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Index March 2006

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WSF Karachi – events on March 30, 2006

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Wednesday the sixth World Social Forum closed. Here some media voices:

Thousands of activists attended the concluding ceremony and a musical concert in which performers sang and danced almost all night to the delight of the cheering crowd. The forum, with peace, democracy and women and workers’ rights on its agenda was a huge success, said organisers. “The World Social Forum [WSF] was a success beyond our expectations,” said Karamat Ali, one of the main organisers and a senior labour leader. (Read more on TMCnet).

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JOB PROTECTIONS AROUND EUROPE

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The Associated Press and IndyStar.com

FRANCE: Job protections include generous vacation, pensions and maternity leave, and subsidized meals and transport. It is extremely difficult to fire anyone with a permanent contract, and layoffs can be blocked by courts. High youth unemployment prompted a new law that would make it easier to fire young workers to try to encourage hiring. The law has prompted protests and strikes.

BRITAIN: Most benefits are decided by the employer, not the state. Layoffs for economic reasons are common. Mass protests are rare, though anger over a pension dispute prompted public sector workers to stage a one-day strike Tuesday.

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WSF Karachi – events on March 28, 2006

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THE ROAD TO NAIROBI 2007 – WHAT KIND OF FORUM? By Alejandro Kirk – Many things did not work here in Karachi over the last few days. Meetings started late, were cancelled or changed venue; garbage was strewn all over the place and trash bins nowhere to be found. Just getting into Pakistan was a nightmare and, to some, just impossible.

Yet this was not what mattered. In the end, what mattered was the visible joy over the discovery that “we” from Punjab, Balochistan or Kashmir, “we” from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India or the Philippines, are more or less all the same. “I saw humble people, workers from faraway parts of Pakistan, discussing their issues, trying to understand each other’s language. There were no intellectuals there. That sight made me feel that all this effort made sense,” Fahim Zaman, a former mayor of Karachi and member of the organising committee, told TerraViva.

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WSF Karachi – events on March 28, 2006

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First a link: TERRAVIVA, the Independent Newspaper of Polycentric World Social Forum, Karachi. March 24 – 29, 2006
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Developing countries: TRAPPED BY WTO, by Stanislaus Jude Chan – KARACHI – “More than 30,000 farmers from India have committed suicide over the last five years!” says one participant at a Monday discussion on the post-Hong Kong World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial summit. Yet another claims that the total figure of self-inflicted deaths of poor farmers in South Asia stands at “more than 2.5 million” to date.

Whatever the real figure, one thing is clear, the speakers said — poor, developing countries are receiving the short end of the stick with WTO agreements – or rather, non- agreements – and are frustrated to death – in some cases, literally.

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WSF Karachi – events on March 27, 2006

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When Politics and Religion mix, – “Our Holy Prophet fought wars, and there was politics in Islam since the very beginning. How can you separate it now?” With that question, Mohammad Saeed Kalmati Baloch opened a debate on whether, and how, religion can be separated from the state.

Added a listener at the Sunday plenary discussion on politics and religion: “Pakistan was created on the basis of Islam, Islam and politics have always gone together, we can’t change that.”

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WSF Karachi – events on March 27, 2006

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Across the divide, Pakistan calling, by Sumera S Naqvi – the fact that the lines kept dropping at the telephonic conference between Indian and Pakistani children Monday afternoon did not dissuade the children and the audience.

Jay Krishan, a delegate from India, sang a song that saved the day – ‘Mein tum to wishwas doon, tum mujh to wishwas do.’ (I keep faith in you, you keep faith in me) – that helped them assuage the disappointment of a defective telephone connection and the sweltering heat. But then hey, who cares about such hitches when Indian and Muslim friends sit together and sing songs in a language understood and spoken in both countries?

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WSF Karachi – events on March 26, 2006

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A new World erxists here, by Sara Hasan – where can you find a group of Indians singing a birthday song for a Pakistani girl, while Palestinian students voice their desire for peace, and a Sindhi girl talks about the impact of lack of water on her father’s sugarcane and wheat farms?

Where can you see an Australian student interacting with Pakistani locals, while a Sri Lankan youth group proclaims its need for better education and employment opportunities?

Where can you meet face to face with the Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front?

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WSF Karachi – about Kashmir – events on March 26, 2006

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LET JAMMU AND KASHMIR DECIDE FOR ITSELF! By Bikash Sangraula – Gurjeet Singh and Taha Hassan come from two sides of the Line of Control that has scarred the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir for over 50 years now.

While their leaders and policymakers, in India and Pakistan respectively, are apparently engaged in a peace process that has had really nothing to show since it was initiated three years ago, both Singh and Hassan have no doubt that if the protracted problems in Jammu and Kashmir are to be solved, the solutions must come from within.

India and Pakistan have too many problems at home to afford to continue spending hundreds of billions to defend a territory that really does not belongs to them.

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WSF Karachi – events on March 25, 2006

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HEAVEN IS NOT POSSIBLE, but … ‘, by Stanislaus Jude Chan and Frances Suselo – When one speaker at the WSF opening ceremony called out “remove violations against women”, Aziza Siddiqui sat up straight in her chair, and cheered.

Aziza is from Afghanistan, and she was “very excited” to hear her own sentiments spoken out loud by someone else. “We need to fight violations against women,” she says. The women’s rights coordinator for Action Aid Afghanistan is looking forward to engaging with, learning from, and sharing her experiences as a woman from Afghanistan with people from other countries at the WSF.

“It is hard work, but we must fight for gender balance. In politics, there is only one female minister in my country. We must change this so women can have a chance at an equal voice.”

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WSF Karachi – events on March 24, 2006

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POLYCENTRIC AND LOSING FOCUS, by Anil Netto – While a buzz of excitement surrounds the World Social Forum, now under way in the Pakistani city of Karachi, veteran activists and political scientists here are having reservations over the regional approach to the global event, with some even unaware it was taking place.

This is the first year that a polycentric approach is being used for the previously global-level WSF, with regional events in three continents. Two events were held in January in Bamako, Mali and Caracas, Venezuela to counter the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, held in the same month.

More than 15,000 people, mostly from the French-speaking parts of Africa, including farming villages, attended a series of 600 meetings during the Bamako WSF on Jan 19-23. A further 100,000 people participated in the Caracas event immediately after that.

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EMERGENCY IN EAST AFRICA

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Your help is urgently needed – Extreme drought has hit east Africa bringing severe food shortages to nine countries. Across the region, up to 11 million people are in need of help. The situation is critical – much worse than we have seen for many years (see on ACTIONAID).

The ActionAid actionaidadmin@actionaid.org.uk writes: Our staff on the ground tell us that drought has caused water supplies to dry up, crops to fail and livestock to die. Without their animals, families have no milk to drink and no calves to sell.

They have long since used up their reserves of grain. Even if it rained now, it would be too late for them to recover. Families are left with nothing. And they face starvation.

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Coalition for Indigenous Soverignty Call to Action

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An Economic battle seems in preparation between the Indigenous group living on the MOHAWK TERRITORIES and the Canadian Autorities in Ottawa concerning the tobacco trade. As it is known that battles between some indigenous group and the tobacco industry may be very in-equal, you may be interested to have a look.

One is asked to write to the Canadian Government Autorities TO PREVENT MILITARY AND POLICE INCURSION ON MOHAWK TERRITORIES. This request comes as a result of warnings by Community leaders in Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kanehsatake and Tyendinega who are preparing for a joint Canadian Forces/RCMP raid on April 1, the latest in a series of actions designed to destroy the Mohawk tobacco trade.

Informations availables:

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International Narcotics Control – Reports

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Can be downloaded:

  • International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – Volume I, 528 pages: Drug and Chemical Control, United-States, Department of State (PDF).
  • International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – Volume II, 420 pages: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, United-States, Department of State (PDF).

Related Material:

Public access to the internet

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… The major debate today revolves around “universalization” of access. Why is universalization so important? Researchers like Ernest Wilson worry that, in the absence of universal access, the rapid diffusion of the Internet into the organizations, cultures, and societies of industrialized nations may widen the multidimensional gap separating them from developing nations, exacerbating an already significant moral and practical problem [6]. Larry Press believes that the Internet’s flexible, low-cost communication may lead to improved economic productivity, education, health care, entertainment, awareness of the world, and quality of life in developing nations and pockets of poverty within nations, thus reducing disparity [7]. There are a number of barriers to universal access. While in most of North America and Western Europe, Internet penetration is very high and very nearly every citizen who wants to access the Net can do so, in many parts of the developing world, and in particular Sub Saharan Africa, only a small percent of the population can have access, even if the bandwidth is abysmally low and the cost forms a substantial fraction of one’s income. The numbers of computers, telephones, etc. per thousand inhabitants and the bandwidth in most of these countries are very low compared to the advanced countries and they are unevenly distributed [8]. It is to overcome this “digital divide” developing countries are pleading for the setting up of a Digital Solidarity Fund [9].

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$100 laptop computer for developing countries

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Microsoft Corp Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates mocked a $100 laptop computer for developing countries at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The $100 laptop project seeks to provide inexpensive computers to people in developing countries. The computers lack many features found on a typical personal computer, such as a hard disk and software. Gates showed off a new ‘ultra-mobile computer’ which runs Microsoft Windows on a seven-inch (17.78-centimeter) touch screen. Those machines are expected to sell for between $599 and $999, Microsoft said at the product launch last week. Gates described the computers as being for shared use, but the project goes under the name ‘One Laptop per Child’. Read more on i4d-online.

The Asian E-Government Conference

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April 26 – 28, 2006, Rama Gardens Hotel and Resort, Bankok, Thailand.

Introduction

Asian countries are witnessing a dramatic change in their economy. So is the scene of e-Governance! Some countries are already topping the international charts of e-Governance, some have just begun their journey, while there are a few others who are yet to step into the e-Governance arena. The scope for these countries to learn from their advanced Asian neighbours is immense and opportunities are unbound. The present need is to create a common ground of equitable learning which facilitates a process of overall development of the region.

Objectives

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Economic Researches – UNI Bremen

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The Working Group of the german University of Bremen eecently published the Euromemorandum 2005:

“Democratic Policy against the Dominance of Markets – Proposals for an Integrated Development Strategy in Europe”. This Memorandum was formulated on the basis of discussions at the 11th workshop of the working group “European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy” (Euro Memorandum Group) on September 23-25, 2005 in Brussels.

There exist short version in English French German Greek Hungarian Italian Spanish.

See all on this link.

Researches:

Corporate America’s New Golden Rules

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Linked with Patrick Brantlinger – USA. And with Alternative Globalizations.

Beginning in the late 1800s with the Interstate Commerce and Sherman Acts, antitrust laws have aimed to control the monopolizing tendencies of large corporations. (See a Position Paper by Patrick Brantlinger and Janet Sorensen, for the Progressive Faculty Coalition of Indiana University.

The Federal Reserve was set up partly to curb the growing power of the banking trust.

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Labour migration in the twenty-first century

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ILO Online (International Labour Organisation), session No. 13 of the ILO Governing Body, Friday 10 March 2006.

The world’s 90 million migrant workers constitute 3 per cent of the global workforce, and migrant experiences range from red carpet welcomes for some computer programmers to detention and deportation for some apprehended unauthorized workers. What can be done to ensure that international labour migration is a force for global betterment? A recent study, co-authored by two ILO experts */, presents a comprehensive analysis of the causes and effects of labour migration.

OAXACA (ILO Online) – José Gonzaléz left his village in Oaxaca, travelled north by bus through Mexico, and found a smuggler to guide him over the Mexican-United States (US) border and through the Arizona desert to Phoenix in the state of Arizona.

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About the Saudi Energy Security

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To be downloaded:

The Impact of the Abqaiq Attack on Saudi Energy Security, by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (PDF).

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

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Skype and Podcasting: Disruptive Technologies for Language Learning!

Robert Godwin-Jones,

at the Virginia Commonwealth University:

FNew technologies, or new uses of existing technologies, continue to provide unique opportunities for language learning. This is in particular the case for several new network options for oral language practice. Both Skype and podcasting can be considered “disruptive technologies” in that they allow for new and different ways of doing familiar tasks, and in the process, may threaten traditional industries. Skype, the “people’s telephone,” is a free, Internet-based alternative to commercial phone service, while podcasting, the “radio for the people,” provides a “narrowcasting” version of broadcast media.

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Women starting a business

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are joined by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Grow Women-Owned Businesses; QVC Joins as National Retail Marketing Supporter.

“Women entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses too often face barriers to accessing the financing and technical assistance they need,” said Senator Clinton. “Giving women entrepreneurs the tools to expand is not just good for business. It’s good for our communities, and it will help grow our economy.”

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Free software in developing countries …

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Picked up on EurekAlert (see also their Homepage) – Free software in developing countries is vital to future prosperity, good governance – UNU, Public release date = March 8, 2006:

Contacts:

Open source software capability key to ‘technological self-determination’.

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ECOSTAT – Hungary

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ECOSTAT is one of the most prominent institutes for economic analysis in Hungary by reason of its objective possibilities ? the statistic and financial data basis. Our Institute has been well known as a scientific workshop for several decades. We specialize in econometric researches, prognostic, econometric and firm information activities. The Institute aims to provide scientific researches of high professional quality. (See on ECOSTAT).

RESEARCHES, ANALYSES AND PROGNOSES

Comprehensive macro economic analyses. Systematic surveys of the national economy as a whole to reveal problems. Separate survey of certain problems requiring special methodology of analysis.

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Sumy State University, Chair of Economics

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The Economic Research Centre was founded in 1990. The stuff (full – and part time) of the Centre includes 3 academicians, 5 professors and 12 doctors carry out activity. Scientists and Specialists of the Centre have carried out courses in Japan, USA, Germany, Greece, France, Belgium. (See on this link).

Since foundation more than 30 fundamental scientific and applied projects were elaborated by the Centre including 8 international projects. The results of these projects were presented at International Conferences in USA, Japan, Russia, Greece, Sweden, France, Costa-Rica, Belgium, the Netherlands.

THE MAIN DIRECTIONS OF ENTERPRISE’S ACTIVITY ARE AS FOLLOWING:

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Center for Economic Research – Kyrgyz Republic

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The Center of Economic Researches was established in accordance with the Resolution of the Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences’ Presidium in December 1998, as the successor of the previously existed Institute of Economy of the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz SSR (from 1956) and recently existed Institute of Economy and Political Sciences (from 1994). This reorganization was aimed for making closer the Center’s researchers to the demands of economy, reinforcement of the National Economy complexes, creation of the lacing productions in the Republic, that should be solved during this complicated conditions of the economic recession.

Research fields

The scientific research work is carried out in accordance with the scientific research “The urgent problems of reforming of the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic”. This project includes following sections:

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Academy of Economic Studies

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The Economic Research Department assures the logistics, counseling and information to the Academy’s structures for the scientific research activity, especially for the financed one. It coordinates and guides the executive activity of the research centers. It’s offering information regarding the scientific research grants and assistance for the Academy teaching staff and researchers in order to prepare a number of documents regarding the participation in competitions. It’s allowing the access to information regarding the international programs for scientific research. See the rest on (Academy of Economic Studies).

Interactive Dialogue to ensure ICT Access for All

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UN-NGO-IRENE UPDATE Issue no 24, February 2006 – WHAT’S NEW – WSIS Phase II, Tunis Nov 2005 – ECOSOC NGO Roundtable/Workshops on the theme. For an Interactive Dialogue to ensure ICT Access for All. The UN-NGO-IRENE / NGO Section/ECOSOC and the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Association of Tunisian Mothers (ATM), Regional Coordinator of the UN-NGO- Informal Regional Network for Africa (UN-NGO-IRENE/Africa), together hosted the ECOSOC NGO Roundtable/Workshops to contribute to an effective implementation of the Tunis Declaration and Plan of Action on the theme. For an Interactive Dialogue to ensure ICT Access for All.

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Tom Plate’s article on Dubai’s port-deal

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Linked with our presentation of Tom Plate – USA.

Also linked with our presentation on Two women and two symbols of great defiance.

Prof. Tom Plate is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and founder of the Asia Pacific Media Network.

Written on March 1, 2006 in Khaleej Times Online (a daily of the United Arab Emirates), this article shows EXACTLY what is the point:

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Development Power and Derivative Process

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A Mode and Theory for Macroeconomy Analysis (see on this link).

feng dai (Zhengzhou Information Engineering University);
Jianqiang Liu (Zhengzhou Information Engineering University).

Abstract: Stating from the basic characteristics of economic production and based on the partial distribution [F.Dai, 2001], this paper advance the concept of development power, give its basic models, and try to establish a theory of describing and analyzing the macro-economy ©¤ the development power and derivative process. By means of the development power theory, we can explain and resolve some important problems in macro-economy researches, such as how the economic cycle be formed, what is the reason that economic outputs vary violently, etc. And by the derivative process model, we can give out the indexes of valuating development power and development vitality in economy process, analyze the macroscopic course of economic development, and compute the beginning time and ending time of the economy cycle depending on the accumulating and releasing development power. Finally, we analyze emphatically the DP movement in economy development of China and USA in recent several decades, in order to show the realistic background and the creditability of development power and derivative process.