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Tens of Thousands Protest in Europe Against Atlantic Free Trade Deals

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:10:15 +0000

Thousands of people across Europe have marched in protest of free-trade agreements promoted by the European Union with Canada and the United States. Activists caution that the proposed deals – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Canada – could reduce environmental standards and protections for workers. But German economic officials and EU trade officials are urging people to unite behind such deals, emphasizing that each presents an opportunity to “shape globalization so that it served people and not only the interests of a few businesses,” reports Michael Nienaber for Reuters. The protests come as both major US presidential candidates oppose Obama’s free trade deal with Asian nations and many politicians, seeking support from angry voters, adopt protectionist stances that are hostile to trade. – YaleGlobal European protesters hold concerns that trade agreements with US, Canada may be bad for workers, environment Europeans are skeptical about environmental and labor protections Michael Nienaber Michael Nienaber Other Reuters United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 28 September 2016 Tens of thousands of people protested in European cities on Saturday against planned free trade deals with the United States and Canada they say would undermine democracy and lower food safety, environmental and labor standards. Organizers – an alliance of environmental groups, labor unions and opposition parties -- said 320,000 people took part in rallies in seven German cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. Police put the figure at around 180,000. Smaller protests were also planned in other European cities, including Vienna and Salzburg in Austria and Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden. In Berlin, demonstrators waved banners reading "STOPP CETA - STOPP TTIP," another placard said "People over profits." The demonstrations are against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, currently being negotiated by the European Union's executive with the respective governments across the Atlantic. Opposition in Europe to the trade deals has risen over the past year, with critics saying the pacts would hand too much power to big multinationals at the expense of consumers and workers by establishing arbitration courts to settle disputes between companies and governments. "HORROR STORIES" EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom defended the planned trade deals and accused the opponents of deliberately heating up the debate with "horror stories and lies". "The idea that TTIP will lower environmental standards is simply not true," Malmstrom told German daily Bild. "Also the assertion that we'll be flooded with genetically modified food is simply wrong. Our democracy of course won't be undermined as some seem to believe." Malmstrom said German exporters would benefit highly from the deals because they would reduce non-tariff barriers to trade. "This helps Germany and creates jobs," she added. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who faces crunch CETA vote on Monday by his Social Democrats (SPD), said that the trade agreements were Europe's best chance to shape globalization so that it served people and not only the interests of a few businesses. &quo[...]



Prepare for the 21st Century Exodus of Migrants

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:46:09 +0000

Cross-border immigration accounts for much of the population growth in developed countries with low fertility rates. Such immigration has also become an election issue around the globe. Joseph Chamie, former director of the UN Population Division, urges countries to assess demographic changes and engage in thorough planning to provide adequate education, health care, security as well as food and water supplies. “Population projections depend on assumptions regarding future levels of fertility, mortality and international migration,” he explains, adding that migration is the most difficult to calculate. Population projections largely rely on recent history, and Chamie warns: “assumptions based on the recent past likely underestimate future migration because they fail to sufficiently capture the powerful demographic, economic and sociopolitical forces increasingly driving international migration flows in the years ahead.” Conflict, climate change and poverty contribute to migration. Good governance requires revised assumptions and adequate planning for domestic programs and foreign aid. – YaleGlobal Policy planning requires new assumptions about migration in a densely populated world with conflict and climate change Policy planning requires new assumptions about migration in a densely populated world with conflict and climate change NEW YORK: Immigration has emerged as a key campaign issue in the elections in Great Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Austria and India. International migration, while of little demographic consequence at the global level, can be more visible at the national level, impacting population size, age structure and ethnic composition. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/chamie0927-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/chamie0927-article.jpg Joseph Chamie Joseph Chamie YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 27 September 2016 Give and take: Immigration accounts for the dominant share of population growth in countries like Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed Syrian refugees; the most desperate migrants defy border walls and armed guards between Morocco and Spain NEW YORK: Immigration has emerged as a key campaign issue in the elections in Great Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Austria and India. International migration, while of little demographic consequence at the global level, can be more visible at the national level, impacting population size, age structure and ethnic composition. Nations like the United States, Australia and Great Britain could expect minimal population growth – and in Canada’s case, decline – without international migration. International migration accounts for the dominant share of future population growth in many  countries, especially those with low fertility rates, over the coming decades. By mid-century, for example, the projected proportions of population growth as a result of immigration are substantial:  Australia, 78 percent; the United Kingdom, 78 percent; and the United States, 72 percent. Without international migration, Canadian population is projected be about 3 percent smaller by 2050. In most other developed countries, including Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain and the Russian Federation,[...]



US Presidential Debate Stirs Worries in Asia

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:44:48 +0000

The outcome of the US presidential election could shift global fortunes, and the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump revealed sharp contrasts. “Mr. Trump has drawn attention for challenges to the Asia security and trade architecture that has girded U.S. alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines for decades and more recently acted as a hedge against China’s rising power,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Mrs. Clinton was viewed as largely supporting the status quo.” Trump argues that he would convince allies like Japan, South Korea as well as NATO members to pay a larger share of defense spending: “I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world.” Clinton spoke directly to US allies: “ I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America's word be good.” Neither candidate supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both emphasized plans to revive US job growth. – YaleGlobal Trump criticisms over China, Japan and South Korea during first US presidential debate raise fresh concerns in region while Clinton offers allies reassurances Trump vows to renegotiate trade agreements and security payments while Clinton offers stability Other The Wall Street Journal United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 27 September 2016 People across Asia watched the U.S. presidential debate for signs of which candidate would gain an edge in an election that risks upturning longstanding trade and security arrangements in the region. In their highly anticipated encounter, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump focused mainly on U.S. domestic issues but also delved into foreign policy, where they sparred over nuclear proliferation, cybersecurity and trade. From Australia to Indonesia to Thailand, the debate was broadcast live on local TV and radio stations Tuesday morning local time. A live-stream on China’s Weibo microblogging platform attracted more than 10,000 comments. In Vietnam, some online newspapers translated the debate into the local language. In Japan, public broadcaster NHK live translated the event, which dominated the country’s evening newspapers. “Everyone had one eye on the television set and one eye on their terminals,” said Alex Furber of derivatives trader CMC Markets in Singapore. Interest appeared lower elsewhere. In Malaysia, local media didn’t follow the debate live and few politicians tweeted about it. Only one person reached by phone, the manager of a local real-estate company who had supported Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, said he watched it on YouTube. Mr. Trump has drawn attention for challenges to the Asia security and trade architecture that has girded U.S. alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines for decades and more recently acted as a hedge against China’s rising power. Mrs. Clinton was viewed as largely supporting the status quo in several interviews around the region after the debate. Touching a raw nerve in some Asian capitals, Mr. Trump repeated assertions that American allies weren’t paying their fair share of shared security costs. That, said James Kim, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a Seoul-based think-tank, would increase concerns in South Korea and Japan about a weakening of the alliance with the U.S. “He’s made his pos[...]



US Cities Reconsider LED Streetlights After AMA Warning

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:30:57 +0000

LED lights have captured a greater share of the global market each year as Europe, the United States, India and China enact policies encouraging energy conservation. The light-emitting diode, invented in the early 1960s, sends an electric current through a semiconductor device. LEDs are about seven times more energy efficient than conventional lights and last 25 times longer, while cutting energy use by more than 80 percent, reports the US Department of Energy. However, engineers may want to tinker with the strength of LED lighting after the American Medical Association warned that “high-intensity LED streetlights emit invisible blue light that can supposedly interrupt sleep rhythms and up risk for heart disease and cancer” and “damage drivers' nighttime vision,” reports Alyssa Navarro for Tech Times. Computers and televisions also rely on LED lights. – YaleGlobal LEDs, about seven times more efficient and lasting 25 times longer than conventional light bulbs, may pose some health risks, warns AMA The energy-saving lights may interrupt sleep and reduce nighttime vision Alyssa Navarro Alyssa Navarro Other Tech Times United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 26 September 2016 Read the article .Read about LED lights from the US Department of Energy. Source url:  http://www.techtimes.com/articles/179306/20160926/us-cities-reconsider-led-streetlights-after-ama-warning.htm Rights:  © 2016 TECH TIMES, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No [...]



The Growing Gap Between Town and Country

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:07:26 +0000

The industrialized world is experiencing a growing divide between “diverse global cities” and the rural “places that feel left behind,” according to Ronald Brownstein of the Atlantic. Sadiq Khan, mayor of London and the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city, pointed this out during a visit to Chicago. Alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Khan celebrated immigrants and increased opportunity in diverse cities. Chicago and London are not alone; leaders of most global cities tend to embrace a mission of acceptance, collaboration, openness and intense competition while preferring bridges over walls – in essence, globalization. The modern urban agenda, according to Brownstein, includes investment in infrastructure and education, acceptance of immigration, technology, alternative energies and international trade. But in isolated communities in the United States and Europe, insular anti-immigrant views and nationalism remain popular. The US presidential election highlights a divide increasingly evident across the developed world. – YaleGlobal Diverse cities urge acceptance, collaboration and competition as rural areas throughout the developed world become increasingly opposed to globalization Diverse cities thrive on connections, not walls Ronald Brownstein Ronald Brownstein Other The Atlantic YaleGlobal Online 26 September 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/09/global-cities-need-immigrants/501059/ Rights:  Copyright © 2016 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved. No [...]



ICC: Environmental Destruction Is a Crime Against Humanity

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:14:10 +0000

The International Criminal Court is turning attention to cases of environmental destruction and land grabs as crimes against humanity, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “This represents a significant shift in strategy at the ICC, which since its 1989 inception has been charged with investigating war crimes and human rights offenses when national governments were incapable of doing so,” notes Rowena Lindsay. The new focus could target corporate and political leaders who endanger communities by poisoning water supplies or destroying habitat. Land grabs and other illegal activities for quick profits can be as damaging as war crimes for communities. The article suggests that the ICC lacks the ability to monitor such activities worldwide, but could partner with governments on such cases. ICC has already shifted its focus, including a charge against a rebel for “cultural destruction as a war crime” in Mali. A goal of the court in selecting is preventing similar activity from happening again. – YaleGlobal The International Criminal Court is moving toward investigating a broader range of war crimes including land grabs and environmental destruction The court’s shift in focus could raise awareness about environmental crimes Rowena Lindsay Rowena Lindsay Other The Christian Science Monitor United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 23 September 2016 Read the article. Read the policy paper from the ICC Office of the Prosecutor on case selection and priortizaton. Rowena Lindsay is an intern with the Social First team at the Monitor. Source url:  http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0917/Environmental-destruction-is-a-crime-against-humanity-ICC-says Rights:  © The Christian Science Monitor. All Rights Reserved. No [...]



UN Pledges to Fight Antibiotic Resistance in Historic Agreement

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:35:20 +0000

Overuse of antibiotics and outright abuse have contributed to some bacteria adapting resistance to common drugs. The UN General Assembly is tackling the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs as a priority: “The U.N.'s declaration requires countries to come up with a two-year a plan to protect the potency of antibiotics,” reports Michaeleen Doucleff for NPR. Common infections like pneumonia have become more difficult to treat. The problem goes beyond health with a UK report suggesting that the costs of allowing antibiotic resistance to continue could be up to $100 trillion in less than four decades. Food supplies could also be at risk as factory farms rely on antibiotics to promote fast growth and protect health of livestock in close quarters. The declaration does not set firm targets, but is expected to raise public awareness similar to earlier campaigns that emphasized HIV prevention worldwide. – YaleGlobal The UN declaration requires countries to develop a plan to curb overuse of antibiotics and combat the resistant superbugs The problem could cost the global economy $100 trillion by 2050 Michaeleen Doucleff Michaeleen Doucleff Other NPR YaleGlobal Online 23 September 2016 Read the article. Michaeleen Doucleff is a digital editor for NPR's Science Desk. She is the deputy host for the global health and development blog, Goats and Soda, and she reports for the Web and radio on disease outbreaks and trends in global health. As a science journalist, Doucleff has reported on a broad range of topics, from vaccination fears and the microbiome to beer biophysics and dog psychology. Source url:  http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/09/21/494914739/u-n-pledges-to-fight-antibiotic-resistance-in-historic-agreement Rights:  © 2016 npr No [...]



China Turns on Charm Offensive for Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:55:21 +0000

Bhutan is nestled among the Himalayas and between Asia’s two giant powers – India to the south and China to the north. The small kingdom, a country of 750,000, has long had ties with India. So India watches closely as China steps up attempts to settle longstanding border differences and strengthen ties with Bhutanese leaders including Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji who visited Beijing in August. Author Bertil Lintner points out that “Bhutan would find it difficult to act independently when it comes to its foreign relations. Imports from India account for 75 percent of the total, and 85 percent of all exports goes to India.” India and Bhutan have a long history, and a 2007 treaty states that “Neither government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interests of the other.” Lintner concludes that tiny Bhutan could find itself caught in the middle and not prepared to handle the consequences of angering either giant. – YaleGlobal Bhutan may be in the middle of a power play between regional rivals – long-time protector India and China Bhutan may be in the middle of a power play between regional rivals – long-time protector India and China THIMPHU: China has begun courting the only neighboring country with which it does not yet have diplomatic relations – Bhutan. Throughout modern history, the Himalayan kingdom has depended heavily on India, which is following events closely. Bhutan, a 38,394 square kilometer country with 750,000 inhabitants, is in the unenviable position of being squeezed between the two most populous countries on earth that are also regional rivals. China is keen to establish diplomatic relations with Bhutan, although authorities in Thimphu recognize that such a move could not be done without at least tacit approval of India. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/lintiner0922-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/lintiner0922-75px.jpg Bertil Lintiner Bertil Lintiner YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 22 September 2016 Himalayan balance: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right in top photo, meets with Bhutan's Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji in Beijing; Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomes Dorji THIMPHU: China has begun courting the only neighboring country with which it does not yet have diplomatic relations – Bhutan. Throughout modern history, the Himalayan kingdom has depended heavily on India, which is following events closely.  Bhutan, a 38,394 square kilometer country with 750,000 inhabitants, is in the unenviable position of being squeezed between the two most populous countries on earth that are also regional rivals. China is keen to establish diplomatic relations with Bhutan, although authorities in Thimphu recognize that such a move could not be done without at least tacit approval of India. In August, Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji visited Beijing, and the discreet diplomatic dance follows years of quiet contact. In the early 1980s, foreign ministers of China and Bhutan held talks at the UN headquarters in New York – off[...]



Britain Approves Controversial Chinese-Financed Nuclear-Reactor, With a Catch

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:26:28 +0000

British Prime Minister Theresa May hesitantly agreed to a nuclear power plant, Britain’s first in decades, financed in part by China with a controlling stake by EDF, a French firm. May, who came to power after the Brexit referendum in June, and others in her staff have expressed concern that a large Chinese investment in British energy could leave Britain vulnerable should geostrategic interests of the two countries diverge. May’s predecessor David Cameron had nearly completed the project before leaving office. May’s government imposed new conditions – EDF cannot sell its controlling stake – along with new rules for future foreign investment in critical British infrastructure projects. The deal exemplifies ever-increasing opportunities for strategic participation between nations as well as internal conflicts. British labor groups support the deal, while environmental groups oppose it. Small interest groups within a single country now must extend their activism on a global scale. – YaleGlobal British Prime Minister May, wary of increased cooperation with China in nuclear power plant deal, nevertheless agrees and imposes new conditions New British energy deal with China approved by skeptical May Griff Witte Griff Witte Other The Washington Post United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 22 September 2016 Read the article. Griff Witte is the Post’s London bureau chief. He previously served as the paper’s deputy foreign editor and as the bureau chief in Kabul, Islamabad and Jerusalem.   Source url:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2016/09/15/41fba098-7b17-11e6-ac8e-cf8e0dd91dc7_story.html Rights:  © 1996-2016 The Washington Post No [...]



Abe to Seek Cuba’s Help Over North Korea and Boost Trade

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:54:56 +0000

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making an unprecedented trip to Cuba off the heels of North Korea’s fifth nuclear test and the UN General Assembly. Cuba has been an ally of North Korea, while Japan and North Korea have strained relations due to the abduction of Japanese citizens and the potential for a close-range nuclear attack. Increased investment in Cuba reflects a larger pattern in Japanese foreign policy of using economic diplomacy: “Abe is expected to announce debt relief of ¥120 billion ($1.17 billion) — about three-fourths of the total debt that Cuba owes Japan,” reports Ayako Mie for the Japan Times. With this tool, Tokyo has focused on expanding its sphere of influence in the developing world, especially in the context of a rising China. Japan’s trade with Cuba is 1/20th that of China’s and a fifth of America’s. Some Japanese firms are opening offices in Cuba, anticipating a boom in infrastructure investment, but others are more cautious with US sanctions in place and disagreement among the US presidential candidates over continuing relations. – YaleGlobal Worried about nuclear testing from regional foe, Japan looks to economic diplomacy to influence Havana to curb North Korea Cuba would gain global stature by convincing North Korea that nuclear weapons are not a good idea Ayako Mie Ayako Mie Other The Japan Times JAPAN(JP) YaleGlobal Online 21 September 2016 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to gain support from the Cuban government, with its close ties to Pyongyang, in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear provocations and also expand economic ties when he makes the first ever visit by a Japanese leader to the communist nation this week. Abe is to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and his brother, Fidel Castro, the former president and an icon of the Cuban revolution. Cuba normalized diplomatic ties last year with the U.S., its former archenemy. The move led to President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba earlier this year. As U.S.-Cuban relations enter a new phase, Japan is also eyeing closer ties with the nation, triggering Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit there last year, the first by a Japanese foreign minister. Abe’s trip also comes as the international community seeks ways to counter North Korea, which has had sound ties to Cuba since 1960. Cuba has in the past tried to ship arms to North Korea despite a U.N. embargo on the isolated country. In May, senior officials from the ruling Korean Workers’ Party and the Communist Party of Cuba held talks on strengthening ties amid international condemnation against the North. “We would like to seek Cuba’s understanding and cooperation for the resolution of North Korea-related issues such as abduction (of Japanese citizens), nuclear arms and missiles,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday. Following the fifth nuclear test by the North, Japan, the U.S. and South Korea have become increasingly alarmed by the technological advances Pyongyang has made with its nuclear arsenal. Some expect that the North will soon master the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads and could have the capability to strike locations as far [...]



North-South Divide in Nigeria Is Hiding a Humanitarian Crisis

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 20:54:48 +0000

Boko Haram has terrorized northeastern Nigeria for seven years, leaving almost 2 million people displaced and many communities impoverished. The country of 180 million is ethnically diverse. The humanitarian crisis that also stretches into Chad, Niger and Cameroon has prompted outrage around the globe. The crisis is less urgent for journalists and government leaders of Nigeria, largely based in the southern section of the country, explains Emmanuel Akinwotu for New Statesman. An economic recession and low oil prices complicate the government response, and a lack of press attention reduces political accountability. “Nigerian politicians ought to face tough questions over the lack of aid and supplies over the last several months to IDP camps in the north east of the country, but scarcely do,” he writes. “Allegations of corruption by camp officials accused of stealing food supplies have made the crisis even worse.” – YaleGlobal Nigeria is treating the suffering of citizens internally displaced by Boko Haram in its northeast as if they are in a distant country The country has more than 2 million people internally displaced Emmanuel Akinwotu Emmanuel Akinwotu Other New Statesman United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 21 September 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.newstatesman.com/world/africa/2016/09/north-south-divide-nigeria-hiding-one-world-s-worst-humanitarian-crises Rights:  © New Statesman 1913 - 2016 No [...]



Unpalatable Choices: Facing North Korea's Nuclear Reality

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:23:12 +0000

North Korea has alarmed the international community by detonating another nuclear weapon, its fifth, along with other missile tests. The United States and other nations must develop new military and diplomatic strategies as Pyongyang positions itself as a credible nuclear-armed state, urges author and security analyst Bennett Ramberg. Unfortunately, North Korea cannot be trusted and the regime has violated every nonproliferation commitment it has entered, from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty to the 2012 “leap year agreement” to freeze nuclear and missile tests. North Korea lacks connections with other nations that could help minimize the threat. South Korea, Japan and other nations ponder whether their own pursuit of nuclear and other weapons might deter the Kim regime. One diplomatic strategy might include liaison offices in Washington and Pyongyang even as the international community continues with firm refusals to demands from the North unless there is reciprocation. Ramberg concludes, “Surely the alternative – an isolated, paranoid, insecure, poorly informed nuclear Pyongyang on hair trigger is not good for anyone.” – YaleGlobal North Korea’s series of nuclear detonations and missile tests requires new diplomatic strategies – perhaps even liaison offices North Korea’s series of nuclear detonations and missile tests requires new diplomatic strategies – perhaps even liaison offices LOS ANGELES: North Korea’s continuing nuclear dance with the ultimate weapon, déjà vu all over again, is all too serious, and it’s time for Washington and allies think sensibly about how to deal with what they cannot change. The North’s fifth detonation of an atomic device following the recent launch of a submarine ballistic missile and a slew of other rocket tests into the Sea of Japan add yet more layers to its mounting nuclear capacity.... Pyongyang is on the cusp of becoming a credible nuclear-armed state. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/ramberg0920-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/ramberg0920-75px.jpg Bennett Ramberg Bennett Ramberg YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 20 September 2016 North Korean challenge: Kim Jong Un gloats over nuclear and missile tests, top, as US President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping fret over how to stop the North Korean gamesmanship LOS ANGELES: North Korea’s continuing nuclear dance with the ultimate weapon, déjà vu all over again, is becoming all too serious, and it’s time for Washington and allies think sensibly about how to deal with what they cannot change. The North’s fifth detonation of an atomic device following the recent launch of a submarine ballistic missile and a slew of other rocket tests into the Sea of Japan add yet more layers to its mounting nuclear capacity. Coupled with the test of a space satellite, display of mobile solid fueled rockets and expanding nuclear weapons material production, it’s evident that Pyongyang is o[...]



Even Peace May Not Save Syria

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 14:51:00 +0000

Russia and the US had tried for a ceasefire, starting September 12, that lasted a week. Fighting has resumed after the United States mistakenly fired on Syrian troops and then accused Syrian troops of firing on an aid convoy. Russia and Syria each denied striking the convoy. The UN has suspended aid deliveries and a consensus has emerged among experts that Syria may never be a united country again. Both fighting and making peace are complicated by up to 1,500 rebel factions in Syria as estimated by the CIA. Separate sections of the country are ruled by Kurds, the Islamic State, Syrian rebels and Assad-backed forces. Syria’s borders were shaped 100 years ago by European powers, who paid little attention to religious and ethnic differences. Foreign policy experts suggest that Syria’s borders cannot be maintained even if the conflict is resolved, and the European Council on Foreign Relations has issued a report that suggests the central state of Syria “is now in its dying days,” reports Robin Wright for the New Yorker. The shift toward tribes in Syria could prompt new strategies from the international community in approaching the unstable region. – YaleGlobal Ceasefire for Syria breaks in less than a week, and foreign policy experts are conceding that Syria may never be a centralized nation again With failing borders and hundreds of warring factions, Syria may be finished as a unified state Robin Wright Robin Wright Other The New Yorker United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 20 September 2016 Read the article. Robin Wright is a contributing writer for newyorker.com, and has written for the magazine since 1988. Source url:  http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/even-peace-may-not-save-syria Rights:  The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. No [...]



Is the Bayer-Monsanto Merger Too Big To Succeed?

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:05:26 +0000

Bayer, a major pharmaceutical and chemical multinational based in Germany, seeks to expand reach in agriculture and crop science. Its proposed acquisition of Monsanto is “the largest all-cash transaction in history” and a crescendo of “a string of combinations in the industry,” explains David Francis for Foreign Policy. This consolidated corporation would sell approximately one quarter of the world’s seeds and pesticides. The merger confronts roadblocks, including EU and US antitrust regulations as well as intense resistance to genetically modified organisms in Europe. In recent months, the European Commission has investigated tech companies for monopolistic tendencies in their European operations. The Bayer-Monsanto merger would also impact developing nations, where agriculture plays a large role in the economy. Farmers express concern about the potential for high input costs for seeds and low commodity prices when they sell. – YaleGlobal Amid environmental change, consolidation in agribusiness and biotechnology industries raises worldwide concerns about prices and safety of pesticides and GMO crops Proposed deal confronts scrutiny amid worries about farm prices, climate change and food safety David Francis David Francis Other Foreign Policy United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 19 September 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/15/is-the-bayer-monsanto-merger-too-big-to-succeed/ Rights:  Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is FP’s exclusive agent for granting reprint and reuse permissions. No [...]



A Giant Problem

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:20:19 +0000

In the age of globalization, giant “superstar companies” such as Apple and Google are skilled at eliminating competition which poses a risk for backlash. The Economist suggests that levels of market concentration in the Americas are especially worrying. Many corporations search out tax havens, evade regulations and collect data from customers. Public trust is wearing thin. The Economist urges policymakers to consider regulation in innovative ways: “Prudent policymakers must reinvent antitrust for the digital age. That means being more alert to the long-term consequences of large firms acquiring promising startups. It means making it easier for consumers to move their data from one company to another, and preventing tech firms from unfairly privileging their own services on platforms they control.” At a time when the biggest companies employ fewer people and exert more influence on government officials, a common response may be resentment, anti-business sentiments, economic populism and expectations for quick fixes. Competition must continue, and the superstars will be stronger for it. – YaleGlobal The rise of the corporate colossus, taking advantage of cross-border variations in regulations, can threaten competition and reputation of business as a whole Global corporations pose threat to new ventures and competition Other The Economist United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 19 September 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21707210-rise-corporate-colossus-threatens-both-competition-and-legitimacy-business Rights:  Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2016. No [...]



Globalization Goes National

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:36:22 +0000

Global trade is slowing and a contributing factor could be that large and geographically fragmented nations focus on internal economic integration, as explained by Tyler Cowen for Bloomberg: “many nations lack integrated economic relations within their borders, and thus they could reap high gains from trade by opening up internally.” Improved communications via the internet strengthen internal trade and integration for India and China, increasing efficiency with reduced costs and exchanges on methods. Countries that lift internal barriers to trade, mobility and shipping – as well as unite among a common language for commerce – are discovering new sources of prosperity. “The more economically integrated China becomes, the more it may retreat from some kinds of global trade,” Cowen explains. “If a Chinese customer can buy a smartphone or pharmaceutical from the domestic market, she may stop looking for foreign imports.” Such integration may inspire nationalism, but in the long run improved internal integration can contribute to better cross-border relations as well. – YaleGlobal Large, fragmented emerging economies like India and China focus on economic integration and remove barriers on internal trade, mobility Emerging economies find prosperity in lifting internal barriers to trade, mobility Tyler Cowen Tyler Cowen Other Bloomberg United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 16 September 2016 Read the article. Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. Source url:  https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-15/globalization-goes-national Rights:  ©2016 Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved No [...]



Hawaiian Seafood Caught by Foreign Crews Who Are Confined on Boats

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:59:54 +0000

Some fishing fleets along the US West Coast rely on foreign crews confined onboard for months at a time even when the vessels are in port. Federal laws allow the immigrant labor with low wages and no labor protections for what is ranked among the most dangerous jobs in the world. “With no legal standing on U.S. soil, the men are at the mercy of their American captains on American-flagged, American-owned vessels, catching prized swordfish and ahi tuna,” report Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason for the Associated Press. “Over six months, the AP obtained confidential contracts, reviewed dozens of business records and interviewed boat owners, brokers and more than 50 fishermen in Hawaii, Indonesia and San Francisco. The investigation found men living in squalor on some boats, forced to use buckets instead of toilets, suffering running sores from bed bugs and sometimes lacking sufficient food.” The captains hold crew members’ passports and contracts can go unpaid. Regulators monitor vessels to protect fish stocks and describe “floating prisons.” Captains and stores tout products as locally caught with good labor practices, but accountability is lacking. – YaleGlobal AP investigation: US law allows low wages, harsh conditions and crews of undocumented workers for West Coast fishing fleets – with little accountability US laws permit harsh conditions, low wages and crews of undocumented workers Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason Other The Associated Press United States (US) Other 16 September 2016 Read the article. Read the Associated Press series on "Seafood From Slaves: An AP Investigation Helps Free Slaves in the 21st Century."  Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini contributed to this report from Jakarta, Indonesia. Source url:  http://www.ap.org/explore/seafood-from-slaves/hawaiian-seafood-caught-foreign-crews-confined-boats.html Rights:  © 2015 and 2016 The Associated Press No [...]



Rise of Right-Wing Populism: A Manifesto for the Moderate Left

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:12:41 +0000

Populists take advantage of the real pain of inequality and the economic disruptions of new technology and globalization. Sympathetic and angry, they promise quick fixes and resist compromise. Such “demagogues thrive when the institutions of democracy are hollowed out,” argues economist Pranab Bardhan, and he offers recommendations for citizens whose politics lean left of center. Trade unions once served as a bulwark against xenophobia and sectarianism and could do more to unite informal workers, freelancers and independent contractors around specific policies. Activists must participate in local politics and create a new sense of community and belonging, and he urges investment in public infrastructure at all levels and the social safety net including a universal income. Bardhan concludes, “Thus the left and liberals, allied with all pro-democratic and decentralized citizens and labor movements … can provide formidable opposition to the raging forces of populism that are currently damaging our economies and democratic polities.” – YaleGlobal An economist offers a path forward for liberals to respond to rising right-wing anger and populism An economist offers a path forward for liberals to respond to rising right-wing anger and populism BERKELEY: Years ago, in one of my first conversations with colleague Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, a pioneer development economist at MIT, he asked about the nature of my politics. I said, “left of center.” He put his hand on his chest and said “my heart too is slightly to the left of center.” Today all over the world hearts to the left of center are pounding anxiously as signs of right-wing populism and nativism rage ominously all around – not just in Trump’s America and post-Brexit Britain, but in France, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Russia, India, the Philippines and so on. Should the moderate left of center despair or cower? http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/bardhan0915-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/bardhan0915-75px.jpg Pranab Bardhan Pranab Bardhan YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 15 September 2016 The best lack all conviction? Workers worried about inequality, globalization and automation must organize around reforms; union members protest in Miami, top, and Bangladeshi garment workers band together to improve workplace standards BERKELEY: Years ago, in one of my first conversations with colleague Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, a pioneer development economist at MIT, he asked about the nature of my politics. I said, “left of center.” He put his hand on his chest and said “my heart too is slightly to the left of center.” Today all over the world hearts to the left of center are pounding anxiously as signs of right-wing populism and nativism rage ominously all around – not just in Trump&r[...]



Consumer Giants Court Muslims with Halal Face Creams, Shampoos

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 21:11:38 +0000

Not waiting for a new law to take effect, multinational corporations such as L’Oreal and Unilever are embracing a mandate on halal labeling. “The law, the first of its kind, requires food to be labeled halal or not in 2017, followed by toiletries in 2018 and medicines in 2019,” explain Martinne Geller and Randy Fabi for Reuters. Such products, free of pork and alcohol, are made at production sites certified for cleanliness and other provisions of Sharia law. About one out of five people in the world are Muslim, and companies adapt to specific customs to compete in fast-growing emerging markets. Sales of halal personal care products are predicted to increase 14 percent per year until 2019, a rate higher than the overall market’s, in part due to depressed economies in many Western nations, according to market research firm TechNavio. “Halal products made locally or by small, niche companies” have strong footholds in Indonesia and Malaysia, assert Geller and Fabi. A consequence of Indonesia’s labeling law could be homegrown businesses struggling to compete with international behemoths. – YaleGlobal Multinational companies adapt to Indonesia’s halal labeling law amid rising global demand for halal cosmetic and personal care products Labeling law in the world's fourth most populous country gives halal products a lift Martinne Geller and Randy Fabi Martinne Geller and Randy Fabi Other Reuters INDIA(IN) YaleGlobal Online 15 September 2016 Some of the world's biggest consumer groups are making halal face creams and shampoos for Indone-sia ahead of a new labeling law, part of a broader push to cater to growing Muslim populations as sales in many Western markets slow. Unilever, Beiersdorf and L'Oreal are among the multinationals converting their supply chains for the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation. The law, the first of its kind, requires food to be labeled halal or not in 2017, followed by toiletries in 2018 and medicines in 2019. The companies say demand for beauty products that are halal, or target specific issues like veiled hair, will grow as the Muslim middle class grows. They note that Indonesia could influence other countries such as Malaysia where halal products made locally or by small, niche companies are also popular. Halal certification is official recognition that a product was manufactured in keeping with Islamic Sharia law. This means it must not contain traces of pork, alcohol or blood, and must be made on factory lines free of contamination risk, including from cleaning. Makers of cosmetics and toiletries say the burden is more administrative than financial, and therefore see compliance as unlocking new revenue streams. "It's an enabler to do business in certain areas of the world," said Dirk Mampe of German chemicals company BASF, which sells ingredients to toiletries manufacturers and now has 145 of them certified halal. The halal ingredients do not carry premium price tags, he sa[...]



Question Mark Over TPP

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:20:30 +0000

The outlook for the Tans-Pacific Partnership appears bleak with only a few months remaining for the Obama administration. Trade has been vilified in the US presidential campaign. “Given the lofty rhetoric and expectations surrounding the 12-nation trade pact, its increasingly perilous path to fruition is already causing damage to US standing in Asia and opening the door further for China’s economic and military domination,” explains Nayan Chanda, founding editor of YaleGlobal, in a column for Businessworld. “The TPP – the largest-ever regional trade pact – was designed to eliminate or reduce tariffs on some 18,000 products and strengthen intellectual property rules and environmental and labour standards among its 12 signatories, including Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.” US corporate, military and political leaders support the deal as a strategic way to counter China’s increasing influence. Domestic resistance runs. Voters, worried about jobs and wages, remain unconvinced that the benefits of trade have been distributed in fair or even ways. – YaleGlobal The Obama administration’s much ballyhooed Trans-Pacific Partnership seems to be stuck in the quagmire of popular opposition at home US voters remain unconvinced about the benefits of international trade Nayan Chanda Nayan Chanda Other Businessworld INDIA(IN) YaleGlobal Online 14 September 2016 As the clock winds down on the Obama administration, its failure to pass its much ballyhooed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could become an embarrassing failure. Given the lofty rhetoric and expectations surrounding the 12-nation trade pact, its increasingly perilous path to fruition is already causing damage to US standing in Asia and opening the door further for China’s economic and military domination. The fact that India never entered into discussions to join the grouping spares New Delhi some disappointment but the blow to the US credibility is nevertheless a concern for India. The TPP — the largest-ever regional trade pact — was designed to eliminate or reduce tariffs on some 18,000 products and strengthen intellectual property rules and environmental and labour standards among its 12 signatories, including Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The widening of economic opportunities was intended to complement the US’ strategic position in Asia. But a changing domestic political scene has now raised serious doubts about US lawmakers ever ratifying the TPP. Populist dissatisfaction with trade pacts has been evident in the phenomenal success of Republican nominee Donald Trump and erstwhile Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, and caused many TPP supporters — both Democrats and Republicans — to change their tune. Hillary Clinton, once a free trade champion who described TPP as representing a gold standard, is now proclaiming her opposition to it, reducing the likelihood that Congress wil[...]



US Economy: Citizenship for Sale

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:22:02 +0000

US cities like Miami are using the EB-5 visa to attract wealthy investors. The program was designed to promote development in areas of need, but Kara Scannell of the Financial Times describes luxury office towers, hotels and retail complexes. “For a $500,000 investment in a project that creates at least 10 jobs in a high-unemployment area, a foreign national can eventually receive a green card that allows him or her to live and work permanently in the US,” she reports. “Miami, already a magnet for wealthy families from Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, is using the EB-5… as a tool to attract cash from China.” The program has contributed more than $15.5 billion in investment and created more than 80,000 jobs since 1990, reports the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Miami’s goal is to become a global banking center. Canada dropped its investor visa, and other countries have tightened restrictions as critics argue for more oversight. The EB-5 visa attracted attention after the 2008 global recession, and the cap of 10,000 was reached for the first time in 2014 with the bulk going to Chinese. US Congress is considering whether to renew the visa program. – YaleGlobal Targeting Chinese, Miami embraces a program that grants visas to wealthy investors who invest $500,000 and create 10 jobs EB-5 visas are reserved for investors who invest $500,000 and create 10 jobs in targeted areas Kara Scannell Kara Scannell Other Financial Times United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 14 September 2016 Read the article. Read about the EB-5 visa. Source url:  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c5c15778-75af-11e6-b60a-de4532d5ea35.html#axzz4KEkn97qg Rights:  Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. No [...]



Uzbekistan Juggles Ties With Russia, China, Other Great Powers

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:29:20 +0000

Uzbekistan in Central Asia commands enormous attention from great powers, and Islam Abduganievich Karimov was adept at exploiting such interest. His death will do little to change the country’s manipulative or authoritarian ways, suggests author Dilip Hiro: “Karimov succeeded in getting the better of all three world powers, offering them what each needed at a particular time: local oil and gas resources for energy-hungry China; participation in the waging of Washington’s ‘war on terror’; and joining the Moscow-led military alliance to back up Russia’s insistence on maintaining influence on its ‘near abroad.’” The government takes a hard line against any hint of nationalist, ethnic or Islamist movements in the population of 32 million, about 85 percent of whom are Muslim. The country’s parliament elected the premier under Karimov since 2003 as interim president. Patterns of manipulating world powers while quieting domestic complaints about corruption and poverty will likely continue. – YaleGlobal Death of Karimov, ruler for 27 years, won’t end Uzbekistan’s exploiting its geostrategic location in Central Asia Death of Karimov, ruler for 27 years, won’t end Uzbekistan’s exploiting its geostrategic location in Central Asia LONDON: A quick glance at a map of Asia reveals the geostrategic primacy of Uzbekistan. The country has common borders not only with the four former Soviet “stans” –Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – and but also Afghanistan. And its population of 32 million exceeds the total number of people in the rest of the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/hiro0913-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/hiro0913-75px.jpg Dilip Hiro Dilip Hiro YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 13 September 2016 New leader, old ways: The Uzbek Parliament named Shavkat Mirziyoyev as interim president, top, and few changes are expected for ending  corruption, poverty and property restrictions LONDON: A quick glance at a map of Asia reveals the geostrategic primacy of Uzbekistan. The country has common borders not only with the four former Soviet “stans” –Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – and but also Afghanistan. And its population of 32 million exceeds the total number of people in the rest of the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. Little wonder that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, acting as special envoy of President Xi Jinping, attended the funeral service of Islam Abduganievich Karimov, Uzbekistan’s ruler for 27 years, on September 3 US President B[...]



Study: Climate Change in East Asia Caused by China’s Air Pollution

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:45:38 +0000

Manufacturers reduced costs by relocating factories to China where wages were low and regulations few. Researchers from China, Britain and the United States published a study in Nature Geoscience that suggests China’s role in producing goods for the West is contributing to a changing climate for East Asia. New climate patterns are linked to factory and export activities, as well as a reliance on coal, rather than domestic consumption. Viola Zhou, South China Morning Post, reports that researchers examined the role of small particles that contribute to smog: “Compared with greenhouse gases, the culprit of global warming, aerosol particles remain in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time, and their climate effects are the strongest in the regions where they are emitted.” The study's abstract concludes: "International efforts to reduce emissions in the exporting countries will help alleviate trade-related climate and health impacts of aerosols while lowering global emissions." – YaleGlobal China’s role in manufacturing goods for the West, along with reliance on coal and lack of pollution controls, adds to climate change in East Asia Vigilance by China could lead to higher prices – or factories relocating to nations with looser restrictions Viola Zhou Viola Zhou Other South China Morning Post CHINA(CN) YaleGlobal Online 13 September 2016 The air pollution China generates in producing goods for Western consumers is changing the climate in East Asia, a recent study shows. But the “world factory’s” reliance on coal and lack of pollution control technologies also contributes to its high emissions, scientists say. A paper by researchers in China, the United States and Britain said the climate impact caused by manufacturing activities related to exports from developing countries in East Asia is greater than that caused by domestic consumption. China is the largest manufacturer and the largest exporter in the region. Manufacturing-led development has caused massive environmental problems in countries such as China and India. Particles in the air, known as aerosols, have been blamed for causing Beijing’s notorious smog. The minuscule particles generated by burning coal or oil are slowly changing the temperature and rain patterns of East Asia, said Peking University scientist Lin Jintai, who co-led the study. The climate impact is driven by consumption in western Europe and North America, according to the study published in Nature Geoscience this week. Compared with greenhouse gases, the culprit of global warming, aerosol particles remain in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time, and their climate effects are the strongest in the regions where they are emitted, the study said. The study shows that export-related air pollution has a cooling effect in East Asia, masking the region from some of [...]



The World Comes to a Tiny Town: Eastport’s Lesson in Globalization

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 18:43:10 +0000

Eastport, Maine – an aging town once known for its canned sardines – is a small-scale example of the globalization uniting all corners of the world. Eastport with its deepwater port reshapes its economy to remain relevant, but still confronts challenges that a generation ago may have mattered little to its residents. Three examples highlight Eastport’s global connections: EU regulations on renewable biomass increased demand for wood pellets from Maine’s forests, but fracking has since battered energy prices. The town ships the pulp used to make high-quality paper that will be purchased in China. And Eastport is an “east coast shipping center for pregnant cows.” Turkey, in particular, demands that resource, so the war in neighboring Syria has led to fewer orders. Eastport, by following and responding to global trends in this modern economy, has largely rebounded since the sardine industry’s decline. Eastport may be “at the whims of global trends and upheavals” but the head of the town’s port authority is optimistic, keeping up with current events and searching for opportunities. – YaleGlobal Eastport, a small town on Maine’s coast, grapples with globalization and the economic challenges from Syria, China and Europe Maine town juggles trade with China, the EU and Turkey James Fallows James Fallows Other The Atlantic United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 12 September 2016 Read the article. James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. Source url:  http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2016/09/the-world-comes-to-a-tiny-town-eastports-object-lesson-in-globalization/498689/ Rights:  Copyright © 2016 by The Atlantic Monthly Group No [...]



Africa’s Economic Potential Hit Hard by Gender Inequality

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:06:17 +0000

A recent United Nations Development Project report shows how increased gender equality in Africa would create economic benefits for the region as a whole – for both men and women. Gender disparities in educational and economic opportunities and health care are persistent. The report suggests that reduced GDP represents billions of dollars of loss, with $104.75 billion in 2014 alone, as a result of the “gender gap in sub-Saharan African labor markets.” The report suggests that higher female labor force participation rates will grow Africa’s GDP, but other aspects of gender inequality, among them high maternal mortality rates and the early age of marriage across much of the continent, impose additional social costs and must also be addressed. The report concludes by urging “action to accelerate gender equality.” Recommendations include legal reforms, an end to discriminatory practices along with more decision-making roles along with increased ownership and management of assets by women. – YaleGlobal UNDP: Gender inequality and lack of opportunity for girls and women holds Africa back from economic success Lack of opportunities for girls and women holds Africa back from higher GDP Amy Copley Amy Copley Other Brookings Institution United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 12 September 2016 Read the article. Read the full report "Advancing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Africa." Source url:  https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2016/09/01/figure-of-the-week-africas-economic-potential-hit-hard-by-gender-inequality/ Rights:  Copyright 2016 The Brookings Institution No [...]



Brexit Vote Revives Dream of EU Army

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 15:20:25 +0000

The United Kingdom spends more on defense than any other country in Europe, including Russia, reports Global Firepower. As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, the regional bloc considers defense development. “The UK – by far the most capable European military player, along with France – has always been a brake on such an idea, fearing unnecessary duplication with Nato,” reports Jonathan Marcus of BBC News. “Countries enter into alliances like Nato (or indeed the EU itself) because pooling resources provides greater capability and thus security.” Few in Europe anticipate the United States to devote more funds towards NATO or defense of Europe. EU members must decide if they want to develop separate forces or contribute funds for a single and united force. With the UK leaving, the European Union must develop new defense strategies and infrastructure. – YaleGlobal The British decision to leave the European Union has given renewed impetus to the idea that the EU should have its own army EU members must decide whether to contribute separate forces or fund a united force Jonathan Marcus Jonathan Marcus Other BBC News United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 9 September 2016 Read the article. See ranking of defense budgets at GlobalFirepower.com. Jonathan Marcus is defense and diplomatic correspondent for BBC News. Source url:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37317765 Rights:  Copyright © 2016 BBC. No [...]



North Korean Missile Launches: Adding Up to Something Very Troubling

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:32:25 +0000

North Korea fired three medium-range missiles over the course of a few minutes as world leaders gathered for the G20 summit in Hangzhou. The missiles went about 950 kilometers, landing near Japan, signaling that North Korea could have hit the summit’s host city. Less than a week later, the isolated, poor nation conducted an underground nuclear test. Analysts suggest that North Korea’s missile program is progressing and diversifying, perhaps capable of evading missile-defense systems. “North Korea has been concentrating on developing road-mobile missiles that can be fueled in a shelter or tunnel, instead of on a traditional launchpad that can be detected by satellites – and theoretically invite a preemptive strike,” reports Anna Fifield for the Washington Post. Japan did not detect the launch in advance. “The international community should take ‘a resolute response’ and have the North pay ‘a price for its provocative actions,’” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told US President Barack Obama,” reported Japan Times. North Korea, already under sanctions, relies on China for economic support. China prefers the current regime over collapse and chaos. – YaleGlobal A series of missile launches and nuclear tests by North Korea taunt G20 attendees and suggest the country’s weapons program is progressing North Korea taunts China and global leaders attending G20 summit Anna Fifield Anna Fifield Other The Washington Post YaleGlobal Online 9 September 2016 Read the article. Also read “Japan Warns of Growing North Korea Threat After Fifth Nuclear Test” from Japan Times.  Anna Fifield is Tokyo bureau chief for the Washington Post. Source url:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/these-north-korean-missile-launches-are-adding-up-to-something-very-troubling/2016/09/08/eae2c50a-743d-11e6-9781-49e591781754_story.html Rights:  © 1996-2016 The Washington Post No [...]



Rising Sino-Japanese Competition in Africa

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:01:34 +0000

Japan is showing increased interest in Africa, most recently with a visit from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his $30 billion pledge. Analysts view such diplomacy as part of long history of rivalry between Japan’s and China – from the legacy of World War II and the subsequent shaping of the United Nations to regional conflicts such as the South China Sea and Taiwan. The rivalry finds new turf in Africa. Strong relations with resource-rich Africa is a pillar of China’s foreign policy, and China’s trade with Africa is worth more than seven times Japan’s trade with the continent. China has criticized Japanese aid and development as being too political in nature, but both countries have established their own implictly quid pro quo structures, argues Yun Sun for the Brookings Institution. Africa does not necessarily welcome “resources diplomacy” and politicization of development, and she emphasizes that “Africa is nobody’s backyard.” – YaleGlobal Billion dollar pledge, economic diplomacy and politicization of development in Africa exacerbates historical flash points between China and Japan New pledge from Japan is symbol of Asian economic diplomacy Yun Sun Yun Sun Other Brookings Institution United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 8 September 2016 Read the article. Yun Sun is a nonresident Fellow with Global Economy and Development, the Africa Growth Initiative of the Brookings Institution. Source url:  https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2016/08/31/rising-sino-japanese-competition-in-africa/ Rights:  Copyright 2016 The Brookings Institution No [...]



China’s Non-Peaceful Rise Already in Play?

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:07:42 +0000

China is not content with being second place in economic or military prowess, and a divisive election in the United States may open a window of opportunity for Chinese moves toward hegemony, especially in the South China Sea, suggests Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies for the Center of the National Interest in Washington. News reports claimed that Beijing had dispatched vessels near Scarborough Shoal, a high-tide feature claimed by China, the Philippines and Taiwan. In July the international Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China in favor of the Philippines over maritime claims and the status of such features. Opportunity could soon turn to crisis, and Kazianis notes that “any attempt to seize Scarborough would constitute a challenge to the peace and stability of Asia and would force Washington to rethink many areas of cooperation with Beijing.” He urges US leaders to swiftly craft a strategy on China’s reclamation work while reinforcing alliances and strategic partnerships to ensure that the South China Sea remains part of the global commons. – YaleGlobal China may view a divisive US election as an opportunity to control contested features in the South China Sea China may view a divisive US election as an opportunity to control contested features in the South China Sea WASHINGTON: The People’s Republic of China is headed on a tragic trajectory that should be familiar to anyone with even cursory exposure to history. Due to a complex composition of factors – a century of torment at the hands of western powers and Japan as well as a toxic brew of nationalism – the PRC is not content with its place as the world’s second largest economy, or even largest when using purchasing-parity power, or PPP, as the benchmark. Nor is China happy with its standing as the planet’s second largest military armed with advanced weapons ... http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/kazianis0908-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/9/kazianis0908-75px.jpg Harry J. Kazianis Harry J. Kazianis YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 8 September 2016 Window of crisis? Barack Obama, attending his last G20 summit as US president, meets with Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, top, as the Philippines reported that Chinese vessels nearing Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea; Filipino soldiers signal a China Coast Guard vessel in another disputed area of the South China Sea in 2014 WASHINGTON: The People’s Republic of China is headed on a tragic trajectory that should be familiar to anyone[...]



A Problem for Merkel and Germany

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:07:25 +0000

State parliament elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were widely regarded as a referendum on immigration. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union lost to a right-wing populist party. Alternative for Germany, formed in 2013, initially opposed the euro and eurozone bailouts, later shifting focus to target immigration, refugees and Islam. Merkel’s position as chancellor is secure for the time being, but Sebastian Fischer, writing for Spiegel Online, argues that fear triumphed over reason and politicians trying to address a broad range of concerns must be alert: “[T]he returns on Sunday made clear that an increasing number of voters, at least in Germany's east, are turning their backs on the established, democratic party system.... it doesn't seem to matter much if the economy is improving, cities are being renewed and the tourist sector is doing well…. And it is possible for a party to campaign on fears of refugees even in a state that very few foreigners call home.” As a political leader, Merkel relies on facts and reason, a bane for populists. Populist parties with a narrow focus and promises of quick fixes threaten Germany and Europe. – YaleGlobal Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state election boosts right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany – a challenge for Chancellor Merkel and the country Populists win over voters with narrow agendas and promises of quick fixes Sebastian Fischer Sebastian Fischer Other Spiegel Online GERMANY(DE) YaleGlobal Online 7 September 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/rise-of-populist-afd-a-problem-for-merkel-and-germany-a-1110954.html Rights:  © SPIEGEL ONLINE 2016 All Rights Reserved Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH No [...]