Saturday, November 29, 2008
This is an event without a precedent and the main goal is rescuing the hostage. The terrorists are not going anywhere. The highest priority is to prevent more bloodshed whether it is from the hostages or the security apparatus people. There is no need to rush.
They could have let the three terrorists holding out in the Taj locked up in the room and just wait for two weeks until they starve to death.
With the number of hostages taken, it is an evidence of the competence of the commandos that the number of killed hostages are not higher. Overall, well done guys.
and a GPS log... on a Garmin device. (Does anyone know how to interpret the code on the screen?)
These were found by the Coast Guard on a boat in Bombay Harbour. The crew were found executed, their hands tied behind their backs.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Has anything like this ever happened before? In terms of duration, how long a group of terrorists fought against a government for in the middle of frigging enormous major world city?
I'm talking terrorist in today's context btw - cells of these obscurely named stateless mujahideen fighting for a concept, rather than people like the Kosovo Liberation Army or Chechen seperatists who have been called terrorists in the past.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
After the current Bombay insanity concludes, I think ala 9/11, you're going to see major shifts in policy and action. To me personally, this is a watershed much like what 9/11 was for the US.
Modasa, Gujarat, Sep 29 2008: One killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb kept on a motorcycle went off near a mosque.
New Delhi, Sep 27, 2008: Three people killed after a crude bomb was thrown in a busy market in Mehrauli.
New Delhi, Sep 13, 2008: 26 people killed in six blasts across the city.
Ahmedabad, July 26, 2008: 57 people killed after 20-odd synchronised bombs went off within less than two hours.
Bangalore, July 25, 2008: One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.
Jaipur, May 13, 2008: 68 people killed in serial bombings.
Hyderabad, Aug 25, 2007: 42 people killed in two blasts, at a popular eatery and a public park.
Samjhauta Express, Feb 19, 2007: 66 people killed after two firebombs went off on the India-Pakistan friendship train.
Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 8, 2006: 40 people killed in two blasts.
Mumbai, July 11, 2006: 209 people killed in seven blasts on suburban trains and stations.
Varanasi, March 7, 2006: 21 people killed in three blasts including one at a temple and another at a railway station.
New Delhi, Oct 29, 2005: 61 people killed in three blasts on the eve of Diwali.
Mumbai, Aug 25, 2003: 46 people killed in two blasts including one near the Gateway of India.
Gandhinagar, Sep 24, 2002: 34 people killed in the attack on the Akshardham temple.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Hostage situations are still on going.
5 bombs exploded inside the Taj hotel. Fire is already put out.
"Terror struck the country's financial capital late on Wednesday night as coordinate serial explosions and indiscriminate firing rocked
eight areas across Mumbai including the crowded CST railway station, two five star hotels--Oberoi and Taj-- leaving 16 persons dead and 50 injured" (Time of India)
At least 80 people reported killed and 250 wounded as gunmen target luxury hotels, train station in India's financial center.
- the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus;
- the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway
- the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point
- the domestic airport at Santa Cruz;
- the Cama and GT hospitals near CST
- the Metro Adlabs multiplex
- Mazgaon Dockyard
Hemant Karkare, chief of the police anti-terrorist squad in Mumbai was killed.
jerrymannel: #mumbai - Taj dome on fire...Huge smoke and fire...sparks flying around .. 2 minutes ago
fagunbhavsar: #mumbai man, Taj is now on fire - devastating fire!! 2 minutes ago
Group Capt. Chokchai Saranon, a control tower official, said Wednesday that 50 protesters demanded to enter the control tower at Suvarnabhumi Airport but only three were allowed up by security officials." (TIME)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The Federal Reserve said that it would buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-backed assets from the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agency would also buy up to $100 billion in debt directly from the companies and up to $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities." (NY Times)
Monday, November 24, 2008
The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $2.8 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the only plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis." (Bloomberg)
As part of the plan, Treasury and the FDIC will guarantee against the "possibility of unusually large losses" on up to $306 billion of risky loans and securities backed by commercial and residential mortgages" (HP)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"Five armored vehicles loaded with al-Shabab fighters arrived in the central Somali coastal town of Harardhere this weekend, near where pirates are holding the massive oil tanker Sirius Star, said Ahmed Mohamed, a resident of the town.
The fighters told residents they would battle the pirates because the tanker, which is loaded with 2 million barrels of oil, is owned by a Muslim country and should not have been taken, Mohamed said.
Another resident, Hassan Nor, suggested that the al-Shabab fighters' motive was to share in the multimillion-dollar ransom the pirates have demanded from the supertanker's owner."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
November 20 (Bloomberg) - Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.
The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said.
"You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything," said Ali.
The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities. The PRBS's are backed by the cash flows from future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden. Moody's and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS's....
In other news, Goldman Sachs has agreed to a merger with Citigroup - the new entity will be known as Sachs and the Citi....
At the opening of the Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Bloomberg met with Sol Kerzner (CEO of the Kerzner Group who financed 50% of the project as well as the launch. Here's what he had to say:
``We're very aware of the fact that the economy is not great,'' Kerzner, 73, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Nov. 18. ``Nevertheless, compare that to the $1.5 billion investment and the importance of the return and the coverage that one needs to achieve it, one believes we've built something that's quite unique, on a grand scale, and that deserves and will grab the attention of world media, that's the best way of marketing and launching the product.''
Perhaps more disturbingly however, is the standpoint of Nakheel on this and their spending. The article continues:
Nakheel is among Dubai state-owned ``highly leveraged companies'' that need capital restructuring, Citigroup Inc. said in a Nov. 18 report. The ``Dubai dream'' may be over as lower oil prices will leave smaller fiscal surpluses among its crude- exporting neighbors to invest in the emirate, the report said.
Sultan bin Sulayem, Nakheel's chairman, declined to discuss the weakening of the real-estate market, responding only, ``I don't think it will get worse.''
He doesn't think it'll get worse... For those who don't live in Dubai, let me put things in perspective. There are a lot of rumours going around Dubai on the number of people that are being fired on a daily basis in companies' attempts to cut costs. Losing jobs, losing livelihoods. People who can no longer afford the roof over their heads, the education of the children and will have to most probably leave the country and go somewhere else to seek a life that is much below mediocre just to be able to make ends meet. Among the companies that are downsizing is the company that financed 50% of the 1.5 billion dollar project. Now I don't see anything wrong with that, the project is something that started way before the crisis and needed completion. What I don't understand is when in the past two months it is rumoured that you've fired over 1000 employees because you can't afford to pay their salaries anymore, why do you go and spend OVER 10 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!! to finance half of the needlessly extravagant yet very impressive launch ceremony?
The average salary of a Dubai employee excluding labour is $2500 / month. Multiply that by 12 and it's $28,000 per year. So at 10 Million dollars, the company could have afforded to keep over 350 of those that got fired covered for an entire YEAR!!!!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
OK, Patron Saint:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
stumble and fall, humble local banks are
doing just fine, thank you. Their surprising
resilience holds a key lesson for
twenty-first-century global finance." (WashingtonMonthly)
The second-largest U.S. bank by assets has been reeling on concerns that mounting losses from credit cards, mortgages and toxic debt could overwhelm its efforts to slash costs and add deposits. Last month, Wells Fargo & Co dealt a blow by derailing Citigroup's bid to buy Wachovia Corp.
Citigroup shares closed down $1.96 at $6.40 on the New York Stock Exchange and have fallen 33 percent this week as some investors concluded that Chief Executive Vikram Pandit's plan to shed 52,000 jobs and cut expenses by one-fifth won't restore the bank to health." (Reuters)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
On the same day the Indian Navy engaged the pirates, a cargo ship registered in Hong Kong and loaded with 36,000 tons of wheat was seized in the Gulf of Aden, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The vessel, with 25 crew aboard, was headed for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
That hijacking was followed by a report Wednesday, still to be confirmed by Greek authorities, that a Greek bulk carrier had also been seized in the Gulf of Aden. A regional maritime group based in Mombasa, Kenya, told Reuters 23 to 25 crew were aboard that ship. The Associated Press also reported that a Thai fishing boat with 16 crew members had been seized off the coast of Somalia on Tuesday.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"Pirates captured a Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with more than $100 million worth of crude oil off the coast of Kenya, seizing the largest ship ever hijacked, United States Navy officials said Monday." (NY Times)
Iraq's Cabinet voted 27-1 in favor of the agreement Sunday after nearly a year of negotiations with the Bush administration. At the Iraqis' insistence, the final draft eliminated language that would have allowed some U.S. troops to stay behind as advisers or in the event that security deteriorated." (USA Today)
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.” (Timesonline)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Just recently booked another leg of a travel adventure in Cairns and NW Aus. From what I've been reading I know this is prime time wet season, it will be hot and humid, hopefully somewhat less tourist-filled(at least in the NW), and the waters will have those little jellyfish.
I(female) will be traveling with 1(for sure) possibly 2 other males; we are all in our mid/late twenties. We are more pub than club folks. More interested in seeing the coast/nature than lounging with people in their natural state (nude beaches). We don't need luxury and are not averse to camping. Has anyone experienced camping around this time? Thoughts on weather, campsites, bugs and critters, etc? It seems the way to go is to rent a car for the time we're in Broome.
I would like to get some suggestions on places to stay and things to do (the usual) mainly in Broome, we'll even be there for new year's eve. We're maintaining that where the bush meets the sea has gotta be more wild than anything we could do in the city, but that is only our biased point of view. As you can see from the itinerary below we also have 2 overnight layovers in Darwin and will be spending a chunk of time in Cairns so suggestions would be great there as well.
-Arrive Darwin (stay overnight)
-Arrive in Broome
-Arrive Darwin (stay overnight)
"Ram Bahadur Bamjan, believed to be the reincarnation of Buddha, looks on as devotees come to seek his blessings, in Nijgadh town, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Katmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. Bamjan, 18, has re-emerged from the jungle in southern Nepal, attracting thousands of devotees, officials said Tuesday. After retreating into the jungle for more than a year, he re-emerged Monday. " (AP)
I've tried googlemaps "my maps" thing and though I can add lines and dots, labels must be clicked on to be seen it seems, and I would like just a simple visual on a map with Destination 1
I know I could do something like take a map and edit in in Photoshop, Paint, Word, etc. then upload it to Picasa or something, but I feel like there should be some sort of online thing that does what I'm looking for already. Suggestions? Oh, and I don't want to have to create a new account to create something or force people to create a new account to view my beautiful map/journey/itinerary/thing either.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Any Indian fan will now tell you that the Indo-Pak rivalry stands defunct. The clear superiority emerging in the former's level of cricket (no guesses which side of the border I'm at!) coupled with the sorry state of affairs of the Pakistani board pretty have laid the yesteryears mother of all battles' to rest..
This last decade has seen the emergence of a new rivalry, one that has all the thrills, spills, below the belt and above the belt anecdotes one can imagine from fierce competitors. It feels almost funny to use the word fierce with an Indian cricketing contingent but thanks to certain outstanding and outspoken leaders, the country now heralds a new set of heroes, ones that clearly let the combination of results on field marry smart-assed jibes off it. Can I be more proud ? (tongue in cheek here)
This series saw the retirement of 2 phenomenons of Indian sport. One a tireless and gutsy hero who defied the laws of conventional spin bowling and rose to greatness with an unmatched ability to deliver. The other, a revolutionary and charismatic artisan of the sport and its' vagueries, deftly steering India into a new dawn. One which recognized young talent, nurtured skill and backed its instinct to deliver counter punches to the deafening and unending mood swings of the idiotic Indian media, the foolish and knowledge starved indian cricket 'expert' and the growing list of cricketing 'pundits'....the lot of which probably played 5 one-day internationals between them and scored an equivalent number of runs/number of wickets.
I bow to Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly. You will be the heroes we speak of with pride and honor and hopefully smile to your stories in the commentary box years down the line. Hold your head up high in this, your last series as
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
"John Key, the boy trader of Wall St, was last night tasked with trading New Zealand out of its direst economic crisis for many years.
He is preparing to build a Government of all colours, as he reaches across the political divide to work with not just Act and United Future, but also the Maori Party and the Greens.
New Zealand voted for a change of direction, and a change of generation.
Helen Clark, acknowledged by friends and foes alike as one of the country's strongest-ever leaders, last night announced her resignation as leader of the Labour Party.
After nine years as Prime Minister and 15 years as leader of her party, her defeat had seemed inevitable in the final days".
Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm." (NY Times)
There you go. Russia was telling the truth. Man,
Friday, November 07, 2008
At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected what they initially thought was a computer virus—a case of "phishing," a form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or credit-card numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning: "You have a problem way bigger than what you understand," an agent told Obama's team. "You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system."
Talk about a good way to put that you are in deep s..t. Now no the shopping end:
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported ... One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband ... An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,"
That's got to hurt!! Looking forward to read more on the campaigns in Newsweek's Special Election Project "How He Did It, 2008".
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Single guys/gals: it's time to travel! Act quickly before the US inevitably commits another hegemonic mistake and we're hated again;)
"VIENNA, Austria — She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.
It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.
Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop."
Suddenly, It May Be Cool To Be American Again
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"I truly hope that a new era is in fornt of us: an era of changes, democracy, peace, safety. I personally think that Mr. Barak Obama might be the right person to lead the world further to a new generation of achievers. Good luck Mr. President.
Cheers and peace!" (Cisco) posting from Italy
"this is where i was when centuries of uncomprehensible hate and prejudice took a backseat to peace and fairness and justice. this is where i was when the united states behaved in a way that made me proud to call myself an american. this is where i was when barack obama became president of the united states of america." (Sydneey) posting from Colombia
"I have never been so proud to be an American, to live in the greatest city, the greatest country on Earth. I am so proud to see my country wake up and take a stand for what they believe in, to make their opinions heard. I am proud of my country for proving that we can see past racial barriers that once blinded us. I am proud of my generation for tearing down the stereotypes that called our age demographic apathetic and uninvolved with politics. I am proud that we did not give up faith in the strength and potential that we have as a country."(Sarah) from somewhere in the Mid West
"Going to Grant Park last night was amazing for several reasons. I supported the candidate, had contributed towards the campaign, even did some last minute volunteering that morning and switched my night classes to a day class with another instructor. It was not only a historic election, but a historic night in Chicago. " (Roland) from Chicago
"As a Chicagoan, let me just say:
this is a proud, proud
PROUD" (Michele) from somewhere in North America
"That brings a tearful smile into my face...
As part of this global world, where everything is interlinked, I am all up for the ones who inspire you to become a better individual, who inspire you to wake up in the morning, look around, see all the negativity flowing, and simply smile... Believing that you have the power to change it all. And it will happen." (Anaelisa) from Dubai?
"The four of us (my roommates and I) were there as our fellow students marched, ran, and skipped the 5 or 6 blocks to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to celebrate in front of the future home of the next American President, Barack Obama. It is something indescribable; to be surrounded by a sea of people, especially young people, cheering and chanting for our confidence in the future. Not even the rain could deter us. To share a moment like this, in a place so symbolic, with so many people... that is the kind of memory that grows old with you." (Amanda) from DC
"Just got back from Grant Park in Chicago, where the Obama rally was being held. It was a pretty incredible night. The park was packed with hundreds of thousands of people. Most were quite young, and their sense of optimism and engagement was palpable. And I saw some elderly African Americans for whom their disbelief that they've lived to see the day when an African American was elected president was matched only by the sense that this was simply a part of their destiny. Either way, it was quite an amazing moment. Although while the verdict is in, the trial has only just begun." (Brodie) posting from Chicago
"It's strange, for someone of my generation, who has voted in the past three elections, to have the candidate you voted for come out as the victor. The reign of any one party for an extended period of time is dangerous. I'm glad the US came to its collective senses. And so overwhelmed that I could be part of such an historic election." (Kleinsies) posting from? beats me
"Tonight, I was lucky enough to witness something big. Something historic." (Nisha) posting from somewhere in Illinois
"Peace, and sweet rememberance of this Moment."(Arthur)
3. Florida. (right)
4. Colorado. (right)
5. Missouri. (too close to call)
6. North Carolina. (too close to call)
7. Ohio. (right)
8. Virginia. (right)
9. Iowa (right)
America has not shifted greatly to the left. Mr Obama, especially with his big Democratic majority in Congress, will have to manage expectations carefully. Democrats will want big pushes to the left. But Mr Obama knows that Bill Clinton lost his congressional majority after two years because he overreached in that direction.
But all that is to come. On Tuesday night celebrations were expected in Chicago, and elsewhere, as America prepared to welcome the first black president-elect of a country born with the ugly birthmark of slavery. It is a remarkable, and historic, achievement." (The Economist)
CNN calls Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States.
President Elect Obama
Man, this is history.
Well, the commercial is over and there was no projection. Wolfie lied.
There is no surprises so far in terms of actual results.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
i'm looking into a trip to cairo from around dec 25 to around jan 1/2. right now i have no-one to travel with, as my friends/acquaintances are all going off to different locales for the holidays (india, chile, lebanon...)
would any nomads be up for travelling around egypt for a week, on the cheap? or are there nomads in cairo/alexandria who will be around for that week and up for some local adventures? or do you know anyone else looking for a travel buddy?
please do let me know. sim pho nat ic at gmail dot com.
"In 1861, the First Battle of Manassas – also widely known as the First Battle of Bull Run – the first major land battle of the American Civil War, was fought near here." (Wikipedia)
Popular vote simply indicates the total votes a candidate gets. So whoever gets more vote from all the states combined wins it.
Winning a popular vote won't make you a President. Just ask Al Gore in 2000 where he won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote.
Karl Rove is the architect of GWB election and reelection in 2000 and 2004. He's an evil genius in bringing an incurious president to power but he screwed up anything else.
The map indicates that Obama will win 338 electoral map and McCain 538.
UPDATE (Tom G) - Cease panicked meltdown, people. Put the shadows back into the boxes. Theres a pretty crucial typo in the post - the map actually shows Obama winning 338 and McCain getting 200. See this story in the Washington Post.
Monday, November 03, 2008
He'll win all Kerry States and takes:
And I'll chug a can of cheap ass terrible beer for every single missed prediction.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Well, KCRW is a radio station in Santa Monica, CA and seeks out eclectic gems in the music world. Up-coming no names and mainstream favorites are featured in this regular Tuned In session (you can subscribe to this group as well in the YouTube side bar section).