A cold war in cyber space
I am not a fan of people who are engaged in cyber war. To me, it seems a less valorous way of fighting compared to actual physical contact. But, it is true that future wars maybe fought, or prevented, through intervention in cyberspace.
In a recent disclosure by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, it seems that the nation is engaged in what some commentators may call “cold cyber war” against terrorist groups such as Al- Qaeda. The US Department of the State is, with its team of fluent speakers of different languages, involved in fighting Al-Qaeda’s propaganda on its own turf in cyber space. In such fights, the Department does not seek to disengage the site completely; rather, it engages the audience of such sites.
Mrs. Clinton alluded to a specific example, where in the terrorist group displayed on its site coffins bearing the American flag. She further wrote on how many American soldiers the group had gunned down in the Middle East. The State Department responded by having some of their members sign up on the site and posts another comment with a similar photograph but with Yemeni flags and spoke on how many Yeminis the group had killed. The skills required for this exercise: basic knowledge of computers and Photoshop.
Gregory Johnsen at the University of Princeton is skeptical of the teams’ success as there is hardly data available even with the U.S. statistics department to estimate accurately the influence that these websites would have on the number of users who login. Yet, there can be no doubt that such measures are necessary strategically to fight extremism in today’s digital age.
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Overhauling of the US education system
The political wars have now shifted to the school field. Mitt Romney, Republican US Presidential candidate took on the educational system of the country calling it a “crisis”. Delivering the 25-minute speech at The Latino Coalition’s 2012 Small Business Summit Luncheon at the US chamber of commerce, Washington D. C., Romney spoke on how this became a civil rights issue.
Lamenting on the education system, Romney stated that according to US statistics, millions of American kids were being given sub-standard education that is often the describing feature of third world countries. Sympathizing with the community, the candidate declared that correcting this is a challenge that the nation faces.
The speech was significant in the sense that this was the first non-economic issue that the Republican has dealt with. The candidate proposed several measures chief of them being the restructuring of the education system by revamping the funding channels, encourage more schools and how to provide quality and even schooling for all.
Democratic camp wondered how Romney would be able to “meet the challenge” after he had already criticized President Obama’s decision to recruit more teachers to public schools. The proposals furnished by Romeny was ridiculed by the camp stating that these formed a part of the Republican’s “economic policies” as they were designed to benefit only a few. They also pointed to Romney’s former Governorship in Massachusetts which saw increased fees for receiving college tuition, cuts to funding of education and greater class sizes.
Romney was careful enough not to concentrate too much on the subject of immigrants and immigration policies in an audience that was full of immigrants!
For more information: bostonglobe.com
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US – China spite over solar power
Renewable energies are supposed to be a good thing. But, mix economics with it and it becomes a source of trouble too. Chinese solar panels have always found market in other countries because of its cheapness. Chinese manufacturers have always enjoyed the support of its Government in unfair measure to the detriment of domestic and other international producers as claimed by various statistics on China.
A case-study on a domestic company, Solyndra LLC which went bankrupt even after a Government grant, shows that the competition between the Chinese manufacturers had a major bearing on its business.
In response to this, the US Commerce Department issued a preliminary ruling that required Chinese manufacturers to mark their products at or above fair price. Else they would attract a higher tariff of almost 31 percent.
Beijing’s response has not been friendly and spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry claimed that the ruling was unfair. They warn that such actions could deter consumers from buying solar panels and hurt the renewable energy sector badly.
Mark Kingsley of Trina Solar Ltd., a Chinese company remarked that such moves could depend upon the US statistics which is already a dismal report to read. Mr. Kingsley cites Trina’s case as an example; the company buys its silicon from Michigan, US. A setback to the company would result in loss in American jobs. With elections round the corner, this is not something President Obama wants in his overflowing pot of issues. In any case, even if the US decides to stop importing such products from China, MR. Kinglsey believes that the robust network of international enterprises that the company has established is more than capable to enlist the services of these arms to sell to American consumers.
For more information: www.businessweek.com
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The Wealth of China’s Political Leaders Indicates Corruption
According to recent Hurun reports, China’s political leaders are 10 times richer than US ones. This report puts Chinese politicians in the spotlight. Last year’s report shows that 70 richest Chinese political leaders had around $11.5 billion in their accounts, which raised upto $89.9 billion this year. How they multiplied their wealth so rapidly in just one year is a question that these leaders have to answer.
Chinais a developing country in all terms, but the growth in China was not as rapid as the income of China’s politicians. Statistics about China shows that annual capital income is still $2,425 in China which means just the leaders are making money and not the public inChina.
The cost of the total wealth processed by the U.S. Congress is just $7.5 billion. Some critics even say that, in theUS, people make money to join politics where as in China, people join politics to make money.
According to reports, the incomes of these leaders are fueled by corruption and illegal land possession. What measures the Chinese government is going to take based on these reports is yet to be seen. The government of China has to investigate further to crack down the case of corruption in their country and seal the leakages in their economic system to save China from the grip of corruption. Questioning political leaders in a country like China is a very sensitive issue. Therefore, the government has to control the media and other communication means in China to avoid riots and violence in the country.
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The Reason Behind the Failure of the Americans
Even twenty years of the Soviet Union, one can easily notice the Cold War situation that is prevailing amongstRussiaand theUnited States. The relation has only worsened with political alterations as well as presidential campaigns. Even with such situations prevailing in the US, neither discussions nor debates are being held to analyze the policy of Americans in Russia. Their policy towards Moscow is being criticized.
Statistics about the United States and Russian arms clearly shows that it is the only nation that possesses the weapon power to destruct the whole of the United States. It is for this reason that the United States is constantly trying to maintain a good relation with the Russians. The weapon power of the Russians must be feared by all nations.
In addition to its weapon power, its significance is also a factor that poses a threat to any economy. Being the largest country in the world with respect to territory, Russiais geographically significant. The Eastern and Western civilizations are found to be conflicting against each other as the Russian territory is becoming more significant day in and day out. Therefore being in good terms with Russiais in the interest of the United States.
It is Moscowthat has to be blamed for this not happening so far. It is true that the United Stateshas come up with too many policies in the past two decades. The reason why none of them worked is because they have always been democratic. This depicts the failure of the Americans in policy making as well as leadership.
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Protests Over World Bank Policies
It was only when Robert Zoellick began speaking at the Beijingbranch that Du Jianguo shouted in protest of the World Bank policies. Du’s exact words were, “World Bank, take your poison and go back to the United States”. Du claimed to be a scholar in economics as well as politics. There are no doubts about him not understanding the seriousness of the issue that he has put his head into. It is a known fact that Chinahas been seeing exciting developments in the past few decades. Statistics on China proves it to us. The chaos ended as Du left. Du claimed that it was the feelings of the people of Latin America that would be deeply hurt by this move from the World Bank.
Zollick said that the reports that were released by the bank called for the development of a brand new economic strategy. It has to be noted that no such strategies had to be undertaken by China for the past three decades. The growth credit was facilitated by investments as well as exports.
After apologizing to Robert in front of all the reporters, Du stated that this World Bank policy will not do any good to the Chinese economy. All it is capable of doing is injecting its poison into the economy of China. Which means it will spread out its poison to the entire world. Putting an end to the day’s events, Robert said that he had realized the fact that China is going nowhere but forward with the help of future leaders.
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A Steady Forecast for the Chinese Economy
The economy of China has had a lot of troubles recently. They had somewhat stuttering exports, high inflation risks, some government debts, problematic capital flow etc. The well renowned Chinese politics, however, had succeeded in providing the best protection against what is called hard economics. In late autumn, when President Hu Jintao handed over power, China was going through its slowest growth compared to the rest of the year. The Chinese economy is different from other economies in the world. The economic system in China demands stability, actually a lot more stability. So, the one party communist rule cannot be blamed if any of its policies result in any significant threat. Statistics about China confirm the government debt to be 26.8 percent. The fiscal revenue of 2011 was a significant record-breaking 10.36 trillion Yuan. The government bad debts would amount to $1.7 trillion. The banks in China are backing at least a $200 billion loan and with considering any restructuring costs, the grow debt of China would be above 60 percent. During the great economic recession, which occurred in 2008/2009, China had injected the large and immense sum of 4 trillion Yuan. The economic forecasts of today have showed signs that the Chinese government would have to repeat its money injection into the economy. The economic growth and employment of China depends greatly on International Trade. The government of China has been mainly concentrating on fine-tuning its economic policies. The economic policies that have been implemented are squeezing taxes and easing the bank’s reserve ratio to keep the money supply steady.
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