Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Curious News You May Have Missed

<> Bird flu sparking human epidemic is 'science fiction': Spain
Is Spain out of step, or more logical than the rest of the world? Before you try to answer that one, read the next one.

<> World is a safer place despite people's fears Telegraph Group Limited.

<> India bids to rule the waves - India firmly acknowledges the strategic importance of the Andaman Sea. The Indian Navy is setting up a Far Eastern Naval Command (FENC) off Port Blair on the Andaman Islands midway between the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Strait - to give it "blue-water" status. The Malacca Strait, thanks to the weakness of the Indonesian and Malaysian navies, has become a hunting ground of pirates. Indian naval authorities are also concerned over the Chinese presence in these waters pointing out that with China controlling the ports of Akyab, Cheduba and Bassein, India's approaches to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be threatened. U.S. seems to approve, read the next one.
<> Navy eyes planet's most congested stretch of ocean - Other than Taiwan, the other Pacific Ocean area of interest to the Navy is the Malacca Straits, a 630-mile-long waterway that stretches between Indonesia and Malaysia. Half of the world's oil supply passes through the straits on tankers coming from the Middle East. Citing the threat of terrorism, U.S. Navy submariners have been clamoring for years to get permission from neighboring countries to patrol the straits, which have been plagued by piracy around the Singapore Strait section, where the waterway narrows to only 1½ miles wide.
<> Canada tells China could ship 450,000 bpd in 6 yrs - Canada could export up to 450,000 barrels per day of crude oil to China from northern Alberta's oil sands in the coming six years, Canadian Natural Resources Minister John McCallum said on Saturday. As the prime minister made very clear, we are very serious about the United States respecting the rules of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), McCallum told reporters on a conference call from China. During January-October 2004, oil exports to the U.S. were: Persian Gulf sources (2.4 million bbl/d); Canada (1.6 million bbl/d); Mexico (1.6 million bbl/d); Saudi Arabia (1.5 million bbl/d): Venezuela (1.3 million bbl/d): and Nigeria (1.1 million bbl/d).
<> Al Qaeda's "barber" arrested in Iraq - U.S. forces in Iraq said on Saturday that they were holding a man suspected of acting as a barber to senior al Qaeda militants and helping them change their appearance to evade capture by dying hair color, altering hairstyles and changing facial hair. The man, named as Walid Muhammad Farhan Juwar al-Zubaydi -- "aka 'The Barber,"' the U.S. military statement said -- was arrested in Baghdad on September 24, the day before U.S. troops caught up with and killed a militant they described as the most senior al Qaeda leader in the capital, Abu Azzam.
<> Update: Al Qaeda's Butcher - Zarqawi has About 139 Days to Live Remaining
<> Wilma Now Most Intense Atlantic Storm Ever - At this writing, Wilma's forecasted track takes her across Florida's penninsula on a NE course skirting the mainland in the Atlantic. Does anyone expect the storm to strike Florida's panhandle and continue toward Raliegh, NC?


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