Tuesday Map: Osama bin Laden's current location

Geography Professor Thomas Gillespie of UCLA has employed a technique typically used for tracking endangered species in order to pinpoint the most likely location of the world's most wanted terrorist. In a paper (pdf) published in the MIT International Review Gillespie describes how he used biogeographic data including bin Laden's last known location, cultural background, security needs, declining health, limited mobility and height to create a mathematical model that he claims will show where the terror mastermind is hiding.

According to Gillespie, Osama is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight about here:

More specifically, he found a 90 percent chance that bin Laden is in Kurram province in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, most likely in the town of Parachinar which gave shelter to a larger number of Mujahedin during the 1980s. Here's a closer look at the region with Osama probabilities shown:

Gillespie even identified three buildings in Parachinar that would make the most likely shelters for Bin Laden and his entourage. Here's one of them:

The exact coordinates are N. 33.901944° E.70.093746°. Anyone want to go check it out?

Images: The MIT International Review


Venezuela's post-referendum hangover

Two days after Venezuela celebrated the passage of a referendum to remove term limits, the country still seems to be shaking off a hangover. Analysts the world over are mulling over the Venezuela's rising inflation, alarming debt burden, and perceived fiscal shortfall as oil prices fall to dismal lows.

Putting it more frankly, a former Venezuelan central bank official says the country is headed for certain stagflation. "A model based on the state entrepreneurial role is being depleted," he told El Universal. Rough words for a President who has nationalized the oil industry, among others, and may soon do the same in banking.

But if the markets say anything, it is that Chavez will simply have to start reigning in his popular but extensive spending -- something he'd avoided doing until the votes were cast. The country's currency rose on precisely those hopes yesterday.

From the looks of it, Hugo Chavez did indeed enjoy the hell-of-a party in Caracas on Sunday night, celebrating his big win. Good thing. One of the catchier slogans of the campaign, "Oh, ah, Chavez no se va!", is Venezuela's reality: Chavez isn't going anywhere. Is he sure it's a job he wants anymore? La recesion, tampoco, no se va...

Photo: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images