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News

DRUG-DEALING SHEPHERDS SET UP CRETE CRIME EMPIRE

Even the Sunday Telegraph travel pages have a touch of the apocalypse about them. Marijuana growing in the olive groves. Now that’s how to deal with the munchies! A heady mix of hippies, Albanians and corruption [all alleged]. A village called Zoniana…would that be in the Zone then?

DUTCH RELAXED ABOUT POT SMOKING BAN

I kept seeing this story over the past few days and now have a chance to post it as reported by CNN. Basically the story is that the Dutch have become one of the last countries in Europe to ban smoking in public places, which gives the “coffee shops” of Amsterdam a bit of a problem…just like it killed off hubble bubbles in Arab cafes across Europe. Be interesting to see the medium term consequences.

UN FINDS AFGHAN OPIUM TRADE RISING

There is a link to the UN Report in this Washington Post article, which notes that the Taliban had almost eradicated drug production in Afghanistan prior to the US-led invasion.

PAKISTAN BOMBARDS SUSPECTED TALIBAN HIDEOUTS

Peshawar apparently under threat from Taliban. Analysis by New York Times staff here: http://tinyurl.com/63o3xo Claims that the rich have already fled the area and that the whole North West is under threat. Why are we only just being told?

FIRESTORM OVER EU BLOGGER REGISTRY

It’s not true…or is it? Swedish media went berserk over a report drafted by an Estonian MEP on media pluralism. It is denied that she proposed a register, or that if she had it would have happened…Hmmm. That’s when I start to get suspicious. Clarification of the identity of bloggers and their sources, eh?? It does sound awfully Stalinist, I’m afraid. Thank goodness for the Swedes on this topic.

TALIBAN TO INTENSIFY INSURGENCY SAYS PENTAGON

Guardian refers here to two reports, one on the insurgency and one on the Afghan Police and Army. This appears to be totally at odds with Gerard Baker’s triumphalist piece in the Times yesterday telling us to rejoice because we are winning the war on terror: http://tinyurl.com/43evnh
I present both without comment. Will try to find links to the reports.
Washington Post article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/27/AR2008062702202.html

ITALIAN PLANS TO FINGERPRINT ROMA CRITICISED AS “ETHNIC CATALOGUING”

I love that the Italians blame crime on immigrants. They have the most notorious organised criminal gangs in Europe. Is this all about preserving market share? Echoes of Mussolini referred to in the article. It’s the perfect answer to all of those idiots who say “the innocent have nothing to fear” from police powers, electronic surveillance etc. Some innocents can suddenly be declared guilty because of political views, ethnicity or sexual preference. Then all these authoritarian measures can be turned on them. Remember Pastor Niemoller.

EU COUNTRIES OBSTRUCTING INVESTIGATIONS INTO CIA RENDITIONS, REPORT SAYS

Refers to an article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/washington/22ksm.html?hpand an Amnesty International Report http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR01/003/2008/en/2ceda343-41da-11dd-81f0-01ab12260738/eur010032008eng.pdfI’ve tinyurl’d it here: http://tinyurl.com/695nop

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