Via Jayant Bhandari of Acting-Man.com, India’s Currency Ban – Part X It has now been four months since Narendra Modi declared about 86% of monetary value of currency illegal. Linked here is the last in my series of updates, which was written soon after the deadline to deposit the demonetized currency. Most of the banned currency was eventually deposited, making a mockery of Modi, who had claimed that unaccounted money would not reach the banks. Perhaps 3% of the cash never reached the banks. A cunning plan unravels Those living outside India still have the option to return to the country, complete a number of formalities at the airport, and then hope that India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will do the conversion. Many of these people are unfortunately return empty-handed. In India, where stamps, signatures of bureaucrats, file-passing, attesting of documents, etc. go with everything, a lot of submitted paperwork is deemed incomplete by the RBI. India’s narrow money supply M1 has collapsed from 28.42 trillion rupees in September of 2016 to just slightly above 20 trillion rupees in December. This makes recently reported GDP growth data (see further below) particularly dubious – click to enlarge. Modi never intended to hurt Indians who are living abroad, but in the utter chaos of India, he can merely wave his magic wand and hope. India’s bureaucracy has a life of its own. The silver lining is that the chaos of India makes it impossible to establish an all-out Stalinist state. Non-resident Indians who succeed in depositing their banned notes are complaining that the RBI is not crediting the cash to their account. The process of depositing is not easy to boot. No Toilets, but Will Send Rockets Into Space The worst losers were the poorest people of the country, who are lucky if they have a toilet. 50% of Indians still relieve themselves out in the open. Tribal people who never got to know about the ban, people who were too sick, or people who had forgotten their cash are now left with paper that can land them in prison. Modi has made ownership of more than ten of the banned bills illegal. These hungry people have indeed been asked to celebrate that India has recently sent more than 100 satellites into space in a single launch, at a profit. People still have images of Sputnik in their minds when they think about satellites. What was not disclosed was that most of the satellites that India sent weighed no more than a few pounds. Indian ISRO rockets taking off into space. Former British defense minister Gerald Howarth felt compelled to remark that “a country with its own space program does not need aid from us” after learning that the UK had sent around GBP 300 m. in aid to India in FY 2015. People were also required to trust the government that the rocket was sent up at a profit. Politically correct international media happily accepted India’s claims. Of course no accounting had been disclosed. The question remains: How can you show the profitability of a small project of an organization that is totally dependent on public funds to stay up and running? Indians have become extremely nationalistic. Independent thinking or challenging any facts that contradict good feelings about India are considered sacrilegious these days. With the exception of the tensions and the lack of even superficial unity that India’s huge ethnic diversity creates, India has all the makings of Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq. Banks have become extended arms of the government. Nowadays one must explain cash withdrawals and deposits. Any cash transaction above Rs 300,000 (~US$4,500) has been made illegal in a country where most consumer transactions are in cash. Income tax authorities have been given free reign to knock at one’s door without having probable cause to make such a visit. Modi is hiring more than 100,000 people to work for the tax department. In the last four months India has rapidly become a suffocating police state. Banks and ATMs still suffer from a shortage of cash. Queuing up at banks is a mandatory part of life in India. The terrible state of hygiene in India Dubious Statistics I have yet to meet anyone in India — including anyone from the ranks of demonetization supporters — whose economic life has improved. People are still avoiding to go shopping. Businesses continue to fail. And food prices are still down by as much as 50% or more in many places, a sign that poor people are going hungry. There are of course exceptions. Bureaucrats are now charging twice the usual bribe, to make up for losses they suffered due to demonetization. In the police state of India, the common man — still very proud of India’s achievements — is compliant. India recently released its latest GDP growth numbers claiming that the country’s growth rate is still 7% on annualized basis. International economists are confused, as they had expected India to face a short-term setback due to the demonetization exercise. The people on the street, simple folk like me, know better what is actually happening in India. India’s economy is not growing at 7%. It seems more likely that it has suffered negative growth of 20% annualized or more last quarter. India, quarterly GDP growth rate, annualized and credibility-challenged – click to enlarge. Not only are the growth numbers released by the corrupt Indian government cooked, but many businesses also converted their undeclared money into legal money in November 2016 by booking fake sales. They paid months of salaries to their employees in advance and often prepaid bills years in advance while booking revenue for future sales. A lot of sales were back-dated and booked in cash. All of these contortions increased GDP on paper exactly at a time when the entire economy was actually severely traumatized. India is not growing, it is regressing. India’s informal sector, which employs more than 80% of the population, is suffering the most. Boosting happiness, Modi-style Caretoon by Satish Acharya China gets a lot of blame for allegedly cooking its statistics. I often go to China and consistently find it to be increasingly more open, more liberal, more investment-friendly and more growth-oriented. I see accumulation of capital and knowledge happening in that country. At the same time, India is regressing to its medieval past. And this is not an exaggeration. This is happening not just economically, but most importantly culturally as well, as I have discussed at great length in earlier updates. India is a democracy and many people are not happy to accept that it might be faring worse than China. In reality, India is so wretched that it is hilarious that people try to compare it with China. China’s economy is more than five times bigger than that of India. There is massive confusion in the use of “growth” and “growth rate.” Even if India were growing at 7%, it would add only $120 to its per capita GDP of $1,718. If China grows by 6.8% (often erroneously referred to as “slowing”), it would add $561 to it’s per capita GDP. India is simply no match for China. The often repeated statement of international organizations, media, economists and intellectuals that India is the fastest growing large economy fails to pass test of primary school mathematics. Ultimately one must ask what India’s GDP of $1,718 per capita actually means. The reality is that a vast majority of India’s citizens goes to bed hungry every day. They often have no access to primary health care. They live in slums. Disease and tyranny are a daily part of their lives. A common sight in towns and cities in India. A great many Indians live a medieval lifestyle. On a per capita basis, Indians are poorer than Africans. On per capita basis India has more children exhibiting stunted growth than Africa has. Conclusion India’s problem is not a lack of tax collection. Its problem is a horrendous lack of productivity. The sorry state of education in India. Forget about students, even the teachers are uneducated. The result is that Indians are completely unprepared for the modern economy. Huge waves of young people are joining the workforce, with no hope of getting jobs. Job growth was stagnating in India even before the demonetization was announced. They are unskilled and very badly trained. Many so-called literates cannot even write their own names. Among the jobs that have seen the largest growth in India in the past several years has been that of security guard. To anyone interested in sociology, this is not a sign of economic progress, but a symbol of a degrading society. While the world is looking with trepidation toward the impending arrival of the age of robots, India finds itself at the precipice of a humanitarian crisis, made much worse by the simplistic and dictatorial policies of Narendra Modi. Collateral damage: India’s poorest
Recipients of the scholarship will spend time in Buckingham Palace, but don’t get the wrong idea: They will cook, cater and otherwise serve the British royals.
Joseph Hammond Security, Asia Maldives has sent more terrorists per capita than any other country in the world to fight with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. A popular tourist destination could be sliding into Islamist terrorism following its departure from the British Commonwealth, according to regional experts. The Maldives, a nation of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, is best known for its tropical weather and seaside resorts. But Maldives has sent more terrorists per capita than any other country in the world to fight with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. Expert analysts fear a greater terrorist threat following the country’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Nations October 13. The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 52 sovereign states, most of which once were British colonies or former holdings of the colonies. While politically independent, Commonwealth nations cooperate within a framework set forth by The Singapore Declaration, which puts an emphasis on values such as individual liberty, free trade and world peace. The Maldives had been a member of the Commonwealth since 1982. But President Abdulla Yameen has pursued a crackdown on dissent since his election in 2013. The Yameen administration has arrested opposition leaders, announced plans to end a moratorium on capital punishment, and closed media outlets. A Commonwealth of Nations meeting on September 23rd resulted in a communiqué warning the Maldives it could face suspension from the group unless its human rights situation improved. Rather than respond to those concerns, the Maldives withdrew from the organization. Some Maldivians cheered the move, comparing it on social media with the unexpected victory for the Brexit vote in June, which puts the United Kingdom on a path to leave the European Union. But international observers were not so sanguine. “[Getting] out of Commonwealth will spare the Maldives from constant watch and scrutiny,” said Animesh Roul, Executive Director of Research at the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC) in New Delhi. “As a result, radical Islamism and terrorism might witness an unhindered upsurge.” Even though the regime “never came under the direct influence of [any] mullahs," Roul added, "they prefer to ignore the threat or appease the growing Islamization of Maldivian society and politics.” Read full article
Мальдивские острова в первую очередь и совершенно справедливо ассоциируются с тропическим туризмом. Цепь атоллов располагается в субэкваториальных водах, температура воздуха круглый год колеблется в пределах +17 °C…+32 °C. Опасные животные, досужие насекомые и даже недружественная человеку растительность практически отсутствуют. Купальный сезон продолжается 10 месяцев году, имеются пляжи и отели на любой вкус и кошелёк. Валютно-туристическая выручка составляет 80% всех бюджетных поступлений Мальдив. ВВП страны (с учётом мультипликативного эффекта) обеспечивается зарубежными отдыхающими на 70-75%. Два важнейших экспортных товара – это морепродукты и… почтовые марки! Насколько Саудовская Аравия зависит от нефти, настолько Мальдивские острова зависят от туризма. Религиозное просвещение Эр-Рияда сыграло в островной исламской стране роль катализатора бурных беспорядков. Оно же спровоцировало выход Мальдив из Содружества наций (Британского содружества наций) и может стать причиной государственного краха.
The government said it had been treated “unjustly and unfairly” over questions about its human rights record.
**Wikipedia**: _[Direct Action Day]_: >British Prime Minister Clement Attlee sent a three-member Cabinet Mission to India aimed at discussing and finalising plans for the transfer of power from the British Raj to the Indian leadership, providing India with independence under Dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations. After holding talks...
On a business trip to London in the '80s, I saw a billboard for an airline at Heathrow Airport that proclaimed "Best Route to Europe''. I asked a cabbie: "Aren't we in Europe?'' He answered: "No, Sir, we're in England''. Whenever I visit Britain, I never feel I am in "Europe,'' but rather in something closer to the U.S. or Canada. It isn't just the language; it's in the manner of the people and the look of the place. London reminds me of Boston (Mass.), Nottingham of Worcester (Mass.). On June 23, British subjects will vote on whether the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) should quit the European Union (the exit called the "Brexit''). There would be pitfalls (for a while) in doing so but advantages too. The pitfalls: Harder for British people to get jobs on the Continent, less flexibility for big U.K. companies in doing deals with Continental companies and snags in coordinating some transnational anti-terrorism security measures with E.U. members. Still, while Brexit would hurt the U.K. economy for several years it would strengthen it for the long term. It would give the U.K. more control over its own affairs, thus letting it better maintain its best qualities, especially its love of liberty; its quirky individualism; its entrepreneurialism; the strength and stability of its institutions, including its glorious Common Law, the astonishingly adaptable language that England gave the world and that 1.5 billion people speak now, and its special relationship with America. For all their flaws, no nations have benefited the world as much as have the United Kingdom and its offspring the United States. The U.K.'s cultural/political/economic characteristics made that possible. Further absorption into the homogenizing, bureaucratizing and centralizing European Union, mostly run by unelected administrators, threatens to dilute these strengths. The late historian Robert Conquest wrote: "within the West, it is above all the English-speaking community which has ...pioneered and maintained the middle way between anarchy and despotism.'' http://nationalinterest.org/article/toward-an-english-speaking-union-1263 Brexit would probably encourage the U.K. to tighten ties with its most important offspring - America -- with which it shares so many values -- and with the 53-nation Commonwealth of Nations, formerly the British Commonwealth, to help offset negative economic effects of Brexit. I used to live in France and am a fan of the European Union - for the Continent. For all its regulations, bureaucracy and social engineering, the E.U. has, all in all, helped make the Continent more prosperous and humane and war in Western and Central Europe much less likely. That the E.U. has made it much easier for citizens of E.U. countries to travel and work where they want within the Union has usually been a boon. But it also has made it easier for terrorists and other criminals to operate freely over a wide area, which has increasingly worried the British. Thank God for the Channel! The biggest near-term threats to the E.U. come from the gangster Vladimir Putin's aggression and from Islamic pathologies, which wreak terror attacks and refugee floods, but confronting them is mostly NATO 's job, not the E.U.'s. And the United Kingdom will remain in NATO, whether or not it leaves the E.U. Meanwhile, for all the talk of the glories of "multiculturalism,'' the fact is that Western culture has brought more prosperity and human rights to the world than any other. No wonder almost all refugees want to flee to the West. We need to do everything possible to boost the broader Western World through, for example, such projects as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - a huge free-trade area in the mutual self-interest of the European Union, the U.K. (Brexit or not) and the U.S. But in such cooperation, let's not dilute the best idiosyncratic elements of Western Civilization's parts. The U.K., in the long run, would do better as a friendly partner of the E.U. than as a member. Its history, its enduring psychic separation from Europe, its curious blend of insularity and worldliness (much of the latter stemming from the British Empire experience) has served itself and the world well. Robert Whitcomb ([email protected]) is a former finance editor of the International Herald Tribune, a former Wall Street Journal editor and a former Providence Journal vice president and editorial page editor. He is currently overseer of newenglanddiary.com, a partner in Cambridge Management Group (cmg625.com) and president of Guard Dog Media, in Boston. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
TORONTO -- Gerald Butts, a top adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, received an email this past October when his man won the office. It came from Butt’s friend and fellow political consultant David Axelrod, who had played a similar role for U.S. President Barack Obama. "Congratulations on a great victory," Axelrod said. "Now don't screw it up." Butts laughed as he recalled the email the other day in Toronto. He, his boss and Trudeau's inner circle were making final preparations for the prime minister's visit to Washington this week. Trudeau will be feted with the first White House state dinner in 19 years for Canada's leader. It's not likely that Trudeau -- or Obama, for that matter -- will "screw it up." But it's important for millions of people that they don't, because the destinies of Canada and the United States are more closely intertwined than ever. On border security, climate change, trade and foreign policy, working together in relative harmony is a requirement, not an option. The challenge for the two men will be to turn their personal similarities and the camaraderie of their previous brief encounters into concrete measures. They have to begin by repairing a government-to-government relationship that was strained under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a tea party-style conservative who was ultimately frozen out by the Obama administration. Our most important relationship is with the U.S., and I am going to do everything I can to bring us closer together. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trudeau and Obama need to work quickly, since the latter has only 10 months left in office and America could wind up with a Harper-esque successor in 2017. "We just have to do as much as we can in the meantime and not worry about that," said Butts. "And we think we'll make a good start." Canada now has a prime minister with foreign policy views similar to Obama's -- namely, that the best and most useful way to neutralize "radical Islamist terrorism" is to engage with Islam and the Middle East diplomatically and commercially, and not merely with bombs, drones and surveillance. When Pierre Trudeau, the current PM's father, was prime minister -- from 1968 to 1984, with one brief interruption -- the U.S. and Canada were often at odds over foreign policy. In the early years, the U.S. was fighting a war in Vietnam that the Canadians abhorred. Trudeau also infuriated U.S. administrations by dealing openly with the likes of Fidel Castro and the communist Chinese government, the latter before the U.S. did. There is a faint echo of those strains now, as Justin Trudeau followed through on a campaign promise to end Canadian participation in allied bombing runs over Syria. But Obama reacted mildly, giving Trudeau some domestic political cover by praising him for increasing the number of non-combatant Canadian instructors in the region. Trudeau wants to move Canada toward full diplomatic relations with Iran, though carefully and cautiously; the U.S. president hasn't gone quite that far yet. Trudeau is under pressure to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia; that kind of breach with the Saudis remains all but unthinkable in Washington. Trudeau wants a more even-handed approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues; Obama does, too, even if he doesn't put it that way. These and other matters will no doubt come up at a joint press conference the two will have in Washington -- although the event is almost sure to be dominated by queries about Trudeau's increasingly wary comments (made to The Huffington Post) about Donald Trump and the U.S. election scene. The more immediate anti-terrorism issue involves borders, which is likely to be the subject of the most important "announce-able" this week. The United States essentially wants a more secure perimeter around all three NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and the U.S.) to make it more difficult for suspected bad actors to enter the U.S. But that means harmonizing U.S. and Canadian border regimes more closely, and overcoming both bureaucratic inertia and Canada's long-standing ties to other countries, including those of the Commonwealth of Nations. Canada also wants it made easier to ship goods to the U.S., with which it does $2 billion worth of trade each day. Loosening and tightening borders at the same time isn't easy. In the realm of climate change, the Canadians have abandoned hope that the U.S. will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which Obama rejected. "It's dead and we're not worrying about it anymore," said Butts, an expert on environmental issues as well as campaigns. But Canada is pursuing other pipeline projects that lie entirely within its borders, and the Trudeau administration has no intention of abandoning them. In other words, while Trudeau promised to be Obama's climate change ally during the Paris talks in December, he may find it hard to deliver. The prime minister is already finding it difficult to persuade provincial leaders to go along with a new carbon tax. He may have to unilaterally impose a federal levy, but he has not committed to that course and it is politically risky. Trudeau travels to Washington this week with his entire family in tow: wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, his wife's parents and his three young children. "They all want to visit the Smithsonian," he said. While they are doing so, Trudeau will meet with Capitol Hill leaders, Cabinet officials and the president over the course of three days. "We'll get a lot done, but this is just the beginning," said Trudeau. "Our most important relationship is with the U.S., and I am going to do everything I can to bring us closer together." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Вот уж если в Лондоне начали истерить, то это - серьезно. Там что-то либо знают, либо уже чувствуют. А что Вы хотите? Лондону важно всё, что происходит вокруг и внутри "Британской империи 2.0", сиречь, так называемого, "Commonwealth" или в переводе "Общего благополучия", которое на политическом языке именуется "British Commonwealth of Nations" - да-да - именно "Британское Содружество Наций", контролируемое лично Британией из Лондона.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON HATING THE WEST, INC.: What explains these hypocritical and incoherent attac…
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON HATING THE WEST, INC.: What explains these hypocritical and incoherent attacks on the West? The answer is important because it reminds us not to take too seriously the agendas of 20-something campus critics of white privilege and those protesting against micro-aggressions and demanding safe spaces and trigger warnings. No civilization in […]
**John F. Kennedy**: [Crosscup-Pishon American Legion Post](http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/Boston-MA-Crosscup-Pishon-American-Legion_19451111.aspx): >Our foreign policy today may well determine the kind of life we will live here for generations. For the peace and prosperity of this country are truly indivisible from the peace and prosperity of the world in this atomic age. >But before we whole-heartedly subscribe to any foreign policy, it may be well for us to examine the kinds of government that are taking over in the countries of post-war Europe and try to estimate where they are headed. I would like to offer for your consideration today my personal observations on three of these countries—England, Ireland, and Germany—victor, neutral, and vanquished. >The subject is a very broad one so that I am going to speak chiefly on the political parties of England and Ireland to try to estimate the reasons for their success or failure and to study the problems they face and their prospects for the future. In the case of Germany I merely propose to estimate the possibilities as they appear at the present time of building any kind of democratic government—democratic in the western sense. >The outstanding political event of the year was the emergence of the Labour Party...
It’s hard to imagine the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Thailand selling souvenir tchotchkes in quite the same way.
[Winston Churchill: Speech of May 13, 1945](https://archive.org/details/WartimeBroadcastSpeechesBySirWinstonChurchill) >It was five years ago on Thursday last that His Majesty the King commissioned me to form a National Government of all parties to carry on our affairs. Five years is a long time in human life, especially when there is no remission for good conduct. However, this National Government was sustained by Parliament and by the entire British nation at home and by all our fighting men abroad, and by the unswerving co-operation of the Dominions far across the oceans and of our Empire in every quarter of the globe. >After various episodes had occurred it became clear last week that so far things have worked out pretty well, and that the British Commonwealth and Empire stands more united and more effectively powerful than at any time in its long romantic history. Certainly we are - this is what may well, I think, be admitted by any fair-minded person - in a far better state to cope with the problems and perils of the future than we were five years ago. >For a while our prime enemy, our mighty enemy, Germany, overran almost all Europe. France, who bore such a frightful strain...
---- Winston S. Churchill: >Yesterday morning at 2:41 a.m. at Headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, and Grand Admiral Doenitz, the designated head of the German State, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German Land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command. >General Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Francois Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Susloparov signed on behalf of the Russian High Command. >To-day this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General de Lattre de Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command. The German representatives will be Field-Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command, and the Commanders-in- Chief of the German Army, Navy, and Air Forces. >Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight to-night (Tuesday, May 8), but in the interests of saving lives the "Cease fire" began yesterday to be sounded all along...
The story of the European Union is short and promising. Or perhaps I should have written "was short and promising." We all know the devastation wars that are behind the success story of first The European Coal and Steel Community, then European Community, now European Union. Perhaps in the absence of World War I and World War II Europeans and more precisely French and Germans would have never sit down and agreed upon building a common market. The Euro has in my opinion hurt the European Union along two axes because the political, fiscal and monetary unions have been left incomplete. This article delves into the formation and first stages of the European Union, analyzes who's behind the vision that enabled the consolidation of a common market, analyzes the present and explores the future of perhaps the World's most innovative supranational consolidation and integration episode. Think about it. One hundred years back Europe started The Great War. No need to repeat what everyone can read today on Wikipedia. For centuries European nations had fought each other. Empires emerged and declined, from Portugal and Spain to France and Britain. Europeans conquered and ruled the World, colonized sometimes massacred local populations. Europeans competed against one another as much as they hated one another. Animosity between France and Germany fed the conflicts. Poverty, unemployment facilitated the emergence of radical ideologies: fascism, communism. The United States learned how to intervene and proclaimed its superiority and World dominance subsequent to the armistice and in the aftermath of World War II. The Cold War then begins. It was a different generation of Americans, which defended freedom, democracy, fairness above everything and anything else. Americans saved Europe and the World from Nazism and Fascism. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S Truman and Secretary of State General George Marshall had a vision and no doubt knew how to lead the World forward towards a New World Order. I think that that kind of American leadership is gone with the wind. Today's leadership in The United States prioritizes money making and is unfortunately radically business-oriented. It's no longer the people but the money what really matters contrary to Suze Orman's postulates, of which I am a big advocate. It was a different generation of Europeans, who were fully aware of the carnage, the bloodshed, the inhumanity of the Nazis-led genocide, a generation of Europeans -perhaps and more particularly the French Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman and of course Britain's Winston Churchill- who envisioned a united Europe which would no longer fight endless Wars of rivalry. Lenin and Stalin's communism only exacerbated American expansionism in Western Europe, Greece and Turkey. NATO was created. The Marshall Plan was inaugurated in General George Marshall's Harvard Address on 5 June 1947. The Bretton Woods Institutions emerged. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed. The United Nations was constituted, building on the failure of the League of Nations. It was looking back on the rearview mirror, the true birth of a New World Order, a Renaissance after the two World War's Armageddon. The World has not seen another Global War ever since. Myriads of regional wars remain. Today's Global War is perhaps economic. The United States' leadership has only been mildly threatened by an emerging China. Much of Asia, Subsaharan Africa, the Arab World and Latin America remain lagging behind. The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals signed in 2000 which expire year-end 2015 will not be fulfilled in spite of Kofi Annan and Professor Jeffrey Sachs' exciting and extraordinary work. The generation of the World's very last true leaders -now called The Elders- is passing away along with the late Nelson Mandela. My great Mentor and Advisor, former UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor Zaragoza repeats time and again that in his opinion there are no longer true leaders on the surface of this Planet, with perhaps the sole exception of President Barack Obama who will soon retire from office. I think that Europe's crisis is centered around the defense of national priorities over continental priorities. Following this logic, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a great leader for Germany, but not for Europeans. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was created with the signature of the Treaty of Paris in 1951. France's Jean Monnet who had been a Deputy Director General in the failed League of Nations, became its First President. The ECSC acquired a wider scope with the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, adding to Europe's new era of understanding, the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Six members are the founders of the ECSC including eternal rivals France and Germany, as well as the three Benelux countries and Italy. The United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Portugal and Spain joined through 1982 increasing the number of members to 12. Today's European Union features 28 members. I think that the European Union's enlargement and the creation of a common market with free movement of goods, services and people (Schengen) were the three obvious moves that the European Commission's establishment in Brussels had to approach perhaps and obviously setting the ground for the establishment and the adoption of a common currency as suggested by Columbia University Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Mundell who in 1961 wrote his seminal paper "A Theory of Optimum Currency Areas." The 1990s were a buoyant decade for the European Union. Under the leadership of former European Commission Presidents Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi and the participation in their respective cabinets of super star Commissioners such as Javier Solana, expansion increased from 12 to 15 members and the extremely sophisticated work which enabled the launch of the Eurozone was accomplished. It was a time when the European countries were unable to agree upon an exit strategy which would conclude the Balkan Wars in the former Yugoslavia. It was a time of strong leadership featuring Presidents and Prime Ministers who were respected throughout such as François Miterrand, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher and perhaps Felipe González. Europe's troika has lost its essence ever since. The Euro physical coins and notes were finally introduced in January-2002. I think that even Euroskeptics from Britain must respect the work done by Brussels in the introduction of the supranational currency. Today's Eurozone comprises 18 countries out of the European Union's 28 members. Technicalities and the economic and financial crisis which has particularly hit Europe's south have aggravated the doubts about the common currency and divided the European Union's along two axis. In February 2005 Spain was the first country under Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero which in a public referendum voted in support of the European Constitution. Later in 2005 France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitution also in public referenda. The economic union was moving forward. The democratic union was not. The constitutional crisis sank Jean Monnet's United States of Europe in a trap. The Euro crisis has only contributed to aggravating the evils. Everyone on European soil must be proud of what has been accomplished since the signature of the Treaty of Paris was completed in 1951. Most Europeans were born in the aftermath of World War II. A handful lived through it, perhaps even fought or dwelt a concentration camp. Europeans who have lived in different countries are well aware of the cultural differences which still exist today. Nationalism within nation-states as in Spain or the United Kingdom is only a consequence of Europe's diversity and of the myriad of ethnicities which share a continent. Differences must and shall not disappear, but diversity must not stop us from moving forward with integration. But not only Europe is diverse. The World is a diverse and diversity ought to be an asset and not a liability. Millions of University graduates in Europe have spent one year abroad through the Erasmus Program which fosters exchange of students between Universities across countries in Europe. I could also spend my fourth college year in Paris and my sixth college year in Stuttgart. Most Erasmus students in their early twenties think that Europe is a fraternity. Youth is of course wonderful. Differences only emerge as we grow adults. It is then when the Germans look down on the French, the French look down on the Spaniards, the Spaniards look down on the Portuguese, who in addition look down on the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique. Few will actually reckon the relative truth which hides in my words. Religion continues to divide Europeans. Let me be blunt. There is a first and second breach among Christians. The first breach fosters a division between Protestants and Catholics. The second breach fosters a division between Catholics and Orthodox. Then there is a third breach between all Christians and Muslims. It is important to understand the rationale behind the three breaches and in what manner they feed the current Ice Age in Europe. The European Union and the Eurozone are divided today along two axes. Northern Europe is protestant. Southern Europe -including the PIIGS and therefore Ireland- is catholic. Protestants grow at full employment. Their spreads over public debt are below average. Catholics stagnate with unemployment above the 10% mark. Their spreads over public debt are above average putting extraordinary pressure on public debt levels which are already soaring at one hundred percent of gross domestic product. Protestants look down on Catholics. Then there is Greece where most Christians are orthodox. Of course nobody in the PIIGS countries acknowledges to be like Greece even though they are - I think that Portugal and Spain are closer to Greece than to Ireland or Italy. Then the whole of Europe's Christians look down on Muslims, even though it is not politically correct to admit it. Many are afraid of Muslims living in Northern Africa and Turkey. The three religious breaches contribute to Europe's division. In this scenario Turkey will never join. Anyhow Turkish no longer care about joining the European Union, the euphoria is gone. Now there is the nation-state and the former Empires, whether Portugal, Spain, France or more recently Britain. One still breathes the Empire's grandeur when visiting Paris and London. I have lived three years in Paris and one in London. Britons and French's sense of security and moreover their arrogance is fed by a former grandeur which was perhaps well deserved then. Grandeur is earned not inherited. So France still thinks she is ruling French speaking Africa and Britain still thinks she's running the British Empire through its Commonwealth of Nations. So Spain still thinks she's influential in Latin America and Portugal still thinks she's influential in Brazil. In this environment of course each country must continue to maintain its Ministry of Foreign Affairs with its numerous embassies, consulates and diplomats. The European Union duplicates the national networks of embassies through its External Action Service commanded by Catherine Ashton. Duplicity and redundancy and therefore inefficiencies shall perpetuate in a European Union unable to set a more ambitious path towards total integration. Then there is the Germany's regrettable way of approaching leadership in Europe. Germany has historically shown that she is unable to expand and subsequently manage an Empire. Germany tried to do it in World War I and World War II without success. The country has succeeded at doing it in the present European Union through the imposition of its economic Third Reich, a truly economic empire. The Euro is for many the new Deutsche Mark and half of the Eurozone is now lagging behind due to Germany's lack of compassion and its imposition of strict and straight economic justice. I think that there is no future for the European Union if Europeans do not move beyond their fears once and for all. First we have the cultural fears that divide the Germans and the French, the Spaniards and the Portuguese, the Britons and the Continental Europeans, then religious breaches that divide where the Romans once built an Empire prior to the emergence of Christianity and Islam. Finally the technical reasons must be dealt with. The fact of the matter is that today's debate and strategy is almost exclusively technical. The technocrats in Brussels are increasingly perceived far, remote and unknown, as the technocrats at the World Bank and more specifically at the International Monetary Fund are perceived in many developing countries. I think that there is no future for the European Union if the youth do not embrace the ideals, the passion, the romanticism of one hundred years ago when many were willing to risk their lives to defend an ideal. Of course the ideal was perhaps ill one hundred years back. Today there is simply no drive to fight for ideals. The youth in Europe have oftentimes embraced new values and attitudes of tolerance. Many are laid back and liberal in the social sense. But consumerism, narcissism and the search for the immediately pleasure have become the only priorities ahead. Many University graduates believe their diplomas shall grant them secure jobs and comfortable lifestyles. That was true in the 1960s and 1970s. China and the emerging BRICs are now changing the rules of the game. At 38 years old I see the two generation-divide, Europe's Berlin Wall: an elder generation with fuel and no ideals, a younger generation with no fuel full of ideals. Americans are ahead of the game with extraordinary initiatives such as the Peace Corps and of course the Armed Forces of which I am no big fan but which nonetheless enrol thousands of voluntary men and women in uniform every year to fight and defend an ideal of freedom and democracy. Nothing alike of continental scope has been put together by our elites in Europe who I think are fundamentally concerned with economic growth and business profits. I lead a global initiative that is trying to embrace Universal values from the very beginning as a de facto pre-condition for take-off, incorporating and embracing cultural and religious differences, in order to discuss technicalities on a much more even playing field. We are setting up teams in every country and territory. I think that we will be able to design a common future for The European Union if we embrace diversity, change attitude and allow efficiencies to enter the equation. Europe's new name might then be Euphoria.
A Muslim person has no hope of winning the presidency in Lebanon due to a requirement that the executive leader be a member of the Maronite Christian Church. Such a rule might seem extreme from the perspective of religious freedom, but Lebanon is not alone. Thirty countries, or roughly 15 percent of the world's nations, require their heads of state to follow a particular religion, according to a new Pew Research analysis. These include both monarchies and republics, 17 Muslim countries, two Christian, two Buddhist and one Pancasila (the political philosophy of Indonesia.) The remaining eight prohibit clergy from running for office. Several of the countries, including Iran, Saudia Arabia, Syria and Afghanistan, also made the State Department's 2012 report on international religious freedom as some of the worst perpetrators of religious oppression. In Saudia Arabia for instance, not only is the president's religion restricted, but any public practice of a religion other than Islam is prohibited. Pew also notes that 19 additional countries require a particular religious affiliation for ceremonial monarchs, including 16 countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations under Queen Elizabeth II -- who is referred to as the Defender of the Faith and belongs to the Church of England.
Simbikangwa sentenced to 25 years by French court for his part in 1994 genocide that left 800,000 people deadA French court has sentenced a wheelchair-using former Rwandan soldier to 25 years in prison for his part in the 1994 genocide that left about 800,000 people dead.Pascal Simbikangwa, 54, a former intelligence chief and captain of his country's presidential guard, was convicted of complicity in genocide and in crimes against humanity.After a six week trial, the jury took 12 hours to deliver its verdicts against Simbikangwa, who was described as being steeped in "extremist Hutu ideology". He had denied the charges and claimed he was the victim of "a witch hunt".Simbikangwa was left paraplegic in 1986 after a car accident. He is the first Rwandan to be put on trial in France, which, two decades on, has been accused of being slow over bringing those accused of the massacre to justice.The prosecution described him as a "genocide denier" and claimed he helped supply arms to ethnic Hutu militia who set up and controlled road blo cks around the Rwandan capital, Kigali, in 1994. He was also accused of giving detailed instructions as to which Tutsi families to kill and how.Simbikangwa was one of the main shareholders in Free Radio-Television des Milles Collines, nicknamed Radio Machete for its role in exhorting Hutus to attack Tutsis and moderate Hutus.It was the deliberate shooting down of a plane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira as it prepared to land in Kigali that sparked the genocide. The majority of victims, slaughtered between April 7 and July 17, 1994, were killed with machetes. Simbikangwa was arrested in 2008 on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, where he was living under a false identity, and flown to France the following year.He has been in prison since and France has repeatedly refused requests from the Rwandan authorities to extradite him.Investigators claim the former Rwandan intelligence chief was close to the government of Habyarimana, a Hutu and reportedly one of his distant cousins .The accusations against Simbikangwa, who was said to have been in the "first circle" of Hutu power at the time, include drawing up lists of political opponents to be killed with details of how they should be murdered. France's failure to act to stop the genocide and attitude since has poisoned the relationship between Paris and Kigali, which had enjoyed close diplomatic relations and a shared language for 20 years.Rwanda accused France of training and arming Hutu forces, then turning a blind eye to members of the genocidal regime allegedly implicated in the massacre who had fled to France. France was also accused of protecting the perpetrators as they disappeared to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo through a "humanitarian" operation called Turquoise.Diplomatic ties were broken in 2006 after a French judge accused Rwandan president Paul Kagame, a Tutsi who commanded the rebel forces that ended the genocide, of sparking the slaughter. In 2010 Kagame took Rwanda into the Commonwealth of Nations, signalling a definitive rupture with France.Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy tried to patch up relations, admitting France had committed "serious errors of judgment" and suffered "a form of blindness". However, he stopped short of the apology demanded by Rwanda.During his trial, Simbikangwa insisted he had not seen a single murdered person during the 100-day period in which the genocide took place.Simbikangwa's lawyer, Fabrice Epstein, said the judgment was political and added that he and his client were considering an appeal.RwandaAfricaFranceBurundiKim Willsher theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
In Parliament: Eire (Hansard, 14 March 1944): Sir William Davison (by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the refusal by the Government of Eire of the American request supported by Great Britain that Axis Consular and Diplomatic representatives should be removed from Eire having regard to the serious danger to the Allies in connection with the forthcoming invasion of Europe in having a centre of espionage within the British Isles, he is satisfied that the steps recently taken to minimise the danger are adequate, and if not what other measures the Government have in view. The Prime Minister: The initiative in this matter was taken by the United States, because of the danger to the American Armed Forces from the presence of Axis missions in Dublin. His Majesty's Government were, however, of course, consulted throughout by the United States Government, and gave the American approach full support. We have for some time past taken a number of measures to minimise the dangers arising from the substantial disservice to the Allied cause involved in the retention by Mr. de Valera's Government of the German Minister and the Japanese Consul with their staffs in Dublin. The time has now come when these measures must be strengthened, and the restrictions on travel to Ireland announced in the Press yesterday are the first step in the policy designed to isolate Great Britain from Southern Ireland and also to isolate Southern Ireland from the outer world during the critical period which is now approaching. I need scarcely say how painful it is to us to take such measures in view of the large numbers of Irishmen who are fighting so bravely in our Armed Forces and the many deeds of personal heroism which they have kept alive the martial honour of the Irish race. No one, I think, can reproach us with precipitancy. No nation in the world would have been so patient. In view however of the fact that both British and British Dominion lives and the lives of the soldiers of our Allies 37 are imperilled, we are bound to do our utmost to obtain effective security for the forthcoming operations. There is also the future to consider. If a catastrophe were to occur to the Allied armies which could be traced to the retention of the German and Japanese representatives in Dublin, a gulf would be opened between Great Britain on the one hand and Southern Ireland on the other which even generations would not bridge. His Majesty's Government would also be held accountable by the people of the United States if it could be shown that we had in any way failed to do everything in our power to safeguard their troops. Sir W. Davison: May I ask the Prime Minister whether he does not think it essential that the frontier between Ulster and Eire should be closed, in view of the activities of the I.R.A., who have declared war on Great Britain and have riot long ago been apprehended with papers giving particulars of the American Forces at present in Ulster and certain plans of their operations? The Prime Minister: I prefer to confine myself to a statement in general terms today. All necessary measures, within the limits which I have described, will, of course, be taken as they are deemed to be necessary. Mr. Vernon Bartlett: May I ask my right hon. Friend whether this decision was taken after prior consultation with the other Dominions, because that would seem to be really important to bring home to the Irish people? The Prime Minister: Complete unity on that prevails throughout the British Commonwealth, as far as I know. Sir Ronald Ross: Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the chief emphasis in the United States' note to the Government of Eire was on the dangers to United States' bases in Northern Ireland, and that it was chiefly, or largely, to protect them from espionage that this request was made? Is he not further aware that nothing that has been done up to the present has had the slightest effect to that end, and that while censorship is still applied between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, there is no censorship between Northern Ireland and Eire? The Prime Minister: As I say, all these matters are receiving constant and vigilant attention. Professor Savory: I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the retention of these accredited representatives of the Axis Powers in Dublin is consistent with membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations? The Prime Minister: The whole question of the position of Southern Ireland is anomalous from various points of view, and I can conceive that high legal authorities might have very great difficulty in defining the exact relationship which prevails. At any rate, I shall not attempt to do so at the end of Questions. Captain Strickland: In deciding the limits of the prohibition on travel between Northern Ireland and this country, would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the position of British soldiers serving in Ireland but due for leave? Will it be possible to make any concession to see that those soldiers are permitted to come back to this country? The Prime Minister: I must leave the administration of the Act to the Ministers responsible. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will answer questions on the subject in detail. Mr. Gallacher: I would not like to say anything that would make more difficult a very difficult situation, but I would like to ask if it is not possible, in any further approaches to Eire, to suggest that the question of partition will be a subject for discussion when peace is being decided. The Prime Minister: I could hardly think of a more ill-conceived approach to the unity of Ireland.
Букеровская премия будет присуждаться авторам книг на английском языке вне зависимости от их гражданства, сообщается на официальном сайте фонда Букеровской премии. Еще одно изменение коснется числа книг, попадающих в лонг-лист конкурса. В этом году каждому из членов жюри пришлось прочитать более 150 книг, авторы которых претендовали на Букеровскую премию. После этого организаторы решили сократить число литературных произведений. Основная Букеровская премия присуждается ежегодно с 1969 года. До внесения изменений на нее могли претендовать авторы англоязычных произведений, проживающие в одном из государств британского Содружества наций, Ирландии или Зимбабве.
Лауреатами престижной британской Букеровской премии с 2014 года смогут стать не только граждане Великобритании, Ирландии и других стран британского Содружества наций, но и жители США