"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, April 29, 2006

UAV Europe 2006 - techno paradise for the Defense nerd

July is a bad time for trade exhibitions , holidays and heat combine to make it unpopular, but an important one, that many will not want to miss will be UV Europe 2006 13th - 14th July 2006 (organised by the Shephard Group) at the grisly Novotel London West, Hammersmith. But UAV's are VERY BIG BUSINESS - a Grumman - Northrop Global Hawk when it crashes costs US$72 Mn so far the US Government is spending US$6Bn a year on developing them.

Delegates will enjoy sponsorship A VP Gala Dinner Sponsored by Raytheon - Exciting Black Delegate Bags - Sponsored by Bell Helicopter - and at huge expense the Conference Folders - Sponsored by IAI Malat (Whooooooop di Doooooooooooohhhhhh!!!!!)

"The War fighter is getting used to the idea of having UAV Systems, (says the promo bullshit written by a copywriter who has never been near a war to fight) both tactical and strategic, as part of the standard equipment table (basic equipment ?) for operations.

However, these capabilities come with their own overheads. Increased manpower to operate the systems, demands for spectrum bandwidth, the very real requirement to pass large amounts of information in the form of text, still images and streaming video around the battlefield and the problems of integrating UAVs into already very congested airspace.

Sounds a bit like our house with competing demands on the PC / Mobile / TV / DVD Player / Curtain closers and security CCTV.
UAV Systems must also be easy to operate (statement of the bleedin' obvious) so that the training burden is not increased and operator skills fade (? users get rusty) does not become a very expensive and time consuming problem. How far into the future should the equipment procurers reach in order to secure technologies that will not be out of date before the UAV systems are fielded? (Indeed the UK have been developing their systems for 20 years without much success - see The Raven - google this site) This is a very difficult balance to establish; reach too far and the systems will be unreliable or at worst case will not work at all (Has he been listening to all the Flak about Global Hawk's "crash testing program" and how successful the Predator 4 is ?).

In order to solve these complex problems the whole UAV community must work together. (It says ...oh yeah, yeah, work together) War Fighters, Industry, Acquisition Staff and Scientists must have a common strategic vision (well that will be a fucking first if it happens) and above all else a clear and unambiguous set of requirements. Regulations for the design, manufacture and subsequent use of UAV systems must be drawn up, agreed on a National and International basis and implemented.(Regulations ! Whooooooop deee dooooooooh!!! Again )

UV 2006 seeks to explore these topics and give the UAV Community a forum where problems
can be highlighted, discussed and most importantly possible solutions identified.Key opinion leaders and experts from the unmanned systems industry, will be attending UV Europe as senior conference delegates, as VIP guests and keynote speakers.

Items in the Conference definitely not to miss from a UK perspective will be...
UK UAV MOD STRATEGY 14.25 13th July Wing Commander Andrew Jeffrey, Directorate of the Air Staff – UAV, Ministry of Defence, UK (As this seems to be non-existent it will be fascinating to listen - especially as we are not part of the EU nEURone Combat UAV program)

Speaking at the Bristol International UAV Systems’ Conference on 31st March 2003, Air Vice Marshall Nigel Day announced the aims and objective's for the UK’s proposed Joint UAV Experimentation Program (JUEP).UAV experimentation issues, he said, include doctrine, bandwidth, reachback, balance of platforms, platform reliability/availability and cost. This entails the development of concepts and doctrine, understanding of C4ISR issues within NEC (network-enabled capability) and joint battlefield operations. Around 26 objectives have been defined for JUEP to explore the operational capability of UAVs.

MALE (medium altitude long endurance) platforms will be considered, it is thought that the first year’s experimentation efforts will call for a budget of around £22 million, although that figure was described as ‘aspirational’ by the Ministry of Defence. Two more years of experimentation will follow. (Not much talk about making the fucking things!)

UK UAV Operations Iraq and Afghanistan 09.40 14th July Lieutenant Colonel N.O. Fitzgerald, Commanding Officer 32nd Regiment, Royal Artillery, UK

“There were 22,000 artillery rounds fired in the recent Iraqi conflict,” Mark Lacey, of the Royal Artillery, told audiences at the Bristol UAV conference recently. “The British Army’s Phoenix UAV system was responsible for 40% of these.”

Explaining that the system was able to carry out a close air support (CAS) role during the conflict, he highlighted its ability to give immediate battle damage assessment (BDA) and pinpoint key targets for allied forces (such as mobile Iraqi artillery). Operating with 32 ( (Fitzgerald's outfit) regiment, the UK’s only UAV Regiment, it has flown approximately 133 sorties in Iraq to date. (Mid '05)

The late lamented GEC-Marconi Avionics Group eventually manufactured The Phoenix UAV system which entered UK service in January of 1999. It was 6 years behind schedule after 10 years development. 50 Phoenix aircraft and 8 ground control systems have been delivered to the British Army. Originally, the UAV was to be used for target location for MLRS systems later its role was expanded to include battlefield intelligence and reconnaissance functions. It flew like a pig.

Insane amounts of money were thrown at the Phoenix system, the British military trumpeted the UAV's use in Kosovo as a smashing success. During the operation "Allied Force" the British Army failed to establish satellite links enabling the Phoenix system to transmit real-time images to the control stations, Making the Phoenix system virtually useless. In all. at least 14 were lost (Nato lost at least 48 between them). There is a lot of feet shuffling when a Phoenix UAV was shot down in Yugoslavia, tumbling slowly to the ground for a relatively soft "landing" which left the aircraft almost intact, it is now in the Yugoslav Aeronautical Museum the electronic gubbins was allegedly provided to the Russians who are even further behind than the UK.

Without doubt the presentation by Shmuel Falik, of Israel Aircraft Industries / Malat will be interesting and unmissable THE I – VIEW FAMILY OF TACTICAL UAV SYSTEMS 1210 14 th July Shmuel Falik, Marketing Manager Europe, IAI, Israel

Israeli Aircraft Industries IAI/MALAT pioneered the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and are widely considered to be the world leader in the UAV field. No Doubt he will cover ..
The Searcher Mk II System is an advanced 4th generation UAV system with Automatic Take-off and landing. It has excellent engine and aerodynamic performance, superior deployment (15 hrs 20, 000 feet , 200 /250 Km range) and handling qualities and a new advanced universal UAV mission ground control center compatible with all MALAT systems. Both Searcher systems are in operational use now configured with Direct line-of-sight datalink or beyond-line-of-sight datalink using UAV airborne data relay.
The contemporary Hunter is designed for airworthiness and airspace integration. It is an advanced 4th generation UAV system evolved from earlier Hunters in operation with the U.S. Army and the French Air Force. Fail-safe design, dual engines 4 stroke 69 horse power petrol engines, built-in redundancy, emergency parachute and other intrinsic features set the new standard for UAV airworthiness. Uses ; Surveillance, reconnaissance, target-acquisition, artillery adjustment, damage assessment and missions based on customer furnished payload with 12 hour endurance, 300 Km range.

The E-Hunter is an enhanced configuration of the standard Hunter UAV. By replacing wing, boom and tail assembly with Heron modules, endurance is increased to 25 hours and flight altitude reaches 20,000 ft.

Belgian Eagle Consortium manufacture the B-Hunter which is an upgraded European version of the standard Hunter UAV system for the Belgian Army.

Ranger is a tactical system especially developed for the European theatre to cope with bad weather / geography , surveillance, target acquisition and artillery adjustment.Single 38 Hp petrol engine. Manufactured by Oerlikon and RUAG Aerospace (formerly Swiss Aircraft).

The Heron UAV System is an operational 4th generation generation long-endurance medium-altitude system based on leading-edge technology with new fully automatic take-off and landing features. It provides deep-penetration, wide-area, real-time intelligence to national
agencies, theater commanders and lower echelons. Up to 52 hours use with 100 hp 4 stroke
engine. Endlessly in use over Gaza.

Scout UAV System has played an important combat role both in the service of the Israeli
Ground Forces and Air Force, during the War in Lebanon (1982) and the The Pioneer UAV
System is in operational use with the U.S. Navy . Battle proven during the Gulf War and in
Bosnia - actually used covertly by US to help the ethnic cleansing of the Serbians from Kranje.

Interstingly the Israelis have only produced the fixed wing UAV , the US have developed (at huge cost and negligible success Unmanned Horizontal rotor / Helicopter vehicles).. such is the craze for Toys for the Boys that several manufacturers have produced a variety of competing platforms ... onyl Atomic's Predator seems to have acheived much battlefield success... unless you include the Global Hawk that many say punched a hole in the Pentagon on 9/11.

In Yogoslavia NATO lost 48 UAV's of which the US : 17 (3 Predators, 9 Hunters, 4 Pioneers, 1 UAV of undetermined type)

Novo Nordisk results - more good news for Diabetics

Danish based Novo Nordisk, he world's largest producer of insulin announced Q1 results which show the market for diabetic products (especially in the US) continue to grow NN detailed Q1 2006 sales growth of 23% with profits of EUR 14.4 Mn. They also have good news also of a new product in the pipeline.

CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen said ;

'Novo Nordisk had a strong first quarter with continually increasing sales world wide. We expect that sales growth for the year will increase by between 11 and 13 %.'

The US launch of Levemir, a long acting Insulin detemir (trade name Levemir®) which is a form of clear long acting insulin. This is slowly absorbed from from a sub-cutaneous injected resevoir and therefore the effects of the dose last longer – up to 24 hours, and has proved to be very successful.

Levemir accounted for much of the sales growth, making NN the only drug maker with a full line of insulin analogues.Overall sales in the US increased by 32%. Worldwide Sales of Novo Nordisk's core diabetes products were DKK 6.5bn (EUR 87m),

Levemir results in less weight gain, so, too, does another rival product,long time injectable insulin product Byetta (exenatide injection) from Lilly.

NN were also able to confirm the phase 3 program for liraglutide, the once-daily human Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog, This trial including around 3,800 type 2 diabetes patients was initiated in February 2006.

Carbon Trading market collapses - Kyoto down the pan

EC pollution policy in disarray as carbon permit prices crash
By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor Daily Torygraph 29/4/06

"Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital, said this suggested the carbon allowances handed out by the European Commission at the start of the scheme last year had been too generous.

"In that situation the allowances are potentially worth nothing," he said. "It's not good that we should have such volatility in the market. But the silver lining is that the EC will be much stricter about its assessment of national allocation plans in the future." Ho. Ho !

It is almost impossible to believe how dumb the people are who say such things. This whole thing is a casino contrived to make money for the shysters and money jugglers of the Square Mile ... who have their second Jamboree in Cologne next week.

But perhaps not so dumb and naive as this Tree Hugger the Torygraph quote .."Martin William of Friends of the Earth said:

"If you don't set the cap at a tough enough level then the whole market system falls apart. You are allowing people to have permits to sell for effectively doing nothing. That said, the fall could also be related to higher oil prices."

Martin, no doubt a sincere gent but a trifle unworldly, evidently labours under the belief that the snake oil salesmen of Leadenhall Street are as concerned about the environment as he is. The terrible truth, that has now slowly dawned on him and his gang, is that these financial wizards don't give a flying fuck about carbon dioxide, and global warming. That they don't actually do anything but shift around worthless bits of papers in what is after all a sophisticated shell game, authorised and authenticated by the stupid Governments who signed up for Kyoto. he now realises that these City are more concerned with Porsches, holidays in the sun and prefer the air controlled ambience of the Spearmint Rhino to melting polar ice caps.... but such is his faith he thinks well...maybe it is the oil price... I hope (but it is unlikely) he has a sound Financial Advisor.

Curiously Margaret Beckett the Minister responsible cannot be found anywhere, no doubt cooking a hearty breakfast in some French layby in her lightweight Grand Touring shed on wheels using a gas cylinder that has doubled in price since last year.

A DEFRA news release
from 2002 is revealing about how preternaturally stupid she is..

Margaret Beckett saw how trading takes place and said today:

"This is the first time that I have been able to see for myself how the trading of allowances under the UK Emissions Trading Scheme actually works in practice and meet some of the people who are involved in it every day. Since this innovative Scheme started at the beginning of the month, I have been encouraged by the amount of interest it has generated both at home and internationally.

"The Government is demonstrating to the world how cutting greenhouse gas emissions reductions can be achieved at minimum cost. We are working with the grain of the market, by careful design of economic instruments that show business how there can be real commercial benefit in making savings.

" The UK's Scheme is giving both the Government and its participants early experience of emissions trading, as well as creating an opportunity for the City of London to become a global hub for greenhouse gas emissions trading.

"The business community was at the forefront of the development of this Scheme and recognises that this is an significant opportunity to gain early experience of this important new market. I shall follow the development of this initiative with considerable interest."

Meanwhile Forbes reports that the UK government has quietly withdrawn from further court action against the European Commission to increase the number of carbon dioxide allowances available to UK firms under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

This was an action which the Government undertook under pressure from large energy users to increase the size of the UK cap - this is effectivly a last ditch attempt to salvage the market for the money jugglers at the expense of manufacturing industry as they wait the publication over the next two weeks of the performance of other EU countries, UK included.

Pic of the environmentally aware Beckett planting an Oak Tree in the rain - evidently well dressed for the event.

Prescott's Battle Bus - a cheesy story unfolds

DATE: Wednesday 20th April LOCATION: Worcester, Redditch, Wolverhampton, Leek
Looking through the file on the Humberside Heavyweights grand tour I found an interesting story of busines success and an all too familiar tale of recruting staff with the right skills.....

"To round off the day, the Deputy Prime Minister visited the Kerrygold Cheese Factory in Leek. Joined by Charlotte Atkins, Labour’s candidate for Staffordshire Moorlands, John saw the production line in action.

The factory is extremely successful, but this has led to a skills shortage. John was keen to point out that Labour has committed itself to a significant rise in the quality and quantity of apprenticeships and vocational training.

In a story on BBC ONline November 22nd 2005 (just before Chrustmas) when the factory announced a 90 day closure order the company said,"The firm, which has launched a 90-day consultation, said it was under threat from significant over-capacity in the cheese packing sector across the UK."

BBC Online had a fascinating story 2 weeks ago .....
Cheese factory in grant row shuts

More than 100 staff at a cheese-packing plant have been made redundant after the factory closed, as calls continue for the owners to repay public money.

The Dairygold factory at Felinfach in the beautiful Aeron Valley, near Lampeter, has shut with the loss of 115 jobs. Politicians have called for the repayment of a £663,000 assembly government grant in 2002 to help buy machinery and safeguard jobs.

The Irish-owned company, (The Irish Dairy Board - in effect the Irish Government) which set up in Felinfach S.Wales, with a £1.2m grant in 2001, blamed the "harsh realities of the marketplace" for the closure.

An investigation by the BBC Radio Cymru programme Manylu found the machinery bought with the grant had been sold on to the Kerrygold company, which is part-owned by Dairygold, and is being moved on to its packing facility in Leek, Staffordshire.

According to a statement from the Welsh Assembly Government, officials were unaware that the packing lines had been sold on to Kerrygold, and that both companies were closely connected.

So a foreign owned factory that was "extremely successful" with a "skills shortage" in Staffordshire buys from it's closing sister company, equipment that was bought with grant which they are moving lock stock and barrel and letting go over 100 staff in the unemployment blackspot in the Welsh Valleys.

Lib Dem MP for Ceredigion Mark Williams should perhaps have a word with the Deputy Prime Minister to see whatNew Labour can offer in the way of "quality and quantity of apprenticeships and vocational training" and how it might help the 100 odd residents of the remote rural Aeron Valley find a job, now it, and the machinery they used that was paid for by the taxpayer has been moved to Leek.

He did ask Peter Hain during Welsh Questions on Budget Day "I should like to know what message he has for the 100 constituents of mine who have lost their jobs at Dairygold in Felinfach. There is a possibility of 40 more job losses at Iger near Aberystwyth. Does he accept that job losses on that scale in a rural economy have a disproportionate effect on the immediate locality?"

To which the Man with the tan from the can who desperately wants Tony's job said very unhelpfully, "There are 118,000 more people in work in Wales, business is doing better than anybody can remember and the economy in Wales is stronger than anybody can recall, including in his part of the world. Inevitably, there is a churn of jobs, but job opportunities will increasingly be found for everybody."

So that's alright then. Money spent getting jobs in rural Wales helps develop industry in urban Staffordshire.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Doncaster remebered - 2005 Erection remembered

DATE: Friday 29th April LOCATION: Pudsey, Bradford, Doncaster
It hardly seems a year ago today when the Prescott Battlebus rolled into Doncaster ... " As the afternoon sun shone, the political temperature rose at the next visit to Doncaster. Candidate Rosie Winterton, an old friend of John’s, met him off the bus.... "who was there to meet the candidate the mighty triumvirate of the Prime Minister. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the the Deputy Prime Minister.
John is showing the size of something .. something he must have pulled in when at sea no doubt or the size of something else...what a lark, Johnny 2 Jags obviously had them in stitches. "I tell you it's this long Johhny", said to roars of approval.

He is a card, always a laugh and joke when he's about in the Office.

Ding Ding all aboard.

Chevron - record profits and refiners chased by CA AG for profiteering

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced plans to subpoena documents tomorrow from all 21 California oil refineries for part of an investigation into whether the companies have been profiteering and gouging prices. As if.

"Its time that the oil companies fork over the information needed for us to determine the extent to which they are unjustly enriching themselves at the expense of drivers," said spokesman Tom Dresslar for Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office .

According to information supplied by Lockyer's office, the 7 largest oil companies in California control more than 95 percent of the state's refining capacity and California refiners' profit margins have far outstripped the national average. Shucks ...

Five of the largest California refineries are in the Bay Area, including Chevron-Texaco in Richmond, Shell in Martinez, Valero in Benicia, ConocoPhillips-Rodeo in San Francisco and Tesoro Golden Eagle in Martinez, according to Dresslar.

Today, San Ramon CA. Chevron Corp.'s announced first-quarter profit soared 49 % to US$4 billion, as U.S. oil companies to report colossal earnings and consumers face highest ever gas prices at the pumps.... and environmentalists go ballistic over Bush's waiving EPA pollution guidelines.

Chevron's net income, is equivalent to US$1.80 per share, this compares to a profit of US$2.7 billion, or US$1.28 per share, in the same Q1 2005. Total Revenue was US$54.6 billion, 31% up on last year's US$41.6 BN.

Just watch the oilcos tell Bill Lockyer to go piss up a rope.... and watch Dubya and Turdblossom pass the hat round for help with the mid term election costs.

Rosie Winterton it's not only the NHS that is safe in her hands...

Rosie Winterton Welcome to my website

I am the Member of Parliament for Doncaster Central, in one of the oldest and largest boroughs in Britain. I have been Member of Parliament since 1997, and within this site you will find press releases and speeches I have made regarding issues currently affecting Doncaster, and what the Government is doing in Doncaster. In addition, I have provided links to other helpful websites, including government departments, the Labour party, constituency links, and other information sources.

Thank you for visiting my website. I hope you find it informative and useful.


Doncaster Grammar School / Hull University - BA Hons in History

Previous Employment: Head of Office of John Prescott, MP (1994-1997) Managing Director of Connect Public Affairs (1990-1994) Parliamentary Officer for the Royal College of Nursing (1988-1990) Parliamentary Officer for Southwark Council 1986-1988) Constituency Personal Assistant to John Prescott, MP (1980-1986)

1997 Elected MP for Doncaster Central with a Labour majority of 17,856
Minister of state at the Department of Health (June 2003 - at present)
Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department (2001 - June 2003)

Curiously when she was PS at the obese Lord Chancellors department she made couple of speeches on Marriage and relationships which Drinking from home has resurrected (it appears that at some time the website expunged these pieces of feminine wisdom) in some clever detective work (using Wayback) those interested in Rosie's views on helping people with marriage problems could consult them with some benefit.

March 20, 2002."Marriage Care - Launch of Relationship Education and Emotional Literacy Programme"
April 16, 2002."Moving Forward Together: A Proposed Strategy for Marriage and Relationship Support"

If you do nothing else today .. read this

Gosh! I mean 'Gosh!' Did you see Chief Executive Dumbshit's solution to the gas problem? It's to waive the fuckin' clean air laws! Jesus Maria! Just when you thought he couldn't get any fuckin' dumber... Here

Put the coproxamol away, read and enjoy - and don't miss the comments.

Carbon Black Wednesday

The EU contribution to the Kyoto Protocol involves the establishment of an Emmissions Trading scheme (ETC).

The ETS is a scheme whereby each government sets an overall cap on the CO2 emissions from its heavy industries and then allocates emissions allowances to each industry within the scheme. Each industry can then decide whether to reduce it emissions eg. by investing in energy efficiency measures, or exceed them and buy more CO2 allowances on the open market - whichever is cheaper for that particular industry. In this way, if the overall cap is set low enough emissions trading provides a cost effect way to cut CO2 emissions.

Domestically, the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, which encourages companies which can reduce emissions to do so cheaply and to sell unused allowances, will remain a central feature of our climate change policy.

Each country was supplied with a "cap" or maximum level of CO2 emissions measured in metric tonnes of carbon. This did not include transport (incl. aeroplanes), human breath (or animals) or domestic heating. It was based on (mainly) large industrial users of fossile fuels. In anticipation of the likelihood that some producers would reduce carbon and some not it was envisaged that carbon crdits from thrifty users could be sold to excessive producers.

In the UK Mrs Beckett was a huge fan of this scheme and she was to found (and heard) loudly claiming wonderfu(e)l benefits of the scheme.

On January 11th 2005 Lord Patel wrote

"The bearded be-jersied Branson has a letter in the FT today calling for Emissions Trading organised by the Intnl Civil Aviation Org. ICAO, the Airlines cabal... full of " minmising environmental costs"..."delicate marine environments" (don't go by boat)..incorporating shrewdly self congratulation..." Virgin ...has one of the youngest fleets in the world...our emmission on take off fell significantly " (this has no connection with their much touted double beds, apparently).

The Carbon Market is a clever and elaborate ploy to erect yet another casino for Financiers and other money jugglers to play in, Barclays claim it will be worth £56Bn. a year in the UK alone - they as well as Cantor Fitz. BP etc., will be glad to cream off their commissions on this nonsense. By all means Mr Branson, add this burdensome cost to every aircraft flight and play the market - much easier than flying the planes.

I am stunned by the naivity of the tree huggers who embrace this nonsense, who have some mystical belief in the environmental concerns espoused by the market traders of Leadenhall Street.

The Carbon Trust, responsible for this nonsense has a Chief Execitive with a magnificent pedigree, he comes straight from Rail Network where he did such a splendid job for the rail user. "

The Financial Times High prices attract funds to carbon trade scheme, May 25 2005, the day after trading commenced at Euros 19 per tonne.

Hedge funds, attracted by rising carbon prices, have started to invest in the fledgling market in greenhouse gas emissions.

James Cameron, founder of the boutique (?) investment bank Climate Change Capital, said his company had received commitments from several hedge funds. He said the amount was greater than $100m (£54.7m) and could rise to $500m (£273.4m). "It's a new market, but attached to markets [in energy and commodities] that funds understand," he said.

Laurent Segalen, director of the European Carbon Fund at Ixis, said several hedge funds had expressed an interest in the fund. "This is still at an early stage for many of them but in six months' time I expect to see them in the market in larger numbers," he said.

She added that the opening of the UK's carbon registry would boost the City of London, which has become an international centre for the carbon trading business.

Anthony Hobley, senior associate at the law firm Baker and McKenzie, said: "As a result of early commitment to the area by the UK government what has developed in London is one of the biggest concentrations of expertise [on] greenhouse gas emissions trading. Many of the contracts are based on English law, and already the City is working on some sophisticated financial products around carbon."

Well time has moved on and the price has inexorably risen to Euro31 a tonne, egged on and carefully massaged upwards by the sharp suited gents in the city.Then ...

On Wednesday (Carbon Black Wednesday as it will be known soon) a clutch of countries reported week that their 2005 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were far below expectation, crashing demand for permits to pollute and so taking the floor from underneath the EU's carbon credit market.

In the past two days, the Czech Republic has said it emitted about 83m tonnes of carbon last year, about 15 per cent below the national cap. The Netherlands said its CO2 emissions for 2005 were 80.4m tonnes, or 8 per cent below its national cap. Estonia came in about 25 per cent below its cap of about 16m tonnes, and the Walloon region in Belgium was 15 per cent lower than the alloc­ation of its carbon allowances last year.

Late Wednesday afternoon, France said its carbon dioxide emissions were 11.6 per cent below the country’s EU quota.That totals some 17% of Europe.

As a consequence the bottom literally fell out of the carbon market and reached as low as Euro 14 per tonne today. It also dragged down power generators and energy supply companies with it. (Graph Euros / last 30 days)

Fears of significant cuts in energy companies' future profitability saw the UK's biggest generator, British Energy, the country's single largest power plant, Drax, and British Gas group Centrica led the FTSE 100 fallers, slipping more than 3% because the the market now be awash with unused carbon dioxide permits.

Paradoxically ultra clean nuclear generators like British Energy emitting no carbon dioxide will, perversely, be hardest hit as they lose profit margin on the falling price of generated electricity but get no gain from reduced costs in emissions trading.

The market waits with considerable fear as Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland and Portugal -- who must between them announce by May 15 must show a need for 36 million tonnes short of carbon credits to avoid a complete price collapse.

"It's precariously balanced," said Louis Redshaw, Head of Environmental Markets at Barclays Capital. "It feels very edgy round here."

"Unless that 40 million tonnes gets wiped out pretty quickly this commodity could be worthless," said a trader."If there's a (net carbon credit) surplus there's no incentive to reduce emissions and the (carbon) price collapses. It won't go to zero, it would effectively go down to the administrative cost of the scheme... it could be 1 euro, who knows?"

Utilities are particularly exposed to the drop, both because of a fall in power prices and because some have on their balance sheets millions of tonnes of carbon credits, whose value has dived.

This emissions undershoot has left traders pointing the finger at companies and countries for inflating those figures, to minimise any financial impact of the scheme.

"This does potentially strengthen the political hand of the European Commission in relation to phase two National Allocation Plans," said Anthony Hobly, general council to the Climate Change Capital fund,(CCC focuses on companies and financial institutions affected by the regulatory and capital market responses to climate change) which has over US$150 million invested in carbon markets.http://www.climatechangecapital.com/

“It does raise the question whether there were too many permits issued and that the governments may have got it wrong,” says Louis Redshaw, associate director at Barclays Capital.

With German utilities holding about 14 per cent of the total EU CO2 permits, the share prices in RWE, E.ON and Vattenfall Europe were all pulled lower on Wednesday by the lower CO2 prices.

What we are seeing is a convergence of capital and environmental markets," Richard Sandor of the Environmental Financial Products Company told the Financial Times. Like other global financial markets, the emissions market will also feature transactions that are purely speculative. Trading house Mitsubishi, for instance, envisages "a business in which we purchase emission rights at low prices and sell them at higher prices for profit." "The potential rewards for smart players in the field are enormous," according to Natsource, a New York-based "over-the-counter broker of energy derivatives." Not only will emissions credits be traded, their derivatives will also constitute a billion dollar market. Hedge funds will also undoubtedly find a niche, as will speculating in 'futures' and 'options'. There is a real danger that the entire range of controversial speculative instruments known from the global financial markets could emerge in the emissions trading game.

These were typical, revealing remarks from the emerging class of new, fast-growing profession- emissions brokers up till Carbon Black Wednesday. Of course they were nothing but snake oil salesmen. Hucksters, shysters, swindlers, swilling someone's money around the City casinos on a rsing ballon fed with hot air from Mrs beckette, supported by the highly adept City PR army.

We are now faced with the spectacle of that casino collapsing - overnight and losses , which will inevitable land on consumer's energy bills that have gone to feed the city fat cats - who have swung the politicians and the tree huggers along in a fenzy of righteous and unfounded speculation.

January 11th 2005
Barclays claim it will be worth £56Bn. a year in the UK alone.

April 27th 2006
"It's precariously balanced," said Louis Redshaw, Head of Environmental Markets at Barclays Capital. "It feels very edgy round here.

“It does raise the question whether there were too many permits issued and that the governments may have got it wrong,” says Louis Redshaw, associate director at Barclays Capital. ("Not my fault Guv if I was hopelessly sucked in")

One of the main roles of the Barclays Capital Energy Team is to introduce the concepts of energy price risk management to companies who are exposed to the uncertainties of energy price movements....... What do the Germans call it ? Schadenfreude ?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jungli music

This is Jungli

Tasneem Nanji- insanity
Quinnell Brown- the low end
Dipesh Sinha- wailing
Dave Sharma- the hearbeat-
you can hear the music here and also here

They say it's like Angela Davis fronts the Police. Eddie Vedder and Neneh Cherry's lovechild. A Hall and Oates Ricki Lee Jones threesome. Dave Matthews shamefully catcalling Betty Davis while walking on the upper west side circa 1997. Zach De La Rocha and Natalie Merchant's first date. I say female Lou Reed

I like it, give it a try .......

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Leading Sunni politicians families killed as Iraq implodes

Whilst Contileezza was beeing shown the sights of Bagdhad by Rummy and meeting the new President (pic) ,the killing was non-stop .Altogether, least 35 persons were killed or found dead on Sunday. Guerrillas killed 4 US troops in Anbar Province. 3 people were assassinated in Basra. Associated Press on Tuesday / Wednesday reported major car bombings in Baghdad, and 15 bodies showed up dead there and in Karbala. There were also deaths near Baqubah and in Kirkuk. AP counted 31 dead altogether. There was also a bomb in Fallujah.

The Oil Ministry's inspector general Ali al-Alaak said graft and smuggling are the main threat to Iraq's economy. He estimates US$4.2bn (£2.3bn; 3.4bn euros) worth of oil-related products were smuggled from Iraq last year, and crude was stolen directly from the country's leaking pipelines.

A US Government Accountability Office report says 8 of Iraq's 18 provinces are dangerously unstable and violent, not just the 4 usually cited.(Allawi BS from when he was President).

A U.S. military assessments in Iraq, suggests the country is on a downward slope. Insurgent attacks increased 23 percent between 2004 and 2005, and oil, electricity and water services are all below pre-invasion levels

Tariq-al Hashimi, the new Iraqi Vice President (objected to as President by the United Iraq Alliance and secure in the Green zone), who's brother Mahmoud was killed on April 13th is today to bury his sister Meysoun al-Hashemi who was killed (with her bodyguard) in a drive-by shooting in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Ms Hashemi head of the women's affairs department in the Iraqi Islamic Party headed by her brother , had just left her house in a southern suburb of the capital and was being driven to work when the attack occurred.

On April 15th the brother of another top Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlak, was abducted and killed.

Gunmen in another car fired a hail of bullets at her car, killing both her and her bodyguard Saad Ali, then sped off, police say.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is visiting Najaf to meet Iraq's senior Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani... whose letter from george Bush received a month ago still lies unopened on his desk.

Larry Hagman boosts LUKoil in the old Soviet States

'Dallas' was one of the few American Television series broadcast during the communist regime of Nicolai Ceausecu. The dictator was a fan of the program, but broadcast it only to show the evils of capitalism. During the mid-1990s the corrupt Romanian billionaire Ilie Alexandru the "Cheese King" (now in prison on a 12 year sentence) created a Balkan version of the Southfork Ranch in Slobozia, on the main road between Bucharest and the Black Sea.

'Southfork Dallas in Hermes Land
' is a cross between an amusement park and a resort based on the Southfork ranch including a 132-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, vernacular gypsy pagodas and castles.

In 1999 Larry Hagman and his wife Maj visited the copy of the Southfork Ranch in Slobozia with Ilie Alexandru, Prince Paul, pretender to the Romanian throne. Larry Hagman remarked that the Ranch looked just like the 'original' but was even larger.

Larry Hagman recently appeared in a series of advertisements for Lukoill, a Russian petroleum company, telling consumers that they will be "well ahead" if they use the product. The success of the campaign by the international advertising conglomerate Ogilvy & Mather was featured in a front page story in the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview in the Romanian newspaper Cotidianul with the businessman and founder of 'Dallas Southfork in Hermes Land', Ilie Alexandru, he confirms the story that George W. Bush attended his wedding in Slobozia while on a business trip. Alexandru was subsequently jailed for bankruptcy and taking illegal loans. Richard Nixon had a state visit in 1969, the U.S. gave Romania most-favored nation trading status in 1975, and even the Queen Elizabeth II (on the advice of the twats in the Foreign Office) named the murderous bastard an honorary knight in 1980. This week we have had Contileezza sucking up to the crypto communist, neo liberal successors to be allowed to use their rent free bases to enable the uS to extend it's evil empire even further. She then went on to Iraq toi meet Donald Rumsfeld who knows all about chummying up to murderous dictators.

``You know, it's on cable TV three times a day,'' said Hagman. ``We've got whole new generations of people watching it for the first time. I get a lot of mail from Bulgaria, Romania, Nigeria.''

In 1991 Vienna at the same time that an OPEC meeting was underway Hagman was was asked to say a few words. With Arab and Nigerian oil ministers present he was asked: 'What do you think the price of oil should be at, Mr. Hagman?'

"I said, 'Well, I think it should be $36 a barrel, that sounds good to me.' Well, the place fell apart. They yelled and hollered and screamed and said, 'Wonderful! That guy knows what he's talking about!' Well, I'd had a scene in 'Dallas' the week before where $36 was established and everybody seemed happy with it. So I just drew it from a script by somebody who didn't know anything about the oil business anyhow!" After Hagman's comments made the news, he got hate mail from fellow Americans fearful his comments might prompt higher gas prices

Don't knock Hagman, when he was in Germany peddling his autobiography in early 2003 he said to the Tagesspiegel newspaper"If George Bush attacks Iraq, tens of thousands of people will die without reason."

He said Bush was a "sad figure: not too well educated, who doesn't get out of America much. He's leading the country towards fascism."

When asked whether Bush would appreciate his accusation, Hagman replied: "It's all the same to me, he wouldn't understand the word fascism anyway."

"Events Dear Boy! ....."

Tessa caused ripples. Kelly has upset everyone. Lord Levy and his pals in the City loom large. Non-Lord Patel won't go away. Iraq is still a headache. Reid hasn't a clue what is going on in Afghanistan. Hewitt gets heckled (on live TV for God's sake) by nurses and Health Staff 2 days running. Charles Clarkes has displayed to everyone what a shambles the Home Office is. he gets Ke-babbed by Paxman on Newnight live!. Tessa and that bloody husband. Beckett hasn't paid the bloody farmers. Nuclear power protesters! Sir John Gieve who so helpfully helped Blunkett sort out his mistress obviously took his eye off the ball. Sir Ian Blair and the de Menezes enquiry by IPCC doesn't look good. My best friend Dubya is in deep, deep do-do.

And now John " one-two Shags" Prescott has been having office rumpy pumpy on the back seat of the Minsiterial gas guzzler, in between handing out dodgy planning decisions and the desire to knock down the bits of Liverpool that Heseltine left standing.

He calls me on the secure phone and says, "Lord Patel why didn't I take your advice about an easter shuffle!!!!" (See here)

"Events dear Boy ......."

Emerald and Gulfsands drilling in Syria - Iraq on hold

Syrian and Iraqi oil exploration is slowly getting underway... but progress is slow.

Oil explorer Emerald Energy announced the start of drilling of the Souedieh North No.1 exploration well in Syria which should be completed in 30 days.The work is adjacent to the Souedieh and Karachok oil fields.

Emerald holds a 50% working interest in the contract for exploration and production for Block 26, Syria, through SNG Overseas Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary. The operator and holder of the remaining 50% is Gulfsands Petroleum.

Emerald's chairman Alastair Beardsall said, “Souedieh North No.1 is the first of several exploration wells planned to be drilled before August 2007 and marks the start of an exciting Block 26 exploration drilling campaign.”
cBlock 26 covers 11,000 square kilometres and surrounds areas which currently produce over 100,000 barrels of oil per day from existing fields. In January 2006 the Group completed the acquisition of 1,155 kilometers of 2D seismic and anticipates drilling two wells during 2006. The first well, known as Souedieh North, has started which has the potential to contain in excess of 100 MMBO. The second well known as Tigris is scheduled to be drilled in August of 2006 and has the potential to contain in excess of 500 MMBOE.

An independent reserves report (Scott Rider) was issued in January 2006 on the Tigris structure which concluded that there are 442 BCFG of probable recoverable reserves in the Tigris structure. Additionally, the report classified the possible reserves as either natural gas or oil.

Further details of the drilling reports , maps and surveys can be found here

Partner Gulfsands Resources Gulfsands signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2005 with the Ministry of Oil in Iraq for the Misan Gas Project in Southern Iraq and is currently negotiating a definitive contract for the project. The project will gather, process and transmit natural gas that is currently a waste by-product of oil production in the Misan region and will end the environmentally damaging practice of gas flaring. Feasibility studies have been undertaken and it is expected to conduct further technical work and commercial discussions with the Iraq Oil Ministry.

Major oilcos reveal massive profits - the dividends of war

ConocoPhillips' net income jumped to US$3.29 billion, or US$2.34 per share (17%) for 1Q 2006 from US$2.91 billion, or US$2.05 per share last year.

Revenue at ConocoPhillips in Q1 2006 grew 23% US$47.9 billion in the first quarter from US$38.9 billion last year. The company said higher oil prices were partially tempered by lower natural gas prices compared with the fourth quarter.

Their investment in LUKoil will of course be generating healthy income. (read here about LUKoil and Conoco in Iraq) LUKoil announced yesterday it is looking to raise current crude production levels in Kazakhstan by 40% by 2010. Vagit Alekperov said the company's investments in Kazakhstan by 2010 would stand at $300 million per year, or $1.5 billion over the next five years.

LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov told me from Astana yesterday ... "The total volume of crude oil production [in Kazakhstan] is expected to reach six million tons [120,493 bbl/d] in 2006, and the company plans to reach 10 million tons [200,821 bbl/d] by 2010," LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov said.

LUKoil and Kazakhstan's state oil company KazMunaiGaz are also jointly developing Khvalynsk and Tsentralnoye oil deposits on the Caspian Sea shelf on a parity basis.

Tomorrow Exxon/Mobil is projected to announce more than US$9 billion in profits for 1Q 2006— and Chevron is expected to announce profits close to US$4 Bn.

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said big oil companies are the culprits behind runaway gas prices which he says go "way beyond what supply and demand would merit."

He said Mr. Bush refuses to "get tough on big oil."

Crude oil and gasoline futures fell a little after Mr. Bush gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to relax regional clean-fuel standards to attract more imports of gasoline to the United States and to make it easier for supplies to be moved from one state to another.

Clean Air ? Who gives a shit says the Texan facing mid term elections , let those oil guys who pay the election expenses sell even more gas.

Pic (US$2.53) You wish, UK prices nudging £1 a gallon (UK gall =4.6 litres US gallon =3.74 litres.

Major oilcos reveal massive profits - the dividends of war

ConocoPhillips' net income jumped to US$3.29 billion, or US$2.34 per share (17%) for 1Q 2006 from US$2.91 billion, or US$2.05 per share last year.

Revenue at ConocoPhillips in Q1 2006 grew 23% US$47.9 billion in the first quarter from US$38.9 billion last year. The company said higher oil prices were partially tempered by lower natural gas prices compared with the fourth quarter.

Their investment in LUKoil will of course be generating healthy income. LUKoil announced yesterday it is looking to raise current crude production levels in Kazakhstan by 40% by 2010. Vagit Alekperov said the company's investments in Kazakhstan by 2010 would stand at $300 million per year, or $1.5 billion over the next five years.

LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov told me from Astana yesterday ... "The total volume of crude oil production [in Kazakhstan] is expected to reach six million tons [120,493 bbl/d] in 2006, and the company plans to reach 10 million tons [200,821 bbl/d] by 2010," LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov said.

LUKoil and Kazakhstan's state oil company KazMunaiGaz are also jointly developing Khvalynsk and Tsentralnoye oil deposits on the Caspian Sea shelf on a parity basis.

Tomorrow Exxon/Mobil is projected to announce more than US$9 billion in profits for 1Q 2006— and Chevron is expected to announce profits close to US$4 Bn.

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said big oil companies are the culprits behind runaway gas prices which he says go "way beyond what supply and demand would merit."

He said Mr. Bush refuses to "get tough on big oil."

Crude oil and gasoline futures fell a little after Mr. Bush gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to relax regional clean-fuel standards to attract more imports of gasoline to the United States and to make it easier for supplies to be moved from one state to another.

Clean Air ? Who gives a shit says the Texan facing mid term elections , let those oil guys who pay the election expenses sell even more gas.

Pic (US$2.53) You wish, UK prices nudging £1 a gallon (UK gall =4.6 litres US gallon =3.74 litres.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

KBR / Parsons / Willbro steal US$220 Mn. from Iraq Reconstruction Project

The New York Times
on Monday this week (24/4/06) had a revealing story about the colossal waste of money in Iraq."Rebuilding of Iraqi Pipeline as Disaster Waiting to Happen" by James Glanz.This is based on the official report which is detailed in the footnotes dated 27/1//06.

When the US forces encircled Bagdhad On April 3, 2003, invading American troops had reached the outskirts of Baghdad and were eyeing its smoking skyline. A naval aircraft dropped a single bomb on the Al Fatah crossing across the River Tigris and smashed one of the bridge spans. This was no ordinary bridge. It carried pipelines that had carried crude oil from the fields around Kirkuk, 60 miles to the the port of Ceyhan. That one free fall bomb probably cost US$ 250, 500 Max. Costs to date and no pipeline repair over US$220 Mn. over 3 years.

The Al Fatah bridge was one of 3 damaged bridges chosen as high priorities in an initial $680 million rebuilding program mandated by Congress. Army Corps engineers estimated that it would cost some $5 million and take less than five months to string the pipelines across the bridge once it was repaired.

Douglas Lee Cox, the northern Iraq project manager for the Army Corps, wrote in a memo on June 9, 2003."There is an urgent and compelling need to accomplish this feat as soon as possible." Then in the fog of war priorities changed and the fforts went elsewhere , and older buried pipelines were able to carry limited amounts of oil, American officials said, but breakdowns were a constant source of concern and loss of oil and therefore revenue - which was (a la Rumsfeld's plan) to pay for the reconstruction. (Ho. Ho.)

To cut a very long, and very complicated story regarding technical problems, ignored engineers reports,evasion, deceit, lies, stupidity, dishonesty, greed short. By April 2004 Ms. Norcross of Kellogg Brown Root (KBR) (part of Halliburton whose Ex Chaiman is of course Veep Cheney) notified a contracting officer in Baghdad that 75 percent of the $220 million allocated for the job order had been exhausted.

Inspectoirs were sent in, engineers,surveyors, pipeline experts, drilling experts, but But it was already too late. One morning American officials in the Oil Ministry in Baghdad finally obtained a status report from KBR.

All the money had been spent.

Not only that but jobs in the US$220 Mn. contract like putting emergency power generators at oil installations, simply hadn't been done.... and what was important, no pipelines were in place.So no oil could move. So no revenue was arriving.The Daily payment charged was US$130,000 per rig and US$99,000 on standby (there were 2 rigs at this rate).report deatils as fotnote - fascinating reading.

But the kicker as in all the best stories is in the tail. The new Al Fatah project is being carried out by a joint venture involving Parsons Corporation and the Australian company Willbros, as sub contractors to KBR.Willbros Group, Inc. is headquartered in Panama City, Panama and has its Administrative offices in Houston, Texas, United States of America.(Co. website)

Parsons Corporation .... regular readers here will remember on the 17th of this Month "Democracy comes at a price ..."

Parsons the company who received roughly $200 million to build 142 health clinics and ran out of money after building 20 in 9 months.

Parsons the company who told their shareholders and the Pasadena Press that ;

In January (2006), Parsons was awarded a $28 million contract to reconstruct and renovate the Tadji military base and Iraqi Armed Forces recruiting stations.

Earlier in January (2006) Parsons Corp. was part of a team (which included - you guessed it KBR) awarded a contract for future work in restoring the oil infrastructure in northern Iraq to pre-war production levels.

The contract, valued at $500,000 to as much as $800 million, covers a variety of services including the cleanup and restoration of oil fields, pipelines and refineries.A 2 year contract with a further 3 one year options.

You couldn't fucking make it up.

Last week Parsons announced a merger / take over ..3D/International (Houston based privately held company)is a program management, condition assessment, design, construction and information technology company. Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Houston, 3D/I has 485 employees in fourteen U.S. offices. They specialize in education public building and defense facilities; providing services on significant projects like the Pentagon, the Los Angeles Unified School District construction program, multiple federal courthouses and state capitols and more than 160 community college campuses throughout the U.S.The deal will be finalised on May 12th.

Interestingly 3D/I we have served as program manager for the Pentagon renovation since 1992 including the re-construction effort after the 9/11 attack.

They also say on their website ...

We understand the unique needs and requirements of the Department of Defense, and we know what it takes to deliver a quality product on schedule and within budget.

Report on the Special Assessment of the Pipeline Crossing, Al Fatah Iraq (Rpt No SIGIR-SA-05-001) January 27th 2006.Timothy P Baum

A Dummy's guide to ripping off the Iraqi reconstruction Project.

Boeing - Stunning Q1 2006 results. EPS grows 33%

Boeing's CEO Jim McNerney told me today," that Boeings backlog was a record US$213 up 42% from a year ago., 1022 aircraft orders won in 2005 and 176 in Q1."

The results published later today are impressive ...First-quarter EPS increased by a sizzling 33 % to US$0.88 as net income grew 29 percent to US$692 million.Revenue grew a whopping 12% to US$14.3 Bn. while operating cash flow increased 46 percent to US$2.1 Bn.Earnings from operations rose 40 percent to $959 million .

Jim also confirmed its 2006 outlook for revenue of $60 billion and earnings of $3.25 to $3.45 a share; it also backed a 2007 revenue estimate of $63.5 billion to $64.5 billion and an earnings estimate of $4.10 to $4.30 a share.

The next big hurdle Jim says is an important U.S. Air Force air-to-air tanker refueling contract, a deal Boeing once had in hand until an untidy ethics blow-up cost them the work, against a team from Airbus and Northrop Grumman.

See more here

Davy / Hoogstraten / Zimbabwean funny forex deals

Charles Davy is a charming and personable African buisness tycoon with huge interests in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. he is also Prince Harry's girlfriends father.(pic Chelsy Davy)

He is also reported to be under investigation for allegedly dealing in large amounts of foreign currency illegally. Davy is one of the few white businessmen that had been spared by Mugabe as the government seized white-owned businesses. HHK Safaris,(website here) his game hunting and safari business in Zimbabwe, has made him a fortune and is considered one of the largest ventures in Southern Africa. Paul Mangwana, the country’s anti-corruption minister announced he was placing the South African-born entrepreneur under investigation for the illegal export of large sums of foreign currency, racism and bribery. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the police are all involved in the investigation that can bring financial ruin to Davy.

It's continued prosperity is said to be due to his well-known contacts to officials in the ruling party. He seems to have fallen out of favour with the Mugabe regime. The allegations are believed to have been triggered by a disgruntled black employee who alleged that Davy was channelling much of the company’s forex earnings outside Zimbabwe.

Caroline Graham from the UK’s Mail on Sunday, who went as an undercover investigator on HHK safaris (charging mostly American clients £17,000 for a 24-day shooting expedition in the Zimbabwean savannah) revealed how lots of money was made through the cruel and barbaric treatment of endangered species in the country. She witnessed animals being shot with bows and arrows - a cruel hunting form that has been discarded by many countries and despicable treatment of native staff.

The Davy family
homestead is found in Lemco Safari Area, about 150 miles south-east of Bulawayo. This privately-owned slice of Africa covers 1,300 square miles - twice the size of Surrey and 0.9 per cent of Zimbabwe's surface area. This huge ranch, one of the largest in the world, was carved out of the bush by the family of Baron Justus von Liebig, the inventor of the Oxo cube.In 1981 Davy married a 22-year-old model, Beverley, who had achieved local fame as Miss Rhodesia, her face adorning countless Coca-Cola advertisements.

There is said to be a network of corrupt ZANU PF officials who benefit from their ties to some of the remaining white businessmen and farmers. Davy’s links to cabinet minister Webster Shamu are no secret, he is a 50% shareholder in Famba Safarais which runs parallel to HHK Safaris - he is also banned from the EU. Davy may have fallen from favour but is believed to be out of the country at the moment.

Legislation pushed through parliament by ZANU-PF allows a suspect to be held for up to 21 days without bail former finance minister Christopher Kuruneri was held illegally for more than a year. Davy are shrewd, prudent and expedient businessmen, absence may be a suitable cautionary move.

Mugabe has over the past few years jailed colleagues from the government that include former deputy Finance Minister, Chris Kuruneri, businessman and former Zanu PF MP, James Makamba for allegedly dealing in foreign currency. Webster Shamu was supposed to be a shareholder in HHK Safaris but owned 50% of Famba Safaris which shared premises, staff etc.,

Nicholas Van Hoogstraten as another example who has a large diverse business empire in Zimbabwe and has publicly acknowledged his support of Mugabe and the ruling party. Apparently Davy no longer has any connection financially with him.

Hoogstraten is the biggest individual investor in HWANGE Colliery Company (HCC) which is experiencing major export problems and cash flow due to late payments by the company's major customers, notably the Zimbabwe Power Company and Ziscosteel who owe US$500 between them. The mine has also hit amajor aquifer which requires US$160 mn sepnding. A rights issue was pulled after Hoogstraten refused to subscribe.

As a result the mine has lost out on a has lost out on a multi-billion-dollar coke and coal export deal with Satnel Engineering of Kenya.

Zimbabwe Minister htreatens to shoot opposition

Zimbabwe Security Minister Didymus Mutasa said the government would instruct organs of security such as the army to use all resources at their disposal "including guns" to stop opposition protests.

He boasted that Mugabe and his ruling Zanu (PF) party had "shed blood before" to free Zimbabwe from colonialism.

"Anyone, particularly Tsvangirai, who threatens peace and stability in this country will get capital punishment … and we mean it. We maintain organs of national security such as the army to protect the stability and integrity of our country. They will be instructed to use all resources at their disposal, including guns (to stop protests)," said Mutasa.

About 4.6 million people rely on food aid; children miss school because their parents cannot pay fees and hospitals lack basic equipment and medicine - handing a death sentence to those. Meanwhile people like Nicholas van Hoogstraten have invested heavily in property and mines. Earlier this year he denied reports that he had given Mr Mugabe $10m but made no secret of his financial engagement. "I'm probably the sole supporter, up in the UK, of this country and I think I'm the sole major investor in this country," he said.

Chinese and Indian firms have also snapped up mines and land at bargain prices, filling a gap left by western investors skittish about the risks.... and waiting for Mugabe's death, dismissal or replacement.

Mutasa said no one should expect the government to "keep its security organs in the camps" in the face of opposition-instigated protests meant to oust it. This is the man who stole the famous and prosperous Kondozi farm, a once thriving vegetable concern in Manicaland, which is now in ruins.

Mutasa also said (by Voice of America) that white farmers could apply to have leases on land in a desperate attempt to help develop agriculture. Meanwhile the country plunges into further chaos and misrule.

The Security Minister, who oversees the state's spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) mocked at suggestions that securitycommanders might refuse to order their men to use force to put down protests, especially in the event Zimbabweans heeded opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's call and turned out in the streets en masse.

"We will not fold our arms while the country burns," said Mutasa, one of the most influential members of President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet. In addition to overseeing intelligence operations, Mutasa is also in charge of land reform and food aid redistribution.

Asked at the weekend how the government would handle the planned protests Mutasa replied: "Organs of security are there to maintain security and no sane government in this world will keep its security organs in the camps while some mischievous elements destabilise the country, even threatening to remove a democratically elected government by force."

When put to Mutasa that security commanders might refuse to order their men to fire at civilians - as some political analysts have suggested might happen if demonstrators turn out in the streets in sufficiently large numbers - he responded: "Do you think disciplined forces like the CIO, the army and the police would not listen to orders or let Tsvangirai have his way?

"If Tsvangirai is brave as he says he is, then he should march alone, along Samora Machel Avenue to the Head of State's offices. Then he shall see that we mean business.

"But he doesn't want to lead from the front. He wants to use others as cannon fodder …. Tsvangirai is not a good leader because he wants to put others on the firing line while he cheers from home."

Tsvangirai, who says his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has lost faith in elections as a democratic tool to change the government because Mugabe always rigs polls, has vowed to call mass anti-government protests this winter to force the government to accept a new and democratic constitution that would ensure free and fair polls.

The MDC leader says he is ready to lead from the front in street protests to force Mugabe to accept democracy even if this could lead to his own death but last Sunday sounded frustrated that police and soldiers might still obey orders to shoot at demonstrators.

"They (police and soldiers) come to my house every day complaining that they are suffering yet when Mugabe says crush the mass demonstration they are ready to shoot the people,"

Zimbabwe has been on edge since Tsvangirai and his MDC party resolved at a congress last month that they would no longer limit themselves to elections but would use what they called "people power" to pressure Mugabe to embrace democracy.

Analysts say the MDC that enjoys strong support in urban areas is best placed to lead streets protests against the government, adding that with strong leadership and organization, mass action could be successful.

Besides the Tsvangirai-led MDC - Arthur Mutambara a former student leads that another faction of the opposition party.

Australias Wheat for Weapons scandal - a bomb due to go off

Commissioner Terence Cole is heading the oil-for-food inquiry in Australia investigating $300 million worth of payments made by wheat exporter Australian Wheat Board (AWB) to the former Iraqi regime in contravention of UN sanctions against Iraq. Dubbed by the Opposition Labor Party as the "wheat-for-weapons" scandal, erupted late October following a report to the U.N. by former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board Paul A. Volcker that found AWB paid kickbacks totaling US$221.7 million (Total sales of US$2.2 Bn.) to Saddam Hussein during the operation of a United Nations oil-for-food program.SBS Dateline will air some fascinating details tonight about the conduit company Saddam used to get his kickbacks from AWB which might jolt a few people's memory.

Former senior Australian Wheat Board AWB executive Charles Stott said he asked The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) about Jordanian trucking company Alia Transportation, a trucking company with no trucks, who did no trucking, six years ago, and they sent him approval of the wheat exporter's deals with the bogus firm a few days later.

Curiously The Department says it has no documentary record, and relevant officers have no recollection of being advised about the AWB's use of Alia in the context that Mr Stott outlines.

Iraq's Wheat and Water Transport Authority regularly chased up payments which AWB has maintained it always believed to be legitimate transport payments.

Almost 20 emails sent to an assistant account manager, higher managers and AWB executives reveal an unusual interest by Iraq government departments in payments to Alia Transportation in Jordan.

Account manager Nigel Edmonds-Wilson says he thought the Iraqi departments just wanted to make sure the wheat would be delivered. He could not than explain why a number of emails said wheat ships could not berth until payments were made.

In 2003 AWB tried to get 2.5 million Euros back because the war had stopped a wheat shipment. Alia Transportation said the money was in Iraq but Mr Edmonds-Wilson says he still did not realise Alia was a conduit to the fallen regime.

However cables were earlier sent to the Foreign Office with warnings about Alia Transportation ...Among the warnings was one dated June 6, 2003, from U.S. Army captain Blake Puckett who said that every contract awarded by Iraq under the oil-for-food program "included a kickback to the regime from between 10 and 19 percent."

Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said to the enquiry on April 11th he was not alerted to that cable.

"I do not have a specific recollection of having received or read this cable or of it otherwise being brought to my attention," Downer wrote in his sworn statement about the cables.

On April 13, Howard told reporters after his appearance at the inquiry that the "government was plainly deceived by AWB" about the kickbacks, and that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade "was systematically deceived."

Plainly in an attempt to pre-judge the issue writing a letter to the Wall Street Journal of Tuesday 25th April PM Howard said "While I don't seek to prejudge the outcome, public evidence suggests behavior by some within AWB appears to have been designed to mislead not only my government, but the U.N. as well." He also said the company appeared to have misled Sir Anthony Mason, a former chief justice of the High Court Of Australia, who he described as one of the nation's most senior and respected former judges.

In 2005, Sir Anthony provided an expert opinion to AWB, clearing it of knowingly violating the U.N. sanctions regime against Iraq. "The corruption by Saddam Hussein of the Oil for Food Program was a heinous act of public graft," he continued "Corrupt behavior deserves to be punished and it will be."

The US wheat industry and key senators have expressed anger over AWB's conduct in Iraq, claiming it robbed American farmers of lucrative contracts. AWB has 17.7 million tons of wheat from the late 2005 harvest to sell into the global market, enough to influence a highly competitive global trade of about 110 million tons a year.

The scandal is affecting talks about the AWB marketing monolpoly - US Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services J.B. Penn said state trading enterprises should be brought under under scrutiny."I think it makes people talk more about the costs and benefits of single desks," Penn told a commodities conference in Canberra.European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel said the EU remained committed to removing marketing monopolies from global trade. Denmark's Boel said the EU would continue to push for such monopolies to be dismantled. Meanwhile the Iraqi Trade Board wont deal with the AWB until the enquiry is over.

Due to screen today will be the first television interview, with the managing director of Amman based, Alia Trucking who laims to have had long links with the Australian Trade representative at the Australian Embassy in Jordan from the mid 1990s.

Cole is due to report in June, it is not felt that he will pull any punches. Mr Downer obviously has problems with his memory he evidently shares with Tessa Jowell, Charles Clarke and the late lamented President Nixon.

Reid forced into U turn on Harriers in Afghanistan

It looks like the MOD could be having their "best year ever", Kandahar "Airport" is in a bad state and hasn't been repaired before the UK forces have been deployed (six months late).It is also littered with land mines which haven't yet been cleared up, which is making repairs a big problem.

Last weekend, Kandahar airfield was hit by two Taliban rocket attacks, which caused no casualties but some damage, and last year the RAF lost a jet when a Harrier was destroyed by a rocket attack on the US-run airbase.

It was planned that Dutch F-16 fighters would take over from the Harrier GR7's in June, but failure to repair Kandahar airport runway mean the jump jets, which can take off and land vertically (and can also use 900metres of runway), are the only fighters able to operate from the short functioning section of the dilapidated runway. They can be refuelled in mid-air from USAF Boeing KC-135 tankers.

British and allied commanders had lobbied hard for the 6 Harriers from No 1 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Cottesmore with 200-strong RAF contingent to remain at Kandahar airfield because Taleban attacks have risen rapidly in southern Afghanistan over the past three months. Currently there are troops from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania and the USA also have troops in southern Afghanistan.

Forced into a remarkable "U" turn Defence Secretary now Mr Reid calls the Harrier GR7's ( not the upgraded GR9's which are not available - upgraded with more powerful engines and electronic systems and INtegrated Weapons and INS/GPS navigation) an "essential tool" to provide reconnaissance and air support to ground troops under fire from insurgents on Operation Herrick, and they are going to stay - for how long he didn't (or wouldn't stay).Eight Army Air Corps Westland/Boeing Apache AH1 attack helicopters (unused in combat previously) and four Westland Lynx light utility helicopters will also arrive within the next month

United States Air Force data reports that in April alone the Harriers flew ten air support missions for coalition troops "in contact with the enemy". This mainly comprises making a loud noise either at 10,000 feet or in odd cases at 100 feet at a top speed of 1,000 km/h.

So far the Harriers have not been called in to support British troops stationed in Helmand province, where 16 Air Assault Brigade is in the process of setting up bases, but US and Canadian troops operating in the region call up Harrier support regularly.

The Harriers operate in pairs with two in reserve for instant call up. The flight leader carries two 245kg (540lb) freefall bombs with airburst and impact fuzes, two rocket pods respectively containing six and 19 unguided CRV-7 rockets and the digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod, which lacks a datalink, but can provide tactical images within 30min of the aircraft landing. The second Harrier carriers a 450kg unguided airburst bomb, one 540kg Enhanced Paveway II laser/GPS-guided weapon and a TIALD targeting pod.

The UK’s Harriers conduct only daytime operations, with the USAF’s Bagram-based A-10s better equipped for night-time duties.

Additional intra-theatre transport services are being provided by 27 Sqn Chinook HC2s currently operated by the RAF’s 1310 Flight. 6 Chinooks are now positioned at Kandahar. Hot-and- high environmental conditions mean the aircraft are operating “pretty much on the limit of their performance,” says Wg Cdr Dan Startup, officer commanding 1310 Flight, and as temperatures climb to over 40°C (104°F) by mid-year, the aircraft will be forced to carry a reduced payload. However, he notes: “Nothing else can fly throughout the year.”

The vast majority of tasks so far allocated to the RAF’s Chinooks have centred on supporting the establishment of Camp Bastion, and in delivering supplies to the UK task force in Lashkar Gar and Gereshk. Loads have primarily comprised food, water, ammunition and some underslung vehicles. The aircraft do not conduct operations outside Helmand province and have so far not supported any special forces activities, says Startup.

There is a lack of heavylift in the area, so the UK has worked with the Dutch, French, Canadians and Australians – Kandahar airfield also hosts US CH-47s, Boeing AH-64 Apaches, and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks and HH-60 Pave Hawks supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Sun today claim it is a victory for their campaign for them to be kept, to "protect our boys" - an alarming prospect when the Editors of Rupe's rags claim they dictate MOD policy.

Toray can expect world market share of PAN carbon fibre to grow.

Japan's Toray Industries Inc. have announced orders from Boeing for PAN carbon Fibre worth US$3 Bn.billion for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. Toray now hold about 32% of global supply which they want to boost to 39% by 2010 to 13,900 tons per annum and to 24,000 tons by 2010.

The high-margin carbon fiber business is a key growth area division is forecast to generate 50 Bn. yen sales with profits of 11 Bn. yen.

Toray has forecast sales of 1.43 Trillion yen and an operating profit of 92 Bn yen on for the last business year.The news sent shares of Toray up 5.4 percent to 1,002 yen outperforming the benchmark Nikkei average, which was up about 0.2 percent.

Toray not only benefits from this deal but is looking at a major increase in a share of Airbus work - which may get an even bigger boost if plans by Airbus to move some manufacture to China are realised.

Toray is evaluating opening a European prepreg carbonfibre production facility to support the Airbus A350 and other European aircraft programmes, they hope to sign an important pre preg Airbus deal soon. Toray manufactures non prepreg carbonfibre for other Airbus aircraft, including the A380, through deals with first- and second-tier suppliers, but has never provided prepared carbonfibres directly to Airbus. Qualifying anew plant can take two years.

Toray only produces prepreg carbonfibres at its Tacoma, Washington facility. Last year plans to expand its Japanese Ehime plant to meet soaring demand driven by its exclusive supplier deal with Boeing for the 787 were announced. This was motivated by the large number of Japanese suppliers (43 at last count) to the 787 program - as well as supplying composite plants in Chengdu , China.

Airbus has tentatively selected Hexcel and Toray to supply prepreg carbonfibre for the A350 program going head to head against the Dreamliner 787, but has not yet awarded raw material contracts for the new aircraft programme.

Toray joint venture Soficar already manufactures in France,producing non- prepreg carbonfibre. The recently upgraded 114,000m2 (1.23 million ft2) Toray Composites America factory in Tacoma is now the only supplier of prepreg carbonfibre for the 777 and 787.

So whichever way the 777/787/A350/A380 fight goes, Toray will be a winner. So far this year Boeing are in the lead with orders. 176/70 after 4 years dominance by Airbus.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bikini - Lest we forget

If you want to know about the fate of the islanders from the Bikini Atoll, site of the first H bomb tests, visit their website here

This is the Bikini flag

The 23 white stars in the field of blue upper left,are the islands of the Bikini Atoll.

The three black stars in the upper right the three islands that were vaporized by the March 1, 1954, 15 megaton hydrogen bomb blast, code named Bravo.

The two black stars in the lower right represent where the Bikinians live now, Kili Island, 425 miles to the south of Bikini Atoll, and Ejit Island of Majuro Atoll. These two stars are symbolically far away from Bikini's stars on the flag as the islands are in real life (both in distance and quality of life).

The Marshallese words running across the bottom of the flag, "MEN OTEMJEJ REJ ILO BEIN ANIJ" [Translation: "Everything is in the hands of God"], are the words spoken in 1946 by the Bikinian leader, Juda, to U.S. Commodore Ben Wyatt when the American went to Bikini to ask the islanders--on a Sunday after church--to give up their islands for the 'good of all mankind' so that the U.S. could test nuclear weapons.

The close resemblance of the Bikinian's flag to the Stars and Stripes is to remind the people and the government of America that a great debt is still owed by them to the people of Bikini.

See a previous post by Lord Patel Feb 12th 2006
Iran, Uranium, and the UK "nuclear deterrant" that is owned by Uncle Sam ... life today for the Marshallese Bikinians.

Bikinians file lawsuit against the U.S. Government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims [April 11, 2006] [Download complaint in .PDF] (52 years after the H bomb tests) The lawsuit seeks compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for the taking of their property damage claims resulting from the U.S. Government’s failure and refusal to adequately fund the March 5, 2001 order of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal. Alternatively, the people of Bikini seek damages for the U.S. Government’s breaches of its fiduciary duty to provide just and adequate compensation for the taking of their lands in consideration for their agreement to move off Bikini Atoll and for the breach of the implied duties and covenants integral to that agreement, the Compact of Free Association, and the Section 177 Agreement. The lawsuit will seek compensation and/or damages of at least $561,036,320 (which represents the Tribunal’s original award to the Bikinians of $563,315,500 less the two payments totaling $2,279,180), plus interest as required by law. The total with interest on the filing date of April 11, 2006, is approximately $724,560,902.

Also see 10/03/04 WMD lies persist for over 50 years

Contileezza - Natural gas, tear gas, drive by diplomacy SNAFU

Bulgaria woke up Tuesday with more expensive gas, after a series of hikes already. Lukoil Bulgaria upped prices by about 0.55%. In the end of last month, prices increased by 3%. On March 10, Lukoil introduced a 5% hike.

The 67% owned Czech Electricity company is also intending to put up electricity prices.Lukoil have expressed a desire to buy the Bulgarian nationalised gas company when it is privatised, meanwhile they have hiked prices by 5% from Lukoil Bulgaria overnight.

Not only did Sofians wake up to bigger gas bills but the latest drive by diplomacy by Condileeza Rice to seal the deal on US bases approved last week by Bulgaria's Council of Ministers. This followed the 10 year agreement by Bulgaria and the US who agreem the final details for the US military to use several military bases in Bulgaria.(pic of Rice in Turkey to meet Foreign MinisterGul)

The US will be able keep 2,500 troops (doubling at rotation times) to use three Bulgarian military bases - the Novo Selo range and the Bezmer both near Bulgaria's border with Turkey, and the Graf Ignatievo airfield in central Bulgaria. US forces will also use a storage facility near Bulgaria's port of Burgas (and all those gay bars).Rent will not be paid but "operational and maintenance expenses."will be. Troops will be able to be deployed elsewhere using Bulgaira as a holding station.

Contileeza (as the Sofians call her), is expected to sign a broad defense-cooperation agreement with the new NATO ally that would authorize the stationing of foreign forces on its soil for the first time. Their is however opposition , a nationalist party represented in the parliament plans to stage massive protests against the agreement during Contileezza's brief stopover.The possibility that U.S. troops would use a country with a large Muslim minority as a base for an attack on a Muslim nation, such as Iran or Syria, has provoked much strident vocal opposition in Bulgaria.

signed a similiar agreement whilst she whizzed through Romania in December 2005. It has been ratified by the parliament's lower chamber and is currently awaiting approval by the Senate, said Sorin Ducaru, the Romanian Ambassador to Washington.

is planned to meet NATO Foreign Ministers (another chance of a sneaky meet with Jack the Lad ?). She also paid a fly by night visit to be met by masked rioters throwing gasoline bombs and stones.

5,000 police in riot gear were deployed throughout the Greek capital, firing tear gas at protesters attempted to reach the US Embassy. In scenes reminiscent of Paris in the spring scores of store windows, cafes and hotel lobbies lining one of Athens' premier shopping districts were damaged. Three vehicles were wrecked during a 20-minute rampage. Anti-globalization groups together with Greece's hard-line Communist party had organized the demonstrations, declaring Contileezza "persona non grata" and billing her "a messenger of war." Panos Trigazis, responsible for foreignaffairs of Ecology (Synaspismos) described Rice as a "warmonger" and a "hawk". He said George Bush " has learnt nothing from the fiasco of the war in Iraq which constituted a major political and moral defeat."

An estimated 3,000 peaceful protestors carrying giant banners reading "Rice Go Home" dispersed when police began lobbing tear gas into the crowd. Again it appears the Greeks also call her Contileeza.Anti US sentiment caused Colin Powell to call off a visit at the time of the Athens Olympics.

Contileezza met Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and tough talking Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis (who refuses publicly to support sanctions against Iran) , discussing the appalling situation in Iraq and Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program as well as Cyprus and Greek-Turkish relations. She will also whizz by Turkey and may even drop in on Nicosia, Cyprus.

In Istanbul, two youths were arrested after unfurling a large banner reading: "Murderer Rice Get Out" out of the window of the top floor of a McDonald's fast food restaurant.

In Ankara, some 300 leftists demonstrated in a street just a few hundred yards away from a building where Rice is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. They doused red paint over an American flag and toy dolls, representing children killed in Iraq.

In Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the Turkish separatist movement PKK has free run of a swath of northern Iraq, and has set up training camps and bases. Turkey fears that civil unrest in Iraq could lead to the fragmentation of the country, and has often called on the United States to stop PKK fighters from using Iraq as a base to stage attacks inside Turkey.

Meanwhile the US is anxious that Turkey (who failed to join in the illegal invasion of Iraq) are anxious they do not chase PKK terists over the border into Iraq. They also want help at UN over Iran, but largely Muslim Turkey does not appear to be a willing member of that Coalition.

Hiddden Agendas (Extremely well hidden - certainly not in MSM)

As hinted at initially Contileezza has a hidden but immensely important agenda, Headed Kremlin Energy Power Ltd., Alexei Miller, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee, met PM Kostas Karamanlis, Dimitris Sioufas, Greek Development Minister and top executives of the Greek Public Gas Corporation DEPA and the Russian-Greek joint venture Prometheus Gas headed by Greek billionaire, entrepreneur and Greek's "Mr Gas" D. Kopelouzos.

They considered the possibility of increasing Russian gas supply to Greece, in particular, extending the existing Contract after 2016 and developing new transmission routes (with the Blue Stream pipeline on the Balkan corridor) Greece could then be (and profit from) Greece being a transit country when gas is delivered to SW EurAsia.

(no longer oart of Chelsea FC) have stepped into Lukoil's shoes to supply oil via the Bourgas - Alexandroupolis oil pipeline . (remember Lukoil run the oil/refined products industry pretty well in Cyprus)

Secondly there was the the promise to make serious investments in Greece relating to the aquisition state owned Phosphate Fertilisers Industry.

Last week a consortium of Russia’s Stroytransgaz and Kopelouzos's Prometheus Gas
announced their participation in the construction of a pipeline that will link the Greek cities of Komotini and Alexandroupolis, The pipeline, which is to be completed in March 2007 and linked to the Turkish gas transportation system, will be used to supply gas from Azerbaijan and Iran. Though apparently against Russian gas interests the joint Russian-Greek venture was involved under Miller’s interstate agreement between Greece and Russia on gas supplies and supplements to it - giving Greece a handy and very desirable second gas supply source.

The US is absolutely furious but the Diplomatic scuttlebut is, Lord Patel understands across the tables of Northern Cyprus casinos, from his old chum Vajit that Kostas K or "KK" as he likes to be known has told the US Ambassador to Fuck off.

will also be in there pitching for a power plant for General Electric for Larco a state owned mining company.

Who knows Contileezza might just bump into Vajit Alekperov in Cyprus - that would be neat. No wonder one of his yachts is in Limassol harbour tonight.

US State Department Official Brief

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria April 24th through the 28th, 2006. In addition to discussions with leaders of the three countries, she will take part in an informal meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers to discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in Riga, Latvia this coming November. She will also take part in a trans-Atlantic dinner involving the foreign ministers of all NATO and EU countries.

She takes a lovely picture though doesn't she?

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