Saudi Arabian Prince defects

Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts’ 

 August 12, 2013

Saudi Arabia, a major supporter of opposition forces in Syria, has increased crackdown on its own dissenters, with 30,000 activists reportedly in jail. In an exclusive interview to RT a Saudi prince defector explained what the monarchy fears most.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens,” Human Rights Watch begins the country’s profile on its website.

Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia and human rights groups willing to function legally have to go no further than investigating things like corruption or inadequate services. Campaigning for political freedoms is outlawed.

One of such groups, which failed to get its license from the government, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was cited by AFP as saying the kingdom was holding around 30,000 political prisoners.

Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud, who spoke to RT from Dusseldorf, Germany, confirmed reports of increased prosecution of anti-government activists and said that it’s exactly what forced him to defect from his family. He accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent and explained how the Saudi mechanism for suppression functioned.

There is no independent judiciary, as both police and the prosecutor’s office are accountable to the Interior Ministry. This ministry’s officials investigate ‘crimes’ (they call them crimes), related to freedom of speech. So they fabricate evidence, don’t allow people to have attorneys”, the prince told RT Arabic. “Even if a court rules to release such a ‘criminal’, the Ministry of Interior keeps him in prison, even though there is a court order to release him. There have even been killings! Killings! And as for the external opposition, Saudi intelligence forces find these people abroad! There is no safety inside or outside the country.”

The strong wave of oppression is in response to the anti-government forces having grown ever more active. A new opposition group called Saudi Million and claiming independence from any political party was founded in late July. The Saudi youths which mostly constitute the movement say they demand the release of political prisoners and vow to hold regular demonstrations, announcing their dates and locations via Facebook and electronic newspapers.

Human rights violations are driving people on to the streets despite the fear of arrest, according to activist Hala Al-Dosari, who spoke to RT from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

We have issues related to political and civil rights, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These are the main issues that cause a lot of people to be at risk for just voicing out their opinions or trying to form associations, demonstrate or protest, which is banned by the government.”

The loudest voice of the Saudi opposition at the moment is a person called ‘Saudi Assange’. His Twitter name is @Mujtahidd, he keeps his identity and whereabouts secret and is prolific in online criticism of the ruling family, which has gained him over a million followers.

The regime can destroy your credibility easily and deter people from dealing with you if your identity is public,” Mujtahid wrote to RT’s Lindsay France in an email.

Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced his defection from the Saudi Arabian royal family on July 27.

They don’t think about anything but their personal benefits and do not care for the country’s and people’s interests, or even national security,” his statement reads as cited by the website of Tehran-based Al Alam International News Channel.

The prince criticized the royal family for silencing all voices calling for reforms and said he learned of the common Saudis’ sufferings having gone through “horrible personal experience,” without specifying exactly what it was.

The Twitter activist’s anonymity is understandable. The most recent example of what can happen to activists is the case of Raif Badawi, the founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, who was found guilty of insulting Islam through his online forum and sentenced the activist to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.

In June, seven people were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for ‘inciting protests’ via Facebook. The indicted denied charges and said they were tortured into confession.

The government is obviously scared of the Arab revolutions. And they’ve responded as they usually do: by resorting to oppression, violence, arbitrary law, and arrest,” Prince Khaled says, adding that so far the tougher the measures the government took to suppress the dissent, the louder that dissent’s voice was.

The opposition used to demand wider people’s representation in governing bodies, more rights and freedoms. But the authorities reacted with violence and persecution, instead of a dialogue. So the opposition raised the bar. It demanded constitutional monarchy, similar to what they have in the UK, for example. And the Saudi regime responded with more violence. So now the bar is even higher. Now the opposition wants this regime gone.”

There was a time, at the beginning of the Arab Spring movement in the region in 2011, when the government tried to appease opposition activists by a $60 billion handout program by King Abdullah, according to Pepe Escobar, a correspondent for the Asia Times. He calls that move an attempt to “bribe” the population. However there was also a stick with this carrot.

The stick is against the Shiite minority – roughly 10 percent of Saudi Arabia – who live in the Eastern province where most of the oil is, by the way. They don’t want to bring down the House of Saud essentially. They want more participation, judiciary not answering to religious powers and basically more democratic freedoms. This is not going to happen in Saudi Arabia. Period. Nor in the other Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] petro-monarchies”.

Escobar points out the hypocrisy of the Saudi Arabian rulers, who feel free to advise other regional powers on how to move towards democracy, despite their poor human rights record.

They say to the Americans that they are intervening in Syria for a more democratic post-Assad Syria and inside Saudi Arabia it’s the Sunni-Shiite divide. They go against 10 percent of their own population.”

‘Buying favors from West’

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on opposition has been strongly condemned by human rights organizations, but not by Western governments, which usually claim sensitivity to such issues.

The White House certainly does maintain a long-standing alliance with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, cemented by common political, economic and military interests in the Middle East,” said Prince Khaled.

Germany came under fierce criticism last week over its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, which have almost tripled in just two years, from 570 million euro in 2011 to almost one-and-a-half billion in 2012.

And Angela Merkel’s government has approved weapons exports of more than 800 million euro in the first half of this year – suggesting the level will continue to grow.

With arms they [Gulf States] are also buying favors from the West. They are insuring the maintenance of their legitimacy on spending massive amounts of money that are pouring into Western economies,” Dr. Ahmed Badawi, co-executive director of Transform, which studies conflicts and political developments, told RT.

In 2012, Amnesty International claimed that German-made small firearms, ammunition and military vehicles were commonly used by Middle Eastern and North African regimes to suppress peaceful demonstrations.

Small arms are becoming real weapons of mass destruction in the world now. There is absolutely no way to guarantee that the weapons that are being sold legally to countries like Saudi Arabia, even Egypt, do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The two important examples are German assault rifles found in the regions in Mexico and also in Libya. And there’s absolutely no way of knowing how these weapons ended up there,” Badawi said. Source  Videos at source.

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Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm  Comments Off on Saudi Arabian Prince defects  
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YES HE DID is not YES WE CAN: Kibaki Signs Retrogressive Media Bill

January 3 2009

I think “Yes we Can” as a phrase only makes sense when it is used in reference to Obama and the long road to his historic win. Any attempt to use it in isolation is tantamount to reinventing the wooden wheel when we already have Michelin, Pirelli, and Bridgestone tires. And that is what our political class has done, and what our President has affirmed by signing the retrogressive media bill that seeks to gag us, denying Kenyans the fundamental freedoms that are guaranteed in any modern democracy.

I wrote an article earlier expressing my hopes that President Kibaki would not sign the bill but also a follow-up caveat with fears that he might sign it anyway, despite the hue and cry from the media. I was reluctant to express confidence that President Kibaki would do the right thing and not sign the bill because we have never been sure what he stands for and hence what he might do. I only know what he cannot do, and that is lead. He has proved me right once more and signed a retrogressive bill that has dragged this country several decades behind to the 20th century yet in our vision 2030; we strive to be like the rest of the leading democracies.

I do not think that Kibaki is stupid or anything of that sort, but brightness alone is not leadership. The essence of leadership is the ability to read the mood of the people and doing right by them. Repeatedly, Kibaki has shown an uncanny ability to embrace willful ignorance, and tragedies such as worsening of the post election violence and signing of the media bill into law have occurred. Recently, we saw the President ignore and even dismiss the man who sought to answer the question whose answer was obvious to everyone except the President. At a time when inflation and consequently food prices is at its highest, and food shortage rampant, Kibaki failed to see the suffering to Kenyans that this was doing.

Now he has assented to the controversial media bill, claiming that it addresses fundamental issues which will encourage among others, investment. That is indeed stupid and coming from an economist; it is especially sad and reeks of vested interests. To Kenyans reading this, please do not even to try to find out which tribe I belong to, and hence seek to dismiss this article as rants against the President because of tribe. It is not that simple, and issues rarely are. The fact is that it is we, Kenyans, who are bound to suffer from the fascist attributes of this media bill. In his statement, Kibaki has dismissed section 88 as not part of the amendment bill, saying the section 88 is found in the 1998 amendment. True. But what he has failed to address is section 46, the scariest part of the bill. It is Section 46 which gives the state the power to dictate what is watched, read and listened to by the public. We might as well move to China or Russia, or even some place closer to home, Zimbabwe.

The way forward is hard and may be long, but one which Kenyans must take. Paul Muite, an influential lawyer and sober leader who was at the core of reform and fights for the liberties that we enjoy today just reminded us that it was Kibaki who seconded the Section 2A amendment that made Kenya a one party state. And today, like then, the fight for this cancerous section to be repealed might be long, it might cost careers and lives, including my own, but it is a fight that must be fought and must be won. There is too much at stake to just sit idle and watch things unfold. You may wonder what the fuss is all about. Here is a sneak peek. Media houses that portray the Government in bad light will be raided, just the way Standard Group was raided, only legally. Similarly, their licenses might be revoked; equipment confiscated, journalists heavily fined, all legally now, and all for the flimsiest of reasons, like telling the truth.

The Government mouthpiece, the spin doctor himself: Expect Dr. Alfred Mutua, the Government spokesman to come out spinning lies, misinterpreting the whole bill like only he can. He will say the most outrageous things with a straight face, reminiscent of his claims last year that the extra ministries will be of no additional cost to the tax payer. Basic arithmetic told us otherwise, but this “Dr.” thought that dividing a ministry meant dividing the salaries of the ministers, assistant ministers, permanent secretaries… (I could go on) that will be appointed to both. We all know the extra strain on the budget that the additional ministries had. To that, I have the following to say. If common sense was a disease, Dr. Alfred Mutua would be the carrier for the antidote because he does not have any. If bullshit was a town, Dr. Alfred Mutua would be the mayor because he is full of shit. And he does not relent because the lies he spins, like the chases in his program, Cobra Squad, never end.

I look forward to seeing what the media houses and civil societies come up with going forward. Whatever it is, I will join them because I do not want my kids and great grandkids to fight for the same fundamental rights and freedoms that I should have secured for them.

Obama is the “Yes We Can” generation and Kibaki is the “Get Away With” generation. Kibaki’s henchmen are now saying “Yes He Did” on the latter, the utmost perversion of a good thing.

Source

Silencing the media has been ongoing not just in Kenya China Russia but through out the world. The media is becoming silent on may issues. Many times they even distorted the truth which in other words becomes a lie. The Iraq war and the steps leading up to it, were spun to make people believe Iraq was evil, but in fact much of what was told to the public by the media was pure propaganda. Israel is another example of the truth not being told over the years.

The media was always a way of the truth being told. There are many reporters who try to get the truth out but many times their stories are not printed or aired. Such a shame. In Israel they do everything to keep the media from telling the truth including not letting them in to Gaza.

This has even been done by the US during Katrina the press was told not to print certain things, or take pictures f what was really going on. They were in essence told to lie.

Haiti is another example of media silence. One is hard pressed to find much of anything on Haiti. Journalists attempting to report news from there are also silenced one way or the other. Some even imprisoned.

The US has put journalists in jail or targeted media centers. Their military has also killed many who tried to report from Iraq. Just recently yet another reporter was shot by the US military. They always have some sort of excuse or other, but their excuses are running thin in my mind.

Today will be another example of media silence on many of the Marches and Rally’s around the world against Israels war against the Palestinians. This is not new of course. Mark my words there will be little said on the main stream media. The marches  and rally’s will be minimized as par usual. This I have noted over years. I actually expect it. Especially in the US. Watch and see. So who will give the best coverage of these events? It certainly will not be the US media.

When you attempt to silence the media you have something to hide. Whether it be a crime or  blatant lies. We need Freedom of the
Press. Journalists need to be able to tell the public the truth.

Kibaki is told: Apologize over Journalists Arrested

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 6:59 pm  Comments Off on YES HE DID is not YES WE CAN: Kibaki Signs Retrogressive Media Bill  
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Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare

By Timothy B. Hurst
December 6 2008
Extraction and refining heavy oil from Canadian tar sands will have increasingly devastating impacts on migratory bird populations, according to a new study.

oil refinery in canadian tar sands

According to anew report, the cumulative impact of developing Canadian tar sands over the next 30–50 years could be as high as 166 million birds lost, including future generations. Written by scientists from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Boreal Songbird Initiative, and Pembina Institute, the peer-reviewed paper suggests that avian mortality from continued development of Canada’s tar sands would provide a serious blow to migratory bird populations in North America.

It is estimated that half of America’s migratory birds nest in the Boreal forest, and each year 22–170 million birds breed in the area that could eventually be developed for tar sands oil if the rate of development continues at it is currently planned.

“At a time when bird populations are rapidly declining, this report puts into perspective the far reaching effects of tar sands oil development on North America’s birds,” said the report’s lead author Jeff Wells, Ph.D. of the Boreal Songbird Initiative. “The public needs to understand the real and long-term ecological costs of this development and determine if this is acceptable,” added Wells.

suncor tar sands mining in alberta, canada

In Alberta, tar sands mining and drilling causes significant habitat loss and fragmentation. Expansive toxic tailings ponds are protected by propane cannons that are used to keep ducks from landing in them.

toxic oil shale tailings

When those cannons fail, we see unfortunate accidents like the one this past summer in Alberta when some 500 ducks were killed after landing in a tailings pond. Toxic tailing ponds result in 8,000 to 100,000 oiled and drowned birds annually.

duck being cleaned of oil

Authors of the report suggest that an immediate solution to the unsustainable pace of development and to environmental problems relating to tar sands oil development is a moratorium on all new projects, project expansions, and to clean up existing projects.

For Canada to take the kind of substantive action necessary to prevent the ecological damage suggested by this report, it may require international pressure; the kind of pressure that could be applied by a renegotiated NAFTA that strengthens environmental laws, something that president-elect Obama has suggested he would like to see.

Images courtesy of: 1. & 3. David Dodge/Pembina Institute; 2. & 4. D. Faucher/Ducks Unlimited; 5. Sun Media Corp.

Source

The report covers the various ways tar sands development affects bird populations, including:

-Habitat Loss
-Tailings Ponds and Oiled Birds
-Fragmentation of Habitat from Drilling
-Water Withdrawals
-Air and Water Toxins
-High Emissions and Global Warming

In the Beginning.

1970’s Film – The Tar Sands

This clip shows the various refinement steps required to convert tar sands into usable crude oil and other petroleum products.

The methods have changed since then, but the  environmental impact is still very disturbing.

As Alberta’s tar sands production continues to increase at a rapid rate new ‘tailings ponds’ or toxic lakes from spent refining of the heavy crude oil trapped in sand are popping up everywhere and kilometers in size for the most part.

Tar Sands the Beginning of the End of the Carbon Age -Clearing the forest for the Oil Sands

At the Athabasca tar sands deposits north of Fort McMurray companies like Syncrude move unfettered and with strong support from local media companies despite the high pollution levels and carbon dioxide emissions.

America Looks to Canada’s Tar Sands for Next Century As the neighbor to the north Canada it appears is more then happy to develop its tar sands at any cost and as fast as possible despite the environmental fallout from the heavy crude oil reserves.

Source for Videos

Alberta  Oil Sands Cause Acid Rain

The Human Cost

By Matthew Kruchak and James Wood
February 16, 2008

Acid rain caused by Alberta oilsands production is pouring down on Saskatchewan and if governments don’t take note, any oilsands development in this province will contribute to the “most destructive project on Earth,” the Environmental Defence organization warns.

A report released Friday by the group says 70 per cent of the sulphur entering Alberta’s air ends up in Saskatchewan. Acid rain is produced by the interaction between water, sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

“Acid rain causes damage and death to the ecosystem and also human health,” said Christopher Hatch, a climate change campaigner with Environmental Defence. “People in Saskatchewan should be very concerned that neither the federal nor provincial governments are getting to the bottom of this.

“So what is it that they don’t want people to know? There’s obviously a problem — any layperson can tell that. Why are they not funding studies to ensure human health?”

The report, titled Canada’s Toxic Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth, outlines the environmental and human health effects of the oilsands and offers the federal government solutions, Hatch said.

“It’s a toxic nightmare — it really is,” he said. “To fly over the Alberta oilsands as it is — and it’s only just beginning — it’s a toxic moonscape.”

The group is calling on the federal government to step in and force the cleanup or work with the Alberta government to address environmental issues, he said.

In the past 12 years, at a Saskatchewan site (which was not identified) 200 kilometres downwind from the oilsands, the mean level of acid in precipitation had increased, the report stated, with measurements going from pH 5.3 to 4.1. Normal rainfall has a pH of 5.6.

Saskatchewan Environment ran 10 monitoring stations across the oilsands in the northwest of the province and found a buildup of nitrogen from Alberta, the report stated in a section called Raining Acid on Saskatchewan.

“On the toxic front, it’s really a looming human health disaster,” Hatch said.

Environment Minster Nancy Heppner had little to say about the report Friday.

Asked about the environmental impact of the Alberta oilsands projects, Heppner said she didn’t have any details.

“I’ve heard things, that water’s being contaminated and those sorts of things. I don’t have any specifics. I haven’t seen the report you are talking about today and obviously there’s more information we’ll be looking at to make sure that if there were mistakes made on the Alberta side that we won’t be making those here,” Heppner told reporters at the legislature just before leaving for a climate change conference in Australia.

However, she said the government is concerned about acid rain from the oilsands.

“I understand there’s some concern and we’ve met with some people, some residents of northern Saskatchewan, who are concerned about acidification of our lakes and that’s something we’re going to look at,” said Heppner.

NDP environment critic Sandra Morin questioned Heppner’s lack of knowledge about the report.

Morin said “she had no reason to doubt” the report’s characterization of the oilsands as “the most destructive project on Earth.”

“It’s incredibly distressing that 70 per cent of the acid rain, the contamination, is going to be affecting Saskatchewan. Clearly, with the development happening there and 70 per cent of those emissions affecting Saskatchewan people, one has to be concerned about the further development of the oilsands in Alberta, which is supposed to triple in the next 10 years, not to mention the further development of the oilsands projects that are happening in Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan Party government is supportive of oilsands projects in this province, but Heppner said the environment won’t be sacrificed.

“We are committed as a government going forward with development to make sure the environment is protected. There are environmental impact assessments that are done for projects and that will certainly be the case going forward. We do not want our environment to be destroyed while we develop our province,” she said.

Officials from the Ministry of Environment were unavailable for comment Friday.

A representative from Oilsands Quest, a company leading the development of the oilsands industry in Saskatchewan, was also unavailable for comment Friday.

Source

I  love this car more every day.

Solar car completes 1st round-the-world trip

These ones too.

Car that runs on air!

Air Car (1 of 2) from France

Air Car (2 of 2) from Australia

The UN’s carbon trading system in numbers

The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism was intended to offer rich countries an efficient market mechanism to achieve some of of their emission-cutting obligations at lower cost by installing green technology in developing countries. Since the Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005, more than 1,800 projects have been registered.

In other words Carbon Credits means going into another country setting up a facility and selling the product. Privatization and profit.

This does nothing to remove pollution from ones country just an opportunity for profit in another country.

Pollution should be removed from your own country, not using another country to make it look like you are removing pollution from your own.

Carbon Credits are bogus.

Added May 15 2012

Stop Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project

Please Sign petition below.

http://freedomtrain2012.nationbuilder.com/

Added September 7 2010

More birds dying in Alberta oil sands than first reported

‘Secret’ Environment Canada presentation warns of oilsands’ impact on habitat December 22, 2011

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue March 2 2012

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GM cuts output and jets as U.S. demands turnaround plans

November 22 2008

By David Bailey and John Crawley

Detroit automakers began work on turnaround plans demanded by Congress in return for $25 billion (16 billion pounds) in aid as General Motors Corp said it would cut production more and give up two of its controversial corporate jets.

Pushed to the brink of failure by a plunge in auto sales, GM said on Friday it would shut its truck plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada 1-1/2 months early and extend regularly scheduled down time at five North American plants to reduce production and keep inventory down.

GM, the top U.S. automaker based on light vehicle sales, said it would return two of its leased jets after intense criticism this week over GM executives’ deluxe arrangements for traveling to Washington to plead for a federal bailout. GM is still leasing three corporate jets.

Congressional leaders agreed on Thursday to give Detroit automakers until next month to make their case for a rescue, but they demanded that GM, Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co show they have business plans that can keep them out of bankruptcy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, leaders of the Democratic majority, were sending a letter to the chief executives of the Detroit Three detailing what the high-stakes turnaround plans need to show.
“This isn’t to be life support for three months,” Pelosi told reporters. “It’s about viability for a long time to come.”

The companies have said federal aid is the only alternative to bankruptcy and massive job losses.

The letter will demand that automakers provide by December 2 details of their financial positions, short term liquidity needs and explain how they will be viable long term.

They must also detail proposals for meeting massive health care and pension liabilities and increasing fuel efficiency requirements, as well as their sales assumptions.

Democratic leaders issued the ultimatum to Detroit after failing to persuade the White House and congressional Republicans to support using some of a $700 billion financial rescue plan for the auto industry.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said on Friday the Bush administration would not offer emergency federal assistant to the industry if it encounters severe problems in the next few weeks and Congress fails to extend it some help.

BAILOUT WINDOW CLOSING FAST

Analysts said GM, Ford and Chrysler must demonstrate that investors, creditors, management and the United Auto Workers union would share any sacrifices.

“Can the U.S. automakers provide a convincing plan?” Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache asked in a note to clients. “Based on the risks involved, we are not willing to place strong odds on the potential for a bailout before January.”

That could leave the decision on whether and how to save Detroit with the administration of President-elect Barack Obama, who supports a bailout hinging on industry reform.

A spokesman for Obama’s transition team said on Friday the incoming administration was not exploring the possibility of having the government support a prepackaged bankruptcy filing for the automakers. Some analysts have urged that as a way for GM and Chrysler to shed excess production capacity, brands, workers and dealers.

“The problem people see with giving them money is what control is there over it … no idea whether the dollars would be sufficient to prevent the companies’ failure and where the money would go,” said Robbin Itkin, a bankruptcy lawyer with Steptoe & Johnson in Los Angeles.

A bankruptcy reorganization would provide a controlled way of monitoring money loaned to automakers, he said.

The high cost in jobs and benefits that would be paid under the kind of sweeping restructuring needed to turnaround the industry poses a political dilemma, analysts said.

“To make them viable again requires that automakers make decisions that are very unpalatable to a lot of people,” said Erich Merkle, a consultant at Crowe Horwath.

The path to viability “basically is going to be firing their constituents and cutting back the retiree benefits their constituents rely on,” he said. “The money will come. I’m very confident it will come, but will it come before one of them files for bankruptcy or after?”

Deutsche Bank’s Lache said a successful restructuring for GM would mean “shrinking to a defendable core” by cutting weaker brands and closing factories.

It will mean lower wages for UAW-represented workers and restructuring GM’s balance sheet by forcing creditors to swap out of secured debt at as little as 25 cents on the dollar plus stock warrants, he said.

Citibank analyst Itay Michaeli said GM would have to race to come up with a new restructuring plan that could include changes to payments into a health care trust negotiated with the UAW and possibly a debt exchange for creditors.

“The burden of proof may not be so simple for GM, in our view,” Michaeli said of the requirement that GM show it can be a viable company.

PLANES, CARS AND POLITICS

The debate over an auto industry bailout has been marked by partisan politics, but lawmakers from both sides have been united in their criticism of the industry. A lightning rod for controversy during testimony by the Detroit CEOs this week was their flying to Washington in corporate jets.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said GM had decided before the hearings to return two of its leased jets because of travel cutbacks. In September, GM returned another two of seven jets it had been using, he said.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Ford CEO Alan Mulally are required by their companies to fly by private aircraft for security.

Chrysler, owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LLC, is not required to disclose the policy for Bob Nardelli.

Late on Friday, Ford said it was exploring options for saving money on its corporate air travel, including selling the jets it owns. Ford, which has sold four airplanes and reduced its use of corporate aircraft by about half since 2005, owns five planes. Three are used for executive travel and two primarily for marketing teams.

GM also said late on Friday that it would forego an annual holiday media party and instead make donations to charity.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta and Soyoung Kim in Detroit; Jeff Mason in Chicago and Kevin Krolicki and Gina Keating in Los Angeles, Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source

They might also cut the slaries of the CEO’s and executives. They certainly are payed to much. I don’t see them making any sacrifices. Well except for a couple of planes.  Like they really need them. So they say.

Pretty weak pity party.  Workers are more important then the CEO’s and executives pleasure palaces.

Bookies taking bets on the reccession, Now there’s a thought worth pondering.

Bookies hoping ‘recession’ will be a winner

By Shane hickey

Ireland

Saturday October 11 2008

NEVER ones to pass up on an opportunity, the bookies are now taking bets on the recession.

Punters hoping to lay some money on Tuesday’s Budget can get odds of 2/1 that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will mention the words “economic downturn” during his speech.

Boylesports is also offering evens that “credit crunch” will not feature in the speech and 6/4 on “recession” not being used .

Following on from Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny‘s commitment to cut 5pc from his salary next year, Paddy Power is now offering 2/1 that Taoiseach Brian Cowen will do the same.

Other candidates the bookie has put forward for a drop in pay are Labour leader Eamon Gilmore (3/1), Aer Lingus chief Dermot Mannion (4/1), Pat Kenny (25/1), FAI chief John Delaney (40/1) and RTE economics editor George Lee (66/1).

Source

I am amused. Beats gambling in the stock market, your more apt to win on this one.

Much better odds I must say. Who said there wasn’t an upside to the banks going bust.

The could also bet on how many times Bush will say the same phrase over and over again.  He surely does love to repeat himself.

Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 12:51 am  Comments Off on Bookies taking bets on the reccession, Now there’s a thought worth pondering.  
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IMF/World Bank Meeting

World Bank meeting dates and details

The 2008 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be held over the weekend of October 11-13 at the World Bank and IMF Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In recent years, the Annual Meetings have been preceded by meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Development Committee (DC), the Group of Ten, the Group of Twenty-Four, and various other groups of members. At the conclusion of their meetings, the IMFC and the Development Committee, as well as several other groups, issue communiqués. These documents are public and posted on the World Bank and IMF’s websites.

As in previous years, the Civil Society Policy Forum, a program of policy dialogues for civil society organizations (CSOs) will be organized alongside the Annual Meetings. The Civil Society Policy Forum will be held from October 9 – 13, 2008. Information about discussions being planned for the Forum is available here and will be updated frequently as we near the date of the Meetings.

Source

The Weekend and Beyond

Here are some travel tips for this weekend and the rest of the month.

IMF/World Bank Meeting

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank will hold their annual meetings this weekend in the District. Beginning at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday through the completion of the meetings on Monday the following streets will be closed:

  • 18th Street between G Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • 19th Street between G Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • 20th Street between G Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • The south curb lane of Pennsylvania Avenue between 18th and 20th Streets, NW
  • G Street between 17th and 20th Streets, NW
  • H Street between 18th and 21st Streets, NW

Only pedestrians with business in the area and proper identification will be allowed access to the following locations:

  • 600, 700 and 800 blocks of 18th, 19th and 20th Streets, NW
  • 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2000 blocks of G Street, NW
  • 1900 block of H Street, NW

Metro Track Work
Metro is working on the Red and Orange lines this weekend, which could add 20 to 25 minutes to travel times through the construction zones. On the Red Line, trains are sharing a track between Takoma and Silver Spring from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday while crews stabilize the other track and smooth out rail surfaces.

On the Orange Line, trains will share a track between Vienna and West Falls Church from Friday night until 10 a.m. Sunday Oct. 12 while crews replace crossties. Every other train in the direction of Vienna will end its run at the West Falls Church and head back toward New Carrollton, to enhance service along the most heavily used part of the line.

14th Street Signals
The District put two new traffic signals at the intersection of 14th and Shepherd streets and 14th and Taylor streets NW. Both are set to flash now, but they are scheduled to go into full operation on Tuesday. The District Department of Transportation said it installed the signals to address community concerns about safety at the intersections.

But the two signals will work a bit differently because of different conditions. The one at 14th and Taylor will automatically cycle between those two streets every 100 seconds. At 14th and Shepherd, the signal will remain green for 14th Street until a vehicle or pedestrian on Shepherd wants to cross. The intersection has vehicle sensors on Shepherd Street and pedestrian push buttons on all corners.

Rock Creek Park Closures
On Oct. 20, maintenance workers are scheduled to clean catch basins and remove trees on Beach Drive, which will be closed between Joyce Road and Broad Branch Road NW from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

On Oct. 21, similar work will be done on Bingham Drive, which will be closed between Oregon Avenue and Beach Drive NW from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Laytonsville Road Work
The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting a $490,000 safety improvement project along Olney-Laytonsville Road at Fieldcrest Road, which should be done in late November.

Workers will widen the westbound roadway to create a bypass lane, reducing congestion by allowing traffic to safely bypass turning vehicles. They also will restripe the westbound roadway at Stanbrook Lane to make a new left turn lane. But in the meantime, watch for single lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.

Tysons Metrorail Project
Road work and utility line relocation is continuing along Route 7 between the Dulles Toll Road and Route 123, with increased activity near Westwood Center Drive and Tyco Road. The service road in front of the former Moore Cadillac dealership will be closed. Drivers trying to reach the nearby hotel and neighborhood should use Westwood Center Drive and then turn right onto Sheraton Tysons Drive.

New Paving in Prince William
Motorists in Prince William County might soon notice a quieter, drier stretch of road on the Route 234 bypass. The Virginia Department of Transportation is testing a new road material on the Route 234 bypass that absorbs road noise while increasing drainage capacities.

The new material, called Porous Friction Course, lets air and water seep down from the road surface away from the tires, which should reduce hydroplaning, tire pavement noise, and splashing.

In late August, a 1.7-mile stretch of the bypass between Balls Ford Road and Sudley Manor Drive was paved with the new stuff, and researchers will test the surface over the next few months. This section was picked because it had the right traffic volumes, travel speeds and existing pavement conditions. If the results look good, VDOT could use the material on other roadways, including Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway.

Source

Headquarters

International Monetary Fund,

700 19th Street, N.W.,

Washington, D.C. 20431

Source

Headquarters

The World Bank

1818 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20433 USA

Source

Should we all be a bit suspicious well maybe.