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.