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About 2,000 villagers protested against POSCO‘s planned $12 billion steel plant on Saturday. Women and children formed a human ring around the site. Local opposition has long delayed the South Korean company building its 4 million tonnes plant. It is considered India’s biggest foreign investment project, in Orissa.
POSCO signed the agreement for the mill in 2005 and it was scheduled to begin production by the end of 2011. Protests, environmental concerns and government inquiries into alleged illegalities at a related mining concession have delayed it.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh gave the plant clearance in January on certain conditions, including ensuring that tribal rights and forest protection laws are observed. He said while giving permission he was against regularization of illegalities but had to. In fact tribal rights protected by Forest Rights Act, and environment concerns are utterly ignored and violated.
Orissa’s government started acquiring land for the world’s No. 3 steel company after the environment ministry’s January approval. POSCO needs 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) of land. Local officials tried to persuade the villagers to back away and not use women and children as human shields, media said. About 500 policemen were deployed to try to control the protesters, roughly half them women and children.
French Finance Minister and IMF candidate Christine Lagarde said on Saturday tackling sovereign debt troubles would be a priority of the International Monetary Fund if she led the Washington-based rescue lender. Lagarde, competing with Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens, was in Saudi Arabia as part of a world tour where she needs to drum up support among emerging market economies for her IMF candidacy.
South Africa’s Trevor Manuel ruled himself out of the race for the IMF’s top job on Friday, making Lagarde an even firmer favourite, although she remains under threat of a judicial inquiry in her home country. Lagarde is backed by the European Union and a handful of smaller countries from Georgia to Mauritius. Paris is hopeful that Washington and Beijing will also stand behind her.
Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economy is leaning towards supporting Lagarde but has not yet made up its mind, officials said on Friday. Lagarde said that the IMF should also support countries affected by the pro-democracy protest movement sweeping North Africa and the Middle East.
M F Hussain giving tips to children interested in painting in a an orphan center
Lateral Thinking | 05/04/2011
The BOJ ( Central Bank of Japan ) answered the question that nobody does. What is causing the rally in Commodities :
“While the strong increase in commodity prices has been driven by global economic growth propelled by emerging economies, speculative investment flows into commodity markets have amplified the intensity of the price surge. The dynamics of global commodity prices has been changing as well, in accordance with the growing presence of financial investors in commodity markets. The entry of new financial investors has paved the way for the “financialization of commodities”. Consequently, global commodity markets have become more sensitive to portfolio rebalancing by financial investors, which has made commodity markets more correlated with other asset markets, including major equity markets. Furthermore, globally accommodative monetary conditions have played an important role in the surge in commodity prices, both by stimulating physical demand for commodities and driving more investment flows into financialized commodity markets.”
So thank you Mr. Bernanke for such a wonderful job !!!
Lateral Thinking | 22 Feb 2011 02:03 PM PST
According to Reuters : “Time magazine’s intelligence columnist reported on Tuesday that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has ordered his security forces to sabotage the country’s oil facilities, citing a source close to the government.”
In a column posted on Time’s website, Robert Baer said the sabotage would begin by blowing up pipelines to the Mediterranean.
Should the dictator indeed proceed and destroy the country’s oil infrastructure, which as we noted earlier exports over 1.5 million barrels of crude a day, mostly to Italy, WTI COULD skyrocket!!!
RISK OFF STRATEGIES ARE BACK…
Democracy now | 28/02/2011
Here is a transcript from democracynow.org website whose correspondent, Anjali Kamat has spent in liberated zones in the Eastern Libya for five days and returned to Egypt to report for a prestigious non-profit news channel in America. She has personally spoken several Libyans who took part in the uprising against their autocratic ruler Co. Moummar Gaddafi. Amy Goodman is one of presenters of the news channel.
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AMY GOODMAN: As the uprising continues in Libya, more areas have fallen into the hands of pro-democracy protesters, but Colonel Muammar Gaddafi retains control of the capital Tripoli. On Sunday, protesters had taken control of Zawiyah, a city 30 miles from Tripoli, but pro-Gaddafi forces are surrounding the area.
On Saturday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions in the form of travel bans and asset freezes on Gaddafi and his family. The U.N. resolution also called for referring Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
In a telephone conversation with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, President Barack Obama said Gaddafi should leave.
AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE: Resolution 1970 is a strong resolution. It includes a travel ban and an assets freeze for key Libyan leaders. It imposes a complete arms embargo on Libya. It takes new steps against the use of mercenaries by the Libyan government to attack its own people. And for the first time ever, the Security Council has unanimously referred an egregious human rights situation to the International Criminal Court. As President Obama said today, when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass of violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In an interview with Serbian television Sunday, a defiant Gaddafi repeated his message that he will stay in Libya. Speaking via telephone from his Tripoli office, he again blamed foreigners and al-Qaeda for the uprising that’s threatening his 41-year rule. He also condemned the United Nations Security Council for imposing sanctions on him and launching a war crimes inquiry.
Indiamart | 28/02/2011
- AC restaurants serving liquor and AC hospitals with more than 25 beds under service tax.
- Service tax on air travel to be increased.
- Customs duty on raw silk reduced from 30 to 5 per cent.
- Legal services to be expanded to business entities.
- 20% export duty for iron ore.
- Custom duty on Pet Coke and Gypsum to minimized to 2.5%.
- No new tax exemption limit for women.
- Mandatory levy of 10 pct on branded garments.
- Budget estimates for 2011-12 projects- Rs 9,32,440 crore.
- No change in Central excise duty rate. Base rate on excise duty raised from 4% to 5%.
- Surcharge rate reduced from 7.5 percent to 5 percent for domestic companies.
- Hike in exemption IT limit from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh.
- New series of coins with new rupee symbol expected.
- Simplify tax collection procedure.
- 1 million UID cards to be distributed per day shortly.
- Targeting to reduce deficit to 4.6% for the upcoming fiscal year.
- Plan and Non-Plan expenditure to be increased by 23%.
- BPL pension eligibility age limit reduced.
- Group formed to monitor corruption;will start implementing from 62 dept. in first phase.
- Amendment of Indian Stamp Act shortly.
- Simplified form ‘Sugam’ for small tax payers.
- Rs 1.64 lakh crore for Defence.
- Rs 1000 crore to build judicial infrastructure.
- Group of ministers to sort out Environmental concerns.
- 1000 crore for improvising judiciary system.
- Rs 8,000 cr to Northeast.
- 60 schemes for SC/ST to be implemented.
- Rs 100 crore for Ladakh.
- Rs 150 crore for Jammu.
- Pension amount increased for 80 years and above.
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme eligibility revised from 65 to 60 years.
- Rs 200 cr grant to IIT Kharagpur.
- Rs 20 crore to IIM Calcutta.
- 50 Crore to muslim universities in different states.
If one observes the comments of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s, a doubt arises whether the Indian government is going to show rising inflation as an excuse for inviting foreign private investments in Indian retail sector.
The Vice-President of planning commission Mr Montek Singh Ahluvalia has been telling that supply side bottlenecks have been the major cause for the rising inflation in India. Today, speaking at a conference in New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concerns over rising inflation adding that inflation is becoming a major obstacle for the growth prospects of India.
An important aspect of Mr Singh was that what he opined for rise in inflation. He said that the farm supply chains needed to be boosted with organised retail chains. This raises doubt that Indian government is going to give permission for foreign entry into retail sector in the name of organized retail chains.
Mubarak says he wants to resign from his post as he fed up with ten days continuous protests but he fears that the country will run into chaos. Commenting on the calls resign, he said: "I don’t care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country." Doesn’t Egypt mean Egyptians?
It may be reminded that the protesters lead by ElBaradei and Muslim Brotherhood demanded Mubarak to step down by Friday, February 4. Mubarak told Obama that he did not know about Egypt and he did not know what would happen if he stepped down, Mubarak informed to the press. He did not answer directly to a question whether he felt the US betrayed him, Reuters reported.
With the unprecedented challenge to Mubarak’s autocratic rule descending into violence, Washington has been urging Egypt to begin the transition of power and move towards elections. The US officials are quoted as saying that they were weighing different options for Egypt. The New York Times cited U.S. officials and Arab diplomats as saying Washington was discussing a plan for Mubarak to hand over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military.
Article first published as West Relinquishes Mubarak! on Blogcritics.
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years with full backing from all western countries from the US to the EU, appears losing confidence of his western mentors. The clashes, which erupted on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, have brought in the US and the European Union in support of the agitating anti-government demonstrators. The western states have condemned the violence forced by the pro-government demonstrators prompting Egyptian Prime Minister to offer apology on behalf of the government. The Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has apologized for stone pelting and gun shots on peaceful demonstrators pledging to investigate the “fatal error.”
The protests that have been peaceful for Nine days in Cairo and Alexandria, have turned violent as thousands of pro-government protesters stepped in throwing stones on anti-government protesters on Wednesday evening. Anti-government protesters have also begun stone pelting and chasing them from the Tahrir Square in a bid to retain the control of the square that has been the main rallying point of the protesters. Meanwhile Muslim Brotherhood and ElBaradei faction denied sitting for talks saying Mubarak’s resignation is the only solution.
The US expressed shock over clashes and the leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain released a joint statement condemning the violence and declaring that the peaceful political transition should immediately be started. Hosni Mubarak could remain in power for 30 years only with the political, economic and military support of the western countries lead by the US.
The planned protests on Thursday by both anti-Saleh and pro-Saleh have concluded peacefully in Yemen’s capital Sanaa. Saleh’s opponents called to observe a “day of rage” on Thursday demanding Mr Saleh to step down. Nearly 20,000 people marched in Sanaa asking for political reforms and more rights. They rejected Saleh’s offer of not contesting in 2013 when his tenure ends.
The same numbers of people are reported organizing another rally in another part of the city, Sanaa. They demanded Saleh to remain in power. However, they demand Mr Saleh to fulfill his pledge of carrying out reforms at the earliest. It was reported that the supporters are organized by the government from the nearby villages of the capital Sanaa, after the opponents have called for a “day of rage.”
In an emergency parliament session on Wednesday, Mr Saleh, 64, laid out his plans to move aside, saying he would not seek to extend his presidency when his current term expires in 2013 and pledging not pass on power to his son. The "day of rage" was organised by civil
Courtesy of David Rosenberg
Source: Lateral Thinking
Obama’s State of the Union 2011:
“Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is
Herbert Hoover, May 1st 1930, US Chamber of Commerce Meeting:
“While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover.”
Obama’s State of the Union 2011:
“Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.”
Herbert Hoover, October 22, 1932, campaign speech in Detroit:
“It can be demonstrated that the tide has turned and that the gigantic forces of depression are today in retreat. Our measures and policies have demonstrated their effectiveness. They have preserved the American people from certain chaos. They have preserved a final fortress of stability in the world.”
Brent crude oil futures surged above $100 a barrel for the first time in 28 months on Monday on concerns that anti-government protests in Egypt could create instability across the Middle East, possibly disrupting oil shipments through the Suez Canal.
Every time that OIL has passed $100 a barril in the past it has caused damage to the Global economy…Will it happen again ¿?¿?
Source: Lateral Thinking | 31 Jan 2011 | 08:48 AM PST
Article first published as Egypt Protesters Do Not Relent for Election Promise on Blogcritics.
Though Mr Mubarak promised not to contest in coming elections in September, hundreds of thousands of protesting Egyptians do not agree to end their protests demanding him to step down immediately. Mr ElBaradei dismissed Mubarak’s announcement as a trick to continue in power. Western news agencies are writing that some sections of the people are accepting Mubarak’s announcement as a reliable stable solution as sudden change “could lead to more drastic consequences.”
Apart from the pressure from Egyptians, leaders of the countries are also suggesting indirectly Mubarak to step down. Turkey’s PM Erdogan advised Mr Mubarak should take a "different step", US President Barack Obama said transition must begin now in an orderly fashion. Egypt’s army, which had been telling that it would not use force against protesters issued a statement on February 2 asking demonstrators to return to their homes. It said demonstrators succeeded conveying their message and they should now allow life in the country return to normalcy.
It is stated that the government restored internet connection that was cut for days for fear of spreading antigovernment sentiments across the country through social network websites like Facebook and Twitter. Nationwide curfew is also said to be eased reducing it to a lesser time period. According to UN estimates, at least 300 people have died in Egypt alone since the demonstrations began there ten days back.