Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2001/1-2

Jan. 5, 2001

Moscow's Carrot and Stick Approach 

Coopetition: New Russian Foreign Policy

Russia Transferred Tactical Nukes Closer to NATO?; New Russian Stealth Technology Said to Be Superior to America’s; Russia Skips Payment of Old Soviet Debt

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONARUSSIAN AFFAIRS


 HEADLINES

Moscow                       1. Coopetition: New Russian Foreign Policy

Washington                 2. Russia Transferred Tactical Nukes Closer to NATO?

Moscow                       3. New Russian Stealth Technology Said to Be Superior to America’s

Moscow                       4. Russia Skips Payment of Old Soviet Debt  

Philadelphia                 5. Yugoslav Army Shot Down British Drone,

                                          Handed Top Secret Technology to RussiaJan. 7, 2001

Moscow                       6. Putin Dismisses Reports on Kaliningrad NukesJan. 7, 2001  

Vladivostok                 7. Russia Flexing Its Naval Muscles, Sends

                                             Warships to Indian OceanJan. 15, 2001

London                         8. Washington’s Dangerous Saber-rattling Throws

                                              China and Russia into Each Other ArmsJan. 15, 2001

London                         9. Another British Spy Spills the Beans, Embarrassing MI6Jan. 15, 2001

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1. Coopetition: New Russian Foreign Policy

PHOENIX, Jan. 5 - More than half a century ago, the West was forced to redefine its foreign policy vis--vis its World War II ally - the Soviet Union.  In the face of increased global expansion and aggressiveness of the Moscow communist regime, Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech and a policy of “containment” became defining labels of an era that history has recorded as the Cold War.

After a decade of a global U.S. hegemony, during which the Washington led New World Order started to resemble the Kremlin imperialism (minus a countervailing superpower to stand in its way), contours of a new Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin’s stewardship are beginning to emerge.  And the Cold War retro terms “containment” and “Iron Curtain,” seem as good as any to describe it.  “Containment” of the NWO expansion, and “Iron Curtain” as an apt label for NATO countries (see “New Iron Curtain Over Europe,” January 1999).

Plus a new term - “Coopetition.” It is a phrase coined from cooperation and competition, originally used to describe the computer industry’s war and peace.  In this context, “coopetition” related to the topsy-turvy business world in which a friend one day can be a foe the next.  Well, now it can be applied to Russia’s new foreign policy, too.

Our January 2000 essay - “Putin Putting Russia Back on World Powers Map, Jan. 5, 2000”, complemented the most recent TiM commentaries about Russia’s newfound global assertiveness, thus the competition part.  But Putin’s late December visits to Cuba and Canada helped bring to the fore the cooperation part, while challenging Washington’s geopolitical periphery.

The Russian president chose to make his pitch for cooperation with the U.S. from the Soviet Union’s outpost closest to the U.S. shores, and thus the most threatening.  And Putin offered Washington some carrots in a news conference that the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, an old communist diehard, had skipped.

Here are some excerpts from a Dec. 16 New York Times report about it:

“After two difficult days of talks about old debts and dashed dreams with Fidel Castro, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said today that he did not travel to this former bastion of the cold war to recreate a "union" with Cuba against the United States, but rather to clean up the economic "mess" left over from the Soviet era.

Speaking at a news conference that was not attended by the Cuban leader, Mr. Putin indicated in several ways that Russia's relations with the United States, though difficult at times, were important to Moscow. […]

In his remarks today, Mr. Putin appeared to be trying to put his visit to Cuba in an unthreatening context, suggesting that Moscow is merely trying to recover lost markets and multimillion-dollar Soviet-era investments rather than forge a new image of rivalry.

And the subtext of his remarks, together with comments by Russian officials traveling with Mr. Putin, also indicated that the thorny economic issues underlying Moscow's relations with Cuba did not compare to the more weighty economic and security agenda that Mr. Putin intends to pursue with the new administration in Washington.

As an example, Mr. Putin cited his pardon on Dec. 14 — as a "goodwill gesture" — of Edmond Pope, the former American naval intelligence officer convicted of espionage in Moscow this month and sentenced to 20 years in prison. […]

…Mr. Putin also went out of his way to compliment the skill and experience of the foreign policy advisers that President-elect George W. Bush is gathering around him in Washington. "Judging by the staff surrounding the president-elect," Mr. Putin observed, "these people are quite well- known professionals, who deeply understand the nuances in relations between the two states."

The Russian leader was clear about the major differences of opinion: Moscow opposes Mr. Bush's advocacy of abrogating the anti-ballistic missile treaty of 1972 in order to build an anti-missile shield over the United States.

In addition, he said, "we don't think that the principle of humanitarian intervention is right." He was referring to NATO's decision in 1999 to intervene militarily in Kosovo to stop Serbian ethnic violence against civilians there.”

In short, Putin's Russia has certainly been asserting herself recently, often in defiance of Washington.  In Europe, Russia’s tack is to challenge NATO.  And it’s doing it by using a carrot and a stick approach.  Or by “coopetition,” if you wish.  Cooperation - by cozying up to Washington’s European allies and supporting their plan for a “Euro Force.”  Competition - by moving its nukes closer to NATO (see Item 2 of this Bulletin).

Here’s how D. Jennifer Hewitt of California saw it in her recent letter to the editor of the Truth in Media, headlined “NATO: R.I.P.?”

“The EU's plan to form its own military force consisting of recruits from EU member nations seems to reflect a rejection of US-dominated NATO.  Russia has made a bid to join this endeavor.  As the EU forms its own army, NATO and its armed forces will dwindle, ending the US bully-boy diplomacy and agendas in the name of EU 'shared' interests.  The EU nations just may have a greater degree of cohesiveness because of the US-led NATO debacle in Yugoslavia.  If for no other reason, population limitations and individual restraints will diminish NATO for lack of personnel, along with UN and EU competition for troops.”

Russia is also challenging Washington beyond Europe.  Perhaps you recall how the Clinton administration snubbed Russia in early October, preferring to broker one of its many failed Middle East "peace agreements" during a summit in Cairo, Egypt? Well, in late November, Moscow gave Washington a taste of its own medicine. With American mediation efforts in tatters as the violence in the Middle East continued unabated, Russia stepped into the ring briefly as the only superpower trusted by both the Palestinians and Israelis. Putin welcomed the Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat at the Kremlin, and it arranged for a first meaningful telephone dialogue between him and the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak. A minor diplomatic coup for Putin; a diplomatic snub for Clinton.

More importantly, during Putin's mid-November meeting with Clinton at the APEC summit in Brunei, the Russian president told his American counterpart that Russia would no honor the not-so-secret-anymore 1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin deal, which dealt with Russia's weapons sales to Iran. That sent the American diplomats into apoplexy.

The subject dominated the subsequent discussions at the OSCE meeting in Vienna between Madeleine Albright and Igor Ivanov, her Russian counterpart, who tried to assure the Secretary of State that the Russian shipments to Iran did not involve the weapons of mass destruction. At the end, the two sides were at an impasse, with Russia saying it would continue to deliver to Iran the contracted arms.

Though a number of Russian foreign policy experts disagree with Putin's reversal on Iran, they have been defending his act. "Just as Russia does not consider the United States its enemy, Iran is not our enemy either, and Iran is paying in hard currency for all its weapons," Aleksei Arbatov, a liberal Parliament deputy who sits on the Defense Committee, told the New York Times.

Russia has also been flexing its military muscles. In October and again in November, just as the APEC summit was getting under way, Russian Sukhoi fighter planes managed to sneak up on and buzz the US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan, even taking pictures of the crew scrambling on its deck.

At the end of November, Russia also probed the North American Air Defense (NORAD) system in the vicinity of Alaska with its TU-95 bombers based on Siberia.

And now, the Jan. 4 Agence France Presse report filed from Moscow confirmed the existence of a new Russian stealth technology which is said to be superior to anything the West has (see Item 3 of this TiM Bulletin).  Perhaps driving that point home was what the Sukhoi fighters delivered to the Kitty Hawk crew and their superiors at the Pentagon?

Russia's multi-billion dollar shipments of its top-flight military technology to China also continue unabated, as does Moscow's stroking of the Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

In a domestic push to restore in Russia the old sense of national pride, Putin successfully convinced the Russian Duma to pass a legislation in December that restored the old Soviet anthem, but with new lyrics, distancing it from the Stalin rule during which it was first adopted.

Finally, Russia has just announced that it will skip the $1.5 billion first quarter 2001 payment on $48 billion of Soviet debt to the Paris Club, a western banking consortium, hitting the money-driven New World Order where it hurts (see Item 4 of this TiM Bulletin).  The NWO bankers are on the hook to the tune of $148 billion, Moscow’s total foreign debt, including that of the now defunct Soviet Union.

So strip away the "partnership for peace" veneer, and you'll see that a Cold Peace (a Boris Yeltsin phrase) has already replaced the Cold War. While no longer an outright enemy, Putin’s Russia is certainly quickly becoming a formidable global competitor to the American “death merchants.” No wonder “some people in the U.S. don’t like that,” as the Times source put it.  

Days of easy pickings for the NWO leaders are over.  Days of easy pickings for the NWO leaders are over.  Which is why it is both ironic and sad that Serbia became the last domino to fall into the NWO lap - at the apex of its power and at the close of the Second Millennium.  

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2. Russia Transferred Tactical Nukes Closer to NATO?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 - When NATO expanded to the East in 1998 over Russia’s objections, the architects of the move, such as Madeleine Albright, the U.S. secretary of state, gloated over Russia’s supposed impotence and the New World Order’s supposed omnipotence.  Now that it seems that Russia has quietly moved its tactical nukes to Kaliningrad, its enclave in the Baltics, some ramifications of “Madam Halfbright’s” half-baked and foolhardy foreign policy acre becoming clearer.

Suddenly, Poland is starting to quake in its (probably “made in China”) NATO boots. The new NATO member is beginning to realize that it may end up as a prime nuclear battleground in case of a conflict between NATO and Russia.  And the Czech Republic and Hungary, which also joined NATO in 1998, are only hop, skip and a jump away. 

Oopsie-daisy… That’s certainly not what the Poles had bargained for who cheered their country’s new membership in the western military alliance.  Nor the State Department or the Pentagon brass who are now in a mild state of tizzy.

The Washington Times (http://www.washtimes.com), citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, said on Jan. 4 the movement of the new battlefield nuclear arms to Kaliningrad, a Baltic Sea port located in a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, had been detected in June of last year. But the movement was not reported in an internal US Defense Intelligence Agency report until December, it said, citing the same unidentified officials.

The officials said the movement was "a sign Moscow is following through on threats to respond to Nato expansion with the forward deployment of nuclear weapons".

The newspaper said the weapons involved were probably for use on the new Tochka short-range missile, which is thought to have a range of about 70km (44 miles).

“The US plans to talk to Russia about reports that Moscow is moving tactical nuclear weapons into its Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic sea,” the WT said.

“A Pentagon official confirmed on that Russia is believed to have moved short-range nuclear weapons, and said it was part of a "disturbing trend" that raised questions about Moscow's commitment to pledges it has made on arms control.”

"This is one of a number of issues of concern," said the Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.  Russia has flatly denied the report, first carried by The Washington Times newspaper.  The US Pentagon and State Department declined to confirm the report, saying it involved intelligence matters. But State Department spokesman Richard Boucher admitted there were some concerns.

Russian Defense Ministry sources denied the report, according to the Interfax news agency.  "This report can only be a political provocation," said Anatoly Lobsky, a spokesman for Russia's Baltic Fleet.

Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Tuesday (Jan. 2) that if Moscow has placed tactical nuclear arms in Kaliningrad, "it would violate their pledge that they were removing nuclear weapons from the Baltics, and that the Baltics should be nuclear-free."

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3. New Russian Stealth Technology Said to Be Superior to America’s

MOSCOW, Jan 4 - Russia has developed new technology which will allow military planes to completely escape radar and other tracking systems, the Keldysh Research Center sources said, according to a Jan. 4 Itar-Tass report, also carried by Agence France Presse.  The technology consists of a plasma field capable of absorbing the electromagnetic waves emitted by enemy tracking systems, sending back false signals on the plane's speed and position.

The nascent Russian system would eclipse the finest of US stealth technology, according to the report. Russia's new fifth-generation MIG fighter planes will be equipped with the new technology, the researchers said. 

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4. Russia Skips Payment of Old Soviet Debt

MOSCOW, Jan. 4 - Russia won't make its first-quarter payments this year on the billions of dollars of debt owed to nations known collectively as the Paris Club, a government spokesman was quoted as saying Thursday (Jan. 4), according to an Associated Press report.   

But the decision "does not mean and has nothing to do with a declaration of default," the Interfax news agency quoted Gennady Yezhov, spokesman for Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, as saying. "A decision on the former USSR's debts will be found after an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission comes to Moscow in late January or early February," he said.

The government information department later said that Russia plans to pay the amount scheduled for this year, the news agency ITAR-Tass reported.

Russia owes about $48 billion, racked up by the Soviet Union, to the Paris Club countries, a group of industrialized nations that includes the United States. The debt was defaulted on in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, and again in the August 1998 financial crisis when the ruble's value plunged.

Russia owes about $3.5 billion in interest payments on the debt this year, and the missed first-quarter payment amounts to about $1.5 billion.

Russia's total foreign debt, including to the Paris Club, is about $148 billion. The huge amount is an impediment to the nation's development.  The IMF failed to reach an agreement with Russia last month on new loans.

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5. Yugoslav Army Shot Down British Drone, Handed Top Secret Technology to RussiaJan. 7, 2001

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 - We received the following update to our Russian affairs Bulletin from a TiM reader in Pennsylvania whom the TiM readers may recall from our 1999 wartime reports as “Venik,” but whose real identity is known to TiM.  But first, to put Venik’s comments in a proper context, here’s an excerpt from a Dec. 31 Sunday Times (London) article that Venik had also enclosed with his letter to TiM:

"ARMY officers loyal to Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president, have given Russia state-of-the-art surveillance equipment from a pilotless British plane, it emerged last week. The Phoenix drone was flying over the 5km security zone around Kosovo looking for a troop build-up before last September's election when it was shot down, apparently by the Yugoslav Army.

British commanders had feared Milosevic was planning an attack against Nato as a pretext to cancel the poll, which he went on to lose. The MoD merely admitted a Phoenix was lost in September. But Whitehall sources said the plane failed to return from a night mission. Tracking equipment indicated it fell in Serb-controlled territory. It is believed to have been carrying updated top-secret thermal imaging systems.

"The Phoenix is old, but there are adaptations with different sensor payloads whose thermal imaging technology is critical," said Nick Cook, a military aviation expert with Jane's Defence Weekly.

MoD officials have admitted discreet overtures have been made to Milosevic's successor, Vojislav Kostunica, for the return of the plane. It may be too late, however. Although Belgrade has made no official statement, the Yugoslav military said yesterday such technology is routinely shared with Moscow, which provided much of its hardware in the past decade.

Russia has lagged behind Britain and America in drone technology. Russian analysts are believed to have taken for analysis various pieces of Western hardware lost during last year's Kosovo war - including parts of a top-secret American Stealth bomber shot down over Serbia. The MoD defends the frequent losses of the L300,000 craft. "There's no danger to pilots and you can fly much lower," a spokesman said. "At least seven have disappeared since the end of the Kosovo conflict."

Source: The Sunday Times, Dec. 31, 2000

And now, here are Venik’s comments about the above London Times report:

"The Phoenix UAV lost by the British Army in September of 2000 was the fourteenth British UAV of this model lost over Yugoslavia since the spring of 1999. The previous Phoenix crash occured on May 28, 2000, in the buffer zone separating Kosovo from the rest of Serbia. This Phoenix was quickly retrieved by Yugoslav forces, suggesting that the aircraft was shot down.

Nick Cook, of the Jane's Defence Weekly, is mistaken saying that the Phoenix is an old UAV. In fact, the Phoenix UAV system, developed by GEC-Marconi Avionics Group, entered service only in January of 1999 and was deployed during the operation "Allied Force" with no success. The Phoenix was the newest of all UAVs deployed by NATO during this operation, even if not the most advanced.

The Phoenix development program was six years behind the schedule and cost British taxpayers more than 300 million pounds. Some 12 Phoenix UAVs were lost during the operation "Allied Force" and two more were lost in 2000, also over Yugoslavia. At least several of these aircraft are believed to have been shot down, although most of them probably crashed due to technical problems.

What attracts the Russian designers in this UAV certainly are not it's less than impressive flying characteristics. The Russians are interested in the advanced sensory technology aboard the UAV. Even though Yugoslavia had several Phoenix UAVs since the operation "Allied Force", Russia, apparently, was particularly interested in the latest "acquisition" of the Yugoslav army. Perhaps the latest of a series of Phoenix UAVs, lost by the UK, had the new thermal imaging device the UAV's designers have been boasting about for quite some time now."

Venik, Pennsylvania

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6. Putin Dismisses Reports on Kaliningrad NukesJan. 7, 2001

MOSCOW, Jan. 6 - Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday (Jan. 6) dismissed reports that Russia may have deployed nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania, news media said (see Item 2 of this TiM Bulletin).

"It's rubbish," Putin was quoted as saying in response to a question on the reports posed by a German journalist as he accompanied German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on a walk through Red Square.

Also Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Yakovenko, said on state-run RTR television that "there were no such weapons at naval facilities, including naval, ground and air force ones, and no such weapons have been delivered there."

(Source: http://www.nandotimes.com ).

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7. Russia Flexing Its Naval Muscles, Sends Warships to Indian OceanJan. 15, 2001

VLADIVOSTOK, Jan. 15 - In another sign of its “coopetition” foreign policy at work, Russia sent on Monday two warships and a tanker from its Vladivostok-based Pacific Fleet to the Indian Ocean, the UPI newswire reported on Jan. 15.  The Admiral Vinogradov and Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine ships and the accompanying tanker are to spend more than two months at sea. 

The move is a bid by President Vladimir Putin to restore Russia’s naval presence in a strategic part of the globe after a decade of military cutbacks due to the western “reforms” implemented by the Boris Yeltsin quisling regime.  This will be the first time in five years that the cash-strapped Pacific Fleet has been able to send warships on an extended mission.

They Russian ships will first dock on Feb. 14 at the Indian port of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, to take part in an international naval parade.  It’s unlikely that the Russian sailors will be serenaded by the western participants at this Valentine’s Day parade, as Washington is looking at the new flexing of Russia’s naval muscles with wary eyes.

The warships are scheduled to leave Mumbai on Feb. 20, and sail to the Vietnamese port of Da Nang, where the ships expected to dock on March 12-16.  The warships will also conduct unspecified exercises while at sea, the Russian sources have told the UPI.

President Vladimir Putin has made clear his intention to make Russia's naval might a more visible presence around the globe.  The Russian navy was making final preparations last year to send a huge fleet to the Mediterranean just days before the disastrous Kursk nuclear submarine accident in August postponed that mission for an indefinite period.

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8. Washington’s Dangerous Saber-rattling Throws China and Russia into Each Other ArmsJan. 15, 2001

LONDON, Jan. 14 - We said in our April 2000 report, “Dangerous Nuclear Saber-rattling in Washington, Moscow and Beijing,” that Washington’s proposed National Missile Defense (NMD) shield, pushed heavily by the American “death merchants,” may spark a new arms race in which the U.S. taxpayers may end up the big losers.

Well, with the incoming Veep (Dick Cheney) a former “death merchant” himself, and the President-elect (George W. Bush) his attentive student, the new global arms race is all but certain.  Here’s an excerpt from the Sunday (Jan. 14) London Observer’s report on that subject:

A new arms race looms this weekend after reports that Russia and China are preparing to enter into a historic pact, spurred by plans by the incoming Bush administration to plough ahead with a vast missile defense screen.  

The Sino-Russian pact has its origins in a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Beijing last summer, but the final agreements were sealed just before Christmas.

The prospect of renewed international tensions came as Moscow and Beijing announced the forging of a treaty and strategic alliance over arms and space programs which could rupture the new, post-Cold War world order. If the treaty is developed into a fully fledged alliance, it would be the first to be joined by China in decades.

A source in President Clinton's State Department said: 'The Russians are pretty baffled and more than a little scared. While they want to be seen to welcome and work with the incoming President, they are bound to wonder who this amount of war-faring material is supposed to be against.'

The French Defense Minister is traveling to Moscow for talks on the new missile system, which France opposes.

The British Government is split on the issue, but The Observer can reveal that, privately, it has warned Washington that it should go ahead with NMD only if it can secure international agreement.

'We said to the Clinton administration that we do not want you to proceed unilaterally,' said one Whitehall source. 'That is also the stance we are starting to adopt with the new administration.

[…] 'If America's putative enemies do have plans to suicidally attack America, why should we turn ourselves into the primary target?'”

Isn’t it amazing how little coverage, if any, the so-called establishment U.S. media has given to the forging of the most important anti-American military alliance since the end of the Cold War - that between Russia and China?  Can’t get the American taxpayers too agitated, can they, until our corrupt Congress has forked out OUR money? 

Which just goes to show us that such media also work out of the “death merchants” pockets, just like the U.S. political establishment.  So we must read the foreign press to find out what’re really happening behind closed doors in Washington and elsewhere. 

For the full London Guardian report, check out… http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/russia/article/0,2763,422124,00.html

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9. Another British Spy Spills the Beans, Embarrassing MI6Jan. 15, 2001

LONDON, Jan. 15 - Revelations of a former MI6 officer, published in Russia, look set to blast a hole in the Official Secrets Act and severely weaken the intelligence services, the London Telegraph reported today (Jan. 15).  Richard Tomlinson, who served for four years in the early 1990s in MI6, the foreign intelligence service, has signed with a Russian publisher to produce the book in English. But Government sources suggested that the book, “The Big Breach,” was set up by Russian intelligence agents who offered Tomlinson, 39, a 35,000 ($52,000) deal.

Here’s an excerpt from the Telegraph article:

“Publication could not come at a worse time for the security services, which face a sustained battle in the courts to defend their secrets. Arguing against publication of Tomlinson's memoirs will be made more difficult by the decision of Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, the domestic security service, to publish her memoirs.

That move was branded by a senior civil servant as "a moral betrayal". Sir Stephen Lander, her successor, is still waiting for her to respond to a request that she remove "damaging" passages from her typescript.

MI5 also faces further embarrassment when one of its former officers, David Shayler, goes on trial in April for breaches of the Official Secrets Act. There are concerns that including European human rights legislation in British law may allow Shayler to argue that MI5's attempts to silence him are a breach of his human rights.

The Sunday Times, which published an excerpt from Tomlinson's book yesterday, said it disclosed details of operations he worked on in Bosnia and against Russia and Iran. It is also alleged to reveal MI6 tradecraft, including how officers are taught to create new identities for themselves and the training given to recruits.”

For the full Telegraph story, check out… http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=004158646335596&rtmo=qxMqeuK9&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/et/01/1/15/ntom15.html

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