International Press Syndicate

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Formerly Globalom Media Information . Communication . Publishing Agency Established in March 2009

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Photo: Timber transported from a woodlot in the hills of Zhangpu County, Fujian. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - How far behind the West is China? Is its economy still booming so it could within 20 years overtake America? Is its military becoming of such a strength it will take the big decision to confront the U.S. navy in the South China Sea?

While it is obvious that the Chinese leadership is much more farsighted and cautious than, say, Donald Trump, can one conclude with 100 % certainty that potentially dangerous clashes won’t occur?

The communist leadership believes that before long it will be the world’s biggest economy. Yet if one looks at national income per head it is way down the league table of economic achievers. Size is not everything.

Image credit: UNCTAD14

Analysis by Aldo Caliari *

WASHINGTON DC (IDN-INPS | Center of Concern) - Due to UNCTAD's decidedly pro-South and uncompromising development-focused mission, its quadrennial conferences have traditionally been North-South showdowns.

Coming a few months after the adoption of the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 associated goals, the theme of the XIV Quadrennial Conference of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) was “From Decisions to Actions”.

There was, therefore, reason to expect that this time members would bridge their differences for the sake of reinforcing mandates of the organization critical to the Agenda’s implementation. But that was not the case, and the dynamics were a lot more akin to the difficult ones witnessed in the inaugural Financing for Development (FFD) Forum in April 2015.

Photo: Anti-coup protesters after 15 July 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt in Bağcılar, İstanbul, Turkey. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Analysis by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra*

The attempted coup on July 15 in Turkey as well as its aftermath have irreparably dented President Erdogan’s international image and impacted Turkey's standing as a democratic state, a military power, a NATO member, an EU aspirant, and an emerging economy. This downtrend is unlikely to be reversed in the near future and the country is in for an extended period of instability

MUMBAI (IDN-INPS | Gateway House) - There has been, and continues to be, much speculation about whether the attempted coup in Turkey was staged by President Recip Erdogan himself; about him orchestrating it in order to identify and eliminate his enemies, both Kemalists and Gulenists – as the millions of moderate and pro-western followers of the U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, are now referred to. Parallels are even being drawn with Adolf Hitler’s purges after the staged Reichstag fire in 1933.

Robert J. Burrowes

Viewpoint by Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Victoria | Australia (INPS) - Two of the drivers of world affairs that manifest in the daily decisions that affect our lives are ideology and religion.

Ideology is the term widely used to describe the underlying set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that shape the behavioural approach to political, economic, social, cultural and/or ecological activities of an individual or organization.

This organization might be a political party, government, multinational corporation, terrorist group, non-government organization, community or activist group.

Photo: Prime Minister Modi being welcomed in South Africa. Credit: IndiaTV

By Vineet Thakur and Alexander E. Davis*

JOHANNESBURG - India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his five-day, four-nation tour of Africa on July 11. He spent two days in South Africa and made brief visits to Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya.

As he left Nairobi at the end of the tour, Modi had covered 42 countries in his 51 trips abroad. Antarctica is now the only continent he has not visited in his two years in office.

Constantly referencing Mahatma Gandhi and donning “Madiba shirts”, Modi left no stone unturned to charm South Africa. But no matter how much he emphasised the special and unique nature of “Africa-India” relations, his “special relationship” stump speech has been made repeatedly around the world.

Photo A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker from the Ohio Air National Guard's 121st Air Refueling Wing at Rickenbacker International Airport, Ohio, touches down on the flightline at Incirlik, Turkey. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) -The Incirlik air base in southeast Turkey – from which U.S. pilots launch bombing raids on ISIS forces in Syria – is home to about 50 B-61 hydrogen bombs. That makes it NATO’s largest nuclear storage facility.

Each bomb has a yield of up to 170 kilotons, nearly a dozen times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima. The bombs are stored in underground vaults within aircraft shelters that in turn are protected by a security perimeter.

Recently, Incirlik was in the headlines because it appears it was one of the command centres of the attempted coup, meant to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After the coup had been put down the commander of Incirlik was arrested and charged with complicity in the overthrow attempt.

Photo: Katsuei Hirasawa

Viewpoint by Katsuei Hirasawa *

TOKYO (IDN) – The world is now shaken by the terror of Islamic extremists and Japan is not unrelated to this terrorism.

Japan is an island nation that does not have a direct border with another country. We do not accept many immigrants as in Western countries and, therefore, we do not take enough counter-terrorism measures because of our peace of mind as a unified nation.

Some of us even regard large-scale terrorist attacks in many parts of the world as the opposite bank of the fire. In the past, the Asama-Sansō hostage-taking case and JAL plane hijacking by the Coalition Red Army occurred, which were theatrical crimes and were reported live on TV. Most Japanese people may have not recognised them as terrorism. SPANISH | GERMAN | HINDI | JAPANESE

Photo: Anti-war protest in London, 2002. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - The crime of aggression ("planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression”) was described by the Nuremberg Tribunal that tried Nazi leaders as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole".

President George W. Bush and British prime minister, Tony Blair, have been accused by many as war criminals for starting the war against Iraq and, second, for not watching carefully enough to make sure that war crimes carried out by individual soldiers were not covered up, and for the torture that Bush initiated and Blair appeared to tolerate.

Photo: Prime Minister Modi addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 24 in Tashkent. Credit: www.narendramodi.in

Viewpoint by Shastri Ramachandaran *

BEIJING (IDN) - Tashkent and Seoul were both in the news in the last week of June, for events which may have set in motion changes with far-reaching consequences for power equations in Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Hence, the two cities may well be remembered as the trigger-point of developments on which Sino-Russian strategic partnership may have an impact.

Seoul was the venue for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary, which frustrated India's attempts to gain entry. Around the same time, although Tashkent was witness to more momentous events, the bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping stole the thunder. Only because the Modi-Xi meeting was about India's bid for NSG membership, widely publicized as enjoying unstinted U.S. support.

Photo: Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on Virginia Tech's campus in 2007. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - After Hitler’s Final Solution – the elimination of the Jews – came Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and the murder of two million of the country’s people. After that came Rwanda when at least a million of the Tutsi people were slaughtered en masse by the Hutus. More recently we have seen large-scale killing in Sudan and now in Syria. The latter two can’t be called “genocide” – the attempt to totally eliminate a people – but the first three certainly were.

However bad that sounds the evidence is, whether it be genocide or mass slaughter, there has been significantly less of it during the last 50 years, despite the fact that most of us recall the horrors – thanks to the TV news producers’ mantra “if it bleeds it leads” – not the steady lessening of its frequency.

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