficiary is Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Karzai’s brother, who allegedly controls the largest syndicate in a country which supplies 93% of the world’s heroin-grade opium. The widespread corruption throughout Afghanistan is even acknowledged by President Karzai,, who is running for re-election in August. “All the politicians in this country have acquired everything — money, lots of money,” President Karzai said in a recent speech. “God knows, it is beyond the limit. The banks of the world are full of the money of our statesmen.” In the streets of Kabul, tales of corruption are as easy to find as kebab stands.

Everything is up for sale, including public offices, military ranks, and access to government services. It takes $25,000 to settle a lawsuit, $6,000 to bribe a law enforcement officer, $8,000 to get out of jail, and $100,000 to secure a job as a provincial police chief — a bargain since police chiefs continue to connect more bribes than other public officials.

RELATED:

Karzai, Abdullah Claim Victory in Afghanistan


Karzai rival claims he has half of Afghan vote

AFGHANISTAN: 5TH WHEEL, KARZAI CHAMPION OF CORRUPTION


Karzai's secret U-turn on Afghan rape law


Karzai 'has revived Taleban's barbarism to women'


Karzai's approval of 'marital rape' law leads to international rift


Right to rape: is that what we're fighting for?


Taleban paid to call off election attacks


Former Afghan president escapes Taliban ambush

Analysis: Sword of Violence to Hang over Post-election Afghanistan

Western diplomats laud Afghan election

UN chief congratulates Afghans on polls


Obama lauds Afghan vote


West hails Afghan polls as victory for democracy


No US Interference in Afghan Elections ... Except James Carville

Democrat's James Carville Advising Karzai's Opposition

Floatin' Powa News Service: Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen



Arabs claim all of Jerusalem
While Israeli leaders proclaim Jerusalem to be the unified capital of Israel, Israeli Muslim leaders teach their children that Jerusalem is rightfully Arab and Muslim. On Saturday, the Islamic Movement bussed thousands of Israeli Arab Muslim children to the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, where they heard speeches referring to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem as areas “occupied” by Israel.”
Arab Denial of Jewish History
Never mind the Arab denial of a Jewish future!

Palestinian Authority Claims Jerusalem Now

IDF Soldiers ordered not to eat in front of Palestinians because of Ramadan
Ucccchh, PLEASE!
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi have decided to ease a series of restrictions on the Palestinian population during the month of Muslim month Ramadan, which begins Saturday. The soldiers were instructed to act respectfully towards the residents and refrain as much as possible from eating, drinking and smoking in public in front of the Palestinian population, particularly at crossings, during the fasting hours.
Raytheon: Anti-Missile System Can Defend Israel from Iran
Israel, I am telling you, RUN FROM THE RAYTHEON! RUN!

IMO, Related:
Boeing floats new anti-missile idea for Europe

State Department criticizes Jerusalem project

Gaza's even more radical than Hamas jihadholes say: Hamas serves the Jewish usurpers
A number of al-Qaida-affiliated groups on Thursday condemned Hamas as an apostate movement that serves the interests of Israel by cracking down on their supporters in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas buying property in Jerusalem

Turkey, Jordan warn Israel on Jerusalem settlements
Illegal to be a Jew in Jerusalem...
"Israel needs to act with responsibility on the issue of settlers and especially developments in east Jerusalem," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference with his visiting Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh."If there is genuine will for peace, it is time to openly display it," he added.Judeh, for his part, said: "We agreed that unilateral moves in east Jerusalem will harm the peace process because such moves are not only confidence-shattering but also illegal."

Iraq, Syria huddle over water crisis
They need the Golan. BAD.

TURKEY AND SYRIA SIGN NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROTOCOL


Saudi Arabia refutes reports on Egyptian, Syrian relations
Saudi Arabia stated on Wednesday it has been maintaining "unblemished" relations with Egypt and Syria, an official source said, refuting press reports that it had received advice from certain countries that it should not hurry in going to Damascus and that there is a difference of opinion between the Kingdom and Egypt on the formation of the Lebanese government.
Mum's hunt for lost sons in Syria
Two British children have been abducted by their NHS doctor father and flown to Syria, according to their devastated mother.
U.S. Reaches Out To Islamist Parties In Pakistan
U.S. President Barack Obama has started reaching out to some of Pakistan's most fervent Islamist and anti-American parties, including one that helped give rise to the Taliban, trying to improve Washington's image in the nuclear-armed state. Obama's special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, is initiating dialogue between the United States and religious parties previous administrations had largely shunned, both sides said.

"The purpose is to broaden the base of American relations in Pakistan beyond the relatively narrow circle of leaders Washington has previously dealt with," explained Vali Nasr, senior adviser to Holbrooke. John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush presidency, questioned Holbrooke's timing for trying to engage Taliban sympathizers on the eve of elections in neighboring Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are battling the hard-line Islamic group. "As a general proposition, democracy in Pakistan is fragile enough now that negotiating with people that some on the democratic side of the Pakistani spectrum would think themselves are terrorists strikes me as fairly risky," Bolton said.
The Dismissal of Tariq Ramadan
Mr. Ramadan, who has managed to impress a predominantly leftist audience with his eloquent talk of a "European Islam," likes to talk about democracy and following the rule of law—but only as long as the law doesn't contradict an Islamic principle. He rejects terrorism and violence but thinks that blowing up eight-year-old Israeli children is "contextually explicable." He supposedly stands for a modern Islam, but he refused to reject the stoning of adulterers when then-interior minister and future French President Nicolas Sarkozy challenged him on the subject in a 2003 TV debate. All Mr. Ramadan could bring himself to say was to call for a "moratorium" on the practice.
It's all Geert's Fault!
Mr Ramadan, already persona non grata in the United States, has dismissed the decisions as "simplistic" and driven by the "Islamophobia" generated in Dutch politics by the populist campaigner Geert Wilders.
Ramadan still welcome in Oxford
He can do lunch with Dickie Dawkins, they can discuss the Glow Ball Peace through Jew Hate.
Tariq Ramadan, the Islamic scholar sacked by Rotterdam city council and Erasmus University, will take up the job of professor of contemporary Islam studies at Oxford University in Britain from September 1, the Telegraaf reports
Reflections on the Revolution in Europe
... the violent malice of contemporary political Islam and the dissembling of its covert apologists like the dubious Tariq Ramadan...
Iran Gives UN Inspectors Wider Access, Official Says
[yawn] Yah ... OK.

Iran to Ban Purchasing Foreign Ships

Mousavi campaign office searched, workers arrested

Lawyer: Kayhan newspaper ordered to be closed

Low turnout seen in Afghan election; 26 killed

Democracy in Afghanistan is wishful thinking

Dissident Voice : Karzai and Warlords Mount Massive Vote Fraud Scheme
In one case, the FEFA observers saw about 500 voting cards being given to a single individual.
Controversial General Raising Hopes, Hackles
On the eve of Afghanistan's presidential and regional elections, one of the country's most notorious militia commanders has emerged from exile. General Abdul Rashid Dostum's return to Afghanistan, where the ethnic Uzbek boasts a significant following, is seen as a boost to incumbent President Hamid Karzai's reelection chances. But the accusations of widespread human rights abuses that led to Dostum's exile in Turkey remain.
British broadcasters defy Afghan election blackout

British broadcasters have not changed their plans for covering the Afghan election after the country's government ordered media organisations not to report on any violence during the polls.

The BBC – whose BBC Persian TV service broadcasts by satellite to Afghanistan – said it would proceed with its plans for covering the presidential election, which takes place today."We have a duty to our audiences to report on the situation in Afghanistan fairly and accurately, and we will continue to do so," a BBC spokesman said.

Archaeologist Victor Sarianidi receives highest award of Afghanistan
It should be recalled that in 1978 the Soviet-Afghan expedition under the leadership of Victor Sarianidi found in northern Afghanistan the so-called "gold of Bactria" - about twenty thousand pieces of gold jewelry dated back to 1000 A.C. It is for this discovery that Sarianidi was once named "Shliman of the East". Gold of Afghanistan was exhibited in major museums around the world, and in 2011 the exhibition will come to Russia.

Professor, Doctor of History Victor Sarianidi is heading for over half a century the Turkmen-Russian archeological expedition in Mary province of Turkmenistan where it unearthed a large settlement of Gonur-Depe from the Bronze Age (III-II centuries B.C.), which is presumably an ancient capital of Margush country that scientists believe to be the birthplace of Zoroastrianism and the fifth center of world civilization, along with civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China.

Victor Sarianidi is an honorary citizen of Turkmenistan, Honorary Ambassador of Hellenism, winner of the International Prize of Turkmenistan named after Makhtumkuli and the medal of "Civilian Valor" of Greece, as well as numerous awards and commemorative medals of various universities of the world.
China's Oil Power Plan
If one is looking for a sign of the changing world order, the size and scope of recent Chinese moves in the energy field should serve the purpose.It was only a few years ago that the US and its oil companies, in their quest to secure vital oil and gas, were accused of all sorts of transgressions from imperialistic exploitation to coddling corrupt regimes to finding pretexts to invade Iraq, twice.

In retrospect it is not quite clear how much of “always blame the Americans even if you are wrong you are right” was justified, but one thing is certain. The insinuations implied that the US government and its foreign policy understood the importance of energy supply to its economy. This is no longer the case, with the American national debate (and that of several other developed countries) consumed by climate change, carbon emissions, and the preposterousness of solar and wind energies as substitutes for real energy sources.

While any realistic and even charitable estimate puts solar and wind as contributing less than 1 percent of world energy demand for the next 20 years, more than 85 percent will still derive from oil, gas and coal; this while world energy demand will increase by more than 40 percent. The lion’s share of the latter will go to China.The concern for the 1 percent solution, while ignoring the 85 percent question, is tantamount to economic hari-kiri for the US and presents a huge opportunity for China to expand its energy interests worldwide and diversify its supply sources.

SNIP
China Releases New Anti-Monopoly Law Pricing Rules

Venezuela seeks $8 billion for its fuel oil to China
Venezuela has asked for an $8 billion upfront payment from China in return for almost all of its fuel oil output for three years until 2012, reports said.Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has welcomed China's effort to secure future supplies of key natural resources, as it reduces Venezuela's dependence on oil sales to the United States.

India moves NKorean ship to mainland

Russia's Top Mufti Set To Receive Cross From Medvedev
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's decision to award Mufti Ravil Gainutdin with the country's highest honor, the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, has caused something of a dilemma in Russia's Muslim community. The honor of receiving the order is not the problem. It is the shape of the award, which is a large Christian cross that would be out of place and likely even be offensive to many Muslims if Medvedev were to pin it on Gainutdin's chest -- as is the custom -- when he presents it to him at a Kremlin ceremony whose date has not been announced.
Russia Uranium Mining Report

Delinquent Regions Owe Gazprom $2Bln
Winter comes. Soon you are to be freezing your Tovarich Delinquent asses off. HAHAHA!
~ Vlad the Heat Miser

Gazprom Approached Congo On Lake Kivu
Vlad makes you an offer, you do not refuse. You will see.
Gazprom approached Congo-Kinshasa earlier this year to study and extract hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Lake Kivu area, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. The Kivu region of Eastern Congo has seen some of the worst violence in the region as armed factions jockey for its mineral riches, though the conflict has lost its intensity since a war in 1998 to 2004. But the African country now wants to turn the methane gas found at the bottom of the Lake Kivu into electric power as it tries to rebuild its economy. The region's Lake Kivu contains 65 billion cubic meters of methane gas, enough to power the U.S. for a month, the U.N. Environment Program said in a 2006 report. The person said Gazprom proposed to exploit the whole Lake Kivu area - an offer that was declined.
Gazprom seeks stake in Turkey's Bosporus

Russia steps up role in German industry


Russia Defends Stalin's Deal with Hitler
Naturally. As we ourselves incessantly defend our deals with Stalin!
On August 17, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service issued a statement saying it had declassified documents showing that the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the Soviet Union's "only available means of self-defense."
So far 17 dead, 57 missing in Siberian power plant explosion

Russian Journalist Charged Over Dam Coverage
A journalist in the Russian republic of Khakassia is being charged with libel after his reports on the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower station were deemed "inaccurate" by local officials, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports
Rescue Chief At Russian Dam Has Heart Attack

Putin criticizes Russian "technological discipline"


Putin promises payouts for Russia plant victims

Putin orders probe of creaking infrastructure


Putin vows $1 bln support for Russian diamond miners
The state support, which will include more state purchases of gems, is likely to help state-controlled diamond miner Alrosa service about $3.6 billion in outstanding debt. Alrosa, a major rival to De Beers, produces about one quarter of the world's rough diamonds.

President says Belarus ready to work with West
LOL! Please recall this from yesterday .....

Ukrainian Mayor Investigated Over Anti-Semitic Comments
Serhiy Ratushnyak was told by prosecutors in Zakarpattia Oblast, of which Uzhhorod is the capital, to inform them of any possible trips outside the city while an investigation is conducted into charges of abuse of power, hooliganism, and violating ethnic and racial equality laws. Ratushnyak is accused of using anti-Semitic language against parliament deputy Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Front For Change movement.

Ratushnyak reportedly repeatedly called Yatsenyuk, who is running for president, "Jew Yatsenyuk," and described him as an "impudent Jew." He is also alleged to have attacked a young woman working for the Front For Change and destroying a tent belonging to the movement. Ratushnyak says the woman attacked him.
Uzbek Mayor's Death Raises Suspicion
The death of a mayor in southern Uzbekistan who apparently committed suicide is being investigated as a possible murder, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.
Uzbekistan and Great Britain expand humanitarian connections
How freakin' special.

Rapprochement of Uzbekistan with the United States is logical

Also special, deluxe!
"Uzbekistan is, of course, interested in supporting relationship with the United States as a key player in the process of resolving the situation in Afghanistan, or maintaining it in a stable state," Uzbek Expert Sergey Yezhkov believes. The Commander of the U.S Central Command, David Petraeus has visited Uzbekistan this week. The meeting between the general and President Islam Karimov discussed the strengthening of cooperation and interest in the two countries.
US, Uzbekistan sign military cooperation agreement

Journalist, Rights Activist Dies In Azerbaijani Jail
A well-known Azerbaijani writer and journalist, Novruzali Mammadov, has died in a prison hospital, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. Mammadov, 68, was a leading activist of the Persian-speaking Talysh minority of Azerbaijan
Boxer's Shooting Latest In Series of Suspicious Deaths
The recent shooting death of Kazakh boxer Yermek Serikov is the latest in an ugly series of sports-related crimes. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, more than 20 prominent sportsmen in former Soviet republics have died under suspicious circumstances
Kazakhstan voices its stance on Kazakh Caspian oil transport system

Oil Steady Above $72 After 4 Percent Surge
Allawayta $85!

European stocks energised by higher oil prices

Oil prices dip on report of rising jobless claims
Whiplash!

European Stocks Slump On Asia Concerns

Whiplash again! Make up yer minds, stupid headlines.

Energy Market Tightens Regulation

Chevron spent $6M lobbying government in 2Q


Chevron backs oil group's 'Energy Citizens'
Behold the creation of "populist anger" - both sides engage in this crap and then the rest pile on organically via the suggestion...
Among the estimated 3,500 "energy citizens" at a Houston rally on Tuesday were Chevron employees and retirees "invited ... to participate" by the company, which also provided buses for the estimated 250 to 350 of their number to get there. Chevron had "sent a memo to its downtown Houston employees encouraging them to attend (the) event, so they can be a part of the energy policy discussion," said company spokesman Morgan Crinklaw.
What is “Regulatory Capture”?
There’s another sense, too, that’s an even more direct form of capture than appropriation – where businesses try to win government contracts or other favors for themselves (as opposed to trying to get new regulations to hurt their competitors). The defense industry is infamous for this, but it’s of course all over the place. Call this the “bribery” definition, since it basically describes bribery, broadly defined.
The Corporate Debt Volcano Is About To Erupt

Goldman adds Google to its conviction buy list

Northrop Said to Hire Goldman and Suisse to Sell Unit


US Stocks Advance as AIG Says It Expects to Repay Bailout

Bernanke Diverging With King Means Dollar May Decline
Mohamed El-Erian. Okeedokee then.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and fellow central bankers gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are showing scant signs of reprising the coordinated stance they took fighting the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression as they deal with its aftermath.

The danger is that such a disjointed approach will lead to volatile financial markets, a damaging drop of the dollar and slower global growth, Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., said in an interview.

“The question is not whether the dollar will weaken over time, but how it will weaken,” said El-Erian, a former deputy director of the International Monetary Fund whose firm runs the world’s largest bond fund. “The real risk is that you will get a disorderly decline.”

SNIP

Buffett As The Wizard of Oz
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Firms with Obama ties profit from health push
President Barack Obama's push for a national health care overhaul is providing a financial windfall in the election offseason to Democratic consulting firms that are closely connected to the president and two top advisers.

Coalitions of interest groups running at least $24 million in pro-overhaul ads hired GMMB, which worked for Obama's 2008 campaign and whose partners include a top Obama campaign strategist. They also hired AKPD Message and Media, which was founded by David Axelrod, a top adviser to Obama's campaign and now to the White House. AKPD did work for Obama's campaign, and Axelrod's son Michael and Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe work there.

The firms were hired by Americans for Stable Quality Care and its predecessor, Healthy Economy Now. Each was formed by a coalition of interests with big stakes in health care policy, including the drug maker lobby PhRMA, the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union and Families USA, which calls itself "The Voice for Health Care Consumers."

Their ads press for changes in health care policy. Healthy Economy Now made one of the same arguments that Obama does: that health care costs are delaying the country's economic recovery and that changes are needed if the economy is to rebound.

There is no evidence that Axelrod directly profited from the group's ads. Axelrod took steps to separate himself from AKPD when he joined Obama's White House. AKPD owes him $2 million from his stock sale and will make preset payments over four years, starting with $350,000 on Dec. 31, according to Axelrod's personal financial disclosure report.

SNIP

Conservative Group Targets Gang-of-Six Republicans

The three Republican members of the Gang of Six — the half-dozen senators engaged in bipartisan health care talks — are getting some special attention from the conservative Club for Growth. The organization, known for supporting primary election challengers to Republicans it deems lacking in conservative cred, says it will begin running home-state television ads on Thursday urging Senators Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Olympia Snowe of Maine to resist expansive Democratic proposals.

“We believe it is vital that these three Republican senators do not cave in to the far left, as three Republican senators did to provide the winning margin for President Obama’s failed ’stimulus’ spending bill,” said Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who heads the group.

The ads come as leading Democrats are growing more pessimistic that Mr. Grassley, a linchpin in the talks, will be able to come to terms with Democrats. Some Republicans say he could face a primary challenge or be denied a top committee position if he cooperates with the opposition. Mr. Grassley has said political threats will not influence his position.
US Defense Budget, A Hard Sell
This may come as a surprise in view of the president's push for a trillion-dollar health insurance program on the domestic front. But the Obama administration is on track to spend more on defense - in real terms - in any four-year period in US history since the end of World War II.
Global War and Dying Democracy: The Revolution of the Elites
Global trends in political economy suggest that “democracy” as we know it, is a fading concept, where even Western industrialized nations are retreating from the system. Arguably, through party politics and financial-corporate interests, democracy is something of a façade as it is. However, we are entering into an era in which even the institutions and image of democracy are in retreat, and the slide into totalitarianism seems inevitable.

The National Intelligence Council report, Global Trends 2025, stated that many governments will be “expanding domestic security forces, surveillance capabilities, and the employment of special operations-type forces.” Counterterrorism measures will increasingly “involve urban operations as a result of greater urbanization,” and governments “may increasingly erect barricades and fences around their territories to inhibit access. Gated communities will continue to spring up within many societies as elites seek to insulate themselves from domestic threats.”Essentially, expect a continued move towards and internationalization of domestic police state measures to control populations.

SNIP

US Navy aims to make jetfuel from seawater uranium

Holy Jetsons kinda crap, Batman!

ACLU plans to ensure privacy with Fusion Center
Concerns surrounding the City of Austin's proposed Fusion Center were the focus of a meeting on Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union met with city staff members to talk about the proposed Austin Regional Intelligence Center, better known as the Fusion Center. The city already leased building space for the center from the Department of Public Safety. The center will allow for the sharing of information between local, state and federal law enforcement. According to the ACLU, they will meet directly with city council members to make sure the guidelines for the center include privacy protections. Fusion Centers have popped up across the country for years, as a way to combine efforts to combat organized crime. ACLU said the centers have also been known to target law abiding citizens with illegal surveillance.
In the Shadows of Promise
Never mind Willy "RAYTHEON" Lynn, #2 man at DoD!
ahhh the hopium of the asses...
No Lobbyists Funding His Campaign:

Promise: “I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign.” (Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, Iowa, November 10, 2007)

Track Record: The independent watchdog group SourceWatch.org found that lobbyists had funded Obama’s Senate campaign, as well as his presidential campaign from the beginning. By the time Obama had made the statement above, it was already false. Public Citizen had already listed nine different lobbyists who had contributed to the Obama campaign, in addition to “bundling” individual contributions averaging more than $100,000 each to Obama’s presidential campaign during 2007. During the 2008 campaign, Obama accepted bundled contributions of nearly one million dollars ($997,095) from Goldman Sachs executives, the same firm that received tens of billions in bailout funds through the TARP legislation Obama backed in September 2008. Obama later backtracked, claiming that lobbyists who funded him didn’t impact his decisions. Of course, this is the same claim all politicians who take money from lobbyists make.

Verdict: Outright Lie

SNIP
LIGO listens for gravitational echoes of the birth of the universe
Much like it produced the cosmic microwave background, the Big Bang is believed to have created a flood of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of space and time—that still fill the universe and carry information about the universe as it was immediately after the Big Bang. These waves would be observed as the "stochastic background," analogous to a superposition of many waves of different sizes and directions on the surface of a pond. The amplitude of this background is directly related to the parameters that govern the behavior of the universe during the first minute after the Big Bang.
NASA opens up to commercial space ventures
To da moon, Alice!

Spectacular rat-eating plant found in Palawan
OooOoo all that & mystery shrooms too.
A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap. During the same expedition, botanists also came across strange pink ferns and blue mushrooms they could not identify.
Neolithic Cathedral unearthed in Orkney dig
A huge Neolithic cathedral, unlike anything else which can be seen in Britain, has been found in Orkney. Archaeologists said that the building would have dwarfed the island’s landmarks from the Stone Age — the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Nick Card, who is leading the dig at the Ness of Brodgar, said that the cathedral, which would have served the whole of the north of Scotland, would have been constructed to “amaze” and “create a sense of awe” among those who saw it. It is about 65ft in length and width and would have dominated the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness which stand on either side. These important sites, dating back about 5,000 years, might have actually been peripheral features of Orkney’s Stone Age landscape. Mr Card said: “In effect it is a Neolithic cathedral for the whole of the north of Scotland.”
Three figurines of Aphrodite Unearthed at Hippos-Susita
Two days ago we had the story of the unearthing of a mother goddess figurine in Direkli Cave in the southern Anatolian city of Kahramanmaras in Turkey, see here. Well Haaretz.com is reporting on the uncovering of three figurines belonging to the ancient cult of Aphrodite (the goddess of love) in Hippos-Susita, the site of a Greco-Roman city, which is in the southern Golan Heights.
Navajo Women Resisting Uranium Mining

4.9 Quake - ADRIATIC SEA

4.9 Quake - ANDAMAN ISLANDS