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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

US Dollar Shows Little Hope for Rebound on Further Record-Lows

Tuesday, 06 November 2007 17:32:11 GMT

Written by David Rodriguez, Currency Analyst

The US dollar continued to set record lows against the Euro and Canadian dollar, defying calls for a worthwhile correction on unflappable anti-greenback sentiment. Limited economic data on the day left currency traders to force movements off of broader speculative interest, and dollar-selling remained the dominant theme in broader currency markets. In fact, the downtrodden buck fell against all major foreign counterparts on a daily basis.

Euro bulls sent the single currency to yet another record, touching heights of $1.4569 before a marginal retracement through the New York afternoon. The British Pound likewise saw strong bids through Tokyo and London trading hours and established fresh 26-year peaks of $2.0905. Anti-US dollar sentiment continued to bolster the Canadian dollar, which shows few signs of slowing its ascent at C$0.9240 per USD. A bounce in global equity markets was not enough to keep the dollar bid against the Japanese Yen, and indeed the greenback remained relatively unchanged at 114.52 yen through time of writing.

The lack of economic data did not stop traders from forcing strong price movements across major currency pairs, and pure market flows away from the greenback served as the only real justification for the move. One prominent bank claimed that the relative underperformance of US equity markets encouraged many clients to pursue risky asset classes in Europe and elsewhere. Others cited further sovereign bank reserve diversification as a prominent driver of daily exchange rates. Whatever the underlying justification for the dollar rout, it remains relatively clear that speculators show little interest in forcing a worthwhile correction in the downtrodden currency. The trade-weighted dollar index has now fallen in seven of the past nine active days, setting fresh-record lows of 75.99 at time of publication. Given such overwhelming bearish momentum, we see little reason for a dollar bounce through subsequent currency trading.

US equity markets proved far more fortunate through NYSE price action, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 50 points to 13,591. A surge in energy stocks pushed broader indices higher, and the S&P 500 added 0.5 percent to 1,510. Tech stocks were the smallest gainers through the session, however, with the NASDAQ Composite a mere 0.2 percent improved to the psychologically significant 2,800 mark.

US Government Treasury yields were slightly higher through the trading session, as the 10-year added 2 basis points to 4.35 percent. Yet shorter-dated yields remained relatively unchanged at recent 26-month lows of 3.67 percent. Speculators seem convinced that the Federal Reserve will continue to cut short-term interest rates through the medium term, and money market rates continue to decline through the period. In fact, Fed Funds Futures now show a 64 percent chance of an FOMC interest rate cut on its December 11 meeting.

Written by David Rodríguez, Currency Analyst for

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Caspian Sea leaders sign declaration

source almanartv


The Second Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States ended its work in the presence of heads of state of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon. They released a declaration on major regional and international issues.
Following is an excerpt of the declaration:

The Caspian Sea littoral states will make efforts to reinforce peace, stability, economic development, and good neighborliness in the region. The sides will have equal rights in international cooperation and are determined to boost relations in political, diplomatic, economic, scientific, technical, cultural, and social spheres.

The sides will make attempts to efficiently utilize the Caspian Sea’s rich resources and expand economic cooperation, particularly in the energy and transportation areas. The sides hereby announce that only Caspian Sea littoral countries are allowed to use the resources of the sea.
The sides agree that the Caspian Sea legal regime should be drafted as soon as possible.
The Caspian Sea should only be used for peaceful purposes and any problems related to the sea should be resolved diplomatically by the littoral states.

The sides will make efforts to develop mutual trust and reinforce regional security. They will also avoid using military force in mutual relations.
The sides believe that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is one of the most important foundations of international peace and stability. The sides confirm that all signatories to the NPT have the right to generate and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within the framework of the NPT and the International Atomic Energy Agency Statute. Stances at the summit

In his speech to the conference, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that the third summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2008, and a joint economic conference will be held in Moscow next year. "The presidents of the five Caspian Sea littoral countries agreed to meet every year, and their foreign ministers will meet every six months," he added. Asked about the propaganda campaign against the conference, Ahmadinejad stated that the declaration that was signed at the end of the conference was a robust response to those countries that were opposed to the meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that the Iran-Russia nuclear cooperation is for peaceful purposes. The countries have “expressed the idea that peaceful nuclear activities must be allowed,” Putin said, reiterating that Iran should be allowed to pursue its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

Putin discussed issues pertaining to comprehensive security and stability in the region and the joint campaign against "international terrorism and extremism.” Among other things, Russia has proposed building a canal as soon as possible to connect the Caspian Sea to the Black and Azov seas to help establish the North-South Corridor, he said.

Russia is the only country helping Iran to construct a nuclear power station for peaceful ends, he added, referring to the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

For his part, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that the convention should be finalized as soon as possible, and the dialogue between the countries should be sped up. "I believe that the Tehran summit and the declaration we will adopt here will be a turning point in the development of cooperation between Caspian states in all fields and in insuring stability and peace in the region, and that the Caspian will become a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow said he was optimistic about Caspian states’ cooperation and the agreements made by the five countries on ecology, shipping, tourism, and the use of hydrocarbon reserves.

Joe's Sports

Putin arrives in Tehran despite warning



Russian President Vladimir Putin, brushing off the threat of a reported plot to assassinate him, arrived in Iran on Tuesday for talks with Iran's leaders focusing on Tehran's nuclear row with the West. The Russian president was officially welcomed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Saadabad castle in Tehran.

Putin is due to attend a summit of five Caspian Sea states aimed at bringing them closer to a deal on dividing the sea and its huge oil and gas resources. Putin is visiting the Islamic Republic ahead of parliamentary elections in December and amid speculation on how he will maintain a grasp on power in Russia after he quits the top job. His visit also comes amid increasing pressure to impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, something Moscow and other allies are against.

Kremlin officials said on Monday that plans for the visit were in doubt after a Russian news agency report said about assassination plot against him. Iran said the report was baseless and Putin shrugged it off. "If we have a chance to keep up these direct contacts, then we will do it, hoping for a positive, mutually advantageous result," Putin said in Germany before his arrival. Tehran says the visit by Putin and other leaders at the Caspian summit shows U.S. efforts to isolate it are failing.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Flying car to take off in a year

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 19:46:20

Terrafugia Transition
MIT scientists take another step towards aero-auto hybrids by producing the first automated folding wing for light sport aircrafts.

For many years researchers believed aero-auto hybrid vehicles would be commercial failures; however, MIT scientists say they are on the way to overcome existing problems.

The team hopes to use 'Terrafugia' which was manufactured in 2006 and displayed as the world's first automatic folding wing, to complete a roadworthy aircraft within a year.

The first patent for a vehicle capable of both driving on roads and flying in the air was issued in US in 1918.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Iran transit stop for Indonesian pilgrims

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 11:16:48

Muslim pilgrims carry out Hajj rituals.
Prior to arrival for Minor Hajj in Saudi Arabia, a ritual destination for Muslim pilgrimage, Indonesians choose Iran as their transit stop.

Mohammad Kazem Kholdinasab, Director of the Department of International Affairs at Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, affirmed, "Indonesian pilgrims will be coming to Iran before they enter Saudi Arabia. They will stay in Iran for around two or three days."

By 2008, Iran is anticipated to host over 25,000 pilgrims.

During last year's visit to Iran by the Indonesian deputy minister of culture and tourism, both countries signed an agreement on initiating executive programs within the field of tourism.

GI Joe's

For more Auto Accessories click here

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Parties attack Brown election decision

Parties attack Brown election decision
source almanarTV


UK opposition parties say they are disappointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision not to call an autumn election. The Conservatives say Brown was frightened by opinion polls in the Sunday Times and News of the World which put the Tories ahead of Labor.

Brown said a vote was being delayed so people had time to see how successful his policies were.

"I'll not be calling an election. I have a vision for change in Britain and I want to show people how in government we're implementing it," Brown said.
"Over the summer months we've had to deal with crises, we've had to deal with foot-and-mouth, with terrorism, with floods, we had financial crises." He added.

Conservative leader David Cameron said Brown had shown "great weakness and indecision", and had made a "humiliating retreat". Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said that Brown had a "crisis of confidence", and that his decision showed "a loss of nerve".

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iraq's refugee number increases

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 16:29:55
Source: AFP
Iraqis are suffering dire consequences of Bush's war

The number of people displaced in Iraq has increased, despite US officials' claims on security improvement in the war-ravaged country.

The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that the number of Iraqi refugees has grown by about 50,000 to 2.25 million since July.

Shia Muslims make up some 65 percent of the displaced while 31 percent are Sunnis and 4 percent Christian, according to an IOM survey of some 114,732 families.

"The majority of the displaced assessed are renting substandard shelter or are staying with friends of family, placing new burdens on host communities," the IOM said in its latest "Emergency Needs Assessments" report on Iraq.

The problem is compounded by many provinces now restricting entry and registration of displaced persons, and by the decision of Iraq's neighbors Syria and Jordan to impose visa requirements in order to stem the flow of refugees, it added.

The organization's latest review warned that the alleged progress in parts of Baghdad and the western province of Anbar were by no means uniform or certain to continue.

Increased security, particularly in the capital, is the central aim of US President George W. Bush's "surge" strategy, which has come under heavy attack at Congressional hearings in recent weeks for not being successful.


Friday, August 24, 2007

UNIFIL mandate extended in Lebanon

Source Al Manar TV

Readers Number : 21

24/08/2007 The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the mandate of the 13,600-strong UN troops in Lebanon and called for a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution to last summer's Israeli aggression against Lebanon. The resolution adopted by the council emphasized the need for greater progress in resolving these and other issues stemming from the Second Lebanon War. The Security Council reiterated its intention ''to consider further steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution.''
Earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the council to extend the mandate of the force, known as UNIFIL, praising the troops for helping to establish security in southern Lebanon following the Israeli aggression. The resolution commends UNIFIL's positive role, with Lebanese troops, in helping ''to establish a new strategic environment in southern Lebanon.''
The current mandate of the force - comprising 11,428 ground troops, 2,000 maritime personnel, 185 staff officers and 20 local staffers - expires on August 31. The resolution emphasized the need for further coordination between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in the southern border region to establish ''an area free of any unauthorized armed personnel, assets and weapons.''
It condemned all terrorist attacks on UNIFIL.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

America’s Extensive Islamic Heritage Detailed in Exhibitions.

09 August 2007

Organization works to increase awareness of Islamic experience in America

By Jeffrey Thomas
USINFO Staff writer

Washington -- Some years ago, Amir Muhammad began researching his family’s roots without any thought that it might lead him to America’s little-known Islamic heritage. Until then, he assumed that most American Muslims arrived in the 20th century, and he was unaware of any Islamic connection in his own family prior to his personal acceptance of Islam 35 years ago.

But Muhammad discovered he does have Muslim ancestors, as do many African Americans and Native Americans, and that the story of Islam in America reaches back much further than most people imagine.

In 1996, he established the nonprofit organization Collections & Stories of American Muslims (CSAM), of which he is president and curator. His goal is to uncover and preserve America’s Islamic heritage and to create a greater awareness of the Islamic experience in America.

CSAM exhibitions have been displayed at universities, public libraries and community centers in the United States and abroad, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, located in Washington. Muhammad is seeking a building to house his collection.

Muhammad begins his account of America’s Islamic heritage with Moors fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. One of them was Estevanico, a Moor born in North Africa, who accompanied Spanish explorers in 1527 to what would become the Southwestern United States.

Slavery enters the story of Islam in America with the early European settlement. One of the myths Muhammad seeks to dispel is that enslaved Africans brought by the settlers had no organized religion and could not read or write.

He cites the story of Ayuba (Job) Suleiman Diallo, who was captured in 1730 in The Gambia and brought to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was sold into slavery. Diallo wrote a letter in Arabic to his father, according to Muhammad. The letter came to the attention of James Oglethorpe, the founder of the U.S. state Georgia, who helped buy Diallo’s freedom. Oglethorpe sent him to London and then back to his homeland to work for the Royal African Company of London. While in London, Diallo wrote down in Arabic three copies of the Quran from memory.

The CSAM exhibition includes four Quranic suras written in Arabic by a man named Charno in 1768, petitions written in Arabic by South Carolina Muslims seeking their freedom in 1753 and 1790, and photos of a diary in Arabic kept by a man named Ben Ali around 1829. Sources from the 17th and 18th centuries often refer to African Americans as Muslims, or as bearing Muslim names, or as practicing the Islamic faith. Muhammad notes that many early American Muslims had engraved on their tombstones a hand with one finger pointing up as the Islamic symbol of God’s oneness, and their tombstones were facing toward Makkah.

In every war the United States has fought, Muslims have played a role. Two Muslims who fought with distinction in the American Revolutionary War, Peter Salem and Salem Poor, have been honored on U.S. postage stamps.

Muhammad also has found records of 292 U.S. Civil War veterans with Islamic names who fought for the Union and more than 5,200 American Muslims who served in World War I.

By the later 19th century and early 20th century, Muslim immigrants were arriving in America from Yemen, Albania, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, India and Poland. In 1899, Syrian immigrants in Ross, North Dakota, established what may have been the first Muslim place of worship in America. But the “first effective mosque in North America” was built by Albanian Muslims in Biddeford, Maine, in 1915, according to Muhammad.

He says that as a Muslim, he has found the stories that he uncovered inspiring. American Muslims from various backgrounds “kept their faith no matter how bad things were,” he said during a presentation at the State Department August 9.

“Muslims and Islam have been a part of the American fabric for centuries,” he said. “It is part of the many threads of culture, colors, religions and lifestyles that make up the American pluralistic quilt.”

Muhammad has written several books, including America’s Masajid and Islamic Centers: A Pictorial Account, Muslims in America: 7 Centuries of History, People of Color in Pre-Islamic and Islamic History and Contributions of Muslims to the World.

More information is available on the CSAM Web site.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Caught without a country

Five years ago, the Thai police arrested Afang Chue Mua and threatened to deport her, to send her to back to Myanmar. But Afang was born in Thailand and so were her parents.

They are members of one of seven hill tribes living in Northern Thailand. David Hawkins, reporting for AlJazeera from mae Chan in Thailand, investigates the country's stateless people.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Robert Zoellick heads to Asia .

Newly appointed World Bank President Robert Zoellick will travel to Asia next week. He will visit big aid donors Japan and Australia as well as poor borrowers Cambodia and Vietnam.

Monday, June 25, 2007

a career in environmental consultancy?

Any young graduates in environmental sciences & related fields out there interested in building a career in environmental consultancy? I would like to hear from you.

Must warn you, though - hard work, low pay, may need to travel to or be temporarily located in remote places, ride leaky boats on choppy seas, wade through mud and swamps, get bitten by leeches, wake up early but sleep late, sleep in cheap rickety chalets, etc.

Must have the patience to watch paint dry, besides the ability to think on your feet. Ability to quote at least Popper, if not Freud, is an added advantage.

Email me you CV if you think you want this kind of life. :-)

Ishak bin Ariffin
via Natura (M) Sdn Bhd.
305C Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-41 066 077 Fax: +603-41 066 011 Email: or

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Unreported World Somalia

The brief peace brought by the Islamic Courts

Monday, May 14, 2007

Democracy Now : interview about Somalia

The crimes of Ethiopia and US special Forces

Saturday, May 5, 2007

TRAVEL - Taman Negara Malaysia

Taman Negara is Malaysia’s Primier National Park. It is the nation’s largest, covering some 4343 square miles or 434,300 square Hectares of protected area of pristine evergreen tropical rainforest spanning three states, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang right in the middle of peninsular Malaysia. The Sultans of these three states set the area aside in 1938 to become the Taman Negara, a name adopted after independence. It is today the world renowned ecological tourism heaven with the world’s longest canopy walkway.

Click here for cheap hotels

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

a trip to BATU TALAM – the ghost haunting the public minds.


What do they say…..


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's National Front on Sunday trounced a lone challenger — Ng Chee Pang, 22, a little-known independent with scarcely any political experience — to retain the legislative seat of Batu Talam in eastern Pahang state.

The National Front's candidate, Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, secured 89 percent of 7,080 votes cast, beating Ng by a majority of 5,857 votes, the Election Commission said. Ng received 419 votes, while another 385 ballots were spoilt.

"The support for the government has grown stronger," Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying by the national news agency, Bernama. "Considering the voter turnout of 67 percent, we can clearly state that the opposition's effort to boycott the by-election was not welcomed by the voters in Batu Talam."

Two key opposition groups refused to field any candidates in order to protest what they claimed were discrepancies in the voter roll, and concerns the vote might not be transparent. Government authorities rejected the accusations and called the boycott a publicity stunt.

The National Front had been more concerned that many of Batu Talam's 10,525 eligible voters might not bother to show up because Abdul Aziz seemed assured of triumph.

SNIP <<<

The Associated Press
Published: January 28, 2007

Bloggers note:

Probably it is okay for a Western Country to have that kind of electorate turn out. But not by Malaysian standard. Even for a general election that percentage is a bit low. Malaysian are particular and pay great attention to voting. Though, those who were adults during the Emergency where we Malaysian had bitter memories, that generation is gone. But there is a consistent reminder from local politicians of the more recent May 13 event. So, to a Malaysian it is important to place a cross on the right spot, a vote for peace comes the eventful election day.

The voting and active generation today are those born during the emergency period, a battle for Malaysia not to fall to the reds. They are better educated and well read compare to the earlier generation, they grew up in independence era. The saw and experienced the good things the independence brought to them. Why then should there be an increase in political apathy? Is there a shift in perception? Yes there is.

What do others say…

There are voices that raised the slogan for a need of change to level the playing field. The Election Commission Chairman was cited as the authoritative voice for that requirement. Among what he had said - is cited as:-

  1. Proposed the present Election Commission (EC) be dismantled.

  1. The election laws are 50 years old and designed to serve the emergency period and therefore it needed revision.

  1. The election laws need to be dismantled drastically.

  1. The drastic dismantle is needed to make EC and the election more transparent.

  1. Restructuring is needed to be fairer to the participating parties and the electorates.

  1. The existing election laws are no longer suitable for the present age.

  1. Too many weaknesses with the existing election laws.

  1. Proposes an independent EC to be formed with law experts, NGOs and political parties participation for inputs to crystallized the formation of that EC

Not stopping there he emphasized the need for more powers with the EC in the following six areas.

1. To determine the formation of a political parties and guarantee their freedom of participation in any election.

2. To control all matters during the campaign period

3. To exercise justice and media freedom in the election process

4. To control and enforce laws and punish those involved in misuse of public properties during the campaign period.

5. To have the powers to exercise justly in determining matters relating to expenditures by participating parties during the election.

6. Powers to control and prevent corruption and vote buying activities.

Is what he is saying lead to the present ghost that is haunting the public minds. Coming from the horse’s mouth those leaders who love this country have to do something. Otherwise political apathy will grow and with it a ticking time bomb.

What does the blogger hears,

What do the laymen here feel? They felt that the political culture in this country is developing towards a negative future. The politicians wants power to control the resources for their own individual gains and ends. To the extent of selling the country and its future to their very own perceived enemies or other friendly parties. All are done for their own short term financial gains at the expense of long term well being of the country and the population at large. Same shit from any political parties. They need our crosses to do just that and they are willing to purchase from us just for that! They are losing faith in this system of party politics. That is the ghost that is haunting the people’s minds.

That is the crucial crux the leaders have to make good to bring people back to the ballot boxes!

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