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Mumbai terror suspect David Headley was 'rogue US secret agent' A key terror suspect who allegedly helped to plan last year’s attacks in Mumbai and plotted to strike Europe was an American secret agent who went rogue, Indian officials believe.
David Headley, 49, who was born in Washington to a Pakistan diplomat father and an American mother, was arrested in Chicago in October. He is accused of reconnoitring targets in India and Europe for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based terror group behind the Mumbai attacks and of having links to al-Qaeda. He has denied the charges.
He came to the attention of the US security services in 1997 when he was arrested in New York for heroin smuggling. He earned a reduced sentence by working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) infiltrating Pakistan-linked narcotics gangs.
Indian investigators, who have been denied access to Mr Headley, suspect that he remained on the payroll of the US security services — possibly working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — but switched his allegiance to LeT. (London Times)
Go forth and multiply a lot less THOMAS MALTHUS first published his “Essay on the Principle of Population”, in which he forecast that population growth would outstrip the world’s food supply, in 1798. His timing was unfortunate, for something started happening around then which made nonsense of his ideas. As industrialisation swept through what is now the developed world, fertility fell sharply, first in France, then in Britain, then throughout Europe and America. When people got richer, families got smaller; and as families got smaller, people got richer.
Now, something similar is happening in developing countries. Fertility is falling and families are shrinking in places— such as Brazil, Indonesia, and even parts of India—that people think of as teeming with children. As our briefing shows, the fertility rate of half the world is now 2.1 or less—the magic number that is consistent with a stable population and is usually called “the replacement rate of fertility”. Sometime between 2020 and 2050 the world’s fertility rate will fall below the global replacement rate. (The Economist)
Four crucial resources that may run out in your lifetime On the rebuttal side, there are people promoting the idea that oil isn't a fossil fuel, created by dead biomass buried beneath the Earth's surface. The Russian theory of "abiotic oil" that became popular in the 1950s claims that oil is produced from a monstrous reserve of hydrocarbons in the Earth's primordial core. Oil is created in the Earth's incredibly hot mantle layer, and pushed up into the crust, where gargantuan reserves are available to us if we just drill deep enough. But it's a scientifically unproven theory, promoted in recent times most strongly by one man, Thomas Gold, an astronomer who died in 2004. And the responding arguments for biogenic oil, from Petroleum Geologists, are very strong. So it looks fairly clear that sometime in the next few decades, oil production is going to start to fall, just as global demand is rising. Prices are forecast to skyrocket, and the effect on societies worldwide will reflect just how important fossil fuels are to us. Apart from oil control wars - which many would say we're already witnessing in the middle east - we can expect the industrial world to be turned on its head, starting with the economy and ending with a complete lifestyle revolution where food production, among other things, is brought right back into the backyard. (Giz Mag)
Children could be given untested swine flu vaccine The swine flu vaccine which will be offered to 12 million children in the UK may not have been tested on infants by the time the first batches arrive. Pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the jabs do not have any paediatric safety data for the drugs, which could be distributed to children in the autumn. (UK Daily Mail)
Greece to vaccinate population for swine flu Greece will vaccinate its entire population of 12 million against the H1N1 swine flu pandemic which has swept around the world in weeks, killing hundreds of people, the country's health minister said on Friday (TV NZ)
Bioterrorism Evidence Evidence that an international corporate criminal syndicate, which has annexed high government office inside the United States, is intent on carrying out a mass genocide against the people of the United States by using an artificial (genetic) flu pandemic virus and a forced vaccination program to cause mass death and injury and depopulate America in order to transfer control of the United States to WHO, the UN and affiliated security forces (UN troops from countries such as China, Canada, the UK and Mexico etc) (Jane Bürgermeister)
UK dumps plans for compulsory ID cards The cards were due to be made compulsory for pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports on a trial basis ahead of plans to roll them out to the wider population (The Age)
Web filters to censor video games The Federal Government has now set its sights on gamers, promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds.
Separately, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has been nominated by the British ISP industry for its annual "internet villain" award, competing alongside the European Parliament and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard - such as those with excessive violence or sexual content - are simply banned from sale by the Classification Board, unless they are modified to remove the offending content. (Sydney Morning Herald)
UK 'powerless' to stop EU regulation A senior French official has confirmed Gordon Brown is almost powerless to stop the creation of a European regulatory machinery at today's EU summit, opening the way for a transfer of control over the City from London to Brussels (London Telegraph)
House approves war bill with IMF funds Down to the wire Tuesday, Obama and his top aides had to intercede to hold Democrats together in the face of anti-war liberal blogs and conservative attacks on new financing for the International Monetary Fund (Politico)
UK chases Obama on cybersecurity: Officials aim to release strategy this summer Security and intelligence officials plan to publish a UK version of Barack Obama's cybersecurity and defence review before the summer Parliamentary recess, according to sources close to the work.
The US announced its new strategy on Friday following an intensive 60-day investigation of vulnerabilities in government and the private sector.
Obama said computer networks would now be treated as a "strategic national asset" and announced a new senior post in his administration to oversee their defence. It was also reported - but not detailed in the published strategy - that a new arm within the Pentagon will conduct both offensive and defensive network warfare. (The Register)
Lawrence Solomon: Enron's other secret -- In the climate-change debate, the companies on the ‘environmental’ side have the most to gain. First in a series. We all know that the financial stakes are enormous in the global warming debate — many oil, coal and power companies are at risk should carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases get regulated in a manner that harms their bottom line. The potential losses of an Exxon or a Shell are chump change, however, compared to the fortunes to be made from those very same regulations.
The climate-change industry — the scientists, lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and, most importantly, the multinationals that work behind the scenes to cash in on the riches at stake — has emerged as the world’s largest industry. Virtually every resident in the developed world feels the bite of this industry, often unknowingly, through the hidden surcharges on their food bills, their gas and electricity rates, their gasoline purchases, their automobiles, their garbage collection, their insurance, their computers purchases, their hotels, their purchases of just about every good and service, in fact, and finally, their taxes to governments at all levels.
These extractions do not happen by accident. Every penny that leaves the hands of consumers does so by design, the final step in elaborate and often brilliant orchestrations of public policy, all the more brilliant because the public, for the most part, does not know who is profiteering on climate change, or who is aiding and abetting the profiteers.
Some of the climate-change profiteers are relatively unknown corporations; others are household names with only their behind-the-scenes role in the climate-change industry unknown. Over the next few weeks, in an extended newspaper series, you will become familiar with some of the profiteers, and with their machinations. This series begins with Enron, a pioneer in the climate-change industry. - To magnify the leverage of their political lobbying, Enron also worked the environmental groups. Between 1994 and 1996, the Enron Foundation donated $1-million to the Nature Conservancy and its Climate Change Project, a leading force for global warming reform, while Lay and other individuals associated with Enron donated $1.5-million to environmental groups seeking international controls on carbon dioxide.
The intense lobbying paid off. Lay became a member of president Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development, as well as his friend and advisor. In the summer of 1997, prior to global warming meetings in Kyoto, Japan, Clinton sought Lay’s advice in White House discussions. The fruits of Enron’s efforts came soon after, with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.
An internal Enron memo, sent from Kyoto by John Palmisano, a former Environmental Protection Agency regulator who had become Enron’s lead lobbyist as senior director for Environmental Policy and Compliance, describes the historic corporate achievement that was Kyoto.
“If implemented this agreement will do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural-gas industries in Europe and the United States,” Palmisano began. “The potential to add incremental gas sales, and additional demand for renewable technology is enormous.”
The memo, entitled “Implications of the Climate Change Agreement in Kyoto & What Transpired,” summarized the achievements that Enron had accomplished. “I do not think it is possible to overestimate the importance of this year in shaping every aspect of this agreement,” he wrote, citing three issues of specific importance to Enron which would become, as those following the climate-change debate in detail now know, the biggest money plays: the rules governing emissions trading, the rules governing transfers of emission reduction rights between countries, and the rules governing a gargantuan clean energy fund. (National Post)
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