Archive for November, 2014

Free Trade – Really?

ftaWikipediaA free-trade area is the region encompassing a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free-trade agreement (FTA). Free trade agreements eliminate tariffs, import quotas, and preferences on most (if not all) goods and services traded between the member countries. If people are also free to move between the countries, in addition to FTA, it would also be considered an open border. It can be considered the second stage of economic integration. Countries choose this kind of economic integration if their economic structures are complementary. If their economic structures are competitive, it is likely there will be no incentive for an FTA, or only selected areas of goods and services will be covered to fulfill the economic interests between the two signatories of FTA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes you Can, No you Cannot

changeRT News – Obama said during the G20 Summit: “We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace; that any effective security order for Asia must be based not on spheres of influence, or coercion or intimidation where big nations bully the small, but on alliances for mutual security, international law and norms that are upheld, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.” Then he contradicted what he said, “I’m here today to say that American leadership in the Asia Pacific will always be a fundamental focus of my foreign policy.” Obama re-asserted Washingtonian’s role as supreme leader “of the world’s only superpower.”   Read the rest of this entry »

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The Weekender: Power on Water

Portable Generator Runs on Water

True or Hoax?

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From Freezing APEC to Blazing G20

ospreyThe cold APEC front continues to sweep from China, moving south past the equator and into sunny Brisbane. Unfortunately, the Brisbane 40 degree Celcius sunshine may not be able to thaw the frozen glacial-relationship of major world leaders. The spectre of a breaking glazier now faces the world. When it breaks, the crashing ice avalanche may unleash a torrent of catastrophic tsunamis to wreck the nations in its path. No nation is immune to the imminent wreck.  Read the rest of this entry »

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APEC: Icy Diplomacy

abeChina welcomed world leaders to the APEC meeting with pomp and pageantry in typical well choreographed magnificent displays. Yet, beneath the glamorous facade, diplomatic protocols have reached a nadir. Nowhere in history has the world witnessed such a charade put up by world leaders in a high profile world leaders meeting. The polar vortex blasting the USA mimics its cold power at the APEC centre stage. World leaders are giving cold shoulders to each other, without intention to camouflage disdain for each other. There were no smiles, just perfunctory handshakes. Even eye contacts were visibly avoided. Such is the tense atmosphere. APEC has become the diplomat’s circus where clowns teased the world. APEC – Annual Party for Epic Clowns! Read the rest of this entry »

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One World, Two Regimes

President's VW

President’s VW

RT News“Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica is widely seen as one of the world’s most down-to-earth leaders, who has often emphasized the need for people to love one another and not focus on the material.

“A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king, not a god. He is not the witch doctor of a tribe who knows everything. He is a civil servant. I think the ideal way of living is to live like the vast majority of people whom we attempt to serve and represent,” he once told Al Jazeera.

As for addictions, the only one Mujica says matters is “love.”

He added, ‘Human beings have a bit of fetishism; we need certain material symbols,” and added that he still keeps his father’s old hammer and shovel: “They are little things to the world, but are worth a lot to you.'”  Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Official – Bail-ins, no more Bail-outs

Global Research

Global Research

The Telegraph – “Meanwhile, large banks are still believed to enjoy a “Too Big To Fail” subsidy, meaning those that lend to them assume their money will be safe even if the bank fails because of government support.

The FSB said this increases government borrowing costs and gives those banks a funding advantage against smaller ones.

Under the new so-called “bail in” rules, globally systemic banks will have to hold “total loss absorbing capacity” [TLAC] – equity or debt that can be converted into shares – of at least 16-20pc of their assets, weighted for risk.”
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ISIS – More Participants

bbc.com

bbc.com

ChannelNewsAsia“The (Singapore) Republic will join 33 other nations in a multinational coalition to combat the Islamic State militant group, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament on Monday (Nov 3). Joining in the ongoing international efforts “contributes directly to Singapore’s own security”, added Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has previously participated in multinational coalition efforts against religious extremists who pose a terrorist threat to Singapore and Singaporeans – as it did in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban – and it will continue to participate in such efforts, Dr Ng said.”   Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekender: War of Drones

War of Drones

Soon, it will be man vs machines

Drone market in China worth more than RMB50 billions

 

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Apocalypse in Sculptures and Motifs

.pinterest.com

.pinterest.com

Sculptures, paintings and motifs are inspired works of artists. Sculptures are typically accepted as just art. Some are truly inspired. The artists are not commissioned to work on a specific theme. Some works are commissioned by rich and powerful people (sometimes governments). They want to create a monument that is impressive and is intended to make a statement. Some want abstract monuments to tickle the mind and stir the imagination, just like the famous remark by George Bush – “read my lips”. Others demand explicit and grotesque artworks to make indelible impressions. Read the rest of this entry »

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