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French cops seize five jihad suspects
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan
Background piece by Ay Pee, about how India and Pakistan are playing a modern version of the Great Game for the heart and soul of Afghanistan. India wants trade and access to the energy suppliers of Central Asia; Pakistan wants to prevent being trapped, with India on one side and an India-allied Afghanistan on the other, when in case of war Afghanistan was intended by Allah to be Pakistan's bolt-hole. Despite the poesy of the opening sentences, below, it's worth your time to read at the link.
Across Afghanistan, behind the obvious battles fought for this country's soul, a shadow war is being quietly waged. It's being fought with spies and proxies, with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money and ominous diplomatic threats.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 01:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pakistan's GDP is 170 Billion.
India is adding 180 Billion to its GDP every year.

The 4 richest Indians (one of them a Muslim), can buy all the good and services produced by all of Pakistan and still have tens of Billions in cash left over.

The game is over before it starts
Posted by: john frum || 04/27/2010 20:08 Comments || Top||

#2  BHARAT RAKSHAK > INDIA MUST BE ABLE TO PROTECT ITS INTERESTS [regional] AFTER THE US WITHDRAWS FROM AFGHANISTAN [read, AFPAK].

2011.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/27/2010 22:22 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
EU Wants Africa Trials for Horn Pirates
Well sure, the EU would prefer not to soil its hands ...
The European Union is making a push for African trials of suspected Somali pirates after Kenya indicated it no longer wants to shoulder that burden. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is expected to travel to Africa shortly to make a strong case for trying suspected Somali pirates on their home continent. The Associated Press reports her trip will includes stops in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Seychelles.

The question of where and how to bring the suspects to justice is a long-standing headache. Somalia lacks a functioning government, so a number of trials have instead taken place in nearby Kenya. But Nairobi recently stopped accepting suspects, saying they were straining its already congested justice system.
I know that we at Rantburg have a notion of handling pirates that is, shall we say, more direct, and that our methods may not conform with the niceties of the EU. But this is ridiculous ...
In rare cases, Western nations have agreed to bring the suspected pirates to trial in their own countries. Germany, for example, is waiting to receive half a dozen alleged pirates.

But Africa analyst at the Chatham House policy center in London, Roger Middleton, says that is the exception.

"There has been a reluctance to take them back, although they have the legal ability to do that, to the U.K. or America or whatever it is," said Middleton. "I think partly because they are worried about pirates claiming asylum and potentially bringing their families over. "

Middleton believes both African and Western nations should share the burden of trying the pirates. Others believe Western nations should help beef up justice systems in Somalia's quasi-autonomous regions, Somaliland and Puntland, so the pirates can be tried close to home.

But there is at least one piece of good news. The International Maritime Bureau reports piracy attacks worldwide have fallen by a third this year, largely because of tougher anti-piracy measures.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I presume Doc means: Why can't the trials be held on the ships that capture them? And the sentences too?
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/27/2010 7:40 Comments || Top||

#2  The problem is, no one wants 'em and no one wants 'em in their prisons.

he International Maritime Bureau reports piracy attacks worldwide have fallen by a third this year, largely because of tougher anti-piracy measures.

It would fall even faster if more lethal methods were used.
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/27/2010 7:59 Comments || Top||


Sudan's Bashir Retains Presidency
Sorry we didn't post this earlier, I know the suspense was killing you ...
Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been announced the winner of the nation's first multi-party vote in 24 years. Opposition parties have rejected the results, which they say were rigged, but all eyes likely now focus on a southern independence referendum eight months away.

Sudan's election commission says Mr. Bashir won 68 percent of the nation's votes. Under electoral law, he needed to surpass 50 percent in order to avoid a run-off vote against his nearest competitor.

Yasir Arman, the northern secular Muslim slated by the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement to challenge Mr. Bashir, came in second with 22 percent, most of which came from the southern states. His strong showing was made despite announcing his withdrawal from the race days before polling began, citing electoral fraud.

In Southern Sudan, the president of the semi-autonomous region and head of the SPLM, Salva Kiir, retained his seat with 92 percent of the votes from the region.

Some international observers, such as the Atlanta-based The Carter Center, have said the election will fall short of international standards. Northern opposition groups widely boycotted the elections, citing what they called an unfair campaign environment and allegations of vote rigging. Following the five days of chaotic polling, the charges of vote rigging have only escalated from the opposition forces.

But with the results final, the international community has indicated its efforts will be focused on securing the final implementation of a 2005 peace deal signed between Bashir's government and the southern SPLM rebels. The accord includes a January referendum in the South on whether to remain part of the country or to secede and form its own state.

The lead-up to the referendum is contentious, with a number of outstanding issues analysts warn could derail the peace process.

With no major change in the leadership of either of the two peace parties, these negotiations are expected to begin hitting their final sprint, and logistical planning for the referendum starts almost immediately.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What a shock.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 04/27/2010 9:32 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Mexico Issues Travel Alert for Mexicans in the USA
Mexico's government is warning its citizens about travel to Arizona because of a tough new immigration law there. While enforcement details are not yet clear, the alert says "it should be assumed that any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment."
On the other hand, anyone in Mexico, citizen or not, could be bothered and riddled with bullets for no reason at any moment.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 04/27/2010 12:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6523 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmmmmmm..."bothered". Guess they'd better be getting on home then.
When you get there, keep your heads down, muchachos.
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/27/2010 13:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Mexico's government is warning its citizens about travel to Arizona because of a tough new immigration law there

Avoiding the rule of law? Nothing new here for Mesicans. How about getting serious and BANNING travel to the US altogether?
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 13:13 Comments || Top||

#3  It's virtually identical to the Mexican immigration laws.

It's a felony to be in Mexico illegally, combine that with a Napoleonic legal system and you could say the even Arizona's law is fairly mild.
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 04/27/2010 13:59 Comments || Top||

#4  How soon until Texas passes a similar law? Then it'll pretty much only be California, and they've got problems of their own.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 14:51 Comments || Top||

#5  *ahem*

there's New Mexico, sandwiched in there too, TW
Posted by: Frank G || 04/27/2010 15:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Illegals will avoid Arizona and go into New Mexico, Texas and California. We'll all watch the Arizona economy to find out the results.

Of course there is a chance the politicians and police just don't enforce the law in which case it'll all fade in a few weeks.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/27/2010 16:08 Comments || Top||

#7  From an intelligence community professional. I thought it was too good not to pass along.

We, as a county, have attempted to be kind to every country in the world. And generally, it turns around and bites us. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England seem to be about the only exceptions. Other countries are allies, but still 'collect' on us, but we won't go there because it is expected. Now I'll get on my soap box for a minute, being as how I am in Arizona, and Phoenix was brought up. Mexico is not a friend to the US. Never has been and probably never will be.

In World War I, she sided with the Axis Powers. In World War II it sided with the Axis Powers. In the Cold War it had the largest concentration of Soviet Block espionage personnel outside of Eastern Europe. Just a few miles south of here is Lake Angus Dora. Build by the Soviets to 'provide electricity to northern Mexico'...naturally there was no power generating equipment ever installed, just a large Soviet presence just south of Fort Huachuca. Numerous examples of things like this, but I'm preaching to the choir, so I'll start to close.

I retired from the US Army counterintelligence), and then from the Department of Justice (Intelligence). I guess I worked on some 1,000 to
1,500 cases over all with DOJ. If I could wave a magic wand and say "no more south of the border illegals", that case load would have dropped by 80% to 90%.

The meth that is choking us, most of the precursors are from China. Sent to
Mexico on the cheap...remember the Chinese Generals saying the would use any
method! I'll get off my soap box now. Anyone who would like to continue this off
line, please feel free to contact me. I'm on the Global.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 16:19 Comments || Top||

#8  The meth that is choking us, most of the precursors are from China. Sent to
Mexico on the cheap...remember the Chinese Generals saying the would use any
method! I'll get off my soap box now.


It's not a conspiracy. The old version of Sudafed (pseudoephedrine HCl) - which some entrepreneurs use to make meth - is available OTC without a prescription in China, as are amoxicillin, Cipro, and any number of antibiotics. Actually, not too long ago, the old Sudafed was available stateside without any limitations on purchase quantity. It was a matter of time before some enterprising individual figured out that (1) the raw materials for meth are available for 1/8 of the price in China and (2) they don't weigh much and don't take up a lot of space. It ain't rocket science, and it's a lot safer (from a legal liability standpoint) than trying to smuggle heroin or cocaine into the country.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 04/27/2010 16:51 Comments || Top||

#9  there's New Mexico, sandwiched in there too, TW

Thank you for the addition, Frank. Geography is not one of my strengths.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 18:40 Comments || Top||

#10  (1) the raw materials for meth are available for 1/8 of the price in China

The greedy fools who trust that the chemicals he purchased from China are exactly what the shipping label says, with no poisonous additions or substitutions, they've been killing downstream customers all over the world. However, I s'pose someone will argue that those who purchase meth instead of making their own deserve whatever happens to them. :-(
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 18:44 Comments || Top||

#11  Mexico's government is warning its citizens about travel to Arizona because of a tough new immigration law there

Oh no! there goes billions of tourism dollars!

there's New Mexico, sandwiched in there too

New Mexico? As in sandwiched between Washington and Louisiana?
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 21:57 Comments || Top||

#12  more like a Torta
Posted by: Frank G || 04/27/2010 22:08 Comments || Top||


Chavez denies elite Iranian forces in Venezuela
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Monday a U.S. report was "absolutely false" that Iranian special forces had an increasing presence in his South American nation. The report by the Pentagon to Congress earlier in April said the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Qods force had a growing Latin American presence, "particularly in Venezuela."
Posted by: ed || 04/27/2010 11:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  assassinate a few of them and let's see what happens and who bitches
Posted by: Sir Victor Emmanuel Glomomble IV || 04/27/2010 12:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Who gives a rat's ass, they're probably there to help Hugo in case of a revolt.
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 04/27/2010 14:00 Comments || Top||

#3  There's a biiiig difference between denying the presence of Qods forces and denying that the force there is increasing. Besides, how often does the honourable Presidente Chavez utter something entirely true?
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 14:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Separately, mountain fastnesses are perfectly designed for haunting by armed Predators... or so it seems to me in my ignorance.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 14:55 Comments || Top||

#5  True nuff, although the UAVs aren't panaceas.

Predators/Reapers and Hellfire missiles are expensive to purchase and operate. The new, smaller missiles are cheaper, but not inexpensive, and pilots must be trained, suitable flight facilities set up etc. Plus the Predator has a limited flight range and must be launched and land from someplace outside the US if it is to be used in Venezuela. As I recall the Navy declined to buy Predators/Reapers so ship-based operation is not an option.
Posted by: lotp || 04/27/2010 15:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Since they aren't there, they won't mind if we kill them.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 15:58 Comments || Top||


Chávez advocates presence of Cubans in Venezuelan army
President Hugo Chávez dismissed the warnings made by Former Brig. Gen. Antonio Rivero, ex director of Venezuela's civil protection agency, who complained about a growing Cuban presence in Venezuela's Armed Forces.

"Let him have his fifteen minutes of fame," Chávez said. The Venezuelan president added that the retired general is echoing claims of "Cubanization of the Venezuelan Armed Forces."

Chávez would not deny reports that Cubans are involved in the military. Instead, he conceded that "Cubans are helping us here."

The Venezuelan ruler said during his TV and radio program that in the past, the "Yankees" had offices in the Headquarters of the Army and had access to confidential information.

Chávez stressed that Gen. Rivero was discharged after he left the Civil Protection agency because he was a "lazy man."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "According to your file, you are the Colonel in command of this unit, for now. I am Zampolit Pedro Castro, rank Lieutenant, and all your orders will now come through me. Likewise I have the authority to countermand any order you may issue, and report incidences of anti-Chavez activities."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/27/2010 12:12 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
U.S. prepared to take action if N. Korea behind ship sinking
HONG KONG, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The United States is prepared to take action if the sinking of a South Korean warship is linked to North Korea, a senior U.S. diplomat said Monday. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell did not elaborate, but U.S. officials have expressed support for further United Nations sanctions, as proposed by South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan.

North Korea is already under sanctions for its nuclear and missile tests last year.
Those worked so well, too ...
"We will diagnose the cause of the tragic incident and address the issue accordingly," Campbell said, referring to the March 26 sinking of the 1,200-ton corvette Cheonan, which killed 40 South Korean sailors and left six others missing near the Korean maritime border. "We express thoughts and prayers to the Korean people."
That's about all Bambi is going to give them ...
"We are also gratified South Korea has asked us to work closely with them. I believe the multinational working relationships are excellent," the senior diplomat said. "We are still (in the middle) of the investigation, and no formal conclusion has been reached. We will as we move forward."

The U.S. has sent 14 military and civilian investigators to help probe the cause of the sinking, part of a team that includes South Korea, Australia and Sweden.

Campbell also said he has asked China to play a role. "We explained our role in taking recovery efforts and encouraged China to play a responsible role," he said to reporters here after the speech. "China expressed deep concerns for the loss of life and the tragedy. I think they are watching carefully in terms of how this process is playing out."
The South simply isn't willing to go to war with the North. It's that simple. They'll figure out that the Norks put a torpedo into Cheonan and then go to the UN. When the UN fails -- as usual -- they'll shrug. The Norks will then stage another provocation, and the South will shrug that off as well.

The South doesn't want a war. It wouldn't lose, but they'd take a large number of civilian casualties. And if you win, the prize is -- North Korea. It would take a generation to integrate the north, assuming the Chinese would let them do it.

No, this will happen again. The South won't go to war to defend their country, not over something like the sinking of one of their naval ships.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Action? The only thing I can imagine would be to cut off Kimmie's foreign bank accounts.

Keeping an eye out for their subs and making one of them (at least) disappear would also be acceptable. Making one of their ships disappear with an equivalent loss of life would be even better.
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Action?

I picture Halfbright measure, with Shrillary travelling to NK to get 'really, really mad' and give a 'very stern warning' and quite possibly stomp her feet when she gets home.

Besides, as Steve notes, SK's softballing this but will pay the consequences. Do I care? NO! I don't want my boy in harm's way for South Korean acquiescent appeasement.
Posted by: logi_cal || 04/27/2010 7:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Prediction: lots of talk, no action. Then declare victory and walk away.
Posted by: mojo || 04/27/2010 10:32 Comments || Top||

#4  The United States is prepared to take action if the sinking of a South Korean warship is linked to North Korea, a senior U.S. diplomat said Monday.

A load of pure rubbish! I doubt the current administration would "take action" if it were one of our OWN ships.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 10:48 Comments || Top||

#5  Ha Ha!
You only get thoughts and prayers, we get hope and change!

Eat it, SKOR!
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 04/27/2010 14:08 Comments || Top||

#6  I guess today is opposite day. We will take "action".
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/27/2010 14:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Under the old command structure, a Unified Combattant Command, it would be considered one of our "own" ships. These days, with this commander, ....yawn.... some BS lie and declare victory.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 04/27/2010 16:32 Comments || Top||


Hillary Tells Norks to Stop Provocations
There. That oughta do it.
The United States on Friday called on North Korea to refrain from provocations and return to the six-party talks table to solve problems within the multilateral dialogue framework.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was visiting Tallinn, Estonia for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, was asked by an AFP reporter, "In North Korea, there is increasing talk of war. The North Koreans are talking about being on the brink of war, following this incident of the sunk Navy ship. And they've even seized or sealed some buildings at a South Korean-owned mountain resort in North Korea."

Clinton answered she hoped that "there is no talk of war, there is no action or miscalculation that could provoke a response that might lead to conflict. That's not in anyone's interest. The way to resolve the outstanding differences among not only the North and South Koreans but the neighbors, including ourselves, is to return to the six-party talk framework as soon as possible."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6511 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What did they do---build a house in Pyongyang?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/27/2010 5:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Hillary says to stop the provocations or she'll come over there and promote a vacation real estate deal.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/27/2010 7:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Listen up Norks! Does the name Vince Foster mean anything to you?
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 7:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Hillary says to stop the provocations or she'll come over there and promote a vacation real estate deal crush you with her massive thighs.

FIFY
Posted by: Beavis || 04/27/2010 8:18 Comments || Top||

#5  I think Obama"s people are piping mad and may even think about suggesting to the UN, provided they can get agreement on wording, to consider sending Kimmie to his room without his super, if this ever happens again without their consultation. OK, I'll turn off the obfuscation key now.
Posted by: HammerHead || 04/27/2010 10:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Dammit, wez tryin to makes profit off of status quo! Stop rocking the boat!
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/27/2010 11:32 Comments || Top||

#7  I can just see the Nork's reaction to this.

"Stop or what? Nothing? Sure thing, you ugly bitch. We'll get right on it."
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/27/2010 14:10 Comments || Top||

#8  And then theres SECDEF GATES on the ME side.

To wit,

BHARAT RAKSHAK/TOPIX > US: SYRIA, IRAN ARMING HEZBOLLAH WITH IMPROVED MISSLES. Gates also indic that Hezbollah has more missles than most World Govts-States, the NEW MISSLES = SCUDS are vERY DESTABILZ, + that SYRIA'S MILSYS, ACTION vee trasnfer to Hezbollah can easily upset the delicate/fragile balance of power in Lebanon.

SCUDS [dual-use] > Middle East = Arab-Israeli GAMECHANGER.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/27/2010 22:45 Comments || Top||


Defectors Recount Nightmare in N. Korean Camps
Tales of unimaginable suffering were at the core of testimony from former inmates of North Korea's political concentration camps at a press conference Monday.

"I ate whatever I could put into my mouth, except stones," recalled an inmate at the Yodok camp between 2000 and 2002. "Grain stock was checked every day and we were kept away from grains, so you had this extreme pain of being unable to eat them even if they were within sight," he said. "As starving inmates surreptitiously ate seeds, security guards sprayed pesticides on the seeds, so many died from eating the poisoned seeds."

The event was organized by activist group Democracy Network against North Korean Gulag at the Seoul Press Center.

Of 250 inmates he met at the camp, 80 starved to death or executed in public after being arrested for attempting to flee the Stalinist country. He himself was held on espionage charges after being caught with a Bible smuggled in from South Korea.

Women at the event wore dark glasses to conceal their identities but were unable to hide their tears. One recalled how she languished at the Kaechon political prison camp for 28 years after being taken into custody at 13 for guilt by association with a crime committed by one of her relatives. She said, "I saw a starving woman eat the flesh of her son who had died of a disease."

Another was detained at Kaechon Women's Prison for attempting to flee the North twice, in 2003 and 2005. "Once we stood in line in the hallway of a detention house where a security guard was kicking a pregnant woman," she recalled. "Some time later, this woman returned and lay bleeding with an empty womb. But nobody could do anything to help her."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Right on schedule.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/27/2010 16:03 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
U.S. Military: Obesity is a matter of national security
Today Vasti Cedeno will leave for Fort Jackson, S.C., to start nine weeks of Army boot camp. When two of her mentors were killed while serving in Afghanistan, she decided her "life's mission" was to join the Army. But even with her mind made up, her body kept her down. Cedeno weighed nearly 275 pounds.

"I was too ashamed to go into the recruiter's office," she said.

Cedeno turned it around. Through diet and exercise, the Emerson resident dropped 112 pounds in a year, and she figures to lose more if Fort Jackson combat training stays true to reputation.

Military officials hope Cedeno, 27, represents the start of a trend. The scales are not tipping in the right direction for young people, and a new report says the sharp rise in obesity rates has become a matter of national security.

Over 9 million young adults -- 27 percent of all Americans ages 17-24 -- weigh too much to join the military, according to the report released last week by Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit group of 130 retired admirals, generals and senior military leaders that promotes health and education for American children. Their findings come on top of a Pentagon report released last year that said 48,000 military recruits had flunked weight standards since 2005.

"We also lose upwards to 12,000 young men and young women a year before they even finish up the first term of enlistment," said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman Seip. "That's another person who has been recruited, trained and left because they're not able to maintain standards."
Part-time daughter's brand new husband almost was one of those. They told him what to eat, gave him extra PT, and allowed him to retest every few months for a year. He just squeaked in under the wire. Ptd got there, and an hour after the wedding she poured all his sugary, caffeinated sodas down the drain, and started planning menus. Within a month she reported proudly that he'd dropped nine pounds, was sleeping properly, and was running even better. She's definitely a long-haired general.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stop
Subsidising
Corn
Syrup.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 04/27/2010 6:18 Comments || Top||

#2  ...when you pry it from my cold dead hands. :)
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/27/2010 8:09 Comments || Top||

#3  The first time I went to China, I saw four fat people in a month. When came back and got off the plane, I saw three fat people on the jetway before I even got into the terminal.

Stop fucking eating, people.
Posted by: gromky || 04/27/2010 9:12 Comments || Top||

#4  just remarked to the wife yesterday

"you don't think there is a correlation between the massive expansion of foodstamp benefits in the 70's and the epidemic of rampant obesity do you?"

Posted by: abu do you love || 04/27/2010 9:32 Comments || Top||

#5  For literally tens of thousands of years mankind struggled just to survive from one gathering and hunting expedition to another, then from one harvest to another. Black and white photos a mere hundred years old, show the rich as fat and well fed and the 'working' and underclass gaunt and skinny. Now for a very rare and unique time in the long history of the species food is abundant and readily available for vast numbers of the population - and people still COMPLAIN. Just pray that the unique environment dependent upon so many variables doesn't alter too quick. Adaptation to environment can be a bitch in a compressed time frame.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/27/2010 9:42 Comments || Top||

#6  There are some villains that cause obesity, that were little suspected until late, because they are somewhat counterintuitive.

Heading the list are artificial sweeteners and fructose. They don't just trick the taste buds, they trick the whole digestive system into thinking you have consumed a lot of glucose, so it puts other fats and carbs into storage mode instead of burn mode.

Importantly, though some sweeteners are listed as low carb, such as sugar alcohols, this just means that they don't affect the blood sugar level, because they digest further down the digestive tract. But you still get the full dose of carbs.

Caffeine also messes with sugar metabolism, by stimulating stomach acid production, so that glucose is metabolized higher up the digestive tract. Then the stimulant kicks in, which tells the brain the metabolism is higher than it should be, so it should slow things down.

But the bottom line is that the body is designed to become fat if possible, which makes it easier to gain weight than to lose it. Hundreds of generations living in near starvation will do that to you.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/27/2010 9:55 Comments || Top||

#7  Thank you Moose for these valuable insights. I continue to be amazed at the breadth of expertise resident on this site.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 10:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Stop
Subsidising
Corn
Syrup.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a member of the commission, and former governor of Iowa, has a vested interest in all that corn syrup. A few other very powerful senators, Harkin and Grassley, a farmer, always back the subsidies that go to ADM and other corporate farmers, too. And Anonymoose is also correct that the articial sweeteners in diet drinks the big three soda makers are putting in school trick the body into thinking it is starving when the cells aren't getting the proper nutrients. You not only store everything as fat, but cravings ensue, only to often be satisfied with processed junk food and creating a vicious cycle. I am diabetic and they want me to use natural sweeteners like stevia and cane sugar, real butter, cream, unprocessed seasalt, etc. for that reason and surprise, surprise--my cravings are gone and I've lost weight while my glucose stabilized and cholesterol even went down to acceptable levels. I also have a new hobby--cooking--as I have to cook everything from scratch, including brownies, but I've become an everyday gourmet!
Posted by: Lumpy Elmoluck5091 || 04/27/2010 10:16 Comments || Top||

#9  But she was also painfully aware she would need to make major changes to her 5-foot-5 frame.

And I thought to myself,
"Join the Army. It's free."
So I figured while I'm here
I'll lose a few pounds.
You got a six- to eight-week training
program here, a tough one.
Which is perfect for me.
I'm gonna walk out of here
a lean, mean, fighting machine.

Posted by: DepotGuy || 04/27/2010 10:17 Comments || Top||

#10  "We has meat once a week!"--Charles Dickens, in a dialog between factory boys. The speaker is the eldest of a family of several brothers whose work, combined with that of their widowed mother, produces such a remarkable luxury.

A meal with a meat entree later in the day, every night of the week, is a recent development. Also, since the work day usually means that we have our main meal late in the day, that may also make a difference in how our bodies process our food. Any ideas, Dr. Steve or other experts?

"you don't think there is a correlation between the massive expansion of foodstamp benefits in the 70's and the epidemic of rampant obesity do you?"

Having funds available for food does not necessarily mean that people really have enough money to get something good. My neighbors "Juan and Amy" had just enough income, food stamps included, to get beans and pasta for a period of about 6 months.

Having funds available does not necessarily mean that the person knows best how to use it. For example, I've had conversations with ladies in the grocery store who don't know the difference between "fruit juice" and "fruit drink". A lady from my church helped mentor some of my neighbors on these issues. Given good information, they made a lot of changes for the better.
Posted by: mom || 04/27/2010 10:46 Comments || Top||

#11  As Moose suggests, obesity is not the result of overeating, but of food toxicity. The main villains are:

1. Omega-6 vegetable oils. Soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, and others all promote obesity.

2. Fructose. Sugar, soda. Fructose reacts with omega-6 fats to damage the liver and accentuate their weight gain effects.

3. Wheat/grains/excess carbs. Carbs are fattening, fats are not, because insulin drives weight gain; see Gary Taubes. Also wheat and other grain toxins promote weight gain, thus "beer belly."

For weight loss, replace omega-6 PUFA with coconut oil, and cut down on carbs.
Posted by: Skunky Angeack7024 || 04/27/2010 11:33 Comments || Top||

#12  Real simple equation:
input = output + accumulation
Eat (input) more than you burn (output) and you have a positive accumulation (you get heavier). Input < output and you loose weight. Input = output and you remain the same.

I have no use for the whole "my metabolism is different" crapola. The laws of chemistry don't differ for anybody.
Posted by: Chemist || 04/27/2010 12:00 Comments || Top||

#13  But the laws of physiology do differ even within the same person in different periods of life. I do agree with your equation.

The US is strange in my opinion - I see that for every overweight youngster there is one is dynamite shape. The main diverging factor I notice is the amount of physical activity.

I know someone who was overweight but wanted to join. That person hit the weights and track before going in. Unfortunate, and rightly frustrating, to see recruits with the right stuff mentally who just did not have the proper physical education (or in some cases opportunity) during upbringing.

Ultimately it comes down to the parenting. I notice a vast difference in mine between those days when the entertainment devices have priority and when physical/mental activity (even just coloring) dominates the day's activities. I also know people whose idea of watching the baby is placing it in a crib with a bottle while they go do other (selfish, not housework) things.

And like mom says, unconcern about the ingredients is an issue as well. A nearby city has a number of the fattest poor kids I've ever seen, so I don't know what to make of the food stamp deal.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/27/2010 12:44 Comments || Top||

#14  Chemist, generally yes. But here is the thing...
From age 15 to 36, I could eat vast quantities of food, and my weight stayed at 64kg. I did not have much of fat, a skinny guy I was, so skinny that when I went to swim, it was a hard job not to sink like a stone. Bones, muscles and skin.
At 36, things started to change. I finally started gaining weight, which was a boon for swimming. No longer sinking, I was able to float like a seal. 20 years later, I have a beer belly (though drinking beer rarely). Not too bad, I would qualify as overweight at 84kg. I eat less than one third of volume than I did before 36. I drive only when I have to go somewhere over 5 km, else I walk. I am not gaining weight, but also not losing. I don't eat sugar now for 4 years. Not because of weight, but because of some health problems that started to creep in. It was a good move, my vision improved, and my swollen pancreas shrinked. My initial assessment was a borderline diabetes and I think I was right. I don't go doctors unless you pick me up with a crane and deposit me there. Even if you hit me with a truck and I can barely walk, and you are an ambulance medic with experience, I would argue with you that I'll be fine. You'd have to wait till I nearly pass out to get me on the gurney.

I know people that eat even less than I and they are gaining weight. Others are losing weight. It varies.

I think that it boils down to how much (in percent of intake) processed food one eats.
Posted by: twobyfour || 04/27/2010 13:27 Comments || Top||

#15  "But the laws of physiology do differ even within the same person in different periods of life. I do agree with your equation."

Laws of chemistry do not vary between individuals or with life stage. Yes, people may digest food in their gut to different efficiencies and the fraction absorbed into the blood stream may also differ. Once it is absorbed into the blood the laws of chemistry take over. The energy for the conversion of glucose into CO2 and H20 is the same for everyone. The energy of conversion of glucose to triacylglyceride (fat) is also the same regardless of how old you are.

Biochemistry is just chemistry and all the rules of chemistry must apply to all biological systems. No exceptions.
Posted by: Chemist || 04/27/2010 13:45 Comments || Top||

#16  The energy for the conversion of glucose into CO2 and H20 is the same for everyone. The energy of conversion of glucose to triacylglyceride (fat) is also the same regardless of how old you are.

Apparently, what varies is whether the first takes the precedence, or the second. Thus the final result may be different for Paul and Mary.
Paul drinks beer and consumes large bags of fritos while sitting on a sofa and watching his fav sports game (an there is one every time he turns on ESPN).
Mary is busy in the kitchen, with kids, in the garden, etc. her feet are tired every night and her dinner portion is a "pigeon" portion in comparison with the heap on Paul's plate. Kids are somewhere in the middle volume.
Paul is still a skinny bastid and Mary is still a fat cow.

So, chemistry aside, something differs. Don't you agree?
Posted by: twobyfour || 04/27/2010 15:15 Comments || Top||

#17  Ah yes, the two definitions of metabolism. My default definition is the looser lay version which includes the very inexact factors of mental and environment influences.

Personal anectdote, so FWIF. I burn calories like a grease fire (apologies! lot of that does come from years of hard physical exertions) I can go to that famous fast food joint and eat two of them chicken sandwiches with the ham on them. Now, made traditional Beuf Bougenon (used the fat from one ingredient to sautee other ingredients) - one cup of that had me more than satisfied...whats up with that? Could it be that our first line of nutritional awareness is being circumvented (taste/smell=mind) when driving through, or even buffets, like working out before stretching?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/27/2010 15:57 Comments || Top||

#18  eat food closest to the source and be cognizant of portion size. Add daily exercise - cardio 4-5 times per week plus weight training abt 3 times per week. That's it. Keep regular soda, fried crap or sugar snacks to one day a week. You'll see results in two weeks.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 04/27/2010 17:22 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
CIA using smaller missiles in drone attacks
LAHORE: The US Central Intelligence Agency has started using smaller missiles in its hunt for al Qaeda and other terrorist leaders in Pakistan in hope of minimising civilian casualties, The Washington Post reported on Monday. Citing unnamed current and former officials in the United States and Pakistan, the newspaper said the new technology had resulted in more accurate strikes that have provoked relatively little public outrage.
According to the report, one such missile was used by the CIA last month in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.

The projectile, which was no bigger than a violin case and weighed about 35 pounds, hit a house there and killed a top al Qaeda official and about nine other suspected terrorists, the paper said. The mud-brick house collapsed and the roof of a neighbouring house was damaged, but no one else in the town was hurt, the WP said.
It's the Acme Guided Boulder, mark 3!
Just wait 'til we work up to Bright Pebbles...
The CIA declined to publicly discuss its clandestine operations in Pakistan, and a spokesman would not comment on the kinds of weapons the agency is using, the report said.

But two counterterrorism officials said in interviews that evolving technology and tactics had kept the number of civilian deaths extremely low. The officials, along with other US and Pakistani officials interviewed for the article spoke on the condition of anonymity because the drone campaign is both classified and controversial.

The paper said the agency, using 100-pound Hellfire missiles fired from remotely-controlled Predator aircraft, once targeted Taliban largely in rural settings, but lighter weapons and miniature spy drones have made killings in urban areas more feasible, officials said.

According to an internal CIA accounting described to WP, just over 20 civilians are known to have died in missile strikes since January 2009, in a 15-month period that witnessed more than 70 drone attacks that killed 400 suspected terrorists and insurgents.
400:20? That's a pretty good ratio of bad guys to relative innocents... or innocent relatives, either.
Agency officials said the CIA's figures are based on close surveillance of targeted sites both before and after the missiles hit.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lighter/smaller missiles means they can carry more of them, too!
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 0:17 Comments || Top||

#2  My question is, why does the CIA need ANY missiles. Follow on...why do we need TWO Air Forces? .......$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ oh, sorry, reality slipped my mind.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/27/2010 7:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't mind the duplication, Besoeker. Given the natural tendency of organizations of all kinds to go off the rails, I think it's valuable to have a covert ops group at the CIA and also to have SOCOMM. And most of the equipment development is dual use.
Posted by: lotp || 04/27/2010 9:41 Comments || Top||

#4  The projectile, which was no bigger than a violin case and weighed about 35 pounds

Raytheon Griffin
The Griffin missile was developed by Raytheon as a private venture in the 2007/2008 time frame. It is a small tube-launched laser-guided air-to-surface weapon primarily designed as armament for UAVs. An MQ-1 Predator can carry three Griffin missiles in place of a single AGM-114 Hellfire
Posted by: ed || 04/27/2010 12:18 Comments || Top||

#5  An MQ-1 Predator can carry three Griffin missiles in place of a single AGM-114 Hellfire

More missiles equals more targets. Happy hunting, O CIA and Air Force angels of death!
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 17:20 Comments || Top||


US hopes to sell 10 military planes to India
WASHINGTON: The US said on Monday it hopes to soon begin negotiations on the sale of 10 C-17 military transport aircrafts to the Indian Air Force in a multi-billion dollar deal signifying deeper ties. Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress last Thursday of “the possible sale of 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircrafts to the IAF,' the US Embassy in New Delhi said on its website.
That'll keep the assembly line going for a year ...
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We need India...for a variety of reasons: counterbalance to islam; counterbalance to China; huge access to the IO; cultural ties through the Brits.
Posted by: anymouse || 04/27/2010 21:53 Comments || Top||

#2  ION DAILY TIMES.PK > LeT MAKING EFFORT TO CARRY OUT ATTACKS IN INDIA. ARTIC also indics that the Let may be setting up LINKS = ACTIVITIES in the MALDIVES + other neighboring countries.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/27/2010 23:29 Comments || Top||


Parties start internal scrutiny of MPs' degrees
LAHORE: After fake degrees of certain lawmakers were challenged recently, all major political parties have decided to set up internal scrutiny committees to reconfirm the academic qualifications of their members in parliament, sources told Daily Times on Monday.
Finally embarrassed enough, are they ...
So far, seven parliamentarians have been disqualified or forced to resign from their posts for holding fake degrees, and the Election Commission has started holding fresh polls in these constituencies. Polls have been held in two constituencies so far, while the schedule of the remaining has been announced by the EC.

According to sources, both major political parties – the PML-N and PPP – have faced embarrassment through their representatives in parliament who held fake degrees, hence they have decided to reconfirm their academic qualifications through internal scrutiny committees to avoid further humiliation.

Other political parties, such as the PML-Quaid, have also decided to ensure the authenticity of their lawmakers' academic degrees. PML-N Senator Pervez Rashid confirmed to Daily Times that his party had already taken the initiative to recheck the degrees of its members.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you can't tell the difference, it doesn't really matter, now does it?
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Given the caliber of education over there, a purchased degree implies less to unlearn than an honestly earnt one. At least those with purchased degrees weren't forced to calculate the impact of djinns to get the answer on their various science exams... or write essays discussing the relative ethics of choosing jihad versus getting a job to support one's offspring and elderly parents.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/27/2010 18:13 Comments || Top||


Gilani, Singh likely to meet in Bhutan
ISLAMABAD: In the first official indication of a possible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Thimpu, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Monday a bilateral meeting could not be ruled out, a local news channel reported, as the Foreign Office said if the leaders got an opportunity to meet in Bhutan, efforts will be made to restart the composite dialogue.

“I am not ruling it out,' said Krishna when asked if Singh would meet his Pakistani counterpart during the SAARC summit on April 28-29.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Iraq election turmoil as panel invalidates votes
BAGHDAD - A review panel on Monday invalidated votes cast for 52 candidates in Iraq's election, throwing into doubt the slim lead of a Sunni-backed alliance and setting the stage for a possible spike in sectarian violence.

Electoral officials and politicians said Monday's decision may not alter the final outcome of the election, but a more significant ruling was expected on Tuesday, when the panel considers the fate of six to nine winning candidates.

Former prime minister Iyad Allawi, whose cross-sectarian Iraqiya alliance won a slim lead with strong support from the Sunni minority, said his coalition would fight the ruling while some of his allies said they might seek a new election.

“We have instructed lawyers to appeal against the panel's decision,' Allawi said in Ankara. “We are very concerned about certain groups controlling the political process in Iraq.'

Allawi and other Iraqiya leaders demanded U.N. intervention.

Iraqiya won 91 seats, just two ahead of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition, which would gain the most from any upheaval in the final result.
Maliki's people also control the electoral commission. How convenient ...
At least one of those barred on Monday for alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's banned Baath party was a winner for Iraqiya.

Allawi's allies said they did not see the election result changing because the number of votes invalidated was small. They said any winning candidates affected would be replaced by the next Iraqiya nominee in line in the same constituency. But any reduction in Iraqiya's representation could reignite Sunni anger, just as the sectarian violence unleashed after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion recedes.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Hill said he was concerned about the time it was taking Iraqi politicians to certify the election results and begin negotiations to form a coalition government.

“This is a country that has an economy that's barely getting itself off the ground ... So this is a country that clearly needs to move ahead,' Hill said. “We are concerned that the process is lagging and that we have not gotten onto the government formation as yet. It seems to me that it's time to get this show on the road here.'

Hill said that he believed two or more of Iraqiya's candidates could be affected by Monday's decision.

Saad al-Rawi, one of nine commissioners at the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), of which the review panel is a part, said one winning candidate was affected. “I don't think this would affect the number of seats for the (Iraqiya) bloc,' Rawi said. “Iraqiya got millions of votes, 5,000 or 10,000 votes (less) would not affect it.'

The invalidation of votes comes before the expected start next week of a recount in Baghdad, which could also change the result and enrage Sunnis who saw Iraqiya's success as a vindication of their claim to greater political clout.

“This decision (of the review panel) builds a wall between the political parties when they should be getting closer to forming a government quickly,' said Khamis al-Badri, a professor of political science at Baghdad University.

The impasse has also occurred as international oil firms are starting to invest in Iraq's vast oilfields, launching the country on a path that could more than quadruple its oil output capacity to Saudi levels of 12 million barrels per day.

IHEC commissioner Hamdiya al-Husseini said Monday's ruling was not final as the affected candidates had a month to appeal
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  UKRAINE'S MPS = factions are repor throwing EGGS + SMOKE BOMBS, ETC. at each other INSDE GOVT HALLS over the new base deal wid RUSSIA. There are also VARI STREET PROTESTS taking place.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/27/2010 22:50 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Paleos signal readiness to start peace talks
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in Jerusalem's disputed eastern sector, municipal officials said Monday. The decision was made despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's public insistence that building would not be stopped in the face of U.S. pressure.

It remained unclear if the slowdown constituted a formal moratorium or how long it would last, but the move reflected Netanyahu's need to mend a serious rift with the U.S. over Israeli construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state as Washington tries to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

In an interview Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled he would be ready to start indirect peace talks with Israel, after weeks of hesitation. The U.S. has proposed talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with President Barack Obama's envoy as go-between, and in recent days Washington had stepped up efforts to coax Abbas back to the table.

Abbas told Israel's Channel 2 TV he will present the U.S. proposal to the Arab League this week and that “we hope that the reply will be positive.'

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach claimed a weekslong delay in reviewing plans for new construction was nothing more than a bureaucratic issue. Nonetheless, signs of the freeze drew angry criticism from hard-line lawmakers, including a member of Netanyahu's own party who warned the government could collapse over the matter.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley wouldn't discuss what Israel was telling the United States about Jewish construction but said the U.S. has asked Israel and the Palestinians to take steps to rebuild trust.

“We're not going to go into details about what we've asked them to do, but obviously this is an important issue in the atmosphere to see the advancement of peace.' Crowley said.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lucy has the football placed...
Posted by: mojo || 04/27/2010 11:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Ready to talk???
I have this really nice bridge in Brooklyn that I can get for you at a good price.
Posted by: jimk || 04/27/2010 11:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Naaah, they're bored, so it's time to poke Uncle Sam again and watch him squirm.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/27/2010 16:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Naaah, they're bored, so it's time to poke Uncle Sam again and watch him squirm bow even deeper.

FIFY.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/27/2010 16:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Must be time to hit Uncle Sap and the Eurinals up for some cash. Swiss bank account don't just fill themselves.
Posted by: DMFD || 04/27/2010 18:25 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Is Iran Running Out of Uranium?
Western governments may be scrambling to push through tougher international sanctions against Iran, but the Islamic Republic's nuclear program may be facing a more immediate hurdle: How to replenish its dwindling uranium stocks.

Iran's need to find fresh supplies of raw uranium supplies is increasingly urgent, according to some reports. That may be one reason for the bear hug President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe last Thursday, when the Iranian leader landed in Harare on the first leg of an African trip. An anonymous Zimbabwe government source told Britain's Telegraph newspaper last Friday that his country's Minister of Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa, had made a secret deal with Iran last month during a visit to Tehran, under which the Iranians would provide the sanctions-battered southern African country with critically needed oil supplies, in exchange for what he called "the exclusive uranium rights" in Zimbabwe.

Neither Iran nor Zimbabwe has confirmed the uranium deal, which could violate U.N. sanctions, and on Monday an official from Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, the minority partner in the coalition government, denied the report, insisting that "no such agreement was signed." Zimbabwe is believed to have large uranium deposits, discovered during the 1970s, which have never been mined.

Iran's uranium stockpile is 30 years old, dating to the early 1980s, when South Africa sold it about 531 tons of yellowcake, the powder produced from the raw uranium dug from the ground which is enriched in order to create nuclear reactor fuel (or, potentially, bomb material). Of that supply, the country has only "a relatively small stock" left, according a report last December by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, which tracks Iran's nuclear industry. Much of Iran's yellowcake has been refined into uranium hexafluoride, which is kept under scrutiny by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as required by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which Iran is a signatory. Iran's current stockpile of low-enriched uranium, if enriched to weapons grade — a process that would require Iran kicking out the inspectors and thereby unambiguously declaring its intentions — would be enough to create a single nuclear bomb. But it is a lot less than Iran needs to fuel a nuclear reactor for energy purposes, let alone build several nuclear weapons that would constitute a credible nuclear arsenal.
Posted by: ed || 04/27/2010 11:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Where does Pakistan get its yellow cake?
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/27/2010 12:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Well I'll be Damned, I thought Robert had stolen everything, now they've found something else valuable enough for him to steal Too.
And the theft goes on, and on, and on.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/27/2010 16:10 Comments || Top||


Iran Guards Search French, Italian Ships In Key Oil Route
After hearing Michael Ledeen, during the last, closing moments on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, talking as the music for cut-off got louder, I found this.
Tehran: Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards searched French and Italian ships during exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, a key transit route for Gulf oil, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

The Guards marine patrol unit searched the two vessels on Friday to verify "whether the two were following environmental regulations," IRNA quoted a Guards statement as saying.

"After it was confirmed that there was no breach of environmental regulations, they were allowed to continue on their path," the Guards said, without elaborating on the nature of the ships.

They said the search was carried out in the Strait of Hormuz where Iranian forces have been carrying out manoeuvres since Thursday. The three-day exercise, dubbed Prophet V, has involved the Guards' ground, air and naval units.
Posted by: Sherry || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iran is trying to impose control and ownership over the Straits of Hormuz.
Neither country whos ships were involved should have allowed this to occur.
Especially Italy, who supplies Iran with all those fancy military trucks we see on parade.
Posted by: Mike Hunt || 04/27/2010 0:51 Comments || Top||


Iran behaving ‘irresponsibly' in nuclear crisis: Russia
MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has launched one of his strongest attacks on Iran's conduct in the nuclear crisis, accusing it of behaving irresponsibly, in an interview released Monday. Medvedev reaffirmed in the interview with Danish television that Moscow could support further UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran if all other means were exhausted.

“As of yet Iran is not demonstrating the required restraint and is behaving quite irresponsibly. This, of course, is a sad fact,' he said in the interview transcript released by the Kremlin ahead of his visit to Denmark on Tuesday.

“Therefore, if this situation continues, we cannot rule anything out, including sanctions. Of course, sanctions are a bad thing because they rarely produce results. But when all other means have been exhausted, why not?'

Medvedev has repeatedly said Russia, a veto-wielding UN Security Council permanent member, does not rule out further sanctions against Tehran but they should not hurt the wider population. Medvedev's comments were its latest expression of impatience after Tehran failed to accept a UN-brokered nuclear fuel swap deal involving Russia aimed at defusing the standoff.

Speaking of his country's own external relations, Medvedev said Russia now offers “a smiling face' to the international community but “we must see smiles in response.'

Promoting a new image for Russia abroad, he said: “We must not bare our teeth at anyone, get angry, sulk, or feel offended, pushed into things or into a corner, and react accordingly.'
Then he walked away from the podium and winked at Vlad, who nodded approval ...
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, if ya give a monkey a bottle of whiskey vodka and a gun, what do you expect?
Posted by: M. Murcek || 04/27/2010 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Good cop week for Russia?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/27/2010 13:42 Comments || Top||

#3  More like hipocritical cop minute.
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 22:01 Comments || Top||


Iran seeks Bosnia's support on nuclear row
SARAJEVO - Iran's foreign minister lobbied U.N. Security Council member Bosnia on Monday for support in its row with the West over its nuclear programme, but a Bosnian leader said his country's interests lay with Europe.
Smart man. The Bosnians are among the most civil of the Muslims, and while some fair proportion of them got radicalized during their civil war, most understand that the Mad Mullahs™ have nothing for them but trouble.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Bosnia on his way back from Vienna, where he failed to make any headway in talks with the U.N. atomic watchdog chief on a stalled nuclear fuel offer designed to ease tensions with the West. Mottaki also used the visit to talk to non-permanent U.N. Security Council members Austria and Bosnia about new a U.N. draft resolution on sanctions against Iran.

“All 10 Security Council non-permanent members should play their roles responsibly and make decisions in a democratic atmosphere,' Mottaki told a news conference in Sarajevo. “In this way, they can prevent the intentions of some Security Council members to impose their opinions and stop the dictatorship in the Council,' he said through an interpreter.

“If we succeed to win political agreement from all involved parties about the exchange of nuclear fuel, then we can propose different mechanisms for the realisation of this project,' he said.

“Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, needs to be informed about everything that is happening on the regional and international stage,' Mottaki said. “Being informed will help Bosnia-Herzegovina to actively and constructively act in the Security Council on the principles of justice.'

But in a statement after meeting Mottaki, the chairman of Bosnia's tripartite inter-ethnic presidency, Haris Silajdzic, said Bosnia's strategic goal was membership of the European Union and NATO and that would affect its Council vote.

“Our country must consider these strategic interests that matter to its security and the security of its citizens when it makes decisions at international forums, including the U.N. Security Council,' Silajdzic said in a statement.

Silajdzic said Bosnia, a signatory of the nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty, fully supported the work and decisions of the IAEA.

Iran supported Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-95 war and relations between the two countries have been warm. An Iranian economic delegation will arrive in Sarajevo on Tuesday.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/27/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:


Terror Networks
Facebook deletes al-Qaeda leader's account
The Facebook account of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's top deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri suffered a similar fate as that of Osama's, as the account was deleted from the social networking sites.

On Monday, Apr 26, The Sun revealed that the most wanted terrorist al-Zawahiri has joined Facebook, almost two weeks after Osama was appeared in on the site. Zawahiri has 16.5 million-pound price on his head.

It has been said that the page contained a photo of Zawahiri with a semi-automatic rifle in the background and videos. One of the videos was that of a truck bombing in Afghanistan. Media reports said that some video clips which could have been taken from the Voice of Jihad site, called people for war against Britain and the US.

"These pages have been removed," Facebook said. Along with that two more pages linked to the Taliban were removed from the site.
Posted by: ryuge || 04/27/2010 09:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But, but, what about the hearts and minds!
Posted by: gorb || 04/27/2010 11:02 Comments || Top||

#2  They should have left it up - 'Zawahiri' and chums might've ended up harmless, addicted to Farmville.
Posted by: Bulldog || 04/27/2010 12:35 Comments || Top||

#3  They should have left it up - 'Zawahiri' and chums might've ended up harmless, addicted to Farmville.

And I could have given him a pig.
Posted by: DMFD || 04/27/2010 18:34 Comments || Top||



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