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About bkeiller

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  1. Just in case anyone was wondering: UN launches new International Small Arms Control Standards 29 August 2012 — On August 29, the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) were launched in a side event of the Second Review Conference on the United Nations Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. The new standards will help to ensure that the UN provides support to Member States on putting in place effective controls over the full life-cycle of small arms and light weapons — from manufacture, marking and recordkeeping to storage, transport and international transfer to the tracing, collection and destruction of illicit weapons. ISACS website Let’s say you’re a peacekeeper, or a humanitarian worker, or contributing to reintegration of former combatants, or developing a small arms national action plan with a government. At some point in your work, you would need some guidance on how best to deal with small arms control issues. You may need information on such practical assistance as how to conduct a survey on the small arms situation, how to advise on the best ways to destroy a surplus stock of weapons, or how to design and implement community safety programming. The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons fuels armed violence in conflict, post-conflict and other fragile settings. About 526,000 people die from armed violence every year, at an annual opportunity cost to the global economy of approximately $400 billion. Armed violence destroys lives and livelihoods, breeds insecurity, fear and terror, dissolves social cohesion and hinders achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The lives of UN staff are also being endangered by the easy availability of weapons. As Hideki Matsuno, who is responsible for the ISACS in UNODA , notes: “Last year, the Organization recorded 26 armed attacks on UN premises, including five rocket and mortar attacks, 13 attacks using improvised explosive devices, 36 ambushes of UN convoys and 31 cases of hijacking of UN vehicles.” Destruction of small arms and light weapons in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina The 23 UN entities that make up the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) mechanism have contributed expertise, time and money over the last three-and-a-half years. They also opened the process of developing the standards to experts from governments, international and regional organizations, civil society and the private sector. UN Member States have already negotiated three global agreements aimed at eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. The UN Programme of Action, the International Tracing Instrument and the Firearms Protocol create global norms that could go a long way towards eradicating the black market trade in guns. Following their launch, the standards will be used by CASA partners to support programmes and projects designed to assist Member States in controlling arms and reducing armed violence. The work of drafting the standards may be coming to an end, but the task of applying them is only just beginning. https://www.un.org/disarmament/update/20120829a/
  2. Disarming all the roaming tribes will be an interesting challenge. I expect a lot of Kalashnikovs to be buried in folks gardens and fields ... Just in case.
  3. Bigger question, Adam, as this speculation could go on for a while and I have a more philosophical view of things: Regards the/your accrual of wealth, do you have any mantras or gold standards/nuggets which you have developed that drive you that you are willing to share?
  4. I wonder if the Iraq escrow accounts will be used to buy back currency? ... wishful thinking!?
  5. Objectifying a man ... Baby.
  6. Cheers, Chuck. AMN is not such a well traveled site. So, I thought I would pop 'em in there.
  7. Iraqi Army captures half of ISIS pocket in Mosul in just 24 hours By Chris Tomson 10/06/2017 DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:00 P.M.) – After a week-long hiatus to evacuate civilians through humanitarian corridors, the Iraqi Armed Forces resumed their military operations around the last three ISIS-held neighborhoods in Mosul. Led by the Rapid Response Division, 9th Division and Counter Terrorism Units, government forces finally managed to impose full control over the Al-Zinjili neighborhood amid deadly door-to-door combat and a ferocious battle with ISIS insurgents on Saturday. Advancing southwards along the Tigris River, the Iraqi Army also took control of roughly 75% of the Al-Shafaa district which neighbors the largely ISIS-held Old City, a densely populated residential area which has been held in check by the Iraqi Federal Police for months. With barely two suburbs under Islamic State control, the battle for Iraq’s second largest city is expected to come to an end within a fortnight. Nevertheless, a couple hundred exhausted jihadist fighters appear determined to fight to the bitter end. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraqi-army-captures-half-isis-pocket-mosul-within-24-hours/
  8. Iraqi Army begins major offensive to capture main ISIS stronghold west of Mosul By Ivan Castro 10/06/2017 DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:35 P.M.) – Iraqi Armed Forces started the long-awaited offensive to capture Tal Afar city west of Mosul from the so-called “Islamic State”. On Saturday morning, Iraqi Army’s 15th Division, in coordination with Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Kataeb Hezbollah battalions, launched a powerful assault on the eastern flank of Tal Afar pocket. Having successfully broken through the first line of IS defense, government forces managed to liberate six villages, namely Tal Khima, Shiek Qura, Baligha, Zarnook, Mahafeef and Dam Sinjar. Intense clashes were ongoing till noon on Saturday, before Iraqi Army and allies stopped the advance to establish and fortify defensive positions in the liberated villages and their surroundings. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraqi-army-begins-major-offensive-capture-main-isis-stronghold-west-mosul/
  9. Something appears lost in translation, as the arithmetic of competent authorities doesn't add up. Maybe the currency is the reason, or there was 50 million in each bag? (it went from dollars to dinar magically), or folks simply were caught and there needs to be hush money or an embarrassment tax? In the first story: (first) "Iraq is holding hundreds of millions of dollars Qatari negotiators had brought to Baghdad as ransom money for the release of kidnapped hunters, the prime minister said Tuesday." And what it is costing Qatar in 'busted! tax': (last) According to an informed source told all of Iraq [where] that "the prime minister revealed that he was forming a committee made up of the internal intelligence service and the judiciary and the Central Bank and representatives from the State of Qatar regarding the Qatari money that entered Baghdad airport," he said, adding that "the competent authorities found 50 million dollars in their bags. 100s of millions - Iraq's 'tax' = $50 million ... At least our system has legitimized theft and you can simply do it all on a keyboard. Look no further than the banking scandal of 2007, as one systemic example. Interesting stuff.
  10. Watt? The current state of affairs would indicate these guys are in their element?
  11. Oil prices dip on fears Middle East spat could harm OPEC cuts Published June 05, 2017 Markets Reuters Oil prices reversed gains to trade down on Monday on concerns that the cutting of ties with Qatar by top crude exporter Saudi Arabia and other Arab states could hamper a global deal to reduce oil production. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain closed transport links with top liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate shipper Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability. The move pushed Brent crude prices up as much as 1 percent, before paring gains to trade down 30 cents at $49.65 a barrel at 1046 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were at $47.40 a barrel, down 26 cents. With a production capacity of about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), Qatar's crude output is one of OPEC's smallest but tension within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could weaken the supply deal, aimed at supporting prices. "I think it's still going to be a bit of a debate on the true impact it can have on the oil market," said Olivier Jakob, strategist at Petromatrix. "In terms of oil flows it doesn't change very much but there is a wider geopolitical impact one needs to consider," Jakob added, explaining that a breakdown in relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia could make the OPEC-led agreement on production cuts less effective. There are already doubts the effort to curb production by almost 1.8 million bpd is seriously denting exports. While there was a dip in OPEC supplies between February and April, a report on Monday by Thomson Reuters Oil Research said OPEC shipments likely jumped to 25.18 million bpd in May, up over 1 million bpd from April. Brent futures are still down about 7 percent from their open on May 25, when OPEC opted to extend production cuts into 2018. Crude output in the United States, which is not participating in the cuts, has jumped more than 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.34 million bpd, close to levels of top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia. The rise in U.S. production has been driven by a record 20th straight weekly climb in oil drilling, with the rig count climbing by 11 in the week to June 2, to 733, the most since April 2015. "Investors continue to doubt the ability of OPEC to rebalance the oil market, with crude oil prices remaining under pressure amid further signs of rising U.S. oil production," ANZ bank said. (Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh and Henning Gloystein; Editing by Dale Hudson) http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/06/05/oil-prices-dip-on-fears-middle-east-spat-could-harm-opec-cuts.html
  12. Qatar row: Six countries cut links with Doha Six Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region. They say Qatar backs militant groups including so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. The Saudi state news agency SPA said Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of oil-rich Qatar. Qatar called the decision "unjustified" and with "no basis in fact". The unprecedented move is seen as a major split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies. It comes amid heightened tensions between Gulf countries and their near-neighbour Iran. The Saudi statement accused Qatar of collaborating with "Iranian-backed terrorist groups" in its restive Eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain. What has happened? The diplomatic withdrawal was put into motion by Bahrain then Saudi Arabia early on Monday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen and Libya followed suit. SPA cited officials as saying the decision was taken to "protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism". Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have given all Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their territory. In the latest developments: The UAE has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. UAE airlines Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from the Qatari capital Doha from early Tuesday, local time The Gulf allies said they had closed their airspace to Qatar Airways, which has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia Bahrain's state news agency said it was cutting its ties because Qatar was "shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs" The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance because of its "practices that strengthen terrorism" and its support of extremist groups. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40155829 ===