International Press Syndicate

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

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Photo: Autumn maple leaves (momiji) at Kongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - The announcement was made on August 15 by Japan’s Finance Ministry: In the last quarter of the year the Japanese economy grew at an annualised rate of 0.2%. “One wonders if the economy will remain at a standstill for the rest of the year”, the Financial Times asks.

But then Japan’s economy has been becalmed for 30 years. Even though the government has poured billions of dollars into the economy it has had only a small effect in boosting demand.

One wonders when the government will give up and what happens then – another decade of minimal growth? If that is what happens how much does it matter?

Photo: Benjamin William Mkapa. Credit: Club de Madrid.

Viewpoint by Benjamin William Mkapa*

GENEVA  (ACP-IDN | Daily News) - The EPA issue has once again re-emerged when Tanzania informed EAC (East African Community) Members and the EU that it would not be able to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and the six EAC Member States in early July.

The European Commission reportedly proposed signature of the EAC EPA in Nairobi, on the sidelines of the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV).

Robert J. Burrowes

Viewpoint by Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Victoria | Australia (INPS) - There is a long history of anti-war and peace activism. Much of this activism has focused on ending a particular war. Some of this activism has been directed at ending a particular aspect of war, such as the use of a type of weapon. Some of it has aimed to prevent a type of war, such as 'aggressive war' or nuclear war. For those activists who regard war as the scourge of human existence, however, 'the holy grail' has always been much deeper: to end war.

Photo: A sandstorm hits the UN mission in El Fasher, North Darfur, Sudan. The UN has installed carlogs in its vehicles there to measure idling. Credit: Adrian Dragnea, UNAMID.

By Franz Baumann * | Reproduced courtesy of PassBlue

The author is a former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and special adviser on environment and peace operations. This article originally appeared with the headline: A Sorry State of Affairs: The UN Secretariat Has No Climate Plan.

NEW YORK (IDN | Passblue) - How green is the United Nations’ own environmental policy?

Shepherding the Paris climate agreement to conclusion in December 2015 has been a major achievement of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The agreement got more than 190 states to commit to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 degrees centigrade, above pre-industrial levels.

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.

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