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Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Biometric IDs A Step Toward EU – Ukraine Visa Simplicity

September 13, 2012 Comments off

argophilia.com

Kiev Airport Customs

Biometric IDs in Ukraine appear to be on the way in. A draft law there providing for the creation of a unified state register of every Ukrainian citizen has passed fist scrutiny there. Reportedly a measure to beef up border security between Ukraine and the EU, citizens traveling abroad may feel a bit like Big Brother is watching via a built-in proximity chip keeping tabs on each citizen.

Officials in favor of the new Biometric IDs claim this document standard will go a long way toward preventing IS fraud, helping out the border control end of travel in the country. Claiming accessibility for all relevant European services and institutions, proponents say the action plan for visa liberalization is the central reason for the new initiative.

With the EU planning to Read more…

Death count rises as big freeze shuts down eastern Europe

February 2, 2012 Comments off

smh.com

Fisherman's tents on the Moscow River in Moscow, Russia. The death toll from a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe has risen to 79.Frozen fish … fishermen’s tents on the Moscow River, where the temperature has fallen to minus 21 degrees as eastern Europe suffers a severe cold spell. Photo: AP

BELGRADE: Rescue helicopters have evacuated dozens of people from snow-blocked villages in Serbia and Bosnia and airlifted in emergency food and medicine as a severe cold spell kept eastern Europe in its icy grip.

The death toll from the cold rose to 83 on Wednesday and emergency crews worked overtime as temperatures sank to minus 32.5 degrees in some areas. Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea. In Bulgaria, 16 towns recorded their lowest temperatures since records started 100 years ago as four more people were reported dead from hypothermia. In Russia, temperatures fell to minus 21 in Moscow.

In central Serbia, choppers pulled out 12 people, including nine who went to a funeral but then could not get back over icy, snow-choked roads. Two more people froze to death in the snow and two others are missing, bringing that nation’s death toll to five.

”The situation is dramatic. The snow is up to five metres high in some areas, you can only see Read more…

Europe’s Rejection of Nuclear Power a Gift for Russia

June 16, 2011 1 comment

thetrumpet

« The German E.ON nuclear power station in southern Germany is set to begin closing down in 2014.

Germany will phase out nuclear power by 2022, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced June 3. A week before, Switzerland made a similar decision. Italy followed suit on June 13, voting overwhelmingly to reject nuclear power in a national referendum.

These countries will almost certainly have to replace their nuclear power with natural gas, at least in the short term. It is readily available and less polluting than coal or oil. The International Energy Agency recently predicted a “golden age of gas.”

The only problem is where Europe gets most of its gas from Read more…

Global Press Freedom at Lowest Level in More Than Decade

May 3, 2011 Comments off

voanews

Photo: Reuters
Journalists and activists participate in a rally calling for press freedom in central Ankara, Turkey, March 19, 2011 (file photo)

Freedom House, a U.S.-based group that monitors human rights around the world says the number of people with access to free and independent media has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade.  In its newly released annual survey, the group says several key countries saw significant declines last year and that only one-in-six people live in countries with a press designated as free.

In this year’s annual index of global media freedom of 196 countries and territories, Freedom House says it rated 68 as “free” and the remaining two thirds as “partly free” or “not free.”

Freedom House Senior Editor Karin Karlekar says this is roughly an even breakdown, but a closer look reveals a different picture. “If you look at the population statistics, they are much bleaker, only Read more…

World Bank: Food prices have entered the ‘danger zone’

April 15, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, said food prices are at “a tipping point”, having risen 36pc in the last year to levels close to their 2008 peak. The rising cost of food has been much more dramatic in low-income countries, pushing 44m people into poverty since June last year.

Another 10pc rise in food prices would push 10m into extreme poverty, defined as an effective income of less than $1.25 a day. Already, the world’s poor number 1.2bn.

Mr Zoellick said he saw no short term reversal in the damaging effect of food inflation, which is felt much more in the developing world as packaging and distribution accounts for a far larger proportion of the cost in the advanced economies.

Asked if he thought prices would remain high for a year, Mr Zoellick said: “The general trend lines are ones where we are in a danger zone… because prices have already gone up and stocks are relatively low.”

Rising prices have been driven by the changing diet of the ballooning middle classes in the emerging markets. “There is a demand change going on, with the higher incomes in developing countries. People will eat more meat products, for example, that will use more grain.

“I am not suggesting that the improved diets in the developing world are the source of the problem but it means it takes longer to Read more…

Japan nuclear crisis on edge as toll of dead or missing surpasses 21,000 Radiation traces found in food and water

March 21, 2011 Comments off
www.vancouversun.com

A woman lights a candle during a vigil in remembrance of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan outside the Japanese embassy in Amman March 20, 2011.

TOKYO — Japan hoped power lines restored to its stricken nuclear plant may help solve the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that also left more than 21,000 people dead or missing.The Asian nation’s people are in shock at both the ongoing battle to avert deadly radiation at the six-reactor Fukushima plant and a still-rising death toll from the March 11 disaster.

The world’s third largest economy has suffered an estimated $250 billion of damage with entire towns in the northeast obliterated in Japan’s darkest moment since World War Two.

Tokyo’s markets are closed for a holiday on Monday.

Elsewhere, investors will be weighing risks to the global economy from Japan’s multiple crisis, along with conflict in Libya and other unrest in the Arab world.

Easing Japan’s gloom briefly, local TV showed one moving Read more…

The Causes of Rising Food Prices

March 17, 2011 Comments off

thenewamerican.com

Food prices are rising quickly around the world. Part of the problem is weather. The winter wheat crop in China has been poor. Australia has suffered floods, while Russia has undergone a drought. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, no doubt, will hammer the very intensive agricultural production of the limited arable land on that archipelago. Weather-related agricultural problems, however, balance out fairly quickly. Mythical “global warming” aside, weather has ups and downs, and farmers, who are smart folks, take that into account. The Soviet Union, whose vassal state the Ukraine was once one of the best farmlands on earth, never managed to feed its people well, because a communist-controlled economy destroys Read more…

Russia warns the West against interference: Medvedev suggests that revolts in the Arab world were instigated by outside forces

March 13, 2011 Comments off

globalresearch

Moscow is concerned that the turmoil in the Arab world aggravated by western interference may destabilise Russia’s restive North Caucasus and former Soviet Central Asia

-Although Russian leaders have not named any country, experts and politicians have pointed a finger at the United States.

“The Arab revolt may have begun as spontaneous protests, but the West has now moved to take the endgame under its control,” says Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma. Analysts say the U.S. is using the same techniques in the Arab East it earlier used in staging “coloured revolutions” in the former Soviet Union — in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. They noted the role of CIA-linked foundations such as the Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in supporting and training civil activists and Twitter and Facebook organisers of the protests in Egypt and Tunisia.

“The events [in the Arab world] bear all the traits of a total ‘network war’ (netwar) as formulated by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt of the RAND Corporation back in 1996,” says Alexander Knyazev of the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Read more…

The Oil-Food Price Shock

March 11, 2011 Comments off

thenation.com

When future historians attempt to trace the origins of the current turmoil in the Middle East, they will find that one of the earliest of the many explosions of rage occurred in Algeria and was triggered by the rising price of food. On January 5, young protesters in Algiers, Oran and other major cities blocked roads, attacked police stations and burned stores in demonstrations against soaring food prices. Other concerns—high unemployment, pervasive corruption, lack of housing—also aroused their ire, but food costs provided the original impulse. As the epicenter of youthful protest moved elsewhere, first to Tunisia and then to Egypt and other countries, the food price issue was subordinated to more explicitly political demands, but it never disappeared. Indeed, the rising cost of food has been a major theme of anti government demonstrations in Jordan, Sudan and Yemen. With the price of most staples still climbing—spurred in part by a parallel surge in oil costs—more such protests are bound to occur.

Whatever the outcome of the protests, uprisings and rebellions now sweeping the Middle East, one thing is guaranteed: the world of oil will be permanently transformed.

From crippling droughts in the Ukraine and Russia to region-shaking unrest in Tunisia, rising commodity prices and extreme weather events are already threatening Read more…

Need Versus Greed

March 1, 2011 Comments off

project-syndicate.org

NEW YORK – India’s great moral leader Mohandas Gandhi famously said that there is enough on Earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed. Today, Gandhi’s insight is being put to the test as never before.

The world is hitting global limits in its use of resources. We are feeling the shocks each day in catastrophic floods, droughts, and storms – and in the resulting surge in prices in the marketplace. Our fate now depends on whether we cooperate or fall victim to self-defeating greed.

The limits to the global economy are new, resulting from the unprecedented size of the world’s population and the unprecedented spread of economic growth to nearly the entire world. There are now seven billion people on the planet, compared to just three billion a half-century ago. Today, average per capita income is $10,000, with the rich world averaging around $40,000 and the developing world around $4,000. That means that the world economy is now producing around $70 trillion in total annual output, compared to around $10 trillion in 1960.

China’s economy is growing at around 10% annually. India’s is growing at Read more…