Yesterday I wrote about Russians being accused of a coup which intended to change the Georgian Government. Today, from the blog Taking Aim, Georgia has surrounded the Russian Army Headquarters in Tbilisi.
Have found two blogs which seem to be really good.
- The first one about Venezuelan reality called Venezuelan News and Views. The blogger profile says: Written from the Venezuelan provinces, this blog started as private letters to my friends overseas, letters narrating the difficult days of the 2002/2003 strike in Venezuela. These letters became this mix of news, comments, pictures of the Venezuelan situation. Unknowingly, I have written the diary of Venezuela slow decent into authoritarianism, the slow erosion of our liberties, the takeover of the country by a military caste, the surrendering of our soul to our inner demons. You should read about Anti-Semitism in Venezuela or Chavez’s concept of democracy: not applicable.
- The second one is about Belarus. Belarus -Bielorrusia en español- is a very unknown country in Spain. And information is always useful. But if this does not convince you, what about this photo?
If you want to laugh, Bill [Clinton] and Belinda [Stronach]’s excellent adventure. Looks like Clinton is now with the Canadian Conservative-turned-out-Liberal Stronach. Or so it is rumoured.
Newsweek: China’s Wealth Woes.
Beijing’s growing dollar hoard represents the most dangerous imbalance in today’s global economy. The United States is both importing heavily from China and borrowing heavily from the country to finance those purchases, pushing the dollar down and putting the two economic superpowers on a collision course. Washington politicians demand that Beijing raise the value of the yuan against the dollar, and Chinese officials have hinted that if pushed too hard they might shift their near-trillion-dollar reserve out of U.S. Treasury bonds, which could trigger a U.S. and global recession. The main thing preventing this confrontation is the fact that both sides have too much to lose. Former U.S. Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers once called this “the balance of financial terror.” What has gone widely unremarked is that, increasingly, this balance is threatening China as much as the United States.
The United States has been worrying for the past 25 years about a mounting trade deficit and the threat it poses to America’s financial pre-eminence. But China now views its surplus with growing alarm, too. Its dollar mountain reflects huge demand for Chinese goods and the Chinese currency needed to buy those goods.
Also from Newsweek: Silent Games.
Beijing’s goals are far more sweeping than the chicken-and-monkey metaphor could encompass. Today’s targets are not just domestic media and foreign correspondents, not just our Chinese sources and local assistants. Less than two years before Beijing hosts the 2008 Summer Olympics, authorities are in the midst of a concerted—and disturbing—effort to slam stricter controls on what Chinese know and how they know it. The aim of the recent crackdown is not only to silence individual “troublemakers,” but also to beef up institutional controls over the free flow of information. This is a grim portent for the 2008 Games, when some 20,000 international journalists are expected to descend on Beijing. “These latest measures sound a wake-up call to the international community that a closed, state-controlled Olympics is on the horizon,” warns Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China, an NGO.
Asia’s Mistery Man, about Shinzo Abe, likely to be the new Japanese leader:
What will the world see when the cameras are finally trained on Abe? The problem is that no one—not even the Japanese—really knows. At the tender age of 51, Abe is decades younger than most of his predecessors. He has no high-level government track record, and his policy views in some areas, especially in terms of economic reform, are vague. That’s caused observers to latch onto what little they do know about his ambitions—which, despite the muted reaction to his Yasukuni visit, are worrying to many outside Japan.
He’s got at least two big goals, and they’re both risky. The first is revising the Constitution to eliminate Japan’s pacifist postwar military tradition, and the second, which could be a function of the first, is defying China’s bid for regional pre-eminence. A generation ago, the first idea would have struck mainstream Japanese voters as irresponsibly radical; the second even now strikes many as fraught with uncertainty.
Last week, authorities in the eastern province of Shandong handed a four-year jail term to Chen Guangcheng, a social activist who blew the whistle on official abuses under China’s one-child policy. Lawyers and Chen’s relatives called the trial an illegal and retaliatory move by local officials.
Background about Chen: Cina et dintorni. Chinese authorities had to postpone his judgement as his supporters gathered to protest his arrest.
“US Health system is nearly at the same level as it was in XVIth century Spain. Really, this film (Alatriste), it’s not history but plain present”.
I think it deserves no comments…