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Showing posts from April 11, 2010

China pours its wealth into Latin America

The Asian superpower is becoming a major economic player in the USA's backyard Rory Carroll in Caracas The Observer, Sunday 18 April 2010 Travel through pretty much any country in Latin America and you see the influence: a football stadium for Costa Rica, scholarships for Venezuela, a car factory for Uruguay, billion-dollar loans for Brazil. All from China. The Asian superpower has moved into a region the US once considered its backyard and discreetly established itself as a major economic player. There are new and expanded embassies in Caracas and Brasilia, Mandarin language classes in La Paz and Buenos Aires, Chinese tourists in Machu Picchu, red flags with five gold stars fluttering from tankers steaming through the Panama canal. Last week President Hu Jintao travelled to Brazil to sign, among other things, a five-year strategic plan between China and South America's biggest economy. China has supplanted the US as Brazil's biggest trading partner, a boom repeated ac

Venezuela and Nicaragua Progress on Food Security, Refinery, and Public Health Mérida, April 15th 2010 ( – Venezuelan and Nicaraguan officials met in Managua on Wednesday to deepen bilateral economic ties with the goal of fostering import substitution, promoting Latin American integration, and creating an economic alternative to U.S.-dominated free trade agreements. "We must raise production in our countries and lower the amount of imports of goods and services, and transform the import-oriented economic model of our economies," said Venezuelan President Chavez in a press conference with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. The two countries plan to double bilateral trade by the end of this year, according to both the Nicaraguan Agriculture ministry and the Venezuelan Embassy in Managua. A major agenda item was the progress of an oil refinery that is to be built in western Nicaragua with a joint investment of $2.5 billion. The refinery is projected to produce 100,000 barrels per day by 201


B.RAMAN Unidentified elements had planted three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) of low sophistication outside a stadium in Bangalore where an IPL cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers, Bangalore, was played on the afternoon of April 17,2010 All the three IEDs would appear to have been planted in the open space outside the stadium after the anti-explosive sanitisation of the inside of the stadium as well as outside had been done thrice by the police. 2. Two of the IEDs exploded before the match was to start. According to some reports, they had been timed to explode after the start of the match, but both exploded prematurely. These reports do not carry adequate conviction because when an IED is planted outside a stadium it is timed to explode as the people are entering the stadium before the start of the match in order to cause casualties and panic. The fact that all the IEDs were planted outside the stadium would indicate that the perpetrators had timed t

Is Red brigade a reality in vibrant Gujarat?‎

Jumana Shah / DNASunday, April 18, 2010 8:32 IST Ahmedabad: If the Naxal attack killing 75 CRPF personnel in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh makes your heart bleed, the news closer home may bring some more worry. For, in the first three months of this year, at least nine suspected Naxals have been arrested by police from the tribal districts of Dangs and Tapi. At the outset, the reason for this is believed to be the Forest Rights Act (FRA), which gives the tribals the right to tribal land for cultivation. To cut a very long story short, in essence, this Act takes away the ownership of the land from forest department and gives it to people - the tribals. This is believed to be at the core of the sudden spurt in friction between the tribals and officials. The nine arrests have created a sense of fear amongst the populace in the tribal belt. What actually raised many eyebrows is the arrest


B.RAMAN (Text of an E-mail interview given by me to a journalist writing for " Avvenire" , a Catholic journal of Italy ) Question:Since the end of the Olympic Games silence has fallen about the situation in Tibet. What is really happening today? Answer:The violation of the human rights of the Tibetans continues.There is a systematic attempt to suppress their devotion to and reverence for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. It is a crime even to have in one's possession a picture of His Holiness. To intimidate the population and to prevent any new uprisings against Beijing, arrests of Tibetans suspected of sympathy for His Holiness and being critical of the policies of Beijing are made periodically under the pretext of a campaign against splittism.Despite this, Tibetan defiance continues. Question:How China is “colonizing” Tibet? Answer: The policy of settling a large number of Han Chinese in Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabited areas and exercising economic pressur

Into EurAsia – Monitoring the EU’s Central Asia Strategy

By Michael Emerson and Jos Boonstra Foreign and Security Policy CEPS Paperbacks–-monitoring-eu’s-central-asia-strategy This new CEPS-FRIDE paperback offers the first assessment of the ambitious strategy to upgrade the EU’s cooperation with the five states of the Central Asia region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Undertaken by independent analysts from the EU and Central Asia within the context of the EUCAM project, the book looks at the role of Russia, China, the US and others in Central Asia, as well the current state of politics and economics in the region. Coinciding as it does with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, Into EurAsia presents a test case of how the EU may shape up to meet its newly enhanced foreign policy responsibilities Free download (pdf, 577.06 Kb)

Oman: Tehran Confab Vindicates Peaceful Nature of Iran's N. Program TEHRAN (FNA)- Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah on Saturday said that the ongoing international conference on nuclear disarmament in Tehran substantiates the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program and activities. "The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes that it is pursuing a peaceful, and not - as certain states claim - a military (nuclear) goal," Yusuf bin Alawi said, addressing Tehran's international conference today. He stressed that Oman participated in the event as a show of Muscat's insistence on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities. "We have taken part in the Tehran conference in a bid to reemphasize that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful," bin Alawi said. The International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation dubbed as 'Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapon for No One' kicked off in Tehran on Satur

Emerging Powers Cooking Up New International Order

Analysis by Beatriz Bissio * RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 16, 2010 (IPS) - Since the emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement, there has been no louder and more compelling call for a rethinking of the international economic system as the one issued this week in Brazil by the leaders of the main emerging powers. In the space of one day, Thursday Apr. 15, two meetings destined to have broad repercussions were held in Brasilia: the summits of the leaders of the IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) groups. The futuristic design of the Brazilian capital, which just turned 50, was the symbolic setting for the two conferences aimed at modeling a different future, with an emphasis on the defence of multilateralism and the need for reforms in the United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The fact that Brazil hosted the BRIC and IBSA gatherings confirms the influence of Brazil's foreign policy and diplomacy and this country's

Coming In From The Cold: An Update on North Korea's External Economic Relations

Françoise NICOLAS Coming In From The Cold: An Update on North Korea's External Economic Relations Asie.Visions 26, avril 2010 DOWNLOAD: TÉLÉCHARGER LE DOCUMENT This brief analysis of the current external economic relations of the DPRK leads to a number of conclusions. First, the North Korean economy maintains very limited exposure to the outside world and, as a result, to external influence. In terms of volume North Korea's trade is minuscule, even in relation with the size of its economy. This is also the case for foreign direct investment inflows. Secondly, although North Korea is less isolated than often thought, its trade and investment flows are very heavily polarized both geographically and sectorally, limiting de facto their potential impact. In contrast to what was the case during the Soviet era, North Korea's main economic partners are not ideological partners but neighboring economies, namely China and South Korea. They are major partners in trade as well as i

Who Needs OPEC - Russia steps up to the Plate ? William C. RAMSAY Edito Energie, mars 2010 News that Conoco will sell off a significant portion of its Russian holdings is couched in terms of various corporate strategies that make all this perfectly normal. Conoco is said to need cash and will anyway have a 10% share remaining in Lukoil that will provide them some degree of influence in corporate decisions. So we reach the end of the first phase of Western company ventures into Russia’s oil and gas upstream. Looking back over the years from the heady days when you could meet your oil-patch friends in passing at Shermetevo airport. A lot has changed since. Hopes of liberalizing markets have faded as President Putin replaced a failing Boris Yeltsin at the helm and has wrested control of Russia’s oil and gas sector back from the oligarchs – gradually turning control over to a different set of “oligarchs” in the Kremlin. All the early pioneers have been touched. The PSAs

International Consensus the Key U.S. Objective

Author : Dr.Ali Bigdeli A nuclear Iran is now officially a serious concern for the Americans For the first time, a key U.S. document, the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) directly refers to Iran. A nuclear Iran is now officially a serious concern for the Americans. Question: What is behind the timing of the release of the new U.S. document, the Nuclear Posture Review? Answer: Pressuring Iran to the extreme. By announcing its new nuclear strategy, the United States is trying to arrive at an international consensus on nuclear debates—to corner Iran and persuade, if not force, this country into modifying its allegedly non-peaceful nuclear program. But there is more to the document: it can disarm Chinese and Russian excuses to not whole-heartedly join the anti-Iran alliance. While President Hu Jintao of China accepted the U.S. invitation to the recent Nuclear S

Israel’s Absence, Turkey’s Presence: Iran’s Opportunity Turkey’s presence at the Nuclear Security Summit is a boon for Iran. Asadollah At-hari, Turkey affairs analyst Unexpected news? Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has decided to not attend the Nuclear Safety Summit held in Washington this week, and instead send a lower-level delegation. What is behind Netanyahu’s decision? One probable reason for his absence is the presence of regional rivals Egypt and Turkey. As Israel might speculate, the two may grasp the opportunity to create an anti-Israel atmosphere at the conference by diverting the focus towards Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its policy of nuclear ambiguity. The rift between Israel and the United States has also discouraged the sexagenarian from traveling to Washington. Unlike most past American presidents, Obama doesn’t seem to see Israel’s appeasement as his most favorable foreign policy op

The BRICs: Plotting a New World Order?

Posted by MICHAEL SCHUMAN Friday, April 16, 2010 at 7:59 am Whenever the BRICs have a powwow, as they did during their second summit this week in Brasilia, I can't help thinking about the future of the global economy. After all, the BRICs – that's Goldman Sachs-speak for the four great emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China – in many ways represent that future. There's something that smells inherently revolutionary, or at least counter-culture, about these summits. Rather than meeting in a global forum such as the G20, with the developed world included, the fact that these four up-and-comers go out of their way to huddle on their own leaves the impression that they're plotting what the world will look like when they're in charge. Yet in the end, nothing so radical appeared to be taking place. What made this latest BRIC summit interesting was how little they ha

We want India, Brazil in UN security council: BRIC nations 2010-04-16 14:20:00 Challenging the existing global power structure, BRIC nations called for urgent reforms of the UN, wanted international financial institutions to accommodate aspirations of rising powers and pitched for including India and Brazil in an expanded UN Security Council. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held wide-ranging talks at Itamaraty Palace in the Brazilian capital soon after the IBSA summit of India, Brazil and South Africa. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) summit, scheduled to be held Friday, was advanced by a day as Hu had to cut short his trip due a massive earthquake in China. A joint statement at the end of the day-long summit stressed the group's intent to see a 'multipolar, equitable and democratic world order', a fo

From IBSA to CHIBSA? BRIC to BRICS? Not yet

Siddharth Varadarajan Some in Brazil have quietly been suggesting China's inclusion in IBSA Like IBSA, the expansion of BRIC is problematic Brasilia: In international politics, there is no room for the Groucho Marx theory of association — ‘I won't join a club that will admit me as a member.' Instead, show a large or even mid-sized nation a grouping, no matter how irrelevant or relevant, and the chances are that it will want to sign up. At this week's summits of IBSA and BRIC nations, India and Brazil were the lucky two who had overlapping membership in both forums. But South Africa, which is only part of the former, would very much like BRIC to become BRICS, while China, which is part of the latter — as well as of the climate change ginger group of BASIC with India, Brazil and South Africa — would not be averse to IBSA becoming CHIBSA. Equation reversed Last year, when the Russian hosts at Ekaterinburg held back-to-back summits of BRIC and the Shanghai Cooperation Orga

Although friendly towards India, Obama’s priorities lie elsewhere

A DIFFERENT VISION - Although friendly towards India, Obama’s priorities lie elsewhere Sunanda K. Datta-Ray It makes me cringe to see televised images of American presidents patronizingly patting visiting dignitaries double their age on the upper arm or back after shaking hands. It’s just as nauseating when Indian officials boast breathlessly that the prime minister was granted a longer audience, with a few extra minutes’ bonus thrown in, and a warmer handshake (also a more resounding pat?) than any other leader in the whole wide world. There was plenty of occasion for cringing and nausea all through a week that suggested that India might have to reconsider Afghanistan’s relevance to its security and choose the most fruitful theatre of partnership with the United States of America. That was the particular message for us from the biggest diplomatic gathering since the San Francisco conference that gave birth to the United Nations. Barack Obama’s triumph was a foregone conclusion bec