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BRICS demand global monetary shake-up, greater influence

April 14, 2011 Comments off

yahoo.com

(L-R) India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, China's President Hu Jintao, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma attend a joint news conference at the BRICS Leaders Meeting in Sanya, Hainan province April 14, 2011. The development banks of the five BRICS nations agreed in principle on Thursday to establish mutual credit lines denominated in their local currencies, not in dollars. REUTERS/How Hwee Young/Pool

SANYA, China (Reuters) – The BRICS group of emerging-market powers kept up the pressure on Thursday for a revamped global monetary system that relies less on the dollar and for a louder voice in international financial institutions.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was “a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty” — thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington’s neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

The BRICS are worried that America’s large trade and budget deficits will eventually debase the dollar. They also begrudge the financial and political privileges that come with being the leading reserve currency.

“The world economy is undergoing profound and complex changes,” Chinese President Hu Jintao said. “The era demands that the BRICS countries strengthen dialogue and cooperation.”

In another dig at the dollar, the development banks of the five BRICS nations agreed to establish mutual credit lines denominated in their local currencies, not the U.S. currency.

The head of China Development Bank (CDB), Chen Yuan, said he was prepared to lend up to 10 billion yuan to fellow BRICS, and his Russian counterpart said he was looking to borrow the yuan equivalent of at least $500 million via CDB.

“We think this will undoubtedly broaden the opportunities for Russian companies to diversify their loans,” Vladimir Dmitriev, the chairman of VEB, Read more…

Busted: TSA lied about promise not to grope children

April 14, 2011 Comments off

infowars.com

TSA has defended the groping of a 6 year-old girl, saying it followed policy. Yet in Nov. 2010, TSA vowed no ‘enhanced’ pat-downs for children under 12.
Busted: TSA lied about promise to not pat-down children

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) contradicted itself, even to the point of outright lying, in responding to controversy about a 6 year-old girl who received a groping pat-down AFTER already being sent through a body scanner. The video went viral after appearing on DrudgeReport.com and many other sites. TSA typically explained away this unnerving experience that left the girl in tears by arguing that the action is perfectly normal, follows all procedures and keeps us safe from terrorism, all, of course, in the name of ‘safety.’

You see, the TSA rationalized in its latest defense that, “terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection.” Thus, TSA would have it, we must abandon societal norms [and laws] like not touching children in their private parts, and instead subject them to pre-crime inspections. According to the logic, no women & children, little old ladies or men handicapped in wheelchairs or implanted with modern medical devices, no body Read more…

Stink bugs hit fruits, vegetables, field crops, also go into houses

April 14, 2011 1 comment
Lansing, Mich. —

A female version of the brown marmorated stink bug.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) reported the coming of Asian stink bugs in January, and a report Monday morning said they are confirmed in Ingham, Eaton, Genessee and Berrien counties.

They do not bite or sting, but well, they do stink.

And, as is a big concern to the MDA and producers, they ruin fruit and other crops.

“Exotic pests such as the brown marmorated stink bug pose a serious threat to the economic health of Michigan’s $71.3 billion agri-food industry and our 53,000 farmers,” said Keith Creagh, MDA director. “MDA and Michigan State University researchers will work in concert to both identify control recommendations for our agriculture community, as well as monitor this pest’s spread in the state.”

For those who like to get technical, they are the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) or Halyomorpha halys (Stål).

The complete story appears in the Tuesday, April 12, 2011 edition and is available at coldwaterdailyreporter.mi.newsmemory.com.Report Asian stink bugs

BMSB superficially resembles several common species of stink bug native to Michigan. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the membranous, overlapping part at the rear of the front pair of wings. They have patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored punctures (small rounded depressions) on the head and pronotum. Those who believe they may have the pest should contact the local Michigan State University Extension office at (517) 279-4311.

For more information on brown marmorated stink bug, one can visit http://www.michigan.gov/mda.

China-Russia relations and the United States: At a turning point?

April 14, 2011 Comments off

rian


Dmitry Medvedev  and  Hu  JintaoBy Dr. Richard Weitz

Since the end of the Cold War, the improved political and economic relationship between Beijing and Moscow has affected a range of international security issues. China and Russia have expanded their bilateral economic and security cooperation. In addition, they have pursued distinct, yet parallel, policies regarding many global and regional issues.

Yet, Chinese and Russian approaches to a range of significant subjects are still largely uncoordinated and at times in conflict. Economic exchanges between China and Russia remain minimal compared to those found between most friendly countries, let alone allies.
Although stronger Chinese-Russian ties could present greater challenges to other countries (e.g., the establishment of a Moscow-Beijing condominium over Central Asia), several factors make it unlikely that the two countries will form such a bloc.

The relationship between the Chinese and Russian governments is perhaps the best it has ever been. The leaders of both countries engage in numerous high-level exchanges, make many mutually supportive statements, and manifest other displays of Russian-Chinese cooperation in what both governments refer to as their developing strategic partnership.

The current benign situation is due less to common values and shared interests than to the fact that Chinese and Russian security concerns are Read more…

Details Emerge on North Korean Missile Launch Site

April 14, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

North Korea’s second missile launch complex is five times bigger than its first site and seems to be better shielded from a potential attack, the Korea Herald reported on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 18).

In addition to being much larger than the first launch installation at Musudan-ri, the Dongchang-ri complex along the North’s west coast is also closer to China, which is likely to make any attack on the site more complicated for South Korean and U.S. forces, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

An underground missile fueling center has been constructed at Dongchang-ri in order to escape monitoring by U.S. spy satellites. The facility also has the ability to house liquid fuels for extended periods of time, according to the article.

Work on the facility started in 2002, 10 years after the Musudan-ri site was set up, government sources told the Chosun Ilbo. Recent reports have suggested that construction of the Dongchang-ri site has been completed.

Dongchang-ri is located just 43 miles from the Yongbyon nuclear complex where North Korea has carried out much of its nuclear weapons development efforts. The proximity to Yongbyon would lessen the time and expense of transporting nuclear warheads for attachment to missiles at the new launch site, analysts said.

Pyongyang is not believed to have yet developed the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for fielding on long-range ballistic missiles (Song Sang-ho, Korea Herald, April 11).

Has BP really cleaned up the Gulf oil spill?

April 14, 2011 Comments off

guardian

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the Louisiana surf, June 2010.

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the Louisiana surf, June 2010. Photograph: Win Mcnamee

There are few people who can claim direct knowledge of the ocean floor, at least before the invention of the spill-cam, last year’s strangely compulsive live feed of the oil billowing out of BP‘s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. But for Samantha Joye it was familiar terrain. The intersection of oil, gas and marine life in the Mississippi Canyon has preoccupied the University of Georgia scientist for years. So one year after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 men and disgorged more than 4m barrels of crude, Joye could be forgiven for denying the official version of the BP oil disaster that life is returning to normal in the Gulf.

The view from her submarine is different, and her attachment is almost personal. On her descent to a location 10 miles from BP’s well in December, Joye landed on an ocean floor coated with dark brown muck about 4cm deep. Thick ropes of slime draped across coral like cobwebs in a haunted house. The few creatures that remained alive, such as the crabs, were too listless to flee. “Most of the time when you go at them with a submarine, they just run,” she says. “They weren’t running, they were just sitting there, dazed and stupefied. They certainly weren’t behaving as normal.” Her conclusion? “I think it is not beyond the imagination that 50% of the oil is still floating around out there.”

At a time when the White House, Congress, government officials and oil companies are trying to put the oil disaster behind them, that is not the message from the deep that people are waiting to hear. Joye’s data – and an outspoken manner for a scientist – have pitted her against the Obama adminstration’s scientists as well as other independent scientists who have come to different conclusions about the state of the Gulf. She is consumed Read more…

Joseph Stiglitz slams US dollar

April 14, 2011 Comments off

 

Brazil may ban all gun sales

April 14, 2011 Comments off

bbc

A girl kneels in prayer at a makeshift memorial for victims of a school gun attack in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 9 April 2011 The attack at Tasso da Silverira school shocked the country

Brazilian lawmakers say they will propose a national vote on whether to ban the sale of guns, after a deadly shooting at a school last week.

The Senate leader said legislators would rush through a bill to allow a referendum to be held this autumn.

A similar proposal in 2005 was rejected by voters and kept gun sales legal.

Brazil observed three days of mourning after the attack on 7 April, in which a gunman shot dead 12 children in a school in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil is no stranger to gun violence, with frequent shoot-outs in major cities, but the attack in Rio de Janeiro shocked the nation.

The shooting sparked a debate over gun sales that has left lawmakers unable to ignore the issue.

‘Critical condition’

The bill would have to be approved by both the Senate and the House before going on the ballot.

The leader of Brazil’s Senate, Jose Sarney, said any referendum would be held at the beginning of October – the earliest possible date for the bill to pass Read more…

Language spoken by only two people dying out as they won’t talk to each other

April 14, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Language spoken by only two people dying out as they won't talk to each other

Manuel Segovia lives in the village of Ayapa in the Mexican southern state of Tabasco Photo: EPA
9:04AM BST 14 Apr 2011

Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, are the only two people who can speak it fluently, but they will not talk to each other, despite living only 500 yards from each other in the village of Ayapa in the Mexican southern state of Tabasco.

Mr Segovia reportedly spoke the language with his brother until he died around 10 years ago, and he still converses with his son and wife, who understand him but are unable to speak more than a few words. Mr Velazquez is understood to not speak to anyone in the language. The men are also said to disagree over aspects of the language.

It is not known why the pair do not talk to each other, but a linguistic anthropologist from Indiana University who is involved in a project to make the first dictionary of the language, has said they do not have a lot in common.

Daniel Suslak told The Guardian that Mr Segovia can be “a little prickly” while Mr Velazquez is “more stoic”.

Mr Segovia told the newspaper: “When I was a boy everybody spoke it. It’s disappeared little by little, and now I suppose it might die with me.” He denied any animosity towards Mr Velazquez.

There are almost 70 indigenous languages in Mexico, which are divided into a further 364 variations. The introduction of Spanish education in the 20th century appears to have accelerated the demise of the Ayapaneco language.

As well as the dictionary, the National Indigenous Language Institute is planning classes with the two men, but previous efforts have failed to lead to an upsurge in speakers.

 

Categories: Mexico Tags: , , ,
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