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Bad Guys

Pakistan: Ex-ISI official alleges CIA, RAW, Mossad behind Baloch insurgency

The insurgents in Balochistan are Indians operating in connivance with US security firm Blackwater, former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Punjab chief Brigadier (retired) Mohammad Aslam Ghuman has alleged.

"Pervez Musharraf provided safe passage to the Indian intelligence agency RAW, which has established dozens of consulates in Afghanistan along the border with Balochistan," The Nation quoted Ghuman, as saying.

He claimed that days after the Russian federation collapsed, US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Israel's Mossad carried out a comprehensive analysis and recommended launching a major operation inside Pakistan, especially Balochistan, to shake the state.


US: Clinton admits no 'real news' in US media

Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admits that American media outlets do not offer real news despite being the "most technologically advanced."

Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Clinton said Washington is losing the "information war" in the world. She cited the quality of news channels like the Doha-based Al-Jazeera as one of the reasons justifying her opinion, The Huffington Post reported on Thursday.

"We're the most technologically advanced country in the world, so slowly but surely we've been trying to take back the airwaves in Afghanistan against Taliban with the most primitive kind of communication equipment. Now, take that as one example where I don't think we were very competitive, and we have worked like crazy to change that, and then go to the most extreme where you've got a global, a set of global networks, that al-Jazeera has been the leader in, that are literally changing people's minds and attitudes," she said.

Clinton also compared Al-Jazeera with US media outlets, and pointed out that the network is becoming increasingly popular in the United States because it disseminates "real news."


US drone strikes kills 5 in Pakistan

Terrorists in the skies: Over 1,100 Pakistanis were killed in unauthorized US drone attacks last year.
A non-UN sanctioned US drone attack has killed at least five people and wounded several others in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, intelligence officials in the region say.

The five were killed on Sunday morning when a US drone aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle in Azam Warsik, a militant hotbed on the Afghan border, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Meanwhile, locals said US predator drones were still hovering over the South and North Waziristan tribal regions.

The attack comes two days after two US drone attacks killed at least six people and wounded several others in North Waziristan Province near the border with Afghanistan.

The US frequently carries out such attacks on Pakistan's tribal areas. Attacks by unmanned American planes have left dozens of people dead in the volatile region over the past weeks.

Nearly 1,200 people were killed in 124 unauthorized US drone attacks in Pakistan in 2010.

Star of David

Israel to build more settlements in West Bank

Tel Aviv has moved to approve a plan to construct hundreds more illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

"The ministerial committee responsible for settlements had decided to build several hundred units at Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Ariel and Kyriat Sefer" in the West Back, announced the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Sunday statement, AFP reported.

The move would further complicate the stalled talks between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority officials.

Early this month, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics said that the illegal settlement construction in the occupied West bank has climbed sharply in the past five months.

The data, released by the bureau on Saturday, indicates that the Israeli regime started over 114 settlement units during the 10-month construction freeze Tel Aviv announced in November 2009.

The 114 units, the construction of which began during the so-called freeze have now been completed, as well as over 1,175 other units that started constructing before the partial moratorium, which excluded al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Arrow Down

France: Sarkozy's popularity hits record low

© Hughes Léglise-BatailleFrench teenagers tell a poster of Sarkozy what they think of him
A fresh opinion poll shows that more than seven out of ten people in France are unhappy with President Nicolas Sarkozy's performance.

The survey carried out by the French Institute of Public Opinion showed only 29 percent of the poll respondents approved Sarkozy's actions, Reuters reported on Saturday.

This is his worst approval rating since he took office in 2007. Sixty nine percent of the respondents said they disapproved his policies.

However, the drop in Sarkozy's popularity is not a reason for the opposition to celebrate. Only 39 percent of the poll respondents thought that the opposition would have done a better job if it was in power.

The unemployment rate in France among youth aged 15 to 24 years reached 25 percent in the third quarter of 2010, well above the European average of 20 percent.

Top Secret

US: Ronald Reagan Shooting Tape Released After 30 Years

Ronald Reagan and his bodyguards did not realise he had been shot during his assassination attempt, according to a new audiotape, released 30 years after the incident.

The audio, from March, 1981, details the chaotic immediate aftermath of the shooting, when one of his bodyguards reassures others that "Rawhide is okay".

It was only after more minute that Special Agent Jerry Parr's initial message that another announced: "We want to go to the emergency room of George Washington."

When "Rawhide" - Reagan's code name - arrived at the hospital minutes later, doctors discovered that he had a bullet lodged in his lung, which had ricocheted off his car. He lost half his blood and required emergency surgery.

Neither the president nor his agents realised that he had been shot, and it appears that an agent's snap decision to take him to a hospital when he noticed that the US president was bleeding from the mouth, might have saved his life.

Mr Parr is heard shouting "let's hustle" as Mr Reagan's limousine suddenly changed course.


US: Obama to a Party With Washington Reporters

President Barack Obama will speak at the 126th annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday evening.

The white-tie event is an opportunity for journalists to poke fun at public figures and political themes of the day. .


US: Just Warm Enough for Golf, Obama Back on the Course

© Brian Snyder/ReutersUS President Barack Obama watches his tee shot while golfing at Mink Meadows golf course
President Obama just could not wait for spring weather to arrive.

For the second week in a row, the most powerful man in the world stepped away from the White House to hit the golf course.

Even as his administration and the U.S. military help Japan recover from a devastating earthquake, and as the world worries about Fukushima's nuclear reactor, the president could not resist taking advantage of the 48-degree weather in the Washington, D.C., area.

The president left the White House Saturday afternoon for a short trip to Joint Andrews Base in Camp Springs, Md.

Bad Guys

Body Scanners May be Emitting More Radiation Than What is Recorded

Body Scanners Radiation
© Empowered News

Body scanners used in airports have been subjected to re-testing after transportation officials discovered that erroneous recording of radiation levels were made by some personnel.

The move comes after the Transportation Security Administration and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday even allayed fears of the radiation risk from the controversial body scanners.

"The amount of radiation is approximately (the same as that received) as two minutes in the air," Napolitano told a Senate panel on Wednesday, citing independent studies to back her claim.

But a subsequent internal review of 15 airports over the last two years showed some discrepancies with radiation level data and the TSA ordered the machines to be tested again. On Friday, the agency said the issues found were "record-keeping errors."

Arrow Down

U.S. Treasury Drew Down Its Cash Balance by $81.6 Billion in Just First 4 Days of March

The U.S. Treasury is depleting its cash at an accelerating pace, drawing down its cash balance by $81.6 billion in the just the first four days of March, leaving the federal government with only $108.9 billion on hand, according to the Daily Treasury Statement released Monday afternoon.

A view of the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington
© AP File Photo/Evan VucciA view of the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington
At the beginning of February , the Treasury had $349.1 billion in cash on hand, but spent that down by $158.5 billion during the month, ending February with only $190.6 billion on hand.

Were the government to continue to draw down its cash balance at the $20.4 billion-per-day rate that prevailed in the first four days of March, it would spend its way through its final $108.9 billion in little more than five days.