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Afghanistan supply route disrupted by anti-US demonstration
Nov 29th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Pakistani protest over

drones blocks NATO convoys

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is trying to wring more concessions from the U.S.

WHILE THE HEADLINES from Afghanistan this week were dominated by its recalcitrant President Hamid Karzai, a little noticed but potentially significant development was taking place just across the border in Pakistan.
A small group led by a former cricket star turned politician has managed to block NATO supplies at a choke point in protest over U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.
The Pakistani authorities have, so far, done nothing to stop the protest. Their tacit approval speaks loudly about the government’s vehement opposition to American usurpation of its airspace for attacks, which have claimed many innocent lives.
It’s another indication of the limits of military firepower to make any noticeable impact in this turbulent but vital region.


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High-risk effort begins to clean up Japanese nuclear plant

FEAR OF NEW CATASTROPHE AT FUKUSHIMA SPURS UNPRECEDENTED ATTEMPT
An extremely risky but desperate attempt is under way to clean up the most dangerous part of the nuclear plant devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.
This is a situation that demands global attention. There are so many things that could go wrong, and each has potentially far-reaching consequences.
If another quake hits the area before the current operation is complete, all bets are off.


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BOMBSHELL: Saudi Arabia could get nukes before Iran

BBC REPORTS ATOMIC WEAPONS READY FOR SHIPPING FROM PAKISTAN
In a stunning development that could change the balance of terror in the Middle East – and the world – it was reported that Saudi Arabia might be able to get atomic weapons before Iran.
While this development has drawn little attention in the U.S., it has received considerable play abroad, especially in Israel.
A Saudi Arabia with immediate access to atomic weapons would enormously complicate the delicate balance of terror in the Middle East and the world. It is a game changer, and deserves far more attention.


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Healthcare reform’s most unlikely winner: India

COUNTRY’S PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY EYES VAST EXPANSION
The most surprising beneficiary of healthcare reform is not even in America.
India and its pharmaceutical industry is gearing up for a massive expansion as millions of new prescriptions are written for generic drugs covered under the new insurance policies.
But consumers and investors need to exercise considerable caution. It is not at all clear that imported generic drugs are safe and effective. It is even less clear which of the manufacturers have unblemished records.


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NUCLEAR POWER: Unseen revolution that could change the world

THORIUM SEEN AS NEW SOURCE OF ATOMIC ENERGY
A new source of fuel for atomic energy reactors is under development in several countries and researchers report encouraging results.
Thorium is said to be more plentiful and much safer than Uranium.
But two of the world’s leading economies – Germany and Japan – are abandoning nuclear power altogether, moving towards renewable energy.
Does the source of a new, supposedly safer and more easily disposable fuel change the equation?
The jury is still out on the answer.


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VIOLENCE IN IRAQ: Dangerously close to civil war

US SHOULD NOT ADD FUEL TO INFERNO WITH WEAPONS AID
The country that America ‘broke’ in 2003 was back on top of the agenda at The white House.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was in the U.S. pleading for military aid.
But that is not the solution. The US cannot and should not add fuel to a raging inferno. It should use what little leverage it has left to urge the parties to find a peaceful, democratic solution involving devolution of power to autonomous regions.


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AFGHANISTAN OUTRAGE: President threatens to boot out US, Obama freaks

KERRY JUMPS ON PLANE TO KABUL TO MEET WITH CORRUPT BUSH LACKEY
The thoroughly corrupt leader of Afghanistan and Bush lackey Hamid Karzai threatens to kick America out of his country, and the Secretary of State jumps on a plane to Kabul.
President Obama should call his bluff. Pull out all U.S. troops – ahead of schedule – and let NATO follow.
Then let’s sit back and watch the “Mayor of Kabul” try to keep his warring factions in one country. It’s highly improbable that he can do so.


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‘Internet of things’ poised to take over your life (with video)

AS BILLIONS OF DEVICES CONNECT, PLANET GROWS ‘CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM’
A vast revolution – already under way – that is forecast to change our lives even more dramatically than the Internet with all its people, is called the “Internet of Things.”
As computers the size of postage stamps with connectivity to the web emerge, and cheap sensors proliferate, the number of “things” going online is expected to reach 50 billion within a few years – compared to the mere two billion people expected to be online.
Are you ready for everything you sit on, touch, watch on TV, take from the ’fridge to be broadcast to the entire planet?
This poses huge public policy questions about privacy and data sharing that have not begun to be explored.
It is time to begin the discussion. Here. Now!


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Coup becomes final as Egypt court bans Brotherhood

MOVE CEMENTS MILITARY CONTROL AFTER 3-MONTH CRACKDOWN
While the world was preoccupied with the crisis in Syria the military junta that took over Egypt three months ago was cementing its control over that country.
Monday was the final nail in the coffin of the promising experiment in democracy.
In a sweeping ruling, an Egyptian court banned the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leader Mohamed Morsi was duly elected in an election widely regarded as fair in 2012.
All these signs point to the lights going out on Egypt’s short-lived attempt at democratic rule. It is a tragic development.


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Future of newspapers brightens as some adapt to digital era (with video)

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK: NYT CO. TO PAY DIVIDEND
The Thursday announcement that The New York Times Co. is restoring its dividend is the clearest signal yet that the Gray Lady is successfully adapting its business model to the new realities of publishing in the Internet age.
It comes after a decade of stern warnings that the end of print media in general – and daily newspapers in particular – was approaching rapidly.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that those who provide “indispensable journalism” and find a way to monetize their online content are those that will survive this wrenching transition.
It was definitely the best news of the week.


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