Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Google

NO MORE CHEAP HOLIDAYS FOR THE BRITISH AS THE POUND SLUMPS



Thanks to Gordon Brown, the pound sterling has sunk about 25%.

It is weak against the Euro and the Dollar.

The weakening pound means costs have risen by nearly 30% in a year for British travellers heading to America and other countries where the dollar holds sway.

For the British, the average cost of a package deal in 2009 is likely to be at least 16 per cent higher than in 2008.

However,

"Turkey looks as if it will be very popular in 2009. Day-to-day costs are markedly lower than in eurozone destinations such as Spain and the pound has dropped by only about 5% against the Turkish lira." - Travel bargains 2009: Cheapest destinations and money-saving tips

However,

"Turkish hoteliers and tour operators are cashing in on the boom with a massive 27 per cent hike in prices for next summer...

"A week's half-board package for a family of two adults and one child to Dalaman in Turkey has gone up from £1,154 this year to £1,466 next summer, a 27 per cent rise."

(Sun-loving Brits have gone cool on Spain, as Turkey and Egypt rise ...)

Egypt has seen a staggering 49 per cent rise in bookings, according to The Co-Operative Travel.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Google

AVOID THE GAMBIA?



1. The Gambia is ruled by President Yahya Jammeh, an army officer who seized power in 1994.

According to reports, Mr Jammeh recently told supporters he would “cut off the head” of any homosexual caught in the Gambia.

In the past, he has also claimed he could cure anyone with the Aids virus in three days.

2. A British couple who have spent the past 12 years working as Christian missionaries in the the Gambia have been jailed after being charged with sedition. (British missionaries jailed in Gambia )

Banjul from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:000000f2.JPG


3. Scary Tales of Tiny Gambia Being the Headquarters of the Mafia World

By Bubacarr Ceesay

December 13, 2005

The Gambia is the international limelight again as the center of an international mafia ring.

In a masterpiece investigative report, The Wayne Madsen Report unraveled a network of weapons smugglers and mobsters operating in the heart of the Gambian Capital, working hand in hand with the Gambian leader, President Yahya Jammeh.

In reference to the Gambia, the report stated thus:

"There is also now interest in the activities of Richard T. Hines, the head of the powerful Republican lobbying firm RTH Consulting, Inc.

"Hines, a South Carolina native and a protege of the late GOP dirty trickmeister Lee Atwater, was one of the architects of the dirty tricks campaign by Bush against John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary.

"A confederate of Abramoff in the 1980s Reagan administration's covert support network for the Nicaraguan contras, Angolan UNITA guerrillas, and Afghan mujaheddin, Hines is active in various Confederacy resurgence organizations, many of which have clear racist agendas.

"However, that has not prevented Hines from becoming the lobbyist for Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, a military officer who overthrew Gambia's democratically-elected President Sir Dawda K. Jawara in a 1994 military coup supported by the United States Navy.

President Jammeh

"Hines inherited the lobbying contract for Gambia from the eclectic Washington lobbyist Edward von Kloberg III, an individual who represented Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Liberia's Samuel K. Doe, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania, Congolese leader Laurent Kabila, the exiled King Kigeli V of Rwanda, and Saddam Hussein.

"Last May, von Kloberg took a swan dive off of a castle in Rome, allegedly committing suicide after a spat with a gay partner.

"The connections between Hines and Gambia are important since the small narrow West African country is also a major base of operations for notorious Russian international arms smuggler Viktor Bout.

"The Gambia is the headquarters for one of many of Bout's front companies -- companies that are used to smuggle everything from weapons to diamonds and mercenaries to international relief supplies.

Bout, reportedly in a Bangkok jail since March 2008

"In fact, Bout was the character on whom fictional arms smuggler Yuri Orlov, played by Nicolas Cage in the movie Lord of War, was largely based.

"Bout's connections with the Christian Right do not end with Gambia.

"Bout was Liberian dictator Charles Taylor's primary arms and diamond smuggler.

"Bout and his associates were given Liberian diplomatic passports and, with Taylor's blessing and protection, they registered a number of their front companies in Monrovia, the Liberian capital.

"Taylor, who is now in exile in Nigeria, was a business partner with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

"Robertson's organization mentored both Ralph Reed and Richard Hines.


Pat Robertson

"According to British and Israeli intelligence sources, Taylor also enabled Al Qaeda to launder blood diamonds for cash through Liberia.

"Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone were where Israeli mobsters engaged in business with Israeli gangsters who operated under the full protection of the Israeli Likud government.

"Before Likud began purging Mossad of experienced intelligence officers with ties to the Israeli Labor Party, the Israeli-Al Qaeda diamond financial connection in West Africa was being pointed out by those officers as suicidal for Israeli interests.

"However, Taylor and Bout had powerful interests in the United States: a combination of the Christian Right and pro-Likud organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), both of which ignored and continue to ignore Israeli organized crime connections to Al Qaeda and terrorism.

"Robertson and Taylor were business partners in a Cayman Islands front company called Freedom Gold, Ltd.

"In fact, Freedom Gold bas headquartered at Robertson's CBN offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Robertson's African interests also crossed paths with Bout's in another country -- the former Zaire.

"Robertson's African Development Company used the cover of Robertson's tax-exempt "Operation Blessing" to ferry conflict diamonds out of civil war-ravaged Zaire (now Congo).

"A UN Security Council report dated November 30, 2005, lists Bout's Gambia New Millennium Air Company as having its address at the residence of Hines' client Jammeh: State House, Banjul, Gambia.



"The UN report states, 'The Director of this firm is Baba Jobe, who is already listed on the Liberia Sanctions Committee's assets freeze list. According to a commercial aviation database, the firm acted as a cover for Victor Bout's operations. Its one aircraft, a Russian-made passenger jet, was acquired from Centrafrican Airlines.'

"It is noteworthy that Hines's client, President Jammeh, just took possession of the Russian-made VIP presidential passenger jet, an Ilyushin IL-62 (C5-GNM) [Gambia] (formerly CCCP-86511 [USSR], RA-86511 [Russia], 3D-RTI [Swaziland], TL-ACL [Central African Republic]).

"And also of interest is the owner of the presidential aircraft: it is none other than Gambia New Millennium Air, the Bout-owned company listed on the UN Security Council freeze list and which is headquartered at Jammeh's State House in Banjul, the Gambian capital.

"In fact, the plane had been previously registered to Bout front companies in Swaziland and the Central African Republic.

" Bout, who flew arms and passengers from Dubai and other locations to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan prior to 9-11, is now providing air services in post-Taliban Afghanistan as well as U.S.-occupied Iraq.

"Bout's transactions with the Taliban were handled by Vial, Inc., a firm based in Delaware.

"One of Bout's closest associates is the Russian-Israeli Odessa-born crime boss Leonid Minin, an Israeli national who, according to the UN Security Council, travels on forged German passports as well as legal Israeli, Russian, Greek, and Bolivian passports under at least ten aliases.

"It is also noteworthy that many of Bout's operations are based in Eastern European countries that have been mentioned in association with the rendition and transporting of CIA prisoners.

"Bout's numerous Russian-built cargo and passenger planes have been seen at the same airports used by CIA flights.


"For example, Bright Aviation, a suspected Bout front, is based at Sofia Airport in Bulgaria.

"Bulgaria is believed to be one of the countries used by the CIA to house secret prisoners.

"Another Bout front, Moldtransavia SRL, is based in Chisinau, Moldova, another suspected stopover point for CIA flights.

"One Chisinau, Moldova-based Bout front company, Aerocom, which also does business as Air Mero, is contracted to fly for Kellogg, Brown & Root in Iraq and elsewhere.

"Aerocom has also been cited in UN and DEA reports for being involved in drug smuggling in Belize.

"Some law enforcement officials in the United States and Europe believe that the covert flights being operated by CIA contractors and Bout's companies in support of secret prisoner movement are also involved in smuggling drugs.

"After being subjected to news reports, Aerocom quickly changed its name last year."

Highly dependable sources in Banjul also informed AllGambian about recent arms purchase by the Jammeh regime from an undisclosed country, amounting to 4.3 million dalasis.

This comes at the heels of a hard-hitting border impasse between the Gambia and Senegal.

The stand-off almost paralyzed the Gambian economy and caused untold hardship on the average Gambian. Observers wondered how the Gambia gov can afford to spend on presidential jets and military hardware at this junction when the economy is in shambles.



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