UN Stresses Role of Science for Peace and Development

By J C Suresh
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – A greater global focus on scientific development would help find the answers to seemingly “insurmountable” challenges the world is confronted with, according to the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“Science is our best asset for supporting inclusive and equitable development, and for building global sustainability at a time of uncertainty, and faced with biophysical limits of the planet,” said UNESCO‘s Director-General Irina Bokova marking the World Science Day for Peace and Development.

Czechs Move Cautiously Towards More Nuclear

By Eva Weiler
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

PRAGUE (IDN) – The Czech Republic plans to lessen its dependence on coal and increase in the next 20 to 30 years the share of nuclear power to supply half of its energy needs under a new long-term energy policy unveiled by Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The policy document, drafted by the Industry and Trade Ministry and approved by the cabinet on November 8, also sets the way for the Czech Republic to achieve a 13 percent share of renewable sources in total energy consumption by 2020, as is required by the European Union, according to the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

Uncertainty Hangs Over Post-Meles Ethiopia

By Jerome Mwanda
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NAIROBI (IDN) – Some three months after the death of Ethiopia’s strogman Meles Zenawi, uncertainty prevails over the country’s political stability and economic development under his successor Hailemariam Dessalegn, says a new study by the British Institute of Development Studes (IDS).

In particular, Ethiopia’s economic challenges are dominated by the need to find secure livelihoods for what is now the second largest population in Africa and by the acute vulnerability of its major economic sector – rainfed agriculture which is dominated by small plots that are leased by the government.

Behind the Pakistan-India Nuclear Arms Race

By Felix Imonti of Oilprice.com*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TOKYO (IDN) – The possibility of a nuclear war between Pakistan and India grows every day. If the Pakistanis do not bring under control the terrorist groups in the country and resolve the conflicts with India, it is not a matter of if it will happen, but when.

There have been few achievements to celebrate in the sixty-five year history of Pakistan and that has made the success of the nuclear program central to the national identity. This is especially true for the military that receives a quarter of the budget and is the only strong national institution.

Climate Change Calls For Emergency Leadership

By Ian Dunlop*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

SYDNEY (IDN) – The latest evidence on climate change demands a radical reappraisal of our approach. The Arctic has been warming 2-3 times faster than the rest of the world, reducing the area and volume to levels never previously experienced.

Some 80% of the summer sea-ice has been lost since 1979; on current trends the Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2015, and ice-free all year by 2030, events which were not expected to occur for another 100 years. More concerning, the Greenland ice sheet this year has seen unprecedented melting and glacial ice calving, adding to a trend which will substantially increase sea level rise.

Sandy Spanking Disciplines Climate Adamant USA

By Julio Godoy
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BERLIN (IDN) – Back in 1779, the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya painted a scene that obviously was already common at the time in that retrograde country of his: An old man – or it can be an old lady – is beating a child on the bottom in front of numerous other children in a classroom. Some of the children are crying, for they just suffered the teacher’s barbarous pedagogical methods. Goya titled his masterpiece “La letra con sangre entra” – freely translated, “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

US Election: Pre-Poll Mega-Storm Affects Politics

By Ernest Corea*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTO DC (IDN) – Voters keeping a sharp lookout for an “October Surprise” – an unexpected event that could affect the November 6 presidential election – could not have been disappointed. They experienced several.

Some past October surprises have been both dramatic and significant. To name a few: the British-French-Israeli conspiracy and invasion to wrest control of the Suez Cana from Egypt (1956), Henry Kissinger’s announcement about the Vietnam war that “peace is at hand” (1972), and the news leak, subsequently confirmed, that some years earlier George W. Bush was arrested for drunken driving in Texas (2000).

Africa: Plea for Reducing Foreign Aid Dependency

By Jerome Mwanda
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NAIROBI (IDN) – Whether and how African countries could reduce their dependency on foreign aid – if not do without it altogether – was a major subject of debate at the African Economic Conference in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. It was the first time since the 2011 Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, that the issue was discussed.

Convened by the Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA), the African Development Bank, (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the four-day conference  from October 30 to November 2, 2012 focussed on the theme ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty’.

Imagine a Hedge Fund Manager as U.S. President

By Julio Godoy
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BERLIN (IDN) – In the late summer of 1998, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, a group of German and French professors of economics organised at the University of Bremen in Germany a seminar to discuss ways to re-regulate the international financial markets. The theme could not have been timelier:

The disaster of the Mexican crisis in late 1994 had already shaken the foundations of neoliberalism in Latin America, the Asian crisis repeated the same symptoms, and it was already clear that some hedge funds, such as the Long Term Capital Management, which had been heavily speculating in Russian bonds, would sooner than later go bust.

Iran and the Empire’s ‘Dollarization’ Stick

By Eric Walberg*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

TORONTO (IDN) – The West’s attempts to destroy the Iranian economy through heightened sanctions – including most imports, oil exports and use of banks for trade operations – is having its impact. According to Johns Hopkins University Professor Steve Hanke, Iran is facing hyperinflation, with a monthly inflation rate of nearly 70% and its national currency, the rial, plummeting in value against western currencies.

Iran is the latest casualty to be placed on his Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Index, which includes France (1795), Germany (1922), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1986), Argentina (1990), Russia (1992), Ecuador (1999) and Zimbabwe (2007) – countries which experienced price-level increases of at least 50% per month.

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