“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kill the Indians, Then Copy Them

By David Treuer

JUST over a week ago, a handful of Senator Scott P. Brown’s supporters gathered in Boston to protest his opponent, Elizabeth Warren. The crowd — making Indian war whoops and tomahawk chops — was ridiculing what Mr. Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, called the “offense” of Ms. Warren’s claim that she has Cherokee and Delaware ancestry

To mock real Indians by chanting like Hollywood Indians in order to protest someone you claim is not Indian at all gets very confusing. Even more so because early Americans spent centuries killing Indians, and then decades trying to drive any distinctive Indianness out of the ones who survived. Perhaps we’ve come a long way if Americans are now going around accusing people who don’t look or act Indian enough of appropriating that identity for personal gain. But in fact, the appropriation of Indian virtues is one of the country’s oldest traditions. 

Zipcar CEO: ‘If You Don’t Have Passion For Your Job, Quit’

The Wall Street Journal
September 18, 2012

How do executives stay organized? What are their management strategies? And what do they do for fun? Executive Suite seeks answers to the behind-the-scenes questions. (Edited excerpts follow.)
Scott Griffith
Age: 53
CEO and Chairman, Zipcar Inc.
CEO since February 2003
WSJ: What’s your daily schedule like?
Griffith: I’m up almost every day about a quarter to six. I sometimes do a workout at home. I always check email about 18 times before I even get to the office. I’m very well-scheduled now, usually in half-hour or one-hour increments, so [there’s] very little in-between time. If I’m in the office, I’ll have some business meetings, or press interviews or talk to investors. It’s hard to find quality time to really think strategically about the company and some of our bigger challenges and ideas, so you have to force that into the schedule. So I have a hard hold on Friday afternoons: From 1:30 p.m. until I go home, there is absolutely no way you could schedule time on my calendar.

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Why John J. Mearsheimer Is Right (About Some Things) By Robert D. Kaplan

The Atlantic Monthly, Sunday September 30, 2012 

A disgrace” and “anti-Semite” were two of the (more printable) barbs launched last fall at John Mearsheimer, a renowned political scientist at the University of Chicago. But Mearsheimer’s infamous views on Israel—in the latest case, his endorsement of a book on Jewish identity that many denounced as anti-Semitic—should not distract us from the importance of his life’s work: a bracing argument in favor of the doctrine of “offensive realism,” which can enable the United States to avert decline and prepare for the unprecedented challenge posed by a rising China.

I—China—want to be the Godzilla of Asia, because that’s the only way for me—China—to survive! I don’t want the Japanese violating my sovereignty the way they did in the 20th century. I can’t trust the United States, since states can never be certain about other states’ intentions. And as good realists, we—the Chinese—want to dominate Asia the way the Americans have dominated the Western Hemisphere.” John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, races on in a mild Brooklyn accent, banging his chalk against the blackboard and erasing with his bare hand, before two dozen graduate students in a three-hour seminar titled “Foundations of Realism.”

Mearsheimer writes anarchy on the board, explaining that the word does not refer to chaos or disorder. “It simply means that there is no centralized authority, no night watchman or ultimate arbiter, that stands above states and protects them.” (The opposite of anarchy, he notes, borrowing from Columbia University’s Kenneth Waltz, is hierarchy, which is the ordering principle of domestic politics.) Then he writes the uncertainty of intentions and explains: the leaders of one great power in this anarchic jungle of a world can never know what the leaders of a rival great power are thinking. Fear is dominant. “This is the tragic essence of international politics,” he thunders. “It provides the basis for realism, and people hate people like me, who point this out!” Not finished, he adds: “The uncertainty of intentions is my Sunday punch in defense of realism, whenever realism is attacked.”

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The Ottoman Menace by Stephen Colbert

Ottoman America
Michale Vlahos

Huffington Post, September 28, 2012

Just days ago, Texas representative Louie Gohmert, standing tall on the House floor, delivered this Attic lamentation, echoing like a cry of grief in the great chamber: "This is the massive beginning of a new Ottoman Empire, that President Obama can take great credit for."

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To watch Stephen Colbert episode on The Ottoman Menace

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Story of Human Rights

India's FDI retail saga: From Wal-Mart to Agarwal-Mart?

Chidanand Rajghatta 

Times of India - Sep 29, 2012

WASHINGTON: "I actually did vote for the $ 87 billion (war funding) before I voted against it," was a line that destroyed John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004. He could never live down the flip-flopper reputation after opponents simplified his statement to "I was for the Iraq War before I was against it." Subtle nuances and elegant explanations, not to speak of a possible change of heart after things went south, were lost in the verbal melee in an atmosphere where you were either "for it or against it." 

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America’s Inevitable Retreat From the Middle East


International Herald Tribune
September 23, 2012

THE murder of four Americans in Libya and mob assaults on the United States’ embassies across the Muslim world this month have reminded many of 1979, when radical Islamists seized the American mission in Tehran. There, too, extremists running wild after the fall of a pro-American tyrant had found a cheap way of empowering themselves.

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The Power Elite: Connections Between Business and Politics in the U.S.

by Lisa Wade

The Society Pages: Sociological Images - September 10, 2012

In 1956 sociologist C. Wright Mills published a book titled The Power Elite.  In it, he argued that our democracy was corrupt because the same people exercised power in business, the military, and politics.  This small group, with so many important roles and connections, had an influence on our society that was far out-of-proportion with their numbers.  This, he concluded, was a dire situation.

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UPS/FedEX: Inside the Package Wars


The two delivery giants are in a race against time and each other. UPS brings in more than $50-billion a year and is the world’s ninth largest airline. FedEx, with $40-billion in annual revenue, is not just a company… it’s a verb.

CNBC takes you inside the mad dash to move more than 25-million packages a day. It’s a revealing look at a complex system of jaw dropping automation that feeds an army of trucks on the ground and a fleet of planes in the sky. Our cameras explore the inner-workings of UPS Worldport and the FedEx Super Hub, showing how extreme automation and hi-tech logistics help two companies succeed. Under the crush of an e-commerce revolution, both companies are forced to invent ways to be faster, smarter, and cheaper. Plus, beyond packages… a new frontier: the delivery giants set their sights on even more growth with unique strategies that have the delivery guys cashing in on pharma, smart phones and even luxury cars.

Privatization of the Postal Service Moves Closer

The New American

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Written by 

Privatization of the Postal Service Moves Closer With the announcement that the U.S. Postal Service will be unable to make a $5.6 billion payment to its employees’ health benefit plan due on September 30th, calls for privatization of the archaic service are mounting.
The service already failed to make last year’s payment of $5.5 billion which Congress had allowed to be delayed until August 1st. And it’s no wonder that the service can’t make those payments: it lost $5.2 billion in the third quarter this year, up from a loss of $2.1 billion a year ago. Estimates are that the service will lose at least $10 billion this year without counting the default of $11 billion in payments to its benefit plan.

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A Pilgrimage in Kashmir: Hiking through the mountains of Kashmir

The Economist

September 27th 2012

EVERY summer over 600,000 Hindu pilgrims march in the mountains of Muslim majority Kashmir to visit the Amarnath Cave. This year our South Asia correspondent joined them—travelling through one of the most militarised regions on earth.

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China at critical time as CPC congress approaches

by Xinhua writer Chen Siwu

BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- There may be no better time than today to observe how China will change in the future, as the Communist Party of China (CPC) is gearing up for a key meeting that will see a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in the world's most populous nation.
In a year of global elections, the world is closely scrutinizing the CPC 18th National Congress, to be convened on Nov. 8, and waiting to see how it will stand up to challenges facing the country and the CPC, as well as how it will influence the world at large.
After more than three decades of rapid growth thanks to the reform and opening-up drive, China has ushered in an important era of transition in which the country must transform its economy and make it more sustainable.
No matter how one views the event, the CPC's 18th National Congress comes at a critical time for China, as the leadership it selects and the decisions it makes will have a profound impact on the world's second-largest economy, and more importantly, on its people.
The Chinese have experienced many such critical moments in the past century, during which time incredible changes occurred in the country and the CPC itself.
One apparent distinction is that the CPC has grown incredibly large, with the number of members exploding from about 50 when the Party was founded in 1921 to more than 82 million on the eve of the CPC 18th National Congress, a number equivalent to the entire population of Germany.
Since it became the ruling party in 1949, the CPC has suffered twists and turns, such as the self-inflicted Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, but managed to restore China's economic strength in the global arena through reform and the introduction of a market economy.
Over the past decade, China has become the world's fastest growing economy, with an average annual growth of 10.7 percent from 2003 to 2011, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. China took up about 10 percent of the world's gross domestic product while contributing more than one-fifth of global growth last year.
Yet unprecedented challenges are still ahead for the CPC, even though its top leadership has defined the current transition period as a time that is full of strategic opportunities to build China into a prosperous society by 2020.
The CPC 18th National Congress comes at a time when the economy is facing mounting downward pressure after three decades of almost two-digit growth.
The era of ultra-high economic growth will soon be fading in China, where policymakers will have to get used to an economy that expands by about 8 percent annually, according to a study conducted by a research team from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.
But the most pressing issue for the Chinese public is the uninhibited and widespread abuse of power and corruption among government officials and businessmen. A series of systematic and structural problems that have impeded the healthy development of the Chinese economy and society have yet to be resolved.
Addressing problems that concern the people's vital interests and giving more respect to the will of the people in making policies will continue to be a challenge for the CPC.
Challenges have also appeared from outside, as the external environment has never been as complicated as it is now.
Due to the deepening of the sovereign debt crisis and massive economic restructuring that occurred after the global financial crisis, developed economies may sink into long-term recession, thus creating new uncertainties and posing increasing risks for emerging economies like China.
While maintaining the continuity of its policies, China must also adjust its relations with major powers, developing countries and neighboring countries according to the latest changes in the global situation. Any change in China will inevitably affect the rest of the world in an era of economic globalization.
All of these problems and challenges will have to be addressed when the CPC's 18th National Congress is convened.
Hopefully, the CPC will draw lessons from its past successes and failures and establish a future direction for the country through resolutions on ideology-building, political routes and personnel management.
When the congress opens, people inside and outside China should closely watch the country's new leaders, as what they say and do may signal the beginning of great changes in China and the rest of the world.

Free exchange Hayek on the standing committee

The Economist
September 15th 2012

WEN JIABAO, China’s prime minister, this week gave one of his last big speeches before retiring from the Politburo’s powerful nine-member standing committee. He vigorously defended China’s bold response to the 2008 financial crisis—and conspicuously failed to promise anything similar in reaction to the economy’s present woes. Mr Wen described China’s 2008 stimulus as a “scientific response” to that year’s crisis, which prevented “factory closures, job losses and return of migrant workers to their home villages”. It would have delighted John Maynard Keynes, an economist once denounced as “anti-science and anti-people” by China’s Communists.

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Peddling religion Why secular academics fret about an “Islamic bicycle”

The Economist
September 15th 2012 | ISTANBUL 

“A BICYCLE that is produced with God’s blessings in mind and man’s interests at its fore is an Islamic bicycle.” The pronouncement made at a recent conference in Istanbul by Alparslan Acikgenc, a professor from the Yildiz Technical University, brought nods of approval from his colleagues. “A bicycle that is painted with substances harmful to humans cannot be Islamic,” agreed another professor.

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At least 289 killed as fire in Pakistani garment factory rages

By Reza Sayah, CNN
You can also watch the video at the following homepage: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/world/asia/pakistan-factory-fire/index.html

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 289 people were killed in a fire that swept through a garment factory overnight in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, a local official said Wednesday.
The toll from the fire, which continued to burn Wednesday, is expected to rise, Commissioner Roshan Ali Shaikh, Karachi's top administrative official, said in a phone interview with CNN affiliate Geo TV.
A child is among the dead, and at least 25 people have been injured, said Zakir Khan of the Karachi Fire Department. All the victims were employees of the factory, he said.
Firefighters were trying to bring the blaze under control, Khan said, but their task was made more difficult because they couldn't enter several portions of the weakened building.
Karachi factory blaze kills 289 Karachi factory blaze kills 289
The building might collapse any time because the fire heavily damaged parts of its steel structure, said Mustafa Jamal, a senior government official in Baldia Town, the area of Karachi where the factory is situated.
Dozens of people may be trapped in the basement of the building, according to Khan. An operation is under way to try to rescue them.
Jamal said between 400 and 500 people were in the factory as the fire burned. Several trapped workers jumped from upper floors.
Video broadcast by Geo TV showed large crowds of anxious people outside the smoldering building. And through windows and holes of the factory's scorched outer walls, the footage showed glimpses of flames still flickering within.
Officials say they don't know the cause of the fire.

Japan’s new opposition leader promotes militarist agenda

By Peter Symonds
World Socialist Website - 27 September 2012
The election of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday as the new leader of Japan’s opposition Liberal Democratic Party marks a further shift to the right, not only by the LDP but the entire political establishment.
The poll took place amid sharp tensions between Japan and China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. The government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sparked the current conflict by announcing that it had “nationalised” the islands by buying them from their private Japanese owners. Beijing strongly protested the move and dispatched fisheries and surveillance vessels to the area to assert China’s claim.
In the lead-up to yesterday’s election, all five candidates demanded tougher action to defend Japanese territory. Former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba called for the Japanese military—the Self-Defence Forces—to be mobilised to bolster the coast guard that is currently patrolling the area. “Losing a piece of our territory eventually means losing the whole country,” he told a press conference last week.
While campaigning on Tuesday, Abe, who is known as a right-wing nationalist, declared: “Japan’s beautiful seas and its territory are under threat... I promise to protect Japan’s land and sea, and the lives of the Japanese people no matter what.”
Abe only won yesterday’s election in a second round, after coming second to Ishiba in the first. The final vote was close—108 to 89—indicating serious concerns about his previous performance as prime minister. Abe took over from Junichiro Koizumi in September 2006 and stepped down less than a year later, after losing control of the upper house in July 2007 and presiding over a series of ministerial scandals and resignations.
Upon being elected, Abe apologised for “causing you all trouble with my sudden resignation as prime minister six years ago.” He promised to do his utmost to win back power and “build a strong country, a prosperous country.”
A general election may be called within months. Prime Minister Noda was recently forced to promise elections “soon” as the price for the LDP’s support in passing legislation to double the country’s unpopular sales tax.
Abe is a proponent of Japanese militarism, including the removal of the so-called pacifist clause of Japan’s post-war constitution and the promotion of Japanese patriotism based on “traditional values”—code words for the glorification of the wartime military regime, its symbols and record.
Abe has already indicated that he would visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead as prime minister, even though such an event could rupture relations with China. During his previous term in office, he made no visit to the shrine, in a bid to patch up relations with Beijing, which had sunk to a low under Koizumi.
In another step that will antagonise China and South Korea, Abe has indicated that he might seek to nullify the limited apologies issued by previous Japanese governments for wartime atrocities carried out in the 1930s and 1940s. He also promised to strengthen defence cooperation with the United States by taking a more active military role.
During his year as prime minister, Abe changed the country’s education law to foster “love for the nation” and to whitewash the country’s wartime history. He denied that Asian women had been forced to act as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war. Abe also stridently backed the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has responded to opposition criticisms by making its own marked shift to the right. Noda’s provocative decision to buy the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands was aimed at undercutting the campaign waged by Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara for public donations to make the purchase. Ishihara, a fervent nationalist, also proposed building facilities on the rocky outcrops to consolidate Japanese control.
The Japanese political establishment as a whole is deliberately whipping up nationalist sentiment in a bid to divert attention from the deteriorating economy and rising unemployment and poverty. The Democrats won power in 2009—ending half a century of virtually unbroken LDP rule—by promising to address social needs and distance itself from the US and its aggressive military interventions. Japan’s involvement in the Afghan and Iraq wars has been deeply unpopular.
Support for the Democrats slumped after the government—under three successive prime ministers—broke all its promises. Noda’s support hit an all-time low after he pushed through the sales tax increase and gave the green light for restarting the country’s nuclear power stations, brushing aside public fears after last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The lack of any progressive alternative in Japan to the LDP and Democrats has opened the door for Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto, a right-wing populist, to exploit widespread alienation with the major parties. Hashimoto, who rails against both parties and the Tokyo bureaucracy, formed his own party—the Japan Restoration Party—this month.
Speaking at a fundraising event earlier this month, Hashimoto declared: “Our glorious Japan has fallen into a state of decline... Let’s fight together... to once again revive glorious Japan.” He has called for the revision of the Japanese constitution to eliminate the pacifist clause and strengthen the military.
Hashimoto has previously dismissed Japan’s wartime atrocities as fictions. As mayor of Osaka, he mandated the singing of the national anthem at all school events.
Such is the extent of hostility to the political establishment that Hashimoto’s party was ahead of both parties in a Fuji News Network poll earlier this month—23.8 percent as against 21.7 percent for the LDP and just 17.4 percent for the Democrats. A Kyodo News survey put the Japan Restoration Party behind the LDP but ahead of the Democrats.
The support for Hashimoto represents hostility to the existing major parties rather than positive support for his right-wing nationalist agenda. It parallels the huge swing in 2009 to the Democrats, who capitalised on the bitter opposition to the entrenched LDP with a vague promise of “change.”
What is striking about the polling figures is that 40 percent of respondents do not support any of these parties, which promote nationalism, militarism and a big business agenda that will inevitably place new economic burdens on working people.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bernie Sanders: The US has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country in the industrialized world.

Bill talks with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who’s been an independent in Congress for 21 years -- longer than anyone in American history. In 2010, Sanders made national news when he delivered an eight-and-a-half-hour speech attacking the agreement President Obama and the Republicans had made to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Could China’s slowdown mark the end of Africa’s decade of growth? – By Barbara Njau

African Arguments

Will the rebalancing of the Chinese economy have a negative effect on African economic growth?
Sub-Saharan Africa’s accelerated economic growth over the last decade has been well documented. Feted as the next boom market, especially with the backdrop of the economic slowdown in the West, there has been a tendency by many commentators to hail it as the last frontier for growth.
When I attended the African Development Bank’s summit in Tanzania for the launch of this year’s ‘African Economic Outlook’ (AEO) report, there was a huge sense of optimism about Africa’s economic trajectory. Yet I could not help but wonder whether this was somewhat over-stated.
Much was said about Africa’s decade of growth. The AEO report contended that Africa’s resilience following the 2009 global recession meant that the continent’s growth prospects remain highly positive. Yet less mention was made of how African governments are actively rebuilding their fiscal buffers, which were deployed to cope with the impact of the global recession on their domestic markets. Less still was discussed about what has been done to ensure that African countries diversify their export bases. I also found the discussions on how intra-African trade can be boosted to be disappointingly vague, and I left with several questions unanswered.
The recent report released by the ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), put the economic vulnerability of African countries back into focus. According to S&P, China is set to shift from an investment-led to a consumer-led growth model. Having developed its production capacity over the past two decades, the country is now capable of producing domestically more consumer goods as a proportion of its overall consumption. Although the speed at which China’s rebalancing will take place is uncertain, the shift to a consumer-growth model is associated with slowing GDP growth, which has already started.
According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, China’s GDP growth will slow from 9.2 percent in 2011 to 8.5 percent in 2012. This matters to Africa because its exponential growth since 2000 has been in tandem with China’s economic boom. Since China’s economic expansion over the last two decades has been mainly investment-led, investment spending by China’s authorities concurrently boosted the country’s appetite for commodities sourced in Africa. This demand precipitated a surge in international prices between 2000 and 2011, and it also improved Africa’s terms of trade, resulting in what became the continent’s own decade of growth.
Yet S&P reports that since 2005 the Chinese government has been fostering a gradual rebalancing of China’s growth. Although the 2009 recession delayed this – the stimulus implemented by the government focusing on infrastructure spending – China’s rebalancing will inevitably take place. The S&P report casts fresh doubts as to whether, contrary to what the AEO report concludes, the growth of African economies is sustainable. African economies in their present state remain highly dependent on their trade with China and none will be immune to the consequences of reduced demand.
According to S&P, for every 1 percent rise in China’s GDP growth, the GDP of low-income African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, Mali and Senegal has risen by 0.3 percent. For middle-income countries like Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan, a 1 percent rise in Chinese GDP has equated to a 0.4 percent rise in their GDP growth.
The boom in China’s capital spending in the past led to a strong increase in imports of metals and minerals. So the African countries that will be most affected by China’s rebalancing will be the metal and mineral exporters. Thus the DRC, South Africa and Zambia are most at risk.
Although oil exporters like Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Nigeria will be less affected in the short term, as Chinese demand for energy products will continue to be underpinned by the growth in its domestic auto markets, they still face serious risks as the changing composition of China’s imports will leave them vulnerable to a gradual fall in demand. As China increasingly powers its growth from within, the pressure on African countries to expand their consumer good exports and manufacturing bases, in order to keep up with shifting global demand, will increase.
Several African countries continue to be over-reliant on their trade with partners outside of the continent. It is puzzling that a clear roadmap which aims to increase intra-Africa trade and diversify trading partners within the continent has not been clearly articulated. Regional integration would help tackle chronic structural gaps related to infrastructure and energy. Yet long-term regional and national strategies have not been developed by many African countries. Stronger South-South cooperation should extend beyond trade with other emerging economies around the world. African countries should look closer to home and foster trade ties with their neighbours on the continent.
Additionally, Africa’s export portfolio is still primarily based on its raw materials, thus its export earnings remain contingent on price fluctuations. The surge in demand for Africa’s commodities from China led to improved terms of trade in recent years. Yet the impending decline in demand means that Africa’s susceptibility to external shocks is high, and the need for export diversification is another pressing problem not being addressed.
Finally, African countries have been slow to translate the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from their trade with China into greater economic opportunity for the populace. Africa still underperforms when it comes to attracting more productivity-enhancing FDI from China that can diversify its economies, develop its private sectors and bring increased transfers in technology.
S&P’s report reveals that for all their achievements, African countries remain beset by structural challenges. If these continue unresolved, should demand from China wane, Africa will likely lose its growth momentum. Commentators could begin looking back to the last decade as a squandered opportunity for sustainable economic growth.
Barbara Njau is the Senior Reporter and Markets Editor of ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ (fDi) Magazine, a bimonthly publication from fDi Intelligence, which is part of The Financial Times Ltd.  These are her own views.

"Harvest of Empire": New Film Recounts How U.S. Intervention Caused Mass Latin American Migrations

September 25, 2012

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, the new feature-length documentary, "Harvest of Empire," examines the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today. Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, "Harvest of Empire" takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape. González is a columnist at the New York Daily News and author of three other books, including "News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media." We’re also joined by the film’s co-director, Eduardo López

China strongly urges Japan to stop sovereignty violation

September 27, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi here on Thursday strongly urged Japan to stop violating China's territorial sovereignty, accusing that Japan "stole" China's Diaoyu Islands.
"China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation," Yang said at the general debate of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, referring to the current island dispute between the two Asian neighbors.
"Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times," he said. "China has indisputable historical and legal evidence in this regard."
According to him, Japan seized these islands in 1895 at the end of the Sino-Japanese War and forced the then Chinese government to sign an unequal treaty to cede these islands and other Chinese territories.
After the Second World War, the Diaoyu Islands and other Chinese territories occupied by Japan were returned to China in accordance with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international documents, he said.
The Chinese foreign minister noted that, by taking such unilateral actions as the so-called "island purchase", the Japanese government has grossly violated China's sovereignty.
"This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the world anti-fascist war and poses a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations," he said.
Yang emphasized that the moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid, which can in no way change the historical fact that Japan "stole" the Diaoyu Islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them.
"The Chinese government is firm in upholding China's territorial sovereignty," he added.

Dutch News

Friday 28 September 2012

Heineken has been given the green light to take over Asia Pacific Breweries, ending a takeover battle of several months with Thai Beverage.
Shareholders in Fraser and Neave voted in favour of Heineken’s €3.5 bn offer for its stake in the brewer of Tiger Beer. F&N owns almost 40% of Asia Pacific.
APB brews beer in 14 countries including China. The takeover will give Heineken a strong base in the region, where beer consumption is growing steadily.
The Financieele Dagblad points out this is the third major takeover by Heineken under chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer. In 2010, the Dutch brewer took over Mexico’s Femsa for €5.3bn.
Two years ago Heineken and Denmark’s Carlsberg took over British brewer Scottish & Newcastle. The Dutch share cost £4.5mrd.
More on the ABP takeover

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