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July 7th 2005 London Bombings: Netanyahu Changed Plans Due to Warning British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday's explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said.
Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead, government officials said.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said he wasn't aware of any Israeli casualties. (Associated Press)
Netanyahu Changed Plans Due to Warning Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead (Associated Press)
Inquiries Act 2005 (c.12) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It came into effect in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2005. According to the British government, the Act "is designed to provide a framework under which future inquiries, set up by Ministers into events that have caused or have potential to cause public concern, can operate effectively to deliver valuable and practicable recommendations in reasonable time and at a reasonable cost." (Wikipedia)
Authors of "Building a North American Community" by the Council on Foreign Relations
John P. Manley
William F. Weld
Thomas P. D'Aquino
Robert A. Pastor
Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations Press
- Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales.
North America is vulnerable on several fronts: the region faces terrorist and criminal security threats, increased economic competition from abroad, and uneven economic development at home. In response to these challenges, a trinational, Independent Task Force on the Future of North America has developed a roadmap to promote North American security and advance the well-being of citizens of all three countries.
When the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in Texas recently they underscored the deep ties and shared principles of the three countries. The Council-sponsored Task Force applauds the announced “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” but proposes a more ambitious vision of a new community by 2010 and specific recommendations on how to achieve it. (Council on Foreign Relations)
Building a North American Community Report of an Independent Task Force;
Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales - America’s relationship with its North American neighbors rarely gets the attention it warrants. This report of a Council-sponsored Indepen- dent Task Force on the Future of North America is intended to help address this policy gap. In the more than a decade since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect, ties among Canada, Mexico, and the United States have deepened dramatically. The value of trade within North America has more than doubled. Canada and Mexico are now the two largest exporters of oil, natural gas, and electricity to the United States. Since 9/11, we are not only one another’s major commercial partners, we are joined in an effort to make North America less vulnerable to terrorist attack.
This report examines these and other changes that have taken place since NAFTA’s inception and makes recommendations to address the range of issues confronting North American policymakers today: greater economic competition from outside North America, uneven develop- ment within North America, the growing demand for energy, and threats to our borders.
The Task Force offers a detailed and ambitious set of proposals that build on the recommendations adopted by the three governments at the Texas summit of March 2005. The Task Force’s central recommen- dation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter. - More than a decade ago NAFTA took effect, liberalizing trade and investment, providing crucial protection for intellectual property, creating pioneering dispute-resolution mechanisms, and establishing the first regional devices to safeguard labor and environmental standards. NAFTA helped unlock the region’s economic potential and demon- strated that nations at different levels of development can prosper from the opportunities created by reciprocal free trade arrangements.
Since then, however, global commercial competition has grown more intense and international terrorism has emerged as a serious regional and global danger. Deepening ties among the three countries of North America promise continued benefits for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. That said, the trajectory toward a more integrated and prosperous North America is neither inevitable nor irreversible.
In March 2005, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), establishing ministerial-level working groups to address key secu- rity and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting progress back to their governments. President Bush described the significance of the SPP as putting forward a common commitment ‘‘to markets and democracy, freedom and trade, and mutual prosperity and security.’’ The policy framework articulated by the three leaders is a significant commitment that will benefit from broad discussion and advice. The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized.
To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle affirmed in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that ‘‘our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary.’’ Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.
- A North American Advisory Council. To ensure a regular injection of creative energy into the various efforts related to North American integration, the three governments should appoint an independent body of advisers. This body should be composed of eminent persons from outside government, appointed to staggered multiyear terms to ensure their independence. Their mandate would be to engage in creative exploration of new ideas from a North American perspective and to provide a public voice for North America. A complementary approach would be to establish private bodies that would meet regularly or annually to buttress North American relationships, along the lines of the Bilderberg or Wehrkunde conferences, organized to support transatlantic relations. (Council on Foreign Relations)
The secret Downing Street memo We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. (London Times)
Is America Preparing for Martial Law? The Department of Homeland Security recently carried out an extensive anti-terrorist exercise entitled TOPOFF 3 (April 4-8, 2005). The "drill" was described by officials as "a multilayered approach to improving North American security" (Global Research)
Hands Across North America FOR all its bureaucratic faults, the European Union represents an important advance in the relations between nations, transforming once bitter and war-prone rivals into a model of cooperation, prosperity and community. The United States, on the other hand, blessed with two stable and peaceful neighbors, has no need for such a tight regional alliance. Or does it?
The meeting last week among the three North American leaders -- President Bush, President Vicente Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada -- at Mr. Bush's Texas ranch may have represented the beginning of serious discussion of that question. In their joint statement, the participants said their goal was a ''security and prosperity partnership'' for the continent. This shows a recognition that an absence of military conflict is not a good enough reason to avoid tighter regional alliances, particularly in a globalizing world where competition comes not only from other nations, but increasingly from other blocs of countries.
The idea that political stability could be a building block of economic prosperity and improved quality of life was something that Jean Monnet, the architect of the European Union, understood when he brought his long-term vision out of the ashes of a bitter war. And in 50 years, what was once simply a trade area has turned into a real political community, fostering peace and advancing the economic development of all its members.
By the time North Americans got serious about even limited continental cooperation, at the end of the cold war, it was enough to think solely in economic terms. Thus the North American Free Trade Agreement seemed sufficient to bring about prosperity and draw our countries closer together. But 11 years after it came into effect, Nafta is clearly an insufficient response to the 9/11 attacks, the strengthening of the euro, the rise of China as an economic and political power, and many other major challenges. We need to shut off the automatic pilot under which the countries of North America have been flying for the last decade. - We must move beyond just managing trade and into constructing a new relationship that has four principal goals: enhancing security cooperation; further strengthening economic ties; closing Mexico's development gap; and, certain to be the most controversial, building an institutional architecture to bring a North American community closer to reality.
First, security: the attacks of Sept. 11 and the rise of global terrorism show the need for a safety perimeter around the continent. The Mexican and the United States governments are deeply troubled by intelligence reports that Al Qaeda might be laying plans for an attack across America's southern border. But simply putting more guards and towers in the Arizona desert won't keep America safe. In place of the inefficient borders between the countries today, we need a policy on a strong external continental border.
Each country would of course keep sovereignty over the edges of its own territory, but each would have to meet border security requirements agreed upon by all three parties to ensure there are no weak links. This wall around the continent would, in turn, allow us to make internal North American crossings more flexible; the European model, with its uniform visa requirements, is worth following. - Finally, the key to achieving all these goals is creating permanent three-party institutions. Meetings like the one last week should be made annual, and the nations' defense, justice and intelligence chiefs should also meet every year to develop a common plan to fight terrorism, drug trafficking and immigrant smuggling. In time, the idea would be to create a permanent North American commission with cabinet-level representatives from each country; it would be charged not only with firming up nuts-and-bolts agreements on trade and security, but also with working toward an eventual goal of a true North American union.
Undoubtedly, this level of cooperation would be a hard sell to Americans, who would assume they would have the most to lose. But simply maintaining the status quo will not help the United States maintain its dominance in a changing world. Just as the Bush administration has articulated a radical strategy of military pre-emption in its national security strategy, it needs a similarly bold approach for defending the country's economic future.
Maybe, just maybe, the men gathered at the Crawford ranch could some day be seen as the Jean Monnets of their age, the founding fathers of the North American Community. (New York Times)
The Jamestown Foundation: A News Agency Made to Measure Created by the CIA to publicly unveil the communist rogues of Reagan’s times, the Jamestown Foundation has resumed its services in the Bush Administration. It publishes specialized bulletins on both the post-communist world and terrorism, which serve as reference for Washington’s think tanks. University scholars and journalists are dedicated to depict a ghost-filled world whose very same hostility justifies the U.S. empire. - More and more often, neo-conservative think tanks / [Center For Investigation, Propaganda and Dissemination of Ideas - generally political N del T.] such as the Center for Security Policy  quote the publications by the Jamestown Foundation.
This association created in 1983 was practically inactive until revived on the occasion of the September 11 Attacks to join the abruptly changing apparatus from the Cold War to the War Against Terrorism. During Reagan’s first term, a number of communist rogues complained not to have had in the West a career comparable to that they had left in the East. The then CIA Director William J. Casey had the idea of satisfying some of them by publishing their testimonies. That way he was killing two birds with one stone : on the one hand, the rogues would recover the public positions they had lost and on the other hand, their declarations would fuel the espionage agency’s anti-communist campaign.
William J. Casey
That was how the Jamestown Foundation was created. Its direction was entrusted to William Geimer. This man would publicly unveil two top political figures from the East, who had asked for political asylum in the United States: one of the old Romanian Seniors of the information - General Ion Pacepa, and above all the former UN undersecretary - Soviet diplomat Arkady Shevchenko, who had defected on April 1978 and fallen into a depressive state. (Voltaire Network)
Transcript: Bush, Fox, and Martin Joint Press Conference: The following is a transcript of the joint press conference by President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin BUSH: Thank you all for coming. It's my honor to welcome two friends to Baylor University.
First, I want to thank the Baylor University family for providing these facilities for us. Your hospitality is awesome.
I appreciate the meetings we've just had. Our relationships are important today. We intend to keep our relationships strong. Our relationships will be equally important for the years to come.
And so we had a good discussion about prosperity and security. Turns out the two go hand in hand. It's important for us to work to make sure our countries are safe and secure in order that our people can live in peace, as well as our economies can grow.
We've got a lot of trade with each other. We intend to keep it that way. We've got a lot of crossings of the border, and intend to make our borders more secure and facilitate legal traffic.
BUSH: We've got a lot to do. And so we charged our ministers with the task of figuring out how best to keep these relationships vibrant and strong. (Washington Post)
MI5 'helped IRA buy bomb parts in US' A FORMER British Army mole in the IRA has claimed that MI5 arranged a weapons-buying trip to America in which he obtained detonators, later used by terrorists to murder soldiers and police officers (London Times)
Air India chronology: A chronology of the Air India case. 1978 to May 1984 - Sikh leaders in India and abroad start talking about separatism. They are led in England by Dr. Jagjit Singh Chouhan and in Punjab by the charismatic Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who begins to amass arms and supporters in the Golden Temple complex, Sikhism's holiest shrine, in Amritsar.
1978 - In Vancouver, suspected Air India mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar starts the militant separatist group Babbar Khalsa at the urging of Bhai Jiwan Singh, a leader of the fervently religious Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
June 29, 1983 - Parmar is arrested in Germany on an Interpol warrant saying he is wanted for murder in India in 1981. With assistance from two friends in Canada, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Surjan Singh Gill, he wins his release in July 1984. (Canada.com)
Protest as Harassment: The new crime bill permits the police to stop almost any demonstration. It was the greatest legal victory against corporate power in living memory. Last week, two penniless activists, Dave Morris and Helen Steel, persuaded the European Court of Human Rights that Britain’s libel laws, under which they had been sued by McDonald’s, had denied them their right of free speech. The law will probably have to be changed, depriving the rich and powerful of their most effective means of stifling public protest. So why aren’t they hopping mad about it? The company which sued Dave and Helen will say only that “the world has moved on … and so has McDonald’s.”(1) The Confederation of British Industry, so quick to denounce the legal rulings it doesn’t like, hasn’t uttered a word.
They don’t care, and they don’t need to. You can see why by reading the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which has now passed through the Commons for the third time. What civil law once gave them, criminal law now offers instead.
There has been a great deal of disquiet about this bill, but not because of its effects on protest. The public complaints have concentrated on the clause banning “hatred against persons on religious grounds”.(2) This is important, but not nearly as important as the parts almost everyone has missed. Once this bill becomes law, it could be used to ban people from handing out leaflets to customers entering McDonald’s, whether their contents are defamatory or not. (London Guardian)
NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe Synopsis of the Book - As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security”
Viewing cable 05OTTAWA268, PLACING A NEW NORTH AMERICAN INITIATIVE IN ITS ECONOMIC POLICY CONTEXT An incremental and pragmatic package of tasks
for a new North American Initiative (NAI) will likely gain
the most support among Canadian policymakers. Our research
leads us to conclude that such a package should tackle both
"security" and "prosperity" goals. This fits the
recommendations of Canadian economists who have assessed the
options for continental integration. While in principle
many of them support more ambitious integration goals, like
a customs union/single market and/or single currency, most
believe the incremental approach is most appropriate at this
time, and all agree that it helps pave the way to these
goals if and when North Americans choose to pursue them. (WikiLeaks)
Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil Somewhere in the shadows of the White House and the Capitol this week, a small group of super-secret commandos stood ready with state-of-the-art weaponry to swing into action to protect the presidency, a task that has never been fully revealed before (New York Times)
France Finds No Evidence of Hijack Plot U.S. intelligence officials told their French counterparts that members of the al-Qaida terrorist network would try to board the planes over Christmas - None of the passengers on the canceled flights, including those questioned at the airport, were known to French intelligence authorities or found to have links with Islamic extremist groups, the official said. (Associated Press)
NATO’s secret armies linked to terrorism? According to a document compiled by the Italian military secret service in 1959, the secret armies had a two-fold strategic purpose: firstly, to operate as a so-called “stay-behind” group in the case of a Soviet invasion and to carry out a guerrilla war in occupied territories; secondly, to carry out domestic operations in case of “emergency situations”. (ISN Security Watch)
Covert X-rays tested as security tool Department of Homeland Security spokesman Donald W. Tighe said in a statement: ''We look forward to working with the FDA and other federal, state, and local partners in evaluating what protective measures are put in place and what technologies are used, balancing security and privacy with public health." (Boston Globe)
Area man stirs debate on WTC collapse South Bend firm's lab director fired after questioning federal probe - Underwriters Laboratories Inc., according to Ryan, "was the company that certified the steel components used in the construction of the WTC buildings." Ryan wrote that last year, while "requesting information," UL's chief executive officer and fire protection business manager disagreed about key issues surrounding the collapse, "except for one thing -- that the samples we certified met all requirements." UL vehemently denied last week that it ever certified the materials. (South Bend Tribune)
'Naked' scanner deployed at Heathrow In the US, officials are refusing to deploy the device until it can be further refined to protect passengers’ modesty. The new scanner is on trial until the end of the year at Heathrow. If the trial goes well, it could be rolled out across all British airports. (Daily Times)
'See through clothes' scanner gets outing at Heathrow Oh, that is a gun in your pocket... - "QinetiQ conducted a trial of a prototype imager at Gatwick airport in 2002, with favourable response from both passengers and operating staff" - At airports specifically, naked scanners look very much like a solution in search of a problem, and just about the only exhibit trotted out in their favour is 'shoe-bomber Richard Reid', whose cunning plan the Rapiscan 1000 would allegedly have detected. (The Register)
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