cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

11.05.2009

if asia ruled the world...oh wait they do!

1. how eurocentric is your day?

At the outset of the classes I teach, I always address the question of bias in the social sciences. In one course - on the history of the global economy - this is the central theme. It critiques Eurocentric biases in several leading Western accounts of the rise of the global economy.

This autumn, I began my first lecture on Eurocentrism by asking my students, “How Eurocentric is your day?” I explained what I wanted to hear from them. Can they get through a typical day without running into ideas, institutions, values, technologies and products that originated outside the West - in China, India, the Islamicate or Africa?

The question befuddled my students. I proceeded to pepper them with questions about the things they do during a typical day, from the time they wake up.

read more @ asia times


2. China's sleepy Hengqin wakes up

HONG KONG - As central planners dream of further integrating the former Western-run territories of Hong Kong and Macau into China's rich Pearl River Delta region, relatively sleepy Hengqin island has been given a big wake-up call.

The largely undeveloped island, until now a piece of Guangdong province under the jurisdiction of the city of Zhuhai, bordering Macau, is slated for a major makeover as a resort paradise, featuring golf courses, theme parks, water sports, hiking trails and other tourist attractions.

...Official projections show Hengqin's current population of 4,000 growing to 200,000 by 2020 and per capita gross domestic product, now the equivalent of about US$1,200, increasing to more than $29,000 by that time.

Those are the kinds of figures that make potential investors interested, and 200 of them gathered last week at Hong Kong's Island Shangri-La Hotel to listen to Chinese officials wax strong about their vision of another kind of Shangri-la that they hope to build on Hengqin.

The ambitious plan for the island, outlined in official communiques last summer, was laid out in greater detail for the well-heeled audience in Hong Kong. The fact that a high-ranking official for the National Development and Reform Commission, Fan Hengshan, was on hand to make his own personal pitch for the project lent it additional weight.

read more @ asia times


3. Chinese president hails China-Africa ties in message to re-launched magazine

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has hailed China-Africa ties in a recent message to congratulate the re-launch of the ChinAfrica, a Beijing-based monthly magazine. "The Chinese people cherish the traditional friendship with the African people and always see them as all-weather friends who can be fully trusted and counted on," he said.

"The Chinese people will forever be good brothers and good partners of the African people," he said.

Hu said he hopes that the ChinAfrica will contribute to the enhancement of the traditional friendship, exchanges, unity, coordination and common development between China and Africa and to the promotion of the new type of strategic partnership between the two sides.

The ChinAfrica was first publication in 1988 with both English and French editions. Its paper version was suspended in 2001. The new English monthly magazine was re-launched last month.

The very issue of the magazine was also made as a special one marking the fourth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from Nov. 8 to 9.

source: chinaview


4. Bangkok voted #1 most attractive city in Asia

BANGKOK, Nov 4 (TNA) - Foreign tourists voted Bangkok the most attractive city to visit among 10 of 11 member cities of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 (ANMC 21).

Following a Bangkok University ‘Bangkok Poll’ ranking 10 cities, minus Myanmar’s Yangon, whose representatives joined the eighth meeting of ANMC 21 recently in Bangkok, the Thai capital was voted the most attractive city to visit by foreign travellers by receiving a score of 7.19 out of 10.

read more here

& analysis here


5. opinion - stop the Bol's hurtful plans right now


As if our commons have not been destroyed enough by the local money barons, the government is planning to invite foreign investors to bleed dry our seas, forests and biodiversity resources.

This is sheer madness.

At a time when Thailand cannot escape erratic weather patterns and natural disaster threats from global warming, our nation's priorities are pretty clear. We must preserve what little is left of our healthy environment. At the same time, we must nurture the degraded natural environment back to health to ensure that the majority have enough to eat.

...If the Board of Investment of Thailand (BoI) and the Department of Trade Negotiations have their way, Thailand will lift investment restrictions in forestry, aqua culture and plant breeding for Asean investors, offering them also special BoI privileges and protection.

In short, the scarce resources that are the basis of the country's food security in a time of climate change crisis will be up for grabs - thanks to our policy obsession with foreign investment.

read more @ bangkok post


6. life is cheap in Bangladesh

excerpt:

It is a “national tradition” in Bangladesh that the laws favor those in power, not the ordinary people. This has often caused frustration among the people, who then demonstrate to express their demands, regardless of their legitimacy or logic.

The outraged workers of the closed garment factory demonstrated on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway. When factory authorities failed to meet the workers or respond to their demands, they got impatient and began vandalizing vehicles.

The government sent riot police to control the situation. The police suddenly started firing indiscriminately at the demonstrators, killing at least three people – a rickshaw-puller who had gone to rescue his garment-worker wife, a pedestrian and a mason. Many others were wounded by police bullets.

The media claimed there were even more deaths, and accused the police of a cover-up to suppress the truth. But Home Minister Sahara Khatun denied that anyone was killed by police gunfire. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seems to have ended the issue simply by declaring that none would be spared if found guilty.

read more @ upi asia

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