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TALEBAN’S $100 MILLION TAKINGS

Claim by UN official that Taleban impose 10% religious tax on opium production. Nice map. Heard interview on 5live this morning and thought…”better blog that!” Full programme available on File on Four site. There is a link from the article. Nice map too.

RAIDERS OF THE RUSSIAN BILLIONS

Not sure of the degree to which this practice- known as “raiding” is still going on. Was notorious in terms of property a few years ago, and picked up by other papers than the Guardian in 2005-6. Company owners find that they no longer own their company and enter a Kafkaesque world where corrupt officials have acquiesced in or even ordered their takeover.

AL QAEDA’S GROWING ONLINE OFFENSIVE

Washington Post article on Al Qaeda’s Internet Presence. Bit of a historical mishmash and not a lot of analysis, but useful information in there in places.

IS AL QAEDA IN PIECES?

Special Report from the Independent. Mostly about the counter-radicalisation campaign and the ideological opposition to al Qaeda and its affiliates. Article originally in the New Republic and is by US authors, but has a lot of material on London.

LOPSI AND PERICLES

Wonderful piece in Le Monde on electronic communication, liberty and internal security. Another in our occasional series of non-English articles in an attempt to encourage the learning of other languages by our Anglo-Saxon readers. I won’t pretend I understand every word, but I love le Monde’s turn of phrase. Please stay independent! Cant you appeal for subscribers?
LOPSI is the “Loi pour orientation et programmation pour la performance de securite interieur”. Flopsy, is, of course, a bunny.

FBI HOLDS 406 FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD

operation Malicious Mortgage [sic]. Figures of arrests, size of mortgage fraud losses plus oblique reference to Bear Stearns case. Presumably if they can do it there, so can people in the UK and elsewhere.

EVERYONE PAYS, FEW WANT TO STOP

More on corruption in Russia from the Moscow Times. $319billion a year paid in bribes! There is so much data in here and it seems to me so controversial that Ive given it a tinyurl too: http://tinyurl.com/47ne7lJust in case the article gets pulled from the main website. Lots of info in this.

SHUTTLE TRADE AND NEW BORDER REGIMES

Just chatting to a journalist on the phone and discovered this nice little piece on “ants”, a Polish version of “smurfs”, by Paul Holtom. Is he still doing stuff in this area, does anybody know? Klaus von Lampe might have some useful comments, too.

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