Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Daily Sources

In an attempt to make more effective use of this blogging thing, I am now going to try to post more often. Since I still do not think that I can make serious analytical contributions on a daily basis, analysis will remain more staggered. But this way, I can keep track of events and keep the sources on file.
1. There are reports that Pakistan is now preparing for :an all-out confrontation on militants," as per Jihadica.

2. Candace Rondeaux of the Washington Post writes that the push in tribal areas under Musharraf has created a refugee crisis in Pakistan.

3. Pankaj Mishra argues in the New York Times Op-Ed page that the continuing conflict in Kashmir is likely to attract more radical elements, including Al Qaeda, and, if left to fester by the West, eventually come back to haunt us.

4. ONGC of India agreed to pay $2.6 billion for British upstream E&P outfit Imperial, which operates in Russian Siberia on Tuesday, according to Heather Timmons of the New York Times. A Chinese NOC may end up putting out a competing bid.

5. Chinese authorities are suggesting that the country import more coal, given domestic shortages in production and its share of power generation, as per Reuters.

6. Yesterday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told Russian coal exporters to prioritize domestic supply, given the current shortage of the feedstock for winter power generation and the lowest hydro reserves in decades, as per Reuters.

7. Dmitry Medvedev meeting with Chinese counterpart today, apparently to ask for diplomatic support from China for Russia's decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent regions, as per Lyubov Pronina and Alex Nicholson of Bloomberg.

8. Dmitry Medvedev gives in the Financial Times his reasons for recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

9. Stocks Tumble in Moscow After Russia Recognizes Separatist Regions in Georgia, by Andrew Kramer, New York Times.

10. The Republican President of the CFR, Richard Haass, has penned for the 9/1/08 issue of Newsweek a mostly reasonable opinion piece on how the US ought to approach relations with Russia. More reasonable than most of the drivel written on the subject, anyways.

11. David Ignatius of the Washington Post writes of French-backed peace initiative between Syria and Israel.

12. Iran again warns Israel of consequences should Israel attack it, as per The Earth Times.

13. Iraqi Central Government forces are engaged in crackdown in the Kurdish oil rich town of Diyala--which sits on the border of Iran--upsetting Kurdish officials there, as per Basil Adas of

14. Juan Cole, in his blog Informed Comment, wrote Monday that an aide to Grand Ayatolla Sistani was assassinated in Basra on Sunday. The link doesn't lead to an article providing further confirmation of the assertion, but Dr. Cole is pretty good at this kind of data.

15. Assad al-Jihad evidently sees Palestine and specifically Gaza as the best weak spot for it to target--"the primary front for terrorists graduating from Afghanistan and Iraq"-- as per Jihadica, a blog devoted to tracking sentiment of jihadists worldwide.

16. An Israeli expatriate was kidnapped in Port Harcourt Tuesday, as per Reuters.

17. Saudis likely to face pressure, especially from Iran and Venezuela, to cut output in OPEC at September 6th meeting, as per Alex Lawler at Reuters.

18. A potentially influential, and perhaps useful for thinking on a variety of geopolitical issues, analysis at VOX regarding what will happen should the world's current account imbalances be balanced.

19. The EIA's August 27 "This Week In Petroleum," which gives analysis and oil data for the previous week, states that gasoline demand began declining in the US in late 2007 and projects that US gasoline demand will continue to decline through the end of 2009. Crude oil stocks were down 100 kb from the week previous and down 27.8 mb from the year previous, but in the middle range of the average year over year. Gasoline stocks were down 1.2 mb from the week previous and up 2.8 mb from a year ago--but it looks like stocks are at the bottom of the average year over year. Distillate stocks were flat week over week and down 2.2mb year over year. Propane stocks were up 1.2 mb wow, down 2.2mb yoy. Looks like refineries ran approx an extra 200 kb/d last week.

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