Archive for July, 2012
Power supplies to half of India’s 1.2bn population have been cut for several hours today in the third example since Sunday night of how the country’s under-invested and badly managed infrastructure is creaking its way to near-collapse…..These shutdowns and disasters stem from a chronic failure by the current government, which has been in power since 2004, to tackle infrastructure problems that have been building for many years. The failure stems from Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, who has been restricted in what he can do on economic reforms both by Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party and the governing coalition, and by coalition partners.
John Elliott Riding the Elephant http://wp.me/pieST-1Ku
No-one is sure what, but something volcanic may be going on deep within the North Korean leadership. North Korea has now denied reports that it is planning policy changes that will lead to the reform and opening of the country. A spokesman for North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, said that the new young, leader, Kim Jong-un would pursue the “military first” policy brought in by his father and would build a “civilised and comfortable life for the people under socialism. Reports that he was breaking with the past were “ridiculous”. Some commentators have speculated that the recent removal of North Korea’s top general pointed to a power struggle over economic reform.
And what might happen then?
China has approved the formal establishment of a military garrison on disputed South China Sea islands, state media reports. The command will be based in Sansha city on Woody Island in the Paracels; a city formed in June to govern the area.
Why is China doing this?
The Third World War, written in the wake of the Iraq invasion, remains on the Kindle Amazon best sellers’ list, ranking 8 in political thrillers and 13 in political fiction.
The latest customer review Couldn’t Put it Down
This is a real page turner. One of the best books I’ve ever read on this subject. Well researched and frightenly thought-provoking. Intelligently plotted with an influence of Robert Ludlum style espionage. Would highly recommend!
My latest piece in Yale Global:-
With the sentencing of a Congolese warlord at the International Criminal Court, whose charges included employing child soldiers, the wheels of justice turn in Africa. Another unexpected source, too, is helping Africa. The Dodd-Frank Act was designed to reform the US financial system after the 2008 credit crisis, explains Humphrey Hawksley, BBC News correspondent, and Section 1502 addresses so-called “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of Congo: US companies that suspect use of Congo’s minerals – gold, coltan and other minerals key to producing cell phones and electronics – in their supply chains must register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Not an outright ban, the section instigated a de facto boycott. Workers in Africa and consumers in the wealthiest nations increasingly compare notes over the internet on horrific work conditions and abuse of human rights. Diversification in work opportunities has given communities in eastern Congo more choices, Hawksley reports, thus countering an old multinational argument that product boycotts hurt the poorest at the bottom of the supply chain. Growing awareness forces changes in supply chains. – YaleGlobal
The Association of South East Asia Nations (Asean) has agreed a new set of rules governing maritime issues in the South China Sea and is now seeking to get China on board. China has overlapping territorial claims with several Asean members – the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei – in the resource rich area. Recent disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines have renewed fears that the area could be a flashpoint for war.