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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 11:12:05 AM EST
China's city dwellers overtake rural population

China said Tuesday the number of people living in cities exceeded the rural population for the first time, a historic shift that experts said would put a strain on society and the environment.

The change marks a turning point for China, which for centuries was a mainly agrarian nation but has witnessed a huge population shift to cities over the past three decades as people seek to benefit from rapid economic growth.

Urban dwellers now represent 51.27 percent of China's entire population of nearly 1.35 billion -- or 690.8 million people -- the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

It added that China had an extra 21 million people living in cities by the end of 2011 compared to a year earlier -- more than the entire population of Sri Lanka -- while the number of rural dwellers dropped.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 11:41:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eyeing resources, India, China, Brazil, Japan, other countries want a voice on Arctic Council

With an eye on rapid changes in the resource-rich Arctic, countries like China, India and Brazil, which have no Arctic territories, are nonetheless knocking on the door of the increasingly influential Arctic Council looking for admission as permanent observers.

The issue has divided existing members, with Russia and Canada most strongly opposed. It is among the major questions with which Canada will have to grapple as it prepares to chair the Council next year.

It will also feature prominently on the agenda of a two-day meeting on the future of the Arctic Council, January 17-18 in Toronto: The 2nd annual Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Conference, which has attracted the participation of several experts, national ambassadors and indigenous leaders - more than 100 participants from 15 nations in all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 11:51:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Present membership

Eyeing resources, India, China, Brazil, Japan, other countries want a voice on Arctic Council

Full members of the Arctic Council are Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark (Greenland) - the eight countries with Arctic territory. Six northern indigenous groups - the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Arctic Athabaska Council, Gwich'in Council International, Sami Council, Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and Aleut International Association - wield strong influence as permanent participants.

The Arctic Council is the only international organization that gives indigenous peoples a formal place at the table. Another six non-Arctic nations sit in as observers today: the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.

However, many more non-Arctic countries, which in addition to China, India and Brazil, include Japan, South Korea, the European Union and several individual European states, now want "observer" status, a step that some fear would significantly increase the influence of non-Arctic participants.



A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 08:27:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EGYPT: Lending to Repression, Again - IPS ipsnews.net
CAIRO, Jan 18, 2012 (IPS) - For three decades Western governments and lending institutions bankrolled a corrupt regime in Egypt that trampled human rights and stifled democracy. Now they appear ready to do it again, say critics of the military council that has ruled since removing president Hosni Mubarak last February.

"Foreign aid should not be used to support a repressive regime," says Amr Adly, political economist at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). "It's in nobody's interest to throw Egypt's economy into a deeper crisis, but international creditors have to be quite strict when it comes to transparency."

Western governments and development banks provided billions of dollars in loans and grants to Egypt during Mubarak's 30-year rule while paying lip service to the financial corruption and human rights abuses attributed to his regime. Watchdog groups say a large portion of this aid lined the pockets of regime cronies or funded economic and development programmes that stripped the country of its resources and drove disenfranchised Egyptians deeper into poverty.

The popular uprising that unseated Mubarak had a deep impact on Egypt's economy. Foreign reserves plunged over 50 percent in 2011 to reach 18 billion dollars as the vital tourism industry and other business sectors continue to suffer from political instability and labour unrest. The government is anticipating a budget deficit of 11 percent of GDP this year unless it can successfully implement austerity measures to save over 3 billion dollars.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 03:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S.: Worries Mount over Blowback of Israeli Attack on Iran - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, Jan 18, 2012 (IPS) - A former senior adviser on the Middle East to the last four U.S. presidents says that "the negatives far outweigh the positives" of war with Iran and the United States should augment Israel's nuclear weapons delivery systems to dissuade it from attacking the Islamic Republic.

Bruce Riedel, who served on the White House National Security Council and dealt extensively with both Israel and Iran, told an audience Tuesday at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, that while an Iran with nuclear weapons would be a significant strategic setback for the United States and Israel, deterrence and containment were preferable to military force.

He criticised those, including all but one Republican presidential candidate, who discuss an attack on Iran's nuclear installations as though it would be "over in an afternoon or a couple of weeks".

"I don't use the term 'military strike,' " Riedel said. "We will be at war with Iran. Once we begin it, the determination of when it ends will not be a unilateral one... This could become another ground war in Asia."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 03:12:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"...augment Israel's nuclear weapons delivery systems to dissuade it from attacking..."

Apparently Newspeak is in full swing...

by asdf on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 04:41:58 PM EST
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Yes, my eyes boggled at that too

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 03:24:04 AM EST
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U.S.: Worries Mount over Blowback of Israeli Attack on Iran - IPS ipsnews.net
To reassure Israel that it could deter a nuclear Iran, the United States should enhance Israel's naval and submarine capabilities, Riedel said. This would "ensure that the balance of terror is overwhelmingly in Israel's favour."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, is that an admission that Israel has nuclear weapons?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He quickly added "if they had nuclear weapons, which of course they don't".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:35:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But then of course improved delivery systems wouldn't act as a deterrent?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Weeeelllll, if they were ever to happen to find some nukes under the bed or something ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:49:35 PM EST
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He's merely a former senior adviser on the Middle East. How would he know?
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 01:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Myanmar: What is in it for the US? - Inside Story Americas - Al Jazeera English
There has been a flurry of recent visits to Myanmar by Western governments offering more development assistance. The US says it now wants to restore full diplomatic relations with the nation following its recent reforms.

...

On this episode of Inside Story Americas we ask: Why is the US reaching out to Myanmar and what does it stand to gain from doing so? And is Myanmar's president committed to meaningful progress or is he simply serving as the public face of the old junta in its quest to retain power?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2012 at 03:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 02:32:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
outstanding

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 03:25:44 AM EST
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brilliant. and that would be Samuel Jackson on the voiceover?

imagine if the PAC was taking on issues like burning fossils, or factory farms producing bacteria resistant disease, or mocking climate deniers.

"Why is the T in his name silent? What else is he silent about?"

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 04:09:51 AM EST
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This is an absolutely brilliant strategy.

Not only is the Super PAC attacking Colbert, it's attacking itself and the concept of Super PACs.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 04:47:17 AM EST
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I want to see how many people vote for Herman Cain.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 04:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the point, isn't it?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 04:56:20 AM EST
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I don't have the link right now, but somebody pointed out that Colbert asking people to vote for Cain, and the ad coming out just before looked suspiciously like coordination. He responded with a legal opinion stating that the PAC informing him about the ad is not coordination.....
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also a test of collective Republican IQ.

I'd guess you'll get some Irony Voters™, but you'd usually expect those to be trending Dem.

Republicans are more literal-minded, so - it's actually a useful-ish test of the influence of ad spend.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:11:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In open primary states you might get a bunch of democrats or independents or people who usually wouldn't vote in a primary voting for whoever Jon Stewart puts on the ads...

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I think that SC is open.
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So does Wikipedia:

Primary election - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South Carolina - Open Primary (Jan 19 for Republicans, Jan 26 for Democrats). Deadline (30 days - Dec 20, 2007 for Republicans and Dec 25, 2007 for Democrats).


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 08:08:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out that Colbert directly appealed on Monday to non-Republicans to go out and vote for him. See here.
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 12:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure this is true or a further joke, but since it's on Fox News, it's probably true (yes, I really mean that...)
Tuesday, Stewart's pro-Colbert PAC released a commercial in South Carolina that urged voters to cast their ballot ... for Cain. None of this came as a shock to Cain, because the businessman is in on the joke.

"On Stephen Colbert's endorsement of himself as Herman Cain, I find it very clever and humorous, as it should be," Cain told Fox411. "Anyone who finds what Mr. Colbert is doing offensive, should simply lighten up. To be perfectly clear, I will not be assuming Stephen Colbert's identity. We are very different when it comes to the color of our - hair."

Kathy Hoekstra, Cain's Director of Media Relations, said they were given a heads up that something was happening a few days ago.

"Colbert's people got in touch with us late last week and Mr. Cain will be taping a segment with Mr. Colbert on Friday in South Carolina," Hoekstra laughed. "The endorsement of course comes as a pleasant surprise.

by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 07:50:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Forward
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's two greatest enemies are The New York Times and Haaretz, the editor of The Jerusalem Post said in a speech.
Does that mean he's going to bomb them instead of Iran?
by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 05:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Public Policy Polling, 17.1.12
Q14 If the candidates for President this year were Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and independent Stephen Colbert,  who would you vote for?

Barack Obama................................................ 41%
Mitt Romney.................................................... 38%
Stephen Colbert.............................................. 13%
Undecided....................................................... 7%

by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 08:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington Post
Republican front-runner Mitt Romney's narrow lead in the Iowa caucuses disappeared when officials certified the vote count, the Des Moines Register reported Thursday morning.

Instead of winning by eight votes, Romney ended up trailing former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum by 34 votes, the newspaper said. But that tally is far from conclusive, because results from eight Iowa precincts are missing "and will never be recovered and certified," the Register reported.

by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 08:35:53 AM EST
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Apparently the RNC adopted the following resolution in New Orleans last week (though don't seem to be in a rush to publicize it, if true)
WHEREAS, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian, alike, as the acts and words of God; and

WHEREAS, as the Grantor of said lands, God stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament; in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24:  "Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey"; and

[...]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.

by gk (gk) on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 01:21:15 PM EST
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