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But only one contract was agreed to on Tuesday. That went to a pairing of BP and the China National Petroleum Corporation for the largest field on offer: Rumaila, near the southern city of Basra, which has proven reserves of 17 billion barrels. Once the bid is accepted by the oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, Parliament must issue final approval.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — China has given its word to the United States that it is "deeply committed" to implementing tough new nuclear sanctions against North Korea, a senior US official said Friday.
The official also said that as part of the effort to put a straitjacket on Pyongyang after its latest nuclear test and missile launches, Washington had set up an inter-agency team to coordinate the sanctions with other nations.
"They are certainly saying quite strenuously that they are deeply committed to full implementation of the provisions that are in the resolution," the senior administration official said, referring to China.
GARMSIR, Afghanistan (AFP) — Since 4,000 US Marines pushed into Taliban-controlled areas of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, one company has been in a constant firefight with the insurgents, the military said.
Troops from Echo company of the 2/8 infantry battalion flew in by helicopter to Mian Poshteh, a key canal and road junction in Helmand province, as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to finally defeat the Islamist militants.
The 200 Marines fighting to hold the position arrived at dawn on Thursday, and they were still engaged in fierce combat through the weekend, Major Dan Gaskell told AFP at nearby Camp Delhi.
Mossad head Meir Dagan assured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Saudi Arabia would allow IAF jets to fly over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, The Sunday Times reported.
According to a report in the British paper, Dagan held talks with Saudi officials earlier this year on the topic. The Israeli media has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including former prime minister Ehud Olmert, held meetings with Saudi officials, but the kingdom has denied the reports.
"The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia," a diplomatic source was quoted in the Times as saying.
Mexico drug plane used for US 'rendition' flights: report
Sep 4, 2008
MEXICO CITY (AFP) — A private jet that crash-landed almost one year ago in eastern Mexico carrying 3.3 tons of coc aine had previously been used for CIA "rendition" flights, a newspaper report said here Thursday, citing documents from the United States and the European Parliament.
The plane was carrying Colombian drugs for the fugitive leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, when it crash-landed in the Yucatan peninsula on September 24, El Universal reported.
After a long hiatus, the Israeli Navy has returned to sailing through the Suez Canal, recently sending one of its advanced Dolphin-class submarines through the waterway to participate in naval maneuvers off the Eilat coast in the Red Sea.
The significance of the move was debatable, but it could be interpreted as a message to Iran and a demonstration of strengthening ties between Egypt and Israel.
In the event of a conflict with Iran, and if Israel decided to involve its three Dolphin-class submarines - which according to foreign reports can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and serve as a second-strike platform - the quickest route would be to send them through the Suez Canal.
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden seemed to give Israel a green light for military action to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat, saying the U.S. "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do."
Israel considers Iran its most dangerous adversary and is wary of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who just won a disputed re-election. He repeatedly has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and contends the Holocaust is a "myth."
Originally posted by masonwatcher
where ever there is a failed state, you will find Western security services present and a thriving drugs industry. I take the view that the security services have a financial interest in the international drugs trade. This is were they get the incomes they need to operate outside the scrutiny of democratic processes.
An interesting example, the current issue of independence of Kosovo is largely due to it having become a major narco-state for heroin coming into continental Europe.
Equatorial Guinea affair
Main article: 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt
On 25 August 2004, Thatcher was arrested at home in Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. He was charged later that day with contravening two sections of South Africa's "Foreign Military Assistance Act", which bans South African residents from taking part in any foreign military activity. The charges related to "possible funding and logistical assistance in relation to [an] attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea" organized by Thatcher's friend, Simon Mann. He was released on bail of 2 million rand and spent a period of time under house arrest, but was bailed to London to live with his widowed mother while his wife and children moved to the family's home in Dallas, Texas.
Originally posted by masonwatcher
Kosovo is not a failed state but one that had the US as a midwife. The Albanians also have strong connection with the US government. Both countries are populated by Albanians, both countries are Muslim and there is an extensive presence of men in dark suits from the US.
Europe, being inherently bigoted at elite level will keep Albanians and Kosovans at an arms length and will not bring them into to EU. The US fully intends to keep a European foothold at the underbelly of the continent through Albania/Kosovo. This is were the drugs come in to finance various projects under the radar.
Zimbabwe and Somalia are petroleum rich African countries. Usually African countries are subject to general policies that perpetuate the failed state status or induce it since Zimbabwe is not a failed state yet but the condition for a civil war is growing. African countries are subject to corporate influence so there is no need for the security services or direct military action for revenue raising expeditions. Corporations buy private armies or bribe the governments.
In fact private and wealthy individuals can actually steal entire African countries
North Korea is not a failed state.
TEGUCIGALPA, July 5 (Reuters) - Honduras' interim President Roberto Micheletti said on Sunday Nicaraguan troops were moving to the mutual frontier and urged Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to respect Honduran sovereignty.
He gave no further details about troop movements in Nicaragua which shares a border with Honduras to the southeast of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
His comments came as ousted President Manuel Zelaya attempted to fly home a week after he was ousted in a coup. Zelaya is a left-wing ally of Ortega and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
The interim government said it had contacted the Organization of American States to express its willingness to enter dialogue. The OAS earlier on Sunday suspended Honduras for refusing to reinstate Zelaya. (Reporting by Patrick Markey)
Originally posted by masonwatcher
By your measure of a failed state you are opening up the criteria to most of Africa and any other country in a serious conflict. The conventional definition, invented by Bush et al, referred to countries with civic institutions and a government.
If I was to accept your definition, I would include Israel due to it lawlessness.
Turkey's energy minister on Saturday said Iran and Russia may supply gas to an EU- and US-backed gas pipeline project in the future, even though the project is designed to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy and Iran is not a favored source.
Taner Yildiz made the comments during an interview with private NTV television, ahead of a ceremony on Monday when Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary will sign an intergovernmental deal to allow the pipeline to pass their territory
NEW DELHI, July 20 (Reuters) - The United States and India are expected to sign an agreement on Monday that would take a major step towards allowing the sale of sophisticated U.S. arms to the South Asian nation, three senior U.S. officials said.
Known as an "end-use monitoring" agreement and required by U.S. law for such weapons sales, the pact would let Washington check that India was using any arms for the purposes intended and preventing the technology from leaking to others
The U.S. and China are competing for influence in a resources-rich region that contains sea lanes vital for carrying oil from the Middle East to China and northeast Asia. The adoption of a charter last year has fortified Asean’s structure even as individual members struggle with recession, political upheaval and terrorism.
Wide economic disparity among the countries has made it difficult to leverage the group’s market of 575 million people in vying for investments with China and India, the world’s fastest growing major economies. Abhisit said the bloc should “continue to nurture a culture of concerted action” in order “to reinforce Asean’s centrality.”
SHANGHAI — For several years, the prevailing winds blowing over the African continent have come from China.
With President Barack Obama’s visit to Africa, America’s approach to the continent seems poised to emerge from a long, deep sleep. It is true that the administration of George W. Bush began some experiments worthy of mention, notably conditioning American assistance on economic management and other measures of good governance. But this represents more of a fine-tuning of a longstanding American approach to Africa than it does any truly new departure. Over the past eight years, Washington also emerged as a much more vigorous partner in African health, notably in fighting AIDS.
China and Russia owns majority of worlds wealth and resources - and manpower.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says the United States is committed to a strong and prosperous Ukraine, and he says U.S. moves to reset relations with Russia will not come at Ukraine's expense. Biden spoke Tuesday in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, at the start of a three-day mission to that country and a second former Soviet republic, Georgia.
July 27, 2009
DUSHANBE -- U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Tracey Ann Jacobson denied that Washington is involved in a new "Great Game" in Central Asia with Russia or China, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Jacobson, who finishes her three years as ambassador in Dushanbe this month, told RFE/RL that she has read in the media about this "Great Game idea," but said "we are not playing any kind of game."
Tajikistan, an Asian republic of the former Soviet Union, may ask for $300 million of rent a year for the presence of Russia’s 201st army base in the nation. In addition, Tajikistan also intends to control military hardware at the base.
Russia currently pays a much smaller rent for the base, but the amount is not known.
The issue of raising the rent for the Russian army base in Tajikistan has been discussed for several years already, but the matter has not taken a form of specific decisions. However, the Tajik administration has apparently decided that it is the right time to set forth such claims to Russia.
If one ties the problems which Russia and the West have in their mutual relations, it may seem that Tajikistan starts taking the side of the USA and the EU, which use the former Soviet nation to put pressure on Russia.