vodafone-IDEA telecom merger beginning new cycle of british subversion in india 

The news that India's largest telecom operator, Vodafone-IDEA, has just signed a $1.4 billion deal to import Chinese equipment made by Huawei signals that one of the most dismal patterns of Indian history is repeating itself.  

That pattern involves Indian traitors helping foreigners subvert Indian security and political independence. 

The last time that happened was when the East India Company borrowed money from Jagat Seth, the Mughal Empire's richest banker, to bribe its way to victory at the "Battle of Plassey."  That led to the company becoming the Mughal tax collector in Bengal, a role it expanded over the next century to some 3/5ths of the country.

Vodafone, Britain's largest telecom operator, is the 21st Century East India Company. Jagat Seth's counterparts as traitors are the Ruia Brothers who helped sneak Vodafone into the Indian market, and Kumra Mangalam Birla, head of IDEA. 

The Ruias sold their telecom company to Hutchinson Whampoa, a Chinese company with close ties to the the People's Liberation Army. HW in turn sold the company to Vodafone in a transaction conducted in a Caribbean "tax haven."

When the Indian government imposed a $2 billion tax on the transaction, Vodafone went to court and has avoided paying anything. 

To shore up its position while trying to avoid paying the tax, Vodafone India has merged with Birla's "IDEA." The Ruia and Birla families are Marwaris, as was Jagat Seth, renowned for business acumen without ethical or social compunction.

As the Huawei deal indicates, the Vodafone India-IDEA combine will be a major subversive force unless Indian consumers boycot it and ensure its failure. 

What the Vodafone case says about India

drug war is total failure says report months before 2019 un Assembly special session 

23 October 2018: A major report from  the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), says the "war on drugs" has failed and calls for a major rethinking of prohibitionist policy. 

The failure of the current policy is overwhelming. Drug-related deaths have increased by 145% over the last decade, with more than 71,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2017 alone. In the same period  at least 3,940 people have been executed for drug offenses in countries that think this will discourage traffickers. In addition, there have been some 27,000 extrajudicial killings just in the Philippines. 

Meanwhile, drug production and trafficking have continued to thrive amidst enormous violence as the  gangs, cartels and terrorist movements that depend on the business compete for its rich rewards.

Foreword by Helen Clark

In a foreword to the report, former UNDP Administrator Helen Clark underlines its importance:

"A decade ago, the international community reiterated its aspiration to achieve a drug-free world. Yet over that decade, available data shows that the production, sale, and consumption of currently illegal drugs are soaring.

"So are the harms related to current policies, with dramatic increases in overdoses, prison over-crowding, HIV and hepatitis transmission, a more revenue-generating and increasingly violent illegal market, and in the condoning by some of extrajudicial killings against people who use drugs – killings that often take place in broad daylight.

"Ten years after the world’s governments adopted at the UN the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on drugs, there is still little discussion on how to evaluate the impact of current policies, or on how to analyse the results of the policies implemented during this period.

"In 2014, there was a mid-term High-Level Review of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action. It resulted in a new negotiated document that reiterated the commitments, without providing any such ‘High-Level Review’. Two years later, the 2016 UNGASS on drugs provided another opportunity to review the current approach, to no avail. Although progress was made in bringing in more visibility to issues related to health, human rights and development, the resulting Outcome Document failed to recognise the harmful consequences of the war on drugs approach.

"The international community is meeting again at a Ministerial Segment at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2019 to decide upon a common strategy for the next ten years. But how can we plan the future without a serious and far-ranging assessment of the past’s errors and successes? How can we quantify the unintended consequences of drug control policies when they are not evaluated?

"Up until now, no comprehensive evaluation has been carried out either on progress towards achieving the 2009 targets or on the consequences of the past decade in global drug control on human rights, health, security, development, the environment, and on the lives of the millions of affected people worldwide.

"Furthermore, there is little appetite among countries for such a review from the UN, proving once more that drug policy remains mostly an ideological
issue rather than a societal topic that needs to be addressed based on evidence, dialogue, and building consensus."  

Global Coalition

The IDPC is a network of 177 national and international NGOs focused on the need for a major revamping of drug policy at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in March 2019 in Vienna, Austria. 

Download Report

chinese no longer welcome in us writes former head of chinese section of library of congress

19 October 2018: In an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post Chi Wang, former head of the Chinese section of the US Library of Congress, writes that the United States no longer welcomes Chinese immigrants. Read article 

African Governments are paying a heavy price for the world bank's mauritius miracle

19 October 2018: US magazine Foreign Policy  looks at Mauritius as a money laundering center with a heavy draw on African nations. Read story

kim seeks denuclearization by end of trump presidency as North-South Korea write to un

8 September 2018: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told a South Korean delegation in Pyongyang that he wants denuclearization before the end of the Trump presidency.  The news is buried in a Kyodo News article about North and South Korea jointly asking the United Nations to circulate their leaders' accord on peace and security on the Korean Peninsula as an official document. Read story

south african writer fired for uighur article

7 September 2018: South African journalist Azad Essa posted the following on his Facebook page yesterday: 

"I have been writing a foreign affairs column for Independent Media for the past 2 years. I have focussed on neglected issues around the globe, zooming in on race, immigration, poverty, and prejudice.

This week I wrote about how Chinese authorities are holding more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims in internment camps in the Xinjiang province.

I was fully aware that China International Television Corporation (CITVC ) and China-Africa Development Fund (CADFUND) have a stake in Independent Media and that the column might ruffle feathers.

But the piece was published in print in newspapers around the country on Wednesday. When I enquired when the piece would go up online, I received a mail saying "a decision has been made not to publish it online".

When I asked for clarity from online editors, I received no response. This morning my weekly column was canceled. I was told the following: "With the redesign of our papers and the new system, there are changes regarding the columnists being used."

Is this the future of corporate censorship in South Africa? And is this where the continent's future relationship with China is headed?


uN Begins historic Talks to regulate high seas

Read the IPS story

reality Check on the New Yorker's bizarre view of kofi annan—and the revealing back-story   

31 August 2018: Hours after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan died on 18 August, 
The New Yorker published a bizarre attack on him by staff writer Philip Gourevitch. As head of the UN’s peacekeeping department in the 1990s, said Gourevitch, Annan had “presided over the ignominious failures” of “missions in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia,” and right until his death “had steadfastly refused to acknowledge any meaningful sense of personal or institutional responsibility for these debacles.”  Annan also was a “figure of preternatural calm” who “appeared, even to those who worked most closely with him, to be a man devoid of anger, who would never take things personally.”  Read More

Was Kofi Annan poisoned because he was about to call for decriminalization of all drugs?

20 August 2018: The government of Ghana should investigate if Kofi Annan's sudden death was caused by poison, and if he was about to issue a call for the decriminalization of all drugs.  It is possible that he might have been angered by a UN report to the Security Council saying that the terrorist organization Boko Haram was financed by ransom money paid by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Signed by British diplomat Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of a Security Council analytical team, the report is nonsense, meant to muddy understanding of the situation in Nigeria and globally.

Boko Haram is one of the terrorist organizations created to protect the routes along which heroin from Afghanistan (where it is grown under Taliban supervision) flows to consuming countries. Drug money is thus its main systemic sustenance. Everything else is freelance crime.

British Smokescreen

The report is part of the smokescreen the British generate through the UN to hide their role in managing the global money laundering system that processes the hundreds of billions of dollars generated annually by drug trafficking.

In doing that they have a powerful network of allies, for the laundered money enters the "legal economy" through the $3 trillion "Hedge Fund" industry that has made the freemarket capitalist system one vast casino catering to the world's super rich.

This means the British are catering to the billionaire class throughout the world. Traditional differentiations of capitalism and socialism, of "Russian, European and American oligarchs," no longer make sense.

Unless people around the world see what is happening and mount an effort to end drug trafficking and the money laundering that supports it, we're headed for a world ruled by billionaire oligarchs for their own benefit.

The Threat of Decriminalization

If all drugs were decriminalized, it would destroy the market that allows Britain to generate huge profits from substances that are cheap and easily produced.  Without  the prohibition on drugs, it would not be profitable for criminals to produce them or promote their use. Drug abuse would become a public health problem overnight, not the $500 billion business that it is now.

With that end in view, there has been a growing call for the legalization of all drugs. In 2019  the United Nations General Assembly is holding a Special Session that could call for legalization. A call from Annan would have had a strong impact on public opinion worldwide. 

I was a UN staffer and knew Kofi for many years: read my brief note about that here.

Kofi Annan 1938--2018

The Kofi Annan Foundation announced the death of its founder on the morning of 18 August.

It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness. His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days.

Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike.

Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa. He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did. He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system. He will remain in our hearts forever.

The family kindly requests privacy at this time of mourning. Arrangements to celebrate his remarkable life will be announced later.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​India, China and Israel moon shots in 2018

India, China and Israel will all launch lunar rovers in 2018. The first two will be official, the third by a private group. Details here.

China plans Russia war games, spies on US navy

Disinvited from the US Navy's RIMPAC exercises in the Pacific, China has sent a spy ship to keep tabs on what's happening. Meanwhile, it is planning war games with with Russia. 

China busts $1.5 bn crypto betting ring

Record Afghan civilian deaths in 2018

Kate Clark writing in Afghanistan Analysts Network of 15 July reports that according to a mid-year assessment by the United Nations more civilians have been killed in the first six months of 2018 than in any year since 2009 when systematic monitoring began. In all,  1,692 people were killed and 3,430 injured.

She writes: "Every day in the first six months of 2018, an average of nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the conflict in Afghanistan. An average of 19 civilians, including five children, were injured every day.

"UNAMA in its mid-year report for 2018  found that these civilians were killed and injured in ground engagements (29% of the total), suicide and complex attacks (28%), by IEDs (17%), in targeted and deliberate killings (9%), in air attacks (7%) and by leftover unexploded munitions (5%). (1)

"They were most likely to have been killed or injured by insurgents (67 per cent of the total), although a fifth (20 per cent) were killed and injured by pro-government forces and ten per cent in fighting between the two. (2)

"UNAMA attributed 42 per cent of total civilian casualties to the Taleban, 18 per cent to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), 17 per cent to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), two per cent to the international military and one per cent to pro-government armed groups. The remainder were not attributable to any single party.

Civilians in the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Faryab, Helmand and Kandahar were the most likely to be killed or injured in the war.

The Eid ul-Fitr ceasefire (15-17 June) evidently did not decrease the toll on civilians. Only ISKIP, which increasingly targeted schools, refused to observe the ceasefire. It carried out two brutal attacks in Nangrahar province. On the second day of Eid, an ISKP suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd of Taleban, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and civilians in Rodat district. The following day, a bomb planted near the governor’s office killed and wounded people waiting for the end of a meeting between officials and visiting Taleban. Just those two attacks killed 48 civilians and injured 133 others.  


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media watch

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World Digital Library

The Global Terrorism Database provides a 45-year review. 

Aurangzeb at Golconda

   our favorites

31 January 2018

  Today is a rare total eclipse of a Super Blood Blue

  Moon. It augurs transformative change and power-

  ful flows of psychic energy that bring to complet-

  ion a long karmic cycle.

  Watch it live.  

13 October 2017

On the occasion of the United States withdrawal

         from UNESCO we call attention to one of the 

        singular American initiatives with the agency,

the wonderfully engrossing World Digital Library 

19 June 2017

Scientists ​consider the case for an ancient postulate: a sentient universe

6 June 2017

         27 minute clip from Bob Dylan's shaggy dog 

     (but mesmerizing) Nobel Prize speech in 2016.

         Recorded  on 4 June 2017 in Los Angeles, CA.  

30 May 2017

                          Mad Magazine has aserendipitous cover 

                     with Jared Kushner as its "What, me worry"

                                                          mascot Alfred E Newman


28 May 2017

 Women in politics 2017 map (Download)
The women in politics 2017 map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2017. It shows slow progress towards gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels, but with a slight drop (from 19 to 17), of countries with a woman Head of State and/or Head of Government. However, if we look back to 2005 when IPU first compiled the statistics on women heads of State or government, there has been a significant rise, from 8 to 17.

12May 2017

The World Meteorological Organization came into existence in the 19th Century to facilitate the telegraphic sharing of newly systematized weather observation to improve safety of ships at sea. At the WMO web site today there is aCloud Atlas worth looking at.  On 15 May, WMO launches the Year of Polar Prediction with a Press briefing at the UN in New York. It will be webcast.  


10 May 2017

From The Atlantic:

"Happy 29th birthday to Rose, who was born around the time a NASA scientist told the Senate that global warming had started. And happy 49th birthday to Amy, who’s never lived in a world without the Super Bowl. From Curt, happy 52nd birthday to Harriet; the two of them got married about half her lifetime ago, the same year the World Wide Web was born. Philip, a numerologist, wishes a happy and especially auspicious birthday to Sally, who was born on 05/10/51 and is now turning 66 (a little younger than credit cards). And happy birthday to Ryan, who’s twice as old as the euro, one-fifth the age of The Atlantic, and is Rachel’s “witty, brilliant husband and dorky best friend.”

2 May 2017

Illicit financial flows from poor countries large, persistent (download GFI report)

1 May 2017

Watch reindeer migrate in Norway and listen to catchy Sami Boy music

16 April 2017

Video + Text:The remarkable impact of releasing 14 wolves in Yellowstone Park 

15 April 2017

Video: New perspectives on Americanand Indian national anthems. And Mojo's Euro-weighted "Top Ten" national anthems  

10 April 2017

On 176th anniversary of Karl Marx's doctorate: a letter about qualifications of UN SGs

8 April 2017

How Science Fiction depicts lawyers

4 April 2017

Terms and conditions: the graphic novel

3 April 2017

Video: UN Ambassasdor Nikki Haley speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations

31 March 2017

Ronald Reagan and the Black List  podcast

​26 March 2017

Daesh destruction of Mosul shrine reveals much older temple

19 March 2017

Groundhog Day to be Play

18 March 2017

Read this to understand why Europe has no vision. Jean-Louis Guigou, president of the Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute and Miguel Angel Moratinos, a former Spanish foreign minister offer a long term vision for Europe that admits no European responsibility for the current state of Africa and the Middle East. None so blind as those who will not see.

New Yorker on the death of Derek Walcott and Walcott reads at the Library of Congress

Video from NYT: Declassified pix of US nuclear tests 

16 March 2017