Aug 31

Related article: De Telegraaf: “Attack on Iran expected”:

“AMSTERDAM – The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has conducted an ultrasecret operation in Iran with the purpose of infiltrating and sabotaging the weapons industry in the islamic republic.”

“The operation, deemed extremely succesfull, has recently been cancelled because of an imminent aerial attack on Iran. Targets include sites that are connected to the Dutch spying.”

So the attack is already on its way and this is just another excuse to justify it:
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Russian S-30 missiles

US intelligence says escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow could prompt Russia to sell the sophisticated S-300 system to Iran.

“If Tehran obtained the S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking for tackling Iran. That could be a catalyst for Israeli air attacks before it is operational,” said Dan Goure, a long-time Pentagon advisor.

“This is a system that scares every Western air force,” he said.

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Aug 31

When the summer holidays end tomorrow, the parents of 1,400 pupils at the Badabher Government Girls’ School will face a difficult choice.

Should they let their daughters go back to lessons in the rubble of their school, blown up by the Taliban in the middle of the night, or should they keep them safe at home?

Hashim, the caretaker who was held at gunpoint by masked gunmen, was warned that they would be back if the school is rebuilt. He fears that next time they could blow it up with pupils inside.

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Aug 31

Lehman Brothers is planning to axe up to 1,500 more jobs, as part of its desperate struggle to reduce costs, raise money and rebuild its battered balance sheet.

The job losses, which are still being planned by executives at the company’s New York head office, are expected to be spread among its 26,000-strong global workforce, including at its European headquarters in London, where it employs more than 4,500 people.

Rumours of the cuts began circulating internally at Lehman late on Thursday, adding to the gloom at the company, which is engaged in a fire sale of assets in order to replace billions of dollars lost on mortgage investments since the credit crisis began.

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Aug 31

· Up to 34% rise as last two big suppliers get into line
· Government urged to act as more face fuel poverty


Photograph: Steve Taylor/Getty Images

This summer’s misery for energy consumers reached a climax yesterday when the last two of the big six suppliers raised prices for millions of household customers.

ScottishPower, which has just over 5 million customers, said gas bills would rise by 34% from the beginning of next month, and electricity by 9%. Npower said it was putting up gas prices by 26% and electricity by 14% for its 6.6 million customers with immediate effect.

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Aug 31

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — Hurricane Gustav threatens to hurt U.S. oil and natural-gas production and refining more severely than hurricanes Katrina and Rita did three years ago.

Gustav, downgraded to a Category 3 storm by the National Hurricane Center in Miami this morning, may strengthen to Category 4 later today and will make landfall as a “major” hurricane. The storm shut three-quarters of oil output in the region and refineries operated by Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. There will be a special trading session today at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“This storm will prove to be a worst-case scenario for the production region,” Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist for Planalytics.com, said yesterday in an e-mailed message. “This storm will be more dangerous than Katrina.”

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Aug 31

Security for Hurricane Gustav

Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.
Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

Law Enforcement Officers (all criteria must apply)

1. Current sworn [may be full time, part time or reserve]
2. With arrest powers
3. Armed status (must indicate Armed and/or Semi Auto. Revolver only not accepted) expiration must be greater than 60 days out
4. Departmental credentials (not just a badge)

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Aug 31

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain’s choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

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Aug 31

AP changed the title to “New Orleans residents get out of Gustav’s way”
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(AFP/Matthew Hinton)

NEW ORLEANS – As dawn broke Sunday over a city under siege, bumper-to-bumper traffic was reported in nearly every direction as residents heeded orders to flee an only partially rebuilt New Orleans. Police and National Guard troops were on the streets, preparing to patrol evacuated neighborhoods. And officials nervously watched the track of Hurricane Gustav, a Category 3 monster that threatens a city still recovering nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina.

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Aug 31


Unions urged airline and railway workers to take “sick leave” to support the protests (Sakchai Lalit/AP)

Thailand sank deeper into political chaos yesterday as anti-government demonstrators forced the closure of airports and railway lines, stranding foreign and domestic passengers and increasing fears of yet another military coup.

In the capital, Bangkok, a crowd of 2,000 people faced a barrage of teargas as they attempted to take over police headquarters. In other parts of the country, members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaraveg shut down airports in Hat Yai and the tourist resorts of Phuket and Krabi.

“This is embarrassing in front of the world,” Mr Samak said, three days after being forced out of his office by demonstrators. “I have several tools at my disposal, but I am not using any of them because I want to keep things calm. I will not quit. If you want me out, do it by law, not by force.”

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Aug 31

Councils are recruiting residents to report anyone who drops litter, fails to recycle their rubbish properly, or who allows their dog to foul the streets.

Advertisements looking for people to sign up for the unpaid “environmental volunteer” jobs have been posted across the country in recent months.

Critics said the scheme is encouraging a Big Brother society where friends and neighbours will be encouraged to “snoop” on one another.

The recruitment drive follows news that the Home Office is granting police powers to council staff and private security guards, allowing then to hand out fines for low-scale offences and ask for personal details.

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Aug 31


Source: YouTube

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Aug 30


Men pull boat out of water as Hurricane Gustav approaches in Havana, 30 Aug 2008

U.S. forecasters say Hurricane Gustav’s winds have strengthened to nearly 230 kilometers per hour as the deadly storm closes in on western Cuba.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center has upgraded Gustav to a category 4 hurricane on the scale that measures a storm’s intensity.

At last report, the eye of Gustav was expected to pass over western Cuba later Saturday.

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Aug 30

A senior Iranian military commander has warned that any US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic would start a new world war, the state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.

“Any aggression against Iran will start a world war,” deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement carried by the agency.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Related article: De Telegraaf: “Attack on Iran expected”

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has conducted an ultrasecret operation in Iran with the purpose of infiltrating and sabotaging the weapons industry in the islamic republic.

The operation, deemed extremely succesfull, has recently been cancelled because of an imminent aerial attack on Iran. Targets include sites that are connected to the Dutch spying.

________________________________________________________________________________

Iran is under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process which lies at the core of fears about Iran’s nuclear programme as it can make nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb.

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Aug 30


Stranded people make their way through flood waters in Bihar.
REUTERS/ Krishna Murari Kishan

The humanitarian needs created by the worst floods in the eastern Indian state of Bihar for 50 years are outstripping government and agencies’ ability to cope, aid workers say.

A week ago, the Kosi river in neighbouring Nepal burst its banks and forged a new course through Bihar, submerging hundreds of villages in the five districts of Supaul, Madhepura, Sharsa, Madhubani and Bhagalpur. According to the latest estimates, over 2 million people have been displaced and a quarter of a million homes have been destroyed.

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Aug 30


Russian soldiers adjust a Russian flag in the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali (AFP)

The Kremlin moved swiftly to tighten its grip on Georgia’s breakaway regions yesterday as South Ossetia announced that it would soon become part of Russia, which will open military bases in the province under an agreement to be signed on Tuesday.

Tarzan Kokoity, the province’s Deputy Speaker of parliament, announced that South Ossetia would be absorbed into Russia soon so that its people could live in “one united Russian state” with their ethnic kin in North Ossetia.

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Aug 30

MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is capable of destroying NATO’s naval strike group currently deployed in the sea within 20 minutes, a former fleet commander said on Friday. (Russian Navy modernized – Image gallery)

Russia’s General Staff said on Tuesday there were 10 NATO ships in the Black Sea – three U.S. warships, the Polish frigate General Pulaski, the German frigate FGS Lubeck, and the Spanish guided missile frigate Admiral Juan de Borbon, as well as four Turkish vessels. Eight more warships are expected to join the group.

“Despite the apparent strength, the NATO naval group in the Black Sea is not battle-worthy,” Admiral Eduard Baltin said. “If necessary, a single missile salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group.”

“Within 20 minutes the waters would be clear,” he said, stressing that despite major reductions, the Black Sea Fleet (Image gallery) still has a formidable missile arsenal.

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Aug 30


Alistair Darling is under pressure to come up with solutions to the crisis

The UK is facing its worst economic crisis in 60 years, Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted.

He told the Guardian newspaper that the economic downturn would be more “profound and long-lasting” than most people had feared.

Using strong language, Mr Darling acknowledged voters were angry with Labour’s handling of the economy.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said Mr Darling had “let the cat out of the bag” about the state of the economy.

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Aug 30

MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s agricultural regulator said on Friday that 19 U.S. poultry companies will be banned from exporting their products to Russia as of September 1 due to sanitary concerns.

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Aug 30

Neither did his national campaign co-chairman.


Added: August 29, 2008

Source: YouTube

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Aug 30

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) — Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, Georgia, was closed by U.S. regulators today, the 10th bank to collapse this year amid a surge in soured real-estate loans stemming from the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

Integrity Bank, with $1.1 billion in assets and $974 million in deposits, was shuttered by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Regions Financial Corp., Alabama’s biggest bank, will assume all deposits from Integrity, which was run by Integrity Bancshares Inc. The failed bank’s five offices will open on Sept. 2 as branches of Regions, the FDIC said.

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Aug 30

NEW ORLEANS, Aug 29 (Reuters) – New Orleans residents paused on Friday to mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow even as they faced a possible evacuation order ahead of another potentially powerful storm.

City residents, many still recovering from the destruction of Katrina, could be ordered to evacuate early on Sunday to escape next week’s expected landfall of Hurricane Gustav, Mayor Ray Nagin said.

Gustav strengthened to a hurricane on Friday after it killed up to 77 people in the Caribbean in mudslides and floods.

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Aug 29

Deaf people could one day have their hearing restored through a groundbreaking gene therapy technique, a new study suggests.

The transfer of a specific gene is shown today by a milestone experiment to trigger the growth of new hair cells in the inner ear – the usually irreplaceable sensory cells that pick up sound vibrations and that are lost as a result of ageing, disease, certain drugs, and by excessive exposure to loud sound.

The approach, which one day could help millions of people worldwide with deafness and inner-ear disease, is made possible by a technique that is demonstrated in the journal Nature by an American team lead by Dr John Brigande of the Oregon Hearing Research Centre, Portland, who himself is profoundly hard of hearing.

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Aug 29

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has conducted an ultrasecret operation in Iran with the purpose of infiltrating and sabotaging the weapons industry in the islamic republic.

The operation, deemed extremely succesfull, has recently been cancelled because of an imminent aerial attack on Iran. Targets include sites that are connected to the Dutch spying.
(….)
One of the involved agents, that has infiltrated the Iranian industry under supervision of the AIVD, has been called back recently because the US has made the decision to attack Iran with unarmed aircrafts within weeks. Potential targets include not only nuclear facilities, but also military installations that have been mapped by the AIVD. Information from the AIVD-operation has been shared with the American Intelligence Agency CIA, according to sources.

Source: Daily Kos

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Original article: De Telegraaf

AIVD haalt spion terug wegens plan VS

Aanval op Iran verwacht


De Iraanse president Ahmadinejad.

AMSTERDAM – De Nederlandse inlichtingendienst AIVD heeft de afgelopen jaren een ultrageheime operatie laten uitvoeren in Iran met als doel infiltratie en sabotage van de wapenindustrie in de islamitische republiek.

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Aug 29

By Larry Sinclair

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I will not be traveling to Delaware, I will not be going to trial in Delaware and I have not plead guilty to any crimes in Delaware.

I was arrested in Washington, DC on June 18, 2008 by DC Police without ever being shown any warrant of any kind. DC Superior Court, Magistrate Judge A. Melendez, in cooperation with the office of US Attorney Jeff Taylor, ordered me held without ever producing any warrant, denied me medical access to prescribed medication, phone access to counsel and more.

On June 23, 2008 I was turned over to the custody of the Delaware Attorney Generals Office and driven to Wilmington, Delaware with no ID, no wallet (which the DC Police refused to allow me to carry with me upon my arrest on 6-18-08), where I was released on PR Bond. I was forced to remain in Delaware until July 4, 2008 to appear at a 7-03-08 arraignment, paid $10,500 in Attorney fees, forced to return to Delaware for a hearing on 8-11-08 (travel expenses), been accused by the Delaware Attorney General’s office of sending their employee’s threatening and disrespectful emails (completely untrue), and have been smeared by the Delaware News-Journal with completely false claims, with the same done by Politico.com’s Ben Smith; HuffingtonPost.com; The New Republic; and more.

All of this by the way in the name of Barack H. Obama and Joseph R. Biden III.

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Aug 29

Ron Paul discusses his non-interventionist policies vs. the current top two candidates interventionism on CNN.


Added:

Source: YouTube

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Aug 29


Ron Paul

Congressman Ron Paul says there is ‘no difference’ between US presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

“Their foreign policies are identical,” the Texas congressman said in an interview with CNN on Thursday. “There’s no difference.”

“They want more troops in Afghanistan. They want to send more support to Georgia to protect the oil line there. Neither one says bring home the troops from Iraq from the bases — you know the bases are going to stay there, the embassy as big as the Vatican, that’s going to remain. So their foreign policies are exactly the same,” he added.

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Aug 29


Gore Vidal

American essayist Gore Vidal says that despite the US claim that it is making the world safer by perpetuating democracy, the country never had any democracy.

In an exclusive interview with Press Tv correspondent, Vidal said that the United States has never had democracy and the word never was used in the US constitution, Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence.

Vidal also said that America has fallen into the hands of a small group of people that only care about global dominance and making money from US tax payers by waging wars.

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Aug 29

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) list of troubled banks has increased by 30 percent this quarter, and this jump is causing the FDIC and the banking community to prepare for tomorrow’s problems today.

The FDIC may have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to handle an expected wave of bank failures coming down the road, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It would not be surprising if this were to occur, according to Chris Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics. In an interview with CNBC, Whalen said the FDIC needs a backstop.

“They need about a half a trillion dollars in borrowing authority, and they need a vehicle to own these banks while we triage them and sell them.”

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Aug 29

U.S. and European banks, already burdened by losses and concerns about their financial health, face a new challenge: paying off hundreds of billions of dollars of debt coming due.

At issue are so-called floating-rate notes – securities used heavily by banks in 2006 to borrow money. A big chunk of those notes, which typically mature in two years, will come due over the next year or so, at a time when banks are struggling to raise fresh funds. That’s forcing banks to sell assets, compete heavily for deposits and issue expensive new debt.

The crunch will begin next month, when some $95 billion in floating-rate notes mature. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. analyst Alex Roever estimates that financial institutions will have to pay off at least $787 billion in floating-rate notes and other medium-term obligations before the end of 2009. That’s about 43 percent more than they had to redeem in the previous 16 months.

The problem highlights how the pain of the credit crunch, now entering its second year, won’t end soon for banks or the broader economy. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said on Tuesday that its list of “problem” banks at risk of failure had grown to 117 at the end of June, up from 90 at the end of March. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said her agency might have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures. She said the borrowing could be needed to handle short-term cash-flow pressure brought on by reimbursements to depositors after bank failures.

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Aug 29

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) — Rand Refinery Ltd., the world’s largest gold refinery, ran out of South African Krugerrands after an “unusually large” order from a buyer in Switzerland.

The order was for 5,000 ounces and it will take until Sept. 3 for inventories to be replenished, said Johan Botha, a spokesman for Rand Refinery in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. He declined to identify the buyer.

Coins and bars of precious metals are attracting investors as a haven against a sliding dollar and conflict between Russia and its neighbor Georgia. The U.S. Mint suspended sales of one- ounce “American Eagle” gold coins, Johnson Matthey Plc stopped taking orders for 100-ounce silver bars at its Salt Lake City refinery and Heraeus Holding GmbH has a delivery waiting list of as long as two weeks for orders of gold bars in Europe.

“A lot of people are worried about the dollar, they’re worried about inflation and now we have geopolitical risk with what’s happening in Russia,” said Mark O’Byrne, managing director of brokerage Gold and Silver Investments Ltd. in Dublin. O’Byrne said his company’s sales are up fourfold this year, heading for a record since its founding in 2003.

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Aug 28

(Reuters) – Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) might have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Aug 28

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Belarusian ambassador to Moscow said Thursday that Belarus would in the next day or two recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“We are allies and this says it all,” Vasily Dolgolev said of Minsk’s relations with Moscow. He added that the relevant announcement would be made by President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday or Friday.

Russia recognized the two separatist Georgian republics’ sovereignty Tuesday, but despite President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for other countries to follow suit, none has.

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Aug 28

A Washington law firm filed a lawsuit yesterday against KBR, one of the largest U.S. contractors in Iraq, alleging that the company and its Jordanian subcontractor engaged in the human trafficking of Nepali workers.

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Aug 28

Scientists transform one type of cell into another in living mice

Talk about an extreme makeover: Scientists have transformed one type of cell into another in living mice, a big step toward the goal of growing replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases.

The cell identity switch turned ordinary pancreas cells into the rarer type that churns out insulin, essential for preventing diabetes. But its implications go beyond diabetes to a host of possibilities, scientists said.

It’s the second advance in about a year that suggests that someday doctors might be able to use a patient’s own cells to treat disease or injury without turning to stem cells taken from embryos.

The work is “a major leap” in reprogramming cells from one kind to another, said one expert not involved in the research, John Gearhart of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Aug 28

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – The price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of poor people, officials said on Wednesday.

With consumer price inflation at 37 percent according to the latest central bank estimate, demand has pushed a kilogram of rat meat up to around 5,000 riel (69 pence) from 1,200 riel last year.

Spicy field rat dishes with garlic thrown in have become particularly popular at a time when beef costs 20,000 riel a kg.

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Aug 28

Russia’s strategic and space troops successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Topol (RS12M).

The missile is designed to avoid detection by anti-missile defense systems. The launch was performed at 2:36 p.m. Moscow time from Plesetsk space port, RIA Novosti reports.

The missile successfully covered the distance of almost 6,000 kilometers and hit a hypothetical target on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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Aug 28


The French foreign affairs minister, Bernard Kouchner, said sanctions were ‘being considered’. Photograph: Gerard Cerles/AFP/Getty Images

European Union leaders will discuss sanctions against Russia ahead of an emergency summit meeting, the French foreign minister said today, as western leaders increased diplomatic pressure on Moscow.

When asked what measures the west could take against Russia in the crisis over Georgia, Bernard Kouchner told a press conference in Paris: “Sanctions are being considered.”

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Aug 28

Russia said U.S. ships could only stay in the Black Sea for 21 days according to the Montreux Convention, and warned if they do not leave by then Turkey would be responsible.

Russia’s deputy military chief Anatoly Nogovitsyn said the NATO warships’ entrance to the Black Sea is a “serious threat to our security,” Hurriyet daily reported on Thursday.

He said under the Montreux Convention, signed in 1936 on the status of the Turkish Straits, the warships can only stay in the Black Sea for 21 days.

“If the NATO ships continue to stay in the Black Sea after the expiration of 21 day-period, then I would like to remind you that Turkey would be responsible,” he added.

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Aug 28

Citizenship claim at issue

Pennsylvania’s former deputy attorney general and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter Philip J. Berg has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania accusing presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of lying about his U.S. citizenship, which would make him ineligible to be president.

Mr. Berg is one of a faction of Clinton supporters who haven’t heeded the party’s call for unity, filing the suit just days before the opening of the Democratic National Convention, which will nominate Mr. Obama as the party’s presidential candidate.

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Aug 28


Russia has criticised the US for using naval ships to deliver aid to Georgia

A new Cold War between Russia and the West grew steadily closer yesterday after the Kremlin gave a warning about “direct confrontation” between American and Russian warships in the Black Sea.

Dmitri Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, declared that Russia was taking “measures of precaution” against American and Nato naval ships. “Let’s hope we do not see any direct confrontation in that,” he said.

Any attempt by countries in the West to isolate Russia would “definitely harm the economic interests of those states”, he said.

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