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So, What's New Around the World?

Gambia: Buried Hills Canada Comes Again
The company's owner and Chief Executive Roger Hills, accompanied by a former Canadian Prime Minister, Mr.Chretien, met Mr. Jammeh on his campaign trail at Basse to sign the said agreement. Mr. Fafa Sanyang, who last month succeeded Mr. Ousman Bojang as Petroleum Commissioner. Praised Mr. Jammeh for his "foresight and commitment to Gambian development Speaking on the occasion, Hon. Edward Singhateh, a Secretary of State in the Jammeh Government, said for three years people have believed that all the "oil thing" as hoax, but the signing of the agreement has proved President Jammeh right.

Canada fights to keep its water
One country has abundant fresh water, far more than it needs. Across the border there is simply not enough and it has yet to find a solution to the problem.

Book predicts Great Lakes water battles will intensify
Peter Annin recalls staring in fascinated horror at what had been the coast of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan, now a desolate wasteland strewn with scrub brush and corroded hulls of abandoned fishing boats.

Sea-to-Sky highway price tag $220 million higher as a P3
(Vancouver) An independent analysis of the Sea-to-Sky highway project has found that it will cost taxpayers an extra $220 million over the next 25 years as a P3 than if the government had used its traditional financing and procurement processes.
Marvin Shaffer, an economist and author of the analysis released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, examined Partnership BC’s “Value for Money” report that estimated the costs of going with a P3 versus traditional government financing and procurement for the highway upgrade and maintenance project. The Partnerships BC report concluded that the P3 option would cost $46 million more, but it was nonetheless chosen. Shaffer’s analysis shows the price difference is actually much larger.

Canadian embassy chief accountant charged with embezzlement
Prague, Sept 8 (CTK) - The chief accountant of the Canadian embassy in Prague, a 31-year-old Czech citizen, faces charges of embezzling millions of crowns, the state attorney told CTK today.
According to the police, the employee embezzled CZK 18 million from the embassy by illegal withdrawal of money from its accounts in 1998-1999.
Originally, the loss of the money was investigated by the Canadian Mounted Police. However, when they ascertained that the perpetrator is Czech, they have handed the case over to their Czech colleagues.

Legislators and civil society groups of the North American region call for halt to Security and Prosperity Partnership and replacement of NAFTA
Rosario Quispes of RMALQ describes the Security and Prosperity Partnership, as “a distorted, more dangerous version of NAFTA.”
“We need to work together to stop the Security Prosperity Partnership because the negotiations have been anti-democratic, without transparency and promise to benefit only the business elite of the region,” says Victor Suarez, Member of the Mexican Parliament (Partido de la Revolución Democratica, D.F.).

Palestinians hit out as Israel tightens visa controls
Palestinian businessmen who returned from exile over the last decade to help build the economy in the occupied territories have launched a campaign against a change in Israeli immigration policy that they say is forcing them out.

Canadian Infrastructure Investment is Erratic
Canadian pension fund giants are prevented from investing in local infrastructure by erratic regulation and a lack of government initiatives, reveals Global Pensions. Claude Lamoureux, ceo at the CAD96 billion (46 billion)Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, said it remained difficult to invest in Canadian infrastructure and accused the government of "changing the rules" after it had agreed infrastructure deals.

Hacker's delight
Given that the GCN controls the Bush administration's missile defense system, the flagship of its national security plan, one might think that the network itself would be secure. But indeed just the opposite appears to be true. In its audit, the inspector general revealed that MDA officials "had not fully implemented information assurance controls required to protect the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of the information in the GCN." As a result, "Missile Defense Agency officials may not be able to reduce the risk and extent of harm resulting from misuse or unauthorized access to or modification of information of the GCN and ensure the continuity of the network in case of an interruption." In other words, the system could be hacked--outsiders could enter into the network, change or delete data, and/or share classified information--and MDA would not know about it, be able to respond effectively, or apparently prevent it from happening again.

Singapore Bans NGO Delegates attending IMF/World Bank Meeting
Singapore has banned 20 NGO delegates, and some NGO organisations from attending the IMF/World Bank meeting during the week of September 14-20, despite these people having formal invitations from the IMF/World Bank.

Teenagers wary of new database
An OCC spokesperson told GC News on 11 September 2006: "(Practitioners) only get limited access to the index and the DfES has just launched a consultation so they can get the views of young people."The index will be launched in 2008 in England and Wales at an initial cost of £224m. The government says that to protect young people the state must gather records on 12m children and their families. Information held in separate local databases, family doctors' records, nursery reports and children's examinations will be put into one system.

Meanwhile the forgotten, forsaken Gaza is dying
GAZA is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world’s attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq.

MQM senator questioned by Canadians
Mashhadi reportedly travelled to Canada last week to appear before the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee hearing on behalf of one of over 200 MQM Pakistani exiles living in Canada. One of these MQM supporters was declared a political refugee but could not get citizenship because of his MQM membership.

Egyptian ‘business experts’ here on study mission today
Members of the group are top officials of Egypt whose main functions are developing businesses, including Norman Boukhalife of the Canadian International Development Agency, the funder of the project. Based on the briefer of the visit, the mission to Southeast Asia of the Egyptians “is to enhance the individual professional’s experience and the project’s collective knowledge involving the successful delivery of non-financial service models that maybe adapted to the Egyptian content as well as identifying potential linkages.” The briefer said the visit was part of the Business Development Support Project, a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency and executed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. “(This project) aims to play a role in the development of non-financial services for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Egypt through working with businessmen/women and youth associations, investors association, universities, ministries and government agencies,” it pointed. The project will also focus on promoting opportunities through SME support with “an emphasis on women and youth,” it added.

NATO Chief Leads Extraordinary Talks On Afghan Reinforcements
On Saturday, the chairman of NATO's military committee, Canadian General Ray Henault urged the allies to come good with reinforcements, saying: "We are currently at about 85 percent of the requirements and want the remainder."

PALESTINE: Genocide in Gaza
A genocide is taking place in Gaza. This morning, September 2, another three citizens of Gaza were killed and a whole family wounded in Beit Hanoun. This is the morning reap, before the end of day many more will be massacred. An average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded or paralysed.

SIDA to Support re-Construction of Power Station in Gaza
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) said that it decided to support transportation and installation of seven new transformers to the Gaza power station at a cost of $2.1 million.

Peace long way off for Afghans
IT WILL take 10 years or longer to bring peace to Afghanistan, Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston has warned.

Gaza shelves bare
"Israel imposes very harsh restrictions on Palestinian merchants. They give priority to Israeli products over Palestinian ones," Mansour said. "Palestinian merchants used to pay US $400 in tax for a shipment coming from abroad in the past months. Nowadays, they pay up to $2,000."

Canada Watch - what our embassy sees as fit to print
So the Canadian Embassy in Washington has a regular newsletter they send out by email, presumably for Canadians living in the US. You can sign up too. That's fine, it's good to tell our neighbours about what Canada's up to. But they seem to take a certain.... slant on the issues of Canada and the world.For example, the September 8th newsletter leads with the Fraser Institute's (ick) report on 'Economic Freedom in the World.' From the executive summary:

Government resents Leo Brincat's comments
The government has expressed resentment at comments made by Labour's spokesman on Foreign Affairs Leo Brincat on Malta's financial contribution to help the peoples of Lebanon and Palestine.

Israel invites bids for West Bank settlement expansion
A blow to hopes of reviving the peace process was dealt last week by Israel, which invited tenders for nearly 700 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, drawing Palestinian condemnation of the largest settlement expansion push for the territory this year.The Housing Ministry published advertisements in the press inviting the bids, with 348 houses to be constructed in Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, and 342 houses to be built in Beitar Eilit to the south of the city.The bids -- the largest invited so far this year and the biggest since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took office on May 4 -- were immediately denounced by the Palestinian Authority as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
(3rd story down)

Ministers zero in on meeting energy needs
“To do this, we are working collaboratively, so that communities in every province and territory can prosper.”The meetings were closed to the public and media, but were attended by scores of government officials and industry representatives.