Daily Briefing — 11th-12th August 2009

Posted: 12 August 2009 by Editors in Daily Briefing
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Obama ‘sinking $200m into upgrading The Other Guantanamo’; Rape in Congo escalates with U.S. operations; Gold should break 2008 high in 2009…

“The U.S. military is sinking $220 million into upgrading the facilities here, and Bagram Airfield [in Afghanistan] is starting to take on a much more permanent look,” reports Nathan Hodge (Wired). “It has a Burger King, a Popeye’s franchise, a day spa, and yes, plenty of pecan pie.”

“Congo’s Rape Epidemic Worsens During U.S.-Backed Military Operation” by Stephanie McCrummen (WaPo): “An already staggering epidemic of rape has become markedly worse since the January deployment of tens of thousands of poorly trained, poorly paid Congolese soldiers, with people in front-line villages such as this one saying the soldiers are not so much hunting rebels as hunting women.”

Iran kidnapped about 4,000 people in June regarding the protests in opposition to the disputed presidential election. Pres. Ahmadinejad’s opposition charges 69 people were killed in the violence, mostly attributed to the gov’t and quasi-gov’t militias. About 300 were held for longer than ‘a few days’. 100 citizens are being tried right now for being “involved in the riots” which gov’t forces turned into riots from protests. Protesting was deemed “illegal” by the Supreme Leader within days of the election (BBC).

In 2009, gold should break $1,030/oz., the high price of 2008 ‘as an alternative to paper currencies, inflation, and a dearth of fresh mine supply,’ Investec Global Gold Fund’s portfolio manager Daniel Sacks said (Reuters via CNBC). “The price of gold is still just half of its prior peak in ‘real’ terms, even after the rally of the past eight years,” he said. “We see much more upside than downside risk for bullion.”

Clifton Williams was sentenced to six months in jail for yawning too loud in court. Mr. Williams was sitting in the courtroom as his cousin was pleading guilty on drug charges. Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak doled out the maximum for contempt. Judge Rozak has doled out the most contempt charges in Will County (Chicago Tribune).

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