It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Gunmen have opened fire at a number of sites in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay), killing dozens of people and injuring many more, local reports say.
Police said shooting was continuing and that the incidents appeared to be terrorist attacks. Reports say gunmen have taken hostages at a luxury hotel.
Unconfirmed reports said 80 people had been killed, and more than 250 injured.
One witness told local television that the gunmen were looking for people with British or US passports.
"They wanted foreigners," said the man, who said he was in India on business.
General Motors Corp., criticized by U.S. lawmakers for its use of corporate jets, asked aviation regulators to block the public’s ability to track a plane it uses.
“We availed ourselves of the option as others do to have the aircraft removed” from a Federal Aviation Administration tracking service, a GM spokesman, Greg Martin, said yesterday in an interview. He declined to discuss why GM made the request.
“Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class?” Ackerman said.
It’s the conversation every parent dreads. “Mom, dad, you know how I’ve always been a little different from the other kids? Well, I think it’s time you knew the truth. I think I’m, um, an investment banker!”
So how do you stop the fruit of your loins, the inheritors of your estate, the bearers of your lineage, from making a huge lifestyle mistake and bringing shame on your name? Here are some alternative professions you should consider steering your offspring toward in order to avoid the stigma of having a finance professional in the family.
The U.S. government should demand accountability and changes at Citigroup Inc., as well as from automakers, in exchange for any financial assistance, a top transition official for President-elect Barack Obama said.
“It seems to me that the government ought to demand accountability,” including on executive compensation, John Podesta said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” scheduled to air today.
China to increase gold reserves to diversify risks: Report
19 Nov 2008, 1017 hrs IST, AGENCIES
SHANGHAI: China's central bank is considering hiking increasing gold reserves nearly seven-fold to spread risks in its huge foreign exchange
holdings, state media reported on Wednesday.
Beijing is mulling a move to increase its reserves to 4,000 tonnes from the current 600 tonnes. It did not provide further details.
The People's Bank of China declined to immediately comment on the report when contacted.
Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels
Gold is poised for a dramatic surge and could blast through $2,000 an ounce by the end of next year as central banks flood the world's monetary system with liquidity, according to an internal client note from the US bank Citigroup.
The bank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world's authorities to take steps that had never been tried before.
This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.
"They are throwing the kitchen sink at this," said Tom Fitzpatrick, the bank's chief technical strategist.
"The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done. When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed though into an inflation shock.
"Or it will not work because too much damage has already been done, and we will see continued financial deterioration, causing further economic deterioration, with the risk of a feedback loop. We don't think this is the more likely outcome, but as each week and month passes, there is a growing danger of vicious circle as confidence erodes," he said.
"This will lead to political instability. We are already seeing countries on the periphery of Europe under severe stress. Some leaders are now at record levels of unpopularity. There is a risk of domestic unrest, starting with strikes because people are feeling disenfranchised."
"What happens if there is a meltdown in a country like Pakistan, which is a nuclear power. People react when they have their backs to the wall. We're already seeing doubts emerge about the sovereign debts of developed AAA-rated countries, which is not something you can ignore," he said.
Gold traders are playing close attention to reports from Beijing that the China is thinking of boosting its gold reserves from 600 tonnes to nearer 4,000 tonnes to diversify away from paper currencies. "If true, this is a very material change," he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick said Britain had made a mistake selling off half its gold at the bottom of the market between 1999 to 2002. "People have started to question the value of government debt," he said.
Citigroup said the blast-off was likely to occur within two years, and possibly as soon as 2009. Gold was trading yesterday at $812 an ounce. It is well off its all-time peak of $1,030 in February but has held up much better than other commodities over the last few months – reverting to is historical role as a safe-haven store of value and a de facto currency.
Gold has tripled in value over the last seven years, vastly outperforming Wall Street and European bourses.
TWO Pakistani merchant vessels have been apprehended off the coast of India following militant attacks in Mumbai, the official Press Trust of India reports.
The agency quoted Home Ministry sources today as saying the ships were stopped off the coast of Gujarat state, just north of Mumbai.
The report came after the Indian navy said it was following up on suspicions that the gunmen who attacked the city, killing at least 125 people, had reached the city by speedboat after being dropped off by a larger ship.
It also comes after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the militants had come from "outside the country" and the military official leading the operation to flush them out explicitly insisted they were from arch-rival Pakistan.
Somali pirates on Friday seized a specialist tanker after a desperate defence by unarmed security guards in what was thought to be the first attack on a ship with its own deterrent on board.
The three guards, all ex-Royal Marines, came under a hail of fire from half a dozen pirates using AK-47 rifles and rocket propelled grenades.
The guards, employed by Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, based in Poole, Dorset, were protecting the Biscaglia, a chemical tanker.
Nick Davis, chief executive, said the leader of the on-board team told him they had called for help and retreated to the bridge roof, jumping overboard once the French rescue helicopter was within range,.
Mr Davis said: “It’s absolutely frightening. They had been informed by the pirates that, if there were security guards on board, they would be the first to go.”
It was a cold, dark, wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. I was in my car, driving my 12-year-old daughter and her friend back from a birthday party. I was tired and fed up from being in the car.
"Mummy, mummy," trilled a voice from the back. "I want to phone the pirates."
Indian air and missile forces on war footing, Pakistani armored units diverted from Afghan border
DEBKAfile's military sources report that on Sunday, Nov. 30, Asia's two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, took their first steps towards a conventional war. India, claiming evidence of Pakistan's involvement in the Islamist terrorist assault on Mumbai, placed its air and missile units on war preparedness, while Pakistan, disclaiming the charge, diverted its armed divisions from the Afghan border to its frontier with India.
Military experts fear a full-blown war could spill over into combat with tactical nuclear weapons.
For the Indian government, the last straw was the admission by Azam Amir Kasab, aged 21, the only terrorist known to have been captured by Indian forces, that Lashkar e-Taiba was behind the assault which claimed 174 lives, injured hundreds and devastated India's financial capital.
This Kashmiri group has links to both al Qaeda and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
From its outset on Wednesday, Nov. 26, the scale, coordination and clockwork targeting of the assault clearly betrayed the hand of a major national intelligence agency. Evidence also mounted that the attackers had reached Mumbai by boat from Karachi.
Five months ago, Taliban suicide killers attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul, claiming 60 lives including that of the Indian military attaché. The New Delhi government then found leads to Pakistan's clandestine service as the prime mover behind the outrage. Washington came up with the same proofs.
The Manmohan Singh government sees the Mumbai assault as a second, escalated Pakistani act of war-by-terror and cannot afford to avoid a strong, immediate response - particularly with a general election around the corner next May. If Singh braves the media and public howls for Pakistani blood and shows the same restraint as he did after the Kabul attack, he will lose his seat.
Domestic opinion is goading the New Delhi to act tough after what is perceived as the poor, slow and unprofessional performance of the police and special forces in quelling the terrorists. Indian commandoes were brought in 10 hours after the terrorists took over and it took them 60 hours to finally gain control of the three hostage sites Saturday, Nov. 29. Sunday, home minister Shivraj Patil resigned in response to the clamor followed by national security advisor MK Narayanan.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars and barely avoided a fourth in 2001.
President George Bush and his successor Barack Obama cannot hope for much headway in defusing Indian-Pakistan tension. With only a few weeks left in the White House, Bush does not have much leverage and Obama even less for pulling the two adversaries apart. While campaigning, the president-elect pledged to work to mend the fences between India and Pakistan and broker their Kashmir conflict. In the present climate, neither is looking for a mediator.
Recession reports - Sales of Komatsu and Caterpillar to drop in 2009
Bloomberg reported that Indonesian sales for Komatsu Limited, Caterpillar Inc and rivals may drop 40% in 2009 as buyers face problems obtaining loans.
Mr Djoko Pranoto president director of PT United Tractor said that sales of heavy equipment may drop to 6,000 units in 2009 from an estimated 10,000 in 2008. United Tractors may also fail to reach its target of 4,750 units in 2008. Komatsu controls 45% of the Indonesian market.
United Tractors, a unit of PT Astra International, expects profit to drop by 10% in 2009. The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is forcing United Tractors’ customers in the mining and plantation industries to scrap expansion plans.
United Tractors also plans to spend as much as USD 315 million to boost coal extraction capacity at its unit. Coal mining capacity at PT Pamapersada Nusantara, the contract mining unit, will increase 14% to 65 million tonnes a year.