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Showing posts from October 11, 2012

Key Lula aides convicted in Brazil's 'mensalão' corruption trial ...

The trial is a victory for Brazil's judicial system in fighting impunity for corruption, but in the midst of municipal elections the convictions could serve as a setback for Workers Party candidates.

By James Bosworth, Guest blogger / October 11, 2012

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, The views expressed are the author's own.

Former Cabinet Chief Jose Dirceu, testifies before an ethics council of the Congress Lower House in Brasilia, Brazil, in this file photo.

Eraldo Peres/AP/File

A top Brazilian court convicted Jose Dirceu, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's chief of staff from 2003 to 2005, and Jose Genoino, former head of the Workers Party, in one of Brazil's biggest corruption cases ever. 

The New York Timesdescribes the trial as a victory for Brazil's judicial institutions in fighting impunity for corruption, something that has long gone unpunished at higher levels.

RELATED: How much do you know about Brazil? Take our quiz to find o…

Fenómeno El Niño podría presentarse en octubre ...

Octubre 10, 2012 1:32 pm


El fenómeno El Niño podría presentarse durante el mes de octubre, con posibilidades de mantener una intensidad débil, que podría persistir hasta el invierno del hemisferio norte, indica el último boletín de la Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM).

La nota publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (Inameh), señala que durante julio y agosto de este año subió la temperatura de la superficie del Océano Pacífico, no obstante, es necesario que se produzcan las condiciones atmosféricas para que El Niño tenga repercusiones en el clima a escala mundial.

“Se considera que el sistema océano-atmósfera, en conjunto, permanece en estado neutro, puesto que aún no se dan las características de El Niño y La Niña, pero es más probable que improbable que el sistema tenga una respuesta acorde con El Niño, a su debido tiempo”, refiere la nota.

Es importante destacar, que ambos fenómenos no son los únicos que condicionan las características climáticas…

Outrage in China over Corrrupt Government Officials luxury spending claims

by Staff Writers

Beijing (AFP) Oct 10, 2012

Chinese social media websites erupted in outrage Wednesday over claims that a provincial official tried to suppress a newspaper report detailing his expensive tastes in luxury accessories.

Microblog users claimed that tens of thousands of copies of a daily newspaper were destroyed on Monday after they carried a report about the senior official in the government of the southeastern province of Fujian.

Users posted the alleged report from the City Times, which claimed that Li Dejin, director of the Fujian provincial communications department, owned a 50,000 yuan ($7,900) Rado watch and 15,000 yuan Hermes belt.

The newspaper is based in the southwestern city of Kunming in Yunnan province.

Users of Weibo, the microblogging service of leading portal, retweeted the post more than 100,000 times.

They also left thousands of comments calling Li "Uncle Watch" and accusing him of corruption and abuse of power by seeking to suppress the stor…

Brazil sets up special security force to protect Amazon ...

by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) Oct 10, 2012

Brazil said Wednesday it was setting up a special environmental security force to combat soaring illegal deforestation in the Amazon region.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the new unit will conduct "permanent" surveillance of the Amazon, where illicit deforestation grew 220 percent in August compared with the same month in 2011.

The force will be backed by the army, the federal police and the Brazilian Environment Institution (IBAMA), which has its own police unit.

Currently authorities are focusing their operations during the dry season when illicit logging increases.

"Environmental crime is becoming more sophisticated. To combat it, we must modernize our surveillance system," Teixeira said.

In August, logging affected an area of 522 square kilometers (210.5 square miles), up 220 percent from August last year, according to official figures.

That dropped to 282 square kilometers in September.

The ministry cited droug…


Mangoes—island style
Written by Hadija Ernst on 05 Oct, 2012 | Location: Lamu
Tags: Lamu mangoes

Mangoes are an island specialty. We have heard it said that the mangoes from Lamu are sweeter than any grown on the mainland. It’s true. I have tested many mangoes from all corners of Kenya and we have yet to find any that match the sweetness and the succulence of Lamu mangoes. It must be the weather and the soil (or sand in this instance). But what is more surprising is the variation of the kinds of mangoes that are found here.

There are over 14 different types of mangoes in Lamu (maembe in Kiswahili) and their local names invoke the incredible variety of this aromatic mouth-watering fruit. 

They include hamara, zafarani, maembe punda, dodo, maembe siki, kiroboto, kitovu, kidomo, shikio punda, bwanyakae, ulaya, baridi, boribo and batawi. 

These types of mangoes are not available everywhere and unfortunately they are dying out and being replaced with the commercially acceptable types like ngowe …

AUSTRALIA: First mango tray fetches $76,000 in Queensland ...

A green grocer has been crowned Queensland's Mango King after forking out a record-breaking $76,000 for the first tray of the season.

Sam Coco, owner of Coco's Fresh Produce Market, put up the highest-ever bid in 15th annual mango auction on the trading floor of the Brisbane Markets on Thursday.

The money will be donated along with $44,000 raised from auctions of other items to the children's charities Redkite and Life Education Queensland.

Mr Coco, who held the Mango King title from 1998 to 2001, says he's stoked to win back the crown.

"There is no better opportunity than the Brisbane Market's mango auction for wholesalers and retail buyers to get together and donate what we can for two great charities," he said.

Álvaro Uribe dice que no puede “expresar ideas para explicar” la reelección del presidente Chávez ...

Publicado el 10 de oct de 2012 8:49 pm |

Foto: Johan Ordóñez / AFP / Archivo

(Washington, 10 de octubre – EFE).- El expresidente colombiano Álvaro Uribe dijo hoy que no se explica la reelección de Hugo Chávez en Venezuela y aseguró que su oposición al mandatario venezolano seguirá independientemente de que él continúe en política o no.

“No puedo expresar ideas para explicar su reelección”, opinó Uribe sobre la victoria electoral de Chávez en un evento en el Club Nacional de Prensa de Washington en el que presentó su nuevo libro “No hay causa perdida”.

Uribe agregó que “el imperio de la ley se viola a diario en Venezuela”.

“Chávez ha creado por pasos una dictadura al estilo cubano y ha protegido a terroristas colombianos”, aseguró Uribe, quien añadió que durante su presidencia (2002-2010) luchó“todos los días contra el presidente Chávez” y que su oposición al mandatario continuará.

El exgobernante explicó que Chávez “ha sido un cómplice declarado de grupos terroristas” y ahora con la aceptac…


South America Holds the World’s Best Kept Secret

By Evaldo Albuquerque, Senior Analyst

Dear Sovereign Investor Subscriber,

Last time I came here, back in 2006, this place was a dump. If someone asked me to describe it, the words “ugly” and “dirty” would certainly come to mind.

Although I knew it was a third world country, I was still surprised by the level of poverty in some parts of Lima, the capital of Peru.

I was not expecting to see huge piles of trash accumulating on the streets. In other parts of the country, I couldn’t walk five minutes without being stopped by a beggar.

After six years, I’m back in Lima visiting my wife’s family. Although I haven’t seen piles of trash like the last time, the streets remain pretty dirty. My impression is that not much has changed … the signs of poverty are everywhere.

But the truth is, Peru is going through a deep transformation. The kind of change Brazil went through in the 1990s, before the economic boom. And these changes present a lot of opportun…

STRATFOR: Evolution and Trends in Terrorism Tradecraft ...

October 11, 2012 | 0901 GMT


By Scott Stewart

The terrorist tradecraft discussed in last week's Security Weekly does not happen in isolation. 

The practitioners of terrorist tradecraft conduct their activities in the midst of other people -- the authorities attempting to identify them and thwart their plans as well as civilians. Terrorist tradecraft also does not remain static. 

It is constantly evolving. 

These changes are prompted not only by countermeasures put in place to prevent terrorist attacks but also by advances in technology -- a powerful force that can serve to either nullify old tradecraft practices or to provide new tools to the purveyors of terror.

Terrorism is an enduring reality

While geopolitical changes may cause a shift in the actors who employ terrorism as a tactic, terrorism will continue to be used no matter what the next geopolitical cycle brings

It is, and will continue to be, a tactic used by militant actors who want to confront a militarily superior e…

AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory mango yields not reaching early predictions ...

By Steven Schubert

Thursday, 11/10/2012

A Northern Territory mango grower says he's expecting to pick 20 per cent less fruit this year compared to last season.

Forecasts from industry bodies earlier in the year were predicting a huge crop for the second year in a row, based on the number of flowers on trees.

But grower Tom Harbrow, from Pine Creek, 90 kilometres north of Katherine, says guessing yields from flowering alone is an unreliable method.

"We probably did 50,000 (trays) last year and we're looking at 40,000 this year, so a 20 per cent drop," he said.

"I think there's a lot of others in Darwin, Katherine and Kununurra that have had even worse than 20 per cent, maybe 40 so they tell me."

Mr Harbrow says last year was a bumper year, so 20 per cent down is still an average season and he's happy with the quality of his fruit.

Premium mangoes are currently fetching over $50 a tray in the Sydney markets and Mr Harbrow is hoping the strong prices for quali…