Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Irak oil output exceeds Insane era

Irak oil production was higher this year than since before Sodamn Insane took power. The problem: getting it out of the country
Iraki oil fields pumped 3.6 million barrels of crude a day on average in February, 50% more than four years ago. That beat—if only for a month—the country's annual-output record, 3.5 million barrels a day, in 1979 during Irak's petroleum heyday
Companies including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil Corp. have invested billions of dollars to revive oil fields battered by decades of war, sanctions and neglect. But Irak's government has been slow to modernize the infrastructure to move that oil from wells to tankers
With such ancient pipes and paltry storage, even minor disruptions—routine pump maintenance, say, or a windy day in the Persian Gulf—can force companies to shut down wells. Violent attacks on infrastructure and personnel are still frequent. And bureaucracy and corruption have slowed projects aimed at easing bottlenecks
Underscoring the industry's fits and starts, Iraki production fell last month by some 340,000 barrels a day, a decline of more than 9% from the February high, according to the International Energy Agency. An attack on an oil-export pipeline in northern Irak was to blame
Iraki officials often order foreign operators to cut output from some of the country's biggest fields ahead of bad weather or amid equipment breakdowns, Western executives working in Irak say. "They don't have the storage," says Diane Munro, an oil-market analyst at the IEA. "They have problems at the pumping stations"

Foreign oil workers checked valves at the opening ceremony for the Majnoon oil field east of Basra province in southern Irak last October

Media morons get excited by Soddies changing car tyres

YT link here. News report here.

Mixed reaction to anti-war graffiti at Corrimal

A Banksy-esque, Anzac-themed graffiti piece has been sprayed on the wall of Corrimal Surf Life Saving Club, ahead of the military commemoration on Friday
A near-life size mural of a soldier standing over a wreath of flowers, next to a lone cross on a hill and the stencilled words “Anzac Day, War = No Winner,” was discovered on Tuesday on the surf club’s south-eastern wall
Tarrawanna resident John Schyf, who was taking his grandchildren for a bike ride when he saw the mural, said he was not happy with the graffiti
“It is not really appropriate, it’s not the best way to remember those soldiers,” Mr Schyf said
“I think some people could take offence”
President of Corrimal RSL’s sub-branch John Simpson was not quite so concerned
Ahead of Anzac Day this Friday, he said that the piece did not worry him

John Schyf of Tarrawanna with visiting grandsons Grady and Flynn Krupa look at the graffiti
News report here.

On the job in Afghanistan

An Afghan day labourer pushes his wheelbarrow at a factory on the outskirts of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province

People smuggling conference wraps up in Jakarta

YT link here.

Greste trial proceedings approach peak farce

In the game of high-stakes absurdity that Egypt is playing in the trial of three al-Gorejizya journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, Tuesday’s proceedings must surely represent 'peak farce'
Distorted audio recordings even Judge Mahound Nagy Shehata could not decipher, footage and photographs taken well before the Canadian-Egyptian bureau chief, Mahound Fahmy, was working at al-Gorejizya English and crucial evidence viewed without the presence of defence lawyers were just some of the low points of the sixth day of the trial
Footage of a story from Greste, which featured an interview with a sheep farmer, prompted a sarcastic response from one of the lawyers, who asked the judge: “Can we put the sheep to one side and bring forward what is relevant to the case? This is a waste of time”
But as each day unfolds, there is little indication of exactly what evidence the prosecution has that is relevant to the case
On April 10 the court was treated to holiday snaps of Greste’s parents Lois and Juris travelling through Europe, footage of a press conference from Kenya and Greste’s award-winning BBC documentary on Zoomalia
On Tuesday, the three defendants, Greste, Fahmy and their Egyptian producer Baher Mahound watched with quiet dismay that at times built to open anger as the prosecution played clip after clip that were utterly unremarkable in their journalistic integrity
From the 21 young women, some just 15 years old, who were sentenced by an Egyptian court to 11 years in prison for protesting, to the demonstrations that grew across the country following the ouster of the Arselifter Brotherhood-backed president Mahound Mursi, they were all stories most correspondents had covered without a second thought
They were, after all, the news of the day
At one point the court watched a brief clip of the horrific scenes in the makeshift morgue in al-Iman moske in Nasr City the day after Egyptian security forces “cleared” the Brotherhood protest sites at Rabaa al-Adawiya moske and al-Nahda Square

Al-Gorejizya English correspondent Peter Greste appears in a defendant's cage in the police institute court house along with several other defendants during the widely criticised trial in Cairo
News report here.

Marine Le Pen on moskes in France and deportation

YT link here.

Salt lagoons in Crimea

The shallow Sivash lagoons in Crimea. When water levels recede in summer, numerous pinkish-white salt pans are exposed, covering dozens of square km in the region

The pink color is the result of microalgae that thrive in salty conditions and produce high levels of beta-carotene, a reddish pigment that protects it from the region's intense sunlight. The salt is collected by traders and exported to Russia, the European Union, and to Japan, where it is prized for its purported value in fighting the effects of radiation

Oman trying to establish good relations with black Africans

Last September a conspicuous group of visitors mingled with tourists in Zanzibar. A small horde of Omani diplomats, ministers and academics came for a three-day symposium, ostensibly on the history of pislam in east Africa. Most of the visitors, many from Sultan Kaboos University, focused on the strength of Omani influences in Zanzibari culture and civic institutions
In years past, this might have been an uncomfortable subject for Omanis and Zanzibaris. Although Oman played a major role in the development of east African pislam, its citizens also acted as colonists and slavers. This led to ethnic violence in 1964 and decades of mutual silence, even after other Gulf countries began exploring African trade deals and investments
That seems to be changing now. In November, the sultanate donated $1.8m to America’s National Museum of African Art to promote Oman’s ties to the region. In December the sultanate provided Tanzania with over $100,000 in equipment and training for the preservation of historical data, including that on the period of Omani rule
According to Nathaniel Mathews, a PhD student at Northwestern University in Illinois studying migration between Oman and the Swahili coast, this shift represents a change in Omani attitudes. Omani newspapers have recently started making more blatant and proud references to the country's imperial past, not least since returnees from Swahili families are rising in political and cultural circles. But it is also a recognition of the sultanate’s cultural diversity and historical ties with the African coast as a source of strength and possible future benefit

Sultan Kaboos bin Said (turban) with a visitor from Zanzibar

Tanzanians too are eyeing opportunities. Omani investors have promised to inject $100m into Tanzania’s pitiful national airline, hoping to revive direct flights to Muscat, the Omani capital. The Oman Oil Company has established its first regional representative office in Tanzania, as Oman Energy Limited
Gulf countries have found investments in Africa tricky. East Africa is an especially hard market to crack and Oman still has a long way to go
News report here.

Arselifter Brotherhood forming political party in US

YT link here.

CAIR-CA sponsors Arselifter Day at the Capitol

YT link here.

Repulsive revert killed in Syria

A ‘German’ former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria has been killed in a suicide bombing carried out by rival fighters, jihadist sources and a monitor said Tuesday
Denis Mamadou Cuspert, who rapped under the name Deso Dogg but took on the name Abu Talha al-Almani in Syria, was reported to have been killed in a suicide attack Sunday in an eastern province
He was a member of the pislamic State of Irak and the Levant (ISIL) and was reportedly killed in a double suicide bombing carried out by Al-Nusra Front, a rival jihadist group that is al-kaeda's Syria affiliate
Messages posted on jihadist Internet forums announced his death
"The pislamic nation is bleeding with the news of the martyrdom of the jihadist fighter, brother Abu Talha al-Almani. May he be accepted by allah," one message read
"His death is the result of a suicide bombing carried out by the traitorous soldiers of [Nusra chief Abu Mahound al-] Jolani against a house in which a number of ISIL brothers were staying," it added
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, also reported the suicide attack carried out on Sunday

"Two members of Al-Nusra Front blew themselves up the day before yesterday, killing 16 ISIL fighters," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP
News report here. Earlier post on this evil, nauseating person here.

Hair raising dance in Afghanistan

Afghan men perform a traditional "attan" dance during a gathering celebrating the peaceful elections in Kabul

Michael Savage takes prank call from an arselifter

YT link here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Australians gather in Turkey ahead of Anzac Day

It was a simple matter to find Michael Kenneady and Yvonne Simpson among the crowds of wanderers from a dozen countries: you simply listened out for their accents
Australian and New Zealand voices are beginning to invade the busy late-night avenue known to young travellers across the world as Backpacker Street, pistanbul
The strip of bars, restaurants and hostels in the old city of Sultanahmet is the annual gathering point for young antipodean travellers heading to the Anzac Day ceremonies six hours south of pistanbul on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and scores of them began arriving during the weekend - the vanguard of thousands who will arrive this week
Kenneady and Simpson had beaten most of the crowds to their destination, and were heading in the opposite direction to most other travellers
"We wanted to see Gallipoli while it was still a bit quiet," Kenneady, 29, said
"So we went there for a day and were able to walk around and take in everything without having to deal with crowds
"You know there was a war there, but what strikes you is how beautiful the place is. It's quite surreal
"There is a similar feel to areas along the Great Ocean Road"
Kenneady knows a bit about the Great Ocean Road - he grew up in the tiny bush village of Gerangamete in Victoria's Otways
But like the vast majority of young Australians and New Zealanders who visit Gallipoli around Anzac Day, he and Ms Simpson live and work these days in England - Kenneady is based in Manchester and Simpson lives and works in London

Young Aussies and Kiwis gather on Backpacker Street, pistanbul before heading to Galipolli
News article here.

US probes chemical attacks in Syria

YT link here.

Being a sharmuta in Gaza (3)

A sharmuta walks by an anti-domestic violence mural outside al-Shifa Hospital

According to a 2012 study, some 37% of married sharmutas in Faleswine have been subjected to domestic violence by their husbands

Foreign exchange student arrested for sexual assault

Officials arrested a Soddy foreign exchange student at Dulles International Airport. He was wanted for a sexual assault incident
20-year-old, Hamad Alsuwat who is in the United States on a student visa was scheduled to board a flight to Soddy Barbaria when he was arrested
The incident happened on April 19 when officials were responding to a domestic disturbance at a home. Investigation revealed that Alsuwat, who lived at the home had sexually assaulted a 17- year-old female resident
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement, "CBP remains ever vigilant in intercepting those travelers that our laws identify as needing further scrutiny"
CBP placed an immigration detainer on Alsuwat
Alsuwat is charged with one count object sexual penetration

Hamad Mastour Alsuwat
News reports here, here, here and here.

Attacks in Baghdad's shitie districts kill 13 people

YT link here.

Judges recuse themselves from pislamic Center lawsuit

All of Rutherford County’s Circuit Court judges recused themselves from hearing a lawsuit challenging pislamic Center of Murfreesboro’s plan to expand its cemetery
The cemetery is on 15 acres behind the pislamic Center on Veals Road. The case cannot go forward until a judge is assigned
“My guess is that a senior judge might be appointed by the Administrative Office of the Courts,’’ said John Green, a Murfreesboro attorney representing the center
Chancellor Robert Corlew III decided to recuse himself at the request of Green. Since then, Circuit Court judges Mark Rogers, Keith Siskin, David Bragg and Royce Taylor also recused themselves
Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the county and the pislamic Center. They argue that the board of zoning appeals initially required the pislamic Center to present new studies showing whether:
• The soil could handle burials without caskets and vaults without contaminating ground water
• Traffic demands would require that turn lanes be built at the entrance to the center on Veals Road or the nearby intersection of Veals and Bradyville Pike

Chancellor Robert Corlew III recused himself from hearing the lawsuit challenging the pislamic Center of Murfreesboro cemetery approval
News report here.