What the EU’s founders in the 1950s intended as “ever closer union” now risks going in the opposite direction: Britain is threatening to secede; the euro, battered by the four-year debt crisis, remains at risk of splintering; anti-euro forces are advancing in France, the EU’s heartland; separatists are pushing to burst the U.K., Belgium and Spain.Sponsored Ads
Economic lethargy combined with a deepening political quagmire and mounting debt load as leaders struggle to tame the legacy of the financial crisis risk condemning Europe to lag further behind emerging powers like China. Europe’s global heft is eroding: the euro zone’s share of global gross domestic product has fallen to 13.1 percent from 18.3 percent when the currency was forged in 1999, according to International Monetary Fund data.
IMAGINE you are in a taxi and the driver suddenly turns violently and speeds towards a wall, tyres screeching, only to stop at the very last moment, inches from the bricks—and cheerfully informs you that he wants to do the same to you in three months time. Would you be grateful that he has not killed you? Or would you wonder why you chose his cab in the first place?
That is the journey Congress has taken the American people on over the past few weeks (see article). The last-minute deal to raise America’s debt ceiling, avoid a default and reopen the government at least until mid-January, which was signed by the president on October 16th, is welcome only compared with the immediate alternative.
A plague of hornets, each the size of a human thumb, have descended on Shaanxi province this summer—at least 28 have been stung to death (link in Chinese), while another 419 have been injured, according to a local news report from China Radio Network (CRN), via the New York Times’ Chris Buckley. The death toll from hornet attacks in Ankang city is more than twice the annual average between 2002 and 2005, say the Ankang police, as the Guardian reports. A local doctor said hospitalizations due to hornet attacks have risen steadily over the years (link in Chinese).
Why the uptick? The population of Asian giant hornets (vespa mandarinia), as they’re known, has surged largely because of climate change, says the Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Department (link in Chinese). The average winter temperature in Ankang rose 1.10 ? in the span of a few years alone, allowing more hornets to survive the winter. And it’s not just China; rising temperatures are behind the spread of another deadly Chinese hornets species, vespa velutina, in South Korea and Europe.
A Plea for Caution From Germany
What Hitler Has to Say to Americans About Europe
By Adolf Hitler
Originally submitted September 13, 1938; published September 13, 2013
BERLIN — RECENT events surrounding the potential annexation of traditionally German territories by their rightful rulers have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time when the news is filled with vicious rumors about German belligerence and horrid lies about the German treatment of her Jewish citizens.
The potential alliance between the United States, France, and Britain to stop the absorption of the Sudetenland into Germany, despite strong approval by the ethnic Germans who live there, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict throughout Europe. You Americans have so much space to stretch out in and breathe; we simply want the same in Germany. Your idea of exceptionalism—that you and you alone have the right to a roomy nation—is dangerous to stability.
Germany has no desire to risk yet another global conflict so soon after having been defeated just a few short decades prior. With the world community’s ascent, and through the auspices of the League of Nations, we shall peacefully add this territory to our own. And then we shall be done: We have no designs on Poland, no plan to expand further.
When my emissaries meet with the world’s leaders at Munich in several weeks, I hope that we can have a rational discussion. From the outset, Germany has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling the Sudetenland to develop a compromise plan for its own future. We are not trying to strip the Czechs of any territory. We are simply trying to uphold international law, bring Germans back to their rightful home, and preserve law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world. This is the only way to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Any effort to aid the Czech’s in their unfortunate and illegal effort to maintain possession of the Sudetenland will be seen as an act of aggression.
It goes on like that for a while; I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you.
Although recent market data have pointed to possible signs of recovery, the European debt crisis is still nowhere close to going away. What’s more, during the past half a decade, prosperity levels have stagnated or fallen so dramatically across Southern Europe – that even if the region would ultimately recover, it will be a far different Europe from what we’ve known from the past.
Rewind to two years ago, and it seemed to be all over for the beleaguered euro. Spreads were off the scale, the banking system looked close to collapse, and words such as “eurogeddon” were part of the everyday lexicon. The single currency’s obituaries were being widely prepared, while here in the UK they had already been written.
Originally in a state of denial, even the politicians had by November 2011 apparently accepted the inevitable. Confronted by the announcement of a Greek plebiscite on the terms of the latest bail-out, an exasperated Nicolas Sarkozy, then President of France, broke the final taboo and publicly acknowledged that some countries would be unable to make the cut.
This admission set in train a mass panic in financial markets as the full implications of a break-up began to sink in. If Greece had to leave, then other, bigger distressed economies such as Spain or even Italy might be forced out, too, triggering complete meltdown in Europe’s banking system. The economic abyss seemed to beckon.
On several levels, then, the belief that the eurozone crisis has gone away, or even that Europe is on the mend, is just more wishful thinking.
Manila: Filipinos based in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States will march in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 24 to protest against China’s role in the ongoing territorial dispute.
The Philippines’ government has denied, however, that it has a role in it.
Several private groups comprising former government officials, scheduled holding simultaneous protests in front of Chinese embassies across the world to garner attention and sympathy against China’s flexing of marine muscle in the South China Sea which the Philippines claims as its own.
It’s time to get out, urges Prof. Robert Wistrich, a leading authority on anti-Semitism. And he’s one of the scholars who dismisses a claim that 150 million EU citizens have demonic views of Israel
According to one Jerusalem-based researcher, the situation is dire, and he claims to have the numbers to prove it: More than 150 million European adults have anti-Semitic views, he asserts, in that they believe that Israel is waging a war of extermination against the Palestinians. “Numerical data from various studies provide evidence that well over 150 million citizens of the European Union embrace a demonic view of Israel,” Manfred Gerstenfeld, a former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, writes in his new book, “Demonizing Israel and the Jews.”
More related articles: Jewish Exodus
Here are a few reasons why leaders have decided to weaken the ruble.
During a flight some time ago, I met a small businessman from Perm who had owned a hosiery factory. He ended up closing it down, renting it out as a warehouse and moving to Europe. He said that too many visits by government inspectors ready to fine him for any little infraction — real or imagined — had made running the business unprofitable.
I also recently visited a factory with a production facility that was built using the world’s most advanced technology. As soon as construction was completed, Rostekhnadzor slapped it with 90 citations for noncompliance, including violations of regulations that were first adopted in the 1950s, along with their corresponding fines. Even state-controlled Gazpromneft has stated that the ridiculous and outdated Rostekhnadzor requirements make investments in Russian industry 30 percent more expensive than corresponding projects elsewhere. One Russian billionaire in the metallurgy business has explained that a plant costing $100 million to build in Europe would cost him $180 million in Russia.
According to a recent report from Nomura Securities, China ”is displaying the same three symptoms that Japan, the US, and parts of Europe all showed before suffering financial crises, that is, a rapid build-up of leverage, elevated property prices, and a decline in potential growth.”
The catch with these sorts of scenarios is that one day there has, always, to be a reckoning. The minute someone says “this time the paradigm is different”, is when you start looking for the exit. Fast.