Friday, September 30, 2011

Nigeria-Gunmen Seize Worker; Attack Vessel

show details 11:35 AM (4 minutes ago)

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Nigeria: Gunmen Seize Worker, Attack Vessel

September 30, 2011
One member of Exxon Mobile Corp.’s Nigerian unit was injured and another was seized when gunmen attacked a ship supplying an oil platform off the coast of the southern Akwa Ibom state, Bloomberg reported Sept. 30. The incident was reported to security and the necessary government agencies, and Exxon does not know where the worker was taken, a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Malema loses support in urban areas – poll

Malema loses support in urban areas – poll

Miners meet Zimbabwe deadline on ownership

Miners meet Zimbabwe deadline on ownership:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NPC Lunch With South Africa's Rocket Man Elon Musk

NPC Luncheon with Elon Musk

September 29, 2011 12:30 PM
Location: Ballroom
Elon Musk, CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), will discuss the future of human spaceflight in advance of his company’s planned Nov. 30 flight to the International Space Station, the first private mission to ISS for NASA, at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 29.
SpaceX, which won a NASA contract to replace the cargo transport function of the Space Shuttle, develops rockets and vehicles for missions to Earth orbit and beyond. Musk was chief engineer for Falcon 1, the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach orbit, as well as the company's Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft.
Musk also serves as CEO and Product Architect at Tesla Motors, manufacturer of the all-electric Tesla Roadster automobile and Model S sedan, and is the non-executive Chairman of SolarCity, a leading provider of solar power systems in the United States. Earlier, he co-founded Internet payment system PayPal and was the company's Chairman and CEO.
In 2008, Esquire magazine named Musk one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century, and, in 2010, he was recognized as a Living Legend in Aviation by the Kitty Hawk Foundation. Sometimes likened to the fictional engineering genius Tony Stark in the Iron Man comic franchise, the 40-year-old Musk was a role model for the character in Iron Man II and made a small cameo appearance, with the SpaceX factory also used in the film.
The Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Remarks will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made through (202) 662-7501 or The cost of luncheon admission is $18 for National Press Club members, $29 for their guests, and $36 for the general public. Tickets must be purchased at time of reservation.
National Press Club Luncheons are webcast live on Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at ( and Twitter (@PressClubDC). Submit questions for speakers in advance and during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter. Or email a question in advance; type MUSK in the subject line and send before 10 a.m. on the day of event.

South Africa Reserve Bank Governor Issues A Dire Warning

Article by: Reuters
The global economy is close to another "Lehman-type" event, and South Africa needs to cushion itself by reducing its dependence on European export markets, South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said on Wednesday.
The rand lost 22% against the dollar in the first three weeks of September as investors worried about Europe's deepening debt crisis ditched emerging market assets.
In an article in the Financial Mail magazine, Marcus said such a rapid decline bore similarities to the fallout from the collapse of Lehman Brothers in late 2008.
"The response of the markets to the glaring lack of global leadership and political will to deal with the crisis in a coherent way is indicative of how perilously close we are to another 'Lehman-type' moment, but without the ammunition of 2008," she wrote.
The rand, a deeply traded emerging market currency, hit a 28-month low of 8.4950 on Thursday but has since bounced back to 7.8450, and should recover further given that the difference between emerging and developed world interest rates are here to stay, Marcus said.
"In all likelihood, these exchange rate moves represent an overshoot and may retrace somewhat when risk aversion moderates, given that the underlying reasons for flows to emerging markets in the first place – abnormally low interest rates in the advanced economies – are likely to persist."
South Africa's Reserve Bank last week left interest rates unchanged at three-decade lows, balancing concerns about rising inflation pressures with those for stuttering growth in Africa's largest economy, which relies heavily on exports to Europe.
"With growth in the US and Europe likely to remain anaemic for some time, South Africa would do well to diversify its trade ties ... and reduce its dependence on European export markets," Marcus said.
Edited by: Reuters

Gonzalo Lira: Forget Gold—What Matters Is Copper

Gonzalo Lira: Forget Gold—What Matters Is Copper: People are freaking out that gold has fallen to $1,650, from its lofty highs above $1,800—they are freaking out something awful. “Gold has f...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

20,000 SurfaceTo Air Missiles Missing In Libya

My dear readers I want to share with you a story that I just picked up on the Huffington Post. Some 20,000 shoulder-fired surface to air missile from the Libyan arsenals are missing. One of these missiles could be used to shoot down an airliner full of people. US officials said in the past that it was highly unlikely that these missiles could fall into the hands of terrorists. They have now said that it is highly-likely that such missiles could fall into the hands of terrorists. All of us who fly should be aware of this. Senator Barbara Boxer is fighting to get legislation passed that would require military-type missile counter measures to be installed on each civilian airlines at a cost of $1 million US per airlines. The total cost of the program would be $6 billion US dollars.
Colonel Gadhafi also has a supply of mustard gas. This same gas was used in World War I and when Iraq and Iran went to war.
I also wonder if the mad colonel has some enriched uranium left.

Nigeria: Boko Haram's Unlikely Threat

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Nigeria: Boko Haram's Unlikely Threat

September 27, 2011 | 1209 GMT
Nigeria: Boko Haram's Unlikely Threat
Nigerian soldiers provide security at a U.N. building in Abuja following an Aug. 26 bombing by Boko Haram
Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram is planning bombing attacks in southern Nigeria, including in the Niger Delta, according to intelligence reports from Abuja. Lacking any notable presence or support base in the south, Boko Haram would have a difficult time following through on these alleged plans and instead could be trying to raise its profile to extract political concessions. If the group did conduct an attack in these regions, it would likely trigger a harsh counteraction by militants in the Niger Delta — not to mention regular Nigerian armed forces, such as the Joint Task Force, deployed to the oil-producing region.
A spokesman for the Niger Delta Liberation Front (NDLF), a militant group based in Nigeria’s south and affiliated with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), said in a Sept. 20 statement that NDLF fighters were prepared to work with Nigerian security forces to defend the delta against attacks from Islamist militant group Boko Haram. NDLF spokesman “Captain” Mark Anthony cautioned that an NDLF response to a Boko Haram attack would be disastrous for the Islamist sect.
The NDLF statement came after Nigerian intelligence reports indicated Boko Haram was planning to carry out bombings in the Niger Delta as well as in the country’s southeast and southwest areas. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for two vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, this year — the first on June 16 targeting police headquarters and the second on Aug. 26 targeting a U.N. compound. Despite these attacks, Boko Haram has not demonstrated the capability to attack regions of the country farther from its base of operations in the northeast. If the group were to try to move into the south, as Anthony’s statement suggests, the repercussions would be severe.
The vast majority of Boko Haram’s attacks have taken place in Borno state in the northeast, with a few possible ones occurring in northwestern Nigeria. Attacks in these areas, which lack oil installations, Western facilities and even notable Nigerian federal government institutions, have attracted very little international attention. Boko Haram’s bombings in Abuja, however, brought tremendous international visibility to the group, including attention from top U.S. military officials such as Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command. The Islamist sect’s stated ambition, according to a spokesman, is to implement Shariah throughout the country (12 of 36 states, all located in northern Nigeria, already are governed by Shariah), but an equally powerful objective is to use high-profile attacks to extract concessions and political patronage for the northeast, one of the most impoverished and least politically represented regions in the country.
The Nigerian government has worked to counter militant threats by stepping up coordination with foreign intelligence agencies. British Ambassador Andrew Lloyd was in Nigeria on Sept. 20 to follow up on an earlier discussion between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Nigerian officials on the creation of an intelligence fusion center in the country. Additionally, the United States is providing training and material to set up a 200-strong Nigerian special operations unit designated for counterterrorism purposes. Western governments are concerned about Boko Haram’s growing aggressiveness as well as reports about possible exchanges between the Islamist sect and al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and al Shabaab, an Islamist militant organization based in Somalia. Apart from a few Nigerian radicals who have traveled to cities in the Sahel, however, there has been no evidence to substantiate these reports.
In reality, Boko Haram’s capacity to attack southern targets is very much in doubt. The group has no presence or popular support in the south, which means it would have to conduct its own pre-operational surveillance, explosives acquisition, bombmaking and execution. Boko Haram militants would be especially vulnerable to detection during this process, as there are physical and linguistic differences between them and the native population in the south.
Boko Haram’s will to attack in the south is even more uncertain. Boko Haram knows that attempted attacks in the south would almost certainly trigger a conflict with Niger Delta militants, who are effectively proxies of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, as well as with the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta. If such a threat exists, it is more likely a ploy aimed at extracting patronage from northern politicians. In fact, the Nigerian government has quietly engaged local politicians from the country’s northeast with the expectation that the local elders will be able to settle down Boko Haram through amnesty talks, a process that has worked with Boko Haram in the past. This sort of politicization of violence is not unusual for Nigeria and has been seen in use most often by militants in the Niger Delta.
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Scarlett Johansson Helps Starving People In East Africa

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Study Says That Dominant Women Have Less Sex

Dominant Women Have Less Sex, Study Says

The Huffington Post      First Posted: 9/25/11 04:05 PM ET Updated: 9/25/11 04:05 PM ET
Empowered Women Less Sex
Empowered women in control of household decisions could be losing out on sex, says a new study out ofJohns Hopkins University.
Published in the Journal of Sex in October, the researchers asked women about the last date of sexual intercourse as well as who had the final say on decisions ranging from healthcare to household purchases.
According to the Telegraph, the researchers surveyed women from six African countries who reported the more decisions made, the less physical intimacy they shared with their partners.
"The more decisions a woman reported making on her own, as compared to through joint decision-making, the less likely she was to have sex and the longer it was since she last had sexual intercourse," said lead researcher Michelle Hindin.
The findings showed more dominant and assertive women had approximately 100 times less sex.
But the researchers also noted that this isn't necessarily incidental for them -- it could also be women taking control of their sexual preferences, theDaily Mail reported.
"Understanding how women's position in the household influences their sexual activity may be an essential piece in protecting the sexual rights of women and helping them to achieve a sexual life that is both safe and pleasurable," co-author Carie Muntifering told
The location of the women studied may also have played a role, though. Most recently, a study by Florida State University's Roy Baumeister argued that more equality would lead to more sex. He pointed to a study surveying over 300,000 people from 37 countries which found that countries with a higher gender equality had more casual sex and more sexual partners. In nations with less equality between the sexes, the opposite was true.