German Trade Union Tables Euro Marshall Plan

By Eva Weiler | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

BERLIN (IDN) – The German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) has tabled a 260 billion Marshall Plan for Europe aimed at providing a decisive impetus for qualitative growth as well as new jobs with a future in all 27 European Union (EU) countries for a 10-year period from 2013 to 2022.

The proposed investments and investment subsidies of €260 billion annually comprise direct investment and investment grants of €160 billion and ten-year low-interest loans of €100 billion to private investors.

China To Survey Disputed Marine Territories

By Bijoy Das*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – After establishing Sansha, passing a new maritime regulation from Hainan, and, printing maps on passports, the Chinese authorities have now unveiled a plan to survey all marine and island territories for marine resources.

Although the report indicates that the survey will be carried out throughout the country, it also specifically mentions Sansha (i.e. South China Sea) and baseline points (which would include all disputed marine territories). The terse report, when translated, reads as follows:

“The 2nd Chinese Comprehensive Survey of Marine and Island Resources will be started sometime in the first half of this year. The survey is expected to be completed by December 2016. By this survey, the Chinese hope to fill earlier gaps regarding the distribution, quality and quantity of resources in important marine and island territories like Sansha and other baseline points.”

IMF Pleads Guilty But Insists on Austerity

By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Under different conditions, the recent admission by the head economist of the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, that the Fund was dead wrong when it prescribed tough austerity measures to countries trapped in a sovereign debt crisis and in recession, would be a reason for satisfaction. But the price paid by the youth in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, to name only the European victims of the IMF ill advices, is too high for celebrating being right.

Indian Olympic Association Farce Unveils Entrenched Ills

By Shastri Ramachandaran
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Just months after India achieved its best ever, if still meagre, Olympic haul of six medals, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended because of excessive governmental interference in its work.

The paradox is that the Indians, who were visibly proud at the country’s performance in the London Olympics (July-August 2012), were hardly seen lamenting the IOA’s loss of place and face in the international arena.

The average television-watching, newspaper-reading Indian is thrilled by the winning performances of Indians in international events – be it the Olympics, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. But this Indian is not conspicuously upset if the country fails to make a mark. It is simply written off as another bad day, and life goes on.

Robots Changing Modern Battlefields

By Chas Henry* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

This report, by Washington-based national security correspondent Chas Henry, was broadcast during December 2012 on All News 99.1 WNEW, a CBS Radio station in Washington DC. You can hear Chas Henry’s’ audio documentary here:

Washington DC (IDN) – When we humans go to war, our least favorite way is hand to hand, face to face.

“It speaks to human nature,” says Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Missy Cummings, a former Navy fighter pilot. “We don’t really like to kill, and if we are going to kill, we like to do it from far away.”

Challenges Ahead For Indian Space Programme

By Radhakrishna Rao*
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) – By all means, 2012 can be considered a watershed year for the Indian space programme. The programme had begun modestly in November 1963 with the launch of a 9-kg sounding rocket from a modest facility in the fishing hamlet of Thumba on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. 2012 saw the 100th space mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

On September 9, 2012, the four stage workhorse PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) orbited the 720-kg French remote sensing satellite Spot-6 along with the 15-kg Japanese Proiteres probe as a piggy back payload on commercial terms, and in the process helped ISRO complete the saga of a “space century”. The significance of the mission lay in the fact that the PSLV, considered a highly reliable space vehicle, launched the heaviest ever satellite of an international customer on commercial terms.

55 Years On: Time To Upgrade UN Rules For Treatment Of Prisoners

By Andrea Huber* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

LONDON (IDN) – When Phillip J. was aged 16 he was held in solitary confinement for 36 days in a U.S. prison. He described how isolation itself became a trigger for traumatic memories of solitary confinement. “Once you are confined the way I was, then any other confinement just triggers that experience – loss of sleep, all these different flashbacks of different bad events. You try to harness it, but you don’t know how or what’s going on or what’s happening.”

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