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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Home Secretary Theresa May announced in the Commons this afternoon, that a new crime fighting unit's to be formed.. in what looks to be a move towards a British form of the American Homeland Security Agency..
This new unit, according to Theresa, will be called the 'National Crime Agency'.. which would have the powers to coordinate Police work, and identify matters of national security..
Agents of this new agency will have powers that 'go beyond' those of the Police Force..
She told MP's that organised crime cost up to £40 billion a year, with around 38 thousand members of 6 thousand gangs operating in the UK..
But, only 11% of those gangs were being hit "in a meaningful way" by law enforcement agencies..
It's always a concern when a government announces it's formed a new police force.. just how much power we're willing to give to new agencies is something we should all examine.. Closely..

The Man at the top of China's General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) says their first aircraft carrier is under construction.. It's a remodeled decommissioned Soviet carrier..
The PLA is one of the most secretive agencies when it comes to it's defence planning.. But Chinese diplomats are saying this ship poses a threat to 'nobody'..
One wonders then, why it was built.. Those in Taiwan, might be somewhat concerned..

Ramadan is upcoming, and American officials are thinking it would be the perfect time to begin a strategic withdrawal from Libya.. some 30 thousand troops are expected to be on their way home by late next year.. Britain's expected to follow suit, and begin bringing ours back.. Barack's set to address the nation on this topic tomorrow, and likely he'll explain that after having talks with Libyan President Karzai, this withdrawal will be the 'bookends' of the American surge which began two years ago..
This venture is costing the US some $100 billion a year to maintain and this option of ending their involvement within 18 months or so.. would be a bright political move some months away from the election..
Now, Barack has to choose between the advice of his generals, who want a full complement of combat troops for another fighting season against the Taleban, and civilian advisers.. including Joe Biden, the Vice-President.. who see the death of Osama bin Laden as the chance for a rethink of US strategy..
This is becoming a trend..the States backing away from involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts.. at least as far as manpower is concerned.. No doubt the country could use the savings.. there are problems in the Union which need desperate attention.. Prime among which is unemployment, for without a realistic plan in place in the near future to deal with the problem, it alone could seriously put Barack's possibilities of re-election in doubt..
But bringing the boys home..
It has a ring to it that will resonate with a majority of American voters..

They've started to come out with the actual figures..
With this risible rise in fuel bills, which Scottish Power has started and the rest are expected to soon follow.. a million British households face 'fuel poverty' when the heat goes back on again..
Now as mentioned yesterday, the Power Companies are claiming the high cost of fuels has driven their costs through the roof.. But that's little consolation to those who have to face a rise in their bills to the tune of over £130 a year..
It's a problem the government's going to have to face.. those on fixed incomes are looking at 5% inflation across the board, plus this added expense for hot water and heat.. television use.. computers.. It's hitting the middle class hard.. but those below the poverty line will be crippled..
Just what Westminster can do here.. beyond increasing social service.. pension.. and disability payments to a level which recognizes the increases in daily living.. is moot.. Perhaps an injection of funds to those mentioned services could come from the monies saved in our planned withdrawal from Iraq..
It must come from somewhere..

Still in the Middle East.. NATO's stepping up it's own agenda.. dropping some 60 bombs in targets in Tripoli yesterday..wiping out large areas of Muammar's el-Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya command compound..and Mohammar struck back immediately with a radio broadcast denouncing NATO..the US.. Britain.. vowing 'never to accept defeat'..
“We welcome death..” he said.. “Martyrdom is a million times better.”
Better than living, is moot.. but then who among us can say they fully understand that man's layered mind..
In a city grown accustomed to the NATO raids.. the attacks caused a heightened level of alarm, partly because they began so early in the day when Tripoli.. two and a half million people.. was busy with daily routines.. Most of the nearly 4,000 strike sorties flown by NATO since the air war began in March have been carried out deep into the night, partly, according to NATO officials, to minimize the risk of civilian casualties.. But yesterday’s daylight raids emptied much of the city of traffic, with stores in large areas of the city shuttered and the few people out hurrying to complete their business and find shelter..
Mohammar may be willing to continue.. His Army stands, for the most part, behind him.. but how long with the civilian population hold to their up 'til now, unshakable faith in Qaddafi..? Many an Arab leader has lost power, through the use of the bowstring..

Syrian President Saleh is pretty well a no show, at least for the foreseeable future.. in Damascus.. And now the Game shifts into high gear, as the US and Saudi Arabia diplomats begin their maneuvering to ensure there's no 'power vacuum in Yemen..
While mediators move toward establishing a transitional government, Saleh’s condition.. and his prospects for recovery.. emerged as the crucial factor in determining who will rule the nation.. an important ally of the Untied States in fighting terrorism..
While Washington and Riyadh have wanted Mr. Saleh to step down in the face of months of protests and increasing violence.. there was no agreement yesterday on how to proceed while he is in hospital in Saudi Arabia..
The reports on the President's condition differ, depending on which camp you speak with.. Those who support Saleh, say he'll be back in a couple of days.. those who want him gone, say he has burns to 40% of his body, and a punctured lung caused by flying splinters of wood.. and won't be back at all..
The source of the explosion, which killed several guards.. the imam of the mosque.. wounding a dozen government officials and Saleh allies.. has also been mysterious.. It was initially believed to have come from a mortar or rocket attack from outside the compound..
But as the investigation continued, there have been reports by officials in Yemen and in the press suggesting more of an inside job..
Not quite a bowstring.. but with the same result intended..

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