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Even by the standards of a city that celebrates extravagance, it was a spectacular shopping spree: In just two weeks early last year, an 11-year-old boy from Azerbaijan became the owner of nine waterfront mansions.
The total price tag: about $44 million — or roughly 10,000 years’ worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan. But the preteen who owns a big chunk of some of Dubai’s priciest real estate seems to be anything but average.
His name, according to Dubai Land Department records, is Heydar Aliyev, which just happens to be the same name as that of the son of Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev. The owner’s date of birth, listed in property records, is also the same as that of the president’s son.
The Post story also mentions that Dick Cheney traveled to Baku two years ago to hold talks with President Aliyev that “focused on energy,” and that the Obama administration has shown similar laser-like focus on oil and strategic issues in its relations with Azerbaijan. “On a visit to Baku two weeks ago, William J. Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, praised Azerbaijan for supporting the United States in Afghanistan and trumpeted the role of a U.S.-backed oil pipeline from Baku to Turkey that broke Russia’s stranglehold on energy exports from the Caspian Sea,” the story said.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”