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Index June 2006

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The Race for Oil – two

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By Jyoti Mukul, Friday, June 30, 2006.

NEW DELHI: The world’s biggest coal bed methane (CBM) producer BP Exploration, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL), Essar Oil and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd are among 26 companies eyeing 10 CBM blocks, the bidding for which ended on Friday.

A total of 54 bids were received for extraction of coal bed methane, a gas extracted from coal seams. India is aiming to produce 8-10 million standard cubic metre a day (mmscmd) gas from this source.

Read the rest of this article on Kustomjee.

The Race For Oil – one

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The U.S. has suddenly found it is losing a strategically and economically important race to secure the nation’s oil supply.

Vice President Dick Cheney had recently been entrusted with the task to procure additional sources of crude oil to help stabilize U.S. gasoline prices.

Mr. Cheney was sent to Central Asia to coax certain allies to significantly increase supplies, but apparently found that many potential suppliers had become committed to China.

“We’re in a race with China and so far we’re losing,” said an administration source familiar with Mr. Cheney’s trip.

Read the rest of this article on The real thruth.

Nigeria: Crude Oil As Scapegoat

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From Vanguard (Lagos), Posted to the web June 26, 2006 by Lles Leba/Rational Perspectives.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of our participation in the oil industry as a major producing and exporting nation. During this period, we have witnessed the transformation of deserts into tourist oasis and investment destinations with oil money in countries which were truly less favoured half a century ago as potential industrial and development hubs. Today, the people of the oil-producing arid zones of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Jordan and Kuwait enjoy a much higher standard of living and live in relatively more secure environments than most Nigerians who share a common endowment of exploitable crude oil reserves but live in abject poverty and squalor in spite of the additional bonus of vast regions of arable land and other myriad untapped mineral resources locked under our feet!

Indeed, our revenue from crude oil alone has exceeded trillions of dollars since 1956; but ironically, this golden goose has often been labelled as a curse on our nation. Critics of the impact of oil on our development maintain that the ship of state lost bearing once we started reaping the bountiful harvest of the oils under the creeks of the Niger Delta.

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Child Poverty on the Rise

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Reported by Dan Gorenstein on Tuesday, June 27, 2006.

A new report shows one in ten New Hampshire children is living in poverty. New Hampshire Public Radio’s Dan Gorenstein has more. The 2006 Kids Count national survey, conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says between 2000 and 2004 the number of poor children in New Hampshire went from 6 to 10%. That’s a 67% jump, the largest growth rate of any state nationwide.

What’s happened in New Hampshire that’s led to the increase? Ellen Shemitz of the Children’s Alliance points to the economy. She says wages just aren’t keeping up with costs.

Read the rest of this article on nh Public Radio.

Afghanistan and its future

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By Ahmed Rashid, 6/26/06, an EurasiaNet Commentary.

Five years after Western countries promised Afghans to rebuild their country, Afghanistan is on the brink, facing its worst crisis since the Taliban were overthrown in 2001.

Afghan dignitaries and Western diplomats are scathing in their criticism of President Hamid Karzai’s inability to govern effectively or punish those in his administration who are corrupt, dealing in drugs or close to the Taliban. In turn, Karzai has lashed out at the West’s refusal to help his government with more money and troops much earlier on.

Ordinary Afghans have no doubt that the Taliban virus is spreading. Taliban have been reported just 25 miles from the capital, distributing at night written death threats to those who help the government.

Read the rest of this long article on Eurasianet.org.

joining the dots … fuel, water, oil and poverty …

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By abelard, see on Google groups uk.politics.misc, Jun 17 2006.

Excerpt: … Roughly 60 percent of the world grain harvest is consumed as food, 36  percent as feed, and 3 percent as fuel. While the use of grain for food and feed grows by roughly 1 percent per year, that used for fuel is growing by over 20 percent per year …

Although the rate of world population growth is projected to slow further, the number of people to be added is expected to remain above 70 million a year until 2020 …

The newest, potentially huge claimant on world grain supplies, the use of grain to produce fuel ethanol, is concentrated in the United States where a projected 55 million tons, or one fifth of the projected 268-million-ton corn harvest for 2006, will be used for this purpose …

Water tables are now falling and wells are going dry in countries that contain half the world’s people, including the big three grain producers – China, India, and the United States.  In China, water shortages have helped lower the wheat harvest from its peak of 123 million tons in 1997 to below 100 million tons in recent years …

Read the rest of this article on Google Group uk.politics.misc

Kyrgyzstan: Tourism hopes pinned on alpine lake region

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By Bruce Pannie, an EurasiaNet Partner Post from RFE/RL.

High in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, near China’s western border, lies the country’s jewel: Lake Issyk-Kul. Kyrgyz officials and local entrepreneurs have long hoped that international tourism to the lake — which is ringed by eternally snowcapped mountains — might provide a lucrative boon for their cash-strapped economy. But the slow pace of Kyrgyz investment suggests it is up to others to make Issyk-Kul a hotspot for international tourism.

Lake Issyk-Kul, tucked away in Kyrgyzstan’s northeast corner and measuring 160 kilometers east-to-west and 60 kilometers north-to-south, is the second-largest alpine lake in the world.

But although nature has bestowed remarkable beauty on this area, it has also presented formidable obstacles. The region lies deep in the heart of the Asian continent — far from the affluent capitals of Europe, East Asia, and even Russia. Access can be difficult, with poorly maintained roads snaking up toward the 7,000-meter mountain peaks.

Read the rest of this article on Eurasianet.org.

South Caucasus: Economic Forum shares best practices

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By Haroutiun Khachatrian, June 23, 2006. A recent economic conference held in the Georgian capital Tbilisi sought to lay the groundwork for closer regional cooperation among the three South Caucaus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

(Read this long article on this page of Eurasianet.org).

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: cracks behind the facade

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By Stephen Blank, 6/21/06, EurasiaNet Commentary.

To the chagrin of American diplomats, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has quickly emerged as a force to be reckoned with in Central Asia.

At the fifth annual SCO summit, held in mid June in Shanghai, participants castigated the United States in a not-so-subtle fashion. An SCO declaration insisted that determining Central Asia’s future was up to the states in the region, and not outside powers. “Models of social development should not be ‘exported,’” the declaration stressed.

Read the rest of this article on Eurasianet.org.

Kazakhstan finally commits to the pipeline

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By Shahin Abbasov and Khadija Ismailova, 6/19/06.

Kazakhstan has finally committed to shipping oil via the US-backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. Although hailed as “a significant historical event” by some officials, the initial level of Kazakhstan’s involvement will be modest. Meanwhile, Iran surprised regional observers by revealing a desire to ship oil via BTC. Experts are generally skeptical of the Iranian proposal, saying it is designed to relieve international pressure against Tehran.

Read the rest of this article on this page of Eurasianet.org.

International Debt Observatory

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The International Debt Observatory is born under the impulse of the Committee for the abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM) and of the Left-wing Economists (EDI, Argentina) on January 28th, 2005 at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The International Debt Observatory is a tool of exchange of knowledge, analyses and research on the problematic of the debt. Its aim is to provide precise analyses in most domains relating to problematic of the debt as well as a unique statistical database to the individuals and the organizations that study the mechanism of the debt and/or act for an alternative to the domination of the most powerful countries of the North.

See:

Bolivia’s new government took office in January 2006 with a strong mandate for economic reform, and with promises that such reform would both increase economic growth and benefit the poor. Nonetheless an electoral mandate for economic change does not necessarily translate into reform. There are various external pressures, from foreign governments (especially the United States), multi-lateral lending institutions, and other sources that can influence policy. This paper looks at Bolivia’s potential vulnerability to pressures in conjunction with external public debt and debt relief, grants and foreign borrowing, and trade. (Read more on Bolivia’s Challenges).

DILEMMAS AND RISKS OF THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT IN THE U.S.A.

Will US debt lead to a financial crisis?” is the title of a new KAIROS briefing paper on debt and finance issues.This paper is an abriged and updated version of a discussion paper first prepared for the South North Consultation on “Resistance and Alternatives to Debt Domination held in havana last September.The paper discusses the prospects for a global financial crisis caused by the USA’s huge external debts. It discusses some of the implications for Canada as well as how a financial crisis might create conditions for mass defaults or repudiations of illegitimate debts by Southern countries. (See Will US Debt Lead to a Financial Crisis?).
(See also policy briefing paper).

In search of the Next Bangalore

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By ARYN BAKER, June 19 – 2006, on TIME: BANGALORE – A new word has appeared during watercooler conversations in offices across the U.S. The term is Bangalored. It refers to India’s high-tech hub, and it means your job has just moved to India without you. But in the shifting global labor market, vernacular can quickly become outdated. What is the term for a job that is outsourced to India only to be relayed to China or Romania?

There is none–but one may soon be needed. That’s because India, which virtually invented offshore outsourcing, is becoming a victim of its own success. Such companies as Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) grew into billion-dollar behemoths by tapping armies of quick-coding, English-speaking, low-wage techies to do the software programming and back-office tasks that U.S. companies used to perform in-house. But Indian salaries are rising–the median annual wage for a software engineer jumped 11%, from $6,313 in 2004 to $7,010 in 2005, according to India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM)–and the country’s technical colleges aren’t producing highly skilled workers quickly enough. So foreign companies are turning to low-cost markets outside India, like China, the Philippines and Eastern Europe, to do more of their grunt work. “China has much the same resources as us: great pools of talent and a young workforce–and better schools, airports and roads,” says Kiran Karnik, president of NASSCOM.

So is Bangalore going bust? (Read the rest of this article on this page of TIME).

Japan and Islamic Financing

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The Bahrain Monetary Agency BMA (was) holding a major workshop in Tokyo, Japan, on Islamic finance, to foster a better understanding of Islamic finance and Bahrain’s importance as the premier financial centre in the Middle East.

The event, titled ‘Islamic Finance: opportunities in Banking & Insurance’, (was) hold on 12th June 2006 at the Japan National Press Club. The workshop, which is the first of its kind to be organized by the BMA in Japan, targets a select audience of representatives of Japan’s financial services industry, decision makers, opinion makers and the media. ‘This is the most significant effort to be made by the BMA in Japan, to promote greater awareness of Islamic finance and the tremendous potential this rapidly growing industry offers’,said Mr. Al Maraj.
(Read the rest of this article, published on AME Info of June 5, and AME Info of June 12, 2006).

links:

Poor women and economy

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Linked with our presenttation of Reema Nanavaty – India.

Some other of her Economic Texts:

Other Texts:

Tadjikistan: political Apathy hampers democratization

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6/16/06, Freedom House Report Highlights “Governance Gap” in Central Asia, Caucasus.

A study released June 13 by Freedom House focuses attention on a “governance gap” in energy-rich states in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The report, titled Nations in Transit 2006, identifies several disturbing trends in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and other nations in the European Union’s “Eastern neighborhood,” including weak political institutions, plummeting standards, expanding limits on press freedom and rampant corruption. The accumulation of wealth, through the development of energy resources, does not stand to foster stable societies, the report suggests.

“National leaders in these countries appear not to understand that improving accountability will provide citizens what they want – prosperity and rule of law – and would give their states more options internationally,” the report’s editor, Jeannette Goehring said in a written statement.

Read the rest of this article on Eurasianet.org.

Take a Stand on Internet Governance!

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The U.S. government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has asked for public comments about its supervision of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

This is an opportunity to tell the U.S. your opinion of its controversial assertion of control over the Internet’s core technical coordination functions. For more information about how the U.S. controls ICANN and how it has used that control, click here.

IGP is urging Internet users everywhere to respond to the NTIA request for comments with the following statement:

The Internet’s value is created by the participation and cooperation of people all over the world. The Internet is global, not national. Therefore no single Government should have a pre-eminent role in Internet governance.

As the US reviews its contract with ICANN, it should work cooperatively with all stakeholders to complete the transition to a Domain Name System independent of US governmental control.

Join this global campaign. Go to this site of Internet Governance to complete the form and send it.

Economic progress in Turkey endangered by political jousting

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By Nicolas Birch June 06, 2006, an EurasiaNet Commentary.

As transformations go, the changes to Turkey’s economy following the 2001 crash were radical. A banking system that had been little more than a piggy-bank for politicians was transformed into one of the fastest-growing in the world.

In place of governments willing to throw fiscal responsibility out the window in exchange for a handful of votes, elections late in 2002 brought to power a party apparently determined to extricate Turkey from years of debilitating boom-and-bust economic cycles. Was the change of mentalities only a mirage? With political jousting between secularists and a religious-minded government showing increasing signs of spilling over into the economy, analysts increasingly fear the answer may be yes.

Read the rest of this article on Eurasianet.org.

Transition from the Commission on Human Rights to the Human Rights Council

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The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) have developed a joint publication, A new chapter for human rights: a handbook on issues of transition from the Commission on Human Rights to the Human Rights Council. The handbook highlights the major issues of transition from the Commission on Human Rights to the new Human Rights Council. It briefly describes the old system under the Commission, what the Council needs to consider and do during its first year, and some of the key issues, and existing suggestions and choices. The handbook also identifies the main questions around each of these issues to generate discussion and reflection on what NGOs and defenders hope can be achieved through the system, what features they think would be useful, and better options. The handbook is supplemented by a series of annexes containing key documents, compilations and tables of information that may be useful to readers. The handbook is available on ISHR’s website, www.ishr.ch.

You can download the entire handbook or individual chapters and the annexes at www.ishr.ch/handbook.

Self Employed Women’s Association’s response to crisis

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Linked with our presentation of Reema Nanavaty – India.

Linked also with our presentation of Ela Bhatt – India.
From Journal of Human Development, Vol. 4, No. 2, July 2003 – Working Women And Security:

By TONY VAUX and FRANCIE LUND – Tony Vaux, a consultant specialising in conflict analysis, previously worked with OXFAM for three decades, and Francie Lund is an Associate Professor at the School of Development Studies, University of Natal.

Abstract India’s Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is an organization of women who work informally. Between 1989 and 2001, the areas in which they live and work were affected by cyclones, drought, and earthquake. This paper traces SEWA’s response to these crises. It consistently focuses on the importance of income in sustaining livelihoods in the face of crisis. It tries to turn crisis to opportunity, often working in partnership with, and always trying to influence, government; it extends its policy influence by participating in key government commissions and committees. SEWA has developed a battery of institutions (such as the insurance scheme) aimed at reducing risk and increasing security. We suggest that SEWA’s members — who are poor working women — have developed a more appropriate response to disasters than have governments and aid agencies. In the search for human security, international agencies should pay greater attention to addressing the long-term vulnerability of poorer people. Greater attention should in general be given to the way that ‘manmade’ economic policies and programmes can increase the risks that poor people face. (Read the rest of this long 24 page pdf-text on this page of wiego.org).

Economics Conferences Worldwide

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Upcoming events in economics, business, finance and related fields are presented on this website page of weitzenegger.de.
See also:
Economic Geography.

Microcredits and poor women

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Linked with our presentation of Reema Nanavaty – India.

By Nan Dawkins Scully, who heads the Women’s Microcredit Accountability NETwork, published (without a date) on Local Development Network, and on this page of gdrc.org, a part of the Global Development Research Center.

Microenterprise credit is increasingly promoted by the North as a panacea for the South. “World Bank President James Wolfensohn says that credit is “a particularly effective way of reaching women.” The U.N. Secretary General calls it “a critical anti-poverty toolfor the poorest, especially women.” Even First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton points to microcredit as a tool that will help poor women “survive globalization.”

Microenterprise development has, in some circumstances, contributed positively to women’s empowerment and helped extremely poor women survive economic crises in the short term. However, donors and advocates consistently over-exaggerate the power of microenterprise credit and related assistance, while ignoring key structural issues that are far more pertinent to the long-term problem of women and poverty ­ i.e., agrarian reform, programs favoring export production (typically male-dominated) over subsistence crops (typically female-dominated), and trade agreements structured in the interests of transnational corporations,. Three popular misconceptions permeate the current rhetoric regarding microenterprise development and encourage its mischaracterization as a panacea:

Myth #1: Microcredit programs empower women. Because some credit programs foster group formation and enable women to generate income, they offer potential for both political and economic empowerment. However, since credit by itself cannot overcome patriarchal systems of control at household and community levels, this potential is not always realized.

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WSIS – Comments for Action line C7 – e-learning

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By the WSIS civil society “education, academia and research” taskforce.

Action line C7 starts with stating: “Everyone should have the necessary skills to benefit fully from the Information Society”. However, the civil society education, academia and research taskforce underlines that in order to achieve this aim it is of key importance, in addition to ensure multi-stakeholder participation, to define clear and concrete measures which can be incorporated in both national and global strategies.

1) One such key measure is:

*Defining and fostering Open Educational Resources (OER) on line, around issues of interoperability, access, public infrastructure, in the context of Internet and digital learning technologies.

OER initiatives and outputs in higher education relate to 3 major areas of activity: the creation of software and development tools, the creation of open course content, the development of standards and licensing tools. These resources, enabled by ICTs, and more specifically the distributed networks of research around the world via internet, are put at the disposal for consultation, use and adaptation by communities of users around the world, in a commercial-free environment. The term and the philosophy has been adopted by Unesco, one of the institutions in charge of moderating the e-learning action-line.

OER offers the advantage of ready access to the materials of a course but also all the surrounding data (syllabus, calendar, assignments, projects, tutorials, or even video demonstrations…). It also presents the advantage of promoting long distance training, as it is often without barriers of entry (no password) and without barriers of geography. It is therefore a major step for sharing teaching materials, methods and tools, in the tradition of academia and research. It is also the object of new research models and should benefit not just the teaching world but also the research world.

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Women’s World Banking

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Go to:

Get involved;

Who We Are ;

What’s new;

etc.

see also this text: the vulnerability of the urban poor.

International Women’s Conference Held in Arlington

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Linked with our presentation of Kamala Sarup – Nepal.
By Mary Frances McCarthy, Herald Staff Writer – The first talk, delivered by Maryann Cusimano Love from the Center for International Social Development and Catholic University Department of Politics in Washington, briefed the audience on the world situation in relation to justice and peace. “You can’t think about peace without thinking about justice,” Love said. She said that although international conflict has declined since the end of the Cold War, conflict is still very much alive and is especially impacting the most vulnerable — women, children and the poor. “Building peace is about much more than combating armies,” she said. “It is something other than signing peace accords.” In order for there to be peace in the world, there must be justice. It is up to the Catholic Church, she said, to work for justice and set an example for the rest of the world. The Catholic Church is blessed, she said, with many ‘artisans of peace’ — peace builders — working to prevent conflicts, resolve them, and reconcile and rebuild divided societies. “God doesn’t allow evil to exist in the world,” Love said. “We do.”

One of the steps toward world peace, Dr. Lee proposed, is a renewed respect for nature and environmental protection. Without the environment and nature, human life could not be sustained. “We come from earth, we live on earth, and in the end, we return to earth,” he said. “Destroying nature is equivalent to destroying the foundation of our life. If Earth’s economy goes bankrupt, then human economy will follow.”

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Poor Get Cuts as Rich Get Tax Cuts

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By Jesse Jackson – In his radio address and press conferences this week, President Bush highlighted the Senate debate and vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He didn’t mention that Congress is also geared up to repeal the estate tax — and hand a staggering trillion-dollar benefit to the richest of Americans.

Similarly, the president has been touting the “success” of his economic plans — profits up, stocks up, CEO salaries up. He has not mentioned that the Conference of Mayors reports rising hunger and homelessness in our cities. Or that wages for most Americans aren’t keeping up with prices.

The administration, desperate to shore up its own base, is back to posturing on symbolic issues — a constitutional amendment on gay marriage, a constitutional amendment on burning the flag — and throwing money at the affluent who pay for the party. Meanwhile, the poor are simply ignored. The cities abandoned. Working people slighted.

Bush’s budget simply abandons the cities. He would cut spending on a range of programs that go to the poor, the elderly and the disabled — Medicaid, education, day care, home-heating assistance, special food assistance. He says this is vital to bring down the deficits. At the same time, he insists on new tax cuts — largely for the very wealthy — that add more to the deficit than the cuts for the poor save. And he demands increases in military spending and homeland-security spending — even while cutting the programs for the poor … and … Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel economist, projects that the war in Iraq will cost over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the Bush budget would cut funding for cops on the street, for child care, for health care for poor children. We’re making profound choices in the dark, distracted by our fears and forgetful of our values. We will pay a heavy price for this. (Read this long article on Share the World’s Resources).

about Nepal in peace

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Linked with our presentation of Kamala Sarup – Nepal.

By Kamala Sarup – The Nepali poverty is the result of reliance on an agriculture as a source of food by the poor, Maoists violence that prohibited keeping exportable wheat, the “cash crop”, in Nepal and prohibiting the import of agriculture surpluses to support the Nepali landowners.

Although the problem appeared throughout South Asia, the reliance of the Nepali poor exclusively on the rice, as a staple made it particularly susceptible to poverty. Agriculture product domesticated by Nepali farmers and provides more calories per acre than any other staple. Therefore, it is not surprising that it was and is cultivated throughout the world. The Nepal used and imported rice from other countries to obtain foreign currencies for international trade.However, since most of the Nepali land and the policy was to favor us over the peasants. Thus, the Nepali poverty occurred that brought millions to Nepali to seek a better life.Productive and prosperous transformation in the development process, can become viable only through permanent economic development. The essentiality of today, is to ensure the solidarity of national development, with economic re-strengthening. Is it going to guarantee sustainable peace? Will there be earnest effort in harnessing cooperation from all respective sectors?

An active economic reforms is always needed for leading the social movement because strong economy is the foundation of democratic development and creation of a equitable nation. In any time of conflict, it is the economy that plays the lead role in bringing about a tangible and lasting solution to the economic crisis facing the nation and the people. The economic refors in Nepal should rally for bigger social transformation and to bring about social reforms. (Read the rest of this long article on The Los Angeles Chronicle).

Those Who Must Be Compensated …

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Those Who Must Be Compensated Are the Bolivians, Not the Companies, says Stiglitz.

Trouvé sur CADTM, June 6, 2006 , Source : La Jornada (Mexique), 19 May 2006

by Rosa Rojas – La Paz, 18 of May. Joseph Stiglitz, a 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, today described the recent nationalization of hydrocarbons in Bolivia as a process of “return of a property” that already belonged to the Bolivian government and considered it “necessary” that Bolivia should receive a “just compensation” for its natural resources.

In contrast, from Washington, the International Monetary Fund (the IMF) warned the “far-reaching economic consequences” after the decision by Bolivian President Evo Morales, from whom it demanded compensations, and said that what happened could discourage foreign investors, according to news agencies.

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QUALCOMM Helping to Pave the Way for Africa’s Telecommunications Growth

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By Zachary Ochieng, 1 June 2006. Source: News from Africa.

JOHANNESBURG– QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other advanced wireless technologies, today announced the opening of the Company’s African hub based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

QUALCOMM is working to enable the growth and success of commercial third-generation (3G) wireless systems based on the CDMA2000® and WCDMA standards defined by the International Telecommunications Union in 27 countries across the African continent. As 3G wireless rapidly gains momentum and QUALCOMM continues to expand throughout Africa, the Johannesburg office will serve as a valuable strategic center of operations.

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Some reports on Africa and Education

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Linked with our presentation of Frederick Akhelumele – Nigeria.

Linked also with our presentation of Youthcare International.

Excerpt: A year after the Commission for Africa report was released and there have been some achievements, but the biggest change would have been to make trade fairer for Africa and that remains elusive … Debt relief was controversially extended to improve education in Nigeria, where corruption and conflict have swallowed the country’s natural wealth. On aid, the world is a long way short of agreeing to double aid for Africa, the report’s bold ambition. But there has been progress. America is moving towards increases, despite the failure of its last big idea, the so-called “Millennium Challenge Account”, to deliver even a fraction of the money promised. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, previously an aid sceptic, says that she will try to meet Germany’s commitments. Technical ways to raise more money have progressed even if the hard cash is not there yet. (Read the rest of this article on BBCnews).

And also:

Africa – The UNGASS draft declaration

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… is far short of civil society expectations. The UN declaration reviewing global progress on HIV/AIDS released on Friday has failed to win the endorsement of civil society groups, disappointed by the lack of ambition in the text.

AIDS activists were still trying to enlist the help of sympathetic country delegations to strengthen language in the draft document on targets, affirmation of the rights of women and girls, “harm reduction” measures for injecting drug users, and recognition of the needs of other vulnerable groups such as sex workers, prisoners and migrants.

In a statement, a coalition of AIDS activists representing more than 100 organisations said a draft of the political declaration “fell far short of expectations at a time when 8,000 people a day die of AIDS globally”.

The declaration negotiated at the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS was always going to be a compromise between conservative governments and those demanding a bolder response to halt the epidemic, including reaching out to marginalised groups.

During three days of meetings in New York, NGOs urged governments to make a commitment that would mark a real and measurable step forward from the agreement reached at the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS.

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Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale CEMAC

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ECDPM participated in an institutional, organisational and functional audit of the CEMAC at the request of the CEMAC Heads of State to assess the situation of the Community at the end of its first phase of integration (1999-2004) and pinpoint the areas that still needed to be improved. The audit was approved by CEMAC Member States during the Conference of Heads of States in Malabo in March 2006 where the decision was taken to start an important process of reform. (Source ECDPM).

See:

The Audit

The Summary 

Some other PINR reports

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Some other reports than yesterday’s on Asian Economy out of PINR, Power and Interest News Report, may interest you:

S.A.A.R.C.: A Potential Playground for Power Politics, of April 17, 2006;Intelligence Brief: China, Uzbekistan, of March 9, 2006;

The Growing Importance of Japan’s Engagement in Central Asia, of February 17, 2006;

Continents have special files, like Asia, or Central Asia, and so on …

LA PEUR AU SERVICE DU NEOLIBERALISME

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Source : Taipei Times, Mai 2006 / Traduction : Marie Meert.
Voir sur CADTM

par Joseph Stiglitz – Entretien avec Vera Malaguti Batista, sociologue brésilienne.
Pour la sociologue, la peur est utilisée par les élites pour paralyser et dépolitiser la société brésilienne.

Tout au long de l’histoire de l’humanité, la peur a toujours été utilisée pour dominer et contrôler la société. Au Brésil, en particulier, l’utilisation de ce sentiment, diffusé par les grands médias, criminalise les actions populaires et les mouvements sociaux. Telle est l’idée défendue par la sociologue Vera Malaguti Batista, auteur d’une recherche historique qui montre que la peur, depuis l’époque de la colonisation, est utilisée pour maintenir les hiérarchies, rendant la société plus conservatrice. « Depuis toujours les mouvements de la population brésilienne sont traités comme crime, chahut, désordre, chaos. Je pense que c’est une récurrence historique pour maintenir un ordre très similaire au système esclavocrate impérial », affirme-t-elle.

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Industrial Riots Reveal Bangladesh’s Crisis of Governance

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Between May 20 and 24, the South Asian country of Bangladesh underwent the most severe and widespread industrial rioting in its history, as workers in its booming textile export industry torched 16 factories, ransacked 300 more and went on a general rampage, destroying cars, blocking roads, intimidating perceived adversaries and looting. (Read the rest of this long article on today’s PINR,  the power and interest news report).