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    Georgia: Georgian Refugees Face Expulsion From Capital

    Dignity at stake!

    The authorities in Georgia plan to move hundreds of people displaced in past conflicts out of the capital to new homes in the west of the country, ignoring their protests that they will lose their livelihoods if they are forced to leave

    Under a new strategy for refugees, the government wants to clear 20 buildings of around 500 refugee families who currently live there.

    Most are people displaced by conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the early 1990s. Others arrived after the brief conflict with Russia in 2008.

    Both groups say that they have adapted to life in the capital, and argue that forcing them to leave would infringe their civil rights.

    [...]

    Russia: Iran: Venezuela: S-300 missiles

    Spot the connection

    Russia’s S-300 air defense systems, which Moscow refused to deliver to Iran under the pretext of a new round of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic, could be sold to Venezuela instead, a Russian arms trade expert said on Friday.

    Russia signed a deal to deliver five battalions of S-300PMU-1 air defense systems to Iran in 2007 but banned the sale in September, claiming the systems, along with a number of other weapons, were covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

    [...]

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is currently on a visit to Russia, earlier said his country was interested in buying different types of Russian-made air defense systems to create a multilayered air defense network. Venezuela has already purchased 12 Tor-M1 air defense systems, a number of ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns and Igla-S portable short-range air defense systems from Russia.

    Lebanon: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues on what he only knows how to do best -Blast Israel

    stop flogging that horse … bigotry at its best.

    Ahmadinejad in no uncertain terms said that the “world must know the Zionists are to be gone.” He them praised the citizens of Bint Jbeil for making “the Zionists taste the bitter taste of defeat.” He went on to say that the Jewish people must surrender “to the will of the people and to return to their first homes.” The Iranian leader continued praising Lebanon for battling Israel. The crowd responded positively by applauding the President heavily. Ahmadinejad said that the Israeli’s “must know Bint Jbeil is holding its head up and will stand until the end against enemies.”

    Men and women packed the speech location hours prior to the event, which quickly turned into a sea of people showcasing the flags of Lebanon and Iran. As one of the few world leaders that sides with Lebanon in their battle against Israel, Ahmadinejad is seen as a hero to the Lebanese. Ahmadinejad and Iran gave Lebanon most of the aid they needed following the 2006 war with Israel to rebuild the state’s infrastructure and buildings.

    [...]

    Ahmadinejad also meet with Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah. The meeting took place in Beirut’s Iranian Embassy. It was reported that Nasrallah gave Ahmadinejad a weapon that was taken from a soldier from the Israel military. Ahmadinejad thereafter called out the United States and its allies on the wars in the Middle East. The Iranian President said, “What have the Western countries done in Afghanistan? Ask them where are those terrorists. Where in Afghanistan are they hiding? Everything has been ambiguous. But through propaganda and through the media, they have portrayed themselves as liberators.”

    Azerbaijan: BP and SOCAR signs contract on expanded gas exploration

    dividend! NO???

    A new agreement between global energy company BP and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) was signed last week in Baku for the exploration and development of yet another offshore gas field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

    It is estimated that the Shafag-Asiman field contains between 300 billion and 500 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas plus gas condensate that may also be recovered. A production-sharing agreement (PSA) between the two partners sets up a joint venture on a parity basis with a time horizon of 30 years.

    The deal further boosts Azerbaijan’s already considerable gas production prospects, which include the 16 bcm/y planned for Shah Deniz’s Phase Two development, the gas in the deepwater Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) development now being exploited for oil that flows through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export pipeline, and several other offshore gas fields. BP holds a 25.5% share in the consortium developing Shah Deniz Two, and the company in August increased its share in ACG to 39.8% from 34.1% with its purchase of the stake owned by Devon Energy.

    Armenia: 2 members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun steps feet in Azerbaijan

    Hardcore peace… WONDERS!

    [...]

    The two men — Kiro Manoian, one of the party’s deputy chairs, and Mario Nalbandian, a member of its governing board — were traveling at the invitation of the Social Democrat Party of Azerbaijan to attend an October 11-12 conference in Baku of the Socialist International, a worldwide alliance of left-wing parties. Public interest in the conference had been minimal; initial news of the two politicians’ arrival came from Armenian media outlets.

    For many Azerbaijanis, the surprise lay more in the identity of the visitors than in the visit itself. Despite the ongoing hostility between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armenian officials and politicians occasionally visit Baku to participate in international conferences and meetings. But members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun (ARF), who are often called Dashnaks, have a particular reputation among Azeris. Media outlets in Baku regularly characterize the party as a “terrorist organization.”

    [...]

    Nigeria: EU doesn’t see MEND as a terrorist group

    yet

    [...]

    Fielding a question as to the possibility of classifying MEND  as  a terrorist  group it said : “No, we will not brand MEND a terrorist group. The EU would continue to support the amnesty programme. Members of MEND have come out to support the amnesty and condemned the bombings. That is certainly not for now…as for our support in the fight against corruption, we have been behind the EFCC, strengthening the operational capacity and we have seen that its investigative capacity has improved and we can only strengthen the EFCC, the judiciary and all the other anti-corruption agencies. The government of Nigeria still has the political responsibility to ensure that best practices prevail.”

    [...]

    Why waste money on stupid college degree

    try ignorance, just might be “IT”

    [...]

    Altucher, president of Formula Capital, says he sees people making bad investment decisions all the time — and one of them is paying for college.

    College is overrated, he says: In most cases, what you get out of it is not worth the money, and there are cheaper and better ways to get an education. Altucher says he’s not planning to send his two daughters to college.

    “My plan is to encourage them to pursue a dream, at least initially,” Altucher, 42, says. “Travel or do something creative or start a business. . . . Whether they succeed or fail, it’ll be an interesting life experience. They’ll meet people, they’ll learn the value of money.”

    [...]

    Swaziland: Albino girl, 11, killed and beheaded for witchcraft

    weird :(

    The murder is the latest in a series of albino killings in Sub-Saharan Africa, where sufferers of the rare skin pigmentation condition are concentrated. Earlier this year, another 11-year-old albino child was killed close to the same spot in Swaziland and her hand was removed.

    Police believe both children may have been targeted because of a belief by witch doctors that the blood and body parts of albinos – who lack pigment in their eyes, hair and skin – can bring good luck and fortune when used in potions.

    Their value for black magic practitioners sees them often fall prey to human traffickers, one of whom was jailed for 17 years in Tanzania this week for abducting and attempting to sell a live albino man.

    Libya: Gaddafi goes to Italy

    … as Cleopatra goes to Rome. 8-)

    Thirty thoroughbred Berber horses and 40 “Amazonian” bodyguards will accompany the Libyan leader as he sets up camp in the garden outside the Libyan ambassador’s residence.

    The visit is to commemorate the second anniversary of the signing of an accord worth five billion euros under which Rome agreed to pay reparations for its colonial rule of Libya between 1911 and 1943.

    The deal also includes an Italian commitment to build a 1,240 mile long motorway along the Libyan coast and, most controversially, co-operation between the Libyan and Italian navies in stopping African immigrants reaching Italian soil by boat from the North African coast.

    The initiative has been sharply criticised by human rights groups, who say that after being forced back to Libya boat people are sent to squalid detention centres.

    Nigeria: Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian unit “is close to completing” a $1.1bn (£711m) pipeline

    What’s in the pipeline?

    The 60-mile Nembe Creek pipe collects crude from 14 oil pumping stations and is part of a programme to replace old pipelines in the Niger River delta.

    The Anglo-Dutch company said the pipeline was part of an ongoing programme to keep its facilities well-maintained in the Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest wetlands, where land and water have been polluted.

    Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary works in partnership with the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The pipeline replacement is part of its joint venture that includes local subsidiaries of French oil major Total and Italy’s Eni.

    Oil pipelines in the area have been the subject of frequent attacks by saboteurs and protesters.

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