Monde News

March 25, 2008

One more in China’s List

Filed under: China,Protests in Tibet,Tibet,Violence in Tibet — ksarti @ 1:53 am

tibet.jpg One more problem (and strike) in China’s undeniable controversial list of problems – the uplifting against Tibetan protesters. In the face of harsher religious oppression, questionable foreign and domestic policies and total disregard to human rights, China is taking a “5th Amendment” stand and shutting down any opposition to its self-righteous government.

And things are likely to get worse, as Chinese military police are sent to the border to stifle protests. Isn’t that the way to solve it, big brother? Shutting up the little guy? Don’t quite get this reaction, and am not picking on the Chinese now because responding with “violence” seems to be a standard practice around the world.

It can be an even bigger problem given that the Olympic games in Beijing are only 5 months from now. One has to wonder as to the decision to give the hosting privileges of the Olympic Games to a country where the government seems to not know right from wrong and is, by no means, a friendly government to its own people or to any other people. Just read this article to get an idea.


March 23, 2008

Iraq and the (Stolen) Oil

Filed under: Iraq,Iraq Oil,Oil,Stolen Oil — ksarti @ 7:20 pm

iraq-oil1.jpg Seems like it’s not going as planned… at least in some aspects. The vast amounts of oil in Iraq was supposed to be used to rebuilt the country after Saddam devastated it, but it has been reported that some of the oil is been stolen by insurgents to fund their own civil war. From truckers being bribed to outright truck hijacking, as much as 1/3 of the oil is being diverted to the black market.

One interesting twist in this case is that the motivation of insurgents to steal the oil has less or little to do with Jihad ideology than with economical reasons. Not only is the oil being sold on the black market, but oil is also being held for ransom.

Is that one more thing we need to face in Iraq now? How much of this oil is supposed to be financing this war and is being displace in the black market for us to end up picking up the bill? This is not a war-caused problem anymore… Iraq is a country with very poor infrastructure, both physical and financial, and we’ll see more of this “vandalism” (call it survival tool, if you will) for many years to come. Nothing that the US can do will help much at this point…

March 14, 2008

Socialism in Spain

Filed under: Socialism,Spain,Spain's Election — ksarti @ 2:00 am

spain.jpg Zapatero was re-elected on March 9th to another 4-year term as Prime Minister of Spain. He lead his Socialist party through another victory but will face tough economic times. Inflation is at 4.3%, growth is slow at 2.4%, much lower than previous year, unemployment is rising, and housing market is also crashing.

What happened to once shinning Spain? Major infra-structure reforms haven’t been made, reliance of economy on building boom and cheap immigrant labor has been hard to sustain, especially since reforms on these subjects were also not made. In addition, ETA is also both a distraction and a disturbing factor in Spain’s daily life; the regions that want separation; and finally the Catholic church that is financially supported by the state. Yeah… all that can amount to one big mess.

Like the US, a tax rebate is on its way to be approved as an economical stimulus. And like in the US, this help is questionable as far as how really helpful it will be. It’s something we’ll have to wait and see…

March 13, 2008

Immigration in Ireland

illegal-immigration.jpg Don’t think the US is the only country with immigration problems… Recently, with the economic boom of many developing/emerging economies, such as China, Ireland and Brazil, these countries are also facing issues with legal and illegal immigration.

George-Jordan Dimbo, a 11 year old Irish citizen by birth, is facing possible deportation to Africa since his parents are undocumented immigrants from Nigeria.  Will it happen? Who is to say… on one hand, one is given citizenship at birth, but on the other, one is faced with the reality that one’s parents are illegal aliens breaking that country’s law. Needless to say, it’s a very delicate subject, with no short and right answers. I haven’t heard however the prospect of the Irish government giving at least an asylum status to many of its illegal immigrants who are faced in this position. That could be a starting point.

Ireland has become a truly multicultural country, with 11% of its population being native of a different country. Polish, Lithuanians, Latvians, Filipinos, Chinese, and even sub-Saharan people have flock to Ireland. Unlike the US and most of Europe, no major illegal immigration conflict has been found so far – the Irish seems to be a far more tolerant and considerate people. No anti-immigration parties, associations or laws.

Should be interesting to see what unfolds, and maybe it’s a good example from which others can follow.

March 11, 2008

Client 9

client-9.jpg Boy, what news today! Won’t the number 9 become history now? I quite don’t know what to think of this yet… my objective side thinks it’s a dumb mistake, incredible lack of judgment and extremely damaging action. Should we give him another chance? Perhaps. My “woman” side thinks he’s just another p%$#* and deserves no mercy. What was he thinking??? A man in his position, where public image is sacred, should never, never think about doing things like that… not while in office.

As of today we only have allegations of his involvement in the prostitution ring by means of soliciting a prostitute at a hotel where he was staying in Washington D.C. the night before Valentine’s Day.

His future as NY governor is very questionable at this point. Spitzer has had numerous backlashes in his administration and this won’t do him any good.

Way to go!

March 10, 2008

Beijing is going green for the Olympics… or so the Chinese say

Filed under: China — ksarti @ 3:15 am
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beijing-olympics.jpg I’ve never heard that there’s air pollution in Beijing, probably because all we hear is “made in China” news. But, because Beijing is hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, a lot more about the city and the country is under scrutiny these days.

Air pollution is one of them… and what a pollution. Take a look at that smog! beijing-smog.jpg

It almost looks like a sand storm, it’s so thick. The city is so polluted that they have counted, and made a goal of having, blue sky days. Having blue sky days is also a way for them to monitor their anti-pollution efforts.

I’ve learned that Beijing has been, in fact, considered one of the most polluted capitals of the world and where’s the question: What is it going to happen to the athletes in the Olympics? Did the Olympics committee completely overlooked this huge problem just for the sake of saving face and “making good” with the Chinese? It’s bordering being outrageous that such a polluted city was given the honor to host the Olympics game, running the risk of affecting athletes performance and visitors’ health.

The Chinese government is committed to do what it takes to bring air quality to acceptable levels during the games, and have discussed shutting down factories and restricting traffic during the games. Whether these measures will be enough and if they will be even implemented is a matter of “wait and see”, but I do hope something is done so games can begin.

March 9, 2008

Chaos as usual…

Filed under: Latin America — ksarti @ 8:33 pm
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latin-america.jpgThis past week we heard of some serious news coming from Latin America – Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador more specifically – and their disagreement on the action Colombia took to hunt down Raul Reyes, FARC’s second in command, who was actually killed. The whole problem was about the “arrogance” (if you will) of Colombia’s stepping on its neighbor’s territory, Ecuador, to hunt and kill Raul Reyes. I only say “arrogance” because that’s how it’s been put across by both Ecuador, the offender, and Venezuela, who just likes to stick its nose everywhere. I don’t particularly find that this was cause for much of discussion (Much Ado About Nothing comes to mind) because I think Colombia was legitimately after a serious “pest” and had the opportunity to kill it right then and there. Drug trafficking is not only Colombia’s problem and you would think that the other neighboring nations would be happy to hear the news…

I can’t quite understand the stance Ecuador and Venezuela took in reprimanding Colombia’s army’s actions… I can understand that the Colombian army was outside its territory, but for such an operation with significant proportions, things like that can be often overlooked or minimized. If anything, they all should be celebrating – one less drug lord to go after. To me, like anything else in Latin America, this unnecessary chaos sounds like a bunch of manchos, who can’t agree with one other, trying to measure who has the bigger you know what. It’s a show of power for nothing, but their own ego.

You can read about it here.

Haven’t We Seen Enough?

Filed under: Middle East — ksarti @ 12:24 am
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Seminary Attack in IsraelAnd haven’t these people suffered enough?

Another killing in the middle east… it has become a thing of daily life it seems. I’ll never forget a classmate who once told me that gun shots and bombs were things “you get used too” in Jerusalem. Impressive! I can see his point, as I know too well how one can desensitize oneself from violence when one sees it on a daily basis.

But still, the question here is “Until when are these people going to fight?” The last bombing this March 6th was the first in four years of truce, and as of today no group has claimed responsibility for this act on a very significant religious seminar in Jerusalem. In all likelihood, this is a retaliation in response to the invasion of the Israeli army into Gaza that killed 110 Palestinians. However, the perpetrator was a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship and able to move freely in the country. In addition, his method of killing, guns instead of bombs, is no typical of Islamic groups.

Israeli authority and people will have an even tougher time if now Arab Israelis decide to become terrorists too. The light at the end of the tunnel, peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian State, has just begun to fade…

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