Monday, November 09, 2009



1. Why has there been criticism, by the western media, of Afghanistan's President Karzai?

Where do you find what is probably the world's largest undeveloped copper mine?

It is to be found in Afghanistan.

(Afghanistan: Winning Bid For Copper Rights Includes Power.)

The vast copper mine is at Aynak, just south of Kabul.

In 2007, the Afghan authorities decided that China would run the mine.

China has made a $3.5 billion investment in the mine .

This is the biggest such investment in Afghanistan. (Having it both ways )

"China Metallurgical Group agreed to invest billions of dollars in the project and related infrastructure development - including the construction of a coal-fired electrical power plant and what would be Afghanistan's first freight railway.

"By the estimates of some geologists, deposits at Afghanistan's Aynak copper field in Logar Province make it the world's largest undeveloped copper field...

"The Chinese offer beat out bids by four other firms that were considered finalists. They include ... the London-based Kazakhmys Consortium ... and the U.S. copper-mining firm Phelps Dodge." (Afghanistan: China's Winning Bid For Copper Rights Includes Power ...)


2. Why has there been much criticism by the western media of Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa?

In Sri Lanka, China has begun construction of a naval port in Hambantota, "which it plans to to use as a refuelling and docking station for its navy, as it patrols the Indian Ocean and protects China’s supplies of Saudi oil." (China spends billions in Sri lanka to build port.)

The Sri Lankan press has referred to friction between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka, the army general who commanded troops in the final assault against the Tamil Tigers.

There are rumours that General Fonseka will challenge Mr Rajapaksa in the coming election. (To which victor the spoils?)

General Fonseka has been in the USA.

He told Sri Lankan expatriates he would bring the country back on track "if it continues to go on the wrong path even after defeating terrorism." (To which victor the spoils?)

General Fonseka said that America’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had sought his testimony in a probe into alleged human-rights violations by Sri Lanka’s defence secretary and the president’s brother. (To which victor the spoils?)

Mr Rajapaksa’s plans to call a presidential election in early 2010.


3. Why has there been criticism in the western media of the ruler of Guinea, Moussa Dadis Camara?

"Guinea, which is rich in bauxite and gold, is said to be set to earn $7 billion in return for mineral and oil rights recently granted to a Chinese company." (Don't let it be contagious )

In September 2009, "soldiers and police killed at least 150 demonstrators." (Don't let it be contagious )

"The European Union has imposed an arms embargo and has also, along with the United States, stopped giving visas to Guineans close to the regime." (Don't let it be contagious )

Guinea's ruler, Captain Camara, "has blamed errant officers for the September killings, exacerbating tensions in his own ruling group. He has described himself as a hostage to competing factions. Some say Colonel Sekouba Konaté, the defence minister, could lead a mutiny. Others say that General Mamadou “Toto” Camara, one of a group of older officers, may seek to topple the captain." (Don't let it be contagious )

4. Why has the western media been attacking Gordon Brown?

"GORDON Brown ... sensationally blamed America for the world banking crisis - and said it had a duty to fix it.

"The Prime Minister said the financial turmoil engulfing Britain started in the US and must be resolved there...

"His broadside at US politicians will shock many in Washington." (PM Gordon Brown: USA are to blame for banking crisis The Sun.)

Gordon Brown ended UK combat operations in Iraq


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