Russia accuses West of provocation in Georgia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused the United States on Saturday of provoking Moscow by using warships to deliver relief aid to its ally Georgia, with which Russia fought a brief war last month.

“I wonder how they would feel if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean, suffering from a hurricane, using our navy,” Medvedev said, adding that a whole U.S. fleet had been dispatched to deliver the aid.

Russia has also accused U.S. warships of rearming Tbilisi’s defeated army, a charge dismissed as “ridiculous” by Washington.

NATO in turn has rejected talk of a buildup of its warships in the Black Sea, saying their recent presence in the region was part of routine exercises.

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200,000 civilians flee fighting in north Pakistan

Intense fighting in the Bajaur tribal district in north Pakistan has forced more than 200,000 people to flee their villages, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) official has said.

“There is a real war shaking the Bajaur region at the moment,” said Pascal Cuttat, the head of the ICRC Pakistan delegation, with government forces “facing heavy opposition.”

Pakistan’s forces have launched a number of major military offensives in recent weeks against militants in the Bajaur district, which is thought to be an Al-Qaeda stronghold.

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Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, elected president in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of the assassinated former prime minister, Benazir Bhuttto, has been elected president by the country’s parliament and regional assemblies.


Mr Zardari is a shrewd politician. He has taken firm control of Bhutto’s ruling Pakistan People Party Photo: EPA

According to an unofficial tally, Mr Zardari secured at least 458 out of 702 electoral college votes, including over 280 votes in the parliament.

“It’s not only a victory for Mr Zardari and the Pakistan People’s Party but it’s a victory for … Benazir Bhutto’s dream of a democratic political system,” said Farzana Raja, the party’s spokeswoman as Mr Zardari’s supporters chanted “long live Bhutto”.

Members of Pakistan’s national assembly, senate and four provincial assemblies were seeking to replace Pervez Musharraf, who resigned as president last month.

Read moreAsif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, elected president in Pakistan

Pakistan cuts supply lines to NATO troops in Afghanistan

In a move seen as the latest fallout from Wednesday morning’s US attack on South Waziristan, the Pakistani government has ordered that supply lines to NATO troops in Afghanistan be immediately severed for an indefinite period of time.

The move comes as thousands of protesters marched through South Waziristan’s capital of Wana chanting “death to America”. Officials cited repeated attacks which had made it difficult to provide security for transportation across the only border crossing, but Pakistani media cited other sources who said the move came as the government feared retaliation from South Waziristan tribesmen if they didn’t respond to the US attack.

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People should work until they are incapacitated

Britain’s workforce should keep working until they are no longer physically able to do so, according to former cabinet minister David Blunkett.


In a speech to the Counsel and Care charity in London, he said people should stop assuming that the Government had “prime responsibility” for supporting them through “the ever increasing years of retirement”.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary said people should be prepared to use equity release schemes to pay for their care in retirement, rather than protecting the value of their inheritances to their families.

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Bush Extends 9/11 National Emergency Yet Again

Though few Americans realize it, Cheney and Rumsfeld worked through the 1980s and 1990s on emergency nuclear-response plans which allegedly suspended the American constitution and also Congress.[1] (Through these decades Rumsfeld was CEO of a major pharmaceutical firm, and in the later 1990s Cheney was CEO of Halliburton; but their private status did not deter them from continuing to exercise a supra-constitutional planning power conferred on them by Ronald Reagan.)

Even fewer Americans know that these rules, originally dealing with a nuclear attack on America, were extended by Reagan Executive Order 12656 to cover “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.”[2] And few Americans realize that at least some of these rules, known technically as Continuity of Government or COG rules, were invoked before 10:00 AM on September 11, 2001.[3]

As he did in 2007, President Bush has again, on August 28, 2008, continued for another year the national emergency first officially proclaimed on September 14, 2001, along with “the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency:”

Notice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks

Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency I declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, the Pentagon, and aboard United Airlines flight 93, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.

Because the terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2008. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency I declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

GEORGE W. BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

August 28, 2008.[4]

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Dead In The Water – The Sinking of the USS Liberty

During the Six-Day War, Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA.

Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed that the whole affair had been a tragic accident based on mistaken identification of the ship.

The American government accepted the explanation. For more than 30 years many people have disbelieved the official explanation but have been unable to rebut it convincingly.

Now, Dead in the Water uses startling new evidence to reveal the truth behind the seemingly inexplicable attack. The film combines dramatic reconstruction of the events, with new access to former officers in the US and Israeli armed forces and intelligence services who have decided to give their own version of events.

Interviews include President Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, former head of the Israeli navy Admiral Shlomo Errell and members of the USS Liberty crew.


Source: Google Video

Main Bank of China Is in Need of Capital


Dollar and yuan currency at a bank in China. China’s central bank has accumulated about $1 trillion in United States debt.

HONG KONG – China’s central bank is in a bind.

It has been on a buying binge in the United States over the last seven years, snapping up roughly $1 trillion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Those investments have been declining sharply in value when converted from dollars into the strong yuan, casting a spotlight on the central bank’s tiny capital base. The bank’s capital, just $3.2 billion, has not grown during the buying spree, despite private warnings from the International Monetary Fund.

Now the central bank needs an infusion of capital. Central banks can, of course, print more money, but that would stoke inflation. Instead, the People’s Bank of China has begun discussions with the finance ministry on ways to shore up its capital, said three people familiar with the discussions who insisted on anonymity because the subject is delicate in China.

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Ron Paul supporters’ magical disappearing act

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president, has been said to resemble Gandalf, the magician from the movie version of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Republican officials seemed to make Paul’s supporters magically disappear during Wednesday night’s roll call vote, in which the GOP convention officially nominated John McCain as the party’s presidential candidate.

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