Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Marina Dzhashi’

EU mobilizes €120 billion for growth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 29, 2012

EU officials have agreed to spend €120 billion “for immediate growth measures” to aid the most vulnerable countries of the eurozone. The announcement comes during the latest EU summit that has started in Brussels.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy made the announcement at a summit press conference on Thursday. The leaders of Spain and Italy were reportedly blocking a final agreement on a stimulus package until they won promises of immediate help in reducing their borrowing costs, AP reports.

However, after a tough night of bargaining, an agreement was reached that would allow loan money to be provided directly to troubled banks, circumventing European governments as middle men in the bailout process.

Allowing money to be funneled directly to the banks was seen as a way to keep investor interest rates down by removing the debt from European governments; loans provided to governments might cause investor doubt, therefore driving interest rates to unsustainable heights. The move was beneficial for Spain, which has been seeking €100 billion in loans for its troubled banks.

Another key part of the agreement was a reversal of EU policy stating that any new bailout applications would not be met with the same strict conditions that were imposed on previous bailout requests. This move was seen as one designed to placate Italy, who insisted that despite its troubled economy, it was not seeking a bailout at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Beijing will not tolerate US pressure on Syria’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 18, 2012

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US vs. China: Who rules?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 14, 2011

As politicians and financiers bring their different perspectives to the APEC summit in Honolulu, a single idea is proving a unifying force. With global economic power shifting eastwards, the chorus of anti-China rhetoric is growing ever louder.

If there is one US state where the Occupy movement has little chance, it is probably Hawaii. Despite a high concentration of politicians and Wall Street bigwigs mingling at the APEC summit, the only place people are willing to occupy en masse here are the beaches. With one exception. The few protesters allowed in downtown Honolulu were speaking out against greed and social injustice. They were against economic inequality. They were against China.

Coincidentally or not, the mood on the podium was similarly hostile. Employing some of his sharpest language yet, US President Barack Obama threatened Beijing with punitive economic steps unless it started “playing by the rules.” His political opponents were even more belligerent.

“I happen to think that the Communist Chinese government will end up on the ash heap of history if they do not change their virtues,” Rick Perry, Republican presidential candidate, said in the course of the debates.

“We have to have China understand that, like everybody else on the world stage, they have to play by the rules!”responded his rival for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney.

Rules, rules and again rules. As the country that has been ruling the roost for decades, the United States has never been shy of policing others. But as China’s GDP continues to grow at a rate of nine per cent a year, against two-and-a-half per cent growth in the US, the reprimand seems to be internally driven.

Conformity is one of the top values in the Chinese view of the world – also reflected in the country’s political and economic policies. So it is not that China does not play by the rules, it is actually quite the opposite. What the United States seems to have an issue with is that, increasingly, China rules and that is a privilege Washington would prefer to keep for itself.

As his signature achievement at APEC 2011, Barack Obama has put forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade pact being negotiated by the United States and eight other countries. White House officials even speculated that the deal could become a template for an eventual APEC-wide free trade zone.

Yet what seems a win-win to the US is taken in China as a somewhat predatory effort to change rules mid-game. Beijing remains wary of the deal that Washington is proposing to some of China’s neighbors, seeing it as an effort to provide a counterweight to China around the Pacific Rim.

“Free trade tends to be in the eye of the beholder – it’s free for you, but protectionist for me, provided I get to protect my precious industries, my own personal national interest. So it’s always a dilemma as to how free it is,” said George Koo, the founder of International Strategic Alliances.

As the euro crisis continues metastasizing throughout the world and China is asked to shoulder the load, many analysts say the West should keep in mind its old adage – “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

“The US is a declining power and having trouble adjusting to that status,” CEO of Country Risk Solutions, Daniel Wagner, believes.

Many Chinese proverbs are difficult to translate into English, although those about money usually have exact equivalents. One of them is “Money makes the world go round” – a concept experientially familiar to Washington and, progressively so, to Beijing.

Professor Julan Du from the Chinese University of Hong Kong told RT that America’s domestic problems are  driving Washington’s criticism of Beijing.

“They accuse China of unfair trade and currency policies. I think it is unfair. The current difficulties of the US government in creating jobs lie in the fact that the US has lost the competitive advantage in most of the traditional manufacturing industries,” Professor Du said.

“The wage rate is too high to justify moving production back to the US,” he added. “So even if China reduced its exports to the US by increasing its exchange rates, other low-wage emerging countries would step in to replace China.”


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Missile deadlock: ‘arm-arm’ replaces ‘jaw-jaw’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

Both Moscow and Washington officially admit that talks on America’s anti-missile shield in Europe have stalled. In the absence of progress, Russia has put in motion a military response to the shield, which it believes threatens its national security.

The military and diplomatic deadlock puts in question the “reset of relations” between Russia and America, which was praised as one of the major achievements of Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev.

Despite years of talks, Washington will not provide a legal guarantee that its antimissile system in Europe will not hamper Russia’s strategic potential. Michael McFaul, one of the architects of the “reset”, who is slated to become next US ambassador to Moscow, was the first American official to state this clearly at Senate hearings on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

There is barely a corner of the globe that has not been touched by the current financial meltdown. But a senior sociology scholar at Yale University thinks the crisis is far wider than the economic crash – it is capitalism itself which is collapsing.

Immanuel Wallerstein explained his theory to RT.

“Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope. It cannot survive as a system,” Wallerstein said. “And what we are seeing is the structural crisis of the system. The structural crisis goes on for a long time. It really started more or less in the 1970s and will go on for another 20, 30, 40 years. It is not a crisis of a year or of a short moment, it is the major structural unfolding of a system.  And we are in transition to another system and, in fact, the real political struggle that is going on in the world that most people refuse to recognize is not about capitalism – should we have or should we not have it – but about what should replace it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia, China Veto Syria Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

Veto sometimes good and sometimes not
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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EU members line up for early Libyan victory march

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 23, 2011

France plans to hold a high level meeting next week to discuss Libya’s political future. The top Libyan opposition leader has been invited to Paris to attend.

Almost every EU state now demonstrates its readiness to participate in the country’s development, simultaneously saying it is the Libyan people who should decide their own future. Even Poland’s foreign minister has said that his country wants to take part, but France is the one taking the lead.

On Wednesday, French president Nicolas Sarkozy will be meeting in Paris with Mahmoud Jibril, the leader of the Libyan rebels. French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet says they will build a roadmap for the future of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Arrested’ Gaddafi s’Arrested’ Gaddafi son meets journalists in Tripoli

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 23, 2011

One of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al Islam, who was earlier reported to have been arrested, has made a surprise appearance in Tripoli and met foreign journalists early on Tuesday morning.

He appeared at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli early Tuesday in a convoy of armored Land Cruisers. Saif al Islam met with journalists of Agence France-Presse, BBC News and Fox News. He said that his father and several of his sisters are indeed alive and well, and that Muammar Gaddafi is still in Tripoli. Read the rest of this entry »

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NATO and Russia seek missile defense compromise

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2011

The chance for a breakthrough on a common missile defense system is up for grabs between NATO and Russia. The alliance’s head, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is in the Russian city of Sochi for talks, where the missile shield is high on the agenda.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is also attending the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Sochi, has called for a change of doctrine governing relations between the sides.

“Today we have an opportunity to reinforce our common goal of genuine strategic partnership, which will open the road to the positive interdependence of the Euro-Atlantic countries and re-orientation of our potential from mutual restraint to effective counteracting of common security threats,” Lavrov said on Monday at the opening of the summit.

The Russian minister added that successful co-operation between Russia and NATO will directly reflect on Euro-Atlantic security as a whole.

He said that at the meeting the Russian side shared its vision of co-operation with the alliance in the area of missile defense.

“Dialogue is not going as easily and fast as many hoped after the Lisbon summit, but it is continuing along bilateral channels,” Lavrov added.

Sergey Lavrov said that the meeting also touched upon the situation in Libya and the question of whether NATO’s actions in the country comply with the norms of international law.

To this NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded that the NATO operation in Libya is conducted in strict compliance with UN Security Council resolution 1973. Still, he added that the alliance is ready to discuss its Libyan operation with Russia in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia accuses NATO of going beyond UN resolution on Libya

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 17, 2011

As the operation in Libya closes in on its first month, coalition members are swearing to push further until Colonel Gaddafi goes, despite the UN no-fly zone resolution only allowing NATO involvement to secure humanitarian protection.

The gamesmanship is making many countries increasingly uneasy. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned at the beginning of the week that Libya risks total collapse and reiterated Russia’s position that to restore order in the North African country, those parties involved need to be acting in strict accordance with the international resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

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UFOs’ new track over Sochi Winter Olympics sites

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 16, 2011

ET seems to feel at home in southern Russia. Recent unexplained lights in the sky, which have been caught on camera, are among the increasing sightings that are baffling the locals.

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US dollar should be replaced by new global reserve – leading economist

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2011

With the US economy remaining weak, and with budget woes hitting confidence in the US dollar, talk about a new global reserve currency is mounting.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz a Nobel prize-winning economist of 2001 agrees that the world economy needs a new global reserve currency to help prevent trade imbalances that are reflected in the national debt of the US.

RT:Speaking of non-functioning, well, what about the US dollar? You are someone who is calling for a new reserve currency. But why? Some say “what is the alternative”?

Joseph Stiglitz: What I’ve argued for is the creation of a global reserve currency. Reserve currencies are, you might think of a store value and the dollar has been very unstable – understandable given the difficulties of the American economy, our performance was not a stellar. But the fact that in a modern globalized economy, 21st Century, it is an anachronism that a single currency would play the pivotal role that the dollar has played. What I argue in my book “Making Globalization Work” is that the dollar reserve currency system contributes to inequality … and it actually contributes to the weakening of the global economy, because countries are setting aside literally hundreds of billions of dollars, you might say, of precautionary savings. That’s money not spent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Britain armed Gaddafi, now have designs on rebels

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2011

Britain is facing accusations from the International Criminal Court over the weapons it’s sold to Gaddafi while the UK is considering arming more Libyans – rebels this time.

The rebels say they lack the ammunition needed to fight off the forces of Colonel Gaddafi.

In the meantime, it is believed Gaddafi was planning to use force to crackdown on protesters long before the uprising began, and the UK was its main arms provider.

That explains why the Libyan security forces have been putting down unrest in the country with plenty of rubber bullets, tear gas and other ammunition to a considerable degree British made. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sweden heading from neutrality to NATO

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 4, 2011

Eight Swedish fighter jets will be used to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya, despite the fact Sweden is not a member of NATO, prompting numerous protests and discontent among the population.

Swedes are already venting anger at their government for committing troops to Afghanistan, and feel their national interests are being sacrificed for NATO and the US.

Sweden is widely known as a voice of neutrality and peace.

The Swedish people still believe that we are non-aligned and neutral,” says Agneta Norberg from the Swedish Peace Council.

Why then does Sweden need anti-war groups like Ofog?

Sweden is very integrated and involved in NATO’s activities both in their administration and with over 500 soldiers in Afghanistan right now that are under NATO command, whatever the Swedish government is saying, but that’s the fact,” explains Cattis Laska from Ofog.  Read the rest of this entry »

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