Around Town …

The Bureau of Industry and Security reports that “five foreign subsidiaries of Thermon Manufacturing Company, a San Marcos, Texas-based firm, have agreed to pay a total of $176,000 in combined civil penalties to settle allegations that they participated in unlicensed exports and reexports of heat tracing equipment to Iran, Syria, Libya and listed entities in India, in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  Thermon Manufacturing voluntarily disclosed the violations to BIS.”  Also, a Taiwanese company “has agreed to a $250,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it committed thirty-one violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to the unlicensed export of pressure transducers from the United States to the People’s Republic of  China (PRC).”

Meanwhile in Miami yesterday a man was convicted “on charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit cigars and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit cigars, in violation of Title 18, U. S. Code, Sections 371 and 2320(a).” Read the Customs press release.

A group of former Ambassador penned an “Open letter to President Barack Obama” concerning the U.S.-India nuclear deal and why, in their view, Pakistan should be accorded similar treatment.  It states, in part, “[i]f the United States continues to adopt a punitive posture towards Pakistan in the matter of civilian nuclear cooperation and to follow double standards in an area vital for Pakistan’s security and economic development, our partnership will remain fragile.”

And while on the issue of nuclear proliferation, Peter Huessy, President of GeoStrategic Analysis in Maryland, pens that “[t]he effort to end nuclear weapons programs in nations legally committed never to build them but committed to securing them nonetheless requires more than negotiations in Geneva or Bonn or New York. Diplomacy, without the required enforcing military power begins to look a lot like prayer or wishful thinking.”  Indeed.

Finally, following the first visit to Zimbabwe by EU delegates in seven years, the EU has said that sanctions against Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, and his most loyal officials will remain in force until more is done to implement the country’s power-sharing agreement.  The following story was posted on Al-Jazeera (when it comes to economic sanctions, European governments seem to always want to have it both ways, hence, they never gain ground – it is like Cuba matter, they rail against our travel ban but support one for Zimbabwe):

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