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ON THE TRAIL OF PAKISTAN’S TALIBAN

Excellent piece from the Guardian Weekend magazine. It charts the change of heart at the top of the government of Pakistan, the creation of a new investigative unit with Uk and Us support and identifies the key players. Baitullah Mehsud and his clan emerge as the source of the suicide bombers. Qetta, capital of Baluchistan is the epicentre of activity, but Baitullah Mehsud’s organisation spread throughout Pakistan during the Musharraf era. The Mehsud clan is from central Waziristan.

The article finishes with a discussion of funding and crime. The insurrection is estimeated to cost £8.5 million a year to run, and funding comes from protection rackets, road tolls, kidnapping and bank robberies.

ISLAMIST REBELS CLASH IN SOMALIA

lots of column inches about pirates but little on the militias as Ethiopia withdraws. There’s a new centre of jihadism developing in Somalia. Other articles linked from this piece, the most relevant of wjich is at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7803564.stm

SATYAM: GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS

Good news is there has been a rebound in the share price, demonstrating confidence in the Government’s rescue package. Bad news is that the World Bank has revealed it blacklisted the company in September.

WAR ON WHAT?

Book review of “The Search For Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future”. Raymond Bonner is the reviewer. He seems surprised by the argument that al Qaeda is a political phenomenon as he thinks it’s a criminal one. Maybe he’s the wrong reviewer then? Distilling the review; the book may not be original but it is short. Nevertheless, it is a must read because it touches all the necessary bases that future policy makers will have to address.

SATYAM FRAUD UPDATE

Satyam is a major Indian outsourcing company. A third of the Fortune 500 are its clients and it employs 53,000 people. I’m looking for more details of the fraud, but the founding brothers and the chief financial officer are under arrest. I have seen refrences to “India’s Madoff”

EIGHT YEARS OF MADOFFS

Powerful opinion piece from the New York Times. How much fraud and deceit have occurred in Federal Government in the last 8 years?

STRIKING THE BROTHELS’ BOTOM LINE

Hitting sex trafficking by attacking the brothel business model. “Raise the operating costs, create a risk of jail and the human traffickers will quite sensibly shift to some other trade. “

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