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Index August 2007

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The Least Developed Countries Report 2007

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Table of contents.

Downloads.

Highlights:
The least developed countries (LDCs) are a group of countries (presently 50 States) that have been officially identified by the United Nations as “least developed” in the light of their low income, weak human assets, and high economic vulnerability. UNCTAD, in past LDC Reports, has taken the view that the key to sustained economic growth and poverty reduction in LDCs is the development of productive capacities and related creation of productive employment. The Least Developed Countries Report 2007 corroborates this view by focusing on knowledge accumulation, technological learning and the ability to innovate as vital processes toward genuine productive capacity development in these countries.

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Some Trainings for humanitarian development

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

a): Global Forum on migration and development: More than 120 governments as well as regional and International Organisations met for the first meeting of the Global Forum on migration and development in Brussels on 10 July. This meeting aimed to discuss more consistent ways of strengthening the positive impacts between migration and development policies;

b): Online Course in Practical Microfinance: Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development will host an online course in Practical Microfinance this fall. The 11-week course, to be held from Sept 17 – Dec 18, is the first in a series of three courses for SNHU’s Graduate Certificate in Microfinance Management. SNHU Professor Malcolm Harper will facilitate the program, which is open both to the students pursuing a master degree and to development practitioners working in the development field;

c-1): Ownership in Practice, Paris, 27-28 September 2007: This Informal Workshop will examine what the principle of ownership looks like in practice, both within developing countries (democratic ownership) and in the relationship between developing countries and donors;

c-2): Donor Committee Conference: African and global lessons for more effective donor practices: Accra, 5-7 November 2007 (English/French);

c-3): Donor Committee Conference: Asian and global lessons for more effective donor practices: Bangkok, 29 November to 1 December 2006

d): International Negotiations, Practical Skills and Techniques: Online, 5 – 30 November 2007. Offered by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR);

e): Governing for Development: Opportunities and Challenges for Development Actors under the New Aid Paradigm: Antwerp, Belgium. April – May 2008, Institute of Development Policy and Management.

The Clash of Islam and Liberalism

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Published on International Analyst Network, by Sam Vaknin, Aug. 28, 2007.

3 excerpts: … Militant Islam is, therefore, not a cancerous mutation of “true” Islam. On the contrary, it is the purest expression of its nature as an imperialistic religion which demands unmitigated obedience from its followers and regards all infidels as both inferior and avowed enemies.
The same can be said about Democratic Liberalism. Like Islam, it does not hesitate to exercise force, is missionary, colonizing, and regards itself as a monopolist of the “truth” and of “universal values”. Its antagonists are invariably portrayed as depraved, primitive, and below par.
Such mutually exclusive claims were bound to lead to an all-out conflict sooner or later. The “War on Terrorism” is only the latest round in a millennium-old war between Islam and other “world systems” …

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Starving people against hungry people?

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Linked with C.T. Lawrence Butler – USA, and with Keith McHenry – USA.

Indicated on topix.com, Aug. 24, 2007:

Burmese army’s new divide and rule tactic: Members of the pro-government civilian organization Union Solidarity and Development Association have hired casual laborers and unemployed people to intimidate and attack protesters engaged in the nonviolent promotion of democracy and human rights in Burma, according to sources in Rangoon.

One Rangoon resident who joined the USDA to confront protesters said that organization members came to his house and asked that he join the group to deal with people protesting against the government. The USDA is said to have paid between 2,000 and 2,500 kyat (US $1.50 and $1.88) per day to people who participate in the crackdown on protesters. Others have also received food in addition to cash …

First told on BurmaNet, same day:

excerpt: … The behind-the-scenes role of the USDA in supporting Burma’s military regime under the guise of a civilian social organization has evoked strong criticism from Burmese opposition and exile groups.

In a statement released on Friday, the Burma Lawyers Council condemned the USDA for human rights violations and breaches of Burmese law.

The USDA is an illegal organization in Burma, BLC General Secretary Aung Htoo told The Irrawaddy on Friday. What they are doing at the moment is unacceptable. They are abusing and violating civilians.

The pro-government organization was founded in September 1993 by top military leaders of the State Peace and Development Council, which rules Burma. Originally registered as a social organization devoted to addressing civil and religious issues within Burma, the group has since become little more than a civilian wing of the government frequently used to enforce obedience to the state through violence or intimidation. (full text).

Helping the Homeless – The Right To Food

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Linked with THE FOOD NOT BOMBS MOVEMENT, with C.T. Butler – USA, and with Keith McHenry – USA.

Published on Zmagazine, bx Dan Read, July-AQugust 2007 (scroll down).

Eric Montanez could hardly be considered a criminal. As a volunteer with Food not Bombs (FNB), Montanez worked distributing food to the homeless in his native Orlando, Florida. Just 21 years of age, he is one of many volunteers who serve meals to the hungry and work to create a community atmosphere with those in need. If you find yourself wondering how such a person could be considered a clear and present danger requiring police intervention, nobody could blame you.

But on April 4, Montanez was working his usual stint, dishing out rice and stew to 30 or so dispossessed citizens that populate Orlandos streets. Meanwhile, his actions were being monitored by two plainclothes police officers, who called for assistance to arrest Montanez and take a vial of stew as evidence of his crime.

Despite vibrant protest from other FNB volunteers, he was swiftly hauled off to a local police station. Phone calls to the mayor and other civic officials were not returned, but fortunately Montanez was released from custody later in the day after posting bail.

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Deal becoming a hot potato?

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Linked with Praful Bidwai – India.

Published on Khaleej Times Online, by PRAFUL BIDWAI, 12 August 2007.

SINCE this clumn discussed the India-United States “123 agreement” two weeks ago, its text has been released. What was earlier reported as a major “breakthrough” is suddenly becoming a hot potato.

The agreement, meant to translate the India-US nuclear deal of July 2005 into reality, has more critics than supporters in the Indian political class. India’s Left parties now oppose the agreement. As do the Bharatiya Janata Party, its allies, and most regional parties. Virtually everyone barring the United Progressive Alliance seems to be against it.

The Left’s rationale, stated in a five-page document, has to with the deal’s links to a close “strategic partnership” with the US, as well as some differences between “123″ and the Hyde Act passed by the US Congress. The Left opposes a strategic embrace of the US for internally consistent reasons. It also says the Hyde Act can be used arbitrarily to terminate nuclear cooperation … (full text).

Ancient strategies of complexity

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Linked with Svetlana Slapsak – Slovenia.

Published on eurozine.com, by Svetlana Slapsak, June 24, 2004.

2 excerpts: … The easy way to search for concepts of complexity in the Ancient worlds would be to chose the texts of utopias, literary and philosophical. An invented world, subject of a clear ideological projection, is more likely to translate complexity, whether it should appear as fragmentation, hierarchical structure, ladder of values, or network of related concepts. Utopia’s ‘condensation’ of worldly features betrays the awkwardness of the construct, thus revealing the strategies of dealing with complexity in a negative way. The fact that we apply the term utopia, which is a European modern age invention (Thomas More) and a clever play with the impossible in the Greek grammar, to the Ancient texts, underlines the negative aspect of an artificial and voluntary arrangement, in which complexity does not rely on any defining and challenging element of meaning. But at least, this artificial and voluntary kind of complexity helps to realize that the complexity can also be misunderstood as arbitrary and ‘natural’, belonging to the concept of the world which is objectivized by definition. Last aberration in this direction would be to search for complexity after the assumed universalization of the world, done by Greek philosophers. After conceiving different theories of the universal, they – or just him, Aristoteles – went on by putting knowledge into categories, into many ‘boxes’ with precise names, numbers and titles. By opening these boxes we can reconstruct how the complexities were dealt with …

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BBs make-or-break choice

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Linked with Praful Bidwai – India.

Published on Khaleej Times Online, by PRAFUL BIDWAI, 22 August 2007.

ALL those who value freedom must feel relieved that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf chose not to declare a state of emergency, which would have allowed him to postpone assembly and presidential elections, due soon. He even seems to be undertaking sobering introspection to the point of admitting that his popularity ratings have declined and accepting part of the blame for dismissing Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Yet, Musharrafs decision didnt spring from some new-found respect for democracy. He blinked because there was pressure from the United States, exercised through threats and a 17-minute long 2 a.m. telephone call by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Secondly, Musharraf probably didnt want to risk further inflaming popular opinion against the army. Another eruption of public protest would have robbed his regime of whatevers left of its legitimacy. A just-released Indian Express-CNN-IBN-CSDS-Dawn-News survey says 55.4 per cent of Pakistanis want him to quit as army chief before the presidential elections; only 29.6 per cent dont … (full text).

North American Integration and the Militarization of the Arctic

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Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada.

Published on Global Research, by Michel Chossudovsky, August 20, 2007.

3 excerpts: The Battle for the Arctic is part of a global military agenda of conquest and territorial control. It has been described as a New Cold War between Russia and America.

Washington’s objective is to secure territorial control, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants, over extensive Arctic oil and natural gas reserves. The Arctic region could hold up to 25% of the World’s oil and gas reserves, according to some estimates. (Moscow Times, 3 August 2007). These estimates are corroborated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): “he real possibility exists that you could have another world class petroleum province like the North Sea.” (quoted by CNNMoney.com, 25 October 2006)

From Washington’s perspective, the battle for the Arctic is part of broader global military agenda …

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Special Court for Sierra Leone delays Taylor trial until January 2008

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Received by mail from HREA, Human Rights Education Associates

Source: Court Delays Taylor Trial until January 7, 2008.
(its Homepage).

August 20, 2007, excerpts: … The Special Court for Sierra Leone today ordered a delay in Charles Taylors trial until January 7, 2008. Presiding Judge Sebutinde granted the Defense request for a four-month delay based in part on the newly composed defense teams need for additional time to prepare for trial, as well as the Prosecutions lack of opposition to such a delay. As Brenda Hollis from the Office of the Prosecutor stated, the Prosecution agrees that the defense has shown good cause for reasonable delay. Justice Sebutinde emphasized that it is entirely within the Trial Chambers discretion to order such a delay …

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The slow march towards gender balance in politics

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Linked with COUNCIL OF EUROPE … .

Received by mail from HREA, the Human Rights Education Associates, and their Newsletter.

Date: 21/08/2007

The distribution of power between men and women is still very unequal. This was the underlying motivation for a milestone recommendation by the Council of Europe four years ago. The Committee of Ministers agreed on action for balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making. The idea was to open the door for women into positions of power. The time has come to start assessing the results.

Interestingly, the Committee defined a precise benchmark. It stated that balanced participation in decision-making bodies meant that the representation of either women or men should not fall below 40 %.

A survey in September 2005 indicated that only one country, Sweden, had reached that level in the national parliament, while apart from the other Scandinavian countries, Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain were not far behind. In half of Europe, the representation of women was below 20 % and seven countries had less than 10 % (Albania, Armenia, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Ukraine).

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Mortgage crisis stoked by incredible greed

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Published on People’s Weekly World PWW.org, by Susan Webb, August 18, 2007.

Baton Rouge, La., Kansas City, Mo., and Bethlehem, Pa., are far from Wall Street, but they are among the ground zeros in the financial crisis now grabbing headlines. Its a crisis caused, some say, by incredible greed and looting by the nations financial institutions.

The home mortgage scams that triggered the crisis have delivered a double whammy to residents of Baton Rouge and nearby New Orleans. We have a double crisis here because were in the post-Katrina rebuilding era, said Emma Dixon, project director for the Louisiana Community Reinvestment Coalition.

We have a lot more vulnerable population we still have a lot of people living in trailers, she said …

… Business Week reports that state sales tax revenue is suffering the most in states with the largest drop in home prices. Lower state and local revenues from sales, income and property taxes will mean growing government inability to meet basic commitments.

Perlo called for a moratorium on foreclosures.

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Shanghai Group contests the unipolar world order

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Published on Voltairenet.org, August 17, 2007.

The press focused on the areas problems and the prospects of solution for the Lebanese, Iraqi and international crises saying the issue of the Iranian nuclear file seems difficult to solve and there are sharp disputes between Saudi Arabia and Syria that reflect a problem in the Syria-Saudi relations despite Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Mualems denial.

The press said there are no signs for any solution for the areas problems in the horizon.

An Event and a Regional Trend:

The meeting held by Shanghai group in the presence of Russia, China and Iran and its firm statements against the US movements that threaten Asian security reflect the joint interests ability to form an active bloc that has huge military and economic capabilities that allow establishing new balances in the world after the US went too far in imposing its unipolar order after the cold war.

The Asian bloc is based on promising economic partnerships, and if this coincides with Europes return to its political and strategic independence a new trend in international relations will emerge and may curb the attempts to dominate the UN and relations among states in all the fields.

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Unemployment in Egypt highest among literate population

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A report:

Publisohed on Russian News & Information Agency NOVOSTNI, August 2, 2007.

… The Arab Labor Organization (ALO) said in the report that the that the trend of higher unemployment among literates applied to countries throughout the Arab world, with a ratio of 5:1 in Morocco and 3:1 in Algeria.

According to the findings, Arab nations have among the highest unemployment rates in the world, averaging at 14%, and 25% among young people … (full text). http://en.rian.ru/world/20070802/70181395.html

Links:

Russia says Iran poses no threat;

Wrap: Regional security summit vows to ensure stability in Asia.

Energy dominates Shanghai summit

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Published on BBC, August 17, 2007.

Greater co-operation over energy and security have dominated talks between the presidents of China and Russia and their Central Asian counterparts …

Mr Nazarbayev said the region’s Soviet-era network of gas and oil pipelines could form the basis for an Asian energy market – adding that Kazakhstan had already drawn up a draft strategy for an SCO energy club. “We think that a mechanism of meetings of energy ministers from the SCO member and observer states should function in the context of the idea of an energy club,” he told the summit …

Mr Ahmadinejad’s visit is adding to the suspicion with which the US and Europe have always viewed the organisation, our correspondent says. The Iranian leader took the opportunity to tell the summit that US plans for a missile defence shield “concern most of the continent, both Asia and the SCO members”. After the summit, all six SCO leaders were due to travel to Russia where more than 6,000 troops from all member states are holding joint military exercises. This is proof the SCO is taking its growing role very seriously indeed, our correspondent adds. (full text).

Links:

SCO States Hold Joint Military Exercises;

SCO leaders observe joint anti-terror drill;

Final stage of SCO drill begins;

KARZAI URGES SCO PRESIDENTS TO HELD ANTIDRUG EFFORTS.

China, Russia, Central Asian leaders tout new strength

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Published on Khaleej Times Online, (AFP), 16 August 2007.

BISHKEK – The leaders of China, Russia and four Central Asian states touted their growing military and political strength on Thursday in a firm challenge to US attempts at gaining influence in the strategic region.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russias Vladimir Putin, together with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, gathered just outside the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek for the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) … (full text).

ABC of the main instruments of CSR

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(EU Employment & social affairs, to be downloaded)

Linked with Investment agreements & CSR, and with Trade & CSR.

Published by European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs, Unit D.1.

Industrial relations and Industrial Change, Manuscript completed in 2004, 64 pages.

Excerpt of page 29: … The Q-RES project, management framework for the ethical and social responsibility of corporations, Italy:

The Q-RES project, launched in 2000 by CELE, the Centre for Ethics, Law & Economics of the LIUC University in Italy, aims to create a management framework for the ethical and social responsibility (RES) of corporations, externally certifiable.

Several Italian leading companies in different industrial sectors, professional associations (e.g. Association of Internal Auditors), accountancy firms and business organisations (e.g. Sodalitas), participate in the project. At international level, a link has been established with the SIGMA project (see above).

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Left’s Volte-Face Will Stoke Public Wrath

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Linked with Harsh Dobhal – India.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Harsh Dobhal, 12 August, 2007.

Seldom before has blood been spilled so callously for the sake of mighty corporations backed by willing and supportive governments and their agencies as during the past few months. From Nandigram to Khammam, the poor are being made to pay for neo-liberal thrust in policies.

Work on Tata’s Singur car project is merrily on, as farmers are being made to pay through not only their land and livelihoods, but also their lives. This led them to gather before a People’s Tribunal held in the last week of May to account for Nandigram incidents. Its final report released on Thursday has termed the violence of March 14, 2007 a “pre-planned, state-sponsored massacre’, carried out ‘to teach a lesson’ to people opposing the Special Economic Zone project on their land” …

… Going by the way the Left is behaving, it seems that they have forgotten that the onslaught of neo-liberal globalization policies everywhere translates into a systematic demolition of the welfare state, cutting down on welfare schemes, undermining health, education and social security. And all the while, these policies only appease the financial markets and go about increasing armament and armed interventions. This has often led to a sense of hopelessness – individual and collective – creating a breeding ground for fundamentalism and other vices.

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Statement made by IAWRT

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Statement made by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television IAWRT to point “J “in the Beijing Plan of Action

    Linked with Alina Radu – Moldavia.

    “Women and the Media” should be viewed on two different levels.

    On the public level, within the framework of a free and independent press the media should play a central role as a tool in the implementation of all the twelve points in the Plan of Action:

  • by placing gender-related issues on the agenda,
  • by raising public awareness on women?s human rights and influencing traditional attitudes to the roles of men and women in society,
  • by monitoring Governments and institutions on their achievements and failures with regard to the implementation of the Plan of Action.

On the media level, to enable the media to fullfill its role in the implemtation of the Plan of Action initiatives should be taken and active support given to:

  • training opportunities for women in the media, particularly with regard to new technology, the Internet and basic journalism,
  • grassroots projects to enable women to regord and communicate their own everyday lives and concerns,
  • radio projects as a medium to reach out to and access women in more isolated areas in third world countries,
  • study courses and research aimed at sensitizing both journalists and the general public on gender portrayal: how men and women are portrayed and on which issues they are given a voice,
  • mechanisms to bring more women into top management positions in media companies.

Social Responsibility SR

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Linked with Investment agreements & CSR, and with Trade & CSR.

Download: The business case for social responsibility in small and medium-sized enterprises

Published on CS Europe.org, 13 pages.

Developed with the support of the European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs Directorate.

Social Responsibility (SR) can help any business to succeed. It can build sales, develop the workforce, boost enthusiasm and innovation, enhance trust in an enterprise and increase a companys reputation and standing. Pursuing responsible business practices makes companies more competitive.

Winning businesses of the 21st century will not only add value for their owners; they will add value to the rest of society. They will not just avoid unacceptable behaviour, but will aim to maximise the positive impact they can have on all of their
stakeholders.

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Putting Your Foot Into Your Mouth!

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Firdous Syed, 10 August, 2007.

The growing incidents of heinous crimes against women in Kashmir irrespective of intent and origin are not only a worrisome factor but a matter of grave concern for the whole society. The recent barbarous murder of a fourteen year old girl of Batapora, Langate in Kupwara district has shocked one and all. Tabinda Gani’s rape and subsequent murder evoked sharp reactions and widespread condemnation from all quarters of the society. Though perceptibly a swift action by the police in apprehending the culprits helped to cool down the tempers of the agitating masses of the vicinity, but people will like to see a swift disposal of the case. The culprits need to be punished adequately and justice delivered speedily to act as an effective deterrence against the criminal elements in the future. While people were busy pressing for a speedy trail to punish the guilty, this dreadful incident was politicized thus generating another controversy.

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Uncle Sam, Your Banker Will See You Now

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Paul Craig Roberts, 09 August, 2007.

Early this morning China let the idiots in Washington, and on Wall Street, know that it has them by the short hairs. Two senior spokesmen for the Chinese government observed that Chinas considerable holdings of US dollars and Treasury bonds contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency.

Should the US proceed with sanctions intended to cause the Chinese currency to appreciate, the Chinese central bank will be forced to sell dollars, which might lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar.

If Western financial markets are sufficiently intelligent to comprehend the message, US interest rates will rise regardless of any further action by China. At this point, China does not need to sell a single bond. In an instant, China has made it clear that US interest rates depend on China, not on the Federal Reserve … (full text).

Iran and Nicaragua bypass United States

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Published on Voltairenet.org, by staff, August 6, 2007.

Lines Dont All Lead to Washington

… In fact, USA is trying with full determination, to impose its logic but it seems that things dont go according to its wishes, as we are witnessing everyday further expansion in a network of economic relations among different world countries that dont go in line with the US economy, rather these relations are characterized by refusing Washingtons political logic based on its economic thinking. Within this context, we can read the results of the agreement signed lately between Iran and Nicaragua, and according to what President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua announced, that this agreement is about building a new seaport by the Iranian side in Nicaragua with a total value of $350 m in return Tehran will get coffee, meat, and banana from Nicaragua. This agreement would strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, and may be it explains what Condoleezza Rice said that Iran stands against the US interests …

… See also:

  • Syria in the Report of Arab Investment Climate for 2006;
  • Big Iranian Investments in Senegal;
  • The Iranian Samand Car Succeeds in Entering the Egyptian Market;
  • The Algerian Sonatrach Company Invests in Tassili Airlines;
  • Libya Plans for Building Six Cement Factories in Africa;
  • Mauritania Grants Sudanese and Chinese Companies the Contract of Constructing Railways Network;
  • The Commercial Bank of Kuwait Tries to Possess 60% of the Al-Watany Bank of Egypt;
  • 1$ m , the Profits of Dar al Esthemsar Company;
  • Expectations of Rise of the Lebanese Industrial Exports to $3 bn;
  • The Establishment of The Arab Insurance Institute in Damascus with a Cost of $10 m;
    Syria and Turkey Agree on Building a Factory for Trailers Manufacturing.

(full text).

Jahresversammlung von attac schweiz am 8. September 2007

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Siehe die ntigen Informationen auf meinem privaten Blog.

Siehe auch meine Homepage.

Ecuador – Clash of old and new

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Linked with Luis Macas Ambulud’s – Ecuador.

Published on Green Left online, by Federico Fuentes, Caracas, 27 July 2007.

Excerpts: Denouncing the congress as “rubbish” and a “national disgrace”, left-wing Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa called on the upcoming constituent assembly, for which there will be elections held on September 30, to dissolve the body, which is widely viewed as corrupt. The calls came after the opposition-controlled congress amended a number of recent laws introduced by the executive to curb unprecedented rises in the price of food.

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Une provocation qui cre une vrit?

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Belkhayate Letter, un site web (nomm sur TRADEKEY) et cre et gr par Mostapha Belkhayate, pour conseiller dans l’augmentation de profits, spcialement dans le march de l’or. Le tout accompagn de conseils gopolitiques.

3 textes (non dats, mais je suppose 2005/2006) sur la page d’accueil:

LAmrique va sacrifier Isral;

Tsunami financier probable en 2008;

Le Ptrole, lOr et le Dollar.

Quand je lis ces prdictions, je me pose toujours la question:
‘Est-ce que cela est invitable, ou est-ce qu’on veut pousser dans ce sens, selon la logique de la selbsterfllenden Prophezeiung (la ‘selbsterfllende Prophezeiung‘ (la prdiction qui s’accomplit soi-mme) est une prdiction qui s’accomplit seulement parce qu’elle a t prdite ou a t attendue = parce que tout le monde y croit et de ce fait permet qu’elle se ralise).

Mais si on sait qui profite le crime (cette grande guerre prdite), on trouve l’assassin.

Et nous savons bien que nous sommes maitres de notre destin. Au moins nous devons faire tout pour le devenir.

Oui maitenant, oui nous tous.

Et ne venez pas me dire que ‘ces gens’ sont seulement des incapables. Non, ils sont TRES capables. Ils sont capables de raliser ces horreurs, tant que nous nous laissons trainer en moutons.

La haute finance – les quelques familles possdant pratiquement tout, par possession directe ou par l’intermdiaire d’hommes de paille – VEULENT cette guerre prdite. Logique, on ne peut manipuler une humanit consciente et mature, mais avec des gens remplis de peurs, on y arrive.

Ne sauvez pas votre or, empchez la guerre.

Link: Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Tibet scores a point in Delhi as China plays hard to get

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Published on CNN-IBN, by Raheel Khursheed, August 05, 2007.

New Delhi: On Saturday, as China released the official song for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Tibetans refugees from across India gathered in Delhi to protest. Their aim was to get the Chinese to recognise the Tibetian state and allow the Tibetan National Football team to play in the Olympics …

… But through the day, the protestors-cum-players had a tough time securing permission from the External Affairs Ministry and the Delhi Police, reportedly because of Chinese pressure on India …

… “It wasnt just the Tibetans, It was fans from across the world that cheered the team.” said Tibetan protestor Choeying.

A candle light vigil followed the prize distribution ceremony and some politically fiery speeches were also delivered.

While in the end it didnt really matter as to who won the football, just for the record, Delhi was trounced five to one. (full text).

CORREA’s War

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Linked with Luis Macas Ambulud – Ecuador.

Published on the Guardian, by Mark Weisbrot, July 26, 2007.

2 excerpts: In his recent book The Assault on Reason, former vice-president Al Gore describes how “the potential for manipulating mass opinions and feelings initially discovered by commercial advertisers is now being even more aggressively exploited by a new generation of media Machiavellis.” The concentration of broadcast media ownership is indeed a real threat to democracy, as we learned the hard way when more than 70% of Americans were convinced, falsely, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks of September 11 – thus enabling the launch of a disastrous and unnecessary war in Iraq …

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Globalization from Below

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Linked with Luis Macas Ambulud – Ecuador, and with CONAIE.

Listen to the 50 minutes video lecture in spanish, given by Luis Macas, Ecuadoran Indigenous Leader and Human Rights Activist, realized on November 16, 2006, published on this page of the Center for Global Studies Initiative, at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign.

Of Marx, Christ, And The Persecution Of Radicals

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(How Will Humanity Survive The Capitalist Threat?)

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Jason Miller, 28 July, 2007.

2 excerpts: … History has clearly demonstrated that free markets are free passes for acquisitive sociopaths who thrive on bullying and exploiting a large percentage of the Earths sentient beings. And despite the ridiculously few and relatively minor restraints that social unrest has forced the opulent class to implement in the US, adept players in the deadly game of capitalism have refused to surrender their inalienable right to fuck the rest of the human race in their relentless charge to attain the power and wealth they so desperately crave to distract them from the existential agony of their spiritual emptiness.

Note: If you dont find a historical perspective convincing enough, consider the deadly machinations of the free market in China as it hurtles headlong into the very bowels of capitalist Hell … Third World Traveler.

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Necessity or Greed?

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(a reflection on human condition, human decisions, human behavior)

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Emily Spence, 28 July, 2007.

Weighing The Benefits And The Deficits Of Advancements

an excerpt in the mids: … Yet, at a certain point, the whole process in its current configuration will, certainly, collapse as there is not an infinite supply of oil, coal, electricity and goods to serve ever expanding needs, including the ones related to the billions of people climbing out of poverty (currently living in shacks) so as to purchase their first cottages with wall outlets, cars and so on. At the same time, they will want all the trappings (a myriad assortment of products) that go along with their new economic improvements. Further, they will want families in any size that they choose (like the one billion + Chinese, who are, currently, in a heavy revolt against the one child per family policy).

In this sense, researchers, who warn that we are behaving like bacteria in a petri dish, do pose a somewhat accurate analogy in terms of its applicability to humanity [1]. Moreover, we DO know the manner in which those dish experiments end.

Indeed, it’s not as if we haven’t been forewarned for some time (i.e., by Thomas Malthus in 1798, Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore, Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins and many others) about the consequences of our species being motivated to always have more (more personal belongings, more population, more yield from each farm plot, more spacious homes, more cars per household, more travel, more shopping outlets, more fiscal gain for one’s own individual family, and so on). As such, we’re, collectively, winding up with some of the horrific predicaments described in a wide variety of environmental reports [2].

Of course, one tragedy in this overall situation is that humankind is poised to obliterate a large number of other species in the wake of our desire to have ever more. (If they are not killed by being turned into commodities, they will be destroyed collaterally, such as by the effects of global warming [3].) Another, perhaps worse one, is that we could have avoided most of the looming starvation, suffering, panic, spread of pandemic diseases, lack of water in some regions, fires, floods and misery had we, previously, adjusted our population and consumption patterns on a willing basis rather than, as always, let “nature take its course.” Yet, it always has, in the final reckoning, done so, hasn’t it?

So, in the end, our unwillingness to, deliberately, cut back on our trend to employ everything for which we can find some use and the booming population explosion will, likely, have dire consequences. Consequently, the limits in our overall resource expenditure and population can be expected to be achieved by devastating measures — ones not of our deliberate choosing.

All this in consideration, one of the saddest accounts that I’ve read concerned a Kurd stealing a loaf of bread that was being dropped from an aircraft flown overhead by US troops during the Gulf War. He took it from the hands of an elderly Kurd woman, who he overpowered by force. She had caught it first and meant to feed her husband and herself with it. The grabber took it because he had eleven children and a wife. (Can one imagine being faced with this parent’s dilemma?) … (full text).

My comment: WE only are always acting and deciding … no God, no Allah, no anywhat … only we.

Martial Law Threat Is Real

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Published on Countercurrents,org, by Dave Lindorff, 27 July, 2007.

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home … (full long text).

Listen to his 11 minutes Google-video about the same subjects, of June 24, 2007.

Put ‘Impeachment’ into the Google-Video browser (or click on this link) and find a huge amount (just now 1733) of long and short videos about the subject.

The Minneapolis Bridge Disaster

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( … See also the Iraq war costs-ticker:)

Cost of the War in Iraq
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A Metallurgists Insights: Published on Countercurrents.org, by Joel S. Hirschhorn, 02 August, 2007.

2 excerpts: … My career started as a metallurgist, than I obtained a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering and became a full professor of metallurgical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I taught about mechanical metallurgy and failure analysis, and in my consulting practice regularly worked on explaining actual failures of products and systems …

… The Minneapolis bridge collapse happened during evening rush hour because that was a period of maximum stress, and that would be the trigger for expanding existing fatigue cracks. Once fatigue cracks get to critical sizes they grow and propagate very rapidly, producing powerful loads and stresses on remaining steel components and creating what appears to be a virtually instantaneous bridge collapse.

Continue Reading…

Do No Evil

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Linked with George J. Borjas – USA.

Published on National Review online NRO, by George J. Borjas, June 25, 2007.

Excerpt: … Labor-market impact: A guest-worker program of at least 200,000 persons per year will inevitably have an impact on the relative wage of competing workers. And the people who will likely pay this price will be low-skill workers who will face even tougher conditions in the labor market. I realize that more than a few economists seem to have developed amnesia during the recent immigration debate, and cant seem to remember the laws of supply and demand. And there seems to be a thriving industry to come up with excuses that will help them ignore the logical conclusion that an influx of workers are going to depress wages in the labor market just like an increase in the supply of oil would lower gas prices. But I suspect that the amnesia and the search for far-fetched excuses will end soon after the debate is over after all, economists cannot go on forever denying the basic laws of economics.

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Making Globalization Work

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Listen to the Lecture!

13 audio files put on The Hindu’s website, by Joseph Stiglitz. Durations between 3 and 16 minutes each.

Lecture delivered in Chennai on January 4, 2007.

When Homes Are Torture Chambers

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(Vimochana’s Work with Victims of Domestic Violence).

Linked with Madhu Kishwar – India, with Vimochana, and with Donna Fernandes – India.

Published on the website of INDIA TOGETHER (October 1999).

Many of those who have worked over a period of time providing legal, emotional or other help to women in distress, especially for women who are victims of domestic violence, quickly burn out because attempting to rebuilding broken or severely damaged lives is very difficult and often heart breaking, especially in a country like ours where the police and courts provide very little relief. Often, these government agencies even add to the injustice by protecting those committing atrocities. However, there are some organisations like Vimochana of Bangalore who are able to sustain their commitment to bringing justice for women despite all the setbacks they face, not just from external forces but even from the women victims themselves who they try to help.

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Censored by Foreign Affairs magazine

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Censored by Foreign Affairs magazine: Sergey Lavrov Containing Russia, Back to the Future?, by Serguei V. Lavrov, July 25, 2007.

Despite modern Russia being an open State, well integrated onto the world stage, atlantists insist in considering it as the former Soviet Union and try to isolate it. Following this logic, Washington is proceeding with the enlargement of NATO in spite of its own commitments, and undertaking the deployment of new missile systems in Europe.

In this article, drafted specially for Foreign Affairs magazine but later rejected by its editorial board, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov calls on United Staters to renounce the Cold War renewal and suggests finding new regulation mechanisms within a USA-Russia-EU tripolar world.

Here is the full, uncensored paper … (full long text).

Censored by Foreign Affairs magazine

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Censored by Foreign Affairs magazine: Sergey Lavrov Containing Russia, Back to the Future?, by Serguei V. Lavrov, July 25, 2007.

Despite modern Russia being an open State, well integrated onto the world stage, atlantists insist in considering it as the former Soviet Union and try to isolate it.

Following this logic, Washington is proceeding with the enlargement of NATO in spite of its own commitments, and undertaking the deployment of new missile systems in Europe. In this article, drafted specially for Foreign Affairs magazine but later rejected by its editorial board, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov calls on United Staters to renounce the Cold War renewal and suggests finding new regulation mechanisms within a USA-Russia-EU tripolar world.
Hereafter the full, uncensored paper … (full long text).