Author Topic: We really really want that oil, er, maybe not  (Read 3121 times)

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Offline Jan Robertson

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We really really want that oil, er, maybe not
« on: December 17, 2011, 08:49:12 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/world/asia/kazakhstan-orders-curfew-in-town-after-labor-unrest.html

Kazakhstan Orders Curfew for Oil Town

By ANDREW E. KRAMER
Published: December 17, 2011
 
MOSCOW — The president of Kazakhstan declared a state of emergency on Saturday in a town in the western oil-producing region of the country, where striking workers and the police fought the day before, leaving at least 11 people dead. 

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters
The police in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Saturday detained a man who tried to protest a government crackdown in an oil town.

At Least 10 Die as Police Clash With Strikers in Kazakhstan (December 17, 2011)
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The nearly three-week state of emergency allows the authoritarian government to prohibit audio and video recording and establish a curfew in the town, Zhanaozen, and on Saturday human rights activists reported that the road into the town had been blocked by a checkpoint. Journalists trying to go there said their commercial flight had been canceled.

With cellphone coverage intermittent and Internet access in the area apparently blocked by the government, confusion swirled over the scale and causes of what could be the worst civil unrest in Kazakhstan, an oil-rich Central Asian nation, since independence was declared 20 years ago.

Human rights groups and the government were presenting starkly different narratives of what happened.

Nongovernmental groups and independent journalists said protesting workers were venting their rage at a government that had failed to solve a wage dispute involving a state-run employer.

The government, in contrast, has tried to cast the protesters as “hooligans,” possibly financed from outside the country.

“We will not permit any attempts to disturb the peace and calm in our home, to erase the achievements of our independence,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in a statement issued Saturday.

The government has not said how the deaths occurred, but Mr. Nazarbayev said Saturday that the police had acted lawfully.

Witnesses who spoke to local journalists on Friday, before communications were cut, said that the police had fired at the workers and that the death toll was higher than what the government said.

An online video that appeared to have been recorded at the scene before the deaths showed angry men stomping on holiday decorations, swinging sticks to shatter glass orbs and golden bells, and lighting a Christmas tree on fire. The decorations appeared to have been set up for a state-run party for children that might have been called as a way to dislodge the workers from the square after an extended sit-in.

Mr. Nazarbayev, who on Friday announced the formation of a commission to investigate the violence, said the panel would “take all the necessary measures to identify and punish those who organized this unrest.”

Nurdaulet Suindikov, a spokesman for the Kazakh prosecutor general, said at a news conference on Saturday that “as is well known, the riots began with hooligan behavior on the part of a group of young persons and unemployed oil workers who had fallen under their influence.”

The government raised the death toll on Saturday to 11 and said 86 people had been injured.

Andrei A. Grishen, the editor of a newsletter published by the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights, said about 200 people attended a solidarity gathering in Almaty, the commercial capital and the center of the small opposition movement, but they were not allowed to march. The police briefly detained about two dozen people, he said.

The police detained about 150 people at another protest on Saturday in Aktau, a provincial capital, Mr. Grishen said.

The unrest could prove to be an embarrassment for United States foreign policy in Central Asia. American oil companies have courted Mr. Nazarbayev’s government for years with the support of several American administrations, and the State Department has rarely criticized the government publicly.

The oil workers in Zhanaozen walked off their jobs last spring over demands for higher wages. But they recently shifted their focus to political demands, including the right to form independent parties.

In one online video posted by Stan TV, a Kazakh television channel, a witness described the mayhem, in an account that could not be verified independently.

“It started unexpectedly at one moment,” Sholpan Otekeyeva, a resident of Zhanaozen, told journalists. “Three people were killed before my eyes. The riot police were shooting from the side. We thought they were nonlethal weapons, and people ran toward the troops. They shot and shot. At some moment they started to hit people on the arm, on the leg. One guy was hit in the forehead

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    Kazakhstan Faces Threat of European Tariffs on White Phosphorus

By Jonathan Stearns - Dec 17, 2011 11:52 PM GMT+1030
The European Union threatened to impose tariffs on white phosphorus from Kazakhstan to limit competition for Dutch producer Thermphos International BV.

The EU opened an inquiry into whether Kazakh manufacturers of the chemical sell it in the 27-nation bloc below cost, a practice known as dumping. White phosphorus is used to make derivatives including chlorides, sulphides and phosphoric acid, according to the website of Thermphos International.

The EU probe will determine whether imports of white phosphorus from Kazakhstan are “being dumped and whether this dumping has caused injury to the union industry,” the European Commission, the bloc’s trade authority in Brussels, said today in the Official Journal. The commission has nine months to decide whether to impose provisional anti-dumping duties for half a year and EU governments have 15 months to decide whether to apply “definitive” levies for five years.

The dumping investigation stems from a Nov. 7 complaint by Thermphos International, which is the EU’s sole producer of white phosphorus, according to the commission.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at jstearns2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-17/kazakhstan-faces-threat-of-european-tariffs-on-white-phosphorus.html
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Offline mallard

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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 10:44:02 PM »
The unrest method of getting nowhere is really taking off.
don't eat yellow snow

Offline Spahi

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 01:03:48 PM »
The unrest method of getting nowhere is really taking off.


Wasn't quite expecting it in Kazakh though.

Offline Jan Robertson

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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 04:24:28 PM »


Wasn't quite expecting it in Kazakh though.

Dunno what you did Spahi but this was in my email alert but doesn't show in your post

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Vb3IMTJjzfo?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Vb3IMTJjzfo?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

LOL ... I thought Borat was a Jew? Must be a self hating one  ;)
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

Offline Spahi

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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 04:56:29 PM »
Dunno what you did Spahi but this was in my email alert but doesn't show in your post

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Vb3IMTJjzfo?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Vb3IMTJjzfo?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

LOL ... I thought Borat was a Jew? Must be a self hating one  ;)

Yeah that was my original post...but I didn't want to be anti-semitic ;)