Poland brokers EU deal on Nabucco gas pipeline

[It seems that the Empire builders believe that Nabucco is still on schedule, albeit a schedule set-back by one-year because of American difficulties securing real estate.  If some kind of pacification of just Northern Afghanistan can be arranged through hook or crook, then the machinery of Empire can move deeper into Central Asia.  It's all about the money, folks.]

Poland brokers EU deal on Nabucco gas pipeline

 

20 July 2011 | 14:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Home / Bulgaria
Warsaw. Poland, holding the EU presidency, has brokered a deal on talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Nabucco pipeline, a key project to bring Caspian gas to Europe, a newspaper reported on Wednesday, AFP reprted.
Quoting an anonymous Warsaw government source, the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza said that the accord drafted by Poland would empower the bloc’s executive European Commission to start negotiations in September.
Poland is at the helm of the 27-nation EU until the end of the year, and energy ministers from its fellow member states must still approve the plan.
The Nabucco pipeline would run from the Caspian Sea via Turkey, thereby avoiding Russia and Ukraine.
The pipeline is meant to help diversify gas sources for the European Union and reduce its dependency on energy giant Russia, as well as on Ukraine as a transit country.
Politically-charged gas transit disputes between Moscow and Kiev have hit supplies to Europe over recent years.
The initial plan was for the pipeline to begin pumping gas by 2015, but that target has since been pushed back to 2017.
The Nabucco project is in competition with the South Stream plan pushed by Russian gas powerhouse Gazprom and Italy’s ENI, which also aims to pump Caspian supplies to Europe.

At least 13 killed in Uzbekistan quake

[SEE:  Earthquake Hits Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley]

At least 13 killed in Uzbekistan quake

A quake reading on a seismograph.

TASHKENT : A major 6.2 quake in Uzbekistan killed at least 13 people and injured 86 others, when it struck the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border in the remote Fergana Valley region, Uzbek officials said.

The quake struck at 1:35 am (1935 GMT Tuesday) with the epicentre just inside neighbouring Kyrgyzstan but 42 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of the Uzbek city of Fergana, the US Geological Survey said.

“As a result of the earthquake, some old buildings were destroyed in the Fergana region,” the Uzbek emergencies ministry said in a statement.

“According to initial information, 13 people were killed as a result of the damage to the houses,” it added.

“The emergency services provided medical assistance to 86 people and 35 people were taken to nearest hospitals,” the statement said.

It said that the quake registered 5.0 even in the capital Tashkent, some 235 kilometres away from the epicentre.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has ordered officials to tackle the aftermath.

Kyrgyzstan has so far reported no casualties, but the full extent of the damage in the remote region may only become apparent later when a special team dispatched by the Kyrgyz authorities finishes its work.

“It’s clear that there will be damage, the earthquake was just too strong,” said the head of the seismological institute at the Kyrgyz academy of sciences, Kanat Abdrakhmatov.

The Fergana Valley is an area shared uneasily by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and populated by complex tapestry of ethnic groups. It has been the scene of periodic violence and unrest since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

The quake struck the border region at a depth of just 9.2 kilometers, rocking Fergana, a city of some 200,000 residents.

The quake was also registered at 6.0 in Tajikistan’s second city of Khujand which has a population of 150,000 people, Tajik officials said.

In Khunjad, a 43-year-old man threw himself out of a second-floor window, killing himself, the Tajik interior ministry said.

“Maybe he was sleepy, maybe he figured ‘if everything collapses, I will remain under ruins,’ and so he jumped out and died,” a source in the interior ministry told AFP.

- AFP/al

[Very long article, but it seems to touch on all the baggage that Hillary is carrying with her.]

The China Challenge: A strategic vision for U.S.-India relations

(The views expressed in this column are the authors’ own and do not represent those of Reuters)

By Lisa Curtis and Dean Cheng

India is keeping a wary eye on China’s rapid global ascent. Unresolved border issues that resulted in the Sino-Indian War of 1962 have been heating up again in recent years.

Indian policymakers are scrambling to develop effective policies to cope with a rising China by simultaneously pursuing both a robust diplomatic strategy aimed at encouraging peaceful resolution of border disputes and forging strong trade and economic ties and an ambitious military modernisation campaign that will build Indian air, naval, and missile capabilities.

By bolstering its naval assets, India will solidify its position in the Indian Ocean and enhance its ability to project power into the Asia Pacific. New Delhi also will continue to boost its medium-range missile programs to deter Beijing and to strengthen its air capabilities to deal with potential flare-ups along their disputed borders.

Meanwhile, China has also been paying increasing attention to India. China’s interests on its southern flank have led the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to strengthen its forces in the Lanzhou and Chengdu Military Regions bordering India.

The U.S. must keep a watchful eye on the trend lines in Sino-Indian relations and factor these into its overall strategies in the broader Asia region. A strong India able to hold its own against China is in America’s interest.

China’s increased assertiveness in the East and South China Seas over the past year has been accompanied by a hardening position on its border disputes with India. Last summer, India took the unprecedented step of suspending military ties with China in response to Beijing’s refusal to grant a visa to an Indian Army general serving in Jammu and Kashmir.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to New Delhi last December helped tamp down the disagreement, and military contacts have since resumed. Still, the incident shows the fragility of the Sino-Indian rapprochement and the potential for deepening tensions over the unresolved border issues to escalate.  (read HERE)

News Central Asia Hacked, Big Time!

News Central Asia Hacked

 

My personal favorite Central Asian news site has been hacked by an Indian hacker group, after re-running their Mumbai Mystery series.  If you go to the site, the following image has taken over the site.  We hope they get well soon.

Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on Pakistan and India – Part One

Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on Pakistan and India – Part Two

Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on Pakistan and India – Part Three

Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on Pakistan and India – Part Four

 

Google Search now detects malware-infected computers, then tells user

Google has updated its search results page to also start informing users if their computer has amalware infection. The new service turns out to be a side effect of the search company detecting some unusual activity while performing maintenance at one of its data centers.

The activity sparked an investigation with the collaboration of the companies sending the data to thedata center in question. It turns out the activity was due to user’s machines being infected with malware meaning Google could detect individual machines that carried this infection just by flagging the activity patterns.

The detection is possible because the malware being used accesses Google through a set number of proxy servers. So when Google notices traffic through one of these proxies it knows the machine sending the request is infected with this strain of malware.

Rather than end the investigation there, Google decided to do something about the infected machines. So if you do a search and see the following message at the top of the results, it means you have a computer in need of an antivirus scan and malware removal.

Google also offers a link that helps you to fix the problem by recommending what to search for to find an appropriate antivirus solution. Google also hosts a page with its own security software recommendations.

via The Official Google Blog

Powerful quake hits Ferghana Valley

Earthquake Hits Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley

Written by: 

(RFE/RL) — A strong earthquake has hit Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley, with tremors felt far from the epicenter and some people leaving their homes in panic.

The U.S. Geological said the quake measured 6.2 with the epicenter some 40 kilometers southwest of Ferghana, in eastern Uzbekistan.

There have been no reports so far of casualties or damages.

Reuters reports many residents in the Uzbek town of Ferghana left their apartment blocks after being woken by strong shaking.

In the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, a duty officer at the Emergency Services Ministry said buildings there did not appear damaged, but added some residents were spending the night on the street as a precaution.

A Russian news reports said the quake was felt as far as Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan some 300 kilometers from the epicenter.

The Ferghana Valley is shared by Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and is susceptible to earthquakes.

In 2008, a powerful quake killed more than 70 people in Kyrgyzstan.

In 1966, the Uzbek capital Tashkent was seriously damaged by a 7.5 earthquake that left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Creating Imaginary Trails of a Dead Man, Leading Us Wherever We Want To Go

[Pakistan had better play along, if it wants a piece of the big pie (SEE: Committing Treason for a Piece of the Pie ).]

U.S. threatens Pakistan over access to bin Laden’s wives

BY ROB CRILLY, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

ISLAMABAD — The United States is threatening to cut off aid to Pakistan unless it is given access to the wives of Osama bin Laden.

A draft Bill being considered by the House foreign affairs committee Wednesday would also insist on proof that weapons provided by the U.S. were not used for anything other than fighting terrorists along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It also called for an end to visa delays for counter-terrorism personnel.

U.S. Congressmen were angry at what they saw as Pakistan’s reluctance to take on militants and unanswered questions about how the world’s most wanted man was able to set up home no more than 30 miles from the country’s capital.

The new legislation was also seen as a challenge to President Barack Obama and his authority over foreign policy. It would block aid to Egypt, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority – as well as Pakistan – unless the White House could reassure Congress that they were co-operating in fighting terrorism.

The legislation would bar aid to Pakistan unless the Secretary of State could certify to Congress that Islamabad “is fully assisting the United States with investigating the existence of an official or unofficial support network in Pakistan for Osama bin Laden, including by providing the United States with direct access to Osama bin Laden’s relatives in Pakistan and to Osama bin Laden’s former compound in Abottabad and any materials therein”.

The provisions could affect billions of dollars in aid but while the House of Representatives was expected to back the Bill, it was unlikely to make it through the Democrat-held Senate.

Earlier this month it emerged that the U.S. had blocked $800 million in military assistance after Pakistan expelled American personnel and began delaying visas in protest at the raid to kill the al-Qaida leader.

The U.S. wanted Pakistan to carry out a military offensive in North Waziristan, one of the tribal areas from where militants launch attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The message was hammered home by Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, during a visit to India yesterday.

“We have made it clear to the Pakistan government that confronting violent extremism of all sorts is in its interest,” she said in New Delhi. “We do not believe that there are any terrorists who should be given safe haven or a free pass by any government.”

© Copyright (c) The Daily Telegraph

Ariana News Chief Gives His Take On the Pacification of Af/Pak

Ahmadulla Vastok: Cure have not the Taliban, and gave birth to Pakistan

EA Ivashchenko

The Taliban are not so organized to have a single point, with which we could sit at the negotiating table, the chairman of the public association “Center of Afghan” Ariana “(Almaty) Ahmadulla Vastok. In an interview with “Fergana”, he said that the Taliban are called members of the various natural groups, mercenaries, who organize terrorist attacks, suicide bombers are preparing to destabilize the situation in Afghanistan, which is very beneficial to the upcoming Pakistan.

- How do you feel about the initiative to start negotiations with the Taliban?

- It may seem strange, but foreign experts have some force behind the Taliban. But they are not so organized, so that they could sit at the negotiating table. Why Taliban factions are still unwilling to negotiate even with the Afghan government, not to mention the dialogue at the international level? Turkey , Arab countries have offered to provide them with the Taliban in their headquarters, so that the movement had its own address. If the Taliban do not have the address where you can ask them with whom to negotiate at all?

The Taliban – a separate natural groupings in the bulk of the mercenaries who organize terrorist attacks, train bombings, and all that comes with the territory of Pakistan . From an early age to these suicide bombers told that they are Muslims and have to fight for Islam. I respect religion, but I think the Taliban enemies of Islam. Why? These young children are prepared for a “holy struggle” for Islam, so they were going to blow up themselves. So they play with human life, rob it, that is fundamentally opposed to Islam.

So with whom to negotiate, if the Taliban do not have specific individuals with whom you can talk to? The so-called leader of the “Taliban” Mullah Omar is in Pakistan, but is there actually such a person – no one knows it has not been seen. If it is, you can negotiate with him.

In this situation, I consider it more correct to hold talks with Pakistani authorities. After all, where did the Taliban? From Pakistan, and all their camps are there and in Afghanistan they parachuted.

Also, I do not understand the term “moderate Taliban.” There is no moderate Taliban, they’re all the same. This division is artificial and is made to ensure that they occupied more positions in the government of Afghanistan. Shared by the Taliban on propakistanskih, proafganskih and moderate, because each group claims to power in Afghanistan. But they can not to something really qualify, because their environment has no intelligence. I apologize for my words, but they do not even know how to dress and bathe. In Islam it is said that the cleanliness – this pledge of Islam, and the guarantee of health. And the Taliban can not bathe for months.

- Would not it be in Afghanistan created a power vacuum after the reduction of American presence?

- No, because, first of all, no one counted how many U.S. troops went into Afghanistan and how much output. Second, the territory of Afghanistan is fully controlled. Towns and villages patrolled only part of the war, the rest sit in the barracks. Chaos in connection with their withdrawal will not, because in addition to U.S. troops in the country a lot of other peacekeeping forces.

The problem lies not in the presence of soldiers, peacekeepers, and in the government of Afghanistan, which is very weak and can not run the country. Why is the drug mafia was developed as a large scale? Because the mafia group has occupied the Government of Afghanistan. However, the government and parliament hate each other, the president says one thing, the parliament – the other and security forces – the third, they have no solidarity. It is necessary to clean up the government not to repeat the situation Najibullah era, in which the government proved to be descendants of a single region.

- So do you think it is necessary that the government had policies for each region of Afghanistan?

- The government of Hamid Karzai, surrounded by a mafia gang, so it’s time to give all the people of Afghanistan the opportunity to choose provincial governors and other officials to rule the country people, the deputies were popular. Today, almost all over the country are strikes, whose members believe the Karzai government – anti-national. People are tired of sit back and wait for change. A popular uprising – is the most terrible event that you can imagine, because against the will of the people can not do anything.

- Will the statutory authority status of permanent neutrality help increase Afghanistan’s external partners interested in its stable development?

- Afghanistan – a country rich and untouched, but now has no opportunity to raise their economies. Why Afghanistan should be an independent and neutral? Because it is in the interests of all countries in the region.

Afghanistan is in the heart of Asia, and peace and stability in this country will guarantee peace and stability throughout Central Asia and all over the world. All the neighboring countries can be good advisors to the Afghan government, because the culture, traditions, religion in the countries of the region are similar.

First, you need to completely isolate Afghanistan, to declare a state of emergency under the auspices of the UN and give an opportunity for all military men who were educated in the Soviet Union, Germany, Turkey, to bring order there. So there will be peace, the country will be neutral. I stress that Afghanistan needs help in all countries, he should not become attached to any one state.

Hostilities will have to wait for the part of Pakistan – the main enemy of Afghanistan. Pakistan is disadvantageous peace in Afghanistan, because if it does, then Pakistan can no longer prepare adherents of the “Al Qaeda” terrorists and extremists.

- How do you think you can solve the problem with Pakistan?

- To not interfere with Pakistan, should be eliminated in possession of nuclear weapons. All states, including neighboring states, SCO member states, NATO and other organizations should put pressure on Pakistan and make it the same as Afghanistan, an isolated country, disarm the gangs all, destroy the camps of extremists and other fundamentalist Islamic movements, all neutralized.

Friendly people of Pakistan to Afghanistan, but the trouble is that the government of Pakistan has given refuge leaders “of al-Qaida” and “Taliban.” When Pakistan will be “denuded” start to develop economic relations with India, Russia, China, will be a big green channel for businessmen in the Central Asian region.

- Are there any alternative to the Karzai government?

- I object to in power was a kind of political party: it will depend on the party’s interests and those of people who would sympathize with her. A nation once again be left out.

When peace comes to Afghanistan and stability, under the auspices of the UN should convene a Loya Jirga (the Supreme council of elders, tribal authorities and government officials) , to choose a spiritual leader, whose support the majority of the population and to be free from every kind of prejudice – racial, linguistic, and so further. It is necessary that he was an Afghan, Afghanistan, and not divided into parts.

The problem is that there are currently party organizations, which consist of members of certain ethnic groups. This is wrong.

We must choose a single leader, his deputies and ministers chosen from those who are expert in their field and election of governors and mayors of all the provinces entrusted to the people. And then, perhaps for five to ten years in the country will come at least some stability.

- Are there already this leader, who goes for the people, those who are willing to take on the problems of the country?

- Do not be so general in Afghanistan, no one was found. Of course, there are people who will vote for the people. But most of the patriots of the country is outside. They must return to their homeland with the help of the Loya Jirga.

Interviewed by Catherine Ivashchenko

The international news agency “Fergana”